Early adopters, how happy are you with your nMP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mrxak, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. mrxak macrumors 68000

    Apr 16, 2004
    Drifting through space in a broken escape pod
    So it's been over a year now since the new Mac Pros were announced. Not quite that long since they were actually shipped, but I think there's enough in the wild now, and people have been using them long enough, that owners can start making some real assessments of the machine and the new design in general.

    So, for those who bought this first generation of the nMP, what are your thoughts? Is it everything you dreamed a Mac Pro could be, or have you encountered a lot of problems using it? What do you like best, and what do you like the least? Do you have any regrets buying a first generation model? What, if anything, would you like to see changed or improved in the Mac Pro line in the future?

    Please no arguments or criticisms from people who don't actually own a nMP. There's been plenty enough topics about people who aren't thrilled with the direction the Mac Pro line has taken. This is a topic to get real world reviews of the nMP from actual users.
  2. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Weirdly, it's almost exactly what I thought it would be like.

    CPU performance is what it is, a 6 core Ivy Bridge. Not slow. Not fast. Not overclockable like the 4930k I run ~4GHz in my Windows home build. Just a 6 core Ivy chugging along at 3.5GHz.

    GPU performance is good enough. Considering that some recent Mac Pros have come with some pretty pedestrian video cards, I say the GPUs are acceptable.

    Unlocking the GPUs, I kinda thought Apple was going to lag on this, and sure enough I was bitten by the OpenCL bug or whatever it was in 10.9.3 that pretty much took Premiere Pro out for a minute. Looks like they kind of silently fixed it in the fairly quick release of 10.9.4. I don't use FCP X, but I hear it's pretty well tuned and runs well on this machine. Updating Windows is generally annoying, but I do like getting monthly video driver updates and the ability to roll back if needed.

    Noise and thermal? Probably better than I thought. It's quiet. It really is. I've rendered 3d overnight at 100% CPU and it seems to stay well with it's thermal envelope, fan never freaking out.

    I did not have a lot invested in PCI cards and stuff, so the expand it via TB2 has been ok with me. I bought a Pegasus2 R4 8TB and it works great. I've found cheap or easy ways to use USB for TimeMachine, SD card readers, etc. For my workflow, the expand ability or lack of has not been an issue.

    All the wires sticking out the back? Not a problem to me, the cylinder is really pretty well hidden behind my monitor. Out of sight, out of mind.

    Reliability? No issues for me, other than the issue I had with 10.9.3 and Premiere Pro. I know we love to blame/hate Adobe but I think this issue was on Apple's end.

    I think 256GB SSD is kinda weak as the base in a machine of this stature. I kinda think the 4 core (no offense) is sort of pointless.

    It's really what I thought it would be. A Mac I could push hard daily and enjoy using, which I do.
  3. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    I bought a hex/D700/256 and added 64 GB of RAM. At the same time I built a gaming rig with 2x295 AMD (factory watercooled with 2 290x GPU's), 32GB, RAID SSD and the latest Devils Canyon i7 at 4.6GHz. I also built a mini-ITX Linux PC.

    The Linux box is the most stable and bug-free, with the Mac a close second. The PC lags quite a bit, mostly because it's a overclocked over done PC. If it was more sedate it would be a close third. By stability I consider both hardware and software.

    For performance the PC is at the top, with the Mac second and the Linux box trailing quite a bit. I'm surprised at how quickly the Mac has aged however. It was cheaper to build a far higher performing PC just two months after I got the Mac.

    For usability the Mac is at the top of the list.

    Overall the nMP beats the pants off the oMP in my opinion. It was NOT an upgradable computer in my experience. I bought a variety of (limited choice) PCIe cards with mixed success - mostly failure. Also consider the limited (and expensive) GPU choices. I think Apple did the right thing to simply acknowledge that Mac's aren't very upgradable and stop pretending with the Mac Pro. Anyhow the Linux box is as quiet as the nMP and not that much bigger. It's also 1/20th the price.

