Will there be NVME booting EFI for 2010+ Mac Pro on High Sierra?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by darkgoob, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. darkgoob, Jun 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017

    darkgoob macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #1
    Will there be NVME booting EFI for 2010+ Mac Pro on High Sierra?
    For the love of all that's good and holy, someone please answer.

    • We know Apple has officially added native NVME support AFTER booting.
    • However I could find no posts saying whether or not someone has actually tested booting off of NVME yet.
    • In the history of the Mac, there has NEVER been, AFAIK, any type of officially supported internal drive where booting was impossible.
    • They supposedly would need to update the EFI firmware to support APFS booting, but it's unsurprising if there's not a "beta" of such firmware.
    • If they're going to do it, why wouldn't they just say so now?

    EDIT:

    The APFS FAQ on developer.apple.com states:

    Can I boot macOS 10.13 from an APFS-formatted hard disk?

    Yes. macOS 10.13 supports Apple File System for both bootable and data volumes.

    The 10.13 beta 2 release notes state:

    APFS support for Mid 2012 Mac Pro will be included in an upcoming seed.

    Perhaps this is a typo and they meant to say "5,1 Mac Pro"? If so then it sounds like a good sign as far as APFS is concerned. Otherwise, this latest bit is extremely confusing, because I was not aware of any differences between the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pros that could affect APFS support. They both have the same EFI firmware as far as I know. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

    Since we imagine surely adding APFS support requires flashing the EFI firmware, can anyone think of a reason why Apple would not also add boot strings for NVME booting?
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    Of course they can. In fact, they can do it long time ago, they just don't do it, that's it.
     
  3. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #3
    Even on a Z97 PC motherboard the only way to boot NVME is if there is a BIOS update available. And older than that it is highly unlikely any company wants to support such an old chipset if something goes wrong.

    The answer is no. The PC community decides that for us already.
     
  4. darkgoob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #4
    That's the same argument people made when we faced the question of whether or not NVME support would be added at all. Now that they have added the NVME support for sure, it seems academic to make it bootable from NVME.
     
  5. ActionableMango, Jun 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #5
    Apple added USB3 support to MacOS, but they didn't bother to do a cMP firmware update to make USB3 bootable. And USB3 is way more common than NVME, so I'd expect to see USB3 before NVME.

    I agree with SoyCapitanSoyCapitan and h9826790. It is not happening.
     
  6. theitsage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #6
    NVMe is bootable in 10.13. I've tried it through a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure on 2017 iMac, 2016 MacBook Pro, and 2013 Mac Pro. No go in the Mac Pro tower due to the Boot ROM.

    The low Write speed is due to eGPU firmware in the AKiTiO Node I was using for this test. I've heard the PCIe firmware in Thunderbolt 3 storage enclosure is baked differently.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #7
    This is how much improvement NVME will give you for booting compared to a regular SSD. Basically nothing.

     
  8. itdk92 macrumors regular

    itdk92

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    #8
    Again, for e.g video editing, it is a different story though + nvme EVO 960 is going down in price, compared to e.g. HyperX Predator Pcie SSD
     
  9. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #9
    All types of SSDs have gone up in price the last year!
     
  10. itdk92 macrumors regular

    itdk92

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    #10
    Funny. I believed so too, until last week, when we had to make an order and found out the 960 were suddenly cheapter.

    Here in North Europe, prices for both 250, 500 and 1TB Samsung 960 EVO have decreased quite a lot.
    But now I can see that even the 960GB HyperX Predator has gone a small 40$ down in price recently.. interesting.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #11
    Have you got a link, I tried everywhere. Even 850s have gone up.
     
  12. itdk92 macrumors regular

    itdk92

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    #12
  13. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #13
  14. itdk92 macrumors regular

    itdk92

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    #14
    hehe yeah I see that. The pound has gone down too right? I recall it was so easy to convert danish crowns to pound :)

    Also, we unfortunately often pay a more for stuff because of 25% VAT
     
  15. darkgoob, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

    darkgoob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #15
    OK, so I probably should just go with a SATA SSD in the ODD bay to get more GB/$ for my boot drive? And then put a PCI card with M.2 NVMe to hold my samples and DAW projects, video projects etc.? I can live with that if so.

    I just don't know how Apple avoids a firmware update for 5,1 Mac Pro here though. Are they gonna shut cMP out of APFS boot support also? If they do a firmware update, why not add NVMe and USB 3 booting while they're at it?

    I don't blame anyone for thinking it's unlikely, given Apple's crappy abandonment of pros and lackluster commitment to cMP firmware updates.

    However I keep holding out hope they will eventually change. Their recent admitting that nMP was a mistake gave me a sign my hope might not be entirely delusional. Maybe they see that we will be more likely to buy the next Mac Pro if they show more than just a 4-year commitment to keeping a Mac's firmware current and able to work with current industry standards.

