Possible to Overclock a Nehalem Mac Pro??

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zepharus, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. zepharus macrumors 6502a

    zepharus

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #1
    Just as the title says. Is it possible to overclock this pupy a bit via OS X?
     
  2. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #2
    Maybe there's a place in EFI to change voltages; however, I haven't plaed around with it. The answer you are probably going to get is no, or else more people would have done it already. AFAIK, getting a faster processor is the way to go for sheer CPU performance - pawn off the old one.

    If overclocking and OSX are your things, you may want to just build a HakkenTösh; BIOS, I would imagine, is a lot nicer to much about in then EFI.
     
  3. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #4
    It depends. I've had EFI boards that had overclocking support built in.

    It's definitely there, Apple just doesn't build a GUI for it.

    (Check the above post for a working GUI.)
     
  4. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #5
    Thanks - sorry about the misinformation. Learn something new everyday, though.
     
  5. zepharus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zepharus

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    #6
  6. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #7
    If the 09 MP works like any of the other mac pro's, time is measured with help of the processor speed. Overclocking results in inaccurate time in your computer.
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #8
    Since the chips overclock themselves during use, isn't this all moot?
     
  8. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 5, 2008
    #9
    Why would you even consider this? Seems pretty pointless to me.

    That's like buying a Rolls Royce and then asking to install some shi#ty K&N air intake and loud rice boy muffler. Go buy a crap honda civic if that's your thing.

    And likewise, go buy a PC, or build a Hackintosh if overclocking is your thing.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #10
    Actually, No. The Turbo Mode only works under certain conditions, while OC'ing the processor is uniform, despite the workload (for CPU clocks).

    Simplified a bit, but applicable. :)
     
  10. zepharus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    zepharus

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    #11
    wow, could you come off more elitest ?
     
  11. Chad H macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

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    #12
    But wouldn't "turbo" mode interfere with overclocking? If you overclocked and then "turbo" mode kicked in wouldn't damage things? Or build up alot of heat quickly?
     
  12. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #13
    Yep - heat is a factor, but I would think that Intel put in some play with a thermal sensor just to avoid this.
     
  13. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #14
    When overclocking you typically want to improve the cooling to compensate for increased temperatures that will come from running higher voltages/clocks. As long as you increase the cooling in proportion to your overclock, the turbo mode will continue to work as advertised. This is because the turbo mode takes advantage of the fact that only part of the CPU is active, therefore it can overclock that active portion while the inactive portion is effectively shut down and still keep the overall thermal output within the capabilities of the cooling solution... again, this assumes you increase the capacity of the cooling solution to match the new thermal output of your overclocked CPU.

    Overclocking with the stock cooling and stock voltages would only yield modest gains before instability or excessive heat started being a problem. And as you point out, would likely limit Turbo mode as the temps would be too high for it to kick-in.
     
  14. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    #15
    The Mac Pro really isn't the Rolls of the computer world...
     
  15. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #16
    What is, then?
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    SGI ;)
     
  17. Chad H macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

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    #18
    So simply moving the stock fan setting rpm's up wouldn't suffice? I'm assuming your talking about some sort of liquid cooling?
     
  18. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    #19
    I guess multi socket workstations with tons of ram solid state drives and high end graphics? It's a great powerfull computer but it is reasonable for some people to ask for more, isn't it?
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #20
    Assuming for fan speed you mean on the stock cooler in a boxed processor, it's not designed for OC'ing, though it seems some have done it. For a 3rd party air cooler, it can help extend the OC range to some extent, (if you can live with the noise :p).

    For 3rd party coolers, you have a choice of air or water. Air can get you up quite a ways (over 4GHz fairly inexpensively), especially on the lower clocked models (i.e. i7 920/W3520). Water is seems to make the most sense on the Extreme versions, and has exceeded 5Ghz.
     
  20. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #21
    It's possible that Apple designed the CPU cooler in the Mac Pro with some overhead, but they appear to focus on less noise (perhaps at the expense of cooling performance?). It's hard to say, but I notice that my CPU runs pretty hot at idle. I suspect that when the CPU is maxed out for extended periods (eg. a large rendering/encoding job) the fan will struggling to keep that sucker cool, especially in higher ambiant temps like you might have at home in the Northern hemisphere these days.

    Increasing cooling capacity can be done in a number of ways but as Nano points out, massive 3rd party air coolers or water cooling are the most common.

    After having invested a lot of time and money on overclocking CPU's in previous computers with both air and water cooling. I've moved on. While it was a fun hobby, it's very time consuming, expensive, and frustrating at times (but also rewarding) trying to exact that extra performance.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #22
    Good point, as it does seem a little too small for OC'ing, even if a 3rd party application is released that specifically works for the Nehalem processors, as it does for the '06 - '08 MP's.

    In my case, I went with air to improve single threaded applications in particular. More than the Turbo Mode can produce (4.11GHz & stable at any load I've thrown at it), works on all 4 cores, and only required the cooler to do it. Worth the $80USD spent IMO. But it's not for everyone, and I'm finished with what I wanted to accomplish. :D
     
  22. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #23
    You can't beat that value.

    I used my overclocked systems for gaming and I could never tell if a crash in the game was due to a faulty display driver, bug in the game, or unstable overclock. Despite running multiple instances of PRIME95 for hours, my overclocked systems just never seemed as stable but Windows display drivers are just horrible, particularly for SLI... bah... I'm just much happier having all that behind me now and gaming on a PS3 and doing my work on a Mac. :D
     
  23. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #24
    Gaming on more cores then what you have in your computer, Nano?:D:D

    True, only one is for the OS and the other 7 are SIMD, but you must get better physics then, well... PhysX
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #25
    I don't game at all. :eek: :eek:

    It's set up as an EDA system. ;) Recreation = Mac Rumors. :p
     

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