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Old 07-21-2019, 04:33 PM
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Default Making Old Mac Pro new again and last a few more years .

After finding out the new Mac Pro was going to base price @ $6k
I have decided to finish upgrading my current Mac Pro so as to hopefully last another 3 to 5 years.

My Mac is a Mid 2010 333GHz 6 core Westmere

I had already installed a PCIe based SSD for a boot drive about 2 or 3 years ago . and upped RAM to 24 GB.

I just yesterday replaced the old factory installed GPU (graphics card)
With a new Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB GDDR5 ( so as to make my machine Mojave capable) And hopefully improve rendering speed in Final Cup Pro X.

Next I plan on filling the last of the 4 PCIe slots with 2 Samsung PCIe NMVe 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD blades, on a dual blade Crest controller adaptor.
Which will eliminate my current use of HDD storage internal drives for Pro tools sessions and FCPX projects and SATA
And should bring my machine relatively close to today's Mid-high end specs (except for RAM speed)
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:32 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
After finding out the new Mac Pro was going to base price @ $6k
I have decided to finish upgrading my current Mac Pro so as to hopefully last another 3 to 5 years.

My Mac is a Mid 2010 333GHz 6 core Westmere

I had already installed a PCIe based SSD for a boot drive about 2 or 3 years ago . and upped RAM to 24 GB.

I just yesterday replaced the old factory installed GPU (graphics card)
With a new Sapphire Radeon Pulse RX 580 8GB GDDR5 ( so as to make my machine Mojave capable) And hopefully improve rendering speed in Final Cup Pro X.

Next I plan on filling the last of the 4 PCIe slots with 2 Samsung PCIe NMVe 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD blades, on a dual blade adaptor.
Which will eliminate my current use of HDD storage internal drives for Pro tools sessions and FCPX projects and SATA
And should bring my machine relatively close to today's Mid-high end specs (except for RAM speed)
You should see a really nice speed boost from the ssd drives. During the last year I had it, my early 2008 Mac Pro got really moody. I put a bit of money into it but I felt like I was throwing good after bad. I hope you have better luck than I did.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:06 AM
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You should see a really nice speed boost from the ssd drives. During the last year I had it, my early 2008 Mac Pro got really moody. I put a bit of money into it but I felt like I was throwing good after bad. I hope you have better luck than I did.
I think I am lucky in that the Mid 2010 6 core was already pretty fast @ 333Ghz and it is one of the oldest machines that with the Graphics card upgrade will be Mojave compatible ( beyond that who knows )
Frankly after doing a fair amount of research to make sure I right Card and adaptor cables, I was pleasantly surprised how easy installing the card was And then what a non issue not having a boot progress screen.

The total cost for card and cables was $207. And the 2 PCIe 1 TB blades and dual blade mounting adaptor will run about $500 so if it works as expected and lasts that $700 is significantly less than even a new upper end Mac Mini by itself not to mention having to purchase an outboard PCIe chassis

Here is hoping
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:32 PM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is offline
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Hi Kev,

Just out of curiosity I checked the Geekbench results for your processor performance. I think it is this one:

https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/262

Single core: 3004
All 6 cores: 13435

Here is a 2018 Mac mini:

https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/434

Single core: 5667
All 6 cores: 24337

According to these figures the 2018 Mac Mini with 6 core i7 is nearly twice as powerful as your 2010 Mac Pro.

Let me know if I got your machine spec wrong.

It makes me seriously consider a Mac Mini.
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Last edited by paulp1960; 07-22-2019 at 02:34 PM. Reason: missing line
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:36 PM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Talking CPU

...and if you were to build/buy a PC with an Intel i9-9900K:

Single core: 6224
All 8 cores: 34,252

I recently re-built my PC with the i9-9900K and two Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD's and have really been impressed with the performance.

or to max out multi-core performance, maybe the new AMD Ryzen 9 3900X:

Single core: 5620
All 12 cores: 45,269

I posted this only in fun. I know most Mac users won't switch to a PC.

Cheers!
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulp1960 View Post
Hi Kev,

Just out of curiosity I checked the Geekbench results for your processor performance. I think it is this one:

https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/262

Single core: 3004
All 6 cores: 13435

Here is a 2018 Mac mini:

https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/434

Single core: 5667
All 6 cores: 24337

According to these figures the 2018 Mac Mini with 6 core i7 is nearly twice as powerful as your 2010 Mac Pro.

Let me know if I got your machine spec wrong.

It makes me seriously consider a Mac Mini.
Yes that is correct Mac Pro
I think that the Mac Mini or even an iMac are both arguably a great choice for many. Unless you need to be able to access and install and additional PCIe Card/s (like I do with Pro Tools HD Native. ) Or unless you need to have additional/separate storage drives for Audio or Video Projects, or big Midi sample libraries etc.
Because then you have purchase additional outboard units to facilitate (which is doable but simply means more money, cabling and units your are dealing with.

