AMD Radeon RX 5700 works in macOS Catalina 10.15.1 beta 2

Posted:
in macOS edited February 2020
Apple is extending its support of AMD GPUs to macOS Catalina, with the second developer beta for macOS 10.15.1 enabling Radeon RX5700 compatibility with the operating system, possibly as a first step ahead of support for the Mac Pro's Radeon Pro Vega II and Duo cards.




Apple issued the second developer beta of macOS Catalina 10.15.1 on Thursday, with the release notes advising of changes to its graphics card support. According to the notes, support has been added for the AMD Navi RDNA architecture, used in the company's newest graphics cards.

Posts made to the egpu.io enthusiast forums reveal the support includes recognition for the RX 5700 XT, via an external graphics card enclosure. In one user's case, the card was recognized in Bootcamp in Windows 10, but had to install the Windows driver for the card as it wasn't available as part of the Windows installation.

This has since been confirmed by AppleInsider testing, with a Sapphire AMD RX5700 card working in a Mantiz MZ-02 eGPU, the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650, and a Razer Core X enclosure.

The inclusion of support is likely to be welcomed by Mac users who rely on high-powered graphics cards for games and work applications that demand as much performance as possible, such as those in creative industries.

Due to the way Apple handles hardware support for items like GPUs, consumers cannot simply buy any graphics card and install it into an eGPU enclosure and expect it to work, with Apple needing to include support in macOS for it to function properly. This support effectively consists of cards from AMD's catalog, with Apple seemingly avoiding adding support for Nvidia equivalents for unknown reasons.

Apple's eGPU support is also not entirely perfect, with it still being a relatively new function officially supported within macOS, and it occasionally throws up some compatibility issues. Recently it was discovered some combinations of Mac, GPUs, and eGPU enclosures have issues, such as the Mac mini with Radeon 570 and 580-based eGPUs, and with some held within the Sonnet eGPU enclosure.

The latest support for the RX 5700 XT is a good sign other cards using RDNA will be supported in the operating system soon. RDNA cards are 7-nanometer-based GPUs with a refined graphics pipeline that utilizes a multi-level cache to minimize bottlenecks, support GDDR6 memory, and PCIe 4.0.

The timing of the support rollout is also apt, as Apple is anticipated to open up orders for the new Mac Pro in the near future. As the new Mac Pro will include options including the Radeon Pro Vega II and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, it is highly likely Apple wants support for the cards to be added and perfected as much as possible before the Mac Pro actually ships.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Someone please explain to me the issues going on between Apple and Nvidia. What I’ve read says it boils down to Nvidia wanting to access macOS’s core system with its drivers and Apple saying no, use our APIs. Lots of personal opinions claiming Nvidia is better than AMD. Why?
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,858administrator
    lkrupp said:
    Someone please explain to me the issues going on between Apple and Nvidia. What I’ve read says it boils down to Nvidia wanting to access macOS’s core system with its drivers and Apple saying no, use our APIs. Lots of personal opinions claiming Nvidia is better than AMD. Why?
    Which architecture is better depends greatly on workflow. Some are better on Nvidia, some on AMD. For 95% of the user base, even Pro, it doesn't really matter as long as its faster.
    llamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    bcodebcode Posts: 141member
    lkrupp said:
    Someone please explain to me the issues going on between Apple and Nvidia. What I’ve read says it boils down to Nvidia wanting to access macOS’s core system with its drivers and Apple saying no, use our APIs. Lots of personal opinions claiming Nvidia is better than AMD. Why?
    Basically, Nvidia screwed Apple by licensing them technology that they didn't fully own and then ultimately screwed the pooch on quality control -- putting Apple in the middle of a nasty patent lawsuit and fairly large monetary losses due to warranty claims.

