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 Contributor


    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.

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