MacPro vs X99 choice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by toncij, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. toncij macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    So, the current state is strange. Refresh is to be expected since Intel moved to v3. Still, not yet.
    I'm currently on rMBP from 2012 and my workflow asks for more ram and more speed so I'm on the verge of going for 6-core 32 gig, 1tb d500 machine or a custom x99 with 5960x 32 gigs and m2 drive for half the price almost.

    I love the form factor of Mac Pro, silence... and hate giant PC cases required for custom solutions and hackintoshes. Still, the price diff. is huge.

    I do mostly development and some 3D work. Not sure how are others' experiences with the best feature of Mac Pro cilinder: silence, cool, small and stable. Is it worth the price diff.?
  2. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2012
    If you need raw performance, the x99 is a better bet. Also there are m-ATX motherboard being shown here and there.
    So you can get a smaller, chassis, and if you get a liquad CPU cooler you'll have no issues with noise, also depending on graphics card of course.

    The issue is x99 isn't very hackintoshable just yet. Rampage dev has just gotten a single x99 motherboard to work, but support is coming.

    The main advantages of the MP is it's already here, usable and eliminates nay hassle or compatibly issues. Just plug and play after all. Along with it's size and silence.

    It's really down to your needs, either way you might be waiting if you need to use OSX for x99. By the time it's 99% stable for OSX usage, the MP 'might' have been updated.

    If you need a Machine right now, and it has to be OSX the MP is the way to go, and you'd need the D700s if you need the 3D rendering grunt.
    Otherwise get x99 right now, and use Windows or Linux.
  3. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    You hate giant PC cases? Then don't buy a giant PC case.
  4. toncij thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    Well, I'm pretty much sold to quality of Mac hardware and software combination; I do most of my work on my MacBookPro (mid 2012 retina), but I need more RAM (more than 16) and 6 cores will help. Don't care about GPUs, except for StarCraft 2. :)

    So a 6-core, 32 gig, 1TB D300 MP should probably work. But the same price on the X99 includes a 32" 4K screen bonus... :D
  5. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    Here's my take on it, and people are going to say I'm wrong:

    If you want a powerful machine, but don't necessarily rely upon it for income purposes, and you're a bit savvy with building machines, don't mind reading forum post after post for hours on end, and don't mind hours of hacking together kexts, then a dual-boot Windows 8/Hackintosh build is a good solution for you.

    If you want a powerful machine, but also need to rely on it to be stable for income/client purposes, need something that works out of the box, and have an absolute need to use OS X, get a Mac Pro or decked out iMac, whichever machine will suit your workflow better.

    I wanted the Hackintosh route so badly. I put together my own list of hardware from the "supported parts" lists, and read everything I could on it. My idea was to have a dual-boot system for gaming on the Windows side, and professional audio production on the OS X side. But for every positive point I read, there were two negatives or caveats. You can use a 780 TI!...But there are serious OpenCL bugs under OS X which require kext modifications and driver installs that don't work flawlessly for everybody. Thunderbolt 2 is working!...But you can't hotplug TB devices, loading the TB kext causes the top bar in OS X to crash, and the system will take 5+ minutes to boot.

    Also, you'll have to get used to the "lingo" they use on those Hackintosh boards and sites. By "lingo", I mean language that downplays compatibility issues and faults with hardware, referring to them as "easy workarounds" and the like. In general, I've found such boards to be unhelpful places.

    Just my two cents on it. I researched for 5+ months on how to get the system I wanted to run stable, and in the end, I found that I either couldn't, or would need to spend a few solid 8-10 hours days to get a new system to be almost as reliable as the 2010 iMac I sold. If you use your computer in a business or have clients with it, I'd strongly advise against it.
  6. toncij thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    That insight is actually very useful and a correct PoV. This wouldn't be my first hackintosh attempt nor my first machine (in 25 years).
    My own priorities shifted much: I mostly value ability to leave the machine ON for weeks, to sleep it without fear of losing anything and the absolute silence and ease of access by any means.
    Still, I need Windows too. I use them and have requirements no matter OSX my platform of choice as an engineer/developer. Add cash there. While I have the cash to buy even the expensive nMP (because even a single project can eat it), I feel every dollar there. To get a 5960X with 32 gigs and 780Ti, I need like 3k euro. To get the similar in Mac I need 5k. That is a difference of a 4K IGZO. :) And then, it is a 6-core Mac, not 8-core.

