Looking to purchase classic Mac Pro. I just sold my Mac Pro Late 2013

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jeffreyd63, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. jeffreyd63 macrumors newbie

    jeffreyd63

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2016
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I just sold my Mac Pro Late 2013 (3Ghz 8-Core/64GB/512GB SSD/Dual D700) and I’m looking to replace it with a classic Mac Pro tower so I can upgrade and change out stuff as needed.

    I’d like to get your opinions/advice on purchasing and upgrading a classic Mac Pro 2009-2012 era.

    I am a long-time graphic designer using the latest Adobe Creative Cloud suite of apps. I currently spend most of my time in Photoshop working with large files with a fair number of layers. I plan to learn and get more into Premiere Pro and After Effects in the near future so I want to be able to handle working with video quickly and efficiently. I do occasional work in Cinema 4d for 3D modeling. I will do some recording and editing of music as a hobby with Logic Pro every now and then as well.

    I am aware of some of the sites online that sell BTO or pre-configured classic Mac Pros, and then there is ebay and craigslist of course. I’d like to spend in the ballpark of $2,000 to $3,000 initially knowing that I can add and upgrade components down the road as I can afford.

    Oh yes...I have an LG - 34UM95-P 21:9 Ultrawide display that runs natively at 3440x1440 and I want to continue to use it with the new setup. It has thunderbolt, displayport and hdmi so I think I can use it still.

    I would like to make this purchase in the next week or two ideally.

    I am currently reading through the forums here and other places online to gather insight but I would sure appreciate your input and thoughts on this if you have time.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    Welcome to join the "Upgrade club", the very 1st thing you need to design is if you want a single CPU model, or a dual CPU model. For single processor Mac Pro (up to 6 cores 3.46GHz), 4,1 (2009) give you the best cost / performance ratio, because it's virtually identical to the 2012 model (after flash the ROM to 5,1) but cheaper.

    For dual processor model (up to 12 Cores 3.46GHz), you better get the 2010 - 2012 Mac pro, they are all the same if you plan to upgrade anyway. The 2009 dual processor Mac Pro use special de-lidded CPU, which I personally not recommend for self upgrade, unless you know how to de-lidded the CPU, or you can know where to get the good de-lidded CPU for a reasonable price.

    Both single and dual processor model have the same PSU, PCIe slots, etc, so won't affect your other upgrade.
     
  3. jeffreyd63 thread starter macrumors newbie

    jeffreyd63

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2016
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    Oklahoma, USA
    #3
    Thank you for your input. I do believe I want to go the dual CPU route and I would like to eventually end up with 12-Core 3.46GHz. I have never upgraded processors myself so I don't know if I should try to do that or not. I'm thinking either start with a 12-Core 3.46GHz or buy a lower speed dual processor model and then get it upgraded. Also wondering how far I should go with the GPU. I don't want to overspend but I do want the best performance for what I plan to do with it and it needs to drive my current display ideally.
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #4
    The CPU upgrade on the 2010-2012 Mac Pro is very very straight forward. All details are well documented inside the Apple Technician Guide. Plus watch few more youtube videos, then you are good to go.

    I never do any modern CPU upgrade, but I can still easily finish my 4,1's CPU upgrade after reading that Technician Guide.

    The best you can go on CPU is 2x X5690. However, they are a bit expensive now. The price was quite low last year, but suddenly go up a lot this year. I personally recommend you wait, or go for the cheaper X5680 (3.33 GHz). There is minor performance difference, but you shouldn't able to feel it.

    For GPU upgrade, I can't give you too much info because I never use the software you've mentioned. I don't know which GPU is the best. However, you now have to decided if you need (want) the boot screen or not. That's the Apple logo when you boot the machine. The logo may be virtually nothing, however, without boot screen, which also means you cannot access the recovery partition, or use the boot manager to choose startup disk / partition.

    If you don't need that boot screen, then you will have lots more reasonable cost GPU to choose. If you want boot screen, then your choice is limited, or you need to pay more for this function.
     
  5. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    what size is your current display?
    is it calibrated?
    unless you have an unusual display the default card will work fine (is it a 4K or 1080p).
    for gpu kind of depends what you want to do at the mo you wont need to upgrade but you may if you start working in PP or AE a lot, Photoshop will not relay get any speed from a GPU as far as i know in adobe CC (it used to be slower with opengl turned on in the prefes not shore if adobe has fixed that yet).

    do you work with large images? you may want an SSD to boot from and one for working stills or as a scratch drive & for speed pci ssd cards are worth a look.
    a usb 3 card may also be good.

    ps got to ask why did you sell the old one? it was fairly fast.
     
  6. jeffreyd63 thread starter macrumors newbie

    jeffreyd63

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2016
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    Oklahoma, USA
    #6
    I have an LG - 34UM95-P 21:9 Ultrawide display that runs natively at 3440x1440 and I want to continue to use it with the new setup. It has thunderbolt, displayport and hdmi so I think I can use it still.

