Most affordable path to upgrading an 8 core 5,1 to 12 core?

skiltrip

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May 6, 2010
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What's the most affordable way to do the upgrade from 8 to 12 cores in a 5,1?

I used to build PCs before I switched to Mac 7 years ago, so I'm confident I could do the installation myself.

What vendor is the best to be looking at to buy the 6-core CPUs? Do I need anything else besides the processors ( and a new tube of Arctic Silver?)
 

MacUser2525

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Mar 17, 2007
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What's the most affordable way to do the upgrade from 8 to 12 cores in a 5,1?

I used to build PCs before I switched to Mac 7 years ago, so I'm confident I could do the installation myself.

What vendor is the best to be looking at to buy the 6-core CPUs? Do I need anything else besides the processors ( and a new tube of Arctic Silver?)
Ebay pair of x5650 goes for around $60 they run at 2.66ghz according to the sold listings plus shipping going to the x5680 running at 3.33mhz for around $200 if getting the right auction to higher if not. You will need a torx t15 screw driver to remove the heatsink and fan to fit the screw head in there something about 3" long or allen key forget the size needed. You can go with x5660 at 2.8 ghz or x5690 at 3.46ghz as well.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...0.Xx5650+pair.TRS0&_nkw=x5650+pair&_sacat=164

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...0.Xx5680+pair.TRS0&_nkw=x5680+pair&_sacat=164

Edit: Isopropyl Alcohol 99% to clean the surface of the heatsink before putting it back on as well is needed.
 
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utekineir

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Feb 20, 2008
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^ what he said

i recently (within the last couple weeks) changed my 2.4 octo into a 3.33 12. Waited for one of the ebay promos with high ebay bucks back and sent offers to various vendors till one accepted $200 shipped.

installation was painless other than getting ahold of a long 3mm hex.

110% worthit.
 
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usna92

macrumors member
Mar 16, 2011
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Seattle
I just did the upgrade from the x5650s to the x5680s. The cost of the x5690s just wasn't in my budget. I can give you a decent price on my x5650s if budget is really a concern. However, I would also look at anything to get you above the 3.0Ghz mark as well for a significant upgrade. I was also looking the at the x5675s.
 
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skiltrip

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May 6, 2010
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Lots of helpful replies. Thanks everybody!

If I'm going to do the work I might as well save up for the top tier CPUs (or close to it). The Mac Pro is for audio recording, Pro Tools, Logic, Studio One. Definitely could use as much horsepower as possible. The current 2.4ghz 8 core is pretty tough, but i still need to watch it as the plugin instances increase, especially when I need to overdub a part at 128 buffer. I'd like to not have to freeze tracks as often and just kind of not worry about CPU management as much.
 

skiltrip

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May 6, 2010
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RAM related question...

I may or may not ultimately embark on the CPU upgrade, but I will definitely be upping my RAM from the stock 8GB it has.

My understanding is 1333 RAM will work with either the quads or six-core CPUs, but the 1066 only works with the quad CPUs.

Would it be smarter to install 1333 RAM instead of the 1066 (I realize it runs at 1066 regardless on a quad)? Any negatives to running 1333 at 1066 rather than 1066 at its native speed?
 

MacUser2525

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Mar 17, 2007
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RAM related question...

I may or may not ultimately embark on the CPU upgrade, but I will definitely be upping my RAM from the stock 8GB it has.

My understanding is 1333 RAM will work with either the quads or six-core CPUs, but the 1066 only works with the quad CPUs.

Would it be smarter to install 1333 RAM instead of the 1066 (I realize it runs at 1066 regardless on a quad)? Any negatives to running 1333 at 1066 rather than 1066 at its native speed?
Someone added in two GB they only came with six as stock. Does not matter which you go with either will work with both a quad and hex core. If going with the 1066 then that is all it will run at if a hex is in the machine the controller on that chip will support it. The higher rated will work with quad by dropping back to the 1066 and give you a couple of percent more in a benchmark with a hex cpu, probably will never notice the difference in the real world unless doing a lot of ram intensive work then it will save you couple of seconds. The important idea is when upgrading if you want to have 1333 speed then all the sticks have to be that speed for it to work with a hex cpu and you may need to reset the PRAM to have it correctly do so.

Edit: Then there is idea that you have single or double sided again same type there to work as well as the buffered/unbuffered and registered. The modules all have to be the same type for them to work together. Better off trying to get all the ram needed/wanted from one seller in the amount you want to save the headache. As well you need to do it in pairs if three modules in use with one processors then three on second, in the same slots on each two you need two in the other...
 
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skiltrip

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Thanks. This is a photo of my current RAM. What's does the "1049" indicate to the far right. I found someone selling 4 more sticks but the number on theirs is "1034". Is this just a lot number, set number?
 

