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WardC
Jun 6, 2010, 01:12 PM
Would it work? They are 32nm die design, and they retail for about $1650 each per chip. But would it really work? Could you possibly put 2 six-core X5680 chips in a Mac Pro and have it work? That would be awesome if you could, I could just imagine the geekbench score on this one!!

I am asking if you could put the chips in a early 2009 rev Mac Pro (I know it wouldn't work in a rev 1 or maybe rev 2 Mac Pro). But the rev 4,1 Mac Pro uses a 45nm technology with the X5570 chips. I don't know if a 32nm chip design would work in those models. That is why I ask. The X5570 is still the top of the tier on the quad core Xeons, but the X5680 is now an option for 6-core Xeon, with a steep price.

Thanks

EDIT: I know it won't work. The microcode is not there, and the stepping is different (B1 vs. D0). So it would never work, at least not for now. Simply incompatible, although the LGA 1366 socket is the same and the processor fits in there. The machine would fail to POST on boot.



Hellhammer
Jun 6, 2010, 01:15 PM
Theoretically, yes. They both use LGA 1366 socket. Don't know are there any minor differences that makes it impossible (I leave this to nanofrog ;)). They are 130W chips while multi CPU MPs use 95W chips but I've heard '08 Mac Pro was fine with two 130W CPUs

Dr.Pants
Jun 6, 2010, 01:18 PM
It would be nice. If you want to be a guinea-pig, then go right on ahead, the rest of us would appreciate it. :cool:

However, there are two reasons I think it wouldn't work now or at any point.

1. All PC motherboards required an update of their BIOS to work correctly with the new microcode in the 32nm parts.

2. Apple has historically never given out updates for their boards. See also - no 54xx xeons in the earlier Mac Pros. The earliest ones can't even ingest a 3.4 GHz model of the 53xx generation, IIRC, because the stepping was not supported.

So, its a long shot. Maybe somebody tested this out already, but I don't know. This is popular speculation here.

Techhie
Jun 6, 2010, 08:10 PM
So, its a long shot. Maybe somebody tested this out already, but I don't know. This is popular speculation here.

I believe nanofrog has mentioned that such a swap would be impossible considering the absence of a required microcode update.

hyram
Jun 7, 2010, 03:00 AM
Try this... post #7.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=896593&highlight=

Dr.Pants
Jun 7, 2010, 02:24 PM
I believe nanofrog has mentioned that such a swap would be impossible considering the absence of a required microcode update.

Somehow I think you skipped all of my post.

However, there are two reasons I think it wouldn't work now or at any point.

1. All PC motherboards required an update of their BIOS to work correctly with the new microcode in the 32nm parts.

2. Apple has historically never given out updates for their boards. See also - no 54xx xeons in the earlier Mac Pros. The earliest ones can't even ingest a 3.4 GHz model of the 53xx generation, IIRC, because the stepping was not supported.

.....This is popular speculation here.

I don't like quoting myself.

The last sentence I should have made clearer into "but the popular speculation is that its not going to work EVER!"

WardC
Jun 7, 2010, 02:32 PM
The 6-core Intel Xeon X5680 chips are widely available, and have been so for over a month. They retail for about $1600 - 1700 a chip. What is Apple's reasoning for not having these chips in their Mac Pro lineup already? If Apple really cared about providing the top-notch fastest machines on the planet we would already have seen these machines roll out. Maybe we will have to wait until the fall. No news about the new machines in the keynote today.

Does anybody feel the same way?

Umbongo
Jun 7, 2010, 02:36 PM
No one knows, read one of the other 20 threads on the subject for opinion.

Vylen
Jun 7, 2010, 02:36 PM
It's been asked before... countless times... in other threads...

General answer is that there's a difference between selling the processors individually to the consumer and giving them bulk to Apple to put into their Mac Pros.

Hellhammer
Jun 7, 2010, 02:40 PM
Apple is more and more becoming mobile company. That's where the money is made. They haven't cared about pro users for years.

No need to create a new thread every 10 minutes, we got your point

VirtuallyReal
Jun 7, 2010, 04:55 PM
The 6-core Intel Xeon X5680 chips are widely available, and have been so for over a month. They retail for about $1600 - 1700 a chip. What is Apple's reasoning for not having these chips in their Mac Pro lineup already? If Apple really cared about providing the top-notch fastest machines on the planet we would already have seen these machines roll out. Maybe we will have to wait until the fall. No news about the new machines in the keynote today.

Does anybody feel the same way?

I feel so disappointed. this is a very sad day for me. been expecting the new MP for months. Not fair. :(

Techhie
Jun 7, 2010, 06:15 PM
Somehow I think you skipped all of my post.


Yeah, no sleep before WWDC and 8 cups of coffee in a 10x10 Seattle hotel room will do that to a guy :p Sorry :cool:

Salavat23
Jun 7, 2010, 06:27 PM
1. All PC motherboards required an update of their BIOS to work correctly with the new microcode in the 32nm parts.



No they don't.

Some just need updates to recognize and properly identify the CPU, but the CPU would still properly work.

hyram
Jun 7, 2010, 07:53 PM
Some just need updates to recognize and properly identify the CPU, but the CPU would still properly work.

The real issue of whether or not a certain processor is supported in Apple’s EFI (or any BIOS for that matter) is in the initialization of the processor NOT whether or not the EFI supports the microcode. This usually entails setting up a slew of MSR’s which are unique to the various processors that the motherboard will support. Without going thru this initialization code in detail it is easier to assume that if the engineers went to the trouble to include the microcode then the processor should be supported. So the microcode being present in the firmware is just a good indication that it might work.

