Owning, Using, and Collecting Early Intel: Quirks, Problems, and general FAQs

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #1
    I've had this in the back of my head for a while to do something like this.

    I know these aren't PPC Macs, however many early Intel Macs to me share somewhat of a spiritual likeness due to their similar industrial design as well as the fact that these computers are somewhat "homeless" on MR.

    For purposes of discussion, I'm including the computers with similar design language to their PPC counterparts-specifically the pre-unibody MBPs and MBs, the Mac Pro(chessegrater), the iMac, and the Mac Mini. I guess we can include the Xserve too for those of you using them.

    In any case, these computers have a charm of their own. I'm working on getting together a collection of all the variants of pre-Unibody MBP. Aside from that, though, I use a Mac Pro 1,1 on a daily basis.

    These machines(aside from the MP 1,1) do have their problems, and one of the things I want to do is give sort of a concise location for them. Offhand, one of the big ones is the temperature-related GPU failure on MBPs. Aside from a repaste, one of the things I do on these is run Macsfancontrol and tie the fan speed to the GPU temperature-before the GPU hits 70ºC I have both fans running full blast.
     
  2. LightBulbFun, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017

    LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #2
    on MacBook Pros with 8600M GTs I recommend you check out this video to help you ID if you have one with a defective chip or not if you have non defective chip then you do not have to worry about the Chip failing any time soon :) if you do Have a bad chip, you can actually get a non defective chip, remove the bad chip and solder the good chip in place of the bad chip, a new chip is about £/$20-30, the main difficulty is actually soldering it in place or finding someone willing to do it for a reasonable amount

    in terms of quirks iv come across and had to work around on early intel macs, ill mention and go a bit in depth on my Xserve1,1, in my extensive testing I have found that unlike the Mac Pro 1,1 it has several (most undocumented) quirks running OS X 10.11.6.

    first quirk i came across was when trying to get 10.11.6 on the thing, while Pikes boot.efi lets a MacPro1,1 boot an un-modded el cap installer USB just fine and install just fine, on an Xserve1,1 this is not the case the installer will boot but it will throw you an error, while its possible to work around the error, its easier to install 10.11.6 on the Xserve via external means (ie putting the Xserve into TDM and install using a supported mac or pulling the HDD and install using a supported mac then placing the drive back) the boot.efi will happily boot a full install of 10.11.6 on an Xserve, its just the installer it has issues with

    another quirk of the Xserve running 10.11.6 I have found is that it Really does not like it when you install a PC (unflashed) video card, I have found in most case a PC video card will crash OS X right as it tries to configure the PCI bus, contrary to a Mac Pro 1,1 where 10.11.6 will happily run with a PC video card

    I have also found that on top of the difficulties being an EFI32 machine brings, the Xserve1,1 is VERY picky about booting non Apple OSes. (despite a lot of tinkering I have not been able to boot any form of Debian or ubuntu, even proper EFI(32) setups i had working on a 1,1 Mac Pro)

    while on the topic of Xserves I should also mention which Xserves go with which Generation of Mac Pro since i see a lot of people get this mixed up

    Xserve1,1 has the Same HW/chipset as a Mac Pro 1,1

    Xserve2,1 has the same HW/chipset as a Mac Pro 3,1 (and like a Mac Pro 3,1 has a 64bit EFI and with some fudging will happily even boot Mac OS High Sierra despite being officially stuck at 10.7.5 the only thing is the X1300 Graphics card is not supported in anything after Lion like in an Xserve1,1)

    Xserve3,1 has the same HW/chipset as a Mac Pro 4,1
     
  3. RhianB, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017

    RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    #3
    Quick question: what is the cut off for early Intel? I ask because I have an 2008 aluminum unibody Mb. Do you guys think that is too new?

    On my 2006 24" white iMac, the GPU (GeForce 7300gt) failed slowly starting with screen artifacts, animation & video freezing/skips etc. I was able to postpone the ultimate demise of this with a good bake, repaste, and replacement if the thermal pads with copper shims. In addition, I used mfc setting the fans to ramp up much earlier than default. This provided a good couple years of additional life to the iMac. Ultimately it did fail last year roughly 10 years after rolling off the production line.

