How "future-proof" is the Mac Pro 5,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacinJosh, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. MacinJosh, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

    MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I had to leave my trusty MP 1,1 behind when I moved to another continent. So far I've found that I just can't live without a Mac that has several internal drive bays, upgradeable CPUs and GPUs and that have serious power. That only left me with the "Classic" Mac Pros as my only option, namely the 2008/2009/2010/2012 models as they are currently supported.

    I reckoned that the 3,1, while still supported, would be the first MP to be dropped off from the supported mac list so I bought a 2010 2.8 Ghz Quad Core Mac Pro with a 5770 and 12GB.

    My question is that what are your thoughts about the "future-proofness" of it? They sold it new until 2013 but yet it doesn't support AC-Wifi, Sata-3, some Yosemite features such as Handoff. I'm aware that they can be added aftermarket which is why I love the MP, but could Apple really drop the Classic Mac Pros from from future OSX releases in the near future?

    I mean if the 2008 model is supported in 2014, the 5,1 should be supported 2020-2022 (which would be insane) math fail. I meant 2016-2018. I'd settle for a few years of support even if it means having some features missing.

    The nMP is out of the question due to price and expandability. Sorry about the ramble. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Well, what's interesting about this is the 2010 model was still being sold as the 2012 model, until 2013. So the question is, do Apple honour support from when the original model was made (2010) or when it was last sold (2013)?

    It's hard to say these days, as Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite all have the same system requirements, which is unusual for Apple. Time will tell I guess.
     
  3. sirio76, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

    sirio76 macrumors regular

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    #3
    I don't think that an old MP will be supported for more than 7/8 years(that's a very long time for a computer anyway) and the 5.1 is already 4 years old, even if they sell it till 2013 is always a 5.1. Apple have all the interest in dropping the support of older machine ASAP in order to sell the new one and always get rid of legacy tech whenever possible.
    Many oMP lovers(or upgrade vendors) will tell you that a 5.1 can be as fast as a 6.1 and indeed you can throw a lot of money on old MP and get performance near the new one(upgrading CPUs, fast SSDs, one or more modern GPUs ecc, note that this things don't come for free) but after all and even if supported for a long time the slow performance in single threaded stuff(AKA the vast majority of operations) of older machine will become particularly annoying while working, that's the reason why I would never look at old MP, but that's just me;)
    I have several PC too, far more upgradable/expandable/futurproof machine than any MP and yet I can't see a single reason to upgrade components inside, as soon as the GPU become obsolete so it will the CPU, the socket, the HD, the RAM, the overall system architecture, better to upgrade the whole machine instead of investing in old tech.
    Again, that's just me.. I'm sure other people will find many good reason to keep upgrading old stuff:)
     
  4. MacinJosh thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thanks for that. I failed at math on my support prediction and revised OP. Top performance isn't really my thing and I'm sure the W3690 would suffice in single core performance for a long time if I were to upgrade. I was quite pleased with my MP 1,1's performance so this will already be a significant upgrade in CPU performance with room for a lot more.
     
  5. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #5
    It sort of depends on what you want to do with it.

    If multi-core performance is what you're after, then, provided you have a 6, 8, or 12 core model and you're doing video work, my guess is that you'll be fine with this machine for another 5-7 years.

    If you find yourself really feeling the lack of 6Gbps SATA, Thunderbolt, or if you're really only using one to four cores at a time anyway, yeah, you might find yourself ready for something newer sooner.

    If what you want is a machine running OS X server on which you have a whole company being run, I'd say you have the perfect machine and that it'll last you until you can reasonably afford one of the new cylindrical Mac Pros and USB 3/Thunderbolt 1/2 drives to go along with it to replace it.

    Do bear in mind that a lot of what will have Early 2008 Mac Pro users replacing their machines sooner than Early 2009 and newer replacing their machines is (a) the RAM is more inexpensive on the newer models, (b) the RAM is less temperamental when upgrading, (c) the RAM is DDR3 (d) better support for newer cards, (e) parts for the 2009 and newer Mac Pros are cheaper and easier to service, etc.
     
  6. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I don't think Apple will drop support for the 5,1 in the next few years. It was still being actively sold until the end of 2013.

    Wether you will be able to get it to add support for some of the newer features in later OSX releases will be down to how easy is to get it to work for the 3rd parties, and whether updates then break those. You may also find that Apple actively block some of those features and will need to modify files etc to get them to work.

    Yes you can add in SATA3 cards, Bluetooth 4.x, AC Wifi via the PCI-E slots however you only have 3 of them available ( 1 taken for the GPU ) and when doing the comparison to the nMP then they are usually fitted with 2 GPU cards taking up two of those slots. After adding in a PCI-E SSD sled then leaves with a single PCI-E 2.0 x4 slot that is sharing bandwidth with the other PCI-E 2.0 x4 slot. If putting in a Dual Slot GPU card then one of those slots is covered by the Cooler of the second GPU card anyway so you are losing a slot there. You will also end up losing the lower optical bay through adding an aux PSU in there to power the GPU card.

