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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Really cool Mac Pro prototype on eBay

Really cool Mac Pro prototype on eBay
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olePigeon
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Sep 10, 2009, 01:37 PM
 
http://cgi.ebay.com/PROTOTYPE-Mac-Pr...#ht_692wt_1167

If I had the money just sitting around I'd probably get it. That's pretty darn cool. I like the diagnostic lights on al the various boards and parts of the computer. Really cool.
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Eug
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Sep 10, 2009, 09:23 PM
 
Hmmm... Are we sure it's a prototype, or just a PC in a Mac Pro case? It does say it will allow Leopard to install though. Then again, that suggests to me Snow Leopard might not work on it.
     
Doofy
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Sep 10, 2009, 09:28 PM
 
I tell ya what, I wish I could find a really cool Mac Pro. These I have here are like fan heaters and I'm roasting my titties off. In fact, the other day I did postulate that Al Gore is completely wrong about it being man-made CO2 destroying polar bear habitat - it's Mac Pros.
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- - e r i k - -
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Sep 11, 2009, 02:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Hmmm... Are we sure it's a prototype, or just a PC in a Mac Pro case? It does say it will allow Leopard to install though. Then again, that suggests to me Snow Leopard might not work on it.
Up for your consideration is an amazing piece of Apple history. This absolutely unique Mac Pro prototype is no only rare and amazing, it's also fully functional!

Just installed Snow Leopard 9-9-09, Running Beautifully!

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- - e r i k - -
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Sep 11, 2009, 02:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I tell ya what, I wish I could find a really cool Mac Pro. These I have here are like fan heaters and I'm roasting my tithes off.
(2x) Thermalright HR-01X Heatsinks (Absolutely massive, amazingly cooling)
He meant that literally.

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Sep 11, 2009, 03:04 AM
 
I wonder how he got a hold of it. He doesn't mention it in the listing.
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Brien
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Sep 11, 2009, 03:34 AM
 
Seems like there's been an influx of prototypes on eBay in the past year or so. This one is quite neat, though.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Sep 11, 2009, 11:23 AM
 
A few years ago when I was more poor than usual, a prototype LC II case was on eBay. It was transparent green and had brackets for two floppy disk drives. It was so cool. Unfortunately I had zero money at the time, otherwise I woulda picked it up.

I still keep my eye out for the old prototype machines.
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PB2K
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Sep 12, 2009, 06:19 PM
 
from wiki :

June 6, 2005: Apple announces its plans to switch to Intel processors at the Worldwide Developer Conference and released a Developer Transition Kit, a PC with a Trusted Platform Module[not in citation given] in a modified Power Mac G5 case, to all Select and Premier members of the Apple Developer Connection at a price of $999.[5]

is it this machine?
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Laminar
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Sep 12, 2009, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
from wiki :

June 6, 2005: Apple announces its plans to switch to Intel processors at the Worldwide Developer Conference and released a Developer Transition Kit, a PC with a Trusted Platform Module[not in citation given] in a modified Power Mac G5 case, to all Select and Premier members of the Apple Developer Connection at a price of $999.[5]

is it this machine?
I doubt it. Was the e5340 even out back then?
     
Brien
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Sep 13, 2009, 03:52 AM
 
It's not the transition kit. This case has two optical bays.
     
64stang06
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Sep 13, 2009, 10:41 AM
 
Most Mac prototypes have red motherboards until production time.
MacBook Pro 13" 2.8GHz Core i7/8GB RAM/750GB Hard Drive - Mac OS X 10.7.3
     
rickey939
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Sep 13, 2009, 10:20 PM
 
rickey939 likes the red motherboard.
     
willywalloo
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Sep 30, 2009, 12:56 AM
 
Hey it says I'm a fresh faced recruit, but I've been doin macs since i was a tiny kid in 1991 . I bought this mac, and came across this forum trying to find out more information about it. Apparently it got some press, and still trying to find a good name for it.

My notes so far:

• It appears to be a real prototype, the case plastics were modified to take the large heatsinks.

• At bootup, upon holding option, you get an EFI Boot as a disk alongside the regular hard drive. But nothing happens when you choose it. Possibly there is something that I don't have to boot from that plugs directly on the red motherboard?

• I would be curious to know what you guys know about this type of machine.

• Also in the optical drive bays there is regular IDE (2x connectors on 1 ribbon) and SATA x 2. So I could somehow jam a ton of HD's up there.

