Mac Pro Logic Board and Processor Question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jamanspizza, May 9, 2011.

  1. jamanspizza macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2006
    Hey, I have recently acquired a free Mac Pro 2008 chassis, that came with the power supply, fans, cables, and hard drive cages. So I've decided on somewhat building a low end-ish Mac Pro. I am aware that Mac Pro parts are expensive, so I plan on slowly building it over time and using refurbished parts.

    I have two questions, which I hope you guys can answer.

    1. What kind of Logic board can I fit in this thing? I know that the 2008 logic board won't fit in a 2006 case, but can I fit a 2009 or even a 2010 logic board in a 2008 case? If no, would a slight case mod fix this problem?

    2. What processors work with what? I don't need a high end machine. Can I use a single i7 processor? I've heard mix opinions on that. I am currently using the 2010 15" 2.4 GHz i5 Macbook Pro. So something that would match or maybe slightly beat that would be nice.

    I will probably have more questions as I go deeper into this project, but for now thats it. Thank you.
  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004

    I believe the fitting differences are too severe for a slight case mod. You'd be better off buying a new case.

    With a 2008 Mac Pro, you should use 2008 era Xeon Harpertowns.

    You'd need an 09 or '10 board to use an i7, which as mentioned above...
  3. fairbanx macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2010
    you may sell your 2008 chassis and get an 2009 one. afaik the 2008 logicboard, riser and ram are more expensive as for the 2009 model.
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Without physical modifications, a 2008 MP logic board. There are two different versions (one is for the 2.8/3.0 CPUs and another for the 3.2 CPUs). The inner framework of the 2009/10 machines is significantly different.

    Three Harpertown Xeon CPUs work: E5462 2.8GHz, E5472 3.0GHz and X5482 3.2GHz. i7s use an entirely different socket and chipset, so that would not be possible on a 2008 logic board.


    A logic board would set you back around $600-700, the memory risers are around $80 each (you need two) and a pair of used Harpertown CPUs (eBay is probably your best bet) can run around $600 for the 2.8GHz versions (E5462/SLANT). Then, you would need heatsinks for the CPUs ($200 each new) and of course, RAM. DDR2-800 FB-DIMMs are significantly more expensive than the DDR3 DIMMs the 2009/10 machines use.

    It would be easy to spend upwards of $2k just getting that machine running, while you can buy a fully functional 2008 Mac Pro for less than that.

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