MP 6,1 SSD, Processor Upgrade Thoughts...

bladerunner88

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Apr 28, 2009
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Current set up :Mac Pro 6.1 • 3.5GHz • 6 Core • 64 Gb's RAM • 1TB stock SSD

Looking to gain a performance boost to Aperture use with large RAW Files.
Any thoughts on 3rd party SSD's or OWC processor upgrade?


TIA.
 

Alex Sanders74

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Nov 26, 2013
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Your single core speed is almost the top for that computer, so the only jump would be to go to more cores. Not sure image work with Aperture can benefit from more cores in this case for speed. Bumping up the SSD is always good from a storage perspective, but after market SSD's don't allow firmware updates on the 6.1 and you're not going to gain speed (so far as I know) by changing out the SSD.

Some of the other genius' here may have more feedback than I do, but I can't imagine you're going to irk more speed out of your 6.1 based on the type of workflow you're doing.
 
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bladerunner88

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Your single core speed is almost the top for that computer, so the only jump would be to go to more cores. Not sure image work with Aperture can benefit from more cores in this case for speed. Bumping up the SSD is always good from a storage perspective, but after market SSD's don't allow firmware updates on the 6.1 and you're not going to gain speed (so far as I know) by changing out the SSD.

Some of the other genius' here may have more feedback than I do, but I can't imagine you're going to irk more speed out of your 6.1 based on the type of workflow you're doing.

Hey Alex,

Thanks for the feedback, lots to think about - cheers.
 
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kfscoll

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You can pick up some speed upgrading your SSD to one of the new OWC SSDs - I just did this and get about 1500MB/s read & 1300MB/s write versus the 900/800 I was getting from the stock SSD. I also upgraded to a 10-core Xeon from the 6-core because anything demanding I do benefits more from more cores rather than clock speed. I might even go for a 12-core considering how cheap they are on eBay.

If your primary use case is Aperture and it doesn’t benefit much from multiple cores I’d either keep what you have or try to find an E5-2667v2. It’s an eight-core part with a nominal clock speed of 3.3GHz and a max single-core turbo of 4GHz with 25MB of L3 cache. In other words, you’d be giving up little, if any, single-threaded performance to your current six-core and you’d get two more cores to boot.
 

th0masp

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Swapping the CPU would only be worth it if Aperture really made full use of extra cores else the speed gains would be so minimal, no chance of them making any difference to the user experience whatsoever. You should be able to observe how many cores it uses with Activity Monitor.

As for SSDs you can also pick from a number of other NVMe's by using an adaptor. My Samsung 970 Pro maxes out the bus and has been flawless for the last 8 or so months since I installed it.

Perhaps the only real speedup would be to test software alternatives to Aperture?
 

HDFan

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Looking to gain a performance boost to Aperture use with large RAW Files.
Since Aperture is going away as of Catalina, do you really want to spec your system for Aperture? If speed is a major concern an app that was discontinue almost 5 years ago likely won't give you the performance of one which has been updated to work with the latest OS software/hardware.
 

kfscoll

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Nov 3, 2009
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Swapping the CPU would only be worth it if Aperture really made full use of extra cores else the speed gains would be so minimal, no chance of them making any difference to the user experience whatsoever. You should be able to observe how many cores it uses with Activity Monitor.

As for SSDs you can also pick from a number of other NVMe's by using an adaptor. My Samsung 970 Pro maxes out the bus and has been flawless for the last 8 or so months since I installed it.

Perhaps the only real speedup would be to test software alternatives to Aperture?
Just trying to point out that upgrading to an E5-2667v2 wouldn't cost him performance in Aperture and the extra two cores might buy him additional performance in other apps or when he moves away from Aperture. As for the OWC SSD - the new Aura Pro X2 drives like I just installed also max out the nMP's bus, are cheaper than the Samsung drives (no sense in paying for additional performance potential you'll never achieve), and don't require an adapter.
 

th0masp

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Just trying to point out that upgrading to an E5-2667v2 wouldn't cost him performance in Aperture and the extra two cores might buy him additional performance in other apps or when he moves away from Aperture. As for the OWC SSD - the new Aura Pro X2 drives like I just installed also max out the nMP's bus, are cheaper than the Samsung drives (no sense in paying for additional performance potential you'll never achieve), and don't require an adapter.
Yes the OP would gain two cores - but I would not recommend upgrading just for the sake of it. From my experience with image editors all I see is a lot of cores sitting idle most of the time - it needs to be clear that these are actually going to be put to good use during RAW processing.

As for the OWC, sure, why not, just pointing out that there are more options. I wanted the 5-year warranty that comes with it and something I could buy replacements for next door or put into a PC when no longer needed in the 6,1 that's why I went with Samsung.
 

bladerunner88

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Actually more RAW processing would be good! I've no issue with Aperture until I switched to the Nikon Z7 which can make a 60MB RAW File, on trying to open these for the first time i began to notice a significant delay during the initial processing. As i always try and do a quick edit at the end of the night this delay can seriously cut into sleep and turn around time. When I reduce the size of the RAW file to the "mid range" of around 40MBs the delay went away.

Thank you all very much for all the Intel, I could certainly conceive of going the OWC SSD and recommended more cores route.


Cheers!!
 

