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-   -   Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=391830)

devineandrew 06-20-2017 09:31 AM

Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Hi there
Im currently barely running PT 12 (Native) with a command 8 on :
Mid 2010 Mac Mini
OSX Yosemite
4gb RAM
2.3 GHZ core duo processor
320gb HDD

As you can imagine, its barely working well, and I fear its time to upgrade as I need more grunt for audio and video editing, and USB 3 would be useful!
But my budget is £500
The options are:

1) Just upgrade my RAM to the max of 8gb (around £80 from Crucial)

2 )Get a refurbished Mac Mini (Around £450):
Apple Mac Mini i5-2415M 2.3 ghz/ 16GB Ram / 1TB HDD / 3000

3) Get an older Mac Pro from 2008 (around £500)
Mac Pro 3,1 (2008), dual quad core 2.8Ghz Xeons, 12GB ram, ATI HD5770, SSD

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mac-Pro-3-...YAAOSwlY1ZLEkL

Which option is best in the DUC world opinion?

Drew Mazurek 06-20-2017 09:39 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
RAM has little to do with grunt. That's CPU cycles.

Geekbench scores, while certainly not perfect, are one way to measure one Mac against another.

Check them.

http://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks

albee1952 06-20-2017 09:59 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Don't go with a new Mini as they are only dual-core. Sadly, I think you need to budget more for PT12. A Mac Pro 5,1 8 core with 16GB of RAM would be my bottom end. Newer software and OS versions need more horsepower to run as they are much more capable than 10 years ago. A Mini with a quad i5 and 8GB of RAM would be barely adequate(an i7 quad would be much better).

musicman691 06-20-2017 10:55 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by devineandrew (Post 2435951)
Hi there
Im currently barely running PT 12 (Native) with a command 8 on :
Mid 2010 Mac Mini
OSX Yosemite
4gb RAM
2.3 GHZ core duo processor
320gb HDD

As you can imagine, its barely working well, and I fear its time to upgrade as I need more grunt for audio and video editing, and USB 3 would be useful!
But my budget is £500
The options are:

1) Just upgrade my RAM to the max of 8gb (around £80 from Crucial)

2 )Get a refurbished Mac Mini (Around £450):
Apple Mac Mini i5-2415M 2.3 ghz/ 16GB Ram / 1TB HDD / 3000

3) Get an older Mac Pro from 2008 (around £500)
Mac Pro 3,1 (2008), dual quad core 2.8Ghz Xeons, 12GB ram, ATI HD5770, SSD

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mac-Pro-3-...YAAOSwlY1ZLEkL

Which option is best in the DUC world opinion?

You sure that's a 2.3 GHz cpu? The one is use for Photoshop and web work is the same as yours but has the stock 2.4 GHz cpu. The alternate cpu is a 2.66 GHz chip. But that's kind of immaterial to a certain extent although it could be better.

One of the slowest things is that system drive is a very slow 5400 rpm spinner. Two things I'd do if I were you and the first is the cheapest - put in 8 gig of ram - you'll be glad you did. Second thing is swap out that spinner for an ssd. That should help things along a good bit.

Also if your SuperDrive optical drive has gone funky while you've got the machine open change that out for a second ssd.

TVPostSound 06-20-2017 11:43 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by devineandrew (Post 2435951)
Hi there
Im currently barely running PT 12 (Native) with a command 8 on :
Mid 2010 Mac Mini
OSX Yosemite
4gb RAM
2.3 GHZ core duo processor
320gb HDD

As you can imagine, its barely working well, and I fear its time to upgrade as I need more grunt for audio and video editing, and USB 3 would be useful!
But my budget is £500
The options are:

1) Just upgrade my RAM to the max of 8gb (around £80 from Crucial)

2 )Get a refurbished Mac Mini (Around £450):
Apple Mac Mini i5-2415M 2.3 ghz/ 16GB Ram / 1TB HDD / 3000

3) Get an older Mac Pro from 2008 (around £500)
Mac Pro 3,1 (2008), dual quad core 2.8Ghz Xeons, 12GB ram, ATI HD5770, SSD

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mac-Pro-3-...YAAOSwlY1ZLEkL

Which option is best in the DUC world opinion?


Find a used Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6 quad.

VRW 06-20-2017 11:57 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by devineandrew (Post 2435951)
Which option is best in the DUC world opinion?

None of your options, to be honest.

