Late 2013 Mac Pro or Titan Black SLI 4930k Hackintosh?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Onmybikedrunk, Mar 29, 2014.


Mac Pro or Custo Mac Pro (Hackintosh)?

  1. Late 2013 Mac Pro 6-Core with D700 - Apple

    21 vote(s)
  2. i7-4930 6-Core with Dual Titan Blacks - Hackintosh

    27 vote(s)
  1. Onmybikedrunk macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    First of, let me start by saying that I am currently the owner of a nMP (6 Core, 512 SSD, 16GB RAM, and D700 GPUs). I've had it for 8 days now. I am a freelance Industrial Designer that's just starting out and I mostly work with Solidworks/Rhino/Flamingo/KeyShot and AutoCAD, so keep in mind this IS a work based machine, but also my daily driver which after hours is used for fun. It is the biggest desktop purchase I've ever made, and the decision whether to abandoned Apple for a custom PC is eating me alive!

    I am impressed by the design and capabilities of the new Mac Pro, but one thing makes me wary - the graphics cards. Design, however, is a very important aspect, as I am a product designer. I've read over and over that the GPUs are refurbished HD 79** chips with the FirePro name slapped onto them. For the price, this REALLY bothers me. Not to mention if booted into Windows they are in fact described by AMD's own system monitors as Radeon HD 7900 series cards. This has been proven time and time again from different bloggers, devs and other highly respected computer nerds.

    Having access to the FirePro drivers is great, but in reality let's be honest, these are re-purposed gaming cards. Not to mention that the true capabilities of having dual cards, as of now (with the excpetion of FCP), can only be unleashed through CrossFire X under Windows. There hasn't been enough Dev on the OS X side to take advantage of them other than compute.

    It also REALLY bothers me that Apple down-clocked the cards to prevent overheating/power consumption. With just a little research anyone can figure out that they are running at 20% less capability of a TRUE W9000 FirePro card and at a whopping 50% less power consumption.

    So for months now, since I ordered the nMP, I've been debating whether or not to build myself a Custom PC and install OS X. The infamous Hack Pro. I have in my possession 2x Titan Black cards which I bought at release direct from EVGA which will be on eBay if I keep the nMP. The rest of the hypothetical system is as follows:

    Corsair Obsidian 750D Full ATX Case
    Asus X79 Deluxe Pro Board
    Intel i7 4930K overclock to 4.2Ghz
    2X Titan Black GPUs in SLI
    32GB 1866 Corsair Ram
    3 Crucial M500 SSD's (Mac in RAID 0 - one for Windows)
    1 2TB 7200 RPM drive for Data and backups
    Corsair Hydro 80i CPU cooler

    This is the kicker... This build will be over $800 cheaper than the Mac Pro! After Taxes I think the Mac Pro comes out to $5,300 (although I used my Edu discount and I picked it up in Deleware - no sales tax in which I paid $4509-). This build is priced to $4300 with no education discounts and still no taxes. It will be double the speed GPU wise and the CPU will be 25% faster! More RAM, more storage, and upgrade-ablilty and expand-ability WAY beyond what the nMP has to offer, just as a few examples... BUT it will be big, bulky, kind of ugly and I won't have the Apple support.

    If Apple would have just made the GPU's a tad bit more impressive, there would be no question. I am completely capable of building and maintaining a Hack Pro, however I'm just nervous that I'll regret the support from Apple. For 10 years I've been nothing but Apple. This would be my first PC adventure in a decade.

    So what are everyone's thoughts on this? I know I'm not the only one that feels as if a Hackintosh is their only option now for a work desktop considering the changes Apple has made. Also keep in mind most software I use is Windows based, but some def OS X based and I LOVE Apple and OS X 10.

    Folks that have experience with Hack Pro's please feel free to weigh in on your advice... I am pulling my hair out trying to figure this out!!!!:mad::apple::confused::eek::(

    opt 1 - Mac Pro
    opt 2 - Custo Mac

    Attached Files:

  2. xlp macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2009
    I have almost that PC that you are thinking of building but SLI 780 TIs instead otherwise almost the same specs and i never use the full performance of the 780 Ti´s.

    I dont need this PC, i dont use it to its full capabilitys + i like OS X more + nMP is a sick design and so small, quite. Happy to replace this big PC just for the size difference.

    I have a order on a nMP 6-Core/D700s, which will be plenty of performance for me and my use.

    And dont forget, the 2nd hand value of a PC vs Mac when you are talking about the PC being cheaper, overall if you see in 1 years time - you will get ALOT more money for the Mac then the PC or whenever you decide to sell.

    Atleast here in Sweden, the 2nd hand value of PC parts is *******, i will at the most get back 50-60% of the money i paid for this PC - 5 months ago.
  3. Onmybikedrunk thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    I think that I would use the graphics (2x Titan Blacks) to their full potential... Between GPU based rendering and gaming, they would be put through their trials. I also use a 4K monitor and a UHD monitor. The GPUs need to drive them on top of whatever tasks they're doing, whether compute or gaming.

