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  1. #1
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Tronix's Avatar
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    May 13, 2011
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    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    I've only recently become a Mac Junkie, so I'm still trying to absorb the technical aspects of the platform.

    I am heavy into graphics and photography. I bought a new MacBook Pro last summer and fell in love with how fast and smooth Photoshop ran (than on my PC) and then Aperture really hooked me.

    I recently picked up a (2009) Mac Mini. I have it hooked up to dual 27" Cinema Displays..

    I wanted to start doing all of my rendering on a desktop rather than my MBP. However the rendering time in Aperture and Photoshop is rather sluggish in comparison to my MBP.

    I just bought a used 1,1 Mac Pro (haven't received it yet) and I'm looking to upgrade it accordingly to get good rendering times for Aperture.
    Specs are:
    Quad Core 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
    4 GB (4x1)
    500 GB HD (1)

    So I guess the best thing to upgrade would be the memory. Would I just get 4 more 1GB DDR2 677mhz FB-DIMM's? Or would I have to buy a full set of 8? Anyone know a good place to pick up memory pretty cheap?


    -Tron(budget)ix
    GEAR: 32GB iPad 3G // iPhone 4 // (4) 2G AppleTV's // Macbook Pro:15" 2.3GHz Quad-core,8GB // MacMini 1.83 // Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66/4GB/500 // Dual 27" LED Cinema Displays. // Airport Extreme Base Station // (2) Airport Express // Much More...

  2. #2
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tronix View Post
    I
    So I guess the best thing to upgrade would be the memory.
    Nope. If you could do one & only one upgrade...IMHO (for your computing tasks)...upgrading the graphics card would be the first thing I would do. The 7300 video card is the "basic" card.

    Of course if you own TWO 27" Apple Cinema displays...then upgrading both the video card & the ram probably won't be a problem.

    Video card upgrade...I would get this one:

    ATI Radeon HD 5770 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    For the ram go to:

    OWC
    Crucial.com

    - Nick

    p.s. You can also get the video card at OWC (same place as the ram):

    ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade...at OWC
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Tronix's Avatar
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    May 13, 2011
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    Excellent advice. I wish I would have posted this an hour earlier. I just purchased a 2nd Altona DVI-MiniDP converter (not cheap). If you think this will really benefit me, I can sell the two converters for the price of the Radeon 5770 since apparently they come with dual MDP's.

    Now for the RAM.. I already have (4) 1GB modules. Would it be safe to just purchase 4 more 1GB Modules or would I have to buy all 8?
    GEAR: 32GB iPad 3G // iPhone 4 // (4) 2G AppleTV's // Macbook Pro:15" 2.3GHz Quad-core,8GB // MacMini 1.83 // Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66/4GB/500 // Dual 27" LED Cinema Displays. // Airport Extreme Base Station // (2) Airport Express // Much More...

  4. #4
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Tronix's Avatar
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    May 13, 2011
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    also, I guess I need a bluetooth card since I have the BT Keyboard and BT mouse.

    I don't see any at OWC, would I just need any PCIe Bluetooth card?



    -Tron(thx again)ix
    GEAR: 32GB iPad 3G // iPhone 4 // (4) 2G AppleTV's // Macbook Pro:15" 2.3GHz Quad-core,8GB // MacMini 1.83 // Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66/4GB/500 // Dual 27" LED Cinema Displays. // Airport Extreme Base Station // (2) Airport Express // Much More...

  5. #5
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tronix View Post
    Now for the RAM.. I already have (4) 1GB modules. Would it be safe to just purchase 4 more 1GB Modules or would I have to buy all 8?
    No problem buying 4 more 1gig modules.

    Regarding the bluetooth. Try going to ifixit.com, and see if they have one (or try e-Bay). I prefer to go with the original stuff before using a PCIe card.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Tronix's Avatar
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    May 13, 2011
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    ahh ok I see.. there's a module for it.
    Apple Mac Pro iMac 2006 Bluetooth Card A1115 820-1696-A | eBay
    Apple ATI Radeon HD 5770 (MC742ZM/A) GDDR5 SDRAM PCI... | eBay

    I just picked these up.

    I guess that should do it. I'll wait and see how the performance is before I grab more memory.


    Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know how this turns out.



    -Tron(giddy)ix
    GEAR: 32GB iPad 3G // iPhone 4 // (4) 2G AppleTV's // Macbook Pro:15" 2.3GHz Quad-core,8GB // MacMini 1.83 // Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66/4GB/500 // Dual 27" LED Cinema Displays. // Airport Extreme Base Station // (2) Airport Express // Much More...

  7. #7
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Tronix View Post
    ahh ok I see.. there's a module for it.
    Apple Mac Pro iMac 2006 Bluetooth Card A1115 820-1696-A | eBay
    Apple ATI Radeon HD 5770 (MC742ZM/A) GDDR5 SDRAM PCI... | eBay

    I just picked these up.

    I guess that should do it. I'll wait and see how the performance is before I grab more memory.


    Thanks for the advice. I'll let you know how this turns out.

    -Tron(giddy)ix
    Wow...you're a FAST operator!!!

