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Old Feb 8, 2012, 01:25 PM   #1
strwrsfrk
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Mac Pro 1,1 64-bit EFI Question

I've read through the forums and found what seemed like conflicting answers regarding this topic; therefore, if someone has answered this in the past, I apologize.

Mac Pro 1,1, 2x Dual Core Xeons, 8GB RAM, 7300GT.

I would like to flash the onboard EFI to 64-bit. Some reports seem to indicate that this is possible and will cause the Mac Pro to identify as a 2,1, while others say that the EFI cannot be flashed at all.

Ultimately, I would like to put two quad core Xeons in place of the duals.

Is it possible to upgrade to 64-bit EFI?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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From what I understand, the flash will make your machine be recognized as a 2,1 but NOT give you 64-bit EFI.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 01:33 PM   #3
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What is the functional benefit of flashing in this case, then? I thought it was to provide broader support for video cards (i.e. 6870) and HDDs. Does it actually do anything?
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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It gives you the possibility to use some CPU's that the 1,1 firmware will not recognize. Nothing more basically.

However, if you are running 10.6.8 or later you can pop in a 6870 and it will work (with a few issues, read Netkas' forums for those).
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by G-Force View Post
It gives you the possibility to use some CPU's that the 1,1 firmware will not recognize. Nothing more basically.

However, if you are running 10.6.8 or later you can pop in a 6870 and it will work (with a few issues, read Netkas' forums for those).
Does this include CPUs beyond x5350 and x5355s? What *better* CPUs would this support to make it generally desirable?

Thanks for the info.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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Yes, you can flash with the 2,1 firmware, but the 2,1 firmware wasn't 64 bit EFI either.

3,1 was the first with 64 bit EFI.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:27 PM   #7
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5365, but why not try the "Search" function?

This topic has been rehashed a dozen times or more, and the answers haven't changed one iota in several years.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:27 PM   #8
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i beleive it stops at the x5365. mac pro 1,1 can only use woodcrest or clovertown with the x5365 being the top of the food chain for the 1,1.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by strwrsfrk View Post
Does this include CPUs beyond x5350 and x5355s? What *better* CPUs would this support to make it generally desirable?

Thanks for the info.
You can sorta turn your computer into a a MP 3,1 it just takes alot of work..

Remember the 5355 is not the end of the line for the 53 series Xeons..

Keep the computer as is play with it if it does what you need you'll spend less money in the end buying a knew mac pro..my 3,1 started life as a 1,1 and I have spent an unbelieveable amount of money gettin 1/2 to 2/3 of the processing power available in a single processor 2010 MP
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MacVidCards View Post
5365, but why not try the "Search" function?

This topic has been rehashed a dozen times or more, and the answers haven't changed one iota in several years.
I've searched through these forums several times and the info appears to be incomplete or conflicting. As this is my first Mac Pro, I do not necessarily understand how 1/3 of the answer I need in one thread relates to another 1/3 residing in another.

Please don't be so quick to condescend; sometimes "The Answer" is not as simple to find as throwing two or three terms (which someone may not know, anyway) into the search bar and reading the results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
You can sorta turn your computer into a a MP 3,1 it just takes alot of work..

Remember the 5355 is not the end of the line for the 53 series Xeons..

Keep the computer as is play with it if it does what you need you'll spend less money in the end buying a knew mac pro..my 3,1 started life as a 1,1 and I have spent an unbelieveable amount of money gettin 1/2 to 2/3 of the processing power available in a single processor 2010 MP
This is really interesting. As a DIY nerd, I may have to dance with the devil and see what lies down this path, anyway. But I appreciate the warning

And to everyone who has helped, a big THANK YOU! I feel like I know now where to keep getting more information.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanyChris View Post
You can sorta turn your computer into a a MP 3,1 it just takes alot of work..

Remember the 5355 is not the end of the line for the 53 series Xeons..

Keep the computer as is play with it if it does what you need you'll spend less money in the end buying a knew mac pro..my 3,1 started life as a 1,1 and I have spent an unbelieveable amount of money gettin 1/2 to 2/3 of the processing power available in a single processor 2010 MP
I don't believe there is any way to make a 1,1 have the boot chime be followed by a boot screen on an EFI64 video card.

This means 1,1 and 2,1 are forever limited to 8800GT as best Nvidia card.

There may be software hacks to run a GTX480/580 but that is nothing like having them run "natively".

