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to trashcan, or not to trashcan, that is the question.


  • Total voters
    12
  • Poll closed .

kilmisterMile

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2021
3
0
long time listener, first time caller.

there is a local offer for 2013 macpro 6,1. quite affordable and very tempting.
3.7 quad, 32Gb RAM, dual D300 i guess....

nothing special to talk about, but it is a decent setup and can be put in production from the start.
that is good part.

the bad part is that i have a quite nice cMP setup already: x5675 x2, sapphire rx 580, 32Gb ram next month to be 96Gb, fast ssd, three internal HDDs, drawers with bunch of SATA drives with lots of data, few firewire external drives, 8 channel firewire audio interface....
quite nice and usable setup but it is a bit maxed out. there are few more avenues to explore, but bang-for-the-buck this is it... :(

on the other hand, that 6,1 could be upgraded quite a bit via external thunderbolt boxes and will have macos updates for next 4-5-6 years.
but apart from CPU and RAM upgrade, all upgrades are quite expensive. the simplest thunderbolt hdd enclosures are at least +200 monetary units, w/out drives. eGPU enclosures are even more. to be operational and to surpass existing setup it would need at least two hdd enclosures and two eGPU ones. that is around 1k monetary units if i'm lucky. plus graphic cards plus drives plus audio interface...

question is - should i keep GAS in check or am i missing something and 6,1 is the way to go no doubt about it?

[daily tasks are graphic design and prepress in affinity suite, audio processing and occasional 2k-4k video work]
 

SecuritySteve

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2017
941
1,069
California
I do not recommend the 6,1. The external thunderbolt upgrade options are limited because you are limited to Thunderbolt 2, which has low bandwidth for meaningful upgrades.

Honestly if external upgrades are an option you might want to consider an Intel based Mac-Mini with your 580 in an external enclosure hooked up to your monitor. Yes, its RAM options are limited in comparison to your Mac Pro but so are the 6,1's RAM options.
 

krakman

macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2009
421
446
its a 7 year old computer, if it breaks down the part are extortionately expensive and not easy to get hold of.

the GPUs may cause a GPU restart error which freezes the machine

the SSD cannot go above 1500mbs

you need an adaptor to fit an NVME drive

if the Date and time battery runs out you have to take apart the whole machine to replace it

Very little tech support available on the internet

the GPUs don't support hardware Accel of h264 or HEVC - if you need this then you will have to buy an eGPU

thunderbolt 2 ports don't officially support eGPU

the latest M1 Apple silicon laptops are faster than the 7 year old Xeon
 
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Mactrunk

macrumors regular
May 12, 2005
177
59
You didn't mention the price.
If it is $500 or less, I'd say get it and check it out.
6,1 is the worst machine to buy now, unless it is an extraordinary bargain.
Apple's albatross.
 

startergo

macrumors 601
Sep 20, 2018
4,839
2,203
If I was looking for an intel Mac now I would buy iMac:
1610662986500.png

or this:
1610663407461.png

I just bought a 340$ early 2013 MacbookPro10,1, which also should do what I want.
 
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profcutter

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2019
1,469
1,178
I have a 6,1 specced out almost exactly like the one you’re describing in my office. It’s fine, not bad. For your purposes? A terrible idea. Way too many peripherals, too many drives, and like they mentioned above, no TB3, just 2, which is pretty much obsolete at this point. Try pricing out D300 replacements, fortunately I haven’t had any issues with mine, but they’re ridiculously priced. I second the iMac idea.
 

m1maverick

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2020
1,316
1,238
New M1 Mini unless there's a compelling reason to go with the 6,1 (like the need to run an older OS or an absolute need for > 16GB of RAM). IMO an entry level 6,1 isn't a good value unless it is dirt cheap and by that I mean $200 - $300. I love my 6,1 but the new M1 Minis walk all over entry level 6,1's making it a much more practical.
 

siddhartha

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2008
149
41
Northern Virgina
Guys-also understand that it isn't necessarily rational! ;)

I have a 6,1 that I upgraded to 64gb memory, 1tb NvME drive (with adapter/heatsink), updated CPU (Xeon E5-2697 V2), and then took apart to refresh the GPU thermal paste, and clean. One thing to consider is the PRAM battery, at some point. D500 GPUs.
Should I have? Doesn't make much financial sense, but it's rock-solid, fast, and beautiful. I use MacsFanControl to keep a constant 1500rpm fan, it's cool as can be.
Yes-the new M1s will (soon) kick its ass, but not be nearly as cool. However, when that M1 MacPro that is rumored (the Cube-esque one) it will be hard to pass up...
 
