MP 6,1 Upgrading the 2013 nMP for maximum performance

chfilm

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Hey guys,

I have an 8 core D700 Mac Pro 2013 with 64gb ram.

I‘m contemplating if I should get a new one this year or if it‘s just a waste of money because right now I‘m mostly booked to work in production companies and forced to use their workstations anyways, but sometimes I still rely on my machine.

For video editing I‘m still happy with it, but in after effects and Lightroom the performance lacks.
My main issue is that I have 2x 5k displays attached and that slows the overall UI performance down system wide as there are just so many pixels to be pushed around.

I‘m wondering if an upgrade to the 10core GPU and maybe an AMD eGPU would help me significantly with especially the interface rendering and after effects effect acceleration (and additional render speed thanks to the 2 additional cores.)

Ram seems to be enough, my external Tb2 storage is also fast enough.
Any experiences with upgrading the old system?
 

chfilm

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Check the egpu.io forums. You'll find folks who have added an eGPU to 6,1 and their results.
Hey,
Can you tell me how to search that forum? Somehow I cant seem to find the search function :D
It also won‘t let me register, somehow their mails don‘t get through my spam filter on the server side... :(
 

chfilm

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Hey, that’s very interesting!
My dell displays feature dual thunderbolt 2 / mini dp / dp ports though. Would I be able to hook one of those up to the egpu and maybe the other one straight to the Mac to enhance performance?
Check this thread: I posted positive results with a RP580 and Ultrafine 5k @ 5k via the eGPU driving the display. https://egpu.io/forums/builds/late-2013-mac-pro-radeon-pro-58016gbps-tb2-blackmagic-egpu-macos10-13-6-itsage/#post-62748
Seems like not possible with the blackmagic because it has only a single display port out.
Do you think with a custom gpu built it could would and might be worth a try?
Or just too much hassle for too little gain, and better to save that money for a 7.1?
 

chfilm

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Sort out your search issues at egpu.io - everything you're trying to do has been done and benchmarked over there.

MP 7,1 decently upgraded is going to be very expensive compared to investing ~$1500 in 2 eGPU boxes and a couple of Vega 64s or whatever.

https://barefeats.com/nMP-pumped-up.html

Also performance delta varies app to app.
Hey, yes I guess I have to try accessing the site on a real Mac, it doesn’t work on any of my iPads or phone. Just always get a time out when I try to log in. By help of the search I did find a few threads but nothing that would answer my question about using two dual DP port displays with an egpu rig. Instead, just reading a lot about failed dual GPU attempts, which is kinda scary. I’m not that much of a DIY type a guy anymore ;) used to build PCs when I was 21, but it’s been a while haha
 

th0masp

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I think the answer to the original question is: it's a waste of money to buy a new MP now when you don't really need it. Might as well go eGPU as a measure to keep running your 6,1 a while longer. Do you really need two of those boxes to drive a dual setup though?

No doubt the overall system performance of the new MP will be noticeably better all around for the apps you are running. Also no doubt it will be eye-wateringly expensive and perhaps you'll need to reevaluate if the new MP or an iMP or even the regular iMac is the best bet for your case.
 

chfilm

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I think the answer to the original question is: it's a waste of money to buy a new MP now when you don't really need it. Might as well go eGPU as a measure to keep running your 6,1 a while longer. Do you really need two of those boxes to drive a dual setup though?

No doubt the overall system performance of the new MP will be noticeably better all around for the apps you are running. Also no doubt it will be eye-wateringly expensive and perhaps you'll need to reevaluate if the new MP or an iMP or even the regular iMac is the best bet for your case.
Well yea- since I already have these two AMAZING monitors an iMac is kinda out of the question. Don’t want to put an iMac next to a dell display, makes my eyes bleed ;)
Shame on you Apple for still not releasing a new Cinema Display in iMac optics!
 
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AlexMaximus

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Well yea- since I already have these two AMAZING monitors an iMac is kinda out of the question. Don’t want to put an iMac next to a dell display, makes my eyes bleed ;)
Shame on you Apple for still not releasing a new Cinema Display in iMac optics!
It sounds to me you are heavy in render jobs. This means you need a higher multicore speed. With that info, I would watch the OWC DIY GPU upgrade video for your machine and go for a used 12 core Xeon Chip on eBay.
For the eGPU upgrade, there are great, cheap and slightly used eGPU boxes available on eBay as well, (Sonnet, OWC & Razor) - many times only a view months old with original packing and stuff. For the eGPU, see if you can score a used Vega 7 card. The older 64 has crappy cooling fans and get very hot and also loud. If you are on a budget, at least go for a Vega with a three cooling fan design and avoid the reference duct fan design at all cost, (56 or 64).
On the high speed storage issue, - the only real great upgrade for the iconic MP 6.1 is the angle shark board for more faster SSD internal storage. Expensive but worthwhile. Since the slow OWC SSD upgrade got many negative reports, I would stick with the amfeltech option if you see the need for more & faster internal SSD highspeed storage.

