12-Core Classic Mac Pro vs. 2018 Mac Mini

Jardins de Vin

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Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
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I currently have a Mid 2010 Classic Mac Pro 12-core 2,93 GHz. I have 32 GB of RAM, not a very good graphics card (I think a 5870) and a Samsung SSD with 512 GB + some other HDDs.

I am thinking of swapping it with a Late 2018 Mac Mini i7 3.2 GHz. That Mac Mini gets better benchmark scores than my MP:

https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks/
https://logicbenchmarks.com/benchmark-results/

Do you think this is a good moment to get rid of my MP, which at some point will become obsolete obviously? Or do you think the Mac Mini will age faster?

I am really tempted. They are worth about the same price. I could swap without losing much. Only annoying thing is that I have the 27“ LED Cinema Display. I’d have to swap it with a Thunderbolt version.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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Your cMP is certainly near the end of the line. But for a few hundred dollars you could upgrade the CPUs (10%+ more processing power) and a GPU. Note that the mini has very modest GPU capabilities, which can be extended with an eGPU. Whether that matters to your workflow is up to you, but this is a way to wait until refreshing until 2020, 2021, or beyond.
 
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Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
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Your cMP is certainly near the end of the line. But for a few hundred dollars you could upgrade the CPUs (10%+ more processing power) and a GPU. Note that the mini has very modest GPU capabilities, which can be extended with an eGPU. Whether that matters to your workflow is up to you, but this is a way to wait until refreshing until 2020, 2021, or beyond.
I don’t need a strong GPU really. My MPs GPU is much weaker I believe. I could upgrade my MP but it’s still at the end of the line I guess (no thunderbolt for example).
 
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MRrainer

macrumors 65816
Aug 8, 2008
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Zurich, Switzerland
If it still works and it's OK for you, I'd keep it.
Hopefully, Apple will figure out all the issues the Mini currently has, with reports of devices being bricked by the T2 chip etc.pp.

Does it still work with Mojave? If it still works with Mojave, you'll get updates for at least another year or two.
 
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kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
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655
Sounds like the cMP you have is more computer than what you need. If you can swap it for a mini (and monitor) then you'll have years of supported computing capability ahead of you.
 
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mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
715
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What are you actually using your cMP for, as that will have a bearing.

Also don't forget to factor in the cost of external storage for the extra HDDs that currently have in the cMP.

For Mojave then need a newer GPU then the 5870, and the x5690 can be bought quite cheaply to upgrade the existing system quite nicely, and get a few years extra out of it.

I have a 6 core cMP that starting to show age, but thinking more of a z390/i9 9900K mackintosh rather then the mini personally.
 
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GLS

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
358
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I upgraded mine to a 12 core 3.33 with 64 GB ram, a PCI based SSD and 4- 4TB internal hard drives and a pair of Blu Ray DVDRW drives. Sure, it only has USB 2, and it isn't the greatest thing spec wise. But for my needs, it's perfect.

I use it for photo editing and video production/encoding. I know there are much faster CPU and GPU's available, but time isn't that important in what I'm doing here. Plus, it's just rock solid, and I can always bump up the internal storage to 10 or 12 TB drives and I do have one more speed bump to do CPU wise, if I want to. Graphics I may upgrade this summer, simply to get myself the ability to upgrade to Mojave down the road.

If I were you, I'd keep it and continue using it.
 
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fastlanephil

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
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My Mac Pro is substantially stronger than the 2018 i7 Mac mini running the Logic Pro X track count tests. Geekbench doesn’t always tell the whole story.

You can upgrade your graphics card to run Metal starting at $145 for a new MSI (gaming) Radeon Areo RX 560. No power cable required.
 
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MRrainer

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Aug 8, 2008
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Those caches in the Xeon go a long way. But the truth is also that performance-improvements in Intel CPUs have stagnated for some years.
This season, core-count increments gave everbody a solid boost - when the work-load is right.
 
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rodedwards

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2010
145
18
I upgraded my 2009 v4.1 Mac Pro via www.create.pro in UK. They ship worldwide. It's now v5.1 dual 6 core 3.46Ghz processors, 32Gb Ram, 1TB Samsung SSD, Nividia GTX 680 Pro Mac version (gives Apple logo boot screen) and five plug USB 3 card. It's still faster than most trashcan Mac Pros. The Graphics card supports metal and will run Mojave. Check out the create.pro website. Some stuff you can also buy second hand on ebay such as the graphics card for £150. I'm happy bunny as it also holds 17Tb internal HD storage too (4x4Tb HD +1Tb SSD = 17Tb).
 
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G5isAlive

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Aug 28, 2003
845
1,111
My Mac Pro is substantially stronger than the 2018 i7 Mac mini running the Logic Pro X track count tests. Geekbench doesn’t always tell the whole story.

