Macpro 4,1 upgraded with a metal card.

Jul 29, 2021
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I bought the following card a while back so I could upgrade my tower to Mojave. Works well except for one thing which is the boot screen is not visible. I was wondering if I could add the older card as a second video card, just for booting, then disconnect the monitor when not in use.

  1. Would it be too much for my tower or cause any heat issues?
  2. Does it run even when there is no monitor connected?
  3. Will it boot into Mojave if there is a second card not supported and non-metal, if the metal one is the one being used?

Thank you in advance for the guidance:

Radeon RX 580:

Chipset Model: Radeon RX 580

Type: GPU

Bus: PCIe

Slot: Slot-1

PCIe Lane Width: x16

VRAM (Total): 8 GB

Vendor: AMD (0x1002)

Device ID: 0x67df

Revision ID: 0x00e7

Metal: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily2 v1


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

Which exact brand/model is the Radeon RX 580?

This is a known issue with non-Apple OEM/PC graphics cards. If it is recognized and works otherwise, it should be fine. I wouldn't try two cards, as the PCI Slot 1 (bottom) is a Double-wide PCI Express graphics, and the other three are standard PCI Express slots. Also, you may not have enough power cables available for two graphics cards.

From the Mac Pro (Early 2009) User Guide:

About PCI Express Cards
Your Mac Pro comes with a high-performance PCI Express graphics card, which contains the graphics processor unit (GPU) and provides the computer’s display ports. The graphics card is installed in slot 1.

You can install additional PCI Express graphics and expansion cards. Before installing a card, check its specifications to make sure it can operate in your Mac Pro:
  • Slots 1 and 2 are x16, PCI Express 2.0 slots
  • Slots 3 and 4 are x4, PCI Express 2.0 slots
All four slots support 16-lane cards.

Important: Combined maximum power consumption for all four PCI Express slots must not exceed 300 watts (W).

1. Not sure about potential heat issues, but it should be fine since the Mac Pro has a lot of cooling, as does the Radeon.
2. Yes, it is operating even without a display connected - headless mode.
3. Not sure, but I believe if there is one Metal-supported card it will.

Hope that helps,


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