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GPU Upgrade Makes Mac Pro Tower Mojave Compatible and a Contender with 2013 Model

Apple’s macOS 10.14 Mojave has been available to the world since September, and the Rocket Yard has outlined all Macs that are compatible with the new operating system. As we’ve reported, the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models will support Mojave – as long as they have been upgraded with graphics cards that support Metal.  

Apple released a support document that provides a list of graphics cards that are Metal-capable. The document states that “macOS Mojave requires a graphics card that supports Metal, an Apple technology that lets the system and apps efficiently tap into the capabilities of today’s graphics processors (GPUs).”  

One of the GPUs on the list is an OWC favorite – the Radeon RX 580. The powerful card will ensure that your Mac is supported by Mojave and able to run the latest macOS smoothly.

As you can see in our benchmarks below, not only does the Radeon RX 580 ensure full compatibility with macOS Mojave, but you’ll also get a performance boost that will make your silver tower Mac Pro a contender with the 2013 Mac Pro that features dual GPUs.

With the Radeon RX 580, your 2010-2012 Mac Pro will take full advantage of Metal, which is Apple’s 3D graphics and compute API released in 2014. In short, Metal allows your system and applications to efficiently tap into the capabilities of today’s graphics processors such as the Radeon RX 580. You’ll also get up to 12.5x better performance over the stock GPU for OpenCL, which allows you to take advantage of the parallel computing power of GPUs and multicore CPUs to accelerate compute-intensive tasks. You’ll see shorter rendering times and faster effects operations with Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Avid, Adobe, and other video suites.

Platform Cinebench (GL) GeekBench (CL) GeekBench (Metal) Unigine Valley
MacPro5,1 Testbed with Radeon RX580 51 FPS 132861 132940 47 FPS
MacPro5,1 Testbed with Radeon 7950 51 FPS 83213 84511 34 FPS
MacPro5,1 Testbed with Radeon 5870 50 FPS 16564 Not Supported 27 FPS
MacPro5,1 Testbed with Radeon 5770 50 FPS 10598 Not Supported 14 FPS
MacPro6,1 Testbed with D300s 82 FPS 69461 68108 28 FPS
MacPro6,1 Testbed with D500s 75 FPS 71091 71425 26 FPS

* Mac Pro 5,1 testbed running macOS 10.13.6 via Accelsior E2 in x16 slot with 16GB RAM. Valley test running at 1080p, Ultra Quality, 2x AA, v sync off. Mac Pro6,1 D500 testbed running macOS 10.13.6 with 48GB RAM. Mac Pro6,1 D300 testbed running macOS 10.13.6 with 16GB RAM.

1. According to Apple, you need to update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, make sure that your graphics card is compatible, and then turn off FileVault before you upgrade to Mojave on the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models. 

2. With this Metal-compatible graphics card installed, you will not be able to see the Apple logo at boot, nor can you access boot options. Once your system has fully booted, the graphics card will function normally. For more details (including workarounds), see the Rocket Yard article on How to Get Ready for macOS Mojave.

More on macOS Mojave… 

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  • actually i have a question on the Radeon RX580 GPU which is unfortunately a required upgrade in order for Mojave to work on my Mid 2010 Mac Pro5.1. i found a AORUS Radeon RX580 this may be a dumb question but are all Radeon RX 580 the same this one just has been licensed to Aorus. if so then the MSI Gaming Radeon RX 580 is the same licensed to sell under MSI so in conclusion these GPU’s are one and the same and will work to upgrade to Mojave? Thank you in advance for taking the time to review and answer my question

  • I have a Mac Pro (Mid 2010), I recently upgraded my graphics card to the Radeon RX 580 8192 MB. At first it didn’t work and my computer kept crashing. On the graphics card there is a tiny switch which optimizes it for either computing or gaming. I flipped the switch to gaming mode and it works really great now.
    Running MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6, with a 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon and 24 GB 1066 MHz DDR3. Have yet to switch over to Mojave.

  • could never get that to work for me, i have all the components in place but ,no dice. No nay never can i seem to get out of “sierra”, weird stuff too like no video signal when retuning to original graphics card for the upgrade, and when the rx 580 is in it WILL NOT BOOT to the disk utility.

