Despite new CPU options, Apple reportedly questioning future of Mac Pro

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  • ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    IMO Apple will be a totally different company in 5 years or so. Apple is gradually moving to be an all consumer oriented electronics company. iOS is their future, wether we like it or not, and the only Pro the company will deal with is Prosumer. I see them keeping a beefed up desktop iMac for business, creatives, and developers. All others will need to look elsewhere. The high-end Pro markets just siphons off bottom line profit. I wouldn't count on the Mac Mini or its server sibling to survive the transition either. Ipads or Macbook Air's will replace the Mini.
  • macfb6macfb6 Posts: 16member
    First xraid, xserve, now mac pro. In few years the whole mac line is history, there's simply too much money in ios devices.
  • markbmarkb Posts: 153member
    Quote:

    lack future proofing for gaming and don't have the performance of a mac pro either



    I have a 2008 8 core Mac used mainly for photography. I have used the expansion capability of the Mac pro a good bit. It has 4 Hrd drives and I have replaced the graphics card once (due to hardware failure). I will say that the future proofing is questionable. The graphics card I put in there Gtx 285 would be laughed at by any pc gamer. and the price I paid would have been sufficient to repair any damage to a notebook or iMac. I guess i am just saying there isn't really much of a market for upgrades for the Mac Pro and there probably never will be. Honestly my 2011 15" Mac book pro outperforms The Mac pro for any app (essentially all games past, present, future) that don't efficiently use all 8 cores. The two apps that I have encountered that make the Mac pro viable if just are aperture and video encoding/compression.
  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Yes there are a certain number of people in this category. The question is - is that group large enough and lucrative enough to make it financially feasible for Apple to continue to support.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by reuzedoder View Post


    If they stop making it it will be the first time i have to stop using an Apple. I need its speed, space and flexibility.



  • adam venieradam venier Posts: 20member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dsol View Post


    The MacPro is expensive because Xeons are expensive. I've never understood why Apple used Xeons in their single CPU macPro configs. Yeah, yeah - it supports ECC. But the single CPU configs cut the number of RAM slots in half anyway, so ECC was pretty pointless.



    If you're running a server and are serious about your data, ECC is sufficient reason of the Xeons. The single CPU config often had faster chips which worked better for computationally expensive tasks such as database queries which do not naturally scale across threads.



    That stated, many of the non-Xeon Sandy Bridge chips do actually support ECC. I think that Apple has disabled this feature in the iMacs to promote Mac Pro sales.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nothingness View Post


    In any case, they are SCREWING the pro's that were once the centre of the MAC existence. (i started as a graphic designer where the mac was the one real tool you had the have)



    Yeah it is like divorcing your first wife who worked two jobs to help put you through grad school. Now that you have your high paying career, you pay her back by lusting after some young sexy woman at the office.
  • aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,526member
    While I understand Apple's desire to eliminate the product, I hope they do go with a convertible rackmount solution to fill the gap. Not everybody can use the iMac or MacMini for a desktop, and a lot of people don't want to use a laptop for different reasons.



    But... It won't happen. The most we will get is two small hot-swappable 2.5" boot drives and two thunderbolt ports on different busses. The market is just too small, and shrinking. Part of me is content with it, and the other part is sad that it will likely force me to switch back to Windows.



    My needs aren't that onerous either. Just need fault tolerance, fast processor, and a lot of RAM. A second gigabit port would be nice, but the rest could be done with Thunderbolt.
  • conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TripleCore View Post


    It's unfortunate since I love working on the Mac.



    Never love anything that will not love you back.



    Apple will throw you under the bus if you don't provide them with enough profits. It is not a two-way relationship.



    They want profits. That is the one and only thing the Corporation cares about. Your love is irrelevant to Apple, unless it results in oversized profits.

  • desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    They need something more powerful than the Mac Mini but screen-less unlike the iMac. However, the Mac Pro is and has been a boat anchor. I mean seriously, that thing is unwieldy. No need for a huge hunk of aluminum like that in this day & age. I cringe whenever I have to deploy or service one.



    Why can't they utilize their expertise in ventilation and produce a fast thin octo-core unit that can stand upright if needed, and be turned on its side for rack mounting to replace the XServe? This rumor has been going around for a while and made so much sense that I am shocked to learn it might now not be happening.



    Exactly!

    The main reason anyone wants a Mac Pro is for some combination of processing/graphics power. Some folks want the drives housed in there too, but mainly they want the data speed, but Thunderbolt makes this unnecessary.



    It is now possible modularize and customize all of this giving users an economic break while providing the flexibility to pay for the performance features they want/need with no performance loss. . . . except for the processors, that is.

    Apple needs to devise a somewhat modular system. Possibly could be just two form factor families; one a compact unit (say like a fat Mac Mini) that can support multiple, multicore processors, and a second larger form, say like a short minitower that would accommodate some pro graphics cards. Ideally the second form could also accommodate one or two of the first units (or rather their guts) in an elegant way. Viola! Customizable, expandable, upgradeable, semi-hot swappable, screen-less Macs from a super gusty Mini to a Robust Pro to a X Serve, all using compatible modules from the same system.
  • bleaknikbleaknik Posts: 4member
    I've got an idear! Make OS X scale through a tech like XGrid.



    While I've not personally used this tech, the concept is simple. Rather than one powerful machine with lots of RAM, Disk space, and processor power; offload those processing cycles to machines near in the cluster. Turn 'em off (or let 'em sleep) when they're not needed, and fire 'em back up when they are!



    Now, obviously, there's a few things here that are missing...
    1. Someone needs to create a rack mount fo the Mac mini that makes sense. Networking, power, thunderbolt all built in.

