How future proof current MacPro?

Muscle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 15, 2010
170
3
So how future proof is the mac pro? What components are user upgradable? From what I understand the Ram, SSD HD, even the CPU is self-upgradable? What about the GPU?

Can you just buy the cheapest model and then upgrade everything else yourself?
 

Redneck1089

macrumors 65816
Jan 18, 2004
1,157
273
RAM, SSD, and CPU are all upgradeable. GPU ...maybe if Apple releases new ones for the next gen version that will work with the current model. Most likely not, though.

MacVidCard has got eGPU running through Thunderbolt 2, which means you can install Nvidia GPUs through an external enclosure. The only caveat is that it works only on OS X right now. Maybe he and Netkas will get it running with Windows at some point, but who knows?
 

Muscle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 15, 2010
170
3
So GPU is the only thing thats not self upgradable? You can't purchase the AMD D700 by yourself and plug it in?
 

agazoo

macrumors regular
May 15, 2015
110
18
So GPU is the only thing thats not self upgradable? You can't purchase the AMD D700 by yourself and plug it in?
If only you could find one; eBay is probably the only source atm (this is where i got mine from).
 

DJenkins

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2012
271
4
Sydney, Australia
You are somewhat right in saying that you can buy a base model and upgrade to the higher end specs... however I wouldn't call this 'future proof' as I highly doubt any newer updates to the mac pro will be interchangeable with the old model. You will just have a higher spec version of the old machine, probably not able to compete with a higher spec of the new machine
 

agazoo

macrumors regular
May 15, 2015
110
18
I didn't to swap yet. Cards are in my office in US and I am out in Europe. Will know next week, and hopefully put my D500s out for sale.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,081
4,143
The Peninsula
You are somewhat right in saying that you can buy a base model and upgrade to the higher end specs... however I wouldn't call this 'future proof' as I highly doubt any newer updates to the mac pro will be interchangeable with the old model. You will just have a higher spec version of the old machine, probably not able to compete with a higher spec of the new machine
In particular, no newer, faster CPUs or RAM will be available. You can replace the CPU with one of the current options (e.g. move from six core to eight core), but no new CPUs will be released.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
So how future proof is the mac pro? What components are user upgradable? From what I understand the Ram, SSD HD, even the CPU is self-upgradable? What about the GPU?
RAM is upgradable.

CPU is upgradable, within the limitations of the Intel socket and your nMP's firmware. I personally wouldn't try a CPU upgrade unless someone else already proved that specific CPU works in the same nMP model.

SSD is upgradable, but it does not use a standard interface. You'll have to buy the appropriate used SSDs or new grey market SSDs through third party markets like Ebay or Amazon Marketplace with no warranty support.

GPU is technically upgradable, but practically speaking, it is not. Only grey market boards are available, and only rarely, and for very high prices, and only up to D700. The nMP keeps its GPU firmware on the main board, not the video cards. So unless we see a firmware update to the nMP, there will never be anything better than the D700 in those slots.
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,363
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127.0.0.1
No. Not a single chance. It's not available anywhere it's Apple's proprietary design, not sold separately.
You might want to look up the definition of that word. The design is definitely not proprietary. Just because no one has chosen to make the video cards in no way makes it proprietary. There is the whole firmware issue but even then that still does not make the cards proprietary.
 

mikeboss

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2009
1,274
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switzerland
You might want to look up the definition of that word. The design is definitely not proprietary. Just because no one has chosen to make the video cards in no way makes it proprietary. There is the whole firmware issue but even then that still does not make the cards proprietary.
by the definition of the IT industry, the graphics cards of the Mac Pro (Late 2013) are definitely proprietary, period.
 
Last edited:

xSinghx

Suspended
Oct 2, 2012
308
85
So how future proof is the mac pro? What components are user upgradable?
If you're thinking of upgrading you might want to wait until the end of the year when sky lake is released. Also I would double check about the CPU (someone can/will correct me, I'm sure) I thought there was an issue with the socket allowing for future upgrades. GPU of course is dead in the water until Apple does something which is to say likely dead altogether.
 

flr

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2013
39
11
MacVidCard has got eGPU running through Thunderbolt 2, which means you can install Nvidia GPUs through an external enclosure. The only caveat is that it works only on OS X right now. Maybe he and Netkas will get it running with Windows at some point, but who knows?
A Thunderbolt 2 eGPU is a very expensive solution. It costs about $500 for the components only without even a videocard. It involves a lot of work to build it yourself. Check out the TechInferno forums if you want to know more. My eGPU works only under Windows but depending on which videocard you select it can also work under Mac OS X. Getting an eGPU to work under Mac OS X is a lot more difficult than for Windows.
 

filmak

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2012
1,213
683
between earth and heaven
You might want to look up the definition of that word. The design is definitely not proprietary. Just because no one has chosen to make the video cards in no way makes it proprietary. There is the whole firmware issue but even then that still does not make the cards proprietary.
:) It's their practice, their policy.

If you check the Gpu's form factor, the special design to fit in, the way they are cooled down, the special connectors,
the fact that the one of them has the ssd's pcie connector built in (and this is not the industry standard connector), the firmware prototyping method, the drivers, the special way they connect with displays and they compute, etc.

It is clear that Apple did it's best for one more time to lock down the internals as much as they could, for their reasons (technical and economical), as they prefer to buy a whole new device from them than upgrade your current one.

You can see this in every current device they sell iOS or OS X based, everything are soldered in, batteries, ram, gpus, screens (glued) and pretty difficult for a user to reach them, they have also made custom screws to discourage people from opening their devices.

So imho the gpus have not industry standard design, they are locked with several methods to discourage third party manufacturers to built something compatible, the gpus firmware is outside of the cards, they 're completely custom made and locked -> proprietary.;)
Have a nice day.:)
 
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Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
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A Thunderbolt 2 eGPU is a very expensive solution. It costs about $500 for the components only without even a videocard. It involves a lot of work to build it yourself. Check out the TechInferno forums if you want to know more. My eGPU works only under Windows but depending on which videocard you select it can also work under Mac OS X. Getting an eGPU to work under Mac OS X is a lot more difficult than for Windows.
To build an eGPU involves some work. It makes no difference if it's for Windows or OS X.

Getting an eGPU to work under OS X is easy: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/building-external-gpus-on-mac-egpu.1893792/