New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

OS X 10.8.3 Beta Contains Drivers for AMD Radeon 7000-Series Graphics Cards

As noted by and in our forums, the initial beta release of OS X 10.8.3 seeded to developers yesterday contains drivers supporting AMD's latest 7000-series graphics cards, including the high-end "Tahiti" options. The development has naturally sparked speculation that Apple is starting to build in support for graphics cards to be used in the all-new Mac Pro coming in 2013.

Testing has revealed that the low-end "Cape Verde" Radeon HD 7770 graphics cards will work under the first OS X 10.8.3 beta and that support is also likely for the high-end Tahiti cards, but forum user MacVidCards cautions that compatibility for certain cards has come and gone in the past, so users should wait until the public release of OS X 10.8.3 before getting their hopes up too much, and even then compatibility could disappear in the future.

This is not the first time that evidence of Tahiti support has shown up in OS X either, as other drivers surfaced nearly a year ago in OS X 10.7.3. Consequently, it is difficult to reach any conclusions regarding Apple's product plans based on the appearance of new drivers in OS X 10.8.3, but it certainly seems to be positive progress toward support of new hardware.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

56 months ago
as long as it's actually powerful and not thin, we're in with a chance!
Rating: 18 Votes
56 months ago

Bit late, 8000-Series is looming.

As is the case with Apple. Always late to the party and normally the first to leave! :p
Rating: 16 Votes
56 months ago
First leaked photo of the new Mac Pro after it has been given the Jony Ive minimalist makeover :)

Sorry could not resist!
Rating: 15 Votes
56 months ago


The AMD HD 7000 series came out in FEBRUARY. :rolleyes:

Apple is ALWAYS a day late and a dollar short with video card support. It's embarrassing.

Like antster94 pointed out, the 8000's are on the horizon. So.... one can reasonably assume it will take Apple at least 10 months to add support for those new cards. :rolleyes:

Oh...... and the icing on the cake should be when Apple offers an AMD Radeon HD 7970 for something outrageous like $599.00. :rolleyes:
Rating: 12 Votes
56 months ago
It's sad when the largest and most successful computer company in the world gets headlines at the hint its next computer might support current generation components.

Unfortunately, more and more Apple sells only appliances.

A professional machine like the Mac Pro should be updated much more often than Apple's dreary trod has allowed.
Rating: 12 Votes
56 months ago
Hurray for Mac Pro users
Rating: 11 Votes
56 months ago

Any impacts to Safari?

Rating: 8 Votes
56 months ago

But then you have the true professional. Someone who's editing raw 4k video clips, rendering out high resolution movie scenes, or modeling scientific data. Those people need all the processing power they can get, and is something the iMac can't provide. That's who the Pro is built for.

Don't you really mean, "That's who the Pro was built for."?

Mac Pros are so behind the times it's sad. No USB3? No Thunderbolt?! Think about it: Does "granny" need Thunderbolt? Nope. Granny don't need that kind of throughput!! It's an architecture — aimed at Pros — and it's altogether absent on the most "Pro" Mac. How does that work? But, you were talking about "processing power". Aren't the Xeons inside 2012 Mac Pros based on 2009 architecture? How is that "all the processing power they can get?" Sounds like "they" are somehow trapped in the past.

I think a critical goal for any "true professional" would be to keep the blinders off — stay objective at all costs — and always go with the absolute best tool(s) available. If the information you had handy lead you to buy a Mac Pro, as today's most powerful choice, then I'd encourage you to turn away from the 3-year old information!

Don't get me wrong. I love the Mac. But as time goes on, its hardware advantages are dying!! (Have died?) The Mac is devolving into nothing but a vessel for Os X. And now, even that's in the process of getting so glazed over it's silly. I mean, come on! Did "Save As" really need to get replaced by this "Duplicate" concept? We should ask Granny because I think it's a solution for a problem that didn't exist. Changes to Mac Os are growingly inspired by paranoia. Uh, do we need to have the Library folder hidden, by default? Pros need to get in there, Granny doesn't need inside that Application Support folder. So remind me... where's the focus? On Pros? Os X and iOs are merging. Swiftly! Facebook is built in to Mountain Lion. How cute! When I'm finally done pulling my keys for that Hobbit scene I can update my FB status to reflect it. Hooray!

