Mac Pro 5,1 "Build"

devon807

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
365
93
Virginia
Hello all, I am making this thread to document the upgrade progress of my 2010 Mac Pro. This post also serves as a place where people can come to receive advice for their '09-12 Mac Pro's

A little bit of background of my computer scenario: I started with a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 back in 2015. This machine was used mostly for video editing and was maxed out with a GTX 970 32gb RAM and multiple SSD'S. It suited me great until Sierra came out. With the 3,1 losing support and the general desire for more power, I decided to sell it. I used the money to put together a (sorry excuse for a) Hackintosh which you can read about here. Unfortunately I did not have the time to get it running stable, and decided to sell that. From that point on I decided that I needed something reliable, so the only logical option was upgrade to a 4,1. So my search began and I stumbled across a listing on eBay for a flashed 4,1->5,1 for $350 (which was right in my range). Upon further inspection of the pictures on the posting, and checking the serial no. it was actually 2010 2.8GHz 5,1! It was listed as a 2.66 GHz quad core with a GT120. Being that it was the only one reasonably priced I scooped it up for $400 shipped. This machine will primarily be used for FCPX and light audio work in Logic.

Plans for the machine include:
SM951/PCIe SSD
USB 3
AMD RX xxx/Vega GPU (I edit in FCPX so OpenCL is favored)
W3690 Hex Core
RAM (Unsure on amount)
Pixlas PSU mod (Just in case :))
HDD sleds :rolleyes:

Here she is in stock form + some old drives. Unfortunately it didn't come with any drive sleds.
Webp.net-compress-image.jpg


Temporary GTX 960 Going in, purchased of CL for $100!! Just to hold me over until VEGA/ RX xxx:
20170614_162648.jpg

960 Installed! It looks cool with the 5770! (Note the ghetto mounting of the SSD):
20170614_165700.jpg

Everything working as it should:
Untitled.jpeg

dis.png

Benchmarks: (More to come soon)

GB3.jpeg
 

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devon807

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
365
93
Virginia
Ok so I bought a SM951 and installed it today. Here are the before and after using BlackMagic Disk Speed Test:
sata_ssd.jpg
After:
ssd_pci.jpg

Pretty good results imo, really snappy around the UI but biggest noticeable difference is transferring files to and from the drive. I am very happy with this drive and would recommend to anyone looking to get a ultrafast SSD
 

VanneDC

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2010
827
55
Dubai, UAE
They're good numbers, is that drive bootable? Ive just got an run of the mill 120gb ssd drive in as a boot disk and 2tb 7200rpm data drive.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,776
5,585
Hong Kong
I think you need 2x SM951 to get benefit of transferring files. Otherwise, the other end alwa
They're good numbers, is that drive bootable? Ive just got an run of the mill 120gb ssd drive in as a boot disk and 2tb 7200rpm data drive.
SM951 AHCI is bootable.
 
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fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Oct 9, 2008
351
255
I did the exact same thing as you, except made the right choice and ditch the hackintosh idea before it came into fruition. :)

Came from a 3,1 to a 5,1. The 3.46 is the way to go with how cheap it is. I get close to 3000 single threaded geek bench with it (2x more than 3,1) and the multi-thread is off-the-charts better. The machine feels perceptively faster than a 3,1 though I will still argue the 3,1 was one of the best Mac Pro machines ever.

I have the OWC single SATA card that gives me full SATA 6Gb/s bandwidth with my 500GB EVO SATA drive for MacOS. No perceptible difference over 3Gb/s unless you had some crazy workflow that involve "yuge" file transfers happening often.

I have a 250GB E SATA that's hooked up to the MP's SATA port that's loaded with EFI Windows 10.

Funny thing is, Windows 10 is significantly faster to boot (5-8 seconds) than MacOS.

Apple...wtf.
 

devon807

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
365
93
Virginia
I did the exact same thing as you, except made the right choice and ditch the hackintosh idea before it came into fruition. :)

Came from a 3,1 to a 5,1. The 3.46 is the way to go with how cheap it is. I get close to 3000 single threaded geek bench with it (2x more than 3,1) and the multi-thread is off-the-charts better. The machine feels perceptively faster than a 3,1 though I will still argue the 3,1 was one of the best Mac Pro machines ever.

I have the OWC single SATA card that gives me full SATA 6Gb/s bandwidth with my 500GB EVO SATA drive for MacOS. No perceptible difference over 3Gb/s unless you had some crazy workflow that involve "yuge" file transfers happening often.

I have a 250GB E SATA that's hooked up to the MP's SATA port that's loaded with EFI Windows 10.

Funny thing is, Windows 10 is significantly faster to boot (5-8 seconds) than MacOS.

Apple...wtf.
I agree! The 5,1 is a lot quicker in everyday tasks but the 3,1 was a editing beast (for the most part). A also have a W3690 in the post due for delivery on Tuesday! :)
 

devon807

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
365
93
Virginia
Ok, I got my W3690 and16GB RAM in the post and installed them. Here are some benchmarks. Biggest difference is in Transcoding in FCPX, also slight improvements in render as well (I need that RX 580) :)

6CORE GB.jpeg
SDFOGJHDSG-squashed.jpeg
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,776
5,585
Hong Kong
I have been looking into these cards. But I recently came across a craigslist ad that had RX 580 for around the same price ($220) as the aforementioned cards
The 7950 can cost as low as around $70 now. The difference in % may be a lot, but I agree that the actual amount is not that huge.
 

Blakehoo

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2016
39
11
I can't seem to find any for sub $200. Are you guys looking on eBay?
Yup, The last $100 unit on ebay was in May. CL had some, but my information is a week old. Seems like they are all now over $200 on ebay... What's up with that?
[doublepost=1499043960][/doublepost]There is an MSI edition on ebay for $150.00 buy it now. That's the cheapest...
 

devon807

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
365
93
Virginia
Yup, The last $100 unit on ebay was in May. CL had some, but my information is a week old. Seems like they are all now over $200 on ebay... What's up with that?
[doublepost=1499043960][/doublepost]There is an MSI edition on ebay for $150.00 buy it now. That's the cheapest...
That's odd. Sadly even these cards may be affected by the Ethereum mining craze
 
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devon807

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 31, 2014
365
93
Virginia
My RX 560 came in today!
20170906_163515.jpg


Runs BruceX in ~36 seconds compared to 70 with the 960.
RX 560 GB4 METAL.jpeg
RX 560 OPENCL GB4.jpeg
RX 560 LUXMARK.jpeg


I have another RX 560 on the way due to arrive Monday. Overall pretty impressed with the 560, excited to see how two perform. Also, I realized to take advantage of two GPU's you need to of the same GPU's not two different ones. :)
 
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