Tips and tricks: upgrading processors on a Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nlistgarten, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. nlistgarten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #1
    I have a dual-CPU Mac Pro 4,1 w/ 5,1 firmware. I am planning on upgrading the CPUs. What tips/tricks/information should I know before doing this? I have looked at a couple of sites explaining the process, but I'm still looking to gather information. If I screw up, a replacement tray/new CPUs may cost upwards of $600-800. One of the sites shows how an experienced person destroyed their CPU tray. I am especially concerned because I am replacing lidless CPUs with lidded CPUs.

    As someone who is relatively knowledgeable in computer hardware but has never replaced/removed/installed a CPU before, what should I know? Any help/comments/tips would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    When upgrading a dual-processor 4,1 MP, you either need to buy lidless CPUs, de-lid them yourself, or pay for de-lidding service, so that the CPUs are the proper height.

    Here is thread about delidding yourself and here is a video. Here is a post warning against delidding yourself. Failure to remove the lids results in very expensive damage when the heatsink is tightened down.

    There are some alternatives if you want to keep the lids on. Some people have kept the lids on, but were extremely careful about not tightening down the heat sink too much. Other people have added washer stacks (of equivalent height to the lid difference) to where the tightening screws go--this is intended to prevent the heat sink from overtightening and causing damage. Here is an informational washer stack thread, and here is a really good post with pictures and a step-by-step procedure.

    The problem with keeping the lids on is that you also need to raise the heat pad to make up for the gap, and I've been told that this costs just as much as a delidding service anyway.

    I have not done any of this myself, just sharing some links from others who have. I have no opinion on what the best method is or what you should do.
     
  3. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #3
    You can, but not necessarilly.

    Delidding service for $7? That's a steal :p
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    Earlier I made the argument that thermal pad was cheap and was totally shot down. So I conceded and now I say it's expensive, but I get shot down again.

    So I'm staying out of this because with my 5,1 I have no dog in the fight.
     
  5. nlistgarten, Dec 21, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016

    nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #5
    Do I need to add the heat pad? In this example they didn't.

    I was planning on just being careful with the heatsinks, but its starting to sound like washers are a good idea. Thoughts?

    Also, that Netkas forum you linked to would have great pictures... if the links to the pictures weren't all broken :(
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #6
    Check the next step :D

    Delidding lobbyists :p
    But numbers don't lie.
     
  7. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #7
    For the thermal pad, I need to cut it to make a square ring where the inside dimensions match the IHS and the outside dimensions match the outside edge of the CPU? Also, what are your thoughts about washers vs. not washers?
     
  8. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #8
    Nope, you need to cut a strip, like this pink(?) one on the heatsink.
    It's for power section cooling, not for the CPU.

    I don't use washers, but for the beginners I would recommend them.
     
  9. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #9
    I'm sorry, I still don't really understand. Do you have a picture or link that could point me in the right direction?
     
  10. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #10
    See the Anandtech article you linked. On the heatsink you'll find a thin thermal pad, pinkish one.
     
  11. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #11
    And I need to replace it or cover it? (This is to help make up that 2mm difference as well, right?)
     
  12. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #12
    So do I need to add the thermal pad? There seems to be one already on the heatsink. Do I have to add a new one on top to make up for the added height of the IHS?
     
  13. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #13
    With lidded CPU you need, with lidless you don't.
    Replace stock one with proper height instead of adding on the top of it.
    Check the tread on netkas forum, which AM has linked.
     
  14. Mac Gus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Location:
    New York City
    #14
    Hi, I have the same computer as you and I have upgraded my processors twice, first time to x5660s in early 2014, and then just last month to x5690s after the price came down. I had never done anything like this before so I followed all the instructions carefully. I used lidded processors and added two 1mm washers to each post that the heatsinks screw down on. I personally would not feel comfortable doing this without the washers, no would i feel comfortable de-lidding a CPU.

    Also, yes, you need to add the 2mm thick thermal pads to the areas on the motherboard that the heatsinks originally made contact with. You can cut out the two strips and stick them down onto the board. Also you will need to add thermal paste to the lids of the CPS.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 21, 2016 ---
    See a picture from my thread. You can see the washers and the strip of thermal pad.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...-pro-need-advice.1691581/page-9#post-23926373
     
  15. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #15
    Thanks all! I feel more confident now that I kind of know what I'm doing. Now I just need to wait until all my parts arrive. :)
     
  16. deppest macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    #16
    As mac gus i have actually done this upgrade twice with lidded procs, thermal pads and no washers. I created a thread at that time with pics etc if its of any use
     
  17. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #17
  18. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #18
    Hey all! I just swapped out CPU B (and pulled CPU A). When I plug it in and turn it on, the button turns solid white and the fans spin up but it doesn't post. The red error LEDs don't indicate a hardware problem either. I think (but am not positive) that I tightened the screws enough. Should I try tightening them a bit more?
    --- Post Merged, Dec 23, 2016 ---
    Alternatively, do I need to install the second CPU to get it running? (Note I put in all 8 sticks of ram).
    --- Post Merged, Dec 23, 2016 ---
    Just replaced CPU A as well. Same symptoms. Heat sinks get a little bit warmer than air temp after about 15 seconds. GPU fan speeds up to full, stays at full. All other fans appear to run at normal speed.
     
  19. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #19
    @deppest @Mac Gus @666sheep any ideas? I have now gotten a CPU ovrtmp warning. CPU and tray both look visually ok. I have no idea what to do.
     
  20. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #20
    CPU A must be installed first. Get it working alone, then do CPU B. This way is easier to trace which one causes problems.
    Screws need to be tightened enough, but not too much. Hard to explain – you need to feel it with your fingers. Counting turns is for sissies :)
     
  21. deppest macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    #21
    +1 try cpu A 1st, counting turns doesn't hurt though even for bros
     
  22. nlistgarten, Jan 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

    nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #22
    @deppest @666sheep finally got a successful post. Really high booster speed and Core 0 temp. Did I do something wrong? Any fixes?

    Note that the heatsink doesn't feel warm to the touch.

    I used Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste, but could this be a result of not using enough?
     

    Attached Files:

  23. bjar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Sugar land, tx
    #23
    The proc hot is how many degrees you have until there may be an issue. So the higher the better.
     
  24. nlistgarten thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Location:
    San Mateo, California
    #24
    Weird. Anyway, installing the second CPU fixed everything. No clue what happened last time I tried to upgrade... I did the same thing this time and everything worked!
     

Share This Page