Used Mac Pro 5.1 or new iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Jigga Beef, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. Jigga Beef macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2009
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Need some advice here.

    Right now i am running Mac Pro 3.1, I don't need much more as far as processing power goes but i LOVE having 4 internal HDDS running.

    1TB SSD boot drive and 6 TB iTunes library, both of these drives are cloned inside the mac pro making up all 4 of the HDD spaces.

    I looked into replacing the Mac Pro with a used 5.1, would be a pretty seamless process as i would just need to swap out the HDDS for the new machine.

    Finding stuff on Ebay around $1,400.

    Only negative I had with my mac pro is all the wires, i run 2 27 inch monitors.

    I am considering buying a new 27 inch iMac, which would take care of the cords problem but i would lose the ability to have internal hard drives and both of my monitors would be useless so if i wanted a 2nd display i would need to buy a Thunderbolt one I think.

    For the iMac I know i could get a external hard drive enclosures but I would be subject to USB or Thunderbolt.

    Again processing power isn't a priority to me as my current machine can handle what i need it do, I just hate having a machine that doesn't allow for the most recent OS.

    This isn't something I need to rush either since my machine works fine and i am not dying for the new OS.
  2. xactoman macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2015
    I feel its going to be another 5-10 years before your computer is truly obsolete. You said processing power isn't an issue, so the new iMac really doesn't afford you much of an upgrade beside sapping your money. You already have a capable machine that runs a modern 64-bit OS. Get yourself a kick-ass video card and enjoy what you have. it will probably run circles around an iMac for anything you do day to day.
  3. Jigga Beef thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2009
    Philadelphia, Pa

    I agree the machine should give me a much longer run however at some point most likely in the spring I will want to update to OS Sierra. As my Laptop will be running it and I think I'll want to use the new features in Photos.
  4. ITguy2016 Suspended

    May 25, 2016
    I'm not really sure how an iMac will reduce the number of wires. Since the iMac has a built in display you'll lose one set of monitor wires. However in order to use four hard drives you'll gain some for an external enclosure. If those are the only changes then it seems to be a wash.
  5. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Agree that the iMac will only require more cables if you want to have the same amount of storage and monitors.

    Since the last 5,1 call itself a 2012 model. So, I assume it can get OS update until 2019. However, this is just pure guess, may be the 5,1 will be kicked out from the list for MacOS 10.13 upgrade.

    The interesting thing is that since the 5,1 is partly upgradable. So, with proper upgrade, it may able to run the future OS with full functions. On the other hand, the current iMac should able to let you install few more new OS natively, however, may not able to use the new functions.

    e.g. If the next new function need 802.11 ad, or better GPU, then the current iMac will be out of luck.

    It's very clear that a 2009 Mac Pro with proper upgrade will able to enjoy all new functions in Sierra natively, but a 2012 iMac cannot.
  6. Jigga Beef thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2009
    Philadelphia, Pa

    All good points.

    Cutting down on wires for me are there are currently 2 VGA cords running to my tower and 2 power cords powering both monitors. So with a built in display would mean I have only the power cord and any of the UBS cables running to my hard drive enclosures.

    Where i keep my hard drive enclosures is farther away from my desk and the wires don't bother me there.

    The wires are a pretty minimal issue for me.

    Seems like a used Mac Pro will be the way to go, as the prices are even and I am happy with the machine itself.
  7. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Dec 1, 2013
    Houston, TX USA
    I'm thinking the next OS cuts support for cMP. Just a hunch.
  8. Ph.D., Sep 22, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016

    Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2014
    As a counterpoint:

    I have a 3,1 as well. I contemplated upgrading to a 5,1 back when the "last call" for new ones went out (and later, looking around at used ones). More recently, though, I've decided that all cMPs are now too obsolete to make any more investments in. Sure you can modernize a few things, but the base system is just too old and obsolete now.

    If you have a need for serious processing grunt, meaning you are doing heavy video editing, etc., then by all means go ahead and upgrade - there will be some advantages if you make enough of an investment. But if it's just the extra drive space that you like, your 3,1 is perfectly fine. I'm keeping mine since I like its ability to run legacy software when I want (Snow Leopard, etc.).

    I know how gear acquisition syndrome works (that's why half of us hang on in this forum). But for your needs, the 3,1 is fine. Spend the money on a next-gen laptop (wait a month or two), wait for a new iMac (though that will cost more), or do what I did: build a fast Linux box to use along-side your 3,1. It's fun!

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7 September 22, 2016