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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Mac Pro 1,1 & 2,1 and Yosemite (2006/2007)

Mac Pro 1,1 & 2,1 and Yosemite (2006/2007)
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schalliol
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Sep 4, 2014, 09:12 AM
 
I wasn't planning to upgrade the OS on the machine beyond what Apple supports, but unfortunately so many apps just are beginning to require new OSes. With the SSD RAID 0 and total of 7 internal drives and other upgrades I've done over the years, it's just too capable of a machine to ditch. I am particularly worried about Photos (replacing Aperture) not working on the earlier OS, which spurred the change.

I understand using the Chameleon bootloader it's now possible to run Yosemite (and Mavericks) on these older MacPros. I found a thread at MacRumors that has 489 posts as of now that's really helpful, but I thought I'd clue MacNN people into it since I've been on this site for 15 years next month (wow). Maybe there's another thread here, but searching didn't find it for me.

I know I needed a new video card for the newer OSes and picked up one on eBay that will show the boot screens, etc. Is anyone here using it (or Mavericks), and if so, could they post their thoughts to others?
iMac Late '15 5K 27" 4.0 Quad i7 24/512GB SSD OWC ThunderDock 2 Blu-Ray ±RW MBP '14 Retina 15" 2.6 16/1TB iPhone 7+ 128 Jet Black iPad Pro 128 + Cellular

FOR SALE: MP '06 Yosemite 8x3.0 24/240GB SSD RAID 0, 240GB SSD, 1.5TB HDD RAID 0, 1TB HDD, Blu-Ray±RW, Radeon HD 5770
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Sep 4, 2014, 09:24 AM
 
Yeah, I am. It's an EFI mod, nearly nothing is done to the OS itself.

I don't have time to discuss it now (crazy news day), but it works fine.
     
schalliol  (op)
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Sep 4, 2014, 10:04 AM
 
Thanks for the post, and I like that it sounds like once you do that EFI mod everything works in a non-hacked way, so that's awesome. If you could point to simple instructions for folks (including me, who is planning to try once I install that new video card), that would be great.
iMac Late '15 5K 27" 4.0 Quad i7 24/512GB SSD OWC ThunderDock 2 Blu-Ray ±RW MBP '14 Retina 15" 2.6 16/1TB iPhone 7+ 128 Jet Black iPad Pro 128 + Cellular

FOR SALE: MP '06 Yosemite 8x3.0 24/240GB SSD RAID 0, 240GB SSD, 1.5TB HDD RAID 0, 1TB HDD, Blu-Ray±RW, Radeon HD 5770
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Sep 4, 2014, 10:58 AM
 
Mac Pro 1,1 And Mavericks | Retrocosm - Vintage & Retro Computing Blog

Guy's got loads of resources on keeping a 1,1 alive.

I do highly recommend a re-coring, and there's details on this site on how to do it. I've got an 8-core 1,1 with an 8800 that I put Mav on.
     
schalliol  (op)
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Sep 4, 2014, 11:15 AM
 
Ooh. I would enjoy doing that if it's not too expensive. Any idea what good CPUs might be to throw in there now that it's late 2014?

I highly recommend the RAID 0 SSD startup disk like I have if anyone's interested in details. I have a DVD±RW DL, a pair of SSDs in the top drive bay, and 4 HDDs in the machine using factory SATA ports.
iMac Late '15 5K 27" 4.0 Quad i7 24/512GB SSD OWC ThunderDock 2 Blu-Ray ±RW MBP '14 Retina 15" 2.6 16/1TB iPhone 7+ 128 Jet Black iPad Pro 128 + Cellular

FOR SALE: MP '06 Yosemite 8x3.0 24/240GB SSD RAID 0, 240GB SSD, 1.5TB HDD RAID 0, 1TB HDD, Blu-Ray±RW, Radeon HD 5770
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Sep 4, 2014, 11:57 AM
 
The compatible CPUs the guy calls out haven't changed in years, nor will they. What we've got is what we've got. I got a pair of 2.33 CPUs for $44 about two years ago.

We've got a bunch of Mac Pro bracket and whatnot reviews for the 1,1; 2,1; and 3.1.

Optical drive bracket for hard drives
Review - MaxUpgrades MaxConnect for 2006-2008 Mac Pro Review | MacNN

USB 3.0 storage only for Pro
Review - HighPoint RocketU 1144CM USB 3.0 PCI-E card Review | MacNN

Loads more!
     
schalliol  (op)
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Sep 4, 2014, 12:30 PM
 
Gotcha, nice. I'll dig further on the CPUs. I'm not sure I get the point of the MaxConnect today. What I did a few years ago is get a 5.25" drive bay that has slots for four 2.5" hard drives and put two 120GB SSDs in there. I took the factory SATA ports on the board and ran them up there, and it works great. I assume it's a bunch faster than putting the 3.5" HDD drives up there at least for random access. I then have the 4 factory bays going just fine.
iMac Late '15 5K 27" 4.0 Quad i7 24/512GB SSD OWC ThunderDock 2 Blu-Ray ±RW MBP '14 Retina 15" 2.6 16/1TB iPhone 7+ 128 Jet Black iPad Pro 128 + Cellular

FOR SALE: MP '06 Yosemite 8x3.0 24/240GB SSD RAID 0, 240GB SSD, 1.5TB HDD RAID 0, 1TB HDD, Blu-Ray±RW, Radeon HD 5770
     
angelmb
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Sep 4, 2014, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
Thanks for the post, and I like that it sounds like once you do that EFI mod everything works in a non-hacked way, so that's awesome. If you could point to simple instructions for folks (including me, who is planning to try once I install that new video card), that would be great.
Running Mavericks on a Mac Pro 1,1 here. It runs so well that I can’t see my Mac Pro going back to Lion. I haven’t tried anything related to Yosemite, though.