A good example of a processor not working when you think it might is from a forum user named Spacedust who found that a MP3,1 would work with an E5450 processor with a stepping of SLANQ, but the same processor with a stepping of SLBBM would not work. The MP3,1 firmware has the microcode for the SLANQ (CPUID 10676) but does not for the SLBBM (CPUID 1067A). Waltzing thru the initialization code you find that the CPUID 1067A will hang when trying to access a couple of the MSR’s that work for the 10676 processors… a few of which are un-documnented, thank you Mr. Intel.

The most obvious example of a processor working in a Mac Pro which does not support the microcode is the many folks here that have had success upgrading their MP1,1’s to X5355/65 processors; neither of which are supported by the microcode available in the firmware.

As to the hex-cores working in MP4,1’s? Highly unlikely as (I’ve mentioned before) the microcode is not there…. Not a guarantee, but a good indication.

Another point of interest… at least to me… is that when a new model is released it usually ships with an EFI version file name something like “MP31_006C_02B.fd”, but after a while an update is released where the file named is changed to “LOCKED_ MP31_006C_05B.fd”. I’ve noticed this on all the MacPro models as well as Mini’s and servers, I haven’t looked at the iMacs. Once the “LOCKED” prefix appears there have been no more updates to the firmware for that model. The MP4,1 firmware has already received the “LOCKED” file name, so I wouldn’t expect any updates.

Dr.Pants
Jun 7, 2010, 08:09 PM
Yeah, no sleep before WWDC and 8 cups of coffee in a 10x10 Seattle hotel room will do that to a guy :p Sorry :cool:

Yeah, Seattle's able to do that to anybody. :cool:

No they don't.

Some just need updates to recognize and properly identify the CPU

And, pray tell, how do you apply said updates?

Flashing the BIOS.

nanofrog
Jun 7, 2010, 10:14 PM
The real issue of whether or not a certain processor is supported in Apple’s EFI (or any BIOS for that matter) is in the initialization of the processor NOT whether or not the EFI supports the microcode. This usually entails setting up a slew of MSR’s which are unique to the various processors that the motherboard will support. Without going thru this initialization code in detail it is easier to assume that if the engineers went to the trouble to include the microcode then the processor should be supported. So the microcode being present in the firmware is just a good indication that it might work.
Given it's the first parts available (i.e. current codes all use the same steppings), the microcode would also have the necessary MSR's added to the firmware update necessary to make the 2010 systems work though (why the concept of microcode seemed an easier way to explain that the '09's are unlikely to support hex core parts as they currently exist).

But it does go deeper than just microcode from a technical POV. I figured anything more could cause confusion however, and chose to keep it simple.

Unfortunately, given Apple's history, it's highly unlikely that such an update will be available to '09 system owners, as it could negatively affect sales of the new units (whenever the 2010's finally ship).

Techhie
Jun 7, 2010, 10:21 PM
(whenever the 2010's finally ship).

if :rolleyes:

nanofrog
Jun 7, 2010, 10:23 PM
if :rolleyes:
I wondered how long it would take before someone made the "if" post. :D :p

Tutor
Jun 8, 2010, 02:58 PM
Clean up

Umbongo
Jun 8, 2010, 03:52 PM
Don't hold your breath, but if you do get a breather, get ready to hold your nose because it'll be really stinky in MacProVille when the six-cores land. So few cheap choices - so little margin is the 6-core question Apple faces. See ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010340727%201652744898&name=LGA%201366 ) and compare the prices of the quad-cores vs. six-cores running at about the same speed. The low end of the six core line is over twice as expensive as the quad-cores running at the same speed (i.e., 2.26 GHz). Oh I know there's a price reduction for large lots and large customers, but if the relative delta between the various retail prices compares closely to that at wholesale, then if you see a six-core Mac soon (especially a dual six core), you're going to have to hold that nose tightly because the price compression at the high end promises to be really smelly.

The 2.26GHz 6 core processor isn't a replacement for the one Apple use. It's a low TDP part for blades and full racks. All of the current Mac Pro processors have been replaced though. Three have been replaced by processors that have faster clockspeeds and three have been replaced by models with the same clockspeed but with two more cores. The price differences are minimal.

Current CPUs in Mac Pro Replacement at the same price range
2.66GHz 4-core W3520 $284 - 2.80GHz 4-core W3530 $294
2.93GHz 4-core W3540 $562 - 3.20GHz 4-core W3560 $562
3.33GHz 4-core W3580 $999 - 3.33GHz 6-core W3680 $999

2.26GHz 4-core E5520 $373 - 2.40GHz 4-core E5620 $387
2.66GHz 4-core X5550 $958 - 2.66GHz 6-core X5650 $996
2.93GHz 4-core X5570 $1,386 - 2.93GHz 6-core X5670 $1,440

Tutor
Jun 8, 2010, 06:00 PM
Clean up

WardC
Jun 8, 2010, 06:01 PM
Well, there is no definitive answer, I just wondered if it was even possible. The only chips that would be compatible possibly would be the X5680 and other lower clocked 6-core Xeons with the 1366 socket.

I haven't seen any Mac OS X six-core results on Geekbench, and I've never seen a 6-core upgraded Mac Pro advertised on eBay. They are offering a 3.33GHz 8-core Mac with the Gainestown chip upgrades.

