Old Mac Pro worth it?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by madsilencerr, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. madsilencerr macrumors member

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #1
    I currently have a macbook pro 13 inch 2.5 ghz i5 and 10gb ram. the latest non-retina model, and i use it for music, some gaming and stuff for school.

    Now, i am thinking of getting an old mac pro (2007-2008), which as i see go about 500$. I am planning on using it mainly for music(logic, ableton) and some gaming and keeping the macbook for school. If i upgrade the ram and put an SSD on an old mac pro, will it be faster than my macbook pro and sufficient for the stuff i want it for.

    I just love the look of it and its upgradability!! (Hard drives, graphic cards etc.)
     
  2. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 27, 2012
  3. binarybob macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #3
    I would say that if your laptop does not have an sad then the Mac Pro would seem faster launching apps but not for anything else especially one so old. I am in a similar position having a mac pro 1.1 with sad and a good chunk of ram that I bought new. I was looking to get a late hex core model as the apps I use need speed not cores (adobe print based apps) but now I am waiting for a mac mini refresh as I have waited so long. The reason for wanting a refresh is to drive multiple large monitors easily rather than gaming ability. It is a shame that apple does not offer the guts of the iMac in a small box for us non gamers / non video editors

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    sorry previous post swap sad for sad (damn autocorrect)

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    Ssd
     
  4. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    So you say that buying a Mac Pro 3.1(2008?) would be useless since i have a macbook pro 2012?
     
  5. binarybob macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #5
    Would not go as far to say useless. I am unfamiliar with the apps you want to use but am guessing: gaming - you can put a good graphics card in and possibly achieve more performance than your MBP if the game is biased towards the card than the CPU. It's not that it is a bad machine (I make a living from my 1.1 (with the help of a couple of xeon hosts for vmware for all that I can automate)) but for anything that requires a click than an instant response before the next click I feel that the MBP will feel quicker. I have a 2009 MBP with 7200rpm hard drive and for some things it is far superior to the mac pro 1.1 but from a boot the old mac pro with SSD will be up and running faster
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #6
    For Mac Pro, better go for 4,1 or later, especially if you plan to upgrade your Mac Pro's RAM, graphic card, SSD...

    The 3,1 use DDR2 RAM, which is expensive and much slower than DDR3.

    The PCIe in 4,1 is much better than 3,1 as well, all 4 slots in 4,1 is PCIe 2.0 vs only 2 PCIe 2.0 in 3,1.

    For SSD, the old Mac Pro only have SATA 2. However, with better PCIe architecture in 4,1, you can easily get a PCIe SATA 3 card to get full performance from the high speed SSD.

    Also, you can further flash the 4,1 to 5,1 and then upgrade to the Hex core CPU that a 3,1 can't use.
     
  7. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #7
    But i want to buy a mac pro that costs under 600$... Or 500 if possible
     
  8. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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  9. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

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    Midwest America.
    #9
    I've got a 4,1 and it still kicks ass. I'm thinking of upgrading the processors, while I can still hopefully find them.

    I've upgraded the video, and the drives. It came with 6G of ram, and so far that seems ok.

    I wouldn't go any older.

    I'd think anything older would really start to show its age...

    Oh, plus component failures are death to these older systems. BOTH my nics died last week. Means new motherboard. :eek: Bonus, a wireless nic I liberated from an old Apple TV works perfectly. :cool: Point: Finding usable parts could be a dead end...
     
  10. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #10
    If you want a MP, get a 2009 4,1 or later. Earlier ones are rapidly becoming dead ends and that will only get worse.

    I personally think anyone who pays more than $200 or so for a MP 1,1 or perhaps $300 for a 3,1 is either nostalgic (fine) or in denial. That excepts people who have been using them for a long time - only to those who would buy one now.
     
  11. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

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    Wellington, New Zealand
    #11
    In my experience older mac pros are not a great value. As noted above, the components are still quite expensive, so you wind up dumping a lot of money into it over time for performance that is only mediocre.
     
