New Lease of Life for a Mac Pro 3.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by davec020, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. davec020 macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2016
    United Kingdom
    I have been after a Mac Pro for my home recording studio for some time to replace the laptop and the ever growing collection of external hard drives I have been using, setting a budget of £750 - £1000 for the Mac and Monitors, initially I was after either a 4.1 or 5.1 browsing through e bay I came across a new listing for a 2008 Mac Pro 3.1, a short distance from me making collection viable,

    The specs are:
    Mac Pro 3.1
    Quad core Xeon
    2 processors
    8 cores
    12MB cache
    Graphics card: NVIDIA GEF 8800 VRAM 512
    2GB memory
    Sold with 2 x 22" Acer V223HQV monitors

    With a buy it now price of £280 I decided to take a chance and hit the buy it now button. I wasn't disappointed the machine and monitors were almost immaculate, opening the case to clean the interior, there was very little dust which indicated low usage.

    It needed upgrading to run my software both the OSX it was running 10.5 and the memory 2GB's wasn't enough. With the machine being well within my budget I decided to spend the saving on

    4 x 3TB HDD's for storage £260 Local Computer Store
    16GB's Memory from the USA £85 ebay buy it now
    Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB SSD for the boot drive £110 ebay auction
    Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 4-Port card £64 Amazon
    Total £515

    I spent a day installing the new hardware, 10.10 Yosemite and the applications, now, the machine is more than capable of handling everything I throw at it, unlike most USB 3.0 cards the Sonnet Allegro is compatible with Yosemite and El Capitan, The total cost of £795 might seem a bit overpriced for a 3.1 though bearing in mind it came with two monitors, keyboard and mouse which most don't come with, it is still a relatively cheap upgrade.
  2. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    I would go ahead and max out the RAM (32GB). It will not get cheaper.
  3. zoomfinder macrumors member


    Dec 31, 2015
    I have a similar PM3,1 which I bought back in the day and I'm in the midst of upgrading it as well. I'm curious but OWC writes I can go for 64GB RAM but has anyone verified that?
  4. davec020 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2016
    United Kingdom
    I was told that as well and it is well documented on various sites and forums, though the cheapest I could find for 8 x 8GB's DDR2 PC2-6400F 800MHz ECC FB-DIMM was £677 from the USA £18 postage then add 20% VAT for the UK £824 not the most economical upgrade
  5. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    Foregt about buying wildly expensive special Apple 800MHz DIMMs whether using 4GB or 8GB FB-DIMMs you should buy used 667MHz FB-DIMMs pulled from Dell & HP Xeon servers. I just installed 56GB in my Mac Pro 3,1 for about $200 (as per another thread there is a performance issue with PCIe SSDs when using 64GB that disappears when using 56GB or less).

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