Advice from the experts on first gen MP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by t0rr3s, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. t0rr3s macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys, I'd like to seek your opinions on this possible purchase, a first gen mp which is going for usd800. I'm only planning to use this as a secondary machine, for image and video (if possible) editing. I work mostly on my 15" 2011 mbp atm. Would this be a worthwhile purchase? And also, how far can I push this box, in terms of potentially maxing it out? The gfx card has just been replaced and the owner has replaced the IDE cables to the cdrom with sata cables connected to the motherboard, using the sata superdrive.

    Specs as follows:
    Two 2.66GHz Dual Core Intel Xeon "WoodCrest" Processors
    7GB Memory (667MHz DDR2 Fully Buffered DIMM ECC)
    Nvidia Geforce 8800GT Graphics With 512MB Memory (NEW)
    250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
    22x DL SATA SuperDrive
    Original Keyboard & Mighty Mouse
    Firewire isight
     
  2. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    I'm in no way an expert yet, having owned a similar MP for just under 2 weeks. However, I have some facts I learned while asking similar questions.

    Best CPU's you can put in are a pair of quad-core X5365 @ 3Ghz resulting in an 8-core monster.

    Best video is ATI/AMD 5770. You can get a 5870 or 6870 to work with some compromises. The 8800GT is decent.

    Your Ram is adequate for most stuff.

    An upgrade I'd suggest is an SSD like the intel 320. It's a SATAII drive and the MP is SATAII as well so no point in the fastest ones.

    BT and AP cards are easy to find on eBay.

    Price seems decent. I'd go for it. Remember that it's an EFI32 machine that will not boot a 64bit kernel even though it will run 64bit stuff. No biggie but some video cards (namely Nvidias) will not work because of that. Also if and when Apple releases a 64bit-only OS, we won't be able to run it unless Apple gives us a firmware update which they most likely won't based on their track record. Someone may find a hack to run 64bit kernel on an EFI32 as the Hackintosh community has already proved that can be done.
     
  3. t0rr3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #3
    Thanks Josh. :) Appreciate the input. I'm still pretty new to this so the technicalities do trip me up a bit. I assume it could run SL with no problems. My priority atm would probably be to increase storage capacity and source for the card you mentioned. Will see how the processor handles the tasks I'll be throwing and have that cpu upgrade a bash in the near future.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    How long do you plan to use it for OS X, and in particular, video editing?

    I ask, as the 2006 and 2007 machines (MP identifier 1,1 and 2,1 respectively) have EFI32 based firmware, not EFI64 (found on 2008 and newer).

    What this means, is you're already limited to graphics cards (newer nVidia cards will not work), like Lion will very likely be the last dual Kernel version of OS X (some time ago, Apple announced that they weren't going to do a dual Kernel OS <K32 + K64> for long on an MR front page article; about 2 years or so ago IIRC).

    So once they go to K64 only, you won't be able to update to the latest version of OS X or even ATI graphics cards (Apple would only provide 64 bit drivers; now a hack may be created, but I wouldn't recommend counting on that).

    Now if you're planning to use that system for Windows or Linux (32 or 64 bit versions), it will last longer. You can also add in standard PC graphics cards that will run under either (assuming the drivers exist for the particular OS being run). Crossfire is even possible with the connector and right drivers under Windows (SLI too once you perform a hack as I understand it).

    Just something to consider anyway... ;)
     
  5. t0rr3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #5
    2 years, 2.5 years max. I do more image than video editing atm, with ps and illustrator for book publishing. It's a good option to have, using windows, but try as I might, I couldn't find a bone in me to want to even contemplate booting it ;). Plus, I love osx. My only obstacle atm is wifi capability; the diy guides with the airport card seem a bit of a stretch for someone of my experience. Any creative means to get around it, fellas?
     
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #6
    Maybe a USB wifi dongle?
     
  7. t0rr3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
  8. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #8
    Let us know what you find, and if it works. Need one myself. Make sure it's mac compatible; go to makers support forums to make sure it works.
     
  9. t0rr3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
  10. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #10
  11. t0rr3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #11
    Turns out mine has a wifi card preinstalled. Smashing.

    edit: did i just say mine? well, it looks like i'm buying it then. :) wish me luck!
     
  12. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #12
    And mine will cost $99 for the card, and $40 for installation. Eh..... I'm about tapped out for macs, at least for the next couple of months.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    Will you be fine with it once you're no longer able to upgrade OS X or graphics cards until you get to the point it's time to replace it?

    I ask, as it seems likely 10.8 will be out before then, so you'll have a period of no upgrade paths for awhile (until you replace the machine).

    Now if you're fine with running existing software and graphics card (don't see why this would be a serious problem for PS), then you should be able to manage it.

    I just don't know how much of an "I've got to have the newest thing now" nut you really are. :D :p
     
  14. t0rr3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #14
    I believe I'll be fine as long as the machine works and I'm still able to be productive with it. Plus, it's my first mac pro and I see it more as a learning experience. I still have an iMac g4 (iLamp) on 10.5.8 which I still love and use. For the mac pro, I'm getting the 5770 mac card and putting in a new 1TB caviar black hd. Next, I foresee a cpu upgrade on the horizon once I can get someone to help me with it (since I don't think I'll be able to pull that one off by myself) :p

    But I figure it'll last me a good while, fingers and all other appendages crossed. ;)
     
  15. PurpleLogix macrumors member

    PurpleLogix

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #15
    CPU upgrades are fairly easy to do, once you get to them.
     
  16. t0rr3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    t0rr3s

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    #16
    Just a word of thanks for everyone who chipped in with advice and opinions. I picked up the mac pro just now (came with ori box/unused mighty mouse/firewire isight/apple keyboard) and have installed a new 1TB caviar black as my bootdrive and migrated my stuff over.

    I was about to blow my cash on the 5770 card from the apple online store when this kind soul popped up on a forum this morning and offered me the card (taken off his friend's mac pro when the latter upgraded to the nvidia quadro) for less than half the price it was going on the online store. Installed it and things are looking good. Got to know the 7gb ram installed are from OWC too, which was pretty reassuring. FCPX/Motion 5/Compressor are really flying here, even faster than my quadcore 2011 15" mbp :D

    As it stands,here's my first mac pro, in all its spec glory. ;)


    Two 2.66GHz Dual Core Intel Xeon "WoodCrest" Processors
    7GB Memory (667MHz DDR2 Fully Buffered DIMM ECC)
    ATI HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 RAM
    1TB Caviar Black HD
    1TB WD Time Machine HD
    250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
    22x DL SATA SuperDrive
    :apple: wireless keyboard + magic mouse
    Firewire isight
     
  17. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #17
    Gratz! You've done well. I'd offer to buy that 8800GT but shipping it here would be too cost prohibitive. Enjoy!
     

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