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MP 1,1-5,1 What's the best Metal GPU for the 2008 Mac Pro

ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
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Hello everyone- I'm getting an early 2008 Mac Pro, and like the 2006 machine I have here, I want to upgrade it to the max, and that includes an update to macOS Catalina. I'm pretty sure the Radeon 5770, which is super common, won't work because it doesn't support metal.

My question is, are there ANY Metal supported AMD cards that will work in the 2008 cMP? I think modern card require SSE4.2, which this machine doesn't have.

Thanks again!
Luke
 

IndioX

macrumors 6502a
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rodedwards

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Jul 7, 2010
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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I can do that myself, right?
Only for GTX 680, the last flash yourself NVIDIA GPU. AMD RX-580/VEGA 56 EFI flashing solutions are not free.

Don't forget that you have to use a SSE4.2 emulator, like MouSSE, for any AMD GPU released after HD 6xxx to work with MP3,1 with macOS releases after Sierra. All AMD GPUs that support METAL require SSE4.2 for the drivers to work past Sierra.
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
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Bloomingdale, GA
Only for GTX 680, the last flash yourself NVIDIA GPU. AMD RX-580/VEGA 56 EFI flashing solutions are not free.

Don't forget that you have to use a SSE4.2 emulator, like MouSSE, for any AMD GPU released after HD 6xxx to work with MP3,1 with macOS releases after Sierra. All AMD GPUs that support METAL require SSE4.2 for the drivers to work past Sierra.

I don’t think Nvidia is the best way to go with future proofing and macOS.

Thanks for the great information

(BTW I thought I saw somewhere once that the 2008 Mac Pro is odd and it will show an EFI boot screen on some non flashed cards?)
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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I don’t think Nvidia is the best way to go with future proofing and macOS.

Thanks for the great information

(BTW I thought I saw somewhere once that the 2008 Mac Pro is odd and it will show an EFI boot screen on some non flashed cards?)
You are correct that NVIDIA days are numbered, Apple will remove support as soon as the last NVIDIA Mac is obsolete (MacBook Pro mid-2014).

Don't forget that the same is valid for your Core2Duo based Xeon, it still works with Catalina today after some patches, but Apple already removed support for the one generation later Nehalem Xeons with 10.14.3 and some things are broken after that, like dual processor support.

Even MP5,1 days are numbered, official support ends when Mojave stop getting Security Updates October next year.
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
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Bloomingdale, GA
You are correct that NVIDIA days are numbered, Apple will remove support as soon as the last NVIDIA Mac is obsolete (MacBook Pro mid-2014).

Don't forget that the same is valid for your Core2Duo based Xeon, it still works with Catalina today after some patches, but Apple already removed support for the one generation later Nehalem Xeons with 10.14.3 and some things are broken after that, like dual processor support.

Even MP5,1 days are numbered, official support ends when Mojave stop getting Security Updates October next year.

I’m aware of that and agree. And none of them are my main machines. But they can still do a lot for being 12 years old! It’s mostly just a project for fun.

Maybe Apple and Nvidia will work things out- but it still seems unlikely that cards will be plug and play, especially with such old machines.

So you think the best bet is probably a flashed RX580 and the SSE4.2 emulator? Will a flashed card show a boot screen, even though the CPU doesn’t support the required instruction set?

Thanks!
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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I’m aware of that and agree. And none of them are my main machines. But they can still do a lot for being 12 years old! It’s mostly just a project for fun.

Maybe Apple and Nvidia will work things out- but it still seems unlikely that cards will be plug and play, especially with such old machines.

So you think the best bet is probably a flashed RX580 and the SSE4.2 emulator? Will a flashed card show a boot screen, even though the CPU doesn’t support the required instruction set?

Thanks!
I don't think that anyone tested a flashed RX 580 with a MP3,1.

I don't know if the EFI DXE created by MVC requires SSE4.2, if it requires your MP3,1 wouldn't even work with a flashed card, it will KP instantly with illegal instruction. You should ask MVC before buying an already flashed card or sending one to be flashed.
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
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Bloomingdale, GA
I don't think that anyone tested a flashed RX 580 with a MP3,1.

I don't know if the EFI DXE created by MVC requires SSE4.2, if it requires your MP3,1 wouldn't even work with a flashed card, it will KP instantly with illegal instruction. You should ask MVC before buying an already flashed card or sending one to be flashed.

I’ll ask them. Thanks. Or I could just use rEFInd:


 
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Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502a
May 14, 2008
750
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OpenCore also has the ability to display GOP boot screens on the 3,1 and now the 5,1.
You can certainly do the RX 580 but you could probably also go for any of the Vega options as well. 56/64/VII if you have more money to burn.
im not sure if any of the Vega options have been tested with the SSE4.2 emulation kext but it works great with the 580.
The only portion of the AMD driver in macOS that we know of that uses SSE4.2 is the metal portion of the driver. Works fine in win 7 and probably later too.

note that currently the OpenCore boot scteen is just a basic text based one. However it sounds like they might get a way to load the Apple version of the boot screen via OpenCore.
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
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Bloomingdale, GA
OpenCore also has the ability to display GOP boot screens on the 3,1 and now the 5,1.
You can certainly do the RX 580 but you could probably also go for any of the Vega options as well. 56/64/VII if you have more money to burn.
im not sure if any of the Vega options have been tested with the SSE4.2 emulation kext but it works great with the 580.
The only portion of the AMD driver in macOS that we know of that uses SSE4.2 is the metal portion of the driver. Works fine in win 7 and probably later too.

note that currently the OpenCore boot scteen is just a basic text based one. However it sounds like they might get a way to load the Apple version of the boot screen via OpenCore.

