Buying 2010 DP 2,4GHz MP - need input on RAM and SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by avemestr, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. avemestr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #1
    Yes, it's stupid. Why buy a 2 year old MP, that was almost outdated when it was launched? Well, partly due to tax deduction reasons (hence I can wait till next year), partly because I was inspired by this thread (though it's somewhat unclear to me, if makoffe actually bought the 2,4 2010 or 2012 version).

    Also, the original price for this machine was 4480 USD in my country - I'm now able to buy a new (not refurbished) machine for 3090 USD (expensive in US terms, but a good price here).

    I'm buying it for FCP X work, some Handbrake transcoding as well as games (where my current MBA 2011 is no good). And no, I don't want an iMac.

    Questions:

    1) Regarding RAM, the recommented thing to do is buy ECC Registrered RAM, right? And preferably in sizes of 3, so in my case 6 similar blocks at the time? Would 1333 RAM be preferable (if upgrading CPU later) or is the machine forever limited to 1033?

    2) Regarding SSD, I'm going to replace the factory standard HDD with an about 500GB SSD. I know SATA-II limits the performance, but this post says one can add two SSDs in RAID-0 and the limit is off (unclear if that's on a PCI-E card, of if its with the default backplane). So my question is: Would 2 * 256 SSDs in RAID-0 perform better than 1 * 512 SSD when using the default slots (I know I have to buy ICY Docks)?

    3) Bonus question: I presume, since the 2012 update wasn't really an update, that I'll be able to insert i.e. X5675 CPUs in the future? (Several years from now, when they become affordable).

    Thanks in advance for the good answers!
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #2
    Yes tri-channel memory is fastest but you are probably only leaving about 5% (maybe 10% in heavy memory bandwidth applications) if you don't run in tri-channel (meaning 1, 2, or 4 sticks). But again, yes you are best with tri-channel.

    I never recommend RAID-0. You are exponentially increasing your chance of a failure and losing all data. Do what you want, but I wouldn't recommend it. My data (even with back ups) is too important to me. It's up to you though. To answer your question though, yes RAID 0 with 2 - 256gb drives would be faster than 1 - 512GB drive. Just don't come crying to me when it fails and you hadn't backed up in a week.

    Yes you can use dual X5675's in the future. The 2012 update was nothing more than a Proc/RAM bump.
     
  3. Melbourne Park, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012

    Melbourne Park macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #3
    I bought the same machine.

    Questions:

    1) Regarding RAM, the recommented thing to do is buy ECC Registrered RAM, right? And preferably in sizes of 3, so in my case 6 similar blocks at the time? Would 1333 RAM be preferable (if upgrading CPU later) or is the machine forever limited to 1033?

    I bought 6 4GB sims, unbuffered (i.e. not registered). That way, I get 24 + 2 = 26GB RAM, and for a minimal price. I bought OWC RAM from the USA. The price ex delivery, is $203. By using 6 slots, and by buying the 4GB dimm cards, I save money. You cannot buy such cheap memory with the single CPU machine. So I saved a bit that way. If I need more memory, I can buy another 8GB via two cards, or I can buy two 8GB cards. And when I do, they'll cost less than they do now. The marginal performance drop from non registered (unbuffered) is I am told very marginal, there are arguments both ways ... and it is hardly an issue for me. Plus I enjoyed saving money on the RAM - if I'd have bought a single CPU machine, I'd have had to buy 38GB cards, which would have cost about one third extra in cost. Plus I was unsure how well two in one bank and one in the other bank would work. And I bought the 1333 RAM. My machine shipped with 1333, but then even if it did not, the difference would either be a little bit slower in RAM in speed or 2GB less RAM. And of course, even though unbuffered, the RAM's ata path is wider - because its got two memory banks of four slots - for the twin slot machine, compared to the single CPU machine.


    2) Regarding SSD, I'm going to replace the factory standard HDD with an about 500GB SSD. I know SATA-II limits the performance, but this post says one can add two SSDs in RAID-0 and the limit is off (unclear if that's on a PCI-E card, of if its with the default backplane). So my question is: Would 2 * 256 SSDs in RAID-0 perform better than 1 * 512 SSD when using the default slots (I know I have to buy ICY Docks)?

    I bought a 240 GB Intel 520, which has a 5 year warranty. I also bought a 2GB
    Green WD drive. I put my photo and other files onto the Green drive, and then I super duper 'ed the OS mail etc onto the SSD. Then I moved the big files folders from the Green, to the factory drive. I'll use the Green as a time machine backup.