    Thanks to the kindness of Keaton128, I was able to replace the GPU with another 7300gt a few months ago - new thermal paste, this time going back to new thermal pads (as the copper shims I fashioned did not fit perfectly anyways) & all is well. My favorite iMac is back up & chugging along currently running SL.

    So when my GPU started to fail the first time (pre-rebake), I took the screen off & drove an external Cinema Display just fine w/zero freezing so the failure was certainly due to the heat of the internal LCD right up against the back of the GPU/heatsink on the opposite side of the lobo so if you're in a position where you can't find/get a 7300gt and the GPU hasn't completely died, removing the screen & driving an external can extend your macs usable state until you can find a fix.
     
  4. AphoticD macrumors 6502a

    AphoticD

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    #4
    To add to the quirks discussion, I had an intermittent sleep issue with my MacBook late 2008 unibody. It would randomly sleep while I was working and the screen would flicker black all the time. After much trial and error I discovered it was a failure of the minuscule "hall sensor" (reed switch) which gets triggered when the magnets line up when the lid is closed.

    I tried all kind of magnetising tricks to get it to play nice again, but ultimately just unplugged the sensor from the main board. it was a ribbon about 3mm wide near the trackpad ribbon iirc.

    This resolved random sleep issues but also prevents auto sleep when I close the lid so I need to remember to put it to sleep before closing it. (Cmd-Opt-Eject is an easy sleep shortcut). Also, the IR sensor is connected to this component, so IR is disabled too.

    I've ordered in a replacement component and will properly repair this issue next.

    Another quirk I've never resolved on this MacBook is the trackpad stopped reading clicks a long time ago. I have tried all kinds of adjustments, but ultimately went click-free and got used to using tap-to-click.
     
  5. eyoungren, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017

    eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    I think it's probably 2009 or older.

    Technically, the answer is whatever year your Mac is when the denizens of the Intel Mac forum here on MR tell you to "get a new Mac".

    That's the reason we usually include early Intels in the PowerPC forums - because the Intel users won't help anyone with a Mac they consider to be too 'old'.
     
  6. RhianB, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017

    RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    #6
    In that case, there's a cool upgrade opportunity with late 2008 aluminum unibody MacBooks. Thanks to an EFI firmware update, these max 6gb ram mb's can be upgraded to 8gb of useable ram as long as you're running snow leopard (10.6.6) or later. Manually install the v1.4 boot rom linked below.
    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL974?locale=en_US

    Pretty cool. This wasn't the only model MacBook affected by this either. There was a range of 13&15 inch 08 models who were positively enhanced. Apple should do this more often :)
     
  7. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #7
    Personally I think the classification should be set to Macs labeled Obsolete or Vintage by Apple is what defines our section of Intel which is usually scoffed at in the Intel Mac sub-forums, or as Bunnspecial put it, Classic Intel.
     
  8. RhianB, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017

    RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    #8
    Is there such a list? Or are we using unsupported versions of OSX as the metric to define which machines are obsolete? My 08 Mb runs El Cap who's extended support ends fall 2018, so while only being 3 years beyond the Intel Mac starting gate, is still supported through security updates, thus not obsolete until next year?

    I completely agree that the asthetic similarities of both end-game ppc & first/early Intel make total sense but does classic Intel start & end there? Food for thought & contemplation I suppose.
     
  9. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #9
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

    Despite being marked obsolete or vintage by Apple, said computers may still be capable of running the latest OSes. I know that the 2007 MBPs were marked obsolete, yet got El Capitan. Early 2011s are all marked vintage and are still getting OS support.
     
  10. AphoticD macrumors 6502a

    AphoticD

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    #10
    I feel anything which is not supported by Sierra is considered out of date by the general Mac using populous.

