How does the Mini compare to old Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rp911, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. rp911 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    Anyone know how much faster a new Mac Mini would be compared to an old Mac Pro?

    I have an original 2006 Mac Pro with the 2.66 dual core xeon and 3 gigs of RAM. I do graphic design work, multitrack music recording and occasional forays into HD video. It's held up fairly well over the years, but it's starting to get a little bit ponderous and I'm thinking about an upgrade.

    I have three big internal drives (3 terabytes), and various other external drives connected to it.

    I could just pop for a new base Mac Pro (and I'm curious if my old internal drives will work in there). But it also occurred to me to wonder if just buying one of those little Mac Minis would give me a fairly substantial boost in horsepower, assuming I could network the old Mac Pro to it to have access to all its hard drives using its gigabit Ethernet port.

    The applications I run are InDesign, Photoshop, Final Cut Express, Logic Studio.

    Any thoughts?
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    The mini is slower than your Mac Pro. You have 4 processors running at 2.66GHz (Dual - Dual Core).
    The mini's are Core 2 Duo's, they only have 2 processors. They are also not highly clocked enough to make up for the Pro's extra 2 processors.
  3. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    The Mac Pro would destroy it. Into little tiny pieces.
  4. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
  5. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    Core 2 duo is a single processor with "Dual Cores."

    And a machine that is upgradeable will typically always last longer than one with fewer upgrade options. Just look at Powermacs and powerbooks from the same era. Powerbooks are obsolete, but the Powermacs remain viable hardware (aside from the fact the latest OS doesn't support PPC).

    OP: I say stick with your Mac Pro. Maybe do a fresh install of the OS to speed things up a little. Also, SSD prices are coming down somewhat. An SSD and memory upgrade could do wonders for your performance.
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Sorry, yes, I should have said cores. Not processors. 2 Processors, 4 Cores.
    I meant it but I didn't type it.
  7. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    The new base Mac Pro or the hexacore would be a good option. You can save a bit by buying a refurb.

    I guess it comes down to your budget what you decide to do, whether to try to improve the performance of your 06 Mac Pro (more RAM, possibly a SSD) or get a new one.
  8. Daud macrumors regular


    Oct 23, 2008
  9. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    The mini is slower in every area. It has less cpu power (it has only 1 and it's a slower cpu), the Mac Pro takes more memory (up to 32 even), it has faster drives (3,5"desktop drives are faster than the 2,5" drives) and the graphics card is a bit faster but can be upgraded to an even faster one. The power of the Mac Pro lies in its upgradability. Upgrading mem, disks and the graphics card can make it last for several more years.

    Then there is a more practical side on the mini and Pro: the Pro has 2 fw800 and 2 fw400 ports whereas the mini only has 1 fw800 port. If you're using firewire hdd's this makes quite a difference, especially when you're using several at the same time (you're not limited to the bandwidth of just 1 fw800 port). The mini only takes 1 2,5" hdd (or ssd), other disks need to be external (usb2 or fw800). You could circumvent this by using a NAS with gigabit ethernet (like the ones from Synology or Qnap, most definitely NOT the Time Capsule as it is awfully slow (~20MB/s)) but you'll loose some performance when compared to firewire disks and the internal disks.

    So the question you need to ask: what are you willing to compromise?
    How about the iMac (faster hardware than the mini)?
  10. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    Forget the mini. Max our RAM and consider an SSD.

    You can check on how much RAM you are using now in activity monitor. Keep an eye on it and see but I would imagine you will notice a big difference with more RAM.
  11. rp911 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    Thanks for the assistance. For now, I'm going to add some memory, and add another internal drive, as the startup disk is the original 250gb drive and it's pretty well full.

    Quick question ... I have two 1GB chips in riser A and two 512mb chips in riser B. If I want to add two 2GB chips, where would be the best place to install them?

    Also, I just noticed that the 1GB chip in the first slot is showing ECC errors.
  12. rp911 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    You people are bad influences :)

    I just added a 120 gb ssd, too.
  13. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    Seriously, you're asking this?

    This is like asking, "How does a Smart car compare to Corvette (in terms of speed)?"
  14. rp911, Feb 15, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011

    rp911 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    Yes, I was asking seriously. I think it's a legitimate question so inquire if a 2006 base Mac Pro is still faster than a brand new Mac Mini. Newer technology is usually faster, even if it's cheaper.

    Our two-year-old iMac seems at least as fast at my Mac Pro, if not faster.

    I didn't really care about additional drives or expandability, because my Mac Pro wasn't going anywhere. Just asking about the speed.

    More like asking how a 2011 Camaro compares to a 2006 Corvette in 0-60 times. (The Vette is two tenths of a second faster, btw.)
  15. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    You aint crazy to ask. My Macbook Pro is way faster than the best PowerMac G5 ever produced. Consumer does take over the previous high end eventually. Just not yet with Mini vs. Mac Pro.
  16. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I've got an original MacPro. Bumped RAM to 16gigs, added two 80gig SSDs in a RAID for boot and upgraded the graphics card last year. I'm still pretty happy with it. Only place it really gets a bit sluggish in when I render complicated projects in After Effects. For the most part I just let things render overnight so it's not a big deal. I'd love to get another good year out of it, maybe two. :)
  17. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    You won't regret it.
  18. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    you guys worried about lion not being able to run on the 1,1 mp?

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