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Suggestions for updating my aging Dual 4K setup from Nvidia to AMD?

Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z270X UG - Clover UEFI
CPU
i7-7700K
Graphics
GTX 1070
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi all! A pre-emptive apology for the wall of text, I'm trying to be as detailed as I can about my situation, partly because I'm very much outside my comfort zone with having to update my beloved hackintosh, and partly because I'm pathologically bad at being succinct. I hope you'll forgive me.

I built my current (and only) hackintosh back in the beginning of 2018. Not knowing much about computer hardware or hackintoshes, I spent weeks in the forum here and did the best I could to assemble a system that would be capable of working with heavy graphics files. I was extremely proud (and relieved) when I finally got the machine working after about a week of tinkering, and she's still purring today, 4 years later. Sorta.

The main issue I'm facing is that I chose an Nvidia card back in 2018, meaning that I'm typing this in mid-2022 from High Sierra. I am now getting to a point where this is becoming a major pain because a lot of the software I use no longer supports 10.13, and having a Pascal card there is no getting beyond 10.13/High Sierra.

In a perfect world, I would love to salvage as much of my machine/hardware as possible, and focus upgrades on motherboard, processor (I'd like to go i9) and GPU. Sadly, this is not economically realistic for me at the moment, having quit my job (workplace turned toxic) and gone independent during the pandemic, and still struggling to pay the bills. I do really need to get past High Sierra, though, meaning that at the absolute minimum I need to switch to an AMD GPU. I'm hoping very much that some of you can help me with suggestions about how to achieve that, while working with my existing hardware.

I know I need to switch to AMD, but know very little about the options. My main requirement is that I need the card to run my two LG 4K 27" screens (at 4K). I work with very high resolution graphics files (think giant high DPI posters in Photoshop), and having all the pixels available is essential to my work.

A secondary, less important requirement is that whatever graphics card I get will work (if at all possible) both on my current motherboard, and on whatever future MB I end up with. I would love to go i9 somewhere down the line, but don't know if it's even possible to get a card that will work on my current Z270x and a future MB that will work with an i9. If this is possible I would be thrilled, but I'll take what I can get, and right now that mainly means getting on AMD so I can get past High Sierra.

I've compiled a list of my current hardware here:
  • motherboard — Gigabyte Z270X Ultra Gaming with Clover UEFI
  • CPU — Intel Core i7 7700 K 4200 1151
  • graphics — 8GB EVGA GTX 1070 SC Gaming
  • HDD — Samsung MZ V6E2 S24 A450BW SSD 960 Evo Nvme M.2 250 GB
  • RAM — 64 GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT Single DDR4 DIMM 288 pin Memory 2400 MT/s (PC4 19200)
  • cabinet — Corsair Carbide Series 400C PC Case Side Window Midi Tower ATX White
  • power — Corsair RM Series ATX/EPS Fully Modular 80 PLUS Gold
  • cooling — Corsair CW-9060007-WW Hydro Series H60 High Performance 120mm Rad All-In- One Liquid CPU Cooler
  • radio — ABWB 802.11AC WI-FI With Bluetooth 4.0 PCI-Express (PCI-E) BCM943602CS Combo Card For Hackintosh
  • screens — dual LG 27" 27UL600-W 4K FreeSync
Except for sleeping, which I never managed to figure out, everything works as it should. The machine is definitely a lot slower now than 4 years ago, but I think it would be much better with a HDD wipe and a clean install of something post-High Sierra. Because my knowledge is so limited, and feeling like the machine working was more luck than skill (by a huge margin), I've always been scared of doing a clean install, because I'm worried I won't get her working again.

I'm sure I've left out lots of important information here, so please do reach out and I will do my very best to answer any and all questions.

Looking forward to hearing from you, and thanks for reading if you got this far!
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
23,293
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
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HD4600 / RX 570
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  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Get either an RX 6800 or a 6800 XT Pulse from Sapphire and install Monterey. Then you can run all the latest software and either of those will still work with newer hardware if you upgrade.


 
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z270X UG - Clover UEFI
CPU
i7-7700K
Graphics
GTX 1070
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Get either an RX 6800 or a 6800 XT Pulse from Sapphire and install Monterey. Then you can run all the latest software and either of those will still work with newer hardware if you upgrade.



Thank you for the suggestions!

