BUYING ADVICE (2012 Mac Pro)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AmazingRobie, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. AmazingRobie, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018

    AmazingRobie macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009


    Hello All!

    I'm sure everyone has seen at least one of my negative Apple comments regarding the current administration, so this post should come as no surprise. I'm in the market for a new machine.

    Since I'm not brave/smart/rich enough to build my own or hire someone to assist me in putting together a hackintosh (I tried on Craigslist and there's too many rapists out there who think building a Mac alternative means price gouging is acceptable). Another reason Apple is a POS company as far as I'm concerned, the blatant arrogance to make running their software "illegal" on any hardware that's not theirs, yet not providing competently built machines in 2018.

    So, I've no choice but to buy second hand vintage hardware.

    The specs are as follows:

    • 3.46GHz 12-Core Intel Xeon X5690 Processor
    • 128Gb of Ram
    • 1.0 Tb SSD
    • Sapphire HD 7950 with 3GB of VRAM
    • 2012 Model
    1st question: My concern is that the power supply for this machine will be the original, so any idea as to with all of these specs (completely maxed out) how much heat the machine will generate thus how long one should anticipate as far as life expectancy? As the power supplies are no longer manufactured (yet another reason to dislike Apples proprietary hardware policy).

    The total purchase price is $3,859 without a monitor and even now, that's waaaaay more than we had anticipated for second hand, but we see no reason to wait for any Mac Pro updates from Apple under Tim Crook and Jony Conn-ivy-ing that are not prone to a bevy of malfunctions and poor design.

    2nd question: Also, is this a good price considering the machine may have dents in the case/feet?
    3rd question: If the processor is also original, any ideas as to how long that should be expected to last under heavy use (if never turned off)?
    Last question: How will this fare against any current model Mac Pro (trash can design)?

    Machine will be used primarily for video editing, music production and graphic design.

    Thanks. In advance for any help.
  2. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    At that price, honestly, I’d skip it. Spending that much money on a 6 year old used computer that is not far from the chopping block for Operating System support just doesn’t make sense.

    I’d be surprised if MacOS 10.16.x would run on it without resorting to hacks. And I expect by then that Apple will find a way to make it much harder to hack the OS onto that machine.
  3. pl1984 macrumors 65816

    Oct 31, 2017
    They're not original as Apple never sold a twelve core, 3.46GHz Mac Pro.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2018 ---
    While a 2012 may be six years old the technology dates back to around 2009 making it almost ten year old technology.
  4. tsialex macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2016
    I'm surprised with this price since you could buy a standard 2012 dual processor Mac Pro for around 1K or less, 2x X5690 for ~$200, SSD for less than $200, memory for $350~400, GPU for $120~150.

    The person who send you this price have a hell of markup, I could buy two 2012 Mac Pros with that same configuration with $3K8.
  5. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    1st Q: Too hard to tell, but probably OK. Not original CPUs. But I suspect the original reliability testing included 4 HDDs, not an SSD.
    2nd Q: No
    3rd Q: Not original. Bit it's a server CPU. Should last a very long time.
    Last Q: Hard to tell. Top spec 2013? Perhaps not as good. iMac Pro top spec? perhaps not as good.
  6. tu2thepoo macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2017
    Question for amazingrobie: When you say you can't build your own, do you mean that you don't want to dive down the hackintosh rabbit hole, or you don't want to open the case and install your own graphics card and memory? If it's the former, that's understandable, but like tsialex says you can totally get a cheaper system that's ~75% of what you want, buy the remaining components, and stick them in there. It's like a five minute job to install RAM once you order the right part.

    But if it's the latter (don't want to open the case at all), then you've gotta face the reality that you can't buy what's essentially a pre-built custom system without paying a really high markup. If you really need 128gb of RAM and a 1TB SSD, and you can't install them yourself, you're going to end up paying whatever the 1-2 sellers on eBay/craigslist/whatever are charging.

