Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.
Dragon's Tail kicks ass.
Marv' torches the Mac Pro.
It's a workstation in name only. You can buy a PC rig for half it's entry cost that blows it's 'workstation' performance. A 'hollow' label. Any computer that has enough power to do what you want is a 'workstation.' And many PCs offer way more computing power for way less price.
It's a relic of Dinosaur Apple Computer Past. Those 2k-4k Apple towers are a thing of the past.
The thing hasn't been updated in almost two years. The gpu is way out of date. The entry model is 2k for a quad core. With a so-so amount of ram.
It's a joke. Stale as old bread and antiquated.
The design is old. The price is old. The performance is old. Apple's own attitude tells a tale. Apple could have done a re-design ages ago with desktop chips with decent gpus and had 'mid-tower' 'workstations' that would have allowed those 'hot swap' jockeys to tinker and pretend they have 'worksations' for 'serious' work.
You can get just as good if not better performance with the top end iMac now...well...much better, frankly. And you get a damn good 27 inch monitor into the bargain. 'Workstation' re-defined in my book. Go to dual processors and the price escalates to a 'money to burn' for extra seconds saved. Good for the minority that actually need or can afford to slice salami like that. :/
Having said that, I hope the old girl has one more revision. Just for old times sake... (Maybe Apple can set the bar even higher at £2500 for an entry level quad core...)
Lemon Bon Bon.
You summarize the problem well. There are a lot more people who want a tower than want a true workstation.
The problem with the iMac, even with Thunderbolt, is that the ability to add things comes at a fairly steep price. Just look at what an external TB device will cost compared to simply popping a PCIe card into an internal slot if you want to use a PCIe SSD...even when external TB PCIe expansion slot devices become available. I believe it was Belkin which just previewed a TB hub which will allow USB 2/3, FW 400/800, eSATA and TB devices to be connected through the TB port. It will have a MSRP of about $300, but should be popular with people who want to continue using legacy devices.
Not everybody needs (or can afford) 64 GB or 128 GB of RAM that is frequently utilized in honest to goodness workstations.
The lack of flexibility of the iMac platform, not to mention the continuing thermal design issues, simply does not sit well with a lot of people even if it will suffice.
When it comes to professional photographers, videographers, graphic artists and so on, the commitment to the Apple platform is not what it once was, if for no other reason that the delay in getting 64 bit CS out of Adobe. If you apply the logic that we are not making as much money off of Mac Pros as we do off of iMacs you will soon be faced with the question of what do do with the iMac as you don't make as much money off of it as you do laptops. When does the question become we don't make as much money off of laptops as we do off of the iPad/iPhone duo? That sort of downward spiral logic avoids the question, when does the company cease to be relevant except for 'gadgets'? The differences in the Adobe apps between the Windows platform and the Mac platform have continued to shrink. Those folks don't care if the computer has a cute brushed aluminum case or not. To borrow from a TV commercial, they want tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste.
If Apple quits offering the tower I expect that they will soon lose a lot of sales to the medical/edu market who make great use of the power of the Mac Pro to run not only OS X, but Unix scientific apps. Because most universities operate in a mixed computing environment, Apple needs to do something to remain relevant outside the laptop and small device market.
I could easily see universities configuring Linux/Unix boxes for these users to replace the Mac Pro if Apple fails to keep it current. They might even do Windows!
Anyway, I am waiting to see what Apple brings out in the way of Ivy Bridge updates. I think it may help with the thermal issues of the iMac. Now if OWC or somebody can figure out the hard drive issues with the cooling fans so that you don't have to get gouged by Apple when the hard drive does fail. $300 for a 2 TB hard drive is just outrageous, even in a post flood environment.