Talk me out of an iMac

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
I share this concern ^^. I'm running a 5,1 that was refurbished with a new 12 core some years ago. It's great today but not sure if Catalina is possible or not.
It is, but you'll have to update all your 32-bit programs (which is why I'm not doing it).

As I just said, for $1K it's a great machine. For $2K it's not as good a deal - although all Macs are more expensive in Europe, from what I understand, so the scale is shifted.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Not at the site I mentioned that warranties them. Totally used in eBay I have no idea I would rather pay a bit more for a reputable refurbisher. And I also don’t know if the stuff you are quoting is a true 5,1 or one of the 2009’s with a firmware update, how much ram does it have, does it have ssd, does it have rx580, etc it all adds up. I personally think it’s closer to $2k shipped for machines like you and i have.

make no mistake this would not be a ten year purchase. It would be a 2k purchase for five years or less, giving Apple time to pull their head out
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
In the time since Logic Pro X was released
The important question is how good the program is to start with, not how often it's updated!

So I personally wouldn't care even if that were true, but it really isn't. Have you looked at the version update lists?

There have been several *major* updates to Logic X, and each one has a huge list of features, improvements, and most importantly fixes - and I mean that literally, like dozens. Instead of coming out with new sub-versions literally every week when they were Emagic, they come out with new releases every few months.

This argument about Apple not being serious about Logic - you know, they only care about iPhone, they don't care about professionals, bla bla bla - is simply not grounded in reality.

Logic is one very good reason I wouldn't want to switch to Windows for my main machine. But it's not the only one.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Totally used in eBay I have no idea I would rather pay a bit more for a reputable refurbisher. And I also don’t know if the stuff you are quoting is a true 5,1 or one of the 2009’s with a firmware update, how much ram does it have, does it have ssd, does it have rx580, etc it all adds up. I personally think it’s closer to $2k shipped for machines like you and i have.
My machine came from ebay. It's a flashed 4,1, as most of them are. The only difference I know of - other than three years - is the video card (replaced, as you know). The video card is an extra expense.

But sure, if you know a reputable refurbisher, it's probably worth paying more.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Logic was a still getting updated and for now i think just as relevant as the other daws. It’s an expense for Apple though they aren’t even trying to make money on it aned I’m sure they aren’t. Hard to say what Apple will do in the future there is always a chance they could abandon that expense someday. I think we’re safe for the foreseeable future.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
If you have a flashed cheese grater then it’s worth less then mine. I personally would not choose one of those I want a true 5,1 and they are priced higher I’m sure that explains the discrepancy. I would just like to state again I had very good experience buying from a reputable refurbisher. Buying from random people on eBay, I agree I would not spend over $1k either but also don’t reccomend that
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Okay I get it, the 5,1 Mac Pro was the peak of innovation for Apple. Very modular and still keeps up to this day.

CPU, RAM, I/O and Storage is really what concerns us Modern day Composers.

CPU - 5,1 is far behind most anything recent. Still powerful enough to get the job done for now, but less head room than it used to have.

RAM - Much slower Ram, but maximum supported is 128GB. Huge plus as most Macs can't get to this for the price point if you really need that much on a budget.

I/O - Dogshit compared to today. Not that fastest or most compatible, but you can make it work.

Storage - Old interface protocols, which barley keeps up with even low tier stuff. But, more modular than anything has released with lots of room for more drives.

So yes, great computer right now. It just doesn't have much head room left in 2020. I would not say it would make another 5 years as a serious workhorse machine.
This is the problem with looking only at annoyingly stupid benchmark specs.

The only important spec is whether the machine will do what you need it to do. If you are gagging an SSD on a SATA 2 bus, your music sucks and you're wasting your money on *any* computer.

(20% serious only, but that 20% is serious)
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I don't plan on leaving Mojave with my 5,1.
I'm using High Sierra -- mind you, my computer was refurbished by a guy who lives in Santa Monica and seems to know what he's doing. No problems in years of use.

If anyone wants to contact him please PM me. I will certainly go to him if I need a new computer; he recently replaced my power supply.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Why would you only want a "true" 5,1? There are very few of those around, and they're the identical machine.
But they are around. Especially from reputable refurbishes that are in the business of acquiring them and/or parts and putting them together. .When you buy from random people on the internet, they might easily mis represent an older flashed one, or they might not even know. The reputable refurbishes are straight up about it.

Why does it matter? It may or may not ever matter. For me its peace of mind. They are different computers. Even though yours is flashed in order to pretend to be newer then it is, it may fool OSX into working, etc.. but technically its not the same and so far so good, but for example, you may not be able to get Catalina to work on it, while the 5,1 probably will. Just hypothesizing. I know when I upgraded the CPU on mine, what I found was that I needed to buy a different kit for mine then what you would need to buy. They are different computers. Yours is just tricking OSX into letting it run on it with a faster CPU...and that works for Mojave. We shall see about Catalina.

Some people might even pay a little more for a 2012 then a 2010 even though those truly are exactly the same computer. But just knowing that one is officially 2012 vs the other 2010, gives some people a better peace of mind somehow, therefore, its worth a little more.

But the flashed 4,1's, I'm really happy that those people have been able to keep them going, but still...it is what it is...its basically a hackintosh now. And its not quite the same as the 2010-12...I can't remember the exact spec differences. I seem to recall there are some differences with the PCI buss too.. Starting with Catlina my 5,1 will be a hackintosh too... albeit a newer generation then the 4,1, flashed or not.

