Make Your Mac Pro Tower Mojave Compatible with a GPU Upgrade

Apple has finally released macOS 10.14 Mojave to the world, and the Rocket Yard has outlined all Macs that are compatible with the new operating system. As we’ve reported, the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models support Mojave – as long as they have been upgraded with graphics cards that support Metal.  

This week, Apple released a support document that provides a list of graphics cards that are Metal-capable. The document states that “macOS Mojave requires a graphics card that supports Metal, an Apple technology that lets the system and apps efficiently tap into the capabilities of today’s graphics processors (GPUs).”  

One of the GPUs on the list is an OWC favorite – the Sapphire HD 7950 GPU. The powerful Sapphire HD 7950 will ensure that your Mac is supported by Mojave and able run the latest macOS smoothly. You can get the Sapphire GPU at OWC, and if you’re in the market for a Mac Pro tower, check out our used Mac selection where you can add the Metal-compatible GPU via the OWC configurator 

Note: According to Apple, you need to update to macOS High Sierra 10.13.6, make sure that your graphics card is compatible, and then turn off FileVault before you upgrade to Mojave on the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models. 

More on Mojave… 


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  • Is it possible to upgrade a 2008 Mac Pro




  • Unlike the High Sierra upgrade, (and some 10.14 beta installs did the card swap routine), 10.14 upgrade from 10.13.6 apparently doesn’t require a Mac rom card (but metal support yes) – confirmed by several reports of Mac Pro 5.1 owners with only Radeon RX580 (no Mac rom) card installed. Of course no video at startup so requires patience (and w/o video is a downside).
    See reports at http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/archives/feb18/RadeonRX-580_MacPro.html#mojave_installs

    read all reports there (some are more detailed) – one upgraded 2 Mac pros with only RX580 installed. (1 noted even if Mac rom card installed it still had to support metal for FW update to proceed – Mac 7950 of course satisfies both but his Mac OEM GT-120 card didn’t – he swapped GT-120 out and installed RX580 which worked, but again no video until setup screen appears which can take a long time.)

    I was also leery of the Apple listing of some non-Mac rom GPUs supported for 10.14 upgrade but it seems that is the case. of course some have problems, even with a modern fully supported Mac, even closed systems listed as supported. always happens with a major .0 release. (Apple Mojave forum has threads on 2018 MacBook Pro owner install problems.)

    As always, keep your working previous boot volume intact – or at least a backup clone. Many will wait for 10.14.x updates before jumping in.

    Excuse typos, typing on tiny screen/window with autocorrect…




  • Note that on most Mac Pros, a firmware update will need to be installed before Mojave will install.

    However, you cannot install a firmware update without a video card with a Mac boot ROM installed.

    This means for most users (whose Metal-capable video cards do not have Mac boot ROMs), a multi-stage install is required:

    1) Disable FileVault
    2) Uninstall original video card and install Metal-capable video card
    3) Download Mojave and start install
    4) When it tells you you need to install a firmware update, remember the instructions it provides
    5) Uninstall the Metal-capable video card and reinstall the original video card
    6) Perform the firmware update as instructed
    7) Post firmware-install, uninstall the original video card again and reinstall the Metal-capable video card
    8) Proceed with installation of Mojave




    • Do ANY of the Apple-recommended cards have Mac boot ROM’s? Is it possible to find Metal-compatible cards that do have Mac boot ROM’s? How do I search for this?




      • Just the Sapphire 7950 Mac edition or manually flashed R9 280x’s.




      • I just did a Mohave upgrade tonight, I have a 2009 4.1-> 5.1 firmware upgraded machine. I have a MSI RX-560 installed. I was able to do the firmware upgrade although a bit scary since no boot screen, had to be patient and wait. I did not have to swap video cards, it went very smoothly




    • You can absolutely do the firmware update with a non Mac ROM card. I did mine with an RX580 and it worked fine.




      • Same for me: I just did the firmware and Mojave updates with a new MSI RX560 card installed in my mid-2010 Mac Pro 5,1. Worked a charm! Wish I had the Mac boot screen back, however.