Just wondering, nobody seems to have tried it. It would be pretty simple to do, just get the chips and throw them in and see if it works. Well, if you had about $3400 extra lying around, that is. Nobody seems brave enough to try this. I am having doubts that it would really work. It would be uber-cool if it did!

hyram
Jun 9, 2010, 08:05 AM
Just wondering, nobody seems to have tried it. It would be pretty simple to do, just get the chips and throw them in and see if it works. Well, if you had about $3400 extra lying around, that is. Nobody seems brave enough to try this. I am having doubts that it would really work. It would be uber-cool if it did!

You didn't actually read what I linked to above did you? Well I hate to quote myself, but guess I have to:

Actually this brings up an interesting question: what processors are supported in 4,1? So I took a very quick walk thru the 4,1 EFI; all processors that have a CPUID of 106A2, 106A4, and 106A5 should work as the microcode for those is present... ...The new hex cores all have a CPUID of 206C2. These certainly won't work.

Bottom Line... it won't work.

Roman23
Jul 17, 2010, 12:12 AM
Where would I find this word in the system profiler? I don't see anything with the word locked?


The real issue of whether or not a certain processor is supported in Apple’s EFI (or any BIOS for that matter) is in the initialization of the processor NOT whether or not the EFI supports the microcode. This usually entails setting up a slew of MSR’s which are unique to the various processors that the motherboard will support. Without going thru this initialization code in detail it is easier to assume that if the engineers went to the trouble to include the microcode then the processor should be supported. So the microcode being present in the firmware is just a good indication that it might work.

A good example of a processor not working when you think it might is from a forum user named Spacedust who found that a MP3,1 would work with an E5450 processor with a stepping of SLANQ, but the same processor with a stepping of SLBBM would not work. The MP3,1 firmware has the microcode for the SLANQ (CPUID 10676) but does not for the SLBBM (CPUID 1067A). Waltzing thru the initialization code you find that the CPUID 1067A will hang when trying to access a couple of the MSR’s that work for the 10676 processors… a few of which are un-documnented, thank you Mr. Intel.

The most obvious example of a processor working in a Mac Pro which does not support the microcode is the many folks here that have had success upgrading their MP1,1’s to X5355/65 processors; neither of which are supported by the microcode available in the firmware.

As to the hex-cores working in MP4,1’s? Highly unlikely as (I’ve mentioned before) the microcode is not there…. Not a guarantee, but a good indication.

Another point of interest… at least to me… is that when a new model is released it usually ships with an EFI version file name something like “MP31_006C_02B.fd”, but after a while an update is released where the file named is changed to “LOCKED_ MP31_006C_05B.fd”. I’ve noticed this on all the MacPro models as well as Mini’s and servers, I haven’t looked at the iMacs. Once the “LOCKED” prefix appears there have been no more updates to the firmware for that model. The MP4,1 firmware has already received the “LOCKED” file name, so I wouldn’t expect any updates.

WardC
Jul 17, 2010, 11:54 AM
This is an old post of mine but the question has been answered a few times. It won't work due to the microcode in the BIOS not supporting it, and the stepping is different (B1 vs. D0). So, I know this now, it just won't work at all. Dual W3580 has been proven to work and dual X5580 has been proven to work too. That's about as high as you can go with the dual Mac Pro...dual 8-core 3.33GHz. The Quad Core upgrade has been well documented too...you can do i7 975, W3580, or X5580 for roughly the same effect, different price levels for the processors. The 12-core upgrade simply won't work on any Mac Pro, as of now. Again, since my post, it's been well documented on other posts and I got the answer to my question. Thanks!

Roman23
Jul 17, 2010, 12:53 PM
Why would someone who owns a single-quad core mac pro use a dual core chip to begin with? Isn't that a sheer waste of money? the x5580 is roughly the same thing as the w3580 except it supports dual channel qpi. And the 2nd qpi would be disabled on the single-quad core because, well - one cpu only.

Dual w3580 will not work in the dual because the processor is a single-qpi based chip.


This is an old post of mine but the question has been answered a few times. It won't work due to the microcode in the BIOS not supporting it, and the stepping is different (B1 vs. D0). So, I know this now, it just won't work at all. Dual W3580 has been proven to work and dual X5580 has been proven to work too. That's about as high as you can go with the dual Mac Pro...dual 8-core 3.33GHz. The Quad Core upgrade has been well documented too...you can do i7 975, W3580, or X5580 for roughly the same effect, different price levels for the processors. The 12-core upgrade simply won't work on any Mac Pro, as of now. Again, since my post, it's been well documented on other posts and I got the answer to my question. Thanks!

WardC
Jul 17, 2010, 01:14 PM
Dual w3580 will not work in the dual because the processor is a single-qpi based chip.


I thought I read somewhere on eBay that someone was selling a Mac Pro with the dual W3580 chips, but then I read elsewhere that they are single QPI and will not support dual processor configs. I think only the X5580 would work in that regard (or other 5500 series)

Hellhammer
Jul 17, 2010, 01:22 PM
I thought I read somewhere on eBay that someone was selling a Mac Pro with the dual W3580 chips, but then I read elsewhere that they are single QPI and will not support dual processor configs. I think only the X5580 would work in that regard (or other 5500 series)

That's correct. The seller must have been misinformed or just made a typo as those chips are the same except for the QPI.

3xxx = single CPU systems
5xxx = dual CPU systems
7xxx = quad CPU systems

(Applies to at least Nehalems and Cores)

hyram
Jul 18, 2010, 05:24 AM
Where would I find this word in the system profiler? I don't see anything with the word locked?

You won't find it in system profiler. The "LOCKED" preface is added to the update file name. Download the last update from apple and use pacifist to look at the contents... you're looking for the .fd file.

