Mac Pro (2009 - 2012) Upgrades

Mac Pro Side (open) Mac Pro Front

History

This page deals with the Mac Pro "Nehalem" and "Westmere", produced from March 2009. For all earlier Mac Pros please see this page.

The Mac Pro "Nehalem" was released in March 2009, moving the range to the Intel Xeon 3500 and 5500 "Nehalem" processors, and moving from the DDR2 FB-DIMM memory to DDR3 PC8500 ECC DIMMs (fully compatible with DDR3 PC10600) which can be used in triple-channel mode. The two FireWire 400 connectors were also replaced with an additional 2 FireWire 800 ports and the optical drive moved from IDE to a SATA interface.

These Mac Pros were released in two major configurations: The lower end 4-core, which has a single quad core CPU and has 4 memory sockets each capable of taking an 8GB module for a total of 32GB (24GB in triple channel mode).

The high end 8-core machine has 2 x quad core CPUs and 8 memory sockets, each capable of taking an 8GB module for 64GB total.

Apple's own specifications for this Mac can be found here.

In August 2010 Apple updated the Mac Pro with the new Intel Xeon "Westmere" processor, although they continued to sell the Nehalem machines as a low end option. All 2010 models can also use 8GB RAM modules for a maximum of 32GB or 64GB, depending on the number of slots.

The Westmere machines came with configurations based around two quad core or one or two 6-core processors. The memory type on the 6 core and 12 core 2010 machines has been upgraded to DDR3 PC10600 (1333MHz) memory. The quad and 8 core machines (both Nehalem or Westmere) use the same PC8500 (1066Mhz) memory as the 2009 machines, but are also fully compatible with the DDR3 PC10600 (1333MHz).

Apart from an upgrade to the graphics cards, this is the only difference between the machine as far as upgrading them.

Apple specs for the 2010 machines can be found here.

The lineup was refreshed in June 2012, but with little change to upgrades. Apple specs here.

How to Identify these Machines

The 2009, 2010 and 2012 Mac Pros are also very similar to the earlier Mac Pros, sold prior to March 2009. System Profiler (Apple Menu > About This Mac, then click the "More Info" button) is the best way to tell the difference - in the memory section of System Profiler, check the speed of the installed RAM modules.

This page deals with Nehalem and Westmere Mac Pros. The earlier models are dealt with here.

Externally this machine also looks very similar to the PowerMac G5 and the PowerMac G5 Dual Core. Internally this machine (like all Mac Pros) is much more spacious with room for 2 optical drives and 4 hard drives, as opposed to 1 optical drive and 2 hard drives on the G5s. An easy identification between PowerMac G5 and Mac Pro can be made by opening the System Profiler utility and checking the CPU type since this machine uses an Intel Xeon and the older machines use a PowerPC G5.

Apple's own specifications for this Mac can be found here.

If you are still unsure you can contact us on 01223 833 412 or by email for confirmation.

Memory Upgrades

This page lists memory for the Mac Pro "Nehalem" (released March 2009 and August 2010) and the Mac Pro "Westmere" (released August 2010, June 2012), RAM upgrades for earlier Mac Pros are listed here.

Some models have 4 memory sockets while others have 8. The easiest way to find out how much memory your 2009, 2010 or 2012 Mac Pro can take is to check memory type and number of slots in software: Go to Apple Menu > About This Mac. On the window that comes up, click "More Info" - this brings up System Profiler. In the left hand pane of System Profiler select "Memory". The right hand pane now displays the slots the machine has and what memory you have installed.

If you do not have access to the machine, memory compatibility breaks down like this:

The Mac Pro Nehalem (the 2009 model, but also sold as a low end option from August 2010) was released in 4-core (1 x quad core) and 8-core (2 x quad core) models. The Mac Pro Westmere (only sold from August 2010, but the Nehalem was sold alongside it) was released in 6 core (1 x 6 core), 8 core (2 x quad core) and 12 core (2 x 6 core) configurations.

