Guaranteed compatible upgrades for:

RAM and SSD Upgrades | Apple Mac Pro 2009 (Early) Quad-Core 3.33 GHz (MacPro4,1)

System Specifications
Maximum Memory:
  • 16GB (Apple Official)
  • 48GB (RamCity Approved and Fully Tested)
  • * 64-bit mode is required to utilise more than 16GB
  • 4 Sockets
Standard Memory:
  • 3GB (Removable)
  • Single 3.33 GHz Intel Quad-core Xeon W3580 (Bloomfield/Nehalem) processor
Bus Architecture:
  • SSD - SATA 3.5-inch, SATA 2.5-inch 9.5mm
  • SSD - SATA 3.5-inch
Mfr's System P/N's:
  • MB871LL/A; MB871T/A; MB871X/A
Upgrade Path:
  • Single module configurations will not work. At least two RAM modules must be installed. Virtually any configuration up to 48GB can be reached using 2, 4, 8 and 16GB modules. 48GB max using three 16GB modules in this quad-core machine.
  • MacPro4,1 Quad-core 2.93 GHz 2008 Model A1289 EMC 2314
  • Latest Supported OS: OSX 10.11.x (El Capitan)
  • EFI Architecture: 64-bit


  • - RAM upgrade guide
  • - HDD/SSD upgrade guide
  • - PCI Express card upgrade guide (for installing a blade SSD or GPU)

  • RAM Upgrade

  • Up to 48GB of total RAM can be installed. Single module setups will not work and there must be at least two RAM modules installed in the machine. 16GB ECC registered modules cannot be mixed with 4GB or 8GB ECC unbuffered modules. No tools are required. Follow this guide to install the RAM modules.

  • High Speed Blade SSD

  • For a super-high speed bootable storage solution, you can't go past a M.2 PCIe (AHCI) SSD. It's compatible in any version of MacOS and in any of the square-shaped Mac Pro models from 2006 up to 2012, and also supports dual-SSD RAID 0 configurations for even higher speeds. See the extensive review on how well these SSD's perform on

  • Look left for the supported models of the Samsung XP941 or SM951 which, when combined with the Lycom DT-120 or Angelbird WIPX1-FWKF PCIe adapter card, allow you to install and boot one (or more) of these SSD's in a spare PCIe slot.

  • To install one of these cards, see the PCI Express card install guide for more information, and checkout the DT-120 product page for an extensive video on how to populate it with a blade SSD.

  • HDD->HDD

  • The Mac Pro 2009 models have a 640GB 3.5-inch factory HDD with a 3 Gb/s SATA port, with 3 additional HDD storage bays. Due to the different screw hole patterns on larger capacity drives, only the 1/2/4TB WD Blue or WD Black models are compatible with the original drive sled design. However, for 2009 and later model Mac Pros, you can purchase a replacement drive bracket which is compatible with the alternative screw hole design on larger capacity 6TB/8TB/10TB hard drives. To upgrade the existing HDD, purchase a larger 3.5-inch HDD and follow this guide to install it.

  • HDD->SSD (replace or add in)

  • To upgrade the factory 3.5-inch HDD to an SSD, purchase any 2.5-inch SSD. You will also need either the OWC Adaptadrive or Angelbird SSD Bay to properly adapt your new SSD to fit the Mac Pro drive sled. Follow this hdd install guide to install the SSD as the procedure is the same.

  • To clone your existing OS/app setup from your old HDD to the new HDD / SSD, purchase a cloning cable or 2.5-inch HDD/SDD enclosure to connect your new SSD to your mac, (or just install it in a spare internal drive bay) then use the Super Duper app to perform the clone, then switch the drives or change the startup volume. If you don't plan to keep them installed internally, your old 3.5-inch HDD's can be housed in this 3.5-inch HDD enclosure.

  • Graphics Card Upgrade

  • The MacPro4,1 factory GPU is a Nvidia GeForce GT 120 with 512MB GDDR3 RAM.

  • A tried and tested option for upgrading the GPU (if you can still find one) is the EVGA Geforce GTX 680 with 2GB (or 4GB) DDR5 VRAM which offers considerable performance improvements. Note, if the GPU is meant for PC (rather than a rare made-for-mac version), then it will work out-of-the-box on your Mac, but you won't be able to see boot screens (if you want to run bootcamp), single user or verbose mode. To access these features, you will need to flash the GPU with a custom Apple ROM from a windows machine. (Do this at your own risk, as it will void your warranty!)

  • Instructions for flashing a GTX680 are here.