Help is needed to upgrade processors in 2009 2.26 8-core Mac Pro - WV,OH,PA,VA,MD,DC

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by shelant, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #1
    Hello everybody,
    After failing to upgrade my 2009 Mac Pro and frying both processors, I am trying to seek for some help from my fellow Macrumorers :)
    I live in Charleston WV, but would be willing to drive within 6 hours, if someone could help me upgrade my 8-core 2.26 processors. I have all the tools needed for the job, as well as thermal materials. I would get two 5570 or 5580. Or, if I could find them cheap, X5680 would be the most desirable choice.
    I would greatly appreciate any help or advice.
    Thanks a million in advance!!!
     
  2. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #2
    I just lived through this same craziness.

    The thing that saved my sanity was when I realized that my PC flashing rig used same type processors.

    I had ordered 5680s and was so excited that when the first 10 tries to boot all ended in silence and red lights on CPU boards I was ready to KILL anyone within killing distance. I angrily wrote the vendor of the X5680s and was ready to get a team ready to go tar & feather them.

    But then I realized that I could test in my flashing rig. And BOTH 5680s were just fine there. That is when I realized that it was all on me. In retrospect I had OVER tightened the heatsinks.

    The biggest & best piece of advice is to concentrate on CPU-A by itself. Have 4 sticks of CONFIRMED WORKING RAM in for that CPU. Take your time, be patient and start LOOSER than you think will work. Keep trying another half turn on each screw until you FINALLY hear that beloved "BOING" sound. More than likely some of your RAM won't show up, this is a sign that you still need to tighten another 1/2 turn on each or so until the RAM all shows up.

    When you get it working with just CPU-A you will have a minute or two before fans go crazy. This is normal. Now you take the confidence and excitement of getting CPU-A working and start on CPU-B.

    I tried over and over at first and it would always work fine with the old 2.26s but never with the 5680s. I was inches from returning them until I remembered that PC. Once I knew that both CPUs were fine, I found the drive to get to the end of the process.

    BTW, it is CRUCIAL that you upgrade the 4,1 to a 5,1 firmware before you start this. It will never, EVER run Westmeres until you do.

    Take a moment and enjoy the beauty of WV to calm yourself. I was there some years back to shoot an Amtrak commercial. Gorgeous country, and Dektor-Higgins was kind enough to take the whole crew white water rafting after we wrapped.

    I am in LA or I would help you, hopefully you find someone local but if you don't I am pretty sure that anyone can do this as long as their hands are steady enough to drop the CPUs in their sockets without denting pins.

    Good luck !!!
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 20, 2008
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    #3
    Thanks so much for taking time to tell me your story. I don't even know what happened the first time around. Here is what I did step by step:
    1-updated Mac Pro from 4.1 to 5.1
    2-got two x5680 and the set of tools, thermal materials and washers to compensate the new lidded processors (2.26 were lidless)
    3-removed old CPU-B and made sure that Mac Pro can still boot with just one 2.26 in socket A.
    4-removed CPU-A, cleaned everything, tried multiple times to re-seat the heat sink without the processor in place.
    5-placed the new x5680, applied arctic silver 5 and carefully tightened the heat sink about 5-6 full turns.
    6-no boot, tightened slightly more, still no boot, removed the sink - bunch of pins on the socket were bent. I tried to fix it with the pair of tweezers and loaded back my old 2.26. Mac did not boot even with the old processor.
    Thinking, I destroyed the processor board, I brought the computer with my old processors to Apple store, they told me I didn't store them correctly and most likely killed them. They ordered two new 2.26s and did not order new processor board, which I thought was weird, since the board looked exactly like Anandtech's fried logic board (http://www.anandtech.com/show/2800/upgrading-and-analyzing-apple-s-nehalem-mac-pro/11)
    Week later they called me and confirmed it's fixed just by swapping the processors and NOT changing anything else.

    So... what did I do wrong? I thought I was really careful with handling processors and was absolutely sure that I fried the board...
    I am really afraid to do it myself again, that is why I am asking for help from more experienced Macrumorers anywhere in this region.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #4
    So what happened to your "fried" X5680s? Since you never got a boot and the processor board apparently was OK, it's very unlikely that those processors were actually fried. The reason you never got a boot is probably because the heatsink fan connector was never connected properly to the processor board in the first place and it had happened to others before. This is why there was a lengthy discussion of clipping the connectors for proper seating in this thread, and Tutor's post illustrated one way of doing it.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #5
    There is a company in Urbana, Ohio that does allot of system upgrades etc. you can contact them via their ebay page. I've heard he does good work.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-P...7820742?pt=Apple_Desktops&hash=item19d2067446
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    ClassObject

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #6
    Measure the difference in thickness between old and new proccesors using a digital micrometer. Use washers as spacers on heatsink posts as measured with the mircometer. Clip the fan connectors so it will seat properly. Also, don't use engineering sample (ES) proccesors.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    You are right, x5680 is fine. I sent it back, so they tested it and cpu passed all the tests. In regards of the fan connector, I measured the difference in height between the processors and used 2mm worth of washers. I have used this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1523036 I figured it is not required to clip the connector, I heard a definite snap when putting the heat sink back, so I thought the fan connector was connected properly. Thanks for the links, I have read them several times :)

    ----------

    Thanks for advice, I will look into this

    ----------

    Apple store charged me $892 for two new 2.26 Xeons. They also took the old ones. I feel sort of robbed... They just blindly assumed that the old ones were dead and made me pay for the new pair. I even have one more year of apple care...
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #8
    Ouch! This must be the most expensive non-upgrade I've read but I could understand why it wasn't covered under Apple Care, and it's always their policy to keep the old parts when new ones are installed. Regarding not clipping the fan connector, if you use the plastic washers specified here by Tutor, there is no clipping necessary when using 2 on each post, but it does need clipping if using 3 as suggested by Tutor as discussed here. Just one of the possibilities to make the upgrade work.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Oh, if this is their policy, I guess it's the way it is. Well, my wallet still feels hurt...
    I have used 2 metal washers on each post, at Lowe's they label it 4m washers . Also, I had 2mm thermal pad applied to the heat sink. I do believe that the fan connector was connected properly, since I heard it click and felt it sink in...
    So, I still do not feel comfortable to do it again myself. Is there any Apple authorized service anywhere close to Charleston WV?
     
