mini mac or old mac pro 2.1

brendenward35

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 20, 2015
2
0
Sunderland UK
Hi,
I'm looking to by used mac's to do video editing probably in imovies

2 machine I'm looking are
1. mini mac 2013 500GB 5400rpm hard drive 2.5ghz i5 dual core 8GB RAM price GBP 340.00
2. mac pro 2.1 2 x quad core Xeon cpu's. 3.00ghz. 8 cores 320GB hard drive 1024mb ATI graphics
price: GBP 200

The mac pro is a lot older but my question is which is the better machine to purchase to do the video work?

Any help would be really appreciated as I'm not 100% sure what to buy.

Thanks
Brenden
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,668
2,126
New Jersey Pine Barrens
There's no such thing as a 2013 Mini, just 2012 and 2014. From your description, it sounds like you are looking at a base model 2012 Mini however. I have used one of these for video editing (with Final Cut Pro, not iMovie) and felt that it worked well. The drawbacks are the old HD4000 graphics chip and the slow internal hard drive. A fast external hard drive or SSD can help a lot.

The video card probably won't be a problem unless you are doing something unusual, Apple's software (including Final Cut Pro) still supports even older video chips. I was working with legacy standard definition 480i60 DV and high definition 1080i60 HDV and really didn't have any problems. Rendering isn't blazing fast, but it's not bad either.

Sorry, I really don't know anything about that Mac Pro, but you can compare the specs at http://www.everymac.com/ - the geekbench scores will give you a pretty good idea of how rendering times compare. Here's a link to the Mini: http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac-mini-core-i5-2.5-late-2012-specs.html
 

_pottymouth

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2017
1
1
Bostonish
I've got that same Mac Pro 2,1 sitting in my junk hardware pile. It won't run any OS higher than 10.7. I gave up on trying to find a use for it years ago. This 2012 Mac Mini, on the other hand, is still one of the most wonderful computers I've ever used.

But I'm just a 2D graphics guy. I don't game on this rig or do video work, so I can't speak to that.
 
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Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,668
2,126
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I wouldn't get the mini unless it was a quad-core.
I currently use the top spec 2012 i7 2.6ghz quad core Mini for video and really like it. These machines are still very much in demand and you are not likely to find any bargains. It renders video exactly twice as fast as the model that @brendenward35 is looking at. Aside from that, the experience is pretty much the same. So I think it's a decent choice for someone on a budget. Of course, he has not said what kind if video he wants to edit. I don't shoot 4k, but suspect all of these old computers would not be a good choice for that.
 

Celerondon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2013
679
124
Southern Cal
I wouldn't get the mini unless it was a quad-core.
For a specific group of tasks the 2012 i7 mini is twice as fast as the i5 version but that certainly doesn't mean that i5 minis are not useful for those tasks. In fact, a 2012 i5 with 8GB RAM and that slow 500GB spinner should be a fine iMovie editing platform. All 2012 minis have fair graphics and good interface options. If the OP chooses the mini then USB 3.0, FireWire 800, Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, & HDMI are compatible with modern storage and display options. For wireless connectivity and control, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Infrared are built-in as well. (For a bit more money, an 8GB RAM 2014 i5 would have superior interface options!)

Sometime we loose our sense of proportion when evaluating equipment. For multi-core work, that quad-core mini is twice as fast as it's dual-core sibling. However the i5 is no slouch! Shouldn't we try to help the OP choose between the 2007 Mac Pro and 2012 i5 mini that were specified? o_O

That Mac Pro was first sold when iPhones were new. According to EveryMac that model originally shipped with USB 2.0 and 1GB of RAM. I agree with Boyd01. I suggest that the OP should check EveryMac and then choose between their options.
 
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Miat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2012
712
672
The drawbacks are the old HD4000 graphics chip
Pay attention to that bit.

You can upgrade the drive to an SSD (which will certainly help), but the several-generations-old HD4000 GPU will still be a bottleneck, and you can't upgrade that.

If you are going to go with that GPU, it will help if you only have the video editing software open when editing. Quit every other app you don't need.

Can sometimes also help if you do a system reboot just before you start editing. Clean out the VRAM, which the system does not seem to be good at doing on the fly.

And max out the RAM to 16GB.

But between the GPU and the dual-core, I think you will find that model pretty slow. I have a 2012 quad i7 Mini, and it is a great machine, but I wouldn't want to rely on it for serious video editing/processing.
 

