Mac Pro (Early 2008) worth upgrading? If not then move to what?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CEdwards, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    #1
    Hey Folks,

    I currently have a 2008 3.2 ghz 8 core mac pro. It currently has 10gn of Ram and the GeForce 8800 GT video card. I initially purchased the computer for audio production but have been branching into video editing more the past year. Things run pretty well but do get bogged down on rendering.

    Is it worth it to upgrade to more Ram and and install a new video card or just opt for a new system? I was considering just getting a macbook pro for portability but I am not sure if it would be more of a lateral move as far as speed. I am thinking the same as far as an imac as well.

    I think I can get anywhere from $1000-$1200 if I were to sell. The replacement computer I am looking at would probably cost me an additional $1200-$1400.

    The other option would be to upgrade my ram with an additional 16gb of Ram and a new video card. This would cost me anywhere from $600-$800.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #2
    I think in your case what you need is more cores and a faster CPU, so upgrades are pretty much out of the question with that model.You would probably want to look into a used dual core westmere model, something with 12 cores would suffice, upgrading RAM and video card won't help with rendering.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Location:
    Upper Left USA
    #3
    I'm trying to figure out the same thing with my 3,1. It seems like it's right on that border of being too old to heavily upgrade, but not so old that you just bin it.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    flottenheimer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Up north
    #4
  5. gpzjock, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #5
    The 2008 Octo Mac Pro is still a good machine, DTP offices and design studios still use them in abundance. If you are determined to sell it check the price on http://www.mac2sell.net/.
    Upgrading the RAM is expensive and a new GFX card may not help your rendering slowdowns. I would wait for the 2013 update before deciding, in your position.

    I needed a 2nd Mac to match my Octo 2008. I had a Hackintosh i7 built for £1200 using new PC parts, it only beats the 2008 MP by about 25% in Geekbench but trounces it for gaming.

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/compare/1534318/1305357

    The old beasts still cut it if you keep them up to date with plenty of RAM, SSD upgrades and RAID arrays.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #6

    The difference with a hackintosh today though is you can over clock them and they are stable not to mention they can almost double the geek bench score of the 2008 Mac Pro, and you have PCI 3, SATA 6G and USB3 as well.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    #7
    Get a 3.4Ghz 27" iMac prior to the current gen. Put an SSD in as the boot and a 3TB drive in the 3.5" slot. Mine wipes the floor with my old 2008 Octo Mac Pro.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #8
    I don't see how any uniprocessor no matter how it is overclocked is going to beat a dual CPU octacore Mac Pro even a 3,1 model. Even the newest fastest i7 isn't double the performance of a Xeon E54xx.

    I have recently upgraded my Mac Pro 3,1 with an SSD & a GTX570 graphics card & it's given a fantastic boost to performance especially when editing in Premier Pro. A 256GB Crucial M4 SSD cost £150 & I bought the GTX570 used on eBay for £120 so upgrade cost less than the equivalent of $450.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #9
    There are plenty of threads over at tonymacx86.com that show overclocked i7 3770K's producing geekbench scores around or close to 20,000, these cpu's are running at 4GHz or higher stable. My Mac Pro 3, 1 with stock dual 2.8 Xeon's never achieved a geekbench score of greater then 14,000 and we talking 64 bit geekbench testing.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #10
    Here's my over clocked uniprocessor in both Windows and OSX
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/user/20986
     

    Attached Files:

  11. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #11
    16GB RAM + GTX570 can be had under $400 total incl. shipping (eBay US). If effect won't meet your expectations, you can always sell the RAM for about that same price and leave GTX for your next MP.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #12
    And at idle the 3770k is quite efficient.

    My MP went due to power usage. But I got an iMac i5 rather than a MP. I miss the MP.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    #13
    Same set up

    I have the same set up and I put in fast drives, more memory and fast video card and it runs like a new machine and the numbers reach the zone of the new "fast machines"

    I've wanted to spend cash on the latest greatest, but their is no huge speed bump to my 2008, work horse.

    It's been on 24/7 since 2008 and not one problem, except for OWC ram ( twice ) which they replaced quickly.

