Is it worth upgrade my 2009 4.1 quad 2.93ghz Mac Pro to Hex 3.33ghz?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chiefroastbeef, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #1
    Hello,

    I've had my 2009 MP since it came out, amazing machine. I use it for Photoshop, Aperture, Final Cut Suite, and some others.

    I just recently learned that the 2009 board can be flashed to accept Westmere CPUs after reading some threads on here.

    If I were to upgrade to the 3.33ghz Intel W3680 processor, would I see significant improvement? Most of the 2009 MP upgrade threads were with the stock 2.66ghz processor.

    What do you guys think? Money is not much of an issue, but I just want to make sure it will make a significant improvement with the applications that I am using. Plus, I love tinkering with electronics. And I do want this computer to last as long as possible.

    Thank you for any input!
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    Yes. Improve it will. 600.00 worth? Yes. Everything will benefit from the 400MHz bump. All but Final Cut 7 will love the extra 2 cores as well.
     
  3. chiefroastbeef, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #3

    Thanks for your input... I will start looking around for the best price here in HK...

    I guess even if I am not ready to upgrade yet, at least the 2009 Nehalem is upgradeable, it is good knowing that.

    My Applecare ends this coming November, I guess I will do the hex core upgrade then, along with a new pc GPU.
     
  4. SadChief macrumors regular

    SadChief

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Montpellier, France
    #4
    Good tutorial

    For those of you reading French, here you have a very good tutorial:
    http://www.macbidouille.com/articles/370/page1
    With lots of good photos speaking for themselves if not proficient in French.
    Written early 2011 prices are not up-to-date, but all the rest is pertinent.
     
  5. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #5
    I don't speak a word of french, but I agree that the pictures alone give a great explanation of how to upgrade the single CPU MacPro.

    I just wish the 2009 dual-processor machines were as easy.
     
  6. JuniperMonkeys macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    #6
    I did the W3680 swap a few days ago on my 2009 2.66 (W3520). FWIW, it's very easy, and the Mac Pro Firmware Upgrade utility over at Netkas works flawlessly. I put a little pictorial over on my personal site, if you want another (English-language) look at it; I also have some CineBench and GeekBench results there. Long story short, it's a ton faster and a bit cooler. Obviously the 2.66 ain't the 2.93, so it'll be less of a total improvement, but I think if anything you do is multithreaded, you'll find the swap very worth it.

    If you feel you could use the extra cores but not so much the MHz, you can also look for a W3670 (3.2 6-core). They work just as well and can be had for $100-150 less than the W3680.

    That is a good guide. However, their application of thermal compound differs from what seems to be the recommended configuration. Here's a guide [PDF] from Arctic Silver that details the recommended method -- a vertical line running north-south (assuming the alignment mark is pointing south-west). I gave Intel a call (because I was curious) and they said the same thing.

    It almost certainly doesn't make much difference. However, if you're gonna go to all the trouble, you might as well get the best results :).
     
  7. SadChief macrumors regular

    SadChief

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Montpellier, France
    #7
    Thank you very much for this guide, it has very valuable information for those wanting to take the plunge (as I do).
    Regards,

    Sadchief
     
  8. ClassObject macrumors 6502

    ClassObject

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #9
    They are. Just use 2.3mm washers and you are set.
     
  9. lastmile macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #10
    Do you happen to know of a source for the appropriate washers?
     
  10. ClassObject macrumors 6502

    ClassObject

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #11
    I got mine at the local true value hardware store. Brought along my digital micrometer. I used 16 m4 stainless steel washers that were about 1.1mm thick - 2 per heat sink post. Has worked great for more than a year now. I had to clip the heat sink fan connector so it would connect.
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #12
    Somehow I missed this thread before. Photoshop "barely" scales past 4 cores. Even adobe admits severe diminishing returns. The biggest recent gain was the addition of OpenCL acceleration with CS6. Aperture should see some gain from core count. I haven't used it in a long time. The older versions were weird at times. With photoshop I typically say add ram until you stop seeing significant scratch disk use.
     
  12. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #13
    On CS4/CS5 a W3680 (6-core 3.33) comes in faster than a W3580 (4-core 3.33) at same clock. So as you said but "barely" accounts for a little something.
     
  13. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #14
    Thank you guys, do you guys think the w3680 will come down in price at all the next few months? My warranty ends in November, but if the chip prices won't come down,I might just upgrade my Mac pro with new cup, gpu, and ram early, possibly an ssd.
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #15
    It already fluctuates between retailers. It's not likely to drop further. These cpus started at $1000 suggested retail pricing. That was reduced by 40%, which brought it to $600. In some cases you'll hear about really old/outdated cpus cheap on ebay. I don't see retail pricing dipping much lower.
     
  15. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #16
    I appreciate it, provantage send to have the best price, I may just accelerate my Mac pros upgrade program. Thank you guys for the comments.
     
  16. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #17
    I got mine from Provantage for $585 quite a while ago now... December or January, I believe. Looks like it's still the same price.
     

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