Mac Pro 1,1 vs unibody (white) macbook

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dsgnr, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. dsgnr macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2013
    #1
    hello everyone, first post on here so please be nice!

    I currently have a mid-2010 unibody macbook 2.4ghz core 2 duo with 8GB RAM and a 750gb Seagate Momentus XT.

    The speed of the Macbook isn't too slow although I would like it to be a little bit faster.

    I am a web developer so I use Coda 2, Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6, plus InDesign CS6 for my graphic design work.

    The macbook is plugged into a 23" old Cinema Display and the Macbook seems to be getting very hot very quickly (plus the noise) and seems to be struggling slightly.

    I have been given the change to buy (very cheaply) a Mac Pro 1,1 2 x 2 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with 4GB RAM and GeForce 7300GT 256MB graphics.

    I would look at upgrading the RAM on this to 12GB or 16GB and sticking an SSD inside it too.

    Would I see much improvement over the Macbook or would it actually be slower?

    Haven't really had a chance to test the speed differences so just thought I'd ask if anyone knew anything about the two to give me an idea.

    Obviously, I wouldn't go for it if it was much slower than my current set up but I fear that the Macbook will soon enough die and I don't think I'll be able to afford a shiny new machine for a good 6-8 months!
     
  2. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #2
    I would say the mac pro will likely be quicker. For multi threaded work it would crush the mb.

    It also means you can easily add more hard drives etc.

    If the loss of portability isnt an issue then it could be a good buy.

    The only reservation I would haveis that it likely wont ever run mavericks. If memory serves it can run Lion but not ML (been out of the MP fray so I am sure someone will jump in here for me)
     
  3. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #3
    If you don't mind running 10.7 max and dropping few bucks into the machine, it still could be a real workhorse for your software needs.

    For CS 6 Design Suite optimal performance you'd need to upgrade (average prices, with some hunting these parts can be had even cheaper):

    – CPUs - about $75 + shipping for pair of 5355s
    – RAM - about $100 for 16GB with non-Apple heatsinks
    – graphics card - about $80 for PC Radeon 5770 - 7300GT does not support full graphics acceleration in CS6

    What gives about $250 + cost of SSD of your choice.
    It will be about twice as fast as your current MacBook, depending on task.
     
  4. dsgnr, Sep 9, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013

    dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2013
    #4
    Thanks for your reply,

    I know that it currently has Lion installed and I don't think I'd be that bothered about having Mountain Lion installed. The only thing that I find useful about Mountain Lion is iMessages (not sure if you can still get hold of the iMessages beta like you could when ML wasn't around). Other than that, I don't really see much of a difference between Lion and ML.

    Portability isn't an issue. It's always sat on my desk connected to the monitor.

    My main concern is whether its going to be a downgrade as apposed to an upgrade. The Mac Pro has 2 HDDs in it, both 500GB. One is just used as a Time Machine although I have a Time Capsule so would probably use this as for bits 'n bobs.

    I do have to say though, my current Macbook is quite snappy (although I have nothing to compare it to) I never feel like banging my head on the desk because it's taking forever to load Photoshop or RIP blu-ray discs etc. so if the Mac Pro is an improvement to the Macbook then I'll be chuffed!

    Obviously, I'd love to fork out for a top line 27" iMac or get a new Mac Pro when that comes out but it's a lot of money when I'm not struggling to do my job with my current set up.

    ----------

    From this post, I guess it's definitely worth the investment and keep me going for another few years!

    I'm over in the UK and an 8GB RAM card from Crucial sets you back a whopping £230 inc VAT (I guess about $300). I think as long as I have 8GB I will do fine. I use Windows XP and Windows 7 on Parallels Desktop to test websites etc so need the extra RAM.

    Does my current Macbook have graphics acceleration? I can't remember what graphics card it has in it currently (not on my Macbook now so can't look)

    The 5355 processors are 2.6ghz quad core aren't they? not like the dual core that's currently installed? Or are the 5355 processors 2.6ghz dual core and x2 to make it quad core? Sorry if that sounds stupid, not really sure about how the processor side of things works.
     
  5. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #5
    What cpu's are in it?

    What speed are the two xeons I mean.
     
  6. dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2013
    #6
    This is it...
     

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  7. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #7
    Ahh 2ghz, you may find that single threaded tasks may be a tad slower compared to the C2D. For multi threaded apps the xeon should* best the C2D.

    Tricky choice. If I were to advise, I'd say to save a bit more and get a faster mac pro if one is what you want.
     
  8. dsgnr, Sep 9, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013

    dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    what sort of tasks would be single threaded/multi threaded?

    When you say a tad slower, would it be really noticeable?

    I'd love to get a faster mac but they're more or less £600+ whereas I could get this for less than £100 and beef it up a tad. Or would it still not be worth it?

    Really, this machine is going to be a 'keep-me-going' computer till I save up enough for a brand new one. I fear the Macbook will die before I get a chance to save up enough whereas this Mac Pro is more or less mint condition and barely used and never stressed.
     
  9. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

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    Apr 10, 2012
    #9
    if you can get this one really cheaply it might be worth it. it wont be that slower i think. you could upgrade this gradually as your needs grow which is nice. do these upgrades in this order:
    1. SSD - the speed boost will be very noticeable
    2. RAM - I'd aim for 12-16 gigs, you can put more by buying bigger sticks later on
    3. CPU - you can squeeze at least twice or thrice more raw performance by upgrading CPUs. the good thing is that these old Xeons are pretty cheap nowadays.
    4. GPU - it might make computer faster if you game or you use applications that can take advantage of GPU processing.
     
