3,1 Quad vs a 5,1 Quad

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
Thinking about buying a 3.2GHz Quad 5,1 to replace my 2.8GHz Quad 3,1 on eBay for a really good price.

* The geek bench scores between them both are significantly higher on the quad 5,1. In basic real-world tasks, is there going to be a perceivable difference?

* I notice that the 5,1 quads run at 1066Mhz instead of 1333Mhz for the ram speed. I assume that dropping a 3.33GHz or a 3.42Ghz will change the ram speed to 1333MHz, if the ram is 1333MHz?

* I do enjoy gaming. I had my mind set on aa 680 GTX, but I'm willing to entertain other options. I'm looking for a no-frills GPU with boot-screen and all that "just works" with a limit of $200.

* Part of this is inspired because my girlfriend wants my 3,1, so I'm "in need" to update to something better and would still like a tower. Need something to tide me over until the new Mac Pros come along.

The seller is also selling a 2.66GHz Quad for $50 less. I assume if i'm going to upgrade to a 3.33GHz Hex, I should go for the 2.66GHz model and pocket the change...

How can I assume that either of his models are true 5,1's? Is there a build date on the back of the Mac Pro?
 
Last edited:

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,262
6,860
Hong Kong
Thinking about buying a 3.2GHz Quad 5,1 to replace my 2.8GHz Quad 3,1 on eBay for a really good price.

* The geek bench scores between them both are significantly higher on the quad 5,1. In basic real-world tasks, is there going to be a perceivable difference?

* I notice that the 5,1 quads run at 1066Mhz instead of 1333Mhz for the ram speed. I assume that dropping a 3.33GHz or a 3.42Ghz will change the ram speed to 1333MHz, if the ram is 1333MHz?

* I do enjoy gaming. I had my mind set on aa 680 GTX, but I'm willing to entertain other options. I'm looking for a no-frills GPU with boot-screen and all that "just works" with a limit of $200.

* Part of this is inspired because my girlfriend wants my 3,1, so I'm "in need" to update to something better and would still like a tower. Need something to tide me over until the new Mac Pros come along.

The seller is also selling a 2.66GHz Quad for $50 less. I assume if i'm going to upgrade to a 3.33GHz Hex, I should go for the 2.66GHz model and pocket the change...

How can I assume that either of his models are true 5,1's? Is there a build date on the back of the Mac Pro?
One of the easiest way to check if that's a real 5,1 (especially useful if no internet connection avail) is to open system report and check the SMC version.

A flashed 4,1 still contain the 4,1 SMC firmware, which version is 1.39f5

For a real 5,1, that should be 1.39f11.

Unless the 5,1 is more or less the same price as the 4,1 you can get. Otherwise, it's usually more cost effective to buy a single processor 4,1. Flash the firmware by yourself, and then upgrade the CPU.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,520
6,774
* I notice that the 5,1 quads run at 1066Mhz instead of 1333Mhz for the ram speed. I assume that dropping a 3.33GHz or a 3.42Ghz will change the ram speed to 1333MHz, if the ram is 1333MHz?
Apple shipped the 5,1 with 1333 RAM. So if you upgrade the CPU to a model compatible with 1333 RAM, then yes, it will switch to the faster speed. I think you need to do an SMC reset.

This of course assumes that it is a real 5,1 and the ram is the default Apple RAM.

The seller is also selling a 2.66GHz Quad for $50 less. I assume if i'm going to upgrade to a 3.33GHz Hex, I should go for the 2.66GHz model and pocket the change...
If he's selling this as a 5,1 then beware. There is no such thing as a 2.66GHz 5,1. The slowest 5,1 Apple sold is a 2.8. A 4,1 flashed to a 5,1 is not a 5,1--period. There are many, many differences other than the firmware. Saying that it is a model that it is not would be straight up lying.
 

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
Yep. The fact that he put a 2.66 Quad as "5,1" is impossible because there's no such thing.

His 3.2 Ghz ad is "questionable" as a 5,1 too. It could simply be a 4,1 that's flashed.

