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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:54 PM   #26
rGiskard
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Yep, I consider my Mac Pro the deal of the century. I found a cheap 2009 single 2.66 GHz quad core, dropped in a 3.33 GHz Hexa-Core W3680 and 24 GB RAM to go with it, flashed my own Radeon 6870, and loaded it up with used HDDs and SSDs. Once I'd validated the new CPU, RAM, and 6870, I sold the old CPU, RAM, and Nvidia GT120 on eBay.

Net cost: < $2000

If I had bought a similarly configured Mac Pro from Apple, it would have been well over $5K, and with my system I have the satisfaction of having built it myself. Or I could have bought an iMac, and then have been forced to buy some overpriced Thunderbolt enclosure every time I wanted to add a freakin' hard drive. Apple really only offers ONE choice for technically inclined users, the rest of their computers either stupidly fuse an expensive display to innards that will be obsolete long before the display, or they are shiny baubles like the Mini which inexplicably use more expensive and slower laptop components for a desktop computer.

I mostly use Lightroom and Photoshop, so for my needs this hexa-core is actually overkill, which is what I wanted: a machine that I could grow into. Unless Apple introduces a quantum computing processor Mac Pro next year, I don't see why I wouldn't be able to use my system through 2020. Maybe by then Apple will have pulled their head out of their arse and offered a consumer mini-tower.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 04:59 AM   #27
macstatic
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That's an awesome deal!
So the 2.66GHz quad-core is actually more than good enough for Lightroom and Photoshop use?

Right now I have the choice between a presumably mint 2.66GHz quad-core (2009) with the box, very little home/personal use and all accessories (keyboard, mouse, OSX DVD etc.) but with the basic configuration (3GB, 1x 640GB HDD, 120T graphic card) for around $ 1400.
Then there's another seller offering a 2.8GHz 8CX (I assume that means 8-cores/2 processors) also from 2009 with a 2600XT graphic card, 4GB RAM and 1x 250GB HDD (but no keyboard, mouse or anything else -just the computer itself) which has seen normal (heavy?) use in a business environment. The seller wants around $ 900 for it.
Upgrading the 4-core with a new processor like you did would probably be cheaper and perhaps result in a more powerful machine than the 8-core in the end and I've read that Photoshop actually works better with 4 or 6 cores than 8!

Which one do you suggest I go for?

Last edited by macstatic; Nov 24, 2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 03:10 PM   #28
DPUser
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I, too, went the 2009 quad > 2010 hex upgrade route. I paid $1,325 for a used 4,1 Mac with a new Apple ATI 5770; once the EFI was flashed and CPU upgraded, it became for all intents and purposes a 2010. Geekbench 32 bit went from 8500 to 13800 with the CPU upgrade. It is now loaded with 24 GB RAM, a SATA 3 card, four SSD's and three large spinners. Driving three monitors (two Display Port and one VGA) nicely.

The CPU swap in the single-processor 2009 is very simple. Research carefully if you are considering upgrading a dual processor 2009, and note the much higher costs for CPUs that work in a dual-processor configuration.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 08:41 PM   #29
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Stumbled on this thread by accident. I may have to start researching a Hexacore upgrade!

I bought my 2009 2.66Quad in the minutes the Apple store opened the day they released them. Not because I'm a fanboy or some drooling knucklehead... I just BADLY needed to replace my Dual G5 and was waiting.

I've never been happier with a 3.5 year old computer. I upgraded the RAM (only 6GB because my needs aren't that substantial) and added an array of HD's. I currently boot from an OCZ Vertex 2 mounted in the 2nd optical bay. Of course, it was like a new computer when I did that upgrade.

My next move this week is to buy an OCZ Vertex 4 and mount it on this PCIe card. http://www.apricorn.com/vel-solox2.html I will take one of my 3GB Seagate drives and create a new Fusion drive running 10.8.2.

Anyway, my upgrades aside, I've never been disappointed by the performance of the nehalem xeon processor. The Quad core is more than I need to use photoshop, handbrake, imovie (I'm not a pro by any measure) or any other application. There may be marginal gains to be had in a brand new, modern computer, but I honestly view them as MODEST gains. Benchmarks aside, real world performance comparisons still leave my 2009 2.66 quad right up there with any iMac.
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Old Nov 25, 2012, 07:39 PM   #30
xcodeSyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rGiskard View Post
Yep, I consider my Mac Pro the deal of the century. I found a cheap 2009 single 2.66 GHz quad core, dropped in a 3.33 GHz Hexa-Core W3680 and 24 GB RAM to go with it, flashed my own Radeon 6870, and loaded it up with used HDDs and SSDs. Once I'd validated the new CPU, RAM, and 6870, I sold the old CPU, RAM, and Nvidia GT120 on eBay.

Net cost: < $2000
I totally agree with your statement here, and that's what I had in mind after spending a few weeks casually observing the Mac Pros available on eBay. There are some decent basic 2009 models that can be bought for $1000-$1400. Also some off-lease 2009 and 2010 models are showing up on a regular basis, but I'd much prefer a machine previously owned for personal use if possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macstatic View Post
Right now I have the choice between a presumably mint 2.66GHz quad-core (2009) with the box, very little home/personal use and all accessories (keyboard, mouse, OSX DVD etc.) but with the basic configuration (3GB, 1x 640GB HDD, 120T graphic card) for around $ 1400.
Then there's another seller offering a 2.8GHz 8CX (I assume that means 8-cores/2 processors) also from 2009 with a 2600XT graphic card, 4GB RAM and 1x 250GB HDD (but no keyboard, mouse or anything else -just the computer itself) which has seen normal (heavy?) use in a business environment. The seller wants around $ 900 for it.
Upgrading the 4-core with a new processor like you did would probably be cheaper and perhaps result in a more powerful machine than the 8-core in the end and I've read that Photoshop actually works better with 4 or 6 cores than 8!

Which one do you suggest I go for?
If I were you, I'd only consider 2009 and later models for further upgrade. The 8-core is clearly a 2008 model using buffered DDR2 RAM, which not only has slower performance but also costs a fortune to go beyond 4GB.

Last edited by xcodeSyn; Nov 25, 2012 at 07:43 PM. Reason: add quote source
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 04:35 AM   #31
scottrichardson
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The good old 09 Mac Pro is pretty much the greatest Mac Pro ever in my opinion.

It can literally be made into a 2012 MP with a simple firmware upgrade, RAM and CPU replacement. I spent around $10k AUD on the then top of the line 8 core 2.93Ghz model. I have since added USB3 card, 32GB RAM, 3 x SSDs, and it's just super rock solid. I merely upgraded from the 2008 Mac Pro, but this machine has made its money back 50 times over!
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Old Nov 5, 2013, 03:29 PM   #32
gdeusthewhizkid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrichardson View Post
The good old 09 Mac Pro is pretty much the greatest Mac Pro ever in my opinion.

It can literally be made into a 2012 MP with a simple firmware upgrade, RAM and CPU replacement. I spent around $10k AUD on the then top of the line 8 core 2.93Ghz model. I have since added USB3 card, 32GB RAM, 3 x SSDs, and it's just super rock solid. I merely upgraded from the 2008 Mac Pro, but this machine has made its money back 50 times over!

what's the specs on the 2009 one?
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