Buying Used Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dissolve, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. dissolve macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #1
    After impatiently waiting for the new mac pro (and with a lot of time to think about my needs) I've decided to look at the used market. I'm only considering the current and previous generation machines. When going to check out these computers, what should I be looking for to make sure the condition is okay? Any of you who've bought a used mac pro, please share your experiences. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #3
    This is the best source, as it has a full warranty, and an extended warranty is also available (and recommended, given the cost of repairs).

    Outside of this route, look for something with remaining Apple Care (warranty), and try to buy locally (such as Craig's List), as you can inspect it (including powering it up to see if it boots, all the hardware is recognized,...).

    eBay is a possibility, but riskier IMO, and one I'd avoid if at all possible (sellers are usually individuals that usually don't have a lot of feedback from those I've looked at).
     
  4. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #4
    The refurb store is your best shot. Full warranty. My last 2 mac pro's were refurbs. But, if you find a smokin hot deal, make sure you see it in person and can verify it runs.
     
  5. dissolve thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #5
    Thanks all for your suggestions. I've been looking at used because, with my budget, even saving the cost of tax is a pretty big deal. In all, it'd be about $500 cheaper and include a 3 year warranty. But I'm certainly keeping my eyes on the refurb store. So, if anyone has bought a used one, what should I look out for? Any reason to check the components inside or is simply booting and opening up System Profiler enough? Any other suggestions?
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #6
    If you do end up buying used, I'd look at the internals (i.e. look for broken tabs on the PCIe slots, bad/loose cables,..., and the actual hardware installed). It also gives lets you know if the guts need to be cleaned out.

    Then check for booting, and the profiler (make sure all the hardware is recognized, including the RAM capacity). You can also open the system again (while running), and check the LED status indicators (shows some hardware faults), just to be thorough (if you need help understanding this, search the specific model's manual, as there are .pdf versions available from Apple).

    Other sources for systems would be Amazon, Small Dog Computers, and Power Max (the latter two sell new, used, and refurbished systems).
     
  7. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    Sep 24, 2008
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    Boon Docks USA
    #7
    I'll be selling my 2008 unit when the new 6 core pro's come out but depends what apple will be asking for them. Hopefully under 3 grand but kind of doubt it. I see on apple's refurb site the 2008 2.8ghz octo is selling for 2399.00. Same price as when I got mine a year and a half ago. Still a fast machine.
     
  8. dissolve thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #8
    When I saw that pop up on the refurb store, it was hard not to buy it. Still definitely considering going that route.

    Thank you nanofrog, that was exactly the type of info I was looking for. I'm still hesitant about used and I've had such a great experience with the refurb store that it's hard to ignore that option.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    The stores listed would be OK I think. At least worth looking into. ;)

    Craig's List is a possibility, but eBay makes me nervous. We've a member from Poland that got burnt badly (granted, the rules are different in each country, but still...). I just don't trust eBay that much, especially for large ticket items such as full systems. Maybe that's just me though. :p
     
  10. dissolve thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #10
    Agree completely. I should've been more clear: I'm only considering craigslist; not ebay at all. Even though I'd get to see it in person before buying, I'm still hesitant.

    I had one more question. A lot of the used mac pros are advertised as preloaded with tons of software suites (including CS4 and FCS, among others). Unless the seller never uses those licenses and associated serial keys, that's not entirely legit, is it? Seems like a good deal, but is it a good idea?
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #11
    If they're still using the key's, then NO, it's not legitimate.

    Ideally, NO.

    If you're a professional (i.e. generating an income with the system), then definitely not (cover's you from any legal issues, as profit earned typically is the reason IP holders go after illegal users from what I've typically seen).

    Beyond that, I really prefer not to go down this road, as it can inspire some passionate responses from other forum members, and I don't want to start that type of discussion if at all possible (thread could easily be side-tracked).
     
  12. dissolve thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #12
    Exactly what I thought, thanks nanofrog. I'm back to leaning towards refurb store or waiting until June to see if the 2010 models come out then. Buying used just doesn't seem to have enough benefits, unless some amazing deal comes along. Thanks for all the help everyone.
     
  13. CCK macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2010
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    KY
    #13
    I just found a 2.66 x 8 Nahalem with 3 months left on the warranty, for under $2000, it's quite a drive away (6 hours) could this person be that stupid, or is this a scam?
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    No idea.

    I presume you can examine the system prior to purchase (it's a drive though), so you could tell if it works or not (i.e. damage not covered under warranty). I'd also be somewhat concerned that it might be stolen property, so if there's a way, I'd track the S/N as well.

