Updating Mac Pro 2006 or buying new Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nater., Dec 14, 2011.

  1. nater. macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2006
    So I am in a tough spot trying to decide if I should just update my aging Mac Pro or buy a new Mac Mini. I am a graphic designer and use the machine mostly for those needs (CS5) but sometimes play a game or two.

    Here's some quick specs for my Mac Pro:
    - 10 GB of Memory
    - GeForce 7300 GT
    - All but one of my drive bays full
    - 2.66 processor
    - Still running Snow Leopard
    - Already have some nice monitors (so I'd rather not go the iMac route)

    Thinking of picking up SSD, some more memory, new video card, and Lion.

    But then I was just thinking... for not much extra, I could pick up a decently spec'd, new Mac Mini.

    But is it worth it? What's my best bang for my buck?
  2. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Your primary gpu advantage will be for gaming. This means if you go with a mini, the discrete gpu model is your only true option. An ssd may or may not help. It may help if you're working with files large enough in photoshop or illustrator to actually hit scratch disks. If the mac pro is using the original hdd, those were considerably slower than some of the newer ones available. In the case of the mini, if it's writing to scratch disks often, that will be a painful experience without an ssd. Basically it depends on settings, file sizes, and installed ram. If everything is held in ram, the ssd is practically meaningless.

    You are somewhat limited on what gpus can be used as upgrades on that machine, as it's significantly older. Keep in mind if you're running any demanding games, none of the minis are that exceptional. You are going to spend some money for an external solution for those hard drives if you go the mini route. The mini can only use 2.5" drives.

    I'm just trying to give you a little perspective on this. Also I think the best gpu you can get in a mac pro is a 5770, and even it's still an older machine, so the gaming performance may remain somewhat underwhelming.

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