Why we don't need boot screens

phoenix.factory

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 9, 2018
25
9
Switzerland
Hi all,

the title is voluntarily provocative :)

I invested quite a long time and money to get my graphics cards to show up the little apple logo at startup. I found this imperative if I wanted to install mac os from scratch...

Then I started using my brain "in another way". Maybe you all know what I'm about to explain since long time, then you can call me stupid :) (please don't)

Method 1 - reinstall from scratch with a USB stick with Mac Os installer
Simply press "C" at startup and you cMP will boot from the USB. After about two or three minutes you land on the install utility and voilà

Method 2 - reinstall from scratch with a USB stick (from current Mac OS)
Connect your USB stick with the Mac Os installer to your computer. Go to preferences and define it as startup disk and reboot. You'll be blind for a few 2-3 minutes but you finally will get your screen displaying the install utility.

Method 3 - reinstall from recovery partition
Press CMD+R and you will get the same install utility from your recovery partition

I don't think this is revolutionary, however it might be that newbies don't think about it and stay stuck with "old" GPUs or loose time and money to get this "bloody" apple boot screen. There is a whole bunch of GPUs, particularly AMD, that run out of the box even with Mojave.

ATTENTION: while this methods will allow you to take advantage of the new GPUs for your daily business, keep your good old original GPU around just in case you still would need it in the future for troubleshooting.
 
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reukiodo

macrumors regular
Nov 22, 2013
242
100
Earth
I prefer the alternative - find a used PC AMD 7950 or 7970 and flash it with the Sapphire Mac firmware. :D

Not necessarily easier or cheaper than the methods you've listed, but cheaper than buying the official thing, and provides piece of mind at the boot screen.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
Mac EFI GPU was very compelling in the past, as there were many benefits to having it and many problems with not having it. Boot screens was just the one most visible advantage, and I think there are many people that literally equate the two things. But really there were many advantages to MacEFI GPU. At one point, back then, I believe there was about a dozen advantages and I had compiled a list somewhere.

Over time that has changed. MacOS initialized GPUs, recovery partitions initialized GPUs, MacOS initialized even earlier in the boot process than before, MacOS enabled 5gt/s instead of the slower 2.5gt/s, etc. etc. So the benefits of a Mac EFI GPU have mostly disappeared and therefore the problems with not having it have also mostly disappeared.

However, I'd argue that if you are going without boot screens, you need to think about future issues and have a backup card with Mac EFI. There are still some important benefits, or even requirements, to having a Mac EFI GPU, such as certain firmware updates. Likewise, boot screens are still required for some things like File Vault. And you still get some benefits too, admittedly very minor, like 5gt/s support in Windows and correct card reporting in information screens.

Some people went completely to a PC card which was fine for a long time, but then eventually some issue came up like a firmware update, or troubleshooting a screen that stayed black during bootup. At that point they're kind of screwed.

The analogy I like to use is that a Mac EFI GPU is like a seatbelt in a car. Sure, you can get by from day to day indefinitely without needing it, but some day in the future you might need it, and then you'll really, REALLY need it.

I don't think this is revolutionary, however it might be that newbies don't think about it and get sucked with "old" GPUs or loose time and money to get this "bloody" apple boot screen. There is a whole bunch of GPUs, particularly AMD, that run out of the box even with Mojave.
I get uncomfortable when someone announces to everyone here that it's perfectly fine to do without. Maybe it's 90% okay, or even 99.5% okay, but it's really not perfectly okay. It seems a little irresponsible to say you don't need MacEFI without warning about potential pitfalls of not having it. Keep in mind many people here are making their living from their MP, and they should know the risks.

In my opinion it is reasonable to say it's fine for day to day use, but you better keep an old Mac EFI GPU around just in case, and if you're using Mojave, your backup card sitting in the closet better be Mojave capable.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,782
5,592
Hong Kong
There are still some important benefits, or even requirements, to having a Mac EFI GPU, such as certain firmware updates. Likewise, boot screens are still required for some things like File Vault. And you still get some benefits too, admittedly very minor, like 5gt/s support in Windows and correct card reporting in information screens.
These are also only exist with the old firmware / macOS now.

All firmware update in Mojave doesn't required boot screen at all.

Firmware 138.0.0.0.0 or later makes all GPU run at 5GT/s in any OS.

Mojave doesn't support File Vault at all on cMP regardless if the graphic card has Mac EFI or not.

