1,1 MP Owners: What's YOUR plan?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kenmitchell1969, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. kenmitchell1969 macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2009
    So here’s the deal….

    I’m expecting to come into some extra cash in a month or so.

    Prior to February's MBP refresh announcement, I was ALL SET to use that money to upgrade from my 1,1 MP with 9GB RAM to a 3.33 Hexacore MP. Didn’t have a doubt in my mind.

    However, the advent of Sandy Bridge and the potential of Thunderbolt - and more importantly the LOOOOOOONG wait for when the MP finally gets those in an update probably sometime in 2012 - got me to thinking and questioning exactly how important is Thunderbolt to Mac Pros, and in particular how I should now proceed. :confused:

    On laptops and Mini’s the benefit of Thunderbolt is obvious. On a MP, if you work with large amounts of HD Video on large external arrays and do rendering and the like, I can see a definite benefit from Thunderbolt there as well. But for someone like myself who doesn’t work on video or Photoshop like that and is primarily into Logic Studio/Ableton Live audio production, I’m having a hard time seeing the benefit on a MP except to say that I’d have the port for the “future”.

    But the last few months or so, I’ve become more and more aware of the age of my machine with more beach balls, occasional sluggishness, etc. It performs well mind you, but you can definitely tell its not the speed demon it once was. Yet I’m hesitant to pour money into SSD's, GPU and RAM updates for a machine that I question how long Apple will really support going forward when I could put those $$$ towards a new machine.

    If my machine was a 2009 model or above, it probably wouldn’t matter as much. However, I tend to keep my machines for 3-5 years and even though it looks as though Lion will run fine on 32-bit EFI Macs for now, I can’t honestly say that I completely trust that Apple will continue to support those old EFI Macs beyond 10.7. At first, I thought that eventually someone would make 3rd party Thunderbolt PCI cards that I could just add to my machine, but even IF that were to happen, looking at the lack of video card support options for the 1,1 now, I'd say its a pipe dream at best. I’d like to think they’d support it throughout 10.7, but you never know. Besides, I'm betting that old-EFI Macs may be cut off in 10.8 anyway. So with that in mind, I feel that now’s as good a time as ever to upgrade especially with a few $$$ coming my way, but being caught in between product refreshes and new technology debuts in Thunderbolt/Sandy Bridge has done nothing but give me a headache! I've considered the new MBP's and Mini's, but as nice as those are, I want a desktop.

    Yes, I know that a MP is complete overkill for how I use it, but I originally bought it in 2006 solely for the flexibility of internal storage. Maybe that wasn’t the best reason to go with a workhorse machine like the Pro, but I had the money and that’s what I wanted at the time and it has worked well for me.

    But I have to be honest: even with my lack of reasoning for Thunderbolt for my uses, seeing the massive performance jump the MBP’s got in the last refresh and probably what will be seen to a greater degree in the upcoming iMacs, it now just feels plain wrong to even *consider* a current MP without Thunderbolt, SATA III and Sandy Bridge. But what's worse is that I know my tendencies all too well: it will be damn near impossible for me to wait until Feb-March 2012 (we hope) for the MP refresh with actual $$$ burning a hole in my pocket; so much so, that I’m now even considering one of the soon-to-be-updated iMacs to replace my system – even though I’m not thrilled about the idea of not being easily able to access the internal drive as I’ve gotten used to doing in the MP. But no matter how you slice it, obvious drawbacks aside, the value of an updated Sandy Bridge iMac with SSD options with that stunning massive display coupled with the expected proportional increases in performance like the MBP’s received is very hard to ignore.

    Sorry for the long post, but in the interest of saving my sanity, I’m hoping to get some opinions from fellow 1,1 owners. Save me from myself! :eek:

    What are the rest of you 1,1 MP owners planning to do?

    • Don't wait and upgrade to a current Pro Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge be damned?
    • Do wait until early 2012 for MP refresh? (Hopefully)
    • Bite the bullet and go with a soon-to-be-refreshed iMac?
    • Or keep your trusty old 1,1 until it dies?

    I don't need a new machine to make a living, but I do want a new machine nonetheless. It just that's its an exciting and confusing time to consider upgrading. Just hoping to canvas fellow 1,1 MP owners for friendly input!

  2. MRiOS macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2010
    I'll be keeping mine until it dies. That said I may look at getting a mac mini in the future and just using my 1,1 as a home server for all of my media and files. As long as they still make SATA hard drives, I'll be fine with using my 1,1 for server use (may sell the 5770 upgrade I got and leave it headless in the print room, but hey, it'll still do what I need it to.)
  3. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    I'm not quite in your shoes, but I relate to the eagerness/interest in the next MacPro.

    I have recently made some impatient and overly aggressive upgrades that I now am second-guessing. I think to myself: I've spent half the price of a new Mac Pro on RAM and storage.

    I am starting to post Memento-style stickies to myself: "Keep your powder dry! Too much is poised to change with Lion, GPUs, SandyBridge etc. etc. Wait. Wait. Wait."

