Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Dec 8, 2013 9:38 AM by Michaelx8
Jefferis Peterson Level 2 (325 points)

Ouch! I was looking forward to this upgrade. Now I'm not so sure after reading Ted Landau's take. My MacPro 2008 with 10 gigs of ram and over 4T of HD space is starting to slow down and show its age. I'm getting a lot of stalls in Dreamweaver and Fireworks and Adobe products. As I don't do constant video editing, for the most part it kept up with design work and web work. But with Mavericks even iMovie is crashing all the time. I do enough video editing that I need redundant HD space.

Now I'm in a quandary. I have a 26" NEC monitor, and a 17" second monitor, and I won't be able to use either with Thunderbolt? I'll have to transfer all my storage to new devices or can I get a Thunderbolt Rack of some sort, and I won't save desktop space in the process?

So, I'm begging now for recommendations. What will be the fastest Mac with compatibility that I can now get if I decide not to spend $5k on the new Mac cylinder pro system? How much slower are the 2012's.

I was hearing that this new system will blow the doors off everything in terms of speed. And I don't like buying into obsolescence.

Mac Pro (Early 2008), OS X Mavericks (10.9), ATI RHD 2600 XT-10G RAM-2xQuadCore
  • Studio K Level 2 (355 points)

    The 2009-2012 mac pros can be upgraded to run quite fast.  I don't know how much power you need, but if you are not doing constant video editing, then perhaps a new cylinder would be overkill.


    You can have 6-core cpus on these models (or 2 cpus for 12 cores if needed).  Add more ram, a better graphics card (your ATI HD2600 is kind of outdated now) and an SSD.  Lots of easy upgrade options that will subastantially improve performance.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,629 points)

    I have a 26" NEC monitor, and a 17" second monitor, and I won't be able to use either with Thunderbolt?

    Nonsense. ThunderBolt ports are pin-compatible with Mini DisplayPort. All you need is a cheap adapter, the one Apple sells for US$100 in overkill.


    I'll have to transfer all my storage to new devices or can I get a Thunderbolt Rack of some sort

    OWC's current solution is to place your SATA drives in an eSATA enclosure, and buy a LaCie ThunderBolt to eSATA adapter. Next month they will have the lot built into a two-drive enclusure.


    High Performance Drive Capacity That's Simple!




    Empty (0GB) for US$230+shipping



  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    Dump the 2600XT if you are still hanging onto it.  It is small slow and trouble. And not suitable for your work or 10.9.


    I don't think 10.9 is ready for everyone and for production. Usually wait six months for drivers, vendors, and to iron out kinks.


    Move your system to an SSD that is large enough for system OS and apps and some scratch space but still 50% free (you missed the Black Friday deals) SSD prices and sizes are excellent.


    I would wait 3-6 months after the nMP 6,1 ships, whenever that is, RAM prices (Crucial does now have some), more TB expansion.


    RAM.  10GB may not cut it.


    Your monitors will still work with new gpu's if you do using an adapter - are they DVI-only?


    I suspect you need to


    go back to 10.8.5 and wait on 10.9


    Maybe your system drive is an issue, though was the -problem there in 10.8.5?

    Did you keep a clone of 10.8.5? why not? or if you did then dual boot


    Instead of new, invest in a good GPU. check your apps  and see and how different cards compared. And price. But $400 for a gpu instead of $4,000 plus.


    And invest in a PCIe SSD controller and some scratch space, graphic catalogues on an SSD, and for system.


    Other than RAM a lot of things can be reused.


    As for your 4TB, may those are 4 x 1TB? and maybe newer high capacity drives. Again, aim for 50% free space and independent work space and scratch separate from media files and system.


    The boot drive has enough to do that you don't want it doing scratch, media, data as well.   Moving stuff to other drives, you do that already probably, but moving to PCIe SSDs makes a difference and adds more bandwidth for I/O if you are IO bound. Figure  2 x 500GB @ $330 each (was $285 last weekend) or even 750GB  $445.


    Dual drives on a Thunderbolt port are common. Adding TB expansion and using PCIe SATA card and 4-8 drive tower is easy.  And the nMP is tiny so even with a TB expansion and  2 drive towers you aren't using that much space than now. Just sounds like, well I use to have  a 'rack' of SCSI drives and turned a bookcase with no back into my storage rack-mount system. I went from using 8 x 500GB external drives (4 OWC dual drive cases) down to a couple TB drives that are less space, quiet, etc.


  • Studio K Level 2 (355 points)

    A you can see from the other posts, your current Mac Pro could be upgraded to meet your needs (if you are not absolutely intent on buying another, newer machine)


    That graphics card is definitely holding you back.  Mavericks and Mountain Lion contain drivers allowing you to use many of the latest PC graphics cards.

  • Jefferis Peterson Level 2 (325 points)

    You see Hatter, by the time you have put all those $$$ improvements into an old system, you might as well be buying new! :-)  



    Also,  I read a comment that a lot of apple programs and the like rely upon the boot drive home folder for initial storage, like iPhoto, etc.  256 SSD seems way too small to cope with a home folder or boot drives, so the software will have to be changed to look for new locations.  I agree about waiting 6 months.  My problem though is not just with Mavericks. I've been noticing a lot of slowdowns in the past year or so with Adobe apps. By comparison, my 1 year newer MacBook Pro has an SSD and it is much faster and more responsive.   This desktop system is just old enough that I don't want to pour more money into it.  I've done that before and it's usualy a losing proposition.

