Bought a first generation Mac Pro. Did I make the right decision?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gdeusthewhizkid, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008
    hey guys,

    I haven't posted in a while.. Im a long time music producer, and as of late 2012 have moved into the media world. I had purchased a 5d mark 2 with a few prime lens and I have been doing photography and event filming. I have a 2009 13 inch mac book pro that i have had upgraded to 8 gigs of ram and a 750 gig hard drive.. Its my first year and I have been able to do some great work with my mac book pro but it's choking.. Doing video editing it gets sluggish and editing pics on lightroom and aperture doesn't make it any easier.. I decided to pick a refurb mac pro. I got it for less than 500 bucks. The only problem tho is that I can't get the latest os on this. Is it still a good machine for what i am using for?
  2. krisosha macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2013
    If your doing that id have really sugested getting something with an i5 and over. Your processor is holding you back. What are the spec's of the latest machine you have purchased?
  3. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    no matter what the task or price, never get a 1.1 there so old and getting exspensive to upgrade
  4. push/pull macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
    That is hard to say. I'd bet the processor is about on par with your laptop. Maybe more ram and an ssd would stretch it out another year or 2.

    An upgrade may be pricey though:

    However the real problem is after a couple of years with no OS upgrades important things like Internet Browser compatibility will start to fall off.

    It might make an excellent server. Or if you sell both your MP and MBP and get a refurbished rMBP you'll be set for quite a while.
  5. gdeusthewhizkid thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008
    Mac Pro 2.66GHz Two Dual-Core 4GB 250GB Super Drive Intel Xeon 2007


    I could probably stockpile my old dual G5. core 2 duo mac mini and the mac pro one of these days. I like the iMacs but i need storage and i have a ton of data laying around on these drives.... My laptop can't handle all the footage i have...
  6. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    No! But now that you have it you should read what up grades are available to make that purchase "usable"! Usable meaning "still viable summer 2014"!
    The regular route is:
    1. SSD for OS
    2. Ram
    3. Video card
    4. Raid
    5. Etc!

    Until there are some upgrades to this 1,1 you can count on your video editing experience being "sluggish"!:mad:
  7. jukebox1298 macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    I too purchased a Mac Pro 1,1 about 6 months ago, and I find after upgrading a few things, that it is a very good machine, and should be able to get at least two or three more years out of it. Mine originally came with 2 dual core 2.66 GHz Xeon processors, 4 GB RAM, 250 GB HD, and a crappy stock video card. I upgraded the processors to 2 quad core 2.66 GHZ processors, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB Fusion drive, and a AMD Radion HD 4870 video card with 1 GB video RAM. Also, I am running Mavericks on this machine. Actually pretty simple to do if you have (or can borrow) a second Mac that is Mavericks compatible via Firewire.

    It may sound like I spent a fortune on this machine, but it really wasn't that expensive, and the improvement in performance is amazing.
  8. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    These are the upgrades you want to do. That computer will still blow your '09 out of the water. As the owner of literally the same two computers as you, the 1,1 will still destroy your laptop in any test. Get a new GPU, use Tiamo's boot.efi to load Mavericks onto that thing, and get yourself some X5355 Xeons (2 2.66GHz Quad Core) - you can get the processors on Ebay for about $50, and they will about double your raw CPU power from the stock 2.66 Dual Cores.

    RAM can get pricey, but you can usually pick up 8GB for about $25 if you get an off brand like Crucial and don't pay out the @$$ for the Apple FB-DIMMs with the huge heatsinks. Don't worry about heat, your tower has heat sensors for that reason and will adjust the fan accordingly.

    Get a new GPU - I recommend a 600 Series NVIDIA PC card. It will not have a boot screen, but will work perfectly under Mavericks. I have a GTX 660 in my 3,1 and it ran me about $100 at a local Micro Center.

    If you can afford an SSD, that is the end all to performance improvements. Throw that baby in a drive bay or a spare SATA port, or get a Velocity Solo and run it via PCIe if you're feeling like a shopping spree.

    Under $500 is quite a price to pay, however. I grabbed my 1,1 for $70 with a dead video card. But what's done is done - the upgrades will probably run you a good $200 depending on what GPU you get and if you can get a deal on the Xeons or RAM.

    Good luck, friend.
  9. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I would honeslty put that 500 toward a new one. There's a big difference in terms of speed for what you want to do.
  10. DrNeroCF macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2004
    I don't know, for 500 bucks you could have probably built something pretty swift, but I still do all my work on a mine, running Mavericks with an OCZ SSD, 12 gigs of RAM, and a Nvidia GTX 760. I don't think I would recommend updating the CPU, I haven't found anything cheap enough to be worth upgrading rather than buying a new system.

