Real life benefit of moving from i5 2011 Mini to 2.66 2009 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mr1970, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. mr1970 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I've currently got a 2.3 i5 Mini with the stock 500GB 5200rpm HDD and 8GB RAM; I'm considering moving to a secondhand 2009 Mac Pro with the 2.66 quad core, 6GB RAM and booting from an SSD. The question I have is whether the Pro will be significantly better (my suspicion is yes).

    The machine will be running as a home server but is also used for ripping / Handbraking my home DVD collection, office use and a few games (e.g. Diablo 3). Part of the reason for the move, to be honest, is that I have a few TB of music, movies, photos and random stuff lying around on various external drives and I'd rather just get it all in one box rather than have the current firewire chain.

    Any views or anything I need to look out for? I think the 2009 is the earliest machine I could move to that will run Mountain Lion.

    Many thanks for any advice
  2. alainking macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I made a similar move and I can give you some idea of what I have observed.

    I was a running an entry level 27" iMac (2011) with 2.7GHz i5 and 20 Gb of RAM and I have bought (about a month ago) a 2008 Mac Pro with 2 x 3.0Ghz Quad Xeon and 16 Gb of RAM.

    I never use much RAM on either box unless I am running big logic projects or lots of VM's.

    Both machines have 1 TB Seagate 7200rpm drives and run Mountain Lion.

    In Handbrake, I have got double the speed of encoding as I had on my iMac (yes, there is 2 processors so it could be purely down to core count). On my iMac, a 720p file runs at 20-25 frames per second, it is 40-50 on the Mac Pro.

    I have added a 1.5 and 2x 3tb drives to the Mac Pro to serve as a media server and it is great as all internal and it is quieter than the enclosures I was using.

    I have not run any games on it - it has an old 8800GT card but that is not what I was looking for. The guy I bought it from had it running with an 680GT card so I can always drop one in and it will run games well then - although the games can be CPU bound with the age of the processors.

    The 2008 can run mountain lion (Mac Pro 3,1 in system info) so no need to worry about that. If you get a single CPU box, you may find that performance is very similar to what you have now (unless your mac mini is dual core then you will see improvement) but because of the scalability of upgrading components, you should have lots of opportunity to grow. If you can get a dual CPU Mac Pro, it does make life easier as it looks like a quite a mission to upgrade cpus if you read a lot on the forums.

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