Sell or keep an old 2009 quad Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SHNXX, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. SHNXX macrumors 68000

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    Oct 2, 2013
    #1
    I have an old 2009 quad core Mac pro with 16GB that's just sitting and collecting dust.
    Should I keep it or sell it?
    Is it worth the trouble to sell it?
     
  2. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68000

    bladerunner2000

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    Jun 12, 2015
    #2
    Flash the firmware and upgrade it to the x5690 processor and you'll have a desktop thats more or less on par with today's computers. But that's as fast as it will ever get. You should get a few more years of use out of it this way. If you put in a GTX 960/970 in it, it should make a pretty decent gaming rig as well.
     
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #3
    If it has just been collecting dust, there's probably no point in keeping it.

    It's still a great computer, so giving to someone or selling it to someone who can make good use of it would probably make the most sense.
     
  4. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    do you think it'll be as fast as a 2013 3.5GHz Intel Core i7 imac?
    I've been using that as my main workhorse in addition to the aging macbook pro and it seemed like the Mac pro is much slower, which is why I stopped using it.
     
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #5
  6. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68000

    bladerunner2000

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    Jun 12, 2015
    #6
    As an iMac core i7 4790k? Probably, that thing is gimped with poor airflow so the CPU throttles it's top speed. Better than a 4790k unthrottled? Definitely not.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #7
    With the X5690 (or W3680 and above), your machine's multicore performance will be better than the iMac with 4770k. For all core long time performance, the Mac Pro will be much better than the iMac because of cooling system can let the CPU run at full speed all the time, but the 4770k will be throttled.

    For single core performance, there is no way the 4,1 can beat the 4770k.

    On the other hand, you feel that your Mac Pro is much slower. Most likely because it's lacking of an SSD, which is very easy to fix. Just buy one (e.g. the 2.5" 850Evo), connect it to the cable in the optical bay and leave it there. Install the OS on to the SSD (or just clone your current partition to there). Then you will realise your machine just like a new one. Even without CPU upgrade, the Mac Pro will still be much more responsive (not faster in processing, but much faster in loading stuff, which is the big bottle in a old machine and make you feel the machine is slow). For some operation like rendering, of course the CPU is more important than the SSD.

    Anyway, if you don't need it. Then better sell it. I am sure quite a few guys here have interest on it (if the price is reasonable). If you want an extra workhorse, the 4,1 can easily as good as the 2013 iMac. Or even better for some operations rely on GPU performance (assuming you also upgrade your GPU to the 2015 standard).
     
  8. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Sounds like I should consider keeping the Mac Pro, but I probably don't need both the iMac and the Mac Pro.
     
  9. Inutopia, Aug 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2015

    Inutopia macrumors 6502

    Inutopia

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    #9
    Then I would keep the iMac in this case, unless you're a person who does a lot of multi-threaded work, the iMac will probably be better.
     
  10. Shamgar macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2015
    #10
    It depends on your tasks. The i7-4771 in your iMac is significantly newer than anything you can put into the Mac Pro and will be consistently better in single threaded performance. That, combined with the PCIe SSD in the iMac will make it feel snappier than the Mac Pro in general use. For most people, the iMac will always feel faster, no matter how you upgrade the Mac Pro.

    There are two exceptions. Multithreaded performance and GPU performance. The Mac Pro can take a processor upgrade to bring it up to six reasonably fast cores. That will provide a small, but noticeable, performance increase to anything that can leverage all six cores. The GPU in the iMac is constrained to whatever mobile model you have in it, but the Mac Pro can take advantage of most modern full-size GPUs which will be significantly more powerful. If what you do can't leverage 12 threads on the CPU, or make significant use of a cutting edge GPU, then the iMac will be the superior machine.
     
  11. Thessman macrumors regular

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    GR
    #11
    I'm definitely not the artistic type, but you can consider the iMac as the painting whilst the cMP would be the painter.
     
  12. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
  13. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Regarding multi-threaded performance, are there many apps that take advantage of the multi-core?
    First of all it's only a quad-core Mac Pro and second I don't use computationally intensive applications at the moment (xcode, photoshop, illustrator, maybe matlab).
     
