Worth getting a 2012 Mac Pro 5,1 in 2016? (From a Hackintosher)

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
Hi all

I am currently running an Ivy bridge Hackintosh setup and it is going ok (I have a GTX 760 that I hope to use with the Mac Pro 2012). I also use 2 x Dell U2515H monitors. However, I am going into my final year at University and cannot face any distractions, as with every update, something in my machine 'breaks', costing me time and precious study hours, therefore I am looking into getting a Mac Pro.

Now the Mac Pro 2013 pricing is way out of my league, furthermore the lack of upgradability, single PCIe SSD drive, relatively weak and un-upgradable GPU don't make it an attractive proposition for myself.

I therefore was looking at the Mac Pro 2012 on eBay, and have found some good deals, such as the 6 core version for around £800/£900 and the 12 core for around £1200, which are equally as powerful, if not mores than the base 2013 Mac Pro.

My question therefore is, is the 2012 Mac Pro still a good buy in 2016? How easy is it to repair things like the PSU, logic board and other parts that are likely to go bad?

I don't see the 2013 Mac Pro coming down in price any time soon, even if a new Mac Pro comes out next month. Furthermore the limited hard drive upgradability really puts me off, as I would like 2 hard drives, one for mac os x, and one for windows (gaming).

Thanks all
 

scott.n

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2010
337
78
Not a good buy in my opinion. It's a lot of money for old technology.

I don't understand how replacing a PSU (easy but expensive) or logic board (difficult and expensive) would be less distracting than resolving any post-update issues with your hack.

What are you using your computer for that you would need all that power?
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,500
7,028
Hong Kong
I am not try to be rude, but if you still have time for gaming, then you should have time to fix the Hackintosh.

Also, unless you have special reason must update the OS. You may keep using your current OSX until you finish your final year.

If you start from scratch now, I will recommend you go for the Mac Pro. However, since you are running an Ivy bridge Hackintosh now. I see little value to go to the 5,1.

Anyway, for your info. The 5,1 is a reliable machine. However, if things break, the repair usually are more expensive and harder than PC (at least harder to get the correct parts.)
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
I am not try to be rude, but if you still have time for gaming, then you should have time to fix the Hackintosh.

Also, unless you have special reason must update the OS. You may keep using your current OSX until you finish your final year.

If you start from scratch now, I will recommend you go for the Mac Pro. However, since you are running an Ivy bridge Hackintosh now. I see little value to go to the 5,1.

Anyway, for your info. The 5,1 is a reliable machine. However, if things break, the repair usually are more expensive and harder than PC (at least harder to get the correct parts.)
Thanks. In terms of the time I have left, I meant if I have say x hours of free time, I would rather spend that time enjoying/going out/gaming, rather than fixing Hackintosh problems.

With mackintoshes, and maybe my motherboard more so as it is a couple of years old now, each time i do a system update, from say 10.11.2 to 10.11.3, a lot of things break, such as sound, sleep, USB etc, which to be honest, after hackintoshing for roughly 5 years now, I'm tired of haha.

How likely is it that parts in the Mac Pro 5,1 fail? In terms of PSU/logic board?
[doublepost=1463429369][/doublepost]
Not a good buy in my opinion. It's a lot of money for old technology.

I don't understand how replacing a PSU (easy but expensive) or logic board (difficult and expensive) would be less distracting than resolving any post-update issues with your hack.

What are you using your computer for that you would need all that power?
I've looked at videos, replacing a power supply in the Mac pro is relatively straight forward in my opinion.

Quite often for hackintoshes, fixes take a long time to come out, and most times, the actual fixes are actually guess work/tinkering until the desired "fix" is achieved.

In terms of pricing, I could easily sell the parts of my machine for around 400/500, so if I was to get the 6 core version, it would only be an extra £100 or so based on eBay prices.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,500
7,028
Hong Kong
With mackintoshes, and maybe my motherboard more so as it is a couple of years old now, each time i do a system update, from say 10.11.2 to 10.11.3, a lot of things break, such as sound, sleep, USB etc, which to be honest, after hackintoshing for roughly 5 years now, I'm tired of haha.