    Very difficult decisions. :) So yes, hackintoshes are mostly pain to maintain, especially on new software, betas etc.
  7. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    I wouldn't say you were wrong. If rely on the machine then get the Mac Pro, if using it for personal use and can afford to spend the time tinkering then go for it with a hack.

    There are some nice tools out there that make a hack easier to get up and running etc, but you want to pick your hardware carefully and unless you want to be one of the people doing a lot of the dev work then you are going to be behind the curve on the hardware. Hardware support in a Hack tends to be after the hardware arrives in a real mac and then people have had a chance to play around.

    As such don't expect much on the X99 until there is the equivalent Mac running. X79 support didn't really kick in until the current nMP launched and had been out for a while.
  8. snouter, Sep 16, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014

    snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Actually, NOTHING strange about the state.

    That's a personal choice. I have a 4930k and a nMP 6c.

    The 4930k was half the price and I run it over 4GHz all day every day. It's silent unless the cores are pegged at 100% rendering something, and even then it's not very loud. These are not PCs from 10 years ago. The nMP is "silenter" but it's really not like the PC is a hair dryer. The nMP is small and sits on my desk. My Windows computer is in a typical case, a nice Lian-Li, and it sits under my desk.

    I like OSX. I like Windows. I much prefer OSX for Web Development. I play my games on Windows. For Cinema 4d and Adobe CC, I'm indifferent. I do video, graphics and 3d.

    If ECC ram is critical, that's lost on me. I hear about bit-rot. If it's affected me, I don't know it.

    I roughly know what I could get for my nMP if I sold it. The PC would pretty much become parts.

    I had an issue with an AMD video card and Adobe CC. I went to the store and nabbed two Nvidia cards and was back in business. OS X 10.9.3 messed up the OpenCL drivers and I was stuck with render artifacts until 10.9.4 came out. You are waiting (and will be waiting) for a new update from Apple. With a PC you can just go build it today.

    Only my opinion, I would toy with a hack, but never use one for my work.

    Look at your workflow. Look at your work. Look at your cash. The answer should reveal itself.
  9. handheldgames macrumors 65816


    Apr 4, 2009
    Pacific NW, USA
    Note: since the iCloud hacks last week, apple has been clamping down on iServices usage on hacks.

  10. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2012
    Note: There was no Hack. What happened was the celebrities were both phished, and used weak passwords that were guessed by software aka brute forced.

    The service was not compromised at all.
  11. toncij thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    I'm putting way too much thought into this, puzzling my head about it.
    So far I think I'll go PC and hackintosh. My workflow is primarily dev (so need faster compilation) and some 3D but not much complex scenes, more single meshes. I need cores and drive speed. To get what I want (8 core, 32 gig and 1TB) I need a 7k euro nMP and 3k euro x99. Diff is way too high I think.

    I don't care for GPU; just enough to actually care for higher than D300, but the other parts just add up...
  12. akatsuki macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2010
    Having gone the hackintosh route multiple times as well, I found my time was worth more than the price. Getting sound drivers to work was hell, and in the end, I still didn't have them solid. GPU support never exploited all the ram available for them or downclocked what type they were.

    The hack scene should just publish reference platforms with install discs and deviate at your own risk - it would create a much more stable support system and make it a lot easier on the casual hackintosh user.

    The main advantage of macs is that they "just work" and a hackintosh is pretty damn far from just working. In the end, I'd just get a Windows machine for heavy lifting and suck up Window's general mediocrity rather than go hackintosh again.
  13. Parigot macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2011
    How about an old Mac Pro 4.1/5.1? Cheaper than the nMP but still powerful.
  14. toncij thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    I was running Windows machine in parallel with my rMBP for years now and I find myself avoiding it, even desktop being much more powerful and more ergonomic. Blue screens for no reason just annoy me, and hw was just fine. Next boot all works well.

