cMP noob; will these parts work?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ifraaank, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. ifraaank, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    ifraaank macrumors regular

    ifraaank

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Odense C, Denmark
    #1
    Hi everyone.
    I'm right on the edge of buying a used Mac Pro 4,1. I've done a lot of research, and just want to make sure that these parts work in the machine, and that I get the results i expect.

    The machine comes with:
    4-core Xeon 2.66GHz
    8 or 16GB RAM
    640 GB HDD
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 120
    No AirPort

    What I would like to put in it:
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Non-flashed (maybe a Ti, not sure yet)
    A Xeon X5680 3.33GHz replacing the 4-core
    Lycom DT-120 PCIe adapter with a Samsung SM951 SSD on it
    WiFi AC card from MacVidCards (if I can buy that in EU)
    ASUS USB 3.1 PCIe card (https://www.asus.com/Motherboard-Accessories/USB_31_TYPEA_CARD/)

    Would these parts work in conjunction with the existing parts?
    I'll get a boot screen if I keep the GT 120 if I'm not mistaken, right?
    Will I benefit from getting a 5,1 instead?
    Would the 3.46 Xeon be a significant upgrade over the 3.33?
    Should I get a 6,1 (or a 7,1 if that arrives) instead?
    What is the exact order of the PCIe ports? Which cards should I put where?

    Thanks a lot guys, a lot of things I would love to get clarified.

    P.S: If anyone has a system like this, please let me know how it runs! EDIT: Just saw some of @SoyCapitanSoyCapitan's posts, it seems like you have a system much like this? :) Thanks again
     
  2. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #2
    With a single CPU Mac Pro, the Xeon W series CPUs are currently a better deal. I just bought a W3690 for $175 on Ebay and it works perfectly in the my just purchased (second) 4,1>5,1 Mac Pro.
     
  3. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    Would these parts work in conjunction with the existing parts?
    I am not sure about the USB 3.1 card, but the others will work (assuming you know how to install and enable the Nvidia web driver for the 980).

    I'll get a boot screen if I keep the GT 120 if I'm not mistaken, right?
    Correct

    Will I benefit from getting a 5,1 instead?
    For your case, seems NO.

    Would the 3.46 Xeon be a significant upgrade over the 3.33?
    No, quite sure you can't tell the difference without any benchmarking software.

    Should I get a 6,1 (or a 7,1 if that arrives) instead?
    Can't tell, have no idea what you need / how you use it etc.

    What is the exact order of the PCIe ports? Which cards should I put where?
    GPU in slot 1
    USB 3.1 in slot 2
    SSD in slot 3
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    The GTX980 will work, but both the 970 and 980Ti are better bang for the buck, IMHO. GT120 drivers conflict with GTX980 drivers in Windows.

    USB 3.1 cards don't work in any capacity in El Capitain. It might work as a USB 3.0 card in earlier versions of OS X, but I don't know for sure which chipset that card uses. At this time, you are better off either getting a USB 3.0 card (see the thread in my sig) or waiting for a 3.1 card to be supported.
     
  5. Machines, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #5
     
  6. ifraaank thread starter macrumors regular

    ifraaank

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Odense C, Denmark
    #6
    Thanks for the answers guys, really appreciate it. A couple more questions:

    If I remove the GT 120 and boot only with the non-flashed GTX 980, is it only the apple logo I miss? Will I be able to log in?
    Is it possible to upgrade the single processor board to a dual down the road? (Searched, but no specific answer was found.)
    What USB 3.0 cards do you recommend?
    Is the performance with an NVIDIA card in fcpx bad? Should I go with amd for that? (No huge projects)
     
  7. Squuiid macrumors 6502a

    Squuiid

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #7
    Without hesitation a Sonnet Allegro Pro.
    Using two 64GB Kingston HyperX USB flash drives I can simultaneously transfer at 600MB/s (300MB/s from each stick) to an XP941 SSD and it doesn't flinch! Great USB 3.0 card albeit a bit pricey.
     
  8. Machines, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #8
    "If I remove the GT 120 and boot only with the non-flashed GTX 980, is it only the apple logo I miss? Will I be able to log in?"

    You will not have access to EFI functions during Start Up (boot manager, single user Unix mode, ability to use Apple diagnostics, load an OS X, pretty Apple logo at Start Up, etc.)

    Yes, you will be able to log into your admin account normally .

    Yes, the video card will perform properly once you are in an OS session . Load drivers before card installation .

    Possibly, File Vault will not work .

    "Is it possible to upgrade the single processor board to a dual down the road?"

    Yes and no . You will need to purchase a dual processor Tray with an SMC Version of 1.39f5 . You should not use a version 1.39f11 Tray or the booster fan(s) will rotate too fast .

    You cannot modify a Single Processor Tray into a Dual Processor Tray . It will always remain a single Processor Tray .

    "Is the performance with an NVIDIA card in fcpx bad? Should I go with amd for that? (No huge projects)"

    Apple has optimized FCPX to run on modern factory configured computers (made in the last two or three years .) However, sophisticated projects can run nicely in a cMP with higher end AMD and nVidia rendering GPUs . FCPX is Open CL accelerated , which basically means you should grab a high end AMD card for rendering . However, modern nVidia cards have really improved their Open CL support lately . I think you'll be very happy with a single reference AMD 7950 or 7970 card installed in your Mac .

    A link to Barefeats that compare FCPX configuration performance (a cMP is your type of Mac) :

    http://barefeats.com/imac5k18.html

    and

    http://barefeats.com/tube05.html

    The nMP (Cylinder Mac Pros) outperform a single high end nVidia card (like a Maxwell) in a cMP with FCPX, but the Cylinders cost at least $2800 brand new . And we are only discussing one app . When you need to run a bunch of apps from different publishing houses , things get complex in a hurry .
     
  9. ifraaank thread starter macrumors regular

    ifraaank

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Odense C, Denmark
    #9
    @Machines Thanks a lot for the answers. Seems I might have to get the 4,1... Appreciate it!
     
  10. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #10
    If you just want the best USB 3.0 card, I agree that the Sonnet Allegro Pro is the best to go. However, for general use, The Inateck KT-4004 may be a better option. That's much much cheaper and surely good enough for general use.

    If this machine is mainly for FCPX, then AMD card should be a better choice. I am now running dual 7950 with internal power only for FCPX, very good performance even for some small 4K multi layer projects. Anyway, performance is not the only consideration. Since Apple don't care about the Maxwell card, FCPX may not work well with the Nvidia web driver.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...graphics-cards.1440150/page-108#post-22242080

    In this point of view, the 7970 (or R9 280x) is the best card for this job. It's the same card as the D700, so Apple will always support it (until they drop the support for the current nMP). It's easy to flash, so don't need the GT120 for boot screen. For FCPX only, 7970 should be cheaper and perform better than the 980 (Ti).
     

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