MP 1,1-5,1 What you need to do to make Catalina work with MacPro5,1

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tsialex

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This is a thread dedicated to what is needed to make Catalina work with the now unsupported mid-2010 and mid-2012 Mac Pros with a METAL supported GPU. If you want to discuss about why Apple removed support, please go to this thread 10.15 won't support MP5,1 anymore, support starts with MP6,1.

Catalina_MP51_AMM.png


If you install Catalina with a supported Mac then move the drive to your MP5,1 (with a METAL supported GPU) or use Target Disk Mode, or use VMWare Fusion to install to a disk you just need -no_compat_check added to the Mac Pro NVRAM boot-args, after that 10.15 "works" with a MP5,1.

It's a little slower than Mojave, not unusual for a beta with all the debug settings activated, and have some problems, but you really just need -no_compat_check when you install the Catalina Developer Preview with a supported Mac.

You need SIP disabled to change boot-args and you need to do it before installing your Catalina drive. No need to keep SIP disabled, it's just needed to set the boot-args. Btw, you can set NVRAM boot-args directly from the Recovery partition without disabling SIP. If you do it from Recovery, no need to use sudo. Open Terminal and type:

Code:
sudo nvram boot-args="-no_compat_check"


FAQ:
  • Does Catalina support MP5,1? No, Apple removed MP5,1 from Catalina supported list of Macs and is actively blocked. See below how Apple blocked, it's in the distribution file (InstallESD.DMG/OSInstall.mpkg/Distribution). It's a double block, since you need to add the boardID to the list of supported ones. Same block that Apple uses for installs is used for updates too, so you can't update Catalina with a MP5,1 - this could be overcome in the future with a patch emulating VMM.
    Catalina_Dist.png
  • Where I can get the AirPortBrcm4331.kext? Mojave kext still works with Catalina and you can find it on /System/Library/Extensions/IO80211Family.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AirPortBrcm4331.kext.
  • Does Bluetooth still work? Yes MP5,1 original Bluetooth 2.1 module still works. Bluetooth 4 is required for AirDrop/CAT/etc, tho.
  • Where is the thread about AirPort/Bluetooth upgrades? 802.11ac, BT 4.0 and Continuity & Handoff are working on Mac Pro 2010 (Keep Updating)
  • Does Sidecar work with Mac Pro? Only if you already have a MP7,1. Sidecar is blocked on MP5,1 and MP6,1 read post #59.
  • Does macOS updates work? There are two types of updates, macOS point releases and Security updates have the same blocks as full installs while Apple app updates like Safari or iTunes (it's a example, iTunes is dead with Catalina), usually don't have the same checks as macOS updates. It's exactly the same var nonSupportedMacs test showed in the screenshot above. For the blocked updates, you can use a VM with raw disk support to update Catalina or use a Catalina supported Mac to do the updates. A new way to spoof the VMM flag, to make Catalina think that is running in a VM, is being developed by OpenCore, but no release dates.


- Problems found so far:


  • MP5,1 AirPort Extreme: Apple removed the driver for BCM94322MC, AirPortBrcm4331.kext, from Catalina, the original AirPort Extreme card from both mid-2010/mid-2012 Mac Pro. If you updated your AirPort Extreme to BCM94360CD or BCM943602CD, both models work with Catalina. The original Bluetooth module works, both Ethernet works. (Mojave AirPortBrcm4331.kext still works with Catalina DP1). Catalina_No_AirPortExtremeBCM94322MC.png
  • Apple native support for NVIDIA Kepler GPUs: People are reporting that DisplayPort output don't work anymore and Apple NVIDIA native drivers are buggier than the usual, with black bars on the Safari tab bar all the time - screen capture don't show it, I had to take a photo. Safari sometimes corrupt renders when you use a NVIDIA GPU. Lots of black blocks on Finder file lists too. I'm using a flashed eVGA GT 640 2GB with this Mac Pro:
    6B7E5044-9C8D-4272-8CA6-2E61AD783AC4.jpeg

- Developer Previews & Public Betas:

