Is this a good deal for a Mac Pro 2008?

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
Hi guys,
I joined to get some advice, specifically on whether I should purchase a Mac Pro 2008 and figured this thread will be able to give me your experienced perspectives:

SPECS:
Mac Pro 3,1 (2008) 2x2.8Ghz Quad-Core (Total - 8 Cores)
16GB Ram
1TB HD
Running OSX El-Capitan
ATI Radeon XT2600 256MB Video Card

PRICE:

$550 which includes a 23in Apple Cinema Display (the thicker, older, aluminum one)

USE:

I am considering it as my 2007 iMac died on me a week ago. Will be used as a family computer, mainly for music, Web, e-mail, and a little bit of Reason 4.

Do you guys think its a good-buy based on what I have posted above? All your comments are much appreciated!! Cheers!

Sorry, I also wanted to ask whether running OSX El-Capitan would be okay, or would a downgrade to Mavericks be recommended?
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
A friend of mine replaced his 2006 iMac with a similar spec MP 3,1, he paid £450 back in January and it didn't come with an Apple monitor which is worth about £90 secondhand. He is very pleased with it, came with a 3 month warranty and I upgraded it to El Capitan for him with no hitch at all. I added an SSD, now it flys through the boot and launches apps like lightning.
 

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
A friend of mine replaced his 2006 iMac with a similar spec MP 3,1, he paid £450 back in January and it didn't come with an Apple monitor which is worth about £90 secondhand. He is very pleased with it, came with a 3 month warranty and I upgraded it to El Capitan for him with no hitch at all. I added an SSD, now it flys through the boot and launches apps like lightning.
Hi..Thanks for your reply! I will definitely put in an SSD in this machine..So far the sentiment is that it is a good machine for home use and I genuinely want something a little more powerful than the iMac I had. Much appreciated!
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
669
332
Ocean State
I had a 2006 MacPro 1,1 that I had upgraded into 2,1 with two quad core 3.0GHz processors and upgraded to my current MacPro 5,1 12-core 3.06Ghz. I would say if you could afford it, get the 5,1 instead. Apple's latest OS still installs on this platform natively and you won't have to "hack" the OS to make it work like you do with the older gen MacPros. More upgrade paths available to the 4,1/5,1 platform if you ask me.
 

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
I had a 2006 MacPro 1,1 that I had upgraded into 2,1 with two quad core 3.0GHz processors and upgraded to my current MacPro 5,1 12-core 3.06Ghz. I would say if you could afford it, get the 5,1 instead. Apple's latest OS still installs on this platform natively and you won't have to "hack" the OS to make it work like you do with the older gen MacPros. More upgrade paths available to the 4,1/5,1 platform if you ask me.
Hi..Thank you for your reply...As I understand it, a 2008 Mac Pro can run El-Capitan natively! There is an option for a 2010 Mac Pro (6-Core), but the price with the screen is almost 1200 dollars. I figured that even for the next two years if this 2008 Mac Pro will serve me well whilst being used at home, I will be okay with it! Any thoughts?
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
El Capitan is native on the MP 3,1 but it is likely to be the last OS X version that will be, Apple tend to obsolete stuff around the 10 year mark. The newer 5,1 models are faster but they are also more current, still useful for professional users and still have a decent price attached. The 3,1 is a shedload faster than any 2007 vintage iMac, rest assured.

With El Capitan you can replace the puny 2600XT GFX card with a £100 Nvidia card (+ power cables) and Nvidia Web Drivers for a major graphics upgrade too. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-GTX95...e=UTF8&qid=1462722977&sr=1-7&keywords=GTX+950

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-2600-XT-Mac-vs-GeForce-GTX-950

It won't show the bootscreen until log in but it will run fine, just keep the 2600XT handy for if you ever need a bootscreen.
 
Last edited:

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
El Capitan is native on the MP 3,1 but it is likely to be the last OS X version that will be, Apple tend to obsolete stuff around the 10 year mark. The newer 5,1 models are faster but they are also more current, still useful for professional users and still have a decent price attached. The 3,1 is a shedload faster than any 2007 vintage iMac, rest assured.

With El Capitan you can replace the puny 2600XT GFX card with a £100 Nvidia card (+ power cables) and Nvidia Web Drivers for a major graphics upgrade too. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-GTX95...e=UTF8&qid=1462722977&sr=1-7&keywords=GTX+950

http://gpuboss.com/gpus/Radeon-HD-2600-XT-Mac-vs-GeForce-GTX-950

It won't show the bootscreen until log in but it will run fine, just keep the 2600XT handy for if you ever need a bootscreen.
That is great! I figured for the pro user, a 2010 Mac Pro will be super useful, but for my home use, the 2008 will do well enough! TBH, I will need downgrade to Mavericks to install Windows 7 via Bootcamp unless I can do it on El-Capitan?

