2009 MP 4.1 - upgrade CPU or abandon?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by les24preludes, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. les24preludes macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #1
    I have a single quad core 2.66 MP 4.1. Wondering where to go from here:

    1. Upgrade CPU to W5590 and not bother flashing to 5.1. Easy option, some speed gain.
    2. Upgrade CPU to X5677 or W3680/X5680 and hope the 5.1 flash goes OK and I don't get problems
    3. Get out of Mac Pros altogether and use a Mac Mini. I already have a 2012 Mac Mini second computer.

    Is it worth hanging on with El Capitan, when Sierra poses more upgrade problems even with the 5.1 flash?

    Or is it only a matter of time before the next OS ditches the Mac Pro 5.1 and the whole thing just isn't worth it?
     
  2. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #2
    First question is what do you want to get out of any upgrade. So we need to focus on the final goal.

    How much speed gain do you think will be realized by option #1? Does it meet the final goal? If not, don't consider it.

    If your goal is to get to macOS Sierra I would not spend the time and effort to flash a 4,1 to a 5,1 because the next iteration may well make the 5,1 obsolete. Cook has said there are good things in store for the Pro users but that could mean anything or nothing. If the decision has to be made now, with products available, then maybe a fully decked out mini is the answer.

    I'm in the same boat with the 3,1 and looking at a 2015 MBP from a reliable vendor. New in box so not a problem there and I would get AppleCare for it. But the 3,1 has a lot of life left in it I believe so...
     
  3. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #3
    I'd recommend door number 2. The flashing process is no big deal and you get a significant boost from a W3680 or X5677. Stick a couple inexpensive SATA SSD's into the drive bays and it's rejuvenated machine for not all that much money.
     
  4. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #4
    Flash and upgrade CPU unless the mini provides all the performance you require. Do the EFI update before you order your CPU and you'll be risking nothing. $100 or less CPU. Season with SSD sauce (which can be applied to other machines in future), as recommended above.

    Sierra is running great on both my 4,1>5,1s. Apple's traditional support period should allow OS installs for several more OS upgrades. 5,1 is much more computer than 3,1.
     
  5. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for the opinions, guys. I'm still scratching my head. What I like about the Mac Pro is that it's a great hunk of engineering - you can add all kinds of things and it's fun to play around with. The Mac Mini is kind of a wimp's machine in comparison, but in its favour it's more modern and requires pretty much nil maintenance.

    Right now my Late 2012 2.5Ghz i5 is a bit better than my 4.1 MP 2.66Ghz. It certainly streams better with YT and TV programs. I'd be sorry not to have a Mac Pro to play around with, but unless it performs better than my 2012 Mac Mini on steaming from the Net I just don't know. I guess it's not too expensive to stick something like a X5677 in it and see what that does. But is the video card better on my Mac Mini and does that need to be looked at as well as the CPU?
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    I have the same machine, and upgrade the CPU / GPU about 2 years ago (as per my signature). I am very happy with it, however, my machine almost always encoding something. So, 2 more cores helps a lot, and higher speed definitely help as well.

    However, if all you care is just YT, and your mini doing it well. Then I will say forget about the Mac Pro. There is no point to upgrade / maintain / run this power hungry machine if the mini can do what you want.
     
  7. JedNZ macrumors regular

    JedNZ

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Location:
    Deep South
    #7
    I did the Quad 2.66 to Hexa-core X5680 upgrade (single CPU) and it was well worth it. I've played with a 2012 and 2014 Mac Mini (mid range CPU options in both) and they simply don't even compare, even for simple everyday tasks such as web browsing and email. In I've just replaced my 2012 Mac mini for my cMP 1,1>2,1 as my media streaming/server machine - so many more options BUT so much snappier in everything it does.
     
  8. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #8
    I think you guys are making me take the plunge to 5.1 and a faster processor. I'm very tempted by the X5677 quad core - much cheaper than the W3680 which is the entry level to six cores.

    What do you think?
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #9
    If you rarely stress your machine, X5677 is actually a better option, not just because it's cheaper, but also has higher max temperature, faster single core speed, able to run more RAM. Even though both the X5677 and W3680 are 130W TDP CPU. I am quite sure the X5677 draw less in real world, it has less cores and lower voltage range. Which mean the operating temperature should be lower, and also less fan noise.
     
  10. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #10
    X5677 sounds good. Next step would be to get the long hex driver and the thermal paste. And then try and figure out how to do the 5.1 flash.
     

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