Poor, poor Mac Pros...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by mwhities, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. mwhities macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2011
    I've noticed several people purchasing the mac mini and doing away with their mac pro (some aging).

    Why, to those people that are, are you switching to the mac mini from the mac pro?

    I'm just curious as I have the 09 mac mini and would really love to have a mac pro. I love the size and how beautiful it is.
  2. Bierboy macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2012
    East Moline, Ill.

    That's the main reason I'll be switching. For my use, it's much more bang for the buck.
  3. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    There are loads of reasons:
    - Cost
    - newer hardware
    - smaller
    - more energy efficient
    - faster than some older Mac Pros

    There are obviously some trade offs to such as lack of expand ability, graphics and optical drives etc. However, the Mac Pro hasn't had any real updates since what seems like the Big Bang.

    Put it this way. The Pro hasn't been updated for over 2 YEARS & it isn't any cheaper. How much would you be kicking yourself if you bought one right now & it was updated next week?
  4. pup, Nov 1, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012

    pup macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Had Apple come out with the revised Pros this year, I'd likely have gone that way.

    At worst, I see the new Mini as a stop-gap until the new Pros are released. At best, I'll find that the Mini meets all of my needs.

    But my need for a Pro is borderline anyway - 2D CAD, Photoshop and Aperture. Sure, I could use better graphics and processor speed, but it isn't critical, and I don't need the internal expansion of a Pro.
  5. TableSyrup macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2012
    Mini's are only an option for some.

    Even if it were an option for me, which it is not, I still would not, based on lack of internal hard drive expansion, and poor heat dissipation.

    For those who need multiple internal drives (Read: Speeds on SATA, or PCIe) and/or the PCIe expansion for tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, there is no compromise for the MP's
  6. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    Mac Pro will always have its place at the hi end (Video, Audio, animation, etc). or for the total enthusiast.

    In the old days there was real performance delineation from imacs to minis to MBP to MP. Now -- CPU wise, mini=mbp=imac for the most part (imac a little better)... then MP can take you to 2X the others -- and it can do it all day long with nary a fan ramping up!.

    As a pro audio guy - I spent 15 years with Mac Towers because only they could do the job. Today, my new mini will replace a 2009 tower.

    With the likes of USB3, TB, NAS, JBOD etc... the need for 10 Terabytes of reasonably fast and convenient storage is within everyones grasp for a few hundred $$ more than the drives without ever opening a computer.
  7. TableSyrup macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2012
    But where USB won't work, your stuck shelling out more money for external solutions, and in reality, how hard is it to open a MP ? :)

    And in many cases in the industry (Audio/Video) - a Mini CANNOT do the job natively.
    Where do you put $15,000 worth of HDX or Red cards???
    A TB Chassis? Spend more money and introduce the possibility of more issues...


    Kinda running devils advocate here, but I do agree they all have their place, and I truly am impressed with what they have done with the Mini. Quite the machine and achievement for what it is
  8. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    Won't work?? Mini has a nice selection of ports but of course not every combination. For me, FW800 is perfect, as is TB,USB3 and ethernet. Esata would be nice but.. come on it is a Mini :)

    Ahh pro tools... What I have been using for 15 years. Was a PT24 (NuBus?), PTHD (Pcix), then PCIe... but now I am using PT10HD native with Metric Halo ULN8. Still a very serious audio setup (and let's face it the real $$ are not in the computer stuff :) but perfectly suited to a Mac Mini!

    Now if you are running a full blown HDX2 system with all the I/O trimmings then we are talking a very hi-end pro system with lets say Yah $15K++ in stuff. Well, what the heck are ya thinking plugging that into a sub $1000 computer :) !!!! Crazy though... with I hear the Helios single TB/PCIe box there are people doing just that!! (Magma I believe has issues). And ya know, for a killer portable rig, that into a Retina is also a working config.......

    Exactly !
  9. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    I have a 2008 8-core mac pro and have bought the 2.3 quad mini but the mini is not replacing the mac pro, it is to replace a dual G4 MDD which runs as a server. I am keeping the mac pro as a workstation. I still value the ability to be able to swap drives, use a CD/DVD etc. When the MDD is decommissioned, the Mac Pro will be my only machine left with a working optical drive. The mac pro still feels faster (but I am still waiting on the second drive kit to fit an SSD to the mini, the mac pro already has a SSD boot disk).
  10. propower, Nov 1, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012

    propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    As a workstation there are lots of good reasons why a MacPro totally wins (PCIe slots for 1, 12 cores for two, discrete as you want it graphics cards for 3)....

    But for swapping drives I find other ways of doing this more attractive. I can put a drive in a Blacx 5G or similar dock (<$60) connected to any 2012 Mac and boot to it in under 60 seconds or be reading it in less than 30.
  11. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    You can't disagree, it was a statement not an opinion! I make no argument about the availability of other systems which may give similar functionality but for me it is a functionality that I appreciate and it is easier to swap a mac pro disk than it is in my other systems. I was evaluating the machines I have, not evaluating the mac pro as a solution.

    I will say however that I appreciate having the storage in one box, and as an illustration, I intend to build the mac mini into the G4 case and reuse the 4 MDD drive bays. There are of course alternatives but I like having a single PSU solution and single box. I am sure there are also big NAS boxes etc that would do similar but I don't happen to own one!
  12. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    No offense intended just discussing... I have amended my post :)
  13. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    Well I am happier with my mini than the old MP (was a 2008 octobeast). I do miss the opti drive a bit but I find i rarely burn to media nowadays.

