Worth Keeping My Mac Pro 3.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Merv'sG5, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Merv'sG5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #1
    Hello All,

    I have been a Happy Mac Pro 3.1 owner for over a two years now! Before that I had G5 Power Mac Quad Core! I shifted most of peripherals from that machine to my Mac Pro! I have tried to updating the machine to the best I could do on a low budget. And I mostly say the machine has been fantastic!
    But the question I would like to ask should I stick with my Mac Pro or get a latter Mac Pro like a 2011 version! Also would I notice a speed increase?:apple:

    Thanks in advance,
    Merv Stent

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro3,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
    Number of Processors: 2
    Total Number of Cores: 8
    L2 Cache (per Processor): 12 MB
    Memory: 16 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.6 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: MP31.006C.B05
    SMC Version (system): 1.25f4
    Serial Number (system): YM837039XYK
    Hardware UUID: 785F8F2E-3544-591A-9A29-14B56F385A59

    NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800:

    Chipset Model: NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 1792 MB
    Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
    Device ID: 0x05fe
    Revision ID: 0x00a1
    ROM Revision: yoyomarvª
    Displays:
    Cinema HD:
    Display Type: LCD
    Resolution: 2560 x 1600
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Display Serial Number: CY7231AQXMP
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Rotation: Supported
    Cinema HD:
    Display Type: LCD
    Resolution: 2560 x 1600
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Display Serial Number: CY6080WHUG1
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Rotation: Supported
     

    Attached Files:

  2. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    What do you use it for? Does it still do everything it needs to do?

    If you're looking for a deal you can get a dual CPU 4,1 (2009 model) and upgrade it to a 2012 model. (by way of a CPU upgrade and firmware upgrade)
     
  3. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #3
    If it does all you want it to and fast as you want it to and it's trouble free, then no there is no reason to upgrade. With that being said, I also had a 3,1 Mac Pro and when the Trash Cans were announced, I updated to a 5,1 because I wanted the newer architecture (specifically PCIe II on all four slots) and I wanted the assurance of Apple support for the future. My 3,1 was a fine machine, my 5,1 is better. As far as updating a 4,1. The dual CPU 4,1 Mac Pro has lidless CPUs, and the processor upgrade path is tricky.

    Lou
     
  4. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #4
    I got a steal on my 3,1 last October, upgrading from a 2009 MacBook Pro 13" - I've put another $450 into it since purchasing it for $200, but it does everything I need it to and more. I'm not a huge professional as far as rendering/etc goes, but with a newer video card, 1.12TB Fusion Drive via PCIe SSD, and 3 monitors, it's plenty for me. I'm always looking to upgrade, but nothing seems worth it, honestly. This will be keeping me happy for at LEAST another few years.

    tl;dr - still a very good machine, if you're not dissatisfied, it's probably still OK for you.
     
  5. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #5
    I can only speak for myself, but I bought my 3,1 brand new in 2009 when the 4,1 came out (sticker shock forced me to buy the older model). Five years later, I still can't justify an upgrade. This computer is a real trooper. Of course by current standards it's rather slow on some things (but then again, so am I).

    For publication design, general Photoshop work, and a lot of illustration (Corel Painter mostly), it runs as smooth as a baby's butt (a very very heavy baby's butt). Plus it handles my two 23" ACDs and my Cintiq without complaint.

    I'm of the mind that something shouldn't be fixed if it isn't broken. That's why I'm still with Snow Leopard and my trusty 3,1.

    For me it's a great system and eminently worth keeping around.
     
  6. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #6
    Just put a new DVD-R drive in my 3,1.
    Bought from new with 8 cores, it still flies with 16 GB RAM, SSD boot drive and a Sapphire Vapor-X HD5870.
    I have an i7 Hackintosh too which is about 30% faster but both are just as good at creative stuff.
    No plans to retire the Mac Pro, it still rocks.
     
  7. stjames70 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #7
    3,1s everywhere

    Just like everyone else here, I would say to you that if your 3,1 still satisfies your needs, then just keep it.

    We have a souped up 3,1 that is our server right now, and it's super fast. It does 1000MB/s read/write on our SSD RAIDs and 500MB/s on our HD RAIDs. As far as I know, only the 3,1s had ODD1 and ODD2 SATA ports available, so I put those to good use by adding two 1TB Crucial M500s as boot and VM disks. I get 250MB/s read/write each disk, and that is plenty fast for me. It also has a GTX Titan 6Gb which I know is overkill since the CPU clock is the limiting factor.

    This server will not be replaced -- it is the fastest computer I have ever used, and since disk operations is what make computers seem slow, this beast flies.

