Advice On Upgrade !

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rodedwards, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. rodedwards macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #1
    Hi everyone !

    I'm after a bit of advice ...

    I currently own an early 2009 Mac Pro Desktop 2 x 2.26 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 32Gb Ram and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB.

    I'm a photographer / videographer and i'm thinking maybe i need to upgrade my computer soon.

    Will i notice much of a performance improvement if i upgrade to either a new 27" 3.4ghz iMac with 32Gb Ram and a 1Tb Fusion Drive

    Or

    A new Mac Pro with 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 32Gb Ram and 1Tb PCIe- Flash Storage ?

    Obviously newer Macs will be a bit faster ... but how much so - especially if i consider an internal 1Tb SSD for my existing Dual Quad Core Mac Pro (or other upgrades) ?

    Are we talking about doubling the speed of Photoshop etc or just a slight improvement in performance ?

    Advice would be appreciated ... thanks !
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Location:
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    #2
    Reposted from original thread:

    Your computer itself can be upgraded greatly. For example, I recently upgraded my 2010 Mac Pro to two 3.2GHz W5580 quad core Xeons. I found the CPUs for $100 each on Ebay and then sold my old CPUs for $75 each.

    You can also replace your startup drive with an SSD that will greatly improve overall perception of snappiness.

    If you use any software that is CUDA aware, such as DaVinci Resolve or After Effects, changing your Nvidia GT120 to a newer Nvidia graphics card will greatly improve your performance.

    With these simple upgrades, your Mac Pro can outperform anything in Apple's current lineup except for the upcoming Mac Pro.
     
  3. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #3
    Hi rodedwards. Pastry Chef's suggestion is one of your best options in upgrading without having to spend too much. Your Mac Pro will be as good as new.
     
  4. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    #4
    Processing speed the newer macs aren't going to be that much faster than what you already have. Look at Geekbench scores and you will see the 2009 8 core 2.26 scores ~14000 in 64 bit tests, the new iMac ~15000 and we don't know about the nMP but test will similar processors (e5-1620) is also around that range. The other additions such as SSD and faster video will improve overall experience.

    As others have pointed out, the 2009 are extremely upgradable - so if you are willing to do that that is going to be your best route. Pretty simple to add an updated video card and an SSD drive. It is a bit more complicated to upgrade processors, but really isn't too difficult either. I've now seen x5650 for as low as $220 a processor, so for < $450 you could upgrade processors and get around ~25000 64bit geek bench.

    But if you want a new system with warranty, new display on the iMac etc. then I would probably go the iMac route. But I'm a bit biased as I'm not a fan of the nMP as one the be major benefits the MP always had to me is now gone (internal storage options).
     
  5. rodedwards thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #5
    Thanks guys ... really helpful advice. Looks like i may be able to speed my five year old Mac up without parting with a small fortune.

    Will look in to it ... :D
     
  6. leon771 macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2011
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    Australia
    #6
    I upgraded my 8 x 2.26 with Xeon X5570's. I thought about the W5580's but decided to stick with 90W CPUs rather than get the 130W ones.

    The X5570's are pretty cheap now. The upgrade was a little daunting bit didn't take me all that long to do. It just takes time to get all the parts required (1mm washers, thermal pad etc).

    The difference between the 2.26GHz and 2.93GHz CPUs was very noticeable for me.
    By boot and applications drive is SSD which made a large difference to my system as well.

    I'd also be tempted to throw in a newer graphics card (Nvidia 680 or 780) or AMD 7950 to 7970. Just check which apps you use the most and whether they leverage the Nvidia or AMD cards better.

    I have an older ATI4870 and so far it does the job I want it to do.
     
  7. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #7
    Technically better than new.
     
  8. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

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    Los Angeles
    #8
    Does anyone have the performance chart between 2dimms, 3dimms, and 4dimms installed? I'm looking to get 2x 16gb 1333 ECC ram for 32gb total on 2 dims. Granted the MP utilizes triple channel when only 3 slots are used, what performance hits will I run into. I'm thinking maybe 5% -8% tops. But things might of changed.

    I would fill the 3rd slot up making it a total of 48GB, but RAM prices have skyrocketed like crazy in the past few months. I remember buying 32gb 4x8gb, corsair vengeance for $140, now it's at least double that. I will eventually add an additional 16gb down the road, but just not until the price goes down.
     
  9. rodedwards thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #9
    Thanks again for your info guys ... Think I'll just upgrade my 2009 Mac Pro.

    Looks like it'll be cheaper, faster and better than other options and have dvd drive and four internals.

    I wish the new Mac Pro was more upgradable. I thought this was the whole point of the 'Mac Pro' models.
     
