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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Upgrading MacPro Processors

Upgrading MacPro Processors
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nagal
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Dec 16, 2007, 11:47 AM
 
I am getting ready to get my first Mac, a used MacPro 2.66 and I have been trying to find out if I can upgrade the CPU to the new QuadCore Xeons? I have seen some info where it implies it is possible but nothing concert.

michael
     
MaximusNL
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Dec 16, 2007, 12:30 PM
 
If you are planning to upgrade to quad core maybe already buy the 3.0 Quad Core optional with your MacPro.

Since the heatsinks can come off of the CPU's my guess is that they are upgradable although you should take a closer look to the way the CPU's are connected to the logicboard (soldered or not soldered). This will tell you for sure whether they are upgradable or not.
     
nagal  (op)
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Dec 16, 2007, 12:41 PM
 
I would love to get the Quad Core but my budget is only allowing the purchase of a used 2.66 dual core. I know the CPUs can physically be removed and replaced but from my years of building PCs, I know sometimes not all motherboards easily support a CPU upgrade even if using the same socket pin layout.
     
bearcatrp
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Dec 16, 2007, 12:44 PM
 
They are upgradable. BUT, from what I have read, you need a firmware upgrade which I haven't been able to find out how to get. Do a google search and you will find the directions on how to do this. Anyone else know for sure about the firmware upgrade? I will be doing mine in the not so distant future when the prices drop a bit more.
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MaximusNL
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Dec 16, 2007, 01:19 PM
 
Is there a source for the firmware update? Because when buying a MacPro with the intention of updating the CPU's later on there can be a problem with applying the right firmware to your MacPro for the CPU's to function.

nagal, the Dual 2.66 Xeon's are a couple of beautiful cpu's with a lot of calculation power I'm saving for one too
     
mduell
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Dec 16, 2007, 01:40 PM
 
You can certainly upgrade to the "old" 5300 series (65nm) quads (up to 3Ghz); just drop them in and go as Anandtech did. Upgrading to the new 5400 series (45nm) quads is unconfirmed, mostly because it's so hard to get a hold of them; there are various reasons to suggest they may or may not work.

I'd provide a link to buy them, but Newegg is having server issues at the moment.
     
~bash $
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Dec 16, 2007, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
You can certainly upgrade to the "old" 5300 series (65nm) quads (up to 3Ghz); just drop them in and go as Anandtech did. Upgrading to the new 5400 series (45nm) quads is unconfirmed, mostly because it's so hard to get a hold of them; there are various reasons to suggest they may or may not work.

I'd provide a link to buy them, but Newegg is having server issues at the moment.
It didn't seem like Anandtech had to mess with any firmware things with those 5300s, did they? That's promising, at least.
     
MaximusNL
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Dec 16, 2007, 03:41 PM
 
Since the old 5300 are at 65nm there is no patching needed because the socket is the same.
For the upcomming 45nm Xeon cpu's a flash can be necessary mainly because the mac needs to undestand the other nm of the cpu.

At least that is what I guess.
     
Simon
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Dec 16, 2007, 04:48 PM
 
The Mac certainly doesn't "need to understand the nm of the CPU".
     
mduell
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Dec 16, 2007, 04:58 PM
 
Here are the 5300 series quads that are known to work.

This document from Intel says the new 5400 series CPUs work with the older 5000 chipset (which is in the Mac Pro), but there are still roadblocks that Apple could have thrown in the way.
     
chefpastry
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Dec 17, 2007, 05:31 AM
 
It appears Newegg has fixed their problems. It now lists the 2.83GHz Harpertowns as "in stock".

Newegg.com - Intel Xeon E5440 Harpertown 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 771 80W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

Can't wait to get confirmation on whether these work in the Mac Pros or not...
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newtech
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Dec 19, 2007, 09:25 PM
 
No need to update firmware for 52XX, 53XX, 54XX processors on either board ( Mac Pro 1,1 ; Mac Pro 2,1 ). It may be a different story when the Penryn ( 45nm ) processors show up. If you haven't seen it, check the link below for more info.

o0o.it :: Mac Pro Xeon Upgrade And Overclock Guide


The EFI boot ROM can be extracted from the Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.2 .dmg mpkg using Pacifist.
     
Simon
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Dec 20, 2007, 04:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by newtech View Post
No need to update firmware for 52XX, 53XX, 54XX processors on either board ( Mac Pro 1,1 ; Mac Pro 2,1 ).
Actually it's the 51xx (Woodcrest) and 53xx (Clovertown) that work with the current MP. The link you posted is about a guy putting in two E5320 (1.86 GHz, quad-core, 65nm, 1066 MHz FSB, 80W TDP) into his MP. That of course works and it's not especially new either. That way he gets twice the cores and 30W more heat to dissipate.

However, the 52xx (dual-core variant of Harpertown) and 54xx (Harpertown) you also mention are actually Penryn-based 45nm parts and we have no hard evidence yet that somebody successfully got one of those to work in a current MP. That's what this thread is actually about.
     
newtech
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Dec 20, 2007, 12:07 PM
 
Xeon 52XX and 54XX processors are Harpertown not Penryn and most assuredly do work in the current Mac Pro. Penryn are slated to have a faster FSB and require a newer chipset to exploit new features.
     
Simon
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Dec 20, 2007, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by newtech View Post
Xeon 52XX and 54XX processors are Harpertown not Penryn and most assuredly do work in the current Mac Pro.
Umm, no.

Harpertown is the Penryn-core based Xeon. It's a 45nm part. I believe you are mixing up Harpertown (the quad-core 45nm Xeon) and Clovertown (the quad-core 65nm Xeon). The latter works in the MP (and is also used by Apple in the octo-core MP). The former has yet to be demonstrated.
     
mduell
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Dec 20, 2007, 06:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
52xx (dual-core variant of Harpertown)
Wolfdale FYI.
     
Simon
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Dec 21, 2007, 02:15 AM
 
Not quite. I've been told that Wolfdale is only used for the desktop dual-core Penryns (i.e. the E8x00 series). The dual-core Harpertowns either run at higher clock (the X5260) or have higher clocked FSBs (X5272). They use a different socket and chipset than the Wolfdale and of course they support SMP which Wolfdale doesn't. From what I have been told the dual-core Harpertowns don't actually have a code name of their own (they're a niche product anyway).
     
   
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