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Oxtart

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2022
5
0
Hello all.
My 2009 5,1 is currently sitting at Mojave and I’d like to bring it to Monterey, add some internal nvme drives and put a usb/c card in it.
Do I first instal opencore, bring it up to Monterey and then add the nvme drive and usb card?
Or
Should I add the nvme and usb card while at Mojave and then do opencore and Monterey last?
Hope this makes sense.
 

flat4

Contributor
Jul 14, 2009
269
77
Assuming you have a metal compatible gpu then yes OC is the next level so you can upgrade
 

Oxtart

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2022
5
0
Thank kd for response. Doesn’t really answer my question about order though. Yes have metal compatible gpu
 

flat4

Contributor
Jul 14, 2009
269
77
I did it a spinning disk to nvme and usb c after i upgraded to big sur. So i don't have the correct answer for you.
 

Oxtart

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2022
5
0
No that is what I was looking for. Hardware 1st then software
 

tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,087
13,282
Always do hardware upgrades before trying unsupported macOS releases, if you upgrade first how do you know if your have an issue with hardware or software/OC config?
 

Oxtart

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2022
5
0
Always do hardware upgrades before trying unsupported macOS releases, if you upgrade first how do you know if your have an issue with hardware or software/OC config?
Yes this was my thought. Any nvme drives/pci cards that you would recommend?
 

tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,087
13,282
I would advise first taking a look on the first post of the stickie:


All tried and true M2 blades are there.
 

RinkDinkus

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2022
70
84
Instagram: maxzeuner
Definitely recommend getting an SSD/NVMe to make thing thing more useable. Even though the SATA ports on these things are capped at SATA 2 speeds, they still feel plenty fast. Throwing in more RAM would be good too, depending on what you have already in there. I think you can do a max of 48GB triple channel or I think 64GB dual channel on the single CPU one.

If you don’t have a good video card, I would recommend getting one—specifically an AMD one since Nvidia drivers don’t exist past High Sierra. While I have wanted a little more performance from mine, I have a 4GB low profile RX560 and it does the job (just don’t expect to play any newer AAA games at high settings past 1080p). There are also two plugs on the motherboard that you can plug in power if you get a card that needs more power than just the 75W off the PCIe slot.

Quality of life upgrades you can get:
  • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card: you’ll have to see what/if your tower has one. I didn’t think mine did but it was useable up until Monterey. Guess they dropped drivers that this card uses past Big Sur.
  • CPU upgrade: you can get these CPUs pretty cheap(~$20), but you’ll need certain tools to take the heat sink(s) off. Make sure you get the right ones for the right Mac Pro config. I tried to use one of the dual CPU chips in my single CPU config and it ran the fans at 100% all the time. Ended up just putting the stock one back in. While these chips are cheap, don’t expect anything to compete with the current CPUs.
  • USB cards: you can definitely put more USBs in via the PCIe slots. Don’t know if they support power while sleeping though.
I love my Mac Pro 2009, and I’m definitely going to keep it as a plex server or something… but I’m ultimately looking to get an M-series MacBook to replace my current 2014 MacBook Pro. Can’t beat portability lol. You can definitely squeeze more life out of these things by going with the OpenCore route (Google Martin Lo OpenCore—they are a godsend) and getting them up to current, but it how far are you willing to go to make a decade old machine run things designed for this decade’s machines? That’s where I threw in the towel—I don’t have the time anymore to keep trying to tinker making sure an update won’t brick my computer because of driver/kext support.
 
Last edited:

avro707

macrumors 68000
Dec 13, 2010
1,849
1,195
Hello all.
My 2009 5,1 is currently sitting at Mojave and I’d like to bring it to Monterey, add some internal nvme drives and put a usb/c card in it.
Do I first instal opencore, bring it up to Monterey and then add the nvme drive and usb card?
Or
Should I add the nvme and usb card while at Mojave and then do opencore and Monterey last?
Hope this makes sense.

New processors like X5690 are a good first step.

But your 5,1 is a real 5,1 or a 4,1? This is crucial as they use different processors if I remember right.

More ram is useful, then get SSDs - those make a huge speed improvement over chugging old HDDs.

If you can upgrade the Bluetooth card it would also make a nice usability difference.

In my single CPU 2010 5,1 (a real 5,1) I could have 64GB ram with a single X5690 CPU.

In my dual CPU 5,1 I had 128GB ram.
 

flat4

Contributor
Jul 14, 2009
269
77
i got the 5680 in a heck of a deal for a matched paired $19 for both.
I did look for 5690 but they still wanted 40 a piece and the performance gain in not that much from what other users here have stated. Its snappy enough for me better than stock.
 
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