Please help me with upgrade dilemma

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Marty62, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    Brief back story & Info:

    Usage - Pro Audio recording / programming system, Logic pro/Pro Tools.

    I bought a second user 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 in January 2010 which was a Quad core.
    I bought and fitted a second quad CPU so it became an 8 Core 2.8ghz one month later.
    There's 8gb of Ram installed, though running at 32 bit Logic can only access
    4gb of that, maximum.

    I moved a Quad core system on at the time, so it cost me only £300 in real
    Original graphics card went south so it has a basic - but fine for my needs
    GT120 card right now.
    Also has a sonnet FW800 card and a UAD 2 card fitted.

    It's beginning to show it's age and is sometimes a little "strained" at what I am
    asking it to do, otherwise it's a FAB machine and has no issues.

    I am not a fan of the new "bog brush holder" Mac Pro, though I understand that it's
    a radical design and super powerful, I wouldn't buy the first incarnation anyway.

    Is it worth spending approx £2500 on a decent spec 2012 Mac Pro, at least 8 cores
    possibly 12 to come up to speed ?

    OR- I could stick a new system drive in mine ( SSD perhaps ) and get more memory, though
    DDR800 is for some reason VERY expensive !!

    See, I like the options to swop drives out, upgrade memory and even processors
    and that"s just a NO NO on the new Mac Pro - I don't need a studio full of drives
    and cables hanging out the back of the computer !

    I'm thinking that the increase in processor power wont be HUGE but the system
    buss will be much faster and memory also ( 800 Vs 1,333 )

    Pulling my hair out somewhat about buying into tech that's essentially from 2010

    Good advice / similar experiences are MOST welcome :)

    Caveat - the cost is not an issue though "bang for buck" is always in my mind.
    Mac abuser since Quadra 700 in 1993.

  2. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    For my studio, I went with a 2009 4 core 2.66 which I upgraded to a 5,1 hex 3.33. 32-bit Geekbench score is 13.8k. Your 3,1 scores 7.6k on the same test. Geekbench is a pretty good measure of performance for audio apps. I run Digital Performer 8 (64 bit) on mine, and have yet to exhaust the resources my hex W3680 CPU provides, even at a 128 buffer size. DP makes full use of the 12 virtual cores and spreads the load quite well.

    If you've been hanging out around these parts at all, you've undoubtedly seen the many posts concerning the 4,1>5,1 upgrade. Super simple for the single processor models, and quad core 2.66 4,1s (which score 8.1k on Geekbench) are available for under $800. Update the CPU and GPU and you can have a rockin' audio box for under $1,500 and still use any PCIe cards you need in your workflow. RAM (get 1333) is cheap, too. It has become harder to find the W3680s and 90s as of late, but they still show up used, and recent Ebay sales were in the $400 range.

    Adding RAM and SSDs is great, regardless of whether you get a new Mac or continue to use your current one. Try 64 bit operation and free yourself from memory limitations!
  3. Marty62 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    Thanks for the tips, actually I geek bench almost 11,000 on my system @ 32bit,
    so it's not doing too badly :)

    I will have a good read about the 4,1/5,1 converts, not sure that I fancy
    too much pulling apart but perhaps I can find a decent 5,1 on Ebay or
    from a refurb outlet.
    The current 3,1 was an Ebay buy which I went to collect in person.
    It's been a super system just haven't taken the jump to 64bit use as yet.
    I will lose a few plugins but nothing too drastic and I'd like to have some
    more memory for the "Spectrasonics" goodies.


Share This Page