  • Jefferis Peterson Level 2 (325 points)

    K-3,  not sure I understood completely. Are you suggesting getting a 2012 and upgrading it with those features? Wondering what the price pluss upgrades you recommend would work out to. 

  • Studio K Level 2 (355 points)

    If you are OK with doing the upgrades yourself (includeing CPU), then the most cost-effective solution might be the following:


    What you can do is puchase a used 2009 model (not really different from a 2012 except for boot rom firmware) for as little as $800.  Then decide on what upgrades you need.

    If you want 6-core cpu, then you can flash the Firmware and add the CPU yourself.  IT's really quite easy to do.


    Ram is easy enough to install (and it's cheap, too.  Not the pricey ram the 2008 uses).  Flashing the boot rom firmware will allow you to use 1333MHz ram, as well.


    And graphics card plus any othe PCIe cards are easy to install.


    Puchasing a used 6-core 2010 model might be expensive.  You certainly won't find any at Apple's refurb section--they go quickly.  Upgrading the base-model quad is much cheaper.  OWC has been selling them lately.  They seem to be plentiful.


    The 6-core CPU (W3680) has been $600 for awhile.  They've vanished from the retail sites recently, though.  You'll have to resort to eBay to find one, I think.  An i7-970 or i7-980 (6-core cpus) will work, as well and might be cheaper than XEON.


    YOu could always get a faster quad CPU if that's all you need.  No need to flash anything, then.


    If you need dual-CPU, then that get's more expensive............

  • Studio K Level 2 (355 points)

    Jefferis Peterson wrote:


    Wondering what the price pluss upgrades you recommend would work out to.

    To summarize.......


    2009 Mac Pro = $800 more or less.

    W3680 CPU  =  $600-$800 (if you need 6 cores).

    Graphic Card = $100-$700 (depends on what you want)

    Ram =              several hundred if you need a lot.


    So the price would vary depending on upgrades.  You could pull it off for under $2000 depending on your needs.

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    Nonesense. My home folder has rarely been on t he system boot drive and iPhoto is not  in my user folder, it can be anywhere just like iTunes. I keep iPhoto on an SSD separate from Pictures so the disk to disk IO is much better.


    Sure I dropped money into 'old' system not just to keep it the way it was but to improve on it, hugely. And no a new system would have still had to do some of the same and is not cost effective.  $800 vs your $4-5,000.



    The SSD will work wonders. Apple now dropped SATA III in favor of PCIe SSD in the iMac and MacBook Air. Samsung will have those for retail but Sonnet and other PCIe SSD controllers is what makes a expandable Mac Pro so desireable, you dont' outgrow, you update it.


    So now if you want focus on Adobe. Junk the 2600XT you need CUDA, you need 2GB VRAM, you need 24-32GB RAM and t he multiple SSDs. Have you checked and read the tips, tutorials and articles on ? He is avid photographer as well and has a lot to say about upgrades and performance too.

  • Studio K Level 2 (355 points)

    Jefferis Peterson wrote:


    K-3,  not sure I understood completely. Are you suggesting getting a 2012 and upgrading it with those features?

    Just to clarify.  While most hardware in a 2009, 2010, 2012 Mac Pro can be upgraded to newer, faster cannot upgrade it with what's in the new MP Cylinder.


    I believe the new MP uses a Socket 2011 Motherboard.  The 2009-2012 MP has an X58 Motherboard which is Socket 1366.  So you are only able to upgrade the CPU to a faster 1366-pin CPU.  And that X58 mobo cannot be upgraded.


    That being said, the specs on the 2009-12 MP still hold up quite well.  It may be fast enough for many applications for a while yet.

  • Disgusted Customer Level 1 (0 points)

    Wouldn't it just be cheaper to get x2 *used/ebay* x5650 and a 2009 MBP?

  • Studio K Level 2 (355 points)

    Disgusted Customer wrote:


    Wouldn't it just be cheaper to get x2 *used/ebay* x5650 and a 2009 MBP?


    MacBook Pro?  Do you mean Mac Pro?

  • Disgusted Customer Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry long day, yea a Mac Pro. Obviously the 3.33 is faster but wouldn't two x5650s outperform 1 3680?

  • Studio K Level 2 (355 points)

    Disgusted Customer wrote:


    Obviously the 3.33 is faster but wouldn't two x5650s outperform 1 3680?

    The dual processor Mac Pro is another option, of course.  Two 6-core CPUs would likely outperform one. 


    But swapping CPUs in a dual-cpU 2009 Mac Pro is treacherous because of the need to replace lidless CPUs with lidded ones.  These heat sinks have to be reattached just right.  We don't really know yet if the original poster even wants to bother with CPU-swapping.


    There is also the option of buying a used 2010 or 2012.  That would just require a bigger budget.  But the trade-off is that you get newer hardware with less miles on it and a potentially longer lifespan going forward.  2009's are 4 years old now.

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