MP 5,1 W3680 to ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Kuzbad, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Kuzbad macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2009
    I have a MP 5,1 with stock 3.33ghz 6-core W3680, 6gb ram, and an Sandisk SATA SSD. Still running Snow Leopard (!) so will be upgrading to El Cap soon. I'm trying to figure out which upgrades would make an actual difference in daily usage (used for Parallels Virtual Machine, Quark and InDesign, light Photoshop and Illustrator). Photoshop and Illustrator use is frequent, but nothing too heavy--designing book and magazine covers.

    We're getting a bunch of new 27-inch iMacs, but I want to keep this one computer running too!

    Here are my plans, in order of priority:

    1) Upgrade ram from 2x2x2 to 8x8 (paired DIMMs are still ideal, right?)
    2) New video card
    3) 4K monitor (probably Asus PB279 -- have one on a Mac Pro 1,1 that works great)

    4) Upgrade from SATA SSD to PCIe SSD
    5) Upgrade W3680 to ??

    Would upgrading the W3680 to a single processor X5680 make a difference? I kind of doubt that dual processor would matter too much, but I would consider it. All MP 5,1s support dual proc right?

    Any thoughts appreciated!
  2. h9826790, Apr 6, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    No, your 5,1 cannot upgrade to dual processor unless you buy a new CPU tray.

    There is almost no benefit from W3680 to X5680 apart from 10C higher CPU max temperature and able to boot from 4x16G RAM. (T-case max 67.9C vs 78.5C, and W3680 max at 3x16+8=56G RAM)

    Use 3 identical stick is optimum for single processor 5,1, not two.

    For virtual machine. More RAM will make the difference, especially 16G RAM is no much in nowadays standard. You may consider go for 24G or even more.

    New GPU sounds reasonable to me, but not much benefit for daily use (** I know nothing about Quark and InDesign, if they can benefit from GPU acceleration, or OpenCL etc, then new GPU sure is a good idea**)

    Upgrade from SATA SSD to PCIe SSD should make some difference (but not significant), unless your work can benefit from high speed scratch disk.
  3. Kuzbad thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2009
    Right! Hex core... I forgot about that. Thank you!
  4. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Not really core number related, but numbers of channel.
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    You don't have anywhere to go with CPU except W3690 and the difference is probably not worth the cost.

    Running a VM, you could definitely benefit from more than your current 6GB RAM. Also, run the host OS and guest OS on separate drives.
  6. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    The only advantage the X5680 has over the W3680 in a single CPU cMP is RAM Capacity. IIRC the W3680 handles 48GB the X5680 handles 64GB. And then there's the W3690 or W5690? A bit faster clock speed.


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