Is a 2008 model worth buying?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Slow Programmer, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Slow Programmer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #1
    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.
     
  2. tony3d macrumors 6502

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    Apr 6, 2006
    #2
    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.
     
  3. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #3
    Is memory still super expensive for these? Might want to take that into account.
     
  4. Slow Programmer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 25, 2011
    #4
    If I am reading the info right on OWC 16 gigs is $125 and 24 gigs is $185.
     
  5. tony3d macrumors 6502

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    Apr 6, 2006
    #5
    I think that's wrong, unless it really dropped.
     
  6. Slow Programmer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 25, 2011
    #6
    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.

    ----------

    This is a link to the page I am looking at.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Mac-Pro-Memory#1066-memory
     
  7. tony3d macrumors 6502

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    Apr 6, 2006
    #7
    Those prices are for the newer Mac. Yours would be $474.99 for 16 gigs.
    Even if you brought it up to 8 gigs that should be fine.
     
  8. Slow Programmer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 25, 2011
    #8
    I see :) Thanks for the heads up on the memory prices.
     
  9. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 20, 2010
    #9
    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
     
  10. wesk702 macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    The hood
    #10
    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.
     
  11. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    Jun 10, 2006
    #11
    Sounds like a good deal. For the price that will deliver great performance granted you upgrade the GPU (HD 5870 for sure) and RAM.
     
  12. sparkie7 macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #12
    hell yeah. only problem is RAM is quite pricey :rolleyes:
     
  13. gpzjock, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #13
  14. Atomic101 macrumors member

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    Nottingham
    #14
    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.
     
  15. digitalfrog macrumors regular

    digitalfrog

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #15
    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.
     
  16. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

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    Feb 23, 2008
    #16
    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.
     
  17. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #17
    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.
     
  18. gpzjock, Mar 22, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    May 4, 2009
    #18
    "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:
     
  19. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #19
    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
     
  20. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

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    Nov 11, 2007
  21. Atomic101 macrumors member

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    Nottingham
    #21
    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.
     
  22. mikeray macrumors regular

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    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #22
    I wouldn't get based purely on the fact that RAM is expensive
     
  23. fartheststar macrumors 6502a

    fartheststar

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    Dec 29, 2003
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    Vancouver
    #23
    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
     
  24. gpzjock, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    May 4, 2009
    #24
    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.
    :)
     
  25. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #25
    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.
     

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