Mac Pro 4, 1 flash to 5,1 and upgrade to westmere's. Updated Guide?

Korican100

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 9, 2012
1,109
412
Hey guys, I have a decked out Mac Pro 3,1. I think I've reached the limit on its performance. I do video editing, and while its great. I will be working with heavier footage soon.

I don't really have a budget for a nMP, also I love the mac pro's so I want to keep it strictly apple (no hackintosh). So I thought my best bet (to keep it easy on my pockets, and see increases in speed) is the Mac pro 4,1 to 5,1 flash, and then upgrade to westmere. Then sell my current mac pro 3,1 to make up for the costs.

Couple of questions.

  • 1. if I get a Mac Pro 4,1 @ Single 2.66, do the flash from 4,1 to 5,1 with netkas efi flasher, can I upgrade to W3690 3.46 Hex? - is it simple, as flash and swap? done?

    2. If I get a Mac pro 4,1 @ DUAL 2.66, and do the same as above, is it as simple as flashing, and then buying two W3690's, and dropping them in?

If anyone has a guide to this that is recent. I have found a couple, but they have missing pics, old broken links etc.
 

mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
715
226
If you go with a single CPU version then yes that is correct.

If you go with a Dual CPU system then

1.) Need to be very careful installing CPU/Heatsink as the 4,1 used lidless CPU's so you need to be very careful installing the Heatsink. The replacement CPU will have an IHS on it so if you screw down as with the single CPU then will break the CPU if not careful.
2.) W3690 is for single socket systems only. You would need 2 x X5690 processors instead.
 
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Korican100

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 9, 2012
1,109
412
If you go with a single CPU version then yes that is correct.

If you go with a Dual CPU system then

1.) Need to be very careful installing CPU/Heatsink as the 4,1 used lidless CPU's so you need to be very careful installing the Heatsink. The replacement CPU will have an IHS on it so if you screw down as with the single CPU then will break the CPU if not careful.
2.) W3690 is for single socket systems only. You would need 2 x X5690 processors instead.
dang it, i knew it couldn't be that simple.

Do you know what the geekbench score is of a single CPU W3690 upgrade is? right now with my mac pro 3,1 (in my sig) im barely getting 12k
 
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flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,924
2,223
the fastest speed here is 17k. Does anyone know what causes the disparity between the lower 14k's to the 17k's?
Yes, if you look at column under Platform. you'll notice that some of the tests, the slower ones, were run at 32 bit and others at 64 bit. Geekbench is free to use in the 32 bit mode. but you have to buy the program to run it in 64 bit mode.

Lou
 
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omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
481
11
...
Couple of questions.
...
2. If I get a Mac pro 4,1 @ DUAL 2.66, and do the same as above, is it as simple as flashing, and then buying two W3690's, and dropping them in?[/LIST]
...
I haven't attempted the 4,1 dual yet, but from what I read it definitely requires more skill/patience/fiddling. I have upgraded the 4,1 single and that was very straightforward for a processor upgrade.

Given the extra cost of the dual socket machines and processors, not to mention the significant risk of damaging the board, a single socket upgraded to 6 core might make a lot more sense, especially since you don't already have an existing machine.

Couple notes:

- The base dual is actually 2.26GHz - there is 2.66GHz versions, but I imagine you're more likely to find the slower version

- The x5675 was significantly cheaper (ebay) than the w3680/w3690/x5680/x5690, so that's what I used in my single-socket system - it is a bit slower at 3.06GHz, but the turbo settings are higher, so I believe it will feel more like a 3.2GHz part.
 
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tgcarroll

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2011
12
2
Arizona


- The x5675 was significantly cheaper (ebay) than the w3680/w3690/x5680/x5690, so that's what I used in my single-socket system - it is a bit slower at 3.06GHz, but the turbo settings are higher, so I believe it will feel more like a 3.2GHz part.[/QUOTE]

What is your performance looking like with the x5675? I'm in the same boat having just picked up a cMP 2009 and flashed it to a 5,1, and I'm ready to upgrade my processor.
 
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omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
481
11
32bit Geekbench gave me results similar to other x5675 machines -- apparently that was the top-end configuration for 2012 model. I think I got ~2500 single, ~13.5k multi.

I haven't really beat up the machine that much, but for non-intensive work feels fast. Hard to say yet if it feels significantly faster / different than the stock 2.66GHz quad or the 3.33GHz (W3580) I had previously used.


What is your performance looking like with the x5675? I'm in the same boat having just picked up a cMP 2009 and flashed it to a 5,1, and I'm ready to upgrade my processor.
EDITTED: Fixed my 3.33GHz processor name since flowrider pointed there was no x5580
 
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flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,924
2,223
^^^^The X5675 @ 3.07 GHz was indeed the top CPU offering by Apple on the 2012 Mac Pros. There is no such CPU as an X5580. There is a W5580 @ 3.2 GHz and a W5590 @ 3.33 GHz.

Lou
 
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omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
481
11
One other thing to note - the X5680 and X5690 have a higher thermal envelope at 130W. The X5675 is only 95W -- I've think I've seen a number of posts using the higher power processors, though hadn't realized until recently how much more power they were.

Unless I'm reading the charts wrong it looks like all dual configurations shipped by apple were using <=95w cpu's. The single-socket machines do use up to 130w processors, but with only one socket the cooling and power supply don't have to work as hard.


Aside -- is the best practice for a dual 2009 upgrade to use 1.7mm washers? I foolishly bid on one and won, and now wondering if I have the stones to upgrade it... :)
 
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Lolito

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2013
392
27
here
Hi there guys, I´m also planning on upgrading a MacPro 2009, dual processor, 8 core total, to a 2010 with 64gb 1333 and 2x 6 core processors.

Is it really that risky? seems like much easier that other repairs... What are those washers you mention? is it good idea to get them??
 
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pigsyn

macrumors member
Aug 14, 2015
72
39
France
Hi there guys, I´m also planning on upgrading a MacPro 2009, dual processor, 8 core total, to a 2010 with 64gb 1333 and 2x 6 core processors.

Is it really that risky? seems like much easier that other repairs... What are those washers you mention? is it good idea to get them??
It's "risky" only if you use standard CPU's. The mac pro 4,1 had cpu's with no IHS, making them about 1.5 to 2mm thinner.
The risk is actually to crush CPU socket pins, if you don't take your time, when tightening back the cpu heatsink.
The washers act as a safety net. (see http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.255.html)

Or you could buy delidded cpu from dncomputers and spare yourself the thermal pads and fan connector mods.
 
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