Mac Pro 3.1 with Dual Quad Core CPU worth buying?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Intelmaster, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Intelmaster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    #1
    Hey Guys,

    i might be able to buy a Mac Pro 3.1 with 2 X Quad Core CPU 2,8 Ghz and the AMD 2600 XT. Do you Guys think that this is still worth buying.

    And it is a worthy investment to buy a 500GB SSD, a Radeon R9 280X and PCIe USB 3.0 Board?


    Please let me know if you can give me a recommodation of buying this MacPro. Ah, i forgot. Price is 300€.
     
  2. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

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    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #2
    Not in the USA. Where are you, and what are 4.1s going for?
     
  3. Intelmaster thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 8, 2015
    #3
    I am from Germany and for a Mac Pro 4.1 or 5.1 you have to buy 800€ if you are lucky. Normally you have to pay 1000 € for them. I only speak of the Dual Quad Core Models. The other models are available for 700 € and above.

    The worsest thing is, that the Mac Pro 3.1 has no CPU that is capable of using the Intel Hyperthreading technology. It is really a huge performance boost with Hyperthreading for Gaming and Small Video Editing with Final Cut and iMovie?
     
  4. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #4
    the 3,1 is a far lesser machine than the 2009/2010. lack of hyper-threading is just one of many reasons to let them go.
     
  5. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #5
    4,1 and 5,1 are much, much better. I guess the price difference you are seeing reflects that fact.
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #6
    No, it's definitely NOT worth it to buy that system.
     
  7. Intelmaster thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    #7
    Thanks for the fast replies.

    Can you name me some more big advantages that the 4.1 / 5.1 models can offer over the 3.1? Would be great and makes my decision easier to agree or disagree to the offering. 4.1 Machines are much more expensive here in Germany.

    Do you know a cheap US Site, where i can look for cheap Mac Pro 4.1 / 5.1. You wrote something from 400 Dollars. That is extremly cheap and i would consider to buy such a system like this with that price. Only the Shipping costs 70 Dollar extra.
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    The big deal is the updated architecture to Nehalem/Westmere. This isn't just a CPU improvement, it is an improvement to the whole computer. Everything is much faster: CPU, I/O, memory. Hyperthreading, turbo clocks, bus speed, RAM speed, GPU, all PCIe slots are 2.0, bluetooth 2.1, all FW ports are FW800, bigger hard drive, and better official support for future versions of OS X. The 5,1 comes with wi-fi standard instead of optional, so a 3,1 or 4,1 might not have wi-fi.

    There are also many, MANY more CPU choices if you want to upgrade a 4,1/5,1 then there are for the 3,1 (see the CPU link in my signature). The newer memory is not just faster, it's also less expensive.

    If you get a 2009 4,1 and update the firmware, the computer becomes just as capable as a 2010/2012 5,1.

    Hopefully you can see there is a huge gulf between the 3,1 and 4,1+.

    I don't think I said that, but a quick check on Ebay "completed listings" shows some 2009 Mac Pros have sold in the $250-$450 range. Most seem to be above $450 though.

    The thing is, most Ebay sellers won't want to ship overseas and even if you find someone that does, you may have an unknown amount of tariff to pay when it comes into Europe that might wreck the deal.
     
  9. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #9
    Yes, it is worth buying and no, it's not worth buying. Huh? What does that mean? It means whether it's worth buying depends on what you want to do with it. From a performance perspective a modern Mini would likely be able to outperform it except on tasks which could utilize all eight CPUs. Even then a current Mini might give it a run for its money.

    Do you want a tower to add things to? Such as the afore mentioned parts. It may be worthwhile then. While a 4,1 / 5,1 is a much improved system they appear to be considerably higher. I have this exact 3,1 system and it works just fine and is plenty fast for day to day use. If it's a reasonable price then you should consider it. What is reasonable? Can't really say...it all depends on the market you're buying in.
     
