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MP 1,1-5,1 Is a 2010 Mac Pro worth it?

Should I buy a 2010 Mac Pro?

  • Yes

    Votes: 15 44.1%
  • No

    Votes: 19 55.9%

  • Total voters
    34

theapplehead

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
636
744
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I’ve got a simple question for you guys. Currently I have a 2019 MacBook Pro; however, I’m debating picking up a 2010 Mac Pro. I’m wondering if it would be worth it to buy one if I can get a good deal on one. What do y’all think? Also, how much would you recommend spending on a Mac Pro with a 3.2 GHz Xeon processor and 12 GB of ram? My 2019 machine still may outperform it, but I love the ease of upgrading the Mac Pro.

Thanks for your help and advice!
 

majus

Contributor
Mar 25, 2004
236
135
Oklahoma City, OK
If I decided to buy one I would buy a 2012 rather than a 2010; it's newer and the cost difference won't be that much. Other than that advice, I can't say more than that because you did not indicate what you would use it for. It might be useful or it might be a dead-end.
 
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theapplehead

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
636
744
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
If I decided to buy one I would buy a 2012 rather than a 2010; it's newer and the cost difference won't be that much. Other than that advice, I can't say more than that because you did not indicate what you would use it for. It might be useful or it might be a dead-end.
Sorry I should’ve mentioned usage. I would be using it primarily for Logic Pro X and third party plugins with Logic. I also would use it for a little video editing with Final Cut Pro X.

Is the 2012 the same cheese grater style as the 2010?

Thanks!
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,351
1,050
I’ll go with the unpopular opinion and say no, not worth it.

[1] The hardware is old at this point, and the probability of failure is high relative to newer machines (those older motherboard components such as capacitors don’t last forever).
[2] It’s just been phased out from support by Catalina and you’ll be investing in old technology. To get the newest features, and more importantly, security updates, you’ll have to do workarounds to get Catalina running.
[3] Slower, PCI Express 2.0
[4] Low single core performance compared to newer machines.

Hackintoshes are cool but are a headache to get working and maintain IMO. Even though most users claim they’re stable, I remain cautious.

I recommend getting a newer iMac (and you get a display) or Mac Mini and calling it a day.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-2010-unexpected-shutdown.2187182/
 
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theapplehead

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
636
744
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I’ll go with the unpopular opinion and say no, not worth it.

[1] The hardware is old at this point, and the probability of failure is high relative to newer machines (those older motherboard components such as capacitors don’t last forever).
[2] It’s just been phased out from support by Catalina and you’ll be investing in old technology. To get the newest features, and more importantly, security updates, you’ll have to do workarounds to get Catalina running.
[3] Slower, PCI Express 2.0
[4] Low single core performance compared to newer machines.

Hackintoshes are cool but are a headache to get working and maintain IMO. Even though most users claim they’re stable, I remain cautious.

I recommend getting a newer iMac (and you get a display) or Mac Mini and calling it a day.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-2010-unexpected-shutdown.2187182/
Wow! I actually did not even realize that. I had no idea it wouldn't be natively supported with Catalina. Well that's a total game changer. Which iMac/Mac mini would you recommend so that it would stay relevant with macOS updates for the next few years as well as have a decent amount of power and be upgradable? How old would you recommend going?

Thanks again for your help!
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,351
1,050
You’re welcome :)

The hexacore Mac Mini seems like a solid option. You can upgrade the RAM in it and plug in more storage. + it has more IO than the iMac.

Also, apologies, I missed the part where you mentioned it would be your secondary machine. If you’re interested in upgrading and tinkering, and already have a stable, reliable main machine, then a Hackintosh might not be the most stable option, but it’s definitely the most upgradable and most fun (and cheapest and best performing for your buck).
 
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theapplehead

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
636
744
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
You’re welcome :)

The hexacore Mac Mini seems like a solid option. You can upgrade the RAM in it and plug in more storage. + it has more IO than the iMac.

Also, apologies, I missed the part where you mentioned it would be your secondary machine. If you’re interested in upgrading and tinkering, and already have a stable, reliable main machine, then a Hackintosh might not be the most stable option, but it’s definitely the most upgradable and most fun (and cheapest and best performing for your buck).
No worries! The more I think about it, the more I think the Mac mini may be the way to go, unless I decide to build a Hackintosh. I'll probably stay away from the Mac Pro now knowing that it will be obsolete with Catalina. Would it be a bad idea to go a little bit older to save some money and get a quad-core 2012 Mac mini or would that just not be worth it?

Appreciate all the help!
 
Comment

AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
931
306
A400M Base
No worries! The more I think about it, the more I think the Mac mini may be the way to go, unless I decide to build a Hackintosh. I'll probably stay away from the Mac Pro now knowing that it will be obsolete with Catalina. Would it be a bad idea to go a little bit older to save some money and get a quad-core 2012 Mac mini or would that just not be worth it?

Appreciate all the help!