When I read the first post in this thread I was amused by the OP saying he had read reports of flashing a 1,1 into an EFI64 machine. There are of course no such reports. I have often marveled at the power of wishful or magical thinking. People hearing or remembering something they WANTED to hear or read, when in fact it was never said or written.

But when people say that it may be possible to turn a 1,1 into a 3,1, well now we know where maybe this guy "heard" or "read" these reports.

Last week I got an email from a customer who told me he would be getting an EFI64 Nvidia card for his 1,1. He believed that since he was installing some "64 bit Xeons" that he would soon have a 64 bit machine. The fact that he was REMOVING 64 bit Xeons to do his upgrade never crossed his mind.

I worked with a guy who was developing the 1,1 to 2,1 flash. We went to a great deal of trouble to extract the file from my 1,1. He was trying to find a way to run 3,1 EFI. The end result was that there was some component that changed, RAM controller maybe? In any case, the knowledge needed to combine the boot EFIs was beyond his abilities.

I'm sure APple could do it in minutes should they wish. They probably even HAVE a 64 bit EFI for our machines. But it won't be out in the wild until these are obsolete relics, if ever.

The 1,1 and 2,1 have many limitations. The fact that they are EFI32 is something we are stuck with. Yes, you can use Hackintosh boot schemes to make it think it is a 3,1 and run a 64 bit kernel. But at some point ask yourself what your time is worth. At some point in life you realize that spending umpteen hours fiddle fading with boot loaders just so you can avoid dropping $1K to upgrade to a 4,1 is silliness and a monumental waste of time.

If and when the 6,1 comes out, the prices on 4,1 and 5,1 will drop like a bird shot from the sky. Wait for then if you must. Add an SSD and some RAM, but trying to get EFI64 on one is a fool's errand at this point.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 02:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strwrsfrk View Post
...Mac Pro 1,1, 2x Dual Core Xeons, 8GB RAM, 7300GT....

I would like to flash the onboard EFI to 64-bit. Some reports seem to indicate that this is possible and will cause the Mac Pro to identify as a 2,1, while others say that the EFI cannot be flashed at all.
Given the question, I'm under the assumption you mean the MP's firmware, not the video card's.

If this is the case, read on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by strwrsfrk View Post
Ultimately, I would like to put two quad core Xeons in place of the duals.
This is possible, but doesn't need a firmware update to be accomplished.

Intel used the same core technology between the 51xx and 53xx series CPU's, in which the 53xx series provided the first Quad core Xeons.

It's a simple drop-in replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strwrsfrk View Post
Is it possible to upgrade to 64-bit EFI?
Unfortunately, not really, as Apple never wrote EFI64 firmware for the 1,1 (2006) or 2,1 (2007) systems. There's no EFI64 code to flash it with, regardless if you get get a flash utility that would write it.

BTW, they both use the same logic board and firmware, which is EFI32. Apple just changed the identifier in order to differentiate the two systems as the 2,1 offered Quad core CPU's which allowed them to create the first Octad MP.

Now if you know how to write EFI firmware, you could try to do it yourself, but it would require specialized tools (software + hardware) and skills to accomplish.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 03:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MacVidCards View Post
When I read the first post in this thread I was amused by the OP saying he had read reports of flashing a 1,1 into an EFI64 machine. There are of course no such reports. I have often marveled at the power of wishful or magical thinking. People hearing or remembering something they WANTED to hear or read, when in fact it was never said or written.
Jesus, dude. I asked nicely to quit condescending, so back off. I pretty clearly am not familiar with flashing EFIs or Mac Pros in general, so instead of being a jerk, why not just share some of your knowledge?

From the rest of your post, you have quite a bit of experience with this sort of thing, and I would appreciate sharing in your wisdom and experience any time. But when a thread starter indicates that he was unsuccessful using the search functions and is confused, then apologizes in advance in case the information exists and he was unable to find it, why do you feel the need to do anything other than offer assistance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVidCards View Post
I don't believe there is any way to make a 1,1 have the boot chime be followed by a boot screen on an EFI64 video card.

This means 1,1 and 2,1 are forever limited to 8800GT as best Nvidia card.

There may be software hacks to run a GTX480/580 but that is nothing like having them run "natively".

