Need Suggestion: 2008 Mac Pro 8-Core 2.8 or Upgrade to new Mac's

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Silverhawk, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. Silverhawk macrumors member

    Silverhawk

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #1
    I have a Mac Pro 2008 with 8 cores clocked at 2.8GHZ. Currently my RAM doesn't seem to be working except for my stock 2 GB of RAM from Apple (I need to replace the RAM)

    So overall what I'm asking for is do I keep upgrading the RAM and HDD's on this machine or should I start thinking about buying a new Mac?

    Do any of you feel that the Sandy Bridge Core-i series would perform better than those '08 Xeons?

    Any suggestions would be a great deal of help, thank you! :apple:
     
  2. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #2
    It all depends on what you do with your Mac.

    If you don't need more CPU power, which by the way your Mac has plenty of, stick to your '08 and upgrade RAM and HDDs.
     
  3. titatom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Location:
    Montréal, QC
    #3
    Maybe you could upgrade the graphics card as well if you have graphics intensive uses of your machine. The Radeon HD 5870 seems to be the card of choice (correct me if i'm wrong).

    edit : SSD is a must. I didn't believe it until I installed a (very) small ssd boot drive on my MBP. The increase in speed is just phenomenal
     
  4. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    #4
    Your ram is probably fine.
    The problem is likely that the risers are not recognizing it for some reason.
    I have 16 gb in mine (8 x 2gb sticks) and every time that I have done some internal cleaning it has messed up the amount shown, varying from 2gb to 8 or 12gb.
    I keep taking them out, cleaning the ram slots more carefully and trying it again, and after a few tries, they all report normal again.
    I think that this is a "feature" of the 2008 mac pro memory design.
    Anyway, I agree with the others.
    The 2008 mac pro was a very sweet price spot and the later mac pros are overpriced.
    I have yet to reach its limits with the software, including FCP and Adobe master collection.
    I did get 16 gb ram, and a gtx 285 video card, and stuck in 4 more 7200rpm drives, eventually replacing the stock system drive.
    My last upgrade will be an ssd boot drive, and then I will hold on to it for a few more years until the software has surpassed the hardware capabilities.
    The performance bump that you'll get from a new system compared to what your 2008 2.8 8 core can do is not worth the price, in my opinion.
     
  5. mongeta macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    #5
    Try to clean again the ram modules and where they are punched, we had the same problem and after cleaning five or more times, they were working again, and still do.

    Your MacPro is a beast, just change it if you need more power. Add an ssd for boot and apps and you will notice it :)
     
  6. Silverhawk thread starter macrumors member

    Silverhawk

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #6
    THANK YOU EVERYONE!

    You've guys have made great suggestions and yes, I forgot how much this machine was (in the Apple world) a great buy!

    The only problem is finding those video cards! Most of them are over $400 and finding that latest one (Nvidia 285GTX) seems to be a rare one to find :confused:
     
  7. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #7
    I wouldn't bother with the GTX285 unless you're a Premiere Pro user.

    The 5870 and 5770 are both great choices.
     
  8. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #8
    I had the same problem on my 2008 Mac Pro. The RAM on one of the risers would not be recognized after I upgraded to a ATI 5770. I kept re-arranging them, cleaning them and nothing seemed to work until I removed a secondary PCIe card (it was a USB / Firewire input plug card). Everything worked fine then. The extra input plugs weren't all that necessary, so I left out the card, and I haven't experienced any problems since.

    So I guess you might want to check for any conflicts with existing third-party hardware, if you have any.

    Other than that, I'd do whatever I can to keep that 2008. I think it's one of the best models Apple ever made in terms of performance AND price.
     
  9. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #9
    You can try checking out this ebay store as the seller has a complete line of Mac Pro videocards from the 2006 MP to the 2010 models. I have not tried doing business with this reseller but it's an option. Here is the link: http://stores.ebay.com/Applemacanix?_trksid=p4340.l2563
     
  10. Silverhawk thread starter macrumors member

    Silverhawk

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #10
    Thank you everyone for your help and suggestions, I will be holding on to this machine even more after the events since last night! #SPJ4ever!
     
