What's new

Mac Pro (Cheese grater) Video cards

Morning Coffee

Active Member
Does anyone have a Mac Pro 3,1, 4,1 or 5,1 that is sucessfully working with a non-Apple branded graphics card without any issues? I read that it is possible to use PC graphics cards, but the major caveat being that you lose the boot screen. (which is ok by me)

I have a Mac Pro 3,1 (2008) still kicking along nicely, but would like to upgrade the graphics/video card to do 720p, 1080p HD video editing.

I am trying to learn DaVinci Resolve video editing software which (I think), benefits more with good Cuda performance over Open CL performance. (whatever that means)
 

jason.d

Member
I had a 5,1 up until a few months ago when I sold it. I had a flashed Nvidia GTX 980 in there that I bought on eBay. The trick is to make sure it’s flashed to work for the Mac Pro. The boot screen and everything worked great, had no problems with it.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
The reason for the Radeon RX560 or RX580 - or one of the others Apple recommends in that link, although they're more expensive - is that they're supported without relying on third-party drivers.

So I wouldn't recommend a flashed PC card, and if you want an easy life, look for the *exact* versions in the link - e.g. the MSI Gaming bla bla RX560, not the AMD version. Other versions will *probably* work, but what if they don't?

The price is also an important religious consideration for me. Years ago I took a sacred vow never to buy another expensive computer card, after one too many of them became obsolete for no good reason - Pro Tools, MOTU, SCSI cards... I've been through this too many times.

My MSI RX560 was < $100, and even that is pushing the tenets of my faith.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Super helpful, Nick. I have the same upgraded 4,1->5,1 and I need the new GPU for the sam e reason.
Unfortunately, I'll have to freeze this machine on Mojave, since future macOS versions won't run 32-bit software - including the driver and software for my Metric Halo interface.
 

InLight-Tone

Senior Member
On my Hackintosh I'm running a Radeon RX 580 8 GB card. Installed without issue, recognized on boot up, great performance...
 
OP
Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee

Active Member
Thanks for the suggestions.

I have been doing some follow up research and as suggested, the AMD Radeon RX560 and RX580 seem to be pretty popular and sound like great cards to slot straight in, but apparently they need Mac OS Sierra and higher to work. Unfortunately for me, being on a Mac Pro 3,1, I'm stuck on OS El Capitan as my last supported operating system. Some clever tinkerers have managed to get Mojave working on the 3,1 which is amazing, but I just feel it's not worth the time and hassle so I might just play it safe and get some older cards like the Radeon HD5870 or Nvidia GTX 680 or similar to get me by until I invest in a new, dedicated media computer.

Also, rumours are that Apple will stop supporting new Nvidia GPU cards, another good reason to go with the Radeon RX series!
 
Last edited:

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
I've just put one of these in last week:


Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX580 8G. Now I'm happily running Mojave on my 4,1 (flashed to 5,1). Makes a bit of difference too......

This machine is going to last forever at this rate. Ten years of reliability so far. The new Mac Pro is going to have to very special to make me jump. I wonder if we'll hear about it tomorrow.
 

topaz

Member
Beware the 560 this one
Has no boot screen on High Sierra, and does not work with Live 9, there is an issue with flashing, flickering that Ableton will never fix.

Also for me the output was kinda foggy. back to the ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB for me ;)

Amazon return imminent.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
Beware the 560 this one
Has no boot screen on High Sierra, and does not work with Live 9, there is an issue with flashing, flickering that Ableton will never fix.

Also for me the output was kinda foggy. back to the ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB for me ;)

Amazon return imminent.
Unless the card has been flashed for mac, you won't get a boot screen. It's not an issue for me, as I still have the original card I can drop back in if ever needed.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
And it’s rarely needed. I needed it to update the firmware for high Sierra but the later firmware for Mojave was smart enough to do it without needing to see the boot screen. Keep the old card around just in case though
 
Top Bottom