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Editorial: What will Apple do with the Macintosh? - Page 5

post #161 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


You save the space that the Mac Pro would have taken up to begin with. There's more cabling with external storage + 2-3 peripherals but you can put them in a box if you like.
The size of the card isn't important. The fastest cards are not even 2x the performance of the iMac's GPU but cost $1000 or more each. Not to mention they are outside the safe power limits of the Mac Pro too.

The Radeon 7990 is 375W. I'm not sure how many professionals would put a 375W GPU into slots with a 300W power allocation but I doubt they'd be in business long.

The Mac Pro can obviously hold higher wattage cards than the iMac but they don't perform significantly better in practise. OS X doesn't support the highest-end GPUs on the software side either.

With the high-end GPUs out of the equation, you're just left with expansion cards, which work fine over Thunderbolt.

Marvin, my 2010 Mac Pro sits under my work area and takes up NO desk space. Furthermore, the space taken is vertical. Even if it were on the desk (few are) it would take up the space of an AJA ioXT HD interface and cables and perhaps a Thunderbolt hub minus the cables. The Mac Pro can even be placed in the next room, which it often is in professional settings.

 

As for the Radeon 7990's power requirements, the first PCI 3 GPU, we are talking about a new Mac Pro here. Is there any reason a larger power supply could no be fitted into a new Mac Pro design? There are many cards of lower price than the 7990 that are also quite large with great performance, particularly with CUDA. PCI 3 will provide great advantages for CUDA and OpenCL, card based technologies that greatly speed up video rendering and ray tracing, a staple of animation. Adobe is making amazing use of CUDA for video rendering. As for Apple software support, I imagine they have the engineering talent and budget (it would not require much, specs are published) to implement version 4 OpenGL. I can't imagine they would not further development and implementation of OpenCL, the standard they have been pushing.

 

And to working fine over Thunderbolt, as of now. the expansion card boxes are much more limited in wattage and card space than even the 2010 Mac Pro. How do you put a Radeon 7990 in them? And you will eventually hit the speed wall of even Thunderbolt 2 (not yet even available) compared to internal PCI 3 which is shipping. Plus another (big) box on your desk. And more cables. And more fan noise. And whoops, I accidentally pulled the plug. Not a pro environment in my opinion.  iMacs for those who are satisfied, they have their place for many pro uses. But for most, they will not replace the Mac Pro workstation concept, in functionality, speed and elegance, where they are truly needed and appreciated.

post #162 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinolo View Post

Apple should offer a "MacPro" PLATFORM, upon which tech savvy power users can customize everything in their computer. Up to the tiniest details from a choice of modules.
This would cater that customer base best because they could really tailor the machine to their needs.
It is, in my opinion, pointless to offer "ready made" choices.

That's the other thing about Apple's direction with the computer line. It's often thought that Apple should offer what the potential buyer wants (e.g the customer is always right) but before the iMac, nobody asked for one. Some people will then mutter 'exactly, nobody asked for one' but look at the sales stats less than 2 years after it was introduced:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2000/01/19Apple-Reports-First-Quarter-Profit-of-183-Million.html

It made up over 50% of their sales. Tim Cook's role in overhauling Apple's supply chain had a very important implication for their computer designs too. One thing he said was:

"You kind of want to manage [Apple's inventory] like you're in the dairy business. If it gets past its freshness date, you have a problem."

When you offer customers a lot of choice then you can't always guarantee that you can turn over the inventory quickly. You might offer 10 GPU options and buy a bunch of stock and then 90% of buyers only stick with the entry GPU. This is exactly why the PC component industry struggles so much and why Intel/AMD/NVidia all want to move towards SoC. It's also why everyone seems to want a tablet now and their own operating system. It's a far more profitable business model to sell you an entire finished product than a part of one.

The ideal scenario (from the seller's perspective) where every manufacturer offers one device per category is not going to happen but out of all manufacturers, Apple will move the closest to this ideal because this is how they choose to do things.

They narrowed GPU options on the Mac Pro to one manufacturer and two models. Intel makes dozens of CPUs but you get to choose from 2-3 per main model. They removed the hardware RAID card BTO option too.

Apple's direction is not to expand choice unless it's clear there will be a huge benefit but to streamline their manufacturing and reduce inventory. That setup is the most profitable.

With this in mind, people then point out that it shouldn't be all about counting the beans and that's not what it used to be about and if they don't get back there, the company with $147b in the bank will go bankrupt eventually. Well, that's what nearly drove them to bankruptcy before Tim came along and turned it around by streamlining their inventory.

It's much easier to tell what they will do going forward when you look at it from their point of view rather than from the perspective as a buyer. As a potential buyer, it's easy to rattle off fictional hardware that you'd buy - 'sure if they made a 19" laptop with dual GTX 680Ms, a 1TB SSD (heck make it dual 1TB in RAID 0) and a giant 300W power brick and it cost $6000, I'd buy it or a Mac Pro with 9 PCI slots and PCI SSD and quad CPUs with 256GB RAM'. Except you probably wouldn't buy it, you'd buy the lowest possible model with your minimum requirements (e.g it's a tower or it has a big screen) and try and upgrade it cheaper without paying Apple more money that you have to.