    If you're not certain you need 12 cores and 128gb of RAM, and you're trying to "future-proof", I think you'd be better off getting a lower-spec purchase and just seeing that the 2019 Mac Pro brings to the table. It's pretty unlikely the 4,1/5,1 Mac Pros will see much support after Mojave, so you're going to get 1-2 years out of the purchase at most (if you need to keep your software up to date).
  7. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Yes... exactly.

    I expect Mojave will likely be the end of the road for the 2012 generation (potentially not even able to hack a newer OS onto it).

    Apple has been making it much harder to install Mojave on unsupported systems (when compared to simply changing a couple lines of code in El Capitan, and swapping kext files in High Sierra). Mojave on unsupported hardware is practically bandaids over bandaids.

    I expect it to only get worse after Mojave.

    It’s disappointing the way Apple handles the Mac line.

    In 10 years, they’ve released the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014 Mac Pro.

    That’s 5 revisions in 10 years.

    Think about that.... imagine if HP only revised their server / workstation line 5 times in 10 years. How out of date their systems would be. It would be laughable.

    Fortunately they update their systems constantly with new technology. Now imagine if you could only install the current operating system on their last 2 revisions. How ridiculous would that be???

    Granted Mojave will install on certain configuration levels of the 2010 Mac Pro. But it isn’t really a fully supported machine.

    So essentially the 2012 and 2014 models are the only fully supported Mac Pro’s.

    2 machines. That’s it...

    The iMac and Laptops are in a similar state, but a few more supported revisions each.

    But in reality, Apple’s slow evolution in computer technology means mostly all that’s available is often already old technology. And will likely only see support in maybe 3 operating system revisions (at their current pace).

    Imagine if each major revision of Windows 10 dropped support for everything but the last two most recent technology steps.

    I expect the 2014 Mac Pro will likely lose support within the next one or two MacOS revisions. Leaving the unreleased 2019 vaporware Mac Pro as the only supported machine (if it’s ever released).

    I’m actually leaning more towards Apple may not actually release the 2019 model they briefly mentioned. They’ve been pretty quiet about it. And if they actually had any idea what they were going to do, and were actually producing something, I’d expect they’d probably give some details just to try and keep some of the potential buyers interested.
  8. tsialex, Aug 11, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018

    tsialex macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2016
    Late-2013, not 2014.

    Only out-of-the-box Mojave supported Mac Pro is late-2013. On 2010 and 2012 you have to change the GPU for a Metal supported one.

    Even if Apple decides that the last macOS supported on Mac Pro 5,1 is Mojave, seems reasonable, we will still get at least 3 more years of security updates and browser support. El Capitan is still receiving frequent security and browser updates, last was in July. So we get support for 2019/2020/2021, minimum. Maybe by then Apple will get their sh_t together and release the modular Mac Pro.
  9. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    If you must have a cMP (legacy SW) make sure you compare as many locations as possible.

    Getting more difficult to find sites. Used to post 5 links. Two are no more! "" (#3 above) now sends you to Amazon.

    Avoid great deals like "12 core with 4 optical bays and extra ports on the front!" :p
  10. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    One can only hope that they’ll get the Mac Pro figured out.

    I realize they’re making a ton of money with their current strategy. But it’s primarily the die hard loyals in the Mac arena.

    Anyone who looks at the situation objectively with a function, most modern, financial, return on investment, perspective is going to have a hard time buying a Mac.

    The only time you get close to modern hardware is right at the initial model release.

    If you buy the “current” model say 6 months or a year, or sometimes even 4 years later, it is unchanged and same old tech that was in it “back in the day” (you know in ancient times - technologically speaking).

    PC buyers tend to be more demanding. They want the latest technology at the best price.

    I would never walk into any other brand and say “can you get me something with 2014 technology and charge me the same price it sold for in 2014?..., no... I insist, I realize it’s 2018, and technology has evolved, prices are dropping, and the parts in this machine are worth a fraction of their 2014 value... but I insist, I want to pay the full original retail price for this old hardware you’ve got there in the corner.”

