MacPro4,1 Processor, SSD, and graphics card upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 5050, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. 5050 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    #1
    Hello Mac Pro gurus,

    I'm looking to breath a little life into my aging MacPro4,1 (early 2009) 2.26 GHz 8-core system. Here are the current specifications on my system:

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...eight-core-2.26-early-2009-nehalem-specs.html

    Some of the current upgrades I'm considering are:

    1) Sonnet Tempo SSD PCIe Card Adaptor + Samsung 840 Pro 2x256GB RAID 0 configuration (for system disk)

    2) GTX 580 or 680

    3) 2xW3680 3.33 GHz (6-core) Westmere.

    My main application for this system is Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects CS6 and have no interest in gaming performance. Would be interested in your thoughts of the upgrades. Also, if anyone has any specific experience/details on how I might go about upgrading to the W3680 processors, that would be much appreciated (I would go through OWC's Turnkey Upgrade Program for the processor upgrade, but they no longer support 2009 model upgrades, only 2010). Also, it should be noted that I've NEVER attempted to upgrade a CPU in the past.

    Also, for any After Effects/Maya users out there, is it more crucial to have your SSD set up for your system disk or scratch disk? Is a RAID 0 configuration for both system and scratch disk ideal for maximum After Effects and Maya performance?

    If the answers are out there, I know they're here!

    Many thanks in advance!

    Jonathan
     
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Could just buy external sata dvd enlcosure to put your superdrive in then use the two connectors in the dvd drive bay for them ssd unless that pci-e card gets you sata3 speeds.

    You need the dual processor part for your machine those are for the single core machine upgrade X5680 I think it numbered. Also you need to do extra work on the HSF area with dual processor machine the cpus you install raise the height on them by couple of millimeters so need spacers installed and the connector for the power control needs to be freed to get the extra length need for proper contact for it to work.
     
  3. Mac Hammer Fan, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

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    #3
  4. 5050 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    #4
    Sonnet's website mentions boot support here:
    http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempossdpro.html

    ----------

    Thanks much for the AnandTech link, will check it out!
     
  5. 5050 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 28, 2009
    #5
  6. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    Mar 17, 2007
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    #6
    Look like they have lots of positive feedback the price is good as well, I did search and found matched pair of them cpus for same price as this upgrade. So if you are going to do it looks like good option they take all the risk on the upgrade you pay for the privilege of having someone do it for you which in reality turns out to be the cheaper option anyways. Not that there is lot of risk doing it if you know what you are doing.
     
  7. lewdvig macrumors 65816

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    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #7
    The CPUs you need are about $1000 each.

    IMO you would be better off with a new DP MP when they come out. Ivy Bridge CPUs are a big upgrade over first gen Core processors. Haswell will be even more so, if that is what Apple uses.
     
  8. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #8
    Sure, but to beat what OP can get for $2k is gonna' cost at least $5k when the new MPs hit the street... although I admit that, factoring in resale, the difference narrows.
     
  9. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502

    Mac Hammer Fan

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    Location:
    Belgium
    #9
    You have to check if the card number begins with B. Older versions are not bootable and a cheaper card from Sonnet is only bootable over thunderbolt.
     
  10. lewdvig macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Plus warranty and any other nifty new features. For example I would expect SATA 3 (and maybe even 2.5" sleds) negating the need for a SATA PCI card.

    If he keeps the current rig, personally I would do the CPU upgrade myself. It's so easy and saves enough money versus the eBay seller that it pays for 2-3 SSDs (I got the 128 GB 840p on black Friday with a $20GC, Far Cry 3 and AC3 for $170). Surely the 256 GB drives are cheap now.

    Regarding GPU: The 580 is better for CUDA I believe, but may not be as well supported as the 680 is and will be.

    My guess is that a single Haswell CPU will be pretty close to matching the two quads in the current box in a lot of tests.
     
  11. 5050 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    #11
    Order went through on Friday for the Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro PCIe Card Adaptor from OWC; also confirmed that the serial does indeed start with a "B." Two 256GB Samsung 840 Pro's are also en route and plan to set up a RAID 0 configuration between the two as my system and applications disk.

    Since I mainly work in After Effects, I'll do a test render and see how the new disk setup affects performance. Currently, I just have a vanilla 7200 RPM drive for my system disk. If there are any other performance requests, I'd be glad to give them a try.

    Plan is to set up the RAID 0 according to experience detailed here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1552592

    ----------

    I had considered that, but who knows when these systems will be released? There is no "official" release date, only rumors . . .

    So I considered the current facts and options available to me now, and this upgrade makes the most sense. To assemble a similar Mac Pro system at the Apple Store would easily run me several thousands of dollars more than simply upgrading portions of my current 4,1 system.

    I admit, there will be a small pang of regret if the new systems are announced shortly after the upgrade, but no problem. I'll simply try and sell off my other 2,1 system for a few bucks and upgrade to the 6,1 when -- and if -- they ever arrive . . . and based on my needs for another faster system in my workflow.

    Any other hardware upgrade alternatives you suggest apart from waiting from Apple?

    Thanks!!!

    ----------

    Lewdvig, now you are really dangling the carrot in front of me regarding your performance statement of the single Haswell CPU, lol ;-)

    Nevertheless, mac*pro's ebay upgrade for a 12 Core 3.33GHz Xeon X5680 Westmere Dual CPU Upgrade is $2,299.99 and I can't find prices for the X5680 that come in significantly lower than mac*pro's upgrade price. Any suggestions on retailers that price their X5680s at significant discount (cheap enough for me to consider doing it msyelf vs mac*pro's upgrade service)?
     
  12. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #12
    Haswell-E i a long way off, and judging from the early reports of 5-10% performance bump Haswell over Ivy we're a long way off of a single processor beating a DP machine.
     
  13. lewdvig macrumors 65816

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    #13
    LOL I was hoping someone would say this. :)

    Nehalem/Westmere < Sandy < Ivy < Haswell

    Since you don't have an Ivy MP you have to compare Haswell to Nehalem or Westmere.

    That's a 40-60% clock for clock (depends on the test, obviously - but new vector instructions will be a big deal for typical; MP workloads). I doubt new Haswell will be any slower than 3.5 GHz. Mainstream Ivy CPUs are 3.4 GHz and sip power at stock clocks.

    Plus RAM will be 50% faster too.

    So I think a single CPU Haswell will run that dual CPU 2.26 machine pretty close.

    Factor in all the platform upgrades and it should be a pretty easy win for the new box.

    But yeah, I have a 4,1 and I likely will not upgrade to a new box.
     
  14. animatedude macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    #14
    will the next Mac Pro refresh have SSDs as a standard?

    you think?:)
     
  15. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502

    MyMac1976

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    #15
    Depends on the test. If you just gonna Geekbench them the Haswell might just tie the 2.26 DP but I think it's going to fall 1500 or so short. My guess is a 4770 will be near 14K. In Ps and Ae the 2.26DP will get smoked no doubt about it in premiere, FCP, and really any Autodesk stuff the DP will win I'd bet. We have a couple years yet till Haswell-e though we know it's real world performance by then.
     

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