  10. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Location:
    Poland
    #10
    Uh, UK... So check your ebay. 8GB RAM (4* 2GB) about £40, 5355 for about £40-50 per piece, Radeon 5770 about £50.

    5355 are quad core so pair gives you 8 cores total.

    PS CS6 supports GPU acceleration for 320M, but this card isn't the best performer.

    Under £100 I'd take two or three, leave one for myself and sell the rest upgraded :D
     
  11. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #11
    On US eBay, memory sticks aren't too expensive (the kind with heat sinks). When I was upgrading my 1,1 that's where I got RAM and it was just fine. Even with whatever overhead there is in getting US products to the UK, most likely you'll still come out ahead over the Crucial product.

    There are threads here about upgrading 1,1 CPUs. I've done it; it's not nearly as easy as upgrading the 5,1 model but if you're handy and patient and have the right tools, you should consider it. I upgraded my quad core to an octo-core and the results were sweet.

    Even without SSD, mine is still a competent machine (true, my 5.1 hexcore spanks it but the 1,1 gets a lot of work done anyway).

    That 500 gb disk might be getting pretty old by now, so you'd want to think about replacing it.
     
  12. fiatlux macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2007
    #12
    The MP will likely faster than the MacBook, and you could go much faster still by upgrading to dual quad - if you find suitable CPUs and are willing to go through the upgrade (google for guides).

    A couple of years ago I upgraded my MP 1,1 with two Quad core CPUs @ 3GHz bought used on the bay - it still flies and is still close to the fastest current Macs - Mac Pro excluded. Another advantage of MP is that you can easily tune the disk sub-system: install an SSD for the boot and two HDD in RAID0 for data (for instance) and it will fly even faster.

    Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1 are however very power hungry. FB-DIMMs consume quite a lot of power and consumption increases as slots are populated. My MP with 16 GB of RAM (all slots used) and GTX570 graphic card consumes 285W in idle (w/o screen), up to 600W under full load and minimum 55W in sleep or standby!
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #13
    ML includes drivers for a lot of graphics cards and USB 3.0 cards. You won't be able to upgrade to that hardware on Lion. I believe ML also improves graphics performance, but I have no personal experience with it since I skipped Lion.
     
  14. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    Location:
    Ohio
    #14
    Put ZDNet over clock software on it.
    Why not get a 660ti or a GTX 670 used?
    Yo will need MLPF to get the new GPUs to work.
     
  15. fiatlux macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2007
    #15
    I would not - ZDnet o/c software makes the system clock run too fast, which may have all sorts of side effects in addition to having a wrong system date and time.

    GTX670 cards require ML drivers, and ML does not run on MP 1,1. The best nVidia cards you can get running under Lion are GTX5xx cards, which is why I got a used GTX570. The GTX580 should work as well but would require an external power supply.

    But keep in mind that a MP is a 6-7y old machine now. Still performing (mine pumps a 11500 Geekbench score) but it may fail without notice and a repair may not make economic sense. Don't put too much money in it....
     
  16. dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2013
    #16
    Thanks for all your replies. I think I'll get it depending on the price. It may be worth a few hundred pounds to upgrade it if it keeps me going for a good few months till I save up for a new one.
    Think I'll go for the upgraded CPU to quad core and graphics with an SSD and see how that goes.
    I had a play on the machine and it feels slightly slower than my current machine but I think it only has a 5200rpm drive or whatever it is so an SSD will make it pretty fast!

    Will keep you all informed, thanks for the advise
     
  17. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #17
    A 2006 MP does run ML with MLPF.
     
  18. dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    How stable is this?
     
  19. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #19
    It looks pretty stable.
     
  20. fiatlux macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2007
    #20
    The MLPF thread still lists the MP 1,1 and 2,1 as unsupported. Is there a new release somewhere? Any side effect? My SSD boot drive is connected to the motherboard SATA connector and I know this is not supported by all "hacks".
     
  21. dsgnr, Sep 11, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

    dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    Okay, right so I thought I'd give everyone a bit of an update.

    I have been given this Mac Pro for free for as long as I need it 'till I get a new one on the proviso that I give it back when I'm finished as it is kept due to the owners fondness of old Apple products. Seems like a good deal although I am now hesitant on upgrading bits and bobs within it. I may just stick an SSD in one of the extra bays and have done with it.

    Good enough deal? I guess it will be slightly slower than my dying MacBook but it'll be better than nothing and I'm sure that with an SSD slapped inside it, it'll be a great improvement over the standard 5000rpm drive inside it!

    My only concern is that CS6 Photoshop and Illustrator will only run on 64Bit which this Mac Pro isn't so may have some problems there, but I guess I can't really complain!
     
  22. fiatlux macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2007
    #22
    All Mac Pro have 64bit CPU and will run 64bit applications. What the older Mac Pro lack is 64bit EFI, which means they can't run 64 bit kernels.

    It has little performance impact but, since Mountain Lion stopped providing a 32bit kernel, it can't be installed on older Macs.
     
  23. dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2013
    #23
    Ah okay, think I was getting myself a bit confused there!

    Many thanks for your help. Will let you know how I get on in comparison to the Macbook
     
  24. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #24
    http://osxhackers.com/Installation.html
    The Late 2006 MP is supported.
     
  25. dsgnr thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2013
    #25
    Thank you. I think I would be interested in doing this if it wasn't all that glitchy. Is there a thread on here where people have installed this/how smooth running it is?
     

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