    In which case, all of my Macs are out of date except for a white MacBook Unibody (2009) which my wife uses - I've kept it on ElCap though because it was a bit of a slug with Sierra.

    Apple obsoleted my mighty Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) before I bought it earlier in the year, so I can't really complain about not knowing about it.

    Someone high up in Apple Marketing decided that this machine is not suitable to run their latest operating system.

    I mean, it only has...
    - 8x 3.2Ghz Xeon cores
    - 16GB of DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM
    - 480GB SATA III (6G) SSD boot drive
    - 6TBs of RAID storage
    - USB3.1 (both A and the fancy new 'C' types)
    - and a 2GB Nvidia GTX 680 monster of a CUDA graphics card...

    And hey, Geekbench2 only scores this old Mac Pro a measly 11,497. My favourite Dual-Core G5 970MP running at 2.3Ghz hammered out an impressive score of 2,228 and I wouldn't consider that big guy slow by any means.

    I haven't seen this beast of a Mac Pro choke (or even stutter) on anything yet. But that's cool... I'd rather not be shelling out thousands each year to Apple just to keep up to date with the latest additions to Siri.

    Most of the PowerPC aficionados on here were supporting (and evangelizing) Apple during their darkest days of the 90s and that awkward coloured-bubble stage leading into the year 2000 era.

    Imagine if I had of put every brand new multi-thousand-dollar Mac purchase from over my years into Apple stocks instead of products... I'd be sitting on what, a quarter of a million, maybe more?
     
  11. RhianB, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017

    RhianB macrumors 6502

    RhianB

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    #11
    Whoa that is one BIG list of obsolete macs. So Apple based obsolete status off hardware availability, not software support - good to know :)
     
  12. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #12
    Yeah, hardware availability. Some IT-dude from a high-level scientific-institution sold me a 2010 15" MBP and "was not aware" of the bug, that switching graphic-card (intel versus nvidia) causes the book to crash. Took me 10 min to get to that point. (My appreciation for that man was to call the institution to ask if the respected unit had been sorted out / stolen etc. which might have been more painful than the 200 buck to get the unit repaired)
    When I called Apple-support for the previously existing extended support for this problem, they told me frankly, they've run out of replacement-logic-boards to keep the extended support going on ... I guess, that has been the truth. After expensive logic-board repair of that device - my "Stroke-unit" - it now runs Sierra without any problems, but I chose to switch off GPU-switch at all and stopped TurboBoost (via TurboBoostSwitcher) to keep temperature and fans downs.
    So if anyone thinks about buying a >2009 15/17" MBP take care about that GPU-hardware bug, since there might be no whatever previously existing extended support for that problem.
     
  13. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #13
    the 2010 MacBook Pro Video issue is caused by a Capacitor "C9560" going bad and causing instability, if you replace this capacitor on the logicboard it solves the problem and a new capacitor is like $2 vs the $400 fee of a new logic board, theres plenty of info on the internet about this google "C9560 MacBook Pro" and have a look :)
     
  14. bobesch, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #14
    Ha, in another thread we already talked about the poor battery-time these 2008 "battery-door" models have.
    I owe a 13" and a 15" model - both with draining battery-power even within a few hours of standby-mode.
    Now I'm on holiday and have a clue what might be the reason:
    Even with using the 3 point-power-plug but being barefoot on the tile-floor the metal-case of my 2008 MacBookPro seems to have problems with it's electrical insulation causing a prickling sensation on soft touch to the case, handset or even attached USB-drives. After wearing shoes that sensation gets less to nearly not notable...
    My wife has got the last non-retina i7 2012 13" MBP with her and there's no such an "electrical" sensation on touching the unit.
    So maybe those late 2008 "black-keyboard" MacBookPro's seem to have some unresolved bypass-flow causing the battery to loose power. Even my 2009 13"MBP had such a problem, but I can't remember such an impact on battery-time than with the 2008-battery-door-aluminium-models.
    I like the "battery-door" model, since it gives easy access to the hard drive and offers USB3 via PC-Card, but battery life is a problem.
    My 15/17" "PowerBook" style intel MacBookPros (c2duo 2.4GHz - currently 4GB of RAM / max 6GB) are pretty on the better side of battery-life and offer the non reflective bright screen. I think, they are the devices of choice when moving to an intel device/book (also offering USB3 via PC- CardSlot)
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2017 ---
    Kudos. I should have asked you before ... but it's also a matter of time and skills :(
    (The repair was "only" 200$ without replacing the logic board - finally 2$ for hardware, 180$ for skill and 20$ for shipping-fees. So the money isn't gone... it's only owned by someone else now.)
     