The 1,1 and 2,1 have many limitations. The fact that they are EFI32 is something we are stuck with.
This is all very useful information, and quite relevant. For that, I thank you.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Intel used the same core technology between the 51xx and 53xx series CPU's, in which the 53xx series provided the first Quad core Xeons.

It's a simple drop-in replacement.

Apple never wrote EFI64 firmware for the 1,1 (2006) or 2,1 (2007) systems. There's no EFI64 code to flash it with, regardless if you get get a flash utility that would write it.

BTW, they both use the same logic board and firmware, which is EFI32. Apple just changed the identifier in order to differentiate the two systems as the 2,1 offered Quad core CPU's which allowed them to create the first Octad MP.
Thank you. I had inferred that the 53xx series would work, but I did not realize that the logic board was identical from 1,1 to 2,1.

Now I just have to consider the price/time :: benefit ratio...
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 03:45 PM   #14
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Yes as Nanofrog stated, it is impossible for a 1,1 or 2,1 MP to have 64 bit EFI, however they can use some newer video cards such as the AMD 5770, I used one when I had my 1,1.

There are quite a few people in this forum with 1,1 systems that have updated them with faster quad core CPU's, SSD drives and faster video cards, so its certainly possible to get more life out of your aging 1,1.
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Old Feb 8, 2012, 05:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by strwrsfrk View Post
Now I just have to consider the price/time :: benefit ratio...
$250 maximum for two x5355 2.66ghz quad-core processors
$5 for arctic silver

1/2 hour of time to install

geekbench 64-bit over 10,000

your call

for me it was a no brainer. spend a couple hundred at get another couple of years out of my mac or spend a couple thousand to get a new one.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 01:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by strwrsfrk View Post
Thank you.
NP. Glad it helped.

As per the EFI64, there are reasons it would be nice, such as it might not be possible to move to newer versions of OS X in the future, and it can make graphic card updates a bit of a challenge (various hacking tricks has about made this one moot ATM IIRC, but it's not impossible that it could crop up again).

But if you can stick it out with whatever the last version of the OS that works in EFI32 based systems and get by with a limited GPU if that does turn out to be the case, then you may be able to eek out some additional life from it (either at it's current usage, or "downgrade/down-line" it to a task it would still be suited to.

As per when the next version of OS X is delivered, I'm not sure. But I do think it's worth mentioning.

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Originally Posted by strwrsfrk View Post
Now I just have to consider the price/time :: benefit ratio...
Now you've reached the hard part.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 02:07 AM   #17
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You *can* boot an MP 1,1 into 64bit OSX by treating it like a hackintosh. That means PC cards like the 6870 will boot *with* the Apple logo. As can be expected, there are some issues with this but some have succesfully done this.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 04:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MacVidCards View Post
I don't believe there is any way to make a 1,1 have the boot chime be followed by a boot screen on an EFI64 video card.

This means 1,1 and 2,1 are forever limited to 8800GT as best Nvidia card.

There may be software hacks to run a GTX480/580 but that is nothing like having them run "natively".

When I read the first post in this thread I was amused by the OP saying he had read reports of flashing a 1,1 into an EFI64 machine. There are of course no such reports. I have often marveled at the power of wishful or magical thinking. People hearing or remembering something they WANTED to hear or read, when in fact it was never said or written.

But when people say that it may be possible to turn a 1,1 into a 3,1, well now we know where maybe this guy "heard" or "read" these reports.

Last week I got an email from a customer who told me he would be getting an EFI64 Nvidia card for his 1,1. He believed that since he was installing some "64 bit Xeons" that he would soon have a 64 bit machine. The fact that he was REMOVING 64 bit Xeons to do his upgrade never crossed his mind.

I worked with a guy who was developing the 1,1 to 2,1 flash. We went to a great deal of trouble to extract the file from my 1,1. He was trying to find a way to run 3,1 EFI. The end result was that there was some component that changed, RAM controller maybe? In any case, the knowledge needed to combine the boot EFIs was beyond his abilities.

I'm sure APple could do it in minutes should they wish. They probably even HAVE a 64 bit EFI for our machines. But it won't be out in the wild until these are obsolete relics, if ever.

The 1,1 and 2,1 have many limitations. The fact that they are EFI32 is something we are stuck with. Yes, you can use Hackintosh boot schemes to make it think it is a 3,1 and run a 64 bit kernel. But at some point ask yourself what your time is worth. At some point in life you realize that spending umpteen hours fiddle fading with boot loaders just so you can avoid dropping $1K to upgrade to a 4,1 is silliness and a monumental waste of time.

