Xeon DP/SP Hardware Guide/Discussion to Build Your Own System

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nanofrog, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #1
    Given the pricing structure on the '09 Mac Pro, it might be worth creating a thread discussing possible parts that can be used to build a suitable system, as either a single processor or dual processor machine to suit one's needs, albeit running OS X as a Hackintosh.

    This thread is a work in progress, so please bear with me, and your patience would be appreciated.
     
  2. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 6, 2008
    #2
    You can count me in.

    I'm pretty now it should be easier than ever to build a system that we want because OS X will now officially support the 4870 and core i7. All we need to do now is find the right motherboard.
     
  3. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    Philly
    #3
    I've got half a mind to do this, but for me the whole point of getting one of these was to stop doing everything myself. I'm certainly a hobbyist, but sometimes I'd like to just use the damn thing instead of playing with it.
     
  4. chartrapp macrumors member

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #4
    QuadCore versus 8-Core

    If is possible for me to order the QuadCore and then add another core at a later time? Obviously putting up the 800 difference right now is a bit much.

    I didn't know if it was the same motherboard so that I could but a processor at a later time. Thanks.
     
  5. uaecasher macrumors 65816

    uaecasher

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    #5
    i was going to start same thread lol, anyway i think it's better for desktop use to make your own system and save the money from the case and the apple tax XD. for me i never believed in buying branded desktop.
     
  6. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #6
    I know how you feel, but....

    I originally took this route because I needed more internal drive bays (quite a few actually, for RAID). Now I've seen the specs and pricing, I feel even better about it. :D
    It doesn't look like it. :( The Quad core is a W35xx part, and doesn't require a DP board. I'd guess it's a different board this time.
     
  7. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #7
    If my discount ends up being substantial enough to warrant buying this thing, I will. But if it's over $2000 I'm not buying this thing. It's a shame that not everyone has access to something like this, because the current Mac Pro is a plain and simple rip off - even for an Apple product.
     
  8. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #8
    Buying DP parts can come in under $2k, depending on exactly what CPU's you go for, memory,... The X5550 will be slightly over I think, as I'm estimating a decent board will run $650USD, and hopefully support overclocking. That helps. :D

    Do you have anything lying around you can recycle? Or are you starting from scratch?
     
  9. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #9
    I'd be starting from scratch if I go this direction. I'm totally OK with spending $3,000+ on a computer, but I want to get what I pay for.
     
  10. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #10
    You can keep it under $3k, unless you go for the fastest parts possible.

    Say a basic setup such as:
    $830 for 2x E5520 (2.26GHz, same as base '09 MP)
    $170 for 2x coolers (Noctua NF-U12P 1366)
    $650 (est) board
    $215 HD 4870 (Sapphire 1GB GDDR5, not 512MB; nice price for the performance IMO)
    $204 for memory (6GB (6X 1gb) DDR3 1333 Unbuffered; 1066 is cheaper)[crucial]
    $100 for an HDD (640 WD6400AAKS is cheaper, as is the Seagate 640GB drive).
    $200 for decent 1000W PSU (Corsair HX1000W)
    $300 for a really good case (you obviously choose what you need)
    $24 for SATA Optical Drive (Lightscribe)

    This totals out to $2743USD. Cheaper than the base '09 MP at any rate. :D
    You'd still have to cover some S/H (some of the parts have free S/H or is included, such as the PSU, case, and coolers). Also the OS(s) of your choice.

    But even then, you can still stay within the $3k mark. :D
     
  11. tokyorose macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #11
    I am definitely building a system as well. I was ready with my credit card the moment I saw yesterdays announcement... then I opened my eyes.

    Perhaps if enough people are in on it, we could organize a group buy to bargain down the cost (especially on items other than the cpu)
     
  12. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Never.
     
  13. tokyorose macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #13
    Never say never.

    Xeon w5580 (3.2 GHz) - > $1600;
    Xeon x5570 (2.93 GHz) - > $1386;
    Xeon x5560 (2.8 GHz) - > $1172;
    Xeon x5550 (2.66 GHz) - > $958;
    Xeon 5540 (2.53 GHz) - > $744;
    Xeon e5530 (2.4 GHz) - > $530;
    Xeon e5520 (2.26 GHz) - > $373;
    Xeon e5506 (2.13 GHz) - > $266;
    Xeon e5504 (2.0 GHz) - > $224;

    from a reasonable source :
    http://xtreview.com/addcomment-id-6971-view-Intel-Xeon-Xeon-55xx-series.html

    So $746 by their estimation, let alone a group buy scenario of many sets of two. People are willing to make deals in this climate
     
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Location:
    England
    #14
    I'd be looking for Skulltrail and hoping it comes with 12 memory slots for a dual socket system. 2.26Ghz processors should overclock easily to 2.66GHz and beyond.

