Question about upgrading mp's

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SayWord, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. SayWord macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #1
    I'm considering purchasing a mp whenever it decides to refresh. I wanted to know, take for example the current mp's baseline model is a single quad core...if I wanted to upgrade it to a two quad cores would that be possible? Similarly would it be possible to upgrade the RAM then to 32 gigs?

    I wanted to know, because I can afford the baseline model (when it refreshes) but I eventually would like to upgrade it....

    Sorry if I confused anyone >_>
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    No, it has only one processor socket. The quad core model does support 32GB but you must use 8GB modules and they cost pretty much (4x8GB - 1499$)
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #3
    With the existing daughterboard, you're stuck to a Single Quad Core processor (W35xx parts).

    But you can get the Dual Processor daughterboard ($400USD, according to Anandtech + cost of heat sink/s), to convert it with the correct CPU's (55xx parts).

    So technically speaking, it's possible if you buy the right parts. But it will be expensive (i.e. 2x CPU's + daughterboard + heatsinks).
     
  4. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #4
    Also, its quite possible..

    I wanted to chime in on this one because I wonder myself if the "mystery" 16GB DDR3 chips allow for up to 64GB, though 16GB ddr3 isn't really out as of yet.. but I think 32GB is a nice way to top off the quad-single mac pro. I know I wouldn't use it, and besides DDR3 works best in chips of 3 rather than 4.. so 8x3 = 24GB seems more potent than 8x4=DDR2



     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    There are some 16GB modules but they cost a fortune plus I'm not sure does Mac Pro's logic board support +8GB modules.

    Having them in triplets enables triple-channeling which gives few % boost over dual-channeling, but if you need a lot RAM, then it's better to have all slots in use rather than having one free
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #6
    They're supported by the memory controller. Now whether or not Apple borked it in the firmware is another story (they did fix the frequency to 1066MHz). But I wouldn't think so in this case.

    As per the performance increase in triple channel, it's dependent on the software. Some can actually utilize it (not much actually), but most can't. In the latter case, capacity will out-weigh the channel configuration.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #7
    I know that as it's built into the CPU, that's why I said logic board ;) Anyone want to be the guinea pig to test this? :D

    Of course it is. If you're using apps that are very memory intensive, then triple-channeling might be helpful but generally, it isn't. Theoretically, it's 50% faster than dual-channeling by increasing the transfer rate from 17GB/s to 25.5GB/s but not many apps can even touch that 17GB/s barrier :p
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #8
    I don't see it as the system board, as it's in the firmware (actual components will be the same as to what concerns memory capacity = CPU + chipset/s). Other chips outside of Intel's reference design won't have any effect at all on the memory capacity. But the firmware does matter, as such things can be limited (i.e. Apple's choice to limit the memory frequency to 1066MHz rather than code by the SPD timings done by other board makers, which would allow CPU's capable of running 1333MHz memory to actually utilize it if it's installed in the system).

    Precisely. Most software is written on older compilers that's based on FSB architecture, which is why it can't utilize the Nehalem architecture.

    Unfortunately, software lags behind hardware architecture. It's a necessity, as you can't design and test software for processor's that don't yet exist. But the time lag is longer due to the necessitation of things like backwards compatibility, which means some users' suffer to development cycles and methodologies. :(
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    Don't play around which such small details, the firmware is still located in some chip on the logic board ;) It's sad how Apple limits things though :(

    Mmm, it indeed sucks when you have the horsepower but then you have a limiter which screws up everything :(
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    POV I guess. I see the logic board as hardware (fixed and unchangable). Firmware is technically software burnt to a ROM on the board (can be changed). With more recent boards, the firmware can be reprogrammed, as I know you're aware of (unlike previous systems, where the ROM would have had to be pulled, sent out for reprogramming, and re-installed to the board). PITA is an understatement in the "old days". ;) :p

    Firmware can be difficult for many. Even me, as I do tend to equate it more with hardware. The difference being however, it can be changed after the board's been manufactured with more recent boards.
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    Lol, can we get this even more slightly offtopic? :p We don't even know is the firmware limiting it ;) I was just being sarcastic as I might have been wrong (should have said firmware, at least added it :rolleyes:) :D

    If someone has spare grand or two, he can be our guinea pig and test is the firmware or logic board limiting it :cool:
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #12
    A guinea pig would be nice, but I don't think there'll be too many volunteers right now. :eek::p

    But I seriously doubt there's an issue in this instance, save the price. :D
     
  13. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #13
    If the dual 2009's can go 64GB, then..

    Using 4 16GB chips would bring the single-quad core up to 64 as well.. and yes, 8GB are supported on the singles, just like the duals.. but where the duals don't shine too well is in the processor upgrade dept.. take a single quad-core 2.66 and replace it with a w3580 and you got the same machine Apple makes off of you for 1200.00! Hense, for 5-600 dollars, you can have a 3.33ghz w3580 in the single-quad core, WHY? Because the processors are standard, INTEL OEM parts with the heat spreaders. Apple FAILED miserably to try and thwart those with single-quad cores to upgrade to higher processors..

    As for the duals? See Anandtech's article on how he fried one of the processors while trying to use OEM parts where the duals' processors are LIDLESS and don't have any heat spreaders.. While it is also possible to upgrade the dual processors on the 2009 duals, its not as easy as it is on the single-quads.. Also, if xeon isn't what you want, you can easily use a standard desktop core i7 9xx series and posslby the core i7 EXTREME but make sure you remove ecc memory - requires regular non-ecc memory.

    Apple's mistake bring further possession of our mac pros with upgrade paths.
    I think Steve is starting to feel OLD age.. I can see him stepping down in a few years and someone younger, brighter might finally bring upgrading to the mac back before he returned. Yes, Steve coming back to Apple was a great thing back in the later 90's-2000's, but he is dilerious and so are his henchmen.



     
  14. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #14
    8GB DDR3 works.

    www.otherworldcomputing.com - expand quad-core single to 32GB using 4x8GB chips - 3000.00! Ouch!
    4x16GB = 64GB possibly triple that! I am not the pig here to try it :)


     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    I hadn't checked if OWC was offering 8GB sticks. But as you saw, they're anything but cheap. :(
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    I mentioned that in my first post ;)

     
  17. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #17
    There is a way around it though..

    Apple made the fatal mistake of allowing a green light to be imposed on the single-quad cores.. what do I mean here? Unlike the duals which use specially made processors without IHS, the singles DO use standard intel OEM processors.. You have a choice here:

    If you want to run desktop core i7 9xx series bloomfield(not sure gulftown would work), you can get one of those and replace the xeon but you also have to get NON-ECC memory.. The benefit is that you will be using desktop processors though u will lose the benefits and reliability of xeon - you will also save money in the long run.

    I think the top max upgrade for this socket is the core i7 extreme turbo I found on ebay which runs at 4.5ghz!



     

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