2009 Mac Pro vs 2012 Mac Mini vs 2011 iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Hugo2160, Dec 30, 2015.

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Which computer for use as a plex server, general use and future proof for next 5-7 years?

  1. 2009 Mac Pro (12 core Intel Xeon 2.93ghz) with 2gb gpu, 32gb of ram, 1tb hdd and 512gb ssd

    45.5%
  2. 2012 Mac Mini 2.6ghz quad core i7, 16gb of ram, 1tb hdd and 512gb ssd, 512mb gpu

    45.5%
  3. 2011 iMac 3.4ghz quad core i7, 16gb ram, 1tb hdd and 512gb ram, 2gb gpu

    9.1%
  1. Hugo2160 macrumors newbie

    Hugo2160

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    #1
    Looking at getting a replacement for my 2007 iMac that is finally starting to slow down.

    My main uses/wants for the new computer are:
    1) Plex Server to transcode 3D and 4K movies watched on my tvs
    2) General browsing and some Adobe Illustrator
    3) future proof for the next 5-7 years


    Poll below
     
  2. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Up Shellpot Creek
    #2
    I'd say ...

    1st determine what software you will be using to transcode and if multi threading is needed to process multiple files at once. For instance... if I transcode using QT, the software will take advantage of my 12 core Mac Pro and can do several files at once saving render time. On the other hand, if I queue them into Compressor or Adobe Media Encoder, the same number of files takes much longer. This is an example where a very fast single processor might have an advantage over a slower multi processor option.

    2nd... as far as future proof... I see this mainly as a OS X issue and what will be support best going forward. Since the 2009 Mac Pro was recently moved to "legacy" status by Apple it may run out of official OS X support faster then the Mac Mini or iMac. It's not clear if the hack to make a 2009 (4,1) into a (5,1) machine would help if the 2009 is abandoned, so you might want to have a 2010 MP on your list instead of a 2009. Honestly, there is not much cost difference between the two if you shop carefully.

    3rd... what is your budget? Knowing your max investment capability would be very good to know.

    4th... how much storage space do you need and would you benefit from storage with faster data I/O?

    5th... are you using the Mac to feed a video signal and if yes what resolutions would expect to need in the 5-7 year window? Would 4K be enough?

    IMHO... a 2010 Mac Pro might offer the best foundation to upgrade as the landscape changes over the 5-7 year period. Then again, depending on your budget, buying a newer Mac Mini now and maybe another in 3 years might also be a solid solution.
     
  3. Hugo2160 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hugo2160

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not using any software outside of the Plex Server to transcode. I'm pretty sure Plex uses multiple cores though. I'm not looking to spend more than $1,300. I need at least 1-2 TBs for space but want at least 256-512 GB SSD for the OS. I am using Mac all the way around and will want the computer to handle at least 4K 3D.
     
  4. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Up Shellpot Creek
    #4
    So you will want to use the Mac to feed a 4K 3D signal to your TV/Display?
     
  5. Hugo2160 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hugo2160

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    #5
    I will be using the Mac Pro as a Plex Server and will have 4K movies downloaded on my HD which will be transcoded via Plex Server and watched on my other plex devices such as Appletv, iPad, etc.
     
  6. ilikewhey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    #6
    2009 doesn't have 12 core.

    and why so many cores for only plex server.

    i would get a mac pro simply for the expandability features
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    From memory, Plex can easily use 3-4 thread, but not sure if can go further to utilise a 12 cores system.

    That's correct, there is no 2009 12 cores model. AFAIK, it must be flashed to 5,1, and then self upgrade the CPUs. Even though it's still a 2009 Mac Pro, but that's not a 4,1 anymore.
     

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