Mac Pro (Early 2007)

Apple introduced the Mac Pro as a fully customizable quad-core computer in 2006 and updated it to eight cores in April 2007. The buyer could choose as little as 1 GB of RAM or as much as 16 GB. 160, 250, or 500 GB in drive bay one, and optionally 500 GB in bays 2-4.

WARNING: If you have updated boot.efi on a MacPro1,1 or MacPro2,1 so you can run Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan, DO NOT INSTALL SECURITY UPDATE 2018-001 or later. According to Greg Hrutkay of Hrutkay Mods (see warning video), it breaks boot.efi on the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pros that have been thus updated.

For graphics, Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT is the default, and you can add one, two, or three more. Or choose an ATI Radeon X1900 XT or Nvidia’s top-end Quadro FX 4500.

If one SuperDrive isn’t enough, put in a second one for US$100 more. And you can upgrade from Apple’s regular wired keyboard and Mighty Mouse to the wireless (Bluetooth) version.

  • The two things unexpectedly not included by default are Bluetooth 2.0 and AirPort Extreme, which are standard on all other Intel Macs.

Mac Pro

A headphone jack, two USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 400 port, and a FireWire 800 port are located on the front of the Mac Pro for easy access.

Firmware and Other Updates

Oh, and did we mention that the Mac Pro was the first 64-bit Intel Mac? Unfortunately, it also has a 32-bit EFI – but Modernizing the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pro to Go Beyond OS X Lion by Robert Bryant explains how to change the boot.efi file so it can run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and later.

It is possible to install 64 GB of memory after installing the firmware update. However, the 2006 Mac Pro will only boot with Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or newer. Earlier versions will only boot with 32 GB of less. See Install 64 GB of RAM in Your Mac Pro 1,1 or 2,1.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

The AC power coming into your home or office is a sine wave, but some UPSes generate a square wave when you are operating from battery power. This is not good for the Mac Pro. Be sure you only use a UPS with sine wave output to avoid reducing the life of your Mac Pro.

What You Need to Know

If you want to go beyond OS X 10.7 Lion, the first thing you should do is apply the EFI update mentioned directly above.

If you are running any PowerPC-only software, think long and hard before going beyond OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the last version of OS X to include Rosetta support for PowerPC apps. If you have Office v.X, Office 2004, AppleWorks, etc., it may make good economic sense to stick with Snow Leopard rather and have to replace Office or whatever. (AppleWorks has no replacement.)

If your 2006 Mac Pro has just 1 GB of system memory, upgrade immediately. You will get okay performance from OS X 10.4 Tiger or 10.5 Leopard with 1 GB, but 2 GB is better – and RAM must be upgraded in matched pairs. As of August 2014, you can get 2 GB from Other World Computing for $58 or 4 GB for $85. For low-end users this should be plenty, but power users can go as high as 32 GB.

A 250 GB SATA Rev. 2 hard drive seemed like a lot in 2006, but newer drives will often provide much snappier performance due to larger data buffers. 1 TB drives start at $60 these days (August 2014), and for a serious speed boost – like starting up twice as fast – Other World Computing offers a 44 GB solid state drive (SSD) for just $50 plus $15 for a mounting kit, although you’ll probably want more more capacity than that.

Finally, you can upgrade to a faster, more powerful Socket 771 CPU, but that goes way beyond the scope of this page.

Intel-based Macs use a partitioning scheme known as GPT. Only Macintel models can boot from GPT hard drives. Both PowerPC and Intel Macs can boot from APM (Apple’s old partitioning scheme) hard drives, which is the format you must use to create a universal boot drive in Leopard. Power PC Macs running any version of the Mac OS prior to 10.4.2 cannot mount GPT volumes. PowerPC Macs won’t let you install OS X to a USB drive or choose it as your startup volume, although there is a work around for that.


  • introduced 2007.04.04 at $3,999; replaced 2008.01.08
  • requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger to 10.7 Lion, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and later not officially supported (see Modernizing the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pro to Go Beyond OS X Lion for details on installing a 64-bit EFI). macOS 10.14 Mojave and later are not supported.
  • Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility
    • Grand Central Dispatch is supported.
    • 64-bit operation is supported.
    • OpenCL is not supported with PCI Express.
  • CPUs: two 3.0 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon Core 2 CPUs, Socket 771 makes upgrades possible with Xeon 51xx series CPUs that have a 1333 MHz bus
  • Bus: 1.33 GHz
  • Performance:
    • Geekbench 2 (Leopard): 7999
    • Geekbench 2 (Tiger): 8628
  • RAM: 1 GB, expandable to 64 GB using pairs of 667 MHz DDR2 fully buffered (FB-DIMM) ECC RAM in 8 slots; requires special memory designed for 8-core operation; more than 32 GB requires OS X 10.8 or later
  • L2 cache: 4 MB on-chip shared cache per dual-core processor
  • L3 cache: none
  • Video GHz: Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT with 256 MB RAM in double-wide 16-lane PCIe slot
    • 2, 3, or 4 GeForce 7300 optional (add $150 per card)
    • ATI Radeon X1900XT with 512 MB RAM optional (add $350)
    • Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 with 512 MB RAM optional (add $1,650)
  • VRAM: 256 MB
  • Hard drive bus: 3 Gbps SATA Rev. 2
  • Hard drive: 250 Serial ATA 7200 rpm standard
    • subtract $75 for 160 GB drive
    • add $200 for 500 GB hard drive
    • add $400 per additional 500 GB hard drive
  • Optical drive bus: UltraATA
  • 16x dual-layer SuperDrive standard, add second for $100
    writes DVD-R at up to 16x, DVD+R DL at 6x, reads DVDs at 16x; writes CD-R and CD-RW at up to 24x, reads at 32x
  • PCI Express: 3 open full-length slots
  • SATA: 4 independent buses
  • optional external 56k v.92 USB modem
  • Microphone: standard 3.5mm minijack, compatible with line-level input, not compatible with Apple’s PlainTalk microphone
  • FireWire: 2 FW400 ports (1 on front), 2 FW800 ports (1 on front)
  • USB: 5 USB 2.0 ports (2 on front)
  • Ethernet: 2 independent 10/100/gigabit ports
  • WiFi: optional 802.11g AirPort Extreme
  • Bluetooth: optional
  • size (HxWxD): 20.1″ x 8.1″ x 18.7″ (51.1 x 20.6 x 47.5 cm)
  • Weight: 42.4 lb. (19.2 kg)
  • Model ID: MacPro2,1
  • PRAM battery: 3.6V half-AA
  • Part no.: MA356

Accelerators & Upgrades

  • The CPU can be replaced by a faster, more powerful version.

Online Resources

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