  14. ssgbryan macrumors 6502

    ssgbryan

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    Jul 18, 2002
    #14
    Depends on what you do - I do 3d art & even my inexpensive software (Poser Pro 2014) will take every core and every bit of ram I can throw at it.
     
  15. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

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    Feb 22, 2015
    #15
    The Lycom adapter ($25) and 256GB SM951 instead of SATA II or III instead, even faster PCIe-SSD than a iMac.

    4-cores for apps, one for system, and 3x8GB along with 3.3 or 3.4GHz processor.
     
  16. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    Sorry I don't understand the last part.
     
  17. Shamgar macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2015
    #17
    The quad-core currently in your Mac Pro will be outclassed by the newer i7 in your iMac, regardless of tasking. The reason multi-threaded performance is brought up is because of the option to upgrade to a six-core processor, which is one of the main benefits to the Mac Pro.

    For what you're doing, Photoshop and Illustrator are unlikely to benefit from such an upgrade. Xcode will benefit at the compiling stage, and Matlab can benefit when running some operations (but not all.) Otherwise the i7 will be faster.

    The Mac Pro that you have is not as fast as the iMac that you have. You would have to spend money to upgrade the Mac Pro to take advantage of its unique features. Based on what you've said, I don't think you would benefit enough from investing in a processor upgrade, nor have you mentioned anything that would really use a GPU upgrade that the Mac Pro makes possible. As much as we love the cMP around here, they are getting a bit old and aren't superior in all use cases. You should sell the Mac Pro.
     
  18. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 2, 2013
    #18
    Thanks for the advice.
    I looked at the price that they're selling for and it seems rather low (maybe $700?).
    I suppose I probably should sell it but i might just keep it as my US Mac desktop.
    Selling on eBay is kind of a hassle and there seem to be lots of people who don't pay, etc.
     
  19. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

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    Feb 22, 2015
    #19
    So google this forum is great, Amazon, or world-wide-web

    951 Amazon MacRmors Review Anandtech the adapter means no driver or controller, or firmware, and 5-6x faster than SATA II, 3x SATA III

    24GB Sweet spot

    And MacPerformanceGuide for good general understanding, tips, toward optimizing and excellent on Adobe and CC where good ROI and probably a nice GTX 9xx would be in your future.
     
  20. Shamgar macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2015
    #20
    $700 is fairly respectable for a machine that old and not customized. What's your CPU speed specifically?

    If you do want to keep it, then I would recommend installing an SSD. That upgrade will offer a huge bang-for-your-buck improvement in system responsiveness. The 3.5" drive adapter you listed will work, but it will limit the SSD to the SATA II speeds of the Mac Pro's built-in SATA. You still get the main benefit of faster random access that makes the SSD feel snappy, but you could also get a relatively inexpensive PCIe SSD sled that will allow for faster SATA III speeds (like an Apricorn Velocity Solo X2). PCIe SSD blades are also available, but that's getting fairly pricy for a secondary machine. There are a lot of good SATA SSDs out there, but the Samsung 850 Evo is an excellent choice and what I would recommend. There's also an even cheaper option of just putting the SSD in the second optical bay without any mounting (or maybe some double-sided tape).
     
  21. RC Mike macrumors member

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    Aug 6, 2015
    #21
    If you don't use it, sell it. Computers depreciate, and it will be worth less tomorrow than it is today. Would you rather have the money, or an unused computer?

    Now, if only I could follow my own advice. I've got a sizable collection of obsolete equipment. I get sentimental about it.
     
  22. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 2, 2013
    #22
    I meant I don't understand this part: "4-cores for apps, one for system, and 3x8GB along with 3.3 or 3.4GHz processor."

    What do you mean by this? are you suggesting that I upgrade the CPU on the Mac Pro?
     
  23. Thessman macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2005
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    GR
    #23
    Yeah he means upgrade to a Xeon W3680 or W3690 which will give you a six core (exacore for the Greeks) at 3.3, respectively 3.46 GhZ.
     
  24. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 2, 2013
    #24
    Ah I see.
    Are those easy to install?

    It seems pretty cheap to get those these days since they're available on eBay for under $200.
     
  25. someoldguy macrumors 65816

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    usa

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