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Upgrade components or rebuild completely? Best 2018 Mac Pro configuration?

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Good evening all,

My current Hackintosh Mac Pro (built 2014), containing an i7 4930K, a GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard and an EVGA - GeForce GTX 760 2GB is causing me more and more problems.

I am stuck at OS X 10.8 because of Clover issues, and I have tried upgrading / reinstalling a newer OS X without any success. So I recreated the SSD from my backup and left it, but now new software like the new Final Cut are not supported anymore. Further the PC is very noisy (even with minimal fan setting in the BIOS). So new technology like "fan stop" on newer GPUs sounds like heaven. The BIOS is acting up every other day and its just getting frustrating at this point. The GPU is noisy even when idling, and my CPU cooler (Corsair H105) is making a lot of noise, even though my build is a Fractal R5 case.

Basically I am a bit fed up, and wish I had a quiet, more powerful (mainly graphics wise) Mac Pro. Uses: Heavy video editing (average of 500GB footage / film), some easy Lightroom and Photoshop work and occasionally a bit of CS:GO on my Windows SSD. I don't mind the fans spinning up when rendering or gaming, but I hate sitting here typing this with headphones on due to noise levels that are unbearable without, even though only safari is open...

I, therefore, am considering upgrading the PC, either parts or completely, depending on your advise!

Arguments for upgrading complete PC:
+ brand new hardware
+ future proof
+ no bottle-necking
+ new tech such as M.2, Fan stop, LED control, better LAN and USB C
- maybe higher cost, but could sell old system

Arguments for upgrading parts:
+ cheaper and more economic
- still stuck with old OS
- I hate the motherboard and BIOS of the GA-X79-UP4. It has caused me countless nights troubleshooting. I really really want a newer, better motherboard!

So, therefore, I think a completely new Mac Pro would be best. Is the current Mac Pro config in the Buyer's Guide the sweet spot, or should I wait a couple of months? I am not too familiar with new hardware, and, therefore, do not know when to buy what CPU for example. Should I do it ASAP? Is it wort waiting a couple of months?

Any great recent builds with Mac Pro like hardware that had few post installation issues?

Any hints or advice would be appreciated :)
 
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Jamesbond007

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Good evening all,

My current Hackintosh Mac Pro (built 2014), containing an i7 4930K, a GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard and an EVGA - GeForce GTX 760 2GB is causing me more and more problems.

I am stuck at OS X 10.8 because of Clover issues, and I have tried upgrading / reinstalling a newer OS X without any success. So I recreated the SSD from my backup and left it, but now new software like the new Final Cut are not supported anymore. Further the PC is very noisy (even with minimal fan setting in the BIOS). So new technology like "fan stop" on newer GPUs sounds like heaven. The BIOS is acting up every other day and its just getting frustrating at this point. The GPU is noisy even when idling, and my CPU cooler (Corsair H105) is making a lot of noise, even though my build is a Fractal R5 case.

Basically I am a bit fed up, and wish I had a quiet, more powerful (mainly graphics wise) Mac Pro. Uses: Heavy video editing (average of 500GB footage / film), some easy Lightroom and Photoshop work and occasionally a bit of CS:GO on my Windows SSD. I don't mind the fans spinning up when rendering or gaming, but I hate sitting here typing this with headphones on due to noise levels that are unbearable without, even though only safari is open...

I, therefore, am considering upgrading the PC, either parts or completely, depending on your advise!

Arguments for upgrading complete PC:
+ brand new hardware
+ future proof
+ no bottle-necking
+ new tech such as M.2, Fan stop, LED control, better LAN and USB C
- maybe higher cost, but could sell old system

Arguments for upgrading parts:
+ cheaper and more economic
- still stuck with old OS
- I hate the motherboard and BIOS of the GA-X79-UP4. It has caused me countless nights troubleshooting. I really really want a newer, better motherboard!

So, therefore, I think a completely new Mac Pro would be best. Is the current Mac Pro config in the Buyer's Guide the sweet spot, or should I wait a couple of months? I am not too familiar with new hardware, and, therefore, do not know when to buy what CPU for example. Should I do it ASAP? Is it wort waiting a couple of months?

