Is t2 chip going to hinder any upgradability? Or anything in the future?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Macpro2019, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Macpro2019 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2019
    I was looking at Apple website and noticed t2 chip for security. Is this gonna affect macpro 2019 buyer in the future like upgrade ability like ssd or cpu?
  2. G4DPII macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2015
    Finally someone else has bothered to notice and read this. it will effect everything. Especially as it is also in control of security for the storage.
  3. Macpro2019 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2019
    If true, this is very deceptive. Then therefore this is like iMac everything upfront
  4. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2018
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Looking at iMac Pro there is no precedent yet with the T2, you can upgrade the CPU - even with regular Xeons and not only the downclocked B versions made for Apple, memory also. You will be obviously stuck with the Apple provided SSD, and Apple could change the policy at any time - but given that they essentially priced out all the individuals who could tinker with hardware on their own - I don't think they will implement any policy banning non-Apple hardware. The big ticket guys will always go through Apple to upgrade.
  5. Macpro2019 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2019
    Ok my bad iMac pro part.

    Edit: still they can lock down if they chose too.
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It'll just affect storage but nothing else. Internal SATA storage will be unaffected; it's just the Flash boot drive.

    At the moment I'm not sure if they're standardised PCIe but it wouldn't surprise me if the SSDs are proprietary.
  7. Macpro2019 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2019
    If that’s the case I guess going all out in ssd part might be needed, huh?
  8. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2018
    Pittsburgh, PA
    They could, and it is also my concern given how Apple fights all the Right to Repair legislation across all states, but so far they didn't do anything hostile utilizing T2 and some leaked internal documents show they came to terms with independent shops repairing their devices.
    You don't have to necessary, you can buy PCIe adapter for SSDs, there is one already in that fancy enclosure for 4 blades.
  9. Macpro2019 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2019
    Thx. Hopefully right to repair goes through
  10. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    The mania about the T2 impacting other hardware component upgrade pieces are largely way overblown. There is no creditable impact there for almost everything. The CPU directly. No. RAM. No. PCI-e card directly? No.

    Updating the storage capacity directly managed by the T2. Yes. If that the only drive you can have in a Mac Pro? No. Is Apple going to sell T2 NAND capacity cards in the future. Maybe ( there are more component kits for sale on the tech spec page now than there were for MP 2013. ). Are you going to be to just slap in a bigger card and magically get an expanded volume of your old stuff? Probably not. ( more likley you'd need to do a complete back-up and then a restore after you reinitialize the drive. That reinitialize drive is the quirky part that Apple may not fully enable. )

    The T2 has four main missions. First, protect the firmware. If there is some hardware upgrade that involves putting a hack into the master firmware image of the Mac Pro then that hack is blocked by the T2. If there was some derivation CPU that required a firmware change and Apple didn't do it then you'd be stuck. It that very likely? No. Similarly if the GPU require mucking with the Mac Pro's firmware, it would blocked also.

    In the software space, rouge flips from MP 4,1 to 5,1 won't happen ( at least easily. There are a series of Rube Goldberg hops. ).

    Second mission is to protect the critical security information. Security keys , passwords , certificates etc. Except for the SSD subsystem that the T2 manages there are no moves by Apple to fan this paranoia. Access to your data on the T2 is locked into just that specific Macintosh. So a "remove and slap 'drive' into a new Mac" isn't going to work. Note this is moving from a Mac to a Mac so there has absolutely nothing to do with Apple herding folks into buying just from them. Both of those Macs are from Apple and it won't work. So it can't possibly be Apple keeping other vendors out because this is their own stuff. There primary purpose here is to keep your data safe. Period. ( You need to do back-ups in case of a failure. Apple can't do that for you. )

    Third is to provide the default boot SSD. In the context of the new Mac Pro, it is extremely goofy to get all twisted about that. Install another drive if don't like the T2. Set the security settings appropriately and that's it. Getting back to a working SSD after a failure is more involved. T2 probably isn't going to take 3rd party NAND blades. And if even if have an Apple blade getting the system reset to secure start point to reinitialize the data on the blade will probably be a bigger issue. ( upgrading the T2's capacity would be an issue).

