Upgrades to Mac Pro 3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mkrt, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. mkrt macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2013
    Hello, I currently have a Mac Pro, early 2008.

    Processor 2 x 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Memory 32 GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB

    I do a lot of programming and data analysis with my pro. I also do a decent amount in Illustrator and Photoshop. I run 2 monitors. It is not handling it all very well. I am am looking to do some upgrades to the Pro. I know for sure that the video card needs updating. Memory should be fine. What upgrades do you recommend?

    Or.. do you even recommend throwing money into it? I know the early 2008 model is the last model mountain lion supports. The next OS may not even support it. Would I be better off spending the money on a new iMac?
  2. lucasfer899 macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2012
    Tough one, got loads of CPU power, plenty of RAM, even though it's not particularly fast RAM, however the GPU is seriously lacking. Any sort of upgrade to Radeon 5870 or high would be a difference of night and day to the card you're using.
    But then again, that money could be sent to a new iMac...
    I'd wait to see what the new Pros have in store. Or slam a decent GPU in there.
  3. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    That Mac Pro is still very capable as you can see in my siq we have the same system. You have a excellent amount of ram, But an SSD as your boot drive will help to snap things up, launching apps and boot times becomes lighting fast.

    I agree with lucasfer899 a newer GPU will help. A mac edition of the 7950 was just released and that may drive down the prices of the older 5770 and 5870's which would be a good upgrade for you.

    You're not going to see that much of a speed bump from your mac pro to the new iMac so if you need a new system I would hold out for the new mac pro like I am, when ever that will happen.
  4. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    For my, less demanding usage, a SSD sure improved my overall performance. I had years ago upgraded to 14GB, so am not looking there due to cost.

    Now I only have 1 program that seems slow, Quicken for Windows. I don't know whether it is just inherently slow, or if it is the 20 years worth of data in the file :)
  5. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Yep! If me I would add a Rocket RAID card which will make all your drive bays SATA III 6GT/s, and then I'd start adding SSDs and or some Seagate Barracuda (3TB ST3000DM001 3-Platter, or 1TB ST1000DM003 1-Platter) drives to it. It's bootable and supports individual, jbod, RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 if I remember right.

    That and a buttload of RAM should really improve things. With that 32GB you already have you can capitalize on the speed of your system caches by turning off Apple's silly dynamic pager too BTW.

    To do so open the terminal and type:

    sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist​

    followed by a reboot. You can turn it on again if you like by entering:

    sudo launchctl load -wF /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist​

    Your coding sessions should fly with this turned off.
  6. mkrt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2013
    Thanks everyone for your responses!

    If I go the SSD route, any suggestions on which ones you prefer? kevink2, which did you go with?
  7. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Samsung 840 or Intel 520. Crucial M4 is supposed to be good too. I would avoid Vertex brand.
  8. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    My first one was an OWC 240GB model. The next two have been Crucial M4's, a 256GB on the Mac, and a 512GB on my MBP.
  9. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base
  10. mkrt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2013
    Ok, two more questions....

    If I upgrade this pro, would you:

    Upgrade to two new gpus (since I have 2 in there now) and add an SSD

    or only upgrade to one new gpu and add a OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express Solid State Drive in the other 16 PCIe 2.0 slot.

    I do run 2 monitors, if that affects your answer at all.

    Also, for the gpu, someone offered to give me their nvidia quadro 4000 for mac. Is that a better option than the ATI Radeon HD 5870?

  11. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    The quadro 4000 is a very good GPU It will help to excelerate any applications that take advantage of CUDA cores, like AE and Premier pro to name a few. It will handle some tasks better then the 5870 and the 5870 will beat it in other tasks. The Quadro has 2 gigs of Vram the 5870 has 1 and the Quadro is a more expensive GPU.

    Its a no brainer if someone is going to give you a Quadro 4000 that is the winner and you have a very generous friend. I wish someone would give me a Quadro 4000.

    Good luck

Share This Page