The best bet if you want to keep it low-cost yet Pro Tools-ready
will be a 2012 Mac Mini i7 Quad (2,3GHz or 2,6GHz) with 16GB Ram.
I have followed your Ebay-link and searched for such machines
and there are several interesting offers around £600-800.-, some incl.
even SSDs.

That´s the only low-cost solution that will make sense for the use
with Pro Tools 12 in the long run. You finally want that i7 Quad Core
processor to have a decent Pro Tools performance.

I had an 2011 i5 myself for a short time with PT back in the day and
even if it did work more or less, it was no good performance at all.
I then upgraded to the 2012 Mini i7 Quad, put in 16GB Ram, put in
one SSD first, another, second one later and this little machine was a
blast to use with Pro Tools. Not one single problem anymore, just flying.

I just sold it when I had to go "seriously mobile" and therefor replaced it
with a Macbook Pro but it was a super sweet, really fast, reliable Pro Tools
computer for relatively less money (compared to i7 Quad MBPs or Mac Pros).

You can replace and upgrade all the drives and the memory yourself (OWC
have got cool tutorial videos on their site or YT) and you can get all the parts
for relatively less money on Amazon for example.

Me had 2 Samsung 850 Pro SSDs in the Mini which were fantastic but even
850 Evos or other good quality SSD will do the job. And you want 16GB Ram!

Again, do yourself a favor and don´t go with any old i5 Mini etc. You will not get
happy with such a one in the long run.
Get an i7 Quad Core...whatever and you will have lots of fun with your machine
using Pro Tools (as for the computer at least). Ah, well, avoid Fusion drives!
Still no good idea with Pro Tools finally.
Just put in one or two 7200rpm HDDs if you are on a budget or one or two SSDs
if you can afford it and you will be good to go.

Anyway. Whatever route you decide to go, the best of success to you.


Cheers.

JFreak 06-20-2017 12:50 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TVPostSound (Post 2435976)
Find a used Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6 quad.

Sadly, this soon-5-year-old suggestion is one of the best :(

noah330 06-20-2017 12:55 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
I also have the 5 year old i7 Mini. Machine is killer!!!

Cacov 06-20-2017 06:09 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Also got the Mac mini (late 2012) 2.3GHz i7 quad core w/16GB RAM and SSD, and it works pretty well, not great gfx though, but it works.

devineandrew 06-21-2017 12:09 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Amazing thanks guys, would it make Any difference if I said this was just for a personal rig. Not for mixing massive sessions...
My place of work has dustbins with s6 consoles etc. This is for me to do simple tracklay and mixes for YouTube in the comfort of home!

VRW 06-21-2017 12:30 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by devineandrew (Post 2436071)
would it make Any difference if I said this was just for a personal rig.

No. Not really, just because it´s Pro Tools itself which wants the i7 Quad to work as it is supposed to.

You can avoid expensive SSDs and go with 7200rpm HDDs instead if you are on a budget but for a decent
and trouble free PT12 performance you want an i7 Quad processor and 16GB memory (at the least, even if
Avid say 8GB minimum...daily experience tells us to better go with 16GB...for disk cache etc.).

Cheers.

devineandrew 06-21-2017 02:48 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
So I have decided, to go with a newer Mac Mini.
Ideally:
An i7 with 16gb of Ram, and an SSD

if push comes to shove, itll be an i5 with 16gb of Ram and an SSD

Essentially im going to be running around 12 channels of audio, a few stems for limiters, a PPM plug in, and 1x Master record track.

I feel that these two options would be able to cope with that.
cheers
Andy

jwilkers 06-22-2017 07:25 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
DO NOT get an i5 NO MATTER WHAT! I ordered the i7 from eBay and the guy accidentally sent me an i5. Turns out I liked some of the features on the i5 better. Had thunderbolt which the i7 didn't so I tried to keep it. PT will NOT run on an i5 Mac Mini.

Sardi 06-22-2017 09:09 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
PT won't run on an i5 Mac Mini?

I can run PT on my MacBook Air i5 from 2011 that only has 4Gb RAM.

Sure an i7 is better, but let's not get carried away. PT will run on an i5 Mac Mini no probs and easily cope with the workload stated above.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

JFreak 06-22-2017 11:14 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sardi (Post 2436317)
PT won't run on an i5 Mac Mini?

I can run PT on my MacBook Air i5 from 2011 that only has 4Gb RAM.

Sure an i7 is better, but let's not get carried away. PT will run on an i5 Mac Mini no probs and easily cope with the workload stated above.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sure. But we all have perfromance expectations so that's why some of us think that i5 is inadequate

Sardi 06-22-2017 02:33 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
There's a difference between 'inadequate' and 'it won't run' which is what the poster above me wrote.