Any great recent builds with Mac Pro like hardware that had few post installation issues?

Any hints or advice would be appreciated :)

I would guess that your motherboard is having problems and may be failing. This may be the cause of your problems.

If you want a newer motherboard, you will also need a new CPU, and new DDR4 RAM (current motherboards don't work with DDR3 RAM). The Mac Pro config in the Buyer's Guide is fast and has great compatibility, to be sure, but the CPU only has 4 cores while your CPU has 6 cores. Are you going to be satisfied with just a 4 core CPU in your new system?

If not, you may consider a Core i7 8700K CPU (6 cores) with a new Z370 motherboard, or even a X299 motherboard with a CPU starting from 6 cores up to 18 cores (depending on your budget).

The iMac Pro, released last month, uses socket 2066 Xeon W CPUs, the same socket as in the X299 motherboards. It is possible the next update of High Sierra will contain native support for the X299 platform. You can wait and see if such a scenario materializes before making your decision.

There are people already working with X299 systems with Sierra and High Sierra now :
https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...10-12-successful-build-extended-guide.229354/
https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...c-pro-successful-build-extended-guide.229353/
 
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I would guess that your motherboard is having problems and may be failing. This may be the cause of your problems.

If you want a newer motherboard, you will also need a new CPU, and new DDR4 RAM (current motherboards don't work with DDR3 RAM). The Mac Pro config is the Buyer's Guide is fast and has great compatibility, to be sure, but the CPU only has 4 cores while your CPU has 6 cores. Are you going to be satisfied with just a 4 core CPU in your new system?

What a pleasure to meet you mr. Bond! :lol:

many many thanks for your long and helpful reply!!!

I don't know if the Board is failing or just bad/old, it has always behaved weirdly and I wasn't able to overlock my CPU, so I want to see that thing go! In addition LGA2011 is not really future proof, so I'm looking for a modern socket.

I'm not sure what socket is best to choose, but a quad core should be enough, I never really used all 6 cores to the max, as my GPU was bottlenecking. I don't want to / need to spend more than 2000 I think to get a decent system that can edit videos smoothly and run some games at normal resolution.

The only thing I'm unsure about is the components in the buying guide as they seem quite old (for PC terms), the Asus 270 board is already a year old, so should I wait for a 370 if thats better?

Many thanks :)
 

pastrychef

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I think that you must first determine how much power you need. Also, if you need more cores or higher GHz per core. One thing to keep in mind when considering X299/Skylake-X, those systems have significantly higher TDP and higher TDP = hotter systems = more cooling required = more fan noise. Plus, X299/Skylake-X are more expensive than Z270/Kaby Lake or Z370/Coffee Lake.

If you feel that 4 or 6 cores are all you need, Z270/Kaby Lake or Z370/Coffee Lake will be more energy efficient and run cooler. I have personally build and used Skylake, Kaby Lake, and, now, Coffee Lake systems. They have remained inaudible to my admittedly aging ears under normal everyday usage. The only times I've heard anything is when the CPU is maxed out and, when they are, I only hear the movement of air, not fans. I should also mention that I "delidded" my CPUs to help keep them running as cooly as possible. This combined with high quality heatsink/fans have kept my systems running extremely quietly.

If you are considering Z270 vs Z370, I personally feel that Z370 makes more sense in that the difference in cost is not very drastic and will provide significant performance improvements. I completed my Z370 build in early December and have not had any issues (You can see my build description. Link is under this post in my signature.)

Unfortunately, RAM prices have gone through the roof in the last year or two. I have 64GB that I purchased about two years ago. Recently, I checked the price of the same RAM and they have more than doubled in price. If I had to buy today, 64GB would probably be out of my budget. I don't know if/when RAM prices will drop or continue to rise, but it's something to consider when thinking about building a system today...
 
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I think that you must first determine how much power you need.

