New Mac Mini vs Old Mac Pro

DomKud

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
46
7
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and need some help. I am on the fence on which computer to get. Please see specs below and help me decide. I will be using this computer for photoshop, lightroom and video editing on adobe premiere pro. All things equal (price) which would you guys get?

2018 Mac Mini:
  • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
2013 Mac Pro:
  • 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
  • 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 500 GB Flash Storage/SSD
  • 2x AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB Graphics
 

macdos

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2017
213
289
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and need some help. I am on the fence on which computer to get. Please see specs below and help me decide. I will be using this computer for photoshop, lightroom and video editing on adobe premiere pro. All things equal (price) which would you guys get?

2018 Mac Mini:
  • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
2013 Mac Pro:
  • 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
  • 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 500 GB Flash Storage/SSD
  • 2x AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB Graphics
New? Same price? Video? Mac Pro.
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,336
700
Never quite sure
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and need some help. I am on the fence on which computer to get. Please see specs below and help me decide. I will be using this computer for photoshop, lightroom and video editing on adobe premiere pro. All things equal (price) which would you guys get?

2018 Mac Mini:
  • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
2013 Mac Pro:
  • 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
  • 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 500 GB Flash Storage/SSD
  • 2x AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB Graphics
If new, the Mac Pro you have specced is 2x the price of the mini. Are you talking about getting the 2013 Pro second hand?

Personally, I'd chose the mini. It will be as fast or faster for most CPU tasks.
If you need heavy GPU work, I think you'll want an eGPU in the future anyway - and the mini has TB3 ports.

Add RAM third party and you will save a lot.
 

DomKud

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
46
7
If new, the Mac Pro you have specced is 2x the price of the mini. Are you talking about getting the 2013 Pro second hand?

Personally, I'd chose the mini. It will be as fast or faster for most CPU tasks.
If you need heavy GPU work, I think you'll want an eGPU in the future anyway - and the mini has TB3 ports.

Add RAM third party and you will save a lot.
Yes, someone is selling the Mac Pro second hand with the above specs. For both, 3000$ price tag. Given that, would you still recommend me going for the mini?
[doublepost=1542645432][/doublepost]
New? Same price? Video? Mac Pro.
Second hand Mac Pro. Someone is selling it for 3000$. The mac mini, taxes in, is also 3000$. You'd suggest the older pro?
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,394
1,943
Yes, someone is selling the Mac Pro second hand with the above specs. For both, 3000$ price tag. Given that, would you still recommend me going for the mini?
[doublepost=1542645432][/doublepost]

Second hand Mac Pro. Someone is selling it for 3000$. The mac mini, taxes in, is also 3000$. You'd suggest the older pro?
I’d say Mac Pro as well, the huge omission in the $3k Mac mini is the GPU, which the Dual FirePro’s will crush the mini.

The only way I’d maybe go mini is if you dropped the SSD size and went with an eGPU. Even stil, the Mac Pro is probably the better option.
 
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ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
I know, I am leaning towards that. I just can't get my head off the fact that it's a 2013 model. That seems ions ago.
Main technology issue are the ports, do you care about TB versions? Used is also missing a warranty but 6/16/256 seems to be the same price new? If this all checks out, I’d go used with a better price.
 

DomKud

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
46
7
Main technology issue are the ports, do you care about TB versions? Used is also missing a warranty but 6/16/256 seems to be the same price new? If this all checks out, I’d go used with a better price.
This guy is also selling the used with 1 year apple care warranty still left.
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
302
140
germany
Hard to believe (end of support for 2013 Mac Pro). They are still making and selling them!

As for the offer - it does seem a little high for a used model as this is a pretty standard configuration. Would be a decent price for a machine with D700's though.

I made my choice recently (in favour of the Mac Pro) - but I got a 2018 machine for around 2.7k including some upgrades and with 2 years of warranty. More than Apple ever offered here...

Btw. I believe MacVidCards is selling an eGPU for the Mac Pro (1080 Ti). Not sure how well that works or what the restrictions are in terms of OS choice (if any) but at least it appears feasible to use one. For the OP's stated purposes the D500 will be fine though.
 

smbu2000

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2014
245
103
The price on that mini does not seem to be correct. With those specs I’m getting $2,100 not including tax. With 64GB of RAM that adds an extra $800.

