Location of firmware on Mac Pro 4.1-5.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by lexR, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. lexR macrumors regular

    lexR

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    #1
    Ok so silly question but I have a desire to get a single CPU board but my cMP has had the 4.1-5.1 firmware update and the CPU tray that's on offer is from a 4.1 cMP.

    If the firmware code is not on the logic board will I have an issue with backward compatibly?
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
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    #3
    I don't think so. If you have a modified 4,1 to 5,1 Mac Pro. A 4,1 Single CPU CPU trey should work fine.

    Lou
     
  3. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #4
    4,1 tray works in 4,1 flashed to 5,1

    5,1 tray works in a 5,1

    mix and match gets you fast fans

    To further clarify, I had a pristine Octo 2.26 4,1 show up yesterday

    I removed my Dual 5680 tray from my 4,1 flashed to 5,1 and slid in the Octo 2.26

    Other than watching everything grind to a glacial pace, it worked fine
     
  4. lexR thread starter macrumors regular

    lexR

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    #5
    excellent thanks MVC, just needed to check that i was not wasting money with another project :confused: got some very cheap X5690's the other day and i have to go through the 2009 dual CPU upgrade again but having learnt a lot on the first time I'm going to do things a little different but plan on getting the single CPU tray for another idea.
     
  5. Tutor, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #6
    You should not have any issues which you can't manage. I've had one for about 4 years now and it works fine. Just use SMC fan control [ http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23049/smcfancontrol ] to manage your fans.

    P.S. I believe that the chip labeled, "RM-NCE-1" contains the firmware.
     
  6. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #7
    You might want to read the original post again. The OP is wanting to use a 4,1 tray in a 4,1 that has been flashed to a 5,1.

    The only time what you are saying would be an issue would be if he was trying to use a 5,1 try in a 4,1. Since that is not what he is doing what you are saying is not relevant to his post.
     
  7. Tutor, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #8
    Brand,

    At your suggestion I've re-read OP's post no. 1 and I re-read his post no. 5. I doubt that I'm having a senior moment. If, as you state, "[t]he OP is wanting to use a 4,1 tray {whether single CPU or double CPU} in a 4,1 that has been flashed to a 5,1", then, at most, he might have to re-flash if the firmware resides on the CPU tray and he want's to use the later acquired tray for Westmeres (but the replacement tray may or may not have come from a system that's already had the EFI Hack). In his post no. 5, OP's indicating that because he got a deal on some 5690s recently and intends to do a CPU swap, ".. i have to go through the 2009 dual CPU upgrade again but having learnt a lot on the first time I'm going to do things a little different but plan on getting the single CPU tray for another idea." [Emphasis added] All of the 2009 dual and single CPU MacPros use the same EFI and SMC firmware updates [as do all the 2010 MacPros use the same updates] [ http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1237 ]. The 5690s will run hotter than any other compatible CPUs; so I recommended SMC fan control. Whatever is his "other idea" for the single CPU board (which he's yet to acquire) may at most require him to upgrade it's firmware if the firmware resides on the CPU tray, that yet to be acquired tray has not had the EFI Hack and he wants to use Westmeres to implement that "other idea." If his other idea involves the use of faster than stock CPUs or otherwise raises heat issues, I'd still recommend that he use SMC fan control. In light of OPs prior posts, I said to OP "You should not have any issues which you can't manage" and recommended the use of SMC fan control to manage fans. I recommend the use of the SMC utility to those who haven't done the Hack. It's for heat related issues. This utility wasn't developed with the EFI Hack in mind, but rather for general use. My post appears to me to be relevant to all that the OP had previously stated. What am I missing?

    P.S. I believe that the chip labeled, "RM-NCE-1" contains the firmware.
     
  8. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #9
    I read it as you though he was installing a 5,1 tray in a 4,1 which does cause the fans to run at full speed. You never mentioned the the higher TDP so it was impossible to know that that is what you were talking about. Given that you were recommending it because of the higher TDP then I see your point and can agree with that. I have not yet performed the upgrade on my three Mac Pro 4,1s I have at home so I can not talk to how much of an increase in temperature there really is but reducing the temperature definitely will not hurt.
     
