2006 2.66 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mooseface, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. mooseface macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #1
    This is my first post here but I've been looking around for quite a while, so hi!

    Basically I was introduced to apple after my dad was able to blag a powerbook G4 from his work, as they were going to throw it out. I've been using it for about a year and love it! The problem is I'm on a film production degree and so do a lot of editing, after effects and soon to be 3d work. The G4 is already slow just having itunes, safari and a word document so it really can't handle much more intensive stuff.

    I've been looking at getting a 2006 quad 2.66 mac pro off ebay but wondered what you guys thought. I know it will be a nice jump, but is it worth dropping £1000 on a computer that is already a few years old? I'm not wanting to spend much more than £1000, but would stretch if I found the right config as I'm selling lots of things already to be able to afford it. Should I try and find a 2008 quad or octo 2.8? What kind of graphics card should I be looking for to be doing 3ds max and other 3d programs?

    Cheers for the help

    Olly
     
  2. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #2
    Hello,

    I have a 2006 Mac Pro with 2.66's and can honestly say it is still a great machine. It is still plenty fast in all of the things I like to do, Final Cut pro CS4 suite and such. I bought mine with the X1900XT video card and then just recently put a 8800GT graphics card in it due to gaming on bootcamp. I think these machines still have plenty of life left in them.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
     
  3. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

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    #3
    Quad or Octo 2008 Mac Pro with a 4870 sounds good.
     
  4. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #4
    I have the 2006 2.66 MP, and I love it. It's still very fast and capable, and will remain so for years to come. If you could find one, though, a 2008 octo would double your cores and be guaranteed to work with the 4870.
     
  5. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #5
    I'm American, so I don't know this, but I would guess that wouldn't be possible for ~£1000.

    That said, the 2006 mac pro is a solid machine.
     
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
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    England
    #6
    They are perfectly capable machines and for around £1,000 are a decent choice. It might be older tech but it is far from redundant.
     
  7. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #7
    there was a good article written in macworld by kirk mcelhearn called "Why I don't need a new Mac Pro". It was on the last page of the February 2009 edition. Here is an excerpt.

    Basically it talks about how historically, CPUs have been a major system bottleneck, but with the Intel core architecture, newer computers only get further and further ahead of software. I have the Mac Pro Classic, and I agree that this computer has more horsepower than 99% of the available software can handle. Which means that by getting a newer machine with even more horsepower doesn't make a whole lot of difference until the software catches up with it. So, if you have £1000 and want to get a used 2006 mac pro, i say you should get it, because by the time you're ready to upgrade to a newer more powerful machine, maybe the software that you want to use on it will actually put all that horsepower to work.
     
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Japan
    #8
    I haven't read the article yet but I can say it's definitely true for me. For general computing there's very little improvement between the 2006 2.66 and the 2009 2.66. Very little indeed. There is improvement but it's so miniscule it's ridiculous. If I were to put a price tag on the differences I guess it would be $450 to $500. :) If you can get a 2006 2.0 and buy a pair of X5355 or X5365 for a 2.66 or 3.0 octad, either an 8800 or a 4870, and then up the RAM to 8 or 16 GB I would go for it / do it! You'll end up with a machine that for most intents and purposes is identical to and even better in some ways than a new 2009 2.66 octad costing $3,400 more. That's an incredible savings - especially when IMO the differences are only worth $450 to $500. :D
     
  9. mooseface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #9
    Cheers for all the info! I've found a really good deal quad 2.66, 320gb HDD, 5gb RAM, NVIDIA geforce 7300GT and 2 Dell S2209W 22" monitors all for £1100! Going to have a look at the weekend and I'll let you all know if I get it.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #10
    Not a bad suggestion. ;) I presume you really like bargain hunting. Certainly not a bad trait to have, particularly these days. :D
     
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #11
    Well, :D Yeah I guess. I think in this economy with the US and Britain trying to eat themselves [international banking scams] there's probably a lot of folks who would appreciate a little honesty. I haven't looked at the US or UK auction and back stock outlet sites but they're pretty easy to find in Japan.

    hehe I just ran across twenty four ProLiant BL460c server blades with 4GB RAM, 36GB 10K RPM drives, and two x5365 xeons all for $550 each. I'm sooooo tempted to buy them all! :D
     
  12. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #12
    > I know it will be a nice jump, but is it worth dropping £1000 on a computer that is already a few years old?

    That's about what they're worth these days.

    I'm typing this on a 06/2.66. Best computer I've ever owned. If you're coming from a G4, then I would say it's definitely worth it (if not overpowered).

    These are 64-bit machines (as all Mac Pros are), so they'll be fully supported in Mac OS X 10.6. Which means these boxes should last /at least/ another 2-3 years, which is pretty crazy for a machine that's already 3 years old.

    The only issue you might run into is with the RAM. These boxes use FB-DIMM sticks, which basically run slower, hotter, and suck up more power then your garden variety DDR3 (which is what the 09's use). They also cost considerably more money, and you can't buy them from normal computer resellers, because the heatsinks on the FBDIMM sticks Apple uses are *larger* then that of normal server-grade FBDIMM memory (and the non-Apple certified stuff will overheat and die).

    If you get the box with what you "want" for RAM (I'd say at least 2 or 4GB), then you should be fine for the future. But RAM prices for that stuff are only going to skyrocket in the near future since none of the new machines require it, and Intel has pretty much abandoned it for all their motherboards.

    -SC
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    I like bargains. ;) That's why after weighing out the situation, I went DIY this time. Though I have a strange habit of doing so with my own gear. :p I prefer to find new tasks for older systems, usually converting into some sort of backup system, or lower level whatever. :D

    As for the ProLiant's, now you've got me drooling. :rolleyes: Lucky <censored>. :D :p
    FB-DIMM isn't too bad these days, considering what it was. ;)

    $99USD for a 4GB kit (2-2GB sticks) at OWC.
     
