Mac Pro vs 2018 Mac mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jtmatchett, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. jtmatchett macrumors newbie


    Sep 25, 2017
    Hello everyone!

    I need some help/advice on deciding between a Mac Pro and 2018 Mac mini. This machine will be solely used for music production (Ableton Live + Plugins) and basic word processing. I do run Ableton at 48k and sometimes higher sample rates which can be tasking on my current 2014 MBP. I’m really torn on which machine would be best for my studio. I’m looking at a Mac Pro 3GHz 8 core, 32 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD and a 2018 Mac mini 3.2 GHz 6 core, 64 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD. The Mac Pro is $4249 and Mac mini is $3299. From my understanding the Xeon processors are better at multi core processing than an i7 but that the i7 may be better at single core processing. I do believe Ableton Live utilizes multi core processing most of the time. Many of the plugins I use inside Ableton also use multi core processing. From my understanding, the 2018 Mac mini also has faster RAM but I’m not sure what difference that would make.

    Which system do you think is a better buy for my scenario?
  2. 11201ny macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2014
    From what I have read, they are very similar over all. Mac Pro is more of a beast, while the Mac Mini has newer tech.
    Otherwise, this very question has caused wars all over the internet.

    Good Luck.
  3. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    If you're doing audio work and don't need the GPU for anything, I'd opt for the hex-core Mac mini all day long. Much better single-thread performance, and at least marginally better multi-threaded performance. $1,000 cheaper is nothing to sneeze at, either.
  4. gnomeisland macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2008
    New York, NY
    I do mostly audio (and some photo/video work on the side). I love my Mac Pro but I'd go for the mini in a heartbeat. I don't know Ableton but Apple's own Logic hardly touches the GPU and if you need a faster GPU for most apps you'll get better performance with an external GPU on the Mac mini.

    I'm one of the few who loves the design of the Pro but let's be real, the internals haven't been updated in almost 6 years. It's almost ready to be classified as "obsolete" even before the refresh comes out and that's by Apple's own generous standards! (7 years)
  5. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    Ableton is the only thing I’m uncertain about – I know the 2011 Mac mini with only 16GB of memory was able to handle everything I could throw at it while using Logic Pro and only flinched and slowed when it came to intensive video effects, though I understand Logic Pro has generally been about as optimized as possible for Mac hardware.

    If I had that kind of money to spend, I’d want to favour the newer hardware for the longest possible software support, and the new Mac mini clearly wins there. I might hesitate a little longer if serious video work was in the question, but I’m really not sure how long.
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Mac Mini. If you require more storage, you can add externally via USB3 or Tbolt3/USB-C. Similar for video if you find you need it you can go for an external add on.

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