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I'm curious as to a problem I have. So, I bought a 2009 Mac Pro recently (with only coins, it was pretty epic) and did a little trickery to get macOS Mojave onto it. However, the video card preinstalled is the original and pretty weak video card. I was hoping to put at least something better into it, but every card I try, it doesn't display anything. I've been informed that (unlike Linux, it seems) I need to get drivers -- macOS is not plug-and-play with video cards. However, I can't seem to find driver downloads (macOS versions) for any of the various cards I've tried -- if I find anything, it's Windows only). I was wondering if Apple has a different way to install video drivers, or perhaps there's a website somewhere where video driver packages run free through the tall grass.

I've tried several cards, including the NVS 300 (which I was just trying to see if it was at least a bit better), as well as a red FoxConn card (which I can't even find Windows drivers for).

Any insight would be appreciated.

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You cannot just use any graphics card with a Mac, unfortunately. You will need to have both driver support as well as a specific Mac firmware on the graphics card itself.

It is possible to buy non-Mac graphics cards and flash the needed firmware onto the card. It only works with specific models though. Apart from that you'll need to buy the "Mac-version" of the graphics card to get the right firmware. The selection is very limited compared to what you're used to on Linux.

In regards to drivers - if you choose an AMD-based graphics card, the driver is almost always included with macOS. If you choose an Nvidia-based graphics card, you can download the driver from their web page.

You can also find a good driver listing for Nvidia cards here:

http://www.macvidcards.com/drivers.html

The same web site also offer Mac graphics card for sale, as well as listing which ones are compatible with each model of Mac Pro.

The official Apple list of supported graphics card for your Mac Pro is available here:

https://support.apple.com/hr-hr/HT201805

Note that there are options out there that aren't officially recognized by Apple, but work well anyways.

  • Also note there are no Mojave drivers from NVidia yet; & the newest ATI/AMD card you can use [with full support] is the HD 7950. You can use a non-flashed card, but you will not be able to see the screen before login - which means you cannot use FileVault, [or Recovery, without some juggling.] – Tetsujin Mar 13 at 7:42

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