A Mac Mini Pro, Worth an upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by t8er8, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. t8er8 macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2017
    Quebec, Canada
    This will have a lot of theorizing and will be doused in rumors, but to all the cMP users desperately waiting for a 7,1 Mac Pro, if the Mac Mini comes out with a pro version, what would it take to convince you to upgrade? I'd love to hear some feedback as I might be considering it. Personally, I'd need some sort of upgrade-ability and an actual desktop grade graphics card to convince me to upgrade. I'm waiting on what it has to offer before going through with a massive upgrade on my 5,1.
  2. OneyedK macrumors member


    Aug 25, 2018
    Mechelen, Belgium
    Mac mini pro is a bit of a contradictio in terminis.
    Current Intel desktop processors are "pro" powerful, but demand a reasonable amount of cooling.
    Something you can't cram into a mini housing (not even if it's twice as big as the current mini).
    So either a low end cpu or throttling... I'll pass...
  3. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    You can take it to the bank that the next "Mac Mini Pro" or whatever it's called, if it surfaces at all will NOT be a replacement for a pro machine. Apple made such a fuss about the plans they have for the next real Mac Pro, that they sure as hell aren't going to let the lowly Mac mini steal it's thunder.
  4. th0masp macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2015
    Seeing as the previous minis were all based on laptop tech I assume any 'pro'-focused mini will simply use one of the upper tier MBP configurations as a base. So 32G (most likely soldered) RAM, 4- or 6-core CPU and a laptop dGPU for the top end mini.
    If they can fit all that in an MBP then the mini case should not give them much trouble either. Add TB3 ports and let those with higher end graphics requirements buy into an eGPU solution. So modular!

    That would be quite the update to the 2014 disappointment and useful for a whole range of cases. I'm crossing my fingers for a user-accessible SSD-slot a la the dual drive option on the 2012 model.

    Oh and haven't you heard - they have been selling a Mac mini pro for years now. Some black cylinder... unfortunately people did mistake it for a workstation. ;)
  5. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    The current Mac Pro is more or less already that.
  6. PianoPro, Oct 28, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018

    PianoPro macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2018
    I'd run to buy a Mac Mini-Pro if it just included iMac-Pro CPU options, non-replaceable RX-580 or Vega class video, and only user replaceable RAM and NVMe drives. That would be performance limited enough to distinguish it from a new "modular" MP, but enough to call it a "mini-Pro", and keep the price reasonable. Put it in a suitable sized box to cool it and I'd be thrilled to have several and still buy the new Mac Pro when it ships in the next decade ...
  7. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    One Word - E X P A N D A B I L I T Y !!!!!

  8. mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Current Mac Pro will just rebadged as a Mac Mini, changed to normal Silver color aluminum, and Xeon Processors removed, extra GPU removed, now the cooling system may be able to handle it more easily.
    Replace the Thunderbolt 2 ports with Thunderbolt 3, then cover it in fabric like the HomePod with a Hey Siri light on the top.
    Jony Ive dusts hands off, add smug look, then spend the next 3 weeks voice acting a hype promo video that only will be shown at the Keynote and then hidden somewhere deep on Apple's website.
    Then create interchangeable fabric cases in all of the iPhone XR colors.
    Then say, "Mini? There's nothing Mini about this!" queue Applause sign.
  9. MarkC426 macrumors 6502a

    May 14, 2008
    Another word - Cooling
    Only the cMP has sufficient space for sufficient cooling.
    If rendering 1000 frames of animation overnight anything else will just get far too hot.
  10. revmacian macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2018
    I can't imagine Apple would allow the word "pro" attached to "Mac mini". I mean, the "mini" denotes an entry-level machine and adding "pro" just seems like an oxymoron.
  11. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Since even before the demise of Mr Jobs the adjective "pro" was mostly meaningless.

    My husband and I bought my 80 year-old mother/mother-in-law a Mac Book "Pro" because she thought that the white plastic ones were tacky.
  12. mattspace macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    thought experiment, because i've been thinking this a bit - what reason is there for a mac mini to have thunderbolt? not why it would be nice, but if Apple could save 75c on component costs, and provide an upsell for folks who want TB3 by going usc3-c only, what would that break?

    Fast storage? USB is fast enough for AV setups, and it's got an ethernet port for networked storage. Big pro thunderbolt displays? well you should connect those to a pro computer, and there's plenty of USB-C dispays on the way, and HDMI provides a lot in terms of display connectivity.

