Low End GPUs

Low End dedicated GPUs for a Low End Hackintosh (Summer 2022)

Update 2023: as graphics card prices have normalized, currently the cards with the best price performance ratio and widest availability for a low end Hackintosh would be the RX 570 and RX 580 cards.

Sometimes people need a dedicated GPU for a really low-end system which is CPU compatible, but may not have a compatible iGPU (Nehalem to Sandy Bridge for example) for recent macOS versions.

The following can be found on eBay which are listed as compatible in the GPU Buyers Guide:

Lowest End Nvidia (under US$30)

If you have Haswell (Intel 4th Gen) HD Graphics or newer, just use the iGPU, as these Nvidia cards are actually slower. These cards will only work up to Big Sur, unless additional patches are installed with OCLP. Also certain kinds of DRM, which depend on hardware acceleration, will not be available.

Lowest End AMD (under US$50)

These cards should work up to Monterey. Certain kinds of DRM, which depend on hardware acceleration, will not be available. The R7 cards , which will need a Fake ID, have not been used as commonly in hackintosh systems and may therefore have unforeseen issues.

Each of these cheaper cards have some advantages and potential drawbacks. Many countries outside of the US do not have such a thriving second hand market and choices might be much more limited at even higher prices.

Polaris cards

Personally I prefer something more performant than the ones above, as some of these cards can barely keep up with iGPU performance as seen in the benchmarks below. I think for systems with a slightly higher budget or a more recent CPU, one of the cards below would be a better choice. Also certain kinds of DRM require a Polaris or newer card as explained in the DRM section of the OpenCore Post-Install guide. I noticed, that a lot of these cards on eBay are from XFX which are not recommended.

A correct Baffin-core RX 550 can be tricky to find, as often it is not easy to ascertain if a model is using an incompatible Lexa core or not.

Polaris under US$70

Prices for the RX 560 have become much more attractive in recent months, which makes them the best overall choice for low cost cards.

Polaris under US$90

Prices for RX 570/580 have also come down to more attractive levels providing about twice the performance of the RX 560

Benchmarks Metal & OpenCL

The Apple M1 GPU is shown as a baseline of modern GPU performance as supplied by Apple since 2020/21. Only the Polaris cards have comparable performance.

Geekbench 5 Metal Benchmarks

  • 44601 - AMD Radeon RX 580

  • 40200 - AMD Radeon RX 570

  • 39758 - Apple M1 Pro

  • 21066 - Apple M1 GPU

  • 21073 - AMD Radeon RX 560

  • 19154 - AMD Radeon RX 550

  • 17883 - AMD Radeon RX 460

  • 6862 - Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655

  • 4550 - Intel UHD Graphics 630

  • 4041 - Intel HD Graphics 530

  • 1931 NVIDIA GeForce GT 730

  • 1108 - NVIDIA GeForce GT 710

  • 1060 - NVIDIA Quadro K600

Geekbench 5 OpenCL Benchmarks

  • 49182 - AMD Radeon RX 580 Series

  • 41087 - Radeon RX 570 Series

  • 35724 - Apple M1 Pro

  • 18178 - Apple M1

  • 21066 - Radeon RX 560 Series

  • 19398 - AMD Radeon RX460

  • 12616 - AMD Radeon RX 550

  • 8878 - AMD Radeon R7 250 Series

  • 7434 - IntelIris Plus Graphics 655

  • 5326 - AMD Radeon R7 240 Series

  • 5097 - Intel UHD Graphics 630

  • 3682 - NVIDIA GeForce GT 730

  • 3075 - Intel HD Graphics 4600

  • 2028 - GeForce GT 710

  • 1578 - Quadro K600

  • 401 - Intel HD Graphics 2500

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