What is the Max CPU Upgrade for a 2009 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TimJones781, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. TimJones781 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #1
    Hey all,

    I am looking online for used mac pro's from 2009. I am wondering how the whole upgrading CPU chips works. I understand the physical process of replacing chips but i am unclear about the max upgrade capability for a particular computer.

    Fore example If i get a 2.0gHz 2xdual core (for a total of 4 cores) can i upgrade that unit to a 12 core 3.33gHz?

    Are there limitations? What are they? What is the lowest start point i would have to go in order to be able to upgrade it to the highest possible upgrade.

    If there is a chart somewhere that shows potential cpu upgrade paths that would be great.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. DJenkins macrumors 6502

    DJenkins

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    The highest spec processor available is the Xeon X5690 at 3.46 GHz although they were never included in any official Apple builds.

    I think the lowest spec dual processor machine in 2009 was the 2.26 GHz 8 core model. This can first be upgraded via firmware from a 4,1 to a 5,1 model, after which the X5690 processor can be installed. Have a search around here as many people have done it, but I think there is a trick to re-seating the heatsinks as the 2009 Apple processors have a variation in lid height compared to the X5690.
     
  3. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Depending on the model/time it was produced the 2009s dual have no lid on the processor so need spacers to get the heatsinks at the right height and they can have no socket hold down for the cpu just the heatsink keeps the processors in place. You also need to mess with the power connector for the fans to get it to work correctly the cable is too short once you do the new processors. Also the dual cpu chips are about double the price of the single core chips at well over $1000 a chip you can get the singles for around $600-700 used on Ebay and one spot I seen had the W3680 (6 cores 3.33ghz) for around $600 new. The OP unless needing the extra 6 cores of the dual machine is probably better off with a single core machine with one of them, the single core machine has the proper socket on the logic board for an easy no messing around with spacers exchange of the new chip.
     
  4. TimJones781 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #4
    Thanks its starting to become clearer

    So any idea what model i would need to look for to have the ability to upgrade to 8-12 core 3.33gHz? With the appropriate lid so i dont have to mess with spacers or extending any power cables?
     
  5. MacUser2525, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

    MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    If you get one of the models without the proper socket then you need to mess with both. The way Apple did it leaves you no choice when upgrading them they do not have a proper cpu socket with latch for the cpu and the cpu's themselves do not have the thermal lid. When you put in a retail chip that has the lid on it like this one below which I think is the two processor version of the W3680 which goes in the single machine you must make the modifications the single does not require this it has socket and lid on the processors.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/47916/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X5680-12M-Cache-3_33-GHz-6_40-GTs-Intel-QPI

    Edit: And if your thinking of spending this much on an upgrade you may want to check the thread going on right now where Amazon/BestBuy has the I think it is 2.4x6 x2 core for $2500 sale going on.

    Edit2: Found the link. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1555637
     
  6. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #6
    Most cost efficient

    If say the OP owned a 2009 Quad-Core 3.2 and wanted to move to the w3680 or w3690.. he is half way there.. all he would need to do is flash the 4,1 to 5,1 firmware and make the 2009 into a 2010.

    Then he would just have to get the 3.33 or 3.46 westmere 6-core. The good news here is the same heatsink is used in both the 09 and 10. All thats left is changing out 1066 memory for 1333, but this wouldn't yield too much in performance as the difference is negligible.

    Dual is a different matter.. Not only would the OP have to flash the firmware, he would also have to get the IHS off the processors to make them fit which can be dangerous and lead to a broken processor module.

    Why its not cost effective is due to this reason.. Also, keep in mind the 2010 heatsinks and not identical to the 09, so he would need those two.. Plus two x56xx series chips..

    Again, the dual upgrade is not cost effective and at that juncture he might just be better off trading up to a 2010/2012 Mac Pro(2012 is same as 2010, except for speed bumped westmeres).

    The single quads are THEREFORE worth the small expense.
     
  7. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #7
    This is incorrect.

    I upgraded a 4,1 to 12 core @ 3.33 Ghz and used the same heatsinks.

    I got the used 5680s on Ebay for $1,500 for the pair. Works fine now, but install wasn't fun.
     
  8. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #8
    I know the 2010's heatsinks support regular processors with IHS.. but the 2009's did not as those were lidless. I read this somewhere on Anandtech's website that the 2010's were a little different. Maybe it was an oversite.. But still Single-Quad to 6-core saves money as you can use the same heatsink and the w3680 isn't that expensive as it used to be.

    But comparing prices, single to 6=core is less expensive than dual as the x56xx series are very high in price x two.

     

Share This Page