Upgrading nMP 6.1 CPU & Graphics

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SnapperUK, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. SnapperUK macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
    I pre-ordered by nMP back in 2013 and had a pretty early delivery. I am completely happy with it. However, since buying it a lot of my work has changed. I was previously doing photographs, PS CC & LR, but now I am spending most of my time working in Premiere Pro with 4K footage.
    So the configuration I bought was focused on clock speed and not cores. I have the 3.5 Ghz 6 core with 64GB RAM and D500 graphics card. I have seen online that you can buy new CPUs and upgrade. I looked for a graphics card upgrade but could find any thing.
    Can you up grade the graphics card?
    Is this going to be worth doing?
  2. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    You can do the CPU, it's pretty involved. I swapped a 12 Core for my 4 Core but lost some clock speed for the extra cores.

    The GPUs are a funny subject. The lunatic fringe calls them "upgradeable" due to the presence of screws. You will need to find some D700s somewhere, they run about $1K/each used. You could then sell the D500s to recoup some of the cost. You can occasionally find D700s on Ebay. You might also try findiong the part numbers then doing a Google search.

    We recently demoed eGPU Titan-X on nMP via Barefeats.com. Still a work in progress.

    Note that you will need both Torx and Torx Security bits to remove the GPUs.

    If you need seriously powerful GPUs you will need to get a 5,1 Mac Pro or go to the Dark Side.
  3. Jaho101 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2007
    If you're using Premiere then using Nvidia cards is ok, whatever non-nMP solution you choose. I wouldn't recommend Nvidia cards for FCPX though, as that program is totally not designed to work with anything other than AMD cards. I'm having terrible GTX 980 issues, constant OpenCL runtime errors that still haven't been resolved in 10.11.3.
  4. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Grey market boards on Ebay are so rare and so expensive that I suspect the most reasonable method to upgrade yours is to sell your D500 nMP and buy a used D700 nMP.

    If you are really particular about your specific nMP, you could buy a D700 nMP, swap the boards with your nMP, and sell off the other one with your D500 boards installed.
  5. MacVidCards, Jan 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016

    MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I actually meant to conclude with the "sell it and buy a new one" advice given by the Mango here. Troll CL at end of the month when people tight on cash see rent coming up and will take less than usual. Or get a refurb.

    This is what I was trying to get at with the "lunatic fringe" comment. The presence of screws or snaps or velcro ended up making no difference at all. No parts available at a reasonable price means no upgrades. Easier to sell and buy a new one. Exactly as Apple intended.
  6. flehman macrumors 6502


    Feb 21, 2015
    Aren't the cards even so specific that you need to buy an "A" and a "B" part in order to create the matching pair? I had heard that you can't just buy any two.
  7. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Yes, absolutely. The mounting screw holes are "mirrored" and only one of the two boards mounts the SSD. There are probably other differences as well.

    On a slightly related note, someone here on MR who bought a matching set decided to replace one card at a time to see what happened with mismatched cards. What he discovered was that the system was fine running two different model cards. So theoretically you could just upgrade one board and leave the other if you didn't use it. For example if your use case didn't involve GPU compute, you could just leave the compute card as a D300 and upgrade the display card only to a D700. Assuming you could find a D700 of course.

    I wish I could find that post now, it was really interesting. He even did Crossfire in Windows, which was successful and had the performance gain you'd expect from asymmetric Crossfire.

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