Easy 4,1 dual CPU upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by handheldgames, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. handheldgames macrumors 68000

    handheldgames

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    Pacific NW, USA
    #1
    I want to upgrade a 4,1 single processor Mac Pro to dual CPU's. There has to be an easier way.

    From what I've seen, any reasonably priced 4,1 dual cpu tray is going to need the processors replaced. The whole de-lidded CPU thing is a turn off as there have been far too many posts of upgrades gone wrong.

    Should I spend an extra $115 and upgrade to a 5,1 logic board to go with a 5,1 $275 dual cpu tray?
     
  2. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

    Joined:
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    #2
    Buy 3 or 4 of cheapest Xeon ($4 E5506 seems the cheapest) that work with 4,1 ones, you will spend $20 or less. Learn to vice delid or heat delid and once you are proficient with the delid process, delid your desired Xeons.

    That's how I did. Everyone has his preference, I like the heat process one.
     
  3. MIKX, Aug 28, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018

    MIKX macrumors 6502a

    MIKX

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    #3
    I agree that the 4,1 CPU upgrade is a hassle, I practiced de-lidding on lot's of old 'throwaway' CPU's and learned that the razor blade technique works if I angle the 4 blades about 5° "upwards " - this avoids any contact with anything on the CPU under the lid.

    I stress .. . go slowly, work from the corners first.
    ANGLE the blades 5° or more UPWARDS !

    Then when all 4 are almost completely inserted under the lid. . use one of those "jet" cigarette lighters; they have less heating power than a bunsen type burner. I bought three of these lighters for about $4

    I recently successfully de-lidded two X5570's using the above technique.

    4 razor blade setup 00 BEST 02.jpg

    Once all the blades are inserted . . put the blades/cpu over a roll of wide tape with a soft, lint-free cloth under it to catch the cpu when it drops off. As the heat increases you can gently start levering ( gently with small pliers ) the razor blades to help get the lid to separate from the cpu.

    This kind of lighter. Stroke it back and forth.

    Lighter 02.jpg

    If you're still adverse to the above. . you could buy pre-de-lidded cpus . .having done that you merely need to be very gentle and count the turns to re-attach the heatsinks. Finger tight + an extra 1/2 turn in a X tightening pattern seems optimal.

    But I do agree the 5,1 is much, much easier to upgrade.
     
  4. fhturner macrumors 6502

    fhturner

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    Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
    #4
    It needn’t be (a turn off). As Alex said, learn to delid on old throwaway Xeons. He prefers heat to delid, which I’ve not used. I very quickly learned the vice technique, which is super quick and simple. I recommend that. The vice part takes mere seconds when you get used to it...far longer is the cleanup of the remaining solder on top of the CPU die.

    To me, the biggest turn off of your proposed process seems to be the cost of a dual CPU tray, which often appears to be almost as much as an entire dual 4,1 machine. Hope you can find one at a good price!
     
  5. MIKX macrumors 6502a

    MIKX

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    #5
    The vice method worries me . . the Xeons I de-lidded looked like they had high melting point solder which is a lot stronger than thermal paste. The throwaway lighter generates enough heat to loosen it's grip .. with a little gentle levering of one of the razor blades as the solder starts to give way.
     
  6. mikas macrumors regular

    mikas

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    #6
    Screenshot 2018-08-05 14.57.54.png I don't have a dual 4,1 (not yet). I practiced the vice-method with a Xeon 5150. Used ONLY vice, no heating, no blades no nothing, but I made a small cradle for the chip. Gradually more force, and it popped gracefully. Thermal compund looks and feels like shiny metal - silver maybe or something (what is high melting point solder btw?). Screenshot 2018-08-05 14.59.03.png
     
  7. mattspace macrumors 65816

    mattspace

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    Australia
    #7
    You're probably only going to do the CPU upgrade once in the machine's life, why not just have the "no worry" version, and buy a turnkey pre-delidded kit from someone like DN Computers Online?
     
  8. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #8
    If Intel had used high melting point solder with the Xeons, you will need a blowtorch to desolder, not a lighter and you couldn't scrape it.

    That solder is a low melting point one.
     
