View Full Version : New 2013 MacPro.

01-23-2014, 09:20 PM
I took delivery today, early by a couple weeks I might add, of a build to order new MacPro tower. I don’t need tons of CPU, so I left the default 4 core. It has the best value for my tasks. I upgraded the GPU to the D500. Just had to do that. I find the GPU is the most important component for the stuff I like to do. I’d a got the D700 but it would have broke my budget. Round off with 512 GB drive and I am good to go.

Unpacking is interesting. It is a heavy little compact unit. Hooking up couldn’t be easier, and Apple has really smoothed out the start up process. Since I have my Users Directory on a separate drive from the boot drive, I consider this the perfect solution for a computer that is going to have several operating systems and no data stored inside. So during startup, when it asks if I am going to import data, I said yes, but only from the OS drive out of my previous MacPro tower. That went perfectly! It moved most of my global settings and all my applications stored on the root Applications drive. Easy peasy.

I then logged in as root user to check all the settings for my user, make sure it pointed to it correctly. All there, indicated the right external drive for my User Directory - even knew it was moved. Mounted my User drive via USB 3 - yeah, I know USB 3 on Macs has a history of problems, but I need to test it on a new MacPro, find out if it will cause a wreck. So far it has worked perfectly, and fast.

Didn’t even have to change anything to log into my desktop - there it is.

Installed printer drivers - they didn’t get imported, which is a GOOD thing as who needs a shit load of old extensions in your new operating system!

I’m now downloading a new copy of Windows 7. We’ll have more tomorrow.

Oh yeah, this thing is SWEET!


01-24-2014, 12:06 AM
Well this will be fun to watch. I am very happy for you, though envious. So I will quickly remind myself of how much those sweet things cost and go back to being happy with my lowly iMac.

By the way thanks for the links to Windoz I have it loaded and tomorrow I'll add the tax software.

Zoom, zoom, zoom, this is when I ask myself: Is that work? :D

01-24-2014, 08:20 AM
Congratulations on your new MacPro Rick! And early to boot :)

I am looking forward to everything you write about this new marvel. It could not be in better hands!!!


01-24-2014, 11:07 AM
Yeah…..they are impressive, eh? Very dense…heavy and compact.

The case finish is interesting….I ready somewhere that it is anodized aluminum, but it has some sort of plastic-like coating. Very Luxurious finish. Will be interesting to see if other lines get this finish too, or if it is unique to the Pro.

01-24-2014, 11:16 AM
Well I hope testing goes well. Looking forward to your comments.

01-24-2014, 11:19 AM
Well, first hitch in my getalong. Windows 7 is not supported by BootCamp on the nMP. Won’t even let you partition your internal drive without an installer present for Windows 8.

Good Golly Miss Molly, who in their right mind would want Windows 8?

Thanks Apple!

I can’t think of a way to install on the internal drive without using Bootcamp to create the partition and Bootcamp drivers to run the hardware……… or I’d give a go. Don’t think I want it on an external drive, if I can help it.

Discount Mountain Software in Denver, where I have been getting Winders installers for years, allowed that I could get a refund on my Windows 7 purchase. They were great. Had to shell out $40 more for Win 8 Pro, damn that hurts. Typical Microsoft, pay more, get less. Eventually I’ll play some hacker games and try to get Win 7 installed. But for testing, I better get it happening with 8.


01-25-2014, 09:47 PM
MacPro is going strong. Seems to roll through whatever I toss at it very quickly. Finding a few application bugs either with it or Mavericks and nMP combination. That will work itself out as Apple releases updates over the next few months.

Having to wait till monday for the Windows 8 installer to show up. All the jokes we make, USPS is delivering from Colorado to Idaho on monday what was ordered on friday. And for a lot less than any other ship method (incl in the cost, in this case) Until Windows shows up I don’t have any games that will really stress the nMP to any limits. EVERY last game I have for Mac OS is pretty long in the tooth. And from what I gather, none of the Mac games can use multiple GPUs. One problem I didn’t expect, Bootcamp Assistant states only Window 8 and up will work, so I ordered up the only available option, an Windows 8.1 Pro DVD. Reading over at Apple Forums, it appears that Bootcamp has issues with 8.1 and many are having to get a copy of 8.0 to get the install finished and then updating to 8.1. I can probably get a download for 8.0 and use my same license code to verify it.

