New Mac Pro vs. OWC souped-up 2010 MP vs. Souping-up a 2007 MP 1,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by I'm an idiot, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. I'm an idiot macrumors newbie

    I'm an idiot

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #1
    While I'm a newbie to MacRumors, I've been a Mac user since '88. I am not a technie, but I'm kind of an idiot savant with Macs. More idiot than savant, actally. o_O And I need the help and opinions of a today's-world Mac-based tribe to guide me.

    l will have to make a decision soon if I can't get get my 2007 Mac Pro 1,1 running smoothly again. If I can't, I'll have to make a quick decision on what route to go. (Running a huge Time Machine, last ditch back-up (1 TB) onto an external now and have already backed client files.)

    If I do get her running right again, I'll have bought more time, but I'll still obviously need to upgrade sooner rather than later.

    For reference, I do large format, digital print production files. When I say large, I mean pieces that will finish out to anywhere between a few feet to a few hundred feet in length x 2 to twelve in height and have been as large as 16 GB, 2 to 4 GB is an everyday average. I use Illustrator and Photoshop almost exclusively, along with Bridge and Acrobat and sometimes a browser. Often, all of these are needed at once along with email. If things get hairy on a particularly huge file, I'll notify clients that email is shutting down and they'll actually have to make a phone call to reach me, and I'll quit out if Acrobat, then Bridge and/or whatever's next as necessary.

    This has been a great machine. I am not looking forward to setting up a new system. With that said, I'm not sure what "new" system is going to give me the same relatively, trouble-free service for the next 10 years. I think my immediate choices, in my price range (Ha!) are: 1) a 6-core Mac Pro w/1 TB storage with additional 3rd party RAM, 2) a souped-up 2010 MP from OWC, or 3) Finding someone local that can rebuild/soup-up my 1,1 in a week or so.

    On one hand, I already have a 3 TB G-Drive to hook up to a new trash can, which should hold me for a year or so and an OWC Blue Ray burner. On the other hand, I have two internal drives (3 and 5 TB) that I should be able to pop into an OWC 2010 Mac, plus the externals. And I have no clue if rebuilding my 1,1 will be worth the cost vs. longevity and future OSX/software compatibility. Or if I can even find someone reliable to do it for a reasonable price.

    Then there's the software. While I own licenses for everything, most of them are based on the CS3 Creative Suite, then my CS5 and 6 discs are all upgrades. I don't even want to think about that headache, especially if my current issues (and back-up) are software/corruption related.

    Am I over thinking this or not thinking things through enough? I need a machine that will take me through the next 10 years of software/hardware upgrades with as few headaches as possible. I need to be up and running no later than the first of November.

    Thoughts, opinions, guidance are all welcome!

    (I apologize if this is rambling, nonsensical or full of typos, lots of distractions today and I'm reduced to using the iPad which is a toy to me. :oops:)
     
  2. rawweb, Oct 21, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015

    rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    #2
    While I like OWC, sometimes their used Mac prices can be a bit off base. Really depends on the model. If you think you can do some upgrading yourself, you could save some cash by buying a base model 2010 and swapping the CPU yourself. Otherwise, I see they have a 32gb ram | hex core 3.33 for like $1,700. Not as bad as I would have thought but...Play around on eBay for a bit, you might get a better deal these days. Just be careful of firmware upgraded 2009 computers that are disguised if you're truly after a legit 2010/12.

    Regarding the 1,1, you could stretch it's life a bit but remember it's no greater than the sum of it's parts (in terms of single core processor speed). If you're staying on CS3 or CS6, do you really need something newer? If your use needs don't have you springing for creative cloud releases why not just upgrade your graphics card and go for a PCIssd disk option? An SSD would change your world. Most bottlenecks you're likely experiencing are caused by those old spinning platters. For video cards, if you need something with boot screens MacVidCards has a lot of video card upgrade options you could easily get yourself into.

    Quick answer? Staying with CS3/CS6...keep the old beast. Getting a newer computer isn't going to necessarily change anything with those apps especially if you move the same spinning hard drives in a 5,1. Grab an SSD and keep trucking. I really don't see how a 2013 will help you here.

    EDIT: Don't forget ram. How much memory are you running with? Also, what is the current processor configuration?
     
  3. I'm an idiot thread starter macrumors newbie

    I'm an idiot

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #3
    Thanks rawweb.

    I've really been fighting the idea of a 2013 for several reasons. I think I talked myself out of that last night. However, there is something about buying a used machine that scares me. Probably the fact that my computer is my paycheck and handing over a chunk of change for a non-*certified* used/refurb scares the crap outta me.

    As for my current system, yep, it's definitely a 3 GHz 1,1. I absolutely love this thing. And with the 32 GB of RAM, she's not really that slow. Even when I do hit the bigger 12 to 16 gig sizes in PS, she saves them out pretty quickly.

    I'm only considering an upgrade because I'm not sure if what's going on now is a corrupted OSX or hardware. (I can only boot in safe mode and the screen has a lovely multi-stripe pattern happening and it's not the monitor!) I'll know soon enough when I wipe the drive and reinstall ... which I haven't done in a decade+. If it's hardware, I have no idea how to even troubleshoot what it could be. And the cost of having a pro figure it out, then actually fix it might be better spent going towards a newer system that I can upgrade as needed for a few years out.

    While my current clients are fighting the whole cloud thing too, and they're all still using CS5, I'm trying to think ahead a bit and want to be prepared for when they do upgrade or be able to take on a new client and not be limited due to using in an outdated OS because I'm not savvy or brave enough to perform major surgery.

    My girl is almost 9, how much longer can I expect out of her before she nickle and dimes me? (Queue taps, I'm going to cry thinking about "losing her.") If I were to swap out the NVidia and go for the SSDs, how long before the motherboard or other major guts die? I can do the simple stuff like swapping RAM and drives, but I'm not sure I have the balls to do much else. Gimme a 2 cycle carb off a mower or weedeater and I'll futz with it, but things that have "firmware" scare me. I don't even know what firmware is ... (Sadly, I truly am an idiot when it comes to computers these days.)

    Given her age, do you really think the vid card and SSDs are worth the cost vs boosting up a 20010/2012?
     
  4. rawweb, Oct 22, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015

    rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    #4
    For about 150 bucks with just an SSD boot/app volume you can easily squeeze a few more years out of her. If you're into following the guides posted around here and hacking a bit, you could get yourself up to the latest OS. I'm not a big fan of recommending that though if you don't have a bit of knowledge about what you're doing. If you want to be official and technical, Apple says you're stuck at 10.7.5. Giving that she is 9, you've certainly got your money out of her. The components inside are solid and I don't think she'll be biting the dust too soon, so long as you keep her nice and dusted ;)

    A PCI solid state option isn't difficult to install, but it will set you back several hundred. You're going to be putting it in a PCI gen 1 slot, so you might see a small impact on performance. The graphics card...with mac efi flash...might set you back about 400 bucks give or take.

    I PMed you another option :)
     
  5. I'm an idiot thread starter macrumors newbie

    I'm an idiot

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #5
    You've certainly given me some things to think about/resarch.

    I'm walking away from the whole issue for a day or two to get caught up on some chores. I need to let your info marinate in the back of my head for a bit and crunch some numbers. That and I need to pysch myself up for the whole OSX/software reinstall. For me, a root canal is more enjoyable than even the thought of facing software issues/conflicts. I'd rather face zombie hoards or play tag on I-75 during rush hour.

    Hoping I'll have a resolution/direction by this coming Monday. I'll let you know what happens and what I decide.

    Thank you again for yor time and advice. It is greatly appreciated!
     

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