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Should I buy a Mac Mini or Mac Pro

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,891
723
Hawaii, USA
As far as video editing goes, the Mac mini should be fine. It's been a while since I used 3D rendering software; I'm not sure how much they can draw on the graphics card now, or if they're still more CPU-reliant. I have no experience with AutoCAD and can't remark on that, either.

One problem you might run into with the Mac mini is with Bootcamp. Based on what I've read, the eGPU can be a bit finicky and it might require some tweaking to get it more stabilized. Others can chime in with their experiences, but if you're going to be using Bootcamp heavily, the Mac Pro options might be better.

The Mac Pro "can" seems like the worst option to me. It is the least expandable at this time.

The standard Mac Pro tower can still be upgraded to be a more current system, but that depends on how much you like to tinker. I'm not sure how the processor compares with more modern processors; looking on Geekbench, Mac Pros with the Xeon you mentioned have as single core score of around 3,000 and a multi-core score of around 27,500. The Intel I7 in the Mac mini 2018 has single core scores around 5,000 with multi-core scores around 22,000. Most of your applications will be able to use multiple cores, so the Mac Pro tower should still offer you good and potentially better performance than the Mac mini. The only potential snag here is that the Mac mini has Apple's T2 chip, which handles some video encoding tasks and reportedly does so faster than the processor.

Crunching the numbers, then, the Mac Tower might be the best for performance and expandability... but I'm with you on feeling a bit nervous about spending that amount on a computer that is now seven years old.
 
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DYER

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2008
367
34
London, UK
Hello, so I am in the market for a Mac desktop to run video editing and 3D rendering along with AutoCAD and bootcamp. Has anyone used a Mac Mini for this? I have the option of an upgraded Mac Tower or Can or a Mac Mini. My problem is that is it even wise to spend that much money on seven year old tech. The 2019 Mac Pro is out of my budget, and I do not like the iMac design at all. Let me know if there are any alternatives I haven't covered either
Here are my options
Option #1 Mac Pro Tower 2012 $1350
Dual Xeon x5690 3.46 12 core
32GB Ram ddr3 1333mhz
1TB SSD
GTX 1080 TI
Option #2 Mac Pro Can 2013 $2000
Intel Xeon e5-1650 v2
Dual Firepro D500
1TB SSD
16GB Ram
Option #3 Mac Mini 2018 $1600
I7-8700b
256gb SSD
16GB RAM
External RX 580 GPU


I have limited experience with Mac Pro's but I think I'd be temped to go down the MP Tower route.

My disappointment in my mini grows every day, even with a Vega 64 in an eGPU enclosure, so much so that I'm thinking I might cut my loses, sell it and just build a windows machine with Ryzen 3 and 2080 for roughly the same cost. Not as sleek but I give up.

I've found the processor performance in my mini to be lacklustre at best.
 
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venom600

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2003
996
737
Los Angeles, CA
The mac pro tower is, for all intents and purposes, end of life now. It won't get any more software updates, it doesn't have Thunderbolt, it doesn't support PCI 3, and the processors are so old that they are outperformed by Macbook Pros. Not to mention that the 1080Ti is unsupported in Mojave and anything later, even if you could get those systems to run.

I am considering the MP can vs the Mac Mini. The configuration you posted (D500 graphics; 6 Core Xeon; 1TB) is a great price. If it were me i'd sacrifice the graphics (D300) and run an eGPU to get an 8 core Xeon for about the same price. The internal graphics on the MP are so terrible that even the D700 is outclassed by a Radeon 570.

The Mini might be faster, and it includes native support for eGPUs with TB3 and a warranty, but it isn't as upgradable internally, and I have serious doubts about the cooling situation. I'd pick the Mac Pro can because of that.
 
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frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
885
960
The Mini might be faster, and it includes native support for eGPUs with TB3 and a warranty, but it isn't as upgradable internally, and I have serious doubts about the cooling situation. I'd pick the Mac Pro can because of that.
It certainly runs warm to the touch, but whether the internal components are actually coming to any harm is doubtful. Noise level when stressed is obviously better with the 'can MP.
 
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venom600

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2003
996
737
Los Angeles, CA
It certainly runs warm to the touch, but whether the internal components are actually coming to any harm is doubtful. Noise level when stressed is obviously better with the 'can MP.

I'm not concerned with damage, though I'm convinced that inadequate cooling killed my 2011 that had discrete graphics, an SSD and an HD in fusion. That was a LOT of heat. I'm more concerned that the computer will start thermal throttling under heavy load just like everything else Apple makes today does.
 
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hagjohn

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2006
976
1,848
Pennsylvania
I'm not concerned with damage, though I'm convinced that inadequate cooling killed my 2011 that had discrete graphics, an SSD and an HD in fusion. That was a LOT of heat. I'm more concerned that the computer will start thermal throttling under heavy load just like everything else Apple makes today does.
You can buy some type of external cooling, if heat is your issue.
 
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