Still worth it to buy a 5,1 over 6,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AreYouAMac, Dec 5, 2015.

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December 2015 Buy: Get an upgraded 5,1 or base 6,1 Mac Pro?

  1. Mac Pro 5,1

    68.1%
  2. Mac Pro 6,1

    31.9%
  1. AreYouAMac, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015

    AreYouAMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #1
    Hi Team,

    I am itching to pull the trigger to get a Mac Pro. However I am undecided between the 5,1 and 6,1.

    What I will be running: 6 1920x1200 monitors. I have this already set up, just waiting for the right computer.

    What I will be using: Atom, Github, Photoshop, Illustrator, Chrome (3 Windows ~ 50 tabs - I tend not to close my windows and tabs), xCode. This will be a Developer computer.

    Looking at this thread, would it be worth it to buy a 5,1 and spec it up. Or a base 6,1.

    One thing I am weary about is the 5,1's compatibility with future OSX.

    If I were to buy the 5,1 - I would like to stay stock options as possible. If I can get away with the 5870 and the max 12 core CPU to run those items, that will be great. Just not sure about the 1GB rams in the GPU. Ram will be higher obviously.

    It's already Dec 2015. - if the prices of the 6,1 drop because a newer MP comes out - I can wait. Else I would pull the trigger for the 5,1 now.

    TLDR:
    Use: 6 Monitors (1920x1200)
    Apps: Atom, Chrome, Github, Illustrator, Photoshop, Xcode

    Mac Pro 5,1:
    CPU: Two Intel Xeon X5675 (3.06GHz)
    GPU: Dual 5770 / or recommended upgraded GPU
    Ram: +32GB
    2 - Mini DisplayPort and 1 - dual-link DVI

    Mac Pro 6,1: Base Model
    CPU: 3.7GHz Quad-Core (Intel Xeon E5-1620)
    GPU: Dual D300
    Ram: +32GB (will update after purchase)
    Up to 6 - Thunderbolt

    Mac.
     
  2. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #2
    Have you done any research between 5,1 and 6,1? If so, what is your thought on 5,1 and 6,1?
     
  3. AreYouAMac thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #3
    Well the new MP already has 6 TB for the monitors. I seen videos it could run 6 4K monitors. In the future I will probably run 6 4K monitors. Also the CPU (if it's safe or not) can be upgraded and also the GPU. So if there are 2nd hand D700 hundred chips on eBay or what not, I believe they can be swapped in. Though both upgrading the CPU and GPU is still too early to tell since this is still v1 of the the nMP.

    For the 5,1 - I see some folks upgrade to the AMD 7950 - but there seems to be no official support for the card in El Capitan.

    Reason why now I am contemplating to buy the 5,1 or 6,1 is because I purchased everything for a hackintosh - i7 4790k, 32GB ram, GTX 960 GPU.

    BUT I rarely found any one running 6 monitors. I don't want to tinker with files, and not be able to run updates - so I returned everything.

    Leaning towards the 6,1 though if I can build out a 5,1 with maxed CPU and a great GPU for under $1500 I may consider that is the more viable option.
     
  4. AreYouAMac thread starter macrumors regular

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  5. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #5
    Whilst the 5,1 is still a great machine ( when upgraded ), one of the things to think about is that if you want 6 monitors then you are looking at dual gpu cards to get the outputs. The stock cabling options only allow 1 card to be powered so going to either have to look for a 5.25" bay aux psu, or looking at cable splitters, adaptors for sata to pci-e etc.

    Assuming you can find the 7950 cards, ones I find are flashed cards rather then genuine sapphire ( don't know your views on them ) then the alternatives are looking at MacVidCards EFI cards, and potentially dealing with driver issues at upgrades. I am assuming here that don't want unflashed cards/non-efi cards.

    As you said decided against hack route, due to having to do the additional work then is that something you are prepared to do.

    Or if you want a straight forward then would say look at a 6core 6,1 with D500's and will work without additional cables, drivers etc.
     
  6. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #6
    6 monitors works nice with 6,1.
     
  7. scott.n macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2010
    #7
    I assume that you mean six 1920x1200 displays. You could run them with two stock 5770s in a 5,1.
     
  8. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

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    Jun 3, 2015
    #8
    well yeah..
     
  9. scott.n macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2010
    #9
    Not the most powerful GPUs, obviously, but OP specifically mentioned the 5870.

    That being said, unless the internal storage in the cMP is compelling to the OP, I think he should go with a 6,1.
     
  10. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #10
    Pretty much...i mean...the difference is external or internal storage...which me personally, i don't mind either.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    6 4K monitor is possible on a 6,1, but seems not that trouble free.

    Apple never said that they have official support of the 7950. However, due to they licensed it to Sapphire, and the D700 is basically a 7970. So, I can't see any reason why the 7950 will have problem with drivers. In fact, unless you want to run it on 10.8 or earlier. Driver won't be an issue. Since you compare it to the 6,1. So, I assume you won't run anything older than Mavericks. The 7950 driver won't be a problem. It's very trouble free in the last few OSX upgrade.

