From Hackintosh to Turbo Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Thomaspin, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Thomaspin, Jul 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013

    Thomaspin macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2013
    Silicon Valley, CA
    After many years with a Hackintosh I finally returned to the fold and bought a 2009 Mac Pro.

    After some tinkering the Mac Pro is now equipped with:

    • Xeon W5590 3.33GHz CPUs
    • nVidia Zotac GTX660 GPU
    • USB3
    • 5,1 spec and 1333MHz memory
    • Second SSD in the optical drive bay
    • Native Airport card
    • Three displays
    • Blu-Ray

    I documented my odyssey with pictures, and the index appears here.

    I hope this may be of use to others on the upgrade path. Some of the ideas originated on this forum. Thank you to the many fine contributors here.
  2. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Nice. Just out of curiosity, why did you decide to come back to an Apple machine?

    Are you playing Blu-Ray discs, burning them, or both? What apps are you using for that?

    Also what card are you using for USB3?
  3. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Use Toast for burning Blu-ray discs. If you are interested in backing up your Blu-ray discs that you legally own you can use MakeMKV.
  4. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Nice page. Entertaining and informative. Thanks!
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
  6. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Nice and informative article Thomaspin. Well written and interesting. Congrats on your new Mac Pro. It's just surprising after many years of using the Hackintosh you decided to go for the Mac Pro. Thanks for sharing. :)
  7. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Well it gets a little old wondering if the next update to osx or the software needed to run it is going to mess up your system. I did the same used a hack for three and a half years then found reasonably priced 2008 machine in 2011, nothing like knowing it should just continue to work no matter the update unless the machine dies...
  8. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Thanks for the additional insights. There were times I've thought about going hackintosh and what was the experience and sometimes would tell myself I made the wrong choice in going Apple and I could have save some money with a hackintosh.
  9. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Nice work, great machine, excellent documentation.
  10. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Very nice set of articles, thanks for sharing! Gives me some hope I can stretch my '09 a little longer.
  11. BJonson macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2010
    I want to do this but worried about the power consumption with dropping in 2 x 130W xeons. Have you noticed any fan increase anywhere such as the power supply fan? Think this is possible with 5 hard drives, a pcie ssd and a 5870 Radeon card? I don't think apple ever put 2 130watt cpus in stock. Nice writeup. Great info there. Thanks.
  12. grame macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Many thanks - read your articles on Friday and bought an immaculate 2009 Mac Pro two days later. Upgraded ram, installed wifi card, SSD drive. CPU upgrade to follow.

    The thing is an engineering marvel!

    Selling my Hack. It's like going from a souped-up streetcar to the stately cruise of a Bentley.
  13. Mnowell69 macrumors regular


    Jul 4, 2013
    Bedford, UK
    Great article. Best i've read in a long time. Sadly i had to settle for a DONT BUY 1.1 but only because i bought it to look at and not use in any way that would make a difference.
  14. Thomaspin thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2013
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Power consumption

    I updated Part XII with power consumption data, responsive to post #11.

    Answers to the other questions posed above appear in the text of the original articles.

    Thank you for all the kind words.:apple:
  15. MacMilligan macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2012
    That was a great series of articles. I too am looking to switch from a hackintosh to a Mac Pro, but the new dust bin model that was announced doesn't sound very appealing so I'm leaning towards getting a 4.1. Your set of articles was very informative.
  16. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I've sorta bounced between Hacks and Mac's..I generally build a hack when I really need to build something or get bored with my Mac.