    No... if I go to HP or Dell or anyone else, I’m not getting anything but the absolute latest technology if they think I’m paying over $1000. It’s going to be technology that has just barely been available within the last 2 weeks. I’m not spending money on something that was cool 4 years ago...

    It’s a different market. Apple has managed to pull it off. Computers as disposable appliances. Essentially the category of my toaster. I’ll use it until it breaks, or maybe a slightly nicer toaster catches my eye.

    The expectations are completely different. But the price tag matches the top end of the industry, while the evolution of the product is like a snail chasing a Ferrari.
  11. AmazingRobie thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    The price $3,859 is from OWC on their configure your own mac pro model. I was just selecting the components they offered as options. I can install RAM and an SSD myself if the cable coming off the power supply from the mac pro is a standard plug for an SSD and not something special that I'd have to purchase in addition to the box along with a cable to attach it to the board. I've put together a couple of PCs before, but I've never owned a mac pro, only an imac and macbook pro and everything on macs are proprietary, so if I order the wrong part, let's just say I don't want to go through the headache of mailing things back and forth with vendors.

    The same goes for a Hackintosh. I know there are the tonymac forums with parts lists already put together, but I'd hate to order something then spend a few weeks trying to get it to work only to realize it was never compatible in the first place. The concept of Hackintoshing is completely foreign to me and I don't want to waste money or time making mistakes which will take time mailing things back and forth to correct.

    It's from OWC. I just wanted to get something I wouldn't need to worry about updates with and that would support Mojave, dark mode and Metal. I was going to max it out to try and future proof the purchase, but from what I'm reading, that's not going to work. Hence why I rail so much about Apple. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have terabytes of data and all of my work software is mac. Had I known back when I switched over from PC that Apple would have taken this course, I never would have invested all that I have in their ecosystem. Its a constant nightmare which I can never find a solution for. I've been waiting for an update to the mac pro line that's not that bs trash can model, but everything Apple has manufactured has had this obsession with thinner, lighter, and not able to be upgraded (sealed in batteries, no user serviceable components) and they run very hot as a result of constantly compacting the innards. Which means they will burn up and wear out much faster.

    Well. I'm glad I posted this, now I've decided against getting the OWC system as it doesn't seem like such a good alternative anymore. I guess I'm just going to be screwed then when this imac s***s the bed.
  12. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Unless they changed the leads for the DVD drives in the 2012 Mac Pro from the 2007, then it doesn’t have standard SATA style power cables coming off the power supply.

    But you can install a SSD in the drive bays and it’ll plug in. You’ll need an adapter to fit the SSD into the drive bay. The drive bay takes regular 3.5” hard drives.

    Yes, it is a pain to be in the Apple ecosystem if you want to have current software without buying their latest systems. But also expect abandonment after 2 or 3 revisions. But also realize 3 revisions is 10 years. And only buy their current models at introduction. Otherwise you could be buying a 3 or 4 year old computer at cutting-edge prices.
  13. MarkC426, Aug 12, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018

    MarkC426 macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    What sort of warranty do they offer?
    I know a lot of people knock the nMP, but if I was spending that sort of cash I would probably go for an Apple refurb, you could probably get an eight core, but it would have full warranty and be eligible for apple care

    Edit: just checked, an 8 core (new) is £3800, a refurb would probably be about £3300 (non available on uk site currently).
  14. yuzgen macrumors member


    Jul 26, 2018
    Config is fine, but worth like 2500, not 4K USD.
  15. pl1984 macrumors 65816

    Oct 31, 2017
    I suspect this has more to do with technology changes more than Apple taking steps to make it more difficult. As technology marches forward it becomes increasingly troublesome to keep the old working with the new.

    I had this very issue with my Solaris 10 systems. When I initially installed it and for a number of years afterwards it was easy to compile open source software for it. As time marched on it became increasingly more difficult to compile newer versions of the same open source software. I found myself having to install many more dependencies and constant tweaks to the build configurations to get it all working. When I did the same builds on Solaris 11 it was much easier. The reason: the newer versions of software required software / configurations which were normal for the time but not for the many years earlier release of Solaris.

