Mac Pro 3,1 upgrade to 4,1 or 5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by t8er8, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. t8er8 macrumors regular

    t8er8

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    Dec 4, 2017
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #1
    I picked up a new graphics card, a sapphire Rx 560, I have a Mac Pro 3,1 so doing plenty of research thinking it would work be cause I had a hacked version of high Sierra running on it. It failed to run and the suspect is the ancient system bus they have in the Mac Pro 3,1. I haven’t heard anyone running on a Mac Pro 3,1, but I have heard people running it on a 5,1.

    I’ve done some research on a firmware upgrade from 4,1 to 5,1 and I’m curious to see if that could help me save money whilst still allowing the graphics card to work inside of it.

    Bottom line/tl:dr: To get my GPU, working should I upgrade to a Mac Pro 4,1 and firmware upgrade or a Mac Pro 5,1 without worrying about anything.

    Also does the Mac Pro 4,1–>5,1 firmware upgrade allow it to upgrade to high sierra?

    Thanks
     
  2. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #2
    The RX560 should work. Is it a known good card? Can you test it in another system?
     
  3. t8er8 thread starter macrumors regular

    t8er8

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    #3
    I don’t have any other system to test I in, but the card is new
    I have a high suspicion it’s just the Mac Pro 3,1 is too old to run it
     
  4. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #4
    Apologies. It looks like the RX560 doesn't work in the 3,1 https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/rx-560-in-mac-pro-3-1.2101834/ I had forgotten that it was a hack to get High Sierra running on the 3,1 so I imagine the issue is somewhere there.
     
  5. t8er8 thread starter macrumors regular

    t8er8

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    #5
    I’m surprised I didn’t stumble upon that forum! But, my real question is what should I upgrade it to so it will work without issues, can I upgrade to a 4,1 and do a firmware upgrade or a 5,1. A 4,1 would save me loads of money.

    Cheers
     
  6. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #6
    If you are generally happy with the performance of your system why not just buy a used GTX680 & flash it yourself for an Apple boot screen? Much cheaper than buying a 4,1.
     
  7. t8er8 thread starter macrumors regular

    t8er8

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    #7
    To be honest I was ready to upgrade to a 4,1 or 5,1 I was just looking for the proper time to, the 3,1 doesn’t meet my needs and that graphics card has been a pain enough to get that I just want to use it.
     
  8. pl1984 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #8
    To answer your question about the 4,1 -> 5,1 upgrade, yes performing this upgrade will enable you to natively run macOS Sierra / High Sierra. I haven't done it myself but every post I've read where someone has tried it has been successful.

    One thing to mention about a 4,1 is if you buy a dual processor model and intend upgrade the processors it will be a little more difficult than a single processor 4,1 or any model 5,1.
     
  9. t8er8 thread starter macrumors regular

    t8er8

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    #9
    Thanks for the reply, I understand it now
     
  10. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #10
    I have a 4,1-> 5,1 single-socket MP. As the active forums discussions will tell you, this is still a very capable/upgradeable system. As such, think through some of the nuances before pulling the trigger on one.
    Note that in every instance of the word "need" below, you could probably swap in "want."
    - Do you need dual processors? If so, an original 5,1 is probably best. For dual processor 4,1, you have to de-lid CPUs before upgrading, or do some washer stacking. Single socket 4,1 and all 5,1 do not require de-lidding.
    - Bluetooth works better in 5,1. This is marginal, but my original Magic Mouse can't hold a connection.
    - The firmware upgrade from 4,1 -> 5,1 requires some research and preparedness, but one that's done is pretty straightforward.
    - PCIe slots get scarce fast. Most GPU want 2 slots. You will probably want USB3. You may need PCIe boot from SSD. These things get used up surprisingly fast.
    - Booting from an SSD in PCIe or Sata makes no difference. Your particular app may benefit from PCIe SSD.
    - Large capacity HDDs have different mounting holes, so you may need sleds from OWC.

    For my use, I upgraded a 2.93 4-core to a 3.33 6-core, and was somewhat unimpressed at the improvement in FCPX (essentially, none). Of course, I still have a GT120... FWIW, Handbrake used to perform 25% slower than my 2013 15-MBP, and is now about 20% faster.
     
  11. t8er8 thread starter macrumors regular

    t8er8

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    #11
    Wow, thanks a lot for that reply. It’s very informative, I did not know about the delidding. But it’s good to know that the 4,1 is still a very capable machine, no wonder they still sell for so much. I think i closed a deal with a guy for a 4 core 5,1 with 32 gigs of ram, which is seriously overdoing it. I definitely don’t need all that ram but it’s a hell of a deal. I’m guessing the 5,1 will have better future proofing too with it’s easy cpu upgrades and better Bluetooth. Thanks a lot for that response again.
     

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