Fastest CPU Upgrade Possible for 4.1 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xav8tor, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2011
    I know many have flashed 4.1 to 5.1 and installed the W3680 in '09 Pro's replacing CPU's like mine had - the 2.93 quad. A few apps I use have the need for speed, not cores. What's the best option for a CPU upgrade with a high clock/turbo boost when using one core maxed and maybe a 2nd running at 30% or less?

    Secondly, is there any way to overclock the CPU when running Win 7 in boot camp? I'd like to hit 4.5 GHz on air if possible. Intel did make a dual core OEM Xeon a couple of years ago stock at 4.4 GHz, but it was for limited release special purpose dual proc machines and the cost was a little high: 44,000 USD for a pair.
  2. PowerPCMacMan, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012

    macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    Hi, in answer to your questions.. The w3690 which is 3.4 ghz 6-core is going to be the fastest for the Quad based 5,1 and 4,1-5,1 firmware converted Mac Pros. PLEASE NOTE: You CANNOT run any w36xx series unless you have applied the 4,1-5,1 firmware. I assume you have NOT applied the firmware at this point to make your 4,1 into a 5,1? For the 4,1 or 2009 Mac Pro, I believe the 3.33 Ghz Quad-core w3580 is the fastest for the 4,1 series. I might have read somewhere there was a w3590 possibly, also at 3.4 Ghz.

    If it were me I would future proof for the time being my machine by getting the w3690 or w3680 both take the same 1333 mhz memory and have the same turbo boost up to 3.6 Ghz. As for overclocking, yes.. Under Windows 7 you can download a program called crystalcpuID and there are others too which can be used to overclock the processors, but I wouldn't recommend it as it could shorten the life of the processors. Just realize that OS X will ignore the overclocked frequency.

    Hope this all helps you.

  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2011
    Very helpful. Intel never released a W3590, 2009 was a slow year for clock speeds. I haven't flashed to 5.1 yet but have 1333 RAM in anticipation of the upgrade. Turbo was limited on the W35XX but the 36XX looks better and I might find a use for the extra cores. With the same turbo, the 3680 seems like the sweet spot. I'll try the app you cited in BC and see what a half a GHz or so will give me. Your warning is duly noted. I'll try to be careful.

    One app I use can't get enough of anything. 5 GHZ would be nice and I really like the specs on the 1620 and 1280/1290 v2' Xeons, especially the latter - 4.1 turbo. I use X-Plane Professional at work and have the need for (clock) speed, and would like to keep the Pro for another two years, rather than going back to M$, especially now that I have a GTX 670 and USB 3.0 card, 1000mw wireless adapter, along with a couple SSD's in it. 10.8 runs all of it well now that I got the drivers and a hack or two up and running. CPU and maybe throughput on the Mobo is the only holdup now.

    Will crystalcpuID let me play with the W3540 on 4.1 firmware? Like trying to get 3.5 or so?
  4. macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
  5. macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    W3680 6core

    I have already upgraded my macpro from 4.1 to 5.1 and have added the W3680 xeon works well .this upgrade also allows me to use standard memory 8gb x 4 total 32gb.i have also added the pci-e ssd card from OWC as the sata drives running at 3gb speed only.It is faster then my standard dual 2.4ghz 5.1 macpro.the upgrade is very easy to do.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    I'm 99% sure you can't overclock the CPU. I've been searchIng for years on ways to do it.

    By all means try it but I doubt you will get anywhere!
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2010
    Maybe the xeon X5698 - 2 cores 4.4GHz, if you ca find one.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2012
    By all means, please tell me wether you used a Stepping D0 or Stepping B1 processor! It need to know because a user named "fairbanx" said that

    Please have a look using CPU-Z or whatever else and tell us!
  9. xav8tor, Aug 1, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2011
    I found one, sold as a pair, for 44 grand!

    Also, anyone know if you do the 4.1 to 5.1 flash, will an X5687 work in a single CPU MP? I know it is made for two chip machines, but I have a bead on one for a great price and it is a fast chip. Does the 2 QPI v 1 QPI (whatever that is) spec matter? I need clock speed not cores.
  10. Tutor, Aug 1, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012

    macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2009
    Home of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    I am not sure those 5689 chips will work, but believe that the 5687's may, although I don't know of any one who has tried either of them. Make sure that you can return them if they don't work because that's a lot of money.
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2011
    You are SO right. Anyone else tried an X56XX in a single socket? Also I tried that crystal cpu app and nothing I did changed the speed on the 3540 in Win7. Did I do something wrong or is the Mac 3540 locked even in boot camp?

    Thanks guys for the help.
  12. macrumors 601


    Sep 21, 2010
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2011
    Even in Windows via Boot Vamp? There isn't anything on the chip (multiplier, voltage, etc.) I can crank up a notch or two, or more? Is the Xeon totally locked somehow? What if I upgraded the CPU with the i7 equivalent to the Xeon? Could I OC that or is the board stopping me? I an not very savvy on this stuff. I built a Windows machine once with a top of the line Asus board and OC on that thing was easy with the provided software. Somebody on here got a 9XX Extreme running on his Pro after going to 5.1 and sys profiler even called it a Xeon.
  14. macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Jul 21, 2012
    Well, you can overclock the CPU in both systems. There exists a OC-app for OS X, you have to search for it in the internet.

    In Windows, oc'ing the CPU is no problem.
  15. macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    The OS X app doesn't work for 4,1 or 5,1 or 6,1 Mac Pro's. Period.

    You also can't do ANY over clocking in windows. Unless you want to prove otherwise.
  16. xav8tor, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2011
    OS X: I saw that app weeks ago. It was a ZD Net or Cnet or somebody net app released in Germany years ago and nope, it doesn't work on a 4.1 or 5.1.

    Win 7: I downloaded the suggested CrystalCPU app and cranked up voltage and multipliers half the night. The clock (CPU speed and time clock, since on a Mac the latter would speed up as well) didn't increase 1/10 of a GHz.

    Looks like 3.46 is all I am going to see unless I spring for the X5687, which I read, although intended for dual machines, will work on a single CPU board (in Windows anyway). I'd get almost 3.9 out of it in turbo.

    But again, the i7X equivalents aren't locked, so what's stopping us from OCing those on a Mac in Windows?
  17. macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2013
    sorry for joining in this thread a little bit late... but my 2.66Ghz Quad Core Mac Pro with 8Gb of RAM is starting to feel really slow, so I was looking for a way to boost it, and found that the best upgrade would be a w3690 CPU but the w3680 would be a better buy...

    will i feel a real difference in performance if I upgrade my CPU to a 3.4 W3680 Intel Xeon?

    I am planning on putting 32GB of RAM too, if I only upgraded the RAM I would already feel a good boost right? will the CPU upgrade be worthwhile? I work mainly with Logic Pro 9, some 3D Interior design software, and a little of Photoshop and Final Cut... I kno wthat for AUdio the RAM would definitely be the best boost, so I am really wondering if it is worth putting an extra 600$ for the CPU upgrade?

    Thanks for your input !
  18. macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Montpellier, France
    Read this and this.

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