Mac Pro 3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MxDaviD, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. MxDaviD macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #1
    Hello guys currently i have an imac 21.5 late 2011 base model and i saw that Mac Pros 3,1 are selling really cheap,so are they still worth buying? how is with the upgradability(ram,gpu,ssd)? Would it be better than imac?
    i am looking at the 2x quad core 2.8ghz.


    Thanks!
     
  2. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #2
    There are many reasons why MP3,1 models are cheap, but mainly because the performance is unimpressive even for the 8-core models and Apple has stopped support on this model, meaning no new parts and services. More importantly, they use outdated parts such as DDR2 FB-DIMMs that are not cheap even for used ones. If you are serious about MP, consider 2009 or later models instead, Here is a thread that the OP switched from a 2011 iMac to 2009 MP.
     
  3. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #3
    I personally purchased a 3,1 about 4 months ago, and most members of this forum will tell you that investing in a 3,1 is NOT worth the money unless you come across one for a great deal. I picked mine up for $200, including a 1080p monitor, which is why it was a great buy, but the difference in hardware between the 4,1 and 3,1 is too vast to justify buying the machine. Sure, it's upgradable, but the RAM is incredibly expensive, and it uses an obsolete architecture, which basically maxes at about a 12,000 Geekbench score, while even a single socket 4,1 or 5,1 can be brought up to a 15,000+ Geekbench using a Firmware hack. Honestly, you won't notice a HUGE performance increase between your iMac and a 2x2.8 3,1 - about 4000 Geekbench in processor performance, and most certainly nothing in RAM speed or Graphics without an upgrade. Most 3,1 computers come with their stock GPU which is years worse than even the mobile GPU in your 2011 iMac.

    So to answer your question, is the 3,1 more upgradable than your current iMac? Absolutely. Would I recommend purchasing one based on your current position? No way. If you're looking for a Mac Pro, get a 4,1. They are far MORE upgradable than the 3,1 and will last you much longer.
    -N
     
  4. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #4
    How cheap is cheap?

    I had a 3,1 dual quad 2.8 or 3.0 (don't remember anymore) with lots of ram (very expensive) and a SSD. My score was around 13000.

    It runs 800 mhz bus memory, you can get fbdimm 667 for less and someone wrote that there is a way to trick the system to run at the lower speed.

    I suppose if the machine came preloaded with lots of ram cool, otherwise no.

    You can have 4 internal SATA drives, and if you remove the 2nd optical drive have two 2.5 sata drives in that bay.
     
  5. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    I wouldn't buy a 3,1 at this point. Spend a bit more on a 4,1. RAM, for one, is much more readily available and much less expensive.
     
  6. PantherJeep macrumors member

    PantherJeep

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Oceanside, CA
    #6
    The "trick" is to just install 667 MHz modules - the bus automatically slows down to accommodate the slower memory. Source: my 3,1 MP 2x2.8 Quad w/ 32 GB of 667 MHz with no special workarounds.

    Regarding whether to buy a 3,1 or not though, if it were my money I wouldn't buy a 6-year-old machine (architecture age) at this point. I bought mine brand new on release day and it still adequately serves my purposes (light video editing, casual gaming, business apps), but I wouldn't spend money on one today. As others have said, a 4,1 is a much better proposition.
     
  7. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #7
    That was one of the reasons I sold my 3,1 and bought 4,1
    (I already had RAM from another machine I no longer had access too)
    My 3,1 had 24GB and I could not justify purchasing more at the cost it is. Plus I imagined next software release 3,1 would not support.

    Yet I'm still on ML. Waiting for Mav to be patched up better. Do not want to do a clean install.
     
  8. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #8
    As someone who owns and works on a 3,1 octo core, I would say that now is
    not the time to do this.
    I got mine in Jan 2010 and it's been a real workhorse, I upgraded it from a
    quad to an octo core and added memory/ better GPU at the time for minimal outlay.

    I will change soon and it will be a "Loaded" 2009/10 model.

    That's what I would recommend now unless you found a "mint" and loaded
    example for a few hundred bucks.

    My Geek Bench score is just under 11,000 but that doesn't mean anything, it still
    flies and performs well as a music production/ editing workstation.

    MM.
     
  9. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #9
    I agree with this entirely. It's just too old of a machine to really invest in it right now, unless it really is a great deal, such as a "loaded" machine at a price of just a few hundred dollars. That being said, if you can find something like that, by all means go for it. Even '06 Mac Pros can be incredible machines with a bit of work and upgrades.
     
  10. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #10
    If you can get a 3,1 cheap enough with enough ram especially go for it.

    My 3,1 has the top 3.2 Xeons and 32gb ram and I paid £400. Deduct the sales of the raid and fibre card on eBay it's cost £288 net. All the upgrade parts will go in a 4/5,1 when one of them comes along cheap. Though as it is with the solo x2, SSD's, gtx680 it's more than quick enough for my needs at the moment
     
  11. briceman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #11
    I bought a 3,1 in September of last year for $798 total (shipped). I have since made my money back with a few editing jobs. It has been great, and worked wonderfully with 1080p video footage, without the need for proxies in FCPx. The reason I bought it was because it was ready to go, out of the box. 3.0 GHZ 8 Core, 14 GB RAM, and 5770 Video Card. I put an SSD in it as well, but won't be spending any more to upgrade. Eventually (maybe even by the end of the year) I'll get a 4,1 with better architecture etc.

