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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2012
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    Early 2009 Mac Pro upgrade tips?
    Hey fellas. Wondering if you guys could help me with this one. Recently obtained an early 2009 Mac Pro. I wanted to beef it up with more 1066 memory. After noticing the 5.1 Firmware upgrade, I'm thinking I'd be down to step it up and get a better CPU and faster memory and breathe some more life in the machine. Do you guys have any suggestions as far as which cpu and memory to get should my budget around $600? In researching CPU's, could a 2009 X5570 support memory that's faster than 1066 or should I go for a 2010 generation Xeon? Here is my setup below. Thanks!

    2 x 2.26 Ghz Guad-Core Xeon
    5GB 1066 MHZ DDR3
    Radeon HD 4870 512MB
    1.5TB
    OSX Lion 10.7
    ->I also have an ATI 6950 2GB just lying around..would really like to use this.

  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Nov 28, 2007
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    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    G'day and welcome top the forums.

    Faster memory will achieve nothing as it will only run at the system bus speed of 1066MHz. Upgrading processors on that model is a little unique and last time checked it needed processors from that very model. Something about Apple making the heat sinks a different size, 2mm or so thinner than standard CPU's used by Dell etc., and when tightening shatters the logic board. Do a Google on it.

    OWC were offering an upgrade service.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2012
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    I hear you, but it looks like it's possible to upgrade it to a 5.1 Mac Pro, and thus use the cpu's and memory from the 2010 Generation.http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.0.html

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulvax View Post
    Do you guys have any suggestions as far as which cpu and memory to get should my budget around $600?
    I used to have an 8-core 2.26ghz 2009 "Nehalem" Mac Pro just like yours. I researched possible cpu upgrades…and for the most part (3 years later)...they were just too expensive for my liking (cpu's available on e-Bay).

    Here's some info for you to read…and you can decide for yourself:

    - How do you upgrade the processors in the "Early 2009/Nehalem" Mac Pro models? How are the processors mounted? @ EveryMac.com
    - Step by Step: Mac Pro Processor Upgrade - The Mac Observer

    * Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2012
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    both articles were very insightful. Thank you. I'll have to refer back to them, should I decide to perform an upgrade. Didn't think that upgrading the CPU's would be that risky!

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Nov 28, 2007
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    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    Don't think it would be too risky as have done it on a 2.66 Dual to make it a Quad. You would need to get the processors from an identical model, in either 2.66 or 2.93GHz. The 2.93 is not greatly faster than the 2.66 so that may be the go. Cost wise certainly in the thousands rather than hundreds. And as EveryMac.com reported:-


    However, it is critical to note that Apple uses custom processors without an "integrated heat spreader" and Apple does not intend for an individual to be able to purchase these on the resale market (although some may be available through graymarket sources). AnandTech instead installed processors with an integrated heat spreader and upon the first time reattaching the heatsinks killed one of the new processors, the Mac Pro processor board, and one of the heatsinks. This mistake cost nearly US$2000 to remedy.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    This mistake cost nearly US$2000 to remedy.
    Ouch! That's a costly mistake Harry. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! still applies.

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