My Final 5,1 Mega-Upgrade. (Maybe)

Dr. Stealth

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 14, 2004
SoCal-Surf City USA
Hello all my Mac Rumors friends. I haven't been active on MR for a few years. Too busy making a living I guess. Well it's been 4 years since I did my last Major upgrade and at that time I really thought it would be the last upgrade for my trusty Mid-2010 5,1.

Some of you may remember my old post of upgrading to two 4GB 680's and I posted the EFI ROM and tools for others to give it a try.

But, here we are 4 years later with no new Apple offerings to compare. The upgrade possibilities were looking really sweet so I figured "One More Time". If I can milk 2 or 3 more years out of this box I'll be a happy camper. I don't do any gaming, this workstation is for CADD Design and Rendering with Solidworks and Solidworks Visualize (Renderer). Visualize uses the NVIDIA Iray render engine which utilizes the CUDA cores of the Nvidia GPU's. The more CUDA cores I have the faster I can do my work.

So, this is what I just finished doing with my box....

(One) Amfeltec PCI Express Gen 3 Carrier Board for 2 M.2 SSD modules

(Two) Samsung SM951 512GB AHCI ( macOS 10.12.6 & Win 10 Creative )

(Two) EVGA GTX 1080 TI FTW3 - 11G-P4-6696-KR

(Two) Intel Xeon x5690 (Maxed Out)

(One) Apple NVIDIA GT 120 ( Boot Screens ! )

I already had 64 GB of RAM and a dedicated 450 watt auxiliary PSU for the GPU's in the lower Optical bay from my last upgrade.

I saw the post by Prince134 stuffing 3 dual-slot GPU's in his box and it inspired me. So now my PCIe slots are as follows:

1) EVGA GTX 1080 TI FTW3

2) Amfeltec adapter with (2) 512GB M.2 SSD's ( macOS 10.12.6 & Win 10 Creative )

3) Apple NVIDIA GT 120 ( Boot Screens ! )

4) EVGA GTX 1080 TI FTW3

It wasn't exactly cheap, but for me it was well worth it. I love my 5,1 and want to hang on to it as long as I can. Still hoping Apple will come out with something better as most are. Everything is running super stable and super fast in both Win 10 and macOS. My rendering benches are nearly 4 times faster now. What used to take me 1 hour to render now takes 15 minutes. Money in my pocket.

If you'd like to see some of my work It's here:

Two of these...

Xeon x5690.jpg

Two of these...
EVGA GTX 1080 TI FTW3-11G-P4-6696-KR.PNG

Two of these...
Samsung SM951 512GB AHCI.jpg

One of these...

And one of these...
Apple Nvidia 120 GT.PNG


Octane Bench - Dual GTX-1080 TI FTW3 - Mac.png

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 11.04.03 AM.png


Jul 4, 2015
Same observation I made 2 years back.

You can see the Windows sequential read/write speeds are always about 7-8% faster than macOS because the AHCI drivers are more efficient with less overhead.

Fast forward two major macOS updates and still no change. **** man are there any decent drivers in macOS at all?


macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
Hong Kong
Is there any cross platform disk benchmark? Compare different benchmark results that only has few % difference is hard to conclude that the difference is coming from the OS / driver. Even on the same OS, different benchmarks can have few % difference.


macrumors 6502
Nov 14, 2016
Copenhagen, Denmark
We just configured a similar dual 1080Ti system for a studio :)

Get the reference model of the 1080 TI (the founder edition). It's better for the cMP cooling with dual GPU.
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