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#1 macdude22

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 11:48 AM

Give me 17 good reasons why I shouldn't buy an SSD and GTX 680 for my 3,1 Mac Pro. I've got the upgrade itch.

Actually there's a baby due in a week and I normally do most of my gaming on my MacBook Pro (i7, 8GB Ram, SSD, 650M) or in the basement on my PC (Phenom 965, 20GB RAM, SSD, GTX 480) and I'm expecting I'll be relegated to the normal floor for a while. My Mac pro has mostly been gathering dust but I'm thinking of dusting it off and souping it up for some modern gaming. Right now it's got 14 GB RAM, 2TB WD Black, 1TB WD Green, and a radeon 4870.

I'm thinking of grabbing one of those Crucial M500s and a 680, and use the Black to install Windows and the SSD for OS X. And then proceeding to not have time to use it still with a baby in the house. Smrt.
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Defiant (MacBookPro 9,1): Core i7 @ 2.3ghz || 8GB RAM || nVidia GT 650M 512MB || 512GB Toshiba SSD

#2 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 01:12 PM

The Xeon's in your Mac Pro are based off of the Core 2 Quad architecture, which is roughly equivalent in performance to the Phenom II X4 965 that you have. If you threw a 680 in your Mac Pro, your not going to be getting any more gaming performance then if you put it in your PC. Your PC will actually get better performance if your overclock it to around 3.8GHz+.

If I was in your position I would most likely sell the Mac Pro, since your Macbook Pro is about the same performance wise, and then use that money to upgrade your PC.

That said, two of my brothers have had children recently, and between work and family, they have essentially zero time to game. They might get on about once a month or so, so I'd recommend against spending $500+ on upgrades for something you may not even be using that much in the future. The 650M in your macbook pro will be able to handle anything you throw at it for the next year or two (on lowered settings), and then you have you gaming PC for any intensive games.
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#3 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:07 PM

Aw Snake, way to kill a mans dream!
"They're everywhere!" -And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

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#4 Frost

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:12 PM

I'll offer the counterpoint:

DO IT! You know you want a speedy machine that does both OSX and Windows and games acceptably, and here's your chance.

I did an overhaul job on a Mac Pro 4,1 last year with a Crucial M4 for Windows, Velociraptor for OSX, Barracuda for holding a giant Steam collection, 16GB of RAM, and a Mac Edition GTX 680, and it crushes the life out of the performance the machine used to have. While it won't run with a completely modern machine, it's more than enough for the user to be totally satisfied with his gaming performance for the near future.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#5 macdude22

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:14 PM

I'm a desktop man, I tried using my laptop only once. Didn't end well. I tend to use my desktop as a media/backup center. It's mostly a moot point, I'll probably upgrade this regardless to milk it for a few more years. I like the PC in the basement, I like my laptop on my lap, and I like my big beefy Mac desktop. Some people go out to eat. Some people eat ramen for lunch and buy upgrades they don't need. Plus my den in the house is cold, a little extra heat will go a long way.

As far as the kids, we already have one. I tend to have insomnia and sleep very little. You can sleep when your dead. Which will probably be sooner than later when you have insomnia.
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#6 macdude22

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:26 PM

View PostFrost, on 05 November 2013 - 02:12 PM, said:

I'll offer the counterpoint:


I did an overhaul job on a Mac Pro 4,1 last year with a Crucial M4 for Windows,

Have you had any issues with the Crucial, I have an OWC drive in my PC, and a Toshiba in my MBP. I was going to get another OWC drive but the prices on the M500 series are really good, and they review well with few failure stories to be found.
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#7 Frost

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:39 PM

As I said, that upgrade wasn't for me, but the user's never reported having any issues with the M4. For my part, I'm running Crucial M500s (the successor the M4) in three different devices ("Kestrel" and "Chromium" in my signature, and a PS3) and have had zero issues and been totally satisfied with them.

If you're considering OWC's Mercury drives over an M500, stop yourself right there. OWC is still using craptastic Sandforce controllers. While I love the superspeed and total silence of the OWC Mercury in my PowerBook, the fact remains that it does have some issues related to the controller, and I'm far from the only one who has run into them. The M500 has better performance, FAR better reliability, and runs significantly cooler under load than a Mercury does. Even if they were evenly priced, the M500 is an infinitely better drive than OWC's SSDs; the fact that it's so much cheaper just cements its total superiority.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#8 macdude22

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 02:49 PM

It never occurred to me to put an SSD in my PS3, maybe I should put one in the PS4 I ordered.
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Defiant (MacBookPro 9,1): Core i7 @ 2.3ghz || 8GB RAM || nVidia GT 650M 512MB || 512GB Toshiba SSD

#9 Frost

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:58 PM

It's definitely bottlenecked by the older SATA-1 interface on the PS3, but even with that it's a huge improvement over the stock HDD. For example, the horribad texture pop-in experienced in RAGE all but vanishes altogether, and the notoriously long track loading times in Gran Turismo 5 now take 1-3 seconds, even for the Nürburgring.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#10 macdude22

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:27 AM

198997 Mac Pro (Early 2008) Intel Xeon E5462 2800 8 Mac OS X x86 64 1645 11082 128715 MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2012) Intel Core i7-3615QM 2300 4 Mac OS X x86 64 2861 10419
This Mac pro still squeeks out my MBP on multicore operations. Very nice.
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#11 Frost

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 02:47 PM

Yeah, desktop vs. laptop. My Quad G5 (Late 2005) still beats up my Early 2008 MBP on hardcore compute tasks.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#12 macdude22

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 05:05 PM

Posted Image
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Enterprise (MacPro 3,1): 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 14 GB RAM || Radeon 4870 || 480GB Crucial M500 + 2TB WD Black (Fusion Drive) || 144hz Asus Mon
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#13 Locutus27

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:52 PM

imho the single best upgrade for any MacPro is to decide on a PCIe SSD configuration.  IM running a 2010 Quad 2.8Hz model with Radeon 5870 and OWC 240GB SSD, 24GB RAM and three 3TB 7200rpm hard drives.  When I picked up this rig sold my PC, MacBook Pro 15" 2008.  If you choose any really fast SSD Drive and put it in one of these would be a sweet upgrade.  

