CPU upgrade of 8-core 2009 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by langer, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. langer, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

    langer macrumors newbie

    langer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    Hi,

    I've read a few threads here, including the brilliant one about upgrading a 3.2 4-core to 6-core:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1122551

    After reading that you can 'make' a 2009 Mac Pro into a 2010 version, I was wondering if it's possible to do a dual CPU upgrade as well?

    I'd love to get a new Mac Pro (typing on a 2007 Macbook Pro 2.4 which is still great, but a bit slow) but it seems DIY is the only affordable rate at this time for me.

    Therefore, is it possible to get an 8-core 2.26 2009 Mac Pro and then-
    'Upgrade' it to 5,1 - then replace the CPUs with Xeon 5600 series ones since they all use LGA 1366 Sockets?
    I'd be specifically looking to put in two Xeon X5650 2.66GHz as they seem to be available at a decent price.

    Am I daydreaming here, as it seems too easy to jump from Geekbench scores of about 13000 to 22000 for a very small investment, or is this entirely feasible? Thanks for any help an apologies if it's been gone over before.

    **Edit-I'd be looking to run fluid simulations like Realflow on it and some multithreaded video rendering**
     
  2. Rainier42 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    #2
    Am looking at the same thing since I have a MP 2009. Have already run the utility, which upgrades my firmware to a 2010 Mac Pro however, have not purchased any MP hex cores since they are still very expensive. An alternative would be to install a pair of quad cores w5580 processors.

    Thoughts?
     
  3. langer thread starter macrumors newbie

    langer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    While some places are expensive, I have seen some very cheap second hand CPUs though :)

    And some cheap new ones on eBay.
     
  4. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #4
    I would stick to ones that are either tested by others or those that Apple actually uses in the mac pros. There are a couple bleeding edge units that Apple never took on, and they tend to be cost prohibitive even today. X5687 comes to mind.
     
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #5
    You can't install two W processors into a Mac Pro. W processors can only be run in single processor mode. You have to install two E or X processors.

    ----------

    What do you consider Cheap? The X56XX series is still pretty expensive new (i.e. $1500-3000 for a pair).
     
  6. langer thread starter macrumors newbie

    langer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland
    #6
    That's kind of what I was thinking - that the Xeon X5650 2.66GHz was the one used in their 12-core official system?

    About $400 for the X5650 2.66GHz - does that sound crazy? I'm new to investigating this stuff. Thanks for the help!
     
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #7
    Seems pretty cheap. I haven't priced them though since I don't have a 2009 or better. I know Newegg sells them new for $1000 so $400 for a used chip seems more than reasonable (almost too good?). The X5650 also has one of the best max turbo at 3.06ghz (a .5 ghz increase!).
     
  8. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #8
    That seems worth it. I noted your uses. While I don't have Realflow and can't justify the cost for very occasional use, I get the amount of computation required there. The X5650 was used in the official 12 core systems. The W3680 is used in the hex core, but that won't work in dual package systems. A nice thing about cpus is that they don't commonly go bad if used in their intended manner, although I would fully stress test the system once it's up and running to ensure all is well. I'd also run memtest prior to the upgrade to make sure your ram is perfect. I like to take precautions.
     
  9. langer, Aug 24, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012

    langer thread starter macrumors newbie

    langer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland
    #9
    EDIT*Made a mistake here, says clearly on their page 'A0 Stepping. Will not Work on Intel Made Motherboard.' whoops-How about about $400...new (or so they claim?)-
    http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Intel-Xeon-X5650-2-66GHz-12MB-LGA-1366-Hex-Core-32nm-95W-Q3QN-/261086829191?pt=UK_Computing_CPUs_Processors&hash=item3cc9fcda87#ht_1218wt_1163

    Here's a list of CPUs associated with LGA 1366 Socket if anyone fancy a quick gander-
    http://www.cpu-world.com/Sockets/Socket%201366%20(LGA1366).html

    Thanks for the input. 12-cores at 2.66 is probably more than I need really, but if I can get a used 2009 Mac Pro 8-core for about $2500 and put in my own CPUs for $800 **EDIT-Fat chance, the cheapest are more like $800 each!***and a total cost of about $3300 it seems a steal at that price - well, in Ireland anyway as a new 12-core is $3799 in US while it's $5000 (3999eu!) here.
     
  10. langer thread starter macrumors newbie

    langer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland
    #10
    Dang it. After more carefully reading that eBay link above it turns out the X5650s are 'A0 Stepping. Will not Work on Intel Made Motherboard.' - so that's that out. paulrbeers above was right on the money by saying 'almost too good?'.

    So, it turns out they're more like $800ea. at best.

    Perhaps the now famous 6-core W3680 method is best after all.
     
  11. arri, Aug 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012

    arri macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #11
    integrated heat spreader

    wow, not sure why no one has mentioned that the 2009 8 core, and 4 core use different chips. the 8 core use a modified cpu with no integrated heat spreader i believe. so when you put in a stock intel cpu it does not fit properly. anandtech did an upgrade, and broke a cpu. look up the anandtech article and it will clarify, and backup what i am saying. different cpu. you can try an upgrade, but its not an easy drop in replace, no problem kind of job. its the wrong part, hope i don't %%%% it up kind of job.
     
  12. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #12
    Yes everyone is already aware of that. There are whole threads on how to get around this using washers. It has been done many times.
     
  13. langer thread starter macrumors newbie

    langer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    Ireland
    #13
    Yep, the AnandTech article's a good one-
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2800/upgrading-and-analyzing-apple-s-nehalem-mac-pro/10

    It does concern a quad to quad upgrade of an 8-core 2.26 2009 model, while I was wondering about an upgrade to 12-core.

    What I've learned today after much reading is that, by and large:
    -you need Xeon X56** series chips for dual CPU set up-
    -They cost a lot
    -There are some out there with different stepping which render them useless
    -The 2009 dual CPU is more difficult to upgrade than single
    -You need to be very careful with the height of the chips, you may need washers to raise the heat sinks up a little to stop you from tightening them too close the CPUs and ruining the board.

    Here's the Netkas page with stuff about washers-
    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.225.html

    Is that all about right? And is a common upgrade? Anybody done it?
     
  14. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #14
    -There are some out there with different stepping which render them useless

    anyone have the list of which stepping codes do, and do not, work?
     

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