Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
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Hey guys,
I have a 2012 Mac pro with the single CPU setup- Xeon W3680. From what I understand, the only possible upgrade with my motherboard is the X5690, which provides minimal performance increase.

I was looking at this upgrade program here: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/MacPro/2009_2010_Xeon_Processor/Apple_Mac_Pro_2010_1
and I was wondering if there would be a way to DIY the upgrade the computer to support the dual CPU to save money compared to having the upgrade done from the company in the link.

Any input would be appreciated!
 

solaris8x86

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2007
159
33
Saturn
I did the similar before. From 2.66 to 3.46Ghz. They sold me the "whole dual CPU tray" set. All I needed to do is to replace the entire CPU tray in my Mac Pro 2010. Then done. But you also need to buy new RAM. The 3.46Ghz CPU uses 1333MHz. I'm afraid your old RAM cannot be reused anymore.

Correction:
It seems W3680 uses 1333MHz already. You need to double check.
your old W3680 supports DDR3 800/1066/1333
 
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Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
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I did the similar before. From 2.66 to 3.46Ghz. They sold me the "whole dual CPU tray" set. All I needed to do is to replace the entire CPU tray in my Mac Pro 2010. Then done. But you also need to buy new RAM. The 3.46Ghz CPU uses 1333MHz. I'm afraid your old RAM cannot be reused anymore.

Correction:
It seems W3680 uses 1333MHz already. You need to double check.
your old W3680 supports DDR3 800/1066/1333

Awesome thanks. I already have 1333 MHz. Did you buy the CPU tray from the same website?
 
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solaris8x86

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2007
159
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Awesome thanks. I already have 1333 MHz. Did you buy the CPU tray from the same website?

I bought it from ebay.
The dual 3.46Ghz runs much faster than dual 266Ghz system or even your single CPU system.
If you demand performance for multithread application such as handbrake. It is kick ass. My CPU percentage could go up to [1,400%] used by handbrake when encoding a h264 High Profile 5.1 movie. The more CPU threads run much more faster if you demand software encoding by CPU. It helps a lot comparing to my previous dual 2.66Ghz system.
 
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Z1839

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Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
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I bought it from ebay.
The dual 3.46Ghz runs much faster than dual 266Ghz system or even your single CPU system.
If you demand performance for multithread application such as handbrake. It is kick ass. My CPU percentage could go up to [1,400%] used by handbrake when encoding a h264 High Profile 5.1 movie. The more CPU threads run much more faster if you demand software encoding by CPU. It helps a lot comparing to my previous dual 2.66Ghz system.

awesome! this is a silly question, but is the tray literally just a tray that allows me to upgrade to dual CPU- meaning, I would need to buy additional hardware like a motherboard, the cpu itself, etc?
 
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orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
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392
UK
it's worth looking around, it can be cheaper to buy a dual cpu mac pro without upgraded CPU's than it is to buy a tray with dual cup's (and you get spare parts, big plus PSU's are getting old and a spare mac GPU is nice)
also worth low balling on eBay for trays as they sometimes are willing to cut the cost (there super old now)

if it was me id look for a cmp with a dual CPU and then DIY upgrade it.

depends where you live, in the UK gumtree is the best place iv found (i got both my cmp's on gumtree much cheaper than ebay in the UK)

depends where you live and if your in a rush, if it was me id just stick with the W3680 unless you relay need a speed boost and use apps that can use all the cores.

what apps are you using that can use all 24threads?

for more info see

ps
if you have a 5,1 you need a 5,1 tray
if you have a 4,1 you need a 4,1 tray
if you have a 4,1 with 5,1 firmware you need a 4,1 tray

if it was me id not spend more than £300-500 (well if it was me id not do it o_O that site has upgrades for over $1000! for that i can make a new render box and just offload renders from my mac to that which will be much faster than the dual X5690)
 
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MisterAndrew

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Sep 15, 2015
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Portland, Ore.
If you want to do this just get a whole dual system because people are practically giving them away now that they're obsolete. And because of that I don't think it's a good idea to spend more money on these old Macs. Save for a newer one.
 
