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Mac Pro Tower 2009 - 2012 - Upgrade & Repair


Mac Pro Tower 2009 - 2012

The Mac Pro Nehalem (named for its processor) came out in 2009, and is a significant upgrade over the previous model. This is actually more noticeable in later years than it was when it came out, when it was more of an incremental improvement. But now, even the first 2009 machine (with the help of a firmware upgrade) can be coaxed up to running macOS 10.14 Mojave if you are able to find the right graphics card (10.13 High Sierra otherwise), which prolonged their life considerably compared to the 2008 machines that max out at OS X 10.11 El Capitan and the 2006/2007 models that are stuck at OS X 10.7 Lion. Also from 2009, RAM upgrades are done with almost standard DDR3 DIMM modules, rather than the expensive and difficult to source DDR2 FB-DIMMs of the earlier machines.

The line did then stagnate somewhat however. The 2010 revision improved the CPUs, but is functionally almost the same machine beyond that (the 2009 can, and these days should, be upgraded to the 2010's firmware). The 2012 "revision" barely deserves the name, and is essentially a slightly rejigged options list. This means that what looked excellent in 2009 and 2010, was considerably less attractive as a new purchase in 2012 or 2013 (the trashcan didn't come out until October 2013). Thunderbolt was introduced on other Mac lines from 2011 yet never made it to the first tower Mac Pro, nor did USB 3 ports (though USB 3 can be added easily with a PCI-Express card). And the SATA 300 drive controllers were never upgraded to SATA 600, which again became standard in other Macs in 2011. Despite this, the lack of a tower machine to replace them kept these machines extremely popular with some users well beyond their discontinue date.

We sell a wide range of drive and memory upgrades for these machines, which are easy to fit yourself at home. The SATA 300 drive controller issue is less likely to be a problem for the sort of tasks that these machines are typically performing today - the difference is only apparent when doing large sustained data transfers, something that can be very limiting in a video editing machine, but is simply not an issue for a general purpose computer.

We have a lot of experience in repairing Mac Pros, and have access to parts. Though given their age (and the difficulty of shipping them), the number of repairs that can be done for less than the value of the machine is dropping.

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