In the past I’ve had a Mac Pro 5.1 and loved it. I found it reliable and a very capable computer. However, with the latest software updates the requirement for something better meant that the 5.1 Mac Pro was finally replaced by a 2013 Mac Pro 7.1.
I’ve settled for the 2.7Ghz 12 Core Xeon E5, a 2TB SSD and 128GB ram.
There has been one major issue with the Mac 7.1, and that has been a random freeze and system crash. There is no single application that would cause this, and it would happen under heavy or light workloads, obviously not ideal!
Many sites, including Apple’s own support section, have shown that there was an issue with the AMD FirePro D500 and D700 GPUs. Whilst Apple did (very quietly) issue a recall for the computers to rectify this, they are no longer offering a free fix, and from what I’ve found the AMD FirePro D300 GPUs weren’t affected.
Well if you, like myself and been facing this, I may have the answer… and it’s quite simple. Don’t connect your monitor to the HDMI port, but rather through the FireWire ports using an adapter.
I’ve got 2 28” ElectriQ 4K monitors running at the highest resolution and not found any issues since doing this.
Personally, I’ve always been an Apple user, in fact I’ve never used Windows and I’m completely sold into the apple ecosystem. I do find OSX stable and other than this issue I’ve never faced a single problem with OSX or Apple products.
However, if you’re looking to purchase one of the 7.1 Mac Pros and aren’t too worried about the graphics being the top of the range, then I would opt for the D300 version.
Many of the D500 and D700 models did get fixed, buying one of these second hand could be an expensive risk as these computers and GPUs aren’t being produced any longer, there is the added issue of replacement GPU parts… Not only are they scarce, but also ridiculously expensive.
I bought my Mac Pro online through Mac Store UK, their prices are reasonable, and they offer the options to upgrade. Although they may be a little more expensive than buying through Ebay or Amazon, the included 1 year warranty shows they stand by their products.
But and this is a big difference to other suppliers, Mac Store UK have the best customer service. I reported the issue of the Mac freezing and they arranged collection to have their technical team check the Mac the next day. Although I never needed to send this to them, they we’re amazingly helpful.