    However, for 6 monitor setup, it's better to have dual card setup in the 5,1, which will make the upgrade more complicated. E.g. How to power the cards? Or there will be less choice if you want 6 mdp without adaptor etc. Also, the 2nd card will occupy 1 or 2 slots which makes you have less PCIe expension (e.g. You may not able to have both PCIe SSD and USB 3.0 together). There are plenty of solutions for the 5,1, but may be none of them is what you want.

    In your case, the 6,1 fit what you need now. However, I doubt if you really want to upgrade the CPU or GPU on the 6,1 by yourself. It seems you want to keep everything as stock as possible. Upgrading the 6,1 is not as simple as the 5,1. Also, the GPU is hardly considered upgradable. Yes, you can upgrade it to the D700. However, since there is no PC equivalent parts, the D700 price won't drop as you wish. You may go to check out how much a used stock 5870 Apple GPU selling on eBay. The D700 will be much worse than that, even though few years later (with the current trend). If you really want a D700, seems better to order it at the beginning, so you don't end up pay more to get this card, and can enjoy it right at the beginning, with proper warranty, etc.
     
  12. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

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    Jun 3, 2015
    #12
    Didn't macvidcard had a thread that he was working on eGPU or something for 6,1?
     
  13. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #13
    I can't see that technology will be very mature in the next 2-3 years. That's why I said "with the current trend".

    Also, at this moment, thunderbolt equipment cost much more than simple PCIe solution. The GPU may only cost few hundred bucks, but the extra thunderbolt equipments will cost extra few hundred dollars. Which is not ideal as well.

    However, I agree that this may be the real GPU upgrade solution for the 6,1.
     
  14. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

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    #14
    Hopefully this technology will come ASAP.
     
  15. AreYouAMac, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015

    AreYouAMac thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Thanks for the input. I would say the base model D300 is definitely more than enough to run 6 1920x1200 screens if the dual 5770's can?

    However with running the 5,1 with dual 5770s and two 3.06 chips, if the price of this build would be significantly less than the base 6,1 - I would pull the trigger on this. Looking to actually save about $1,000 difference from the 5,1 upgrades to the 6,1 base.

    I honestly cannot see how these 5,1 expensive machines (when they were available) be obsolete after the next few OSX versions.

    @h9826790 - I've read another thread you wrote in running 7970's. You seems to have modded your 5,1 a lot!
     
  16. austinpike macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #16
    You can also use nvidia GT120s in the 5,1 which don't require any additional power. Theoretically you could have 8 displays if you fill up your slots with 4 of those. Graphics performance is lackluster but it doesn't sound like your needs are super intense. Or combine a 7950 with 2xGT120. Given that most people would want a USB3 card and a PCIE SSD you have to make some trade-offs since you end up one slot short.

    Really the hackintosh would have given you the most flexibility and best value.
     
  17. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #17
    May be, I personally don't consider install PCIe card is a mod.

    So far, I mod my Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition a little bit to make it cool better (less noise as well), and both 7950 (firmware) to make them draw less power. So that I can run dual 7950 without mod my 4,1 (each 7950 powered by one mini 6pin).

    I did go through the 5,1 firmware hack. And upgrade to the W3690.

    And I have a USB 3.0 PCIe card installed.

    In terms of processing power, my 4,1 roughly equals to the Quad core 6,1 with dual D700.
     
  18. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #18
    If you care about warranty support & reliability then it's no contest as the nMP 6,1 wins hands down. I would be dubious about sinking a couple of thousand into a several years old used cMP 5,1 that has no warranty.
     
  19. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Location:
    Italy
    #19
    I would suggest a 6,1 ... but we don't really know if they are going to update it in the next few months
     
  20. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

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    Jun 3, 2015
    #20
    Based on the recent rumor about new MAC PRO, they said it was going to be within os x el capitan era...so..how long do you think it might take before they announce it?
     
  21. whodatrr macrumors 6502a

    whodatrr

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    Jan 12, 2004
    #21
    But if OP said he wants to eventually run 6 4k displays, this is out of range for either, right?

    I believe the only nMP I've seen that was supporting 6 4ks was doing so with an external GPU, but I could be wrong?
     
  22. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #22
    Both cMP and nMP can output 6x 4K display without eGPU. Both proved. The problem is mainly how to make all of them run at 60Hz.
     
  23. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    Location:
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    #23
    I think it would be a couple of months max, so I'd put the purchase on hold for a while.
     
  24. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

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    On The Interweb Thingy!
    #24
    Depends where you buy your 5,1 from. I picked mine up from a company that buys used office Macintoshes, services them and then sells them on. It comes with a years warranty, however given the build quality of the 5,1 I don't think I'll ever need it. I only purchased it through a company due to tax reasons.

    I wouldn't put too much thought into if something like this comes with a warranty.
     
  25. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #25
    Everyone is talking about monitors, nobody has mentioned anything else. What are the rest of your requirements - CPU Cores, RAM, storage, etc? That should give you a better idea of what direction you need to go to.

    Personally I would, and have, gone with the nMP over the older machine as Apple will probably support it for longer.
     

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