The important thing is that the 4 core and 6 core models have 4 memory sockets (max RAM 32GB in 4 x 8GB) and the 8 core and 12 core have 8 (max RAM 64GB in 8 x 8GB). There are also differences in the memory bus speed for the machines. 4 and 8 core models are 1066MHz while 6 and 12 cores are 1333MHz (PC10600). In practice all 2009 - 2012 Mac Pros can use the 1333MHz memory, and due to the increasing difficulty to source the slower RAM we sell this for the entire range. In the slower machines the RAM will downclock to the 1066MHz speed automatically.

Please call us on 01223 833 412 if you need any advice.

INSTALL SERVICE - RAM in a PowerMac/Mac ProStock: Available£10.00 + vat (£12.00)
OWC DDR3 1333MHz PC10600 ECC DIMM 4GB Module w/ thermal sensors for Mac ProStock: Available£39.00 + vat (£46.80)
OWC DDR3 1333MHz PC10600 ECC DIMM 8GB Module w/ thermal sensors for Mac ProStock: Available£59.00 + vat (£70.80)

Any fitting information below is intended as a guide before purchase ONLY, when fitting these products you should refer to the original manual for your computer, and any instructions that come with the item. Please see this page for more information, or here for information on our fitting service.

Difficulty 2 / 5 - Easy

Memory is very much a user installable part, for full instructions on how to fit RAM, as well as recommended configurations for which order to fill your slots, see this Apple guide (pdf).

CD/DVD/Blu-ray Drive Upgrades

The Mac Pro "Nehalem" and "Westmere" use a 5.25" SATA optical drive and have bays for two units. The following compatible products are available.

INSTALL SERVICE - Internal CD/DVD Drive in a PowerMac/Mac ProStock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)
Lite-On 24X DVD+/-RW DL Internal SATA Stock: Available£16.00 + vat (£19.20)
LG 14X Blu-ray Burner + Super-MultiDrive DVD/DVD DL/CDRW SATAStock: Available£73.25 + vat (£87.90)1
External USB 2.0 CD/DVD-RW Drive - Bus PoweredStock: Available£29.00 + vat (£34.80)
OWC Slim 6x Portable Blu-Ray Burner, Bus-Powered - Blu Ray, DL DVD+/-RW, CD RW/RStock: Available£104.87 + vat (£125.84)1
1Blu-Ray is not fully supported in OSX. Disks can be mounted and read, but movie playback requires third party software.

Any fitting information below is intended as a guide before purchase ONLY, when fitting these products you should refer to the original manual for your computer, and any instructions that come with the item. Please see this page for more information, or here for information on our fitting service.

Difficulty 2 / 5 - Easy

A replacement or additional optical drive is user installable part on this Mac. Full instructions can be found in this pdf.

Internal Hard Drive & SSD Upgrades

The Mac Pro Nehalem and Westmere have bays for 4 x 3.5" SATA hard drives. All of the drives listed below are fully compatible.

 

If you don't want to fit a new hard drive yourself, you can take advantage of the MacUpgrades Installation Service. Add the installation service from the list below to your cart along with your chosen hard drive. We can also clone your existing hard drive onto the new one, simply add the Clone Original Hard Drive service below to your cart.

Once you have booked the service, send your machine to us, we will carry out the work and return it to you. Alternatively, we do offer a Collection Service with our courier, please see here for details.

Installation Services

INSTALL SERVICE - Internal Drive in a PowerMac/Mac Pro 2006-2012Stock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)
INSTALL SERVICE - Clone Original Internal DriveStock: Available£25.00 + vat (£30.00)
INSTALL SERVICE - Fit Customer Supplied PartStock: Available£17.50 + vat (£21.00)

3.5in Hard Drives

Seagate Barracuda SATA 600 500GB 7200RPM 16MBStock: Available£41.90 + vat (£50.28)
Seagate Barracuda SATA 600 1TB 7200RPM 32MBStock: Available£42.98 + vat (£51.58)
Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM SATA 600 2TB 7200RPM 64MBStock: Available£60.02 + vat (£72.02)
Western Digital Caviar Black 4TB 7200RPM SATA 600 256MBStock: Available£177.10 + vat (£212.52)
Seagate Barracuda 5900RPM SATA 600 8TB 256MBStock: Available£200.50 + vat (£240.60)

