So glad I bought a 5,1 in 2015...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Think77, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. Think77, Mar 31, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017

    Think77 macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2015
    I've been following this forum for years now looking for any signs, news or rumours about an upgraded Mac Pro. 2-3 years ago I needed to upgrade from my 2011 iMac (no SSD, only 16gb RAM), and I kept waiting for months to hear any news about a MP update. Months turned into more months. And years. Meanwhile, Intel released new CPUs, new GPUs came out from both nVidia and AMD. But no new MP.

    After going almost crazy from waiting, in October of 2015 I finally gave in and bought a... second hand 5,1 MP, 12 core westmere, 32gb RAM, SSD. Well, actually it's a 2009 4,1 with the "hacked" boot ROM (or whatever it's called). Everything for around 1000$. Nice price everything considered. But I had this constant suspicion that right after I made the purchase, Apple would release a brand new MP making my purchase look silly. But that didn't happen, and it still hasn't.

    Thing is... the 5,1 (4,1) is still rocking! That's not to say that I wouldn't upgrade to a new MP if Apple ever sees the light again (I would!), but this machine is just such high quality. JUST WORKING! Lets me do heavy projects in Logic Pro, have multiple other applications running simultaneously (Office apps, Adobe apps, browsers...). Never does this machine hesitate to run and crush almost everything I throw at it. However, I completely get why some users/pros are loosing patience because of the lack of new hardware that can take advantage of the newest technologies (CPUs, GPUs, faster and better PCI card upgradability, newest wireless standards and so on).

    But I really feel like my 2015 purchase of a 5,1 was one of the best purchases I've ever made; not so much because of the price back then, but because it's been rock solid and still performs surprisingly well with the apps I need - and Apple has yet to release anything that comes close in terms of pro performance combined with pro upgradability (a pro machine should meet pro demands including the ability to upgrade core pieces of hardware over a 4-7 year time span, in my opinion - just like the classic MP). And the price of the nMP... much too high considering the lack of serious upgradability.

    Just my personal story - just felt like sharing it after having followed this forum for years! :)

    And like so many others have said: why on earth doesn't Apple just keep the classic Mac Pro design and throw in new hardware? Even after all these years, it's just beautiful and has the perfect design/size to be a beast as well! But until they do... I will (most likely) be running my MP 5,1 (4,1), and I suspect it could run for another decade if I asked it to.

  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Rock on! I bought a 2012 refurb as soon at the Trash Can was announced.
  3. paulryp macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2016
  4. Think77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2015
    I totally get where you're coming from... However, honestly, get a 12 core 5,1/4,1 with lots of RAM and an SSD, and you'll be happy you did (if you need a serious performance boost). Chances are, if you were able, maybe just barely able, to do projects on your 2011 iMac, a classic Mac Pro will feel like a whole new world (I know it did for me, anyway - and you can still get some pretty good displays for it). And who knows how long you'll have to wait till Apple releases their next MP? And who knows what the price will be...


  5. paulryp macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2016
    can you link me to one on eBay. and what are modern GPU options for them. I'm looking for geek bench scores of around 20-25K
    Im seriously considering a Hackintosh but only want to do that as a last resort.
  6. Think77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2015
    Here is one option for the GPU part of your question: GTX 980
    And an option for the Mac Pro itself: here is one on eBay pretty similar to mine (CPU, GPU-wise) except for the amount of ram + hdd. But you simply upgrade after purchasing...

    I haven't done hackingtoshing myself, but it may work...

    Good luck! :)
  7. paulryp macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2016
    Thank for the heads up. ill do some deeper research :)
  8. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
  9. zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    Been rocking a 4,1 quad (now a 5,1 hex) since 2011, bought it because I suspected it could be the last MacPro. Turns out I was wrong, but no regrets.
  10. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    Having had the 2013 MP (6-core, D700's) I can honestly say I'm glad to be back on a PC. The OS is great, but the hardware while it has impeccable build quality and is so quiet even when pushed, just leaves you with a load of stuff all over your desk. Now I've moved back to a midi tower configuration my office is so much neater and I have loads of free plug sockets too.

    I was tempted to buy the 2011/2012 MP (5,1), but they were a lot of money for what was aging kit so I got the 6,1. I got rid of it when Apple didn't release a laptop with a 64GB RAM option - I do a lot of VMware. My thoughts were at the time, here is a company that doesn't care too much about computers and has left me with no upgrade path for my rMBP, I can also see there will be a limited upgrade path for my other Apple hardware too so I decided to jump ship. I would love Apple to start producing decent computers again, but they seem more obsessed with watch straps, carpool karaoke and emoji's.
  11. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    Here are my Geekbench 4 scores, cMP vs nMP. Bought the 2010 cMP (not a flashed 2009) off of eBay, it's pristine inside and out, came with a 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD and a GTX 680 2GB, 12-core 3.46GHz, and 64GB memory. It's awesome and was under $2000 shipped.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 11.03.38 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 11.03.56 AM.png
  12. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    64GB would mean they'd have to use non-LP DIMM's, which would nuke the battery life, therefore negating the very concept of a laptop.

    Must suck to be a niche user, huh?
  13. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    I pretty much always see people in meetings with Apple laptops with the tacky white plastic power bricks plugged into AC. And the Lenovo users only bring their elegant black power bricks for half-day meetings. Funny, not?

    Why don't you just realize that some people who need 32 GiB of RAM or more aren't really worried about the number of hours that they can run without being plugged in?

