Looking at older Mac Pro for iOS Dev, Photoshop, etc.

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As the title states, I'm looking for an older Mac Pro (one that won't break the bank with the initial cost) that will handle the latest OS X version and work with the latest X Code tools while allowing me to use the machine for my web development, photoshop, and other "productivity needs"

Peripherals are not required, as I have a solid monitor as well as mouse/keyboard to be used with this machine.

What would be the oldest machine I could go with that would meet these needs?

I don't need too much processing power, or a lot of RAM or storage since I run an old Dell Precision 690 as a file server.

I've seen the values on ebay really, really vary, and I'm weary of purchasing something like this from a vendor that resells/refurbs these kinds of devices while doing an improper job; however, if a recommendation can be made, I would consider it.

Thanks!
 
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Yeah, I'd rather not have to pay for any software bundles as I already have the software I intend to use. I'd likely end up reformatting the machine anyway to start fresh.

Not a fan of using someone's previous install.
 

pigoo3

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I don't need too much processing power, or a lot of RAM or storage since I run an old Dell Precision 690 as a file server.

If you don't need a lot of processing power, not a lot of ram, or a lot of storage…why are you considering a Mac Pro. Instead of another Apple model computer…such as a MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac-Mini, or an iMac?

- Nick
 

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You're right.

I think I'll just get a Mac Mini.

Depending what model Mac Pro you would get. The oldest Mac Pro that I would recommend (same a Harry mentioned above)…would be a Mac Pro 3,1. I've seen these on eBay for about $400-$500.

A Mac Pro 3,1 would be a great computer…especially if you use software that would take advantage of all the cpu cores. Otherwise you could take the same $400-$500 and consider another model Apple computer.

$400-$500 would certainly get you an older used Mac-Mini…but it probably wouldn't be as powerful as the Mac Pro 3,1. You could purchase a brand new low-end Mac-mini for $499…and this would be as good as some older Mac-Mini's.:)

And of course a Mac-mini is MUCH more portable than a Mac Pro. But…a Mac Pro 3,1 would be a pretty decent computer.:)

I was only throwing the question out there about why would you want a Mac Pro if you didn't need a lot of cpu power, lot of ram, or a lot of storage…when usually these are exactly the reasons why someone DOES WANT to get a Mac Pro.:)

- Nick
 
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I should have rephrased my initial question, in that I want a Mac Pro, but not ones that's totally optioned out to the teeth with more than I'd need.

I have two MacBook Pros, and while they're fantastic machines, I can't deal with having it take up space on my actual desktop. Factor in packing it up and unpacking it every day too (the other MBP serves as a computer for my mom for her travels).

So with that said, portability isn't concerned, and I've got plenty of space NEXT to my desk for another tower. Aesthetically, I also love the look of the older Mac Pros (can't get into the new, cylindrical shape which apparently has heat dispersion issues), making it one of the more attractive workstations out there.

Computational power of a server-grade workstation is desired, which a Mac Mini, iMac, or another MBP, just can't offer; what I don't want is spend money on something that had every top option Apple offered.

I've seen some decent 2011s and 2012s for less than $1500. Which is in the range I'm looking at as well if I were to go for something newer. However, I wanted to know what the absolute oldest generation machine I could acquire that would serve my needs.
 

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However, I wanted to know what the absolute oldest generation machine I could acquire that would serve my needs.
I think this might be a dangerous goal to set for a machine. Buying the oldest possible working machine for now is, long term, going to do you little good as that machine will become outdated even quicker (making your investment look useless in no time). Add to that your rather "limited" needs (iOS and web dev don't require much in the way of resources and Photoshop, as I understand it, just needs RAM) and I'd say that an upgraded Mini is exactly what you want.
 
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I had no intention of actually purchasing the oldest possible machine; I was curious to see what the actual ballpark would be. This means that if I bought a 2011 or 2012 Mac Pro, and 2008 is that absolutely OLDEST I could go, I know I'll be set for a while with the later model based on the trend of how long these computers general can keep up with modern software/tech.

Nothing I do is excessively processor intensive, no, but when I am doing these things, I tend to have a lot of windows open and find myself multitasking between things (this is where CPU usage and RAM comes into play) and taking advantage of my multi-monitor setup (hence the use for the HD5870) without any input lag as I've discovered when attempting to hook up more than two monitors to a 2012+ Mac Mini.
 

pigoo3

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I should have rephrased my initial question, in that I want a Mac Pro, but not ones that's totally optioned out to the teeth with more than I'd need.

Computational power of a server-grade workstation is desired, which a Mac Mini, iMac, or another MBP, just can't offer; what I don't want is spend money on something that had every top option Apple offered.

Thanks for clarifying things.:) But if this is the case...why were you so quick to say:

I think I'll just get a Mac Mini.

