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Best hardware setting on Mac Pro 5,1 base



  • @mark said:

    @dillthekraut said:
    do I have to worry you dropping OSX development in the future
     No. But I do suspect we'll be recommending PC machines for top-level professionals in the future. We're testing a machine now, as I indicated previously. 
    Best Wishes,
    Mark

     That's fine for me, and I'm really looking forward to it!
    Don't get me wrong, I don't prefer Mac in general, it is mainly this special case and the higher safety to have a solid running system without experimenting and testing in the first place. If you do the research and offering a complete system that is reliable, it would be the exact thing I'm asking for, whatever it is, windows or mac!

    But I'm still looking forward what Apple has to offer till end of the year!




  • @dillthekraut not a bad find. The PCI slots are full so if you want to use a capture card you lose either the nvme or the usb 3...The machines are nice, but yes old, the pathway between the CPU and GPU is old and much slower, the PCIe slots them selves are V2 (the 1080ti can use 2.0 slowed down but is equiped with pcie 3.0). The sata ports are also sata 3 not 6. It could be a nice machine, but you lose a lot with the 6 year old technology. 

    Some hardware will work very well with hackintosh if you are that attached to the OS. Otherwise I can really recomend windows with a well thought out setup. I did a 32 nigh show with high stakes (4000 seats), using my machine. I was playing about 1tb of video per night mapped onto a big building and I had one glitch from Isadora once that was solved in a few seconds. I have done other jobs with it as well and never had a problem.

    If you ditch the NVME (also not running at full speed due to the pcie 2.0) so you can have a capture card at least you have usb 3.0 for file transfers, late file changes over USB 2 will be a drag. You could add another SSD for a raided playback drive.



  • @fred said:

    The PCI slots are full so if you want to use a capture card you lose either the nvme or the usb 3...The machines are nice, but yes old, the pathway between the CPU and GPU is old and much slower, the PCIe slots them selves are V2 (the 1080ti can use 2.0 slowed down but is equiped with pcie 3.0). The sata ports are also sata 3 not 6. It could be a nice machine, but you lose a lot with the 6 year old technology.

     I'm not shure about your counting. The macPro 5,1 does have 4 PCIe slots (Apple officially subtracts the 1st because of the pre installed GPU and only telling about 3 FREE PCIe slots)

    Slot 1 x16 for Graphics (If you are pointing to the dual Slot Profile, according to other users, there should still be enough space for a low profile NVMe adapter card.)
    Slot 2 x16 for NVMe up to 2GB/s theoreticaly (because of the x4 NVMe Card. PCIe x16 would do 8GB/s native)
    Slot 3 x4 4in/out capture card (or a second NVMe to double the Throughput to theoretical 4000MB/s)
    Slot 4 x4 4x USB 3 (2x USB 3.1 and even USB-C without Thunderbold is possible to)

    The PCIe 2.0 Bottleneck doesn't seem to be an issue in real world, as the GPUs today doesn't seem to use the full potential. I couldn't find comparable benchmarks, but this one shows at least that there is air between the 980 and 1080ti, so one could think the PCIe isn't the factor.
    http://barefeats.com/cmp_pasca...

    "Some hardware will work very well with hackintosh if you are that attached to the OS. "
    I'm not exactly attached to the OS, it's just one aspect. But the main is the hardware. I want a tested Hardware/ Software combination. That's what I'm really asking for here. If someone can tell me a exact combination of hardware, that is tested and reliable (By exact I mean the exact Mainboard / CPU etc.) I would consider buying it! The hackintosh is the exact opposite of this!

    Thank you for the hint with the NVMe Card. As it was placed in the x16 Lanes PCIe Slot, I thought it would be no problem, but I see now, that the card itself only does x4 and there is no other at the market by now. Still faster than on the 3Gb/s SATA Port (SATA III 375MB/s vs PCIe 2 x4 2000MB/s theoretical).Thus resulting in real 1500MB/s vs. 3000MB/s official theoretical max of th 960 EVO. But watching the speeds of todays Flash storage, I'm pretty sure x8 or x16 Adapters will come soon. One option already (pretty expensive though) would be this raid adapter http://www.highpoint-tech.com/.... Combined with 3 960 EVO would be up to 8000MB/s possible (If it works on Mac).



  • @dillthekraut

    I found a comparison for the GPU speeds: https://www.pugetsystems.com/l...
    PCIe 2.0 x16 = PCIe 3.0 x8



  • @dillthekraut nice detective work. It looks like you have some solid reasons to move on with the Mac Pro. As for the pcie, I was under the impression that with. Double wide card like the 1080ti you would lose a slot. If it still has room for the SSD then that is great (it it was bootable even better, I think there are some on the market that are.



  • Hi everybody,

    I would be interested to know, would I be benefiting from upgrading an older MacPro 5.1. It’s not as capable as DillTheKraut’s specs, but these are the specs of the machine I now have:
    MacPro (Mid 2010); 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon Quad Core W3530, 8 Mt L3 Cache; 16 Gt 1066MHz DDR3 ECC (that’s the max); 120Gt 2.5” SATA SSD - ATI Radeon HD 5770, 1Gt GDDR5.

    Would need a Thundebolt 2 (or 3) card to hook 2 real-time cameras, and I'm thinking at least changing the graphics card to Nvidia GTX 1080Ti 11GB.

