R9 380 vs R9 280 in Mac Pro (4,1 or 5,1)

RAMtheSSD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Does anyone have an R9 380 working on their Mac Pro (4,1 or 5,1)? Just trying to decide if the wealth of experience here given how many R9 280's seem to have been installed is worth buying what may be an older card inside?

This is NOT so much a matter of buying advice as it is a matter of finding out if the 380 can be made to work on the Mac Pro and (given the resistor removal etc ) if such work has been done for the 380 as well. The appeal for me is that they seem identical except for more memory and less power draw. Pricewise, the 380 is the same as 280x but 60 dollars more or less than the regular 280.

Resistors, cables needed?

Already in, 4 HD, 1 SSD not PCIe but may move it to one of those adaptors in the future, and GT120
 

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
527
Those cards don't have much in common: The R9 280 is a rebadged HD 7950 (GCN 1.0, Tahiti) which can be perfectly flashed as long as it matches the 7950 Mac Edition. PCIE 2.0 requires resistor mod.

The R9 380 is in fact a rebadged R9 285, which is a GCN 1.2 card (Tonga), similar to the GPU in the high-end 5K iMac (R9 M295X). Performance-wise they don't differ very much, but as of today there's no way to flash the card or get PCIE 2.0. (At least no public way, maybe MVC has up his sleeve? ;))
This card should work unflashed, but I never tried it myself.
 

RAMtheSSD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Those cards don't have much in common: The R9 280 is a rebadged HD 7950 (GCN 1.0, Tahiti) which can be perfectly flashed as long as it matches the 7950 Mac Edition. PCIE 2.0 requires resistor mod.

The R9 380 is in fact a rebadged R9 285, which is a GCN 1.2 card (Tonga), similar to the GPU in the high-end 5K iMac (R9 M295X). Performance-wise they don't differ very much, but as of today there's no way to flash the card or get PCIE 2.0. (At least no public way, maybe MVC has up his sleeve? ;))
This card should work unflashed, but I never tried it myself.
Got it :) The performance comparison seemed so similar that I didn't realize they really were so different. Of the R9 280s that I've looked into, I really like the ICEQ cooling system for their R9 280 and it seems like this is one that others have used to mod into their Macs but it will cost ~20 dollars more; Sapphire or ICEQ; what do you think?
 

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
527
Be sure to get a card with 2xmDP, HDMI, DVI of you want to flash the card. I think the Sapphire one has 2xDVI and one full size DP.
Might work with 3 ports afterwards, but might also be incompatible.
 

RAMtheSSD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Be sure to get a card with 2xmDP, HDMI, DVI of you want to flash the card. I think the Sapphire one has 2xDVI and one full size DP.
Might work with 3 ports afterwards, but might also be incompatible.
OOPS! I had seen your message before I bought the card but in a room full of video cards, the only one that had 6 and 6 and did not cost upwards of 400$ was the 2 DVI+HDMI+DP. So, powerwise and moneywise, there really wasn't another choice. Worst case scenario, I leave the GT120 in there for boots and switch the monitor to the R9 at the login screen -2 HDMI inputs on the monitor. Still, I am curious, why would the ports on the card matter? Chipset should be exactly the same right? All this has beyond the reference card is a mild overclock and extra cooling capacity so if the reference card flashes, why not this one?
 

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
527
The port mapping of each compatible card is hardcoded both in EFI and in AMD kexts in OS X. EFI-mapping can be adjusted partially, but OS X mapping can't (because of kext signing/rootless violation).

When using the card unflashed, the port mapping in OS X will be adjusted dynamically, but in 'real EFI-mode' this doesn't happen.

You can still try flashing the card. In best case, you'll lose one DVI port, in worst case OS X or the EFI will crash when the card is flashed.
 

MacVidCards

Suspended
Nov 17, 2008
6,096
1,054
Hollywood, CA
Some don't even worked unflashed. Single DP cards should be avoided like the plague, if not for potential OSX issues, then consider fact that DP port is most capable and flexible one on those cards
 

jannikmeissner

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2014
26
3
London, UK
Coming back to the AMD R9 380, did anyone try it yet? I am very very curious to know if it works as it gets increasingly hard to find R9 280(X) in the UK and I like the idea of only two 6 pin power connectors. Plus, they are a good bit cheaper than some of the last R9 280s I seem to be finding
 

JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
442
161
Deep South
I've got a Sapphire Nitro R9 380X 4GB in my cMP 1,1>2,1. Works beautifully with my Samsung 4K (DP cable). Also have a flashed 5770 that provides boot screen (DVI>VGA cable). I think the cMP 1,1 only allows for the slower link speed, so I'm not concerned about modding my R9 380X.
 

