Getting Mac Pro 3.1 up and running

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by si93, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. si93 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    #1
    I've recently got my hands on some old Mac Pro 3.1's from work with the intention so get them up and running Mavericks.

    The issue being that they were stripped of all hard drives and graphics cards and as such I'm wondering whats the best hardware to buy to get these working.

    If I buy a SSD and a 3.1 compatible GPU, with a bootable Mavericks USB, am I going to encounter any issues?

    Any advice or general direction would be really appreciated.

    Cheers :)
     
  2. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #2
    You shouldn't run into any issues. Keep in mind that in a 3,1 (and all cMPs for that matter) the native SATA bus runs at 3Gbps and modern SSDs need 6Gbps to run at full speed, so at the very least, you might see a bottleneck there. Check out the pinned thread at the top of this forum to look at compatible graphics cards. If you don't want/need a boot screen, you can pick up some PC cards for a very good price. My 3,1 currently runs two GTX 660s which collectively cost me about $200, so there's room to shine there. If the Mavericks install USB is the only bootable drive inserted into your 3,1, it should find it automatically and allow you to boot to the Mavericks installer, and from there it's just another fresh install.

    Congrats on your 3,1(s?)! Enjoy!
    -N
     
  3. si93 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for the heads up re the bottleneck.

    I actually have an old radeon 2600 pro GPU lying around, if I create the bootable mavericks usb do you know if it'd take me to the mavericks installer without any hdd's installed?

    I've actually got 4 3.1's (free from work!) all with (apparent) fully working logic boards/cpus just with various componetry missing, as such it be nice to validate they do all work by getting to the mavericks installer without investing in any additonal hardware.

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  4. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #4
    If I'm not mistaken (and someone correct me if I am) I don't think a PC Radeon 2600 will work. However, you could always give it a shot. You're not going to hurt anything, it just won't display anything (I believe.)

    To answer your other question, if you have a Mavericks installer plugged in via USB and there are no other bootable devices plugged into the Mac Pro, it SHOULD boot to the Mavericks installer by default.

    That's an awesome pickup! I've been using my 3,1 for quite some time now and it's still a great machine. Hopefully yours are all good once they get a good clean OS X install.
     
  5. Phreon, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014

    Phreon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    #5
    FWIW, I recently performed the same task you did. I recently acquired a 3,1 "Eight Core" I upgraded to a Crucial 240 GB M500 SSD + 2 TB WD Black fusion drive among other things, running 10.9.4. That DIY fusion drive *destroys* the old 320 GB drive; the BlackMagic bench jumped from 60-70 MB/sec to 250 MB/sec or better. I stuffed a GTX 660 card in it that worked out of the box, but required some fiddling with drivers to get CUDA and openCL to work correctly. I also dropped a $20-ish "Inatech" USB 3.0 card into it that also works out of the box. For a 6 year old machine, it's pretty darned snappy. Boots in about 10 seconds after the "bong" and apps open almost instantaneously.

    W/O a video card "blessed" with an Apple EFI BIOS, you won't get a boot screen - nothing until the OS has loaded. This hasn't been a problem for everyday use, but would create difficulties for troubleshooting or bootcamp. I keep the old Radeon 2600 around for that very reason. Perhaps you could ebay an old Mac Radeon for setup?
     

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