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beccas

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
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I have seen a couple of threads on this topic (due to the recent news) but I still wanted to ask. Sorry for the long post by the way.

Do you all think that it is sensible to keep a 2009 Mac Pro now that official support is gone? I recently bought mine this year (2 CPU model, base specs) and have been happy with it for the most part. My intention was to upgrade the parts in it (CPU, RAM, GPU, Storage) so that I can use it for my usual computer needs, and whenever I wanted, game a little on it in Windows. However, after some time with it, I began to price the upgrades more and read up more about the GPU compatibility/boot screen issue. I was always more or less informed, but I really went a bit deeper this time pricing everything and noting the compromises I'd have to make. The short of it is that I began to feel like the upgrades would not be fully worth it as I would be investing in old tech, and quite frankly, the prices seem to be high (CPUs and the delidding service for example) for what I am getting.

Instead, I decided to get a really good Windows PC recently (used and at a great deal I think), and I have been contemplating whether I should keep the Mac Pro, sell it, or sell my 2012 Quad Core Mac Mini which I have not used much since getting the Pro, all because I need the money. For the most part, I was sorta on the side of keeping the Pro and selling the Mini. Then, news came that the Mac Pro was no longer supported officially (this really surprised me) and now I am beginning to change my view to the side of selling the Pro and keeping my Mini.

What do you guys think? The Pro still suits my needs but I am thinking it may be time that I let it go. I know that the firmware hack 2009 -> 2010 removes the block installing the newer OS and to be honest, I am not someone who uses the newest OS anyway since I believe that they are buggy. However, knowing that my system is not supported further does bother me since I bought this system thinking I can get some use of it for 2-3 years. I am also wondering how long the 2010 would even be supported which does affect 2009 Pros.

Are there any one else in this dilemma? Contemplating selling your 2009 Mac Pro now given the lack of official support moving forward? I am thinking it may be more sensible selling the Pro and keeping my Mini since the Mini still has support and AppleCare. I am even thinking of selling the Pro and eventually getting a Hackintosh when money becomes more available.

Thanks for reading my rant! :)
 

HHarm

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2009
138
2
On your situation the lack of official support should be the least important factor in deciding what to do. It does seem that you have no real need to have a MP and starting to upgrade it in year 2016 from the base configuration doesn't seem worth it.
 
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beccas

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
92
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Thanks for reading my thread.

Why do you think the lack of support is the least important factor though?

I agree. It does not seem too worth it anymore, particularly since I now have this other Windows PC.
 
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firedownunder

macrumors regular
May 5, 2011
121
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On your situation the lack of official support should be the least important factor in deciding what to do. It does seem that you have no real need to have a MP and starting to upgrade it in year 2016 from the base configuration doesn't seem worth it.

Agreed. If you're not concerned with using Sierra, why does official support matter. I find the community here offers a better support system for most issues than Apple, fwiw.
 
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Jul 4, 2015
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Paris
I'm keeping mine as a file server and for some Mac apps I don't have on my PC. If the Radeon 400 series has drivers in Sierra then I'll upgrade the OS otherwise I might downgrade to Mavericks.
 
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HHarm

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2009
138
2
Why do you think the lack of support is the least important factor though?

The old MP is something that requires hobbyist interest to keep going. It's also such an old machine that you should be prepared for it to break down and being too expensive to make the repairs worth the price. Lack of support for the hardware does of course mean that repair parts might not be available officially or that they are more expensive. Still there is very little Apple can offer to the MP users with or without support.

Having bought a Squid carrier board, 5xSM951 SSDs, a GTX 980Ti and a Dell 5K monitor this year I'm not the most logical in these choices. But I want to work with a Mac and I've had the machine since April 2009 and I've updated the CPU and other parts prior to the latest upgrades.

The GTX is my 4th GPU on the old dog....
 
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pat500000

Suspended
Jun 3, 2015
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Thanks for reading my thread.

Why do you think the lack of support is the least important factor though?

I agree. It does not seem too worth it anymore, particularly since I now have this other Windows PC.
just flash firmware to 5,1.
 
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beccas

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
92
6
The reason the lack of official support past 10.11 is a factor for me is because, like I said, I had hoped to use this computer for 2-3 years or even more. The fact that 10.11 is already the last point of official support means that the 2-3 years of desired use is less likely, given that some programs I use will eventually need a higher base OS version to work on the system.

