3,1 Upgrade questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 50wyldeman, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. 50wyldeman macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2011
    Northern California
    Mac Pro 3,1 ~ Upgrade questions for you all~
    As stated I have an Early 08 Mac Pro 3,1 I have included screen caps to share the pertinent data my questions are as follows.

    I have 2.8 octos what is the best upgrade for those I can get ? I am looking for a direct replacement in that regard ( hope I said that correctly??)?

    I presently have 12 gigs (4x1 gig and 4x2 gig) would it make sense to scrap the 4 1 gig sticks and swap in 4 4 gig sticks??

    Mainly using Photoshop and doing Dreamweaver, however am picking up a big project that will involve lots of Video work, no after effects or anything to wild, mostly just direct editing video to be delivered Via youtube .

    I included the screen caps so you could get a feel for the "hotrodding" I have performed.

    I really love this machine as it was my first Mac and it has served me quite well, if there is a reasonable way to extend that a bit I would like to.




  2. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    I might be wrong (cuz there are greater experts around here), but I'm afraid there's not much you can do to upgrade a 3,1.

    Sure, you can try to find a pair of 3,2 Ghz quads to replace the 2,8 quads, but the CPU boost is around 10 percent and it might just not be worth it.

    Whether to upgrade the ram, depends on whether your current ram is insufficient. It pays to keep all 8 slots populated as memory throughput is at its highest, but again the speed boost may be largely theoretical.

    Looking at your current specs, I'd maybe consider a storage update, especially if you go for a PCI solution to circumvent the SataII -limitation (see e.g. http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/PCIe/OWC/Mercury_Accelsior/RAID)

    Alternatively, put the money in the bank and get a newer MP some fine day...

  3. OS6-OSX, Jun 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013

    OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    It may depend on your "big project" on how to tackle the upgrade. What format will the footage be? R3D 4K 5K, H.264, Alexa, F3? What video editor will you use? MC6, FCP7, FCPX, PP6? Will you need raid? Multicam project?

    I have "extended" my 3.1 MP to the point where I have no need/interest in the 2013 when or if it comes! :)
  4. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    For your 2008 Mac Pro, what I could think of is adding Nvidia 570GTX, or 580GTX or other higher cards. Though I think your Radeon 4870 is a strong card too. The 2008 Mac Pro is probably one of the most popular and longest usage Mac Pro that people like keeping this model. I also have one and still running well.
  5. 50wyldeman thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2011
    Northern California
    Thanks all for taking the time to reply < I worry I misworded it a bit I am very curious as to if there are processors that I can just swap in place of the 2.8 what the fastest ones would be and if they are direct drop ins so to speak? I have thought of going to 16 gigs of ram as well I must admit the machine is pretty quick I saw a really nice jump when I installed the SSD and SSD scratch disk.

    Again thank you for the replies
  6. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    I too have a 2x2.8GHz 3,1 Mac pro with 12GB & an SSD.

    Upgrading the CPUs is not cost effective. You have the expense, hassle & potential for damage with only 10-15% improvement in performance.

    The most cost effective upgrade is to get a used Nvidia 570GTX off eBay. This works beautifully with the native drivers on 10.8.3/4 & gives a great performance boost especially for CUDA operations so if you will be using Premiere Pro for video editing then this is the best card that you can buy for the Mac Pro.

    I have been considering upgrading to 16GB RAM but when I look in activity monitor I generally have free memory unless I am running a VMware Fusion VM or two. The price of new decent FB-DIMMs from Crucial is awful so the 4x2GB necessary to upgrade to 16GB (or 2x4GB for 18GB) would cost the equivalent of about $300 which seems pricey for an extra 4-6GB. One cheaper alternative is to buy 16GB used 667MHz FB-DIMMs. The memory isn't a lot slower but it's quite easier to find old server RAM cheap (around $100 for 8x2GB) that is said to work OK. I am wondering if it is possible to mix & match 667MHz with 800MHz then the cheapest upgrade is 4x2GB 667MHz FB-DIMMs at around $50 used. Putting in 32GB of used 667MHz RAM would cost less than upgrading to 16GB with 800MHz & I could always sell the 800MHz to defray the cost. Does anyone have experience of using 667MHz FB-DIMMs in the 3,1 Mac Pro?

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