    • Where do I find the “tiny” switch to switch to gaming mode? I have pulled the card from my system and cannot find it. Otherwise this card works great as long as you upgrade to High Sierra FIRST before installing the card as it needs the firmware update and drivers for the card. I have seen the switch on other non-Gigabyte models of the RX 580, but cannot see or find any info on where, if at all it has one.

  • Hello:

    Just got a 2008 MacPro (3,1) running Mojave and the Graphics Card is a ATI Radeon 5870 HD for Mac.

    #1 the Mini Display ports do not send a signal to my ASUS monitor with I connect it with a Mini Display to HDMI (60Hz.) cable. I can only get signal with the DVI-I Dual link connected to an HDMI adapter for my monitor but I get no sound eventhough I should because its a dual link cable.

    #2 . I just think that this graphics card is on its last leg. The playback on youtube vids at 1080 is subpar since I can it doesnt play that smooth when I expand the image to the whole screen. Still not sound just sound coming from the Tower speaker.

    Question: Should I upgrade get the evga GeForce GTX 680 for Mac edition or will I be worse off. Im highly frustrated with a older mac that I though I would be happy with. Again, any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi
      I’ve got a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2 Go in my Macro 3,1 2008
      and everything works fine with Mojave !

  • I have a Mac PRO 5,1. Does the Radeon RX580 support the Mac Pro 5,1 Bootscreen? I want to be able to select Boot Drive at Bootup.
    Also does it support OSX Mojave

    And what is the latest BootRon version I should install

    • No, it does not.

      I’m unaware of any current Radeon cards that offer a Mac EFI ROM to be able to see the boot screen.

  • I have NVIDIA Gefore GTX960 GPU, and I followed the instructions on the Apple site, to install High Sierra, and check the System Info. This said the card IS metal compatible. However after I went ahead and installed Mojave, the metal info disappeared. Pretty awful that this spat between Apple and NVIDIA is allowed to impact on consumers.

    • I totally agree!
      My GTX960 is back in its box after lots of great service in High Sierra.
      not sure what course to take next… are they eventually going to mend fences?

      • To carry this thought a bit further… Apple’s posture on this issue is VERY anti-customer.

        1) Apple, for years on end offer for sale top-shelf line of Mac Pros that are expandable via industry-standard slots

        2) Later, after customers have placed significant (financial and otherwise) trust in Apple, they needlessly break perfectly good hardware that was purchased due to customer’s trust in point #1

  • Dose that FXF Radeon needs two power lines coming out of the mother board or a splitter cable and one going into the video (2×6 pins into 1-8 pin)?

  • Add, moreover. Works perfect with one monitor, but I cant see second monitor connected both on HDMI. Humm… maybe I have to split one on DVI and other HDMI? humm. I’ll try, any experience about 2 monitors with Radeon x580 on two screen?

    • Did you find a fix for this – I just upgraded my Early 2009 flashed to 5.1, and can only see one monitor, doesn’t seem to matter if it’s HDMI or DVI.

  • We bought x580 shappire Pulse. Works prefect on MacPro 5.1 -mid 2010 ! without problem (only windows bootcamp is missing)

    • on my FXF radeon 580 8 vram on the video board will work good with mine. You must check if your program is on or it may be corrupt. I have current parallel Program it it work good on my G5.1 2010 model. You may have to reinstall the Mac OS the current one. 10.13.6

    • I now have my Mac Pro 3,1 running Mojave with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. No more issues.

      • Hey Shawn, I am looking to do the same for my 3,1. So, you had no problems or issues? Just followed dosdudes’ instructions? Does the GTX 680 install easily? Were you able to find a new 680 or only used?Thanks, DC

        • Hi Duncan, I was able to find a GTX 680 on ebay. Used, and perhaps slightly beat up (one of the video ports may have some damage), but the card I found works fine after I “discovered” a few quirks.

          1) Be sure to reset the SMC after installing.
          2) Reinstalled Mojave and installed dosdudes’ patches after installing the card. Do NOT select legacy video.
          3) Since my card had two DVI ports on it (I think one is DVI-D, the other is DVI-I), I found that I wasn’t able to use a DVI to VGA adapter on my 24″ Acer monitor. Fortunately, that monitor also has a DVI input, so I used a DVI cable instead. The other monitor is DVI only.

          After doing all of this (do the SMC reset last), both monitors finally came up. Using an AppleColor Cinema Display (30″) and the Acer 24″ monitor. Boot screens come up correctly, etc.


