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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > MacPro1,1 Processor Upgrades (1st Generation)

MacPro1,1 Processor Upgrades (1st Generation)
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Nov 14, 2011, 10:35 PM
 
I have a dual-dual core Mac Pro (4x2.66). I've been kind of on the fence about what to do with it. It has some solid upgrades already (SSD + HDD, AMD 5770). I really want a brand new iMac 27" i7. But glossy screens are deal breakers. DoubleSight makes nice 27" stand alone LCDs for about $850.

I've recently downgraded from 10.7 back to 10.6, and I really want to stick with 10.6 for the foreseeable future. Upgrading to a new iMac (assuming Apple does ever bring back the anti-glare screen) will force me back to 10.7. Using 10.7 was truly an everyday struggle.

So then I started thinking about even more upgrades for this old beast of mine.
If I'm going to go with a dual 27" setup, then either way I'll need one external 27". My video card can handle up to three dual-link display. I'll go with two 27" screens and probably add a 22" 1080p screen at a later date. I only have 6 GB of RAM so I would have to upgrade to 10GB. Adding a pair of 2GB DIMMs shouldn't be too expensive. Not as amazingly dirt cheap as a 16 GB iMac RAM upgrade but still, not killer. And 10GB should get me by for a while longer.

So the only thing left are my processors. four 2.66Ghz processors. No hyperthreading
I've been googling around and from what I can tell, there are two processors that will fit in my machine, the x5355 and x5366. Those are quad core 2.66 and 3.0 xeons. There are other dual core etc that fit, but those two are the only two "upgrades". The 3.0's run about $500 each these days, but the 2.66's run about $160 each. That's pretty cheap, and that will be a clean doubling of my CPU power. Not as fast as a speed boosted, hyper-threaded iMac, but probably not way worse. Actually according to geekbench, it would be pretty close: Mac Benchmarks
And with my nice GPU and SSD boot/app drive, my machine would be pretty dang fast.

So I'm seeking information about processor upgrades for 1st gen Mac Pros. I've taken them apart before, but I've never put 3rd party processors in them. Are all Socket J aka 771 processors compatible? Is there anything newer/better than the 53#5 series?
Will any 5355 work? The best deal I've seen from a legit retailer (aka not eBay) is here:
Buy.com - Intel Xeon Quad-Core X5355 2.66GHz - Processor Upgrade
But they claim to be HP products, made my HP. Despite the giant intel logo. Is there something custom about these processors that will cause them to only work in an HP? Or would they work just fine in a Mac Pro? If there is an affordable quad core, hyperthreaded processor that will work in this machine, I'd much rather get that, even if it's a slower clock speed.
     
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Nov 15, 2011, 04:27 AM
 
I never did find out the name of the socket used in the early Mac Pros. I once switched out a pair of dual core CPUs for quads but they were pinched from another Mac Pro and therefore were Apple parts.

I have a feeling that most of those range of Xeons use the same socket but I couldn't say for sure. I also expect the HP kit is just an HP branded kit and only the clips/heat sinks/fans/ancillaries will be HP specific but again, I can't be certain.

I can tell you Apple uses very special toxic thermal compound in those Mac Pros. They wouldn't even let AASPs have the stuff (might have been the price more than anything). MP heat sinks came with it pre-applied.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Nov 15, 2011, 06:37 AM
 
Those Xeons use socket 771. The dual-duals (2 CPUs, 2 cores per CPU) were Xeon 5100 series and the dual-quads (2 CPUs, 4 cores per CPU split over two dies) are the Xeon 5300/5400 series with the 5400 being the 45nm shrink. 5100 to 5300 certainly works, unless there is a firmware compatibility issue - which Waragainstsleep indicates there isn't. Apple does not modify the CPUs from Intel in any way, so if any 5300 chip works, they all do.

The 54x0 series should work, again barring firmware limitations, but the 54x2 series may not (or they will be underclocked due to FSB speed).
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Nov 15, 2011, 06:40 AM
 
As I had x5365s lying around, that is what I installed in my MacPro1,1. Over a year now, running perfect. You can find those for around $360 each. One was from an HP server, one was just an Intel upgrade for said server. Project never happened. Regardless of the HP kits out there (that add $180 or so to the price), they are the same as the Intel non OEM branded. So to answer your question about HP kits only working in HP products, that wouldn't be the case. the processor is the same physical piece of goodness.