  10. ActionableMango, Aug 24, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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  11. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #11
    I don't feel that an 8-core 3,1 is so much worse than 4,1 and 5,1's as to be dismissed. It's just comes down to price. The 300 euros isn't too bad even, in my opinion, given that 4,1's are priced significantly higher in your market. (I have a 3,1.)

    A looming question, though, is whether or when cMP's will cease being worth-while anymore at almost any price. They suck down a lot of power and have many shortcomings compared with contemporary computers. If you have need to crunch stuff for many hours or days at a time using all 8 cores, cMPs (3,1 and up) will still perform quite well. But for more casual use they have entered the dead-end phase of their life-cycle, in my opinion. Yes, you can still trick them out with many upgrades such as those you mentioned, though some such as the 280x are also obsolete (with possibly nothing better coming down the line), and the SSD will be hobbled by PCI-2. Eventually, one has to consider when the investment ceases being worth-while due to the obsolete base system.

    By the way, the bug for certain more recent cards (e.g. 280x) is taken care of with a trivial deletion of two kext files. But you do have to know about it and actually do it.
     
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #12
    I disagree. I feel the 3,1s are vastly inferior to the 4,1-5,1s. Much poorer performing CPUs. Slower PCI-e. Extremely hot RAM.
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #13
    Good to know, thanks. I've updated my post.
     
  14. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #14
    1. You didn't list the amount of ram it comes with. Keep the price of any additional ram in mind.
    2. If you worry about "extremely hot ram", add a vantec fan to your list. It will keep the overall temp of the 3,1 down. It does not have to be placed in a pcie slot. I have mine positioned where it blows across my 4 pcie cards.
    Even the 4,1 and 5,1 only have 2 2.0x16 slots so with the 3,1 you also get 2 2.0x16 slots
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...gclid=CKnMqvWo284CFQooaQod8ucCFQ&gclsrc=aw.ds
    3. Keep in mind the apps you will be using. As for as OS's go you are covered from at least 10.6.8-10.11.5 without install issues. Sierra will work with a little work.
    4. You probably will not use it for heavy rendering pertaining to video work so it won't be on for days on end!
    5. It will be fine for anything you throw at it pertaining to music. (with the right amount of ram depending of soft synths and sample libs)
    6. Keep the "end" product in mind. If you can get it in/done on budget in time no one cares what it was created on!

    Treat the 3,1 like an old used car and you will be fine! Change the fluids and keep it clean! :p

    Spring Cleaning.jpg
     
  15. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #15
    I assume you're referring to power consumption with this statement so I wanted to throw out some power numbers I took yesterday with my 3,1 dual quad-core system. While doing some rendering tests with my PowerMac G5 systems I decided to run the same video transcode on my 3,1 system. It took 18 minutes to transcode the test file with a total power consumption during that period of .08 KWh. Idle power consumption was 200 watts, during the transcode it was 305 watts.
     
  16. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #16
    Download the App ,MacTracker' and compare Geekbench multicore results. The 4,1/5,1 is much better.
     
  17. Ph.D., Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016

    Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #17
    Everything is relative. Marginally faster but at 2.5 times higher cost as the OP mentioned is "better" only if money is not an object (as it is for him). In his case, he could buy and fully trick out an 8-core 3,1 (per his list) for the price of a bare-bones 4.1.

    Sure there were some modest speed and capability improvements from the 3,1 to 4,1/5,1, but a new mid-range gaming box these days is relatively inexpensive, much faster, and with more potential than a cMP in just about every single way.

    People who have and love their cMPs do so for their many merits (myself included - I've had mine for over 8 years), but the cMP's days are most definitely numbered. People who are new to the scene may be better off considering other options.