How likely is it that parts in the Mac Pro 5,1 fail? In terms of PSU/logic board?
Sleep, USB (3.0) sounds more like El Capitan issue. Even though you are with the Mac Pro, you may still can't be trouble free on these 2 issues. The more upgrade you've got, the higher chance you have problems.

TBH, no one know when will they break. The problem is you are talking about that particular machine you are going to buy, but not the statistic for a large pool. Our estimation can be very meaningless.

IMO, as long as you do the right thing. e.g. has proper space for cooling (proper air flow), regular cleaning (but not over do), they should easily last for another 5 years from now.
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
Sleep, USB (3.0) sounds more like El Capitan issue. Even though you are with the Mac Pro, you may still can't be trouble free on these 2 issues. The more upgrade you've got, the higher chance you have problems.

TBH, no one know when will they break. The problem is you are talking about that particular machine you are going to buy, but not the statistic for a large pool. Our estimation can be very meaningless.

IMO, as long as you do the right thing. e.g. has proper space for cooling (proper air flow), regular cleaning (but not over do), they should easily last for another 5 years from now.
Thanks. I think I will scour eBay over the next few months for a good deal on a 6 core/12 core version which should last me at least a couple of years, like you've said, at which point I should hopefully be employed somewhere and can afford the latest Mac Pro.

My board is quite old, Z77-DS3H, and I have had problems with all OS X versions from Mavericks, although mavericks was the most stable, but is now lacking security updates do I updated to El Capitan. I tried Yosemite for the whole of 2014 but it was just too buggy, so I stayed on Mavericks. Furthermore, another reason I had to upgrade to El Capitan was because Office 2016 doesn't work on Mavericks, and excel for mac 2016 is the closest to the windows version, and I use excel a lot (economics student).

Anyone else have any more opinions?
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,561
6,828
Anyone else have any more opinions?
Assuming you are not running any high-performance applications in OS X, I'd suggest just using Windows 10 on your Ivy Bridge PC and pick up a Mac Mini for OS X tasks like Office 2016.

If you are doing high performance tasks, then yes, a 2012 should work fine. If you want to wait for a new model Mac Pro, just stop updating OS X on your hack and wait.

You are overly worried about the PSU and main board. Nobody can tell you if yours will be fine or not, but based on years reading this forum, they don't seem to be particularly problematic. Highest failure complaints seem to be the GPU by far, and then bad RAM, and some troublesome optical drives.
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
Assuming you are not running any high-performance applications in OS X, I'd suggest just using Windows 10 on your Ivy Bridge PC and pick up a Mac Mini for OS X tasks like Office 2016.

If you are doing high performance tasks, then yes, a 2012 should work fine. If you want to wait for a new model Mac Pro, just stop updating OS X on your hack and wait.

You are overly worried about the PSU and main board. Nobody can tell you if yours will be fine or not, but based on years reading this forum, they don't seem to be particularly problematic. Highest failure complaints seem to be the GPU by far, and then bad RAM, and some troublesome optical drives.
Thank you. I do actually game on my Hackintosh on OS X, but other demanding things I do include video editing, photoshop and lots of lightroom. I also want to get into music production when I have time, nothing major, just some amateur stuff with songs etc.

Alas, I noway can afford a new mac pro model when they are released. The Mac Mini's are just too underpowered in my opinion, they are even slower than my current hackintosh and I face the same problem with the Propriety ssd and weak GPU.

I can't go back to Windows. I just can't. I owned a microsoft surface for a short while and the updates, the space being lost due to updates etc, constant threat of malware etc means I just can't do it.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,561
6,828
You're in a similar situation to a lot of us. We don't like the new Mac Pro. The old Mac Pro is aging. Nothing else in the Mac lineup is suitable. And hackintosh sucks.

