MacPro1,1 vs. 3.1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Maury, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Maury macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2008
    I have an original MacPro1,1 that I've added drive space, RAM and video to. It's served me perfectly well for the last five years, and I had no intention of replacing it until it broke.

    Until now. Because now it appears it won't run 10.8, which I want to run.

    MacPro3,1's are fairly commonly available, and they'l run 10.8 IIRC. But I really don't know much about the differences. Can some point me to a compare-and-contrast between the two?
  2. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Suggest waiting until Mountian Lion is released to see if you really need to upgrade for its somewhat limited software improvements. Already there is talk of work arounds for Mac Pro 1.1 and 2.1.

    Having said that no doubt in the future it will be necessary to move on to the 64bit architecture and in a year or so's time you may well pick up a 4.1 for the same price as today's 3.1.
  3. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    As I type this from my 1,1 running ML, I wonder why everyone is so ready to call these machines dead. Reminds me of that King in Lord of The Rings who thought his son was dead. So he had booked The Royal Hall, hired 20 Moaning Grievers and ordered 1 Funeral Pyre, Royal Size. Just as all was going along nicely, he got news from one of the hobbits that his son wasn't actually dead.

    Unable to deviate from his schedule, he lit the blaze anyway.

    ML runs on 1,1 and 2,1 just fine so far. You just need a GPUU that isn't as old as the machine.

    All of this planning for their death is quite premature. Even the official Apple release documents for ML Server indicate that ML will work on 1,1 and 2,1. So far only 1 person on this board claims to have read documents that say this support will be intentionally pulled. Nobody else has been able to corroborate or verify. My guess is that "Deep Throat" was trying to sound more important and "in touch" than he actually was and is too embarrassed to admit it.

    Keep using your 1,1 and schedule it's funeral when it is ACTUALLY DEAD.
  4. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    I would hold off until ML is actually released, then you'll know whether or not it will run for sure. Hopefully, by this time, the new MP will have been at least announced if not released, this might cause the prices of older models to drop, although I doubt it. If you were going to get a replacement used machine, I would spend the extra money to get at least a 4,1 for a few reasons.

    1. You get a machine that uses DDR3 which is by far cheaper then the DDR2 older models, including the 3,1, use.
    2. You have a lot of choices in terms of upgrading the CPU's in the future, more so then probably any current model.
    3. Along with a CPU upgrade, you can apply 5,1 firmware and have a nice 5,1

    Hold off, your 1,1 still has life in it.
  5. Maury thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2008
    Sounds like excellent advice.

    My only concern is that if ML doesn't run on the 1,1, the price will drop right out of it. That said, it's not clear how much value is left in it, although from a use perspective, it's 100% valuable to me.


    Is this true? Do you know this *for sure*?

    I ask, because there are many credible comments in multiple places that states the problem has nothing to do with the GPU, and everything to do with the EFI.
  6. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    read the big "Mac pro screwed" thread, ignore the rants, look for my posts

    short story, yes its true, but will change for relaease
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    The stock 1,1's are already heading south of $1000 at this point. They are 6 year old machines for gosh sakes. Even if they take a 50% hit when ML comes out (which I really doubt), you are only talking a loss of $500 from selling now. 10.8 won't be out for another 6 months so you might as well hold on to it until we truly know the final shake out of whether ML will run on it or not (my guess is not). But either way, you got another 6 months of use and as long as it does what you need it to, there really is no need to upgrade right now to a "slightly less old" 3,1. As everyone has stated, the 4,1's are the sweet spot and once the 6,1's come out, that will drive those down in price (they will definitely take a hit and probably more than just $500 that you might see on your 1,1's).
  8. Garamond macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2004
    Lol. Sold my 2,1 when 5,1 came in 2010. Couldn't imagine using a 1,1 today.
  9. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    Mac Pro 1.1 / 2.1:

    • Can't run current OSX from this year and forward, using stock parts
    • Not supported by Apple to run the new OSX
    • Not supported by Apple at all (they stop stocking spare parts after dropping support right?)
    • Is a power workstation, but has less performance then the Macbook Air released last year

    Sure you can probably frankenmac it to run latest OSX forever. But it is a workstation, it exists to be expandable and more powerful then other machines. That's it's purpose. But you can't run the next OSX. You can't upgrade the GPU that much because of PCIe 1.1 cutting away the performance. You can't run Thunderbolt. etc etc. It has lost it's purpose tbh and that's why I agree it should be declared as dead.

    Just as an iPod 1st gen will still play your songs and be used by some people, but has lost it's purpose not being the most convenient/portable way to play music anymore and therefore is dead.

