Apple’s Mac Pro is in a bit of a sorry state right now. Not only is it sorely lacking in updates, but a new video from YouTube channel Max Tech has compared it to the new M2 Pro Mac mini — and it’s not pleasant viewing for Mac Pro fans.
That’s because almost every test was a cakewalk for the Mac mini, as it beat the Mac Pro in everything from video exporting to Xcode compiling. Even in the few tests where the Mac Pro was able to pull ahead, things were far closer than you would expect.
It’s made even worse when you consider the price of the machines that were tested. Max Tech’s Mac Pro was a high-spec version with an Afterburner card and top-notch graphics card, bringing its price to $14,999. The Mac mini, meanwhile, had an M2 Pro chip and 32GB of memory, which cost $2,299 in total — just 15% of the Mac Pro’s price.
Yet for just a fraction of the cost, the Mac mini decimated the Mac Pro. For example, when creating a HDR image in Adobe Photoshop, the Mac mini was 47% faster. Compiling an Xcode project took the Mac mini 70 seconds compared to the Mac Pro’s 125 seconds. Time and again, the smaller, cheaper computer came out on top.
Even when the Mac Pro had some extra crutches to help it out, the Mac mini still raced ahead. Exporting five minutes of 4K ProRes RAW video footage to ProRes took the Mac Pro two minutes and 45 seconds, which was cut to one minute and 15 seconds with the help of Apple’s Afterburner card. The Mac mini? It completed the export in a mere 48 seconds. For reference, the Afterburner card alone costs $2,000, which is almost as expensive as the entire $2,299 Mac mini.
A sad situation for the Mac Pro
The Max Tech video carried out a host of other tests, and in almost all of them the Mac mini came out victorious. The Mac Pro won only a handful of duels, mostly those that heavily relied on graphics performance, and in most of them it was not convincing.
These tests succinctly sum up the sad situation the Mac Pro finds itself in. It hasn’t had any meaningful updates for years, and is in desperate need of the kind of power Apple silicon chips like the Mac mini’s M2 Pro can provide. Right now, the Mac Pro is the only Mac that doesn’t have a single Apple silicon chip option.
That could change soon, with a special Apple event heavily rumored for this spring. There’s little doubt that will see a new Mac Pro that finally ditches Intel chips, which should make embarrassing defeats at the hands of the Mac mini a thing of the past (at least, Apple will be hoping so).
However, there are a lot of caveats attached to the current slate of Mac Pro rumors. Right now, it looks like the new model is going to miss out on a new design, as well as user-upgradeable memory and graphics options. Worse, the mooted M2 Extreme chip — previously slated as a new top-end Apple silicon offering — has apparently been abandoned. That means performance could be far below what has been rumored in the past.
Max Tech’s testing shows just how desperately the Mac Pro needs a serious overhaul, yet it’s still unclear if the spring update will be enough to put things right. Here’s hoping Apple has something special up its sleeve that can appease its demanding Mac Pro users.
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