Mac Pro Early 2009

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by YourBasicBob, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. YourBasicBob macrumors newbie

    YourBasicBob

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Roswell, New Mexico
    #1
    As I found out when I went to download Sierra, my Mac Pro has been dropped from the list of Macs that will run Sierra. I have read here in the various forums that the Mac Pro can be "Flashed" with a newer software. As far as I can tell my Mac Pro is also known as a 4,1 and I guess it can be flashed with 5,1 software. I have upgraded the CPUs to two 3.32 GHz Quad Core Xeon CPU's, and I currently have 24 GB of Ram. I have three NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB graphics cards of which I cam using one with two monitors.

    My question is this; Would flashing my Early 2009 Mac Pro with 5,1 software make it qualify to run Sierra? Would the flashing make it appear as a 2010 or maybe a 2012 Mac Pro?

    I think I can find a thread that explains how to flash the Mac Pro and probably a link to the 5,1 software, but I have not been able to determine why I would want to, unless it allows me to load Sierra, and then I would attempt it.

    I am also trying to find information on Graphics cards for this Mac Pro, I assume there are better alternatives to the current ones I am using.
     
  2. X--X macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    #2
    The short answer is YES.

    I would recommend a new wifi card that supports the AC standard as well as bluetooth 4.0 though.

    Many features of Sierra depend on that but if you don't need stuff like Conutinity you wouldn't even need a new card.

    http://www.osxwifi.com/apple-broadc...-with-adapter-for-macpro-2009-and-macpro-2010
     
  3. YourBasicBob thread starter macrumors newbie

    YourBasicBob

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Roswell, New Mexico
    #3
    Thank you for your fast response. Thank you for the link. I will look into the WiFi card/Bluetooth card. I also will now go search for the HOW of flashing and the 5,1 software as well. This is good news to me, I really did not want to begin searching for another Mac Pro, although I am sure I eventually will, probably next year around this time.
     
  4. X--X, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016

    X--X macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    #4
    Start your MacPro into recovery mode via Command+R

    From Utilities choose Terminal and type "csrutil disable" into the terminal window and press enter...

    This will disable System Integrity Protection so you can change the firmware.

    Restart your Mac.

    Download the PATCHED firmware upgrade tool here: http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.msg31640.html#msg31640

    Start the firmware tool... it will download the necessary 5,1 firmware directly from Apples server and prepare the installation.

    After the firmware tool is done, SHUT DOWN your Mac Pro.

    When the Mac Pro is completely turned off... click the power button and don't let go, just keep pressing.

    The Mac will make a long beep, now you can let go the power button and the firmware will update.

    After everything is done, don't forget to re-enable SIP via recovery mode -> Terminal -> "csrutil enable"
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    Yes, your Mac Pro will able to install and run Sierra natively after 5,1 firmware flash. However, it will still identify itself as 2009.

    The 5,1 firmware makes your Mac Pro

    1) able to install better CPU (up to X5690)
    2) able to run the RAM at 1333MHz (with the correct CPU installed)
    3) able to get audio via HDMI / mDP (with 3rd part kext installed)
    4) able to run Sierra natively (you can still use work around to install and Sierra without the firmware hack)

    There are plenty of thread / info here about GPU. Just do your own study and decide which one fit your needs. Anyway, the good news is almost any card will perform better (or much better) then the GT120.
     
  6. howiest macrumors regular

    howiest

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Location:
    Left Coast
    #6
    I have a Mac Pro 4,1 with the 5,1 firmware update, (and luckily I have the Atheros Airport Extreme wifi card too). I installed Sierra on an external drive and everything is working fine. Check your System Report results to see which wifi card you have, if it's also Atheros, you're good to go after the 5,1 firmware update.
     
  7. scotttnz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #7
    I installed sierra on my hacked 4,1 tonight. So far so good. Will do some more testing tomorrow, and try to track down a wifi/Bluetooth card to enable watch unlocking.

