Mac Pro Refesh in March

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  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    "Despite the delays and current lack of devices, companies are still excited about the technology and its potential. Hitachi?s Williams feels that Thunderbolt?s biggest impact will be in video production. The new technology ?helps laptops and desktops morph into full-fledged video editing workstations. Just imagine the blazing speed that you can get while editing in the field.?





    LaCie's Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series is available in 1TB or 2TB hard drive capacities, or with a 240GB SSD.

    Several of the company representatives pointed out that Thunderbolt adaption will only continue to flourish. Apple recently announced that it sold 5.2 million Thunderbolt-equipped Macs in the fiscal first quarter of 2012, outpacing the rest of the PC industry, and the numbers are expected to grow."



    Interesting snippet of info' on the progress of the Thunderbolt standard over the last year.



    Ironic that Apple's 'flagship' 'workstation' doesn't have it...but the iMac and Macbook Pro do.



    The jobs you needed a 'workstation/dinosaur' for are rapidly being eaten up by the 'mammals.'



    eg Thunderbolt allows laptops and desktops to 'morph' (see bold emphasis above from Hitachi) into video 'workstations.' GPU 'ooomph' boxes powered by Thunderbolt? How long before you can turbo charge your laptop graphics? or iMac?



    There was a time when the iMac sucked at 3D. (Heck, Apple sucked at 3D once. No open gl etc...no Nvidia cards etc...ah, the 'good old days...' My first mac 'worksation' had a 2d only card...'workstation'...a word made irrelevant by time.) But now you get a thunderbolt port for some high speed storage/daisy chaining of peripherals. You get a 'very decent' ATI gpu in the top end iMac. One option for one with 2 gigs of Vram on...(and I didn't think I'd ever see the day...being an ardent critic of the gpu crap normally offered in iMacs...) ...and you get a massive 27 inch display. ...and you have the i7 option with hyper threading.



    The 'baby' iMac has grown into a fully 'grown' adult computer. A workstation in all but name. But it's a sign of the times when Hard drive makers are talking about 'mobile' 'workstations...'



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • 2by42by4 Posts: 8member
    My first PC custom build (main components)



    2 Intel E5 2690 overclock-able processors (obviously coming very soon)



    2 EK supreme HF universal CPU liquid cooling blocks (for the 2 very fast overclocked 2690s)



    1 SR-X EVGA motherboard designed specifically to overclock said chips to a screaming 4.5 Ghz (what ever the new Mac pro Has, it wont touch these speeds)



    48 GB Mushkin High performance Ram. (can max M board to 96 GB)



    1 Quadro 4000 GPU



    1 SSD crucial Boot Drive



    2x1 TB striped Seagate storage drives



    The kicker is, this machine will be future proof, a new M board comes along- pop it in along with new faster chips. same with new Graphics cards. Etc. No more waiting for a Mac Pro Refresh. and all of it (for this kind of 3D rendering etc. Brute Power) much less$$$$
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,493member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2by4 View Post


    The kicker is, this machine will be future proof, a new M board comes along- pop it in along with new faster chips.



    Which is virtually the same as buying a new machine, given the nature of workstation chips.



    Quote:

    No more waiting for a Mac Pro Refresh. and all of it (for this kind of 3D rendering etc. Brute Power) much less$$$$



    Enjoy your not OS X.
  • 2by42by4 Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Which is virtually the same as buying a new machine, given the nature of workstation chips.







    Enjoy your not OS X.



    Enjoy your not overclockable slower Mac Pro (someday when it comes out maybe, cause they love us Pro users)



    Oh and Mac doesn't way overcharge for Ram? and has limited types of ram that works, changing types ridiculously from mac model to mac model? ? Has a limited Motherboard? GPU choices?, is in general more expensive and you know it? Will most likely snub Pro users in future with lousy updates and slow bug fixes?



    I can't Wait for my screaming 4.5ghz PC that Your new Mac Pro won't touch?



    Yes indeed, I will very very much enjoy my "Not OSX"
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    Apple laptops out sell the desktops by over 4 to 1.



    It will likely only get worst after the Ivy Bridge CPUs debut.

    Quote:

    The mini and pro are almost irrelevant. And Apple's attention to them reflects that.



