Need help with a used MP purchase

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Muttster, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Muttster macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Need your help and advice as to what I should probably do. I currently have a 2011 i7 Mac Mini server that is getting old in the tooth. Now normally, I would throw in an SSD and call it a day, however I want to use boot camp to play strategy and war-games and the integrated graphics on the mini suck, especially under Windows/boot camp. Our family is mac everything including AppleTV so switching over to a PC would be quite an undertaking. I also want to stay under $1000 as I plan on putting a SSD in whatever I end up getting.

    I toyed with the idea of getting a 27" iMac but I have a nice monitor that would go to waste and ironically, it seems in the used market for the price that I want to play, the Mac Pro's are quite a bit more powerful. My question though is what should I be looking at? I know a bit about the Mac Pro's because I still have my old 2006 1.1 sitting under my desk but what should I be looking for in this price range? I saw this on Craigslist today

    Apple Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core (5,1) 32GB RAM 1TB,OS X EL CAPITAN - $870

    This looks to be an upgraded pro as he says that this is the original specs - 2,66 Ghz 3 GB 640 GB GeForce GT 120 512 . Does this appear to be a good deal and will it sever my purposes?

    I also saw a 2011 27" iMac 2.7 GHz I5 with 4 gb ram with an AMD Radeon HD 6770M gnu for $550. I know that this is an old card but will it run games like Panzer General and Civilization IV?

    In either case, I would put an SSD drive in for a boot drive. What are your thoughts - any and all suggestions would be appreciated!
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    That's a Mac Pro 4,1 flashed to 5,1, not a real 5,1. the 4,1 is a bit cheaper. For me, $870 is too expensive.

    The price for 4,1 is start from around $400.
    A W3680, $150 (you MUST flash the 4,1 to 5,1 before install this CPU)
    32G RAM (I just found this on ebay, $75 new 4x8G ECC 1333MHz RAM, pretty good deal for Mac Pro). In fact, for gaming, 3x8G is a better choice. Which can further lower the cost.

    So, all this cost below $650.

    You should buy a SSD for this Mac anyway, a 250G 850 Evo seems a good choice, just plug that into the lower optical bay, then you are good to go (no adapter required).

    For gaming, and if you don't need extreme performance, but want to have the boot screen. You better buy yourself a GTX680 4G, then study this forum and flash it by yourself.

    It highly likely you can get a good gaming Mac for less than $1000, if you do it right.
  3. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    if you are only playing civ 4 then you dont need a card as fast as a GTX680 steam lists it as only needing a GeForce FX 5200 with 128mb video ram
    even civ 5 has fairly low requirements listed on steam
    (both games work fine on osx)

    why not just use your old macpro 1.1? grab a newer GPU if you want and make shore you have about 8GB of ram + stick in a SSD if you want.

    If you do want to get a 4.1/5.1 you dont need a top model even the slower/cheaper ones will run those games fine (you may not even need to upgrade the GPU unless you want to).
    just stick in a SSD and make shore you have about 8Gb of ram and your set (16Gb or more ram for games like that is just not needed)

    you relay dont need to upgrade the CPU for civ 4 (or 5), i used to run civ 4 on my 1.5ghz powerbook G4 & my 1.8ghz G5 :p
    only upgrade the CPU if you want to get geeky or play new top end games

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