nMP in the end it was not for me - I replaced it with

Stageshoot

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
122
29
Central UK
My nMP journey came to an end yesterday when the UPS man came and took the little box away

(It arrived back at apple today) (Darn sight quicker than they got it to me)

I thought I would love the little cylinder, I placed my order the moment the store opened on launch day and sat waiting like a kid for a month, and when it arrived I found it a bit of a let down.

I have always been a big box person, and having loads of external drives it soon got on my nerves having a slew of externals plugged in.

Performance from the nMP 6 Core, 512, 16, D700. I found it lacklustre in many ways and graphically it was a let down when running in Mac mode, an issue I though would resolve with Bootcamp, but like others mine steadfastly refused to allow a bootcamp install.

After a week messing around, I found that was what I was doing I was messing around,

I replaced the nMP with a 3 Year Old HP Z800 Workstation purchased from a refurbisher.

nMP Cost £4335 (6 Core, 16Gb, 512, D700)

HP Z800 Cost £879 (6 Core x2, 48Gb)

The HP Geekbench scores are 25% faster than the nMP, it runs smoothly everything I throw at it (I installed 2 Boot 240Gb SSDs Win8 and OSX) I can fit 7 Large drives inside it. no more externals and I have expansion again.

So my nMP journey has ended back at a big box, I am sure most will love the nMP bot I do wonder how many more like me who jumped on them will think in the end there are better alternatives

The HP Z800 came as standard with
2x Xeon 5660 2.8/3.2Ghz CPUs, 48Gb of ECC Registered DDR3

I added 2 x Crucial 240Gb SSDs which I already had but cost £90 each and 1 Geoforce GTX760 Graphics card which I already had but cost £179

So All in all I have a system that fits my needs better, and over £3000 change in my pocket, but I will of course watch the nMP progression with interest

SO FROM


TO




 
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Stageshoot

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
122
29
Central UK
Dell or HP?
HP, DOH!! sorry I have just been fault finding a Dell for a Friend and its stuck in my brain!!!

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Wait? I didn't know you could Hack a Z800...
Yes it hackintoshs very easily standard EasyBeast on Mavericks nothing to mess around with and it runs like a dream. with the 2 5660s it knocks spots off the 6 Core nMP in both benchmarks and real use.
 

ScottishCaptain

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2008
872
467
Huh, I was looking at those systems not too long ago as a "Mac Pro" replacement.

How do you find the build quality? Are any of the plastic bits overly flimsy, or do you find that everything was built to an acceptable level of quality?

Likewise, how loud do you find the Z800 to be? I know it's not going to be as quiet as the nMP, but would you by chance be able to make a rough comparison against the older Mac Pro? Is it louder or quieter?

-SC
 

Stageshoot

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
122
29
Central UK
Huh, I was looking at those systems not too long ago as a "Mac Pro" replacement.

How do you find the build quality? Are any of the plastic bits overly flimsy, or do you find that everything was built to an acceptable level of quality?

Likewise, how loud do you find the Z800 to be? I know it's not going to be as quiet as the nMP, but would you by chance be able to make a rough comparison against the older Mac Pro? Is it louder or quieter?

-SC
Build Quality is superb, only item I would class as flimsy (Not really flimsy but does not seem as good as the rest) is the fan bar over the Memory, it is a bit flexible and I think if it was contantly in and out I doubt the clips would last but to be hinest once installed its not something you are going to be taking out apart from the odd fan clean

I Have a HP N54L Mini server on my desk (Can be seen in the photos next to the nMP) and the Z800 is a lot quieter than that. I thnk the Z800 is so solidly built and the fans are under so much metal it sulls it down a lot, I would say its the quietest PC I have ever had, not silent but nothing of concern (Would not want it as a HTPC though!). I was running Tombraider on it last night and the GTX760 was ramped up to full fan and you could not hear it all as there is so much deadening in the case

I think Power for Price they are a steal. They do a Single 6 Core with 24Gb as well for £530 which is a real steal. Although I think the 2x 6 Core and 48GB was the sweet spot.

Just ran a noise meter at my desk with the Z800 on and the N54L off it is below 40db in the room (Goes up to 52db when the N54L is switched on).

Like the oMP its a bit a bruiser when it comes to shifting it about, luckily it has the 2 handles on the top. mine sits on the scales at 22.3kg so its no slimmer of the year,.
 
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phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
725
I am happy you got a system that works well for you. Do you engage any software in particular?

It would have been interesting to see how well the new Mac (mini) Pro would have been received if they had not used an ATI graphics solution. It might have easily been rated (and accurately) a far better unit off the shelf. People now have to wait for software makers to exploit ATI's CL a bit better. Oh well.

