Mac Pro (Early 2009) Processor Upgrade - Single Quad Core

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DSchwartz88, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. DSchwartz88 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    So I know there was another thread in here just know talking about upgrade possibilities and I saw something that struck my eye, and I felt it deserved its own thread.

    Does the single Quad Core version of the 2009 Mac Pro have heat spreaders on the chip? I understand one of the reasons its so hard to upgrade is because Mac Pro Xeons dont have heat spreaders, but apparently this only applies to the Octo-core version?

    Anyone with the knowledge care to help me out? I'd love to be able to upgrade my 2.66 to a 3.33 W3580.
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #2
    2009 Quad (SP) systems: IHS = Yes
    2009 Octad (DP) systems: IHS = No

    But users have successfully added other compatible Xeons not offered by Apple with an IHS in Octad models. Caution is required, as damage to both the cooler's fan connector and daughter board are possible.

    This information has also been listed in multiple threads. :eek: ;)
     
  3. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    cooling fan and board

    Not if you take your time and do baby pulls and not FORCEFULLY pull up the heatsink. I found it easy to do.. If I can do an MDD upgrade, this is just as easy.



     
  4. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    FOr the record.

    You don't need xeon if you don't want it.. You can get any core i7 9xx you want.. but from a 2.66, you are better going with either a w3570 or w3580 which I have.. oh, and by the way.. according to some I have read somewhere that the core i7's are much faster than the xeons and this is due to the ECC memory.. the computer doesn't have to keep error checking the memory constantly, versus those with non-ecc.. For what most use the mac pro for, really there is no need for ecc memory, unless you run it 24/7 as a server machine.



     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #5
    The comment about the fan connector has to do with the DP systems, as the Apple OEM procesors don't have the IHS. When a part with an IHS (standard Intel Retail or OEM) is used, the connector has to be removed from the cooler, and attached separately. Tighening is also more critical, as the intitial attempt resulted in damaged contacts in the socket (no latch mechanism to hold it down for cooler installation).
     
  6. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    But this does not exist

    on the single-quad core 2009 mac pros, only on the duals, right?


     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #7
    The Quads have the latching mechanism on the socket, and you don't need to remove the fan connector from the CPU cooler.

    The '09 DP systems (Octad's) OTOH, the latch mechanism is missing, and you do have to remove the fan connector to deal with the height difference (IHS increases the distance between the top surface of the CPU and the fan connector on the board).
     
  8. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Ah.. got ya

    I can then say that those with duals have a lot more work to do to get an upgraded processor to work versus those with singles. Just for simplicity, I already took apart my heatsink and saw with my own eyes the latch!! and said, " Wow, this is just like the old days! Just lift the latch, apply heatsink paste all over the processor(thin spread) and on the heatsink also.. and reapply!

    I guess I am glad I didn't get a dual system and probably don't want one since all I use my mac pro for is tinkering and other useful stuff, however as time will go on I will eventually get into maybe a little bit of video editing just for keeps.


     
  9. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    So in summation,

    While the dual quad-cores are really nice, they are TEDIOUS at best to upgrade the processors. Lacking the latch mechanism is a real bummer as once one lifts the heatsink up, they risk the processor being stuck to it on the bottom, further causing possible problems.

    Yeah, I saw the Anandtech article and I even emailed the guy and told him that I plan to upgrade my single-processor on my computer. He even hinted to me that I was lucky I didn't wind up with a dual due to the enormous difficulty of upgrading the processors.

    So, what must one do in order to have a successful upgrade on the duals? If no IHS and they are LIDLESS + lack a latch, how does one actually go ahead and do it?


     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    The Anand article explains what was done, as have other MR members' who've done it.

    But in simple terms, Very Carefully. :eek: :p
     
  11. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    It really begs to answer the question..

    WHy should I worry about it? I have a single-quad core and my chances of ever going to get a dual processor tray and the chips is VERY SLIM TO NONE, as this would exceed my bank account.. Plus, the 3.33 is great for my needs.

