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Frayzn 03-23-2011 08:42 PM

Thinking about upgrading my PowerMac G5 to a Mac Pro but...
 
Hello All:

New guy here, although I've used your forums for a long time to read up on some Mac advice over the years. I've finally broken down and went from snoop to "registree," anyway...

I currently have a PowerMac G5 Dual Core 1.8 that I've loved for a long time. With OSX 10.7 Lion coming out this summer, I'm fearing falling behind two (2) key OS updates. I'm currently toying with the idea of buying a nice, refurbished Mac Pro (MA970LL/A). My major concern with purchasing something from 2008 is the same issue as to why I'm contemplating upgrading now. How long before I fall behind again? I noticed that the RAM supported in the Mac Pro is DDR2 and not the current DDR3. Now, I understand that most users don't really utilize anywhere near the maximum capabilities that most Mac Pros have, but I worry about the near future. Will I be able to add a Intel Thunderbolt port? I'd like to think I would be.

Still using a MacBook Pro from 2006, and still surviving on my PowerMac G5, I understand that Apple has built nice longevity into their products, but it seems like we're getting to that "transition" time where the old become the obsolete, and the middle aged become the old. I guess, to me, it just seems like a scary time to buy refurbished. Any thoughts would be very much welcomed, and I look forward to picking your brains more often in the future!

Thanks

-frayzn

pigoo3 03-23-2011 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frayzn (Post 1207455)
I'm currently toying with the idea of buying a nice, refurbished Mac Pro (MA970LL/A). My major concern with purchasing something from 2008 is the same issue as to why I'm contemplating upgrading now. How long before I fall behind again? I noticed that the RAM supported in the Mac Pro is DDR2 and not the current DDR3. Now, I understand that most users don't really utilize anywhere near the maximum capabilities that most Mac Pros have, but I worry about the near future. Will I be able to add a Intel Thunderbolt port? I'd like to think I would be.

I think that it all depends on how good of a deal you can get on a 2008 Mac Pro...I don't see them becoming obsolete any time soon. For the right price...I think that you can survive without the Thunderbolt port...and a 2008 Mac Pro would be a heck of an upgrade from a Powermac G5.:)

- Nick

MikeM 03-23-2011 09:54 PM

I just looked over the 2008 specs and it is equally compatable with Lion's likely requirements (Which are mainly going to be graphics and x64 capable CPU) as a brand new one. Nice thing about the Tower systems is that certain key parts can be upgraded (Video Card, HDDs, RAM [even CPU(s) if you are brave]). As for Thunderbolt, it is possible that a PCIe add on card will be developed at some point but I have no idea if that will be a PC only upgrade or if one will be avaliable for Mac Pros since they will be the only Macs capable of recieving such an add on card. Luckily, there are two gen 2 PCIe slots on the 2008 (One for video card and one free) and two 4x gen 1 slots so there is bandwidth avaliable for a 10Gb card.

In other words, I'd say that a 2008 Mac Pro will be just as compatable with future OS releases as my 2011 MBP (And more powerfull than my MBP as well).

-MikeM

Frayzn 03-24-2011 07:33 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I'm hoping to bring a new baby home this weekend. What would you consider "reasonable" to pay for one of these things. The one I'm going to look at is going for $1400.

Thanks again.

pigoo3 03-24-2011 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frayzn (Post 1208065)
Thanks for the feedback. I'm hoping to bring a new baby home this weekend. What would you consider "reasonable" to pay for one of these things. The one I'm going to look at is going for $1400.

Thanks again.

Like most things...it depends:

- how many cores
- how much ram
- video card
- hard drives
- cpu speed

- Nick

Frayzn 03-24-2011 07:55 PM

It's the MA970LL/A, so 8 cores @2.8, 2GB ram, 320GB HDD. Can't remember what vid card, probably going to purchase a new AMD set anyway.

pigoo3 03-24-2011 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frayzn (Post 1208079)
It's the MA970LL/A, so 8 cores @2.8, 2GB ram, 320GB HDD. Can't remember what vid card, probably going to purchase a new AMD set anyway.

$1400 for any 8-core Mac Pro sounds good sounds like a pretty good price to me...but wouldn't stop me from trying to negotiate the price down $50-$75 lower!:) Are you sure that AMD "set" you're talking about works in a Mac Pro. Sometimes video card selections/upgrades aren't as varied as you might like with a Mac Pro.