But I completely agree that no one know which day we need the seatbelt. So, despite I only use non Mac EFI GPU on cMP now, I still have two Mac EFI GPU laying around for immediate emergency use.
 

kings79

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2015
148
93
I have to say that this post is mostly ridiculous.

The OP only mentions Boot screens for clean installs. There are many reason other than boot screens to have a Mac EFI GPU. Single user mode for one...

Most of us know how to do a clean install without a boot screen AND this post only covers one point to having a Mac EFI GPU and that is of course clean installs.

The cMP is MUCH more versatile than this!

Also! An 'Old' GPU that you can flash is going to save you a TON of money. And if we all had TONs of money we wouldn't be using cMP's. Mostly anyway...
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
Mojave doesn't support File Vault at all on cMP regardless if the graphic card has Mac EFI or not.
I could be wrong, but I thought the DOSDUDE patcher enabled Filevault support for cMP.

So Mac EFI GPU is still required for Filevault support for MacOS users prior to Mojave. And if the above is true, it is also required for Mojave users who've patched the Filevault support back in.
 

saulinpa

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2008
865
323
Umm. Why do you need a screen at all? I run a cMP headless as many others do. No mouse or keyboard either. Therefore the logic goes that the world should stop selling monitors, keyboards, and mice.
 
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JedNZ

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2015
372
141
Deep South
It's not "okay" to me not to have boot screens for the following reasons:
  1. The boot manager allowed me to switch easily to the boot volume I want to boot from, without having to fully boot into another OS and set the startup disk from there. Really easy when you have multiple bootable internal and external drives.
  2. I like to see the Apple logo and status bar - I can do time testing it. I'm an Apple guy - have been since my Classic 512KE (in the garage) and I'm proud to be reminded of the delight I get from looking at an Apple logo versus a windows emblem (although I have Win10 also on my cMP).
  3. I like to boot into Verbose and Single User mode (haven't done either for a long time, so I have given up on those options for troubleshooting). But I liked that could do a fsck -fyy (or whatever it was - see I've forgotten now) and repair my boot drive quickly.
  4. I like to see that the status bar for Safe Boot, so I know if it's chugging along or if it's stalled.
I get by, just like my kids do when I take their devices away from them. And I'm okay with learning some new things, and doing things slightly or wholly differently. But as much as I like the new things that change brings (bootable NVMe, 5GT/s PCIe slots, updated FW etc), I also like my creature comforts, and the Apple logo and boot screens are some of those.

And despite the applause I give Apple for updating the FW and bringing us new things, on the other hand it's disappointing that they haven't somehow allowed for boot screens with PC GPUs like my R9 380X. I mean, I get an Apple logo and status bar when booting into Recovery HD, so why not for normal boot?

SO do I need boot screens? Yeah, yes I do. It's a subjective questions, and that's my subjective answer. I don't answer it for everyone. I have no idea what the consensus is - doesn't interest me.

Apple engineers/devs/gurus: I'd love to be able to see the Apple logo again. Can you please make this happen for me - maybe others - so I can shine that lovely, juicy logo on my screen that announces to the world when it starts up that it is special, beautiful and technological genius.

[updated] changed FM to FW (what was I thinking)
 
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phoenix.factory

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 9, 2018
25
9
Switzerland
As I first said: the title is voluntarily provocative

There is one reality one must face: not every cMP user is an advanced Mac specialist.

While I absolutely agree that keeping your EFI GPU is just common sense, I believe you can live without boot screen for day to day work.

To the ones that think this post is ridiculous, again, most end users of cMPs, are graphic designers, music professionals, architects, not EFI GPU specialists nor developers. 99% of the people I talk to, believe they cannot install Mac Os from scratch if they do not have the "bloody" little apple at the startup. Only because they don't know the methods described in my post.

I see quite a lot of cMPs on the used market and most people are getting rid of them because they think that cMP is at it's life's end and has no more upgrade possibilities.

I do believe that there are many specialists in this forum which is great. However, please keep in mind that life is not only about specialists. Again, graphic designers and many other end users don't care about vbios tweaking or GPU flashing.

I definitely believe end users can save a lot of money with "easy go" upgrades instead of changing for newer machines, paying twice the price for macvid flashed cards or getting overpriced easy to flash GPUs from eBay.

Thanks for you reactions, the post has been updated with warning information.
 
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