Wise or Not Mac Pro G5 Upgrade


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 27, 2017
Hi, I have just been given a Mac Pro G5 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 4no 1 GB DDR2 FB-DIMM 800 MHz, is it worth spending money upgrading the ram & hdd's to use as a photo & video editing machine, if so how far should I go?

Flint Ironstag

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2013
Houston, TX USA
Sounds like you actually DO have a Mac Pro (vs. G5 older iteration).

- 32GB 667MHz RAM (if you want to save $$ - stick to 800MHz if you like matching #s)
- boot SSD
- scratch SSD
- upgrade the video card (what's in there now?)

If you enjoy this type of thing, then yes it's fun to revive an old box. But realistically, you could probably find a decent 4,1 on CL with all the upgrades already.
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macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2014
I have the same one you do (most likely): a 2008 3,1 Mac Pro. In my opinion, these machines are still usable (I still use mine), but they are not worth much or any new investment dollars at this time.

If you must upgrade it, put a little ram in it (don't go crazy, anything more than 4 GB should be fine) and a cheap SSD in it and try to leave it at that (a new graphics card would also be nice, though).

But, on the other hand, think about your budget and options for a newer Mac. Sell it for maybe $150 and put that plus your upgrade budget towards something like a low-end 2017 iMac, if you can stretch that far. That would be dramatically faster and better in just about every way than almost any upgraded 3,1.

(But if you do have a G5 vs. an Intel version, just donate or sell it for the value of its case, etc.)


macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2017
I believe the 2008 3,1 dually 2.8's are definitely usable, plenty quick enough, and noticeably faster with an SSD boot volume. With these upgrades, I never felt the need to jump to the newer Mac Pro's as they were released. It was only when Apple officially discontinued OS compatibility with Sierra and newer that I finally made the plunge to a 2012 5,1. I did implement the OS patch to get Sierra working on it and it's been humming along nicely under Sierra (I've been using ASUEnabler to get OS updates, but the beta update option doesn't seem to work anymore).


macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
Also you should list 1. What software will be used for Photo editing
2. What software will be used for video editing
3. Will 4K footage be part of the equation?
4. Will Color correction be part of the equation?
5. What video card is currently being used