    Don't get me wrong the Mini is an excellent special purpose computer it just isn't passable as a desktop.

    Quote:

    A PC swiss army knife by apple?



    NO
    Quote:

    A compnay who likes people to buy their overpriced Macs and throw them away (sorry, put them to other uses...or give to Auntie or the kids) after a few years and buy another one? PC gneric design?



    No again. I'm often shocked that people equate an XMac with a generic PC. Except for internal expansion capability it has little to do with that. In fact I could see Apple redifining what a desktop is.

    Quote:

    They've spent 15 years moving away from that.



    It is more like 15 years of desktop stagnancy. Nothing really new has been done for the desktop since well almost ever.

    Quote:

    It's all about Apple. Not about 'PCs.' I don't see any evidence at all in the last 15 years that Apple will offer a generic box, a x-Mac (despite the fact I'd like one) or any other port wire infested fantasy.



    Well they have at least thought about it. That is patents have been applied for for new platforms.

    Quote:

    The future of the Mac desktop? It's the iMac. Front and not so centre. It's the one they sell most of... 600-800k sales, I'd guess. But wayyyy behind the laptops.



    That is only because it is Apes only economical solution.

    Quote:

    Apple wants you to fall in love all over again not upgrade the motherboard or the GPU. Like you can do that on a Mac Pro? Or the abundance of GPUs for it? or Chip upgrades? The mac pro's rep as an expandable machine that you can upgrade is kinda ironic...



    You know the thing is I'm not concerned about upgrades in the sense of motherboards, processors and the like as now a days it doesn't make a lot of sense. Really it is about internal storage space and unique I/O cards.

    Quote:

    That said. I'd still like to see a refresh. I'd be amazed if it gets a face lift.



    I'd be amazed if it didn't. Really it is that ancient in my mind.

    Quote:

    or a price cut. Expect to see the entry level price rise if anything.



    Apple are a mobile computing company. The more I say it...the more I feel uneasy. But maybe I'll forget about that uneasy ('still want an x-Mac') feeling when I sit at my iMac or play with an iPad 3...



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Hold out hope!
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Don't get me wrong the Mini is an excellent special purpose computer it just isn't passable as a desktop.



    If you bought a 2009 entry Mac Pro, you'd consider it passable yet even the entry Mac Minis have similar CPU performance. They support up to 16GB RAM, you can put in SSDs that do over 400MB/s read/write. The GPU is capable of running pretty high-end games at playable frame-rates:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlfHbOiMlkE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1AkRT80SXc



    It can run dual-displays, it can run all the Thunderbolt products out there and the entry price is just $600.



    One day it will be small enough that it will be the only Apple computer than can be exported through customs rectally to avoid paying Apple's international tax rates.



    Say what you like about the Mac Pro but the Mini is more than passable as a desktop. With Ivy Bridge and the latest GPU upgrades, it is going to be an even more awesome little desktop computer and is one of the best designed machines Apple has made.



    Great things come in small packages. A Mac Pro is more powerful but it's not great because people expect power in a big package.



    Look at the release cycle (in reverse order):



    565 days+

    511 days

    420 days

    279 days

    240 days

    292 days



    By the time we get to March, that could come close to 600 days since the last one - I see a trend there. The Mini only had 500 days before people were saying it was dead and gone and that was just a blip, this is a trend.



    And, if it just has a speed jump using some of the following CPUs (some are still quad-cores):



    http://compare-processors.com/list-o...ocessors/2059/



    who's even going to notice it happened? Nah, it's a redesign or GTFO.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,493member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2by4 View Post


    Enjoy your not overclockable slower Mac Pro (someday when it comes out maybe, cause they love us Pro users)



    I'm sorry, in what universe does ANYONE who uses a workstation computer for actual work overclock? Workstation computers are supposed to be stable.



    Quote:

    Oh and Mac doesn't way overcharge for Ram?



    Seriously? 1. You're calling it "Mac". 2. You're buying RAM from Apple? No one buys RAM from Apple. You can get 64GB of RAM for the current Mac Pro for under a grand. That's pretty impressive for the type of RAM it is.



