Mac Pro Motherboard (do they all have slots for 2 CPU's)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jeremyrx7, May 2, 2008.

  1. jeremyrx7 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I've been searching for this answer everywhere for over a week. I've tried many websites and forums and I have been unable to find this discussed.

    I have the ability to buy a mac pro with the student developer discount, and I was thinking if all the motherboards are the same I could just purchase the single 2.8GHz quad core and then later I could potentially just pick up another processor and stick it in myself.

    I would think if this was possible it would be written about extensively, and since I haven't seen anything I assume it is not possible, however any guidance anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jeremy
     
  2. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  3. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #4
    Your welcome. And welcome to the forums... The MacRumors addiction begins....
     
  4. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    The discussion in that thread is very interesting. Looking at the ADC store page, I could get the second processor for another $400. Seeing as how they sell on ebay for over $800 and I would also get the apple heatsink do you think it would make sense for me to sell the processor at a discount of say $200 and keep the heatsink for myself in case I want to upgrade later (the $200 I profit could be used to buy more RAM).

    Thoughts?
     
  5. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #6
    I'm confused. You want to buy a processor just for the heatsink to upgrade later? Question I have for you is, what will you be using the MacPro for mostly?
     
  6. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

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    #7
    he's saying he'd buy both, and sell one for now.

    sounds like a lot of hassle for a couple hundred bucks, but i haven't heard anything that would imply that it wouldn't work.....

    of you do, report back and let us know how it works out.
     
  7. GotPro macrumors 6502

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    #8
    A lot of hassle for a few hundred bucks? HA! :)

    If I could get $200 just for popping a CPU out of a computer and sticking it on ebay, I'd be doing that ALL DAY LONG baby! :p
     
  8. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    The main use will be for video editing (not HD) and some web design. I don't think I need 8 cores today, but I want to have that option in the future (plus it has higher resale value). The thread you linked to above mentioned that the hardest part of putting in a new processor 2 or 3 years down the line is locating a heatsink without being ripped off by a reseller. So.... I thought it would make sense to hang on to the heatsink to avoid that issue as I should not have trouble finding a matching processor down the road. Also, using a ADC discount allows me to make a little profit to put more RAM in the machine.

    Am I not thinking clearly?

    Would it be that big of a hassle to pop out a CPU and post it on ebay or a place like this? I assumed it would be fairly straight forward?
     
  9. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #10
    How hardcore will you be with editing? If you are using top of the line programs like Final Cut Studio, I would recommend you just get the 8 cores now. Personally, if I were encoding for DVD I would rather have the machine take 5-10 minutes rather 20-30min. I say go all out and get the 8 cores. Well worth it in the end. Unless money is the issue. But if you are spending that much already, what's another 500? ;)
     
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #11
    Any alterations you make will affect the warranty so you are running a risk as soon as you remove or add a processor. Your best bet is to buy the 4 core if you aren't going to be utilizing 8 in the near future and then sell the whole machine and buy the next generation when you find yourself needing more processor power.
     
  11. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Money is always an issue, especially when in school! Having said that, I am wrestling with exactly what you are saying. However I wasn't originally going to even get the Mac Pro as I thought it was out of my price range (then I found out about ADC). I really only have about $1700 to spend, but was willing to stretch it to $2000 to get the machine I really want. So for me an extra $500 is about a 30% premium, which in my mind is quite significant.

    Knowing this would you still recommend the same thing? Thanks for the replies by the way! :cool:
     
  12. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Thank you for adding your opinion. I was only thinking of upgrading after 3 years when AppleCare is up anyway. At that point I was thinking the cost of a processor could be as low as $300 and wouldn't a 8 core fetch me significantly more $$$ when re-selling?

    edit: whoops I see what you mean I lose the warranty when I pull out the second processor. Hmmm, I will have to consider that...
     
  13. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

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    #14
    Dude...for one castrating a perfectly good 8 core MP down to 4 is flat out sacrilege regardless if you use it for solitaire or encoding/transcoding all day.

    Secondly, what a PITA.

    Thirdly, what if you bend pins or drop the processor or fail to reseat the heatsink or just generally fudge it up? If you don't need the big boy, just get the single processor version, if you ask me.
     
  14. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #15
    I hear ya with the money/school thing. I was dumb enough to buy a G4 Dual 800 for $3299 when it first came out. I usually take that price and say "wow, the MacPro was definitely worth it now." lol Even an iMac blows the G4 away.

    Will you be using Final Cut Studio or iMovie? Are you in school for Video Editing and stuff? Will you be editing for a long long time? (Just trying to see what the best computer actually would be for you.)
     
  15. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    I apologize for the talk of castration, lol, but I'm a cheap bastard. I'm pretty comfortable under the hood having lots of experience building/destroying PC's since the early 90's (when I was still in single digits :)) so I'm not terribly worried as I have learned my lessons and am very careful. But the risks do exist and i acknowledge them.
     
