I bought a 2.8 quad 2010 mac pro, can I upgrade it to 6 core myself?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by photo-nerd, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. photo-nerd macrumors newbie

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    Oct 9, 2010
    #1
    I asked at the apple store and they said I needed a new logic board. That just doesn't sound right to me, but I come from building my own PCs, not upgrading macs.

    Can't I just take out the board, unscrew the heatsink, replace it with one of these: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Intel/BX80614X5680/

    then boot up and everything will be recognized?

    or.... is there something I'm missing?

    BTW: my memory is 1333 memory 4x4GB =16
    - N
     
  2. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    #2
    This may work, however the 6-Core Model may have differing Firmware and differing Optimisations at the hardware level, so it may not work and it also may cause it to not be quite as fast as a 6-Core from Apple would be. If you are going to try this be very careful.. (Also, out of interest, why didnt you get a 6-Core to start with, that CPU pretty much wouldve covered the difference in price)
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #3
    It will work. :D

    1. Both the SP and DP systems use the same firmware (located on the backplane board) and SMC code (located on the daughterboard = holds the CPU/s). So the SP firmware has both D0 and B1 steppings in it = W3680 or i7-980X will work (you'll need non-ECC memory with the i7 version).
    2. The heatsink in the SP systems is the same for all the processors offered by Apple.
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Why? Because Apple has the "special ingredient" they put into the CPUs they get from Intel before they put them in the computers? :D :p

    Just kidding, of course it will be exactly as fast as when you buy it directly from Apple. The CPUs you can buy are exactly the same Apple uses.
     
  5. 3282868 macrumors 603

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    #5
    What would the costs be for replacing the chipset?
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #6
    The SP LGA1366 CPU's use the same chipset (X58) and ICH family, which is the ICH10 or ICH10R (W35xx, W36xx, and i7-9xx parts). BTW, R means there's a built-in RAID controller added, and Apple of course doesn't use that one.

    The DP systems do require a different chipset (5520, not to be confused with the E5520 CPU), but actually use the same ICH. All you'd need to get this, is buy a new daughterboard, but it's the DP CPU costs and heatsinks that will get you if you're trying to convert an SP model into a DP system.
     
  7. fensterbme macrumors member

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    #7
    Curious why you'd buy a brand new Quad Core 2.8Ghz. and want to then upgrade to the hex core CPU?

    ... or are you wondering about a 'down the road' kind of upgrade?
     
  8. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I have a 3.2Ghz 2010 Mac Pro, if I decide to drop a new processor in at some point down the road will I be able to use my existing heat sink or will it require a new one?

    Curious, you mention the W3680 as a viable upgrade path - Its almost half the cost of a X5680, what are the differences between the two?

    Many Thanks
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #10
    Looks to be that the W3680 is designed to be single processor and has less total memory supported: http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=47916,47917,
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #11
    You'd be able to re-use the existing heatsink.

    As per the processors, the W35xx and W36xx parts are Single Processor parts (one QPI path). It won't work in a Dual Processor daughterboard (requires 2x QPI channels that family of processors doesn't have), but a DP CPU will work in an SP board, as it can disable the additional QPI.

    Using a DP processor in an SP board however is a foolish thing to do given the cost difference. Intel charges handsomely for that additional QPI channel.
     
  11. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Fantastic thanks for those replies.

    Sorry to hijack your thread Mr Starter but we are after the same answers....

    The memory limitation being 24GB?

    I currently have 16GB of 1066Mhz ram in the system (Was a bargain hence not going for 1333Mhz and auto down clock), can I use this 1066Mhz ram with the W3680?

    If I can't use 1066Mhz Ram is it possible to buy plain old 1333Mhz DDR3 Non-ECC Ram and use that with the i7-980X?

    Which of the two mentioned processors (i7 or Xeon) would you recommend given their very close pricing?

    The fifth and final question, are faster Xeon 6 core Westmere processors scheduled to appear/have appeared on the roadmap that may be compatible with our SP 2010 Mac Pro's? (This is assuming Apple gives the Mac Pro a speed bump in one years time (approx) and exciting if the current microcode and firmware is responsive)

    Thanks for your time
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #13
    Actually, it's not limited to 24GB. I suspect that when this information was originally released, the largest DDR3 DIMM capacity was only 4GB sticks (still valid for the i7 parts, as non-ECC is still only 4GB max per DIMM).

