macOS Mojave and 2013 Mac Pro: Interim Report [UPDATE]

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The 2013 Mac Pro and its AMD FirePro D300 GPU have had their share of glitches and woes over the years. But Mojave, I have noted, is the best macOS so far for that combo.

2013 Mac Pro
The glorious guts of the 2013 Mac Pro

As a refresher, my 2013 Mac Pro shipped with macOS Mavericks. Everything was perfect in terms of OS stability. In Unix palance, “Uptime” was great, and the only time a UNIX OS should have to be rebooted is when the system is updated.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case with Yosemite and El Capitan. I wrote about the problems back in 2016. “2013 Mac Pro Freezes Continue – Owners Have Little Recourse – Apple is Helpless.

By November of 2016, macOS Sierra has shipped. Things got a lot better. I wrote: “2013 Mac Pro GPU Freezes Appear to be Fixed by macOS Sierra.” With Sierra, I was getting uptimes of several weeks.

In High Sierra, graphics lockups were generally a thing of the past. But a lingering, well-known problem with the screensaver app persisted. Random Lockups Still Plague macOS Sierra and High Sierra El Capitan was the current OS, and we Mac Pro owners were pretty much helpless.

I started avoiding the screensaver and simply relied on Apple Menu > Lock Screen. But things broke loose in 10.13.5 in June of 2018 when I not only got graphics lockups several times a day, but also experienced frequent kernel panics. That was exciting. My joyful experience that started with Sierra was kaput.

Fortunately, High Sierra 10.13.6 solved those problems and I returned to uptimes as long as 30 days. With Mojave on the horizon, with its much stronger security, I was beginning to worry if Apple could maintain both the high level of system security in Mojave and the stability of the D300 GPUs.

Mojave to the Rescue

I need not have worried. I installed macOS Mojave (10.14.2) on the 2013 MacPro in late December, and my system has been flawless. Not a single weird event. No mysterious spinning beachballs that never end. No mouse freezes. Nothing.

Perfection

The last task to verify this bliss is to try letting the Mojave screensaver run overnight. I’ll update here on how that works out. But, until then, I can report that Mojave runs flawlessly on this Mac. I almost had 21 days of uptime, but had to reboot as a shot-in-the-dark attempt to solve an echoing problem in an app called Discord. (It didn’t help.)

One, I think, develops a subjective feel for each new macOS. Mojave just feels right. In the case of Mojave, with its required attention to Accessibility controls, one might expect that not all the kinks were worked out. Plus I had a podcasting workflow I was keen to preserve. So I waited until 10.14.2, and that paid off.

In summary, five years after purchasing the Mac Pro, I have a macOS that, both observationally and subjectively, feels like the rock solid OS that a UNIX OS should be. I am delighted.

I’ll keep you updated.

UPDATES:

23 Jan 2019. The standard screensaver, Flurry, ran overnight for 13 hours without a problem. Looks like the problem has been fixed.

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    Have you had any issues? I want to upgrade my Late 2013 Mac Pro to Mojave but it didn’t list my FirePro D700 in the list for Metal support. Does anyone know if the D700 is supported in Mojave? I tried chatting with Apple support and NO ONE would commit to saying that it would work fine. I was later transferred to the supervisor and he told me to check with AMD. Why in the hell would they know more about the OS than Apple tech support? Ridiculous.

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    Glass half full – Mojave is the most stable release of macOS since Snow Leopard.

    Glass half empty – Mojave is the most stable release of macOS since Snow Leopard.

    I mean, after Bertrand Serlet left and Hair Force One took over it’s taken 8 years to get the OS even close to as stable as it used to be…

    Old UNIX Guy

    Glad it’s sorted but five years is pretty bad for such an expensive product.