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Old Nov 19, 2012, 02:54 PM   #1
All Taken
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Nanofrog or similar, please help! - Dual tray upgrade

Hi,

I've purchased a 2012 (2010) 3.2Ghz Mac Pro and got a great deal, I'm looking at buying a 2009 dual quad processor board only.

Do I need 'lidless' versions of the W3690 or similar to enable the heatsinks to sit properly, if I do on a 2009 board do I need them on a 2010 board?

Am I right in saying it's a firmware upgrade on the 2009 dual board to bring it up to 2010 firmware?

I then want to install 2x W3690 to the 2009 dual board.

My questions are, is it compatible electrically and in firmware with my 2012 (2010) Back pane logic board?

Can the cooling in my stock quad core handle the thermals of two 3.46Ghz Hexcores?

The heatsinks required for dual processor 2009+ boards, are they all the same?(different part numbers per 2009, 2010 and 2012)?

I need to buy two heatsinks as I currently have a single heatsink for my quad core. Heatsink A and B as they're commonly called have a large price difference. Is heatsink B actually any different? i.e can I use 2x 'heatsink A'?

Thanks for your time.

Last edited by All Taken; Nov 19, 2012 at 06:34 PM.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 05:56 PM   #2
ActionableMango
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None of this makes any sense.

First of all, even if it were compatible, why would you want to go to an older 2009 board, then flash it to a 2010, instead of getting the proper 2012 board?

Secondly, the W3690 is a single-processor CPU. They will not work in a dual-processor configuration at all. You'll need two X5690 CPUs, and if you budgeted for the W3690, you're not going to like the price difference!
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:10 PM   #3
All Taken
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Originally Posted by ActionableMango View Post
None of this makes any sense.

First of all, even if it were compatible, why would you want to go to an older 2009 board, then flash it to a 2010, instead of getting the proper 2012 board?

Secondly, the W3690 is a single-processor CPU. They will not work in a dual-processor configuration at all. You'll need two X5690 CPUs, and if you budgeted for the W3690, you're not going to like the price difference!
The reason for a 2009 board is that the majority of suppliers charge a lot more for a 2012 board, I'm under the impression the 2009 board is the same but requires a firmware flash. Why would you pay twice as much for the same board? Make sense?

Are the two X5690's lidless or can you use processors with heat spreaders?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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Nanofrog does just fine without my help.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Nanofrog does just fine without my help.
Haha, very clever (unlike my rushed thread title!)
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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If you can't figure this stuff out for yourself, then you're playing with fire and you're going to get burned.

The 2009 and 2010 (which is the same as the 2012) Mac Pros have radically different dual CPU boards. The heatsinks for either are different depending on the CPU socket ("A" or "B"). Likewise, the 2009 board requires a different set of heatsinks then the 2010 board.

The reason why the 2009 board is so cheap is because it's technically inferior to the 2010/2012 board. The 2009 dual CPU board lacks an LGA retention mechanism around the CPU sockets- this has to do with Apple's weird requirement for lidless CPUs. You CANNOT properly use CPUs with a heat spreader on them in the 2009 board- if you try you will destroy your LGA sockets and potentially the backplane board as well.

The 2010/2012 board(s) rectified this issue by including the LGA retention mechanisms again. These boards take CPUs with the heat spreaders intact (and will therefore not accept a lidless CPU). Since the retention mechanism is present, the heatsink mounting hole spacing is different from the 2009 board- so the heatsinks are different as well.

So there you have it- the 2009 board is cheap for a reason, because it's different and inferior to the 2010/2012 board. The 2009 board sockets are seriously fragile and the whole setup is prone to breaking if you're not obsessively careful while monkeying around with it and the CPUs. They also require lidless CPUs for proper operation.

