Originally Posted by DHagan4755
It has kept the same overall design since the Power Mac G5. I'd buy it & a cinema display but the price would set me back $3,500. How about something a little more reasonable, Apple?!
The value aspect of the Mac Pro is highly questionable. There is the argument about needing the highest performance CPU, best GPU, RAM etc but a quad-core i7 iMac matches the entry Mac Pro performance for $500 less and you get a 27" screen worth $1000 included.
Originally Posted by Messiah
Of all the 'standard configuration' MacOS hardware, the Mac Pro has the highest profit margin by far.
True, the entry Mac Pro has a single $300 CPU and a $140 GPU, $80 of RAM, $60 HDD, $50 ODD, $60 keyboard & mouse, Xeon motherboard for $600, chassis $400, PSU $300. So in a $2500 machine, they can make about $500 per unit. The iOS devices make about $100-200.
There aren't more than 100 million Macs out there in the wild and we know about 70% are laptops. This leaves 30 million desktops. The iMac and Mini will take up the bulk of it but say 5 million are Mac Pros. That still gives $2.5b profit.
That isn't every year of course but it's not a market that is going to easily migrate to iMacs because you can't use them as servers and that profit is reasonable. I still see that market eroding away though and one day Apple will stop making Mac Pros. I really don't see it as if but when. It may be 10-20 years but it will happen.
Originally Posted by s.metcalf
If your iMac can last much longer than 3-years you're doing pretty well.
Hardware moves on quickly though. The current iMac is faster than a 3 year-old Mac Pro. You can expect that to happen every two years in fact.
I wanted an affordable mid-range Mac tower ever since the introduction of the first iMac and people were arguing about SCSI vs SATA and how SATA wasn't fast enough. For 13 years, Apple has refused to go back to an affordable tower. The closest we got was the $1999 quad Mac Pro.
At this stage, I think it's too late to build one. All I ever wanted from one was a quad-core CPU and a GPU that matched the MBP. Next year, Ivy Bridge will bring quad-cores to the entire lineup and the GPU will exceed the 330M in the current MBP, we will have SSDs and you can put 8GB RAM in it and this is in the size and cost of a Mac Mini.
Obviously the performance bar keeps moving but the tasks we need to do don't all move with it. Those that do will diminish in number over time.
Think where we will be just 5 years from now. In the past 10 years, GPUs have jumped to over 30x faster. We will have 3 CPU die-shrinks within 5 years from now so quad-core next year, 6-core after 3 years, 8-core after 5 years. GPUs will jump by another 5x.
At that point, will we really be asking for more than 8-cores and entry IGPs that can run games at the highest quality in 1080p real-time and 1TB SSDs running over 10-100Gbps Light Peak with 8-16Gb/s throughput? Even if everyone is making 1080p stereoscopic CGI films, I'd have to say no because entry-level GPUs will do that in real-time.
3D engines and techniques will evolve along with specialised hardware to the point where you stop an ask what do we really need to do with computers any more:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJoq42vVnLs
Scientific computation will probably be the last remaining market for high-end towers and even entry GPU computation will be enough for a lot of that. I think that there won't be a need for Apple to sell the Mac Pro 10 years from now.