MacPro 4,1 W3540 2.9 to MacPro 5,1 W3580 3.3 Upgrade - Step by Step Shots - Success!

chris.k

macrumors member
Original poster
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
Wanted to do my "first post" to this board (long time lurker, first time poster), to share my own experience and guide others - so that their own upgrades are as easy and painless.

Just wanted to share my experience:

I received a used/refurbed MacPro 2009 from my work (free of charge), and decided to do some small investments in the system to bring it up to speed.

1. Flashed my 4,1 to a 5,1 via MacEFIRom's tool on netkas.org:
http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.0.html


2. Purchased a W3580 (Quad Core Xeon 3.33Ghz) on Ebay, $299.00 incl shipping

w3580.jpg


3. Popped open the Processor Tray

base-1.jpg

base-2.jpg


4. Swapped the CPU

base-3.jpg


5. Added Cooling Paste

cool-1.jpg
 
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chris.k

macrumors member
Original poster
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
cool-2.jpg

Closed it up:

finished.jpg

Boot - Success!

oxs-1.jpg

osx-2.jpg

osx-3.jpg

______________________________________

This was a no-hassle upgrade. Thanks to all the Threads here on MacRumours which helped me along the way.

DDR3 RAM Note: My RAM at the time was 12 Gb of DDR-1066 ECC, which the W3580 could indeed used at their native 1066 Mhz (worked!). I have subsequently replaced the 1066 Mhz RAM with 24 Gb of DDR-1333.

W3580 Xeon CPU (ebay): $299
24 Gb DDR3-1333 (ebay): $189

Total: $500 invested

Total time: 20 minutes... including taking photos.

- CK.

P.S. Hi to dpny, MacRogrs8, Xav8tor, Topper, christian, et al.
 
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MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,821
212
Canada
You do not mention it but if the 1333 ram is only seen as 1066 then you need to reset the PRAM to have it is used at the proper speed, nice post even without that.
 

GXPvince

macrumors regular
May 12, 2008
114
0
Great Deal on the processor!

Edit: Thinking it was a hex.. I don't know pricing on the quads.
 

chris.k

macrumors member
Original poster
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
You do not mention it but if the 1333 ram is only seen as 1066 then you need to reset the PRAM to have it is used at the proper speed, nice post even without that.

Thanks for highlighting this.

Yes - users, you do not get 1333 instantly, the RAM must support it, and a PRAM reset is in order.

However, the W3580 can also slow down it's memory controllers and use 1066 RAM... so youre safe there on first boot.

If you indeed have already have DDR3-1333 RAM installed, a quick PRAM reset will fix you up.

Good catch.!

- CK.
 
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Macsonic

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2009
1,486
23
Congrats Chris K on your "new" machine. Though 1333mhz is better, the 1066mhz ram is still adequate for today's usage. Enjoy your Mac Pro!
 

GP-SE

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2013
316
43
hows the performance from 2.93Ghz to 3.33Ghz?
My 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 also has a 2.93Ghz CPU, I was thinking of doing the Quad 3.33Ghz, curious to know if it's worth it, or I should save up for the 6 Core 3.33Ghz.
 

chris.k

macrumors member
Original poster
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
hows the performance from 2.93Ghz to 3.33Ghz?
My 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 also has a 2.93Ghz CPU, I was thinking of doing the Quad 3.33Ghz, curious to know if it's worth it, or I should save up for the 6 Core 3.33Ghz.
Subjectively, the boost is quite noticeable. The QPI speed going from 4.8 to 6.4 GT I think contiributed heavily to this (all I/O operations are boosted 33% as well due to the faster QPI).

The 4 and 6 core have the same boost speeds, same QPI, same Ram speeds, etc. and the W3680 (6 core) was $599, so I couldn't justify the extra expense for what, in single core operation (I.e. Xplane 10) wouldn't provide any net benefit.

