Should I Upgrade To A New Computer?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zachster104, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. zachster104, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015

    zachster104 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #1
    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to macs and recently bought a 2009 Nehalem Mac Pro (MB871LL/A) with the following specs:

    Specs
    • Intel Xeon 2.66GHz W3520 Quad-Core (Octa-Threaded) CPU
    • PowerColor AMD Radeon HD 7870 Graphics with 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Memory (Upgraded)
    • DL-DVI-I, SL-DVI-D, HDMI, and Dual Mini Display Ports
    • Samsung 8GB (2x4GB) PC3-12800 ECC Registered Workstation Memory
    • Memory Upgradeable to 48GB
    • Western Digital Green 1TB 7200RPM SATA HDD (OS X)

    • Currently Running Yosemite
    • Western Digital 500GB 7200RPM SATA HDD (Windows 7)

    • Boot Camp 5 w/ Windows 7
    • AirPort 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi Card Installed
    • Internal Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
    • 18x Dual-Layer Superdrive

    Software
    • Final Cut Pro X
    • Logic 9 Pro + GarageBand Jam Packs & Boldt Instruments
    • iLife (GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, etc.)
    • iWork
    • Adobe Photoshop CS6 Master Collection
    • Adobe Photoshop CS4
    • Manga Studio EX4
    • Microsoft Office 2011 Mac
    • GeekBench 2.4.3
    • QuickBoot


    Here is the listing I purchased:http://www.ebay.com/itm/251806802990?_trksid=p2060778.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    I am planning on using this for my business. I need it for Live Streaming, Video Editing, and Website Development.

    Is this machine better than the current iMacs being sold?

    Should I upgrade to a better computer?

    My overall budget is $800

    Any information would be helpful

    Thanks! I love this community.:apple:
     
  2. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #2
    A current iMac would probably have better performance then a 6 year old Mac Pro. But an iMac still uses a mobile GPU, not quite good as a dedicated PCIe graphics card. While I think this is more of a laptop problem, the iMac may be more prone to over heating the cpu during rendering of video and throttling lowering the overall performance over time. The iMac uses a consumer i5/i7 CPU so QuickSync would speed up final final render of video making it faster then Mac Pro ( But Thermal throttling could lower performance over time as mentioned ) The only problem I might see is 8GB of RAM is not much for what you use it for.

    I mostly do video editing & live broadcast streaming using Wirecast 6.0.2. Wirecast is very efficient on resources now. I have a 2009 Octocore Mac Pro & a 2010 Quadcore Mac Pro.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #3
    You might have asked here -before- you bought the Mac Pro...? An iMac might technically be faster but would also be more than $800.

    That said, the machine you bought is perfectly capable. I would get like a 256GB SSD, migrate your OS and apps over to that, use the 1TB for storage. If you are using Windows frequently get another SSD for that. The RAM could be limiting but I would just start using it as-is, keep an eye on Activity Monitor and see if it bogs down. People have certainly done more demanding work on lesser hardware.
     
  4. ToroidalZeus, Jan 31, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015

    ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #4
    egh 800 really isn't enough for a "good" computer.

    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gmQtsY
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gmQtsY/by_merchant/

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.38 @ Micro Center)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i 57.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($43.58 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus H97I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($111.16 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Kingston Fury Black Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($139.77 @ TigerDirect)
    Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($128.60 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Superclocked Video Card ($136.94 @ NCIX US)
    Power Supply: Silverstone 600W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply ($117.99 @ Directron)
    Total: $852.42
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-01-31 13:20 EST-0500

    This is a PC I plan on building and it's a fairly low-end for video editing.
    If you were to buy a PC then expect even lower specs than this.

    I would personally upgrade the ram to 16gb and add a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSD into the rig. Maybe look into CPU upgrades. in terms of performance you'll probably get more for 800 dollars upgrading that PC then buying a new one from scratch.
     
  5. zachster104 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #5
    I spent $600 on this machine. What should I update for $200? Ram the biggest issue?
     
