Can you replace xeon processors with core i7?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by droon, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. droon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #1
    There's quite a few competitive deals out there for 3.2 Ghz Core i7 processors, could you buy the cheapest 2.26 Ghz 8 core mac pro, take out the xeon processors, sell em on ebay and put in core i7 ones? Last time I put in my own processor was a pentium 3..

    on a seperate note:

    Would a 2 processor mac pro mobo work with just one processor? Would it be able to access all the RAM? I do heavy 3d mesh calculations, I always found Mac Pro's make pretty good number crunching workstations. I need very high clock speeds and very big memory, but not 8 cores. So could I buy a 2 processor mac pro 2.94, deck it out with 16 GB OWC ram, and sell one of the processors?
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #2
    I'm affraid the answer is no to both questions.
     
  3. droon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 25, 2007
    #3
    Too bad. The prices for the higher range 8 cores are just too much and 8GB ram is not enough..

    Do you think the Xeon's will be sold separately soon and will you be able to upgrade yourself? Will prices be lower then what Apple is asking? I don't know if their processor pricing policy is the sam as their RAM pricing policy: Alot more then market-value.

    Right now the difference between a 2.2 and a 2.9 is $1300 per processor. eek.
     
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #4
    For the memory issue you could wait and see if 4GB RDIMMs work in the single processor Mac Pro. I'm sure someone will test it.

    Apple do charge a premium for processor upgrades over the price you could buy them for, but it has never really been worth upgrading a Mac Pro by paying full retail price for DP Xeons. Though if you were happy to sell off your old processors and could get a good price then maybe you could find some savings, but I'm pretty sure Apple would use it as an excuse to void your warranty.
     
  5. droon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 25, 2007
    #5
    Well, it's all about bang for the buck, so the 4BG memory modules will need to see some pretty spectacular price drops before they become an option.

    thanks for your insights though.

    i' think i'll let a computer place build me a custom workstation..
     
  6. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

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    #6
    I think :apple: does this just so you can't upgrade without buying a new system.
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #7
    Yes, because Apple designed the processors and the logic board and the RAM and the pins in the sockets...

    Sarcasm, obviously. :D It isn't their doing. Take it up with Intel.
     
  8. The3nd macrumors regular

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    Jan 26, 2007
    #8
  9. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

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    UK
    #9
    I don't think that is the same processor. That is the standard i7 not the Xeon type.
     
  10. Amethyst macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2006
    #10
    If apple doesn't solder processor with logicboard, Answer may be "YES".
     
  11. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #11
    The processor to upgrade the two processor Mac Pro to 2.93 GHz is the Xeon X5570. BX80602X5570 is the SKU if you want to search for it. They are currently listed for $1,500-$1900 ($1386 is Intel's price in lots of 1000) although no stores will actually have them.

    I'd say the most you could save by buying 2.93GHz processors yourself and selling the 2.26GHz ones is $600 (plus the tax on the $2,600 you'd give to Apple for the upgrade).
     
  12. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #12
    They won't because the logic board has more value than any single processor in the base models and Intel cover the processors for Apple so it would make no sense.
     
  13. pilavdzic macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2004
    #13
    Nehalem Xeon and i7 are not similar!

    NO. The nehalem XEON and the I7 processors are totally different in many ways (ECC memory support, price, etc) but most important the nehalem XEON processors support 2 quickpath interfaces (QPI), one to connect to the other processor. The server xeon chip is designed to be more reliable, and hence is significantly more expensive.

    Bottom line - I doubt someone will come up with a way you can take a chip that isn't designed to work in twos and put it into a motherboard that's designed for an entirely different chip that does work in pairs and put that in and expect it to work. The i7 has no second quickpath interface, and there is no longer a FSB. So, I can't imagine how this could work.


    I don't understand why PC users just come to post on a mac board and complain about how more expensive the mac is compared to their ridiciously overlocked @ like 5GHZ machines because of liquid cooling or some crap.

    Why don't they just enjoy watching how the condensation is corroding their motherboards through their neon blue LED see-through cases? PC overclockers seem to enjoy having their hardware barely make it through the benchmarks they are posting online to compete against the nehalem mac.

    Mac is trying to make a premium computer. One that is fast but still reliable. In the PC world everyone seems to just want to build the cheapest, fastest piece of junk that boots and might run for a few hours while they show off in some game or benchmark to their buddies if they are lucky.

    If they did any serious work they wouldn't even attempt overclocking a CPU. If Intel (who makes the CPU) tells you it's a stupid idea, you really think you know better than they do? If the chip worked reliably at higher speeds, guess what, they would gladly market it to you and sell it to you at those higher speeds. The reason the CPU is a 2.66 and not a 3.2 is because it failed Intels reliability testing @3.2, not because you might not be able to get it to work.
     
  14. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #14
    It's probably very possible to replace the quad equipped system with a 3.2GHz i7 however... Hmmm.

    EDIT: @pilavdzic... I agree with your points about the Mac Pro positioning vs. overclockers, but two points... 1) there's no need to bash overclockers... it's a hobby as legitimate as any other 2) The Mac Pro is not just one of the most powerful systems Apple makes, it's also one of the few Apple systems designed to be expaned/updated... upgrading the processor(s) is a perfectly viable option in a Mac Pro, no less so than upgrading RAM, or adding HD's or graphics cards.
     
  15. sneezymarble macrumors 6502

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    Oct 1, 2008
    #15
    Nice generalizations. :rolleyes: I've been happily doing "serious work" with my OC'd systems for years. In fact, not once in my 15 years of building and working with computers have I ever had a OC'd CPU fail. I've either thrown them away because they were so obsolete or sold them. Sure, there are people that have problems or just OC to benchmark. But, there are also people that build very reliable OC'd systems and are able to perform the same tasks with the same or better performance than somebody with a manufactured system that costs 2-3x as much.

    Apple makes great systems. And I happen to think they're priced competitively with other manufactures. But that doesn't change the fact that, in at least my case, I've been able to build systems for significantly less that perform significantly better than similarly configured Apple systems, or systems from any other manufacturer for that matter. I also happen to build them such that they're stable and reliable. And, surprise of all surprises, I'm not constantly fiddling around with things or spending hours just to get it working right. At most it's taken me 3 hours to get a system built with an OS installed. And, after that...gasp!..."it just works."

    That's simply not true. As you are no doubt aware, CPUs at various frequencies that are built around the same core technology come out of the exact same manufacturing process. As you note, the ones that pass the stress test for a certain frequency (which, by the way, involves the absolute worst temperature, workload, and voltage conditions) usually get rated below that frequency. Often, Intel and AMD make more high end parts than the market can handle. But, since the parts come from the exact same process as low to medium-end parts, and cost the same to produce, they'll bin parts that rate at the high-end, as medium-end parts, just so they can sell them. These are the chips that enthusiasts go after for the simple reason that they're actually high-end parts. In essence, it's simply false that if a chip works reliably at higher speeds they would necessarily market it at those higher speeds.
     

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