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Mac Pro scam? Craigslist..

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by WhiteIphone5, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816


    So I want to buy a 2006 Mac Pro. This guy says it comes with apple Cinema Display that has a bad power supply. Now I could care less as I have my own monitor but then he says this when I ask him " how do I know the Mac Pro is working"?
    He replies: "Well, good question. I'm going to try to hook up an old PC monitor to it tomorrow bypassing the Apple power supply. I think that'll work. I know it works but want to make sure you're happy with it. I'll email you when I've got this thing working."

    As far as I know it doesn't matter what monitor you have, right? As long as the graphics card has a VGA output or DVI? Correct me if im wrong, but there should be no bypassing to connect to monitor.. Thanks!
  2. jtara, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Sounds simply like he means "bypassing the power supply problem".

    Just throw your own monitor in the car, doesn't seem like a big deal.

    Take Joe Biden's double-barreled shotgun as insurance. Personally, I woudn't buy anything off of Craigslist, though. Too much hassle, to many flakey people, ripoff artists, and out and out theives.

    Like any used product, don't buy unless you know enough about the product to evaluate it's condition.

    I wouldn't buy a 2006 Mac Pro at any price. There are better choices that will perform better at lower cost. Look at the Mac Mini. Only stopper is if you need a PCIe video card or standalone PCIe GPU card, or need >16GB RAM. Expanding storage with no speed penalty is no problem, now, with the Lightning connector.

    I looked into this for a friend of mine who wants to replace his G5 for video editing. Started a thread here, and got talked out of it. He would be better off with either a Mini or a run-of-the-mill new PC for much less money.

    I briefly considered it for myself (I'm a software developer). I just got a 2012 Mini to replace my 2008 Macbook. Only other choice that would make much sense would be a 12-core 2012 Pro, and that's 3 times the cost (for double the performance), before upgrades (the Mini has a Fusion Drive).
  3. macrumors regular

    Yeah, I'd tend to agree with Jtara, I got the same impression.
  4. macrumors 65816


    I'm trading an ipad 4th 32Gb for it. Worth it?
  5. macrumors 68030


    No. Sell it and get a Mini. Takes less space and is faster too.
  6. jtara, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Are you replacing a previous Mac? If so, what are you replacing?

    Much of the cost of a Pro is the Xeon chips. Intel gets a hefty price for them, and they depreciate in value rapidly. It's the price you pay if you want the very fastest available right now. The premium for the higher clock rates is insane.

    But two generations later, they are only as good as a commodity chip one generation back, and can't keep up with a current commodidy chip.

    Look at the GeekBench scores:


    My 2.6gHz i7 Mini tests out better than shown in that chart, at 13,250. Note the official Geekbench online figure is 11,646 - I got 12,750 as delivered, and 13,250 after an upgrade to 16GB CL9 RAM.)

    That brings it neck-and-neck with the 6-core 2010 Mac Pro at 2.4gHz. Can't find a 2006 Pro specifically in the chart, but, for example, a mac Pro early 2008 2.8 gHz 8-core tests at 9572.

    2006 was the first year of production for Mac Pro. The top-of-the-line 8-core, 3gHz model tests at 9846. Drop it to 4 cores (just one chip) still at 3gHz and you're at 5925. What model is for sale?
  7. macrumors regular

    I bought my 2006 Mac pro from a uni surplus in November for $350. It was used as a glorified desktop and is in great shape (work there, knew its story). A 4th gen iPad seems like a bad trade.

    A lot of places run on three or five year lifecycles, especially schools. You might find a hidden gem.

    Also, benchmarks don't tell the whole story. I love my 2006 pro, more so after I upgraded it to an 8-core system.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    The price hick comes from the dual sockets more than just the xeons. Single socket xeons aren't much more than an equivalent consumer grade chip. For example the E5-1620 a quad core 3.4-3.8 GHz chip retails for $294, while the i7-2700 goes for ~$300.

    That's not exactly true. They pretty easily keep up with current choices, depending on what kind of chip you're talking about. Look at the hex core 3.3 from 2010, it still keeps up with (32 bit) or beats (64 bit) the top of the line commodity chip 2 generations later. And that's just in terms of CPU speed. It also has the ability to access more RAM in a computer with greater graphical processing power possibilities.

    Is that difference because you're testing it in 64 bit mode but looking at the 32 bit mode scores on geekbench? Because the 2010 Hex core geeks 15522 in 64 bit...

    The other thing geekbench doesn't test well is prolonged use under load. Try sending that mini through a workflow that maxes all of its cores for long periods of time and compare the finishing speed to something like a hex core mac pro. I think you'll find the Mac Mini throttles down due to heat build up, while the Mac Pro keeps chugging along at full tilt.

