MacVidCards will begin offering EFI flashed GTX960 cards for Mac Pro 3,1/4,1/5,1.
These cards use less power then other cards, but OpenGl scores are lower then GTX680.
A primary advantage is that many have 3 @ DP ports, allowing use of a 5K display. They will also allow an EFI boot screen on 4K SST displays, something no "official" card has ever done.
More details coming.
Great news, it is super easy to use one of our EFI cards to install El Capitan on your 3,1/4,1/5,1.
Please note that this set of instructions applies SPECIFICALLY to the cards that require Web Driver and have EFI. Cards that don't REQUIRE the web driver can skip all of this, and you can add them later.
If you are currently running another version of OS X, you are golden.
1. Open the terminal and type:
sudo nvram boot-args="nv_disable=1"
2. Run the El Capitan Installer
3. When it is done (may reboot once or twice) download and install the Web Driver from Nvidia (links on our FAQ page about drivers)
4. Here is the important step, you must overwrite the nv_disable boot arg. Just installing the driver doesn't do this. You must open terminal and type:
sudo nvram boot-args="nvda_drv=1"
If you need other boot args like the 5K one, leave a space after the =1 and include them inside the quotes.
You will be prompted for your password, enter it and hit return. If you wish to verify that this worked, type:
And you will see contents of NVRAM, scroll up to see the boot args. It should just have what you entered inside the quotes. If you still see nv_disable=1 in there, you need to do this again until it is gone.
The easy way to know if you didn't do this correctly is if your screen is super laggy, and has a storm of black lines coming from bottom going to top. This is in software mode where the CPU is drawing the screen.
A good tip on the terminal is that if you use the up arrow key you can scroll through recent entries and use them again, or edit them and correct something if you missed a space. Or, if you recently enabled span mode and then do this install, if you scroll up and find the entry that you used before, you can save yourself some nit picketey typing.
I know that many of you are excited about El Cap coming in 2 days. I need to remind you that all newer Nvidia cards require delicate planning whenever there is an OS update.
The good news is that our EFI cards make this easier then for the poor souls with unflashed cards. They end up staring at a black screen as their Mac endlessly reboots.
So, if you have one of the following cards you need to think before hitting that "update" button:
GTX Titan Black
All of those cards have been left out of OS X since 10.8.5. Will Apple ever include drivers for them? Hard to say, but until the iPad Pro comes with a 980, maybe not.
So, again, please come here or read at Macrumours Mac Pro section or Netkas.org to see what the news is on the 30th. We are on the West Coast so lunchtime for you may be breakfast for us, we may not have the first posts.
Currently the GM build has numbers that match the linked driver from our driver page. If Apple changes the build number for Final Release, expect Nvidia to have an update. Unfortunately, if Apple springs the change on Nvidia at the last moment, it may take a day or two to be issued. If there is a work around, we will post it here. It is also possible that Apple will keep the GM build version and all will be well. The current Nvidia driver has a "b" in the version number, that means "Beta". Expect a release with an "F" in the Final one.
Again, please think before you hit "update", if there isn't an Nvidia driver yet you will be really mad at yourself.
UPDATE: Not only was the Beta driver compatible with 15A284, but Nvidia has already issued a Final driver for 10.11 Build 15A284. Please see the driver download page.
For those running Yosemite on an EFI card from us that requires Web Drivers, you will need to do the nv_disable step to install El Capitan, then turn the drivers back on via terminal. See the instructions here:
Please note that the nv_disable terminal command does not have to be done from single user mode, it can be done whilst running a previous version of OS X before you run the installer.
We are proud to offer the only video cards that give a true 4K SST boot screen on the cMP. I have noticed that if you are using the Dell UP2715K 5K display that in order to see the 4K boot screen you need to pay attention to the order of the DP plugs.
On the 980Ti and Titan-X, the Main 5K cable goes to the bottom port, with the secondary cable going to the next one up.
On the 970 and 980 I have found that the reverse is true. You need to put the secondary cable on bottom port with the main cable on next port up.
