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[GUIDE] Radeon RX 580 on macOS Catalina

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Radeon RX 580 8 GB graphics card on macOS High Sierra (as of 10.13.6), Mojave and Catalina on the P55-USB3 board: excellent performance with acceleration (Metal) OOB, no need for drivers (kexts), with 3 drawbacks, one has to do with the boot of the operating system (a solution is proposed), another with the number of rear connectors enabled (a solution is proposed) and another that only affects to one phase of the Mojave or Catalina installation (without clear solution for now).

I have placed the XFX AMD Radeon RX-580 P8DFD6 8GB Triple X Edition GDDR5, 256BIT, DVI + HDMI + 3DP graphics card on a 10 year old motherboard (Gigabyte P55-USB3) in order to update the hackintosh to 10.14 Mojave and 10.15 Catalina because the card that I have used in past years, Nvidia Geforce GTX 750 1GB, has stopped working after 10.13.6 High Sierra since this was the last version for which Nvidia published the alternate web drivers that were necessary for the card to work well with graphic acceleration.

The new RX 580 card needs considerably more space than the old one although it fits perfectly in an ATX case, and requires an additional power connector. It has 2 big fans that most of the time are stopped, at least in my case. In macOS it works perfectly, even with Metal acceleration, without additional drivers and without extra settings in Clover. But it has drawbacks that I comment below.

Alterations during startup

During the boot of the operating system, when the screen goes from the basic driver to the AMD driver, 2 artifacts appear randomly, they are very short in duration (from one to a few seconds):

  • Very short flashing white screen that may or may not be accompanied by purple lines
  • The fans runs for a few seconds (the noise is clearly audible).

This behavior is solved with the installation of 2 kexts, Lilu and WhateverGreen. Lilu is an extension created by acidantheraand vit9696 among others whose function is to help to patch kexts, processes and libraries during macOS boot. It is accompanied by specific plugins for the task required, for example WhateverGreen that injects necessary patches for certain AMD, Intel and Nvidia graphics cards. It is mandatory to have both extensions together, one of them separately does not correct the problem.
I have installed Lilu 1.4.4 and WhateverGreen 1.3.9 in the EFI/CLOVER/kexts/Other folder of the EFI partition and artifacts have disappeared. Remember that these 2 extensions are not necessary for the card to work properly, if you tolerate those very brief distortions of the screen or the noise of the fans running for a few seconds, you can live without Lilu and WhateverGreen.

Note: authors recommend that when using Lilu and WhateverGreen with Radeon cards, NO graphic settings have to be added to Clover (Inject ATI, etc.).

Note: these alterations, especially the brief white screen and less frequently purple lines and fan noise, are also seen in Windows and some real Macs with the same card.

Alteration during macOS installation

Boot from USB > Clover menu > Install macOS from Install macOS Catalina > screen works fine
Boot from USB > Clover menu > Install macOS from MacintoshHD > black screen
Booting from USB > Clover menu > Boot macOS from MacintoshHD > screen works fine.

In the first and third stages, screen works fine. In the second stage the screen goes black although the installation continues. The user has nothing to do at this moment so you can leave the PC working until the Clover menu is shown again, the screen is recovered, the initial account options can be configured and you can enter into the newly installed system with correct resolution and acceleration.
This behavior is not corrected even by placing Lilu and WhateverGreen into the USB device. At least in my case I have not found a solution for it. Yo can install macOS perfectly with that drawback of not seeing how it progresses during the second phase of the installation.

Only 2 connectors of the 5 available work

This card has 3 Display Port (DP) ports, 1 HDMI port and 1 DVI port. In my case, only 2 DP work, those that are further from the HDMI connector. It is enough if you use a single monitor or 2 monitors that can be connected by DP. But if you want to have 3 or more connected devices or some of them only have HDMI, it is necessary to enable the 5 connectors or at least 4 of them since the DVI is obsolete and does not allow resolutions as high as DP and HDMI.
User foxbox has proposed a solution in a thread titled [Solved] Sapphire RX 580 Nitro + SE | black screen on HDMI and DVI. Must inject from Clover a modification to the Orinoco framebuffer (which is used in the RX 580 card) so that the 5 connectors lack a fixedly assigned address and, instead, receive it dynamically. This change is made from the KextsToPatch section of Clover. Read the post from foxbox.
This has to be accompanied by 3 changes in the Graphics section of Clover: Orinoco in FB Name / Inject ATI / 5 in Video Ports. I have tested this solution in macOS Catalina and it effectively enables the 5 ports of the card but, since I only use 1 monitor, I have removed it and I am with Lilu and WhateverGreen.

 

radeon10.15b.png

Edited by miliuco
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Hi, @miliuco

In this topic https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/335953-screen-flashes-white-for-a-second-during-boot/?page=7 reported about fixed screen flashing during macOS boot. I install each 10.15.4 betas and release then all 10.15.5 betas and now release and can't see any positive changes in screen behavior. Probably I don't understand somehow. Can you read and comment this topic please.

 

Thank you.

Sorry my English(google translated)

 

Edited by yapan4
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45 minutes ago, yapan4 said:

Hi, @miliuco

In this topic https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/335953-screen-flashes-white-for-a-second-during-boot/?page=7 reported about fixed screen flashing during macOS boot. I install each 10.15.4 betas and release then all 10.15.5 betas and now release and can't see any positive changes in screen behavior. Probably I don't understand somehow. Can you read and comment this topic please.

 

Thank you.

Sorry my English(google translated)

 

 

If you have issues with screen flashing, you have to comment in that other thread, not here. Explain exactly which setup you use and which macOS versions and people might be able to help :)

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Just now, unixb0y said:

 

If you have issues with screen flashing, you have to comment in that other thread, not here. Explain exactly which setup you use and which macOS versions and people might be able to help :)

I agree. I will go to the topic from the link.

P.S. Setup from signature - GPU WX4100 but behavior is the same as on RX 580 in this guide(except cooler)

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8 hours ago, yapan4 said:

In this topic https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/335953-screen-flashes-white-for-a-second-during-boot/?page=7 reported about fixed screen flashing during macOS boot. I install each 10.15.4 betas and release then all 10.15.5 betas and now release and can't see any positive changes in screen behavior. Probably I don't understand somehow. Can you read and comment this topic please.

Hi @yapan4, I can't find messages with your name on that topic to reply to you from there. Tell me what specific message you mean to reply there.
My situation is like the one I comment on in my article. The card works well OOB with those annoying details on boot. They disappear with Lilu and Whatergreen (recent versions). I have tested at 10.14, 10.15.4 and 10.15.5 (no betas).
Your graphics card is different from mine, so the solution I am proposing may not work for you.
Even on RX 580 cards from different manufacturers there are different behaviors. In the topic to which you refer there are comments from users to whom the card works well OOB, others fix it with Lilu and WG and others continue with the failure.
Regards.

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