Resolved Any known issues with early 2008 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kevinakerberg, Jun 9, 2017.

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  1. kevinakerberg macrumors newbie

    kevinakerberg

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
    #1
    Hi everyone, unfortunately my mid 2011 iMac has just succumbed to video card failure. I've decided to switch to the Pro line so I could more easily fix the machine myself should anything go wrong with it. I've pretty much settled on an early 2008 Mac Pro 8 core with two Xeon's @ 2.8Ghz. The machine was upgraded to 10GB of RAM and has an HD 5870, as well as an SSD. It also comes in the original box. On top of all of this, it's priced excellently. However, before I buy I don't want another machine with a known issue like my iMac had, where its HD 6970M GPU was prone to failure. Also, I'm fine with the Mac Pro only going up to El Capitan as well as it being from 2008. The Xeon's inside of it are more powerful than my iMac was and that was perfect for me while it lasted. Just want to know if this machine will break after just a few months of ownership like the last one did, and if so, how much would it cost? Thanks.
     
  2. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #2
    I still own - besides a cMP 5,1 - a cMP 3,1 (2008). I keep both as a spare machine to each other. If in good condition it may last a few years but YMMV of course. Do you have the possibility to test the 3,1 with the Apple Technician Testsuite?

    As for upgrades:
    - GTX 680 4GB to be flashed by yourself, still a very reasonable GFX card > $100
    - 32GB 677MHz server RAM > $60
    - eSATA / USB 3,0 PCIe > $100
    - Run SSD's on a PCIe expansion card like my Apricorn Velocity SOLO/DUO x2 > $300

    I still like the cMP 3,1 very much. My best - less serviced - computer I've ever owned! Good luck making the right decision!

    Cheers
     
  3. kevinakerberg thread starter macrumors newbie

    kevinakerberg

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
    #3
    Thanks for all of those suggestions! It does have an SSD already but there are always room for more ;). Also, the machine was tested at an Apple Certified Technician and reported no issues on the final sheet except that the fan on the video card was making funny noises. They said it was probably a fan bearing problem which is only a $10 fix. Thanks for your help!
     
  4. Auggie macrumors regular

    Auggie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    #4
    I've owned my 2008 since I bought it from a local Apple Store and continues to hum along.

    Though there was a period of time where it would suddenly shutdown/restart from the slightest bump (e.g. closing the side door while it was running), but somehow it rectified itself on its own.

    For many years it sat on the carpeted floor underneath the desk and has gathered a tremendous amount of dust, and a few episodes of my dog peeing on it (ugh). The front USB parts are now a little unreliable; sometimes it takes a couple insertion attempts to recognize a USB device, or bumping it while connected may cause it to momentarily be disconnected.

    So it's been a sturdy machine and served it's time well. It currently has a 500TB SSD plugged into an unused main board SATA ports, and an Apple OEM ATI Radeon 5770. It is still very useable and responsive.

    As far as repair, as I've never had to get it repaired, but I assume the parts costs would be similar to my 5,1 which I recently had to get service: power supply $200, main board $350, processor board $200. Labor for any replacement, including multiple component replacement is $80 flat fee. These prices are through Apple. My experience is that they are actually cheaper than third-party repair services. Even the parts are typically cheaper through Apple and having them replace it than buying from eBay or other online sites and doing it yourself, and your left without a warranty (Apple's is 90 day; and no, you can't buy parts directly from Apple to install yourself).
     
  5. kevinakerberg thread starter macrumors newbie

    kevinakerberg

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
    #5
    Sounds like more reasonable prices than my iMac. They wanted a grand total of $532 plus tax to repair my iMac's video card. But if the HD 5870 fails I can just throw in another easily. Thanks to you both, this Mac Pro sounds like a very reliable machine.
     
  6. Auggie macrumors regular

    Auggie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    #6
    Similar video card failure occurred with my parent's 2009 iMac 24": it no longer outputs video to the main screen but the external port still works so they used an external monitor. Too expensive to repair the obsolete machine, so I gave them my 2008 to replace their iMac and the difference in performance is night and day.

    Oh, BTW, the 2008 has, and continues to run, 24/7 for most of its 9 year existence. So that should be testament to its sturdiness.
     
  7. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #7
    I 100% agree with Auggie!

    Cheers
     
  8. devon807 macrumors regular

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    The 08 is a very solid machine. With it's great expandability and upgrade potential, it's sure to last you for many years to come. I had one from 2015- up until a few months ago. The only issue I ever had was dodgy RAM slots. That was it. I just recently purchased a 2010 5,1 MP because I wanted a bit newer architecture CPU wise. But the 3,1/2008 is a great machine and still can edit like a beast.
     
  9. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #9
    I had to reseat my RAM just a few days ago, first time since my purchase!

    Cheers
     
  10. iriejedi macrumors 6502a

    iriejedi

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2000
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    #10
    If back in 2008 someone would have said you will still have this computer as your main system almost 10 years later - I would have died laughing.... it is rock solid. a few tiny upgrades over the years - video card but the 8800GT was know to be problematic - Radian 5870 is amazing - a few ram failures (free replacement by New Egg warranty) but that said my one of my 2 fronts fan failed (top one) - $100 repair at Apple store - so bad memory or heat due to fan... who knows.... just installed the OWC 1TB SSD drive for a boot ($349 with all adapters) and I swear it is like a brand new computer - boots almost as fast my 2013 Macbook Pro....
     
  11. TheStork macrumors regular

    TheStork

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    #11
    Last supported OS X is El Capitan for the 2008 Mac Pro (3,1). So plan accordingly.
     
  12. Auggie macrumors regular

    Auggie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    #12
    This was a very important issue which made me decided to purchase a 2012 5,1. Even though I used the widely circulated patch to get Sierra (and apparently High Sierra) to work on the 3,1, I wanted both the ability to upgrade to the fastest Intel processor (ala 3.46 Xeons) and still be officially supported by Apple.

    I use ASUEnabler to get official OS X updates on the 3,1 under Sierra. ASUEnabler has the ability to also receive beta seed updates, however, it has been mostly hit-and-miss (mostly misses where either there is an error or it states there are no updates when in fact there are).
     
  13. TheBigearedOne macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Location:
    Dublin
    #13
    My main machine is my 2008 MacPro3,1 Dual Quad core 2.8Ghz Xeon

    I have 4 x 4TB drives inside and want to put 8TB or 10TB drives inside but the screw holes are in a different place on the bigger capacity drives so Im looking around for a drive sled that will fit my Mac Pro and those HDs

    Has anyone found them anywhere?
     
  14. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #14
    One other issue - Radeons 7950 and 7970 never quite performed up to their potential in 3,1. Threads here and at netkas.
     
  15. devon807 macrumors regular

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #15
    This is also an issue. I am curious to know what causes this. Is it the CPU'S?
     
  16. dwig macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #16
    I would have two issues with an ancient (ancient=no mfg support and no current OS support) MP:
    • lack of software upgrades, both for security (browsers in particular) and availablity (there's always a limit to how old an OS you can have in order to install current software.
    • remaining lifespan - I'd think the core motherboard, power supply, and processor cards likely have good life left, but I would not even think about relying on an 8-9 year old hard drive.
     
  17. kevinakerberg thread starter macrumors newbie

    kevinakerberg

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA
    #17
    Yes, I wouldn't either XD. The machine has been upgraded with a 128GB SSD. Everything else is original except the video card which is a Radeon 5870 and the RAM is now at 10GB.
     

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