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NVIDIA Web Drivers for macOS 10.13 ported to macOS 12 as a WIP

brian105
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Summary

Through their work on patching newer macOS versions to be compatible with older Macs and their hardware, the Opencore Legacy Patcher team has extended support for specific NVIDIA GPUs from the last officially supported version for Web Drivers, macOS 10.13, to the latest version of macOS, 12.

This includes all Maxwell, Pascal, and Volta GPUs. While stable, the drivers are using openGL GUI rendering in macOS, meaning the same graphical glitches that occur with Legacy Macs on newer macOS versions are also seen in use. The developers are also keen on continuing work on Metal rendering for these GPUs, which will hopefully get rid of any incompatibilities with the OS.

NOTE: THIS DOES NOT MEAN TURING AND AMPERE CARDS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH macOS. SUPPORT FOR THESE PATCHES IS CARRIED OVER FROM THE OFFICIAL NVIDIA WEB DRIVERS FROM 10.13, SO ANYTHING NOT SUPPORTED THERE IS ALSO NOT SUPPORTED ON macOS 12.

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Quotes

Quote

Before everyone gets excited for perfect drivers in Monterey, know that there are many draw backs with the currently developed patches. The biggest issue being Metal support. As some may know, Apple transitioned away from OpenGL toward Metal and became mandatory in Mojave and newer. However for many drivers, they never made the jump and so were permanently stuck with only OpenGL acceleration (ie. Nvidia Tesla, AMD TeraScale, Intel HD3000)

Nvidia's Web Drivers do support Metal, however all of our previous developments were towards non-Metal systems. Currently any acceleration on Nvidia Web Drivers is quite a feat, however there's still a long road to developing stable Metal-based patch sets.

 

My thoughts

For people still using Maxwell and Pascal cards (which is still a lot considering how poor the improvements with the newer GPU generations are), this provides an opportunity to at the very least use a macOS version that's still supported by new apps and Apple. For the time being, the support is rudimentary at best, and does not include the Metal API, so games and applications dependent on that will still not work. For basic web browsing, the provided drivers should be adequate. If you have a Kepler GPU not based on the GK106 core, OCLP provides drivers compatible with Metal, which will work significantly better for the time being and be fully compatible with all apps.

 

Sources

(Reddit post by OCLP developer)

 

Implement Alpha Support for Nvidia Web Drivers by khronokernel · Pull Request #993 · dortania/OpenCore-Legacy-Patcher (github.com)

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1 minute ago, TrigrH said:

how expensive*

Both really. The RTX 3060 shows how pathetic NVIDIA's attempts to kill the 1060 6GB are.

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That's very promising to see. I personally just use Radeon cards when using newer versions of macOS, but I do have a couple Macs where it would be handy to have modern macOS support with Nvidia GPUs. I'll be interested to watch this progress over time. 

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the sad thing is Nvidia could ship user-space PCIe drivers for macOS if they wanted.

the limitations of this (without users turning off system integrity are as follows):

* The system apps and system UI would not use the Nvidia GPU

* Apps that are compiled with the hardened runtime (most) that wanted to use these drivers and gpus would need to bundle the driver within the app

 

The reason for this is apple's DLL injection protection means that apps will only load libs signed by the app developer or by apple.  (DLL injection protection can be turned off if the user disables system integrity protection remember). 

However for compute tasks were devs already bundle CUDA runtime within the app asking them to bundle the user-space PCIe driver would not be to much and many devs would opt to do this if that means they could support macOS with their existing CUDA backed for users willing to connect and additional Nvidia GPU. Even for display tasks (Vk and OpenGL support) devs could bundle the gpu driver.

The driver does not need to even be included in the main apps install it could be downloaded later on demand as long as it is signed using the same developer certificate. 

Would be great if Apple added a user-space display/compute driver api to that vendors could submit addition metal devices to the system but that might be very complex. 

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4 hours ago, brian105 said:

how poor the improvements with the newer GPU generations are

Say what? 😄 Do you have any idea how big the difference is on rendering for applications between Gtx and rtx? It's not bad to be out of touch, but those statements are totally wrong. 

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2 hours ago, PeachGr said:

Say what? 😄 Do you have any idea how big the difference is on rendering for applications between Gtx and rtx? It's not bad to be out of touch, but those statements are totally wrong. 

Oh look, somebody's been watching too many NVIDIA presentations. Woopee, 3060 is twice as fast as 1060 6gb in raster! And its $80 higher MSRP fails to conceal how miserable of an improvement this is, given it's been nearly 5 years since the 1060 launched. 

Do you not understand why people aren't keen on upgrading? The value isn't there. I'd argue the value doesn't start until the 3060ti, and those cards are still decently above MSRP to make it worth it. 

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7 hours ago, brian105 said:

which is still a lot considering how poor the improvements with the newer GPU generations are

The RTX 3060 Ti is 55% more powerful than the GTX 1070 Ti and 28% more powerful than the RTX 2070...

A PC Enthusiast since 2011
AMD Ryzen 5 2600@4.1GHz | GIGABYTE GTX 1660 GAMING OC @ Core 2085MHz Memory 5000MHz
Cinebench R15: 1349cb | Unigine Superposition 1080p Extreme: 3566
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14 minutes ago, brian105 said:

Oh look, somebody's been watching too many NVIDIA presentations. Woopee, 3060 is twice as fast as 1060 6gb in raster! And its $80 higher MSRP fails to conceal how miserable of an improvement this is, given it's been nearly 5 years since the 1060 launched. 

Do you not understand why people aren't keen on upgrading? The value isn't there. I'd argue the value doesn't start until the 3060ti, and those cards are still decently above MSRP to make it worth it. 

We are talking, about Mac, so mostly productivity. 3060 on optix rendering is about 10 times faster that 1060, or way more if 1060 runs out of VRAM. People ate not upgrading, because people used to upgrade every 5 years anyway. 3060 is a ticket to programs that use GPU acceleration that a 1060 can't even give you access, as an incompatible device. If a user is happy with his hardware is irrelevant to what Nvidia does. My brother is happy with Gtx 1050 2gb, that doesn't mean that Nvidia had to release a product for him

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