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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Mac Pro processors are swappable!

Mac Pro processors are swappable!
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macdummy
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:38 PM
 
cool
( Last edited by macdummy; Aug 8, 2006 at 03:11 AM. Reason: .)
     
Lateralus
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Aug 7, 2006, 05:54 PM
 
Well, I think most people were expecting that they would be given that the processors in the iMac and Mac mini are swappable.

Still good to see it confirmed though.
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mac128k-1984
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:14 PM
 
I'd be surpised if it wasn't.
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mduell
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:17 PM
 
mduell is not surprised.

Actually, I'd be pretty disappointed with Apple if they weren't.
     
sc_markt
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:42 PM
 
Stupid question here but are the processors in the new Mac Pro's the core 2 chips?

Damn Intel. They keep losing me with their much higher frequency of new chips releases. I'm starting to prefer the 'once every 2 year new PPC chip releases that we're used to.'

- Mark
     
Lateralus
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:49 PM
 
They're the new Xeons, based on the Core 2 Architecture.
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mduell
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by sc_markt
Stupid question here but are the processors in the new Mac Pro's the core 2 chips?

Damn Intel. They keep losing me with their much higher frequency of new chips releases. I'm starting to prefer the 'once every 2 year new PPC chip releases that we're used to.'
Yes. Xeon 51xx series, Core 2 Duo for the desktop, and Core 2 Duo for laptops are all based on the same Core Microarchitecture. All that varies is the clockrate, FSB, and cache size.

Originally Posted by Lateralus
They're the new Xeons, based on the Core 2 Architecture.
It's the Core arch, but all the products are labelled Core 2 (since Core was already taken by Yonah). Annoying, eh?
     
sc_markt
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Aug 7, 2006, 06:52 PM
 
Thanks Lateralus and mduell.

- Mark
     
Dzokayi
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:25 PM
 
The processors are removable... Still, I have memories of the old Apple making it impossible to mix and match processor modules and motherboards in the Power Mac G5 days. I would like to hear of someone actually plunking 2 off-the-shelf Xeons of a greater or lesser speed into a Mac Pro and having it work seamlessly. Only a matter of time...
     
Lateralus
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:27 PM
 
I don't see why it wouldn't work. They haven't attempted that type of lock-down engineering with either the iMac or Mac mini. They can not only accept faster Core Duos but are compatible with the Core 2 Duo as well.
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Dzokayi
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:38 PM
 
Hmmm... what's the next big thing on the Xeon horizon - Clovertown? That's the 4 core per chip, right? Will it be pin-compatible with the current Mac Pro sockets? If not, what can we reasonably assume will be the upper limit of drop-in CPU upgrades?
     
Lateralus
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:43 PM
 
Yes, Clovertown is supposed to be a drop-in replacement for Woodcrest.

I'm not particularly enthused about it though. For starters, it isn't a true 4-core chip. It's essentially two dual-core dies rigged onto the same processor, each having their own caches rather than sharing one. Basically, it's a repeat of Intel's initial move to dual-core with Pentium D 8xx line. Two separate cores with independent caches occupying the same chip. It's a nice quick and dirty solution, but as far as performance efficiency it's far from the perfect solution.

Beyond that though, Intel's current bus architecture for the Core is derived from the NetBurst/Pentium 4 family, and it is sincerely lacking in a number of areas. It is adequate for the moment but it doesn't provide enough throughput to support four cores effectively. So you'll see performance per core drop with the debut of Clovertown.

Intel's next generation bus, dubbed CSI, looks very promising but unfortunately it's still a year or so off. But in my mind, it's the next big thing to look forward to on the Intel front.
( Last edited by Lateralus; Aug 10, 2006 at 12:10 AM. )
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:43 PM
 
The GPU.... that is the question!?!

T
     
Dzokayi
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Aug 7, 2006, 11:47 PM
 
Lateralus, thanks for the info... interesting times for the hot-rodders, tweakers, and do-it-yourselfers up ahead. Great stuff.
     
generationfourt
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Aug 8, 2006, 02:02 AM
 
awesome!
     
aafuss
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Aug 8, 2006, 07:36 AM
 
Anyone who is a AASP or has a Service Source account would have Service Source access, the service manual is up-macpro.pdf.