Sonnet Tempo Pro 6Gb/s SATA PCI Express 2.5" Solid State Drive Card


IM just the opposite have a XBOX360 and PS3 collecting dust.  My son prefers his iMac and Wii...

Sure the Mac Edition 680 is a kick ass card and have seen what it can do.  Considered upgrading my CPU to a six core just don't need it.

#14 macdude22

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 11:36 AM

I ended up swiping the 240GB SSD from my PC, and ordered a 2TB SSHD for the Windows Install, and ordered a GTX 680. And a Razer BlackWidow Mac Edition Keyboard.
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#15 mattw

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:13 AM

Now we have an idea about the new Mac Pro specs and pricing I'm looking at upgrading my 2009 model as  neither the new Mac Pro or latest iMac offer enough to justify the cost especially when adding on the required mass storage solution.

My 09 is an 8 x 2.26 with 12GB of RAM, a Radeon 5870, 250GB SSD  and  a few 3 and 4TB drives. It is still performing well today including gaming but I think this is mainly down to my relatively low resolution 20" Cinema Display.

I don't run Windows at all or have access to a modern enough PC to flash a card so would be looking at either the Radeon 7950 or GTX680 Mac editions, moving the SSD to an internal PCI-E card then perhaps a RAM upgrade and processors if a suitable pair come up cheap over here.

My main concern is that all the testing of GPUs tends to be with the fastest CPU so it is unclear if I would benefit much as is.
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#16 Tetsuya

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:36 AM

Good luck upgrading those CPUs... still going for hundreds to over a thousand a piece.  For the price of one those CPUs you could build a nice mITX PC to game on.

#17 Matt Diamond

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:53 AM

I'm in the same boat, except I'm running a 2008 Mac Pro with a 5770, and no SSD.

I suspect that when the new Pro actually comes out, there will be an option on the store to downgrade it to one video card. (It wouldn't be the first time the Apple Store had a custom config that was lower than their "base" model.) But I still don't think that will bring the price down enough to matter.

I'm reluctant to go iMac, as I recently got a decent new monitor. (Maybe I should have switched to iMac at that time instead.)

I've pretty much decided to wait another year or two before upgrading. The games I'm playing all run, and not just on the lowest settings. My Pro does have trouble waking from sleep sometimes, but that's the only sign of trouble. And that problem seems to have gone away in recent weeks, leading me to believe it might be temperature related (though blowing out all the dust didn't help.) I guess I'll install a temp monitor next, and visually check that the fans are working.
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#18 mattw

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 09:08 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 15 November 2013 - 07:36 AM, said:

Good luck upgrading those CPUs... still going for hundreds to over a thousand a piece.  For the price of one those CPUs you could build a nice mITX PC to game on.

Back in '09 it was 2000 GBP to upgrade to the 2.93 GHz CPUs which have 30% extra clock speed and benched around 20% faster. These seem to go for about 250 GBP a pair used which isn't bad.

I appreciate a gaming PC is a better at gaming but I really don't want a second machine or to get involved with Windows - I much prefer one computer that can do everything well and I'm happy as long as the frame rate is smooth  at native resolution with the bells and whistles switched on.
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#19 Tetsuya

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:11 PM

I have no idea where you're getting those prices; every socket 1366 CPU i can find is expensive as all get out.

i find the statement "i much prefer one computer that can do everything well" to be something.. i dunno, not realistic.  There's no such thing.  

I didn't inititally think i'd like having two computers, either, but the benefits have me sold.  I doubt i will ever be a single-computer user ever again.

#20 mattw

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:56 PM

I just got the prices searching for Xeon X5570 which I believe was the 2.93GHz Nehalem Quad available as a CTO option back in 2009. I realise the 3GHz+ models and the Westmere chips, particularly 6 core are far more expensive.  

A few years ago I toyed with the idea of a console or PC to fill the missing genres but these days the selection of games for OS X is more than enough to fill what free time I have for this.

I guess what I'm saying is I don't think the advantages of a gaming PC or a console are worth the draw backs ( for me that is really space for another machine or TV and the maintenance of Windows). I like the fact that I can have one machine for Logic X, video transcoding, productivity and entertainment.

So long as I can keep gaming performance within reach of the latest hardware for the next few years then that should be just fine. Hopefully by then either the iMac or Mac Pro will have moved on far enough to represent the kind of performance  jump that made me upgrade before and there will be cheap fast storage solutions within budget.

Gaming performance suprisingly is still fine today at 1680 x 1050 with my Radeon 5870 as I don't find I'm having to turn things down but I can see me moving to a 1080p monitor (maybe as a second display) or even swopping to a 1440p monitor so I expect to need a better GPU soon if I want a few more years of this from my current machine.

I was really wondering if the Radeon 7950 drivers will ever improve enough to make it a worthwhile upgrade from the 5870 or if I should try my first Nvidia card after my long history of ATI/AMD back to the Rage128 Pro and go for the GTX680 but if single threaded CPU performance will be a problem then I'll have to look at upgrading the CPUs.
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