I have a MacPro3,1 and a PowerColor R9 270 GPU that I would like to use together. Unfortunately, this card does not work out of the box unlike my previous Radeon 6870; I never flashed it, but I never had a problem waiting for the login screen for the display to come to life.

According to hackintosh documentation, this GPU should be usable on the Mac by spoofing the device ID using Clover. However, from what I've seen so far it looks like Clover is a replacement for the Mac's EFI, or at least a modification to it which I'm uneasy about.

Is it advisable to follow this path and use Clover on a real MacPro3,1? If this was a Hackintosh, I wouldn't think much about it, but I do want to keep this machine somewhat pure to avoid any compatibility issues. If I have to sell this GPU and pick up something else, so be it.. but I'd like to think that it isn't that far off to get the R9 270 to work on this machine since it is so close to other devices that are supported officially by Apple.

(BTW: the card does work in the machine as it functions under Windows 7 / BootCamp)

1 Answer 1


I think you are going about this the wrong way. I think turning your Mac Pro into a hackintosh will create far more problems than it will solve. Updates will be difficult, and clover is a pain to work with. There is a reason hackintoshes are specifically NOT recommended for people who rely on their computers to do important things (such as work).

There is a way to get the GPU to work without going through this complicated mess.

First, do you need to see your boot screen on every boot? If so, this becomes more complicated. You'll probably want to jump on the Nvidia train and get a flashed card (the only ones I know of are sold by MacVidCards). The only other option would be to use the new card in tandem with the old one, and have a monitor for the boot screen plugged into the old card. If you don't care about the boot screen most of the time, keep your original card handy, because you will want to be able to access it every now and then (for recovery mode, etc).

Now assuming you don't need to see the boot screen, you do need the GPU to work. Because you have an AMD GPU, not Nvidia, the drivers are built-in to MacOS. This means that if right now you removed the old GPU you have and put the new GPU in, once you get through the boot sequence, you should see the screen fine.

Please let me know if any of this was confusing or did not work.

  • Makes perfect sense, but the problem I'm running into is more that the R9 270 (not 'X') doesn't work out of the box and it appears that I need to get OSX to think that it is a 270X (which does work out of the box, though without boot screen). I don't care about the boot screen; I ran a HD6870 for 2-3 years and was fine without the boot screen.
    – bjb
    Mar 30, 2017 at 16:10
  • It doesn't work out of the box? That's odd... Theoretically all AMD GPUs ( and all Nvidia GeForce and Quadro GPUs with the proper drivers) should work out of the box with Mac OS. I'll poke around some moe and see what I can find.
    – NoahL
    Mar 30, 2017 at 16:15
  • the reason it doesn't work out of the box is because the PCIe ID for the R9 270 is not one that is recognized by the AMD GPU drivers that come with OSX. The 270X does have a recognized ID (off by 1) even though it is essentially the same chip. I was able to hack the drivers a bit to get the R9 270 to somewhat work, but it was painfully slow in a non-accelerated mode. Probably could have spoofed the PCIe ID with Clover, but under your advice it is probably better to leave it alone on a genuine MacPro. Gave up and got rid of the card.
    – bjb
    Aug 21, 2017 at 17:27
  • I’d you’re looking for a card, Nvidia’s GTX 10 line now has drivers for MacOS, and is a fantastic line of cards, relatively cheap on the lower end, too @bjb
    – NoahL
    Aug 21, 2017 at 22:04

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