Introduction

Use this guide to replace the CPU.

Removing the logic board means you'll need to reapply a layer of thermal compound.

Before beginning any work on your Mac Pro: Unplug the computer and press and hold the power button for ten seconds to discharge the power supply's capacitors.

Be very careful not to touch the capacitor leads or any exposed solder joints on the back of the power supply. Only handle the board by the edges.

Tools

No tools required.

Parts

No parts required.

Slide the lock switch to the right, to the unlocked position. Slide the lock switch to the right, to the unlocked position.
  • Slide the lock switch to the right, to the unlocked position.

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Lift the outer case straight up off the Mac Pro. It may help to push down on the center of the fan while lifting the case up. It may help to push down on the center of the fan while lifting the case up.
  • Lift the outer case straight up off the Mac Pro.

  • It may help to push down on the center of the fan while lifting the case up.

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Remove five 5.1 mm T10 Torx screws from around the outer perimeter of the fan assembly. Remove five 5.1 mm T10 Torx screws from around the outer perimeter of the fan assembly. Remove five 5.1 mm T10 Torx screws from around the outer perimeter of the fan assembly.
  • Remove five 5.1 mm T10 Torx screws from around the outer perimeter of the fan assembly.

You don't have to remove the fan assy to get to the wifi board & card. It can be done with the fan assy still attached.

Fat Mango - Reply

The fan assembly is attached to the rest of the computer by two cables on the IO board side. Tilt the assembly up away from the IO board.
  • The fan assembly is attached to the rest of the computer by two cables on the IO board side.

  • Tilt the assembly up away from the IO board.

  • Do not try to remove the fan assembly yet, as it is still attached by two cables.

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While supporting the fan assembly with one hand, loosen the two T7 captive screws in the fan cable bracket.
  • While supporting the fan assembly with one hand, loosen the two T7 captive screws in the fan cable bracket.

  • These screws are captive in the Mac Pro. Do not try to remove these screws from your Mac Pro.

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Use a pair of tweezers to pull the fan cable bracket away from the fan assembly.
  • Use a pair of tweezers to pull the fan cable bracket away from the fan assembly.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the fan assembly ribbon cable from the IO board. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the fan assembly ribbon cable from the IO board.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the fan assembly ribbon cable from the IO board.

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Disconnect the fan assembly antenna cable from the IO board.
  • Disconnect the fan assembly antenna cable from the IO board.

  • Remove the fan assembly from the Mac Pro.

You don't have to remove the fan assy to do the steps below. They can be done with the fan assy still attached.

Fat Mango - Reply

Flip the Mac Pro upside down, 180 degrees. Remove five 5.1 mm T10 Torx screws from the outer perimeter of the lower case. Remove five 5.1 mm T10 Torx screws from the outer perimeter of the lower case.
  • Flip the Mac Pro upside down, 180 degrees.

  • Remove five 5.1 mm T10 Torx screws from the outer perimeter of the lower case.

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Carefully lift the lower case up and remove it from the Mac Pro. Carefully lift the lower case up and remove it from the Mac Pro.
  • Carefully lift the lower case up and remove it from the Mac Pro.

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Use the flat end of a spudger and a twisting motion to gently separate one side of the graphics card data connection. Use the flat end of a spudger and a twisting motion to gently separate one side of the graphics card data connection.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger and a twisting motion to gently separate one side of the graphics card data connection.

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Gently separate the other side as well. Flip the connector up and out of the way of the graphics card. Repeat this procedure on the other graphics card.
  • Gently separate the other side as well.

  • Flip the connector up and out of the way of the graphics card.

  • Repeat this procedure on the other graphics card.

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Remove the two 6.0 mm T7 Torx screws securing the interconnect board to the heat sink.
  • Remove the two 6.0 mm T7 Torx screws securing the interconnect board to the heat sink.

These are actually 6.0mm T8 Torx Screws. 12/07/2016.

Todd - Reply

Gently walk the interconnect board straight up off the logic board's slot connection. It is recommended to lift one side and then the other. Do not try to remove the interconnect board from the Mac Pro yet, as it is still connected to the IO board.
  • Gently walk the interconnect board straight up off the logic board's slot connection.

  • It is recommended to lift one side and then the other.

  • Do not try to remove the interconnect board from the Mac Pro yet, as it is still connected to the IO board.

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Flip the interconnect board up and over, exposing the IO board data cable. Use the same sort of twisting and spreading motion with the flat end of a spudger to separate one side of the IO board data cable.
  • Flip the interconnect board up and over, exposing the IO board data cable.

  • Use the same sort of twisting and spreading motion with the flat end of a spudger to separate one side of the IO board data cable.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to separate the other side of the IO board data cable. Bend the cable out of the way and remove the interconnect board from the Mac Pro.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to separate the other side of the IO board data cable.

  • Bend the cable out of the way and remove the interconnect board from the Mac Pro.

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Flip the Mac Pro back over and set it gently on a flat surface.
  • Flip the Mac Pro back over and set it gently on a flat surface.

  • We recommend laying the Mac Pro on the corner of the heat sink and the two standoff screw posts that attach to the interconnect board.

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Remove the two 3.6 mm T5 Torx screws from the sides of the power supply cage (one on each side). Remove the two 3.6 mm T5 Torx screws from the sides of the power supply cage (one on each side).
  • Remove the two 3.6 mm T5 Torx screws from the sides of the power supply cage (one on each side).

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Remove the power supply cage from the top of the power supply.
  • Remove the power supply cage from the top of the power supply.

  • By removing this cage, you are exposing internal components of the power supply. Be very careful not to touch any of the power supply components or circuitry.

  • Be careful not to drop any screws or tools into the power supply, as this may damage the power supply.

