Sell 1st gen Mac Pro or upgrade internals?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Obsidian6, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #1
    So I've been throwing this thought around for a while, but I'd be interested in hearing some feedback from other members about what you would do.

    I've got the 2006 mac pro 2.66ghz, it has 5GB of ram (I know odd number, I'd like it to be an even 6 or 8) and It has the x1900 GPU. It's main purpose in life is my photo work-horse. I shoot with a 5DmkII (which gives a 21mp RAW file) and I work with those in Aperture and Photoshop CS4.

    I do dabble a bit in Final Cut Studio 2, but I am by no means a pro at what that software is capable of.

    I'm trying to decide if I should sell my Mac Pro and get a maxed out 24" iMac (the 3.06) or upgrade things on my mac pro to give it more power.

    If I were to upgrade I would buy the new 4870 Radeon card from Apple because I hear that is leaps and bounds above my x1900 (which was already leaps and bounds above the sad 7300GT that was in it before!) I would also add more ram to round off at 6 or 8GB, and if there is enough left over I would also buy another Hard drive.

    All those upgrades are out of pocket costs to me, if I were to sell my mac pro, I would be able to afford the cost of the iMac, (the added benefit of going that route is I would be able to keep my 23" Cinema Display and have dual monitors again.

    I'd like to hear the community's thoughts on this. Bear in mind I don't hardly, if ever, play games on this system, I do surf the internet and use itunes and that sort of stuff, but it's main purpose in life is photo editing and cataloging. Just remember these are big raw files (23-30MB per image) ;)
     
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #2
    definitely upgrade internals. I thought about it long and hard and the newer machines just aren't that much of an upgrade, if you take into account the amount of money you put into it.
     
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    I totally agree! Go for the upgrade! It'll be like $500 to $800 for RAM and CPUs and you'll have a machine with better to same specs than Apples newest at over $3000. Yes indeedy!

    [​IMG]

    Check out the the "2007 3.0 Octad" and the "2006 2.66 Octad Upgraded" entries as a reference to what you'll be ending up with! Notice that the 2007 3.0 (which is basically a 2006 with quad procs dropped in it) out-performs the 2009 2.26 octad. Also notice that there is almost no difference at all from entry #3 all the way down to entry # to that "Upgraded" entry in green-bar results. The green bars are where 98% ~ 99% of your user time will be. Snow Leopard might push all (from the 2.0 Quad on up) of those green bars up by two or three hundred points - maybe.

    Original Post.
     
  4. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    here's my cinebench score with my mac pro. It's a 2006 model, upgraded to 2 quad core 2.66 ghz processors. I'll post my score tomorrow after I finally ditched the 7300GT vid card for the Radeon 4870. This computer can still very much hold its own against the newest machines. I spent $300 on the two processors and $315 on the vid card. That's a pretty healthy upgrade for ~$640.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #5
    Upgrade is the way to go.

    I'm using a 3870 Mac & PC card with AKASA cooler. I do not game either and it is is a great card with lower energy consumption compared to the 4870. I would not recommend it with the stock cooler but with the AKASA Vortexx Neo it is very quiet and way better than the 1900 which it replaced in my system.
     
  6. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #6
    Thanks to Bozz and others here I found info to upgrade my 2006 Quad 2.6.

    I found some 3.0 5160 Xeons for around $170 each....but I plan to sell the 5150s for nearly as much....nearly free upgrade other then getting the 6" Torx 15 driver.

    I'll give you a big hint....search for "SL9RT" if you want to end up wit a Quad 3.0. The 5150s sell for around $150 each....they are called "SLABM".

    Point being, you need to look for Xeon's with more than one name on Ebay....if you want 5300 chips, search for the equivalent number for yours.

    I installed the 3.0 chips and machine booted up fine. Now faster. Even id'd correctly in System Profiler.
     
  7. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #7
    Well the idea of doing a processor upgrade kind of frightens me. I'm not that knowledgeable with dissecting the guts of a computer.

    I have an opportunity to get an additional 4GB of ram for a very very low price (that would put me at 9GB so I'd probably leave out the 512s and run 8GB to keep it even.)

    I also am looking at re-flashing a PC 4870 card with 1GB VRAM since that would be half the price of buying the apple card.

    I think those two upgrades would be pretty sufficient for me :)

    I'll get more hard drives when I can afford to do so.
     
  8. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #8
    that sounds good to me. Much more economical use of dollars than selling the mac pro and getting an imac, especially in the regard that I think moving to an imac would be a downgrade.

    another really good upgrade is to use a separate hard drive for your home folder than the rest of OSX. Detailed instructions can be found HERE. It offers security in case of a failed drive, and a very healthy and noticeable speed increase if you get a 500-1000 GB hard drive and run OSX on a partition on the outer area of the drive where data is read and written much faster. That's another fairly cheap (~$100 for a new HDD) and very useful uprade.
     
  9. osin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    What you need to speed up your CS4 work is to invest in some fast hard drives and use them as RAID 0 for scratch disk. Also buy some more RAM and you are good for at least 2 years :)
     
  10. Obsidian6 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #10
    Ok so I scored an additional 4GB of ram this afternoon, if you do the math that puts me at 9GB.

    Is there any reason for me to use 9? Or should I leave it at the 8GB config. I have at the moment? (I removed the 2x 512mb sticks)
     
  11. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    192.168.1.1
    #11
    Check out my sig below...

    2006 Mac Pro 2.66GHz and with enough RAM, a modern graphics card and decent hard drives, it does a fine job. There's nothing I currently do on it that isn't fast enough. It'll last me another year easily. And 4 years on one machine for me is, I think, a record.
     

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