macOS Mojave on old unsupported 2009 Mac Pro (Review, Installation, Performance Test)

macOS Mojave on old unsupported 2009 Mac Pro (Review, Installation, Performance Test)


guys welcome back to my channel today
we’re gonna address the question can you install the new Mac OS Mojave which came
out a couple days ago on an old unsupported Mac Pro 4,1 and guys
is just in case you’re new to my channel this is a quick reminder that basically
what I have done I have installed the Mac OS Mojave on this Mac Pro 4,1
the similar principle applies to the newer Mac Pro 5,1 but I did a
few updates and thereby significantly improved the performance of this old Mac
Pro that I snapped up on eBay for about $500 something like this and made it
really ready for High Sierra and now i just switched to Mojave since this came
out a few days ago so basically as you can see the navigation below i’m just
introducing you to Mojave slash old Mac Pro project that I have going on and so
why don’t we jump to part 2 I’m gonna review Mojave and its features just a
tiny little bit so that you have an idea of what kind of benefits you will get
from switching to Mojave and ya know I’m not gonna belabor like all their
graphic design changes like this dark mode and so on for a long time I did
actually do some research in the forums what are the benefits of Mojave when
you look a little bit deeper under the hood so to speak and that’s why in part
3 I’m gonna show you also a performance test and you’re going to be surprised
what happened after I installed Mojave actually I’m like this update a lot and
then in part 4 I’m doing a quick summary so guys before I continue too long this
concludes the intro like I said this is part of this video is part of a
follow-up on my tutorial series on how to buy a cheap mac pro on ebay and
upgrade it with a few cheap parts such as used memory and CPU and graphics card
so that you can use it for video editing I even tested 4k video editing on this
Mac Pro from early 2009 believe it or not and I’m
amazed that I could install High Sierra as well as Mojave on this old unsupported
Mac because that in my opinion gives me great value for the money so let’s jump
into the computer and I’ll quickly review Mojave and then jump to part
three the performance test so let’s get rolling with this tutorial video let’s
go let’s get going and guys before I continue that’s the
login screen I think that is really nicely made and looks terrific I’m a
little bit sorry about the glare that the display my Eizo display has like a
little bit of an anti-glare coating going on so it doesn’t look a hundred
percent perfect so basically what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna log in and
then I’m gonna show you what’s new and what the performance increase what has
produced a performance increase in my opinion so as you can see I’ve logged in
to the desktop and we jumped one part further in the review so let’s give you
a quick impression of Mac OS Mojave i’m not going to belabor this too long
because a lot of people have done it before me just by downloading the beta
if you’re not familiar with that usually if you were sign up as a developer you
can download the latest version of Mac OS before it’s even released but what
I’m more interested in I mean the design is nice I mean if you look here I really
like this desert kind of look and it’s like a really nice way how depending on
what time of the day it is this the angle from the Sun and the the desktop
picture changes dynamically with the time off the day so to speak and
obviously you can change the dynamic backgrounds I really love this desert
look so I keep that or you can go back to static pictures there are a bunch of
static pictures if that’s more your preference but hey guys I I think this
is a really really nice thing that they did design-wise and maybe you also
noticed this early on the login screen that the lock and screen I think
I felt they had like a little bit of a bigger font there so that’s probably
better for readability if you’re on on a small display like with a MacBook Air
then a second thing besides that dynamically changing desktop background
was when you go under general you can enable the so-called dark mode
personally I’m sticking with the normal mode but yeah I mean like if you maybe
later in the day you were in a darker room obviously you don’t want to have to
super bright display blinding your eyes so additionally to dimming down
your display you can also enable this dark mode so I my what I’m imagining is
it really reduces the strain on your eyes if you were in that dark mode so
that is definitely a nice thing to have so let’s switch back to light mode again
and maybe you’ll have notices in some applications like for example if I open
iMovie obviously within iMovie I already also have like a kind of dark
mode so some of these creative apps also a Final Cut Pro also has like this dark
environment and actually it’s kind of nice to have these environments and yeah
you see I felt the font was a little bit bigger on the login screen what you’re
gonna notice this too when you install Mojave it’s kind of funny here is we’re
already imported some of the footage and started editing on it so let me quickly
address to you how I did install mac OS Mojave on this old early 2009 Mac Pro
