2010 Mac Pro to 2018 Mac Mini?

InuNacho

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 24, 2008
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In that one place
If I'm going to upgrade my hardware, it has to be something pre-Catalina as I still have a lot of "Legacy" 32-bit applications and plugins that I still use on a regular basis.
That being said I've decided I can stick with my Mac Pro until it dies or switch to something more modern like the Mac Mini with an eGPU. The iMac is out of the question as I use the monitors on my desk for other hardware.
My Mac Pro is a 2010 2x 3.46GHz with 128GB ram and RX580. I do a lot of Lightroom and Photoshop, tons of 1080p video captures with a PCIe BlackMagic Intensity Pro and rendering in FCPX, and the occasional game here and there.

My main gripes with my Mac Pro:
1. Size. This thing is takes up a lot of space and where I keep it is pretty space limited
2. Heat. I don't have AC so when its 90 degrees having a big ole' tower pushing out heat is only nice for the turtle who hangs out 6 feet away from it.
3. Hardware Longevity. This thing is old, power supplies and caps die.

The i7 Mini on paper looks like it puts out the same multicore power as my Pro but the single core is nearly doubled. Can anyone attest to this? How's the FCPX encoding and conversion to H.264, as far as I know the Pro doesn't have any hardware compression and just uses raw processing power to get that done.

What external storage boxes are you all using? Every HDD slot in my Pro is full but they're all older 1-4TB drives and could easily transition to bigger better drives.
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
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MM 2018 will be around twice as fast as your MP 2010, considering T2, disk speed, memory speed and CPU.

I replaced MP 2008 with MM 2018, filled up RAM and added an 8 TB external TB3 drive. I'm not looking back, and this kind of ”modularity” fits me well.
 
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Reflej0

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2020
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Wow haha 128GB 128GB Ram seems a very particular use, I would be careful if in the update you lose something that you can no longer do on the Mac Mini.
Although it is not a good alternative to be updated, did you check if the Mac Pro 2013 would meet your requirements?
 

InuNacho

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 24, 2008
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In that one place
MM 2018 will be around twice as fast as your MP 2010, considering T2, disk speed, memory speed and CPU.

I replaced MP 2008 with MM 2018, filled up RAM and added an 8 TB external TB3 drive. I'm not looking back, and this kind of ”modularity” fits me well.
Yea I figured having native super fast disks would be better than an old 2.5mm SSD from 2012 hobbled together with TrimEnabler. What TB3 drive do you have?

Wow haha 128GB 128GB Ram seems a very particular use, I would be careful if in the update you lose something that you can no longer do on the Mac Mini.
Although it is not a good alternative to be updated, did you check if the Mac Pro 2013 would meet your requirements?
My problem with the 2013 is that the D700 models are still around $2k. The i7 Mini with eGPU and 64GB ram would still be slightly cheaper and I'd have Thunderbolt 3 I can tier off for external boxes.
Realistically I don't use 128GB of ram, I just won a mislabeled auction a couple years ago for a bunch of 16GB sticks. My heavy load ram usage would sit nicely with 64GB.
 

Reflej0

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2020
75
24
Ah, I thought the Mac Pro 2013 was a little cheaper than the Mac Mini 2018, here in Argentina there are some that are still cheaper but are obviously used.
Returning to its initial points, you will obviously notice that the Mac Mini occupies less space, with respect to the heat and I mainly set at 4000 RPM (By default in idle it is at 1000) the speed of the internal fan in the Mac Mini 2018, I am an obsessive of temperatures and I prefer to see everything at 40, 50 degrees.
And also the Mac Mini 2018 will have longevity mainly in its i7 version and with an SSD of at least 512GB.
 

ashleykaryl

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2011
211
38
UK
I am in a similar position and basically playing a game of chicken. The real difficulty would be if this machine packed up tomorrow and I lost a week or so while sorting out a replacement.