    The gains in performance from one SSD is great; two in raid 0 is a way to get more performance and capacity ... but instead, one could just buy another SSD, and use if for photo files etc. I believe the speed gains from greater data through put are outweighed by the marginal speed gains and the current costly nature plus the potential for things to go wrong.

    And time machine will back up such data I expect. I suspect raid cards are expensive for what they provide for just two SSDs. Later on, a RAID 5 card with 6 SSDs would be great ... but currently such cards are costly and imperfect, plus SSDs are costly too.

    I also bought a PCI 6GB/Sec card, which cost $26 and is said to be compatible and fast, but so far, I haven't put it in yet (I have to get a power cable to it), so I am just running the Intel 520 240GB SSD from the spare connection in the spare DVD burner space.

    I see no point in trail blazing ... I am following the KISS principle. And feeling great about the rock solidity.


    3) Bonus question: I presume, since the 2012 update wasn't really an update, that I'll be able to insert i.e. X5675 CPUs in the future? (Several years from now, when they become affordable).

    Yep, if they become cheap, as I expect they will. The 2010 has an easy to upgrade CPU female plug with the lever, as today's normal motherboards do. While I have installed CPUs, I am not looking forward to installing the Xeon, because they are so costly ... and if one bends a pin, its beggared. But ... maybe I'll take it to a PC store and get someone experienced to do it! When and if they cost much less!!!


    My biggest issue though is getting a decent monitor!


    Thanks in advance for the good answers!
     
  4. adr1974, Aug 16, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012

    adr1974 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #4
    Also just bought this machine for the same reasons as you guys. Looking forward to it. Got rid of my MP 3,1 and regretted it ever since. Came close to pulling the trigger on a loaded iMac, but got tired of waiting for the refresh....looks like this one has a nice upgrade path, and should last at least 5 years.

    Question: while the X5675s are great (and hopefully they do come down in price), the E5645s look like they're more than capable, and at a fraction of the price. This isn't a rhetorical question -- are the X5675s really that much better?
     
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #5
    It all depends I suppose. The E5645s biggest weakness is the max turbo frequency is only 2.67ghz so single threaded apps won't see much of a boost from the turbo. The X56XX line have much better turbo boosts (anywhere from .4 to .5ghz) to help single threaded processes fly. Unfortunately, going from the E5645 (2.4ghz) to the X5650 (2.66ghz) is almost double the cost. Is it "worth it", I guess it all depends on what you do, how fast you want to do it and how much cash you have on hand. Right now the E5645's are probably the sweet spot at around 1100 for a pair compared to almost that for a single X5650's and almost 3 times that amount for a pair of X5675's (you could almost buy a second Mac Pro for less than a pair of X5675's).

    I guess my answer really isn't a lot of help to you. If you are just casual user or prosumer, then probably not. If you are doing high end video and time is at a premium then yes.
     
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #6
    Rather than that you'd be better off getting one of these and skipping the SATA bus entirely.

    Then you have all 4 SATA slots for hard drives. Make a RAID of those to get the hard drive speeds up too. As the other poster said, though, this increases your chance of failure so either have a Time Machine drive or some kind of other automatic system that backs up daily.

    I have a rather extensive backup plan and even still I did my 4 bays as 2 different RAIDs so that if 1 drive fails I only have to restore half of the computer's files and not all of them.
     
  7. jobutex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    #7
    For the record, I'm using a 2008 Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM and 4x1TB 7200RPM SATA internal drives set up in a RAID10 configuration (striped two and then mirrored each.) This machine had 2 additional internal SATA connectors that may be accessed with cables and a backplate - I think I got it through OWC.

    Anyway, I boot off of one of the "hidden" cables using a Corsair Force Series 3 180GB SSD.

    This machine is STILL a dream, regardless of how old it is. I'm running 10.8 on it, and I usually have no less than 5 VM's running under Fusion with 4GB+ of memory each (2xWin7, Win2008R2, Linux, WinXP.)
     
  8. Melbourne Park macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #8
    There's quite a few lower cost Xeon 5 series CPUs around, via eBay and some stores. They are mostly sold in pairs. I've seen the 650s for $400 each. I don't know if there were negative issues with those, but they were refundable with a 60 day I think warranty.

    I expect as time goes forwards they will halve in value in 18 months.

    Also when servers come out of operation, such CPUs pull the new prices right down. And Servers have such processors in them. And producers demand that Intel supplies the older CPUs at much reduced prices, because that way a producer can offer lower cost and performance alternatives but still make a profit.
     

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