Rebuilding and Upgrading a 2009 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iamMacPerson, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #1
    I bought a Mac Pro from the local e-recyclers for a very good price. Unfortunately, the price didn't include anything but the main body, PSU, MoBo and RAM/processor daughter card. So I need to get: RAM, a video card, ODD and HDD sleds, ODD, AirPort Card, and a side panel.

    First the graphics card. I've never bought one before, I'm a noob to graphics cards so please take it easy on me. I understand the VRAM and connector types, and know the main brands, but I've never had to buy one so I never looked into them.

    What I'm looking for is a card that will be modern enough for a few years, can run Mavericks well, and will do a fine job rendering for iMovie '13 (v10) and at some point FCPX. I would like to have DVI and Mini-DisplayPort (maybe HDMI too, but not needed) so I can one day drive a 27" Cinema Display.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #2
    Hopefully this post has the links that would help you with your restoration project. More specifically this link would provide the part number for the ODD cage/HDD sleds and side panel. Even if you don't buy directly from them, it's good to know the correct part number.

    As for the video card, you could choose either AMD 5770/5870/7950 or EVGA GTX 680 for Mac, and they all boot with an Apple screen and can be found on eBay or Amazon new or used. If you are more adventurous and want to save some money, you could buy a qualified PC card without boot screen as discussed here.

    Given what you described for your specific needs, the AMD/Sapphire 7950 for Mac may be your best choice but a bit overpriced for me.
     
  3. yomibro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    #3
  4. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #4
    Thanks for all the help! I'll look into all those cards.

    Well, if I plug it in the PSU clicks on, and if I press the power button the light blinks asking for RAM. I'm going to pickup a stick on eBay and I figure if I can at least get a "BONG" with the RAM installed, the LoBo is good.
     
  5. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #5
    I'm wondering, will the ODD cage from any Mac Pro work in this model?
     
  6. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #6
    If I am not mistaken, the ODD cage is one of the few parts shared by 2006-2012 Mac Pros. You can check out the Apple Technician Guide from 2006-2008 to confirm it.
     
  7. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

    Joined:
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    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #7
    Thanks!

    I've decided to go with the Radeon HD 5770/5870. It was the very last card used by Apple in the oMP so I hope to use it for a while.
     
  8. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
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    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #8
    Well, the Mac Pro officially works. I got some RAM, popped it in, plugged in power, and got a POST chime. No diagnostic came on. So I popped in a hard drive (after turning it off) and got disk activity.

    So, I need some more info on cards. I've been looking at the 5770/5870, and they can very in price by quite a bit. I've also decided I no longer will need the Mini-DisplayPort. So does anyone have more card recommendations? They would be greatly appreciated.

    Mavericks, FCPX compatibility, and fast rendering is a must. Compatible PC cards are fine, I just need DVI.
     
  9. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #9
    A very comprehensive paper and workflow for rebuilding your 2009 MP!:

    Pindelski Mac Pro 2009

    GL & Cheers
     
  10. firedownunder macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    #10
    Nice link. From a fellow 2009 owner. :)
     
  11. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #11
    Your welcome! I found it a great read!

    Cheers :)
     
  12. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #12
    Hi IamMacPerson. For GPUs you may want to check out Nvidia cards as they usually have DVIs. The PC flashed cards offer more choices like 660GTX, 670GTX, 680GTX ( Mac edition or PC flashed ), 760GTX For Radeon, there's the 7950HD ( Mac edition or PC flashed ) and 7970HD
     
  13. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

    Joined:
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    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #13
    Thank you so much for the suggestions. I just a have a few questions regarding the GTX 6XX cards:

    I have heard mixed things about the Nvidia 650+ Series of cards (650, 660, 670, 680, etc) that they have a problem with the more recent version of Final Cut Pro and anything later then 10.8.2. If this is true, then these cards would not work for me under 10.9(.2). While I'm not doing FCP just yet, I do want to be ready for the future so I don't have to go out and get another video card in year or so.

    I will look into the 7950/70HD cards.

    Thanks again!
     
  14. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #14
    Welcome! About the problems with the Nvidia 600+ series, I also read about some users' encountering problems. Sorry I could not comment if there were solutions unless there is a reliable source of information. For Mavericks, I usually wait for 6 months before updating to any new OSX for it to be more stable and mature.
     
  15. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    Jun 12, 2011
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    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #15
    So excited! My 5770 is on order! Brand new, flashed for Mac total $127.99 :cool: . Should be here by the end of the month (Standard Post). Also bought the ODD cage (it does seem the 2006-2012 all use the same one), an HDD sled from OrangeSVT, an AirPort Card, and also took the side panel from my G5.
     
  16. Robert Davies macrumors 6502

    Robert Davies

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    People's Republic of Wrexham
    #16
    As an FYI, I've been in contact with a guy who experimented with FCP X with the same card that I was using - an EVGA 3mb GTX 660, his tests showed it to be a very significant margin slower than his existing 5770 with FCP X

    Full disclosure, he and I are/were running 2,1s but I believe the data to be transferrable in this case.
     
  17. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location:
    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #17
    So the next thing I'm getting is a USB 3.0 card. Then I'll get an Optical Drive (any recommendations?) and finish with the case components. Maybe later this year I pickup a decent sized SSD and pop that in there.

    If I have enough money after my new iPhone, I might think about upgrading the processor. I've been reading a Nehalem chip is a drop in, but a Westmere could be put in with a firmware upgrade. Main questions; 1. I have the SP Quad model. If I wanted to, could a DP card in it from a 2009-2012 model? and 2. Can I just put a Westmere 6-core on the SP card and have 6 cores and upgrade to DP later?
     
  18. RCZ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    #18
    You need to have the same board for the 2009 model, if your chasis is also 2009.. the 2010-2012 board might not work.. as the FANS will spin at full power i believe.. (if it even fits)..

    You can run a DP board on a single proc, but the fans will spin to max after a few minutes.. and cannot be turned down.. so.. in order to have a quiet machine.. a DP board must run DP.. an SP board can run various procs, including the 6 core 56x0 series.. but there is a list available for all the procs that you can put in that machine.. as you can also run the "cheaper" Wxxxx processors in an SP board, with the top level being the Xeon W3680 (Ebay around 500-600$) which could be found in the latest SP Mac Pro (old model)
     

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