    I’ve been working now with a MacPro (2013), 3.0GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5, RAM 64GB, Dual AMB FirePro D700, but it’s a bit limited in GPU processing (a project I’m planning seems too GPU intensive for it).

    So, comparing these, would I benefit from upgrading MacPro 5.1 in comparison to my MacPro (2013)?

    Thanks in advance!
    Lauri



  • @fred said:

    @dillthekraut nice detective work. It looks like you have some solid reasons to move on with the Mac Pro. As for the pcie, I was under the impression that with. Double wide card like the 1080ti you would lose a slot. If it still has room for the SSD then that is great (it it was bootable even better, I think there are some on the market that are.

     As Apple was a clever company once 😜, they already left space for dual slot Graphics between PCIe slots 1 and 2! (https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfr...)

    Booting seems to be possible with AHCI compatible SSDs, But those are mostly SATA drives and thus slower than NVMe (as I understood by know). It is possible to put a one Slot Raid Card with two regular Sata SSDs though and getting speeds up to about 800Mb/s.
    But my solution would be, 2x small SATA SSD in RAID 0 at regular HDD Slots just for OS and booting, still getting about 500Mb/s. (Tests show, that the Software speeds like OSX boot, Programm starting, etc, isn't really speeding up at a certain level of SSD speed anymore (it does again though with an even higher level, like 4x NVMe Raid 0). As the Machine is meant to be running and not restarting all the time, this isn't something I would care to much. The Data will be put to the PCIe NVMe, giving the speed for Video throughput (About 1500Mb/s).



  • Hello @lauri,

    Despite preferring a MacPro System in this thread, I would recommend it in special cases only. But for buying a complete new system, in the most cases I agree with the pro’s here and would go for a Windows PC!

    First of all, Thunderbolt is not possible in any case with the classic MacPro! The max. possible is 2x USB 3.1 second gen or 3x USB 3.1 first gen per PCIe slot.
    Are you using external Thunderbolt capture devices? I don’t know any native Thunderbolt cameras.

    I guess you want to use a system, based on what you already have, to save money? This isn’t wrong at all, especially as chances are good, that nearly all peaces you buy now can be used later, if you switch to a complete new system.

    In the most cases GPU and Storage speed are the limiting factors. Except you have complex patches with a lot of generators and / or java, etc. .
    Taken, you have the first case, I would try to get a better GPU (maybe at a store with a good return policy like Amazon.) and see if it helps. Considering Benchmarks and forum comments, there are better price/performance balances on other GPU cards than the 1080. Most say the 960 or 980 is sufficient or compare it with a 1060/1070. But there are other factors to consider, like numbers and types of outputs.

    If the new GPU clearly helps, you can go on with a second SSD and put those in RAID 0 Mode. Or even buy an NVMe PCIe adapter and a fast NVMe PCIe Card. Both can be helpful in later systems, but later is kind of expensive at the moment.

    If the GPU is not helping, you can get a refirbished X5680 XEON 3.33 GHz for 80€ or used even less. But be aware, that it isn’t straight forward to change it without damaging your system until you know what you are doing! And this probably won’t be something you will use in a later system.

    PS: Be aware, that NVidia does provide drivers for OSX for all of their newer GPUs, but they doesn't give you a boot screen until they are flashed with a special firmware! If you need the bootscreen (for setup / alternate boot drive) you need a specially flashed Card from http://www.macvidcards.com/i-w... . You find a list of options there as well.



  • @DillTheKraut 

    Despite preferring a MacPro System in this thread, I would recommend it in special cases only. But for buying a complete new system, in the most cases I agree with the pro’s here and would go for a Windows PC!... ... I guess you want to use a system, based on what you already have, to save money?

    Well, yes, I happen to have this MacPro (2010), and was thinking if I had further use for it. I haven' used PC for almost 20 years (and still remember it's instability even that might have changed), so Mac would be more comfortable, even knowing it's hardware limitations. 

    First of all, Thunderbolt is not possible in any case with the classic MacPro! The max. possible is 2x USB 3.1 second gen or 3x USB 3.1 first gen per PCIe slot.
    Are you using external Thunderbolt capture devices?

    Yes, for the moment I'm using UltraStudio Mini's, which have Thunderbolt2. Would there be a chance to have a Thunderbolt2=>USB3.1 converter that would work? If not, I might buy USB3 compatible capture devices.

    Thank you for the other point and advices too!

    Basically, I have trouble with the "trash can" capability, and I believe the culprit is GPU, even I have the best that "trash can" can have. So, I was thinking if I could get over  this culprit (or getting better results) with renewing my MacPro (2010) with better graphics card? The project I'm working on now has only 2 live feeds (HD) and 1 output screen (HD), but there's also some video gpu processing and capturing to stage (and for instance calc brightness, which seems quite GPU intensive). The "calc brightness" processing could of course be sent to another computer, but syphon seems also taking a bit of the processing power...

    Best,

    Lauri



  • @lauri So far there is no chance for thuinderbolt, you will havew to go with USB3.0 or PCIe capture.

    The trashcans have a serious thermal design flaw and all GPUs are underclocked to compensate, if yours has a problem with a lot of pushing apple will replace the cards (gltiches on intense renders etc)