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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:14 PM   #1
adversus
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Upgrading my Mac Pro - Thoughts?

So my 2010 Mac Pro is a solid beast, and is working well for what I use it for (some gaming but mostly as a photography workstation and a home development machine (VS 2012 builds faaast on this compared to my work Dell laptop).

I'm about ready to pull the trigger on some upgrades and was wondering if anybody has experience with these parts and/or suggestions on alternatives. I'm budgeting myself for about $500-600 but that is flexible.

Currently have:
2.8 GHz Quad
3GB 1066MHz DDR3
Radeon HD 5870
Standard 1TB Hard Drive

Buying:
24GB RAM OWC85MP3W8M24K $221.99
Desktop SDD 1 (System) OWCSSDMX6G120T $149.00
Desktop SDD 2 (Aperture) OWCSSDMX6G120T $149.00
SSD Mounts x2 OWCMMP35T25 $39.98

All part numbers are from OWC (macsales.com). My thought is using a new SSD for my system drive (which also hold my Windows partition), a secondary SSD just for my Aperture library (which will be partitioned to reduce overall size... currently about 200GB), and keeping the platter 1TB for general storage.

I'm starting to run into bottlenecks in memory when using Aperture (excessive swap file usage) and hard drive access times are getting pretty appalling when scrolling through various libraries.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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If you are going to get Sandforce based SSD's get Intel 520's. A few dollars less, better warranty and way better firmware for stability and hand picked NAND. The rest is fine. OWC SSD's are nothing special. They could easily be called "Super-Talent" or "Corsair" or "OZC".
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167095
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:38 AM   #3
tejota1911
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My suggestion:

Intel W3680 3.33GHz Hex $500
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Xeon-W...item5d3960993a

24GB Kingston 1333MHz RAM Triple-Channel 8GBx3 $199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820139941

256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD $249
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820147193

OWC 2.5" Drive Sled $20


MAJOR PERFORMANCE UPGRADE! Use the SSD as your boot drive and your original HDD for extra storage. Sell your 2.8GHz Quad chip on eBay for ~$130 to further lower the cost of your upgrade. Admittedly, at about $850, this option is a little more that you had planned to spend, but it will SIGNIFICANTLY boost the performance and longevity of your machine.

Geekbench 32-Bit
Before: ~8650
After: ~14000

Geekbench 64-Bit
Before: ~9700
After: ~16000

If you really want 2 128GB drives instead of one 256GB drive, Newegg has the 128GB version of the Samsung 840 Pro on sale for $119 right now with this coupon code:EMCXWVR22.

This thread has an excellent guide for performing the processor upgrade.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1122551
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Last edited by tejota1911; Jan 29, 2013 at 11:57 AM.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 12:05 PM   #4
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You can mount one SSD in the optical bay and use the SATA and power connection there. No mount required unless you travel with your Mac Pro. I moved the CD drive to the lower slot, then used double-sided foam tape to stick SSDs to the top of the CD drive.

You can pick up an inexpensive SATA3 PCIe card for less than the cost of the OWC SSD sled if you want to add multiple SSDs in the optical bay, you'll need a power splitter and a couple of SATA cables to connect everything.

I did the CPU hex upgrade. Niiiice.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:53 PM   #5
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I could get the hexa upgrade, money isn't the issue. But I just hate paying for something I don't really need.

I keep a close on my CPU usage with the quad Xeon, and honestly even when doing a lot of CPU intensive things (selective brushes in Aperture or building a large .NET application in Windows) I rarely if ever max it out.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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All that stuff is fine, but, except for the sleds, you can save money by getting generic PC equivalents instead of buying from OWC.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input!

I pulled the trigger today with overnight delivery tomorrow. I opted for two Samsung SSD's, a 120GB for boot and 250GB for photo storage. My existing 1TB will used for misc files that don't need snappy access.

Got the SSD's and sleds from Newegg for much cheaper than MacSales, and better overall reviews on the drives themselves.

I did snag the memory from MacSales since Newegg was out of stock. I went from 24 to 32gb. Just don't tell my wife
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adversus View Post
Thanks for all the input!

I pulled the trigger today with overnight delivery tomorrow. I opted for two Samsung SSD's, a 120GB for boot and 250GB for photo storage. My existing 1TB will used for misc files that don't need snappy access.

Got the SSD's and sleds from Newegg for much cheaper than MacSales, and better overall reviews on the drives themselves.

I did snag the memory from MacSales since Newegg was out of stock. I went from 24 to 32gb. Just don't tell my wife
Congrats on the Samsung SSDs. Those are the best for Macs. In the future, take a look at Crucial for RAM. When I purchased recently, they beat MacSales. You're probably right not upgrading the processor -- most software isn't quite core-aware yet.
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