Good build for octo-core replacement?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sgunes, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. sgunes macrumors member

    May 25, 2009
    I am getting sick and tired of waiting for the MacPro 2010 update.

    I am considering getting a Cyberpower system:

    Case: Thermaltake Spedo
    MB: Gigabyte GA-EX58A UD7 (can be easily Kakewalked, also compatible with EFiX)
    CPU: Intel i7-980X, 32nm, hexacore at 3.33GHz
    Cooling: Watercooling with 2 12cm fans for the radiator
    Graphics: NVidia 9800GT 1GB (to be replaced later with 5 series ATI or NVidia 480GTX once supported by Apple)
    Memory: 3x1GB to be replaced with G.Skill 6x2GB, CAS 7, 1600Mhz ($360 at newegg)
    Boot drive: 1.5TB, 7200rpm, 32MB cache (to be replaced later with SSDs)
    DVD-RW already have BD-rewriter at home
    420 W power supply (to be replaced by 1000W modular 80+ I have at home)

    The total cost at cyberpower is $2095 + $360 for memory.
    With the watercooling I should get at least a 4-4.2GHz overclock.

    I feel that this setup would only be beat by a 12-core MacPro which would probably cost over $6000. Even if you add a better power supply you end up with about $2600 for a very capable computer. It would probably be as fast as the current fastest octocores.

    Getting 24GB of PC12800 1600MHz memory (6x4 GB) would cost about $1400 at newegg.
    Is the upgrade to 24GB (additional $1040 versus 12GB) worth it or would 12GB be sufficient for HD video editing? I remember reading in this forum about 12GB being the sweet spot for triple channel memory configuration.

    I don't work for cyberpower and I know that they do not have a Tier 1 reputation but adding all the components on newegg was not any cheaper and they give you a 3-year warranty.
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    How can anyone considering a Mac Pro also consider this? This is the antithesis of the Mac Pro in my opinion.
  3. vvrinne macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Helsinki, Finland
  4. sgunes thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2009
    I think it has the same capabilities as any octo-core MacPro on the market today.

    I can upgrade for another $70 to a Corsair Obsidian 800D case (which has 4 hot-swap bays for 3 1/2 or 2 1/2 inch drives, 2 additional internal bays for 3 1/2 inch HDs and 5 for 5 1/4 inch optical drives). See Corsair. MaximumPC test. It is steel and not aluminum but otherwise offers more space and cooling than the current MacPro case.

    The other components (CPU, memory) are the same or better than what Apple will use (my planned memory is 1600MHz, CAS 7). With the watercooling I can easily overclock by at least 20% and end up at 4-4.5 GHz.

    The graphics card is obviously wimpy as I have to wait to see what Apple will support with the 2010 MacPros.

    With the money I save (even with the student/faculty discount) I can get 2 Intel 160GB G2 boot drives and 2 30inch monitors.

    This is nothing more than "cranking up a notch" on Cindori's hackintosh.

    The only thing I a not sure of is if I should get the 24GB or the 12GB memory. I know some people here use "excess" memory as a "flash drive" for scratch disc and other uses. It is about $1040 more than 12GB.
  5. aLfR3dd macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2007
    interesting...are you getting 2 processors or only one? will the new Mac Pro support Dual Core (so 12 cores)??
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Buy 12GB of memory and then see through your usage if you would actually benefit from another 12GB. You can go the route of 6x2GB and sell them if you need more or 3x4GB and leave room for expansion.
  7. sgunes thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2009
    The motherboard GA-EX58A UD7 is only single socket. I doubt I will need more than 6 cores at 4+ GHz each.

    If you want dual socket that can take the 6-core 32nm Xeons and overclock: look here.
  8. sgunes thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2009
    After further research I found these G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB modules with tight timings for $193 each (w/ S&H and tax) for a total of $1158. They were tested at tomshardware and fared very well.

    12GB cost about $340 for a difference of about $820 which gets close to the price of 2 Intel G2 160GB SSDs.
  9. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    This was cheaper even after subtracting the components that you planned to replace anyway? That's odd. Everything I've heard argues rolling your own is far cheaper than paying for a complete box. Also, wouldn't all the components come with their own warranties? I don't know if they would be worthwhile, of course - just curious.

    All of that said, I don't think you're really building an octo-core Mac Pro replacement, since the idea of a Mac Pro (and several Power Macs before it) was a dual CPU system. Yeah, they always sell a cheaper single CPU option with each one, but I have to believe it's not their top seller, given that it usually represents a fairly crummy value.

    Should be a nifty machine for whatever it is you were planning to do, though. I'm just surprised it's so expensive. At that point, I'd just go the rest of the way for a Mac Pro.
  10. sgunes thread starter macrumors member

    May 25, 2009
    I also thought that buying components will be cheaper (have build so far 6 systems) but if you go to their website and price everything out you come out even (even if you don't value your time too much).

    The biggest chunk of the $2000 system is the $1000 CPU.
    Then there is $1000 left over for motherboard ($360), full-tower case ($200-300), water cooling, 1.5GB HD ($120), memory, DVDRW, power supply, graphics card, assembly and testing.

    I can buy stuff only retail and in this case the volume discount they get makes up for their margin. The margin is less for them with the minimal memory, smallest PS, slowest video card. They make real money with triple SLI type configurations, 24GB memory and multiple hard drives.
  11. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    Looks like a great build! Of course, the Octo-core will probably be replaced with a twelve core model shortly. Nevertheless, Apple's pricing structure has been made clear for a while on the Pro hardware so your machine will be oodles cheaper than the rumoured hexacore Mac Pro.

    I went a slightly similar path. To upgrade from my 2.66GHz 2006 Quad Mac Pro I could either spend ~£1600 for a quad 2.66GHz 2009 Mac pro, ~£2150 for an 8 core Mac Pro or ~£1000 to build a hackintosh consisting of a 2.66GHz i7 running 24x7 at 4GHz, 12GB of RAM at ~1500Mhz, a 256GB SSD and a 4870.

    It can run just fine at 4.2GHz but I took it back a notch to ensure 24x7 stability. At 4.2GHz it got a 410 Xbench score (290 CPU, 1290 Thread, 530 Memory, 310 Hard Drive). When the cost of hexacore chips comes down a bit I'll probably chuck one in too.

    Edit: BTW for the love of God please don't give a penny to the con artists that are the creators of the Efix dongle. All it is is ripped off open source stuff similar to Psystar.
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It depends on the specific parts used (i.e. cheapest possible vs. higher quality). The parts listed aren't bargain basement junk (nor is i7 inexpensive anyway compared to other options).

    To keep the cost down, recycling parts from existing systems/stock can help to reduce the cost, and significantly in some cases (i.e. case + PSU + drives for example already on-hand would make a notable price difference vs. requiring every single part).

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