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

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

  1. mikas macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2017
    Kingston HyperX Predator. If I was on a old Mac Pro (and I am), I would buy one as long as they exist.

    edit. And I agree with AidenShaw
  2. devon807 macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2014
    If it's within your budget, I would go for the Kingston HyperX Predator. This is your fastest bet but is expensive for the amount of storage. I would recommend the SM951 AHCI but it is currently hard to find and overpriced.
  3. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    Strangely enough, I just bought a 4,1 a few months ago. I learned of all the possibilities still available on this model, and these days they are really cheap (for a Mac that you can actually still work on anyway). I put in an SSD (SATA) from the start, flashed it to 5,1, then upgraded to Sierra (and now High Sierra), added a non-EFI Radeon 7870, then upgraded to a 6 core X5670. I do photo editing and video encoding mostly, and while I know new stuff out there today is faster/better, the limited investment I've put into it has been more than satisfactory for me. I have about $450 invested in this machine and couldn't be happier with it, plus I'm recycling a perfectly good machine.

    I think you might as well look into what you can do to upgrade what you have and see what that will get you in terms of extra performance. Figure out how much that will cost, and then make a decision when compared to what you might upgrade to. By going to 6C/12T CPUs, you'll gain another 4C/8T net, and you'll also get a nice clock speed boost. You can also add faster RAM (1333) with that upgrade. Throw in a modern GPU, and you'll also see massive compute gains (OpenCL) under the right circumstances.
  4. mindcomputing macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2013
    My wife uses her Mac Pro 4,1 EightCore 2.26GHz Machine Daily since july 2009 purchased for over 2.800 EUR incl. TAX
    it was stock until she began having issues with soft- and hardware related problems

    6GB RAM was never enought
    harddrive was slow
    6GB (1*6GB) to 24GB (6*4GB)
    then two WD3000HLHX quite expensive but fast spinning high performance HDD with 300GB each into a softraid 0 total space 600GB as Bootdrive and plan 1TB drive as Timemachine
    SSD was not a option at the time it was quite to expensive

    loading and writing big data files such as projects in indesign or photoshop was a pain for my wife who is a art director herself

    the Tempo SSD Pro and two 512GB ssd drives was a tremendous amount of money that sunk into the MacPro but it was worth it

    for now everything is fine
    • 2x XEON X5670 CPU *6x 2,93GHz
    • 64GB RAM 8*8GB
    • Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro
    • Crucial CT512MX100SSD1
    • Crucial CT512MX100SSD1
    • OWC 2.5 Bracket Mac Pro
    • AMD Radeon R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 BIOS Modded
    • Apple Wifi BCM94360CD
    • Apple Wifi Antennas
    • 2TB HDD Time Machine WDBLACK
    • 2TB HDD Arbeitsplatte WDBLACK

    I can think of ditching both 2TB HDD drive and opt for SSD only since there 2TB SSDs available for a reasonable price
    but I guess replacing one 2TB with a >10TB drive and later maybe a SSD additinally makes more sence
    and YES we have exterior backups and NAS aswell
    no worries
  5. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502a

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Jul 13, 2004
    These Mac Pro's are wonderful machines. I have two of them, flashed to 5,1 and upgraded with a 6 core @ 3,33 Ghz, better graphics and SSDs. The big advantage is that they are so upgradeable, unlike the later trashcan that I never liked. I hope to use them at least another three years. :cool:
  6. Bollockser macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2014
    The cMP is rapidly plummeting in value. I am selling mine quick before I take a big loss on it.

    The main problem for me is single-core performance, even if you upgrade them to 3.46GHz 12-core. That and even with SSD they are too loud for a recording environment and consume way too much energy.
  7. nano thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    This is one of the reasons I want to change my boot/record drive(s) to SSD. My 4,1 is not terribly loud w/HDDs and I'm hopeful it would be whisper-quiet w/SSD...

    Also: thanks again for continued replies. The HyperX Predator seems like more drive than I need. Can someone recommend a mac-friendly PCIe SSD that's cheaper?

    And, if someone has the knowledge, could they please answer my question about the stability of simultaneous read/write on the same SSD, specifically recording multitrack audio while running Logic from the same drive?

    Thanks again!
  8. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502a

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Jul 13, 2004
  9. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    As far as SSD, I’ve had good luck using the Samsung 840(now 850) EVO.

    I’m not sure how you have your Boot drive setup. Mine has Logic and some other DAWs and my 3rd party hosts like Kontakt and my electronic synths and older libraries that don’t allow for seperate sample storage.

    I’ve never read any reports of people having issues using a SSD for their DAW and audio recording but I imagine the ones that are doing that are more on the lower end of usage. If your just using Logic and it’s instruments and not too large of track counts or effects then it should work ok. Users who push their computers a bit more, working with hungry sample libraries/synths or large audio track counts and several effects(or both) at a minimum have seperate drives, wether SSD(preferable) or HDD for their boot drive, samples drive, and audio(recording)drive and backup drives for all these, using internal or external drives.

    If all your drive bays are already being used, if you’re not using the optical drive, you can buy an 5.25 optical bay drive mount from OWC that allows you to add a 3.5 and a 2.5 Drive (what I have) or two 2.5 drives without having to remove the optical drive. You just have to unplug the optical drive’s power cable and use it for the rack. These drives will be recognized as internal drive unlike a PCIe slot which will be external. For audio work, from what I’ve read, you’re not going to see much difference in performance between a drive bay SSD and a PCIe slot SSD. I have two SSDs on a Sonnet Tempo PCIe 2 card(boot drive and samples), just beacause it allowes me to have eight drives internally in my Mac.

    Here’s that OWC Mount.
  10. nano thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I typically record live instruments, 8 mics max at 48/24 w/o fx.

    I'm basically looking for quieter and snappier performance overall, and especially for Logic and FCP.

    I'm open to reconfiguring my drive setup, I'm not attached to it. Up to now I've used separate drives for programs, samples, recording, and backup. I'm happy to keep samples and backup on HDD since they'd only have to spin up a small percentage of my work time. I'd like to have programs and recording/editing on SSD for better speed and quietness. My understanding is/was that running a drive off PCIe is much faster than running it in a SATA bay (optical).

    Budget is tight right now, so if I can accomplish my goals using one SSD then I'd rather do that. If I need two SSDs then I could probably swing that as well.

    Y'all are being very generous with your help, thanks again.
  11. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    No need for an SSD mount in the optical bay... just move the optical drive to the lower bay and rest your SSDs on top.

    My 4,1 hex continues to be a studio workhorse, running AMD RX460 pushing a 4k monitor. I have 13 Mic ins available and the Mac has no trouble recording all 13 simultaneously to Digital Performer while running multiple VIs and convolution reverbs and other FX.

    Although I run separate SSDs for boot, VI samples and project data, many successfully run everything from a single SATA2 or SATA3 connected SSD. Recording eight tracks is a piece of cake.
  12. FilthyMcNasty macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2014
    Interesting. Mine is the 3,1, but if I unmount all spinners it's whisper quiet.

    The fans kick in sometimes when playing Skylines Cities, but I've not noticed it with Studio One.
  13. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    I run my fans a little faster than stock, because the 4,1>5,1 is housed in my studio's conditioned machine closet; moving air is more critical than noise in this situation. Efficient RX460 means less heat is generated.
  14. lozion macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2006
    Montreal, Canada
    Hi, I run a 32 I/O Pro Tools setup on my 4,1 -> 5,1 using a 256G SM951 on a PCIe card split with 2 partitions. One for boot (superfast) and one for “live sessions”. Works like a charm. Full 32 tracks running at the same time with plugs. I do backup to spin drives for safety and archiving. Get at least 16g of ram..
  15. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    In your case you’re probably not using large sample libraries with scads of small audio files so pulling your samples off a HDD should be fine. Having your system(boot)and applications on a SSD will make the most difference, at least for booting up and starting up Logic. Recording 8 tracks to a 7200rpm HHD shouldn’t tax it much at all. You might save a few seconds doing saves with an SSD but it won’t be like night and day and probably not that much more heat involved. Someone who is building large track count projects would benefit much more from a SSD as far as work flow.

    You’re also working with FCP so maybe that’s where using a PCIe connected SSD will be of more value. Large graphic files seem to be where a PCIe SSD and a PCIe SSD raid have a big advantage over a SATA HDD. That’s at least what I recall.

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