I ask because in the future I might like a bigger internal drive, especially when prices come down. Flash drives don't last forever either. Is this possible? I might also want to upgrade the graphics cards in a couple of years as well. Just wondering what is and isn't possible.
Several tear-downs have shown that the GPU and SSD are user replaceable. We just have to wait for someone to come out with replacement models for them.
I have a 2TB system drive in my old Mac Pro, and really do miss having that space. I compose in Logic and have tons of Kontact and other packages installed that eat up space. I've tons of stuff that needs to be on a system drive. Very much looking forward to someone coming out with a 2TB SSD that will fit this pretty little tube-ness.
To Joe and Craig,
By now you probably know that OWC offers replacement CPU's and Ram for the nMP. Other outfits offer ram as well. As to the GPU's I think you are better off ordering the 700's from Apple as the upgrade price is very reasonable and the speed benefits justify them over the course of the lifetime of the computer.
As to external drives, lots of ThunderBolt 1&2 units are becoming available so I would still store all media externally. For absolute fastest thru-put get some ssds in an TB2 raid box.
Be careful to balance the loads on the 3 different TB channels and avoid using the Bus 0 with HDMI (shared) or monitor with external raid on same bus. The USB3 uses a shared bus as well.
Just my $6,000/$10,000 worth of opinion
Hope this helps, Greg
I seem to have an unusually opinion of the 500 vs 700 GPUs. Unless you're going to see a big advantage now (heavy Resolve user for example) my gut tells me by the time the 700 will become significant, there will be new MacPros with major GPU improvements. Of course I could be wrong but I can't help but think in two to three years with HEVC encoding with GPU assist, even the 700s may seem slow by that time.
I totally agree with you that in a couple years, the current configuration of the nMP will be slow in comparison. I also think that everyone should evaluate their individual needs based on the applications they use and the type of work they are doing, and of course $$/budget they can afford. $$ should be based on life expectancy of the computer they are buying.
As to why I recommend the D700's if you are going to buy a nMP, it is because they represent a real bargain in terms of upgrade costs/performance in any program that can take advantage of the dual GPU's. Since this is a FCP forum and FCP10.1.1 and Mavericks10.9.X are optimized to take advantage of the D700s, then if you can swing it, it makes sense to me to upgrade to the 700's. Why?
To start off with is the 6GB vram of the 700s, vs 2&3GBs for the 300/500s. FCPX will use all of it.
The rest of the specs on the 700's vs the 300 or 500 make the increased performance and lifetime usability worth the $600-$1000 (USD) investment over the stock configurations. Take a look at the GFLOPS and texture units processing power of the 700 compared to the other cards. Upgrading now will keep this MP running longer.
Considering that the retail pricing of a FirePro700 (W7000) is around $800@, then I think everyone is getting a bargain.
Take a look at this article by AnandTech…http://www.anandtech.com/show/7603/mac-pro-review-late-2013/9
Given all this, I actually think that unless you are doing professional 4/5K video and can afford to upgrade your Macs often with tax write-offs, I would not recommend buying now. I think if you have a late 2008-12 MP, just upgrade ram and GPU(S) and hang tight for a year or two.
The nMP's have a lot of 1st generation issues and some of the components are compromised in this version. Specifically, Thunderbolt 2 is a clutch/patch(PCIe 2/4lane limit) and I think TB3 will allow vastly greater thru-put. The same with USB3; 3.1 should be ready later this year. Both of these are implemented with shared buses limiting thru-put in Gen1 nMP. I am also not impressed with using Ivy Bridge Xeons vs Haswell or beyond. New Xeon's should also appear this year; more PCIe 3 lanes, native USB3(3.1) support. Guess I have been stung being an early adopter since 1987.
Having said all this, I'll just have to be envious of all you getting the nMP(pause while wiping drool off keyboard). Despite the above paragraphs, I certainly would not turn down a free one. I just can not justify the cost at this time. To each their own, according to their needs.
Hope this helps, Greg
For some functions there's very little difference between D300, D500, D700 which is why I mention it depends on the kind of work you do.
Currently the D700 doesn't seem to help all that much with encoding (H.264 for example) and I think by the time HEVC goes into high demand they'll be new GPUs that will handle it.
I can't help but think one of Apple's "strategies" is to put people into position of having to upgrade every couple of years rather than have internal replaceable much as happens with their other devices. As someone said to me, "if you need a new GPU you'll sell your old MacPro like an iPhone and buy a new one." That's Apple's new business model.
I have 2008 8 Core MacPro. One difference between 2008 and 2009 was the multi threading so I think one can sit tight with 2009, my 2008 was so slow in some tasks that my 2011 15" Quad i7 is faster and my late 2013 15" MBPr burns them all. Even with dial GPU, the 2008 MacPro would be sluggish for me.
Within two to three years we'll probably have true optical Thunderbolt and GPUs hard coded to assist in tasks even the D700 won't help much more than the D500s. The upgrades are tax deductions for me though.