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MP 7,1 CPU upgrade in 2019 Mac Pro

ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
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Is it possible to upgrade processor after buying the computer?
And, Is it possible to use RAM from any manufacturer or we have to use Apple’s RAM modules?
Brais Nóvoa Loira - 4 hours ago Reply

We haven’t tested them yet, but to all appearances: Yes to processor upgrades, and yes to RAM upgrades. Both are modular, socketed, standard components.
Jeff Suovanen - 3 hours ago

- iFixIt site (linked above)


I think most people knew it’s socketed. There might be software or hardware limitations that prevent upgrades.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,353
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They won't restrict CPU/RAM replacements in the Pro machine.
Intel frequently uses different microcodes for the same socket, this could be a problem in the future. For now it's almost sure, people already tested, that you can buy the basic model and upgrade the processor to the same processors that Apple offer, since those will have support already.
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
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For now it's almost sure, people already tested, that you can buy the basic model and upgrade the processor to the...

Are there any sources yet on confirmed Mac Pro CPU upgrades?

(Asking to help decide whether to bite the bullet on a base model purchase)
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
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Not yet - iFixit proved that you can *remove* the CPU, but not that you can *upgrade* it.

That was my understanding as well.

I agree that many previous models (of Mac in general (iMac, iMac Pro, old Mac Pro)) were upgradable. But it's entirely possible this Mac Pro will be different.

(thank you for the response)
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,875
2,039
There is absolutely no reason to suspect the CURRENTLY AVAILABLE CPU OPTIONS for MP7,1 cannot be used as upgrades down the line, especially since it was confirmed the CPU itself can be fairly easily removed. CPUs NOT currently offered by Apple are much more of a question.
 
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crystalidea

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 3, 2014
131
28
Belgium
Security boot doesn't have anything to do with CPU.

Disabling security boot is NOT disabling T2 chip security chip which also handles Touch ID and on-the-fly data disk encryption.
 
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danwells

macrumors 6502a
Apr 4, 2015
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One interesting question, assuming it's possible to buy the CPUs anywhere, is whether it'll support the non-M versions of the 24 or 28 core CPUs? The upgrades aren't overpriced for the M CPUs... On the other hand, the non-M CPUs are half the price of the M version. Assuming you knew you'd never need more than 768 GB of RAM (which is unimaginably huge for a lot of workloads), you could save thousands...

It almost seems like OWC or someone like them should run a Mac Pro hot-rod service where they put in standard w-3265 or w-3275 processors and 192 or 384 GB of RAM for way under what Apple charges... The savings on the processor are about $2500 compared to the versions Apple uses, and the RAM is $1800 cheaper for 192 GB and $3700 cheaper for 384 GB... No, it's not quite the same as the Apple upgrade because it's not the M processor, but it's equal for most uses for many thousands less.
 
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flooglehorn dinglebop

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2019
11
5
Intel frequently uses different microcodes for the same socket, this could be a problem in the future. For now it's almost sure, people already tested, that you can buy the basic model and upgrade the processor to the same processors that Apple offer, since those will have support already.
Would that mean that the 8 core model could be replaced by the 12, 16, etc. core processors? I did that on my 2010 Mac Pro (upgraded processor from 4 to 6 core and got faster bus speed) and understand it was the processor that handled the memory: as in the ram limit and ram speed aren't hardwired into the logic board — I'm assuming the 2019 Mac Pro is the same kind of scenario.

In that case the base model is more of an attractive proposition. Even with the measly 256GB SSD — enough to run the OS, and it's really cheap to put some extra NVMe storage in the PCI slots, add more ram, GPU upgrade later. My 2010 MP died recently so I replaced it with a mini: it's great but limited by thermals unlike the MP was, only has 6 cores, limited ram (more expensive too), and my GPU is still sitting in a box since I don't have an eGPU enclosure yet (plus the performance penalty and hassle that goes with one).
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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Would that mean that the 8 core model could be replaced by the 12, 16, etc. core processors? I did that on my 2010 Mac Pro (upgraded processor from 4 to 6 core and got faster bus speed) and understand it was the processor that handled the memory: as in the ram limit and ram speed aren't hardwired into the logic board — I'm assuming the 2019 Mac Pro is the same kind of scenario.