With the Mac Pro, people talk about money being no object and almost every time someone has a Mac Pro, it's an ancient one they are for some reason dying to upgrade now that Apple doesn't sell one or doesn't sell one they think is good value. If you were on the other side listening to that and seeing someone not buying from you for as many as 6 years or more, what decision would you make?

The people who work at Apple have been at this a very long time and they've seen technology and companies grow and die over 30+ years. That's a lot of experience. They don't always exercise the best judgement in everything they do but they are talented people and more often than not, they have driven technology in the right direction and that gives them a very long term vision that buyers don't need to have. Buyers don't think about what will happen in 10 years, buyers think about what the current costs and needs are.

Apple knows that in a few years, computers are going to be 10x faster than they are now no matter if it's distributed more to the GPU than the CPU and they are in the business of selling computers. So, they need to figure how to make it compelling enough to keep buying new computers while almost satisfying the current needs of the buyer. When they launched the iPad, they could have put in 1GB of RAM, all sorts of higher spec things but you wouldn't necessarily buy another one and that's no good. When buyers aren't compelled to keep buying, that's when sellers stop growing and this is where the PC industry is now.

Their strategy of streamlining has worked great so far, Tim won't undo supply chain efficiency unless there's a good reason to. I think it's clear that they will be getting rid of the old style laptops and a few years down the line might even consolidate the MBP and Air lines - remember 10x faster than they are now. They want to be soldering RAM onto the machines so that trend will probably continue where it makes sense - when DDR4 comes probably next year with double the density, they can solder 8/16/32GB onto iMacs. The Mac Pro might not impact the supply chain enough to bother locking it down but there's no harm in them doing that either.
post #163 of 192

Well, they are streamlining themselves right out of the professional marketplace. There is a huge movement to Adobe software in video editing. That is occurring now, not ten years from now. And I speak as the former exclusive Avid dealer for Hawaii. Final Cut X was a watershed and Adobe is taking advantage of it. Their products are cross platform and actually run better on PC's because of software optimaization and access to the best current hardware, particularly GPUs. This is also true in animation, particularly ray tracing.,  There are many of us, myself included, who would never consider moving to Windows, but large numbers are because of Apple's intransigence regarding Mac Pro workstation development. The high end hardware and software is available on Windows workstations like the HP's, and they are either moving or seriously considering it. We can theorize about the future of computing until we are blue in the face, but that does not change the fact that a new Mac Pro, not that much different than the old one in form but with up to date technology is needed now to stop the bleeding of professionals to Windows where they can configure to the current state of the art today and can count on future development of such systems. Why do you think Mac Pro diehards are so torn and emotional? We want to stay with the Mac, but can Apple give us what we need now and in the future?

post #164 of 192
Have to say it was a very good article by DED. I have been wondering what was coming ever since Tim C. said the Power Mac would get a refresh.

And I have been collecting a few older Power PC G5 dual units. They run fine, even the G4 dual tower. But the older OS systems will only run older browsers. So when the new units come out, the intel machines should finally come down in price.

Currently you can get a decent G5 dual for about $150..
post #165 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

The Mac Pro can even be placed in the next room, which it often is in professional settings.

With optical Thunderbolt cables, you can have peripherals across the street. A slight tripping hazard but only to non-professionals who don't watch where they're going.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

As for the Radeon 7990's power requirements, the first PCI 3 GPU, we are talking about a new Mac Pro here. Is there any reason a larger power supply could no be fitted into a new Mac Pro design?

There are many cards of lower price than the 7990 that are also quite large with great performance, particularly with CUDA. PCI 3 will provide great advantages for CUDA and OpenCL, card based technologies that greatly speed up video rendering and ray tracing, a staple of animation. Adobe is making amazing use of CUDA for video rendering.

Why is it so important that they are large? The speed doesn't scale directly with the size of the cards. Apple could put a larger power supply in and support higher powered cards and run the fans a bit faster but they made a set of compromises when they designed it as they do with every machine. They want it to be quiet in operation so it can't get too hot. That's obviously why they went a bit nuts with the heatsinks. They have to consider what the potential gains would be by going that bit further.

When you look at one of the highest end GPUs - the latest Titan GPU - you can see that the OpenCL score for that in one benchmark is 1421:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-titan-opencl-cuda-workstation,3474-19.html

This GPU costs $1000 and the power draw is around 250W. The iMac with the 680MX scores 814 here:

http://barefeats.com/imac12g4.html

So the Titan is 75% faster for computation. There are a few other tests that have similar results, the Passmark one shows 90% faster:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

For all of the extra effort, heat, power draw, size and cost, that's all you get. This year's iMac GPU will be 30% faster again so if you stocked up a Mac Pro when the Titan came out for say $3500 + display, you only end up 35-45% faster than this year's iMac and they have a sleek desktop whereas you have a power hungry tower. You're not going to buy another $1000 GPU after just 1 year.

If they did allow you to run 3 or more high-end GPUs, there's some advantage but again, they cost $1000 each and Apple wouldn't do this because so few people would take advantage of it. When you need lots of compute power, you can network multiple machines together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

How do you put a Radeon 7990 in a Thunderbolt expansion box?

The same way with a Mac Pro - you don't. If you had a large enough power supply you could do either one though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

And you will eventually hit the speed wall of even Thunderbolt 2 (not yet even available) compared to internal PCI 3 which is shipping.