If you feel that 4 or 6 cores are all you need, Z270/Kaby Lake or Z370/Coffee Lake will be more energy efficient and run cooler.

This combined with high quality heatsink/fans have kept my systems running extremely quietly.

If you are considering Z270 vs Z370, I personally feel that Z370 makes more sense in that the difference in cost is not very drastic and will provide significant performance improvements. I completed my Z370 build in early December and have not had any issues (You can see my build description. Link is under this post in my signature.)

Unfortunately, RAM prices have gone through the roof in the last year or two.

Many thanks for that reply, very helpful! I actually read your guide last night I think I found it under golden Builds, but I didn't realise it was so recent.

The main thing I'm scared about is picking brand new hardware that no one else has used and therefore not getting any support here, but if your build worked and I choose exactly teh same components I should be fine. About this Mac etc. wouldn't bother me either.

Regarding the CPU, 4 cores should be fine, but I will water-cool most likely again anyway. My current system is so noisy (not necessary loudness, but more annoying pitch of fan blades) that I want it as quiet as possible.

Ram is weird, but I was fine with 32GB 1866 DDR3 for even 4K Video projects, so I doubt I need more.

Would you advice to follow your build exactly or would you change anything would you buy the comments now?

Thank you!
 

pastrychef

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If you think that the noise in your current system originates from the fans, you can try replacing the fans. The Noctua fans that I use may have a questionable color scheme but they are extremely well built and quiet. If they manage to quiet your system down, it may save you the trouble of building a completely new system. If you find that your current system is still more trouble than it's worth, you can bring the new fans with you to a new build.

Remember that the water pump in water cooled systems can also be a source of noise.

I love my Coffee Lake system. The only thing that you may want to change is graphics card. AMD cards are much better for FCPX users and they present much less hassle when doing macOS updates. The Sapphire RX 580 Pulse is probably the most macOS compatible card to use today. It is the card that I chose when I did a build for a friend recently.

Keep in mind that the motherboard I chose does not have support for Thunderbolt and, being that it's an mATX motherboard, the number of PCI-e slots are limited. I've never used more than one video card and I don't have any Thunderbolt accessories nor any plans to change either so these limitations are fine for me, but your needs are different from mine...
 
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If you think that the noise in your current system originates from the fans, you can replacing the fans.

Remember that the water pump in water cooled systems can also be a source of noise.

I love my Coffee Lake system. The only thing that you may want to change is graphics card. AMD cards are much better for FCPX users and they present much less hassle when doing macOS updates. The Sapphire RX 580 Pulse is probably the most macOS compatible card to use today. It is the card that I chose when I did a build for a friend recently.

Keep in mind that the motherboard I chose does not have support for Thunderbolt and, being that it's an mATX motherboard, the number of PCI-e slots are limited. I've never used more than one video card and I don't have any Thunderbolt accessories nor any plans to change either so these limitations are fine for me, but your needs are different from mine...

Wow, some more great info. Once I have a list of components ready I will run it by you if you don't mind!

Regarding fans: You are right, I have cheap-fish fans, but they are not the problem. When I unplug everything my EVGA 760 makes the most noise when idling. Then the H105 pump makes some more noise and the case fans top it off, so time for a new GPU with fan stop and a better CPU cooler. maybe I will even go air-cooled :)

Regarding the GPU: Thanks for the FCPX hint. The card you used in your build has a single bad review on German amazon for noise, so I will check out the RX580! All I want is fluent graphics and being able to play some games at normal resolution for under 500 Euros ideally!

I only use thunderbolt 2 for my external hard drive which also has a USB3 connection, but my current Hackintosh unmounts USB3 devices after a couple of minutes so I have been using USB2 only for the last 2 years. I can't wait to use USB3 properly! So thunderbolt is my last concern.

I guess USB C would be nice to have, but I do not own a VR headset or USB C devices so I don't think I need it anyway...

