Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:34 PM   #1
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Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

Howdy all!

I'm in a bit of a quandary about moving forward with my setup and was hoping to get some help from you guys.

The backstory:
I've been writing my music on an old 2008 Mac Pro I picked up a while back thinking it would be great because like a PC tower, it can be opened up and parts can be swapped out. I have a bit of money and was doing some research and have come to find that Apple will no longer support models with this Logic Board (Apple's motherboards). This means that I will no longer be able to receive updates for the OSX OR for Logic Pro X (which is the DAW I write on).

It's currently running with:
Processor: 2x2.8 GHz Quad core Intel Xeons
Ram: 8 GB of 667 MHz DDR@ FB-DIMM
HD: 320 GB SATA HD Disk + 2TB USB External HD
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB

Potential Solutions:
1) I could upgrade this computer, give it 16 GB of Ram, upgrade to an SSD and a larger internal HD with a faster read/write speed for a fairly reasonable price. This would also mean being able to keep all of my sample libraries without having to potentially reinstall/ contact support for new downloads on a new system. I have also EXCLUSIVELY used Logic for over 5 years and have very limited experience with other DAWS. I love Logic's workflow and built in plugins and it would be difficult losing all of that.

2) I could upgrade to a new mac. This is my least desirable solution because of the cost involved, also just the lack of being able to upgrade components like one can in a pc, and not really being sure if what I buy will be up to snuff for the kind of power I could get with the other two options.

3) Switching to a PC-based DAW. I have a very capable gaming computer that I have built that runs super fast, and would keep me from ever having to deal with Apple's closed ecosystem ever again. But it would mean purchasing and getting used to a new DAW and losing all of my experience with logic (along with their sweet, sweet built in plugins). I would also likely have to either get a new audio interface or at least an older sound card as my current audio Interface uses older firewire connections.


I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions, experience, stories. I always turn to you guys when I have issues and have never been let down!

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Old 05-02-2018, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

you know you can run mac os on pc sooo hakintosh lappy
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:22 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

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Originally Posted by joem View Post
you know you can run mac os on pc sooo hakintosh lappy
That's true, but from my understanding you have to reinstall drivers and go through a whole process each OS update, which there's no guaruntees of it working after..

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Old 05-02-2018, 11:29 PM   #4
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

The real question is what do you need the computer to do that it's not? Are you experiencing underruns? Stuttering? CPU issues? Are you just ready to upgrade because a 10 year old computer is a ticking time bomb? Identifying your use case means you can put money towards the things that will make the biggest impact for you.

Ram and an SSD will definitely give you the best bang for your buck, but it's ultimately throwing good money after bad - the ram you buy will likely not work with more modern machines (being really slow DDR2). The SSD would be something you can move on to a new machine, obviously.

Going PC vs a new Mac is just going to be up to you. Mac obviously are more spendy and less upgradable, and will continue to be. But if you like the ecosystem and Logic, then that's the deal. Maybe find something more modern but not brand new? I know there's decent deals out there on used machines.

Or you could pull the bandaid and make the jump to Windows. Logic isn't markedly different from other traditional DAWs - Cubase, Protools, Studio One, etc. While there's probably a muscle memory/common use hurdle to overcome, EQ, compression, etc are all the same, and what you do in Logic will translate over, it just becomes a question of which buttons to push.

Sorry that's not more helpful, but it really depends on what you want. There's not a clear cut "this is better" scenario here. If I had to suggest anything, I'd say get an SSD and see what that does for you. It won't be cash wasted because you can move it to whatever you get down the line.

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Old 06-02-2018, 01:52 AM   #5
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garruden View Post
It's currently running with:
Processor: 2x2.8 GHz Quad core Intel Xeons
Ram: 8 GB of 667 MHz DDR@ FB-DIMM
HD: 320 GB SATA HD Disk + 2TB USB External HD
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB

- - 8< - -

2) I could upgrade to a new mac. This is my least desirable solution because of the cost involved, also just the lack of being able to upgrade components like one can in a pc, and not really being sure if what I buy will be up to snuff for the kind of power I could get with the other two options.
From this spec, to me it doesn't look like you've upgraded your mac pro much, even though in theory you could have?
I built a Hackintosh back in 2013, 16gb RAM. I've only added disk drives since, except for having had to change the graphics card from DVI output to a displayport one since I'd like a hi-dpi display. My point is: do critically examine the question about upgrading.

