4,1 to 5,1 Firmware Update Question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by eghop, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2011
    Hello All, I hope this is the right place to seek an answer to what may be a dumb question.
    I have a 4,1 Mac Pro (2.26 GHz eight core) that I've upgraded with 2 W5590 (3.33 GHz Q. Core) processors.
    My question is : Will the 5,1 update be positive or negative for my system?.
    I know six core is an option for cpu upgrades,But what about faster ram or overall performance?.
    Will the W5590 processors still work?.
    Mac Pro 4,1
    2x W5590 3.33 Ghz
    32 GB Ram
    ATI 5870
    ML 10.83 (Photo,Video,General Use)
    Bootcamp Win7 Ultimate (Gaming,Blu-Ray)

    Thank You All for any answers you may have.
  2. macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2010
    The W5590 CPUs run 800, 1066 and 1333 RAM.
    If you have 1333 RAM, it will run at 1333, but the difference is negligible, in my opinion. You'll see no performance gains from the different firmware alone, if that's what you're thinking. 5,1 firmware doesn't speed up or optimize anything.

    My 2009 Mac Pro came with the W3580, which was able to run 1333MHz RAM, but the 4,1 firmware held it back at 1066, despite having installed 32GB of 1333. The firmware upgrade allowed it to run at 1333 with the original quad CPU. I personally did it so I could swap in the W3680 6-core, which I have. If you aren't going to change CPUs, I'd leave it at 4,1 so that your install DVDs still work.

    If you DO switch to 5,1... you can still get the install DVDs for 5,1 Snow Leopard, if you wanted to do a clean install. (I'm a fan of, and still use, 10.6.8) Being on Mountain Lion, you may not want to ever go back, and that's understandable.

    Short answer: Changing to 5,1 will give you slight RAM speed boost, and allow 6-core CPUs. It won't hurt anything.
  3. macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2013
  4. macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2010
    One needs to run the tool found at the end of the first post of this thread on Netkas.org. To see/download this app, you need to register and log in, otherwise the thread looks like there is no tool to download. It's a good idea to read that thread first. I know, 37 pages and counting over the years, but reading it answers all the questions people have asked. If I just answer questions, there's a chance things might have changed since my conversion, and I'd end up giving expired information, so better that the information and discussion continue at the source, in my opinion.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2011
    Short answer: Changing to 5,1 will give you slight RAM speed boost, and allow 6-core CPUs. It won't hurt anything.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the info, That's just what i needed to know.
    You Rock!
  6. macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Jul 13, 2004
    The RAM speed boost will only be when you replace the Quad processor by a Hex 3.33 or higher.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    Really the benefit is 6-core processors(w3670,w3680,w3690) and 1333 mhz memory.. Thats all you will get with the 4,1 to 5,1 firmware.. but it also does prolong your machine a hellava lot longer.

    Getting the discs to run on the 2010 with the 4,1 to 5,1 firmware is a hassle since Apple requires a serial number to send out the discs to you.. Its hard coded on the logic board and there is no way around it, at least from what I know.

    If you need the 2010 discs, ask someone who has a real 2010 and they should be able to help :) Wonderspark knows what I am talking about, dontcha ya?


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