In many ways this Mac Pro is still perfectly adequate for what I need and I am not convinced there are any huge advantages in Catalina that would offset the loss of 32-bit apps, so I am holding off for as long as possible, hoping to jump on the next generation of Mac mini that may include better graphics and Thunderbolt 4.

An Apple repair guy told me last year that that Mac Pros are so brilliant because of the ventilation that allows them to work under sustained loads for extended periods. I always sit mine sideways on the table with plenty of space for air to circulate, rather than crammed up against the wall. My daughter has a 2018 MBP where the fans would go nuts under any kind of load but we bought a cheap laptop ventilator pad with fans and now she is able to run it all day long on heavy tasks like 3D rendering without a murmer. I think something similar for the mini could work well.
 

MacModMachine

macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2009
2,267
145
Canada
Wow haha 128GB 128GB Ram seems a very particular use, I would be careful if in the update you lose something that you can no longer do on the Mac Mini.
Although it is not a good alternative to be updated, did you check if the Mac Pro 2013 would meet your requirements?
the mini should support 128gb when 64gb sticks are made , much like Macs In the past , these are a chipset/testing limitation. since 64gb is only avail. that's all they have tested and market.

since the mini supports double density sticks already , I see no possible reason why 128 would not be supported.

my argument against myself :

the i5-8500 lists 128 , the i5-8500B lists 64. which means intel could have changed the memory controller on this version.

i5-8500 is a desktop chip
i5-8500B is a mobile chip

could be the same as above , no sticks to confirm. but generally intel's site is pretty bang on for support :D

I have seen them change ram capacities on ARK before :p once higher density sticks came out.
 

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,385
706
i5-8500 is a desktop chip
i5-8500B is a mobile chip
The only realistic difference in the design of these two chips is BGA (soldered) vs LGA (socket). In terms of clocks, performance, etc, they are for all intents, identical. What makes the 8500B a mobile chip is that it can be soldered down and take up less space. But Intel's laptop chips are all the H(K) line, which all cap out at 45W TDP, while this is a 65W TDP chip like the 8500 itself. They even benchmark within the margin of error of each other.

It is interesting that Intel does say the 8500B supports less RAM. If it's not just outdated spec sheets, it would suggest a tweaked memory controller. But my money is on outdated spec sheets. The 8500B isn't exactly in common usage as it's not a retail part. It's specifically for folks like Apple building machines like the Mini.

My daughter has a 2018 MBP where the fans would go nuts under any kind of load but we bought a cheap laptop ventilator pad with fans and now she is able to run it all day long on heavy tasks like 3D rendering without a murmer. I think something similar for the mini could work well.
This is one reason I have the Mac mini. The 16" MBP has similar performance, but is more expensive, and louder. The Mini is much closer to the 27" iMac when it comes under load. So I feel more willing to let it churn on something overnight or while I do something else.

What external storage boxes are you all using? Every HDD slot in my Pro is full but they're all older 1-4TB drives and could easily transition to bigger better drives.
I have an older ThunderBay 4 that is hooked up to a 2012 Mac mini. It's still going strong after years of use. Price isn't too bad, and it gives you some flexibility with how to configure it, since it's a JBOD enclosure. You can get it with SoftRAID (which works fine, but doesn't support APFS yet), or use AppleRAID with it.

I went from a 2008 Mac Pro, to a 5K iMac, to the Mini. The Mini is honestly fine for what I do and has plenty of oomph for CPU tasks. The 8700 is one of the gems of the Intel lineup, TBH. Idle power consumption is around 10W which is pretty darn good.

The state of eGPUs leaves something to be desired: No boot screen in Mojave. Catalina's support of Polaris and Navi aren't in great shape as of 10.15.2. I've got no complaints about the Vega 56 though. It's been fine. If you just want it for compute, it's more reliable than if you want to drive displays with it. Go figure. I do wish there was something with a desktop i9 and a dedicated GPU available though, just for those of us who need an external monitor, but want something iMac-class. No dice on that though.