Check out this thread (don’t let its title fool you) and look for my post near the bottom. It’s all detailed there.
     
CIA
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Sep 5, 2014, 02:17 PM
 
Your post made me log in for the first time in almost 18 months to check... and omg, I'm also a few short months from my 15th anniversary.
We're old...
Work: 2008 8x3.2 MacPro, 8800GT, 16GB ram, zillions of HDs. (video editing)
Home: 2008 24" 2.8 iMac, 2TB Int, 4GB ram.
Road: 2009 13" 2.26 Macbook Pro, 8GB ram & 640GB WD blue internal
Retired to BOINC only: My trusty never-gonna-die 12" iBook G4 1.25
     
osiris
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Sep 8, 2014, 10:33 PM
 
Somewhat off topic, but did anyone notice a speed improvement when they left snow leopard for Mavericks? Just curious- i have a 3,1 that i keep upgrading and have been fearful of taking the plunge. So many apps need the new OS,

But I love these old beasts, nearly every component is upgradable- i think i'm on my fifth video card, 10th HD (have 2 in now), USB, etc... next is a SSD.
Cheers!
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
angelmb
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Sep 9, 2014, 02:54 AM
 
Absolutely. My Mac Pro 1,1 is faster under Mavericks than it was under Lion. Can’t recall if Lion was actually slower than Snow Leopard, though.
     
osiris
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Sep 9, 2014, 08:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by angelmb View Post
Absolutely. My Mac Pro 1,1 is faster under Mavericks than it was under Lion. Can’t recall if Lion was actually slower than Snow Leopard, though.
Yes - Lion was a dog with a no legs, at least on some of my other machines.
But I imagine drivers have improved, I may take the leap.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
P
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Sep 9, 2014, 09:50 AM
 
Lion was definitely slower than SL. Mavericks probably got the speed back up to where it was with SL in general. The gain over SL comes from stopping processes that render off screen (like hidden browser tabs) and memory compression meaning less pressure on your RAM. On the iMac I don't really notice - with 4 cores at a high base clock, I can afford to run a few animations in the background, and 16 GB memory is enough that there is no real memory pressure anyway - but on the MBA I can feel a difference.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
akent35
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Sep 9, 2014, 01:35 PM
 
Both Lion and Mountain Lion were definitely disappointing as compared to Snow Leopard, but Mavericks is a definite improvement. It seems like, most of the time, the memory management in Mavericks is efficient, as I have very, very few problems with only 4 gig of RAM on both my Mac Mini and my Mac Book Air (13", 256 gig SSD model). Once in a "blue moon", the memory does get somewhat low on the mini, but I use the excellent freeware product RAM Optimizer to recapture RAM. I certainly endorse that program.

The initial performance of Mavericks on my Mac Mini was somewhat "poor", though. It was mainly in booting up the machine, but I definitely attribute that to the slow, 5400 rpm 1 TB drive the machine came with. Once I replaced that drive with a 256 gig Samsung 840 Pro SSD, the machine flew! That upgrade was truly an eye opener.
     
P
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Sep 9, 2014, 02:46 PM
 
I keep meaning to make a sticky about how the memory system works in Mac OS X, but for some reason I don't get around to it, so I have to write these things every now and then.

All processes on Mac OS X, and any UNIX, use virtual memory. This means that the actual addresses in their code refer to addresses in a memory space that does not exist in the real world. It must be translated into actual memory addresses by the CPU. It is standard to give the same amount of virtual memory to each process - for a 32-bit process on Mac OS X, that number is 4 GB. 64-bit processes get more. Right now I have 160 processes running on this little MBA, each of them with at least 4 GB of virtual memory - and I only have 4 GB of real memory. How does this work?

It works because each program that gets 4GB (or more) does not use all of that. A page (a chunk of virtual memory) that has never been used does not get assigned to a real memory page until it is actually used. When that happens, the operating system has to make sure to load whatever was supposed to be on that virtual page into real memory. This is called a "page in".

Sometimes the real memory in use runs out. At that point, the operating system must move a page out of memory and store it on the hard drive. This is called a "page out". Page outs are bad. They mean that some process now thinks that it has something in memory that isn't actually there. If it ever tries to use that thing, it must be fetched from the hard drive first. This is called a "page fault", and it will bring the computer to a screeching halt when it happens. One of the reasons that SSDs are so great at improving performance is that they make the penalty for a page fault so much smaller.