Workstation chipsets don't have PCI 3 support - that doesn't come until Haswell chipsets. Some third party manufacturers have added it but just because a spec exists, doesn't mean that suddenly becomes the minimum requirement. These comparisons tend to go the route of comparing some consumer option to the highest possible option there is and the purpose is obviously to suggest the consumer option is therefore not up to the job. The false assumption being made is that there is a common task somewhere that's using the full extent of whatever spec exists e.g if it's possible to put 128GB of RAM in something, that must mean someone is using 128GB of RAM therefore the iMac is useless because it only support 32GB. That idea doesn't hold up in practise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

Plus another (big) box on your desk. And more cables. And more fan noise. And whoops, I accidentally pulled the plug. Not a pro environment in my opinion.  iMacs for those who are satisfied, they have their place for many pro uses. But for most, they will not replace the Mac Pro workstation concept, in functionality, speed and elegance, where they are truly needed and appreciated.

The faster machines become, the less reliant people will be on specialised PCI cards for processing - it'll be done natively on the CPU/GPU. Apple was demoing native 4K on an iMac at NAB this year. IO standards will move to optical soon. The workstation concept won't disappear overnight but these advances will keep eroding the userbase and eventually the sellers will stop selling them.

Think 6 years down the line, say that SSDs go down in price 25% every year. Crucial has 1TB at $600 just now. That means that a 1TB drive will be $107, essentially today's HDD prices. CPU/GPU power will be about 8x faster with one likely weighted more than the other. Memory density will mean 32GB RAM is inexpensive. IO ports will exceed 50Gbps each.

You won't need Red Rocket cards or other processing cards. The internal GPUs in laptops will match current GTX Titans.

At that point, what will you need to be putting inside a tower?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
a new Mac Pro, not that much different than the old one in form but with up to date technology is needed now to stop the bleeding of professionals to Windows

Windows PC sales are down vs last year. Apple suffered less than PC manufacturers. It's obvious people are moving to Premiere but not to Windows PCs in large numbers. I imagine some have moved to HP/Dell workstations but the phrase 'bleeding professionals to Windows' again suggests that professionals only use Mac Pros, which isn't the case. There are about 90 million PCs sold worldwide every quarter. Workstations are 1 million of those. If there's any bleeding, it's little more than from a paper cut.
post #166 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


That's the other thing about Apple's direction with the computer line. It's often thought that Apple should offer what the potential buyer wants (e.g the customer is always right) but before the iMac, nobody asked for one. Some people will then mutter 'exactly, nobody asked for one' but look at the sales stats less than 2 years after it was introduced:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2000/01/19Apple-Reports-First-Quarter-Profit-of-183-Million.html

It made up over 50% of their sales. Tim Cook's role in overhauling Apple's supply chain had a very important implication for their computer designs too. One thing he said was:

"You kind of want to manage [Apple's inventory] like you're in the dairy business. If it gets past its freshness date, you have a problem."

When you offer customers a lot of choice then you can't always guarantee that you can turn over the inventory quickly. You might offer 10 GPU options and buy a bunch of stock and then 90% of buyers only stick with the entry GPU. This is exactly why the PC component industry struggles so much and why Intel/AMD/NVidia all want to move towards SoC. It's also why everyone seems to want a tablet now and their own operating system. It's a far more profitable business model to sell you an entire finished product than a part of one.

The ideal scenario (from the seller's perspective) where every manufacturer offers one device per category is not going to happen but out of all manufacturers, Apple will move the closest to this ideal because this is how they choose to do things.

They narrowed GPU options on the Mac Pro to one manufacturer and two models. Intel makes dozens of CPUs but you get to choose from 2-3 per main model. They removed the hardware RAID card BTO option too.

Apple's direction is not to expand choice unless it's clear there will be a huge benefit but to streamline their manufacturing and reduce inventory. That setup is the most profitable.

With this in mind, people then point out that it shouldn't be all about counting the beans and that's not what it used to be about and if they don't get back there, the company with $147b in the bank will go bankrupt eventually. Well, that's what nearly drove them to bankruptcy before Tim came along and turned it around by streamlining their inventory.

It's much easier to tell what they will do going forward when you look at it from their point of view rather than from the perspective as a buyer. As a potential buyer, it's easy to rattle off fictional hardware that you'd buy - 'sure if they made a 19" laptop with dual GTX 680Ms, a 1TB SSD (heck make it dual 1TB in RAID 0) and a giant 300W power brick and it cost $6000, I'd buy it or a Mac Pro with 9 PCI slots and PCI SSD and quad CPUs with 256GB RAM'. Except you probably wouldn't buy it, you'd buy the lowest possible model with your minimum requirements (e.g it's a tower or it has a big screen) and try and upgrade it cheaper without paying Apple more money that you have to.

With the Mac Pro, people talk about money being no object and almost every time someone has a Mac Pro, it's an ancient one they are for some reason dying to upgrade now that Apple doesn't sell one or doesn't sell one they think is good value. If you were on the other side listening to that and seeing someone not buying from you for as many as 6 years or more, what decision would you make?

The people who work at Apple have been at this a very long time and they've seen technology and companies grow and die over 30+ years. That's a lot of experience. They don't always exercise the best judgement in everything they do but they are talented people and more often than not, they have driven technology in the right direction and that gives them a very long term vision that buyers don't need to have. Buyers don't think about what will happen in 10 years, buyers think about what the current costs and needs are.