By using Logic and other audio software solutions, you may want to ask yourself how the future in your case will look like in terms of pcie expansion cards. Will you need AJA Kona or HDX core cards in the close future? How about midi ports and such? If those questions can be answered with no, Thunderbolt 3 ports may have a lower priority in your case.
If TB3 Expansion is not important, only then an older Mac mini should be considered. However, keep in mind the classic Mac Pro 5.1 came out in 2010 and was manufactured till 2012. If you go for a 2012 mini, you will end up with nearly the same live expectancy, -meaning most likely one more OSX after your newly acquired mini is obsolete as well. This would not make much sense in my opinion.
Since the new Mac mini has been so strong compared to its predecessors, I would really recommend a newer model with TB3 ports. You would have so much more possibilities in terms of expansion (also eGPUs) and a significant longer OSX support. Because of this, I would always go even for a lower equipped mini with i3 but a newer year of making.
 
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orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
392
UK
Sorry I should’ve mentioned usage. I would be using it primarily for Logic Pro X and third party plugins with Logic. I also would use it for a little video editing with Final Cut Pro X.

I think for me it comes down to budget and what you expect to get from the kit.

2019 MacBook Pro 500 GB SSD Intel i5 2.4 GHz 16GB RAM -
what is this laptop not doing that you need to do?

Logic Pro X -
how complex are your projects, is it more than your laptop can do?
is your laptop fully maxed out running your projects?

little video editing with Final Cut Pro X -
is your laptop able to keep up with the video work you do?

you have a nice new laptop and if you're mostly doing audio unless your on big projects i assume it will be running them fine, from my point of view (budget focused view) a new computer may not be the best use of a budget you may be better of spending on a nice big external display to make Logic Pro X & FCX easier to use and some external drives or audio IO.

I've been looking at a new pair of headphones to replace my sennheiser HD 555 and maybe an external sound card personally.

Slight note, the cmp 4,1&5,1 tend to make some noise thanks to all the fans which may not be desired if your recording audio in the same room. The mac min can be easyer make a sound proof solotion for.

If you need legacy audio software tho it brings a new light on the problem, i know a lot of people using legacy software that need to keep a foot in the older versions of OSX
 
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LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
387
152
Illinois
I wouldn't buy a 2010, but a 2012 might be worth it if you can tolerate not being to update with ease after Mohave. Basically, the writing is on the wall as far as the future life of the cheese grater 5,1 and earlier, Apple has decided that it is no longer worth updating for them. That being said, if you are happy with the versions of Logic Pro and FCX that you are using, then the ability to upgrade RAM and storage remain the same, and you can still get a good GPU for a 5,1, so it will at least handle 4K. I'm keeping mine knowing that at some point there will be used 7,1s on the market at not a great price, but a reasonable price, and the possibility Apple recognizes a gap in its desktop values and moves to fill it with a down speced Pro, one can only hope.

The 5,1 remains a good machine despite it not being what it was once was. If time isn't exactly money for you, then the 5,1 will continue to do what it's always done: deliver reliable and relatively powerful performance with flexibility.
 
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flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,373
2,427
Folks keep saying they would buy a 2010. Why? My machine was bought new after the announcement of the 2013 trashcan. It was built in September of 2011. My cMP is not run constantly, it is shutdown each night. IMHO, a better indicator than build model serial no. Is usage and appearance.

Lou
 
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MVMNT

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2010
212
144
Hold on, you already have a 2019 MacbookPro?

What’s that doing a 9-years older machine can’t that you need it to do?

I bought a 4,1 purely as a stop gap to pay for a 2019 MacbookPro, that has far more expandability on offer for modern components and OS.
 
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bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,409
790
IMHO, for a cheesegrater to be worth purchasing at this point it should be as cheap as possible. That means not only going for a 2010 over the unjustifiably more expensive 2012, but even better going for a 2009 and flashing it to the 2010/2012 firmware yourself.

The only hassle with the 2009 is if you go for a dual CPU model and want to replace the CPUs you have to buy them delidded (or do it yourself).

Seeking out a 2012 seems like weird advice to me because it's functionally no different than the 2009 and you'd end up paying a lot more for (in essence) the same thing.
 
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theapplehead

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 17, 2018
636
744
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I think for me it comes down to budget and what you expect to get from the kit.

2019 MacBook Pro 500 GB SSD Intel i5 2.4 GHz 16GB RAM -
what is this laptop not doing that you need to do?

Logic Pro X -
how complex are your projects, is it more than your laptop can do?
is your laptop fully maxed out running your projects?

little video editing with Final Cut Pro X -
is your laptop able to keep up with the video work you do?

you have a nice new laptop and if you're mostly doing audio unless your on big projects i assume it will be running them fine, from my point of view (budget focused view) a new computer may not be the best use of a budget you may be better of spending on a nice big external display to make Logic Pro X & FCX easier to use and some external drives or audio IO.

I've been looking at a new pair of headphones to replace my sennheiser HD 555 and maybe an external sound card personally.

Slight note, the cmp 4,1&5,1 tend to make some noise thanks to all the fans which may not be desired if your recording audio in the same room. The mac min can be easyer make a sound proof solotion for.

