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Old Sep 8, 2009, 09:04 AM   #1
gugucom
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Done it! - Nehalem W5590 Octad 3,33 GHz

I closed a deal with a supplier of a pair of W5590 engineering samples which are tweaked for overclocking beyond 3,33 GHz. The price is roughly half of the official price for W5590s. It is my intention to purchase a 2,26 GHz Nehalem Mac Pro and upgrade.

I will be sharing the experience of this project in this thread. For now I have been told that there is one more pair of CPUs available. The seller isn't prepared to disclose his name but I can pass your email address to him if you PM it to me.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 09:13 AM   #2
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Half the price of one 5590? That would make it $800 each? Very tempting.

Are these samples lidded or not?
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 09:56 AM   #3
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ES CPUs often have undocumented Errata... I would stay away even at that price. There are plenty of threads about stability and ES CPUs on more tweaker-oriented sites such as XtremeSystems.org, etc.

For an Overclocker's PC I wouldn't think twice but in a workstation stability is paramount. Just my 2 cents.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by novagamer View Post
ES CPUs often have undocumented Errata... I would stay away even at that price. There are plenty of threads about stability and ES CPUs on more tweaker-oriented sites such as XtremeSystems.org, etc.

For an Overclocker's PC I wouldn't think twice but in a workstation stability is paramount. Just my 2 cents.
I fully agree with this.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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Half the price of one 5590? That would make it $800 each? Very tempting.

Are these samples lidded or not?
No such feature has been named which leads me to believe they are standard IHS. But that isn't a disadvantage.

The seller claims that the chips have been thoroughly tested and work like the series production version. I'm in Europe and have to pay in €*what Americans pay in $$ so ES is an advantage particularly as the customs cannot find them in a price list. On top I will have a PayPal claim if I receive bad merchandise. So a little risk can be justified in my view. But hey I'm only speaking for myself. YMMV
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 12:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by novagamer View Post
ES CPUs often have undocumented Errata... I would stay away even at that price. There are plenty of threads about stability and ES CPUs on more tweaker-oriented sites such as XtremeSystems.org, etc.

For an Overclocker's PC I wouldn't think twice but in a workstation stability is paramount. Just my 2 cents.
I agree with you, and for me it also would not be worth it at any price, unless I was not using my MP for work... But I do sympathize with gugucom, he's not from the states and paying our retail... Tough choice. Good luck gugucom, I'll be following this thread closely and supporting your efforts.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 01:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gugucom View Post
No such feature has been named which leads me to believe they are standard IHS. But that isn't a disadvantage.
All the photos of ES Nehalems I saw did have an IHS on them.

Some might consider the need for a thermally conductive filler material a disadvantage. I don't, and you don't seem panicked over it either. Necessary for the project, and well worth doing IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gugucom View Post
The seller claims that the chips have been thoroughly tested and work like the series production version. I'm in Europe and have to pay in €*what Americans pay in $$ so ES is an advantage particularly as the customs cannot find them in a price list. On top I will have a PayPal claim if I receive bad merchandise. So a little risk can be justified in my view. But hey I'm only speaking for myself. YMMV
Rather slick. Good luck on it. Hopefully, the ES variants will behave nicely.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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I'll be curious to know the outcome of this as I was about to buy a couple of these processors myself (but retail, not ES). Problem is, I had been reading that they do not have the turbo-boost feature in them, according to people who had talked to Intel about it. So I contact Intel myself and received the following reply:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting Intel Customer Support.

I understand you need some information on the Intel(R) Xeon(R) processor W5590.

This processor supports Intel(R) Virtualization Technology; however, it does not support the Intel(R) Turbo Boost Technology.

Please confirm this information at: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id...l%C2%AE+QPI%29
I still don't know for sure about hyperthreading either. This kind of makes sense seeing as how the cost per 1000 is the same for both the 5580 and 5590. ie: The 5590 might sacrifice something.

