Mac Pro mid 2012 Base System

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rolltide4life, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. rolltide4life macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2010
    I just ordered a refurbished Mac Pro mid 2012 base configuration from apple.

    The base configuration:
    One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
    6GB (3 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
    18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
 ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

    I have about 500 dollars to spend on upgrade so which one I should upgrade - ssd, better video card, more memory, or faster processor?

  2. flowrider macrumors 601


    Nov 23, 2012
    1. more memory
    2. ssd (with Apricorn Velocity x2 PCIe Card)
    3. faster processor
    4. better video card
    5. USB 3.0 Card
    6. BackUp internal HDDs

  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
  4. flowrider macrumors 601


    Nov 23, 2012
    ^^^^Whatever he's using it for, the above order for the mods he mentions are the correct sequence he should pursue. Think about it:rolleyes:

  5. h9826790 macrumors G3


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Agree that depends on what you need.

    However, for almost any use, I still recommend to have at least 12G RAM for Mavericks (6x2G). Also a SSD, it's your choice to get the SATA 3 PCIe card (or depends on the budget). That will give you much better read / write speed, however, even though without that, you can still benefit from it's high IO via the SATA 2 port.

    USB 3 card is also a good upgrade if you have those device.

    For the CPU and Graphic card, it really depends on what software you will run. Fix the bottle neck before the others.


    Not 100% agree, if he use it for gaming, may be upgrade the graphic card is more important than the CPU or even SSD.
  6. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    If he were a consumer, I would recommend SSD first.

    If he were a professional photographer, I would recommend your list.

    If he were a gamer, I would recommend GPU first.

    I'm sure you feel very strongly about your list, but not everybody has the same needs or opinions.

  7. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    One thing is for sure; you are VERY memory constrained at the moment. My personal recommendation is that you run with no less than 16GB. Then decide where you want to spend the rest of your $.
  8. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Like the other members suggested, the ram needs to be upgraded first. Then followed by PCie SSD like Apricot or Sonnet Tempo. USB 3.0 or video card may follow.
  9. flowrider macrumors 601


    Nov 23, 2012
    In your three scenarios, you honestly feel that 6GB of RAM is enough on a Mac Pro:confused:

  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yep. With OSX Mavericks using data compression in RAM, and with the fast seek times of an SSD, 6GB of RAM can be enough for a consumer. I used a 2011 MBA with only 4GB of RAM and the "slow" Toshiba SSD (only 200GB/s SATA) and the only times I really ran into issues was when I needed to run a Virtual Machine (which is why I ultimately upgraded to a 2013 w/ 8GB of RAM).

    Consumers need very little to surf the net and an SSD will alleviate SOME of the pain when you run out of physical memory.

    To further point out how your list isn't right for all scenarios, a consumer would have no need to upgrade the GPU. Most people (like my wife) will do very little that ever needs more than Integrated graphics, so even the HD5770 is overkill. Further Consumer would be fine with a fast 4 Core CPU, so upgrading that would also be overkill. They would be much better off with a list like:

    1. SSD
    2. RAM
    3a. USB 3.0
    3b. Storage (for backups)

    That's it.

    Overkill items for a consumer:
    Apricorn Velocity x2 PCIe Card
    Faster GPU
    Faster Processor
  11. flowrider macrumors 601


    Nov 23, 2012
    ^^^^That's why I ended my remark with "Mac Pro." I am also running a 2012 MBA with 4GB of RAM, and it's plenty for the light work I do on the MBA. Anybody working on a Mac Pro with only 6GB of RAM is seriously underpowered if he's using the machine for the tasks it was designed for, or if not, he's using the wrong Macintosh.

  12. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    I was just bringing up the point that MAYBE he was not using the MacPro as a professional user. 6GB is a pittance of memory for professional users, but before I give advice, I still like to know what somebody is using their computer for. If he were just browsing the web, watching movies, writing, and playing games, 6GB of RAM is enough. Is it likely that those are his uses? No. Is it possible that he bought the wrong machine for his uses? Yes. I was not trying to start an argument, and I will cede that 99% of the time, RAM would be the first upgrade for a professional machine. I was just trying to get a better picture of what the user was doing with his computer before I answered his question. If you still think RAM is the holy grail of upgrades for any use case, then we have differing opinions.

  13. sebseb macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2014
    I would say change the processor to a 3.33Ghz 6 core. Since intel doesn't make those xeon cpus anymore, they are on last stocks and well it's your last chance of getting new ones. Unless you don't mind getting a used one later on.

    You can always buy ram, and if you buy them now, make sure they are 1333Mhz. In case you upgrade the cpu later, the new ram can work faster. Your current cpu will handle 1066Mhz but this way you're future proof.

    SSD is good too, but if you're gonna buy one, make sure you buy the PCI card for it, that way you don't connect the SSD to the sata ports but directly to PCI and you get better results!

    Btw is it possible for you to post high res pictures of your mac pro, I want to see the quality of refurbs. Did yours have any scuffs or scratches or does it look new?

    Thanx a lot!
  14. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    See what you will get first. Refurbs quite often are equipped with some extras, not mentioned in config list.
    Next choose your upgrade path according to what guys said before me.

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