Exploring third-party GPU options for Apple’s Mac Pro

Apple's rack mountable Mac Pro
Apple’s rack mountable Mac Pro

Apple currently offers 3 factory GPU options for their all-new Mac Pro, Rob Morgan explains for Bare Feats. There are third party GPUs that are less costly and run just as fast as Apple’s Pro Vega II option.

Morgan benchmarked:
• Apple’s Radeon Pro Vega II (32GB HBM2 memory)
• AMD Radeon VII (16GB HBM2 memory)
• ASUS Radeon RX 5700 XT (8GB GDDR6 memory)
• MSI Radeon RX 580 (8GB GDDR5 memory)

Rob Morgan for Bare Feats:

The really big news is that the non-Apple supplied GPUs are a fast and affordable alternative to the Apple GPUs like the Pro Vega II. But there are a few downsides. First, they don’t provide an Apple Startup or Boot screen. That’s not an issue if you are just adding them to the Apple factory GPU in your 2019 Mac Pro.

Second, they don’t sleep well. The Radeon VII’s fans go crazy when you put the 2019 Mac Pro to sleep. The Radeon RX 5700 XT will sleep, but the Mac Pro crashes when it wake up. Hopefully MacVidCards will come up with a mod to fix this. Until then, either keep your 2019 Mac Pro awake or shut it down when you are not using it.

It’s no surprise that the RX 580 came in last on all tests. What was surprising is how well the RX 5700 XT does running Blender ‘GPU only’ render and DaVinci Resolve Noise Reduction. However, it was not as impressive in our DaVinci Resolve 8K RED transcoding test.

MacDailyNews Note: See all of the benchmark results at Bare Feats here.


  1. I personally don’t give a S**T how much bad blood apple has with NVidia. Whoever pissed off whoever needs to just suck it up and get to business. To make users suffer due to some 10 year old pissing contest between a few managers is lame and bad business.

    It irks me to no end that APPL won’t support NVidia. NVidia dominates AI hardware acceleration. I can’t even find any references to using AMD processors (I’m sure they do something AI related, but it’s not as common, just based on how easy it is to find information about it).

    GET OVER IT APPLE. WE (I) want an NVidia GPU in my mac Pro..
    actually, I have a 2010 MacPro that has an NVIDIA gpu in it, but I want a NEW mac pro with an NVidia GPU.

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