  6. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #6
    I would probably add a SSD boot drive for OS X, and more memory depending on what you are using it for. Although adding the SSD is best done with a PCIe card to achieve SATA III speeds, that card expense could be added later and for now just put the SSD on drive-sled adapter in one of the drive bays.

    Sounds like you got a nice deal, especially if all the included software came with the license to transfer ownership to you. :cool:
     
  7. zachster104 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #7

    Is it possible to put the OSX on the SSD without the license information? Can someone send me a link to instructions?
     
  8. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #8
    Carbon Copy Cloner may be able to copy your HDD to a SSD with all the application data intact.
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #9
    There is no license activation with OS X.

    You can either Clone your existing installation or install fresh from scratch to the SSD. I don't know about the license transfer for the programs if you didn't get the license with your computer sale. Some programs will clone the activation, but some may have to be reentered.
     
  10. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #10
    Look into PCIe SSD cards with RAID0 if you want tremendously fast data read/writes, which would be useful for video editing. (OWC Mercury Accelsior is one but there are several others as well)

    I'd also advise getting a WD Green HDD for use as a dedicated Time Machine backup volume.
     
  11. Machines, Feb 1, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

    Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #11
    LOL - I was bidding on this exact unit and thought about doing the local pick up thing since I'm a system builder in Illinois .

    Nehalem Mac Pro workstations gracefully age . You bought a single processor Nehalem that can be nicely upgraded into a very capable machine .

    I noticed you have two primary purposes for this Mac I am familiar with , as my pro clients use these types of programs : video editing and website development . I am not certain about the streaming thing...

    To improve this Mac , I would upgrade the processor to any Six Core chip (recommend X5650) , upgrade the memory modules (new 16GB system total) and two Samsung 840 or 850 EVO or Pro 250GB SSDs with adapters and Stripe RAID 0 them in your HDD bays .

    Currently Installed memory is too fast in your model but evidently compatible , but too expensive to add more . Remove and sell them .

    You have a fairly decent video card for video editing already . But the rotational HDD you have now is way too slow for editing . The SSD RAID will really help improve write performance to speed things up .

    The 6 Core chip will have hyperthreading (in this case 12 threads total) . I assume you will VM with the website development . A single thread is good for each instance of VM . More threads the merrier . And many hexacores support a full 64GB ram (4 x 16GB) configurations .

    She'll purr like a kitten now and will match any iMac , with the exception of some models that have slightly faster flash based drives . iMacs are no match for Mac Pros, especially fully decked out ones . iMacs have gorgeous screens but that's about it ...

    Costs =

    X5650 (Sspec SLBV3) 2.66 GHz 6 Core Xeon , 60 USD .
    4 X 4GB (16GB Total) Hynix 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC , 75 USD .
    2 X 256GB Samsung 850 EVO = 240 USD .
    2 X Drive form factor adapter , Newer Technology AdaptaDrive = 32 USD .

    Grand total = 407 USD , plus tool costs and minus resale of current ram .

    More than the 200 USD you wanted to spend , but you'll get much better performance .

    I am Creation Machines .
     
  12. zachster104, Feb 1, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

    zachster104 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #12
    Thanks for the ideas. I currently have a samsung 840 evo 120gb that I dont use anymore. I was thinking about using it for the OS and leaving everything else on the HDD. Im not entirely sure how to do it but I will have to look into I guess as paying someone else to do it would cost way too much money. Im definitely going to update the ram. Ive been looking into it and it looks like it can support only up to 1033. Do you think if I use 1333, it will work? Since the processor is cheap, Ill look into replacing it as well.

    I know how to do all the work except putting the boot drive onto a SSD and cloning a few programs. There has to be software out there that helps accomplish this very easily.

    Also, can you show me where you got these things for these prices?