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m1maverick

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2020
1,316
1,238
Guys-also understand that it isn't necessarily rational! ;)

I have a 6,1 that I upgraded to 64gb memory, 1tb NvME drive (with adapter/heatsink), updated CPU (Xeon E5-2697 V2), and then took apart to refresh the GPU thermal paste, and clean. One thing to consider is the PRAM battery, at some point. D500 GPUs.
Should I have? Doesn't make much financial sense, but it's rock-solid, fast, and beautiful. I use MacsFanControl to keep a constant 1500rpm fan, it's cool as can be.
Yes-the new M1s will (soon) kick its ass, but not be nearly as cool. However, when that M1 MacPro that is rumored (the Cube-esque one) it will be hard to pass up...
If his decision will be irrational then he doesn't need our input. Personally I wouldn't pay much for what is almost the bare entry level 6,1 Mac Pro. Certainly not $900 unless there was a specific reason to do so.

IMO this illustrates the problem that was raised upon the 6,1 release: Lack of upgradability. The only thing "user" upgradable in the system is the memory. Unofficially one can upgrade the processor. That's about it. Yes, you can upgrade the GPUs but they would be used out of another system and unreasonably priced. IMO a cMP is an easier sell than an entry level 6,1.
 

yellowbunny

macrumors 6502
Jun 27, 2010
284
449
I got the same one for 1000 3 years ago and updated ssd, ram and to a 12 core cpu. It was a bargain back then and I’d still used every day. Maybe you should try haggling the price. If I was buying now I would just get the new mini
 

DFP1989

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2020
462
362
Melbourne, Australia
You'd be mad to spend that on a 6,1 at this stage. As others have noted, they don't seem to be ageing too well with GPU issues and lack of upgradability.

I'd be grabbing an M1 Mac mini if I were you, order/pickup one from Apple and return it if it doesn't suit. Did a quick Google, and Affinity have updated their apps for M1.
 
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svanstrom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2002
787
1,744
??
You've listed a lot of stuff, but unless I missed something you haven't for a second mentioned your actual requirements…

Like, unless I instantly could resell it for profit I wouldn't buy a car if all I need is a bicycle; likewise if I for my purposes need a 5 seater car I wouldn't buy a 2 seater just because I get a good deal.

What are you requirements; what do you actually do with your computer, and how is your current setup limiting you rn?
 

DFP1989

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2020
462
362
Melbourne, Australia
You've listed a lot of stuff, but unless I missed something you haven't for a second mentioned your actual requirements…

Like, unless I instantly could resell it for profit I wouldn't buy a car if all I need is a bicycle; likewise if I for my purposes need a 5 seater car I wouldn't buy a 2 seater just because I get a good deal.

What are you requirements; what do you actually do with your computer, and how is your current setup limiting you rn?
At the bottom of his post, in parenthesises for some reason:

[daily tasks are graphic design and prepress in affinity suite, audio processing and occasional 2k-4k video work]
 
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svanstrom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2002
787
1,744
??
At the bottom of his post, in parenthesises for some reason:

[daily tasks are graphic design and prepress in affinity suite, audio processing and occasional 2k-4k video work]
Well, I sure feel stupid now. ?

Then I'd definitely recommend an iMac instead of even looking at such an old computer, at such an outrageous price; or at least just go with a lowball of an offer on it, because it won't last long.
 

MisterAndrew

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2015
2,882
2,363
Portland, Ore.
Some of you are forgetting that regardless of how old the 6,1 is it's still a very capable Mac. The Xeon CPUs are superior to the Core CPUs and probably the M1 too for sustained tasks. It's also easy to replace the RAM and SSD in the 6,1. You just lift off the cover. The RAM is ECC too so the machine is better for more advanced workloads. The GPUs are still better than the M1's and there are two of them. The M1 is basically an iPhone stuffed inside a Mac mini case. Plus even if the ports on the 6,1 are obsolete there are still a lot of them for connecting all sorts of things. To sum it up, if I was looking for a desktop Mac to purchase today I would still buy a 6,1 over the other options.
 

profcutter

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2019
1,469
1,178
Wait, in what world are dual D300 GPUs better than the M1? Maybe you’re right, but that sounds off to me. Certainly they can’t compete with a 5700XT in the iMac? D700s may be slightly better, but they’re prohibitively expensive.

On second thought, I think there’s no way in hell you’re right about that at all. I have a 6,1, there’s no way it competes with contemporary machines. It wasn’t a bad machine at all when it came out, and it probably holds its own against an intel mini, but things have finally changed.

