Is a 4,1 worth sinking more money into at this point?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nano, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. nano macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    #1
    I've had a 4,1 for several years now, 24Gs RAM, stock video card. It runs well.

    I'm thinking about adding a PCIe SSD (or two) for improved speed and quieter running, but thought I'd check in with the forum first.

    Do you think a 4,1 is likely to last another five years or so, and be able to keep up with changes in software etc?

    I'm open to changing its firmware to 5,1 btw, just haven't felt ready to tackle that yet.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #2
    Yes.

    But do update the firmware. It's easy.

    And an updated graphics card will make it feel faster as well.

    Ultimately it depends on what you do with it.
     
  3. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    Best upgrades for my Mac Pro 4,1 > 5,1 were adding a PCI-SSD and upgrading the processor to a 6 core@3,33 Ghz.
    One of them runs a nVidia Geforce 980 which is less handy because I don't have a bootscreen and need to install a webdriver using screensharing.
    But i definitely going to use these Macs as long as possible.
    For PCI SSD a cheap option is an OWC Accelsior S SATA 6 Gb/s PCI-card where you mount a Samsung EVO 500 GB SSD. If you want better speed consider
    https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Dig...1509742401&sr=8-1&keywords=kingston+pci-e+ssd
     
  4. nano thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    #4
    Thanks for your reply.

    I record multi-track audio with Logic Pro, and make web videos with Final Cut Pro.

    What's a good bang-for-the-buck graphics card update?

    And is there a clear 4,1-->5,1 someone might recommend?
     
  5. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    Once you flash the firmware, the 6-core 3.33GHz Xeons should be pretty cheap by now. Not a terribly hard install on a single processor 4,1 board. What stock CPU do you have?

    If you're running FCP and Logic you may want to stick to ATI graphics cards. I run Nvidia these days so I'm not as up on the pros and cons of ATI's current options, but there are plenty of other threads to check out.

    A PCIe SATA6 carrier card is about $60, pretty good investment to get all the speed out of a SATA6 SSD.

    Keep it cheap and you should get a couple of more years out of your machine. The 4,1 is technically not supported by High Sierra, though the firmware update fixes that.
     
  6. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
  7. StuAff macrumors member

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #7
    ^What they said. Got my 4,1 on eBay UK and apart from the graphics card (stock 5770) it was pretty maxed out already (flashed to 5,1, 3.33 hex, 32GB RAM, Accelsior S with 240GB SSD as startup disc). I Just put a RX 580 plus GT 120 for boot screens in, and it'll be good for a few more years. Apple support for the 5,1 should run for a couple of years more.
     
  8. nano thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Mac Hammer Fan, Nov 3, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017

    Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #9
    StuAff, are you running High Sierra or Sierra?
    If you are running HS I am just curious about your Benchmarks with Geekbench Open CL and Cinebench Open CL.
    And which RX 580 do you use? There are so many different cards with different pricies.

    --- Post Merged, Nov 3, 2017 ---
    I have one of these from the first generation and for the price, the Kingston I mentioned is faster and cheaper. However it's a https://eshop.macsales.com/tech_center/index.cfm?page=/manuals/item/owcaccelsior.html

    Nano, if you want to run Sierra, flash your Mac to 5,1.
    The firmware update is available on these forums.
     
  10. StuAff, Nov 3, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017

    StuAff macrumors member

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #10
    SSD is not 'built in', you can buy preconfigured ones from OWC with their drives, or a bare card & then fit a 2.5 inch drive of your choice.
    High Sierra, just upgraded to 10.13.1. Aorus 8GB card (this one, not the XTR). Did run Geekbench, can't remember the figure but it was on a par with results others have posted. I'll rerun it some time. EDIT: 138197 in Geekbench. Cinebench: 63.29 FPS. Unigine Heaven brings the system down if I try to run benchmark in HS (no issues in Windows, and it runs considerably faster too), but even on the Mac version high-res flythroughs are smooth.
     
  11. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #11
    Although upgrading a dual CPU 4,1 is not as simple as a single CPU 4,1 (or any 5,1), you can get pretty close to doubling your Mac's horsepower by upgrading to a pair of Xeon X5680's for a cost of about $150, plus the $100-150 cost of CPU de-lidding if you want to have a pro do that for you. The faster CPUs enable Logic to run many more VI instantiations without breaking a sweat. Highly recommended.
     
  12. kohlson, Nov 3, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017

    kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #12
    I updated my 4,1 to 5,1 firmware using the netkas.org instructions. Delightfully straightforward and easy. You download the 5,1 firmware update (from Apple) and the tool for doing it (from Netkas). I have updated to 10.13.1.]
    ttp://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.0.htm

    I put a 480 GB SSD in the other optical drive spot. Now it boots in about 30 seconds. Everything is snappier. I'll move this to a PCIe slot, but this was easy and works well.

    I put a Inatech KT 4004 in a PCIe slot to get USB3 capabilities, and bought 2 USB3 cable extensions - so I don't have to reach around to use these ports. Amazon is out, but it was $29. I have noticed a small problem - I have a OWC Envoy with a SSD inside, and this are not recognized. Not a big deal for me. A Sonnet card is available for $50 or so, and is reportedly "better." But to an SSD in a USB 3.1 case. I get approx 300MB r and w through this.

