Possible to use standard desktop i7/i7 extreme processors in qc/single 2009 mac pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Roman23, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010

    I was wondering if it is possible to use standard desktop core i7/i7 extreme processors in the single-quad core mac pro? I know that ecc memory isn't supported under standard desktop processors, but is the xeon really needed though? Granted, I already am getting my w3580 and I plan to install it, however a friend of mine is asking this question as he wants to get a single-quad core mac pro also.

  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Yes. Just stick with D0 stepping, which is represented by SLBxx (xx is another pair of letters).
  3. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    I also found this one on ebay..

    core i7 extreme turbo at 4.5 ghz... wonder if that will work also? I can provide the link..


    Sounds like a nice venture.. and no, its not the Gulftown which would require microcode updating.

  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Are they the same socket as the Xeons it shipped with? If so, then it should work.
  5. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    I have to say..

    Why did Apple make such a stupid mistake by allowing PC parts to work in this machine, while the duals need specialized processors without integrated heat spreaders? I am saying that its much easier to upgrade the single quads compared to the duals..

    I am sure this turbo based processor could beat the 2.26 dual in a heartbeat.

  6. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010

    Goto the site and u will see it is the same pins, same stepping, same everything.. no, its not the Gulftown though.

  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The link got messed up in his post, but it's an i7-930. So it's an LGA1366 socket part, and it's D0 stepping.

    All they're doing is see what they can OC it to with thier test rig, and advertise that number (likely with a little rounding up :rolleyes: ;)). Nothing more though (no mods performed on the lands in an attempt to increase the mulitplier).
  8. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    OM*G! What have I done then???


    So if the single-quad core mac pros and I should add the duals as well CAN SUPPORT non-xeon based processors, then why spend the extra for xeon? Ok, not only did I spend 608 for a xeon processor, but I probably could have gotten the same damn thing in core i7-975(its desktop monkier) for a hell of a lot cheaper.. plus could have gone to best buy or my local computer store and picked up 6GB or more desktop NON-ECC memory?

    It then begs to ask this question: What the .... am I gaining with going with the xeon if the desktop is going to be more efficient?? omg! I am not stupid, just surprised to find out all this information at the height of this purchase I did.. so in reality, I could go with the highest core i7 which is the i7-975 or even an i7-980, just not the westmere or gulftown due to microcode, but I wonder even then if the desktop gulftown might work while the xeon won't??

    All I can say is thank you Apple for being an OPEN ARCHITECTURE based company! :) I am not stuck with xeon so it seems.. so the w3580 is the equivalent of the core i7-975 - very interesting!

    Can the duals also be upgraded using standard desktop dual processors of the same family? w5580 = ?? 2.26=E5520, 2.66=? 2.93=? WHY THEN GO WITH XEON?

    So the mac pro nehalems really can support desktop and xeons... non ecc versus ecc memory. I am not benefiting at all with ecc memory.

  9. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    Yes, but will it work though?

    Now that we have established the known fact that we have options to use either xeon(ecc) or desktop.. will this processor really work at 4.5 ghz?

  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    No way to know until you get your hands on it, and even then, you'd need a PC board with OC capabilities to try.

    But it's not currently possible in the 2009 MP (no utility that I recall, and no access to the firmware, let alone necessary settings to try). :(
  11. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    Ok, then maybe not this processor

    But certainly all the core i7's starting from i7-920 up to i7-980.. just not the i7-980x which is the GULFTOWN processor... who knows? Maybe the desktop version doesn't require microcode update.

    I think that 4.5 processor is actually programmed already to run at that speed.. if this is the case, then putting it in should yield system profiler saying: 4.4ghz.

  12. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Overclocking doesn't work like that. The BIOS of the motherboard is what allows changes to be made to increase beyond stock speed. As none of that is present on a Mac Pro you can't run them beyond the stock speed for the model.
  13. thepawn macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2009
    The D0 family is 920,930,950,960 and 975.
  14. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010
    w3580 desktop equiv is:

    core i7 980... the 980x is the start of the gulftown.

  15. Roman23 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2010

    core i7 3.33 equi to w3580 is i7-975.. then comes the 6-core ones with 980x.

  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    You have to separate the i7 980X out, as it has different stepping. That's why it needs new microcode to work in the existing LGA1366 boards, and why the 2009 MP will not run it.

    No it isn't.

    They'd have to have access to the fabrication facility to modify the chip itself, or attempt to modify the lands on the chip (gold plated round contact pads). In the case of the Nehalem's, it would be to increase the default multiplier (i.e. 133MHz * 33 = 4.389GHz).

    The basic process of a chip mod is usually done with conductive ink and small bits of electrical tape (how it's been done previously on LGA775 parts).

    But nothing's been published by anyone that I've seen on how to do this for the LGA1366 parts, and for good reason. There's sufficient boards that do very well with their OC capabilities (firmware settings that can be adjusted, such as BCLK and multiplier settings for CPU changes, as well as voltage adjustments). Intel intentionally made this possible.

    Unfortunately, Apple doesn't provide you with the access to even attempt it, let alone adjust the actual settings needed to do it.

    Yes, it's a Gulftown part. But there's something you need to realize, as there's an important difference beyond the core count and die process, which is the B1 stepping. It's the same for the W3680 as well.

    You'd need microcode to make it work.

Share This Page