Mac Pro 2009 CPU upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Pitagora, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I currently own a Mac Pro 2009 2.6 quad core, can you please tell me which is the best CPU upgrade for this model?
    Can I buy a board with 2 CPU will it fit/worth the total investment?

    Is the 6 core 3.33 ghz the best option for this model?

    I currently have 16 gb ram and I also want to buy a gtx 660 ti from msi, or zotac, can't decided yet.. Are zotac cards noisy when playing games?i don't intend to overlock it.

    Also want to ask you guys, when and how can I upgrade the efi from 4.1 to 5.1 ?
    Can you detail me this operation cause I don't find anywhere which a the proper steps which must be followed to upgrade the efi? Do I need to upgrade the efi before install the Ene CPU, or after?

    Please be kind with me cause I am newbie, this is my first Mac Pro tower, I chooses this because I want to make an good investment for a long time.

    I expect you relies guys. See you.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #2
    Hi!

    The absolute best upgrade for the 2009 Single-Quad using the 4,1 to 5,1 firmware would be the 6-core w3680 and I wholeheartedly recommend you get that as its the sweet spot. You will love that chip!

    With that said... in order for you to use the w3680, you will require the 4,1 to 5,1 Mac Pro firmware. Once you apply that then you will be all set. You can them change out the 1066 Mhz DDR3 memory for 1333 mhz if you wish, though you won't see much difference in performance, at least to the naked eye - Where you might see the differences would be with CAD software and or very heavy scientific applications, number crunching, etc..

    Finally, in answer to your question about dual boards. I would not bother as by the time you get the parts for those you will already be over the price for what it costs to buy a 5,1 Mac Pro. Your best bet is upgrading the Single-Quad 2.66 to the 6-core w3680. It will cost you so much less than a dual set up.

    Hope this helps..

    PPCMM
    :apple:

     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #3

    How do I upgrade the firmware from 4.1 to 5.1, sir? Can you be more specific?
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    Mac Pro 2009-2010 Firmware Tool
     

    Attached Files:

  5. macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #5
    Just sent it to him 2 minutes ago..


     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #6
    Thank you very much sir. I currently can't open the file cause I am on the ipad, but tomorrow I will check it.

    If I upgrade right now the firmware from 4.1 to 5.1 is there any problem?cause I don't have right now the CPU, I first have to find, buy and receive it and this might take a while cause I live in Europe, and I will ordered from amazon/ebay, or you recommend me to upgrade the firmware just when I am about to instal the new CPU?

    Many regards guys for your replies.

    P.S. can you estimate the whole price of this upgrade?
     
  7. macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I see people looking for that firmware app every week. On the one hand, I think that one should dig deep and learn everything about it before doing it.

    So long as people understand that while the firmware tool is reversible, it *is* possible to cause problems with it.

    For example, I sold my original CPU, so if I were to run the tool again to revert to 4,1 firmware, I'm sure my Mac would not boot until I replaced the CPU with one that 4,1 firmware recognizes. Something to be aware of, everybody!
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #8
    Do I do any trouble if I upgrade right now the firmware and don't install quit now the new CPU ?
    Where can I find the prospers steps to follow in order to upgrade the firmware?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #9
    No, since the 5,1's firmware supports the older bloomfield processors.. The 2.66 is from the 2009 series and it will work.. firmware 5,1 contains the support for Westmere(B1 Stepping) and also Nehalem(D0 Stepping)..

    You can go ahead and apply the firmware, but since you are running a 2.66 don't expect 1333 mhz memory as only the following processors support it:

    w3690
    w3680
    w3670
    w3580
    w3570

    Your processor is a w3525 I think which only supports 1066 mhz DDR3 memory.

     
  10. macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    READ THIS THREAD before you do anything... that way you will know what to do, what the potential problems are, and so on. Then, READ THIS THREAD and perhaps print it out before you do the actual CPU swap.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #11
    I read the first post cause this interest me right now, I don't currently have the CPU to upgrade and read the second thread you replied me. Anyway, the dude from netkas don't detail, like for a newbie, the steps to follow, can you be more specific? Maybe name it, which is the 1 step, 2 steps etc. ?? I would really appreciate this help.
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    What I'm trying to point out is that in those 36 pages of discussion in the first link (Netkas forum), there are people who discover problems and issues in some cases, such as different firmware for special Apple refurbished units, and so on. It would take me too long to tell you about everything discovered and resolved in that long thread, so I suggested you read the whole thing for two reasons:

    1) By the time you read it all, you will be very well informed, and
    2) You will have the knowledge and confidence to move forward with your CPU upgrade.