MacUser2525

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Mar 17, 2007
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Thanks. This is a photo of my current RAM. What's does the "1049" indicate to the far right. I found someone selling 4 more sticks but the number on theirs is "1034". Is this just a lot number, set number?
Yes would be a lot number the important parts you need to look for is the 2Rx8 the R being registered ram then the PC3 = DDR3 ram the 10600 the speed the 9-10 being the latency not sure if the E0 is part of that or not but the latency like the speed will drop back to the slowest ram in the machine. The second line is the part number, oh and the PC3-10600 is already 1333mhz ram in there. If the rest of the numbers other than that lot one match up then you should be good to use it. Do you have link to the modules you are looking at?

Edit: That is definitely not the original ram there were 6x1GB in there from the factory you have 4x2GB in that now for your 8GB.
 

skiltrip

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May 6, 2010
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Your welcome. Those should be what you need they are identical except for the lot number on them.
Great. Thanks again for the help. I ordered that set of RAM. Nice affordable way to up my system to 16GB RAM. Nice that I'll have 1333 RAM on board as well in the event that I eventually do the CPU upgrade too.
 

MacUser2525

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Mar 17, 2007
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Great. Thanks again for the help. I ordered that set of RAM. Nice affordable way to up my system to 16GB RAM. Nice that I'll have 1333 RAM on board as well in the event that I eventually do the CPU upgrade too.
16gb is the sweet spot really anything above that can be waste if not doing a lot of ram intensive work. For the processors if doing a lot of work that requires them then ~$70 for the x5650s is damn cheap way to get roughly a third more processing power, don't get too hung up on the speed though as it is a direct linear idea. So if you were to go with the x5680 at 3.33 over the 2.66 of the 50s you would get little over 25% more speed for roughly triple the price.
 

Babyboi

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2008
118
6
CPUs purchased for the cMP need to be delidded. If you buy them from eBay and they are already delidded, you won't have to do anything other than applying thermal paste. If you buy CPUs that have not been delidded, you will have to do that on your own. The tool needed to remove the heatsinks is a Hex key. and from what I remember the size 3.
 

seveej

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2009
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Helsinki, Finland
CPUs purchased for the cMP need to be delidded.
Beware, because AFAIK, only MP 4,1 machines use lidless CPU's and even then only when talking about dual CPU systems.

Nothing in this thread leads me to believe the OP has anything but a "real" 5,1, thus this talk about needing to de-lid CPU's is misleading.

RGDS,
 

Babyboi

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2008
118
6
Beware, because AFAIK, only MP 4,1 machines use lidless CPU's and even then only when talking about dual CPU systems.

Nothing in this thread leads me to believe the OP has anything but a "real" 5,1, thus this talk about needing to de-lid CPU's is misleading.

RGDS,
You could be right. I never owned a true 5,1 machine. Sorry if this is misleading. I only have experience with a 4,1 that was upgraded to 5,1.
 

utekineir

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2008
327
1
CPUs purchased for the cMP need to be delidded. If you buy them from eBay and they are already delidded, you won't have to do anything other than applying thermal paste. If you buy CPUs that have not been delidded, you will have to do that on your own. The tool needed to remove the heatsinks is a Hex key. and from what I remember the size 3.
false,

upgrade literally took minutes on a 5.1 short of needing a long 3mm hex it was nothing out of the ordinary relative to a normal cpu swap.
 

cpnotebook80

macrumors 6502a
Feb 4, 2007
816
75
Toronto
I have a 4,1 upgraded to 5,1 and currently has 12 cores at 2.93ghz. Its 2 x5670 xeon processors. Should I upgrade or is it worth going to higher cpu at this point? I have 32gb or ram but my graphics card needs a boost tho.
 
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MacUser2525

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Mar 17, 2007
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Canada
I have a 4,1 upgraded to 5,1 and currently has 12 cores at 2.93ghz. Its 2 x5670 xeon processors. Should I upgrade or is it worth going to higher cpu at this point? I have 32gb or ram but my graphics card needs a boost tho.
You will get roughly 15% increase if you go to 3.46 x5690s so if the crazy money you will need to spend on them is justified by your processor intensive workload then it can be worth it, most times you will never notice that second or two you will save.
 

ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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I have a 4,1 upgraded to 5,1 and currently has 12 cores at 2.93ghz. Its 2 x5670 xeon processors. Should I upgrade or is it worth going to higher cpu at this point? I have 32gb or ram but my graphics card needs a boost tho.
It is hard to make a recommendation without knowing the intended software.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,239
6,842
Hong Kong
I have a 4,1 upgraded to 5,1 and currently has 12 cores at 2.93ghz. Its 2 x5670 xeon processors. Should I upgrade or is it worth going to higher cpu at this point? I have 32gb or ram but my graphics card needs a boost tho.
I don't think we can answer your question, we don't even know how you use your cMP, and are you limiting by CPU / GPU.
 
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