Thread: How I turned my 4.1 Mac Pro into 5.1 Mac Pro with 12 processors for less, than $800

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  1. #101  
    Senior Member Will Keir's Avatar
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    What does the upgrade firmware from 4,1 to 5,1 give you?

    Quote Originally Posted by jake blackstone View Post
    I was very skeptical, but I had to make a decision either to continue using my 2.26 GHz dual quad 4.1 2009 MacPro with FC drives, Decklink, Cubix and three GTX nVidia cards or scrap it all and get the new Trashcan MacPro with all new peripherals.
    So, before laying out a ton of money on the new Mac Pro, I decided to give a shot to an upgrade.
    First i did the MacPro 2009 to 2010 Firmware upgrade.
    Then I purchased a couple of Xeon X5660 for $450
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-X...item1c365e9b39
    and replaced my 1066 RAM with 32 GB of 1333MHz RAM for $277
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...ry#1333-memory
    And voila, brand new dual 6 core 2.8G Hz processors, 5.1 MacPro. I couldn't be happier…
    Will Keir
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  2. #102  
    Senior Member jake blackstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Keir View Post
    What does the upgrade firmware from 4,1 to 5,1 give you?
    It gives you Mac 5.1 instead of Mac 4.1 :)
    Jake Blackstone
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  3. #103  
    You need the 5,1 EFI firmware to properly support the Westmere core Xeon CPUs. Everything else is pretty much the same. I think the 5,1 EFI also unlocks 1333MHz memory clock support and you'll be stuck at 1066MHz without it.
    - Jeff Kilgroe
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  4. #104  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe View Post
    You need the 5,1 EFI firmware to properly support the Westmere core Xeon CPUs. Everything else is pretty much the same. I think the 5,1 EFI also unlocks 1333MHz memory clock support and you'll be stuck at 1066MHz without it.
    No, you still have to flash the ram. Its easy though. From what I've read, faster ram does not really give you that much. I feel like I wasted money going with the 1333 ram, I even got lower Geekbench Scores after putting in the faster ram.
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  5. #105  
    Er... you only have to flash the RAM if you want to mod the firmware/ timings of the RAM itself. Not necessary if you have the proper RAM to begin with. If you're getting lower scores with the faster RAM, then it could be due to a couple things. First off, if you've installed 2 DIMMs per board or 4 per board and are operating in dual-channel mode, this drops the speed. You must have 3 installed on each RAM board for optimal triple-channel performance and full speed. If you have a proper triple-channel configuration and are seeing degradation in speed, then there's a problem somewhere. Mismatched timings, or crappy RAM or it's been modded to run at 1333 when it shouldn't be overclocked, that sort of stuff.

    The Nehalem EP series Xeon supported 1333MHz RAM, but Apple locked their RAM clock in the EFI for Nehalem EP CPUs at 1066MHz. Even if you have the 5,1 EFI firmware installed in the system, RAM speed drops to 1066MHz maximum if you install any of the Nehalem EP Xeons. Beyond the EFI dictating maximum and minimum voltages, timings, etc.. the memory controller is integrated into the CPU.

    Memory on these systems is one of the primary bottlenecks. Anyone saying the jump to 1333MHz won't give you much hasn't run it on a properly-configured system to take advantage of it in order to see the difference. For starters, moving from 1066 to 1333 is a 20% increase in throughput. Although, if you were running 1066 in triple-channel and then move to 1333 in dual-channel, it's pretty much a wash, perhaps even a bit slower with the faster RAM due sacrificing channel performance. Given that, our optimal RAM sizing on the Mac Pro 4,1 / 5,1 is 24, 48 or 96 GB. Too many people try to stack all sockets full and go for 32, 64 or 128 GB and that cuts performance.
    - Jeff Kilgroe
    - Applied Visual Technologies, LLC | RojoMojo
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  6. #106  
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    is there a youtube guide you trust ?
    i found few, some of them are incredibly simple , but others do all bunch of things that makes everything more complicated

    like this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAdgT-hJuXU

    versus

    this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng34AVZS8Aw

    do you think that all is shown in the first video is required?

    thanks
    g
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  7. #107  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe View Post
    Er... you only have to flash the RAM if you want to mod the firmware/ timings of the RAM itself. Not necessary if you have the proper RAM to begin with. If you're getting lower scores with the faster RAM, then it could be due to a couple things. First off, if you've installed 2 DIMMs per board or 4 per board and are operating in dual-channel mode, this drops the speed. You must have 3 installed on each RAM board for optimal triple-channel performance and full speed. If you have a proper triple-channel configuration and are seeing degradation in speed, then there's a problem somewhere. Mismatched timings, or crappy RAM or it's been modded to run at 1333 when it shouldn't be overclocked, that sort of stuff.

    The Nehalem EP series Xeon supported 1333MHz RAM, but Apple locked their RAM clock in the EFI for Nehalem EP CPUs at 1066MHz. Even if you have the 5,1 EFI firmware installed in the system, RAM speed drops to 1066MHz maximum if you install any of the Nehalem EP Xeons. Beyond the EFI dictating maximum and minimum voltages, timings, etc.. the memory controller is integrated into the CPU.

    Memory on these systems is one of the primary bottlenecks. Anyone saying the jump to 1333MHz won't give you much hasn't run it on a properly-configured system to take advantage of it in order to see the difference. For starters, moving from 1066 to 1333 is a 20% increase in throughput. Although, if you were running 1066 in triple-channel and then move to 1333 in dual-channel, it's pretty much a wash, perhaps even a bit slower with the faster RAM due sacrificing channel performance. Given that, our optimal RAM sizing on the Mac Pro 4,1 / 5,1 is 24, 48 or 96 GB. Too many people try to stack all sockets full and go for 32, 64 or 128 GB and that cuts performance.
    All I can tell you is I had to flash the RAM, I had three sticks 8gig each, total 24, installed in the proper footsore Apple's manual, the computer would not recognize the correct speed until I flashed the ram.
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