Upgrade 2009 mac pro quad with 2010 dual hex board?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by whackit, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. whackit macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2014
    Hi folks,

    Longtime lurker with a first post. I'm getting conflicting info here on whether I can do this or not...

    A 5,1 2010 dual hex (X5670) complete processor board just fell into my lap that I can get for next to nothing.

    I have a quad 4,1 2009 (2.93) that I'm wondering if I can stick the dual 2010 board into.

    I know I'll have to flash firmware to 5,1 but I have read mixed opinions on whether the later board will work in the earlier machine... or a dual board in a single board machine.

    Any smart people who can help?
  2. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    The only thing "single" or "dual" about those machines was the CPU carrier. The backplane (and everything else) was identical regardless of how many CPUs were installed.

    The firmware upgrade will only get you a 5,1 machine EFI wise. If you're going to have any problems, it'll be with the SMC (for which there is no known updater for the 4,1 or 5,1 machines). There are two SMC chips located in the 2010/2012 machines. One is on the logic board (backplane), the other is on the CPU carrier itself. You may or may not have problems with the SMC firmware not matching between the two controllers.

    That being said, I don't think you can damage the system by trying. You'll know right away if the SMC doesn't like it because your fans will run at full speed (which is VERY loud!), the system will turn off, or you'll get a flashing power LED or diagnostic LEDs lit up on the logic board and the machine will never chime. If that happens then you're probably SOL, and will have to run the machine with the matching board sets.

    Again, I could have sworn I heard about people doing this on these forums and their machines ran just fine, so long as you flash the 5,1 EFI firmware onto the backplane first (which is the one that comes with the Netkas utility).

  3. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    AFAIK, your 4,1 should able to boot with that processor board after the firmware upgrade, but most likely the fan will run at some speed speed because of the different SMC version.
  4. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    While installing a 5,1 processor board will technically work in a 4,1 the fans will be running a full speed. Even with flashing the firmware of the 4,1 with the hacked 5,1 firmware. Flashing the 4,1 with hacked 5,1 firmware does not make it a 5,1. It is still a 4,1 but thinks it is a 5,1 and that is not the same thing as being a 5,1.
  5. iBuildMacs macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2014
    The firmware on the processors boards of 2009 compared to 2010 are different. It will not work. 2009 trays only work in 2009 units and same with the 2010.

    If you're getting a 2010 dual processor tray for next to nothing, find a cheap quad-core 28ghz 2010 to put it in...or sell it to me. :)
  6. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Technically it will work but with the caveat of the fans running at full speed.

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