Best performance/least expenses... 4,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Susurs, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Susurs macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #1
    I am looking to configure a Mac Pro (tower) which could perform best within a limit of, lets say, around 800 USD. I want it to have at least quad CPU's in there.

    What could be done there? To buy some base of a Mac Pro 4,1 on e-bay and to upgrade CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD? I am a novice to this field.... do not judge me at the moment for asking stupid questions :)...I want to know things like which models can be upgraded to what, etc.... Can 4,1 be flashed to 5,1? Which is the latest year this kind of mac could be? 2009?
    Can I add USB-C PCI card to that system?

    What is the best CPU option within the price limits? RAM - 16Gb...

    I am looking for a very general, basic information for now to start further research...

    :apple:
     
  2. h9826790, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018

    h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
  3. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #4
    Was reading through that thread and was just thinking I’d update my topic saying that it seems I have found all the info necessary for now.

    Still as I am new to this, I will list my possible configuration here a bit later, and ask for an approval from you a bit later.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2018 ---
    For initial thoughts I think it could be:
    2x 6 core Westmere CPU;
    2xsmall SSDs + some ‘hybrid’ (SSD+HDD) drive;
    RX560?;
    32Gb 1333Mhz RAM;
    PCI USB card;


    P.S. Just to be sure: I better need a 2010 base for Westmere CPUs or 2009 will do fine? Were there some socket difference? Too much info for me all together :)
     
  4. adam9c1 macrumors 68000

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    2009 dual socket uses processors without a heat spreader.
    2010-2012 dual socket uses standard processors

    I have a 2009 dual CPU tower for sale (in the for sale section)
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    Since your original post mentioned about "at least Quad", I don't expect you need (or can) utilised 12 cores in general.

    Depends on your usage, more cores may give you literally zero benefit.

    Also, for low cost setup, single processor 4,1 is the best. 4,1 is cheaper than 5,1 in general. But the single processor 4,1 and 5,1 are virtually the same machine. It's so much easier to upgrade a single processor 4,1 to 5,1 because it use normal CPU.

    For low cost, you may pay some attention on the X5677, this processor match the W3690 and X5690 in most situation, and only fall behind when you need more than 4 cores.

    4x8 GB 1333 ECC RAM should be pretty cheap, but again, if you don't need that much, reduce it to 3x8GB will save you a bit, and actually make the memory work a little bit faster (the memory work faster doesn't imply the whole system is faster, because the system can use the extra RAM as cache, less cache can reduce overall performance).

    SSHD is a good option, however, depends on how you use it. It may give you little extra benefit in speed (e.g. for storing large video files), but simply cost more.

    It's totally possible to get a single processor 4,1 and a X5677 within $400. (This should also include the original CPU, HDD, some RAM, and a Mac graphic card. e.g. W3520, 640GB HDD, 4x1GB RAM, and a GT120)
    A RX560 and a USB 3.0 card for $200
    And a 240GB SSD, 3x8GB server pulled 1333MHz ECC RAM, and a 1TB SSHD for the remaining $200

    TBH, it's a hard time to do this. All graphic cards, memory, and SSD's price went up quite a bit. I got my 120GB SSD for just $30 two years ago, 4x8GB ECC RAM only cost $75 by that time.

    At this moment, I expect you need to pay around $180 for a RX560, $20 for USB 3.0 card, $65 for 240GB SSD, $75 for 3x8GB RAM, $55 for a 1TB SSHD (All these price are from Amazon or eBay about 5 minutes ago)
     
  6. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #7
    A little further explanation needed: Does RX560 work OOB with High Sierra 10.13.3 now or that was RX460 which was working OOB?
     
