Contribute
Register

Which Would You Buy? Hackintosh vs. New Mac Pro

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
3
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
The time has come to upgrade my home system, mainly so that I can bring my work home with me. I'm an editor and motion graphics artist so I use Cinema 4D and Adobe CC quite a bit. At work we're on Mac Pros that are getting bumped up to the new model when they are released in December. Since I've been having to work from home often, I'd like to get something similar to what I use at work. I've put together lots of PCs in the past, many for gaming back in the day, so naturally I'm interested in Hackintoshs.

So if you had a ~$3000 budget to buy a new base Mac Pro or build a Hackintosh, what would you do? I'm really interested in what you guys would pick, especially if you're using your machine for similar purposes.

Couple of things I've been mulling over:

1. Buy a new Mac Pro and call it a day, not worry about compatibility issues but not necessarily have the most powerful desktop on the block. My main concern is speed vs. being a workstation with lots of redundancy, etc.

2. For those that have Hackintoshs, how big of a PITA is it having to be careful about updating or lack thereof?

3. Is the new Mac Pro a pretty good bang for the buck? Or would a similarly priced build absolutely destroy it performance-wise? I know it'd difficult to speculate until the new model is released and we see some numbers/tests/reviews.

Thanks all!
 
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
56
Motherboard
Hackintosh & imac 21.5"
CPU
i5 4670k , i3 3225 , Core 2 Duo,
Graphics
GTX 760, Nvidia 9400m , HD 4000
Mac
  1. iMac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
  2. iOS
Well a Hackintosh that is comparable to the mac pro costs around $2400 (before taxes). But will not have thunderbolt , a small form factor , or the same exact GPU. SO basically for an extra $600 the mac pro offers a slightly different GPU and CPU in a smaller form factor with thunderbolt 2.0 . Considering that hackintoshes have issues with 2011 socket CPU's (i.e Power management Issues ) and will take up almost 4x the space as the New Mac pro , you are probably better of paying the extra $600 and getting a mac pro that will be fully compatible and will work without any issues . :D

Edit : Keep in mind that the mac pro comes out in december and thats almost a month away , in that time part prices might drop and the introduction of the new mac pro might provide a fix for many of the issues 2011 based Hackintosh's have . So it may be best to wait for the new mac pro to launch and then come back and ask this question , as the answer might change depending how things go .
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
22,460
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Edit : Keep in mind that the mac pro comes out in december and thats almost a month away , in that time part prices might drop and the introduction of the new mac pro might provide a fix for many of the issues 2011 based Hackintosh's have . So it may be best to wait for the new mac pro to launch and then come back and ask this question , as the answer might change depending how things go .

+1 I'm waiting to see as well. The NMP won't be using the X79 chipset. We're not sure which Intel
server chipset it will be but it may help to get better support for existing X79 socket 2011 builds. I did
a detailed analysis of building a 6 core Xeon CustoMac with similar specs to a $3,999 2013 Mac Pro.
It came in at about $2,300 but you don't get the ECC ram or dual FirePro gfx cards that are workstation
class. If you can live without those two features then I'd say wait till December when the Mac Pro is
finally released and then check the forums to see how people are doing with their socket 2011 builds.
It's too early to invest a huge sum on hardware when we're not sure what will work the best.

http://www.tonymacx86.com/buying-ad...ro-2013-information-speculation-thread-2.html

@CXTN
For Professional use it's important to have a reliable build that won't have downtime when deadlines
have to be met. In that scenario it's the best choice to buy the Apple Mac Pro even if it's significantly
more expensive. The CustoMac definitely can perform well but takes more time and effort to
do things like OS X software updates. If you really do your homework and know what needs to be
done to keep it running smoothly then it has potential to replace a Mac Pro for business use. It all
depends on what amount of effort you're willing to exert to keep it running well. Be on the lookout
for Stork's new Thunderbolt II build in Dec. or Jan. He will certainly benchmark it and let us know
how well it works with OS X Mavericks.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2013
Messages
91
Motherboard
Hackintosh 10.9.1
CPU
Core i5 3.4Ghz 4670K
Graphics
Nvidia GTX 670 FTW
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
You should be doing any system software updates at a time when it could interrupt your schedule, anyway. I do any system updating and low-level maintenance that I need in between projects so that I know that my rig is stable before i start time-sensitive work.

