upgrading processors on new Mac Pro's

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Adros, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Adros macrumors member

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    #1
    My old Power Mac G5 just died on me a few hours ago, spurring me to finally get one of the new mac pro. I have been reading the threads on here about them, and was curious if the processors would be upgradable after you buy the computer.

    For instance, if you get a quad core, can you only ever upgrade to higher quad cores, or could you potentially put in octa cores later on?

    Even simpler, if I were to buy a 2.26 octa, could I (easily) buy faster processors later and put them in? If so who would I probably end up buying them from, apple or a 3rd party?

    Thanks for your help, just starting to get into upgrading my own machine. :)
     
  2. robinp macrumors 6502

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    #2
    As far as we know the quad can't be upgraded to an octad. If it is possible it would likely be incredibly expensive as it would require replacing the entire board the the CPUs and RAM sit on. It won't be a problem upgrading the CPUs in either to faster versions and indeed it might well be possible to drop in the next version of the xeon CPUs which are meant to be pin compatible. Apple never sells upgrade kits like that so you would be looking to get them from a third party.
     
  3. $BPM$ macrumors newbie

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  4. grue macrumors 65816

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    #4
    AAAAAAAAhahahhaahahhaahhhhhahahaaaaaaaaaaahaahhahahahahaahha

    [​IMG]

    AAAAAAAAhahahhaahahhaahhhhhahahaaaaaaaaaaahaahhahahahahaahha


    Oh man, this is so typical Apple I can't even put it into words.
     
  5. Adros thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #6
    That said you might be able to buy an entire tray (daughter board). Of course it will be 3 or 4 times the price of the CPUs alone in a just a few years but.. It probably will be possible - unofficially.

    Both said I'm really starting to have second thoughts about what kind of company Apple is. :(
     
  7. Fomaphone macrumors regular

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    #7
    c'mon now. granted that I was born in 1987, but for as long as I've wanted a Mac, Apple has always set their machines apart from the DIY ability of PC's. it protects their reputation (as status symbols) and protects the perception of quality machines. it standardizes the hardware behind the apple brand. is this move really surprising?

    i like max value, too, but I don't fault apple for designing their product in a way that inhibits people changing it.
     
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #8
    For me it is, yes. Sure, they've always made it hard but in the past it's always been fairly easy to do anyway if you're not too weak-hearted to remove the case cover. Also they in the past have always (or mostly) been competitively priced. On other sites over the past 4 years for sure and periodically for years before even that, I have been one of the 1st people to show how Apple was indeed actually not over-priced just by specing identical parts - whenever the topic arose.

    This year both those things have changed. Yeah, I'm surprised. Actually shocked.

    But this ideology of mine expressed here really only holds true for the Pro (workstation) grade boxes. I mean if they pulled a CPU stunt like that on the Mini or the iMac I wouldn't even think about it.

    I do. It's borderline illegal, monopolistic, and generally unfair. The thinking heads behind these decisions are nearly criminal IMHO. But in 2 or 3 years when they're in court maybe they can pull the same stunt MS did and just get the Judge to speak out of turn (after the verdict) and have the whole thing be a waste of tax-payer money.

    .
     
  9. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #9
    Oh quit the hysterics. It's not even close to illegal. And they didn't even do it to prevent you from upgrading. They did it because it's a far more efficient cooling design. It will allow quieter fans and higher voltage processors in the future. A lot of engineering work went into the solution.

    Here's the recurring pattern:

    1) apple changes something because it's a better engineering decision. (non-replaceable battery. no heat spreader. etc.)

    2) a small percentage of customers would be affected. But a loud minority disputes the percentage. "I always carry a replacement battery! I always replace my CPU's every year!"

    3) people complain that Apple is the next microsoft


    We get it. Apple should use all commodity parts, should always stick to reference designs, and should always make all their parts interchangeable with every Dell machine. They should write drivers for everything under the sun, should support every conceivable part swap anyone could ever think of, should change their license agreement to permit installation of OS X on HP netbooks, and should be grateful for your support.
     
  10. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #10
    It's neither illegal, monopolistic or similar to the MS situation. Apple would have to be using a monopoly (which they don't have: you cannot have a monopoly on producing Apple computers) to prevent competition. I cannot see anyway you can say that designing their computers to limit upgrades illegally prevents another company competing with them.