Im your case I’d say go with the mini. Even better if you buy a 32GB kit from elsewhere and install it yourself to save an extra $300 on that $2,100 price. Use the extra money compared to the Mac Pro to pick up an eGPU box and RX580 for it.

The i7 in the mini outperforms the both the 6 core and 8 core Ivy bridge-EP Xeons in the 2013 Mac Pro. Only the 12 core Mac Pro outscores (barely in multi-core usage).
 

Spectrum

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2005
1,336
700
Never quite sure
The 2013 mac Pro is only better if you want an all-in-one with GPU solution. But I think it will show its age really fast in the next 2-3 years, and you'll be stuck with an expensive, but non-upgradeable system.

I would choose the 2018 mini.

The absolute cheapest, and most upgradeable solution is to buy the 128 GB SSD i7 mini with 8 GB RAM = $1099
Use the internal ONLY for boot/macOS.
Keep everythign else external on a fast Samsung X5 (or better). 512 GB = $300
Add an eGPU box with RX580 or Vega card (as needed). $400-900
Upgrade the RAM third party and save a tonne. 32 GB = $200
Total = $2000-$2500

Need more storage? Just buy a larger external, or RAID array.
Need more RAM? Just upgrade it to 64GB when prices drop.
Need better GPU? Upgrade the card as needed.
 

DilemmaDude

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2017
9
3
i switched from the MacPro (2013) 6core to the MacMini (2018) i7 6core last week & i would recommend u to buy the mini. Its more future proof with the Thunderbold 3 ports & the performance is a lot better on my new Mac Mini then i had with the Mac Pro before. :)
I did exactly the same.

The Mac mini has a faster SSD, faster RAM (also cheaper, if you install it yourself), faster CPU, I/O that's more future proof (TB2 vs TB3/USB-C), draws less power from your outlet, ... The only thing the Pro has going is that it comes with two decent GPU's installed but even that can be remedied with an eGPU.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,520
The Mac Pro is already 5 years old, soon to be 6.
Not worth spending that kind of money on.

Get the 2018 Mini (properly equipped),
or
Get a 2017 iMac,
or
Put up a little more money for the base model iMac Pro (these can sometimes be found on sale for $4,000),
or
Wait until the 2019 iMacs come out (probably won't be until May/June 2019)
 

DomKud

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
46
7
The Mac Pro is already 5 years old, soon to be 6.
Not worth spending that kind of money on.

Get the 2018 Mini (properly equipped),
or
Get a 2017 iMac,
or
Put up a little more money for the base model iMac Pro (these can sometimes be found on sale for $4,000),
or
Wait until the 2019 iMacs come out (probably won't be until May/June 2019)
Is this mac not properly equipped?

2018 Mac Mini:
  • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
 

apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
12,225
7,673
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and need some help. I am on the fence on which computer to get. Please see specs below and help me decide. I will be using this computer for photoshop, lightroom and video editing on adobe premiere pro. All things equal (price) which would you guys get?

2018 Mac Mini:
  • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
2013 Mac Pro:
  • 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
  • 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 500 GB Flash Storage/SSD
  • 2x AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB Graphics
Now they have updated the Mini, I’d say buy the Mac Mini or the old cheese grater Mac Pro. Or wait for the new Mac Pro. Of you add an EGPU you can have graphics capabilities far better the Fire Pro Mac Pro cards, just due to the age of the cards.
 

Sarpanch

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2013
84
66
SoCal
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and need some help. I am on the fence on which computer to get. Please see specs below and help me decide. I will be using this computer for photoshop, lightroom and video editing on adobe premiere pro. All things equal (price) which would you guys get?

2018 Mac Mini:
  • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
2013 Mac Pro:
  • 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
  • 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 500 GB Flash Storage/SSD
  • 2x AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB Graphics
Between the two, I would recommend the new Mac Mini if you have to purchase a computer soon. If you can wait, then the new iMacs might be more cost effective.