    I just feel sorry for those with duals esp those with 2.26's that have to put up with Apple's shinanigans when it comes to upgrading those processors. WHy couldn't Apple just have used standard parts like on the quad-core single? We may never know.


     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #12
    In your case, not at all, but you keep bringing it up. :D :p
     
  13. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #13
    Roman23, I am glad to read about your success in upgrading your Mac Pro single core processor to an i7 975 3.33GHz chip. I have read the Anandtech article on the dual upgrade (how he fried his board/messed the socket) and I have read the articles on here about users performing the dual upgrade and finding the upgrade to be quite a challenge with the heat sensor cables and such due to the IHS height difference. This leads me to think if I do make the spring for a new Mac Pro I might get the 2.66GHz one and try the W3580 upgrade (keep the Xeon and the ECC Memory). I have never done a processor upgrade in my life and I am a little (really) nervous about it. I don't know anything about applying thermal paste to the processor, and the last thing I want to do is fry my processor or board from using careless, novice installation practices (what if my thermal grease is not applied correctly or if I don't tighten my heatsink right (too little or too much). So these are my concerns...if it was an easy upgrade like an 8500 or 9500 PowerMac which was just a daughtercard pop-in, it would be no problem...but this upgrade requires a little more skill and patience. It does seem appealing to save anywhere between $600 and $900 by doing the upgrade myself, instead of buying a 3.33GHz chip from Apple.
     
  14. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Ok, where to to begin?

    Have you ever built your own PC? Of course you have, or maybe you delved into it and had questions about what to do if something faster and better comes out? You knew the hardware you got can support faster chips, but were afraid to take the "plunge" to upgrade the cpu yourself.. Its rather easy.. but easy isn't the actual word for it.. Here is what you do..

    In the case of the 2009 mac pro single-quad... get yourself the processor upgrade of your choice.. you having a 2.66, consider the w3570 which is the 3.2 or w3580 which is the same chip apple uses in their 3500.00 3.33 single-quad core mac pro. Don't quote me on price.. just off the wall as apple is with their prices..

    Step one: Buy your favorite heat sink paste.. I use arctic silver, but you can also use the stuff they sell in Radio shack or any computer shop.. heatsink paste is essential for this.

    Step two: The heatsink of the quad-core single uses a 3mm hex screwdriver(this is what i mean about non-oem parts).. I assume you know how to use a 3mm hex screw driver.

    Step three: Once you unscrew all the hex screws(notice they won't come out, as they are spring loaded), CAREFULLY AND I MEAN CAREFULLY, take off the heatsink, and pay attention to the fan connector. I believe its a 4 pin plug on the processor tray.

    Step four: Take a piece of cloth, can also be paper towel and rub some isophryal(sp??) alcohol on the cloth and wipe clean the heatsink residue on the bottom of the heatsink - you will do the same thing for the processor which is in the next step.

    Step five: You will notice that unlike the duals, the processor is a standard oem intel chip with the integrated heat spreader on it. You will also see the latch and the lid which locks the processor in place.. Lift the latch and open the lid to remove the processor.

    Step six: Wipe away the paste from the surface of the processor(integrated heat spreader), and once you finish that, apply a thin coating(no more than the size of a beebee or a little bigger than a beebee) in the middle of the processor's integrated heat spreader.

    Step seven: Take your finger, or a credit card with ragged edge and spread the heatsink paste all over, covering the entire surface of the processor's integrated heat spreader. Make sure you cover it COMPLETLY.. Don't leave any gaps at all.. You want to apply enough so that its going to cover the whole surface. ENsure you don't use too much, as it might seep onto the contacts and possibly cause a problem.

    Step eight: Once you have applied the heatsink paste to the processor, gently put in back in the socket the way the other one was - same direction. Close the lid and lock the latch.

