How good are AMD graphic cards in a Hackintosh?

Here’s my take on how much faster an AMD graphics card is macOS and why you might want to get one for your hackintosh or eGPU setup. The AMD Radeon RX 580 is the best in slot card for macOS. When RX Vega is confirmed to run smooth it will absolutely take the throne.

For now I’ve made the switch myself to a Gigabyte RX 560 4GB card swapping out my existing GTX 1050 Ti for what on paper should have been a slower performing card.

GTX 1050 Ti vs RX 560

But that isn’t the case at least when it comes to macOS and my style of use. Although the GTX 1050 Ti may be the faster card in synthetic benchmarks with no performance BIAS. When it comes to many productivity applications AMD tends to be the better performer. That’s even more true when it comes to macOS to the point a slower performing AMD card will out perform a more expensive Nvidia one. There is no better example of the performance disparity then the video creation software Final Cut Pro X.

Benchmark

BruceX 5k

Coming in #1 at 12 seconds export time and the fastest card is the overclocked AMD RX 580 in a custom hackintosh. This custom $1000 PC even outperforms the Radeon Pro 580 found in the $2200 iMac 27-inch. It also crushes the monstrous GTX 1080 Ti card with it’s $700 USD price tag making it the better value and best performing dedicated graphics card for productivity.

Even the RX 570 not included in this benchmark will outperform the GTX 1080 Ti in this rendering benchmark, since it’s performance is slightly under the RX 570. The same can also be said for my  $120 RX 560 whose performance comes shockingly close to the $700  GTX 1080 Ti export times.

Below that you can see the GTX 1050 Ti a card that’s suppose to be 20% faster than my RX 560, but even it can’t compare with the favoritism macOS gives AMD cards.

Strangely the GTX 1050 Ti outperforms the Radeon Pro 560 found in the 2017 15-inch 2017 MacBook Pro ($2400) and it’s performance is significantly lower then it’s desktop counter part the RX 560. As to why this is I believe it has to do with the fact that the MacBook is just a  thin slate of metal that can’t disperse heat quickly enough with’s it’s poor heat exhaust.

AS you can seen in in the results this $120 card even outperforms a $2400 15 inch MacBook Pro and if you manage to get yourself an RX 580 when the prices are below $300 you beat an $2200 iMac in performance.

From this benchmark you can see that desktop AMD Radeon RX cards run faster in macOS than Nvidia card’s and even the Apple Mac lineup. When RX Vega 56/64 is confirmed to be hackintosh usable it will crush this benchmark and become the best performing card’s available for macOS productivity.




Performance – Poor Nvidia 🙁

It’s great now that native support is available for AMD RX cards since 10.12.6 so that we can compare then against Nvidia.

People who use Nvidia cards have complained there only getting about half the FPS they would on Windows or Linux. This is because of 1. Games that run on macOS arn’t taking advantage of what the Metal API has to offer. 2. Nvidia has poorly optimized drivers especially when it comes to Pascal, which they took 8 months to bring support for.

Another complaint about Nvidia cards is that will cause applications like the Adobe Suite on macOS to crash when performing certain actions or at random; doesn’t seem to be a problem on Windows so it’s likely a Web Driver problem.  I’ve havn’t been about to reproduce these crashing issues with my AMD card plugged in.

Nvidia will still pull ahead in most games in macOS that arn’t taking advantage of Metal’s API and Nvidia is still a good choice if you do a lot of dual booting. I personally only use macOS so I felt Radeon cards suited me better.

Perks of AMD

  • Native Support – No waiting for Nvidia to release drivers for a new version of macOS
  • Optimization – AMD cards just run better in macOS Drivers are optimized for macOS
  • Faster – Productivity applications in macOS usually favor AMD. Most people that use macOS arn’t using it to game on if you use productivity applications like FCPX and Adobe Suite you’ll be better off
  • Stability – Graphical intensive software in macOS wont crash and blow up on you like they may with poor Nvidia drivers
  • Sleep/Wake works very reliably. I’ve experienced no weird restarts in sleep with this card



Conclusion

AMD RX Graphic Cards  have been working since Sierra 10.12.6. If you’re someone still using your iGPU I highly recommend getting a graphics card for your hackintosh as macOS will feel noticeably smoother and you’ll be able to sleep/wake your hackintosh.

See: Cheapest graphic cards available to hackintosh in 2017

If you use a lot of productivity applications like video editing, encoding, image manipulation you’ll probably be better off with a AMD Radeon card.

If you’re someone who spends more time dual booted into Windows  then there’s nothing wrong with going Nvidia as Nvidia doesn’t have the problems in Windows that it does have in macOS. does a lot of dual booting and gaming on Windows. Also there will be some applications you may want Nvidia’s CUDA support for.

With my RX 560 I noticed things run more smoothly there is no crashing when using Photoshop or Illustrator with Apple’s native drivers and I no longer have to rely on Nvidia’s crappy Web Drivers, which is simply great 🙂

If anyone want’s to see any other benchmarks in macOS comparing the RX 560 and the GTX 1050 Ti feel free to comment, about what you want to see.

Related:

How to hackintosh AMD graphics cards in Sierra 10.12.6+

 

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30 Comments on "How good are AMD graphic cards in a Hackintosh?"

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Jabir c
Guest
Jabir c

Hey hackintosher I planed to upgrade RX580
In my PC . but my case available in Asus branded GPU ,any problems in a particular brand
Pls help me.

