2008 Mac Pro Chipset Drivers [Windows]

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Infrared, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Wanting to be self-reliant and wanting also the very latest
    drivers: what is the best way of obtaining up to date drivers
    for the 2008 Mac Pro's chipset?

    Other questions:

    What is the purpose of an inf update utility? Do updated infs
    allow access to updated drivers somehow?

    Is the 2008 MP mainboard made by Intel? Or is it made to an
    Intel specification with many Intel made components on it?

    Have Intel made a very similar piece of kit for which there is
    a publicly available complete set of chipset drivers?

    As you can see, there's a lot I don't understand here. Any
    help and/or corrections would be appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    The Mac Pro logic boards are using Intel chipsets. The 2006, 2007 and 2008 are 771 socket with Intel 5000 chipsets. In the 2008 they went to a 64-bit EFI from 32-bit previously. The 2008 version supports the 45 nm x52xx and x54xx series Xeons. The previous boards only supported 65 nm chips of the x51xx and x53xx series. The logic board is probably made by Foxconn and is very close to an Intel original, but has some propriatory features to suit their I/O, memory (risers) and cooling design. With regard to chipset software it is compatible. The chipset features 6 SATA ports and IDE ports for ODs.

    In the Nehalem design for 1366 socket Xeons Intel dropped the dual core approach and made quad CPUs (x35xx series) which run in single socket boards only. Apple followed suit on their quads. So you have only one socket and no upgrade option as you had with the previous models. Nehalem boards are using Intel's 5520 chipset and the :apple: board design is even more propriatory by the use of a daughter board for CPUs and RAM. The heat sinks have integrated fans as another propriatory feature. The Nehalem chipset has no IDE ports so you have only 5 SATA ports left when you use one for the superdrive OD.

    Windows chipset software is supplied in the bootcamp package of drivers which includes the chipset update utility. A bone of contention are the legacy drivers for the SATA ports which are provided for both the 5000 and the 5520 chipsets. OS X uses AHCI drivers on both chipsets but in Windows you have to download the Intel Matrix Storage Driver for AHCI to make use of the inherent speed advantage.


    Installing the AHCI drivers is far from trivial though. You are supposed to slipstream them into the ISO file of the Windows DVD prior to burning. I will give you assistance with that if you intend on going that route.
  3. Infrared thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Yes, but some of those drivers are quite old (e.g., 2006). Since there is
    nothing newer from Apple, I wondered if it might be possible to get newer
    versions from elsewhere (and the drivers appear to be sourced from a 3rd
    party anyway).

    Thanks for your post. It was informative.
  4. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Chipset drivers aren't usually updated often...

    I mean, the latest i7 chipset drivers are from 2008.

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