    Believe it or not...I'm looking for a 5770 video card as well...and I was watching that auction you won (but I didn't bid). $190 is certainly a great price...compared to $249.00 new.

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Nov 28, 2007
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    Specs:
    iMac i5 2.7GHz, 16GB memory, OS 10.10.5
    Having heavily upgraded a Mac Pro 1.1, the best updates are as follows:-

    1. Quad Core X5355/5365 processors if you can get them at a reasonable price.
    2. Mercury Extreme SSD hard drive which flies.
    3.. Graphics card - looking at either a 4870 OC (overclocked) or 5770.
    4. Memory - consider 8GB minimum for graphics, photography etc.

    The Mac Pro will run circles around the MacBook and Mini!
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  9. #9
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Nov 15, 2009
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    North Louisiana, USA
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    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.10.2, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Have to agree with Nick on the upgrades. I also have a MacPro 1.1 and the graphics card is OK for general use but I will probably be replacing it soon. Not that I need more power but it is no longer able to power two displays simultaneously.

    If you cannot find the right Bluetooth setup for it you will probably do OK with one of the better USB based Bluetooth adapters. I am using one and it seems to work fine with the Apple BT keyboard and mouse. It stopped working a couple of months ago for about three weeks but the problem must have been the keyboard. It wouldn't even pair with the built in BT on my MB Pro.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  10. #10
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post

    If you cannot find the right Bluetooth setup for it you will probably do OK with one of the better USB based Bluetooth adapters. I am using one and it seems to work fine with the Apple BT keyboard and mouse. It stopped working a couple of months ago for about three weeks but the problem must have been the keyboard. It wouldn't even pair with the built in BT on my MB Pro.
    Great idea! I forgot when I had my Mac Pro 1,1...I was also using one of those USB bluetooth adapters (the original bluetooth setup was sort of pricey).

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  11. #11
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    8,545
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.10.2, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    After reading up a bit on the installations I went with USB adapters for both the Bluetooth and wireless. I am a little clumsy and was worried about breaking the antenna leads during installation.

    Will probably be looking for a bridge of some sort this summer. Sometimes the wordless speed is OK and at other times so slow that you can see the windows redraw when using screen sharing.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  12. #12
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Tronix's Avatar
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    May 13, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    Having heavily upgraded a Mac Pro 1.1, the best updates are as follows:-

    1. Quad Core X5355/5365 processors if you can get them at a reasonable price.
    2. Mercury Extreme SSD hard drive which flies.
    3.. Graphics card - looking at either a 4870 OC (overclocked) or 5770.
    4. Memory - consider 8GB minimum for graphics, photography etc.

    The Mac Pro will run circles around the MacBook and Mini!

    I have the graphics card covered.

    If you were to pick which of the other upgrades would make the most impact, which would it be?

    I'm eyeing a Mercury 6G Pro SSD for it atm.

    I was hoping this thing would be a bit faster than the Mini, And if it were as fast as my MacBook Pro, i'd be thrilled. are you saying I should expect it to be far faster than even the MBP? As is? or with all the upgrades you listed.


    -Tron(thanks)ix
    GEAR: 32GB iPad 3G // iPhone 4 // (4) 2G AppleTV's // Macbook Pro:15" 2.3GHz Quad-core,8GB // MacMini 1.83 // Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66/4GB/500 // Dual 27" LED Cinema Displays. // Airport Extreme Base Station // (2) Airport Express // Much More...

  13. #13
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Trust you meant a 60GB Mercury Extreme SSD?

    MacTracker has GeekBench tests on the mid 2010 MacBook Pro, coming in at 3739, the mid 2009 Mini at 3008 and your Mac Pro 1.1 comes in at 4833 so the Mac Pro is quicker in its original default condition.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  14. #14
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    Tronix's Avatar
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    May 13, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    Trust you meant a 60GB Mercury Extreme SSD?

    MacTracker has GeekBench tests on the mid 2010 MacBook Pro, coming in at 3739, the mid 2009 Mini at 3008 and your Mac Pro 1.1 comes in at 4833 so the Mac Pro is quicker in its original default condition.


    That's excellent, so Everything I do will only strengthen that.


    I was referring to the new Mercury Extreme Pro 6G (in 120GB) drives that are twice as fast (500mbs) as the Mercury Extreme Pro.

    Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm 6Gb/s Solid State Drive

    Will these not work?

    -Tron(wth is 6G?)ix
    GEAR: 32GB iPad 3G // iPhone 4 // (4) 2G AppleTV's // Macbook Pro:15" 2.3GHz Quad-core,8GB // MacMini 1.83 // Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66/4GB/500 // Dual 27" LED Cinema Displays. // Airport Extreme Base Station // (2) Airport Express // Much More...

  15. #15
    Mac Pro Upgrade advice
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Yes but as the 1.1 Mac Pro has 3GB SATA II that will be the speed period I would think. Like most things computer speak, backwards compatible but not forward.

    Think one of these together with an Icey Dock for fitting, would be the go:-


    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/inter...olid_State_Pro
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

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