Resolved Core Differences between 4,1 and 5,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by avattz, May 13, 2016.

  1. avattz macrumors newbie

    avattz

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #1
    Hi everyone, I'm interested in trading my MacBook Pro for a Mac Pro. I wanted to know what are the differences between the 4,1 and 5,1 Mac Pro in regards to the "motherboard". I've built my own desktops and servers so I wanted to buy an old 4,1 or 5,1 Mac and pretty much upgrade everything in it (CPU, GPU, RAM, DVD, SSD/HDD, etc.).

    I've heard that you can convert a 4,1 into a 5,1 through a firmware "update". My question is, is there any physical differences between the two Mac Pros (other than the upgradeable stuff including the CPU tray)? Are there any pictures of both motherboards?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

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    Belgrade, Serbia
  3. h9826790, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    I don't know are they identical in details, but effectively no difference physically.

    The only difference (on the upgrade path) is that the dual processor 4,1 use de-lidded CPU, and all other models use normal lidded CPU. Also, you CANNOT mix use the 4,1 / 5,1 CPU tray, due to difference SMC software version, it will cause the fan run at full speed.

    So, if you are looking for a dual processor 4,1 / 5,1 and upgrade the CPU by yourself. It's much better to go for 5,1. However, if you can get a cheap 4,1 (pay extra for the de-lid service after you buy the CPU). Or you know how to de-lid the CPU by yourself. You may upgrade the dual processor 4,1 by yourself. Some users simply keep using normal CPU on the dual processor 4,1, but the upgrade will be much more difficult and have much higher risk to damage the CPU tray. Not recommended in general.

    For single CPU model, both 4,1 and 5,1 are virtually identical.
     
  4. avattz thread starter macrumors newbie

    avattz

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #4
    Thanks for images owbp, exactly what I was looking for, and thanks h9826790, you answered my next question, I wanted to buy 5,1 processor board and stick it into a 4,1, but I guess I should just go with a 5,1.

    Thanks again!
    --- Post Merged, May 13, 2016 ---
    I do have a third question, the reason why I wanted to use a 5,1 processor board is for the 1333MHz RAM speed, but I just read that the 4,1->5,1 firmware also "unlocks" that RAM speed for a 4,1 machine, does that mean that (regardless of upgrades) a 4,1 machine with the firmware is pretty much identical to a 5,1 physically?
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    Correct, they are identical in spec (after the firmware upgrade). And physically the same.

    I performed the firmware upgrade on my 4,1 and now I am running 1333MHz RAM, (of course you need to have a CPU that support 1333MHz RAM).

    AFAIK, The firmware upgrade will

    1) make the 4,1 support more CPU, most importantly, the Westmere CPU (e.g. X5690)
    2) make the 4,1 support 1333MHz RAM (after you have the correct CPU)
    3) make the 4,1 can deliver audio via HDMI or display port (required 3rd part driver)

    That means, identical to a real 5,1.
     
  6. avattz thread starter macrumors newbie

    avattz

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #6
    Great, so I guess 4,1 or 5,1 are an option for me. Thanks.
     
  7. mattspace macrumors 6502

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    I'm still curious if you can mount 5,1 dual heatsinks in the 4,1 and get around the problem of lidded or otherwise CPUs - though I suspect the cost of the cooler part would probably higher than the delidding.
     
  8. TzunamiOSX macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2009
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    Germany
    #8

    as far as I know, the 5,1 and the 4,1 having different SMC versions, and with a 5,1 board in a 4,1 all fans running at full speed
     
  9. mattspace macrumors 6502

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    I'm more referring to putting the 5,1 heatsinks into a 4,1 processor board - as in do they use the same connectors, sensors etc - is the only actual difference the height of the area that sits directly over the processor.
     
  10. TzunamiOSX macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Yes, perhaps a better way, but 2 heatsinks are more pricey than delidding
     

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