Mac Pro 3.1 or 4.1 as second computer - opinions?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by les24preludes, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. les24preludes macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2011
    I use my second computer mainly for songwriting with Logic. Currently it's a 1.1 Mac Pro, so won't run the latest OS without trickery. Those early Mac Pros are FUN to customise. But which "good value" model to get?

    1. Eight core 3.1 - plenty fast
    2. Quad core 4.1 - upgradeable to 5.1
    3. Other?

    Opinions - what would you do?
  2. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    I have not used a 4,1, but the 3,1 is very capable and quite good value. I put in 32GB of RAM and a GTX680 in mine and this thing flies. Of course it won't take the fastest Xeons etc. but it also depends on how much money you are willing to throw at the machine.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 2, 2016 ---
    A 3,1 will also enable to carry over the RAM from your 1,1.
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  4. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    Get a 4,1. Infinitely more things you can do/upgrade with it.
  5. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2011
    I'm reading up on this as much as I can. Looks like the simple upgrade is 4.1 4 core to 5.1 6 core. Looking at the Youtube video, seems easy to do. I'm assuming the chips are available - the YT video used a W3680

  6. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2010
    The answer to almost all "what cMP should I buy?" questions is the single-processor 4,1.
  7. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    W3680 or 90 all over ebay. Prices on X5680 and 90 have risen, but I just paid $175 for a 3690 to drop in my second 4,1. Did the 4,1>5,1 hex update over three years ago with a new W3680 and it cost me a lot more, but has functioned beautifully ever since. Throw in some RAM and an SSD or four. Great for DAW work, and Vienna Pro allows multiple Macs to be networked for audio use (heavy VI) via ethernet.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    There is an enormous selection of CPUs to choose from that work in the 4.1/5.1. Single or dual, 4 or 6 cores, different RAM speeds, and different maximum RAM capacities. Check out the table:

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