Usually, HP kits come with the required heat sink for that particular server kit (like a DL360 or BL480). In your case, you will be putting back on the Apple heat sinks (as I did). It was about a 15 minute job for me (if you have the right tools and experience).

I would find a set of x5365s. You get then dual quad-core at 3.0Ghz and cheaper then those x5366s.

edit: looks like you have a typo? i don't find any x5366 in my intel manuals. did you mean x5365? if so, like i said...buy just the INTEL branded (non IBM or HP/Compaq). here is where i get all my parts: http://www.serversupply.com/PROCESSO...BM/43W6133.htm $270 each.
( Last edited by residentEvil; Nov 15, 2011 at 07:05 AM. )
     
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Nov 15, 2011, 02:43 PM
 
Yes my 5366 was a typo, I meant 5365.
And while those are good at $270 apiece, the 5355's are about half the price. I'll probably go with the cheaper ones. Need to save some cash to put towards the massive monitors. Thanks for the info though. It looks like what i need is a pair of either x5355's or x5365's. I've removed mother boards and heat sinks from MacPro1,1's before, so I won't have trouble. HOWEVER I was under the impression that these models had regular thermal paste. And it was other models that had the special stuff?
     
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Nov 15, 2011, 02:45 PM
 
Here's a great deal on the 4x2.66:
435565-B21 PROCESSORS INTEL XEON QUAD-CORE 2.66GHZ - 1333MHZ FSB HP-COMPAQ
When I searched for x5355, that website had about 30 different varieties at different prices. But just to be super redundantly clear, they'll all work? Even the one I linked to above?

Also should I be concerned that it only has a 30 day warranty?
     
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Nov 16, 2011, 07:36 AM
 
i use the thermal paste for all the CPU upgrades i've done with stuff server supply ships (two MacPro upgrades and around 70 HP server upgrades). i never looked into the different thermal paste specs, but i know some are different. i don't have a little tube around to check the brand they send though; and i don't remember off the top of my head either but it is the same tubes HP sends if you buy a cpu upgrade kit right from them. i haven't had any issues with what they send. remember, just need a little dab like the size of pea. when the heat sink is screwed back down (go around in diagonal, a little bit at a time) it will spread the paste evenly and out to all edges of the chip.

i've been using server supply for 3 years (for replacement parts/not made anymore items/odd parts) and never had to send something back or have a failure. i buy CPUs, memory, hard drives and odd/hard to find parts for all my G3 to G6 HP servers (rack and blades) and some Sun and EMC parts too. never had a warranty concern/failure. most the items on that site are new/unopened and will have a manufacture warranty still. 30 day warranty is actually pretty good and is for servery supply directly. meaning in those first 30 days, you deal with them...not the manufacturer. a lot of part suppliers for old servers/computers don't offer any warranty and sell as is. i wouldn't though, buy used/opened* items from them though unless you are buying something that is no longer made anymore/limited to ebay or other options that charge an arm and a leg.

and that link, i would have no problem buying. not only is that CPU correct for the MacPro1,1 upgrade, it is an HP part number kit which is a safe buy if there isn't just a generic intel kit available...doesn't appear to be much of a mark up for the HP part number either. just my two cents. each cpu will come with a factory sealed HP heat sink (in this case, for a G1 BL460) that you obviously won't use and thermal paste. the cpu comes in a little plastic protected bubble pack.

cool side story, when i last bought a batch from them, for 6 BL460 G1 upgrades...which was 12 CPU total...they sent the CPUs in an intel manufacturing package like it came right from the factory. along with the rest of the 6 HP kit parts.

*example: i've bought several ProCurve switches from them before, since we don't have the budget to do network closet upgrades. our last closet upgrades were 5 *cough* years ago and was all ProCurve (price per port couldn't be beat) at that time. since i'm still required to keep the closets running when their is a failure i use my ProCurve stock i've purchased from server supply. never had an issue with those either...and the price for used/aftermarket at other places are 3x - 5x more expensive then server supply. so, i've stuck with them for pretty much everything.

more history with server supply: i did get a wrong order once; they sent me someone elses stuff. they sent me overnight the right stuff, and the other guy too. no charge for that and they paid for the return of the wrong stuff.