Apple knows that in a few years, computers are going to be 10x faster than they are now no matter if it's distributed more to the GPU than the CPU and they are in the business of selling computers. So, they need to figure how to make it compelling enough to keep buying new computers while almost satisfying the current needs of the buyer. When they launched the iPad, they could have put in 1GB of RAM, all sorts of higher spec things but you wouldn't necessarily buy another one and that's no good. When buyers aren't compelled to keep buying, that's when sellers stop growing and this is where the PC industry is now.

Their strategy of streamlining has worked great so far, Tim won't undo supply chain efficiency unless there's a good reason to. I think it's clear that they will be getting rid of the old style laptops and a few years down the line might even consolidate the MBP and Air lines - remember 10x faster than they are now. They want to be soldering RAM onto the machines so that trend will probably continue where it makes sense - when DDR4 comes probably next year with double the density, they can solder 8/16/32GB onto iMacs. The Mac Pro might not impact the supply chain enough to bother locking it down but there's no harm in them doing that either.

 

 

They won't touch DDR4 for the iMac by soldering it on-board. The designs for that would be a waste of design and manufacturing resources to modify the pre-existing motherboard design. it's far easier just to update the IC and interfaces for DDR4 following Intel's specs.

post #167 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The modular idea doesn't work for a number of reasons (power/data connections) but the door is a big problem. They'd have to have variable sized doors. It also leaves uneven seams everywhere, Ive would not approve of that.
That's a mockup of the older model too. The newer one was this one:



No optical makes more sense. That was also before finding out about the Sandia CPU cooler. Right now Apple uses massive heatsinks, which are quite expensive. The following block of metal doesn't really do anything actively, fans just blow on it to keep it cold and the copper draws the heat away from the processor - that little white square is where the processor sits:



The Sandia cooler is a part Apple can machine out of aluminium very cheaply and is a fraction of the size:



That's what led to this:



I left some PCI slots on that one because it's not clear how they can make Thunderbolt work without an IGP, the slots are just half-length. They'd allow full-length outside but again, that would be the exception.
There's a difference with your disney example and also the car examples that crop up. What people often forget is that the chips inside the Mac Pro that do all the work (even the ones on the GPU cards) are actually incredibly small. They are not much larger than the chips you get in a laptop or iMac. The main difference is they get hotter so a significant portion of the Mac Pro design is for cooling. Using advanced cooling methods means those chips can fit into a smaller space.

You can see that today - the super slim iMac performs at the level of a 2009 Mac Pro, significantly outperforms its GPU - and yet the iMac is whisper quiet at full load. Intel and NVidia just improved performance per watt.

The bulk of the Mac Pro doesn't represent high performance but cooling inefficiency just like the mainframes that preceded it. The size of the storage represents the lack of areal density.

Some people see the Mac Pro as highlighting the best of computing but it really showcases the worst of it. The iMac and iPad represent the best of it because they hide the inefficiency to the point that you can't tell there is any. The iPad especially because it's passively cooled and everything is designed around real-time interaction.

Right now, some people are still in the phase of 'you can't do xyz with anything less than a Mac pro' and the scenarios get ever more elaborate but the fact is that people are doing the highest-end workflows without them on the workstation side and hundreds of server blades doing the processing:





When I saw those films (Flight and Looper), I didn't know the visual effects were designed with iMacs. While some people will continue to suggest that iMacs are not for professional/high-end/intensive/tight-deadline/color-accurate work, people are using them for it. A Mac Pro will do the same job but it wouldn't necessarily improve the workflow. When it comes to local real-time workflows, the difference is not that great.
That's designed for Haswell though. The Mac Pro will be Ivy Bridge. It would be nice if it was Haswell though.

 

500-600 W PSU is DOA. Unless you are classifying an 850W PS at 92 Platinum rating it's knee capping the entire system for expansion.

 

The redesign isn't a matter of linear scaling. Your removal of all that top level destroys any significant improvement of cooling rates and allowing for larger diameter convective heat transfer at lower rpms.

 

They won't do that.

post #168 of 192
My entire digital arts, career for the past twenty three years has been possible because of my top of the line Mac Desktop. Started with the Mac2 then a Mac2FXm, Quadra, two Power Macs, G3,G4,G5, and four different Mac Pros. I have created music albums, film soundtracks, complex animations, websites and just about every single kind of digital art you can imagine on these macs. I usually get a new Mac desktop every two to three years. The rig I use now has 64GB ram and three cinema displays. All the professionals I know use these high horsepower machines.
I can't wait to see what Apple has in store for the digital art professionals that need these powerful desktops.
post #169 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

[...] If you were on the other side listening to that and seeing someone not buying from you for as many as 6 years or more, what decision would you make?

 

Me? Honestly? "What am I missing? What the hell do these people want? What is missing from my product offering that's keeping them from buying? Features? Service? Price?" That's what I'D ask, but I don't have Tim's experience.

 

I understand your points. I just don't know how a guy like me makes Apple aware of the trigger issues for "stale buyers."