FTR, my studio machine is an i7.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

earthling5615 06-22-2017 02:46 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
I can verify that you cannot run PT 12 on a Mac Pro 4,1 or 3,1. It will launch, but your destination is crash city.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

panamajack 06-23-2017 08:07 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by earthling5615 (Post 2436369)
I can verify that you cannot run PT 12 on a Mac Pro 4,1 or 3,1. It will launch, but your destination is crash city. . . .

I would like to hear more about the MP 4,1 not being sufficient. Minimum Mac requirement suggested by Avid is i7.

What Mac OS is causing PT12 to crash on a MP 4,1? And what are the 4,1's system specs?

jwilkers 06-23-2017 08:31 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sardi (Post 2436317)
PT won't run on an i5 Mac Mini?

I can run PT on my MacBook Air i5 from 2011 that only has 4Gb RAM.

Sure an i7 is better, but let's not get carried away. PT will run on an i5 Mac Mini no probs and easily cope with the workload stated above.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I only buy what is on Avid's website of qualified computers. I ordered a 6,2 i7.
I can't remember what he sent me, but it was a newer year and an i5.
Nothing but beach balls.

Sardi 06-23-2017 09:12 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
AVID has the i5 Mac Mini as a qualified computer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

musicman691 06-23-2017 09:31 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by earthling5615 (Post 2436369)
I can verify that you cannot run PT 12 on a Mac Pro 4,1 or 3,1. It will launch, but your destination is crash city.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Did you do the firmware update on the 4,1?

earthling5615 06-23-2017 10:05 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by panamajack (Post 2436457)
I would like to hear more about the MP 4,1 not being sufficient. Minimum Mac requirement suggested by Avid is i7.



What Mac OS is causing PT12 to crash on a MP 4,1? And what are the 4,1's system specs?



MP 4,1 had Nahalem chipset, not i7. Without modification, it could run PT 11.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

musicman691 06-23-2017 10:37 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by earthling5615 (Post 2436473)
MP 4,1 had Nahalem chipset, not i7. Without modification, it could run PT 11.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

What modification? All that has to be done is the firmware update to run the latest OSX.

john1192 06-23-2017 10:43 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by musicman691 (Post 2436477)
What modification? All that has to be done is the firmware update to run the latest OSX.

HiJack - hi jack, i think they mean without the Firmware UPdate a 4,1 Might run PT11 ...

jwilkers 06-23-2017 11:33 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sardi (Post 2436467)
AVID has the i5 Mac Mini as a qualified computer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes they do.
But it must be a certain year with a certain CPU because as stated above, the one the guy sent me by accident I wanted to keep because it had a thunderbolt port.
It was a not qualified newer model i5 and I got beach balls.
I run PT 12.7.1 flawlessly on my 2 MB Pros. Both i7.
They guy who started this thread can obviously do what he wants and great that you guys have i5's that work. I was just giving a warning.

panamajack 06-24-2017 06:58 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by earthling5615 (Post 2436473)
MP 4,1 had Nahalem chipset, not i7. Without modification, it could run PT 11.

The Xeon (s) in the Mac Pro 4,1 is / are multiprocessor capable whereas the i7 is not, so I meant to imply that if an i7 is minimal, a similar Xeon is equally capable. I have a 2009 MP 4,1 with 11HD on it, so that was not my question. I have not installed PT12 on it yet, but already did the 5,1 firmware update to it.

I was asking if you have tried to run PT12 on a 4,1, and if you did, were there problems? The 2008 3,1 Mac Pros cannot do the 5,1 firmware update, so that is another story (and I would not recommend them to anybody). I have PT12HD on a different 2010 Mac Pro 5,1, so I know that is a working rig. Just asking about the 4,1 (which I already updated to 5,1, but have yet to install PT12).

earthling5615 06-24-2017 08:56 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
I didn't do the 5,1 firmware update, but I can verify that at 4,1 it was able to load and launch PT 12, but was hugely unstable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

panamajack 06-24-2017 10:52 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by earthling5615 (Post 2436681)
I didn't do the 5,1 firmware update, but I can verify that at 4,1 it was able to load and launch PT 12, but was hugely unstable. . . .

Thanks for clarifying. Which OS and version of PT12?

