Can you swap the CPU tray between similar Mac Pros?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iHateMacs, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. iHateMacs macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

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    Aug 13, 2008
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    Coventry, UK
    #1
    Is it possible to just swap a 2.26Mhz Octad 6Gb Ram CPU tray with a 2.66Mhz Quad 6GB ram without any problems? Both are Early 09 Mac Pros

    Will the OS complain if it suddenly boots up with a different CPU?

    I am interested in trying some rendering speed comparisons with Modo
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #2
    The board that the CPU board connects to, is apparently the same board in either model. But keep in mind, the SMC firmware has to be changed and may not be possible.

    I'm not aware if anyone has tried this or not, let alone the outcome.
     
  3. iHateMacs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

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    #3
    I won't rush into it then. I don't want to potentially ruin TWO machines :)

    Thanks
     
  4. tsmiller macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #4
    Yes, I did it with no problems. I bought a board on eBay, installed a 3.06ghz W3550 processor, and it worked perfectly on my 2.26 Octo. I'm looking to get rid of it when the 2010 Mac Pro comes out.
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #5
    Did the SMC firmware auto update, or did you have to do it manually?
     
  6. tsmiller macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2009
    #6
    No, I did not have to do any firmware updates. Just plug n play. I have even switched a couple of times to compare speed. The quad 3.06ghz definitely "feels" faster.
     
  7. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #7
    So, the only difference between a 2009 Quad and a 2009 Octo is the CPU tray? interesting...
     
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #8
    Well that's the idea behind a CPU daughter board and it was pretty much clear that the rest of the machine is identical the day they were released (at least hardware wise).
     
  9. iHateMacs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

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    #9
    After what I read above I decided to try it.

    I put the 2.26Ghz Octo Cpu tray into the 2.66 Quad.

    My Modo file rendered in 12m 22s on the Quad. I estimated that it should render the same file at about 7m14s with the Octo installed. It actually took 7m52s. Either my calculations are slight out or there is an overhead somewhere that I didn't bank on.

    It was quite interesting.

    When I powered up for the first time I got the Memory Slot Utility popping up just confirming the ram configuration was correct. Apart from that the machine worked without any difference.
     
  10. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #10
    Here is my mac pro currently

    Ok, I have a 2009 Quad-core single 2.66 - great for my needs for now.. However, if I manage to find a octo tray with two 2.26 processors on it, all it is is a plug in play, meaning.. remove the single tray and replace with the dual one? Thats it? No firmware updates at all?
     
  11. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

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  12. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #12
    Why would they write two versions of the SMC software? If the base board and chipset are exactly the same then the difference between a card with one CPU and one slot and another card doing maintenance on with one CPU and one empty processor socket is very small. No tweaking of inventory needed during manufacturing. Same board/firmware and as orders come in ship with different daughterboards plugged in.

    The number of fans and thermal areas is exactly the same. One versus two cpu temperature sensors but that should not cause a huge explosion in algorithm complexity to deal with.
     
  13. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #13
    I just got a 2009 Mac pro myself..

    Hi, so to sum up.. if I did manage to get ahold of say the processor tray with two 2.26 processors on it, it is FEASIBLE and easy to replace the existing single quad-core processor tray with the dual one and no SMC firmware needs to be rewritten or anything else, right?

    I am still somewhat on a mixed notion that I did a terrible purchase.. by getting the single Quad-Core 2009 mac pro and replacing my 2008 Harpertown 8-core 3.0 - DESPITE that I don't use any pro apps of any kind.. Steam is something of value to me and I was wondering since I have the mini-display port, how can I get great framerates with the current video card I have which is the Radeon 4870 HD?

    Also, is steam even playable on a 2.66 Quad-core single system, or should I have gone dual? Money WAS a factor in this as I sold my mac pro 2008 harpertown for 2000.00 dollars. The 2.26 was WAY WAY out of my price range to begin with. However, I at first was going to get the 2.93 quad-core for 400 more, but did the math and determined that there isn't enough difference to justify the cost. Besides, I guess I could get 2.93 cpu's quite cheap through PC places, but I also read the the cpus on the mac pros are SPECIAL ones and regular bloomfield xeons won't work.

    So, can I play steam really well on this computer(assuming I had the GTX285) or is my mac pro not STRONG enough to handle it?



     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    I've not had access to 2009 systems, so was going on earlier information posted by others (indication of separate P/N's for SP and DP primary logic boards, not just the daughterboards).

    From a manufacturing POV, it's better to produce a single P/N for the primary board, and only use differing P/N's for daugherboards (firmware is the same for either system, and only use what's needed based on CPUID). It's definitely cheaper.
     
  15. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #15
    I got confirmation

    That the quad-core still works with a dual tray installed.. no need to update the firmware or SMC. If one gets a dual tray with say 2.26 processors on it, once the dual tray is inserted, that mac pro becomes an 8-core.

    Well, the quad-core singles are actually 8 cores anyway due to hyperthreading.


     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Vancouver, BC
    #16
    Games are almost exclusively GPU bound and will run amazingly well on a GTX285 with a Quad CPU. Enjoy!
     
  17. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    Are you serious?
    A 2.66 Quad Xeon is equivalent to an i7-920, which was regarded as Intel's best CPU for gamers whilst it was out (only just replaced by the 930 now). It may not be "the" fastest, but it was an amazing CPU. That 2.66Ghz will TurboBoost to 2.93Ghz.

    Throw in a 4870, or a GTX 285, and you'll be flying. Steam games run on a MacBook Pro, let alone a Mac Pro that is several magnitudes faster in every regard.
     

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