Is the 2009/2010 Mac Pro the best Mac Apple have ever made?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JazzyGB1, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. JazzyGB1, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

    JazzyGB1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2002
    Actually the question was is the Classic Mac Pro (desktop) the best Mac ever made - I hadn't mentioned laptops.

    However if it came to laptops, then undoubtedly the best MacBook Pro ever made is the late 2011 17" i7 model with the antiglare screen - proper pro spec IMO.

    Quad core i7 processor, big 17" display with 1920 x 1200 resolution, proper expansion capabilities via thunderbolt, Firewire, USB or PCI express, takes up to 16GB RAM, has an optical drive too which can be removed for fitting additional storage if preferred.

    Of course 6 years old now, so can't compete on pure CPU with the current MacBook Pros, but in nearly every other way it's a superior machine - it even has decent speakers!

    Love mine and will run it until it dies and then desperately scour the universe for another! :)
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
  3. AidenShaw, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

    AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    I think that they've been going downhill since the Mac II fx - which is probably because that was the (first and) last Apple system that I've used.
  4. haralds macrumors 6502a


    Jan 3, 2014
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I have to say that the Mac Pro 5.1 2010 upgraded to 2012 specs has been my longest lasting computer and still is my favorite. It is ready at my desk running 24/7 with 48GB of RAM, 20TB of spinners and 4TB of 4 SSDs internally mounted. Display is driven via flashed Gigabyte GV-R797OC-3GD. And I still have a 27" Cinema, although I long for a better GPU/display combination. The WiFi BTLE is upgraded, but some Continuity function are flaky.

    It's biggest strength over the year has been relative hardware standards compliance. With a little tinkering and a basic high power design, you can keep it going.

    I am concerned that Apple will not follow this concept - Jonathan Ives will never "get it." And I DO HOPE I AM WRONG.

    Hackintosh are too much hassle.
  5. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    I'd have to say yes. Among desktops, it obviously is.

    The Mid-2012 non-retina 15" MBP gets my vote for best laptop, with a big nod to the Pismo.
  6. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Dec 1, 2013
    Houston, TX USA
    Definitely a watershed design (cMP in general).

    Had they not crippled nMP in the following ways:

    - stuck with old GPUs (lots of folks would have been happy with say dual GTX 1070 performance bump in 2016)
    - meager internal storage options
    - crippled EFI which artificially limits the # of eGPUs

    It could've been even better. Destined for cult status.
  7. nutritious macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2008
    My 2010 Mac Pro is going on its 7th year of ownership. I have never owned a computer for this long. Hopefully Jonathon Ive doesn't have too much involvement in the upcoming Mac Pro. That guy is way too pretentious and dogmatic for a product like the Mac Pro. He'll turn the Mac Pro into the shape of a Braun toaster and then talk about how pure of a design it is and how he got to the essence of what is a desktop computer. He can't even dress properly, and his aesthetic taste and ideas on functionality are overrated. It didn't take much to design nicer tech products than competitors back in the day, but those days are gone, and the competition has, for the most part, caught up. I think Ive's prior success is more a product of Steve's vision than anything else.
  8. Pete Rodgers macrumors member

    Pete Rodgers

    Jun 18, 2017
    Bethesda, Uk
    Yes! My 2009 Mac Pro is still going strong. It has outlasted two monitors, and with a new 512gb ssd it really flies. It will only be obselete when applications stop supporting El Capitan.
  9. mikas macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2017
    It's a simple Yes to this question. Now if Apple could do a meaningful remake of this old cheese grater. Would it be called something like a modular Mac Pro, or what?
  10. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    I bought my used 2009 MacPro in 2014. It was flashed to 5,1. With Dual 3.46Ghz 6-core processors, loads of storage and 64GB RAM, it's been my solid desk companion for 3 years and I see no reason it can't go another 3 at least. I assume Apple will classify this model as "obsolete" very soon (if they haven't already - I don't pay much attention).

    It was running Mavericks until just a couple months ago, but now I've got it running Sierra just fine and see no reason to upgrade on Tim Cook's annual schedule, which I think will allow me to nurse it along for quite some time.

    So, yeah. It's a Classic model and still highly relevant for today.
  11. fendersrule, Nov 12, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017

    fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2008
    Yes. But don't confuse the 2009 4,1 with the 2010-2012 5,1. The 4,1 sucked back in the day when it came to price/performance. Instead of getting the 8800GT (which was a very cheap BTO option, couldn't have been more than $99), you get the GT120, have fun with that, or pay $200 more for a 4870 as your only option! In addition, Apple also jacked up the prices on the lowest BTO model by $200 because they were catching on with what prosumers were doing (like me). There were also audio problems that came about with the 2009 that seemed to last for awhile (and I was doing light music production at the time which was not acceptable).

