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OS X Mavericks on an Original Mac Pro

14 October 2013 20,047 views No Comment

The list of OS X Mavericks compatible Macs, like that for OS X Mountain Lion, doesn’t include the original original Mac Pro (a.k.a. MacPro1,1). However, with a little gumption, graphic card upgrade and some Terminal voodoo, there is a way to run Apple’s newest desktop operating system on its oldest (Intel) pro desktop.

Yes, there are caveats. For example, to make a 2006 Mac Pro run OS X Mavericks, you will be hacking it. Definitely going off res, but actually not that big of a deal that’s roughly on par with jailbreaking an iPhone.

That said, to run OS X Mavericks on an original Mac Pro, you will need a newer, more powerful graphics card. The good news here is that since OS X Lion, Mac Pro owners have been able to install most GPUs made for Windows PCs — Mike Hennessie, a Google+ acquaintance, is using an MSi GTX 570, which can be found for about $250 (Amazon).

Need to know more than that, like if the specific Apple supported or third-party GPU card you have in mind is compatible and/or will require flashed BIOS? The best advice here is to go deep dish on Netkas.org forums — geeky people talking and doing geeky stuff.

Of course, it bears remembering that a new graphics will cost a whole lot less than a new Mac let alone a new Mac Pro.

OS X 10.9 on an Original Mac Pro: More Nitty Gritty

Apple’s OS X Mavericks system requirements are the same needed to run Mountain Lion. Happily enough, that means the same method can be used — well trodden ground — to run Mavericks on an original Mac Pro.

Among the best sources for getting the job done — creating and installing a 64-bit capable system folder — is Jabbawok. Although the task requires multiple steps, none are particularly difficult or involved — it’s a recipe.

While you mull the possibilities, check out Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller’s introduction of the original Mac Pro way, way back in 2006.

MacPro1,1 @ EveryMac

So, the original 64-bit Mac Pro? Not entirely, but there is a way to make up the shortfall.

Gonna take the plunge and hack your 2006 Mac Pro to run OS X Mavericks or would you rather just spend the money on a new, faster Mac?

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