Roman23 and his 2009 to 2010 Mac Pro Board Upgrade Experience!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by WardC, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #1
    Well, Roman23 is upgrading his 2009 Mac Pro to include the hardware to accept the Westmere upgrade. For this upgrade, you would need to replace both the backplane board (main motherboard - about $350) and the Processor Board (about $150) so that the firmware matches and the Mac Pro can support the B1 stepping of the Westmere chip. You can accept up to a W3680 on the single-processor model once you do this upgrade or up to a X5690 on the dual board if you go that route. Remember that on the duals they are LIDLESS processors with no IHS from Apple, and if you use the standard processors with the IHS you will need to be careful not to destroy your chip like Anandtech did with their first try at the dual upgrade.

    I have been in contact with AZREOSpecialist about the upgrade, he is considering doing this upgrade himself, too. Roman23 is getting the whole upgrade done to his machine by an Apple service tech for around $400.00. A pretty good deal considering a new 2010 6-core Mac Pro would be $3699 to start, then your RAM upgrades would set you over $4000. His current machine was originally a 2.66GHz Mac Pro that he bought refurbished from the Apple Store online for $2149. He then purchased the W3580 chip from VelocityMicro in Viriginia for $599 and upgraded it himself. That was a super deal on the chips, they don't have anymore in stock on eBay, they sold every W3580 they had. He plans to sell his current chip for $800 (They are around $1100 new) to fund the purchase of his W3680. The W3680 is anywhere from $1000 - $1200 for the chip.

    The W3570, the W3580, the W36xx will all support 1333MHz memory. The W3565 (the 3.2GHz Nehalem Mac From Apple right now) will not support 1333MHz memory, only 1066MHz.

    Here is my last message to AZREOSpecialist, in which I detailed some of the specifics on the 2010 Mac Pro upgrade underway by Roman23 (currently banned from MacRumors for various unfair reasons):

    "Well I have some new information....

    Roman23 is going through with the upgrade on his 2009 model. He found out that you need to replace the processor board as well so that the SMC firmware matches on both the processor board and the backplane board. He was able to get the 2010 Mac Pro install disks directly from Apple for FREE. He needed a 2010 Mac Pro valid serial number to be allowed to get the discs, for some reason, so we got one. The 2010 Mac Pro install disks wouldn't work on his 2009 system, they look for the MacPro5,1 identifier when trying to install, so it wouldn't even install on his machine yet. He is getting the entire upgrade done by an Apple authorized service professional for about $400 (This includes a new 2010 Mac Pro backplane board, a 2010 processor board, and he he is going to keep his W3580 for now until he can afford to buy the 6-core W3680). The W3580 chip as well as the W3570, the whole W3500 series will work with the 2010 board because it supports D0 as well as B1 stepping. The board for the 2010 2.8GHz model is the same as the 3.33GHz model, but one processor is Nehalem with D0 stepping, and one is Westmere with B1 stepping. They are going to re-install his W3580 on the new processor board, and he is keeping his 1066MHz RAM on the 2010 board from his 2009 machine, so yes the 1066MHz RAM will work with both Nehalem and Westmere. The W3570 and W3580 both support 1333MHz RAM, but the W3565 does not. Apple shipped their 3.33GHz quad 2009 model with 1066MHz memory, but it supports up to 1333MHz memory. Roman23 has paid for the parts already and is going to be getting the upgrades done next week...I will let you know how it goes and keep you updated. The only difference in his machine after this phase of upgrades will be that his machine will be a "MacPro5,1" and he will be able to accept the Westmere chip when he is ready to make that investment. The guy on eBay from Taiwan that had a few on hand for $899 has sold out of his chips, the cheapest ones I can find now are $1000 - $1100 with a new boxed W3680 chip going on eBay for about $1200."


    So that is all the information I have now. With this info you should be able to upgrade your 2009 model Mac Pro to a 2010 model that will accept a 6-core Westmere chip. The parts are readily available from www.applecomponents.com (They buy Mac Pros and take them apart and sell the individual parts on their site).

    Good luck!!
    -Ward
     
  2. wa5655 macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2010
  3. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #3
    The Discs for the 2010 Mac Pro models would not install on his 2009 Board when he tried to install it on a MacPro4,1 system. Apparently the new 2010 Mac Pro Snow Leopard build (with the drivers and everything) requires MacPro5,1 identifier even to install.