    "dead" doesn't mean it will stop working or noone is gonna want it. It just means it's purpose is gone and it has no future.
  10. nycaleksey macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2009

    • What exactly do you mean by "can't run current OS X" ?
      I'm running 10.7.3 without any problems on MP1,1 with 2.0 Ghz 5130s and 7300GT - it's as "stock parts" as it can get :)
  11. prvt.donut macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    For a company, the lack of warranty and replacement parts is the issue.

    Although I am sure, NOS will be available for a few more years.

    Arguments of lack of power make more sense, I don't understand the logic of having to run the latest OS.

    Just what is holding it back from running it? Ram is ok, CPU is more than capable, GPU can be upgraded to latest as long as you hack the firmware.

    It's a typical Apple move to build an artificial end of life into a machine that could last another few years.

    If Microsoft ever did that then they would be in the firing line!!!

    Apple admits, they make money selling hardware, and the software is a means to that end. Firstly by making awesome software, and secondly by persuading you to buy the new model because your old one is now antiquated!
  12. nycaleksey macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2009

    It's been beaten to death. There is no EFI64 for MP1,1, so it can't boot 64bit kernel natively, so it can't use 64bit hardware drivers.

    Developing and releasing new EFI is a lot of effort, developers have to be pulled from other projects or hired, testing has to be done, etc... Why would Apple decide to spend all this money all of a sudden? On a 6year old and unsupported platform? This would not make sense for any company.

    If ML will include 32bit kernel when released, it will most likely be installable and will run unsupported on MP1,1. There's a good chance it will not.
  13. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    read again. "current OSX from this year and forward" - Mountain Lion will be the current OSX this year. It's due to release in a few months.

    it wont. it's already been leaked that documents for developers are already saying to abandon 32-bit driver development for Mountain Lion.
  14. Maury thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2008
    Hey Cindori, I'll take your word over anyone. But…

    What will change for release?
  15. Cindori, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012

    Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    the support for 1.1 / 2.1.

    In ML preview we have 32bit kernel/driver/efi support.
    Just no 7300GT.

    But as I said above, "documents have been leaked telling developers to abandon 32-bit driver development for Mountain Lion. "

    So one can expect 32-bit kernel/drivers to be gone in ML final. Which means 1.1 / 2.1 will not boot ML natively.

    You can however, boot 64-kernel on Mac Pro 1.1/2.1 with Chameleon already.

    But that might not be enough, Apple might drop more important drivers, or simply install a hardware block.

    so to answer your question:

    Mountain Lion Preview: Mac Pro 1.1 / 2.1 boot fine just get new GPU.

    Will likely change to:

    Mountain Lion Final: Mac Pro 1.1/ 2.1 will not boot, might boot with custom bootloader which is pretty troublesome, you also might have to use custom drivers, essentially hackintoshing the machine.

    At which stage you lose stability, reliability, and would actually gain back a bit of those two plus alot more performance by just selling the machine and going for a well-supported hackintosh setup.
  16. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Why should Apple remove existing drivers without need? Mountain Lion is basically what Snow Leopard was: A clean-up release with some additional features. If there are currently drivers for Lion (which is running officially on the 1,1) they have a huge chance to run fine under Mountain Lion as well - API's don't change that much with 10.8 and Apple does not deprecate as much as in previous OS releases.

    Of course the future is 64bit, so telling the developers to abandon 32bit drivers makes sense to free resources. But in my opinion this is related to new/updated drivers and new hardware.

    And obviously there are sufficient drivers in ML to have it running on a 1,1 as the developer preview is proving. Apple may not officially support it anymore as they would have to support those outdated graphic cards they originally delivered in the 1,1 as well (which they can't/won't spend the resources on), but i doubt they will intentionally pull everything you need.

    Similar to e.g. Leopard, which did not support e.g. the Cube anymore, but people still managed to install and run it by simply modifying a .plist or two. The average Joe may be better off buying new hardware which is officially supported, but the 1,1 enthusiast will probably easily be able to have 10.8 running on his machine "unsupported". And unlike the Cube it will probably have no performance problems in doing so...
  17. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Time will tell. Meet back at Gold Master. I know removing makes no sense. But they'll remove it anyway with some cover as how they needed to get the distro small enough for lower bandwidth customers. Distortion field in full effect. "Now buy a new machine for God's sake!"
  18. Cindori, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012

    Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    why should they NOT remove (32-bit) drivers when all the machines they support can run 64-bit? it takes up space and it even if it won't be used, it requires testing debugging etc, to see it does not interfere with other stuff, to ensure a stable release.

    as stated, they already removed 7300GT driver.

    but that was a case of some few kexts being kept, but ultimately support being ruled out due to bad performance. but for ML the deal is 64-bit

    Here is the real source for the 32-bit removal claim:

  19. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    I wouldn't sweat it too much.

