Resolved Mac Pro 4,1 to 5,1 firmware upgrade without processor change

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by NorCalLights, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #1
    Hello,
    I'm thinking about upgrading the firmware on my stock Mac Pro 4,1 to 5,1 so I can upgrade the OS to Sierra (and then to High Sierra). I've tried reading through the threads on this forum, but most of them are dedicated to processor or GPU upgrades. I have a stock 2 x 2.26 GHz, HD4870 512MB model. Can I do this firmware upgrade without making any hardware changes?
    Thanks
     
  2. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #2
    Yes.
     
  3. NorCalLights thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
  4. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
  5. pb69 macrumors member

    pb69

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #5
    It will be fine. I did it with a 2.66 quad core. I'm wanting to put in a Westmere 6 core cpu. Installing Sierra was no problem either.
     
  6. NorCalLights thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #6
    I'm just reporting back that my 4,1 upgraded to 5,1 without a hitch. For anyone attempting this from OS X 10.11, remember that you need to turn off System Integrity Protection (SIP) before you upgrade the firmware. Once the upgrade is complete, you can turn SIP back on.

    10.12 is running great with 8GB of RAM and my poor old HD4870 512MB. I'm looking at a graphics card upgrade next, and maybe splurging for new processors too. Apple announcing that 10.13 is supported on 5,1 Mac Pros is really encouraging to me, though I expect 10.13 will be the end of the line. With a new graphics card and processors, I estimate I could get another 24 to 36 months of use out of this machine, even if I can't ever upgrade to 10.14.
     
  7. carpsafari Suspended

    carpsafari

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #7
    That really is the bare minimum!
    I advise you to install more RAM, its quite cheap.
    In a 4 or 6 core I use standard 3x8Gb
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    I also agree that 3x8GB is a very good choice now. For 10.12, that can help to speed up the system quite a bit. Greatly avoid the need of swap. And the are really very very cheap on the net.
     
  9. NorCalLights thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #9
    I have a dual-processor machine, so I need to install RAM in pairs. I might buy a couple of OWC's 2x2GB upgrade kits (to get me up to 16GB total) since they sell them used for so, so cheap... but it's hard for me to justify at this point. I keep a close eye on my memory usage with iStat Menus, and it's always really low. My usage tends to be more processor and graphics usage-heavy, and less memory intensive.

    On the occasions when it does need to page, my SSDs are plenty fast for that...

    ... but the point is well-taken... It's just that I only ever upgrade when my workflow suffers. And so far, I haven't seen any evidence that extra memory would help.
     
  10. carpsafari Suspended

    carpsafari

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #10
    You can do a lot better than OWC, its too expensive.

    8Gb is really the bare minumum, with 7Gb it would not even boot!
    Since you have 2 cpu's (I guess you have 4x2Gb), you can add 2x8Gb...which shouldn't cost more than $30.
    As soon as you start working the Mac, it will start swapping virtual memory...so you need it!
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    Which OS?
     
  12. carpsafari Suspended

    carpsafari

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #12
     
  13. NorCalLights thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #13
    10.12

    They're currently selling 4GB (2x2GB) for $5.00. 8GB would run me $12.00 including shipping. That's pretty darn cheap... And I have the extra slots, so I may as well fill them up.

    Again... with my workflow, this hasn't been an issue. I'm not seeing memory pressure or swaps noticeably higher than my 16GB Macbook Pro. I assure you, as soon as it is, I'll look to upgrade my RAM.
     
  14. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #14
    10.12 can use extra RAM as cache quite well. Anyway, as long as the system will use swap, for just $12, I won't think twice but just do that upgrade.
     
  15. NorCalLights thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #15
    Cool. I'll give it a shot. Thanks.
     

Share This Page