Should I replace my MacPro 1,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by syrinxfilms, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. syrinxfilms macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2010
    Southern Cali
    I currently have a MacPro 1,1, 2.66 Quad Core, 8 GB ram, 8TB hardrives, 8 GB Ram, Black Magic Decklink Mini Recorder, running OSx 10.6.8 plus Office 2011, Adobe CS6, Final Cut Studio (FCP7), FCPX and a bit more.Most of the time it works...except when it doesn't.

    A new MacPro cylinder is out of the question price wise, and for some strange reason the iMacs just don't appeal: the original Mac Pro (to me) is an amazing machine: robust, repairable and updatable.

    So I am looking at 2010+ MacPro 5,1s. Most likely a 2019 3.33 GHz 6 core with 8-16 GB of ram and either an ATI 5770 GPU or a 5870 -- maybe an nvidia card instead. I hope to install a PCIe SSD as the main boot drive, but I may need two boot drives to run some of my old software as I can't afford to go out and replace CS6 and FCS3.

  2. MerlinX10 macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2015
    Interesting question.
    At the office I have the same Mac Pro that I upgraded to run Mavericks and put a GTX 650Ti in it too.
    You can google around for how to do it and, though it's a bit of a job, it's really still a decent machine on Mavericks (and I might upgrade to El Capitan when it comes out).

    Biggest thing is CPU. That LGA 771 socket is totally upgradeable and I found some prices to move it to an 8-core for $91.

    I was just doing some quick searching and found hints it can likely go higher in CPU.

    Once you've got a decent CPU again, and a latest version OS X, it's pretty easy to drop in a more powerful video card and have a very useable machine.

    All told, investing ~$100 for a CPU, and ~$200 +/- for a video card (and $10 maybe for PCI power cable 4 pin mini to 6 pin), may easily be worth doing.

    Might even get an PCI USB 3 card
    [Black Edition,Power Cable included,Compatible with Mac OS X V 10.7.5 or Later and Windows] ORICO PME-4U USB 3.0 4 Port PCI Express to USB3.0 Host Con

    and SSD and suddenly you're pretty close to caught up.

    You need a custom boot loader to be on Mavericks or later, but after that you're solid.
  3. syrinxfilms thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 12, 2010
    Southern Cali
    PCIe cards do seem to offer a lot of possibilities, it's back to do I keep investing? I'm not exactly sure what a Custom Boot Loader is? I have a copy of Mavericks but didn't think the 1,1 could handle it. Can you explain? Thanks.
  4. dogbait macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Having had a MP 1,1 and also gone through the fun (pain?) of Hackintoshes I personally would not recommend messing around with upgrading the CPU and using an unsupported OS if this Mac is for production work.

    Even if you're seriously technically competent (which you need to be) it's still a PITA debugging any issues. Just bite the bullet and get a Mac Pro 2009 if you're super tight or a 2010.
  5. MerlinX10 macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2015
    You're right it's easier to throw some money at it to get a 2009 or 2010, and then throw a little more money upgrading one of those.

    But if it's absolute efficiency of coin, depending on the needed horsepower, it's far cheaper to throw $91 at the 1,1 and update. And then buy a graphics card you can move to your next machine sometime later.

    True it can be a pain to get the first install running, but after that there are no problems upgrading etc. This is not a Hackintosh. If I recall correctly, the Xeon CPU in a 1,1 is a 64bit CPU, but Apple is the one imposing a limitation by never patching the EFI32 firmware (imposing a limitation by neglect). So, the firmware (aka boot loader) is 32 bit and it refuses to recognize all 64bit OS's like Mavericks and up.
    The one patch is to install a boot level firmware and there's a macrumors thread on that issue.

    I didn't use this particular method, but theirs seems to work fine. I'll post later (when I can check) which method I used.
  6. cw48494 macrumors regular


    Jun 17, 2015
    If those are CPU heavy apps, you can upgrade to dual quad's, specifically the e5320's and BSEL modify them for $6. It's currently my cheap/budget fix until I can find dual X5350's BSEL, which is nearly impossible. Octa-core @ 2.33ghz for $6 is a fair price.

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