    You bring up a good point with resale value, as I've always made out like a bandit with any resold Apple products. If I were to go the PC route, I would plan on keeping it for many years, continuing to update it as needed, which is something I couldn't do with the Mac because of all the proprietary connections.

    I dunno. I do love the form factor of the Mac Pro, but it's those damn graphics cards! It drives me nuts the way they handled it. The memory bus is like nothing comparatively to either the REAL W9000 or even a high-end gaming card. It's just really disappointing is all... All good points though XLP. Anyone else care to weigh in?
  4. drayon macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    If I were you, i'd use and hang onto the Mac Pro for a few months and wait until the X99 platform arrives. That X79 platform is incredibly dated and has had so much junk bolted on to keep it on life support, it would be a waste to sink money into it. The X99 is gona have 40 PCIe lanes, the 6Gb SATA and USB 3 will be integrated in the chipset rather than those PLX bridge chips and it'll use DDR4 and will be the first to support NVMe PCIe SSDs.

    I'd probably bet the next Mac Pro refresh will be based on X99.
  5. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    If you are completely capable, like you say you are, I don't see what there is to be nervous about. Implying that you would need support from Apple is saying that you are not completely capable.
  6. Onmybikedrunk thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Maybe I used the wrong wording... Not so much support as warranty. Apple makes it so simple if something goes wrong with the hardware. E.g., the hard drive fails... You bring it in, they slap in a new one and you're on your way. If I burn out a graphics card on a custo Mac, it's on me and I have to go through days, if not weeks of RMA bull*** from individual parts manufacturers. BUT that's not my only concern I suppose. I'm also fearful of updates, and other OS issues. I've found a guy to write me a SSDT, so hardware functionality shouldn't be an issue for the most part, but still. Since it is mainly for work I don't want to be wasting my working hours away because an update destroyed kext injections etc... Also, if I don't like it, there's no 30 day return policy like Apple. It's a LOT of cash so I just want to cover my bases.
  7. Onmybikedrunk thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    I think this is some of the best advice I've received yet. Just read the Anandtech chatter about it... Looks sick. I thought it was late 2014 - early 2015 release, but they're talking this summer...
  8. DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    I would say go for the hack. You can ad in extra GPUs to put you way ahead in performance even further. Running OSX looks like your preference of course, but you can squeeze even more out of those GPUs in Precision X in Windows if you’re really serious about rendering.

    The X99 chipset will be a step up, but running it as a hackintosh is brave new territory. Even though X79 has been around for a while, proper OSX power management (speedstep/turbo boost) is only just coming around now. Yes you can over clock but having real turbo boost there on top of your OC is awesome.
    So yes hold out for the X99 if you must - you have an awesome nMP already - but you'll be waiting far longer than just a few months.

    If building a hackintosh for work purposes I would copy someone else’s successful build VERY closely if not exactly. You can cause yourself big headaches by going rogue and throwing unknown hardware into the mix!

    For SSDT etc. is highly recommended if he’s not the guy you’re talking about already.

    Don’t worry about updates etc. I don’t know why people go crazy about this stuff. Once you’re set up and it’s working just leave it as is! There are guys out there who thrive on testing the new stuff and making it work - and they are armed with the experience and knowledge to take it on. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone just trying to get work done on their machine.

    Good luck!!!
  9. Johnsyounger macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    The software will catch up to the cards in time....
    The hackintosh would be the best immediate answer, but it's a pain to build right and maintain. In time you'll be glad you bought the nMP. I've never built one, but have had plenty of friends build em. They love em at first and as time goes on they always have problems.....
  10. snouter, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    I dunno. My gut says if you need more oomph and want to save, just go Windows.

    I probably could build a hack, but, just don't want to deal with, "oh crap, for whatever reason this or that does not work right."

    Also, let's face it, a weak part of the Mac ecosystem is the video drivers. Windows drivers get regular updates. It kind of defeats the purpose of getting whoop booty video cards and then having to rely on Apple to unlock the power for you.

    I have a 4930k ~4.2GHz running Win 8.1 and like it just fine for Cinema 4d (and Adobe CC (PP, AE, AU) and gaming) with dual GTX760 cards.

    Plus you can just put the nMP on sale and it will sell. Whatever money you save with the hack is likely to get lost when you go to sell "that junk" or part it out.

    Also, nMP is all about TB2.

    I have that Asus X79 Deluxe mobo on my 4930k and it has been a good motherboard. Others are right though, X99 and DDR4 is coming soon. Sooner to PC parts than Mac probably.

    You seem to know what you are getting into, but the potential for stuff not working, the lack of TB2 and the crap resale would put me off the idea.
  11. riggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2013
    Which of your software uses the GPU for rendering? I thought Keyshot was CPU?