      • Shawn – do you have two monitors working with the GTX 680? Just tried a 8800GT flashed for EFI64, one monitor works fine, two monitors are not seen.

        Doesn’t matter which DVI port, the monitor just switches from left to right so DVI port works, problem with how Mac Pro 3,1 sees the card.

        Don’t want to spend another $250 with same result.

        • See my reply to David above (I inadvertently said your name instead of David). I can’t speak for the 880GT, but did you do an SMC reset?

          I spent $200 for the used GTX 680. Took some time and experimentation, but after using only DVI cables and the SMC reset, it works fine.

  • Have a Power Mac 5.1 mid 2014 machine. Just put in new cables and the monitors are one years old. Have 64 ram on the machine.
    Have the new Radeon RX580 a month ago. When powering down on the Mac it will give black and white checker board screen before it goes off. So is it the new video or is it in the machine itself?

    • I am dying to move my 2012 Mac Pro (last of the cheese graters) to Mojave, but can’t find a cheap RX560 anymore. Amazon used to have them, but now they’re only available used, and I’d prefer new. I keep googling, but still can’t find ones that are definitely going to work without causing power supply issues. Any easy recommendations for budget ($150-200 or less) Mojave/metal compatible video cards?

      • Does less than one hour of operation count as new, for you? I have an unemployed RX560; make me an offer, if you are US-based.

        • Ha, I might be tempted if it truly works, and yes I’m in the US (California). Which model/brand/variant is it, and how much would you want for it?

  • My Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) with Mojave (using @dosdude1’s Mojave Patcher) runs just great with a GTX 680 card, except for one thing – I can’t get my second display to come up. Yes, I know there’s no Nvidia driver available yet – but I can’t get the second display up on High Sierra either.

    Have you (or anyone) tested dual monitor configurations with either a GTX 580 or 680 in an older Mac Pro? That would be good info.

    The GTX 680 I have is a Mac edition, so the boot menu and boot display do appear while starting up.

    If anyone has a GTX 680 dual display configuration working, I’d like to hear some details.

    The GTX 680 is on Apple’s list, and System Information does show it to be a Metal-compatible card, which makes the dual display glitch more frustrating.

    • Yes , I have a mac pro 3,1 upgraded to Mohave (dosdude) just like you. I have a mac flashed GTX 680 and I run dual monitors with no issues.

      • It turns out that an SMC reset was required. Both monitors are working fine now.


  • My Mac Pro 5.1 updated from High Sierra to Mojave during the night. (I had left auto-update switched on by mistake) Now, I have lost my second screen, and my graphics card, a Nvidia GTX 980 TI is running an Apple default driver. It seems no Nvidia driver is available for Mojave, although I am told that one was submitted to Apple for approval soon after Mojave was released. Six months later, this approval is still on hold. A big thumbs down to Apple for treating their customers with such utter contempt. Pity is that the Mac is potentially a very good computer if it wasn’t for Apple’s misguided company policies. I have spent around £500 on the Nvidia card to keep my Mac in top condition, and I wasn’t warned that it is NOT compatible with Mojave before the machine upgraded itself. It should not be possible to upgrade the operating system unless the hardware is compatible with the upgrade, and Apple needs to address this problem without delay.

    • What you are saying makes no sense.

      If the system doesn’t have a Mojave-compatible video card, it won’t allow an update to Mojave as the card has to be Metal 2 compatible.

      Now if the issue is that Mojave doesn’t yet have a specialized GTX 580 driver – there’s not much that can be done about that.

      • It would be helpful if update scanned your hardware for compatibility, but sadly. in this case, it didn’t, or at least didn’t find incompatability. As this update happened when I was asleep at night, I was unaware of it until the next day, when I discovered a screen saying ‘welcome to Mojave’, but my second monitor was dead due to the default Apple driver. It may be that the Nvidia GTX 980TI is compatible with Metal 2, but this card is not listed as compatible by Apple and the Nvidia web driver used in High Sierra is not compatible with Mojave. A sorry situation! Nobody knows when the right driver will be released. You are right that users can’t do anything about it. Some cards have a driver built into the operating system by Apple, but these are usually of moderate performance. I would really like to return to High Sierra, but sadly my backup disk failed!