    I have read that Nvidia GPU cards are good with Adobe's apps because of CUDA.

    I think I would like to go with SSD for boot drive for the speed. I do work with large images in Photoshop.

    I sold the Mac Pro 2013 because I wanted the ability to expand and upgrade components. Don't get me wrong it was a great machine but I want to be able to upgrade to better graphics cards as they come out more internal storage basically the ability to customize and change as I need.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2016 ---
    Sounds like it might be doable. I will have to watch the more videos and see if I would feel confident doing the processor upgrade myself. I would not mind going a little bit lower speed to save money if need be.

    As far as the GPU goes I probably don't really need the boot screen especially if I could always swap in an older card if it was really needed.
     
  7. AidenShaw, Apr 10, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2016

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    The Peninsula
    #7
    So sad that you sold your four year old Apple for a six year old Apple to have the ability to upgrade.

    So very, very sad that you're now stuck with a six year old Apple.
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    In this case, I suggest you go for X5680, or even lower speed.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-cpu-compatibility-list.1954766/

    Study this thread and eBay, then decide which CPU you want.

    For CUDA, please study another sticky thread which about Nvidia card. The higher spec card not necessary better for CUDA. The info is there.

    And I personally suggest you go for SM951 + low cost PCIe adaptor. You are coming from the nMP, go back to SATA SSD may make you feel slow. And IMO it's no point to pay money on the expensive STAT 3 card now. If I have to pay the money anyway, I prefer to pay for the better SSD, but not the old technology PCIe adaptor. 512G is a good option, enough for you to run the OSX, all frequently used apps, and hold your current project on the SSD.

    Then add few more large HDD (e.g. 6T WD red HDD) into the HDD bay for general storage.

    All thunderbolt equipment won't work on the cMP, if you need high speed external connection, a $20 PCIe USB 3.0 card can do the tricks. However, you cannot boot your Mac via this card. It's only for external storage, accessories, etc.
     
  9. orph macrumors 6502a

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  10. MacStu09 macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2009
    #10
    You can get a 12 core with SSD's, 32gb ram+, a 980ti, and more for under $3,000 easy.

    If you want to do premiere and photoshop, you don't need a fantastic card. If you want to work with AE - get the best graphics card you can afford. Simple as that. And with a budget of $2k-3k you can easily do it.
     
  11. orph, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

    orph macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    looks like ray trace 3D is being retired :?
    not relay used AE yet so not shore how that matters but gtx9xx cards cant use the ray trace engine, looks like it's being replaced by cinema 4D.
    soo might be worth looking at what cards cinema 4D likes.

    do remember that adobe has been demoing there software on the 2013 macpro's which has ATI cards, so it is worth looking at ATI cards. openCL/openGL looks like it's actually getting some traction.

    and looks like AE cc 2015 is having problems on multi cpu systems https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-After-Effects-CC-2015-Multi-Core-Performance-714/ unless this has been fixed it will only use one CPU to render.

    also if your looking at sub 4K video editing you just need something faster than a gtx 650 1GB vram (which is super old). when working with 4K video the gpu's start to matter more.
    or downscaling from 4K video to 1080p video as the GPU can be used to scale video.

    here's an nice article on why GPU's are not something to get to hyped up for (at least in adobe PP)
    https://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/Premiere-Benchmark.htm
    the gtx 680 v gtx 780 only saved about 4s of render time, and the list of what is accelerated by the gpu.

    so relay you want the fastest CPU, that what matters most. (there's a good chance your 2013 mac pro will be faster than your classic mac pro.)
     
  12. jeffreyd63, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2016

    jeffreyd63 thread starter macrumors newbie

    jeffreyd63

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2016
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    #12
    Sounds Good. I appreciate all your advice. I only have one thunderbolt drive (G-RAID 4T which I will sell) and my display has thunderbolt but also displayport and hdmi so I think I'll be fine without thunderbolt capability. I have numerous usb 3.0 drives so I will definitely need the card for that. I need to do some more reading and planning but you all have been very helpful with your input. Thank you.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2016 ---
    You know actually yes...I have to say I do wish Apple would produce a pro level Mac that you could still customize and upgrade things on without spending $7K-10K. I have even considered going the route of a Windows PC but I have so many years invested in the Apple ecosystem and a fair amount of investment in Mac software. It would be weird to switch but not undoable. For now I'm planning to stay on the Mac platform. I guess we'll see what the future brings.
     
  13. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #13
    I'd research the software you use and whether it utilizes multi-core CPUs efficiently or at all. Although audio apps love lots of CPU cores, a lot other software doesn't leverage the cores well. If Adobe doesn't use more than 6 cores, the single-cpu 2009 upgrade to W3690 or X3690 with 32-64 gigs of RAM (to 56 for W3690), PCIe SSD, and your favorite GPU could be your winning combination. The hex MP will handle audio just fine unless you want to do huge VI orchestra emulations.
     
