Art Attack Central

Fixing stuff, myself included…

2009 Mac Pro 8-Core to 12-Core

What? Seriously? I thought you were happy with what you had.

Yes, delidding and all that frightening stuff. The 2009 Mac Pro 8-Core is the only Mac Pro that shipped with delidded processors. I couldn’t resist an 8-Core on Ebay for $227 with local pickup.

What the hell is delidding?

The integrated heat spreader/sink (IHS) is removed from the chip. Overclockers are familiar with this processes. However, what makes it more difficult is the particular Intel Xeon in the 2009 are soldered to the chip; it’s not just thermal paste. There are various methods on the internet, ranging from a using a vice to “pop” it off, to a small torch applied directly in the chip area of the IHS. After watching lots of videos on youtube, I did it using a hot air station. It took longer than 30 seconds, more like a minute. The temperature was at 400 C.

So it “went off” without a problem?

Not really…

Okay, do tell… what the hell happened? 

Well I didn’t burn the house down, but I started off with the wrong  CPUs (kind of like starting on the wrong foot). which I didn’t find out were wrong until trying to boot the machine. Both CPUs delidded  and solder cleaned from the chip, thermal paste applied, both heat sinks tightened and press the power button = chime then kernel panic.

Oh no! Now what?

Remove heatsink B and CPU in B socket and boot with only new CPU in A socket = capable of boot. Sooooo remove heatsink and CPU in A socket and put in the CPU removed from B socket = second CPU in A socket also capable of booting. Put both back in respective sockets (reapply thermal paste), press power button = chime then kernel panic related to CPU again!

So what’s up? 😡

Well, according to Macrumors, I’d gotten the wrong CPUs. The Xeons that begin with a W are fine for the single processor 2009 Mac Pro, but not the dual processor 2009. The dual system requires the Xeons that begin with an X.

OMG what did you pay for those little bastards?

🙁 $85 for both and now I have to get the X Xeons. So I listed the delidded CPUs on Craigslist, and ordered what I should have gotten in the first place. Lesson = you can never do too much research before beginning a new project. Took a couple of days for the correct processors (X5675 @ 3.06GHz) to arrive. Since I already had two successful delid experiences under my belt, this time it went off without a hitch. Yeah, I maintained my balance without dropping a shoe.