Worth buying/upgrading a Mac Pro 1,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by yoli, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. yoli macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2012
    Hey guys, I would have a question:

    Is it worth to buy and hack and upgrade a Mac Pro 1.1? What is the maximum upgrade that can be done and how well it can stand against today's machines performance wise? How about price? Pros and contras?
    Or shall I go for hackintosh instead?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. noodle654 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2005
    Never Ender
    I'd say go hackintosh. The RAM for that model is really expensive and will probably cost more than the computer itself. Performance wise, even if you make it an 8 core it will still be slower than the Quad core Mini.
  3. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    It depends on what your using it for.

    I currently have 8 hard drives inside mine. I could take that up to 10 or 12 if I wanted to, but it would cost several times what I paid for the thing. I upgraded both the CPU's AND the memory for $60 total off of eBay. Here's a hint, you can buy any surplus server FB-DIMM's and simply transfer the heatsinks from the Apple memory to the new FB-DIMM's.

    You can even purchase the heatsinks themselves off of eBay for about $10. But that's what I paid for 2x2GB of RAM, so I just transferred off my 2x 512MB's that were in it (it also had 2x2GB already in it).

    I use mine as a server and for that purpose the processing power is more then enough. With the 8 true cores, it can do video encoding just a little slower then my old i7-920 based server it replaced (which was also overkill for a server).
  4. yoli, Mar 20, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014

    yoli thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2012
    Thanks for the tips, I'm getting really excited about this.
    How would a dual Xeon compete with an i7 desktop haswell for example?
  5. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    I would say that if its cheap enough and will serve it's purpose then why not?
    667Mhz Ram is much less expensive than the 800 in my 3,1

    I had a 1,1 Quad 2,66 in 2007 and for two years it was a great machine.

    I was working with it on Album productions and it performed very well with
    8gb ram. ( IIRC it was a Leopard 10.5.8 OS and that was VERY stable )

    It may not last forever but when they work they are as solid as can be.

  6. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    I would say don't buy as it doesn't officially support Mavericks.
  7. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Berlin formerly London
    How is that an issue when Leopard / Snow Leopard is very stable and a fine OS? .... he can even go to ML !

    BTW = I'm not a fan of "bleeding edge tech" !!

    I have just gone to ML having skipped Lion totally, it was a disasterous OS.

  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Personal opinion (as a Mac Pro 1.1 owner): there's plenty of uses for a surplus or hand-me-down 1.1, but I wouldn't pay money for 8-year-old tech - you're at the mercy of eBay for upgrades, and the latest version of OS X it will officially run is Lion.

    If you're a metalwork wizard then it would make a cool *case* for a Hackintosh, but its really nothing like ATX-layout inside so that would be a nontrivial project.

    Putting ML on a 1.1 is unsupported, non-trivial and effectively leaves you with an Apple-branded Hackintosh.

    Apart from that, it depends what you are using it for. If its just sitting there as a file-server or if you're happy with the Snow Leopard-era versions of software (and why not?) then that's great.

    If, however, you want to use it as your main computer, software houses will soon start dropping Snow Leopard and Lion support (if they haven't done already) so as soon as you need to get past that, you're stuck. I did need to upgrade mine to Lion Server to get reliable Time Machine backups.
  9. Robert Davies macrumors 6502

    Robert Davies

    Jul 28, 2011
    People's Republic of Wrexham
    In the days of the Chameleon hack I would agree, but getting ML or Mavericks running on a 1,1 or 2,1 involves swapping two sub 500kb files for it to run as though it always should have. So pretty trivial actually.
  10. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    I would say it depends on the price. If you can pick up AND upgrade a 1,1 or a 2,1 Mac Pro for UNDER $500, including a reasonable amount of RAM (8+GB), a PCIe SSD, a modern GPU (NVIDIA 500 series +), and two Quad Core processors, then I would think that is a good deal. That being said, that's a LOT of "if"s. Remember, you'd be running on an OLD architecture, and doing quite a few "unsupported" things, such as the Mavericks hack, if you went that route.

    If you are familiar with Hackintoshes, I would go that route. I personally own 4, and though they have their bugs, the $ saved and upgradability is worth it in my opinion.

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