Mac Pro 2009-10 single to dual CPU possible?

macmesser

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Aug 13, 2012
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I'm looking to either upgrade my office machine buy another 4,1-5,1 Mac Pro with better specs. I thought I could perhaps pick up used dual-processor tray and swap it for the single processor tray in my present machine. Does anyone know if this would work? I suspect I'd need to start with a dual CPU machine and upgrade number of cores rather than CPUs, correct? Any insights appreciated.
 

RoastingPig

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if your mac pro is a single processors 4.1 you can only use a 4.1 dual processor tray.

If you upgrade the firmware to 5.1 you still can only use the 4.1 dual processor tray. because the smc firmware dont match.

same goes for a official 5.1 mac pro, you cant use a 4.1 tray only a 5.1.

if you want to use two hexacore westmeres your mac pro needs to be flashed to a 5.1
 
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macmesser

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if your mac pro is a single processors 4.1 you can only use a 4.1 dual processor tray.

If you upgrade the firmware to 5.1 you still can only use the 4.1 dual processor tray. because the smc firmware dont match.

same goes for a official 5.1 mac pro, you cant use a 4.1 tray only a 5.1.

if you want to use two hexacore westmeres your mac pro needs to be flashed to a 5.1
Thanks! So I CAN swap in a dual processor tray as long as it's from the same version Mac Pro, but I will have to flash a version 4,1 to 5,1.
 

xcodeSyn

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So I CAN swap in a dual processor tray as long as it's from the same version Mac Pro, but I will have to flash a version 4,1 to 5,1.
In addition to a dual-processor tray, you also need to install two heatsink and fan units for both processors, and these two different units cost extra. Unless you can find those parts for free or at very low price, you may realize that selling your single-processor MP and then buying a dual-processor one makes more sense.
 
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iamMacPerson

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I'm looking to either upgrade my office machine buy another 4,1-5,1 Mac Pro with better specs. I thought I could perhaps pick up used dual-processor tray and swap it for the single processor tray in my present machine. Does anyone know if this would work? I suspect I'd need to start with a dual CPU machine and upgrade number of cores rather than CPUs, correct? Any insights appreciated.
Personally, I'm on the hunt for a Dual Proc tray as well for my 4,1. As others have said, as long as the tray is from the same model, you'll be fine. Luckily there is a way to tell them apart if the heat sinks are removed.

Since I got my Mac Pro on an absolute steal of a deal, I really had no choice on the processor tray. It also had no RAM or video card, but thats besides the point. What I have done is flash the firmware up to 5,1 and swapped in an W3680 (6-core, 3.33GHz, 12MB Cache). A huge upgrade from the original W3520 (4-core, 2.66GHz, 8MB Cache).

Trust me, these machines are more then capable. What I love compared to the new Mac Pro is the fact you can upgrade almost everything. PCI cards, HDDs, heck, someone even found a way to upgrade the original AirPort Card to a newer one with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 LE so you can use Handoff/Continuity with the machine. I have 4 hard drives in mine, 1 PCI Card (USB 3.0), upgraded optical drive, up'ed the RAM. If you are a computer guy, these machines are just a blast to work on. I love mine and I would never sell it.

I'd like a nMP, but I will forever hold onto my cheese grater no matter what.
 

macmesser

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Personally, I'm on the hunt for a Dual Proc tray as well for my 4,1. As others have said, as long as the tray is from the same model, you'll be fine. Luckily there is a way to tell them apart if the heat sinks are removed.

Since I got my Mac Pro on an absolute steal of a deal, I really had no choice on the processor tray. It also had no RAM or video card, but thats besides the point. What I have done is flash the firmware up to 5,1 and swapped in an W3680 (6-core, 3.33GHz, 12MB Cache). A huge upgrade from the original W3520 (4-core, 2.66GHz, 8MB Cache).

Trust me, these machines are more then capable. What I love compared to the new Mac Pro is the fact you can upgrade almost everything. PCI cards, HDDs, heck, someone even found a way to upgrade the original AirPort Card to a newer one with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 LE so you can use Handoff/Continuity with the machine. I have 4 hard drives in mine, 1 PCI Card (USB 3.0), upgraded optical drive, up'ed the RAM. If you are a computer guy, these machines are just a blast to work on. I love mine and I would never sell it.

I'd like a nMP, but I will forever hold onto my cheese grater no matter what.
Thanks for sharing, and to the others on this thread. Much food for thought and I have a much better idea of my potential upgrade paths.

I have a W3520 in my office machine which is the one I'm looking to upgrade. I've been leery of doing the six core upgrade as I'm not comfortable with the physical mod involved. If I do the multi upgrade I guess I'd need to flash it back down to 4,1, install the dual tray and flash it all up to 5,1? Or would I be good to go with just installing the dual tray?

----------

Yes, get the tray, flash the firmware, and then upgrade the CPU.
Thanks. The 4,1 dual tray can just be swapped in after flashing up to 5,1, or is it necessary to have the tray installed before flashing? My machine is already flashed to 5,1.
 

flowrider

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I have a W3520 in my office machine which is the one I'm looking to upgrade. I've been leery of doing the six core upgrade as I'm not comfortable with the physical mod involved..
Upgrading the CPU on a single processor 2009 Mac Pro, is really not a tough job. It is very intimidating on the 2009 Dual CPU machines however, due to the lidless CPUs used. The single processor machine uses normal lidded CPUs (like all 5,1s) and the process is really pretty easy if you can read, go slowly, and have the proper tools and supplies. I can gladly furnish the necessary instructions and links if you want them.