I'm afraid those are all out of my price range, which I should have mentioned. I can't spend more than $300 at the moment, and used RX 6800 cards are hovering around $650 here in Denmark at the moment.

I've done some digging, and have found a few people with Z270X MBs who have gotten to Big Sur, some even to Monterey with RX580. Do you happen to know if that's viable with dual 4K? Or does it depend on the specific card?
RX580 is around $170 used here.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
23,293
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
have found a few people with Z270X MBs who have gotten to Big Sur, some even to Monterey with RX580. Do you happen to know if that's viable with dual 4K? Or does it depend on the specific card?
RX580 is around $170 used here.
Yes, use two DP outputs or one DP and one HDMI would also work.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
23,293
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I'll see if I can find something else at or below $300 that might pull dual 4K more efficiently.
RX 6600XT is supported but only in macOS 12 Monterey.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2022
Messages
7
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z270X UG - Clover UEFI
CPU
i7-7700K
Graphics
GTX 1070
Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
RX 6600XT is supported but only in macOS 12 Monterey.

I've managed to find the following used cards:
  • $333 Powercolor Rx 5700 xt Powercolor, 8 GB
  • $300 ASRock AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Challenger D 8GB (seller has 4, probably miner)
  • $230 Powercolor Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB (seller looks sketchy)
  • $230 Vega 64 (water cooled?) 8GB. No info on manufacturer, think I see rust on one hex bolt.
Thoughts?

I'm going through the forum looking for 6600 XT info, and like you said people are saying Monterey support in 12.1. It looks like 6600 XT might be the better option of the cards I've found.

Making some notes for later:
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
967
Motherboard
Gigabyte C246-WU4
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E-2278G
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WX7100
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  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Hi all! A pre-emptive apology for the wall of text, I'm trying to be as detailed as I can about my situation
It's better to give too much details than too few, so thanks for that.

I know I need to switch to AMD, but know very little about the options. My main requirement is that I need the card to run my two LG 4K 27" screens (at 4K). I work with very high resolution graphics files (think giant high DPI posters in Photoshop), and having all the pixels available is essential to my work.
High resolution, but only 2D work? No 3D, no video? If so there's no need to go for a high-end card such as a RX 6800.
A RX 6600 (PCIe 4.0x8) will work as PCIe 3.0x8 in your Z270 build, with half the bandwidth of a x16 card… but I doubt that 2D work ever needs that much bandwidth.

A secondary, less important requirement is that whatever graphics card I get will work (if at all possible) both on my current motherboard, and on whatever future MB I end up with. I would love to go i9 somewhere down the line, but don't know if it's even possible to get a card that will work on my current Z270x and a future MB that will work with an i9.
Any working GPU will work with any kind of working CPU or chipset. No issue, and no constraint, here.

Except for sleeping, which I never managed to figure out, everything works as it should. The machine is definitely a lot slower now than 4 years ago, but I think it would be much better with a HDD wipe and a clean install of something post-High Sierra. Because my knowledge is so limited, and feeling like the machine working was more luck than skill (by a huge margin), I've always been scared of doing a clean install, because I'm worried I won't get her working again.
Anything newer than Polaris will actually require upgrading macOS, which may require updating your Clover or OpenCore EFI. The easiest and safest here may be to get a new drive and make a new install on it. Keep the old drive safe (preferably unplugged), so you can revert to it.

I've managed to find the following used cards:
  • $333 Powercolor Rx 5700 xt Powercolor, 8 GB
  • $300 ASRock AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Challenger D 8GB (seller has 4, probably miner)
  • $230 Powercolor Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB (seller looks sketchy)
  • $230 Vega 64 (water cooled?) 8GB. No info on manufacturer, think I see rust on one hex bolt.
Thoughts?
All should work, including the RX 5600 XT according to Dortania's GPU Buyers Guide.
Polaris cards from Powercolor and some other vendors were advised against, but this may not longer apply to Navi.
A $230 Vega seems too good a deal to be a good deal… I'd be wary of old watercooled gear, especially with rust :eek: around bolts (leaks?).
For second-hand, vetting sellers is obviously as important as checking the hardware.
RX 6600 (namely AsRock Challenger non-XT) currently starts at 335 EUR in the Netherlands. At that price, I'd buy new!

Navi 10 (RX 5000 series) requires at least Catalina.
Navi 23 (RX 6600) requires the full jump to Monterey.
 
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