Xlr8YourMac.com's Macintosh Mods/Upgrades by Model
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Mac Pro/MacBook Pro/iMacs | Mac Mini | G5 | Misc.
Mac Pro, MacBook Pro & iMac (Intel) Articles
2013 Mac Pro How-To/Upgrade Guides & Troubleshooting Tips
Late 2013 Mac Pro CPU is socketed and can be upgraded. (See Step-by-Step Video on How to upgrade the CPU in a 2013 Mac Pro.) Also list of Apple guides on Installing/removing SSD and Memory, Using Multiple Displays, Info on Ports/Connectors, Audio Tips/Troubleshooting, Power Usage & Bootcamp/Windows Installs / troubleshooting.
2009 Mac Pro Dual 3GHz X5675 CPU Upgrade (and More)
(Feb 2015) Long report on a 2009 Mac Pro CPU upgrade experience that includes notes on the 5,1 EFI update, buying X5675's with IHS removed, resolving some initial problems with upgrading the CPUs, and comments on other upgrades (Video card, 1333MHz RAM, SSD, etc) for the Mac Pro tower.
2009 Mac Pro 6-core CPU Upgrade (3.46GHz W3690)
(July 2014) Notes on upgrading a 2009 Mac Pro (4,1) using a Xeon W3690 CPU. (As noted earlier, 2009 Mac Pro 6-core CPU support requires the "unofficial" MacPro 5,1 EFI update.)
2009 Mac Pro 12-core Upgrade
Dual 2.93GHz X5670 CPUs
(July 2014) Notes on upgrading a 2009 Mac Pro (4,1) using two 2.93GHz Xeon X5670 6-core (Westmere) CPUs. (Bought used for $370.) Includes tips on what to do when things don't go right initially and link to an instructional video on a similar upgrade. (2009 Mac Pro 6-core CPU support requires the "unofficial" MacPro 5,1 EFI update. That 2010 Mac Pro firmware also adds support for faster ram and HDMI audio.)
Mac Pro Northbridge High Temperatures due to Broken Heatsink Retainer
(July 2014) Revisiting a problem that came up in the past. More recent reports of 2009 Mac Pro very high Northbridge Temperatures due to a broken plastic heatsink retainer. If you can't find a source for the OEM retainer, some have used screws instead. (Linked page includes photo of Heatsink location and link to freeware temperature monitor.)
2007 Mac Pro running OS X 10.9 Mavericks (w/Radeon 7970 card)
(Dec 2013) Reader report on a 2007 Mac Pro 2,1 running OS X 10.9 Mavericks (via Tiamo's Boot EFI patch) and a (PC) Radeon 7970 graphics card.
2006 Xserve Dual 3GHz Quad-Core X5365 CPUs Upgrade ($150)
(Dec 2013) Reader report on swapping Xeon 5160 dual-core CPUs in 2006 Xserve for 2 Quad-Core 3GHz Xeon X5365's. Includes a warning about the Xserve heatsink thermal sensor.
2006 Mac Pro Dual Quad-Core CPUs/EFI/PC 5770 Upgrades
(Dec 2013) Reader report on a 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 (original 2 dual cores) CPU upgrade to dual 2.66GHz quad-core Xeons ($70), PC Radeon 5770 card ($75) and EFI update.
2006 Mac Pro Dual CPU Upgrade
(2 Xeon Quad Cores $60)
(Jul 2013) Reader report on his 2006 Mac Pro (original dual cores) CPU upgrade to dual 2.66GHz quad-core Xeons. (Used for Logic Audio.)
2006 Xserve Dual CPU Upgrade
(2 Xeon Quad Cores <$50)
(Jun 2013) Reader report on his 2006 xserve (2x dual-core 2GHz) CPU upgrade to dual 2.33GHz quad-core Xeons (used/tested CPUs, under $50 delivered).