Alex Sanders74

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Nov 26, 2013
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Toronto, Canada
Actually more RAW processing would be good! I've no issue with Aperture until I switched to the Nikon Z7 which can make a 60MB RAW File, on trying to open these for the first time i began to notice a significant delay during the initial processing. As i always try and do a quick edit at the end of the night this delay can seriously cut into sleep and turn around time. When I reduce the size of the RAW file to the "mid range" of around 40MBs the delay went away.

Thank you all very much for all the Intel, I could certainly conceive of going the OWC SSD and recommended more cores route.


Cheers!!
Make sure to keep your original SSD for firmware updates... Maybe keep a fresh copy of Mojave on it just for updating purposes.
 

kfscoll

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Make sure to keep your original SSD for firmware updates... Maybe keep a fresh copy of Mojave on it just for updating purposes.
It doesn't hurt to keep it, but why would you need your original SSD? Before, if you hadn't already installed 10.13, the OEM SSD was needed to install 10.13. Installing 10.13 also installed a firmware update to the host computer that enabled support for NVMe SSDs. Once that firmware update is installed, NVMe drives (like the Aura Pro X2) will work, and you shouldn't need the OEM SSD for subsequent firmware updates.

In other words, you only need the OEM SSD for the one firmware update that enables NVMe SSD support. Once that firmware update is installed, the third-party SSD (OWC or another brand) should allow for additional firmware updates.
 
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rueyloon

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Sep 24, 2013
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I started with the 6 core, upgraded to the 12, and then back to the 10 core 3.0

I do photo editing as well, the increased cores only help in exporting (LR, PS etc...), but as you increase cores, the single thread clock speed drops which affect the response rate of the computer.
 

kfscoll

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I started with the 6 core, upgraded to the 12, and then back to the 10 core 3.0

I do photo editing as well, the increased cores only help in exporting (LR, PS etc...), but as you increase cores, the single thread clock speed drops which affect the response rate of the computer.
Interesting. I went from 6 to 10 and am about to go to 12 cores. I’m curious if I’ll notice the change in responsiveness when I go from 10 to 12. The only CPU intensive tasks I do can definitely make use of all 12 cores; I just hope the reduction in single-threaded speed isn’t enough to notice in day-to-day tasks.
 

islade

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Mar 6, 2014
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I have a 6,1 with D500 and upgraded from the stock 6 core to the E5-2667V2 (8 core, 3.3ghz).

I did a before and after geekbench and a few custom exports.
The Lightroom one was 'export a bunch of 100 raw images to jpeg at 4k resolution) and the premiere one was export a 3 minute 4k video. I did the benchmark right before and after CPU upgrade so everything else was identical.

Just putting this out there. I don't think LR interface is much faster but the export times definitely improved as in the attached graph
 

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th0masp

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Mar 16, 2015
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The OP wrote about experiencing a delay with initial RAW processing, is that even something more cores could help with?

Personally I'd sidestep the discussion and try alternative tools first. I do not know Aperture specifically but do work with software that simply chokes on big files beyond a certain point and it's related to the application's internal data management, only marginally affected by increased CPU or SSD speed.
 

kfscoll

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I installed the 12-core processor (E5-2697v2) yesterday and thought I'd post some observations.

First, in terms of day-to-day responsiveness, I don't notice any sluggishness at all compared to either my six-core or 10-core processors. Also, the 12-core seems more eager to turbo up compared to the other processors. The six-core would never turbo past 3.6GHz (1 bin) regardless of load. The 10-core would turbo up to 3.3GHz (3 bins) in light loads and would maintain about 3.1GHz (1 bin) in sustained heavy loads. The 12-core seems to turbo up to 3.1GHz (4 bins) in light loads and seems to bounce between 2.8GHz and 2.9GHz in heavy loads (1-2 bins). It also definitely runs cooler than the other two processors - but that's probably because it has a lower max Tcase than the 10-core, its clocks aren't as high and I used decent thermal compound (Arctic Silver 5) when I installed it versus the generic OWC stuff for the 10-core.

Anyway, I'll keep running it for a few more days before my decision is final, but so far I'm very pleased with it for my use case. If nothing changes (i.e. I don't start getting wild kernel panics, etc) I'm sure this is the processor I'll stick with.
 
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rueyloon

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Sep 24, 2013
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Interesting. I went from 6 to 10 and am about to go to 12 cores. I’m curious if I’ll notice the change in responsiveness when I go from 10 to 12. The only CPU intensive tasks I do can definitely make use of all 12 cores; I just hope the reduction in single-threaded speed isn’t enough to notice in day-to-day tasks.
Yes, do share your experience!
 

kfscoll

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Nov 3, 2009
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Yes, do share your experience!
I did (look at the post just above yours)! ;) I haven't had any issues to date with the 12-core and I was banging on it pretty hard this weekend so I'm all but certain this is the CPU that's a keeper for me.

Between the new processor, my 1TB OWC SSD upgrade, my 64GB memory upgrade, buying an OWC ThunderBay 4 (2 SATA SSDs in RAID 0, a 4TB WD Black scratch disk, and a 6TB WD Black as my Time Machine drive), and a Dell 38" ultrawide monitor (which runs at 3840x1600 over DP 1.2 with no issues - truly plug and play), it's like getting a new computer!

One other small thing -- I bought the Thunderbolt 3 ThunderBay with the intent to use it with the new Mac Pro if I ever get rid of this one. It works perfectly with my nMP with the Apple Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter, so no worries there.
 
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