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Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?

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andy patterson
Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 12:39:17 am

I know some people are holding onto their older Mac Pro systems instead of buying the new (old) 2013 Mac Pro. Some have added RAM, video cards, internal RAID systems. I can sympathize with holding on to something that works as the video below shows. I was just curious what the small 5% of you Mac users have done since 2013? I know some have built hackintosh systems while others opted to upgrade what they already had. I also get different opinions about the the old Mac Pro VS new (old) 2013 Mac Pro for video editing. I would like to think a 3.2 GHZ dual quad core Xeon system from 2012 with a GTX 1080 would work great with FCPX and Premiere Pro but who knows? Please leave comments letting me know what you opted for and why.







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Warren Eig
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 4:24:17 pm

I replaced a failed 8-core Mac Pro with a used 2012 12-core with Titan X Nvida GPU and 64 GB RAM. It screams.

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


email: info@babyboompictures.com
website: http://www.BabyBoomPictures.com



For Camera Accessories - Monitors and Batteries
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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:20:28 pm

If you like the older Mac Pro and can upgrade it yourself to keep up with your editing needs I say go for it. I was hoping to hear from more people. Some might install an AMD graphics card and find FCPX works a little better than Premiere. Others may opt for Nvidia and say Premiere seems to work better. I am sure different hardware will give different results. It will be interesting to see if anyone has added a Blu-ra burner or SAS RAID controller card. I don't doubt some one has went from a quad core CPU to a six core CPU.


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Gabe Strong
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 16, 2017 at 8:34:54 am

[andy patterson] "It will be interesting to see if anyone has added a Blu-ra burner or SAS RAID controller card. I don't doubt some one has went from a quad core CPU to a six core CPU.
"


Forgot to mention, I also added a Blu-Ray burner as well as going from a quad core to six core and from a 512MB graphics
card to a 6GB graphics card. It works great! I can burn Blu Ray disks directly from FCP X, or use Adobe Encore CS6.
The quality of the Blu Ray disks is amazing (footage from a FS700) on every Blu Ray player I have tested them on.
You can also use the Blu Ray disks to archive footage on.....just drag the camera native files to the disk, using Toast Titanium.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:37:16 pm

It is good to be able to still use it today with just a simple upgrade.


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Gabe Strong
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:10:02 pm

I had a stock 2009 MacPro. Single quad core processor 2.66GHZ with
a GT120 graphics card with 512MB of VRAM. I was poking around online
one day and found an interesting Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mac.Pro.Upgrade

These guys are all upgrading older MacPros and offer help on
how to do it for less tech savvy people. I ended up upgrading to
a six core 3.46GHZ processor, a 980Ti graphics card with 6GB of
VRAM. Also installed SSDs, including a couple on an internal
PCI card for some real speed. This setup is really fast.
I wrote more about it on my blog here:
http://www.alaskacameradude.blogspot.com

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:25:06 pm

[Gabe Strong] "These guys are all upgrading older MacPros and offer help on
how to do it for less tech savvy people. I ended up upgrading to
a six core 3.46GHZ processor, a 980Ti graphics card with 6GB of
VRAM. Also installed SSDs, including a couple on an internal
PCI card for some real speed. This setup is really fast.
I wrote more about it on my blog here:"


Cool. It is good to get some extra use out of the system. I think some people miss the internal storage options and PCIE slots.


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Joe Marler
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:17:40 pm

[andy patterson] "Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro...a 3.2 GHZ dual quad core Xeon system from 2012...with a GTX 1080 would work great with FCPX...."

To my knowledge there are no macOS drivers for a GTX-1080 so it can't be used with FCPX, Premiere or any other app on a Mac.

For a 2009 Mac Pro, the average of the fastest entries in the GeekBench 4 CPU database is around 2,500 single-core and 13,800 multi-core. GPU performance is around 110,000, except for one entry using a GTX-980Ti which was 141,000.

For a 2012 Mac Pro, the fastest GeekBench 4 GPU numbers are around 145,000-150,000, again using the GTX-980Ti. By contrast a 2013 New Mac Pro with dual D700s produces about 94,000 per card or 188,000 total. So from a GPU standpoint, a D700 2013 Mac Pro is still faster than anything you can easily build using a single GPU that will run on macOS. I have seen claims that people got a Hackintosh running using dual nVidia GPUs, but it's apparently not straightforward, and I don't know well FCPX would use that.