It is 28MB.

On page 65, there is a procedure for removing the Xeons-as a photo on page 66 indicates, these are socketed dual 771 pin LGA sockets. That means it is possible to change the processor yourself, but Apple obviously won't support 3rd-party swaps.
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michaelb
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Aug 8, 2006, 08:06 AM
 
The thing is, you could certainly buy a 2.0 GHz Mac Pro and do a processor swap to make a 3.0 GHz machine, but the processors are expensive enough that it wouldn't really be economic to do this, as you're getting no credit for the 2.0GHz chips.

And by the time the 3.0GHz Woodcrest part comes down in price to make it worthwhile, there'll be something even better.

Just a thought!
     
mduell
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Aug 8, 2006, 08:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by michaelb
The thing is, you could certainly buy a 2.0 GHz Mac Pro and do a processor swap to make a 3.0 GHz machine, but the processors are expensive enough that it wouldn't really be economic to do this, as you're getting no credit for the 2.0GHz chips.
Apple makes this really unappealing by putting the screws to you on processor changes, both ways.

A pair of 2Ghz chips is about $800 cheaper than a pair of 2.66Ghz chips, but Apple only gives you $400 off.
A pair of 3Ghz chips is about $400 more expensive than a pair of 2.66Ghz chips, but Apple charges you $800 for the upgrade.
     
uzombie
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Aug 8, 2006, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by michaelb
The thing is, you could certainly buy a 2.0 GHz Mac Pro and do a processor swap to make a 3.0 GHz machine, but the processors are expensive enough that it wouldn't really be economic to do this, as you're getting no credit for the 2.0GHz chips.

And by the time the 3.0GHz Woodcrest part comes down in price to make it worthwhile, there'll be something even better.

Just a thought!
The price I paid for two 3.0Ghz (667mhz bus) Dual Xeons is $420 (free sh). That is almost half of what Apple wants for upgrade from 2.6 Ghz version. Considering I ordered the 2.0Ghz version with x1900 radeon, I still get a good deal, no? I have no fear of removing the heatsinks ( I have built dozens of PC systems so I know how to apply the thermal grease).

The ram is the cost however, as you need Fully Buffered ECC modules. Those over 1 GIG or more in size will cost ya (try a pair of 4gig modules...$10,000 !!!)
     
mduell
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Aug 8, 2006, 12:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by uzombie
The price I paid for two 3.0Ghz (667mhz bus) Dual Xeons is $420 (free sh). That is almost half of what Apple wants for upgrade from 2.6 Ghz version. Considering I ordered the 2.0Ghz version with x1900 radeon, I still get a good deal, no? I have no fear of removing the heatsinks ( I have built dozens of PC systems so I know how to apply the thermal grease).
3Ghz... 667Mhz bus... two for $420... let me guess, the model number is 5050? You bought the old Pentium 4 based Xeons (50xx series), not the new Core based Xeons (51xx series). They're like volcanoes in terms of heat, no faster than the 2Ghz Core based Xeons, and may not even be supported by the Mac Pro's logic board.

You got a terrible deal. Hopefully you can cancel or change your Mac Pro order back to the 2.66s.
( Last edited by mduell; Aug 8, 2006 at 12:18 PM. )
     
Lateralus
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Aug 8, 2006, 12:14 PM
 
And even if the Mac Pro's logic board supports them, Leopard supposedly lacks any NetBurst support.
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dngonzales
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Aug 8, 2006, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
3Ghz... 667Mhz bus... two for $420... let me guess, the model number is 5050? You bought the old Pentium 4 based Xeons (50xx series), not the new Core based Xeons (51xx series). They're like volcanoes in terms of heat, no faster than the 2Ghz Core based Xeons, and may not even be supported by the Mac Pro's logic board.

