In the extensive teardown OWC has confirmed that the Intel Xeon E5 processor is fitted in an LGA 2011 socket, allowing an upgrade of the CPU. Previous versions of the Mac Pro had the processor soldered on the motherboard, making it impossible to exchange the CPU for a newer version.
This is good news for buyers of the new Mac Pro 2013. Third party hardware makers like OWC may jump the bandwagon and offer CPU upgrades that could allow Mac Pro owners to extend the live of their machine in the future. At this moment Apple is offering three different processor choices to replace the quad-core E5 in the entry-level model. When bought from other vendors these chips should fit but it is not clear whether other more advanced chips would fit the socket in the Mac pro 2013. The additional prices for the different CPU configurations on the Apple Store are as follows:
– 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 with 12MB of L3 cache: +$500
– 3.0GHz 8-core Intel Xeon E5 with 25MB of L3 cache: +$2000
– 2.7GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5 with 30MB of L3 cache: +$3500
Other replaceable parts in the Mac Pro are the RAM DIMM modules and the PCIe Flash Storage card. The RAM DIMMs use standard and easy to access DIMM sockets for easy replacement. the PCIe Flash Storage card is fitted in a PCIe slot that requires a custom upright card design to fit the Mac Pro 2013 casing. As it seems the graphics cards are not replaceable as Apple has created custom cards that are soldered on the motherboard.