3.33GHz Xeon (Server CPU) Transplant in a 2009 Quad

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AppleWorking, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. AppleWorking macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #1
    This was a surprisingly fast and easy upgrade. It seemed a little too easy and everything runs perfectly, including my ECC memory. I'm a little shocked because everything runs so well. I can't even tell it didn't come from Apple this way. Seriously. There are absolutely no problems at all and it runs everything I throw at it. My MP is extremely stable, and I'm still speechless by the whole thing. Even when I moved to a SSD it can't compare. The speed boost is awesome, I have never felt anything so quick in my life.

    I chose the server/workstation processor over the Core i7 because the server processors are hand picked (binned) by Intel. They require less voltage, produce less heat, and are built for server/workstation reliability and stability. It's pretty much why Apple only uses Xeons in our Mac Pros. They cost more but IMO they're worth it. They support ECC memory, have a higher memory bandwidth, have a lower voltage requirement, are server grade and are built to outlast desktop processors because they are manufactured this way. They are also unlocked in case someone comes up with a Mac utility for over clocking.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Before the transplant:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CINEBENCH R10
    ****************************************************
    Tester :

    Processor :
    MHz :
    Number of CPUs : 8
    Operating System : OS X 32 BIT 10.5.8

    Graphics Card : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 OpenGL Engine
    Resolution : <fill this out>
    Color Depth : <fill this out>

    ****************************************************

    Rendering (Single CPU): 3609 CB-CPU
    Rendering (Multiple CPU): 14864 CB-CPU

    Multiprocessor Speedup: 4.12

    Shading (OpenGL Standard) : 6911 CB-GFX

    ****************************************************

    [​IMG]


    The beast after:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CINEBENCH R10
    ****************************************************
    Tester :

    Processor :
    MHz :
    Number of CPUs : 8
    Operating System : OS X 32 BIT 10.5.8

    Graphics Card : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 OpenGL Engine
    Resolution : <fill this out>
    Color Depth : <fill this out>

    ****************************************************

    Rendering (Single CPU): 4431 CB-CPU
    Rendering (Multiple CPU): 18317 CB-CPU

    Multiprocessor Speedup: 4.13

    Shading (OpenGL Standard) : 8439 CB-GFX

    ****************************************************

    [​IMG]


    Compared to Apple's current offerings:

    Keeps pace with the best in multi thread, but in single thread (which is like 95% or more of what we all do daily) it smokes any Mac, period.

    Take a look at the chart below and compare the other MPs with the 3.33GHz Xeon W3580 scores.

    3.33GHz Xeon W3580

    Single CPU: 4431 CB-CPU
    Multiple CPU: 18317 CB-CPU ​

    [​IMG]





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  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #2
    Congrats, you have one of the fastest quad's here!!

    BUT... The original CPU you replaced is exactly the same (Xeon 3500 Series), only slower and it's lidless.
    Plus, there are some other threads on here, by people who've upgrade their machine too!!
     
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    Tress? Who's Tress? :D


    Awesome post BTW dude! Thanks!
     
  4. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    near Cambridge
    #4
    It's the octo (5500 series) that are lidless, I think the Quads are just standard packaged 3500 series.

    In the UK it is very difficult to get hold of any of the 3500 series Xeons, life is much easier for those in the States.
     
  5. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #5
    Yep, and there's no chance whatsoever that someone can damage the CPU in the Quads unlike the Octos. Apple designed the Quads with stops for the screws so you cannot over torque them when reinstalling the heatsink. There's really no way to mess it up. The Octos (no IHS) have the raw end of the deal. Pretty dangerous proposition for them. :( But not us, hehe :)

    Yeah, we're spoiled. :D
     
  6. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #6
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    Great post! Tempting offer to buy your second CPU! If only I had one-large lying around... :(
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #8
    Hmm... Now how do I con the OP into accidentally swapping the original back in to get that lovely W3580? ;)

    And I call first dibbs in a parallel universe it would actually happen in. :p
     
  9. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #9
    I was going to take pictures of everything I did but once I got in there it seemed a little silly. The job was just too easy for a step by step. The heat sink can only go on one way, the fan connector automatically aligns and plugs in with the heat sink (you don't even have to watch for it), the heat sink screws (five of them) can only be tightened so much even if you Hercules them down, and Apple made it far too easy to slide the daughter card in and out...

    Maybe the only thing you would need to know is what thermal paste to use.

    This is what I used, it's the best stuff on the market. Easiest to use, and the cheapest, too - only $5. There is no cure time and it doesn't conduct electricity like AS-5. (I wouldn't recommend TX-3, super difficult to work with and requires too much patience.)

    [​IMG]

    Just make a pea sized dollop in the center like this:

    [​IMG]

    The pea size method is easiest and produces the same result as the line method. Just know, spreading it all over is a bad idea, not only because spreading it is time consuming and messy, but because it doesn't work good. Here's a chart comparing the two ways:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Hey Tess, would you be able to add the 3.33GHz Quad to your wonderful chart and re-post it here? :D I love that thing and it would be cool to see the W3580 in it.
     
  10. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    My Mac
    #10
    Is there an upgrade path similar to this for my early '08 MacPro?
     
  11. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #11
    I'm sure if you found a friendly reseller, you could do a special order provided you leave a deposit.
    Remember: Just because they're hard to get, doesn't mean they're unavailable.
     