    Step nine: Finally, put the heatsink cover back on the processor, making sure the side with the pins line up with the fan connector. Press firmly, but not too much pressure.. Take the 3mm hex screw driver and tighten the screws. You will know when they are tight as when they are tight you won't be able to turn them as easily.

    BOOT UP your mac pro and enjoy your new processor upgrade! Simple, and easy.. if you can replace and or upgrade processors on a PC, this is like a PC in a way, except you are dealing with special parts like the: hex screws.. I think the processor latch and lid are the same as on a pc, so thats old school right there.

    You have the option of using either core i7 9xx series, or xeon w35xx processors. If you are getting the 2.66, then go for the w3570 or w3580.. if you are going for the 2.93, then go with the w3580.. the w3570 even with turbo boost isn't enough of a mark to really see improvement very much, but from 2.66, it is.

    PLEASE NOTE: Although the i7-980x and its xeon brother w3650 i think? are the same pin size and take the same socket, they won't work. Gulftown and westmere require B1 stepping and the Mac Pro only supports D0 stepping.. but, also you need the microcode from a 2010 mac pro(if and when they come out) and flash it to the 2009 firmware.. I am still developing a way of how to do this.. I think I found it but need help designing it:

    Remember award bios program: AWDFLASH.EXE? Thats the hint.



     
  15. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    s***. forgot to mention...

    If you are staying with the xeon, your existing memory will work as its ECC and xeons need that... if you decide you want i7 9xx series desktop, you will need to get NON-ECC memory which you will find is a hell of a lot cheaper than ecc memory.

    FAILURE TO USE A DESKTOP I7 processor in the mac pro with existing ecc memory may render the machine unbootable and or may not even power on.



     
  16. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #16
    OK, thanks alot for your input Roman23, this helps alot. I found a processor from Velocity Micro on eBay (W3580 3.33GHz) for $599, however it's used, but they have a 7-day DOA return policy. Also, can you just use a standard straight 3mm hex screwdriver? Or do you need a bent hex key? Which works better?
     
  17. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Good price!

    Yeah, at first this is what I was going to get, but then decided against it and got the core i7-975 which runs the same as the w3580, but it doesn't use ecc memory(then again, how many people have a need for ecc?)

    Yes, both a straight or bent will work just fine, though I have seen more people use bent. I use bent because its easier to turn I think.


     
  18. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #18
    I just read up on the Anandtech article about the hex wrench, they say:

    "There are four screw holes at the top of the heatsink. Apple actually made removing the heatsinks very easy, all you need is a long 3mm hex key - about 3” long (plus a handle) should suffice."

    So I guess you need something bigger than the little 2" hex keys that come in the little kits. So I will need to buy a new hex wrench for this.
     
  19. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

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    #19
    This speed difference, if it even exists, is 2-3% and negligible at best.
     
  20. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #20
    Hey..

    Let me know how much those cost.. I am going out this weekend to get myself one, as I used a small straight one for my upgrade however.. good to know how much those are.


     
  21. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #21
  22. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #22
    That seller is a moron!~

    I can goto Home Depot and get one for under 5 dollars.. that seller is a moron and as such sells his stuff so freaking high.. I have reported him to Apple and they are doing a serious investigation on him.. plus I have reported him to Ebay for fraud.


     
  23. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #23
    Why? He doesn't appear to have any negative feedback, although his prices are pretty steep. He charged $30.00 for a small set of Torx screws for a MacBook. That seems pretty high.
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #24
    Definitely high, as I can get an entire set like that for $54 from Sears (9 inch, resin handle by Eklind). The seller even wants another $5.50 for S/H. :rolleyes: At that point, I'd just get the set.

    Here's a less expensive alternative (9 inch handle) for a whopping $1.95 + S/H if someone can't find something like it locally. :D
     
  25. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    for all I know..

    I could just be PC performance hype and nothing more..


     

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