    One might argue there are only three revisions: The 2008 model, the 2009/2010/2012 models, and the 2013 (not 2014) model. 2009/2010/2012 are very similar differing primarily in configuration but not architecture.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 12, 2018 ---
    The solution is to migrate away from Apple.
  16. yuzgen macrumors member


    Jul 26, 2018
    Except cMP 5,1, old Cinema displays and Mac Mini till 2012. I stay away from anything with an Apple logo except these devices.
  17. pl1984 macrumors 65816

    Oct 31, 2017
    I'm not sure how using these devices solves his problem.
  18. yuzgen macrumors member


    Jul 26, 2018
    What problem? These devices are still doing their jobs.

    Edit: Don't forget you lose MacOS if you don't want Hackintosh trouble, when you go PC way. All other operating systems are running fine on Apple hardware. So a Mac is all what a PC can be, plus native MacOS.
  19. pl1984 macrumors 65816

    Oct 31, 2017
    The problem of Apple not offering an expandable professional offering like that of the cMP. The fact that systems built on 10 year old technology continue to do their job is irrelevant. $4,000 for such dated technology should be enough to illustrate his problem.

    If someone depends on having current technology for their livelihood then they need to move away from Apple. The fact the Mac Pro has remained stagnant, without so much as a spec bump, for almost five years tells me they can no longer be depended upon. The 2019 Mac Pro may be a great system but they've burned through a lot of goodwill with the stagnation in this area of their product line. Do you really want to tie your fortunes to such uncertainty?

    macOS may be the preferred OS but Apple's lack of updates, commitment, and communication about their pro offering is inexcusable.
  20. AmazingRobie thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    Easier said than done at this point.
    We're talking a significant investment in software, not only the hardware. Not to mention training which doesn't exactly transfer to PC when there's no equivalent version available. Plugins in Final Cut. Plugins in DAWs. Plugins for Photoshop and Illustrator. External drives with Thunderbolt. There's no Thunderbolt in the PC world as far as I'm privy. More proprietary.

    This is far from a realistic option.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 12, 2018 ---
    Maybe I'll take another look at Hackintosh. Does anyone know of a build list that can run Mojave that is as powerful as the specs in my original post that can be built by someone who doesn't know exactly what they are doing. No soldering is preferable. As plug and play as one can manage.
  21. Matty_TypeR macrumors regular


    Oct 1, 2016
  22. pl1984 macrumors 65816

    Oct 31, 2017
    How much of a requirement can Thunderbolt be when you were considering a system that doesn't have it nor can it be added?

    It's a realistic option but one you're unwilling to choose. While it's understandable why you would not want to choose it those reasons do not negate the fact it is an option.
  23. NY Guitarist macrumors 65816

    NY Guitarist

    Mar 21, 2011
    For many this is exactly why switching to a PC is not a REALISTIC option. If you need compatibility with clients who use FCP you need a Mac, end of story.
  24. pl1984 macrumors 65816

    Oct 31, 2017
    Despite my preference for classic MacOS I have moved on to other operating systems and solutions those alternatives offer. No matter how much I tried to resist it there came a point when it was no longer feasible to use it.
  25. AmazingRobie thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    Well there you go, this was a 2012 Mac Pro and since Thunderbolt was already introduced in 2011, I assumed that it would have a port. Something I did not know, which just adds to the decision that the OWC Mac Pro is not a viable option.

    Okay, I'll admit that it's a viable option if money and time we're not an issue, but by using that as a basis for logic, I could go ahead and get a job at Apple, rise up the ranks to Chief something or another and wait for Timothy Crook to either die or be ousted from his position and take over as CEO and demand better Apple hardware myself to solve my problem. I'm getting to the age where retirement is a more realistic option than what you've proposed... Just sayin'...

Share This Page