    I like my nMP, it's my workhorse for my real work. I trust it, it's a solid performer, easy to use and I can focus on my work. The PC is a killer gaming rig but it's tweaky. The Linux box is a nice little guy too but Linux, even Ubuntu, doesn't have the software options that OS X does.

    I love them all, but it will be a long, long time before I buy another Mac Pro. They're simply too expensive for what you get.
  4. realitystops macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2007
    Very North
    Expensive? I think not!

    My nMP sits on my desk and I forget it is there


    If it is anything like its predecessors it will still be there in 5 years time, forgotten and doing its job.

    I use PS5 and sundry other image software manipulating multiple images at once, printing, posting and webbing for about 4/6 hrs 5 days a week. I tried MacMini & iMac - not man enough - so even though I am no longer the harassed pro. I was the nMP is still my machine of choice because (yes you guessed it) IT JUST WORKS (VERY WELL):)
  5. mrxak thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 16, 2004
    Drifting through space in a broken escape pod
    I will be really interested to see how well the new line holds up long term. I've got a five year old oMP here on my desk right now, and it's the best investment I've ever made. I haven't felt a really strong need to replace it, though part of that is because it's still running 10.6.8 like a champ. I will seriously consider getting a nMP with the second generation, but I'm sure I'll keep the old one around to keep running older software.
  6. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I've got the hex-core, 512GB SSD, D700's and 64GB RAM, with a Pegasus 2 R4 and a Startec Thunderbolt Enclosure with a couple of 1TB Samsung SSD's.

    Overall it's whisper quiet and fairly quick. Fast enough for my VM lab and photoshop. I like the size and lack of noise, my only gripe is the wake from sleep issues I occasionally have.

    Would I buy the same machine knowing what I know now? Yes. I can't think of another machine that gives me 64GB RAM in such a small form factor. I could have rebuilt my PC for a fraction of the cost to give me the extra RAM, but it sounds like a hurricane in comparison to the nMP and that's with water-cooling and big fans running at slow RPM. The PC is better for gaming though.
  7. Surfmavs macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    Merida Yucatan Mexico

    6core, D700, 512 GB, 32 Gb...
    Silent, fast, stable...
    I still have a MP2010 4core 3.2, i am still really happy with it, but this nMP sure is a beast
  8. dwbattle macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2014
    Macon, GA
    I've got the hex-core, 512GB SSD, D700's and 32GB RAM. I got the Apple Thunderbolt Display and a G Technology Thunderbolt external drive to go with the computer. I thought I would never use the second graphics card in the nMP but then Civilization V was upgraded to take advantage of the nMP. Very nice. No signs of any hardware limitations when playing the game. Civ V is my all time favorite game.

    I recently went back and did a little work on my 2009 Mac Pro (4,1). The old machine is very loud and fairly slow in comparison.

    So far, I am very happy with the nMP. Long term, my satisfaction with the machine will depend significantly upon how well Apple supports it. I am used to upgrading graphics cards every 2 years; if Apple provides a easy path for doing this, then I will continue to be a very happy customer.
  9. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I'm sorry you didn't have much successing upgrading your oMP... I must say though the computer is very upgradable. Do you run an external PCIe rig on your nMP? I found a good one for $1,200.. ouch. One issue I have with the machine is a lack of Firewire 800 port which is essential for audiophile grade music recording (dig the cables) and adapters are a no go. The biggest plus for me are the PCIe SSDs and GPUs. Won't be upgrading my machine for a long time (if not ever) :D
  10. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Yes, for a Mac. Compared to any PC or Linux box it's rather a joke though.

    Yes, complete failure. I got the OWC TB2 rig and tried two cards in it. One which was problematic in the oMP, but it wasn't recognized in the new one. The second card was the only one that worked flawlessly in oMP. Both are supposedly TB aware. I returned the box.

    I think the only semi-reliable PCIe solutions for Mac are the video/audio editing cards. I'm a developer, so the general purpose things I tried were a failure.
  11. KlytusLord macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2011
    I am very pleased with the performance, but I hate the design.

