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X-Serve GPUs, anyone still care?

jamall

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2003
181
29
Canberra, Australia
Did somebody manage to increase the frontsidebus to 1333mhz? It should be supported by Ram, Chipset and CPU....there was a working hack for 32bit OSX – only via installing a .kext....but never for 64bit
Interesting, I've never heard of it before and I've spent months reading every obscure forum discussion I could find where there's any mention of Xserves and hacks/mods. Can you remember what it was called or where to find it?
 
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chtugha

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2017
10
2
Yeah, it's still availabe for download from this Page

http://www.zdnet.de/39192217/exclus...e-of-mac-pro/?inf_by=59d68b64681db8702d8b4704

The guy that made this tool even replies to questions on that same page till now - but never answered to public demand of a 64bit version.... if somebody knows how to do that stuff I could ask him for the source code...he could still say no though :p
[doublepost=1507235329][/doublepost]Could somebody explain me why the Xserve just talks over Gen1 PCIe with my NVME-Disk. The Adapter is a PCIE3 Lycom DT-120 - so the speed negotiation should be 4x 5GT/s and not 4x 2,5 GT/s...

I also tried the built-in 512Mb Raid Adapter...it gives horrible speeds (around 50mb/s with a Samsung 850 Pro SSD)
 
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jamall

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2003
181
29
Canberra, Australia
Ah yes I do recall that zdnet tool. I believe it was for 2008 era Xserve2,1 and MacPro3,1 machines. I used to keep a small 10.5.8 partition with it installed because the Xserve would retain the clock boost after a warm restart into whichever OS you used as your main environment. The only issue was that it caused problems with time-keeping and some video software.

Sorry I've no experience with NVMe, I use a couple of SSDs in a striped RAID on a Sonnet PCIe card with symlinks to three 1TB drives in the drive bays in RAID 5 for most of the large folders in my home directory and larger hidden folders in ~/Library.

It was interesting to note changes in responsiveness when particular directories move from the SSD to the SATA2 spinning platters, and though I haven't tried it, a small, carefullly targeted RAM disk with Preferences, Cache etc could dramatically improve performance. It would need a script that ran at boot time to set up the RAM disk, copy the directories to it, make symlinks, and then back it up to disk every couple of minutes to be of any use.
 
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chtugha

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2017
10
2
Well that sounds like the Firmware needs a big boost :) - Would a microcode upgrade enable 1333Mhz FSB for capable CPU's ?
 
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jamall

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2003
181
29
Canberra, Australia
Yes, a microcode update would do the same for an Xserve3,1 as what updating a 2009 Mac Pro's firmware to that of a 2010 Mac Pro does - faster front side bus and support for hex-core CPUs - but see my post above from a few days ago, I tried but failed.
 
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chtugha

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2017
10
2
I read about your Problems with the CRC-Check... and pitty myself that I don‘t know enough about that kind of stuff to help out...but it seems that all the Problems that come up with an Xserve are related to that missing piece of Firmware :)
[doublepost=1507314414][/doublepost]Did you try to just use the plain 5.1 Firmware? ...the Hardware seems to be very similar...
 
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jamall

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2003
181
29
Canberra, Australia
As similar as the hardware is, they are still vastly different machines. For starters the Xserve is EFI only and doesn't have the BIOS emulation capabilities of the Mac Pro. The most frustrating part is that because the next iteration of Mac Pros was basically just a firmware bump, I have no doubt whatsoever that Apple would have worked on corresponding firmware for an Xserve4,1 but discontinued the line before it made it to release. If anyone at Apple is reading this and has access to the internal dev archives, I promise I won't tell anyone!
 
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jamall

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2003
181
29
Canberra, Australia
Yes that was my thread. The motherboard I sent off to have an eeprom socket installed was costly and came back dead, and the NVMe guy refused to tell me how to run my modified EFIs virtually instead of waiting nearly two hours for my Raspberry Pi to flash each one to the Xserve's eeprom only for it to fail the self-test, and that was when I started to lose interest
 
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chtugha

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2017
10
2
Sorry for poking into that ant-nest, but I really would love a microcode-update for my Xserve...
 
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chtugha

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2017
10
2
To get back to the original Thread:
I successfully installed an ATI 5670 MXM card that I took out of a broken imac (It's about the same size as the original GT120). Just swapped the GT120 cooler - didn't care much about ram-cooling.
The XSERVE runs High Sierra now very smooth - As it was made for it :) So a graphics upgrade is worth it as long as you can get a MXM-card for a good price.

A Xserve 3,1 with 2x W5590 CPU's, enough of ram, a Samsung MZHPV512HDGL-0000 in a PCIe-slot and a better MXM graphics unit is still a beefy rack-server that can run High Sierra perfectly.
Although an efi-upgrade would be wonderful to increase CPU-support and get higher FSB-speeds.
 
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LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
2,364
2,345
London UK
To get back to the original Thread:
I successfully installed an ATI 5670 MXM card that I took out of a broken imac (It's about the same size as the original GT120). Just swapped the GT120 cooler - didn't care much about ram-cooling.
The XSERVE runs High Sierra now very smooth - As it was made for it :) So a graphics upgrade is worth it as long as you can get a MXM-card for a good price.