You might find Handbrake Transcoding comparisons between the new Mini and the 2013 Mac Pro interesting.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/i5-or-i7.2153452/page-9

UPDATE:

Here are the benchmarks for my 2013 Mac Pro:

work: average encoding speed for job is 2.492640 fps
work: average encoding speed for job is 2.504011 fps
work: average encoding speed for job is 2.505572 fps​

2013 Mac Pro: 6c/12t, 3.5GHz, 16GB RAM, dual D300 GPUs, 256GB SSD, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6. I'm at a loss to understand why this system is considerably slower than the 2010 Mac Pro. Observing the behavior of the processor with Intel Power Gadget 3.5.5 reveals nothing of concern. The cores operated at 3.6GHz the entire time with utilization hovering around 98% most of the time. I'll see if I can get some other metrics from the Mac Pro forum members.
 

DomKud

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
46
7
Now they have updated the Mini, I’d say buy the Mac Mini or the old cheese grater Mac Pro. Or wait for the new Mac Pro. Of you add an EGPU you can have graphics capabilities far better the Fire Pro Mac Pro cards, just due to the age of the cards.
You contradicted yourself. You said buy the mini, then you say buy the pro. Make up your mind!
 

Joestanxx

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2018
24
4
Hey guys,

I am new to this forum and need some help. I am on the fence on which computer to get. Please see specs below and help me decide. I will be using this computer for photoshop, lightroom and video editing on adobe premiere pro. All things equal (price) which would you guys get?

2018 Mac Mini:
  • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet using RJ-45 connector)
2013 Mac Pro:
  • 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
  • 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 500 GB Flash Storage/SSD
  • 2x AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB Graphics
[doublepost=1542882005][/doublepost]I have posted in another thread about the 2 i7 mac minis i returned both and serious problems that started after a long handbrake encode of a 4k movie. The encode ran for 10 hours on both of the minis. Since I returned them both and still was in need of a computer I purchased a used 2013 4 core mac pro. On the mac pro using the same settings and the same input video the encode ran for 2 hrs 50 minutes and with a max temp of 165 f. The temp of the minis both reached above 200 f.
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
302
140
germany
[doublepost=1542882005][/doublepost]I have posted in another thread about the 2 i7 mac minis i returned both and serious problems that started after a long handbrake encode of a 4k movie. The encode ran for 10 hours on both of the minis. Since I returned them both and still was in need of a computer I purchased a used 2013 4 core mac pro. On the mac pro using the same settings and the same input video the encode ran for 2 hrs 50 minutes and with a max temp of 165 f. The temp of the minis both reached above 200 f.
So 10 hours - because of throttling, is that the assumption? A video editor will sure be rendering and exporting a good deal.

At any rate I think we can be sure that the Mini was not designed as a serious workstation, despite coming with a nice processor option. :)
 

Joestanxx

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2018
24
4
So 10 hours - because of throttling, is that the assumption? A video editor will sure be rendering and exporting a good deal.

At any rate I think we can be sure that the Mini was not designed as a serious workstation, despite coming with a nice processor option. :)
I would assume it had something to do with the temps. After all the I7 6 core processor in the mini should out perform the 4 core MP. But i agree this is not a serious work station.
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
302
140
germany
I would assume it had something to do with the temps. After all the I7 6 core processor in the mini should out perform the 4 core MP. But i agree this is not a serious work station.
In your case - if you still have leftover budget and expect to do this type of encoding regularly - you might want to look at the 8-core processor for the Mac Pro - I've seen that for 300 - 400 (refurb units). There's 10 and 12-cores available as well.
 

Lightsaber

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2015
60
76
We had four 2013 mac pros at work. They were in steady use for over a three year period. Really nice machines to use. Only one continues to work anymore (mostly works, has intermittent glitches here and there), the other three quit working due to video card issues (failed outside applecare warranty window). Really expensive to replace proprietary video cards out of warranty. That, and the USB 3 ports never worked with USB 3 external disks properly, something to do with the Intel xeon chipset. Personally wouldn't buy one again.
 
Last edited:
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