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MacPro 5,1 Relic: what to do with it.....

topaz

Active Member
nVidia GTX680 2GB

fearing the worse, hoping for the best.
update, card installed fine. upgraded from HS to Mojave.

working fine except for the GPU fan seems louder on start. running GLview test seems to spin the fan
down. weird.

might re-seat the GPU.
 

kgdrum

Greetings
We all know the graphics card pricing has been crazy for quite a while but.....
The meager supply of video cards vs the demand has caused the price of graphics cards to reach unbelievable price points.
If you thought the prices for graphics cards was already ridiculous, check this out:
OWC has more RX580 graphics cards available and they are now selling for $619.99! 💰😱💰 this is beyond insane! lol
One person I talked to mentioned that there’s been limited production due to the pandemic but this is just so out of wack.

 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

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So just an FYI, the word on the street is that the 11.3 release of Big Sur does NOT work properly on the latest version of opencore. Apple broke something related to PCIe. Allegedly the opencore devs will be trying to figure out a work around.

It partially works, but because of the pci issue it is possible to eventually corrupt the data on any pcie storage you may have, so I reccomend don’t even try it for now.

11.2.3 is stable and working for many people but I personally had issues with some usb devices like my midi controller. Was hoping 11.3 would improve the situation.
 

AshokanKid

New Member
Hi there;

BRAND new forum member here, who ONLY joined as a result of finding THIS very thread! (Apology for the long first post. I may tend to get carried away at times.)

Truth be told, I am an original PC / Linux / Sun Solaris / Netware / Hardware guy who ONLY in the past several (6 or 8) years have been able to AFFORD the "luxury" of these shiny, silver towers.

Not going to go into my feelings towards the "elitist" mentality of many typical (?) Mac owners, but I've definitely been converted. Of course, that is ONLY if I can find "donor" machines for maybe $200 - $300 bucks.

No disparaging to ANYONE who bought into new Apple hardware (hey, us used only guys have to find gear from somewhere), but there are those of us who have to make the choice of paying the mortgage, buying food, or buying that shiny silver tower.

OK, enough of that and on to the good stuff. Since I've been rebuilding Mac Pro machines for myself and others (many professionals) over the years (maybe 50? maybe 60, probably more), I've learned a lot of tricks along the way, AND most importantly, how to keep the costs super low for my friends and clients.

First I must thank the originator, Dewdman42, for this FANTASTIC thread. I was brought here while researching how, or whether to, move my 2010 / 5,1 machine forward from Mojave which I've ONLY had on my machine now for a month or so.

Early adopter is NOT me, not in the least (I'm closer to 70 than to 60, so priorities matter). I could give a ratzazz about "Dark Mode" (whatever the heck THAT is) or any other so-called "feature" of one OS over another. Give me an OS that is a STABLE, sleek and FAST platform for the applications that I want to run . . . PERIOD.

I want an OS that will wring EVERY ounce of capability out of any given hardware that I am using. New features are for bored kids. I know serious, pro studio owners (I'm in the NYC Metro area) who had been using SNOW LEOPARD (and Pro Tools) in their studios up until very, very recently. Seriously . . .

Why? because it frickin' WORKED!!! And, because it kept working AND kept making them (and their clients) money. Now THAT, to me, is THE bottom line. Not fancy "features" in the "latest" version of whatever BS came out last week.

Many of us real working people do NOT have that luxury to constantly chase the ever moving, dangled in front of us Apple . . . err . . . carrot?

Now, at the same time, I am also NOT a power user, so am also not running eight or ten 64K screens (or whatever wealthy hobbyists can afford these days) on my humble Mac Pro. I do mostly audio, and so video does NOT have to be bleeding edge. Not even close.

My personal add to this thread is a few Metal capable video cards that WILL allow you to install AND run Mojave (and probably Catalina / Big Sur, etc.) and also do NOT cost a fortune. Remember (before Mining!) when video cards were affordable?

Here is a list of KNOWN good, usable cards, which again, may not run your four monitors (huh?!?) at 24K resolution (really? you need 4K for AUDIO?!?!), but are perfectly fine and stable for most "normal" use in our Mac Pro towers.