A Xserve 3,1 with 2x W5590 CPU's, enough of ram, a Samsung MZHPV512HDGL-0000 in a PCIe-slot and a better MXM graphics unit is still a beefy rack-server that can run High Sierra perfectly.
Although an efi-upgrade would be wonderful to increase CPU-support and get higher FSB-speeds.

thats very cool :)

its interesting to see that the port mapping of the MXM cards ROM which was meant for an iMac, still lines up with the Xserves video port

its a good thing that the iMac that video card is from, is entirely display port based :)

do you have system profiler/about this mac shots of the GPU/Xserve in action? it would be pretty cool to see :D
 
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titaniumjones

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2011
29
3
Well this is an exciting thread.
I've got 3 xServes in various states of repair or disrepair.
2x 2006 Dual Quad Core CPU
1x 2009 Dual Quad Core CPU

The 2009 has the normal 120 graphic card on an MXM connector.
I have also installed a GTX1070!!! I have achieved this with an external power supply and a PCIe extension cable. The GPU now rests quietly on top of the box
rendering_on_a_budget_6_by_titaniumjones-dbb5klg.jpg


However, this GPU is only used for rendering, I would also dearly like to have a good GPU for graphic display (And if it happens to have a few cuda cores then so much the better.

Any recommendations?
 
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reukiodo

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2013
298
138
Earth
Well this is an exciting thread.
I've got 3 xServes in various states of repair or disrepair.
2x 2006 Dual Quad Core CPU
1x 2009 Dual Quad Core CPU

The 2009 has the normal 120 graphic card on an MXM connector.
I have also installed a GTX1070!!! I have achieved this with an external power supply and a PCIe extension cable. The GPU now rests quietly on top of the box
View attachment 736780

However, this GPU is only used for rendering, I would also dearly like to have a good GPU for graphic display (And if it happens to have a few cuda cores then so much the better.

Any recommendations?
Have you considered the ELSA single slot GTX 1050 Ti ?
http://www.elsa-jp.co.jp/products/p...rd/geforce/midrange/geforce_gtx1050ti_4gb_sp/
You can order it from amazon.jp as they ship globally.
 
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titaniumjones

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2011
29
3
Have you considered the ELSA single slot GTX 1050 Ti ?
http://www.elsa-jp.co.jp/products/p...rd/geforce/midrange/geforce_gtx1050ti_4gb_sp/
You can order it from amazon.jp as they ship globally.
I saw someone, (Possibly you) mention it earlier in this thread. But what I was really excited about was this case.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Express-PC...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=ZSAS37PEWVT6PWDPHEGX

But the xserve has this mxm port and I really really want to use it......
 
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MachineMeister

macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2018
3
0
United States
Hi - Joining the xserve party and wanted to share my MXM experience.

Recently, I got a Nvidia Quadro M2000M (MXM-A) which I tested in my High Sierra Xserve 3,1 DP. After installing the latest web driver and cuda drivers from Nvidia and inserting the MXM card, the boot screen stayed black. In order to get a boot screen, I decided to add my Quadro K1200 to the mix. Now it booted with the usual boot sequence (apple logo and progress bar) displayed on screen.

I couldn't get the MXM board to work: While System information showed the MXM, it didn't provide any data (like VRAM etc). Also, when testing the mxm board with ccminer plus cuda support it failed with segmentation fault 11. Removing the MXM allowed the Quadro K1200 to pick up the ccminer job.

If anybody has some suggestions, I am happy to try again. Thank you!
 
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reukiodo

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2013
298
138
Earth
Recently, I got a Nvidia Quadro M2000M (MXM-A) which I tested in my High Sierra Xserve 3,1 DP. ...I couldn't get the MXM board to work.
Do you have access to only that MXM card? or others also?

I have a 24" iMac with a GT130, but just haven't had any time to take them both apart to make the switch and test it out in the XServe...
 
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reukiodo

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2013
298
138
Earth
I successfully installed an ATI 5670 MXM card that I took out of a broken imac (It's about the same size as the original GT120). Just swapped the GT120 cooler - didn't care much about ram-cooling.
The XSERVE runs High Sierra now very smooth - As it was made for it :) So a graphics upgrade is worth it as long as you can get a MXM-card for a good price.

I'm not certain if the 2009 Xserve's MXM GPU is a GT120 (50W TDP) or a GT120M (23W TDP), but Apple's documentation states GT120, so I assume it can handle up to 50W.

I gave up on the MXM GT130 after determining that it has a 105W TDP. Ideally I'd like to put something in newer and cooler, not hotter.

I am tempted to buy a 6770M from a 2011 iMac to put in the Xserve, as it seems to be a 35W TDP, which would be a huge jump in processing and possibly run cooler than the current base GT120.

I'd ideally like to see if I could find either a MXM GT750M or GT755M (@50W TDP) and flash it with the mac EFI from either the 2014 MacBook Pro or the 2013 iMac, but that seems very unlikely or impossible.
 
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aaronb1

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2018
8
15
Canada
I have two Xserve 3,1 here. I have upgraded one of them with a pair of W5590 CPUs (quad 3.33 GHz). I have the CPUs for the other one, I just need to de-lid and install them... it's in the queue of projects. I also added an internal SATA connector. No, not using the SSD header at the front, and not using the optical drive bay either. It's a real SATA connector attached to the ICH (southbridge) chip on the MB. If you look closely at the board near the ICH chip you will see an unpopulated footprint that looks suspicisously like a through-hole SATA connector. Well, it is! All you need is to solder a connector in there and install four coupling capacitors on the data lines (they are the size of a grain of sand, so easier said than done, but doable!). I use this port to boot from a normal SATA3 SSD.

I installed an old PC Nvidia Quadro FX580 (I think... it's been about a year) 512 MB card. It is far and away better than the original card, and makes the machine truly usable. No Metal, but full, fast desktop acceleration. I removed the fan since the heatsink fins lined up the right way for the case airflow to take care of busniess. I'd like to install a basic Metal-enabled card with EFI so that I can get boot screen (the FX580 comes to life only after boot up). No gaming on this machine, I just want a fast desktop. 4k might be nice - I'll upgrade my monitor sometime I suppose. Any suggestions?

Obviously, let me know if you want info on the SATA port.
 
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