2009 4-core Mac Pro vs 2.6 quad i7 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sungjupark, May 6, 2014.

  1. sungjupark, May 6, 2014
    Last edited: May 7, 2014

    sungjupark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    #1
    Let's get straight into the point: which has the better processing power? 2.66 GHz (W3520) Quad-Core Intel Xeon from 2009 Mac Pro or 2012 Mac Mini's 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (i7-3720QM Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz)?

    the rest of the setup is more or less the same. Both have 16GB memory, same 1TB fusion drive and basic graphic card setting.

    Aside daily internet searching, Pages & Keynote, I need this machine for Aperture and photoshop/illustrator and edit 1080p video, of which I hope the computer can cope with lesser delay.

    My initial thought was to wait until next Mac Mini refresh, but since I am buying this one only for until next calendar year, what's the point of waiting much time?

    Thank you in advance for your insightful knowledge.

    note 1) The price does not matter because a company will pay for it.

    note 2) I've been also considering 2008-quad Mac Pro but I preferred upgradability of 2009 model (6-core CPU for example)
     
  2. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 17, 2012
    #2
    If (2) above is important to you, the Mac Pro might be a better choice. Go take a look at Geekbench scores, consider the relative expansion capabilities of the machines, then make your decision.
     
  3. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #3
    The 2009 Mac Pro may have a 1Tb drive but it isn't a Fusion Drive, so Disk Performance may be slower depending upon if what accessing is in the Fusion SSD or not.

    As basic GPU then presuming is the stock 5770 for the 2009 Mac Pro so no great difference there for what you are talking about.

    CPU wise then the mac mini is more powerful.

    http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Xeon-W3520-vs-Intel-Core-i7-3720QM

    Though not massively.

    Would perform as configured roughly the same.

    As is for work then do you want to be saying buy something that is now 5 years old

    IF on the other hand then interested in upgrading past the 16Gb RAM, improving I/O by installing SSD's, firmware upgrading to a 5,1 and installing W3680/W3690 6 core CPU's and improving the Graphics, then the mini isn't an option.
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    The default graphic card for Mac Pro 2009 is GT120, and the stock upgrade option is HD4870. The 5770 should be the standard graphic card for Mac Pro 2010.
     
  5. sungjupark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #5
    On a second thought, I would not want to invest more on a computer that I am only gonna use for 1 or 2 years. The aforementioned 6-core CPU is not easily found here(S.Korea) too.

    My another option is to get a 2008 8-core at my own expense and wait for next Mac Mini refresh...
     
  6. sungjupark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #6
    Yes I have one SSD which I will set fusion drive up with. I have one 500GB and one 320GB HDD which will be an advantage of getting a Mac Pro...

    The thing is, Mac Mini is 2-year-old model I am buying a new one if I get Mini :mad: For used Mac Pro I accept it being 5-6 yrs old because I am getting it at discounted price. (and for the fact I won't get funded for recent Mac Pros anyway...)

    Now I thought it over and believe I won't upgrade the machine once I buy it. Now considering possible refresh of Mac Mini later this year, I am comparing advantages of two options 1) get a 2012 Mac Mini and block Buyer's Guide page of MacRumors, 2) get a 2008 8-core Mac Pro (which is cheaper option that 2009 4-core) and replace it when Mini refreshes.
     
  7. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 25, 2010
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    Texas
    #7
    I bought an i7 2.6 with 16 GB ram for 1080 video editing based on the impressive benchmark scores. In reality, what happened is that during editing, the cores all maxed out, the fan started whining very loudly, and video editing and processing slowed tremendously. It was completely unacceptable even for processing 1080 home videos and exporting to DVD or BluRay.

    Has anyone here been happy with video editing on a current generation mini? I should add that I have edited some 640*480 video, which it does without any difficulty at all.

    Graphics on the current generation intel chips seems to be MUCH improved (new 13" retina pro is dramatically better than my mini).
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #8
    The i7-3720QM
     
  9. sungjupark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #9
    Thank you ;) but if this is the case, how do we explain the experience that pertusis1 had? Because I think I've heard someone else saying GPU does not matter when edit videos?
     
  10. sungjupark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #10
    I almost made my decision and your information makes me think it all over again. For me and for the exporting bit I can wait - I do not do this for money; There always will be plenty of time such as nighttimes, when I am away, etc.

    But one thing I CANNOT accept is that when I have delays during the edit. In addition to the obvious fact that it is irritating, I am changing my computer in order to avoid that delay. (2010 13' MBP, 8GB ram, 1TB fusion drive)

    Thank you very much for good input. I will search more on the web before make any decision.
     
  11. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

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    Texas, US
    #11
    Heat.

    The Mac Pro's processor heat sink is about the size of an entire Mac Mini.
     
  12. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #12
    Exactly, that's thermal throttling. Better processing power doesn't mean that the machine will have better performance.
     
  13. sungjupark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #13
    So presumably the heat makes processors work slower?

    Thanks for useful knowledge. By the way I was lucky enough to get more fund and therefore able to buy 15' MBPr.
     
  14. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Texas, US
    #14
    Yes.

    All processors have thermal limits. When temps rise, the fans kick in, and if temps continue to rise, the processor will reduce its clock speed to stay safe.

    Since mobile architecture (laptops and the Mac mini) has a very limited ability to deal with sustained heat as compared to the desktop Mac Pro, the theoretical higher speed of a newer mobile machine will often fall well behind an older, "slower" tower under heavy sustained loads.

    Think about trying to pull 5 tons of goods uphill in a sports car vs. a freight train.
     

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