What is the MAX to pay for a 2008 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MentalVizion, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. MentalVizion macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
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    Austria
    #1
    Hey,

    After reading through the forums here quite often, I thought it's finally time to register, so hey all! :)

    I am planing to get a Mac Pro, preferably a 3.1, in the near future.
    Since this is my first "real, big mac" (lol), I really don't have to much of a plan what to pay for it.

    I had in mind to probably get a 8-core one, with atleast 8 gigs of RAM (preferably 16GB).
    HDD and Graphics don't really matter (btw, are the only compatible 5770's the one's that Apple sell, or are the ones that Sapphire or XFX, for example, manufacture also working inside of it? Quite curious about this!)

    I saw some @ ebay, but the prices there are quite random I think.

    So what would one be worth nowadays?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #2
  3. MentalVizion thread starter macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Austria
    #3
    Well, from what I've read, the 2008 Mac Pro's are still running nice nowadays.
    I will mainly use it for music production, and some photo/video editing here and there.

    The one's from your link are a little bit out of my price range^^
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    For music production, why not MBP or rMBP? The new rMBP starts at $1299.
     
  5. MentalVizion thread starter macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

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    #5
    Because I like desktop computers as my music-wise workstation :p
    If I go Mac again, then Mac Pro. And since I can't afford the newer ones, I'm pretty much left with either a 3.1 or a 4.1.

    I read that the RAM is quite a lot cheaper on the 4.1 models, but the 3.1 is cheaper in general. So thats why I prefer the 3.1 over the 4.1.

    But I am open for any suggestions. (Mac Pro only though, please)
     
  6. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    Location:
    Earth
    #6
    Hi MentalVizion. Welcome to MacRumors. A 3.1 2008 Mac Pro may be priced at around $800 to $1100 depending on the configuration and cosmetic appearance. It's still a good machine even though it's old. You may also opt for the 4.1 2009 Mac Pro like the 2.66ghz quad and later upgrade the cpus to a 6 core 3.33ghz. You get a balance of speed and moderate price. Most users have taken this route. The better option is the 4.1. I don't do music production, sorry but I think most music softwares benefit more with multi-core so I guess 8 cores if just fine combined with some photo video editing. :)
     
  7. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

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    #7
    I'm working on an 8 core 2008 mac pro right now, with RAM, GPU, and SSD upgrades, and it still screams.

    Budget for the GPU and RAM upgrades though- it's pretty much unusable with the stock configuration.

    I have no idea what the answer is to your question though. I'm just here to tell the naysayers to shut up.
     
  8. MentalVizion thread starter macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

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    Oct 30, 2013
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    Austria
    #8
    Nice, if I only would find some in this price range :D

    How much RAM do you currently have installed?
    Also, which Graphicscard are you using?

    Am I right, thinking that only Apple's upgrade-kit-cards are working with it, or do Sapphire's, XFX's, and so on, also work?
     
  9. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #9
    2008 Mac Pro for sale here!

    Hi MentalVizion.

    It's interesting I read this message thread just now, because I was *just* telling my wife that I think I'm ready to put my Mac Pro tower up for sale. (I'm really interested in one of the new ones and there's no way I can afford it when it comes out if I don't sell this one first.)

    Feel free to send me a private message if you want to discuss it further, but this one is configured pretty nicely with an ATI Radeon HD 6870 graphics card in it, 8GB of RAM, and a 160GB SSD boot drive, plus 3 additional SATA hard drives installed (1.5TB, 1.5TB and 1TB capacities).

    I've got OS X Mavericks on it as well as a Windows 7 Professional "Boot Camp" installation on the 1TB drive.

    As for your question about the graphics cards? I believe with most of them like the 4870 and 5870, you could use any of them designed for Windows like XFX, MSI, etc. - but they had to first be custom re-flashed with a Mac firmware or else they weren't totally compatible. (They'd work great in Windows in Boot Camp, of course, but in OS X people had problems with some of the apps like the DVD Player refusing to start, etc.) The 6870 I have in mine didn't require any custom firmware, I don't believe. It just worked out of the box, even though I didn't buy it from Apple. I think the only thing it lacks is the grey screen with the white Apple logo in the center during boot-up. It's just a blank screen instead until the OS X desktop comes up. (No big deal.)



