Upgrade Mac Pro 4.1 or 5.1 using Core i7

Ewen Cameron

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 15, 2004
30
14
I was aware that you could upgrade the single cpu in a 4.1 5.1 using the Xeon W3680 or W3690 cpu.

But I just read you can also use a core i7…

"Single CPU Mac Pro 6-core upgrade: For the 4-core, single processor Mac Pro. Your stock 2.66 GHz (2009) or 2.80 GHz (2010) 4-core processor is upgraded to an Intel Core i7-980 3.33 GHz 'Gulftown' 6-core CPU. (The alternative 'Westmere' Xeon 6-core CPU provides identical performance but at twice the cost. It is not remotely cost effective). I use a Gulftown Core i7-980 in my 2009 single CPU Mac Pro".

Has anyone done this?
Does this mean there could be faster Core i7 upgrades available?

I am aware that the ECC ability of the ram will not work.
 
Last edited:

chris.k

macrumors member
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
I was aware that you could upgrade the single cpu in a 4.1 5.1 using the Xeon W3680 or W3690 cpu.

But I just read you can also use a core i7…

"Single CPU Mac Pro 6-core upgrade: For the 4-core, single processor Mac Pro. Your stock 2.66 GHz (2009) or 2.80 GHz (2010) 4-core processor is upgraded to an Intel Core i7-980 3.33 GHz 'Gulftown' 6-core CPU. (The alternative 'Westmere' Xeon 6-core CPU provides identical performance but at twice the cost. It is not remotely cost effective). I use a Gulftown Core i7-980 in my 2009 single CPU Mac Pro".

Has anyone done this?
Does this mean there could be faster Core i7 upgrades available ?

Yes this works. However you need to qualify the "can use a core i7" statement. You can ONLY use the LGA1366 first-generation Core series For example you can use the

I7-980X "extreme"
I7-990X "extreme"

These above chips are identical to the W3680, W3690 respectively, minus the ECC Ram.

Those two chips are "the end of the line" for the LGA1366 i7 series. There are no faster/better core i7 processors you can use in a MacPro 4,1/5,1.
 

Ewen Cameron

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 15, 2004
30
14
Thanks for answering, I thought that might be the case.

Not sure if I should bite the bullet and get a new iMac or get a Mac Pro 4.1 on Ebay and do the firmware & cpu update.

I love the expansion abilities on my 3.1, which I have had from new and upgraded with a new gpu and SSD but the new mac pro is far too much for what I need which is mainly graphics CS6 stuff.

What would you do if you only use Adobe CS suite…

iMac i5 21.5" 2.9ghz with fusion drive (about £ 1225.00)

or

buy a Mac Pro 4.1 on ebay and upgrade with Xeon 6 core 3.42mhz (about £950 - £1100)?

My current Mac Pro 3.1 is to be handed down to my son (part of his xmas present) :D.
 
Last edited:

chris.k

macrumors member
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
I have a 4,1 with a W3690 hex.

Couldn't be happier with it. Fantastic at everything I throw at it.

My use cases are different than yours (I use it for x-plane scenery development, having the sim + editing tools + gfxconverter all loaded simultaneously and flipping back and forth between them constantly to check the results of my edits). Works very well for my purposes

I also recently picked up BF4 in the Win7/Bootcamp side of things, and the system performs beautifully at very high/ultra on the GTX670.

My suggestion is (much like everyone else recommends) is to get a cheap 4,1, flash it, drop a Hexacore into it and toss in an NVidia GTX 680.
 

snarfquest

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2013
210
4
Do these:

I7-980X "extreme"
I7-990X "extreme"

give you the ability to do Airplay Video streaming? Meaning do these processors have the built-in optimizations?

That would be one way to get Airplay to work from a MacPro. Has anybody tried this?
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,054
366
Baltimore, MD
Do these:

I7-980X "extreme"
I7-990X "extreme"

give you the ability to do Airplay Video streaming? Meaning do these processors have the built-in optimizations?

That would be one way to get Airplay to work from a MacPro. Has anybody tried this?
Airplay requires a Sandy Bridge chipset. It won't work.
 

visusest

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2013
16
2
pa_usa
An i7-970 will also work and be slightly cheaper. I run one in a flashed 4,1 with 12GB of non-ECC triple channel RAM.
 

idiiamots

macrumors member
Feb 15, 2010
44
3
Seattle, WA
When upgrading Xeon processors in Mid-2010s, does it matter where the CPUs come from? For example, X5650 sells for $500/pair. A dual CPU board is $700. That's $1200 vs $3200+ for OWC to do a single-to-dual upgrade. What's the catch???
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,980
304
Canada
When upgrading Xeon processors in Mid-2010s, does it matter where the CPUs come from? For example, X5650 sells for $500/pair. A dual CPU board is $700. That's $1200 vs $3200+ for OWC to do a single-to-dual upgrade. What's the catch???
CPUs are CPUs. The catch is OWC wants to make large markup like Apple but you leave off the hundreds of dollars a piece the cpu coolers are going to cost for that board upgrade. Oh and you can do better on them processors just got matched pair for $350 shipped on there couple of days ago.
 

CrazyNurse

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2012
149
3
Do these:

I7-980X "extreme"
I7-990X "extreme"

give you the ability to do Airplay Video streaming? Meaning do these processors have the built-in optimizations?

That would be one way to get Airplay to work from a MacPro. Has anybody tried this?
Airpay does not work on Mac Pros? Why?:confused:
 

cosmolv

macrumors member
Aug 18, 2012
61
5
Latvia
I'm sure I read somewhere it requires Ivy Bridge or better cpu which until today no Mac Pro has had.
Looks like this thread are little bit dead. Rising it up :)

are AirPlay capability depending from CPU? i think it depends on AirPort card. Or i something misunderstand :)
i got there an old macpro 3.1 and mac pro 5.1 - on 3.1 i got AirPlay working when i upgraded AirPort card.

On MacPro 5.1 i'm looking for some i7 option because MacPro 5.1 chipset AC82X58 are capable of it.
I try with i7-990X EDIT: maybe! :confused: ...i think, it not worth this. Better is to get somewhere Two CPU Bay. Because now i had bay with only one CPU. But these on ebay are too expensive.

BTW someone done this before? if yes then how is the results with i7-990X ? (so far i not seen anywhere that somebody do this. Everyone upgrade to Xeon's (i'm little bit confusing about this)
Just looking and trying to dive into this thing.

There are compability list of AC82X58 chipset. By the way, it confuses me more, there are not listed X5690 as many upgraders put in macpro's. Perhaps, this is not listed there and have firmware updates: https://ark.intel.com/products/36785/Intel-X58-Express-IO-Hub

And last, it performs a little better when we see on marks. Question - it worth it? https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-i7-990X-vs-Intel-Xeon-X5690/867vs1314

:confused:
 
Last edited:

rudo.ba

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2013
48
5
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