PT11HD seemed okay on my MP single 2.66 CPU (while still 4,1 firmware) with 8GB RAM under OS 10.11.6 (even though it is only supported under OS 10.10.5).

earthling5615 06-25-2017 05:53 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Any OS, but 4,1 can't go to Sierra. With Mavericks and PT 11, it was very stable. 12,4 is as high as I got b4 I said "NO MORE!" and bought a brand new Mac Mini. The mini has no problems with Sierra and 12.7.1


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

panamajack 06-25-2017 08:55 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Apple indicates the 2017 i7 Mac Mini is dual core, but runs at 3.0 GHz and has a 4MB cache instead of the i5's 3MB cache. With the 3.0 GHz processor, the 16 GB memory upgrade, 1TB PCIe flash storage, trackpad and numeric keyboard, it costs $2,257. Makes a trash can seem affordable.

Curious now that you mentioned issues with the 2009 tower. I see that Pro Tools did not support Sierra until PT version 12.6. Looks like with PT 12.4 mine will be stuck at 10.11.6 for a while even though it has the 5,1 firmware, 64GB of RAM, and a 3.46 GHz hex core CPU with 12MB of cache. Or I could try Sierra with 12.7.1, just to see if the ole '09 has any heart left.

guitardom 06-25-2017 10:40 PM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by earthling5615 (Post 2436473)
MP 4,1 had Nahalem chipset, not i7. Without modification, it could run PT 11.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Nehalem is very much so an i7..... Each i7 generation has a different chipset. The first i7 chipset is Nehalem.

musicman691 06-26-2017 04:53 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by panamajack (Post 2436971)
Apple indicates the 2017 i7 Mac Mini is dual core, but runs at 3.0 GHz and has a 4MB cache instead of the i5's 3MB cache. With the 3.0
GHz processor, the 16 GB memory upgrade, 1TB PCIe flash storage, trackpad and numeric keyboard, it costs $2,257. Makes a trash can seem affordable.

Curious now that you mentioned issues with the 2009 tower. I see that Pro Tools did not support Sierra until PT version 12.6. Looks like with PT 12.4 mine will be stuck at 10.11.6 for a while even though it has the 5,1 firmware, 64GB of RAM, and a 3.46 GHz hex core CPU with 12MB of cache. Or I could try Sierra with 12.7.1, just to see if the ole '09 has any heart left.

You didn't price that Mini with Apple ram did you? Hope not.

panamajack 06-26-2017 06:38 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by musicman691 (Post 2437002)
You didn't price that Mini with Apple ram did you? Hope not.

The Apple price for the 8 to 16GB RAM upgrade is $200. I think it is soldered in on the 2017 model, isn't it?

A big part of the price mentioned was the 1TB PCIe flash storage for $600, but that is about what OWC gets for it, and the Apple specs look pretty good.

I guess I would pick up a late 2012 i7 2.6 quad core Mini if I just had to have one (and was on a strict budget). Apparently, its chipset, according to Intel, supports 32GB. Not sure if a 32GB memory upgrade is possible though, even though it has two slots. OTOH, it think the PCIe flash storage in the newer machines is superior.

Just thinking the '09 MP towers are not dead yet:

The 2012 2.6GHz i7 "four-core" Mini has a geek bench about 25% higher than the 2009 MP tower single CPU 2.66 (plus the Mini has TB and USB 3).

The 2017 3.0 GHz i7 "dual-core" Mini Geekbench score is about the same as the 2009 MP 2.66 with the stock 4,1 firmware.

But with the single hex core 3.46GHz and 5,1 firmware upgrade to the 2009 quad-core (single CPU) MP, the Geekbench score is about the same as the 2017 top-of-the-line 15" i7 MBP, and about 50% faster than stock '09 MP single CPU tower (and about 50% faster than the 2017 i7 dual-core Mini).

The 2010 (and 2012 or 2009 with 5,1 firmware) 12-core 2.66 towers are about 80% the speed of similar trashcans, but they can be swapped out to dual 3.46 hex cores, which should make that pretty quick.

Apparently the "2017" i7 Mini is the same specs as the 2014 i7 Mini.

If I thought the promised ghostware Mac Pro will have Thunderbolt 3+ ports and would be something I could afford, I would wait it out with a single or dual hex core tower from 2009-2012 (currently off the Windows / Pro Tools bandwagon, but still have three dual CPU towers running PT under Win 7).

Sardi 06-26-2017 07:35 AM

Re: Which Mac to buy? Mini vs Old Mac pro
 
The 2012 i7 Mac Mini can only support 16Gb total RAM.

The chipset can support 32Gb, but Apple would need to release a Firmware update to enable it which unfortunately they're not gonna do on almost 4 yo machine.


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