Not a one of these cards costs anywhere near $100 bucks (even now, today, in August of 2021) and most are under $50, while I've bought a few Metal capable cards for UNDER $20 bucks each! This is PERFECT if you merely want to check out IF the Mac Pro / Mojave experience is even worth it for you.

As far as I know, there are still no specific NVIDIA drivers available for Mojave, correct me if I am wrong, but they do work fine, albeit, with no boot screen. No worry here, as my Mojave boots in about 20 seconds on my SLOWEST Mac Pro tower (8 core, Nehalem, 2.26 Ghz w/ 16 GBs RAM) via standard SATA SSD.

NVIDIA GeForce GT640
NVIDIA GeForce GT 710
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740
The above cards can be found with from 1 GB RAM up to 4 GBs, if I am not mistaken, and as long as they are "Kepler" based cards (most are) they work fine, supporting Metal in Mojave.

nvidia Quadro K600
This card is the REAL Low End Trash card of the lot. I bought 7 of these on The Bay for about $120 bucks for ALL 7, including tax.
Supports Metal just fine, both for installing Mojave, and for running day to day. Cheap, tiny power consumption (no extra cable required, all powered from PCIe) AND is super quiet!
Even brand new right now they are MAYBE $40 bucks!

With GPU pricing like these, there is NO reason why ANYONE with a Mac Pro can't upgrade their machine RIGHT NOW to Mojave (native install support, right from Apple, no "hacks"), and possibly beyond. And, NOT have to spend a fortune!

My own personal and typical updates / upgrades for clients goes something like this;
Shop & buy the fastest processors that you can afford (the 3.46 Ghz X5690 is still maybe $50 each?)
Ditto for RAM; Buy as much as you can afford, and this also depends on intended application. 64 is plenty, 128 is way cool...
Buy a good quality SSD for your OS & apps, but ALSO add other SSD's for data, music and such. Always use a separate drive for recording and storing music. Heck, even spinners are fine just for data.
Video card / GPU has to be Metal capable in order to run Mojave and beyond, BUT, there is no "need" for those fancy $400 RX-whatever cards UNLESS you have specific video needs for them.

Unless you are running crazy amounts of effects or massive amounts of plug-ins, audio is VERY forgiving and not at all needing the Bleeding Edge of machine performance. (The Beatles had WAY less back in the '60's and look what THEY did!!!)

ALL of this information is for the user who wants (or needs?) to eke the VERY utmost out of their hard earned pennies. Granted, I was never a Mac-Boi, and so have NEVER bought ANY computer for even CLOSE to $1,000, much less 2 or 3 times that!

Again, for any who can or have done that, my hat is off to you. Bless you all for giving us these wonderful (USED) Mac Pro towers that are STILL, even after 10 or more years, doing JUST fine, thank-you very much.... ;)

AshokanKid

P.S. Thanks again to Dewdman42 for one of the most useful threads in regard to the possibilities for Mojave & beyond on The Venerable Mac Pro.
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

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Good news, someone hacked around the Big Sur and Monterrey incompatibilities for the 5,1. Looks like it will be possible to take it to both of those versions now:


For now it’s best handled using OpenCore but I have heard that dosdude is going to release a Monterrey Patched installer which will most likely become the easiest way to do it.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macos-12-monterey-on-unsupported-macs-thread.2299557/page-3?post=29984697#post-29984697

Long live the 5,1 !!

That being said I’m still sticking in Catalina myself for the foreseeable future but I may give Monterrey a go on a spare drive at some point to see how it goes. It’s still in beta anyway.
 
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topaz

Active Member
Just ordered a spare 256gb ssd to see how far I can push my 5.1 from mojave to catalina first.

I changed my screen from a 28 inch 1080p to a 1440p 27 inch but cannot work at the native setting as the text and cubase are just too small for me. 2176 x 1224 120hz seems to work ok.
 

tmhuud

Brown Belt
Not as awesome as the iMac aquarium obviously. (We had two in our Captain Nemo themed room) And don’t forget about the hidden features inside, extra power for usb charging or tank heater/filter.
 

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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

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Nice one! Is this using the open core legacy patcher? Anything to note?