    The 3,1 was easily one of the best Mac Pros ever. It could be configured really cheap with a stout GPU for it's time. Even a broke graduate student like me could go and buy one without taking out a student loan (instead, I worked during a summer for it). Sure, Wifi wasn't standard in the 3,1 (nor the 4,1) but it was priced fairly.

    But moving forward, the 5,1 is clearly, Apple's last "good" computer. The 4,1 was just a weird stop-gap. Yes, better CPUs, but still, wifi not standard, worse base GPU, and $200 added to the bill regardless on how you configured it.

    If we're talking about ownership, I had my 2008 3,1 until 2017. That's 9 years of ownership. :)

    The 3,1 is not very good today, though. For a garage, guest bedroom, or kid's computer, it's not bad, but only in Windows 10. I would not be running MacOS with anything 3,1 or below at this point. You're making things slower on purpose doing something like that, which some people don't seem to get. Apple could care less about old hardware. Microsoft will still keep you current and optimized.
  12. 1madman1 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2013
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    The beige G3 minitower I picked up way back in high school was the longest serving Mac I ever had, but my Mac Pro 4,1 is getting close. I expect the Mac Pro will end up serving me even longer in the end.

    I remember the upgrades for the G3 being far more significant but it could be just the proverbial "rose coloured glasses" at work.
  13. Mac Hammer Fan macrumors 6502a

    Mac Hammer Fan

    Jul 13, 2004
    I still have one working at home. It's now nearly 20 years old and I installed a G4 533 MHz processor in it.
  14. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    Agree. I've still got my 3,1 in the office as a secondary computer, mainly for the occasional intern and for peripherals like my desktop scanner. I keep it on Mavericks and it works just fine for simple projects. It was, as far as I'm concerned, the last truly reasonably priced product by Apple.
  15. z970mp macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2017
    I disagree. I'm rocking El Capitan with my 3,1 and it's just fine. No, it isn't greased lightning, but it's no slouch whatsoever.

    When they quit support for El Capitan, I'm moving to Ubuntu 18.04. So much better than that spyware, bloatware, low-qualityware, monstrosity they call Windows 10.

    As it happens, that will also be on this sucker's 10th birthday. New life for decade old hardware, what a great present too.
  16. fendersrule, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017

    fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2008
    You disagree with what? While a 3,1 running El Cap may be fine for you, Windows 10 will run faster in every way, Period!

    If you have a reason to keep running El Cap, then that's cool. But I certainly wouldn't be holding back the 3,1 "just because Windows 10 is blah blah blah" however.

    Windows 10 is smoking fast. MacOS is definitely falling behind (and probably has been for some time). When Windows 10 boots up 7 seconds faster (SSD, 3Gb/s) over MacOS Sierra (SSD, 6Gb/s) on a 5,1, I have to start questioning Apple's optimization skills. They have some old, outdated layers in their OSes. And the 3,1 will just suffer from it.

    BTW, updated my brother's 3,1, ripped out the MacOS drive, and stuffed in an SSD with only Windows 10, along with a GTX 1060. Not only can he play games at double the frame-rate, his machine browses the web faster, Youtube HD videos are smoother, and instead of "hey bro, build me a PC, my **** is slow" he's saying "this feels much newer than it did, maybe in a couple years I'll want a new computer", then I know I've done the right thing.

    With my own 3,1 going right to a 5,1 really opened my eyes to what "slow" meant. If you've experienced other newer machines, then you'd understand that the 3,1 is a slouch with El Cap. But hey, sometimes ignorance is bliss! :)
  17. z970mp macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2017
    I disagree with you saying the 3,1 is not very good today.

    Yes, Win 10 may be faster in every way period, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a bloated operating system that spies on every single thing you do within it. And I don't necessarily have a reason to run El Capitan, I just appreciate the up-to-dateness.

    Good! Neither will I! Turns out, breaking away from Apple's OS on Apple's hardware gives it a better life! How surprising!

    So is Linux. I agree, Apple is behind and they as of late use low-par optimization techniques. But I severely doubt Windows 10 could ever boot up faster than any Mac OS, because it's always busy installing updates WHILE it's booting, which takes over half an hour on a high-end machine, every single damn time it restarts. Coming from personal experience.

    I have used much newer machines running El Cap plenty of times. And no, I still disagree, El Capitan is still absolutely no slouch on a Mac Pro 2008, even directly comparing to those machines. Your brother's 3,1 was under-specced.

