Mac Pro 2006 Total Overhaul!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SuperKerem, May 16, 2015.

  1. SuperKerem, May 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015

    SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    Yesterday, I started a thread about a dual 2Ghz 2006 Mac Pro asking for opinions on pricing etc. I am leaning towards getting it now, and this is my plan:

    Firstly, I plan to upgrade the processor from the measly 2x Dual 2Ghz Xeon 5150 to a 2x Quad 2.66Ghz Xeon 5355, meaning it will have 8 cores and a better processor. This will cost about £30-40.

    Because I want to run Yosemite on it, by changing the boot.efi, I need to get a compatible graphics card, and preferably an official Apple one. Therefore the Apple ATI Radeon HD 5770 (1GB memory) seems like a good choice. This will cost hopefully £40? or so on Ebay. (not sure)

    I also plan on buying a 120GB SSD, to really give it a speed boost. This will cost £50.

    Finally, it will come with 6GB of RAM, which is fine for the time being.

    Mac Pro itself (including Cinema Display, mouse + keyboard): £180
    All upgrades mentioned above: £120-150

    TOTAL: £300-330

    Some of the more experienced people out there, please help me know if there are better parts I could buy which I haven't heard of yet, or let me know if any of the upgrades are unnecessary. I would really like it to be around £250 total tbh!

    I am also wondering how capable this machine will be for gaming. I am a huge GTA 5 fan (lvl 280 online haha) and am wondering how this will handle it. Will it run better than the Xbox One I already have? Will it have a better gaming experience than my Retina MBP 15' with Iris Pro (current model)?

    Thanks. (Sorry for the long post!)
     
  2. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    A while back I helped a friend of mine get a Mac Pro. We ended up finding a Mac Pro 1,1 Quad 2.66 on Craigslist for $160 or so (with my excellent negotiating skills). He bought a 20" aluminum ACD for $80 on Craigslist. He put in a SSD upgrade that was well worth it.

    We talked about doing the Yosemite upgrade, but he hasn't done it yet. Between the cost of upgrading the computer, the reliability/compatibility questions, and hassle, I don't think it's worth it.

    330 Pounds is over $500 USD. For that much you should be able to find a Mac Pro 3,1 and natively run Yosemite.

    180 Pounds = $283 USD, which including the monitor is an okay deal, from a US perspective. If Mac Pro's sell for much more in your country, I might consider flipping the tower for the more money, taking the E180 ($235) and try and find a 3,1. Keep the monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
     
  3. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    Hmm... I guess I could just sell off the 1,1 and connect my rMBP to the ACD. I don't need a Mac Pro at the moment, but I thought it would be a fun project and a decent gaming machine.
     
  4. A.Goldberg, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2015

    A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
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    #4
    That's just my personal opinion. If you're looking for a project and don't mind spending the money, then go for it. It's up to you. The Mac Pro even running 10.7 is still a great machine. Also, I'd probably hold off on the processor upgrade (depending on the cost). I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. The SSD will make a huge difference alone.

    I just realized my signature is wrong, but I have a 3,1 (2xQuad 2.8 MP aka 2008 8-core). I upgraded the the 7200rpm drive to a 256gb SSD and the difference is night and day.

    You're better upgrading the RAM too in my opinion. We bought 8gb of RAM for my buddy's 1,1 for ~$25 or so on eBay.

    I'm not sure about the GTA specs, probably, but you'd be running under windows and need to be running in 64-bit mode I imagine. The stock video card you have in that case would not be compatible.

    It's like buying an old house and renovating it so much that it would have been cheaper just to build a new one (assuming you're not interested on the architectural style of the time period ;), but that has no connection here).
     
  5. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    Yeah, I get what you're saying. I thought about that too. But if I got a 2008 Mac Pro I would still have to get an SSD and a better graphics card (if I wanted to play games, assuming the standard card isn't very good) which would cost about £100.

    Anyway, if I were to get the 1,1 MP, is it worth paying £50 or so to get the graphics card required to run Yosemite? After all, both ways I'll probably end up getting the MP - £180 is a very tempting price if I don't upgrade anything, but then again, getting Yosemite would be cool!
     
  6. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Well the 3,1 is 64-bit stock and has a 64-bit compatible video card. The stock card is the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT (256mb). So that's probably still below what you'd desire, I'm not sure.

    Personally I'd rather have an SSD and more RAM over a better video card and Yosemite. But that's for my needs.

    If you want to game, then your better off upgrading the video card and changing the EFI to 64 bit.
     
  7. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #7
    I'd forget about the GTAV, your rMBP is a better machine for that. Geekbench scores for CPU are roughly double those of a MacPro1,1 quad. Same goes for the Iris Pro. It's lacking dedicated texture memory, but the actual GPU is reasonably powerful - gives better results than the AMD 6750M that was in my 2011. An AMD 5770 might be just about equivalent.

    It might be a Mac Pro and have a Xeon processor, but it's essentially a souped up pair of Core 2 Duos and has all the older technology that goes along with that.
     
  8. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    Yeah, you're right. But I thought gaming doesn't require a very powerful CPU, and that the GPU is really what matters. I was thinking that I could put a really good graphics card in the Mac Pro and an 8 core Xeon would be enough for gaming I would think? Hmmmmmm....
     
  9. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    Most modern titles like GTA V are optimised for a quad core nowadays, unless it's some sloppy xbox 360 port.

    As much as I'd love a classic Mac Pro, I do my gaming on a self-built Core i5 box. It got to the stage a couple of years ago where my old rig which had a similar Xeon quad core CPU to the early Mac Pros and was overclocked to 3.4GHz couldn't keep up any longer.

    This makes for interesting reading : http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/ivy-bridge-wolfdale-yorkfield-comparison,review-32682.html
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
    Applications can be either CPU dependent, or GPU dependent, or both. It depends on the individual application. Games are no different.

    Barefeats did some benchmarking that is very relevant to you. It's a 2006 MP with various video cards.

    I've picked out two examples. The first shows that the 5870 does much better than the 5770, on the same 2006 system otherwise. In other words, this seems to be what you are expecting (CPU doesn't matter as much as GPU):
    [​IMG]

    But the second example is completely different and it is a far more typical result. This shows that the 5870 barely does any better than the 5770, despite being much more powerful and expensive. Something else in the computer is throttling the game, perhaps the CPU or memory bandwidth.
    [​IMG]
     

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