     
  10. MentalVizion thread starter macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

    Joined:
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    Austria
    #10
    Hey kingtj,

    I sadly can't inbox you, theres just an ICQ number there.
    Maybe it works if you message me, and i reply?

    Anyways, thanks.

    Also, where would one flash a Graphicscard to be compatible with a Mac?
    Is this a DIY thing, or are Apple themself doing that?

    I really am a noob when it comes to Mac's :p
    I only had an old white Macbook quite some time ago, and thats it.
    And for now I'm stuck with a Hackintosh/Windows 7 Dual-boot system.
     
  11. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #11
    Oh! Ok...

    I'll try to send you a private message on here and see what happens.
    With the replacement graphics cards, you could buy certain official upgrades from Apple (like a Mac version of the Radeon 5870), but Apple always asked inflated prices for them.

    That drove a whole DYI market to hack around with cheaper Windows versions of the same cards and figure out how to shoehorn a Mac firmware onto them, to make them the functional equivalent of the "real" Apple branded version.

    There are typically a few guys on eBay always selling reflashed cards who made a side business out of doing it. Otherwise, you can even search the MacRumors forums here to find some instructions on how to do it yourself. I've done it before with a couple of cards (dating back to an nVidia 8800GT I turned into a Mac version for my older 2006 Mac Pro tower). The hardest part was obtaining the firmware file needed for it. It's probably one of those things that's not 100% legal to distribute so you have to do some digging to find one someone's sharing, and make sure it's correct for your particular card.



     
  12. ctone, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    ctone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    #12
    I agree with this. The 2008 Harpertown 8-core is still a viable and powerful computer, but mostly if you want to add extra internal drives and PCIe cards. For music production, note that it is not recommended for the latest Pro Tools HDX and HD Native PCI cards, since there is an issue with that computer not being able to do firmware upgrades on the cards. You will need a newer Mac Pro to do that.

    You may not need to upgrade the stock GPU, but there were issues with it and there was a recall which has since expired. There is a GPU upgrade that is still available through Apple (ATI Radeon HD 5770 - $249) which works without any hassle at all. Just install and go. The RAM is relatively expensive and you will need at least 6 GB total, preferably more depending on what you are doing.

    With this in mind, keep checking the Apple refurb site, and if one of the less expensive only slightly outdated models pops up, you might be better off snagging that before someone else does.
     
  13. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #13
    Great machines. I'm still editing RED EPIC 4K material on mine. I do have a quadro4000 and a 5770 in there as well. 10 GB OF ram.
    Runs premiere and FCX no problem
     
  14. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Location:
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    #14
    Personally, for a bare 2008 Mac Pro (2GB, Nvidia GT 120 or similar), I would not pay more than $500.
     
  15. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #15
    Almost 6 year old machines based on 6 year old architecture that use a lot of power, but are no more powerful than a 4-core Mac mini. $500 tops if you are getting it with a 2600XT or 8800GT graphics card and 8GB or less RAM.

    4,1 is a much better investment long-term.
     
  16. MentalVizion thread starter macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

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    Oct 30, 2013
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    Austria
    #16
    Hmm, after searching through the net a bit more, it really seems like the 4.1 is the stronger machine.

    So as far as I got it, the 3.1 Models can feature 2 CPU's each containing 4 cores, and the 4.1 models only have one CPU socket, which can carry either a 4 core, or a 6 core CPU, right?

    The RAM seems to be WAY cheaper for the 4.1 also.

    Is the CPU "downgrade" on the 2009 models really a "downgrade"?
    If so, why?
     
  17. SR1234 macrumors newbie

    SR1234

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    #17
    Mac Pro

    I would also steer you towards the early 2009 Mac Pro. It seems like it is another step up the ladder when it comes in OS support. I have run geekbench 3 on mine and it's numbers are still respectable. As has been previously mentioned ram is dirt cheap for it and I have slowly built up to 32gbs. I love the internal storage and installed a second gpu to drive 2 large monitors. I would guess it would sell for around 1500 dollars but I don't have a lot of evidence I could back that up with. As far as music production, my old upstairs neighbor was a pro and recorded a lot of TV and film work in his home studio. He was not using the latest pro tools and his Mac Pro was a 2008. My own belief is that if there were a way to beef up the processors in these old boxes there would be a good market for them. I love the new Mac Pro but everything is outboard and that's a drag as I have 5 drives on my desk now. Good luck!!!
     