    For MY preferences, the fact that it is very small does not offset the issues I have with the ports being lose, tightly packed together, etc.
  12. greenmeanie macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2005
    Mine runs rock solid I have the stock 6 core version.
    I just need a SSD upgrade bad there just isn't enough room.
    Not hearing racing fans is a blessing.
  13. menano macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2011
    I could hardly love it more! I am extremely satisfied with it, and it has exceeded my expectations. I think everyone bashing it has just gotten their head up their asses and thinks they are entitled to more. Well, you aren't. And for the people complaining about the size and lack of internal expandability, you can just buy a big ugly box (the size proportions of the oldMP) and stuff everything in there.. People just can't be content nowadays, but I think this machine is everything it should be.
  14. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    How long do you people expect your nMPs to last before buying another one? 3 years? 5 years? CPU performance increases aren't like the once were, we're lucky if Intel gifts us 10% out of a architecture change. They're getting harder and harder to come by it seems.
  15. vett93 macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2014
    I wish I could return it and get my money back.

    I have a quad-core with 16GB of RAM. This is my home computer for personal use. I am a software/networking engineer with a Ph.D. degree in Engineering. I have used and owned many computers for work and school.

    The Mac Pro is simply the worst of all.

    The top 3 issues I have are:

    1. It does not boot up reliably when more than 1 monitor is connected. Apple forum has a few postings from others as well.
    2. It does not enter sleep mode reliably. I am in the middle of figuring out what is causing it. Others also have reported the same problem on Apple Forum.
    3. When it wakes up from the sleep mode, some monitors remain dark. The OS X 10.9.4 seems to have fixed this problem on my Mac Pro. But others on Apple Forum continue to report the problem.

    This is my replacement Mac Pro already. The first Mac Pro required several boot attempts to come up. I took it to Apple's Genius Bar and they suggested I return it.

    I bought this computer because I want a quiet computer. It is a disappointment. I believe it had not gone through sufficient testing before it was released.
  16. Mr-Stabby macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2004
    I love the speed of my Mac Pro, but the one thing that really isn't getting touched is the D700 GPU's, except when i use FCPX. OpenCL isn't as well integrated into popular applications like CUDA is at the moment, so the GPU's often sit there doing nothing on most apps. I'm hoping Apple have chosen wisely to bet on AMD and OpenCL, and hopefully we'll see better support for it in the future. But I'm skeptical. At the very least, the OS makes good use of them.
  17. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I upgraded from a 2010 Mac Pro to the 2013 Mac Pro (quad core / 512GB / D300). The specs are what they are - obviously spec what you need for your usage.

    I was a little nervous about getting a "first gen" version of the nMP - when they change everything so radically, you just don't know if it's going to have cooling issues, firmware issues, case cracks (e.g. Mac G4 Cube), etc. Obviously its still too new to say that still isn't a possibility, but so far, so good - all signs are they got it all right the first time around.

    The fit and finish on this computer is unequaled IMHO. It's easily the quietest desktop computer I've ever used (and I've spent a lot of money in the past making computers quiet - it's VERY important to me). It's been rock solid.

    I typically have 4 external hard drives hooked up, so there's a little more cable mess then when they were internals, but I have my whole setup very well organized inside a desk cabinet which leaves my desk very clean. Personally I was very happy they made the nMP so small. I wish it had more USB3 ports - all those TB ports are wasted on me.

    Getting Windows set up in BC was originally a mess, but they fixed BC a ways back, and now Windows installs fine. The only minor odd issue I've had is with a USB3 flash drive that wouldn't work (it works fine with my MBA and other computers). Also, there were some inconsistent "sleep" issues, so I turned that off and the computer never goes to sleep. That was pretty much from day one (a few months ago), but I haven't tried it since, so maybe those issues are fixed, I don't know.

    Very happy with it so far - keeping fingers crossed there are no future issues.