    STILL WAITING for the next best machine
     
  14. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #14
    That is because Premiere uses CUDA acceleration for playback. It's important to look at exactly how you benefit from certain upgrades.
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #15
    The majority of programs don't make use of all the cores.

    If you are talking about autodesk and what not sure, but many MP users don't do serious audio or graphics use.


    @OP: upgrading ram on the MP 3,1 has tripled in price in the last year. its not longer worth it to upgrade. As for GPUs, its worth upgrading if you go with a PC bios card, and either flash it, or do without the bootscreen. Besides you can always take a new gpu and put it in a new workstation purchase if you get one later. same goes for an SSD.
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #16

    I'd do the upgrade, though I'd wait until whatever Mac Pro update is rumored to happen comes out as then prices on pre-existing cards will drop and the card used in that machine will be made available at the same prices that the "current" cards are today. The Mac Pro you have is comparable to, if not faster than, most Macs released in 2011, making it, speed-wise, still a viable machine.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #17
    You must be joking, right? $175 for 16GB isn't "worth it"? Especially, if you're doing paid work on your MP.

    This also seems to be a joke... ;) Following this logics, "they" only facebooking, youtubing and playing Chess on their MPs, right? Come on...
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Location:
    Antwerp
    #18
    Well, please share us where you can buy 16GB of DDR2 ECC ram for a Mac Pro at the given price, and I'll order it immediately!

    Normally you pay 500$ for such an upgrade...
     
  19. 666sheep, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013

    macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #19
    Such as this one. ;) It may run slightly hotter than one with Apple heatsinks, but it will work. Ensure that it will be dual rank (2xR 8). This one from link is quad rank (4xR 8) and it doesn't work in MP.
    Always ask seller if you have any doubts.

    If you really want Apple-like you can buy cheap 512MB (even dead ones) just for heatsinks.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Location:
    Antwerp
    #20
    Well, I didn't check ebay for ram.
    But if open that page, it mentions DDR2, DDR3, 800mhz, 600mhz, so I can't follow anymore.

    Digging deeper I found indeed compatible ram at better prices than I ever expected.

    So excuse me for my first reaction.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #21
    NP :cool:

    See what's on sticker and item description. This "DDR3" it's just a typo.
    In general - there's no need to pay premium for Apple RAM these days.
     
  22. LPZ, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013

    LPZ
    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    #22
    I see $150 here: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory#1066-memory

    [EDIT] Oops. Wrong model Mac Pro. My mistake.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #23
    Well duh!! That's exactly why I put the GTX570 in rather than any other graphics card.

    ----------

    I do video editing professionally & Premiere Pro, After Effects & FCP X use all eight cores.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #24
    I was indicating this more for the OP. I figured your reasoning was something like that, but for someone considering what purchase to make, they may want to read into a bit further than "video editing" as stated in the OP. It's also an important thing to mention as the only official Mac Pro NVidia option would be the Quadro 4000. Many people would miss the GTX options. As you know different software leverages different things. Regarding core scaling, video editing on almost any application should use all available cores, but the Harpertown model still relied on the old frontside bus. It might be slightly inferior to some of the newest ones with QPI in terms of parallel computing.
     
  25. Phrygian, Jan 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    #25
    I got my ram upgraded to 14 gigs when it was cheap. Sites that sell the compatible ram with the heat sinks charge a lot more than they used to was my point. The increase in prices i have noticed, but i have noticed more the difficulty in finding inexpensive ram for the 3,1 model from other posters, many of which have posted links to sites with very expensive ram. Its nice to know that some cheaper options are available, even if they are not heatsinked apple ram. However i'm not "joking" or trying to lead the poster astray.

    If you want to get identical ram to the ones he has, its costs a lot. In fact i there was just a thread on here where everyone was telling the OP that his new ram was causing his hang up issues, and that he should use only one type of ram. Second off, used ram and Ebay ram would make me feel uneasy. I like the assurance of being able to return DOA ram.

    I think it depends. I'm sure a disproportionate number of people frequenting these forums use their MPs for serious stuff as opposed to the number of people who actually own mac pros. I for one do not. Hardest thing my computer has to do is Run Planet Side 2. Point is upgrades should suite the OPs needs. This is somewhat of a techy forum.
     

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