I'm shopping around for a pre-loved Mac Pro with dual 6-core "Westmere" processors. Finding a decently priced 2010 base model is a lot harder than finding a 2009 with upgraded processors.

In talking to Mac Pro refurbishers, some tell me that one should not upgrade a 2009 Mac Pro with the 6-core "Westmore" processors for reasons of it not being as stable as the 2010 Mac Pro 6-core machine. Some tell me that it will cause the fan to run all the time. Others say there's no problem at all upgrading a 2009 Mac Pro with dual 6-core "Westmere" processors.

My question is, are there any inherent problems or disadvantages to upgrading a 2009 Mac Pro with dual 6-core "Westmere" processors vs starting with a 2010 Mac Pro and doing the same? The later is harder to come by and thus more expensive.


Too long to be a comment, yet not conclusive enough to be an answer - but I'd like to throw in a couple of my experiences, even if I have no comparison.
I've never had a 'real' 5,1 but I do have a 3.46GHz Westmere upgraded 4,1.

To all intents & purposes everything except the front page of About this Mac considers it a 5,1.

I've always noticed a temperature discrepancy between the two processors - ref Mac Pro CPU temperature discrepancy - [which reached no solid conclusion] though it's never seemed to cause any problems, it just bothers my inner geek a bit.

I think the CPU fans always run a little fast, though again not enough to cause issues & it can be compensated by running the intake fans a little faster.

Intake at default 600

Intake at 800

Intake at 1000

I also had an issue with the Security update last year - Security update 2016-003 10.11.6 issues - [which again has no actual answer] I have no idea if it's related, but I ended up not having the update installed.
I have yet to dare attempt the recent 2017 security update. I might bite the bullet today & risk it.

It will run Sierra with no apparent issues, except that it's Sierra :/ [I really don't like that it breaks more than it fixes & it adds no user benefit for me.]

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    This is a decent answer. I have basically the same setup and haven't noticed the weird CPU fan things (I'll have to try that). I use mine both as a server and a workstation. I have left it running for more than a month at a time, and run ffmpeg processes using all of the 24 logical cores for more than 48 straight hours without problems. There are some quirks (especially if you are upgrading the processors yourself), but in general I'd say getting a 2010-2012 isn't worth the extra time/effort/money when compared to a 2009. – NoahL May 18 '17 at 6:58
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    +1 I think sharing your experience was well worth doing! Oh, and I love the name of your startup disk. :) – Monomeeth May 18 '17 at 12:21
  • :-) I suppose these days it ought to be called KickMeSolid... but it's become tradition now. I think I first started calling the Boot drive KickMe back in the 90s – Tetsujin May 18 '17 at 12:29

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