Upgrade Gaming PC or sell and get Mac Pro 3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AlexxRyzhkov, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. AlexxRyzhkov macrumors regular

    May 17, 2014
    So I currently have a PC with these specs:
    Intel Pentium G2030
    4gb Ram
    Amd Radeon HD 7870
    250GB Hard Drive
    520W PSU

    So I've been really wanting a PC that runs Mac OSX, so I've been considering upgrading my current PC to this:
    Upgrade CPU to i5-4430
    Add 4gb more of ram
    Swapping motherboard for one thats good for hackintoshing.
    This will cost me about $270, plus I can sell the Pentium and Mobo for about $50-60 on eBay. Total cost: $210-$220

    But I've also considered keeping my current GPU and selling my PC to a friend.
    I got offered $180 without the GPU. So I can get a 2008 Mac Pro with these specs for about $350-$400
    Intel Xeon E5462
    8GB DDR2 Ram
    320GB HDD
    And I can stick the old GPU in. Cost: $170-$220

    So they will perform about the same, but the CPU will be quite a bit worse. But how much would that affect gaming performance? I'm playing games like Minecraft, Dota 2, TF2, and I want to get GTA V for windows when it comes out.
    I heard you can overclock the CPU in Mac Pros, can you? And how effective is it? Also what's the best CPU I can upgrade to?

    Last of all can I run Windows 8.1 without any issues on the Mac Pro?
  2. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    If you are gonna buy a used MP, get at least a 4,1 or 5,1 as they are better for upgrading.
  3. AlexxRyzhkov thread starter macrumors regular

    May 17, 2014
    I would, but the they are $200-$300 more, and that is over my $250 upgrade budget
  4. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Do you otherwise live in the apple ecosystem?
  5. AlexxRyzhkov thread starter macrumors regular

    May 17, 2014
    I currently own an iPhone 6, an iPad, and a Win8 laptop. I used to own a retina MacBook Pro but had to sell it due to financial issues
  6. boodaddyz, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    boodaddyz macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2008
    I have a 3.1 Mac Pro. I love it. It's been a workhorse for me. I had the 2x x5462 and gaming wasn't a problem for me with a good GPU. If you can save a little longer, and get the 4.1, you can upgrade the firmware to 5.1, and really pimp it out over time. That's what I would do. If you don't want to wait, just pop 8-16gb ram in it, and later spend $120 bucks for two x5482 3.2ghz (SLANZ) processors which is the max.

    Overclocking the CPU's is not worth it. The Mac Pro 3.1 is not that good for cooling...

    With 3.2ghz and 16gb ram your scores for a Mac pro 3.1 will be 65% better then most systems. It's great for gaming. I have a gigabyte R9 280x with an external power supply, and it does a great job with gaming. (Flight Sim) (GTA 4) (Euro Truck Simulator) Pretty much max settings etc...

    I mostly use it for work, but eventually I will get the 4.1 or 5.1 and upgrade that, and it should last another 5 years or so.

    getting the Mac pro 3.1 to work for Sata III is a pain. I am still trying to work that out.

    I installed Yosemite with no issues, and it works great. Windows 8.1 x64 pro runs just fine on Sata II. you can install it without bootcamp. I think you will like it. If you can wait a little longer you will want the 4.1 or 5.1 though.

    Good luck man!
  7. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Then I'd probably get the MP and not upgrade.
  8. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    My maxed out dual 3,1 was a very capable rig with the GTX 680 at 1920x1200. My son could play Minecraft with rudo plays shader pack loaded and all the settings maxed out.

    Though I have upgraded to a 4,1 primarily as the Windows Intel RST AHCI 10.1.1008 driver was giving me problems with HDD's > 2.2tb. The 11.7 RST version that the 4-5,1 supports does not thankfully.
  9. Wardenski, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    What about putting an i5-3570 in your current motherboard? That would be much better option than an 08 Mac Pro for gaming and I don't think there is a huge difference in performance vs 3xxx vs 4xxx i5/i7s.

    For OSX maybe a 2nd hand Mac Mini?

    I don't see the point in investing all of this time and effort into upgrading 2008 from a gaming perspective. My 2008 is still a capable machine to be fair but I think there are more cost effective options now.

    I think the normal Windows 8.1 can only use one CPU and since 08 processors are essentially Xeon equivalents to Core 2 Quad Extremes I don't think the performance difference over the Pentium will warrent the hassle unless those games you listed take advantage of the extra cores.
  10. GameFreak348, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    GameFreak348 macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2014
  11. Zorn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2006
    4,1 and 5,1 are the same thing with a firmware update. I would recommend looking around for a deal on a 4,1 or just waiting a bit longer until you can save a little extra to be able to get one. It really will last you quite a bit longer than a 3,1 particularly if you flash the firmware.
  12. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Upgrade your Gaming PC. Mac Pros are overpriced in my opinion, as nice as the design is.

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