RX580 in Mac Pro

macguru9999

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 9, 2006
378
122
I've got a couple of 5,1's. A 3.46 hex and a 3.2quad. I've had a flashed 680gtx that i bought unused 3 yrs ago for about 300usd and its been in my primary mac pro (the 3.46). I bought another used 680gtx (100usd) for the second machine to replace the 5880 but ended up selling it to a customer who wanted mojave compatibility. I could not find another and was not inclined to spend 200usd on another flashed 680gtx. So... I bought an nvidia rx580 sapphire from amazon for 200usd. At least its a fairly recent model ! pretty sure its the apple recommended version. Its GREAT. powered by a 2x6pin to 8 pin adapter and its dead quiet in anything i am likely to use and a bit faster than the 680gtx which i am moving to the second machine... as my boot drive is a 970pro nvme drive i do not have to wait long for a boot screen, which kicks in after the drivers are engaged.
The second mac pro has bootcamp but my primary machine is just running mojave 14.4 and has bootrom 141.0.0.0 (as of yesterday). Anyways because i am not a gamer or encoder of videos i went with the recommended card and it seems very compatible. If you have bootcamp, however, as i do on the second machine, you should run a flashed card because if your drive selection gets stuffed up you wont be able to option boot to switch systems :)
 

startergo

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2018
2,518
1,036
I've got a couple of 5,1's. A 3.46 hex and a 3.2quad. I've had a flashed 680gtx that i bought unused 3 yrs ago for about 300usd and its been in my primary mac pro (the 3.46). I bought another used 680gtx (100usd) for the second machine to replace the 5880 but ended up selling it to a customer who wanted mojave compatibility. I could not find another and was not inclined to spend 200usd on another flashed 680gtx. So... I bought an nvidia rx580 sapphire from amazon for 200usd. At least its a fairly recent model ! pretty sure its the apple recommended version. Its GREAT. powered by a 2x6pin to 8 pin adapter and its dead quiet in anything i am likely to use and a bit faster than the 680gtx which i am moving to the second machine... as my boot drive is a 970pro nvme drive i do not have to wait long for a boot screen, which kicks in after the drivers are engaged.
The second mac pro has bootcamp but my primary machine is just running mojave 14.4 and has bootrom 141.0.0.0 (as of yesterday). Anyways because i am not a gamer or encoder of videos i went with the recommended card and it seems very compatible. If you have bootcamp, however, as i do on the second machine, you should run a flashed card because if your drive selection gets stuffed up you wont be able to option boot to switch systems :)
There are many alternatives to the boot picker. You can use scripting and select the boot drive, boot-manager, boot runner etc.
 
Last edited:

mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
I just had an odd experience with an RX580. I had previously booted 'blind' into Recovery (black screen), using a sequence of keystrokes to open Terminal and turn off SIP, as part of the process of enabling Continuity after a wifi upgrade. Once Continuity was up and running in macOS, I rebooted into Recovery to turn SIP back on.

To my surprise, Recovery displayed on one of my three monitors (on a DP connection). The RX580 is a standard, un-flashed Sapphire Pulse 8GB that doesn't display boot screens. I would have thought displaying Recovery would be impossible, but it was there working fine.

Don't know if this was specifically because SIP was disabled, or if this is already a well-known quirk, but posting in case it's useful to someone. I guess the GPU drivers must be in the OS? I was using keyboard commands whilst in Recovery, so forgot to move around a window to test for tearing (which would reveal no GPU driver). Menus seemed smooth as normal though.
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,742
1,899
Charlotte, NC
I just had an odd experience with an RX580. I had previously booted 'blind' into Recovery (black screen), using a sequence of keystrokes to open Terminal and turn off SIP, as part of the process of enabling Continuity after a wifi upgrade. Once Continuity was up and running in macOS, I rebooted into Recovery to turn SIP back on.

To my surprise, Recovery displayed on one of my three monitors (on a DP connection). The RX580 is a standard, un-flashed Sapphire Pulse 8GB that doesn't display boot screens. I would have thought displaying Recovery would be impossible, but it was there working fine.

Don't know if this was specifically because SIP was disabled, or if this is already a well-known quirk, but posting in case it's useful to someone. I guess the GPU drivers must be in the OS? I was using keyboard commands whilst in Recovery, so forgot to move around a window to test for tearing (which would reveal no GPU driver). Menus seemed smooth as normal though.
That's the way it's supposed to work. Apple has included the drivers for your RX580 in the Recovery bundle. This isn't new.
 

mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
Odd that the screen was black the first time I booted into Recovery then. I had definitely been booted into Recovery, as I successfully turned off SIP whilst in there - it was now disabled after booting back into regular macOS following a Reboot command.

