4,1 8core to 8core CPU upgrade question

adam9c1

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May 2, 2012
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I have a 4,1 dual CPU model I have had for few years and have successfully repaired the tray due to a Northbridge heatsink failure.

I feel a little more confident now.
What is the fastest set of processors (quad cores) I can install in this unit without any modifications?
I am not looking into flashing firmware into 5,1 or delidding at this time. I am looking for a simple swap.

I see X5570 2.93 for about $65.
 

scott.n

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Dec 17, 2010
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A pair of W5590 processors would get you 8 cores @ 3.33 GHz. There's a seller on eBay offering delidded versions of these. (Not a recommendation.)

I encourage you to reconsider flashing the firmware, though. It's very simple. Then look at a pair of X5677, X5680, or X5690, and have them delidded.
 

haralds

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Jan 3, 2014
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A pair of W5590 processors would get you 8 cores @ 3.33 GHz. There's a seller on eBay offering delidded versions of these. (Not a recommendation.)

I encourage you to reconsider flashing the firmware, though. It's very simple. Then look at a pair of X5677, X5680, or X5690, and have them delidded.
Just to clarify the differences (from TomsHardware):

X = TDP of 95 watts. These are the "premium" mainstream chips as their TDP is not so excessive that they are difficult to cool in a rack server, yet their idle power consumption is far lower than the E-series chips.

W = TDP of 130 watts and higher. These are the fastest, hottest Xeons made and they are designed to be used in workstations and pedestal servers with better cooling than an average 1U or 2U rack server.
 

flowrider

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Nov 23, 2012
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Just to clarify the differences (from TomsHardware):

X = TDP of 95 watts. These are the "premium" mainstream chips as their TDP is not so excessive that they are difficult to cool in a rack server, yet their idle power consumption is far lower than the E-series chips.

W = TDP of 130 watts and higher. These are the fastest, hottest Xeons made and they are designed to be used in workstations and pedestal servers with better cooling than an average 1U or 2U rack server.

Actually that is incorrect as of X56XX series of CPUs (it was correct back with the X55XX). As Mr. Numbers pointed out above things have changed. I posted the correct info below 13 months ago:

Well, Intel has changed what the leading Alpha means. The change happened when going from the 35XX (55XX) to the 36XX (56XX) series.

In the older series it meant:

E = Enterprise and CPUs with a TDP of 80 Watts
X = Accelerated and CPUs with a TDP of 95 Watts
W = Workstation and CPUs with a TDP of 130 Watts

and in every case the leading numeric after the alpha meant:

3 = for single CPU use only (1 x I/O Bus)
5 = for dual CPU use, but will work in single CPU applications (2 x I/O Bus)

With the later series, the above nomenclature rules stayed constant EXCEPT - The "X" prefix means accelerated (95 or 130 watt TDP) and is only used on CPUs with a 2 x I/O bus. The "W" prefix is now used only in the single CPU series (1 X I/O Bus).

In any case in both series, the meaning of leading numeric after the alpha has remained the same. A "3" for CPUs with a 1 x I/O bus and a "5" for CPUs with a 2 X I/O Bus.

I hope this makes sense to you. It took me awhile to figure it out.
Lou
 

flowrider

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Nov 23, 2012
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To the OP. I second what Scott posted above. Why are you hesitant about updating the firmware to a 5,1? That is far easier than a CPU swap. I recommend you update your firmware and get a later series X56XX CPU rather than the W55XX series. I have a real 5,1 and have updated my CPUs twice first to the W5590s than to the X5677s. I can tell you that as well as a speed increase I also got a small reduction in power draw and the X5677s run a bit cooler than the W5590s did.

