Upgrade Options MacPro 3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by EdRaket, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. EdRaket macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2013
    I am wondering if there are upgrade options left for my Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008):
    - 2 x 2,8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    - 16 Gb 800 Mhz DDR2 FB-DIMM
    I am upgrading the graphics card (HD 2600) to a ATI Radeon HD5870.

    Thanks for your advice,
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  3. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Yes, SSD first and foremost. Everything else can wait.

    3,1 Mac Pro uses SATAII, and it has two additional SATAII ports, but you will need a power adapter from the optical bay to SATA power. You can tuck in the SSD under the optical drive and still have 4 bays.

    If you would like SATAIII you need to get a Velo X2.
  4. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    Will the old video cad work with Mac Pro 3,1?
    I have a video card but would I be able to add this to have total 4 monitor support?
  5. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    Sure, I'm currently running the Radeon 2600 XT that shipped with my Mac Pro AND my dropped in GTX 660. Running just two monitors off of them, but both cards work simultaneously under both OS X and Windows 7 (after some work).
  6. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    If (like me) you are using applications like Premiere Pro that benefit from a CUDA graphics card then a used GTX 570 is the best bang for buck after an SSD upgrade.
  7. EdRaket thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2013
    Thanks - this is what I did

    Based on the responses in this thread and other info on this forum I made two upgrades to my Mac Pro 3,1, that really made a big difference.

    1) Graphical Card
    I changed my ATI Radeon HD2600 card to a ATI Radeon HD5870. Bought one second hand on Ebay and it works great. Graphics are faster and the card is more quiet. What you need to know is that you need to attach both power cables to the card. At first I only attached one power cable and than the card did not give any graphics. With both power cables attached, all worked as planned.

    2) SSD
    I decided to install an SSD card, which I will use to boot from, run OSX on as well as all my major applications. I did buy the following:
    a) Apricorn Velocity X2 - this is a PCI card that you can install in PCI slot 2 (assuming your graph card is in PCI slot 1).
    b) Crucial M500 SSD memory, 480 Gb - this is the actual SSD memory, that you buy separately and install on the Velocity X2 card.

    Installing the SSD card is easy - just slot it in PCI slot #2 and power up your computer. Than go the Disk Utility and Erase it, so it is ready to go.

    I had some trouble installing OSX on the new SSD disc and (by memory), this is what I did (SSD card is already in and formatted):
    1. Power down computer, than power on computer pushing Command-R. The computer starts in "Recovery Mode", showing a startup menu.
    2. In this startup menu, you can select to install OSX. Select this option - now you can select on which Disc to install OSX - choose the new SSD Disc.
    3. During the OSX installation on your new SSD Disc, there is the option to transfer information from another Mac or Disc. Select here the "Old" SYSTEM disc containing your operating system (the disc that you booted from before"

    This will now take a while, but than your SSD disc is the one which will contain everything that used to be on SYSTEM. It is used to boot from and all is great!

    I am not at all a computer nerd, but this is what I did and what worked.
  8. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Gratz on the upgrades. I'm sure it feels like a brand new computer now.
  9. stjames70 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2009
    3,1 upgrades

    I would also increase memory size if you are running multiple apps concurrently. Your upgrades should easily extend the life of your 3,1 for a few more years. I have two 3,1 MacPros, and for what we need, they will serve as our main servers until the new MacPro arrives. After that, they will do duty as back up servers.

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