    Quote:

    and has limited types of ram that works,



    YEAH, it's a WORKSTATION computer. The type of RAM used is dependent on the chips.



    Quote:

    changing types ridiculously from mac model to mac model?



    If by 'ridiculously' you mean 'goes up in clock speed so that it's backward compatible with the older Mac Pros but not forward compatible, which is okay because NO RAM is forward compatible', then I agree with you.



    Quote:

    ? Has a limited Motherboard?



    Again, it's a workstation computer. There are limited numbers of motherboards that support its chips.



    Quote:

    GPU choices?



    This is the only real argument you have.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,753member
    Marvin CPU performance isn't a justification for a desktop computer these days. No body denys that the Mini is a good performer for a machine it's size, just that it can't take on the duties of a desktop machine. In fact I'd go so far as to say that in business at least desktops these days are bought for their expansion (PCI-Express slots) and secondary storage slots, otherwise laptops are purchased.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    If you bought a 2009 entry Mac Pro, you'd consider it passable yet even the entry Mac Minis have similar CPU performance. They support up to 16GB RAM, you can put in SSDs that do over 400MB/s read/write. The GPU is capable of running pretty high-end games at playable frame-rates:



    One can't deny that the Mini will just become more powerful with each generation of chips from Intel or AMD for that matter. But that doesn't make the machine a desktop in the general sense but rather just a more powerful special purpose computers.



    Beyond all of that the Pro is a multiprocessor machine that is advantaged in suitable workloads. Comparing it to an iMac is silly because you wouldn't buy it for simple apps and workloads. You can't realistically say that the iMac is more powerful than the Pro, in many cases it doesn't even come close.

    Quote:

    It can run dual-displays, it can run all the Thunderbolt products out there and the entry price is just $600.



    Thunderbolt means nothing in this case. I just don't ever see it as a solution to the use of expansions slots in a commercial environment.

    Quote:

    One day it will be small enough that it will be the only Apple computer than can be exported through customs rectally to avoid paying Apple's international tax rates.



    I thought that was the iPhone.

    Quote:

    Say what you like about the Mac Pro but the Mini is more than passable as a desktop. With Ivy Bridge and the latest GPU upgrades, it is going to be an even more awesome little desktop computer and is one of the best designed machines Apple has made.



    Sorry but I disagree. You are excessively focused performance as a measure of a desktops suitability. Now a days the only reason to buy a desktop is to get the flexibility and serviceability slots and storage expansion provides. It is easy to confuse good design with utility.

    Quote:

    Great things come in small packages. A Mac Pro is more powerful but it's not great because people expect power in a big package.



    Look at the release cycle (in reverse order):



    565 days+

    511 days

    420 days

    279 days

    240 days

    292 days



    By the time we get to March, that could come close to 600 days since the last one - I see a trend there. The Mini only had 500 days before people were saying it was dead and gone and that was just a blip, this is a trend.



    Much of that delay is Intel related. However I don't believe that Mac Pro sales are that good that Apple really sees reason to focus on its development. Between the two I really think the Pro is the "deader" of the two. The Mini has an impressive following for the type of computer it is.

    Quote:



    And, if it just has a speed jump using some of the following CPUs (some are still quad-cores):





    who's even going to notice it happened? Nah, it's a redesign or GTFO.



    A common fault in these threads is the equating of an XMac to a computer with a powerful CPU. That is a mistake in my mind as that is what you commonly think of the Pro as being. Instead it is a package to deliver flexibility to the user. Flexibility is expansion slots, storage configurability and the like, something the Mini doesn't currently provide.
  • dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,142member
    The Mac mini is a great computer. I was using it as a server before Apple sold a server version. I would consider it a desktop. I have a mixture of Mac & PC desktops at my job. I can't recall ever having the desktops of either platform upgraded except the RAM. So the mini would be a great replacement in a lot of instances. The only drawback to the mini is that it doesn't have a security lock on it so it becomes a very theftable computer. It's far easier to steal obviously than a traditional mini tower.
  • mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    A common fault in these threads is the equating of an XMac to a computer with a powerful CPU. That is a mistake in my mind as that is what you commonly think of the Pro as being. Instead it is a package to deliver flexibility to the user. Flexibility is expansion slots, storage configurability and the like, something the Mini doesn't currently provide.