The only exception is the Radeon 280X which is almost identical to the D700 and can use the same drivers. It is an older card but dual-280X performance on FCPX is excellent and from a driver/macOS standpoint it is plug-and-play. Max Yuryev demonstrated a reliable, easy-to-build Hackintosh using these dual GPUs in this video. Max also said due to how Apple optimized FCPX for those AMD cards it's faster than nVidia alternatives. So there's a difference between benchmark numbers vs real-world application performance, which in this case is FCPX.







Your thread title asked about a 2009 Mac Pro, but even for a 12-core 2012 Mac Pro, the GeekBench 4 CPU database shows about 2,700 single-core and 20,000 multi-core. Those are the fastest CPU numbers in the GeekBench 4 database for any 2012 Mac Pro, regardless of CPU configuration or aftermarket modification. By contrast a 12-core 2013 New Mac Pro does about 3,450 single core and 25,500 multi-core.

So even though the 2013 Mac Pro is three years old, it still looks faster than most of the upgraded 2009 or 2012 Mac Pros -- from both CPU and GPU standpoints. There could still be a good reason to upgrade an older Mac Pro, assuming there is macOS driver and software support and it has demonstrated performance benefit on FCPX.


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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 5:34:38 pm

[Joe Marler] "Your thread title asked about a 2009 Mac Pro"

I could have opted for 2010. I just opted for 2009. I was just curious what modifications people had done.

[Joe Marler] "For a 2012 Mac Pro, the fastest GeekBench 4 GPU numbers are around 145,000-150,000, again using the GTX-980Ti. By contrast a 2013 New Mac Pro with dual D700s produces about 94,000 per card or 188,000 total. So from a GPU standpoint, a D700 2013 Mac Pro is still faster than anything you can easily build using a single GPU that will run on macOS. I have seen claims that people got a Hackintosh running using dual nVidia GPUs, but it's apparently not straightforward, and I don't know well FCPX would use that."

I wonder if someone might say FCPX and Premiere seem to work better with dual CPUs instead of dual GPUs. Who knows?

[Joe Marler] "So even though the 2013 Mac Pro is three years old, it still looks faster than most of the upgraded 2009 or 2012 Mac Pros -- from both CPU and GPU standpoints. There could still be a good reason to upgrade an older Mac Pro, assuming there is macOS driver and software support and it has demonstrated performance benefit on FCPX."

I know some people need the PCIE slots. I think others might like internal RAID configurations.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 15, 2017 at 8:06:39 pm

[andy patterson] "I could have opted for 2010. I just opted for 2009. I was just curious what modifications people had done. "

Late model 2009 MPs can be tweaked to show up as a 2010 to the OS. This lets you still make current OS software updates, which Apple has now limited to 2010 or newer.

[andy patterson] "I wonder if someone might say FCPX and Premiere seem to work better with dual CPUs instead of dual GPUs. Who knows?"

At home I run a late 2009 8-core Mac Pro (shows as 2010) with SSDs, plenty of RAM and a Sapphire 7950 (I think that's the last "official" Mac card you can get). Premiere runs better than FCPX on it. Generally up to HD they are both OK. Higher than HD and this machine becomes painful to work with. A 2013 Mac Pro, new iMac or newish MBP is a better performer, especially with FCPX. 4K is relatively easy on these systems. And there, FCPX will tend to run better than Premiere.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 16, 2017 at 1:47:54 am

[Oliver Peters] "At home I run a late 2009 8-core Mac Pro (shows as 2010) with SSDs, plenty of RAM and a Sapphire 7950 (I think that's the last "official" Mac card you can get). Premiere runs better than FCPX on it. Generally up to HD they are both OK. Higher than HD and this machine becomes painful to work with. A 2013 Mac Pro, new iMac or newish MBP is a better performer, especially with FCPX. 4K is relatively easy on these systems. And there, FCPX will tend to run better than Premiere."

Thanks for the info. I think Premiere might work better with more CPU power and FCPX might work better with more GPU power although both are needed. I think that is why people on these forums have such different results.


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Gabe Strong
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 16, 2017 at 8:31:17 am

[Joe Marler] "For a 2009 Mac Pro, the average of the fastest entries in the GeekBench 4 CPU database is around 2,500 single-core and 13,800 multi-core. GPU performance is around 110,000, except for one entry using a GTX-980Ti which was 141,000."

Well, not sure why you are taking 'an average of the entries in the CPU database.' That is a little
like averaging the speeds of any GPU anyone puts into the 2009 Mac Pro. The speed of the
2009 Mac Pro in the CPU database, will depend on which CPU a person installed into the computer.
For example, my scores were higher than the scores you quote as my single-core score was over 2,700
and my multi-core score was over 15,000.......and this was with a single processor. People who had a
dual processor and install dual X5690 processors are getting CPU scores in the mid to high 20,000 range.
But plenty of people are installing CPU's which are not much better than the ones that came 'stock' with
the computer....not sure why except that they are cheaper to buy so maybe that's it. I on the other hand,
decided that if I was going to 'upgrade' it, it was worth really upgrading. So I spent the $220 for the X5690
instead of saving a few bucks and getting something slower.

