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Old Jun 3, 2012, 01:34 PM   #1
rondocap
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My Mac Pro Comparison: 2006 vs 2009

The 2006 Mac Pro with the dual 2.66 Xeon CPU's was the best computer I had ever owned. Reliable, upgradable, and a fantastic performer.

I had an ATI 5770, 12 gigs of ram, and an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD drive. The machine handled pretty much what I threw at it, with no slow down or issues. Games like starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 played with pretty much the highest settings.

I did not a few issues with the WiFi and bluetooth connections at first - but after a while of tinkering and switching wires around, I was able to get it to work well.

Now, enter the 2009 Mac Pro. Given that the 2006 Mac Pro will likely not support Mountain Lion, I decided to upgrade to a new Mac Pro.

Newer 2.66 CPU's, quad core version. 16 gigs of ram - much cheaper to buy ram. 16 Gigs from OWC cost me $150, while for the 2006 Mac Pro 12 gigs was hundreds more.

I popped in my SSD drive, and ordered up an ATI 6870 card running an Apple 24 inch LED display.

This computer is super fast - even more so than the 2006 Mac Pro I loved.

It did not come with WiFi, so I bought the card and installed it myself. In the beginning, I had issues with bluetooth again, but they were resolved by moving my Magic Mouse closer to the Mac Pro case.

The internet speeds are much faster too. I have an "N" router, and my 2006 Mac Pro's internal Airport card always seemed to have less range and be a bit slower since the router is in another room.

The 2009 Mac Pro's card, which I believe is "N" now as well - has much better range and is much faster. Feels like it's connected with Ethernet.

Overall, a definite great upgrade - I think this machine will last me a few years since Apple is unlikely to make it obsolete anytime soon since it shares so much with the 5.1 Mac Pros.

I thought about getting the new iMac - but hey, I just love the Mac Pro and it feels so much more robust, plus it's so upgradable. The iMac is difficult to really upgrade unless you start to go crazy with it.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 11:17 AM   #2
MagicWok
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I've gotten my hands on a stock 09 MP also - which, thank my lucky stars, cost me nothing.

I'm just in the middle of sorting my physical office space out, and then I'm going to be updating the internals similar to you also. I'll be upgrading the memory, upgrading the graphics card, adding an SSD and possibly replacing the internal fans with some quieter ones. Noctua, or something similar.

Glad to hear it's still fast for you also. I've installed Lion on it, and that's just about it so far.

Unfortunately mine is only a single quad core model, so to upgrade to a dual-cpu spec would currently cost me too much money and time. But it's in the back of my mind.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 11:32 AM   #3
Amethyst
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Same stories with your guys.

I've just upgrade my 2006 octo to 2009 quad 2.66!

And it rocks.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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How much are you guys paying for your 2009 MP's before you add on memory upgrades and such?
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:02 PM   #5
rondocap
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I paid this:

2009 Mac Pro 4 gigs of ram/nvidia 120GT/750gb hard drive $1,250
16 gigs of OWC ram $150
ATI 6870 $279

Then I added in my SSD and other hard drives I had. Oh, and picked up a 24 inch LED Apple display for $450 too. It's awesome.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:06 PM   #6
ashman70
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Was this an Ebay or craigslist deal?
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:10 PM   #7
zerb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashman70 View Post
Was this an Ebay or craigslist deal?
would like to know this as well. I'm searching Ebay and used mac sites at this moment, and hope that my 2006 pro sells on Ebay in the meantime. I've tried to list it on craigslist as well, but ive gotten nothing but "will you ship to my sons in africa" emails thus far.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:11 PM   #8
rondocap
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The Mac Pro I found on ebay, from a local place and I picked it up myself. It was actually listed for like $1500 but I got them down cheaper on it.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerb View Post
would like to know this as well. I'm searching Ebay and used mac sites at this moment, and hope that my 2006 pro sells on Ebay in the meantime. I've tried to list it on craigslist as well, but ive gotten nothing but "will you ship to my sons in africa" emails thus far.
Even if you don't get much for it, assuming you got it relatively early on, that's an amazing duty cycle.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:19 PM   #10
rondocap
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I got a good price for my 2006 Mac Pro that I sold. $800 or so, but it had an ATI 5770, 12 gigs of ram, etc.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 03:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
I got a good price for my 2006 Mac Pro that I sold. $800 or so, but it had an ATI 5770, 12 gigs of ram, etc.
ive got 2x2.66 x5355's, 16gb of ram, ATI 5770 and 1TB hdd in mine. you sell yours for $800 on ebay? i saw another guy on here recently sold his 2,1 for $1,900 or so on ebay. they are seeming to hold their value pretty damn well for a 5-6 year old machine.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 04:23 PM   #12
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$500.00 Box

