Mac Pro 1,1 Overhauling

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Casby, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Casby macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #1
    Hey all! So I've scoured the threads and found a ton of useful information but I'm having trouble figuring out what actually applies to the situation I'm in.

    I just found and purchased a Mac Pro 1,1 [#A1186/2.66/4gb/7300gt) for $50. Totally a steal if you ask me. The only thing it's missing is a working HDD. So naturally, I'm going to be replacing that, bumping it to maybe 8gb or 16GB RAM, but what I'd really like to do is upgrade the gfx card. I've found a couple options that I like- ATI HD 7970 & 5770 and according to a few posts, they should work fine.

    The Questions:
    • Since I'm essentially dropping a blank HDD into the machine, can I use my bootable USB stick to install El Capitan straight onto it? Or are there other steps I need to take before doing that?
    • Assuming it's best to get the OS running before playing with the gfx card, what (if any) steps do I need to take for installing the new card outside of finding the proper ROM?
    • Are there better alternative gfx cards I should look for or other recommended upgrades I should do while I'm at it?
    Any and all help with this will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. cw48494 macrumors regular

    cw48494

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    Jun 17, 2015
    #2
    You can pick up 32gb ram for $40, I'd also suggest a dual 6pin gpu, buy a 7950/r9280 and flash it for boot screens. They are pnp cards minus the boot screens. For installing El Cap, refer to the El Cap thread on 1,1/2,1. For anything above 10.7.x (iirc) you will need an alternate boot loader. While you're at it, pick up a pair of x5365's.
     
  3. Casby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #3
    That's great! I was actually just trying to pick between the 7950 or the 7970. I'm leaning towards the 7950 anyway as they tend to be dual-6-pin like you said. (One less thing to worry about.)
    And yes to grabbing new x5365 CPUs. Almost missed the 3.0ghz version.

    I'm mostly confused about the order of things now.

    1- Drop in additional RAM
    2- Drop in new CPUs
    3- Drop in new HDD
    THEN install OS?
    THEN drop in new GFX card?
    THEN flash gfx card while running Mac Pro as target and iMac doing the work?

    Or is flashing the gfx card really about getting boot-screen and less to do with actual functionality? I just figure if I get the whole thing running first, I can flash the card later, right?
     
  4. dfritchie macrumors regular

    dfritchie

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    #4
    1 - Install ram
    2 - Install SSD and HDD - Install copy of Windows on a partition on HDD, earlier version of OS X on another partition
    3 - Install GPU and flash it using Windows, if you follow NETKAS 7950 guide you will need both OS's.
    4 - Install OSX El Capitan on SSD
    5 - Install new CPU's

    Installing El Capitan is easier if you have a supported Mac to install from, if not load Mavericks or Yosemite onto a partition of the HDD so you can replace the boot.efi files on the SSD. I only say flash the card before in case something goes wrong with the El Cap install you will need the boot screens to figure it out.
     
  5. Casby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #5
    Excellent! Thank you! Do I need to update the model ID to 2,1 or will that happen naturally during the boot.EFI update?
     
  6. dfritchie macrumors regular

    dfritchie

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    #6
    I updated both the efi and smc to 2,1. Shows correct cpu name in about this Mac and adjusts the fans slightly. Will work fine with out it though. This is something you have to do, either before or after the cpu upgrade if you want too.
     
  7. Casby, Oct 20, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015

    Casby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #7
    So I went a little rogue when I couldn't find my Win7 disk and decided to leave the existed gfx card in for the time being until my new own arrives and get the OS going. I used my iMac as my workhorse and was able to actually install El Capitan directly onto the Mac Pro without any hiccups. After patching/replacing the boot.efi files with the new ones from Pike, it booted straight up without much fuss. Huzzah! Seems like doing it all from a different computer makes life a whole hell of a lot easier.

    So now I'm in a bit of a holding pattern until the remaining parts show up. Thanks for the help so far!