    You just coined a new term Wizard.

    It is the lack of internal flexibility that keeps many of us from wanting to own a mini or an iMac. That is why we have been screaming for a mid sized XMac.



    What we really want is a FleXMac.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    It is the lack of internal flexibility that keeps many of us from wanting to own a mini or an iMac.



    Yeah, this comes up now and again but there are rarely practical examples of what the expansion is used for.



    You can upgrade the GPU but it's not a common practise. Generally you buy a good GPU and it lasts a few years - you'd do any upgrade once and you could easily buy a new machine to get a combo of upgrades.



    You can have multiple internal drives, which is fine but you can easily get a USB 3 enclosure with Ivy Bridge machines and that way a computer upgrade doesn't mean possibly breaking your RAID.



    PCI SSD offers little advantage over SATA 6Gbps and certainly isn't cost-effective.



    Ports are taken care of and so that just leaves the special case PCI cards, which mostly have Thunderbolt solutions now.



    I'd personally find far more use for 4 x USB3 ports and a Thunderbolt port than a PCI slot. The vast majority of computer users wouldn't even know what to do with a PCI card or install it. Plus, Thunderbolt makes manufacturers actually create a nice product instead of a raw board with physical switches and LCDs where needed like external audio/video processing devices.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I'm sorry, in what universe does ANYONE who uses a workstation computer for actual work overclock? Workstation computers are supposed to be stable.



    Boxx does that on their single socket workstations. I think a couple other companies do so as well. My guess would be that they ship with really hefty cooling solutions. The design really is a function of the current state of software. They build machines like that for applications that are cpu intensive yet still don't scale well with high core counts. It's not necessarily ideal, but they do exist. Yeah workstations are supposed to be stable. Most of them are designed not to run close to their thermal limits in case of environmental factors and because the typically quoted overheating numbers are only approved for up to a certain number of hours per day. If you're going beyond eight per day, the recommended temperatures are much lower.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Yeah, this comes up now and again but there are rarely practical examples of what the expansion is used for.



    You can upgrade the GPU but it's not a common practise. Generally you buy a good GPU and it lasts a few years - you'd do any upgrade once and you could easily buy a new machine to get a combo of upgrades.



    You can have multiple internal drives, which is fine but you can easily get a USB 3 enclosure with Ivy Bridge machines and that way a computer upgrade doesn't mean possibly breaking your RAID.



    PCI SSD offers little advantage over SATA 6Gbps and certainly isn't cost-effective.



    Ports are taken care of and so that just leaves the special case PCI cards, which mostly have Thunderbolt solutions now.



    I'd personally find far more use for 4 x USB3 ports and a Thunderbolt port than a PCI slot. The vast majority of computer users wouldn't even know what to do with a PCI card or install it. Plus, Thunderbolt makes manufacturers actually create a nice product instead of a raw board with physical switches and LCDs where needed like external audio/video processing devices.



    Gpus can be useful when it's a compatibility thing such as the 2008 mac pro and FCPX. It wasn't that old, yet newer programs demanded OpenCL. The trend started around SL so not terribly far into its usable life. Many companies stagger their purchases, so even if they have a few of the latest models, the overall duty cycle of a machine might be quite long.



    Do you really expect 4x usb3 ports? This is Apple. I use their computers just like the rest of you. There are certain things that suck, and we put up with them. They include graphics drivers and port allocation. We still don't have a single usb3 port. I think they'll accept the two or whatever granted by the Intel chipset assuming they have stable drivers. If not you might even see this pushed another year or require a firmware update later. Thunderbolt still hasn't received much of an ecosystem. Even then, it's going to require more bandwidth to be more than a mid range solution. Intel has promised that, but it is unlikely to happen soon enough to influence your next purchase.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    If you bought a 2009 entry Mac Pro, you'd consider it passable yet even the entry Mac Minis have similar CPU performance. They support up to 16GB RAM, you can put in SSDs that do over 400MB/s read/write. The GPU is capable of running pretty high-end games at playable frame-rates:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlfHbOiMlkE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1AkRT80SXc



    It can run dual-displays, it can run all the Thunderbolt products out there and the entry price is just $600.