I've started thinking that the w5580's might be the way to go, since while rendering videos they may be able to work a little faster - temperature permitting - using the turbo boost.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 03:37 PM   #9
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Turbo boost is nothing but using the TDP of a CPU to take a single core to the range ceiling of 3,33GHz. Obviously a 2,26 GHz CPU profits more from it than a 2,66 GHz. And at the top of the range a 3,33 GHz unit has no head room for turbo boost. But then it doesn't need it because all four cores will run full speed.

A good read is:

http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=3597&p=1

I will insert some quotes and references from other threads in order to have them handy here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
No need to make a shim. Simply use adhesive thermal conductive pads. Something like this: http://www.tglobal.com.tw/en/l37-5.php

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
Isn't it just the opposite? The current ones have no IHS and the ones he'll be adding have them. So he'll be dealing with a thicker part - not a thinner one that needs gap filling. Right? Or did I misunderstand?

I think he's talking about the regulators that surround the CPU. When the CPU is thicker the heat-sink no longer touches them - if indeed it ever did in the 1st place. There was some discussion about this a I recommended a thermal pad. The OP at that time thought it was a great idea and all but I have some questions as to whether or not it's actually needed.

Here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=738826

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
The info is right, as is your evaluation. On the OEM parts Apple's using, the naked CPU and VR's are the same height, and make contact with the copper surface of the heat sink.

Commodity W55xx/W35xx/17-9xx parts have the IHS, and will end up breaking contact with the heat sink and VR's. Using the mechanical drawing Intel provides, the gap will be 1.845 - 1.895 mm. in height that has to be filled.

If you know of a good product that can do the job, it might be helpful. The GapPad material I linked has good thermal conductivity, is electrically non conductive, and comes in thicknesses that can do the job without the need for multiple layers of it.

As a price example, I found the 1500 series, in a 4" x 4" sheet, 3.18 mm thick (1.5 W/m-K) @ $20.30USD from DigiKey (here). It could be used, but personally, going through this much hassle, and not sure how hot the VR's are getting (only estimated), I was thinking a better thermal conductivity was in order, and was thinking more along the lines of the 2500 series material.
My current work centers around finding a 2,26 GHz Octad Nehalem at a decent price. New rigs cost 3000€ in Germany and I will try to get a refurbished or used at 2500€ max. At present Apple store show no stock but I will regularly check and sift through ebay.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gugucom View Post
My current work centers around finding a 2,26 GHz Octad Nehalem at a decent price. New rigs cost 3000€ in Germany and I will try to get a refurbished or used at 2500€ max. At present Apple store show no stock but I will regularly check and sift through ebay.
I'd go for a refurb as well, if it were me. Less expensive, and it still carries a full manufacturer warranty on the system.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 08:41 PM   #11
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I'd go for a refurb as well, if it were me. Less expensive, and it still carries a full manufacturer warranty on the system.
Not that the warranty will matter after the new CPUs are popped in. Though I suppose if you kept the old 2.26's in storage and popped them back in to take it in for service you'd be golden.

