My first Mac Pro - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fragile926, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. fragile926 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #1
    I am looking to upgrade from a 2.16 C2D 24" iMac that been fixed for it's last time and I am tired of opening up that darn iMac case. I found a deal for a 2.66 Quad Mac Pro 1,1 (2GB, 250GB, 7300GT) for $1399 and I am wondering if this might be a good deal. I don't want to get another iMac cause of the upgrade/fix headaches with the all-in-one. Also, don't feel like spending like $2500 on a new Mac Pro.

    Normal uses would include my wife on Photoshop/Quark/Illustrator all at once cause she hates closing them. I spend most of of time in Aperture and Handbrake while listening to iTunes and surfing Safari. So needless to say we don't need a huge workhorse, just looking to get away from the white monoloth sitting on my desk.

    I know right off the bat I want to upgrade the RAM and go to a TB hard drive but other than that I know it'll be a huge upgrade from what we are currently working on. Just not sure if it's a big enough upgrade for the cost.

    Any thoughts?? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Stephen23 macrumors member

    Stephen23

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    That seems like the low end of the average price range, at least compared to the deals I see on Craigslist here in Austin, and a bit of looking on ebay. The upgraded graphics card is sweet, but yes, you'll definitely want to add more RAM and at least one other hard drive - maybe more if you're dealing with large files in the graphics programs. If you spent some time looking, you could probably save a hundred or two off that price, but it's not a bad deal.

    Those first generation Mac Pros are still good machines... the only problem I ran into with the one I had was that there weren't as many options in terms of upgrading the video card, but since this one doesn't have the stock card in it anyway, you may be fine. For sure, once you put more RAM in, it will be screaming fast compared to your iMac.

    When buying used machines, be sure to run a hardware test... there are many problems that can develop with the logic board, fans, memory, etc which would not be noticeable on a cursory inspection, but can affect the performance of the machine. You'll need the DVD that came with the computer (though I have managed to do hardware tests on a 1st gen machine with a disk from the 2008 models). Put the disk in, then restart and hold down the D key. The short test takes about 2-3 minutes, the long test more like 30 - 40, depending on the RAM installed.

    I recently sold my 1st gen machine... the guy came over, we started the long test, he went to the bank to get the money, and when he got back, the screen was up showing no errors. He felt good about what he was getting, and I felt good about selling it to him. Also, don't be afraid to open it up and look around inside... see how much dust has accumulated, etc. You also might want to plug in a second monitor, to make sure both the graphics outputs are working, or at least switch the one monitor between the two. Buying a used Mac is the way to get the most bang for your buck, but be cautious... both because of unscrupulous people, and because there are sometimes issues that even the owner may not know about.

    Good luck!

    Stephen
     

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