    Is there no "choice" in Apple-land? Why can't the "very concept" of a laptop cover a system that's easily portable, even if to be powerful its "off grid" lifetime is only a few hours?

    And, I think that you over-dramatize the power draw of RAM. A few minutes of a quad-core CPU running full-tilt swamps a few hours of RAM power draw.

    It's amazing at the mental gymnastics that some Apple users go through to justify the constraints that Apple forces on its users.
  14. fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2008
    This makes me want to post an even better thread. "So happy I bought a 3,1 in 2008". The best value Mac Pro, ever.
  15. Think77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2015
    Is it still running? Still capable of doing (relatively) heavy projects?
  16. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2014
    The 3,1 was indeed one of, if not the, best value tower Apple ever made. Mine (dual 2.8's) has been in continuous use for about 9 years now, with upgraded graphics (280X), SSD's, etc. Its single-threaded performance is poor by today's standards (5 times slower than my 6700k Linux box running at 4.6 GHz). Its multi-core performance is disappointing too (about 3 times slower despite having twice the physical cores). The user interface can feel rather laggy compared to even my base MBP. However, the 3,1 doesn't break a sweat or even raise its fan speed no matter what I throw at it, so yes, it's still capable of heavy projects that run for days on end, and it still gets a lot of use.

    I sometimes regret not buying a 5,1 when the last call for them came out. However, while the 3,1-5,1's were the best towers Apple ever made, I think all cMP's are now too obsolete to invest in anymore. Instead, my informal plan is to throw my trusty 3,1 a retirement party on it's 10th anniversary. If Apple delivers a worthy nnMP by then, great! Otherwise, the combination of the MBP and Linux will do.
  17. steveOooo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    Late 2011 I bought a 5,1 from the refurb store, assume it can be a 10 year machine or until something dies or everyone wants 8k 360 video on a holographic blu ray!

    The. Changing cpu scares me a bit with the 2009 - what aesthetic difference on the case is there between the 2009 and 2010 - is it the FireWire 400 ports on the back? I plan on picking up a second hand 5,1 from fleabay for a second office (or a iMac 2014 instead)
  18. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    Both have FW 800 ports. My 2009 5,1 has lost all startup key commands after upgrading to Sierra which hasn't been an issue so far. BT can be an issue with the 2009 models also depending on which BT card it came with. My Gmyle BT 4.0 USB dongle still works fine, selected using Apple's free Bluetooth Explorer software. My cMac Pro has the newer BT card but even with an external antenna hooked to it the Gmyle dongle seems to be more reliable. I need to replace the antenna wire( I have an extra) as the Apple BT has stopped working. It looks like it got twisted during installation of the antenna and has failed.
  19. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I don't need to run off battery for very long, I run off the mains. Besides Lenovo and Dell both make laptops capable of taking 64GB and the battery life is fine on them. Apple for some reason can't make this work, while the competition can.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 3, 2017 ---
    Exactly! Apple just don't provide users with any choice - it's light, slim and useless or not at all.
  20. Jayson A macrumors 68000

    Sep 16, 2014
    I just got a 5,1 (mid-2012) 3.2Ghz (Quad-Core) to replace my 1,1. Man, I got a lot of years out of that 1,1 and it's still going strong... the only reason I'm getting the 5,1 is because I can't put Sierra on the 1,1.
  21. fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2008
    Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm going to throw a party for my 3,1 when I replace it, too. It may be the best tower Apple has ever made when it came for performance for the dollar. It is by far, the best and most reliable computer I have ever owned.

    For people that don't understand the value of a 3,1: In 2008, I bought a 2.8GHz quad-core Mac Pro, 4GB of ram, 8800GT (BTO), 320GB HDD, BT/Wifi (BTO), iWork, and Superdrive for $2229 shipped from Apple. It even came with a keyboard and mouse. I remembered playing the latest games at 1920 x 1200 right when I un-boxed it. I spent hours with my friends creating tracks in Garageband, too.

    Compare that to the Mac Pro that's sold today for $2999.
  22. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    Today's entry level 6,1 mac pro at retail market price of ~2700 new destroys your 3,1 as far as raw specs are concerned. Everything in it is newer. Looking forward to your mental gymnastics on how you're going to tell me for some reason the ancient 8800GT is faster than a pair of D300's or the HDD is faster than a PCI-E SSD, or that 12GB of RAM is worse than 4. lol

    Also, you're totally not even factoring in inflation. Of course, because it doesn't fit into your nostalgic narrative
  23. fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2008
    You totally missed the point. You're not even worth the time it takes to type this response.
  24. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    They are totally different products. The 6,1 is an appliance the 3,1 is more akin to a workstation that most Mac Pro users want. I gave up and went back to a PC so I can swap out bits of hardware as I need to. Can't see me replacing this for years.
  25. Think77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2015
    Just to round my initial subject off (for now): I'm extremely delighted that Apple this week has come forward to give us a first look into their plans for an all new Mac Pro. It's VERY comforting going forward knowing that the platform I'm working on (MacOS on a pro machine with Apple native pro apps) will ALSO be the platform I will be working on in the future. It's been REALLY frustrating not knowing if I should just jump ship right away and put my bets on the Windows environment - with all the hassles of having to start working within a context of totally different pro apps.

    So, now I'm even more happy that I chose to stay on the (5,1) ship in 2015, since now I know there will be a true "upgrade path" in the future. But GOD, what took them so long? :)

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