An Ancient Relic


This little guy came into work the other day. This machine is probably one of the coolest that Apple has ever made! Brand new they costed $7500!! And even today, this collector’s item is selling for anywhere between the $1000-$2000+ ballpark. It’s amazing that something so old can still keep it’s value. Here’s an excerpt from the description over at

The unique Apple 20th Anniversary Macintosh, based on an internal design similar to the Gazelle architecture, features a 250 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 32 MB of RAM, a 2.0 GB hard drive, a vertically oriented 4X CD-ROM drive, an ATI 3D RAGE II graphics processor with 2 MB of SGRAM, S-video input, TV/FM Radio capability, and a custom Bose speaker system all packed in a custom, one-of-a-kind case.

The 20th Anniversary Mac shipped with a unique keyboard with an integrated trackpad and Italian leather palm rest as well as a large external Bose subwoofer.

I won’t lie, when I first saw this machine I geeked out pretty bad. This is the first one that I had ever seen in person! A couple coworkers and I decided to test out the Bose speakers. After all, Bose is one of the best right? We downloaded iTunes 2.0.4 from and popped in a CD and played some tunes! I was quite impressed with the sound quality coming from the 17 year old speakers!

This particular machine had been maxed out all the way with the processor upgraded to a 500MHz G3 and RAM maxed out at 128MB! All in all, this machine is cool enough to make anyone’s head turn.


I received the new processors and put them in about a week ago. They work great! Temps are a lot more normal. There is still a slight difference in temps between the two processors but that is expected.

I’m positive the temps will go down with time. I read this article from someone who upgraded to the exact same processors as me. He states that his temps went down after a couple months. Apparently thermal paste needs to be “broken in”. It makes sense but I’d never heard of it before.

New Temps

Also, I upgraded the firmware from the 2006 (MacPro1,1) to the 2007 (MacPro2,1) using a utility found on This allows the “About This Mac” box to show “2x 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon” instead of showing “2x 2.66GHz Unknown” for the processor specs. **EDIT:** You can download the utility from here.

Xeon X5355 About This Mac

I took the liberty to encode a Blu-Ray movie to H.264. It worked fantastic! Temps were in the 80°C. It was a lot better than the last time I tried with the old processors! (Last time temps shot up to 100°C and the fans were going at full blast. It sounded like a jet taking off!!). I was very pleased with the encoding speed. On my previous Quad-Core Hackintosh, 1080p would encode at about 6 fps. This was encoding at about 24 fps!! That is amazing in comparison to my Quad-Core i7 Retina MacBook Pro that gets about 27 to 28 fps!

All in all, this 2006 (now converted to 2007) Mac Pro was well worth it in terms of performance and price.