Mac Pro 3,1 Upgrade paths from 10.11.6

scalarscience

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2018
2
0
Inland NW
Hello!

I've got 2 classic Mac Pro 3,1's here. Both are dual 2.8Ghz with 24GB ram & USB3 cards. One has upgraded bluetooth 4.1, and if needed I can apply the MacVidCards upgrade to the other too. So that's a non-issue here.

I was going to wait until I upgraded to a pair of 5,1's to move OS versions, but this is getting long in the tooth. I do graphics & audio work using programs like Adobe CC subscription, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Final Cut Pro X, Maya, PFTrack, Mocha Pro and so on. Thankfully I have several newer (mostly windows) machines for the real heavy graphics stuff so I have modern GPU's and CPU's to leverage there, but my audio workflow is almost entirely Mac and both Logic Pro X & Final Cut Pro X have moved on from 10.11.x now.

So, I have a bevy of GPU's here and am looking for input on what a good temporary upgrade path might be (using dosdude's tools of course).

I have 2 GTX960's & 1 rx470 for primary use
I also have 2 Quadro400's & 1 5770 for boot screen support, when needed (probably the 2600XT's somewhere too).

I read all the dosdude & realted development threads up through the final 10.12 release, and some of the 10.13 development. 10.12 & 10.13 both seem fairly comparable, especially if I skip over AFPS. However I'm not 100% on which GPU's are ideal for metal on a Mac Pro 3,1 (no SSE4, right?) and whether the rx470 (or sapphire 580 that's 100% supported) might be better than these GTX960's... And whether 10.14 is worth the effort?

Thank you for your time and input
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,310
6,027
Brazil
Hello!

I've got 2 classic Mac Pro 3,1's here. Both are dual 2.8Ghz with 24GB ram & USB3 cards. One has upgraded bluetooth 4.1, and if needed I can apply the MacVidCards upgrade to the other too. So that's a non-issue here.

I was going to wait until I upgraded to a pair of 5,1's to move OS versions, but this is getting long in the tooth. I do graphics & audio work using programs like Adobe CC subscription, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Final Cut Pro X, Maya, PFTrack, Mocha Pro and so on. Thankfully I have several newer (mostly windows) machines for the real heavy graphics stuff so I have modern GPU's and CPU's to leverage there, but my audio workflow is almost entirely Mac and both Logic Pro X & Final Cut Pro X have moved on from 10.11.x now.

So, I have a bevy of GPU's here and am looking for input on what a good temporary upgrade path might be (using dosdude's tools of course).

I have 2 GTX960's & 1 rx470 for primary use
I also have 2 Quadro400's & 1 5770 for boot screen support, when needed (probably the 2600XT's somewhere too).

I read all the dosdude & realted development threads up through the final 10.12 release, and some of the 10.13 development. 10.12 & 10.13 both seem fairly comparable, especially if I skip over AFPS. However I'm not 100% on which GPU's are ideal for metal on a Mac Pro 3,1 (no SSE4, right?) and whether the rx470 (or sapphire 580 that's 100% supported) might be better than these GTX960's... And whether 10.14 is worth the effort?

Thank you for your time and input
No AMD GPU past R9-280X works with MP3,1 Xeons and 10.13, driver needs SSE4.2. You can install NVIDIA GPUs and run it almost unpatched and without problems, if you use 10.13.6.

No need to upgrade bluetooth, but the AirPort must be, if you need Wi-Fi. You can buy an Apple BCM94322MC, around $10~$13 on eBay, like this one Apple Airport Extreme BCM94322MC Wireless WIFI PCI-E Card For Mac Pro MB988Z/A. This one works even with Mojave.

Don't go for 10.14 yet, updates are frequently and every time a new update is released you can possible brick your Mac Pro 2008.

Read the macOS High Sierra (10.13) Unsupported Macs Thread, ask any help needed there.
 

macdos

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2017
213
290
Hello!

I've got 2 classic Mac Pro 3,1's here. Both are dual 2.8Ghz with 24GB ram & USB3 cards. One has upgraded bluetooth 4.1, and if needed I can apply the MacVidCards upgrade to the other too. So that's a non-issue here.

I was going to wait until I upgraded to a pair of 5,1's to move OS versions, but this is getting long in the tooth. I do graphics & audio work using programs like Adobe CC subscription, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Final Cut Pro X, Maya, PFTrack, Mocha Pro and so on. Thankfully I have several newer (mostly windows) machines for the real heavy graphics stuff so I have modern GPU's and CPU's to leverage there, but my audio workflow is almost entirely Mac and both Logic Pro X & Final Cut Pro X have moved on from 10.11.x now.

So, I have a bevy of GPU's here and am looking for input on what a good temporary upgrade path might be (using dosdude's tools of course).

I have 2 GTX960's & 1 rx470 for primary use
I also have 2 Quadro400's & 1 5770 for boot screen support, when needed (probably the 2600XT's somewhere too).

I read all the dosdude & realted development threads up through the final 10.12 release, and some of the 10.13 development. 10.12 & 10.13 both seem fairly comparable, especially if I skip over AFPS. However I'm not 100% on which GPU's are ideal for metal on a Mac Pro 3,1 (no SSE4, right?) and whether the rx470 (or sapphire 580 that's 100% supported) might be better than these GTX960's... And whether 10.14 is worth the effort?

Thank you for your time and input
I just scrapped my MacPro 3,1 with a Sapphire HD 7950 card. I put both Sierra and High Sierra on it, with increasing glitches with time (because older Sierra drivers are used for the GPU). After 10.13.x something, I could no longer get native 4K resolution on my monitors. With 10.14, you can't use newer AMD cards, and there are no drivers for Nvidia cards either.

If I were to keep the Pro, I would go back to Il Capitano and keep it that way. It would be usable for some years.
 

macdos

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2017
213
290
Did you mean to say that on the MacPro 3,1 you can’t use newer AMD cards? macOS 10.14.x works best with newer AMD cards AFAIK.

I think the limitation is the cMP model rather than the macOS version (4K issues aside).
AMD drivers in 10.14 use SSE 4.2, which Mac Pro 3,1 can't handle.
 

scalarscience

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2018
2
0
Inland NW
The last time I checked that was true, I was just not sure if it is *still* true. So thank you for the confirmation. I had also read that 10.14 didn't have nvidia web drivers yet, so while the GTX960 will work there natively now there is no CUDA support in the native drivers. Is that still true as well?