back to article Refurb your enthusiasm: Apple is selling an 8-year-old desktop for over £5k

The retro computing craze spiked during the pandemic. With the usual watering holes closed, some techies occupied their time by painstakingly restoring the old Performa towers cluttering their lofts. And, as one of our readers pointed out, Apple has seemingly jumped on the bandwagon by selling the nearly eight-year-old “ …

  1. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Make money fast

    > A model with a 2.7 GHz 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, combined with 64 GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB of PCIe storage, and two AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM costs a cool £5,149.

    They'd do better if they took a photo of it and flogged that as an NFT

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is Apple.

    Therefore it is beautiful and I want one.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: It is Apple.

      > Therefore it is beautiful and I want one.

      I was hoping the new M1 Macs would result some of these trashcans appearing on the 2nd hand market reasonably cheaply. I feel I should acquire one as a collector's item to make up for not having bought a 20th Anniversary Mac. Clearly not yet.

      1. VicMortimer

        Re: It is Apple.

        Eh, I'll run into one for my collection eventually.

        After all, it took me well over a decade to get a 20th Anniversary Mac.

        (It was the same price as my G4 Cube - free.)

  3. Mnot Paranoid

    This has happened before

    IIRC a 2003 Dual 2.0 GHz G5 was beaten by the 2010 Mac Mini, and probably saved a fair amount on the annual electricity bill too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This has happened before

      Yes, but Apple weren't still flogging G5 Macs in 2010, let alone charging astonishing prices for them.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: This has happened before

      Sure. But can you use the Mac mini to heat your living room?

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    the Mac Pro 5,1 weighed a backbreaking 18.1kg

    yes, I can confirm the backbreaking part... I had 3 in my attic! Running ESXi 6.5! You can imagine the energy bill, and hence why they are now in the server room at work! That reminds me, I need to get back to that project! Maybe next lockdown...

  5. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    From a reliability and safety perspective, even the cheapest new econobox cars are demonstrably better in every way than an old car. Yet people pay massive amounts of money for old (sorry, "classic") cars all the time.

    A small piece of card stock, factory printed on two sides and defaced with graffiti -- described in the auction catalog as 'a signed Tom Brady* 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket card' -- recently sold for $1.72 million.

    Like anything, an ancient Mac Pro is 'worth' what someone is willing to pay for it.

    * Mr. Brady is a practitioner of American football.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do you really think they'd make cars better so you'd spend less?

      Name 1 thing better about a "modern" USA vehicle that's better than just about any 1980's vehicle, just one. Now, if you don't mind just throwing money away on the repairs/warranties of modern cars, have at it.

      The good thing about old vehicles was that what went wrong, almost exclusively always went wrong... and nothing else. You knew where you stood and you could spot foreshadowing of problems with nearly 100% accuracy.

      1st Worlder's enjoy modern vehicles for:

      - Paying out the ass for any mechanical repairs.

      - Pretending plastic "new" is better.

      - Forced to call a tow truck for every problem.

      - Excessive electrical problems.

      - Stuck with YouTube for _ANY_ self-help.

      - Pretending physics allows "100K" miles to be "low mileage".

      - Forced to find "Authorized" mechanics.

      - Always being tracked.

      - Forced to "Allow" car manufacturers to sell your driving history.

      - _LOWER_ gas mileage.

      Take just about any given 1980's vehicle and your better off than you are today. I find it crazy that people have forgotten so quickly how good 1980's vehicles were (which I guess was due to competition between Japan and the USA). Shoot, while not a "car" (but a vehicle), even 1980's bicycles/10-speeds were better.

      Take just about any given 1960's vehicle (any nationality) and you **might* pay more in gas, but you'll be well prepared for mechanical problems (you might even keep spare parts around for when "it's time").

      **might, because with the current trend of under-utilized SUV/Trucks, you'll probably pay more in gas (undoubtedly more than if you drove a 1980's SUV/Truck).

      1. HildyJ Silver badge

        Not that anyone else here will care but your brand of nostalgia grinds my gears.

