Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > Mac Pro

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Nov 9, 2012, 11:15 AM   #1
samth3mancgp
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Buying Used 2008 Mac Pro for Audio Production?

Hello, I am interested in upgrading my current rig(s) for mixing/editing in ProTools and found that the 2008 ver 3,1 Mac Pros (8 core) are in the same price range as a new i7 Ivy Bridge Hackintosh build I was looking at putting together.. however, I kind of don't want to deal with troubleshooting etc so the Mac Pro would be a one stop shop.

A little background:
Right now the main computer that I have is a 2010 Macbook Pro (Dual Core i5 w/HT) and that thing has had tons of problems. It is actually at an Apple Store right now just getting done with repairs. It is capable of doing a lot of the work that I need to do, but definitely reaches its peak on larger sessions running 32+ tracks all heavy with plugins. The CPU is what seems to be capping out on these sessions more than the RAM.

My current desktop is an AMD Dual Core build from 2007 running Win 7. It was outdated when I built it! I'm pretty sure AMD Quad Core CPUs were already out then.. The Macbook smokes it, and even that isn't enough power for me. Let's just not even talk about this thing..

I go to MTSU, majoring in Audio Production. Every computer on that campus is a slightly dated mac pro (probably 2007-2008 Quad and 8 cores), and the studio I am working at off campus has Mac Pros in all the studios as well. ProTools runs better on mac.. simply because AVID is able to keep up with the small number of machines to test and qualify as supported.

Aside from my friends who have the latest iMac (which I don't even want to approach considering how many problems my Macbook has been having.. Coming from a PC background, I like the serviceability etc of a full tower), every computer I have been around lately is an older mac pro and they all seem to perform SIGNIFICANTLY better than any of my current machines, and remain fully compatible with ProTools, and Every version of OSX!

I am seeing them go for around $1000-1200 on eBay for 2.8 eight core machines with 8-12GB of RAM. It seems so wrong to be buying into older tech.. but every one that I have been around seems to be a pretty darn capable machine for working with Audio, and should be pretty stable for years to come *knock on wood*
samth3mancgp is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 9, 2012, 11:27 AM   #2
spoonie1972
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto
3,1 are pretty good with logic (even still) - and if you're running PTHD the fact is, the PT hardware is doing most of the work for you.

the main concern with the 3,1 platform is the cost of the FB-DIMM ram. It is far from cheap. Also, 32gb, iirc, is the max.
__________________
2012 MPB 15, 16GB, 512SSD, Geek 11941 - Logic Audio
2009 Mac Pro, 64GB, 5,1 Firmware, X5570 swap x2, EVGA GTX570, VEP5, Kontakt, and AE
spoonie1972 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 9, 2012, 12:06 PM   #3
samth3mancgp
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
I am not running any version of ProTools HD (just ProTools 9 Native) and most of the plugins that I own are for native processors only. I feel like this is a wise move considering that every studio I have been to lately and my university are running these machines.

Since the RAM is expensive I am looking for a minimum of 10GB, but 12GB is preferable. Unless I load up a very substantial number of Virtual Instruments that load samples into RAM (which I rarely do) then my RAM usually doesn't even use all of the 4GB my Macbook has. It seems like audio mixing (not to be confused with creating from scratch with virtual instruments/samplers) uses mostly heavy amounts of Processing, which the old Mac Pros have plenty of at a good price

I am also not super concerned with video performance since I don't do a whole lot of video stuff. I might get an SSD to use as my boot drive though since many people say it really improves performance.
samth3mancgp is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:35 PM   #4
spoonie1972
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto
Apologies - I assumed HD/HDX.

if you can find a 3,1 2.8x2 or 3.0x2 for a great price, it may be worth it. I see them here varying in price from CDN $650-$2,500 depending on how sane/insane the seller is.

4,1 single-processor machines have dropped in price significantly as leasing houses are selling them all over the place. It may be worthwhile to find one of those and throw an upgraded CPU in there when you have the extra $.

if CPU power is your main concern, check all the benchmark scores for each generation/cpu and figure out which best fits your real-time CPU use.