    Fourth is to run/orchestrate some basic SMC functions (system management controller: power key , low level power management , etc ) and some basic I/O. So audio is handled by T2 (**). On the new Mac Pro this at least the speakers. The input jack on the Apple I/O card maybe not (unless it is hardwired to the T2 through the socket. Guessing probably not). The main fans are handled by T2. If wanted to replace those then could run into some issues with completely random replacements, but that wouldn't be the end of the world. No embedded camera or touch id on Mac Pro so those are non issues as won't be "upgrading" those on this system.

    The general notion that Apple was going to highly lock down the upgrade to all parts of all Macs in the future is a joke in the context of this new system.

    Apple's code is increasingly "off limits". So their firmware and basic kernel code will be increasingly better protected. But other stuff that runs on top ( or below with proper drivers ) they aren't trying to close those off with the T2.

    (**) There is a what is probably a driver/firmware interaction issue with the T2 and some audio equipment. The Mac Pro 2019 should be immune to that because it appears the USB connections on the system are not directly provisioned by the system's PCH. Somehow the audio systems hanging on the PCH's USB bus geet entangled with something about the T2 audio handling ( most likley the software, not the hardware) and Apple hasn't cleaned that up. What may be cheessy is that they don't use the PCH USB for anything that other than enabling Thunderbolt Type-C control.
  11. Synchro3, Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019

    Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    As I have a Mac Mini 2018 with T2 chip I can confirm the T2 is only providing the internal SSD. Installed macOS also on an external M.2-NVME-SSD without any encryption, runs fine. One can also connect the external drive to another Mac, incl. booting.

    Note: Set the security settings appropriately before installing macOS to an external drive (drives on a PCI-E to M.2-adapter are seen as external)

    Note: The bootcamp installer will refuse to install Windows on any external drive. Use Winclone to circumvent this issue.
  12. bobbie424242 macrumors regular

    May 16, 2015
    Yes. The T2 chip is Tim Apple being in your Mac Pro to approve every piece of hardware. Consider this a privilege !
  13. Macpro2019 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2019
    You’re saying i can buy samsung ssd and use that as primary drive after i set an appropriate setting?
  14. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2018
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The mania started with internal document saying that some specific hardware changes must pass Apple diagnostics, and if the diagnostic is not run the system will become inoperative. Apple later confirmed saying that:

    "Apple confirmed to The Verge that this is the case for repairs involving certain components on newer Macs, like the logic board and Touch ID sensor, which is the first time the company has publicly acknowledged the new repair requirements for T2-equipped Macs. But Apple could not provide a list of repairs that required this or what devices were affected. It also couldn’t say whether it began this protocol with the iMac Pro’s introduction last year or if it’s a new policy instituted recently"

    So Apple has the ability to essentially brick your computer, but chooses not to do so, for the time being at least. You don't need to have direct impact on hardware, you can just restrict booting if the check fails - from any device.
  15. thornslack macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2013
    How would the t2 chip effect things like running a Windows volume on the ncMP?
  16. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    How many 3rd party Touch ID sensors are people going to buy?
    How many 34d party T2 data cards are people going to buy?

    If the "certain parts" have to do with the basic low level core security of the Mac then they will need mechanisms to recertify them.

    The absolutely grossly unsupported mania is how that non core security subsystems were going to be somehow impacted here. That buzz is far more so not being whipped up by users doing their own upgrades but by 3rd party service folks that are looking to do business with end users and paid to do the "fix" (rather than upgrade).

    That doesn't have anything to do with end user upgrades. Those are fixes to broken components of the security system. Nobody is "upgrading" their TouchID sensor. That is an Apple replacement part going back into an Apple system. The T2 daughter cards probably fall into the same boat.

    The system was at least partially broke (if not completely borked) or wouldn't be trying to put in a replacement part.
  17. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2018
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Look, this was discussed all over the place in the past and I don’t feel like going through this again. Yes, that was aimed at third party service providers, but the doc specified such important core security parts like display, keyboard, touchpad or speakers. And upgrading quite literally means replacing one part with a better one, whether the original was broken or not is irrelevant.

    Bottom line is, Apple admitted to having a big red button, but doesn’t say what and when will trigger it. As it turns out they don’t use it, you can replace all the listed parts, but they have the ability to prevent it.

Share This Page

16 June 7, 2019