Thread: Mac Mini compare Mac Pro

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  1. #1 Mac Mini compare Mac Pro 
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    Looking for some feed back on this. Almost inconceivable that this is a valid comparison - but Apple is to thank for it.

    I currently have a trash can 6 Core 3.5ghz with the Twin D700’s. As we know this is essentially not upgradeable. Looking at the top spec Mac mini - 6 Core 3.2ghz with turbo boost to 4.6ghz latest i7 coffee lake processor. Now I understand the GPU is not in the same ball park BUT. . . . the Mac mini is eGPU ‘upgradeable’ through an external TB3 setup.

    So here’s the thing. For what I can sell my trash can for, I can purchase a top spec mini and have some cash left to purchase a reasonable eGPU. So what is the better solution for the same money? Given the upgradability of the mini can’t help but see it’s the smart money.

    A couple of things to note. Apparently cooling on the mini is not great. However given that this machine is for Davinci Resolve where the bulk of heavy lifting is done by the gpu, cooling should not be much of an issue. Any concern could be alleviated by a cooling pad.

    The other point - what graphics card? Really looking for the BEST VALUE option here - not the cheapest nor NECESSARILY the most expensive. For dollars spent what is going to give the best result?

    Finally I’m guessing this setup will be more powerful than the Mac Pro. If so, thoughts on its capability of handling 4K timeline with multiple node grading in real time. (Media running off internal SSD with 64 gig ram)

    Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, articles, experience, (and even opinions) would be greatly appreciated.

    Blessings
    Craig
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  2. #2  
    You might find these graphs of the Sonnet eGPU + wx9100 interesting.

    I'm looking forward to the new new Mac Pro. The 2013 Mac Pro is perhaps the greatest single disappointment I've ever experienced in my 40+ years of computer-buying history.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Typically, if you can move from an older model with good resale value to a newer one at minimal net cost, it is - as you say - smart money.

    Newer Macs with the Titan Ridge TB3 controller provide legit bandwidth for an appropriate eGPU. AFAIK, the only plug and play option is BMD's eGPU. The Pro model uses a Radeon RX Vega 56 w/ 8GB VRAM for $1,200 USD. Since Resolve happens to be a BMD product as well, it's hardly a surprise that testers were impressed. Mr Google has more details.

    If you are hip to rolling your own solution, there are TB3 expansion devices from several vendors that would support even faster GPUs like the Vega 64, etc. Also, unlike the sealed BMD solution, you can swap GPUs down the road.

    As long as you're realistic about the ceiling of a MacMini/eGPU rig, it might be the best price/performance for RedUser workloads of anything natively running OSX.

    Cheers - #19
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  4. #4  
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    “As long as you're realistic about the ceiling of a MacMini/eGPU rig, it might be the best price/performance for RedUser workloads of anything natively running OSX.”

    This seems to be key. Unless I’m missing something the Mac Mini has a higher ceiling than the 2013 Macpro. Shocking really.
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  5. #5  
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    Check this website https://barefeats.com/

    Answer is Radeon VII.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Thanks Misha. Another likely benefit is the Radeon series GPU drivers are likely to see regular updates in OSX due to the upcoming release of the new 7,1 MacPro.

    Cheers - #19
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  7. #7  
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    Thanks Misha. I stand corrected. Seems as though there is still life in the old girl yet.

    Looked a little closer at the Radeon VII and it appears as though it is already EOL. My difficulty is I know so little about GPU. Even so I’m guessing some of the Radeons strength is in the 16G capacity. Here is an article that gives a little more detail . . .

    https://www.tomshardware.com/news/am...tus,39861.html

    Given an EOL, is there an equivalent that is more current that will give similar/better result? The option the above article suggests while cheaper is only 8gig.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Unless the cost jump is just silly, you want the 16GB of VRAM in the VII. That said, AMD has some interesting silicon in the pipeline. You could bargain hunt for a decent card now and save the rest for the next generation card when it drops. Suggest you cruise the Resolve boards for performance metrics on the various Radeon options to see if the more expensive cards are worth the extra coin.

    Cheers - #19
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  9. #9  
    Hmmm.... If you can sell the trash can for a reasonable amount, then smart money as you say. It’s a 6 year old computer now. That said, I’m not sure I’d recommend the Mac Mini with eGPU combo. You won’t gain anything there. It would be more of a step sideways rather than forward. No upgradability and it already holds less RAM than the trash can. All you can really do is upgrade the eGPU. Both systems are thermally restricted. The memory in the Mini is newer and faster and the CPU is newer, but not any better than the 6-core that’s in your trash can. Running off an eGPU can be limiting in a lot of ways too.

    Can’t really offer other recommendations without knowing more of your needs...
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member DC Chavez's Avatar
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    For what its worth- I ran into the "Aging MacPro" scenario as well. I had hoped the last keynote would make things better, but it made it worse for me... I wasn't going to shell out 30K+ for a machine to do what I need.

    I made the jump to a custom made PC and its been WAY less painful than I thought... I am all-in for 8.5K on a machine that doesn't even hiccup with 8K Helium footage in Premiere or Resolve... I went a little overboard, and you could get something for a bit cheaper...

    Here are the specs: https://www.reddit.com/r/watercoolin...d_in_20_years/
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