Upgrade early 2008 or wait for new mac pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mazuma, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. mazuma macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2005
    I currently have an early 2008 mac pro 2x2.8 quad core. Should I upgrade this mac or wait for the new mac pros?

    4x 1TB WD Cavier Black internal hard drives $320
    8GB ram $275
    5870 ATI video card 450

    Total $1045. These prices are rough and could change. Seems like a lot of money for a 4 year old machine. Any thoughts on this? I realize I could shave some off the cost by going with a cheaper video card or using a PC version and flashing. Not sure I feel confident the pc video card will just always work though.

    Thanks for any opinions.
  2. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    Jesus...that RAM is crazy expensive. Is it just not made anymore, hence a supply/demand issue?
  3. G-Force macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2006
    In what way do your current specs lack short in performance? Maybe you could save some money on hardware you potentially don't need.
  4. philipma1957, Sep 18, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I would put it up for sale. the ram is a killer issue. putting in 1k into a 3 year old machine is not a good idea.

    this guy is asking around 1500 for a machine close to yours.




    based on these 3 I am sure you can clear 1k for your machine.

    a 2010 with warranty is around 2k. if you add 16gb ram to it that is under 200.

    2200 then maybe do the quad to hex upgrade that I did and you have a beast. you can do it in stages.

    this is a half hours work well maybe an hour


    below is the hex core

  5. Marcush1286 macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2011
    I thought the 2008 Mac Pros are still worthwhile as they have EFI64 and EBC firmware on the video cards by AMD to ensure backwards compatibility? Isn't that the reason why the 08 mac pros are still sought after because of the EFI64?
  6. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    The 2008 MacPros are still great IMO. About the black WD Caviars, I compared a Blue Caviar with a Black Caviar and they're both the same in terms of file transfer speed, opening of photoshop and boot up time. Though it's not an accurate test, got a stopwatch, use the same files and compared the two. I guess the Blue Caviar will do depends on what you use the machine for. I also heard the 5870 Radeon does not make much of a big difference with the 5770 but i am not sure here. Maybe you don't have to spend that much on upgrading.
  7. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    I going to use my 2008 macpro until the wheels fall off. For my photoshop and illustrator needs it's still doing great. I upgraded the video card last year (Nivida 8800 to ati 5770) and because I don't play games it was a waist of money.
    What do you feel is holding you back.
  8. mazuma thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2005
    I guess I'm just wanting to get a bit of a performance boost. I use the standard suite of design software from Adobe. I also like to play the occasion game or two. I have a new mac book pro that I use at work and it's pretty speedy in comparison to my tower.

    So, I was hoping to just upgrade my tower to get it feeling a little peppier. I also have a bunch of externals. I was going to try to reduce some clutter by filling the internal bays to replace the externals. After looking at all the potential cost, I'm wondering if I should just hold out for a new one. Or, I could just be happy with what I have : )
  9. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
    Maybe treat yourself to a SSD bootdisk and then save up for a 2012 model.
  10. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2007
    Los Angeles / Boston
    What do you think I could get for my 2008 MP?

    It's a 2.8 octo with 6GB RAM, ATI 2600XT, a 300GB WD RaptorX 10k rpm boot drive and say...3TB in the other bays. Two superdrives.

    I've always planned on keeping it for at least another year and getting a video card, more ram and an SSD but the RAM prices are killing me. Is it really worth it to go to a 2010 instead and work my way up to two hex-cores?
  11. Noctilux.95 macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    I had the same quandary but with my four-core 2009 Mac Pro.
    I upgraded to 16 GB RAM, 240 Gig OWC SSD, and a 5770 Video card all for $850.
    The machine is vastly superior now.
  12. sigmadog, Sep 19, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011

    sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    Agree 100%. I bought my 2008 2/2.8 Quad after the 2009 models came out (the sticker shock drove me to the previous model) and my intent all along was to keep this system running for 6-8 years at least. Like you, for my Photoshop and Illustrator needs it runs like a champ. I also use it for Painter work and I'm real happy with it.

    If I were doing heavy 3D work or sound/video, I'd probably wish it were faster. But for print work and illustration, it's still topnotch.

    I'm finally to the point in my career where I don't automatically assume that NEW = BETTER. That's partially why I'm still using Adobe CS4 Suite, and didn't upgrade to Lion. It's not the tools - it's how you use them.

    That said, if I wanted my system to "feel" faster, I'd probably get a SSD boot drive, as others have suggested.
  13. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    This..... I have a 2008 also and this is what I am doing. I am also looking at adding a second one just for a scratch disk in photoshop. Photoshop is my primary tool also and any speed I can get out of it, I will be happy. Heck I am still using CS3. Haven't the need to upgrade to CS5 yet. Although it is on my shopping list in the near future. Just want to take advantage of the 64 bit.
  14. mazuma thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2005
    The internal SSD is an idea I had not thought about. More expense, but might be the boost I'm looking for. Does this install directly into an open bay? I looked at the OWC site and it looks like their mounting bracket is only good back to the 2009's. Is this correct, or am I missing something?
  15. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    If your lower optical bay is free, put the SSD in there. That's what I did with my 2008 mac pro. Actually, I purchased an OWC Multi-Mount and put the SSD and a 2TB scratch drive in there. Boot time is around 40 seconds and apps launch instantaneously. Another benefit of the SSD boot drive is that if you have a lot of background processes/login items that need to start up every time you log in, these also load very quickly.

    Despite the high RAM prices, I'm still considering adding more. I don't see myself letting go of this machine any time soon.
  16. yomibro macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2008
    I upgraded to a SSD and a faster video card (6870) recently, figured this upgrade would make my system last me another few years before I consider buying another MacPro (hoping Apple won't discontinue the MacPro when that day arrives). For what I do these specs are plenty enough for me, if I do get another system today (or in the near 3-6 months) it would probably be a MacBook Air to complement it. Nice to have something when I travel that gives me additional functionality compared to the iPad.

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