Mac Pro 3,1 upgrades and questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macinjosh9895, May 12, 2019.

  1. macinjosh9895 macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #1
    I just recently acquired a 2008 Mac Pro with single 2.8GHz Processor.

    I want to upgrade to Dual 3.2's, but after searching more, I discovered there are separate heatsinks specifically for them. Is that even necessary? Also, best thermal paste?

    Also, I still need to get an OEM GPU, but if I don't hit it just right, I can't find one cheap. Best option for cheap (less than $45) OEM or Mac EFI equipped GPU?

    Also, here is a strange phenomenon my Mac Pro experiences. If I manually control the fan speeds, the system crashes, so I've left that alone and it works better. Also, last night it did it again when I tried to run a Blackmagic disk speed test. I was baffled. And after the screen shuts off, a few seconds later the fans all go to maximum speed. Could that be a sensor? I know it's not the hard drive, as it did it with another one I first put in the Mac to get it running.

    I did put a 750GB HD in and even a USB 3.1 card, plus 32GB 800MHz RAM, so I've made a minor investment, but paid next to nothing for the computer.

    I was told by the person I bought it from that it wouldn't post, but we've discovered that was wrong, fortunately. Sadly, the person he bought it from wouldn't tell him what was wrong with it.
     
  2. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

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    #2
    First off welcome! And your username is awesome lol.

    The separate heatsinks are necessary. Luckily, finding those are much less painful than trying to acquire the extremely overpriced dual-cpu trays for 4,1/5,1s. A quick search on ebay. As for an EFI supported GPU, you can sometimes find G120s on ebay but they are pretty overpriced. I haven't ever looked for the radeon HD 2600 XT, but thats what would've came in it. You can usually find mac-flashed cards, like GTX 680s, I got a GTX 780 Ti that was flashed on ebay for $250, pretty fair price considering what it is. Those are still on there.

    As far as the fan crashing issue, I see no reason to not let the system regulate it's fans on it's own. It does a fine job of it. My 3,1 is always quiet.

    My question for you is, did you get the proper RAM? The 3,1 needs to have the ram with the huge heat sinks on each side. If they are regular DDR2 sticks, you will have problems.
     
  3. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #3
    Thanks for the welcome. And thanks for the comment on my username.

    If I can use the standard heatsinks used on the 2.8’s and 3.0’s, I’d love to save some money, but if I have to buy the ones specifically made for the 3.2’s I will.

    I’ll stick to the GT120. Hopefully I’ll find it for $30 again. I need 2, one for this one and one for the Mac Pro 1,1 I’m giving to a pastor.

    I figure the fan crashing could be software based, but what would have caused the crash last night? That one baffles me.

    As for RAM, yes, the most hilariously thick sticks of RAM I’ve ever seen. 32GB cost me almost $90 on eBay.

    Technically this computer only cost me $10, so I’m grateful it’s a low cost investment for use as an everyday Mac.
     
  4. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #4
    Update to last night. Ran Sim City 4 on the main screen while I took a shower last night. Came in my room to fans running on high, so it crashed again. Could it possibly be the graphics card? It's a Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB OC model. I'm thinking if the GPU is the issue, it might be pulling too much power.

    Either that or my PSU is strained. :(
     
  5. Ludacrisvp macrumors 6502

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    May 14, 2008
    #5
    You don’t need “special heatsinks” for the 3.2 processors. The thing that made them special was that they had liquid metal thermal compound on them.
    Just get another heatsink for the 2.8 ghz processor and some decent thermal paste and you’re set. You might even try the 40mm thermal IC pad instead which claims to have great properties and can be trimmed to fit.

    https://www.amazon.com/Innovation-Cooling-Graphite-Thermal-Pad/dp/B07CKVW18G

    I upgraded from dual 2.8 to dual 3.2 several years ago now and just swapped thermal paste and haven’t had any thermal concerns.
     
  6. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #6
    Thanks! This is my first foray into processor swapping and my first Mac Pro.
     
  7. macinjosh9895, May 22, 2019
    Last edited: May 22, 2019

    macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #7
    Just to give an update. I got a Nvidia GeForce 8800GT for my Mac Pro, and so far, with lots of tests, running the fans at high speed, etc, it hasn't crashed after 4.5 hours. I think the Sapphire Radeon was just drawing too much power.

