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replacing a 2012 macpro with a hackintosh
Old 5th October 2018
  #1
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Arseny's Avatar
replacing a 2012 macpro with a hackintosh

My Macpro (2012) has 64 RAM and a few SSD drives.
In my new room I noticed it is too noisy. Much more then I thought.
Inside a have a PCI UAD card.

Now I am thinking about going the hackintosh route. I'd like more CPU power and no noise.

Can I a significantly better machine for 2-3k €/$?
Will UAD PCI work in it?
Apple Cinema 30" will work?
What are the downsides?

thanks friends
Old 6th October 2018
  #2
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Have you already upgraded the CPU/s to the Xeon 5680 (3.33GHz 6-core)?
Old 6th October 2018
  #3
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Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Have you already upgraded the CPU/s to the Xeon 5680 (3.33GHz 6-core)?
Thanks man!
Hey, I didn't even know that a CPU upgrade is possible. I have Xeon 6 core 2.4 Ghz
Will it make a difference for music production?
Old 6th October 2018
  #4
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Is a frog's ass watertight?

If you've got a dual-CPU unit, you'll have to replace both for a total of 12 cores. If the single, obviously then just the single, giving you 6 cores @ 3.33GHz.

You could opt for the more power-hungry 5690, which is fractionally-faster (3.4GHz IIRC), but my philosophy is to go a less-pushed piece of electronics wherever possible, hence my 5680s and suggestion you go that route too. The '90 was as far as they could push the architecture / hardware design, obviously.

It's so-simple it's ridiculous. I'd never done anything like this before and, ahem... did the job on my bed using a piece of cardboard (a no-no; credit card is ideal) to spread the thermal paste onto the new CPUs. Point being that it still worked and has been flawless for at least 3 years now.

I actually bought the 2.4 unit in 2012 with the upgrade in mind, knowing that the price of a much-faster CPU would eventually be within reach, so that worked out well. A first for me.

Cheap? How does $100 ea (US) or less sound?

At any rate, I'd forget about selling the cheese grater for the time being. It'll fly with either the dual or single-CPU upgrade and you'll be a happy camper.
Old 6th October 2018
  #5
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Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
At any rate, I'd forget about selling the cheese grater for the time being. It'll fly with either the dual or single-CPU upgrade and you'll be a happy camper.
Thanks man!!!
There are two CPUs inside.

Do you have also any suggestions, how to make that metal beauty less noisy?
Currently it is the most noisy thing in my studio.
I mean, before I make an isobox, is there some trick with the fans?
Old 6th October 2018
  #6
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Not that I know of, mate. You could force the fans to operate more-slowly with something like iStat Menus (I think, but there are plenty of utilities out there), but IMHO it's a bad idea.

I've heard that upgrading the graphics card to something more-efficient can do wonders for power consumption and heat, which in turn, I'd assume, would translate to a quieter machine, so you could look at that. I'm still running the original GPU, but I'm tempted to look into this.

Well, you're gonna have 12 cores at 3.33GHz if you do exactly as I did. I honestly don't think we'll need anything quicker for a very-long time.

Only catch is we'll likely not be able to upgrade beyond Mojave, but I'm no expert on these things.
Old 6th October 2018
  #7
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Originally Posted by Arseny View Post
... Do you have also any suggestions, how to make that metal beauty less noisy?
Currently it is the most noisy thing in my studio.
I mean, before I make an isobox, is there some trick with the fans?
My 12-core with the twin 3.33's is in a closet 7 feet away (~2 meters, I see you're in Zurich), and I don't keep the doors closed because the Mac Pro will use over 150 watts at idle, and around 450 watts at full cry. That heat needs to get out of the box, and so the design of whatever you do should have those heat figures in mind.

The distance brings some silencing benefits. The rear wall and inner faces of the closet doors are treated with 2-inch (50mm) compressed fiberglass, OC 703. In addition, I run Macs Fan Control [ Macs Fan Control - control fans on Apple computers, also on Windows via Boot Camp ] that was the last piece of the puzzle.

The Fan Control has most of the fans running at default 'Auto' control, but I specifically manage a couple of the fans to track the CPU temperature sensor that is at the rear of the Mac Pro. That one runs hotter than the front CPU, and I use that sensor to manage the exhaust fan speed and (I think, will check and edit) the PCIe fan. Those two fans happen to be quiet and quite effective, so macOS Sierra sails along without any issues. Strangely, when run in Win10, the machine is overall quieter, needing no particular fan tuning interventions.