  9. Tutor, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #10

    No Problem. I'm certainly not perfect and occasionally prone to err by assumption/omission and for that I apologize. In any event, the better/faster your upgrade from base, the more likely you may need heat exhaustion help. If you need any help when upgrading your MacPro4,1s just let me know. I done many of them over the years for others in my area. Moreover, I have done many GPU upgrades and they too benefit from additional cooling. If you need any help with GPU upgrades, just PM or post to my thread for assistance [ http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1333421 ].


    Further update: I did some further research on your specific question that seeming is, "Where does firmware reside?" Initially, its appearing that it's a chip that could be labeled, "810-54-2136-1 and/or RM-NCE-1 and/or 6319-415-1239." See, e.g., http://www.cnet.com/news/efi-firmware-protection-locks-down-newer-macs/ and http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2011/01/18/apple-icon-secrets-hidden-meanings-hiding-in-plain-sight/ ]. Since I cannot disassemble my whole system right now or anytime soon (I have lots of 3d rendering jobs to complete), I cannot tell for sure whether that is the correct labeling, and, if so, on what chip on what board it's on.
     
  10. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #11
    For single CPU 4,1, the stock CPU's TDP (e.g. W3520) is 130W, same as the X5690 or W3690. Will the X5690 run hotter than the W3520?
     
  11. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    #12
    TDP is not an issue IMO. I have run two W5590s and am currently running two X5677 CPUs in my dual CPU 5,1. Both sets of CPUs had TDPs of 130 W and I have never had an issue with heat or fans. I use Macs Fan Control (better I think than SMC Fan Control) set to Auto, and have no heat or fan issues.

    Lou
     

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  12. Tutor, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #13
    You cannot you harm your system by keeping it cool and you have much to gain - speed.

    h9826790,
    Excellent example and question, the answer to which is:

    "Probably yes and probably no because it depends."

    Here're the pertinent specs:

    1) Some Pertinent Intel Xeon W3520 specifications [ http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/Intel-Xeon W3520 - AT80601000741AB (BX80601W3520).html ]
    Frequency = 2667 MHz
    Turbo frequency = 2933 MHz (1 core) = [turbo stage 2]
    2800 MHz (4 cores) = [turbo stage 1]
    Bus speed = 4.8 GT/s QPI (2400 MHz)
    V core = 0.8V - 1.375V
    Minimum/Maximum operating temperature 5°C - 67.9°C
    Minimum/Maximum power dissipation 15 Watt (TDP in C6 state) / 224.42 Watt
    Thermal Design Power = 130 Watt

    2) Some Pertinent Intel Xeon X5690 specifications [ http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/Intel-Xeon X5690 - AT80614005913AB (BX80614X5690).html ]

    Frequency = 3467 MHz
    Turbo frequency = 3733 MHz (1 or 2 cores) = [turbo stage 2]
    3600 MHz (3 or more cores) = [turbo stage 1]
    Bus speed = 6.4 GT/s QPI (3200 MHz)
    V core =0.75V - 1.35V
    Maximum operating temperature = 78.5°C
    Thermal Design Power = 130 Watt

    The Depends Answers:

    "Probably No" at idle when both are at idle or light/similar low load or when the W3520 is at heavy load vs. the X5690 at no or light load. Thus, what you're doing on the system at any point in time and the application(s) you're using are also important factors.

    "Probably Yes" when they both are at max load or there're both at max load or the 3520 is at no or slight load and the X5690 is at mid or max load.

    Here's why: “Rather than specifying CPU's real power dissipation, TDP serves as the nominal value for designing CPU cooling systems.[1] [Emphasis added.] The TDP is typically not the largest amount of heat the CPU could ever generate (peak power), such as by running a power virus, but rather the maximum amount of heat that it would generate when running "real applications." This ensures the computer will be able to handle essentially all applications without exceeding its thermal envelope, or requiring a cooling system for the maximum theoretical power (which would cost more but in favor of extra headroom for processing power).[2] [Emphasis added.] Some sources state that the peak power for a microprocessor is usually 1.5 times the TDP rating.[3] [Emphasis added.] ” [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_design_power ]

