Build a 16 core Hakintosh, upgrade a previous MacPro or reluctantly buy new MacPro???

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Jaylongeee, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Jaylongeee macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    I'm just after some solid advice. I'm after buying a 2nd machine purely for using Cinema 4d on and I'm after the fastest machine I can get. I do a lot of high res renders plus need to load the textures in quick (which can get up to 30gb)

    1. I have been looking on insanely/tonymac and been considering building my own Hakintosh

    2. Been looking and this site and now wondering if it's worth buying year old MacPro and updating some of the Hardware

    3. Or do a just take the safe option and get a New MacPro (very reluctantly)

    Whilst I want as fast a machine I can get, I'd want to make sure I have stability

    I'd have enough of a budget if it costs more than getting a NewMacPro just so long as it does a better job!!

    Any comments would be welcome

  2. codymac, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012

    codymac macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    1. I'm on my second one now while waiting for a proper update. i7 2700k w/ 32gb, USB 3.0, Cuda, 12 drive bays, etc.

    2. It wasn't for me. With parts left over from a previous build, it cost me so little to make this one that it was a no-brainer for me.

    3. I never even considered it. When/if there's an update, I may, but I'll have a good bit of life left in this machine so it will be a tough call.

    Happy & stable here and still running 10.6.8.

    A 16-core is a different animal though. I've considered an EVGA dual socket build but the costs go up so significantly that I'd have to weigh it carefully against a refurb.
  3. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    if i had to do it now, i would buy an old G5 case and put new guts in it. x79 motherboard with sandy bridge cpu's. Hackintosh for the OS
  4. DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Well you really will have a HACKintosh then as the cases usually require modification.

    I'm sort of in the same boat as the original poster, having a 12 core hack built just for Cinema 4D and after effects. Wanted the best of both worlds... fast processor speed and many cores, which apple just don't offer.

    From my experience so far you just need to have a lot of patience, and be prepared to change configuration if the exact parts you wanted aren't working out. A lot of this depends on the experience of the builder though. But it's also rare for any two machines to be exactly the same so anything is going to take time to get right.

    I'm hoping once it's done it will be stable so I don't have to touch it for a few years and it can just do it's job!!! I'll be reporting back with my findings so keep an eye out Jaylongeee for a thread coming up in the next week or so.
  5. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    I'm sort of tempted.
    My CPU / Ram / SSD upgrade is good enough, though - it will last a year, until apple {hopefully} figures it out.
    As much as i like DIY, I reserve it only when absolutely necessary.
    My bread and butter is the stuff i do with the machine, not what i do to it.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    If I did this, I'd skip the Hackintosh route and go to Windows. I'd review mobos, go with with quality ram, and choose a video card based on what is well reviewed for my intended uses (which have nothing to do with games). I probably wouldn't bother testing heavy overclocking. It would just be for stability and I'd maintain a clean backup copy of the OS with all applications in case anything crashes (much like I do with my Mac). There isn't any way of really knowing Apple's plans for next year. It's possible that they'll simply divert as many users as possible to lighter hardware before canceling it out. All they really said was that "something" is coming next year. Whether it will make sense for you as a functional solution is a separate matter.
  7. softwareguy256 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    Buying a new computer will only increase performance by 10-20% and thats being very optimistic. If you are serious, I mean serious about doing what you want to do (machine solely for cinema 4d) you need to hire a consultant to optimize your workflow. Algorithmic improvements tailored to your requirements can often increase performance by 50%-100% when compared with general purpose software.

  8. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Am I missing something - I didn't even see what the OP is using currently, but there certainly is potential to blow away that 10-20% number. The new xeon workstations from Dell/HP can certainly best that compared with a mac pro even a "new" one and if he's in one like mine that is pre-nahalem then even more potential exists.
  9. Jaylongeee, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    Jaylongeee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    My current machine is a MacPro 8 core, dual 2.4 (I bought Jan 2011) 32GB Ram, 480GB Oz Vertex SSD 10.7.4.

