Is there a way to update my current Macpro instead of buying a new trashcan?

kat.hayes

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
1,079
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I have an older 2X3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with an ATI Radeon x1900 XT 512MB. I am not too savvy on the hardware side.

1.) Is there anyway I could keep my case, optical drives, harddrives and just swap out the motherboard, graphics card and processor with more current pieces to make it faster/more modern?

2.) If not, can I just turn the whole damn' thing into a PC? I like the case and having multiple swappable drives.

Thanks.
 

Tutor

macrumors 65816
I have an older 2X3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with an ATI Radeon x1900 XT 512MB. I am not too savvy on the hardware side.

1.) Is there anyway I could keep my case, optical drives, harddrives and just swap out the motherboard, graphics card and processor with more current pieces to make it faster/more modern?

2.) If not, can I just turn the whole damn' thing into a PC? I like the case and having multiple swappable drives.

Thanks.
What does it not do that you want to do OR what does it not do as fast as you want it done, i.e., why are you dissatisfied with it now and what model Mac Pro do you have?
 

kat.hayes

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
1,079
20
What does it not do that you want to do OR what does it not do as fast as you want it done, i.e., why are you dissatisfied with it now and what model Mac Pro do you have?
It is a MacPro1,1

1. It can no longer have the OS updated beyond Lion
2. It is a bit slow for daily use and for editing video
3. I'd love to get thunderbolt or usb 3.0 in it

Thanks.
 

spunkgarLEWII

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2013
100
0
Try a 4,1 or 5,1.. if you get MacPro4,1 you can just flash the firmware which will make it into a 5,1 instantly. Then choose your poison: w3670, w3680, or w3690. I would go with w3680 as its the sweet spot.. Then get your 1333 mhz memory.

At this stage, the 2008 3,1 is not recommended as the 4,1 and 5,1 can do much more.

It is a MacPro1,1

1. It can no longer have the OS updated beyond Lion
2. It is a bit slow for daily use and for editing video
3. I'd love to get thunderbolt or usb 3.0 in it

Thanks.
 

spunkgarLEWII

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2013
100
0
Are you getting one, Tutor? Thanks for agreeing with me. Nano told me the same thing.. He is pursuading me from not giving up my 5,1 for this thing since all my hard drives are internal.

I am not sure how much an external thunderbolt enclosure for 4 SATA-II drives will cost.. Thats one reason why I am having 2nd thoughts on moving to this new iCan.


 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
6,911
958
1.) Is there anyway I could keep my case, optical drives, harddrives and just swap out the motherboard, graphics card and processor with more current pieces to make it faster/more modern?
Nope, only the GPU swap can happen.

2.) If not, can I just turn the whole damn' thing into a PC? I like the case and having multiple swappable drives.
Yep. Just install Windows.
 

Tutor

macrumors 65816
Nope, only the GPU swap can happen... .
goMac,

CNet says otherwise: " In order to fit the components of the system into its radical shape, Apple has had to make some changes to the system. For one, its video cards will no longer be off-the-shelf units that can be swapped out and replaced. While they're still PCI Express-based cards, they require a unique design to fit in the system and properly marry its components to the triangular unified thermal core at the center of the new Mac Pro. " [ http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57588607-263/how-upgradable-is-the-new-mac-pro/ ]
 

Tutor

macrumors 65816
Are you getting one, Tutor? Thanks for agreeing with me. Nano told me the same thing.. He is pursuading me from not giving up my 5,1 for this thing since all my hard drives are internal.

I am not sure how much an external thunderbolt enclosure for 4 SATA-II drives will cost.. Thats one reason why I am having 2nd thoughts on moving to this new iCan.
Nano is extremely intelligent, perceptive and practical. I highly value his opinions. PRICE and ground-breaking applications will be the key to the success of the new Mac Pro. With that said, I cannot completely rule out my getting one at some point in the future, but the price and my needs would have to be right for such a closed in system [ http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57588607-263/how-upgradable-is-the-new-mac-pro/ ]. I like my stuff in one neat enclosure. If you don't like looking at worms and snakes crawling out a cylinder on your desk, then you may not relish Apple's new design prison. And, what about the cost of now getting all future expansions, other than memory chips, all outside of the system? I can see the money drain potential from the MacPro user base to the manufacturers. But at least some of that money, in the case of Apple, will go to local workers and their families.
 