It is not using OCLP. Just regular old OC.

I will post More info later but so far it is running seemingly fine, installed logicpro 10.7 and got my midi controller working fine too.

Will be checking various plugins and apps and running some benchmarks this afternoon or this evening.

There was initially a problem with my usb2 midi controller until I plugged it into a usb hub and now it works fine. This leads me to believe that the problem may be related to the built in usb hub which might be fixable I have to look into that. Or else just use the external hub.

Bluetooth and wifi works for me but it should be noted that other people are having issues with the factory wifi and Bluetooth, I have already installed an upgraded Bluetooth and wifi interface.

My understanding is there might be some issues with some nvidia gpu’s but that is fine for me since I got the rx580 when I moved to metal.

In short it mostly seems to be working fine but I intend to do a lot more testing.

Anyone else trying this at home, make sure you use the SurPlus kernel patch in OC. I’ll have exact steps listed after I test it more.
 
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Dewdman42

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Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 10.32.51 PM.jpg

So my 5,1 cMP functions nearly completely with Monterey, using a fairly standard OpenCore configuration, which is documented here:


The only problem I have found is that the built in USB ports on the 5,1 seem to have a problem with my midi controller, but if I plug an external hub into that port and plug the midi controller into that, works fine. all my other USB devices such as keyboard, mouse, etc.. seem to work fine with the built in USB ports. There might be an OC hack to get the built in port working I'm not sure, but using the external hub is probably easier.

So far, all other functionality has been working as expected. Dual monitors, hardware acceleration, bluetooth, wifi, sound, etc..everything. Works as expected. I should point out, however, that I do have an upgraded Bluetooth/wifi card and reports are out that in order to use the original bluetooth card that came with the 5,1 you will have to use one of the legacy patchers or do some of your own patching to make it work. Totally doable, but the information is still forming about it. Apple removed the BT drivers from Monterey that supported the older BT card that came with the 5,1

I have also heard some people having problems with Nvidia metal cards, apple apparently removed those drivers too. I don't know the details. There are a lot of people using Nvidia so I'm sure some smart people will figure out solutions. I am using RX580, which works out of the box no problem at all.

I found Monterey pleasant to work with, I like the GUI improvements, I benchmarked it with GeekBench and came up with identical results as under Catalina.

LogicPro 10.7 ran fine and I checked it out. There isn't much to get me excited in this LogicPro update, so not much to say there.

So that is the good news. The bad news, aside from the USB port thing I would need to figure out, is that Monterey in general broke some software, some of which I'm really fond of and use. There are a dozen or so broken things as of now, but the biggest one for me, which I think will take a long time to resolve is Jamstix4. Also TotalSpaces2 was something that is so ingrained into my workflow and the author says he is not going to develop or support it past BigSur...and it doesn't work at all with Monterey. He will only develop Apple Silicon version from here on out. Exponential Audio reverbs don't work yet either. Aside from that, just about everything that matters to me, runs on Monterey.

I'm sure those will get sorted out eventually, but for now I'm rolling back to Catalina. I will keep this Monterey volume around to test it out occasionally in the future. But at least I know it works, so I have the option of going to Monterey with my 5,1....long live the cheese grater! if Apple comes out with something killer in LogicPro 10.8 then I'll have that option, but for now I'm sticking with the reliability of Catalina.
 
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Dewdman42

Dewdman42

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Regarding the USB port issue I have had with my 5,1 on Big Sur and Monterey, here is an interesting and relevant post:


Big Sur and Monterey removed support for Legacy USB 1.0 peripherals. They work as long as they were plugged into the USB ports at boot time and never removed. If you remove them and replug them then they are not detected.
Workaround is to connected those peripherals to an external powered USB Hub. If you then removed and re-attached those peripherals from the USB Hub, then they work fine.
Try connecting your KVM switch to an external USB Hub.

So that appears to be the reason my midi controller had problems with both BigSur and Monterey and may affect other devices, I have found lots of people having odd problems with various kinds of USB devices under BigSur/Monterey. I'm not sure if this is only relevant for older hardware such as the 5,1; will have to find out more, but the good news is..the fix is to simply use a powered external USB hub...and problem goes away...

