Mac Pro 1,1 - Still Usable?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Arv3n, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. Arv3n macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2010
    Hello all,

    I just purchased a refurbished Apple Mac Pro (1,1) with 2.66ghz quad core CPU/8GB ram/7300GT vid card for about $275.

    How usable is this thing? I'm expecting it to be my main computer, and will use it for school work, youtube, music, a few games (world of warcraft, maybe), and casual usage/browsing.

    I don't mind putting a few more bucks into it, either, so if there are any essential upgrades I need to do let me know.
  2. Macsonic, Oct 12, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014

    Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Congrats on your Mac Pro. Yep it's still usable with the tasks you mentioned. Best to upgrade the video card, to a Radeon 5770HD or 5870HD and add more ram.

    And to add more info, the Nvidia 7300GT card had weak capacitors and the card design does not have a cooling fan.

    When I had my 1.1 2006 Mac Pro, the Nvidia 7300GT expired and the second replacement, same card 7300GT, also died.
  3. zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    Congrats on your MacPro, that is not a bad price. I'd leave the thing as is, 8GB and a 7300GT are fine for general computing, unless you are a hardcore gamer. A better graphics card might be desirable, I'm just not sure if it is desirable to stick a $400 GPU one in a $275 machine.

    Personally, I would not bother, and just increase storage (add hard drives) if necessary.
  4. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    great as a file server. the optical bays are nice for blu ray drives too
  5. Arv3n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2010
    A few more questions.

    I have 1333mhz 2x4GB RAM sticks in my desktop. Can I put those in this Mac Pro? Can I put my low profile Sapphire AMD 5570 in this Mac Pro?

    I'm also going to take the 1tb hd in my desktop and add it to the Mac Pro.
  6. zfxp macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2012

    Your ram is incompatible.
    Yes, you can put your 5770 in but you won't have a boot screen.
    the 1tb will do just fine.

    I sell Quadro FX 3700's that are flashed to 8800gt mac pro 1,1 firmware, you get full EFI/boot screen, and compatibility with mavericks.
  7. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    You will need DDR2 FB-DIMMs to upgrade the RAM in your new 1,1. They are relatively inexpensive if you get non-Apple sticks on Ebay. The most economical purchase is pairs of 2GB sticks (4GB per pair.) They make 4GB sticks, but they are frequently more than 4x as expensive as a 2GB stick. Also, keep in mind that in your 1,1 all DIMMs must be installed in matching pairs. Check out the owner's manual HERE.
  8. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Jun 9, 2005
    The 5570 (unlike the 5770) is highly unlikely to be plug and play, but if you want to go down the route of kernel extension hacking, it'll probably work. Start here.
  9. Dc2006ster, Oct 12, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014

    Dc2006ster macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    I have a very similar MacPro. For your uses it will be fine as is. I use mine for similar tasks but also use it with Plex (as a media server to my TV), Aperture, Final Cut Pro X and Windows 7 using Parallels.

    I do not see there are any essential upgrades for you until the video card fails as mine did last year. I now have the Radeon 5770 video card so I am able to run Mavericks but if that is not a concern for you I would say your best upgrade would be a SSD as a boot drive in one of the optical drive bays.
  10. pointvicente macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2014
    mac pro 1,1 upgrades

    I also bought a mac pro 1,1 2006 3.0MHZ for $300 around 2/1/2014. The graphics card is a ATI X1900 512MB. My problem is that I would like to sell it after I'm done with it but I can't seem to figure out how to do a clean install of Lion 10.7.5. It didn't come with a DVD it only came with a internet Lion partition which fails to load anything because I get the infamous "isn't available at this time" message from the app store when trying to install it. I'm thinking of buying snow leopard 10.6.3 retail so that I can do a clean install since cloning the current system will be too time consuming. I'm concerned however because I've read stories that snow leopard may not recognize the X1900 card so I'm not sure how to do a clean install. I'm also trying to avoid this message I've read about: "Mac OSX cannot be installed on this computer".

    As far as recommendations I'm not sold yet that Mavericks EFI trick will improve performance so I'm holding off on that. An SDD drive, memory, and 5770 will also benefit performance. Hopefully your existing 5570 worked out of the box or with minimal unix commands.
  11. Arv3n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2010
    Well after a delayed shipment and another week later, I finally received my Mac Pro. It runs pretty good, I had a G5 before that was very loud - this one is super quiet so far.

    It came with Lion, but I erased that and used my own copy of Snow Leopard that I had on disc. I always do a fresh install when getting a used computer. I will try to upgrade to Lion later tonight and then eventually Yosemite.
  12. nilk macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2007
    The 1,1 is still very usable, especially if you do some upgrades and do the hacks to run recent OS X versions.

    First thing to do: get an SSD and use it for your OS / Apps drive (use it for everything if you can). This will be the upgrade that makes your machine feel closer to a recent machine. It doesn't have to be the fastest SSD, as SATA 2 won't allow you to take advantage of the throughput capabilities. Something like a Crucial MX100 or Samsung 840 EVO would probably do the trick. I have a 840 Pro in mine, but it's probably overkill. Note that you'll need an adapter for it to fit in the drive bays.

