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A long overdue upgrade.. please help - Is Catalina possible with my mobo/cpu?

Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
15
Motherboard
MSI Z95 Gaming 5
CPU
i7-4790k
Graphics
GTX770
So I've been running a dual boot Sierra build for many years now, happily. But my graphics card has reached it's limit and needs to be retired for a new model if I'm to continue to play new games on Win10. I've been far too afraid to touch the MacOSX side of things for fear of breaking the whole setup, as it was much pain to get working correctly the first time around (which was Yosemete, and updating to Sierra caused many tears). It was always the post-installation Multibeast type stuff that killed me, trying to get the thing to boot on its own without the USB stick, getting the bloody sound to function... I really need MacOSX to continue working on my hardware as that's what all my music creation software depends on.

I currently have a MSI Z97 Gaming 5, Intel i7-4790k CPU and the OS's are on separate SSD drives. Worryingly the Clover bootloader hasn't list Windows 10 as a boot option since I upgraded from Win7 (though it sees all the other hard drives, even the external) which i've tried to fix in the past but gave up. Hopefully with a successful (re)installation of a newer MacOSX via Unibeast etc will clear that up.

What are my options? Can I replace the GTX770 with the latest in AMD graphics and run Catalina on my current setup? Is that possible?

I really don't want to have to start from scratch with all new hardware if I (and my bank account) can avoid it.
 
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Joined
Oct 10, 2015
Messages
895
Motherboard
Z370 AORUS Gaming 3
CPU
i5-9600K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Your CPU and motherboard are fine for Catalina and even Big Sur. Be careful about choosing a Radeon card as not all of the cards are compatible.

You should also try reseting NVRAM or even rebuild your bootloader.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
15
Motherboard
MSI Z95 Gaming 5
CPU
i7-4790k
Graphics
GTX770
Thanks for your reply.
I was only considering the cards that are listed on this site as recommended, naturally I was thinking of going for the Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT OC 8GB seeing as that's top spec, so that should be fine right? I want it to last a long time hah.
Are you sure I'll be able to get all the functionality of the motherboard in Catalina? As I said it was quite a struggle to get the functionality in Sierra, and that was back when the board was on the list as compatible. Will the catalina multibeast have all the right stuff?
Resetting nvram and rebuilding the bootloader.. I hope I can do that without making things worse.
 

Jamesbond007

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Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
6,394
Motherboard
Z390 Designare
CPU
i7 9700KF
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
So I've been running a dual boot Sierra build for many years now, happily. But my graphics card has reached it's limit and needs to be retired for a new model if I'm to continue to play new games on Win10. I've been far too afraid to touch the MacOSX side of things for fear of breaking the whole setup, as it was much pain to get working correctly the first time around (which was Yosemite, and updating to Sierra caused many tears). It was always the post-installation Multibeast type stuff that killed me, trying to get the thing to boot on its own without the USB stick, getting the bloody sound to function... I really need MacOSX to continue working on my hardware as that's what all my music creation software depends on.

I currently have a MSI Z97 Gaming 5, Intel i7-4790k CPU and the OS's are on separate SSD drives. Worryingly the Clover bootloader hasn't list Windows 10 as a boot option since I upgraded from Win7 (though it sees all the other hard drives, even the external) which I've tried to fix in the past but gave up. Hopefully with a successful (re)installation of a newer MacOSX via Unibeast etc will clear that up.

What are my options? Can I replace the GTX770 with the latest in AMD graphics and run Catalina on my current setup? Is that possible?

I really don't want to have to start from scratch with all new hardware if I (and my bank account) can avoid it.
Your system should be compatible with MacOS Catalina and the upcoming Big Sur if you upgrade your graphics card to a RX 5700 XT, for example.

Do you have only one machine to do your work and play? If so, after upgrading the graphics card, you may no longer be able to run MacOS Sierra. If you then encounter problems with installing MacOS Catalina (you should not expect a trouble free installation), and have no access to a computer that runs MacOS, you may have no way to fix problems (e.g. by modifying the Unibeast USB stick).

I would strongly recommend that, if you decide to go ahead with the MacOS upgrade, to get a new SSD and try to install Catalina on that instead of attempting to upgrade inside Sierra on your old SSD (and disconnect the Sierra SSD before you do that). That way if you encounter problems you may still be able to fall back to Sierra on your old disk. I would also suggest doing the Catalina installation with the GTX 770 first (it is compatible) and only after you get Catalina to run should you upgrade the graphics card.

There is one more thing you need to consider : Does your current music creation software work with a new version of MacOS such as Catalina? They may run on Sierra but may require upgrading if you move to Catalina.

Your reason of wanting to upgrade is to "play new games in Windows 10", and maybe it is time to dedicate gaming to a separate Windows machine and use your old machine solely for MacOS? If not now, may be in the future?
 
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Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
15
Motherboard
MSI Z95 Gaming 5
CPU
i7-4790k
Graphics
GTX770
Thanks for your response.
I have backup image of the Sierra drive which I've used to restore it several times when encountering problems previously to get it running again, so I've no worries about that.
Music software is Logic Pro, Mainstage 3, etc. So it was needing updating/upgrading, and I couldn't do that without upgrading to Catalina.
I have indeed hit problems with Multibeast & drivers post-Catalina installation, which I hope to fix as it is mostly working so far. I've created a new thread for that here.
(No, I haven't got a new graphics card yet!)
 
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