Stick with Mac Pro 1,1 (2006) 2x2.66, Upgrade, Sell?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dbhopkins, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. dbhopkins macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Hello, I have a Mac Pro 1,1 2x2.66. 5 GM RAM. NVIDA GeForce 7300 GT video card. I'm asking in this post if there's much of anything I can do to freshen it up? Or should I consider selling it and upgrading?

    This is really my wife's Mac but she doesn't use it much anymore for the reasons people usually get Mac Pros, just occasional CS3 work (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) but no video editing. Other than this very occasional graphics work, we use this Mac just for typical home use: iPhoto, iTunes, web browsing, email, etc.

    I recently ordered a SSD that I'll use for the boot drive (OCZ Technology 120 GB Vertex 2 Series SATA II), but I'm wondering if there's more that I can do.

    Is there anything else I can do for this model to improve its performance? It has only 5 GB RAM, but I'm not sure if the programs we typically use would even benefit from more RAM. Are there better video cards?

    My other thought is rather than put more money into this model, I should sell it and get a 2008 2 x 2.8 GHz 8-core. Or maybe even get a new Mac Mini for around what I can sell the Mac Pro for. Considering I've already paid for the SSD (but haven't gotten it in the mail yet), maybe a newer Mac Pro is the way to go? Or is that crazy for what we use it for?

    Any advice from the experts out there?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Well, you could upgrade the CPUs, GPU and RAM but you would be kind of kicking a dead horse. Your or her usage does not benefit from more CPU cores so all you could do is to get two faster dual core CPUs (Xeon 5160). Even then the performance upgrade may not be noticeable. Same thing with the GPU. You could put ATI 5770 or 5870 in there but I doubt you would notice any difference.

    Personally, I think Mac Pro is way overkill for your needs unless you really use the PCIe lots. Sounds like iMac would be a sweet spot for you. The next update should bring Thunderbolt to iMacs which will give you an option for extremely fast external storage, e.g. an SSD as a boot drive. You could live with the current Mac Pro till the update and when that happens, sell the Mac Pro and use the money to buy a new iMac.
     
  3. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #3
    I agree with Hellhammer, a 27" iMac after the next refresh would be an awesome upgrade even if you went for the lowest spec model. I would eBay the Pro as soon as they get released.
    Start saving and make your wife's day some time in the future. I specified 24" iMacs to 2 friends a couple of years ago, they fell in love with them almost instantly, now they wouldn't part with them for anything.
     
  4. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    I'm in the same boat as you, basically. I have an original Mac Pro that I have upgraded with ATI 4870 video card, 8GB RAM, and 2.66GHz 8-core processor. It's still a fantastic machine, and is more than adequate for my home video stuff and my wife's photography. I'm hoping that when Apple releases the new OS this summer, it will run on the Mac Pro. If it does, I'll keep the Pro until a phase-out is imminent. Then I'll most likely sell and go for one of Apple's consumer computers.

    Are you able to test drive other new Macs? You might want to do that and see how they compare with how your Pro performs. My guess is you'd be surprised at how well the Pro compares.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    Lion beta is already running on first gen Mac Pros.
     
  6. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #6
    Yep, I'm feeling pretty good about it. Just hoping Apple doesn't arbitrarily disable it.
     
  7. Daud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #7
    Dilemma

    I have similar "problem" - I got the MP 1,1 cheap, even with still 11 month warranty left now. I upgraded to 5160 Xeons for $80 (recommended), following the posts here. Got the 60GB OWC SSD drive. Geekbench score now 6300....
    Local guy wanted get rid of new memory, got 4GB for $50 for total of 8GB.
    So I have a decent Mac for my needs but then, bitten by the Mac Pro bug, I snatched closeout Mac Pro 4,1 (early 2009). It still sits in sealed box as I am not sure whether I really >need< the (for me) $600 upgrade.. and can't decide which one to keep

    You did the right thing with the SDD drive, but consider the 5160 upgrade if you feel right tinkering with internals.
     
  8. dbhopkins thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Epilogue from OP - results from disc upgrades

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Here's what I did:

    Considering I already paid for the SSD, I went ahead and installed it after it arrived in the mail today. I also picked up two 2TB 7200 rpm discs from a local computer store for $110 each.

    I created a Striped RAID-0 with the two 2TB discs and created a simple partition for the new SSD boot disc. I moved all my "data" files to the RAID. (In retrospect, I should have partitioned off some space for another volume for a Photoshop scratch drive, but I forgot.)

    Results: apps load much faster. Even simple web browsing is faster, web pages load faster.

    I suspect that part of the improvement is simply getting new drives. My old drives were 4 and 5 years old and were 250 GB drives. Moving to two 2TB drives must help.