    Now, if this user doesn't need that kind of continuous use, or 4 drive bays, extra RAM and what not, by all means, get the mini. And certainly, a machine from 2006 on Craigslist is highly suspect. I wouldn't buy a computer that old without at least some warranty and return policy...
  9. macrumors 6502


    Sorry to hijack this thread, but how in the world is the mini faster??

    edit: Also, how much do you think he will make for the iPod? He won't be able to buy even a mini with that money. The deal is great, given that the MP is in good condition.
  10. macrumors 6502


    The trade is an iPad not iPod. What's missing is what apps will be used on the computer. That will narrow it down to what Mac is actually "usable"!

    MacPro 2008 3.1 | 14GB Ram | Quadro 4000 | MC6.0 | OS 10.6.8 | MOTU HDX-SDI | ATTO R644| LaCie 324
  11. macrumors 68030


    OP can get $450~+ for his iPad. Add a few hundred and get a Mac Mini Quad or a Dual Core Mac Mini for $599.

    The 2006 Mac Pro uses really old architecture and the RAM is pretty expensive too.

    If the OP got a working display with it, then maybe it would be a good deal to trade it.

    The only upside the 2006 purchase will have over the Mac Mini is the graphics card, but even then you're getting speeds of PCIe 1.0. Also of course you get more internal HDD space.

    You will also have issues with 32bit/64bit EFI, as well as the inability to install Mountain Lion on the 2006 without workarounds.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Sorry, the ipad mini has a A5 cpu vs the 4th gen ipad's A6X
    The mini is not even close, now the Mac mini, indeed that is the way to go ;)
    Agreed, sell the iPad for around $495+ or more if it has mobile data option as it is only a few months old.
    That is if it does not fill your needs and then take some advise given within this thread and buy a more current machine.

  13. macrumors 601


    He was talking about a Mac Mini..

    @OP I'll be the dissenter, that is a trade that would have already been made in my world.
  14. thekev, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013

    macrumors 603


    Actually on the newer ones they've been using cheap Xeons. The cheapest mac pro has used a $300 cpu since 2009. It costs less than the chip used in the quad mini. That doesn't have the cost of the gpu, but even at Apple pricing the 5770 is only $249 retail. The argument of expensive Xeon chips is only a real factor when you move to dual cpu packages. Apple just charges a lot for the lower end of the mac pro line. The 1,1 through 3,1 used more expensive chips, but that's hardly meaningful today.

    Judging by the number of errors in the post you replied to, I think he's just trolling with moderate subtlety. As for the OP, there are very few edge cases at the ivy bridge point where the mac pro 1,1 would be a better buy assuming pricing is similar between the two. I'm sure many are still in daily use, but there's a difference between extending the life of a machine where you have all necessary cables, software, storage and everything required set up and working when compared to setting up a new solution today based on hardware that debuted more than six years ago. At this point I'm not sure if those machines even qualify for hardware service.
  15. macrumors 6502


    Well i know all these, but you still haven't answered my question. People seem to discredit older machines just because they're old. I've seen some geekbench numbers here, so I guess I'll share some info because it all seems false.

    The 3.0ghz quads on my machine give me approx. 11500 to 11900 on 64bit geekbench. Mind you, they are overclocked to 3.6 now, but since it is software overclock I can't test it. Both cpu and ram went up from 1333 to 1600 mhz. I bet you it's more than 13000. Also, I've read tons of articles a while back that geekbench doesn't do very well with paired cpus, which would usually lead to 10-15% less than their actual score. Also, I'd love to see a mini working at 80% and up cpu usage for more than 10 minutes and *not* go on fire or slow down. How could one possibly compare a laptop sized computer with a quality built workstation is beyond me.

    About the limitations, yes, it's true. But that's just Apple wanting to make money, what if you don't even bother with OSX altogether? This machine is still of a much higher quality built than your typical plastic PC and that won't change no matter how many new cpu sockets, PCIs, DDRs they make. Btw, PCI 1.0 doesn't really limit you. PCI 3 cards, well that's another story. My point is, people still don't realise just how good the hardware still is, even if its old.

    Lastly, i read 'iPod' not 'iPad' so yeah it makes more sense now lol.


    Would you be so kind and let me know just how many errors I made in a two line post? Oh i called iPad an iPod. TROLL ALERT! Please man...
  16. macrumors 601


    Depending on the Apple display, there is a known problem with them and their power supplies. Usually it's just an easy fix if you search online.
  17. jtara, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    No, I tested my Mini in 64-bit mode.

    I assume the difference is because I have the Fusion Drive. The main GeekBench score is a composite of CPU, graphics, and disk performance. I suppose we really ought to be looking at CPU scores here.