 

I haven't purchased an iPhone since the 4. By the time I was out of the contract, other players were offering bigger screens. I want that, I just don't want one from the other players. So I buy nothing. There's no way for Apple to know that I'll buy a new iPhone the second they make one with a 5" or bigger screen.

 

I haven't purchased a MacBook Pro since 2010. By the time I paid this one off they had stopped making a 17" screen. I like that form factor enough that, for me, it outweighs the many benefits of the newer models. There's no way for Apple to know there's a buyer for a 17" MacBook Pro standing ready to drop *ANOTHER* $4000.

 

I didn't even submit a capital request for a new tower at work this year even though we really need one because there wasn't enough advantage over what we have now to justify the cost. To Apple, that just looks like "the Pro isn't selling very well," as opposed to "we really need to improve this thing to make it attractive to buyers."

 

I grok what you're saying about supply and inventory et al. They make their best guesses at what people will want and hope for the best. That doesn't make the guy who hasn't bought anything for six years an invalid data point though. If he's like me, he's WILLING to buy, but the particular carrots Apple chose to dangle aren't the ones I want. Sometimes that'll be for good reason (Apple's figures show it won't sell) but sometimes Apple just picks characteristics that appeal to one group of buyers but not another. When something sells 20 million units, it's hard to know if adding that one extra feature would have driven it to 25 million, or if the extra 5 million would be worth the administrative and capital overhead.

post #170 of 192

Marvin, all I can say is that you must not make your living doing professional video, animation or even high end photography. 35%, 50%,90% gains are very substantial when you are doing projects that bill in the thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars. Feature films in the millions. Plenty to pay for the difference between a Mac Pro with the best GPU's that allow such speed gains. It is even important to people who bill $150 an hour. What if a factory manager was told he could get a 90% gain in productivity and profit for a minimal difference in investment? He would jump on it, and so do pros currently using workstations. Believe it or not many people load their machines with 64-128 GB of RAM. Check out Mac Performance Guide sometime. And he is only optimizing for photography. Photoshop files that run into the gigabytes with layers from large sensor still cameras. You want as much of that in RAM as possible. Huge time differences in processing. The differences in video and animation are just as stark, if not more so. Besides the fact that new hardware can be easily added with PCI as needed, where the cutting edge of graphics card performance currently is being developed, not years in the future, and after several generations of iMacs with soldered GPUs and RAM.  A new Mac Pro would undoubtedly have Thunderbolt as well, but not as the only option for expansion.

 

Pros are making their decisions based on what comes from Apple by the end of this year. Hopefully Apple comes through. They don't have six years to wait for blue sky technology. I think most would be happy to move four years beyond 2010. That bleeding paper cut going to Windows is the pro market, and it is a lot more important than you seem to give it credit.

post #171 of 192

I think he has a point here. There is a tremendous opportunity here. The consumer market is saturated. Why not try to boost profits with high-end enterprise oriented hardware. 

post #172 of 192
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post
The consumer market is saturated. 

 

At 15% marketshare?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #173 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

I just don't know how a guy like me makes Apple aware of the trigger issues for "stale buyers."

I didn't even submit a capital request for a new tower at work this year even though we really need one because there wasn't enough advantage over what we have now to justify the cost. To Apple, that just looks like "the Pro isn't selling very well," as opposed to "we really need to improve this thing to make it attractive to buyers."

There are a lot of factors that Apple has to weigh up. They have all the data for buying trends. A few people have pointed out that Apple would sell more if they just sold the right options but again, you have to think about the decisions from their point of view.

If you sold a tower for $2500 and you had an iMac at $2000 and a buyer comes up to you and says 'I'll buy from you if you make a tower for $1500'. Right from the start, you know the maximum sale price is below what you offer. The threat being made by the consumer is they won't buy at all unless that option exists. However you know that you will drop the average selling price and therefore the profits and to more than just that one customer. So what you'd have to weigh up is will the volume of customers buying the cheaper option increase enough to offset the lower profit. If not, your only option is to say to the customer, 'sorry, we don't swing that way'.

The same applies for the expensive models e.g 'I'll buy if you make a 17" or if you make a great value Mac Pro'. Apple has to decide to source materials, develop the manufacturing line, design marketing material, train staff to support it and so on. The 15" form factor is the most popular size:

http://blog.laptopmag.com/data-shows-clueless-consumers-buying-15-inch-notebooks-ruining-market

The ratios won't be quite the same for Apple as they don't have the in-between sizes and the ratios will have changed since then because of netbooks failing but it's about 5:1 in favour of the 15" vs 17". Assuming that this isn't based solely on price, Apple appeals to a wider audience with a 15" so a 15" at the 17" price point has a wider appeal and the same or higher profit margin. They may well lose out on the sale to 17" buyers but they make the sale to 15" buyers and some of the previous 17" buyers move to 15". The decision as a seller is to get the best return.

On the Mac Pro side, the audience has pretty much flat-lined at 1 million units per quarter and this has been the case for years. It clearly hasn't followed the growth trends that the rest of the PC industry has seen as many buyers have migrated down and now the majority of the industry is on laptops (70% laptops, 28% desktops, 2% workstations). This small audience is willing to spend a lot initially, which generates a lot of profit. However, this audience doesn't spend frequently because work machines should be stable and you can't just be changing operating system versions every year. This inevitably slows down the buying. On top of that, the owners can upgrade almost everything inside it and they do (off-the-shelf CPUs, GPUs etc).

