Whats the most I can do to this Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DeezelP, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. DeezelP macrumors member

    May 26, 2014
    Hi guys

    Ive been debating an Imac but have since been put off due to the limitations regarding upgradin it.

    Ive been thinking about an old macpro as Ive heard they can be jsut as good if upgraded a little bit.

    Can anyone help me out a bit with this? Im not really sure what to look for when buying one, will any display work with them? And what are there limitations, are the motherboards quite slow, does the ram have to stay at the slower speeds etc..


    Ive been looking at this model, what do you think?

    Any advice would be great.
  2. Marhowl macrumors member


    Apr 12, 2013
    If I were you, I'd keep your eyes opened for at least a 2009 (4,1) model which you can upgrade to 5,1.

    I was lucky enough to get an 8-core with 256GB ssd and 24" Led Cinema Display for a really good price. You can also get the 4-core version, which can be later upgraded to quite powerful 6-core Westmere

    If I bought a 3,1, I'd probably consider it as a bad investment. I'm really happy with my 4,1 (5,1). Go for it too! =)
  3. diipii macrumors 6502a

    Dec 6, 2012
    I have been contemplating the same course of action but have decided to wait for the next upgrade of the new Mac pro because:
    Old Mac Pros are old technology and hardware and on the way out.
    Upgrades are difficult regarding high speed wifi, thunderbolt, etc and I can't be bothered to put up with the hassles of someone else's cast offs.
    All other macs seem to be intent on grilling their innards with only moderate graphics loading and I see the new form Mac Pro as Apple's only real world, work station computer.
    I will never buy another all-in-one just to see a good screen lie idle because the rest of it is cooked.
    I deplore Apples fixation of thinness just for bragging rights letting professional engineering concerns go to pot.
    This will be my last computer and if it doesn't work out I am taking up tiddly winks.
  4. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    If you can get a pre-2009 MP on the very cheap, then go for it and resell it later. Otherwise, stick with 2009+ MPs. Just about everything is upgradeable in them, and they still blow just about every iMac out of the water (except on raw CPU speed, where quad iMac can have an edge on quad MPs).

    The trick is to get them at a good price and decide, in advance, which upgrade you want/need to do. Many people here plan on keeping their 2009+ MPs for a long while yet. As I said, the only weak point is the CPU speed. Everything else can be upgraded to better than current Mac Pro performance.

  5. todesto, Jan 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015

    todesto macrumors member


    Jan 5, 2015
    Fullerton, CA
    any MacPro 4,1 + is still good investment.

    Honestly, currently technology is so fast that you won't feel that much difference anymore.

    I just gotten MacPro 5,1 with quad 2.8 which was still good, but just upgraded CPU to 6 core 3.4 Westmere X5690 and BT to 4.0 and 801.11ac using 94360CD card as well as installing SSD to create fusion drive and I believe I am up to par with other pretty solid system.

    I was running hackintosh with i5-3570K which I felt pretty fast but my so called old MacPro that I just upgraded blows it away.

    The listing you are looking at is 3,1 which doesn't get much support. I wouldn't get that.
  6. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
  7. SamPotts macrumors regular


    Sep 25, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Having just bought one I'd stick to the 2009+. I waited for a while but eventually got an as-new 2009 Quad for $500. It was in great nick. I put a few bits in it, namely a 3.33 6 core, an Apple 1TB SSD blade (Sintech adapter), 16GB, flashed ATI 7970, BT 4.0 and AC WiFi card and it flies. Quite a cheap box to build. I had an i7 Quad Mac Mini before it was struggling a bit at times.
  8. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    Another vote for a 4,1 or later. I have a near-baseline 4,1 that has done fairly heavy software development duty for over 5 years now, and it's still nearly as fast as the fastest of the corporate VM's that the other dev guys use. I'm about to embark on RAM and CPU upgrades and I expect to get another 2 years minimum out of it, probably more like 4, for a fairly minor $ investment. If I feel like it I can add SSD as well for another speed increment. The machine is extremely quiet and in 5 years I've had one failure. (a hard drive died, easily replaced.)

    The 3,1 isn't a bad machine, from what I hear, but the real upgrade capability starts with the 4,1 IMHO.
  9. DeezelP thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2014
    Thx guys

    So this link:


    Should I not bother? It seems ok for the price....

    An ssd in there might be ok....????
  10. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    A better question is what are you planning to do with this MP? You should state what apps you will use on it. There has been written too many times that the 3,1 is too long in the tooth to be worth while. It depends on the price and intended use. A great percentage of people post their specs but not what apps they actually run. Not only do they not post what apps they run, they never compare the 3,1 to other computers. It's never stated or comparison videos placed on Youtube to show the "short comings" of the 3,1. No one states you can do "this, this and this" on the 4,1-5,1 but not on the 3,1. And I don't mean upgrades so more "specs" can be listed. There seems to be more of a "spec" comparison than an actual MP shoot out!
    The thing to watch with that 3,1 is that the video card was not listed and it only has 6gb of ram. Ram for the 3,1's is expensive!
  11. DeezelP thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2014
    Thx guys

    I've think I've found one


    The seller wants about 700aud for it...what do you think?
  12. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
  13. DeezelP thread starter macrumors member

    May 26, 2014
    Thanks for the advice.

    So in regards to what I should update first, what do you guys recommend?

    I was thinking a good ssd for starters...?

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12 January 25, 2015