Buying used 3.1 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by memento mori, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. memento mori macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2013
    Hello, this is my first post in this forum.

    I just sold my MBP, and I am planning to buy early 2008 Mac Pro, with only one 2.8Ghz processor .
    I intend to use this system for photo editing and illustrations, occasionally i will play a game or two, but latter isn't the focus.
    So my question is - how much, do you think, longevity this system has? Things like future OS X updates, how well would it run Adobe products etc.

    Also - how complex and expensive is adding a second processor?

    Other option, I guess, would be a Mac Mini, but I am somewhat sceptical of their upgrading capabilties. Also, I like the MP design better :D
    The reason iMac isn't an option for me is their glossy screen - I live in an apartment with huge windows, and even with curtains closed, working with my MPB was unbearable.
  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Hi memento mori. Maybe a better option is get a dual processor 2.8ghz instead of getting a single processor and add a second processor. The dual processor 2008 has gone down in prices and would be a timely purchase. Or you can opt for a 2009 8 core 2.26ghz because it is just as fast or faster than the 2008 and the ram is cheaper.
  3. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    The 2008s use RAM that is considerably more expensive than the 2009+ models... unless you downgrade from 800MHz to 667MHz.
  4. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    Unless you are getting a killer deal on a loaded 2008, pass and get at least a 2009.

    You can get a single CPU 2009 Mac Pro for ~$700 and a dual CPU version for ~$1000. There are many more and economical ways to upgrade RAM and CPU's giving it a MUCH longer life. There is very minimal difference between a 2009 Mac Pro and a 2012 Mac Pro, even less so with the single CPU versions.
  5. memento mori thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2013
    Thanks for respone.

    I would be lucky if i could get 2009 MP for 700 bucks. I live in Eastern-Europe and prices here are ridiculus - I'm paying 750$ for 2008 version. Shipping it from overseas is not an option too - Taxes and shipping combined would be approx. half the price of item.
    Anyway, although RAM is quite a bit more expensive, 12 GB Ram is about 150$, which I'm willing to spend.
    Is there that huge difference between 800 Mhz DDR2 and newer 1333Mhz DDR3?
  6. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    The 3,1 wouldn't be able to use the 1333 but you could buy a larger amount of 667 if funds were tight. It is much more affordable than the DDR2 800.
  7. comatory, Sep 19, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013

    comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    hey im from eastern europe as well and i was in your situation a year ago. i know the prices are crazy here, i was even considering 2006 dual processor MP because they were the cheapest.
    but after a lot of reading you will understand that anything below 2009 isn't that great if you want to upgrade the system for reasonable price. RAM is way cheaper and you can get hex core CPUs that will really give you a lot of power if you need it in future.

    after research, I decided for single processor 2009 4,1 model. i thought i would put more money into it for hex core 3.33 CPU and GTX GPU but after running this computer for around a year, I discovered that it is plenty powerful for my work - I do video editing, some photo editing and management, even occasional gaming. It is very good all around machine.

    I got a killer deal from forum member who was from UK and was willing to ship it. You will not believe this but he sold it to me for around 800GBP, including quad 2.93 CPU, ATI HD5870 1GB, new PSU, 8GB of ECC memory, 128GB SSD drive, 640GB HDD and 2TB HDD, keyboard and trackpad, even 2 months of AppleCare!

    Since then I put 32GB of DDR3 RAM and two 500GB hard drives in RAID0 (putting SSD in optical bay). I am very happy with it, it's been rock solid.

    What I wanted to say that there are good deals out there. You might spend maybe two months looking for it but it will be worth it. There are european sites like that sell these systems but they're quite bare and cost around 1500EUR which is not a good deal but they give you some sort of warranty on them.
    If anyone wonders why we dont buy from US its because of import taxes that are quite large, so it's best to find something within EU.
    Try looking in the Marketplace on this forum, thats where I found my Mac Pro. We used Moneybookers and their escrow service, so the transaction was safe. Also try looking at german and english eBay (,, I bought used MBP there that Im very happy with.

    Dont settle with 3,1, they are not bad systems but now its not the time to buy them anymore, buy at least 4,1. Dual CPU versions are good too but upgrading the processors is way harder and from what you say, I think you'd be fine with quad core CPU as well, and if not you can get six core CPU that is very favorite around here.

    The sellers have been selling 4,1 and 5,1 systems for the same price for about 1,5 year now, it's not normal and does not reflect the real value. It's because classic Mac Pro is not sold here anymore. If they want to sell you single CPU 2008 model for 750EUR and more you should reconsider. That computer has about the same CPU power as simple 2011 Mac mini which can be bought for even less - including warranty and ability to run SATA3 SSDs and cheap RAM.
  8. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    I was happy until I looked-up your username.

    Now I'm sad. ;)
  9. 98lwatso macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2008
    Hi there,

    Are you UK based or US based or other? I am in the UK and have a great Mac Pro 3,1 that I am selling. I would consider chatting about it if you were in the UK.

  10. memento mori thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2013
    Steve Jobs said the same thing my username does multiple times. :)

    Anyway, I'm persuaded to wait for decently priced Mac Pro 4,1 and ditch the 2008 model. Cheaper RAM and option by upgrading firmware to put 6 core processsor made me consider for the better option.

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