There is no easy answer. I'm just going to keep bumping along my 2010 until I can't. And after that I have no idea.
 

CapnDavey

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
345
87
It really depends on 2 things can you get one for a good price and do you really want one if so why not
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
Yes, price is going to be a key factor, but I've seen some good deals on eBay, so hopefully over the next few months I can pick up a good deal.

Apple literally made the new Mac Pro limbless; it has virtually no upgradability, and who can afford the 512GB/1TB SSD option? I need lots of storage, so I envisage using one bootable 500GB 850 EVO SSD as the OS and software drive, and a few conventional Hard Drives for storage. All I need to buy is a USB 3 PCI card and a USB 3 hub and I am sorted for the next few years. No worries about thinks breaking OS wise, just need to baby the machine.
 

MacVidCards

Suspended
Nov 17, 2008
6,096
1,054
Hollywood, CA
Beauty is that with the base ones so cheap, you can have an easy repair option for future.

Last one of mine to crap out I couldn't decide if it was logic board or PSU. Didn't want to buy one or other and spend hours removing and replacing screws only to find I had bought wrong thing.

Instead I went on CL and found a whole functioning machine for $400. Slid my CPU tray in and got back to work. Unloaded the dead one as "parts" for $200 and went on with my day.

Now I have a few CPU trays with different CPU options in them. A guy wrote me that his Titan-X was bad becuase his 4K was jittery. Turns out he had a 2.66 4 Core. Slid one in and yep, not powerful enough to use 4K with Codec he was using.

Win/Win
 

eltoslightfoot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2011
655
804
Man, I don't want to jinx my, uh, friend. But, he has had several hackintoshes over the years for gaming (thank you Apple for using crappy video cards). And they all just run after everything is setup. Why does yours require so much maintenance?
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,561
6,828
I always see something like this in Hackintosh threads and forums:
  • 20 people with problems
  • 5 people that say they run perfectly, you just have to stick to a recommended build and know what you're doing
  • 2 people to remind you that "perfectly" means except for sound, sleep, hibernation, wi-fi, and update problems, and "know what your doing" means 462 hours of research on the Hack forums
  • 1 person to say "well I don't do any those things, so it's perfect for me"
 
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SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
Trust me, no one has a perfect build. My motherboard was one of the recommended ones, but eventually as the years go by, they are not as well supported. Eventually I will have to get a new mobo/cpu etc, for pretty much the same price I could get a 6 core/12 core 2012 mac pro which will be just as powerful and native.

I think a Mac Pro 2012 will hold me over for a couple of years easily.
[doublepost=1463439044][/doublepost]
Beauty is that with the base ones so cheap, you can have an easy repair option for future.

Last one of mine to crap out I couldn't decide if it was logic board or PSU. Didn't want to buy one or other and spend hours removing and replacing screws only to find I had bought wrong thing.

Instead I went on CL and found a whole functioning machine for $400. Slid my CPU tray in and got back to work. Unloaded the dead one as "parts" for $200 and went on with my day.

Now I have a few CPU trays with different CPU options in them. A guy wrote me that his Titan-X was bad becuase his 4K was jittery. Turns out he had a 2.66 4 Core. Slid one in and yep, not powerful enough to use 4K with Codec he was using.

Win/Win
Ah, so even if I get a 12 core/6 core version, the logic boards across the 2012 Mac Pro's are the same? That will mean repairing just got a whole lot cheaper!
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,500
7,028
Hong Kong
Trust me, no one has a perfect build. My motherboard was one of the recommended ones, but eventually as the years go by, they are not as well supported. Eventually I will have to get a new mobo/cpu etc, for pretty much the same price I could get a 6 core/12 core 2012 mac pro which will be just as powerful and native.

