Should I Buy A New MacPro or Upgrade Exitsing MacPro ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Anto38x, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Anto38x macrumors member

    Anto38x

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland
    #1
    Hi all...

    I have a Mid 2010 MacPro 12 Core (2 x 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon) with 64 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC + 500GB SSD + QTY 3 x 3TB Internal Drives + 15TB DroboS (using Firewire) + 27" Apple Cinema Display (not Thunderbolt)

    This was the biggest investment I ever made and it's been the best.... this computer has been a total workhorse and without one single issue... well maybe one... Ethernet Port 1 died on my a few months back... but other than that... a powerful, productive computer that has paid for itself over the past 6 years many times over.

    I wanted to get the new MacPro back in 2013 when it was released... but for the first time ever in the history of me buying new Apple products, I decided to hold off until Gen 2... for a faster, even better spec machine. I'M STILL WAITING :)

    But if a refresh of the MacPro happens this year... should I buy it if it's got all new bells and whistles. My fear is that all my old tech won't work with it... or if it does with adaptors it will under perform.... and what about all that storage that I currently have access to... how can I get that to work on one of these new cylinder style MacPro's, is there a solution for that... will I need to upgrade my Drobo S Firewire backup system.

    It just seems that upgrading to this new machine will cause major issues.... or... is there reliable 3rd party supplier that could being my current machine in 2016 and beyond... I would be looking to future proof it for another 4 years or so... new SSD hard drive, is there better RAM, new kick ass processor... and would this stuff be easy to install DIY style ?

    Anyone else find themselves in a similar situation..?

    I'm an old skool graphic design using my machine for traditional graphics work, along with large format signage design, but Im also use it for home movies, and converting video file format in Handbrake (not so much now as I discovered PLEX).

    Software I use: Adobe Creative Cloud CC, QuarkXpress 2016, Final Cut Pro, Parallels, Handbrake (sometimes).

    Any comments, suggestions most welcome.


    Best regards,
    Anthony
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    For that setup, IMO, simply upgrade to dual X5680 / X5690, a PCIe SSD (SM951), and a 7970. Will be more reasonable then buy a 2013 nMP now.

    The X5680 is cheap now, compare to the initial cost, this is absolutely nothing, but can gives you some extra raw power.

    PCIe SSD is good as scratch drive.

    7970 also a very cheap and good card for FCPX (it has the same device ID as the nMP's D700, but higher clock speed and less VRAM).

    Hopefully there will be a gen 2 nMP, or even a nnMP, but I doubt will it happen.
     
  3. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    For your stated uses, upgrading your current machine should be fine.

    Faster processors (Dual X5680 or X5690), more RAM (96GB, 6x16GB DIMMs), PCIe SSD for boot or scratch volume, a better GPU (which graphics card do you have now?), a USB3 PCIe card if you need faster, more flexible external expansion. All pretty affordable and easy to install.
     
  4. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    what do you want to gain from a new computer or upgrades?
    what is important for you to improve, is there any single app that is to slow that you need to speed up?
    is money an issue (or you just need a tax wright off XD)

    -you have plenty of ram, having more will only help if your using more than 64GB at the mo
    -you have lots of cores but your apps are mostly graphics apps which tend to be single or dual threaded (do they use more than 2-4cores?) so something like a dual X5677 3.46ghz 4c will give you less cores but faster single core performance.
    -swapping your internal HD's for SSD's will make things much more responsive and a tad quieter (but they will be smaller)
    -a pci card with an SSD on it might be relay nice as a scratch disc for your apps or for live files.

    if you want to buy the imacs are worth a look to
     
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #5
    Upgrading your CPUs will give you a bit of performance boost, but it comes at the expense of higher power consumption and more heat. When using two 130W CPUs, I was uncomfortable running Handbrake for extended periods of time without also changing the fan profiles. On the default fan profiles, I watched the CPU temps climb into and above the recommended range. So, I installed SMC Fan Control and increased the fan speeds for Handbrake. Of course, this also increased noise...

    I don't know how successful you will be in trying to future-proof this machine for 4 years. Apple can drop support for these models at any time, none of us know when this will happen.
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    Just some experience sharing about fan noise. In my observation, the native fan profile is very rely on the CPU booster fan (at least true on my single processor model). The high RPM booster fan is the main source of the fan noise.

    By making a custom fan profile, we can spin up the intake and exhaust fan a bit more, but lower the booster fan, and able to keep the CPU run cooler at the same time. In my experience, this works better.

    e.g. Under full load, system ambient 33C:
    the native profile, intake 600, exhaust 600, booster 1600, CPU 83C
    the custom profile, intake 1000, exhaust 900, booster 1300, CPU 78C

    I didn't remember how the intake and exhaust react to the CPU temperature, I didn't use the native setting for a long time already. So, the above example's 600RPM may be not very accurate. But as long as using a custom fan profile to keep the intake and exhaust at or below 1000 RPM, the noise is not significant. On the other hand, reducing the booster fan by few hundred RPM, that can effectively reduce the main fan noise.

    Not sure if that's my cMP's noise characteristic, or my hearing's characteristic, but this "balancing fan's RPM" works quite well on my cMP. I can barely hear the fan noise when under 100% stress. And for most of the time, I can't hear any fan noise, unless I really try to focus on it.

    And of course, I am talking about an automatic fan profile, but not fix the fan at 1000 RPM level.
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #7
    The single CPU models have larger heatsinks and were designed to handle 130W CPUs. The dual CPU models never shipped with any 130W CPUs.

    From my experience, on dual CPU models, the booster fans are tied to the exhaust fan. Increasing the RPM of the exhaust fan will also increase the RPM of the booster fans whether you like it or not.
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    Yes, the exhaust fan are the ultimate control. That's why I keep that run slower than the intake fan, otherwise the booster fan will run at about 1.4x of the exhaust fan speed, but not my custom fan profile's speed. But as long as don't make the exhaust fan spin too fast, the booster fan are "free".
     
  9. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #9
    Having to manually adjust fan profiles is an annoyance I never had to concern myself with until upgrading to the 130W CPUs. It's something that anyone considering upgrading should be aware of.
     

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