Sounds pretty in-depth but certainly an exciting possibility. I’ll have to look into that.
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
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Bloomingdale, GA
Got the Mac Pro today and put some upgrades in it. Here's where it's at right now...
Screen Shot 2020-02-10 at 9.07.45 PM.png


The 5770, obviously, doesn't work in Catalina, and it was horrible in High Sierra as well. It seems like the easiest drop and go install would be one of the Radeon R9 cards, or something similar.

Believe it or not, the 8800GT does work with dosdude's legacy video card patch, although performance is terrible. It will barely open the launchpad...
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
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Bloomingdale, GA
Just ordered a Mac compatible R9 M270 from eBay. Should work fine for a little while. The current card, obviously, isn't useable. Especially with a 30 inch Cinema Display.
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
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Bloomingdale, GA
Why isn't the graphics card detected properly? I had to reinstall macOS to get graphics acceleration at all.
Screen Shot 2020-02-14 at 10.10.53 PM.png

[automerge]1581736335[/automerge]
And it all works fine, just not sure why it's not showing the card properly.
 
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Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502a
May 14, 2008
750
323
Why isn't the graphics card detected properly? I had to reinstall macOS to get graphics acceleration at all. View attachment 894219
[automerge]1581736335[/automerge]
And it all works fine, just not sure why it's not showing the card properly.
Because the legacy patch from dosdude breaks the metal compatible drivers is why you had to reinstall.
 
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MIKX

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Dec 16, 2004
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Can't you dump the ROM and use Hex Fiend to input the correct name and then re-flash the GPU in WIN 7 /Win 10?
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
1,205
Bloomingdale, GA
Because the legacy patch from dosdude breaks the metal compatible drivers is why you had to reinstall.
I know that. That's why I had to reinstall Catalina after installing the Metal card.
[automerge]1581781294[/automerge]
Can't you dump the ROM and use Hex Fiend to input the correct name and then re-flash the GPU in WIN 7 /Win 10?
I don't know how easy it is to flash an R9. Never tried.
 
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NardoB

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2020
2
0
Why isn't the graphics card detected properly? I had to reinstall macOS to get graphics acceleration at all. View attachment 894219
[automerge]1581736335[/automerge]
And it all works fine, just not sure why it's not showing the card properly.


Hi all, sorry to jump in here but i also wish to upgrade my MP1,1 to the latest OSX. You've been able to get yours to run Catalina. I well impressed, as i wish to do the same to my MP. I've upgraded my MP to 2,1 and running El Capitan with a 5870 GPU. I'm due to install a ssd drive in it but wish to do that with an updated osx. I know i'll have to change the grapics card and probably change the cpu from dual to quad. Can anyone help guide me on this process?
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
1,205
Bloomingdale, GA
Hi all, sorry to jump in here but i also wish to upgrade my MP1,1 to the latest OSX. You've been able to get yours to run Catalina. I well impressed, as i wish to do the same to my MP. I've upgraded my MP to 2,1 and running El Capitan with a 5870 GPU. I'm due to install a ssd drive in it but wish to do that with an updated osx. I know i'll have to change the grapics card and probably change the cpu from dual to quad. Can anyone help guide me on this process?

The Mac Pro I am referring to is a 3,1. It supports 64 bit EFI. The 1,1 / 2,1 do not. Unfortunately, El Capitan is the best you can do on yours if you don’t want to run windows.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,765
9,354
Hi all, sorry to jump in here but i also wish to upgrade my MP1,1 to the latest OSX. You've been able to get yours to run Catalina. I well impressed, as i wish to do the same to my MP. I've upgraded my MP to 2,1 and running El Capitan with a 5870 GPU. I'm due to install a ssd drive in it but wish to do that with an updated osx. I know i'll have to change the grapics card and probably change the cpu from dual to quad. Can anyone help guide me on this process?
MP1,1 or MP2,1 official support ends with Lion/10.7 and it's impossible to run anything newer that El Capitan.

MP1,1/2,1 Xeons don't have the required SSE4.1 support for Sierra and it's not possible to install a newer Xeon model or workaround it.
 
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NardoB

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2020
2
0
Thanks for the quick replies. sad news eh!!
So the only option with my MP is a change to the cpu (2xDual Core to 2x Quad core), in order to get it working faster.
 
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ScreenSavers

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 26, 2016
1,864
1,205
Bloomingdale, GA
Thanks for the quick replies. sad news eh!!
So the only option with my MP is a change to the cpu (2xDual Core to 2x Quad core), in order to get it working faster.

That’s right. Dual 3.00GHz quad cores will make a big improvement, as well as SSDs.
 
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macguru9999

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2006
398
132
MP1,1 or MP2,1 official support ends with Lion/10.7 and it's impossible to run anything newer that El Capitan.

MP1,1/2,1 Xeons don't have the required SSE4.1 support for Sierra and it's not possible to install a newer Xeon model or workaround it.
And I am pretty sure when I installed 32 bit windows on my 1,1 that it would only recognise 2gb of ram, even though much more was installed. that is, half of the usual 4gb recognised.....
 
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