Different processors?

Kermit8283

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
13
0
Nashville, TN
I'm trying to get a game plan to build a couple pros for my wife's small business. I want to make them as future proof as possible but save money where I can.

So my understanding from searching is that I can do a firmware update on the 2008 model that will essentially turn it into a 2010 model with a different CPU and graphic card. (could find a guide on doing this, anybody got a link?)

I'm wanting to pick up the hex core 3.33 as my primary CPU. But can I buy a dual CPU computer and only update one of the chips at first? That way I could always upgrade the other down the road if adobe ever gets more efficient at utilizing more cores. Has anybody done this with stable results?
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,364
401
127.0.0.1
Nope an Early 2008 Mac Pro is stuck being an Early 2008 Mac Pro. You are thinking of the 2009 Mac Pro.
 

jasonvp

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2007
604
0
Northern VA
So my understanding from searching is that I can do a firmware update on the 2008 model that will essentially turn it into a 2010 model with a different CPU and graphic card. (could find a guide on doing this, anybody got a link?)
Not quite; you can turn a 2009 (4,1) into a 2010 (5,1) with a flash. 3,1 Mac Pros (2008) use a different chip architecture and aren't compatible with the Intel Nehalems. 3,1s also use DDR2 vs DDR3 memory. So you can't flash a 2008/3,1 into a newer Pro.

jas
 

Kermit8283

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
13
0
Nashville, TN
Good catch. I was thinking of the 2009. I had remembered incorrectly.

So if I get a 2009 model, can I use two different processors?
 

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
950
1
No, the processors must be exactly the same in dual processor systems. You cannot have two different processors in the machine at the same time, it likely won't even boot.
 

jasonvp

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2007
604
0
Northern VA
So if I get a 2009 model, can I use two different processors?
You can't, no.

Also: understand the dual-proc 4,1s offer a fun little challenge in that they use unobtanium lidless Xeons. You can't buy those Xeons anywhere. To get around that, you'll have a few choices:
  • Pry the lids off the Xeons yourself
  • Rig up adapters that will allow the stock heat sinks to fit over the retail Xeons
  • Use the stock heat sinks and bolts and just don't tighten them down fully

In all honesty, if you want to go 4,1, then get a single-processor unit, upgrade the flash, and pop in the fastest 6-core Xeon you can afford. The single-processor 4,1s use the standard, retail Xeons. It's just the duals that can't.

jas
 

Kermit8283

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2009
13
0
Nashville, TN
No, the processors must be exactly the same in dual processor systems. You cannot have two different processors in the machine at the same time, it likely won't even boot.
Dang! Good to know though. I think I'll just get a single processor version now.

Is there a place to buy the CPU trays? If it was cost effective I could swap to a dual in the future if I get desperate. I know OWC does it, but it's expensive going through them.

----------

You can't, no.

Also: understand the dual-proc 4,1s offer a fun little challenge in that they use unobtanium lidless Xeons. You can't buy those Xeons anywhere. To get around that, you'll have a few choices:
  • Pry the lids off the Xeons yourself
  • Rig up adapters that will allow the stock heat sinks to fit over the retail Xeons
  • Use the stock heat sinks and bolts and just don't tighten them down fully

In all honesty, if you want to go 4,1, then get a single-processor unit, upgrade the flash, and pop in the fastest 6-core Xeon you can afford. The single-processor 4,1s use the standard, retail Xeons. It's just the duals that can't.

jas
I'm glad I asked. You just saved me some heartache. Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely going to get the single now. I wish the 3.46s weren't still over a $1000.
 
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