2009 MacPro upgrade vs hackintosh

Drumcode

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 15, 2016
17
2
I have a 2009 MacPro 4,1 which I flashed to 5,1 a few years back so I could upgrade to a W3690.

GeekBench profile: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/6372223

I'm tossing up between building a hackintosh given how far they have come these days or if possible, upgrade to a dual CPU tray.

if I went down the Hacintosh road I would probably get:

Core i7 8700K
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Motherboard
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32GB 3000MHz (4x8GB) DDR4
GTX 1070 ti (this in the MacPro now)

So...

- Can my single CPU tray be upgraded to a duel?
- If so, which is the fastest upgrade kit?
- How does the fastest kit compare to the Hackintosh build with an i7 8700K?


I'm happy to pay a premium to keep my beloved MacPro if I can get similar performance to the Hackintosh, but that might be asking too much of a nine-year-old machine!
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,010
8,616
I have a 2009 MacPro 4,1 which I flashed to 5,1 a few years back so I could upgrade to a W3690.

GeekBench profile: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/6372223

I'm tossing up between building a hackintosh given how far they have come these days or if possible, upgrade to a dual CPU tray.

if I went down the Hacintosh road I would probably get:

Core i7 8700K
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Motherboard
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32GB 3000MHz (4x8GB) DDR4
GTX 1070 ti (this in the MacPro now)

So...

- Can my single CPU tray be upgraded to a duel?
- If so, which is the fastest upgrade kit?
- How does the fastest kit compare to the Hackintosh build with an i7 8700K?


I'm happy to pay a premium to keep my beloved MacPro if I can get similar performance to the Hackintosh, but that might be asking too much of a nine-year-old machine!
Yes, you can change trays, from a single one to a dual one - but you can't use Xeons W with dual processor trays.

The fastest dual processor is Xeon X5690, you will need two (~$80 each), 2009 dual tray can be found for around $300, you will need a good thermal paste and to delid the processors.

So, If you do everything yourself, you will spend around $500. You can buy trays already upgraded for $650 on eBay.

Please note that the single core performance of X5690 is similar of the W3690 and is a lot lower than i7 8700K. Dual X5690 is faster in multicore tests. Check Geekbench scores first for both processors.
 

Drumcode

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 15, 2016
17
2
What's the machine's primary purpose / workload?
Mostly web dev so I typically have a node & rails server running along with databases etc, plus 20 odd chrome tabs & VScode.

Other than that I occasionally use Sketch & photoshop, some gaming via Bootcamp and have it running as a plex media server.
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,010
8,616
Mostly web dev so I typically have a node & rails server running along with databases etc, plus 20 odd chrome tabs & VScode.

Other than that I occasionally use Sketch & photoshop, some gaming via Bootcamp and have it running as a plex media server.
I don't think you will be faster with a dual processor tray. The single core will stay the same or a little lower with the dual one.

Dual processors shine with what is heavily threaded like long Xcode compiles, multiple concurrent VMs or video rendering/converting/etc.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,400
6,951
Hong Kong
Mostly web dev so I typically have a node & rails server running along with databases etc, plus 20 odd chrome tabs & VScode.

Other than that I occasionally use Sketch & photoshop, some gaming via Bootcamp and have it running as a plex media server.
Hackintosh should be a better route, I own both cMP 5,1 (W3690, RX580) and Hackintosh (8700K, 1080Ti), a single 8700K can kill a dual X5690 cMP. And the most important parameter for most usage, the CPU single core performance, 8700K is 100% better than X5690 / W3690.
GB4.png

Especially if you run a Pascal GPU. The Hackintosh can always provide "boot screen" which makes maintain the macOS so much easier.
 
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Drumcode

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 15, 2016
17
2
Thanks, guys!

@h9826790 how do you find the Hackintosh?

I did a trial run last night with an old i5 and z97 board and was amazed at how easy it was to get working, but I haven't bothered to set it up as a work machine yet so I'm not sure how it would go day to day.

https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/9511292

6229 single core :)
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,400
6,951
Hong Kong
Thanks, guys!

@h9826790 how do you find the Hackintosh?

I did a trial run last night with an old i5 and z97 board and was amazed at how easy it was to get working, but I haven't bothered to set it up as a work machine yet so I'm not sure how it would go day to day.

https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/9511292

6229 single core :)
As long as pick the correct hardware, fast and stable. But quite a bit of study need to be done. e.g. need to learn how to properly install / update Clover and macOS, how to properly fix USB 15 ports limits, of how to make the audio work properly etc.

Of course can just follow a golden build, and make it work almost "OOTB" by using those already available customised Clover EFI folder (you should still at least generate a serial number for your own Hackintosh). But I am really not that kind of person, I prefer to know what I am doing, and able to fix issues by myself.

But if you just want to be the users. Pick a golden build, follow it 100% on the hardware, then you can just install Clover and use it like a Mac. (This approach is really like a Mac, you don't have much choice on hardware :p)
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
Just for another data point, going from (4,1) with (5,1) firmware, W3680 3.3Ghz Westmere, 24 GB memory, SATA and NVMe SSD to a Ryzen 2700X build with 32 GB and some of the same SSD's gets me just about a 2x improvement, give or take noise, doing development type stuff: compiles, DBMS test runs, etc. Running Linux in both instances. I have to say that I'm very impressed with Ryzen, and for my usage the extra cores are more important than a few percentage points in single thread execution.
 
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