Questions about purchasing a used 4,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Furrybeagle, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Furrybeagle macrumors 6502

    Furrybeagle

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    #1
    Hello all! I currently have a 2012 rMBP that I used for development. I would like to replace it with a desktop Mac that can drive a 4K display at 60 Hz. The Mac mini and iMac are non-starters for obvious reasons. I’m considering a used 4,1 or a 5,1.

    Requirements:
    • quiet (the drive bays will be empty)
    • the CPU is not slower than a 2012 2.3 GHz rMBP
    • 16 GB of RAM (which could eventually be upgraded to 32 GB)
    • can drive a 4K display (Dell P2715Q)
    • supports Metal
    • supports Continuity/Handoff/AirDrop/SMS/phone relay/whatever
    • supports FileVault (this is why a Hackintosh is a nonstarter)
    • lasts 2-3 years
    • (optional) supports an internal Bluray drive as an eventual upgrade

    Here’s the upgrades I’d do with ballpark prices:
    $225 - R9 280X
    $275 - PCIe SSD (~250GB)
    $100 - wireless card from OSXWiFi
    $50 - USB 3 card
    = ~$650 total for upgrades

    What would be a decent base configuration to use? Would a single-socket 4,1 be sufficient, and roughly equivalent to my existing rMBP? What can I reasonably get for <$1000 (before upgrades)? OWC has a few machines around this price point, but I assume that’s more expensive than buying a machine from eBay.

    Regarding the GPU: the R9 280X is fast enough, but does anyone recommend a different card? Can I flash it myself (I have access to a PC)? Will it require a second PSU or modifying the case or existing PSU?

    Is around $275 reasonable for a ~250GB PCIe SSD? Does anyone have any recommendations?

    (The alternative is to wait for the 7,1. It would be small, quiet, fast, and last me a long time, but it would also be more of an investment.)

    Any other thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mattspace macrumors 6502

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
  3. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    $500 for a single CPU 4,1 is already considered expensive. $400 is reasonable. Below $350 is good deal. (Of course, depends on condition)

    Flash it to 5,1. And a Hex 3.46GHz W3690 only cost $200.

    Pick the cheapest reference 7970 / R9 280x and flash it by yourself can save you another $100.

    USB 3.0 only cost $20.

    Quiet is very personal, can't comment on it.
     
  4. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #4
    wow those resell prices in the US are crap.
    In Germany where I am, the single cpu 2.66GHz quad 4,1's go for on average €900, thats about what $700? (these exchange rates suck :( )
     
  5. Furrybeagle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Furrybeagle

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    #5
    So let’s say:

    $550 - single socket 4,1 in good condition
    $220 - reference R9 280X
    $275 - PCIe SSD (~250GB)
    $100 - wireless card
    $20 - USB 3 card
    $225 - used W3690
    = ~$1390 total

    Are the single socket 4,1 CPUs delidded?
     
  6. Furrybeagle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Furrybeagle

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    #6
    (I’m finding some single socket 4,1s around $500, but they’re not in great condition. Seems like something that I might need to spend time looking for.)
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    No, just the normal CPU.
     
  8. Furrybeagle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Furrybeagle

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    #8
    I believe I found a pristine 4,1 at 2.93 GHz.

    $570 - Mac Pro 4,1
    $30 - Inateck 4-port USB 3 card
    $28 - Lycom DT-120
    $190 - Samsung SM951 - 256 GB
    $100 - Wireless card
    $200 - GPU
    ~$1150 with shipping

    I have yet to pick a specific GPU. At this point I’ll probably hold off on a CPU for a month or two. And if I sell my existing rMBP I could probably make a profit?
     
  9. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #9
    Where do you source at these prices?
     
  10. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #10
    I don't see what the 'obvious reasons' are that prevent a 5K iMac being an option. One big advantage will be a brand new system with warranty & support with 3 year AppleCare.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    May be OP use it for 24/7 heavy duty, then I can see why he said mini and iMac is not on the list.
     
  12. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #12
    The OP says they are using a 2012 rMBP for development so I doubt it. Apart from being a new system with warranty a 5K iMac is good value as it includes a fantastic 5K screen.
     
  13. Thanos916, Dec 12, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015

    Thanos916 macrumors newbie

    Thanos916

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    #14
    Greetings,
    the resell prices in US are cheep indeed if you compare it with them in Europe but I was lucky to find a 4.1 in excellent condition with single cpu for about 670€ (+35€ shipping to Austria) from the german ebay some months ago.
    I have not done any price research since I did not wanted to waste time for that and I am pretty sure you can find a much better deal in Germany.

    Upgraded with:
    24gb ram for 100€
    Apple EFI R9 280X for 300€
    WiFi 802.11ac card for 85€.

    The X5690 upgrade will cost me 550€ if done professionally and hopefully I will have a great cMP for the next 5 years or more.



    Sold my 1.1 MP with 16gb RAM and Radeon 5770 for 330€.
     
  14. Furrybeagle thread starter macrumors 6502

    Furrybeagle

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    #15
    I already have a 4K screen that I use with a PC. I don’t want multiple screens sitting on my desk.
     
  15. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    #16
    Reasonable point but being a developer I would sell the 4K and buy a 5K iMac , not a several years old Mac Pro
     
  16. Vicromono macrumors member

    Vicromono

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon
    #17
    I have purchased three Mac Pro 4.1s in the past two months here in Portland. The first two - 2.66 8GB of ram and stock for under $350 and the third - a dual CPU 2.26 model with 16GB of ram for $400. I am running the Single CPU with an OWC 240G SSD in PCI slot 2 as my boot drive. I am waiting on 16GB of 1333Mhz ram that I ordered from Mac sales for $109 to arrive before I perform the upgrade to 5.1. I also purchased a used Xeon W3680 off of Ebay for $140.
    3680 score is 9372 versus a 3690 score of 9677. For a nearly $100 savings, the drop in speed is negligible. A 2013 MP 6.1 clocks just between the two. I purchased a used Sapphire 5870 GPU for $75 but would like to upgrade to the R9 mentioned above. Good luck in your adventure, Mine has been a blast! I will be following your progress.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    IMHO,

    An Imac is like driving a Subaru... It does a good job going from point A to B. Classic Mac Pros are more like old Land Rovers... they require some "under the hood" skills but will get you to where you want to go better than anything else.

    But hey, what do I know. I drive a Corvair.
     
  17. dpny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    #18
    Depends on whether your workflow can leverage multiple cores. A 3.33GHz W3680 in a 5,1 will likely be a little slower in single-thread work than your laptop.
     
  18. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Up Shellpot Creek
    #19
    I might have said the JEEP Wagoneer, as it too was abandoned and never replaced with a full-size vehicle of similar capabilities. Rumor is 2017 might see the release of a new Wagoneer... maybe that bodes well for a 7,1 nMP in the same year...
     
  19. Vicromono macrumors member

    Vicromono

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    Love the Wagoneer. And the Jeepster. And the Scout. And Scout II Diesel. And the Mac Pro. All big chunks of metal with purpose.
     

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