You got a terrible deal. Hopefully you can cancel or change your Mac Pro order back to the 2.66s.

im sorry to hear about your misfortune uzombie
but mduell i think what you said is absolutly hillarious

Originally Posted by mduell
They're like volcanoes in terms of heat


than to top it all off mduell said

Originally Posted by mduell
You bought the old Pentium 4 based Xeons (50xx series), not the new Core based Xeons (51xx series).
the addition of made his whole post Absolutely hillarious i bet thats exactly how uzombie feels right about now

please tell me im not the only one who found his post humorous

you know the old saying measure twice, cut once
“If it sounds too good to be true...........”
( Last edited by dngonzales; Aug 8, 2006 at 05:07 PM. )
     
ATPTourFan
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Aug 8, 2006, 04:59 PM
 
Pretty bad news about the old spec Xeons.. ...Rookie mistake!
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 09:23 PM
 
     
MovieCutter
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Aug 15, 2006, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by uzombie
( I have built dozens of PC systems so I know how to apply the thermal grease).
Did you put the wrong processors in those too? You may know how to apply thermal grease, but your research skills are soreley lacking.
     
Leonard
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Aug 15, 2006, 09:10 PM
 
Okay, I'm gonna repeat myself. But where is the proof it's upgradeable. Proof? Testing? Who's actually done it?
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mduell
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Aug 15, 2006, 09:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Leonard
Okay, I'm gonna repeat myself. But where is the proof it's upgradeable. Proof? Testing? Who's actually done it?
Do you think Apple is actually shipping different logic boards in the 2.0, 2.66, and 3.0s?

I doubt we'll have the confirmation you're looking for until it becomes sane to buy and upgrade rather than upgrading from the factory.
     
Todd Madson
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Aug 15, 2006, 11:20 PM
 
The big question is: are they as hot as maxed out G5s?
     
chefpastry
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Aug 15, 2006, 11:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Todd Madson
The big question is: are they as hot as maxed out G5s?
It was made quite clear during the WWDC keynote that the Xeons run much cooler than the G5s. Hence, Apple was able to put in smaller heatsinks and make room for the additional hard drives and optical drive.
     
DrBoar
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Aug 17, 2006, 04:59 AM
 
The thing with a Xenon is that with an upgrade you can sell the old one or use it to build a pc. What would you do with a 2GHz G5?
     
Dzokayi
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Aug 17, 2006, 10:30 AM
 
^^ Sell it on ebay, of course.
     
zac4mac
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Aug 17, 2006, 02:20 PM
 
Man I hope y'all feel better now, picking on uzombie ... the only real obvious difference is the FSB, 667 in the 50xx and 1000+ in the 51xx series - easy mistake and not too costly - sell the blasted things, uz and move on.

My take on the pricing, get a 2.66, sell the procs to someone with a 2.0 and buy a set of 3.0s and save 1 or 2 hundred bucks... Personally tho, I don't think it's worth the hassle, I'm not even pushing my old G5 to its limit. I know I'm going to get a MacPro, but in a year or two.

Just got a 2GHzMBP in Feb, that and my G5DP2.0 will suffice handily for a while.

Z
     
justmetoo
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Aug 18, 2006, 09:13 AM
 
I agree with zac4mac, those kind of responses are better left on the school yard, and shouldn't be tolerated on a professional forum from professionals. You wouldn't be able to get away with that on any other forum I subscribe to.

I suspect the poor guy will likely have to resubscribe to the forum under a different name now, maybe xzombie?
     
Oozinator
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Aug 18, 2006, 11:35 AM
 
Big question.... can OLD processors work in the mac pro? I Don't need 4 cpus... and I don't need cpus
     
mduell
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Aug 18, 2006, 01:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oozinator
Big question.... can OLD processors work in the mac pro? I Don't need 4 cpus... and I don't need cpus
No.
     
Leonard
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Aug 18, 2006, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oozinator
I Don't need 4 cpus... and I don't need cpus
LOL How are you going to do anything without CPUs. I can understand not needing 4, but not needing any at all!?!

You may want to look at an older Power Mac machine if you don't need the power or an iMac, but then you don't have the expandibility with an iMac and I assume you want expandability.
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OldSkuel
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Aug 18, 2006, 06:35 PM
 
Sorry, missed the 'four' before CPus. Typo.

I won't buy an iMac because of the nonupgradeable graphics card, it turns it into a dead end about 5 months after you get it.

And I have an older powermac....but I'm going to need an intel one in a year or so, for school (so I can run some windows programs that arne't avail on mac)
     
   
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