Contribute
Register

Choosing the right GTX 970

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
11
Motherboard
ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming
CPU
Intel i7 6700K
Graphics
Nvidia GTX 970
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi guys!

My older ASUS GTX 470 "Fermi" card is starting to do some random artifacts which normally ends with a epic kernel panic/crash. Happens in both Windows and OS X btw! So, I need a new graphics card for my hackintosh and from my own research, it looks like I'm should with a Nvidia GTX 970 "Maxwell" card. Good value and fits my budget + still recommended in Tony's "buyer's guide".

I just need to find out which type/brand I should go with. I've read that you should buy a model that matches the "reference card", since this should be the most compatible with a Mac. Is this true with the GTX 970? In the buyer's guide there are GTX 970 models with different port layout and I'm worried that I gonna pick one where only some ports are working.

I've googled "GTX 970 reference card" and found some pictures of it.
From what I can see the "reference port layout" is the following:
1 x HDMI
1 x DVI
3 x DisplayPort

So which model should i go for? Thanks! :)
 

Attachments

  • ref-907-3-Copy-2.jpg
    ref-907-3-Copy-2.jpg
    296.9 KB · Views: 218
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
7
Motherboard
GA-Z97-D3H
CPU
i7-4790K
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I subscribe to the issue! I was also wondering if there are any problems with the card EVGA GTX 970 FTW + on Hackintosh?




 
Joined
Oct 23, 2013
Messages
51
Motherboard
Asus Rog Strix H370-I GAMING
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
GTX 1080
I have an MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G - chosen because it was on offer at the time and comments suggested the fans would be decently quiet. It's been great under Yosemite and now El Capitan with the Nvidia web drivers, as well as Windows 10.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
11
Motherboard
ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming
CPU
Intel i7 6700K
Graphics
Nvidia GTX 970
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thank you for all your suggestions! For the last few days I've really been digging into the topic, but I really can't find the thread of consistency in this. It seems that it's best to just pick a card and try it out, and then return the card if it's not working properly. Your odds should be better with a standard PCB, though. The MSI card has an custom PCB, for instance, but that doesn't mean it won't work.

In my research I came across MacVidCards who flashes PC graphics cards with a custom EFI-BIOS for Mac Pros (non-hacks). They said something interesting about the compatibility with AMD and Nvidia cards on the MacRumors forum:
MacVidCards said:
AMD cards give Apple better control in that the ports are hard coded into the drivers. NVIDIA has used a different method where the ports are defined by the EFI and BIOS. This is why we have been able to create the 780 and Titan cards where all ports work perfectly. Same with 750ti and 750. Card behaves as if Apple made it.

AMD cards work best if you use the version IDENTICAL to the Mac version. With recent R9 280 cards moving to a single DisplayPort we have discovered a new issue. The Apple driver for these expects 2 Displayports. When only one is present it leads to mayhem. An unflashed one of these has twice proven completely unusable for us. The first one we were able to fix with EFI but yesterday we had to contact a flash job customer and tell them their single DP R9 280 is untenable in OSX, with or without EFI. Mind you, this is a card that system sees as "679a", same as 7950. This is why Apple writes AMD drivers as they do. So while we have been able to give bootscreens and PCIE 2.0 to R9 290, the rom will likely never be "finished" in that Apple will never include a useable "personality" in the OS. The ONLY personality so far in the family is for a 6 DP personality. (Wanna guess what that is for?)

So, since they know they aren't going to create a R9 290x for Mac they will likely never finish making a driver for it, and we will never be able to create a "perfect" R9 290x. Hackintosh folks have found ways to mod the driver to match the ports, but this requires a rewrite for every OS update, not tenable for us.
What I get from this is that the ports on Nvidia cards are controlled by BIOS and therefor should all work regardless of the driver. I dunno if this is true but it makes sense to me. They do, however, recommend a port layout of either 3xMDP/1xDVI/1xHDMI or 3xDP/1xDVI/HDMI but I think this is only to ensure compatibility with their custom EFI-BIOS.

I've decided to go with an EVGA GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0+ because of the following:
- It's recommended in the Buyer's Guide
- It has the recommended port layout from MacVidCards (even though it might not matter)
- It has received pretty good reviews on the web
- It's fan system powers down while IDLE (just like the MSI and ASUS cards)
- I've always been a fan of EVGA products :)

I'll report back when I have received and tested the card - most likely next week ;)
Thanks all!
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2013
Messages
51
Motherboard
Asus Rog Strix H370-I GAMING
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
GTX 1080
If your experience is like mine, you'll need to boot with "nv_disable=1" (you'll get slow, un-accelerated graphics but it's enough to work with) until you have the Nvidia web drivers installed.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top