Mac Pro 4,1 Limitations

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xb2003, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. xb2003, Sep 19, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017

    xb2003 macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2016
    Hey all,

    I'm considering buying a 4,1 flashed to 5,1 with dual X5670s and 32GB of ram. I keep going back and forth.

    I do audio work in Logic Pro X often with up to 32 channels and/or large virtual instrument sessions. My 2015 MacBook Pro 15 often shows fairly high CPU usage.

    I'm an Electronics and Networking student and I take a lot of courses that require Windows and Linux. I expect that this machine ought to handle VMs well as I can allocate a decent amount of resources to multiple VMs. I also would want to dual boot so I could play some old games in Windows. Nothing intensive, though I would prefer 10 to 7, which apparently isn't natively supported but still works fine. (Edit: Seriously, my games are like Sims 2, Sim City 4 and Battlefield 2)

    I've been getting more and more into coding and would like to get into iOS App Development.

    I currently run the aforementioned MacBook as well as a PC with a i5 3470, 8GB ram and a 970. I'm concerned about a hit in single core performance, as passmark scores between the 3470 and the X5670 differ by nearly 600 points. But benchmarks are not everything, and I'm curious if anyone has mad a similar switch.

    I know it's speculation, but what do you think the odds are Apple will drop support for the 5,1 with next years MacOS release?

    I'm still debating between this Mac Pro and a Hackintosh. I've done it before with success, but it just takes so much maintenance. But the thought of spending so much money on a 9 year old computer is just a bit tough to swallow. I'm just so done with Windows.

    Anybody have any input?
  2. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    If that's cheap, sure it's a good option for your usage. Especially you want to do some gaming, a decent GPU with proper cooling is very important.

    Yes, you can expect you will be single thread liming most of the time. Especially the X5670 is not a very fast CPU. But you can go for X5677, X5680, or X5690 if you want to. They are old, but fast enough for most normal use. (warning!!! upgrade CPU on a dual processor 4,1 is NOT a simple job).

    Don't worry, Mac Pro 2012 is in the support list of High Sierra. In fact, quite a few of us already tested HS beta on out flashed 5,1. It works just like the real 5,1 (2012 model).

    If you know how to build Hackintosh, and the 5,1 is not really dirty cheap. I will recommend you go for the Hackintosh. If you do it properly, get the correct parts. The maintenance required should not be a big problem.

    Update 1: just read your post again and realise you were asking about next year OS update. it's really hard to tell. If Apple keep it's normal habit, the 2012 Mac Pro should get software support until 2012 + 7 = 2019. But this is just common practice, Apple not always follow this rule.
  3. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    For DAW use, get the fastest hex CPU you can afford. As recommended, X5680 or X5690 for dual-CPU 4,1>5,1. Last time I looked, used server pull X5680s were running about $75 each.
  4. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    I do fairly serious software development work on a (4,1) -> (5,1) with a single W3680, 24 Gb memory, a bunch of SSD. It's a good machine, about as fast as most of the corporate VM's which all run on monster hardware, and I expect to get another year or two out of it. It dual boots OSX and Linux, and when I have to run windows I run it in a VM. So yes, I think it can meet your needs. I'm still running the stock GT120, if I were to game on it I'd probably want to look for at least a modest step up in GPU power.

    The dual (4,1) is a bit of a hassle with the delidded CPU's, and I might suggest you look for a real dual (5,1), or maybe just get a single CPU (4,1) and put a W3680/90 into it (6 cores 12 threads).

    With a some patience, you ought to be able to find a good setup plus upgrades totalling somewhere around $1000, give or take. A little higher for dual CPU, maybe a little lower if you decide you can live with the single CPU.

    Upgrade tip: if/when you add SSD, don't worry about getting the fanciest high speed samsung units unless you are going with AHCI PCIe (which is $$$). It's remarkably difficult to tell the difference between a fairly ordinary SATA SSD, running SATA 2 remember, and a PCIe unit except when you're benchmarking, or doing massive video or other big sequential I/O work.
  5. xb2003 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2016
    Thanks for the replies. The one I'm considering is just over $1000 with the aforementioned X5670s, 32GB of ram, HD5770, and a 2TB HDD. I have an 850 EVO I would throw in it as well.

    I'm thinking once High Sierra is released I'm going to see what Hackintosh is like on my current hardware, and that will help me with my decision. Last time I went the Hackintosh route was Yosemite, and supposedly it's a lot better now. Depending on how stable the Hackintosh is for me Ill reconsider the Mac Pro route or upgrading from my 3470 to a 7700K.

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4 September 19, 2017