    If my MBP had Thunderbolt 2 for 4K and 16 instead of 8GB of RAM, I'd buy nothing at this moment and just keep it running.

    XCode, together with tens of other apps just clogs my 8GB ram, and 4 cores (8threads) of i7 get red for too long during compilation.

    Not sure, really, what to do about it. :) nMP was my first idea, then X99 came out... :)
  15. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
  16. handheldgames macrumors 65816


    Apr 4, 2009
    Pacific NW, USA
    There are many threads on tonymacx86, etc regarding apple locking down iCloud accounts from functioning on hackintoshes. In response to the breached accounts, Apple has upped security and is shutting down services for many users with hackintoshes. I had 2 machines locked down last weekend. While the iCloud accounds work fine on macs, they are prohibited from logging into a hackintosh. Attempting to log in results in a popup with an incident code and a phone number to call. Apple reps request the hardware udid, serial number, Mac address, etc.

    Users are having mixed results calling Apple to unlock. Ymmv.
  17. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Ah gotcha. That's awful, but very Apple at the same time.
  18. toncij thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    Wow... that sounds bad.
  19. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    I recently upgraded from an 8 core 3,1 to an X99 i7-5820K, and I am very pleased with the build. As far as OS X goes, it "functions." It's nowhere near stable enough to use as a daily driver, but if you need to use it, it's doable. Keep in mind, it hasn't even been a month since X99 was released, and with Mac Pro updates, I am more than confident that it will be supported (eventually) under OS X. I've been sending info to RampageDev for a few days, and he feels confident that with bootloader updates and DSDT writes that X99 will soon be a feasible option for a supported Hackintosh build. The issue is, they're expensive to build. My build alone without storage or GPUs cost upwards of $1K, though that is significantly less than a 6 core nMP. I am not reliant on OS X as a productive suite, however, as my work is done in Adobe CS and can be swapped between OS's. Certainly, the price to performance ratio on an X99 build is probably a lot better, but as has previously been mentioned, you'd need a decent sized case (though as others have stated, there are mATX options.) However, the ability to upgrade my system components outweighs my need for OS X at the moment.

    I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that I think it's too soon to tell. We don't know when the new platform is coming to the Mac Pro, and it's still very early in development to determine how effective a Hackintosh is going to be. If you NEED an upgrade NOW, and you NEED OS X, get a nMP. If you're fine with Windows or a less-than stellar OS X install, go for X99. But in your shoes, with that nice of a machine for now, I would do the easy thing and "wait." More motherboards will be produced as well as small form factor cases.


    In regard to iMessage, that is most certainly an issue. I have had that occur once to me on my Hackintosh iMac G4, though I still owned my 3,1 at the time and was able to provide that serial number to have the device unlocked. That being said, there are a few machines I've worked on where I cannot get iMessage to function AT ALL, let alone get something that would allow me to call and fix it. Currently on my X99 machine, lack of bootloader support has left me at a standstill for iMessage, though iCloud seems to work alright.
  20. toncij thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2014
    Actually, yes, my Mid 2012 MBP is just fine. I do feel slowdowns due to 8GB RAM which is my biggest concern, but I may wait a bit. At least until Christmass.
    On the other hand, I may not need performance of the Haswell-E/EP, but could go just fine with current nMP. Maybe even throw in a base model and buff its RAM... But not sure if the same quad core (I have quad i7 in MBP) would do much of a diff.
  21. riggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2013
    This is the kind if thing that could happen at any time with Hackintoshes, unfortunately. As a solo 3D artist, my workstation and personal computer are one and the same, so I want to keep it both up to date and also as stable as possible. I try to avoid staying up late working, never mind trying to find the right system patch combination. For less than the price of a 4-core Mac Pro, I could move my Titans over to an overclocked 8-core 5960X X99 machine, and I'd love to do that. But for me the decision is more about whether I'm ok with adding a Windows station than building a Hackintosh.

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