Mac Pro (2009 - 2012) or Hackintosh?

agejon

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
41
34
Athens, Greece
Considering either building a Hackintosh based on i8700K and 64GB ram or buying an old mac pro 5.1 and upgrading to 2 x X5690 with 96 (or 128)GB ram.

Use Case: Heavy Xcode user, multiple linux VMs (no GUI, only servers) and a couple of Mac VMs, a little bit of Design with Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch. No Games, No Video Editing.

Currently i use a i3770K with 32GB of ram Hackintosh, but it reached it’s limits for my needs!

I am more interested in real life performance than absolute Geekbench scores!

Any suggestion is appreciated!

PS: iMac Pro is the best ... but too expensive!!!!!!
 

OneyedK

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2018
39
19
Mechelen, Belgium
So basically your debating between a dual Xeon and an i8700K ;)

My config: Dual X5675 (3,06GHz), 24GB RAM (1333), Samsung SM951 (AHCI), Sapphire Nitro+ RX580 8GB

I don't code much, but run multiple VM's at the same time (Win7 32, Win10 64, Debian 9.4 most of the time).
The windows machines have both 4 cores assigned and the Debian get's 2 cores...
No idea how I would be able to do that with an i8700K.
 
  • Like
Reactions: agejon

agejon

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
41
34
Athens, Greece
So basically your debating between a dual Xeon and an i8700K ;)

My config: Dual X5675 (3,06GHz), 24GB RAM (1333), Samsung SM951 (AHCI), Sapphire Nitro+ RX580 8GB

I don't code much, but run multiple VM's at the same time (Win7 32, Win10 64, Debian 9.4 most of the time).
The windows machines have both 4 cores assigned and the Debian get's 2 cores...
No idea how I would be able to do that with an i8700K.
I am thinking the same thing about the i8700k ... that’s why I am leaning towards the Mac Pro ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: At_Op45

agejon

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
41
34
Athens, Greece
@agejon, have you looked into a X299 motherboard build (hackintosh) such as the one @kgp has created? The X399 can use up to a i9-7980XE (18 core) processor.

https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...ac-pro-successful-build-extended-guide.229353
Long read... very interesting... BEAST Hackintosh... now you made made my life difficult be giving me one more choice ;)
I have to research it a bit... i will need to double my budget if i take that route (and of course cutting down the expenses on cpu, ram, gpu etc)
 

TheStork

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2008
281
163
Long read... very interesting... BEAST Hackintosh... now you made made my life difficult be giving me one more choice ;)
I have to research it a bit... i will need to double my budget if i take that route (and of course cutting down the expenses on cpu, ram, gpu etc)
Or you can dup MyHero II build as it's a powerful i7 based build. YMMV. Good luck.
 

CapnDavey

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
345
87
good deals can be had on 4,1 Mac Pro's I got mine over 2 years ago for 400 dollars
 

karsten

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2010
887
122
every time i build a hack i always end up asking why i bothered and just get another real mac pro for the simplicity and time saving. not crashing on every update is worth a lot, especially if you rely on the machine for work or income.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,667
8,373
Brazil
every time i build a hack i always end up asking why i bothered and just get another real mac pro for the simplicity and time saving. not crashing on every update is worth a lot, especially if you rely on the machine for work or income.
The just work factor counts a lot to me.

I can count on the reliability of a Mac Pro, but never with a hackintosh. It's always a surprise with software updates.
 

agejon

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
41
34
Athens, Greece
Consider HP Z620 and Z820. Same generation Xeon as MP 6,1. Pretty cheap on Newegg and eBay.

I’d go for dual socket, and a pair of 6-10 core CPUs at their highest frequency. Hackintosh guides aplenty.
Another good suggestion... i like xeon/ECC ram builds because their stability and longevity is unmatched. I run 2 old supermicro motherboards with dual westmere cpus, one running Freenas (24/7 for 7 years) and another running ESXi (24/7 for 4 years) and i am really impressed!!! The downtime for both machines is less than 4-5 days in total all these years and mainly for software updates and hardware upgrades!
[doublepost=1535279855][/doublepost]
good deals can be had on 4,1 Mac Pro's I got mine over 2 years ago for 400 dollars
Single or dual cpu configuration?

