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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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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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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Windows 8: defective by design?

Microsoft has been known as a company that changes its direction, and more importantly changes the user interfaces and names of their products continuously. Their search website Bing just doesn’t gain much attention, Windows Vista was one of their biggest failures (aside from Microsoft Bob) and now they try to change the way people interact with computers via the new Metro interface. What’s the problem? I’ll explain my view about it.

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