I know that the community will support it as they have done for the 1,1 and 2,1 so I know I can keep that in mind.

Okay, my other question will be this. Assuming I move my intensive work to my newer Windows machine and just need a Mac for my littler productivity work that my Mini is capable of running, which do you think is more sensible to keep? The 2009 Mac Pro or the 2012 Mac Mini?

Thanks again everyone!

On your situation the lack of official support should be the least important factor in deciding what to do. It does seem that you have no real need to have a MP and starting to upgrade it in year 2016 from the base configuration doesn't seem worth it.

Agreed. If you're not concerned with using Sierra, why does official support matter. I find the community here offers a better support system for most issues than Apple, fwiw.
 
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Ph.D.

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
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I don't think Apple is very interested in "blocking" per se. I think they just want to end their own testing and continued support after some time that they consider reasonable. So I'd expect that a 4,1 flashed to a 5,1 will be able to run 10.12 just fine.

Whether you should keep it or not is a very personal decision.
 
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beccas

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
92
6
I don't think Apple is very interested in "blocking" per se. I think they just want to end their own testing and continued support after some time that they consider reasonable. So I'd expect that a 4,1 flashed to a 5,1 will be able to run 10.12 just fine.

Whether you should keep it or not is a very personal decision.

You're probably right but would it get support past that point by a simple firmware hack if the 2010 is not long supported? :(

Yeah, I know it is ultimately my personal decision but I still wanted to hear the opinions of others, especially since I am guessing there are a few others on this forum who may be contemplating a similar choice given the news.

I am still open to hearing the voices of anyone else willing to share their thoughts!
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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I am still open to hearing the voices of anyone else willing to share their thoughts!

Just my two cents:

Mac Pro 2012 share the same board-ID with 2010, or even 2009. So, when a Mac Pro 2012 is supported, a upgraded 2009 to the same firmware/GPU/AirPort configuration will work. To the hardware check on the macOS installer, they're exactly the same machine.

So, we have at least 3 more years of active support on macOS on a 2009 with 5,1 firmware and, at least, ATI5770 + AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC.
 
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beccas

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
92
6
Just my two cents:

Mac Pro 2012 share the same board-ID with 2010, or even 2009. So, when a Mac Pro 2012 is supported, a upgraded 2009 to the same firmware/GPU/AirPort configuration will work. To the hardware check on the macOS installer, they're exactly the same machine.

So, we have at least 3 more years of active support on macOS on a 2009 with 5,1 firmware and, at least, ATI5770 + AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC.

What do you mean by this "ATI5770 + AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC"
 
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MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
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Tampa, Florida
What do you mean by this "ATI5770 + AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC"
He's talking about the video card (ATI Radeon HD 5770) and the AirPort Card that became a default option in the 2010 Mac Pros.

The only issue you're likely to bump into with the flashed 4,1s is the GPU drivers, but if those are available, then it shouldn't be an issue at all. And if they are not, then you can always throw in a newer GPU and be done with it :)

Personally, I plan on keeping my 5,1 going along for as long as I can. It's been a wonderful machine to me since I purchased it used around the new year, and I'm looking forward to getting many years out of it. I had a G4/500DP (2001) tower as my main desktop from 2005-2009, a 2009 mini from 2009 to 2013, a 2011 iMac from 2013-2015 and the Pro from 2015-present. I try to get around 4 years out of my desktops, and I don't see any issues potentially getting that from this machine.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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What do you mean by this "ATI5770 + AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC"

ATI HD5770: basic GPU from 2012 Mac Pro.
AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC: Wi-Fi card/AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x8C) from 2010 and 2012 Mac Pros.

Just a note:

On 2009 Mac Pros, the Wi-Fi card/AirPort Extreme is optional and my Mac Pro 2009, refurb B08 firmware bought August 2010, came with BCM94321MC - this AirPort model (MA688Z/B - 0x14E4, 0x88) is unsupported on macOS Sierra.

So if you have one of the old AirPort Extreme and need Wi-Fi, time to upgrade to at least BCM94322MC.
 