    8GB are out (RDIMM), and actually work with the Xeon variants (it just has to all be the same; you can't mix RDIMM, UDIMM, and non-ECC memory in any combination).

    Yes. :)

    Yes, this will work as well.

    1. What are you doing with the system (i.e. software usage)?
    2. Do you need more than 24GB of memory?

    If you're doing something along the lines of scientific/engineering simulations, you'd benefit from ECC memory (you don't want mistakes in the math), which means Xeon. And if you need more than 24GB, then you'd also need to go with a Xeon version as well.

    If you don't do either, you could get away with an i7-980X, but you also have to consider the cost of the memory as well. So it's likely going to be cheaper to stick with a Xeon anyway. But run the numbers, and see what happens. ;)

    There's 1x [W3690 = 3.43GHz] that will be faster, the other 2x (release sooner) [W3620 = 2.66GHz and W3640 = 2.93GHz], are slower.

    But all 3x will work. :)
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    It's more than an extra QPI channel. W35xx and W36xx parts are all 130W but most of the 55xx and 56xx have TDP less than 130W (only 5x80 and 5x90 have 130W, others have 95W, 80W, 60W...). I guess they are higher binned or something, you should know more about that but at least I consider it as one reason why they are so expensive.

    Assuming that there is not going to be a new stepping
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    I was keeping it to the functional differences, as users can't "see" the difference between the TDP's if sufficiently designed and cooled, or binning (perhaps by running benchmarks to keep all cores pegged at 100% until it dies between an i7-980X or Xeon W3680). But even then, so long as the cooling is sufficient (both stay at 67C or lower), neither should fail within the warranty period (3 years from Intel for boxed parts; OEM parts are whatever the system vendor offered + any user opted extension).

    They'll stick with B1, as it's the end of the cycle (Tick Tock) for LGA1366. Remember, these chips are drop-in replacements by design for existing LGA1366 boards (just need a firmware update with B1 steppings if it's not been done).
     
  15. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    You're a star!

    So this W3680 is a considerable upgrade over a 3.2Ghz Nahalem?

    I mentioned my memory being 1066Mhz Ram, will this affect the speed of the W3680?

    I quite literally just need the heat sink removal tool, some new thermal paste, and the obvious W3680?

    Is the W3680 lidded? I may have read too much for my own good, but, am I right in saying that as a rule in mac pro's the SP systems contain 'lidded' processors where as DP systems contain 'non-lidded' processors? (Typically)

    If I wanted to be the fastest kid on the block how soon can I get the 3.43Ghz Westmere as a boxed package? and can I apply the second question to this one too :D
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #17
    But better cooling = more $. And user can see the difference in their electricity bill ;)

    I just added it because you forgot to mention it. Lower TDP parts always cost more. For example i7-870 costs 294$ but 870S costs 351$ and it's only 2.66GHz while 870 is 2.93GHz. The TDP difference is only 13W as well, with 130W vs 95W it's already a whopping 35W!

    For instance, Apple has used the 95W parts in Nehalem MPs and there must be a reason behind that. I'm guessing noise as 130W parts run hotter and thus need more effective cooling (in Mac Pro's case it's higher fan speeds).

    LGA 1366 isn't dead yet as LGA 2011 isn't going to be available anytime soon. LGA 1155 isn't enough to replace LGA 1366 (e.g. less PCIe lanes IIRC). I agree that stepping update is unlikely but not impossible. Maybe Intel wants to deliver a new high-end @3.6GHz? :p

    Just pointed out that it's something you should check before buying

    AFAIK W3690 isn't officially available yet, at least there is nothing on Intel's site.
     