I think the best way to score a 5,1 is to just rely on Craigslist so that you can verify it locally. Not only that, but Mac Pros will be cheaper on Craigslist than on eBay. The eBay market is flooded with faux 5,1s.
 

WayneStewart

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2008
28
4
Vancouver, BC, Canada
I'd consider any speed of Mac Pro a possible flashed 4,1.
I have a 2009 and a 2010 Mac Pro. When my 3.46 processor arrived I decided I'd keep the 2010 upgraded it. Of course now that I had the 2.8 processor left, it went into the 2009.
The only real reason I chose the 2010 over the 2009 is that I may spring for a dual processor Mac Pro and just swap the CPU trays
 

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
Hi guys,

Need some advice.

I have a chance to buy a 5,1 locally on craigslist. It's a CONFIRMED 5,1 with a 2.8GHz Quad. It's bone stock, and is owned by a business owner.

He's wanting $700 for it. I told him that $600 is a more fair price.

IMO,$600 is not a "steal" but it's something that I would budge on.

Am I wrong?
 

DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
928
228
Rancho Bohemia, California
Hi guys,

Need some advice.

I have a chance to buy a 5,1 locally on craigslist. It's a CONFIRMED 5,1 with a 2.8GHz Quad. It's bone stock, and is owned by a business owner.

He's wanting $700 for it. I told him that $600 is a more fair price.

IMO,$600 is not a "steal" but it's something that I would budge on.

Am I wrong?
I don't think you are wrong.

OTOH, you could get a 4,1 quad for less and spend the difference on a used hex core Xeon W3680 or 90 or X5680 or 90, update the EFI, install the CPU (easy on single CPU 4,1), and end up with a significantly more powerful machine which, based on your user name, I presume you will be using for audio recording. Most DAW software will make great use of the additional cores, and you'll get a CPU architecture and clock speed upgrade as well.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,133
2,326
Hi guys,

Need some advice.

I have a chance to buy a 5,1 locally on craigslist. It's a CONFIRMED 5,1 with a 2.8GHz Quad. It's bone stock, and is owned by a business owner.

He's wanting $700 for it. I told him that $600 is a more fair price.

IMO,$600 is not a "steal" but it's something that I would budge on.

Am I wrong?
Really depends con condition, configuration and how badly you want it. If it's in good shape and runs well, IMHO, $700. is not a bad deal.

Lou
 

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
I guess that depends on the buyer, like anything, Lou. There's a really nice confirmed 5,1 on eBay right now for $600 shipped, with "best offer" available. Not only that, it's loaded with ram and comes with a Samsung SSD, as well as the factory spinner, and the original box. I really consider $700 for a base config quad 5,1 to be too expensive in 2017. My motto has always been, if it's more expensive than eBay, don't buy!

Question. I'm going to start getting my Hard drives in order on my Mac Pro 3,1 so it can be transferred easily into my future 5,1. Should I wait on the below two items until I get the 5,1?:

1) Loading Windows 10 on a 256GB SSD. Is the process of doing this on a 3,1 going to affect anything when I plop it into a 5,1 when it's all installed? One thing i remember reading is to disable .EFI whenever mentioned on the Bootcamp installer. Is there a nice-step-by-step process for installing Windows 10 on it's own drive?

2) Loading MacOS Sierra on an Acelsior S PCie w/ new Evo HDD. Is the process of doing this on a 3,1 going to affect anything when I plop it into a 5,1 when it's all installed?
 
Last edited:

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
Looks like I'm slated to go over and look at it tomorrow. He's agreed to the $600 price.

I already know it's a real 5,1. So I'll just make sure it fires on, check out exactly what hardware is inside, and make sure that Bluetooth and wireless works. Other than that, I'll snab it!

There's lots of W3690s on eBay for $130 shipped. They are almost always from China/Hong Kong. Is there any reason I should steer clear from those. W3690 listings from the US are like $170ish shipped.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,133
2,326
^^^^I'm very leery of China. I have a set of Chinese knock off spark plugs sitting in my garage now. Neither the seller (welljob), eBay or PayPal would do anything about them. I discovered they were knockoffs about a year after I bought them.