To be clear, the "bottom" port to me is the one on right if you are looking at the card installed in Mac Pro. So, the one closest to the Logicboard. Another way to think of this is if you stood the card up with the gold PCIE fingers pointing down, the bottom port would be...on the bottom.
Some oddball cards may have these reversed, so if you aren't seeing boot screens on your 5K display, try switching around until you do.
Happy Fall to everyone.
I would like to share a quick little fix that may help some of you. Currently, if you do a PRAM/NVRAM reset you will be booted from the OS X Default Driver, which will cause issues with Maxwell cards.
There is a way to keep the Web Drivers as the default driver, even after NVRAM resets.
1. Go to /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot.plist (make a backup copy)
2. Open this file in X-Code or a plist or text editor. You will see a line that says "Kernel Flags", under this will be <string></string>
3. Insert "nvda_drv=1" between them, end result being <string>nvda_drv=1</string>
5. Repair Permissions
To test, turn off the Nvidia Web Driver via the Preference Pane and reboot. The preference pane and the Nvidia Icon will say that you are using OS X Default Driver, but if you look in the "extensions" section of System Profiler you will see that the Web Drivers are loaded.
Note: if you don't have X-Code and use a text editor you may have issues saving or replacing the file, I did it in X-Code and it was very easy.
Anyhow, with this little fix you don't have to worry about accidentally turning off the driver. This will also make it possible to create a disc image that contains a working web driver that therefore does NOT require an initial boot to set the NVRAM setting.
Do note that I doubt very much that this will "force" the web driver to load and let you use it in an "unauthorized" OS.
BTW, to disable SIP you need to use Recovery partition, open Terminal and type "csrutil disable"
So, as many of you may have noticed, the 10.10.4 to 10.10.5 update was made especially easy by Nvidia. With any of the "must have Web Driver" cards you can simply run the 10.10.5 update, reboot, then on next boot you will find that only one display will work and you will likely notice that the screen redraws are slow and clumsy. The other noticeable thing is black horizontal lines running from bottom to top. This is a sign that the Nvidia drivers are not running. At this point you are just using the EFI. Now just run the Web Driver update and reboot.
You can either use our download link from the drivers page, or open the NvidiaDriver Manager Preference Pane and it will do the work for you.
Note that this only applies to folks already running 10.10.4. If you are running any earlier system and use the 10.10.5 Combo update you will likely have to use the other listed trick to turn off the driver before you run the 10.10.5 update.
As we all know, Apple has done a bunch of foot-dragging when it comes to OS X drivers for Nvidia cards. In fact, no new Nvidia cards have been added to the default OS X drivers since 10.8.5. So, starting with GTX780Ti and the Titan Black, there has been no built-in driver support.
Nvidia has been kind enough to continue supplying drivers for download and has even been pretty good about getting the updates out shortly after Apple creates a need.
While this has solved most issues, there are problems when you need to run an OS install or use a Recovery partition. Fortunately, the EFI on our cards gives you an option that unflashed cards don't have. The root of the issue is that the default OS X Nvidia drivers don't know what to do with these cards.
So, the answer is to not use those drivers and just rely on the EFI driver.
1. Boot into Single User mode by holding "S" and "Command" keys during boot.
2. You will see a black screen with a wall of text. At the text prompt, enter:
3. Hit return
4. Next type:
5. Hold "option" key to choose the partition you wish to use. On reboot the machine will be running on the EFI drivers only. You will probably notice the screen refreshing via black lines moving upwards. Moving windows, etc will be sluggish.
6. Do your install/recovery work and then restore the NVIDIA drivers to get back to work. TO CLEAR THE NVDISABLE, type:
sudo nvram boot-args="nvda_drv=1"
into terminal, this will enable the drivers and turn off the disabling. If you have other things you need in boot args (span mode for 5K, etc,) add them to that string, it overwrites existing ones.
We are frequently asked about opening a service in the EU. I realize that shipping and taxes there combined with the recent Dollar/Euro fluctuations have made buying goods from the US expensive. We are still hopeful to find someone to market our cards for the EU market. You would need access to a Mac Pro 3,1 and 4,1 along with funding to purchase 10 or more cards at a time. In addition, you would need to be able to use a hot air station to replace the EEPROM chips on the cards. I would need to believe that you had the facilities and experience to do this. It is likely that a visit would be made in person to complete the deal.