  10. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    Northern District NY
    #10
    Your Mac Pro has so much potential! Even if you got an iMac that was faster it would be a downgrade! Throw in an Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M (or possibly two :D) and you'll see great GPU performance can make up alone for allot. RAM is great but with a powerful machine anything over 32 or even 24 is not needed unless you run Maya, After Effects, etc. even then Processors and GPU's help more. I'd look at upgrading your processors, very cheap, consider going dual 6-core Xeon's. Its tempting to go for a new computer BUT you still have allot of upgrade potential..if you really want a new computer wait for the new Mac Pro but the new one is a crap shoot in terms of upgrades....the current one is little different than what your dealing with now when compared to just upgrading your current. I think that video card I mentioned and dual 6-core Xeon's is gonna really brighten up your workflow though!
     
  11. rodedwards, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    rodedwards thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #11
    Hi Nateo200 ... thanks for your input too.

    I'll Google to find out some prices and info ...

    I'm a little cautious at upgrading the processors as i'm a complete novice. Do any processors work or so i need special ones - also, is six cores a downgrade to the dual quad cores i already have installed ?

    Are processors easy to fit ?

    More advice would be really helpful ... thanks !
     
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #12
    The Mac Edition of the GTX 680 was announced around April, 2013.

    This site gives a bit of an idea on what a CPU upgrade involves. Here is a video of someone upgrading a single CPU Mac Pro so you have an idea of what's involved.

    Your Mac Pro can use Gainestown and Westmere CPUs.
     
  13. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #13
    No not just any processors. I would say Westmere's would be a good fit (I believe they have 6-core Westmere's, anyone correct me if I'm wrong). And I was suggesting two 6-core processors for a total of 12 cores vs your current 8-cores via dual quads. It will be a significant upgrade power wise. I haven't installed a processor in a long time let alone in a Mac Pro but when I did it in my own custom windows rig it wasn't so much hard as it was nerve wrecking to make sure I did it right and didn't fry the CPU's after I pulled them out of the shock resistant bags and what not. Its not likely you'll ruin anything even if your a novice, just read up when the time comes is all.

    As for other things, the beauty of all those PCIe slots in your Mac Pro is upgrades, if your worried about thunderbolt I expect thunderbolt PCIe cards to be available soon (already saw two prototypes but they got canned last minute), regardless thunderbolt is basically PCIe and most things that are thunderbolt feature a PCIe or USB 3.0 version. I'd also grab a USB 3.0 PCIe card. Nothing you can't do to your Mac Pro to make it stay current.

    As for the Nvidia GTX 680, Pastrychef can probably speak specifically about it but its a great card, now that I think about it dual GTX 680's would be overkill unless you really are diving off the deep end with video editing BUT one will certainly be a nice upgrade and within your PSU's ability.
     
  14. DopeElite macrumors newbie

    DopeElite

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    Oct 30, 2013
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    Tennessee
    #14
    Mac Pro with 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 32Gb Ram and 1Tb PCIe- Flash Storage, they seem pretty nice.
     
  15. rodedwards thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #15
    Thanks guys ...

    I've just bought a 1Tb Samsung Evo 840 SSD for my system drive (replacing old 7200rpm HD) and splashed out on a NVIDIA GTX 680 for Mac.

    Cost £434 and £460 respectively.

    Will see how this works and look into replacing a processor or two later.

    What i love about my 2009 Mac Pro is that it's so upgradable and i have four internal hard drives that i can easily replace. Wish the new Apple Mac Pro's (to be released in December 2013) were equally as upgradable, but sadly not so.

    You people have been really helpful. Much appreciated ! :D
     
  16. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #16
    Please do keep us informed as to how that upgrade helps! Pictures would be cool too :D Good choices on the GPU and SSD!
     
  17. rodedwards thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2010
    #17
    All is hunky dory !

    I've added the upgrades to my 2009 MacPro and all is hunky dory.

    The new NVIDIA GTX 680 Mac soars and Photoshop etc is twice as fast as the older card.

    The new Samsung 1tb EVO 840 is also excellent. Everything feels much snappier and it was worth the expense.

    I've also upgraded to Mavericks 10.9 and it's much less buggy than 10.8 which i was very disappointed in. One or two bits of very old hardware now not supported but i needed to buy new display calibrator anyways.

    Thanks to you all for your help ... may even look in to a faster processor sometime soon.:D
     
  18. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #18
    Great to hear man! I swear a new GPU is like magic and with everything going towards GPU acceleration and parallel processing I think we'll see even more speed increases with just better software, drivers, firmware, etc. SSD is a must these days, I mean unless your a dinosaur not having an SSD is just frustrating.
     
  19. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #19
    That EVO is quite the zippy - I have one of them and yep (its twice as fast when paired with the Apricorn Velocity Solo X@).

    Look forward to a gfx upgrade sometime soon myself.

    Glad to hear you are having fun upgrading.
     

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