Flashed firmware on Mac Pro 4,1 to 5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by POLJC, May 4, 2017.

  1. POLJC macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2013
    I recently became the recipient of a used Mac Pro 4,1. I successfully flashed the firmware to make it a 5,1 machine. I'm running Sierra with no issues.

    I have read that you can upgrade the CPUs to better ones. I currently have 2 Quad-core 2.26 GHz processors. What would you recommend for an upgrade? I currently have an ATI 5770 card, which runs great. I boot into Windows 10 sometimes to run Star Trek Online. What card upgrade would you recommend as well? I can run the game at full graphics, connected to a 2560x1440 Cinema Display now, but would love a faster machine for Photoshop as well.

    I used to have a Mac Pro 1,1, which I also flashed to make it a 2,1. I performed the CPU upgrade successfully and noticed a huge increase in speed.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

    Jul 12, 2010
    Somewhere between Here and There
    Upgrading that machine can be a little painful, the CPUs in the 2009 dual socket models use a specialised pair of "delidded dies" which are CPUs without the metal heatspreader built in. You can try ebay for them as some people would be wanting to offload older parts or may even be removing the heatspreaders themselves for sales to guys like you.

    Otherwise you could severely damage your motherboard by installing "normal" chips and then bolting down the heat sink modules.
  3. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    If you don't mind spending the money, there are services that will either take your CPU board and install upgraded CPU's, or swap your board with an upgraded one. Ebay lists a few of these services.
  4. POLJC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2013
  5. nlistgarten, May 4, 2017
    Last edited: May 4, 2017

    nlistgarten macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2016
    San Mateo, California
    I upgraded mine from this configuration to dual X5960s (2x 6-core 3.46 GHz). I used lidded CPUs and while you have to be very careful during the upgrade, they work (do a lot of research on this site beforehand). I think they're about $300/pair on eBay now. If you can spare the cash, I'd do this upgrade (or pay someone to do this upgrade) because instead of upgrading again later, you'll have the most powerful machine possible.
  6. mattspace macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2013
    I put this kit from DN Computers in my 4,1, same model as yours. Buying de-lidded is more expensive (but probably something you'll only do once). This kit is the fastest / hottest / most power consuming processors Apple shipped from the factory, and is about as turnkey as an upgrade can be for a 4,1.
  7. Filin macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2010
    Deliding is easy. No need to be afraid.
    I made it myself with out any isses. I choosed "vice" method.

    First i bought pair W3503 for training (2$ for each). After training i successfully delided pair X5680.
  8. carpsafari Suspended


    Sep 13, 2015
    the Netherlands

    When you know what you are doing (means read all the topics) the upgrade with standard CPU's is as good as delidded CPU's.
    Unfortunately only a few do that, read, the rest prefers to copy others who copied others etc.
  9. POLJC thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2013
    These are all some great options. There's a lot to consider. Thank you. I'll let you know what I decide.
  10. nanaandbump macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2018
    I also successfully did the cpu upgrade to 2x 6 core 3.33ghz. Like nlistgarten, I did not de-lid the CPUs. As I recall one of the reasons folks were de-lidding was because the lidded ones were too tall, and as you replace the heat sink you could tighten it down too much and crush the little pin thingies in the cpu sockets. So some people would use a specific size of nylon washers to ensure they don't tighten down too much. Others knew exactly how many "turns" of the wrench was needed to get it in the right spot. Or you can go get a baby squirrel, light some candles, and sacrifice it to the Apple gods - after which the spirit of Steve Jobs (may he rest in peace) will guide your hand and allow you to tighten the heat sink perfectly. I did the latter, and my computer has worked amazingly ever since! I think I did it 3 years ago, and the only downside is occasional attacks from some vengeful squirrels. I would highly recommend doing it, but as others have said - read read read before you do! Good luck!

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