MP 1,1-5,1 Upgrade suggestions for 5,1 12 core 2.66

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Gr1f, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. Gr1f macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009
    Hi all,
    I was holding out for an updated 2013 but alas nothing seems forthcoming so I thought I might beef up this machine. It will be in use anyway for next few years even if I get a new one. (still have a bunch of 2009's running fine)

    I already have a 500GB SSD and a 1TB striped Spinner
    12GB Ram running at 1333Mhz 6 X 2GB
    Stock ATI Radeon HD 5870 running 2 x Samsung SMS27A850's

    Any suggestions welcome!

    --- Post Merged, Apr 12, 2016 ---
    Just found this thread....
  2. Macdctr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2009
    Ocean State
    Depends on what you want to do with your rig? You can start off by upgrading your processor to x5680 or x5690 depending on how much you want to spend... here's a matched set on eBay for $425 USD

    or you can upgrade your memory (4x8GB - 32GB total) for $69 USD.

    You can also add SDD storage if you haven't done so already... put your boot OS on an SSD and see everything work faster...

    There's so many solutions for upgrades.... once we have an idea how you want to use your computer then it would be much easier to give you recommendations.
  3. Gr1f thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009

    Thanks for your response! very much appreciated.
    All graphics based really. Adobe CC Illustrator and Photoshop, Lightroom, some 3d and some After Effects / Vid.
    Wow that RAM is cheap! Thanks for the links. :)
  4. Macdctr macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2009
    Ocean State
    Then I think you also want to look at upgrading your GPU. There are a lot of thoughts regarding GPU updates and there are a few people here in this forum who can provide much better advice than I. Hopefully they will chime in and provide you with sound advice :)

    For my rig, I went ahead and got the GTX980 4GB GPU and am very happy with my choice. I also have my rig set up so I can either boot into Yosemite or El Capitan. For the CPU I upgraded mine from my original X5650s (2.66 GHz) to X5675s (3.06 GHz) as they were very cheap. I will eventually replace them with X5690s (3.46 GHz) but right now the X5690s cost too much...
  5. Gr1f thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009

    OK cool, yea probably a good idea too. What is it with Apple not updating the '13 Mac Pros? Is it dues to lack of significant upgrade options?

    Found new ram with free shipping too:
  6. O.N.Y.X macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2016
    I would advise against a pair of X5690s. Not only are they very expensive, they also get very hot especially at suboptimal room temperature. It's less of an issue on a single CPU Mac but keep in mind: you might end up stressing all the fans/cooling system of your end of life Mac Pro more- good luck finding replacement parts for cheap...
    Get a pair of X5680s instead or start saving for a brand new high end Mac Pro (not the current one).
  7. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    id think about how you use your computer before choosing a cpu, if you mostly see tasks only using 1-2 even 1-8 cores it might be worth looking at the X5677 2 of them will give you 8 vary fast cores which for most things is what you want & there super super cheep.

    while you work on your mac watch activity monitor and see how meany cores are in use there relay is no pint in getting relay costly sets of two 6c cpu's for most ppl

    i just picked up a 5.1 and im split on a 6c 3.2/3.3ghz or a 4c 3.46ghz (ie the X5677) which cots half the price, on a single cpu going from 4-6 cores matters more than 8-12 cores on a dual cpu as vary few apps can use more than 6-8 cores.

    ps a 8 core will still give you 16 virtual cores so not as amazing as seeing 24 but still cool
  8. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2010
    Your Mac Pro already looks pretty solid to me.

    It depends on what you're using the machine for, but I wouldn't recommend a processor upgrade (especially at current prices). There are faster processors available, but the main benefit IMO in upgrading CPUs is seen in moving from Nehalem (3500/5500-series) to Westmere (3600/5600-series) chips. You're already there.

    You can add RAM if you find yourself running out.