    Interesting quirk I found. If you instruct Siri to "go to sleep" it responds along the lines of "I never sleep", but if you say "put the computer to sleep" it does. :rolleyes:
     
  8. msh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #8
    I have an '09 MacPro but without the airport card and with bluetooth. Also Apple replaced the logic board some years ago and so current firmware ends with ....08 indicating refurbished. Will the 5.1 firmware update still work and will my original bluetooth work without a newer bluetooth hardware card?
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
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    Hong Kong
    #9
    My 4,1 also doesn't have Wi-Fi card (yet), Sierra can run without any problem. However, due to no Wi-Fi, all location base service cannot be used (e.g. Check weather via Siri), and of course, no Airdrop etc.

    B08 is not a problem, still can be flashed to 5,1. However, no downgrade route.
     
  10. YourBasicBob thread starter macrumors newbie

    YourBasicBob

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Roswell, New Mexico
    #10
    Thank You for the information. As for #1, I thought that when I installed the two Quad Core 3.33 MHz processors that my Mac Pro had gone as far as it can in the processor options. Obvious to me now I was mistaken. I have no real feel for how much more I can get out of this Mac.

    #2, I did not know there was any control over the clock speed of the RAM. Apparently there is based on your information, but it depends on 5,1 firmware, and a certain CPU. More searching for me.

    #3 I will honestly say I have no idea what this is. I know what HDMI is but the rest is new.

    #4 was my goal when I asked for help. I have to do the flash, and I also have to install a new WiFi card as well. I have not ordered it as they want me to select an additional antenna, and I do not know what I need. I emailed them and asked, but no answer as of yet.

    Right now I am struggling with what I assume is a graphics card problem and after I get it flashed and Sierra running I will look for a graphics card. I am using Autodesk 123D Design to design a 3D printer with about a one half cubic meter build area. I did a "select all" in the main drawing and it took one hour, nine minutes and 38 seconds to accomplish this. So I wonder if 123D does not use all 8 cores, or does the problem come from an overwhelmed graphics card.

    Again, thanks for your response. I am learning Mac all over again. I was up on all things Mac until I bought the sealed box called iMac. Now I have another Mac I can get into and I have to learn about its architecture
    and what I can and cannot do with it.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    No, you can't control it, but the system will automatically pick the fastest speed it can run. e.g. If you put a 1333MHz RAM in your mac now, it will only run at 1066MHz. But after the firmware upgrade, and a CPU upgrade, it will automatically go to 1333MHz if possible. No control from the user (at most, a PRAM reset to let the system re-detect the max speed).
     
  12. holly-2016 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    Hi, sorry if this is a dumb question but can this be used on a late 2008 Macbook (aluminum - but not a pro)? It's been upgraded to 8GB of ram and has a 160GB SSD drive but I've not had anything else upgraded on it. It's currently running El Capitan without issue.

    The laptop is currently identified as a MacBook5,1

    Many thanks!!!
     
  13. msh macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    SoCal
    #13
    What about Bluetooth functionality? I use a Bluetooth mouse so need that. Don't care about those other features.
     
  14. phairphan macrumors 6502a

    phairphan

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Location:
    Reject Beach
    #14
    If by this you mean the firmware update? No, you can't use this firmware update on your machine. The update is for the 2009 Mac Pro desktop (not Macbook Pro) only. To my knowledge, there are no firmware updates like this available for other machines. The reason this hack was possible was because the 2009 Mac Pro and 2010 Mac Pro contained identical base hardware.

    Having said that, there might be a way to get Sierra to install on your 2008 Macbook. Non-firmware workarounds have existed for other machines and other OS updates. You'll have to do some searching around the forums here.
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
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    #15
    BT works fine, I use Magic Mouse.
     
  16. holly-2016 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Hi thanks, for the update :) and for clarifying on the firmware standpoint.

    Looks like the dosdude1 work-around will have to be my route!
     
  17. YourBasicBob thread starter macrumors newbie

    YourBasicBob

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Roswell, New Mexico
    #17


    I would like to thank you for your help. I flashed the firmware this morning, and am now running Sierra on my, now 5,1, 2009 Mac Pro. All seems to be working fine. Time will tell if everything as in software and hardware are still functioning, I have only had Sierra running for about an hour.

    Not sure how to end a thread, but I would like to also thank every one for their help. My next task is to find a better video card. I figure that my NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB graphics cards are probably the bottle neck with graphic intensive applications.
     

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