Manuel
Guest
Manuel

Great post! I’m building myself a Hackintosh system based on kaby lake i5 7600 and Gigabyte Z270M-D3H. I’ve picked a Radeon Rx 560 from Sapphire, following your recommendations. I’m waiting for it to come. It’s weird that web pages like Tommy Mac insist on recommending Nvidia cards for building a Hackintosh, when you can see that the entire lineup of Apple products is nowadays packed with AMD graphics.
Please, I would like to see another benchmarks between AMD and Nvidia cards in Hackintosh. Maybe an stress/reliability test until the card fails, Photoshop test and another FCPX test in 1080P and 4k, which I think I will use most. Thanks for your work!

Manuel
Guest
Manuel

Sorry, Tonymacx86, not Tommy Mac.

James
Guest
James

Hi Hackintosher, thanks for the awesome posts!
Do you know if there are any issues with multi display support (for 3 or more displays) with the AMD cards? Specifically on the AMD RX 560?

Thanks!

Vinny
Guest
Vinny

I have the Asus RX 580 8GB, I understand Mac OS doesn’t support crossfire but could it still utilize a second gpu to boost performance in Lightroom/Photoshop/FCP

Guest
Zsolt

What about the boot screen? Does amd cards working now in this regard?

Ilia
Guest
Ilia

How oveclock videocard in hackintosh ??? RX 580 OC? – 12 sec in BruceX???

Jeff D
Guest
Jeff D

I went the Gigabyte RX560 4GB, sadly I’m only getting 2 minutes (120 seconds) in BruceX. Tried to a NVMe at 1800MB/s Write and normal SSD. My old MBP Late 2013 was 85 seconds.

Inception
Guest
Inception

Some people are reporting bad performance with RX 580: https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/amd-rx-580-disappointing-performance-10-12-6.230693/

Have you experienced this?

SteakAndBacon
Guest
SteakAndBacon

By how much do you think the Vega 64 8GB would outperform RX580 8GB in Hackintosh for video editing and the like? The former is roughly 2X the price right now of the latter.

Yohan
Guest
Yohan

Hello need some help. My hackintosh works fine with my rx560 but have some problem with audio hdmi who works but sounds slow. Any idea ???

Mike
Guest
Mike

You don’t need to make a huge investment to get a good result with AMD gfx.
Sierra 10.12.4
FCPX 10.3.3
Xeon E3- 1240
8GB DDR
2 X 6850
BruceX 5K
30 seconds

Guest
Harry

Hi Hackintosher I post already a comment but I cannot find it anymore what a great work you did. I have a GA Z170X gaming 7 MB and a GA Geforfce GTX 1050TI Windforce 4GB graphic card. I have trouble with updating to High Sierra is it advisable to buy GA RX560 4GB instead for better graphics performance and maybe when I get sound over the Graphic card I don’t need to use kext for my sound chip on the MB CA0132. Can you advice me.
Now I have noticed in what Blog I post the comment so I can find my comment back.

His_Turdness
Guest
His_Turdness

RX 580 pricers are ridiculous right now and I will be booting to Windows for any serious gaming, so I went for the GTX 1080 Mini ITX. 600€ is not too bad for this card right now. (500€ for RX580) 1080 performs much better with games and is good enough under macOS.

The biggest factor though would be the size. There are no ITX versions of RX580. 😀

kicsiii
Guest
kicsiii

Hello!
I thinking about change my GTX 1080 to Rx Vega 64 card.
Anyone have Vega 64 in hackintosh? Working well? And witch Type? I ask you guys, because when i buy XFX RX 560 single fan, this is not working with Hackintosh (Any other card working, only xfx single fan is not) . So i would like to know 100% witch vega 64 working well with hackintosh. Thank you!

Sam
Guest
Sam

I am about to do a VERY low budget ($0, ideally) build using an old HP 8200 Elite Small Form Factor I had lying around, which will require a low-profile video card. I dont plan on it being more than a light duty web browsing and audio recording machine. Does this information apply to older cards like the R5 220 I just found?

Geg
Guest
Geg

Hi! I am planning to buy Gigabyte RX 560 4GB GAMING OC and I see you are using it. If you use it right now, can you confirm that DisplayPort works? Also I have a VGA monitor and I plan to use an adapter, and I want to use DP adapter as DP has the most working chance for macOS. I am planning to use this adapter(i think it’s active).
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C3NBLYF/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A14L9DIA3NK9B0&psc=1

Can you confirm that everything is correct? Thanks.

hippo
Guest
hippo

Can confirm rx 560. Work very well on my machine.
Highly recommend for anyone want to get a decent VGA on Hackintosh.
Btw as an AMD user for a long time. I happily use AMD card with every build window, Linux, Hackintosh.

Geg
Guest
Geg

Do you use VGA port or you use VGA term globally for video cards? I just want to make sure that active adapter will work ok with this card. Thanks

deez nutz
Guest
deez nutz

Is gona be hard to find someone that uses VGA anymore to be honest. Display port will work on the RX 560, and I dont see why that adapter wouldnt work.

Guest
Evodio

I’ve got 69 seconds average and I’m using GTX 1060 3GB and i7 7700. How did you manage to got 34 seconds with 1050 TI?
I’m so confused

rkdrgo
Guest
rkdrgo

Hello Hackintosher. The GTX 1050TI was your build or belongs to someone else. I’m curious because I’ve similar aspects and the GTX 1060 but it last 69 seconds on the BruceX test.

Guest
dave

Hi,

I would like to buy Radeon graphic card for my hackintosh. I am thinking about RX570, because at the moment my pc build runs iGPU only. I think this should improve work in programs like Final Cut Pro but… if AMD’s graphic cards have native support in macOS, can they work with semi-passive cooling? I have used GTX1080 for my hack for a while and I have noticed that its fans always spin. This should not work like this. Under Windows they spin in stress only, so what about Radeons in hackintosh?