  17. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I really appreciate the time here guys, you have quite rightly mentioned TDP, could one of you list the TDP of each processor that will simply slot into my system with 1066Mhz being a factor.

    i.e the:

    3.2Ghz Xeon Nahalem in my system = 95w?
    i7-980x =
    W3680 =
    X5680 =

    I quite like the current noise levels of my machine will a W3680 change those levels considerably?
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #19
    You can skip my and Nano's geeking, it won't affect you (we were talking about 5xxx CPUs and what would happen if you put two 130W CPUs in DP Mac Pro, I know, it went a bit offtopic) :p

    But anyway;

    W3565 (your current CPU) = 130W
    i7-980X = 130W
    W3680 = 130W
    X5680 = 130W

    Noise levels should stay around the same, maybe even quieter since i7-980X is very efficient when at idle. i7-980X uses less power than i7-975 (the closest match to your CPU), see tests here!
     
  19. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I don't like the thought of 2x 130w in a mac pro. Do you think the machine can handle them without issue?

    Really appreciate the quick replies, have any thoughts on my questions higher up the thread?

    I am currently looking to go with a W3680 if it is a considerable boost from a W3565.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    It has been done. I haven't read that thread but the OP is still using the machine so I assume it works fine.

    In 2008, Apple offered 3.2GHz 8-core that used two X5482 CPUs which are 150W each :eek:

    Faster memory offers greater memory bandwidth. However, most apps cannot take advantage of the extra memory bandwidth thus I think you're fine with 1066MHz RAM. Usually the bandwidth of memory isn't the bottleneck, it's something else.

    Theoretically, it's +50% faster since it has six cores while W3565 has four. If you need more speed, it'll offer it. Here are some benchmarks of 980X performed by AnandTech.
     
  21. All Taken macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I wouldn't like Gugucoms electricity bill :p

    150w a piece is crazy, did Apple gloat about the Machine being energy efficient for the 08 line?

    Thanks for the benchmarks.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #23
    That's up to the vendor's ODM or in house designers to make sure they comply with Intel's spec (67C sustained for all cores @ 100%, but it can go over for shorter periods of time).

    But that's also worst case. See below (response to All Taken).

    Yes, but it's meant for rackmount systems that have a dedicated HVAC system. In those instances, the power bill adds up considerably.

    Intel's goal (what the enterprise users have requested/demanded), is more performance for the watt. That's the reason for more cores (more work per clock cycle, assuming the software can utilize it). The "bean counters" have spoken, and they're watching everything from intial system cost to operational costs (utilities, payroll,...), and infrastructure costs (building size, HVAC equipment,...).

    Apple's choices were related to cost (X5690 = 130W, and goes for $1663 in Quantity; X5677 too, but for the same $, I'd stick with the X5680 myself). People could have heart attacks over the price (most here on MR using DP systems seem to be independent pros of some sort from what I can determine). :eek: :p

    Most of the "X" series of DP parts are 95W (L = 40W or 60W, and E = 80W). Here's the full list of DP parts if you're interested. :)

    In terms of architecture, they are (no new architecture planned). There's unreleased parts yet, but they're only variations in clock speed. So they will use the same B1 steppings. It's meant to go this way by Intel, as it's cheaper for system vendors to implement systems (same boards can be used for 2 releases). If they had to use new boards for every part, users would hesitate to buy, and that would affect everyone's sales.

    And on the enterprise side, they need support for a longer period of time than consumers do, as they can't usually implement an upgrade all at once (have to stagger it due to both financial reasons and logistics of getting it done would be a total nightmare otherwise).

    The next architecture is set for different sockets (LGA1155 for the consumer end, and LGA2011 for the enterprise side).

    No, it's not out yet. Nor is the W3620 or W3640. But they're the last ones.

    Don't worry about TDP so much, as those numbers are worst case (every single subsection of the CPU running full bore; cores, memory controller, CPU controller,...), not average. And there's a significant difference between them.

    For example, the MP has a 980W PSU, but base systems typically only draw ~250W or so under normal usage. There's at least one thread on it here in MR somewhere. ;)
     
  23. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #24
    I personally prefer Wikipedia, it's only one bookmark for all Xeons, saves space :p

    Here is Apple's note on power consumption.Here are some tests done by AnandTech on 2010 Mac Pro. 250-300W sounds fair under load (with a crappy GPU though)

    I'm not going to continue our "geekbattle" because it seems to confuse others. You made fair points, as usual :)
     

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