Tutor
Jul 19, 2010, 03:09 AM
Clean up

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 05:34 PM
There is a 3.4 ghz processor for 3,1 mac pros.. but from what I have been told the x5492 will not work as a replacement for the 3.2ghz, but then again going from 3.2 to 3.4 yields not much at all in performance - in the PC world that is.


The real issue of whether or not a certain processor is supported in Apple’s EFI (or any BIOS for that matter) is in the initialization of the processor NOT whether or not the EFI supports the microcode. This usually entails setting up a slew of MSR’s which are unique to the various processors that the motherboard will support. Without going thru this initialization code in detail it is easier to assume that if the engineers went to the trouble to include the microcode then the processor should be supported. So the microcode being present in the firmware is just a good indication that it might work.

A good example of a processor not working when you think it might is from a forum user named Spacedust who found that a MP3,1 would work with an E5450 processor with a stepping of SLANQ, but the same processor with a stepping of SLBBM would not work. The MP3,1 firmware has the microcode for the SLANQ (CPUID 10676) but does not for the SLBBM (CPUID 1067A). Waltzing thru the initialization code you find that the CPUID 1067A will hang when trying to access a couple of the MSR’s that work for the 10676 processors… a few of which are un-documnented, thank you Mr. Intel.

The most obvious example of a processor working in a Mac Pro which does not support the microcode is the many folks here that have had success upgrading their MP1,1’s to X5355/65 processors; neither of which are supported by the microcode available in the firmware.

As to the hex-cores working in MP4,1’s? Highly unlikely as (I’ve mentioned before) the microcode is not there…. Not a guarantee, but a good indication.

Another point of interest… at least to me… is that when a new model is released it usually ships with an EFI version file name something like “MP31_006C_02B.fd”, but after a while an update is released where the file named is changed to “LOCKED_ MP31_006C_05B.fd”. I’ve noticed this on all the MacPro models as well as Mini’s and servers, I haven’t looked at the iMacs. Once the “LOCKED” prefix appears there have been no more updates to the firmware for that model. The MP4,1 firmware has already received the “LOCKED” file name, so I wouldn’t expect any updates.

WardC
Jul 19, 2010, 05:43 PM
So do you really think the upgrade from the 2.93GHz W3540 to the 3.33GHz W3580 would be that noticeable? I know you've seen my other post(s)...Roman23, but since I plan on running my system with an SSD for boot and running my files off a RAID 0 for my other disk, everything should be pretty snappy anyways. The geekbench improvement is about 1000 points, or about 8-9% improvement (from 10,400 to 11,400) or so. I don't know if I would notice much if anything unless I was exporting a movie, compressing a video file, or running handbrake...or doing something that REALLY stressed the processor. I mean for web surfing, opening apps, etc would I really notice that much, if anything? The difference seems so slim I really can't see throwing $600 at it right now for a less than 10% improvement in overall speed.

Hellhammer
Jul 19, 2010, 05:46 PM
So do you really think the upgrade from the 2.93GHz W3540 to the 3.33GHz W3580 would be that noticeable? I know you've seen my other post(s)...Roman23, but since I plan on running my system with an SSD for boot and running my files off a RAID 0 for my other disk, everything should be pretty snappy anyways. The geekbench improvement is about 1000 points, or about 8-9% improvement (from 10,400 to 11,400) or so. I don't know if I would notice much if anything unless I was exporting a movie, compressing a video file, or running handbrake...or doing something that REALLY stressed the processor. I mean for web surfing, opening apps, etc would I really notice that much, if anything? The difference seems so slim I really can't see throwing $600 at it right now for a less than 10% improvement in overall speed.

Sounds like you won't really benefit off it. Save it to the future and you may be able to add Westmere to your Mac Pro

WardC
Jul 19, 2010, 05:56 PM
Sounds like you won't really benefit off it. Save it to the future and you may be able to add Westmere to your Mac Pro

I think this will be my best option. Again, I don't have my new Mac Pro in my hands so I can't get any real feel for the speed. I will have to make that decision once I fire it up and test it out a bit. But the speed boost going from Nehalem to Westmere is HUGE, I've seen single 6-core Westmere X5680 chip units score upwards of 17,800 on Geekbench and handle overclocking of over 4.3GHz. Pretty damn fast. Dual X5680 systems are scoring the highest ever of any dual-processor workstation on earth, with scores over 28,000! damn!

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 06:14 PM
My eyes are burning due to a bad sunburn yesterday.. I didn't see it was a 2.93 - you are right.. going from 2.93 to 3.33 is very negligible at best.. though at turbo boost the 2.93 goes as high as 3.2 and the 3.33 goes to 3.6, so yes.. not worth it.. but if one has 2.66, then it is worth it.


So do you really think the upgrade from the 2.93GHz W3540 to the 3.33GHz W3580 would be that noticeable? I know you've seen my other post(s)...Roman23, but since I plan on running my system with an SSD for boot and running my files off a RAID 0 for my other disk, everything should be pretty snappy anyways. The geekbench improvement is about 1000 points, or about 8-9% improvement (from 10,400 to 11,400) or so. I don't know if I would notice much if anything unless I was exporting a movie, compressing a video file, or running handbrake...or doing something that REALLY stressed the processor. I mean for web surfing, opening apps, etc would I really notice that much, if anything? The difference seems so slim I really can't see throwing $600 at it right now for a less than 10% improvement in overall speed.

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 06:17 PM
"you may be able to add Westmere to your Mac Pro"

DO you know something we all don't? I thought the B1 stepping won't work in a 2009 mac pro, unless you just got one and tested it and are about to tell us that it will work?


