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Mac Pro Trash Can or new mac mini??
Old 29th December 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Mac Pro Trash Can or new mac mini??

So I have found a company in the UK that configure and sell Apple Mac Pro 2013 computers, which are only a couple of years old, they have amazing reviews on Trust Pilot, and the computers come with a 3 year warranty.

Ok, I know the Mac Pro is not upgradable, and older, but I really don't mind!
It has TB2 ports for my all my Universal Audio Apollos and USB 3 ports for my Hard drives.
It will come with SIERRA, No High Sierra/Mojave worries, basically plug and play, in my case.
I am looking at a 32gb 6 core 1TB SSD version.

Would this be a better choice than a new Mac Mini, with the Chip problem, and Mojave nightmare etc etc?

Both are around the same price.

At the moment I have a MBPro 15" 2015 2.8 i7 16gb RAM and Logic 10.3.2 with El Capitan, NO issues whatsoever!
I would like this set up as my back up, and the Mac Pro or Mac Mini as my main system.
I cant face loads of set up problems, I don't have the time or patience! I know the Trash Can has old internals and doesn't have a lot of love, but to me, in my case, I think it could be the better choice.

Any thoughts appreciated?
Old 29th December 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Pretty much in the same boat. I always check the refurbished ones on Apple store but can’t bring myself to buy a 5 years old model at that price. But it has all the connectors i need and forsee to use in the coming years, no dongle fest and a trusted system since it’s been running for all those years.

I went to the Apple store the other day and loaded up Logic and the Beck demo on a 6-core trashcan and the 6-core i5 mini. Hard to make fair comparision since the i5 doesn’t have HT but I was disappointed and surprised of the realtime audio performance of the Mini. All six cores were around 60-70% playing back that project while my dual-core MBP goes through it at about 50% max. The 12 virtual cores of the Trashcan were all at around 15-20% max running Beck’s demo.

The Geekbench have to be viewed with caution as the new SSDs are blazing fast but this has nothing to do with realtime audio performance. From my test at the Apple store, the Xeon seems to do a better job at what we need a computer to do for a DAW.

Now, how long will Apple support the Trashcan when the new model comes out? Good question, will they support it as if it was a 1-2 years old computer or will they stop supporting it in 3 years. No big deal for someone who bought it in 2013 but for “new” owners, that would be sad.

KA
Old 29th December 2018
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KorgAddict View Post
Pretty much in the same boat. I always check the refurbished ones on Apple store but can’t bring myself to buy a 5 years old model at that price. But it has all the connectors i need and forsee to use in the coming years, no dongle fest and a trusted system since it’s been running for all those years.

I went to the Apple store the other day and loaded up Logic and the Beck demo on a 6-core trashcan and the 6-core i5 mini. Hard to make fair comparision since the i5 doesn’t have HT but I was disappointed and surprised of the realtime audio performance of the Mini. All six cores were around 60-70% playing back that project while my dual-core MBP goes through it at about 50% max. The 12 virtual cores of the Trashcan were all at around 15-20% max running Beck’s demo.

The Geekbench have to be viewed with caution as the new SSDs are blazing fast but this has nothing to do with realtime audio performance. From my test at the Apple store, the Xeon seems to do a better job at what we need a computer to do for a DAW.

Now, how long will Apple support the Trashcan when the new model comes out? Good question, will they support it as if it was a 1-2 years old computer or will they stop supporting it in 3 years. No big deal for someone who bought it in 2013 but for “new” owners, that would be sad.

KA
Hi KA,
Thank you, good to know I am not the only one!
Does it really matter that Apple won't support the Trashcan? a bit sad yes, but so what really? I am much more leaning to towards the Trash Can, I am sure many pro studios will hang on to Trash cans for quite a few years to come too, supported or not.
Old 29th December 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerochan View Post
Hi KA,
Thank you, good to know I am not the only one!
Does it really matter that Apple won't support the Trashcan? a bit sad yes, but so what really? I am much more leaning to towards the Trash Can, I am sure many pro studios will hang on to Trash cans for quite a few years to come too, supported or not.
What I mean by support is this: imagine Apple comes out with a crazy hot version of Logic but it needs macOS 10.17 or whatever but you can't bring your Trashcan there. Your still powerful computer won't be able to run that new Logic version.

KA
Old 29th December 2018
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KorgAddict View Post
What I mean by support is this: imagine Apple comes out with a crazy hot version of Logic but it needs macOS 10.17 or whatever but you can't bring your Trashcan there. Your still powerful computer won't be able to run that new Logic version.