The bottom line is I don't think high-end users should be gloating about how amazing our gear is, when realistically, it's blatantly out-of-date! Instead of throwing our arms up in undeserved victories we should be voicing our disdain with the long-standing Mac Pro neglect. Apple's hubris is getting the better of us! And we're complacently settling. We're all settling for underpowered / overpriced computers that are — pretty...? We're being told, "Here's how it is!" And we're swallowing it with pleasure. FCPX was a the perfect example of Apple, again, telling an entire sector, "You're doing it wrong!" Editors weren't holding onto practices and paradigms solely because they were old; they were holding onto them because they worked! And still do. FCPX is coming around and slowly rebuilding features it should have had on release day. But it was obviously NOT built by people who edit complex projects day-in and day-out!! Period. There are some great "concepts" in there. But the devil's in the details.

It's like we're all celebrating this dead giant. Something whose time has come and gone and we don't get it yet... we're still waving the flag, blindly, vigorously. All the while, the smart kids are over there... over there with HP Z800s and Red Rocket cards. Over there shooting and posting high-resolution timelapses ( Over there working on the next Pixar ( film. (Where's the Macs in those images? We are talking high-end right?) Come on, pitch me! If I were buying a complete DaVinci Resolve setup tomorrow, why would I center it around a new Mac Pro?

Just know that I don't mean any of this personally. I'm not trying to point fingers or call anyone out. But this viewpoint that Apple can do no wrong is tired. This whole thread is about some graphics card that a future Mac may, or may not, support. And there it is: we're holding up a magnifying glass to the entire problem. Graphics are the epitome of the Mac Pro's deficiencies! Go look at the CUDA card options for the PC. Now look at the "options" for the Mac. We're all clamoring over this supposed support over an already-old graphics card. Plain and simple: we shouldn't be ( applauding.
Rating: 7 Votes
56 months ago

The development has naturally sparked speculation that Apple is starting to build in support for graphics cards to be used in the all-new Mac Pro (// coming in 2013.

So ... the 2013 Mac Pro will get a video chipset from January 2012 ?

And... people are happy about this ?
Rating: 5 Votes
56 months ago

Graphics are the epitome of the Mac Pro's deficiencies! Go look at the CUDA card options for the PC. Now look at the "options" for the Mac. We're all clamoring over this supposed support over an already-old graphics card. Plain and simple

The 7970 may be "already old" but it is still the top of the line AMD card.

Aside from which, I know some people like having Apple list things as "supported" on their site before they use them, but if you look at the top sticky in this sub-forum you will see that except for SLI, any current Nvidia card can be used for CUDA applications in ML 10.8.2 TODAY, with drivers available to the public.

I think Nvidia deserves more appreciation for the efforts they have made to bring & keep current drivers for most of their cards to OSX. The Nvidia Mac division has gone to great lengths to do what they can to keep real cards available. If it were up to Apple, the Quadro 4000 really would be top of the line CUDA card.

I think the 7970 support is a great thing. But part of why this is so exciting is that AMD driver support has been so poor for so long. The 6970 works in some OS versions of OSX, others it KPs in.

Nvidia has tried very hard to include drivers for every card they make. Their cards started "self initing" (no EFI needed once desktop reached) in 10.7.3. AMD has included support for SOME of their cards (less than half) and their drivers started "self-initing" in 10.6.6. (IIRC)

SO, there has been a private little GPU battle for the Mac market. For all the hand wringing about GPUs, you have MANY, MANY more options than just 2 years ago. This 7xxx support is great news, but it is only exceptional because Nvidia has been winning for so long.

It will be great if these drivers are needed in near future in a new Mac Pro. Probably won't happen, but it has to be a good sign that someone is at least still playing around and writing new drivers for cards that didn't work in a Mac before 2 days ago. I can tell you that many cards get developed for Mac Pros but never come out. I have a box of GTX285 cards with MDP, an 8800GTS 320 for Mac Pro, complete with bracket that fits perfectly into card support and even a 3870 "Silver Arrrow", a very odd thing indeed, but also with brackets just for Mac Pro.

Many cards get considered and tested and compared. So maybe they are just writing 7970 drivers to help decide between 7950 and GTX680? Or maybe AMD wanted to get back in the drivers game BEFORE they had to write 8xxx drivers. Or maybe .....??????? It can't be a bad thing in any case. Rejoice that the Mac Pro story is still being written.
Rating: 5 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]