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Thread: Mac Pro 3,1 (8 core model) or Mac Pro 4,1 (4 core model)?

  1. #1

    DustinB22's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 09, 2011
    Gilbert, AZ
    Mac Pro 3,1 (8 core model) or Mac Pro 4,1 (4 core model)?
    So I am looking to pick up a another computer for my desktop. I believe the Mac Pro is prefect for my setup. I just plan to try and pick up a Mac Pro 3,1 (8 core model) or Mac Pro 4,1 (4 core model). I narrowed it down to those two based off my general usage and what I want to spend on it. I want to have the room for the internal storage drive because I do have alot..alot of movies/video/files. I will be upgrading the graphic card and running boot camp because I do play a few games and a lot of my accounting software is made for PC. I also have a dual screen set up and now plan to hook up my plasma that is in the room. It's also going to run lion sever (when I'm not in windows). I've been running it on my MBP to get a feel for it and see how well it worked. I now need to move it all over to a desktop.

    Now my questions have shifted to which Mac Pro? I just want to buy one that fits my usage and the within a reasonable price. I do little bit of a lot of different things so that narrows it down between the Mac Pro 3,1 (8 core model) and Mac Pro 4,1 (4 core model). It I've had a tough time finding the 2009 models and prices have been all over the place. I guess my question is. What would you rather have??

    Some of my thinking
    The 4,1 (4 core model) (This will cost me a little more and it has a little bit lower benchmark but the cost of expanding RAM is a **** of alot less. And it has a improved chipset, faster system bus and improved graphics card.)

    The 3,1(8 core model) (The benchmarks seem to be around 9100 and will cost less than a newer model. Everything else but the ram seems to be similar. The RAM seems to cost a arm and a leg compared to newer models.


    Mac Pro 3,1 (8 core model) or Mac Pro 4,1 (4 core model)?

    13" MacBook Pro 8,1: 2.3GHz Intel i5, 320GB, 8GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000, OS X Lion w/ASUS 26" LCD Network Setup: Apple TC 2TB 4th Gen w/ Synology DiskStation DS212j holding 1TB WD & 74GB WD Raptor Drive Accessories: Apple TV 2nd Gen, Epson V600 scanner, M-Audio Studiophile CX5 Speakers

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2007
    The Republic of Neptune
    It's worth reading this write-up about the real-world performance between those two models:
    How much faster are the "Early 2009/Nehalem" Mac Pro models than the "Early 2008" Mac Pro models? @

    Based on that alone, I think the 4,1 model is a no brainer. Despite the "downgrade" in the number of CPU cores, most of the other components and specs are significant improvements and all help make this a faster machine.

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    My vote is for the 2009 Nehalem 4,1 Mac Pro.

    - 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

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Go with the 4.1.

    To substrate this, Mactracker quotes Geekbench tests on a 3.1 with 2.8GHz at 7,685.

    A 4.1 with 2.93GHz returns a reading of 14,904. Twice as fast.
    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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