BillyBobBongo

macrumors 68030
Jun 21, 2007
2,517
1,091
On The Interweb Thingy!
Coming back to the AMD R9 380, did anyone try it yet? I am very very curious to know if it works as it gets increasingly hard to find R9 280(X) in the UK and I like the idea of only two 6 pin power connectors. Plus, they are a good bit cheaper than some of the last R9 280s I seem to be finding
@steveOooo has one running in a Mac Pro 5,1: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/sapphire-amd-380-nitro-in-macpro-5-1.1958224/

He also hails from England's green and pleasant lands!
 

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
527
I've got a Sapphire Nitro R9 380X 4GB in my cMP 1,1>2,1. Works beautifully with my Samsung 4K (DP cable). Also have a flashed 5770 that provides boot screen (DVI>VGA cable). I think the cMP 1,1 only allows for the slower link speed, so I'm not concerned about modding my R9 380X.
Are you sure it's an 380X? Can you look up the device ID of your card in the system profiler?
I'm asking because the usual 380X device ID isn't included in Apples drivers (unless they've added them in a very recent OS X update).
 

Earl Urley

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2014
496
212
Just installed a Sapphire R9 380 4 GB (11242-13-20G, no "X") in a cMP 5,1 in slot 1 with a 3.2 GHz QuadCore. Got it on sale for $199, but it looks like Amazon obligingly raised the price $20 right after I ordered what was probably the last of that batch (when I placed the order they said only 2 were left in stock.)

Unfortunately, it only connects at 2.5 GT (Oceanwave gave the transfer rates as 2.9 and 3.1 GHz) but at least it is driving the monitor well; single precision floating point is only 2260 GFLOPS as measured by Einstein@Home, but it at least beats the 1500 or so on the ATI 5870 it replaced. The resistor banks are almost microscopic; dunno if I'd want to risk scraping the wrong one off.

Yes, you have to remove the backplate, which worries me as it does act as a large heatsink, but as steve said there's simply no room to leave it on. Also you have to be careful as the backplate screws also hold in the front fan housing. Get it back on wrong and it's "BBBBRAAAZZZZZZ" coming from the card.

Also, the OpenGL driver only recognizes 2 GB out of the 4. The DVI-I port works fine, have to test the others when I get a chance. All told perhaps if I wanted more GFLOPS I should have coughed up $40 more for a used 280X, but it's not bad as a temp card to use while waiting for a good flashed one. Power draw's only supposed to be 190W, which is more or less the same than the 5870 it replaced. More compute power for same electric power I can live with.
 

rippiedoos

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2013
64
27
Just installed a Sapphire R9 380 4 GB (11242-13-20G, no "X") in a cMP 5,1 in slot 1 with a 3.2 GHz QuadCore.

...

Yes, you have to remove the backplate, which worries me as it does act as a large heatsink, but as steve said there's simply no room to leave it on. Also you have to be careful as the backplate screws also hold in the front fan housing. Get it back on wrong and it's "BBBBRAAAZZZZZZ" coming from the card.

...
Why not install it in slot 2? Then you have room for the backplate as well and move the card from slot 3 to slot 4 or slot 1, if any?
 

JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
442
161
Deep South
Are you sure it's an 380X? Can you look up the device ID of your card in the system profiler?
I'm asking because the usual 380X device ID isn't included in Apples drivers (unless they've added them in a very recent OS X update).
Yes, all the packaging and decals says it's a Sapphire Nitro R9 380X.

System Profiler shows:
Chipset Model: AMD R9 xxx
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 4096 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x6938
Revision ID: 0x00f1
Displays:


U28E590:
Resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 64 Hz
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Display Serial Number: XXXXXXXXXX
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Rotation: Supported
Connection Type: DisplayPort
Television: Yes
 
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JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
442
161
Deep South
Perfectly stable. No flickering or any artefacts.