because as you can see here it says early 2009 but if you look on Apple web
page Apple says oh if you have a Mac Pro early 2009 you cannot install High
Sierra and you cannot install Mojave that’s what Apple says and maybe we have
already discovered it here on the right basically what I did previously to
install High Sierra I basically I just did a manual firmware update from 4.1 to 5.1 and if you don’t know for sure how to do a firmware
upgrade maybe just head over to my youtube channel page and if you look at
the computer section there should be a video that says you how to install
High Sierra on a Mac Pro 4.1 and in that video actually I already
explained how to do this firmware upgrade so if you haven’t installed High
Sierra yet if you haven’t done the firmware upgrade yet then you should
consider this if you have a Mac Pro 5.1 comma one already you can disregard this
information that was like the kind of thing it was like really strange
the Mac Pro 4.1 essentially refers to
the Mac Pro’s that came to the market in early 2009 and in mid 2010 I think they
did a little bit of a of hardware refresh of the graphics card in the CPU
and then they just had changed a designator to 5.1
despite the mainboard and everything kind of staying the same and for some
strange reason Apple discontinued the support for installing a new operating
system on this early 2009 despite it’s kind of the same hardware so basically
if you have a 4.1 you have to manually flash the hardware sorry guy
it’s not the hard way the firmware so that’s what I did I did the manual firmware
flash I installed High Sierra it was very easy and
now I switched to Mojave and what are the benefits of switching to Mojave?
well first thing I noticed is that before switching to Mojave that’s kind
of like the thing that might hold you back if your Mac Pro from early 2009 or
mid 2010 must have a metal supported GPU and you can very easily check that
you just go onto your system it doesn’t matter where you have high sierra or
older version you click on a system report and then you go to graphics card
and here it says whether it’s metal supported or not in my case i put in an
aftermarket graphics card, a Radeon RX 560 which are also all by the way I’ll have
a review for this upgrade on my channel it was like $100 graphics card and bang
I’m metal ready and the graphics card really has improved the performance its
system feels much much snappier so the graphics card update was definitely
worth it so let’s get quickly back to the benefits that you can have and once
the thing that I noticed when you install mac OS Mojave that your PCI
Express Lanes for the graphics card for some reason get faster all of a sudden
because if I look at the system report again under PCI Express and then the
graphics card you can say see that it has a link speed of 5GT
per second and previously it was only 2,5GT so the Mac OS Mojave
kind of doubled the link speed and let’s say you don’t have a Radeon RX560
but you have RX580 or even a Vega then obviously you want to max out a
little bit more of that link speed because I think the other cards they
have a links do because this is like a really entry-level graphics card that I
have it only has a link width of 8x so while I previously before the metal
update had at the same link width with I only had half the link speed so essentially I
had 20GT per second and now I should have 40GT per second
respectively if you have a more high-end card such as a Vega card or maybe a
RX580 then you should have 16x lanes at 5GT meaning you get 80 GTS per second
total something like that so faster PCI Express one benefit and maybe if I
rearrange this I hope you can still see this I found a really interesting forum post
that was called “the return of the micro codes” and now you might think it’s like
micro codes what the heck is he talking about should I really care about this
when I’m installing Mac OS Mojave and the quick answer is yes you should
what is a micro code so without diving into into this too deep because I want
to get quickly to the performance test because the performance has increased
and the performance increase I guess it has also to do with the micro codes a
micro code is something that from what I’ve researched on the forum is loaded
onto your CPU so the micro codes come directly from Intel and Apple has to
implement these micro codes into bang their boot ROM versions and that’s
something that’s why I initially said you have to have a man you have to make
a manual firmware upgrade from 4.1 to 5.1 to be able to install High Sierra
and Mojave because for my experience installing mac OS mojave on this
unsupportive Mac is really only possible because if you look over here real quick
those are bootrom versions that every time I
installed another operating system the bootrom versions increased on El Capitan
which this old Mac Pro from 2009 originally came came with El Capitan when
I bought it used from eBay it had this boot ROM version and you can see the
designator is MP41.0081.B07 so basically that was a very very old boot
ROM and it had very I think for it was from 2010 and it included also very very
old micro codes after I did the manual firmware update and installed High
Sierra the advantage was with high sierra people on the forums I believe
when I recall this correctly guys don’t maybe I’m mixing something up but for my
