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

avattz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 13, 2016
14
3
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!
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,417
6,966
Hong Kong
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!
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.
 
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avattz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 13, 2016
14
3
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!
[doublepost=1463184000][/doublepost]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?
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,417
6,966
Hong Kong
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!
[doublepost=1463184000][/doublepost]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?
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.
 

avattz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 13, 2016
14
3
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.
Great, so I guess 4,1 or 5,1 are an option for me. Thanks.
 

mattspace

macrumors 65816
Jun 5, 2013
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Australia
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.
 

TzunamiOSX

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2009
506
182
Germany
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.
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!
[doublepost=1463184000][/doublepost]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?

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
 

mattspace

macrumors 65816
Jun 5, 2013
1,453
1,102
Australia
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
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.
 
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TzunamiOSX

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2009
506
182
Germany
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.
Yes, perhaps a better way, but 2 heatsinks are more pricey than delidding
 
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