Mac Pro 1,1 vs Base Spec 2013 Mini

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SimonUK5, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    I've currently got a base spec Mini, with a SSD i put in myself.

    Its an alright machine, it works pretty good, its quiet and doesn't get in the way.

    Its pretty painful doing any Handbreak encoding, or audio bouncing on it though.

    I've been looking at a 1,1 Mac Pro on Ebay, they are pretty cheap at £300. I could up the proc's to Xeon 5355 quads for around £45. And ram is cheap.

    Side grade or Up Grade? It would be nice to be able to use PCI audio stuff too.

    Also, whats the deal with using USB on these things? Just chuck a USB 3 card in?
  2. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    You're better off flogging your Mini and getting 2.3 GHz quad core Mini.
  3. michael_aos macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    What do you currently have? Late 2012 Mini? I don't believe there is / was a 2013 Mini.

    2.5Ghz dual-core Intel Core i5?

    Performance will probably be similar to the Mac Pro 1,1, except that the Mac Pro will be quieter when stressed.

    The current-generation Mini has USB3 & Thunderbolt, and can (easily) run Mavericks / OS X 10.9.

    I replaced my Mac Pro 1,1 with a Late 2012 Mini quad-core Core i7.

    My main complaints about the Mini are that it is limited to 16GB of RAM, limited to 2 displays (without resorting to USB3 adapters), and it is annoyingly loud when stressed.
  4. SimonUK5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010

    Yeah its a Late 2012 mini, the base i5 one.

    RAM limit isn't a massive issue for me, but the MacPro i'd probably pack with RAM because i could.

    Speed wise, i just want fasting encoding speeds, and PCI is nice for Audio gear.

    Not sure, i'm on the fence, i'd probably keep my Mini too, just nice to have a big tower with some raw CPU force to get **** done some times.
  5. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    I just got rid of my mid 2012 core i5 mini, it was a nice machine, but as you've discovered, to do any handbrake work takes forever. I liked the fact that I could have my storage externally connected via USB 3, that was nice, but otherwise the machine was too slow for my liking. I got rid of it along with an 2009 white macbook and got a Mac Pro 5,1 quad core Nehalem with 24GB of RAM, I also rebuilt my hackintosh which is a quad core second gen i7 with 16GB of RAM and I use that for my handbrake encoding. Anything less then a Mac Pro 4,1 at this point is not a good investment in my opinion. Problem is, the 4,1's and 5'1's have shot up in price since the nMpro came out. Eventually I will upgrade to a hex core CPU and probably give my hackintosh to one of my kids who will put windows on it, but for now it serves its purpose for me and its very fast.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The 1,1 would provide you with PCI. It would probably be about the same. Big tower means nothing in terms of computing power when you're comparing against completely different generations of technology. The quad core mini is definitely a bit faster in terms of cpu power. To get significantly beyond that your cost goes way up with new equipment. If you're considering a used mac pro, why aren't you looking at a 2009 2.93 8 core or something along those lines? PCI is really going to be your only advantage with the older ones, and you may find support spotty in recent versions of OSX. It'll only get worse due to no new mac pros that actively implement PCI slots. I suspect you'll see fewer working drivers unless nMP volume is enough to justify development costs of certified drivers. This means the machine can't panic if the card is unplugged.
  7. Edge macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Based on my experiences of the last week or two, think twice.

    I upgraded to 2,1 firmware, installed Mavericks, installed a Fresco Logic USB 3.0 card, native N Wi-Fi and three SSDs.

    After 20 years experience playing around with Macs, this has been the most infuriating.

    RAM is playing up. USB 3.0 is causing sleep and corruption issues (don't know about Bluetooth interference because I can't get the BT to work, at all, with known good cards.)

    Internal wireless antennas are worse than useless.

    I can't isolate which are the faulty RAM sticks or daughtercards. I can't replicate any of the issues. I can't seem to install into 10.7.5 any longer. I can't even get the machine to boot more than twice without new issues arising, even with fresh installs.