Apple knows this, they have the internet too and they can see people doing upgrades and they will have data from some partner suppliers, possibly NVidia. From what they see happening, they make decisions about what they should sell to get the best return. It doesn't really matter if someone is making a scientific discovery on a Mac or not if Apple doesn't know about it and the public doesn't know about it. All Apple knows is that person has paid the same as anyone else.

It's more likely that people who spend more on computers do so because they need it and that leads to the conclusion that this is an important group of buyers. Pixar, ILM etc are important buyers too and they have all HP and Dell. They are important in their own right though, their importance to Apple is how much they'd be willing to spend on Apple products. The celebrity factor doesn't work when it comes to workstations. Chris Rock owning a Mac is more influential than somebody making a scientific discovery on a tower hidden under a desk:

http://www.forbes.com/2010/07/01/apple-microsoft-seinfeld-technology-celebrities.html

"Chris Rock told People in April that he was an avid Mac user. "If they had water, I would drink the Mac water,""

Some people who own Mac Pros think they are the most important people just like people who have the nicest cars or the biggest house or the CEO position at a company. It's not the labels or the products that make the people important but what they do. A Mac Pro or a 17" laptop won't be the most suitable machine for a very important and highly paid job. In no way does that make the job or the person doing it less important or less professional than people/jobs for whom a 17" MBP or MP are more suitable.

Apple's decisions are always presented as being 'suitable or unsuitable' for certain types of work. In every case these days, it's 'more suitable or less suitable'. An iMac is less suitable for animation work than a Mac Pro but an iMac with cloud rendering can be more suitable than a Mac Pro because it can end up cheaper as people have demonstrated and you don't have to source your own display. A Macbook Pro is less suitable for audio work than a Mac Pro for performance but more suitable if you need to take the machine with you. Buyers make compromises, sellers make compromises and sometimes sellers' compromises won't match the buyers' but they both make the decisions purposefully for the best return and you can't assume as a buyer that your compromises give Apple a better return, even beyond financial.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
35%, 50%,90% gains are very substantial when you are doing projects that bill in the thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars. Feature films in the millions.

On the render farm side a 90% increase would be beneficial but individuals can't do what you are describing. The videos I posted earlier are people who do this. The visual effects guy was sitting with Robert Zemeckis at Skywalker Ranch and he wanted a change done to a 900 frame sequence for the movie Flight ASAP. A single workstation can't do that regardless if it is a top of the line Mac Pro because even a Mac Pro would take at least 30 minutes per frame so about 19 days. They used cloud rendering and scaled up to 100 nodes to get it done in time using a laptop (they use Macbook Pros). They did the changes on the 'workstation' (MBP/iMac) in Maya and Nuke and shoved the processing to the render nodes. The other freelancer guy needed to do a 100 machine hour render in 2 days; Mac Pro or not, you can't do that with one machine by definition because you don't have enough hours in the day.

Some computer has to sit in the cloud for these jobs but it's not towers any more, it's server blades, which Apple doesn't make. Someone could of course build their own Mac Pro farm but it's too expensive because it's >$6000 per 12-core unit. It's actually more cost-effective just now to use Mac Minis. The visual effects guy mentioned that it would cost them around $2m to scale up to the capacity they'd need. Even the huge animation companies have talked about outsourcing their render farms because it's not cost-effective to maintain them.

There's no question the Mac Pro is faster and that's better, it's just not the difference between getting a job done or not and I don't understand the opposition to doing these things on say a Macbook Pro. Isn't it good that we now have inexpensive machines that sit in our laps that can churn through high-end jobs? I think it's great you can now buy a laptop and get a similar experience to a Mac Pro.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
What if a factory manager was told he could get a 90% gain in productivity

90% performance gain doesn't mean a 90% gain in productivity unless the machine is only doing raw processing, which means it's not being used as a workstation but a render node. That's not to say the productivity gains you do get aren't valuable but the gains get less the more that machines improve.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
Pros are making their decisions based on what comes from Apple by the end of this year. Hopefully Apple comes through.

People said that last year though and the year before. We know that no one can force them to do what they don't want to do. They have to be convinced that it's worthwhile. They need market projections, design requirements etc. Just saying 'I know a few important people who will buy one' can't possibly convince a company to roll out a new production line.

They've made the decision to make a new Pro so there's not much uncertainty over them making one but we'll know better what their future plans are when we see what they've done with it. The 17" MBP decision will be clearer once the prices shift on the Retina models. It's to be expected now though that these machines aren't growth models and even yearly upgrade cycles aren't really essential. Intel takes some responsibility for this - Apple can only offer what they sell.
post #174 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Just this month Red Shark released its Lightworks movie editing program for Linux. It is a program that seems to be on par with anything from Avid or Adobe.  It's even set up to create 3D movies, AND IT'S FREE!
 

 

You remind me of all those Photoshop killers (GIMP and Co.). A free program will just not have the final polish that professionals need. It will have some nice touches but will lack something that is badly needed. Just look at those free MS Office competitors. What percentage of people uses them?

 

One more things:) A Free program will never cut it as there is always chance that it will be abandoned by the developers. What if no update comes in years? 

post #175 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

Pros are making their decisions based on what comes from Apple by the end of this year. Hopefully Apple comes through.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

People said that last year though and the year before.