    One can always hope...
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #16
    There are a lot of things they could add. As mentioned already, APFS, NVME, and USB3/3.1 booting. Also, the EFI overwrite security fix, Internet Recovery, and Power Nap.

    It seems exceptionally unlikely to me. The last firmware update for the 2010 Mac Pro was released in 2010. They seem to have no interest in updating it at all. It's one thing to withhold new features to sell new models, but they are not even providing a fix for the EFI security flaw.
     
  17. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #17
    On the good side, they can add functions by updating the firmware.

    On the other side, I am a bit worry that they may add some more extra artificial limitation by updating the firmware. e.g. Limit us to use PC GPU. I am not sure if it's possible, hopefully not. However, I assume that they can change the Mac Pro's firmware to make the GPU's Mac EFI become "rubbish".

    e.g. I am not sure if they can include the 5770, 5870, 7950, 680's Mac EFI in the firmware. And then disable the EFI on the graphic card. (I am not 100% sure, but seems the 6,1's GPU EFI is actually stored in the firmware).

    Since they only mention about provide firmware update for 2012 Mac Pro. And only these 4 GPU are officially supported on this Mac Pro. They may simply make an firmware update that contain these 4 GPUs EFI, and then kill all flashed card.

    If that really happen, than it's a big bad news to us. We can't use a flashed Nvidia card to install driver or access recovery partition, etc. Which is not good. Since the 5,1 never shipped with GT120. They don't even need to make it support the GT120. Which means we can't even install a slot power only card to get the boot screen.

    Again, I think the chance of having this "big" firmware update is low. However, if Apple really give us a new firmware, anything can happen. That's Apple, very unpredictable (on this kind of matter).
     
  18. William Payne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Location:
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    #18
    At some point Classic Mac Pro users (I am one) need to be a bit more realistic in their expectations. I think it is awesome we can do what we can currently with them, but we also need to remember that the last one of these was sold new 5 years ago. These are old now and will only get older.

    In my case I really only expect enough life out of my Mac Pro to last me until this new modular machine comes out.

    If this Modular machine that is coming proves to be a fantastically viable replacement for our Classic Mac Pro's I really think those of us who can should really look at transitioning into whatever this New Mac Pro will be.

    For now I am going to upgrade my cMP as much as I can within its limitations.
     
  19. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #19
    Well said, and optimistic.

    However, I hope that you're working on "Plan B" - in case the mMP has no PCIe slots, soldered RAM, soldered ATI GPUs, and soldered CPUs.
     
  20. William Payne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Location:
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    #20
    We do need to have a sense of wait and see. As for plan B if I had to, while it wouldn't my number 1 choice. I could probably be just fine with an iMac Pro if I compromised on a few things. (Not that I like compromising).

    But my reality is not all reality, the more time I spend working with the machine instead of working in the machine the better. I only want to tinker to make my work better not to satisfy any tech nerd gadget enjoyment.

    Constantly having the side panel off of my mac pro fiddling is not a good economic use of my time.
     
  21. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #21
    If the mMP end up is not good because lack of "proper" upgradability (I assume it's upgradable at this moment, just may be in Apple way), I doubt if the iMac Pro will be a better (or cheaper) choice.
     
  22. William Payne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Location:
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    #22
    As I said we just have to wait and see.
     
  23. pigsyn macrumors member

    pigsyn

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Location:
    France
    #23
    Why would they bring APFS support to cMP firmware anyways ? I can't think of any firmware update that added any functionalities in the last 7 years, (only westmere support) when they could've added a lot.
     
  24. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #24
    For some reason, Apple decided to keep the 7 years tradition. So, the 2012 Mac Pro is supported in High Sierra. Since APFS is the standard in HS, and a computer can't boot without a firmware that support APFS. Apple has no choice but provide a firmware update to the 5,1. Otherwise, it's hard to say the 2012 Mac Pro is supported.

    Of course, they can only provide partial support. e.g. Handoff is not supported on 5,1 (natively). But Apple still consider 5,1 is supported in the recent OS. However, those are relative minor issue. File system is a very key element of an OS. If a 5,1 can format all drives into APFS, but which will virtually brick the 5,1. This doesn't sounds like a good idea. And in fact may gives Apple lots of headaches (e.g. Lots of support request in Apple Store).

    Anyway, the reason is not important anymore. Apple already announced that they will provide APFS support for 2012 Mac Pro. Let's see how they do it.
     
  25. saulinpa macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #25
    I believe that the firmware does not necessarily need updated. An APFS driver could be added to the EFI FAT boot partition. My guess is that there is internal debate about which direction to take.
     

Share This Page