  10. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    Yes, this is the sort of upgrade that you can't make Apple a part of.

    (As you have found out)

    I too bent pins EXACTLY like Anandtech, a diagonal bend in one corner of CPU A socket. I went outside in the bright California sun with a magnifying glass (good for burning ants when bored) and a small thumb tack. I took my time and bent the pins back up and was able to make it work again. Meanwhile I purchased a new processor tray from DV Warehouse. So since I now have an EXTRA one, I have ordered a Quad 2009 4,1 and I am going to try turning it into a Octo or maybe another 12 core. I have my 2.26s still sitting around, I just need to get some heatsinks and I will have everything needed to make another 8/12 core.

    I just hope the processor board can take one more install. The 5680s are in the new processor board and stable & solid so they aren't ever coming back out.

    I can't emphasize enough that the correct tightness of those screws is "as much art as science." (someone else said that, I'm quoting them) I used 2mm nylon washers and 2mm thermal pad for the other chips. A guy I know does MANY upgrades here in Hollywood and he came by to talk. He also told me that getting right amount of pressure is difficult. I clipped the heatsink connectors and pulled them from housing so I could connect them first, then drop heatsink down. You also have to be certain that if you do this, the connector itself isn't blocking the heatsink from coming down squarely.

    After doing this around 10 times, I finally got it right. It's when you try the same CPU on a cheapie PC logicboard that you realize how pointlessly difficult the Apple system is. The PC board has a metal frame that flips over and clamps down with spring pressure to hold CPU down. The arm is latched and maintains this constant pressure. The heatsink is then clamped on top but the heatsink does not provide the pressure to seat pins.

    The way Apple does it has no possible advantages, except maybe to sell many CPU trays and new CPUs when people damage one or the other trying to do Apple's pointlessly complicated dance.

    In my opinion, the diagonal damage I created and Anandtech created is what happens when one side gets tightened more than another.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #11
    Thankfully the single-processor 4,1s use the CPU clamp and the stock CPU has the IHS (metal top). As such, single-processor upgrades are a snap.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    I am afraid this task is not as simple as some of us describe. It is SO incredible easy to damage the processor board by moving heat sink even the slightest. It makes me hesitant to go thru this myself again... :(
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #13
    There is always risk involved no matter who does the upgrade. Have you considered what if someone else actually fried the CPU, processor board, and heatsink fan altogether during the upgrade, who would be responsible for the damage (no matter how small the chance may be)? One alternative is to sell your 2009 and get a 2010 2.4GHz 8-core model if you could find one with a reasonable price around $2000 or less. It can take any Nehalem or Westmere DP upgrade, and no more unprotected CPU sockets to worry about. With hindsight, it would have been easier to swallow the price difference for a 2010 model, but now I'm not sure.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Yes, you are right, I might just sell my 2009 and wait for 2013...
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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    Toronto
    #15
    will the machine work with just one upgraded CPU for a period of time? or do the fans kick in like crazy?
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    No, it didn't boot at all and the fans started working full speed right away.
     
  17. macrumors member

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    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #17
    Hello,

    I'd like to buy a 2.26 GHz Q. Core Xeon E5520 Nehalem macpro.
    Is there a safe tutorial anywhere in the web to replace 2,26 CPU's with x5690 or x5680 ?

    Otherwise I would buy a 2.66 GHz Q. Core Xeon W3520 and replace the CPU with W3680 or w3690. Everybody says it's safer, isn't it ?

    thank you
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #18
  19. macrumors member

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    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #19
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #20
    In the pindelski article he talks about single & dual cpu, fan control, hard drive upgrades, USB3, GPU, and lots of other stuff. Look through it carefully.
     
  21. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #21
    Yes I saw that: it's massive ! he talks about many interesting things. But I wish I had found a step by step tuto as I fixit is doing. I'll try to read the whole thing and see if I can pick informations separatly.
     
  22. macrumors member

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    Kansas City
    #22
    It's in there. Also, read this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1691581
     
  23. Tutor, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014

    macrumors 65816

    Tutor

    Joined:
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    #23
    Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! - that's four(+) times per CPU - $892 / $90 = 9.91.

    Who was that unmasked robber? I bought a pair of new 2.66GHz 6-core 5650s for my EVGA SR-2 hackies for $340 a pair from Eoptionsonline. There the E5520s are $90 each - brand new [ https://www.eoptionsonline.com/CSea...=AND&DisplayMode=List&SearchPartNumbersOnly=0 ].

    PS - I guess that I'm out of range - Driving distance from Charleston, WV to Birmingham, AL = 564 Miles / 908 Km. How many hours? 8 hours 18 mins.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #24
    Excuse me I just need a yes or no answer. I don't have time right now to read these very long threads, but I have to make a choice quickly to buy my Nehalem macpro. I need to choose between single or bi-cpu macpro, what do recommend ?
    So is it hard/long to replace the 2X2,26 CPUs, harder than singles machines ?
    And if yes what is exactly the tricky part ? thanks a lot

    Is this correct to install bi-cpu ?
     
  25. thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 20, 2008
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    US
    #25
    Thanks Tutor for your offer of help.
    Had I known your location earlier, I would have swung by. But I no longer need to upgrade...
     

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