Hard Drive/SSD Hybrids

Seagate Desktop SSHD 7200RPM 1TB SATA 600 3.5" 64MB HYBRID 8GB SSDStock: Available£70.73 + vat (£84.88)
Seagate Desktop SSHD 7200RPM 2TB SATA 600 3.5" 64MB HYBRID 8GB SSDStock: Available£94.84 + vat (£113.81)

Internal Solid State Disk (SSD) Drives

OWC Mercury 120GB Electra 3G with 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor SATA 300 SSDStock: Available£60.99 + vat (£73.19)
OWC Mercury 250GB Electra 3G with 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor SATA 300 SSDStock: Available£84.66 + vat (£101.59)
OWC Mercury 500GB Electra 3G with 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor SATA 300 SSDStock: Available£143.45 + vat (£172.14)
OWC Mercury 120GB Extreme Pro 6G SSD with 2.5-3.5 adpt SATA 600 Read 559MB/s Write 527MB/sStock: Special Order£95.13 + vat (£114.16)1
OWC Mercury 480GB Extreme Pro 6G SSD with 2.5-3.5 adpt SATA 600 Read 559MB/s Write 527MB/sStock: Special Order£188.66 + vat (£226.39)1
Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD with 2.5-3.5 adapt SATA 600 Stock: Available£78.35 + vat (£94.02)
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD with 2.5-3.5 adapt SATA 600 Stock: Available£103.60 + vat (£124.32)
Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD with 2.5-3.5 adapt SATA 600 Stock: Available£208.88 + vat (£250.66)
Samsung 860 EVO 2TB SSD with 2.5-3.5 adapt SATA 600 Stock: Special Order£395.72 + vat (£474.86)
Samsung 860 EVO 4TB SSD with 2.5-3.5 adapt SATA 600 Stock: Special Order£839.93 + vat (£1007.92)
Startech 2.5in - 3.5in SATA drive enclosure adaptorStock: Available£21.00 + vat (£25.20)

HDD Mounts for Optical Bay

OWC Multi-Mount 3.5" to 5.25" bracket set for Mac Pro 2009 and laterStock: Special Order£22.50 + vat (£27.00)

PCIe Attached SSDs

OWC Accelsior_E2 PCIe SSD for Mac Pro 680MB/s - 480GB Stock: Special Order£301.90 + vat (£362.28)
OWC Accelsior_E2 PCIe SSD for Mac Pro 680MB/s - 960GB Stock: Special Order£446.12 + vat (£535.34)

PCIe Mounts for SATA 600 Drives (No Drive)

Sonnet Tempo SSD SATA 600 PCIe SSD Controller CardStock: Special Order£87.00 + vat (£104.40)2
Sonnet Tempo Pro SSD SATA 600 PCIe SSD Controller CardStock: Special Order£265.00 + vat (£318.00)2
1Mac Pro towers only have a SATA 300 drive controller, so this SATA 600 SSD will be limited to this speed.
2Requires 10.6.8 or later.

Any fitting information below is intended as a guide before purchase ONLY, when fitting these products you should refer to the original manual for your computer, and any instructions that come with the item. Please see this page for more information, or here for information on our fitting service.

Difficulty 2 / 5 - Easy

For detailed instructions on installing internal hard drives in the Mac Pro, see this pdf on Apple's website.

Shut down the computer and remove the side access panel.

The four hard drive bays are in a horizontal row below the power supply and optical drive bays. There is no need to mess around with cables, the drives can be just slid in and out.

Slide out a drive tray - empty if installing an additional drive, or the one containing the drive you wish to replace.

Fit the new drive(s) with the screws which are already in position.

Slide the drive bay back in until you feel it snap into position.

Restart your Mac and format the new drive with Disk Utility.

Graphics Cards and Displays

These Mac Pros use PCI-Express for their graphics cards. Listed below are the compatible products that we sell.

