Mac mini vs 2013 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by lennyeiger, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. lennyeiger macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2015
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Hi folks. Need to buy a new computer for someone who works with me. The old, Westmere chip, cheese grater, Mac Pro is going to die any day now. Doing general computing, building databases, etc. (No big graphics use.) For this kind of use, how would you rate the new Mini vs the old Trashcan Mac Pro from 2013? Assuming about 32 Gigs of RAM, etc... Mini's used to be $999 for a good one, now its twice that... Who knows when we'll get a real computer out of them....

    TIA, Lenny
  2. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Oct 31, 2017
    If it were me and I didn't require the graphics or multi-threaded (of higher core count CPUs) capabilities of the 6,1 Mac Pro then I would very much consider the new Mini over the Mac Pro. The 6,1 Mac Pro is a nice system but it's now five years old.
  3. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    For database work the new mini could be much faster than the nMP as the SSD connection should go from pcie 2 to pcie 3 speeds.
  4. Elwe, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018

    Elwe macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2006
    It really depends on your specific use case . . . as is often the case. Can you give specifics about your applications/use case(s)?

    Generally, the Mac Mini is going to have a number of benefits:
    -Single threaded workloads are significantly faster.
    -Hardware assisted modern codec-based encoding (thinking HVEC) are significantly faster.
    -I/O (TB2 vs TB3; 10gE option) are better/faster . , , though the Trash Can has more TB2 ports than the Mac mini has TB3 ports if for some reason you needed that many.
    -internal SSD is much faster

    Mac Pro:
    -Not sure if it is officially supported but you can install 128GB ram in it, and the mini only goes up to 64GB.

    It would be really hard to generally judge 8 fairly old cores (Mac Pro) vs 6 modern cores (mini). A lot depends on things like hardware-assisted encoding, how many applications you are running at the same time, how much cache is use . . . others. My guess is that for most the mini will be faster, but that are some in the tech and biotech communities (think like BLAST) could really use as many cores as possible to their full extent.

    I think for nine out of 10 people, they should probably get the mini. For those professionals that need more, just wait until next year. Unless you are getting a truly sensational discount (like more than $1000) off, I am not sure any individual user should consider getting a legacy Mac Pro at this point. They may be pricey, not designed for gaming, and not internally expandable by much, but it seems like the new mini is a great new machine. I think six cpu cores, 32gb ram, 1TB SSD is a good platform for lots of "professionals". Indeed, if you would rather not have a laptop, you can save quite a lot of money from the Macbook Prod 15" option configured similarly that a lot of people have been using.

    I think the only reason to look negatively at it is that there is no "inexpensive" option. No $500 option with 8gb ram and 256gb SSD that lots of people think should be the minimum . . . sort of like the 12" Macbook.
  5. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Oct 31, 2017
    Possibly true in the case of the cMP systems but he's asking about how it compares to the 6,1 Mac Pro.
  6. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    The 6,1 still uses pci 2.0 for the SSD connection. Look on the MP forum and you find the max speed is 1500MB/s for any SSD.

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5 October 31, 2018