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Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
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Ah that reminds me. I was considering buying a PSU for my Mac, just for *****. Are there any recommended brands and types that work specifically for the 2012 Mac Pro, or can I just buy any.
 
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solaris8x86

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2007
159
33
Saturn
Ah that reminds me. I was considering buying a PSU for my Mac, just for *****. Are there any recommended brands and types that work specifically for the 2012 Mac Pro, or can I just buy any.


If you can afford, I think it is better to get a used Mac Pro 2013. The OS can still be upgraded for next 5-10 years. For Mac Pro 4,1 5,1. The OS upgrade has stopped after Mojave. But the performance after the upgrade can compare to a Mac Pro 2013. Also the total investment of $$$$ is cheaper. If you demand such performance. you need to invest:

  1. A powerful graphic card such as Vega 56 or Vega 64 with hardware acceleration enabled (see another thread tutorial);
  2. A NVMe drive and its adapter; Or RAID controller with bunch of SSD drives connected to form RAID volumes (my case);
  3. A. new CPU Tray and dual CPUs 3.46Ghz have to be upgraded at once:
  4. Need more additional 1333Mhz RAM;
For 1 = ~$199
For 2 = ~$160
For 3 = ~$399
For 4 = ~$99 (Add 32GB (4 x 8GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Mac Pro Memory)

Mac Pro 5,1 highest HW performance upgrade Total = ~$857


If you gonna buy a used Mac Pro 2013 (6,1):
  1. (Cheapest HW options, Apple Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad Core/64GB/FirePro D300) = $1,399
  2. (Highend HW options, Apple Mac Pro 2.7Ghz 12 Core/64GB/FirePro D700) = ~$2,475

So $857 vs $1399 vs $2475
So you choose.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,998
2,103
Just an FYI - you can purchase dual trays fully assembled at prices that are much cheaper than OWC. Just confirm the SMC Version is 1.39f11 on both your current machine (MP5,1 mid 2012) and the tray of the new one. These must match.

Quick search on eBay has prices under $500 if you shop around. Some people choose dual 3.33 vs dual 3.46 due to the sometimes drastic cost savings.

As several have stated, these days it might be cheaper to just buy an entirely new MP5,1 case with dual tray. Check local listings, some people have recently scored deals under $200 for systems with upgraded processors. The fire sales on eBay aren't that great yet, however.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
9,138
9,778
If you can afford, I think it is better to get a used Mac Pro 2013. The OS can still be upgraded for next 5-10 years. For Mac Pro 4,1 5,1. The OS upgrade has stopped after Mojave. But the performance after the upgrade can compare to a Mac Pro 2013. Also the total investment of $$$$ is cheaper. If you demand such performance. you need to invest:

  1. A powerful graphic card such as Vega 56 or Vega 64 with hardware acceleration enabled (see another thread tutorial);
  2. A NVMe drive and its adapter; Or RAID controller with bunch of SSD drives connected to form RAID volumes (my case);
  3. A. new CPU Tray and dual CPUs 3.46Ghz have to be upgraded at once:
  4. Need more additional 1333Mhz RAM;
For 1 = ~$199
For 2 = ~$160
For 3 = ~$399
For 4 = ~$99 (Add 32GB (4 x 8GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Mac Pro Memory)

Mac Pro 5,1 highest HW performance upgrade Total = ~$857


If you gonna buy a used Mac Pro 2013 (6,1):
  1. (Cheapest HW options, Apple Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad Core/64GB/FirePro D300) = $1,399
  2. (Highend HW options, Apple Mac Pro 2.7Ghz 12 Core/64GB/FirePro D700) = ~$2,475

So $857 vs $1399 vs $2475
So you choose.
Don't bet your horses that Apple will software support MP6,1 for 11 to 16 years, Apple never supported a Mac with new macOS releases for more than 8 years.

Even if you count Mojave Security Updates for the usual two years, Mac Pro 2010, the longest supported Mac to this day, won't get past 10 years. MP6,1 can't change GPUs like MP5,1…
 
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solaris8x86

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2007
159
33
Saturn
Don't bet your horses that Apple will software support MP6,1 for 11 to 16 years, Apple never supported a Mac with new macOS releases for more than 8 years.

