Old MacPro2,1 upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 1tio1, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. 1tio1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013

    I have an old MacPro2,1 which is just lingering around, not in use.
    And I want to upgrade it, so it can be used as photo and video editing machine.

    What could I possibly do? Is it worth it? I don't know whether the MOBO supports good hardware. I'm not that familiar with custom builds.

    So if it's not going to be a huge difference with topped specs for that MOBO and other hardware. (I mean by changing RAM and GPU and the usual SSD stuff)

    Would it be better to build a Hackintosh without breaking the bank and using as much of the components of the MacPro2,1 as possible.
    I'm thinking about those 2 Intel Xeon X5365 3.0 GHz. Are they still good enough to compete with current Haswell's? Just thinking straight, high clock speed and 8 instead of 4 cores. And most of all, no need to spend a lot of money on (a) new cpu('s).

    Help me out here.
  2. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    I suppose what you would do for upgrades to your 2,1 depends on your intended usage, but you already touched on the RAM/GPU/SSD aspects. SSDs are a great and relatively inexpensive way to get a very nice performance boost. So is RAM if your situation requires more of it.
  3. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    It depends on which system you need. The 2,1 pretty much maxes at Lion without workarounds, due to the 32 bit EFI. Processors are not expensive. Ebay has reasonable prices on Socket 771 Xeons, you can get a matched pair for under $200. The Clovertown series is still pretty nice. I would absolutely get a new video card, and maybe an SSD, but RAM is where it gets expensive. FB-DIMM DDR2 is hard to find for a cheap price. I got lucky and got 8GB from a friend for cheap, but even Ebay is rough with them. GTX 600 series non-EFI cards are easy to find on clearance at most Micro Centers (if you've got one of those near you) and then you'll probably need a 6 pin power cable. (also on Ebay, there's a reputable buyer I got mine from). So for about $400 or so, your machine could be pretty powerful, twin X5365s Geekbench above 10,000. Then you can get into Software Workarounds if you want to go above 32bit Lion.

    As far has the Hackintosh route goes, it's absolutely more future proof, but you're not getting the core power of a Xeon. Haswell i7s are absolutely more powerful than anything you can put in a 2,1 Mac Pro, but then you're constructing a new system. That being said, it depends on how much power you need. If you're in need for a new machine, and you've got a good understanding of how OS X works, and a lot of patience, I would go the Hackintosh route. I have three myself, and they're fun to build and use. I've also maxed out a Mac Pro, which has its fair share of work, but there's full documentation and guides on doing so, as many people in the forum have done it, while Hackintosh is a lot of trial and error.

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