In Europe the dual cpu costs more than double, even in 2018! However living in Europe that’s a usual thing and i am willing to spend more.

However, a single cpu 4,1 even with a X5690 is slower than my overclocked i7 3770K based Hackintosh! If i choose a 4,1 mac pro, definitely i will go with a dual cpu configuration!
 

agejon

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
41
34
Athens, Greece
every time i build a hack i always end up asking why i bothered and just get another real mac pro for the simplicity and time saving. not crashing on every update is worth a lot, especially if you rely on the machine for work or income.
The just work factor counts a lot to me.

I can count on the reliability of a Mac Pro, but never with a hackintosh. It's always a surprise with software updates.
Nothing compares to a real Mac... but the hackintosh community has come a long way. Follow one of the “Golden Builds” in https://www.tonymacx86.com/forums/golden-builds.87/ like @TheStork MyHero II Build or @pastrychef Build and you are set for a stable, fast and upgradable Hackintosh.
 

Flint Ironstag

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2013
1,146
619
Houston, TX USA

bafonso

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2010
78
6
I was thinking of a hackintosh but when I look at dolar/performance the older upgrades mac pro make more sense unless you really need a beast ... these older xeon dual cpu give you cores aplenty good for parallel processing, really useful for dev work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: agejon

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,148
6,785
Hong Kong
So basically your debating between a dual Xeon and an i8700K ;)

My config: Dual X5675 (3,06GHz), 24GB RAM (1333), Samsung SM951 (AHCI), Sapphire Nitro+ RX580 8GB

I don't code much, but run multiple VM's at the same time (Win7 32, Win10 64, Debian 9.4 most of the time).
The windows machines have both 4 cores assigned and the Debian get's 2 cores...
No idea how I would be able to do that with an i8700K.
That's a meaningless worry. Each 8700K core is more than twice faster than a 5675 core. Therefore, in your case, if allocate 2 cores to each Windows VM, 1 core to the Debian VM, all VM will run faster on the 8700K Hackintosh than your current setup.

1 faster core can always finish 2 slower cores' job in the same period of time (assuming the speed ratio is 2:1). But 2 slower core, no necessary can do 1 faster core's job.

Also, the virtual CPU count allocated to VM usually can go up to ~5x total logic cores available without problem (but performance may be degraded of course). That means, for a 8700K, you can still allocate 4 cores to each Windows machine and 2 cores to the Debian indeed. That's just 10 virtual cores in total, not even able to fully utilise all 12 logical cores yet. So, the total physical core count is not a concern at all in the very beginning.

Therefore, in your case, running the same VMs on a 8700K Hackintosh with the same virtual core count (or half the virtual core count) only has benefit, but no disadvantage.

However, if you worry about resource, memory may be a bigger concern. Dual Xeon can go 128GB or even 160GB on the cMP, but a 8700k Hackintosh is limited to 64GB. If you really need more than 64GB in total for all the VMs, then 8700k Hackintosh is not even a potential candidate. But since you only has 24GB in total, that means the 8700K again can do better (because has faster memory).

Also, if you need ECC memory for your work / VM... Then 8700K Hackintosh also obviously cannot be a choice.
[doublepost=1535330921][/doublepost]Unless you insist to setup a VM that will completely "own" the virtual CPU cores (which is NOT the common practice because of low efficiency and flexibility. A more proper way to setup VM is only use the real CPU's power on demand). Then all you need to know is really just the how good the multi thread raw performance of that computer is. Core count doesn't really matter. In fact, depends on situation, less core counts may be better (for the same multi thread performance) as explained in my last post.