Gabe Strong
G-Force Productions
http://www.gforcevideo.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 16, 2017 at 1:18:48 pm

[Gabe Strong] "not sure why you are taking 'an average of the entries in the CPU database.' That is a little like averaging the speeds of any GPU anyone puts into the 2009 Mac Pro. "

I did NOT take an average of 'any GPU' (or CPU) in the GeekBench 4 database. Rather -- as I described -- I took an average of the fastest entries. Of the approx. 30,000 entries, I sorted those in descending order by multi-core CPU or GPU performance and took the average of roughly the fastest 10 out of those 30,000.

It is the average of the best 10 CPU or GPU entries in a database of 30,000 entries. It is not an average of those 30,000 or even an average of the first page of entries. The fastest entries in the GeekBench 4 database include the fastest upgraded or modified machines, and it automatically filters out medium and lower-end machines.

Of course it's possible that someone with a special 2009 Mac Pro might get better performance and just not upload it to the GeekBench database. It's also possible they ran GeekBench 3 which is less accurate and may produce misleadingly higher numbers than GeekBench 4.

Taking an average of the fastest entries -- and noting the version of GeekBench -- is just a standard practice to properly reflect the best achievable performance. Just listing a single number without stating the GeekBench version would risk being non-representative.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 16, 2017 at 2:21:59 pm

I have a 2010 2x6core/3.33 with 64 gig Ram, SSD startup drive and a flashed Nvidia 680 GPU. I also recently bought a 2013 6core/3.5 D700 with 32 gig of ram. the 2010 is hooked up to a PCIe Raid, the 2013 to a Thunderbolt Raid, both get around 750 Gbs when half full.

In general they feel about the same to operate on Premiere - when working multicam 5 cameras, as I often do, the 2010 is a little smoother. Exports from the 2013 seem a little faster, but I haven't done any serious testing.

for me the biggest difference is Thunderbolt i/o - you can't get it on the 2010 and many clients are submitting Tblt drives as source material. Also Thunderbolt raids, not needing PCIe cards, are much cheaper.

My conclusions based on recent experience, is that if your just looking for a little more zip and you already have a 2009 or later Mac Pro, then upgrading will definitely get you there and will be the best bang for your buck.

If you're looking to buy a new system and you will need to buy a new raid to work with it, then the 2013, with it's Thunderbolt connectivity is the more flexible system and the price difference is almost nil once you take the Raid into account.

Finally, if you don't have ProRes as a deliverable requirement, nor are you fixed on FCPX as your NLE, then get a Wintel box and find out what a truly modern computer can do for you.

My other conclusion is that if someone could come up with a PCIe-Thunderbolt card for older MacPro's, you could sell a lot of units of both.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 16, 2017 at 3:09:39 pm

[Herb Sevush] "In general they feel about the same to operate on Premiere - when working multicam 5 cameras, as I often do, the 2010 is a little smoother. Exports from the 2013 seem a little faster, but I haven't done any serious testing."

Interesting that one is better than the other for certain tasks. Thanks for the info.


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Richard Herd
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 20, 2017 at 5:26:46 pm

[Herb Sevush] "then get a Wintel box and find out " ... how much you'll miss AFP. ;)


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John Rofrano
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 20, 2017 at 6:24:23 pm

I upgraded my 2010 Mac Pro 2.93Ghz 12-Core, 24GB memory with the following:

Slot 1: Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition (from OWC)
Slot 2: Inateck 4 Ports PCI-E to USB 3.0 Expansion Card for Mac Pro (from Amazon)
Slot 3: OWC 480GB Mercury Accelsior E2 PCI Express Solid State Drive (from OWC)
Slot 4: Apple RAID Card w/6TB RAID 5 (existing OEM not an upgrade)
Optical Bay: Pioneer SATA Blu-ray Burner BDR-2209 (from Newegg)

Interesting to note is that the 2010 Mac Pro (maybe the 2009 as well) uses Triple Channel memory. That means the memory runs faster at 24GB than at 32GB! I've proven this will my Geekbench Score. I had 32GB originally in 4 pairs of 4GB each and it only ran in Dual Channel mode. I removed 1 pair of 2x 4GB modules and it switched to Triple Channel mode for the 3 remaining pairs and memory throughput was faster.

