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TOPIC: "upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro?

"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 20 May 2016 12:36 #76954

  • DmitriZigany
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Hey!

Call me crazy but...

I'm considering upgrading from my 2012 MacBook Pro Retina to a 2009 Mac Pro!

I've found a 2009 Mac Pro upgraded to a hexacore 3.46ghz processor which basically turns it into a MacPro 5,1. It also has a Radeon R9 280X 3GB graphics card and 32gb ram. Also comes with a USB3 card.

My rMBP is a 2.6ghz, 16gb ram and internal 256gb ssd.

Do you think this would be an upgrade for FCPX use? (It would be a temporary step until I can afford a new Retina iMac, which seems unlikely in the near future. This one I would get for almost the same money I can sell the rMBP for.

Pros for the Mac Pro:
• Much faster graphics card with 3gb vs 1gb.
• Faster multi-processor speed 16600 vs 12500 on geek bench.
• Twice the ram: 32gb vs 16gb
• It would solve my external hard drive mess: now could now put most of them internally
• Would solve other external mess: My Thunderports are occupied by second display and audio interface. So can't really take advantage of fast TB drives as it would be too costly. I can use the FireWire ports for the audio interface, the USB2 ports for keyboards (both Mac and MIDI keyboard), dongles etc. Leaving the USB3 card to be used solely for additional external drives.
• Bigger internal system drive (1TB vs 256gb) (would get an SSD)
• Could install Windows for occasional gaming (Fallout 4, I'm looking at you!) (not a very important point, I admit)

Pros MacBook Pro:
• Faster single core: 3200 vs 2800 on geek bench.
• Faster ram: 1600MHz vs 1066MHz.
• Everyday things might be slightly snappier thanks to faster single core, faster ram memory and faster internal bus.
• Portable (which is becoming less and less true as I'm becoming more and more dependant on external drives etc).
• Don't have to do or buy anything new at the moment

So what do you say? Would it be a boost for FCPX? Enough to go through the hoop of selling the MacBook Pro, reinstalling things etc etc? Anyone had a chance to experience FCPX on both a similar Mac Pro and MacBook Pro?

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Last edit: by DmitriZigany.

"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 20 May 2016 15:43 #76959

  • lichinho
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You'd be giving up on TB entirely. You'd be relying on an old architecture.
I suppose you are using USB3 external drives now, so you're not going to get any benefit there.
The 32GB would only be an advantage if you are being constrained with 16GB.
Your energy consumption would increase significantly.
Assuming you are using two displays currently (built-in plus external), you'd need a second external display.

All in all, I seriously doubt that you'd get any noticeable increase in speed. Quite likely the opposite.

Not really a good trade IMHO.

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"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 20 May 2016 15:59 #76960

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One thing to note, is that just because a graphics card has more memory, does not automatically mean that it is faster.

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"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 21 May 2016 07:06 #76987

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But sorry and if you were talking to a mac pro 2008-8 core - 32 gb of RAM - 240 gb ssd -GTX 970 2 gb -2x 1TB satanic then it would be a real monster for editing with FCPX, am I right?

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"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 21 May 2016 12:19 #76998

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No, not necessarily a "monster", because that CPU is not all that. You'd do better with a new iMac and T'bolt RAID.

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"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 21 May 2016 12:50 #77000

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BenB wrote: No, not necessarily a "monster", because that CPU is not all that. You'd do better with a new iMac and T'bolt RAID.

That I know... But cannot afford it.
This would be a swap with almost no money involved.

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Last edit: by DmitriZigany.

"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 21 May 2016 12:53 #77001

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MarkNelsonMovies wrote: One thing to note, is that just because a graphics card has more memory, does not automatically mean that it is faster.

I was under the assumption that the Radeon R9 280X 3GB graphics card IS a very fast card. There was a test where they put two of those cards in a Mac Pro tower and it could then go head to head with the dual D700 trash can Mac Pro...

I guess my question boils down to:
Is more ram (32gb vs 16gb) and the better graphics card enough to give me a real performance increase in FCPX... (guess it also depends on if more processors vs faster cores are more important to FCPX)

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Last edit: by DmitriZigany.

"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 21 May 2016 13:02 #77002

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lichinho wrote: You'd be giving up on TB entirely. You'd be relying on an old architecture.

At the moment my Thunderbolt ports are "wasted" on a FireWire audio interface and a DVI monitor. So not really seeing any benifits of that as is anyway. Moving up to Thunderbolt drives is something I have been wanting to do, but as they are rather expensive, it would also mean having to buy a new audio interface as well.

I suppose you are using USB3 external drives now, so you're not going to get any benefit there.

Well, I would at least get them internally instead of a mess of USB hubs etc...

The 32GB would only be an advantage if you are being constrained with 16GB.

Well, that is a thing I'm wondering about. Is FCPX happier/faster with more ram or does it only affect things marginally?

Your energy consumption would increase significantly.

That is a good point!

Assuming you are using two displays currently (built-in plus external), you'd need a second external display.

My second display is an old rather bad one, so getting a new monitor not necessary a bad thing, cause then I could finally dump this one once I get an iMac in the future...

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"upgrade" from 2012 rMBP to 2009 Mac Pro? 21 May 2016 14:28 #77003

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Ok, I think I'm convinced that going backwards is not the way forward ;)

I guess a Thunderbolt Dock would be the solution. The OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock would give me More USB3 ports and a FW800 port. So I could then connect monitor + audio interface directly to that which would free up one TB port for future TB hard drives... And it would also be usable once I manage to upgrade to an iMac...

Anyone have experience with this dock? Seems to be the only Thunderbolt 2 Dock with a FireWire port...

www.owcdigital.com/products/thunderbolt/...bolt-2-dock-overview

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Last edit: by DmitriZigany.
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