Dilemma on next apple equipment to buy

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by offtheroad, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. offtheroad macrumors regular

    offtheroad

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #1
    I have a dilemma I can't solve on what is the next best setup in apple hardware to buy?

    I'm a freelance Graphic Designer/Photographer

    What I have:

    Old 2009 Mac Pro

    NEC Multisync P242W Monitor

    Plenty of 3rd party software

    Photoshop 5 & 6

    Complete Adobe CS 6 suite

    All running on Last version of El Capitan 10.11.6


    Problem, my old Mac is too old to install Sierra or now HiSerria on it.

    Bought the NEC Monitor because I can calibrate it with it's software. I can't use a glossy screen as all apple monitors are. Too hard to do good color corrections. I don't like seeing all the reflections in a glossy monitor. A Mat type screen monitor is like looking at a piece of paper. perfect for Photographers doing color corrections and designers.


    If I buy a new Mac Pro (who knows when there coming out in 2018) with sierra on it it won't recognize a lot of my App's. If I try to solve the issue with a bootable external HD with El Capitan on it, and all my App's, Sierra won’t recognize it.
     
  2. MarkJames68 macrumors regular

    MarkJames68

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    #2
    So it sounds like an iMac isn’t for you, which leaves

    1) nMP
    Plus - latest model, supported, available. Minus is value for money, especially if new

    2) cMP 2012
    Plus - similar look and feel with what you have, can improve specs over what you have. Minus is no longer new so you are trading older for just old.

    3) wait for mMP
    Plus - could be really great. Minus is don’t know if/when and what it will be

    4) do nothing
    Plus - you can use what you have today. Minus is you might be stuck.

    My recommendation would be to keep what you have (it works, is paid for and runs certain software that may not work elsewhere), and either get a nMP or cMP to run the latest software, and new plugins. Can run video from each to the monitor and switch as needed.
     
  3. pb69 macrumors member

    pb69

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #3
    I too have a 2009 Mac Pro. Upgrade the firmware to 5,1 then you can install Sierra if you think you really need to. I chose to keep mine until I can't do what I need to with it.
     
  4. offtheroad thread starter macrumors regular

    offtheroad

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #4
    Thanks for the reply. I don't understand some of your answer. What is 1) nMP whats Minus.
    What is cMP.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 8, 2017 ---
    I was told I can't install Sierra on my old Mac Pro. How do I install firmware and do you have a link to where I go to get it? Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Location:
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    #5
    If you have a mac pro 4,1 you can upgrade the firmware to make it think its a 5,1 which will make it fully compatible with high sierra and also the ability to install certain 6 core cpu's and other benefits.
     
  6. MarkJames68 macrumors regular

    MarkJames68

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    #6
    nMP = new Mac Pro, i.e. cylinder / Mac Pro 6,1
    cMP = classic Mac Pro, i.e. cheese grater / Mac Pro 5,1
    mMP = to be announced modular Mac Pro

    Minus = not a plus, i.e. a negative.
     
  7. offtheroad thread starter macrumors regular

    offtheroad

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #7
    this is what I have
     

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  8. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #8
    Perhaps it would be easier to solve if you asked "what is the next best setup in hardware to buy?" instead of "what is the next best setup in apple hardware to buy?".

    Look at Windows (and perhaps Linux) on other workstations. Apple's offerings are pretty limited - and tied to arbitrary decisions on which OS and software versions can run on a particular system.

    Keep your old Apple Pro for the old applications, but consider moving the applications that are feeling pain to a more modern, expandable platform. Over time, you can move new work flows to the new system - updating and cross-grading applications as appropriate.

    Apple's definition of "Pro" doesn't seem to be a good fit for you. Look around.
     
  9. offtheroad thread starter macrumors regular

    offtheroad

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #9
    Well I agree with a few things especially Apples definition of Pro. I'm 70 and at this age to have to work on learning new hardware could be a real challenge. Although your post is the most ambitious I've gotten.
     