Sounds like you won't really benefit off it. Save it to the future and you may be able to add Westmere to your Mac Pro

WardC
Jul 19, 2010, 06:23 PM
"you may be able to add Westmere to your Mac Pro"

DO you know something we all don't? I thought the B1 stepping won't work in a 2009 mac pro, unless you just got one and tested it and are about to tell us that it will work?

The processor fits perfectly in the socket (LGA 1366) but when installing the chip in the 2009 Mac Pro, upon pressing the power button, the Mac Pro refuses to POST. This is due to either different stepping (B1 vs D0) or the microcode not being present to allow for the 6-core Westmere chip to be used on the motherboard. It is still undetermined if an EFI flash-based upgrade would allow for using Westmere in a 2009 Mac Pro, or if this will never be possible.

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 06:26 PM
Yeah, too bad it didn't post.. sounds like it needs that microcode to make it work.. It maybe the combination of B1 and microcode.. Did you try an SMC reset to see if it would work or not?

I am sure when the microcode comes out, someone on here will develop a efi bios flash utility.


The processor fits perfectly in the socket (LGA 1366) but when installing the chip in the 2009 Mac Pro, upon pressing the power button, the Mac Pro refuses to POST. This is due to either different stepping (B1 vs D0) or the microcode not being present to allow for the 6-core Westmere chip to be used on the motherboard. It is still undetermined if an EFI flash-based upgrade would allow for using Westmere in a 2009 Mac Pro, or if this will never be possible.

WardC
Jul 19, 2010, 06:38 PM
Yeah, too bad it didn't post.. sounds like it needs that microcode to make it work.. It maybe the combination of B1 and microcode.. Did you try an SMC reset to see if it would work or not?

I am sure when the microcode comes out, someone on here will develop a efi bios flash utility.

I am not the one who tried it, I am reporting from 3rd party sources and other posts on here (macrumors forums) of people saying it won't POST. Apparently SOMEBODY has tried it...and it didn't work.

Tutor
Jul 19, 2010, 06:40 PM
Clean up

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 06:46 PM
Most times when I flash Award and Other bios companies's bioses, I never had a problem with a bios not flashing correctly though Apple's is a completly different take.


I bet that you can't wait for Firmware Restoration CD 1.9 - http://support.apple.com/kb/DL976.

Giuly
Jul 19, 2010, 07:09 PM
Most times when I flash Award and Other bios companies's bioses, I never had a problem with a bios not flashing correctly though Apple's is a completly different take.

I guess he rather meant this as a way to replace the MacPro4,1's EFI with a more-or-less modified one from the 1.9 CD of the yet unreleased MacPro5,1 to run Six-Core processors.

WardC
Jul 19, 2010, 07:30 PM
Again, even if you can flash the bios of the MacPro4,1 to a MacPro5,1, we still don't know if the Westmere upgrade would even work.

nanofrog
Jul 19, 2010, 07:45 PM
Again, even if you can flash the bios of the MacPro4,1 to a MacPro5,1, we still don't know if the Westmere upgrade would even work.
Current boards only need a microcode update to get the newer parts to function. That's all that's technically required (no change in components on the board).

It's possible that something could be changed (i.e. features added with 3rd party semiconductors), but it doesn't match up with Apple's history on the Intel MP's (similar to the '06 to '07 systems; board remained the same, but a new chip was offered, the first Quad core, which in a DP configuration, made the first Octad MP).

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 11:11 PM
We will have to wait and see for the 1.9 version to come out.. I would imagine it wouldn't work though as the firmware is searching for some chip telling it that it should only install on a 2010 and not 2009..

I might be wrong though.


I guess he rather meant this as a way to replace the MacPro4,1's EFI with a more-or-less modified one from the 1.9 CD of the yet unreleased MacPro5,1 to run Six-Core processors.

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 11:12 PM
So, Nano.. if there were a firmware cd restoration 1.9 for the 2010... could it work? Any possibility to then flash the 1.9 firmware to the 1.8?


Current boards only need a microcode update to get the newer parts to function. That's all that's technically required (no change in components on the board).

It's possible that something could be changed (i.e. features added with 3rd party semiconductors), but it doesn't match up with Apple's history on the Intel MP's (similar to the '06 to '07 systems; board remained the same, but a new chip was offered, the first Quad core, which in a DP configuration, made the first Octad MP).

nanofrog
Jul 19, 2010, 11:32 PM
So, Nano.. if there were a firmware cd restoration 1.9 for the 2010... could it work? Any possibility to then flash the 1.9 firmware to the 1.8?
It force flashes the the system with the original ROM (in case of a failure during a flash that was part of an Update). You may be able to hack it to force a different ROM, but you'd have to figure it out (i.e. change the system identifier in the intended ROM), and test.

If you've the skills or willing to learn via trial and error, you could give it a go and see what happens. ;)

Roman23
Jul 19, 2010, 11:56 PM
Assuming what you say is correct.. the 2010 would offer no other additions to the logic board.. in fact it would look exactly like the 2009... So, how would I trick the computer into installing this firmware update? In case something were to go wrong, I got a cheap 2006 macbook in which I can easily use the restoration cd for the 2009 and re-flash the firmware back.. but I have a feeling that the 1.9 if it were to come out would work.

And all it would do is just provide the additions to recognize and run B1 stepping processors?


It force flashes the the system with the original ROM (in case of a failure during a flash that was part of an Update). You may be able to hack it to force a different ROM, but you'd have to figure it out (i.e. change the system identifier in the intended ROM), and test.

