Mac Pro Processor Fried, Need Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JohnGillilan, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. JohnGillilan macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I have an Early 2009 2.66 Nehalem Quad-Core Mac Pro (6GB). It recently stopped working. A authorized 3rd party repair shop ran some diagnostics and told me the processor is fried, and quoted me $500-$600 for parts & labor to replace it.

    Is it worth sinking that money into a machine that old?

    I was considering purchasing a new Mac Mini instead to pair with my 24" LED Cinema Display. Is that a better investment? Is a current Mac Mini a "better" machine than a 4 year old Mac Pro?

    I'm not doing too much heavy lifting. Some light Creative Suite and ProTools work, but nothing too intensive.

    Any advice?
  2. Umbongo, Jun 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013

    Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Yes, but do it yourself. You can buy that processor on eBay for $60 or a 3.33GHz one for $250. There are guides on this forum on how to replace it.
  3. JohnGillilan thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I looked into that initially, but it seemed like the early 2009 models specifically were much more challenging to replace than the 2010 and newer. And that you could easily damage some of the pins, leading to much more costly damages.
  4. chris.k macrumors member

    May 22, 2013
    No. The single core 2009 is a breeze to upgrade the CPU - and there's no pins to bend.... It has the exact same parts as the 2010-2012 system. Only the firmware is different. (which you can easily flash in 10 seconds for free to make your 2009 become a 2010-12 machine)

    It's the dual-processor (8 core) one which uses lidless CPUs which takes some extra care.

    Your 2009 system is an ideal upgrader's base machine. You can push that all the way up to a 3.46 Ghz hexa-core for <$700 if you want.
  5. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    Correct and on point.
  6. leon771 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2011
    Did they mention the logicboard was damaged as well? I can't see how a processor can fry and not have any other components damaged as well.
  7. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Yeah. I have the same machine and had the same thing problem. Did you take it into the Apple store? I did when mine fried and they said they couldn't tell if it was the processor or the daughter board. Fixing the proc would be expensive (300-400 or something) but the daughter board was a mere $120. I took my chances and it was the daughter board, Easy and done.
  8. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    +1 on the motherboard comments. if the CPU has been fried, one should be asking "why?"

    popping a new CPU in your machine only to have it fried again by a motherboard fault won't be fun...

    then again, if you can pick up ANY compatible cpu cheap (i.e., not what you necessarily want) to test the motherboard first it may be worthwhile.

    (i.e., test with low end CPU, if it doesn't fry, then upgrade to something better).
  9. digitalgum macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2013
    I used to work in mac repairs.... 10 times out of 10 it was logic board related. You will of course need to determine if it is the processor board at fault and I would push the apple guy to tell you if it is.

    As others have said I would buy a 6-core 3.33Ghz CPU after changing the board seeing as you will be replacing anyway.

    Found this link to a cpu and board, which if you win, will be cheaper then buying just the board.

    Brand New Mac Pro (2009) QUAD CORE CPU Board with 2.66ghz Processor:
  10. JohnGillilan thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Thank you all for your help!

    I just spoke with the repair shop that ran the diagnostic. The only additional information he could give me was that the temperature sensor of the processor indicated there was a problem, but that is it difficult to tell if it is the processor or the board. So it sounds like their diagnosis involved some assumptions.

    Does a temperature indicator issue narrow it down based on anyone's experience?

    Would a Genius Bar appointment be able to tell me definitively what the issue is? I can't think of many things I dislike more than carrying a MacPro through a shopping mall, so I've been trying to avoid this.... :)
  11. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    I've found you need to be super specific with your request for an appointment. If you're not crazy specific, you get more of a general tech support kid whose job is to tell people their ipod is broken or they need to charge it to have it continue working.

    If you're crazy demanding with specificity, you actually get a real tech to help you.
  12. digitalgum macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2013
    Processor board then...

    Replace it and upgrade to 6-core 3.33ghz..

    Do not let Apple rip you off any more then necessary.. leave that to the guys buying the black trashcan next year

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