  7. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #8
    Here's where I sit right now

    Tower................$247....shipped
    W3690...............$115...shipped
    24GB DDR3 ECC...$67....shipped
    OSX WiFi/BT card.$140....shipped
    128 MBA SSD......$119....shipped
    Sintech adapter ..$19....shipped
    BlueRay..............$52....shipped

    That's $759 plus some cables to power the RX480 I pulled from my PC. I also pulled a 1TB, 2@2TB, 4TB and 250GB SSD.
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #9
  9. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #10
    You can do a lot with $800. What are you doing with the machine? If you can get away with not having 12 Cores than you can get two 3.46GHz quads (x5677) for only $50 and have a lot of money left over for other upgrades. A dual CPU 09 should run you at least $450-$500.
     
  10. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #11
    Single CPU is not an option. Lets just say, I need as much possible CPU potential as it can deliver, and it can deliver it best with 2x...
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2018 ---
    P.S. Another question: Does HDMI work as an output on these machines?
     
  11. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #12
    depends on the exact card, resolution, and rate you're looking for... but YES, HDMI output does work
     
  12. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #13
    Ok, If you are not doing anything serious with video, than I can recommend an RX 560, if you are, then try moving up to a 7950, R9 280X or RX 480/580. Here is a scenario:
    Base Mac Pro 2009-(8-Core)~$500
    2X X5690 6-Core CPU's-$250
    32GB DDR3 ECC-$70
    USB 3.1 PCIe Card-$30
    RX 560-$140
    It's easy to dump a lot of money into these machines. If you shop around you can find better prices then what I have listed here. You can save a lot of money going with the X5677 instead of X5690 or you can go with a lower clock speed 6-core like the X5650 and still get 12-Cores (at the expense of lower clock speed) Obviously, if you get the Dual-CPU model there is a premium and you have to use "X" SKU CPU's instead of the "W" series.
     
  13. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #14
    May I know why you prefer more cores? Because in general, there are not much job that can utilise all 12 cores 24 threads, and most of those job can benefit from better GPU. Prefer 12 cores X5690 but with a very weak RX560 seems a bit strange to me.
     
  14. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #15
    Thanks! With the exact card you mean the specific card from manufacturer, like XFX, not the model, like RX560 in general?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2018 ---
    It may potentially have to deal with a material coming from a FF 42MP camera. That’s all I can tell at the moment. Sorry, no more details :)
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #16
    No worries, understand that you may not allow to disclose any your job details. But if that’s photo’s work, you can’t utilise the cores in general.
     
  16. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #17
    Can I use W3690 in pairs?
     
  17. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #18
    NO
     
  18. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #19
  19. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #20
    Do the cMPs give you the option of disabling Hyperthreading - that is, running as 12 cores 12 threads?

    It should be a bit faster with HT disabled if you never need more than 12 threads.
     
  20. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #21
    AMD cards are a little different, but especially with NVIDIA it is recommended to be as close to the reference design as possible. Anything that is modified MAY not be supported (drivers not available).

    Some manufacturers modify the card for additional features from reference, such as cooling, adding ports, etc. Would look for the most "standard" style cards possible. Personally would avoid the Eyefinity cards for Mac-targeted usage if you are concerned with ports.
     
  21. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #22
    For AMD cards, it is known that XFX cards have issues
     
  22. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #23
    Mine does not though..

    XFX RX480 GTR
     
  23. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #24
    If you are processing RAW files, there's very little chance anything you are shooting is natively supported by current software applications under public release. Adobe does not update their public DNG software until cameras are announced. Would suggest reaching out to the development team that you are working with under your NDA and ask if the processing software they are recommending has any GPU acceleration available on Mac (CUDA, OpenCL, OpenGL, Metal). Unless they are writing the software, the answer is likely NO, but worth asking. With eGPU eventually being available on Mac, some vendors are testing compatibility in beta.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2018 ---
    Believe the post was in reference to the XFX RX560 having issues. I'm on NVIDIA and have not followed the AMD card history as closely. Paying more attention with Vega.

    If you check this page out, there's a Vega 65 card out there...
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202823
     
  24. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #25
    It could be, but when I left the conversation a year a so ago XFX 4xx cards weren't working, then I threw mine in and everything was grand.
     

Share This Page

54 January 31, 2018