If you have the time to fiddle, a Hackintosh can still be a worthwhile investment of time, especially for the great control over thermals and noise, not to mention system/internal storage, and it all being in a self-contained box, rather than a dangling bunch of peripherals scattered all over your desk.

2017 CPUs will surprise you pleasantly. But it's probably worth holding off just a little longer, so Intel can fix their Meltdown meltdown first, so you don't pay extra CPU cycles.

If you already run Logic Pro X, and you've installed LPX 10.4, and it seems to me you have plenty of CPU power under that hood, I can't imagine how it wouldn't last you at least another year.. High Sierra is not where it needs to be for the Logic team to change the OS-es they currently support.

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Old 15-02-2018, 01:51 PM   #6
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

i was in exactly the same predicament as you,

My Spec
2008 Mac Pro 3.1
Processor: 2x2.8 GHz Quad core Intel Xeons
Ram: 18 GB of 667 MHz DDR@ FB-DIMM
HD: 320 GB SATA HD Disk + another 3 internal drives
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB.

Ive been using Logic for 10 years on this machine.

Now to run the latest version of Logic i'd have to buy a new Mac which is totally out of the question as my MAC runs perfectly and has plenty of power. I'll decide when i need a new machine not Apple.

A workaround was to use the Sierra patch that is easily available this would allow Sierra to run on my Mac,
The downside is Sierra/High Sierra are not compatible with Wi-fi card in 2008 Mac Pro's, so i would have to buy/install a new card in order to get WI-FI & Bluetooth.
Another issue is the new reverb plugin in Logic 10.4 uses something on your Graphics card called "Metal" to produce its fancy display, the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB doesn't support "Metal" so the fancy display won't work, The fact Apple are now pushing "Metal" makes me believe its only a matter of time before Logic won't work at all with GPUs not supporting Metal which will leave me having to buy a new GPU that i don't really need.


So basically if i run logic 10.4 right now id need a new Wi-fi and GPU card, then id still be running a unsupported machine, its at this point i thought.......

IVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU APPLE.

February 6th Ableton released Live 10, i bought it that day (standard version),
Ive been using it now for the last 9 days and now starting to love it, which was a worry after using Logic for the past 10 years.


The fact i am now using Ableton Live i can run it on my Mac Pro with El Capistan for well into the future, when my Mac Pro has finally burnt out i'll then have a choice new Mac or New PC as Live words on both.

Its just so liberating getting away from the Apple way, and I'm already finding i'm not missing anything from Logic but gaining lots cool workflow/plugins in Live, Yesterday i finally grasped the clip view and now understand how ultra useful it really is.

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Old 15-02-2018, 02:06 PM   #7
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

May i just add there are a vast amount of Mac cheese graters out there in the wild so i don't think its in Abletons interest to give up support for El Capstan as they are in the business of selling DAWs....

Apple on the other hand are in the Business of selling Machines and the DAW is expendable.

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Old 15-02-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

Ah...now I know what that 'cheese grater' Mac is...
The 2008 model seems pretty powerful, would you guys recommend it for a guy, who wants to take a look into the apple world?
Everyone seems to rave about Midi on Mac, a more stable clock than on Win and aggregated devices seem like enough reasons to take a look, I think.

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Old 16-02-2018, 12:23 AM   #9
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

You can pick up cheese graters on eBay with huge spec for a small price,
I've seen 8 cores with 32GB ram go for 500.
I'd say give it a try........
But as you see from this thread if you want to use the latest version of logic then you'll have to make a few modifications.

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Old 16-02-2018, 12:37 AM   #10
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Re: Suggestions for upgrading from 2008 Mac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnork View Post
Everyone seems to rave about Midi on Mac, a more stable clock than on Win and aggregated devices seem like enough reasons to take a look, I think.
How tight your midi is is highly dependent on a bunch of fucking things from your OS to your music software to the drivers of the device to the way the usb port handles things (if it's usb)...

A friend and I had both midi timing issues. Him on mac and me on PC. We've done the reading/experimenting/testing and here's the bottom line: Midi through USB is simply inadequate when you need great accuracy and reliability or when slaving other machines' internal sequencers. Get a workstation and a pci card with midi ports on it. It can be a cheap m-audio that you'll only use for it's midi capabilities. It's the USB that's total jittery shit. Firewire soundcards' midi is a little better, generally. But pci-based midi is where it's at.

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