Mac pro processor upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Joell, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. Joell macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2010
    So i was wondering, if i get the base model 2.8 Ghz quad-core mac pro would i be able to upgrade it in the future or could the processor be swapped for a westmere ?
  2. dp84 macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    I'm interested too! My 2.80 base + 5870 is on the way (and I'm happy with this for now) but in the future what kind of cpu works for upgrade? Only Nehalem W35xx series or Westmere W36xx too?

    The Mainboard is the same for Nehalem and Westmere??
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yes, you can, but only to CPUs with D0 and B1 stepping. Others aren't likely to work because of the CPU microcode in the firmware.

    And Intel's next-gen platform (Sandy Bridge) will move to entirely new CPU sockets as well.

    I'd say to buy what your needs require now for your budget. In a lot of cases, upgrading CPUs on MPs later on ends up being more expensive (and more of a hassle) than simply selling your old machine and putting the money towards a new one. Xeon processors are not cheap. There are exceptions, of course.
  4. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    2009 machines will only take chips with D0 stepping (Nehalem Xeons). You need a 2010 Mac Pro backplane board and processor board to be able to accept anything with B1 stepping, that would be a Westmere chip such as the 3.33GHz W3680. You can install this chip on a 2.8GHz 2010 Mac Pro but not on a 2.93GHz 2009 Mac Pro. Funny, huh?
  5. Joell thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2010
    I was planning on getting the 2010 2.8 Ghz for now but will very likely want to be able to upgrade in the future
    would it also be possible to expand from quad to 6 or 8 core? or am i simply limited to quad configuration
  6. schulmaster macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2010
    As WardC said, you can upgrade to the hexacorre W3680 from a 2010 quad configuration, but not to the 8 or 12 core configurations, because those require slots for 2 processors.
    Single Processor power Macs used to have an open slot, so they could be upgraded to dual processor configs, but the MacPro boards do not have this option.
  7. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Why not just buy the hex now? You won't be spending much more (~$100) to just buy it from apple, and you won't have to deal with messing around with delicate, expensive CPUs when switching. If you know you want it, I'd just buy now.
  8. Zak.V macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2010
    If you were planning to go 2010 2.8 to 3.33 hex upgrade would it be better to buy 1333mhz ram from the get go? That way when the upgrade happens everything can run at max speed ?
  9. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    One possibility is current budget only allows for a quad. Either that, or the OP only needs a quad for now but wants the possibility to upgrade down the line. Hopefully, the hex will also drop in price over time while it's still available.

    Yes, that's exactly what you should do. 1333mhz RAM is so close in price to its 1066mhz equivalent that it makes perfect sense to do so.
  10. Appleplanet macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2010
    Salvador - Brasil
    Do you know if it's possible to upgrade MacPro Nehalem 2.26 to 2.66 Ghz Westmare with the following processors : Intel Hexa Core Xeon® Processor X5650 12M Cache, 2.66 GHz, 6.40 GT/s Intel® QPI part #:BX80614X5650 ? Could you help me telling if it’s possible to upgrading MacPro Nehalem octa core 2.26 Ghz to Mac Pro Westmare hexa core 2.66 Ghz ?
  11. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Just read the thread. The answer has already been given. To sum this up, the simple answer is no, unless you swap your mother board where the EFI sits on.

  12. spdntckt macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2005
    Wow.. so i currently have a 2.93ghz nehalem quad core... this means i cant put in a hexa-core processor? is it a real HW issue or a firmware thing?

    it would be awesome to get one more bump in performance before having to sell the machine :(
  13. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    You could upgrade to a faster Nehalem. But Westmere will require new boards. If you can get hold of those parts, you could drop a hex in there.

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