Is a Mac Pro (2013) worth it these days?

TheGardenTool

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
2,866
I asked UnknownSouljer the other day his thoughts on if a trash can is still worth it but am curious what the rest of the [H] Apple community thinks as well.

Use case is some music editing with hope to improve quality. Second is to start using it for photo management and editing. Third is maybe some light video editing work. The windows PC will take care of gaming, Windows only stuff, and most the rest.

Limitations are I just acquired a new to me 34” Dell. Don’t have room for a Mac Pro 5,1 or a separate iMac on the desk. Don’t need probability again either. Would likely keep the rMBP around for a bit but it’s starting to have some problems as well. Will probably start with getting it setup to test out the monitor’s KVM feature but want to transition over to a desktop Mac soon’ish. Oh and a new Mac Pro is way out of the price range. :)
 

KATEKATEKATE

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
350
not a great value for the money, but definitely capable of doing light to moderate content creation work. and if the small form factor is important to you I could see paying a premium being worth it but it is quite the premium.
 

Jinto

[H]ard|Gawd
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Aug 10, 2006
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You are looking at ~$1.3k for a Mac Pro and maybe $150 for a cpu upgrade to 12 core. Even more if you don't want to DIY. A bit hard to justify for the performance you get. A Mac Mini (6 core ~$1k) may a reasonable alternative for cheaper and gives you TB3 for expansion.
 

TheGardenTool

2[H]4U
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Mar 12, 2006
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What's your price range? What are you going to spend on this?
I haven’t set a hard budget for it yet. Of course the new Mac Pro is way out of the high end of it and a lot more than I need currently. Maybe one day when they reach these prices. :) Concerned more about not getting enough of a system for the uses and feeling the need to turn right back around to get something else.

You are looking at ~$1.3k for a Mac Pro and maybe $150 for a cpu upgrade to 12 core. Even more if you don't want to DIY. A bit hard to justify for the performance you get. A Mac Mini (6 core ~$1k) may a reasonable alternative for cheaper and gives you TB3 for expansion.
Yes I am aware of what the Mac Pros are going for right now and of course would be delighted if they were a bit less. I do need to look more into the newer Mac Mini systems. I’m not entirely convinced TB3 is the better reason to get one. Should the need arise to need an eGPU TB2 can do it just needs some MacOS workarounds. Performance hit on some benchmarks didn’t look terrible. And honestly right now wouldn't be the prettiest or best use of available space to also need an eGPU enclosure.

I think to start I need to go ahead with ordering a miniDP to miniDP and some USB 3.0 Type B to Type A to do a sort of proof of concept. Make sure all my existing stuff is going to work nicely with the monitor’s KVM switching. Should be doable with testing on the rMBP at least.
 

UnknownSouljer

Supreme [H]ardness
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Sep 24, 2001
Messages
6,533
I haven’t set a hard budget for it yet. Of course the new Mac Pro is way out of the high end of it and a lot more than I need currently. Maybe one day when they reach these prices. :) Concerned more about not getting enough of a system for the uses and feeling the need to turn right back around to get something else.

Yes I am aware of what the Mac Pros are going for right now and of course would be delighted if they were a bit less. I do need to look more into the newer Mac Mini systems. I’m not entirely convinced TB3 is the better reason to get one. Should the need arise to need an eGPU TB2 can do it just needs some MacOS workarounds. Performance hit on some benchmarks didn’t look terrible. And honestly right now wouldn't be the prettiest or best use of available space to also need an eGPU enclosure.

I think to start I need to go ahead with ordering a miniDP to miniDP and some USB 3.0 Type B to Type A to do a sort of proof of concept. Make sure all my existing stuff is going to work nicely with the monitor’s KVM switching. Should be doable with testing on the rMBP at least.
I'm uncertain of your full use case for this system, but it also may be just as relevant to wait for the ARM Mac Mini and see how that fairs with what you want to do, just for the sake of where Apple is going and what the future will hold.

That said, one of the major reasons to recommend the 6-core 12 thread Mac Mini is just sheer speed for size. I know it trades blows with the 12-core 5,1 Mac Pro, I'd have to look into the 12 core 6,1 Mac Pro to know how it does there. But the main failing of all of these systems is GPU. The Mac Mini has the most straight forward GPU upgrade path that doesn't require hacking.
Just simply put the Mac Mini on top of your eGPU and its foot print isn't significantly increased. It does have some levels of temp throttling, but not so severe that I feel like it gets in the way. Since you have time to do research, I would probably look into situations where it has problems. I do know that some of it is alleviated by an eGPU as then that's processing happening outside of the Mini, which does help it.

A 6-core Mac Mini with 32GB of RAM and a Radeon VII is a pretty potent system. I imagine the ARM version will be more so.
 

JustinC

Weaksauce
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
75
These are my thoughts:
A 2013 Mac Pro can be worth it, but only if you're doing a lot of heavy lifting and you can't afford an iMac Pro.
Computing power has been pretty bloody good for a while now and there's a hell of a lot of stuff created on gear that's five years old which isn't as long ago as it once was in computing tech.
 
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