If you know Mac Pro's there are 4 drive bays. On this one, it doesn't seem to like to take any hard drives on bay 1. But 2 has a 500 GB, 3 now has an old 250 GB, 4 has an 80GB for running tests. We were thinking there could have maybe been a SaS connection maybe?

The 8-core is amazing though, with 60 gigaflops of power. This is definitely from the 1st generation of Mac Pro's as per the case design(?). The guy selling it put in Clovertown Processors. Honestly, I can't believe the speed of this machine. I've used iMac 24"ers before, maxxed out, and nothing really compares. Apple, Intel did a mind blowing job on these that completely severs everything else.
     
willywalloo
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Sep 30, 2009, 01:12 AM
 
And I just opened it up again with more questions in mind:
1) Are there any Apple Logo's on the board?
2) Is the 1st drive bay labeled?

Answers: No Apple logos' appear on the board, There is a SN section that mentions it was made in China. All of the chips on the board have numbers, and this is EVERY chip. Yellow writing nearly floods the whole red board.

I thought maybe this could have been a PC board, but it is such an odd size, it's gotta be an Apple Custom. There are blue daughter boards near the front of the case.

There are also 3 buttons that I was warned not to touch, as it can brick the machine.
• [o] DIAG_LED
• [o] RTC_RST
• [o] SMC_RST

I am very curious as to what the LED button would do. But probably will never press it.
     
- - e r i k - -
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Sep 30, 2009, 02:17 AM
 
The two last one seem to be reset buttons.

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Sep 30, 2009, 02:25 AM
 
Diagnostic LED
?
SMC Reset (Could be like the keyboard command except you don't have to use the keyboard)
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Big Mac
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Sep 30, 2009, 03:48 AM
 
Welcome, willy. Cool that you got the machine and are sharing info with us.

I wonder how the original seller got the hardware and was able to resell it without pissing off Apple.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
tooki
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Sep 30, 2009, 08:32 AM
 
The blue boards are, if I remember from looking at the photos 2 weeks ago, the Airport card and Bluetooth module, which are non-prototype parts.
     
The Placid Casual
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Sep 30, 2009, 08:44 AM
 
Hmm time to did out and check a copy of an old NDA, as I'd love to make a comment in this thread.
     
willywalloo
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Oct 1, 2009, 04:22 AM
 
...well, dangit. This forum apparently logs you out after 15-20 minutes or so of writing. Sorry, but this will have to be really quick, as my patience reflects that of the site's time limit. I guess I'll be smart next time and copy all text before I Post
====

The good stuff.
DIAG_LED button: I pushed it finally after doing some research. A Row of 7 LEDS showed up, 2 lit. 1)"Trickle" burned amber, 2)"Power" glowed green. Kinda nice to see even more LEDs turn on with all of the other ones marking activity on the mobo. I think with that row, that adds 4 total colours to the LED spectrum.

Usage.
A candle to the Mac Pro's speed.
Completely STABLE! Final Cut use so far is anywhere from 10x-20x the rendering speed of an iMac 2.16Ghz Core 2 I got to use, and no kidding at all. (Note: Running same appsvers#'s/OSVers#'s, I'll reverify this speed on another HD video test project I have going as well). Having menu meters running on both (hey, I'm getting happy again) shows you what your processor, and hard drives, etc is doing. The Mac Pro when rendering only goes to 33% use or less of it's 8-cores and still achieves this 10-20x speed on my 1 hr long HD 1080i steady cam filter. Why aren't the cores going full capacity? The hard drives are completely pegged. I never saw this happen on the iMac as the two cores were the bottle neck. Simply wrecklessly amazing speed w/ this machine.

I also tested out both machines using Power Fractal.
• iMac 2.16Ghz ~13GFlops
• Mac Pro 2.4Ghzx8 ~60GFlops
And this doesn't reflect the speed changes I'm seeing in final cut, this is only a 4x difference in speed. Though they could be very different computations.

Xbench was run on both, though not much of a point difference for some odd reason. I'll post exact xbench scores later on, or if you guys have any suggestions, I'm keen on it!

NDA: It's an "Apple-labeled" computer that runs Mac OS X. It's legally safe to assume that someone just hacked a mac pro case. Curious on though what the NDA has to say on outted parts. Apparently this computer left the business as recycling/garbage as do popcans, etc. Either no one wanted it as unworking, or had to dispose of it and didn't want to. A friend of a friend of a friend. bleh bleh. It didn't come with processors, and could have been "rebuilt" by someone--how much of it got rebuilt, I don't know ! This machine's history is filled with mystery and intrigue; who touched it? Apple's original transition to Intel? Fun to think about.