    2. XGrid, from what I understand, requires the software to be XGrid aware. Can we find an OS implementation that will eliminate this need?

    3. Nodes (Mac minis) need to be easily added and removed from the cluster with little-to-no configuration. Maybe make the rack have an auto-launching USB-drive that will automatically run when the Mac mini is connected that'll autoconfigure it?

    It's a crazy idea. And I'm sure most of y'all laugh at me for saying this. But we really don't need workstations any more, especially when we have network computing. If only we could access those resources. That should solve most of your 3D rendering/video rendering/photoshop rendering needs.



    The only thing that I'm missing... is the gaming experience. Same thing for processing power... and RAM. And coupled with a nice external Thunderbolt graphics card, I think we have our answer.



    Mac minis!
  • samwellsamwell Posts: 78member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bleaknik View Post


    And I'm sure most of y'all laugh at me for saying this.



    I'm laughing at you for using "'em" three times in one sentence.
  • gustavgustav Posts: 803member
    Oh great, more BS rumors for the BS "Apple doesn't care about Pros anymore" crowd.



    Seriously, I'm guessing either this rumor is just acknowledging a drop in sales, or Apple is working on a slightly different form factor that will replace the Mac Pro.
  • auxioauxio Posts: 1,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markb View Post


    Honestly my 2011 15" Mac book pro outperforms The Mac pro for any app (essentially all games past, present, future) that don't efficiently use all 8 cores. The two apps that I have encountered that make the Mac pro viable if just are aperture and video encoding/compression.



    Those two sentences illustrate the definition of the word "Pro" in Mac Pro: someone who uses a computer to create saleable content/services for their job or business. Notice how the apps which fit in that category (Aperture, video encoding tools, Final Cut, Logic, Xcode, etc) take full advantage of the Mac Pro hardware...
  • lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,197member
    The nerd herd rarely gets what it demands from Apple yet the company continues to flourish. I hope they keep the Mac Pro line going even though I went iMac years ago and have never regretted it. But if it's not contributing to the bottom line then...
  • recrec Posts: 217member
    I don't think machines like this are relevant anymore. People want compact, portable, low impact, powerful (enough) and less expensive. Tower cases are for the 90's, for the past.



    This is also not Apple's business anymore. Apple has a good sense of cutting technologies when they are no longer relevant, I hope they can make that decision here.
  • zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    The macpro is way too expensive, too heavy, too big, and 8 years old. It's time to rethink the workstation paradigm and reinvent Mac pro's into a more nimble but powerful footprint that is headless. Jonathan Ive should make this a priority and get the ball rolling on this. I refuse to dump 3-5k in a powerful workstation. Those days are long gone, after all, mobility and size is very important to a lot of people right now.
  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Why would Apple do this seeing how Dell and HP are rolling in money supporting enterprise and "Pro" users.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    This should not be a surprise to anybody following Apple. They alienated the company which made some of the most popular software for their machines, and discontinued their own professional software. They discontinued their infrastructure products, and declared themselves to be a gadget company which is changing its focus to "portable devices".



  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,232member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    You can't depend on the Hackintosh route to continuing to work either.



    Why not?



    Even if the Mac Pro disappears, Apple will continue to make iMacs, and most hackintoshes uses the same CPU's that iMacs use.
  • conigsconigs Posts: 3member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Can you help satisfy my own curiosity? Did you expand your own Mac Pro? If so, in what way? Did you add additional video cards? More disk drives? I'm curious as to how many people might have bought a Pro - just in case, but no case as arisen for the need to expand.



    I'll jump in on this. I bought a MacPro1,1 over 4 years ago to replace my failed G4 MDD 2x1.42. I have since filled the HD bays (System, System Clone, Media, Time Machine), upgraded the RAM twice, added an eSATA card, upgraded the video card, and added video IO (Intensity Pro).



    Though my situation is a bit different than most, since I will often work on freelance motion design & video post from home. Honestly, I can't see much use for a MacPro beyond the film & video post market. Most graphic designers & photographers I know have moved on to iMacs or MacBook Pros.



    What would be unfortunate for Apple if they discontinue the Mac Pros is that almost all the software I use at this point (After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema4D, and several plugins) is platform agnostic. Shops that need the power and are due for an upgrade will switch to Windows systems. This could then lead to a reverse Apple halo effect where people (like me) who have been invested in Macs for so long can realize that Windows & PC workstations are in fact a usable alternative and resemble little of the WindowsXP experience they probably migrated from. Then when it's time to upgrade at home, they might more seriously consider a Windows box. Then what about that iPhone? Then they start talking to their family & friends about how much better Windows has gotten? (Keep in mind, that was all hypothetical.)



    While iOS has been a huge boon to Apple, they seem to have forgotten that there were a good number of people who migrated to Macs based on recommendations from pros (family & friends) who were working with them, the "cool" factor of seeing high-profile films & other jobs completed with them, or a combination of the two. However, in a post PC world, perhaps the Mac overall will be less & less relevant to Apple. Time will tell and few outside of Cupertino know the answers.
  • zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by REC View Post


    I don't think machines like this are relevant anymore. People want compact, portable, low impact, powerful (enough) and less expensive. Tower cases are for the 90's, for the past.



    This is also not Apple's business anymore. Apple has a good sense of cutting technologies when they are no longer relevant, I hope they can make that decision here.



    I have to agree, these huge heavy tower cases are a thing of the past, we need server chips in a smaller footprint that can do comparable processing by reducing the sheer size. I'm sure people will be adopting external thunderbolt drives instead of internal sata's like they used to.



    Apple should seriously get working on this and give us another option that is more powerful than its iMac line. Time is against them on this issue, workstations have remained stagnant, and it's up to Apple to reinvent this broken thing.
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