If you've the skills or willing to learn via trial and error, you could give it a go and see what happens. ;)

Hellhammer
Jul 20, 2010, 03:08 AM
"you may be able to add Westmere to your Mac Pro"

DO you know something we all don't? I thought the B1 stepping won't work in a 2009 mac pro, unless you just got one and tested it and are about to tell us that it will work?

I said MAY... You haven't been talking about anything else but flashing the EFI lately so IF someone does that and releases the method, it may be possible

nanofrog
Jul 20, 2010, 11:52 AM
Assuming what you say is correct.. the 2010 would offer no other additions to the logic board.. in fact it would look exactly like the 2009... So, how would I trick the computer into installing this firmware update? In case something were to go wrong, I got a cheap 2006 macbook in which I can easily use the restoration cd for the 2009 and re-flash the firmware back.. but I have a feeling that the 1.9 if it were to come out would work.

And all it would do is just provide the additions to recognize and run B1 stepping processors?
You'd have to figure out how to change either the System ID or mod the ROM file to make it think it's meant to load into your existing system ( System ID, which is more than just Mac Pro 4,1 I should think, as there's an SP and DP model).

MacVidCards
Jul 20, 2010, 02:35 PM
Unless Apple adds the 6 Core and keeps ABSOLUTELY EVERY OTHER CHIP IN MAC PRO EXACTLY THE SAME, I don't think this will end up working.
We did a lot of chatting about putting an EFI64 firmware from 2008 machines into 1st Gens, but nobody ever actually did it.

Firmware for machine has code for all various chips on the board to work together. How could having firmware from different boards and chips possibly work?

Ideally you would find the "microcode enabling" part of firmware and pste it into existing 4,1 code. But guess what, I doubt Apple is going to have a nice, clearly delineated means to circumvent their "forced obsolescence" sales methods.

It would be incredibly cool if Apple routinely offered firmware updates to allow additional CPU choices. It would lend them a "hey, we want our buyers to be able to brag about having latest CPUs as they come out" rep. But they don't.

nanofrog
Jul 20, 2010, 03:23 PM
Unless Apple adds the 6 Core and keeps ABSOLUTELY EVERY OTHER CHIP IN MAC PRO EXACTLY THE SAME, I don't think this will end up working.
Yes, and this is what it's based on. The 2009 systems only need a microcode update to actually work with the newer parts (LGA1366 with B1 steppings in their respective boards; SP and DP).

It's possible Apple could change parts on the PCB, blowing the possibility out of the water, but it would add cost to the systems. Since Apple's all about margins, not giving users what they want (prefer to dictate what they think users need), I don't see this happening. It would have a negative affect on margins if the prices are kept the same (SP systems, as DP parts will differ a bit given the price structure), or force MSRP's to rise again. The first wouldn't make the stockholders happy, and the second would be the same for users.

The middle ground is to actually leave the boards alone. :eek: :p

hyram
Jul 20, 2010, 05:13 PM
Reading the last dozen post or so, it is clear that the whole lot of you don't know what you are talking about.

The only intelligent comment comes for the Rom:

Unless Apple adds the 6 Core and keeps ABSOLUTELY EVERY OTHER CHIP IN MAC PRO EXACTLY THE SAME, I don't think this will end up working.
We did a lot of chatting about putting an EFI64 firmware from 2008 machines into 1st Gens, but nobody ever actually did it.

Firmware for machine has code for all various chips on the board to work together. How could having firmware from different boards and chips possibly work?.

1) It is highly unlikely that you will be able to drop the 5,1 code into a 4,1 machine. For the reason stated by Rom.

2) It takes more than just the microcode to make the firmware function correctly. There is a massive amount of setup involving various MSR's that need to be set correctly for the processor involved. Several of these MSR's are undocumented. Try beating you head on that for a while.

3) It is generally not possible to get the restoration disk from one MP to load on another. I've tried... you'll get an error saying that this update does not match this machine. It might be possible to mod the update procedure to fake it out, but then you left with 1).

4) Let's say you do manage to get a different version of the firmware to load, what's your backup strategy when it does not work? How do you get back to a working machine? Apple does seem to have some sort of recovery method (restoration disks) but it’s twitchy at best. Again, I’ve tried.

5) EFI is difficult to modify. It's not like old fashion BIOS where you can tweak a byte or two (or bunch) and have it work. There are very few tables that store system parameters, rather EFI builds everything from scratch each time you reset you machine. The majority of the code is written in C, which means just to get to the some point to try something you have to disassemble the code and then try to back out the meaning from the high-level C. While not impossible, it's not easy.

This is not to say that dropping hexacores into a 4,1 is impossible, just very very difficult. If after reading all this you still want to give it a go, PM me and I’ll show you how to get started. But be prepared for a very long slog that will be educational, but might not be fruitful.

Roman23
Jul 20, 2010, 05:40 PM
I am interested in this.. as again, I feel this is really considered an upgrade for the 2009's and not for a whole new box.


Reading the last dozen post or so, it is clear that the whole lot of you don't know what you are talking about.

The only intelligent comment comes for the Rom:



1) It is highly unlikely that you will be able to drop the 5,1 code into a 4,1 machine. For the reason stated by Rom.

2) It takes more than just the microcode to make the firmware function correctly. There is a massive amount of setup involving various MSR's that need to be set correctly for the processor involved. Several of these MSR's are undocumented. Try beating you head on that for a while.

3) It is generally not possible to get the restoration disk from one MP to load on another. I've tried... you'll get an error saying that this update does not match this machine. It might be possible to mod the update procedure to fake it out, but then you left with 1).

