nVidia Boot screens on Mojave

Mac Technical Support
This bodes ... interesting.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/rtx-series-cards-have-native-bootscreen-support.2148023

Seems the new nVidia RTX cards, if installed on Mojave, have boot screens stock -- no flashing required. There are no drivers available for these cards on Mac OS, but there are fairly reliable reports of Mac OS functional boot screens. Lends a lot of credence to the reports that nVidia is actually working on drivers for the Mac for the new cards.

As one person with a Mac Pro 5,1 commented in the thread, this seems to be the year to write a letter to Santa Claus as apparently it might just work. First Mojave support, then NVMe support, and now this.
The toxicity of that thread reminds me of why I stopped reading the Macrumors forums :(

Interesting development nonetheless. Bright times ahead if the new Mac Pro is a standard modular system.
Yeah, it was pretty nasty as it seemed just too odd to be true. It got a lot more civil once separate parties started to confirm the initial findings. I'm still somewhat skeptical myself, but there's been a string of odd events, almost way beyond any Mac Pro tower owner's dreams come six months ago.

And yes, it points to possibly some very good things for the New™ Mac Pro.
If the RTX series has bootscreen capability, that would be independent of the OS, so not limited to Mojave, as the bootscreen is controlled via EFI, not the OS. This actually means that any GPU should work now. I have a feeling it has to do with the NVMe boot support being flashed in, as that alters how the EFI enumerates devices. Specifically, NVMe can only exist in PCIe HBA form. So if the PCIe enumeration method was altered on the whole, it makes sense that any card with an EFI capable BIOS or VBIOS would provide a boot screen now.

The reason people think it's Mojave driven is because the update also flashes firmware to update the EFI as well. Once flashed, you could boot any OS that the machine supports and get a boot screen.
Good point, though this is without the NVMe updates as it's the released version of Mojave and not the beta.

Would be worth testing. Oddly enough, all my cards are flashed though.
Have you tried getting APC
10/18/2018 12:55 AMPosted by Sagerremeseb
Good point, though this is without the NVMe updates as it's the released version of Mojave and not the beta.

Would be worth testing. Oddly enough, all my cards are flashed though.


It's entirely possible the flashing was done and they had reverted to the release. Bootscreen visibility is directly tied to EFI enumeration, as seen with the necessity thus far for "Mac flashed" EFI ROMs on GPUs. For a GPU to not require that means the enumeration changed somehow and the NVMe flasher is the only change I know of for any Mac Pro at all thus far.

If the RTX cards don't give you a bootscreen in any Mac Pro that can't run Mojave, it's the flasher doing the work.
The current speculation is that nVidia added UGA support to the RTX series, so in theory, the boot screens might show up as far back as 10.6.8. Good luck getting a driver that works there.

UGA is ancient protocol and something Windows never implemented. It was only on the original EFI implementations -- UEFI dropped UGA and that's what Windows ended up going with. I believe the Mac Pro towers were the last Apple machines to not implement UEFI (more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface).

This part is still a bit of a mystery. I'm sure more will come out soon as people keep poking at this.
The question here is why nVidia would go to the trouble and added cost of implementing UGA if Windows dropped it and its use is about as niche as it gets? That doesn't add up.
Speaking of 5,1 firmware flashing... am running Sierra, thinking about Mojave. Pretty sure there is some firmware flashing needed to install High Sierra... do we have ANOTHER different flash with Mojave or are they one and the same?

I want to be extra careful here... think I'd prefer to deal with the firmware flashing first before I think of migrating to Mojave (the only draws are current OS, stacks and Metal 2, the rest is no biggee)...
If you're using an nVidia video card above a GTX 600 series -- wait -- drivers have yet to be released for Mojave.
10/19/2018 04:02 PMPosted by Brightbrown
Speaking of 5,1 firmware flashing... am running Sierra, thinking about Mojave. Pretty sure there is some firmware flashing needed to install High Sierra... do we have ANOTHER different flash with Mojave or are they one and the same?

I want to be extra careful here... think I'd prefer to deal with the firmware flashing first before I think of migrating to Mojave (the only draws are current OS, stacks and Metal 2, the rest is no biggee)...
I have a 4.1, only manual flash I had to do was 4.1 --> 5.1

After that all the other ones are just done "automatically" by the OS installers right in the beginning.
10/19/2018 06:58 PMPosted by Sagerremeseb
If you're using an nVidia video card above a GTX 600 series -- wait -- drivers have yet to be released for Mojave.

technically anything up to a 780 works with stock drivers. 780ti and later will need web drivers.
Little did I know HOW significant that boot screen was... when I got my 980, I wanted to have it so I went for the flashed version. Turns out that WITH a flashed card, I DO get an image when I boot (sans web driver). Yes, it does have some visual hiccups, but I lived like that for 2 days waiting on a web driver update (saw a Safari update, went for it, turned out there was a new OS build as well, knocking out my use the web driver.. this was a few updates ago). From what I have learned, without the flash in the GPU I would have gotten no image at all! As one can ONLY install updated drivers ON the new build, I would have had to dig out my old video card to get an image.
Can someone explain the purpose of the boot screen and why its significant?
One purpose is that it dynamically allows you to boot from any bootable volumes you may have attached to the computer. Without that, you have to explicitly choose which one before you restart.

In my case, it seems that it allows me to get an image with an "flashed" nvidia card... (said flashing having something to do with making the card an "EFI device") that seems to allow for an image to be displayed when one does NOT have the correct drivers. i.e. without that "boot screen" I'd see a black image and could do nothing until I reinstalled my original GPU. Someone else may be able to better explain the technology, all I know for sure is the results.
11/05/2018 12:50 PMPosted by Brightbrown
One purpose is that it dynamically allows you to boot from any bootable volumes you may have attached to the computer. Without that, you have to explicitly choose which one before you restart.

In my case, it seems that it allows me to get an image with an "flashed" nvidia card... (said flashing having something to do with making the card an "EFI device") that seems to allow for an image to be displayed when one does NOT have the correct drivers. i.e. without that "boot screen" I'd see a black image and could do nothing until I reinstalled my original GPU. Someone else may be able to better explain the technology, all I know for sure is the results.

So, basically it allows you to boot with minimal graphics until you install updated drivers.

I've been doing that via the integrated gpu on the motherboard.
Yes. Keep in mind I do have a (MacVidCards) flashed 980 in my cMP.

Not sure I'd say "minimal" but fine with glitches. Once did a Safari update, missed seeing a security update and booted to nvidia's "you are using default drivers" dialog. Took them something like 36 hours to release the proper driver. So I lived with it that way for a day and a half. Everything was very useable except that I'd get odd screen flashes and blocks of translucent color... but only every now and then, not a annoying constant. I could do web browsing, email, stuff like that.
11/09/2018 03:56 PMPosted by Brightbrown
Took them something like 36 hours to release the proper driver
Wouldn't that be nice... stopped counting how long I've been waiting for the Mojave drivers :(
Mojave drivers is a different circumstance that I do not believe is in nvidia's hands. We're still in wait and see mode there.

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