…in your post earlier in the thread??:)

- Nick

p.s. Thanks for mentioning your budget as well (up to $1500) that helps.:)
 
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chas_m

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As one of your requirements was for "iOS development," please note that Apple and Xcode generally tend to favor newer machines for development, so trying to go for a model older than 2012 is probably not-very-long-term folly.
 
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Thanks for clarifying things.:) But if this is the case...why were you so quick to say:



…in your post earlier in the thread??:)

- Nick

p.s. Thanks for mentioning your budget as well (up to $1500) that helps.:)

Bit of a tongue-in-cheek response, and I apologize for that.

As one of your requirements was for "iOS development," please note that Apple and Xcode generally tend to favor newer machines for development, so trying to go for a model older than 2012 is probably not-very-long-term folly.

Already noted, and based on the flow of software, that's pretty much a given.

I'd also like to eventually get into applications for OSX itself, so the later the machine, the better.

However, I've seen older machines command the same value as a brand new machine due to their extensive options. At which point I just ponder getting the latest and greatest, paying now to cry once, instead of crying later and paying more for another machine.

My only concerns stem from what I've heard about inadequate cooling with the latest generation.
 
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chas_m

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I've neither seen any reports of this, nor heard anything here (and believe me, we would have if this were a genuine issue), so I'd have to say what you've heard is probably crap.
 

pigoo3

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Bit of a tongue-in-cheek response, and I apologize for that.

No problems at all. Just want to be sure you get what you need!:)

- Nick
 
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I've neither seen any reports of this, nor heard anything here (and believe me, we would have if this were a genuine issue), so I'd have to say what you've heard is probably crap.

I've assumed as much given that I haven't actually read anything significant on the issue, perhaps just another ugly rumor to turn folks off from Macs all together.

I am much more familiar with the older bodies, as well as even older machines such as the G3 and G4 which we used extensively in our video editing classes back in high school before getting the Intel-based 5400 Mac Pros in early 2008 (MacPro 3,1) and they were fantastic machines. More than up to the task of what we needed them for back then, and that pretty much first started my desire to own one myself.

No problems at all. Just want to be sure you get what you need!:)

- Nick

It is indeed a bit of a struggle when it comes to looking for exactly what I want for the right price. As someone who also enjoys tinkering on cars and what not, finding the right project or parts car for the right price is always something I'm battling with.

I feel a 2012 model is probably going to be exactly what I want, what I'm researching now is the price point I want to purchase at. If they're on a downward trend, it may serve me to wait several months and purchase then.

It's rather funny, because someone sold a 2012 Mac Pro optioned out to the teeth with cinema display for $400!!! Screenshots verified the specs and all as well as the release date. Someone either didn't know what they had, or they just wanted it gone. Needless to say, the seller replied that the machine sold within the first hour of listing! Someone got a serious deal.
 
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Good luck with your Mac search and maybe it will improve now that your car avatar has righted itself and is now on it's wheels rather than upside down on its roof.

Things go better when they're where they should be. ;) :D
 

pigoo3

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I feel a 2012 model is probably going to be exactly what I want, what I'm researching now is the price point I want to purchase at. If they're on a downward trend, it may serve me to wait several months and purchase then.

Used computer prices are almost always on a downward thread. VERY rarely does a price for a used computer see an upward trend.

It's rather funny, because someone sold a 2012 Mac Pro optioned out to the teeth with cinema display for $400!!! Screenshots verified the specs and all as well as the release date. Someone either didn't know what they had, or they just wanted it gone. Needless to say, the seller replied that the machine sold within the first hour of listing! Someone got a serious deal.

WOW…that was a TERRIFIC deal. Someone really got a steal on that computer!

- Nick
 
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Used computer prices are almost always on a downward thread. VERY rarely does a price for a used computer see an upward trend.

WOW…that was a TERRIFIC deal. Someone really got a steal on that computer!

- Nick


I don't know if the recently discontinued iPod Classic would be considered a "computer", but the recent sold prices have been skyrocketing, and some have sold for unbelievable prices - often well over the $1,000,00± mark.

But regardless, that was an unbelievable GOOD BUY for that Mac and its extras and peripherals. WOW!!!

And assuming it was all in good working condition… ;)
 

pigoo3

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I don't know if the recently discontinued iPod Classic would be considered a "computer", but the recent sold prices have been skyrocketing, and some have sold for unbelievable prices - often well over the $1,000,00± mark.

Certainly the exception…not the rule.:)

I can list a few Apple computer models that have appreciated over the years (usually still less than their original selling price). But then again…I can also list 100's of Apple computer models that have seriously fallen in price (like just about all older used computers).;)

Thanks for mentioning it. Always interesting to hear of old electronic items that are selling for decent prices.:)

- Nick
 

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