View Full Version : Found a old Mac Pro, will this do well with LW?

02-25-2014, 07:23 AM

I found a old Mac Pro with the 2 2.66 dual core cpus( total of 4) with a GTX 7300.

It needs memory, hdd and a os.

The store only wants 50 dollars for it.

Is this worth buying and fixing and using for LW?

02-25-2014, 07:30 AM
well... I have used lw on worse but once you factor in the price of memory say 4gb roughly $30 and hdd say another $50 and then a OS hmm ...probably not worth it

02-25-2014, 08:54 AM
I on occasion still use a celeron (but don't tell anyone), so kit is only half the fun.

That said for $50 it may already be cooked and you only find out you have a new mac shaped flower pot once you've spent on the ram and drives etc (which may not fit you next build). If its better than what you have at the moment and you fancy a gamble with $200+-.....

Also if you plan to over clock it, some of the early ones have been around since 2006 depending on what it really is - you might need to be nice to it rather than burn its brains out.

Either way happy pixels.

02-25-2014, 01:16 PM
Not worth it.

You can't overclock Xeon CPUs (there are some very few exceptions & you must have a motherboard that can be overclocked as well as the CPU. It's a very rare combination)

Renders will take forever & if you render a lot, your electricity costs will go through the roof. A current box will run more efficiently, but even if it was the same, the fact that the old CPU are so much slower, renders will take longer. They also have higher power usage when the CPU is idling. The dual core is even slower. CPUs older than x55xx (dual CPU boxes) or x35xx (single CPU boxes) are not worth spending a cent one.

Radiosity is much slower on these old CPUs. My 5450 box typically is half the speed of my W5580. Both are similar GHz (3.0 & 3.2) & both have 4 cores. The W5580 has hyperthreading which improves performance by about 20 - 25%. But the CPU is simply a lot quicker.

A x56xx CPU gives you 50% more rendering speed & also another small boost in CPU efficiency on top of that.

I have a dual CPU 5335 Xeon box, so 8 cores in total. It is so painfully slow for rendering I haven't used it for a few years. It also uses about the same electricity as a current box.

So a dual core CPU has older architecture still with only 4 cores in total.

The minimum ram I would put in a computer these days 16 GB.

Also run LW from an SSD, if it is small, 120Gb or thereabouts, just run your current work from it.

Going back to extreme ancient history, I still have a Mac 533 MHz dual CPU box. It is 60 time slower than my W5580.

If I got a new job that needed every last bit of rendering performance for a deadline or whatever, I would just go & buy a new box.

Also remember motherboards generally have a life of about 5 years. After that, each year there are increasing risks of them dying. But you can be lucky that they go on for a lot longer as my 533 MHz Mac. (it is just used for the odd bit of word processing when others are using the other Mac)

Quoting myself "have a life of about 5 years" even my W5580 box in a few months is 5 years old!