Im in a position where Im about to sink some money into a new Edit work station to get me working more efficiently with my R3d Red Epic Files. I was all set to spend some money on a shiny new Mac pro but with a bit of research Im learning that I can achieve almost the same results by upgrading the processors , Ram GPU and switch to blade or SSD memory.
On paper these changes look impressive and Im excited about the idea of having a fast pimped out beast boasting some serious specs but whats the reality of doing these upgrades? Is it a gamble ? Are these older Mac Pros capable of being changed so dramatically without any detromental effects. I'd be really keen to hear from anyone who has knowledge and first hand experience of embarking on such an upgrade.
My machine as it stands is a 2009 Mac pro serial number CK93403L8PZ currently running 2.66 Quad core 8 GB Memory.
Im looking upgrade to :
12 Core minimum 3.06Ghz
3x 16GB Memory (48gb)
Fast GPU perhaps a Titan
Usb 3 PCI-E
Flash card such as the [img]http://http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/PCIe/OWC/Mercury_Accelsior/RAID?utm_source=diglloyd&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=accelsior_feb1
So am I on the right track ? or am I about to embark on a world full of crashes and spinning beach balls?
I usually don't come to these parts of the forum but I feel I need to warn you about some important issues here:
1. To get a 12-core CPU in your 2009 MP you will need a firmware hack. While the 12-core CPU will offer no or only little advantage for the kind of work you are doing, the hack can cause a lot of issues:
These parts will cost you 3.700 bucks, not counting the days you will spend trying to make all this work and the risks of working with a hack.
If you can spend such an amount of money on a hack, you might as well buy a maxed out i-Mac, a Retina iMac or an 8-core dual 700 tube that will beat the pants off your pimped MacPro for editing, and save yourself a lot of headaches.
To upgrade from single processor 4/6 core to dual processor 8/12 core you will need a complete CPU tray replacement which will get the cost a lot higher.
The last time I checked on eBay the lowest price for a 12-core CPU tray with 32GB RAM installed is around $1500-$1600.
I was thinking about this route a few months ago. Then later started to crunch some more numbers for other stuff such as a new video card, SSDs etc etc. Another $1500.
The cost for me is very high and too much hassle to deal with and not to mention NO warranty. From the pure economy perspective. Sinking in that much money on something so old is a total No-No.
I ended up biting the bullet and went for a new Mac Pro (a refurbished one). I know I pay even more than the upgrade-the-old-tower option but the new machine has full warranty and I don't have to deal with other things I don't want to see.
The new Mac Pro is so quiet and doesn't heat up my room (like the old one) at all.
Emergencies are an important consideration. What happens if your mother board fries, or a data bus goes out? Apple Care is very worth the money, if you make a living with this stuff. First, you go to the head of the repair line. Second, you have 24-48 hour turn around. And if you deal with an Apple retail store, and make money in post-production, get a business account with them! You don't wait in line with consumer clients, you get personal service right away.
If you built, or re-vamp your own hardware, you have no warranties, as stated, which is vital. And you spend more time and money making repairs when they crop up. And trust me, they crop up at the absolutely worse times!