Reports on using Retail Sapphire Radeon RX 580 8GB in Mac Pro (macOS 10.12.6 and High Sierra)
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Reports on Sapphire Radeon RX 580 8GB in Mac Pros (macOS 10.12.6 or later)
(Since these are retail cards (not flashed with mac rom), there's no boot screen until the OS loads. For instance if booting with Option key to select startup disc. (You could select a different Startup Disk in macOS, but IIRC only 10.12.6 and later have native driver support.) Handy to have a second card like an OEM Mac Nvidia GT120 that uses no Aux power. (Also some macOS updates (like High Sierra) may need an OEM Mac graphics card installed, so keep your original Mac card on hand.) This card is also one of the recommended models for use as an eGPU with macOS 10.13.4. See Apple's article on Using an external graphics processor with your Mac that has a list of supported Thunderbolt 3 chassis and graphics cards.)

5th report, added April 30th. (Earlier reports below from April 20th, March 2nd, Feb. 19th & Feb. 2nd.)
"Another successful Radeon RX 580 upgrade report
Based on the reports on this site, I decided to pull the pin on a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8 GB card. I am running a Mac Pro 5,1, 12 core, with dual Intel x5675 Xeons. I had been running a Radeon 7950 which was flashed for Mac. While I had fine results with that card, I have been wanting a 3rd monitor, and my 7950 would only support two, as it was a PC version that had been flashed for the Mac. I have not yet connected the third monitor, but monitors 1 and 2 are working fine with the new card. I had to do absolutely no configuration to get it working in OS 10.12.6, but it does show incorrectly as an R9.

It did not show a Mac boot screen until partway through the boot-up process, but this was to be expected. I bought the card off eBay from a non-mining user for $310. He claimed he had under 30 hours on it.

Performance numbers are very good. I hit 53 and change fps in Cinebench. My Geekbench multi core score improved to over 20,000 for the first time. The compute benchmark OpenCL, with the card showing as an AMD Radeon HD Ellesmere Prototype hit 140000.

I suspect adding the 3rd monitor will present no issues. I am currently using 1 monitor in a display port and 1 in HDMI. I do not do anything requiring 4K work, so I only have have 1080p monitors. But the 3rd screen will greatly increase my workflow in music production, so I am quite pleased.
-Phil"

Thanks Phil. (There was an image but it didn't make it through.)

Fourth report, added April 20th. (Earlier reports below on March 2nd, Feb. 19th & Feb. 2nd.)
Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Special Edition in a Mac Pro (5,1)
Last time I was playing with Radeon HD 7970 (R9 280X) on a Mac Pro (2,1) and later on I moved the card to my new Mac Pro (5,1) 12-core 3.46GHz where it served flawlessly and now it's retired as I bought a fancy looking Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Special Edition (the blue one). That particular edition is the fastest version as it's factory overclocked (1430 MHz).

Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Special Edition Card/Installed
RX580 Special Edition

RX580 installed

I can confirm that there are no compatibility issues (apart from the missing boot screen) and the card is recognised as "Radeon RX 580 8129 MB". There are no sleep problems either, everything works fine on the latest High Sierra (10.13.4).

However, I have a very useful hint for anyone who considers this card. After the install everything seemed fine but after some heavy testing I had the safety shutdown situation when running the notorious FurMark benchmark. The card was connected with the same power cables as my HD 7970 (one 6-pin to 6-pin and the other 6-pin to 8-pin). That worked for years without any problem on the old card. So, I thought that there is not enough power for this card on AUX 6-pin connectors and I bought SATA to PCIe adapter to pull additional power from the optical bay.

However, that was not necessary! The problem was that for some reason this card is not using 6-pin and 8-pin power inputs in a balanced manner. So, two separate cables are not the solution. What you have to do is to completely ignore 6-pin input on the card and use only 8-pin with a splitter to 2 x 6-pin on the motherboard. And voila! Everything works smooth!

