Unofficial eight-core Apple Mac Pro benchmarks

“We might be ahead of Apple’s product release cycle, and we’ve probably violated our Mac Pro’s warranty, but we just had to see what the Apple Mac Pro could do when populated with a pair of Intel’s brand-new quad-core Xeon 5355 processors,” Daniel A. Begun reports for CNET.

Begun reports, “The quad-core processor era was ushered in with the release of quad-core processors for enthusiasts (the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700) and for servers and workstations (the Intel Xeon 5355) — and Intel was kind enough to supply us with a pair of 2.66GHz Xeon 5355 processors. As the Xeon 5355 is pin-compatible with the Xeon 5160 processors that came installed in our Mac Pro, we proceeded to swap out the two dual-core processors with the new quad-core processors. Incidentally, we strongly advise you not to try this at home: the Mac Pro case is not designed to allow the end user to perform CPU surgery — and we’ve got the cuts and bruises to prove it! With the pair of Xeon 5355 processors installed, we booted the system back up and were greeted with eight active processing cores in both Mac OS X and Windows XP via the Boot Camp Public Beta. With the transplant successful, it was time to run our benchmarks.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Intel launches quad-core processors – November 15, 2006
CNET reviews new Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 quad-core processor, finds Mac Pro Quad Xeon faster – November 02, 2006
RUMOR: Apple prepping monster eight-core Xeon ‘Clovertown’ Mac Pro – October 26, 2006
Intel pledges 80-core processor within five years – September 26, 2006
AnandTech upgrades and tests Octo-Core ‘Clovertown’ Apple Mac Pro – September 13, 2006


  1. Why doesn’t Apple make this easier for us to do?

    Because it prevents sales of new machines?

    Let’s see. I normally buy the biggest baddest Mac on the block when it comes out, but knowing that an 8 core machine would likely hit around MacWorld, I didn’t by the quad core MacPro.

    Had I known that Apple would allow updates, I would have purchased the quad core.

    It works both ways Apple.

    Extend the lives of our machines.

  2. “Why doesn’t Apple make this easier for us to do?”

    It’s not just because Apple would like to see more systems sold, there is also the issue of would-be upgraders screwing up and then going to Apple to kiss it and make it well.

    It doesn’t matter if Apple noted clearly and in flashing ink that if you upgrade your machine’s CPUs that you’re on your own; there will be, in addition to the lawsuits being raised, time/effort/money/resources spent on dealing with customers screwing up their systems and expecting Apple to fix it.

    Oh, and it’s not just Apple that sees this sort of problem.

  3. The most significant aspect of this story is that making an 8-core Mac Pro should be trivial. OS X already seems to support 8-cores out of the box.

    I hope Apple releases an official 8-core machine before year’s end. There’s really no reason to wait until MacWorld for this. It could be just the thing to juice Mac Pro sales this quarter instead of usual pattern of pro buyers waiting until Mac Pro to make purchases. By releasing now, pro customers could be relatively confident not to wait until January for Mac Pro announcements.

  4. I need 10.5 more than eight cores. I hardly ever design enzymatic proteins, model fluid dynamics, replicate fusion reactions, and predict global climate changes as much as I used to. Still, if eight cores can rid me of the spinning beach ball of frustration I just might give eight cores a second look.

  5. Of course the REAL Dual Quad Mac Pro will have a lot more benefits and upgrades to discourage a person doing this to their dual dual-core Mac Pro. But it’s nice to be able to.

    Intel is selling the new Quad Core Xeons for around $1100 each.

    Sony has released the PS3, but still short of blue diodes needed for full production. Thus who knows when a BlueRay DVD Dual Quad Mac Pro will arrive.

    But in order to play BlueRay DVD movies on a Mac Pro, one will NEED a OEM BlueRay due to all the copy protection schemes being employed.

    It’s coming in Lepoard, nice Trusted Computing update to EFI firmware and Sony will be able to disable your BlueRay DVD if you install DVD ripping software right over the internet, before your OS has even loaded.

    Welcome to DRM hell.

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