Please help me choose my 5,1 upgrades

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by smirk, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #1
    Hey guys, I've inherited a 2010 MP 5,1 with a single quad 2.8 GHz CPU, a Radeon HD 5770 ,and 8 GB RAM (4 x 2GB sticks). I had an extra SATA SSD so I stuck that in there, and it has been a huge improvement.

    My wife wants to use this machine for web browsing, organizing her pictures with Photos.app, MS Word, email, that sort of thing. Mostly downloading home photos to Photos.app, organizing them into albums, and doing some light editing like cropping or lightening.

    Realistically speaking, what upgrades (if any) do you think should be done to this machine to let it run Mojave and make it feel fast and pleasant to use for those types of tasks? I know some folks on here have put in NVMe drives, but maybe they do more demanding tasks like video editing? Would upgrading to a 6 core CPU make much of a difference for the type of work she'll be doing?

    Thank you!!
     
  2. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #2
    What's your budget for the upgrades? The only thing you really need to do for Mojave is replace the video card. And for organizing photos you don't need the Sapphire PULSE RX 580 either. You could get the cheaper (and slot powered) MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 for $150 or less. I don't even think you absolutely need to replace your RAM. 8GB is still plenty for basic stuff these days. That said, DDR3 DIMMs are pretty cheap used on ebay, so you could go up to 24GB or even higher if you really wanted to.

    If you feel like it you could upgrade the CPU to a Xeon x5680--that's a 3.3GHz CPU with 6 cores. Whether she'd be able to feel the difference in the types of tasks she'd be using it for is debatable, and photo editing is unlikely to really benefit from the two additional cores.

    If she's going to possibly use external hard drives or thumb drives then you may want to add a USB 3.0 card. They can be had pretty cheap and are a plug & play upgrade so long as you buy one with a compatible chipset.

    Can't really think of much else. There's always a BT 4.0/WiFi 802.11ac card transplant but that can be tricky and is of little benefit unless she wants or needs to use WiFi on it or Continuity features.

    Edit: For photo editing, I'd spend the big bucks on a nice IPS monitor with good color accuracy.

    Edit 2: In the future (potentially with the release of Mojave 10.14.1) booting from NVMe drives will be supported, so as prices for them fall you could replace that SATA SSD with a blade type and get even faster disk access. That could definitely be useful and noticeable with photos.
     
  3. Partridge macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #3
    I just upgraded my 5,1 to the MSI 560 card. Reasonably cheap upgrade but it’s amazing how it’s not that much of a chance from a relatively ancient 7950.

    Besides that I have a SSD and a USB 3 card. That’s pretty much all you need for basic stuff really. I added the new Bluetooth and WiFi card but I agree that it’s a bit of a pain to install.

    You definitely don’t need a 580 or NVMe for what she’s doing. Save the money and spend it on a better monitor.
     
  4. namethisfile macrumors 65816

    namethisfile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #4
    I third an MSI RX 560 card. This is a great card for Mojave!
     
  5. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #5
    No upgrades are necessary, the current configuration is more than sufficient for the tasks you outlined.
     
  6. smirk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smirk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #6
    You mean except for a video card upgrade to run Mojave.
     
  7. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #7
    Oh, missed that part of your requirements. Unless there's a specific reason to run Mojave my recommendation is to avoid it.
     
  8. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #8
    based on?
     
  9. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #9
    The fact he would have to upgrade the video card.
     
  10. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #10
    Well considering he was asking about upgrades it sounds like he wants to do them, and he wants to run Mojave. When you said you recommended to avoid it it sounded like you had some bad experience or something.
     
  11. smirk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smirk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #11
    I, too, thought you were recommending against moving to Mojave for some other reason. :)

    The main reason I want it is because we'd like to have the latest version of Photos.app, so that it handles anything new they add to the photo format. Like when live photos came out, Aperture didn't know what to do with it and showed the "live" part as an extra, unreadable file. I'd like to avoid that sort of thing.

    Also, there are some things this computer does that kind of annoy me, even though they're super minor. For example, when you choose a login image on the login screen and hit enter, the animation where it slides the other names out of the way stutters in a very unMac-like way. Maybe a modern video card will fix those types of things.
     
  12. bookemdano macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #12
    With an RX 560 or 580 I think you'll find things like that are super smooth and Mac-like.
     
  13. Partridge macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #13
    You’ll see a major improvement.

    Mine came with the upgraded (for 2010) Radeon 5870.

    It couldn’t even run some of the stock OSX screensavers without choking.

    Power wise the 560 seems to be on par with the 7950 which was a top of the line card 5 years ago or so. Except it’s cheap now and so efficient it doesn’t need power cables.

    http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-RX-560-vs-AMD-HD-7950/3926vs2160
     
  14. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2017
    #14
    Which goes back to the part of my statement where I said "Unless there's a specific reason to run Mojave..." My recommendation, based on the requirements you laid out, is not to put any further money into this system. IMO you'd be better off selling this system and buying a Mac Mini which will easily meet your requirements, is fully supported, and will consume less power and space. I like the Mac Pro (by the sounds of it I have the exact same model) but the entire Mac Pro line is not EOL by Apple (hence the fact that any stock configuration they ever sold is no longer supported in Mojave).
     

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13 October 10, 2018