Date:Developer Preview / Public Beta:Build:Notes:
2019100310.15 DP11/GM19A582a
2019092310.15 DP1019A578c
2019092310.15 DP919A573aStill works with MP5,1, still the same restrictions like no AirPortBrcm4331.kext, SideCar actively blocked and etc.
2019091010.15 DP819A558dStill works with MP5,1, still the same restrictions like no AirPortBrcm4331.kext, SideCar actively blocked and etc.
2019082810.15 DP719A546dStill works with MP5,1, still the same restrictions like no AirPortBrcm4331.kext, SideCar actively blocked and etc.
2019081910.15 DP619A536gStill works with MP5,1, still the same restrictions like no AirPortBrcm4331.kext, SideCar actively blocked and etc.
2019073110.15 DP519A526hStill works with MP5,1, still the same restrictions like no AirPortBrcm4331.kext, SideCar actively blocked and etc.
2019071610.15 DP419A512fStill works with MP5,1, still no AirPortBrcm4331.kext.
2019070210.15 DP319A501iStill works with MP5,1, still no AirPortBrcm4331.kext.
2019062410.15 PB119A487mSame as DP2
2019061710.15 DP219A487l 19A487mStill works with MP5,1, still no AirPortBrcm4331.kext. Better/less buggier native NVIDIA Kepler support. In place update won't work. Same Sidecar block as DP1
2019060310.15 DP119A471tWorks with MP5,1, no AirPort Extreme kext. Very buggy NVIDIA Kepler native support. Sidecar is blocked on a MP5,1
 
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critter13

macrumors 6502
Aug 23, 2010
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its been a good run. oh well, my 5,1 is running better than it ever has. my next machine will probably be a mini, hope they keep it fresh. my only complaint with my 5,1 is energy consumption. will keep running my 5,1 until I feel like I'm missing some crucial software capabilities. thanks for all the work you have done tsialex
 

dontpokebearz

macrumors member
Feb 16, 2018
60
43
Maine
Something in my NVRAM was causing an error of kext signing, only noticed after booting verbose.

Audio works after cleaning three times the NVRAM and re-adding -no_compat_check.
View attachment 840603


Still no Wi-Fi, BCM94322MC are gone for real.
View attachment 840604
I know it's literally ground zero, but do you think this will eventually run at decent speed? I need to decide if I should sell my Mac Pro or MacBook Pro.
 

tsialex

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I know it's literally ground zero, but do you think this will eventually run at decent speed? I need to decide if I should sell my Mac Pro or MacBook Pro.
It's as fast as Mojave DP1. When Apple remove the debug options with Catalina GM, it will probably run as smooth as Mojave 10.14.5.

Please note that Apple could start using instructions not supported by MP5,1 Xeon and then it will be game over - I doubt, but Apple did this before.
 
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dontpokebearz

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Feb 16, 2018
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It's as fast as Mojave DP1. When Apple remove the debug options with Catalina GM, it will probably run as smooth as Mojave 10.14.5.

Please note that Apple could start using instructions not supported by MP5,1 Xeon and then it will be game over - I doubt, but Apple did this before.
True. Let's hope this is the case. I love the 5,1 Pro. I think a lot of us still prefer it's iconic design over the new Mac Pro.
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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True. Let's hope this is the case. I love the 5,1 Pro. I think a lot of us still prefer it's iconic design over the new Mac Pro.
If Apple keeps the requirements as is with Catalina DP1 and we just need to change the AirPortExtreme for a model still supported and use -no_compat_check boot-arg, I can use my MP5,1 for the 3 years of Catalina support, no problem. It’s fast enough and will probably still do everything I need.
 

AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2009
166
25
San Antonio
I'll be honest, I'm upset that the 5,1 isn't officially supported by 10.15.

Mostly since it looked like with all the recent Firmware updates, features being enabled (such as NVMe M.2), also documentation for compatible Metal graphic's cards for MacOS 10.14, that Apple was going to support the 5,1 for at least one more OS release.

Alas I feel really let down that 10.14 Mojave will be the last MacOS for my MacPro 5,1.

Maybe its for the best anyway since some of the Apps I use (Adobe CC 2017 for example) are still 32bit and since 10.15 forces you to use 64bit App, I really wasn't looking forward to 10.15 anyway.

I'm sure eventually there will be a patch to allow 5,1 MacPros to work with 10.15 just like how they were able to make El Capitan work with 1,1 & 1,2 MP's unless like tsialex said if Apple makes instructions sets a requirement that aren't on the Xeon's then that's pretty much it.

One thing I have to ask. Looking at the CPU compatibility list for the 5,1 it also lists a i7 990X as a compatible CPU, by an extreme chance if Apple requests a instructions set (of course this his hypothetically speaking, plus we would need to know what instructions set is needed) Do you think the i7 would be a CPU of choice if the Xeon is dead?
 

tsialex

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One thing I have to ask. Looking at the CPU compatibility list for the 5,1 it also lists a i7 990X as a compatible CPU, by an extreme chance if Apple requests a instructions set (of course this his hypothetically speaking, plus we would need to know what instructions set is needed) Do you think the i7 would be a CPU of choice if the Xeon is dead?
There are two types of socket 1366 i7s, older ones are the same as W35xx with ECC and TXT disabled (Nehalem), newer ones are W36xx Xeons with ECC and TXT support disabled (Westmere).

