Mac Pro 2009/2010: Upgrade Options

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Boneheadxan, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Boneheadxan macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    I have 2 Mac Pros, a 2009 [2.26GHz, 6GB RAM and a 2010 [2.4GHz, 12GB RAM] model. They both run on 7200RPM Drives. I run an audio production studio.

    Earlier this year, I picked up the late 2013 MacBook Pro [Max Specs]. Now, this beast of a laptop can outperform both the Mac Pros [at least for audio] and I've never had such hassle-free sessions. No crashes, no random errors etc.

    The MBP obviously has a very fast 1TB SSD and 16GB of faster RAM. The i7's run a lot cooler now, so there is no issue of fan noise as the load increases etc. I am almost convinced that I might just need to keep replacing my laptop every 2 years. Might work out cheaper as re-sale value Mac Pros here is not very good.

    I do plan on keeping one of the Mac Pros as backup. I was wondering if it's possible to get the Old Mac Pros to function as well as the laptop? Would an SSD and RAM upgrade get it up to speed?

    I will still miss out on Thunderbolt and USB 3. The only downside to the laptop so far, is the number of ports.
     
  2. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Can you be a little more specific pertaining to "out performing" both MP's?
    The amount of traks? The amount of traks and plug-ins? SW instruments?
    What apps do you use?
    It is quite possible to have tweaked either MP and saved money spent on the MBP.
     
  3. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #3
    I think it would be worth keeping one of the Mac Pros, selling the other, and using the money to upgrade. You'll get a bit more money for the 2010, but also, that one's CPU is slightly easier to upgrade yourself.

    For what its worth, I used to follow the only laptop/frequent upgrades plan, but as I work with video I realised how valuable it was having a mac pro base for some of the heavy lifting work, rendering, and the internal storage options.

    Upgrade the processor to a fast hex core. You could go with a w3680 xeon, or even a i7 970, or i7 980

    Upgrade to a ssd or a raided pair of ssds on a pcie adaptor.

    Upgrade the GPU

    Upgrade the RAM

    This would be an excellent workstation, able to handle all the plug-ins and effects you can throw at it, as well as all the storage options you'd want for projects and back ups of everything, without dealing with externals.

    Upgrade references

    http://pindelski.org/Photography/technical/mac-pro/

    http://macperformanceguide.com/topics/topic-MacPro.html
     
  4. lexR macrumors regular

    lexR

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I have just upgraded my 2009 to a 2010 12 core 2.93Ghz with PCI-e SSD's and the results are astonishing, the 2009 had a SSD but SATA II but still no slouch however now with HD video editing and complex tasks the turn around times have dropped dramatically.

    like CASLondon said the 2010 logic board is easier to work on but the 2010 will sell for more giving you more money for the 2009 to be upgraded.

    good luck either way.
     
  5. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #5
    SSDs make everything snappy. RAM makes a tremendous difference, especially when using VIs, now that we are in a 64 bit DAW world.

    Once you flash the EFI to 2010 (free), upgrading the CPU for single processor 2009 Mac Pros is exactly the same as upgrading 2010 Mac Pros.

    The GT120 that typically resides in 2009s is weak sauce; the 5770 that came stock with your 2010 is much better.

    Used W3680's (hex 3.33) are now running about $350 on ebay.
     
  6. Boneheadxan thread starter macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #6
    @ OS6-OSX - Of course a tweaked Mac Pro might even out-perform the current MBP. But, eventually, Apple keeps making it tougher to upgrade. I'm just getting comfortable with Thunderbolt and USB 3 and doubt I'd be able to pull those into the old machines.

    @CASLondon -I will be keeping one Mac Pro :) Thank you for those links. Will check em out. I do understand Video needs a whole lot of more power. Luckily, Audio rendering isn't that tedious. As long as the OS and the DAW can distribute the load, audio poses no threat at it's current state. I also use a bunch of DSP to offload tasks. :D


    How much would a 2009/2010 Mac Pro fetch currently? Base model 8-cores.

    @DPUser - Flashing the EFI might be a good option as the 2010 might have better resale value.

    I have the 4870 and 5870. Will keep the 5870 on whichever machine I end up keeping.
     
  7. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #7
    Hi Boneheadxan. Would be best to keep the 2010 5.1 8 core Mac Pro as the CPUs are easier to upgrade. You can add USB 3.0 card like this card at a low cost HERE and you may add a PCIe SSD to give you SATA 3 speeds HERE Another option is the Sonnet Tempo. If you're not using your optical bay, you can add 2 more SSDs or HDs.
     
  8. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #8
    Base model 8-cores? I'm under the impression yours are both single processor. 8-core 2009s are about a thousand dollars give or take, single processors under that, say 7-800 hundred. Check ebay for completed listings, and macofalltrades.com, for an idea about prices.

    Not sure about 2010s, but I would say off the top of my head at least a grand and a half for single processor, closer to 2k for a dual processor

    If you have single processor machines, you could keep the 2009, getting more money for the 2010. You can flash the 4,1 into a 5,1, it will still identify via the serial as a 2009 however, even as its a 5,1. You can't sell it as a 2010, unless someone isn't looking very close. You still want to flash it to a 5,1 in order to open up the full range of possible cpu upgrades. A fast hex core will astonish.

    Given this is the same basic computer that Apple was selling as new up until last fall (no difference btw 2010 and 2012 other than processor options), I think you are a ways away from Apple making upgrades an issue.

    I also think that a tweaked machine will give you advantages in audio production over the laptop that you don't realise yet.

    You can't put thunderbolt into the MP, but you can cheaply add USB 3.0, which is plenty fast for audio.
     
  9. michael83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #9
    Hey, can you give some details on how you worked around the lidded processor ?
     
  10. lexR macrumors regular

    lexR

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I personally used brass washers and if I did it again I would 2.2mm of washers as I bottled it after screwing down the cpu's 3 and 6/8 turns and there was still a gap between the heat sink and the washers but yeah all went well first time, no dramas and has been heavily worked on since even sometimes left over night working.

    You doing the swap? Firmware hack go ok?
     
  11. michael83 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    #11
    Im still shopping for the CPU. But if anything, I would like to know the torque required for assembly. Its an accurate job and we cannot just go by and say this amount of turns, we need the real specification.

    Apple says that stock replacement should be done by screwing in an alternate order until 8lb.-in. of torque is reached. Assuming that is the right pressure that the CPU needs against the backplane, there should not be any need for spacer or whatnot, just apply the proper torque and it should sit in place .
    That is what Dontae Harris did here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng34AVZS8Aw
     
  12. lexR, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    lexR macrumors regular

    lexR

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I could be wrong but I read somewhere its 0.9 Nm as you said in alt corners then an additional qtr turn, this was in the Mac Pro tech guide which was on another thread, I will try and find it again for you.

    ----------

    http://www.manuals-apple.9manuals.com/

    This was it :rolleyes:

    To secure heatsink
    to processor, again tighten screws (8 lb.- in. or 0.904 Nm torque) in order shown until they are “finger tight.”Then turn each screw (in order shown) 1/4 turn more.
     
  13. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
  14. lexR macrumors regular

    lexR

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Yeah that's step 5, the 'correct' pressure for the cpu's is in step six as I mentioned earlier. If the member has a 2009 machine do you not think it better to have the 2009 manual not the 2010 even though both state 0.9 Nm pressure plus 1/4 turn.
     

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