Smart 2008 cMP 3,1 upgrades?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Litsnsirn, May 29, 2018.

  1. Litsnsirn macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2018
    Hi All,
    After a while of wanting to make the plunge, and waiting too long to get a good deal on a 5,1 I have gotten myself a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 2x2.8, 32GB RAM , and a 5770 graphics card. I have also gotten myself a 27" Cinema to upgrade the original 23". Besides learning to navigate my way around in Mac OS, I'd like to do some gaming. I think the most challenging thing that I like to play is Wargaming's World of Tanks and World of Warships.

    To start with, I have ordered a OWC PCIe to 2.5" SATA adapter to mount a new boot drive.

    I could get a pair of 5472's but I'm not sure the upgrade would be worth it, at least until I know if I like it.

    RAM is maxed, so nothing I can do there.

    I kind of want to upgrade the video card but I am not sure which direction to go in, I'm used to Nvidia but it looks like either path is valid. I want to be able to keep the boot screen, so I was thinking something like a flashed r9 280x or a gtx 680-770-970(maybe titan?). At what point are the other parts of the system going to cause a bottleneck that getting a higher tier video card is not worth it? Assuming that DP to mDP adapters work, I need something with either mDP or DP for the Cinema Display. I'm not really sure what my best choice is? I was going through previous posts, but there seems to be a lot of old material and I am not sure which concerns and issues are still valid.

    Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
  2. Varmann macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Trying to get a ten year old computer up to date is always a challenge.
    Do not invest too much money into it, make it a cheap and fun hobby project instead.

    When that is said, mine has been a beast up through the years. Fast, only recently showing its age, reliable and very upgradeable.

    Good luck!
  3. Litsnsirn thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2018
    That is kind of why I wanted to keep my video card upgrade in the best bang for the buck catagory.

    Please forgive my ignorance, but upgrading to a 5,1 would only get me a few more cores and more ram, wouldn't it? There isn't a significant difference in the architecture until you get to into the "trash cans" isn't there?
  4. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    The difference between the 3,1 and 4,1/5,1 are unfortunately quite large. Not only are the 5,1 still supported but the processor architecture is also vastly different (Harpertown versus Nehalem+).
  5. barmann macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2010
    The MP 4.1/5.1 have a noticable performance gain throughout vs. the MP 3.1 ; faster or more effecient CPUs and RAM, multithreading, cheaper upgrades, more powerful PCIe slots , more GPU options, etc .

    That said, the difference in performance is nowhere near the one between a pre-Intel Mac like the G5 and any Intel MP, that's a massive gap .

    I switched to an MP 5.1 from a well specced MP 3.1 recently, but mainly because Apple offers no current workstation that makes sense for me , and given the age of the cMPs I wanted to have a spare around ( I kept the 3.1 ) .
  6. dgdosen macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2003
    I've got a old 3,1 - and it works great for what I use it for - but I wanted to ask about video card upgrades - Is there a list of supported video cards for this aging beast? Specifically, can this thing support any 'Metal" compatible cards?

    One other general question - what's an indicator as to what kind of card I can put in there? Is it 'any mac os' supported card? Or are there specific hardware restrictions in place?

    Thanks for any help!

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