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tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,161
13,352
MP4,1 - early2009 and MP5,1 - mid2010/mid2012 are almost identical when you are looking single CPU Mac Pros. Besides Xeon and GPU models different between the years, just the SMC version differs, 1.39f5 for 2009 and 1.39f11 for 2010/2012. But dual Xeon trays are very different between 2009 and 2010/2012. Dual CPU trays for 2009 year use lidless Xeons with a different socket and heatsink combo.

Don't buy a 2009 if you want a Dual Xeon. Even people with years of experience have trouble upgrading 2009 dual CPU trays and have to tinker with it a lot to get it working, definitively it's not for newbies.

Before you ask, no, you can't use a 2010/2012 tray with a 2009 Mac Pro. All fans will go full RPM/full time and is not possible to workaround this SMC mismatch problem.
 

Apple Master

Suspended
Original poster
Jan 13, 2009
232
193
Los Angeles
MP4,1 - early2009 and MP5,1 - mid2010/mid2012 are almost identical when you are looking single CPU Mac Pros. Besides Xeon and GPU models different between the years, just the SMC version differs, 1.39f5 for 2009 and 1.39f11 for 2010/2012. But dual Xeon trays are very different between 2009 and 2010/2012. Dual CPU trays for 2009 year use lidless Xeons with a different socket and heatsink combo.

Don't buy a 2009 if you want a Dual Xeon. Even people with years of experience have trouble upgrading 2009 dual CPU trays and have to tinker with it a lot to get it working, definitively it's not for newbies.

Before you ask, no, you can't use a 2010/2012 tray with a 2009 Mac Pro. All fans will go full RPM/full time and is not possible to workaround this SMC mismatch problem.


Ok thanks that helps a lot. Yes, I’m looking to buy a used 5,1 and then upgrade the chips preferably dual but damn they are very hard to find locally.
 

tpivette89

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2018
536
294
Middletown, DE
Ok thanks that helps a lot. Yes, I’m looking to buy a used 5,1 and then upgrade the chips preferably dual but damn they are very hard to find locally.
Unless I'm drinking, de-lidding Xeon processors is simple using a good vise. This is really the only difference between the 5,1 and the 4,1 with dual CPUs. Once delidded, it's easy to install and upgrade the dual CPU setups on a 4,1. Afterwards, it's just a simple firmware flash and you have the exact same thing as a 5,1 with performance and expandability in mind.

In my opinion, it's ludicrous to spend the premium for the 5,1 vs the 4,1. There have been dual CPU 4,1s for sale on my local craigslist for as low as $325. Spend another $160 on dual X5690s and you have the best of the best (CPU performance) with cMPs for less than $500. That amount of money won't even get you close to what a base dual 2.4ghz 5,1 goes for.
 

tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,161
13,352
Unless I'm drinking, de-lidding Xeon processors is simple using a good vise. This is really the only difference between the 5,1 and the 4,1 with dual CPUs. Once delidded, it's easy to install and upgrade the dual CPU setups on a 4,1. Afterwards, it's just a simple firmware flash and you have the exact same thing as a 5,1 with performance and expandability in mind.

In my opinion, it's ludicrous to spend the premium for the 5,1 vs the 4,1. There have been dual CPU 4,1s for sale on my local craigslist for as low as $325. Spend another $160 on dual X5690s and you have the best of the best (CPU performance) with cMPs for less than $500. That amount of money won't even get you close to what a base dual 2.4ghz 5,1 goes for.
It's relatively easy after you did several, but the first ones you do before learning usually are damaged in same way. Just look how much people damaged Xeons trying to delid here. Let's be real, what newbie successfully delid a Westmere Xeon?

It's relatively cheap to learn, you can buy some Xeons for less than $5 each to learn the process, but sometimes the dual trays just don't work with the upgraded processors, but work with the old ones. I had more than one tray with this behaviour.

Not related to delid or upgrades, but another problem that is happening more and more is backplane and/or power supply failure, seems to becoming common with early-2009 Mac Pros, after almost ten years of usage. My own dual 2009 Mac Pro PSU failed last weekend, bulged capacitor.
 

tpivette89

macrumors 6502a
Jan 1, 2018
536
294
Middletown, DE
It's relatively easy after you did several, but the first ones you do before learning usually are damaged in same way. Just look how much people damaged Xeons trying to delid here. Let's be real, what newbie successfully delid a Westmere Xeon?

I did. In fact, my FIRST attempt at delidding was with a pair of X5690s. I used a quality vise, took my time, and did my research. While I admit this isn't for everyone, I had no problems doing this mod. Perhaps it's my mechanical aptitude and background that allowed me to succeed. In fact, I've successfully delidded a pair of X5690s, X5677s, and X5650s... and all worked without issue in my dual CPU 4,1 tray (with the exception of a bad CPU when I tried dual X5650s... I replaced the defective processor and all was well).

Not related to delid or upgrades, but another problem that is happening more and more is backplane and/or power supply failure, seems to becoming common with early-2009 Mac Pros, after almost ten years of usage. My own dual 2009 Mac Pro PSU failed last weekend, bulged capacitor.

I suppose anything can happen when these machines reach the age they are, but if that's the case, it's unthinkable to say the 2010/2012 at just a year or so newer won't be susceptible to these problems also. Bottom line, I just don't see paying 3 times the price for a 5,1 vs the 4,1 (which is what these computers are usually going for either on Ebay or craigslist).
 

DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
986
298
Rancho Bohemia, California
Patience has its rewards...

Craigslist monitoring netted me a clean 2010 dual cpu Mac Pro for $500 about a year ago. The upgrade to dual hex was painless; no efi update and no cpu seating issues.

While I could certainly have gone with a 4,1, the fewer number of variables involved in modding the dual 5,1 offers a value proposition that many find appealing.
 

Apple Master

Suspended
Original poster
Jan 13, 2009
232
193
Los Angeles
Patience has its rewards...

Craigslist monitoring netted me a clean 2010 dual cpu Mac Pro for $500 about a year ago. The upgrade to dual hex was painless; no efi update and no cpu seating issues.

While I could certainly have gone with a 4,1, the fewer number of variables involved in modding the dual 5,1 offers a value proposition that many find appealing.

I'm seeing a few dual 2010's online with free shipping for about $500 and 32gbs of ram. Not bad.
 

aslowdodge

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2012
94
9
I found the deciding to be quite simple albeit a little scary at first.
I did as Alex recommended and bought 2 chip for 6 bucks and practiced . The first one was so easy that I went straight to the 5690s and did both easily.
Install for both was easy. Had a few problems but mostly due to gummy stickers on the chips.
One ram slot wouldn’t recognize so I thought I had a bad chip or damaged it cleaning off the stupid sticker.
I ordered another chip and when it came in and I decided it. Strangely after 2 weeks all was well so now I have an extra delidded 5690 in the drawer. The big key is know which direction to push the heat sink off
Also, everyone knows I’m the newest newbie here too
 

NorCalLights

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
600
89
I have a 4,1 that I've upgraded to a 5,1 and swapped out the dual CPUs. If de-lidding sounds scary to you, you can certainly purchase de-lidded CPUs online. You'll pay extra, of course, but depending on how cheap your 4,1 is, (and how mechanically inclined you are), that might be worth it.
 
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