    If you have software that's CUDA-only compatible and doesn't have any immediate plans to start working on OpenCL, I'd say the PC box has a real advantage and would be switching to for the next few years. Enjoying faster renders will offset not having the nMP.

    But if OpenCL is coming, or if you'd be doing CPU rendering on both, I'd say stick with the nMP. You like the design, you like the OS, you like having AppleCare, it's already built and in your home, and it's only a couple hundred dollars more expensive -- stick with it.

    It might be different if this was a work-only machine. Then you could decide based on 100% practicality. But you have to live with this machine, too, so pick something you'll be happy living with.
  12. Onmybikedrunk thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Well, I suppose the only software that uses GPU based rendering is Solidworks Photoview 360 for parts animations. You're right that Keyshot is CPU based, the same with Flamingo. Keep in mind that I am just starting out, so going for the 8-core wasn't something in reach for me. Besides my models aren't that intense...yet.

    I would def build a dual-boot machine if I did go for the PC. Like I said, most software is Windows based, but a few companies are offering OS X counterparts (Rhino 5 etc). That way if something did go wrong with the OS X side I would always have Windows there.

    Yes I've been in touch with Andrew, he's been a great help in my decision making process. Doesn't put up with bulls**t and I like that. He knows his stuff and what he's doing is incredible. Wish I had the knowledge that guy has....

    Thanks to all, looks like I'm leaning towards sticking it out with the nMP. Yes, the GPUs won't give me the best gaming, but everything else is worth the money.
  13. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    i hope there not a new mac pro this fall. because im going to have to buy a even newer mac pro :D
  14. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Apple loves customers like us. As of now, I intend to keep this machine for a few years. But I get so weak.
  15. Onmybikedrunk thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    It's true. Since I get Tax waived and the Edu discount I will likely be selling mine (assuming I keep it) and getting the next new one, and the next and the next. I view it almost as a leasing plan. I pay like 200-400 bucks a year to always be up to date. $200 is like my family plan phone bill. This is something that will change and I'll have to deal with if I go Hack Pro...

    STILL undecided however. Right when I think I've made up my mind I get screen tearing or something dumb with my nMP and it makes me reconsider. Is the return policy 14 days or 30 on Apple Desktops? :confused:
  16. yourboyvic, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    yourboyvic macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2014
    Do you still have your titan black available?

    @onmybikedrunk Hey, just wanted to ask if you decided what you're going to you have your titan blacks available?

  17. woodbine macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2010
    Bath, UK
    Not quite the answer you are looking for maybe, but Barefeats recently put a 12c nMP up against a 2010 MP with dual GPU and stuff. It beat the nMP on most of the tests. Very similar costs and a lot cheaper if the internal PSU/GPU option is selected.
  18. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2012
    Could you imagine! One with Haswell- EP and the new Hawaii FirePros.

    I'd sell my current one and get that. ;)
  19. AndyUnderscoreR macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    Really, you're taking a bet on what software publishers will be releasing over the next few years.

    By dropping dual CPU configurations and making dual GPUs compulsory on the nMP, Apple are sending a message to developers - want your apps to be fast? Hand over everything you can to the second GPU, which will be a D-series card.

    My guess is that people writing high end Apple software will be writing for, testing on and supporting dual D300/500/700s set ups. The chances of them testing on, supporting or using the special features of anything else would worry me a lot more than having a particular word written on chips that are buried so far inside the machine that you'll never see them.
  20. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    all video cards are gaming cards.
    Video games are a bigger industry than pretty much any other entertainment industry except possibly movies. And I am not even sure about that.

    Every workstation card that AMD or Nvidia makes is basically their reference card with drivers optimized differently.
    Gaming has driven video cards to their present technological level. Not CAD, motion graphics design or NLE. So it is understandable that they would rebadge a gamer card rather than engineer a whole new product for what is very small niche. If you want a workstation card that gamers would never touch in a million years get a Matrox. It's what Wall st traders and broadcast professionals use when they want a wall of monitors running off of one PC. And it has terrible 3D performance.
    As far as Hackintosh;
    they have their place. They are great if you want a Mac AND a gaming PC.
    For pro use I'd steer away.
    I own the exact same nMP as you. It has a pretty incredible throughput on its SSD. And I get great transfer rates via TB and USB3 as well.
    I am only aware of a few kludgy arrangements of TB on PC motherboards. And none that I know of have TB2 yet.

    And while Hackintoshes have been around a while, if Apple truly get's annoyed it will only take one good update to negate all Hackintoshes. Or at least pin them to 'last known good' OS build.

    Plus old macs have re-sale value. Old PCs do not.

    I'm puzzled by your 'refurbished' statement. Do you have a link for this? AFAIK they are new chips, not pulls.
  21. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    My point of view is simple, if you need those Hackintosh power, go for it! You have no choice, because you need it.

    Otherwise, I think it's better to stay with the Mac Pro. It's good enough for you already. You get full support from Apple. And most likely it's a more reliable option for you.

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