    Costs =

    X5650 (Sspec SLBV3) 2.66 GHz 6 Core Xeon , 60 USD .
    4 X 4GB (16GB Total) Hynix 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC , 75 USD .
    2 X 256GB Samsung 850 EVO = 240 USD .
    2 X Drive form factor adapter , New Technology = 32 USD .
     
  13. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #13
    When I first started to use personal computers, we had no hard drives . They were for mini computers and mainframes . So, when it comes to cloning , I'm very old fashioned and do not like it (even though Apple and a lot of techs do it .) Cloning is fast , but there is a chance of not detecting or recovering from errors that creep in , the risk of which increases with cloning existing cloned images . Always do clean installs of OSes from trustworthy sources .

    The X5650 6 Core Xeon supports 1333 MHz memory . You need to update your boot ROM (to Mac Pro 5,1) first to install the chip . Boot ROM updating gets you hexacore and 1333 MHz support in your Mac Pro 4,1 .

    Paying for a tech to do the job right is easier than finding the right tech in the first place . You should rethermal paste and repair your Northbridge chip / heatsink now (they're fragile), as it's a critical point of failure for the Nehalems . The CPU is easy to upgrade with the right tool , materials and TLC . Overhauling the Northbridge controller chip heatsink is ... I think I'm the only one left doing it :-0

    Tool you'll need , Bondhus 3mm 9 inch long hex driver : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002O0FSD8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Installation instructions are not hard to find .
     
  14. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #14
    From Glinda, the Good Witch of the North . Actually , eBay and Amazon . Where else these days ?
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #15
    Another choice.

    Go for a W3680 (Hex core 3.33GHz turbo 3.6GHz) for $200.

    4x4G RAM

    Just put the SSD back into the Optical bay for OSX and apps, zero cost for you.

    And a user PC HD7970 for about $100

    So, total still around $400, but much faster CPU and GPU for your work.
     
  16. zachster104 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #16
    Guy seems to be backing out. Says the computer continues to fail. Thats nothing I want. So back to the drawing board.

    Below are my limitations and what I'm planning on using the machine for:

    Price Limit: $800

    Uses:
    Live Broadcast Streaming
    Video Editing (Need Final Cut Pro)
    Photo Editing (Probably need at least Photoshop and After Effects)
    Web Development (WordPress Site)

    I realize my budget is low but if someone could recommend some requirements for the system and what kind of system I should be looking for that would be very helpful. Also, point me to the direction I should be looking..
     
  17. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #17
    You can obtain a 7970 for 100 USD in Hong Kong ??? They go for a lot more here in the States

    ----------

    Tricky ... :D

    Mac Pro 4,1 (2009) Barebones = 550 USD
    X5650 (Sspec SLBV3) 2.66 GHz 6 Core Xeon , 60 USD .
    4 X 4GB (16GB Total) Hynix 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC , 75 USD .
    PC Edition AMD 7950 3GB = 140 USD .
    2 X 256GB Samsung 850 EVO = 240 USD .
    2 X Drive form factor adapter , Newer Technology AdaptaDrive = 32 USD .

    Grand total = 1097 USD

    Anything less , you will lose serious performance capabilities .

    Macs are not free lol
     
  18. zachster104 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #18

    I may have to be patient on ebay. I'll have to make sure the software is preloaded
     
  19. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #19
    Grab a retail copy of the Snow Leopard installation DVD (10.6) . It has a color picture of ... surprisingly ... a Snow Leopard ! :rolleyes:

    Or , from Apple :

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC573Z/A/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard

    Make certain your Mac is still a Mac Pro 4,1 when you use this DVD . This DVD will not work if you've upgraded your Mac to a Mac Pro 5,1 .
     
  20. zachster104 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    #20

    Oh I meant Final Cut Pro X and Adobe CS
     
  21. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #21


    Thanks for pointing out my error. I've just realised my typo. I want to say a "used" PC 7970, a quick check shows that a few bids start with $70 on ebay, if OP is patient enough, $100 for a 7970 should is totally possible.
     

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