In that case the base model is more of an attractive proposition. Even with the measly 256GB SSD — enough to run the OS, and it's really cheap to put some extra NVMe storage in the PCI slots, add more ram, GPU upgrade later. My 2010 MP died recently so I replaced it with a mini: it's great but limited by thermals unlike the MP was, only has 6 cores, limited ram (more expensive too), and my GPU is still sitting in a box since I don't have an eGPU enclosure yet (plus the performance penalty and hassle that goes with one).
Yes, like I said use a Xeon that Apple already uses, so you won't have any surprises. With time, people will test all the Intel line-up.
 
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flooglehorn dinglebop

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2019
11
5
Yes, like I said use a Xeon that Apple already uses, so you won't have any surprises. With time, people will test all the Intel line-up.
Thanks! I'll be keeping an eye out. The 12 + core versions are a bit much $$ for me at this point, but if it's anything like the 2010 MP those processors get pretty cheap after a few years. It could easily be a 10 year + machine with upgrades (and since the i/o module is on a card there's a good chance that will get a revision too as new standards come out).
 
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ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
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Thanks! I'll be keeping an eye out. The 12 + core versions are a bit much $$ for me at this point, but if it's anything like the 2010 MP those processors get pretty cheap after a few years. It could easily be a 10 year + machine with upgrades (and since the i/o module is on a card there's a good chance that will get a revision too as new standards come out).

It won't be.

Intel is desperately trying to move off of their 14nm process; their inability to move to 10nm means that they have nothing in 2020, and 2021 isn't looking good either. The Nehelm to Westmere was a happy coincidence, and it is unlikely to be repeated due to their inability to meet current requirements, as well as their Socket of the Month process.

28 cores sounds good until you realize that those cores are running at 2.5Ghz (less if using AVX-512). What is worse is in comparison to AMD's CPU line up - Zen 2 today - Zen 3 by the end of 2020 (yet another 10% IPC increase), and then Zen 4 on 5nm. TSMC is on track with 5nm, so more improvements are coming.

2009 - 2017 didn't see a lot of progress in computing technology. We went from PCIe 2.0 to PCIe 3.0. The 7,1 is outdated today AFA I/O, and it will just be getting worse - PCIe 5.0 is due to launch in 2020.
 
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flooglehorn dinglebop

macrumors newbie
May 17, 2019
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5
It won't be.

Intel is desperately trying to move off of their 14nm process; their inability to move to 10nm means that they have nothing in 2020, and 2021 isn't looking good either. The Nehelm to Westmere was a happy coincidence, and it is unlikely to be repeated due to their inability to meet current requirements, as well as their Socket of the Month process.

28 cores sounds good until you realize that those cores are running at 2.5Ghz (less if using AVX-512). What is worse is in comparison to AMD's CPU line up - Zen 2 today - Zen 3 by the end of 2020 (yet another 10% IPC increase), and then Zen 4 on 5nm. TSMC is on track with 5nm, so more improvements are coming.

2009 - 2017 didn't see a lot of progress in computing technology. We went from PCIe 2.0 to PCIe 3.0. The 7,1 is outdated today AFA I/O, and it will just be getting worse - PCIe 5.0 is due to launch in 2020.
That's all true, but a 16 core 3.2 (with 4.4 turbo) is a pretty decent upgrade from the 8 core, especially if using software that can do something useful with more than one core. That's a $3200 jump where I live, but give it a few years and it won't be so bad.

Just because the AMD chips are fast doesn't make the new Mac Pro slow: and as far as I've seen it's pretty fast, silent and doesn't ever run into thermal issues. Same goes for the PCIe standard, it's hardly holding it back. I'm sure there will be an update in a few years that has a newer PCIe standard — it's hardly going to make todays machines defunct though.