If I were you, I'd avoid the 2009 boards (even if they'll work in your system- which I'm not sure if they do- the 2009 will take a 2010/2012 board, but I'm not sure about a 2010/2012 backplane taking a 2009 CPU board). They're too fragile and too much of a pain in the ass to work with. You'll land up spending more on lidless CPUs then you would have if you'd bought a 2010/2012 board with the associated heatsinks and saved on using "normal" CPUs instead (that is, CPUs with the heat spreader intact).

-SC
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:59 PM   #7
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Thats funny you say this because in December of 2010 I got my 2010 boards pretty dirt cheap. 250.00 for the Backplane board and 46.00 for the single processor board.

Rather than apply the firmware update which was out 6 months after the fact, I gutted my 2009 and removed the boards and replaced the 09 boards with 2010 boards. My Mac Pro is now a 6-core and the w3680 only cost me 500.00 several months ago.

Now I regret even bothering as my machine is mainly used as a file server and print server to my PowerPC macs currently in use. I do show love to my Mac Pro, but not as much as my PPC macs.


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Originally Posted by ScottishCaptain View Post
If you can't figure this stuff out for yourself, then you're playing with fire and you're going to get burned.

The 2009 and 2010 (which is the same as the 2012) Mac Pros have radically different dual CPU boards. The heatsinks for either are different depending on the CPU socket ("A" or "B"). Likewise, the 2009 board requires a different set of heatsinks then the 2010 board.

The reason why the 2009 board is so cheap is because it's technically inferior to the 2010/2012 board. The 2009 dual CPU board lacks an LGA retention mechanism around the CPU sockets- this has to do with Apple's weird requirement for lidless CPUs. You CANNOT properly use CPUs with a heat spreader on them in the 2009 board- if you try you will destroy your LGA sockets and potentially the backplane board as well.

The 2010/2012 board(s) rectified this issue by including the LGA retention mechanisms again. These boards take CPUs with the heat spreaders intact (and will therefore not accept a lidless CPU). Since the retention mechanism is present, the heatsink mounting hole spacing is different from the 2009 board- so the heatsinks are different as well.

So there you have it- the 2009 board is cheap for a reason, because it's different and inferior to the 2010/2012 board. The 2009 board sockets are seriously fragile and the whole setup is prone to breaking if you're not obsessively careful while monkeying around with it and the CPUs. They also require lidless CPUs for proper operation.

If I were you, I'd avoid the 2009 boards (even if they'll work in your system- which I'm not sure if they do- the 2009 will take a 2010/2012 board, but I'm not sure about a 2010/2012 backplane taking a 2009 CPU board). They're too fragile and too much of a pain in the ass to work with. You'll land up spending more on lidless CPUs then you would have if you'd bought a 2010/2012 board with the associated heatsinks and saved on using "normal" CPUs instead (that is, CPUs with the heat spreader intact).

-SC
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 03:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottishCaptain View Post
If you can't figure this stuff out for yourself, then you're playing with fire and you're going to get burned.

The 2009 and 2010 (which is the same as the 2012) Mac Pros have radically different dual CPU boards. The heatsinks for either are different depending on the CPU socket ("A" or "B"). Likewise, the 2009 board requires a different set of heatsinks then the 2010 board.

The reason why the 2009 board is so cheap is because it's technically inferior to the 2010/2012 board. The 2009 dual CPU board lacks an LGA retention mechanism around the CPU sockets- this has to do with Apple's weird requirement for lidless CPUs. You CANNOT properly use CPUs with a heat spreader on them in the 2009 board- if you try you will destroy your LGA sockets and potentially the backplane board as well.

The 2010/2012 board(s) rectified this issue by including the LGA retention mechanisms again. These boards take CPUs with the heat spreaders intact (and will therefore not accept a lidless CPU). Since the retention mechanism is present, the heatsink mounting hole spacing is different from the 2009 board- so the heatsinks are different as well.

