Canadian Mac Forums at ehMac banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 2008 mac pro that was advertised as a quad core 2.8 and I got a really sweet deal on it. I took it for what he said and started using it. I recently went into system report and about this mac (don't know why I missed this) and see 2x 2.8 quad core and under hardware overview I see 8 cores. I am assuming now I have the 8 core and not the advertised quad core? Sorry if I sound stupid here but can someone confirm this?
Also when he sold this he advertised 32g ram, I just assumed 8x 4g sticks but it actually has 4x 8g sticks on one board and a single 8g on the second. I sent away for a match for the single and two more to fill it up, again I got a sweet deal on the three sticks.
Opinions from anyone, if I can get two quad core 3.2 Xeon cpu's for $40, would it be worth the investment? With the added ram (total 64gb) and original purchase I have $150 invested in this old girl. I live in the maritimes so these machines are few and far between ( I know its old but she still has life left in her). If I do I would have a total investment for a 3.2 - 8 core Xeon 64g ram and 2tb of storage $200.
Thanks for any input guys.

Recipe Font Screenshot Ingredient Brand

Rectangle Screenshot Font Parallel Number
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
I'd leave the processor alone. Eight core 2.8 GHz is plenty fast enough. Changing the processor involves removing the giant heat sink, and you may also run into processor compatibility issues if you haven't selected the proper chips. It's not worth the effort or risk.

There's no need for more ram either, since 32 gigs is more than enough for this machine already. If you need more, you must be a power user, and this machine won't meet your needs anyway. Another issue with these 3,1 models is that they're very fussy about ram. It may take several tries and reinsertions to get the ram recognized, even if it's the proper type.

Leave well enough alone. You've already got it topped out, so you just risk bricking it by doing something stupid and unnecessary.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd leave the processor alone. Eight core 2.8 GHz is plenty fast enough. Changing the processor involves removing the giant heat sink, and you may also run into processor compatibility issues if you haven't selected the proper chips. It's not worth the effort or risk.

There's no need for more ram either, since 32 gigs is more than enough for this machine already. If you need more, you must be a power user, and this machine won't meet your needs anyway. Another issue with these 3,1 models is that they're very fussy about ram. It may take several tries and reinsertions to get the ram recognized, even if it's the proper type.

Leave well enough alone. You've already got it topped out, so you just risk bricking it by doing something stupid and unnecessary.
Thanks for the response Rob, I was kinda thinking the difference in cpu speed with the age of it alone was cause to not do it. So are you saying this is what I thought? - it being an 8 core (2 quads) and not the quad as the seller advertised?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
The only thing that will have a significant impact is adding an SSD, assuming it doesn't have one already. An SSD will make a huge improvement, and is easy and cheap to do.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The only thing that will have a significant impact is adding an SSD, assuming it doesn't have one already. An SSD will make a huge improvement, and is easy and cheap to do.
I agree, and have plans to do it! Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,932 Posts
I did exactly that with my 2008. It was a hybrid drive with the OS on the SSD portion. It really sped up performance, and decreased boot time
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did exactly that with my 2008. It was a hybrid drive with the OS on the SSD portion. It really sped up performance, and decreased boot time
Just added a 240gb ssd I had kicking around and it really did make a difference!

Now I have a
-2008 8 core (2x2.8Ghz Quad -Core Xeon)
-32gb ram (4x8gb 667 Mhz)
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 2048mb
-240gb SSD startup disk
-1TB + 1.5TB + 2TB HHD's
-MacOS Sierra 10.12.6
-Dual Acer P246HL monitors
-Harmon Kardon Soundsticks and transparent subwoofer
-Wireless Mac Keyboard and Mouse

Thanks guys!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,117 Posts
Just added a 240gb ssd I had kicking around and it really did make a difference!
I would sure be surprised if it hadn't made a big difference, but I'm coming in late and a bit confused going by what I read, and that is that Mac model it's only supposed to be able to run a maximum MacOS: X 10.11.x*

So I was a bit surprised to see it running MacOS 10.12: Sierra.

Just curious here... 😇 but nothing wrong with that if it's running properly.


