Mac OS X 10.6.7 has support for off-the-shelf video cards

“Tony at TonyMacx86 wrote in to tell us that Apple has included native graphics acceleration for some AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5xxx and 6xxx cards in the Mac OS X 10.6.7 Update for early 2011 MacBook Pro (Sandy Bridge),” Seth Weintraub reports for 9 to 5 Mac.

“Why is Apple supporting all of these generic/PC graphics cards? Perhaps some (but certainly not all?) of those video cards above will be included in upcoming iMacs,” Weintraub reports. “But it is likely bigger than that. Tony thinks that Apple may just have started to support native, off the shelf PC video cards.”

Weintraub writes, “This is certainly big news for those in the Hackintosh community.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. This is also HUGE news for people who use Maya. I swear since Maya came to mac there has been horrid limitation for graphic options. This card is supported for this but not that… or pay 800 and you can get this card but its antialiasing is only this much.. Spend 5000 and you get everything! Or if you just run maya on windows (shudder to ever think that) then your options are close to endless. Though I think in part it is mainly to blame Alias for not building in better support on the mac side. Hackintosh users will definitely love this.

    1. The blame is largely on Autodesk (Alias/Wavefront no longer exists). I use Cinema 4D, and while there are some graphic advantages on the Windows side, most of that has to do with the lack of OGL 3 support in OSX. This will not be the case in 10.7 which does support that standard. Maxon does a great job of making a platform-agnostic software. The folks at Maya are just not trying hard enough.

  2. This doesn’t mean a whole lot on it’s face because the video cards will need Mac EFI firmware in addition to the PC firmware. Right now, no one is doing that. Mac video cards work with Windows, but PC video cards are not Mac compatible.

  3. Let’s see now…this would be relevant to 90% of the Mac lineup how? You cannot swap video cards on an iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, etc.

    Let’s not even talk about a hackintosh; what about a Sandy Bridge i7 tower, Apple. For $1,000. Sweetness. Make my wish come true, Apple, for I am in the cheap ass Mac user demographic.

      1. Or the one with the best value for what they do….

        Mac Pro’s… er… Professional/server parts are overkill for gamers. Yes, super fast RAM and CPU is awesome, but ECC? Xeons? That makes the Mac Pro waaaaay too expensive to most.

        Apple…. Make an xMac…. or better, find a way of sticking a PCI slot on the iMac (impossible, but a man can dream)

  4. This was kind of a weird update. I work of two Mac laptops sitting right next to each other on my desk. I keep them both up to date. The 10.6.7 combo would apply to one, but the other 10.6.6 system insisted that the update did not apply to it. I installed it on my MacMini (I use it for a media server) and whenever I launched iTunes, the system would crash. Found out this was a known problem and repairing permissions corrects the problem.

  5. Look Apple, I can’t afford every year to spend 4 to 5K on a Mac Pro for Maya and animation with a limited support of features when a >2K PC could deliver. So, and this is a big so: or you provide a more reliable professional machine or you are going to lose business with me (Maybe my first step will be a Hackintosh, but I have not any idea if that system will be reliable to even try it). This is just pure facts on me, personally I love, “LOVE” my Macs, and my Mac Pro specifically and is the machine I still use 90% of the time. But side by side I have a 2600K PC for 2K I builded recently and this is because I need a machine that works for the more advanced stages on my production pipeline in which my Macs are failing in the Maya 2011 viewport. Plain and simple I need Maya working 100% on a 2-3k Mac with Pro. I don’t care if you could do this using gaming ATI or Nvidia cards, but I wont buy a Mac Pro for gaming. I need reliability this year.

    Recently I upgraded my video card from an ATI2600XT to an ATI5770 but it did not solve the problem with Maya 2011 on my unsupported 2008 Mac pro, bought from you in 2009 less than 2 years ago. Now, I am not confident with the new Macs these problems wont appear again. With Pro applications I need reliability without any chance of failures for so long.

    I will give up any iPod-iPhone, MacBook, iMac, iPad or more all together for a Mac to run Maya and the Pro apps I use, including the FCP suite. Take notice Autodesk just released Autocad for Mac.

    You need to work very close with Autodesk to solve these problems.

    Anyway, any progression to support more video cards is a big welcome. But, more than support for more graphic cards please provide the drivers to support mayor features on the most important professional apps. Thats what a workstation should always be.

    I have my fingers crossed with the next OSX revision.

    What else do you need from me… I am on your side.

    Mac Pro 2008 2.8 Ghz 8 core, 10Gb RAM, ATI 5770, Seagate 750.
    MacBooK 2008 2.0 Ghz, 250 Seagate Hard drive
    iPod Touch second generation.
    2600K i7, ASUS PRO MOBO, 8 G RAM, Nvidia Quadro 600, Dell 24 Ultrasharp.

  6. Maybe the new 27-inch iMac is designed to use a standard-sized graphics card (like the type in Mac Pro), instead of it being “integrated” into the design (not changeable). There is certainly enough volume behind that huge screen for a bit of design inefficiency.

    Or perhaps it comes with the current “low-end” integrated (shared memory) graphic hardware built-in, as the base model. But if the user chooses to install a high-end graphics card, it gets used instead. It can be a build-to-order option pre-installed, or the user can install it “after-market,” from a list of Apple-approved and tested “off-the-shelf products.

    And the 21.5-inch iMac would not have this option, because the available volume behind the display is more constrained.

    OR, maybe Apple is just doing it to support Mac Pro users better. That seems more likely… 😉

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