I think a Mac Pro 2012 will hold me over for a couple of years easily.
[doublepost=1463439044][/doublepost]

Ah, so even if I get a 12 core/6 core version, the logic boards across the 2012 Mac Pro's are the same? That will mean repairing just got a whole lot cheaper!
Yes, all 5,1 has the same logic board. (N.B. even thought the 4,1 can be flashed to 5,1. Since the SMC version is difference than 5,1, you cannot mix use the 4,1/5,1 logic board / CPU tray. Either pure 4,1 with / without flash to 5,1, or pure 5,1. Otherwise, full fan speed will be expected.)
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
Yes, all 5,1 has the same logic board. (N.B. even thought the 4,1 can be flashed to 5,1. Since the SMC version is difference than 5,1, you cannot mix use the 4,1/5,1 logic board / CPU tray. Either pure 4,1 with / without flash to 5,1, or pure 5,1. Otherwise, full fan speed will be expected.)
Great, so a logic board replacement might not be so expensive after all. Can a logic board be replaced quite easily? I've been building computers for about 10 years now and I think i'm fairly competent at it.
 

Zlobnick

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2016
51
20
Croatia
If you take into account that many of 2006 MacPros still work today (I personally have a few in my studio, running 24/7 for all these years without any major problems) MacPros are very very reliable machines :) If 2010/2012. models are at least as good as 2006. models if not better, they shoud be fine until at least 2020/2022. ;)
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,650
4,646
The Peninsula
If you take into account that many of 2006 MacPros still work today (I personally have a few in my studio, running 24/7 for all these years without any major problems) MacPros are very very reliable machines :) If 2010/2012. models are at least as good as 2006. models if not better, they shoud be fine until at least 2020/2022. ;)
...as long as you're running 10 to 15 year old software in 2020.

Modern software is moving towards better support of multi-core, improved instruction sets and GPU acceleration. If you're running a 10 to 15 year old processor you'll never see that if you upgrade to more modern apps.
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
1,079
1,918
Interstellar
As long as it's working till around 2020, that's fine with me, as I would have hopefully been in employment for a few years by then, so can splash out on a new Mac Pro from Apple.

TBH though, even if I did have money, I couldn't justify spending thousands on a machine that is effectively "crippled" from its onset. Why couldn't apple just left the Mac Pro design as it was?
 
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DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
935
231
Rancho Bohemia, California
In the audio world, GPU acceleration is not happening, at least to date. Latency could be an issue if GPUs are used for real-time processing (VIs and monitoring through FX while recording) but for audio tracks already recorded, software can easily compensate for delays. Multi-Core utilization is already very high in DAWs as multi-track recording is a task well-suited for parallel processing. I see well-balanced use of cores on my machines.
 

SvenSvenson

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2007
197
143
Apple literally made the new Mac Pro limbless; it has virtually no upgradability, and who can afford the 512GB/1TB SSD option? I need lots of storage, so I envisage using one bootable 500GB 850 EVO SSD as the OS and software drive, and a few conventional Hard Drives for storage.
I think that Apple's intention for the Mac Pro was the internal SSD for the OS and Applications and external Thunderbolt storage for muti-gigabyte music, video, photos etc.
 

eltoslightfoot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2011
655
804
I always see something like this in Hackintosh threads and forums:
  • 20 people with problems
  • 5 people that say they run perfectly, you just have to stick to a recommended build and know what you're doing
  • 2 people to remind you that "perfectly" means except for sound, sleep, hibernation, wi-fi, and update problems, and "know what your doing" means 462 hours of research on the Hack forums
  • 1 person to say "well I don't do any those things, so it's perfect for me"
Ha! True! Although it seems like every post at MR is that way lately.
 

eltoslightfoot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2011
655
804
As long as it's working till around 2020, that's fine with me, as I would have hopefully been in employment for a few years by then, so can splash out on a new Mac Pro from Apple.

TBH though, even if I did have money, I couldn't justify spending thousands on a machine that is effectively "crippled" from its onset. Why couldn't apple just left the Mac Pro design as it was?
Great question. Give us some real gaming options that compete on price.
 
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