Love my Mac pro 8 core xeon 2.8ghz -upgrades

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cpnotebook80, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. cpnotebook80, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

    cpnotebook80 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I currently have this machine and so far i like it for around 2 yrs now paid 2k for it n monitor. I've put in more ram at 10gb and have 4 HDD inc a 120gb ssd and hd4870 video card

    Just wondering what other upgrades can i do to it.
    I do have 4 ram slots still available but max ram is 16gb but i dont seem to use 10gb of ram at full capacity.
    I do video editing etc n graphics and it hums along. I always assumed it was the cpu that needed some bump. my geekbech as 11000 appx

    also my hdd are not in raid so wondering if creating a raid would boost the system a bit coz right now its like too many hdd all over the place and ssd is like bordering on empty at just 10gb.

    any advice would be appreciated

    also i want a better monitor since my current samsung seems old n washed out and prefer one with built in cam n mic like LED cinema..unless there is something similar out there.
     
  2. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I have a similar set up, I put 16 GB in it (8x2gb sticks) and added a 5870 which is about twice the power of the 4870 I previously had. It works very well and I'm very happy with it.
    A Dell Ultrasharp monitor would spruce up your image quality no end:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-2209WAB-Ultrasharp-22-Widescreen/dp/B00365EICM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296635764&sr=8-1 cheap.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-U2311-Widescreen-Panel-Monitor/dp/B003R7K332/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1296635764&sr=8-3 1" bigger.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dell-U2711-Ultrasharp-Premier-Widescreen/dp/B003A4H17S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1296635764&sr=8-2 expensive but worth it. This one is the same IPS monitor spec as the 27" iMac.
     
  3. audioglenn macrumors newbie

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    Irvine, CA
    #3
    I think you'll see a significant boost in response time if you use your drives in raid 0. how to get the max performance out of all of those drives is a whole 'nother topic. check the mr forums. might consider a dedicated controller card to avoid throttling when using the ICH.

    Also, what do you use for backup?
     
  4. cpnotebook80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thanks for the the links..regarding the graphics card, what performance increase would i see in applications? Since i dont play games but just video editing of HD etc and just powering my lowly samsung screen..also didnt even know apple sold the 5870 mmmm
    Which monitor would you choose if you had no cash issues from the list above?
    they all seem able to hold their own but like the last one for pro photographers etc.
     
  5. cpnotebook80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    well i will skip the raid for now just because im afraid lol..i have a 500gb backup hdd which does my backup.
     
  6. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I had a 2008 Mac pro. Nice machine. Had 24GB ram for video editing. You can upgrade the ram to 32 GB if you need it. If you have any 512MB sticks in it, get rid of them. You will take a small performance hit with them. You can upgrade the processors to 3 or 3.2 Ghz processors. You already have a ssd drive so that should help allot. Not sure what your running but it's best to fill your ram slots for quad Channel speed on memory. You won't see much speed though if your don't use applications that stress the machine. As for monitor, that will depend on what apps your running. What do you actually use your Mac pro for?
     
  7. cpnotebook80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Currently I have 4 empty slots..4 other slots are used by 2 4gb sticks and other 2 slots have 1gb each.
    upgrading processors,...how easy is it or does it matter going from 2.8 to 3.2
    in terms of applications i use adobe premier and fcp and got this new HD camcorder that really uses memory for play back of its files..and editing mts etc
    i wanted to get the apple led cinema but was sure there was something similar out there..hence the links above to the dell site ill check it out.
     
  8. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #8
    You will see a difference if you go to 3.2Ghz. The upgrade depends how comfortable you are inside a computer. Not real easy but not real hard either. Just need patients and the right tools. When it comes to editing AVCHD, you definitely want the strongest cpu's you can afford. Had a panasonic HMC 150 for awhile. Did a few weddings. My 2.8 did the job but the render times took awhile. If your not comfortable doing something like this, and you have cash to spare, I would suggest selling it while you can and step up 1 or 2 generation Mac pro. Go for higher Ghz though. The dual 3.2 is real close to the 2009 Mac pro's though. There is a chart somewhere in this forum that shows this. If I find it, will link it so you can see what I'm talking about.
     
  9. gpzjock, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    5870 cards are really just gaming boosts.