So there you have it- the 2009 board is cheap for a reason, because it's different and inferior to the 2010/2012 board. The 2009 board sockets are seriously fragile and the whole setup is prone to breaking if you're not obsessively careful while monkeying around with it and the CPUs. They also require lidless CPUs for proper operation.

If I were you, I'd avoid the 2009 boards (even if they'll work in your system- which I'm not sure if they do- the 2009 will take a 2010/2012 board, but I'm not sure about a 2010/2012 backplane taking a 2009 CPU board). They're too fragile and too much of a pain in the ass to work with. You'll land up spending more on lidless CPUs then you would have if you'd bought a 2010/2012 board with the associated heatsinks and saved on using "normal" CPUs instead (that is, CPUs with the heat spreader intact).

-SC
Thank you for the clarification, there is nothing difficult about this upgrade, the dual lidless upgrade seemed problematic from the go, but you explained 2010/2012 boards include LGA retention.

My last questions, you mention the heat sinks being different to the 2009 boards as they are built for the LGA retention, could you go further and confirm deny if there is any difference between heat sink A and B on a 2010/2012 board? Are they exactly the same? just with different part numbers? Logically different part numbers indicate different build but from experience I know Apple label identical parts with different numbers.

Which processors can I use on a dual 2010 board?

Maximum memory of a single socket 2010/2012 Mac Pro? 48GB?

Will a dual 2010/2012 board boot with one processor and one memory bank in use?

Thanks
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
My last questions, you mention the heat sinks being different to the 2009 boards as they are built for the LGA retention, could you go further and confirm deny if there is any difference between heat sink A and B on a 2010/2012 board? Are they exactly the same? just with different part numbers? Logically different part numbers indicate different build but from experience I know Apple label identical parts with different numbers.
No, they are different.

The heatsinks contain built-in thermal sensors and a small DC fan. The electrical connector on the underside of the heatsink is designed to mate with a connector on the CPU board. This connector is in a different place depending on the CPU socket ("A" or "B"), and the heatsink itself is slightly different as well.

You cannot make one fit the other. They're simply different parts.

Quote:
Which processors can I use on a dual 2010 board?

Maximum memory of a single socket 2010/2012 Mac Pro? 48GB?

Will a dual 2010/2012 board boot with one processor and one memory bank in use?

Thanks
Someone else will have to answer this- unfortunately I'm not very familiar with CPUs outside of what Apple ships with their systems. I believe you need a minimum of two or three DIMMs installed on the CPU board before it'll boot- I can't quite remember, but I don't think it'll boot with just a single DIMM.

-SC
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
The reason for a 2009 board is that the majority of suppliers charge a lot more for a 2012 board
Then get a 2012 board from one of those minority of suppliers that don't charge more for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
I'm under the impression the 2009 board is the same but requires a firmware flash. Why would you pay twice as much for the same board? Make sense?
Perhaps, but I remember a thread where someone assembled a Mac Pro from spare parts. He had a mismatched main board and backplane, and they had problems. Maybe a flash would fix that, but I can't remember if he was even able to boot. If not, then you'd have to flash the 2009 board in some other 2009 Mac Pro.

I see some others have pointed out the physical differences too, so I won't repeat the problems with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Are the two X5690's lidless or can you use processors with heat spreaders?
Not lidless. AFAIK, the dual proc 2009 Mac Pros used processors made especially for Apple and all the retail CPUs are normal. The X5690s should work fine with 2010/2012 main board and heat sinks.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:22 PM   #11
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Daughterboards are not swappable as that will cause a smc version mismatch between the backplane logicboard and the daughterboard itself.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:11 PM   #12
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Daughterboards are not swappable as that will cause a smc version mismatch between the backplane logicboard and the daughterboard itself.
Yes they are, they just need to have the right firmware flashed.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 03:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Yes they are, they just need to have the right firmware flashed.
Can you point to a utility, instructions on similar on how flash to the firmware on daughterboards?
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Thank you for the clarification, there is nothing difficult about this upgrade, the dual lidless upgrade seemed problematic from the go, but you explained 2010/2012 boards include LGA retention.
Bit more difficult than you might realize.

