New Mac Pro Confirmed to Have Removable CPU


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

With the first new Mac Pro units having made their way to reviewers and even some early online orders arriving in the closing days of 2013, more details on the new machines are continuing to surface.

Other World Computing (OWC) has performed a quick teardown on one of the new machines, and while documentation currently consists of only a small set of photos, the company has confirmed that the Intel Xeon E5 processor found in the Mac Pro is indeed removable, allowing for future upgrades. All four available CPUs for the new Mac Pro use the same LGA 2011 socket standardized on the Mac Pro's motherboard.

The main processor is one of the most significant variables in the cost of the new Mac Pro, with the four available CPU options spanning $3500 in upgrade charges. Pricing relative to the stock 3.7GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 with 10MB of L3 cache is as follows:

- 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 with 12MB of L3 cache: +$500
- 3.0GHz 8-core Intel Xeon E5 with 25MB of L3 cache: +$2000
- 2.7GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5 with 30MB of L3 cache: +$3500

Using a removable socketed processor rather than the soldered processors found in most of Apple's Macs means that users may be able to upgrade their machines in the future as their needs change and/or chip prices decline.

Earlier this week, OWC also shared a photo showing the new Mac Pro driving a total of six 27-inch displays, each with a horizontal resolution of at least 2500 pixels. The new Mac Pro offers six Thunderbolt 2 ports for connectivity, allowing for a number of combinations of displays and other peripherals.

Article Link: New Mac Pro Confirmed to Have Removable CPU


macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
LG Socket 2011 though will be depreciated once Haswell based xeon's are released too wont they? i'm not versed that well in intel's roadmap, but isn't it sort of late to this particular socket iteration?

though, the fact it's a standard CPU socket without any customization which allows for you to put your own CPU in there is absolutely an awesome inclusion.


how bout those GPU cards :p


macrumors 68030
Aug 28, 2008
Beverly, Massachusetts
Sure replacements might be pricy, but the price will come down in years to come. I can put two quad core Xeons (X5365) for $100-$200. A few years ago it was over $1000 just for ONE X5365 CPU. Simply put you can buy more time down the road.


macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2007
I'm sure people will be happy to hear this... Apple seems to be keeping the professionals in mind as far as upgradability goes.. They aren't locking in the unit to just once specific ordered platform and thats it... i know people are upset without the PCI upgradability but, i think the external thunderbolt connectivity will eventually pan out to be something people really like.

I would probably think the video cards will be an area that maybe nvidia will shoot to develop something for.. I am a big nvidia fan, although apple seems to be going to work on the Firepro drivers and it seems to be laying out some impressive results.


macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
Centre of the Attention
the new Mac Pro looks so tempting, it's like a marvel piece of innovation, cramming all the technological punch inside a shell so small, when developers finally utilise it, it will be a beast of a machine.
hope I could one day make one of it my own, linking 3 4K monitors.


macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2007
The hood
So does this mean if we buy a single quad core we can load it with the 6, 8, or even 12 at our own dispense?


macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2007
i plan on running 3 Dell ultrasharp 27" monitors at 2660x1440 resolution. I can't imagine the real-estate having 3 32" 4k displays going... i honestly wouldn't want to demand that much GPU usage for the displays alone, i'd be happy with 2 4k's but i am waiting on 4k monitors to fall in price.. 1 more year they should 1/2 them selves again in retail cost.


macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
What about RAM, SSD and GPU?
if you're asking about upgradability?

its already confirmed that the RAM and SSD are user replaceable by apple.

though, the SSD hasn't been confirmed if it's proprietary socket or some form of existing socket (maybe same one from the rMBP?)


macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2012
Awesome. If only they would go this route with the rMBP's, if only for at least the RAM.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2010
FINALLY we can lay this to rest.

You CAN replace the CPU, GPU, and internal storage. While non-proprietary connectors would be nice ... its Apple, what did you expect?


macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2009
So, it looks like everything is a card or on a card of some sort. In theory couldn't apple just upgrade the CPU daughter card when a new chipset comes out and thus making upgrading this machine with future CPU's a lot more cost effective?

Same with the GPU's, looks like they just plug into the central board. Apple (or a 3rd party) could probably just build replacement card with newer GPU's on them.

Since pretty much everything else is external, this could, in theory, be the most upgradable Mac yet. Of course, thats assuming Apple either comes out with the upgrades or releases specifics on how the hardware works. (one can always hope)


macrumors regular
The Service Manual confirms that the CPU can, and will be, replaced separately should an issue arise. The process has 13 steps and ends with running a Cooling System Diagnostic A list of new special tools is given in the manual for doing so. The list includes;

A Core Cradle
CPU Riser Spring Press
CPU Grease Stencil (Which applies the paste in a 6x5 grid pattern)
CPU Riser Cover
Access Card Tool (Same thing used to open original 17" intel iMacs)
T8 Torque driver set to 0.85Nm
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