  10. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #10
    The least expensive route and probably a short term fix would be to buy a 5,1 3.33GHz or 3.46GHz six-core cMac Pro. They are going for about $800 on eBay with up to 32GB of memory and a 1TB HDD. The GPUs very. This might, along with your current Mac Pro, get you by until the mMac Pro is released and the discontinued nMac Pro could see a significant price drop for used models.
     
  11. rjtiedeman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    #11
    Be wary of updating to High Sierra. I did and I am noticing ADOBE CS6 (photoshop) has issues importing RAW images. It leaves left over dialog boxes on screen after importing. It's only a matter of updates until your software will require updating. A new mMP CPU will only run Super High Sierra. So plan for updates.
     
  12. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #12
    Not sure why you want to upgrade the OS, but of course you can install Sierra or High Sierra on your 2009 Mac Pro. As the others pointed out, all you need is just a little bit of study and then flash your 2009 Mac Pro with the 5,1 firmware.
    Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 16.17.11.jpg Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 16.21.28.jpg Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 21.14.15-1.jpg
     
  13. pl1984 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #13
    It's unclear to me the problem you're encountering. Is it the lack of macOS Sierra / High Sierra support? Is the system too slow for your needs? Both? Something else?

    If you have a requirement to run macOS Sierra / High Sierra the easiest solution is to upgrade the firmware of your current system to that the 5,1 firmware. This is a no cost solution and can be done quickly. There are many discussions here and on the Internet about how to do it.

    If your current system is too slow then you have two options. The first is to upgrade the processor in your current system. This involved physically removing the processor and replacing it with a faster one. It's not difficult but if you are uncomfortable pulling your system apart it's likely not something you want to pursue. The second option is to buy the nMP (i.e. the 6,1 cylinder). This is an expensive option but will give a significant boost to your workflow compared to the older systems. While it is dated technology it's a noticeable improvement on the dated equipment you're currently using.

    We can probably give you more detailed information if you can provide us with more details about the issue you're encountering with your current system.
     
  14. offtheroad thread starter macrumors regular

    offtheroad

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #14
    It's too slow. I've read and downloaded youtube's on replacing the cpu. My Mac only take the 1066 ram but the tutorials say I need to use the 1333 ram. Also My make can only use 12GB ram after I do a cpu upgrade will the cpu see more ram than 12GB's Thanks for the response. I think I can do the upgrade just need the type of cpu to buy and the answer on ram.
     

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  15. h9826790, Nov 9, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #15
    Ok, lots of miss conception here.

    Any Mac Pro 4,1 can drive at least 32GB RAM (AFAIK, 48GB indeed). No need CPU upgrade. My Mac Pro also come with the W3520, it can drive 4x8GB RAM without any issue.

    If you want a faster machine. For your usage, all you need is a SSD and more RAM.

    Server pulled 4x8GB DDR3 ECC RAM cost $75-100. A 256GB SATA SSD cost ~$60-80.

    This ~$150 uograde will make your Mac Pro like a new machine.

    Also, it’s impossible for you to tell the 1333MHz and 1066MHz RAM difference in real world without any benchmarking software particularly coded for this purpose. 1333MHz RAM run at CL9, and 1066MHz RAM run at CL7, the real world “speed” difference may be less than 2%. You don’t need any CPU than can run 1333MHz to make you feel the machine run faster.

    P.S. For SSD, of course the more the better, 256GB is usually a good point to start if don’t want to spend too much. But if budget avaialble, you may go straight to 1TB option. Just get the cheapest SATA SSD, plug that into the optical bay’s free SATA port, let it hang at there (no adaptor require) is the cheapest and most stable way to run a SSD on the cMP.
     
