How does Mac Pro 5,1 know it's a 2010 or 2012? Can it be changed?

MisterAndrew

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2015
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I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but I'm curious about this since the Mac Pro Mid 2010 could see vintage/obsolete status soon, and next month we may find out if Apple will officially drop support for the Mac Pro Mid 2010 for the next MacOS release. Given that the hardware and firmware are the same between the Mid 2010 and Mid 2012 Mac Pros how does the computer know which one it is? Does the OS simply decode that information from the serial number of the machine?
 

pigsyn

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2015
72
39
France
It looks like it's done by checking the board-id for supported models and model version for unsupported ones.

I've unpacked Sierra OSInstall.mpkg and ran strings (shell tool) on the Distribution file in hope to find some kind of validation function.

Code:
function InstallationCheck(prefix) {
var boardIds = ['Mac-06F11F11946D27C5','Mac-031B6874CF7F642A','Mac-A5C67F76ED83108C','Mac-66E35819EE2D0D05','Mac-50619A408DB004DA','Mac-F22C8AC8','Mac-473D31EABEB93F9B','Mac-AFD8A9D944EA4843','Mac-942B59F58194171B','Mac-B809C3757DA9BB8D','Mac-F305150B0C7DEEEF','Mac-35C1E88140C3E6CF','Mac-77EB7D7DAF985301','Mac-2E6FAB96566FE58C','Mac-7BA5B2794B2CDB12','Mac-BE0E8AC46FE800CC','Mac-00BE6ED71E35EB86','Mac-4B7AC7E43945597E','Mac-F22C89C8','Mac-937CB26E2E02BB01','Mac-942459F5819B171B','Mac-FFE5EF870D7BA81A','Mac-2BD1B31983FE1663','Mac-F222BEC8','Mac-4BC72D62AD45599E','Mac-F2268DC8','Mac-3CBD00234E554E41','Mac-66F35F19FE2A0D05','Mac-F221BEC8','Mac-C08A6BB70A942AC2','Mac-8ED6AF5B48C039E1','Mac-FA842E06C61E91C5','Mac-FC02E91DDD3FA6A4','Mac-65CE76090165799A','Mac-9AE82516C7C6B903','Mac-6F01561E16C75D06','Mac-F60DEB81FF30ACF6','Mac-81E3E92DD6088272','Mac-F2208EC8','Mac-F22586C8','Mac-94245A3940C91C80','Mac-942C5DF58193131B','Mac-F2238BAE','Mac-9F18E312C5C2BF0B','Mac-C3EC7CD22292981F','Mac-742912EFDBEE19B3','Mac-27ADBB7B4CEE8E61','Mac-F65AE981FFA204ED','Mac-031AEE4D24BFF0B1','Mac-DB15BD556843C820','Mac-F22589C8','Mac-F2238AC8','Mac-942452F5819B1C1B','Mac-F221DCC8','Mac-94245B3640C91C81','Mac-189A3D4F975D5FFC','Mac-42FD25EABCABB274','Mac-7DF2A3B5E5D671ED','Mac-F2268DAE','Mac-06F11FD93F0323C5','Mac-7DF21CB3ED6977E5','Mac-A369DDC4E67F1C45','Mac-F2268CC8','Mac-35C5E08120C7EEAF','Mac-E43C1C25D4880AD6','Mac-942B5BF58194151B',];
var cpuFeatures = system.sysctl( 'machdep.cpu.features' );
cpuFeatures=cpuFeatures.split(" ");
for( var i = 0; i < cpuFeatures.length; i++ ){
if(1 == 1){
return true;
var nonSupportedModels = ['MacBookPro4,1','MacPro2,1','MacBookPro5,1','MacBookPro1,1','MacBookPro5,3','MacBookPro5,2','iMac8,1','MacBookPro5,4','iMac5,1','iMac5,2','iMac6,1','MacBookPro3,1','MacBookPro1,2','iMac9,1','Macmini3,1','Macmini1,1','iMac4,2','MacBookPro2,2','MacBookPro2,1','MacBook3,1','MacBook5,1','MacBook5,2','MacBook2,1','iMac4,1','MacBook1,1','MacBookPro5,5','Xserve2,1','MacBookAir1,1','Xserve3,1','MacBookAir2,1','Xserve1,1','Macmini2,1','MacPro3,1','iMac7,1','MacBook4,1','MacPro1,1','MacPro4,1',];
var currentModel = system.sysctl('hw.model');
...
var boardId = system.ioregistry.fromPath('IOService:/')['board-id'];
if (1 == 0) {
if (system.compareVersions(system.version.ProductVersion, '10.12') >= 0 && system.compareVersions(system.version.ProductVersion, '10.13') < 0) {
my.result.message = system.localizedString('ERROR_A3E7F0BE51');
} else {
my.result.message = system.localizedString('ERROR_2BB8EF4624');
my.result.type = 'Fatal';
return false;
if boardId is not evaluated to True, installer throws a fatal error

You can check your model and board-id with the following comands:
Code:
sysctl hw.model
ioreg -c IOPlatformExpertDevice -d 2
 
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h9826790

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Apr 3, 2014
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Pretty sure it only check the ident (e.g. Mac Pro 5,1).