    It did test higher once I added the CL9 RAM. It didn't affect the main score that much, but some of the memory scores bumped-up by as much as 30%

    I'd been skeptical of that myself, but was reassured by posters here that it's not the case.

    That may be true for older Minis, but not for the 2012 model. One caveat is that I have 1.35V RAM installed, so should run cooler than the standard RAM. (But I also have 16GB.)

    I ran the GeekBench Stress Test for 8 hours, and confirmed that it pegs the CPU at 99+%. GeekBench does a simple score while it is doing the Stress test, and this remained in a very tight range, with insignificant variance. And then I re-ran the full scoring, with no change in values. After 8 hours, it was warm to the touch, with the hottest part the back left corner at the top. It wasn't near as warm as my iPad 3 gets.

    Were this the case, I don't think it would get the GeekBench scores that it gets. GeekBench takes long enough to heat the Mini up to it's maximum temperature by the end of the test. I assume that part of the strategy of GeekBench is to run long enough to heat up the CPU to max. I don't think there's much chance manufacturers can game this, because if you can keep it cool for 5 minutes straight-out, you can keep it cool for 24 hours straight-out. 5 mintues is about the time to heat it up to the max, and then takes about 1 minute to cool down.

    At idle, (not that useful, I know) the Mini runs the CPU at 117F. My 2008 Aluminum Macbook is running 147F. Think it needs a good cleaning. ;)

    I don't think TurboBoost comes into play, since as I understand it, that only kicks in for very brief bursts when the CPU has been otherwise idle.

    Might the Mini throttle the CPU under heavy load? Perhaps, but if so, it still runs at quite a nice clip, enough to give those scores. One could experiment by providing more cooling or putting it in a constrained environment to let it heat up more. But I assume Apple knows how much heat it generates at full load in a typical environment, and designed just enough heat removal to be able to run at full load. I'm satisfied that it will handle my 5-minute compiles just fine.

    Might be a different story in the summer.

    This isn't a notebook, and they could have well-afforded to make the case as big as necessary. Twice as tall, and they could have put in a monstor fan. I'm sure, though, that there were some "interesting" discussions between Jonathan Ive and some mechanical engineers.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    You may have misunderstood the question. The benchmark scores you quoted are 32-bit while yours are in 64-bit mode, you need to click the 64-bit tab to have a meaningful comparison.
  19. macrumors 65816


  20. jtara, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Mea culpa.

    The score shown for the Mini in 64-bit is 12817, very close to what I got before I upgraded my RAM.

    Still, there's no Mac Pro earlier than 2009 above it in the chart.

    The fastest 2006 Mac Pro (shown in the chart without a year) gets 11075. That's a Mac Pro (8-core)
    Intel Xeon X5365 3000 MHz (8 cores). The 3gHz 4-core gets a paltry 6662. You can't even come close without dual chips.


    Did he at least clean out the carbon from the lightning strike?

    Now, that sounds like a better deal. Two chips, Mountain Lion already installed, and the flash drive. I'd really urge you to go out and buy a flash drive otherwise, the improvement is really huge. And Mountain Lion can turn that into a Fusion Drive setup for you.

    So, you get roughly the performance of the Mini, but with expandability. And a hefty power bill.
  21. macrumors 65816


    But I thought 2006 models don't support lion? And what does he mean that with the 5780 there's no boot screen? Why is that?
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Not sure about this seller when he/she stated 10.6.8 as Mountain Lion when it should be Snow Leopard. If you are certain you never need more than 10GB RAM, it may be an OK deal. Otherwise it could cost you a fortune to add more memory in the future. No boot screen means it is a PC card without EFI, not an Apple OEM card.
  23. macrumors 65816


    Does it affect performaxe
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Not really since the 2006 model only has PCIe 1.0 performance anyway, but this seller is either ignorant or dishonest, take your own pick, when describing the item, not a good sign.
  25. macrumors 601


    If you buy apple RAM you are correct..

    I bought 8GB from an Dell server of ebay for 35 euro..

    @OP About 4 months ago I put the money together to buy a refurb Mac Pro. It sounded like a good thing as I was putting the money together. Once I had a clean $2000 wife approved computer fund I started second guessing. Apple as we know culls computers at every opportunity so buying a "new" 4,1 ('09) quad seemed like a bad idea when time to lay down actual cash. I need storage more than speed so what I ended up doing is buying a 1,1 with a pair of 4 cores in it and got a 30" and 20" display..when/if there is a new MP I will sell the my current MP and 20" and buy it. My 8 core scores around 10K in 64bit Geekbench, has a flashed 4870 and does what I need.


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