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eunix357

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 2, 2022
5
2
Hello MACanites

I am looking to get some reasonable suggestion on upgrading my Mac Pro
Currently I am still on El Capitan on this machine which still does what I need it to for Photo editing, and music library management.
The Machine is EOL and El Capitan is also. The machine is pretty beefy and runs rather well but I do what to push it to a more modern version of OSX and maybe a better graphics card.

Just because the old girl is....mature, she is not read for the recycle center. Yes, I am one of those guys who will put the HW to pure obsolescence

I am looking forward to hearing your suggestions. Below are the specs on my machine.
Thanks in advance!

Model Name: Mac Pro​
Model Identifier: MacPro3,1​
Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon​
Processor Speed: 3.16 GHz​
Number of Processors: 2​
Total Number of Cores: 8​
L2 Cache (per Processor): 12 MB​
Memory: 64 GB​
Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz​
Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B05​
SMC Version (system): 1.25f4​
Eunix
 

eunix357

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 2, 2022
5
2
Looks like my dinosaur attracts no suggestions. From what I have gathered, it is possible for me to go beyond El Capitan but will have to do some hacks and shell out $500+ to get a video card that supports Metal ( got to look that one up not sure what that is yet ). I am perfectly fine with the functionality (operationally) with El Capitan but this leaves me stuck on legacy versions of certain softwares that I like to use.

It seems like Big Sur is possible but the cost to push this machine to run Big Sur may be more than I want to spend. I hate to trash the 64 Gig of Ram. I am willing to upgrade the video ( within reason ) but appx $500 for a video card is out of the question. I prefer NVIDIA but looks like that is not a marriage made in heaven on MAC.

I will have to put some more thought into it. She aint ready for retirement...
 

KeesMacPro

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2019
1,453
575
The GTX 680 /770/ 780 (Ti) could be a nice GPU for a reasonable price.
They're Kepler Nvidia cards and natively supported up to Big Sur.

You could install a dosdude patched install of e.g. Mojave or Catalina or go the OpenCore route.
OpenCore Legacy Patcher seems a popular choice for the MP 3,1.



 
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Macbookprodude

Suspended
Jan 1, 2018
3,306
890
What about one who does not have a metal graphics card, as Ukrainians myself in Ukraine are not rich like you are in Amerika.
 

KeesMacPro

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2019
1,453
575
What about one who does not have a metal graphics card
A Metal card is a requirement for Mojave and up, but you could check the dosdude FAQ and/or known issues
as Ukrainians myself in Ukraine are not rich like you are in Amerika.
1) this forum is used by people from allover the world ; not only ukrainians and americans*.

2) not sure whom you refer to with "you" ( but in case it's me : I'm not from the US ).

3) There's a continent called America which includes the United States of America.

4) The majority of the American continent is spanish spoken and far from rich.

5) The idea that all citizens from the US are rich is an assumption and not true.


*=an american is a native or inhabitant of North or South America.
Common is to restrict the definition of "an american" to a native or inhabitant of the US, which is strictly seen incorrect.
 
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eunix357

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 2, 2022
5
2
I am definitely not rich but I do try to maximize the money that I do spend. I picked up this MAC pro a few years back because it was more like a workstation class machine. I work in IT so I I look more so at a machines ability to do work versus how fast it is and ability to run games. ( I also have an imac that I am upgrading the processor and SSD and maxing out the ram ) I am into photography and am a musician. I have Mac, Windows, Linux and UNIX in my environment.

This Mac Pro is used in my photography workflow (primarily) and graphic arts. I am using Adobe tools, Corel tools and some other products. It has 64G of ram and it is highly upgradable. Although it is technically EOL, the machine is not ready for the trash heap. I am not a MAC first person even though I humbly started out with the Apple II+/IIe, I am platform agnostic. Therefore when I pivot to work on a project, I have to "catch up" a bit.

I am a fan of Nvidia for other reasons, but I will be more than happy to be patient to find METAL video card at a good price point ( or rummage sale! ). I am not going to go out and sink $400.00 + just to get this machine to run an OS that will let me upgrade my software.

What KeesMACPro provided was some good points for me to start my research. I am sure there are plenty of people that are like minded.

Thanks for you comments and input because cost is important to talk about.

