Mac Pro upgrade advice?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by judino28, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. judino28 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    #1
    I was wondering what you guys thought about the upgrades I'm thinking of doing.

    My primary Mac is a 2006 Mac Pro Dual 2.66 with 4gb ram and Radeon X1900. Right now I'm still running 10.4.11.

    Once Snow Leopard comes out, I plan to upgrade to 8gb ram and add the Radeon Hd 4870 in order to take advantage of Open CL (I know it isn't officially supported, but from what I can tell, it works flawlessly in the 2006 Mac Pro as long as at least 10.5.7 is installed.)

    I don't do much heavy work, lots of internet, youtube, word processing, HD Video Viewing, lots of garageband, audio editing and basic video editing/converting. No photoshop and only the occasional game.

    Would this upgrade be worth is and does it sound like a set up that will extend the life of my Mac Pro for the foreseeable future assuming I use it in the same way as I do now?
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    this sounds like a very very nice upgrade, you machine will feel brand new!!!

    i was under the impression that you could also upgrade the CPU, could that be an option aswell??
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    Possible, but choices are very limited, hard to get and expensive, I think.

    Sounds great! It'll be a beast. BTW, what CPUs you have?
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    i think they may be Xeon 5100 (Woodcrest ??).
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Yea, Woodcrest, though Clovertowns were used in high-end
     
  6. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    #6
    Mac upgrade advice

    Hi,

    I fear that with the stuff you do, you would hardly feel any difference at all. More Ram will allow for faster switching between programs but only if you have lots of them open, the faster GFX card will allow for faster graphs but is only relevant for heavy gaming and video-compressing (via OCL) but only once these possibilities are built in into the software you use.

    My personal opinion: get Snow leopard and save for 1-2 years more and than get a good mid-range or pro-range Mac.
     
  7. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bath, United Kingdom
    #7
    Is that true?
    If so that is excellent news… I have a Mac Pro hanging about — exact same as yours — and I thought it had reached the end of the road as far as graphics card upgrades go.

    Mind, I am not sure if I want to spend £280.00 just to experiment. :eek:
     
  8. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, WI
    #8
    I'd upgrade and get as much life out of that MP as you can. After all, being able to upgrade such things as the graphics card (and the high ram ceiling) are likely big reasons you went with the MP in the first place. :)
     
  9. OZMP macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #9
    Ram and changing OS will be a massive difference. GPU will also help a great deal.

    CPU is currently 2x 5150 which are dual core 2.66

    can replace with 5355 quad 2.66 or 5365 quad 3.0

    plenty of threads and more info in the mac pro section :)

    eg http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=745426
     
  10. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    #10
    Sounds like a very sound plan - especially with what you're using it for.
     
  11. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    +1

    Sounds like a solid upgrade :)

    The complete list of things that would speed up your Pro is...

    - Snow Leopard
    - More RAM
    - Graphics Card (have you thought about the EVGA GTX285?)
    - SSD (highly recommend getting this as a boot and applications drive)
    - Upgrading the processors (a manual and expensive task, but may be worth it later on)
    - You may also want to consider a dedicated sound card... (as you seem to do a lot of audio work)

    Even without the processor upgrade, that machine will still be faster than most /all prosumer computers today
     
  12. judino28 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    #12
    I would get the EVGA GTX285, however, from what I've researched, it definitely will not work in my 2006 Mac Pro. Therefore, it seems as though the Radeon 4870 HD is the best I can do in order to take advantage of Open CL.

    As for the rest, they are great suggestions and I would definitely keep them in mind for the future, however, for now, financially, this is all that will be feasible.
     

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