It was a cheap boost to get better single threaded performance. 3.33 Ghz and 6.4 QPI w/DDR 1333 was the end-goal of the exercise to feed that hungry GTX670 in the belly of the Pro. :)

My advice is if you can pick up a W3580 for cheep, then do it - else save up and get the 3.46 6 core W3690 (i7-990X) chip instead to absolutely "Max Out" the system for the future (which is the fastest you can go)

Cheers. !
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,401
6,487
I just did the same upgrade myself 20 minutes ago, except in a 5,1.

I thought about the hex too, but the price differential in the US is even bigger than in Australia. I got the W3580 for $130 shipped. $130 for a quad vs $500 to $600 for a hex made it a no-brainer.

The W3530 is selling for $70ish, which makes this a $60 upgrade. Maybe the best bang for buck I've experienced in a long long time. But I'll keep the 2.8 around until my Applecare expires in October.
 
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Yidahoo

macrumors newbie
May 1, 2013
20
0
I did a similar thing last week, going from a quad W3520 2.66 to an i-7 990x Hex at 3.45ghz. As you say the entire process is very simple and gives a massive boost to 09/10 Mac Pros. My geekbench went from 9500 to 16033 which is at the top end for any single processor Mac Pro. FCPX, the main reason for upgrading is much, much smoother.

I suspect this will be quite a popular upgrade for other 09/10 quad users
 

bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
Damn you all and your tasty, enticing upgrade ideas! hah! You really have me pondering some sort of upgrade to my Dual-Quad 2.93Ghz 2009 model.

What is the ABSOLUTE fastest Dual CPU setup I could go?

Scott
2 x Intel Xeon X5690 6-core, so 12 core 3.46 GHz.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
4,185
2
Here
Subjectively, the boost is quite noticeable. The QPI speed going from 4.8 to 6.4 GT I think contiributed heavily to this (all I/O operations are boosted 33% as well due to the faster QPI).

The 4 and 6 core have the same boost speeds, same QPI, same Ram speeds, etc. and the W3680 (6 core) was $599, so I couldn't justify the extra expense for what, in single core operation (I.e. Xplane 10) wouldn't provide any net benefit.

It was a cheap boost to get better single threaded performance. 3.33 Ghz and 6.4 QPI w/DDR 1333 was the end-goal of the exercise to feed that hungry GTX670 in the belly of the Pro. :)

My advice is if you can pick up a W3580 for cheep, then do it - else save up and get the 3.46 6 core W3690 (i7-990X) chip instead to absolutely "Max Out" the system for the future (which is the fastest you can go)

Cheers. !
I agree I went from a 3520 to a 3570 twas a nice improvement.
 

Mac Hammer Fan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2004
779
109
Belgium
Welcome to the club. ;)
I have a Hex 3.33 installed in my 2009 Mac Pro (previous Quad 2.66) too. (after firmware update)
Runs great.
I was lucky with my RAM. I didn't need to buy new modules. They show 1333 MHz.
 

chris.k

macrumors member
Original poster
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
Thanks Bax. Appreciate the info. Sounds somewhat tempting - though I wonder how much more performance I would get from this over my existing dual quad 2.93Ghz?
The X5680/90s will run at the higher 6.4GT QPI, which I feel has made a substantial difference, regardless of the MHz boost from 2.9 to 3.3/3.4 (depending on which X-chips you end up settling on).

BTW, the difference between the 1066 vs 1333 memory is tiny, since the 1066 Ram usually operates at 7T timing and the 1333, albeit faster, runs at 9T timings, meaning it's "a wash" at the end of the day in practical purposes.... So you're fine to keep your existing RAM.
 

scottrichardson

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2007
496
4
Ulladulla, NSW Australia
The X5680/90s will run at the higher 6.4GT QPI, which I feel has made a substantial difference, regardless of the MHz boost from 2.9 to 3.3/3.4 (depending on which X-chips you end up settling on).

BTW, the difference between the 1066 vs 1333 memory is tiny, since the 1066 Ram usually operates at 7T timing and the 1333, albeit faster, runs at 9T timings, meaning it's "a wash" at the end of the day in practical purposes.... So you're fine to keep your existing RAM.
I actually have 1333MHz RAM in here already... AND updated the firmware already LOL.