Performance wise Mac mini or 1,1 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GXPvince, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. GXPvince macrumors regular

    May 12, 2008
    I am a wedding photographer and I am buying a Mac Mini for a reason other than my wedding photography job.

    However, I was wondering if I should use the 2012 i7 Mini to edit instead of my 2006 Mac Pro 2x2.66 quads 16gb RAM since I will have it anyways.

    What would you rather have performance wise only? (not peripherals or expandablity)
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    What applications do you use for editing, and are there any particular filters or operations that are slow (that is, are annoying pain points)?
  3. a-bob macrumors member


    Aug 15, 2011
    Here's my opinion. If you're using programs that require lots of real time plug ins and filters (not a photoshop guy so bear with me) then the Mac Pro Xeon processors may be for you.

    If you're using programs that just require you to end process photos and crunch them down into files, then the Mac Mini may be for you.

    I've always looked at the workstation processors to be like dump trucks...great for real time heavy lifting but not too speedy. The i7's are like sports cars, very fast at processing/crunching down but not so good with a load.

    As usual...ymmv
  4. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2012
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I had the Mac Pro 1,1 and it's been replaced by a mini server 2011 version with 16 GB RAM and SSD.
    The Mac Pro is power hungry and slow.

    The mini is super fast, the graphics is not the best, but same goes for the Pro where you can upgrade the card, but they are expensive.

    the mini will have thunderbolt, easy to bring with you if you want to work at a client or similar.

    definately recommend the mini over an old Mac Pro.

    (the mac pro 1,1 have very slow RAM (667 mhz, compared to the mini that can run up to 1600 mhz)
  5. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    The quad-core Mac Mini is now faster than the high-end (eight-core 3.2ghz) early 2008 Mac Pro for raw CPU speed for nearly every task you can throw at it, and that's before you take into account much faster RAM, USB 3 peripherals and so-on.

    I'm not sure if I'd want to run a Mac Mini under any kind of heavy prolonged load, but for running image filters in Photoshop etc. I think it's now more than powerful enough to completely out-pace a Mac Pro 1,1.

    The main difference between the two is in GPU performance, as the Mac Pro 1,1 can still take some pretty nice discrete GPUs. But then whenever the Mac Mini gets updated to Haswell it's going to get a pretty good GPU boost that ought to suit a lot of people's needs. I'm not sure photoshop makes full use of GPUs for processing so you probably don't need to worry about that.

    So yeah; a current quad-core Mac Mini ought to more than meet your processing needs now. The main issues are packing it with RAM (but 16gb is probably more than enough) and getting enough storage space; but a 1tb Fusion Drive may suit you just fine, or any large external drive. Plus all that is in a much smaller, quieter package with much lower energy requirements (just clean out the dust every now and then).

    The main reason to stick with the Mac Pro would be if you really hate waste since sticking with what you have costs nothing, except in power consumption, or if you need to do a lot of long-running jobs (huge batch jobs may count here) where better cooling, and greater reliability may play a factor.
  6. Saltymac macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Rocky Mt State
    Wedding photography application - PS and Lightroom will run fast on either unit. The 1,1 has the advantage of using a better GPU and in the box storage of files. If you are going to set up the mini then it might be efficient to move your work over to it and retire the 1,1. You still have to deal with the storage issue - USB 3 and TB on the mini will allow you to use faster off unit storage applications. If you are working with video editing the 1,1 with a good GPU will be a better choice or upgrading to a 5,1.
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    The mini, with the upgraded GPU even more so. With an SSD naturally or even install a second drive using the bracket kit off ifixit if you haven't bought the server version.
  8. GXPvince thread starter macrumors regular

    May 12, 2008
    Thanks all. I do use photoshop and Lightroom(mostly lightroom)... I can not stand the lag of editing in lightroom although it has been better since Lightroom 5 was released.
    The Mac Pro is always on so I can backup online, so I figured I may benefit of having the mac mini on instead of the Mac Pro.

    Surface blur seems to be the only filter I use that uses all 8 cores for about 3 seconds.

    Looks like I might benefit from a Mini in many ways.
  9. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    The new Minis are quite fast. Pop in an SSD and it soars through most apps that are more CPU intensive. On the graphics side it's not great, but will handle most user tasks.
  10. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Unquestionably the Mini will be better.

    Also, the old Mac Pro is stuck on Lion and eventually you won't be able to use newer software because of that.

    If Minis just had a BTO option for dedicated GPU, they could be serious little power houses.
  11. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I was super excited when apple started implemented Discrete AMD graphics in their 2011 line of minis. I was hoping that newer models would now ship with discrete graphics chips, but with the release of the new Mac Pro, i doubt the minis will ever have discrete gfx again.
  12. michael_aos, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013

    michael_aos macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    I went from the 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 (2x 2.66Ghz dual-core Xeon) w/16GB RAM, SSD, and ATI Radeon HD 5770 w/1024 MB running Mountain Lion to now the Late 2012 Mac Mini w/16GB, 2.6Ghz Intel Core i7 (quad-core), and Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024MB running Mavericks.

    The Mini is definitely faster and preferable. The Mac Pro was quieter, and natively supported 3x displays. That's about the only benefit for me that I recall.

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