Just picked up a mac pro 8 core for cheap!

This still usable in 2020?


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I know some people here may not think so but I think I got a steal of deal I picked up a 2,1 dual CPU xeon 3 ghz with 3- 1tb hard drives working fine for $25!
 

UnknownSouljer

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If you can find a use for it: great. Personally I don't think the older Mac Pro's are worth buying other than specifically dual processor 4,1 or 5,1. They are the only ones that can be (heavily) modified enough to run current tasks as well as still receive support from Apple and run Catalina (should you want to).
Still, if you want something to tinker around with, it was cheap enough.
 

KATEKATEKATE

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put an SSD in it and it will be a passably ok system. having lots of CPU cores will help. curious, how much memory did it come with and what gpu?
 

KarsusTG

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You could probably swap to an SSD and a decent linux distro and be good to go. Honestly though, you have a great start on a hackintosh if you wanted to go that way.
 

RavinDJ

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Still using my iMac from late 2009, so yes I'd say that still very usable.
Still using my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53Ghz, Mid 2009) with 8GB RAM and an SSD. And yes, VERY usable!! Just throw in the SSD.

Got mine for $1, so kinda got you beat on the steal price ;)
 

bman212121

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As a play toy? Sure it can be used. Just glancing at wiki states that the "2,1" you bought was last supported on 10.7, so the OS is way out of date. Basically anything older than a "5,1" isn't receiving security updates, so no I wouldn't be using it for a production machine. The other thing to consider is that sure it's a dual quad core system running at 3ghz. But a slightly OC'ed 2600K is still faster than that entire system. And the mac is drawing like 3x the amount of power from the wall. And it's video card is junk and it's not easy to just upgrade to something better.

I would say the main deal you got is there is no doubt that case is worth more than $25 in scrap aluminum, so worst case is you take it to the scrapper and make a profit off it. But it still is a piece of history and something that is generally more fun to just pass around and let others have a chance to play with it. I've done that in the past with some old Blue & Whites. Those were really interesting systems, and quite well built and unique. You'll never see the inside of another OEM system that was as clean as those were. Ultimately you couldn't really do anything useful with it, but it was still fun to have experienced it. So if you decide you don't want your current system after you're done using it, I would say pass it along to someone else. They can have fun playing with a piece of vintage tech and see how things were built almost 15 years ago.
 

bman212121

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Still using my iMac from late 2009, so yes I'd say that still very usable.
This is literally the last oldest model you can get away with to have OS support. It's likely going to be EOL in September, so sure it works now right up until there are no more security patches for it.

Still using my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53Ghz, Mid 2009) with 8GB RAM and an SSD. And yes, VERY usable!! Just throw in the SSD.

Got mine for $1, so kinda got you beat on the steal price ;)
I'm guessing this one you can technically still get it to upgrade, otherwise the last officially supported OS is now EOL. So sure it could be a play toy, but it's too old now for official support. I'm not actually sure if you can get 10.13 on this or if the installer tells you no.


Keep in mind the Mac Pro in the original post is from 2006, and it is 3 years older than these systems. So it's highly unlikely any supported Mac OS will have driver support for it, so it's probably using an OS that lost support over 5 years ago. It's also not 64 bit capable, so I think that rules out 10.9 from even having a chance of booting on it. In my experience Macs are also really picky about trying to boot Linux Distros, so trying to throw Linux on a Mac is generally a waste of time (YMMV). You would have been better off probably running Windows 7 on these, but that's not an option at this point either.
 
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I never expected to be able to run the newest OS but it seems very fast running El capitan and I really think I'll keep it until it breaks at which point I may just mod it for a hackintosh. After all it was only $25 for it and the case sells for $100 on ebay all the time.
 
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I'm sure you can get some use out of it as a file server at the very least, but the 32-bit EFI really holds you back on the 1,1/2,1 in terms of software support. Gotta use a custom bootloader like a Hackintosh, at which point actually Hackintoshing would be a better option.

The other huge limitations are the old Core 2-era architecture and the use of DDR2 FB-DIMMs, which are really hamstringing my 3,1 compared to the later 1st-gen i7-era 4,1/5,1 models that people still use a decade later. 32 GB worth of eight DDR2-800 FB-DIMMs is not cheap, considering how old that hardware is.

Having to source mini-PCIe to full-size PCIe power cables for a decent GPU is also a pain, as is getting something that supports boot screens for things like the Option boot select menu, and Pixla's mod is only documented for the 4,1/5,1 PSU wiring.

I'd personally stick to either making a server out of it, installing OS X Snow Leopard with Rosetta so you can run old PowerPC-era games on it, or maybe setting up Windows 10 through Boot Camp (with a bit of trickery) so it actually has a current OS with supported software, even if there are much better systems you could run Windows on nowadays with less issues stemming from no official Boot Camp driver support on Win10 for these older Mac Pros.
 

cjcox

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I know some people here may not think so but I think I got a steal of deal I picked up a 2,1 dual CPU xeon 3 ghz with 3- 1tb hard drives working fine for $25!
A Mac from 2003, that has been thrown down the stairs, run over by a truck and set on fire usually sells for $300 (weird). So, I say yes, that not just a deal, it's a true steal.
 

Verge

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A Mac from 2003, that has been thrown down the stairs, run over by a truck and set on fire usually sells for $300 (weird). So, I say yes, that not just a deal, it's a true steal.
Wha, i've seen dual g5's on craigslist for free.
 
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This isn't a G5 it's a Intel Xeon dual cpu it's not bad at all and I can at least run mac os not too old.
 
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As far as memory cost it ran me $30 to upgrade to 32 gigs and the only real issue is needing to run a different web browser than safari. I also am not a gamer and I mainly got the system for the case in which I got a total steal since if it hadn’t worked at all I would have still bought it.
I love the case and find it entirely useful.
But different strokes for different folks, depends on the use I guess.
 
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