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24th February 2020
1

The Mac Pro 5,1 Thunderbolt Solution (If You Sign an NDA)

See follow up article:
Titan Ridge macOS Firmware Release: Download Now

Mac Pro users have been searching for thunderbolt solutions for the Mac Pro 5,1 for years now, and it seems one talented developer has found a solution. A few days ago we discovered a conversation on a German Hackintosh forum discussing a custom firmware one member DSM2 had created allowing for native compatibility for the Titan Ridge card in macOS.

Excitedly we started using google translate to read the forum comments, specifically those from the developer. Originally DSM2 decided that he wasn’t going to release the firmware for the card due to profiteers.

When we were asked for the ROM, we immediately said that we should not distribute the ROM but that interested parties should send their cards to us and we would then flash these cards.

But the people suddenly only had their wallets in their heads and wrote publicly that one should buy a flashed card and then extract the firmware and distribute it commercially.

If someone should see money for it, then certainly not any people who have contributed nothing to it or had nothing at all to do with the development.

  • – DSM2

A few months ago we posted a video with Pro Tools expert on Thunderbolt in a Mac Pro 5,1 based off the solution from Joevt which required a warm boot from windows. Unless you’re desperate for Thunderbolt, this just wasn’t something we recommended as the setup required was clunky at best and every time you booted you’d need to go via windows.

DSM2 today followed up on his previous statement and is going release the firmware but he will only accept direct sales of his card with the flashed firmware if you sign a non-disclosure agreement as to protect his work.

We asked for DSM2 for comment about his cards:

Well, not everyone can have the same level of technical knowledge. It’s not just installing a card and everything runs without you having to do anything. On the old Apple computers the EFI was a pure disaster. So that this disaster can be avoided, we make use of OpenCore.

a) because it fixes the problem regarding EFI
b) improves our system in the long run and allows to install newer versions without any additional patches
c) also allows us to inject SSDTs into the system, which is what we need in terms of Thunderbolt hotplug.
Need because the MacPro 5.1 was never designed for Thunderbolt.

If you have twenty people to support, that’s a lot of work, but what if you have 30 or 40 people or even more?

We can’t keep giving support, we all have wives, kids, work. Neither my team nor I can run it permanently.

There will be a How To Guide but still there will be people who will have questions and we cannot just take care of everything.

There are no more cards under NDA available.

  • – DSM2

TL:DR – A developer has created a custom firmware for a Thunderbolt card but you must sign and NDA to purchase one.

Sources:
https://www.hackintosh-forum.de/forum/thread/46713-natives-thunderbolt3-an-jedem-rechner-no-release/
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/testing-tb3-aic-with-mp-5-1.2143042/

24th February 2020
1

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