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News Archive for Wednesday April 20, 2011:

Mac Upgrades/Mods | Storage | Video | Audio/Home Theater | macOS Updates/Tips/WiFi
= Recent Articles/Updates =
2010 Mac Pro CPU Upgrade Report (2.8GHz Quad-core to 3.2GHz 6-Core)
(Found this mail from last month during catchup today - not added to reports db yet.)

"2010 Mac Pro (5,1) Single Cpu Quad-Core 2.8GHz W3530 (8MB cache)
- Upgraded to 6-core 3.2GHz Xeon W3670 (12MB cache)

First off this is a very cost effective upgrade big bang for the buck. A 2010 Mac Pro quad 2.8GHz gets about 9950 score with geekbench 64 bit. The same Mac Pro with an Intel hex (6-core) 3.2GHz (w3670) now gets a 15260 64-bit geekbench score. More then 50% improvement.
This CPU came out Early March 2011: Intel Xeon Processor W3670 (12MB Cache, 3.20 GHz, 4.80 GT/s Intel QPI) with SPEC Code(s) SLBVE. This is the spec link. This can be found for about 600 to 660 from real resellers. I.E. Good warranty/return etc.
Here is the Link for the original CPU: Intel Xeon Processor W3530 (8MB Cache, 2.80 GHz, 4.80 GT/s Intel QPI) with SPEC Code(s) SLBKR

Some observations:
You need a hexagon 3 mm (Allen) key wrench about 20 cm long. I used a set from amazon. (As mentioned in earlier reports, you can often find the long (t-handle) 3mm hex wrench at hardware stores (ACE, etc) for under $5.) You also need a Cpu heat sink paste/grease kit. I used the Arctic Silver 5 kit also from amazon. These parts total appx $25 so I got free shipping.

This is an easy upgrade. The links (below) show in detail how to do it and the time is under 35 minutes. I have never done a cpu swap and I did it in well under an hour.
The beauty of this upgrade is no overclocking, no heatsink change. The CPU is easy to get to. (2010/2009 Mac Pro CPU(s) are on a removable tray)

A (up to) 50 percent improvement in speed is amazing. If you sell the old CPU your cost will be about 400 dollars. If you want to bring the machine back to stock hold on to the cpu and 35 minutes later it is stock.

I use iStats (iStat Menus?) to check CPU temp - Cpu uses same power.
(FYI - unless it's been changed (I've not used v3), as I noted during 2009 Mac Pro core temp tests, iStat menus (v2) only reported CPU Heatsink temperature - not the (higher temp) core(s) or cpu temperature diode. I wrote iStat dev back in Dec 2009 about that but have not used istat since then. I preferred (freeware) Temperature Monitor.)
It truly is a bargain cpu. Intel lists it at $583 per 1000 pieces. I paid $620 with free shipping before some discounts.

If you have a 2010 Mac Pro with a single cpu stock this new cpu is a very nice upgrade. The only reason I gave it 9.5 and not 10 is the W3690 which came out in Feb 2011 is faster but at a much higher price. I figure to get a ten you need to be perfect in price and speed.
Two build links (MR Forums):
- Dry run for W3670 install
- Hex 3.2 update from 2010 quad 2.8 done results photos"

Follow-up from 2011 MacBook Pro owner on his DVI Display Issues (fixed)
(Update: On May 4th, 2011 apple posted 2011 MacBook Pro Software Update 1.4 and EFI Update 2.1 - the reader below said they fixed the problems he had with the single-link DVI adapter. Unfortunately he had already bought the $99 (list) Dual-Link adapter before the fix was released.)
Late posting this follow-up from a reader that reported (w/pix) earlier about 2011 MacBook Pros and DVI External Display problems.

"Here's a followup for you on the 2011 MacBook Pro MDP to DVI issue.
Last night I downgraded from 10.6.7 to 10.6.6 with the disk that came with the Thunderbolt MBP. (A new feature of Snow Leopard is that you can do this without having to wipe your hard drive or delete the System folder first. That saved a lot of time and trouble.) Now I didn't think there was a problem before 10.6.7, but I only had the MBP for about a day before the 10.6.7 update so I can't be sure.

Anyway, downgrading to 10.6.6 did not fix the problem. The 23" Apple (DVI) Cinema Display still showed the problem. So this morning, I went to the local Apple store and purchased a new MDP to DVI adapter ($29 part #MB570Z/A) and that did not work. The new adapter showed the same problems as the old one. I also bought the Dual Link Adapter ($99 part #MB571Z/A) which is meant for hooking up the (higher rez) 30in Cinema Display and voila! that worked...
Thanks for your help.
-Gene M."

Although Gene included several links to other owner's problem reports, not all owners had this problem as noted in other reader replies to his earlier post here.

Apple/Products related News/Articles/Rumors

Software Related Articles, Updates (later added first)

Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Doc Updates

Recent Articles and Reviews - Listing/links to articles and reviews you may have missed.

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