MacPro - What to upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by NEUengineer, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. NEUengineer macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010
    I have a 2006 MacPro1,1 with 2xDual Core 3Ghz processors and 4x1GB ram sticks. I use my computer for Matlab, Microsoft office programs, huge pdf textbooks (1000+ pages of txt/pictures), managing my legal movie collection (5TB) on an external raid 5, and to convert full length movies to mp4 format for my iPad. The mp4 conversion uses full power on all 4 cores and takes about as long to convert as it does to watch.

    I am considering either
    -Adding RAM, 4x2GB for $225 or 4x4GB for $500.
    -A solid state drive for my main OS. Not sure of 2.5" or 3.5". Maybe a striped raid of 2 or 3 2.5" drives. A 3.5" drive will cost $360 for 120GB of space, the smallest 3.5" drive i could find. The 2.5" are roughly $100 for 30GB.

    Might consider a processor upgrade but that still seems too $$ at the moment.
    What do you guys think would be the most bang for the buck? I"m also curious to know how virtual memory would work on a SSD. Would it be a lot faster, closer to real RAM or not much of a difference from virtual memory on a spinning HD?

  2. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    Forget the CPU upgrade and forget trying to spend big bucks on an SSD for virtual ram :) wasting money, dumb idea don't do it. And SSD's are still kind of early tech, I hear stuff about SSD slowing down as they get written to over time etc.. Let the beta testers play with them, plus storage is so small for what you get.

    Get the 4x 4GB sticks. You will see a huge increase in performance running them that way gives you max performance. 4Gigs of is a joke, go 16GB and you get much more caching and no paging so no virtual memory to worry about.

    Get a 4870 for OpenCL compatibility and fast coregraphics ( I got the Apple one) and get a Raptor 600GB drive when they are back in stock in addition to the ram.

    Nothing like having 16GB of ram, it makes things FAST, due to so much ram for caching purposes and of course pageouts go to nothing you barely get disk I/O.

    A CPU upgrade will be a waste of money.
  3. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2009
    Portland, OR
    The SSDs slowing down isnt really an issue unless you write to it constantly, and even then, there are things you can do to make it like new.

    Get a small SSD for your OS and applications and store everything on a separate internal HDD. That way you dont end up writing to it constantly.
  4. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I would follow the above advice and upgrade to 16GB of RAM from OWC ( Add a 100GB SSD for your OS and Apps. You will need an Icy Dock with the SSD to fit in your drive bay. Then add two 2TB HDs and stripe them as a RAID 0 array. Will be super fast!!
  5. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I have a MP 1.1

    Just did some upgrades recently. Now have ATI 4870 and 16gigs of RAM. Got 2x 80gig Intel SSDs and will be putting those in Raid 0 for boot this week. Should hold me over till sandybridge.
  6. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    You are better off buying 4x 4gig sticks to run in the most optimal way, 2 sticks on the top and two on the bottom.

    16GB is a better investment. so 4x4GB for 500 bucks is the best idea.
  7. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    If you can score some clover town processors at a real cheap price, grab them and turn that into an octo provided your planning on keeping it for awhile. If your using programs that take advantage of all cores, it's worth it. I did my 2Ghz quad Mac pro to a 2.33 octo and it definitely made a difference. Since you have 3 Ghz processors, wouldn't drop below 2.5. This and more ram WILL make a difference. But, if your not going to keep it for a few more years, don't waste the time and cash. I sold mine later for a 2.8 octo just for the 64 EFI. Plan on running smcfancontrol if you do this. Good luck.

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