Nvidia's Hackintosh Support Is an Insurgency Against Apple's Un-Upgradeable Computers

The most powerful graphics card on the market has Apple support but works with almost no Apple computers.

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Apr 13 2017, 3:36pm

For a site called Motherboard, we very rarely write about the various components that make up a computer—much less a driver update for a very specific video card. But in this case I think we should make an exception.

Last week, Nvidia announced the TITAN Xp graphics card, a GPU that is the most powerful consumer-grade card. It also announced that the TITAN Xp would come with drivers for MacOS, meaning you can put it in Apple computers. Nvidia will also make all of its Pascal-based GPUs compatible with MacOS.

The catch here is that there's only one Apple computer that has the PCI slot for a new graphics card: The 2012 Mac Pro. So if you want to put a $1,200 GPU in a computer you can now buy on eBay for a couple hundred bucks, go for it. Or you could buy a series of dongles and cases, edit some system files in the MacOS terminal, buy an external display, and use the TITAN on a MacBook Pro.

Or we could just reckon with the fact that Nvidia is now making graphics cards for Hackintoshes, because Apple currently does not make any powerful computers. The Apple developer community is pissed that the new MacBook Pros are underpowered and the Mac Pro hasn't gotten a significant upgrade in four years.

A new, modular Mac Pro that could presumably support the TITAN isn't expected until sometime next year. Over on the Hackintosh subreddit, a post about Nvidia's MacOS support is the most upvoted thread of all time; people will no longer have to deal with the myriad compatibilty issues that have plagued GPUs used in Hackintoshes.

Hackintoshes, meanwhile, have become the computer of choice for many Apple developers.

"OMG, i'd thought i'd never see the day. Am i dreaming? Like seriously this can't be happening right now," Redditor spongeyperson posted in the Hackintosh subreddit.

"Holy shit," Redditor EvaUnit01 wrote. "I can finally get a modern GPU so I can work more quickly?
Best week on record."

And so what you really have here is a revolt against Apple's closed ecosystem and unupgradeable designs. Apple is planning to reverse course and make the new Mac Pro upgradeable, and the Hackintosh movement has become so big, that the biggest GPU maker in the world is making products for it.