Extending the Life of your Cheese Grater Mac Pro


I tend to use my computers until they are no longer usable. (I’m the same way with cars.) Over the years, I have configured my nearly 7 year old “cheese-grater” Mac Pro into a solid workhorse.

If you’re like me, and you want to keep your old Mac Pro going, check out Scott Simmon’s recent write-up on wringing out more power for your Mac Pro. Another take on the subject comes from Oliver Peters, who documented his experience in keeping Mac Pros going in a local college’s film department.

In my opinion, two basic upgrades are absolutely essential to squeeze out the most performance from a cheese-grater Mac Pro:

  1. a Solid State Drive (SSD) to boot from, with all my apps and OS
  2. as much as RAM as you can comfortably afford.

Optionally, I’d suggest adding a beefier video card into the mix, which I did earlier this year.

At this point, my system is configured with 14GB of RAM. Due to the age of my machine, and the rather expensive cost of additional RAM for this model, I have no further plans to upgrade the RAM. However, because my existing 120GB SSD is nearly full, I do plan on adding a 240GB OWC solid state drive to replace it.

So, with just a few upgrades, you, too, can keep your “cheese-grater” Mac Pro humming right along. I plan to keep mine around as long as it still continues to deliver solid performance.


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