******** i am in no way affiliated with, or get compensated for, my comments and recommendations for server supply. when people ask where i buy stuff from, server supply is first choice for things like this. can't beat the prices compared to buying something right from a manufacture. YMMV
     
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Nov 17, 2011, 05:45 AM
 
Ordered I would have loved to have gotten the 3.0's, but for the same price as the 3.0's, I can get 2.66's plus 8 more GB of RAM.
     
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Nov 17, 2011, 07:38 AM
 
good to hear; hope your ordering and product experience matches mine.
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 22, 2011, 01:50 AM
 
So the Apple service manual says that this is the kit you need if you need to reapply thermal grease to this Mac Pro's processors. Despite what was said earlier in the thread, that looks like it's just regular old thermal paste to me, and some nice wipes.
http://www.macpalace.com/mac-parts/p...alcohol-wipes/
Is that the case? If so, I'll just go get some cheap stuff at my local computer shop, rather than ordering it for $30 online.
     
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Nov 22, 2011, 04:17 AM
 
That is indeed regular thermal paste. Apple tended to ship kits like this with the Mac Pro even when they weren't necessary. I'm struggling to remember whether it was only the top end CPUs that required the special pre-applied stuff or not. I don't have access to the Apple system any more.
The kit pictured was also shipped with MacBook Pro and MacBook logic boards too.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Nov 22, 2011, 04:19 AM
 
Awesome. My processors should be here wednesday. I do kind of wish I ordered the 8 GB ram upgrade first though. I suspect that will be a bigger upgrade for me. Oh well, it's alllllll good.
     
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Nov 22, 2011, 06:46 AM
 
as i said; i use what comes from Server Supply...they ship a tube of thermal paste with each CPU. so, you will have that already. there is nothing special about it. why buy more?

as for cleaning the heat sinks, and the old CPUs, so you can resell them , i simply use rubbing alcohol and a lint free cloth.
     
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Nov 22, 2011, 08:39 AM
 
Oh if the processor come with grease, all the better.
So, how much can I expect to get for a pair of 5150's these days?
     
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Nov 22, 2011, 09:10 AM
 
hahaha, probably not much but any money you can get goes back into your display budget. once of course, you find you are happy/no issues running on the new CPUs.
     
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Nov 22, 2011, 11:05 AM
 
If you list them on eBay, make sure to list them in the Mac section as well as PC and list the compatible Mac Pro model(s).
More likely to see to a PC user but you'll get more from a Mac user.

I'm thinking 'genuine Apple part' or words to that effect.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Nov 23, 2011, 06:31 PM
 
Here's what I got
These things say '05 on them, are they really that old? It's amazing that they were that old, and are still that fast! I don't know when I'm going to get to install them though. I want to get a can of air so I can clean this thing out when I open it up. And I need to pick up some alcohol wipes.

So about these heat sinks! They are heavy! Shockingly heavy for how small they are. Such a waste but oh well.
     
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Nov 24, 2011, 08:36 AM
 
yup; that is what comes; glad to see it matches everything i've always gotten. the typical HP processor upgrade kit. sorry there is a waste of the heatsinks. i too have dozens for all my blades since i reused the originals after i cleaned them. i have a rather large box of them. if you think of something to do with yours, let me know so i can too buying it that way from servery supply is actually cheaper then just individual CPUs from another store.

enjoy the CPU goodness. remember, just a pea size of paste...there is about 4 peas worth per tube so you won't even need the other tube. save it off to the side for another project
     
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Nov 24, 2011, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
These things say '05 on them, are they really that old?
No, they launched in Q4 '06.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Dec 5, 2011, 11:40 PM
 
So "About this Mac" doesn't quite know what to make of the new processors, but they do function as 8-core processors. System profiler and activity monitor both see it that way. Plus geekbench and my own little audio processing benchmark show basically a 100% speed increase. 14 GB of RAM is a nice number too I can run so many VM's at once. If only I had a fast enough disk to store them all...



