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[Build Log] LogiX (LogicWorx) - Dual X5690 Mac Pro Audio Workstation

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Posted · Original PosterOP

<Pictures and videos to come when time allows>

<Edits and revisions to come>

Build Parts List





The humble beginnings of this build was to be an overkill Mac OS audio workstation with the sole purpose of running Logic Pro. I have had a few hackintosh builds/drives in the past but wanted a true Mac Pro for my studio. I wanted similar(if not better) performance than the new $8000 black trashcan Mac Pros without spending more than about $2000-2500.


CPU Upgrade:

The build started as a used Mac Pro "Eight Core" 2.26 (Early 2009/Nehalem) powered by two 2.26 GHz Quad Core 45-nm Xeon E5520 (Nehalem) processors. These can sometimes be had relatively cheap and you can swap in some rather powerful 6 core Xeons into them to replace the dated 2.26 quad cores. These cpus come delidded from the factory so the swap is rather technical and risky, first you have to update to the latest 4.1 firmware, then you have to patch the 4.1 firmware to 5.1 which then natively supports 6 core processors and and 1333 ram, 4.1 firmware only supports 1066 ram. To get the most out of the swap I needed the fastest Xeon available for the 1366 socket, which would be the X5690 at 3.46GHz due to it being a Mac you cannot overclock them. I picked up two used X5690s for $235 each, I had to then delid them both, they are soldered cpus so that was a rather risky endeavor. Due to the fact that these early 2009 Mac Pros came from the factory with delidded CPUs, to swap the CPUs you must either delid them, or use 2.2mm of washers as spacers on the heatsink post to make up for the added height of the CPUs IHS which comes in right at 2.2mm, if you choose to not use the spacers or delid the CPUs you run a rather high risk of tightening the heatsinks down too far and ruining the pins on the socket and ruining your daughter board and possibly the CPU as well. Due to the added height added by the spacers you must also clip the fan adapter on the heatsink to allow more slack in order to ensure a proper connection to the daughter board or your fans will run at full speed due to the bad connection. Rather than cut corners and go with the spacer and fan connector clip method, I chose to delid my X5690s. 


Here you can see the increase after the upgrade, from Cinebench scores of 738-748 to 1612. Quite a huge improvement. Below you can see close ups of the delidded soldered cpus.





RAM upgrade:

For ram, with the 5.1 firmware your ram will run at 1333. I chose to have 2GB of ram per thread, so 48GB in total. I went with Corsair 1600 to due the cost with the tightest ram timings I could find at a good price, which was CORSAIR Vengeance 48GB (6 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600, at 1600 Cas 9 it should have no problems running 1333, they are working great.


Storage upgrade:

I wanted to try these new pci-e SSD, I picked up a HyperX Predator 250GB and am using it as the boot drive, I am using a 500GB Samsung Evo combined with a 2TB WD Black as a fusion drive which is basically a smart storage system where the OS sees both drives as one logical volume, the more frequently you use something it will tend to be stored on the faster SSD portion of the logical drive, essentially giving you TB of storage with SSD speeds. I am using a 4th drive as a backup Time Machine drive.




In the end I am extremely happy with the performance to cost of this build. Total cost was around ~$2200 with Geekbench scores around 32,000 and Cinebench scores around 1612. Lots of pictures to come along with a few videos which might take a few weeks to edit.

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That's actually pretty impressive, I can appreciate the work you put in

And I can see how much you looked into your cpu problem haha

Shipping sucks

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Great choice, mate. I'm a producer using logic pro x myself, on a 15" retina macbook pro, and believe me, the PCIe SSD helps tremendously with project load times. I can load a project with about 30 instances of massive, 30 audio tracks, and about 5 of other things, in under a minute. Good choice! 


that being said, you get much faster speeds than me-you'll be doing great!

Welcome to LTT! Feel free to PM me if you just wanna chat, I love conversation!


If you ever have any audio questions, wether it's software, hardware, or production and theory, feel free to ask me. Odds are I can help you, or get you help. 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I need to get around to posting and making a video on benchmarks but I digress. Anyway, here is a video on how I delidded the soldered CPUs for the build. 



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set the beer somewhere safe, this man has priorities 

Silverstone FT-05: 8 Broadwell Xeon (6900k soon), Asus X99 A, Asus GTX 1070, 1tb Samsung 850 pro, NH-D15



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looks good man :D

Dutch Talk Thread

Unofficial LMG Social Media Accounts Website

Desktop Rig:

CPU: i7-4790K Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Motherboard: MSI Z97 U3+ RAM: 4x4 GB DDR3 1600MHz GPU: MSI GTX 1070 Ti 8G Case: Corsair 230T Windowed Orange SSD: Crucial BX100 250 Gb PSU: Cooler Master G450M HDD: WD 1 TB Generic

Laptops: Macbook Air 2012 11" baseline (i5-3317U @ 1.7 Ghz) upgraded with a Samsung 850 evo 250 GB SSD

HP Zbook Studio G5 (i7-8750H, 16 GB DDR4 2666MHz, Samsung PM981 512 GB, Nvidia Quadro P1000)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
29 minutes ago, mikat said:

looks good man :D

Thanks. If I stop being lazy I will toss up a video of the build log. I never did get around to it but I have most of it on video.


In the top pic you can see the hard drives, the WD Black and the Samsung Evo which are combined into a single logical "Fusion Drive" and then the PCI-e cards you see from top to bottom are a USB 3.0 hub, an Asus wireless card, The Hyper X Predator boot drive (soooooo fast), and the 89% ASIC GTX 460 Fermi I pulled out of an old build. 




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