  14. jeffreyd63 thread starter macrumors newbie

    jeffreyd63

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    Apr 10, 2016
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    Oklahoma, USA
    #14
    Yes good point. I'll do some more reading on the specific apps I plan to use to make sure it's worth going dual processor or not. Thanks.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2016 ---
    Hey thanks for the links....I will take a look at these. As long as the rig is nice and fast for what I need to do with it...I'll be a happy guy.
     
  15. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #15
    @jeffreyd63 sent you a PM, just so happen to be trying to sell my 5,1 12 core. Hit me up if you're interested. Welcome to the forum!
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #16
    Unfortunately the clear trend across the entire Mac lineup is reduced ability to repair and upgrade, in favor of smaller physical sizes. I don't expect the future to be any better.
     
  17. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #17
    Part of the sadness is that the cMP is on the high side of an inevitable downward spiral.

    Technology-wise, it's stuck basically in 2010. PCIe 2.0, USB 2.0, 2010 CPUs, 2010 DDR3 RAM,... This is probably the less serious problem - we're probably years away from mainstream software requiring AVX and AES instructions (although a couple of years ago I had to eWaste and replace about 20 servers when the latest version of the apps that they were running required AES), and most cards will run on PCIe 2.0 even if they're made for PCIe 3.0. (Not all though, some cards were never tested with older PCIe and have driver or hardware bugs with the slower slots.)

    Physically, it's stuck with aging hardware - and the pop of capacitors dying and the crack of power supplies dying is coming. I couldn't image investing a thousand dollars in upgrading a system that's six years old.
     
  18. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I get it Aiden. OTOH, my 4,1>5,1 is rock solid running my DAW; it just works, no futzing with hacks or Windows. It handles my workflow perfectly, and was pretty darn affordable when I built it almost four years ago. And now that 4,1s and W3690s are REALLY affordable, I have a spare on hand.

    We'll see how long my PSU's last, but if my G5 quad is any indication, I have no idea how long that could be... The G5 is still going strong today.

    PS: Although everything else you say rings true, I know you know USB3 cards are readily available. :)
     
  19. MacStu09 macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2009
    #19
    A lot of what this guy ^ says is spot on, especially about raytrace, and not needing much power to edit sub 4k video.

    However, CPU definitely does not always "matter most." If you have any serious interest in After Effects, you will find quickly that processors don't matter much whatsoever until it's time to render out. While editing a project in AE, I currently total about ~6% processor utilization. Yep, that's all. I could be on a core2duo machine, and it not matter. (until rendering out). However, I utilize 6gb of VRAM easily. So if this is a major interest of yours, graphics are crucial, and the new mac pro won't even come close in terms of editing speed in AE. I got about 11fps on playback on a nMP; and a solid 25-29 on my current setup. 11fps is unbearable and scrubbing bit by bit and waiting on sections to load is not an effective way of using AE.
     
  20. orph macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #20
    @MacStu09 so whats your current setup? that gets you 25-29fps and how complex are your projects.
    6GB so a 980/980TI or titan? & are you on AE CC 2015

    one thing i was thinking of in my reply is that at the mo for work, if your mainly working in graphics Photoshop etc
    then thats the first priority in upgrading. the potential of learning new software is good but something you can start with a less ideal GPU and upgrade towards as needed.
     
  21. zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

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    #21
    :confused:

    Unless you really, really, really need CUDA cards, this seems like dumb move. But whatever works for you, buddy.
     
  22. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #22
    My G5 finally died after 11 years, must have been that unreliable water-cooling.
     
  23. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #23
    Did you have the Panasonic cooling system?

     
  24. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    Jun 28, 2011
    #24
    Whatever they put in the 2.5 Quad, but for the record, the PSU was acting up, Water-cooling was still working.

    I hate to recycle it, I'm thinking of a Viking funeral pyre.

    P.S.
    It says only 2.7s had that, so I guess not. Still, it worked well beyond it's intended lifespan.
     
  25. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

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    Sep 27, 2005
    #25
    Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but what's really sad is that if you walk into an Apple Store TODAY and hand over $5000 to buy a Mac Pro, you get 3 year old hardware with very little way to upgrade it (except for overpriced Thunderbolt devices) and underwhelming performance. Benchmarks have shown a properly upgraded cMP can match the performance of a nMP for half the price.

    What's sad is that Apple charges PREMIUM prices for it's modern "trash can" design, yet performance is mediocre.

    Of the few parts inside the cylinder that are actually in sockets, only the RAM is somewhat readily replaceable. Nothing else is available to buy.

    So, the OP has decided he'd rather have the choice to easily upgrade parts and design his own cMP. Having been a nMP owner, he knows that nothing can be done to his MP to make it better. He can use the money he got from the sale of his nMP and buy a better performing cMP.

    What's really sad is that Apple has shown ZERO signs of improving on the Mac Pro. A stagnant design that may or may not go the way of the dinosaur. Who knows. But I can't see any benefit with being stuck with 3YO technology, knowing you can never upgrade it.
     

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