MacPro 2010 2 x 2,4 GHz upgrade paths

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Broc27, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. Broc27 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #1
    Hello there!

    I recently bought my very first MacPro and I am VERY happy about it! It replaced an iMac and my principal reasons to go Pro were for the easily swappable hard drives (just installed a SSD as a boot drive) and the video card (I'm a moderate gamer but I do play the latest games).

    However I chose the 2 x 2,4 GHz model because I REALLY want to keep it for a long time and it offered more upgrade paths than the hexacore, which was my other considered option.

    What I want to know right now, after reading information on a few sites but not finding my definitive answer, is this:

    1. Where can I find the list of CPUs I can upgrade to? I don't want to send my machine to OWC, doing it myself is part of the fun for me. I found this list on intel's site: http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?series=47915
    Do all these CPUs work in a MacPro? For example right now I am very interested in the X5647. I also read a bit about steppings, should I worry about this? In summary, how exactly do I determine that a cpu is compatible with my Mac?

    2. I need to buy RAM right now. Since I WILL upgrade the cpus later can I just buy 1333 RAM right away to use with my current processors? That way when I get cpus that support that speed I do not have to upgrade my RAM again? I know it will run at 1066 in the meantime.

    Thanks a lot!

    And by the way, for those that wonder, I use my computer a LOT with the following software:

    Adobe Photoshop
    Lightroom
    Ableton Live
    Propellerhead Reason
    iMovie

    I'm a serious amateur in both photography and music which are a source of small income but they are not my main job (for now). I know I don't need as much speed as the MacPro gives me (with software that don't take advantage of all 8 cores) but I am planning the keep this beast for much longer than most do as I am trying to reduce my consumption of electronics (these things pollute like hell to produce and when they are thrown away/recycled). Keeping and using the same computer for years until it is really obsolete is a source of pride for me : )

    Thanks again, this forum is always helpful!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    1. All those CPUs will work because all Westmere-EP CPUs use the same stepping (B1). You could take a look at X5570 instead. I couldn't find any X5647s in eBay but X5570 went for around 600$ each (non-ES version). It is the same CPU in terms of performance but 45nm instead of 32nm (plus some other minor differences). However, IMO X5650 which is 2.66GHz 6-core is a better deal. It is 200$ more than X5570 but should be more future-proof since it has more cores. For your usage the X5570 might be faster though since the apps you use cannot take advantage of the extra cores.

    2. X5647 does not support 1333MHz DDR3. X5570 and X5650 do though. Either way, 1333MHz DDR3 won't deliver a noticeable bump in real world so I would just stick with 1066MHz. That way you can use your existing modules as well.
     
  3. Broc27 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the info Hellhammer.

    ...

    Never thought I'd say thanks to someone called Hellhammer ; )

    1. As I understand it I can also use Nehalem parts from last year like the X5570. Great but the X5570 seems to be more around 1000$ on ebay, I wonder how you found it at 600$. In fact everywhere I look the X5650 is way cheaper. I also found some "open box" X5680 on newegg at 1300$, they are mighty tempting.

    2. As for RAM as I understand it my 1066 sticks will be compatible with cpus that usually run 1333 RAM? So I can buy my RAM right now for my 2,4 and use it later even if I go on a 12-core spree?

    3. Oh, and one last thing: where is the X5647? Can't find it anywhere...
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    You can use both Nehalem (5500) and Westmere (5600) parts in your machine.

    However, given the price of the Westmere processors, I'd rather use those. Although the performance of Nehalem vs. Westmere is almost identical (clock per clock), the new instruction sets of Westmere are tempting.

    Example:
    Lion will support full disc encryption which should run considerably faster on Westmere due to the new AES-NI instruction set.

    As for RAM, given the prices of 1333MHz, which are either identical to 1066 (OWC etc.) or even cheaper than 1066, you should definitely use 1333. The 6.4GT/s QPI processors all support 1333 so there is no need to use 1066MHz RAM, although it would be supported by all processors.
    The X5647 you're looking at uses a 5.86GT/s QPI, so RAM speed will be limited to 1066MHz, but price and upgradability speak for 1333MHz RAM.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Looks like the 599$ one I was looking at was an ES version after all (link). This one is a normal retail version with D0 stepping but the price also went up by 160$ (very close to X5650 now).

    Looks like the X5647 isn't a very popular one so it is harder to find from regular resellers.
     
  6. Broc27 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #6
    So I can use 1333MHz even with my current cpus, right? If that is the case I will order it now as it is almost exactly the same price as 1066MHz memory.
     