https://amfeltec.com/products/mac-pro-late-2013-cylinder-ssd-upgrade/


https://www.ebay.de/itm/NEW-Amfeltec-Angelshark-NVMe-PCIe-SSD-3-Slot-Adapter-Card-for-Mac-Pro-6-1-2013/123278895296?hash=item1cb3fea8c0:g:OA4AAOSwbERdB5sE




my 0.02 cents..
 
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flygbuss

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I did the CPU upgrade to the 10 Core Xeon and I'm pretty happy with the result.
Since I work with audio there is no need for me to get a better GPU. So unfortunately I can't help you with that.
I like the 10 Core for the good compromise between single core and multi core speed.
Also with more cores the speed of the internal SSD drops a little due to the PCIe management of the nMP 6,1.
There was a thread somewhere on macrumors about it.
This is my geekbench 4 score in 10.14, it's quite close to the 12C:

Screenshot 2019-06-09 at 15.56.13.png

EDIT: The angel shark is nice but be aware that you're not able to update the Mac Pro's BootROM with the card installed. If 1 TB is sufficient, the original Apple Samsung 1TB SSD SSUBX might be an alternative. My R/W speeds with the drive are between 1300 and 1500. You'll find it on ebay for maybe 300-400 EUR. Since you're from Germany, Mac Factory is a reliable dealer from Berlin I can recommend. They have an ebay shop as well.
Just make sure to buy the one with the heat sink.
 
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kfscoll

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I upgraded my nMP to a 12-core Xeon that I bought from eBay (I think the reseller was Sun Microsystems) and an OWC Aura Pro X2 1TB SSD. In single-core performance the 12-core drags ass but in multi-core (where I personally need the performance) it's fantastic. In day to day use I do not notice the slower single-core performance of my 12-core vs the 6-core that my system shipped with.
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 6.08.02 PM.png
Also, the original Auto Pro SSDs got a bad rap but the newer versions pretty much saturate the PCIe bus. Here are the write/read speeds I'm seeing.
Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 5.58.47 PM.png
 
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chfilm

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I got the following advice over at eGPU.io:

„I would recommend getting an eGPU that would handle both Dell 2715k monitors. That means the Radeon WX 8200 (4x mini DisplayPorts) or WX 9100 (6x mini DisplayPorts). Not using the D700 (graphics card B) to power a monitor would help cooling inside the 2013 Mac Pro. It also makes sure apps are using the eGPU as long as the software is optimized for external graphics processing.

You can likely get away with a non-Power Delivery enclosure such as Asus XG Station Pro when paired with WX 8200. It would make for a very nice and quiet setup. I’m currently using a similar nMP + Radeon VII which can power one HP Z27q 5K monitor (2x DisplayPort) and one Samsung 49″ superwide monitor (1x DisplayPort).“

It sounds pretty legit. I was wondering if a WX8200 is overkill and a cheaper card could also benefit me and exists (with 4 display ports). Can‘t judge the performance gains of the eGPU in editing.
I was also looking at that 10 core CPU, two more cores are better than none I guess, the 12 core models I personally never liked, they feel kinda slowish in comparison to the 8 core.
 
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flygbuss

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I got the following advice over at eGPU.io:

„I would recommend getting an eGPU that would handle both Dell 2715k monitors. That means the Radeon WX 8200 (4x mini DisplayPorts) or WX 9100 (6x mini DisplayPorts). Not using the D700 (graphics card B) to power a monitor would help cooling inside the 2013 Mac Pro. It also makes sure apps are using the eGPU as long as the software is optimized for external graphics processing.

You can likely get away with a non-Power Delivery enclosure such as Asus XG Station Pro when paired with WX 8200. It would make for a very nice and quiet setup. I’m currently using a similar nMP + Radeon VII which can power one HP Z27q 5K monitor (2x DisplayPort) and one Samsung 49″ superwide monitor (1x DisplayPort).“

It sounds pretty legit. I was wondering if a WX8200 is overkill and a cheaper card could also benefit me and exists (with 4 display ports). Can‘t judge the performance gains of the eGPU in editing.
I was also looking at that 10 core CPU, two more cores are better than none I guess, the 12 core models I personally never liked, they feel kinda slowish in comparison to the 8 core.
It's a tough call. We also have a 8 core nMP in the studio and I sometimes have the feeling that it performs a little better when it comes to rendering / track bouncing due to the better single core performance. It surely renders faster then my 12 core 5,1 with the two X5690 (Pro Tools offline bounces apparently rely on single core performance).
Real time operations though are definitely much better on the 10 core (and 5,1 12 core).
If there are other benchmarks, tests or comparisons you're interested in, let me know and I'll see if I can help you with that.
 