The biggest upgrade impact was the OWC 480GB Mercury Accelsior E2 PCI Express. I'm getting 651 MB/s Read and 582 MB/s Write access. That really made everything perform faster. You don't realize how I/O bound your Mac is until you add an SSD and the Mercury Accelsior is pretty fast. The other advantage is that it adds an eSATA port on the back so I can connect my external RAIDs with eSATA and be just as fast as if they were internal.

The next biggest upgrade impact was adding the Inateck 4 Ports PCI-E to USB 3.0 Expansion Card. USB 3.0 is 10x faster than USB 2.0 and it makes a huge difference when working with external media. I have a RAID enclosure that supports both eSATA and USB 3.0 and I've connected it both ways and the performance is about the same. The same cannot be said for the original USB 2.0 ports. They seem unbearably slow now by comparison.

The Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition was an upgrade from the Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 which was already twice as fast as the stock Radeon HD 5770 so it wasn't that much if an improvement over the 5870 but I wanted the fastest Apple approved card I could get so the 7950 was as good as it gets. Recent Geekbench OpenCL scores puts just under the performance of a single D700.

The Apple RAID card was original equipment from Apple so it wasn't an upgrade. I wanted to point out what was in Slot 4. Not the best card by today's standards but it still works so why fix it.

Overall adding an fast SSD, eSATA, USB 3.0 and GPU breathed new life into the old box. I have a Geekbench 3 32-bit score of 25,028 and a Geekbench 4 64-bit score of 19,178 which comes in right under the Mac Pro 8-Core (Late 2013) score of 20,564. Considering that my score of 19,178 was well above the 16,524 score of a Mac Pro 6-Core (Late 2013) which cost $3999, I'd say I got my money's worth out of my ~$1,000 in upgrades. When you consider that I bought my 2010 Mac Pro used on eBay for $2475, adding $1000 in upgrades, I still have a more powerful Mac at $3475 than I would have had I bought a new Mac Pro 6-Core for $3999.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 20, 2017 at 6:37:26 pm

Very interesting post, thank you.

Reading the specs for the Inatek PCI-E to USB 3.0 card, it says: Operating System Compatibility: Mac OS 10.8.2 to 10.9.5.

What version of OS are you running?

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Scott Thomas
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 21, 2017 at 1:07:13 am

I have the Inatek USB 3 card in two systems. Works fine for me under 10.11.6. I didn't load any drivers, so It has to be Apple's drivers that are running it. I think there may be issues with Sleep Mode, but I have other cards that don't do well with Sleep, so I always have it off.

http://scottgfx.com


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John Rofrano
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 21, 2017 at 1:25:08 am

[Simon Ubsdell] "Reading the specs for the Inatek PCI-E to USB 3.0 card, it says: Operating System Compatibility: Mac OS 10.8.2 to 10.9.5. What version of OS are you running?"
I'm running macOS Sierra 10.12.3 on my 2010 Mac Pro and OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 on my 2008 Mac Pro 8-Core, both of which have this card and I'm not having any issues with either of them. I assume 10.9.5 was the latest version when that card came out. I bought two of them back in 2014 and they've been solid since even with several OS upgrades. USB 3.0 is a well defined standard so I don't expect any troubles in the future either. I bought an extension USB cable from Amazon and I routed it under my Mac Pro to the front of my desk so that I have one front facing USB 3.0 port.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Scott Thomas
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 21, 2017 at 1:47:35 am

I have a 4 port hub on my desk. Doesn't look too bad. It comes with a cable, but I got a longer one to get it where I needed it.

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Premium-Aluminum-MacBook-HB-MAC3/dp/B00N38TQ...


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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 21, 2017 at 2:15:42 am

[Scott Thomas] "I have a 4 port hub on my desk. Doesn't look too bad. It comes with a cable, but I got a longer one to get it where I needed it.

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Premium-Aluminum-MacBook-HB-MAC3/dp/B00N38TQ....."


I think it is good to have PCIE slot but expansion bays cannot be over looked either. They do have four port USB 3.0 internal hubs. Not saying you would want the internal version but it is good to have options.


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John Rofrano
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 21, 2017 at 2:19:52 am

[Scott Thomas] "I have a 4 port hub on my desk. Doesn't look too bad. It comes with a cable, but I got a longer one to get it where I needed it."
Awesome! Just bought one. It will be better that the cable that I just have hanging about now. THANKS! :-D

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 21, 2017 at 12:19:39 pm

Thanks for the info, Scott. Very helpful.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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andy patterson
Re: Upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro?
on Feb 20, 2017 at 8:08:59 pm

Some interesting upgrade configurations.


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