In the meanwhile, I'll patiently wait for the next Mac Mini and hope it has the Iris Pro.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,368
Boston
Yes it hackintoshs very easily standard EasyBeast on Mavericks nothing to mess around with and it runs like a dream. with the 2 5660s it knocks spots off the 6 Core nMP in both benchmarks and real use.
Good luck on the hackintosh front, I did this and while its a fun project I personally wouldn't do it for my main machine. I had trouble upgrading it beyond Snow Leopard. With a lot of work, research and some hassle, I got it to Lion. I have no idea if it will take Mavericks.

I suppose the nMP is not for everyone, though I wish it was for me, but I just don't have the extra money lying around to afford such a beast :D
 

Stageshoot

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
122
29
Central UK
Good luck on the hackintosh front, I did this and while its a fun project I personally wouldn't do it for my main machine. I had trouble upgrading it beyond Snow Leopard. With a lot of work, research and some hassle, I got it to Lion. I have no idea if it will take Mavericks.

I suppose the nMP is not for everyone, though I wish it was for me, but I just don't have the extra money lying around to afford such a beast :D
I have never used a Hackintosh before but I just followed a step by step guide and installed it straight to Maverick 10.9.1 it worked first time no hassles no heartache.

I do most of my work in Windows but I have got used to OSX for some stuff so like having it there as well.
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,268
27
You have balls my friend.
Some of us specially in the professional world dont have the time and resources to do what you do.
If I had nothing better to do I guess Id be researching the Hackintosh.
In the end its about running smoothly from the get go with no dicking around for some of us (in my field which is film production).
I stick with Dell/BOXX for my Maya/Renderman needs.
For the nMP, it will be utilized for what its best at.
Sure we can find faster but then who has time to play when work has to be done :)
 

Stageshoot

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
122
29
Central UK
You have balls my friend.
Some of us specially in the professional world dont have the time and resources to do what you do.
If I had nothing better to do I guess Id be researching the Hackintosh.
In the end its about running smoothly from the get go with no dicking around for some of us (in my field which is film production).
I stick with Dell/BOXX for my Maya/Renderman needs.
For the nMP, it will be utilized for what its best at.
Sure we can find faster but then who has time to play when work has to be done :)
I make my living with my machine and my camera of course, and the nMP was not for me like I said I dont like the idea of external drives (I am old and it makes me uncomfatable). I prefer all inside the machine with a secure offsite backup over ethernet.

Dont want to get into a war over nMP vs Big Box as I said its down to personal taste.

But suggesting it needs balls and is unprofessional to try anything non standard I find insulting. I have been building systems since 8086 days and can assure you I have a very safe workflow away from anything experimental.,
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,268
27
Stageshoot no shot at your abilities, when I say balls it just means you have what it takes.
Heck Id love to be able to hack a PC to do what you do.
But I have enough on my plate with what Im dealing with :)
Of note the HP Z series are the best RED R3D systems you can buy.
I had a chance to work on one for a week.
Sadly they took it away and I didnt get funding to buy one.
Im old to as far back as the NuBus days :)
We have a slew of cheeze graters ranging from 2006 to present.
We welcome the new boxes and look forward to what Apple brings :)
 

monkeybagel

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2011
1,116
39
United States
When I am ready for a new workstation that will probably be the route I go. I have a 5,1 now that is doing very well so it will be a while, but the 2013 Mac Pro lacks a few things I need and has some stuff I don't. I like to have two CPU sockets, have no need for two GPUs, and something as simple as reaching over and pressing the Eject button on a tower (or on the keyboard) to open the tray to insert an optical disc is taken for granted until it's gone.

What refurbisher did you use?
 

Stageshoot

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 2, 2013
122
29
Central UK
Stageshoot no shot at your abilities, when I say balls it just means you have what it takes.
Heck Id love to be able to hack a PC to do what you do.
But I have enough on my plate with what Im dealing with :)
Of note the HP Z series are the best RED R3D systems you can buy.
I had a chance to work on one for a week.
Sadly they took it away and I didnt get funding to buy one.
Im old to as far back as the NuBus days :)
We have a slew of cheeze graters ranging from 2006 to present.
We welcome the new boxes and look forward to what Apple brings :)
Sorry I misunderstood, No problem., :D

I think tinkering is in my DNA, but not with a workflow machine,. I plan to put the Z800 live next week but in Windows Mode. Still doing stress testing on the RAID etc to make sure everything is 100% Bulletproof. Luckily In my line eveything is kept on CF Cards till processed and safely away to offsite libraries so even if the worst happens to the machine its only a restore to get back again. Luckily I dont have the amount of data to deal with you guys in Video Production have to shift.

