I have a Mac Pro 5.2 2012 which currently has both the GeForce and Radeon, 16 GB memory and 1TB normal HDD. I want to upgrade this Mac Pro to its max without over doing something, for example I read in some articles that upgrading it to 96GB memory will give the same result if having 128GB meaning the extra memory is kinda useless. I also read that the bluetooth needs to be changed to support things. So can anyone advise me with the best configurations for Harddrive, memory, GPUs, bluetooth and USB ports?

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    I don't know about some of it but one useful thing would be to replace HDD with SSD. There are several 1TB internal SSDs. If your Mac Pro has 2 drives I'd replace one of them with an SSD. It will really give you a speed bump. Unless you are doing some major number crunching I think 96 GB RAM is more than you need. But memory is cheap so go for it if money is not an issue! Certainly, you probably need more than 16...
    – Natsfan
    May 17, 2020 at 22:10
  • @jmh thanks for your advice. And what do you think about the GPUs? And USB-3?
    – Tak
    May 17, 2020 at 22:28
  • you're welcome. I know nothing about GPU. Do you do a lot of graphic-intensive gaming? I think the GPU's get pushed by Gaming. I don't game so I haven't seen any issues. USB-3 is much faster than USB 1 or 2 but I don't know if you can change that easily. The graphics cards have been upgraded many times since 2012 so a newer GPU may help you if you've experienced any lag time or slowdowns...
    – Natsfan
    May 17, 2020 at 23:14
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    In fact, looking at the 'charts' on Geekbench browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks [by multi-core, not single] my Mac would come in at 11th, only beaten by newer Mac Pro & iMac Pro. Not bad for a 2 grand second-hand 10-year-old machine ;)
    – Tetsujin
    May 18, 2020 at 16:13
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    @benwiggy - You don't have my test for comparison, only one already published, which doesn't have the 3.46GHz upgraded CPUs, only the 2.9. My point was the old girl isn't dead yet. Also, add to your mini the price of external RAID to have anything like the storage capacity, having to buy adaptors for everything because all Macs seem to have these days is UBS-C, which won't connect to any device I own. Whether "it's worth it" has to be up to the OP, which is why I have completely ignored that in my answer, simply stating what is possible.
    – Tetsujin
    May 19, 2020 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


"to its max" is extremely vague, especially as you didn't really tell us much about your existing configuration.

But here are some 'max' specs you can run on a 2012 Pro

  • Max RAM - 128GB in dual channel or 96GB in triple channel. ~$400 (but only if you have a dual CPU) - [OWC]
  • Max Graphics - Nvidia GTX Titan X or AMD RX 5700 - [macvidcards] $675 - $800
  • Max OS - generally High Sierra with NVidia or Mojave with AMD.
  • Max Drives - 7. Four in the regular bays, one above the optical & two on a PCI card - [Mac Pro PCIe SSD Hardware Options]
  • Max CPUs - dual 6-core Xeon 3.46GHz - [OWC] $1,379
  • Max Bluetooth/WiFi - [macvidcards] $175
  • Max USB - 4-port PCI USB 3 card - [innatek] $30 (but many of these type of card are incompatible with newer OSes 10.10+))
  • I have dual CPU, will it differ to the amount of memory needed? I mean is thr 96GB works only if I updated the CPU to dual 6-core Xeon 3.46GHz?
    – Tak
    Jun 16, 2020 at 11:30
  • Dual CPU has 8 RAM slots, single has only 4, so that's the difference. You can only get 64GB in a single.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 16, 2020 at 11:41
  • I meant, I have 8 slots, but I am not planning to upgrade the CPU, what is the max memory I can put which works without wasting it like 128GB or 96GB or? Also do you know the wifi/bluetooth card part number so I can look it up to purchase?
    – Tak
    Jun 16, 2020 at 11:44
  • You can put anything you like in it, so long as it's in matched pairs. You need to do some research, rather than do 20 questions oin comments here. The BT card is linked above. I have no idea if it has an Apple part number, as afaik, they didn't exist at the time - like the 3.46GHz Westmeres or any of the Metal-capable GPUs, they're a retrofit.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 16, 2020 at 11:50
  • Just to confirm before buying it, could you please confirm that this is the right one before I buy it? Thank you very much. tradera.com/item/301822/339825837/intel-xeon-x5690-6-core
    – Tak
    Jun 23, 2020 at 11:34

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