Modern computers have a lot of of RAM, compared to when the OSes we run on them were designed. Modern computers still frequently have very slow hard drives, which are just as slow as when the OSes we run on them were designed (by one way of measuring, but it is the one that counts here). This means that anything that can be read from RAM instead of from the hard drive means a huge time save. Enormous. In fact, I think it might be worth it to post this little snippet that illustrates the times involved. All of this was taken from here.

Code:
L1 cache reference ......................... 0.5 ns L2 cache reference ........................... 7 ns Main memory reference ...................... 100 ns SSD random read ........................ 150,000 ns = 150 µs Read 1 MB sequentially from memory ..... 250,000 ns = 250 µs Read 1 MB sequentially from SSD* ..... 1,000,000 ns = 1 ms Disk seek ........................... 10,000,000 ns = 10 ms Read 1 MB sequentially from disk .... 20,000,000 ns = 20 ms The last two together.................30,000,000 ns = 30 ms
Those are funny numbers, so let's multiply them by 1 billion to get them into a time scale that we humans can understand:

Code:
L1 cache reference 0.5 s One heart beat (0.5 s) L2 cache reference 7 s Long yawn Main memory reference 100 s Brushing your teeth SSD random read 1.7 days A normal weekend Read 1 MB sequentially from memory 2.9 days A long weekend Read 1 MB sequentially from SSD 11.6 days Waiting for almost 2 weeks for a delivery Disk seek 16.5 weeks A semester in university Read 1 MB sequentially from disk 7.8 months Almost producing a new human being The above 2 together 1 year
So... Let's say that you are a program working on the multiplied-by-a-billion human timescales in the bottom and you need something. If that something is in one of caches, you can have it in a few seconds - it is something that is on you desk. If it is in main memory, you can find it in under two minutes but it would take a weekend to get it - this is like ordering it online. If it is on disk, it will take 4 months to figure out where it is and the rest of a year to actually get it. I don't know what that is in comparison. Slow shipping form China is 6 weeks or so. This is more like sending Indiana Jones out to find some lost treasure and then shipping it back from some jungle. The gain from getting it from memory instead of from disk is HUGE.

The operating system will take some pains to make sure that whatever RAM it has to play with is used as well as it can. This means that it does two things: It keeps things in memory when a process doesn't need it anymore, because it knows that it is likely that thing will be needed again, and it keeps a disk cache of things recently used from the disk, because - again - it knows that it is likely that it will need those things again. Either of those is better than leaving the memory empty.

And here we're getting back to the memory system. Pages currently in memory can be classified as one of four things: Wired, Active, Inactive and Free. Wired is pages that should never be paged out, as the computer can not run without them - this includes things like the code for paging things in again. Active is pages currently in use, which should not be paged out if at all possible, but can without causing a crash. Free is pages that can be assigned to anything immediately. All those are easy, but the fourth one is the important one here. Inactive is pages that can be evicted - not paged out, just removed from memory - but are kept around because they might be useful. These include the recently used data and the disk cache.

RAM optimizer, and the other tools just like it, do one thing only: They allocate so much memory that the OS is forced to evict all of its Inactive memory, and then they quit to release it. This makes Inactive memory Free.

If you have read all of the above, you should understand why this is absolutely stupid to do. You turn every single access that would have hit in memory - a three day order from Amazon - into a trek into the jungle. This slows down your computer so much, and it doesn't help - except for one tiny corner case. There might be a bug in Lion where Inactive pages do not get evicted as they should on certain hardware configurations or with certain kexts loaded. In this case, this sort of apps can mask the bug. I have never seen the bug myself, but there are enough reports that something is off that I'm not entirely willing to discount them. In any case, it has been long since fixed, and using apps like this on Mavericks is just bad. Terrible.

Finally, the reason why Mavericks seems to use less RAM: It uses something called memory compression to avoid paging out to disk. This is faster and works as intermediate step before paging to disk, and in testing it effectively gives you 50% more memory before paging out. Incidentally, RAM optimizer breaks memory compression. It forces those compressed pages out to disk, thereby wrecking all the improvement Mavericks brought you, along with everything else that it breaks.

So no, don't use RAM optimizer or anything like it. Ever. If your memory is all Wired+Active, it does nothing. If it is Wired+Active+Inactive, it slows down your computer.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
cgc
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Sep 10, 2014, 09:08 AM
 
@P: Great write-up, I'll put in a good word for you with the MacNN Staff
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes." Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Sep 10, 2014, 09:30 AM
 
The word has been given
     
schalliol  (op)
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Dec 18, 2014, 09:59 AM
 
At the MacRumors thread listed at the top, there are now full instructions. I'm running 10.10.1 on my 2006 Mac Pro
iMac Late '15 5K 27" 4.0 Quad i7 24/512GB SSD OWC ThunderDock 2 Blu-Ray ±RW MBP '14 Retina 15" 2.6 16/1TB iPhone 7+ 128 Jet Black iPad Pro 128 + Cellular

FOR SALE: MP '06 Yosemite 8x3.0 24/240GB SSD RAID 0, 240GB SSD, 1.5TB HDD RAID 0, 1TB HDD, Blu-Ray±RW, Radeon HD 5770
     
   
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