    I'd look at a GPU upgrade. The GTX 680 if you need boot screens; otherwise, any NVIDIA Kepler card with 2GB or more. Alternatively, a Radeon 79xx or R9 equivalent if you prefer AMD.
  9. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    scott has a point most the cpu upgrades for you are not that big.

    the two things you lack is ram and storage speed, if you relay want to spend on a upgrade some SSD's on a pci card will give the most noticeable speed up but only if you relay need it for work.
    one of those dual SSD pcie cards with two SSD's for your media files and catch files may help a lot.

    but only if you relay think you need that.

    rams cheep and easy so why not tho, if you do work in AE then you want lots and lots i think it's somehting like 4GB per core that AE uses is ideal :S but i dont use AE so i may be wrong
  10. Gr1f, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016

    Gr1f thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009
    Interesting, thanks guys. So hold off on a proc upgrade for now...

    I agree on the RAM. Going to order 4 x 8GBs 1600 now, maybe another 4 later. As for video card. I'm open to suggestion there as I really do not know one from the other at this stage (used to back in the early days!). Current card is the
    ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB

    HD's I think i'm OK there really. Running boot drive from a fast 500GB Crucial SSD and the using a 1TB Stripe for storage, bunch of external HDs for backup and BackBlaze for safety!

    This brings me to another conundrum!

    We need to get a new workstation so I would generally buy the fastest available at the time then push mine down the designer chain! Currently 5 with the oldest being a 2008 MacPro.

    I was initially holding out for an updated 6,1 as I mentioned above. I'm not-so-sure now though!!?
    Maybe the best option is to grab another 5,1 and upgrade it....

    My brother, an illustrator, is also in the market for a new workstation and i've pretty much offered him the same advice... find a 3,1-4,1-,51 and update it....

    Of all my years using Macs (1st being a IIsi) i've never faced this issue. It was always an easy decision to buy the latest!

    Thinking about the buying a used option to upgrade I wonder what's the 'sweetspot' spec to get? has some interesting insight and comparisons. Maybe the Apple Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.4 (2010/Westmere) ?
  11. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    for gpu advice relay for anything but video/AE work that gpu is fine.
    if your doing lots of video work look at the nvidia sticky, most of the shelf nvida PC cards will work & a lot of the ATI cards work to.
    have a look at benchmarks and decide on the kind of price range you want then get one, any gtx 760/960+ will be a lot faster than you older card. for the newer nvidia cards you may have to install the web nvidia drivers before you install the card. ask about it in the sticky or make a new topic about it.

    if your just doing Adobe CC Illustrator and Photoshop, Lightroom etc look at the mac min (relay do look at it) it's fast and sooo cheep usb3/thunderbolt etc.
    those apps are all about single core speed.
    for video/AE the gpu is week.
    the nmp is fast the 6c is the sweet spot for most ppl & it's so small, id get one if i had the budget.

    + if your in the uk look at this looks like we have free 6 year apple care now :D worth asking about what it covers in an apple shop but the ticks are there for everything that matters & if you want you can always swap the cpu at a later date.
    might be worth waiting to see if there is an upgrade soon but still a nice machine (+ they seem to be keeping there resell value on ebay vary well so if you do have to sell it's not to much of a upgrade cost).
    both the nmp & macmin will need external storage

    if you look on geekbench at the single core speed you will see that the nmp/macmin is a lot higher than the cmp so while with 12 cores on 2 cpus you may be able to get a geekbench score in around the same place it's requires the app to actually use all 12 cores (24 virtual cores) which almost no app can do.
    this site has an nice article
    not shore if it's still true but worth looking in to, might also be worth contacting adobe to ask for advice.

    but you can get a 4.1/5.1 and upgrade it for 1/2 to 1/3 the price

    id have a look at the nmp have a play and see if anyone you know has one, talk to them see what they say.
  12. Gr1f thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009
  13. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
  14. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Just want to make sure you know the 5,1 can only run the RAM at 1333MHz max, even though most of the 1600MHz will work. Just no need to buy that if it's more expensive. Of course, if the 1600 RAM is cheaper, no need to avoid that.
  15. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    Makes sure you bro gets a 4,1 or 5,1.

    3,1 is not very CPU upgradeable.
  16. Gr1f thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2009

    He's been on to a place in UK that does BTO and got the following back:
    6 core 3.46GHz CPU
    48GB RAM
    AMD R9 280X 3GB GPU
    512GB Samsing SM951 Flash SSD
    2TB 7200RPM HDD
    Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse
    Total: €2,254.80 exc VAT. (inc delivery & 3 year warranty)

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15 April 12, 2016