Mac Pro 4,1 daughter boards in the uk

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Theophany, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Theophany macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    NW London.
    #1
    Hi all,

    I just bought a cMP 4,1 that's been flashed to 5,1. It's got an aftermarket 2.8Ghz hex core and Radeon 5870 and I've already begun to shop for some much needed upgrades (USB 3 PCI card, M2 SATA drive and adapter, 680GTX etc) but I am coming up with blanks when it comes to getting a dual cpu daughter board that isn't insanely expensive.

    My questions are: is it worth paying the silly money to enable my system to be a 12 core (bear in mind the cost of the daughter board plus customs fees coming in anywhere from £500-$1100)?

    Is it better to just drop the circa £200 on the 3.4Ghz hex core Xeon and be done?

    Are there any U.K. based suppliers of dual cpu daughterboards?

    Or is this all a waste, my primary uses for the machine will be as a day-to-day workhorse with Adobe CC and the odd bit of gaming.

    Any advice or guidance is appreciated :)
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    That is probably correct. I doubt there's anything you are doing that would benefit from more cores anyway, unless you are constantly encoding video.

    That dual CPU cost is insane. I'd stick with a 6-core 3.46GHz.

    If you absolutely must have dual CPU, it is typically cheaper to buy a dual CPU MP than it is to buy a single CPU MP and convert it to dual CPU.
     
  3. Theophany thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    NW London.
    #3
    Yeah, that's kind of what was lurking in the back of my mind, I just needed somebody with experience to give me some guidance!
     
  4. usna92 macrumors member

    usna92

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    I agree, while not in that position, when I was researching machines to purchase, the cost of going from a Single CPU to a Dual CPU daughter card often exceeded the cost of the Dual CPU machine to begin with. The maths don't work out when pricing it out, so I would just go with the fastest single CPU setup you could get.
     
  5. Theophany thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    NW London.
    #5
    Thanks guys, you're doing me a major favour by stopping me from being an idiot!

    The X5680 (3.33GHz) is around £100 cheaper than the X5690 (3.46GHz). Do you reckon the extra outlay will deliver noticeable performance gains?
     
  6. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #6
    No, you will just see few points more in benchmarks or few seconds faster rendering in apps that use CPU only. X5680 is as good as it gets, or W3680 if you're okay with "just" 56 gigs of RAM :)
     
  7. Theophany thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    NW London.
    #7
    56GB of RAM? Yeah, that's nowhere near enough :p
     
  8. ActionableMango, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    I think in your position there are three choices:
    • x5690/w3690 - Costs more but it's as far as you can go in both speed and cores. You'll never have lingering regrets about not getting the best, and never find yourself upgrading the CPU again because you're already at the top. Get whichever is cheaper, unless you need 64GB which requires the x5690.
    • x5680 - Much better price/performance ratio than x5690/w3690, same number of cores, and only 3% slower which is probably not even a noticeable difference.
    • x5677 - Much better price/performance ratio than x5690/w3690, and the same 3.46Ghz speed too. But it is 4-core, so anything that could actually make good use of 6 cores (which is almost nothing) will be about a third slower.
    A lot of people choose the x5677 because the vast majority of software out there cannot make good use of 6 cores, so they'd rather have the extra little bit of GHz to improve their single core software speed.

    I am not trying to guide you one way or the other. My intent is to show the three options that I would consider if I were in your shoes. I think any of the three are good choices.
     
  9. BillyBobBongo, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017

    BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    #9
    The guys over at create.pro do board upgrades. Given that you're also in London you may be able to strike a deal where you can carry in your Mac Pro and have it upgraded.

    This route will cost you a lot of money, and I would advise you not to do it, but you asked a question and I thought someone should answer it.

    Note: There are some negative feelings on this forum towards create.pro due to them selling modified graphics cards, with ROMs from MacVidCards, that they were passing off as their own work.
     
  10. Theophany thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    NW London.
    #10
    Awesome advice - thanks! I'm leaning toward the X5860 just to have the six cores and seeing as the chip is around £100 on eBay I think I'd value the 2 extra cores over the extra hundred or so Hz. I do use Handbrake for video conversions fairly frequently and my reading suggests it does make use of the extra 2 cores.

    Yeah, I saw create.pro and was astounded at the prices. I was hoping to skip the middleman and try to source a daughterboard myself as I'm competent enough with assembling hardware configurations. Suffice it to say I think my thoughts on going dual CPU are pretty much finished now! I appreciate the info.
     

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