Thanks a lot for all your help!
 

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
Do you any of you think its worth changing the hard drive on my 2007 iMac or sell it for $150 to a guy who wants it for parts?
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
In the UK a working iMac 2007 is worth about £200, it may not be an economic repair.
 

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
Hello all,
Wanted to give you an all update:

I went to the seller to buy a 2008 machine; also, I took my iMac as he wanted to take a look at it for parts.

When I got there, the 2008 machine chassis was pretty banged up, so an instant tun off for me!

Saw a mint looking tower in the back, and asked him what was that?

Turns out it was a 2010 Mac Pro (Six Core) with 32GB Ram! Traded in the iMac for $200 and got the tower+cinema display for $550 cash!!

I have a question regarding the hard drives in this mac pro: I have another Mac Pro 2009 (4,1) which has my work hard drives and I would like to use this machine instead with them! Can I just swap the hard drives from one machine to the other (2009->2010)? Please do advise!!
 

scott.n

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2010
337
78
Hello all,
Wanted to give you an all update:

I went to the seller to buy a 2008 machine; also, I took my iMac as he wanted to take a look at it for parts.

When I got there, the 2008 machine chassis was pretty banged up, so an instant tun off for me!

Saw a mint looking tower in the back, and asked him what was that?

Turns out it was a 2010 Mac Pro (Six Core) with 32GB Ram! Traded in the iMac for $200 and got the tower+cinema display for $550 cash!!

I have a question regarding the hard drives in this mac pro: I have another Mac Pro 2009 (4,1) which has my work hard drives and I would like to use this machine instead with them! Can I just swap the hard drives from one machine to the other (2009->2010)? Please do advise!!
Good deal. Yes, you can just swap the hard drives.
 

Silencio

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,471
327
NYC
Good move. The 2009-2012 Mac Pros still have a lot of mileage left and are much easier / cheaper to upgrade than then 2008 Mac Pros.

What did you get for a graphics card in the 2010 Mac Pro?

The 2009-2012 Mac Pros use the same drive sleds, so just slide the drive out or your 2009 Mac Pro and into an empty slot in your 2010 Mac Pro. Done.
 

AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
927
304
A400M Base
Great move, you will be very happy for years to come. In case you go with an ssd, make sure to buy a samsung 951 AHCI with an PCI adapter. They are a lot faster then the old sata drives.

:apple:

Hello all,
Wanted to give you an all update:

I went to the seller to buy a 2008 machine; also, I took my iMac as he wanted to take a look at it for parts.

When I got there, the 2008 machine chassis was pretty banged up, so an instant tun off for me!

Saw a mint looking tower in the back, and asked him what was that?

Turns out it was a 2010 Mac Pro (Six Core) with 32GB Ram! Traded in the iMac for $200 and got the tower+cinema display for $550 cash!!

I have a question regarding the hard drives in this mac pro: I have another Mac Pro 2009 (4,1) which has my work hard drives and I would like to use this machine instead with them! Can I just swap the hard drives from one machine to the other (2009->2010)? Please do advise!!
 

Melodist

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2015
150
90
The Mac Pro 3.1 8-core machine is a beast, till this day. During 64 bit multicore operations, even the newest iMacs and Macbook Pros have a hard time catching up. I own two and use them on a daily basis in Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Cubase. If one of them died, I'd either buy the same machine or an early 2009 Mac Pro.

For professional tasks, Mavericks is the OSX to go with at the moment.
 

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
Good move. The 2009-2012 Mac Pros still have a lot of mileage left and are much easier / cheaper to upgrade than then 2008 Mac Pros.

What did you get for a graphics card in the 2010 Mac Pro?

The 2009-2012 Mac Pros use the same drive sleds, so just slide the drive out or your 2009 Mac Pro and into an empty slot in your 2010 Mac Pro. Done.
Hi,
Thank you for the vote of confidence!! The graphics card in the Mac Pro 2010 is an ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB graphics card! Is that any good?

As for the hard drive swap, I have a question: On my 2009 Mac Pro, I have two hard drives: One for Mac OSX and the other with Windows 7 via Bootcamp. My question is if I were to swap the hard drives into the 2010 Mac Pro, will it boot up like it did on the 2009? I guess what I am trying to figure out is if I will need to reinstall OSX and Windows after the swap. I want to make the 2010 my primary work computer and keep the 2009 at home! Basically, I want to boot up the 2010 Pro with the hard drives from the 2009; is that even possible??

