Could I swap the 2.8 quad for this hex i7

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PhoenixMac, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

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    #1
  2. Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

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    #2
    You can swap the CPU later, but I don't think an i7 will work. Has to be a Xeon CPU IIRC. And also, I think the MP uses ECC RAM, which I reckon won't work on the i7.
     
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #3
    Yeah, gotta upgrade with a Xeon. So you could upgrade to the current 3.33 hex Xeon
     
  4. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Ignore the two replies above they're both wrong. You can swap it for a non-xeon processor such as the mentioned i7. Just don't use ECC memory and you'll be fine.
     
  5. Hisdem macrumors 6502a

    Hisdem

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    #5
    Thanks for clearing things up.
     
  6. PhoenixMac thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Thought so but wasn't sure cause only thing I could search up was 2009 not being able to
     
  7. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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  8. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

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    #8
    Is this for real?
    If so that does offer a future upgrade path that would be cheaper than Xeon. Any actual proof or links to success stories here?
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

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    #9
    Yes, plenty of people have done this. But as other people have mentioned, you've got to yank the ECC RAM.
     
  10. PhoenixMac thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Anyone know where I can get some non ecc ram that will work with the gulftown? I usually buy everything from owc but all they carry is ecc ram from what I see on their website?
     
  11. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #11
    You can put a Westmere (6-core) 3.33GHz chip into a 2010 model 2.8 or 3.2 quad, it will accept the upgrade. Simple chip swap, use hex wrench, take of heatsink, take out chip, put new chip in, apply thermal paste, screw heatsink back on.

    To upgrade a 2009 model single processor Mac Pro (2.66, 2,93, oe 3.33 quad) to Westmere, you will need to do a board swap with a new backplane and processor board from a 2010 so you have the correct firmware on your boards to accept the B1 stepping of the Westmere chip. The firmware built into the 2009 Mac Pro boards will only accept Nehalem chips with D0 stepping. Roman23 has upgraded his 2009 Mac Pro with 2010 boards, his System Profiler reads "MacPro5,1" and he is ready to accept a Westmere chip in his machine. The upgrade cost him about $400 for the boards, he got it done for really cheap.

    You can't put a Westmere chip in a 2009 model, the stepping won't allow it. It won't even boot. The Westmere chip is B1 stepping which is different from the Nehalem chip's D0 stepping. The MacPro5,1 has modified firmware to accept BOTH D0 and B1 stepping chips (the 5,1 can take BOTH Nehalem AND Westmere chips, yes.) Roman23 is running his Nehalem 3.33GHz chip on his MacPro5,1 board and it works fine. It's D0 stepping. He's waiting to save up enough money so he can buy a Westmere chip to do the upgrade to 6-core.

    You will need the 2010 Mac Pro System discs if you upgrade a 2009 machine with 2010 boards. The new 10.6.4 that ships with the MacPro5,1 is modified for the boards (has something to do with the system bus) and the system won't run at full speed unless it's running the new Snow Leopard build designed for MacPro5,1. Upgrades 10.6.5 and later should work on any Mac without an issue, but you will need the newer Snow Leopard build (NOT 10F569 but the new one) to work with the MacPro5,1 boards. Roman23 ran Geekbench on his upgraded Mac Pro running the 10F569 build and was only getting about 5200 scores, he upgraded with the 2010 system discs and was getting 11700 scores. Clearly something up there.

    So, in conclusion...you can upgrade any 2010 Mac Pro with any Westmere or Nehalem chip that is either D0 or B1 stepping, but you can't put Westmere in an existing 2009 Mac Pro, you'll need to do a 2010 board install (both the Backplane/Logic/Mainboard and the Processor Board, so the firmware is matching). I can confirm that it's been done and it works.

    Good luck!
     
  12. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Ward

    Thanks for the simple and clear explanation!

    JohnG
     
  13. PhoenixMac thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I was gonna go with the i7 because it is 1k compared to 1700 for the westmere
     
  14. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #14
  15. PhoenixMac thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Ahh thanks didn't see that will definitely go with the westmere the one I saw was a different model 3.33 hex for 1700
     
  16. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #16
    If you go i7, also be aware that i7 chips come in both 1156 and 1366. Mac Pros are 1366, so buy the right one.

    EDIT: quads, sorry; all hexes I've seen so far are 1366 so you probably don't have to worry.
     
  17. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #17
    You were probably looking at the X5680 not the W3680. The X5680 is dual QPI and is designed for dual processor models, while the W3680 is single QPI and is designed for single processor models only. The W3680 is around $1050 - $1100 while the X5680 is $1600 - $1700.
     
  18. oilfighter macrumors regular

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    #18
    So, say 1 year down the line, if I want to give my 2010 mac pro an upgrade, all I need is that chip and I can go from my base quad to hex? No software updates, hardware updates or anything? Just a simple swap?

    It sounds 'almost' too easy!
     
  19. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    Yes. Just put it in and it should work. There should be new, cheaper 6-cores coming someday so it'll be even cheaper after a year for example
     
  20. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #20
    Some conflicting advice here.

    I'd like to know the truth of the matter myself, since I may do this very thing in a year or two.
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    With i7, you have to get non-ECC RAM. With Xeon, you can use both. I would get a Xeon so you don't have to hassle with the RAM. It's only like a hundred or two more (+ECC is always nice)
     
  22. C. Alan macrumors 6502

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    #22
    It is good information. This seems to be the most flexible upgrade path for the 2009 Mac Pros. I have been looking at the w3580 chip for my 2009 quad core, but If I am going to shell out that kind of money, I would like the option of going to the Westmere processors.
     
  23. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #23
    then it looks like my 2010 2.8 quad is nice for an update around feb 2013 or so.
     

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