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Thread: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

  1. #1

    Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    I need a new computer in the worst way. I was wondering if any of you could help me decide what to do. I don't have huge files I work with but eventually will start scanning my 8/10 and 5/7 negatives when I get a Epson 750. That is down the road and I'm not in a hurry to do that. Perhaps when I retire in a year and a half. Right now I scan 35mm and work with some modest digital files. There is a fella down the road from me that sells Mac Pros to the creative community. He goes through and puts in what you want, repasted, etc. and is honest with a good reputation. He gives a one year labor warranty. I don't know if I should get a new Mac Mini loaded up with a new monitor for roughly the same money for the 2008 MP that he has gone through. Here's the specs (and price)for the MP .........


    I have a quote for a Mac that can run the following applications :

    Adobe CS5.1 Photoshop
    Apple Aperture 3.5.1
    Adobe Lightroom 5
    Hamrick VueScan 9.4.27 (I was unable to determine the minimum system requirements for this app .)


    She will be a remanufactured machine with the following re-certified components .

    2008 2.8 GHz Eight Core Mac Pro (MacPro 3,1) . 2 x Harperton Quad Core Xeons . $700.00
    16 GB 677 MHz FB-DIMM memory . $ 50.00
    Geforce 8800GT Mac Edition 512MB Vram video card with DVI + DVI . Open CL capable . $ 0.00
    120 GB SSD Samsung 840 EVO (brand new) . For OS X and apps . With Icy Dock adapter . $115.00
    3 TB HDD Seagate 7200 RPM (brand new) . For data . Model ST3000DM001 . $110.00
    14x Blu-ray burner 128 GB . (brand new) . Reads and writes CD , DVD and Blu-ray discs . $ 85.00
    Bluetooth , internal , Apple brand . $10.00
    Wifi card , internal , Apple brand . $10.00
    USB3 two external ports PCIe card . (brand new) . (requires OS X 10.8.2 or later .) $50.00
    Labor charge for rebuild $250.00

    total $1380.00

    7% tax $96.60

    grand total (cash price) $1476.60


    Anyways I'm at a loss and was wondering if anyone could help me. Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    I have a Mac Mini that is a couple generations old and it runs CS 5 and Lightroom just fine with scanned 4x5 negatives. A new model will probably outlast a 2008 MacPro. Max out the ram and get the solid state harddrive to run the operating system and applications and that Mac mini will be very fast.

  3. #3

    Re: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    Thanks for the reply. I actually live like 5 min from OWC. I've purchased lot of stuff from them over the years. I was thinking the best thing to do is to get the SSD as you mentioned for the OS and maybe a 1-1/2 TB for files. The OWC RAM is allot cheaper than Apple's. what monitor are you using?

  4. #4

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    Re: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    A new Mini is due shortly. Check Mac rumours site. Wait and load one up with OWC stuff and be very happy you dont have a 7 year old dog. Im waiting also.

  5. #5
    Robert Brummitt's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    I have been using Minis for sometime. I had and still have the original mini but work with the third generation. I have Lightroom 5 and photoshop CS 3. I have a Viewsonic pro monitor that quite nice and two terabyte hard drives for storage.

    Over all, I love my mini until I had to up grade my OP system from Lion to Mountain Lion. Then things went south.
    I bought Lightroom 5 that required the upgrade of my OP system. I lost use of my Microsoft Office software and now I lost use of my Nik plug-ins. I'm waiting to see what else is gone.

    I bought new Office and I'm working to get my Nik software repaired. That one will be the hardest. google says I should by or rent Photoshop CC and I refuse to do so. So, my warning to you is watch what you up grade. It a house of cards at times.

    I did go to the local Apple store to check out the new Mini and the Genius there shared with me that if I want to buy a new Mini to have it built with max out memory. Apple has made the body so tight that you can't customize your machine with after market memory. My current Mini all you have to do is twist the bottom and switch out the memory. Apple is just trying to contol you where you spend your money.

  6. #6
    Mike Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    The price seems on the high side to me. $700 for a 2008 Mac mini seems high. What OS will come installed? Will it run Mavericks, do you need/want Mavericks installed? Is there any warranty?

    For comparison I'm using a 2009 Mac Mini with 8 meg RAM I paid $400 for. It's only a 2 Ghz Core 2 Duo, so your speced one is has a better processor.

    The machine you describe will run the software you need very nicely with its SSD and 16 gig RAM, it just strikes me as on the overpriced side.

    ...Mike
    Mike → "Junior Liberatory Scientist"

  7. #7
    Guilherme Maranhão coisasdavida's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    I read you will be scanning and probably generating TIF files. Those would be okay with any machine. But if you plan to purchase a digital camera in the future, one that has not been released yet, you will probably have to get a brand new software to go with it (a new release of Lightroom, for example, because previous release will not recognize that RAW format). Then I would be concerned about when is the processor your are buying with the MP will be left behind in a system upgrade. Because system upgrades will dictate which software you can run. Of course high end machines tend to stay supported longer than Minis, for example, but the MP is kind of old right now.

    I have two minis, a 2008 CoreDuo that runs 10.6 at the most and a 2010 Core2Duo that runs 10.7 at the most. I have a couple 5D mkIIs that I use for work. When considering a new mkIII I realized that I would have to buy a camera, a LR5 and a new mini to run everything.

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Re: Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    It seems like a bit of a false economy here to buy a MacBook from 2008 and spend the memory upgrading to an SSD, memory etc. You can buy a core i5 Macbook Pro with Retina display (and SSD) for $1400 from Mac Warehouse. Or you could get a "maxed out" MacMini if you don't want the portability. "Vintage" computer gear is rarely worth messing with and most of the time isn't even really a deal.

  9. #9

    Mac Mini vs 2008 MacPro

    Well the more I think about it the more I'm convinced that the Mac Mini is the way to go. It just seems to make the most financial sense. Now onto monitors, backup strategies, etc! Does it ever end?

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