In any case, I personally avoided the flashed ones when I shopped for mine that was a decision I made and chose to spend more. I think a $1000 flashed one would certain be an entirely interesting stop gap measure. I mean hell, use it for a year or two and you got your money's worth. But I prefer the 2012 variety at this point.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
I'm using High Sierra --
Highly recommend getting an RX580 or RX560 vid card and running Mojave. I was a hold out on Sierra for a really long time, but [email protected] convinced me to upgrade to Mojave and it made a very positive improvement in performance. Mojave is really stable and great for these boxes, highly recommend.

Catalina, no stay away...
 

Shad0wLandsUK

Senior Member
But they are around. Especially from reputable refurbishes that are in the business of acquiring them and/or parts and putting them together. .When you buy from random people on the internet, they might easily mis represent an older flashed one, or they might not even know. The reputable refurbishes are straight up about it.

Why does it matter? It may or may not ever matter. For me its peace of mind. They are different computers. Even though yours is flashed in order to pretend to be newer then it is, it may fool OSX into working, etc.. but technically its not the same and so far so good, but for example, you may not be able to get Catalina to work on it, while the 5,1 probably will. Just hypothesizing. I know when I upgraded the CPU on mine, what I found was that I needed to buy a different kit for mine then what you would need to buy. They are different computers. Yours is just tricking OSX into letting it run on it with a faster CPU...and that works for Mojave. We shall see about Catalina.

Some people might even pay a little more for a 2012 then a 2010 even though those truly are exactly the same computer. But just knowing that one is officially 2012 vs the other 2010, gives some people a better peace of mind somehow, therefore, its worth a little more.

But the flashed 4,1's, I'm really happy that those people have been able to keep them going, but still...it is what it is...its basically a hackintosh now. And its not quite the same as the 2010-12...I can't remember the exact spec differences. I seem to recall there are some differences with the PCI buss too.. Starting with Catlina my 5,1 will be a hackintosh too... albeit a newer generation then the 4,1, flashed or not.

In any case, I personally avoided the flashed ones when I shopped for mine that was a decision I made and chose to spend more. I think a $1000 flashed one would certain be an entirely interesting stop gap measure. I mean hell, use it for a year or two and you got your money's worth. But I prefer the 2012 variety at this point.
I also managed to get a straight 5,1 :)
As I understand it, the only difference is they have a different CPU Tray, which cannot be mixed up between models.

Did pay a little more for a proper 2012 machine though... need to get those CPUs upgraded to the top ones still and put more RAM in.
 

Damarus

Active Member
This is the problem with looking only at annoyingly stupid benchmark specs.

The only important spec is whether the machine will do what you need it to do. If you are gagging an SSD on a SATA 2 bus, your music sucks and you're wasting your money on *any* computer.

(20% serious only, but that 20% is serious)
Meh, benchmarks are just a piece of the puzzle. Also not sure what the SSD reference was about but a cheap SSD can peak around 500MB/s - which is more than SATA 2..

I would rather have more headroom on my machine, especially for the cost.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
when you do that, what I recommend is that you buy a cpu board that comes with RAM as a kit, and sell your old one as a kit. easier to sell and you get a bunch better trade in value on the old ram and CPU. I practically broke even upgrading from 3.33ghz 12 core 64gb to 3.46 12 core 128gb. Not quite but close.

Upgrading the CPU on these is dead simple. Slide out the board and slide the other one in. So easy. You can find many people selling those boards with and without ram. I bought mine from the same people I bought the computer from originally, then sold my old board+ram on ebay.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
Meh, benchmarks are just a piece of the puzzle. Also not sure what the SSD reference was about but a cheap SSD can peak around 500MB/s - which is more than SATA 2..

I would rather have more headroom on my machine, especially for the cost.
you have to get a SATA3 PCI board if you want sata3 speeds. which I have. And it clocks around 500MB/s, a little higher than that. actually the board I have just mounts two SSD's on it directly. The 5,1 can accommodate 500MB/s sata3, that's all I'm saying. That's the beauty of a machine that has an actual PCI bus on it, as opposed to the mini/iMac's.
 

Damarus

Active Member
you have to get a SATA3 PCI board if you want sata3 speeds. which I have. And it clocks around 500MB/s, a little higher than that. actually the board I have just mounts two SSD's on it directly. The 5,1 can accommodate 500MB/s sata3, that's all I'm saying. That's the beauty of a machine that has an actual PCI bus on it, as opposed to the mini/iMac's.
Totally - was just referencing Nick's SATA 2 comment.

Allllthoughhhh it doesnt make a huge difference in DAW stuff like the switch from HDD to SSD did - the PCIe drives in the Mini/iMacs are stupid fast.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
I agree, honestly it makes a difference on benchmarks, I seriously doubt its making any difference for loading daw projects or ssd streaming performance either. I bought the sata3 card as an experiment, so I can say I have it...but...not really needed. Yet another reason to be perfectly satisfied with a 2012 cheese grater. or a flashed 4,1 for that matter.
 
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Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
I’ve got three of those pci SATA 3 card in my flashed 4,1 - with 6 X 2tb SSDs. I stuck in an RX590, a bunch of inexpensive ram from eBay, and it’s a pretty sold bit of kit. Runs Mojave really well,
.

i bought it new in 2009 and its the best computer I ever bought.