    Brah. I relied on G4s and G5s for over two years. I appreciate the difference between Leopard on dual-core and El Capitan on octo-core. That ain't ignorance.
  18. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    I think you mean when applications stop supporting High Sierra? Flash that bad boy’s firmware from 4,1 to 5,1 and upgrade yourself today.

    My ‘09 is cruising along with High Sierra. I plan on replacing it in maybe 2 to 3 years... hopefully with some sort of modular Mac Pro once they are available refurbished. But I can see myself going longer than that even if the options from Apple aren’t very compelling.
  19. pl1984 macrumors 68000

    Oct 31, 2017
    Windows does not install updates every single time it restarts. If your system is doing so then you're likely experiencing a patch which has failed to completely install and attempts to complete upon restart.
  20. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    I've done pretty well with all the Macs I've bought in my life.

    My first Mac was a IIci. The stock CPU was a 25 MHz 68030. I later upgraded it to a 50 MHz 68030, then a 40 Mhz 68040. I went through a couple of different NuBus graphics cards, ethernet cards, etc.

    I only sold that machine when my employer gave me a shiny new PowerMac 8500 to take home. That machine was also very expandable, though you had to practically take the entire logic board out to do so. That one went from the stock 120 MHz PPC 604 to a 233 MHz PPC 604e to a 400 MHz G3 over the years, plus a couple of graphics card upgrades. The built-in video I/O capabilities weren't fantastic, but I made heavy use of them at the time.

    In 2000 I bought a PowerMac G4. The stock 400 MHz G4 processor went through a couple of rounds of upgrades, ending up maxing out at 1.4 GHz.

    So I'm pretty biased towards those three models for all the expandability options, along with the 2009-2012 Mac Pro.
  21. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    I had a the Sawtooth PowerMac G4 and that got me from 1999 to 2008 and you're 100%, the upgrades we used to put back into the PPC Macs were truly far more significant that upgrades today. The main difference between our old PPCs and Mac Pros is that upgrades back then were substantial instead of the now gradual. I have the 4,1 as well and the only real changes in the past 8 years has been efficiency and miniaturization.
  22. fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2008
    A different take from a PowerPC G4 MDD w/ DP 1.42GHz owner whom thinks that the Intel Mac Pro is better from an upgrade perspective...

    Modded the hell out of my second PowerMac G4 MDD. Fastest G4 alive, actually, and could still run MacOS software. Revision B Daughter-cards are the best. Simply just rip out capacitor, and you're at a stable DP 1.5GHz with no cooling mods. Need wifi? Just slap in a Broadcom Wifi PCI card into it, and Apple will treat it as an airport card. Flashing was more community oriented and we didn't have big sites like MVC. I even had someone on craigslist offer to come over and flash my 9700 Pro free of charge because he just loved helping out the community. Never got it to work in one of my GPUs due to the chipset variances, but I did get another 9700 Pro to work. With that said, I eventually stuck in a 7800GS, which was the fastest GPU to stick into any G4/G5, ever. WoW all day long. I mean **** guys, I have THIS pinned up on my office:

    Oh yea, that's a Ti 4600, which failed all of a sudden in my PowerMac G4. Now it's decoration.

    But nothing helped/worsened my PowerMac from being loud, obnoxious, and hot.

    The MP 4,1-5,1 offers no deficit of benefits. In-fact, MORE significant/easier/cheaper. For upgrading a CPU in a PPC, you had to go through a specific site to buy a faster CPU for it, specific. For an Intel Mac, you simply just use what everyone else used. I paid $80 for my Hex Westmere 3.46GHz, which is dirt cheap, fastest CPU available. GPUs? No need to flash at all. If you're running Windows (which a PPC couldn't do), then anything is installable. Even between Apple's native GPU drivers and nVIdia's web driver, you clearly have more GPU options now. No need to rip capacitors off, or ensure that you have a specific chipset in a PCI card.

    The cMP, still stands/sounds/heats like it did new, which was "not much", no matter what you do.

    I mean come on, I have a Ti 4600 on my wall.
  23. z970mp, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017

    z970mp macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2017
    Seems that's a common issue, then. I know for a fact I'm not the only one out of the millions that it plagues.
  24. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    You should get someone who understands Windows to look at it. The install and update logs will show what the issue is.
  25. z970mp macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2017
    It wouldn't be a trouble to look at the install and update logs myself. The problem is it's just too bad of an OS to bother with.

    It doesn't matter anyway, I took it out a while ago. In my world, as soon as Windows 7 goes in 2020, Windows will no longer exist.

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