Apple officially dropped the 1. The iMac Pro single core performance is double that of a Mac Pro 5. This level of performance is bound to trickle down in the next few years to more modest Mac configurations. Then there's the rumor of ARM Macintoshes in the future, in the darkest of timelines where the modular computer is killed as SOC computing takes over. Computers are locked out of OS upgrades as quickly as a phone. In this dystopian future, Apple has its way and we're on forever hardware upgrades, tossing working machines in landfills or worse Google has its way, relegating us to a hellscape of thin clients and subscription services and our own data held as bounty behind a paywall even as every bit is mined deeper like a Pennsylvanian quarry.
Lastly, there's phoenix act where the Mac Pro 7. The Mac Pro in this scenario becomes the vanguard of current community of solder-iron wielding outcasts, cantankerous power users and cranky creative professionals, people disaffected in the era of iOS. It'd be the unity of rejects who cling to past, not out of nostalgia but out of practicality, a mob completely ready to abandon their aging hardware.
More than likely, we'll get a Mac Pro that's a middling mess, an attempt to appease Johnny Ive's ego over the requirements of its target audience. Whatever the future holds, the Mac Pro Cheesegraters are long-in-tooth, and the viability of using one as a daily driver is fading but with right upgrades has still life left. This guide is an ode to the best computer ever made, the classic Mac Pro an engineering marvel marking the high-water mark of performance, ease-of-use and user-serviceablity.
A quick aside for self-indulgence: I originally wrote in an upgrade guide for the Mac Pro, back in my earliest years of blogging when this blog was hosted on Tumblr, mistaking Tumblr a utility for blogging. It was talky, anecdotal and amateurish, mostly upgrades I had done myself at various points, but also one of the first attempts at an all-encompassing guide for upgrading Mac Pros. I updated the blog post infrequently over the years, and it became a briar patch of disparate rambling, thorned with tangents and asides.
I felt it reflected poorly as I've become a marginally better writer I decided to clean up, update and rework my blog post but it became very apparent I should start from anew as I was already committing a wholesale field burn. The result is this guide: A hearty thanks to all the communities and websites where Mac power users still exist: Even MacVidCards chimed in to correct this guide.
The Mac Pro - do not support ThunderBolt currently although this is changing, and I will track the progress as best as I can. See the new Thunderbolt section. If anyone out there who has any sway at Apple, just give us a new box with drive bays and PCIe slots. We'll take it from here Support Right To Repair!: Since you are here, it's probably a safe bet you believe in the right to repair your computer and phone, car, etc. A good portion of this guide and others uses terminology such as "Mac Pro " or Mac Pro 4.
The classic Mac Pros come in five iterations. All classic Mac Pros share a base level of specifications: Visually from the exterior, these computers are the same and difficult to identify from each other without opening them up. Internally the 1. The best way to verify what the original computer's version was, is via using its model number or serial number. Each iteration of PCIe radically increases the speed.
Also to add a minor bit of confusion different chipsets have different amount of total "lanes", the measurement of speed for a PCIe slot. In the case of the Mac Pros, all have a maximum of 40 lanes and thus the lanes are distributed among the PCIe slots. Not all PCIe slots are the same speed, they are listed by how many lanes it has access to, and listed in the following: A 16x port in PCIe 1.
Not all PCIe cards will operate at the maximum speed of the port, nearly all cards are backwards compatible and will work in any PCIe slot but will be limited by the port's maximum speed. Also, the port will be limited by the card's maximum speed as well. All Mac Pros 3. For a full run-down, see EveryMac's guide. The easiest way to distinguish a powered off Mac Pro is taking the side panel off. There's more cues but this the most sure fire way without any other information, other than looking up the Serial Number. The Mac Pro s 1. The Mac Pro 1. The 4. This is one of those times where a software upgrade makes all the difference.
There is no performance difference between a flashed firmware Mac Pro vs. Sometimes it is incorrectly reported that the 1. Ars Technica reported on the success of the Mac Pros being flashed by Netkas forum members. The Mac Pro 5. Updating requires pulling non-Metal accelerated GPUs they can be installed after the update and will still output video. Currently, NVidia users are waiting for NVidia to release official drivers, but we're currently at statemate with NVidia suggesting the lack of driver updates is unsurprisingly Apple's fault.
See Apple's official, Install macOS I signed it, but I can't say I'm hopeful. Mac OS It's reported that this upgrade works on not only the 5. The latest firmware upgrade for the Mac Pro 5. OS upgrades might seem obvious but the 1. The Mac Pros can be firmware flashed to become 5. The can run modern OS X natively without nearly the hacking.