    The argument can be made that refusing to license the OS is monopolistic, but this will tend to fail as there are other OS choices out there. It is similar to arguing that BMW must license it's designs to competitors to enable them to sell lower price "BMW" cars...
     
  11. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #11
    Competitively priced, user upgradable and Apple have never belonged in the same sentence. :D

    You either fit the mold of the user for which an Apple computer is designed, and are willing to pay a premium for the experience, or you don't/won't. :p

    I grew up with the Apple IIe and they have not changed their philosophy on this in the last 25 years... This generation of MP is no different! :p
     
  12. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #12
    Competitively priced? Give me a break. Apple charges a premium because they can and it's pretty apparent that they've gotten away with it for 25+ years.

    Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. On one hand (at least in theory), a closed architecture allows Apple to design machines that are devoid of many of the software and hardware instabilities one might experience with Windows PCs.

    On the other hand, there's a trade-off. Closed architecture puts Apple in a position to charge premium prices and makes the platform somewhat limited in expansion. This has been the case ever since the first Apple ][ machines shipped. Nothing has really changed.
     
  13. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #13
    hey - why's everyone dissing the Apple ]['s? Compared to most everything else that was going on at the time (up until the IBM PC), they were far more expandable and open.
     
  14. Abidubi macrumors 6502

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    #14
    It's illegal now to prevent someone from screwing with your stuff? You mean Microsoft is doing something illegal by not making Xbox games run on PCs? Well I guess it is unfair that you need to buy an Xbox to play an Xbox game isn't it.
     
  15. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #15
    Was that really necessary? The G5s were the same way - factory tuned. Workstation / server grade hardware often comes as non user touchable to prevent un-wanted mishaps. If you want a machine that you can upgrade, build your own.
     
  16. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #16
    I didn't think I was being hysterical.

    Prevent you from upgrading? I was thinking more like force you to upgrade.

    I don't agree with your 1, 2, 3 and I don't think they should make themselves into a clone of the DELL company.


    I think the illegality of it falls to something we're not focusing on yet. I wasn't being redundant when I mentioned "monopoly". I was thinking of three very specific things that are very wrong with what they're doing. I'll outline some of my logic flow on just one of them so you can understand where I'm coming from. And BTW I'm not trying to troll or anything lame like that. So, like this:

    It's become an accepted norm and an expected function of any "workstation" machine with an easy access panel or door to be user upgradable based on CPU socket (which is can be argued is normal to derive from the CPU it's advertised to ship with) the memory sockets, the expansion slot types, drive bays, etc.. When a company markets a machine in this class they are playing to those expectation. Then thereafter not delivering on it, not stating clearly any exceptions, and purposely making it impossible difficult or forcing proprietary alternatives becomes a kind of bait and switch. I guess if I had a million or so I could win such an argument against Apple. Anyway i did say it was borderline and not blatant. The other two are similar trains of thought.

    Regardless of these practices determinate legality it remains affront to me personally and flies in the face of being fair or getting a fair shake from a fair company.

    Does that make more sense?
     
  17. Fomaphone macrumors regular

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    #17
    corporations by definition must take the most profitable legal course of action in every case-- that duty to shareholders is the most fundamental component of making a company public. it's the whole justification for corporate formation and regulation... corporations ideally exploit every market within the limits of the law.

    that is the field in which Apple competes. nobody's hiding or baiting-and-switching anything about that reality.

    if you hadn't noticed, two things: 1) nobody's being harmed by this hardware pricing so it's not an issue of legality and 2) apple is an extremely successful corporation-- they're very good at pursuing profits for their shareholders. that's all they're doing and it's nothing new.

    edit
     
  18. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #18
    While I think I can bring points to bare that might show otherwise on your below two points I only wish to say that if they loose 1/2 of they user base because of a lack of good will and a sense of fairness then they haven't pursued the most profitable legal course of action. Good will, fairness and the perceptions thereof do have very real rolls to play in the profitability of a corporation.




    --
    EDIT: Concerning your above edit I was 1/2 expecting Apple's '09 (and for sure their 2010 units) to have 12 or 16 physical cores.

    .
     
  19. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #19
    Arguable. For much of corporate america, "workstation" still means Sun, etc., which has no history of such things.

    No.

    First, they don't "purposely mak[e] it impossible or difficult." They made the decision based on engineering, not based on trying to prevent you from swapping CPUs. You may as well argue that Intel is being illegal whenever they come out with a new socket. I assure you, they do it for technical reasons, not to screw you.