2006 Mac Pro 8-Core
(Dual x5365) CPU Upgrade
+ 2007 EFI/Bootrom Update
(Dec 2012) 2006 Mac Pro owner report on upgrading to Dual 3GHz Quad-Core (X5365's) CPUs and updating the EFI/Bootrom to the 2007 Mac Pro 2,1 version. (Using unofficial updater from netkas, posted here in Sept. 2011 w/early user feedback.)
2006 Mac Pro (1,1)
owner report/tips on
Mountain Lion Install
(Aug 2012) Reader's notes on installing OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on an 'unsupported' EFI32 2006 Mac Pro 1,1. He had other hardware upgrades also (video card, 16GB RAM, SSDs) and included Geekbench scores before/after the 10.8 install. (Includes 2 guides to OS X 10.8 installs on Mac Pro 1,1 & running 64bit kernel on EFI32 2006/07 Mac Pros.)
[Nov. 2013 FYI: OS X Mavericks on 2006 Mac Pro (1,1)]
2009 Mac Pro (4-core) 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz CPU Upgrade
(Jul 2012) Reader's before/after benchmarks of his 2009 Mac Pro 2.66GHz he upgraded with a W3565 3.2GHz Xeon bought at auction.
2008 Mac Pro Dual 3.2GHz (Quad-Cores) CPU upgrade
(Apr 2012) Wolf sent comments on his 2008 Mac Pro Dual Xeon X5482 3.2GHz CPU upgrade. (Two X5482 3.2GHz Quad-Cores bought at auction for $450 he said.)
2006 Mac Pro 8-Core CPU Upgrade report (Dual 2.66GHz Quad-Cores)
(Nov 2011) Yet another report on a low-cost Dual Quad-Core CPU Upgrade to a 1st gen Mac Pro. Upgraded from the original two 2.66GHz Dual-Core CPUs to dual Xeon X5355 2.66GHz Quad-Cores. ($350 paid for the Quad-Core CPUs at auction.)
2006 Mac Pro 8-Core CPU Upgrade report (Under $60)
(Oct 2011) Another report on a (very) low-cost Dual Quad-Core CPU Upgrade to an early (2006) Mac Pro. However the Quad-Core CPUs were only 1.83GHz models.
2010 MacBook Pro 15in Video Update (fix for intermittent black screen/no video)
(Oct 2011) Hopefully a fix for this issue noted here on Oct. 13th. I wrote a reader with an affected MacBook Pro that had commented on the problem here on Oct. 14th to ask if the update solved the problem on his machine.
Early MacBook Pro Upgrades
(5GHz WiFI card w/AirDrop, SSD & Improved Cooling)
(Sept 2011) Article on a reader's upgrades to his MacBook Pro 2,2 including swapping in a Dual-Band (5GHz and 2.4GHz) Airport card with Airdrop Support, SSD drive and Thermal Paste to lower chipset temperatures.
(Unofficial) Mac Pro 1,1 to 2,1 EFI Updater Feedback
(Fix for KP's in Lion/10.6.8 w/Quad-Core CPU upgrades?)
(Sept 2011) Reports that -some- Mac Pro 1,1 owners that upgraded to Quad-Core CPUs had Kernel Panics in Lion (and in some cases 10.6.8). For those that did, using the 'unofficial' Mac Pro 1,1 to 2,1 EFI updater solved that they said. (Updated w/later notes.)
Another (Low-Cost) Early Mac Pro 8-Core CPU Upgrade
(June 2011) Another reader report on low-cost 8-Core (Dual Quad-Core) CPU Upgrades to earlier Mac Pro models. (Also Includes links to several other Mac Pro CPU Upgrade reports from 2011.)
Notes on 2009 to 2010 Mac Pro EFI Bootrom Updater
(w/6-core CPU & 1333MHz RAM, and MDP Audio support)
(May 2011) Notes and Tips regarding the "unofficial" EFI/BootRom updater for 2009 Mac Pros to flash a 2010 Mac Pros Bootrom. This enables support for 6-core CPUs and 1333MHz Memory. (Also reported to enable MiniDisplayPort Audio.) See notes in the post on tips and a FYI for 2009 Mac Pro owners that have "B08" bootrom.