I'd take you up on this deal but I just found myself the proud owner of 3 w5580's . Now I need to unload one of those suckers and find myself a refurb 09 2.26
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 09:26 PM   #12
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This definitely tempting me, but I don't think I need them considering the 2.66 is currently fine with me. If I had the 2.26 model I would have definitely gone for it.
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 09:51 PM   #13
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Turbo boost is nothing but using the TDP of a CPU to take a single core to the range ceiling of 3,33GHz. Obviously a 2,26 GHz CPU profits more from it than a 2,66 GHz. And at the top of the range a 3,33 GHz unit has no head room for turbo boost. But then it doesn't need it because all four cores will run full speed.
Are you sure about that? The W3580s have turbo boost. If turbo boost does not take a single core past 3.33Ghz why would they have it on the 3.33Ghz processor?
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Old Sep 8, 2009, 11:06 PM   #14
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Are you sure about that? The W3580s have turbo boost. If turbo boost does not take a single core past 3.33Ghz why would they have it on the 3.33Ghz processor?
W5580 runs 3,2 GHz. W5590 runs 3,33 GHz. Actually I don't know the exact turbo boost steps of each 55xx CPU but you could read that in Anand's write up. http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=3597&p=1
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Old Sep 9, 2009, 08:06 AM   #15
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W5580 runs 3,2 GHz. W5590 runs 3,33 GHz. Actually I don't know the exact turbo boost steps of each 55xx CPU but you could read that in Anand's write up. http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=3597&p=1
But I was talking about the W3580, which does run at 3.3Ghz and does have turbo... vs the W5590 which also runs at 3.33Ghz but does not have turbo.
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Old Sep 9, 2009, 08:18 AM   #16
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I'm also still wondering about the W5590's ability to hyperthread. Although I've seen some sites claim it has it, Intel's website doesn't say, and oddly all the tests I've found just say hyper-threading disabled. In addition, the Geekbench results for people who have put the W5590 in Mac Pro's all show 8-core instead of the usual 16, which makes me question hyperthreading capability (never mind that they had abysmal results considering their cpu's).

For those interested and don't know, the turbo boost steps for the higher end chips are:

W5590 (3.33GHz):
n/a
W3580 (3.33GHz single processor version):
133 MHz for 4, 3 and 2 cores, and 266 MHz for 1 core.
W5580 (3.2GHxz):
133 MHz for 4, 3 and 2 cores, and 266 MHz for 1 core
X5570 (2.93GHz):
266 MHz for 4 and 3 cores, and 400 MHz for 1 or 2 cores.
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Old Sep 9, 2009, 08:40 AM   #17
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Hyper threading is a product feature of the 55xx chip architecture. How can it be not applicable to the W5590. It would be absurd.

Edit: I looked up the Intel spec sheet and they simply do not make an entry for HT. It looks strange I agree, but it could be a clerical mistake. When you do a direct spec comparison between the W5580 and W5590 you see that many other items are left out for the W5590 as well. Among them are 64-bit architecture. I think that HT is most probably available on this CPU.

I found that they exclude HT on some lower 55xx products. So my above comment was wrong. Sorry for being over confident.
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Last edited by gugucom; Sep 9, 2009 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Checked facts and found new info
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Old Sep 9, 2009, 09:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Abidubi View Post
But I was talking about the W3580, which does run at 3.3Ghz and does have turbo... vs the W5590 which also runs at 3.33Ghz but does not have turbo.
The 3580 is a single socket CPU where the 5590 is dual socket. It could be possible that they disabled turbo to limit the power ceiling in line with some chipset conventions. Like limiting power to total 260 W TDP. It would not be applicable to the W3580 because it is well inside that spec.
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Old Sep 9, 2009, 10:06 AM   #19
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Hyper threading is a product feature of the 55xx chip architecture. How can it be not applicable to the W5590. It would be absurd.
I completely agree with you. This comes across as being their top of the line chip and so one would assume hyperthreading should be there. However I just received a response back from Intel from my inquiry to clarify hyperthreading support:

Quote:
Thank you for contacting Intel Customer Support.

At the previous link, it says: “Advanced Technologies”, there you can confirm this processor only supports Intel(R) Virtualization Technology and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep(R) Technology (EIST)

Again, the only features supported are Enhanced Intel SpeedStep(R) Technology (EIST) and Intel(R) Virtualization Technology.
That's from Intel's tech department. The "previous link" they refer to is from an earlier email about TB which I posted earlier in the thread. http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id...l%C2%AE+QPI%29. Again, omitting some features might explain why the pricing is the same as the model below it.

I have suspicions however that some preproduction models had all features unlocked. I'll be interested to see if the chips you scored are fully unlocked!
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Old Sep 9, 2009, 12:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gugucom View Post
Hyper threading is a product feature of the 55xx chip architecture. How can it be not applicable to the W5590. It would be absurd.

