Might pull the trigger on a used Mac Pro. Have a few questions...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mattcube64, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Hey guys!

    I love my iMac to death, but since consolidating all my gaming to the PC, I've learned that the 2600 in it just doesn't keep up in Vista. So, I've been surveying different outlets for a used Mac Pro, and I ran across this deal:

    2 dual core 2ghz xeon processors
    8gb ram
    Nvidia 7300GT
    250gb hard drive
    16x super drive
    Airport extreme
    OSX Tiget

    $1450 shipped

    I asked the seller about Applecare, and he said it has expired. The computer is two years old, has never given him a problem. It was purchased as a refurb, and he still has the original brown box and paperwork. He says it's in great condition, but understands most people like Applecare on used products, and so it has proven to be a tough sell.

    So, my first question would be: Do you think it's safe to pull the trigger? Is it stupid to buy a used computer without a warranty? Or, if it is in great condition, should I jump on the opportunity? I'd be paying via PayPal if it matters...

    I certainly couldn't afford a new Mac Pro. I figure I can eBay my iMac (with Applecare) for about $1500, wouldn't you agree? So this would basically be an even trade. I can't come up with another $1200+ for an upgrade.

    My second question, is about a video card for Windows. I did a MRoogle search, but didn't see much, so sorry if this is old hat. But most all conversation has been about the newer Mac Pro. Not first-gen units.

    Basically, will I run into any trouble keeping the 7300 in there for OSX, and then placing an additional video card, say a 4870, in the system for use in Windows via Bootcamp. Is it difficult. Are there any problems in either OS?

    And lastly, anything else I should consider with the purchase?
  2. Macpropro80 macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2009
    the 7300's are known to fail. My 2600 hd failed after a month as well so I would say the apple care payed for itself (apple payed $100 to ship it to me the same day, it arrived 10 hours after calling them, i live in NY they shipped it from CA)

    Warranty: NEEDED
    7300: HORRID!
  3. wpc33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    With specs like that, I am sure you will be glad you did this, just don't forget the added cost of a monitor!
    If you're worried about the GPU, find out how much a compatible replacement would cost. If the card is still peachy after 2 years, it is unlikely to be a dud, though.

    Go for it!
  4. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    i dont think there will be a problem having two different cards in there for the OS.
    i think actually there is a 4870 for OSX/Windows version so you might be able to save hassle by getting that (unless it was the 3870..i forget sorry)

    but basically if the card is not OSX compatible it will simply ignore it.
    Windows...might be tricky..but usually whatever you have the drivers installed for it should by pass the other card naturally.

    otherwise i think its not a bad deal....if people are still picking up G5s for almost 1200 still, those definitely dont have any warranties on them (maybe a few rare ones) i recently sold my first gen macpro no issues with it whatso ever.

    just make sure he gets insurance on the item for thefull amount you pay or more so to cover any additional costs and make sure its packed like it was (there have been a few posts on these forums about improper packaging damage from online auctions)
    just to precaution you.

    otherwise upgrade the graphics card for sure, the 7300s while not bad are not heavy performance cards...a 8800GT for 1st gen macs are perfect for this situation.
    runs both OS' fine.

    Some other suggestions.
    -Upgrade to a faster performing drive; a 640GB WesternDigital has a 2platter design and runs faster then the current raptors anda re great for gaming and other high performance work.

    -Memory upgrade, 8gbs is perfect but since ram is so cheap on Newegg.com for first gen MacPros you can easily get an additional 4GB for under 100$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...551 1327923908 1328123897&bop=And&Order=PRICE

    got two sets of the transcend for my first gen before i sold it

  5. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    That's a good machine and the price is acceptable, even though it's out of warranty.

    However, if you manage to find a used Mac Pro that's still within its first year after the purchase, you could purchase the extended AppleCare package for it. That's not possible for a computer that's older than a year.

    The 7300GT is sufficient for basic tasks if you're not interested in games or anything else that's heavy on graphics. But if you're into games, I would replace it with an 8800GT - if you buy this specific Mac Pro model, make sure you buy the 8800GT with the Firmware version for older Mac Pros (they are labeled accordingly in Apple's online store).

    I had three graphics cards in my Mac Pro at the same time: Two 7300GTs and one 8800GT, connected to two 20" Cinema Displays and one 24" HP display - it actually worked, not only with Leopard but also with Vista.

    The problem is that certain applications are not compatible with systems that have more than one graphics card - in my case those were BlitzMax and Aperture. So I had to downgrade my configuration. I removed the two 7300GTs and now only have the 8800GT in my Mac Pro with the two Cinema Displays connected to it.

    I wouldn't recommend mixing ATI and nVidia cards. You'll probably run into driver issues.

    UPDATE: The 8800GT --requires-- Leopard 10.5.2 or higher to work. It's not compatible with Tiger, and also not with Leopard versions below 10.5.2.
  6. mattcube64 thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Thanks for all the input, guys!! I really appreciate it!

    I'm "sleeping on it" for right now. It seems like a great deal- but I know I'll want to kill myself if the Mac Pro dies on me in the next year or so, when I could have just held on to my perfectly fine (and under warranty) iMac.

    I can qualify for the Student Developer Discount, so that would knock the cost of a new Mac Pro, quad core, to a bit under two grand. Would that be a wiser decision?

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