Used Mac Pro - 3,1 early 2008. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by johnkey, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. johnkey macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I'm thinking about getting a powerful machine without spending "too much". I've found a lot of good opinions about the Mac Pro early 2008, and here's the question. I would pay the machine up to 1800$. Would a 3 year old machine be worth that money or should I look at something else? My main concern is, of course, how many years of life it has. Any thoughts on this?
    Thank you
  2. bamf macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2008
    What are the specs of the machine? You can probably get a 3,1 cheaper than $1800, but maybe it's got a ton of upgrades...
  3. johnkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    It has 2.8 GHz with 6 GB RAM, ATI HD 2600 XT.
  4. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    I think a new iMac would be a better buy.

    The Mac Pro is only good, if you want:
    - to use newer graphic cards (but by Apple you never know, if the newest GPU will work with you rig - and don't forget, how expensive these graphic cards are - ah, where are the times, when you could flash a PC version of an ATI Radeon 8500/9100 or later an 9800 with the Mac firmware :))
    - want to use the 4 HDD bays
    - maybe install an additional 5,25" drive (like a Blu-ray).

    In term of hardware specs, the new iMacs are much faster than the older generations of these Mac Pros. And also, we should not forget the power consumption ...
  5. Mythlin macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2011
    Just received my 2008 2.8GHz 8 Core Mac Pro yesterday. Bought it off ebay for $1,400. Came with 4GB Ram (Will be upgraded) 1x 320GB HDD, 3x 500GB HDD. The machine as is, scores a 9870 on a 32-bit Geekbench run. When the things got 16GB Ram and what not. I should see that number increase to about 11,000-12,000. Very respectable! I like the ability to be able to have up to 8 HDD's in the thing, Blu-ray if wanted, 2x fast graphics cards, expansion cards, runs a whole lot cooler! Big plus. And it just looks sexy sitting on your desk (or under) haha. I'm really liking this machine. Will never go back to an iMac.

    Hope this helped,
  6. HawkEye40 macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    +1 for the 2008 2.8 Octo. Got mine for £870 with 14GB of ram a few months ago and love it to pieces. Actually sold my 2009 i7 2.8GHz 27" iMac for it, and far happier.

    I liked the iMac but didn't like the lack of expandability, and the mobile GPU in the iMac didn't cut it.
  7. sbb155 macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    would never buy it, can get a much better imac instead.
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    $1800 seems extremely pricey. I just sold my 2010 Quad 2.8 (stock) for $2000 and we know that the 2010s were roughly 2x the speed of the '09s.

    With the 2011 MP line likely weeks away, and with TB support, I would hold off if you can. I suspect a lot of pros will be dumping older MPs to gain TB support and the even faster Sandy Bridge based Xeons. This should cause a nice bump down in the price of used MPs if you still want to go that way. I'd also expect a nice break in the price of 2010 refurbs.
  9. johnkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    Thank you for all your replies. I thought about buying an iMac too, and even though It's not as upgradable as the Mac Pro, it appears to be a great machine.
    I'd need to use processing power mainly for 3D related tasks. The 4 HDD bays would also come in handy, but if necesary I can live with external HDDs, that's not a real problem.

    @Chupa Chupa: You are totally right, a refresh would make things a lot easier budget wise. Thank your for letting me know $1800 is pricey - going to do some more research.
  10. handheldgames macrumors 65816


    Apr 4, 2009
    Pacific NW, USA
    The 2009 & 2010 share identical performance as a platform. Ie. the 2010 2.8x4 = 2009 2.8x4

    The difference is 2009/2010 to 2008. Where a 3.33x4 2009 >= 2.8 x 8.
  11. j-banana macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    imac is a decent machine but it is not what you need since you want a machine with processing power and 3d related tasks ( check the imacs cards if they can satisfy it).

    It would be wiser to buy a machine that can do more than you need it to than one that will just meet your needs.
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Maybe I missed it, but you don't say if it's 4 or 8 core. As part of your pricing, keep in mind RAM prices. I seem to recall that the cost of RAM for the 2008s is more than the later models... I could be wrong, but do check it out.

    I have the 8 core 2008 - and it's a wonderful machine, and it's been fairly solid. That said, I don't know that $1800 is such a great deal. Check out the refurbished prices for Mac Pros, and for a few hundred $$ you can get a "good as new" machine that is several years more modern, that comes with an included 1 year warranty and that you can add AppleCare to.

    The one problem I had with my 2008 MP would have cost me more than $1800, if I hadn't had AppleCare.

    If the machine was less than $1000, I'd say it was a really good deal.
  13. johnkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    That's a good point indeed. As for the graphic cards, I'd prefer to use my own.

    True, I forgot to write it's an 8 core.

    Thank you for all your replies. I can wait some more time to buy the machine, so hopefully Apple will release new hardware. I've decided to save some more money, as a refurbished MP seems a good idea to me (I'll be able to buy Apple Care within the one year warranty as I read). The iMacs are great machines, but limited in their graphic cards and HDDs, and even if they feature power I think I need something more.

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