        Let's start with they're faster. The best selling car in 1980 and 1981 was the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, the best selling car (not a pickup or SUV) was a Toyota Camry. The base car Olds had a 6 cylinder 3.8 liter V-6 with 103 hp and a 3 speed automatic which would get it to 60 in around 15 seconds. The base Toyota has a 4 cylinder 2.5 liter I-4 with 203 hp and an 8 speed automatic which will get it to 60 in around 8 seconds.Given its bigger tires, better brakes, and better suspension, it would run rings around the Cutlass on a track.

        That's before you talk about safety, ergonomics, and quality, plus all the electronics you don't like.

        P.S. Buying the Trashcan Mac was and is stupid. Another Apple form over function.

      2. Montreal Sean


        1980s Chrysler K cars.

        2.2L 4 pot, not great fuel economy, not great power, slow shifting automatic, bodies would rust out in under 10 years.

        Crap stereo, even the premium tape deck.

        Uncomfortable seats.

        Not too pricey though, so I guess there's that...

        By the time my father handed me the keys of his 1984 Plymouth Reliant SE in 1993 it had done 250k kms and was falling apart. I got to use it for a Code of months until the plates were up and I drove it to the scrapper.

      3. katrinab Silver badge

        The most fuel efficient car you can get is the Citroën C2V, which was released in 1948.

        Modern cars are much heavier, and that more than offsets any gains from better engine design.

        1. elbisivni

          The earliest 2CV claimed to do about 4.6 litres per 100km, the later ones about 4.4. It was my first car - I remember working out how much my 70s model was doing (in the late 80s) - the factory figures were quite accurate - 5 litres per 100 was easy to achieve, going up to about 7 or 8 around town. Yes, I kept notes. Call me a nerd :)

          You can get that in quite a few modern internal combustion cars. Something reasonably large and loaded with safety gubbins like the 110tsi 1.4litre Skoda Octavia (or its VW and Seat equivalents) comes to mind at approx 4.6 litres per 100 (on the motorway, not combined cycle). Of course, at a tonne and a half it weighs considerably more than the 600kg 2CV. That's for the manual. Not sure about the autotragic/DSG versions.

          You have to wonder what that engine would do lugging a third of the weight around

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            If i drive very economically I can get my Subaru forester (2010 model, diesel) to do 4.8l/100km, that isn't even on a motorway / highway, its over a mountain (have it coast down 1 side :) )

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, not so much.

          The best real world number there is 37.2 MPG. That's significantly worse than my 2013 Ford, and the 2CV doesn't even have a 0-60 time, my relatively slow Ford is about 8 seconds 0-60.

          And let's not even get started on emissions. The 2CV might not be pushing out much CO2, but everything else out of its tailpipe is far worse than the Ford.

          Literally the only advantage of old cars is that you can legally drive them around without wearing a @#$%@#$% uncomfortable seatbelt. Everything else about modern cars is better.

          (All measurements in this post are in Freedom Units™)

          1. elbisivni

            I think you're being a little unfair about the 2CV's 0-60 time. the test model got to 58 a few years ago, so it should complete its run soonish!

          2. JRW

            Wow, just wow!

            Someone still complaining about seat belts. Wow. Just wow!

      4. vtcodger Silver badge

        Ah ... Come On

        "Name 1 thing better about a "modern" USA vehicle that's better than just about any 1980's vehicle, just one. Now, if you don't mind just throwing money away on the repairs/warranties of modern cars, have at it."

        Sorry, But here in North America, our local vehicles prior to the introduction of the 1984 Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable were disgracefully bad. Huge. Overpowered.. Terrible fuel economy. Unable to turn corners safely at anything much greater than walking speed. Rust started immediately in areas that use road salt in Winter. Metal lasted only a bit longer in the rest of the country. My dad's Ford pickup rusted out in Southern California for heaven's sake. Legendarily bad build quality -- claims were that new vehicles often arrived at the dealer with parts that had fallen off or never been attached at the factory in the back seat. Safety equipment? What safety equipment? By reputation, British cars of that era (other than Bentley/Rolls Royce) were even worse. And the few that made it across the pond -- mostly sports cars -- were cute but certainly left a lot to be desired if you were also interested in transportation. At least we colonials were spared the joys of Lucas electrical systems --

        I'll give you that Japanese cars of the 1980s -- especially Honda and Toyota but also Mazda and Datsun (aka Nissan) -- did compare pretty well to what we routinely expect from modern motor vehicles other than the lack of a few things like GPS and rear cameras that simply weren't available back then.

