Just purchased my first mac, mac pro (2009), what to do next?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Nutritivo, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Nutritivo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Buenos Aires
    #1
    I there.

    Sorry for my rusty english, I learned it reading "users manuals" and trolling in youtube comments ;) I'm not new to apple, but this is my very first owned mac ever, and was a compulsive purchase. Last friday, a friend offer me a early 2009 mac pro, 2 x 2.26 quad core xeon, 16 gb, with a radeon hd 4870, all of that in pristine condition (about 3 years in a box in his house) for about 1000 us$. A bargain in this country where new mac cost about 250% the price displayed in apple.com. Imac I7 3.5, 16 gb, gtx 780, 1tb (about a wooping 7000 us$) :eek:

    My plan is update this shiny beauty with a pair of newer xeons, maybe transplant my gtx 570 from my i7 pc. I want to run Autodesk Smoke. Now I'm subscribed to the adobe cc, and want to maintain that. My budget is limited because I need to pay the software subscriptions, but the worst thing is try to import something to this country, its a pain worst than toothache, and nobody can save yo to pay about a 50% in taxes, and hours in the customs office.

    My questions are, what is better to upgrade first? If I fit the machine with an SSD and my old gtx 570? Multicore power of this machine surpasses my i7 2600k, but in one core task sucks badly. In the other hand, smoke and adobe after effects rely a lot in cuda and open cl. Or may be I can purchase a couple of refurbished six core xeon first and maintain my actual 1033 memory? Is worth upgrade 16 gigs of 1033 to 1333 with the new processor?

    Thank you in advance. :)
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #2
    Welcome to the site. There's lots and lots you can do with that machine. You have already mentioned two. A upgrade, CPU Upgrade, and your idea of moving your GTX 570. There is also a firmware upgrade, PCIe cards (USB 3.0 and SSD carrier) SSD. My advice to you is to monitor some recent threads in this forum to get some ideas of what works and what doesn't. But, I think you already have a pretty good idea.

    Again Welcome, and Good Luck:p

    Lou
     
  3. scottrichardson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #3
    The 2009 Mac Pro is probably one of the best machines you could have chosen. Fully upgradeable to be identical to, or better than the 2012 updated classic Mac Pros.

    You can swap out the CPUs to faster ones, upgrade the RAM speed from 1066Mhz to 1333MHz if your chosen CPU supports it, add in SATA III PCIe card for much faster transfer rates and you can install most PC graphics cards for extreme gaming/GPU performance.

    See my signature for my 2009 model's specs, as an example.
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    It depends on what you need. However, a SSD surely will make your Mac Pro much more responsive.

    The CPU upgrade is not easy at all in a dual CPU Mac Pro 4,1. Make sure you read through all the relevant thread before you make the decision. However, if you plan to do that, it can improve your machine's multi core processing power by more than 100% (single core performance more than 50%)!

    16G RAM is OK for normal use. As long as the memory pressure is green (I assume that you run OSX 10.9.4), there is no rush to get more RAM. Also, in my own experience, you won't notice the difference of 1333 and 1066 in daily operation.
     
  5. sebseb macrumors 6502

    sebseb

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    #5
    You should be able to use the 570, it needs 2 6Pin power cable! You will not get boot screen though, you will see a black screen until Mac OS is loaded!
     
  6. leon771 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    1) Install SSD.

    2) upgrade CPUs to X5570 (quad core 2.93ghz). These are very cheap at the moment and represent good bang for buck.

    3) I'd not bother with 1333mhz RAM. You'll not notice the difference compared to 1066mhz.

    4) Inatek 4 port USB3 card.

    5) I'd stick with the Radeon 4870 and save up for an Nvidia 770 or 780GTX.
     
  7. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #7
    1. I'd install it (A Samsung Evo) with an Apricorn Solo x2 PCIe card.

    2. Really depends on how much RAM is currently in the machine. If it's a small amount, I would decently go with 1333 MHz RAM.

    Lou
     
  8. Nutritivo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Buenos Aires
    #8
    Thank you guys for your advice. I'll try first upgrading to an ssd for the system disk and another bigger for my video files. The apricorn pcie adaptor looks like a good idea bandwidth wise. Later I'll upgrade to a couple of x5570 and transplant the gtx 570 from my pc. :cool:

    I'happy with my :apple:, and you guys are an awesome comunity. Thanks again!
     
  9. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #9
    X5680's are running about $800/pair on Ebay now. I'd go there, or with X5690's, if upgrading the CPUs. Note that you must flash the EFI to 2010 before doing the CPU swap.
     
  10. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #10
    I'm running W5590s in my 2010, because I don't believe the applications I use would benefit from 12 cores.

    Lou
     
  11. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #11
    Good point... the audio apps I run definitely DO, so my perspective may be different than the OP's.
     
  12. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #12
    Of course the question nobody asked when giving the advice, is what you plan to use it for. That will have a bearing on the most important upgrades for you.
     
  13. Nutritivo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Location:
    Buenos Aires
    #13
    I´m a creative cloud user, mostly for premiere, after effects, and photoshop. Also I use Cinema 4D. My plan is stick to this software and also add Autodesk Smoke because fits my workflow very well.

    Two things are the real reasons to migrate to mac... Smoke, and prores suport. So I need a future-proof machine and capable of someday run 4k video projects. :rolleyes:
     
  14. jpine macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #14
    I'm in a similar situation here. A lot has been said in this thread about upgrading the 4,1 to a 5,1 in terms of firmware and processors. However, I don't have the guts or skills to do that and the local Mac repair guy can't do it because his contract with Apple won't let him mod machines like that. So my question is, other than the obvious processor differences, is there any compelling reason to choose a 5,1 over the 4,1? I already have a GTX 570 2.5 GB card in my 3,1 which I will pull and put in the 4,1 or 5,1 before giving it to a family member.

    JP
     
  15. Korican100 macrumors 6502a

    Korican100

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #15
    if you are doing the single processor upgrade. its the easiest swap ever
    The dual cpu upgrade, that's going to take a little more finesse.

    I encourage you to do it yourself either way. There is a lot of resources here that can help you.
     
  16. jpine, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014

    jpine macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #16
    Yup, looking at an 8-core. I'm just not going to risk doing anything on my own more than SSD, GPU, or memory upgrade.
     
  17. jpine macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    #17
    Hey guys, how does a person determine if a MP has been updated as this thread is talking about? In other words, if I go to "about this mac" and it says 5,1, how do I know that it's not really a 4,1 that has the 5,1 firmware and processor upgrade? The reason I ask it because I found a 12 core 5,1 on Craigslist and I don't want to get ripped off since the individual has a cottage industry going and is selling several Mac Pros.
     
  18. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #18
    Your best bet would be to get the model number off the back of the computer, and then compare it to the Apple part numbers shown on this page: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6069
     
  19. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #19
    Check the Serial Number.

    Here:

    http://www.powerbookmedic.com/identify-mac-serial.php?source=pjn&subid=43737

    or:

    http://www.appleserialnumberinfo.com/Desktop/index.php

    Lou
     

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