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Comparing Macs

Let’s see how a 2010 MacPro5,1 compares to a 2012 MacBookPro9,2 in 2020…

I’ve been using Macs for about 30 years (and Apple hardware for nearly 40 years) and I’ve said this before, but I’m not a latest-and-greatest kind of user. I don’t buy the first version (anymore) or the fastest bestest (ever) and I try to make do with the hardware I have. I use the old Macs for various things around the house/shop. There’s a MacPro3,1 running the laser cutter, and a Macmini2,1 used strictly for playing music and the occasional web search.

I still have two “main” computers I use daily. One is a MacBookPro9,2 that has been my “everyday carry” (when I used to go places) and the other is MacPro5,1 I got for super-duper cheap from a video producer friend of mine. The Mac Pro was stuck on High Sierra due to the lack of a Metal GPU, so I grabbed one recently to keep the old box going. I figured it was time to compare the two computers to see what they could do.

I’ll also mention that I probably don’t do as much heavy computing that I used to do. Things that would be “heavy” for me would be some 3D modeling/rendering, a bit of video/audio editing, and processing/editing RAW photos. As I said, I don’t need the fastest most powerful computer, and that’s good, because I don’t have one.

Here’s a quick comparison of the computers:

MacPro5,1 (Mid 2010) MacBookPro9,2 (13″ Mid 2012)
2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5
Intel Xeon E5620 2400 MHz (8 cores) Intel Core i5-3210M 2500 MHz (2 cores)
36GB RAM 1066 MHz DDR3 12GB 1600 Mhz DDR3
Radeon RX 580 8 GB Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB

I used Geekbench 5 to get the following numbers:

Score MacPro5,1 MacBookPro9,2
Single-Core 458 554
Multi-Core 3682 1131
OpenCL 46089 992
Metal 50937 183

Whew! Those are some differences in those numbers. My main concern with these two computers is that I can continue to upgrade the OS for a few years, if possible. I just got the Mac Pro up to Mojave (and will get Catalina on it soon using OpenCore.) I’ve tried a few Mojave installs on the MacBook Pro, but they keep failing. I’ve got a new SSD coming to get that taken care of, so we’ll see how it goes.

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