Either I get a closed case and I buy the ugly noctua fans and a air cooler, or I buy a windowed case with a PSU shroud, GPU riser, water-cooling and LED's for my duck :D

IMG_2099.JPG
 
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I think I see the source of your noice. You have a duck inside your case. ;)

You're right! But there is no guide how to get a duck out of a PC so I guess it will stay :lol:

but your needs are different from mine

Slightly, but similar. I'm about to order the components, so I would appreciate if you could look over my List, what you would change and maybe comment if you think its a good idea! Thanks in advance :)

MoBo Asus ROG Strix Z370-G 165,-

CPU i7-8700K 376,-

RAM Ballistix Sport LT 16GB single 160,-

Cooler Corsair H100i V2 240 mm 116,-

PSU Corsair RMX 750 108,- (Will replace fans with Noctua ones)

GPU Sapphire RX580 Pulse. 390,-

SSD for System 100,- (own a Samsung one already)

Windows Drive Crucial MX300 275GB SATA M.2. 87,-

Fans: 3 Noctua 24314. 66,-

Case Fractal Design Define S. 80,-


Total Cost 1648 Euros (excluding extras like LED's etc.)


The following questions remain:

1. You recommended the Radeon Pulse Card - will it be easy to work with regarding the mackintosh install?

2. In general do you think the High Sierra Install will prove tricky with any of these components? Or Windows as a second boot option?

3. Which components would you change?

4. The 750W RMX Corsair PSU is 108 Euro, the 850W version 144 Euros - worth the extra money?

5. Regarding an M.2 SSD - hard to get to work as mackintosh boot drive? If so I will use my old SSD and order an M.2 for my windows partition!

6. The RAM is available at 2400 and 2666 Speeds for similar price, which is better with this config?

7. Regarding Wifi and Bluetooth with this Board and the Hackintosh install, what exactly do I need to order? I would love to use my Magic Mouse with multiple gestures (my current USB bluetooth chip does not support gestures) and to have Wifi connectivity rather than ethernet. You listed several adapters, and I'm unsure what exactly I need for my build :crazy: :


Many thanks in advance for your help! :mrgreen:
 

pastrychef

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The following questions remain:

1. You recommended the Radeon Pulse Card - will it be easy to work with regarding the mackintosh install?

2. In general do you think the High Sierra Install will prove tricky with any of these components? Or Windows as a second boot option?

3. Which components would you change?

4. The 750W RMX Corsair PSU is 108 Euro, the 850W version 144 Euros - worth the extra money?

5. Regarding an M.2 SSD - hard to get to work as mackintosh boot drive? If so I will use my old SSD and order an M.2 for my windows partition!

6. The RAM is available at 2400 and 2666 Speeds for similar price, which is better with this config?

7. Regarding Wifi and Bluetooth with this Board and the Hackintosh install, what exactly do I need to order? I would love to use my Magic Mouse with multiple gestures (my current USB bluetooth chip does not support gestures) and to have Wifi connectivity rather than ethernet. You listed several adapters, and I'm unsure what exactly I need for my build :crazy: :



Many thanks in advance for your help! :mrgreen:


1. I recently did a build for a friend using the Sapphire RX 580 Pulse and it was extremely easy.

2. I did not have any problems installing High Sierra using the method I detailed in my build description. I have not done a clean install of Windows in a very long time but all of your components are "PC" components and I don't see Windows being a problem.

3. I have never used the Noctual fans that you've chosen. I just used the standard brown/beige ones. I don't know if the ones you've chosen will be as quiet as the ones I'm using. I suggest searching around the internet to read about others' experiences with these.

4. I think 750W should be fine. The build I recently did for a friend just has a 650W power supply and it's been fine.

5. High Sierra has native support for NVMe SSDs. That being said, not all brands of NVMe behave the same on macOS. I've only used the Samsung 960 EVO and it worked well.

6. If price is the same, may as well go for the faster one. Lol... Remember to check the Asus "qualified vendor list" for RAM compatibility. Here is the Z270 QVL. I was unable to find the Z370 list...

7. I would suggest going with the BCM94360CS2 w/ M.2 adapter. I use a Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 1 with my hack regularly and all features work fine.
 
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