New Mac Pro 1 CPU -> 2 CPU?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by crontab, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. crontab macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    #1
    I am considering buying a new mac pro. Can anyone tell me that if I buy one with single CPU, can I upgrade it later by adding another CPU? In other words, do I get a dual CPU motherboard or not?
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
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    New York City, NY
    #2
    Yes, you get a motherboard with two CPU sockets. I don't know where you can find the second heatsink, though.
     
  3. gunbu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #3
    I have one of the new Mac Pros with only one processor and it does indeed have the same motherboard as the 2 processor version. So it should definitely be possible to install an additional processor in the future. I'll be waiting a couple of years so they come down in price a little. I think the 2.8 xeon is about $845 right now.
     
  4. iFizz macrumors regular

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    Apr 2, 2008
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    Third planet from the star called "Sun"
    #4
    This is interesting information. If you buy the additional processor later, does it come with the proper heatsink (the one Apple uses)?
     
  5. FireSlash macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #5
    No, you'll need to source one from an apple parts store, or more realistically ebay.
     
  6. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

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    Aug 21, 2007
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    USA
    #7
    Is it really worth it in the long run? Think about it. You'll save a couple hundred bucks now, but later on (3 years?) you'll have to spend a couple hundred bucks to get the 2nd proc and the Genuine Apple heatsink. Try and buy one for a G5 on eBay. It's impossible. Years from now, it'll be just as hard to get a Jan 08 Mac Pro heatsink on eBay. And you'll probably pay through the nose from a 3rd party distributor. All to refit a 3 year old machine? Just to save $200-$300 bucks? I say go for it now. It assures that your machine is less-obsolete for longer, and holds a higher resale value if you do decide to sell and buy something new a few years down the road.
     
  7. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #8
    Remember, it's also possible to buy a refurb or older 2.66 or 2.0GHz woodcrest machine and throw a pair of x5365 3.0HHz quadcore Clovertown chips in there. (will result in 8-core 3.0GHz 65nm clovertown)

    Doesn't seem economical to buy a Harpertown machine just to do a chip upgrade...at least right now. I would find it difficult to take a 2.8GHz single/quad and convert it into a speedier 8-core Mac Pro, considering you have to get a pair of better chips and a matching heatsink.

    -Ward
     
  8. gunbu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #9
    Those are good points guys. Although, since I currently will be using the Pro for Photoshop, Illustrator, and maybe some windows gaming, I couldn't justify the $500 for the second cpu. It would be wasted on me pretty much.
    At work I use a Dual 2Ghz G5 with photoshop and illustrator all day and it really only gets choppy on the really large files.
    So for me using the money I saved will be put towards more memory. The expandability (and scalability) of the Pro compared to the iMac was the deal sealer for me.
     
  9. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Oct 17, 2007
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    Fort Worth, TX
    #10
    Keep in mind: If you upgrade from 1 --> 2 processors, both your processors must be exactly matched. They must be the same exact processor (aka 2.8GHz harpertown or a new pair), they must be the same model, exactly the same. Dual processors must be exactly the same kind...or else all chaos could break loose.
     
  10. crontab thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2008
    #11
    Very valid concerns about what the "down the road" scenarios might be and if it would turn out to be worth it or not. I'm new here and have no Apple/Mac hardware experience (this would be my first purchase). I have built and used my own PC systems (windoze/linux) for a number of years now. In buying CPUs, I am used to the heatsink being included with the CPU OR pretty much open to using whichever heatsink you wanna buy. To be clear, your reference to "Genuine Apple heatsink" implies these are proprietary. Is this true and therefore leaves no possibility of using other heatsinks?

    This is beginning to make me question how "open" is Apple's design of other components and my ability to use off the shelf replacements and upgrades.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    You are right. Your scenario is not so good. But what if you bought the single CPU machine today with one 2.4 Ghz processor then later in three or four years bought two 3Ghz CPUs for maybe $240 each. Do you need Apple heat sinks? Whould Apple heat sinks even work on the 3Ghz CPU?

    Plannig an upgrade like this requires some faith that CPU prices will fall dramatically in three or four years. Also simply adding a second matching CPU would not give you much of a boost. I think you'd want to replace both CPUs with the fasted chips that will fit in the socket.
     
  12. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    The way the chips are rated by Intel now means that CPU's of the same family fit in the same thermal envelope as they say so unless Apple has done something stupid like having different heatsinks for the different mhz ratings of chips then it should work just fine. Going to the next generation of chip if it will work in the machine should be even easier as they are usually rated at a lesser power draw so should be even better/run cooler with the higher rated heatsink.
    No faith required at all the prices will have dropped by a good amount in that time of course you will be buying a most likely used chip(s).
     
  13. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #14
    Don't forget... if you don't need more than four cores... there's nothing that says that you can't put in a new 8-core 3.2-3.6Ghz CPU if/when they become available later.

    Upgrading doesn't always mean buying a SECOND CPU...

    Perhaps you can sell (like I plan to) your 2.8CPU for 80% of RETAIL to another guy wanting to move from quads to octo and then spend a few hundred dollars more and get a 3.2 QUAD later down the road!?

    Lots of options... never a bad thing :)
     
  14. crontab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    #15
    Now that is a great idea. I don't need 2 quads and the $500 I would save goes a long way towards getting the new octo-core.

    So what is so special/different about the heatsinks on these currently? When its time the buy the new 4.2GHz octo-core :p, you guys are telling me that the standard heatsink for that cpu likely won't fit, or is it that current one is incorporated somehow with the case for enhanced air movement?
     
  15. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    Uh...

    Um, they're not. Never have been.