  12. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    So a 4.1 would be alright. How much do they cost approximately ?
     
  13. rx7dude macrumors regular

    rx7dude

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    Toronto
    #13
    10GB in an MBP? weird. Anyhow, the MP will be too loud for music. Use your MBP and get a USB3 or TB drive. You will also need a sound interface to plug in guitas, vocals, keys....
     
  14. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

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  15. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    I have an audio interface of course...

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    So i should just stick with my MBP untill i can afford a newer MP
     
  16. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #16
    There are still lots of used W36xx (or X56xx for dual) on eBay. Just pick one and your machine will able to match with the 2014 model. IMO, It's not worth to find a new expensive W36xx or X56xx.
     
  17. LorenK macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2007
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    Illinois
    #17
    I have a 3,1 which I upgraded with a second card, RAM, an SSD, USB 3.0 and a GTX660 video card. I am satisfied with the upgrade in all around speed. I primarily use my machine for photo editing and music.

    I will note that the prices on all things 3,1 have come down simply because the demand is no longer there. I added the second processor for about $150, 8GB of RAM for about $150, the video card was under $200, and the SSD was most expensive of all simply because it is a Samsung 840 Pro. I also like having the massive onboard storage capacity (2 TB drives) and the expansion slots, which allow me to have eSATA for external drives.

    The best thing that you could do to help make up your mind is to go to the benchmarking sites and see what the scores are for a 3,1 and your current MacBook Pro.

    I think that the end result is a relatively inexpensive workstation that will last for several more years. (note that the architecture of the 3,1 is different from the 1,1 and 2,1, which means that the 3,1 will continue to accept OSX until Apple decides otherwise unlike the earlier ones.)
     
  18. phoenixsan macrumors 65816

    phoenixsan

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    Oct 19, 2012
    #18
    You are.....

    attracted to the "Classic" Pro for the expandability, like most of us....:D. But the machine you want to buy (2007-2008) can enter in the "software obsolescense" mode in any moment. If you mantain the Pro before Mavericks, maybe you can get even 5 or more years from that kind of machine, IMHO. Well tought in the upgrades you have planned.

    But if you budget supports it, go for a 2009 or 2010 one.....


    :):apple:
     
  19. OhKay macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2010
    #19
    I had a 2007 Mac Pro and it became frustrating not getting software updates. Not just OS updates but application updates too. For example, some of the newest Photoshop improvements were unavailable on my machine.

    The current version of Mavericks only supports back to the early 2008 Mac Pro. I'm guessing that the Yosemite update will end support for that model - if not immediately then shortly thereafter.

    I now have the latest 6,1 Mac Pro and besides the obvious hardware improvements I'm relieved that I'll be getting all OS and application updates.
     
  20. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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  21. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502

    dan1eln1el5en

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    #21
    I vote "no", not worth it, sorry.

    rather save the 500 bucks... if anything update your laptop to SSD and extend on that. perhaps a docking station ?
     
  22. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #22
    The reason i want a Mac Pro is because i love the design, i've always wanted one and i wanna have one mac dedicated to school and that stuff (the macbook) and one for music and some gaming (mac pro)
     
  23. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #23
    For single CPU config. The 4,1 and 5,1 are basically the same, and you can flash the firmware to make the 4,1 accept the newer CPU + faster RAM.

    So, for cost saving, the 2009 model may be a better choice for you. And you may able to get one for $7xx.

    Of course, there are always some better config (e.g. better CPU or more RAM) 2010 model may worth you to pay a bit more.
     
  24. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a

    KeegM480

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    Orlando, FL
    #24
    You want a newer, not new, newer Mac Pro at least 2009 but 2010+ is the best.

    Those come with a not too shabby processor, and much more modern parts that are easier to work with
     
  25. madsilencerr thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #25
    Then i guess i'll save some more money... Haha thanks guys!!!
     

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