5,1 upgrade - Opinions Solicited

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by crjackson2134, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. crjackson2134, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014

    crjackson2134 macrumors 68040


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    Okay, I want to upgrade a couple of things in my MP listed below. I want to upgrade my GPU (if it makes sense), and I want some SSD goodness.

    Main apps used are as follows:

    FCP X
    PS CS6
    Logic Pro X

    Very little to no gaming.

    In a GPU I want the most powerful (but trouble fee) option (i.e. I don't want to over draw the PCI buss and risk damage). I was thinking the GTX 680 ME would be a good fit, but with Apple gearing everything up towards OpenCL, would I be better off with an ATI card? I worry about the GPU options drying up for the cMP so that's why the current concern. I'm not really having any particular GPU issue, I just do want to miss the boat on getting something better, and I'm concerned that nVidia's OpenCL performance won't be on par with ATI.


    Should I just pass on the GPU and get an SSD. I'm thinking that would have better bang for the buck (am I wrong?). Now, the SSD will probably be a Samsunc 840 Pro around 500GB. it's only going to be used for boot/apps. Since all my PCI slots are full, and I don't want the boot slowdown associated with an SSD caddy, it will go in tray 1 and work at SATA2 speeds. I don't think that will be a problem since I'm mainly looking for a snappier boot and UI responsiveness.

    Keep in mind, I'm not a Pro at anything. I'm retired and just do some hardcore playing. I do turn the occasional dollar but I don't work steady anymore as a rule.

    Chime in...
  2. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    680 for gaming... ATI doesn't exist anymore..its all amd now.. you could get a 7950 sapphire mac edition and use that... the ssd wont help you much to game


    barefeats.com has a lot of good articles on opencl and gl test with video cards in a mac pro i suggest you check it out
  3. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    Go SSD to start... so much fun for everything, great bang for the buck! For boot, SSD on SATA2 is darn good.

    Second the "Take A Look at Barefeats" recommendation... you can put a second GPU in your Mac for FCPX if you work there a lot.
  4. crjackson2134 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC

    Yeah, I know it's AMD now, but having owned so many, I still call them ATI.

    I do almost no gaming, so that's the least I concerned with.
  5. crjackson2134 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC

    Thanks, I'm leaning towards SSD first.
  6. Enigma macrumors member

    May 20, 2004
    I've got a 2.93Ghz 5,1 purchased 3 years ago and since then my upgrades have been:

    1TB PCI SSD (Accelsior)
    64GB RAM (started with 32G but maxed it a year ago)
    7970 3GB (from macvidcards)

    The SSD was by far the most noticeable upgrade, everything is just far quicker and the read/write speed when it's PCI connected is in the order of 750MB/sec. Not cheap but I couldn't go back now.

    Only reason I maxed the RAM was that I had a large amount of data to process and after I properly multi-threaded my software it could easily hit the 32GB limit processing lots of datasets in parallel. For day to day usage 32GB was fine though, just depends on what you do with the machine.

    The GPU I just upgraded at the weekend. I figured I wanted to get another year or two out of this machine and it was at the point that Expose (or whatever it is called now) would take 30 seconds to display all application windows when I had lots open across the two monitors (2x 27" ACD). The fan was also starting to make horrible noises when it got up to speed so decided I might as well replace it before it died on me completely.

    For the card I didn't want an external PSU and it had to have 2 MDP connectors. My Applecare's expired anyway and from what I read on here many people are running the 7970 without problems I ordered one a few weeks ago from macvidcards. Even with the customs charges it was still cheaper than the 7950 Mac Edition is here in the UK. Not had a chance to test it in Windows yet but I did have a nice game of Civ 5 on a huge map at full resolution and it stayed nice and smooth.

    This machine is used extensively for work though (my justification for the expense :) and as far as I can see the new Mac Pro won't offer me much over what I now have. The only thing I'd upgrade right now is if some nice 4K Apple monitors that can be run at HiDPI for proper retina on the desktop :)
  7. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Get a SSD for OS and apps and replace 5870 with R9 280x.
    This will speed up all listed apps, except Logic ofc.

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