    If I had hair, I would have pulled it all out with frustration.

    TLDR; I spent $250 on a Mac Pro 1,1, $60 to take it up to 16GB RAM (of which anywhere between 1GB and 12GB actually works, depending on which foot I stand on) $25 on a USB 3.0 card which I can't trust, $100 on an nVidia GT640 which just works, thank eff. (The 7300GT doesn't work in Mavericks without massive graphics issues, and was squealing like a Deliverance pig.)

    I should have bought a Mini.
  8. SimonUK5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    My Mini is currently SLAMMED doing some Handbreak encodes, which is kinda lame, so i'm using a linux box. At 390% across 4 cores, ehh. Mac Pro with upped Proc's for 8cores has gotta be quicker.

    I think i'm going to pick up a MacPro 1,1 anyway, i can sell it pretty easy if i don't need it/want it anyway. Still looking at the best way to get a PCI audio interface, Looking at older Digi Design/ ProTools rig, cheap, but the pre-amps and DAC's are still really great.

    Will keep you all updated.
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    You never said upped to 8 cores. That makes a significant difference. At that point you're around the speed of a 2012 quad mini, which probably would have been a better purchase for the aforementioned use if it's time critical. Any one of these is going to be slammed on a task like transcoding or rendering video, because those are the kinds of tasks that will take every core you can throw at them up to a certain point assuming enough memory to split things up efficiently. Just be careful. You're buying a potentially 7 year old system, and things do break.
  10. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    This is what I'd do. The quad core mini's really do have twice the CPU speed of the dual core models. Even so, the base mini seems slightly quicker than the MP 1,1 in Geekbench.
  11. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    As someone who has a Mac Pro 1,1 with 5355's my geekbench score can't break 10K. My 2012 Mac Mini Quad Core beats it at 11.5K, has reliable USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, SATA III, supports Mavericks Out of the Box, can do Airplay Mirroring, etc. etc.....

    You would be buying a computer that is 8 years old.... How much longer will that 1,1 last?

    You would be better off selling the Base Mini and stepping up to the Mid-Mini for only a few hundred (less than the amount you would have spent on the Mac Pro + upgrades).....
  12. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I'll cast a vote against the 1,1. I had one from Oct 2006, and it was a solid machine until 2013, when it started to act up.

    In 2012 I upgraded to 8 cores, put in 14 GB RAM (there are only 8 slots, so if you use 2 GB sticks you'll max out at 16). Put in a 5770. Stuffed it with disks, of course. It ran FCP X well enough. A little bit of audio work, OK.

    In 2010, because I was moving back and forth between work sites, I got a 5,1, and put a hexcore in it. No comparison - not just speed, but all the pieces of the 5,1 work properly. And as I said, by the time the 1,1 was 7 years old it started to go bad.

    Firewire died, there were boot issues, I had had Lion running fine, but when I tried a clean install (bad mistake) it wouldn't take it at all. True, it ran Windows 7 perfectly well.

    I tried selling it for $600, then $500 -- no takers. In the end I gave it to a cool kid.

    What I'm saying is that the 1,1 started going downhill at age 7. I totally got my money's worth out of that machine, but I wouldn't take one as a gift, right now. Too much trouble.
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The newer cpus like your mini also do a better job with parallel workloads, as they ditched the old FSB.
  14. SimonUK5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    Bought one for £210 quid on ebay. Might end up selling it on, but for 210 quid its a bit of fun even if it doesn't work out how i would like!

    2x 2.66 Xeons
    4Gb RAM
    250Gb Drive

    Arriving on wednesday, and its got seller warranty! :)
  15. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    By the way I'd be careful about buying the older Digi systems as the software they actually work properly with now is pretty limited.
  16. paharrises macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2009
    Swap 1,1 for Mac Mini?