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beccas

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
92
6
ATI HD5770: basic GPU from 2012 Mac Pro.
AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC: Wi-Fi card/AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x8C) from 2010 and 2012 Mac Pros.

Just a note:

On 2009 Mac Pros, the Wi-Fi card/AirPort Extreme is optional and my Mac Pro 2009, refurb B08 firmware bought August 2010, came with BCM94321MC - this AirPort model (MA688Z/B - 0x14E4, 0x88) is unsupported on macOS Sierra.

So if you have one of the old AirPort Extreme and need Wi-Fi, time to upgrade to at least BCM94322MC.

My WiFi card is AR5BXB112. This should be supported right? I believe that it came from a fairly recent iMac.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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My WiFi card is AR5BXB112. This should be supported right? I believe that it came from a fairly recent iMac.

I can't confirm. I think this is the same chipset on the optional AirPort Extreme for MacPro3,1. None of my Macs have AirPort Extreme with this chipset, maybe someone here has and can confirm Sierra support.

You can check if your card has AirDrop/Wi-Fi Direct, all Sierra supported AirPorts on my Macs have AirDrop. BCM94321MC have not.

I have a little hunch that Apple dropped support on all non-AirDrop cards.
 
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Jul 4, 2015
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Just my two cents:

Mac Pro 2012 share the same board-ID with 2010, or even 2009. So, when a Mac Pro 2012 is supported, a upgraded 2009 to the same firmware/GPU/AirPort configuration will work. To the hardware check on the macOS installer, they're exactly the same machine.

So, we have at least 3 more years of active support on macOS on a 2009 with 5,1 firmware and, at least, ATI5770 + AirPort Extreme BCM94322MC.

A little too hopeful. The day before Sierra was announced people on this forum were saying the 2009 would definitely continue to be supported for a while. I said that won't happen if Apple feels the OS's capabilities have exceeded the default GPU and wireless coms. And Ouila, Apple dropped support.

You can try after market hacks and upgrades but Apple's position is that's none of their business.

Yes, it's tragic that Microsoft can support your hardware better than Apple can.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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A little too hopeful. The day before Sierra was announced people on this forum were saying the 2009 would definitely continue to be supported for a while. I said that won't happen if Apple feels the OS's capabilities have exceeded the default GPU and wireless coms. And Ouila, Apple dropped support.

You can try after market hacks and upgrades but Apple's position is that's none of their business.

Yes, it's tragic that Microsoft can support your hardware better than Apple can.

Maybe, but if Apple really want to screw 4,1 owners they have to change how Macs are identified by the macOS installer, since PlatformSupport.plist identifies Macs via board-ID and 4,1 have the same one from 5,1.

Last time they checked something else than board-ID was on Leopard, blocking G4 Macs slower than 867MHz. I don't think they going to check serial numbers or SMC-Firmware versions on the Sierra Installer to catch the MacPro4,1 hacked to 5,1, but they can easily do that on the Mac App Store like they do to check if the Mac is supported by the OS. If so, we can always download macOS on a supported Mac.

P.S.: My ADC expired the weekend before WWDC, so I can't check now the Mac App Store support. Maybe when Public Beta opens early next month, we can check the Store support on the 4,1/5,1 when redeeming the Public Beta codes.
 
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beccas

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2016
92
6
I can't confirm. I think this is the same chipset on the optional AirPort Extreme for MacPro3,1. None of my Macs have AirPort Extreme with this chipset, maybe someone here has and can confirm Sierra support.

You can check if your card has AirDrop/Wi-Fi Direct, all Sierra supported AirPorts on my Macs have AirDrop. BCM94321MC have not.

I have a little hunch that Apple dropped support on all non-AirDrop cards.

Yes, AirDrop is supported. I actually believe that the WiFi card in mine is newer than the one you have but I could be wrong. It has 3 contacts for the antennas instead of 2.

A little too hopeful. The day before Sierra was announced people on this forum were saying the 2009 would definitely continue to be supported for a while. I said that won't happen if Apple feels the OS's capabilities have exceeded the default GPU and wireless coms. And Ouila, Apple dropped support.

You can try after market hacks and upgrades but Apple's position is that's none of their business.

Yes, it's tragic that Microsoft can support your hardware better than Apple can.

