Mac Pro 1.1 - upgrade help needed

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Andrejek, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Andrejek macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    Novi Sad, Serbia
    Hello there folks!

    I am a video producer and editor and I need a better GPU then the one I own now. For now I have Macbook Pro 15 mid-2010 i5 2.4GHz with nVidia 330M.

    Lately I have been confronted with a graphic issues on this machine. I was planning to buy a new Retina, but then I decided that I maybe want a Mac Pro. I don't have a budget for the new one because I am also buying a new Blackmagic Camera. So, I have an very cheap offer to buy a Mac Pro 1.1 the version with 2.66 GHz Quad Core and Intel GT7300 graphic unit.

    My question is simple. Is there any possibility for me to buy this machine and to turn it into the powerful giant with a better processor, much more RAM and with maybe nVidia Quadro 4000 GPU.

    I need these answers very quickly because I need to know what to do. If there is no chance of doing the exact thing (w/ nVidia Quadro 4000), then give me the best possible upgrade for this one...

    Thanks forward! :)
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yes, Yes, and Yes.

    here's the drawbacks....

    1. You are buying a 7 year old machine which means anything could happen at any given time (i.e. motherboard goes).
    2. Memory is expensive and caps at 32GB. It is especially expensive should you go above 16GB (i.e. 8 x 2GB chips are fairly expensive but reasonable, 4GB chips are rediculous).

    I put dual 5355's in mine taking it from a quad core to an octo core (bought used on ebay for about $100). I added 16GB of used RAM off of ebay (I did not buy the expensive heatsink ram) and it was like $200.

    Again though, do remember this is a 7 year old machine so keep your costs in mind because it could all be out the window the next day.
  3. TiberioG macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2013
    I have the same mac pro 1.1 2.66 GHz.
    I have upgraded the RAM to 10 gb adding to the standard ram (2gb) 2x8gb fb-dimm. I used non-apple ram, less expensive (45€ used found in my city with classifieds) , but with thin heatsink so the temps are about 80C and sometimes i should rise up the rpm of the fans.

    I bought also a PC ATI HD5770 1gb (asus EAH-5770) it works smoothly with 10.9 and patched efi.boot

    Now I want to upgrade also the cpu, i'm looking for two quad core intel xeon x5365 but I'm Italy and it's hard to find them.

    Lust but not least: don't remember to ad a good SSD!

    The ultimate upgrade it would be a pci-express SSD, but it's very very expensive, so I'm going to try for less money a pcie sata3 controller and add a new SSD because standard sata ports of mac pro are sata1.
  4. hwojtek macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Poznan, Poland
    Some good advice here, however all of the 4 backplane SATA ports in the Mac Pro 1,1 are SATA revision 2.0 which runs at 3 Gbit/s (SATA rev. 3, which is supported by most of the SSDs offered today is 6 Gbit/s)
    Only the additional two motherboard SATA ports (usually never used) are rev 1.
  5. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    I would have to say that you should really look again at the performance you would get from this upgraded system, along with the combined cost of the system and the updates, and see if stretching for either a used 4,1 or 5,1 system, or a nMP would indeed be better.

    Since you are starting from scratch, I can't see how buying a 1,1 is the way to go. I would suggest instead, browsing Craigslist or eBay for used 4,1 or 5,1 cMPs that are already setup for video.
  6. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I have a 1,1 MP. I don't see a point in upgrading - especially if you have to buy the machine first, then spend more on upgrades. Find a 4,1 machine and work from there. Besides, the 1,1 and 2,1 machines are more limited in their video card options given the lack of PCIe 3.0.
  7. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    I had a MP 3,1 which uses same FB ECC Dimms (but faster speed).
    I bought the tower with 8GB and by the time I sold it, it had 24GB.

    Here is the thing. Memory will be little less expensive for your speed but still pricy.
    I think unless you see a tower 1,1 2,1 3,1 which already is loaded with RAM pass.
  8. TiberioG macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2013
    Thanks hwojtek, effectively I was wrong!

    Considered this it's obviously better to add the SSD into the backplane sata ports instead of using the additional ports. But we should use a third-part caddy in order to use a 2.5" SSD or an adapter.
    I tried to add the ssd without caddy, it works but using scotch tape in order to block it.
  9. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    I'd avoid it, it's really old and while you can upgrade it pretty good, I'm not sure it's worth it. What will you do when your motherboard fails?

    The talk around for past 2 years has been to get 4,1 single CPU version. Good thing about these is cheap RAM, for example I'm fine with 32GB which means I only bought 4x8 classic DDR3 sticks and they work fine.
    Next is native support of 10.9 Mavericks and along with that is easy installation of powerful PC cards.
    Single CPU 4,1 systems are preferred because switching to six core processor is much easier than on dual CPU systems, plus it's not that expensive down the road. But how many cores you actually need/benefit from is up to you.

    IDK Mac Pro's are great but those pre-2009 machines are getting long in the tooth each year. At this point, if my budget was tight I'd consider building a hackintosh (again, price depends on your CPU configs but nice quad i7 system can be really cheap on the PC side).
  10. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Jul 28, 2006
    On my Mac Pro 1,1 (2006) all 6 SATA ports show up as SATA 2 (3 Gigabit), and appear to run at that speed.
  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Not only on yours ;). On all cheese greater MPs all ports are SATA II.
  12. Saltymac macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Rocky Mt State
    Video Production - no. A 1,1 has had it's day for this type of work. It is always going t be a mediocre level machine for video production at best. The next bigger joke would be your buying a rMBP for video production. You have chosen an equipment intensive area and should be focused on quality of work not if equipment is going to work or not. Bite the bullet and get a MP 4 or 5,1 if you can't go for the nMP now.
  13. hwojtek macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Poznan, Poland
    My bad. Double checked it now (I have eSATA ports hooked up to the motherboard SATA ports) with an external disk and from both the System Profiler as well as disk benchmarking it is indeed a fact - all 6 ports, are 3Gbit SATA rev 2.0.
  14. Andrejek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2013
    Novi Sad, Serbia
    Thanks guys, you have helped me a lot! I will probably buy a 2012 MBP or maybe even a retina one. It's a better for me because I need a machine every single day on a field with me :) I just taught that I can go with an older MP so I can spend much less money, but if I need to go with more than 1500 USD, than I'll go with a MBP with nVidia graphics...

    Thank you guys again! :)

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