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First built - Need a beast for Maya 3D/Adobe apps

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I guess it's already have a million of "my first built" thread, but yea, I'm posting here to get some opinions/help for what I exactly need.


First, I'm actually working on a Mac Pro 4.1 with nothing really special added on it except some RAM and hard drives. I'm mostly working on the BootCamp side recently. Working with Maya and the Adobe applications (PSD/AE/Premiere). I'm sick of having a $2000/3000 computer and still waiting for renders time. Since about a mounth I'm looking to upgrade my Mac Pro to get faster render time from some ways. Then yesterday I was going to upgrade my Mac Pro CPUs, looking around how to do and what to take etc. I got hurt by the price of the CPU and limitation of choice due to the Mac/older version etc etc. Damn I was screw. Then I talked to a friend who already made an Hackintosh for his work (video editiong/movies) and was amazed by how Hackintosh can be!


So we checked together what specs can be the best for what I want. So here we go, I'm actually in front of some questions about "what's the best" or some limitation that I'd like to know if it's possible to avoid.






1. Actually my BIGGEST question is, which CPU are the best for what I want, and what's the best option (Less CPU high performance/More CPU lower performance). CPU are the thing I want to put my priority's on since it's with that that my renders time will took less time. From what I saw on TonyMac, it's have 2 different suggested types of CPU. The "Intel Core" and the "Intel Xeon"? I seriously don't know which would be the best and what's the differences etc. Anyway, I'm looking to some opinions/knowledge/advises considering what I want to do. (Don't know if it's have other processors that wasn't in the TonyMac list and would works great?)



2. The Mother board, I firstly wanted the one suggested on TonyMac with the 2 Firewire plugs. Then my friend told me I would be limited with the RAM and about the choice of powerfull CPU. So I decided to don't go for this motherboard, I prefer getting powerfull CPU. Though, I was curious to know if it'd had another Motherboard not listed on the buyer guide that could do both having CPU/RAM that I want + the Thunderbolt plugs? Also, if not, would it be possible to add Thunderbolt to a Mother board?



3. About the RAM, I'd go for the 64GB since the price is pretty low, I'd put the best that I can here.



4. For the hard drives, I first thought going to get 2 480GB SSD (1 for the Windows 7 OS and one for the Apple OS). I thought it'd maybe help to transfer my projects on the SSD, work on Maya/Adobe apps and then transfer the project on a 1/2TB normal Hard Drive. My friend told me it was useless since the only thing the SSD would do is to make your apps open faster and advise me to get only a 120GB SSD for both Mac and Windows OS, then work on a normal separate Hard Drive. My question here is, would I gain faster results if I work on the same SSD than the OS/Applications? Or it'll do the same if I work on a separate Hard Drive. (Is my renders time, save the project etc will work faster on an SSD?)



5. About the graphic card, I'm not a huge fan of this. Still I want something that'll be great, but as far as I can do what I want and I don't get some lag, I'm alright. I actually bought a Quadro 4000 for my Mac pro and just return it because I personnaly sincerely didn't saw that much of an improvement for what I was doing. So yea, I still thought going for the best suggested one here on TonyMac (GeForce GTX 680). Though, I'd like to know if you guys can have other suggestions and also what's the biggest diggerence between the "GeForce GTX 680 Standart" and the "GeForce GTX 680 Upgraded"?



6. Finally, the case. I still would like to use a MacPro 4.1 case I already have. I'd like to know if it's possible considering what I want to put in it, if everything will fit? Also this bring the question of which fan/cooler use for all this. Personnally, I prefer going for a cooler/fan that will do more than what it really need, to be sure my computer don't burn. I prefer going safe than having to buy CPU/clean the inside of the comp.








So that's it for now, let me know if I forgot something important or if you see some other things I should get/would be useful in my case. Thanks for the great community btw, I think I'll LOVE my next computer ahah!


I'll post other questions if I have through the process if choosing my material.



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1. The first step to take, would be to check the system requirements for each software package your work depends on. Chose the most demanding and multiply it by two (IMO), this would be the target specs. Ideally you need Xeon CPUs for rendering (with as much cores per CPU as possible). These CPUs are targeted for server applications, where CPU performance is quite important (if not the most important) requirement. Also only Xeon CPUs (here I talk only about Intel CPUs) could be used in multi CPU systems (more then one CPU per MB). AMD CPUs could also be used with OS X, but since Apple doesn't use them, it's far more difficult to make OS X work on AMD CPUs. If you need a tad cheaper system (Xeon CPUs are targeted for business market, so are more expensive, same thing with MBs for Xeons) , then you may consider using i7 CPUs (again with as much cores per CPU as possible). There are much more interesting options of motherboards for i7/i5 CPUs then for Xeon CPUs. i5 would also do, but it may not be as good as i7 based system. More info.


2. When you have a CPU chosen, then choice of MB should become much easier. Thunderbold ATM could not be added later. If you need it, you should get a motherboard that has it. I'd consider having it rather then not.


4. Your friend IMO is right. The only thing I'd suggest here, would be using two separate SSD (64GB or more) for each OS. It would be much more convenient. HDD would be a better thing for data storage.


5. Most mid-range VGA cards would do. Pro cards are better for pro usage, but IMO not as better as to justify the price difference.


6. It is possible (depending on the components used) and there are many Mac mods posted here. However it may be a time consuming task.

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Just my two cents: if you go for an ATX board, putting it in the Mac Pro will be tricky, but not impossible, and not the first time. A dual-cpu board (which is bigger usually) will be difficult - ATX is already a squeeze. Not that I don't want to see it done...


As far as video cards go, as long as it is on this list, and also OSX compatible, you'll be fine. The mercury engine is awesome when you get it working :D

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