Mac Pro 1,1 upgrades vs Mac Pro 2,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by srjtv, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. srjtv macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2014
    Hello all!

    After much back and forth, as seen in my earlier thread, I got my Mac Pro 1,1 up and running with 10.9.5 and a Radeon 7850 via HDMI and ditched the superdrive for a Blu-Ray burner. The next two logical steps are, of course, a Crucial MX100 128GB system drive ($70), and two Xeon X5355 ($60). Already have 6TB of mass storage (3x2TB HDD internal). Main usage is film editing (Final Cut Pro 7 for me, FCPX for my wife - different tastes) and compression of said films for variety of distribution. I would also like a USB 3.0 card, but that's more of a wish than a need. With the 7850 I have been known to do some light gaming (Civ V, etc)

    Now here's where it gets interesting: I have the opportunity to pick up a Mac Pro 2,1 for $400. It's a 8 core 2.8Ghz, 10GB of RAM (I have 12Gb in my 1,1), 8800GT. Were I to buy this, I would obviously just move my mass storage over to the new comp, as well as my GPU. I would have native support for Yosemite (probably the last OS the 2008 will support, I'm willing to bet). I could also, if I wanted to for some bizarre reason, bootcamp it far easier than the 1,1 - which required SOFFT to run at all.

    I've looked up Geekbench scores, and it seems the difference between an upgraded 1,1 and a native 8-core 2,1 when all else is apples-to-apples is about 20% faster in favor of of the 2,1. The real debate I'm having with myself - is 20% faster in multithreaded tasks and more native support for more things worth the extra $400? It may sound like chump change, but for us poor independent guns-for-hire in the film world, it's a lot of money. And honestly, I've always told my clients they can have quick speed, high quality, and small file sizes when it comes to the final product (it seems no one wants a Blu-Ray anymore they rip themselves, they all want just the YouTube version on a USB stick), but they can only pick two - and they always go for the latter two. Go figure.

    So the former - 20% speed increase for an extra $400? Not worth it from a mathematical standpoint, even when I calculate labor and my time. The native support, a bit more flexibility, two PCIe x16 slots for a much better 2nd add-on card - all very attractive, but somewhat abstract.

    So let the argument begin, as I would love to hear from both sides on this one.
  2. ilikewhey macrumors 6502a

    May 14, 2014
    nyc upper east
    perhaps you should look at 4 core 4.1, these are fairly inexpensive now, i think around 600 or so.
  3. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    You speak of the 2,1 Mac Pro as a 2008 Mac Pro. It is not! The 1,1 can be upgraded to a 2,1 with a firmware upgrade and new processors.

    The 2008 Mac Pro is a 3,1, and yes it will run Yosemite natively. Neither the 1,1 or the 2,1 will.

    So, are you looking to pick up a 2,1 or a 3,1 Mac Pro?

  4. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    I have a 2,1 3.0ghz X8; while it is certainly a capable machine for what it is I couldn't see purchasing one at this point given the gymnastics required to get it up to date.

    If you are looking at a 2.8ghz X8 it must be a 3,1. Given that it can support current OS's I'd think $400 for your use would be reasonable. Personally for my money in the $400-$600 range I'd be looking at a quad i7 hackintosh; faster than the older 8core Xeon and up-to-date hardware/sata/etc. If that sort of thing interests you at all.
  5. srjtv thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2014
    Sorry my good sir, I did indeed mean the 3,1 which came out in 2008. I keep forgettung the 2,1 was an incremental but useful upgrade for us who like to tinker. As you can see from above I have already done all the flashing.

    And in regards to the 4,1 - I don't believe those Xeons were capable of hyper threading were they? Because it's the 8 simultaneous workloads I am really after.


    Austin, you make an excellent point. That being said, I have tried my hand at Hackintoshes three times, following Tonymaxcx86 to the letter, and never had any success after weeks of trying. Thankfully I was able to sell the machines I built.
  6. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Yes they are capable of hyper threading and are more power efficient.
  7. yaboo007 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2014
    The 1,1 and 2,1 are the same generation hardware and could only run to 10.7.

    if you need more processing power do not buy the 2,1 its just the same as the 1,1.
  8. boodaddyz macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2008
    Base 4.1's with 2.66GHz Quad-Core & 8gb ram are going for $550 on Ebay with free shipping. Flash to 5.1 and you will have so many future upgrading options. It's only $150 more then what you wanted to pay for a 3.1...

    The 4.1-5.1 has better and less glitchy x64EFI to. That's my next move from my 3.1

    Save up and get the 4.1
  9. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    Did you not read the OP's corrected post?

  10. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    To clarify, Hyper Threading allows a single core to execute 2 separate threads at once. This is very nice when you have several threads running that require little CPU usage.

    If thread 1 is using 50% of a core, thread 2 can use the other 50% and everything is great.

    But if thread 1 is using 100% of the CPU, thread 2 can still enter the core through the CPU scheduler, but there will be little capability to actually process that thread (without affecting thread 1).

    So Hyper Threading is fantastic for running many lite loads, but it offers little advantage when doing CPU intensive work.

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