Default and Best Mac Pro Video Cards/Video Card Upgrades: acoxakiviz.ga
The Mac Pros are easier to upgrade although and this is important , the airport card that the Mac Pro shipped with is unsupported. The Mac Pro s can run Also, wifi will be unsupported with the old chipset, but the Airport can be upgraded. The Mac Pro 3. Again, the default wifi chipset isn't supported, but the Airport cards can be replaced. For many pros using legacy apps, High Sierra can wreak havoc on support.
I sourced the information from MacRumors , so all credit goes to the community there and forum member ActionableMango for compiling this list, this is truncated to the most important bits of information. Also, 4. Also, go to the original thread to read up on 4. The process of delidding can be performed manually or bought pre-delidded.
Most users elect to delid the CPUs themselves based on forums. Recently there's been interest in a few Mac Pro communities, but it's already been confirmed by a bold Mac Rumors poster. There's some misinformation on a few other sites like pindelski. When I originally wrote this guide four years ago, it was surprising that users could use off-the-shelf Nvidia cards.
I tested a GeForce Hackintosh vs. With the advent of Apple published an official list but doesn't list all compatible GPUs.
- The Definitive Classic Mac Pro () Upgrade Guide.
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Currently, NVidia blames Apple for not approving its drivers for Mojave. I've signed it, and I suggest others do too, even if non-NVidia users as options matter. I doubt it'll shift the tide, but a long-shot is better than no-shot. Currently, the hot rumor mill is that the fight is over the Volta GPU drivers. This rumor gained a lot of traction since the last released version of the NVidia drivers, GPUs are routinely one of the most common upgrades to Mac Pros.
There are roughly three classes of GPUs:. One this is sorted out, this might expand to four classes. There's some overlap between the last two types of cards.
- Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012).
- Firmware upgrades/hacks.
- Will any of these Graphic Cards work with a Mac Pro 1.1 ??
This might sound undesirable but, with the gains of the nVidia cards, most users are willing to forgo the inconvenience, self-included. EFI compatible cards that have a native Mac version: Mostly OEM cards although with a few notable aftermarket cards. The most commonly flashable video cards are ones that have a Mac equivalent that was either sold by Apple as OEM or aftermarket, and the ROMs then were distributed on the open market, a few cards require physical modification. Below are software-only flashable cards.
The Definitive Classic Mac Pro (2006-2012) Upgrade Guide
I used for years an ATI Radeon NVidia RTX series: That said, without Mojave support for off-the-self NVidia cards, this severely limits the impact. However, neither AMD or NVidia cards will output video at the EFI boot screen, and video will not start until the drivers have loaded roughly right before the login screen. With the NVidia video cards, even security updates can require a web driver update, meaning if you update, next boot will not output video until the driver has been updated.
To my knowledge, all the GTX series are supported by web drivers currently limited to There seems to be a little less consistency in the GT series so research before buying a GT series. For example, the GT works under Mojave. Custom Flashed Cards: The cards do work but the turn-around times are long, communication infrequent and the prices are high, but they appear to be legitimate, with many testimonials floating around message boards from longtime members that they do indeed work as promised.
Know your Mac Pro's Model
Dave of MacVidCards notes he did contribute on previous AMD card hacks I'd rather not weigh too much on the ethics on it, but software developers do deserve compensation and depending on the actual work performed on the EFI ROM, it may very well be truly custom. As of writing this, they are the only game in town when it comes to making the NVidia series cards Mac EFI compatible. I suggest googling for them, and let you be the judge if its worth the cost. Also, I have to note that, after reading the previous statement, Dave of MacVidCards reached out to me and also corrected on errors found on this page.
So if nothing else, my experience with MacVidCards has been fair in my limited dealings with them considering my hesitation to recommend them. TonyMacX86 forums do an excellent job of direct linking to the NVidia installers for driver version number by OS version. Note about SLI: Seeing the above mess of links and the corresponding versions of drivers, Benjamin Dobell wrote a CLI utility to install the Mac NVidia drivers that work for your system, as described as "This script installs the best not necessarily the latest official NVidia web drivers for your system.
Mac pro 1.1 video card upgrade
NVidia Update. There isn't a "best card" for any computer, rather how much money you're willing to spend and if the money could be better spent elsewhere. This is an arbitrary metric as even a 2. Consider this: GeForce Ti sells for many times more than a Mac Pro 2. Commonly, forums and groups will mention "pairs well," or "bottleneck" but any high-end GPU will "pair well," the question is more about where a user can see more performance gains. I'd argue buying a 4. The next question is, do you want an EFI native card? Many users, self-included, I elected to go the route of NVidia and to use a secondary graphics card to protect me against OS upgrades.