If you need legacy audio software tho it brings a new light on the problem, i know a lot of people using legacy software that need to keep a foot in the older versions of OSX
I totally hear you on this. Part of me wanted the cmp just because of it’s simple to upgrade design. Using a 2019 where I can remove/upgrade nothing if I wanted to is a bit of a wear. Plus I just want something like a cmp that I can work on and be able to upgrade and remove components.

I’ve also considered a Mac mini, but your earlier point rings true again-my MBP would unquestionably outperform any Mac mini older than the refreshed one of this year.

Most likely I will end up building a Hackintosh and going down that path-mostly cause I like the thought of having something to work on like that.

Thanks for the advice!
[doublepost=1564435245][/doublepost]
Hold on, you already have a 2019 MacbookPro?

What’s that doing a 9-years older machine can’t that you need it to do?

I bought a 4,1 purely as a stop gap to pay for a 2019 MacbookPro, that has far more expandability on offer for modern components and OS.
The more I think on it, the more I’m convinced you’re right. My MacBook Pro can honestly do anything a 5,1 cmp can do, so it probably wouldn’t be worth it in that sense.

However, like you said, I really like the expandability of the cmp, so I may end up building a desktop to have that option.
 
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bpeeps

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2011
3,293
3,348
If you buy a 2010, you will be limited with every single piece of software you try to install. Not worth it at all.

Build a Hackintosh instead, better hardware, cheaper price, more fun to build.
Hackintosh are only fun to build if you have an interest in building them. For 95% of people they're an extreme hassle that needs constant troubleshooting. Installing new components, new software, troubleshooting boot loops and crashes, navigating console, clover, and programming language are more than what most people want to deal with. OP, if you want your computer to just work, 100% skip this route.

The difference between 2010 and 2012 is just a number.

On eBay 2012 are much more expensive.
This is false. Apple support for these two models wildly differs due to the operating systems and their software limitations.
 
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bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,409
790
This is false. Apple support for these two models wildly differs due to the operating systems and their software limitations.

Huh? There is absolutely no difference in operating system and software support between the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pros. Maybe you're thinking of the 2013?
 
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Soba

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2003
278
312
Rochester, NY
This is false. Apple support for these two models wildly differs due to the operating systems and their software limitations.

I think you are confusing the differences between the 2010/2012 with the differences between the 2009/2010.

There is literally no difference between a 2010 and 2012, except that the latter has a 12-digit serial number as compared to the 11-digit serial on the 2010. Same hardware, same system identifier (both are MacPro5,1), etc. They are identical in all respects and all hardware is interchangeable between them.
 
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flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,373
2,427
This is false. Apple support for these two models wildly differs due to the operating systems and their software limitations.

You are very WRONG my friend thumbsdown.gif

Lou
 
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Mactrunk

macrumors regular
May 12, 2005
168
57
Blah Blah Blah...
5,1 is now obsolete.
Duh!
So sad, but it is still working for me and my business.
Plenty of power for what I'm doing.
I'm on a 2012 and it is no better than the prior versions.
That said, I'm making music and loving my old 5,1.
Worth it for me?
Yes.
 
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iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
676
476
I bought a used Mac Pro 5,1 as a stop gap measure for my aging Mac Mini. It has the multi-core power of an i3 Mac Mini 2018, but I paid slightly less than the i3 refurb price with the RX580 GPU and works with my newer video editing software and photo software that need access to a GPU. The expansion slots are useful and the low price was the determining factor for me to get the 5,1.
 
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Jack Neill

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2015
1,124
862
San Antonio Texas
If you buy a 2010, you will be limited with every single piece of software you try to install. Not worth it at all.


Hackintosh are only fun to build if you have an interest in building them. For 95% of people they're an extreme hassle that needs constant troubleshooting. Installing new components, new software, troubleshooting boot loops and crashes, navigating console, clover, and programming language are more than what most people want to deal with. OP, if you want your computer to just work, 100% skip this route.


This is false. Apple support for these two models wildly differs due to the operating systems and their software limitations.

This is false. With the right build, a Hackintosh can be just as stable as a real mac and more powerful. While it may not be for everyone. Its not the Deadmoo days either.
 
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2muchinfo

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2019
4
1
Hope it's ok if I piggyback my question in here....
I need to update our nonprofit's very full 128GB Flash early 2014 11" MacBook Air for a machine that a) has more storage and b)will handle basic office needs (Word, Excel, Quickbooks), tiny bit of Illustrator and Photoshop, plus some small, short video projects, like 3 minutes and under)
I was just about to spend funds I'd rather use for the kids on a new or refurbished machine, but now have been offered a MacBook Pro 17-inch, Mid-2010 (4gb 1067 MHz DDR3, Intel HD Graphics 288 MB, 500GB SATA Disk) I am copying and pasting this info... I am not tech-y at all.
I think I understand it is limited to OS 10.13.6, but it has all the software I want to run right now.
Could this get me doing what I need for another year or so?
 
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