    My 2 cents.
     
  12. MxDaviD thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #12
    Guys,thank you i decided not to buy MP 3,1 maybe i will save some more money and buy 4,1 :)
     
  13. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #13
    I concur, a 3,1 is simply too old at this point with severely limited upgrade options, a 4,1 or 5,1 stock are far better value, though they may be harder to find.
     
  14. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #14
    I will probably be the last person on this forum to have a 3,1!
    With that said, the 4,1 is the better choice. The unknown factors are how much would it have cost and what you intended to do with it? There are people that have 4,1's 5,1's and nMP's that do "this and that" with them. Pertaining to music production my 3,1 can do pretty much all that is "needed" to be done this side of recording a symphonic orchestra with plugs on every track with no buses. With video editing, multi track R3D 4k can be done with the correct "software"! With Adobe Premiere's mercury engine and enough CUDA cores a 3,1 will performer as well as an nMP! With the new engine in Avid's MC/Symphony (to be announced at the NAB April?) the sky's the limit! It's the right hardware/software combination that makes the "project" excel!
     
  15. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #15

    NO ! don't say that :)

    My 3,1 is still great, it has gone to my GF for photo editing duties etc.

    M
     
  16. MacGamver macrumors regular

    MacGamver

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    #16
    I love my 3,1 8-core! That being said, I have a bit of a tech question that I think I know the answer to, but you guys are so damn smart I thought I'd run it past you…

    I may upgrade to a 5,1 at some point; I have 2 drives, 1 a mac volume, the second a Win7 volume. If I pop them out and slap them into a 5,1 will that "break" either OS install? I'm pretty certain it won;t accept the Mac side, but will WinDoze boot up, (bootcamp) or do I have to install the entire thing again?
     
  17. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #17
    Don't know about Windoze, but the Mac OS will boot up just fine if the OS is Lion or later.

    BTW, the drive sleds are different. You'll have to physically remove the drives from the old sleds and attach them to the new ones.

    How do I know? I did just that nine months ago.

    Lou
     
  18. MacGamver macrumors regular

    MacGamver

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    #18
    Yeah, I do know about the carriers! Cool, thanks for confirming the Mac volume should be fine. That's as I'd expect from them; The Win7 volume technically *should* be fine, but who the crap knows! :D

    Thanks Lou!
     
  19. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #19
    You will probably have to reauthorize your Windows for the different machine ... easily done with a telephone call if you are running a retail version of Windows (not so easy if it is a oem version).
     
  20. MacGamver macrumors regular

    MacGamver

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2013
    #20
    That's what I figure, and honestly what I'm hoping for!
     
  21. stjames70, Mar 26, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014

    stjames70 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #21
    Windows reauthorization

    Eh, no. You do not have to reauthorize Windows if you run VMs as long as you don't change any of the parameters of the VMs. Cloned VMs with Windows installations cannot perceive they are running in a different machine. I know. I cloned 10 copies without having to reauthorize any of the installs (I do have the proper number of licenses if you are wondering -- just never bothered entering the keys since Windows never asked).

    Oh, my office three 3,1 MPs 2.8 octocore machines. Properly fitted, they are much more stable than any of the current iMac machines we own, and I have been able to buy the last two at fairly reasonable cost. I will probably keep buying these machines since they are fully upgradable to the latest GPUs, RAID cards and whatever else you can think of.

    That being said, I don't run anything that requires a high CPU load -- just VMs and occasional gaming. So if you are just looking for a really stable machine with a reasonable entry cost, I would buy it. I am sure the 4,1s and 5,1s are even better, but for our particular needs, I am more than satisfied.
     
  22. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #22
    Yes, you are correct regarding Windows VM authorizations.

    However, the MacGamver was asking about transferring a bootable Windows disk drive from one Mac Pro to another.
     
  23. Ben888, Jul 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017

    Ben888 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Location:
    Newberg, Oregon
    #23
    I just bought a Mac Pro 3,1 quad core for $150 and have found that for the tasks that I ask of it, it is more than adequate. I am not a high level gamer and don't do a lot of professional video or graphics work, so the stock graphics card performs reasonably well for me. I do edit RAW files in aperture, but the machine seems to handle this adequately. I was able to find a source for an additional 2.8 Ghz quad core Xeon of the appropriate type for this machine and an appropriate heatsink for the processor at a very reasonable price, so I may go ahead with that upgrade. It might be overkill horsepower wise for my needs, but hey why not?
     
  24. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #24
    ^^^^I don't know which GPU you have, but if it's the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT, it is living on borrowed time. Apple had a recall campaign on these because they are junk.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203420

    Lou
     
  25. Ben888 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Location:
    Newberg, Oregon
    #25
    I have the 8800 GT, which seems to be pretty decent for what I ask of it.

    Ben
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2017 ---
    And I concur that the ATI 2600 XT cards are junk.
     

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