My eBay buying has been much reduced, and I will avoid China at all costs.

Lou
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,799
2,111
Hi guys,

Need some advice.

I have a chance to buy a 5,1 locally on craigslist. It's a CONFIRMED 5,1 with a 2.8GHz Quad. It's bone stock, and is owned by a business owner.

He's wanting $700 for it. I told him that $600 is a more fair price.

IMO,$600 is not a "steal" but it's something that I would budge on.

Am I wrong?
Others have mentioned lower prices than this. If that seller thinks he can get $700, he may wait. I tend to be fairly cautious about my spending limits on older hardware. If money isn't a factor, it's usually preferable to err toward a newer model.
 

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
Yep, he's agreed to $600. I think that's a more fair price. A fair price for the buyer and for the seller on old, but good tech. :)

It looks like as of current, Xeon-X5690s are where it's happening when it comes to lower cost, and US sellers on eBay. I'll probably snag one of those since, the performance should be identical to a W3690.

What makes making me feel "OK" about paying $600 for old tech is the fact that I could sell my 3,1 Mac Pro for $250-300ish. So that makes my net spending about $300-350 to get a 5,1, which sounds reasonable to me.

I'm assuming that a 5,1 Mac Pro will feel $300 faster than a 3,1 Mac Pro in general computing, HD Video editing, transcoding, and even gaming (with a faster GPU of course). And the fact that I can't use MacOS Sierra yet kinda sucks!

What do you guys think is a fair price for my 3,1 Mac Pro?

Original Owner
Original Box
2.8GHz Quad Core
8GB Ram
1TB HDD
Apple Bluetooth/Wifi
Superdrive
Apple Radeon 4870 512MB w/ original "Apple Upgrade" box
I may even have the original Mighty Mouse. Keyboard is long-gone.
Physical condition is excellent.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,133
2,326
What makes making me feel "OK" about paying $600 for old tech is the fact that I could sell my 3,1 Mac Pro for $250-300ish. So that makes my net spending about $300-350 to get a 5,1, which sounds reasonable to me.
Definitely Yes. For a mediocre cash outlay, a 5,1 cMP can be made feel young again. I've had both a 3,1 and a 5,1.

Lou
 
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fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
Just ordered an Evo 500GB and an OWC Accelsior! The build begins, so stay tuned....going to need some feedback.
 

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
$150 on Houston CraigsList. Maybe more if you're in a sparsely populated area with links to someplace famous - like Malibu Adjacent.
I'm not sure of the rules, but you can post me those Craigslist ads? Either here or in PM? I took a look on your CL area, and I didn't' find any. I did find some pretty great deals, but nothing that says my 3,1 is only worth $150.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,799
2,111
I'm not sure of the rules, but you can post me those Craigslist ads? Either here or in PM? I took a look on your CL area, and I didn't' find any. I did find some pretty great deals, but nothing that says my 3,1 is only worth $150.
It may be worth more, but it's often difficult to estimate using Craigslist. Many people spam it with overpriced items, because the listing is free.
 

fendersrule

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2008
418
319
Got the 5,1. She's a virgin on the inside. Great shape.

For ***** and giggles, I tested the 4870 vs the 5770 in the 3,1.

Interestingly enough, the 5770 does better at 1440p, with less wattage, and is much more quiet. Both are pretty bad scores, but the 5770 has a significantly better bad score.
 

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Flint Ironstag

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2013
1,155
640
Houston, TX USA
I'm not sure of the rules, but you can post me those Craigslist ads? Either here or in PM? I took a look on your CL area, and I didn't' find any. I did find some pretty great deals, but nothing that says my 3,1 is only worth $150.
Look daily, they pop up all the time. Same deal with high end Dell, HP, and Lenovo workstations. The energy companies churn these boxes all the time. Mother of all Hackintoshes on the cheap.
 
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