INSTALL SERVICE - Graphics Card in a PowerMac/Mac ProStock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)
Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 Graphics Card 4GB - 2 X HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort, 1 x DVIStock: Available£235.00 + vat (£282.00)1
Refurb AMD Radeon 5770 1GB PCIe Graphics Card 2 x DL DVI - FLASHED CARDStock: Available£120.00 + vat (£144.00)2
1Suitable for MacPro5,1 machines (or MacPro4,1 flashed with MacPro5,1 firmware) running OSX 10.12.6 or later.
2Requires 10.6.4 or later. Not compatible with macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Any fitting information below is intended as a guide before purchase ONLY, when fitting these products you should refer to the original manual for your computer, and any instructions that come with the item. Please see this page for more information, or here for information on our fitting service.

Difficulty 1 / 5 - Very Easy.

Install software, Turn off Machine, open side door. Remove the existing graphics card from its PCI-Express slot, and insert the new card in its place. If you are unsure call or email our team. Apple's installation instructions can be found here.

Expansion Card Upgrades

These Mac Pros uses high-bandwidth PCI-Express for their expansion cards. PCI-Express slots are not backwards compatible with PCI/PCI-X cards, so the only expansion cards for the Mac Pro are those listed here. The Mac Pro also has a slot for an Airport Extreme 802.11n Card.

INSTALL SERVICE - Expansion Card in a Desktop MacStock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)
Sonnet Tempo SATA E2P - 2 Port PCI-Express eSATA Card with Port MultiplierStock: Special Order£38.00 + vat (£45.60)
Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro 6Gb PCIe 2.0 2 port eSATA CardStock: Special Order£75.00 + vat (£90.00)
Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro 6Gb PCIe 2.0 4 port eSATA CardStock: Special Order£225.00 + vat (£270.00)
Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe Card 4 portStock: Available£52.00 + vat (£62.40)1
Sonnet Allegro USB-C PCIe Card 2 portStock: Available£53.00 + vat (£63.60)2
Sonnet Allegro Express FireWire 800 PCI-E CardStock: Special Order£62.00 + vat (£74.40)
1Requires 10.8.5 or later.
2Requires OSX 10.12.6 or later, or OSX 10.10.5 - NOT compatible with OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) or systems older than OSX 10.10.5.

Any fitting information below is intended as a guide before purchase ONLY, when fitting these products you should refer to the original manual for your computer, and any instructions that come with the item. Please see this page for more information, or here for information on our fitting service.

Difficulty 1 / 5 - Very Easy (PCI-Express).

Install software, Turn off Machine, open side door. Locate a free PCI-Express socket and remove holding screw. Replace card with new Card - If you are unsure call or email our team. Apple's installation instructions can be found here.

Keyboards & Mice

The following keyboards and mice are compatible with this Mac.

Trust 3 button USB Optical MouseStock: Available£6.75 + vat (£8.10)
Cherry Strait 3.0 USB Keyboard - UK Mac LayoutStock: Available£40.65 + vat (£48.78)

Power Supplies & Batteries

Listed below are power supplies, batteries and related products we supply for this Mac.

3V Coin Cell Lithium PRAM/Clock BatteryStock: Available£4.00 + vat (£4.80)

Any fitting information below is intended as a guide before purchase ONLY, when fitting these products you should refer to the original manual for your computer, and any instructions that come with the item. Please see this page for more information, or here for information on our fitting service.

Cables & Tools

Listed below are power cables, tools and related products we supply for this Mac.

Cables & Adaptors

USB 2 to 2.5in SATA Drive Cable (for accessing a 2.5in SATA drive via USB)Stock: Available£6.49 + vat (£7.79)
FireWire 400 - 800 Adaptor Cable M/M (6pin - 9pin) 6 ftStock: Available£11.00 + vat (£13.20)
Mini DisplayPort - VGA M/F Video AdaptorStock: Available£15.72 + vat (£18.86)1
Mini DisplayPort - DVI M/F Passive Video AdaptorStock: Available£12.50 + vat (£15.00)1
Mini DisplayPort - DVI M/F Active Video AdaptorStock: Available£28.00 + vat (£33.60)1
Mini DisplayPort - HDMI M/F Passive AdaptorStock: Available£14.00 + vat (£16.80)1
Mini DisplayPort - HDMI M/F Active AdaptorStock: Available£26.15 + vat (£31.38)1
DVI-I - VGA M/F Video AdaptorStock: Available£6.50 + vat (£7.80)2
Sonnet Tempo eSATA Cable Set - 1m (2 x eSATA Connectors)Stock: Unavailable£16.00 + vat (£19.20)3