  14. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
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    Japan
    #14
    Just read that article bozz... I think his two bottom paragraphs sum it up pretty well:

    That's just about right. The new 2009 machines have two basic differences. One is that the memory controller is now CPU embedded making it a tad faster. And the other is that the new chips now have HyperThreading (HT) - a 5 or 6 year old technology. The HT needs to be turned OFF in too many instances for my interests tho so that just leaves the memory speed-up which is probably like a 2% to 5% increase in overall performance. Like the author above states so eloquently that's "nothing radical enough to incite [my] geek lust".

    Kinda disappointing really - in 2007 I was expecting 2009 or 2010 to be the year we got 12 or 16 physical cores. :p

    Also I wouldn't say that the FB-DIMMs are "slow" or anything! They're faster than DDR2. A 64-bit DDR2-667 DRAM bus has a peak transfer rate of 5.3 GB/s, a single FBDIMM channel can support a peak bandwidth of 8 GB/s sustained as i recall. In dual-channel it's of course twice that. ;) The power consumption while I do think higher, isn't all that bad either. For example, for two DR x8 FBDIMMs in a system with a total channel bandwidth of 6 GB/s and with AMB power at 6W, the approximate individual FBDIMM power is about 11W.

    • Each FBDIMM has two ranks with nine DRAM per rank.
    • Each DRAM consumes about 280mW of power.
    • The AMB consumes about 6W of power.
    • Total FBDIMM power = (18 x 280mW) + 6W = ~11W. ​

    etc.
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #15
    The IMC is nice, but won't benefit everyone. It was designed for servers, not desktops. Ye olde CPU/memory intensive usage.

    It's not going to help speed up web browsing to hyperspeed. :p DSL/cable connections are just too slow for it to matter. :rolleyes: ;)

    Not yet. To me, the delays are a combination of technological barriers (semi tech needed to be developed), before the parts can be. Then tack on the desire for Intel or AMD to make a profit. We end up with baby steps.
    FB-DIMM is certainly no slouch, and it doesn't need much power. 10-11W is nothing to complain about. ;) It's not an nVidia NF200 afterall. :) Though both do run rather hot. :D :p
     
  16. mooseface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    #16
    So I got the mac pro. Haven't had chance to really stretch its legs but I ca already tell it's going to be nice and fast! It's in its temporary home at my girlfriends uni room but I'll be taking it home in the week to really test it out! Only got the one monitor set up at the moment, I might sell them both and get a 24" Dell, thoughts?
     

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  17. Trivial rock macrumors regular

    Trivial rock

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    Oct 9, 2008
    #17
    Im not sure how much you will get for 2 22" dell monitors, but the 2408wfp retails for £550.

    If you are looking for a larger screen on a budget then LG do some 24" monitors and come in 1920 x 1080 and 1920 x 1200 flavours at £210 and £300 respectively.

    I purchased a dell 2709W monitor for my 08 MP and had issues with bad ghosting. Ended up buying the £210 LG monitor, since I don't do 'colour correct' work the LG monitor has worked out great for me. Also being 1920 x 1080 it has a aspect ratio of 16:9 which is good for when I watch the occasional film (works v. well with 4od and iPlayer).

    I tend to find a 24" screen holds 2 x A4 documents very well side by side for easy comparison and also allows you to view large spread sheets well. Also if you are a student and you are lacking space 1 x 24" will take up less room than 2 x 22" monitors.

    Enjoy the new MP thats a great set up :)
     
  18. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Japan
    #18
    That's what I have and am loving it! Even for professional photography it's good enough!
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #19
    :eek: Blasphemer! :D :p
     
  20. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Jan 9, 2008
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    Japan
    #20
    I know. I'm a wicked wicked boy! I even notice banding once or twice a year and don't tell anyone! ;)
     
  21. Trivial rock macrumors regular

    Trivial rock

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #21
    Which LGs are you using?
     
  22. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #22
    I am sure you will love that system. It really is fast enough for everything I do. I also think it will be fast enough for years to come.
     
  23. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #23
    FLATRON L246WH 24" $200

    I think it was the cheapest model there was in any brand. :)

    I was all set to buy an Eizo Color Edge. I hadn't done any homework at the time and based on a few forum posts thought it was all about the contrast ratings. :p These are something like 1:2000 and the ColorEdges were like 1:600 or 1:800. Haha. Anyway I decided to buy a bunch of the LGs and replace all of the CRTs in the house & studio instead of just my two workstation 21 inchers. About a year later while beta testing for a company I was employed with, I turned in a bug report about how their rendered gradient falloffs were banded. :D

    Needless to say I was surprised and embarrassed when the section president guessed what was happening and told me about 6-bit TN and the other 4 or 5 panel types. :eek:

    As they die I'll be replacing them with 8-bit panels - probably. :)
     
  24. Trivial rock macrumors regular

    Trivial rock

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #24
    Wow $200 for the L246WH over here the cheapest I can get one of those for is £300 on amazon! I got the W2442PA for £210, it was a little wide at first but I have got used to the 16:9 aspect and it is actually pretty good for films etc.
    It serves me fine for aperture and casual movies in iMovie however it may get downgraded soon to be on a mac mini for home theatre in the bedroom and Ill pick up a suitable graphics card for my 08 MP and get the 24" cinema display.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #25
    :eek: Busted! :D

    I still like Eizo, but they've gotten too expensive these days. :( I took a look at one I was interested in. Then I saw the $5K+ price. :eek:

    So I settled for a refurbed NEC 2490 for less than $800USD, including an extended warranty and shipping. :) It took a little getting used to, and a few calibrations, but it's fine. Fewer headaches at least. :p
     

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