Thank you in advance!!
[doublepost=1462840753][/doublepost]
Great move, you will be very happy for years to come. In case you go with an ssd, make sure to buy a samsung 951 AHCI with an PCI adapter. They are a lot faster then the old sata drives.

:apple:
Thank you for taking the time to reply!! I will definitely keep the SSD option in my mind as that is the next upgrade I would like to do!! Much appreciated!
[doublepost=1462840827][/doublepost]
The Mac Pro 3.1 8-core machine is a beast, till this day. During 64 bit multicore operations, even the newest iMacs and Macbook Pros have a hard time catching up. I own two and use them on a daily basis in Pro Tools, Logic Pro and Cubase. If one of them died, I'd either buy the same machine or an early 2009 Mac Pro.

For professional tasks, Mavericks is the OSX to go with at the moment.
Kudos to the longevity of Apple Mac Pro's!! I am very glad I got another one!! :)

As for the OSX, I did a clean install of Mavericks and I think I will stick with it!! Thank you for replying!!
[doublepost=1462841001][/doublepost]I also wanted to share another issue I ran into: This Mac Pro was pulled from an array of towers from a university, hence there was a firmware password which the seller disclosed to me at the time of sale!

I did a PRAM reset today afternoon, and voila, the EFI password was gone!! Last night, I could not boot into Recovery Mode due to this!!

I took out some RAM and did a PRAM reset and I could not believe my luck! So happy :)
[doublepost=1462841427][/doublepost]
In the UK a working iMac 2007 is worth about £200, it may not be an economic repair.
Wanted to thank you for all your help; I ended up trading in the iMac for $200 and adjusted that in the price of the Mac Pro!! :)
 
Last edited:

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
Great move, you will be very happy for years to come. In case you go with an ssd, make sure to buy a samsung 951 AHCI with an PCI adapter. They are a lot faster then the old sata drives.

:apple:
Hi..This SSD you have mentioned, does it just plug into the PCI slot instead of the Hard Drive Bays? What is the difference in doing so? Sorry if a little bit noobish!
 

Silencio

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,471
327
NYC
Hi,
Thank you for the vote of confidence!! The graphics card in the Mac Pro 2010 is an ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB graphics card! Is that any good?
Not a mind-blowing card, but much, much better than that XT2600 you were looking at before. For your stated uses it should be just fine.

As for the hard drive swap, I have a question: On my 2009 Mac Pro, I have two hard drives: One for Mac OSX and the other with Windows 7 via Bootcamp. My question is if I were to swap the hard drives into the 2010 Mac Pro, will it boot up like it did on the 2009? I guess what I am trying to figure out is if I will need to reinstall OSX and Windows after the swap. I want to make the 2010 my primary work computer and keep the 2009 at home! Basically, I want to boot up the 2010 Pro with the hard drives from the 2009; is that even possible??
Yep, should be fine.

I personally think Yosemite has the best combination of stability and features, plus it's still getting security updates from Apple for the time being, whereas Mavericks isn't anymore.
 

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
Not a mind-blowing card, but much, much better than that XT2600 you were looking at before. For your stated uses it should be just fine.



Yep, should be fine.

I personally think Yosemite has the best combination of stability and features, plus it's still getting security updates from Apple for the time being, whereas Mavericks isn't anymore.
That is very interesting about Yosemite..tbh, I do prefer the look of Yosemite as compared to Mavericks! Might just install it.. curious now, for Mid 2012 Macbook Pro (Non-Retina), what OS would you recommend? Cheers!!
 

RowdyRackmount

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2016
13
0
Not a mind-blowing card, but much, much better than that XT2600 you were looking at before. For your stated uses it should be just fine.



Yep, should be fine.

I personally think Yosemite has the best combination of stability and features, plus it's still getting security updates from Apple for the time being, whereas Mavericks isn't anymore.
Hi,

I just switched the hard drives, and it all works amazing!! :) Could not believe how simple it was! I had to download AMD drivers for Windows, but that was it! Thanks a lot for all your help! Cheers!!

PS: I also changed my home computer to Yosemite, and I gotta say, I do love the eye candy! I think as another poster mentioned above, I will stick with Mavericks at my work computer!!
 

AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
927
304
A400M Base
Hi..This SSD you have mentioned, does it just plug into the PCI slot instead of the Hard Drive Bays? What is the difference in doing so? Sorry if a little bit noobish!
The sata HDd port is limited from a todays view. To sourround that HDd bottleneck, you use the wider data throughput of the PCI slot. The second advantage is the form factor of the flash blade. You can have a read speed of 1500 compared to 600. What that does is to lift your "computer feel" to the year 2016 instead of just put it to 2012 from the view from your Mac Pro 2008.
 
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