  15. tdbmoss macrumors regular

    tdbmoss

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    #15
    This may or may not be of interest to you all, but I found that you can indeed run the very latest Windows 10 on the first-generation Intel systems (I tested this on an Early 2006 iMac i.e. the very first Intel Mac to ship, but should be similar on the others). Considering the latest Apple OS that can run on them will soon be 7 versions behind the latest it is interesting that Microsoft's effort not only runs, but runs pretty well and they make surprisingly good PCs for next to no cost these days.

    Officially Apple only supported XP and Vista on them - 7 installs fine without any messing around, but the 10 DVD fails to boot with a "select CD-ROM boot type" screen that you can't get past. However these steps which are intended for getting 64-bit versions of Windows to run on EFI32 Mac Pros work, only difference being that you obviously need to use the 32-bit version for the Core Duo systems: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/installing-windows-7-10-x64-on-mac-pro-1-1-2-1.2037620 Drivers intended for Windows 7 generally work.

    Going the other way, you can also run Windows 2000 on an early Intel Mac which is interesting to see given that only XP was ever supported and a Mac running 2000 looks a little...unusual! You just have to make a slight modification to your 2000 disc: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/windows-2000-install-success.202695/

    Of course, really the Early 2006 iMac needs to run Tiger 10.4.4, given that it is the only machine that can run the very first official release of OS X for Intel ;)

    10.png

    2000.jpg
     
  16. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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    #16
    Nobody cares what I have to say, but here's my thoughts.

    My first Mac desktop was an Intel iMac, 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo. It has given me more problems than I've had with all of my PowerPCs combined. Display problems, OS installation issues, ports that sometimes work and sometimes don't- and much more. Tons of problems. But i somehow survived with that computer as my daily driver for a few months until I switched to my iBook G4.

    My only other Intel, my black MacBook, has given me no problems yet however. So, yeah, I've certainly seen "Classic Intel" at its best. But its worst as well. ;)
    --- Post Merged, Jul 31, 2017 ---
    Love Windows 98 (2000 is pretty much the same, right?). Windows at its best IMO.
     
  17. LightBulbFun, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017

    LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #17
    iMac4,1 was my very fist Macintosh, may it RIP I still have the LCD screen from it LOL, Just curious is there any specific reason you have not slapped a Core 2 Duo into your iMac? something like T7200 is silly cheap these days and provides a nice upgrade :)

    indeed windows 10 runs quite nicely on these 2006 intel macs, generally when i want to install windows 10 on one of my older intel macs I use plop to boot a regular USB installer :) I have even managed to (U)EFI boot windows 10 on a Mac Pro 1,1 and MacBook2,1 and a MacBook Pro 3,1 :) I have tried to Boot Windows on my Xserve1,1 but it BSODs part way through the boot and since im booting blind i cant tell what exactly its crashing on...

    the "select CD-ROM type" also affects some early EFI64 intel Macs like the MacBook Pro 3,1 for example. (another early intel quirk for yall LOL)

    quite cool to see windows 2K running on the iMac, its something iv been meaning to play with/try and do my self :) going to have to drag the MacBook2,1 out heh

    BTW the first official intel release of OS X would be 10.4.1 the build that shipped with the DTKs :D (a DTK is one of those holy grail macs to me)
     
  18. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #18
    Oh no - I think my iMac's Snow Leopard days are numbered now....
    What's Win10 performance on the iMac like? I've installed it on a few low end laptops for people and it performs great.
     