    After he gets the 2010 board installed in his machine, the Discs should pick up the MacPro5,1 firmware identifier and install fine on his machine.
     
  4. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #4
    900$ just to make it a 2010, would it not be easier to just sel/buy the real deal?
     
  5. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    bleep
    #5
    I am certain his banning was quite justified. He talked a bunch of smack, insulted other members, and harassed people via P.M.

    I say good riddance.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #6
    If anything I'd be upgrading to the new 3.33GHz 12c, so yeah that's not going to be cheaper. :p
     
  7. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
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    #7
    We calculated it out and the 12-core upgrade is just not worth it. The Single processor 6-core upgrade from a 4 core machine is well worth it though. For the 12-core you would be better off purchasing a new machine and selling your old one, it's much cheaper than trying to buy the processors yourself and do the upgrade. The processors themselves are $3200 alone, together!
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    I know. That's why I'm not upgrading.

    Plus I'd have to account for the lost of… I don't know—$3000? That's before buying the parts.

    Plus my current setup is working well for me.
     
  9. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #9
    The Total cost of upgrading a single-processor 2009 machine to a 2010 machine running the W3670 or W3680 and running 12GB of 1333MHz RAM is anywhere from $1000 - $1300, depending on the resale value you get from your old chip as well as your old RAM. The best deal I have seen on the W3680 was a guy in Taiwan who was selling them on eBay for $899, but he ran out of chips very fast. Otherwise, they start around $1000 on eBay and retail for about $1250 (for the W3680). The W3670 is about $100 to $200 cheaper, and it is 3.2GHz instead of 3.33GHz, but it also supports 1333MHz memory (The W3570 and W3580 do too, but the W3565 and earlier do not, 1066MHz is the max). Apple is selling a machine with the W3530 and one with the W3565, both of these are Nehalem chips and support only up to 1066MHz RAM.

    For a 2.66GHz or a 2.93GHz single processor model, you could probably get anywhere from $1800 to $2500 resale for your old system. A new 3.33Ghz system will cost you $3699 PLUS your RAM which will easily put you over $4000 total. That makes a $1500 to $2200 cost for selling your old 2009 Nehalem single processor machine and buying a new 3.33Ghz 6-core single processor Westmere Mac Pro.

    You do the math.

    $1000 - $1300 to upgrade your 2009 machine...

    OR

    $1500 - $2200 to buy a new one.
     
  10. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #10
    How much time would it take to do this upgrade......... including all of the time to search out the parts and pro installer/etc.

    Just a guess, but I'd bet you would be looking at a 80+ hours. I doubt very many people will opt for this "upgrade".

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  11. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #11
    You can do this upgrade in under an hour. For the backplane board, you disconnect all of your cables from the board, take out your graphics card, take your optical drives out, take your processor card out, and the board pretty much slides right out. You slide the new board in, reconnect your cables, reconnect your graphics card and processor card, and you are ready to go. For the processor upgrade you take the processor board out, loosen the screws on the heatsink, take the heatsink off, remove your old processor, put the new one in, apply thermal paste, and screw the heatsink back on and put your board back in.
     
  12. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #12
    Are we sure that the new dual processor 2010 Mac Pro uses CPUs without IHS? The reason I ask this is because the 2010 dual processor CPU tray appears to have the same CPU sockets w/ lever arm and bracket to hold the CPU in place as the single processor board. The sockets aren't "naked" like they were in the 2009 dual processor model.

    Here's the two CPU trays compared:

    2009 dual:
    [​IMG]

    2010 dual:
    [​IMG]

    2010 single:
    [​IMG]

    The CPU mounts for the 2010 dual processor match the CPU mount for the 2010 single processor. The CPU mount of the 2009 quad matches the 2010 models, which leads me to believe the new 2010 dual processor may use CPUs with integrated heat spreaders. What do you think?
     
  13. Quad 2.5 G5 =) macrumors 6502

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    Mar 29, 2009
    #13
    Could this thoretically be done to a 2006 model, upgrading to a 2008 model's board, memory, and processor?
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    Yes.
     
  15. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #15
    But the inside of the case has been redesigned, so wouldn't there be fit problems?
     