We could then just send you the EEPROM chips in groups of 10 or more at a time, the customs duty on these would be minor. We could reach an agreement on pricing and be on our way. You would be in charge of getting power cables and handling basic customer service. (i.e., Did you plug in the power cables? Which Driver? etc.) We could be there to back you up on the more complicated issues that occasionally rise up.
Currently our more devoted customers are ordering from us in the States. There are a variety of back alley type folks selling pirated versions of our roms. Most are incorrectly modded and result in glitchy cards.
We would much rather deal with honest folks who would be proud to use the MacVidCards name and the brand recognition that goes with it, along with being able to proudly link to our site and have our technical mastery at your service.
Being able to replace the EEPROM chips is a fundamental part of the arrangement so keep that in mind before getting in touch.
MacVidCards will always have the best cards available and will also be first to market with eGPU eEFI cards for TB Macs. And quite simply, our cards will always run better.
Thanks to our loyal customers who have kept us at the forefront of Mac GPUs for more than 10 years now.
I wrote before about the phrase "4K" having several different meanings. Knowing whether your display is SST or MST is crucial. SST looks like it means "Super Speed Transport" but actually means Single Stream Transport. MST stands for Multi Stream Transport. This means that 2 distinct display signals get sent down the DP cable as if they are meant for 2 different displays, but instead they get sewn together for one display.
Apple has choosen to not allow the cMP to run 4K MST displays at 60Hz. But there is a way to enable it.
To start with you will need GTX6xx or newer and an MST 4K display. SST 4K displays work without help on the right GPUs.
First and foremost, I recomend "Display Menu" app. It gives you many more resolution options than Display Preferences and yet doesn't require an advanced degree in Calculus like the other app from France.
I am going to warn you that fiddling with this stuff is frustrating and frequently leads to multiple re-boots and plug yankings.
Most of us have a spare SATA drive or 3, I recomend creating another working install that you can boot from in case of trouble.
Because we need to modify one of Apple's kernel extensions you will need to run OS X in what is called "kext dev mode". This disables the requirement that every extension carry a digital signature approved by Apple to show that it hasn't been monkeyed with. This wasn't necessary in previous versions of OS X, but is now.
To do this, open Terminal and type:
sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1 nvda_drv=1"
You will be asked for your password but you won't see anything happen as you type it in. Hit return.
Next type in:
If you have done this correctly you will see:
boot-args kext-dev-mode=1 nvda_drv=1
Create 2 folders on your desktop, "AGC Virgin" and "AGC Modded". The virgin one is in case you bugger this up. That folder will be your easy fix.
Your Hard Drive ▸ System ▸ Library ▸ Extensions ▸ AppleGraphicsControl.kext
Drag that item into both folders, this will create a copy in each leaving the original in the Extensions folder.
Go to the one labeled "AGC Modded" and right click your way down to:
AppleGraphicsControl.kext ▸ Contents ▸ PlugIns ▸ AppleGraphicsDevicePolicy.kext ▸ Contents
Inside the "Contents" folder you will find some files.
Open the info.plist in an editor that you know. I suggest either Plistinator or TextWrangler
Find the little section I have pictured. These are the "black listed" machines.
ioreg -p IODeviceTree -r -n / -d 1
in terminal I find that my 4,1/5,1is F221BEC8.
Change it, one digit will do. I change mine to F221BEC7. Save the plist and replace the original kext in the Extensions folder with the one you just modded.
Next open Disk Utility and run a "repair permissions". If you have done this correctly you should see the various parts getting repaired, as in one of the images below.
Now is a good time to try MST mode. It is 10 irritatingly random button pushes on the Asus/Sharp 321 displays. Like they thought you would only do this once. Would be AWESOME if there was a simple toggle like Dell has for 5K/4K on UP2715K.