Tools

Screwdriver Set - 20mm Phillips #00, #0, #1 - Flat 1.4mm, 1.8mm, 2.4mmStock: Available£5.00 + vat (£6.00)
Anti Static Wrist StrapStock: Available£7.50 + vat (£9.00)
1For models with a Mini DisplayPort video output port.
2For models with a DVI video output port.
3For use with an eSATA PCI card, e.g. Sonnet Tempo X4P eSATA PCI/PCIX Card, to connect to an eSATA external device.

External Drives & Enclosures

With USB 2.0 and FireWire 800 connectivity, the Mac Pro can use a wide range of external hard drives. Please note that to use a FireWire 400 peripheral on a FireWire 800 connection, you will need a 6 pin - 9 pin FireWire cable.

Additionally its PCI-Express slots allow additional connectivities such as eSATA and SCSI to be added, allowing yet more external storage options.

3.5" USB 3 External Drives

WD Elements USB 3 (USB 2 compatible) 3.5in External HDD - 2TBStock: Available£83.37 + vat (£100.04)
WD Elements USB 3 (USB 2 compatible) 3.5in External HDD - 4TBStock: Available£118.10 + vat (£141.72)

2.5" USB 3.0 External Drives

Buffalo MiniStation 1TB USB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible) 2.5in Hard DriveStock: Available£55.03 + vat (£66.04)
OWC Envoy Pro EX 960GB External USB 3.0 SSDStock: Unavailable£370.54 + vat (£444.65)1

Docking Stations

NewerTech Voyager Q Quad Interface 2.5 & 3.5 SATA Hard Drive Docking StationStock: Special Order£64.77 + vat (£77.72)

3.5" USB Enclosures

Startech USB 3.0 Enclosure for 3.5in SATA DrivesStock: Available£35.79 + vat (£42.95)

2.5" USB Enclosures

Startech USB 3.0 (USB 2 compatible) Enclosure for 2.5in SATA Drive with UASPStock: Available£19.02 + vat (£22.82)
1Requires the addition of a USB 3.0 expansion card.

Complete Machines - Refurbished

Any complete machines of this type or similar that we have for sale are listed here. Please note that these are refurbished models with a 3 month warranty, and that delivery is likely to take 3 - 5 working days. These can be purchased online with the standard website courier delivery charge for the mainland UK only. Please contact us for a quote on shipping to other areas.

There are none available.

Repair Services for this Mac

Here are the various repair services we offer for this Mac. You can have us take the machine in for evaluation, or book a fixed-price repair if you already know what the fault is and the service is listed below (for services without parts, please see the relevant tab on this page for compatible parts that we sell). If you know what the fault is, but we don't have a fixed-price repair listed below, please contact us for a quote.

Evaluation Services

Mac Repair - Evaluation ServiceStock: Available£39.00 + vat (£46.80)

Installation Services (parts not included)

Collection ServiceStock: Available£24.68 + vat (£29.62)
INSTALL SERVICE - Internal Drive in a PowerMac/Mac Pro 2006-2012Stock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)
INSTALL SERVICE - Clone Original Internal DriveStock: Available£25.00 + vat (£30.00)
INSTALL SERVICE - RAM in a PowerMac/Mac ProStock: Available£10.00 + vat (£12.00)
INSTALL SERVICE - Graphics Card in a PowerMac/Mac ProStock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)
INSTALL SERVICE - Expansion Card in a Desktop MacStock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)
INSTALL SERVICE - Internal CD/DVD Drive in a PowerMac/Mac ProStock: Available£15.00 + vat (£18.00)