    Any suggestions on WiFi cards? I didn't realize this but this one doesn't have an Airport/WiFi card. Thankfully the hardline ethernet ports are still good so i'm running lengths of CAT6 across my floor until I find a replacement.

    Fun side note: I found that the previous owner was not super bright in the brain areas. Turns out this MP 1,1 actually has the Geforce 8800GT in it. Definitely better than the 7300GT I was expecting.
     

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  8. dfritchie macrumors regular

    dfritchie

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    #8
    Check at macvidcards or osxwifi for wireless cards for the Mac Pro. Since mine never had wifi, I can't even find the antenna wires to plug into a card, may have to go with a PCie solution.
     
  9. Casby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #9
    Uh oh. Problems.

    I tried using the MacProSMCupdate11 that was linked in the other big thread about 1,1>2,1 and it encountered an error somewhere and it fails to boot. I rebooted it as a target disk and tried recopying the updated boot.efi but still nothing. It starts and I get the black screen just like before and about halfway through, it just poops out and gives me the spinny dashed ball of thinking...

    Going to try reinstalling the OS again from scratch and hope that clears it up. If that doesn't work, maybe try to install windows and see if there's anything I can do there. I'm just hoping that firmware update failure didn't turn it the MP into a shiny doorstop.
     
  10. CapnDavey, Oct 21, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015

    CapnDavey macrumors 6502

    CapnDavey

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    Apr 11, 2015
    #10
    thats a fantastic deal I bought mine in march 2014 for 200 dollars here is what I've done so far. 4 hard drives one with 10.6 one with 10.9 one with 10.10 another for video and windows 7. an ATI4870 that I flashed blu ray burner in bottom bay lots of upgrade options out there.Also you need to make a hacked OS X installer for anything over Lion SFOTT will do the job for Mavericks and Yosemite for El cap you still need to do it manually
     
  11. Casby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #11
    Well I got the damn thing running again, El Crappy Tan (I mean that lovingly), and now I'm getting Kernel Panics. I'll be in the middle of something like opening a Finder window or something else that's asinine like using Safari and it crashes and reboots.

    Kernel_task, geforceTesla, snurlsessiond,... a couple others. Tried to boot in Safe Mode but it wouldn't get that far. Tried to boot in Recovery Mode with no luck (Maybe because the boot.EFI was replaced only in the main boot volume?idk)

    I've tried "repairing permissions" or using Disk Utility as it's all one now in 10.11. I really have no idea what to do any more.
     
  12. riggieri macrumors newbie

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    Apr 30, 2012
    #12
    try running Memtest, to see if the memory is bad on a older version of OS x
     
  13. Casby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #13
    Memtest showed everything as green and good to go. It runs Windows 7 just fine. Albeit finding a few of the drivers was a pain in the ass but otherwise solid and stable in Windows. And that's what bugs me about why it would have these issues in OSX. Spec-wise, it "should" be able to run without issue. I think I'm going to try cloning my MBP 10.11.1 drive since it's stable and see what it does (mostly for kicks). If nothing else, I'll drop Windows 7 back on there until I get ANOTHER hard drive drive to futz with.
     
  14. Casby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Casby

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    #14
    All right. Well, I gave up on El Crap-on-my-life and put Lion (10.7.5) on there for now. Grabbed the SMC/EFI updater and now I've got a 2,1 Mac Pro. :) Something went my way!

    That's the best thing so far. No Kernel Panics, nothing. Since it's running, I'm going to leave well enough alone for now until my SSD and remaining parts arrive before I revisit popping El Cabrón on there.

    Pair of X5365's, R9 280x, 16GB of dreamy rams, and a new SSD.
     
  15. Iewon macrumors newbie

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    USA
    #15
    Casby ,

    Where did you find the SMC/EFI updater and now I've got a 2,1 Mac Pro.
    Have a 2006 1,1 Mac Pro would like to up date.
     