    The second link has photos and step-by-step instructions on how to do the actual, physical CPU swap. It doesn't get any clearer than that, and I suggested printing the photos and instructions out on paper, so that you don't have to bring them up on another computer/laptop/tablet or whatever... you can simply consult the photos and words easily. (Handy if you only have the one computer.)

    As for total cost of upgrade:
    $590 for a W3680 CPU
    $5 or so for the proper hex tool, more or less if you buy one piece or a whole kit.
    $10 or so for the thermal paste and cleaner... maybe more or less depending on if you shop online or at Radio Shack.

    If you sell the old CPU, it's about $600 minus whatever you sell it for. I got something like $250 for my old W3580.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #13
    So how do I know if I will have issues with the firmware upgrade if I don't try it first?
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #14
    Ya do the research and ya takes yer chances. Worked great for me.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #15
    no problems?
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    You know if you'll have issues with the firmware upgrade by reading the 36 pages. They will answer any question you might have... for real!
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    #17
    do you think is necessary to upgrade the firmware right now? i was thinking to gather all the information i need first, buy the cpu and then upgrade the firmware right before i upgrade the CPU.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #18
    i think you're making a mountain out of a molehill with your fear of the firmware hack.
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #19
    I would tell you to just do it, but you are so paralyzed with fear, that I chose instead to encourage you to read up on the subject, precisely to alleviate these fears you have. Once you finally run the firmware app, I'm sure you'll breathe a sigh of benzene-free relief, and wonder why you worried so much. :p
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    #20
    I kinda need a little advice?

    Okay so here we go - I have the opportunity to buy either the mac pro 2009 and upgrade it exactly like "wonderspark" has done - from the 2.66 quad to the 3.33 and add more ram, more hard drives and a better graphic card..

    I can get a mac pro 2009 with quad with 2.66 ghz, 8 gb ram, 2.8 tb of hard drive space for about 1300 dollars..

    Or I have the possibility to get the macbook pro retina 15,4 2,3 ghz, 8 gb ram, 256 ssd. for about 1200 dollars..

    Both are used - what would be the best choice?

    I would use it for mostly photoshop cs6 and capture one, because I'm a photographer..
    I do occasional gaming and other stuff - but really I just need a fast maschine that would follow me at least the next 3-4 years..

    Currently I have a macbook pro 15" 2.4 i5 ' and a macbook air 13" and a cinema 27" display.. I would opt to have the most juice for the money.. And mostly a workstation..

    Is the new macbook pro retina really faster and a better choice than an upgraded mac pro 2009 -
    to intel 3680 - 16/32 gb ram and a 128/256 ssd drive?

    Please help me out guys - I have just 5-6 days to make the right choice..

    Regards in advance!!

    Malthe*
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    #21
    I did a similar thing, bought a mid-2010 mac pro for $1,500 and dropped a W3690 in it. Don't expect a retail snow leopard DVD to boot. I believe Lion or Mountain Lion is needed if you want to make a clean install. The only difference between my situation and yours is that I didn't have to upgrade firmware because I purchased a mid-2010 model. As for graphic cards, beware of eBay sellers. I just had a bad experience, receiving a flashed PC card instead of a legit "for mac pro" card.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #22
    The retail Snow Leopard DVD is 10.6.3 and only compatible with 2009 MP and older hardware. The OEM DVD came with the 2010 MP has OS X 10.6.4 and compatible with 2010-2012 MP. Your W3690 and Radeon 5570 are only recognized by 10.6.4 and later OS X. If you don't have the 10.6.4 DVD, then it's time to upgrade to 10.7 or 10.8 for clean install of OS X.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    #23
    I am actually creating a 10.8 bootable USB as I type this, even though I really don't like this new OS-X much. I think Snow Leopard is a much leaner, meaner, faster OS-X... But you are correct, W3690 forces me to upgrade (downgrade :p) to ML.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #24
    Nice upgrade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng34AVZS8Aw
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    #25

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