Can the Mac Pro Live With One Processor?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AC773, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. AC773 macrumors member

    AC773

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #1
    The question is pretty straightforward - would the logic board support a single (say, Core2 Duo) chip and boot properly with the second socket empty?
     
  2. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    May 30, 2006
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    Denmark
    #2
    No, a Core 2 Duo uses Socket 775, while the Mac Pro uses Xeon Socket 771 processors.

    Xeon 5100 or 5300 family are what you will be looking for.
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #3
    I believe the motherboard will allow you to boot with one processor on a dual socket board.
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #4
    It would allow you to boot with a single Woodcrest or Kentsfield Xeon yes. But the Core 2 Duos use a different pin configuration and thus are incompatible with the motherboard.
     
  5. AC773 thread starter macrumors member

    AC773

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #5
    Alright, so a single Xeon would run fine in there.

    Thanks for your help! :)
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #6
    I would assume so. There is no technical reason why it wouldn't as far as I am aware.
     
  7. kusanagi macrumors regular

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #7
    i'm not sure what they are exactly called but you may require a 'dummy socket' in the empty processor socket. Basically it goes in your free cpu socket and makes a couple of connections so the computer knows that its running off 1 cpu instead of 2.
     
  8. overcast macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 27, 2007
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    Rochester, NY
    #8
    When those MacPros first came out. Those processors at the time were like $1200 a piece retail. You could sell one of them off and then upgrade down the road, where they are currently 1/4 the price! It was like getting a macpro for 1/2 the cost :)
     
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #9
    Yeah our servers at work have a single Xeon in them and they run fine. They are not the 5100 they are older but the 5100 should do the same thing.
     
  10. betelgeuse1 macrumors member

    betelgeuse1

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    Oregon
    #10
    Out of curiosity, why are you looking to run in this configuration?
     
  11. overcast macrumors 6502a

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    Rochester, NY
    #11
    Because in 99% of cases 4 cores is unnecessary. So if it's possible to save a good chunk of change running on one processor, then go for it. You can always add an additional processor down the road.
     
  12. jerrah macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    It's not like you can order it with just one cpu to save money though. You'd have to buy it with both, remove one then try to recover your money selling it as a 2nd hand part - then trying to sell the machine with just one CPU at some point in the future.
     
  13. AC773 thread starter macrumors member

    AC773

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    Feb 28, 2006
    #13
    Overcast hit the nail right on the head - I do occasional school and freelance work with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Premiere Pro; but I'm by no means a professional - nor do I do any super-CPU intensive tasks. Four cores would be a total waste of money and electricity for me.

    I'll give it another 6-8 months, but if Steve still refuses to come out with a midrange tower by then, I thought I may have to take matters into my own hands. ;)
     
  14. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #14
    I have been considering doing this too. Though I was considering doing this and using the extra money to get a good Windows gaming card and putting the 7300GT in a different PCI Express slot for Mac OS X and connecting a switch for the monitor.

    How I wish apple sold the motherboard alone. Similar spec server boards run $400 to $500 on newegg.

    Though there is one small problem. I would think that you could kiss Applecare goodbye. If you are getting a used one where Applecare is over with or could care less, then why not.
     
  15. AC773 thread starter macrumors member

    AC773

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #15
    Apple doesn't sell the mobo, but mac-pro.com does: http://www.mac-pro.com/s.nl/it.A/id.4701/.f

    Of course, everything in AppleLand is proprietary, so the economics don't quite work out.
    • This board will only fit in a Mac Pro case
    • You can only use a Mac Pro PSU in said case (even if it's technically ATX, the external plug is centered)
    • Using 1 (or maybe 2, I don't know) special $100 riser is the only way to get RAM in there

    And then there's the pickle of only being able to use Xeons and buffered RAM, both of which are expensive and completely unnecessary in a non-workstation.

    I've never found warranties all that useful on desktops, so I'm not too concerned about losing AppleCare.

    Still, I'm willing to wait a while for a headless Apple midrange desktop because I know what an insane economic proposition it is to DIY a Mac Pro. :D
     
  16. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #16
    here is an interesting question... or two

    Do you think a mac pro would run with a dual core in one socket and a quad core in the other?

    also, what about different speeds in each socket? say a 3ghz in one and a 2.66 in the other?
     
  17. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
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    England
    #17
    Everything I have ever read indicates that you need identical processors in a dual socket system.
     
  18. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #18
    If you don't need the power of a dual socket workstation and are going to hack something together you don't need to go the route of a single DP xeon and fb-dimm memory etc. Without wishing to advocate it, plenty of people have OS X running on normal desktop systems. Some even housed in G5/Mac Pro cases.
     
  19. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Jul 11, 2006
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    Somewhere
    #19
    I don't think that it would work but if it did then the computer would probably do the same thing it does with different speed RAM and clock the fastest one down to the speed of the slowest one.
     
  20. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #20

    Yes you are correct about the dummy (Terminator) processor in the empty socket. I am sure they are available but haven't an idea where
     

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