Even if you count Mojave Security Updates for the usual two years, Mac Pro 2010, the longest supported Mac to this day, won't get past 10 years. MP6,1 can't change GPUs like MP5,1…

I'm not so sure any apple product can last that long. I got my Mac Pro 2010 at 2010. And 9 years later, today. Mojave is the end. I'm totally ok. If Apple can allow a product life cycle across 16 years. Then we have should seen the Titanium MacBook Pro 2004 is still around on Mojave today....but I don't think so. LOL. In fact, those 've got Mac Pro 2012 only last 7 years.. So unfair to them...
 
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MisterAndrew

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Sep 15, 2015
2,249
1,727
Portland, Ore.
The Ivy Bridge processors in the 6,1 are over 6 years old so Intel won’t support them with microcode updates for much longer. That will probably force Apple‘s hand to end software updates. Catalina could be the last OS for the 6,1. So I don’t think it would be good to spend money on one of those with the expectation that it will receive several more OS releases.
 
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solaris8x86

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2007
159
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Saturn
The Ivy Bridge processors in the 6,1 are over 6 years old so Intel won’t support them with microcode updates for much longer. That will probably force Apple‘s hand to end software updates. Catalina could be the last OS for the 6,1. So I don’t think it would be good to spend money on one of those with the expectation that it will receive several more OS releases.

Please don't say that... I'm planning to get one....
 
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Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
32
0
Thanks for the thorough discussion and input. I’m a little overwhelmed here because I’m new to the Mac hardware game. I’ve had Mac products for years now obviously, but just recently started learning about upgrading my 2012 Mac Pro after deciding to put it to good use rather than have to collect dust.

just to make sure I’m understanding some of the points correctly:

first, for the issue of buying a used 2013 being a better investment. I’m assuming this is in the context of all the hardware upgrades. I already have an NVME SSD, usb 3.0 card, and sapphire Radeon Rx580 on my 2012 Mac Pro with Catalina installed. As of now, I’m just looking to somehow get dual CPUs. With that considered, I understand that the upgrade to dual cpu would be all around less expensive than a used 2013?

As for the actual dual cpu upgrade, I’m understanding that I can buy a dual cpu tray or a case ? Can someone provide me with some examples because I’m a bit overwhelmed here.

Again, thanks for taking the time to help!
 
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solaris8x86

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2007
159
33
Saturn
Thanks for the thorough discussion and input. I’m a little overwhelmed here because I’m new to the Mac hardware game. I’ve had Mac products for years now obviously, but just recently started learning about upgrading my 2012 Mac Pro after deciding to put it to good use rather than have to collect dust.

just to make sure I’m understanding some of the points correctly:

first, for the issue of buying a used 2013 being a better investment. I’m assuming this is in the context of all the hardware upgrades. I already have an NVME SSD, usb 3.0 card, and sapphire Radeon Rx580 on my 2012 Mac Pro with Catalina installed. As of now, I’m just looking to somehow get dual CPUs. With that considered, I understand that the upgrade to dual cpu would be all around less expensive than a used 2013?

As for the actual dual cpu upgrade, I’m understanding that I can buy a dual cpu tray or a case ? Can someone provide me with some examples because I’m a bit overwhelmed here.

Again, thanks for taking the time to help!

I think you better to talk to your seller. Tell them what you have. And they will give you better advises.
 
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Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
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I think you better to talk to your seller. Tell them what you have. And they will give you better advises.

thanks. I don’t really have a seller, as I’m not exactly sure which product I need yet.
[automerge]1570891828[/automerge]
Hmm... something like this https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/323909039324 ?

Meanwhile, OWC has it here


You guys are right... pretty pricy
 
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bsbeamer

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Sep 19, 2012
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For $1K without RAM, it’s very expensive from OWC. Even if it has a warranty. Just look out for buyback sellers, some will charge extra without selling/shipping a dual tray back.

As for buying a case instead of a tray, that’s your call. It usually is the cheapest way to get the dual tray part. Then you’re looking at upgrading CPUs. Some people can’t handle this at all and the extra $250-300 for all of it done is worth it for them.