  • Successful update from Late 2009 Mac Pro 4.1 to High Sierra, after struggling to understand the ‘boot to recovery partition’ part (just open Terminal when you are there). Then installed the Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 with double mini 6 pin to 8 pin connector – not easy to find – and updated easily to Mojave. Original processor and 16 GB old Memory, no serious trouble so far. Happy! Feb. 2, 2019.

  • Hi,

    I’ve a Mac pro mi-2010 and I want to buy this card “Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 590 8GB GDDR5”. So I need to know if it will works fine, and may not cause problem with the original power supply. I seen that the rx580 works fine with mac pro 2010, and I think that there are no great difference in power comsuption between these two cards, please help me to make my choise

  • There’s already some people running the new Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 590 in a Classic Mac Pro 5,1 for 4K & Mojave without modding the power supply. Not yet endorsed by Apple, as the current draw seems right on the 225 watt limit. A bit tempted, but might wait to see how it goes.

  • I have an early 2009 MAC Tower – do you have any info on how I can update it?

    2.66 Quad Corr Intel Xeon
    32 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB

    • I installed it on my Mac Pro4,1 with GeForce GT120 512MB using

      The performance is better with older Snow Leopard on this system, so I installed Mojave on another partition.

      • Thanks so much, I am going to understand what you are saying. I want to do this, but I am a bit paranoid. I am on 10.11.6, It sounds like I can move forward. I just want to make sure I know what I am doing! Thanks for the info.

      • If you flash your motherboard firmware to that of the Mac Pro 5,1 you can run Mojave without dosdude’s hack. I would guess that it would run better that way. I can’t say for certain, because my Mac Pro is a 3,1 model (early 2008, as opposed to an early 2009(4,1) or mid 2010/late 2012 (5,1) model) and is limited for upgrades.

        • This message was directed to Sobriquet Johnson. If you do this, you’ll want a Metal compatible card for Mojave.

    • I personally would flash the motherboard firmware to that of the 5,1 model. Then install a Mojave compatible GPU (AMD ones seem the best bet because of Apple native support) and install Mojave. The only hitch I have heard is that the Apple Store will still see your Mac as a 4,1 model and not let you download Mojave. If you know someone with a Mac that will download it, do so and make your USB installer stick. It should install just fine on your firmware upgraded Mac.

  • I’ve also updated a MP5,1 with a RX560 (i.e. cheap, and no power cables required) from 10.13.6 to 10.14.2

    This included the latest firmware, and afterwards I was able to remove the RX560 and put back the old Radeon 5770 and Mojave still booted up and ran, although at times the screen would go black for a fraction of a second, so I’m not sure how stable it is.

    The bonus is that I have also been able to install a Samsung EVO 960 NVMe drive as the boot drive (using a PCIe slot with a converter board to hold this M.2 drive). Still need to do some benchmarks to see how much faster it was than the EVO 860 SATA drive I have plugged in below the SuperDrive (i.e. slow 3G SATA).

  • My Radeon R9 280x shows a Geekbench Open CL score of 106599, so as expected, it is better than the 7950 but not as good as the RX580 but it does have Mac EFI and thus boot screen support.

  • Hello , it seems that the numbers for the MP6,1 are not correct, as the D300 score higher than the D500?

  • My HD7950 (metal supported, runs fortnite) equipped mac pro mid 2010 will not run Mojave – during boot the screen goes blank and the wireless keyboard is unresponsive.

    • Mine runs ok – make sure you have the switch flipped to the correct position (Mac side not Windows side).

    • Yes, I installed mojave in a mac pro 3.1 of 2008, with 32 gb disk ssd 256 gb and an EVGA GTX 670 card and it really goes perfect, even without CUDA for mojave

      • Hey Claudio, I own a machine like this myself and consider upgrading as well. Did you simply use the original installer from Apple or the dosdude patched installer? Thanks!

    • How can any Nvidia Card run OS 10.14 (Mojave) on a 2008 Mac when there are currently no drivers for any Nvidia cards.

    • How can any Nvidia Card run OS 10.14 (Mojave) on a 2008 Mac, or any Mac, when there are currently no drivers for any Nvidia graphics cards that support Mojave?

      • If the card was supported before, Apple is still providing drivers. So some older Nvidia cards still work.