So, it's exactly the same instruction set and it's a downgrade since RAM speed are limited to just 1066MHz ECC is disabled.
 
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AnimeFunTv

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2009
166
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San Antonio
There are two types of socket 1366 i7s, older ones are the same as W35xx with ECC and TXT disabled (Nehalem), newer ones are W36xx Xeons with ECC and TXT support disabled (Westmere).

So, it's exactly the same instruction set and it's a downgrade for most part since RAM speed are limited to just 1066MHz.
Dang, I'm not too familiar with the Intel chipset family, but if both chips carry the same instruction set, then it wouldn't matter.
 

racer

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2004
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Thessaloniki,Greece
It may be totally logical to obsolete a 10 year old computer, but its a shame, since current updated cMPs are way more powerful than my puny 2014 Mac mini 1,4GHz i5 4GB ram which is on the supported list and I use as a measly Plex server.
 

roobarb!

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2009
146
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If you install Catalina with a supported Mac then move the drive to your MP5,1 (with a METAL supported GPU), you just need -no_compat_check added to the Mac Pro boot-args, 10.15 "works" with a MP5,1.
I'm happy enough with that situation, I guess. Really, looking at the other supported machines they should have included the Mac Pro Mid 2012; some of those other 2012 units are far longer in the tooth than even a mid-tier MacPro5,1 - but then they would have been putting an arbitrary line in sand against the 2010 models, because there's really no difference between them. I was mainly hoping there'd be no instruction set requirements that would completely scupper it running and it looks like we're all fine on that front.

My big quandary will be which GPU to stick with. An unsupported OS means virtually no chance of NVIDIA drivers for 10.15 unless something changes with external GPU support which gives us 'accidental' compatibility. Or I could throw an RX VEGA 7 in there and try living without boot screens.

Of course, Windows 10 still works beautifully... and frankly I use it about 60% of the time on this MacPro5,1 now (wow, look how fast CUDA is!) but I just can't sit back and call that my main OS. ;)
 
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bsbeamer

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Sep 19, 2012
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If Apple keeps the requirements as is with Catalina DP1 and we just need to change the AirPortExtreme for a model still supported and use -no_compat_check boot-arg, I can use my MP5,1 for the 3 years of Catalina support, no problem. It’s fast enough and will probably still do everything I need.
Assume the hardwired CAT5 is still working fine after that initial crash?
 

netkas

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2007
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nvidia drivers have a time mark on it - middle of september of last year, so same as in mojave
 
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zozomester

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Apr 26, 2017
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View attachment 840579

If you install Catalina with a supported Mac then move the drive to your MP5,1 (with a METAL supported GPU), you just need -no_compat_check added to the Mac Pro boot-args, 10.15 "works" with a MP5,1.

It's a little slower than Mojave, not unusual for a beta with all the debug settings activated, and have some problems, but you really just need -no_compat_check when you install the Catalina Developer Preview with a supported Mac.

You need SIP disabled to change boot-args and you need to do it before installing your Catalina drive. No need to keep SIP disabled, it's just needed to set the boot-args. Btw, you can set NVRAM boot-args directly from the Recovery partition without disabling SIP.

Code:
sudo nvram boot-args="-no_compat_check"
Problems found so far:

- Apple removed the drivers for BCM94322MC, the original AirPort Extreme card from mid-2010/mid2012 Mac Pro:

View attachment 840582

- Network Preference Pane crashed with the first opening, but after the crash it opens normally:

View attachment 840633

- No audio Audio works after cleaning the NVRAM 3 times:

View attachment 840602

- Apple NVIDIA native drivers are buggier than the usual, with black bars on the Safari tab bar all the time - screen capture don't show it, I had to take a photo. I'm using a flashed eVGA GT 640 2GB with this Mac Pro:

View attachment 840585
Why can't I install it on any of my drives?
Thank!
Screenshot 2019-06-04 at 17.46.42.png
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
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It may be totally logical to obsolete a 10 year old computer, but its a shame, since current updated cMPs are way more powerful than my puny 2014 Mac mini 1,4GHz i5 4GB ram which is on the supported list and I use as a measly Plex server.
The latest 5,1s are 6-7 years old, not 10.
 
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