MP 6,1 upgrading to

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by djjaes, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. djjaes macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2015
    US South
    I am thinking of adding the 6,1 MP to my collection, or workflow rather. I have a 2009 MP flashed to 5,1 (quad core 3.46, 16 GB, HD 5870) and will be adding another computer to the house.

    I have always liked the design of the 6,1. I realize the potential issue with GPU etc.

    I wanted to ask the community your thoughts on this potential purchase.

    As well, if you have one of these MP 6,1 what has been your experience with the machine.

    My likely purchase is:

    A used (or refurbed) model 6,1 3.7 quad core base model D300 (OWC or Apple refurb are the areas I am looking to purchases at this time, eBay, I'm a bit iffy since some GPU are giving users issues).

    I do light to moderate video editing with effects (FCPX suite, Hitfilm), some audio and the basic home computing. I prefer to not go to the iMac line at this time (the extra ports on the 6,1 are one of the selling points for me, and the iMac Pro is well out of the budge at this time).
  2. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Oct 31, 2017
    I have a six core, 32GB, D300, 256GB SSD 6,1 and I'm very happy with it. I also own a 1,1, a 3,1, and a 5,1 all of which are the mainstream, base configurations as shipped by Apple in the year they were released. Aside from memory and HD upgrades they're pretty much as they were when shipped by Apple.

    My thought process in buying the 6,1 was simple: I like the design and it was my conclusion the nMP, even the quad core model, would outperform all of my cMP systems (with the possible exception of multithread applications) in just about every performance metric. I ended up picking up a six core system at a decent price off of Ebay (even had AppleCare on it) and it's been a solid system.

    With that said I do find the design slightly annoying when it comes to usability. Compared to my cMP's plugging in a USB drive is annoying. I have to hunt around the back and navigate through the wires. The cMP I just plug the drive into one of the front USB ports. Is it a deal breaker? Certainly not but it is annoying.

    My only real issue with it is its price. I think it's out of line given their age. Maybe the iMac Pro might put some downward pressure on them.
  3. djjaes thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2015
    US South
    Great points. I too love this Darth Vader Mac, as I call it, and want real feed back. I realize on forums such as this that many nay-sayers and those will legitimate issue post more than those that do not.

    I guess I am searching for a form of absolution in order to make the best choice given my budget. A 4 core model with D300 will fit easily in the budget. A 6 core is pushing it. I like the idea of the 6 core, so I might save up a bit longer but keep the RAM and SSD (upgradeable later if needed) to the basic spec.

    Thanks pl1984!
  4. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
  5. djjaes thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2015
    US South
  6. krakman macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2009
    I have a 6.1 with dodgy graphics card problem. I had to buy loads of external hard drives, dongles and a DVD drive.... ended up with a desk full of wire spaghetti and if you plugin cables to all the slots in the back it is difficult to press the power button.

    I bought the trash can as a test machine the plan being to upgrade the various iMacs, mac minis and laptops that were floating around the office. Eventually I bought 7 used 5.1s and pimped them all up. they have been rock solid compared to the 6.1

    The trash can is still 5 year old technology. You are going to spend 1500 to 2000 USD on something that is only marginally faster than you already have.

    And you will require dongles and possibly new mini displayport cables for your monitor.

    have you not considered pimping your 5.1 with an Nvme ssd ? you can't boot from it but as a data drive it will be ideal for FCPX

    USB 3.1 cards are about 80 USD

    you can install a AMD RX 580 graphics card which is 2 if not 3 generations newer than the Trash can graphics cards (with the minor drawback of no boot screens)

    also RX vega cards work in the cMP (but we are all awaiting a fix for the fans)

    So for less than 1000 USD you can pimp your cMP and if anything breaks down you can easily get spares/replacements.
  7. yellowbunny macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2010
    I have the quad core. Stock but with 16gb ram. I took the 4 drives out of my 1,1 and put them in a 4 bay enclosure. This lives under my desk. The only things on my desk are the Mac, a hub/card reader (same one that was connected to my 1,1) and two cinema displays (20 and 30, also were connected to my 1,1).

    I'm really happy with it. Super fast and totally silent. I use it for fcpx and have a 3tb photo library on the enclosure. Would choose this over an iMac any day.
  8. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Oct 31, 2017
    A quad core will easily meet or exceed the configuration you currently have:
    • 6,1 Mac Pro has a base frequency that's equal to the turbo frequency of your 4,1 Mac Pro.
    • 6,1 Mac Pro has a better architecture than the 4,1 Mac Pro and thus, at equal frequency, is faster.
    • 6,1 Mac Pro can accept more memory than your single processor 4,1.
    • 6,1 Mac Pro D300 graphics are faster than the 5870 in your 4,1.
    • 6,1 Mac Pro uses native SSD as its internal storage medium, much faster than your 4,1.
    Unless you're willing to upgrade your 5,1 to a maximum configuration the 6,1 is the clear winner.

    This is not to say the 5,1 is a bad system. I love my 5,1 and I truly wish Apple would have continued on with the form factor. The 6,1 requirement of everything being external is annoying. The fact that a simple task of plugging in a USB flash drive is annoying is a testament to the poor design aesthetics of the 6,1. This might seem trivial but aren't the little things the basis for buying Apple in the first place?
  9. Xde macrumors member


    Jul 11, 2016
    take an usb extension cable, screw some cable holder
    below the desk, use some cable strips, and you have an
    usb port right at your desk front.
    not a big problem.
  10. djjaes thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2015
    US South
    If I go with the 6,1, the port issue is not a big one for me...I will at least use some hub for extra drives (although, I will still use the 4,1/5,1 Mac Pro), so that will not be an issue. Maybe enough for saving projects (however, I would eventually upgrade the drive to the highest I could afford).

    TBH, I rarely use the USB ports these days.

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9 February 10, 2018