    I am hanging on to my 3,1 just to keep running OS-X, but I've added a fast Linux machine as a hobby and as a protest over the delay in a nnMP. It's a Skylake 6700k plus GTX 1070. It's 1.5 (multi-core) to 3 times (single-core) faster than my 3,1 despite having half the physical cores. Of course, it has PCIe 3, SATA-3, USB-3, M.2 support, etc., right on the motherboard. You don't get any of that in a cMP. And those who haven't tried Linux should. I can't run photoshop on it, but that's almost my only serious lack, and I have to give up on that anyway, since I'm not moving to the cloud for the sake of Adobe.
     
  18. pastrychef, Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016

    pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #18
    We're talking about a computer that's going to be 9 years old in a few more months. I can't see how anyone can consider it a good idea to invest in a computer of this age.

    I picked up a used HP Elite 8300 with i7-3770 for $200. I spent about half an hour to instal El Capitan on it and have computer that outperforms a 3,1 and comes with USB 3 and SATA 3.

    Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 9.43.25 PM.png
     
  19. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #19
    You are making my broader point for me: cMP's (ALL of them) are now badly obsolete in almost every way. In my opinion, you have to need a cMP for a very specific purpose to go down that road these days when there are so many cheaper, faster, and vastly more up-to-date alternatives (just maybe not from Apple, sadly).
     
  20. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #20
    Many people don't want to deal with a Hackintosh. One of the primary selling points for the Mac is how "it just works". Hackintosh does away with that.
     
  21. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #21
    Seriously, it's several million years old in computer years.

    I manage a lab with between 100 and 200 systems. The number of systems stays about the same (since many physical systems have been moved to VM instances), but each year there are replacement upgrades.

    []']']']']']']']']']']']']']'
    \
    \
    \ b

    (Damn coon stepped on the keyboard again.)

    I have eWasted *all* of the pre Sandy-Bridge systems. (That's all of the cMP era systems with Nehalem/Westmere.) They've been sent to the recycling station - not worth the power and space that they consume. In the trash bin. Have you ever sent 8 racks of servers to the trash?

    I've kept two Sandy-Bridge systems, because they're maxed out and running some legacy software that we're abandoning.

    I'm finishing the next capital planning session, which will send all of the Ivy Bridge systems to the junkyard. Interestingly, these obsolete chips that are on my eWaste list are in the oddly named "new Mac Pro". "New"? You've got to be kidding.

    Three years ago in 2013, it was an interesting question to consider upgrading an old cMP. It's no longer interesting, the cMP hardware is old and showing it - and the systems are far more power hungry for less performance than current non-Apple systems.
     
  22. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #22
    I understand that. But if he wants to install Sierra, he's going to have to do some hacking anyway. Plus, the installation process with this HP Elite 8300 was so ridiculously easy, it's almost as easy as installing on a real Mac.
     
  23. orph macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    hay, you need to keep in mind 'what do i want from this computer'.

    do you know what you actually want the computer to do?

    the 3.1's are slow there using quad core cpu's ie pre 'i3/i5/i7' cpu's

    also you need to add up the total cost so if it's 300 for the unit but then 300 in upgrades then your getting vary close to the price of an imac or macmin.
     
  24. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
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    Location:
    California
    #24
    "Invest?"-What is the total maybe $1500? Depending on his/her line of work the 3,1 should pay for it's self in no time. Time enough for the 7,1 to be a consideration if it ever comes out and fits the bill. The listing of the software to be used by the OP would answer many questions. If FCPX is one of many then the PC world is not in the equation. There are several "Mac only" apps that keeps PCs out of the conversation. Also, if many legacy apps are being used then there will be a constraint on OS's. One of the main four apps I use is Shake 4.1 which is Mac only. In 10.11.5 Shake only works via the Terminal but cause issues with certain plugins. In 10.10.5 Shake does not work via the Terminal.
    All this to say, the OP has not given enough information to really make applicable suggestions. :p
     
  25. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    if your talking 1500 then an imac or macmin is a much faster computer & the imac comes with a good display.
    even used imacs are fairly cheep comparatively (in the uk).

    and that only counts if you use the mac for work
     

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