I think I'm a get a 08 mac pro(logic and gaming)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TheLOGICalone, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. TheLOGICalone macrumors regular

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    #1
    Sick of waiting for non existent 2010 mac pro, 09 is bad value. I'm looking at a 2008 3.0ghz 8 core for 2k. Thinking of putting in 2x4gb ram, gtx 480/ ati 5870 for bootcamp games. Small ssd for boot drive. Couple tera drives for data. My primary use for this computer is logic studio/ pro tools, I know it will annihilate those programs. My main question is how's the gaming? I want to run arma 2, ofp2 dr, avp, and other high gpu load games for a year or basically until I buy a sandy bridge mac pro. Advice/ comments? Please no gamer flaming.
     
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #2
    Just got a 5870 for my 2006 1,1 Mac Pro, 2x 2.66GHz Dual Core (total of 4 cores)


    Running Battlefield Bad Company 2 on absolutely max settings (including AA and sh**), 1900x1200, DX11. Average FPS of a total game, measured with fraps, landed on 43.


    I don't see why not.
     
  3. kbonnel macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I love my 2008 2.8 Octo. I got it after the 2009 were out, and got it new from a retailer at a nice discount.

    K
     
  4. TheLOGICalone thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks guys, for a minute I was eyeing a 2.26 8 core refurb for $2800, but that was gobbled up, I think I'll go for the 2008 for $2000.
     
  5. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #5
    are you crossfiring them?

    This would increase game performance quite a bit.


     
  6. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    My thoughts on the 08 mac pro.

    First, I'd like to say that I used to own a 3.2ghz 2008 Harpertown myself and let me say that this is one of the finest computers I have ever owned.. Fast, furious and very efficient.. however, there are a few strikes I'd like to bring up with the 08 mac pros.

    1. If you plan on using SATA drives inside the 08 and disconnecting the IDE, you need to know the limitation that the firmware, of which apple on-purposly crippled, DOES NOT support booting into Windows or any other OS via the ODD_SATA ports which is very sad, as we pay good money for great hardware only to find out that Apple did something to limit our capabilities.. While a workaround has been around for eons now, still there is no real way to boot windows from the startup selector by choosing a sata drive connected to those ports. The next best thing to to use ahci.sh and mod the master boot record of your bootcamp drive and install the ahci drivers.. AGAIN, this doesn't allow the mac to boot the drive, but it will be available when the OS loads up.

    2. The other limitation is VT-X. While the 2009 mac pro owners got an update to fix this, the 1.3 firmware for the 08 was SUPPOSED to fix this, and although I called and bitched about it to Apple's engineering, they were able to duplicate the problem and promised a firmware revision. THIS NEVER HAPPENED.

    3. You can't use the 3.4Ghz processor which is the x5492.. sadly, for some reason the logic board won't recognize it and though its of the same x54xx family, the 3.4's don't work.. I don't know why. But if one can put a w3580 in a mac pro 2009 quad-core which came with a 2.66, then why can't one put the fastest harpertown in the 08?? Really sad.. Now, has someone tested this with the 3.2 logic board, as the 2.8/3.0's have different logic boards from what I can see just in thermal dispersion of heat or something.

    Conclusion,

    The 2008 Mac Pro is an excellent machine and does quite well in keeping up with the latest Nehalem architecture(very precious software is written to take advantage of it, except for a few apps), but with the limitations above it kind of begs the question as to whether or not its worth it to consider it? Had the ODD_SATA situation been resolved, I probably would have kept it. VT-X is a minor problem, but for some of you it isn't.. I sympathize greatly with all of you who need odd ports and vt-x. I tried myself to convince Apple, but no success. But, if you can get an external USB drive(windows won't boot off firewire or any other drive to my knowledge). Yes, I tried the owc mercury extreme with esata and it didn't work.. USB, however did. So, if you need a drive to boot windows off of and prefer to use the odd_ports, consider the alternative USB. YEAH YEAH.. ITS SLOWER, but its better than nothing.

    I have gone to a 2009 mac pro simply because I did not want those limitations.. but don't let that bother you, unless you intend to make use of those features which thus far are absent on the 2008 harpertown mac pro.. 2006-2007 can boot off the odd_ports, but the 08's can't.

    Now, everyone yell at me!
     
  7. Gomff macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Roman23 makes some valid points and I can't disagree with any of them, I just haven't come up against the limitations he mentions. I boot to Windows and Linux, as well as OS X via the standard Hard drive bays and I'm perfectly fine with the performance.

    Other than that, I love this machine...It's the best workstation I have ever owned and it still rocks 2.5 years later.

    The biggest limitation is GPU support in OSX. Hopefully this will be resolved when Apple release the new Mac Pro's some time this decade and they come with beefier cards. There's no reason a 2008 MP won't be able to run with the new cards if the 2009's can, but if you want OS X support as well as Windows, the best you can get is certainly not the best that there is out there currently.

    Cindori: Do you run your 2006 machine pretty much as a windows box only or do you have 2 GPUs in there to boot to OS X as well? Or have you worked out a way to get the 5870 working more or less OK on the Mac side?

    If you have 2 cards in there what's the config and what's the noise like? Do you have to switch the monitor cable everytime you want to boot to a different OS?

    Sorry for all the questions....Just liking the look of the 5870 cards.
     
