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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:30 PM   #1
JimT1701
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Conundrum

I am in a bit of a conundrum and I am looking for advice. I have a 2006 Mac Pro which for all intents and proposes has been EOL'd by Apple with Mountain Lion, or at least I see it that way. The thing is a tank and seems like it will run forever but I hate being behind the eight ball when it comes to OS updates. So what do I do now? Well I considered buying a used 2009 Mac Pro since these can be had for under 1k on eBay if your lucky. Or I considered switching to the 2012 Mac Mini. However reading recent posts the Mac Mini seems like it will be too much of a downgrade for me. So I am back to the used 2009. I recently found out you can upgrade it to a W3680 and double the performance from the stock 2.66 (I am talking the single socket model). My Gripe with that is you need to hack the firmware in order to make it work. Which seems to be pretty easy I only worry about future software updates causing issues. I like running a system 100% supported by Apple and I hate hacking anything. So does any one have any words of wisdom for me?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 02:33 PM   #2
GoCubsGo
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Are you saying you can only consider the 2009 if you run the hacked W3680? Or does the 2009 suit your needs as stock?

Are you looking to buy something new (to you) for under a certain price? What about an iMac? I know you likely have a display, but what display do you have? I agree with you about feeling behind the 8-ball there with the 2006. Although a workhorse, maybe it is time to get something more "lion-friendly."
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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What do you use your MP for primarily? Do you need all the expansion that the MP offers? Would an iMac not suite your needs? Tell us more about what you use your MP for.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 03:44 PM   #4
JimT1701
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I am still considering the 2009 even if the upgrade/hack is not an option, its the best cost right now trying to stay around 1k. I currently have 3 displays connected and would not consider an iMac. the 2 Dell u2412M displays I have are just a year old and the third display was free. I do like the upgrade-ability of the Pro and hate how small apple insists on making their other offerings. Noise is a factor for me also I don't want to buy a little jet engine I cant even hear my current Mac Pro and I would like it to stay that way. I really only use it for casual use web surfing, file management, photos nothing too taxing. The occasional video editing/encoding. The only reason I like the pro is because it is the only standard form factor machine Apple sells. I wish they would sell just Mac with a desktop CPU and tower form factor and I would be all set. But in the world of Apple you have to do it their way or the highway grrr. I really like the idea of a 6-core CPU which is why i would consider the hackgrade. I love to have a bunch of power i don't use haha Also i would love to get good native USB 3 support with the right card.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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Seems to me.....

you will go well with the 2009 unhacked. By the description of use you give, seems to me that you dont really need the extra power. Not saying that will not be nice. But to me, hacking involves the risk of something to be broked out with, as you said, a software update.

Not seeing the point for an iMac, you have plenty of screen real state. Also, I like the standard form factor of the Pro.

And about the USB 3.0 native support, I suggest you check some thread in the forums. Happens to be somewhat tricky/not straighforward, IMHO

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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:43 PM   #6
wonderspark
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My 2009 (4,1) Mac Pro has been running with a 6-core W3680 and a Caldigit USB 3.0/eSATA PCI card for about a year with no issues, and I use this machine to run my video production business, so I understand the concept of putting one's balls on the line, as I've done it myself. If my machine were to fail, I'm prepared to fork over the cash to set it right, but it's the same machine as a 2010, with only a firmware update performed on it.

You can play it "safer" by getting a refurbished 2010 from Apple, and then you don't have to worry about the firmware update part... only the CPU swap.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC...ore-intel-xeon
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:08 PM   #7
Loa
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Hello,

I think your conundrum seems to be a moral one, not a machine one: by your own admission you don't need anything more than what you already have (in fact a PowerMac would be enough!). I'm not sure how this community can really help you out.

As for the hack, it really isn't a hack: the 2010 MP is the 2009 MP with a firmware upgrade (just about as simple as that). Upgrading a 2009 is no more a hack than adding an Apple certified GPU that wasn't available when your Mac came out. Don't let that bother you.

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Old Dec 11, 2012, 08:38 PM   #8
JimT1701
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Thanks for the input. I agree a 2.66 2009 Pro is definitely going to be faster than what I have and hopefully be supported for much longer (fingers crossed). More research has shown me that as long as I upgrade to a processor model that Apple officially supports in the 2010 software updates should not be a problem. Seems problems arise when running a processor other than those sold buy Apple in official builds, and the W3680 is a BTO option on the 2010 and 2012. I think you guys helped me talk it out and figure out which way to go. Now if I can just get the right USB 3 card everything would be perfect.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 10:05 PM   #9
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Conundrum

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Conundrum: Never leave home without one......


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