KA
Yep, I understand, but I haven't moved from Logic 10.3.2 tbh, happy here! I know pro studios in London using Logic 9!
Old 29th December 2018
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
howseth's Avatar
I want to be able to use the latest Logic Pro X. That is a factor in my next computer purchase - I am also currently looking to upgrade from my 2011 iMac i5, as it is having mechanical problems. I do find Apple has been adding useful functionality with each new update - including 10.4.2 ... The bastards!

Modest home project studio here - I record 'real instruments' (but not synths) - I don't use orchestra libraries. I do use 3rd party plugins. I want a powerful computer in which I don't have to worry about CPU, noise, heat or crashing. Not sure about Mojave. I like the specs on the iMac Pro - but it is over $4000 in the USA - even refurbed. Not convinced about the Mac Mini. I suppose I'm waiting for a new update to the regular iMac.
Old 30th December 2018
  #7
Gear Head
 

I know what you mean about having the latest Logic howsth, though Logic 10.3.2 has all I need, theres always gonna be new features along the way, but stability is paramount, and, for me anyway, El Capitan with Logic 10.3.2 + the rest of my software and hardware are working fine.

Maybe once all the reported numerous problems are sorted out with Mojave and the Mac Mini Chip problem etc, then that may possibly be the best way forward, I am guessing it will be 6 months or a year even yet. Buying a Trash Can Mac Pro does feel a bit like stepping backwards, but under the circumstances I think its the right choice. i think!?
Old 30th December 2018
  #8
i have a 2010 cheesegrater and a 2013 trashcan. Both are still working and the cheesegrater i wouldn't call obsolete. It has Yosemite on it, running PT10 with no proglems.
Trashcan - The only thing i really could not upgrade on the trash can is the processor so i bought a used 12-core, and beefed it up from there. The hard drives are external and the RAM is swappable.

My point? macpro's age much slower than their PC counter parts. If you want to get your hands inside the machines, you can max them out fairly cheaply and keep them going for a long time.
Old 30th December 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 

Who is the company that sells them?
Old 30th December 2018
  #10
Get a loaded 2018 Mac Mini. Just sold my Trashcan running PT HDX and switched to the Mini - more DSP, much quicker, and with an eGPU I have fantastic graphics.
Old 30th December 2018
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by P1505C View Post
Who is the company that sells them?
I suspect it's MacBank Pro/Create.Pro. They do a lot of refurbished Macs, with warranty, but they are still quite expensive.

Wayne
Old 30th December 2018
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoop View Post
Get a loaded 2018 Mac Mini. Just sold my Trashcan running PT HDX and switched to the Mini - more DSP, much quicker, and with an eGPU I have fantastic graphics.
Except in my case I'd need a new audio interface as mine is USB and USB audio is currently borked on the new Mac Minis!

That's what is putting me, and others, off the new Mac platforms - they just can't seem to get these new models to work well for audio.

Wayne
Old 31st December 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne_rowley View Post
Except in my case I'd need a new audio interface as mine is USB and USB audio is currently borked on the new Mac Minis!

That's what is putting me, and others, off the new Mac platforms - they just can't seem to get these new models to work well for audio.

Wayne
Wayne, could you elaborate on any USB issues with audio on the new Minis?
Old 31st December 2018
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by P1505C View Post
Who is the company that sells them?
Its Create Pro

Mac Pro Workstations | Buy Refurbished Apple Computers | Create Pro
Old 31st December 2018
  #15
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoop View Post
Get a loaded 2018 Mac Mini. Just sold my Trashcan running PT HDX and switched to the Mini - more DSP, much quicker, and with an eGPU I have fantastic graphics.
Good to know!
Old 31st December 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoop View Post
Wayne, could you elaborate on any USB issues with audio on the new Minis?
Have a look at this discussion, particularly the info from RME:

MBP High Sierra and Mojave CoreAudio overload bug


According to RME:

"Here is some info on the current situation with Apple's Mac Mini 2018 and 10.14.2.

- USB 2 is not usable for audio on any port.
- USB 3 is not usable for audio on the two USB-A sockets.
- USB 3 works as expected on all USB-C ports using a USB-C to USB-A adapter

If you use an USB-C to USB-A adapter and connect a USB 2 device it is internally connected to the same bus/hub where all the other USB 2 sockets are connected to - and thus won't work. You can gain basic knowledge about the internal structure and connections by using the Mac's System Report/System Information, USB. Connect your USB device and look where it is shown in the nested structure.

In clear words: there is currently no way to have a Mac Mini 2018 working without audio errors when using USB 2, neither directly nor with the standard USB-C to USB-A adapters.