  8. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Booting windows and non-os x systems

    Hi Gomff,

    Thanks for the remarks.. the only thing you can't do is boot off the ODD_SATA ports, found behind the fan assembly.. the 4 hard drive bays are bootable on all fronts.. meaning, you can boot a non-mac os naturally, but if you have drives hooked up to the odd_sata ports or even optical drives, the firmware simply will not allow you at all to boot non-mac related programs. As I mentioned, a workaround could be a 3rd optical drive, such as the Mercury extreme by OWC and booting off USB.. Esata doesn't work and i can't figure out why as I had the 6GB MaxPower card and tech support came to the conclusion that the optical drive in the mercury extreme wouldn't boot windows or anything else when using esata, but using USB it did work.. Your mileage will vary.

    But, the internal drives inside are all OS bootable.. any OS will boot from them as the firmware allows this.. but the odd_ports, never mentioned at all in the manual or even on apple's website, except for in the developer pages, simply don't allow you to use them outside the mac side.

    with ahci.sh, you can mod the master boot record of bootcamp or install a grub bootloader, but all this does it make the ahci drives available upon boot up to the os... you can't boot before that. You understand?


    Btw, the 2008 mac pros are ALL EFI64.. Anything that comes out later on will work on the 2008's and if its ATI, it will work on 2006,2007 mac pros as well.. but, nvidia won't on those models.



     
  9. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #9
    Roman, how much are you going to rant about ODD ports not being able to boot Non-OSX operative systems? For gods sake, there are 4 drive bays to run those off. Not an issue.


    Gomff: Right now we are able to run display off the 5870, but no QE/CI so no 3D or good performance. It will be fixed soon and provide full performance, hackintoshers already have this.

    but yes I have a EFI card also.
     
  10. TheLOGICalone thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Wow thanks for all of the responses. As of right now I'm still kinda torn; I can get a: 2008 3.0 8 core for 2k, 2009 2.26 8 core refurb for $2900, or a 2009 2.26 8 core new from apple for 3300. As I said, I'm planning to buy a sandy bridge in 2012 so it only needs to last until then, but I'd really like the top of the line. If I get 2008 I get some limitations and significantly lower resale value but save around 1k that I could use to buy other important studio stuff now, if I go new apple I pay extra but if they update in next 2 weeks I'm good, if I get refurb I get a good price on a 2009 but if they update soon I'll be pissed...I just can't bring myself to pull the dag trigger.
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #11
    It was important to him, and could be a valid issue for others (i.e. run RAID in the HDD bays, and non OS X boot disk/s on the ODD_SATA port/s). The idea being to reduce or eliminate the need for external disks.
     
  12. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Sorry Cindori,

    But not everyone knows about this major limitation.. i didn't at first when I owned my 2008 until I met Nanofrog.

     
  13. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thanks Nano.

    I guess Cindori doesn't like me it seems :)


     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #14
    For some, it's not an issue, and seeing it mentioned repetitively might lend to them thinking they're proverbially being beaten over the head with it.

    But the issue not only exists, but will be a valid one for some people. Just not all.

    It's all a matter of perspective/POV, depending on what an individual's usage is.
     
  15. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    As for the vt-x problem?

    Yeah, you were right.. I guess Apple won't provide the fix for this, but somehow there has to be a way to re-write the firmware on the 2009(under vt-x) to enable it to work on the 2008's. I don't know why Apple isn't going to provide vt-x to work on cold boots, as firmware 1.3 did NOT address and or fix the problem.

    I can truly say that Apple really doesn't care anymore.


     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #16
    The firmware between the '08 and '09 systems are quite different.

    As per Apple providing a fix, it's likely to do with available development resources are too stretched, and seen as a waste of time and money. They'd have to have a sufficient number of complaints to draw attention to it, as finally happened with the audio bug in the 2009 systems.

    But I've no idea what the "magic number" is, or if there's enough users doing VM work to make that number (whatever it is). :(
     
  17. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    hmm..

    I guess its not that bad.. I mean once one is booted into OS X, then the vt-x is restored upon boot up into windows, so I would imagine though it is a pain in the butt, but its better than nothing.. but it was part of the proposed plan of mac pro 3,1 firmware 1.3 and they should fix it.. but i see your point.


     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #18
    Technically speaking, there's a way around the VT-X issue in the '08 systems, but as you put it, it's a pain... Apple should have done a better job here IMO, and not "skip out" on fixing it, no matter the number of complaint's they did or didn't receive, as they do seem to be aware of it.
     
  19. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #19
    no, you always have wierd opinions. Like recommending me to get another 5870 after I just explained that a single one ran my game at full settings. And a second one would make the speed of them both go down to 8x PCIE 1.1, bottlenecking.
     
  20. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    wait a second...

    I thought you had a 2008 mac pro which has two 2.0 pcie slots.. but it seems you have a 2006-2007 - my apologies.. as for weird opinions? I meant to say 4870, not the 5870 unless you can use netkas's injector to get two 5870's to work..

    Now I remember the 2006-2007 mac pro has all its pcie slots as 1.1 - sorry, you were right.. two would max out the bus and make the speed go down.. if you had the 2008 or 2009, i guess that would be a different story.

    I don't mean to suggest weird ideas, just i want to help as I have been tinkering with computer related hardware, both pc and mac since the 80's.. Granted, we are far apart in age.. I am 28 and you are 20 or so?


     
  21. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #21
    as long are you are mistaken, you are forgiven, it's just that I hate to read things that are wrong :rolleyes:
    turned 19 last week :)
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #22
    There's better ways of pointing that out though as to keep things friendly. ;)
     

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