Which Mac Pro allows the most upgrades like processors

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by blacka4, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. blacka4 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    As the topic states. Which Mac Pro will allow me to upgrade the processors and graphics card with ease. I don't need a powerhouse but I do like gaming and will be running windows
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Easiest for CPU are Mid-2010 and newer (5,1). You can go as far back as 2009 (4,1) if you don't mind doing an unauthorized firmware update and, on the dual proc models, dealing with lidless processors.

    For GPU there isn't much difference 3,1 and newer. But 3,1 will have more limited CPU choices, memory updates are expensive, and the optical bay is IDE/Molex instead of SATA.
     
  3. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    I agree.

    2009 and later single CPU (firmware hack on 4,1 will enable more CPU options).
    2010 and later dual CPU.

    RAM is cheaper on 2009 and later.

    GPU options are the same for every Mac Pro.
     
  4. tejota1911 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I'd pick up a 2010 Mac Pro 2.8Ghz Quad and swap the processor for a W3680 3.33Ghz Hex. Then I would install 24GB(3x8GB) of 1333Mhz DDR3 RAM, a Samsung 840 Pro SSD boot drive, and enjoy! The 5770 graphics cards does everything I need it to, but I'm not a gamer. There are better options out there for gamers.
     
  5. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Please forgive my ignorance, but that quad your describing is a single chip or dual?? and would that be the 5,1 system described above? would I be able to do a dual CPU swap for hex core to get 12 cores? not saying I would EVER need that for what I am doing. I do need something to encode DVD rips now that I think about it, or encoding video to burn to dvd
     
  6. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #6
    It's a single processor..

    Your definitely don't need a 12 core or 6 core to do what you are describing a fast 4 core will be plenty. Though if you have the $2600 or so more power to you.
     
  7. blacka4, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013

    blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    yeah I do my video encoding on my core 2 duo mac mini and it takes HOURS...I don't have that kind of time anymore. lol Guessing the 6 core would be more then plenty but i can start off with a quad core.

    I think I will start looking for a single processor quad core 5,1 mac pro. I would go with a iMac but I want to be able to upgrade hard drives and memory with ease. Hell by the time I am ready to purchase I might not want a power hungry mac pro.
     
  8. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

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    Apr 10, 2012
    #8
    Six core is the sweet spot, especially at 3.33 clock rate. But again, I'd advise you to really think if you need to encode video that fast, 6core CPU is a large investment and it'll just cut your render time by some minutes compared to Quad. I have Quad CPU and it's fast enough, I'm video editor and do FX and it is very fast for those things (I know it can be always faster but hey, I'm on a budget too).

    There is no comparison for Mac mini's C2D chip to Mac Pro's Xeon, especially 2009 or 2010s. Even with Quad you'll notice a great performance increase.

    Get at least 16 gigs of RAM, that helps too. I went for 2nd hand 2009 so I can have more upgrade options but so far it seems to handle everything I throw at it (I do AE renders over night via queue). If CPU ever feels like bottleneck, I'll get the six core.
     
  9. Phrygian macrumors regular

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    #9
    Its such a bummer... glad i got my Memory updated while it was cheap!
     
  10. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Cool thanks, I have a core 2 duo MBP that is feeling sluggish, a 13" MB that i don't remember what is in it and my Mini. It takes 5 or 6 hours on each machine to encode a 60 minute DVD to burn. I am trying to cut that time down and have a nice dual monitor setup

    Plus the wife might start working from home and it would be nice for her to have some decent screens to look at.
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #11
    There's no comparison between Core2 era hardware and the current mac pros. Even the current quad mini is potentially several times the speed of the Core2 version. If you stress the cpu, anything newer will be a major upgrade.
     
  12. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    well i am excited to know that I am that far behind the times. lol
     
  13. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    #13
    This.

    Or a 2.66Ghz/2.93Ghz 2009 MacPro4,1 and flash it (easily) to 5,1 and a W3680.
     
  14. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    How do I go about flashing the firmware? where can I find that?
     
  15. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    #15
  16. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #16
    It's good because it means performance gains are easily attainable.
     
  17. blacka4 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    nah it just means my wife is gonna kill me now after I buy a new machine, that i really don't need right now. I just got married, bought a truck..this is the last thing I need to be doing. but it keeps me from buying mods for my truck, when I go home I will look for mods for my truck and that will keep me from buying a new computer, its a weird cycle but it works for me. I don't end up buying anything at all...haha
     
  18. tejota1911 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    +1

    The only problem with buying a dual processor Mac Pro is that it costs twice as much to upgrade, or more. A single 3.33Ghz Hex is a BEAST, and will chew through your DVD rips with ease. The model I suggested is a 5,1 and does not require any firmware hacks. If you want to save even more money, you can do as others have suggested and buy a 4,1 and follow the steps to trick it into thinking its a 5,1. I prefer just starting with the 5,1 but that's me. The truth is, you might find that the 2.8Ghz Quad is plenty fast for you, and doesn't need any processor swap at all.
     
  19. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

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    #19
    Another reason not to go crazy about it. As I said, I think quad core would suffice you for now - your render time will decrease greatly anyway. You can get the six core later and install it then. Get 2nd hand one from a trusted source, also it depends on budget. Getting Quad 2010 from refurb store might be ideal, on the other hand if you find six core it is not usually that much more (if the difference between Quad and Six core is less than 600 USD than go for the six core).

    I bought my 2009 quad from a member of this forum in the marketplace section, go look there although it's best to pick up the machine locally and test it. There are many 2nd hand resellers, check out this page:
    http://lowendmac.com/deals/best-mac-pro-prices.html

    There is no need to spend a lot of money on Mac Pro. It is still very powerful computer but I'd never buy it new, not now when there's possibly something cooked up for Q3/Q4 of this year. I bought my Quad for around 1000 USD and spent another 200 on upgrades. I think it was very reasonable price.
     
  20. tjlazer macrumors member

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    Tacoma, WA USA
    #20
    yep, I bought a 2009 Mac Pro 2.66 Quad for $700 on Craigslist. Just installed a ATI 4870 that i bought for $28 and a 1 TB HD I had laying around. Next on the list is the HEX 3.33 upgrade. Don't have to get a divorce to get a Mac Pro. ;)
     
  21. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #21
    I missed that earlier. It's just extremely funny. If money is an issue, even the current minis are pretty damn fast. There are two major advantages to a mac pro. One is speed beyond the quad core level. Even at the quad core level, you have things like extra drive bays, the ability to use the best gpus, and a lot of room for ram. They're basic advantages of the tower form factor, as it allows you some amount of customization to fit your needs. I mention the mini because you're already using one. The $800 quad model would be several times the speed of the one you have now. With the mac pro, if you're considering used, make sure you compare against refurbished pricing. The hex core is around $2500 refurbished. Depending on the deal, the used variant may not be worthwhile. The quad model is even less. If you're considering an upgrade at some point, that cpu is around $600. I could see it if you found a 2009 model just above $1000 + $600 down the line for a W3680. They might eventually show up on ebay for much less once they're no longer relevant.
     

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