  19. tdbmoss, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017

    tdbmoss macrumors regular

    tdbmoss

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    #19
    In terms of look and feel it's similar to 98, but it is very different underneath, 2000 comes from the NT line so is the successor to NT 4.0 and the predecessor to XP, whereas Me (Millennium Edition) looked almost identical but was the successor to 98 (and the final release in the DOS-based 9x line). You can't run 9x/Me on the Intel Macs except for virtualised as their BIOS emulation is incomplete I believe.

    Pretty decent! The slow hard drives that Apple still ship to this day don't help of course, I'm sure if you were willing to open it up and replace it with an SSD that would make it much faster, and the graphics card is weak, but they make a decent PC as long as you don't expect *too* much from them :) By the way I had a glitch with the graphics driver (presumably due to it not being an actual Windows 10 one), if you find that you can't see the desktop when it starts up press Win+P to change the display mode until you see it, then go to Control Panel > Power Options > Change what the power button does > untick Fast Startup - otherwise it thinks there are two displays connected for some reason and defaults to the non-existent one.

    I'd be a bit scared to perform such major surgery on it, hehe, and also I picked it up because of it being the very first Intel Mac so it seems appropriate to keep it largely stock :) Would be interesting to see if 10.4.4 still runs with the upgraded processor though.

    I have the Xserve 2,1 and tried this too, but just get no display output and I assume the same result as think it reboots after a while - the Xserves don't have the BIOS emulation so I assume Windows' EFI support doesn't like Apple's non-standard EFI... The only non-Apple OS that seems to like it is VMware's ESXi, which does officially support Xserves.
     
  20. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    #20
    Yes, it does that on the laptops I installed it on too - easy fix though.
     
  21. KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

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    #21
    I opted for Win 7 since I dislike the extra junk of 10 and the fact that it eats more RAM. It runs really well on a 2.16GHz C2D with 4GB RAM (3GB useable) on an iMac 24-inch Late 2006.

    I'd say it works much better than Mountain Lion
     
  22. AphoticD macrumors 6502a

    AphoticD

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    #22
    I can agree with this. Next time I want to put some time into my Bootcamp config, I will reinstall Win7 Pro and just leave it at that. The only thing I would use Windows for is to access my Steam library, and it's rare when I can make the time to play games these days.
     
  23. bobesch, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017

    bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #23
    No, Win98(SE) and 2000 are completely different OS.
    Win95/98(SE) are based on the old DOS-Core and Win2000 is based on WinNT 3.5 developed under the leadership of David N.Cutler and with similarity to the VMS-OS, that he developed for Digital and their VAX computers, but wasn't used by DIGITAL as their new VAX-machine-OS, what made Cutler leave to Microsoft to continue his work at MS now named WinNT.
    Win98 and Win2k/XP/7 do look similar due to the identical or familiar desktop-shell. The cores are completely different ones. So a lot of stuff, especially games created as the DOS&Win3.1/95/98(SE) era don't run with WinNT/2k/7.
    Quite interesting to see, which OSs are currently dominating the market:
    - MS-NT/2k/XP/7/8/10 based on VMS
    - OSX/iOS based on Unix
    - Android - a virtual-OS running on a Linux-base
    - Linux
    So the Unix/Linux-Systems (desktop&mobile) currently seem to be the most popular

    (oh, rereading the postings I see @tdbmoss did already tell all about this topic ...)
     
  24. AmazingHenry macrumors 65816

    AmazingHenry

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  25. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #25
    Win7Pro is my favorite for virtual Windows too (using VMwareFusion). Running this currently on my c2duo alumnium/nearly unibody/battery-door 13/15" MB(P) 2008 for the use of my business software ...

    Haha... thinking about one of those MS slogans: "Windows as a Service" (aka Win7pro running in a Virtual Machine on a 2008 intel MacBookPro ... :D)
     

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