Yesterday NVIDIA revealed they would be releasing Mac OS drivers for their Pascal microarchitecture GPUs. “This comes despite the fact that Apple hasn’t sold a Mac Pro that can officially accept a PCIe video card in almost half a decade.”
So why is NVIDIA releasing a Mac driver to a market that, officially speaking, is essentially dead? Ryan Smith writing for AnandTech explains:
Instead it’s the off-label use that makes this announcement interesting, and indeed gives NVIDIA any reason whatsoever to make a Pascal driver release. Within the Mac community there are small but none the less vocal user groups based around both unsupported external GPUs and not-even-Apple-hardware Hackintoshes. In the case of the former, while macOS doesn’t support external GPUs (and isn’t certified as eGFX complaint by Intel), it’s possible to use Macs with Thunderbolt eGFX chassis with a bit of OS patching. Meanwhile with a bit more hacking, it’s entirely possible to get macOS running on a custom-built PC, leading to the now long-running Hackintosh space.
As a Hackintosh user I am surprised by this announcement. Hackintosh and eGPU users are a small but vocal percentage of the Mac OS user base. I honestly didn’t think NVIDIA would commit to supporting their latest GPU architecture on unsupported systems, but then again maybe my line of thinking has been clouded by an Apple state of mind.
Before NVIDIA’s announcement I was in process of selling my main Hackintosh with a Pascal-based GTX 1060 installed. Now I might consider changing my plans, unless someone makes me a decent offer first.