If you where to upgrade a 4.1 2.93 Quadcore Mac Pro what would you do?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Remy9, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Remy9 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2015
    Brooklyn New York
    Currently: MacPro 4.1 2.93 Quad Core Xeon with 24 gb memory
    AATI Radeon 5870 Samsung SSD as a start up disc.

    Budget $1600.00

    The mac has been rock solid since I got it in 2009.

    I work in the current versions of Photoshop/Illustrator/Indesign CC 2015 (which are all beginning to feel pokey).

    I'm toying with the idea of upgrading the processor/ram through one of the tray upgrades on either Ebay or OWC. I've read enough Mac upgrade stories to be completely confused as to which processor would actually give me a worthwhile boost in speed in the apps listed.

    Any processor recommendations would be very welcome.

  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I don't think those applications will benefit much from a faster GPU or going dual CPU, because there are only a small handful of functions in those applications that benefit from GPU acceleration and a lot of cores.

    I think your best bang for the buck would be the fastest hexacore you can get (X5690 or W3690), more memory, and SSDs not just for startup, but also for storage and scratch volumes.

    In a Mac Pro, the X5690 is limited to 64GB of RAM and the W3690 is limited to 56GB of RAM. Otherwise they are the same speed and number of cores. Because you have a 4,1 you would have to use the 4,1 to 5,1 flash to update the firmware to a 5,1 before installing the new CPUs.

    If you happen to use a lot of GPU accelerated functions, then an upgrade to the GPU would be warranted. You might pop in an Nvidia GTX680 or AMD R9 280X which can both be flashed with Mac EFI and work with native (included) drivers.
  3. theunderseaclub macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2008
    I also had a 4.1 2.93ghz Quad Core, I upgraded to 5.1, and then put in a 6-core 3.33ghz processor, and a GTX 680 GPU, and 32gb of ram, around 3 years ago.

    I agree with mango. With those programs you use (I also use Photoshop extensively), I think the best upgrade would be a much bigger SSD so all your files is on the SSD as well. With that budget, you can looking into PCIE SSDs, although that maybe overkill.

    I used to run a 128gb boot drive, and a HD home folder (where all my Photoshop files are). And last week, I upgraded to a 1tb samsung evo 850 SSD, and an Apricorn Velocity DUO x2 SSD card. And everything is snappier, files launch quicker, saves quicker, etc.

    1. Bigger SSD so all files sit on the boot drive (no need to split boot drive and home folder).

    2. More Ram

    3. New graphics card, the gtx 680 is cheap now, and the performance is good. If you get the PC version, you can flash it with a windows computer to give you the mac boot screen (pc cards in the Mac Pro won't give you boot screen).

    4. If you really want, upgrade to a 6-core CPU (3.33ghz like mine is good), it's just a cool quick project to do, and now it's quite cheap to do.
  4. Remy9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2015
    Brooklyn New York
    Thank you. That's exactly the kind of reply I was hoping for!

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