Buy dual CPU Mac Pro to upgrade my single CPU Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tpivette89, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. tpivette89 macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #1
    Dual trays are expensive... really expensive. So much so that I can't justify purchasing one to upgrade my early 2009 (flashed to 5,1) to a dual CPU setup. So I've been searching on craigslist, and finally a dual CPU early 2009 comes up for sale. Guy wants $500 for it. Specs are 2 x 2.26ghz, 16GB RAM (8 x 2GB sticks), Radeon HD 4870 GPU, 250GB and 1 TB HDDs. I offered $450 and he accepted.

    Is this a viable option to upgrade my existing single CPU early 2009 Pro? Specs are: single X5690 (I would get another if the dual CPU Pro was purchased), 12GB RAM (3 x 4GB), GT120 GPU, 120GB SSD + 500GB HDD + 2 x 640GB in RAID 0 config)? Obviously I would take the best parts from both and make one machine, and then sell the remaining single core computer (with the original 2.66 quad Xeon that I replaced with the X5690) to recoup some of the cost.

    This seems more cost effective than purchasing a dual CPU tray outright (like from eBay). Thoughts?
     
  2. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #2
    You're probably better off just buying a complete, used 5,1 dual-processor from ebay. I saw a 2 x 2.4 GHz 5,1 sell for $699 - it had a 5870, 32 GB RAM, and a 2 TB HD (and with free shipping). I'd buy one of those, get a pair of X5680 Xeons for a $150, and have a 12 core 3.33 GHz machine for $850, less whatever you can sell your 4,1 for.
     
  3. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #3
    What I found on craigslist WAS a complete dual CPU Mac Pro for $450. I would just have to buy one X5690 and swap out my existing X5690 in my single core Mac Pro to have a complete, dual X5690 setup with a Radeon 4870, 12GB RAM, and all my hard drives. So $450 + a X5690 - what I can sell my single CPU early 2009 Pro for VS the eBay option...
     
  4. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #4
    If you got a 2009 dual CPU you'll have to delid your existing X5690 and the new one you get. Assuming you want to stick with that, you might want to buy a couple junk CPU's to practice on.

    The 2010+ dual CPU boards used normal chip packaging. For that one, all you would have to do is swap a few things around.
     
  5. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #5
    Yes, I know.

    Have you looked into upgrading a dual-CPU 4,1? You need to either de-lid the CPUs, which is risky, or use washers. Hence the 5,1 suggestion, which should also come with at least a 5770, which is a rather dramatic leap forward from either a GT120 or the 4870.
     
  6. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
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    #6
    Yes, I'm aware of de-lidding on a dual CPU 2009. A little extra work doesn't scare me. I've done plenty of work on other Macs, and tons of modding on video game systems. In my area, 2010 - 2012 Mac Pros don't come up often enough, and when they do, I might as well buy a nMP based on what they are asking.
     
  7. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #7
    You're best option would be to buy the dual 2009, buy 2 X5680 CPUs, upgrade it, and then sell the single cpu MP.
     
  8. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

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    #8
    Why buy 2 x X5680 when I already have a single X5690? Buy one additional X5690, then put the original quad 2.66 back in the single CPU Mac Pro and sell it.
     
  9. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #9
    Because you can get 2 X5680s for ~$170.
    Then you don't have to hassle with the single processor 4,1 and you'll get more selling the SP with a x5690 than with a 2.66.


    Although, since it is a single CPU with a lidded processor, I guess it isn't that much work to swap the SP 4,1 back to stock.

    I still think the title is a little mis-leading. You're not buying a DP MacPro to upgrade your SP MacPro. You're buying a DP MacPro and upgrading it.
     
  10. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #10
    Not much work at all. 10 minutes tops to swap the old 2.66 back into it. Plus, I doubt the X5690 in the single would fetch that much more money with a craigslist sale. Would be a quicker sell if it was back to the stock config. I could get more for it on eBay I'm sure, but I don't want to deal with the hassle of shipping something so heavy and prone to damage during transit.