  12. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #12
    Sure. I'll do that today. I need to add Tutor's system anyway too. I've been putting it off for too long already. When I do it all instances of the graph will automatically be updated so just refresh this page and yours will be there. I guess it will be the top entry. :cool:
     
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #13
    Oh, you used a DLed copy of the graph. Please change the URL you're using from "http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy294/MacProUser/CinebenchChart.jpg" to "http://tesselator.gpmod.com/Images/_Equipment_n_Tutorials/Cinebench10_Numbers.jpg" if you would please. Click the edit button in your original post in order to do so. Thanks!








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  14. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
  16. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #16
    Thanks, cool. :cool:

    Done, but no changes...
     
  17. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #17
    Since we now have systems upgraded with Xeon W3580 (ECC) and Core i7 975 Extreme (non-ECC) parts, I'm curious as to the memory performance of each. What is the best benchmark for memory performance? Let's post some test results!
     
  18. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #18
    I don't think there's a test out there. It's hard enough to see a difference when running dual channel versus triple - trying to measure the difference between ECC and non ECC would prove even more difficult. Most mac users appreciate the ECC, since Apple computers have always been so finicky about Ram...

    What I would like to know is if the 2009 MP Quad can handle 1333 ECC memory, since the W3580 supports DDR3-800/1066/1333 and a max memory bandwidth of 32 GB/s unlike the Core i7-975 which maxes out at 1066 and 25.6 GB/s. Perhaps nano would know the answer to this?
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #19
    At least a few others would as well. :) I'd think it would support it, but no one's tried it to confirm/disprove the possibility, and it would take more work to "break it", as the hardware supports it. But Apple's pulled things like this before. We need a guinea pig... errr.... person willing to test it out. :D :p
     
  20. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #20
    Here's a thread from March showing someone using DDR3-1600 RAM on his 2009 Mac Pro but the system only recognized it as DDR3-1066. Although the Nehalem Xeons can support 1333 memory, it doesn't appear the Mac Pro motherboard supports anything higher than 1066. It would appear, at this point in time anyway, that anything above DDR3-1066 is a waste in the current generation of Mac Pros. This is why I was curious as to ECC vs. non-ECC speeds, since it doesn't appear that DDR3-1333 or higher is a possibility on the Mac Pro due to what appear to be hardware limitations.

    Here are some Geekbench-64 numbers. I did not do anything special prior to running the benchmark other than re-booting and disabling all of my startup login items to ensure minimal background activity. I ran the test five times and then averaged the top three scores:

    MacPro4,1 Intel Core i7 975 @ 3.32 GHz
    16.0 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 (non-ECC)
    Mac OS X 10.6

    Geekbench Score: 11,524
    Memory Bandwidth (STREAM): 4,516

    I suspect that any differences between ECC and non-ECC is trivial at best. Personally, it doesn't make sense to me why Apple would advertise the Mac Pro as DDR3-1066 if it had the ability to utilize DDR3-1333, but then again here we are with 3.32 GHz Mac Pros when Apple's Mac Pro officially only goes up to 2.93 GHz. What I would really love to know is if our Pros can utilize the 6/12-core offerings that are due out next year using the same LGA1366 socket. It's sad that our ability to over-clock the Mac Pro is essentially zero. Folks on the PC side have over-clocked their Core i7 and Xeon systems to over 5 GHz using the 3.32 GHz parts. I wish we had the ability to do that.

    AppleWorking - I'm absolutely amazed by the speed of my rig. My previous system was a Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5 GHz (late 2004 single core CPUs). I don't think I've seen a single beach ball and everything I do is instantaneous. Having a SSD as a boot drive has spoiled me further. Even Windows Vista running under VMWare flies compared to my business partner's 6 month old Dell.
     
  21. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #21
    Since the memory he used did not have the JEDEC SPD programming for 1333 his test doesn't show much. But like nano said, Apple has been known for such things in the past... Who knows, it's anyone's guess. All I do know is this thing really screams and I'm happy with my choice to go Xeon. ;)

    About the ECC thing, I'm not curious at all. Since as a Mac user I check ECC regularly, as most of us do, especially when we have a new rig.
     
  22. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #22
    OK, the graph has been updated. And all instances throughout MR and elsewhere, should be showing the new one. If it/they aren't then just refresh the page.
     
  23. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kreplakistan
    #23
    Shees...starting to have serious e-peen envy with my 06 quad...



    But luckily adobe is not in a hurry to update the PS to be multiproc aware so I can postpone the investment to...well...2011?
     
  24. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #24
    For me no. I think the Apple days are completely over for me. I don't think they can swallow enough pride to cut between $1,000 and $2,500 off the price of the respective MP models. So unless they do - to me, they're dead. But the various hackintosh projects are looking good.

    Kinda sad. Instead of Apple getting $3K or so from me every 3 or 4 years they'll only be getting $25.oo for the OS releases. :eek:


    EDIT:

    By the way, just adding a drop in the middle and hoping to compress it out evenly via the heat-sink is wrong. You do need to use a piece or cardboard or something and smooth it out as evenly as possible. This is fairly important! So this:
    [​IMG]

    almost all techs will agree, is wrong! :p



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  25. treo360 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #25
    cosigned
     

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