But there is a workaround. Devices connected to Thunderbolt do not show audio errors as with the internal USB 2. So all you have to do is use 'external' USB.


Except one user at least has reported audio glitches over thunderbolt when *anything* is connected to a USB port.

Wayne
Old 31st December 2018
  #17
Been to Southampton today and popped into the Apple store. I tested the Mac Mini (i5 6 core) vs. the Mac Pro (6 core, D500) with the Logic demo song.

The Mac Mini CPU was at around 40% on 5 cores, and around 10% on the 6th. By comparison the Mac Pro CPU was only about 10%-15% across the 12 logical cores.

In addition, the Mac Pro felt much faster to use. Both machines were hooked up to a 5K LG screen. The Mac Mini had noticeably sluggish graphics performance, and graphics operations while Logic was running (e.g. clicking on Launchpad and then clicking out) caused the CPU to spike up to around 80% on 5 cores. The Mac Pro conversely did not bat a proverbial eyelid, CPU wise, doing the same!

On paper the i5 is supposed to outperform the 6 core Xeon in the Mac Pro. In practice I suspect this is not the case! The i7 Mini may be faster - I wasn't able to compare, but would still be hampered by the graphics performance I suspect.

An eGPU may fix the graphics issues, but that's another expense and another box.

For me, at this point, it's a choice between finding a Mac Pro at a suitable price, or moving to PC/Cubase. There are no other Mac desktop alternatives (I discount the iMac as I have a screen, keyboard and mouse already).

Wayne
Old 31st December 2018
  #18
Company Rep
 

The old trash can Mac Pro CPUs still have some advantages over the ones in the new mini, memory bandwidth is much higher for instance. This will make a difference in some scenarios. So while various benchmarks show them being roundly thrashed by the newer chips it’s still worth doing some comparisons for your own workloads. Apple have a great returns policy, maybe you could take advantage of that.
Old 31st December 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

A point about Apple support. A few years ago I had a Mac Book which I bought brand new that died after one year - right after the warranty expired. I brought it into to Apple and was told that it needed a new mother board. It would cost about $850. The Computer cost about $1,100. I didn't fix it. This was about 2005 or 2006 but that is not that important. In 2011 I bought a 17" Macbook Pro i7 quad core. It has been a good computer and one that was easily upgradeable. They have never made anything quite like it again.

Recently I had an accident and some water spilled on the Macbook Pro. It died. Was sad. I have a regular gig on 79th Street and I noticed a computer repair shop 3 blocks away. I brought it there. A week later, for less than $200 the computer was repaired. It needed a new keyboard. The price was a touch steep for the repair but the job was done well and quickly. I am typing on that computer now.

The point is, Apple support has been at best problematic. Once the warranty is over there seems to be little reason to care about the support.

The other point is the updating of the OS. At some point Apple makes the hardware obsolete by rewriting the OS so it doesn't work on the older computers. I don't know enough about computers to know if this is deliberate planned obsolescence or not but I do know something about corporations and business so if I had to venture a guess I would guess it is the result of planned obsolescence rather than the incompatibility of advancing technology.

I just don't think Apple support is the as big a consideration in purchasing a Mac as I used to. Others may disagree.
Old 1st January 2019
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post

The other point is the updating of the OS. At some point Apple makes the hardware obsolete by rewriting the OS so it doesn't work on the older computers. I don't know enough about computers to know if this is deliberate planned obsolescence or not but I do know something about corporations and business so if I had to venture a guess I would guess it is the result of planned obsolescence rather than the incompatibility of advancing technology.

I just don't think Apple support is the as big a consideration in purchasing a Mac as I used to. Others may disagree.
good point.
One of the best lessons learned and yet hard to follow is just because a new shiny OS is released, DON'T UPGRADE. Not yet. You gotta think that all your audio software is built around certain OS's and if a new one pops up that bricks the software.

On one machine, i still run Mavericks for PT11 and it won't update the OS to Yosemite

bottom line: if it works, don't touch it. Wait until all your software manufactures either release update patches to officially make it compatible, or until they say yes it works with this version of OSX.
Old 12th September 2019
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoop View Post
Get a loaded 2018 Mac Mini. Just sold my Trashcan running PT HDX and switched to the Mini - more DSP, much quicker, and with an eGPU I have fantastic graphics.
Really? Which processor did you have in your Trashcan? 4 core or 6 core I suppose?

