Got a Mac Pro "for parts" - need advice on setting it up

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by darnocs, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. darnocs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #1
    So I found a barebones Mac Pro (pretty sure it's a 1,1) on Craigslist for $20. It doesn't look like it has much other than the processors, but I'm very new to the Mac Pro world. I'm looking to get a Mac Pro in the $200 range either by buying used (eBay) or buying parts for this thing. I just don't really know what I'm in for.

    Questions:

    (1) Based on these pictures, what is my Mac Pro missing?
    (2) How can I test this thing to see if it's even functional? Obviously I think I need parts for that, but I'd like to test it the cheapest way possible.
    (3) I have an Early 2011 13" MacBook Pro w/ 16 GB of RAM and an SSD and it works fantastically for what I do (virtual machines for work, Excel programs for work, lots of multitasking and word processing)—what would I need to get a Mac Pro to a comparably functional level?
    (4) What else do I need to know? :p

    Thanks in advance

    PICS (couldn't get the insert image button to work):
    1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/70gm2eocszpb0jw/20170728_203541.jpg?dl=0
    2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/aylcw5qwmuv47wh/20170728_203545.jpg?dl=0
    3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/saoy7xk1soquhol/20170728_203550.jpg?dl=0
    4: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tvqwedif1u2lond/20170728_203553.jpg?dl=0
    5: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kpkm6etuvajmimp/20170728_203556.jpg?dl=0
    6: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1sixcvc9ts1yj4b/20170728_203605.jpg?dl=0
     
  2. Auggie, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    Auggie macrumors regular

    Auggie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    #2
    Right off the bat I can see your missing the drives sled x4, processor heat sinks x2, heat sink cover, front case fan, video card, hard drive(s), optical drive, RAM cage with rear case fan, RAM riser boards x2, and RAM.

    I can't tell if there are any missing cables and screws.

    Scrounging all the various parts will probably cost upwards of $300 or more. And you have to educate yourself to put it all together properly. And this is assuming the motherboard, CPUs, and PSU, the only major components left, actually work. Buying all the missing parts used will not guarantee you will get a fully functional Mac Pro, and you could have a heck of a time tracking down the faulty component(s).

    But 1,1's are going for $95 to $200 on eBay, with a few up to $300.

    If you wanted to get into Macintosh computers on the cheap, this is not the way to do it...
     
  3. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    I agree with Auggie. The cost you end up spending should be enough to get a whole working 4,1.
     
  4. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    and you dont even know if the mobo works, might be why it's the only part not striped out..

    you can always make a hackintosh thats the perfect case for it

    PS yep dont try to fix it it's not worth it
     
  5. darnocs thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    Thanks to everyone for your advice. Seems like it makes sense.

    Do you think any parts of what I have are good for anything whatsoever?
     
  6. Blakehoo macrumors member

    Blakehoo

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    #6
    The case is a keeper, for sure...
     
  7. IIcx macrumors newbie

    IIcx

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    #7
    I think you could prolly get it up and running for much less than 300, maybe more like 100 if you took a bit of time and really wanted too. I think i put about 150 in my 1,1 when I gutted it and swaped in 3,1 parts.

    Two stickers though would be finding a screw kit and if that psu in there is any good. If you want to have a project that takes a bit of time to assemble I say go for it. But if you would rather not spend a month and a half tracking down odds and ends and would rather just use a mac, go to a gov/university surplus sale and find one cheap that way. My 1,1 came from MSU for 50 bucks running.
     
  8. darnocs thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #8
    Any tips on where I could find a good govt or university surplus sale? I've found a few online but they all look like pickup only, and there don't look like there are many in my state. Would you have some sites you'd recommend checking?
     
  9. Blakehoo macrumors member

    Blakehoo

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    #9
    I would try to find a dented-up 4.1

    These can be expanded where the early ones cannot.

    Same case...
     
  10. darnocs thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #10
    And then just transplant the innards? Hmm. You think I could get one for $200~?
     
  11. Blakehoo, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    Blakehoo macrumors member

    Blakehoo

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    #11
    I like how you think!

    They get crushed in shipping, all the time.

    Put some money aside, one will turn up...

    Macs with bent leg/handle never bring big money.

    Good luck!
     
  12. IIcx, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    IIcx macrumors newbie

    IIcx

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    #12
    Cant help much with where to find a surplus store but be cautious and do reaserch before parts swapping.
    1,1-3,1 cases/parts are not 100% the same, but are similar enough that with a bit of work the guts can be swapped.

    4,1 to 5,1's are their own thing, and not compatible with the 1,1-3,1s guts/cases.

    No real need to swap cases on a 4,/5,1 with a bent or broke handle, they work just fine. Just a bit wobbly on a desk is all.
     
  13. Blakehoo, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017

    Blakehoo macrumors member

    Blakehoo

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    #13
    There's a 2009 2 x 2.26 with damaged case for $399 ...and a single 2.66 for $292 ...on that auction site at the moment.

    With these prices ...Seems like 4.1 is the way to go

    Heck, I've got a real nice dual processor I'd sell for $500
     
  14. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #14
    The single cpu (4,1)'s are easier to do CPU upgrades on; the dual cpu boards use delidded processors. Put a 6 core Westmere in the single cpu processor, add a couple cheap SATA drives right in the drive bays, and you have a very good virtual machine host. The tower Mac Pro's are not going to be a sensible value proposition for much longer, but IMHO there's still a couple years good life left in them, for the right price and the right user.
     
  15. CapnDavey macrumors 6502

    CapnDavey

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    #15
    HD sleds can be expensive but there is a mac parts dealer in texas that sells 1,1 ram cards with ram 4 gig for like 40 bucks might be cheaper now thats what I payed in 2014
     
  16. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #16
    If just considering the 4,1 as a Mac but not work station. A properly upgrade 4,1's performance to cost ratio is quite unbeatable. It can deliver the performance more or less same as the current gen Mac (or even better in some case). But much much cheaper overall (and repairable / upgradable).
     

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