nMP processor upgrade - is the processor itself the only thing that changes?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by shoehornhands, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. shoehornhands macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2014
    #1
    This probably seems like a strange question so let me clarify.

    Obviously when you select the 6-core machine over the 4-core machine, you get more memory (16GB vs 12GB) and a GPU upgrade (D500 vs D300). This is NOT what I'm referring to.

    I'm referring to the actual architecture of the computer. For example, the 4-core machine uses the Intel 602J chipset. Do the 6, 8 and 12-core machines use the same chipset? Are there any tweaks to the cooling system, power supply, essentially anything not specifically specified by apple?

    The reason I ask is because the cost for a processor upgrade is significantly higher than the difference in price between the two processors.

    COST OVER DIFFERENCE IN PRICE FOR CPU UPGRADE:
    4 to 6-Core: $211
    4 to 8-Core: $571
    4 to 12-Core: $1180

    The above values are based on Intel's recommended customer tray price ($294, $583, $1723, $2614 for the 4,6,8 and 12-core respectively).

    The additional cost associated with each progressive CPU upgrade makes me wonder if something else is changing as well. If apple does use the exact same internal components regardless of CPU, you could save a bunch of money by doing the CPU upgrade yourself (right around the values given above assuming you sell the 4-core cpu).

    ifixit gives the nMP an 8/10 Repairability Score so this shouldn't be too difficult either.
     
  2. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #2
    I might know a person who's updated two 4 cores to the 8 core faster clocked Xeon that apple don't actually sell (OWC do) and they worked perfectly, ran cooler too pasted his way too with 4 more cores in the box. Iirc they were about 1000-1100 bucks bought on eBay..

    The technician guide has these complicated supports to hold the cards, he allegedly made do with piles of books covered with anti static bags :D

    They are supposedly fiddly to do, you must be very careful with the interconnect cables and you must replace your stock cpu paste and memory back to stock if you need to seek out service with Apple so keeping your original parts is an absolute must.
     
  3. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Yes, Apple's profit margin on the unit
     
  4. shoehornhands thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2014
    #4
    Thanks for the info. Sounds similar the cabling they use in their laptops. Good point on the CPU as well. Might not be worth the trouble with the 6-core then. For the 8-core and especially the 12-core, I'd probably buy the CPU separately then. Heck, I would think you could pay a certified apple technician to upgrade the CPU for you if you really don't feel comfortable (they might charge a few hundred but certainly not over $1000).
     
  5. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #5
    The cables are thicker but more fiddly. The 8 has the faster turbo clock, the OWC type I used was even faster still than the stock 8 Apple offer. 12 core I have not done, it's turbo clock is lower than all the less cores so really only suitable when multicore is number one priority.

    An Apple tech would not want to drop an unauthorised Xeon inside full stop and would want to charge the earth for the proper part never mind an oem package from the Far East off eBay. Thank goodness there's a niche for independent engineers ;)
     
  6. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #6
    damn 1100 is cheap for the 3.3 8 core .. everywhere i have looked on eBay i see them around 1950-2100
     
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #7
    The seller had a tray of them - they went very quickly the client bought them both within a few days of each other. The branded parts and usual sellers are close to oem prices if not a lot more and they are not the utter bargains like we hunters are looking for.

    I have eBay searches worldwide customised with email notifications for not only these Xeons but the usual suspects in the 4-5,1's too in case a bargain pops up and grabs my attention :D
     
  8. shoehornhands thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2014
    #8
    Yeah, I've noticed this too. Every now and then ebay will have an incredible deal on a Xeon. They're usually pulled from a new workstation / server so they are essentially good as new.
     

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