hay iv been using a macpro 3.1 2.8ghz dual cpu 8c for the last 3 years, been editing video 1080p,using photoshop making websites & playing games + general stuff (had 1SSD,3HD’s & gtx660) been rock solid since i had it
if you buy one check how much ram it has, ram for them is not cheep i use the slower 667hz stuff which is a lot cheeper. mine came with only 2Gb had to upgrade it to 18GB which seems fine for most stuff i do (1080p video editing, photoshop etc..) also check to see if it has wifi & bluetooth and check the cable is ok.
i recently picked up a macpro 5.1 (same as a 4.1) single cpu 2.8gh 4c.
the single core speed is faster (notably so) but the multi cpu speed is slower (not by a lot).
now that only matters if you have a app that can use 8cores any app that can only use 1-4cores will be much faster on the 4.1/5.1.
i swapped out the cpu on the 5.1 to a 6core 3.33GHZ cpu, each core 2/3’s faster and the total speed is about 50% faster (and thats with 2 less cpu cores). the cpu buss & ram is faster too + the ram is a lot cheeper.
for the 4.1/5.1 you can get a 3.46ghz 4c cpu super cheep and the 3.2Ghz 6c is also vary cheep to (both of those cpu's are a lot faster than the 3.1 2.8ghz 8c) you can also get a 3.33ghz 6c and 3.46ghz 6c but they cost more.
so normal use example is on youtube i was not able to watch 1080p 60fps videos without them being relay jumpy on the 3.1 (lots of frames dropped) on the 5.1 i can now watch 1080p 60fps videos without problems (a few droped frames but nothing i notice).
I do miss the sound of my 3.1 tho the fans had a nicer baser sound to them
PS the dual cpu 4.1 are a tad harder to upgrade but nothing bad)
edit the 4.1/5.1 is better than the 3.1 but the 3.1 dual cpu is not to bad kind of depends what you want to do etc.. a new macmin or imac will be faster for most ppl
geekbench 32bit scores + cinbench r15
3.1 2.8ghz 8c sc 1500 mc 10100 cinbench R15 not shore ~ mc around 500 sc a lot lower i can check later
5.1 2.8ghz 4c sc 1900 mc 7500 cinbench R15 mc450 sc 92
5.1 3.33ghz 6c sc 2500 mc 14000 cinbench R15 mc 800 sc 109
it's strange that a 3.1 cannot play 1080p 60fps. i can play that fine on my parents pc which has an ancient quad core athlon. but yes, i will buy what i can afford. one thing: what gpu is best from the standard ones (for the 3.1)?
i upgraded mine to a gtx660 it came with a gt120 512mb vram (thats super slow by today's gpus) the ATI card it had before the GT120 melted and was replaced by apple under a GPU recall (there's a burn mark in the macpro from it )
one thing i need to ask is what do you want to do with a mac pro ?
do notice the mac min scores on geek bench are higher than the macpro 3.1 for single core by about 2x and multi core is not to far of (and for most apps far faster as vary few apps can use the 8 cpu cores) https://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks
the macmin also is tiny uses less power is much cooler takes up less room and you can just stick it under the display super nice. and there fairly cheep new.
im using a macpro because 3 years ago i got the 3.1 cheep and needed something cheep and faster than my laptop and i got the 5.1 because i needed something cheep and faster + im able to use the drives + gpu from my 3.1 in the 5.1.
as time goes buy there getting older and slower so do be clear on what you want from it and how much it will cost to upgrade etc...
edit it's not strange that youtube video play bad once you use macs for a while you notice most things are slower on mac like games,flash etc
the best gpu is as simple as look at gpu google etc... all the original ones are SLOW if your lucky you will find one user upgraded.
the gt120 was ok but i replaced it in under a week of getting the 3.1 with a gtx660
i want to use it as my daily machine. that means watching youtube, doing homework, playing the occasional game of league of legends, mixing some music with virtualdj, edit a photo/video sometimes etc. i currently have a early 09 macbook as my daily driver, and it doesn't play league well, it's loud and gets hot. so i want to use it mainly as a replacement for my macbook. and the mini is no option. once you spec it up with a decent amount of ram and a ssd, it isn't so cheap anymore.