Configuration for new Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Valtari, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Valtari macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2015

    So I'm on the verge of selling my high-end Windows rig in favor of a Mac Pro to fully take the step into the OSX realm, partly because I already own a MBPr and because I feel way more comfy in the OSX. But I'm not sure what configuration to get; I'll be using Boot Camp for the odd gaming and Windows-only applications, other than that I do no video or graphics related work, pretty much just the usual stuff people do with their computers.

    I was thinking the entry CPU with 16GB ram and two D500's. I don't really have any need for a more awesome CPU do I? I'm very new to the Mac business so I could sure some guidance here :)
  2. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    Your set up sounds fine for your needs. You may or may not even need the D5 hundreds.
  3. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    I can't say for certain if you could benefit from a better processor given what info you provide, but for most graphics work and for running games and the vast majority of single-threaded applications the entry-level will do you fine.

    Under Windows you can Crossfire the two GPUs to double your gaming performance, which improves them quite considerably as gaming cards. You might want to look at Anandtech's benchmarks to see roughly where your gaming performance will be. They used CF D700s, but I believe they chart the single D300 and D500s as well.

    AnandTech | The Mac Pro Review (Late 2013):
  4. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    just west of Idaho
    I can't speak to the gaming aspects, but have you considered an iMac? It seems you are really looking for a consumer-grade system and may not have need of what the MacPro offers.

    Not to dissuade you (I think the Mac Pro is really cool looking and would love to have it someday) but if I were in your shoes, I'd find it hard to justify the cost of a Mac Pro.

    Edit to add: If it has to be a Mac Pro, you might wish to consider an older Mac Pro. Lots of info around here on those models.
  5. Valtari thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2015
    Thanks for the input!

    The thought of an iMac has hit me but cost isn't really a problem so I might as well go big. Not to mention the great resale value of higher specced Mac Pros :) Also, I play a little BF4 with friends, and I do dabble in AAA titles every now and then so I'd like to keep that opportunity.

    The way Boot Camp works is that I have to reboot every time I want to switch, right? I mean it's not like one can just insta-switch between them?
  6. nethfel macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2009
    you may want to do some research to see how the D500's perform with games like BF4. I usually play COD and BF4 and have no problems with the D700 series.

    Yes, you have to reboot the system into the OS you want to use. Not nearly as much of a hassle as it sounds though as the nMP boots really fast.
  7. dmylrea macrumors 68030


    Sep 27, 2005
    "Going big" may not really buy you anything but a thinner wallet. That's what sigmadog was trying to say. The Core i7 in the new Retina iMac is actually faster than the XEON in the base model Mac Pro. Going to higher cores doesn't help because the processor speed decreases as you buy more cores. Most of what it sounds like you will be doing is mostly single core apps, so get the fastest chip you can!

    Second, you get an awesome 5K monitor. Third, if you do some research on the D300 and D500 chips in the Mac Pro, they ain't nothin' to write home about. Sure, you get two, but at what cost?

    The Mac Pro is essentially a workstation PC that can be built up to support 8-12 core CPU's, tons of memory and lots of expansion. If you don't need that kind of scalability, you might be better off getting a Retina iMac with all the bells and whistles you want.
  8. richard371 macrumors 68020

    Feb 1, 2008
    The problem is I hear the gpu in the base model retina iMac is a joke for a 5k screen and the higher end gpu over heats etc.
  9. Valtari thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2015
    Yeah and that's kind of a dealbreaker to be honest :/
  10. richard371 macrumors 68020

    Feb 1, 2008
    That and the light bleeding. But then the d500 isn't all that and 1 would be wasted unless you are running an opencl app. Too bad OS X doesn't run in opencl.

    I'm torn on which would be best. I like the solid robustness of the macpro but in theory you get more for your money with the retina iMac. I wonder if the Mac pro will perform as good with a retina display when Apple releases them as the current iMac.

  11. Valtari thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2015
    Light bleeding? You know, that actually never entered my thoughts. I supposed that Apple's shiny new retina iMac would be far above such petty issues. Hmm that sucks.

    Well the whole 100+ degrees on the GPU thing is completely unacceptable. No way could I live with a computer that glows red all the time, and in Windows I won't be getting that sweet 5k anyways. Also, with the Pro I get Crossfire in Windows which matters a great deal.. yeah, I think the Mac Pro is the way to go.

    It's the CPU thing that bothers me though, I haven't the faintest clue about Xeon and if I should settle for the basic one.
  12. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    Since you haven't stated any particular uses that are going to tax multiple cores, the basic 4-core is fine as it has the highest clock speed. The 4, 6, and 8 all turbo to 3.9 on single core tasks, so you aren't really giving up anything (other than $) by getting more cores, but you will see zero performance difference.