 

...and they did. Our primary Avid suite, once the foundation for Apple technology in our plant, is now running on HP machines. Engineering refused to pay premium coin for woefully outdated hardware so they went with Windows instead. On the audio side, the latest version of Pro Tools offers serious workflow improvements but won't run on our 2009 Mac. In the absence of a "new" Mac Pro the fear is that we'll wind up with Windows machines, too.

 

Inertia is hard to overcome in a production setting. It took Apple completely ignoring the Pro tower segment to uproot it. I imagine it will be similarly difficult to persuade the decision makers to even look at going back to Apple now that we've already gone through a migration. Why would they? There's a lot of effort involved in switching everything over, and I can't imagine there being much will to do it all again.

post #176 of 192
What do you bet that Chris Rock was first impressed by a Mac on a film or video shoot? And why was it there? Ultimately, because almost everything is edited on Avids using Mac Pros. This is where Hollywood saw their first Macs. The editors liked them, then the directors liked them, then, when PowerBooks came out, they showed up on the set being used for script, continuity, wardrobe, production management, and eventually the stars thought they were cool, so they bought them, and voila, everybody who could see the stars thought they were cool, which is EVERYBODY, started buying them. And it all started with the ultra cool Mac Pro in the edit room (or it's earlier equivalents). Then they started to appear in the feature films themselves. Why? Because everyone on set was using them, and they were near at hand. Apple eventually got the idea, and subsidized product placement was born for computers. Even now, the ratio of Macs on screen is much higher than in the general computer population. And it all started with a high end Mac in the edit suite. Where they still are in Hollywood. There is a huge marketing advantage, a halo if you will, that having a machine like the Mac Pro confers that you just don't get with an iMac. They have a presence. Secretaries and middle management don't use them. Not to mention that it is because form follows function. The editors and engineers know that. It is an intangible of coolness that a bunch of small objects spread out on a desk surrounding an iMac or MacBook Pro just ain't got. Leaving aside the fact that they do the job better. The Corvette effect. Marketing commercials can't buy and hardware specs don't account for.
Edited by Jim W - 4/30/13 at 10:17am
post #177 of 192
You only have to go to Creative Cow or any of the other Premiere Pro Forums, as an example, to see the trend that could be an avalanche away from the Mac at the pro end of things if a new Mac workstation does not appear after "something great" was promised by Cook. What v5v says is correct. Apple needs a real Mac Pro or Windows will take over the high end. God forbid...
Edited by Jim W - 4/30/13 at 10:32am
post #178 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Our primary Avid suite, once the foundation for Apple technology in our plant, is now running on HP machines. Engineering refused to pay premium coin for woefully outdated hardware so they went with Windows instead.

Would they have gone with Apple hardware even if it had been updated though? HP workstations start at $1000.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
it all started with the ultra cool Mac Pro in the edit room (or it's earlier equivalents).

Writers tend to use Macbooks so it's more likely that would be the influence rather than walking into a dark edit suite and asking 'I'm looking for a new laptop, what's the make of that 40lb workstation you're using?'.

For file formats, storage formats and things it will have a knock-on effect but mainly limited to the same domain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
There is a huge marketing advantage, a halo if you will, that having a machine like the Mac Pro confers that you just don't get with an iMac. They have a presence.

Fat people have a presence but people don't go 'hey that fat guy is in my way, I wish I was that fat'. Go to any Apple Store and you'll see the dusty Mac Pro at the back corner. If it was the halo product, it would be front and center and people would have to walk past it (around it) and dream of being able to afford it. The truth is people don't want it. Children don't run up to one screaming that they want it and get turned away disappointed they can't have it.

The wow-factor that computers have is that they get smaller, that's always been the case e.g 'wow, I can run a unix OS on my phone now!'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
You only have to go to Creative Cow or any of the other Premiere Pro Forums, as an example, to see the trend that could be an avalanche away from the Mac at the pro end of things if a new Mac workstation does not appear after "something great" was promised by Cook

That's because of FCPX though. Apple has a great thing with FCP because it's exclusive software. It's the same thing that happens with games consoles and OS X. If you want the software, you need the hardware. People who have turned away from FCPX have decided they don't need a Mac any more. It doesn't matter if a new Mac Pro comes along, they can run Premiere on a cheap PC.
post #179 of 192

A $1000 HP computer is NOT a workstation. Not even close. In HP's it is the Z820, and equipped for video editing goes for around $10,000-$15000 w video I/O card. Now I know how much you know about workstations used for this purpose. Here is a direct quote from a forum used by professionals and those who aspire to be. This was from the middle of last year and refers to a Z820, the one that is most often replacing the Mac Pro in high end Avid and other pro video systems.

 

From a July 2012 Z820 purchase:

 

I got the fastest processors (2-2687) but only the Quadro 600 so I could replace it with the GTX 570. I got 1500GB System/Apps drive and 3 of the same data drives. Also the big 30 monitor, 5/5/5 warranty, 24/7 repair at my place, blu ray writer and 64GB of ram. After 27% off for the computer, some discounts off the service warranty and free next day shipping Id say about $11,000. Which is much better then what it might have cost.

