Is an old Mac Pro Worth It in 2015? Watch this Review.
Hey how’s it going people, Michael here and Thank you for tuning in to used gadgets And in this episode, I’m going to try To help you determine whether or not Buying an older Mac Pro is worth it in 2015 First off this video is not a battle between Mac OS X, or Linux or Windows So let’s not get into a war of words about which operating system is more superior I have all 3 operating systems running Somewhere around here and each one has a special place in my heart Secondly, this video is meant for people considering purchasing their first Mac Pro Or maybe they already received one As a present And it’s an older Mac Pro and they are Undecided whether or not to keep it or Upgrade to a newer model.
So let me introduce you to my 2006 Mac Pro which I purchased back in 2012 When I bought it it was already 6 years old And it came preinstalled with Mac OS X Code named Leopard And then it’s now currently running Mac OS X code named Lion This was apple’s last computer to move Up into the Intel platform It was designed to work with high definition Audio and video And these applications demand storage and memory that was not commonly found in desktop computers The codecs used also required high levels of processing and multi-threading which was why it had not 1 but 2 CPU sockets on the motherboard with multi-core CPU’s Even today, it’s uncommon to find 2 CPU sockets in consumer motherboards Now the question is “Is it still worth it to buy this Mac Pro in 2015?” Well, that’s an ambiguous question which requires a bit of quantifiable measurements So first, let’s define what it means to be “worth it” As I mentioned earlier, the Mac Pro was designed for digital video and audio editing.
Both Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro run great on it which is perfect for creating personal videos, or small time video production It is also powerful enough to handle processor intensive rendering of animations And if you are into photography, when used with a good photo management tool it is also a great machine for managing your photos There is also excellent support for hardware and software for producing music and sound effects So you will need to ask yourself how much post-production work will you be doing on the Mac Pro? Is it worth getting if all you’re doing is watching YouTube videos? Well we all know that Mac’s cost double the amount of an equivalent Windows-based PC And from the surface, you might be thinking why that is when underneath, it is just a clone PC Right? Well, no not really Consider this: This Mac was made in 2006 Any PC that I had back in 2006 are now long gone Let me give you another example This is a 2013 Windows 7 laptop that cost me $300 brand new and when it was new, it took 3 minutes to get to the desktop Today, it takes 10 minutes, and the hard drive would still be hammering It takes 1 minute for Firefox to open and I have multiple pop-up windows because of malware infection I would not even dare render a video on this laptop This is a 9 year old computer and it takes 45 seconds to get to the desktop Obviously, a newer computer at twice the cost will boot up in just 30 seconds but is a 15 second improvement worth the upgrade to you? How about triple the cost for a 20 second improvement? But boot time contests follow the laws of diminishing returns So let’s extrapolate that to something like video production will you be exporting sequences that take 45 minutes to render Will a 15 minute improvement be worth it? How about a 20 minute improvement? One of the advantages of the Mac Pro is that it has 2 CPU sockets On this machine, I can boot into Windows 7 Professional which takes advantage of 2 CPU sockets each having 4 cores giving me a total of 8 By the way, originally this had 2 dual core CPU’s I upgraded it to 2 quad core CPU’s a few months after I bought it The extra cores make it convenient for me to run virtual machines because I still need Windows to do my accounting I can dedicate 2 cores to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine without logging out of OS X It makes video rendering a lot faster because of this but at a price This is one of the downfalls of an older Mac Pro The outdated Xeon processor in it consumes a lot of power and when all 8 cores are at 100% it would be consuming electricity equivalent to running 3 – 100 watt light bulbs But in the winter, it makes a great space heater because even at idle it would still consume 175 watts My 2008 MacBook Pro on the other hand only uses 85 watts when both cores are at 100% So you can guess which one I use if I’m just going to be surfing the web I am averaging $5 a month in my hydro bill when I use my Mac Pro 5 days a week My newer Windows 7 computer which has an i7 quad core CPU only uses about $2 a month in electricity in casual use By comparison my 8-core Linux server which is running 24-7 consumes about $10 a month This is why whenever I am not using my Mac Pro I put it to sleep or power it down Will the higher processing power be worth the cost of a higher electricity bill for you? The 2006 Mac Pro officially supported Mac OS X code named “Lion” Beyond that, you would need to do a lot of tinkering I didn’t bother… yet But if you want the latest Mac OS X, there is a way to do it The only software that I know of that no longer supports Lion is the Box