2006 Mac Pro 1.1 any ideas?

Discussion in 'DIY and Makers Spot' started by Markess, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Markess

    Markess New Member

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    I volunteer at a small educational non-profit where I, among other things, restore donated hardware for resale. We recently got a 2006 Mac Pro 1.1 (dual Xeon 5150) that was a server in a local library's back room, so the case at least is in great condition. Because its ancient and can't run any recent Mac OS, I assume its probably not worth much as a functioning Mac (except maybe to collectors?).

    I'm not a Mac person myself, but I always thought those aluminum cases were pretty elegant. If it wasn't too much effort, I thought it might be fun to retrofit the case with (more) modern hardware, hopefully saving the drive backplane and some of the other interesting features in the process. I couldn't find anything on the internet though, other than people fitting a slightly newer (but still very obsolete) Mac Pro board. I was thinking newer, non-Apple components though. I have a new Asrock Rack work station board, and a couple new Supermicro X9 (X9DRT-F and X9DRD-if) sitting on a shelf waiting for a project for example.

    I'm OK with fabrication, so long as its not too extensive. Has anyone seen anything (or done something themselves) on putting more modern components in these old Mac Pros?

    Thanks
     
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  2. gea

    gea Well-Known Member

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    A have modified a G5 MacPro with a SuperMicro mainboard just for nostalgia.
    From a praktical view it is senseless. You need a new PSU (from a 2U case) and a lot of case modifications. You also cannot use the slots on the back as slots are on a different place on usual mainboards. On the MacPro everything is different and incompatible to PC components.

    Best use it as is with an older OSX or optionally with Windows or Unix/Linux, otherwise sell it and buy a standard PC case. From hardware performance it is quite ok for many use cases but requires a lot of energy what makes it expensive.
     
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  3. BoredSysadmin

    BoredSysadmin Active Member

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    Yes, it's quite an older tech and it would be power inefficient. As for performance:
    PassMark - [Dual CPU] Intel Xeon 5150 @ 2.66GHz - Price performance comparison
    Yes, it could be sufficient for a wide range of lower performance needed tasks, but keep in mind that for about $100 you could a DFI computer with AMD RX-427BB CPU which is faster and much more power efficient:
    PassMark - AMD RX-427BB - Price performance comparison
    https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...trial-itx-t730-a-like-99-shipped-w-8gb.22009/
     
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  4. Markess

    Markess New Member

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    Most of what I originally found was G5 mods. Definitely looked to be a lot of work. I changed my google search (added "mATX") and actually got some information on the Intel based MacPros. Looks to be a bit easier with those (room enough to ATX PSU & PCI slots line up), but still requires hole cutting and new standoffs for the motherboard. There's even a company in England that offers a laser cut kit for it. It costs about $100 (us), which I wouldn't want to spend. But, I have access to a laser cutter, so may still be a fun project to try.

    Yes, I wouldn't want to run it as is. I'd only use the case which the case is in great shape. But, it had been running for the better part of a decade already so the remaining life on the internals is questionable.
     
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  5. Luke Watson

    Luke Watson New Member

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  6. Markess

    Markess New Member

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    Thanks for this! I'd found a couple of the posts from my google searches, but as they took me straight to the posts I had no idea there was a whole section of their forum dedicated to this topic. Lots of good ideas there.
     
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