Mac Pro 2009 Quadcore vs Mac Mini Server

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Erich Yeung, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Erich Yeung macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2012
    Ok guys so here's the deal. I've recently been so frustrated with logic pro system overloads that I'm about to either throw my computer out the window or permanently switch from Logic. Now I've tried nearly everything to resolve the problem. I use 3rd party plugs with Logic 9.1.7 running 32 bit (64 bit messes up midi audio synchronization for me, which I suspect is the Mbox Pro 3's fault, and the 32 au bridge is a nightmare) on a 2010 MBP with 8 gigs of ram and a 500 gig HDD.

    Anyways, it has become so bad that I literally have 0 workflow anymore. A system overload pops up every 2-8 secs, even with all my tracks frozen. I tried to switch to Ableton yesterday, and though it's cool and interesting, it just felt weird. Like a married dude cheating on his wife with another man for the first time or something. It just felt awkward hahaha, so I guess since Logic is my "true love" so to speak, I'm going to buy a computer just so I can use it.

    So right now my budget is about $1000. So I've narrowed it down to either getting a mac mini server or a 2009 Mac Pro quadcore that's been refurbished on Ebay. Now I know that the Mac Mini's are rumored for a reboot soon, so I may wait for that unless the Mac Pro is the better one to go for. So which is a better choice? I feel that the Mac Mini Servers, being more recent and probably having newer processors would be the best bet, though Mac Pro's just have that powerhouse reputation to them, so it's hard to tell for me which one is better. Thanks for the help guys!

    PS: would a 2008 8-core Mac Pro beat out both of these options (including the potentially faster new MMS) badly? I found one for $1,300 but I'm scared it's going to break down because of the age.
  2. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    I recommend looking at Geekbench results so you get a sense of the performance gap between your 2009 Mac Pro vs 2011 Mac mini server. You will lose a lot of flexibility going down to a Mini chassis.
  3. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    I'd be very interested in comparison! So if you dig up more info let me know. I'm currently in similar situation, I'm using 11" MB Air as a backup computer and do video editing on it but it's not really made for heavy load.

    I was toying with the idea of getting 2009 Mac Pro but as I saw some geekbench scores you definitely want to get another CPU in there to even beat Mac Mini Server.

    But there is always the expandability of Mac Pro - you can put 32Gigs of RAM in there, lots of storage. I just wished Apple would put at least Thunderbolt on the recent refresh, not that I would have money for a new MP anyway.

    I'm having the same doubts as you that I'd be a bit scared that it would break down on me. Also it just feels as a very outdated system for that money but I feel once you do the upgrades (especially SSD for OS), it'll be worth it.
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009

    Basically: The 2009 Quad Core Mac Pro 2.66ghz loses by a small margin to the 2011 Mac Mini Server in 64bit processes, but the 2008 8 core 2.8ghz beats them both by a fair margin.

    With that said, the 2009 Quad Core can be upgraded to a Hex (6) Core 3.33ghz which can handily beat any of the above (and you can do this when you have the cash if you want).

    The only comment I will make is that I haven't seen a 2009 Mac Pro for a 1000, but I haven't looked recently.

    Oh and memory for the 2008 is much more expensive than the 2009 Mac Pro, so I would really recommend staying away from it unless you can get super cheap.
  5. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    if you can get a mac pro quad 2009 for 1k from a good seller buy it. then look into the upgrades you can do. upgrades are:

    1)ssd __________________________________________________crucial 512gb------------------ 400

    2)video card _____________________________________________hd6870--------------------------180-------needs firmware

    3)hexcore w3680 cpu after a firmware flash.___________________w3680---------------------------600 -------needs firmware

    4) ram 4x 4gb_____________________________________________hynix 1333----------------------200

    total cost_____________________________________________________________________________1380 plus the 1 k or 2400

    basically you can make your 2009 machine into this one

    Attached Files:

  6. Erich Yeung thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2012
    Hey guys thanks for the replies, you've been super helpful!

    Yeah so basically right now the 2008 8-core would beat the MMS and Mac Pro 2009 quadcore? But if I were to upgrade the 2009 quadcore to a hex, it would beat out the 2008 8-core? Just because of the new type of processor it has?

    Also why is the memory more expensive for the 2008? Don't they all use the same type of ram chips? I currently have 8 gigs in my laptop and still have the old 2 gig chip. Couldn't I take the 8 gigs in my laptop and put it in the pro if I bought it?
  7. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Correct the 2009 with Hexcore would be faster because it is a new chip based on the core i series as opposed to the old core2duo's that the 2008 is based on. And yes the memory in the 2008 uses a much more expensive memory type than the 2009s. And no, your laptop memory will not work in ANY mac pros.
  8. itsamacthing macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2011
    I think everyone is giving you very solid advise. Remember that the Mac Mini has a built in power supply and runs super hot. Your Mini will be smoking hot and it's not really designed for serious CPU churning activities. You will also be limited in terms of expandability unless you get yourself a thunderbolt raid box. If you have the space, I would go with the 09 Mac Pro and then slowly update it as it makes you money. You can max out the memory, add a USB3 card, upgrade the CPU (see Netkas), even add a RAID card. So much fun!
  9. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    2008 Mac Pro uses DDR2 memory with some special heat sinks on it, which is why they are so expensive. the 2009 Mac Pro uses DDR3 ECC RAM which is actually very cheap.
    And actually only the 3.2GHz 8core 2008 model beats the 2.66GHz quad 2009, and that not even by 10%. So its really not worth it at all to get a 2008.

    Buy the 2009, use it as is, and when you have cash again upgrade it to a 3.33 Hex. You can use the 2009 much longer because you can upgrade more in it.

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