Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Just goes to show you how people experiment with older…redundant equipment like a late Apple G5 and get not only Sierra 10.12.2 to work against all odds and with the addition of a second hand GTX680 graphics board and a slot in Black Magic video I/O card.

We are made to believe by Apple that FCPX 10.3 won’t work with certain recent MacBook Pros but my friend Norrie has the proof that there is a fair bit of kiddology when it comes to what certain hardware, Apple software works with.

He knew that his G5 as it stood would not work with FCPX so he changed the graphics board for a 2nd hand GTX-680 and downloaded a copy of Sierra 10.12.2, to his amazement it all worked fine apart from his WiFi board which he retcons he could update for a few pounds but as he never uses WiFi it was pointless.

E-Sata works a treat as does USB-3 on a slot in board but the main finding are how it compares with his MacPro.

Apart from HDMI out and Thunderbolt there seems to be little in it and Norrie should know he has been building and repairing all sorts of video computers for over 15 years now. He was astounded by his findings and proves one thing you can’t always take what Apple say as RED.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

6 thoughts on “Apple G5 late 2008 running FCPX and Sierra with no problems

  1. Is Apple hardware really worth the effort? Windows based hardware is mostly designed for upgrades, is more powerful in the first place, costs less in every respect.

  2. 2008 Mac Pro is Xeon Intel processors. I know I have one.The first Intel Mac Pros were released in 2006.

  3. After Apple hiked the price of a top iMac computer by a massive £400 overnight (in which I was going to buy), I have been in the process of building a Hackingtosh instead. A 1/4 of the cost but the power of one of the top Mac Pro machines… Hope to get it finished in the next couple of weeks or so.

  4. I posted this on a Facebook ‘Final Cut Pro editor’ page and got back comments saying no/ not a G5 and so on. Any chance the final spec of processor/motherboard etc can be posted?

  5. Perhaps Gary Greenwood will be kind enough to share the details of building his Hackintosh when completed.

  6. Craig Seeman is right, it’s not a PPC G5 PowerMAC but Intel Xeon based MacPro 3.1 2008 or higher with sse4.1 cpu extension. You could leave the wrong G5 statement as clickbait 😉

    To summarize for the vintage Apple upgraders which is very rewarding and relative easy, there are actually 3 models of MacPro from 2006 to the trashcan 2013 version.

    Macpro 1.1/2.1 firmware differs
    Macpro 3.1
    Macpro 4.1/5.1 firmware differs
    Trashcan 6.1

    The MacPro 1.1/2.1 is capable of running Mac OSX 10.8-10.11 using only a single modified boot.efi file and having a native supported GPU graphicscard!

    The MacPro 3.1 or higher may run OSX 10.12 or higher without modification.

    Installing OSX may require more files to be edited, for instance to remove hardware model detection and install modified boot.efi by the OSX installer if required. The easiest way is cloning a installed OS from a supported Mac and replacing and blessing the boot.efi file, and restoring it to the unsupported MacPro!

    Original Supported GPUs:
    Apple GPUs or upgrade cards like nvidia 8800 or GT120 AMD/ATI hd2600xt hd3870 hd5770 hd5870 will work fine OOTB.

    unsupported apple gpus:
    GPU’s which are NOT supported are nvidia GT7300 and ATI AMD HD1900xt/HD2900xt. They will give a desktop picture but have no 2d/3d/video accelaration at all!

    Cheap GPU upgrades:
    Almost any PC based generic nvidia card with 64 EFI&BIOS firmware, will probably work with the OSX version which has native support for that GPU series or by using NVidia Webdriver. No flashing or modifying of the GPU is required, the only downside is that without flashing a firmware is that you have a blackscreen during the boot of your mac. Just plug in a extra nvidia card for CUDA performance besides your apple gpu.


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