Going to upgrade my Mac Pro, need advice!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ABBA84, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. ABBA84 macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2013
    So I have a Mac Pro that I mainly use for Adobe After Effects (CS 6) and Ableton 8 and would like to make some performance upgrades to optimize those two applications.

    Here's an overview of my current setup:

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 2
    Total Number Of Cores: 8
    L2 Cache (per processor): 12 MB
    Memory: 2 GB 800 MHz DDR2 F8-DIMM
    Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz

    I would like to get the most of my computer and am not too worried about cost. Don't wanna cheap out on anything. So if anyone has any recommendations on what I should buy to really speed things up on my system I would really appreciate the help!

    Thanks! :)
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Memory, memory, memory. AE needs more memory. 8GB min. Better at 16GB+. SSD next on list for boot and apps and maybe a new 1TB single platter Seagate HDD that can push 200MB/s+ for streams.
  3. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2008
    Assuming this is a MacPro3,1 (early-2008) - sounds like it in your description - you have two challenges; RAM is expensive, and you are using an older version of SATA (ver. 2.0).

    But, You have to little RAM, get 16GB (at least). It is indeed expensive, but if you want to save a little, you can use the slightly slower 667MHz DIMMs.

    However, to take full advantage of todays faster interface, you might consider getting a PCI SATA card, for your SSD. These allow you run HW RAID as well, and your system will really shine. There are also a few cards with tons of RAM on them, acting as an SSD, the Accelsior from OWC for instance...

    Lastly you can always put a fast CUDA graphics card in your MP. The GTX570 is great for CS applications.
  4. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    If it is a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 like mine then there are a few upgrades that are really worthwhile. The RAM as others have said. It's expensive but worth it. Secondly an SSD. If you just put this in one of the regular drive sleds the SATA-II bus will throttle it but it will still be 2X faster than a rotating hard disk. It is however much better if you have a free PCI slot to get an Apricom Velocity X2 & mount the SSD on that for full SATA-III performance. Finally a good CUDA graphics card like the GTX570 (available used on eBay for under $200 or equivalent) will enormously improve the performance of some but not all After Effects rendering
  5. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    If cost is not a problem, why not sell that one and get at least a 2009, but recommend a 2010. The westmere processors are more efficient, the memory is cheaper and faster. I had a 2008 mac pro like yours. I enjoyed using it to edit video. Maxed my memory out but jeez, those fsb memory modules are expensive. Still think the 2008 mac pro was the best bang for your buck of mac pro's. Miss the platform but not the cost of the newer ones. Reason why I built my dual xeon pc. Think you would be better served with a newer model. But if your set to stay with the 2008, put as much memory as you can afford and get an ssd.
  6. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    Sata ii

    I thought the 3,1 Mac Pro's SATA II is exactly the same as the 09 and 10. Maybe its a difference revision?
  7. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I think some might be confusing SATA II / III with PCI Express Rev.1 and Rev.2...
    From Apple's link:

    "Mac Pro (Early 2008)

    The Mac Pro (Early 2008) computers implement PCI Express revision 2.0 which support twice the data rate per lane as the PCI Express revision 1. Slots 1 and 2 are both x16 revision 2.0 slots. Slots 3 and 4 are both x4 revision 1 slots. Placing a revision 1 card in a revision 2.0 slot, or visa-versa, is supported and results in a revision 1 link.

    The number of lanes for each of these slots is permanently set for the Mac Pro (Early 2008). The Expansion Slot Utility doesn't apply.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac Pro (Mid 2010), and Mac Pro (Mid 2012)

    The Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac Pro (Mid 2010), and Mac Pro (Mid 2012) computers implement PCI Express revision 2.0 for all four slots. Slots 1 and 2 are x16 slots, and slots 3 and 4 are x4 slots. As with the Mac Pro (Early 2008), placing a revision 1 card in a revision 2.0 slot works and results in a revision 1 link.

    The Expansion Slot Utility is not required for these configurations, since the number of lanes for each slot are permanently set."

    - - - - -

    Having said that, the drive bays all run at SATA II, but the PCI slots are not related in this way, but rather by whether they are PCI Express revision 1.0 or 2.0.
    PCI Express Info

    Per lane (x1)
    PCI Express 1.0 = 250MB/second
    PCI Express 2.0 = 500MB/second

    Hope that helps.

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