On another note, multiple drives attached on USB 3 has been working perfectly. I have been running my Users Directory on a Burly USB Port Multiplier enclosure - and without having to use Keep Drive Spinning! That IS a first in an Apple computer, at least for me. And very welcome news.

I have plenty of USB 3.0 stuff to test throughput this next week, see where the limits are. More capabilities to test USB 3 than Thunderbolt 2 bus. That is a lot tougher since most devices are still Thunderbolt Rev 1.

Nice machine to run. Rock solid stable, quiet and rips through everything thrown at it.


01-26-2014, 04:19 AM
So as soon as you get it all tested you will be shipping that to me... right?

01-27-2014, 06:43 PM
safe bet I won’t ever get it finished. especialy at the rate I am going. but Damien, it would probably hurry things along if you held your breath……….

USB 3. Looks like maximum transfer speed on the USB 3 bus is about 100 MB/sec. Weird, but I had heard rubmles that the design precluded much bandwidth for the USB 3 chipset.

BootCamp Assistant is definitely not ready for Window 8.1. Even though the Bootcamp Assist tells you you can install 'Only Windows 8 and later', it really means you can Only install Windows 8 and no later. Won’t boot the 8.1 installer. Time to find another workaround.

Only the USB 3 bandwidth is really a complaint about the nMP. 100MB/sec takes USB 3 out of the running for most external storage as not fast enough. Tomorrow we recieve in a batch of Thunderdocks for testing. We’ll find out if USB 3 on a Thunderbolt hub is a lot faster… looking forward to those tests.


02-02-2014, 10:36 AM
Finally broke down and called Apple support. Got passed up the support food chain a few times, but finally got a guy who knew his stuff. He and I were blasting through things at warp speed, trying to get Windows 8 installer to run.

…. short version of what I had attempted - First tried Win 7. Then found out the only Mac that Bootcamp doesn’t support Win 7 on is the new MacPro, which only supports Windows 8. Wouldn’t even see the Windows 7 boot disk. So ordered up Windows 8.1, the only option that Discount Mountain Software carries. After all, the Bootcamp chart of supported OSes stated Windows 8 or later. Silly me, later doesn't actualy mean later VERSIONS. They must mean support will come out later. I read it all wrong. Anyway, Apple fixed that page, as right after I bought 8.1 they changed the chart to indicate that only 8.0 is supported. So I sent back 8.1 and ordered 8.0 from Amazon. That went better - I actualy got the 8.0 installer to start… to the first step. The place where you reformat your Bootcamp created partition from Fat to NTFS would always finish with: no bootable volume found. Tried all sorts of stuff, never got past that.

Back to the Apple Tech. We went through the steps once, just to prove it didn’t work. And then, out of the blue, he asked if I have other drives attached. Of course I do! I have my user drive and backups and …… I build storage, I attach stuff to computers. It’s my job. Well says he, surprise, Windows can’t handle a lot of volumes attached during the install phase and gets screwed up (Gates never could figure out the hardware he ran Windows on). I powered off all my external storage and voila - installer ran. Thank you Apple Tech Support.

Now we get to do some real graphics testing. See what these dual GPUs are good for. First stop - AMD for CrossFire/Firepro drivers so I can enable dual GPUs.

next - the goods and bads of trying a few games out in Windows on the new MacPro.


02-02-2014, 03:21 PM
So winders strikes again..

02-02-2014, 08:22 PM
Worst thing is, Windows 8 SUCKS BAD. This has got to be the worst thing ever on a desktop. I even installed after market software to change the look and feel to Windows 7. Still horrid. If I am not really careful, gets stuck on full page windows where I don’t want to be and have to work at getting off of. Weird, crappy, pretty much unusable.


02-02-2014, 08:26 PM
Mac OS 8 1998

Windows 8 2013

Only 15 years behind the curve. Cut 'em some slack.

