Older Mac Pro Questions

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Hello all

Are any of these older mac pros any good for picture and video editing? Also how expandable are they? Am I able to add upgrades later on in terms of RAM etc?

Im not well versed in mac towers but the specs seem pretty good if a bit old. I have been looking for machines with more cores.

option one:

Apple Mac Pro 2 1 3 0GHz 8 Core 5GB RAM 500GB HD Dual Quad Xeon A1186 | eBay

option two:

Apple MacPro Mac Pro 2 8GHz Quad Core 2008 MA970LL A A1186 MACPRO3 1 | eBay

option three:

Apple Mac Pro 3 0GHz Quad Core 2006 MA356LL A 10GB 500GB C | eBay

If any one could take a look and give me a verdict I'd really appreciate it.

thanks

Jack
 

pigoo3

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I would get option #2…the Mac Pro 3,1. It's the easiest one to upgrade.

- Nick
 
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Thanks Nick,

Would you say that machine has plenty of power? Id be looking to do RAM and maybe graphics card upgrades if possible.
 

pigoo3

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Officially…options 1 & 3 max. out with OS 10.7.5. Option #2 can be upgraded to the latest OS.

This is the biggest compromise of these three computers…OS upgradeability.

Skip option #3 completely…both because it's over priced & the OS issue.

If you absolutely know that the software you use is capable of using all cores available (not all software is written to do this)…then the 8 cores of option #1 would be the fastest/most powerful option of the three. But then you have to OS upgradeability limitation.

- Nick
 
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Ok

Thats so great info thank you. I didn't realise the OS limitation.

I do mostly photo editing. Thats why I was looking for more cores. BUT if I wanted to go video as well how would the 4 core machine fair with that do you think?

Thanks

Jack.
 

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I do mostly photo editing. Thats why I was looking for more cores. BUT if I wanted to go video as well how would the 4 core machine fair with that do you think?

This is sort of like asking someone…"How long is a piece of rope?"…without showing them the rope!;)

- I don't know what apps you use.
- I don't know how complex the projects are.

I will tell you this…the cpu benchmark score of the 2008 quad-core Mac Pro 3,1 (5516)…is slightly less than the cpu benchmark score of of a brand new entry level 2-core Mac-Mini (5666).

So cpu-wise…an entry level 2012 2-core Mac-Mini is a fast as a 2008 4-core Mac Pro. And a 4-core 2012 Mac-Mini is 2x as fast as a 2008 4-core Mac Pro.

Of course the Mac Pro can have 4 internal HD's, multiple video cards/better video cards…and run lots of monitors.

Get a new quad-core Mac-Mini…and the cpu benchmark score jumps to 11639.

- Nick

p.s. And just so you know…the cpu benchmark score of (option #1) the 2007 8-core Mac Pro 2,1)…is 11071. Similar/a little less to the 4-core Mac-Mini. But remember…with the option #1 Mac Pro you have the OS limitation issue.
 
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A1286 MBP5,3 running 10.9.5, iphone6, Mac mini1,1 A1176 120/2gb
I am very happy with my A1186. does all I want it to. Audio/Video/Pictures. Would buy it again.
 
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Sorry I should have been more specific.

I use Lightroom a lot as well as Photoshop. Also starting to use Premier Pro as well. So all the usual apps for photo/ video.

Ah I see. I thought it might be to good to be true! Not really much point in buying an old 4 core machine that is only as powerful as a new 2 core machine. Its the cores I want as thats what Ps and Lr are using the most.

So, save up and buy something newer?

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

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Ah I see. I thought it might be to good to be true! Not really much point in buying an old 4 core machine that is only as powerful as a new 2 core machine. Its the cores I want as thats what Ps and Lr are using the most.

- If you got option #1 (2007 Mac Pro, 8-core) it has a benchmark score of 11071...and would cost $465.
- If you got a brand new quad-core Mac-Mini with a benchmark score of 11639...it would cost $799.

As can be seen...the cpu benchmarks scores are fairly similar...and the cost of the Mac Pro is $300+ lower.

But with the Mac Pro...you would have to be ok with a max. OS of 10.7.5...AND...your versions of Photoshop & Lightroom need to be compatible with OS 10.7.5.