Beyond that, you can build a better (in terms of performance) Hackintosh for less than the cost of a Mac Pro. If money in a real concern, go that direction. If it's not, the Mac Pro is going to be a solid piece of hardware. While it should be pretty rock solid, it is a 100% new model so there are likely going to be issues. Worth considering. Though, if you do have a new Mac and it does have issues, in my experience you're pretty much fully covered.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
2
Motherboard
Mac Pro 2,1
Graphics
ATI Radeon X1900
Mac
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
New to the forums, sorry if this is the wrong thread.

+1 I'm waiting to see as well. The NMP won't be using the X79 chipset.

How do we know the NMP won't be using the X79 chipset?

Very confused about which way to jump at this point.

My Mac Pro 2,1 is slowly dying. Last week the raid card went out, so the end is nigh.

Do I build a maxed out 1150 system?
That limits me to 4 cores and 32GB. I could overclock, but worry about longevity.

Do I go with a i7 2011 system?
6 cores and more memory, but possible future compatibility concerns.

What I'd really like to go for is an E5 Dual 2011 system.
12 cores (E5-2630 x2) and at least 64GB of RAM, but again - possible compatibility problems.

There's no way I could afford a 12 core NMP based on extrapolating the current announced prices.
I also don't need dual GPU's. As far as I know none of my database software takes advantage of GPU processors.

Ok, I give up.
I'm going back to using my Vic-20, or maybe my Sinclair - I miss the membrane keyboard.:beachball:
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
22,460
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
New to the forums, sorry if this is the wrong thread.


How do we know the NMP won't be using the X79 chipset?

Very confused about which way to jump at this point.:beachball:

Apple has given us the detailed specs on the NMP Xeon processors. They are mostly E5-1600 V2
series Xeons. The X79 chipset will not support all of the functions that a Xeon cpu can perform
(ECC Ram is the best example) therefore there is no chance they would use X79 in the new Mac Pros.
X79 motherboards are designed mainly for gamers / overclockers and not for servers and workstations.

Try to just be patient and wait a few more weeks to see what happens in the next two Mavericks updates, then check the tmx86.com site to see what the best hardware choices will be.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
3
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
@CXTN
For Professional use it's important to have a reliable build that won't have downtime when deadlines
have to be met. In that scenario it's the best choice to buy the Apple Mac Pro even if it's significantly
more expensive. The CustoMac definitely can perform well but takes more time and effort to
do things like OS X software updates. If you really do your homework and know what needs to be
done to keep it running smoothly then it has potential to replace a Mac Pro for business use. It all
depends on what amount of effort you're willing to exert to keep it running well. Be on the lookout
for Stork's new Thunderbolt II build in Dec. or Jan. He will certainly benchmark it and let us know
how well it works with OS X Mavericks.

Luckily I do have a MBP that I can work on as a fail safe if my main machine is down, or I can pop into the office. As long as a Hackintosh runs stable once everything is setup properly, works for me. I wouldn't risk updating while I'm under the gun with a project, or until the update has been tested by others out there.

It looks like the NMP does offer up a good deal in the graphics department. I wonder if it would cost an arm and a leg to match/exceed it. I have a budget of ~$3k that I was planning to buy the NMP with, but if I can build something that's stable and faster for the same price, I'm all for it. Hopefully I'll be able to build something significantly faster, otherwise it might be a good bet to just go ahead and get the NMP.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
22,460
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Luckily I do have a MBP that I can work on as a fail safe if my main machine is down, or I can pop into the office. As long as a Hackintosh runs stable once everything is setup properly, works for me. I wouldn't risk updating while I'm under the gun with a project, or until the update has been tested by others out there.

It looks like the NMP does offer up a good deal in the graphics department. I wonder if it would cost an arm and a leg to match/exceed it. I have a budget of ~$3k that I was planning to buy the NMP with, but if I can build something that's stable and faster for the same price, I'm all for it. Hopefully I'll be able to build something significantly faster, otherwise it might be a good bet to just go ahead and get the NMP.


Take a look at this GeekBench score from last June. Somebody tested one of the NMPs with the
8 core Xeon (that wasn't released yet by intel) and got a multi-core score of well over 24,000.
That would be more processing power than any one user could need at this time when working
on video. When you look at the cost of a single 8 core cpu to put in a custom build, the price is
close to 1,600 dollars.

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/09/27/apples-new-8-core-mac-pro-shows-up-in-benchmarks/

The prices I've seen online for the newest 6 core Xeons come in at right around 600 dollars. That
looks like it could be the best choice when building a CustoMac with a 3,000 or lower budget. Although
you'd get equal or better performance with an I7-4930K and an X79 motherboard.

