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absente

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2019
53
4
Hi there,

I decided to sell my current Late 2013 iMac and go the 'upgrade yourself mac-pro' route, since the whole nVidia debacle. I've been reading for days the forums, however there are some simple questions that I still cannot find the answer to.

Basically what I do is a lot of Design/Video/Audio and Rendering work. The usual suspects are PS/AI, Premiere, Pro Logic and 3D applications. Unfortunately, I really need CUDA for rendering purposes, so that requires one or two 1080TI's or RTX2080's. From what I've understood 1080's are fine with 5,1 or 4,1 models that are patched to 5,1.

Now, in terms of investment, what (dual cpu) configuration would be the best to upgrade? What I want to create is a monster workhorse that will be reliable for the next 2-4 years. And I am perfectly fine with Sierra or HS until the nVidia vs Apple issue is resolved.

What should I pick up? Early 2009 are nearly half the price of early 2010 models here (I am currently in China) and that confuses me a bit.

If someone can point me into the right direction I would be very grateful.

Cheers,
George
 

tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,226
13,403
Early 2009 dual trays uses de-lided Xeons, you will have to de-lid your self or buy de-lided processors. Single CPU trays for 2009 uses lided Xeons.

Early 2009 dual trays are extremely finicky when upgrading, some of them just don't work with upgraded processors, so be warned.

Mid 2010 and mid-2012 dual and single trays uses normal Xeons and are identical, besides the new serial number format for mid-2012.
 

MevetS

Cancelled
Dec 27, 2018
374
303
I read everything there, however the information supposes you already have your mac pro. What I am looking for is the best base to buy for upgrades.

Perhaps you've read these threads as well, but they are similar questions:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/are-you-still-happy-with-your-5-1.2171684/
https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...a-good-mac-so-2012-mac-pro-questions.2171869/
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-5-1-pre-purchase-questions.2171817/
https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ac-pro-2013-please-talk-me-out-of-it.2173104/

Hopefully there is something that helps you make your decision.
 
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pl1984

Suspended
Oct 31, 2017
2,230
2,645
If you're seeking the lowest cost I would recommend a base, dual processor 4,1. However I feel the extra money spent on a base, dual processor 5,1 would be worth it if you intend to upgrade (for the reason provided by tsialex). I would not recommend starting with a single processor system as purchasing a dual CPU tray can be more expensive than purchasing a dual processor system to start with (though the 4,1 dual processor trays are more reasonably priced than the 5,1 dual processor trays).
 
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skizzo

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2018
260
83
If you're seeking the lowest cost I would recommend a base, dual processor 4,1. However I feel the extra money spent on a base, dual processor 5,1 would be worth it if you intend to upgrade (for the reason provided by tsialex). I would not recommend starting with a single processor system as purchasing a dual CPU tray can be more expensive than purchasing a dual processor system to start with (though the 4,1 dual processor trays are more reasonably priced than the 5,1 dual processor trays).

this is sound advice about getting a dual CPU system to start with if you need dual CPU. This is because people are selling dual CPU trays for insane prices, like at least $400. So that's JUST the tray with usually the slowest CPUs and minimal RAM, like 8GB. You can find whole systems for that price
 
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smarterbits

macrumors newbie
Mar 13, 2019
10
8
Montreal
Any clock speed dual CPU 5,1 you can find, as you'll likely but upgrading the CPUs yourself. As mentioned by tsilex, besides single or Dual CPU, there's no functional difference in the upgrades available to any model you choose.

I chose for my cMP to save myself the hassle of dealing with the de-lidded CPUs used in the dual socket 4,1s: Already de-lidded CPUs are more expensive to buy outright than lidded ones. Otherwise I'm not a fan of any of the hacks to either de-lid CPUs yourself or create the necessary gap between the heatsink and socket to fit a lidded CPU.

Also ditto what was mentioned on getting a single socket 4,1 and finding a dual socket tray separately. It's probably cheaper just to find a complete dual socket 5,1 unit from the start.

You might also what to look into the Pixlas mod if you are thinking of powering two high end GPUs.
 
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absente

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2019
53
4
Thanks for all the replies! It seems like a dual 5,1 is the best best for my purposes. One quick question though - since I will do mainly CUDA GPU rendering, would it even make sense to upgrade the CPU's? Or could I get away with a basic 2x 2.4G 8/16 CPU setup?
[doublepost=1552643276][/doublepost]Found a base: Dual 3.06, total 12 core / 24 threads, 32GB ECC in three modules, 500GB Samsung SSD + 1TB WD + 4GB GTX680 for roughly $1200 - I am in China, so price might be a bit high but seems like a workable base. What do you guys think?

I can also pick up a dual 2.4, total 8 cores 16 threads with 16GB ram / 1TB HDD for half the price. However I would have to get SSD, better ram, change CPU's etc
 
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tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,226
13,403
Thanks for all the replies! It seems like a dual 5,1 is the best best for my purposes. One quick question though - since I will do mainly CUDA GPU rendering, would it even make sense to upgrade the CPU's? Or could I get away with a basic 2x 2.4G 8/16 CPU setup?
[doublepost=1552643276][/doublepost]Found a base: Dual 3.06, total 12 core / 24 threads, 32GB ECC in three modules, 500GB Samsung SSD + 1TB WD + 4GB GTX680 for roughly $1200 - I am in China, so price might be a bit high but seems like a workable base. What do you guys think?

I can also pick up a dual 2.4, total 8 cores 16 threads with 16GB ram / 1TB HDD for half the price. However I would have to get SSD, better ram, change CPU's etc
Get the basic one, you can upgrade the CPUs to X5680 (hex 3.33MHz) for less than $45~$50 each. RAM you need 6 modules to get the best throughput, Nehalem/Westmere Xeons are tri-channel, 3 DIMMs for each CPU is the best possible config.
 
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