Slimline native cards for bootime graphics + Metal support?

applCore

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 3, 2011
134
54
I've got a 2010 Mac Pro with a Radeon RX 480 (that has no video on boot) and an old NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 just for good measure to give me verbose boot.

Are there any slimline / one slot cards (like the GT 120 format) that support Metal AND are considered to be native supported by macOS so as to get boot-time graphics? Or am I stuck booting with no video from here on out?
 

homohurre123

macrumors member
Jun 5, 2018
69
46
I'm not sure but i think Vega works. The CPU in the Imac Pro doenst have an iGPU either so it has to be able to do it natively. But they are quite expensive
 

wubsylol

macrumors 6502
Nov 6, 2014
353
304
Long answer: No video on boot is a strictly a GPU firmware thing, so it needs a special firmware specifically for Mac which would render the card unusable on PCs. I think the last 3rd party GPU released for Mac was the "Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition" and that was years ago.

Medium answer: No, unless MacVidCards.com starts doing AMD again, or you want to deal with the headache that is nVidia on Mac.

Short answer: No
 

applCore

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 3, 2011
134
54
Long answer: No video on boot is a strictly a GPU firmware thing, so it needs a special firmware specifically for Mac which would render the card unusable on PCs. I think the last 3rd party GPU released for Mac was the "Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition" and that was years ago.

Medium answer: No, unless MacVidCards.com starts doing AMD again, or you want to deal with the headache that is nVidia on Mac.

Short answer: No
I'm fine flashing my own Nvidia bios / firmware. I did it quite some time ago on another configuration and it worked out fine, but I'm not finding any like of the proper formfactor that also support Metal yet...
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,211
701
I've got a 2010 Mac Pro with a Radeon RX 480 (that has no video on boot) and an old NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 just for good measure to give me verbose boot.

Are there any slimline / one slot cards (like the GT 120 format) that support Metal AND are considered to be native supported by macOS so as to get boot-time graphics? Or am I stuck booting with no video from here on out?
There is nothing I am aware of that is one-slot and has an EFI to give you boot screens/FileVault2 compatibility.

As it stands now you'd have to pick 1 of your requirements--plenty of options for either.

But I want to ask--why do you want a single-slot card? You may not realize it, but there is a gap between slots 1 and 2 on your mainboard intended specifically to accommodate double-height GPUs without blocking a usable slot. So regardless if you use a single or double-height card in slot 1 you still have three other slots available.
 

applCore

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 3, 2011
134
54
Good thought, but I run 5 monitors for production and a 6th for "booting" sanity checks / debugging in case something crazy comes up (I also use it for some extra stuff). The single-slot card drives that 6th screen for that purpose. All of my other slots are consumed with extra SSD and various controllers.
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,211
701
Ah, well I don't think there is anything presently on the market that meets your needs (single slot, Metal-capable, with EFI). Maybe something will change depending on if Apple throws us cMP users a bone with Mojave and boot screens, but that's a long shot.

However, I think it's already been determined that the GT120 will work with Mojave, just in completely non-accelerated fashion (so, slow and glitchy in the GUI). But if as you said you only use the GT120 for troubleshooting then I think you can keep using it as such even if you upgrade to Mojave.
 

Reindeer_Games

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2018
277
213
Pueblo, CO
Ah, well I don't think there is anything presently on the market that meets your needs (single slot, Metal-capable, with EFI). Maybe something will change depending on if Apple throws us cMP users a bone with Mojave and boot screens, but that's a long shot.

However, I think it's already been determined that the GT120 will work with Mojave, just in completely non-accelerated fashion (so, slow and glitchy in the GUI). But if as you said you only use the GT120 for troubleshooting then I think you can keep using it as such even if you upgrade to Mojave.
I believe I read somewhere on here that a user was using a GT 640 in a 4,1/5,1 for Mojave, but no bootscreen. In theory, one could flash the bios of a GT card with similarly supported series like the GTX 6XX/7XX Mac series approved cards or modded firmware and get applCore's solution. MacVidCards flashing services costs would likely be the same whether a GTX or GT though. I'm working with a modded GTX 770 just because there where other's like the 780M in iMac's which meant support for the 7XX series should remain for a bit more-which means modding a 6XX/7XX series slot card would be more likely for long-term payoff. Just a suggestion, if you are still looking for one as I'm in a similar position now considering my own options for adding a second monitor without pulling performance form my primary monitor or requiring additional power beyond what is supplied at the logic-board. While not exactly a single-slot, another newer GT series card modded may serve your purpose. I'm hoping to leave the option open for a primary GPU upgrade (without losing bootscreen) once Mojave web-driver are released (if ever). I'm hoping the GT 120 isn't my only option-but if it is, then, it is what it is.

EDIT: Not quite right-post corrected to GT 640.
 
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