Any Authorised Mac Techs here? Got a question

So i have an interesting issue

I have a Macpro 2013 Trashcan and was looking to upgrade from the stock 6 Core to 12 Core CPU

Following the OWC videos online made it easier until i reached a hard stop dead end

There seems to be no way to remove 3 of the 4 screws that hold the CPU in place on the macpro. if you look at the pictures - 1 of the screws come out as you would expect but the other 3 look like they are in 1 piece and when you unscrew them the entire screw and thread come off the circuit board.

For those that have access too the official apple service manual. how are you meant to remove the 3 screws as there is no way to remove the CPU otherwise

Not pictured but on a side view it looks like there is a small nut underneath the T10 screw but there seems to be no way to access it to remove it


My Macpro (i can only assume its a later production model) does not have

Those screws should have come out when you took it away from the heat sink and the bottom half should have stayed in the heat sync piece, no?


No they don’t as you can see from my images. Apparently the later manufacturing dates of the macpros had different screws.

I see two issues:

  1. initial set of torx screws have back side (the silver part that looks like it has more screw thread, correct)?

  2. a second set of inner screws that don’t appear to even have torx holes at the top

For the first problem, I suspect there is a tool that screws onto the silver part that you hold in place with one hand while twisting the torx screw around, thus separating the two sides. A reverse screwdriver. Very clever, Apple. :confused:

The second set are the real problem. There appears to be literally no hand tool that would give the right grip. I suspect that there is a machine that likely goes down, grips the lip of these notchless screws, applies intense pressure around the circumference, and then twists, unscrewing them. I doubt very highly this is any kind of hand tool.

No bueno, Apple. :rage:

There must be an updated technicians guide out there. I’ve had luck finding them online in the past.

BTW, I’ve got the same machine here (albeit 4 core) and I was considering a CPU upgrade but didn’t want to take the single core hit. What are you doing on yours?

Bragging Rights of a 12 Core :stuck_out_tongue:

I run Adobe Photographers suite mainly. Can get away with a 6 core but now i just want to work out how to solve this!!

The 2nd set just have a security sticker on top. Thats no big deal.

Oh, they’re the same color black as the screws themselves. In which case, then yes, all you need is that reverse screwdriver tool for the first set I guess… I thought they literally had no screw notches at the top.

Nice. I considered a 12-core upgrade but I reckon I’d feel the single core slowdown. Have you done an NVMe SSD upgrade yet? I threw a 2TB 970 Pro in mine (with an adapter + heatsink) and it’s great. My biggest disappointment with it now is that eGPU support cut it off… :confused:

Waiting for the adapter :slight_smile:

As i suspected. Apparently i need a tool like this to remove the CPU Bracket. FML!!

The reverse screwdriver?

There is a comment on an ifixit post that says “use a pair of needle nose pliers, hemostat, or thin 7mm wrench to hold the insert steady and unscrew the screw from it.”

I saw that article but saying it can be done and actually doing it are two totally different things. 1st there is no 7mmm wrench I can find that it thin enough to fit as we are talking about 1-2mm tolerances. The pliers do not work either - i have wrapped the screw in aluminum foil to prevent damage but when you turn the T10 screwdriver it eventually just ends up turning the screw in the pliers as well. A hemostat is absolutely not going to work as i also have tried the needle nose pliers and they have even less grip than a normal set of pliers (with al foil). A hemostat might be good for blood loss but not for screw removal!

Ouch! :grimacing:

I wonder if you could pay a 3rd party Apple repair centre to install the CPU for you? There’s not breach of warranty issue etc. so they probably would do it for an hour labour in my experience. I’ve had 3rd party SSDs installed, etc. by them in the past.

There seems to be no Mac Techs here or if they are they are banned by apple from replying

Probably both.

The only good news is that i have a mac pro disassembly down to 15 mins :slight_smile:


My Sintech adapter arrived this afternoon. Picked up a 2Tb WD Black NVME drive and it’s running like a charm. I ended up with the little sized adapter but it seems to run fine with sleep etc all working. I did order a full size adapter as well so might swap it over if i feel the need

I suspect it’s because Apple’s instructions for this issue are f-ing useless.

Important: If one or more CPU leaf spring screws spin freely and can not be removed, try removing another screw until all four screws are loose. Carefully remove the CPU riser card from the core cradle. Check for standoff(s) attached to the underside of the board. If standoff(s) are present, the standoff(s) pulled away from the core and the CPU riser card must be repaired by Apple. Do not attempt to remove the standoff(s). Refer to the return instructions in step 14.

Step 14:

  1. Standoff instructions: If a standoff pulls away from the core, do not attempt to remove the standoff from the underside of the CPU riser card. Removing the standoff could damage other components on the board. Keep the board and screws intact. Use IPA wipes to clean the CPU riser card, package the board in an ESD bag, and return the part to Apple. The CPU riser card must be repaired by Apple.

Instead of the screw backing out of the standoff, it’s just unscrewed the entire standoff from the core instead. Apple’s instruction, even for AASPs and technicians, is to “send the riser card to Apple for repair”, which doesn’t help.

That service fixture maybe applies some extra downforce on the standoffs, making them more likely to bind against the core when turning so the screw (and not the entire standoff) gives first. Just a theory of course.

If it were my machine - and absolutely get a second, third, fourth opinion - but I’d try and find something that bites down on the standoff and try to back the screw out with a screwdriver while holding the standoff firmly. That could damage the threads though. I’m not sure how hard a metal those standoffs are made out of.

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