    You a "Firewire Diamond" dealer? The technical mumbo-jumbo on that webpage link is LOL funny. A digital signal is a digital signal. An Apple firewire adapter cable works just as well.
  18. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2012
    I am extremely pleased with my MP ( specs in Sig ), and often forget about it. It's just there on the desk quiet doing what I need it to do.

    I've had no issue with sleep, back screens, coil whine or anything else reported so far. It's simply been a pleasure to use. Having upgrading from an upgraded 2009 MP I'm more than happy.

    It's quieter, faster, and takes up far less space. I've attached the LG 34UM95-P monitor through thunderbolt, and that hub, the legato TB hub, and 7port USB3.0 hub, I have more expandability than I ever had with my previous machine.

    Everything neatly cabled tied and placed away. With the only cables on my desk visible being my mouse and keyboard( going wireless soon anyway).

    I have 3 cats, and cleaning it is rather simple. Turn it off, and spray compressed air into the top and out comes and dust and hair at the bottom.

    For FCPX and Mac games testing it's been nothing but brilliant, and I'm looking forward to what the next iteration is going to be like.
  19. mrxak thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 16, 2004
    Drifting through space in a broken escape pod
    I'd love to hear some answers on this. Obviously nobody can say for sure, but Mac Pros in the past have lasted a good 5 years before if you treated it right and did some upgrades over time.
  20. MacProCard macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2014
    Still loving mine. No problems whatsoever. I run an encrypted 250gb Win 8.1 pro for games and quickbooks. And an encrypted 750gb for the mac pro and FCPX. Runs and works flawlessly. I got two machines for the price of one and couldn't be happier.

    6 core, 64gb ram, 1tb, D700s

    I also did the same thing for my late 2013 rMBP. So I have two sweet laptops for the price of one as well.
  21. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    There really is no answer to this because it's completely dependent on each individual user or business.

    I think a lot of Mac users, particularly Mac Pro users, and even more particularly Mac Pro users who frequent Mac forums ;), take a great deal of pride in how long they can keep their Mac productive. While that speaks to the quality and value of Mac computers, it occasionally leads to a "conventional wisdom" that if you don't have your Mac for five-plus years, "you're doing it wrong", while ignoring the actual economics of productivity, or even "hobby" ownership. People tend to under-value computer hardware (in a monetary sense).

    Personally, I like to replace my computer every 2-3 years, timing it on new gens (i.e. the recent MBP "refresh" wouldn't count) and new tech (USB3, TB2, etc.) rather than putting money into individual upgrades. Macs retain great resell value, so you can often recoup quite a bit of the original cost in that time frame. I like to look at computer costs as amortized over the time frame I own them.
  22. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    My 2009 lasted 5 years, but not by choice. I would have replaced it earlier if there was something significantly better to upgrade to. The 2010 and 2012 were all very incremental updates... Minor CPU bumps but still SATA2/USB2. The 2013 nMP was the first significant upgrade that touched every aspect of the system since 2009 with bumped CPUs with quad channel RAM, dual modern GPUs, PCIe flash, USB3, and TB2, so it was the sensible year to upgrade.

    I'll be looking for a similar overhaul before I upgrade my nMP... If that's in 2, 3, or 5 years, it doesn't matter... Time is not the deciding factor... Significant improvements in performance all-around that make the added investment worthwhile is what will prompt me to update.
  23. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
    I concur with this. Got a great deal on a stock 6-core, and other than the internal 256GB, I love it. The nMP is so quiet that I feel like my external spinning HDD is deafening when I have it on.
  24. rueyloon macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    Are you able to tell where the d700 comes in useful ?
  25. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Hmm.. seems that if Apple doesn't come out with a 4K iMac soon (or only offers a 4K Thunderbolt 2 display), I might just have to pony up the cash and go for a Mac Pro with a few displays. Not having a desktop solution that matches the screen quality of my Retina MacBook Pro is killing my eyes!

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