Max out Mac Pro trash can or jump to a newer iMac or Mac Mini?

Posted:
in Genius Bar
Hi everyone.

Would love and sincerely appreciate some opinions. I know my way around my Mac but hardware comparisons are a bit over my head these days.

Computer needs:
- Occasional 4k video editing
- Often use Adobe CC
- Run a Plex "server" (shared with a few family households)

Current Setup:
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
- 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
- 1TB HD Aura Pro X2 
- 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3
- AMD FirePro D500 3 GB
- One 12TB external USB RAID
- One 6TB external thunderbolt2 RAID

I'm considering this now because:
-  I do want a faster setup
-  my plex server is going to be expanding significantly
- upgrade prices for many Mac Pro parts seem quite reasonable

But is this a waste of time? Is there an advantage to abandoning the Pro (selling it) and putting it towards newer hardware?

Any thoughts are appreciated! Thanks in advance. 

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    thttht Posts: 4,206member
    You run Adobe CC, but how heavy a workload are you using? It's the RAM that will be the decider.

    If you don't need 64 GB, a 16GB M1 Mac mini should be competitive to a 2013 Mac Pro. You can get a couple of the OWC miniStacks and a port extender that all stacks up nice and neat. Outfitted with SSDs (both M.2 and SATA varieties), it could be pretty speedy for you.

    If you need a lot of RAM, would a 2019 Mac Pro refurb hit your price points? Everything will fit in the box.
    allmypeople
  • Reply 2 of 7
    tht said:
    You run Adobe CC, but how heavy a workload are you using? It's the RAM that will be the decider.

    If you don't need 64 GB, a 16GB M1 Mac mini should be competitive to a 2013 Mac Pro. You can get a couple of the OWC miniStacks and a port extender that all stacks up nice and neat. Outfitted with SSDs (both M.2 and SATA varieties), it could be pretty speedy for you.

    If you need a lot of RAM, would a 2019 Mac Pro refurb hit your price points? Everything will fit in the box.
    Thank you. Workload is reasonably heavy. Plenty of uncompressed media. I didn't know about those miniStacks. Very nice. Not too concerned about looks mainly because I keep my setup in a basement storage area directly under my office. A 2019 refurb is definitely way more than I want to spend.

    The M1 looks interesting. I was surprised it maxes out at 16GB. Will look into it
  • Reply 3 of 7
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,343member
    Hi everyone.

    Would love and sincerely appreciate some opinions. I know my way around my Mac but hardware comparisons are a bit over my head these days.

    Computer needs:
    - Occasional 4k video editing
    - Often use Adobe CC
    - Run a Plex "server" (shared with a few family households)

    Current Setup:
    - Mac Pro (Late 2013)
    - 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5
    - 1TB HD Aura Pro X2 
    - 64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3
    - AMD FirePro D500 3 GB
    - One 12TB external USB RAID
    - One 6TB external thunderbolt2 RAID

    I'm considering this now because:
    -  I do want a faster setup
    -  my plex server is going to be expanding significantly
    - upgrade prices for many Mac Pro parts seem quite reasonable

    But is this a waste of time? Is there an advantage to abandoning the Pro (selling it) and putting it towards newer hardware?

    Any thoughts are appreciated! Thanks in advance. 
    It seems like a particularly bad time to be considering a Pro machine upgrade, seeing as Apple's pro desktops are the last in line for migration to a new architecture.  It doesn't sound like your need is imminent so I'd recommend waiting to see what the next couple of months have in store for the desktop Macs.
    allmypeopleStumptowner
  • Reply 4 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,672moderator
    But is this a waste of time? Is there an advantage to abandoning the Pro (selling it) and putting it towards newer hardware?
    Apple usually obsoletes hardware 7 years after they stop being sold, it varies a bit. The 2012 Mac Pro is on the vintage list:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

    This follows with dropping software support, Monterey isn't supported on 2012 Mac Pros:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212551

    Once the OS stops being supported, new app versions stop working eventually, usually Apple ones first and 3rd party ones 1-2 years later. The 2013 Mac Pro could have OS support dropped with this year's Mac release. That would give it around 1-2 years before software compatibility issues start showing up.

    For using with pro apps, it's best to have more than 16GB memory to avoid swapping memory. 16GB is shared with the GPU so you only get about 12-14GB for system memory. A single pro app like After Effects or Photoshop can use 12GB RAM easily.

    GPU performance of Dual D500 is around the M1 Pro.

    The 14" MBP with M1 Pro, 32GB RAM, 1TB for $2599 would do the job (or the equivalent 16" for $3099). Not everything will be much faster with this, some things will run about the same. The following tests M1 against the 8-core D700 Mac Pro, M1 Pro is around 2x the speed of M1 for everything:

    https://barefeats.com/m1-macbook-pro-versus-2013-mac-pro.html

    However, Apple hasn't updated the 27" iMac or Mac Pro to Apple Silicon yet. I doubt they will wait until the end of the year to update these because they will launch M2 products in late 2022. I could see them launching updated iMac and Mac Pro products in March before NAB 2022 in April. Apple's biggest pro users are for software development and video. Final Cut Pro has over 2.5 million users.

    Apple could launch a 27" XDR iMac Pro with M1 Pro starting around $2k (32GB/1TB would be around $2599, same as the 14" MBP). They may also launch a smaller Mac Pro but that's probably going to start at a higher price point.

    The MBP has just been updated so it's the best time to buy that model but if a 27" iMac would be a suitable alternative, wait for an update on that. By March, it will have been 19 months since the last 27" iMac update and 27 months for the Mac Pro. They waited 23 months to update the 16" MBPs.

    Some software still has to be improved to run on M1 too, some software you rely on might be unstable. There would be no harm in waiting another year before upgrading.
    tenthousandthingsallmypeople
  • Reply 5 of 7
    It sounds like you’d be a candidate for a Mac Mini Pro. The first M1 Mini versus the first M1 MBP (13”) was and still is a $600 base price difference. So if Marvin’s guess is right that a $2599 M1 Pro MBP with 32/1TB would meet your needs, then I’d expect a hypothetical Mini Pro to be about $1999 for that same configuration.

    The problem is, it’s unknown if Apple will go there. I’ve argued elsewhere that they won’t, but you never know. An event that rolls out both a new iMac XDR and a new Mini at the same time isn’t terribly far-fetched. Like Marvin says, there’s a decent chance we will know by March. Then the new Mac Pro and the new Pro Display XDR, along with a possible iMac Pro XDR, would come in June, exactly two years after the Apple Silicon launch…
    edited January 16 allmypeople
  • Reply 6 of 7
    crowley said:

    It seems like a particularly bad time to be considering a Pro machine upgrade, seeing as Apple's pro desktops are the last in line for migration to a new architecture.  It doesn't sound like your need is imminent so I'd recommend waiting to see what the next couple of months have in store for the desktop Macs.
    excellent points thank you
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Marvin said:
    But is this a waste of time? Is there an advantage to abandoning the Pro (selling it) and putting it towards newer hardware?
    Apple usually obsoletes hardware 7 years after they stop being sold, it varies a bit. The 2012 Mac Pro is on the vintage list:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

    This follows with dropping software support, Monterey isn't supported on 2012 Mac Pros:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212551



    Some software still has to be improved to run on M1 too, some software you rely on might be unstable. There would be no harm in waiting another year before upgrading.
    Wow. Thank you for this. A great broad perspective 
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