  16. murnau macrumors newbie

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #16
    Hi, i would start with buying a SSD and putting more RAM.
    You install the SSD in the DVD "room" connected to the sata cables.
    You put your system on the SSD of course. And you can also use it as data disk if you make regular backups.
    When done, come back if not enough
     
  17. offtheroad thread starter macrumors regular

    offtheroad

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #17
    OK after my research, the reason for the cpu upgrade was to turn my 2009 into a 2010 so it will accept a Sierra upgrade. Are all the research wrong?
     
  18. murnau macrumors newbie

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #18
    Are all the research wrong?

    No but you dont need as it seems Sierra.
    If really needed make sure to stick to the instructions of the firmware updater...
     
  19. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #19
    If you're not keen on upgrading CPU yourself I believe OWC still offers turnkey upgrades.
     
  20. offtheroad thread starter macrumors regular

    offtheroad

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #20
    Can you explain turnkey upgrades before I call them and sound like an idiot.
     
  21. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #21
    Wrong, CPU upgrade is definitely not required to run Sierra or higher. You reversed the logic.

    The firmware upgrade allow you to install better CPU AND install newer OS natively.

    But there is no relationship better CPU model and OS version on the cMP. You can run any OS with any CPU as long as the firmware support.

    To make it simple, all you need is just the firmware upgrade if you want to install Sierra or later. Zero new hardware required.

    A better CPU, more RAM, SSD... will give make your machine run faster, smoother, etc. But NOT required for the latest OS.
     
  22. MarkJames68 macrumors regular

    MarkJames68

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    #22
    Turnkey upgrade means you ship them the hardware and they do the CPU swap and ship it back to you. Essentially you are paying for their labor, expertise, and the CPU.
     
  23. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #23
    You ship your CPU tray to them -> pay them -> they ship an upgrade CPU tray back to you.

    However, you still need to do the firmware upgrade by yourself. Which is all you need actually (to run the newer OS).

    The new CPU tray won't boot if you didn't perform the firmware upgrade BEFORE you ship your tray to them.
     
  24. pl1984, Nov 9, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017

    pl1984 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #24
    Can you be a little more specific as to what you mean by too slow? Is it the general feel of the system? Are the applications you use to perform your work taking too long to complete? Something else?

    The first thing I would recommend is attempting to use "Activity Monitor" to identify potential areas which are causing your performance issue. It can be found in the "Utilities" folder within the "Applications" folder. Here is a link I found which can help you learn to use is:

    https://elcapitanslow.com/use-activity-monitor-mac/

    While the author goes into the details about individual apps and such my recommendation is to focus on the total metrics for each category (CPU, memory, disk) and not the individual ones.

    I think SSDs are great and I highly recommend getting one no matter the cause of your issue. However I want set expectations that it might not solve your performance problem if the issue isn't disk related. Activity Monitor has Disk section which will show you the disk activity.

    Memory is also something to consider. h9826790 provided some very good information about memory. You can use Activity Monitor to see if you need more memory.

    Finally there's the CPU. Again Activity Monitor can be used to view CPU utilization. If CPU is the bottleneck your only option is to upgrade to a faster CPU. Thankfully there are several options which can provide a 30% increase for as little as $25-30.

    Using Activity Monitor does require a little skill in order to really understand what is going on. However I think Apple has done a good job of making it easy for a novice to use it. Basically anything that is red for an extended period of time is likely an area you may wish to consider improving upon.
     
  25. gtg465x, Nov 9, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017

    gtg465x macrumors regular

    gtg465x

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    #25
    I would buy a 27" iMac. You can get a 2017 model with a 4.2GHz Core i7, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, Radeon Pro 580 with 8 GB video memory, and a 2 TB Fusion drive for $2699. Upgrade RAM and storage if needed. That should be cheaper and more powerful for most tasks than the 2013 Mac Pro, and will come with a really nice glossy screen you can use when not doing professional work. Then you can hook it up to your current matte display for professional work and have a dual monitor setup, one for professional work and one for other stuff.
     

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