  16. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
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    Fort Worth, TX
    #16
    AZREOSpecialist, very interesting indeed. It looks like the new 2010 Dual board has SOCKET LATCHES!!!!! Whoa. This is really good. That means you could buy the base model 2.4GHz dual and upgrade it with X5670, X5680, or X5690 processors if you can get ahold of some for a good price. To upgrade a single processor model to a dual processor model is just not econmical. It would be cheaper to buy the full deal. But if you want those 3.33GHz or 3.46GHZ (Q4 2010) processors, then you might have a safe option upgrading these, and it might be ALOT easier with the latches on the dual processor board on the 2010 models.

    Those processors for the 2009 dual models were specialized Apple parts direct from Intel that lacked the IHS (integrated heat spreader) on top of the processors, and the heatsinks were designed to fit right on top of the processors without the IHS. Installing factory processors with IHS on them, you would risk damaging your processors if you were not careful when tightening the screws on your heatsink (Anantech screwed one of their boards doing this upgrade).

    To buy a 2.4GHz 2010 8-core model for $3499 or a couple hundred cheaper depending on what venue you go to, and then get the processors...($3100 for two X5680 is the cheapest price around I can find)....you are looking at $6599 for a 3.33GHz 12-core Mac Pro. You could also get resale value for your old quad-core processors, but you must consider a new 2.93GHz dual processor 12-core Mac Pro from Apple costs $6199.

    If you had the extra money and wanted max speed, the extra $400 for the upgrade to 3.33GHz is worth it...but I don't know what it's worth to you.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    2006 (what's on hand) through 2008 systems (intended replacement board) had the same internal configuration, so it will fit (same HDD bay cable connection, same PSU harness, fan housings,...). :)

    If s/he is trying to stuff 2009/10 boards into the 2006 case, then you'd be correct; it wouldn't work. The internals had to be re-worked to fit the 2009 systems (same internals for 2010 systems).
     
  18. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #18
    Actually a 08 logic board won't work inside a 06/07 without some modification to the memory cage. The connectors were moved so don't line up between the 2 systems. Now if you want to buy a new memory cage, well.... There might also be an issue with the front fan connector, I just don't recall.
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #19
    I didn't recall any difference in the DIMM placement at all. Seemed the same to me, as did the other internal sub components.

    Wish I had both on hand to compare.
     
  20. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
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    Poland
    #20
    Exactly. I have 06 and had 08 one. I can confirm memory cage thing. RAM risers slots are located a little differently in these 2 revs.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #21
    That sucks for those with 06 systems that have had logic board failure (assuming they could even get 54xx CPU's at a decent enough price to make it more cost effective than buying a newer system). :(
     
  22. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Oct 17, 2007
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    #22
    This upgrade is ONLY for upgrading a 2009 model to a 2010 model, and it's only economical and makes sense price-wise for the single processor upgrade. The dual processor upgrade is just not worth it, it's cheaper to buy a new 12-core Mac Pro and sell your old one, or buy the base 2.4 dual and upgrade the processors, if you want to go that route. The reason is that the X56xx series processors start at around $1600 a processor, while the W36xx can be had for around $1000. Two of those 5600 series processors would cost $3200, it's just not worth messing with. The single processor upgrade may well be worth your money though. Ideal for taking a 2.66/2.93/3.33 quad to a 6-core 3.2 or 3.33GHz machine and running 1333MHz memory on your board.
     
  23. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #23

    I don't think it's sensible to do it at all to be honest, esp in the UK.

    £2700 for a new 6 core MP.

    Say my 2.66Ghz is worth £1500, so £1200 difference.

    The 6 core is £800 and the rest is made up by changing the main board as well as invalidating the warranty...

    Slightly skewed because I get HE discount but still I wouldn't bother, unless it was on a duff machine you got for pennies!
     
  24. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #24
    Well, you could save $500 by upgrading your 2009 2.66 or 2.93GHz quad to a 3.33GHz 6-core by doing the board swap rather than buying a new machine and selling your old one. This is proven, and it's well worth it if you can invest the time and the energy into doing it.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #25
    This has currently proven possible in the US.

    That may not be the case in other countries however, as they usually pay more for products from what I've seen, and for Europe (at the very least), also pay higher taxes on top. And shipping may not even be accounted for at this point. :eek: :(
     

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