    I'd rather not go down the windows route as in 1-2 years i'll replace the 8 core MacPro machine and it would be a problem for all my OSX software, plus I have been using macs for over 25 years and happy with the OS.

    Im happy to have a pop and building my own Hackintosh something along the lines of this, most of which I got from

    Lian Li PC-V2120A (Silver)
    2 x Xeon E5 2680
    Asus Z9PE-D8 WS
    2 x Corsair Hydro Series H100
    Corsair Professional Series Gold 1200-Watt
    NVIDA Quadro 4000
    4 x Kingston 16GB DDR3 1600MHz

    This would cost $6000+, i'd have a budget for this but just don't want to shell out that amount of money to find I have an unstable machine. Im happy to put the hours in initially when setting it up, just 1 point, after setting it up:

    1. To find out that its not that much quicker unless I spend weeks over clocking etc., tuning to get the performance out of the processors.

    I was also looking the tho ProMAX 'One' Systems. Its shame theres not someone that specialises in getting OSX running smoothly on them

    Sounds like updating current/older MacPro with new Hardware, I will need to start cutting pieces of metal out to fit which im not up for.

    DJenkins, I will keep an eye for an update thanks.

    softwareguy256 can I ask is there anyone you'd suggest where I can do some research on this option.

    Or would it more stable to go for a 12 core (2 x Intel Xeon X5680 3.33GHz (Westmere)


  10. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    yup, if apple dumps the desktop i would consider windows (despite the associated xenophobia). But if my house burned down with the mac pro in it, i would go hackintosh until <hopefully> the 2013 mac pro comes out (and hopefully is not a wiener).
  11. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    If stability, speed and OS X are your main priorities I would look at 2010 MP refurbs and sell it on when the next one you like the look of appears. The depreciation is low and demand fairly high.
    Hacks are great for gamers and tweakers as they provide cheap power and usually dual boot, I would think twice before relying on one professionally.
  12. Melbourne Park, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    Melbourne Park macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    He (I presume a male) already has a machine bought this year, a dual 2.4MHZ Mac Pro.

    The score the the processors he is talking about is: 27930:[Dual+CPU]+Intel+Xeon+E5-2680+@+2.70GHz

    The performance of his Mac Pro duel is probably this: 14136.

    It is possible though, to upgrade that 8 core machine, relatively easily, because the 2010 machines have normal, latched CPU covers. So, one can buy two 3.3 6 core CPUs, and go to 12 cores. The 3.0 12 core had a rating of 24980, which is not far behind the PC tested speed. A 3.3 should get another 10%, so much the same performance as the PC above. When the 3.46 processors ship, the Mac Pro would be quicker. There is a market for the 2.4 6 core CPUs as well.

    Its a more a much more reliable choice, and would not cost more I suspect.

    This thread covered it too- - but there is a lot on the Web about upgrading the twin 4 core machines.

    Newegg sells the processors for $1640 each.

    If one sold the 2.4s, then it would cost less. So, for little effort, and lets say $3,000, he could almost double the performance of his Mac Pro. And still have a stable machine.
  13. Jaylongeee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    And yes I am male.
    That does sound interesting. I will take a look at prices. My current 8 core MP I use Photoshop/illustrator/C4D all in one go and have tried working in Photoshop at the same time as rendering but not ideal with some renders taking hours, so I do need two machines, i'll look at a 2nd hand MP or refurb and adding to it.
  14. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    That system would certainly be much faster since Cinema 4D is reputed to scale up quite well as core count increase. Although at that price range why not just spend a couple hundred extra and get the Xeon E5-2687 so you can have 16-core 3.1Ghz instead of 2.7Ghz?

    Instead of the Corsair you can get an 80+ Platinum certified PSU for $20 more from Enermax. That way you can save a few more watts.

    As for the case be sure it can fit SSI EEB motherboards. I did not see any Lian Li cases that do so on Newegg. Here are some that do. eeb&Page=1&PageSize=20

    As I understand it the OSX86 community has not gotten hyperthreading to work on the Xeon E5-2600 series yet so it won't get peak performance. Assuming Cinema 4D will perform faster with Hyperthreading enabled in the first place.

