Mac Pro 1.1 Full Refurb

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by onemoreguitar, May 27, 2016.

  1. onemoreguitar macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2010
    Hi guys. Just looking for some expertise and guidance on doing a Mac Pro upgrade. I've seen quite a few threads, but am just trying to sort through the muck and work out all the ins and outs of going through this.

    My machine is a Mac Pro 1.1, 2 x 2.66 Dual Core with only 4gb of memory and a Radeon x1900.

    I work in tv and use my machine for scopes using ScopeBox. I was using a much newer MBP until it recently died and I was forced to pull my tower out of storage. All is working fine, except ScopeBox won't show me weighted scopes because that GPU doesn't support the OpenGL features that are needed to run those modes.

    This is a 2 parter. First, I want to find a GPU that will work with this setup as is and give me those extra modes that I need just by slotting in the card. Secondly, after looking at all the upgrade threads, I want to have a go at supercharging this thing.

    As far as the GPU, I have no idea so any input would be appreciated.

    As far as supercharging goes, one of my biggest concerns is the cooling. This thing, as I'm sure y'all know, runs really hot. The fans are always running. Is there any way to add a better cooling system?

    So far, I'm looking at a pair of Xeon x5365s as they seem to be the most powerful CPUs I can put in this machine. I already have a SSD running my OS, which was a huge improvement back when I did it. I'm looking at throwing in 32gb of memory, or more if it can take it, not sure of the limits. Also, probably going to get a Blackmagic Decklink card to replace my Matrox MXO2 Mini Max. Moving my SSD to one of the optical bays and making a 4 drive RAID is another thought.

    That's my starting point. I've got a very basic idea of what's needed, but I'll be doing this on the weekends between jobs, so I have to do it in manageable stages that will leave my system working through the week. As I said, I've seen a number of threads which were helpful in pointing me in the right direction, but I just need to be overly cautious, as this machine is helping pay the bills, so I don't want to race off half cocked and mess something up because I didn't ask a question.

    Thanks heaps for the help.
  2. skwareman macrumors newbie


    Apr 4, 2016
    Intel Xeon x5355 will do just fine, i use them all the time! Can be had for 30 euro's on ebay. Buy a matched pair and off you go! A more silent but still powerfull solution will be provided if you choose the Intel Xeon L5355 (50watt tdp). Get a Geforce GTX660 or GTX670 for video, and 32gb memory.

    The upgrade is a 1 hour job, and will give you lots of extra power! Also get rid of the superdrive, for a better cooling of the power supply. You can put your ssd in the bay if you want, and use the spare sata connectors on the motherboard.
  3. mervy0384 macrumors newbie


    May 28, 2016
    Mac Pro 1.1, 2 x 2.66 Dual Core with only 4gb of memory and a Radeon x1900.

    is very good like my mac
  4. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    Baltimore, MD
    +1 on this, for sure. I can vouch for the L5335s. Low Voltage Quad Core Xeons at 2.0GHz. I use them in my 1,1 and used them in my Xserve for quite a while. They don't help too much with the heat, but it helps with the fan noise for sure. (It's still damn hot, but not quite as loud.) GTX 660 has always been my go to. Easy, single 6 pin power connector. 32GB of RAM is nice if you can shop around for it and find 4GB FB-DIMMs at a reasonable price - 16GB can be found for chump change.

    Good luck with your upgrades!
  5. onemoreguitar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2010
    Thanks for the info! Will the GTX 660 work with my current CPU until I do that upgrade? I'll also have to see if it supports all the OpenGL features I need for ScopeBox to run its weighted mode. That's priority 1 for me. Thanks again.
  6. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    Baltimore, MD
    Yes, but you'll want to upgrade your OS to something newer than Lion for Kepler support (not sure of the minimum OS for a 660, I think 10.8.X) - check out the threads in the forum on upgrading your 1,1 past Lion.
  7. onemoreguitar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2010
    Sorry for being overly cautious. As I said, this machine is making money so I can't brick it, but I need those OpenGL features. So just to clarify the order of upgrades:

    1.1 to 2.1 to booting a newer OS

    Install GeForce GPU

    Tiamo??? 64bit upgrade

    Install new CPU

    I've only started looking at the different upgrade options recently and have been through a lot of threads, so forgive me if I'm mixing things up.

