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I just got two Mac Pro 3.1's for free - how to upgrade?

Mr. Friendly

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Nov 21, 2007
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British Columbia
I know, they're ancient, but they're still fast enough for web surfing, so I'd like to refurbish for my Father in Law, as he limps along on an even older 19" iMac.
- what are the fastest Xeon processors I can put into this?
- how about RAM?
- do I need anything special to upgrade the HDD to an SSD?
 

Izerous

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Feb 7, 2019
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Edmonton
I have taken apart a few. If it is the ones with magnetic screens the one side effect I saw with swapping drives out was fan noise. For some reason they always ran a more aggressive fan profile even being careful with wattage equivalents but the data interfaces (as long as the cable is there) is standard.

The newer ones with glued screens are a pain in the butt order the screen removal tool or seriously risk cracking a screen and they are far more expensive than the magnetic screens as the LCD is fused. The motherboards have Apple specific connectors for 3.5in drives but the drive end is standard.

Any M.2 style drives are fully proprietary and require annoying adapters or expensive proprietary drives.
 

Mr. Friendly

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Nov 21, 2007
Messages
2,721
Location
British Columbia
Mac Pro...not iMac. these are those 40lb aluminum tank towers. :) I've actually put up a WTB for the bits I need to upgrade.

from some reading I've done on MacRumors site, getting the 3.2ghz Harpertown Xeon won't help a lot...gives about a 15% boost in performance, but at almost 2x the power consumption (150w vs 80w).

so aside from putting in an SSD, the only other thing I should do is find some GTX 6xx GPU's to replace the old 8800 GT's. I laugh...the HD630 is faster than the 8800GT's and they were such beasts back then, LoL!
 

Izerous

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Feb 7, 2019
Messages
221
Location
Edmonton
... oops... ok everything I said above is invalid for the laptops except 1 item. The M.2 style drives in those also use a stupid proprietary format that require adapters and such. I found that out years ago trying to rescue data from one, but i have not spent a lot of time with those open otherwise. I don't recall which year they started using them but it was pretty early on.

I treat Mac's as a necessary evil (xcode is necessary for some of my work) but i'd rather spend my time on a windows machine or some days even on a pure Linux box than in OSX.
 

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