2006 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Des Zac, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Des Zac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #1
    I am thinking about getting a 2006 Mac Pro, and while this may not happen for a couple months, there is one selling point that I can't get my mind off of... What are the odds of this being supported by "Cougar" (10.8's supposed name by me :D)

    I really want to get a Pro, mainly for the 4 internal drives and upgrade-ability, but if it means not being supported in about a year or two, I really don't want to get it.


    So, does anyone see why it would/why it wouldn't be supported?


    Thanks for the insight!
     
  2. allmanbrother macrumors member

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    Jun 2, 2010
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    United States
  3. tipman2000 macrumors member

    tipman2000

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    #3
    if it has core2duo, yes if it is coreduo, you are already out of luck even with lion. but honestly when buying a 5 year old computer you cant really be selective about support. newer is better in the computer world. 2006 model dont get me wrong is still a very capable machine though.
     
  4. barkmonster, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #4
    If the minimum spec to run Lion is a dual core, 2Ghz Core 2 Duo, I doubt they'll make the minimum specs a quad core, 2Ghz Xeon in the full version update of Mac OS X.

    The 2Ghz Mac Pro was a slightly cheaper build to order system too so you're much more likely to be finding a used 2.66Ghz Mac Pro which would also be more than capable for several years to come.

    Just for comparison, here's the Geekbench scores for several models of Mac, some of which came out this year and have dual cores which would presumably mean they're also faster than the 2006 Mac Pro at single threaded tasks:-

    2008 Macbook 2Ghz Dual: 2706
    2006 Mac Pro 2Ghz Quad: 3714
    2006 Mac Pro 2.66Ghz Quad: 4833
    2011 MacBook Pro 2.3Ghz Dual: 5900
    2011 MacBook Pro 2Ghz Quad: 8794
    2010 Mac Pro 2.8Ghz Quad: 8839

    As you can see, the minimum specs for running Lion are way below the power of a 2006 Mac Pro, a current Mac Pro is at least 3 times as fast as it needs to be to run Lion and the new Core i systems are so quick, the high end MacBook Pro actually gives the entry level Mac Pro a run for it's money!

    Apart from that, the current Mac Pros have 2 short-comings that are bound to be addressed sooner rather than later when the current models are already from 2010:-

    1) 4 or 8 RAM slots when they use triple channel RAM. They either have 1 slot too many per CPU or 2 slots too few depending on if you see it as a wasted RAM slot or insufficent RAM slots.

    2) SATA 3Gb/s. All Core i series Macs now have SATA 6Gb/s.
     
  5. Des Zac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #5
    Okay thanks! I kept wanting to get as New Mini but I just can't stand not being able to customize it like a Mac Pro, but seeing how well it performs compared to more recent Macs, I have no doubt it would be great!
     
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    2006 Mac Pros use EFI32. if Apple decides to restrict 10.8 to EFI64, you're out of luck.

    I wouldn't bother buying one. slow CPUs, expensive RAM, few GPU options, and power-hungry. if you need cores, get a 2008, otherwise just get a Mini. I have the feeling you only need a Mini.
     
  7. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #7
    The Mac Mini also has faster SATA than even the current Mac Pro and it seems to be a trivial matter to buy the lower flex cable and fit a SATA 6Gb/s SSD in addition to the internal drive it already comes with (and for little more than Apple charge for trading up to 7200 rpm drive too)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTvUGLF8NPs

    I'm completely sold on the Mac Mini myself
     
  8. holmesf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    #8
    I have a Mac Pro 2006 (Quad Core 2.66GHz) and here are my thoughts:

    It's an amazing machine in that it refuses to go obsolete. It's been my main computer for 5 years, and I work as a professional iOS developer and graduate student in computer graphics.

    You can upgrade the GPU to a Radeon 5770, which is still a very competitive card. It appears though that upgrading to a Radeon 5870 has diminishing returns though, maybe indicating that future GPU upgrade possibilities aren't great. But for now you can get higher graphics performance out of it than even the newest iMacs.

    Keep in mind that the 4 internal drives are SATA II, rather than SATA III, which will limit how useful SSD upgrades are in the future. It already can't take advantage of the fastest drives.