Then there is the practical question Of how much computer performance do I actually need, to accomplish the specific tasks I am doing ?
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobolo Kid View Post
...and if you were to build/buy a PC with an Intel i9-9900K:

Single core: 6224
All 8 cores: 34,252

I recently re-built my PC with the i9-9900K and two Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD's and have really been impressed with the performance.

or to max out multi-core performance, maybe the new AMD Ryzen 9 3900X:

Single core: 5620
All 12 cores: 45,269

I posted this only in fun. I know most Mac users won't switch to a PC.

Cheers!
PC is certainly a viable alternative But as you say it is very hard (for me anyway) as a long term Mac guy, to consider switching ( it's possible but I am not really ready to at this time) Also the upgrades I have done and am considering are actually very simple (i.e. do not take any kind of Computer acumen or tech knowledge. per se )
They are only slightly more complicated than plugging an electric cord into a wall socket .
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:01 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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I think this conversation jinxed me. I came home Sunday night and checked my email to find my desktop PC (which I use for everything but music) was going a bit bonkers with large sections of the display blacking out and an error message claiming some kind of driver issue with the graphics card.

After a couple of consultations with knowledgeable people, we determined the most likely cause was the actual graphics card itself, so I ordered one and installing it has eliminated the problem of the blacked out monitor but there are still some issues that won't clear up. The machine is 10 years old so I really can't complain as this is the first problem it's given me in all that time. But I got to thinking that it's probably better to replace it now rather than waiting for a disaster to hit.

My strategy 10 years ago was to put together something as future-proof as I could make it without breaking the bank too badly. I'm going to do that again this time. I've decided on the new Ryzen 9 cpu. No one has it in stock but a new supply is about 2 weeks out and I've paid in advance with B&H so it'll go out as soon as they have it.

This is the rest of the build.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:27 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I think this conversation jinxed me. I came home Sunday night and checked my email to find my desktop PC (which I use for everything but music) was going a bit bonkers with large sections of the display blacking out and an error message claiming some kind of driver issue with the graphics card.

After a couple of consultations with knowledgeable people, we determined the most likely cause was the actual graphics card itself, so I ordered one and installing it has eliminated the problem of the blacked out monitor but there are still some issues that won't clear up. The machine is 10 years old so I really can't complain as this is the first problem it's given me in all that time. But I got to thinking that it's probably better to replace it now rather than waiting for a disaster to hit.

My strategy 10 years ago was to put together something as future-proof as I could make it without breaking the bank too badly. I'm going to do that again this time. I've decided on the new Ryzen 9 cpu. No one has it in stock but a new supply is about 2 weeks out and I've paid in advance with B&H so it'll go out as soon as they have it.

This is the rest of the build.
From what little I know about basic specs, looks like it will be a very capable machine.

I am just about ready to order the PCIe dual NMVe Blade adaptor (which BTW actually turns a 16 lane PCIe 2.0 slot into 3.0 capable. ramping up read write from about 1300 to 3500 mbs ) And the two 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO blades. I just found out that my machine will not be upgradeable to Mac's
new Catalina OS coming this fall, but I don't see staying with Mojave as an issue in particular
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:16 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
From what little I know about basic specs, looks like it will be a very capable machine.
It should be. What I did the last time around was to build a machine that was a bit overpowered so far as my needs were at the time. But that machine stayed viable for a decade and handled everything I asked it to do. Prior to that build, I usually bought machines to meet whatever needs I had at the moment. That would be fine for a few years but I'd inevitably run into some program that really pushed the machine to it's limits and I'd find myself regretting cheaping out when I bought the machine. In the ten years with this last machine, that never happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
I am just about ready to order the PCIe dual NMVe Blade adaptor (which BTW actually turns a 16 lane PCIe 2.0 slot into 3.0 capable. ramping up read write from about 1300 to 3500 mbs ) And the two 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO blades.
That's pretty cool. I had no idea there were adapter to do that.
The motherboard I'm buying has slots for three m.2 drives. I'm putting a 2tb in to start. I'll probably add at least one more before too long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
I just found out that my machine will not be upgradeable to Mac's new Catalina OS coming this fall, but I don't see staying with Mojave as an issue in particular
That's always an issue with Mac computers. At some point the OS upgrades leave us behind. After that, we're on a timer as to how long we can update other software. I guess it's avoidable if we're satisfied with the current versions of our DAWs and can be happy not upgrading, but that's never been me.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:05 PM
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It should be. What I did the last time around was to build a machine that was a bit overpowered so far as my needs were at the time. But that machine stayed viable for a decade and handled everything I asked it to do. Prior to that build, I usually bought machines to meet whatever needs I had at the moment. That would be fine for a few years but I'd inevitably run into some program that really pushed the machine to it's limits and I'd find myself regretting cheaping out when I bought the machine. In the ten years with this last machine, that never happened.


