Buy a used Mac Pro

Gofaster2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
16
0
KCMO
Well after alot of reading everything I can find, I am going with a Mac Pro. I probably will buy a used 2.66 quad early 2009 model. I have found a few locally for $1200, that will leave money for upgrades. 3 new hard drives and a GTX285.
1st Raptor HD for OSX/WIN7
2nd drive for Documents/Photos-WD green
3rd drive for itunes and movies-WD green
Nvidia gtx 285 driving a Dell u2410 and a Dell 20" in portait.

This will allow me to run osx and windows thru vmware or bootcamp. Plus I will look into a NAS back up drive preferably a RAID 5 setup.

Is there any issues with this idea? or can someone offer a better idea to get better performance and futureproofing compared to a iMac? Whats the oldest mac pro to buy?
If not I may just be stuck with a custom built win7 machine.
 

kellen

macrumors 68020
Aug 11, 2006
2,362
55
Seattle, WA
A few for 1200? That sounds incredibly cheap. Refurbs are a grand more.

Just be careful its not a scam or a 2006 model 2.66.

A raptor would be good, but a raid or even better a SSD would give you better performance.

I wouldn't go older than the 2008 models.
 

Gofaster2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
16
0
KCMO
A few for 1200? That sounds incredibly cheap. Refurbs are a grand more.

Just be careful its not a scam or a 2006 model 2.66.

A raptor would be good, but a raid or even better a SSD would give you better performance.

I wouldn't go older than the 2008 models.
software raid or hardware raid?
I was under the impression that neither worked when using bootcamp for windows?

Do the 2006 dual processor wont be a good buy?
 

Dr.Pants

macrumors 65816
Jan 8, 2009
1,181
2
Do the 2006 dual processor wont be a good buy?
Some think that. Its a bit old, they generally no longer have AppleCare, and the 2006/2007 models use EFI32 instead of EFI64 (long story short, there might be limited graphics options AKA no GTX285). $1200 USD is a good price, though.

The MacPro 1,1 and MacPro 2,1 are the model identifier, I believe, for the 06/07 models. (I could be wrong). The user can access it via :apple:->More Info and it should be visible on the page that pops up.
 

Gofaster2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
16
0
KCMO
So I should be looking for a 3.1 or preferably a 4.1 to do what I need it to do.
Time to start watching for a used machine... I am correct in that the 3.1 has 800mhz DDR ram and the 2.1 has 667? Some of the ads dont say 2.1 or 3.1 etc
 

Gofaster2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
16
0
KCMO
Is there any reason for me to buy a 8 core machine? I have listed the major programs i use regularly.
Windows
Alibre Design-3D design program
AutoDesk Inventor- again 3D design
Adobe Lightroom-
Canon DPP
Paint.net- really cool program
MS excel
Handbrake- probably go mac version on this

Mac
itunes
handbrake
iphoto or Aperture since Lightroom is confusing to me.

It seems I would be better served by a PC but hey I want a Mac. I am a believer that computer should make our lives easier and I am not convinced a PC does that.
 

bozz2006

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2007
2,530
0
Minnesota
does your computer a money-maker for you? If not, then you probably have no use for an 8 core machine. if you get a 2009 machine, a higher clocked quad core machine would be for you.
 

Gofaster2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
16
0
KCMO
I am also looking to try my hand at iPhone and iTablet programming so I need a mac to do that. I just want a machine that can chop thru anything fast. Is there any PC vs Mac Pro benchmarks out there? I google but for the most part came up empty
 

macuserx86

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2006
623
3
I am also looking to try my hand at iPhone and iTablet programming so I need a mac to do that. I just want a machine that can chop thru anything fast. Is there any PC vs Mac Pro benchmarks out there? I google but for the most part came up empty
Most consumer "PCs" don't have 8 cores, so not much direct testing that can be done ;)
The Mac Pro's main competitors are workstation-class computers from Dell, HP, Sun, etc. and these are all very similar in cost and performance. You could build a PC with similar specs, but anytime you're dealing with dual socket mobos the prices increase considerably. Unless you only want 1 CPU.

Just get a used Mac Pro, you'll love it :D
 

freeman727

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2009
269
4
Not to hijack the thread but I got a Quad Early 2009 off of Ebay for $1800 shipped in September. I think $1500 to 1800 is a more reasonable price for an 09 Quad. $1200 seems too good to be true (from my experience too good to be true is usually too good to be true). Just do your homework and you'll be fine.
 

vogelhausdesign

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2009
227
0
Columbus, Ohio
Not to hijack the thread but I got a Quad Early 2009 off of Ebay for $1800 shipped in September. I think $1500 to 1800 is a more reasonable price for an 09 Quad. $1200 seems too good to be true (from my experience too good to be true is usually too good to be true). Just do your homework and you'll be fine.
Wait what?? Really? an 09 for 1800 shipped? Did someone die or is that really the ebay price for a MP these days
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
The '08 models offer the best balance, as it's an EFI64 system (will allow for future graphics cards and OS updates when OS X goes K64 exclusively).

The '06 - '07 models are already unable to use the GTX285. I'm not sure how long ATI will continue supporting these systems, but they use EBC based firmware which allows the 4870 to run on EFI32 or EFI64 systems. Presumably, if there's an Apple version of a 5xxx series, it will work.

OS will be another story.
 

Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
The '08 models offer the best balance, as it's an EFI64 system (will allow for future graphics cards and OS updates when OS X goes K64 exclusively).

The '06 - '07 models are already unable to use the GTX285. I'm not sure how long ATI will continue supporting these systems, but they use EBC based firmware which allows the 4870 to run on EFI32 or EFI64 systems. Presumably, if there's an Apple version of a 5xxx series, it will work.

OS will be another story.
Yep, agreed and seconded.
 

macuserx86

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2006
623
3
The '08 models offer the best balance, as it's an EFI64 system (will allow for future graphics cards and OS updates when OS X goes K64 exclusively).

The '06 - '07 models are already unable to use the GTX285. I'm not sure how long ATI will continue supporting these systems, but they use EBC based firmware which allows the 4870 to run on EFI32 or EFI64 systems. Presumably, if there's an Apple version of a 5xxx series, it will work.

OS will be another story.
Agree and thirded. The value for money on these machines is really good, especially seeing as the 2.8GHz Octo performs about the same as the 2.26GHz Octo 2009 (sometimes better in applications that aren't muti-core optimized very well)