Lou
 
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evildream

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Aug 30, 2014
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Can you please send me the instruction to how change the single CPU in a 4.1 to 3680?
My adresse is amine.assaidy@gmail.com
Thx you very much
 
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macmesser

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Upgrading the CPU on a single processor 2009 Mac Pro, is really not a tough job. It is very intimidating on the 2009 Dual CPU machines however, due to the lidless CPUs used. The single processor machine uses normal lidded CPUs (like all 5,1s) and the process is really pretty easy if you can read, go slowly, and have the proper tools and supplies. I can gladly furnish the necessary instructions and links if you want them.

Lou
Thanks Lou. That would be great.
 

Zorn

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i can't seem to find anyone to upgrade it...cause i know i can't...
Have you ever installed a CPU in a regular PC before? If so it's even easier with the single-CPU Mac Pro. You just need a long 3mm hex key (about $4 on Amazon) and some thermal paste.
 

flowrider

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Thanks Lou. That would be great.
Read the PDFs attached.

You will need these:

http://www.amazon.com/Eklind-3mm-long-Cush-grip-T-handle/dp/B000X285AW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1414691960&sr=8-2&keywords=3mm+hex+driver

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=arctic+silver

Isopropyl alcohol

Clean lint free handkerchief

An old credit card to spread the thermal paste evenly

Follow the instructions in the PDF files.

This thread may also help, scroll down to post #646, but not my comment in Post #647 about the use of cotton swabs, you really don't want to use those.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1122551&page=26

Lou
 

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hellmacpro

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Have you ever installed a CPU in a regular PC before? If so it's even easier with the single-CPU Mac Pro. You just need a long 3mm hex key (about $4 on Amazon) and some thermal paste.
not in my life...LOL....i'll look at guide...i think there was a thread long time ago..that posted how to do it, right?
 

flowrider

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^^^^My PDF instructions attached above show exactly how to do it right. Have you tried looking at them?

Lou
 

rerailer

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Mar 8, 2007
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Upgrading the CPU on a single processor 2009 Mac Pro, is really not a tough job. It is very intimidating on the 2009 Dual CPU machines however, due to the lidless CPUs used. The single processor machine uses normal lidded CPUs (like all 5,1s) and the process is really pretty easy if you can read, go slowly, and have the proper tools and supplies. I can gladly furnish the necessary instructions and links if you want them.

Lou
[doublepost=1555112279][/doublepost]are you still participating in this forum? I bought new MacPro 2.6 single processor in 2009 or early 2010, I have maxed it out with two upgraded opticals, larger hard drives, a g3 small SSD in one of the bays, and later a PCI card with one OWC 480 Gig Mercury Electra 6G, seems that there was an option to add an extension to the PCI card to mount a second SSD but like a fool I didn't get that extension. The result was a screaming fast responding computer, bam bang bing zero delay. I loved it. Years ago I had considered upgrading the processor as it was a 2.66 probably a 4 core, but just never got around to doing that due to the costs involved. At that time. I had done a processor upgrade to my Sawtooth that has long set under my desk replaced by the MacPro. I think, but I can't say for certain that following a upgrade from Yosemite to El Capitan,, but at some point over a year ago I began having the Spinning Beachball locking everything up and causing me to go through one or more restarts, running command R Mac Utilities then running DiskUtility then restarting from the same drive and sometimes soon and others not so soon repeat lockup. Trying to use force quit and rebuild of finder didn't really work except you could access only the black Apple to shut down rater than forcing a power down. AlSoft says there is a firmware update for the 6G drive, OWC says not the one I have on the PCI card, that I need more than 16 Gigs of ram. Eureka! I just happen to get a UTube popup on flashing the 4,1 to 5,1 and I was stunned to find this. Low and behold people had rediscovered the 2009 4,1 MacPros. Mine came with two video cards & at one point I had 3 monitors running.

OBTW saw something on doing a disabling the System Integrety

I respectfully request help, I want to rebuild upgrade my beloved Mac Pro so all the guides and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I want to replace the single processor tray, and go with the install of the upgraded dual processors, new to me upgraded video cards, PCI USB 3 card or perhaps some other option to provide faster connection speeds. Therefore, thanking you and others who may want to help this old Mac head (73) minimally capable of these kinds of things. I read about and understand about all these upgrading but I've still not put in the upgraded hard drive in my old eMac 800 because I was stymied by the CRT hazard. OBTW, I'm in Tucson, AZ. With a considerable backlog of older Machines I bought along the way from 1984 and my original first Mac.
 
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kuau

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Dec 3, 2012
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So just to verify.
I have a 2009 Mac Pro which I flashed to 5.1 and running a single 6 core CPU.
If I purchase a 2010 dual tray this will not work correct?
No way to upgrade to 12 core than?..
 

minifridge1138

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
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So just to verify.
I have a 2009 Mac Pro which I flashed to 5.1 and running a single 6 core CPU.
If I purchase a 2010 dual tray this will not work correct?
No way to upgrade to 12 core than?..
No, you can not successfully use the 2010 dual tray in the 2009.
 

JedNZ

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Dec 6, 2015
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If you put a 5,1 (original) tray in a 4,1 cMP it will work but your fans will roar continuously, and I’m not aware of any way to stop this.

You can not add an additional CPU to a single CPU tray to make it dual CPU. If you have a dual CPU tray, you can run it with only one CPU (must be CPU A) but the fans will roar continuously.

But you can source a cMP 4,1 dual CPU tray and use this in your cMP 4,1 single CPU machine. You may need to update the firmware if it hasn’t been updated to 5,1 - you would need to do this before you upgrade the CPUs.

Most if not all of your questions will be answered in the stickies, particularly this one.