    Meanwhile, this computer is the gift that keeps on giving. I just discovered that there is an Airport Extreme that supports 802.11ac in it, and the firmware version says "Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (7.21.95.178.1a2) None of the cMP's had 802.11ac out of the box. So that's been upgraded. Sadly, they didn't upgrade the Bluetooth module, so it's still 2.0.

    Oops. I'm wrong about the Broadcom WiFi card. It includes Bluetooth 4.0 since it's the BCM94360CD, but the bluetooth antenna was never connected to it and the original Bluetooth 2.0 is still plugged in. I'll change that once I do my processor upgrade.
     
  8. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #8
    So because I didn't have the right screwdriver, I used a socket to 3mm bit to remove my heatsinks to upgrade my Mac. However, to get in there, I had to take out the Northbridge heatsink. Would I be ok to use a graphite thermal pad on the Northbridge chip, or only use thermal paste on it?
     
  9. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    i still have my macpro 3,1 :) my backup

    what version of osx are you using?

    for a GPU DIY flash a gtx 680 is a relay good option, in the UK you can grab them on ebay for £50 or less.
    the topic covers all you need to know
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/confirmed-and-possible-flashable-gtx-680-models.1578255/
    from memory EVGA is a safe bet

    i used a GTX 660 for a long time with no problems (not flashed so no boot display)
    and if you dont need a lot of power i think the GT610/620 where near silent options (not flashed so no boot display)

    if your getting random lockups there's a few options
    https://github.com/upekkha/AppleHardwareTest
    easy to install on to a USB stick and do a long test (takes 1 hour + with lots of ram sometimes)

    or

    pull or replace parts till you see no problem

    clean install osx and see if you still have problems

    it's mostly likely GPU/HD/1 stick of bad ram (i had one of my ram sticks die last year, real pain)

    you can also try things like mem test, loop a gpu test

    also you can try grabbing a temp monitor software to see how things are.

    all the parts are getting old and id gess the thermal paist may need swapping on gpu/cpu if temps are to high

    (and sometimes it's software you have installed, one app randomly hard locked my computer years ago spent ages tracking it down)
     
  10. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #10
    I have an ATI Radeon HD 5770 Mac version coming from an eBay purchase late last week. The GeForce 8800GT I got died 24 hours after I put it in. The random crashing I was having seems to be connected to the Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 that came with the Mac Pro 1,1 that I got when I bought the 3,1. When the 8800GT was in, I ran tests and benchmarks, and no crashing. Temps were decent before I took it apart to upgrade it, but the CPU was running around 145ºF to 160ºF. I know the hard drive is good. It passed all tests. The RAM is brand new, made in April, and I pulled some in case that was an issue and it definitely wasn't.

    My biggest question now since I have it apart is should I use new thermal paste or would a thermal pad be safe to use on the northbridge. I figure that it would be ok since it's ok to use with the CPU's.

    As of right now I have 10.11 El Capitan on it. I may go to High Sierra. Or if the Sapphire Radeon stays working right in it after I finish my upgrade, I could go to Mojave, but we will see. Since I have the upgraded WiFi/Bluetooth chip, I can now receive messages on it and receive, and can send and receive AirDrop.
     
  11. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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    #11
    ah did not see that the GPU had died

    a good option if you can live with no boot display is a GT720
    found this
    https://dawning.ca/2015/macpro31-geforce-gt-720-osx/
    they seem ok priced £10-20
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MSI-Nvid...512346&hash=item2acc690f7d:g:hsUAAOSwh4lc4V9H

    i think the GT620/GT640/GT720/GT740 all will work past osx10.9 out of the box(no boot display)
    worth looking in to, but there not worth much so if they cost more than a GTX680 then id skip them

    the GTX680 is a relay solid option and you can DIY flash it with a mac rom they cost about £50

    something like a HD 7950 is also an option, think they can be flashed to mac or work out of the box, about £50

    i still have a normal PC EVGA GTX660 in my 3.1 & it's worked well for years.

    i dont think it's safe to use thermal pads on cpu's but i have no idea about the northbridge

    for costs i did a quick search on UK eBay
     
  12. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #12
    According to what I found on amazon graphite thermal pads look to be completely safe on CPU’s. I even saw reviews online that look to show good results. The cooler this Mac will run, the better. It is going to be my main Mac so I can extend the life of my MacBook Pro for a few more years. I can’t afford to buy another one right now. They are just way to high priced.
     