  16. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I'm actually in school for Mechanical Engineering. I just enjoy a lot of diverse things. I make small movies for friends and family, sometimes using iMovie, sometime using Final Cut. Websites for myself and friends, and occasionally for business opportunities. I have a G4 17" Powerbook I bought back in 2002 (instead of a freaking car!) which I still use, so I expect to use this machine for a long time, unless I feel I need an upgrade and the re-sale price is right. And about the price for the Powerbook, yeah, my girlfriends new MacMini is faster than my $3000 Powerbook, sad. :(
     
  17. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #18
    I dunno man. I think you should just go the iMac route. Unless you will definitely be utilizing all 8-cores someday. The MacPro is so powerful if you were gonna be using every program that comes with Final Cut Studio. If money weren't the issue, I'd say 8-core MacPro. But since it is, I would say iMac or 4-core MacPro, then sell down the road for something bigger.
     
  18. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Let me write out my thought process and I'll let you guys correct me where I'm not thinking straight.

    Expandability: I like the idea of being able to upgrade easily (compared to other Macs) since I don't really know what my needs are going to look like 2,3,4 or 5 years from now
    Life Expectancy: I like buying the higher end Pro systems because if I don't really need the high end stuff 4 or 5 years from now these will still be viable for me to use for my everyday tasks even then.
    Re-Sale: From my research I've seen that the Pro machines, in particular the middle of the road Pro machines have the highest re-sale value (as a percentage of their purchase price). This is why I was thinking about upgrading to a dual processor set-up later down the road.

    The other thing I need to consider is that I already have a very nice 22" monitor that I received as a birthday present from my father knowing I am looking to get a new computer. Plus I have an old very nice 19" monitor that I used before. So the iMac option loses some of it's allure because of this.

    edit: Also, I really think if I go Mac Pro I should do the 8 core because with the ADC discount I can at least sell the second processor and make a couple hundred dollars which will help the money situation.
     
  19. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #20
    Are they both LCD monitors? I would think the 22 is, but is the 19? If the 19 is CRT, throw it away and just connect the 22 to an iMac for 2 screens. lol

    As far as buying an 8-core MacPro and ripping it apart? Wouldn't recommend. With my history, if I were to take out a processor, sell it, and just end up buying once down the road, it wouldn't work for me. Something would go wrong. Just buy the 8-core and keep the 8-core. Future proof! :)
     
  20. jeremyrx7 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    They are both LCD monitors. I'm thinking more and more that it probably would be best to just buy the 4 core machine. I dunno. I like the idea of selling the other processor and making a couple hundred dollars though.

    Thanks to everyone who posted.
     
  21. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

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    #22
    No, you aren't thinking clearly (and not trying to sound offensive, hopefully, but I just went through hell in a similar situation, and no, I wasn't thinking clearly)... and as someone who did CPU upgrades on his Rev A Mac Pro just to have the mobo die on him, I speak from a position of first-hand experience.

    Buying a pair of CPUs at the same time that /match/, is actually not too hard. However, try buying a matching CPU a month+ after you bought the first one. Difficult as hell, and you wind up paying through the nose for it anyways if you do find the twin you need.

    The core problem is that you can't just buy a boxed Harpertown proc of the same speed and drop it in. Each revision of a particular Intel CPU as an sSpec number on it. The sSpec numbers have to match between the CPU you already have, and the CPU you want to buy. If they don't match, you aren't guaranteed to boot.

    So, in your case, trying to do this will involve taking the CPU you want to sell out of the case, writing down the sSpec number somewhere safe, selling it... and then when you want the second processor, hope you haven't lost the sSpec number (otherwise you have to pull out the second proc and look at it), and then hope that sSpec number is currently for sale somewhere.

    If you think you /might/ want 8 cores in the future, either buy it now, or push it off into the next computer you buy. It will save you hassle.

    In my case, I bought a pair of Clovertowns to upgrade my quad-core Mac Pro to 8-way. That was easy. However, one failed, I exchanged it. The seller couldn't find a replacement, so refunded my money. I then spent MONTHS trying to find a compatible CPU for a reasonable price. I still feel I overpaid for the second CPU, and that I should have just grabbed a Harpertown system if I wanted an 8-core system.
     
  22. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

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    #23

    Yikes!

    sounds like your experience is the best argument i've heard against messing around and trying to upgrade....

    (at least while this stuff is still reasonably new.... 3-4 years down the road is probably a different story)


    to the OP:
    my 2 cents, go for the 4 core or top imac. if you need more hard drives for the imac, it's easy enough to daisy chain firewire.

    maybe you could then ebay one of your current screens?
     
  23. Krevnik macrumors 68030

    Krevnik

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    #24
    Well, 3-4 years down the road it will be just as bad, but the issues you have finding a particular sSpec will be different. The general rule of thumb is:

    Buy it as a pair, or don't, but don't expect to be able to turn a single into a pair without a lot of effort, patience and waiting.

    And really, in my case, I was just pissed because the hardware failed (unrelated to the CPU upgrade, thankfully) shortly after I finally got the twin I needed. I was hoping my Rev A would last a bit longer before I was 'encouraged' to upgrade.
     
  24. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #25
    Now is this why your current MacPro is dead? Or did something else happen to it?
     

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