Lou
 

scott.n

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Dec 17, 2010
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Flowrider and haralds are correct. But I don't think the OP needs to worry TDP-wise about running the W5590 processors; lots of us are happily running dual 130 TDP (mostly X5600 series) processors in our 2009 Mac Pros.
 

adam9c1

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I'm not looking to spend a bundle, and somehow I have a feeling Appl will come up with a way to run the OS only on known hardware (serial numbers) matched to firmware etc. just a feeling I have if their next step of "protecting the security of OS" sort of how some things don't run properly in a VM such as Caching Service.
 

flowrider

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^^^^No, as I said above for the CPUs that work on the 4,1 Mac Pro, the W5590 (3.33MHz) is the fastest chip available.

Lou
 

adam9c1

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I see.
Is there something "in between" x5570 and w5590

Better yet is there a write up that shows all the possible processors for the dual quad
 

pertusis1

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Jul 25, 2010
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I'm not looking to spend a bundle, and somehow I have a feeling Appl will come up with a way to run the OS only on known hardware (serial numbers) matched to firmware etc. just a feeling I have if their next step of "protecting the security of OS" sort of how some things don't run properly in a VM such as Caching Service.
I doubt it. I think almost every 4,1 user in these forums has done the 5,1 firmware update. I guess we could all be screwed together. Wouldn't be the first time... or the last :(
 

flowrider

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Nov 23, 2012
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I see.
Is there something "in between" x5570 and w5590

Better yet is there a write up that shows all the possible processors for the dual quad
Look Here:

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Xeon-X5570-vs-Intel-Xeon-W5590

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Xeon-W5580-vs-Intel-Xeon-W5590

And here's a matched pair of W5590s for less than $100.00.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Matched-pair-of-Intel-Xeon-W5590-3-33-GHz-Quad-Core-SLBGE-Processor-w-Grease-/271961908065?hash=item3f52316361:g:BE4AAOSwd0BV1Iji

And see attachment for all 55XX series CPUs - All will work in a Dual (or single) CPU 4,1 or 5,1 Mac Pro.


5500 series.jpg


Lou
 
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twistacatz

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2015
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^^^^No, as I said above for the CPUs that work on the 4,1 Mac Pro, the W5590 (3.33MHz) is the fastest chip available.

Lou
Wait forgive me Lou but I thought you said the Xeon X5677's are faster and cooler. Will they not run in a Mac Pro 4,1?

Also I've been reading through a ton of threads over the past few days and I've read a lot of your post. Thanks a million for all of your contributions to the forum.

Thanks!
 

scott.n

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2010
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Wait forgive me Lou but I thought you said the Xeon X5677's are faster and cooler. Will they not run in a Mac Pro 4,1?

Also I've been reading through a ton of threads over the past few days and I've read a lot of your post. Thanks a million for all of your contributions to the forum.

Thanks!
The X5677 requires the 5,1 firmware upgrade.
 

flowrider

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Nov 23, 2012
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Wait forgive me Lou but I thought you said the Xeon X5677's are faster and cooler. Will they not run in a Mac Pro 4,1?

Also I've been reading through a ton of threads over the past few days and I've read a lot of your post. Thanks a million for all of your contributions to the forum.

Thanks!
Yes, I did, and it's true, but as scott said above, the X5677s require 5,1 firmware.

Lou
 

twistacatz

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2015
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Thanks for the reply guys, I missed the part about not wanting to do the firmware upgrade. I recently ordered a 4,1 Mac and I'm trying to figure out what CPU's to buy. The X5677's seem great especially for their price and high speed per core. On the other hand I really only want to do this processor swap one time so maybe I should just go with the X5690's knowing that this is as good as it gets. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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Has Apple ever done anything like tying down an OS to specific combinations of serial numbers and firmware? That's going really much further than I think they'd go. Also such a move would probably disrupt those who have had authorized service and may have received a newer replacement board due to hardware failure. I cannot imagine Apple doing this, and I certainly wouldn't restrict my CPU choices based on that fear.

Not to mention that the combination of the firmware update and faster Westmere CPUs also enables the use of faster 1333 RAM instead of 1066.