    The case on the dual CPU Pro isn't as nice as the one I currently have (it has some scuffs and scratches). I will be swapping the trays, some of the RAM, and GPU into my existing computer... so technically I would be upgrading.
     
  11. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #11
    I ended up purchasing the dual CPU Mac Pro. Spent a few hours cleaning up the case and getting rid of the dust/filth that these machines have built up over the years. Turns out, its just as clean as my current machine! Dare I say, even better... now I'm torn as to which computer to keep! Installed a wifi card from an early 2009 iMac I had laying around and now I am on the internet with the new Mac Pro.

    Specs are dismal... 2 x 2.26ghz with 12GB RAM... but the geek bench numbers aren't that bad for what it is:

    https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/8089698

    When I put my X5690 in it + a second one, the scores will skyrocket! I was thinking of upgrading to a nMP with B&H having a sale on the base model at $1900... but with this addition to my lineup, now I'm not so sure a nMP would be a improvement in performance.

    Guess I'll have to get another X5690 shipped and see.
     
  12. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #12
    The nMP is definitely a jump in performance. For me, though, it's not a $1900 or even $1000 jump. Just guessing from some machines with roughly similar CPU's, I'd say CPU bound tasks might go 25% to as much as half-again faster. About the same as going from 2.26 Nehalem to 3.3 Westmere.
     
  13. cramdot, Apr 28, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018

    cramdot macrumors newbie

    cramdot

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2018
    #13
    --- Post Merged, Apr 28, 2018 ---
    That's not too bad. I paid $400.00 just for the
    tray with the bloody stock CPU's. That's about what
    I paid for the 2009 Mac Pro. I don't think I even Got RAM
    with the tray. The word is out and these dual proc trays
    are sky high. Add $170.00 for a pair of 3.33's, $300.00
    for a half way decent graphics card. Upgrade the memory,
    boy this is costing a lot for a 9 year old computer, but it's still
    running and all three Operating Systems.
    The question is will Apple allow the new OS X to be installed
    on the 5,1?
     
  14. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #14
    Another good reason to keep your old one: backup parts. A power supply alone is around $400.

    Congrats on the new Mac Pro.
     
  15. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors 6502

    tpivette89

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #15
    Thanks! I'm having fun with it. Just did the firmware update, and swapped all the hard drives over from the SP one and set everything up. Its now under the desk waiting for the second X5690 to get here and the teardown begins.

    Wow, $400... really? That's crazy. Originally, I had told the wife I was gonna sell the other one to recoup some of the cost (at the time it was the only way I could make peace with her for, in her mind, buying the same computer). Now she may just have to accept that there will be two in the house.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 28, 2018 ---
    That's what I was seeing... for the price stock trays were going for on ebay, I could pick up a complete unit locally on craigslist. It's nuts what people are asking for these dual processor trays. Seems as though a lot of people are investing in the older models.

    It's my fear, as well, that Apple will soon leave the cMP out of the upcoming OS systems. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
     
  16. misanthrophy macrumors regular

    misanthrophy

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    #16
    Hello,

    so to just make that clear:

    it is possible to upgrade a single processor cMP4.1 with a dual CPU board and install some Intel Xeon 5690's for example?

    That means, the backplane of the cMP is always the same, only the CPU board is different?
     
  17. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #17
    I owned single and dual processor tray. They can be swap.

    However, to make it clear, 4,1 firmware doesn't support X5690, you will need 5,1 firmware.

    Also, 2009 Mac Pro, can only use 2009 CPU tray regardless the actual firmware version.
     
  18. misanthrophy macrumors regular

    misanthrophy

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    #18
    Okay thanks. Regarding the firmware flash, thats fine. Thats an easy step.

    If I ever go this way, I will always use the same generation of components!
     

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