That's pretty cool. I had no idea there were adapter to do that.
The motherboard I'm buying has slots for three m.2 drives. I'm putting a 2tb in to start. I'll probably add at least one more before too long.


That's always an issue with Mac computers. At some point the OS upgrades leave us behind. After that, we're on a timer as to how long we can update other software. I guess it's avoidable if we're satisfied with the current versions of our DAWs and can be happy not upgrading, but that's never been me.
Hard to predict the future especially with software But "IF" the machine performs as I hope and stays reliable then I can see myself staying put for 3 maybe 5 years . I have a few friends that are still running Pro Tools 8 (now two versions beyond PT 12 ) On older mac G5's with OS Mountain Lion Simply because it does what they need and is stable
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:48 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Hard to predict the future especially with software But "IF" the machine performs as I hope and stays reliable then I can see myself staying put for 3 maybe 5 years . I have a few friends that are still running Pro Tools 8 (now two versions beyond PT 12 ) On older mac G5's with OS Mountain Lion Simply because it does what they need and is stable
The people I know who are usually the last to upgrade software are those who earn their living making music. They can't afford the down time that sometimes accompanies an upgrade. So for those people, staying in place means not having to cancel appointments with clients. I'm lucky in that I'll never need to depend on my studio to earn a living. I'm going to take on more clients after my move but I'll only work with those I want to work with.

Different topic... I've gotten quite an education on M.2 ssd drives in the past couple of days. I realized that the Samsung M.2 drive I was going to order was a 3.0 ssd and wouldn't take full advantage of the motherboard and cpu. So now I'm getting a Sabrent 2TB Rocket 4.0 M.2. It's going to be blazin' fast.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:22 PM
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Keywind,

Just wanted to say that I have a OWC sled used for mounting SSDs in a 2010 MacPro for sale on Ebay. Might be able to get it to you once the auction ends if need be. https://www.ebay.com/itm/254310770071

Now for my story... Had a 2008 MacPro which I bought new in 2009. Decided to upgrade similar to what you've done. Bought a mid 2010 MacPro on ebay really decked out with ram, 12 cores, 3.33 ghz processors... a very fast machine. Then I bought the same gpu you have, two OWC sleds, 3 SSDs, and proceeded to migrate to Mojave. Sounds good except for the problems.

1) My Apogee Symphony did not work... had to go back to El Capitan on my 2008 to get that firmware update.. major hassle which I won't even get into.

2) My recording software, Digital Performer would not bounce to disk on the new computer... I mean it would stall making the machine pitifully slow to work on when I needed to bounce.

3) I spend hours and hours (lost about a month of recording time) trying to debug this until I finally returned the 2010 and got another similar 2010 thinking it must be the computer. But alas, my guess was wrong, and DP still was not working right.

4) Finally decided I'd be better off with a 2013 MacPro trashcan... at least I'd have access the next Mac OS because it was foretold that the 5.1 MacPros won't be able to upgrade after Mojave.

5) Got the trashcan and still DP not working, freezing during a simple bounce to disk.

6) Created a dual boot to allow me to boot to El Capitan and then do my bounces. It worked!!! Wish it didn't take since March 24th to July 7th to come up with this workaround.

So I sold my GPU and one of the sleds off the 2010 MacPro. My losses amount to quite a bit of time, effort, and money but I'm back and running again.

Note that Mojave can allow you to format a drive in APFS format, or Apple's new file system. If you don't format your boot with APFS, you can't get to the latest version of Mojave, 10.14.6

I've also had problems since getting the trashcan, sometimes when the computer wakes up from sleep, the screen flask or flicker making the computer quite useless. I hope 10.14.6 fixes this but yet to find out.
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:16 PM
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Wow sorry to hear about all the problems

As far as the SSD sleds Thanks, but they are SATA SSD . and I am wanting my storage drives to be PCIe. SSD so as to get full speed advantage and why I am going to the Dual SSD blade adaptor so I can use one TB blade for PT sessions and the other for FCPX projects storage

Actually I believe High Sierra is when the switch to APFS occurred which I am currently running on my Boot SSD (specs below)

I guess I should have posted my current system specs

System :
Avid HD Omni I/O Interface ...Mid 2010 Mac Pro/ processor- 3.33 6-core Intel Xeon "Westmere" w/ Memory- 24 GB........PTHDN 2018.12 on OS 10.13.6 High Sierra on primary boot drive (SSD PCIe 512 GB Samsung SM951) FCPX files storage on Apple 1TB HDD and PT sessions storage on Apple 2TB HDD--
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:30 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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A question (not a challenge, a real question).

Why are any of the participants in the thread concerned with getting the absolute fastest hard drive throughput? I'll have to admit my recording projects run fairly low track counts of actual audio (a dozen or so tops) but I never had a problem even with mechanical hard drives on disk speed (I would use a dedicated disk for recording as was the convention at the time). Are people actually having recording errors based on inadequate disk write speed without PCI based m.2 storage of the fastest spec? Is it something else you're gaining/preventing?
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