Is a 2008 model worth buying?

Slow Programmer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2011
161
35
I am wondering what peoples experiences with these models are. Are they worth $1200 in good condition. Main use would be rendering in Carrara Pro 8.

MACPRO A1186 - 2 QUAD CORE 2.8GHz (8 CORES) 4GB RAM 320GB HD.

I have seen several of these lately and wonder about upgrades, issues, etc. Ram on OWC does not seem to bad in price.
 

tony3d

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2006
377
2
I am wondering what peoples experiences with these models are. Are they worth $1200 in good condition. Main use would be rendering in Carrara Pro 8.

MACPRO A1186 - 2 QUAD CORE 2.8GHz (8 CORES) 4GB RAM 320GB HD.

I have seen several of these lately and wonder about upgrades, issues, etc. Ram on OWC does not seem to bad in price.
I have the exact same model. Add another 8 gigs of ram, and an ATI 5870 graphics card, and yes you will have a decent 3d machine. I use mine to render in Lightwave. It does a decent job.
 

Slow Programmer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 25, 2011
161
35
I have the exact same model. Add another 8 gigs of ram, and an ATI 5870 graphics card, and yes you will have a decent 3d machine. I use mine to render in Lightwave. It does a decent job.
Thanks :) Sounds like what I need. I don't want to invest in a current model and have a new one released a month later and frankly I am not sure I need the power of a new model for what I am doing anyway.

----------

I think that's wrong, unless it really dropped.
This is a link to the page I am looking at.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory#1066-memory
 

tony3d

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2006
377
2

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
916
0
Apart from the expense of the memory, these are still good machines, I have one myself. I have an SSD with Lion installed on a card that gives me full speed and as mentioned with 16GB of RAM and a 5770 or better, a very fast machine. That being said as far as future proofing is concerned, if you can snag a 2009 or 4,1 for a decent price, that would be better as it takes DDR3 RAM which as you already know, is cheaper. Also you can upgrade the CPU's in a 4,1 to hex core and with a firmware upgrade, make it a 5,1
 

wesk702

macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2007
1,810
353
The hood
I'm still running a single core quad from 2008. Power is still great.
I definitley want to update with the next real milestone, but if the next one is just a spec bump I'm fine with my machine.
 

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,790
983
Sounds like a good deal. For the price that will deliver great performance granted you upgrade the GPU (HD 5870 for sure) and RAM.
 

sparkie7

macrumors 68020
Oct 17, 2008
2,026
105
I am wondering what peoples experiences with these models are. Are they worth $1200 in good condition. Main use would be rendering in Carrara Pro 8.

MACPRO A1186 - 2 QUAD CORE 2.8GHz (8 CORES) 4GB RAM 320GB HD.

I have seen several of these lately and wonder about upgrades, issues, etc. Ram on OWC does not seem to bad in price.
hell yeah. only problem is RAM is quite pricey :rolleyes:
 

Atomic101

macrumors member
Jul 19, 2010
36
0
Nottingham
Upgrade the processors to X5482's, ZDnet overclock to 3.6 & stick a 5870 in it & you will be rendering at a comparable speed to a 2010 3.33ghz hex or a 2010 dual quad 2.4ghz.

I use mine for rendering in Cinema 4D.
 

digitalfrog

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2007
243
0
I use photoshop a LOT, and it's the first time I don't feel like upgrading machine every year.

Love my 2008, won't upgrade anytime soon.
 

Boomhowler

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2008
281
0
The biggest drawback with the 2008-models is the high price of RAM. With a decent graphics card it almost never breaks a sweat in normal day to day use. Should be able to handle Photoshop easily, just give it enough RAM and a snappy SSD.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,060
4
Keep in mind refurbed 2.8GHz 2010 Quads are $2100.00.
$1200.00 + $400.00 RAM+ 5870 @ $450.00 = $2050.00.
2010 can be upgraded to 3.46GHz 6-Core when prices allow. Also would have close to zero miles on it.
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
"Keep in mind refurbed 2.8GHz 2010 Quads are $2100.00"

A new one is only $2454 on Amazon. $344 off for a refurb is a bit tightfisted.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B003ZR4M6I/lowendmac00-20
A refurb 2010 only comes with 3 GB RAM so add another $80 at least for more.

The 2008 can have another 8 GB for $200 (12GB total), http://www.amazon.com/ENGTX560-DCII-OC-2DI-1GD5/dp/B0051E3BYM/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1332438344&sr=1-4 a PC Nvidia card like a GTX560 can be picked up for $200 and dropped straight in with a Lion OS X upgrade ($30). $1200 + ($200x2) + $30 = $1630

So another $500 cheaper. Total saving about $800 over a new 2010 Quad and with added CUDA support too.
:eek:
 
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derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,060
4
I would never buy a 4 year old computer with that small a price dif with very limited upgrade options and spendy memory prices (3x's higher). They are great Mac's IF you bought them a few years ago. Who knows the abuse 4 years can make?Personal preference, of course. All in all it is an OK deal. Not great. There are trade offs. The 2010 comes with a 5770 which is waaaaay better than anything 2008 offered and fully supported.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC560LL/A
$2119.00
 

Atomic101

macrumors member
Jul 19, 2010
36
0
Nottingham
2008 is still a very fast system

my Mac pro 2008, Sapphire 5870 (cost £200), X5482's (cost £160) ZD overclock 3.6Ghz

Cinebench:

Open GL 38.52 CPU 8.42

I run this system for days at a time rendering, its 100% stable & cost a lot less that a Nehalem.
 

fartheststar

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2003
504
2
Toronto
I bought the 3.0 Octo late 2008 used as an Avid Media Composer certified system, since all the Mac Pros are out of date anyway. To get an Octo core fast enough for Avid in the 2009 / 10 models I would have spent another 2-3000. I'll take the speed hit until I need to upgrade
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
I would never buy a 4 year old computer with that small a price dif with very limited upgrade options and spendy memory prices (3x's higher).
http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC560LL/A
$2119.00
I would never pay a premium price for a refurbished machine that is 2 years out of date, also 5770 cards are very pants when compared to a newer Nvidia with CUDA. The 2010 refurb still needs extra RAM too. $2119 becomes $2199 if you put a decent slice of RAM in.
At just over $1600 the 08 with the GFX card upgrade and RAM already in it is 30% cheaper. Significant cost savings for better performance. Both are basically secondhand machines at the end of the day.
The 08 has no history of early part failure to my knowledge and my family of working Macs date right back to 1998. My first Mac SE died 20 years after purchase and only the tube in the 9" b&w CRT went then.

These decisions are all relative to your economic situation and personal preference ofc. Significantly, if Octo '08 Mac Pros are worth $1200 now they have only depreciated $800 (40%) in 4 years. Liking it a lot.
:)
 
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CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
2008s are great machines. I bought one three years ago as an EOL. I can probably get another few years out of mine before it's ready to retire.

But as everyone is saying, they're not the best investments NOW, considering that the 2009/10 models have much cheaper RAM and a faster CPU architecture with more DIY CPU upgrades available. In most cases, it isn't even worth the money/effort to upgrade a Harpertown CPU.

Another thing to consider is that the vast majority of 2008s are well out of warranty now. Apple's 2009/10 refurbs carry full warranties and qualify for AppleCare.