    Stability can vary greatly. Once you get the hackintosh fully functional it is quite stable. The biggest issue they have is sleep so you may have to do without. I built a hack for my sister several years ago with 10.5.6. It is still running fine on that OS.

    The biggest issue is updating. With a hackintosh main OS updates I avoid as long as possible. All other updates are fine (ie security, itunes, &c). The closer you get to a vanilla install the less likely the main updates are to be a problem. However the best practice with a hackintosh for OS updates is to clone the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner. Then perform the OS update on the clone. That way you can hammer out any boot or driver problems without sacrificing your boot drive. Then when done you can swap out the boot drive for the clone or clone over the original boot drive.

    However, the OS updates are usually pointless. I don't bother unless a program requires it. As it can be laborious. Plus there is the old saying, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." As mentioned above my sisters is still on 10.5.6.

    If you have the perfect set of hardware then you can apply all updates without a hiccup. With server boards this is hard to use as there is so little reporting on them in the hackintosh community vs desktop boards.
  15. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    Best route IMO and an alternative to refurb is 2nd user on various sites
  16. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    2nd user is an excellent choice too provided they give a warranty.
  17. Jaylongeee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012
    Thanks, Whats 2nd user?
  18. softwareguy256 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    no, because most of the time you'll be I/O bound. amdahl's law is in effect at all times but that is not even in the disclaimer for most of these marketing benchmarks.


    Before spending a single $, understand the problem. Find your bottleneck and understand it 100%. To do this requires careful testing. After doing this, the next step should be clear.

  19. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    hmm, looks good - buying processors ontop of the machine is expensive though. But is the job calls for it, then you have to do it. I have said it before, Apple is lucky to have such loyal customers
  20. Melbourne Park, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012

    Melbourne Park macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012

    I am now buying your machine. A dual 2.4, 2010 generation. Its been superceded, so its has a nice discount, at least where I live (via a dealer who bought the superseded Macs from Apple).

    I checked the issues with replacing the CPUs, which I can do later, If I need more speed. Right now, the prices vary ... but its seems simple to get Xeon X5675 CPUs (3.0 Ghz 6 core CPUs) for around $600 - $700 each. New. Second hand ones are cheaper. I haven't checked yet, how much 3.3 or 3.46 ones cost.

    These CPUs are server workstation ones, and they utilize ECC memory, so they are more stable than other 6 core processors. So, the reason I am buying tonight, a machine that some have called a dud - the 2.4MHZ twin CPU 8 core 2010 generation Mac Pro - the same as yours - is that I can double the speed, by converting to 6 cores Xeon processors, and choosing the speed. From 2.4 up to 3.46MHZ. For right now, around $800 to $1,400. Not including selling the 2.4 Quad Xeons, which at the moment are worth something too, and will always be useful for a server. And next year, 5xxx Xeons might be much less costly.

    I've looked at Hackintosh, and its not worth it. For a hobby and a discussion point, great. But even a single base quad CPU kit costs $1,500. Considering a Mac pro can be bought with one year factory warranty for a couple of hundred more, that is much better value. And a single quad Mac Pro, can by boosted by popping in a very affordable 6 core 3xxx CPU, which makes it a very quick and efficient unit. And reliable, with a resale value as well.

    If you want to go the PC route, then - unless you want a hobby of working on keeping your machine operating under OS X via Hackintosh regular maintenance - go the Windows route.
  21. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    20 to 30 minutes to go from quad 2010 to a hex 2010
  22. Melbourne Park macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2012
    And for many many applications, this is terrific compared to twin CPUs.

    I understand too, the twin Quad 2010s would take a bit less than twice that time (due to the learning curve). For me, I think that Apps will increasingly be modified to take advantage of multiple threads, so I was prepared to pay more for two CPUs.
  23. Jaylongeee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012

    Thanks. Im gonna take a look at prices here in UK for updating the CPUs on my 2012 MP and think carefully about the 2nd machine be it Hakintosh or Windows.

Share This Page