Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by canadaman001, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. canadaman001 macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2013
    Hi guys what would you do in my case i have 2009 mac quad core pro 2.66 ghz with radeon HD 5770 and gtx 550ti with 12 gb memory i am hobbyist making short films some cinema 4d work. I am thinking of getting new computer this time pc spending around 3000 on AMD 8 core machine. Do you think its worth spending this much on PC or just upgrade my mac to 6 core or 4 core but faster xion and more memory. this is 2009 mac with upgrade or without how many years should this mac last me before i start to fell is going down. Right now i can sell it for 1500 where i live. Any suggestion would help

  2. sarthak macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    I have the same Mac Pro 4,1 base model. I have done quite a few upgrades to it (see sig). I'd strongly recommend that you do a chip upgrade, get the W3680 which is around $500-$600 on eBay. You'll get almost 60% more CPU performance (geekbench).

    Another thing you can do is sell the 5770 and pick up a GTX 670 for around $300. This will bump your GPU performance significantly. If you can get even $225 for the Apple 5770, that's still a great and cost effective upgrade to the 670! Unless the programs require ATI.

    Far cheaper than spending $3,000 on a PC which will depreciate faster than even your current Mac.
  3. Pjotr28 macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2013

    What Mseth said, I recently upgraded the CPU to w3680 six cor 3.33ghz and also put in a GTX 670. The machine is three times faster. And even faster then the newest iMac. (I think)

    Besides of that one of the reasons I decided to upgrade is that all my software is Mac. Changing to PC would cost me a lot more than only the hardware.

    I think this system can compete for two more years.
  4. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    It really depends on what kind of work youre planning to do. However, as 4,1 owner I think it is still very powerful. I am video hobbyist as well (professional video editor in my daytime job, working on different workstation) and my 2.93 Quad Xeon is still powerful for my needs. If I ever need faster renders, I'll get the mentioned six core CPU but honestly I haven't felt that need.

    There's a ton of things you can make to your Mac Pro to run faster.

    1. I'd advise getting more RAM. You can put regular DDR3 RAM (check the specific specs though) for dirt cheap. I "maxed" out mine at 32 gigs. It's not really that unreasonable. I run Premiere Pro and After Effects at once, sometimes even with Photoshop open and some other apps (Safari, Messages, iTunes... the usual stuff) - it doesn't skip a beat. 12 gigs is OK but for any serious work, especially when dealing with large HD files, 16+ gigs of RAM will make a difference (for example when I render in AE, it can eat up to 20 gigs of RAM and even more).

    2. Get faster drives! I personally run SSD as my OS drive and for my work files (large video files) I have a pair of 500GB Seagate drives in RAID0. If you are not bound by finances, you can utilize an SSD for your scratch disk/project drive as well, or even a pair of SSDs with SATAIII PCIe card.

    3. Look up if any of your software can benefit from new generation of GPUs. Adobe has CUDA support, Cinema 4D should use some GPU acceleration as well. If you run Mountain Lion you can use a ton of cheap and powerful PC cards.

    If you are just a dude who likes to do video stuff on high-end level as a hobby, then I say keep the Mac Pro and upgrade it. It will be cheaper than buying super powerful PC now. Remember, you can sell the old parts for some money to cover your next purchase.
    I do 1080P stuff and I find MP in my configuration more than capable of handling it, I bet even if I threw some DSLR footage at it with some higher res, I would make it work.
  5. Macsonic, Mar 19, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013

    Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    @canadaman001 Hi. In my opinion, just upgrade your current 4,1 Mac Pro. In getting a new PC, it's hard to quantify if the speed increase will be major or will just make a little difference with the type of work you do. And maybe just save the extra money on the upcoming new 2013 Mac Pro.
  6. canadaman001 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2013

    thanks guys i think i will stay with mac but is it correct that i can use regular pc memory in my mac pro? and if yes what kind is it
  7. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Yes, server memory... No weird-arse Apple heat-sinks are needed for DIMMs over 1GB in size but don't get the kins with bare chips either. Either the Apple heat-sinks or the thin heat-spreader types (like xserve memory) are sufficient.

    If you're machine is a MP3,1 I believe it takes ECC FB DIMM 800MHz PC2-6400 240pin dual column memory.

    XServe memory works. ;)
  8. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    If you venture all the way up the page to his first post he has a 2009, so this advice isn't useful.

    I would rec that he gets 1333 speed RAM in case one day he gets a faster CPU it will already work.
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Oh, I thought 2009 was MP3,1 :confused:

    I hate these two different model naming systems. UG!
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This is a tricky item. You have to have to pick a philosophy on this - upgrade the present item with perhaps only the SSD option as being a selling point later or seek a solution elsewhere. Even with a CPU upgrade there is not too much resale value to your 2009 Mac Pro.

    Memory - 2009 Mac Pro uses server memory which these days usually isn't that expensive but the memory for this earlier model is a bit more given it is somewhat obsolete. Check sites such as OWC and see their prices. You might buy there or elsewhere but DON'T buy until you know exactly what kind of RAM memory works in your system. I believe you can max it out at 32 gigs if desired.

    SSD - great option to speed up work. In a Mac Pro - you can use one SSD for OS and apps, another SSD for scratch.

    Alternatives to SSD - Western Digital Raptor drives. The latest incarnation is a 1 terabyte drive. These are 10,000 rpm and do very well as individual drives and raided. A nice set up might be 1 SSD OS/App drive, 2- raptors striped for work space and then a 4 tb drive for back up of the SSD drive and additional storage or Time Machine.

    graphics cards - sadly these don't hold their value very well but there are a few that work nicely in the Mac Pro you own. The real use value is measured by how well your specific applications can exploit them. Obviously buying a high end graphics card to surf the web wont do much ado about anything compared to a standard graphics card.

    Last consideration - for 3000, you might look at a refurb or used newer Mac Pro. The advantage is often faster CPU, cheaper memory upgrade AND if I am not mistaken they offer PCI bus 2.x rather than 1.2 which is what the 2009 Mac uses. that 1.2 PCI bus limits options of cards to add, buss speed and more. - Anyone here please correct me if my latter statement is incorrect. Being on the older PCI bus is really in my estimates the Achilles heel of this machine.

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