I got the following results on the Unigine Valley benchmarks:
Ultra
Render: OpenGL
Mode:1920x1080 8xAA windowed
Quality: Ultra

UltraFPS: 30.0
Score: 1255
Min FPS: 7.5
Max FPS: 46.2

Medium
Render: OpenGL
Mode:1920x1080 windowed
Quality: Medium

FPS: 32.9
Score: 1377
Min FPS: 6.5
Max FPS: 50.8

Low
Render: OpenGL
Mode: 1920x1080 windowed
Quality: Low
FPS: 33.5
Score: 1401
Min FPS: 15.7
Max FPS: 50.9

-----

Luxmark v3.1
Result: 10649

These don't look like very good results at all, but I suppose my cMP is only PCI-E 1.0 so I shouldn't expect any better.

My system:
Mac Pro 1,1>2,1 (haven't updated the SMC)
Upgraded to Dual Intel Xeon X5365 3.0 GHz - 8 Cores
16 GB Ram
Main Volume: Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
User accounts: Seagate Barracuda 3TB (ST3000DM001)
Graphics:
1. Sapphire Nitro Radeon R9 380X 4GB (PCI-E Slot 1 - x16 lane width) - connected to a Samsung 28" U28E590 4K 3840x2160 @ 64Hz via DisplayPort cable
2. ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB (flashed) (PCI-E Slot 3 - x4 lane width) - connected to a ViewSonic 22" VA2238 1080p @ 60Hz via DVI>VGA cable (gives me boot screens)
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,429
6,979
Hong Kong
Those numbers looks good to me. At least we know that there is no significant weakness in both OpenGL and OpenCL support.

Also, the 380X is relatively cheap, dual 6pin, 190W TDP, 4G VRAM, except can't be flash. IMO, It's actually a better choice than the 280X. AFAIK, some card can actually stop the fan at low demand, which is another advantage that none of the R9 2xx can achieve.
 

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
527
Thanks for looking it up!
I'm not sure why I was thinking the R9 380X wasn't supported, even Yosemite has the device ID in the drivers, must have mixed something up.

Did you verify if all ports are functional? I read some posts about dead ports on Tonga-based cards (not 380X though).
 

JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
442
161
Deep South
You're most welcome. Surely I'm not the only one who has a R9 380X in a cMP 1,1.

I'll have a play around with ports (R9 380X has 2 DVI (bottom is white, top is black), one DP and one HDMI) and see what I can connect up. Will take me a few days as got a few server tasks on the run that I can't interrupt.

I just tried playing Steam CoD: Black Ops, The Walking Dead and XCOM: Enemy Unknown and I got patch-work blocks with artefacts covering the entire screen for all of them. Completely unable and had to Escape to get out of it. Can't find a way yet to change the game resolution cos the splash screen just goes crazy and can't make out out any of the UI. I tried changing the system resolution at intervals down to 1920x1080, but no luck with that either. The games work fine on the 5770 (with the 4K unplugged).

Update: I unplugged the 4K and ran with just the 5770 and was able to change the resolution for the games to 1920x1080 and in a window (rather than fullscreen) and everything is fine again. Phew
 
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Fer Kurezyn Jr.

macrumors newbie
Mar 25, 2016
1
0
I just got a GYGABIT R9 380 for my Mac Pro 4.1, and some tests i did with some tests apps like Novabench says that my GPU has a really slow performance. (OSX Yoshimate, 64 gigs RAM, SSD SandDisk, 2d GPU: Nvdia Gforce GT120, etc)

Thanks for your help!!
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,429
6,979
Hong Kong
I just got a GYGABIT R9 380 for my Mac Pro 4.1, and some tests i did with some tests apps like Novabench says that my GPU has a really slow performance. (OSX Yoshimate, 64 gigs RAM, SSD SandDisk, 2d GPU: Nvdia Gforce GT120, etc)

Thanks for your help!!
Novabench is not accurate at all. Use Luxmark, Unigine Valley, Unigine Heaven, for GPU test, most of other GPU benchmarking are not accurate at all (e.g. inconsistent result, affect by V-sync, CPU limiting etc).
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,626
232
Poland
I just got a GYGABIT R9 380 for my Mac Pro 4.1, and some tests i did with some tests apps like Novabench says that my GPU has a really slow performance. (OSX Yoshimate, 64 gigs RAM, SSD SandDisk, 2d GPU: Nvdia Gforce GT120, etc)

Thanks for your help!!
Novabench is the king of all benchmarks. Return the card. :rolleyes:
 

franklynb

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2009
5
0
Milwaukee WI
You're most welcome. Surely I'm not the only one who has a R9 380X in a cMP 1,1.

