Thread: Inherited a Mac Pro 3,1 GPU and Upgrade questions

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  1. #1 Inherited a Mac Pro 3,1 GPU and Upgrade questions 
    Senior Member mexicanmanchild's Avatar
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    So as the title says I inherited a Mac Pro 3,1 8 core 2,8ghz CPU, Radeon 4870 with 512mb of ram and 20 Gb Of memory from my business partner (upgraded to trashcan) . I understand fully that this is a machine from 2008 and that the clock is running on it, but I'm only looking to use it for 12-16 months while I save money after I took advantage of the URSA to Mini Pro upgrade and updating my lenses and selling the URSA major when I'm comfortable to fully switch to the pro. after that I'll turn it into a OS X server/windows machine for gaming and use it to burn the occasional blu ray and DVD as I'm still asked for that from time to time. I run the entire spectrum of Creative Cloud but use mostly Lightroom and premiere. Sometimes I'll use Davinci for heavy lifting.

    With all this in mind I've got roughly a 500$ budget to upgrade. So I wanted some suggestions as to what upgrades people would suggest. I'm thinking

    Max out the RAM to 32gb currently has 4x4 in riser A and 4x1 in riser B so would purchase another 16 GB

    update the gpu I haven't tested the 4870 much yet but I'm sure an Nvidia would be better?

    Add an USB 3.0 card mac sales has two versions one for 60 and one for 110

    LG Blu Ray burner 80$

    I don't really want to upgrade the CPU as it's not as easy in the later models.

    Hard drives I won't totally count for in this budget because it's just the cost of doing business. But I def could use suggestions in this regard too.

    I shoot the occasional 4K but mostly shoot HD Pro Res and RAW for various clients. I'm also shooting a short in a few months on the Pro and the micro and will likely shoot 2k RAW, as the film needs good slomo and I think the crop would work well for the story. I won't do all the editing but I'll need to be able to run the project comfortably. Any suggestions would help, and as I said. I know it's an older computer I'm saving for something new, I just need help with the current situation and filling this stop gap measure while I wait for new iMacs to be announced. I also have access to the trash can as a safety net.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member rick.lang's Avatar
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    Carlos, I hope you have better luck than I did when I wanted to upgrade old memory. You're basically looking at almost ten year old memory and finding the right memory may be an issue and the cost of the memory will be far more now than what it cost then because no one is manufacturing ten year old memory. New memory with higher capacity is cheap in comparison.
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  3. #3  
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    About the only thing worth upgrading might be the video card, even then PCIE 2.0 will become a bottle neck. You can find the FB Dimm's Fairly cheap but IMO I wouldn't waste the money, you will be hitting other bottle necks besides ram in this system..

    https://www.amazon.com/Komputerbay-P...f_rd_i=desktop
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member rick.lang's Avatar
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    Well that is good news in terms of the memory cost and could be a good upgrade. When I wanted to replace memory in my PowerMac a few years ago, it was a small fortune.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member mexicanmanchild's Avatar
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    Bottlenecks everywhere!!! Fml. Lol.
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  6. #6  
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    I have this exact same machine and have been using it for the past 10 years. The machine has served me well and still does. Yes, it can get bogged down sometimes but that just means you get a chance to grab a cup of tea or go for a break. In order to keep the machine going I have upgraded the following:

    - changed all drives to be ssd
    - added a sonnet tempo pcie ssd
    - added usb 3.0 card
    - installed a nvidia force gtx titan x graphics card
    - increased ram in the machine to 32GB


    Yes some of the items above maybe overkill for this machine but they can also be moved onto my next machine.

    It is tough but I am being very patient waiting for the next upgradable Mac Pro whenever that comes.
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