Is the single chip version just an unoccupied socket ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fisha, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. fisha macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2006
    Very simply, is the single chip option just the same as the dual chip version except one socket not occupied ?

    and if so, it would be perfectly feasible to add a second chip to the board and gain the benefits at a later date ( or replace the single with 2 faster ones later down the line when they are cheaper )
  2. dave-tx macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I have been told by an online agent and a telephone agent that they are not upgradeable.

    That said, I don't believe the answer, as it makes no sense for Apple to be shipping a unique single-cpu motherboard as a non-standard build option.
  3. slimp macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    anybody else have any new info on this? I would love to get the quad MP but not if I can't later upgrade it to octo. I agree with dave, it doesnt make sense for apple to use a completely different motherboard for the quads.
  4. tyr2 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same motherboard, but it's not going to come with a heat sink for the vacant CPU and might possibly be missing some voltage regulators or similar.

    Any parts might become available from a 3rd party supplier but Apple are never going to support an upgrade. Hopefully it's the same as an 1st gen Mac Pro. Apple won't support user upgrades to an 8 core clovertown (?) but that doesn't mean it's not possible.
  5. 65StangBoy macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2007
    I just downloaded the new service manual and looked through it. They're listing two logic board part numbers. One for the 2.8/3.0 and another for the 3.2's. I saw no distinction for the single processor models so it looks like there should be an empty socket on the board. The only problem you'll have later on will be buying the heatsink, unless you "know" people.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    I would be genuinly shocked if it was anything other than the plastic processor covers that everyone elses uses.
  7. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    Where did you find the service manual?
  8. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
  9. giles117 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    Hmm. No service manual, just users manual....
    Near as I can tell.
  10. fisha thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2006
    my honest thought is that i would be surprised if apple went to the bother of a different board just for what would be the lowest spec machine.

    without appearing too stupid .... whats soooooo special about the mac-pro's cpu heatsink ?

    lets be honest about it, the mac pro is an average size width where the available height is fairly average to most other workstation cases. likewise the space it occupies is not likely to go beyond that of your average dual cpu workstation.

    so if apple offer no upgrade, whats to stop you putting on an equivalent spec heatsink that isn't a mac one. there are heatsinks out there to fit xeon series processors ... other manufacturers use them.

    would apple seriously expect people to shell out for a complete new mac pro just to go from quad to octo ( assuming the platform is still relevant )
  11. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    honestly... I'd be surprised that in a little while there isn't a company selling the required heatsink and chip together in a bundle as an "upgrade apple pack" or something of the sort. Companies sold a variety of upgrades for g4 processors as well as g5 I believe to speed them up... and something as easy as this were there will most likely just be an empty socket and space for these things, and perhaps a fairly decent market would unlikely go unnoticed. I'd give it a few months or so until you see what you need around, but I don't doubt it happening.

    Definitely be something to do .. say .. 2 or 3 years down the line when your machine is out of warranty anyway.

    I am hoping this is the case though, because chances are we'll be getting my mom a mac pro (yes... this is the only option.. we've been waiting for a while lol) with quad core and hope to be able to upgrade to 8 core a few years down the line when it becomes more applicable for her uses.

  12. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Have you ever looked inside a Mac Pro? It's engineered to take up the full width of the case to maximize area and not require a fan directly on it (and keep the front and back fans from having to spin TOO fast). Basically it's a custom part, and it's directly next to the other one. You probably wouldn't be able to FIT someone else's heatsink in there. You'd have to buy it as a part from some repair house or something.
  13. 65StangBoy macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2007
    I'm an Apple Authorized Service Provider, AASP, so I have access to all the service manuals. Luckily for us they usually post the service manuals the same day that they announce the new hardware.