I'll have a play around with ports (R9 380X has 2 DVI (bottom is white, top is black), one DP and one HDMI) and see what I can connect up. Will take me a few days as got a few server tasks on the run that I can't interrupt.
Well, not a 1,1 but the current work by AMD to provide an open driver for Volcanic Island cards has my
interest, so I popped for a couple to try out:

Sapphire Nitro R9 380 4G GDD5 PCI-E w/ DL-DVI, DVI-D, HDMI + (full size) MP

... and a similarly clocked card except with 2X mini-DP + DVI-I ports, as recommended above. That card
hasn't arrived yet.

The DVI-I port does boot a framebuffer under AMDGPU/Xenial Ubuntu, using a AMD 2600XT/Samsung 20" DVI
for EFI boot sceen support. Cannot get the MP port to drive my LED Cinema under Ubuntu; and cannot get Mountain Lion to drive either (DVI or MP; didn't try DVI-D or HDMI) port!

Curiously, my 10.8.5 kernel modules don't list anything I'd expect to match up to the Tonga:
...
AMDRadeonAccelerator.kext
AMDRadeonVADriver.bundle
AMDRadeonX3000GLDriver.bundle
AMDRadeonX4000GLDriver.bundle
ATI2400Controller.kext
ATI2600Controller.kext
ATI3800Controller.kext
ATI4600Controller.kext
ATI4800Controller.kext
ATI5000Controller.kext
ATI6000Controller.kext
ATI7000Controller.kext
ATIFramebuffer.kext
ATIRadeonX2000.kext
ATIRadeonX2000GA.plugin
ATIRadeonX2000GLDriver.bundle
ATIRadeonX2000VADriver.bundle
ATISupport.kext
ATTOCelerityFC.kext
...

Which KEXT are you using to support R9 380 boot in Yosemite?

--frankb {cMP 3,1, 2X Quad, 18mB}
 

franklynb

macrumors newbie
Nov 23, 2009
5
0
Milwaukee WI
Which KEXT are you using to support R9 380 boot in Yosemite?
Self-reply:

Don't have {and cannot buy} yosemite; but have the second card, a 'compact" UEFI version of R9 380 from
Sapphire {NEWEGG 14-202-151} working in El Capitan. Verified both mDP and the DVI port as viable. And a bonus: Ubuntu 16.04
Xenial Beta2 can also make a framebuffer through the DVI-I port.

Performance isn't lousy. Its mounted in Slot 3, and I get 16-22 FPS through Unigine's benchmarks. The 'opengl'
drop-down is greyed out for some reason. Have to do some more reading. tonysmac hackintosh site was very helpful.

I tried JUST kextload-ing AMD9000 controller KEXT + framebuffer on Lion;but got linked object complaints,
suppressing the kernel object loading. Apparently, I missed some KEXT content which is NOT in the "package".
And I'm notfamiliar enough with Darwin source/object code repositories updates to figure it out.

What's the equivalent of "Launchpad/apt-get/dpkg" in Applespeak?
 

rippiedoos

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2013
64
27
Self-reply:

Don't have {and cannot buy} yosemite; but have the second card, a 'compact" UEFI version of R9 380 from
Sapphire {NEWEGG 14-202-151} working in El Capitan. Verified both mDP and the DVI port as viable. And a bonus: Ubuntu 16.04
Xenial Beta2 can also make a framebuffer through the DVI-I port.

Performance isn't lousy. Its mounted in Slot 3, and I get 16-22 FPS through Unigine's benchmarks. The 'opengl'
drop-down is greyed out for some reason. Have to do some more reading. tonysmac hackintosh site was very helpful.

I tried JUST kextload-ing AMD9000 controller KEXT + framebuffer on Lion;but got linked object complaints,
suppressing the kernel object loading. Apparently, I missed some KEXT content which is NOT in the "package".
And I'm notfamiliar enough with Darwin source/object code repositories updates to figure it out.

What's the equivalent of "Launchpad/apt-get/dpkg" in Applespeak?
Since when aren't the upgrades to newer versions of Mac OS X free anymore?

And regarding that: I think you should upgrade to El Capitan because the drivers are far better than in lion for the r9 380. That could be the reason that the OpenGL part is grayed out?
 
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