    At this point I'm looking at the L5335s as per y'alls suggestion. I'll probably go for the GeForce GTX670, unless there is something more powerful. The better the GPU, the better the scopes. I've also been told by the developer that it runs better in 64 bit, so I guess it uses the extra cores. I did notice, when looking on eBay, a number of GTX670s that looked different from each other. Is there a specific one I need, or will any do? Thanks again.
  8. CapnDavey macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2015
    Many options I haven't done the cpu upgrade yet but there are many video cards that will work. it depends on how much you want to spend ATI 4870's are cheap and easy to flash you could go GTX680 boot screens only on hacked newer os versions. Also a blu ray burner is a nice ad if you need one a little tricky removing the fans to get to the SATA plug.
  9. owbp macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2016
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Someone will correct me if i'm wrong but you can not have bootscreens on 1,1 /2,1 with GTX680 no matter what OS you use.
    The strongest GPUs that will give bootscreens are AMD R9 280(X) and 7950/90 series.

    1,1 to 2,1 firmware gives you ability to update CPUs to Xeon 53xx series without showing Unknown in Info, and installing 64GB RAM, intsead of max 32. You can still install El Capitan if on 1,1 firware.
  10. onemoreguitar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2010
    Thanks heaps for the info guys. I have an El Capitan install ready to go. I'm going to start by just doing that and the GPU to keep things quick and easy. I found a GTX670 that's going off not far from me. The 7950 sounds like something to look at going forward, but I need a quick, cheap solution that gives me the open GL features. I just dropped a heap of money on other parts of my system just in time for my MBP to die, taking my scopes in the process.

    Hopefully I'll win that GTX670 tomorrow, and I'll do the El Capitan install and drop in the GPU tomorrow night. I might also clone my current boot drive to an hdd, use that ssd for the install, and keep the clone and old GPU as a backup. If 2,1 isn't going to add anything, I'll wait on that till I change the CPU.

    If any of you guys have any other GPU suggestions that have full open GL support, that would be cheaper, please chime in. I'm gonna do the budget install in the next couple days to get me through this show, then do the all out upgrade once my system is back at home in a couple months. Should give me time to get a good deal on the GPUs.

    Annoying to have to rush through this with the demise of the MBP, but it seems I've had a potentially crackin system sitting in storage this whole time. Should be a fun project once I get past the stress of just getting it working before Monday.
  11. dfritchie macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2015
    I bought a 7950 for less than $100 and learned to flash it myself, was easy and fairly quick to do.
  12. onemoreguitar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2010
    Just bought a GTX670. I'm picking it up tonight. Is there a best method to install El Capitan? I've seen a few on YouTube. One uses a pre-made dmg to restore onto the boot drive. Another one modifies the install first with Pikers utility, then just runs the install. They all seem to work, just wondering if one is better, less problematic, whatever....
  13. Morpheo macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2014
    After reading your post I decided to get rid of mine. I had 2 superdrives + 1 external Blu-ray drive. As I didn't really need them and after 2 days without them, my PSU is now +/- 10º cooler!! I didn't expect such a big difference actually.:cool:

    (I upgraded my MP a few days ago)
  14. onemoreguitar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2010
    So I got the power cables. Gonna grab one in the morning. Have an old hdd loaded with El Capitan and patched for testing. If all goes well, I'll probably grab an OWC PCI ssd for some real speed. I'll have to hold off on the CPU for a bit. Ssd and memory I can easily do while I'm on this job without too much stress. CPU, not so much. Ill probably grab a deck link card as well and drop my Matrox into my wife's suite.

    I also took the SuperDrives out of the tower. Hopefully I'll see some of the same heat savings as you guys.

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13 May 27, 2016