Gosh, I just can't decide. I have to carry the system around, and the Mac Mini with 1 kg vs 4 kg for the Mac Pro seems amazing with it's compact size, but I do heavy mixing & mastering and I really need everything I can get from the processor. And from what I read over the net, the i7 8700B isn't fully utilized in the Mini due to thermals.

Are you using lots of CPU heavy analog emulations & is your experience with the Mini different?
Old 12th September 2019
  #22
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
The 2018 Mini is a beast. Single-core performance is miles ahead of the trashcan, so VIs play really well in live mode. The trashcan still wins with multi-core applications, but not by much:

https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks
Old 13th September 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
My 2013 12 core Mac Pro Trash Can still beats my 2019 8 Core i9 MBP on a heavy mix with lots of VI's and plugins. I was wanting to replace my Mac Pro with a laptop.
Old 28th December 2019
  #24
Here for the gear
 

I've been digging through all of these posts and I'm going to assume that there's no definitive answer here...but, I'm looking at either going with a Mac Pro Trashcan 8-Core (3.3 ghz) vs. the 12-Core (2.7 ghz), both with 64 gb or ram. Both are the same price. I use a lot of Izotope plugins and about 12-16 VI's in a session along with audio tracks and aux buss tracks, Pro Tools 2019.5 and Mojave.

Anymore input would be appreciated. I'm flip flopping every few mins here
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Funk Fiction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatloaf24 View Post
I've been digging through all of these posts and I'm going to assume that there's no definitive answer here...but, I'm looking at either going with a Mac Pro Trashcan 8-Core (3.3 ghz) vs. the 12-Core (2.7 ghz), both with 64 gb or ram. Both are the same price. I use a lot of Izotope plugins and about 12-16 VI's in a session along with audio tracks and aux buss tracks, Pro Tools 2019.5 and Mojave.

Anymore input would be appreciated. I'm flip flopping every few mins here
In the same boat here! Would appreciate any insight on this. Thanks in advance!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
If you follow the general advice “always buy the newest and fastest computer you can afford”, I guess you have your answer.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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rectifried's Avatar
6 months ago I was in the same boat
Went tcan 12 core
Thought more connections dedicated graphics card and runs cooler Which some say the mini can choke when super hot
I’m using all the I/o on the back it’s super quiet . And I think the design is good to exhaust heat

I think for Protools less cores and higher GHz rate like a 6 core or 8 Might be better, I got a crazy deal on the 12 so that’s how I went there

It works well but pt is not efficient and Izotope can be heavy at the end Of many tracks running
I use Ableton a lot and it’s a little better but still never total freedom from issues and buffer switching
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
Here for the gear
 

I ended up purchasing the 8-Core, 3.3 ghz model with 64 gb ram and 1 tb SSD and I think it was overall a good choice so far. It's dead quiet, even at full boar.

After delivering my first project to a client, I decided to see how far I could go with it to break it, using both Logic Pro X (latest) and Pro Tools 2019.5, all on Mojave (I typically use both DAW's on a daily basis for different purposes).

Overall, I could see that the 12-Core 2.7 ghz would have possibly had a glass ceiling for proprietary VI's (like Arturia and some of the Logic synths) and both DAW's react quite differently on the mix bus end. Overall, been pretty solid. I have multiple drives streaming via a OWC TB2 dock (samples and session file) with the DAW's living on the boot drive.

I tried this Logic stress test https://logicbenchmarks.com/ and I was able to get to 240 tracks before CPU overload. Works for me.

For fun, I fired up the late 2014 iMac with a 4-core, 4.0 ghz i7 and 32 gb ram (Mojave) to see different the results would be (my last main mixing machine) and the CPU overloaded at 130 tracks. And, oh my god, the fan noise...after having a quiet machine for 2 weeks, it was crazy to hear what I was dealing with before on that end.

It is interesting though that certain tasks are slightly faster on the iMac then on the Pro...for instance, there seems to be a slightly sluggish lag when opening up external drive folders on the Pro, whereas the iMac is instantaneous. Startup takes a little longer with the Pro as well too.

But, DAW performance is really the main concern and it has definitely improved. And being able to go back to an ultra-wide monitor has increased the workflow in spades.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Oh, I should also mention that overall, I can't really tell much of difference with Ozone 9 performance between the iMac and the Pro. It's different with each DAW--Pro Tools tends to distribute the mix bus load a little more evening while using it, but I'll get random CPU spikes.

With Logic, Ozone 9 usually maxes out a single core on the meter, but it never really causes any CPU overload errors, even when looping.

Both of these cases were the same for the iMac and the Pro, with the exception of the the iMac sessions unexpectedly quitting and the Pro just displaying the message, but being able to move on.
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