How would you feel if you just bought a tricked out Mac mini and then saw Apple’s new Mac Pro and read that it would be released in just a few months? Bummed? Excited? What if you bought a far more powerful desktop iMac recently?
Apple’s new, powerful, and insanely expensive Mac Pro model seems to have changed the nature of what professional truly madly deeply means. MacBook Pro? iMac Pro? Neither model is anything at all like Mac Pro? How do you feel about what you own now vs. what you could own soon?
Excited And Poor
Kate and I work for the same company and we have been graced with new professional Macs. iMac Pro. Easily, this is the most powerful Mac I’ve used and with the Retina 5K display and screaming fast Xeon CPUs it is a screamer, even at the entry level of $4,999. The iMac can be configured to hit $15,699 fully tricked out, and that should tell you where into the stratosphere the new Mac Pro will go.
David Gewirtz is a contrarian Mac user and Apple watcher (aren’t we all?). What does he think?
5 reasons I’m not sorry I bought my Mac Mini and didn’t wait for the new Mac Pro
Uh huh. I’m thinking reason number #1 is the Mac mini starts at $799 and the Mac Pro starts at $5,999.
Hey, the Mac mini comes in space gray and that gives it the professional allure, right? A fully tricked out Mac mini with all the goodies– 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD storage, 8th generation Intel Core i7 Inside– weighs in at a paltry $3,599. Paltry even by the iMac Pro which starts at $4,999.
Yeah, I’m thinking reason #1 is price.
Instead, Gewirtz offered the lame excuse of bad timing as #1:
#1 – It Was Timing
I desperately needed more CPU power and a bigger, wider screen. I wanted an ultrawide monitor, not the iMac form factor. The 2013 iMac didn’t support screens that wide.
#2 – Cost (really price; they are different)
Wow, that new Mac Pro is expensive. The 2013 Mac Pro hit the market at $2,999. That seemed like a lot. But $6,000 for a base machine? For individual professionals like me, that’s a big lift.
Maybe you’re not as much of a professional as you think you are, David. After all, a Mac mini doesn’t even have the Pro monicker.
#3 – Size (duh)
The Mac Pro is a full tower, while the Mac Mini is about the size of one of those old fashioned paper books.
Duh. Again. But we’re not really comparing apples to oranges, are we?
But my Mac Mini takes up more space than a book. Because the Mac Mini’s graphics are pretty weak out of the box, I added a Vega 56 card using an OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU enclosure. I also added a big box of hard drives in the form of a Thunderbolt 3-equipped Drobo 8D.
Suddenly, that Mac mini is all over the place, sprawling across a desktop, and might have a collective footprint greater than the Mac Pro suitcase roller case.
Combined, all of these take up space, but they do fit on the top of my desk. They’re still about half the size of the Mac Pro.
But not the footprint. A Mac Pro can side beside the desk, take up less footprint, and all it needs is a display and keyboard on the desktop. Mac Pro for the win.
#4 – Heat
I’m pretty impressed with the heat management of the Mac Mini. In the seven or so months I’ve been using it, I’ve never experienced any heat-related problems and it just keeps working.
The Mac Pro has fans that might be so strong they could blow the Mac mini off the desktop. Or, give your house some added warmth in the winter. Maybe Apple will provide a modular heat pump accessory for Mac Pro.
#5 – Ports
The Mac Mini has the same number and variety of ports (both also have a headphone jack), but all six ports are located on the back of the machine. I like that.
This seems like a strange comparison, though. The Mac Pro is a monster. The Mac mini is an entry-level Mac with an option to do more, but it ain’t a professional level machine– by comparison (yes, I know, it’s what you do that counts as professional; not how much you spend)
For the price of the Mac Pro, I can get two or three Mac Minis (and I probably will, over time). For now, the Mac Mini is a much more practical, cost-effective solution that’s delivering all the power and flexibility I need.
For my desktop iMac Pro we added more RAM and upped the SSD storage, then added Thunderbolt backup storage. It’s a honking machine at a honking price relative to previous generation Mac desktop models with the Pro name attached.
None of them are professional in the sense of 2019’s Mac Pro at $5,999, plus $4,999 for a display, and another $999 for a display stand to match. Apple is playing in the stratosphere and if so-called professionals have anything to complain about it, it’s the price tag and the power.
Too much of each.