Old School Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iGobbleoff, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. iGobbleoff macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    So there’s an old school tower Mac Pro for sale locally for a couple of hundred dollars.

    It’s a Dual Core Xeon, 250gb drive, 8gb of Ram and on 10.7.4

    What could I do with it if I picked it up. Ultimately I’d like a iTunes server, but will it run High Sierra?

    I have four iTunes library on a NAS so space isn’t an issue. I’d just like a retro machine doing nothing taxing.
  2. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    What model is it, exactly?

    The 2009's and later, Mac Pro (4,1) or (5,1) are decent buys and will run High Sierra. The (4,1) hardware is not the same as the 2010-2012 (5,1) but you can easily flash the (4,1) firmware to (5,1) level; I did this with my 2009 MP.

    The somewhat more problematic tower Mac Pro's are the original (mid 2006) (1,1)'s and the 2008 (3,1)'s. These are more limited, particularly the (1,1) which only has 32 bit boot EFI. I wouldn't take a (1,1) or (3,1) except for free and maybe not then. (If I already had a (3,1), I could make it work for me, but that's a slightly different situation.) The (4,1) and (5,1) still have some life left in them, depending on you usage and the purchase price. US$200-ish for a (4,1) or (5,1) is in general a good deal.

    A dual core Xeon sounds like a (1,1) or (3,1), and you would have to talk fast about the use case to get me to put actual cash out for one. Just IMO.
  3. iGobbleoff thread starter macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    No idea. It just popped up as something for sale locally. Reading your response I’m probably better off getting a Mac mini to do the iTunes server/share thing. My every day mini has me logged on, plus other accounts for the different iTunes libraries and I’d rather have a dedicated machine for just that.

    I always liked the look of them but if it’s going to be a pain to use or even upgrade I’d rather leave it alone.

    Part of me would like a trash can Mac Pro then I can relegate my every day mini to server duties
  4. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    Describing it as "old school" doesn't cut it as far as the description goes. There's the 1,1 - 2,1 - 3,1 - 4,1 and the 5,1. Some are similar to each other others are quite different as to capabilities, upgradeability and desirability. They were built from 2006 to 2013. We need to know which model you have to give you any sort of rational answer.

    BTW, they are known as cMPs (Classic Mac Pro) not "old school".

  5. iGobbleoff thread starter macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    I haven't bought it, it just appeared in ebay as a local sale.
  6. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Oct 31, 2017
    There are some clues as to which model this would be. The system has a 250GB hard drive and is currently running Lion. These two pieces of information suggest it's a 1,1 model. You can get additional clues based on the memory type. If it has DDR2 then it is it would be a model 1,1, a 2,1, or a 3,1. If it has DDR3 then it is either a 4,1 or 5,1.

    The 1,1 and 2,1 models have long since been discontinued by Apple (Lion, the OS currently installed, was the last officially supported version of OS X). The 3,1 was discontinued by Apple about 15 months ago (with the release of macOS Sierra). The 4,1 and 5,1 are the models most here will recommend. Officially Apple dropped support for the 4,1 with macOS Sierra but one can merely flash it to a 5,1 and it can then easily run macOS Sierra (and High Sierra).

    At $200 a 1,1 is a little pricey. I've seen them on CL for as little as $60 (though not often, $200 is common but they don't ever seem to sell). If it doesn't sell maybe you can reach out to the seller and offer him something less.
  7. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Honestly a cMP is probably the last computer I'd pick up to use as an iTunes server since they're not very quiet or power efficient.
  8. VanneDC, Feb 16, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018

    VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    200 bucks for a 4,1 or 5,1??

    Thats the general rock bottom bargan basement price for a 3,1. And even then that's a super duper good buy. The 3,1's go normally for 300 and up. The 2009's go for anywhere around 400 to 700 depending on the stuff inside.

    Even the very classic 1,1 are a really good box, depending on what you wanna do with it. They are only problematic if you can't live with el capt.

    Anyways, they are all good boxes. And if you can get them for free, more cash to you for doing upgrades. ;)
  9. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    You could end up with a powerPC based dead end. The plastic case is cool, but, then what do you do with it?

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8 February 15, 2018