  9. mikas macrumors regular

    mikas

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    #9
    One and a half years ago I wouldn't have wanted to risk it by myself. A Xeon X5680 cost me 165€. I have bought a few, and price keeps going down all the time. Today I can get one at just under 50€. So now I am ready to risk it a little, while at the same time I am quite confident of myself to succeed with it. Don't do it if you feel like it's not for you. Me on the other hand, I love to try it.

    And I do agree (to some point) with the above comment. If you just want the upgrade, not to experiment or have a hobby, you could as well just buy it delidded and tested.
     
  10. handheldgames, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018

    handheldgames thread starter macrumors 68000

    handheldgames

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    #10
    WOW! Thanks for all of the details. Whilst I could probably master the skills that have been detailed in in either approach. De-lidding a LGA-1366 CPU is challenging no matter how you MacGyver the heatsink from the CPU. No matter how you look at it, dealing with delidded CPUs and their installation far from easy. I’m amazed by the continued inguinity of

    Over the years, I’ve built too many pc’s to count and the only CPU’s I killed was the delidded AMD Anthon II. Honestly, I’d rather avoid risk and go for an easy install.

    From my perspective, swapping out a motherboard is much easer and within my current skill set. Along those lines, I was able to pick up a 5,1 logic board on eBay for $110 to go along with 5,1 dual CPU tray at $275.

    Is there any reason not to use the x5677 over the x5690? A pair of x5677’s can be picked up for $50 while a pair of x5690’s can cost $200.

    A 400% increase in price seems a lot to pay for an extra 15% of multicore performance.
     
  11. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #11
    The x5677 are quad core compared to the x5690's hex cores. If you have applications which benefit from additional cores then the x5690's offer significant performance improvements.

    Perhaps you may wish to consider the x5680 CPU (which can be purchased for $50 too). It's almost identical to the x5690 except it operates at 3.33GHz (compared to the X5690's 3.46GHz). IMO that is a much better trade off than losing cores.
     
  12. crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    I'm quite positive you could have delided them yourself without issue. You're not unfamiliar with this tech. That said, I would opt for the 5,1 personally. It's much easier just to pop-n-go.

    I was going to upgrade my W3680 to an X5690 but decided to wait. I'm not sure how happy I would be with the slight increase vs. effort/cost.
     
  13. handheldgames, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018

    handheldgames thread starter macrumors 68000

    handheldgames

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    #13
    You make very good points about the looking into the specifics in multi-core operations within Geekbench. Depending on the type of multi-core operation, benefit x5680 has a clear benefit of ~30% on some CPU operations for about $50 more than the x5677's. You make a compelling arguement.

    Single core operation wise, the x5677/x5690 are nearly identical, with the x5680 trailing both by about 1000 points.

    Dual x5677($50) vs Dual 5680($100) vs Dual x5690($200)
    screenshot2018-08-2912.59.47 PM.png



    I added dual x5680 vs x5690 to give you an idea of the variances in dual cpu performance between the two. Although you have a single CPU, it should give you an idea.

    And Yeah.. I'm mentally capable of the delidding process as the process looks fairly reproducible, but my hands are not as steady as they used to be. I’d end up kneeling on the floor, attempting to work on the cpu attached to the vice with a migraine, or better yet, slicing my hand open with a screwdriver or a razor blade. Most of the time my hands are good, I've just had bad results of when prying things in the past.

    This is a totally unnecessary project to upgrade the 2009, I just need something to take my mind off the cervical disaster I'm managing without hurting myself along the way and breaking the bank :cool:

    To help dismiss that nagging.. should I upgrade feeling you have about the w3680 to a x5690...
    screenshot2018-08-292.21.09 PM.png
     
  14. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #14
    I misunderstood the pricing. I thought you meant the x5677's were $50 each, not for the pair.
     
  15. Matty_TypeR macrumors regular

    Matty_TypeR

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    #15
    If your not confident in deliding a cpu and don't want to cut your fingers off with un steady hands the process of shims is not difficult it has been used for cam shaft exhaust and inlet valve clearance for years. use a vernier gadge, place standard CPU on a flat surface, measure with vernier the height, measure new CPU in the same way and the difference is the shim required.

    washers by there nature are no where near accurate enough, they don't have to be for there purpose. you need shim washers with the correct thickness which are all the same thickness ( the difference in hight of the CPU's ) once you have the correct size shims the process is easy.
     