"It won't be."
And "2009 - 2017 didn't see a lot of progress in computing technology"

Hmm, I just looked up the specs on the 2009 model Mac pro. Topped out at 8 core 2.93GHZ (2 x 4), 8MB cache per processor, max (at launch) 32GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ram (which would have been very expensive. It came standard with 6GB), ATI Radeon HD 4870 with 512 MB of GDDR5 (4 x if you wanted: no PCIe slots left after that I would think). All mechanical spinner drives, Firewire 800, USB 2, SATA II. SSDs were just emerging as an option and that was only on SATA: you could spend a fortune and get a Mac RAID card and set up a RAID that wouldn't even get SATA SSD speeds. By comparison to todays model it all looks pretty pathetic but with upgrades over the years these machines are still rocking and definitely have proved to be 10 year machines. I'd still be using one if the logic board hadn't died, and if I had the time I could have easily replaced the logic board.

I don't think your logic that there wasn't much progress holds up: maybe in raw processor speed or nm, but everything else changed a lot. As more and more developers optimise their apps for multi core and GPU it only gets better for us. While we are waiting around for PCIe 5.0 to supercede our new computers why not just hold out for 6.0
 
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Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
582
To anyone that says this can't be done :

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 1.30.36 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 11.53.27 AM.png


Good news is I figured out how to do the install .

Xeon Gold 6212U 2.4 GHz 24 Core in a real Mac Pro 7,1 . She booted up right away first time .

For what its worth , I disabled SIP , Secure Boot and permitted boot from external drive before I began .

She's stable , ran a benchmark and let her idle for three hours .

Bad news is I made the mistake of PRAMing the System and now she won't boot :-(

I suspect its SIP related or is some sort of white list involved ?

And ... I can't figure out how to remove the PRAM battery . Hoping maybe it'll help reset something .
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,353
8,866
To anyone that says this can't be done :

View attachment 883653 View attachment 883654

Good news is I figured out how to do the install .

Xeon 6212U Gold 2.4 GHz 24 Core in a real Mac Pro 7,1 . She booted up right away first time .

For what its worth , I disabled SIP , Secure Boot and permitted boot from external drive before I began .

She's stable , ran a benchmark and let her idle for three hours .

Bad news is I made the mistake of PRAMing the System and now she won't boot :-(

I suspect its SIP related or is some sort of white list involved ?

And ... I can't figure out how to remove the PRAM battery . Hoping maybe it'll help reset something .

Nice!

Just a note, Intel Macs don't have PRAM at all, it's NVRAM and it's not battery powered. The battery is only for the clock. T2 Macs don't even have a SPI flash for the BootROM like previous Mac Pros, the BootROM is managed and stored inside the T2.

If you installed Catalina into a external drive and did a clear NVRAM, you need to boot from the T-2 storage and enable external boot again with Startup Security Utility.
 
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Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
854
582
Nice!

Just a note, Intel Macs don't have PRAM at all, it's NVRAM and it's not battery powered. The battery is only for the clock. T2 Macs don't even have a SPI flash for the BootROM like previous Mac Pros, the BootROM is managed and stored inside the T2.

If you installed Catalina into a external drive and did a clear NVRAM, you need to boot from the T-2 storage and enable external boot again with Startup Security Utility.

I currently am getting nothing to my display , the optical mouse won't light up and there's no indication of the System looking for a boot device ( flashing question mark ) . Both power lights light on and the System consumes around 100 W at the wall .

Catalina is installed on the internal factory Flash drive . It is not currently booting .

Does this mean I need to reinstall the factory W 3223 Xeon or is there some way I can keep my processor upgrade ?
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,353
8,866
I currently am getting nothing to my display , the optical mouse won't light up and there's no indication of the System looking for a boot device ( flashing question mark ) . Both power lights light on and the System consumes around 100 W at the wall .

Catalina is installed on the internal factory Flash drive . It is not currently booting .

Does this mean I need to reinstall the factory W 3223 Xeon or is there some way I can keep my processor upgrade ?
Did you tried to clear the NVRAM again? Usually you have to clear it 3 times in sequence to reset the user configured parameters and force the RAM detection process. Did you tried with a wired keyboard?
 
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