  18. MentalVizion thread starter macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

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    #18
    Forgot to actually tell I'm using Cubase 6 as my DAW. So Pro Tools incompatibility doesn't really affect me.

    I think I also forgot mentioning, that I'm planing to use 10.6.8. I know it starts getting outdated (or even already is), but it just is my favourite. To me it just seemed the most stable and simple. Same as XP for windows.
     
  19. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #19
    Mac Pro 4,1s come in two flavors, single CPU and dual CPU. The CPUs can be either quad-core or hexa-core.
     
  20. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #20
    I also using Snow Leopard and happy with this. I think it's fine even though this is an old OS.
     
  21. kingtj macrumors 68020

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    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #21
    Really? You think?

    I know I'm biased since I have a 2008 Mac Pro AND expressed some interest in selling it .... but I don't think your comment is really being fair.

    1. Obviously, a 6 year old machine is going to be based on architecture no newer than 6 years old ... but we're talking about a machine which was basically a world class WORKSTATION at the time of its release -- not just another generic desktop computer. Comparisons to a 4 core Mac Mini are kind of ridiculous. (How many PCIe expansion slots do you get in that Mac Mini? Room for 4 internal SATA drives with convenient slide-out trays? How many video card options do you get for one? Dual gigabit NICs built in? Yeah, not so much ....) And sure it uses a lot of power. It's capable of providing up to 300 watts just to a video card in an expansion slot, and the power supply is capable of 1000 watt output.

    2. These machines only shipped with a 320GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM, and it used to be an extra cost option to get the 8800GT vs. the 2600XT video card in one. If you find one with 8GB of RAM, more disk space and practically any card other than the 2600XT in it, you've already found one someone spent hundreds of dollars upgrading from the "base" configuration. So I think I could see paying more than $500 for all of that.


     
  22. Umbongo, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #22
    As a seller you can easily get more than that and I hope you do. If you'd come on here looking for selling advice I'd suggest $800-$900 should be doable, depends how good you are at selling stuff. I wouldn't recommend a Macrumors member pay that though. Not that it is terrible, but they should look at other options and consider the longevity for that sort of cash.

    If PCI-E expansion, internal storage or GPU performance is important then none of my comments are going to sway someone to get a Mac Mini instead, but if they just want a cheaper mac desktop computer then a Mini can be a viable alternative and if they have a bit more money they are better to buy at the start of a generation of CPU and memory (4,1) than the end (3,1).

    4,1 dual processor Mac Pros can be found for ~$1,000 and are as good as the 3,1s but allow 96GB RAM and up to 12 cores which for someone looking for 3-5 years of heavy use makes more sense.
     
  23. Artofilm macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #23
    I recently sold my Mac Pro 3,1 2x 2.8Ghz with 2GB RAM and 320GB HD/80GB SSD for $800 and I felt like I did pretty well. I would say around the $800 range is a good price to pay as long as it's in good condition.
     
  24. MentalVizion thread starter macrumors regular

    MentalVizion

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    Oct 30, 2013
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    Austria
    #24
    Since I have quite a few HDD's I need to storage somewhere, the Pro is my only consideration. I also don't want to eliminate the fact, that I may once upgrade the GPU.

    Are there some site's I can get 2nd hand macs "quite cheap" that I should be aware of? Not sure if it's allowed to post links in here.

    I am from Austria, and here we have pretty much nothing but overpriced **** (for example: 2nd hand Mac Pro 1.1 with 4 gigs of ram for around
    600€ = probably around 900$)
     
  25. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #25
    I hadn't seen your location before, sorry. You might have to consider looking around various European eBays and Amazons or even find a seller who will ship from the US. Not the best solution, but maybe overall the cheapest.
     

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