Should I Update My 2009 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dai613-2, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. dai613-2 macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2015
    I am shooting 4k on my Sony AX33. Footage gets saved as MP4 100mbps. Kind of hard to edit in FCPX on my early 2009 Mac Pro Quad Core 2.93 MHz 16g, even using pro res.

    I was thinking of upgrading to high spec iMac Late 2015, but I decided to wait until next year when the more powerful and quieter AMD gpus should be available.

    In the meantime, I though I might upgrade MacPro with:

    * Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition; and

    * Mercury Accelsior E2 PCI Express SSD for boot drive/project files (I only work on 1 project at a time, so this is plenty large).

    Will I see better performance in FCPX? My cpu never get's higher than 50% right now, which leaves me to believe there are other bottlenecks.

  2. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 601


    Jul 4, 2015
    Get the iMac. The Skylake processor makes much more difference than the GPUs for rendering and transcoding. You will also get professional colour gamut and very fast SSD built in.
  3. VAGDesign macrumors 6502


    Feb 1, 2014
  4. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    Upgrade the graphics card, and go with the SM951 PCIe upgrade of your hard drive. I had a similar setup as you for FCPX and upgrading the above (though I went with a 7970) made an enormous difference in FCPX. SoyCaptain is partly right about the iMac, but I'd wait until the next generation graphics cards are out if you can stand to live with a modest performance bump at the moment.
  5. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    I wouldn't spend a lot of time waiting for a supposed amazing GPU bump. Every single year there's a new upgrade, every single year it's slightly better than the previous one. It's not worth waiting a year for a tiny increase. If you want a fast and superb machine, get an iMac now, with as high a spec as you can afford. Otherwise you'll be in the same boat next year.
  6. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    It's a good move to upgrade your cMac Pro. For the Sapphire Mac Edition 7950 3G GPU, avoid buying it from OWC as their price is high. Maybe a used Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition will be a good option. Or you may check out a flashed 7970 3G which is cheaper at MacVidcards HERE For the SSD PCIe, you may want to consider a Samsung SM951 and a Lyncom DT120.

    Another upgrade you can do is your quad 2.93ghz cpu. You can upgrade it to a 6 core Xeon 3.33ghz W3680

    For ram, you can check out Other members have recommended DMS

    The iMac is also a nice option. My only comment is the generated heat when used for long hours. And the screen corners tends to have dark smudges after prolonged usage from my past experiences. Though the iMacs I've used were older models as maybe the newer ones may be better.
  7. ProjectManager101 Suspended


    Jul 12, 2015
    I have a 2008 Mac pro, 2GB VRam 32 ram and I installed Premiere and started to edit video in HD literally as fast as the new mac pro at the office. I didn't do any color correction but it was jaw dropping how flawless everything was. If I was doing 4K I would use a ssd drive for OSX and the application. I do have an internal raid in the mac pro for the files. Internal bus would be ok, but I believe drive speed would be the problem.
  8. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    1) Get a SM951 and an adaptor.

    2) Get a R9 280X from MVC. I have the Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition card. It's not quiet at all (unless you know how to mod the voltage, fan profile, etc). TBH, it's not worth that price now. It's virtually identical to the PC 7950 (R9 280) which only cost around ~$100. You can buy a PC card and flash it yourself. End up you will have a much cheaper, quieter, and may be better performing card. If you don't want to do that by yourself, and willing to pay that premium for the Mac Edition card, better to go for MVC. (For your info, I am now running dual 7950 in my 4,1. It works very well for FCPX, the 2nd card is this one, and I run them in this config. I recommend the R9 280 more than the Sapphire 7950. The IceQ cooler is much much better than the reference one.)

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7 November 10, 2015