    Assuming your current high-end Windows rig is custom built? If you like to tinker at all, have you considered a Hackintosh? Given that gaming is a consideration you'll have a lot more choice and control that way.
  13. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I probably wouldn't sell the PC I'd probably just use a KVM switch and switch between the the MBP and the PC on the same display.
  14. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    I was in the same predicament, going back and forth between a fully loaded Retina iMac and a 6-core new Mac Pro. In the end, I went with the nMP. Here was my thought process:

    1. I use applications that regularly take advantage of higher core counts, as I'm an audio engineer. The nMP is (obviously) the only machine Apple sells with more than 4-cores, and as of right now, is the only headless Mac you can buy with a quad-core processor at all.

    2. I like the idea of not having my computer fused with my display. This may not be a big deal to most people, but the display will greatly outlive the usefulness of the innards of the RiMac. Once the computer has aged and no longer meets your needs, you'll need to get rid of the screen as well, especially since Target Display Mode is not a thing that exists anymore.

    3. Personal preference, but I find that having a 34-inch Ultrawide at 3440x1440 so much better than having a 4K or 5K display, for my needs. It's really hard to go back to 16:9 after using one of these for a couple of months, no matter the DPI.

    4. My previous desktop machine was a 27-inch 2010 iMac. It was good to me for a couple of years, but the fact that it did not have a solid state boot drive made it quickly show its age. After the two year period, I needed to have it serviced three times (thankfully, I had AppleCare). Twice to replace the screen due to the 'LCD Contamination' issue, and another to replace the hard drive. Lugging that thing around a mall was a pain. This kind of turned me off to the iMac idea in general.

    5. Even if I could overlook all of the drawbacks of an iMac and make do with the quad-core, the Retina iMac, I feel, was not ready for primetime. Its design doesn't serve the innards well, which now run hotter than ever. Yeah, the GPU was made to run at those temps, but what about everything else inside of the casing? I'm not convinced that damage due to excessive heat wouldn't happen in a few years time. Even if that didn't happen, the system has some hardcore throttling going on with the i7/295 combo, so when working for longer periods of time, the nMP will throttle down less (or not at all) due to the system staying remarkably cool overall. The 4790k is a sweet processor, but what's the point if it's just going to run hot and whittle itself down anyway?

    5. The 5K screen is really really nice, but aside from looking sharp and crisp, it just doesn't serve much purpose in the grand scheme of things. The world is just now barely starting to latch onto 4K as a standard, and Windows (which is what most of the world computes on) doesn't even handle it all that well. I feel that while all of the extra pixels are nice to have, it doesn't serve much of a greater purpose.

    So yeah, I went with the nMP, and aside from the coil whine issues which I'm dealing with, I love it. Would I have preferred it if the system had either two gaming grade GPUs or one gaming grade GPU and dual CPUs? Yeah. But, it is what it is, and it was the best option for me from what Apple offers currently.

    Plus, while I went through some headaches with the retailer I ordered from, I ended up getting a fantastic deal on the system config I ended up with (6-core stock, AppleCare, and a brand new 1TB PCIe SSD from an Amazon seller).
  15. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040


    Feb 25, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Which 5K iMac did you buy? Can I take a guess? You don't have one and you can't recognise that forums contain a massively skewed and biased sample towards negative experiences?
  16. Onesmallstep196 macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2015
    Your thought process was near identical to mine. I upgraded from a Mid 2011 iMac and the primary reason I selected the nMP was flexibility of display choice and multi-core CPU (I have a base 6-core nMP).
    I too have a 34-inch Ultrawide and agree that going back to a regular 16:9 would be difficult.
  17. matthewtoney macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I use an older 30" Dell U3011 (2560 X 1600) combined with an ultrawide 29" AOC (2560 X 1080). I really like the ultrawide AOC and I've been quite tempted to swap my 30" Dell for one of the 34" LG's - what model are you using?
  18. Onesmallstep196 macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2015
    I have the LG 34UM95P connected via Thunderbolt running at 60Hz.
    It also works very well with my 13" MacBook Pro Retina.
  19. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
    That machine is the same specs as the "stock" hex-core machine, minus the 6-core processor upgrade. Because the "stock" hex-core machine is made in high quantities, you can sometimes find it at a discount. At $3500 for the model you're considering, you might be better served looking for a discount on the $4000 hex-core machines. For example, Apple is selling stock 6-core machines refurbished for $3400 on their website. As for speed, I have the stock 6-core model and it performs great - the D500s are more than sufficient for your gaming needs too.
  20. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    I have the same monitor. It works great. I was especially shocked that it worked at full native resolution @ 60Hz with my 2012 MacBook Pro as well, probably because I opted for the discrete NVIDIA GPU. I was a bit nervous due to the reports of extreme backlight bleed, as well as the few members here who have had issues seeing the boot screen on the nMP, but mine has been flawless in both regards. Could not be happier with it.
  21. Sanlitun macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2014
    For those running the LG 34UM95P with a cMP:

    Can you tell me if all three USB ports on the monitor are available when connected to the Mac via Thunderbolt? Or is it just the two USB 2.0 ports.


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20 February 13, 2015