2009 Mac Pro 5,1 both CPUs work in slot A but no boot screen with both

smiller777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2018
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I got a 2009 mac pro about a month ago. My plan is to upgrade it to use as my work machine.

I flashed the firmware to 5,1 and bought two X5690 CPUs.

I removed the IHS myself and installed them. When I turn on the Mac I get power lights and fans but no boot chime or screen.

I know both CPUs work with only one in the A slot. I ran out of time yesterday to try the old CPUs to see if that fixes the issue.
 

fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
588
370
Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
Did you fire it up when you first got it with the old CPUs in it, or did you immediately tear down for the X5690 upgrade? I would assume the former, which would suggest the tray is ok, or was before the upgrade. Maybe look for any bent or deformed pins in socket B? Also, can you describe your installation process? Are you tightening the screws all the way down?
 

pl1984

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Oct 31, 2017
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We've seen a number of posts regarding this issue and it appears the problems ended up being one of the new CPUs was bad.
 

smiller777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2018
8
0
Did you fire it up when you first got it with the old CPUs in it, or did you immediately tear down for the X5690 upgrade? I would assume the former, which would suggest the tray is ok, or was before the upgrade. Maybe look for any bent or deformed pins in socket B? Also, can you describe your installation process? Are you tightening the screws all the way down?
I used it when I first got the computer, so I know it worked before. I can check pins later today. I didn't know to count the turns when I originally removed the heat sink so I am going with finger tightened.
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What about RAM? Try just one stick in both banks.
Does the dual slot require at least one stick in each bank? I have 6GB with three sticks in slots 1-3. Do I need to put one stick in slot 1 and slot 5?
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We've seen a number of posts regarding this issue and it appears the problems ended up being one of the new CPUs was bad.
I would guess that the CPU wouldn't be the issue due to the fact that both work perfectly in Slot A without Slot B.
 

pl1984

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Oct 31, 2017
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I would guess that the CPU wouldn't be the issue due to the fact that both work perfectly in Slot A without Slot B.
Which is a reasonable conclusion but, as I said, we've seen a number of posts where each CPU worked fine in slot A but not together. Here is an example:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2009-8-core-4-1-5-1-suddenly-stopped-booting.2130729/

I am not going to definitively say this is the problem but wanted to alert you to the possibility one of the CPUs could be bad despite the system booting with each, individually, in slot A.
 

smiller777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2018
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Which is a reasonable conclusion but, as I said, we've seen a number of posts where each CPU worked fine in slot A but not together. Here is an example:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2009-8-core-4-1-5-1-suddenly-stopped-booting.2130729/

I am not going to definitively say this is the problem but wanted to alert you to the possibility one of the CPUs could be bad despite the system booting with each, individually, in slot A.
Noted. Is there any way to test a CPU? This is already my third X5690.
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,302
742
Does the dual slot require at least one stick in each bank? I have 6GB with three sticks in slots 1-3. Do I need to put one stick in slot 1 and slot 5?
Yup, there's your problem. Each CPU has its own RAM, so you need to populate both banks.

EDIT: I see the potential issue if the CPUs aren't correctly matched, but if you don't have any RAM in the slots corresponding to CPU B then you need to install at least one stick there. Appears I am quite wrong about that. Apologies for the erroneous info!
 
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pl1984

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Oct 31, 2017
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Noted. Is there any way to test a CPU? This is already my third X5690.
I would recommend doing other troubleshooting steps first and if they fail then try reinstalling the original CPUs. If the system works with them then suspect one of the CPUs is bad. Do you currently have three x5690s?
 

smiller777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2018
8
0
Yup, there's your problem. Each CPU has its own RAM, so you need to populate both banks.

EDIT: I see the potential issue if the CPUs aren't correctly matched, but if you don't have any RAM in the slots corresponding to CPU B then you need to install at least one stick there. Appears I am quite wrong about that. Apologies for the erroneous info!
What is the ideal RAM placement?
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I would recommend doing other troubleshooting steps first and if they fail then try reinstalling the original CPUs. If the system works with them then suspect one of the CPUs is bad. Do you currently have three x5690s?
Any advice for troubleshooting?
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Do you currently have three x5690s?
I do. All Delidded.
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,302
742
What is the ideal RAM placement?
[doublepost=1537287541][/doublepost]
Any advice for troubleshooting?
[doublepost=1537287572][/doublepost]
I do. All Delidded.
Check out the PDF posted a couple posts up. Apparently, even for dual CPU systems slots 1,2 and 3 is the recommended config for 3 DIMMs. I guess CPU B can access it via QPI.
 

