MacPro Early 2009 vs...Late 2012 mini

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by donoman, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. donoman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #1
    I have a 2009 MacPro with the 2.93 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon and 18Gb ram (I know, strange but that is what I have). I use to use it for video editing and I still use it for Aperture and more recently I've been using Photoshop. Other than that it surfs the web when my family is on.

    I am thinking of reducing my footprint in my office and was looking at the Late 2012 Mac Mini with i7 Quad Core 2.6 or 2.3 GHz and 16gb ram. I can still sell the Older MacPro locally for more than the Mini.

    All my digital files are on external drives and that is how I've been running them on Aperture anyway.

    Is this a foolish move to think the mini will be comparable to the older, but still stable, '09 MacPro?

    I've not used a mini for a long time and it was only in my Youth Group room to run powerpoint and video's to the projector.

    Pros and Cons please.
     
  2. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #2
    It will work - but remember you will have a Intel 5000 GPU (onboard) and no discreet GPU.

    on your 2009, you can easily upgrade to a better CPU or even switch out the tray and make it into a 12 core with 2 x5680's and turn it into a 5,1 Mac Pro.

    Granted, you will still take up space, but the machine will be way faster than a mini.

    I recently bought a mini and tried it myself, it's actually pretty speedy but when it comes to intensive tasks it gets difficult to manage.
     
  3. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    Correction; Intel 4000.

    I had similar feelings. I got tired of my 2010 MP 3.2 quad 24GB RAM HD 5870; no USB3, no SATA3, no TB, too big, blah blah blah, whine whine whine.

    I bought a 2012 mini i7 2.3 16GB RAM, installed Yosemite on an SSD and Windows on the OEM HDD. Its Geekbench score killed that of my Mac Pro. Still have the mini and love it, great machine, tiny, low power draw, etc.

    Then I had a chance to buy one of the last new i7 2.6 models available so the Yosemite SSD went over to it and I maxed out the RAM at 16GB. It was even a faster machine but still had only barely just acceptable graphics.

    After awhile I realized that I missed the internal storage and expandability of a Mac Pro. The mini 2.6 went away and I bought a used 2012 Mac Pro, installed a used 3.46 hex-core CPU and 24GB RAM, put an Apricorn Velo Duo x2 PCIe card in it with Yosemite and Windows each on its own SSD.

    Now I am in heaven. All my storage drives are just there always and they are quiet. Video performance is way better than the mini even with the sucky HD 5770 card. Geekbench individual core scores are very close to those of the 2012 mini and of course multi-core GB3 scores are way higher. Real world performance is definitely better.

    I am still a (2012) mini fan but there is no comparison with a real Mac Pro.
     
  4. SamPotts macrumors regular

    SamPotts

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    My story is similar to above. I had an 8 core 2.26 2009 Mac Pro (usual upgrades inc RAM, SSD, SATA 3 HBA etc) and wanted to downsize to save a bit of power and space. Got myself a refurbed 2012 i7 Mac Mini Server, fitted SSD and 16GB. All seemed well but after a while it seemed to struggle driving the two 27s at times and it just felt a bit underpowered. I lasted around 9 months, sold the Mac Mini and then found a bargain 2009 Mac Pro 4 core, upgraded it to 3.33 6 core, Apple 1TB SSD blade, 16GB, ATI 7970 etc for not a lot more money. It feels like it can take anything I can throw at it and is super quiet. I do front end design and development so run VMs, Sketch, Photoshop etc.
     
  5. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #5
    I also have a Mac Mini 2012 (QuadCore i7, 2.3 GHz) and a Mac Pro 2009 (upgraded to 5,1, 3.46 HexCore).

    At the moment the Mac Pro is the machine for all my tasks, and the Mini stands around doing nothing, but is planned to be an Office/Internet/Multimedia machine.

    However, i'm working on to improve the Mini with an external graphics card. The HD 4000 iGPU is definitively the bottleneck.
     
  6. donoman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #6
    So what is "not a lot of money"? I guess my least expensive option is to simply replace my processor? I really have limited funds, that is why I was even looking at the mini after I sold the mac pro. I think I'll hang on to the Pro after reading the comments, but now I look to the next step...which is?


     
  7. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #7
    In your case, with limited funds, i would first buy a normal cheap 2.5' SATA SSD including an adapter, for example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kingston-SSD-SATA-Enclosure-SNA-DC_35/dp/B0029U14VS , and connect it to an internal SATA Slot. This will give your system an enormous gain concerning responsiveness.

    Secondly, i would buy the Xeon W3690, for example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTEL-XEON-...722?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item418ed6e2fa

    If there is some money left an USB 3/eSATA card (6G).
     
  8. donoman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #8
    Sounds like a good plan. So I use the SATA SSD for the OS and the other drives will remain as they are? Sorry to be such a novice at this.

     
  9. SamPotts macrumors regular

    SamPotts

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    I found the W3690s to be mad expensive compared to the not much slower W3680 but you might get lucky!

    I spent around $450 on top of the sale of the Mac Mini to get it "up to spec" but of course you don't need to go those lengths to get a quick machine. It really depends what you're doing with the machine. If you need more CPU or IO speed? For an "all rounder" a decent SSD is hard to beat as mentioned above. The difference is night and day over an old HD.

    It's worth doing the external BT antenna mod too if you get a 4,1. Out of the box the BT is pretty laggy/*****:
    https://nobblynoel.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/mac-pro-2009-bluetooth-fix/
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #10
    If you aren't being limited by the cpu, why even bother doing that?

    I'm curious, in what way were your graphics limited? The OP just mentioned photoshop (uses them in a limited manner but does fill up a lot of vram) and Aperture (doesn't matter at all). I assume you're doing something that uses them in a more meaningful way. Video editing varies by application. In some cases it's also meaningless.
     
  11. donoman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2015
    #11
    I've been wanting to fix my BT since day one but just haven't done it. I've reverted to the wired keyboard, which is not that bad and a logitech mouse with a usb adapter in the keyboard. Works fine but it has always bothered me that I cannot use what I want. Since I'm overhauling other things I will probably fix the BT with the antenna fix listed below. Thanks!

     

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