----------

When I am ready for a new workstation that will probably be the route I go. I have a 5,1 now that is doing very well so it will be a while, but the 2013 Mac Pro lacks a few things I need and has some stuff I don't. I like to have two CPU sockets, have no need for two GPUs, and something as simple as reaching over and pressing the Eject button on a tower (or on the keyboard) to open the tray to insert an optical disc is taken for granted until it's gone.

What refurbisher did you use?
I used Bargain Hardware (Direct website not via ebay its cheaper that way).

Seem very reliable and responsive answered questions quickly and delivered next day by DPD for no extra charge. I found them good to deal with. And they configure machines to the exact spec you want rather than just as they come in.

http://www.bargainhardware.co.uk/
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,268
27
Whats an OPTICAL DISC?
LOL!

I look forward to being able to have my CPU right beside my face again.
The cheeze graters are so loud when loaded with SAS, BlackMagic and RED ROCKET.
We had most hanging under a desk (cool hooks we found online) but look forward to moving them into a server room to be destined as a render farm.

The great part about all this is that we all have choices now in the Apple field as far as professional options.

We were ready to move over to the PC side if Apple wasnt going to budge.

whew!!
 

richard371

macrumors 68020
Feb 1, 2008
2,361
591
So far I'm not hearing good things from the performance of the nMP. I ordered mine 2 weeks ago so I have at least another month before it gets here and the way it looks even longer. If apple has not done anything as far us update I will cancel it.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
So far I'm not hearing good things from the performance of the nMP. I ordered mine 2 weeks ago so I have at least another month before it gets here and the way it looks even longer. If apple has not done anything as far us update I will cancel it.
You're not? I am not sure where you're listening. The performance is spot on for the hardware it uses, mostly.
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,268
27
well it is a buyer beware world when ordering online.
I care much for specs, I know what it can do and Im happy with it.
Some of us have budgets to use and cant put it away for another fiscal.
We said the same thing back when it went from PowerPC to Intel.
And from OS9 to OSX.
Did you not try one at an Apple Store?
I know most of us dont have that luxury.
We purchased ours without even testing one.
But I trust Apple's offerings.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors 604
Mar 10, 2009
7,979
1,172
...
I have always been a big box person, ...
.....
So my nMP journey has ended back at a big box, I am sure most will love the nMP
....
....
I do most of my work in Windows....
so the outcome of end up with a relatively (versus lastest tech) pedestrian, conservative Windows box .....

I replaced the nMP with a 3 Year Old HP Z800 Workstation purchased from a refurbisher.
is surprising ???

bot I do wonder how many more like me who jumped on them will think in the end there are better alternatives
Primarily spend vast majority of their time running Windows and want to buy 3 year old tech? ..... don't think there was a high demographic looking for that in initial round of Mac Pro sales. I don't even think there was a small demographic in this category. There are always a very small number of folks who buy stuff and then return it in a week or so. It isn't new or specific to this new Mac Pro.


Folks who wanted 2-3 year old tech could have bought a Mac Pro 2012 in over half of 2012 (worldwide and excluding EU overwhelming majority of 2013). Still can if dip into used/refurb market ( which should be coming back to life from the temporary drought of the suspension of Mac Pro sales. )

Similarly, a very high percentage of folks who primarily wanted a Windows box, simply just bought one in the first place.
 

td2243

macrumors 6502
Mar 14, 2013
352
164
Santa Fe, NM
Thanks for the honest review. That was the same configuration I've been wanting. The sad part is that the more i read reviews, the less I want one. The consensus is that the speeds people are getting are just less than desired, and some extremely lackluster. I may just go with a refurb iMac for half the price. The speeds on many tasks aren't that much different and are better in many tests.

I don't pretend to be an expert by any stretch, but the reviews by actual users have been a deterrent to my actually placing an order. :(
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,268
27
From my findings at REDUSER the nMP is well tested by experienced techies.

Now this is using my workflow of RED R3D files.

To us this is a bonus and doesnt require a RED ROCKET card for playback.

I dont mind if gamers cant use this box, there are plenty of real world graphics monkeys to keep this tech afloat ;)
 

Stingray454

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2009
587
104
Congratulations to a nice and inexpensive (relatively) mac :). I did the same, the nMP just wasn't worth the high cost for me, and I wanted a computer where I could upgrade gpu, drives and such easilly. I went with dual R9 280x GPU's, I highly recommend them for hackintosh builds. They are identified as D700's by OS X and perform equal or better, at least for gaming/benchmarks and such that I'm using it for - I'm not into heavy CAD / 3d rendering, so I'm not sure how they compare in that area. Everything (drivers, all ports, OS graphics acceleration and whatnot) worked straight out of the box.

All in all I got away with a very nice looking, silent mac with similar performance to an nMP for about 30-50% of the cost. Sure, it doesn't look as sweet, but other than that I couldn't be happier :). Best of luck with your new machine!