Now it gets exciting. Connect the MST display via an HDMI cable with display in the mode that allows you to choose form HDMI 1 or HDMI 2. If it is in "DUAL HDMI" mode it is looking for input from both. I believe it is the bottom button or next one up that lets you choose from "DisplayPort/HDMI 1/HDMI2". Once you have cable hooked to HDMI port, switch to that port. This should give you 4K at 30Hz, like you have been seeing on DP port. To be clear, you now have the 321 connected via both DP and HDMI, but you are viewing it through HDMI but leaving both cables connected. You will have a "ghost display" at this point, just remember that if the cursor vanishes.
The moment is here, reboot. Wait until the desktop is fully loaded on the HDMI port and all is settled. Now hit that button to cycle through the input ports again and choose "DisplayPort". If all has gone as planned you will see the desktop in full glorious 4K at 60Hz. Once you are here, remove the HDMI plug and the display will cycle again and you will be 100% on DP, with no ghost display.
Oddly, the only way to know via System Profiler or DisplayMenu is to NOT see "30Hz" after the 3840x2160 size. For some reason SST 4K will have "60Hz" after the size but MST leaves it blank.
The easy way to know for sure is to Google "UFO 60Hz", the top hit should be a site that validates display refresh rates. A little UFO will be zipping across the screen in both 30Hz and 60Hz if this is working. The 60Hz one will look smooth and fluid while 30Hz one will look like it is hopping it's way across. And you, appalled, will wonder how you ever looked at such a clunky refresh rate.
Remember if you do a PRAM reset that boot args line is going to lose both the Nvidia driver and the devmode and you will need to enable them again.
I only suggest this on the Asus/Sharp 321 twins with GTX600 or higher. (works on a GT640 with DP).
I have heard that the Dell 321 version is different.
This mod is easy to mess up, hence my encouragement to have a backup boot drive to do fixes from or to experiment on before your main drive gets messed up.
If you do get it working, please post about it here. Note that you have to do the HDMI trick on every boot. If not it will probably not get to desktop.
This is an email we get more than once a week. And 99% of the time it is one of two things.
1. Not having proper Nvidia Web Driver loaded and running
2. Not having power to needed pins on GPU
It is easy enough to check the web driver, it has a little icon at the top of your OS X desktop. Click on it and make sure it lists the Nvidia Web Driver and not the OS X default driver.
As far as #2 goes, there are different things that apply to different cards. If your card has dual 6 pin power inputs it should be pretty straightforward, plug them both in to the connectors on the Logic Board. (shown on our install page)
When there is a 6 pin and an 8 pin, things get more complicated. On many GTX680 cards the 8 pin is "optional". This means you can plug in a 6 pin and the card works fine. For many GTX770 and GTX780 cards we do a mod to the card that creates this same functionality. So you can just plug in the 2 @ 6 pin cables and it should boot right up.
For cards like the Titan And Titan Black we have historically not done this mod for the reason that there are cases where there will not be enough power from just 2 @ 6 pins. For these cards we recommend an external power supply. And here things get tricky again. To most people, a power supply that is plugged in and turned "on" would be ..."on". But they typically are NOT.
External power supplies take many forms. The Booster X5 and the VisionTek version of this both require a Molex plug that goes "live" to trigger them to turn on. In a Mac Pro 1,1 through 3,1 this is easy as the optical bay that these supplies fit in have those exact plugs sitting right there, and they do go live whenever the machine is on. For 4,1 and 5,1 Mac pros the plot thickens. To get a live Molex, you need to adapt one of the SATA power outputs to become a Molex that fits in the back of the PSU.
Here is an example:
You may need to break off one of the plastic tabs to plug this into the Mac Pro connector.
As far as using a regular PC power supply, most of these will require either a "paperclip trick" or the better choice, a SWEX. This gives you a nifty switch to flip. The easy way to tell when most PC PSUs are on is when their fan starts spinning.
If you decide to use a 6 to 8 adapter, be aware that some of them that use 2 @ 6pins to run into the 8 only one of the 6 pins coming in will give working output by itself. Oddly, it is the side with fewer wires that will work. I suggest only using such a thing for testing.
Let me know if anything here is unclear and I will try to make it easier to understand.