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MP 6,1 2013 Mac Pro for 2020 4K?

Matrix1776

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
25
9
Hi I saw some great deals for sealed, 2013 Mac Pro models. D700 models are selling for ~2K maxed out, which used to be $6,000+. I already have a great IPS 4K monitor. I could also get a maxed Mac Mini, albeit with Intel 630 vs D700's.

This is for non-professional, but power-user, work. That means I expect very fast performance, but am not running Pro software as a career. I may toss on some basic Mac Arcade games, but I have a Series X on the way plus I also have a gaming machine with a 43" 144Hz 4K Monitor, so won't be gaming.

Is there *any* value in this proposition? By thought was, have Mac as my everyday machine, and only use the PC for gaming.

Secondary to this, I also have an i9 16" Macbook Pro with 5600M HBM2 graphics. Would it make more sense to get a dock? I just don't know many that have 100W powering and plus the factor of hooking it up each time.
 

Redneck1089

macrumors 65816
Jan 18, 2004
1,180
278
The new 16" MacBook Pro with 5600m should be more powerful than the 6-core and 8-core trash can Mac Pro models. What processor are you looking at for the Mac Pro?

If I were you, unless you really want a desktop, I'd just stick with the MacBook Pro for now. It's just a more modern and powerful (unless you're dealing with the 12-core Mac Pro model) machine.
 

Matrix1776

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
25
9
I don’t necessarily need extreme power, I’m sure a 6 or 8 core is plenty. With a MP, I can have a full desktop. No worries of docking the laptop and hoping all the drives, monitor, all sync perfect.

The Mini would also achieve this, but it’s the same cost and won’t have near the graphics power.

I can dock, but don’t know of any great ones? That have their own independent 100 watts+ power and great accessibility.
 

Matrix1776

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 28, 2020
25
9
I should clarify...not the "12-Core" maxed out. I'm talking SSD, Memory, D700's. Why someone would pay 4500 for a 2013 architecture when there is a new Mac Pro is beyond me.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
7,154
1,037
Poole, England
It works perfectly fine. If you can get it for good price, I don’t see why not. Also you will not suffer from massive fan noise and thanks to better thermal performance you will hardly notice a difference when doing actual stuff. Maybe your encodes will take longer, but that’s just break time.

My 2013, 6 core. 32 GB RAM and d700 runs like a little champ.
 

kfscoll

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2009
1,094
83
If you do buy one, you can find lightly-used 12-core Xeons on eBay for less than $300. OWC has awesome step-by-step instructions on how to swap out processors - I’ve done it twice on my trash can. Honestly, I bought mine as soon as Apple offered them for sale and it’s been the best computer I’ve ever had...by far. It’s just absolutely dead reliable and still powerful enough for me and then some.
 

MisterAndrew

macrumors 68020
Sep 15, 2015
2,128
1,644
Portland, Ore.
I should clarify...not the "12-Core" maxed out. I'm talking SSD, Memory, D700's. Why someone would pay 4500 for a 2013 architecture when there is a new Mac Pro is beyond me.

Well I don't see a single new sealed D700 system listed for that cheap. I only see D300 and D500 units in that price range.
 

MisterAndrew

macrumors 68020
Sep 15, 2015
2,128
1,644
Portland, Ore.
If you do buy one, you can find lightly-used 12-core Xeons on eBay for less than $300. OWC has awesome step-by-step instructions on how to swap out processors - I’ve done it twice on my trash can. Honestly, I bought mine as soon as Apple offered them for sale and it’s been the best computer I’ve ever had...by far. It’s just absolutely dead reliable and still powerful enough for me and then some.

Several people have come onto this forum asking for help after their computer had major issues after an attempted CPU upgrade. I'm glad you and some other people have had success, but I don't think we should be encouraging others to do it. OWC's instructions may work in many cases, but the instructions are not correct. Proper CPU replacement requires special equipment and the torque specs are very important. The procedure is actually so sensitive that Apple's own technicians are not allowed to do it. The CPU is only available pre-installed on a new CPU riser card.
 
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kfscoll

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2009
1,094
83
Several people have come onto this forum asking for help after their computer had major issues after an attempted CPU upgrade. I'm glad you and some other people have had success, but I don't think we should be encouraging others to do it. OWC's instructions may work in many cases, but the instructions are not correct. Proper CPU replacement requires special equipment and the torque specs are very important. The procedure is actually so sensitive that Apple's own technicians are not allowed to do it. The CPU is only available pre-installed on a new CPU riser card.
I think we should absolutely be encouraging people to do whatever they're comfortable with to keep a 7+ year old computer design running as well and as quickly as possible, especially now that the prices of components have come down out of the stratosphere. If for some reason someone is not comfortable doing a CPU swap themselves then by all means they can send it off to OWC, have it done right, and get the added reassurance of a warranty. Simply providing people the information (i.e. the OWC instructions) and anecdotal evidence of the simplicity of a CPU swap isn't forcing anyone to do anything they're not comfortable with.

The fact that Apple doesn't allow their technicians to do CPU replacements isn't at all indicative of the difficulty or the feasibility of the procedure. TBH I wouldn't feel comfortable taking my Mac Pro to an Apple Store for their "geniuses" to perform a CPU upgrade -- my experience with in-warranty repairs (for even minor stuff) has been dreadful. As the saying goes, if you want it done right, do it yourself.

I've built my fair share of PCs and from experience I can tell you that torque specs on CPU fasteners aren't nearly as critical as Apple might have you believe. Often those specs are provided to save harebrained technicians from themselves and their instincts to tighten every flipping bolt and screw as much as possible. And let's face it, Apple is particularly unfriendly to the DIY crowd. Put another way, just because Apple doesn't recommend doing a CPU swap (and why would they when they'd rather sell you a riser board for $2K+ and charge you the installation labor) doesn't mean it's impossible or particularly difficult.

I would love to see what special equipment Apple says is required to do a CPU upgrade...probably more of their proprietary bull$hit.

FWIW I haven't seen "several people" come onto this forum for help after a CPU upgrade...at least not with the nMP. The posts I've seen are most often from folks who've done the upgrade, are thrilled with the results, and are shocked with how easy it was.

I'm not saying you don't have to be careful if you swap the CPU. For god's sake don't bend a pin, zap anything with static discharge, or clamp/lock something down that's improperly seated. But if you're handy with a few simple tools, have a modest amount of manual dexterity, and can follow instructions, it's really not a big deal.

One last thing -- if you're not comfortable with upgrading the stock 4- or 6-core Mac Pro CPU to something more powerful, you're better off buying a current-gen Mac mini and adding an eGPU. Seriously - there's no reason to go with a 2013 Mac Pro these days if you're not going to take advantage of the higher-core Xeon processors that it supports.
 
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