So for me the only hold up on Cheesegrater Monterey will be:
  1. More software working
  2. Get used to using Mission Control instead of TotalSpaces2
And that's about it. Will watch the news, and give it another shot in 6 months maybe. Not that there is any rush at all, I'm totally happy with Catalina at the moment, but I do want to use this box for probably 2 more years.. At some point it will probably be expedient to do one last OS update.

SideNote, with the Monterey release, Mojave has officially been ended from Apple, there will be no more security updates for it, if you care about security updates.
 
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Dewdman42

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no idea. I got mine a long time ago for $150 which was reasonable at the time. I know they went way up in price for some reason, but I guess sooner or later you might find one for less to me that seems like a temporary situation. There is also the RX560 which might be less than the RX580. Also..there are newer models of the RX line...perhaps one of them will work? But you'll have to go hunt around on macrumors to really find out what will work and the cost involved.

I think a lot of people grabbed nVidia cards because the cost of RX580 went up so high..but now they are going to suffer since Apple pulled the nVidia drivers out of Monterey. There are a lot of people using those cards though and I suspect that some of them will figure out how to extract the video drivers and manually install them in such a fashion that they will work with Monterey again, but as earlier....get connected on MacRumors to find out the progress of such things.

I chose the RX580 specifically because that was one of the main cards specifically mentioned by name by Apple when they named cards that could work with a Trashcan+pci harness. For that reason I feel it will be supported by Apple until the Trashcan is depecrated once and for all, which is probably going to be soon, for sure...but at least for now Monterey can still drive Trashcan and the RX580...

But that's probably part of why they cost mint now. I suspect all the people building refurbished cheese graters bought them all up.
 
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Dewdman42

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ps - There are various different pre-bulit patcher versions of BigSur floating around. I tend to avoid those, because the people making them may not do things the way I would want to do it. But they are more like a one size fits all "easy" to install solution..and in some cases they have worked around issues such as various video cards other then the RX580. DosDude said he is going to make a Monterey patcher. Haven't seen it yet. On MacRumors you can learn about a few more out there. Here is a good huge thread to read through and see what you want to do:


The reality is that everyone's cheese grater or other older Mac, is slightly different in some way and so you have to do your own research and take ownership of the process if you want to keep using it on newer versions of MacOS. There are people using much older Macs, then the 5,1 actually...with enough patching... but a metal card of SOME kind is pretty much a requirement. There are cheaper alternatives then the RX580, but may involve getting into some patching or one of these pre-built patched versions, etc... Basically...this is what hackintoshing is all about and cheesegraters are really hackintoshes now. I call mine a "Frankentosh".

The "OpenCore on the MacPro" guide that I have posted above in earlier post, which is affectionately referred to as "CDF's Guide", is what I think is the best route to go for the 5,1. Because basically he is not providing any patched one size fits all solution. he gives some simple instructions for how you can setup a very simple OpenCore setup, as vanilla as possible without patching. There are only a couple of optional patches he describes...and these meet the needs of the vast majority of people. You might have to patch it a bit more if you're using something other than RX580, for example, or if you have the original factory BlueTooth card and want to use BT....etc.. That's where some of these other people have their own opinions about how is the best way to setup OpenCore for BigSur/Monterey on older Macs.. Lots of people use some of those because they don't have to understand anything they can just apply it, cross their fingers and maybe it works fine for them too.

I think DosDude's Monterey patch will be good if and when he actually delivers it, I would trust that one if and when it comes out. He did not patch BigSur at all. His Catalina patch is the easiest way to install Catalina on the 5,1

Also want to point out that a lot of these big patches are designed to accommodate a much broader mix of old Macs, including old iMacs, MBP's, mini's, etc.. Whereas the CDF Guide I mentioned is SPECIFICALLY for the 5,1 cMP. That is why I use it and I follow his thread to keep up with what is happening. But some of the other patchers you will hear mentioned can also be used with the 5,1, but you're on your own to figure out which is the best one. I just prefer to follow CDF's guide myself, make half a dozen simple decisions on a couple of options...and for me its working perfectly on my upgraded-to-the-max 5,1.
 
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