    There's been bad blood ever since. Which is sad, since Nvidia cards are definitely the better option for serious gamers (a burgeoning market).
    edited October 2019 llamacy_starkmandocno42watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,726member
    bcode said:
    lkrupp said:
    Someone please explain to me the issues going on between Apple and Nvidia. What I’ve read says it boils down to Nvidia wanting to access macOS’s core system with its drivers and Apple saying no, use our APIs. Lots of personal opinions claiming Nvidia is better than AMD. Why?
    Basically, Nvidia screwed Apple by licensing them technology that they didn't fully own and then ultimately screwed the pooch on quality control -- putting Apple in the middle of a nasty patent lawsuit and fairly large monetary losses due to warranty claims.

    There's been bad blood ever since. Which is sad, since Nvidia cards are definitely the better option for serious gamers (a burgeoning market).
    Apple is all not interested in that sort of gamer.  I suspect the most profitable burgeoning market will be iOS and iPadOS. I don't say this happily as I had to buy a high-end gaming PC as I do enjoy the likes of the coming MS FS 2020 and RDR II and GTA V all in 4K.
    edited October 2019 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    If it's just a matter of NVidia makes better GPUs for gamers, then Apple shouldn't have to be dealing with them.  Apple should just stick with AMD and use GPUs that are better for video rendering or professional graphics programs.  I don't want Apple necessarily turning over some macOS core technology to NVidia if that's what's required to get the full benefit out of NVidia GPUs.  I believe in time, AMD and Radeon GPUs will be equal to what NVidia has to offer.  There's certainly no reason why that can't happen.  Apple will never likely be interested in building gaming desktops and laptops and it's unlikely gaming companies will be interested in supporting Apple desktops and laptops, so what's the point of joining up with NVidia.

    I think if people want to play games on computers then they should just go buy themselves a Windows PC and get all the benefits of acquiring cheap hardware.  The gaming industry is 100% established for Windows PCs so it would be a waste of Apple's time to try to change the gaming industry and there's no sense in the gaming market going after Apple for such a tiny market share percentage.  People can build some gaming PC out of off-the-shelf or custom-made parts, so why should anyone want an Apple computer to do that.  That's almost like trying to reinvent the wheel and getting no significant benefits from it.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    @GMgravytrain: ;
    I respectfully disagree with you assessment of the situation. Speaking as someone who has built a handful of PCs over the years, its true that I’m not a full on gaming maniac, but I find the situation unfortunate. I generally end up Hackintoshing because I intensely dislike windows. I use it when there’s no choice but always wish I didn’t have to. I do believe that Apple is trying to edge its way into gaming a bit more with Apple Arcade. I hope that they’ll eventually be able to work something out with AMD. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    Meant to say NVidia...
  • Reply 8 of 10
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,417member
    If it's just a matter of NVidia makes better GPUs for gamers, then Apple shouldn't have to be dealing with them.  Apple should just stick with AMD and use GPUs that are better for video rendering or professional graphics programs. 
    There are several 3D renderers that only support Nvidia's CUDA, like Redshift, Octane, Arnold GPU, and others. This is a huge reason people who work in 3D have left Macs for the PC world. Some of these (Octane and Redshift for example) are known to be getting ported to Metal (and therefore AMD) at some point in the future, so that will help. Hopefully others will follow.

    But no, it's not just about GPUs for gamers.
    edited October 2019 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,417member
    Cooe said:
    There are several 3D renderers that only support Nvidia's CUDA, like Redshift, Octane, Arnold GPU, and others. This is a huge reason people who work in 3D have left Macs for the PC world. Some of these (Octane and Redshift for example) are known to be getting ported to Metal (and therefore AMD) at some point in the future, so that will help. Hopefully others will follow.


    But no, it's not just about GPUs for gamers.
    In case you are somehow unaware, both Redshift AND Octane have native Metal versions (thus AMD supporting) currently in development as we speak. This was literally announced at the Mac Pro event... Apple is dedicated to taking down Nvidia's CUDA hegemony which is good for everyone (Metal is close enough to OpenCL that it would make such a further port MASSIVELY easier).   

    In case you’re somehow unaware, I literally said exactly that in my comment. Did you even read past the first sentence? 
    edited October 2019 watto_cobra
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