My "new" Mac Pro 5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Webspecter, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Webspecter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #1
    For my first post on this forum, I want to thank all of the pros and enthusiasts here for helping me build the Mac I've always wanted. Here's what happened.

    Years ago I abandoned hope for the mythical "xMac" and, although a devoted Power Mac G4 and G5 user for years, I bought a 2007 20" iMac, which has been my primary computer until now. So I was definitely ready for an upgrade, even though the old iMac still runs like a champ. But it's slow and the 2600 graphics is meager for even light gaming. I'm an English professor by trade, but I do like to do some moderate gaming, music and video production, photo work in Pixelmator, and I spend a lot of time encoding in oXygen. The old Mac Pro always seemed to be overkill for me and not worth the price. Even more so now with the new Mac Pro. The xMac would have been my machine, but it will never come.

    Naturally, when I started shopping for a new Mac several months ago I started with the iMac. My budget was $1,800. I wanted an i7, at least a 256GB SDD, and 16GB ram. A 21.5" iMac with those specs is nearly $2,000! And it's not upgradable and comes with a measly graphics chip. So I looked at the 27" and retina iMac. Too expensive, non-upgradable, with mobile graphics. I thought to myself, there must be some other option to get exactly the specs I want for the right price. So I started reading the Mac Pro forums and discovered that the answer was there all along: the 4,1 or 5,1 Mac Pro.

    After reading just about every thread on the Mac Pro board, here's what I ended up putting together and what it cost:

    2010 Mac Pro 2.8ghz quad core with Radeon 5770: $660
    12GB 1333 OWC memory: $150
    512 GB Crucial SSD: $200
    Apricot Velocity Solo X2: $80
    Dell S2340M 23" 1920x1080 monitor: $129

    That's $1219 for a base system that runs circles around my old iMac and can be upgraded to my heart's content. And since I still hadn't reached my budget limit, I decided to beef it up even more to see what I could build for the same price as the 21.5" iMac. So I just added:

    3.46 ghz 6-core X5690: $244
    EVGA Geforce GTX 970: $339

    Grand total: $1,802. Bingo!

    I couldn't be happier. The computer looks brand new, runs flawlessly and cool, and will last me at least another 5-7 years. Thanks to the members on this forum, the CPU upgrade was a piece of cake, and the Velocity X2 is great. I installed some old hard drives for Time Machine and media storage, and now I'm set. With smcfancontrol, even the most strenuous Handbraking job keeps the CPU in the mid 50s. And the GTX 970 is a wonder, even though the web drivers aren't optimized yet. Heck, the Radeon 5770 seemed great to me coming from an HD 2600.

    Thanks for helping me build the perfect Mac, for me. I'm sure the iMac would have been adequate, but it's just not as flexible, nor nearly as much fun as tinkering with the silver tank!
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #2
    You've built yourself a GREAT Rig. Good Job!!!!!!!!

    Lou
     
  3. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
  4. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    Very nice choice of hardware upgrades, have fun.

    I just installed an MVC HD7970 video card today myself. It's nice to be able to upgrade.
     
  5. Webspecter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #5
    First benchmark. I like it! Also ran the stress test. Smooth as butter, and cool.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #6
    Ain't that the truth!

    Lou
     
  7. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #7
    Welcome to the Mac Pro forum and awesome build .

    Excellent video card and sure to get better in the weeks ahead as they drivers float towards us from the Green Team .

    Let's hope for support in OS X for these Maxwells .

    Your Xeon X5690 will support a massive 64GB of memory at 1333 MHz .

    Your next logical upgrade would be a Duo Velocity card , which will get you 800 MB/s , to balance out all your high end components .

    Nehalem Mac Pros are lifetime keepers , literally .

    Good luck and enjoy !

    P.S. out of curiosity , how many seconds from a cold boot to a working desktop ? I've found the solo Velocity cards take a long time , especially in heavily upgraded DP Nehalems ...
     
  8. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #8
    Congratulations on your "new" classic Mac Pro. :) It's a good upgrade at a lower cost. Many of the design studio clients I do business with, have taken this route or they purchased used classic Mac Pros. The lower cost with adequate benefits was given much weight. Enjoy your machine.
     
  9. Webspecter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #9
    It takes 46 seconds to boot. But once it's up and running I'm getting the usual 450 to 490 read and write speeds.

    Regarding the Velocity Duo,--yeah, I should have bought that instead of the Solo, especially since there's a $40 rebate now and 512gb SSD's are so cheap. I wasn't sure if I could use only one SSD in it for the time being. I'll probably end up using the Solo for my media drive and set up a Raid 0 with a Duo down the line.

    ----------

    And thank you for the kind words, everyone. It's good to hear that I didn't screw it up and make bad decisions!
     
  10. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #10

    Interesting , since I had that card with a Sammy 840 EVO in a rebuild for a very high end video editing Mac Pro with a pair of AMD 7950 for compute . It took over a minute to boot , so I abandoned that card and went with a Sonnet Tempo . To the card's credit , there was an awful lot of gear that had to pass POST .
     
  11. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #11
    Almost exactly what I'm getting on a 2012 MP, 3.46 W3690, 24GB OWC RAM and OS X via SATA3 SSD on a Velo Duo. I cannot find anything in the Mac line that I like better than a MP 5,1.

    From my point of view 2012 was the Mac's pinnacle year even considering the current USB3, PCIe storage and faster RAM.
     
  12. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    Just for you-know-whats and giggles I tried mine twice. MP 5,1 w/3.46 hexa-core, 3x8GB RAM, Apricorn Velo Duo x2 with two boot SSDs (Yosemite and W8.1, crappy old HD 5770 GPU, Blu-ray OD, three WD RE 4TB HDDs, two WD RE2 2TB HDDs (one is Time Machine #2, I think a boot drive), Ethernet including a 3TB Time Capsule (Time Machine #1) and a live EyeTV plugged into USB.

    About 16 seconds to the chime. A total of 39.30 seconds to desktop from pressing the power button if I jam my password in as fast as possible. No complaints here.
     
  13. Webspecter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #13
    I couldn't agree more. Perfect machine for me. Except for the stupid TRIM problem. I have the MX100 512GB. Crucial says the garbage collection will do its job when the drive is idle and not to put the disk to sleep. So I hope it does its job overnight since I don't put the computer to sleep. My understanding is that TRIM doesn't work on a RAID setup, which is what I'll be doing next, so it may not even matter.

    ----------

    Did a fresh boot this morning and got 42 seconds. No complaints here either. I'm just going to leave it on now and not even worry about boot times.
     
  14. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #14
    If you have an available slot, just add another Velocity Solo x2 with another 500GB drive and setup a RAID 0 or 1. I have that config and get over 900MB/s on my reads. A single Duo card is rated to only UP TO 800. I have Intel 530's which aren't the fastest, so if I had faster SSD's, I'd probably get over 1000MB/s reads.
     
  15. Webspecter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    #15
    Sounds good. What block size do you recommend when setting up the RAID? I'd like to find a nice middle ground for basic use with smaller files and the occasional large file. Not much hardcore video editing. 16 or 32K?
     
  16. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #16
    If just an occasional large file, I'd stick with the default strip size.
     

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