AppleDrank

macrumors member
Original poster
May 15, 2019
31
0
Arizona
I have the MP11.005C.B08 Boot ROM & SMC 1.7f10 SMC installed.

I threw a spare NVMe on a generic PCIe card in there in hopes of using it for a boot drive, but it looks like that is impossible.

Can I do a Fusion drive?
 

Petri Krohn

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2019
73
66
Helsinki, Finland
Can I do a Fusion drive?

You can, if you have an original Apple-branded NVMe drive from a Macbook Pro or Air. You can buy a special PCIe adapter for the Apple drives from AliExpress for a few dollars.

To use a generic NVMe drive you would need to install macOS Sierra or High Sierra. They require the SSE4.1 instruction set that is missing from the Woodcrest and Clovertown Xeons of the Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1.

You could try putting a 5400-series Harpertown processor in the LGA 771 socket, but the Mac firmware will not chime or post with the processors. So far no one has figured out what changes would need to be made to the firmware to make Harpertowns work.

There is however a patch to El Capitan that works with generic NVMe drives. It has never had much use, as it came out at the same time as macOS Sierra with far better NVMe support.

back in the days when we had no nvme firmware it worked, so give it a shot.

Yes, using a fusion drive to boot when the system cannot boot from NVMe is a good idea. I use it myself. But you also need operating system support for NVMe drives, which El Capitan and Mac Pro 1,1 lack.
 
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Kai.Def

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2011
37
2
Manchester
The Mac Pro 1.1 does not support OS X past El Capitan- so I would say this is not possible as one would need to start with High Sierra.
 
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Petri Krohn

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2019
73
66
Helsinki, Finland
Can I do a Fusion drive?

There is one more option: You can use an AHCI drive instead of a physically identical NVMe drive. Many early M.2 PCIe dives used the AHCI protocol instead of the more advanced NVMe protocol. These drives should work in El Capitan without any firmware changes. Plug it into the same M.2 to PCIEe x4 adapter you would use for a normal NVMe drive.

Samsung made the SM951 drive in two varieties, AHCI and NVMe. You can find both on eBay. AnandTech explains:

Samsung SM951-NVMe (256GB) PCIe SSD Review

Distinguishing the AHCI and NVMe version from each other isn't very simple as the difference lies in a single character in the model number. The AHCI version carries the code MZ-HPVxxx0 (where xxx is the capacity in gigabytes), whereas the NVMe version is called MZ-VPVxxx0.

It is possible that the Mac Pro 1,1 can boot directly from a M.2 AHCI drive, but as the SM951 AHCI drives are small and relatively expensive, you may end up creating a fusion drive anyway.

For more information, see this old thread: Blade SSDs - NVMe & AHCI
 
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AppleDrank

macrumors member
Original poster
May 15, 2019
31
0
Arizona
There is however a patch to El Capitan that works with generic NVMe drives. It has never had much use, as it came out at the same time as macOS Sierra with far better NVMe support.

Yes, using a fusion drive to boot when the system cannot boot from NVMe is a good idea. I use it myself. But you also need operating system support for NVMe drives, which El Capitan and Mac Pro 1,1 lack.

To be clear, I have an NVME .kext installed such that the NVME drive works for storage presently, but not for booting. Is this what you use for your fusion drive?
 
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Petri Krohn

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2019
73
66
Helsinki, Finland
I have an NVME .kext installed such that the NVME drive works for storage presently, but not for booting.

Where did you get this kext from? Is it from a newer version of macOS? Or did you use a patched kext from @jimj740 or patchers from pikeralpha or RehabMan?

Is this what you use for your fusion drive?

The fusion drive is not in my Mac Pro 1,1 but in my heavily upgraded Powermac G5. (I should have been more specific. I updated my original comment with links.)
 
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AppleDrank

macrumors member
Original poster
May 15, 2019
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Arizona
JimJ740's NVMeGeneric.kext
The document that came with it says it is a signed driver for 10.11.

Awesome that you're still running a G5!!

Where did you get this kext from? Is it from a newer version of macOS? Or did you use a patched kext from @jimj740 or patchers from pikeralpha or RehabMan?



The fusion drive is not in my Mac Pro 1,1 but in my heavily upgraded Powermac G5. (I should have been more specific. I updated my original comment with links.)
 
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reukiodo

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2013
336
164
Earth
How do you set up a fusion drive in a PowerMac ? I thought fusion drives required core storage, which wasn't introduced into MacOS until 10.7 and the mac OS for PowerPC-based Macs is 10.5...
 
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