Matty_TypeR

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2016
223
145
I would have said although you have 3 dim's I would test like this, 1 dim in slot 1 for CPU A using single channel, and 1 dim in slot 5 for CPU B and then try both processors, I don't think it will work with all dim's in slots 1 2 3 and nothing in 2nd bank.
 

skizzo

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2018
255
80
this is an interesting read because I just bought a dual processor 2009 cMP on ebay for the main purpose of getting the dual CPU tray. I have 4x 2GB DIMMS from my original single CPU tray before upgrading to 3x 16GB DIMMS. I look at the official apple guide the other day and was surprised it recommends using 3 DIMMS populated in slots 1, 2, and 3 for a dual CPU system. Before I read that I was under the impression you NEEDED at least 1 DIMM in slot 1, and slot 5, as in at least a single DIMM per CPU.

So I'm curious if anyone can point out an example of Apple's official guide being wrong? My thoughts are now it's totally fine to run with 48GB (3x16GB in slot 1, 2, 3) and nothing in the 2nd bank (slot 5-8)

Is it just not "optimized"? As in do you get better RAM performance by having equal distribution across both banks?
 

pl1984

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Oct 31, 2017
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Any advice for troubleshooting?
[doublepost=1537287572][/doublepost]
I do. All Delidded.
The usual: Remove all unnecessary components, testing memory individually, etc.

If none of that helps, which it likely won't, I would start with replacing the original CPUs to see if the system still functions. If it does then I would consider installing the x5690 CPUs in pairs. Unfortunately this could result in having to do it three times (something like CPU X and Y, if that doesn't work than X and Z, and if that doesn't work than Y and Z). Unless you know someone else with a dual 4,1 to test on.

How confident on you that you did not damage them removing the IHS?
 

Matty_TypeR

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2016
223
145
Is it just not "optimized"? As in do you get better RAM performance by having equal distribution across both banks?
apple use's a triple channel controller, which is Intels, they do say to get the best ram performance to use the correct configuration, ideal is slots 1 2 3 and 5 6 7 this use's the triple channel memory config. so I would have said 2 dim's slots 1 and 5 4 dims slots 1 2 and 5 6 ideal to test I would have said would be single channel slots 1 and 5 with 2 dim's
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,329
691
Is it just not "optimized"? As in do you get better RAM performance by having equal distribution across both banks?
Just so.
You'll get best performance (about 5-10% better overall performance, depending) by using 3 sticks. But if your workload is such that the RAM in 3 slots is not enough - you hit swap - then you get the *worst* performance. Adding more memory into the 4th slot can help prevent this.

Keep in mind that the core resources in this era Mac Pro are server parts. They were typically purchased in "1 app, 1 server" fashion, and configured for a specific workload. This is very unlike how most Mac Pros are used. So this may not make sense in your use case, but it makes lots of sense for their original design.
 

smiller777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2018
8
0
I'm finding it strange that there aren't any LEDs lit up to show errors. I just tried removing all RAM and I don't even get the low RAM flashing power light.
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They were typically purchased in "1 app, 1 server" fashion, and configured for a specific workload.
Could you explain what 1 app, 1 server means?
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How confident on you that you did not damage them removing the IHS?
The first one I think I damaged. I accidentally cut into some of the chips near the edge of the IHS. The second and third should be fine.
 

pl1984

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Oct 31, 2017
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The first one I think I damaged. I accidentally cut into some of the chips near the edge of the IHS. The second and third should be fine.
See post #5 in the thread I linked to and then see post #8. It's possible you did but the OP in that thread, having done something similar, stated the malfunctioning CPU was not the one he cut into.

I think a good first start troubleshooting step would be to replace the original processors to see if the computer functions. If it does then the only things left are the CPUs.
 

smiller777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2018
8
0
Old CPUs back in the computer. Everything worked perfectly immediately. So, what are my options? How can I determine which CPUs work? Is it possible to replace the daughterboard of the 2009 with a 2010 (since the firmware is updated) and that would allow me to use CPUs with an IHS, right?
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,302
742
Nope you cannot use a 2010 CPU board in a 2009 (or vice-versa) because the SMC firmwares will mismatch. It will work, but not in a tolerable way because your fans will all scream at 100%.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,670
8,375
Brazil
Old CPUs back in the computer. Everything worked perfectly immediately. So, what are my options? How can I determine which CPUs work? Is it possible to replace the daughterboard of the 2009 with a 2010 (since the firmware is updated) and that would allow me to use CPUs with an IHS, right?
To only do a test, yes, but since the 2009 logic board has the 1.39f5 SMC and the 2010 CPU tray has the 139f11, the fans will work at full RPM full time.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,329
691
Could you explain what 1 app, 1 server means?
For an enterprise app, installed and configured on a server. The server only ran one app. The idea was that another app wouldn't stomp all over various settings. 1U and 2U hardware, rack space, and electricity were all cheap enough that even though the hardware may be somewhat underutilized, it was more reliable/available.
This has been supplanted by virtualization. Note that dedicated virtualization capabilities only just started showing around the time of X56xx CPUs.
 
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