understanding with High Sierra the benefit was Apple for many many years
actually updated the micro codes for the CPUs to the newer versions and if you’re
curious to learn about that I mean it takes a lot of time I read like
literally four hours in the forum’s so I’m gonna put that forum link in the
description below so if you if you’re curious
check out the Mac Rumors forums because all these guys in the forum’s they ask smart
questions they give smart answers so and you can see here you basically stay up
to date on things that otherwise you would not see anywhere else because as
far as I know that is not described on the Apple webpage so the community in
the forum really helps the Apple user out and it’s kind of interesting how
this workflow functions because while High Sierra had new newer versions of the
Intel micro codes while this firmware came out I think they also sometimes
called EFI Intel was really busy and already released updated versions for
CPUs so people in the forum’s really got excited when these newer updates from
Intel were included in a Mojave boot ROM in there by like I said just explained
it gives you faster speed for PCI express and something like that
and also the interesting with the CPU micro codes apparently is and and guys
I’m talking a lot here but it’s important because the guys in the forum
at some point what they mentioned is that there are some possible ways that
hackers potentially if they’re really good at what they’re doing could attack
the CPU on a really low level and updating the micro codes for the CPU is
not only important for performance but it’s also important for security so if
you’re still hesitant whether you should install High Sierra or Mojave on your
old Mac Pro please go ahead and do these micro code updates even if you want to
still run high sierra you can still just start the Mojave installer and the
install itself will ask you if you start the Mojave installer it will tell you
that it wants to do the firmware update so basically if you have older operating
system like Mac OS High Sierra you could just do the boot ROM update and still
keep High Sierra for some reason if you still want to stick with the old system
but you will still get the benefit of the faster PCI Express and more security
so guys um that’s about it basically I just downloaded because I had High Sierra
on the system already let me close these windows I just downloaded Mojave from
the App Store like everybody else and just hit install it updated the firmware
again and then I install it and there you go system is up and running very
nicely so let’s quickly look at a jump to part three and look at the
performance increases that I got so here i’ve just quickly opened up my Geekbench
results so you can see the bottom three of performance results are all run on
High Sierra and here I did another check with the newly installed Mac OS Mojave
and yes the performance increase in Geekbench wasn’t huge but still it was a
performance increase and yeah guys don’t be surprised it says Mac Pro Mid 2012 no
my Mac Pro is not from mid 2012 this is like a
little bit of a geek bench mistake because I also upgraded
the CPU for $70 bucks I bought a used CPU of eBay and for some reason geekbench
since the CPU upgrade thinks I’m having a newer iMac… a Mac Pro but it’s
still the old Mac Pro there was a slight performance increase and I’m very very
happy with this also what I noticed let’s say I have iMovie open and I have
created a video project maybe 10 20 minute long video project and I want to
export it I can really confidently say that when I export video it’s really
surprising maybe I can I did some video export recently maybe it doesn’t show
that well here but from what I can say if I export a movie file at all of
iMovie the CPU like only uses maybe 50 percent and then it splits the rest to
the graphics card so what it seems to be like a nice load balancing going on when
I export video files and from my experience exporting 10 minutes of video
in 1080p or Full HD takes about 10 minutes so that’s a
really nice performance I’m currently wondering what the performance would be
like if instead of using the Radeon RX560 if I would have a 580 or Vega
whether that would even make the video export faster but that’s like a special
thing not everybody does video exporting but just in case your video guy and yes
I also did work on some 4k footage recently and even editing 4k footage was
really possible even with a small hundred dollar graphics card so I’m
really really happy with macOS Mojave video editing works great
I even tried playing some games the games also work great and to my surprise
what I’m also measuring what in my case also counts as performance is like how
much power is used or when I’m exporting video files and surprisingly the CPU was
never really over 50 percent load and what I found is that the CPU uses about
48 watts of power and then I told you it’s gets spread it’s
the process of exporting these video files get spread between the CPU and the
GPU and the GPU had somewhat of 24 watts power draw sometimes it would be a
little bit higher but then it would drop down in from all I could see the CPU the
GPU when exporting videos also didn’t exceed 48 watts and I believe if I
calculated in the RAM and the solid state disk drive and the chipsets and