    My hunch is that if you do anything but wait...you'll regret it when that next Mac Pro is announced.

    I'm telling myself the same thing relative to SSDs. I'll be better off if I can wait 6 more months. Then I can get a boot drive that isn't a compromise in size.
  4. kenmitchell1969, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

    kenmitchell1969 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2009
    Both great replies!

    You might be right, IceIceMac. But in all honesty, I know a Sandy Bridge iMac would definitely do all I needed - especially as more TB peripherals become available, but I'd probably kick myself the first time I have an internal drive issue! Still, its hard to ignore the iMacs' bang-for-the-buck. It will be especially hard when all the glowing iMac reviews showing the big performance gains from Sandy Bridge start coming, but I may have to steal your stickies idea to keep from caving! :D

    I also considered MRIOS' idea of keeping the 1,1 to use as a media server. The internal bays offer great flexibility for that but the big power draw of running the 1,1 24/7 seems a bit much for that purpose, but I know people do it all the time (and I practically run mine like that now), so its still a possibility.

    Decisions, decisions...
  5. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    having sold my 2006 MP only in november last year, i can concur with your thoughts and worries. However from a hind sight perspective, and yes hind sight is a biatch, i would recommend you sit on your hands and run the early 2006 until Sandy Bridge makes an appearance next year.

    if need be for a speed update, i would go out and buy a SSD and reinstall my OS on that and leave me a WD black for my apps/ home folder.

    That should tie you over till SB is out.

    I loved my 2006 MP, it was a rocket, and i only upgraded cos i wanted an Octo. The videocard issue is pretty much nul and void as AMD seems to provide for the 2006 MP's anyways without the need for 64bit efi.

    I can understand your frustration if you game a little with a 7300gt, but then do yourself a favour and grab a new AMD card and it will breathe good life into the 2006 MP (i had a 4890 1GB card in mine and it hammered)

    so yeh, id stick with the 2006 unless you MUST buy something now. and if thats the case id grab a SSD (as you can use that in the SB MP when that comes out too :)

    cheers and be happy :D:apple:
  6. kenmitchell1969 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2009
    Sound advice, VanneDC.

  7. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    It sounds like you have no need right now, so it almost seems stupid to get a new MP. I'd wait, and get an SSD and an ATI 5770 to tide you over.

    Once you get a new 2012 MP you can reuse the SSD in it, and the 5770 will help the resale value of the 2006.
  8. pipep macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2007
    I'm keeping mine until it dies.

    Last week I bought the new mbp 2.2ghz 17', and must add that I'm thrilled with the speed of this notebook, maybe a bit faster than my 1.1 mp.
  9. dbhopkins macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2011
    I'd say stick with what you've got and get a SSD drive for the OS and programs. I did that and it made a huge difference and you can get a 120 GB SSD for a little over $200. As others said, that alone might tide you over for a while and soothe the upgrade itch.

    You didn't mention what kind of internal disc drives you have. If your drives are older or smaller, you might benefit by getting new 2 TB drives and configure them into a RAID. You can get some speed boost out of that too. You can get these for around $100 each.

    Don't think of these expenses as throwing away money, because if you buy a new Mac Pro when they come out, you can move your SSD and hard drives into your new Mac Pro, then sell your old 1,1 model with what you have in it now.

    If you feel like you need more RAM in your current machine, buy some used on eBay and then sell it back when you liquidate your 1,1 model. You'll probably sell it for a little less than what you paid for it now, so think of it as renting some RAM for around $50 for a year. Probably not a bad deal, that's less than a quarter a day.
  10. kenmitchell1969 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2009
    Excellent advice indeed. Duly noted.

    As far as my drives go, Bays 1 & 2 contain two 2TB WD drives (one is a SuperDuper clone of the other) for my massive iTunes and iPhoto libraries, sample libraries and Logic/Live project files. Bay 3 has my 1 TB iMovie/AVCHD video drive and Bay 4 houses the 1 TB OS/Apps/Home Directory - all of them are 7200RPM and no RAID.

    Deep down I know that your suggestion is the most sensible strategy, but the waiting for the refresh is damn hard - especially in light of the great MBP and upcoming iMac updates.

    Such is life I suppose :(

  11. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Upgraded to Raid SSD Boot, added RAM and new Graphics card and I'm doing fine at the moment. Would love to hold out until next January before I splurge on a new system.
  12. lewdvig macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    South Pole
    My plan is to enjoy my two awesome Macs. My retro beast and my MBP.

    Perhaps I'll get a mini too.
  13. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    A high-end Mac Mini won't quite do what I need it to, but it's not far off. So I'm hoping that the Mac Pro Classic is fully supported by OSX Lion and that the Minis are updated soon with core i processors and thunderbolt. If so, then I I can hang on to the Mac Pro until there is a Mini sufficient for my needs. Then I'll sell the MP and get a Mini, toss in a SSD to boot from and use external HDD via thunderbolt for media.
  14. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2004
    I recently semi-retired my 1,1 and replaced it with a 5,1. I'm glad I did. The new machine is noticeably faster. I kept the 1,1 as a backup.
    There will always be new faster machines coming down the pipe.
    You could wait, or, you could be enjoying a faster machine now.
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Well you look for a 2010 quad 2.8 on sale then do the mod that I did and for about 2500 to 2800 total you will have a 2010 hex 3.2.