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kat.hayes

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
1,079
20
Here is the part I'm confused by, again, I'm prefacing this by stating that I do not have a good understanding of hardware. I have this awesome case from my MP, I have all of my drives, it is just the other components that need upgrading.

1. Why can't I just swap out a graphics card and motherboard? Are these just not available for Macs?

2. If there is no way to swap out my older cards, processors, etc. because of Mac limitations, could I swap out the motherboard, processor and graphics card to make a modern PC using my MP case?

Thanks!
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,414
774
Here is the part I'm confused by, again, I'm prefacing this by stating that I do not have a good understanding of hardware. I have this awesome case from my MP, I have all of my drives, it is just the other components that need upgrading.

1. Why can't I just swap out a graphics card and motherboard? Are these just not available for Macs?

2. If there is no way to swap out my older cards, processors, etc. because of Mac limitations, could I swap out the motherboard, processor and graphics card to make a modern PC using my MP case?

Thanks!
There is no feasible way to replace your motherboard. Without having a motherboard with a more modern architecture, there is little else you can do to upgrade your machine effectively.

Trying to put a "PC" motherboard in your case will prove to be a sizeable headache. You won't have the standard mounting spots, etc for your board. The case doesn't follow standard PC form factor. It's definitely been done, but it would be far simpler to just move your hard drives to a new PC case and start over.
 

kat.hayes

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
1,079
20
So other than selling my MP for what little it may be worth, is there anything else you can do with the case? Is it essentially worthless?

Is there a way to use my current MP case just to store drives that could somehow be mounted on a new iMac or MP? My current MP only has FW 800.

Thanks.
 

mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
713
220
Here is the part I'm confused by, again, I'm prefacing this by stating that I do not have a good understanding of hardware. I have this awesome case from my MP, I have all of my drives, it is just the other components that need upgrading.

1. Why can't I just swap out a graphics card and motherboard? Are these just not available for Macs?

2. If there is no way to swap out my older cards, processors, etc. because of Mac limitations, could I swap out the motherboard, processor and graphics card to make a modern PC using my MP case?

Thanks!

Unless you want to start modding your case to do so then the newer PC motherboard won't fit in. For instance an SSI-EEB and E-ATX are both 12" x 13" in size but they have different mounting points.

Your Mac Pro 2006 can take a PCI-E graphics card and you can install Windows, rather then OSX to make use of them. Off the top of my head then the ATI 5770 should work out of the box in these with 10.7 on the box.
You can upgrade the Processors, I believe as far as 5300 series Xeons, so you should be able to get some Quad Processors in there.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1293124

worth reading and contains links to threads, about what CPU's can use and flashing the Mac Pro 1,1 to a 2,1 etc

If you are saying however that don't have a good understanding of hardware then you are probably better off getting a Second Hand Mac Pro single CPU 2009, and transferring your disks across. , if you want to keep with OSX.

Alternatively just get a new Windows PC, you can get some nice cases.
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,414
774
So other than selling my MP for what little it may be worth, is there anything else you can do with the case? Is it essentially worthless?

Is there a way to use my current MP case just to store drives that could somehow be mounted on a new iMac or MP? My current MP only has FW 800.

Thanks.
You could leave it running and just leverage the storage as network storage (from your new machine). It's probably not the most elegant or efficient way to do this, however.
 

kat.hayes

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 10, 2011
1,079
20
I am not realistically going to mod it and do not have the hardware skills or patience to do so. If I want to keep the MP just as a server to store photos, files and videos:

1. Is there a way to just hide it somewhere, maybe a closet and have it on my network, without a monitor, keyboard or mouse and just access it remotely over wifi to copy and add files to it?

2. Could I use the new built in mac remote desktop feature (forgot what it is called) to do this, I am stuck on Lion, or Apple Remote Desktop? Does this seem like it would work?

Thanks.
 

Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
It is a MacPro1,1

1. It can no longer have the OS updated beyond Lion
2. It is a bit slow for daily use and for editing video
3. I'd love to get thunderbolt or usb 3.0 in it

Thanks.
  1. You can upgrade to OS X 10.8.x using a ROM pre-loader like chameleon or whatever it's called.
  2. This will probably always be true but you can get it going faster by dropping in a GTX 670 or 680 after you upgrade to 10.8
  3. USB 3.0 cards are available and work well. There's a $140 HighPoint card with 4 dedicated controllers and five or six $10 ~ $25 cards from HK manufacturers with 2 to 4 ports on a single controller.