I measured the power consumption with Marcel Bresink's Hardware Monitor and the card is idling at only 7.4W on PCIe slot and around 10 - 15W per PCIe AUX lines A and B.
Then, I pushed the card very hard with the FurMark test and it passed the benchmark flawlessly. The consumption was 85-95W at AUX lines and 50-65W on PCIe slot. So, everything seems within specifications that we expect and I guess it's reasonably safe. The card is also very silent in normal use, almost mute if compared to GTX 980 (in my other Mac Pro).

In the end, I can only comment that those Mac Pro towers are the best Macs ever built. It's also silly that, when upgraded, this 9 years old machine is *faster* than the fastest and super expensive current Mac Pro Tube and even faster than entry models of iMac Pro. I hope Apple will come to senses with (7,1).
Best, Davor P.

Thanks Davor. How's the performance vs your Radeon HD 7970? (Previous reports were on Sapphire Pulse RX580 8GB ($360 or so). Your Nitro+ SE is a bit more expensive? I saw appx $410 street price?) BTW: From your comments, Hardware Monitor works in 10.13.4? (v5.55 released April 18th, but the Hardware Monitor page doesn't list High Sierra support. He posted a notice last April about Apple and software like HM.)

Third Report, from March 2nd (Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB).

"Another Successful Radeon RX 580 Report (Mac Pro 5,1)
(Native driver support in macOS 10.12.6 and later.)
Just letting you know I was enthused to read about the stock Sapphire Pulse 8GB Radeon 580s working natively on Mac Pro 5,1 machines so I decided to upgrade. I have a decked out mid-2012 Mac Pro 5,1 with 64GB of RAM and a 1GB 5870 that I've used for years. It was long in the tooth for doing any serious high-res production work, though most of my archive and personal stuff was on it along with a lifetime of drives connected which always kept me from moving to the newer hardware... 3 RAID arrays, all 4 HD slots with larger SSDs + a OWC SSD PCI card for the boot volume, a bunch of pro audio gear and a smattering of USB volumes for 3rd-tier backup and portability. SO much TLC went into this rig over the years... I was excited to breathe new life into it!

In addition to snagging the dual-6-pin -> 8pin power cable (thanks for that info), I went to the local Micro Center here in PA and picked up one of the Sapphire Pulse 8GB 580s right off the shelf for $360 bucks - took it home, plugged it in and it worked a treat! Along with the card, I snagged a Samsung 4K 28" display (UE510) on Amazon for ~200 bucks to compliment it and I'm running a Apple Cinema Display 27" + the 4K + my Commercial Panasonic Plasma (720p) as a reference monitor and it's absolutely smoking fast. I run the 4K display at 2560x1440 to match the Cinema Display but it will easily run at its 3840x2160 native resolution.

(Samsung display options)
display resolution options

Max Resolutions from the Sapphire PULSE Radeon™ RX 580 8GD5 page specs.
(Card has DVI-D, 2 HDMI 2.0b and 2 DisplayPort 1.4 Ports)

Card Ports and Resolutions

So, I'm using the DVI and 2 DisplayPort connectors for my 3 displays but I still have 2 open HDMI ports at my disposal. Awesome.

(But can you use all 5 of those ports simultaneously? Many cards have limits.)
The tech specs for this particular card (http://pulse.sapphiretech.com/en/580-8.html) says the HDMI ports are 2.0b and it supports 5 outputs max (so I'm supposing all ports can be used simultaneously). I'll root around for a spare couple of HDMI ports and connect the 2 outputs to the extra 2 HDMI inputs on the Samsung to confirm when I have some spare time this week :) I'll let you know how it goes.
(he later wrote)
Just confirming that I can use all five (5) ports on the RX580 simultaneously. Hooked up another display and a projector today alongside the 4K display, Cinema Display and my Panasonic plasma. No problems at all. :)

(Running 10.12.6 or High Sierra? The System Info on Metal makes me think 10.13.x?)
I am running macOS 10.13.3 High Sierra, fully up to date with the OS.

