About to buy second hand Mac Pro, need some help!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mladenz, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. mladenz macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Hi guys,

    A friend of mine is about to buy a second hand Mac Pro and he has some questions.

    The hardware:

    2x Dual-Core Intel Xeon 2 GHz;
    1x NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT;
    250 Gig. HD (WDC from Apple);
    2x 500 Gig. HD Samsung
    8 Gig (2x2GB; 2x1GB; 4x 512 MB) 667MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM;
    2x SONY DVD RW DW-D150A;
    Airport Extreme (802.11 a/b/g/n);
    Apple Mouse;
    Apple Aluminium keyboard
    Software: Snow Leopard en iLife 09.

    Is this setup worth €900? If not, how much do you think?
    Is it possible to put a new processor and graphics card in the Mac Pro's? He has a ati 5870 PC version, can he use this in the Mac Pro?

    Thank you!
  2. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    €900 isn't a bad price at all, especially if it's in good working condition. There's been some upgrades made from the stock model (which is a 2006/2007 by the way) - namely the GPU, RAM and HDs.

    New processors, yes, if you can get hold of them.

    New GPU, also yes. Loads of threads in this forum about the 5770/5870 in the 1,1 & 2,1 Mac Pros, although getting PC cards working can be a real hassle. In fact, there's one just a handful of topics below yours right now - http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1002692
  3. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    Am presuming it's a 2006 model. Had one myself. I upgraded the processors to 2.33ghz. If your familiar with the insides of a computer, it's not real hard to swap them. You will need clovertown processors for replacements. Still not cheap either. Never did the gnu so follow the advise of others. If the 32 bit EFI won't be a draw back for you, get it. Otherwise look for a 2008 model.
  4. mladenz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Thanks for all the info! The seller said that it's a 2007 model but he doesn't have the receipt. He also mentioned that the Mac Pro doesn't have bluetooth built in, can i do this by myself?
  5. scrumpymacs macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2011
    Ipswich, Suffolk
    That is a very good price for the 2007 model with the specs mentioned. At Scrumpymacs we find that it's best with the older machines to update/upgrade the processors and more often than not, the optical drive will potentially need changing as Apple see them as a consumable product.

    Bluetooth is easily added to the Mac Pros
  6. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I would avoid the 2006 and 2007 models as the plague right now, seeing as their upgradability has reached their end of life.

    The one to get is the early 2008 model.

    For comparison the new MacBook Pro 15" (Sandy Bridge) rivals the early 2008 Mac Pro in performance, sans the expansion options (although it do have Thunderbolt for future use).

    He should probably wait a few weeks and see what the new iMac has to offer.
  7. deppest macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2009
    For comparison: I recently sold a 2006, 2x2.66GHZ, 9GB, 500GB MacPro for 1200 Swiss Francs, which is about 900 Euro these days. So I would not say that 900 Euro for a 2GHz machine is a particularly good price. Upgrading the CPU is expensive and they're difficult to find. I agree with the previous poster that I would not be buying the 2006/2007 iteration any longer as I think there might also be an issue with the EFI being 32bit only which may or may not be an issue with future OSX upgradeability.
  8. zephonic, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011

    zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    Like someone else said, if the 32-bit EFI is not gonna be a problem, all the upgrades make it a good deal. I'm looking at one myself right now, to keep me going until Q4 when the SB MacPros should hit the market.

    But have a look on ebay and/or your local variant of craigslist to get a feel for what the current prices are.
  9. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    Well, a few points:

    First, you should only buy a Mac Pro if you want maintainability, expansion options and/or extreme performance. Otherwise, an iMac is a much better buy.

    Problem is, iMac has close to zero maintainability or expandability and I could not seem myself buying a machine where I could not even upgrade the HDD... so it was Mac Pro for me (in addition to a MacBook).

    Second, 2006/2007 Mac Pro are still upgradable:
    - it can take as much as 32GB RAM
    - you can upgrade to two Quad Core CPUs running at up to 3,3 GHz if you can find Xeon 5350 engineering samples (used to be relatively common and affordable on eBay).
    - they take up to 6 SATA drives (4 HDD bays + spare connectors on the Mobo)
    - they accept the latest Radeon HD graphic cards sold by Apple (and a bunch of other PC Radeon HD without the need for flashing since OS.X 10.6.6 it seems)

    My 2006 Mac Pro has now two 3GHz Quad CPUs, an SSD boot drive, 4TB of storage, 16GB of RAM and a HD3870 graphic cards. It rivals a current entry-level Mac Pro in raw performances and my son plays some games @ 2560x1600 native without problem (a 5870 upgrade is under consideration).

    I think it is more a question of risking money in a 4y old machine that may die anytime. Most parts can be replaced easily, but a mobo replacement could be costly.

    Of course, if you can find a 2008 Mac Pro for that kind of money, that's obviously a better choice.

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