    Some links that might help out if you decide to keep the machine:

    Mavericks 32 bit boot.efi

    HDMI audio on Nvidia cards

    Only decently priced RAM I could find for it anymore
  11. energy23 macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2014
    For $650 I got a Mac Pro 3,1 with 16gb RAM a couple months ago. It's the oldest Mac Pro that's worth getting. The 4,1 is the best bang for the buck though.
  12. DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    You can also flash the firmware to 2,1 and install 2 x quad core 3GHz processors.

    I had a 1,1 machine with the above processors, 16GB ram, SSD for OSX and ATTO R348 RAID card.

    The thing I loved about the 1,1 and 2,1 series is the ability to install a RAID card using the existing SATA drive bay ports. The miniSAS connector unplugs directly from the motherboard and into your raid card. No other Mac Pro had it this easy.

    There are suitable ATTO raid cards that pop up from time to time at around $200-250.

    I mentioned all the raid stuff because plenty of fast storage (with redundancy) is vital when video editing in a professional environment!

    One thing I didn't love in the end was the size, heat and power usage compared to modern machines... for example a current Mac Mini is comparable in CPU processing power!
  13. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    Disagree ....

    I owned both the 2006 and the 2008 versions of the Mac Pro and *just* sold off my 2008 (2.8Ghz dual quad-core) several days ago.

    The original 2006 model with the dual dual-core 2.66Ghz Xeons is getting "long in the tooth", certainly -- but when you're able to buy it for under $500, you're still getting a good value.

    You have to remember that these machines include a big (1000 watt) power supply and 4 pull-out SATA drive trays, as well as couple full-size optical drive bays above them. That, alone has some value. (If you look at a brand new "cylinder" Mac Pro, by contrast? You're going to easily spend close to $500 for any kind of external enclosure you can attach to it that houses 4 SATA hard drives. So you could think of the 2006/2008 Mac Pro as buying the drive enclosure and getting the rest of the computer thrown in for free!)

    I found that by installing an SSD as the boot drive, it *really* improved the performance. That upgrade made the old Mac Pro feel like a new machine. If you've still got one of the old, original video cards in one -- then by all means pull that out and upgrade it too. You can just go with a "reflashed" PC version of an appropriate card to save some money. (Who cares if it's an officially sanctioned Apple card for a 6-8 year old, out of warranty, Mac?)

  14. matty1551 macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2009
    I recently picked up an 06 Mac Pro and I absolutely do think your purchase was worth it if you got it for a reasonable price. These Pros can be upgraded very cheaply.

    Mac Pro - $300
    Upgraded to (2) 2.66 Quad Core CPU - $50 You can get these chips on ebay.
    Added 8GB FB DIMM (12 GB Total) - $50 A used brand name off ebay.
    2 TB HD - $75

    After all this, my geekbench score is about 10,000. Thats about quadruple of my 2010 MBP 13".

    For $500, I can't see how I could have spent it more wisely. Could you spend more money and get a newer Pro? Sure, you could always spend more and get more, but as far as bang for the buck. This is a 10/10 choice.

    Oh and you can upgrade to Mavericks if you want to follow a guide. So don't worry about losing access to your programs new versions because you're "Stuck" on an old OS.
  15. Ben888 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2017
    Newberg, Oregon
    I bought a Mac Pro 3,1 quad core with 8 GB Ram for $150. I love it, but that empty processor socket is crying out for a second 2.8 GHz Xeon 5462 processor. I'll probably drop an SSD in it too, since I got the machine cheaply enough to make the upgrades viable.
  16. Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
  17. carpsafari Suspended


    Sep 13, 2015
    the Netherlands
    That CPU upgrade is pretty useless!
    Only when you can use multicores it will make a difference, hence for normal use it is utterly useless.
  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    It's kind of late to answer. OP asked this question in 2013.
  19. Ben888 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2017
    Newberg, Oregon
    There are some applications that take advantage of multiple cores, so I wouldn't say useless. You are correct in saying that most applications won't see a significant benefit. At the current time, using parts from eBay, I can add the second processor with a proper heat sink to my Mac Pro 3,1 for around $60. For those applications that use multiprocessing, that might be worthwhile. More RAM and a Solid State Drive would be better bang for the buck upgrades though.

Share This Page