    Ultimately, I'd say follow your gut instincts. If it feels like something's off, then decline and bail.
     
  15. CCK macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #15
    Unfortunately my gut feeling says it must be hot. I asked for a screen grab of the "about this mac" & some kind of proof of purchase/sales receipt.

    We'll see if she responds.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #16
    I wish you luck all the same. :)
     
  17. CCK macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2010
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    KY
    #17
    She never answered any of my questions, so I let it go.
    Found a 3.0x8 though, closer - for $900, Figure that'll keep me till the 10's come out. If that's a no go, I'm getting a 2,93x4 tomorrow

    If anyone wants to take a look, It's supposedly a 2.66x8 Nehalem for $1700 on the Detroit CL. Just let me know if I missed the deal of a lifetime.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    The right move IMO.

    That would be either an '06 an individual's upgraged the CPU's, or an '07 (both are EFI32).

    Are you sure it's the right machine in the interim?

    What exactly are you doing as far as usage?
    (Just trying to see if a faster clock and fewer cores are the way to go, or more cores, even if lower clocked).

    The listing is incredibly vague. No mention of model, year, clock speeds,... save the core count (Octad).

    The pic does show 2x MP's (one on the floor, and the second on the desk), but who knows beyond that. She'd need to answer questions to make a sale (even if it's bogus, she'd need to give some sort of answer to lure potential suckers... err... I mean buyers... :p).
     
  19. CCK macrumors member

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    Feb 14, 2010
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    KY
    #19
    Pretty much all FCS with a bit of Logic. I seriously doubt they upgraded - so prob an 07.
    Anyway he hasn't emailed me back & I'm about 30 sec away from calling :apple: I'm running a G5 now so the 2.93 should feel like I'm flying.

    Still up in the air as the best ram configuration though, Bite the bullet for the 4Gbs or go with 2Gbs for 8Gbs max. Seems like I'd want more than 8. Think I'll run it for a while on 3 & see how it does before I make my decision.
    Have a job this month that'll easily pay for the ram either way.

    Thanks for the advice:)
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #20
    Seems like a higher clock would be more beneficial for what you're doing than the additional cores (though 8 fast cores wouldn't be a bad thing... ;) :p). Logic would benefit from an SSD as I understand it, so perhaps an OS/application drive based on SSD and data location based on mechanical would also be in order.

    Good luck with selecting the right machine, particularly as it seems you're no longer able to wait (better pricing on the '09's in a refurb, as that's the likely method they'd go to move remaining stock when the 2010's do finally ship). :)
     
  21. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    Apr 7, 2009
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    Chicagoland
    #21
    Well, I did buy my 2008 octo MP on eBay from a guy about 100 miles away. Bought the unit without inspecting it, but did verify with Apple before purchase that it had more than 2 years of AppleCare left.

    The whole thing went really well. The machine was completely stock, I don't think anyone had ever even opened the case to mess with anything...
     
  22. CCK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #22
    Hey Nanofrog,

    Thanks for the advice!

    Got the 2.93X4, they actually cut another $50 off the refub price just to be nice?? - didn't ask for it - (or could it be that they are in the process of dropping $ a bit because the new ones are coming out soon ((15 days after they ship mine)))

    Have been looking at SSD's, but figured I'd wait till the $ come down a bit. Besides It'll give me something to look forward to as far as feeling I have a "new machine" after I've had it for a while.

    What do you think about the ram - 12Gbs seems to be a better choice. Mostly I run FCP solo & I know that at present it doesn't use more than 4 Gbs, But I often have motion & PS-CS4 open and switch back & forth. Also plan on maybe having color opened also.
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #23
    :cool: On the price drop, as any little bit helps. :D

    Seems reasonable to me, and you could even occupy the 4th DIMM slot, as so far, the software's unable to utilize DDR3 in triple channel mode (it's still fast enough there's no bottleneck in RAM throughputs), so using 4GB sticks, you can go up to 16GB total.
     
  24. CCK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    KY
    #24
    Thanks:) Your input is always appreciated.
    Think the 12Gbs would suit me fine for a while, I understand about triple channel not being of real benefit to me (thanks to you explaining that in the past) It's just the minimum $ investment for now. Don't I also have the option of adding an 8Gb module to the 4th slot (if I should get ram greedy)?
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #25
    ONLY if the DDR3 type is identical. But it's likely that the 4GB sticks will be UDIMM, and the 8GB stick RDIMM. Since it's likely to be mixed, it's not likely to work. If it's all UDIMM or RDIMM, you'd be fine.

    So it's critically important that you pay attention to the details of the memory specs if you attempt to do this.
     

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