    I traded a 5Ghz quad Sandy with 32GB of RAM and a 560Ti 448 for a used '09 Quad with a used 570 and 48GB. I bought it on the cheap because the case was messed up I replaced the case and am good to go maybe the case replacement is why I haven't built another hack in recent memory. I am starting to feel the itch my Mac is running too well :D
  17. Ursadorable macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2013
    The Frozen North
    It looks like you're using non-ECC ram in that build.
  18. vetruvian macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2013
    Quick Question


    Great guide. I just picked up a mid-2010 MP with the 2x 2.4Ghz E5620 CPUs. Model MC561ll/A. In reading your guide, I am super interested in upgrading to the W5590 CPUs. Reasonable price and nearly doubles the processing power, seems like a no-brainer. I am just wondering if I will have to deal with the "caveats" you describe in the guide. I have searched long and far for this answer with no joy. Any advice will be much appreciated!
  19. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    dont talk by me, based in how reluctant I am to do some upgrades, but too many people will apreciate the effort in doing this and documenting. I really appreciate the effort.....:D

    Great feat you accomplish....!...Other proof that Apple not always is fitted for the needs of all people....

  20. mr.iso macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2003
    As convenient as it is to have no external drives, I'd take the Time Machine drive out of there if I were you. If your power supply pitches a fit then you could lose your machine and your backup all at once.
  21. Studio K, Jul 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013

    Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

    Feb 17, 2013
    United States

    The 2009 that the OP upgraded has 2 CPU's with no covers on top. This makes reattaching the Heat sinks challenging/tricky when replacing them with lidded CPUs.

    You have a 2010 which, I believe, has conventional lidded CPUs. This makes upgrading CPUs much simpler (if I'm right about all this). Just add 2 new CPUs, apply paste, attach heatsink, job done.

    I don't have a dual Processor 2010, so I can't speak from experience. But if someone out there knows for sure...........please speak up.
  22. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    Although I can't speak from experience, based on a lot of research I believe you are correct.

    I did a single CPU 2009 CPU upgrade. Piece of cake, as the single-CPU 2009's use stock Xeons with IHS and the CPU socket includes a clamp.

    PS: Great Guide OP!
  23. RumoredTone macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Thank you to Thomaspin for the great write-up, and to others for the additional tips. I had a quick follow-up question, related to this IHS discussion:

    In addition to the 2010 models, I'm wondering if anyone knows if the other 2009 8-core models have an IHS included. In other words, if I wanted to perform this same dual-W5590 upgrade on an 8-core 2.66 or 2.93 model, would the installation be easier? Based on the wording of the guide, and the reports in comments here, I'm guessing they do have the IHS.

    Thanks again!
  24. Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

    Feb 17, 2013
    United States
    I doubt that ANY 2009 dual-processor models used CPU's with integrated heat spreaders. I wouldn't count on it.
  25. Thomaspin, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013

    Thomaspin thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2013
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Heats sinks 8-core 2009 vs 2010/2012

    To clarify the questions raised in posts #21-24:

    The heat sinks for the dual processor 2009 Mac Pro, per the Service Manual, are part numbers 076-1329 (CPU A) and 076-1330 (CPU B).

    For 2010 and 2012 they were part numbers 076-1367 and 076-1368.

    As the 2010 and 2012 use CPUs with the Integrated Heat Spreader (IHS), it's logical to conclude that the heat sinks were changed to accommodate the required additional 2mm of clearance for the IHS. Further, as only one part number is listed for heatsink A and for heatsink B for 2009, it is further logical to assume that all the disparate CPU versions used in stock 2009 Mac Pros came without an IHS. Were this not the case, more than one part number would have been specified for the heat sinks for the 2009 Mac Pro.

    Further support for this reasoning is shown in the fact that the single heat sink for the 2009 single CPU Mac Pro, part number 076-1338, was the same part number used in 2010 and 2012. And the 2009 single CPU Mac Pro uses an IHS CPU, as do the 2010/2012 versions.

    Finally, only one processor board is listed for the 2009 Mac Pro, part number 661-4998. That part has no retaining spring or cover for an IHS CPU. By contrast the 2010/2012 processor board, part number 661-5708, clearly shows the retaining spring and cover for an IHS type CPU.

    Bottom line? All stock CPUs used in the 2009 Mac Pro came without an IHS fitted, and like precautions should be used for all models when reinstalling the heat sinks when the stock CPUs have been replaced with CPUs with the IHS fitted.

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