    Is there a REASON to move to Mountain Lion? Just because Apple builds it, doesn't mean you have to move to it. If there isn't a reason to upgrade, then don't worry about it.

    I'll upgrade when Apple provides a reason. None of the 250 "new" improvements overcame the problems with Lion, so at the moment I am still with Snow Leopard.

    I have been through this before when we moved from 16bit to 32bit computing. It will be YEARS before the software can take advantage of the new hardware (if ever). Consider - the 1,1 MacPro is almost 6 years old, but we are just now getting 64-bit software into the mainstream.

    A macbook air may have a faster geekbench score than my 1,1 mac pro, but there is no way in hell it could outperform my mac. It would melt trying to do what I do on my machine every day. I'm not doing anything earth-shaking - just a little more than using MS office.

    I live in the multi-threaded world, and in that world RAM is king. The clockspeed of the CPU is not very important.

    Example - my hobby is 3d Art. I am not good at it, but I like doing it. I can be rendering a scene in Vue, setting up the next scene in Poser 2012, converting a mesh with a XDresser (running under WINE) & converting clothing textures in Photoshop Elements - and my swap file is still 1.2Mg.

    You aren't doing this on a Macbook Air. Or an iMac for that matter. They simply don't have the RAM capability to have all of this running at the same time. That is the beauty of the MacPro. Run all of your apps at the same time, just flipping between them as necessary.

    Many people just can't leave the "one application at a time" paradigm behind. I made the jump back in 1992 when OS/2 2.0 came out. Once you get your head wrapped around it, you don't go back to doing 1 thing at a time.
  20. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Why would they develop those as far as to the dev preview in the first place then?

    Yes - i read somewhere that Apple expected nVidia to support 64bit drivers and vice versa. Result: Noone supports that old card with new drivers and they have to change the specifications. But the 32bit system is still in there - probably easier to just keep it in as completely removing it may lead to undesired side effects such as delays etc. 10.9 may then be another cup of tea...

    If 64bit _only_ would have been in the specifications from day one, it would have been economic nonsense to develop everything 32bit up to a dev preview - at least to me.

    Though i agree with derbothaus: Apple can be pretty unpredictable at times! It will be interesting to see how further beta releases behave in terms of 32bit/1,1 support...
  21. Fangio macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2011
    I can well imagine Apple leaving out the 1,1 in ML. After all they have a hardware business, and it would help the sales of 2012 Mac Pros. Makes perfectly sense.
  22. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I find the following website to be handy. Just select up to three Macs to compare and it will provide quite a bit of detail.

    At this point in time I still think Snow Leopard is the best version of OS X ever made.

    However, support for newer video cards is appearing in Lion and Mountain Lion, which will give them an insurmountable advantage when it comes to GPU performance.
  23. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Same can be said for unsupported GPU .kext in dev builds that they later remove.
  24. Cindori, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012

    Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    well it's called a preview for a reason - main focus is to show off new apps like notification center etc etc

    they wouldnt have to make a new driver if they keep 32-bit support as you say. pretty sure the 7300gt driver hasnt changed in ages.

    as I said above, the developer preview is made to... preview. it's not necessarily everything re-developed from ground up. And even if it were, i'm pretty sure developing with 32/64-bit as target is not much harder then a build setting.

    No! they are not unpredictable!! they are the exact opposite. Apple is about "in with the new, out with the old". Apple is about noob-proofing the experience and don't want users messing about. If they leave a window open for Mac Pro 1.1 to install Mountain Lion by just editing the installer check or whatever, the result will be a bad experience for the user in their eyes because problems will probably occur at some point.

    Like when Lion was released. Support was dropped for 32-bit CPU's aka 2006 Macbooks. In the dev. preview it was just a matter of changing a .plist, but for the release they suddenly threw out the 32-bit Finder and only shipped with 64-bit Finder, just to keep users away.

    Fangio makes a pretty good point too.
  25. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    The 1,1 is good for years. I think of all the MacPros it is the best investment... was. It was the leap to new processors and is furthest from the intro of TB. TB will come to the next Pro and when the peripherals are cheaper it will be a must have, but the machine is currently quite snappy with most all things. It isn't sluggish the way an old computer is sluggish.

    The 1,1 will be an 8+ year machine for most people, even if ML is the last OS that supports it.

    Agreed. I've seen plenty of people online talking about ML-Preview running on their 1,1 with an upgraded graphics card. Though the machines are aging and hitting the autumn years, they aren't close to dead. These will still be good for 2 years and possibly 4, depending on what you do.

    Unless someone is a game freak, editing tons of video professionally, or doing CGI work all the time, I wouldn't recommend thinking of selling until 2014 when a low-end Mac Mini will make the 1,1 look like a bicycle on a freeway.

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