4) Let's say you do manage to get a different version of the firmware to load, what's your backup strategy when it does not work? How do you get back to a working machine? Apple does seem to have some sort of recovery method (restoration disks) but it’s twitchy at best. Again, I’ve tried.

5) EFI is difficult to modify. It's not like old fashion BIOS where you can tweak a byte or two (or bunch) and have it work. There are very few tables that store system parameters, rather EFI builds everything from scratch each time you reset you machine. The majority of the code is written in C, which means just to get to the some point to try something you have to disassemble the code and then try to back out the meaning from the high-level C. While not impossible, it's not easy.

This is not to say that dropping hexacores into a 4,1 is impossible, just very very difficult. If after reading all this you still want to give it a go, PM me and I’ll show you how to get started. But be prepared for a very long slog that will be educational, but might not be fruitful.

xper
Aug 9, 2010, 01:53 PM
Have i missed something now or are you guys sure that there is no possibility to put in 2 x5680 in a 2010 MP? That would mean that its not the x5680 that sits in the 6 core config.

I remember a thread a while back when the Nehalem was pretty new and Intel released a new CPU and Apple did not update the Mac Pro directly, then someone bought the new CPU and put it into the MP without any problem, why would the 2010 MP not be the same?

Umbongo
Aug 9, 2010, 03:32 PM
Have i missed something now or are you guys sure that there is no possibility to put in 2 x5680 in a 2010 MP? That would mean that its not the x5680 that sits in the 6 core config.

I remember a thread a while back when the Nehalem was pretty new and Intel released a new CPU and Apple did not update the Mac Pro directly, then someone bought the new CPU and put it into the MP without any problem, why would the 2010 MP not be the same?

No one has said the X5680 can't go in the 2010 Mac Pro. It should work fine. This was about the 2009 Mac Pros. Also the processor in the 6 core model is a W3680.

ListedFirst.com
Jan 23, 2011, 12:42 AM
I've got a 6-core CPU, and a 2009. I've made a 1.9 restore CD and a modified 1.9 restore cd, but I cannot get my Mac to enter EFI recovery mode. Any tips on how to force flash the blasted EFI 1.5? If anyone here can tell me how, I'm game for trying it out!





Reading the last dozen post or so, it is clear that the whole lot of you don't know what you are talking about.

The only intelligent comment comes for the Rom:



1) It is highly unlikely that you will be able to drop the 5,1 code into a 4,1 machine. For the reason stated by Rom.

2) It takes more than just the microcode to make the firmware function correctly. There is a massive amount of setup involving various MSR's that need to be set correctly for the processor involved. Several of these MSR's are undocumented. Try beating you head on that for a while.

3) It is generally not possible to get the restoration disk from one MP to load on another. I've tried... you'll get an error saying that this update does not match this machine. It might be possible to mod the update procedure to fake it out, but then you left with 1).

4) Let's say you do manage to get a different version of the firmware to load, what's your backup strategy when it does not work? How do you get back to a working machine? Apple does seem to have some sort of recovery method (restoration disks) but it’s twitchy at best. Again, I’ve tried.

5) EFI is difficult to modify. It's not like old fashion BIOS where you can tweak a byte or two (or bunch) and have it work. There are very few tables that store system parameters, rather EFI builds everything from scratch each time you reset you machine. The majority of the code is written in C, which means just to get to the some point to try something you have to disassemble the code and then try to back out the meaning from the high-level C. While not impossible, it's not easy.

This is not to say that dropping hexacores into a 4,1 is impossible, just very very difficult. If after reading all this you still want to give it a go, PM me and I’ll show you how to get started. But be prepared for a very long slog that will be educational, but might not be fruitful.

raysmd
Jan 27, 2011, 12:28 PM
No one has said the X5680 can't go in the 2010 Mac Pro. It should work fine. This was about the 2009 Mac Pros. Also the processor in the 6 core model is a W3680.


You can use the W3680 in a single processor system only. To use in a dual processor system then you need the X5680

Transporteur
Jan 27, 2011, 02:27 PM
You can use the W3680 in a single processor system only. To use in a dual processor system then you need the X5680

I think that Umbongo is well aware of that!
If you read his post (including the quote) again, you will realise that he was only referring to the statement about the X5680 in the SP version.

nanofrog
Jan 27, 2011, 03:15 PM
I think that Umbongo is well aware of that!
If you read his post (including the quote) again, you will realise that he was only referring to the statement about the X5680 in the SP version.
That's what I got out of it as well.

DP CPU parts (55xx/56xx parts) will work in SP boards. The reverse however is not possible (35xx/36xx SP CPU in a DP system board = won't work).

borgo1971
Sep 6, 2013, 02:46 AM
So, definitely, on my MacPro 4,1 born with one Xeon W3520 (4 core @2,66/2,93GHz) can I replace the CPU with a Xeon X5650 (6 core @2,66/3,06GHz), that I can get for few money?
I read about stepping issues, and in effects Xeon W3520 is D0 while X5650 is B1. But even Xeon W3680 are B1, and so far I know, they work flawless in MacPro as my (but I can't get one for a reasonable price).
But X5650 specs have some other differences vs W3520 and W3680:
http://ark.intel.com/products/39718/Intel-Xeon-Processor-W3520-8M-Cache-2_66-GHz-4_80-GTs-Intel-QPI
http://ark.intel.com/products/47922/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X5650-12M-Cache-2_66-GHz-6_40-GTs-Intel-QPI
http://ark.intel.com/products/47917/Intel-Xeon-Processor-W3680-12M-Cache-3_33-GHz-6_40-GTs-Intel-QPI

xcodeSyn
Sep 6, 2013, 08:49 AM
So, definitely, on my MacPro 4,1 born with one Xeon W3520 (4 core @2,66/2,93GHz) can I replace the CPU with a Xeon X5650 (6 core @2,66/3,06GHz), that I can get for few money?