    We do have one 4,1 which will exist solely for its processing prowess. I bought a 4,1 which I am just about to upgrade to a 12-core machine with two X5670s because I need to do some 3D manipulations of head and neck CTs.

    In addition, we have 6 octocore 2.8 3,1s being used as workstations. I bought them all this year because I was considering buying iMacs to replace decrepit Dell workstations, and I realized it was cheaper to buy used 3,1s instead of new iMacs.

    The pros:

    1) Stable, 2) self-serviceable, and 3) self-upgradeable.

    The cons:

    1) Old hardware, 2) we will not need to turn on the heater this winter, 3) It is not doing any favors to our electric bill

    The only problems I have ever had with these computers:

    1) HD failures (bound to happen)
    2) GPU failures (GTX 285 had a dust monster on top so it literally fried)

    I can only say good things about these machines. Nothing about them has disappointed me in the past, and now, they are running Mavericks flawlessly while at the same time running Win 8.1 VMs at a good clip.

    I will try to push these machines until 2018 -- and THEN, I will see if I really need to upgrade to anything better. (at least I should be able to keep all the beautiful ACDs I bought to use with these machines) :apple:
     
  8. fuchsdh macrumors 65816

    fuchsdh

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    #8
    As a 3,1 owner, I would agree with what everyone's said.

    For me it makes sense to upgrade to the next Mac Pro for the speed, but there's no doubting that even these old Mac Pros are solid machines even before the upgrades and with the upgrades can be more than many need. I haven't gone the PCIe or RAID route like many here, I've just got a Samsung 840 as my boot drive and it starts up in a jiffy.
     
  9. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #9
    Mine's made me so much money, I would say over half a miillion over the years...but I'm still broke :D
     
  10. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #10
    If you have not done so, an SSD boot drive is a must!
     
  11. slask macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    #11
    As long as you have a decent GPU and an SSD, there is no point at all in investing in a new Mac Pro. The bang for the buck factor is still much too small.

    3,1 still has half a lifetime left.
     
  12. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    The 3,1 is a workhorse. I've upgraded to a Samsung SSD and a GTX 660, also added a second CPU as mine was only a single originally. I have added eSATA and USB PCIe cards and it still does everything that I ask of it.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. As long as it is fast enough for your needs and can handle everything you throw at it, it seems to me to be a keeper.

    Also, one other thought is future proofing. The question is always whether Apple will drop OS support for the 3,1, but from what I've read, the 3,1 architecture should be expected to continue to work for another few years, so unless you really need to, no need to do anything.
     
  13. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #13
    Yup! Even better, get an Apricorn Solo X2 PCIe and get full SATA 6 ports (2x, one is external).

    I even added USB 3.0 cards (About $30) and now can get full speed USB 3.0.
     
  14. leon771, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014

    leon771 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Worth Keeping My Mac Pro 3.1

    If your feeling CPU bound you can always buy a second 2.8ghz CPU and heatsink assembly and convert your quad core to octocore.
     
  15. flowrider, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014

    flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #15
    The OP already has two 2.8GHz Quad core CPUs (See specs in original post). His only option is a CPU speed bump (3.2GHz) which won't net him much.

    Lou
     
  16. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    What does lidless mean, I'm thinking of getting a 4,1 and changing the CPUs to 2 6 Cores, is it hard then?
     
  17. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #17
    Um I have 2x3.2Ghz Quads in my 3,1, albeit I bought it that way. If you mean Hex cores, yeah that won't work, since the 3,1 is older Harpertown.
     
  18. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #18
    ^^^^You are correct - corrected my post above.

    Lou
     
  19. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #19
  20. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #20
  21. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #21
    Yes, that's correct!

    Lou
     
  22. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #22
    Great. Cheers Lou!
     
  23. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #23
    My 3,1 octo 3.2 albeit with maxed out ram and 680 still stomping along. Still more than enough performance for me - it just works and still batters the living daylights out of my maxed out 16gb/SSD MBP 2011 17" in ps6.

    I almost got rid of it when a 5,1 came along very cheap, opened the case and only single CPU and with the extra cost of the dual CPU board and chips not worth it for me so sold it on.

    As Yosemite will be supported there's life in the old dog yet for me until that dual 5,1 comes along..
     
  24. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #24
    My 2008 with 18GB of memory does everything I ask it to. This year I upgraded to a SSD and that improved performance a lot.
     
  25. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #25
    If it still does what you need it to then no need to get another. But, would recommend a 2012 duel hex system. More power and better energy efficient. Find someone dumping the 2.4 ghz model and upgrade to the 3.33 ghz yourself. The 2.93 ghz are good to as I built a dually myself after selling my 3.1 mac pro.
     

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