And This is what I can get form my 8700K Hackintosh. Which is faster than any cMP can do in both single and multi core situations. For VM, it's almost guarantee all VM can only run better on this computer than any cMP can do.
GB4.png
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: stevekr

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,897
1,752
That's a meaningless worry. Each 8700K core is more than twice faster than a 5675 core. Therefore, in your case, if allocate 2 cores to each Windows VM, 1 core to the Debian VM, all VM will run faster on the 8700K Hackintosh than your current setup.
....
Also, the virtual CPU allocated to VM can usually can go up to ~5x total logic cores available without problem (but performance may be degraded of course). That means, for a 8700K, you can still allocate 4 cores to each Windows machine and 2 cores to the Debian indeed. That's just 10 virtual cores in total, not even able to fully utilise all 12 logical cores yet. So, the total physical core count is not a concern at all in the very beginning.
There are clock differences but Intel has made substantive progress in implementing the virtualization assist instructions. Any VM system/app that is using the chip native calls/traps to do a virtual machine will be substantively faster than the implementations 4-5 generations back at this point. Lost of folks moan about how Intel hasn't been doing anything much in new processors that is more so aimed at generic basic math operations on serial numbers. In spaces like VM speed/efficiency there have been big changes and the coming up on 10 year old processors don't have them.

The Macs with modern CPUs have these upgrades too.
 
Last edited:

OneyedK

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2018
39
19
Mechelen, Belgium
That's a meaningless worry. Each 8700K core is more than twice faster than a 5675 core. Therefore, in your case, if allocate 2 cores to each Windows VM, 1 core to the Debian VM, all VM will run faster on the 8700K Hackintosh than your current setup.

And 1 faster core can always finish 2 slower cores' job in the same period of time (assuming the speed ratio is 2:1). But 2 slower core, no necessary can do 1 faster core's job.

Also, the virtual CPU allocated to VM can usually can go up to ~5x total logic cores available without problem (but performance may be degraded of course). That means, for a 8700K, you can still allocate 4 cores to each Windows machine and 2 cores to the Debian indeed. That's just 10 virtual cores in total, not even able to fully utilise all 12 logical cores yet. So, the total physical core count is not a concern at all in the very beginning.

Therefore, in your case, running the same VMs on a 8700K Hackintosh with the same virtual core count (or half the virtual core count) only has benefit, but no disadvantage.

However, if you worry about resource, memory may be a bigger concern. Dual Xeon can go 128GB or even 160GB on the cMP, but a 8700k Hackintosh is limited to 64GB. If you really need more than 64GB in total for all the VMs, then 8700k Hackintosh is not even a potential candidate. But since you only has 24GB in total, that means the 8700K again can do better (because has faster memory).

Also, if you need ECC memory for your work / VM... Then 8700K Hackintosh also obviously cannot be a choice.
[doublepost=1535330921][/doublepost]Unless you insist to setup a VM that will completely "own" the virtual CPU cores (which is NOT the common practice because of low efficiency and flexibility. A more proper way to setup VM is only use the real CPU's power on demand). Then all you need to know is really just the how good the multi thread raw performance of that computer is. Core count doesn't really matter. In fact, depends on situation, less core counts may be better (for the same multi thread performance) as explained in my last post.

And This is what I can get form my 8700K Hackintosh. Which is faster than any cMP can do in both single and multi core situations. For VM, it's almost guarantee all VM can only run better on this computer than any cMP can do.
View attachment 778046
Thanks!!!
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,148
6,785
Hong Kong
....
Also, the virtual CPU allocated to VM can usually can go up to ~5x total logic cores available without problem (but performance may be degraded of course). That means, for a 8700K, you can still allocate 4 cores to each Windows machine and 2 cores to the Debian indeed. That's just 10 virtual cores in total, not even able to fully utilise all 12 logical cores yet. So, the total physical core count is not a concern at all in the very beginning.
There are clock differences but Intel has made substantive progress in implementing the virtualization assist instructions. Any VM system/app that is using the chip native calls/traps to do a virtual machine will be substantively faster than the implementations 4-5 generations back at this point. Lost of folks moan about how Intel hasn't been doing anything much in new processors that is more so aimed at generic basic math operations on serial numbers. In spaces like VM speed/efficiency there have been big changes and the coming up on 10 year old processors don't have them.