On the surface, it seems rather straight forward. But given the use of standard CPU's (as they're much easier to find), will require an extensive amount of caution during the installation process, particularly regarding torque applied to the screws and thermal sensor placement (can slip out IIRC of the 2009 heatsinks).

You'd be a lot safer using a 2010 or newer daughter board, as they use CPU's with an IHS (CPU sockets have the retention mechanism). And since your system is a 2012, and there seems to be yet additional P/N changes, it would be in your best interest to get a 2012 board rather than a 2010.

Easiest thing however, would be to sell off the existing system and buy the correct model with the lowest CPUID's available, perform a CPU swap, and sell the original CPU's off once your warranty has expired (need to keep them on hand on the off chance you'll need to send the system in, as there's no guarantee you'd get the upgraded ones back - seriously, people have lost upgrades that weren't removed before sending it in).

Past examinations show this route is usually cheaper as well due to the high cost of replacement parts (exceptional deals on parts or a cheap/free donor system would be the only reasonable way you might come in cheaper than just getting another system and selling off what you don't need).

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
...any difference between heat sink A and B on a 2010/2012 board? Are they exactly the same? just with different part numbers?
Different P/N's are for a reason; something changed. As per the specifics, I seem to recall that they added a fan to the 2010, and the 2012 changed them again (thermal sensor or different fan was used from the 2010 models).

They may work if mismatched, but you're taking a real chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Which processors can I use on a dual 2010 board?
55xx or 56xx series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ActionableMango View Post
Not lidless. AFAIK, the dual proc 2009 Mac Pros used processors made especially for Apple and all the retail CPUs are normal. The X5690s should work fine with 2010/2012 main board and heat sinks.
The lidless CPUID's used by Apple in those machines were special production, not retail or standard OEM.

Might be possible to locate (recycled from another MP for example), but likely expensive due to the limited supply if you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Taken View Post
Yes they are, they just need to have the right firmware flashed.
There's 2x forms of firmware in a MP; first is the primary firmware for the CPU's, stored on the daughterboard. Second is the SMC firmware that's used to operate the fans in the MP's case (IIRC, it's stored on a separate Flash chip on the backplane board).

The flash utility that's been made available, only flashes the primary system firmware. Hence the possibility to have a mismatched set of CPU and SMC firmware.

Now IIRC, if it's mismatched, it will work from a technical standpoint, but the case fans are running at max. So if you don't mind sitting next to a vacuum cleaner, by all means, use whatever grouping of boards you like.
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 09:36 PM   #15
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Where is the proof of the theory in the first link? Has anyone tried it and heard the fans go to max?

Please point me to a link where someone has done this. Pratcice, please, not theory.
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 10:15 PM   #16
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Ha! nanofrog or similar. Lol. Hilarious.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomaspin View Post
Where is the proof of the theory in the first link? Has anyone tried it and heard the fans go to max?

Please point me to a link where someone has done this. Pratcice, please, not theory.
I see no theory link.
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 10:48 PM   #17
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The place to look is at Netkas where the main thread and flashing utility is.

I was able to put 5680s in my 2009 CPU boards but it wasn't easy and I bought a 2nd CPU board thinking I had killed my first.

I am still hoping to resurrect the Dual CPU 2009 board but need to get a couple Heatsinks and some more 5680s before I try.
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Old Jul 31, 2013, 04:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Different P/N's are for a reason; something changed. As per the specifics, I seem to recall that they added a fan to the 2010, and the 2012 changed them again (thermal sensor or different fan was used from the 2010 models).

They may work if mismatched, but you're taking a real chance.
Say what?

Nothing changed between the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pros. They are identical machines. The 2012 doesn't even have its own service manual or ASD disk, you just use the 2010 stuff for that. All the part numbers are the same.

-SC
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