Upgradeable Mac Pro

Juke777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 11, 2012
5
0
I am thinking of getting a Mac Pro. Starting with it will moslty be used for music production and some graphic desgn. I want to get the cheapest one possible that will work for these tasks, but I want to be able to upgrade it as I save my money to eventually do video editing and maybe even 3d rendering.

I guess my question is what is the best version of the Mac Pro to start with that will be cheap but that I will be able to upgrade to do these higher level tasks without getting too much of a headache.

I know I can upgrade the ram fairly easy but, I'm not sure what version of the Mac Pro would be a good "base" computer that will have a lot of upgrade potential.

Hopefully you all can help me out.

Thanks
 

Juke777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 11, 2012
5
0
I guess just the lowest price I could pay for Mac Pro that would be able to handle music production and graphic design, but would still get me a machine that wouldn't be too terribly hard to upgrade in the future.

I'm not sure what can and what can't be upgraded in the future, but I want to spend the least I can now, but still have the option of upgrading if my work demands it.
 

Omnius

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2012
542
6
I mean you could potentially spend 400 bucks on a 2006 Mac pro, and over time replace the cpus with 2 used cheap quad cores 3.0ghz chips.

The issue is, the older mac pros are still relatively pricey for machines that are going on 7 years old. I say that because the old mac pros also had really expensive ram (shockingly expensive for ram).
 

Juke777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 11, 2012
5
0
So if I were to get a 2006 it would cost more to upgrade the ram or you mean that for that machine I'm getting less ram for my buck to start with?

Is there any potential problems I would run into as I tried to upgrade one of the older machines?

Would something that old be able to handle music production and basic graphic design/photo editing right off the bat?

Sorry for all the questions, I appreciate all the help!
 

Liquidstate

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2012
87
0
Pacific Northwest
I'd also like to know this. I'm currently running my audio rig with an outdated iMac. Since last spring, I have been waiting for the new one, and we all know that situation.

Meanwhile, Pro Tools has announced they are moving to a 64 bit application, so this means I have to think in terms of a "Rosetta Stone" computer that can support both 64 bit plug-ins and some legacy gear.

This got me re-thinking my planning. The legacy gear needs at least two 400 firewire ports and a couple of USB ports. And I already have a Cinema screen. So I'm considering a Mac Pro. I don't need the latest greatest.

The Apple site says a mid 2010 Mac Pro runs 64 bit as default and the early 2008 supports it but not as default. Does that mean a 64 bit application would take a performance hit unless I go for a mid 2010?

Since that's mid year, what Apple specification would tell me that it runs 64 bit as default?

Thanks for your help!
 

DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
918
225
Rancho Bohemia, California
Look into the 2009 quad 2.66. I bought one, upgraded to a "2010" (Netkas.org EFI Updater) then replaced the CPU with Westmere 3.33 Hex.

32 bit Geekbench is now 13,800. Amazing audio performance.

Total cost: under $1800 before the SSDs and memory.
 

Macstefws

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2012
13
0
Denmark
So if I were to get a 2006 it would cost more to upgrade the ram or you mean that for that machine I'm getting less ram for my buck to start with?

Is there any potential problems I would run into as I tried to upgrade one of the older machines?

Would something that old be able to handle music production and basic graphic design/photo editing right off the bat?
The Fully buffered ram for the older Mac Pro 1.1. (2006) is more expensive than newer ram modules for newer Mac Pros.

Also note that Mac Pro 1.1 & 2.1 can't run Mountian Lion as they only boot 32 bit EFI and mountain Lion needs pure 64 bit EFI. See wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Pro. There are rumors around that it possible to hack the Mountain Lion installer, but not that easy for every body.
 

Juke777

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 11, 2012
5
0
So looks like the best option is to get a 2010 or newer quad 4 and that should give me plenty of potential to upgrade from there?
 

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