  16. tripmusic macrumors 6502

    tripmusic

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    #16
    Do you mean this firmware tool to flash a 1,1 to a 2,1?
    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,1094.0.html
     
  17. Kipsley macrumors member

    Kipsley

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    Nov 12, 2015
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #17
    Hiyas. I'm also upgrading a 2006 Mac 1,1 I bought for $400 Australian. It came with standard graphics card, 12 Gb Ram (one bank didn't work so was running on 8Gb). Lion 10.7.5.

    I upgraded the graphics to the HD 5770 but was not super impressed. I am a mad "Second life" player and really only went from 5ps to 15fps. Then I got serious.

    Went back to Ebay (as I am not really tech savvy) and found a guy selling 500Gb HDD already preloaded with Yosemite and El Capitan ---- for the Mac 1,1!!!!! Sent him an email to ask more and he tells me it's a plug-n-play thing. All the hard work is done.

    Bought that. It's currently in the mail. Whilst I was at it, I also bought a 7950 3Gb card that I am assured is also plug-n-play with his El Capitan HDD. All this from the same guy in the States. Gave me a great deal on the card.

    I also sourced (on Ebay) a brand new Samsung SSD and caddy for the Mac 1,1 that I will load El Capitan on.

    Bought 2x4GB Ram from Hong Kong so I'm now at 16GB Ram. So impressed with it I went and ordered 4 more to max me out as 32GB Ram when it all arrives.

    Now, here's the thing. The guy in the States guarantees me this is all just plug-n-play. (His HDD and the 7950).

    I also wiped and then added a 500GB HDD I had laying around as just an extra disk.

    Did not know about the dual x5365s as a CPU upgrade till this thread. Will now look at that.

    Is there a fan upgrade? I have dual front fans and one at the back but I still feel a lot of heat coming out the machine. The 5770 does seem to struggle. (Yes…. It was a used card).
     
  18. cw48494 macrumors regular

    cw48494

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    Jun 17, 2015
    #18
    If your temperatures are fine there's nothing to worry about. It's normal for the gpu to get noisy when stressed, but if those temps are in the safe zone you still don't have anything to worry about. Dual x5365's will give a noticeable boost in performance, I recommend upgrading!
     
  19. kiresp macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2013
    #19
    I now have a MacPro 2006 which I picked up on Australian eBay for $300.
    The previous owner had flashed it to 2,1 firmware, added a 250 SSD, 2 x 750Gb drives and 32Gb RAM.

    I have now installed El Capitan from my Macbook Air via USB to SATA and used the fixed boot.edi - it's awesome.
    Currently I have a PC based ATI 5770, looking to flash to EFI for boot screen.

    Can't seem to register on netkas if anyone can help that would be great - need to make my own ROM from what I can understand.

    I have on order a combo Bluetooth Wifi card to get some continuity action going, still waiting for it to arrive.
    I am considering getting the dual X5365 upgrade, but an EFI video card is more important to me at the moment.
     
  20. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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  21. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #21
    While it's much more expensive, you'd be better off buying the RAM with the special Apple heatsinks on them. Using anything else will cause your Mac Pro to get really hot - especially with 32GB of it. You could see your exhaust fans ramping up.

    Start with a new HDD and put El Capitan on it if you wish. Visit the thread on that, as it's really easy to do. If you have a supported Mac, install El Capitan onto its HDD and then place the HDD into the Mac Pro after you've done the boot.efi replacement. If you don't have another supported Mac (but I guess you have the iMac), there's a method for doing so, but it's more difficult.

    You can get a new GPU whenever you want. If your Mac Pro has a 7300GT, though, you want to buy the new card FIRST and install it before you do anything else. If your card isn't better than a 2600XT, it's not going to do well will El Capitan. Things like the 7300GT won't even display anything on the screen.

    Lastly, you can put in extra things like RAM or flash your GPU.
     

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