My 7 day sprint from 3,1 to 5,1 (upgrade story)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nate13, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. nate13 macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2004
    Fargo, ND
    So this time last week, a friend offered up her 3,1 Mac Pro (1x2.8 4 core, 4gb ram, 500GB HDD, HD2600) for 300 with a 20" cinema display. After lusting after a cMP in college, I finally had the opportunity to buy one at a reasonable price! My immediate reaction was to go to best buy, pick up 2 sandisk 240GB SSDs, put them in RAID0, and be happy with the machine.

    That didn't last long. Another friend left his dead (bad PSU) gaming rig from circa 2008 at my place ages ago, so I scavenged a few drives and a HD4870 from it. I had to order 2 6 pin adapters on amazon, so began the waiting... and researching phase.

    By Wednesday, I had the adapters, but I had also stopped at Best Buy... and walked out with a GTX970. Tossed it into the tower with web drivers and low and behold, I had no graphics bottleneck! But it didn't stop there. I still needed to do RAM, and what about that big processor upgrade to bring it past comparable to my 2013 13" Macbook Pro. And all that work would land me smack dab between a 15" late 2013 macbook pro and a 2012 iMac. Plus the cost of RAM, and the long toothed architecture?

    The 3,1 was starting to look like a candidate for craigslist, and that's when I found it. A good condition 2010 MP 1x2.8 4 core, 8gb ram, 2TB HDD, and OEM 5870 on local craigslist. After a few days of evaluating the long term proposition between the two cMPs, I had my mind made up. Got out of work today, stopped by to pick up the 2010, nabbed some 14900 RAM at Best Buy for ~$100, and got the beast sorted out.

    Current setup:
    Mac Pro 5,1 ($450)
    1x2.8ghz 4core
    16GB (2x8GB) 14900 RAM ($100)
    2x240GB SSD in RAID 0 ($160)
    320GB 2.5" scratch drive in the 2nd Optical Bay
    2x2TB HDD in RAID 1, set to back up the RAID 0 drive
    EVGA GTX 970 SC ($330)

    I'm completely blown away by this machine. It's fast, extensible, and looks like a million bucks. All for $1040? Color me impressed.

    Looking into the future, I have a w3690 upgrade and a sonnet SATA3 PCIe card... but I think I'll wait a few more weeks before then ;)

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