Legacy NVIDIA Patching
- Please note this page is more of an info dump, we won't be going to too great of detail on setup though we plan to expand this page more for it.
With legacy NVIDIA GPUs, macOS has difficulties enabling acceleration due to many missing properties. To work around this, we can inject properties into IOService for macOS to easily interpret.
To start off, we'll be assuming the following:
- macOS has already been installed in some way
- We need macOS installed to determine certain properties
- Your GPU is either Fermi or older
- Kepler and newer do not need Device Property injection
- Lilu and WhateverGreen are loaded
- verify by running
kextstat | grep -E "Lilu|WhateverGreen"
- verify by running
Finding the GPU pathing
First lets grab gfxutil and run the following:
path/to/gfxutil -f display
This should spit out something like the following:
67:00.0 10DE:0A20 /PC02@0/BR2A@0/GFX0@0/ = PciRoot(0x2)/Pci(0x0,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x0)
What we care about is the PciRoot section, as this is where our GPU is located and where we'll be injecting our properties:
Building our DeviceProperties
With NVIDIA GPUs, there's actually not too many properties required for setup. The main ones that are recommended are the following:
|model||ex. GeForce GT 220||GPU model name, cosmetic|
|device_type||NVDA,Parent||Always set as |
|VRAM,totalsize||ex. 0000004000000000||Sets VRAM size|
|rom-revision||Dortania||Property must exist, however the value can be anything|
|NVCAP||ex. 0500000000000F00000000000000000F00000000||sets display properties used by macOS, more info below|
|@0,compatible||NVDA,NVMac||Always set as |
|@0,device_type||display||Always set as |
|@0,name||NVDA,Display-A||Always set as |
|@1,compatible||NVDA,NVMac||Always set as |
|@1,device_type||display||Always set as |
|@1,name||NVDA,Display-B||Always set as |
And to calculate the properties few properties:
Technically cosmetic, however macOS expects this entry so we'll provide it. The format is as follows:
GeForce [Device Name] # Example GeForce GT 220
Amount of VRAM present on your card, in hexadecimal.
For this example, lets convert 1024MB to hexadecimal:
# Convert 1024MB Megabytes to Bytes echo '1024 * 1024 * 1024' | bc 1073741824 # Convert from decimal to hexadecimal echo 'obase=16; ibase=10; 1073741824' | bc 40000000 # Hexswap so it can be injected correctly # ie. swap in pairs 40000000 -> 40 00 00 00 -> 00 00 00 40 # Pad the value to 8 bytes with 00 at the end 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 # And you're done VRAM,totalsize = 0000004000000000
Simply can be any value, however the property must exist as some GPUs fail to initialize without it(ex. GT 220's)
rom-revision = Dortania
This is where the fun comes it, as we'll now need to calculate the NVCAP value. Thankfully for us, 1Revenger1 has created a tool to automate the process: NVCAP Calculator
To use this program, simply grab your VBIOS(TechPowerUp hosts most VBIOS) and run NVCAP-Calculator within your terminal.
Once its running, you should see the following:
Give it your VBIOS and then press enter. Once it takes you to the main menu, select option 2 to take you to the NVCAP calculation page.
Here you can see the connectors that NVCAP-Calculator was able to find. Each Display may represent multiple DCB Entries, such as DVI (normally represented as two entries) or duplicate DCB entries. The goal here is to assign each display to a head. Each head can only output to one display at a time. For example, if your using 2 DVI ports, each should be on their own head to have proper dual monitor support.
Note that some displays may be assigned automatically. An LVDS display will be put on it's own head automatically, and TV displays will be put on the TV head automatically.
To start assigning displays, press
1. To assign a display to a head, you type the number of the display then the number of the head. For example, typing in
1 1 results in:
You can type in
1 1 again to remove the display from the head. Once you are done assigning displays, it should look something like this:
Once you are done setting up the displays, press
q to return to the other NVCAP settings. You should set the rest of the NVCAP settings as follows:
|NVCAP Value||Details||Example Command|
|Script based Power/Backlight|
|Field F (Unknown)|
Once done, enter in
c to calculate the NVCAP value
You now have your NVCAP value!
NVCAP: 05000000 00000300 0c000000 0000000f 00000000
For those who are wanting a break down on how to calculate the NVCAP value:
Info based off of WhateverGreen's NVCAP.bt file
|Byte 1||NVCAP Version|
|Byte 2||Laptop with Lid|
Now that we've gotten all our properties, we can now add em up and place them in our config.plist:
PciRoot(0x2)/Pci(0x0,0x0)/Pci(0x0,0x0) model | String | GeForce GT 220 device_type | String | NVDA,Parent VRAM,totalsize | Data | 0000004000000000 rom-revision | String | Dortania NVCAP | Data | 05000000 00000300 0c000000 0000000f 00000000 @0,compatible | String | NVDA,NVMac @0,device_type | String | display @0,name | String | NVDA,Display-A @1,compatible | String | NVDA,NVMac @1,device_type | String | display @1,name | String | NVDA,Display-B
Open your config.plist and head to
DeviceProperties -> Add, next create a new child with the name of your GPU's path(ie the one with gfxutil). Then, finally add the properties as children to the PciRoot. You should end up with something similar: