Just got Mac Pro 2010 for $77

mavericks7913

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Bring it to home was quite challenging but it was worth it.

I cleaned all parts and it was like a new Mac Pro. Even the spec was very standard, Im really satisfy with the performance.

BUT, I still need to upgrade PCIE SSD, USB 3.0, GPU, RAM, and CPU(Maybe)

I start downloading some apps especially OS X El Capitan.

We'll see how the performance increase after I upgrade all parts.

Question: I have HD 6870 from previous PC and Im thinking to replace Mac Pro's graphic card. Do I need AMD driver to update before I replace it?
 
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BillyBobBongo

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Ok, let me try replace it after I download El Capitan. What about RX 480 or 470?
I'd stay away from those for now. It looks like there will be in built support for these in macOS Sierra, but at the moment it requires some steps to get it going. I think once we see the new computers from Apple we'll have more of an idea if this is a viable option for GPU upgrades in the future. I think we've only got a few more weeks to wait on this one.

Should the RX 470 and Rx 480 not be a viable solution, two great cards that are widely used are the GTX 680 and the HD 7950. Both are easy to flash yourself and can be found for a reasonable price of the second hand marketplace.

If I was you the first investment I would make would be to drop an SSD in to that machine, not necessarily a PCIE SSD. You can pick up 2.5 inch drives these days for very little. You will see a noticeable difference between a SSD and the old fashioned HDD. You'll have to get an adapter to get the SSD in there, OWC have one that is commonly used.

Oh...and congratulations on getting an absolute bargain!
 

h9826790

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BUT, I still need to upgrade PCIE SSD, USB 3.0, GPU, RAM, and CPU(Maybe)

I start downloading some apps especially OS X El Capitan.

We'll see how the performance increase after I upgrade all parts.

Question: I have HD 6870 from previous PC and Im thinking to replace Mac Pro's graphic card. Do I need AMD driver to update before I replace it?
Suggestions

PCIe SSD -> SM951
USB 3.0 -> KT4004
GPU -> For OpenCL stuff, HD7950 (or R9 280x), otherwise GTX680
RAM -> cheap server DDR3 1333MHz ECC RAM
CPU -> X5677 for dual processor model and you don't need more then 8 cores. Otherwise X5680. For single processor model, W3680 also a good choice. The absolute best you can go is the X5690 in any case.

Do not go for the 470 / 480 at this moment, initial tests show that these may not totally trouble free (even after kext edit).
 

mavericks7913

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Suggestions

PCIe SSD -> SM951
USB 3.0 -> KT4004
GPU -> For OpenCL stuff, HD7950 (or R9 280x), otherwise GTX680
RAM -> cheap server DDR3 1333MHz ECC RAM
CPU -> X5677 for dual processor model and you don't need more then 8 cores. Otherwise X5680. For single processor model, W3680 also a good choice. The absolute best you can go is the X5690 in any case.

Do not go for the 470 / 480 at this moment, initial tests show that these may not totally trouble free (even after kext edit).
PCIE SSD: Cant get that cause it's too expansive to me. Gonna get Kingston Hyper X predator
GPU: I guess I should wait then. I tried both 5870 and 6870 and they work perfectly. I don't need to replace this for a while.
RAM: http://www.ebay.com/itm/162135657373?euid=f7742c5dabe34fe5824add36df2ab8a6&bu=44026416347&cp=1&sojTags=bu=bu
CPU: Going for X5677 http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-3-46GHz-Quad-X5677-XEON-8-Core-Processor-Upgrade-DELL-Precision-T5500-T7500/322256138631?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=38530&meid=395d24a1e3ab498b946a5687235d4436&pid=100033&rk=1&rkt=8&sd=322256138631
[doublepost=1475335592][/doublepost]
I run a 6870 in a 5.1 without any issues. No need for a driver. Sierra and earlier Systems. Flashed tho...
It seems that Mac computer is not that good for gaming cause I used that graphic card on PC since 2011 and it shows very different graphic performance with texture and other visual things.
[doublepost=1475335677][/doublepost]
I'd stay away from those for now. It looks like there will be in built support for these in macOS Sierra, but at the moment it requires some steps to get it going. I think once we see the new computers from Apple we'll have more of an idea if this is a viable option for GPU upgrades in the future. I think we've only got a few more weeks to wait on this one.

Should the RX 470 and Rx 480 not be a viable solution, two great cards that are widely used are the GTX 680 and the HD 7950. Both are easy to flash yourself and can be found for a reasonable price of the second hand marketplace.

If I was you the first investment I would make would be to drop an SSD in to that machine, not necessarily a PCIE SSD. You can pick up 2.5 inch drives these days for very little. You will see a noticeable difference between a SSD and the old fashioned HDD. You'll have to get an adapter to get the SSD in there, OWC have one that is commonly used.

Oh...and congratulations on getting an absolute bargain!
Well I would still go for PCIE M.2 SSD for speed. Sata base SSD is quite slow to me since Im using Macbook pro.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
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PCIE SSD: Cant get that cause it's too expansive to me. Gonna get Kingston Hyper X predator
GPU: I guess I should wait then. I tried both 5870 and 6870 and they work perfectly. I don't need to replace this for a while.
RAM: http://www.ebay.com/itm/162135657373?euid=f7742c5dabe34fe5824add36df2ab8a6&bu=44026416347&cp=1&sojTags=bu=bu
CPU: Going for X5677 http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-3-46GHz-Quad-X5677-XEON-8-Core-Processor-Upgrade-DELL-Precision-T5500-T7500/322256138631?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=38530&meid=395d24a1e3ab498b946a5687235d4436&pid=100033&rk=1&rkt=8&sd=322256138631
[doublepost=1475335592][/doublepost]

It seems that Mac computer is not that good for gaming cause I used that graphic card on PC since 2011 and it shows very different graphic performance with texture and other visual things.
[doublepost=1475335677][/doublepost]

Well I would still go for PCIE M.2 SSD for speed. Sata base SSD is quite slow to me since Im using Macbook pro.
A pair of X5677 should be a bit cheaper. I will at least aim for <$140.
 

BillyBobBongo

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Well I would still go for PCIE M.2 SSD for speed. Sata base SSD is quite slow to me since Im using Macbook pro.
If I'm not mistaken the OP is a young adult who purchased this Mac Pro from their school, hence the cheap price. Whilst a PCIE SSD would be faster than a SATA SSD, it would cost them more money for that particular upgrade and they would 'essentially' get less for their money. That extra money could be put towards upgrading the RAM in the system.

I was approaching this with a 'most bang for their buck' way of thinking.
 

kennyisalive

macrumors regular
Feb 29, 2016
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Great buy. In my personal experience, Mavericks is probably the best OS to run the 2010 Mac Pro without any issues. Once you install an SSD and RAM from MacSales, your Mac Pro will be flying in no time.

Make sure you install AT LEAST 16gb of RAM. I remember getting my Mac Pro with 8gb and it was slow as hell. Upgraded and it began flying.
 

mavericks7913

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If I'm not mistaken the OP is a young adult who purchased this Mac Pro from their school, hence the cheap price. Whilst a PCIE SSD would be faster than a SATA SSD, it would cost them more money for that particular upgrade and they would 'essentially' get less for their money. That extra money could be put towards upgrading the RAM in the system.

I was approaching this with a 'most bang for their buck' way of thinking.
SSD with PCIE adapter VS PCIE M.2 SSD can not be even compared. The speed for read and write for M.2 is twice faster than SATA SSD. Also, both M.2 and SATA 250gb cost same anyway.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
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SSD with PCIE adapter VS PCIE M.2 SSD can not be even compared. The speed for read and write for M.2 is twice faster than SATA SSD. Also, both M.2 and SATA 250gb cost same anyway.
Only true when you doing something really can utilise high sequential speed. For OS operation or loading apps. PCIe SSD won't do anything significantly better than SATA SSD (even with just the native SATA 2 port).

If you machine can boot in 20 second with the SATA SSD. Guess what? It can also only boot more or less in 20 seconds with the PCIe SSD.

The PCIe HyperX Predator can't even beat the Plextor M6 SATA SSD in the boot test. However, obviously all SSD require more or less the same time to boot.
BootRacer-1.jpg


If PS can finish loading in 3 seconds with SATA SSD. PCIe SSD cannot make it finish loading in 2 seconds.

Because the bottleneck is not at the SATA 2 bandwidth, but the SSD's random read performance. Random read speed can't even saturate a SATA 2 connection. Give the SSD a PCIe SATA 3 card, or 4x PCIe connection won't improve anything at all.

CDM-4k-1.jpg


As you can see, the HyperX Predator 240GB M.2's random read speed only around 44MB/s. No where near the SATA 2 bandwidth limit. Therefore, M.2 or PCIe connection won't improve anything in the random read performance.

You may argue that the PCIe SSD still better than the SATA SSD a bit, however, not always true.
ASSD-4k.jpg

In the above test, HyperX SATA SSD win the 4K read test, it's about 10% faster than the M.2

Also, please be remind that all these are synthetic benchmark. In real world, the difference should be even smaller because system cache will be enabled.

I understand that you simply compare that 1500MB/s (PCIe SSD sequential max on the cMP) and the 250MB/s (SATA 2 connection max sequential speed) to decide M.2 or PCIe SSD is the way to go. However, it really depends on your workflow. If I remember correctly, you mainly use this Mac for photos. That means.... lots of small files. So, I am quite confident that you won't benefit much by using a "faster" SSD.

If you want a M.2 / PCIe SSD, and you have the budget, go for it. However, don't expect it will give you any magic. They are just a tool, you have to use them correctly to release their true power. Using them in a wrong way is just wasting money.

If the M.2 cost the same as the other SATA SSD, then of course it make sense to buy the better SSD. However, there are plenty of low cost SATA SSD out there. If you ignore all of them simply because you believe that PCIe / M.2 SSD is way faster in normal daily ops, then you are on the wrong track.
 
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mavericks7913

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Only true when you doing something really can utilise high sequential speed. For OS operation or loading apps. PCIe SSD won't do anything significantly better than SATA SSD (even with just the native SATA 2 port).

If you machine can boot in 20 second with the SATA SSD. Guess what? It can also only boot more or less in 20 seconds with the PCIe SSD.

The PCIe HyperX Predator can't even beat the Plextor M6 SATA SSD in the boot test. However, obviously all SSD require more or less the same time to boot. View attachment 661905

If PS can finish loading in 3 seconds with SATA SSD. PCIe SSD cannot make it finish loading in 2 seconds.

Because the bottleneck is not at the SATA 2 bandwidth, but the SSD's random read performance. Random read speed can't even saturate a SATA 2 connection. Give the SSD a PCIe SATA 3 card, or 4x PCIe connection won't improve anything at all.

View attachment 661903

As you can see, the HyperX Predator 240GB M.2's random read speed only around 44MB/s. No where near the SATA 2 bandwidth limit. Therefore, M.2 or PCIe connection won't improve anything in the random read performance.

You may argue that the PCIe SSD still better than the SATA SSD a bit, however, not always true.
View attachment 661910
In the above test, HyperX SATA SSD win the 4K read test, it's about 10% faster than the M.2

Also, please be remind that all these are synthetic benchmark. In real world, the difference should be even smaller because system cache will be enabled.

I understand that you simply compare that 1500MB/s (PCIe SSD sequential max on the cMP) and the 250MB/s (SATA 2 connection max sequential speed) to decide M.2 or PCIe SSD is the way to go. However, it really depends on your workflow. If I remember correctly, you mainly use this Mac for photos. That means.... lots of small files. So, I am quite confident that you won't benefit much by using a "faster" SSD.

If you want a M.2 / PCIe SSD, and you have the budget, go for it. However, don't expect it will give you any magic. They are just a tool, you have to use them correctly to release their true power. Using them in a wrong way is just wasting money.

If the M.2 cost the same as the other SATA SSD, then of course it make sense to buy the better SSD. However, there are plenty of low cost SATA SSD out there. If you ignore all of them simply because you believe that PCIe / M.2 SSD is way faster in normal daily ops, then you are on the wrong track.
I don't think so. I went to computer store located in NY to try both M.2 and SATA base SSD and M.2 performed way better than SATA SSD. The computer that they used was Mac Pro 2012.
 

h9826790

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Apr 3, 2014
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I don't think so. I went to computer store located in NY to try both M.2 and SATA base SSD and M.2 performed way better than SATA SSD. The computer that they used was Mac Pro 2012.
How to "try"? You need to have a same machine as control, and only change the SSD to compare the difference.
 

mavericks7913

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May I know how they do it? Via benchmark?

did they show you the random read / write speed difference?
No they just show the performance like booting, transferring files (in and out), program opening speed, and etc. I saw the great difference still between M.2 SSD and SATA SSD.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,766
5,577
Hong Kong
No they just show the performance like booting, transferring files (in and out), program opening speed, and etc. I saw the great difference still between M.2 SSD and SATA SSD.
M.2 SSD sure is better for transferring large files.

Booting, sorry, it's been proved many times that the difference is very minor. The big difference you saw in the store most likely was because boot from difference machines, but not the effect of different SSD.
900x900px-LL-1fb52e74_Screenshot_1.png


Program opening speed? May be half second difference, should not be too significant. Anyway, I just make a short screen recording from my own 4,1 (with a 840 Evo plugged into lower optical bay SATA 2 port as the boot drive). The apps loading may not be lightning fast. However, I doubt if the M.2 can shows any great difference. (P.S. Time Machine backup in progress)
 
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mavericks7913

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M.2 SSD sure is better for transferring large files.

Booting, sorry, it's been proved many times that the difference is very minor. The big difference you saw in the store most likely was because boot from difference machines, but not the effect of different SSD.
View attachment 661951

Program opening speed? May be half sends difference, should not be too significant. Anyway, I just make a short screen recording from my own 4,1 (with a 840 Evo plugged into lower optical bay SATA 2 port as the boot drive). The apps loading may not be lightning fast. However, I doubt if the M.2 can shows any great difference. (P.S. Time Machine backup in progress)
I don't want any data tests at all. Im still gonna get M.2 cause it has much faster speed and I already saw results directly from the store.