Upgrade GPU on 5,1 (FileVault, Boot screen)?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrt209, May 19, 2019.

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  1. mrt209 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    #1
    Have a mid 2010 mac pro. For the last couple of months my GPU (ATI Radeon HD 5870) fan has been making a loud noise so think it's finally time I upgrade the gpu :)

    From what I understand these are the recommended cards by apple:
    • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDRR5
    • SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5
    • SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition
    • NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition

    Thinking of just getting the RX 580, seems good enough for me...

    Is this the right card: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZZ6FMF8/

    Will I get a boot screen? There are some conflicting reviews, some saying no some saying yes after an update. What about running FileVault? What card would be able to run FileVault?

    My budget is around $200-400.

    Thanks
     
  2. tsialex, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019

    tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Location:
    Brazil
    #2
    Yes.

    Read threads about size of the Sapphire Pulse RX-580, if you need to use slot-2.

    No, the last AMD GPU capable of having UGA pre-boot configuration support (AKA boot screens*) with a MP5,1 is AMD R9-280X.

    No newer GPU from AMD is capable of it, from R9-3xx AMD changed to GOP pre-boot configuration support and GOP is not compatible with Mac Pro EFI.

    *Boot screens is used a lot but it's not the correct term. The correct denomination is pre-boot configuration support. Mac Pro supports UGA and a GPU that has UGA pre-boot configuration support has:
    • Single user support,
    • Verbose boot,
    • Startup Manager, the new name for the BootPicker/BootSelector,
    • FileVault support (for macOS versions before Mojave),
    • EFI Shell support.
    Any card that has native macOS drivers has Recovery support, no one has Internet Recovery - only Mac Pro late-2013 has Internet Recovery.

    Nvidia cards that need web drivers don't have any pre-boot configuration support, Recovery support or createinstallmedia USB installer support. Mojave don't work with those cards.

    AMD cards that have native macOS drivers don't have pre-boot configuration support but have Recovery and createinstallmedia USB installer support and work after the drivers are loaded by Recovery/installer.​

    Same answer, FileVault support depends on pre-boot configuration support.

    Mojave don't support FileVault for MP5,1 anymore.

    For previous macOS releases:
    • SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition
    • NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
    • 3rd party flashed NVIDIA GPUs.
     
  3. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #3
    Yes, Apple completely blocked FileVault on the cMP5,1 running Mojave--even if you acquire a "Mac Edition" GTX 680 or other metal-capable card capable of bootscreens. There are convoluted workarounds--the best of which involves moving your Mac Pro's disk to another Mojave-supported Mac, booting it and enabling FileVault from the other Mac, and then moving the drive back to your Mac Pro. That method has been confirmed to work but is entirely unsupported by Apple and therefore you are taking some risk with your data.

    Edit: I should add that you can/should only pursue the workarounds if you have bootscreen (pre-boot configuration) support like with the GTX 680 or AMD 7950 Mac Edition cards. If you go with the Pulse 580 or one of the other recommended cards, you cannot use FileVault period.
     
  4. mrt209 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    #4
    Thanks, do you think there's a chance Apple will enable FileVault or add support to new cards in the future if they announce a new mac pro? Might just wait 2 more weeks until WWDC then.
     
  5. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Location:
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    #5
    I explained why no modern GPU works, this will not change.
     
  6. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #6
    Given the CPU vulnerabilities announced last week, I think chances are high that Apple writes off the MacPro5,1 entirely. They have already given it way more resources than any of us expected given its advanced age, so no I don't think they will ever enable FileVault again (note that they will continue to support it on High Sierra for at least a couple of years if you're willing to stay on that OS).

    There haven't been many trustworthy leaks about the 2020 Mac Pro, so I don't think any of us know what Apple is going to do. But I think there's a strong chance they announce it at WWDC, along with the new monitor they've supposedly got coming. They may also officially kill off the MacPro5,1 by not supporting it on macOS 10.15.

    I agree we should know more when WWDC starts in two weeks. So I would hold off on any purchasing decisions until then.

    Edit: I should clarify that the 2020 Mac Pro will almost definitely support FileVault (or at least what it really is under the hood now: APFS Encryption). The only reason they disabled it for the cMP on Mojave is due to the pre-boot graphics situation with most of the supported GPUs. It was far easier (=less costly for them) to just disable it across-the-board than try to write a bunch of code to detect the installed GPU and enable/disable FV based on that.
     

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5 May 19, 2019