sync tool which is unfortunate because I use it a lot to transfer my recorded Audio from my BlackBerry Z10 Yes, the sync still works, but it’s just a matter of time until they update the tool and then break it As for software support, you can still run the latest versions of Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro I don’t use Microsoft Office for Mac anymore I use Google Apps for that, but if you’re still into that, it fully supports Microsoft Office for Mac I have the 2003 version, I’m not sure if it will support later versions I suspect that this machine will continue to be supported by most of the software that I use for another 5 years But beyond that, I will be stuck with using older software While it doesn’t mean I will be less productive, it also means it can no longer be more productive Is it worth the risk of getting stuck with older software 5 years from now? Well, there is no contest The Mac Pro is by far the quietest computer I have around the house I remember the first time I had it running under my desk And I couldn’t tell on which side it was on because it was so quiet The next one up in terms of sound level Is my MacBook Pro Then my Windows 7 gaming PC And by far the loudest is my Linux server in the basement Which can be heard even from the second floor So it makes for a quieter audio recording when I have to shoot next to the Mac Pro Which was what I did in this video Is the silence worth it to you? If you are a Mac user, you probably already know that one of the greatest benefits of owning a Mac is that it just works And I mean everything including the data backup, USB, Firewire, and Bluetooth devices This is the Mac Pro’s greatest strength in that I have not found myself tinkering with hardware or software because of a crash, a virus, or malware Not only because Mac OS X is so stable, but because the hardware components were made to last Even the case is so thick and heavy that it feels like a tank Seriously, when I did a system restore on this thing When I upgraded my hard drives, it even restored the windows I had opened But if you feel the need to upgrade any of the components An older Mac Pro can accommodate many upgrades Like I said earlier, since I bought this Mac Pro I have already upgraded the CPU and RAM I have installed 3 drives configured in a striped RAID array giving me faster response time and more storage If I’m ever going to spend more money on this thing I would invest in an SSD drive Having said that You will be limited by the maximum bandwidth that the motherboard supports For example The highest CPU it will support is the quad core Xeon X5355 Which has a Ghz front side bus These can be had for as low as $50 on eBay today These processors, while cheap Are nothing to sneeze at Just look at this decent Geekbench score Also, the RAM frequency will be limited to 667 Mhz DDR2 And while you can install the latest SSD drive The interface will only support a maximum link speed of 3 Gigabits per second Will the limited upgradability be worth it? And finally, we come down to the purchase price These prices for a 2006 Mac Pro are accurate as of July 2015 Now these are prices for the newest Mac Pro’s And these are the prices for the newest Windows PC’s You will need to accept that Macs cost considerably more than a Windows PC of equivalent specs And that is because it uses Server grade components But the 2006 Mac Pro now costs less than a 2012 Windows desktop PC Considering all of the previous points that I have made in terms of intended use, processor speed, power consumption, software support, noise level, dependability and upgradability, is it worth it to you? Well it has been 3 years since I bought this thing and I am still using it today In fact, this video was edited using this machine and is the only machine I use to edit and render my videos My first YouTube video was a walkthrough of my 2006 Mac Pro back in 2012 and if you would like to see it go ahead and click over here So back to our original question: Is it worth buying an old Mac Pro? Let’s quantify it using the return on investment I paid $1200 for this including the upgrades over the past 3 years with a power consumption of about $5 a month That is equivalent to $460 a year Or $38 a month The total cost of downtime during the 3 years due to a crash was $0… Yes, it never crashed on me Buying the Mac Pro made an immediate impact on my productivity Over the 3 years that I have owned it It helped me deliver videos, music, sound effects, animations, websites, and mobile apps To my customers far exceeding the initial cost within the first 3 months that I owned it Was it worth it for me? Damn right it was… and it still is Would I still buy another old Mac Pro today? Absolutely.
Should you get a 2006, 2007, 2008 or a 2009 Mac Pro? Again, it will follow the laws of diminishing results especially if you are only going to be using it for web surfing Let me put it another way: If you had a budget of $2,000 and 4 employees Wwould you buy 1 dependable 12-core 2009 Mac Pro To share among them? Or 4 equally dependable 2006 Mac Pros? And on that note, I will end this episode Hey guys, let me know what you think of this video in the comments section And if you liked this video, please hit share Or hit that like button or better yet hit that subscribe button and I’ll see you in my next video Thanks for watching