Some users may find this too cumbersome, whereas some users go as far as to operate without a backup card, and prep their computer for OS upgrades by preinstalling drivers and executing a few commands. The AMD Saphire RX x Pulse tends to be loved by more everyday users as OS updates will not break the ability to display video or require additional drivers, thus not requiring any workaround such as using a backup graphics card. These cards will not display the EFI bootscreen, but many users elect to forgo a backup card and use a boot manager.
Lastly, consider 4k and bit support of the card you are interested in. Pretty much all the current roster of cards will drive multiple monitors at 60 Hz 4k whereas older cards may only support one display at 60 Hz or worse, only one display at 30 Hz 4k. When I originally wrote the above passage, Since then, NVidia and Apple appear to be in a statemate about drivers.
NVidia blames Apple for blocking signing drivers. If you want an off-the-shelf card, it's AMD or bust leaving users like myself waiting for what may never happen: Several MacRumros forum members have found that Mac Pro 3. Many modern graphics cards have HDMI and thus capable of outputting audio.
There's a very long thread of intrepid hackers at Mac Rumors. The Mac Pros can support many more cards than listed here, but these are all common cards, NewerTech and Sonnet are reliable. Not all cards are equal, some are more performant, in the case of USB 3. Also, some non-listed cards have issues. The only way to turn off my Mac Pro was to hold down the power key forcibly. I've elected not to include USB 2. This is not to be taken as a complete list, but rather a list of known working cards.
Currently, the list is expanding, non-bootable cards will be listed as such. Known bootable cards will be listed as such. If no notes appear, it's because I haven't researched this yet. In the unlikeliest turn of events, Thunderbolt has landed on the cMac Pro PCIe Thunderbolt cards were exclusively for PCs that have compatible motherboards with specialized chipsets, generally requiring a pass-through jumper connection.
The original speculation started at eGPU. Right now, it isn't very viable for all but tinkerers to purchase a Thunderbolt card, but this may change. As notable progress unfolds, this section will be updated to reflect it. SATA2 still won't be fully saturated even by performant 3. For those looking to sacrifice ports, OWC made a series of multi-mounts to go inside the dual 5.
These are essentially a SATA 3 card with two mounting ports for 2. The 1. However, due to the speed limitations, there aren't many models on the market ad the price per GB tends to be high. Credit goes to MisterAndrew for doing the original compiling of this list here. NVMe is currently the holy grail of storage due to its extreme performance. Then users found using firmware hacking, they could enable NVMe booting by using a firmware hack upgrade.
See the entire thread here. Notably, this firmware hack appears to work for 3. The latest Mac Pro 5. See below for more details. One 16x port becomes two 8x ports. A PCIe 3. Fusion Drives have become en vogue once again thanks to the partial support that macOS appears to have regarding NVMe. NVMe isn't natively bootable, but Fusion drives are. The hack goes as follows: Rather than re-outline them, the following links are useful. The Aura series is unlikely to be found in a cMac Pro setup as it'd require an external case.
The Mac Pro's display limitations are a factor of graphics cards and whatever monitor you can afford. There's a minor caveat that flashed s and s booting with 60 Hz 4k displays will hang, thus must run at 30 Hz at the boot screen. Also, 4k supported wasn't official until Forum members at MacRumors have confirmed that Hz 4k displays do work. Most displays especially budget use Frame Rate Control FRC to achieve simulated bit instead of true bit panels, by parsing the bit color stream, and for colors that fall outside the 8-bit range, cycling between near shades of colors within the 8-bit spectrum.
Ask Question. Someone already asked this question about the Mac Pro 2,1 —see Mac Pro video card recommendations. Do the responses there answer this question? No, the Mac Pro 1,1 and Mac Pro 2,1 don't support the same video card hardware. The officially compatible video cards for the original 1,1 Mac Pro are: Dan Moulding Dan Moulding 1 5 This implies the Mac OS of the time shipped with the needed drivers and updates.
This is a fabulous answer by the way! Paul Eccles Paul Eccles 1, 8 Paul, You wrote: David Miazga David Miazga 11 1. Working normally excepts: This machine is a dinosaur. But it's worth to do the job. Sign up or log in Sign up using Google. Sign up using Facebook. Sign up using Email and Password. Post as a guest Name.