Celerondon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2013
679
124
Southern Cal
I've got that same Mac Pro 2,1 sitting in my junk hardware pile. It won't run any OS higher than 10.7. I gave up on trying to find a use for it years ago. This 2012 Mac Mini, on the other hand, is still one of the most wonderful computers I've ever used...
...You can upgrade the drive to an SSD (which will certainly help), but the several-generations-old HD4000 GPU will still be a bottleneck, and you can't upgrade that.
...But between the GPU and the dual-core, I think you will find that model pretty slow. I have a 2012 quad i7 Mini, and it is a great machine, but I wouldn't want to rely on it for serious video editing/processing.

That comment by
pottymouth is telling. There have been plenty of new OS X (and MacOS) versions since OS X Lion. But I don't suppose that Miat or any of us will urge the OP toward the purchase of a trashcan Mac Pro or some other extreme solution.

I could be mistaken but I don't think that "serious video editing/processing" is what this post is all about. Serious video editing/processing jobs define the equipment that is used to perform them. Since brebdanward35 has stated options that crest at "GBP 340.00" I don't think that we are in trashcan territory (or even Mac Pro 5,1 territory). It seems that the OP, like many of us, is interested in video editing/processing and wants to purchase some capable hardware for a reasonable price. Can a 2012 i5 mini with 8GB RAM handle this task? :apple:

I say sure, no problem. It won't be as fast as the i7s that some of us have but it will work just fine. Miat is correct about that HD4000 video but that "bottleneck" won't stop the OP from video editing/processing.
 

Sandman77

macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2013
28
25
I use a 2015 2.5 I5 mac mini for editing my goPro videos without any issues at all. I have 8GB RAM but have replaced my HDD with a SSD and the machine is perfect for my needs.
I would budget in a SSD and go for it.
 
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raymanster

macrumors 6502
Feb 13, 2008
347
108
UK
Hi,
I'm looking to by used mac's to do video editing probably in imovies

2 machine I'm looking are
1. mini mac 2013 500GB 5400rpm hard drive 2.5ghz i5 dual core 8GB RAM price GBP 340.00
2. mac pro 2.1 2 x quad core Xeon cpu's. 3.00ghz. 8 cores 320GB hard drive 1024mb ATI graphics
price: GBP 200

The mac pro is a lot older but my question is which is the better machine to purchase to do the video work?

Any help would be really appreciated as I'm not 100% sure what to buy.

Thanks
Brenden
I'd go for the Mac Pro, much more room for upgrades. For example 4 drive bays that are much more easily accessible compared to the Mini. You can get a much better graphics card then what is in a Mac Mini. It can easily compile/convert videos all day/night long without worrying about it overheating.

I have a Mac Pro 1,1 which is essentially the same thing as the 2,1 and it can be made to run El Capitan fairly easily:

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...os-x-el-capitan.1890435/page-56#post-22335903

El Capitan should receive security updates for another couple years so you should be ok.

That said if you are not the type to upgrade/fix stuff and you are not looking to do high end video editing then the Mini might be a better choice. Like others have said, upgrade the drive to an SSD and you will have a nice little machine. It also takes up a lot less space then the Pro which is a hefty rig.

You might want to post on the Mac Pro forum, many pros on there who can give you better advice.
 
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Dc2006ster

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2011
216
46
Alberta, Canada
I have never used a Mac Mini. I have a 1.1 ( 2006) Mac Pro that is used everyday for photo and video editing. Mine has 2 x 4 core 2.66 Ghz processors and a Radeon HD 5770 video card. Perhaps officially it cannot run OS past 10.7 but unofficially it can. Other posts here at MacRumours outline how to do this. It is not hard if you can follow instructions. I am running El Capitan ( 10.11.6), Final Cut Pro X and Lightroom (latest versions). FCPX and Compressor run quite well but Motion is quite laggy. I am not a pro, just a hobbyist and I have no issues with how fast FCPX runs.

I love how upgradeable the Mac Pro is. RAM, video cards, hard drives are easy to replace. I have 4 spinning drives and 2 SSDs in the unused optical drive bay ( connected to the extra 2 sata connections on the motherboard) If you went with the Mac Pro you could get an SSD boot drive with the money you saved.
 
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raymanster

macrumors 6502
Feb 13, 2008
347
108
UK
I've got that same Mac Pro 2,1 sitting in my junk hardware pile. It won't run any OS higher than 10.7. I gave up on trying to find a use for it years ago. This 2012 Mac Mini, on the other hand, is still one of the most wonderful computers I've ever used.

But I'm just a 2D graphics guy. I don't game on this rig or do video work, so I can't speak to that.
You're letting a good machine go to waste, load El Cap on it:

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...os-x-el-capitan.1890435/page-56#post-22335903
 
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