I set the CPU temperatures to never exceed 62-degrees Celsius, and usually, they're rocking along under 47-degrees. That's a long way from the iMac temperature management targets...but I digress. The result is that I never hear the Mac unless I'm doing a video conversion that drives all 24-threads at 95-percent for multiple minutes. Then it'll sound like a small vacuum cleaner because all the fans are concurrently working hard to maintain the admittedly low temperature ceiling of 62C. I also have iStat running because of its cool (ha ha) menus and telemetry.

There are a couple of pictures on my website embedded in articles that will give you a sense of the positioning of components within the closet and within the studio overall. ('The Homemade Hybrid Disk Drives Pt-3' has a closet picture.)
Old 6th October 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
My 12-core with the twin 3.33's is in a closet 7 feet away (~2 meters, I see you're in Zurich), and I don't keep the doors closed because the Mac Pro will use over 150 watts at idle, and around 450 watts at full cry. That heat needs to get out of the box, and so the design of whatever you do should have those heat figures in mind.

The distance brings some silencing benefits. The rear wall and inner faces of the closet doors are treated with 2-inch (50mm) compressed fiberglass, OC 703. In addition, I run Macs Fan Control [ Macs Fan Control - control fans on Apple computers, also on Windows via Boot Camp ] that was the last piece of the puzzle.

The Fan Control has most of the fans running at default 'Auto' control, but I specifically manage a couple of the fans to track the CPU temperature sensor that is at the rear of the Mac Pro. That one runs hotter than the front CPU, and I use that sensor to manage the exhaust fan speed and (I think, will check and edit) the PCIe fan. Those two fans happen to be quiet and quite effective, so macOS Sierra sails along without any issues. Strangely, when run in Win10, the machine is overall quieter, needing no particular fan tuning interventions.

I set the CPU temperatures to never exceed 62-degrees Celsius, and usually, they're rocking along under 47-degrees. That's a long way from the iMac temperature management targets...but I digress. The result is that I never hear the Mac unless I'm doing a video conversion that drives all 24-threads at 95-percent for multiple minutes. Then it'll sound like a small vacuum cleaner because all the fans are concurrently working hard to maintain the admittedly low temperature ceiling of 62C. I also have iStat running because of its cool (ha ha) menus and telemetry.

There are a couple of pictures on my website embedded in articles that will give you a sense of the positioning of components within the closet and within the studio overall. ('The Homemade Hybrid Disk Drives Pt-3' has a closet picture.)
Thank you friend! Lots of inspirational ideas.
Old 6th October 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
I set the CPU temperatures to never exceed 62-degrees Celsius
That's mighty-low, man.

IMHO you could very-safely add 20ºC to that, even more, and reap the benefits of less fan noise.

Have you looked into swapping out the GPU for something more-powerful but at the same time less power-hungry?
Old 6th October 2018
  #10
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Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
That's mighty-low, man.

IMHO you could very-safely add 20ºC to that, even more, and reap the benefits of less fan noise.

Have you looked into swapping out the GPU for something more-powerful but at the same time less power-hungry?
The GTX 1070 is the fastest nVidia card that didn't require a change to the power supply connection. DaVinci Resolve is happy with it, so I'm happy with it. I don't care that it gets noisy during video rendering or video conversions, because it's far away and I'm not listening at the time...usually getting coffee or out bike-riding. The silence during DAW work is what I need and I have that fully in the current arrangement.
Old 8th October 2018
  #11
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Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
That's mighty-low, man.

IMHO you could very-safely add 20ºC to that, even more, and reap the benefits of less fan noise.
I just moved the ceiling up to 70C. Baby steps...
Old 8th October 2018
  #12
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I set mine at 82ºC when I used to use Temperature Monitor and occasionally received notifications when I hit that ceiling. It never peaked at more than 5ºC above that and I didn't get around to upping the notification level before an OS upgrade meant that I couldn't run the app any longer (I think - may have required disabling of SIP, which I no longer do 'cause it caused issues back when I did it for XtraFinder or something similar back on Yosemite).

Point being that even after my dodgy CPU upgrade performed on my bed using a piece of cardboard to spread the thermal paste that I'd incorrectly dropped thickly all over the CPU's (found out later it was meant to be a centrally-placed blob), I've had no issues and it's been at least 3 years now.

Also, IIRC I read somewhere years ago that the CPU's are spec'd to be able to hit well over 100º without issue, so the fact that I no longer have an alert system doesn't bother me. I can still check temps with iStat Menus but it's rare that I even bother anymore.

Hopefully this puts your mind at ease and encourages you to up your trigger to perhaps 85º or so, resulting in much less fan noise generally.
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