    Coming from someone who upgraded the Xeon's in their own Mac Pro, there's no chance you're going to get any heatsink other than Apple's to work in it. It's certainly possible that some other AASP will buy a bunch of them and resell them as upgrade kits. I'm not sure if that goes against some policy of Apple, but its definitely possible.
  14. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    It should be. Someone asked Apple Store Online and they said "no", but I think they were confused. I have yet to see a 5000-series Xeon systemboard that did not have two CPU sockets.

    Adding the second one should be fine. You might need to buy a heatsink if it is not included, but that should be fine.

    As to faster CPUs, anything more then the 3.2GHz X5482 might need an EFI update to handle the microcode.
  15. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    2.8/3.0 heat sink is same as original Mac pro ( ver 1 ) , is 3.2 same as the 8X ( ver 2 ) heat sink ( uses krytox/"liquid metal" and gasket )
  16. krunk macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2004
    I imagine a little social engineering and kind words would go a long way toward convincing your local AASP to order a cpu replacement/repair kit for you.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if the quad core BTO had everything in it *but* the second processor. For aesthetic reasons. Wouldn't want the inside of the single proc to look different then the dual. That'd just drive Steve's sensibilities into utter chaos.
  17. giles117 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2002
    Detroit, MI
    You must not remember the single proc G5's..... And how they looked on the inside.... I had both a dual and a single and you were missing a heatsink with that pretty G5 Emblem...
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    They are Apple's own boards, so it isn't difficult for them to use the same board for all the machines.

    With the single CPU machines just using a board without the 2nd CPU socket installed, this was the method they used for the first single CPU G5.

    Those first G5 towers just had an empty space there with only the solder pads to tease you.

    Isn't a difficult move, and not a huge R&D impact.

    Edit: We will see, this isn't a company thinking like a PC company. And does tend to do things a bit odd, and supply 3-4 different board part numbers for the same class of machine all the time.
  19. Mac_Max macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    Going back to the heatsink question:

    The information you need is not if you can get a heatsink designed for the Mac Pro specifically, but if the Mac Pro uses the standard Intel mounting hole locations. My mini for example doesn't, therefor I can't upgrade the heatsink without modifying the heatsink. Heatsinks are made in all sizes and shapes. There are some smaller tower style heatpipe sinks that would work well. I'm familiar with the G5's innards and I can think of a few that could have worked in that one if it had the standard AMD or Intel mounting hole pattern.

    I do doubt that the Apple OEM heatsink would block all possible third party heatsinks. Even if it did block your replacement heatsink of choice, you could always just put two new heatsinks in there.

    If they use their own style of mounting holes (quite likely), then you're going to have to make an adapter plate that goes from the standard Apple holes to the standard LGA pattern (chosen for ubiquity) and then use a bolt through/spring retention system like what's used to mount most waterblocks. The LGA push pins are easily removed to allow for the bolt through mechanism.
  20. 65StangBoy macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2007
    The 2.8/3.0 heatsink is a different part number than the Ver.1 Mac Pro's and the 3.2 heatsink is a different part number than the Ver.2 8x3.0 Mac Pro's. The 3.2's do use the liquid metal TIM that the Ver.2 8x3.0 Mac Pro's use.

    Another weird piece of trivia, the 3.2's have a different logic board than the 2.8/3.0's.
  21. dave-tx macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    This is what really surprised me. Does this limit the upgradability of the 2.8/3.0 systems? Or could they be massaged into using 3.2 (or higher)?
  22. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The 2.8GHz and 3.0GHz CPUs have TDPs of 80W, whereas the 3.2GHz has a TDP of 150W so the 3.2's board likely needs a bit more passive cooling on components like the Northbridge and such.

    As to the heat-sink mounting holes, I would hope Apple would use the Intel standard, but as noted, this is Apple...
  23. 65StangBoy macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2007
    There is a relatively large heatsink on the northbridge now that isn't there on the older Mac Pro's. As far as I can tell from reading through the manual, the northbridge heatsink is present on all models. So I guess I'm not sure what the difference is there, but I agree that it's most likely something to do with the cooling of the much hotter 3.2's.

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