This must be relatively new, since someone was dealing with exactly this issue (no display in Recovery) as recently as December 2018. I was following a guide here: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/345647/disable-sip-with-third-party-gpu.
 

startergo

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2018
2,518
1,036
I just had an odd experience with an RX580. I had previously booted 'blind' into Recovery (black screen), using a sequence of keystrokes to open Terminal and turn off SIP, as part of the process of enabling Continuity after a wifi upgrade. Once Continuity was up and running in macOS, I rebooted into Recovery to turn SIP back on.

To my surprise, Recovery displayed on one of my three monitors (on a DP connection). The RX580 is a standard, un-flashed Sapphire Pulse 8GB that doesn't display boot screens. I would have thought displaying Recovery would be impossible, but it was there working fine.

Don't know if this was specifically because SIP was disabled, or if this is already a well-known quirk, but posting in case it's useful to someone. I guess the GPU drivers must be in the OS? I was using keyboard commands whilst in Recovery, so forgot to move around a window to test for tearing (which would reveal no GPU driver). Menus seemed smooth as normal though.
There is nothing special about the screen in recovery mode and RX 580 (getting to recovery mode can be challenging). The magic would be if you get the boot picker screen.
 

mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
Cool, the first time must have been an anomaly then. Good to know I can still use this mode with the RX580; I was expecting to have to swap in my old GTX 680 for this type of thing.
[doublepost=1555692657][/doublepost]I experimented a bit and found it very tricky to successfully get into Recovery with video support. I can repeatedly get in to a black screen, then get to Terminal using the keyboard and reboot. Is there is a particular duration of time it's best to hold down Cmd+R?

Once somehow in with video support, there is actually a lot of tearing on my machine when moving the macOS Utilities window, indicating there isn't proper GPU acceleration. The version of Utilities I'm running is "Version 1.0 (339.1)" - is this the correct one for Mojave? Or is my Recovery mode outdated?

Edit: I just checked my MBA 2012 running Mojave, and it is also running v1.0 (339) of macOS Utilities in Recovery. It also exhibits screen tearing, so perhaps Recovery only has very basic support for GPUs. Still need to find the optimal period of time to hold down Cmd+R. Sorry for the OT though.
 
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IndioX

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2018
857
350
austria/europe
Cmd + R into recovery is working well without bootscreen
it takes 2 -3 minutes and on some cMP you must press the return button after this waiting time
 

mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
Cmd+R certainly gets into Recovery every time - the issue is doing it with video.

Are you saying you need to hit the Enter key after waiting 2-3 minutes? Does this give video? Why?
 

mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
When do you start holding down Cmd+R? After the chime? How long do you hold the keys down for? Do you press Enter afterwards? Or don't personally need to?

I've been trying various permutations just now, and just can't get into Recovery with video. I can always get into Recovery, just with a black screen.

Edit : I'm using a BlueTooth keyboard - an Apple Magic Keyboard with numberpad (the iMac Pro one). I am also using an upgraded internal AC wifi / BT 4 module (genuine Apple, from a recent iMac / MacBook). BT keyboards can be awkward when doing pre-boot stuff, though like I say, the issue is not getting into Recovery, it's doing so with something on the screen. I'm also running a triple monitor set-up.
 
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mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
Going left to right, a Dell P2214H (1080p, DP), a Dell U2713hm (1440p, DP) and another Dell P2214H (DVI).
 

mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
OK, I disconnected the two DP monitors (which are the easier ones to disconnect anyway) and Recovery comes up reliably on the single DVI screen. Thanks for the suggestion. Triple monitors are a bit unusual, so perhaps it confuses things, especially for the simple driver in this mode.

I found holding down Cmd+R for a long time to be the most reliable - when I held them down for just 20 seconds or so, it seemed to sometimes go to the regular boot screen.
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,742
1,899
Charlotte, NC
OK, I disconnected the two DP monitors (which are the easier ones to disconnect anyway) and Recovery comes up reliably on the single DVI screen. Thanks for the suggestion. Triple monitors are a bit unusual, so perhaps it confuses things, especially for the simple driver in this mode.

I found holding down Cmd+R for a long time to be the most reliable - when I held them down for just 20 seconds or so, it seemed to sometimes go to the regular boot screen.
It may seem excessive to you, but I actually hold down the keys until I get a video signal letting me know the graphics driver has initialized.
 

IndioX

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2018
857
350
austria/europe
so, on my cMPs it is working well (without use of the return key)

sapphire pulse RX580 > DP > eizo FX2431:

IMG_5216.jpg



sapphire vega 64 air > DP > apple 27 LED:

IMG_5218.jpg



and see, the driver is loading very early:

IMG_5217.jpg
 
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mode11

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2015
322
144
London
I expect it would work on mine using a single (or even twin) DP monitor. DP connectors are quicker to remove than DVI, though, and a single screen is fine for a quick trip to the Recovery partition. I’ll (hopefully) hardly ever use it, but it’s good to be able to do so whilst having a GUI. Thanks again for the help.

@crjackson - I do something similar; just hold down Cmd+R until I see the monitor backlight kick in, before the screen appears shortly after.
 
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