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OWC’s Mac Pro 2013 Processor Upgrade Benchmarking

After confirming that the processor in the new 2013 Mac Pro is user upgradeable, we’ve had more time for testing. We have been able to test various processors with both the stock 16GB of memory from Apple installed and with 64GB of OWC memory installed in the new Mac Pro.

We will continue to submit our findings to this listing as we are able to perform more testing with additional processors.

Check out our list of GeekBench benchmarking scores below:

OWC’s Mac Pro 2013 Processor & Memory Upgrade GeekBench Scores
Mac Pro 2013 (Mac Pro6,1) running OS X 10.9.1

Config. Processor Cores Clock Speed OWC Memory Single-Core Benchmark Multi-Core Benchmark
Stock Intel® Xeon® E5-1650 V2 6 3.50GHz 64GB 3,670 21,142
Stock Intel® Xeon® E5-2697 V2 12 2.70GHz 64GB 3,256 33,249
Upgraded Intel® Xeon® E5-1660 V2 6 3.70GHz 64GB 3,763 +93 / +2.5% 22,278 +1,136 / +5.3%
Upgraded Intel® Xeon® E5-2667 V2 8 3.30GHz 64GB 3,715 +45 / 1.2% 27,004 +5,862 / +27.7%
Upgraded Intel® Xeon® E5-2690 V2 10 3.00GHz 64GB 3,397 –273 / –7.4% 30,941 +9,799 / +46.3%

OWC’s Mac Pro 2013 Processor Upgrade GeekBench Scores
Mac Pro 2013 (Mac Pro6,1) running OS X 10.9.1

Config. Processor Cores Clock Speed Memory Single-Core Benchmark Multi-Core Benchmark
Stock Intel® Xeon® E5-1650 V2 6 3.50GHz 16GB 3,634 20,737
Stock Intel® Xeon® E5-2697 V2 12 2.70GHz 16GB 3,228 32,534
Upgraded Intel® Xeon® E5-1660 V2 6 3.70GHz 16GB 3,732 +98 / +2.6% 21,799 +1,062 / +5.1%
Upgraded Intel® Xeon® E5-2690 V2 10 3.00GHz 16GB 3,375 –259 / –7.1% 30,324 +9,587 / +46.2%


We have also compiled our list of processors we’ve confirmed as compatible, and will continue to add to the list as we continue to test.

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    • I spoke to Apple about that and they still willing to hep, even after I changed my processor myself .

  • Man – I was expecting soooo much more from these iCan machines.

    My 2010 with updated processors scores 30k in 64bit benchmarks. Why would I spend almost 10k on a Can that needs *additional* money dumped into it for peripheral expansion to get.. 3k more in performance oomph. I can’t justify it!

    The price point of these things are just wrong..

    Congratulations to Apple for fitting a computer in a DVD spindle, but seriously, eat some of the R&D cost from your iPhone/iPad profits. Because, we’re creating content and media that just ends up on those devices.! Give the Pro’s some price slack. gah!

    • You can consider upgrading to the can for better single core performance… but even the iMacs are outperfoming the iCan in this area.

    • I just finished upgrading my 2009 Mac Pro processors to a 12 core 3.46Ghz machine that has a 64bit score of 31,000.
      No need to buy a new mac pro for a few years yet.

  • Would be nice to see a video or description of your cpu upgrade process and how much each cpu was.

  • I’m gearing up to purchase a new mac pro jet engine cylinder. It would be very helpful to have a breakdown to reveal which route gives most bang for the buck. Example: Buy 4-core, upgrade to 10-core. Buy stock 12GB upgrade with OWC… These stock 6 to upgraded 6-core with a 5% increase might not be worth the large investment. Does OWC buy the stock CPU?

    • Hi Sean,

      Did you get your guidance? I am exactly in the same spot as you in January.
      I would gladly go with basic 4 cores + 12GB as a starting point but only of I can upgrade from 4 cores to 10 or 12.
      Unfortunately all the successful upgrade stories I have found started with 6 cores.


  • Thanks for all your tests and posts, guys. Good stuff indeed!

    I’m seriously considering getting the lowest end Mac Pro with only the essential initial upgrades to GPU and SSD and then getting the Xeon E5-2690v2 or 2697v2 cheaper. I’ve built workstations in the past, but this time around, I’m wondering if it would be worth getting thermal paste. Have you guys used any thermal paste for your replacements?

    Would it be possible to get some form of temperature results on full/heavy load? I do a whole lot of 3D rendering in Mental Ray and Arnold, which is multithreaded and maxes out the CPU(s) at render time, so this would be an important aspect of either going the upgrade route or getting the stock 2697v2.


  • What was the exact benchmark suite used for producing the Single-core and Multi-core results ?
    Where these benchmarks run several times to see if there was any significant variation ?
    Please run STREAM benchmark for the 12GB and 16GB stock configs and for 64GB for all stock configs, as well as your listed upgrade Processors.

    Thanks you.

  • I would be interested to know what the scores were for the stock 4-core, 6-core, 8-core and 12-core all with 16GB RAM (except for the 4-core which has 12GB RAM) vs. them having 64GB RAM.

    I ask this as the 64GB RAM configurations require RDIMMs rather than UDIMMs, and that RDIMMs carry a slight overhead vs. UDIMMs which might lead to a reduction in memory speed/access.

    I suppose a STREAM benchmark might shed some light on the difference in having UDIMMs vs. RDIMMs in the stock models.

    Thank you.

    • The red numbers are the score and percentage differentiation of the upgraded processor from the score with the stock processor.