----------

I am not realistically going to mod it and do not have the hardware skills or patience to do so. If I want to keep the MP just as a server to store photos, files and videos:

1. Is there a way to just hide it somewhere, maybe a closet and have it on my network, without a monitor, keyboard or mouse and just access it remotely over wifi to copy and add files to it?

2. Could I use the new built in mac remote desktop feature (forgot what it is called) to do this, I am stuck on Lion, or Apple Remote Desktop? Does this seem like it would work?

Thanks.
  1. Yes. It's called wireless LAN or use a staple gun and route some LAN cable to where you want it to be (The cable way is what I do). No need for a mouse, KB, or monitor after you set it up. Just share the remote desktop so you can modify it and share the drives or folders you want to access.
  2. Yes, it works. I use it with ancient and new versions of OS X without any trouble.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
6,911
958
goMac,

CNet says otherwise: " In order to fit the components of the system into its radical shape, Apple has had to make some changes to the system. For one, its video cards will no longer be off-the-shelf units that can be swapped out and replaced. While they're still PCI Express-based cards, they require a unique design to fit in the system and properly marry its components to the triangular unified thermal core at the center of the new Mac Pro. " [ http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57588607-263/how-upgradable-is-the-new-mac-pro/ ]
Ok, now I'm confused by your question. In your CURRENT Mac Pro, you can swap the GPU with something else.

You can't swap it with a GPU from the unreleased Mac Pro, no, but you can get plenty of other GPUs that fit your Mac Pro.
 

kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,527
654
Brunswick, MD
re: wired LAN

Uh, just for the record though -- try NOT to use a staple gun for this.
I know, I know.... I've even done it before in a small office setting when that was the only tool available for the job. But one staple accidentally piercing the shielding of the network cable is enough to cause all sorts of errors and packet loss.

The better way to handle this is buying the little plastic "wire clips" with adhesive backs. A whole box of at least 25-30 of them should only cost $5 or so.

  1. Yes. It's called wireless LAN or use a staple gun and route some LAN cable to where you want it to be (The cable way is what I do). No need for a mouse, KB, or monitor after you set it up. Just share the remote desktop so you can modify it and share the drives or folders you want to access.
 

spunkgarLEWII

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2013
100
0
But its such a PITA to get 64-bit windows installed on a 32-bit kernel.. I think the 2008 3,1 would be better for Windows 7,8, soon 8.1 for 64-bit kernel. While I love to tinker myself I think getting 64-bit kernel based Windows 7 or 8 will take up quite a bit of time.

I did hear about Chimera or Chameleon bootloader which would inject 64-bit capability to boot them in 64-bit.

Sadly, a MP 1,1 or 2,1 is much better at running Windows 8 64Bit then it is at running OSX ML or OSX MAVERICKS (dumb name)

The irony.
 

Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
Uh, just for the record though -- try NOT to use a staple gun for this.
I know, I know.... I've even done it before in a small office setting when that was the only tool available for the job. But one staple accidentally piercing the shielding of the network cable is enough to cause all sorts of errors and packet loss.

The better way to handle this is buying the little plastic "wire clips" with adhesive backs. A whole box of at least 25-30 of them should only cost $5 or so.
Yeah, of course, thanks for the correction. Those are what I meant but was too lazy to explain. I have a gun that loads those tho... :p
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,714
1,778
Are you getting one, Tutor? Thanks for agreeing with me. Nano told me the same thing.. He is pursuading me from not giving up my 5,1 for this thing since all my hard drives are internal.

I am not sure how much an external thunderbolt enclosure for 4 SATA-II drives will cost.. Thats one reason why I am having 2nd thoughts on moving to this new iCan.
Nano is completely awesome, and he is right. There might be situations where it is worthwhile, but I don't see many appearing at launch. There aren't many thunderbolt JBOD or Raid boxes. The Pegasus one looks like crap, and I prefer to buy my own drives, so that matching spares can be purchased simultaneously.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
Nano is completely awesome, and he is right. There might be situations where it is worthwhile, but I don't see many appearing at launch. There aren't many thunderbolt JBOD or Raid boxes. The Pegasus one looks like crap, and I prefer to buy my own drives, so that matching spares can be purchased simultaneously.
I actually don't know of any TB boxes with JBOD only. It would certainly help people to swallow the price.