The 3,1 is an end-of-line machine, while the 4,1 can be flashed, upgraded, etc, to the best of the 5,1 machines (albeit at a much higher price-point).

YMMV - best luck.
__________________
2012 MPB 15, 16GB, 512SSD, Geek 11941 - Logic Audio
2009 Mac Pro, 64GB, 5,1 Firmware, X5570 swap x2, EVGA GTX570, VEP5, Kontakt, and AE
spoonie1972 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 9, 2012, 05:44 PM   #5
J&JPolangin
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Japan...at the waters edge...
Quote:
Originally Posted by samth3mancgp View Post
Hello, I am interested in upgrading my current rig(s) for mixing/editing in ProTools and found that the 2008 ver 3,1 Mac Pros (8 core) are in the same price range as a new i7 Ivy Bridge Hackintosh build I was looking at putting together.. however, I kind of don't want to deal with troubleshooting etc so the Mac Pro would be a one stop shop.

A little background:
Right now the main computer that I have is a 2010 Macbook Pro (Dual Core i5 w/HT) and that thing has had tons of problems. It is actually at an Apple Store right now just getting done with repairs. It is capable of doing a lot of the work that I need to do, but definitely reaches its peak on larger sessions running 32+ tracks all heavy with plugins. The CPU is what seems to be capping out on these sessions more than the RAM.

My current desktop is an AMD Dual Core build from 2007 running Win 7. It was outdated when I built it! I'm pretty sure AMD Quad Core CPUs were already out then.. The Macbook smokes it, and even that isn't enough power for me. Let's just not even talk about this thing..

I go to MTSU, majoring in Audio Production. Every computer on that campus is a slightly dated mac pro (probably 2007-2008 Quad and 8 cores), and the studio I am working at off campus has Mac Pros in all the studios as well. ProTools runs better on mac.. simply because AVID is able to keep up with the small number of machines to test and qualify as supported.

Aside from my friends who have the latest iMac (which I don't even want to approach considering how many problems my Macbook has been having.. Coming from a PC background, I like the serviceability etc of a full tower), every computer I have been around lately is an older mac pro and they all seem to perform SIGNIFICANTLY better than any of my current machines, and remain fully compatible with ProTools, and Every version of OSX!

I am seeing them go for around $1000-1200 on eBay for 2.8 eight core machines with 8-12GB of RAM. It seems so wrong to be buying into older tech.. but every one that I have been around seems to be a pretty darn capable machine for working with Audio, and should be pretty stable for years to come *knock on wood*
What's wrong with your MBP?

What type of audio production are you doing?

I can't remember the last time I saw anyone doing other than graphic arts on anything more than 15 - 17" MBP's...(just looking for a little bit more background info).
__________________
2011 21" iMac, AEBS, 2009 2.0Ghz nVidia 9400M WB 4GB RAM & 64Gb SSD, 2011 13" MBP w/ 512Gb SSD/8Gb RAM, 2013 11.6" MBA & iPad3 64gb 4G
PC's: X6, H60, 12Gb RAM, 3x1Tb HDD, 128Gb SSD
J&JPolangin is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 02:28 AM   #6
samth3mancgp
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
The MBP works pretty well but it isn't powerful enough to run many of my larger sessions. I am doing a lot of Heavy rock/pop/metal music, as well as hip hop. I use tons of plugins which eat up CPU and often mix through a mastering chain (absolutely killer on CPU).

It also doesn't have enough FireWire ports I need at least 2 to run my interface and my external drive. And they can't be chained because the interface gets clicking errors when chained from the Hard drive. I thought about getting a FireWire hub so the interface could be connected without chaining things together, but in all reality I need a machine that can handle MORE than what I throw at it. The MBP is barely scraping by sometimes.

