2009 MP - Upgrade from 2.9Ghz Nehalem to 3.33Ghz Hex-core Westmere worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Zorn, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. Zorn macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

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    Feb 14, 2006
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    Ohio
    #1
    I just picked up a 2009 MP that's been upgraded to 5,1 firmware, so far loving it! My main intensive use for the machine is gaming, other than that mostly general use and possibly getting into learning Xcode. The machine came with a 2.93Ghz Nehalem CPU.

    Would it be worthwhile, and a noticeable upgrade to have the tray upgraded to a 3.33Ghz Westmere 6 core CPU with 16GB of 1333 RAM? I can afford to do it, and since what I mainly do on my computer is gaming, I want to make this computer last a while (the nMP is not really in consideration due to weak and non-upgradable graphics). What do you guys think from this perspective? Thanks!
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #2
    For gaming, X5677 is better and cheaper than W3680.

    1333 RAM is not necessary. For most of the game, you may feel no difference at all. However, if you have to upgrade the RAM anyway, better to get 1333 RAM rather than 1066 RAM. Also, for best performance, you should keep them in optimum config (only use 3 slots, e.g. 3x8G).
     
  3. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I see no reason to do this unless you go for the 3.47ghz option, the w3690 or the x5690, make it a screamer

    any other money put into the gpu
     
  4. Baunkjaer macrumors 6502

    Baunkjaer

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    #4
    Which GPU did it come with? Not many games take advantage of the extra cores, hence a new and better GPU might be a better buy.
     
  5. Zorn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

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    #5
    I'm already putting a 980GTX in it, this is completely separate from that.
     
  6. fuchsdh macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Then I think you're already getting the bigger bang for your buck, and at this point the processor isn't going to mean much of a difference. The extra cores are going to be unused in most games--even if they actually are multithreaded, I doubt they're going to take advantage of six cores (even high-end consumer rigs are going to top out at four cores, usually.)
     
  7. Zorn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

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    #7
    From a performance standpoint, do you think going for an Accelsior e2 or a PCIe SATA card would be a more noticeable difference?
     
  8. fuchsdh macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    From a spinning hard drive, or a SSD in a regular drive bay? I'd say for most uses you wouldn't notice the speed that much over the SSD if you're playing games and the like, but either of those options would be much faster than a hard drive and mean better streaming, loading, etc.
     
  9. Zorn, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014

    Zorn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

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    #9
    Right now I have a SSD connected to the on board SATA.

    Edit: I guess mainly I'm just looking for the best upgrade to make the computer really feel super fast. I used a nMP at the Apple store and it definitely feels like it flies opening things up and using it. I don't get that same feeling with the 2009 MP.
     
  10. ShawnF macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #10
    The nMP uses a fast PCI-E SSD - I have seen the demo videos of nMP users launching multiple applications to test the speed and I agree it's blazing fast. If you want that kind of speed, you may wish to have a look at the thread below. Be prepared to pay for that kind of performance.

    SATA Express meets the '09 MacPro - Bootable NGFF PCIE SSD

    The SSD plugged in the cMP SATA will be throttled down due the SATA II 3GBps interface. On average, my Crucial MX100 SSD gets around 250-260MBps in read/writes using the Mac Pro internal SATA connection. The speed is better than mechanical hard drives but not near that of a modern PCI-E SSD.
     
  11. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    Nov 23, 2012
    #11
    ^^^^There is another way, the Apricorn Solo (or the new Duo) x2 PCIe interface card. O have two Solo x2 with Samsung SSDs. They run at SATAIII speeds.

    This is a reasonably priced solution.

    Lou
     

    Attached Files:

  12. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I wouldn't go for the Accelsior, if interested in that wait for the ProQ version to come out (supposed to be Q3 this year), or the Sonnet equivalent. Those are rumoured to hit as high as 1800 mb/s

    I put a PCI-e based Apple nMP Samsung 1tb, for about 550 USD, that is over 1000 mb/s r/w, as referenced in the thread linked above. Simple, Apple-based solution. Not cheap, but none of these are, really.
     
  13. Zorn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

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    #13
    So you guys think rather than spend $600 on the CPU upgrade it might be more beneficial to get a PCIe SSD? I'm thinking either the Apple one or a Samsung XP941 with adapter. Thanks for all the thoughts so far guys, it's really helpful.
     
  14. ShawnF macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #14
    Both the Apple and Samsung are going to require adapters as they have different connectors. If price is not an issue, go for either as they will give the best performance at the moment.
     
  15. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I think that the CPUs for this socket will come down in price a bit this year as loads of servers come off lease, so there is no hurry. See where prices are a little down the road. I also think if you are going to bother doing the CPU, only bother if you are going to the max upgrade (3.47ghz) and be done.

    I think the PCI-e SSD is a good one. I got the Apple adapter for about 40 bucks, that would be max cost I think. I also think that your options might be wider here by the end of the year, but I am happy with the Apple solution.

    If you bother with this one, do the 4 lane connection at the higher speed (which I think is only available in the 1tb, there might be a nMP 512 version but make sure it has 4 lanes for the higher speeds). Or wait out the rest of this year, as if you have the GPU upgraded, are 2.93 already, you aren't in too bad a shape. You have the luxury of seeing what's out there at what price, while performing well enough for the time being.
     
  16. h9826790, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #16
    I don't think so. For your main purpose - gaming, a faster CPU is more benificial than PCIe SSD most of the time. Especially when considering the improvement on average FPS. A 3.46GHz CPU shoud give you more FPS than a PCIe SSD. That's why I said the X5677 is a good choice for you. No need to go for more core, just higher clock speed is good enough. Of course, if cost is not an issue, you can always go for the Hex core.

    For loading time (I mean in game loading, not opening the game). It really depends on the game. e.g. For SIMS 3, there is almost no improvement even run the whole game with RAM disk. If a RAM drive can't help, a PCIe SSD won't help either.
     
  17. ShawnF macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #17
    If your main priority is gaming and you want to boost your FPS count, then a GFX would be a good choice.

    I have 24GB RAM running in triple channel mode alongside a GTX 660Ti and games like Diablo 3 run very smooth on my 1920x1200 monitor at native resolution. But games are not my priority as I use my Mac Pro primarily for Final Cut video editing work and Lightroom editing. So my next upgrade plan is for a faster GFX (perhaps an AMD 7950 or GTX980) and PCI-E SSD when dual slot adapters start appearing.
     
  18. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #18
    From my understanding, his main purpose is gaming, and he already installed the 980. So, he only want to know if upgrade the CPU will help.
     
  19. Zorn thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

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    #19
    Thanks for all the help guys. I ended up getting a nMP 512GB Apple SSD that should be 4 lane, and the Sintech Apple PCIe adapter. The SSD got here very fast, but still waiting on shipping from China on the adapter :mad: Hopefully this gives me the snappiness boost I was looking for.
     

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