everything I got about 150 watts total power draw when I was exporting video
files which looked pretty good and I’m maybe I’m even going to measure
this once more with one of these power meters it’s kind of interesting for me
to see these numbers because that was one thing I picked a little bit weaker
$100 graphics card because I looked on the sapphire web page and Sapphire
stated that Radeon RX560 consumes about half the power of a 580 so I felt
like oh wow why not save some energy or get a little bit lower power
graphics cards so it doesn’t get as hot in the system the fans don’t run as loud
so my conclusion is the mojave works really really well it was easy to
install and gave me various benefits such as faster PCI Express Lanes and
updated micro codes for the CPU those are probably the two major of things why
I think this update is pretty cool and besides that you get like a really nice
desktop and it’s that the system seems to really very nice and polished
sometimes people are concerned that when they do an upgrade something doesn’t
work for me everything worked fine maybe it’s different for you if you have some
special applications that are not Mojave ready I mean I think sometimes people
who do like sound engineering they need some special plugins sometimes the
plugins are not yet compatible then it sometimes it might be better to wait but
hey even if you want to still stick with High Sierra you can still be sneaky just
download Mojave start the Installer do the BIOS update and then I’m sorry the
boot ROM update and then still continue to use High Sierra with the Mojave boot ROM
so that should be no problem either and then if you have some special plugins
everything would still work and you still get the faster lane width
and the microcodes so that’s kind of like the trick that I learned from the
awesome MacRumors forum so shout out to the MacRumors forum so guys this
concludes the review and let’s summarize everything one more time and for this
we’re gonna jump out of the computer again so guys as you have seen it’s
totally possible to install mac OS Mojave on a old early 2009 or mid 2010
Mac Pro 4.1 and 5.1 the only two things that you
have to keep in mind is A you have to make sure that you have a metal support
graphics card in my case I just put in this hundred dollar graphics card like I
told you and you can find a review and tutorial on how to pick a graphics card
for your Mac Pro on my youtube channel as well
and the second thing that you want to keep in mind is that if you have the
early 2009 Mac Pro you have to do the manual firmware update like I explained
in this tutorial because otherwise you cannot install High Sierra and you cannot
install Mojave so that’s really the two things the graphics card and the
firmware update and guys honestly since since I did that I took care of the
graphics card I took care of the firmware update I could just like
everybody else download macOS Mojave from the App
Store and just install it it was really easy no problem at all and guys I’m
tempted to jump back to this view because like I told you performance
wise the system performs surprisingly well really these Xeon CPUs that in are
these old Mac Pro systems are incredibly powerful despite their age they are
aging really really really well the only thing that I have to say in all fairness
while in full HD video exporting and everything and video editing is super
buttery smooth when you do export 4k video files it’s just much more data so
the processors in the graphics card they just have to do more data crunching when
they export video files so if you if you primarily planning to do 4k video
editing you just have to realize 4k video editing is always more demanding
than just doing 1080p that’s all the only downsides that I noticed and yeah I
told you about the micro codes it’s really a good thing
to update the micro codes on your system it gives you small performance
increase and makes your system more secure and I told you about the higher
pci express lane bandwidth that has improved over with this mojave install
so guys this concludes this review I think you have learned a lot in this
video I talked a lot about these micro codes and the stuff that I learned at
the forum because most videos that I saw about Mojave focused on the design and
dark mode and so on which yeah it’s nice but for me it’s always a little bit
interesting more interesting to see what’s happening under the hood so
that’s what I shared with you in this video because I had had to read
literally hours for this in the forums so guys I see you in one of my next
videos and if you have not yet watched the tutorial series about how to buy a
cheap Mac Pro on eBay and make a video editing machine out of it I will put the
links from this tutorial series below and you can watch the separate videos on
how to upgrade the CPU and memory and stuff like that I see you the next video
and as a subscriber on my channel all the best to you take care!
and since you watch this video about how to install macOS Mojave and the
requirements you may also be interested in my video about picking a metal
supported graphics card because like I mentioned earlier this is one require a
requirement for installing Mac OS Mojave I see you as a subscriber on my
channel and in one of my next videos all the best to you take care!