    Some people have found that by modding the case can get a decent GPU into the 4th slot, however then losing those internal drive sleds from what I understand.

    If you are happy with the performance of the 2010 then it isn't a bad buy. I run a single GTX680 4Gb and the FCPX performance is fine (too me). I don't however edit video for a living, so am content to wait for it too finish/get on with other things. Don't however expect it to keep pace with future Mac Pro releases, and don't bank on getting newer OSX features to work with it.
     
  7. ZombiePhysicist, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

    ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #7
    It will be supported for a long time. 1,1 dropped because of the 64bit issue. Apple will not be going to 128bit processors any time soon. So the only thing that might make support limited are graphics cards, and you'll be able to upgrade those.

    I could see it being valid for another 5 years easy.

    Sure, SATA is slow on it, but for archive drives , it's fine. You slap an SSD via PCI slot and you're cooking fine. I have a top of line, 3.46ghz 12 core, and it's every bit as fast as the current 12 core 2.7ghz nMP.

    Barring a fundamental technology inflection technology like 64bit, these machines will work for a long time. Ram goes to 128GB, you can pump the video card to modern cards for at least a few years, and those will be supported for at least a few hers past that.

    So 5-7yrs more, easy, IMO.

    ----------

    Well, you can put a double wide graphic card in slot 1, without blocking anything further. Adding wifi ac/bt4.0 doesn't take a slot, macvidcards offers a 'native' upgrade of the mini PCI card update without touching the main slots. After you put a dual drive SSD into a single PCI card, that still leaves 2 slots open. In which you can put one usb 3.0 card and still have a slot open for other random things. Or even a 2nd single slot video card to support a lot of extra screens that don't need big horsepower.

    I do think your point is valid, but I also think there are more optimistic configurations you can pursue.

    I didn't get the nMP because it makes a rats nest of devices in its wake. 1TB of storage is too little. So at the very least, you have one brick off of it. But as soon as you want a video capture card, more SSD storage, all the sudden, yo have a rats nest of boxes and power bricks next to the device, ultimately pumped in through a slower bus. So depending on your usage, its not an optimal design. But for others, it's a great design. Just depends on your needs.

    I had the money to get the nMP, but it just wasn't what I needed, so instead, i upgraded the processors in my cMP, and feel very happy about that.
     
  8. burgman macrumors 65816

    burgman

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    #8
    The only scary thing about MP is cost of repairs. When my motherboard died on my 1.1 under warranty it was like $1800. The cheese graters are great looking. even with the side cover off. Apple design at its best, to me.
     
  9. TzunamiOSX, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014

    TzunamiOSX macrumors regular

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    #9
    European rules:

    After production end, a manufacturer must provide spare parts for 5 years.

    I think the support for a 2008 will end soon, and for the 2012 in ~2018
     
  10. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    #10
    the 5.1 maybe 2 more years.. god i had a dream that i once owned a 5.1 form factor that was sata 3, sandy bridge e/xeon equivalent, had 3 thunderbolt ports and a gtx 780 and the 4 hard drive bays. But damn you apple i'll never forgive you for todays 6.1 even tho i own one and quite like it but the computer i speak of in my dreams is what i really wanted.
     
  11. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Build a Hackintosh. Stick it in a nice Abee case.

    -SC
     
  12. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #12
    I have that, except no thunderbolt :)
     
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #13
    Soon a new set of GPUs will come to nMP v2.

    The drivers are being solidified for R9 290X as we speak, they work in Yose.

    Or maybe Nvidia will get a hat in the ring? A pair of GTX870s would be nice, yes? In any case, TB3 is enroute.

    In any case, the hilarious moment will be when those Hawaii chips become available in nMP v2 with TB3. Cue the hand wringing. There will be a slow down in the internet worldwide as thousand rush to Ebay to dump their nMP v1.

    Meanwhile, the cMP users will simply swap in a Hawaii R9 290X or GTX880 and continue chugging right past the sudden glut of nMP v1.
     
  14. ClassObject macrumors 6502

    ClassObject

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  15. Tutor, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #15
    Although no computer system is truly future-proof, here's my nMP (Early 2014 {or was it late 2007?}) less curvy option. GPU computing makes it future resistant.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. sirio76 macrumors regular

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    #16
    That picture is funny if you consider that a user was complaining about the nMP being a rats nest of cables:D
    Truth is that even the old machine in most cases have plenty of devices attached, the "all inside one box" it's just a mith.
     