No issues at all, card was fully recognized plug-n-play (see pics below), and it's seriously quiet and cool most of the time - much quieter than the 5870 as far as I can tell. Metal acceleration in the various apps that support it, along with multicore support makes my old Pro feel like a brand new machine. The only issue I had during the install was cramming the relatively thick chassis of the 580 next to my OWC Mercury Accelsior S in slot 2, which I use for my SSD boot volume. The screws from the OWC card were rubbing up against the fan blades on the 580 fan assembly, so I stuck a small adhesive rubber 'foot' on the casing between the fans of the 580 to push the OWC card away from the blades. Problem solved.

(A retail card w/o Mac rom, so no boot screen. I.E. Booting with Option key to select startup disc.)
I just confirmed - you were right on, I get no video when Option-booting. :/ Glad I kept my 5870 around but I put it into an old 2009 Mac Pro for my son, so I'll need to rob it if it ever becomes an issue. LOL

RX 580 MacOS System GPU Info

Anyhow - thanks again, and always, for the awesome resource you have at the site. I still reflexively check it most days. :)
Blessings and take care!
-Matt"

Thanks Matt.

(Second report from Feb. 19th follows, including comparison to GTX 1050 ti 4GB.)

" After reading the report from a previous reader (below) who had good results installing the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GD5 I took the plunge and got a similar deal at CDW for $365 (apparently there was a slight discount for shipping to a corporate address). This card replaced an un-flashed EVGA GTX1050ti using the nVidia Web driver. The Radeon is also un-flashed, just install and make sure to supply auxiliary power to the card using 8-pin to dual 6-pin adapters(*).

Mac Pro System Info
I've got a mid-2009 Mac Pro flashed to a 2010 (5,1) with an upgraded Xeon W3565 3.2GHz 4 core with 32GB ram, macOS 10.12.6 My display is a Dell U2518D running at 2560 x 1440 over HDMI (native).

Before disabling and uninstalling the nVidia driver, cuda support, and removing the GTX1050ti card I ran a few benchmarks. I then installed the Sapphire Radeon RX 580 and re-ran the same benchmarks.

GeekBench 4.2.2 Scores
Here are the results from GeekBench 4.2.2 for Mac OS X x86

GTX1050ti 4GB      OpenCL  71013
Radeon RX 580 8GB  OpenCL 134126

GTX1050ti 4GB      Metal  80267
Radeon RX 580 8GB  Metal 133196

Unigine Valley Benchmark
I don't use this machine for gaming but thought others might be interested in the results of the Unigine Valley Benchmarks.

Settings used for Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0 Basic (OpenGL)
- Resolution = 1280 x 720
- Anti-Aliasing = 4x
- Gamma = 1.0
- Full Screen
- Ambient Occlusion
- Volumetric Shadows
- Motion Blur
- Vsync
- FPS Counter

GTX 1050ti 4GB    FPS: 22.3 / 48.6 / 62.1 (min / avg / max), score = 2035
Radeon RX 580 8GB FPS: 23.6 / 54.6 / 61.9 (min / avg / max), score = 2284

I didn't notice any significant differences in image quality between these two video cards with the Unigine benchmark.

As one would expect, CPU benchmarks didn't change:
- Single-Core Score = 2792 / 2787 (GTX / Radeon)
- Multi-Core Score = 9370 / 9362 (GTX / Radeon)

BruceX FCP-X benchmark
One other benchmark I only ran on the Radeon is the BruceX FCP-X benchmark. (www.fcp.co/forum/hardware/18250-brucex-try-this-new-final-cut-pro-x-benchmark)

Results averaged over 3 trials exporting as Pro Res 422 to an OWC 1TB SSD, 14.7 seconds. One trial writing to a WD 2TB HD wasn't much longer, about 17 seconds.

Other Notes
So far the card has been very quiet - my WD USB Time Machine external USB backup drive is much more audible than the Radeon. FCP-X, Aperture, Photoshop and After Effects CS5 all feel more responsive.