  • Unlike the High Sierra upgrade, (and some 10.14 beta installs did the card swap routine), 10.14 upgrade from 10.13.6 apparently doesn’t require a Mac rom card (but metal support yes) – confirmed by several reports of Mac Pro 5.1 owners with only Radeon RX580 (no Mac rom) card installed. Of course no video at startup so requires patience (and w/o video is a downside).
    See reports at

    read all reports there (some are more detailed) – one upgraded 2 Mac pros with only RX580 installed. (1 noted even if Mac rom card installed it still had to support metal for FW update to proceed – Mac 7950 of course satisfies both but his Mac OEM GT-120 card didn’t – he swapped GT-120 out and installed RX580 which worked, but again no video until setup screen appears which can take a long time.)

    I was also leery of the Apple listing of some non-Mac rom GPUs supported for 10.14 upgrade but it seems that is the case. of course some have problems, even with a modern fully supported Mac, even closed systems listed as supported. always happens with a major .0 release. (Apple Mojave forum has threads on 2018 MacBook Pro owner install problems.)

    As always, keep your working previous boot volume intact – or at least a backup clone. Many will wait for 10.14.x updates before jumping in.

    Excuse typos, typing on tiny screen/window with autocorrect…

  • Note that on most Mac Pros, a firmware update will need to be installed before Mojave will install.

    However, you cannot install a firmware update without a video card with a Mac boot ROM installed.

    This means for most users (whose Metal-capable video cards do not have Mac boot ROMs), a multi-stage install is required:

    1) Disable FileVault
    2) Uninstall original video card and install Metal-capable video card
    3) Download Mojave and start install
    4) When it tells you you need to install a firmware update, remember the instructions it provides
    5) Uninstall the Metal-capable video card and reinstall the original video card
    6) Perform the firmware update as instructed
    7) Post firmware-install, uninstall the original video card again and reinstall the Metal-capable video card
    8) Proceed with installation of Mojave

    • Do ANY of the Apple-recommended cards have Mac boot ROM’s? Is it possible to find Metal-compatible cards that do have Mac boot ROM’s? How do I search for this?

      • I just did a Mohave upgrade tonight, I have a 2009 4.1-> 5.1 firmware upgraded machine. I have a MSI RX-560 installed. I was able to do the firmware upgrade although a bit scary since no boot screen, had to be patient and wait. I did not have to swap video cards, it went very smoothly

        • Apple must have updated their firmware updater.

          The “hold power button until you hear a tone” firmware update process never used to work unless you had a Mac boot rom video card installed.

          • I can confirm that updating the firmware with the 10.14.1 full installer worked just fine when the RX580 installed – yay Apple!

        • I have similar hardware, and I tried a MSI RX-560… worked okay with 10.13.6 but now only HDMI video (no audio; no DVI output) with 10.14.2… any hints? F/W went okay, the 10.14.2 install made no complaints.

        • Did all your audio work? I have similar hardware as you (2009 u/g’d 4.1->5.1); updated to 10.13.6, inserted MSI RX-560; downloaded 10.14.2, did the F/W update, installed 10.14.2; now got only HDMI video (no audio through HDMI), & DVI has no output. Hmmmm…

    • You can absolutely do the firmware update with a non Mac ROM card. I did mine with an RX580 and it worked fine.

      • Same for me: I just did the firmware and Mojave updates with a new MSI RX560 card installed in my mid-2010 Mac Pro 5,1. Worked a charm! Wish I had the Mac boot screen back, however.

        • Mac Pro 5,1; 3.3GHz x 12, 64GB; OSX 10.13.6. Just installed the MSI RX560 4G. Ported the OS to a 120GB SSD; installed card; d/l 14.02; updated firmware; installed 14.02. Thought it failed, at first; turns out 14.02 doesn’t send signals to the DVI port, only HDMI, and no audio through the HDMI path. Hunting for hints on a fix; else I hunt for another Metal-compatible card.

      • I was unsuccessful. Made the mistake of installing a Radeon Sapphire card before installing High Sierra. No way to install firmware update that I can figure out. After weeks of trying, I gave up. Suggestions?

        • hey Mike , i did the same thing, did you ever get anywhere with this? I am still stuck.

          • Does anyone know if the Metal-ready GPU can be removed and then the firmware update installed without a GPU in the computer? I know my MacPro can boot completely without a GPU, so then maybe the firmware can be updated without a GPU?