Cheapest hex core processor for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by beto2k7, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Theoretically. If I had come up with a way for 09 pro to play with hexa cores. What would be the cheapest I could use in a dual processor configuration?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    E5645 or E5649. They seem to go for around 500-600$ each on eBay.
     
  3. beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  4. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Theoretically, if you find a way to get a hexcore in an 09, would you theoretically share your discovery?
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #5
    There already is a (well known) way. You have to replace both the backplane and daughter board. There is no way around it as no one has made any attempt to hack the firmware yet and considering that the 2010 models are around for quite some time now, I don't expect this to happen, ever.
     
  6. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    True, but at that point you're putting an '10 mac pro into an '09 case and then putting in hex cores. I don't think that counts as putting a hexcore into an 09.
     
  7. beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Well. I've made that attempt and I just want to test my findings before releasing and selling my solution. I just want the experiment to be as cheap as possible
     
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Well, there was no way for me to know that, was there? :D:p

    Nah seriously, that is excellent news. Please keep us updated how it goes.
    Technically, you don't even have to use hex core processors. In order to just see whether your hack works or not, you can use quad core westmere processors as well as they have the same steppings as the hex cores.
    Thus any 5600 series will be fine just for testing.
    The 5620 the current octad Pro uses would be the cheapest MP westmere out there.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #9
    I see this as placing a 2010 in a 2009 case as well (more to do with the 2009's S/N than the actual case, as they're the same case from a design POV from what I can tell <same configuration, measurements, ... in terms of the aluminum components>).

    The only way I can think of to actually get a 2009 to run the Hex core parts (keeping the 2009 boards), is to swap out the ROM chip/s (i.e. get a copy of the 2010 firmware onto the 2009 chip via a universal programmer; it's involved, as it requires special tools and presumably access to both a 2010 system for extraction purposes and the 2009 to be modified). BTW, IIRC, the firmware is on the daughter board, and the SMC firmware is on the backplane board, so there's 2x chips that need to have their code changed. I also seem to recall that this has actually been done.

    Between the two methods, swapping boards is more realistic for most users IMO, as there's no programming tools involved.

    Regardless of how we think of it however, it's quite a bit more involved than a simple firmware flash that's possible on other boards via a download (all software; no need to even dig out a screwdriver in terms of updating the firmware). :(
     
  10. beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I unsoldered the EFI chip from both 09 and 10 pros. Dumped the content of each and I tried to stitch them together to create a scaps file that can be used with the firmware update utility.
     
  11. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Impressive. Any results yet?
     
  12. beto2k7, Apr 29, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011

    beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I don't know yet. I was able to flash my custom firmware, I have 1333 mhz ram on my Pro but my current processor (E5520) won't support 1333 mhz ram. I really don't know if I succeeded. But if nano is correct and we need to flash the daughterboard as well then I know for sure I failed because I did not touch the daughterboard at all.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #13
    I couldn't recall who had done it, so thanks for posting. :)

    BTW, keep us posted on how it goes. ;)

    I would expect that the 2010 firmware would work without any stitching (assuming no parts substitutions <in terms of semiconductors>, as the board design hasn't changed). They did change a few things from what I've seen, but it's not semiconductors (added the latch cover to the DP models, and use a different P/N on the front fan assy.). Not sure if there's any other changes though.

    As per the SMC firmware, that only contains the thermal profiles for the fans as I understand it (Voltage Regulator is in the main firmware on the daughterboard). Given the 2009 has a different front fan assy. P/N, the 2009 SMC code is probably a better fit (assuming the new P/N for the 2010 has a different CFM/RPM profile). Not sure how different the fan profiles are, but it may have been as a result of a technical reason, such as the newer graphics cards required the change, or they switched to a cheaper supplier.

    As yours is running, a mis-match between the main firmware and SMC doesn't prevent the system from posting. Just keep an eye on all the temps, and see what happens (presume you know where they hovered previously when idle and loaded).
     
  14. beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I've noticed no changes at all in temperatures or increase in fan speeds. But like I said as of right now I have no way of knowing if I was able to let the system run at least 1333 ram as my processors won't support it. What is the SMS Firmware version on a 2010 pro? I have this on my pro right now

    Code:
    SMC Version (system):	                1.39f5
    SMC Version (processor tray):	1.39f5
    
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    Given you've stitched parts of both firmware revisions, I'm not sure where you've drawn the memory timings from (i.e. fixed from the 2009 or SPD from the 2010 code :confused:).

    IIRC, 1.39f5 sounds right for the SMC revision (can't find the posts were this was listed <somehwere here in MR, and I can't locate it via a search> :(). This is also where I picked up that the SMC code was on a different chip and board (not had access to a 2009 or 2010 system to take apart myself, so I've had to rely on information from others).

    I've wondered if just updating the main firmware (MP51.007F.B03) would pull in any newer SMC code when running the Firmware Update Utility (here).
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #16
    Update on the SMC revisions...
    2009 = 1.39f5
    2010 = 1.39f11
     
  17. ScientistRyan macrumors newbie

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  18. beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Someone could get his ass legally kicked by apple for that eBay posting. And possibly fake as well (SMC firmware doesn't match with bootrom firmware).
     
  19. beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #21
    How it was developed would matter from what I understand of valid IP cases, and selling it may make matters worse (far more potential to get hit with a lawsuit, and is a major reason why Apple went after Psystar IIRC). We've a member or two that are IP Attorneys that could shed some light here if they're willing. ;)

    Has anyone tried this to see if it's fake or not (not sure how you came to determine it's not :confused:)?
     
  21. beto2k7 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    that's how.
     
  22. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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  23. fairbanx macrumors member

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    #24
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #25
    I'm still missing it, as the feedback could be fake.

    This is what I'd like to know as well.
     

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