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Remove the four 5.5 mm T8 Torx screws securing the power supply assembly to the Mac Pro.
  • Remove the four 5.5 mm T8 Torx screws securing the power supply assembly to the Mac Pro.

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Remove the power supply assembly from the Mac Pro.
  • Remove the power supply assembly from the Mac Pro.

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Remove two 5.5 mm T8 Torx screws.
  • Remove two 5.5 mm T8 Torx screws.

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Remove four 12.8 mm T10 Torx screws from the CPU heat sink bracket.
  • Remove four 12.8 mm T10 Torx screws from the CPU heat sink bracket.

    • Remove only the outer four of the eight screws.

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At this point, the logic board is held onto the heat sink by thermal compound. You may need to gently pry with a spudger to separate the logic board from the heat sink.
  • At this point, the logic board is held onto the heat sink by thermal compound.

  • You may need to gently pry with a spudger to separate the logic board from the heat sink.

    • Be very careful not to bend and break the logic board.

  • Remove the logic board from the heat sink.

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Remove the inner four 12.8 mm T10 Torx screws from the CPU heat sink bracket. Remove the CPU heat sink bracket.
  • Remove the inner four 12.8 mm T10 Torx screws from the CPU heat sink bracket.

  • Remove the CPU heat sink bracket.

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Remove the second heat sink bracket.
  • Remove the second heat sink bracket.

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Lift and remove the logic board from the CPU and bracket. During reassembly, be sure to clean off and replace the thermal compound on the CPU.
  • Lift and remove the logic board from the CPU and bracket.

  • During reassembly, be sure to clean off and replace the thermal compound on the CPU.

  • We have a thermal paste guide that makes replacing the thermal compound easy.

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Remove the CPU from the CPU bracket.
  • Remove the CPU from the CPU bracket.

  • CPU remains.

  • During reassembly, be sure to clean off and replace the thermal compound on the CPU.

  • We have a thermal paste guide that makes replacing the thermal compound easy.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

16 other people completed this guide.

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14 Comments

So this means I can buy the smallest Mac Pro now and upgrade the CPU in a few years, right? I like you guys! :)

Ben - Reply

Yes, Ben, you could. 2nd hand CpU's are available on eBay, Amazon and various companies. Review suitability of your proposed CPU that it will fit the socket FCLGA2011, and pay attention to voltage. ECC support, and TDP. Switching CPU isn't an easy task and it has risks replacing it.

aramis -

I just replaced the cheapest 4-core version with the 12 core 2697v2.

This saved me around $700 + i can sell the 4 core.

Christer Jonsson - Reply

Can you please provide some benchmarks, i wish to do the same, but need to see if doing this myself creates any problems

Habib Kalia -

How much did it cost for the new CPU? How much did you get for the old one?

John Cathey -

Just replace it? No need to change bios?

vader0401 -

I didn't need to change anything, no update required: booted into OS X and the CPU was detected.

aramis -

Can / Could I also use an E7?

Peter Reif - Reply

Pete, here are a few places to look for an E7 CPU to see if it will fit/work in the Mac Pro late 2013 with the FCLGA2011 socket. Check for voltage, ECC support and TDP (base 130 watts for default CPU's) and other specs: http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/index.h... and search for socket 2011 compatibility. Also, check http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced?s=t... , this is Intel's database for its products; it appears only the E7v2 and E7v3 may fit the board. Do your homework and find a suitable CPU. This way I found that my replacement E5-2687Wv2 would work.

aramis -

STEP 23

I can not remove the screws . A screw is changed shape ....

What can I do ? Any help?. I am going wrong .. Thanks so much...!

acabanillas00 - Reply

Got it down to the cpu bracket and I'm now confronted with 4 screws that are round and have no space for a screwdriver. Does anybody have experience with this??? What a nightmare!!!

Jesse Billson - Reply

Jesse Billson and acabanillas00, you've run into Apple's new tamper-evident screw stickers. Before you proceed, please note that removing these screws will leave behind clear evidence to Apple that you've been inside the computer, leaving you no wiggle room on your warranty. To remove the screws, first press down with the T10 screwdriver around the centers of the circles, where you would expect the holes to be, and you'll tear right through the stickers (you may have to blindly rotate the screwdriver a bit to get it to line up correctly, since the stickers conceal the holes). Then, just unscrew as normal.

A couple more notes: new Mac Pro 2013's started shipping with these CPU screw stickers some time in 2015, and if you take an older Mac Pro 2013 in for repair, Apple will quietly add the stickers if, during the repair process, they end up stripping the computer down to the CPU bracket.

I haven't found a satisfactory method for preserving the stickers, nor a replacement, but I imagine it could be done...

davidmatics -

An added note: When reinstalling the CPU riser board, Apple sets the torque of the screws to 10.5lbs/in. This might effect the heat transfer capabilities, or performance of the processor itself.

Shmajay - Reply

Completed E5-1650v2 (default 6-core 3.5GHz CPU) upgrade to an E5-2687Wv2 8-core 3.4GHz CPU. Scariest job done ever. Geekbench 4 results Mono/Multi Core: E5-1650v2 (default CPU) 3688/15900 with loads of OS X stuff running in the background, E5-1650v2 (default CPU) 3901/17425 after switching off background processes, then E5-2687Wv2 (upgraded CPU) 3989/22447 with loads of OS X stuff running in the background. Comments on the process above: check your bit size prior to applying your driver, as I found just a few screws having a different bit size than explained above (too small i.e. 5 vs 7, or 8). Also, power supply assembly is hard to put back into place as was before: it's all a very tight fit! Don't force, simply retry fitting if it doesn't fit the first time. Extra information: after original CPU removed, it's a bit tricky to get the new CPU in place as you'll be putting the motherboard on TOP of the CPU according to the process above. Hope this helps.

aramis - Reply

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