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Is it possible to upgrade a first-generation 2.66 Ghz 2-core Mac Pro (Woodcrest) to a faster model by replacing the CPUs? I've read that some Mac Pro models shipped with 3 Ghz 4-core Xeons (Clovertown).

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3 Answers 3

Yes, you can but only with Intel Xeon E53xx, X53xx or L53xx series processors that have a LGA 771 socket.

Although one word of warning, the supported OS upgrade life time of the Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1 looks like its coming to an end. Apple as we have seen in the news is prepping for Mountain Lion, and dropping support for all macs that lack a 64bit EFI. So it appears highly likely that Mac OS X 10.7 is the last OS you will be able to run on these Mac Pros, unfortunately. Be aware of that when prepping for your Mac Pro 1,1 and Mac Pro 2,1 upgrade plans, especially if keeping current is a priority of yours.

That said, now on to the upgrades:

The Mac Pro original Upgrade process

Here are processor upgrades that people have completed and confirmed in Geekbench as working, see their results below.

MacPros using L53xx Xeon processors.

MacPros using E53xx Xeon processors.

MacPros using X53xx Xeon processors.

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Yep. Anand even did it when the Mac Pro first came out. I've seen other reports too.

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What about a MBP? –  daviesgeek Sep 16 '11 at 0:34
1  
No go for portables. The processors are soldered onto the motherboard. In order to save space... Besides, people who buy Macs don't upgrade their processors, it's a very small market, so why would Apple waste time adding the possibility to their portables... –  Fred Nov 15 '11 at 3:44
    
Also, the CPU is only one component of a main logic board, simply upgrading it won't necessarily work with the older chipsets required to control power, i/o, memory, etc.. Better to upgrade the entire system and downcycle the older system to somebody else (great resale market for used, good condition Macs). –  da4 Sep 13 '12 at 16:26

Found out that a company does processor upgrades, but for some Mac pro models only. Perhaps yours is eligible:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/MacPro/2010_Xeon_Processor

And also this forum about upgrading a first gen Mac pro:

http://forums.macnn.com/65/mac-desktops/452598/macpro1-1-processor-upgrades-1st-generation/#post4130757

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