Aside : I started a blog a few years back focusing on maximizing your investment in hardware and older computers. Blogging is difficult when you don't have much time. I may revive it as this project is promising. So please provide good thoughtful suggestions. I may update my blog with this content.

Peace,
 
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AlexMaximus

macrumors 65816
Aug 15, 2006
1,067
399
A400M Base
The only thing that is worth to add here is this link here.


It helped big time to have 1300 MB/sec ssd speeds with a good pcie adapter bridge card.
Other than that, I had much fun to do a little All -in-one water cooling on the 580 card. It’s quiet and cool running, a fabulous machine, very happy. If you need input on simple gpu water cooling I can help.
 
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Francis P Moonan

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2020
2
0
Florida
On the cheap you can use gt120 apple card and upgrade to High Sierra, by dosdude1 USB installer/patcher. On a MacPro it installs faster with the old Nvidia native card. Clean upgrade this way to High SIERRA 10.13.6. Once there, get a cheap ssd used sata3 type (ie not name). Then format SSD with GPT and APFS the SSD. In High Sierra go to the open core legacy patcher and with another 16GB flash drive create a Big Sur 11.6.4 as described by Mr Macintosh in videos, and at web site. Big Sur supports DAWs for making music of not only the newest GarageBand, which dwarfs GarageBand found on El Capitan, but can also run everybody else's daws pretty much including the Ableton Live. The metal acceleration is not too bad. It runs Big Sur 11.6.4OK even on old gt9400 in old 2009 MacBook laptops. Play with it to see if you want to invest any more money to beef unto a Kepler video card from a cheap gt710 to a faster gtx680. Trust me, just the ssd upgrade alone to High Sierra will speed up your workflow, if you don''t want to take the next step to Big Sur. Monterrrey is tricky on a MacPro 3,1 although it is a piece of cake on Macro4,1/5,1 on open core. If you want to experiment with High Sierra, put it on the SSD and then use the MacOS transfer utility under Utilities in the Applications from the Finder to transfer all Apps and files to SSD. Get a feel for what is doable and gain a comfort zone as to each upgrade step that you want to do. I currently have a happy MacPro3,1 running Big Sur 11.6.4 and a MacPro4,1 flash upgraded to 5,1 BIOS running Monterrey 12.3, without any issues at all so far. The MacPro 3,1 is finicky and slow until you install the acceleration, so be patient and do NOT assume that as it does the apple thing startup that it is hanging. Opencore install on a MacPro3,1 is particularly long--winded in startup for Opencore, winding up over an hour. Good Luck. Bon Chance.
 

Francis P Moonan

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2020
2
0
Florida
Note that the NVME drive reference above is for MacPro4,1/5,1 machines, and that to get NVME drives to work on a MacPro 3,1 requires a complicated flash of the BIOS that Mr Macintosh indicates is tricky enough that if you make a mistake, you can brick your machine. The stuff I describe above is actually 100% safe essentially to all of your existing machine and data.
 

Dayo

macrumors 68000
Dec 21, 2018
1,729
962
to get NVME drives to work on a MacPro 3,1 requires a complicated flash of the BIOS
RefindPlus will provide both APFS and NVME support without neeeding a firmware flash.

Separately, I am sure there was interesting stuff in your other post but it was an unreadable lump of text. Can you split into a few paragraphs?
 
