New life to a 2008 MacPro

wahit

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2005
70
0
Portugal
Hello!

I have a 2008 MacPro with the following specs:

MacPro + Cinema Display 23" 2008
2 x 2.8 Ghz QuadCore Intel Xeon
10GB 800Mhz DDR FB-DIMM RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB
OSX 10.9


Regardless to say, this is getting slow and it's making my workflow slower. So I have two options: upgrade the MacPro or buy something else.

The thing is, what kind of updates can I do on the MacPro? I know I can add extra RAM and a faster harddrive, but what else? For instance, my graphics card died a couple of days ago and I was only able to find another 8800 to replace it. It will cost me over 300 euros to buy something with 512MB RAM. It hurts.

Plus, the price for RAM for this specific MacPro is way too expensive. I paid 200 euros for 4GB extra two months ago. Crazy!

My work forced me to use a lot of Windows lately, and even though I use Mac for all Adobe Suite and day-to-day leisure stuff, I use Windows mainly for 3DSMax and VRay. The MacPro is getting way too slow. What can I do?


Other option I've been thinking about is a new iMac with the following specs:

iMac 27" 2014
Intel Core i7 Quad-core 3,5 GHz
16GB SDRAM DDR3 1600 MHz - 2 x 8 GB
Serial ATA 1 TB 7200 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5



Will I see a major speed jump with this? Or is the MacPro with a few extra upgrades a better machine?

The last option is to upgrade to a new MacPro, but the price of future upgrades are making me slightly afraid, since I was expecting that upgrades for my MacPro were cheaper by these days, and... they are not.

I wish I could upgrade processors and stuff on MacPros on the long run... :(

Thank you for the help!
 

jakesaunders27

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2012
896
5
United Kingdom
I just got a 5770 of eBay pretty much unused yes its an old card but i don't do graphics work so its fine for me, theres one sitting at £35 with a few days left at the moment. SSD would defiantly help, more RAM maybe depends what your doing with it.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
Buy used ram off eBay with return option for testing, forget about new the prices are insane and uneconomical.

Get an SSD and a NWT AdaptaDrive to fit it into a sled it will truly make one hell of a difference performance wise. Later a PCIe SATA 3 card and a better GPU.

My 3,1 has all of the above and more and it runs OSX and Windows extremely quickly for a 6 year old machine and more than fast enough for my needs. It didn't embarrass itself versus a retina 15 MBP i7 my friend compared it with a few months ago, in fact with twice the ram at 32gb and GTX 680 card it beat the 2012 on big photoshop cs6 actions comfortably which amused me greatly!

iMac's are ok but for hard work with the apps you run I would upgrade the cheesegrater.

You've got me thinking of Sagres and piri-piri now :D
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2013
909
106
Baltimore, MD
I agree with Gav Mack for sure. If you have open RAM slots or you can afford to upgrade the RAM more, find some cheap on Ebay. (I went with 667 mHz modules, which also work at a very slight performance loss.) Although 10GB is still a decent amount. A PCIe SATA 3 SSD will absolutely blow away any HDD in a bay and increase your speed exponentially.

Also look into PC graphics cards - see the top of the forum for the sticky. I use a GTX 660 PC version along with the 2600 XT for a boot screen. Works wonderfully. Also, fresh installs are amazing. If you can manage to do a clean Mavericks install when doing the hard disk upgrade, it'll just help that much more. Good luck!
-N
 

OS6-OSX

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
886
651
California
Next time you boot into 10.9, pull up the activity monitor and look how much ram the system uses. You will be surprised how much of your 10GB is left!
 

mintfan7200

macrumors member
Feb 18, 2014
61
0
That is a very powerful machine still to this day . But if you need more power you should go with the new Mac Pro . The new Mac pros are less upgradable I believe or at least more difficult to upgrade but they should be what you need for now at least .
 

jakesaunders27

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2012
896
5
United Kingdom
+1 to everything above!

That's another thing I want to change in mine RAM, I struggle with 8GB, so I defiantly recommend RAM as the others have said
 
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wahit

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2005
70
0
Portugal
Thanks for the advice guys! It's just too bad the RAM price these days is still so overpriced.

SSD seems a great idea too.