According to AMD’s admittedly biased site, they claim the 5700 XT gets 9.75 TFLOPS, that beats 2 D700s making 3.5 each. I know that’s only one measure, but again, to say the D700s are the fastest is a fantasy.
 
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m1maverick

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2020
1,316
1,238
Some of you are forgetting that regardless of how old the 6,1 is it's still a very capable Mac. The Xeon CPUs are superior to the Core CPUs and probably the M1 too for sustained tasks. It's also easy to replace the RAM and SSD in the 6,1. You just lift off the cover. The RAM is ECC too so the machine is better for more advanced workloads. The GPUs are still better than the M1's and there are two of them. The M1 is basically an iPhone stuffed inside a Mac mini case. Plus even if the ports on the 6,1 are obsolete there are still a lot of them for connecting all sorts of things. To sum it up, if I was looking for a desktop Mac to purchase today I would still buy a 6,1 over the other options.
My focus was on this specific system which is almost the lowest configuration for a 6,1 Mac Pro one could get. Aside from the 32GB it is the lowest spec'd system (well, maybe the SSD as he didn't provide the size for it).

Yes he could upgrade the RAM, SSD (I assumed expansion through external connectivity given the OP mentioned it in his post), CPU, and GPUs with the latter three needing to be sourced used. The GPUs would likely be cost prohibitive, may as well just buy a 6,1 with the appropriate GPUs.

IMO this configuration 6,1 is not worth $900 as one could buy new M1 Mini which would likely outperform it. I performed the Cinebench benchmark between my 6-core 6,1 Mac Pro and my M1 Mini and the Mini was right there with the Mac Pro (maybe even faster, I can't recall).

Other 6,1 Mac Pro configurations may be better suited over the M1 Mini but, IMO, this 6,1 is not (unless the OP has a specific requirement which may be better suited to the 6,1. So far I haven't seen one provided).
 

AlteMac

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
213
80
New York suburb
I have two 6,1's (in two locations). Both low end. One with 6 cores, D500 and 128mb, the other 4 cores, D300 and 64mb. The latter sounds like what OP is looking at, except for the memory. I certainly wouldn't go out and buy one now, but they are still both more than adequate for photo editing in PSCC with layers - but not video. Yes, TB2 is limited, and the graphics could be faster but I feel no urgency to run out and replace either of them. Maybe I don't know what I am missing, but I think I have a few years left before I either have to replace -- or just decide it is time for M something or other. If OP doesn't need high end video capability, he could get a few years too, but the investment of $900 plus peripherals sounds too high.
 

profcutter

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2019
1,469
1,178
Yeah, it’s funny. I’m not dissing the 6,1s, I just think if you don’t already have them, it’s a questionable purchase. I‘m fine with mine as well, I’m using it as a Big Sur test bed, the moments I have free for that kind of work. I think spending upwards of 900 USD for a base model seems foolish, especially if it’s meant to be a daily driver. But if it’s cheap enough, or you already have one, there’s not really a requirement to upgrade right away. My work bought me a 2017 IMac, and I told them they didn’t need to, I was happy trucking along with my MP6,1 with a 4K display. They bought the new machine anyway, so I asked to keep the old one, and they were fine with it.

We can largely thank Intel for its lack of innovation the past few years, and Apple’s refusal to update the Mac Pro for so long, and for finally releasing one that is far above the pricing that many of us can realistically afford. If all I had right now was a 6,1, I’d be fine waiting until something snazzier came out, like the rumored but doubtful miniPro.

Would I recommend someone drop large money on a used 6,1 when they have piles of external drives to connect? No. I think an M1 is a better bet, though if you’re pulling heavy loads, I’d wait until something more powerful comes out, that’s what I’m planning on doing.

It’s really all about use cases. I had no idea I’d be going all remote last year. Having that IMac with another 27 inch display really made such a difference with remote teaching. I made up for the lousy camera with a Mirrorless camera and wireless lav mic. If I’d only had the 6,1 with one monitor, that would have been much more difficult.
 

ascender

macrumors 601
Dec 8, 2005
4,983
2,873
I've been looking at a 6,1 these last couple of days... My general workflow is "a bit of everything", but the one thing I need for a specific piece of software is a lot of cores.

Older Mac Pros aren't an option due to the virtualisation software requirements... It has to be Intel based... I'd like 6-12 cores...

So realistically I'm thinking a 2018 Mac Mini with 6 cores, but for similar money I could get a 6,1 with D500 (if its under £1000) and stick in a 12 core Xeon for £150 or so.

I have a nice ultrawide monitor so really don't want an iMac. M1 isn't an option and I've spent the last few days trying 3,1 - 5,1 Mac Pros and they just won't work.
 
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