So for the three most expensive parts of the build, CPU, board and graphics card, you'd be looking at probably 600 for a 6 core Xeon. 2 Firepro W7000s would cost 1,300 at the moment. A good motherboard
I'd estimate at 350. So for 2,250 dollars U.S. you've got a very powerful system with 650 left to spend on ram, case, psu and an SSD drive. The entry level Mac Pro will only have 2GB of VRAM on each of it's
Firepro cards so it's possible that one W7000 card with 4GB would be sufficient for video work. Leaves
some extra money to spend on more ram and ssd storage.

One of these builds would possibly outperform the $3,000 dollar quad core NMP. As has been said often lately we'll just have to wait till December to see. All depends on what happens with the next few Mavericks updates from Apple.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
2
Motherboard
Mac Pro 2,1
Graphics
ATI Radeon X1900
Mac
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
Try to just be patient and wait a few more weeks to see what happens in the next two Mavericks updates, then check the tmx86.com site to see what the best hardware choices will be.

Thanks for the advice.

The real trick will be keeping my beast from dying before I can make a move. :(
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
22,460
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
As long as a Hackintosh runs stable once everything is setup properly, works for me. I wouldn't risk updating while I'm under the gun with a project, or until the update has been tested by others out there.

It looks like the NMP does offer up a good deal in the graphics department. I wonder if it would cost an arm and a leg to match/exceed it. I have a budget of ~$3k that I was planning to buy the NMP with, but if I can build something that's stable and faster for the same price, I'm all for it. Hopefully I'll be able to build something significantly faster, otherwise it might be a good bet to just go ahead and get the NMP.

@CXTN Here's a December 2013 update to what you can now do for a build 3,000 dollars and under. I've taken all prices directly from Newegg. Forum members in European countries can likely get everything in this build from the Amazon.com site in their country. Some good news is that the GA-X79-UP4 has just been added to the Buyer's Guide. I've included that in this example build.

I'd guess that the reason you're reading this thread is because you've considered getting a New Mac Pro but don't feel 100% convinced that it is the best choice for you for a number of reasons. It may be the new smaller form factor that limits internal storage to 1Tb and prevents you from upgrading anything but the ram. It may be that you plan to keep this computer for daily use over the next 5-7 years but need to have a refresh of the cpu and graphics in 3-4 years which isn't possible with the New Mac Pro.

UPDATE 12-30-13
From a recent teardown of the NMP it looks as though the CPU is not soldered onto the board.
So there is the possibility of a user CPU upgrade. Whether Apple will still honor your warranty
if you do that is another question. It is good to know that the option does exist for the NMP.
It also looks like the connectors for the graphics cards and SSDs are proprietary and won't
easily be able to be buyer upgraded.

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/12/27/new-mac-pro-confirmed-to-have-removable-cpu/

Make sure to read all the way through to the benefits / disadvantages section near the end of this post.

There is no support yet for the Ivy Bridge E cpu in this theoretical build. There also are no drivers (kexts) in Mavericks yet for the FirePro W7000 graphics card. It's still yet to be determined in the next one or two OS X updates.

I've put together a comparison of what one could get for 3,000 dollars by building a CustoMac Pro (socket 2011 version) As it says in the name these builds are for "Professional Use Only."
You wouldn't want to attempt to build and install OS X on a computer like this unless you've got
some previous experience with a CustoMac or know someone who does that can help you.

The I7-4960X is the most powerful 6 core 12 thread I7 that is available. Just the CPU adds up to one third of the total cost of the PC hardware needed. This is the choice I would make personally with a $3,000 budget to have the latest greatest hardware for OS X Mavericks. Everyone's needs are different and what will work best for my unique situation may not for yours.


In this detailed analysis I'll show how far 2- 3,000 dollars will go when building a CustoMac Pro. The key component in the higher priced version of this build is the workstation class graphics card (FirePro W7000). Here is what architosh.com had to say about the similarity of this to the FirePro D300 that will be included in the base 3000 dollar Mac Pro.