Soy, you called it. Still shocked me. I really don't get Apple's decision on this one. Many people say that it is reasonable since the 2009 Mac Pro was just placed on the obsolete list this year but the machine is more than capable so...yeah. Meanwhile Microsoft supports really old hardware. If Apple thinks this decision was a smart one for people to move on and buy their new stuff, at least for me, it didn't work. It only just turned me off of Apple completely. Their computers are way too expensive (at least for me) for them to pull this sort of forced upgrade thing.
 
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Jul 4, 2015
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Paris
Maybe, but if Apple really want to screw 4,1 owners they have to change how Macs are identified by the macOS installer, since PlatformSupport.plist identifies Macs via board-ID and 4,1 have the same one from 5,1.

Last time they checked something else than board-ID was on Leopard, blocking G4 Macs slower than 867MHz. I don't think they going to check serial numbers or SMC-Firmware versions on the Sierra Installer to catch the MacPro4,1 hacked to 5,1, but they can easily do that on the Mac App Store like they do to check if the Mac is supported by the OS. If so, we can always download macOS on a supported Mac.

The 4,1 is never quite identified as a 5,1 before Sierra anyway. It's possible in later betas that Apple will block it fully.

Even if it doesn't, it would be quite easy to eliminate the GT120 drivers as 'unessential' to include. They have already streamlined the Nvidia drivers with this beta release. Then in Sierra's successor they could drop Radeon 5000 series drivers. They can also remove drivers for things like old Bluetooth standards.

These choices would leave cMP owners looking for upgrades of every kind. Some people here have done so already. Hackintoshers are already there. Some salesman online will prey on these people with overpriced, overhyped and buggy upgrades and will aggressively troll anyone who comes in their way. It's not a good time to be a cMP owner if you want to upgrade your OS to the latest and greatest.

IF you any of the above happens you should show your strong individuality by staying with either Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan instead of just following sheepishly along. Or just install Windows 10 on your cMP. Buy a new Mac. Or build your own hack.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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9,555
The 4,1 is never quite identified as a 5,1 before Sierra anyway. It's possible in later betas that Apple will block it fully.

Even if it doesn't, it would be quite easy to eliminate the GT120 drivers as 'unessential' to include. They have already streamlined the Nvidia drivers with this beta release. Then in Sierra's successor they could drop Radeon 5000 series drivers. They can also remove drivers for things like old Bluetooth standards.

Apple already removed support for some AirPorts, like my BCM94321MC. The can always remove GT120/8800GT board IDs from the Tesla drivers. But who are using those slow/obsolete GPUs with El Capitan and not getting frustrated, anyway?

These choices would leave cMP owners looking for upgrades of every kind. Some people here have done so already. Hackintoshers are already there. Some salesman online will prey on these people with overpriced, overhyped and buggy upgrades and will aggressively troll anyone who comes in their way. It's not a good time to be a cMP owner if you want to upgrade your OS to the latest and greatest.

IF you any of the above happens you should show your strong individuality by staying with either Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan instead of just following sheepishly along. Or just install Windows 10 on your cMP. Buy a new Mac. Or build your own hack.

Yeah, some prey on cMP owners, $90 for 6/7 year old Apple GT120? $170 for a 5 year old Apple HD5770? $600 for a pair of X5690? $110 for one PCIe adapter plus used AirPort with AC/BT? Ouch, the list goes on.

But you still have nice and cost efective upgrades, if you have time to search. Like a pair of X5677 for $120 or 64GB ECC1333 for less than $90.
 
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Jul 4, 2015
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Paris
Apple already removed support for some AirPorts, like my BCM94321MC. The can always remove GT120/8800GT board IDs from the Tesla drivers. But who are using those slow/obsolete GPUs with El Capitan and not getting frustrated, anyway?

For a boot screen and general GUI acceleration the GT120 has held up surprisingly well. I'm about to test with Sierra now.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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9,555
For a boot screen and general GUI acceleration the GT120 has held up surprisingly well. I'm about to test with Sierra now.

Before I flashed my HD7870, I couldn't even see a movie on one monitor plus surf the web on another without WindowServer using 100% or more CPU, using GT120. Tried to reduce transparency and disable separate Spaces, even with both, WindowServer frequently got to over 60% CPU and I had to reboot every two or tree days.
 
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