2010 Mac Pro CPU Upgrade
2.8GHz 4-core to 3.2GHz 6-Core
(Apr 2011) A 2010 (single cpu) Mac Pro owner report with notes/links to CPUs, simple benchmark comparisons, etc on his 3.2GHz 6-Core CPU Upgrade.
Water Cooled 2006 Mac Pro
with 3.3GHz (OC'd 2.66GHz)
Quad-Core CPUs
(Mar 2011) A follow-up to his original post in Jan 2011 on his 2006 Mac Pro Quad-Core CPU Upgrade (5350's OC'd to 3.3GHz), this update includes notes on water cooling and a youtube video link. (BTW - See below for a older post from 2008 on a software OC util for mac pros like this.)
iMac eSATA Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)


(Sept 2010) iMac (intel-based) notes and pictures on swapping out the Airport card with the same 2-port SATA card for eSATA used earlier by Mini owners. (See article link below.)
(An earlier article on this mod is here.)
Info on iMac's HD + SSD Option w/service part info

2010 iMac owner's notes with Apple P/Ns on cables for adding a SSD to a 27in Mac with Hard Drive. (If any reader knows if the same parts are used for 2011 iMacs, send a note. Thanks.)
2008 Mac Pro CPU Upgrade (single 2.8GHz to Dual 3GHz Quad Cores)

(Aug 2010) Reader report on a (very cheap) 3GHz Quad-Core Xeon upgrade to his single CPU 2008 Mac Pro. (As with most earlier Mac Pro CPU Upgrades, he bought used CPUs.)
2009 Mac Pro CPU Core Temperature Tests
(OS X and Windows)
(Updated w/Apple fix for 10.6 in 2010) After some Apple forum thread/user concerns over higher than expected core temperatures with 2009 Mac Pros from simply playing audio in iTunes, I ran some simple tests in OS X vs Windows using freeware utilities for both OS's. Includes notes on Turbo mode, explanations from the author of OS X freeware Temperature monitor, notes on (turbo) core speeds reported in Windows and more.
Mac Pro FB-Dimm Pairing Guide/Tests (w/mixed 1GB, 2GB and 4GB pairs)
(Nov 2009) A reader sent his Mac Pro FB-Dimm Pairing Tests w/mixed 1GB, 2GB and 4GB pairs, noting the 4GB pair were not fully recognized if the OEM (Apple supplied) Hynix 1GB FBdimms were installed in the same riser, despite Apple's guide showing that pairing is OK. (Many times over the years I've had Mac Pro owners write their new FBDimms were not recognized properly. Other than some rare cases of bad FB-dimms, usually the problem was the FB-Dimms were not Paired properly (1st thing to check) and/or not fully seated (dimm or riser card). I've included links to Apple's PDF guides on memory and riser cards on the linked page.)
2006 Mac Pro Clovertown (Quad core) CPU Swaps Revisited
(July 2009) A 1st gen Mac Pro owner's notes on buying (used) Clovertown 2.66GHz CPUs to replace the original (dual core) 5150's. Includes notes on pricing (some new/service parts) and links to upgrade guides (article and video). (Updated to include links to later posts on 3GHz Clovertowns, 3GHz Dual-Cores and Low Power Quad-Core Xeon swaps.)
2006 Mac Pro Clovertown (Quad core) CPU Swaps Revisited
(July 2009) A 1st gen Mac Pro owner's notes on buying (used) Clovertown 2.66GHz CPUs to replace the original (dual core) 5150's. Includes notes on pricing (some new/service parts) and links to upgrade guides (article and video). (Updated to include links to later posts on 3GHz Clovertowns, 3GHz Dual-Cores and Low Power Quad-Core Xeon swaps.)
