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Brain transplant on Mac Pro 4,1 - rant and questions, kinda long
Posted by: Spiff
Date: August 18, 2016 09:39AM
So I saw this thread: [forums.macresource.com]

and got excited 'cause I got a 2009 Mac Pro Octo Core. I thought this would be a great ideal to make it a 5,1, upgrade the processor and eventually the RAM. Keep it current for a fraction of what a new machine would be. And! There is a Mac repair/resale store in the area, WEDGE, that I thought would help with the transplant.

I did the research, and Xeon chipsets go for about 450 for a pair on eBay. The tough part is removing the soldered on heat cap on the chipset. Watched a lot of youtube videos on that, kinda scary. I then approached the folks at Wedge. Well - what a disappointment.

The sales person said he would have a tech guy call me and talk to me about what it was I wanted. No one called for three days. I then went to talk to them in person again. Same sales guy at the counter (looks like an overweight greasy John Cryer. About the personality of a brick, too).

He told me that the head tech guy said they were intrigued, but did not want to help because this was not a repair, but a modification (they modify iMacs and MBP, by the way, "to make it the way you want"). They did not want to ruin their reputation of something went wrong. I said, wait, a tech was supposed to call me. He said, well, he would have to set something up as the tech works for $200 an hour and is an inventor and can't waste his time...

Wow. I was stunned at the lack of customer service. Ok. I'm over it. A little put out, but over it. On to the main questions.

How hard is it to replace the chipset if the chip heat shield is already removed? (there are some kits on eBay for the purpose). What are the pitfalls? Can I completely ruin this MacPro if I do something wrong? I am certainly excited about keeping this machine going and giving it a longer lease on life, but not if there is a 50/50 chance of putting it in the grave.

Thanks for reading and look forward to any input and help with the brain transplant. I guess I'm looking for some real world experience with this kind of thing and some moral support? I can read all I want on the inter webs, but does not compare to real world experience amongst compatriots.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2016 09:54AM by Spiff.
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Re: Brain transplant on Mac Pro 4,1 - rant and questions, kinda long
Posted by: rz
Date: August 18, 2016 01:21PM
You can upgrade to a 12-core with a CPU tray swap. That's what I was going to do if I had ever gotten a dual-quad 4,1 for a decent amount. Luckily, I found a 12-core 5,1 for what it would have cost to buy the 4,1 and do the tray swap.

Go to eBay and search "Mac Pro upgrade"
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Re: Brain transplant on Mac Pro 4,1 - rant and questions, kinda long
Posted by: JoeH
Date: August 18, 2016 03:07PM
You may be looking at upgrade videos for older Mac Pros which used "lidless" processors. As I recall, the 2009 and later models use "lidded" processor chips and you don't need to remove the lids.

You didn't actually need to do so on older models, but it took taking care when tightening down the heat sinks as the stops were based on using lidless CPU's. Over tightening would damage the socket and/or CPU. Our forum sponsor has/had some articles about that on their site.
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Re: Brain transplant on Mac Pro 4,1 - rant and questions, kinda long
Posted by: Spiff
Date: August 18, 2016 04:17PM
Quote
JoeH
You may be looking at upgrade videos for older Mac Pros which used "lidless" processors. As I recall, the 2009 and later models use "lidded" processor chips and you don't need to remove the lids.

You didn't actually need to do so on older models, but it took taking care when tightening down the heat sinks as the stops were based on using lidless CPU's. Over tightening would damage the socket and/or CPU. Our forum sponsor has/had some articles about that on their site.

Thanks JoeH, The 2009 used lidless processors. Our sponsors only upgrade within the specific make/model. Looks like they don't do a 4.1-5.1 conversion.
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Re: Brain transplant on Mac Pro 4,1 - rant and questions, kinda long
Posted by: celliott
Date: August 18, 2016 04:46PM
I did the single processor 4 core upgrade to a 6 core, both had lids on them. My understanding in reading on the dual processor model is that you can leave the lids on the replacement processors, just make sure not to tighten the heatsink down too tightly or it could crush the processor.
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Re: Brain transplant on Mac Pro 4,1 - rant and questions, kinda long
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: August 18, 2016 07:57PM
I recall reading that not all Xeons use soldered 'caps'. At some point, Intel switched to using an adhesive that could be cut away. I believe there are vids on youtube showing the procedure.



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