    The mini is a no-brainer for my main uses and its small ff with low noise/power is refreshing. The big part of the MP was its drive speeds (I used to run 4x74GB SAS drives in a striped RAID); but the single Intel 520 in the mini coupled with the 1TB for winslowz and files makes for a very powerful little beastie.

    So having switched to small box with a USB DVDRW in the drawer for emergencies; I feel far happier. The cost ratio is a lot better too; as replacing the MP would have been mega bucks and the mini with 16GB and the SSD came it at under £1150 all in.

    As long as it lasts (like my last mini which is still rocking and is a Core Duo 1.6GHz); then this represents the ideal solution for the likes of me.

    I see the MP as still necessary for power hungry users needing its expansion capabilities or raw power of multiple hexacores.

    Long live the Mac Pro and the Mini I say :)
  14. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    None taken and nicely re-written!


    I still have a G4 mini running 247 that hasn't had as much as a PSU change :) She is getting a bit slow in her old age but still a very useful machine (connects me to my office)
  15. albert1028 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    We have a 2010 hex core Mac Pro at home. And it is our main power computer for intensive processing. I like having a mini when I am not able to use the computer when my wife is working (she is a graphic designed). I love the quad core performance but am very unhappy that I cannot easily hook up two 27" or 30" monitors. Why couldn't they just add a second thunderbolt instead of that hdmi.
  16. TableSyrup, Nov 1, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012

    TableSyrup macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2012
    Up until last year I still had a mobile recording rig around running a G4
    64 I/O rig for festivals and major label live stuff.

    Was rock solid - MDD, dual 1.25, 7 card Pro Tools Mix rig hosted in a Magma
    Sold to make way for other gear, sure do miss her tho ;)

    Unbelievably solid and reliable rigs.

    Really can't say enough about the stability and longevity of the Mac's I've used.

    No PC I've ever known has been on the same level

    And to consider that a first gen bare-bones MP, from 2006,
    a 6 year old computer, can still fetch $600-700 used market, is really something

    Attached Files:

  17. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Mac Pros and minis are just different strokes for different folks. I love my 2009 mini 2.66 doing duty as an EyeTV DVR. I can also step in as a backup if needed. A new 2.6 would just blow the poor old 2009 out of the proverbial water.

    That said I wouldn't trade my 2010 Mac Pro for a mini even though the mini 2.3's Geekbench score equals that of my 3.2 quad MP and the 2.6 easily beats the MP. The difference is my MP's HD 5870 GPU, 24GB RAM, 14TB of disk space and Blu-ray burner.

    The Mac Pro is about $500 away from running a 3.33 hexacore with higher RAM speed and about $600 away from 48GB RAM. Also an OS sized OWC Excelsior can be had for about $500 without taking away from disk space.

    Finally I have separate drives for Mountain Lion and Windows 8 plus a Snow Leopard drive for a couple of older apps that I occasionally run.

    If your computing life is a lot less complicated than my screwed up one then I say jump on a mini and go for it. My fantasy mini would be a 2.6 with two OWC SSDs and hard drives in a Mercury Rack Pro. It would be a beautiful setup for somewhat over $2500.
  18. kgs macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2012
    I have one of the old 1,1 Mac Pros that has bitten the dust.

    I'm replacing it with a i7 2.6ghz, fusion drive mini. I also have a rMBP that is my main computer. The Mini is going to be a server-like system mostly for me.

    Running it as an iTunes server, perhaps an Asterisk server, or development store house. If I need more space I'll just get a raid enclosure of something to expand it.

    That said, if I needed the capabilities of the Mac Pro (and I personally don't) I would probably wait it out.

    But a lot has changed in the world of Macs since the original Mac Pro came out. I was a high end user, so the Mac Pro lasted me 6 years before biting the dust. That was pretty good. I figure if the Mac Mini lasts me 3 years, it'll be the equivalent of the Mac Pro.

    ~$2100 for the Mac Pro in 2006
    $2100/6 = $350/yr

    Mini was $1150
    $1150/3 = $383/yr

    Any time after 3 years and we're getting closer and closer to the Mac Pro in terms of overall price.

    Note that none of the prices above included ram purchases after the fact. This would level the playing field even more. Ram for a Mac Pro is quite a bit more expensive than the Mini. I recall spending upwards of $600 to get to 12gigabytes for the Mac Pro. To get 16 gigabytes now we're looking at $90 from Crucial.

    Mac Pro:
    $2700/6 = $450/yr

    Mac Mini:
    $1240/3 = $413/yr

    Again, this is for my own personal needs where a Mini works for me. If a Mini does not work for you, then these prices mean little.
  19. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    I have a Mac Pro 1,1 and have been considering a switch to the new Mini. It's a trade-off between internal expandability and better GPU options for lower cost, much less noise, and less energy use.

    I do mostly Photoshop work with no gaming, so the Mini probably would be fine for my needs. I'm still trying to learn how the HD 4000 would perform for the GPU-enhanced features.

    If the performance isn't good enough, I figure I can always sell it and upgrade to the newest Mac Pro when/if the "something really great for our pro users later next year" update ever sees the light of the day. And who really knows about that, since it hasn't seen a real update in over two years.
  20. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    If I had a Mac Pro 1,1 I would definitely buy a mini 2.6 instead of another Mac Pro. The current gen MP was even a little bit iffy when I ordered mine in August 2010. Now you would really have to need the specific layout of a MP in order to justify getting one.

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