Time to upgrade

I’m upgrading my 2006 Mac Pro. I’ve been talking about trying to hack it to get from Mountain Lion to Mavericks since early last year, and switched my fuzzy focus to going to Yosemite. But other than making bootable USBs I haven’t really doing anything except watching YouTubes and reading how-tos.

In the course of doing that I found a few hacks to upgrade the CPUs, going from two dual-core Xeons to quad-core 5365s. And with the receipt of a pair of quad-core processors over the holidays, I’m finally taking action.

MacProPre

The last moments of the working box before I dive into it.

If the CPU swap is successful, I’ll then proceed with the OS upgrade. One might ask why even bother with a 7-year-old computer, but the cost of the upgrade is pretty minimal when compared to the cost of a new machine. Sure, I wouldn’t have to buy another Pro as the current iMac will beat the panels off this machine performance-wise. But I’ve invested a lot in this machine and its design is the last Macintosh that allows as many upgrades as I’ve already made. Unless I’m mistaken, none of the current Mac generations allow upgrades to memory, drives, video and CPU all on one machine by the end user.

MacProGuts

6.5 TB of storage, soft RAID 1, 12 GB of memory and a card capable of driving a pair of monitors.

All those components have been replaced in my Mac since I bought it. All of them failed at one point, and were replaced by larger drives, bigger memory and more powerful graphics cards. But the brilliant design of the case made replacing these relatively easy. To do the CPU swap I have to get past all that stuff to the motherboard, which lies deep inside the machine.

If you have an early 2006 MacPro and are thinking of doing this mod, you may have read some of the excellent posts on ow to do it. And you probably hear about a few people’s travails in removing the CPU fan. I have two tips for you. One, you really will need a piece of PC hardware to get the fan out.

PCI-Covers

Second, the fan cage feels like it is catching on something when you tug it because it is mounted on a plastic slide latch that is about three inches long.

I made a small handle for the PCI card cover by slipping a pegboard hook through the small hole in the cover. I slipped it under the edge of the cover, gave it a few good yanks, and it popped right out.

PlasticLatch2

The plastic slide is in the lower left corner of the shot, near the bottom of the chassis.

I’ll post more later. Time for sleep now.

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