Advice on how to replace my Mac Pro 3.1

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by flyman, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. flyman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    At the moment its only really used for a small amount of photo editing, emails, web browsing and gaming on Windows via Bootcamp. I keep all my media on internal hd's and backup to an external drive.

    Now I want get myself a dedicated windows gaming machine with all the bells and whistles but being an Apple fanboy I still want a mac environment.

    Have thought about a Mac Mini or a MacBook though not too sure - Does anyone have any suggestions as to how best go about making this change?

    FYI: Not keen on going down the Hackintosh route as a bit of a noob with computers!
     
  2. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    It doesn't sound like you need much horsepower. MacMini may meet your needs, but with the rumors of a new model this fall, you might want to wait.

    I made the switch from Pro 3.1 to Mini a couple years ago, not disappointed. The price is attractive, and you probably already have the monitors and such. My advice is to go SSD and don't skimp on RAM, RAM is not upgradable. If Apple's SSD prices are a deterrent, there are a lot of SATA SSD in the market and replacing a SATA HDD with SSD is not too difficult if you don't mind a little light surgery.

    If this year's Mini refresh brings TB3 ports, external graphics may be a possibility. Not sure if Windows in Bootcamp can use external graphics, others may be more familiar with that option, but if it is possible, you may be able to skip a second Win machine.
     
  3. flyman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    #3
    Thank you, some very sound advice there.
    I agree I think the Mini will suffice for my needs though I suspect I'll have to settle for a secondhand one as I want to spend more on the the gaming pc to be highly specced.

    Inside my MacPro I currently have a 500Gb Samsung Evo SSD for System & Home and a 1Tb WD Green for my media.
    Also another 500Gb Samsung Evo SSD for Windows 10 and a Western Digital Caviar Black WD640 for Windows backup.
    I have on my desk a 2Tb WD My Book for Backups.

    If I go down the Mac Mini route, would you suggest I get an enclosure to use the hard drives for storage (Photos & Music) and backups?

    Apologies, not very technically minded when it come to this kind of stuff.
     
  4. splifingate macrumors 6502

    splifingate

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Location:
    ATL
    #4
    Why not keep using the 3,1 you have?

    You can do a native-win32 install on it . . . ?
     
  5. flyman thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #5
    The 3.1 just isn't powerful enough for windows gaming.
     
  6. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #6
    I'm not sure I understand what you want. A Mac and a dedicated gaming machine? Or one Mac, to run both MacOS and Windows? If so, via Bootcamp or virtualization (Parallels, Fusion)? If you want to run gaming on a Mac, a mini is problematic.
     
  7. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    To be clear, the current Mac Mini has an underpowered video processor, so gaming is out of the question. However, if the new Mini (rumored to be on the slate for later this year) has Thunderbolt 3 and can support eGPU, running Windows gaming from bootcamp on the Mini might be possible. If this was the route you took, a large (1-2TB) SSD rather than HDD would be essential to run bootcamp for Windows gaming. I understand eGPU support for bootcamp is a little complicated now, but that might improve as more options become available.

    If you decide to go Mini for general computing and a Windows PC for gaming, then the Mini HDD is not as important for the stated uses you mention. Capacity would be your main concern, and speed (Fusion or SSD) would be a luxury. If you need more storage, the 2014 Mini has both Thunderbolt 2 and USB3 for external drives, both are probably adequate for general purpose storage needs.

    If you are willing to wait and see what Apple does with the next Mini, it is possible it might work for a single, dual boot system. eGPU is not cheap, but is probably less costly than a separate gaming PC. The added convenience of a single machine that can do both is nice in terms of reducing clutter.
     
  8. flyman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    #8
    Ideally a Mac Mini for general everyday usage and a dedicated high end Windows machine or gaming only.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 16, 2018 ---
    I don't want to go with a eGPU, I think it might cause too many complications!
    Re the storage with my photos and music kept on an external drive the MacMini HD wont be much of a problem though having an SSD would be nice!
    I'm not too worried about clutter as it wont be much different to what I already have.

    One of my other concerns in knowing if a MacMini and a Windows PC can share the same monitor and keyboard?
     
  9. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    It can be done. The easiest way might be a KVM switch such as this.
     
  10. flyman thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2004
  11. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #11

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