Is cMacPro 3.1 worth upgrading?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Acden, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Acden macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2016
    Based on my previous topic ( I want to share my other doubts with you, my friends.

    As I calculated my upgrade from
    Mac Pro 3.1 2008 (1 x 4-core Xeon 2.6Ghz, 6GB RAM, NV GTX 285 1GB) to
    Mac Pro 3.1 2008 (2 x 6-core Xeon 3.0 Ghz, 48GB RAM, NV GTX285/GTX 760).

    Which is about 600$, I think if it is a good idea to upgrade it? For about $700-800 I can buy Mac Pro 4.1 or 5.1, for example (clicked on any on eBay): Apple Mac Pro 5.1 2.66GHz Xeon 6-Core 1Tb 16gb.
    (But I'm not sure if adding the second CPU is cheap as for Mac Pro 3.1)

    So, I will get access to upgrade CPU to even better. And RAM would be not 800Mhz, but 1333. As for the RAM i think it could be noticeable in Video editing and stability, isn't it?

    The second benefit is that OS X Sierra will work on it (It is not supported on MacPro 3.1 anymore), which is important to me to. As I have MacBook and want to have the same systems, also because new software could be not upgraded for 10.11.6 in the future. And I hope that some speed improvements exists in Sierra too. (For example, I'm sure that new Safari which now is deleloping version and works only on Sierra is much better!).

    Mac Pro is my main Desktop for web browsing, mail, etc. So I prefer to have the latest and Safari and OS.

    So is it worth upgrading Mac Pro 3.1 for Video editing or it is better to consider about changing to Mac Pro 4.1/5.1?
    Or even make *ackintosh based on Core i7? (I don't like the idea of last one, because for example it is better to use cMP tower in the office for Video editing, as it gives more impression to clients that we are using Mac Pros )) and because I don't want to research for any kexts, instability issues and other. But I don't want to buy another macPro or i7-based Desktop if my upgraded Mac Pro 3.1 gives productivity in FCPX and Premiere Pro with Full HD video.
  2. TzunamiOSX macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2009
    There is no 6-core CPU for the 3,1. Only the 4,1 and 5,1 can be upgraded to a 6-core but not the 3,1.
  3. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    There is NO 6 cores option for 3,1. E5472 is a quad core CPU.

    There is practically NO option to "upgrade" to dual processor on the 4,1 / 5,1. You better buy a dual processor model from the beginning. Otherwise the "upgrade" basically means buy and other one and sell your current cMP.

    I don't think the 4,1/5,1 is more stable then the 3,1 when considering the memory spec. Both of them use ECC RAM anyway. And I don't think video editing is that memory bandwidth limiting. Most of the time is GPU limiting (rendering) and CPU limiting (encoding), or even hard drive limiting (loading).

    You can easily install macOS Sierra on your 3,1. There is a tread has all the details about it (a step by step guide).

    If you are OK with Hackintosh, I will recommend you start to build it now, and use it as a secondary machine. Once you have confidence that's stable enough, switch completely to the Hackintosh.
  4. Acden thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2016
    " You better buy a dual processor model from the beginning"
    What do you mean? Why it cannot be upgraded? I saw a lot of advert. on eBay about upgrade. Or it is about upgrade of one processor?
    So, how to find Dual Processor Mac Pro 4.1/5.1 in the listings?
    I thought that only CPU board should be changed, not the whole cMP. But how to find exactly Dual CPU Mac Pro?

    No, you are little bit mistaken, GPU is not used on export if no effects. But it is interesting if you say DDR 800 or DDR 1333 doesn't give any improvement in Full HD editing?!

    Yes, I didn't read this thread and I know about it (started to read). But it is not fully compatible... So, it could be slower than on cMP 4.1. Even it could fall on next OS update...

    H-tosh is not about stability. I don't need much stability (there are a lot of components already tested by people and you can chose from ready-to-go components), i need speed. Maybe there hardware error but cMP 3.1 is very-very slow on any operations (RAM modules are allways hot). Also, I repeat I don't like idea of going to Ha-sh if my Mac Pro could do the job. (A lot of people were doing their editings for TV etc on FCP, so it should work but some upgrade needed).
  5. Acden thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2016
  6. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Because just buying the dual processor tray may cost even more than buy the whole cMP. That's why in general, upgrade from single CPU to dual CPU is not practical, and buy another cMP usually is the better choice.
  7. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2014
    My opinion, as a 3,1 owner and user, is that these machines are no longer worth upgrading except perhaps in the most trivial of ways.

    My opinion is also that 4,1 and 5,1's are similarly too obsolete to make major investments in anymore, with only a few exceptions, i.e., that you must have Mac OS running on 8-12 cores non-stop for days at a time and a nMP is out of the question for some reason (there are plenty of reasons).

    For all other uses, e.g. more typical browsing, office, gaming, etc., all cMPs are just too old, power-inefficient and obsolete compared to almost anything new.

    Bummer, I know, but everything becomes too obsolete to invest in at some point.

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