If and when the 6,1 comes out, the prices on 4,1 and 5,1 will drop like a bird shot from the sky. Wait for then if you must. Add an SSD and some RAM, but trying to get EFI64 on one is a fool's errand at this point.
The fastest way to get 64bit EFI in a 1,1 is a 3,1 logic board and rear fan assembly..which is exactly what I did..eveything else is OK..but a refub logic board is 800 plus..last I looked 5365's were a250 to 300 each and the rear fan assemblies were 40-60 which totals 1400-1500 so it's not cost effective.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 04:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
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You *can* boot an MP 1,1 into 64bit OSX by treating it like a hackintosh. That means PC cards like the 6870 will boot *with* the Apple logo. As can be expected, there are some issues with this but some have succesfully done this.
no, it wont boot with the apple logo.
it will boot with the chameleon logo, because you are talking about installing a bootloader.

we never talked about 64-bit kernel. we're talking about 64-bit EFI.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 07:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by macn00blet View Post
$250 maximum for two x5355 2.66ghz quad-core processors
$5 for arctic silver

1/2 hour of time to install

geekbench 64-bit over 10,000

your call

for me it was a no brainer. spend a couple hundred at get another couple of years out of my mac or spend a couple thousand to get a new one.
The processor upgrade isn't particularly daunting in terms of cost or time, that's true. But if I went in, I'd go pretty much all in, which would involve new RAM and GPU, as well. Best-case I've worked out is $120 for CPUs, $100 for 8GB RAM (Amazon), and $160 for a 6870 (Newegg).

For the machine that would emerge, it isn't much, but I don't have a huge budget.

Also, having done a few Hackintosh builds, I know that I want only genuine Apple code running Mac OS X on this Pro. Hackintoshing is a fun project in its own right, but with so much effort going into genuine parts here, I'd rather it be a legitimate Pro.

I'll see how it goes, and I'll update this thread when I've finished everything so anyone who's interested can follow.

Thanks again to everyone for their help!
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 11:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macn00blet View Post
$250 maximum for two x5355 2.66ghz quad-core processors
$5 for arctic silver
1/2 hour of time to install
geekbench 64-bit over 10,000

your call

for me it was a no brainer. spend a couple hundred at get another couple of years out of my mac or spend a couple thousand to get a new one.


$900 hackintosh...

just saying
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 12:30 PM   #22
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Image

$900 hackintosh...

just saying

so you spent $650 more than most 1,1 folks to get a 2000 point increase. that's nice and has nothing to do with what OP is asking. just saying.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 12:35 PM   #23
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Image

$900 hackintosh...

just saying
I have the i7 Hackintosh in my sig for play. Hopefully, this Mac Pro 1,1 will be for work, which is why I want it to run 100% genuine Apple code.

Hopefully I can spend ~$370 to get the 1,1 up to the standards we've been discussing in this thread. That was why I was hoping for a 64-bit EFI; I wanted more GPU upgrade options, mostly.
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 12:39 PM   #24
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I have the i7 Hackintosh in my sig for play. Hopefully, this Mac Pro 1,1 will be for work, which is why I want it to run 100% genuine Apple code.

Hopefully I can spend ~$370 to get the 1,1 up to the standards we've been discussing in this thread. That was why I was hoping for a 64-bit EFI; I wanted more GPU upgrade options, mostly.
Just get a 5770. The 5870 offers little benefit in the 1,1. Performance ceiling of sorts. can't say if it is just because of procs or if it is a limit on the board. Which would also mean a 6870 would suffer the same as it is a slower 5870. More or less. What else would there be available with the flashed EFI?
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Old Feb 9, 2012, 12:57 PM   #25
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What else would there be available with the flashed EFI?
I'm not even sure. As is probably painfully obvious after reading through this thread, I am woefully ignorant regarding the ability and usefulness of flashing the Mac Pro's EFI - be it to the 2,1 EFI or a 64-bit EFI (which I now know is more-or-less impossible).

I inferred that newer cards (like the 6870) could only be fully utilized with a 64-bit EFI. After this thread, it sounds like that may be true. However, since the 1,1 and 2,1 EFIs cannot be flashed to 64-bit, there seems no reason to throw the extra $70 from a 5770 to the 6870.
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