    I've got a 2006 MacPro 1,1 in very good condition (7300GT video card, 9GB RAM). I just received my nMP and so I'm looking to sell the 1,1.

    I'd be interest in a straight-up swap for a good condition late model Mac-mini (I'd use that for a home theatre PC so it just needs to have a decent processor and an HDMI out).

    Let me know if you're interested.

  17. SimonUK5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    Already bought one dude, but thanks for trying to sell in my thread...
  18. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I still love my 1,1. When they're functional, they're still good machines. Threw in 2x 2.66 quad core cpu, 24gb ram, and a GTX 460 for basically change. Runs 24/7 for me and has never had any issues besides an issue on reboot that was traced back to bad ram. Processes video like a champ, and boots into Windows 7 and runs games like Skyrim with no sweat. Can't complain for the $200 I spent on it.
  19. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    Funny thing, this morning I had a batch of DSLR footages needing to be transcoded to ProRes for Final Cut, wanting to save time so I split the files into 2 for both our MacPro 2,1 (8 core) and a tricked out i7 Mini Late 2012. Of course using the exact same app and same settings, ended up the Mini finished the encoding in at least half the time or maybe less. On the MacPro we have fiber channel to xserve RAID array so I/O cannot be a bottleneck, despite the Mini runs on SSD. Granted I was only using MPEG Streamclip, unlike HandBrake which may have better optimization for multi-core, but still the difference is stark especially considering how quiet and low temp the Mini runs at.

    I think for someone to have already owned an old MacPro, the investment of pimping it for modern use makes sense, as it can't cost more than a few hundreds and you get to keep a lot of older PCI cards etc. Otherwise it makes close to no sense not to go for an i7 Mini, you don't even need RAM and SSD if this is solely for encoding purpose.
  20. SimonUK5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    Arrived last night, only just started it up, one ram stick came loose during shipping so stuck that back in.

    In Snow Leopard, its fast, really fast, feels a lot faster than my i5 Mini. In Lion, its speedy, but not like it was in Snow Leopard. This is just running off the stock original 250Gb SATA Hard drive. I've got an SSD to put in it, once i decide what i'm doing with it.

    So far, seems as fast if not faster than my Mini, and no louder either, so i'm happy right now.
  21. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    You going to put mavericks on it? Or not sure yet?
  22. SimonUK5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    Once/if i up the Proc's and GPU then maybe, but tbh it runs god damn well in Snow Leopard, i might just revert to SL and keep using it until i have to upgrade.

    Still unsure, but an SSD might change my mind on this one completely.
  23. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Yeah what are the CPUs in it at the moment? Wait until you get mavericks on it then! Mine flies! Mountain Lion & Lion were a little sluggish on mine but mavericks is perfect.
  24. blueshogun96 macrumors regular


    Nov 24, 2012
    EDIT: Missed the part where he said he bought it. Sorry, I should read the whole thread next time...

    So far, my Mac Pro 1,1 runs rather well. I bought it used for $200 a few weeks ago because there was no HDD and the video card was going bad (but suddenly started working better when I used it). Threw in another HDD the same day, got Mavericks up and running a week later, and a GTX 760 1.5GB yesterday. The only reason I bought a used Mac Pro over a Mac Mini is because I need the OpenGL 4.1 support for game dev.

    Not sure what or why you need your Mac, but consider the warranty that a new Mac Mini would come with, as well as thunderbolt and USB 3.0 if you need it.
  25. SimonUK5 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    Still got the Mini, but haven't used it since the Pro Arrived.

    Running Snow Leopard on an SSD it in now, SSD isn't in a bracket but its light enough that it can sit plugged in without a bracket.

    Runs super quick, things are instant and effortless it seems. Going to do a DVD rip in a minute and see how that handles, but i'm not expecting it to struggle.

    Been using Sibelius 7 all day on a BIG project and it hasn't missed a beat.

    Just need to wait till i can get a bluetooth card for it, using an old wired Apple mouse and keyboard right now.

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