And finally (as mentioned above) the Mac Pro has 4 internal HD bays, ability to have better video cards...and more video cards. But these positives don't matter if the OS limitation is an issue.

If someone wants to save some money...sometimes you "gots" to compromise!;)

- Nick

p.s. If you wanted an 8-core Mac Pro with no OS limitation issues (for the lowest price)...then you want the 8-core version of option #2...with prices around $600-$700. With some searching & luck...maybe less.:)
 
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Silver M1 iMac 512/16/8/8 macOS 11.6
Suggest going with the 2008 Model 3.1.

It will run Mavericks OS X.9 and the shortly to be released Yosemite OS X.10. The earlier models are 32bit EFI and will not run anything later than Lion OS X.7 as Nick points out. And for what you require increase memory to 12GB and look for an ATI Radeon 5700 Mac Pro graphics card.

Later and SSD with the boot system in Bay One would be a great advantage.
 
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chas_m

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Also bear in mind that all the programs you've listed as wanting to use really REALLY benefit from a strong graphics card and lots of RAM. That may change the equation quite considerably.
 
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Also bear in mind that all the programs you've listed as wanting to use really REALLY benefit from a strong graphics card and lots of RAM. That may change the equation quite considerably.

I didn't think that was the case? From a lot of my other reading it seems that Ps and Lr are more dependant on multiple cores of the CPU rather than the GPU. that and more RAM.

It was my understanding that powerful GPU's were geared to wards video. Is that not the case? I primarily edit photos. I use Premier on the side.

Thanks for all the help guys.

I did a quick search for the 8 core 3.1 with not much luck
 
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chas_m

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Everything in the OS is now very heavily dependent on a good graphics card. I noticed a HUGE jump in responsiveness in LR and iPhone and Photoshop when I moved up to a machine with better (still lame by Mac Pro standards, but 4x better for me) graphics chipset. And this was before I upgraded the RAM, which made another big difference. I'm sure cores are nice too, but graphics programs rely on the graphics card for a lot of things the CPU used to do.
 

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pigoo3

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I didn't think that was the case? From a lot of my other reading it seems that Ps and Lr are more dependant on multiple cores of the CPU rather than the GPU.

I would say do some heavy duty research (expert reviews, forums dedicated to this sort of project work) into what makes Photoshop & Lightroom run well (great graphics, more cpu cores, or both). More ram is almost a given (no doubts here).:)

This way you know exactly what to purchase.:)

- Nick
 
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Well thank you sir!

Now that the conversation has turned to GPU's what do you think? and what would my options be in terms of upgrading the graphics in this delightful machine you so kindly found :D
 

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Now that the conversation has turned to GPU's what do you think? and what would my options be in terms of upgrading the graphics in this delightful machine you so kindly found :D

With the different Mac Pro models it gets a little confusing. See there are official "Mac versions" of video cards...and "Windows versions" of the same video card. The Mac versions are expensive...the Windows versions are less. But you can't just use any Windows video card (just certain models...I think).

If I was to purchase one...I would go with the Mac version of the Radeon 5770 (5870 if you have a bigger budget). The 5870 is basically 2x as fast as the 5770.

Hopefully member "harryb" will jump in...he knows a bunch about earlier Mac Pro's and some video card options.:)

- Nick
 
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the plot thickens

do you think a GPU that would be compatible with one of the "mackintosh" builds would work?

I realise thats a bit of an ambiguous question thats the best I could word it O:)
 

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do you think a GPU that would be compatible with one of the "mackintosh" builds would work?

I realise thats a bit of an ambiguous question thats the best I could word it O:)

I can help be more clear.;) If you mean "hackintosh"...we don't discuss that here.;)

I can throw a bunch of video card model numbers at you:

- 7300
- 2600
- 8800
- 1900
- 5770
- 5870

There are more...and the 5770 and 5870 are the best in the list...and there are even better ones out there too (and they cost more).

Go to Everymac.com...and search thru the different Mac Pro models (probably 2010 & before) to see what they had in them. This will give you some ideas. I'm not so familiar with the Windows video card model numbers that work in Mac Pro's (except there are both Mac & Windows versions of some of the cards I mentioned above).

- Nick
 

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