Replacing old G5

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Matt Waters, May 20, 2015.

  1. Matt Waters macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2011
    So my old G5 looks like it's finally packing up plus it's definitely time to upgrade if even web browsers are unsupported!

    I've previously used it for audio but have recently started projection mapping on (another old) Mac book pro. The MacBook Pro struggles.

    I've been considering three main options
    A new Mac Pro 6.1 (expensive, may be more than I need, feels like something new is due)
    A cheap second hand Mac Pro (if so which one and what is a reasonable price)
    A new Mac book pro (not convinced latest update is a real update)

    Keen to get views from others. I'm leaning towards the second hand option but there is so much to choose from. 6 or 8 core models post 2009 seem to be advertised for no less than £800. I'm not sure if that's good or not or if I should be thinking differently all together.

    Many thanks
  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Refurbs are a nice middle ground between new and used.

    If you want a nMP you might want to wait until after WWDC. There may be a new model announced.

    If you want a cMP I'd get at least a 2009, which can be updated and upgraded to as far as the cheesegrater line can go.

    Can't speak much for the laptop line as I don't use them any more.
  3. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    Looks like you're in the right place. I think a used classic Mac Pro would be a great place for you to look. At present, single socket 2009s are going (over here) for $500-$600 with base configuration. Over the pond, I think you're looking closer to that range in pounds, since I know they get a bit pricier over there, but you'd have to check your markets. The 2009 single sockets are easy to upgrade, and will take up to a W3590 (or W3580 [cheaper]) which is 6 cores at 3.46 GHZ or 3.33GHz, respectively. There is a negligible difference between the two in performance.

    I think a dual socket machine might be slightly overkill based on what you're currently using, but if you can find one at a reasonable price (over here, about $850 US is a pretty good deal) you might want to trend to that. Those will also take those six cores, though you'll need de-lidded CPUs (easier, also can use a washer method. There are several threads on upgrading the 2009s.) You'll also want to use X5690s or X5680s, as they have dual QPI where the W's do not.

    The key is to find a deal, though. In my area, there are still people trying to sell their 2006 Mac Pros for $500, let alone a 2009 at that price. But occasionally...
  4. Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    AT LEAST a 2009. I paid $950 for my 2010 5,1 3.2Ghz Quad with 16GB RAM with 5770 with original box. No HDD's, but I didn't want them anyways as I had an SSD. This is about 1-3 months ago.

    Speaking of SSD's - you'll want to get flash storage of some kind - it'll be a huge upgrade in speed. Especially from a G5!

    Me personally I'd get the 2010 minimum just due to the newer firmware without needing to flash it so it can natively take dual CPU's. But if you find a killer deal on a 2009, it may be worth it. It's up to you.

    Good luck!
  5. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    2009 4,1 single CPU flashed with 5,1 firmware will accept up to W3680 or W3690 (hex) and can also use the readily available used X5680 or X5690. Such an upgrade gets you more CPU HP than the 6,1 quad. I did it and love my faux 5,1 hex Mac Pro!
  6. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    Wow I wrote W35XX - Zzzz. Yes - W3600 series or X3600 series will be accepted if you flash firmware. Newer processors, better performance.
  7. Matt Waters thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2011
    Thanks all,

    From the above, I think I'm leaning towards getting a 2010 quad and potentially upgrading the cpu later if I need to. Pretty sure that a quad will still smash my current G5.

    Is that sensible or am I best to just find a factory 6 or 8 core?

    Pre upgraded 6 8 and 12 cores seem to be available for less, which leaves me sceptical
  8. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
    Were I you, I'd get a nMP. It seems like you hold onto machines for a long time, so getting the latest model will give you more years of a machine that's at the top of the food chain. Since it seems likely a Mac Pro revision is coming soon, maybe hold off for the new one? In the meantime:

    TenFourFox still does quite well on my G4 Powerbook when I need to use that computer.
  9. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    Single CPU, for same money as 2010, you might as well get a 4,1 2009, flash and install $160 hex CPU. Dual CPU 2010 or 2012 is easier to upgrade than Dual 2009, which needs de-lidded processors or other accommodations.
  10. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    If you see yourself keeping this machine for a while, get a 2010 or 2012 dual socket machine (8 core and 12 core) even if it has a lower clock speed. These machines have very upgradeable CPUs (if you are comfortable doing so) compared to the previous models. The 2009 dual socket requires processors that don't have the Integrated Heat Sink (IHS) or 'lids'. Delidded CPUs tend to cost more then the lidded ones and are harder to find.

    If your just going to go for a single socket machine (quad/hex) then the 2009 would be your best bet. They are identical to the 2010 and 2012 single socket models and will even take the newer processors from the 2010/2012 with a firmware update (as others have said). I have done this on my machine and installed a W3680 and its a screamer. If expandability is important to you, that is the way to go.

    The new Mac Pros are very nice machines as well (I have one too). I have the base model that I bought refurbed and FCPX renders a heck of lot faster on this machine then my 4,1 thanks to the dual GPUs (even one of the GPUs by itself will smoke the 5870 I have in my 4,1->5,1). The quad core CPU also out edges the W3680 by just a smidgen.

    If you wanna buy a brand new machine, which it seems would suit you best if you do not need the internal expandability and don't mind the price, wait until WWDC. I'm almost positive new Mac Pros will be announced there and even if it isn't that impressive of an upgrade, the prices of the 2013s will start falling.

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