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kidkreep

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2022
2
0
On the cheap you can use gt120 apple card and upgrade to High Sierra, by dosdude1 USB installer/patcher. On a MacPro it installs faster with the old Nvidia native card. Clean upgrade this way to High SIERRA 10.13.6. Once there, get a cheap ssd used sata3 type (ie not name). Then format SSD with GPT and APFS the SSD. In High Sierra go to the open core legacy patcher and with another 16GB flash drive create a Big Sur 11.6.4 as described by Mr Macintosh in videos, and at web site. Big Sur supports DAWs for making music of not only the newest GarageBand, which dwarfs GarageBand found on El Capitan, but can also run everybody else's daws pretty much including the Ableton Live. The metal acceleration is not too bad. It runs Big Sur 11.6.4OK even on old gt9400 in old 2009 MacBook laptops. Play with it to see if you want to invest any more money to beef unto a Kepler video card from a cheap gt710 to a faster gtx680. Trust me, just the ssd upgrade alone to High Sierra will speed up your workflow, if you don''t want to take the next step to Big Sur. Monterrrey is tricky on a MacPro 3,1 although it is a piece of cake on Macro4,1/5,1 on open core. If you want to experiment with High Sierra, put it on the SSD and then use the MacOS transfer utility under Utilities in the Applications from the Finder to transfer all Apps and files to SSD. Get a feel for what is doable and gain a comfort zone as to each upgrade step that you want to do. I currently have a happy MacPro3,1 running Big Sur 11.6.4 and a MacPro4,1 flash upgraded to 5,1 BIOS running Monterrey 12.3, without any issues at all so far. The MacPro 3,1 is finicky and slow until you install the acceleration, so be patient and do NOT assume that as it does the apple thing startup that it is hanging. Opencore install on a MacPro3,1 is particularly long--winded in startup for Opencore, winding up over an hour. Good Luck. Bon Chance.
Hey I'm having some issues booting OpenCore from Mojave dosdude1 10.14.6. I have a RX 580 that i tried to get the bootpicker to load which resulted in a blank screen. I popped in my original GT 120 and got the bootpicker, chose the efi and my computer kept rebooting trying to load Mojave again but just repeatedly getting the no sign. I managed to choose "Install Big Sur" to attempt to boot opencore, I got the Apple Logo and was stuck on the status bar for about 20 minutes. Did that screen take you an hour alone to load? I know dosdude1 took me quite a while but if it really takes an hour I will wait. I paniced and popped in my dosdude usb to reinstall Mojave because I couldn't boot back in at all with either GPU's installed.
 

MacHosehead

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2022
16
8
Hey I'm having some issues booting OpenCore from Mojave dosdude1 10.14.6. I have a RX 580 that i tried to get the bootpicker to load which resulted in a blank screen. I popped in my original GT 120 and got the bootpicker, chose the efi and my computer kept rebooting trying to load Mojave again but just repeatedly getting the no sign. I managed to choose "Install Big Sur" to attempt to boot opencore, I got the Apple Logo and was stuck on the status bar for about 20 minutes. Did that screen take you an hour alone to load? I know dosdude1 took me quite a while but if it really takes an hour I will wait. I paniced and popped in my dosdude usb to reinstall Mojave because I couldn't boot back in at all with either GPU's installed.
I will make a guess as to what is going on. Once you put in the GT120 you see the Apple bootpicker but none of the OSs you are trying to run will boot with that GPU. With the RX 580 you will not see the Apple bootpicker and will need to rely on an alternate bootpicker. I assume you will need to set the boot to the EFI partition beforehand.

On my MP3,1, I installed OCLP from High Sierra and put Monterey on a SATA SSD. OCLP can root patch a GT120 to work with Monterey and for a while I was booting into either one. I have since replaced the GT120 for a RX 570 and changed the wifi/bt card. I can run Monterey 12.5 without root patches and Universal Control works with my iPad.
 

kidkreep

macrumors newbie
Aug 3, 2022
2
0
I will make a guess as to what is going on. Once you put in the GT120 you see the Apple bootpicker but none of the OSs you are trying to run will boot with that GPU. With the RX 580 you will not see the Apple bootpicker and will need to rely on an alternate bootpicker. I assume you will need to set the boot to the EFI partition beforehand.

On my MP3,1, I installed OCLP from High Sierra and put Monterey on a SATA SSD. OCLP can root patch a GT120 to work with Monterey and for a while I was booting into either one. I have since replaced the GT120 for a RX 570 and changed the wifi/bt card. I can run Monterey 12.5 without root patches and Universal Control works with my iPad.
So I tried the same thing I took my drive with dosdude out completely and all of my other drives I put in the gt120 and started the installer it gets to 12 minutes left in the first load window and then just reboots and loops over and over. I tried the process with both graphics card my rx 580 and the gt 120. I kept both cards in but only had the display connect to one card at a time. The computer seems to ignore the other card. I tried to wipe my usb installer and try to build the open core with a new installer on my MacBook with the correct settings for my Mac Pro 3,1 and got the same issue. I’m trying to install on a different ssd that I partitioned with an Apfs drive. I am installing 11.6.8 Big Sur through the legacy patcher. Not sure if that os version is the issue specifically but I will try to make a Monterey installer and erase the drive again and restart. Do I need the Martin lo patch or something? I’m reading there can be many reasons for a reboot loop.
 
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