    The machine supports tons of RAM, but unfortunately RAM is starting to get very very expensive for this machine compared to other models. Personally I will not be upgrading the RAM of mine ever again for this reason (It's 8GB now). 8GB RAM for the 2006 Mac Pro costs at least $217, while you can get 8GB for the 2010 model for $80.

    The USB ports don't provide enough power to charge an iPad.

    It will never be able to support thunderbolt.

    It uses many times more electricity compared to similarly powerful new macs (eg the Mac Mini).
     
  9. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2006
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    UK
    #9
    There is no such thing as a Mac Pro with Core Duo CPUs. The very first (2006) ones had Core 2 Duo Woodcrest Xeons.
     
  10. FredTheDeadHead macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Location:
    SoCal
    #10
    > I have a Mac Pro 2006 (Quad Core 2.66GHz) and here are my thoughts:
    >
    > It's an amazing machine in that it refuses to go obsolete.

    Yep, I also have a 2006 Pro (mine is a Quad 2.0 Ghz version) and as you say, it just keeps being productive.


    > Keep in mind that the 4 internal drives are SATA II, rather than SATA III,
    > which will limit how useful SSD upgrades are in the future. It already can't > take advantage of the fastest drives.

    OWC just posted a note that you can use a new SATA 3 RAID card, and run the cable from the RAID card to the drive bays. The RAID card is not bootable though, so you would either need to keep one drive bay to the old SATA 2 controller or run a cable to a new HD in your second Optical bay. But that would be a great use for a SSD.

    > The machine supports tons of RAM, but unfortunately RAM is starting to get > very very expensive for this machine compared to other models.

    Agreed, this is one of the main limits of this model.

    > It will never be able to support thunderbolt.

    I expect that there will be some sort of PCI card sometime that will give us some of the features of TB. Don't know of one yet, but it seems like a obvious product.

    > It uses many times more electricity compared to similarly powerful new macs (eg the Mac Mini).

    Yes, and while this is not a big deal for many, if you leave it on all of the time (home server, etc...) is does add up. And can be a deal killer if you rely on solar power.
     
  11. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #11
    There's no such thing as a "Core 2 Duo [generation] Xeon" either.

    Core 2 Duo/Quad/Extreme and Xeon are two completely different product lines.
     
  12. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #12
    different product lines that are based on the same microarchitecture. Woodcrest Xeons and Core 2 Duos were the same microarchitecture. right now everyone is waiting on Sandy Bridge Xeons. that's the same "Sandy Bridge" as in all the other Macs.
     
  13. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #13
    Oh, I see, thanks for the clarification.
     
  14. childoftheko4n macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2011
    #14
    Just recently switched to a 2011 Mini from a 2006 MBP, the thing is beast :) I dont get why they dont get much love around here? Got the base model, upgraded to 8GB ram and the little guy is blazing :)
     
  15. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #15
    Good to hear!

    I plan on doing exactly the same thing once I can afford it and because I already have a 2.5" SSD, I can add that from day 1 using the lower flex cable which costs a 3rd of what it would to buy an external firewire case.
     
  16. armdn, Feb 16, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012

    armdn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    #16
    I also have a Mac Pro 2006 which i successfully upgraded. This will be shame for Apple if our macs decided to be old... It's not deal. I have a great customized mac pro:

    I installed newer for him processors - two E5345 2.33 GHz Quad Xeons, better graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4870, updated efi firmware to match Mac Pro2,1 model, installed to internal SATA-II two SSD in RAID-0 (read/write speed over 400 mbyte per second), BluRay RW drive, Apple MacPro RAID Card and added additional 3 drives whis two of them in second RAID set 1, memory 16 GB, i installed new AirPort Card that support 450MBps, and all features in Lion. The power consumption in PSU usually about ~400Watts. I am not agree that my Mac Pro slow or old too much to handle newer OS. My geekbench score about 9000 points, FCPX works without a glitch in real-time. Games works fast and smooth... It's a greatest computer i ever had.
     
  17. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #17

    You probably have read by now that 2006 Macs are no longer on the list of Mountain Lion's supported hardware. It would still be a great Windows or Linux machine, though...
     

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