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2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 08, 2020 11:53AM
Pondering moving on from a Mac Pro Tower and the 2019 model is out of my range. Currently using an 8 core 2.4ghz MP 2009 flashed to 2010. I mainly use Photoshop and a variety of filter packages for working on portraits and lighter power crunching use with action photos. Also looking to shed some weight if I need to move some day.

I am looking to retain my 30" Apple display and not terribly interested in an iMac. Budget is about $1k and the new Mac mini 6 core at Costco and a used 2013 Mac Pro 3.7ghz quad core fall into that budget area. Pondering of the graphics power in the mini are enough. Maybe the Fire 300 cards in the Mac Pro 2013 are a bit long in the tooth. Maybe both would be better than the 10 year old video card I am currently running in the MP.

Which would you pick and why?



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 08, 2020 12:11PM
I gave up on my beloved 30" ACD as it started to fade a couple years ago. Too hard/costly to update the small backlit CFLs.

I think you would benefit from a 5k monitor or 2 4k monitors for the work you describe. Seeing more pixels without having to zoom in and out is really helpful with PS in my experience working on graphical publication projects. I use both a recent iMac and an LG 5k monitor setup for such work (the latter is tied to my laptop).

In the interim, I think the mini would be fine. You can do some nice updates now like adding an eGPU on that model down the road: [machow2.com]

Maybe looking for a decent 4k monitor to run in retina 1080p mode would be a great second monitor and get you some nice workflow options, too.
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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: August 08, 2020 01:31PM
It's hard to find any direct comparison of the D300 vs the Intel UHD 630, this is the closest I came:
D300: [www.techpowerup.com]
UHD 630: [www.techpowerup.com] (they have two versions, I don't know which one the mini has, but picked the "better" one)
Going by the "Theoretical Performance" specs, the D300 should still blow past the 630 easily.

But the mini's CPU and SSD is faster, and as sekker mentions, you can add an eGPU later.

The Trashcan's processor could be upgraded up to 12 cores down the road. I just upgraded mine to 8-cores. Took an hour and 15 minutes to do so. And by buying a used processor, it's pretty economical.

SSD is also upgradable to M.2 NVMe and it could theoretically hold up to 24TB of internal M.2 storage with an Amfeltec adapter (although that would cost over 5k!)

GPU's can theoretically be upgraded to D500 or D700, but in reality, it's not cost effective to do so (it's cheaper to buy a machine with the upgraded graphics card and then sell the D300 machine).

Running a 5k monitor has been a little wonky on the Trashcan because it requires two thunderbolt ports (for displayport cables - I'm using the Dell 5k). It's fine when it's running, but sometimes on waking from display sleep, only one cable is active so you get a stretched half-screen image. Physically powering off the monitor and turning it back on resolves this. I haven't read up on if the single cable TB3 5k monitors are compatible with the TB2->TB3 adapter (nope, TB adapter turns it into a 4k display).

The Trashcan was a great improvement for me over a 2012 mini and a 2013 15" MBP. At the time, the mini required two TB docks to run dual 1440p monitors and the MBP's fans ran at high too often when used in clamshell mode with dual 1440p monitors. The Mac Pro handled it with ease and quiet.

But for today, maybe the mini is the better choice to get a warranty and modern ports (USB-C and TB3).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2020 03:11PM by Gareth.
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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 08, 2020 02:26PM
Well, $1K budget prices you out of any good iMac, anyway, so no biggie.

I also agree about 4/5K screens. My 5K iMac, next to a newer 27" Dell Ultrasharp (the $500 model, not the cheap one) its stunningly more clear. On everything.

That aside... mini. 512 storage is fine if you run lean -- OS, apps, dropbox (use the "store online option if need be" and scratch. Save for the 64 GB ram upgrade and DIY.

So $1200

[www.amazon.com]

What kind of external storage are your photos on? Might want to budget for that... saw an 8TB for $130...

Then save $$ for a 32" 4K and an eGPU at some point. There are some decent models for $400?

Faster and more future proof. Eventually if 512 Gb is too small for boot, you can boot externally with a NVMe... but lets not get ahead of things.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: August 08, 2020 02:47PM
What about a new video card for the current Mac Pro, and wait for a year or three?
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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: August 08, 2020 04:45PM
It's an old machine and I'm not necessarily suggesting you put more money into it. But I did want to point out that of the 4,1 and 5,1 Mac Pros, you have the worst configuration in terms of performance to electricity use. The clock speed is the slowest you can get and while having a lot of cores is useful for some things, a lot of software doesn't take good advantage of multiple cores.

A single CPU 3.2GHz quad-core would probably perform as well as your 8-core 2.4GHz, and a single 3.33GHz hex-core should definitely outperform it.

As far as Trashcan vs mini, I would go with which ever is faster and I don't know the answer off the top of my head. I'd go with Gareth's recommendation and/or compare Geekbench numbers.



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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 08, 2020 05:06PM
I am using the ol' Quadro 400 from Nvidia [www.newegg.com]

I have been concerned about energy use. Not a major concern but it has popped into my head as I examine power bills during summer month where the AC is needed.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: August 08, 2020 07:36PM
If you want to spend money, I'd get the mini.

If you want to save money, I'd upgrade the CPUs and the video card. If you're using software that will use all the cores, that will give you a significant speed boost.
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Re: 2013 Mac Pro or 6 core i5 Mac Mini?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: August 10, 2020 03:52PM
Quote
AllGold
It's an old machine and I'm not necessarily suggesting you put more money into it. But I did want to point out that of the 4,1 and 5,1 Mac Pros, you have the worst configuration in terms of performance to electricity use. The clock speed is the slowest you can get and while having a lot of cores is useful for some things, a lot of software doesn't take good advantage of multiple cores.

A single CPU 3.2GHz quad-core would probably perform as well as your 8-core 2.4GHz, and a single 3.33GHz hex-core should definitely outperform it.

I did some looking around at Geekbench numbers. I was right; a single 3.33GHz 6-core is just a little behind the 2.4GHz 8-core in multi-thread performance despite having 2 fewer cores. And of course, in single thread it smokes it.



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