  11. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #11
    I hope you are pointing to the sky with a tracksuit on when you rep.
     
  12. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    There's really no reason to get a GTX 285 unless you need CUDA. The 5770 is a faster card in almost every way and it's significantly cheaper.

    Bah. These guys specialize in charging lofty prices for hacked cards. Applemacanix is also well-known for profiting off of firmware hacks developed by the community and given away for free. I wouldn't give them my money.

    Besides, they want $210 for an 8800 GT while you can get an official Radeon 5770 (leaps and bounds faster) for $40 more, straight from Apple.
     
  13. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #13
    Thanks CaptainChunk for the inputs. Do you know/recommend of other online stores that sells cheaper videocards as I may be shopping for an extra videocard? This Applemacanix also has the Radeon HD5770 1Gb but it is not the Apple version one and sells it at $234. The design of the cards is totally different from the Apple version.
     
  14. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #14
    $234 vs. $250 for an official Apple card. Not a good deal if you ask me.

    B&H Photo/Video sells the Apple 5770 a bit cheaper, at $223.43. I'm not sure what shipping would be to Asia, however. Since Apple has a presence in many parts of Asia, it could be less money and less hassle to go that route instead.

    Alternatively, PC 5770s are pretty easy to flash with Mac EFI ROMs. These cards are generally around $80-100 less than the official Mac versions. There are lots of posts in this forum that discuss how to do this and which cards to look for.
     
  15. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #15
    Had similar issues on my 2008 MP, turned out a a stick of OWC ram was failing after about 2 years of use. After it was replaced all was OK.
     
  16. gpzjock, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #16
    Keep the Octo till the wheels fall off.

    I also have an Octo '08 Mac Pro, with 16 GB RAM from MemoryAmerica.com, a SSD boot drive, 3 other standard but huge HDDs and a flashed Sapphire HD 5870. It takes everything I throw at it and looks for more. The flashed 5870 runs DVI and HDMI ports just fine only difference to a genuine Apple one is no bootscreen in Mac OS X 10.6.8 but a quieter fan and a lower price tag.

    Amazing machine, I will not buy another till it is very old and grey.

    Most RAM sellers give a lifetime warranty so bug them if it doesn't work.

    On the subject of video cards these guys are the real deal buy from them: http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/macvidcards/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=25&_trksid=p3686 sorry prices are in Sterling but they are selling in US$ in the states ofc. :D
     
  17. TinHead88 macrumors regular

    TinHead88

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #17
    The 8800GT in my 2008 MacPro died recently (seems to be pretty common for these cards). I did some research and it turns out since 10.6.8 and especially in Lion you can put a regular unflashed 6870 in there and it just works. So that's what I did and gaming in Windows is great now. They can be had for around $200 these days and are more powerful than the 5770 and very close to (and in some benchmarks better than) the 5870.

    If you do go this way, please do some research as to what aspects you need to work on the Mac side. I have a GT120 in there as well, so the fact that the 6870 doesn't give you the boot screen is no issue for me. There may also be some issues with which ports work simultaneously (the card has 2 MDP, 2 DVI, 1 HDMI) but that will really depend on how many monitors and what type you'll be running off that card.
     
  18. gpzjock, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #18
    The 8800GT Shake & Bake repair method.

    If you still have the 8800GT there is a possible fix by putting it in an oven at the correct temperature for the correct time. I believe this method only works if it is reconnecting dry joints on the board. You should be able to find a thread detailing the exact method on this forum..... somewhere.

    Found the method here:http://www.gpureview.com/how-to-fix-your-broken-video-card-step-1-preheat-your-oven-to-385f-article-798.html
     
  19. TinHead88 macrumors regular

    TinHead88

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #19
    Yes, I did try the baking in the oven method and it did actually work again... for a while. I wasn't going to try it a second time though. It really amazed me that it worked again.

    Much happier with my 6870 now anyway.
     

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