MacPro 1,1 worth buying?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Baklava, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2010
    Hello all, general question: is it still worth to buy the very first MacPro 1.1 (2006) in 2013?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 2, 2012
    United States
    Me, as well as many other Mac users/advocates/forum members would strongly advise against it. It's been rumored that a Mac Pro refresh is coming.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2010
    Yes, but I'm just asking if the tech inside the first Mac Pro is really too old today or if it is still enough to work with.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    What are you trying to do? I assume you will be buying used, how much do you think you will be paying for it?

    Depending on what you want to do with it, price, and if you don't anticipate any immediate future needs to do "the latest and greatest," it could be a good deal.
  5. macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Most likely no, unless you get it for nothing. Even the current mini will run so many circles around it. Remember, its 7 years old and people tend to replace computers every 3-4 years.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    Depends on the price... a couple hundred dollars and it would be cool to have.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    a) Yes....that Mac Pro is too old, for current computer standards....

    b) Work? Depends in your definition/meaning. Basic and not too advanced uses, I think it will work

    But still, I am not feeling too comfortable advising you buying such a thing as a 1,1, but if you can get one for a very good price, as a gift or donation, why not? You can run, if my memory works, from Tiger (10.4) to Lion (10.7) and also, via virtualization/Bootcamp up to Windows 7

    Question maybe that will come later: Worth upgrading? That is a tricky one....:confused:

  8. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2010
    Seems like I will go with a 3,1 8-core Mac Pro. Everything below is too old. Everything above, too expensive for my budget. :)
    It will be a secondary work computer replacing my 2009 17" MacBook Pro w/ 2.66 GHz.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    I'm a big Mac Mini fan and can't imagine why one of those (new or used) wouldn't be a better deal for you. Some people have reasons they need the big case of the Mac Pro, but if you were one of those people, I don't think you'd be asking the question in the first place. Buy the most recent Mac Mini you can afford. As for expansion, when you can afford an upgrade, just replace the Mini with a newer one. The HD graphics starting in 2011 would be something to pay a little extra for BTW.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2011
    Some issues to be aware of:

    1. it won't run Mountain Lion (Lion is OK though).
    2. It takes horribly expensive FBDIMM memory - Crucial is quoting $160 for a 4GB kit :eek: (although it has a ton of memory slots so that's 4GB *extra* not a replacement for the existing RAM).
    3. The base graphics card wasn't great shakes for gaming etc. and there was never a great choice of upgrades.

    If, however, you see one that:

    * Already has a ton of RAM
    * Has a better GPU than the entry-level Nvidia 7300
    * Is dirt cheap...

    ...then it would make a good Snow Leopard workhorse.
  11. macrumors 68030

    Nov 7, 2004
    One other - it only has a 32bit EFI so cannot boot a 64 bit kernel, if that matters to you. There has been some success in flashing the Mac Pro 2,1 firmware on it which increases the choice of cpus you can use. See Netkas' website forum for threads on this and for flashing video cards to get to work with it if that interests you.
  12. -jc
    macrumors member


    Jan 18, 2013
    No, its very outdated in terms of the CPU, RAM, Graphics card, etc it uses. And you can't upgrade them to the latest OS X either.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2005
    Halifax, Canada
    I have one. Only complaint is lack of 10.8.

    Running 10.7 off a pair of striped SSDs in the optical bay. Have four 3.5" HDDs in it, all WD Black Disks. Quad 2.66 is plenty fast.

    RAM can be had off eBay. You get stuff for any Intel Server 5000 system, not just the stuff made for the Mac Pro with the heat-fans.

    Was toying with the idea of getting the 2012 Mini before it was announced, but didn't like the lack of discrete GPU. Will see what 2013 brings for Mac Pro and Mac Mini.
  14. macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Well I am still running a 1,1 3GHz Mac Pro with 4 GB of ram and it still runs fine. A little frustrating that I cannot run Mountain Lion, and stuck on Lion, but still a fast machine. I use it with a 500GB Aperture Library / Photoshop as well as producing screencast tutorials.
  15. macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    i also have 1,1 and agree don't buy one unless it's like $100 or something significantly cheaper than a mini, which like others have said, would probably run circles around it with the possible exception of graphics, but someone else might be able to tell you more than i can on that, which of course would all depend on what card is the pro you were considering.
  16. macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd say no.

    My reasoning: (a) OS support is capped at OS X 10.7.5 Lion, (b) the PCIe is only 1.0 and not 2.0 or even 3.0, this limits how much power you'll get from video cards and which (NVIDIA) cards you can even use, (c) the cost of one used is comparable to a current-gen Mac mini with a quad-core Ivy Bridge Core i7 (6MB of Cache) based Mac mini, which will be faster than it in benchmarks. The only downside to that by comparison is lack of easy internal drive expansion...otherwise, it's superior in most respects.
  17. macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2009
    If you're looking to buy a new computer then I As some have alluded to already, it comes down to how you will use this computer for years to come. I have been running on my MacPro 1,1 for 5 years now.

    For my personal use, my MacPro does a fine job and I have yet to run into any issues due to having an old obsolete system. If anything, I will upgrade to the following: 5365 quad-core processors @ 3.0GHz, ATI Radeon HD 6870, and some more RAM and get a few more years from this box :D

    I primarily use my MacPro for college & hobby research. Nothing taxing like others here use their computers for. Anyway I had to put my two cents worth. For the money spent, I feel I have had an awesome run with my MacPro :D
  18. macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2010
    I have just bought a quad 3.0Ghz 2006 pro with 13gb RAM, ATI 5770 etc. and it flies!

    I'm a photographer/graphic designer and it runs CS6 amazingly well and I can edit 50+ layer PSD's with ease. Handling large Lightroom Catalogs is as fluid as it can be too!

    A 2006 Mac Pro is still adequate for most tasks, even for todays standards, and can see myself using this machine for years to come. The only downside so far is that I cannot upgrade to Mountain Lion easily.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2013

    I got a nice old mac pro 1.1 upgraded during the last 7 years.... and it works very well. Added RAM, upgraded the graph card, use of hybrid HDD Momentus .... depending on your need (video, music, image) you can still live with for a while.
    then depending on the price you pay, you can do the same with newer mac's but the advantage of a mac pro is that you can change the inside components.

    Things like usb 3.0, Thunderbolt etc.... should not be for you mandatory.
  20. Dc2006ster, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    I agree with those who say yes if the price is right. I have a 1,1 2006 2x2.66GHz quad cores, with 20 GB RAM and do photo and video editing but purely for personal purposes not as a business.

    Advantages over a mini are the ability to easily replace or upgrade the video card and RAM ( and to a limited degree the CPU) and have internal optical drives and hard drives.

    I have 4 x 2TB hard drives and a SSD internally. The SSD is the boot drive and for applications, one for time machine, one for video work, one for still photography and music, the other has three partitions, one for Snow Leopard, one for Documents, the other is a clone of the SSD. All this internally. No power cables, no external cases, all SATA and when Time Machine fills I simply pull it out and insert a larger drive.

    I do not care about Mountain Lion and the machine does everything I need at an acceptable speed so to me it is not obsolete. For what it is worth, the Geekbench score 64 bit is about 10200.

    It is a great machine. If the price is right, get it.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    If you're buying a mac pro, don't buy anything older than the 2009 model. Anything pre- 2009 is basically ancient and going to be outclassed by a current mac mini. the 2006-2008 mac pros might be worth keeping if you're an owner already but they're not worth spending on.


    Those older SATA connections are slow compared with USB 3.

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