Let me know if you have any questions about my setup or tests. Thanks for maintaining a great Mac resource!
- Jim W.

(*) Auxiliary power cables required.

  • Two of these - PCI-e Power Cable for Mac G5 nVidia ATI Video Card
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UR1654/

  • One of these - GutsParker Dual 6-Pin Female to 8-Pin Male Cable Black
    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N3T6C2KM "
  • Thanks Jim!

    (The first report follows. Later reports above)

    Jman sent word he finally received his Radeon RX 580 8GB card for his Mac Pro 5,1. (Unlike the Radeon R9 280X he previously used, the RX 580 isn't a flashed card.)

    "I just got my brand new Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB video card from a company out of Chicago called CDW. (Computer Discount Warehouse?) The card cost me about $390 with the tax and shipping. I think I got lucky because many of these cards are selling for $500+.
    (I assume it's the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GD5.)

    The Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB works on the Mac Pro 2009-2012 OOTB. The drivers were built into Sierra & High Sierra. It is essential (IMHO) to use the SwitchResX app to set your Resolution to the desired 4k or 5k monitors, which (in my case) is scaled at 2560X1440@ 60hz. (He's using an LG 32UD59-B 4K 32in Display, scaled due to the menu text size at 3840x2160 native rez.)

    In the About this Mac in Sierra 10.12.6 it will show up as an AMD R9 xxx 8192 MB. In High Sierra you will see the full name correctly. There are no problems at start-up. You will see a brief start-up screen and then right to your log-in. It's great and fast.
    (Also shows as "Metal Supported")

    RX 580 MacOS System GPU Info

    I don't have a lot of ways to measure this cards performance, but Cinebench R15 is giving me almost 66fps, and Geek Bench 4 OpenCL Score is 134379. That is up from 107000 when using the Radeon R9 280X 3GB card. This card is in the ballpark of the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti. Just as fast as the GeForce Video Card on my Mac in many ways.
    (Having native driver support is a plus, where Nvidia's web drivers need updates for each macOS update, although Nvidia has been pretty quick to post web driver updates. Nvidia also has CUDA support, but personally I don't have experience with it.-M)

    Interesting upgrade and a very pleasant surprise.

    (I asked to confirm it wasn't flashed.)
    This card was right out of the box and not flashed.
    The Pulse Radeon RX 580 was a card that Apple approved for the developers for Beta testing Sierra and High Sierra. For one reason or the other this card just works. Obviously, the drivers are there. I cannot guarantee that any other Radeon 580 card (such as, Nitro) will work OOTB on a Mac. I did a lot of research to make sure I was buying a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB video card that would work OOTB on a Mac.

    I can't say how much of the start up I am seeing, since I have an SSD Drive. My start up is really fast. Then, the log-in comes up.
    [macOS 10.12.6 and later has driver support for this card but since these are not flashed cards (no mac rom) - no boot screen if using the "Option" Key at startup correct? (To select a boot volume.)]
    To switch start up drives you have to use start up in preferences. I don't believe the option key works with these cards. But they sure are great video cards!

    This card has performed perfectly over the last 48 hours. I know there are quite a few Mac Pro owners using this card. It's a great gaming card.

    (he later wrote)
    In Cinebench there's only about 1 FPS difference between this card and the R9 280X. However, under certain circumstances the RX 580 will far exceed the R9 280X. This is a gaming card and a card for Digital Video Editing and Rendering.

    If you know anyone that wants a Radeon R9 280X 3GB card (flashed) and perfect for 4K monitors, let me know. It's $250 with cables included and (CONUS) shipping. I also have the (Mac) ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB for $150 (CONUS) shipping included (Sold).

    After a month of use, no problems and as your latest report confirms, these cards are VERY quiet, except at start up when the fans rev up. I'm truly happy with the purchase and I see others have benefited from my testing of the card.
    -Jman"

    He also sent lots of screenshots of GeekBench, CineBench, System Info, etc. that I'll add later (or summarize scores from the larger images).

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