    There's also another reason to keep the CPUs, even if they're stock, as cool as possible. Almost all modern Intel processors have a cool feature (Yes, pun intended) called Turbo Boost. Here's how it works: Intel Turbo Boost is a technology implemented by Intel in certain versions of their Nehalem-, Sandy-Bridge-, Ivy-Bridge, and Haswell-based CPUs, including Core i5 and Core i7, that enables the processor to run above its base operating frequency via dynamic control of the CPU's clock rate.[1] It is activated when the operating system requests the highest performance state of the processor. Processor performance states are defined by the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification, an open standard supported by all major operating systems; no additional software or drivers are required to support the technology.[1] The design concept behind Turbo Boost is commonly referred to as "dynamic overclocking".[2] The increased clock rate is limited by the processor's power, current and thermal limits [Empasis added], as well as the number of cores currently in use and the maximum frequency of the active cores.[1] When the workload on the processor calls for faster performance, and the processor is below its limits, the processor's clock will increase the operating frequency in regular increments as required to meet demand. Frequency increases occur in increments of 133*MHz for Nehalem microarchitecture processors and 100*MHz for Sandy/Ivy Bridge microarchitecture processors. When any of the electrical or thermal limits are reached, the operating frequency automatically decreases in decrements of 133*MHz/100*MHz until the processor is again operating within its design limits.[1] [Emphasis added.] [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo_Boost ]

    Thus, when you use a utility like SMC fan control (or on a self-build a more powerful air cooler, or simi- or wholly water cooled system) even on stock CPUs, you may be able to increase you systems performance because the temperature of a core is one of the three factors used to determine whether, when and by how much it turbo boosts. Otherwise, the CPU will down clock itself or throttle if cooling is insufficient to stay within its TDP. Also, what this means is that if you have a fast processor with more cores like the X5690 and use an app that pushes it to the max, then it'll likely begin to throttle when it reaches its maximum operating temperature of 78.5°C and if you use an app that pushes the W3520 to its max, then it'll likely begin to throttle when it reaches its maximum operating temperature of 67.9°C. Even the faster QPI/buss speed of the X5690 will tend to increase the heat generated by the motherboard and the other components on the motherboard, whose speed is affected by QPI. So, for all of these reasons that's why I put it, in a summary and non-too technical sense, that an X5690 run hotter than the W3520. But also, as is fully shown above, even those with just a W3520 CPU (and haven't encountered any apparent problems) might want to use a utility such as SMC fan control or Macs Fan Control to keep it cooler when they're using taxing applications, to enable more frequent and higher turbo boosting.

    ----------

    Lou, thanks for the heads up on Macs Fan Control. I think that I'll give it a try.

    P.S. Note well (1) that of the three factors governing turbo boosting that cooling is the one that we can all usually control and (2) that controlling CPU [and GPU] temps has been one of my most important secrets (Opps, I let the Big Cat out of the bag) to having some of the world's fastest and longest lasting systems of their kind. Or to put it otherwise, why do the the very fastest benchmarks come from systems with liquid nitrogen. You cannot you harm your system by keep it cool and you have much to gain. If there were computer refrigerators/freezers sold for prices that I consider reasonable, I'd have put each one of my systems in one of them.
     
  13. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #14
    Shouldn't the Lithography Technology enter into your answer? The W3520 (and the 55xx) Intel Xeon series use 45 nm technology. While the X5690 (and the 36xx) CPUs use 32 nm technology.

    Lou
     
  14. Tutor, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #15
    Lou,

    Thanks for pointing that out. The newer generation of Xeons are generally advertised to run cooler on a core per core basis compared to earlier ones when you compare their total power to get multithreaded tasks done because of newer lithography. However, recently Intel has been stepping down the base speed with the addition of more cores and in the case of those two particular chips, everything that I've read tells me that the X5690 which uses the newer lithography has more power to get things done and does in fact run hotter than the W3520 to reach the X5690's full potential. I'd bet that's, at least, one of the reasons why it was designed with a 10.6 degree higher maximum operating temperature than the W3520. So, even ignoring my general rule of always maximizing cooling simply to realize more frequent and higher turbo boosting, I'd still recommend adding a little more cooling capacity by my (or your) favored cooling utility when adding a couple of X5690s to a cMP.

