Need to upgrade my Mac Pro 5,1 gfx card. What are my options?

needtoupgrademacpro

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2018
19
0
So I want to upgrade my Mac Pro 5,1 that has been using the same Radeon HD 5870 for 8-9 years now since the fan seems to be making a strange noise.

I was searching on the boards and I saw the Sapphire Mac edition of the Radeon HD 7950 Mac edition. This card seems to be sold out everywhere.

I also read that the RX 580 will work on a Mac Pro 5,1. Is this tried and true? Has anyone had any issues with this card?

I also checked out MacVidCards but I'm wary of using an nvidia GPU since support for nvidia is tricky (so I heard).

I did find an interesting note here:
  1. When installed in a Mac Pro a stock PC GPU will only be able to utilize the outdated PCIe 1.0 format. A card flashed with a Mac BIOS will be able to work at PCIe 2.0 speeds, supporting twice the data rate.

  2. Cards with our Mac BIOS are able to run their full monitor arrangement (unless specifically noted) and make use of the most up to date technologies, including 4K monitor support and CUDA, OpenCL and OpenGL support
What does this exactly mean if I do go the RX 580 route? Since it won't be flashed, performance will be hindered?

What are my options in terms of upgrading the video card that will work with my current Mac Pro without having to flash anything?

Thanks for your time.
 
Last edited:

Manzanito

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2010
344
395
So I want to upgrade my Mac Pro 5,1 that has been using the same Radeon HD 5870 for 8-9 years now since the fan seems to be making a strange noise.

I was searching on the boards and I saw the Sapphire Mac edition of the Radeon HD 7950 Mac edition. This card seems to be sold out everywhere.

I also read that the RX 580 will work on a Mac Pro 5,1. Is this tried and true? Has anyone had any issues with this card?

I also checked out MacVidCards but I'm wary of using an nvidia GPU since support for nvidia is tricky (so I heard).

I did find an interesting note here:
  1. When installed in a Mac Pro a stock PC GPU will only be able to utilize the outdated PCIe 1.0 format. A card flashed with a Mac BIOS will be able to work at PCIe 2.0 speeds, supporting twice the data rate.

  2. Cards with our Mac BIOS are able to run their full monitor arrangement (unless specifically noted) and make use of the most up to date technologies, including 4K monitor support and CUDA, OpenCL and OpenGL support
What does this exactly mean if I do go the RX 580 route? Since it won't be flashed, performance will be hindered?

What are my options in terms of upgrading the video card that will work with my current Mac Pro without having to flash anything?

Thanks for your time.
I have the rx 580 working out of the box, with pci 2.0 speed. The only requirement is to have the mac pro firmware updated to the latest version.

Also, if you plan on running macos mojave, there are no drivers available for the newer nVidia cards.
 

needtoupgrademacpro

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2018
19
0
I have the rx 580 working out of the box, with pci 2.0 speed. The only requirement is to have the mac pro firmware updated to the latest version.

Also, if you plan on running macos mojave, there are no drivers available for the newer nVidia cards.
How do you update the firmware in a safe way? Is there any way that my Mac Pro could die from this firmware update?