    One of the greatest (and worst) things about Macs is that they are assembled by ONE company (not exactly, but you know what I mean), resulting in computers that are inherently more stable.

    Cheaper? No. Easier to upgrade? Not really. Less conflicts between hardware parts? Absolutely.
     
  16. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    Mar 17, 2007
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    Canada
    #17
    It is not that there is anything special/different although knowing Apple they are designed such that a standard Intel heat sink won't fit just to make sure that they get to screw you on a more costly one if replacement is needed just like the video cards with non-standard power connector, it is that all the chips fit into what they call the thermal envelope ie. they are rated for a certain amount of watts that they give off if you put a chip in there that has a higher rating then the heat sink cannot cool it as effectively put lower rated newer chip in you get a bonus of it running cooler because the heat sink is much more effective than it needs to be.
     
  17. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #18
    I'm sorry... but do we KNOW that since they are using standard INTEL sockets that a regular HEAT SINK / FAN combo WILL NOT WORK.. or are we just guessing here? Has anyone TRIED using a standard heat sink on the CPU or all we all just bashing Apple because we are ASSUMING it won't work? Just curious!!!
     
  18. iFizz macrumors regular

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    Apr 2, 2008
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    Third planet from the star called "Sun"
    #19
    Heatsinks fasten to the logic board directly. So, putting a standard issue heatsink on there would definitely work if Apple didn't alter the form factor on the logic board.
    That's just the installation though. What about the power? Does the Mac Pro's power supply provide the same power to the heatsink(s) as in a PC installation of the same heatsink?
     
  19. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #20
    IMO I think you should just get the 8 core and save yourself some future headache, especially if you think about upgrading it yourself or even consider selling it to get the nehalem or sandy bridge.
     
  20. TravisReynolds macrumors regular

    TravisReynolds

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    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #21
    Does anybody have a video on this? Because I have been thinking about it, as I can get my mac pro sooner :) Then upgrade when I need too
     
  21. netherfred macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Rotterdam, the Netherlands
    #22
    Why don't you get your boss to buy you a Mac Pro at work and take the G5 home? It's probably written off long time ago... ;-)
     
  22. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #23
    Oh, reminiscing, remember the days of the old PCI Power Macintosh computers...and how EASY they were to upgrade!!! Even the Blue/White PowerMac G3 and the PowerMac G4 machines were virtually a simple upgrade...

    Now it's not really like that. TECHNICALLY Apple doesn't support or doesn't even want you to be able to upgrade the Mac Pro. Hence, what I mean is...the upgrade is not a simple "swap the card, or drop in a chip" deal, you have to be very careful, clean the heatsink, apply new thermal paste, and hope it doesn't burn up or zap your machines, and thus, when you do get your new chips in your Mac Pro, you essentially have a hacked machine with new chips -- what I mean, Apple isn't supporting the upgrade, and no 3rd party company has provided a kit or easy instructions to do so...

    The only instructions are "on the web" sources from people who tried it out, tested it, and verified that it "can be done" so to say.

    I miss the old days. Easy to take a 120MHz 604 PM 8500 or 9500 and turn it into a roaring 400MHz G3 powerhouse...just buy a processor upgrade daughtercard from a reputable 3rd party company, and many companies were making them available. All I mean is -- Apple is not wanting their customers to jack around with their machines because they weren't exactly designed for easy user upgrades. Yeah, it can be done, people are doing it, but I am sure there are alot too who don't know what they are doing and are going to damage/fry their machines in the process...and Apple isn't going to console them.
     
  23. crontab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    #24
    Thanks for everyones input. I had no clue that the Apple world was like this at all. Part of it makes sense, maybe from a business model or professional users standpoint, but at the same time it makes no sense at all.

    Over the years, I had really grown tired of the Microsoft world and switched to Linux for everyday use - keeping a windows box just for gaming. At the same time, I began to find myself rooting for Apple, more and more, to really give Microsoft some stiff competition. My ultimate hope was that there may come a point when I could jettison windows all together and completely switch to Mac for everything - including gaming.

    In spite of Apple's success, its frustrating to think what it really might be like if Apple were doing things differently - like encouraging and supporting hardware upgrades, and aggressively supporting gaming.

    Here I am, a Mac user wanna-be, and yet there are many reasons for me to still stay away and not spend my money with Apple. When Apple is not able to entice me with their beautiful hardware and elegant OS enough to hand over $3000, it makes me wonder how many others out there are feeling the same way.
     
  24. SuperGrobi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #25
    Just want to add my experience. I have a single CPU 2.8 Mac Pro since March 2008 and I am very happy with it so far. Of course I was hoping to be able to "upgrade" to 2 CPUs whenever I have the "few bucks" for it. However, as seen in this forum, the upgrade is not at all secure or simple. At least I believe that the socket for the 2nd CPU is present in the 2008 single CPU Mac Pro. A Xenon E5462 will cost me around $860 (no, I didn't say this upgrade was cheap :eek:) plus tax and shipment from the US (I live in Switzerland). What really made me worry was how to get the Apple heatsink for the CPU!? I went to a local Apple reseller (they also have a repair center) and the guy told me yes, he could order a heatsink for the Mac Pro :p ... then he argued that the planned upgrade is not possible because, as far as he knows, there is no socket for CPU number two! Okay, so after writing this reply I will open my Mac and see for myself. If there is a socket I will order the heatsink next week and the CPU as soon as I get a confirmation that I really can get the desired part from Apple. I let you know if someone here is interested. Of course, some of you might state now that around $1000 or more for this upgrade is not worth it, but I don't want to exchange my Mac for a new model ... and I like to mess around with hardware myself :rolleyes: ... would be too sad to have a dual-workstation Mac Pro with just one Xeon forever :p
     

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