Mac Pro 1,1 > 2,1 flashing & selling scam

Michael A Ralph

Original poster
Aug 13, 2017
I've heard about this recently, through a google search.

I'd just bought a "2,1" model myself, with 2x 2.66GHz quad core processors, Radeon 5770. I was guessing the 5770 was flashed, and made me think when I remebered there were only 3GHz Mac Pro 2,1 models. I had repeatedly asked the seller the model, and the serial/etc all are pointing to 1,1.

Googled anyway, apparently it's a bit of a 'scam' going on. Anybody else heard of this?

Added: it came with a build Os 10.10.5 and it seems a few boot files have been modified, it won't boot under anything else, black screen. Might try to SSH in and mess around.
Last edited:


macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2015
It's been awhile since I've done much with the 1,1 and 2,1 Mac Pros, but as I recall, they are identical hardware, Apple even sold both models at the same time, the 2,1 was just a firmware to correctly recognize the 3.0 quad cpus, and run the fans a little differently. You did have to do a hack to get the 2,1 to install on a 1,1.

It's possible the 2.66 was a configurable option, but I don't think so, I've never seen one, I've always heard the same as you remember, there was only a 3.0 8-core model of the 2,1. The 2,1 firmware was probably installed to get it to show the CPU correctly instead of just showing 'unknown Intel', or possible to make the buyer think it's newer than it is.

The stock 1,1/2,1 won't boot anything after 10.7 so to get it to run 10.10 the seller had to upgrade the video card, and use a custom bootloader. There should be several threads on installing a newer OS on the 1,1/2,1 Mac Pros.
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macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
I wouldn't call it a scam, but I agree the seller should clearly state when a 2,1 is really a flashed 1,1, and same goes for 4,1s flashed and passed off as 5,1s, or GPUs flashed for Mac boot screens that aren't genuine Mac GPUs.

That being said, the hardware is nearly identical between the two; and although I've heard of minor differences in the power supplies and heatsinks to accommodate the higher-power processors, this generally isn't something you'll notice at all when using the Mac.

As for how to modify the OS to boot in either a 1,1 or 2,1 (process is the same), check @jbarley's post above.
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