- Nick

Frayzn 03-24-2011 08:40 PM

The AMD set is from the Apple website and macrumors did extensive testing to check compatibility. Now I'm all excited, I just have to hope that they're not all gone when I get there. ><

pigoo3 03-24-2011 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frayzn (Post 1208104)
Now I'm all excited, I just have to hope that they're not all gone when I get there. ><

Just curious...where are you going to get one...where there's more than one available? Some sort of auction house...or computer recycling place?

I think that $1400 for any 8-core Mac Pro is a terrific price!:)

- Nick

Frayzn 03-24-2011 08:48 PM

They've got a university sale going on at a local college. Unfortunately it's not open to the public, but if one does open to the public, I'll be sure to post the information on here as long as it doesn't violate forum rules.

pigoo3 03-24-2011 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frayzn (Post 1208113)
They've got a university sale going on at a local college. Unfortunately it's not open to the public, but if one does open to the public, I'll be sure to post the information on here as long as it doesn't violate forum rules.

Good luck...hope you get one!:)

- Nick

Frayzn 03-24-2011 09:06 PM

It always seems like when someone comes to me for advice on buying a new system, I always seem to have something to say. When it comes to buying my own system, I tend to forget what I know and freak out. I wonder if it's because I'm actually spending out of my own pocket. I bet that's it... I wonder how many other people do the same thing.

Thanks again for all the replies, much appreciated.

pigoo3 03-24-2011 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frayzn (Post 1208126)
It always seems like when someone comes to me for advice on buying a new system, I always seem to have something to say. When it comes to buying my own system, I tend to forget what I know and freak out. I wonder if it's because I'm actually spending out of my own pocket. I bet that's it... I wonder how many other people do the same thing.

Thanks again for all the replies, much appreciated.

I just did a quick check...and if I'm close on the specs (you didn't mention the cpu speed)...these 2008 Mac Pro's are worth closer to $1800-$2000. I still see the original "quad-core" Mac Pro's from 2006 selling for around $1200-$1400.

That's why I said that $1400 for ANY 8-core Mac Pro at this time is a good price!:)

- Nick

baggss 03-25-2011 01:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frayzn (Post 1207455)
Still using a MacBook Pro from 2006, and still surviving on my PowerMac G5, I understand that Apple has built nice longevity into their products, but it seems like we're getting to that "transition" time where the old become the obsolete, and the middle aged become the old. I guess, to me, it just seems like a scary time to buy refurbished. Any thoughts would be very much welcomed, and I look forward to picking your brains more often in the future!

It's not just you. I gave up my trusty, and still very much functional, 6 year old iBook G4 for a MacBook last fall but was still holding onto my Quad G5 until last month. Once the G5 died (well, became ill) I decided it was time to move up.

Apple is at a transition point where the old PPC architecture is dying out and the rumors are that 10.7 may not support Rosetta for the old PPC Apps. If so that will end the reign of PPC or Universal Apps and the future will only be Intel based software. It was inevitable that it would happen sooner or later, though many of us hoped for later rather than sooner. When 10.6 came out as Intel only I knew the end was in sight for PPC, it was just a matter of waiting for something to give.

Frayzn 03-28-2011 09:01 PM

I didn't quite make it in time; however, I've decided it is time to upgrade from this PowerMac G5 to a newer Mac Pro. I've been researching the buh-jeezus out of these things, but I can't decide exactly which way to go. Do I snag an inexpensive 1,1, should I invest a little more and get a 4,1. If I do that, I may as well grab one of the new refurbs from Apple's site for $2k.

Suddenly I've talked myself up $1000 and I'm thinking, "how the **** did that just happen."

I know the 1,1 would take some upgrading to make it worthwhile, and if I'm going to upgrade, I should probably take a look at the 2008 models, minimum. DDR3 memory would be nice, but is it necessary... so many questions to ask. The problem is, I know the answers: and I don't like them. My mind and heart point to one, and my pocketbook points to the other. I just don't want to purchase and regret in two months. Has anyone else recently gone through this situation? Thoughts?

I know some of you are going to ask what I use my computer for, so preemptively, here's my list:

1.) Adobe Work (Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver)
2.) Games (Starcraft II, WoW, Diablo) [obviously not on my G5, but I'd like to on the Mac Pro as I could give my gaming PC to my sister]
3.) Troll on forums just like this one
4.) Encode and Rip home videos and pictures
5.) Utilize the extra drive bays for network storage (Time Machine)
6.) Attempt to post somewhat useful information on forums like these

That's about all I can think of. Any input would be surely welcomed!


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