Ultimate Mac Pro 4.1 Running Leopard for FreeHand and Speed!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AirPlein1, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. AirPlein1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2014
    Illustrator just doesn't cut it…I use FreeHand every day and because my essence relies on efficiency, I need to use FreeHand for my vector work. Hence, I'm building the ultimate FreeHand machine, which allows me to function in Leopard, relax with Time Machine, and build the fastest Mac that 2009 could ever know.

    I have purchased a Mac Pro 4.1 dual 3.33 MHz quad core. It has 64 GB of RAM, and I plan to fit an OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express SSD as the startup.

    My question is…is there anything else I can do to make this the fastest FreeHand (and superfriends) Mac? I use Photoshop CS5 and Illustrator CS3 also.
  2. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
  3. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    Clean install, with ONLY the programs you really need.
    No "freebies" / Test outs etc etc.
    Decent GPU also.

    The more junk that gets installed / downloaded the slower the machine.

    +1 on keeping it off the net UNLESS you need to do updates.

  4. s-hatland macrumors regular


    Feb 4, 2014
    i would suggest a separate SSD scratch disk for photoshop. keep all those writes off your accelsior to prolong it's life
  5. AirPlein1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2014
    All great suggestions…thank you! It's running great and super fast. Any suggestions on a video card upgrade? I use a Wacom Cintiq 24 HD as my main with a 20" LCD as a secondary.
  6. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    For 10.5.8? Does your 4,1 still have the ATI 4870? If so I think that'd be the best one you can use without upgrading the OS.
  7. AirPlein1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2014
    It's actually a 5.1 as it turns out, so I believe it's the absolute fastest Leopard-bootable Mac Pro I could get. The original NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 is what's in it.
  8. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    That isn't possible, the 5,1's from 2010 came with a special build of 10.6.4, so anything before wouldn't run on it.

    Something isn't correct here, if you go to the Apple logo in the top left, click that then go to About This Mac what version is the OS?

    If you go to 'More Info', what is the machine referred to under the 'Model Identifier' field? MacPro4,1? MacPro5,1?

    ...unless the machine you bought was a MacPro4,1 flashed to 5,1 firmware.. but even then, because of Leopard, the best card you can run is the Mac version of the ATI 4870, which isn't sold by Apple anymore, and you'd probably be hard-pushed to find that being sold anywhere new; eBay might have some though.
  9. AirPlein1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2014
    I believe that's exactly what was done. It's Mac OS 10.5.8, with a 2 x 3.33 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon. I bought it on eBay from a seller who had several Mac Pros for sale and I explained what I wished to do, and he configured and tested it for me with Leopard before the purchase. He tested the memory too, and it runs at 1333 MHz (8 x 8 GB). I feel very fortunate to have this set-up, since I must stick to Leopard. I'll check eBay for the ATI 4870.
  10. benobadboy macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2014
    Im doing the same on a Nehalem early 2009 4.1 Quad core 3.33Ghz mac pro for freehand.
    is this the same mac pro as you used? And if you update the processor to Westmere 6 core could you still run Leopard and use Freehand


    That Mac Pro Nehalem 4.1 3.33Ghz came out with Leopard 10.5.6 so Freehand should work right?
  11. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    A GTX285 would also work, IIRC.

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10 March 31, 2014