5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2013 8:21 AM by The hatter
Maronan Level 1 (0 points)

While I'm still happy with it, my Power Mac G4 tower is really showing its age, and I decided to get a used Mac Pro to replace it. (A new Mac Pro, in addition to be expensive, would not run Rosetta.)


I found a first-generation Mac Pro (the Mac Pro 1,1 model) for a very reasonable price at a local store.

I found a later-generation Mac Pro (either a Mac Pro 2,1 or 3,1 model) for $250 more than the first-generation machine.


So... in the esteemed opinions of the Mac Community, is a second- or third-generation Mac Pro worth $250 more than a first-generation model?


Also, is the processor in a Mac Pro upgradeable like it is with the Power Mac towers? If so, can it be replaced with standard PC parts, given that it's an Intel Mac?


And I heard the first-generation Mac Pro had compatibility problems with more modern graphics cards; is that true? If so, it might be a problem since I already know I'll be replacing the stock card.

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    ANY Mac Pro may or should be able to run 10.6.8.


    Even though it ships with ML if you can get 10.6.5+


    You can run 10.6.x in a VM too under ML.


    I would avoid 1,1 thru 3,1 though. Not knowing the price but a 2010 can be had from Apple for $1800. Plan on that as base entry system.

  • Maronan Level 1 (0 points)

    I thought the logic board change in the current generation Mac Pro meant it couldn't boot Snow Leopard (and that 10.6 wouldn't run in a virtual machine except for the server edition).


    I found a 2009 model for $1,200— that's the Mac Pro 4,1 and the first Nehalem model. Good deal?

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    the logicboard has not changed. the EFI firmware might. The $1800 5,1 from Apple Store Specials but seems you got a good alternative.

  • Gerald Edgar Level 3 (615 points)

    I got a new Mac Pro 5,1 last year.  I had OS 10.6.8 on an HD from my old Mac Pro 1,1.  I put that HD in, and it boots fine.

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    There is the "Pre-Mid-2012" and then there are the "latest" boards that came out last summer.


    During 2011 and when systems stopped shipping with Snow Leopard, and hence, without the OEM DVD, it was a question and yes you don't have to use Lion (or Mountain Lion). But you may need 10.6.8 thumb drive, the retail DVD 10.6.3 won't work


    OP is coming from G4 PowerMac world and would not have 10.6.8 or the discs.


    So we know you can make it work but not sure how that helps.


    The only processor upgrade that most do is $600 W3680 - if needed (likely you won't).


    the issue with grahic card? some rumor or didn't understand? they need 10.6.5. And if you REALLY want to go all out on GTX 670 or something you need 10.8.2, which is excellent reason to stay with Mountain Lion.