chfilm

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It's a tough call. We also have a 8 core nMP in the studio and I sometimes have the feeling that it performs a little better when it comes to rendering / track bouncing due to the better single core performance. It surely renders faster then my 12 core 5,1 with the two X5690 (Pro Tools offline bounces apparently rely on single core performance).
Real time operations though are definitely much better on the 10 core (and 5,1 12 core).
If there are other benchmarks, tests or comparisons you're interested in, let me know and I'll see if I can help you with that.
Thanks for the offer, very generous!
Well I wouldn’t know what exactly to ask you to benchmark, I guess we would have to do a video encoding crunch test between the 8 core and your 10 core, that surely would be interesting.

The thing with the 12core trashcan is also that if you render A LOT (more than 30 videos of 15sec length in a row), it gets so hot, that the GPUs will start rendering artifacts into the results. The same could happen on one really long playout. At first I couldnt believe but I saw it happen several times.
 

flygbuss

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Thanks for the offer, very generous!
Well I wouldn’t know what exactly to ask you to benchmark, I guess we would have to do a video encoding crunch test between the 8 core and your 10 core, that surely would be interesting.

The thing with the 12core trashcan is also that if you render A LOT (more than 30 videos of 15sec length in a row), it gets so hot, that the GPUs will start rendering artifacts into the results. The same could happen on one really long playout. At first I couldnt believe but I saw it happen several times.
The only application related to video I have is Compressor :eek:
If there is a certain coding / encoding I can do, PM me, I do speak German.

I clean my macs at home and in the studio once a year. I also replaced all the thermal paste with MX 2 or Gelid GC-Extreme.
That helps especially with the Macs not hosted inside the server room (AC and pretty much dust free).
With my workload the 6,1 is usually as quiet as a mouse.
 

chfilm

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Does anybody know how the two GPUs in the mac pro are really utilized? I'm working on a heavy 4k project in Premiere right now, and looking at the GPU utilization for the very first time. I see one card is constantly at almost 100% utilization, especially the video memory. While the other card sits almost completely idle... Makes me not THAT hopeful for an eGPU..
 

Flint Ironstag

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Does anybody know how the two GPUs in the mac pro are really utilized? I'm working on a heavy 4k project in Premiere right now, and looking at the GPU utilization for the very first time. I see one card is constantly at almost 100% utilization, especially the video memory. While the other card sits almost completely idle... Makes me not THAT hopeful for an eGPU..
If you're counting on the OS to handle things, one GPU is display, and the other handles compute. Some apps you can designate GPUs.
 

chfilm

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If you're counting on the OS to handle things, one GPU is display, and the other handles compute. Some apps you can designate GPUs.
Yea I knew that basic information, but I also know that Adobe Premiere is supposed to be able to leverage an eGPU for example, so I guess it also should be able to use the second built in GPU, right?
Though all the time I only see one GPU doing anything at all.
 

Flint Ironstag

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Yea I knew that basic information, but I also know that Adobe Premiere is supposed to be able to leverage an eGPU for example, so I guess it also should be able to use the second built in GPU, right?
Though all the time I only see one GPU doing anything at all.
There's lots of "supposed to" and "will be supported" - The only way to be sure is to check GPU usage and run benchmarks with your specific apps. It's a minefield.
 

MrTed

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I hesitate between those 2 CPU, what do you think ? It's for use with Logic Pro. I like when bouncing tracks is fast, does logic use multicore or single core for that operation ?
Actually I have a 6 core Macpro. Thanks !

Ivy-Bridge10 coreE5-2690 V23.03.61866130W
and
Ivy-Bridge12 coreE5-2697 V22.73.51866130W
 

flygbuss

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I hesitate between those 2 CPU, what do you think ? It's for use with Logic Pro. I like when bouncing tracks is fast, does logic use multicore or single core for that operation ?
Actually I have a 6 core Macpro. Thanks !

Ivy-Bridge10 coreE5-2690 V23.03.61866130W
and

Ivy-Bridge12 coreE5-2697 V22.73.51866130W
Sorry, Pro Tools user here, so I can't speak for Logic Pro.

I found this:

Since it's only about playback maybe track bouncing is only single core.
Check out the advanced tab, I just own compressor as a native apple application and you can setup additional cores in the advanced preferences tab.

Screenshot 2019-09-20 at 15.39.59.png