How is that 2013 Mac Pro?
I’ve loaded some apps, I’ve worked on some projects, so how is the 2013 Mac Pro?
To jump right in, I have no regrets buying this older model Mac. It’s fast, capable, and runs all the software I want it to. My current software licenses work just fine without having to invest in a ton in upgrades. Yes, it taps out at macOS 12, but that isn’t an issue for me. Nothing I use is OS13 only, at least not yet. That’s pretty much all machine learning stuff or some high end apps that don’t cater to me.
- The 2013 is plenty fast and has no issues loading, trimming or exporting video.
- There are no problems running the Affinity V2 Suite.
- SnagIt captures the screen without dropping frames.
- Downie, 4K Video Downloader, and the others download and convert files in short order.
- SuperAIEnlarger processes images in bulk.
- Upscayl crunches through images and produces excellent results.
- Keyboard Maestro is just as awesome on 2013 Mac as it is on 2010 model.
- I can type just as fast in Scrivener on OS12 as I can on 10.14. Who knew?
The 2013 is handling all the jobs I want from it so in that respect I’m extremely pleased. Yes, Apple Silicon is even better, but I have no complaints with this setup.
There are some other nice features of the 2013. It’s whisper quiet even when exporting video files. I can’t tell it’s even on 98% of the time. There are a couple of times when I might hear a slight rush of air coming out the top.
It has plenty of quick storage space in the 4TB SSD. There is plenty of room to work with and the access time is excellent.
The 2013 cruises right along with 128GB of ram. There is more than enough head room to run everything want. Are the dual GPUs having an impact? Not sure, but they aren’t hurting anything.
There is plenty of processing power. It actually takes a fair bit of effort to push this machine. Shotcut seems to be the only thing that pushes the CPUs. It will crank up to 85%+ utilization when exporting, but it’s done with a video in 5 minutes so that’s expected.
There are plenty of USB and video ports. There is no problem in hooking up monitors or accessories. I’ve got a dual monitor setup that works great. If I had more desk space or switched the machines around, it would have 4 monitors. It supports 6, which I would like to see and may implement one day. That’s a lot of desk space though.
I did buy a USB expansion strip for hooking up external SSDs. It’s easier to get to that than grabbing the machine and spinning it around each time. Not going to lie though, the fact the back panel lights up when you do that is pretty damn cool.
The 2013 tops out with macOS Monterey, but that’s fine with me. That isn’t a barrier and I don’t see it being one for a couple more years. I know all Intel machines will drop off the support list, and I’m on borrowed time, but there is still time. And the Mac will keep running, not simply turn off. I faced that with the 2010 and it hasn’t stopped me.
Support for the 2010 ended in 2018, yet here I am still using it daily.
The only thing I’ve noticed, and it’s certainly been mentioned before, the 2013 puts out some heat. It’s a very quiet machine, but after it’s been up and running, you can feel the heat exhausting out the top. It’s not scalding, or has any danger of setting anything on fire, but it does produce enough warmth to make my Bram Stoker Funko a little mushy. I thought that inner ring was a cool place to have him sit. Cool visually, certainly not cool temperature. He was literally in the hot seat.
He survived the ordeal, but it was not my best move. Good thing to know for the winter months though. The 2013 can help heat the room and keep beverages hot.
If you’re brand new to the world of Mac, I wouldn’t recommend the 2013 as your first stop. It would be far better to start with an M2 Apple Silicon machine. That seems obvious, but an M2 would make a better impression, even though this 2013 is pretty sweet.
Since I already have devices and software and I’m in that place where a high end M2 machine is my destination, but it will take a little while longer to get there, this machine closes that gap very nicely. I get to use the software I already have, I get a “recent” OS and can still keep in step with mainstream software.
I don’t have all the latest OS features, nor can I run iOS apps on my Mac, but that’s not a hinderance. That’s not part of my workflow. It would be cool, and I would do it if I could, but it’s not a deal breaker.
The 2013 is capable and fast. I get plenty of work done, and while Apple Silicon is impressive, and the new platform, you need to keep in mind that speed is awesome when you can tap into it.
For example, Apple Silicon won’t make me type faster. Apple Silicon doesn’t make web pages load faster. It doesn’t make files download faster. It doesn’t make reminders better, nor does it make my note taking more accurate.
Yes, the machine is better, the OS is better, there are more features, there are more benefits, but they are only beneficial if you actually take advantage.
The 2013 can handle my audio and video editing needs without issue. I’m getting plenty of work done. It handles every task I put to it. For the price I paid, this gives me everything I need, so I have no regrets. And it’s faster than my 2010 Mac, so, a decent upgrade.