Metal-compatible AMD card for Mac Pro 2010

Algrim

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jun 1, 2016
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1,724
I have a work Mac Pro (Mid 2010) running El Capitan and am considering the upgrade to Mojave (using a new hard drive to not overwrite work stuff). Apple lists one of the requirements to upgrade is a Metal compatible card. The usual suspects for upgrades are trotted out on several Apple threads (AMD 5x0-series) but I'd like to know what is the cheapest option that's worked for this kind of upgrade. :unsure:

I'm aware that this is not the Mac sub-forum but I spend the majority of my [H] time here and I trust the AMD sub-forum more than the Mac sub-forum for this kind of question. I will consider a cheap nVidia card but would prefer to stick with the AMD camp for this machine. I'd actually love to get a 290x but I doubt the PSU would agree (whilst this machine sips power on idle when all 12 cores are being used it draws a lot) and I doubt a Mac-flashed card would be cheap...
 

Algrim

[H]ard|Gawd
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Thanks for the information! Any war stories for having done it? My understanding is that Macs are notoriously picky about non-flashed cards and the prices for those, even the old ones, are insane.
 

power666

Weaksauce
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Jun 23, 2018
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Best bang for the buck is the RX 580. Due to the lack of additional power headers (two 6 pin connectors only), going higher in a 2010 Mac Pro is best done with an additional power supply. That puts a bit of a hamper on Vega boards and some high end RX580's.

Nonflashed cards will work with the caveat that the initial boot screen won't display. I have a Mac Pro 2012 system here which has had a Radeon 7970 Pro, GTX 770 4 GB with only the boot screen not displaying until their drivers are located. It has also had a GTX 970 in it for awhile which needed the additional step of downloading the drivers from nVidia themselves as Apple doesn't bundle any Maxwell or Pascal drivers with OS X.

nVidia's RTX lineup is likely getting Mac Pro 2010/2012 support soon. They are one of the few cards that'll display a boot screen with how Apple implemented their EFI. RTX 2070's would be a good fit for that machine once drivers drop on the Mac side.
 

JustinCorrigible

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Apr 29, 2011
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Thanks for the information! Any war stories for having done it? My understanding is that Macs are notoriously picky about non-flashed cards and the prices for those, even the old ones, are insane.

I've successfully used non-flashed cards in my Mac Pro 1,1. Biggest thing for non-flashed cards is that you won't see the Apple logo on startup. You pretty much won't see anything on your screen until the login prompt.
 
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