Edit: I looked up the Intel spec sheet and they simply do not make an entry for HT. It looks strange I agree, but it could be a clerical mistake. When you do a direct spec comparison between the W5580 and W5590 you see that many other items are left out for the W5590 as well. Among them are 64-bit architecture. I think that HT is most probably available on this CPU.

I found that they exclude HT on some lower 55xx products. So my above comment was wrong. Sorry for being over confident.
The specs on Intel's site are often wrong. Take a look at this site. No TB, but it does support HT.

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/I...2W5590%29.html
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Old Sep 21, 2009, 06:09 AM   #21
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CPUs arrived

Just to keep you up to date. My W5590 CPUs arrived by FedEx today and I got away with moderate import bleeding.

The Chips are Q1QW ES and the seller told me they are D0 stepping which is identical with the final HW code.

The MacPro4,1 is still in Apple Nirvana. They wrote me an email that my credit card got blocked today. The bank said its routine to do so in cases of high values being cashed in from abroad (Apple apparently collect all payments in the UK). So it looks like no joy for the next 2-3 days.

I will go and get the thermal pads.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 05:43 PM   #22
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My refurbushed Mac Pro is purchased from Apple Germany. It is payed to Apple UK. It is shipped by Apple Holland (NL). Here is the UPS record of my Mac's transport. Last evening 22:15 it arrived in Germany.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

HERNE-BOERNIG, DE 22.09.2009 22:15 ANKUNFTSSCAN
EINDHOVEN, BEST, NL 22.09.2009 20:15 ABFAHRTSSCAN
22.09.2009 17:42 HERKUNFTSSCAN NL
22.09.2009 12:07 RECHNUNGSINFORMATIONEN

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



BTW, does anybody have a service manual for the Nehalems? Please PM me!
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 05:51 PM   #23
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Last evening 22:15 it arrived in Germany.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gugucom View Post
BTW, does anybody have a service manual for the Nehalems? Please PM me!
I would appreciate this also, please.
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Old Sep 22, 2009, 08:07 PM   #24
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good luck! this sounds like a great project. id join you in it myself if i had the cash to burn right now + knowledge about replacing CPUs etc.
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Old Sep 24, 2009, 02:10 PM   #25
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Some bad news for now.

The 2,26 Nehalem Mac Pro arrived and I managed to get thermal pads although it was an odyssee. The Octoberfest is on full song and getting into the red light district (where all the electronics shops are) is a PITA. Traffic is a killer. None of the shops had the material and after 2h of chaos I visited a trusted Apple AASP who came up with some blue stuff of 1 mm thickness after searching all his junk drawers and card board boxes.

I carefully disassembled the CPU and RAM daughter board and took off the two heat sinks. Unscrewing works much like working on an engine cylinder block. You best approach it with the diagonal technique. I started with sink A and released all four 3 mm hex screws. I then lifted the heat sink with the cpu attached out of the socket. It is essential not to drop it back in when you have started to pull it from the socket because that is probably how Anand managed to screw his socket. Remember the sockets have no clamps!!! scary think to design!

CPU B looked slightly out of angle when I took it of the heat sink. The removal must have been not quite ideal. Apple was perfect with thermal grease application I must say. A very nice pattern.

I fitted the W5590s and increased the thickness of the thermal padding at the rim of the heat sink where the little voltage regulators are contacted by the padding. I cleaned the heat sinks to mirror finish and oh so carefully mounted them back on the sockets using again diagonal tightening technique.

After carefully re assembling the CPU/RAM board I switched power back on and got a white light but no gong sound came to tell me the CPUs had posted and were booting OS X.

I have taken the CPU A out again and re seated it but it looked perfect as the socket looked perfectly ok.

I tested again without joy and I will take out the CPU B to check for damage. If this CPU is also ok I may put the X5520s back in. For now I'm badly frustrated because this project got me very excited.

For the moment I see only two possible options. I got bad CPU from my seller or Apple have enabled the Nehalems only up to W5580 as Tutor used those with success.

If someone has a good idea what could have went wrong please let me know!!!

I will come back and make further reports as the action continues.
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