Replace a 2009 Mac Pro with an i7 Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Avenger, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Avenger macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2007
    Would I see much performance degradation going from a 2009 Mac Pro (2.66 GHZ quad, GForce GT120, 12 GB) to a 2012 i7 mini (either 2.3 or 2.6 ghz quad)? The new Mac Pro is really overkill for me and I would like to sell my Mac Pro and reclaim the space it takes up. I don't do anything too intensive. Maybe a little Photoshop CS5 for photography and iMovie for video editing. I would take the hard drive I use for movies and videos I watch and place it in either a USB3 or Thunderbolt enclosure.
  2. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    You could get away with that. The max ram would be less. You're more limited on ports, but if you do the calculations in advance to ensure that everything is within your requirements, it should be fine. The mini should be updated fairly soon. It's typically the last to be updated, but everything else has been updated at this point. Last year they released the minis at the time of the imac's announcement. These have been out roughly 1 year.
  3. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    The i7 quad core mini is surprisingly capable, it will be faster than your MP. The lack of expansion is the main issue here, so if you're ready for it, sure!
  4. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    are you serious? mac pro 2009 is great.....
    i have 2009...and i totally understand the space could be customizing it...
  5. dotheDVDeed macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2007
    For a lot less than the $800 ~ on that i7 mac mini you could add a SSD, a 2TB HD and maybe some RAM to that MacPro. It would probably hold you over for a couple of years until they release the 2015 super edition of the mac mini.
  6. linkin-ns macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2011
    you can upgrade graphic card and more RAM instead of buying Mac mini, I think
  7. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    Whilst as others have said you could take your 2009, flash update it to a 5,1, SSD, CPU upgrade to a W3680/W3690 so get a 6 Core 3.33/3.46 CPU expand the RAM out more then a mini could take, I get the impression that this isn't about performance issues.

    If what you are doing now isn't taxing your 2009 Mac Pro then the 2012 i7 mini should be able to cope with what you are doing.

    I am guessing that as you say a little photoshop that we aren't talking professional use, but more of editing the holiday photo's etc, so upgrading the 2009 Mac Pro will be overkill again for you.

    iMovie doesn't need much in the way of GPU usage, and Photoshop CS5 again isn' t going to need the GPU much either.

    I suspect that there were quite a few people back in 2009 who bought Mac Pro's as there was a big difference between the mini/iMac/mbpro and the Mac Pro's at that time. Now that we have seen the prices for the Mac Pro there will be probably be quite a market for people wanting 4,1/5,1 boxes, rather then the new ones.

    The Current Mini when compared with the 2009 Mac Pro for Light Use will cope perfectly well. You can reclaim the space that the 2009 Mac Pro takes up, and you can also reduce the Power Usage
  8. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I think a Mac Mini would suit your needs fine.
  9. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Depends what kind of performance you need; the quad core 2.6ghz mini is now faster than my eight core 3.2ghz early 2008 Mac Pro for pretty much everything, which means it's probably a fair bit faster than your 2.66ghz quad as well.

    But that's for CPU tasks only, the loss of graphics going down to the Mac Mini is the biggest difference. If you're seriously considering switching to the Mac Mini then I'd wait for the inevitable Haswell update; it probably won't bump their CPU performance by a great deal, but the onboard graphics ought to surpass my GeForce 8800 GT which'll give them fairly good graphical performance, and iirc the Iris GPUs are especially capable at OpenCL too, so handy for anything OpenCL accelerated.

    If you can live with the space-hog for a while longer though then as others say you'll get more value out of upgrading your machine first. I've been looking at replacements personally, but that's because my early 2008 is making an increasingly disruptive bid at retirement :)
  10. Avenger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2007
    Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll wait awhile until I make a move as many have recommended. At least until the mac minis are refreshed.
  11. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    Only important if it matters for to you at your typical loads --

    25% constant load on Mac Pro - Temp rise on CPU - negligible

    25% constant load on i7 mini CPU - expect 95degC and 4000rpm+ on fan

    Mini is a great sprinter - MacPro is the long distance runner
  12. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    I say sell the 09 and use the money to fuel your Mac Mini, they're roughly the same price and if all you're doing is light PS and iMovie they can do the same exact thing.
  13. unfrostedpoptar macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    It's kind of scary that no one has brought up ECC in this discussion. For the OP's needs, he likely can get away without it, but if my job/income depended on my computer, I'd certainly want ECC memory - and at least RAID-5 for storage. You're not going to get either of these on a Mini. You could get the RAID with an external enclosure, which is where Apple wants you to go in the future anyway.

    I think the Pro is the only Mac that supports ECC memory (from just checking and I see lots of threads talking about using iMacs or rMBPs as professional machines to replace Pros. I guess if you just care about speed for gaming they're fine but where are people's concerns about data integrity and things like silent data corruption?

    Do people just not know about this or don't care or don't want to pay the extra money it costs? Again, this probably isn't that big a concern for the OP and his requirements but I saw the subject of the thread and it just made me wonder.

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