  16. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    Location:
    Brazil
    #16
    IMHO, for dual-trays, the best bang for the buck is 2x X5677, but for single tray ones, X5680.

    If your main application is multithreaded and heavily CPU bound, then go for 2x X5680 or even invest into 2x X5690.
     
  17. pl1984 macrumors 68020

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  18. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 68000

    handheldgames

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    Apr 4, 2009
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    #18
    Ebay. $275 was a good price for a dual 5,1 tray. They usually pop up for 300-350 with disposable cpu's.

    Here is a 2009 dual tray for $275 on ebay. I've seen them as low as $240.
     
  19. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #19
    Another approach: sell the single CPU 4,1 after upgrading to a hex CPU. That's what I did after finding a local buyer who was afraid to do the CPU swap himself. Then I got lucky, finding a 5,1 Octo for $500. I already had a spare hex 4,1>5,1, so business continued uninterrupted while I ordered, then swapped two X5680s into the Octo.
     
  20. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #20
    Other options to consider, also on Ebay, is a delidding service which is typically about $75/pair, or simply buying pre-de-lidded CPUs.
     
  21. handheldgames, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018

    handheldgames thread starter macrumors 68000

    handheldgames

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    Pacific NW, USA
    #21
    I couldn't agree more. I've already upgraded a 5,1 with x5677's and 96gb or ram and it's been a great performance upgrade from a w3680 at the office.

    Well.. While I probably shouldn't have, but I did it anyway, I picked up a pair of x5677's and x5680's to benchmark with some of my every day tasks in the 2010 Dual CPU tray. Both sets of CPU's have a 30 day return and that should be enough time to make a determination on the set to keep.

    Doubling the CPU cost to $100 is reasonable for a 30% gain. Quadrupling the cost to $200 for an extra 3% with the x5690 seems a bit much. The extra dosh can be better put towards PCIe storage.
     
  22. crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    Charlotte, NC
    #22
    I know I don’t have to ask, but please post your results.

    I’m more interested in the top performer, regardless of the cost between the two.
    Not saying money be damned, just interested in which chip is the champ, and by how much ;)

    Fun stuffs...
     
  23. fhturner macrumors 6502

    fhturner

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    #23
    It's hard to make a value argument for the X5690 vs. the other 2, but I will try to point out one specific case in its favor. So...if:

    (1) you are working heavily in video where, in FCPX, for example, encoding/compression and some rendering ops can run up to 800-1000% or more (so it would be maxing out a pair of X5677s' eight cores), AND
    (2) you have something like software decoding of 4K H.264 that you're wanting the machine to handle, since we don't have QuickSync

    THEN you might want both the add'l cores (#1) and the extra 133MHz (#2). Since simple video decoding/playback is not inherently built for widely parallel processing, and since you need to have each frame decoded in a certain fraction of a second, the faster any given core is running gives you a little bit better shot at avoiding dropped frames on our machines. So while, to me, the best value might be the X5680 in order to have the max # of cores at half the cost of the X5690, if I'm trying to give myself the best shot to handle today's media on our incredibly-awesome-but-9-year-old systems, I want both max cores and max frequency. For anything else other than bragging rights, you are right— definitely a better value to go X5677 or X5680.
     
  24. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #24
    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately it's a 4,1 tray so I cannot use it. It appears as if the 5,1's are commanding a much higher price. Sufficiently so that buying a dual processor system might be less expensive.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 30, 2018 ---
    This is an excellent plan. Nothing more appropriate than benchmarking the applications and workflow you use. I cringed when I saw you post Geekbench scores (I'm not a fan of them).
     
  25. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 68000

    handheldgames

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    Apr 4, 2009
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    Pacific NW, USA
    #25
    There are quite a few overpriced 5,1 trays on eBay at the moment. I’ll PM you a not for profit vendor on eBay who gets dual cpu trays on a regular basis from donated hardware. You can set up a watch or browse on a regular basis for added entertainment value.
     

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