Regarding the graphics cards, is there anything I can do about it? Any chance of getting a 1GB or 2GB RAM compatible card for this specific computer? I'm using Mavericks and Windows Vista (Bootcamp).

Thanks!
 

jakesaunders27

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2012
896
5
United Kingdom
Thanks for the advice guys! It's just too bad the RAM price these days is still so overpriced.

SSD seems a great idea too.

Regarding the graphics cards, is there anything I can do about it? Any chance of getting a 1GB or 2GB RAM compatible card for this specific computer? I'm using Mavericks and Windows Vista (Bootcamp).

Thanks!
You have the 5770,5870 which are 1gb then the sapphire mac 7950 which is 3gb and then it's just pc cards
 

wahit

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2005
70
0
Portugal
The Sapphire 7950 Mac is fully compatible with my MacPro? I just need to remove my current graphics card and swap it by that one and thats it? No other extra tricky stuff to do after?
 

jakesaunders27

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2012
896
5
United Kingdom
The Sapphire 7950 Mac is fully compatible with my MacPro? I just need to remove my current graphics card and swap it by that one and thats it? No other extra tricky stuff to do after?
Yes and add the power cables it requires 2

----------

Mavericks has all the drivers preinstalled
 

TheEasterBunny

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2013
251
0
Delaware
I just upgraded my Pro 2,1 with some RAM from komputerbay. I went from 12GB to 24GB for 99.00 USD. This RAM has been great! The link I provided, shows the price as slightly higher than I paid. but still far less than anywhere I have seen. My pro uses the same Ram as yours but at 667Mhz and not the 800Mhz you use.
One of the problems I have encountered with Mac's is that to upgrade you have to wait for OSX updates to add some cards and apps. When using your Mac for work, this can be frustrating. For now, for me, it is working out fine, but I have been considering adding Parallels and Win 7 for the future. At some point the PCIe slots will be too old for any recent cards even under Windows.

My Pro:

1,1 updated firmware to 2,1
8 cores at 3.0Ghz
24GB Ram
GT430 card
Two SSD's in RAID0 for boot drives (20 sec. boot times)
10TB storage
 

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Last edited:

m4v3r1ck

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2011
2,341
347
The Netherlands
Updated Mac Pro 3.1 with:

1. EVGA GTX 670 (PC)
2. Apricorn Velocity X2 + SSD 840 EVO RAID 0 -> OS X
3. Icy Dock 5.25" converter + SSD 840 EVO -> BC Windows 8 Pro x64
4. Added 4GB RAM (2x2GB) to max-out the 16GB (8x2GB)

Best upgrades ever done in a computer and good-to-go for a few years to come! :cool:

GL & Cheers
 

wahit

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2005
70
0
Portugal
You need some kind of 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor something like the icy dock would work, or you can put it in the optical drive bay using an OWC bracket
I'd rather have the disk inside the MacPro tower. Can you show me an example of something compatible?
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
You need some kind of 2.5 to 3.5 adaptor something like the icy dock would work, or you can put it in the optical drive bay using an OWC bracket
For the 3,1 I use the AWT AdaptaDrive which when fitted onto a sled aligns an SSD perfectly for any cMP sled. Icybox units I have two going spare here, in great but falling to bits condition with the bottom grommet for the screws either missing or loose. I threw another two in the bin -never again they may as well be made of papier mache!
 

jakesaunders27

macrumors 6502a
Jan 23, 2012
896
5
United Kingdom
For the 3,1 I use the AWT AdaptaDrive which when fitted onto a sled aligns an SSD perfectly for any cMP sled. Icybox units I have two going spare here, in great but falling to bits condition with the bottom grommet for the screws either missing or loose. I threw another two in the bin -never again they may as well be made of papier mache!
Haha what a nightmare! Are they the plastic ones, I have had better experience with the metal ones
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
Haha what a nightmare! Are they the plastic ones, I have had better experience with the metal ones
The plastic - their metal ones are fine, the former rhyme with absolute trap ;) The NWT is simply a bare bracket and I'm a fan of unless it's a heatsink like the Velociraptor the less matter storage devices are held in, the better..
 

wahit

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2005
70
0
Portugal
So, pretty much this plus this is all I need to speed bump my MacPro a little bit more? :D

As soon as I plug that inside the MacPro, the system automatically recognizes the disk?