Did some upgrades this week

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pastrychef, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #1
    I had noticed that, at times, the the flat area of my Mac Pro where the backside of my video card sits above would get fairly warm. In particular, it got warmest under where the actual GPU rests which makes perfect sense. I didn't like this because my video card has VRAM on the back of the card where there is no heatsink to help dissipate heat.

    Therefore, I decided to look for a backplate in the hopes that it would help spread the heat a bit. I managed to find an EVGA backplate for their GTX 680 FTW. Although my card is not an EVGA, it was a GTX 680 and I figured there would be a good chance of it fitting. When it arrived in the mail, I found that there were some differences in the length and mounting points of the backplate compared to my card. Fortunately, the clearance area to compensate for the components under the GPU and the raised sections for the VRAM were a perfect match and two main mounting holes also matched.

    I inspected for areas that the mounting point made contact to open components on the board and saw that three of the mounting points along the bottom edge of the could potentially cause shorts. So, I took out the trusty Dremel and cut out the three offending spots and shortened the backplate slightly to make it fit. While it wasn't the prettiest work I've done, it did the job.

    Now, I notice that the heat is less concentrated in one area and is spread out further to the front of the Mac Pro. Albeit my testing was extremely unscientific and was just based on what I felt with my hand. I have also noticed that intake and exhaust fans now run at a more synchronized manner where RPM is almost alway the same. In the past, the exhaust fan would typically spin at a slightly higher RPM.

    Overall, it gives me a nice peace of mind. Whether or not there are any true advantages to it, I may never know. But even if it's just a placebo, it's effective.

    -----------

    I stumbled upon some W5580s on Ebay going for $100 each last week and couldn't resist. I figured I should be able to sell my existing X5570s for $100-150 after the upgrade. At this cost, it was simply too good to pass up, so I took the plunge.

    The CPU swap was quite uneventful and took less than half an hour. Everything works as it always has with no discernible issues. The fans seem to ramp up a tad quicker than they used to but not at any alarming rate. As a matter of fact, temperature readings from iStat Menu seems to indicate that the new CPUs run a bit cooler than the outgoing ones. This could well be due to fresh, more evenly applied thermal compound.

    For anyone who is looking to upgrade, the prices for these W5580s are really difficult to resist. Keep in mind that these are not engineering samples which I have always been a little weary of. If I'm lucky and sell my old CPUs for $150, my total cost of the upgrade will be well below $100.
     
  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #2
    Congrats on your nice upgrade! Must have been fun and exciting. Would you know if the real world speed increase was big? I know after upgrades we check with Geekbench though there are other factors to count in. I am considering upgrading though was thinking in actual real world tasks the difference may be minimal in speed increase maybe due to some unforeseen variables.
     
  3. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #3
    Thanks.

    To be honest, I haven't done anything at all to take advantage of the new CPUs yet. I don't expect huge improvements in everyday usage. I was actually very comfortable with just 2.93GHz, but, as I said, the W5580s were so incredibly inexpensive, I couldn't resist.
     
  4. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #4
    Hi PastryChef. No problem, that's fine. :cool: For the price of the W5580 it was a good bargain to let it pass. My colleague, though using a PC windows, upgraded his cpu from 2.8ghz to 3.46ghz. He commented the difference was minimal on most taks in general and his temps ran hotter. But this is a PC so I guess we can't compare directly.
     
  5. pastrychef thread starter macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #5
    Yes, I expect the W5580s to run a bit hotter, but, so far, the difference has been nearly non-existent.
     

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