Upgrade mid 2010 for Lightroom ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iTundra, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. iTundra macrumors member


    Oct 12, 2011
    I have a Mid-2010 5,1 (W3530 2.8ghz, 3Gb RAM) that is used primarily for photo editing in Lightroom and website updating. Not bad performance but frustratingly sluggish sometimes. One option is to upgrade the RAM though it sounds like that wouldn't help much (would help with video editing which I do little of on this machine)?

    Thinking about upgrading to a 2013. Stupid? Somewhat worthwhile? Geekbench indicates about 4 fold performance improvement but past experience is that what they say and reality are quite different.

    Thank you,
  2. EdDuPlessis macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2014
    3gb ram is a joke. Upgrade your CPU to six core and max out your memory to 24gb (3 x 8gb - triple channel so use three memory sticks)
  3. TruckdriverSean, Dec 17, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014

    TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2009
    Texas, US
    Here's an option:

    $350 (used X5690 3.46GHz 6-core)
    $240 (24GB RAM)
    $400 (512GB Apple Blade PCIe SSD + adapter)
    $990 Total upgrade.

    Using GeekBench (64-bit) your CPU would likely score around 16,000. Roughly 2X current 64-bit average of 8,400 for your machine.

    Apple blade SSD's have R/W around 725MB/sec or 6X improvement over a normal platter HD. That can add significant snappiness by itself. Full TRIM support.


    $200 (used X5680 3.33GHz 6-core)
    $120 (12gb ram)
    $200 (500GB SATA SSD)

    GeekBench around 15,000-15,500. (1.8x improvement)

    Regular SATA SSD's won't have TRIM support (there are work-arounds prior to 10.10, but Yosemite is a hassle) but should offer roughly 2x R/W unless you add a PCIe/SATA adapter, but at that point your @3.5x and almost the same cost as an Apple blade SSD.

    Just food for thought. You won't match the single core performance with used 4 year old CPUs, but should see improvement none the less. Wouldn't have dual GPUs either, but lots of GPU's fit

  4. iTundra thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 12, 2011
    Thank you. I might try some upgrades and see what they do. If I'm going to plunk down $1k though I'm wondering if it wouldn't be best to invest that in a new machine and relegate my old one to rendering or something.
  5. Pending macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2014
    I use my 5,1 for LR too. I originally had just 3Gb Ram but when I went to 12Gb and I noticed an immediate difference in LR. Later after that I upgraded to a W3690 cpu as well which gives the whole machine a kick, well worth it, no need to spend $1k to get a considerably quicker machine that you wont just feel in LR!
  6. iTundra thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 12, 2011

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