Looking to buy a Mac Pro to upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by willydimes, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. willydimes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    #1
    So in my search for a desktop I think Ive come up with the best option for myself and that i to buy an older Mac Pro and upgrade it to be comparable at least to the current quad core Mac Pro. For those wondering, I wanted a desktop with moderate power but no iMac as I have screens already and the Mac mini is too outdated while I dont want to shell out 3 grand plus for a new Mac Pro.

    My question is what is the best way to achieve this. From what I have read a 2009 Mac Pro might be best but I am not entriely sure. I would prefer to do the upgrades on my own and it seems a 2010 logic board is easier to work with.

    I planned on upgrading a stock quad core to a some kind of hex core, new gpu, ram, SSD boot drive and usb 3.0 card. Does all of this sound right and will it give me what I am looking for while also allowing me to use newer software? I dont need all the details but just some idea as to what direction to begin in. Thanks
     
  2. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    #2
    What do you plan to do? I mean, video editing? gaming? music?
     
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    As far as the 2009 Mac Pro goes. As I understand it you just apply a firmware patch and you have a 2010 Mac Pro.

    As for CPU upgrades I'd look on eBay two Intel Xeon X5670. The X5675 carries a hefty premium for a small upgrade.
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    For single CPU option, the 2009 Mac Pro has the best value, you can easily flash it to act exactly the same as the 2010-2012 Mac Pro (W3680, 1333 RAM, HDMI audio, etc).

    For the dual CPU setup. You can do the same thing, however, the CPU upgrade will be much much more complicated due to 2009 model use the lidless CPUs. If you do it wrong, you can easily damage your CPU tray which cost you lots of money. Therefore, if you may go beyond Hex core, you better get the 2010 model.

    Since you are just looking for something in par with the Quad core nMP. The 2009 Mac Pro should be your best choice.

    You can get a used 2009 Mac Pro, upgrade it to the W3690, with a very decent flashed graphic card such as HD7970 (the same GPU as the D700), install the USB 3.0 PCIe card... with all these for about $1400. With extra RAM + SSD, you should able to have a Mac Pro able to beat the base nMP with around $2000.
     
  5. willydimes thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    #5
    I would be doing video editing and some music editing as well. I was hoping to spend a bit less than 2000 on it. I don't want to skimp on the CPU at all but is there a GPU thats suitable that costs less? My video editing is minor so I don't need something crazy and in theory could always do that in the future.
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    You can get a HD7970 under $200.

    If you get a 4,1 with GT120, you can keep that in order to get the boot screen. Or you can flash the 7970 to get the EFI part and enjoy the boot screen.
     

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