Remember this thread started before the 2010 MP 5,1 came out and now you need to flash the firmware from 4,1 to 5,1 before you can install any 56xx/36xx series processor on your 2009 MP model. The firmware upgrade utility is available and discussed here (http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.0.html). You need to register before you can see it and download from the first post's attachment. Yes you can use an X5650 instead of the more powerful W3670/80/90, but these 56xx processors aren't as powerful as the 36xx single processors. That's why they were designed to work in pairs.

flowrider
Sep 6, 2013, 09:55 AM
^^^^Actually not quite true. The dual CPU 5XXX series of processors are every bit as powerful as their single CPu counterparts GHz to GHz. But, as you say, they are designed to work in pairs (tandem) and therefore double the processing power. And because of the working in tandem feature the Dual CPU chips themselves carry a much higher price than their Single CPU equivalent.

Example (Intel's list price @ introduction):

W3580 - $999.00
W5590 - $1600.00
W3680 - $999.00
X5680 - $1666.00

So, definitely, on my MacPro 4,1 born with one Xeon W3520 (4 core @2,66/2,93GHz) can I replace the CPU with a Xeon X5650 (6 core @2,66/3,06GHz), that I can get for few money?

No, since the 5 series CPUs are designed for Dual CPU operation, and you Mac Pro has a Single CPU try, you would need to replace the CPU with a 3 series Xeon Processor. The 3 series processors are designed to work in a Single CPU environment. And, if you went with a Hex Core CPU, you would, as stated above, need to flash your 4,1 machine to a 5,1 firmware configuration. The X5650, you mention, is rated at 2.66GHz, the slowest speed Hex Core Single CPU, the W3670, is rated @ 3.2GHz.

Lou

borgo1971
Sep 6, 2013, 10:23 AM
My MacPro is a 5,1 site today morning ;)
All went from fact I probably can get an X5650 for few money. I know it isn't so fast as W3670/3680/3690, but even faster then my 4 core W3520. If someone knows where to grab a functional W3670/3680/3690 for few bucks, I would be grateful if he would tell me. :D

flowrider
Sep 6, 2013, 11:22 AM
^^^^Don't know where you are, but here's a W3680 from Hong Kong:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-W3680-3-33Ghz-12MB-Hex-Core-LGA1366-Westmere-B1-OEM-Processor-/350869941943?pt=CPUs&hash=item51b17a6eb7

Lou

xcodeSyn
Sep 6, 2013, 11:39 AM
No, since the 5 series CPUs are designed for Dual CPU operation, and you Mac Pro has a Single CPU try, you would need to replace the CPU with a 3 series Xeon Processor.
I beg to differ. I have actually put an X5570 (actually two in separate occasions) in a single-processor 4,1 MP for testing before installing them in another dual-processor MP. You definitely cannot put two 35xx/36xx series processors in a DP machine, but you CAN install one 55xx/56xx series processor in a single-processor MP. Dell and HP servers/workstations are often sold with one processor installed in a DP setting, with the option to add another one in the future but many never need the second one before their retirement. It won't provide the maximum benefit but it's still good enough for some users.

I probably can get an X5650 for few money. I know it isn't so fast as W3670/3680/3690, but even faster then my 4 core W3520.
Yes the X5650 is definitely faster than the W3520, and has a lower TDP. If the price is attractive to you, then it's all good with the 5,1 upgrade.

flowrider
Sep 6, 2013, 12:13 PM
^^^^I have never tried it myself, but from all of my research, my understanding was that the 5XXX series of Intel processors would only work in a Dual CPU configuration. If your experience proves otherwise, I certainly bow to that. Thank You for clarifying.

Lou

nanofrog
Sep 7, 2013, 12:28 AM
^^^^I have never tried it myself, but from all of my research, my understanding was that the 5XXX series of Intel processors would only work in a Dual CPU configuration. If your experience proves otherwise, I certainly bow to that. Thank You for clarifying.

Lou
DP CPU series in this family can work in either a DP or SP board (has the ability to shut down the unused QPI lanes). The reverse is not possible (since the additional lanes necessary for the CPU - CPU communications for DP operation don't exist), which is why SP chips will not work in a DP board.

adr1974
Sep 7, 2013, 08:43 PM
DP CPU series in this family can work in either a DP or SP board (has the ability to shut down the unused QPI lanes). The reverse is not possible (since the additional lanes necessary for the CPU - CPU communications for DP operation don't exist), which is why SP chips will not work in a DP board.

Nanofrog -- are you aware of any way to get a single X56-- in a DP tray without having the fans runs at full tilt?

nanofrog
Sep 8, 2013, 11:15 AM
Nanofrog -- are you aware of any way to get a single X56-- in a DP tray without having the fans runs at full tilt?
IIRC, there's a separate thermal sensor that fits into a hole in the heatsink assembly, and that's what controls the fan speed (feedback loop). So when one is missing, the fans run at full speed.

Not sure if something like Fan Control will be able to override that condition or not, but worth a shot if you're already experimenting.

flowrider
Sep 8, 2013, 12:21 PM
And, IIRC, only one CPU will work if that CPU is in the CPU A socket, left side back. If installed in CPU B socket, there is no start-up.

Lou