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Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 08, 2020 07:16AM
MacPro6,1 owner. Would there be noticeable improvements if I upgraded the guts?

I'm seeing that OWC has some options for it, and wondering if there'd be noticeable changes and where.

Side question: each of the upgrades have a lower processor number than my 3.7. Can someone explain how that lower processor-but higher cores would make a faster machine?

My 7-year old's stats:


Model: MacPro6,1
Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5
Processor: 3.7 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 10 MB
Memory: 32 GB



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 08, 2020 08:40AM
Only if you’re doing work that really uses all the cores. What software are you using?
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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 08, 2020 08:47AM
Just the basic Mac apps mainly. I do video editing with Screenflow, and recording training videos with Zoom, but I hear that no internal upgrades of the MacPro will help very much with video work.

How does one determine if an app is core-intensive? And is the better processor (in this particular example) not that big a deal?



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: clay
Date: May 08, 2020 08:48AM
open Activity Monitor and watch the CPU utilization while doing any of your normal tasks. If you're noticing lots of maxing out of CPU for long periods of time, then a CPU upgrade might help a bit. If you're not noticing maxing out, I wouldn't bother.
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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 08, 2020 10:57AM
Quote
clay
open Activity Monitor and watch the CPU utilization while doing any of your normal tasks. If you're noticing lots of maxing out of CPU for long periods of time, then a CPU upgrade might help a bit. If you're not noticing maxing out, I wouldn't bother.

I think it's easier to see what's going on if you go to the Window menu in Activity Monitor and select CPU Usage. You can put the window in the lower right corner of the screen or something and keep it there while you do your work.



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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 08, 2020 11:02AM
Thanks all, especially the CPU watching.

I think this is a case of boredom on my part, and my Mac is doing just fine for my uses. My only slowdowns ever are in video editing, and that's been fixed largely by converting any clip to Pro Res first. From what I'm reading, the different updates of the 6,1 are fairly negligible, 10-15% improvements at best.

Sticking with old Betsy for now.



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 08, 2020 11:11AM
Ok, if you're really bored, and have the money, reportedly the newer ssds are faster. That might make a difference for video work, I'd guess....
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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: May 08, 2020 12:02PM
Quote
anonymouse1
Ok, if you're really bored, and have the money, reportedly the newer ssds are faster. That might make a difference for video work, I'd guess....

Yup, you can get a sub-$20 M.2 adapter (I'm using a Sintech adapter, but I've ordered some generic $3 adapters from China that I'm still waiting on to try in other computers) and drop in an NVMe M.2 SSD up to 4TB. I'm running a 2TB Intel 660p in mine, which is not the fastest of the NVMe's, but it's pretty cheap and it works way better than any of the "Apple specific" third party SSD's I've tried. Note: Need to be running High Sierra or above to use an NVMe SSD.

I got a deal on the 3.4GHz 8-Core E5-2687W v2, so I'll be tackling that at some point. It seemed to be a good compromise of adding extra cores while not reducing the clock speed that much and the single core turbo is actually a touch higher at 4.0GHz vs 3.9GHz (though it is a bit more power hungry, 150W vs 130W).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2020 12:06PM by Gareth.
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Re: Any noticeable advantages to upgrading a MacPro6,1 internals?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: May 08, 2020 12:26PM
Quote
tuqqer
Side question: each of the upgrades have a lower processor number than my 3.7. Can someone explain how that lower processor-but higher cores would make a faster machine?

The listed speed is what minimum speed the CPU can maintain with in-spec cooling with all cores driven. So with the same cooling in the Mac Pro, a 6-core chip needs to clock a bit lower with all 6 cores driven to keep within spec when compared to a CPU which only has 4 cores to drive.

However both chips turbo boost to the same speed (3.9 GHZ) when one or two cores are in use because in those circumstances they are effectively the same chip, a dual core 3.9 GHz one. BTW the same goes for the 8-core Mac Pro. Max turbo is 3.9 GHz again with one or 2 cores but it can only maintain 3.0 GHz with all 8 cores driven.

Interestingly the 12 core only gets to 3.5 GHz on only 1 or 2 cores while reaching to 2.7 GHz with all 12 cored driven, again due to using the same cooling solution as the quad core model. That chip is actually from a slightly different line of Xeons so that accounts for the lower max turbo I guess.
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