- Patrick
=======
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would sure be surprised if it hadn't made a big difference, but I'm coming in late and a bit confused going by what I read, and that is that Mac model it's only supposed to be able to run a maximum MacOS: X 10.11.x*

So I was a bit surprised to see it running MacOS 10.12: Sierra.

Just curious here... 😇 but nothing wrong with that if it's running properly.


- Patrick
=======
Hey Patrick thanks for the response! Coming in late still helps! Can you look at the specs I gave in the pics above and tell whether its quad or dual quad? I'm thinking from Rob's responses that its dual quad.
I had a HHD kicking around with High Sierra 10.13, installed and this thing boot up no problem! The only problem is I think a favourite game won't run on it - 32/64 bit change?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
The second screen shot in your original post says there are 2 processors at 2.8 GHz with 4 cores (Quad) in each processor (for a total of 8 cores).

The first screen shot shows that it is an early 2008 Mac Pro, while the second screen shot shows the Model Identifier as MacPro3.1, which also confirms it's the 2008 model.

The 3,1 machines from 2008 are only supported up to El Capitan. There are some hacks that will allow you to install Sierra through to Catalina, but anything above High Sierra needs a Metal compatible video card.

I've been using the DosDude1 hack to run High Sierra. dosdude1's Personal Web Server - Software

I'm about 95% certain you can't run these Macs on anything higher than El Capitan without a hack. It's extremely unlikely a random High Sierra install from another Mac will work on these machines.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The second screen shot in your original post says there are 2 processors at 2.8 GHz with 4 cores (Quad) in each processor (for a total of 8 cores).

The first screen shot shows that it is an early 2008 Mac Pro, while the second screen shot shows the Model Identifier as MacPro3.1, which also confirms it's the 2008 model.

The 3,1 machines from 2008 are only supported up to El Capitan. There are some hacks that will allow you to install Sierra through to Catalina, but anything above High Sierra needs a Metal compatible video card.

I've been using the DosDude1 hack to run High Sierra. dosdude1's Personal Web Server - Software

I'm about 95% certain you can't run these Macs on anything higher than El Capitan without a hack. It's extremely unlikely a random High Sierra install from another Mac will work on these machines.
Thanks Rob
I don’t know why but it has run fine on sierra since I bought it, the previous owner did a firmware update. I know this because I looked into it when my Microsoft programs refused to run saying it was a G5 unit. Whether the firmware is the reason or not I’m not sure. I haven’t done anything like a hack on it, not even sure what else was done by the previous owner. I am going to experiment with other drives I have, installing newer os’s on them using a newer Mac for the install. Not sure how far I will get past the high sierra I ran, might top out there, but I will post what happens.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,932 Posts
Agreed with Rob. A random install of High Sierra from another machine is unlikely to perform on a Mac Pro 2008. I've tried the dosdude patches and gotten therm to work, but they're finicky. Apparently an Nvidia card makes it work better, so you're well set.

Don't hold me to this but I think your Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 will get you to Mojave, with some patches.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
Here's the dilemma.

High Sierra stopped being supported in 2020, and Mojave stopped being supported at the end of 2021. This means that there will be no security updates for these machines any more. If you're careful, it may not be an immediate problem, but it will certainly become a problem shortly. The biggest concern is going to be your web browser, since that's the biggest security vulnerability. Firefox, Chrome, and other third party browser makers will still offer updated versions with the latest security features, for a while, but Safari won't. Those third party browsers will eventually drop support for these older operating systems too. This has already happened for Snow Leopard. The latest version of any popular browser will not work on Snow Leopard, so you're stuck using a very old version that is insecure, and doesn't support the newest web features.

The sad truth is that Apple is intentionally obsoleting this old hardware by making it impossible to add basic security updates. Your 2008 Mac Pro will be blazing fast running Snow Leopard, but is crippled by the operating system security risk. Since the operating system is a security risk, software developers won't update their third party software to work with that operating system. It's a vicious cycle of built in obsolescence.

