Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Upgrading for Mac Pro 3.1 to 5.1 (or 6.1)?

choreo

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 10, 2008
700
270
Midland, TX
I have an Early 2008 Mac Pro 3.1 (2x2.8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon - 16GB RAM) and looking to upgrade to a more current model.

Two questions:

(1):
I currently have (4) 1-TB internal Drives - one with boot OS (Lion 10.8.3 installed). If I buy a newer Mac Pro Desktop, can I just swap the drives out and go, or do I have to install the OS all over again to recognize the new hardware?

(2):
Any recommendations on a "smart" buy to replace what I currently have that would significantly increase performance? Cost is somewhat of a factor (especially looking at the new 12 cores!!!). Is a single 3.33 GHZ 6-Core any faster than what I have now?

Thanks!
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2007
2,052
333
Canada
I have an Early 2008 Mac Pro 3.1 (2x2.8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon - 16GB RAM) and looking to upgrade to a more current model.

Two questions:

(1):
can I just swap the drives out and go?

Yes.

(2):
Is a single 3.33 GHZ 6-Core any faster than what I have now?

Thanks!

Close to twice as fast using Geekbench as a measure of performance, 15000 to 9000 newer vs older. Having owned both machines I can say that is a correct representation of the situation.
 
Comment

Mactrunk

macrumors regular
May 12, 2005
164
52
I recently did the switch from a 2008 to a 12 core.

The result is very nice.

Not an easy procedure in my case.
I only use software that I have purchased.
I respect the time and effort of developers.
Lot's of copy protected software that I have invested in.

I have a fairly complicated setup with many 3rd party plugins.

I assumed that if I put the old drive in the new machine, all would be well.

It turns out that much of the copy protection is "machine specific".

I spent about a week reauthorizing.
It was easy with some companies and a PITA with others.

I'm finally good to go.

Very happy with the new headroom.

Well worth the effort and expense.
 
Comment

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,104
118
I also have the Mac Pro 3,1 - 2x2.8GHz/16GB RAM - but have upgraded to the Accelsior PCIe card for OSX and Apps, a Samsung Pro SSD for Bootcamp, and HDDs in Raid0 for data, as well as a GTX680 graphics card. If I upgraded to a Mac Pro 5,1 - 2x3.06GHz/16GB RAM - using my existing storage and graphics options?
 
Comment

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,847
2,020
What applications are you running? Can they utilize dual processors effectively or not? That's really what it comes down to before the clock speed arguments and debates can be had.

Swapping drives between machines with different specs always has mixed results. I've worked on two workstations with IDENTICAL specs, purchased at the same time several years ago, and they didn't function properly when swapping out of a desperate emergency need. It can be done, but not all software acts properly depending on what methods they use for activation.

----------

I also have the Mac Pro 3,1 - 2x2.8GHz/16GB RAM - but have upgraded to the Accelsior PCIe card for OSX and Apps, a Samsung Pro SSD for Bootcamp, and HDDs in Raid0 for data, as well as a GTX680 graphics card. If I upgraded to a Mac Pro 5,1 - 2x3.06GHz/16GB RAM - using my existing storage and graphics options?

your existing hardware SHOULD work in a new machine, but internal RAIDs don't ALWAYS transfer to a new workstation properly without re-initialization. suggest cloning before trying it - just to be 100% sure.

you can re-purpose your SSDs, but they might not work properly if just swapping into a new tower - may need to do a fresh OS install on them.

More RAM in your 5,1 configuration would be helpful...
 
Comment

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,104
118
I would never transfer HDDs/SSDs just outright. I would always install a new OSX, and then migrate my latest Time Capsule Backup. And I am not worried my Accelsior, SSDs, or GTX680 will work, they will.

However, my question was if a Mac Pro 5,1 is significantly faster than a Mac Pro 3,1 given that I do not really use the slower SATA, and always have the fastest graphics in my MP. I.e. is the upgrade worth it for the CPUs/RAM only?
 
Comment

Tesselator

macrumors 601
Jan 9, 2008
4,601
4
Japan
I would never transfer HDDs/SSDs just outright. I would always install a new OSX, and then migrate my latest Time Capsule Backup.

You're intelligent - that's probably why!

It's not very smart to do or recommend the other way.
 
Comment

ASantangelo

macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2018
1
0
I recently did the switch from a 2008 to a 12 core.

The result is very nice.

Not an easy procedure in my case.
I only use software that I have purchased.
I respect the time and effort of developers.
Lot's of copy protected software that I have invested in.

I have a fairly complicated setup with many 3rd party plugins.

I assumed that if I put the old drive in the new machine, all would be well.

It turns out that much of the copy protection is "machine specific".

I spent about a week reauthorizing.
It was easy with some companies and a PITA with others.

I'm finally good to go.

Very happy with the new headroom.

Well worth the effort and expense.
[doublepost=1543057181][/doublepost]Hi Mactrunk,

I am in a similar position, could you please be more specific about your 2008 Mac Pro initial set up and the components used for the upgrade (Processor model, speed etc.)?

Thank you so much!
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.