Installing AMD Radeon drivers on a 2013 Mac Pro (updated for version 15.x)

The following guide will show you how to install AMD Radeon graphics drivers on a Mac Pro 2013 running Windows. Currently the Mac Pro uses workstation graphics from the AMD FirePro D-series, which utilizes the same chipset as the Radeon 7900 / R9 series. This means that you can use those graphics drivers instead of the FirePro drivers. Why would somebody do this? Let’s say you have a Mac Pro as a professional workstation at home, you’d most likely use Mac OS X for those tasks. If not, then it would be a waste of money. If you’re into PC gaming, you can dual-boot the Mac Pro with Windows and use it as a decent gaming rig. The AMD FirePro drivers are optimized for professional applications, and not for gaming. Thus playing a game using those drivers won’t be optimal (read: dramatic). However, by installing the AMD Radeon drivers it will be optimized for gaming. You can use the latest gaming profiles including CrossFire, which will dramatically improve the performance. I don’t have any numbers to compare between those drivers, but on the same hardware with the FirePro drivers (dual D700) it can barely manage to run Left 4 Dead 2 (a game from 2009) on Medium quality (1920×1080). Using the Radeon 15.11 drivers I can play Fallout 4 on High – Ultra quality (2560×1440), so the performance boost is insane.

In this tutorial I will show you how to install these drivers. I’ve written a tutorial about this in the past, but that stopped working with the Catalyst 15.x drivers (http://www.royhochstenbach.com/the-amd-firepro-d-series-in-the-2013-mac-pro/) The installation will fail immediately as it will complain that it can’t detect a compatible graphics card (“We are unable to find a driver for your system. No supported AMD hardware was detected”).  Installing the drivers manually will cause performance issues or even refuse to load at all. This tutorial has been updated for that purpose.

Make sure you read this tutorial first, and please be advised that this procedure is not supported by AMD and I’m not responsible for any issues with your system.

I’ve used the following tutorial as reference: http://www.remkoweijnen.nl/blog/2015/09/21/update-amd-display-driver-under-bootcamp/

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Configuring NOD32 Business Edition on Linux and OS X by command line

The Linux and OS X versions of ESET NOD32 Anti-Virus (Business Edition) require an X-server to present in order to install. Since this isn’t an issue on OS X, it might on Linux since this isn’t installed on most servers. Although you can use the ESET Remote Administration Console to generate a custom installer to circumvent this, sometimes you might need to make a manual change in the configuration. I will show you how to do this using the command line (very useful for remote access).

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The AMD FirePro D series in the 2013 Mac Pro. What is it exactly?

Please note that this procedure does not work with the AMD Catalyst 15.x drivers. You can find an updated guide here: Installing AMD Radeon drivers on a 2013 Mac Pro (updated for version 15.x)

Apple has fitted the 2013 Mac Pro with AMD Firepro graphics. You can choose between the FirePro D300, D500 and D700 in a dual-configuration. After searching around on the AMD website, I couldn’t find any reference at all. So it must be some kind of OEM solution. After receiving my Mac Pro with the FirePro D700, it was time to investigate.

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Installing Windows 8.1 on a 2013 Mac Pro

Installing Windows 8.1 on a 2013 Mac Pro was challenging, but I’ve managed to get it working after a lot of hassle. I’ll share my experience and the solution that worked for me.

I was using the Mac Pro and the Promise Pegasus2 R4. I would divide the internal SSD to get Windows installed on that one (installing Windows directly on the Pegasus2 is not possible).

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Afraid of the NSA breaching your privacy? It gets worse.

Edward Snowden’s reveal of NSA’s covert online operations changed the way we think about our privacy. They basically have the ability (and the right) to obtain information about people by any means necessary. Searching through people’s data without a warrant is unconstitutional, yet their excuse is protecting homeland security.  A recent discovery published by The Guardian has even revealed something shocking, the NSA can decrypt almost any ecryption algorithm on the Internet using super computers. But should we be concerned about this? The answer is both yes and no. Our privacy and rights are at stake, but there’s even something more worrying.

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Configuring Sudo, the proper way

A very useful application for Linux and BSD systems is the sudo application. This allows a user to execute a root task without being logged in as root. There are some security concerns when this is not configured correctly. Fortunately most distributions have this enabled only for the ‘sudo’ usergroup. But in some cases you want sudo to merge into your environment, instead of having to change your environment for sudo.

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The Windows 8 failure

Before reading any further, please let me clarify that this is not just another rant with the the never-ending “Windows sucks, it’s a big fail” nonsense written by people who haven’t even used a product but complain about it anyhow. I have actually used Windows 8 for a short period, and I will explain how my (horrible) experience with Windows 8 went. It’s not my intension to start flaming the Microsoft product line again. I once hoped I could write a positive article about a Microsoft product, but so far haven’t been able to find a good product.

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