It used to be that Apple supported their products and customers much better than Microsoft, but the tables have turned completely these days. Apple are now the scum sucking ewaste producers of this new millennia, while Microsoft have been much better at supporting older hardware, and keeping it out of the junk yard. I'm writing this now on a 12 year old Dell laptop that's running the latest version of Windows 10, with the latest version of Firefox, and all the latest security updates at least once a month. This is likely to continue for many years yet.

If you're looking long term, it doesn't make sense anymore to consider a used Mac. I've given up on Mac laptops entirely, since they can't be upgraded easily in hardware, and after about 5 years old they become a security risk.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here's the dilemma.

High Sierra stopped being supported in 2020, and Mojave stopped being supported at the end of 2021. This means that there will be no security updates for these machines any more. If you're careful, it may not be an immediate problem, but it will certainly become a problem shortly. The biggest concern is going to be your web browser, since that's the biggest security vulnerability. Firefox, Chrome, and other third party browser makers will still offer updated versions with the latest security features, for a while, but Safari won't. Those third party browsers will eventually drop support for these older operating systems too. This has already happened for Snow Leopard. The latest version of any popular browser will not work on Snow Leopard, so you're stuck using a very old version that is insecure, and doesn't support the newest web features.

The sad truth is that Apple is intentionally obsoleting this old hardware by making it impossible to add basic security updates. Your 2008 Mac Pro will be blazing fast running Snow Leopard, but is crippled by the operating system security risk. Since the operating system is a security risk, software developers won't update their third party software to work with that operating system. It's a vicious cycle of built in obsolescence.

It used to be that Apple supported their products and customers much better than Microsoft, but the tables have turned completely these days. Apple are now the scum sucking ewaste producers of this new millennia, while Microsoft have been much better at supporting older hardware, and keeping it out of the junk yard. I'm writing this now on a 12 year old Dell laptop that's running the latest version of Windows 10, with the latest version of Firefox, and all the latest security updates at least once a month. This is likely to continue for many years yet.

If you're looking long term, it doesn't make sense anymore to consider a used Mac. I've given up on Mac laptops entirely, since they can't be upgraded easily in hardware, and after about 5 years old they become a security risk.
I appreciate the help Rob, the 2008 is not my main machine though, it's more of a home office/gaming toy that barely ever goes online for anything. My main machine is the 2012 MacBook pro I bought refurbished from Apple in 2013. It's probably going to be the last one I buy new/refurbished. I actually have three of them, mine, my wife and a spare I bought that was all messed up and got for dirt cheap, only thing I couldn't fix was the optical drive. It's more a backup if something goes wrong with the other two.
I tried Mojave on the 2008 and it wasn't even recognized as a boot option but I played around on the High Sierra version and ran Quake 4 on it with no issues. I still need to upgrade my 2012 but I'm not sure which version I should go to. The spare I bought was actually loaded with Catalina so I might play around with it for a while.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,932 Posts
It used to be that Apple supported their products and customers much better than Microsoft, but the tables have turned completely these days. Apple are now the scum sucking ewaste producers of this new millennia, while Microsoft have been much better at supporting older hardware, and keeping it out of the junk yard.
Agreed. The hoops I had to jump through to downgrade my 2008 Mac Pro to Yosemite so I could use it with an AJA KONA video capture system were brutal. All of the difficulty was attributable to deliberate roadblocks and obfuscation put in place by Apple to prevent me from doing something that was once easy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Agreed. The hoops I had to jump through to downgrade my 2008 Mac Pro to Yosemite so I could use it with an AJA KONA video capture system were brutal. All of the difficulty was attributable to deliberate roadblocks and obfuscation put in place by Apple to prevent me from doing something that was once easy.
I also agree, in the past I've tried reinstalling older OS and they are difficult to find at the best of times. And I also have tried downgrading but it seems near impossible to the point I have just formatted and reinstalled which starts the vicious cycle of trying to find the older versions of an OS.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,211 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I updated my 2008 Mac Pro 240g SSD from Sierra to High Sierra using an external usb running through my main 2012 MacBook pro and decided to leave it at that. The 2008 is still fast, responsive and I can live with this for the office and gaming.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top