I can buy Mac Pro ma356 for $650 are they any good?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by walkz87, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. walkz87 macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2011
    Hi all

    i have an oppitunity to purchase a older Mac Pro ma356 for $650 AUS.

    How powerful/compatable are these computers? how would it compare with my Imac 27 I7 2.8 i currently own?
    Can this mac pro run lion and 64 bit? what is the max speed of the ram which can be used?
    Are there any foreseen limitations which can be seen with this model?

    ***Here is the confiquration of the model being sold***
    2 x 2.66GHz Intel Xeon (Woodcrest) Dual core processors (Total: 4 cores & 8M cache)
    4GB DDR2 Fully Buffered ECC Memory
    7200GT 256MB Graphics
    500GB Sata Storage
    CD/DVD Burner Combo
    Keyboard/Mouse/Power cable INCLUDED
    OSX Snow Leopard 10.6 Installed (no other software installed or included)

    ***here are the original configuration of the model***
    Product Specification:
    General Type Personal computer
    Product Form Factor Tower
    Width 8.1 in
    Depth 18.7 in
    Height 20.1 in
    Weight 42.3 lbs
    Processor Type Intel Xeon 5150 / 2.66 GHz
    Multi-Core Technology Dual-Core
    64-bit Computing Yes
    Installed Qty 2
    Max Supported Qty 2
    Processor Main Features Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology, Intel Execute Disable Bit, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, Intel Virtualization Technology
    Cache Memory Type L2 cache
    Installed Size 8 MB
    Cache Per Processor 4 MB ( 2 x 2 MB )
    Mainboard Data Bus Speed 1333 MHz
    RAM Installed Size 1 GB / 16 GB (max)
    Technology DDR2 SDRAM - ECC
    Memory Speed 667 MHz
    Form Factor FB-DIMM 240-pin
    Features Fully buffered
    Configuration Features 2 x 512 MB
    Storage Controller Type 1 x Serial ATA - integrated
    Controller Interface Type Serial ATA-300
    Channel Qty 4
    Storage Hard Drive 1 x 250 GB - standard - Serial ATA-300
    Optical Storage Type DVD±RW (+R DL)
    Read Speed 32x (CD) / 16x (DVD)
    Write Speed 24x (CD) / 16x (DVD±R) / 6x (DVD+R DL)
    Rewrite Speed 24x (CD)
    Monitor Monitor Type None.
    Graphics Controller Graphics Processor / Vendor NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
    Video Memory 256 MB DDR2 SDRAM
    Type PCI Express x16 - plug-in card
    Max Monitors Supported 2
    Digital Video Standard Digital Visual Interface (DVI)
    Audio Output Type Sound card - integrated
    Input Device Type Mouse, keyboard
    Keyboard Interface USB
    Features Built-in two USB 1.1 ports
    Mouse Technology Optical
    Interface USB
    Networking Networking Network adapter - integrated
    Data Link Protocol Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
    Expansion / Connectivity Expansion Bays 4 (total) / 3 (free) x internal - 3.5" x 1/3H ¦ 2 (total) / 1 (free) x front accessible
    Expansion Slot(s) 8 (total) / 6 (free) x memory - FB-DIMM 240-pin ¦ 1 (total) / 0 (free) x PCI Express x16 - full-length, full-height ¦ 2 (total) / 0 (free) x processor ¦ 3 (total) / 3 (free) x PCI Express
    Interfaces 1 x display / video - DVI-Analog/Digital - 29 pin combined DVI ¦ 1 x display / video - DVI-Analog/Digital (dual link) - 29 pin combined DVI ¦ 2 x network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45 ¦ 2 x IEEE 1394b (FireWire 800) - 9 pin FireWire 800 ( 1 in front ) ¦ 2 x IEEE 1394 (FireWire) - 6 pin FireWire ( 1 in front ) ¦ 5 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A ( 2 in front ) ¦ 1 x headphones - output - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm ¦ 1 x audio - SPDIF input - TOSLINK ¦ 1 x audio - SPDIF output - TOSLINK ¦ 1 x audio - line-in - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm ¦ 1 x audio - line-out - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
    Expansion Bays Total (Free) 4 ( 3 ) x internal - 3.5" x 1/3H ¦ 2 ( 1 ) x front accessible
    Expansion Slots Total (Free) 8 ( 6 ) x memory - FB-DIMM 240-pin ¦ 1 ( 0 ) x PCI Express x16 - full-length, full-height ¦ 2 ( 0 ) x processor ¦ 3 ( 3 ) x PCI Express
    Miscellaneous Cables Included DVI-VGA adapter
    Power Device Type Power supply
    Voltage Required AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
    Operating System / Software OS Provided Apple MacOS X 10.5
    Software Apple QuickTime, Apple Mac OS X Mail, Apple iCal, Apple DVD Player, Apple Address Book, Apple Safari, Apple iChat AV, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Test Drive, Apple Dashboard, Apple Spotlight, Apple XCode Developer Tools, iWork '08 (Trial), Apple iLife '08, Apple Spaces, Apple Quick Look, Apple Time Machine
    Environmental Standards ENERGY STAR Qualified Yes
    Manufacturer Warranty Service & Support 1 year warranty
    Service & Support Details Limited warranty - 1 year ¦ Technical support - phone consulting - 90 days
    Environmental Parameters Min Operating Temperature 50 °F
    Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
    Humidity Range Operating 5 - 95%
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Mac Pro's are very good. That one is very old. It is basically 2 core 2 Duo's equalling 4 Processors. No hyperthreading, no turbo boost, no 64-bit efi for later OS's. Your iMac is faster as well.
  3. walkz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2011
    would you say its worth the money?