The Macs with modern CPUs have these upgrades too.[/QUOTE]

100% agree. TBH, sometimes those new functions are much much more important than the clock speed. But I don't want to make it too complicated in that post, and the 8700k can beat 2x X5690 by it's raw performance in all area already. Therefore, didn't mention that in my last post, but simply use clock speed comparison to shows the VMs can only run better on a 8700K Hackintosh.
 

agejon

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
41
34
Athens, Greece
Curious what @agejon decided to go with.
I finally went with a Mac Pro 2010 with 2 * x5680 and 64gb ram... I have not received it yet...
Despite having built a couple of hackintosh before hassle free, I thought what the heck, let’s try that old but “original” hardware!!!!!!

I have a lot of respect for those old Xeon cpus with ecc ram, I run 2 supermicro systems, one freenas and one esxi for the past 7 years (24/7 except for updates/upgrades) and they still rock!

If it is not a capable machine for my needs, I will probably use it in my hobbyist datacenter ;-)
 

w1z

Contributor
Aug 20, 2013
575
402
I finally went with a Mac Pro 2010 with 2 * x5680 and 64gb ram... I have not received it yet...
Congrats! I went for one recently too after bricking my MP3,1 which I ended up fixing after replacing the logic board.

I sure do hope you made sure it is was insured and packed well for shipping using custom foam inserts or its original box because I learnt the hard way even after paying extra to have it professionally packed by FedEx. It was in mint condition when I bought it but received it with bent handles =( Such a horrifying experience I tell you.

Anyway, I am getting that sorted as the shipping (forwarding) company is covering the damages.. New enclosure on the way!!

Edit: just wanted to add that the shipping box was royally abused by the forwarding company's staff. It looked like it came out of a washing machine or like they were playing catch with it.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: agejon and tsialex

pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,642
I sure do hope you made sure it is was insured and packed well for shipping using custom foam inserts or its original box because I learnt the hard way even after paying extra to have it professionally packed by FedEx. It was in mint condition when I bought it but received it with bent handles =( Such a horrifying experience I tell you.
It's for this reason I do not yet have a dual processor Mac Pro 5,1. There's nothing available locally at a reasonable price and the possibility of shipping damage has kept me away from buying from eBay. If there's one thing in favor of the Mac Pro 6,1 it's how easy it is to ship.
 
  • Like
Reactions: agejon and w1z

w1z

Contributor
Aug 20, 2013
575
402
It's for this reason I do not yet have a dual processor Mac Pro 5,1. There's nothing available locally at a reasonable price and the possibility of shipping damage has kept me away from buying from eBay. If there's one thing in favor of the Mac Pro 6,1 it's how easy it is to ship.
If you do find a good deal on ebay but the seller doesn't have the original box, a custom box can be ordered from OWC $49 or the thebookyard I think. I just wish I knew it existed before the seller shipped.

The swapping of the enclosure should be interesting though.. Will find out in a week.
 
  • Like
Reactions: agejon

agejon

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 17, 2008
41
34
Athens, Greece
It's for this reason I do not yet have a dual processor Mac Pro 5,1. There's nothing available locally at a reasonable price and the possibility of shipping damage has kept me away from buying from eBay. If there's one thing in favor of the Mac Pro 6,1 it's how easy it is to ship.
I live in Greece and I have exactly the same problem...
So I went into “analysis paralysis” about what to do... but in the end I decided to take the risk and buy it ...
I will update the thread when it arrives ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Flint Ironstag
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.