    I suspect that a 5870 would be a less useful upgrade than filling your spare RAM slots with 2 or 4 gb sticks but I maybe wrong depending on how your video editing software uses GFX cards, ask the manufacturer of the applications concerned.
    RAID 0 is a good idea but only if you are happy with rebuilding your drives to make it happen.
    I would imagine upgrading the CPUs would be expensive and tricky but I'm only guessing. There is a method of overclocking your existing 2.8 Ghz ones but it involves messing up the timeclock functions so isn't recommended.
    I have sucessfully overclocked my CPUs to 3.08 Ghz using http://www.zdnet.de/einsatz_von_apple_macintosh_in_unternehmen_exclusive_zdnet_overclocking_tool_enhances_performance_of_mac_pro_story-39002307-39192217-1.htm with only the timeclock running 10% faster as an issue.
    http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/349922 3.08 Ghz
    http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/285891 2.8 Ghz
    This gives it a 10% faster Geekbench score and puts it at the same average speed as a 2010 2.4 Ghz 8 core Mac Pro.
     
  10. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #10
    I used that software on my 2006 Mac pro. Not bad. Never tried it while editing video. Not sure if that would screw up anything rendered, given it messes with the clock. The x5482's can be had for around 300 if your patient with eBay. Am selling one now for 300 in the market place. I would keep in but my asus board only supports D0 stepping. This one is C0, which the Mac pro uses. Have seen these go as high as 900 on eBay. Just have to be patient when looking. You would also need to use smcfancontrol as the X5482 is 150 watts. Hot suckers but fast.
     
  11. cpnotebook80, Feb 3, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011

    cpnotebook80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Thanks will try that software.
    I might just max out the ram..I think I can go to 32gb right? for the mac pro 3,1
    I already have2x4gb slots taken
    I cant find 2x4gb selling for good price...I bought my originals 2x4gbfor $260US from memory pro i think.

    One think im a bit peeved is that the video card well i have yet to see any app make use of its gpu even tho its small at 512mb.
    even the new cs5 uses nvidia for gpu acceleration so that sucks
    but maybe that software to rev up the cpu(PS doesnt work on my mac pro oh well) and some ram might make it worthwhile.
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #13
    I love my 2008, but I've pretty much stopped doing upgrades on it. With a Radeon 5870, RAID, and 8 gigs of RAM, it's still chewing through everything I throw at it.

    If I was doing something like video editing at home I'd up that RAM to 16 gigs or something though.
     
  13. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Always do your ram first, followed by hard drives such as raid or an ssd. If then your still not satisfied, then would do the processors. Watch your page ins/outs after rendering. If your page outs are more than 10% of your page ins, then it's time to add more ram. But, some 32 bit programs will do this regardless how much memory your have due to the 3.2 memory cap. SL is supposed to go around this but I still see page outs using iMovie 06 on an hour of rendering.
     
  14. gpzjock, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #15
  15. goMac macrumors 603

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    #16
    With the 2008 Octos it's not really worth upgrading the CPU, as the CPUs are actually plenty fast. The only drag on them is the bus, which can't be upgraded (but was replaced with a new bus in the 2009 Mac Pros.) But it's not a slow machine, and really, just upgrade the GPU and possibly the drives and you'll be just fine.

    RAM is always good but there is an upper limit to how much RAM will speed up your system depending on what you do. I brought my home machine up to 8 gigs and it's doing fine, but on workstations where I've done heavy VM or Adobe CS work I've bumped to 16.
     
  16. cpnotebook80, Feb 6, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011

    cpnotebook80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I went from the stock ati card to the 4870 last year but have not seen any apps make heavy use of the gpu. Adobe exception in some cases.
    I might do the ram upgrade for sure and add another 8gb.
    I bought my 8gb last year from this site, but now they have just a 4gb
    http://www.memoryupgrade.pro/4gb-apple-mac-pro-quad-core-28ghz-intel-xeon-1333mhz-udimm.html
    newegg?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...32358 600032345&IsNodeId=1&name=8GB (2 x 4GB)



    is upgrading the cpu easy? from 2.8 to 3.2 will that make a difference thats noticeble?
     
  17. cpnotebook80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  18. goMac macrumors 603

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    #19
  19. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #20
  20. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #21
    hang on, i thought the 08 MP required ECC ram...

    Snip/

    Memory
    800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) memory
    Eight FB-DIMM slots on two memory riser cards (four slots per card) supporting up to 32GB of main memory
    256-bit-wide memory architecture

    /snip

    thats from the apple spec site...
     
  21. goMac macrumors 603

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    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The 2008 requires ECC RAM. Foretunetly, the RAM you linked to is ECC.
     
  22. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Thanks Gomac, my bad. My statement is only true for 2009 Mac Pros onwards.
     
  23. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I think the best upgrade anyone can make is more RAM and SSD's. That will get you the most notable upgrade normally. I have a 2 SSD RAID 0 Boot/App/Scratch drive that is blazin fast.

    I also have a 4 drive RAID 0 array for data which is insanely fast.

    I would defo recommend these upgrades they've made a big difference.
     
  24. cpnotebook80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    cool
    so i will get 2 sets of the 8gb for now and plays with ssd upgrades
    they are still damn pricey
     

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