    One day it will be small enough that it will be the only Apple computer than can be exported through customs rectally to avoid paying Apple's international tax rates.



    Say what you like about the Mac Pro but the Mini is more than passable as a desktop. With Ivy Bridge and the latest GPU upgrades, it is going to be an even more awesome little desktop computer and is one of the best designed machines Apple has made.



    Great things come in small packages. A Mac Pro is more powerful but it's not great because people expect power in a big package.



    Look at the release cycle (in reverse order):



    565 days+

    511 days

    420 days

    279 days

    240 days

    292 days



    By the time we get to March, that could come close to 600 days since the last one - I see a trend there. The Mini only had 500 days before people were saying it was dead and gone and that was just a blip, this is a trend.



    And, if it just has a speed jump using some of the following CPUs (some are still quad-cores):



    http://compare-processors.com/list-o...ocessors/2059/



    who's even going to notice it happened? Nah, it's a redesign or GTFO.



    A redesigned Mac Pro 'x-Mac' would be very nice. Surely long over due. Re-designing the Mac Pro is the one way we may get this mythical beast...with them forcing the entry price far, far lower. No tower should cost almost £2100 just to get a crap quad core in a monolithic case with an old gpu. Apple's desktop 'grid' upsell model really paints machines into a corner in some respects.



    Having said that, your argument was calm and rational in making the case for the Mac Mini. A very elegant and unassuming machine in the 'flesh.' (I drool every time I walk into PC World and see one...) With an i7, 'ok' gpu and support for 16 gigs of ram and Thunderbolt...that's pretty damn impressive in such a small footprint.



    More than capable video or photoshop workstation driving an Apple 27 inch display.



    I enjoyed the links to the gaming footage. More than comparable to consoles. With Ivy bridge, the Mini's value proposition increases vastly. You have one mini, a 27 inch Apple monitor and $700 change over the entry Mac Pro.



    The comment re: shrinkage over time to bypass Apple's taxes made my laugh.



    That may be the future design of Apple's desktops. Smaller...thinner...smaller. In that respect, the Pro is the odd one out.



    The mini shows it up as what it is. Stale. Heck. The mini now even out performs my dual core 3 gig iMac which is only a 2-3 years old.



    The Mini is more of a 'desktop' than the Pro is a 'workstation' at their respective prices.



    What does GTFO mean? *('Get the fcuck off? Out? ...)



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    PS. How does the mini's ATI card stack up against my iMacs 8800'GT' gpu. Anyone know?
  • mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I actually think Apple has shot themselves in the foot here. They are no longer considered credible as a desktop supplier of computing hardware. This will not be easy to recover from no matter what they do with the Mac Pro. However as long as they only have a grossly over priced solution in the desktop sector they will continue to suffer from customer disgust.



    By the way folks neither the iMac nor the Mini really pass as desktop solutions. The whole point of buying desktops these days is expandability, performance and serviceability. Otherwise laptops are the order of the day.



    You're entitled to your opinion, but the sales data show the contrary. As a shareholder, I trust that Apple are putting more faith in the sales data than in your opinions about what customers want. I hope Apple continue to shift product design away from the "expandability" model of the PeeCee toward the integration model of consumer electronics.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,751member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    The Mini is more of a 'desktop' than the Pro is a 'workstation' at their respective prices.



    What does GTFO mean? *('Get the fcuck off? Out? ...)



    I believe GTFO means 'Get the f* Out' but it can be modified on context . Another year without a redesign would be IMO, either a mistake or a sign that the Mac Pro doesn't have a long life ahead.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    How does the mini's ATI card stack up against my iMacs 8800'GT' gpu. Anyone know?



    Comparable but not quite there yet. These benchmarks suggest the 8800GT is 65% faster:



    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gp...eForce+8800+GT

    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gp...adeon+HD+6630M



    The Cinebench OpenGL benchmarks aren't as far apart on the Mac side - 20FPS for Mini, 25FPS for 8800GT. The drivers will cause some variations in benchmarks.



