please advise: does this sound like a good (used) Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by malch, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. malch macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    Hi there,
    I was on the verge of buying the Mac Pro I'd been waiting for (the 6-Core 3.33GHz)... until it was revealed on an Avid site (I do a lot of video editing, and I hate to admit it on an Apple site, but I use Avid Media Composer) that Avid is still 32-bit for the foreseeable future, and there are a few problems/workarounds with a new Mac Pro that I don't know if I want to tackle.
    I've found someone in Toronto, which I'm visiting for a day-and-a-half, who's selling a Mac Pro Quad Core 3.0GHz, 2Gb, 500Gb for under just over $1600.

    My problem is I don't know one Mac Pro from another. Could people please advise? I asked the fellow what year's model it is and he said that this Mac Pro "was discontinued in early 2008". Does this make it one of the highly-lauded 2008 machines that people say were such good value?

    He said it's "in excellent" working condition with:
    - two 3.0GHz dual core Intel Xeon 5160 processors with 4 MB of shared level 2 cache per processor
    - a 128-bit SSE3 vector engine (this is Greek to me)
    - 1.33 GHz "64-bit dual independent frontside buses"
    - 2Gb RAM, which he says is "667 MHz DDR2 ECC "fully-buffered" FB-DIMM memory" (is this good or bad?; could I add newer, faster RAM?)
    - 500Gb hard drive
    - a GeForce 7300 video card "with 256 MB of GDDR2 SDRAM" (I have no idea if this is good or bad).

    The model number of this system is MA356LL/A, and he said it was a "custom configuration"

    If some of you very knowledgeable people would advise, I'd be very thankful!
    If it's a good deal, I can get it while I'm in town. If it's not a good deal, I can wait for Avid to go 64-bit (I'm getting by with a MacBook Pro for the time being).
    thanks very much,
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    that's a Mac Pro 1,1 from 2006. I think you should avoid it, especially at $1600.
  3. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    It is the first Mac Pro released in 2006 and you can't use faster RAM, as the RAM speed is determined.

    We currently use that MP, though the 2.66GHz variant, with Avid MC 3.1.2, and it runs sufficiently fast with a Multi-Cam project in SD (DV in 4:2:0 and Digi Beta in 10:1) and one S-ATA RAID.

    But once we had an HD project (XDCam HD) and we had to get a Mac Pro 3,1, but that may be due to using AMA with the MPEG-2 footage.

    Btw, where have you read, that MC will be staying 32-bit for the foreseeable future?

    PS: The price sounds about right, though Mac2ell is known for giving higher prices than they should be.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    It's from 2006. Any Nehalem based Mac Pro (2009-) is much faster than that is as it uses older processor micro-architecture. If you can go on with your MBP, then I would skip the deal and save $ for future Mac Pro.
  5. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    I have this machine for sale for $1200 with 5 gigs of ram, a Raptor 150gig drive, and two 320 gig drives. And it has 2 7300GT cards for 4 monitors. And I've had zero offers.

    For his machine, with those pathetic specs, I'd say $800 max. Or to not bother.

    Edit: The RAM is old tech and barely for sale anymore. The processors have been eclipsed by many more Mac Pro's. The 2 extra SATA ports are hard to get to. And that video card is a JOKE for anything but simple 2d visuals. It won't even run Starcraft 2, period, at any setting, and barely could play World of Warcraft.

    I have the same Mac Pro, and it's fine, but I bought it for $3000+ when it was new, with my upgrades. I wouldn't buy it again, if you have $1600 to blow, put that in an envelope and keep saving for a few more months and get a brand new one.

    In case I am not being clear: This is a BAD DEAL, both for money, and machine. DO NOT BUY.
  6. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    toxic, spinnerlys, Hellhammer and Sean - - thanks so much.
    Talk about getting good advice, and fast.
    I will bide my time and wait for a newer machine, or for Avid to catch up to 64-bit (re my comment about the "foreseeable future", I just know that when I asked on the site about when Avid might go 64-bit, people just shrug and say they don't know).
    Thanks again everyone,
  7. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    Also, to add: If you did want at 2006 Mac Pro, and were going to try and eek out performance, you'd have to do some expensive upgrades. Here's basically what you'd have to do:

    $1600 for the Mac Pro

    $270 for 8 gigs of ram from OWC: World Computing/53FB2MPK08GB/

    $160 for a SSD boot drive:

    $100 for each 1TB Western Digital Black :

    $335 for a Velociraptor: Digital/WD6000HLHX/

    And then you might want to think about getting an updated, compatible video card.

    So there's at least $1000 in upgrades to make it worth a crap. And you could bump up the SSD to a 120gb and add another $150.

    I hope this isn't a friend of yours, because selling a "Mac Pro discontinued in early 2008" is the best sales ploy I've heard. Sounds alot better than "2006 Mac Pro 1,1"
  8. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    Hi Sean,
    No, it's someone I've never met, but saw the ad and sent him a question about it (then posted to the forum). And you're right about the wording he used... luckily for me people on this site were able to "translate" it for me.
  9. phaedarus macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2008

    As was already mentioned, the Mac Pro in question being offered is not in line with a 2008 model and is overpriced.

    Unfortunately, this is par for the course in the used market in Canada where Apple products are concerned. The vast majority of pre-owned Mac Pros are overpriced to the extent that buying from Apple's refurbished store online would probably be a better way to go, as sad as that is.

    If you're looking for a sweet deal, you'll be hard pressed to find it in Canada. Indeed, you'll be repeatedly frustrated as time after time is spent negotiating with morons who think they're doing you a favor by pricing their used Mac Pros at retail market values and not charging 13% HST.

    If you can, you may want to try buying a used Mac Pro from the US and have it delivered to an American address near the border for you to pick up.
  10. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  11. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    If you really want a 2006 Mac Pro, I am looking to sell mine. I had an offer to trade it in at a Mac Reseller for $1200.

    Its a 2.66 quad core, 5 gigs of ram, a Raptor 150 drive, a pair of 320gb, dual 7300GT Cards (4 monitors) and has Airport and Bluetooth added (those were BTO options in 2006!!!).

    The Raptor is a brand new warranty replacement. The RAM is OWC ram.

    It's a great machine, I am just ready to go to the iMac 27. Or someday get a new Mac Pro. I don't have the time/energy to upgrade the CPU's or video card in this one, otherwise it might have 3 more years left in it of competitive use, easy.
  12. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    thanks for the offer, Sean, but it was the possibility of the "real" 2008 model that I was thinking I might go for. I've seen repeated references to the 2008 Mac Pro as a really good machine, nicely priced.
    Good advice re buying in the states, though. I live not far from the border, and can pick stuff up at a FedEx depot-type-place there (I then have to pay duty when I cross the border, though). My brother lives in NYC, so I might do something through him. Or... Avid might surprise me and get it's 64-bit act together. (I just googled and found out that FCP isn't 64-bit either, so it might be a bit of a wait, Avid always being slower than Apple at these things).

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