  13. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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    #13
    ah the graphite ones, sorry i was thinking of the normal ones you see on GPU ram
    Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 7.59.47 am.png

    the graphite ones are so new i always forget about them.
     
  14. Ludacrisvp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #14
    You can't go to Mojave with the 3,1 with anything other than a Kepler series NVIDIA card (Mojave versions of the AMD drivers require SSE4.2 which the 3,1 doesn't have).
    Think GTX 650 or higher for the most part.
    I don't see why one couldn't replace all thermal paste with the graphite ones.
     
  15. Project Alice macrumors 6502a

    Project Alice

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    #15
    You don't have to use a metal card, the patch allows mojave to run without Metal. Although if you can get your hands on a card with metal that works in a 3,1 that would obviously be better.
     
  16. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #16
    I thought that dosdude’s mojave patch can patch certain older AMD cards like the 48xx card. But I can wait for Mojave for right now.
     
  17. Ludacrisvp macrumors 6502

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    May 14, 2008
    #17
    using a non metal card will mean 1 of 2 things in Mojave...
    1. No graphical acceleration reliant on CPU software rendering
    -- Terrible display behavior (lag)
    -- limited display support (single screen only most likely)
    -- GPU will run at full clock rate with no benefit to displaying anything.
    2. Using 'drivers' from the previous release are going to introduce stability issues at the very minimum.
    -- the display may not be accurate
    -- if this was really a viable solution there wouldn't be many people upgrading their GPU to have proper support

    direct from dosdude's mojave patcher ...
    • Graphics anomalies: Currently, pre-metal video cards used in Mojave will produce a weird darkish grey Menu Bar and Finder sidebar when using the light theme. In the dark theme, however, these anomalies are not present.

    • AMD Radeon HD 5xxx/6xxx series GPU acceleration: Currently, it is not possible to get full graphics acceleration when running Mojave on a system with a Radeon HD 5xxx or 6xxx series GPU. Mojave will be almost UNUSABLE without graphics acceleration.

    • Early-2008 Mac Pro (MacPro3,1) GPU support: When running Mojave, you CANNOT use a newer AMD video card EVEN IF it is a Metal-comptible card and is supported in Mojave. The newer AMD drivers used in Mojave require the SSE4.2 instruction set, which the MacPro3,1 does not support. There is no way around this at this time. Your only GPU upgrade options for MacPro3,1 systems are nVidia cards, which work perfectly fine.
     
  18. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #18
    My biggest issue is the cost of Mojave usable GPU's! They are terrible pricing. Nvidia Kepler based GPU's are way more than I am willing to spend on an 11 year old Mac. So for now, I guess I will just go up to 10.13, and thanks to the BCM94360CD that came with it, I can definitely use features I wouldn't have had normally on it.
     
  19. jbarley macrumors 68040

    jbarley

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #19
    As mentioned in another thread, I use this card on both my 3,1 and a 4,1/5,1 mac pro running Mojave.
    For my needs the performance is good and the price ($85) is hard not to like.:)
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nvidia-GT-...892179?hash=item1ef88b3793:g:tDwAAOSwTmpceEx5
     
  20. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #20
    Thank you jbarley! That is much more in tune to my price range. Can you use both the HDMI and the DVI ports for dual display/extended display?
     
  21. jbarley macrumors 68040

    jbarley

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    #21
  22. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #22
  23. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 20, 2009
    #23
    Just curious....how much have you spent in total, including the 3.1 and all the upgrades?

    The reason I ask is that I have a really well-equipped 3.2Ghz 8-core for sale on Craigslist for $300 for weeks, and it hasn’t generated much interest so I’m wondering if it’s overpriced:

    https://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/sys/d/redondo-beach-upgraded-2008-mac-pro/6889072619.html
     
  24. macinjosh9895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    macinjosh9895

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    #24
    I’m up to ~$320. I had to buy RAM, a hard drive, usb 3.0 card, the processors, heatsinks (pair was same price/cheaper than single, and factory GPU.
     
  25. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Ok, thanks for the info!
     

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