For all owners of 4,1 and 5,1 MacPro computers:

Discussion in 'Non-TASCAM Equipment and Accessories' started by Gravity Jim, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Gravity Jim

    Gravity Jim Well-Known Member

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    Here's something you need to know (if you don't already... maybe I'm the last to figure it out).

    I have a 5,1 MacPro which started life as a 2.4Ghz 8-core, a pretty decent machine for audio, although I did occasionally wish for more CPU bandwidth. So I was pretty intrigued when i heard you could swap out the chips on a 5,1 with 3.33Ghz 6-core chips (and even on a 4,1 if you updated the firmware to make it look like a 5,1).

    The MOTUNation guys pointed out that you can now get a pair of these hotrod CPUs used, on eBay and elsewhere, for under $400. So I did. All reports made me expect a performance increase (as measured by Geekbench) of at least 50%.

    Here's what actually happened. Before:

    [​IMG]

    That multicore 64-bit score is pretty much the number you expect from one of these Macs. After:

    [​IMG]

    Holy cow! TWICE the multicore performance... a Geekbench score just a couple thousand points under the fastest current-model MacPro! You can feel the horsepower in even the simplest tasks (web surfing, even, is wickedly fast), and old DP projects that strained the CPU Meter open and run at a cool 40% of max. Insane value! A used 12-core 5,1 is going for something close to $2,500... with the Mac and the $380 I paid for the new processors, I don't even have half that in mine. Greater speed, bandwidth, four more slots for VI handling... whew!

    A couple of caveats: you do need some special tools - a kit of thermal paste (which increases contact and transfer of heat from the CPUs to the heat sinks), paste cleaner and surface prep (12 bucks on Amazon) and a 3mm hex key 5" long or more (to reach down inside the heat sink and loosen the captive bolts that hold it down). With these tools, I made the swap perfectly and confidently in 30 minutes, from gathering the tools to re-boot.

    Also, if you have a dual CPU 4,1 (not the single 4-core, the full 8-ccore) you will have to perform an extra, harrowing step: for some some dumb reason, Apple ordered Xeons with no IHC (integrated heat cap) for that machine, the only Intel Mac configured like this. So, after upgrading the firmware and removing the tray, you'll have to "de-lid" you new CPUs... use a razor blade and a lot of patience to remove the lid so the heat sinks can be tightened down completely without harming the CPU.

    But if you've got a 5,1, then No Jacket Required. This is the greatest no-brainer upgrade in the history of Macs. I am stoked/psyched/dead chuffed/delirious. Do it! Or bring it to my house and I'll do it!
  2. Tonepad

    Tonepad New Member

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    From:
    Los Ahnhayless Cali
    Gear:
    DM4800 and DM3200
    Yeah I did a Brain transplant to my MacPro 2009 dual xeon. Long may these boxes live esp when you can future proof them like this. One word of caution to the un-initated...you should have some experience with the inside of of a computer before doing this. Though the duals had the lidless CPU design I didn't worry about the added heatsink to the array of chips on the side that had thermal paste. I'm running fine without that contact and it wasn't too bad tightening down the heatsink tower. Again I've built and been under the hood of many a box in my time.
  3. Gravity Jim

    Gravity Jim Well-Known Member

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    I'd heard that some people upgraded their 4,1 and left the lids on with no ill effects.

    Yes, long may they live. I don't think we will ever see another desktop machine at this level of engineering.