02-03-2014, 04:16 AM
As a onetime Mac OS 8 user I am offended ! :D

02-21-2014, 02:18 PM

My son and I split the cost for a MP6,1 12core/D700s/1TB-Flash/64GB-RAM and it will arrive Feb 24.

We plan to connect up our storage as follows and have a question or two for you as described below. (I did post this in another thread -- Thunderbolt I believe, but did not see it show up... so posting here...)

Subject: I/O data rates using Thunderbolt 1 devices on different ports vs. being daisy chained

I have three LaCie 2big Thunderbolt-1 devices that are to be connected to a new MacPro 6,1 next week. In addition I will be connecting a 5-bay Burly Port Multiplier eSATA enclosure as well.

1) 4TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big
2) 4TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big
3) 6TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big
4) 20TB Burly Port Multiplier eSATA enclosure

The MP6,1 has 3 separate Thunderbolt-2 busses as shown below


Ignoring the Burly device for time being I could connect the three LaCie devices to separate Thunderbolt Buses 0, 1 and 2 to configure separate data paths for each of them. If I do this I would have to connect the Burly to one of the Thunderbolt Buses being used by one of the LaCie devices.

The Burly will be connected to the MP6,1 using a 3m Thunderbolt cable --> Sonnet Echo Express34 Adapter + eSATA Pro Expresscard 34 --> eSATA cable --> Burly. This provides full access to all 5 disks as RAID and/or JBOD, plus allows for hot-swapping.

My question is related to daisy chaining the LaCie devices and what this may mean to expected data rates compared to them not being daisy chained.

So let's say I use Thunderbolt Bus 1 to connect all three LaCie devices setup in a daisy chain...

Thunderbolt Bus-1/Port-1 --> 6TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big --> 4TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big --> 4TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big

...and connect the Burly on another Thunderbolt Bus, such as below

Thunderbolt Bus-2/Port-4 --> Sonnet Echo Express34 Adapter + eSATA Pro Expresscard 34 --> eSATA cable --> Burly

This configuration leaves Thunderbolt Bus-0 completely open for Display(s)

If i/o is being done to the LaCie devices at same time will the data rates be less than if they were each on separate Thunderbolt buses ?

Each LaCie RAID-0 device is capable of transferring data at around 300 MBytes/sec for large file i/o. So if all three LaCie devices were moving large files at same time we have some 1 GBytes/sec to deal with. Thunderbolt-1 is rated at 10Gbps or some 1.342 GBytes/sec. From this I would assume the aggregate data rates achieved using all three LaCie devices at same time be they daisy chained or not would be the same. What are your thoughts ?

I do not expect all three LaCie devices to be used frequently at the same time.... but want to ensure that if they are their daisy chained configuration does not impact their i/o rates in any significant way.

Of course, I could also daisy chain the Burly off the last LaCie device as well or use the same Thunderbolt bus the LaCie daisy chain string is using and only have to use one Thunderbolt Bus for all four devices. Let's say I did this using Thunderbolt Bus-1 with the LaCie daisy chain connected to Port-1 and the Burly connected to Port-3. This would allow Ports 2, 4, 5, 6 and HDMI open for other things.

Thanks for your time....

03-06-2014, 04:50 PM
Won’t matter if you daisy chain. I would put all the little LaCie’s on a single chain, and probably add the Burly at the end of the chain. Those LaCie’s won’t be all that fast - they are limited to the mechanical speed of a couple of spinning hard drives. No different than a pair of drives in the Burly.

The fact they are Thunderbolt 1 doesn’t matter since they are much much much slower than a Thunderbolt 1 bus. Even all of them together on one chain are slower than a Thunderbolt bus.

I haven’t tested the LaCie boxes. I won’t sell firmware RAID boxes any longer, so I never looked at them. But the factor controlling speed is how fast the two drives are mechanically, in each box. That they connect via Thunderbolt doesn’t make them faster.


03-06-2014, 05:01 PM
BTW, my apologies for missing this post. It was in moderation for some reason, and I missed that it was there. So no one else saw it until I took it out of moderation.