The tray swap itself is honestly easier and faster than installing a PCIe card. Turn machine off, unplug, flip two levers, slide out, slide new tray in, plug in and boot.
 
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Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
32
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For $1K without RAM, it’s very expensive from OWC. Even if it has a warranty. Just look out for buyback sellers, some will charge extra without selling/shipping a dual tray back.

As for buying a case instead of a tray, that’s your call. It usually is the cheapest way to get the dual tray part. Then you’re looking at upgrading CPUs. Some people can’t handle this at all and the extra $250-300 for all of it done is worth it for them.

The tray swap itself is honestly easier and faster than installing a PCIe card. Turn machine off, unplug, flip two levers, slide out, slide new tray in, plug in and boot.

thanks for the help. It looks like I’m going to have to shop around for a good priced dual cpu tray
 
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orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
392
UK
my sister has a 2017 macbook pro 15", it's cpu beats my W3680 in a few tests i ran, anything close to buying a new computer and id just go new.
only just beats my cmp but still thats a 15" laptop and the cpu is about 3ghz all core on an 30 min test, so at lower clock it beats my 3.33ghz 6c. (3ghz is not the laptops max speed just what it hits after 20mins of all core stress, something like 4.4ghz max bost of my head? been ages since i looked)

the platform upgrades, warranty and not being a 10 year old computer is a real plus.

for £1750 you can get the base 27" imac, looks like a nice computer.

relay do have a look at the 27" imacs, nice display new platform usb3 TB and speakers.
ignore all the 'they run hot' or 'wont hit maxboost 24/7' as even if it's not at 'max boost' it's till going to be relay fast.

plus looks like there may be new refreshes out early next year so may be some nice discounts on this years models

only PSU you can use is a cmp one pulled from a old system, there are no 'new' PSUs
 
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solaris8x86

macrumors regular
Nov 24, 2007
159
33
Saturn
[automerge]1570891828[/automerge]
Hmm... something like this https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/323909039324 ?

Yes, like this too. (I got this one). The system can be tailer made to request. Ask them.
 
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Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
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Yes, like this too. (I got this one). The system can be tailer made to request. Ask them.

Oh wow, thanks for that recommendation. I saw those but seemed iffy about sending my hardware. You’re saying it’s legit right? Price includes CPU but no RAM?

price seems too good to be true, considering trays sell for more, and this includes service

Also, would I need a new PSU

edit: oh damn, I’m seeing I need to pay extra for the board upgrade. Now the price makes sense
 
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zipgs

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2018
27
12
You don't need a new power supply.

For your case, I think that one looks very expensive as it looks like you noticed. If I'm reading it right you're paying over $1000 ($399.95 + $595.00 + Cost to ship your tray to him)
You can get a tray with cpus for around $700 and keep your current tray.

I'm positive you could get the tray cheaper, probably from a 2.4ghz 8-core, but you might be looking for awhile. Or as others mentioned, buy a 5,1 dual cpu Mac Pro and sell yours, or sell parts you don't need from the one you got. Then you'd upgrade the CPUs, which should be around $175
 
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ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,606
6,864
Any input would be appreciated!

The vast majority of software use cases will not see any speed increase when you go from 6 to 12 cores. Some use cases may even decrease in speed. So unless you are certain, not speculating, that your workflow/use case/gaming/whatever will improve, then I would ask first. Otherwise you are at very high risk that this will be a waste of both time and money, with no real world benefit.

With the more power-hungry processors, there can be strange and inconsistent fan speed behavior. These are rarely talked about. They are manageable with fan control software.

It is often less expensive to buy a dual-CPU 5,1 and sell your single-CPU 5,1, than it is to buy a dual CPU motherboard tray. This varies of course based on location, supply, demand, and timing. But before buying a tray, I'd look at local used prices on dual-CPU MPs every day for a week or so.
 
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Z1839

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 11, 2019
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Just to follow up: does anyone happen to know somewhere I can get the dual cpu tray that has a buyback for my single cpu tray?
 
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