        Also, I don't think most early 1980s cars came with trouble free ABS and electronic ignition systems -- at least I know that my 1979 Mazda GLC didn't have ABS and had a carburetor that I eventually had to rebuild. Getting 1980 and older cars to start on a cold morning in the thin air of high altitudes was often a considerable effort and sometimes required the help of a mechanic.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        1980s? You've GOT to be kidding. That was a horrible decade for American cars.

        There's not a single American car built in the last decade that isn't better than every American car from the '80s in every way.

        1. quxinot

          The biggest upgrade comparing old cars vs new is an invisible one.

          The odds of surviving a crash.

          Many of the other upgrades, more visibly, are also available to the older cars (better tires, for example).

      6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

        1980s?are you kidding me?

        1980s? are you kidding me?

        maybe this is different in uk, but in us 1980s are squarely part of the "malaise era" of automobiles. modern vehciles are much safer, better gas mileage (somewhat better while being much faster, or much better mileage while being somewhat faster, depending on engine in the modern vehicle.) Quieter, and better handling (excluding gross SUVs).

  6. anothercynic Silver badge

    To be fair...

    ... The 'trash can' was (and still is) a pretty nifty box if you don't need USB C, Thunderbolt 3 and all that. If it's there to run virtual machines or do computing and nothing else, then it does the job. That said, when mine was replaced by management, I was 'downgraded' to a medium-level iMac with the same spec (but latest gubbins) at half the price of the original. Ultimately, it's the same all round, but it would, 8 years later, still be a bloody marvellous machine.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: To be fair...

      Provided one doesn't want sustained throttle free performance...

  7. Joe Gurman

    As I recall….

    …and I once had two of these “Mr. Fusion” machines on my desk, there were no graphics cards, just the AMD chips mounted on what could be considered a daughterboard.

  8. -tim

    Still in support?

    So they can support some older hardware yet leave millions of old devices unsupported or landfilled.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    Apple is selling an 8-year-old desktop for over £5k...

    Well it's obsolete, no wonder it's heavily discounted.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which version of macOS does it come pre-installed with?

    I might just buy one if it comes with El-Captan, Sierra, High Sierra so I can then waste as much of Apple's time as mine, and then return the damn thing because of the left aligned basic font, gargled updates page, explaining it looks like it has a virus.

    If Apple intend to damage third party reseller by trashing the App Store Update Page on older versions of macOS, the least we can do is trash Apple's own sales of refurbished kit.

  11. Ace2 Bronze badge


    Isn’t £5K pretty close to what they charge for a 64GB upgrade even in a new system? Maybe they’re just throwing in the computer for free.

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: RAM

      I remember when 64GB would have cost £192M (in the days of the Acorn System 3). The chips were the 2114 (1k x 4 bit). We later upgraded to 8k x 8 chips at around a fiver each.

  12. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    I pictured an office refuse bin with an Apple logo on it...

  13. Earth Resident

    I built a system with a 12-core E5 Xeon...

    plus motherboard and 32BG DDR4 RAM purchased from Aliexpress for about USD300. Add CPU fan, case, PS, and SSD and it cost about USD550 all told. Add another USD39 for Zorin OS and I have a blazing system and a mouse with more than one button. What a deal!

  14. Mr F&*king Grumpy


    "The 2013 Mac Pro, we note, lacked USB 3.0, let alone Thunderbolt 3.0"

    Which one? Mine certainly has a USB 3.0 bus. Perhaps I got lucky.

  15. Dave Barnard

    MacPro n’ cheese

    2013 MacPro does in fact have USB 3.0, it is the even older and far better “cheese grater” models that need to use a PCIe card.

    Many people are still using these for high end pro work with latest GPUs and NVMe raid cards etc

    MP 2013 would definitely be better for “cheese rolling” mind...

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