The D300 is a Pitcairn-based GPU, just like the AMD FirePro W7000. We feel that the D300 is in essence the W7000 but with half the VRAM. The actual W7000 comes with 4 GB not 2 GB like the D300. Essential key specs include:

  • 1280 Stream Processors (texture mapping units/unified shaders)
  • 256-bit memory bus width
  • 160 GB/s memory bandwidth
  • 2 GB Vram GDDR5

workstation-gaming-performance,H-9-366093-22.jpg

This would make sense because the $2,999 Mac Pro will have dual D300s which will end up
giving you 4GB of Vram. AMD simply reduced the Vram by 2Gb in the D300 made for Apple.

NOTE: For a graphics card solution that has already been tested and shown
to work fully with OS X 10.9.1 you could choose the Nvidia GTX 770 4 GB version.


What would you use this CustoMac Pro for ?

1) HD video editing, transcoding (yes, even 4K)
2) Photo editing
3) Pro Audio production
4) AutoCAD
5) Scientific Applications
6) Gaming is also excellent with the FirePro W7000 GPU See more on this at:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/workstation-graphics-card-gaming,3425-15.html


A Sub $3000 New CustoMac Pro Build


Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ~ $239.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128562


CPU: Intel I7-4960X ~ $1,049.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116938


GPU: AMD FirePro W7000 4GB VRam ~ $699.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195118&Tpk=w7000

Ram: 32 GB Corsair Vengeance 1866 MHz ~ $359.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233390

SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB ~ $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147193

HDD: Western Digital Black 2 TB ~ $156.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236624

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R ~ $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139010
OR
Fractal Design Define R4 (window version) ~ $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352021

PSU: Corsair HX750 750 Watt Power Supply
~ $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010

Cooler: Arctic Cooling Arctic Freezer i30
~ $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186058

Total Cost $2,986.91

Prices include all discounts and rebates from Newegg.com
as of December 2013. No Shipping fees. Sales tax depends
on the state in the U.S. that you reside in. Many have no tax.

Note: The X79-UP4 motherboard will require the latest Bios Version F4
from the Gigabyte website for the 4960X to work properly. Use the
Gigabyte @Bios version 2.33 for the bios flash if yours is lower than the
September 2013 F4 version.

As of today, 12/17/2013 the software support
from Apple's OS X Mavericks
hasn't been released yet for this CPU and Graphics card. We're looking
for that to happen by early 2014.

Most of these components are from the December 2013 Buyer's Guide.
If you will use software that requires CUDA go with one of the GTX 770s
listed in the most current Buyer's Guide.

Choosing the Fractal Design case will give you a quieter computer due
to the sound dampening qualities of the Define R4 case.

TRS 2013-12-17 at 9.02.11 PM.jpgClick on this graphic to enlarge it.

These are CPU Passmark scores for the various high end Intel chips. The Xeon at the bottom of
the chart is the one that will ship with the 6 core $4,000 New Mac Pro. The I7-4960X outperforms
that Xeon by over 2,0000 points. (Shown highlighted in turquoise)
Even the I7-4930K ranks higher than that CPU in these Passmark scores.


Optional Substitutions for CPU and Graphics Card for a $1,800 build.

AMD R9 280X sells for around $420.00 (Confirmed working in OS X 10.9)
+ the
Intel I7 4930K sells for around $580.00 = a cost reduction of $1,000 = $1,987 total cost
Reducing the amount of ram to 16GB would further lower the cost $179.99

For $1,807 dollars you could have a build with specs that are very respectable.


Benefits of the CustoMac over the Quad Core $2,999 entry level 2013 Mac Pro

1) All components have at least a 3 year Warranty
2) 20 GB more memory (ram) and an extra 2 TB of HDD storage (internal)
3) CPU has 6 cores and is easily overclockable
4) No need to spend extra $ on external Thunderbolt HDD storage enclosures
5) This CustoMac Pro will give you a Geekbench score of over 21,000 !
6) Lots of easy upgrade ability

Disadvantages of the CustoMac Pro to the 2013 Entry Level New Mac Pro

1) Only one AMD FirePro graphics card
2) Ram is not ECC
3) No Thunderbolt ports
4) Sleep and Intel speed stepping may not work
5) Does not have PCI-E Flash Storage (Which is 2.5x faster than a Sata 3 SSD)
6) Will not be as small, quiet and energy efficient as the new Mac Pro

Finally, the obvious things you likely already knew about:

If you choose the CustoMac Pro you won't get the NMP bragging rights or the small, super
energy efficient form factor that you can put right on your desk. You'll have to be more
cautious about OS X software updates because of the problems those can create.

In conclusion, I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect when you build a
CustoMac Pro for your personal/ professional use.


Thanks for reading !
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top