Added boost from firmware update?

I have an Early 2009 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon mac pro that I recently ran the 2009 to 2010 firmware update on. Also then installed OS X Sierra. In reading some of the commentary associated with this upgrade, I was wondering if I bought the faster memory chips (1333MHz SDRAM PC3-10600 ECC for Mac Pro Nehalem & Westmere models), will my system get the same boost that many have talked about with the 6 core Mac Pro from the same year?


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Will the faster ram chips also help? I know more ram will and the faster ram is only $5 more for 32GB


What do you have in it now? I know a great deal about the upgradability of this machine, work with me. I will be writing the guides on it this month along with upgrade paths.


Believe I have the same RAM as you listed but at the moment on 8GB. On OWC it looks like the faster RAM that I listed will work in either 2009 or 2010 machines so figured if my MAC is now posing as a 2010 that it should take advantage of the faster Chips. Thought I read in one of the original posts that upping the firmware to 5,1 would allow the 6 core to take full advantage of the faster chip so am hoping will do the same with my quad core. I mostly use the machine for Graphic Design work.


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What RAM do you have in it now?

This is what mine is running:

RAM Type: PC3-8500 DDR3 ECC Min. RAM Speed: 1066 MHz

Details: Uses "1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM" (PC3-8500) modules.


Yes that faster RAM will work fine.

However it's not going to give you much bang for your buck and mixing RAM speeds is not a good idea and can cause issues. So you would need to pull the older RAM.

Your BEST UPGRADE PATH right of the bat is to go to an SSD drive.

OWC carries an adaptive drive sled:

The size of the drive is according to your storage needs. See how much space you are currently using on your boot drive. I started with a 256 but within a month moved to a 500GB. But I have two other drive I use for storage and another one for a Time Machine Backup.

CPU upgrades Oh Yes! This machine can be turned into a fire breather and blow away the newer models. Let me know if want more info on doing this.

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@scotth Maybe someday we'll have a listing on this machine ;-)


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You may need to cross-check your exact model with an actual hardware you have. Accordint to, these models were coming with TWO dual core Xeon CPUs (5150). So, officially you may upgrade your CPUs to dual Xeon 5300 series (they are directly compatible with 5100 series). I think doubling your cores number will be more beneficial. And price-wise, you may find then on eBay for about $50-60.

Another "booster upgrade" could be adding more memory (maximum possible) and replacing your HDD to either straight SSD to "hybrid SSD". However you should consider the fact, that this version supports only SATA2 (3.0 Gbps). So, you may need to research, if there are PCIe SATA controllers available to increase your HDD performance.

Good luck,

Mike | Headset Adapter Co.

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You mention about the CPU's giving him a boost. Although this is true, those extra cores are only really used when either playing games that can take advantage of them or video editing. I Would definitely suggest an SSD (if you dont already have one) and then you can use your current drive for just mass storage or backing up your ssd.


@headsetadapter If you put your SPAM in your answer you risk getting banned!

Feel free to put it in your profile.


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