Upgrading Mac Pro 4,1

mmendoza27

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 18, 2007
327
31
So I've been debating on getting a 5K iMac or keeping my current machine. I have a 2.26 8-core Mac Pro with 4 drives (2 in raid for the OS install), no SSD, 2 GT 120s and 3 monitors.

Honestly, my machine is in pretty bad shape. I was so set on an iMac because the raw speed is comparable to a nMP and I use it for software development. I know I don't NEED the speed and I'm mainly concerned with screen real estate and having a retina display. The retina display really helps with the various iOS simulators.

With that in mind, after looking at pricing options, it's just cheaper to gradually upgrade the Mac Pro and it's such a great machine! After all, upgradability is why we all got them, right? So what should I get?

Here's what I'm looking at:
- 2x W5680 (6-core 3.33 Ghz Xeons)
- SM 951 512 GB with Lycom DT-120
- 32 GB of RAM

Here's where it gets interesting. I would eventually like 2x24" 4K monitors or, if possible 2x27" 5K monitors (eventually down the road) and I'm unsure about which GFX card to get. I'm looking at the GTX 970, but I'm honestly unsure which one to get. I'm also considering just getting a 24" 4K Dell and keeping my current cinema display for right now. I'm also looking into a 34" 21:9 display as well. Any ideas??
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
44
MN
For a 4,1 you need de-lidded CPUs; I would buy them that way versus doing it yourself. And you'd need the X5680 for a 2xCPU config, W-series are for single CPU. Plenty of info on these forums about upgrading a 4,1.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,545
1,967
^^^^Actually that is incorrect. I posted the correct info below over a year ago. And there is no such thing as a W5680 as explained below:

Well, Intel has changed what the leading Alpha means. The change happened when going from the 35XX (55XX) to the 36XX (56XX) series.

In the older series it meant:

E = Enterprise and CPUs with a TDP of 80 Watts
X = Accelerated and CPUs with a TDP of 95 Watts
W = Workstation and CPUs with a TDP of 130 Watts

and in every case the leading numeric after the alpha meant:

3 = for single CPU use only (1 x I/O Bus)
5 = for dual CPU use, but will work in single CPU applications (2 x I/O Bus)

With the later series, the above nomenclature rules stayed constant EXCEPT - The "X" prefix means accelerated (95 or 130 watt TDP) and is only used on CPUs with a 2 x I/O bus. The "W" prefix is now used only in the single CPU series (1 X I/O Bus).

In any case in both series, the meaning of leading numeric after the alpha has remained the same. A "3" for CPUs with a 1 x I/O bus and a "5" for CPUs with a 2 X I/O Bus.

I hope this makes sense to you. It took me awhile to figure it out.
Mr. Pike's recommendation to buy the lidless CPUs is a good one.

Lou
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
44
MN
^^^ thanks for the clarification. (As unclear as it may be...)
So a 2x W5590 @3.33 config would also work? (Though those are only 4-core...)

If you are going to the trouble just get the 3.46 x5690s and be done with it. :)
 

mmendoza27

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 18, 2007
327
31
Maybe, I'm definitely going to buy delidded CPUs for sure. I thought ~$500 was the sweet spot and saw the X5690s for $699. I technically could, but I'm wondering if 3.6 turbo boost compared to 3.73 is a big difference. Both are already a large different to my 2.26. That's the one thing I regret, is getting such a low clock speed (compared to the 2.93 which I think was the max at the time). But when were talking 0.13 Ghz, I think I'll be okay.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,545
1,967
^^^ thanks for the clarification. (As unclear as it may be...)
So a 2x W5590 @3.33 config would also work? (Though those are only 4-core...)

If you are going to the trouble just get the 3.46 x5690s and be done with it. :)
Sorry, if it's unclear to you. I tried to spell it out as clearly as I could. And Yes, W5590s should work very well in a 4,1 without a firmware update.

I've updated the CPUs in my 5,1 cMP twice. The first update was to W5590s, which I ran for about a year. I then went with X5677s. They're a bit faster and run a bit cooler. I have decided, for what I do, 12 cores would be overkill for me. So my X5677s give me 8 cores running @ 3.46 GHz.

Lou