I have a MacPro (mid-2007) with the configuration listed below:

  • Processor: 2x 2.66Ghz Dual Core Intel Xeon
  • Memory: 20Gb 667Mhz - DDR2 FB-DIMM
  • OSx: Lion 10.7.5
  • NVIDIA Chip Model 1024Mb
  • SSD: 512Gb
  • HD2: 1Tb
  • HD3: 1Tb
  • HD4: 500Gb

I've been searching how to upgrade to Yosemite directly, but I found he is not compatible anymore (only MacPro 2008 / later). There's a way to hack/workaround this problem? And why I can't upgrade my Lion to Yosemite if the hardware specs are totally compatible?

  • Surely you have a spare hard drive sitting around, now that they're $50 a TB or so? I'd suck it and see. Or have you, and it says NO? You used to be able to find machine spec spoofing software out there, but I haven't looked since the early aughts. Apr 7, 2016 at 15:13
  • Have you tried Google? Have a look at how to install an unsupported version of os x Apr 7, 2016 at 15:28
  • Not strictly true @DavidAnderson It's not the Xeon that makes the difference, it's the 32-bit underpinning. From the 3,1 [2008] onwards El Capitan runs perfectly well, but the 1,1 & 2,1 need some unofficial tweaking. The last official OS for those early Mac Pros is 10.7.5. I have a friend who did tweak one up from the online guides, but decided it wasn't actually worth the effort :/
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 7, 2016 at 15:48
  • @Tetsujin: You are right. I deleted my comment. Apr 7, 2016 at 16:08

2 Answers 2


OK, this might be somewhat opinion-based, however...

Possible, yes.
Worth it, no.

There are tools & online guides far too long to repro or précis here on how to achieve it. It requires hacking the firmware & needs re-hacking at each update -
These guides from MacRumors are as good as they get, one for Yosemite & another for El Capitan.

Worth it?
The 1,1 & 2,1 are really end-of-life & now very slow compared to a 'modern' machine.
I really guess it depends on your budget, but you can get an absolute top-flight 5,1 [or the smart money goes on a 4,1 with the Apple upgrade kit] with two 6-core hyperthreading Xeons @3.46GHz & 64GB RAM for under £1800 in the UK. Your existing drives will just carry over [though idk about the OS itself, mine did from a 3,1 to 5,1].
The Geekbench scores on those are about 32k, that's slightly under the current top model 'trash-can' at 33k. I just checked the score for the 2.66 Mac Pro, 6k.

I took the latter path, even though I was only moving up from a 3,1 - which is now in the hands of my partner & very happily running El Capitan. I wanted a speed boost & the upgraded 4,1 was right on the money for me.

  • So you managed to install osx 10.11 on the 3.1 pro??
    – MadHatter
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:25
  • The 3,1 needs no 'hack', it's still directly compatible. If you're looking at a newer machine, though, I'd skip the 3,1 & go straight for the 5 or upgraded 4. At current prices they're a better bet.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:27

You can, but you'll have security issues.

To go beyond Lion (10.7) on a 2007 Mac Pro 2,1, you will need to install an aftermarket "hack" EFI update.

Then, you can install either Yosemite (10.10) or El Capitan (10.11). Between the two, you are better off installing El Cap, as it is better supported by Apple, with better security features particularly where browsers are concerned. With a RAM limit of 16GB (32GB in some cases), you can certainly accommodate the OS.

Once you install that EFI update, use great caution installing Security Update 2018-001 or later, as there are reports of that breaking the EFI update. This is probably worth "playing with" using an external drive to do test installs of the OS.

Assuming cost is no object, your best option is a brand new Mac.

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