So I’ve been working on getting a desktop set up for some time, but was always put off by the high price of used Mac Pro prices, even for a 2013 version (yep the trash can) and was looking for an option to get some high quality 3D capable hardware in an affordable package. While researching I was actually about to pull the trigger on a 2009 Mac Pro tower, one of the old “cheese grater” versions, however the upgrade path was limited, and even these 11 year old machines command a $400.00 dollar premium, before even getting started adding mods.
During my search however, some things kept popping up, searching Intel XEON processor upgrades, led me to people talking about the old Intel XEON processor equipped models, and what’s this! There is a small but active community of folks rebuilding (and upgrading) servers from the 2009-2015 period which are typically retired CAD or design workstations. For anyone interested in some awesome folks doing the conversions check out Green PC Gamers They are awesome and always expanding their server upgrade experiment reports.
The used Dell server solution!
After looking through various sale sites, and the Ebay listings, I came across a great deal on an older good condition Dell T5810 Server tower, with the Intel XEON quad core E5-1608 (which is an older 4 core 2.8GHZ model). The nice thing about this model is that it takes serious upgrades to things like storage, RAM, CPU, and power supply, while the abundance of servers around allowing for the supply of cheaper parts to repair, and replace. Bottom line – I will be upgrading this Dell T5810 over the next few months with things like CPU’s, RAM, SSD, and graphics card and will keep everyone posted.
For now it’s just tons of fun to poke around in apps like Adobe’s Photoshop, and Blender while they fly along even on an old Nvidia Quadro NVS graphics card! Can’t wait to report back on how it all comes together, but I have high hopes that this will provide a fun path to a modified workstation with serious power.
All the best, and I’ll be back to report soon!