Mac Pro 5,1 Mid-2010 upgrade.

Mac Pros have always had the flexibility for upgrading much like regular PC towers. All of that changed with the release of the New Mac Pro (nMP for short) in 2014. My computing needs have changed over the years and while I still need a decent amount of power, the nMP leans more towards hardcore video and 3D production. Many people like myself who desire an ‘in between’ option for a workstation are gravitating towards iMacs. I’ve been reluctant to move to a system that allows for little customisation, but I feel in future I may have little choice.

In the meantime, I decided to give my Mac Pro a bit of a boost. The base 2.8GHz quad-core “Nehalem” CPU is quite old. Although it handles most modern tasks with ease, CPUs have come down in price quite a bit over the years so an upgrade was an easy decision to make. EveryMac.com is a great resource if you need detailed specs and tips for particular Mac models.

There are several CPUs you can get from eBay sellers in the US and Hong Kong for a Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid-2010) model as below:

Xeon W3580 (4-core)

  • $267
  • Turbo 3.6GHz
  • QPI 6.4
  • 12MB L3 cache
  • 1333MHz ECC RAM support

Xeon W3670 3.2GHz (6-core)

  • $345
  • Turbo 3.46GHz
  • QPI 4.8
  • 12MB L3 cache
  • 1066MHz ECC RAM support

Xeon W3680 3.33GHz (6-core)

  • $532
  • Turbo 3.6GHz
  • QPI 6.4
  • 12MB L3 cache
  • 1333MHz ECC RAM support

Core i7-980X (6-core)

  • $462
  • Pretty much identical specs to Xeon W3680
  • Main difference is that it doesn’t support ECC RAM (I currently use 12GB ECC RAM)

There are other options like the W3690 and i7-990X as well, but they don’t seem like good value for money considering how incremental they are performance-wise compared to the W3680 and i7-980X respectively.

After consulting Geekbench and CPUboss results, I opted for the W3670 since it offered speed and good value for money. Coupled with my existing nVidia GTX 680 (flashed to be Mac Edition), I should be good for work and games for a few more years.

EveryMac has a great guide on how to perform the upgrades for all Mac Pro models.
Read: How do you upgrade the processors in the “Mid-2010″ and “Mid-2012″ Mac Pro models?

Japan in Spring.

A variety of footage I captured on my 3 week solo journey through Japan across Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo.

This was my first time using the HD video features of my Canon EOS 7D and it was mostly shot handheld aside from a few scenes. Overall I’m very proud of how it turned out, but I still have a lot to learn about shooting video as I’m more of a stills guy.

Used:
Canon EOS 7D
Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens
Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod w/ 322RC2 Heavy Duty grip
Adobe Premiere CS5 for editing + colour correction

Music:
Coldplay – Lovers In Japan

Japan in Autumn + Spring.

A collection of video from my two trips to Japan filmed with a Canon 7D, Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens and Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens. Most of it was shot handheld with IS enabled.

Music: The xx – Intro