I have a thread going on the tonymacx86 forum since I am also considering a Hackintosh build.. But the real deal Mac Pro at the right price, even if it is an old one.. Will hopefully be a viable alternative. Some people have benchmarks of their 2008 Mac pros (with SSDs, and other light upgrades) keeping up with the current sandy bridge iMacs I think? It's a tough decision. I hate buying computers because I know they will eventually need to be replaced. Many people seem very happy with their '08 Mac pros and don't see much reason to replace it anytime soon. The perk of doin the Hackintosh build would be the ability to do upgrades to the latest greatest if needed.

-Sam
samth3mancgp is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 02:49 AM   #7
J&JPolangin
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Japan...at the waters edge...
Quote:
Originally Posted by samth3mancgp View Post
The MBP works pretty well but it isn't powerful enough to run many of my larger sessions. I am doing a lot of Heavy rock/pop/metal music, as well as hip hop. I use tons of plugins which eat up CPU and often mix through a mastering chain (absolutely killer on CPU).

It also doesn't have enough FireWire ports I need at least 2 to run my interface and my external drive. And they can't be chained because the interface gets clicking errors when chained from the Hard drive. I thought about getting a FireWire hub so the interface could be connected without chaining things together, but in all reality I need a machine that can handle MORE than what I throw at it. The MBP is barely scraping by sometimes.

I have a thread going on the tonymacx86 forum since I am also considering a Hackintosh build.. But the real deal Mac Pro at the right price, even if it is an old one.. Will hopefully be a viable alternative. Some people have benchmarks of their 2008 Mac pros (with SSDs, and other light upgrades) keeping up with the current sandy bridge iMacs I think? It's a tough decision. I hate buying computers because I know they will eventually need to be replaced. Many people seem very happy with their '08 Mac pros and don't see much reason to replace it anytime soon. The perk of doin the Hackintosh build would be the ability to do upgrades to the latest greatest if needed.

-Sam
I'd sell your repaired MBP when it comes back from and put the $$ towards a 15" cMBP and upgrade it with a SSD and RAM = the quad CPU should provide the extra boost you need...

I just decided to wait for Broadwell before jumping back into the 11" MBA that I really want (due to the portable form factor) and went with a NIB 2011 MBP...I snagged a 512Gb Crucial M4 SSD and had 8Gb RAM avail so the whole package cost me $1154 and while its not as light, its plenty portable faster than either the 11" or 13" MBA and I have plenty of RAM and plenty of internal SSD space now - the only thing I miss is not having USB3 but it will easily keep up with what I want until 2014 when Broadwell hits the MBA line (and hopefully brings the battery life I need with it)

Good luck with your choice!
__________________
2011 21" iMac, AEBS, 2009 2.0Ghz nVidia 9400M WB 4GB RAM & 64Gb SSD, 2011 13" MBP w/ 512Gb SSD/8Gb RAM, 2013 11.6" MBA & iPad3 64gb 4G
PC's: X6, H60, 12Gb RAM, 3x1Tb HDD, 128Gb SSD
J&JPolangin is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Nov 10, 2012, 07:27 PM   #8
Phrygian
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Don't forget that the 3.1 uses IDE format on the optical bay, and only runs sata 2 off the sleds. Not to mention the way things are going, the next OS-X may not work for the 2008 model.
Phrygian is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Desktops > Mac Pro

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mac Pro 2008 Buzzing audio stringzz Mac Pro 3 Jan 10, 2014 05:08 PM
Is the MacBook Pro (Mid 2012) strong enough for Audio/Video production? Elmzeh Digital Audio 8 Jul 9, 2013 01:34 PM
Looking to buy a new Macbook Pro for Audio Production, should I wait? cloudig Buying Tips and Advice 2 Apr 30, 2013 07:59 PM
Mac Mini for Audio Production Matt McHeck Mac mini 16 Feb 19, 2013 12:11 PM
Mac mini for audio and video production? jakesaunders27 Mac mini 8 Jan 24, 2013 11:11 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:04 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC