Looking at Older Mac Pros

CritKlepka

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2018
17
5
North Carolina
Hi guys, I'm looking at potentially getting an older Mac Pro (cheese grater design). My main use case is for learning iOS programming (Xcode), while running a note taking app and iBooks.

I'm wondering how much of a performance difference I'll notice, if any, between it and the current iMac I have now (27", 2017, 3.4GHz i5, upgraded to 24GB of RAM). I'm not looking for a performance increase but rather a lateral move.

Locally, I have found this:
https://wilmington.craigslist.org/sys/d/mac-pro-51-6-core-346ghz-24gb/6512133683.html

Curious as to what you guys thought? Also, would it also be able to power a 4K display?
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,375
703
There are lots of threads on this in the Mac Pro forum. These are still useful machines, though dated and unsupported by Apple. Even fully maxed out they are not as powerful as more modern systems. For example, my 4,1/5,1 Mac Pro, with a 6-core 3.33 CPU, will be equal or a little less than my 2013 15-MBP in terms of Geekbench scores. But, they can be loaded with up to 48GB memory (and with a single CPU swap up to 64 GB). So an excellent Mac for virtual machines, for example. The system (HD5770) you cited will also drive a 27" 4K monitor (as my friend's does) - excellent for programming and other uses.
 
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CritKlepka

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2018
17
5
North Carolina
But do you think I'd notice the difference in day to day use? Also, I am not using VMs, just Xcode, with Safari open with a few tabs, maybe the Twitch app running (watching a 1080p stream), and Bear (note app) and iBooks.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,375
703
I suspect you'll see little, if any, performance increase in the MP over your 2017 iMac.

What is it you think the MP will have that your current set up does not?
 

CritKlepka

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 16, 2018
17
5
North Carolina
It's not that I think it will have something my current setup doesn't -- my family had some unexpected bills so I was thinking about selling my iMac for that and picking up the Mac Pro to continue iOS development but make some extra money.

I actually got a call about an interview not too long ago so it's kind of moot but I'm still interested if its would be equivalent performance wise for my use.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,375
703
A quick test is to download Geekbench and then compare against Mac Pro scores. My sense:
- For most interactive use, you won't see a difference.
- For intensive use, such as video and/or compiling, my guess would be your current system would be faster. But the Mac Pro would not be "I wish I hadn't done that" awful.
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
The Mac Pro will be slower. At a rough guess, on jobs that take more than a few seconds, that cMP will likely be about half the speed, give or take a bit. On the plus side, you can push the cMP to the limit for hours and it won't care.

I develop DBMS software on a machine very like the one you describe, although I've replaced the hard drives with SSD which is easily done. With SSD, the slowdown from what you have now would be less, maybe 3/4 the performance, depending on how CPU bound your workflow is. So yes, you can definitely get real work done. It wouldn't be as snappy as your current machine but it won't feel especially slow either, IMO. I agree that in ordinary interactive use you'll hardly see any difference.
 

GLS

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
362
107
I've got a 2010 3.33 12-Core w/64 GB ram, 4-4TB drives and a 1 TB SSD on a PCI card for OSX. The rig's main purpose is video editing/encoding. Yes, it is slower than what I could get today, but for my needs, it's perfect.

It will happily encode in .264 while editing something else in Final Cut at the same time. I figure I'll be using this box for years to come.
 
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