    derbothaus thanks for your help

    i didnt think it would be as fast as my current Imac but would it still be fast enough to run music applications Cubase, Logic. was thinking of using this Mac Pro to make my instruemenat tracks along with storing libaries of sounds & back ups as you can 4 HDD. will it support 4X1TB HDD's? then i would use my Imac to record vocals and final Mixing with all the heavy plugins & automations. also link/network the 2 up for file sharing.

    would you say its worth the money? is a good buy
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    It'll support 4 HDDs. $650 is a good price for the system.
  5. walkz87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2011
    ddr 2 667 mhz ram

    thanks Umbongo

    i have read that ddr 2 667 mhz ram is the fastest which the board will support. is this corret? if so how much will an extra 4GB cost me?
  6. Toumak macrumors member


    Jul 26, 2010

    that is a good price for such a monster.
    And the best is that you can upgrade it :
    - add ram (about 100$ for extra 4GB)
    - change CPUS : 2 Xeon 5160 (= 4x3GHz with 8MB of cache) is about 200$
    - change video card : it supports up to HD 5870
    - add an ssd or/and up to 5 hdds

    I would say that id depends of what the mac will be used for.
    But I still have a 2006 Mac Pro (4x3GHz 12GB SSD + HD 5870),
    and it is still a really powerful computer.
  7. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    You can even implant 8 core-CPUs: 5355 (8x2,66GHz) or 5365 (8x3,0GHz).


    Depends on where you're from. In Europe you can currently get a 4GB Kingston Kit (2x2GB) for ~70-75,- € and an 8GB Kingston kit (2x4GB) for around 140,- €.
  8. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    just a heads up i believe mac pros come stock with buffered RAM as apposed to unbuffered RAM, it costs a bit more, but its better for servers since it helps prevent RAM errors.
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Bigger question, what do you plan on using it for?
  10. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Your iMac is much faster.

    You can run Lion and you can run 64-bit applications, but you cannot run a 64-bit kernel due to the 32-bit EFI. (Well, technically you can run 64-bit kernel with some hacks.) I think this means you also cannot use anything that relies on a 64-bit KEXT.

    Your CPU upgrade path is pretty limited. It's old and slow technology compared to current Macs.

    Wi-fi and bluetooth were options on a MP this old, so unless this specific one has those added, you might need to spend additional money to use wireless networking or devices.

    Optical bays are IDE/PATA, not SATA.

    According to Barefeats the best video card you can take advantage of is the ATI 5770. (ATI 5870 works, but costs twice as much and doesn't really improve things on this model MP.)

    Some Nvidia graphics cards won't work at all because they need 64bit EFI.

    You won't get audio out from HDMI and MDP ports.
  11. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I don't believe you can install unbuffered memory at all into a Mac Pro until the 2009 models.
  12. wikus macrumors 68000


    Jun 1, 2011
    Planet earth.
    FB-DIMMs only in the 1,1 Mac Pros. I would know. And the RAM is super expensive, especially when its rare.
  13. G-Force macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2006
  14. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    It is okay for the money. You can upgrade this Mac Pro quite easily as they are a joy to work inside.


    1. SSD

    2. Memory from OWC:-
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/53FB1MPK04GB/

    3. Faster graphics card, say a nVidia Ge Force 8800GT for Mac Pro 1.1

    4. Upgrade the CPU to X5355/5365 Quad Cores. Get them for about $300 on eBay etc.

    PM me, left click on name, for assistance Down Under.
  15. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2006
    True, but my 4-core 3.0Ghz is still up there with the current base MBP and Mini in terms of Geekbench scores. Not bad for a 6-year-old machine. I get 6827 for 64-bit and 6146 for 32-bit in Snow Leopard.

    A 5365 setup would get 5-figure results.

    Yes. If the OP needs to, I can point him to a reputable eBay seller in Hong Kong who sells official Apple parts new and used with free shipping worldwide. I bought both BT and WiFi and spent only USD26.99 for both of them together. Shipping was prompt and they work perfectly.
  16. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    My 1.1 Mac Pro with X5355 processors, 16GB memory, OWC Mercury Extreme and ATI Radeon HD4870 1GB return a Geekbench score of 9806 which puts it up there with much later machines.

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