    GeekBench scores (~5500) are still pitiful compared to most of you. I should have run a "before" test but I didn't. I wonder if part of my weakness is having only 5 GB RAM. I'll look around eBay for some secondhand RAM.

    I'll keep the Mac Pro going until the new Mac Mini comes out and then think about getting it. If Thunderbolt is out by then, perhaps I could also get an external storage device and port over my 2TB drives from the Mac Pro into the storage unit. I'm not so sure about the iMac because I already have a pretty good monitor and I'm not sure I'll like the glare on the iMac display.

    Thanks again for the tips.
     
  9. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #9
    Mac Mini would be a downgrade.

    Thanks to the modifications you have made a Mac Mini would be a serious downgrade from your current performance level, Geekbench reports an average benchmark of only 4000 on a 2010 model: http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/
    By comparison a 2010 iMac would run from 6300 to 10500, a serious kick up the arse for your CPU power and not break the bank if bought refurbished.http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC510B/A?mco=MTkwMzU2MjE
    The shiny screen can be an issue, maybe a non-shiny Macbook Pro would suit your needs better, or you could even use your existing monitor with it too. The latest laptop can manage over 11000 score in 64-bit tests, so that would be a tiny Mac with twice the grunt of your tower! Not cheap but definitely cheerful. :)
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    You can always use your current display as an external monitor.
     
  11. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #11
    Fwiw... I sold mine before SL shipped.
     
  12. Bevz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Was in the same position, i.e. had a MacPro 1,1 and no longer needed a machine that powerful so i sold it and bought a refurb 27" iMac with the proceeds... Never looked back; best thing i ever did. On a flat run, i tend to not see any difference in the Dual Core iMac speeds compared with my original MacPro, but when lots of things happening, you can see the difference between quad core and dual core. However, since those times are rare, i'm very pleased i traded in. I also have the comfort of having a machine within warranty again! ;)
    Overall, i'd say trade it in and get something like an iMac... Even the dual core is surprisingly fast when compared with a 1,1 macpro and you'll only notice a slight downgrade in performance when you're doing something very heavy (which from your post, i suspect you won't be doing), but you could always just get the quad core iMac instead!

    :)
     
  13. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #13
    I sold my 21.5 iMac and got a 1,1 MP

    The iMac ran hot and I was experiencing HDD failures. Sold it as soon as Applecare was up for less than half what I paid for it.

    The 5 year MP on the other hand is a stud. It's better in absolutely every way. After some cheap CPU, RAM, HDD and GPU upgrades ($400-450) it was a couple orders of magnitude faster than the iMac.

    Those upgrades were not an option on the iMac: Two quad core CPUs, 12 GB RAM, a couple of 1 TB HDDs and a new PC RADEON card flashed to work in OS X.

    Having owned computers for 30 years, most of the stuff that survives 3 years goes on to work trouble free for decades (not counting batteries and stuff like that).

    Drawbacks? It consumes power like a binge drinker at an open bar.
     
  14. techblast macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    #14
    Keep The Mac Pro 1,1 - Speed Approaches 2011 iMac

    The 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 is a solid reliable performer. Yeah, its lost some of its sex appeal through the year, but you can take steps to freshen it up and in some cases easily double its speed. So instead of selling my machine or reducing its roll, I simply upgraded my dual 3GHz Dual Core Xeons to a pair of Intel x5365 Quad Cores running at 3GHz, so now running 8 cores instead of 4 cores and upgraded my Video Card to a new Radeon HD 5770.

    Geekbench liked what I did as I was able to boost my score to 10300 from 6100. I don't know if SSD's or RAID's can help these numbers as I have not tried to do this, but if they do, then maybe 11000+ for a 1,1 MP?

    So with that said, my next speed tune will be to create a RAID 0 of at least 3 drives, and install a 250Gb SSD HD in place of one of my Optical Drives. My only concern is RAID reliability and hence I need to create a backup solution using one of the spare SATA connections on my Motherboard and connecting external drives.

    I do have 16Gb of Ram in my system which also helps speed numbers. When you consider the dollars one needed to pay to get just a slight improvement in speed compared to the 10300 score, upgrading my 1,1 MP simply made more sense. If the new MP was out, maybe I would have gone the new route, especially if the new machines included Thunderbolt, USB 3 and SATA 6G, but Apple has been slow to release its next revision and now that has pushed me out of the new upgrade market for another year or two seeing that the 5,1 platform lacks these I/O speed improvements.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #15
    Nice upgrade. You can get more cash out of it to put towards a newer one if you need more power. Still folks out there looking for video editing machines that can use those 8 cores.
     

Share This Page