What is highest Radeon Graphics card without need for flashing for Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by timidhermit, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. timidhermit, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017

    timidhermit macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    Despite reading the numerous threads on this forum, I am still very confused about Radeon HD graphics card support for my Mac Pro (MacPro5,1) beyond Radeon HD 5770 and 5870.

    From what I read, Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition is the last "native" card supported in the Mac Pro that can boot to both Mac OS X and Windows without the need to flash the ROM in the card.

    Beyond this, among ONLY reference cards currently being sold on market by AMD (no secondary manufacturers, including Sapphire), what is the HIGHEST Radeon graphics card that I can install in my Mac Pro WITHOUT the need to flash its ROM? I need to see the boot screen, as this is important for me because I frequently switch between booting to Windows and booting to OS X installed on different hard drives). For example, I am seeing a lot of high-end Radeon HD cards being sold on eBay claiming to be Mac compatible, but the ads for these cards are suspiciously low on details, particularly on whether or not these cards are pre-flashed or not.

    Note that I am not interested in any "flash-requiring" card.

    Please help... Thank you kindly.
  2. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2007
    There's not a single one beside the HD 7950 "Mac Edition" you've mentioned.
  3. timidhermit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    What about the ATI reference Radeon HD 7970 card (not third-party card, but the actual reference card)? I am reading some online testimonials and blog posts claiming that this card works on BootCamp and Mac OS X with boot screen without flashing the video card itself. But I also discover contradictory testimonials. Is it possible that the "reference card" works without flashing but that "third party card" requires flashing?
  4. rueyloon macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    --- Post Merged, Jan 28, 2017 ---
    But no boot screen
  5. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    No, those with boot screen are ALL flashed cards.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 28, 2017 ---
    The 390x has native driver support, but as you said, no boot screen, so not fit OP's need. And it can't be flashed, so, there is no solution to get boot screen for this card yet.

    Besides, the driver quality is also an unknown, not much report here apart from your poor FCPX performance report.

    Last but not least, 275W TDP is not recommended for an un-modded cMP (if no extra PSU).
  6. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    No, you are missing an important distinction. Working at boot time and working after the OS loads the drivers are two different things. If you want it to work at boot time, you need a genuine Mac card or a card that's been flashed with a Mac EFI ROM suitable for your computer.

    Anyone saying an unflashed reference card works in a Mac is referring to it working after the OS loads the drivers. You won't see the initial boot screens.
  7. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2007
    The cMP's use an old EFI 1.1 implementation which never existed in the rest of the "PC world", so there's not a single PC card which is compatible with this EFI, simple as that.

    Only the special "Mac Edition" cards are compatible, as well as some flashed/hacked GPUs (with varying quality).

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