    Second, you have failed to state a legal cause of action. They've broken no contract (where does Apple promise that you can swap the cpu?) They've violated no warranty, express or implied. They've committed no fraud.

    They have no affirmative duty to tell you all the things that you cannot do the machine. Despite your assertion, upgrading CPUs in workstations is incredibly rare. Even though it can nowadays be done, it is ACTUALLY done almost never percentagewise.

    You're funny - you ignore what apple actually explicitly tells you (you may not use OS X on a non-mac - see other thread) - and yet you derive implausible meaning from what apple doesn't tell you (they don't say "it's hard to rip the guts out and replace it with other guts" so therefore it should be easy).

    But, just so you don't actually buy an Apple and have it fail to live up to promises Apple hasn't actually made, here are some other things Apple should have told you:

    1) the mac pro is not a tasty salad dressing
    2) the mac pro is not waterproof
    3) the mac pro is not available in five tasty flavors
    4) the mac pro is not convertible into a giant transforming robot
    5) some assembly required
     
  20. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #20
    Well... :p

    (near the end)
     
  21. Fomaphone macrumors regular

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    #21
    additionally... is anybody taking into account that every time a user buys newer or better hardware, they make it that much easier to wait for the next upgrade?

    i mean... now that i have this 09 mp, it will be a solid 4-5 years until it feels too slow for my needs (HD editing and graphic creation). the g5 that i had prior to this started showing its age in '06 when 1080p video hit the prosumer market in a big way but i held onto it until it died.

    in two years, 2k and 4k will be a lot more common than they are now, but they won't be hugely relevant for single-machine purchasers until the life of this machine (and possibly the planet :D) is nearing an end anyway. this machine manhandles HD video like the g5 used to handle SD. if you look at the software that apple sells for these machines... the Final Cut Studio, Logic, QMaster and QT, Aperture, etc... it's prosumer software geared toward people who can afford a machine and the software bundle but not terribly much more. the machines are all hugely more competent than the tech of 3-5 years ago, which is when most of the people in this category last upgraded. so think about the length of the single-machine user's upgrade cycle.

    what does apple have to gain from letting people push the more users' upgrade cycles to 6 or 7 years? should i pissed about every upgrade between now and the platform that makes 10k real-time video possible? no. ... i shudder to think what i'll be shelling out in 2014 for a new computer but i'm excited at the thought of purchasing one that's going to spank my current MP with 4k and 64-bit floating point graphics.
     
  22. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #22
    Heehehehhe! I love it! That's kewl!
     
  23. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #24
    So the quad (single processor) machines may be upgradable (barring a firmware lock) but the octo machines are not? :mad:

    While I've been an Apple user since I got an Apple ][+ in 1982, I too am a bit disappointed in Apple's continued attempts at locking the hardware down to the point as being virtually un-upgradable.

    Every Mac I've owned since 1994 has had a potentially upgradable processor until the G5 series. And even then, the machine that replaced the G5, the 1st generation Mac Pro, has replaceable processors.

    Mac OS X 10.6 better be really good in light of Windows 7...

    I'm having a hard time contemplating upgrading my 2.66GHz dual-dual Woodcrest Mac Pro for a $5000+ 2.93GHz knowing how locked down the hardware is.

    I had hoped that Apple's move to the Intel platform would bring inexpensive computers and (at least slightly) more ubiquitous upgrade options like video cards, etc. Guess not.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.


    Having fantasies about replacing my Mac Pro and MacBook with $2000 upgradable 3.2GHz Core i7 running Windows 7 and a cheap $300 Atom-based netbook that I can replace twice per year.
    And since iTunes is solid on Windows now, and virtually all software I use regularly save for Keynote, iPhoto and Osirix exists in both Windows and Mac versions, the only thing keeping me on the Mac is the OS itself.
     
  24. cmaier macrumors G3

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    #25
    Let's see - 8 core uses a far more efficient heat-dissipating solution that corresponds to more difficulty in cpu swapping. Could be:

    1) double the heat generated in the same space requires a more efficient cooling solution -OR-

    2) a vast conspiracy to prevent you from upgrading your cpus, something almost no one does in the first place.


    Yeah, (2) makes a lot more sense.

    You people frighten me.
     

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