Sprucing Up MacPro 1,1 and 2,1 for OS/X Mavericks 10.9

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rpseguin, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. rpseguin macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013
    What things can be done to spruce up an old MacPro 1,1 or 2,1 to make them much faster and more responsive in OS/X Mavericks 10.9.1?

    I was able to install Mavericks 10.9 on a MacPro 1,1 (2x3.0GHz dual core, wifi, bluetooth, 13GB RAM, 2TB 7200RPM disk, NVidia 8800GT 512MB) using SFOTT:

    I did the software update to 10.9.1

    The MacPro is really slow and sluggish compared to when running 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard). The graphics rendering is slow and sluggish.

    What sorts of things do people recommend turning off or tweaking to get better performance?
    I was thinking about replacing the 8800GT with an NVidia GTX-460 card.
    Is Mountain Lion (10.8.x) snappier and more responsive?

    I would love to find/buy a nice newer MacPro (4,1 or later) 8 or 12 core machine, but don't think I can afford it.
    I was thinking about upgrading the CPUs to 2x Intel Xeon x5365 quad core for 8 real cores and more cache (compared to the 4 real cores right now).
    Anybody got a screaming deal on matched x5365 (or faster that will work with this machine??)?
    I was also thinking about putting in an SSD for the system disk.
    Or, should I keep my eyes peeled and try to buy an 8 or 12 core 5,1?

    I also have a MacPro 2,1 (2xquad Xeon x5365 3.0GHz, 32GB RAM, NVidia QuadroFX 4500, 2TB, FibreChannel, ...)
    running 10.6.8 that I was thinking about upgrading to Mavericks, but I want to be sure it will be fast and responsive. Otherwise, I was thinking about going to Mountain Lion (10.8.x).
    Will 10.8.x be faster on this old hardware than 10.9.x?
    I have an NVidia GTX-660 that I was going to stick in that machine once I get 10.9.x or 10.8.x installed. I know that it is kind of wasteful sticking a PCIe 3.0 card in those machines given that the MacPro 1,1 and 2,1 are only PCIe 1.0.

  2. rpseguin thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013
    I guess I'm wondering how much difference changing out the graphics cards and upgrading the quad core 1,1 to an 8 core will make, or should I just save my pennies for a 5,1?

    MacPro 1,1: upgrade to 8 core (2x 3.0GHz Xeon x5365), change 8800GT for GTX460
    MacPro 2,1: change QuadroFX 4500 for GTX660

    Also, my 2,1 has a FibreChannel card that I want to pull and sell to help fund upgrades.

  3. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    You can find the x5365's on Ebay for $70-90 each all day long. These have been pulled from servers and are fine.

    An SSD will have a bigger effect on the computer then any other single part. You will notice an improvement during all usage.
  4. rpseguin thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2013
    Thanks for the response.

    I think using an SSD is a good thing, but I don't think it will help with the sluggish graphics and slow apps (will help improve launch speed, but the apps are slower than I would when already running).

    I am hoping that a new GPU will make a big difference.
    Anyhow, I am checking around for deals on SSDs to help that aspect.


  5. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Oh i wish the 5365s were that cheap in the UK! Looking at around £200 here!


    I'm also looking at SSDs for mine I'm thinking of going for a Crucial M500 480GB, an SSD will defiantly make a difference.
  6. lewisd25 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2007
    I have a MacPro1,1 as well. I'm running a Radeon 4870 which is still fine for me performance wise. I decided to pick up a pair of SLAEG x5355s off of ebay for $65, and a new Samsung 250gb SSD off of Amazon for $160. I figure these two upgrades alone will extend the life of my 7 year old MP by at least a year or so. By then I'll consider moving to a nMP or a Broadwell Mac Mini (if it ever arrives).
  7. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I'm thinking the same, I want a Mac mini pro! Lol
  8. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I'd highly recommend updating the video card. Mavericks really started putting a load on my Radeon in my Mac Pro (started hearing the fan spin, which I never had before).

    I'd like to see an update with a before/after GPU upgrade report.

    Maybe you can explain to nMP users why the ability to upgrade the GPU is important (j/k) :)
  9. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom

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