2009 Mac Pro Video card tests - EVGA GTX 285 Mac Edition vs ATI 4870 vs Nvidia GT120
(June 2009) Review/comparisons of EVGA's Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 Mac edition vs the Mac ATI 4870 and the base Geforce GT120 card, tested in a 2009 Mac Pro 8-core 2.66GHz system. Includes pages on apps/game tests, power (watts) usage, benchmarks and more.
First Impressions of 2009 Mac Pro (8-Core 2.66GHz/ATI 4870)
(March 2009) 2009 Mac Pro 8-core photos (incl. internals), notes on noise levels, initial benchmarks, links to Apple DIY Guides, Intel docs on Nehalem Microarchitecture, Turbo Boost, QuickPath Technology, OEM CPU chip pricing and dozens of 2009 Mac Pro comparisons to 2008 models. Also includes notes onBootcamp/OEM Vista 64-bit install.)
Using the Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports with an External SATA Case Kit
A Mac Pro owner's article on using the spare 2 SATA ports on the (2006-2008) Mac Pro motherboard with Newer Tech's SATA cable kit and an external dual SATA drive case. (FYI - Includes reports on compatible (and incompatible) external cases - some ext. case bridge boards (w/multiple interfaces) are not compatible.)
MacBook Pro GPU/Video Failures
(Nvidia 8600M)
(Last Update Dec 2012) Article from July 2008 (updated 100+ times) on the issue of flawed (packaging defect) Nvidia GPUs- including the 8600M used in many MacBook Pros. Updated to include Apple's later doc on the issue that noted affected MacBook Pro model production ranges and a warranty extension. Also includes reader reports, links to info on the issue, actions by other notebook mfrs and more.
Mac Pro 2008: Guide to optical bay hard drive install
Oliver sent info/photos on installing his WD Raptor hard drive in the lower Optical drive bay. (A followup for the 2008 model to his article from June 2007 on How I "Silenced" a WD Raptor in a Mac Pro)
2008 Mac Pro Owner Feedback
Owner reports on the early-2008 Mac Pro systems. (Includes notes/tips on system lockups reported by early users.)
MacBook Pro (Core Duo) Guide on swapping in Mac Pro 802.11n Wireless card
A reader's guide to upgrading an early Core Duo Macbook Pro using an OEM Mac Pro Airport Extreme card (802.11n compatible Mini PCI-e card).
MacBook Pro owner reports on Express/34 Cards
A catch-all page for feedback from MacBook Pro owners on Express34 cards (eSATA, Firewire, Firewire/USB, Modems, flash memory adapters, etc.)
Info/Guides/Feedback on Sheep Shaver for Classic OS support with Intel Macs
Apple doesn't support running Classic on Intel Macs, but since early in 2006 there's been a build of "Sheep Shaver" for Intel Macs to run Classic, with some limitations. (See the page for more info, download links, tips, guides, etc.)
Guide to installing Bluetooth module in a Mac Pro
Reader's photo illustrated guide to installing a Bluetooth Module in a original Mac Pro.
(Original) MacBook Pro Owner Reports
User reports from owners of the first model MacBook Pro, including installing Windows XP (natively), performance, usage, some OOB Problems and a section of related articles including take-apart guides and reviews.
Mac Mini Related Articles
2012 Mac Mini SSD Install
& Drive Cloning Notes
(Mar 2013) Late-2012 Mini SSD install (480GB Intel 520 SSD). Well worth the effort with a significant performance increase over the previous SATA2 SSD I'd installed in Nov 2012. Unlike some others, this 2012 mini (2.3GHz i7, SSD, RAM upgraded to 16GB) has been basically trouble-free so far. No HDMI/video issues and feels very fast.