You can upgrade your graphics card to run Metal starting at $145 for a new MSI (gaming) Radeon Areo RX 560. No power cable required.
Great tip thanks, this is what I come to MacRumors for. One question, I look at the amazon reviews for this cord and a lot of them say you need a 6 pin to 8 adapter for the power cord... but you mention you don't need a power cable at all. Just wanted to clarify if its optional or what? I would think if they have power inputs on the card it needs it, but I don't know much about these things.
 
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fastlanephil

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
1,178
215
Great tip thanks, this is what I come to MacRumors for. One question, I look at the amazon reviews for this cord and a lot of them say you need a 6 pin to 8 adapter for the power cord... but you mention you don't need a power cable at all. Just wanted to clarify if its optional or what? I would think if they have power inputs on the card it needs it, but I don't know much about these things.
Well, I’m going by Amazon reviews such as the forth review and others. You do need a power cable(dual mini PCIe six to eight PCIe for the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580. These are the two Apple recommended cards that are selling new.

https://www.amazon.com/MSI-RX-560-AERO-ITX/dp/B072J422CZ#customerReviews
 
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Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
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European Union
Hi guys, I'm still thinking about this. As for what I am using it for: Pretty much everything (Logic Pro, Games, iMovie…). And yes, I know that Geekbench doesn't always tell the whole story, but this benchmark here is a real-life benchmark:

https://logicbenchmarks.com/apple-mac-model/mac-pro-12-core-293-mid-2010/

vs.

https://logicbenchmarks.com/apple-mac-model/mac-mini-core-i7-3-2-ghz-late-2018/

It's slightly less powerful but I feel comfortable having something more recent, I'm just worried the Mac Mini will age more quicker than my Mac Pro. And one very annoying thing I forgot was that I'd have to change my Cinema Display for a Thunderbolt one.
 
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MRrainer

macrumors 65816
Aug 8, 2008
1,256
704
Zurich, Switzerland
I'm being a bit cynical hear, but:
I think there are still reports of unfixed bugs with Audio-output on the 2018 Minis, unfortunately.

That's on top of the occasional T2 chip brick-your-mini issues.

If your setup works, I'd try to drag it out a little bit. Likely, Apple will issue a couple of silent fixes when they've sold out the 1st production-run...
 
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Not-Sure

Suspended
Mar 6, 2019
46
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I got rid of my Mac Pro but it was a 2008 model. The power bill went down $20. I am using a 2014 15" Mac Book Pro as a main computer now. I think I would upgrade the processor of the Mac Pro because switching to a Mac Mini implies changing a load of cables yet.

Or.... a few years ago I had an iMac as a main computer and the Mac Pro as a server. I used to do all the designs on the iMac and send the Mac Pro to do the renderings, the Mac Pro had no monitor. It was the perfect set up!

If you want to get fancy, upgrade the Mac Pro, maximize it. And later on buy the mac mini or an iMac and you can do the same. a Mac Pro is super useful, especially because you have all the drives contained, extra power, all those ports, that computer was meant to last. AND I do not think many people would pay that much for it. So it would have more value for you than the money you can get from it.
 
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tayy

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2016
61
16
You can still use your Apple Cinema Display with the Mac mini? You just need a Mini Displayport to USB-C and plug to the Thunderbolt 3 port on the Mac mini.

And if you are going with a eGPU you just need a Mini Displayport > Displayport adapter and plug it to the GPU.
 
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Jardins de Vin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
917
25
European Union
You can still use your Apple Cinema Display with the Mac mini? You just need a Mini Displayport to USB-C and plug to the Thunderbolt 3 port on the Mac mini.

And if you are going with a eGPU you just need a Mini Displayport > Displayport adapter and plug it to the GPU.
Ahh, that's good news to hear! Well, that motivates me, even more, to just do the change. Those issues on the Mac Mini still bug me however, if they're software issues it's less tragic than if they're hardware issues. But to be honest, even Software issues shouldn't happen. Apple thinks we're stupid and lets us be the software testers. I hate that.
 
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uller6

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
285
185
Ahh, that's good news to hear! Well, that motivates me, even more, to just do the change.
A few years ago I dumped my old cheese grater Mac Pro for a mini and my power bill dropped about $25/month. The cost savings from the saved electricity will offset the cost of the mini in few years - hopefully that's even better motivation to upgrade!
 
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SuperMatt

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2002
706
301
The results on the 2013 Mac Pros in those Logic Benchmarks are very good - even though it is outdated, if you pick up a refurb 8-core, it would still be a lot cheaper than a new Mac Pro, and its cooling system is more robust than the Mini.
 
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