     
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Dec 6, 2011, 04:39 AM
 
Yeah, that unknown thing is normal. I think the one I did even did it with Apple CPUs.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 6, 2011, 07:27 AM
 
for Lion; try this here (sorry, it's on another mac forum, hope that is okay):

Upgrading Mac Pro CPU - Page 2 - MacRumors Forums

of note; the above appears to work in older OSX versions too based on further reading.

for older OSX versions, there is an "aboutthismac.pkg" fix, google should point you to a working download of it.
     
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Dec 6, 2011, 12:36 PM
 
Why am I getting "unknown" in the first place though? Apple sold this mac pro with these processors. They're not "custom" in that sense. I checked out that .kext but decided to not install a kernel extension just to make 'About this Mac' prettier.
     
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Dec 6, 2011, 06:48 PM
 
I think the firmware is different in the quad core and 8 core models. Apple Service manuals treat them differently too.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 6, 2011, 08:20 PM
 
Oh. Well. Who cares, as long as I actually get my 8 processors, to hell with 'about this mac'
     
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Dec 7, 2011, 04:34 AM
 
It has more mystique that way anyway.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 7, 2011, 07:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
It has more mystique that way anyway.
Kind of like when they announce professional fighters as hailing from "parts unknown" rather than a city/state.

I also have a 1,1 MacPro and am curious if upgrading from 4 cores to 8 cores would be more or less beneficial in real-world use than upgrading the GPU from an nVidia 8800GT to a Radeon 5770 GPU. Primary use are Pixelmator, web development, some light games, VMWare Fusion, and Parallels.
     
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Dec 7, 2011, 08:57 AM
 
If you want to run several VMs at once, I would think more cores would be a great investment for you as long as you have plenty of RAM in it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 7, 2011, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If you want to run several VMs at once, I would think more cores would be a great investment for you as long as you have plenty of RAM in it.
I don't run multiple VMs at once...
     
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Dec 7, 2011, 10:56 AM
 
Then you might be better off with the GPU.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If you want to run several VMs at once, I would think more cores would be a great investment for you as long as you have plenty of RAM in it.
I have never seen a general case usage case for VMs where CPUs were the bottleneck. RAM is almost always the best bang for your buck if you want to run multiple VMs.
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 05:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Then you might be better off with the GPU.
I agree. Well, honestly, getting a SSD boot drive would probably give you the most "wow" for your buck considering your workflow. It's not going to speed up your games, but the seconds saved during launches and reboots can make up for lots of millisecond savings you'd get in Pixelmator upgrading the other two choices.
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 07:12 PM
 
I upgraded to 14GB of RAM, and 8 total 2.66ghz cores. And I already had an SSD drives and a 5770 GPU with 1GB of DDR5 VRAM. So at this point, I'm pretty well off. The only thing I need to give me a speed boost now is better multiple VMs at once support in VMWare. If I could tell VMWare to launch or suspend a whole group of VMs at once, and if VMWare was smart enough to queue the launches and suspends, and do them consecutively instead of simultaneously, that would speed things up quite a bit. Otherwise, I'm golden at this point. Ready for the final upgrade, some amount of 27-30 inch monitors.
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by King Bob On The Cob View Post
I have never seen a general case usage case for VMs where CPUs were the bottleneck. RAM is almost always the best bang for your buck if you want to run multiple VMs.
It is nice if you can have at least one core per VM and still keep one or two spare for your Mac though.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Dec 13, 2011, 07:18 PM
 
I guess it really depends on what those VMs are doing. If each one is encoding music, then yes. If they're just running web browsers, then yeah RAM woudl help more. In my case, I'm a pretty well rounded computer user so both upgrades help a lot, over all.
     
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Mar 6, 2012, 02:30 PM
 
Sooooooo. I may be getting a 2006 1st Gen intel Xserve soon. Likely a 4x2.0 GHz model. The info in this thread is all the same for the Xserve right? The same 4x2.66's will just slide up on in there? The higher clock speed won't be a problem, if the original processors were slower?
Besides my Mac Pro, the last time I did a CPU upgrade, it was the days when you had to set your dip switches to set the clock multiplier, to multiply the system bus speed to get the processor speed.
     
   
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