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MP 1,1-5,1 – What if… the neighborhood designed an up to date CPU tray for cMP 5,1?

OK, so it is a loopy, off the wall concept… however what if it was potential to design and implement a alternative PCB that will match the usual CPU tray and warmth sink of a traditional Mac Professional 5,1? In the event you do not thoughts me summarizing 557 pages and over 1,000,000 web page views from the “Ready for Mac Professional 7,1” thread, the consensus is “Give us an up to date Mac Professional like our beloved 5,1, with a contemporary supported processor and PCIe slots and Thunderbolt and NVME storage.” What’s the minimal that should change in a 5,1 for that to occur: the CPU tray, proper?

It appears logical that the principle guts of the Intel chip set (CPU, north bridge, south bridge, RAM) most likely stay on that CPU tray board; are the alerts that go off-board to the again aircraft just about commonplace interface alerts like PCIe and SATA and USB? As a result of if that’s true, would upgrading the chip set on the CPU tray immediately improve these commonplace buses, too? PCI 2.Zero turns into 3.0? SATA 2 turns into SATA 3? USB 2.Zero turns into USB 3? Thunderbolt must come off the board through connectors, maybe to a slot opening. I used to be pondering the low threat strategy can be to implement the Xeon-W collection of the iMac Professional in a single processor configuration, which would depart room for NVME storage on the CPU tray board. Mainly experience the coat-tails of the iMac Professional so far as MacOS compatibility.

Listed below are a few of the potential pitfalls I can consider…

?? Perhaps the prevailing chip set is cut up throughout the interface (south bridge is on again aircraft?) – can be troublesome to mate that as much as a contemporary chip set in that case.

?? The present CPU tray could have proprietary glue logic chips on it.

?? Apple shops low stage driver code in a proprietary flash, I’ve heard; is that on the CPU tray board (most likely)?

?? The iMac Professional makes use of Apple-specific SKU fashions of the Xeon-W’s; would the extra generalized Xeon-W processors obtainable to the general public work? The hackintosh neighborhood most likely know the reply to this.

?? The alerts that go throughout the connector are principally commonplace, however cannot run at increased pace resulting from circuit size / sign integrity limitations?

?? The system administration controller circuitry is incompatible with a later chip set, or cannot be simply reverse engineered to connect with later chip units?

?? Who would have the mandatory engineering instruments for simulation and structure of leading edge circuitry?

?? Who locally has something near the extent of engineering information for such a venture? Anybody know any retired Apple engineers with a passion for traditional Mac Professional’s?

?? Would macOS look forward to finding a T2 chip in any design that makes use of the identical processor as an iMac Professional?

?? The method is presumably do-able, however would take so lengthy when carried out by volunteers that the outcome can be out of date by the point it was carried out.

Course of

The entire course of of making such a board would take super-specialized information: determine all of the chips on the present CPU tray, give you a bodily mannequin for the mounting factors of the board and the warmth sink, reverse engineer the present 5,1 circuitry (evaluate to classic reference designs from Intel?), determine all of the alerts on the connector, give you a schematic for the later chip set that sends equal alerts out on the connector (persuade Intel to launch reference design after signing a zillion NDAs?), lay out the brand new design, take a look at and measure sign margins, iterate to repair bugs, arrange a provide chain, organize for contract manufacturing of what’s most likely a small run of some thousand boards.

Wouldn’t it make financial sense? How would you construction it to compensate those that would put in a whole bunch of hours of engineering time? Create a non-profit or a basis to handle it? Launch all of it as open supply to the neighborhood?

OK, shoot me down now. As the good analog electrical engineer Robert Pease used to say, “Present me the place it says I (we) cannot do that.”

 


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