    Did OS X ever end up working on the current skulltrail?
     
  15. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #15
    I think he means he won't buy those specific processors :)
     
  16. rylin macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2006
    #16
    Personally I'll hold off a bit.
    EFi-X should be coming out with firmware support for X58 Real Soon Now(tm).

    My main concern is what  are adding to Snow Kitteh to block EFi-X.

    In other words, for now I'm content with waiting for WWDC.
    As speculated elsewhere, there might (but far from 100%) be a price adjustment on the MP hardware in time for SL, and it shouldn't take too long after WWDC to find out how EFi-X works with SL.

    Let's just say I can't be bothered with messy third party solutions to get my OS of choice working.
     
  17. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #17
    Could you explain? :confused:

    I used a price listed here.
    (rounded).
     
  18. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    Personally, I lean more towards ASUS in this regard. They make the Z7S WS, which is comparable to the original Skulltrail, but had better technology (PCIe 2.0 slots vs. PCIe 1.1), and fewer issues.

    I'm currently running an ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution with an i7 920. Too new to me as of yet, but I'll let you know. The firmware has already had a new release (0311). I still need time to work with it. I'll answer any questions I can, but it may take some time yet.

    This should be a great SP board for W35xx parts, as it is capable of using them. If you do, the ECC functionality will be enabled. :)
    I was trying to stick to his budget. It's still possible to get higher end processors if he can compromise on the graphics card and case. Possibly even the PSU, but I'm quite picky about power.

    (Based the quote off the Corsair HX1000W).
    It's not that bad anymore. :)

    Ultimately, self support is the cost of saving the $$$ from a DIY computer, no matter the OS(s) used. ;) Always a compromise... :rolleyes: :p
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
  20. Outsider macrumors regular

    Outsider

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #20
    http://www.expresshd.com/

    This is the US distributor for EFI-X. They have at least 2 X58 motherboards in the lab, and you can put Xeon X3500 in them with ECC memory. the motherboards support that config. Gigabyte is usually the most compatible motherboard for Hackintosh.

    Boards are dipping under $200.
     
  21. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #21
    Absolutely NOT! :D

    For a single processor system, you can choose either W35xx or Core i7 parts. Same pricing per 1000 from Intel. The only difference, is the W35xx parts will allow you to use ECC Unbuffered memory. If you don't need it, you can choose between a greater selection of boards, and possibly save some $$$, depending on what exactly you chose to go with. :)

    DP systems are another story. It requires a yet unreleased board, so there's no specs yet. But we can figure out the rest of the system, particularly pricing. You can even chose to use standard DDR3 (non ECC) memory if you chose, as it will work. Possible cost savings here, as ECC is more expensive, but not terribly so for the Unbuffered variety. Registered is truly another story here.
     
  22. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #22
    Skulltrail would just be a good way to save some money if there were few headaches with it and you wanted a fast DP system. Although the boards are expensive (current is $600 with retail price of $700) they let you use those low end Xeons and push them high. Assuming things work the same.
     
  23. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #23
    I'd pick X58 over Skulltrail. Do you really need FB-DIMMs and dual sockets? Not to mention the parts are PQN/EOL.
     
  24. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #24
    Exactly. :)

    A DP board capable of OC'ing the parts used is going to basically be a necessity, rather than a luxury. Even considering it's price, it's still cheaper than going from 2x E5520's to 2x X5550's or better run at stock on a standard DP board. I'm hoping the $650 estimate will be close though. Too soon to tell now, particularly as I've no idea which way it could swing in the current economy.

    I would take a serious look at ASUS though. Better track record with this type of board (OC, extreme performance DP) compared to Intel's Skulltrail. They both may be able to do better this time. :)

    Not yet sure if directly modding the chip is possible, let alone how many would be willing to do it. Scary for some.
     
  25. Outsider macrumors regular

    Outsider

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #25
    Just a glimpse at what a dual socket Nehalem board will cost:

    Asus Z8PE-D12X(ASMB4-IKVM)

    CPU: Dual Socket LGA1366, QPI upto 6.4GT/s
    Memory: 12 DIMM slots, Triple Channel, ECC/Reg/Unbuffered, Max Capacity 96GB(RDIMM)/ 24GB(UDIMM)
    Slots: 4x PCI-Express x16 Slot(Support PCI-Express 2.0); 2x PCI-X 133/100MHz Slots
    IDE/SATA: 1x ATA-100 Channel; 14x SATA2 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
    LAN: 2x Intel 82574L Fast Ethernet Controller
    Form Factor: SSI EEB, 12 x 13 inch (similar to E-ATX)
    Cost: $501.00

    Fore firewire, add this card (3x Firewire 800 ports)

    [​IMG]
     

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