Just Bought 2009 2.66 Mac Pro MB871LL/A, Help

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sammyman, May 10, 2011.

  1. sammyman, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I just picked up online a Mac Pro MB871LL/A. It was an open box so it was $1450. I will have to take a look at it before I pick it up locally. It seemed like an ok deal to hold me over until I buy the next Mac Pro when it is released. I just didn't know if I could wait until the end of the year.

    I want to make this a good photoshop machine, but I don't want to waste money on it if I decide to buy a new Mac Pro later this year. IE, I want to transfer my hard drives and whatever else I can to my new Mac Pro. I guess RAM won't transfer.

    It only comes with 3gb of RAM. What would be a good upgrade for me that wouldn't be a waste of money? And what about a RAID O boot drive? I have an intel 128GB SSD already, so should I use that as a scratch drive? And buy two more OWC SSD for a RAID 0 Boot Drive?

    It looks like the case of the 2009 Mac Pro is similar to the 2010 case. Also how can I plug in 2 x 24" Apple cinema's? I noticed it only has 1 mini display port. Thanks!
  2. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I just read that for $300 I can upgrade to 3.2ghz W3565. Now I need to find the right balance between RAM, CPU, and SSD to make a great machine.

    I have 4 x 2TB drives that are 5400rpm
    Intel 128 SSD that is about 6 months old
    2 x 1.5TB drive that are 7200rpm I believe.

    I am leaning towards 12GB of RAM for now, and maybe a faster 6gb SSD for the boot drive, and use the other SSD for a scratch drive. Any suggestions for a fast Photoshop machine?
  3. SomeWhores macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2011
    Since photoshop is a high resource program (if you're using it in a professional manner) I'd suggest RAM and a scratch disk. The benefit a SSD boot drive will do is fast boot times and application start up. Great for a laptop but for a desk top.... not exactly necessary in my opinion.

    As for the "6gb SSD" you mentioned, do you mean 6GB SSD drive (storage) or 6 gigabit speed SSD drive, because if its 6 gigabit don't waste your money. I'm willing to bet the Mac Pro doesn't have a SATA 6 port so that extra speed would be wasted.

    a SSD scratch drive will do wonders. I remember watching a RAID 0 (4 drive) scratch disc and it went pretty fast. Depending upon the SSD that's about equivalent in speed. However using a SSD as a scratch I wouldn't be surprised if you'd experience accelerated wear on the SSD. Constant read/writes to a SSD wear it out quickly.

    Also, I'm not 100% sure if the Mac Pro can do RAID without a RAID card (I'm a laptop guy so... I don't know everything about the desktops).

    I would say keep the specs where they are, and use the machine as you would like to and see what you need to upgrade from there. Since you want to upgrade it seems unnecessary to pour money into a machine you want to replace.
  4. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    I wouldn't spend out big on a machine you plan to replace by next year. If it will run your Photoshop fast enough with the minimum spec leave it alone till you sell it on.

    However, RAM is almost always the easiest upgrade that gives good bang for buck so doubling it to 6 GB wouldn't hurt provided the price is right. Bumping that up to 12 GB could be pricey but if you shop around it might be worth it.

    1 SSD and HDD storage won't hurt till your new Mac Pro appears. Save the budget for that one.
  5. philipma1957, May 11, 2011
    Last edited: May 11, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    first step is buy 3 of these sticks of ram


    53 each THIS WILL GIVE 12GB OF RAM.

    Run the machine for a week to see if it is good enough. Then decide about a cpu upgrade or ssd's.

    Your software will want ram. So you will need 12gb or 16gb ram.

    If you feel it is too slow you may want to put a cpu in. My thread has a lot of info that works for install of a single core cpu. I am not sure about a second monitor. I don't know what you have for a graphics card.

    this will show you how to upgrade your cpu

    THIS IS FOR 2010 MAC PRO SO THE CPU INFO THAT SAY USE A HEX SIX CORE IS WRONG> For your 2009 the cpu you picked will work! W3565 is a drop in unit!


    HERE IS A GOOD SELLER a real company


    the cpu is 319

    you have a w3520 in your machine it sells for 150 to 200 used on ebay. so if you clear 150 the cpu upgrade may be under 175 net.

    PLEASE DON"T RUSH TO DO IT> BUY THE RAM FIRST CHECK OUT YOUR MACHINE A BIT! Then look for a cpu upgrade. with luck 12gb ram and the w3565 cpu together can be under 350 total
  6. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Looking at the price of RAM and the price of upgrade for the CPU, good chance I will do both! I actually think it would be fast enough to wait a couple years to upgrade if I go that route. Geekbench scores look to be around 11,000 and the photoshop scores would be around 15 seconds (from the pinned thread in this forum).

    Good to know the 6gb SSD won't benefit this machine. I'll wait for the next one to worry about that! It will be cheaper then too.

    So should I use the SSD that I have for a boot drive?

    So should I have...

    1. Boot: 128GB SSD
    2-4. Master: 3 x 2tb in RAID 0
    5. Scratch: 1.5TB 7200rpm

    I will probably need to buy some kind of mount for the SSD since this is a 2009.
  7. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I just listed the CPU on Amazon for sale, and picked up a W3565 for $306, and I bought the 12GB RAM from superbliitz. Thanks for the suggestion. Looked like the cheapest but I did get charged tax :(

    I am excited to get this machine up and running!
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Congrats on your new pro, a soon to be upgraded beast!
  9. discounteggroll macrumors 6502


    Aug 6, 2006
    Greenwich, CT
    nice setup. Did you buy open box from a third party or a refurb from apple?
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    feel free to pm me if you have cpu swap questions.
  11. Cmd-the-World macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2010
    The Mac Pro can hold up to 4 HDDs in the hard drive bay thus requiring a mount even if you did not have an SSD. The solution is placing one of the drives in the ODD Bay

    There are 2 option

    Option 1:
    Place the Scratch disk in the ODD and you would need 2 mounts

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MM52T35/
    This mount is needed to attach the HDD to the ODD bay and

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MMP35T25/
    To attach the SSD to the hard drive bay

    Option 2:
    To attach the SSD in the ODD bay you would only need 1 mount (2 in fact but they are sold together)

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MM35A52CMB/

    I would personally prefer the second option.
  12. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Nice, I think I will go the second route.

    I bought an open box from a third party. I am a little worried since it doesn't have apple care.
  13. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    Last question guys.. Was $1450 + tax an OK price considering there is no Apple Care? There is a 7 day return policy so I can play with it a BIT, but I was hoping I could qualify to purchase additional Apple Care, but I was wrong as it is not possible.
  14. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Super excited. I picked up 32GB of 1333 RAM for my machine today for $460. Then I also got a w3670 3.2Ghz hex core coming in the mail. This machine is going to be amazing! What was somewhat of a whim purchase two days ago is now turning out to be such a sweet computer. Guess I won't be upgrading anytime soon.

    I am guessing this computer is going to run me less than $2500 not including the drives I have accumulated over the last couple years.

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