Buying a used Mac Pro


Mac Abuser
Hello all!

(I searched this site for a while reading a bunch of stuff, but i never found anything about buying used Macs and comparing them to others)

I am in the market for a used Mac Pro. Basically i would like to get the most for my money (obviously) but i have some questions on comparing used Mac Pro's the my current Mac Pro.

I currently have a Mac Pro 1,1 - 2006 - 2 x 2.66 dual core Intel (Quad Core). This is one of the first gen Mac Pro's. According to Mac specs on this computer has a geek bench score of 5190.

Is the geekbench score the best way to compare Mac speeds? Or is there other things that effect it as well?

I mean, i can find a Mac Pro 4,1 - 2009 - 2.93 Quad core Intel with a geekbench of 9070. Does this mean this computer is almost twice as fast (in general) than the one i have?

If i already have a dual processor, should i look at getting another dual processor? Or would a single processor from a much newer computer automatically be better?

I guess my main question is what stuff am i looking at when comparing 2 Mac Pro's together? I do mostly audio recording and video editing. Im sure there are some other factors besides geekbench, so i want to know what exactly i am looking for when comparing.

Thanks to all for any input, it is much appreciated!
I have the 2008 Dual 1.8 Mac Pro. I also use some cool PCI cards like the combo one from CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 PCI card for eSATA and USB 3 drives. The one caveat you have wait a week or two after a new OS X release for CalDigit to update their drivers for the new OS X version (in 10.9 their support said it should come out in days after the 10.9 release).

IMHO the USB 3 is the best upgrade to these older Mac Pros. My 2008 will properly last me a couple of more years.
I think that the geekbench scores tell you that each newer generation has a higher score (essentially faster machines).
I also think that's what you should expect (newer systems are generally faster)
In the Mac Pro world, look for the newest system that fits your budget. All things being equal (and they are not), you should expect a newer system to perform better than an older one. The MacPro4,1 would likely be a good choice in a used system. You can add enormous amounts of RAM, particularly with a dual-processor system - which would give you 8 processor cores.
The newer generation after that (MacPro5,1) has up to 6 cores per processor, so you could have a 12 core system. You will want to check that against your budget, as those probably demand top dollar for used systems.
You can, if you have the money, add an SSD, or multiple SSDs, (or PCI-Express drive cards, which are ridiculously fast and truly expensive) and absolutely bump up the true performance.
And, there's always high-end graphics cards, which can take processing load off the CPU, particularly with newer OS X versions.

I don't know if the geek bench scores tell you much about the system performance when the GPU is used for extra processing from the CPU. That will depend on the graphics card that is installed. The MacPro could have multiple graphics cards installed, and not much mention of that in a routine Geekbench score, I suppose.

First item is to find out what you can get for the money that you have available. I would look for the newest system for that money.
Perhaps someone else will share a better opinion.