  17. phoenixsan macrumors 65816

    phoenixsan

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    #17
    Imho.....

    you can go pretty safe in any computer you bought, 5 years or so....Forcing the odds you can even go 7-10 years. But then, anynone have different standards about how a computer should perform. What about if you can use and upgrade a computer, but for some reason you are not in the "edge"....? What happens if hardware can be upgraded, but software not or viceversa?....:eek:

    Maybe a worth investigation can be made comparing what hardware got unusable or unsupported the last 3-5 OS upgrades....:)

    :apple::)
     
  18. Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #18
    Given what you say that (a) about your needs, (b) what you cannot live without and (c) your concerns about the nMP, your only options are cMPs.

    Sound reckoning. I too expect that it'll be next on the MacPro deprecation list. My guess is that your new system will not be deprecated at the same time.

    Rather than call it "future proof(ing or ness)", as a very wise individual has coined the more appropriate phrase, I too now call it "future resistant." Depending on what you do (i.e., application that you use) on your MP, you may never miss any of features/accessories that you list. You certainly didn't have them on your MacPro1,1. It's hard to miss something that you've never had. The question really is do you need those features/accessories and how great is that need? You're in a better position than any of us to answer those questions.

    Given: You've already ... "bought a 2010 2.8 Ghz Quad Core Mac Pro with a 5770 and 12GB."

    If you need to upgrade a 2010 because of what you do on it, i.e., the applications demand it, you can get more/faster storage/ram when you need it, at least for the next few years; the less expensive processors (3600s) that you can use to upgrade it, have reached the end of life and will no longer be shipped by Intel after September 5, 2014 [ http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/Intel-Xeon W3580 - AT80601002274AB (BX80601W3580).html ] and the same applies to the more expensive processors (5600s) [ http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Xeon/Intel-Xeon X5690 - AT80614005913AB (BX80614X5690).html ]. The good news is that you can probably still find new, faster 3600s and 5600s, at least over the very near term. Also, you can probably still find a new dual processor Westmere (MP 2010-2012) (or in a pinch - Nehalem (MP 2009)) motherboard if you need it. However, as time passes your options will become limited to purchasing only used ones. As to GPUs and other parts you'll probably be able to upgrade them for a few more years. In the final analysis, it's your applications' needs that will dictate whether your system is future resistant. Because I don't know what are the important applications that you use, I haven't a clue about how resistant is your system. However, I'd surmise that unless your application needs change radically, that your system should be future resistant for a few years to come (since it appears that you recently purchased the system that you did).
     
  19. MacinJosh thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Thanks for a very comprehensive and helpful reply Tutor! Sure gives a lot of good points to ponder on.

    Hehe. Awesome. I like that.
     
  20. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #20
    I'm pretty sure that he has 2-3 Titans or GTX 590s inside this 2,1. Maybe it's not "all" but quite much ;)
     
  21. Tutor, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #21
    Truly, depending on one's needs, "All inside one box" is just a myth.

    That system currently has two internal CUDA cards for 3d rendering and one cable (the black one from the internal FSP BoosterX5) is for powering the FSP. The white cable powers the MP. The blue cable (disconnected in the pic) is a cross-over cable connected to another cMP2,1. The yellow cable w/blue grip runs to my internet switch. The grey cable with the grey grip is not connected to anything (it's just a back up internet cable, allowing me to put another system next to the one in the pic). There's a white cable connecting the system to my monitor; another white cable connecting the system to my keyboard/mouse; two black cables connecting two external USB3 4TB drives, acting as video backup to my six internal 4TB drives [ 24 terabytes of internal storage total ], two grey audio cables (one for left audio, the other right audio - both connected to a "Y" plug connected to my system) connecting my system to a stereo amplifier system and two more grey cables connecting two more external Firewire 4TB drives, acting as audio backup to my 24 terabytes of internal storage.

    So you're right. Currently, my 2007 MP can hold internally (excluding, of course, the other regular internals) only:
    (1) 24 terabytes of storage and
    (2) two double wide GPUs of my choosing.

    This cMP doesn't have an internal power source, or internal internet source, or internal high quality stereo amplification system, or an internal render farm, or an internal keyboard/mouse, or an internal 16 TBs of backup, or an internal monitor. But what MP does? And if someone currently has a MP that does or knows someone else who does, please give me the hookup.
     
  22. Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #22
    I clean my systems regularly and probably, more frequently, than others swap GPUs.

    Right now, my 2007 MPs have just a GTX 480 ($200 from Compeve on E-bay) and GTX 590 (~$350 on E-bay) for a meager oTitan Rendering Equivalency ("TE") in OctaneRender of 1.743. The GTX 590 has a TE = 1.13 + the GTX 480 has a TE = 0.613. So, thats like having 1 and 3/4 original (o) Titans.
     
  23. Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    #23
  24. foodog macrumors 6502a

    foodog

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    #24
    You beat me too it. ;)
     
  25. MacinJosh thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25

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