  7. MattDSLR macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    Thats what I use 1333 but it runs at 1066 until you swap out chips
     
  8. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #8
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    They use a different stepping (B0 instead of B1 like in current chips) so it's impossible to say. Some other ES CPU offers said that it may not work with all computers. Someone must try them in order to figure out is B0 stepping supported.
     
  10. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #10
    Makes sense... will just have to decide is it worth a $500 gamble. I supose worst case I could just throw them back up on eBay. I don't think there would be any danger of frying my MP so may be worth a shot.

    Hmm....
     
  11. Broc27 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #11
    Tom Sawyer, I did a small research and it seems like nobody tried it yet (or nobody reported it). You can try it and tell us but it seems too good to be true.

    As for me since the x5647 does seem to exist only in theory I am in perfect hesitation between a pair of e5640, x5650, x5660 or x5670. Everything above the e5640 is clearly overkill RIGHT NOW but looks so much better for THE FUTURE.

    I have a love/hate relationship with choices like this.
     
  12. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    MAybe if you bug the guys at OWC enough, they'll give it a try themselves ;)
     
  13. Broc27 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #13
    And now for one more question:

    Can you use a dual processor Mac Pro with only a single processor in place? For example, could I buy a X5680, use it alone for awhile and then install a second one in a few months?
     
  14. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    ::1
    #14
    I dont think so because of the Dual QPI. I might be mistaken.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #15
    I think nanofrog has said that you can do that.
     
  16. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #16
    Rolled the dice and bought 2. I'll post the results when they arrive... :)
     
  17. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    You do that. You're going with the X5570 ES, right? For that price it's indeed tempting (thinking of upgrading my E5520s since I can sell them for more than the ES would cost).
     
  18. Tom Sawyer, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

    Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #18
    Yes, I went with the X5570. I considered getting two of the sellers W5580's, but at $399 each (still killer for a nehalem 3.2!) it was a bit more than I wanted to bite off on what might end up being just an experiment. As you mentioned, the $270 price is sweet because I can sell my E5620 procs and hopefully at least break even. There is no doubt the 2.93 procs (with 1333mhz DDR3) will be faster than the stock 2.4's with 1066mhz DDR3. If I can do it for little cost, it's a no brainer. IMHO, warranty is not an issue, otherwise Apple would have put 'warranty void if removed' stickers on the socket arm/HSF like they do with the iMacs.
     
  19. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #19
    Got the X5570 ES chips in today. Unfortunately, I'm sorry to report that this was a 100% fail. :mad: Switch out was easy of course, done carefully, blah blah... and the machine powered up fine... but no 'post' if you will... no video... just sat there running. It was pretty obvious that the Mac Pro was not happy with the chips. Pulled the X5570's and put E5620's back in... and it's running like a champ.

    So... this may not answer the question for ALL ES chips, but I think it's safe to say that Apple is giving the big FAIL to either the ES chips altogether or at least this stepping.

    Off to eBay.... ;)
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #20
    Sorry to hear that :( Well, now it has been tried so a big thanks to you for taking this risk. Hopefully you will be able to sell them for a good price.
     
  21. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #21
    thank you for trying. hopefully you can sell them on ebay.
     
  22. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #22

    You bet... they just sold, the experiment cost me $100 bucks. Oh well. It was worth a shot, truly glad I didn't go for those 3.2's!!!

    Off to the next adventure.... :D
     
  23. JollyJoeJoe, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    JollyJoeJoe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #23
    Good on you for trying.

    I was pondering on getting 2x X5680 ES for cheaper instead of 2x X5690 retail.

    Now I am not touching the ES with a 50-foot pole! Even the X5680 can be non-B1 (D0) etc. stepping for the ES edition it seems. So not worth the risk.

    But I also can't find anywhere on the net someone confirming that retail X5690 works 100% on the Mac pro 2010. Only have people successfully trying the X5680 retail. But it should work though same stepping B1, same family etc.

    Anyone know for sure about the X5690 ?

    Just saw some ES X5680 CPU-z screen grabs and it says Revision B1, stepping 2.
    So it looks to be B1, but can it still get rejected?
     
  24. 100Years macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    #24
    I wouldn't expect that you'd see a very (if any) noticeable difference between the 5680 & 5690 -- 3.33GHz vs 3.46GHz.
     
  25. JollyJoeJoe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #25
    Of course I wouldn't see a major difference if any. The problem is retails prices for the X5690 are about the same as for the X5680. The ES X5680 can be had for a better price, bur than again it's ES
     

Share This Page