@Big Mac: thanks man. I'm wondering too. Trying to find a name for the dang thing. Big Mac sounds good for now.
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Oct 1, 2009, 11:50 AM
 
Man I'm jealous. I would have bought that if I had the money. I love the prototype hardware with all the LEDs. Looks like you've found out what the LEDs are for.

Feel free to take some more pictures if you find out anything more interesting about it.

Here're some of the original pictures, I saved them in case the machine fell off into obscurity:









"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
willywalloo
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Oct 1, 2009, 05:31 PM
 
It's kinda nuts having something that many others have pictures of. I'll post some more interesting stuff, hopefully some close ups if I can get a hold of a decent camera.

Those red lights on the RAM risers only show up when you immediately turn on the machine. I still haven't seen the blue one yet. Now I'm sort of curious how those are labeled.
     
Cold Warrior
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Oct 1, 2009, 05:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by willywalloo View Post
...well, dangit. This forum apparently logs you out after 15-20 minutes or so
At login make sure you choose Remember Me and the forum will keep you logged in.
     
willywalloo
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Oct 1, 2009, 08:12 PM
 
haha, i'm such a noooooober
     
willywalloo
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Nov 21, 2009, 06:00 AM
 
hey just sayin i haven't forgotten this forum. i'll grab some more pics before long. can i host them from imgur to here?
     
Cold Warrior
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Nov 21, 2009, 10:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by willywalloo View Post
hey just sayin i haven't forgotten this forum. i'll grab some more pics before long. can i host them from imgur to here?
you can link inline using the img tags. More about that here: MacNN Forums - BB Code List
     
tooki
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Nov 22, 2009, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by willywalloo View Post
There are also 3 buttons that I was warned not to touch, as it can brick the machine.
• [o] DIAG_LED
• [o] RTC_RST
• [o] SMC_RST

I am very curious as to what the LED button would do. But probably will never press it.
Diagnostic LED button: dunno
RTC_RST: likely real-time clock reset
SMC-RST: System Management Controller reset
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Nov 22, 2009, 09:13 PM
 
With the memory risers, I would suspect that it was indeed, an actual Apple machine, and most likely, from the internal case redesign that added those. (Early 2008?)
     
willywalloo
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Feb 5, 2010, 06:23 PM
 
I'm about to get a 30" screen for it to go along side the 23" haha.

I've been sort of delinquent on getting photos up. Try to get a few up today !
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Feb 6, 2010, 01:05 AM
 
Awesome.
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willywalloo
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Feb 6, 2010, 04:21 AM
 
MacProteus - a set on Flickr







If your more curious, I could probably get different pics of her, calling it "octozoid" for now.
( Last edited by willywalloo; Feb 6, 2010 at 04:30 AM. )
     
willywalloo
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Feb 6, 2010, 04:27 AM
 
I finally got the blue light to show up!

It was ethernet...haha..just haven't had it connected to the internet until now. Had it at home as a workhorse doing edits and keeping it free from the crazy internet. lol
     
willywalloo
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Feb 9, 2010, 08:58 PM
 
you guys probably want more detailed shots, i bet
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Feb 10, 2010, 12:21 PM
 
The blue light indicates network activity? Cool. Wouldn't say no to more pictures.
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willywalloo
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Feb 26, 2010, 05:09 AM
 
MacPro1,1 : Geekbench Result Browser

Is some benchmark stat, using 32-bit version of geekbench
     
olePigeon  (op)
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Feb 26, 2010, 07:56 PM
 
Since it's a prototype, would you mind checking what EFI you have?

In Terminal, type:

ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | grep firmware-abi

See what it says.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 11:24 AM
 
The transition kit was an off the shelf ATX board with a P4 chip in a G5 case.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
olePigeon  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 11:29 AM
 
If you read up in the thread, it's been established it isn't a transition kit. It's an actual prototype.
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imitchellg5
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May 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
 
Holy zombie thread, batman!
     
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May 20, 2011, 06:42 PM
 
Tomorrow is the end of the world, who cares what threads are resurrected
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 07:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
If you read up in the thread, it's been established it isn't a transition kit. It's an actual prototype.
I know, I was just adding some details. I hadn't looked at the date on the thread before posting either.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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