Mac Pro 2008 CPU Update

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AlexMakuch, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. AlexMakuch macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I scored a Mac Pro 2008 with a broken DVD drive for $115. It has a 2.8GHz Quad Xeon processor. I was wondering if I could upgrade it to 2x3.2GHz Xeons, like Apple used to ship the top-of-the-line 8 Core pro with. I have no problem getting my hands dirty, and I have built many computers.


    Just wanted to know if this was possible.
     
  2. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

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    #2
    If I'm not mistaken, the single processor 3,1 has only one processor slot on the mother board - so no upgrade to dual processors. Still a nice machine.
     
  3. djjclark macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2008
    #3
    Search on here for details but you need to buy a specific stepping and a heat sink to put in the second CPU.
     
  4. longmover macrumors member

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    Wales, UK
    #4
    :eek:

    Good work sir!
     
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #5
    :confused::eek:
    How did you find that one? A new P-ATA DVD drive can be placed for about $ 30!

    Maybe get a Radeon HD 5770 or 5870 in it and you're in for some years of fun computing!
     
  6. AlexMakuch thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    eBay :D I am probably going to try and upgrade to 2x3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, and 1x5770 + 1x5870
     
  7. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #7
    Well done, mate!
    As tamvly has pointed out I doubt you can get a Dual CPU config in there. A Quad 2.8 Ghz 2008 Xeon still is a decent CPU!

    It still should be worth more than $ 800!
     
  8. AlexMakuch thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I looked inside and it still had processor slot A & B. I just need to buy an additional heatsink! Will keep you all posted!
     
  9. longmover macrumors member

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    #9
    MacPro searches on eBay just spiked...
     
  10. AlexMakuch thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    lol
     
  11. longmover macrumors member

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    #11
    How much RAM is in it? That stuff is expensive..
     
  12. AlexMakuch thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    4gb
     
  13. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    $115 with a very inexpensive broken part? Lucky find!

    If you want the 3.2GHz CPUs (X5482), you need the ones with the SLANZ eSpec code. The 3.2 models also used beefier heatsinks than the 2.8/3.0s did (due to much higher TDP of the 3.2 CPUs), so that's also something to keep in mind.

    If this were me though, I'd source a second E5462 (SLANT version) - they're generally around $150 or less as used server pulls these days. The second heatsink would be the expensive part (they're around $200 new). IMHO, there's really not a lot of value in swapping to 3.2s on Harpertown Mac Pros because of the extra cost involved. X5482s are significantly more expensive (around $300-350 each used) and you really want the proper heatsinks because they have nearly double the TDP. In order words, you could easily spend $1k+ doing that swap properly - on a 4-year old machine.
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    Totally agree with this. Enjoy it for what it is. Personally if I was going to do a cpu upgrade, I'd first stress test the machine overnight to be absolutely sure that nothing else is on its way out. It makes sense if you're looking at dumping significant cash into it, but if it's $1k for cpu upgrades, that seems like a lot for an older machine. Mountain Lion is likely to be its last revision given its age.
     
  15. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    May 4, 2009
    #15
    Nice bargain, here's how I would pimp it out:

    To get the best out of your bargain Mac Pro I would throw a decent lump of RAM in it: http://www.memoryamerica.com/2fk225672800at.html To bring it to 12 GB ($194.99)
    Upgrade it to Lion using the App Store: ($30)
    Install the new Nvidia OS X GFX drivers and buy a GTX560 which should drop straight in: http://www.amazon.com/ENGTX560-DCII-OC-2DI-1GD5/dp/B0051E3BYM/ref=sr_1_16?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1333879359&sr=1-16 ($189.99) Check over at www.netkas.org

    Total upgrade cost: $414.98, less than a single 5870 from Apple: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC743ZM/A?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ

    Pimped out quad core Mac Pro for less than $600 booya! :D
     
  16. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

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    #16
    Why though? it's not like it's some weak 32bit Core 2 Duo... it's a 64bit Octo. Feels like PPC all over again.
     
  17. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #17
    Note Apple's reasoning at times. Whatever gpu no longer supported by AMD or NVidia and stuff like that. They eventually drop support on older machines. It doesn't matter that they are capable. You get a five year or so support life from Apple. It was mentioned somewhere in the Mountain Lion thing where AMD is no longer writing drivers for whatever gpu so that machine is gone. It could last longer. Just don't consider it a guarantee. I don't typically update to the newest OS for 2-3 months anyway. I wait for most of the bug fixes and application updates from various developers first rather than beta testing for Apple.

    I should also mention that the first mac pro cpus weren't 32 bit chips. They simply used a 32 bit efi, and Apple never changed that.
     
  18. AlexMakuch thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I threw in 16GB RAM and a 5870 and it is faster then my 27" i5 iMac... I also am installing Mountain Lion right now, without any issues...
     
  19. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

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    #19
    Seems such a waste when you think about it but I guess we live in a throwaway society now. I've never liked that thought even when it's more than capable because they want you to just buy new stuff. Last decade it was never as bad as this.

    AMD really is a joke, even on the PC side. People have been complaining about it for years now. Latest cards from them gets just 1 year support. When the newer cards come onto the market, the previous generation just gets bug fixes. After that, adios.

    Yet AMD's driver support most of the time is abysmal. More so for people that fork over 1k for CrossFire. Endless buggy drivers and usually really late drivers for games.

    Funny that I've always read NVIDIA gets better driver support even for older cards as well as new games just released. I'm not saying NVIDIA is all rosy but I seem to read less problems from them than AMD.

    I've never liked being the guinea pig either.
     
  20. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #20
    AMD has shown a few successes in the past couple years, and gpu drivers on the OSX side seem poorly optimized in general. It seems Apple is pretty restrictive on their code. NVidia's last quadro card release was followed by kernel panic complaints, but their past consumer cards aside from the defective macbook cards have been pretty good. I mentioned the example because Apple cited it somewhere with a couple older gpu models circa Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1. Apple mentions it may drop support on older models. The guarantee seems to be roughly four years (it says five, and it's at least five on things like security updates, but hit and miss on OS versions). It's annoying given that for many market segments, the gains haven't been so great in newer hardware. I do think the OP got a phenomenal deal on that computer (I would have bought it too).

    The forced obsolescence thing is kind of sad, especially when it's still serving you well but software updates or features require the latest OS. Usually with larger software developers, you get a year or two where they still support the older OS version.

    I'm not actually surprised. The i7 would be a closer match, but it varies. Given that the 2008 has 64 bit efi, the 5870 should still be a significant boost over the imac card. 16 GB of ram must have cost quite a lot on that model, but again you got the computer quite cheap, and I am still jealous.
     
  21. Atomic101 macrumors member

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    #21
  22. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #22
    Just out of curiosity, what are your CPU temps like? One would think that Apple used larger heatsinks (and silver thermal grease) on the X5482s for a good reason, given the 150W (vs. 80W) TDPs of those chips.
     
  23. Atomic101 macrumors member

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    Nottingham
    #23
    I'm not sure that the Heatsinks are larger in the 3.2 -there is no more room in the processor compartment. Maybe the different part number is for a slightly different temp sensor or because of the different grease or coating used. I'll certainly let you know if anything explodes.*
     

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