Late 2012 Mac Mini HDMI Video Problems/Flicker, Tests, Tips
(2013) Catch-All page of Info/Tests/Tips on Late 2012 Mac Mini HDMI video intermittent dropouts/noise ('snow'), Apple EFI Update to fix HDMI flicker, my tests using HDMI to a Samsung LCD Display and LG HDTV (direct and via AVR), tips for washed-out displays, colorsync profiles, EDID mods including a EDID Patch script to Force RGB mode on external displays. Plus info on USB 3.0 interference with Bluetooth, SSDs/Fusion Drives and more.
2006-2008 Mac Mini CPU Upgrades (Socketed CPUs)
Intel-based Mac Mini owner's notes on Core 2 Duo CPU swaps (includes link to chip swap guide) and includes info on Mini 2,1 firmware updates and OS X Lion (10.7.x) install reports/tips.
2010 Mac Mini Server DriveTemperature Sensors Info/Pix
(Jun 2010) The June 17th, 2010 news page had some comments on special drive cables/thermal sensors in the new 2010 Mac Minis (and reminders on HD brand specific/temp sensor cables for late 09 iMacs). The takeaparts of the new 2010 Minis didn't include any info on that (but I suspect may be revised later). However a reader with a 2010 Mini server sent notes/pix on the cables/termal sensors during his dual SSD upgrade/drive swap.
2006-08 Mac Mini
eSATA Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)


Photos/Info and reports on swapping out the Mini-PCIe Airport card with a 2-port SATA card used for eSATA. Includes card info and some initial real-world benchmarks. Reports are from OS X 10.6.4 and 10.5.8 mini users.
(NOTE: 2009 and Later Minis DO NOT have a Mini-PCIe Airport card and can't use this mod.)
G5 System Related Articles
Jumper Tips for Western Digital 6Gb/sec HDs in G5 Macs
(May 2011) Jumper setting tips for WD 6Gb/SATA III drives in G5 Macs (and any other SATA I/1.5Gb interfaces). Without forced mode reduction, drives were not usable/recognized.
Guide to Repairing a PowerMac G5 Delphi Liquid Cooling System
Expanding on his original article from fall 2009 here, Bill sent a 6 page Guide to Overhauling a PowerMac G5 Delphi Liquid Cooling System. (His specific model is a Dual 2.7GHz.)
PowerMac G5 Coolant Leaks/Repairs
Reader reports on some liquid cooled G5 towers leaking coolant (usually out of warranty). If not detected early the coolant leak can do substantial damage (blown PS, etc.) Includes reports from some owners that got repairs covered out of warranty and in some cases a new Mac Pro (where repair parts could not be procured). Also includes some DIY repairs some have done and photos of the 2 LCS designs.
G5 Tower Disassembly/Dust Cleaning (to lower temperatures)
A G5 Tower owner wrote an article on partial disassembly and dust cleaning that lowered temperatures, which usually reduces fan speeds also. (An Xserve G5 owner also noted similar benefits to cleaning - lower fan speeds/lower temperatures.)
Quad G5 Owner reports on CPU Sensor Temperatures
Quad G5 PowerMac owner reports/screenshots on CPU/Temperatures after after a post mentioning one CPU ran 20F hotter than the other (even at idle).
Feedback/Tips on PowerMac G5 Random Shutdowns
Some G5 tower owners reported problems with random shutdowns. Included are some tips and things to check, although frequently a repair was required.
G5 Owner Reports on Optical Audio
PowerMac G5 owner feedback on using the Optical Audio output - includes pro user comments on DAT tape, etc. and consumer quality speaker/ampl. systems (some which have amplifier hiss/noise - such as the Klipsch GMX series.)
Powermac G5 Hard Drive Heat/Cooling Tip
G5 Owner comments, tests and a tip on relocating the Hard Drive Cooling Fan Temperature Sensor to better cool the G5's hard drives.
G5 RAM Tests - Photoshop performance w/512MB to 8GB of installed RAM
Dual G5 2GHz performance tests with 512MB to 8GB of RAM.
Misc. Articles
Recent Updates/Articles
Updates, DIY Repair, Upgrade articles, Tips and more.


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