    The 6750M is definitely faster than the 8800GT:



    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gp...adeon+HD+6750M



    I'd expect all dedicated GPUs that Apple uses in 2012 computers to exceed the 8800GT. The 8800GT has lasted ok for 4 years relative to the low-end but the 6750M was out in 2011 so it's only 3 years really before mobile graphics surpassed it.



    I believe an $800 Ivy Bridge Mini with a Radeon 7000 series mobile GPU or NVidia Kepler mobile GPU would make for a very nice and compact replacement for a 2008 or even 2009 Mac Pro.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Heh, thanks for the GTFO clarification.



    It's now or never for the Mac Pro re-design. It would be a nice opportunity to deliver Wizard's 'X-Mac' machine. Surely the Mac Pro is the odd one out in terms of desktop. Everything else is getting smaller. While the Pro remains monolithic. (In an admittedly, somewhat timeless and beautifully engineered...overly so, case.) Give me an alu cube where you can sit one 'pro' on top of the other. Like lego bricks. I still miss the cube. I can't help it.



    Thanks for the 8800GT links. Looks like the 8800 is hanging in there over the low end...but not for much longer by the looks of things. Feel Apple has been somewhat laggardly with gpus on the low end...and in the iMac over the years.



    But the recent (well..the last update of the iMac) signalled a change from the GPU 'side grades' we'd gotten in recent years. The 6750 puts the 8800 to pasture but it was the 6970M that really impressed on the chart you linked. Standing proud against some really decent desktop cards. I think that's the best GPU Apple's ever put in an iMac comparatively or otherwise. But you'd need it, I guess, with the iMac 27 incher's top resolution.



    If I wasn't hanging onto my Core 2 duo iMac for another year I'd definitely be buying the top iMac with that card in. Very impressive...especially with 2 gigs of Vram option and a 27 inch screen. (Like a dream come true for me...considering some of the top end gpu junk the iMac has had over the years...though the 4850 wasn't so bad. Or the 8800GS/GT.)



    Think you're right. By end of 2012, the Mac GPUs should eclipse the 8800GT.



    The point you make about the Radeon 7000 or Nv Kepler mobile GPU going into an Ivy Bridge Mini is note worthy. Especially when you say it makes for a 'compact' replacement for the 2008 or even a 2009 entry level pro. A couple of years and a mini humbles a base pro. A sign of the times. More than enough power for any consumer.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    I can understand Wizard's frustration with Apple's desktops as much as I understand Apple's design direction in desktops...



    Looking at the iPad, alot of power is going into a very small device. And that's set to go off the charts for the retina iPad. It's signalling a trend. Perhaps components on Apple's desktop are finally catching up with the designs of the iMac and Mac Mini to a degree. With ivy bridge cpus...the i7 finally filtering down to the Mini...for example...and the mobile 6970M giving great bang for buck in a small enclosure.



    It looks like the chase is on for mobile dollars. The gravity is pulling in the direction of Airs, laptops, iOS devices... I guess they're bringing in the most revenue. Meanwhile, the Pro sits and waits. As much a problem of Intel providing the right cpu as Apple not using readily available and cheaper components to offer a better value proposition in terms of a 'tower' machine.



    I always felt Apple had it right when the line up from top to bottom Pro, Cube, iMac. But they sell mostly iMacs now...and that number is dwarfed by laptops.



    I'm still looking forward to what Apple does this year with the Mac line. (You've got to hand it to them. 5 million Macs approx per quarter now. How long before the Mac user base hits 100 million? A couple of years?)



    But I will be buying an iPad 3.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It's about changing the Mac Pro from a boring workstation that people expect to last 6-7 years into one that they want to upgrade every refresh cycle. This is where consumer products get the volume and value. GPU upgrades just mean that Apple has to get custom PCI cards out and offer driver support.



    You can see people in the comments on this page:



    http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MC743ZM/A



    trying to upgrade the GPUs in their 4 year old Mac Pros instead of buying a new one. That sort of thing might seem fine from a consumer point of view but if it kills the profitability from Apple's (and by extension Intel's) point of view, then it's not in the best interests of the consumer either because the prices have to be jacked up and the updates won't be frequent.