    BTW - I'm not against the newer chips with more cores because I use applications that use them. However, not all "Pro Applications" benefit from more and more cores, particularly at current levels. There're Pro Users who'd benefit more from faster and more reasonably priced Xeons with fewer cores. They're being forgotten and/or forced into the i7 or used Xeon spaces. My mid-2000 Dell Precision Workstation 530 and 450 have, what were then, top of the line, dual 3 GHz, $500 each, Intel CPUs and if someone had told me then that we'd still be in the 3 GHz space 10 years ten years later paying over $2,000 for top of the line CPUs, I'd have said that he/she was crazy. Todays CPUs represent a much higher part of the cost of system ownership than ever before. I'm saddened that CPU prices haven't fallen like the cost of the other components which have gotten better over time. Thank you, Intel.
     
  15. lexR thread starter macrumors regular

    lexR

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Thanks to all the replies, my second attempt to swap the CPU's in my 2009 machine went even better than the first attempt and for people who have done a few of these i now know what you mean about 'feel'. decided to remove the old thermal pad and the thermal pad i added extra last time and installed a single 4mm thermal pad which i felt was a much better option.

    just can't believe they worked though and just carried out a few tests and the temps, speed and stability all seems perfect at present.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    geek bench history from purchase 9 months ago.
    [​IMG]

    Cant believe they actually worked as i prep'd myself with enough equipment to re-install the other X5670's on failure as they were just ridiculously cheap ... almost too cheap :confused: but I'm not complaining.

    will re-read all of the info Tutor has posted and i have to say on first glance read i was a bit lost but will endure...
     
  16. Tutor, Aug 17, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #17
    lexR,
    Congratulations on a job well done!!! Now you've done two CPU swaps successfully. Think about what that really means - You are more than capable of becoming a master computer system builder because of all the system building tasks that I've done, upgrading 2009 MacPro4,1 CPUs has been the most tedious system rebuilding task that I've encountered. Sure, I was the first to do so successfully [ http://blogs.computerworld.com/geekbench_reveals_next_3_3ghz_mac_pro_update; BTW - the locale should have been Birmingham, rather than Cupertino] and thus I had no roadmap or anyone I could consult, but each time I subsequently did it, I ran into that more art than craft wall - sometimes I got it right on the first try, sometimes it took a few tries (usually, not all memory recognized), sometimes it took many tries (usually, system halts), and sometimes it took even more tries (usually, system won't boot). Doing many 2009 CPU swap does become easier over time however. But system building tasks such as pushing in a backplate into the back of a computer case, screwing a motherboard onto a chassis, screwing in a power supply, snapping in cables, installing CPUs and associated coolers, inserting ram modules, inserting GPU(s) (and other PCIe cards) into the motherboard and connecting any necessary cables, screwing or snapping in storage drives, connecting a monitor to the system, connecting the system to the internet, and running an OS install CD/DVD/USB drive, etc. have all been generally less tedious more frequently than getting those 2009 MacPro CPU heat sinks set properly. But to be fully accurate - building a system does entail more tasks, so completing a system build does take more time and so does reading the installation instructions at the beginning. However, after you've built one system successfully, each subsequent build becomes faster and faster to complete, such that you can probably complete the hardware portion of the build in an hour or less. Moreover, when you've built it, you can upgrade it quickly and better trouble shoot any problems. Think about that also.
     
  17. lexR thread starter macrumors regular

    lexR

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    UK
    #18
    I can't for one minute call my self a system builder, how ever I am enjoying it... Fitting PCI SSD's, cloning boot drives, getting round errors, fitting USB 3.0 PCI cards, fitting MVC solution to BT 4.0 LE and upgraded AirPort Extreme card, fitting GTX 770... Enjoying it probably a bit more than my bank account will allow, however none of this would of been possible without sites like this and members posting there triumphs and there failures, I like things being the best they can be and to think you can pick up a 2009 machine and make it what you want it to be is great!

    Keep pushing the boundaries :)
     

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