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerb View Post
ive got 2x2.66 x5355's, 16gb of ram, ATI 5770 and 1TB hdd in mine. you sell yours for $800 on ebay? i saw another guy on here recently sold his 2,1 for $1,900 or so on ebay. they are seeming to hold their value pretty damn well for a 5-6 year old machine.
Probably me.... =) I sold my 2,1 for $1,999.00. I kept it in like new condition plus I had all the original packaging and the original box. I really think I got an extra $500 because I had the box.

People complain about the high prices of Macs but.....

I'd like to see a 5 year old PC sell on eBay for $1999.00!
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 08:30 PM   #13
zerb
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Probably me.... =) I sold my 2,1 for $1,999.00. I kept it in like new condition plus I had all the original packaging and the original box. I really think I got an extra $500 because I had the box.

People complain about the high prices of Macs but.....

I'd like to see a 5 year old PC sell on eBay for $1999.00!
It was you! I hope to get $1,500ish for mine and I'd be happy.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 10:40 PM   #14
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I've been totally digging my 4,1 for the last two plus weeks since UPS dropped it off!

These are great machines. I'm really happy for everyone that was dying for a new model but I'm totally content with this model, for the next few years at least...
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 12:09 AM   #15
Amethyst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashman70 View Post
How much are you guys paying for your 2009 MP's before you add on memory upgrades and such?
$1100 for Lightly used 4x2.66GHz / 3GB / 640GB + 2TB / GT120 + 3mnt Apple care left
+$100 for 2 x 8GB DDRIII 1333MHz + My old 4GB Kingston HyperX Ram
+$150 fo 2nd hand 5870
+$12 Power Cable
+old 80GB intel x25M SSD

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Old Jun 6, 2012, 06:46 AM   #16
zerb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
$1100 for Lightly used 4x2.66GHz / 3GB / 640GB + 2TB / GT120 + 3mnt Apple care left
+$100 for 2 x 8GB DDRIII 1333MHz + My old 4GB Kingston HyperX Ram
+$150 fo 2nd hand 5870
+$12 Power Cable
+old 80GB intel x25M SSD

Image
I'm checking my local Craigslist, eBay and Macofalltrades...are there other places you guys are looking for better deals? I assume IF a new pro does come out next week there will be a dent amount of used 4,1's popping up all over.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 09:22 AM   #17
ashman70
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While there may be a ton of people dumping their 4,1's and 5,1's let not assume they are necessarily going to sell them for cheap. It boggles my mind the high prices I see all the time, even for MP 1,1 models, people asking well over $1000 for these machines that are really generally worth $7-800
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 12:54 PM   #18
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there will soon be a flood of older macpros on ebay. It will be interesting to see what happens to the prices.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 01:10 PM   #19
rondocap
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Historically Mac Pros have always held their value fairly well, heck a 2006 Mac Pro with some good options is still $700-1000.

I have a 2009 4.1 Mac Pro quad 2.66, and it's amazingly fast: I can't see myself needing something else anytime soon. Those who need every ounce of performance, may want the newest.
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 03:46 PM   #20
gnomeisland
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Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
Historically Mac Pros have always held their value fairly well, heck a 2006 Mac Pro with some good options is still $700-1000.

I have a 2009 4.1 Mac Pro quad 2.66, and it's amazingly fast: I can't see myself needing something else anytime soon. Those who need every ounce of performance, may want the newest.
Love this thread! I just bought a refurb 2009 quad but I was starting to doubt the decision with all the new stuff coming out soon.
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 03:58 PM   #21
Dr. Stealth
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Lucky Me

I was very lucky. I sold my 2,1 MP for a great price and I was able to get a great deal on a new 5,1 MP Server.

