Someone is offering me a Mac Pro 3,1 in trade...not sure

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Twimfy, May 22, 2015.

  1. Twimfy macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm in the need for more GPU performance from my Mac. I currently have a 13" 2012 MacBook Pro 2.5Ghz i5 with an HD4000.

    Someone is offering me a 2.8 8 core Mac Pro 3,1 in trade. (4GB Ram, AMD 6570 2GB GPU) with no hard drive (but I'd be installing my own SSD).

    I'm really tempted as I could in time upgrade the GPU and I'm more in need of a work station for my iOS development.

    However a couple of things are putting me off, mainly the fact that the RAM is ridiculously expensive and the 3,1 model is getting a bit long in the tooth and I'm concerned about future OS X compatibility.

    I know that in benchmarks the 3,1 blows my i5 out of the water but does it really in real life? Will I be taking a huge step backwards?
     
  2. Pieterr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #2
  3. Twimfy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I need something a bit beyond the HD4000 for some Unity and UED work I'll be doing soon. I'm already rocking twin SSD's.

    (also I won't lie I miss doing a bit of gaming).

    Don't get me wrong, my MBP is great but it does spend 99% of its life in clamshell connected to a monitor and I'm wondering if there is a better option. If I had the cash I'd upgrade to something newer but this is a straight trade with no cost involved if I want it.
     
  4. Pieterr macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2015
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
  5. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #5
    Amazon FBDIMM DDR2 667 $23 2x2GB
    For SSD, cannot go wrong with a Lycom adapter and 256GB or larger PCIe-SSD blade instead of SATA II or III
    Yosemite? GTX 9xx or other NVIDIA card http://www.macvidcards.com
     
  6. Twimfy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Twimfy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Decided to just knock the guy down and go and buy the machine outright. That way I can sit on both for a while and see how I feel.

    Specs are: 4GB 800Mhz Ram
    2x 4 Core Processors 2.8ghz (8 cores in total)
    AMD 6570 2GB Graphics Card.

    I'm getting it for £370 and I'd say my MBP is worth a bit more so if I decide to keep it I'll at least make a tiny bit of money. (paid £150 for my MBP to begin with).
     
  7. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #7
    Apple were just about the only company to use 800MHz FB-DIMMs which is why they are so expensive new or used. It's much more cost effective to buy used 667MHz FB-DIMMs pulled from Xeon servers. According to barefeats the difference in performance when benchmarked is only 4% & in real life you won't notice any difference & will probably be outweighed as you can afford to put in far more RAM. We have three Mac Pro 3,1s in the household all with 32GB 667MHz FB-DIMMs & the last set of 8x4GB for 32GB total cost me the equivalent of $120. http://barefeats.com/harper5.html
     
  8. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #8
    I own a MP 3,1 and will tell you not to get it and upgrade. The big reason is cost. The price difference in memory between a 3,1 and a 4,1 is pretty large so hold out for a MP 4,1 if you can.

    If not and you go for the 3,1, get good memory and a good SSD.
     
  9. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #9
    I like desktops but I think I'd pass on that deal.
     
  10. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #10
    You could attach an eGPU to your MacBook Pro 13" 2012: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=20747158#post20747158
     
  11. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #11
    Inexpensive memory is available for the 3,1. See post #7.

    ----------

    Who mentioned gaming? Why would you want to use a Mac Pro for gaming? For gaming get a Playstation or Xbox. If you want proper applications get a Mac Pro.
     
  12. Pieterr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #12
    The topicstarter....
     
  13. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2012
    #13
    Not in the OP but I should have done more than skim read the rest of the thread:)
     
  14. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #14
    My comments about ram prices still stand based on my feelings of getting new, not used memory. Getting heat sinks such as Apple MacPro's come with and not feeling iffy about my system working or not.

    But I do see that OWC has the lower speed 667 memory for less money than the 800 speed memory.

    Still, between a 3,1 and a 4,1 I would, these days, take the 4,1.
     
  15. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #15
    I already have three 3,1s in the household so would prefer a 4,1 too.

    The 800MHz RAM needs the big heat sinks as they generate much more heat. There have been an awful lot more of the 667MHz sticks manufactured for DELL & HP so if you really needed those monster heat sinks for the FB-DIMMs to run reliably in a Proliant server you can be sure that they would have been manufactured that way.

    32GB (8x4GB) of Crucial 800MHz RAM for the 3,1 costs about $1200 vs about $60-80 for 667MHz used pulls from a Xeon server. Frankly I think that you would have to be mad to buy the new FB-DIMMs for a 3,1 you may as well save the money & buy a Mac Pro 4,1 instead. Of course if you already own a 3,1 then the 667MHz server RAM is a steal & a very cost effective upgrade.
     

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