    Then If you sell the old mac pro today you should get 1k or so.

    so for maybe 1800 or less you get a new very fast machine.

    link to the mod;

  16. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    I will probably add a pair of SSDs to mine (one for OS X, one for Windows) but other than that, I will keep the 1,1 for a bit longer, and perhaps upgrade once the next Mac Pro is released. Hopefully the graphics cards it comes with won't be antiques.
  17. kenmitchell1969 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2009
    Thanks for all the excellent replies. Its good to know that I'm not alone LOL

    That said, I'll probably follow the majority here and keep my trusty 1,1 for a little while longer and reassess the situation when Sandy Bridge is throughout the lineup...
  18. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    Since you don't need it for a living, I would say wait.
    I do use mine for a living so I came from an 06 1,1 2.66 with 16GB of ram, XT1900 and 7300 cards, 150 Raptor boot and two 1 TB drives, sold it yesterday for $1,500.

    I now use a 6 x 3.33, 32GB of ram, OWC SSD 120GB for boot in the lower optical bay and a total of 10TB of internal storage in the other 4 bays.

    In hindsight, waiting would have cost me thousands in time lost due to the much slower 1,1 so even if a Sandy Bridge machine comes out this time next year that makes me want to upgrade then, the cost to upgrade would be a fraction of the money the new machine will earn in shorter tasking times.
  19. Caesar_091 macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2005
    Yes, but I'm planning a few updates before "the end" :)

    a) from dual Xeon Woodcrest 3GHz (quad) to dual Xeon Clovertown 3GHz (octo)... just waiting for a good price for the two puppies
    b) since 10.6.7 for 2011's MBP update is out I'm waiting to get a clear view before getting a new -100% compatible- PC card (AMD 6xxx series)... maybe I'll wait 10.7 to be sure that Apple is going to change her "bad habits" with video cards upgrades :)
  20. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Mine, after almost 5 years, is still suitable for my needs. I'd rather buy new display than new MP ;) Maybe I'll add another SSD and more RAM. I'm doing 2D graphics and DTP on it i.e. nothing what requires more CPU and grahics card juice. I don't need more cores, 64 bit kernel etc.
    I have 1.1 2.66 GHz, 8GB RAM, SSD boot drive + RAID on mechanical HDDs, 7800GTX @Quadro FX4500 and certainly won't replace it with newer in next 2 years (at least).
  21. Jmx macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2006
    I've been waiting for a new MP with a decent nVidia graphic card for the last year.
    If the next model doesn't come with an option to choose a nice nVidia GTX 5 serie i don't know what to do... i need nVidia to run CUDA based 3D software which can't even start on an ATI card.
    Right now it is just insane to buy a new MP with an OK ATI card and then buy an overpriced Quadro 4000 card which only has 256 CUDA cores while the new GTX 580 has 512 CUDA cores and cost half of a Quadro card.

    Worst case scenario would be to buy a PC with Windows/Linux just to be able to run nVidia/CUDA... and i absolutely don't want to do that again... i love my MP.
    It's time for Apple to use standard off the shelf graphic cards without any special modifications to make sure the MP is competitive and upgradeable in the future, graphic/video and 3D artists who need CUDA won't invest in hardware they can't upgrade or even get with a nVidia graphic card, things move to fast in that area to be left behind.
    I know several people who has jumped back to PC just to be able to run new nVidia/CUDA cards.
    The Mac Pro needs to stay Pro, not a mediocre or "will have to due" computer.

    I hope more people who needs CUDA writes to Apple and nVidia and say so.
  22. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010

    I agree 200% but I don't think our opinions on the topic will mean much to Apple.

    Apple seems bent on opposing Nvidia GPUs in MacPros...and the only reason I can think of is to keep Adobe's Mercury from performing well on Apple boxes or to please/appease their partner Intel (who has a growing rivalry with Nvidia). Just my guesses but I can't think of any other reasons.

    You are completely correct about the 4000...it's the only current option for MacPros and it is both way overpriced and considerably underpowered.
  23. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    Well, I ended up selling my Mac Pro on ebay Sunday night. I only posted it Sunday morning and somebody used "But It Now". Probably should have had a higher price! Oh well. I don't need Pro horsepower anymore and I'm going to pick up the base model 15" MBP and upgrade to 8GB RAM and a better HDD.
  24. kenmitchell1969 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2009
    Sounds like a good plan, bozz2006. I've seriously been considering the same thing...
  25. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    I feel like the price for first gen Mac Pros is probably going to drop through the floor not long after Lion comes out and it becomes apparent that Apple most likely won't support the old hardware for new OS releases. If you're planning on selling now is the time to do it. My opinion.

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