The bottom line: I went from a 2,1 to a NEW 5,1 for a net cost of $500.00!

Sweet.....
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 05:11 PM   #22
lastmile
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2009 eight-core 2.26 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, 2x GT120 = $1,600
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 09:40 PM   #23
zerb
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2009 eight-core 2.26 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, 2x GT120 = $1,600
Man, that's a deal I would have jumped on. Good stuff!
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 05:12 PM   #24
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Man, that's a deal I would have jumped on. Good stuff!
I thought so and I'm liking it but I'm not totally amazed when comparing it to my '10 i7 iMac. Adding a Cinema Display really upped the price and selling the iMac may come close to just covering the cost of the Mac Pro.

I do LOVE the SSD I added the only downside being I'm now annoyed by the slightest hard drive noise! If it wouldn't be such a pain to get the iMac to an authorized repair center that would be willing to install an SSD so I could keep my AppleCare I'd keep the iMac. But that's an extra expense and I'd probably want to go from a 256 GB to 512M GB to avoid wanting to go through the process again later.

I sold one of the GT 120s and plan on selling the second once I can find a decently priced (i.e. sub-$300) *Apple* 5870. Anybody with one for sale please PM me! Picked up a PC GTX 570 that was DOA and decided I'm not going through getting another and having it flashed so I get boot screens. I'm tempted to wait to see what comes out with the 2012 Mac Pros but then I'd have to switch to Lion (with it's annoyances) if the cards even work in a 2009. [EDIT: 5870 popped up on ebay an hour later ]

But, PCIe slots will be nice once I have a need and I'm looking forward to adding a blu ray drive without clutter on my desk. It'd be nice to see Handbrake run at 100% (or should it be 1600%?).

I very briefly had a 2006 quad 2.66 before I found this deal and if it weren't for the RAM prices I'd have probably kept that. Other than sometimes brining work home I don't rely on the Macs for work. I didn't NEED the capabilities of a Pro but the idea was to go from multiple computers (i.e. PCs + iMac) to just a Mac Pro.

Last edited by lastmile; Jun 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 02:47 PM   #25
macstatic
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Mac Pro still good enough for today?

I love this thread too!
I've recently found a 4-core 2.66GHz Mac Pro (2009) for sale which, if I buy it, will become a much needed and overdue replacement for my 1.67GHz Powerbook G4 (2005).
I am however a little hesitant about the purchase as I read lots of threads complaining about how outdated the Mac Pro is and that even the latest iMac, Mac Mini and Macbook Pro computers outpower it. I've read the benchmarks, but alas they don't really give an accurate real world indication of things, so I don't quite know what to expect (other than it'll fly circles around my G4 Powerbook).

I have given the iMac a serious thought, but with the latest model they've removed the optical drive as well as Firewire, and upgrading a regular Mac these days is getting harder and harder (Apple wants us to buy expensive hard-wired RAM instead, or upgrade to a newer model every few years I guess).
I'm thinking that with a Mac Pro I can freely mix and match drives, get lots of RAM and won't have to worry about replacing the whole computer (or sending it in for expensive servicing) in case the screen goes south (as would be the fact with an iMac), but like I said above, I'm a little worried about the computing power I'll be getting. On the other hand I know I'll be pleasantly surprised no doubt when comparing it to my Powerbook G4, but how does a 2.66GHz Mac Pro from 2009 stack up against current iMacs/Mac Minis/Macbook Pros. I'm not just talking basic "out of the box" Mac Pro configurations but also in comparison to one with RAID-0 and SSD drives along with sufficient memory. (I've been reading the Mac Performance Guide for these types of Mac Pro power-user upgrades and performance tips in order to get the most out of the computer -highly recommended for any Mac Pro owner!).

Will I regret purchasing that 2009 Mac Pro, wishing I'd gotten an iMac or Macbook Pro instead?
It'll be used for photography (Photoshop and Lightroom) for the most part. Maybe some video editing and music making/recording as well.

Last edited by macstatic; Nov 23, 2012 at 02:16 PM.
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