    Next up: Graphics card (RX5xx), 32 GB memory (used, about $100), and x5680 (about 50-75 for a single CPU). The 4,1 MPs with dual sockets need to be de-lidded (the only model). I've watch a couple of videos and I would probably do it myself. But I have a single CPU, so don't need to.

    I learned *everything* on MR:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-cpu-compatibility-list.1954766/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/usb-3-x-pcie-cards-for-classic-mac-pro.1501482/

    and this: https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/mac-pro.1/

    (There are several threads on Graphics cards ...)

    Ultimately, my goal for this is 4K with FCPX. I should point out that from Geekbench, after all the above upgrades, this won't be more powerful than my 2013 15-MBP. I expect it to get close. But, it will have a better GPU and more memory.
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #13
    If it currently runs "well" today, then yes, I'd say you could get another 4 or 5, especially since you are considering upgrades. An SSD is a good start.

    With the 4,1 to 5,1 flash you could also optionally some day move to Westmere processors with more cores, faster clocks, and faster memory support.

    FCP can benefit massively from newer GPUs and more CPU cores. Not too sure about Logic.
     
  14. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Location:
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    #14
    My opinion on this kind of thing is if it is currently giving you a return and your upgrades will benefit your return then year keep the thing going.

    I would ask, would you get any benefits from other options for your use case.
     
  15. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #15
    A dual 6-core CPU upgrade would be nice, as Logic can take advantage of more cores. When dealing with FCPX, how serious are you into it? If your editing mostly small 1080p projects, you can get a RX 560 that works OOTB, or if you want a 7950, which is older but still works really well. If you are pretty serious into it and you need a good amount of GPU horsepower, than get something like a RX 580.
     
  16. mikas macrumors member

    mikas

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2017
    Location:
    Finland
    #16
    Those are reasonable expectations. I think 1x X5680 will be on par with 2013 MacBook Pro i7 in multicore performance. I have a 4.1->5.1 at 3.33GHz (actually I've got 2).
    I got GB3 at over 14000, and GB4 even a little better. You will need either of the top two 2017 i7 MacBook Pros to beat this in multicore performance. Single core scores are much better with modern i7 processors though.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. murnau macrumors newbie

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #17
    Hi, mine is booting in 5-10 seconds max , same config... I find the 30 secs a way too slow...
     
  18. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #18
    That's not a PCIe SSD, just put a SATA SSD on a PCIe SATA III card.

    IMO, yes, poor value. And OWC SSD is almost the worst choice in general. Some of their SSD don't even support TRIM, SMART, and can't run High Sierra. Simply the worst in compatibility. And AFAIK, none of other "not for Mac" normal SSD has these kind of issues.

    The boot time on cMP highly depends on the hardware spec. e.g. 96GB RAM will cost more then 10s to POST, it's impossible to boot in 5-10s with lots of upgrade. Nothing about the SSD speed. In fact, just POST on a normal cMP already cost 5s. I don't know how can you boot to desktop in that speed (if you are not meaning wake from sleep).
     
  19. murnau macrumors newbie

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #19
    Well, I will need to record a video then.
    My config is 16 GB RAM, 4 HDDs and 1 SSD on SATA 5 port.
    Cold boot - 10 secs until logon screen
     
  20. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #20
    Yes please, show me how to boot in 5 seconds.
     
  21. murnau macrumors newbie

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #21
    Ok, will do.
    Tomorrow. I will attach a screenshot of the config and a the video file.
     
  22. murnau macrumors newbie

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #22
    Capture d’écran 2017-11-04 à 22.25.57.png Hi again, I managed to do it now and you are right ... 19-20 secs to fully boot. I think on my mac pro 2,1 it was faster but I will try it tomorrow. Seemed to me faster though on the 4,1 :))))
    Apologies!

     
  23. mikas macrumors member

    mikas

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2017
    Location:
    Finland
    #23
    Then there is no reason to boot, why boot? I run my computers on all the time. They sleep the nights, at preset and idle times too, but they wake up instantly when needed. That's the way I wish modern workstations/computers would work. And they do, I think. My workstations are not "recent" modern by any means, but that's the way they behave. And I like it.
     
  24. nano thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    #24
    Thanks for all the replies, I'm learning a lot! My FCP usage is pretty light, mostly 1080p music videos under 10 minutes long. Maybe I'll upgrade the GPU and CPUs later--budget is somewhat tight.

    For now I'd like silent (quieter) running and overall snappier response.

    I'd like to boot & run apps from SSD, and ideally record/mix to SSD in Logic, and also edit video in FCP on SSD. My understanding is that it would be safe to simultaneously read and write from the same SSD, that is, run Logic Pro from an SSD while recording to the same SSD. Is that correct, or should I have two separate SSDs for simultaneous read/write?

    So to re-focus my inquiry:

    *what's the best SSD configuration for my needs, ie, do I need two SSDs, or would I be fine with just one?

    *Is PCIe the best place to put the SSD drive(s)? All my HDD bays are full. I could free one or two up, but would rather not.

    *For the configuration you recommend (one/two SSDs, PCIe or elsewhere) do you have any specific product/vendor recommendations?

    Thanks again!
     
  25. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #25
    You've already wasted the five seconds that'd you save just by asking this question ;)

    Seriously - most people go weeks to months between reboots - whether with Windows, Linux or Apple OSX.

    Saving 5 seconds a month is not worth spending 5 seconds on.
     

Share This Page