    Literally, the only reason to have TB3 on a mini that I can think of, is for eGPU, and Apple's shown no real interest in the idea of "cheap computer, powerful (expensive) GPU" as a combination that should exist.

    Personally, I'm setting my expectations that the mini will be more like the single port macbook, than the macbook pro.
  13. iGobbleoff macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    With Apple recently announcing their eGPU I bet that’s the pitch they go for. A ‘mini pro’ with external upgradability.
  14. Hater macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2017
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I wonder if Apple will ever do eGPU's, compatible with... all Thunderbolt 3 macs, I suppose.
  15. Boil macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2018
    I would love to see an eGPU module that fits under (or over?) the new Mac Mini, housing a MXM-format Vega 56 GPU, with a TB3 interconnect between the main Mac Mini module & the eGPU module...
  16. mattspace macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    Why would Apple offer their customers that choice (and miss out on a display sale), instead of selling them an iMac (and an eGPU that Blackmagic makes)?
  17. killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    Aesthetics. The earlier Mac minis maxed out at 85 W but the later ones go up to 110 W. Apple could stuff a decent rig to fit back into that 85W package (maybe even use a MBP USB-C charger for the job), then you could have a Mac mini with only TB3 ports, one for power, one for video. Or if you have a TB3 dock w/ 85 W power delivery, maybe you have a one cable solution for the entire rig. Or a single cable solution back to the LG Ultrafine 5k for example. A TB3 connection would be needed for 5k of course.

    Apple can then skip individual HDMI, DisplayPort, ethernet and USB ports and opt for dongles instead.
  18. mattspace macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    So you're thinking something that has nothing on the back, but thunderbolt ports? Want USB-a? Dongle. Want Ethernet? Dongle. Want HDMI? Dongle. I can see that, but none of those uses require *thunderbolt* specifically - 5k displays work over USB3/USB-C. So it could be a machine with nothing but type-c USB ports, and the only difference would be it couldn't use TB eGPUs

    The single cable solution thing, that's for laptops. mini doesn't require plug / unplug simplicity.

    I also don't think it's a safe bet to assume Apple will ensure it's vapourware "Pro Display" will work with a mac mini.
  19. startergo, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018

    startergo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2018
    The highest configuration:
    • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
    • 64GB 2666MHz DDR4
    If you don’t want to pay Apple for an upgrade to up to 64 GB of RAM from the standard 8 GB, you should be able to do it yourself later on

    • Intel UHD Graphics 630
    • 2TB SSD storage
    • 10 Gigabit Ethernet (Nbase-T Ethernet with support for 1Gb, 2.5Gb, 5Gb, and 10Gb Ethernet using RJ‑45 connector)
    • Accessory Kit
    Is 4200$. It has 4 thunderbolts 3 and according to the event are stackable in clusters just like the RPI. For me it is a Mac Pro in a different hardware format, different vision. I am not sure the MP7.1 is on the horizon yet.
  20. Boil macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2018

    From the pics we have seen so far, it appears to have only two (2) SO-DIMM slots, so where are you finding 32GB SO-DIMMs...?
  21. mattspace macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    Like the iMac Pro, the RAM isn't user-servicable, without voiding warranty.
  22. zipgs macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2018
    I don't think that's true, at least it hasn't been. I've had no trouble getting warranty on a mac when I swapped ram, most recently on my 27" iMac, if they fuss you can always put the original RAM back in.
  23. mattspace macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    Apple's official policy on the iMac Pro and the new Mini is that RAM can only be upgraded by authorised service agents - if you try to open the machine yourself and break anything in the process, it's on you.

    By contrast, the 2012 mini, cheesegrater mac pro, and many of the iMacs were specifically designed so that anyone could upgrade them - ie there was nothing a person following ikea-level instructions, without specific training, should be able to break in the upgrade process.
  24. Hps1 macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2017
    I would buy anything they make at whatever price point as long as it supported four double width CUDA capable cards. If that means 4 hulking eGPU boxes, so be it.
  25. StellarVixen macrumors 68000


    Mar 1, 2018
    I hope so, but there is the problem, there are still no nVIDIA web drivers for Mac OS 10.14, and how can we be sure that there will ever be?

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