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Mac Pro 2008


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I know this doesn't really qualify as "68k" and all of that, but I finally obtained something I have needed to round out the collection and OS "coverage" - a 2008 Mac Pro. These came out when I was about halfway through med school, and boy, did I ever want one bad. I always wanted a tower, and the Mac Pros were the ultimate. At the time I had a 2006 MBP, a "compromise", as I had to take a machine to class with me. Other than that, I had always had iMacs (and a Performa 6300). By the time I was able to truly afford a tower, Apple had moved onto the trash can, and the dream never came true.

So, I just found a Mac Pro in what looks like really nice shape on eBay for $180 including shipping in its original box. It is a dual 3.0 GHz model, and comes with a 512MB graphics card. I am thinking to upgrading to a Radeon 5870 at some point. Of course, my concern was where in creation I would fit this monster and supporting equipment. I think I found a good solution. My current iMac 2020 27" is paired up with my 27" LED Cinema Display from 2010. I bought a DisplayPort and USB KVM switch, and this way I can swap my mouse, keyboard, speakers (USB SoundSticks) and the Cinema Display from the iMac to the Mac Pro as needed. Now I can play Command & Conquer Generals, Halo, Q4, and I hope Red Faction at really good native speeds with Intel upgrades. I wanted the 2008 because it supports 10.6, the last OS I actually care about supporting on hardware. Since the newest machine I had other than this is my QS, it will fill that last-leg gap as far as OS and games (not to mention Intel vs PPC).

I am waiting for it to get here in a few days. Wish me luck!


Well-known member
Nice one!! I've got the same model and love it, it's insanely versatile. Until ~5 years ago I used it as my work from home computer and gaming PC with an NVIDIA GTX 770 (4GB) on Windows 7. I still use it today for work, but there's so many different systems you can run on it with ease.

One thing to note, always make sure the RAM daughter cards are spotless. There's one component I've seen on all cards that I've had that start corroding which you should try tidy if you ever see it. When these cards fail they fail badly. I had a bug or something die on one of the cards, which created a short and fried something on the logic board. I had to replace the whole thing after that


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Mac Pro 2008 can run Mac OS X 10.4 to macOS 12 maybe 13 and 14.
10.4 requires special installation methods. I used a 10.4 partition installed by a 2009 iMac.
An Nvidia GTX 680 can work with all of those OS versions but acceleration doesn't happen until 10.8.
For Sierra to Catalina I used dosdude patches.
For Big Sur and later use OCLP.
You can connect up to 6 SATA drives though you might want to modify the fan assembly to allow connecting to the ODD ports more easily.
You can insert up to 64 MB of RAM but you need to make macOS and Windows use only 62 GB.
All the details can be found in the macrumors forums.


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Just looking for a nice all-around machine to run some period games on 10.6 and Boot Camp. Not trying to do anything nuts.


Well-known member
Just looking for a nice all-around machine to run some period games on 10.6 and Boot Camp. Not trying to do anything nuts.
Mine, which was an 8-core 2.8GHz machine did that quite well. Video card that was in mine was a Radeon HD 5770. Make sure that whichever video card you use is installed in the bottom slot. Actually had the heatsink come loose on the chip under the second slot above. Machine became somewhat unstable. Would easily imitate a MBP when viewing Google Maps, etc. Fans running full speed, etc. Still was quieter than a G4 dual processor MDD running 9.2.2, though.


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I've got a 2010 model which has been massively upgraded - It did have a single CPU tray, but I got hold of a compatible dual tray (the wrong tray will send the fans nuts) with a pair of 3.46 GHz 6-Core CPUs, 128GB RAM, many TB of SSD - including on the PCIe bus, RX580 graphics. Each SSD has a different OS on it - but the earliest OS (IIRC) is High Sierra, simply because the earlier OS's that this machine theoretically supports don't support the upgraded graphics - and the later OS's that I want on it won't work properly with an older graphics card.

It's an amazing machine - especially in winter, when it warms my office up a treat. Ditto my PowerMac G5 Dually. Get them both on together and my office is warm - but the village has a brown out!

But… And I know that this is a heresy… For work tasks I'd rather use my M1 Mac mini. It's just a better all round machine. And if I'm mucking about I'd rather use my Mac SE or Quadra 650. And the machine which has given me the most pleasure this year is my…

new, homebuilt, Sinclair Spectrum. As always, YMMV.


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Well, she arrived…what a cool machine!


I managed to get most dust off the cards, but she wasn’t bad at all, there’s a few dings scuffs here and there, and scratches on the bottom of the feet…but overall I’m really good shape. This is indeed a 3 GHz DP model, so mid-range as these machines go. It came with 10.14 on it…which I promptly backdated to 10.6. I got the DisplayPort and USB KVM, which is working just as expected. Here I was installing 10.6 with it up on the desk, as well as the KVM setup:37151661-8D3B-4752-BE94-E93E494D6FA4.jpeg

I played some C&C Generals before heading to bed, and man…what a beast!


Well-known member
Very nice! I got a 2008 for free a few years back with a 30" Cinema Display as well. It was a great setup, I eventually found a 4,1 for not too much money and updated the firmware. I ran OCLP on it for about a year and a half until it started to become unstable out of sleep mode, and I then replaced it with my M2 Max MBP + 30" BenQ. Part of me still wishes I stuck with it or grabbed a maxed out 27" Intel machine but I only have a few minor things that don't run well on my portable.