    Right now, the top 27" iMac is faster than the 3.2GHz Mac Pro ($2900) and includes a 27" IPS screen ($999) for just $2199 - iMac is $1700 cheaper than an equivalent Mac Pro setup. Mobile GPUs aren't nearly as gimped as they used to be:



    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/vi...adeon+HD+6970M



    That site places the 6970M above the Mac Pro's 5770 but below the 5870. I think it may in fact be slower than the 5770 but it's in the same range that you wouldn't notice the difference. There is the issue of double-precision support but there are DP mobile GPUs and Apple can share the lower-end models between the iMac and Mac Pro. As the stats show, there's not really a noticeable performance loss going with a mobile GPU but you save space and lower heat.



    There's no real harm in using desktop GPUs though so if that's the better option for the Mac Pro, so be it. I think it's the one component that urges Mac Pro owners to hold onto their machines longer instead of replacing them and getting the latest CPU upgrades.







    The total Mac Pro sales will be in the hundreds of thousands per quarter. I'd expect the number of buyers across the models to be spread out based on usual wealth distribution - the vast majority at the bottom and the minority at the top. Each model, I'd say less than 100k each per quarter.



    This whole "volume" argument is problematic. If Apple does not provide towers for customers who need the expandability, and a more transparent policy statement about continuing the line in the future, some of the more important, and influential, customers will be forced to look elsewhere for solutions. If such a downward spiral continued, Apple could well end up being little more than what it is accused of being, an expensive toys company. I would not like to see that happen.



    There are more customers than Apple concede who are sitting on the sidelines to see where Apple goes with their product lineup.



    iMacs use, for example, more expensive RAM than Mac Pros and Mac Pro users want RAM, lots of RAM as well as the ability to add things as needed, be it a PCIe SSD or multiple graphics cards or whatever.



    It is an important segment because it typically is represented by people in positions to influence the acquisition policies of the university, research group, company or whatever. Even when talking about smaller organizations, such as professional photographers or video producers the needs are similar and the influence within the industry or market segment.



    Apple's lack of clarity is not benefiting the company or their customers.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,889member, moderator
    The Mac Pro is necessary.



    When Apple killed the Xserve and the Xserve RAID they left people with few options. Mac Pro can be used as servers albeit a bit bulky.



    iMacs are fast but i'm not going to be able to install a PCI-Express card into an iMac so the Mac Pro is still a necessity for many folks.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    This whole "volume" argument is problematic. If Apple does not provide towers for customers who need the expandability, and a more transparent policy statement about continuing the line in the future, some of the more important, and influential, customers will be forced to look elsewhere for solutions. If such a downward spiral continued, Apple could well end up being little more than what it is accused of being, an expensive toys company. I would not like to see that happen.



    There are more customers than Apple concede who are sitting on the sidelines to see where Apple goes with their product lineup.



    iMacs use, for example, more expensive RAM than Mac Pros and Mac Pro users want RAM, lots of RAM as well as the ability to add things as needed, be it a PCIe SSD or multiple graphics cards or whatever.



    It is an important segment because it typically is represented by people in positions to influence the acquisition policies of the university, research group, company or whatever. Even when talking about smaller organizations, such as professional photographers or video producers the needs are similar and the influence within the industry or market segment.



    Apple's lack of clarity is not benefiting the company or their customers.



    Back in the day, Apple sold less than a million computers per quarter. Dark times. Back when they offered beige towers and pizza box machines.



    Now? Apple sells 5 million Macs per quarter. More than they used to see in in over a year.



    Apple's pretty clear about their direction. And it is benefiting their customers. And their shareholders. And their bottom line. They're nailed to the Consumer Electronics Company Flag. Towers are a drop in the ocean by comparison. They probably sell less Towers than the ATV...or the Mini. (Price wise, hardly a surprise because they're obscenely priced and a stale joke.)



    The ram I put in my iMac was negligible in cost. You can order iMacs with with SDD drives. You can put plenty of ram in them...or a nice big, fat external HD. It also has a Thunderbolt port.



    Apple 'needed' the X-Serve before they canned it. Let's hope they don't do the same to their 'pro'. If ever a machine needed an overhaul, a design shrink and a price overhaul, it's the Pro. It's out of touch.



    It's a relic of a bye-bye gone era.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
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