On the hardware side, of course everything base on the serial number. And if they decided stop supporting the 2010 Mac Pro, there is nothing you can do.

However, on the software side. As long as they support the 5,1. Your 2010 Mac Pro should be safe. e.g. My 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 can be flashed to 5,1. And after flashing, the serial number won't change. And the computer still shows itself a 2009 Mac, however, ident as a 5,1. And I can install Sierra natively like any other 5,1. So, I pretty sure the OS support is only base on the ident.
 

BillyBobBongo

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Jun 21, 2007
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On The Interweb Thingy!
...and next month we may find out if Apple will officially drop support for the Mac Pro Mid 2010 for the next MacOS release.
Given that the 2010 and 2012 models are identical, I simply can't see this happening. I do believe, however, that once the modular Mac Pro has come to light the clock will start ticking for both models. I think we're good for at least one more OS update, perhaps even two.
 

pigsyn

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2015
72
39
France
Pretty sure it only check the ident (e.g. Mac Pro 5,1).

On the hardware side, of course everything base on the serial number. And if they decided stop supporting the 2010 Mac Pro, there is nothing you can do.

However, on the software side. As long as they support the 5,1. Your 2010 Mac Pro should be safe. e.g. My 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 can be flashed to 5,1. And after flashing, the serial number won't change. And the computer still shows itself a 2009 Mac, however, ident as a 5,1. And I can install Sierra natively like any other 5,1. So, I pretty sure the OS support is only base on the ident.
My flashed 4,1 to 5,1 has a 5,1 board-id: "Mac-F221BEC8"
EDIT: both machine have same board-id, so it's a combination of the 2.
 
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h9826790

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Apr 3, 2014
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My flashed 4,1 to 5,1 has a 5,1 board-id: "Mac-F221BEC8"
EDIT: both machine have same board-id, so it's a combination of the 2.
Yes, 4,1 and 5,1 are identical in this aspect. In fact, both use the same AHT (board-ID based). So, as long as Apple decided to use board-ID and ident to determine the status of OS support. The 2010 Mac Pro (or flashed 4,1) should have the same privilege of the 2012 Mac Pro.
 

MisterAndrew

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Original poster
Sep 15, 2015
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Portland, Ore.
Okay, so they probably couldn't drop support for the 2010 without dropping support for the 2012 also for the OS. I could see Apple refusing to repair a 2010, but at least the parts would still be available if they still supported the 2012. Is it possible to order new parts? Or can you only get them if you have a problem with your machine and you take it in for service? Anyone stockpiling? :)
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,290
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Hong Kong
Okay, so they probably couldn't drop support for the 2010 without dropping support for the 2012 also for the OS. I could see Apple refusing to repair a 2010, but at least the parts would still be available if they still supported the 2012. Is it possible to order new parts? Or can you only get them if you have a problem with your machine and you take it in for service? Anyone stockpiling? :)
I don't think that you can only buy parts from Apple.
 

saulinpa

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2008
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Apple's standard is 7 years to obsolete. 2012 plus seven years is 2019 so we have some time.

The iMac and mini from 2010 are now "vintage" so Apple is already treating the 2010 Pro as special.
 
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Auggie

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Jan 21, 2017
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Is it possible to order new parts? Or can you only get them if you have a problem with your machine and you take it in for service? Anyone stockpiling? :)
Apple will not sell parts directly for customer installation; they must perform the install. Even a lowly drive sled (of which I was missing screws) that I wanted them to add on top of replacing my mainboard: a manager eventually told me that they had to do the install, though they would perform it for no extra charge since they were already replacing the mainboard.

There are several online stores that sell genuine brand new Apple parts, from the mundane all the way to complete enclosures, such as MacPartsOnline.com through which they actually offered to personally repair my computer (they don't advertise repair services).
 

BillyBobBongo

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Jun 21, 2007
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Apple's standard is 7 years to obsolete. 2012 plus seven years is 2019 so we have some time.

The iMac and mini from 2010 are now "vintage" so Apple is already treating the 2010 Pro as special.
9to5Mac have a list of the latest products that will be set to 'Vintage' or 'Obsolete' as of June 30th this year, once again no Mac Pro 5.1 on it.

https://9to5mac.com/2017/05/27/apple-moving-macbook-pro-air-and-iphone-to-obsolete/

On Friday, June 30, 2017, the products listed below will be classified as either vintage or obsolete in Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Japan, Latin America, the United States, and Apple Retail Stores.

Macintosh Vintage in the U.S. and Turkey / Obsolete in AP/CN/EU (except Turkey)/JP/LA and Apple Retail Stores:

MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011)
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011)
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011)
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011)

Macintosh Vintage in AP/CN/EU/JP/LA/U.S. and Apple Retail Stores:

MacBook Pro (17-inch, mid 2009)

iPhone Obsolete in AP/CN/EU/JP/LA/U.S. and Apple Retail Stores:

iPhone 3GS (16GB / 32GB
iPhone 3GS (16GB / 32GB – China)
 

saulinpa

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2008
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370
Awesome. So we should have a Mac Pro 7,1 by the time the 5,1 becomes vintage.
Might still be a gap. Vintage seems to be about 5 years after end of production. 2010 was same as a 2012 which was shows was active through October 2013. So Apple should still be supporting them through October 2018.
 
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