    I think you'll want to upgrade the video card, especially if you're doing some gaming. The 7300GT has pretty weak driver support in OS X for OpenGL and that prevented me from running various games (though Windows driver support for the 7300GT is better, so if you're dual booting maybe it'll be ok). When I upgraded to the 5770 it made a bigger difference in general performance than I thought it would, and photo apps like iPhoto / Aperture, and of course Final Cut Pro benefited big time.

    There's a lot of RAM upgrade potential (up to 32GB), but it's pretty expensive. You're likely ok sticking with 8GB. Note that the cheaper RAM modules you'll find often run hot and will make your fans louder and your Mac Pro will no longer be whisper silent (I went this route and was ok with the trade-off).

    CPU upgrades require considerable effort and require a special tool (long hex driver) for getting the heatsink off. But if you can find CPUs cheap enough, you can double your multi-core performance by going 8 cores. My pair of Xeon E5345's cost me $18. If you don't do anything CPU-heavy, probably not worth the effort, though.

    If you want the latest versions of OS X running on this, there are hacks to make it possible and they work well enough (otherwise you are stuck on Lion). I am running Mavericks on mine and will try Yosemite at some point.
  13. hassiman macrumors member


    Aug 30, 2006
    San Diego
    My 1.1 is still chugging along....

    Still using it even after I dropped the damn thing and bent the case...
    It sits right next to my New MacPro.:p
  14. Arv3n, Oct 23, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014

    Arv3n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2010
    OK! I did some upgrades today with leftover parts and added a new monitor (it was in my closet, so I figured I'd use it). End result:

    Mac OS X version 10.6.8 running with all updates applied
    2 x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    8 GB 667 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
    1x250GB internal hard drive (boot - no SSD)
    2x1TB hard drives (Seagate, Western Digital) - storage/time machine backups
    GeForce 7300GT.

    All for a lovely $275 (+$50 shipping). Got two monitors set up and running just fine. Everything works great so far. I will finish downloading and upgrading to Lion tonight or tomorrow. I tried putting in my low profile 5570 but it wouldn't fit right.

    I'll upgrade more when I get the money. It's already pretty fast.
  15. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    I haven't found ram to be expensive 2 4Gb (8Gb) sticks can be had off of ebay nowadays for less than $50.
  16. Arv3n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2010
    Just an update:

    - I've purchased and upgraded to Lion with all updates applied.
    - Purchased 2x5355 CPUs, should arrive very soon.
    - Purchased a GTX 570, should be in soon
    - I also had to order 2x6-pin PCI-E connectors.

    Lion works fine, and I will upgrade to Yosemite when the video card arrives. Boot camp has been a major pain to work with. 32-bit Vista worked fine on Snow Leopard, but is not supported on Lion/BC 4.0. I downloaded 7 32-bit from my Dreamspark, but I get an instant reboot right before the account setup screen.

    I've tried to get Windows 7 64-bit on here, which is what I really want, but it gives me an error asking which source to boot from. I googled it and remade the boot disc with imgburn, but now I get error 5 when trying to boot from the disc.

    Can anyone share with me what they've done (successfully) to get Windows 7 64-bit on the Mac Pro 1,1?
  17. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    I am kicking myself that I did this with my 2008 3,1 while we were moving house. The annoying thing is that I hardly dropped it more than a foot & yet the curved aluminium base bent & popped apart. It's not terrible to look at but sits a little wonky now & I cannot figure how to bend it back. It's silly that even though it doesn't affect the running of the system at all I have still contemplated buying an undamaged case & doing a transplant just so it looked as beautiful as new once more!
  18. bax2003 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2011
    Mac Pros 1.1 and 2.1 will be usable as long as they keep working ;)
  19. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    If you're using only one display, you'll be happy with 570 + Yosemite.
  20. jfalberti macrumors member


    Aug 7, 2014
    Visalia CA
    I bought my Mac Pro about one year ago, and it had the base configuration pretty much like yours. Here is what I upgraded it to:

    Mac Pro 2006 1,1 with firmware flashed to 2,1
    2 Xeon 5355 quad core processors
    24 GB RAM
    ATI Radion HD 4870 GPU flashed wwith Apple EFI
    1 1.28 TB home made Fusion drive
    2 WD 1 TB HDD

    I can honestly say that this machine just FLIES. I have installed Yosemite, and the latest versions of all the software I use. I also used Boot Camp to install Windows 7 in a bootable partition, and installed VMware Fusion, so I can run my Boot Camp partition standalone, or as a VM under Yosemite. As long as the hardware doesn't fail, I'll be able to get at least two to three more years out of this machine with no problem.
  21. macagain macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2002
    I have it running on my 1,1 upgraded to dual 5345's. It was done on Lion a long time ago.

    This thread should explain things
  22. yaboo007 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2014
    Upgraded my unit to dual quad cpu, 560gtx card, 16gb ram, 240gb ssd.

    I use mine for doing web development with dual 24" monitors.

    Not really a gamer, but play civ 5 via email.

    Want to upgrade it from 10.9.4 to 10.10. Just need the time.

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