 

 

 

Not exactly $1000 dollars, and this is before AJA HD video I/O card at about $1800. External RAID (necessary) extra. He could have gone much further with the GPU adding at least a couple of thousand more. People are willing to pay this much because it is a good investment, and much better suited for current software, especially Adobe that makes use of CUDA , than an iMac, and unfortunately a 3 year old Mac Pro. These systems are being moved into Avid suites as well as v5v reports, as well as in the reports of many on the 20,000 strong "We Want a New MacPro" page on Facebook. People there are ready to jump if Apple doesn't show with something this year. There is profit in systems at this level. It is a very bright spot for HP.

 

Regarding the halo effect of the Mac Pro in Hollywood, I stand by that. I was there and I observed it. Of course they are not writing on Mac Pros, it is the halo effect that developed around it that made Apple the brand to use in production environments. If it was good enough for the producers with the money, it was good enough for the crew. Add in the great Jony Ives design of all current Macs, and the quality they found after they bought them as well as OSX. Of course they usually bought PowerBooks and then MacBook Pros for use on the set.  Similar to the effect that the iPod had in bringing people to Apple products and the creatives jumped on them. The halo effect is real and works from high end to low end as well as the reverse that we have all seen with the iPod bringing consumers to the Mac. Only in this case the stars were seeing the crew using them, and it went as I described above.

post #180 of 192

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Would they have gone with Apple hardware even if it had been updated though? HP workstations start at $1000.
Writers tend to use Macbooks so it's more likely that would be the influence rather than walking into a dark edit suite and asking 'I'm looking for a new laptop, what's the make of that 40lb workstation you're using?'.
Previously explained.

For file formats, storage formats and things it will have a knock-on effect but mainly limited to the same domain.
Fat people have a presence but people don't go 'hey that fat guy is in my way, I wish I was that fat'. Go to any Apple Store and you'll see the dusty Mac Pro at the back corner. If it was the halo product, it would be front and center and people would have to walk past it (around it) and dream of being able to afford it. The truth is people don't want it. Children don't run up to one screaming that they want it and get turned away disappointed they can't have it.
The Mac Pro is not made to excite children and iPhone shoppers. It is for pros with needs for powerful hardware. Most people go to video VARs (like I used to be for Apple, Avid and Media 100) or they have engineering staff or personal experience sufficient to configure them


The wow-factor that computers have is that they get smaller, that's always been the case e.g 'wow, I can run a unix OS on my phone now!'.
That's because of FCPX though. Apple has a great thing with FCP because it's exclusive software. It's the same thing that happens with games consoles and OS X. If you want the software, you need the hardware. People who have turned away from FCPX have decided they don't need a Mac any more. It doesn't matter if a new Mac Pro comes along, they can run Premiere on a cheap PC.
Premiere does not run well on cheap PC's. The system I quoted above at more than $11,000 was configured to run Premiere and the Adobe Production Suite well. Premiere and the rest of the Suite are very hardware intensive as anyone who uses it will tell you. This is especially true when you are making use of the full Suite, particularly After Effects. If you are doing ray tracing rendering can take days with the wrong GPU. If you look at the reports from NAB, Adobe is making huge strides in the video area. A lot of that has to do with the availability of better hardware to run their software. FCP X opened the door. I hope the wrong Mac Pro doesn't close it for Apple. 
post #181 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

iMac Pro?

Well, since we already have:

Mac Pro
iMac
MacBook
Mac Mini

Maybe there should be just good old Mac again.

Smaller case/same style as Mac Pro. Desktop parts. More affordable than Mac Pro, more configurable than Mac Mini.

Makes sense to me, but then I was always desktop PC guy...
post #182 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Would they have gone with Apple hardware even if it had been updated though?

 

Almost undoubtedly. The absence of an up-to-date Pro is what prompted them to look elsewhere in the first place. They probably wouldn't have bothered if there had been a current model available. The Mac tower has always just been a given.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

HP workstations start at $1000.

 

...and go way up from there. While these might have been less expensive than a Mac Pro, it wouldn't have been enough to matter all the much in the context of a system buy. The change wasn't to save money, it was to fend off premature obsolescence.

post #183 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

A $1000 HP computer is NOT a workstation. Not even close.

HP calls it a workstation:

http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/workstations/z420_features.html#.UYEyDr9Er8s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

Here is a direct quote from a forum used by professionals and those who aspire to be. This was from the middle of last year and refers to a Z820, the one that is most often replacing the Mac Pro in high end Avid and other pro video systems.

From a July 2012 Z820 purchase:

I got the fastest processors (2-2687) but only the Quadro 600 so I could replace it with the GTX 570. I got 1500GB System/Apps drive and 3 of the same data drives...

You missed out the first sentence "Chris my configuration is not typical": http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/3/927745

But I know you need that kind of performance to render videos like his videos (because of all the sparkles and things):



On the Mac Pro, he could only make videos like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv2C7rF2H_c

but with the new HP, videos like this are possible:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmLXFIWt3HM

As you can see, the output doesn't change dramatically from one machine to the other.

Here's another quote from him:

"Well, I don't like or trust Apple to make decisions that serve my needs. If they came out with a Mac Pro I don't think that would change anything for me. I have learned how there are some downsides to how OSX utilizes hyper threading when running CS6 apps, as opposed to Windows. The wider choice of hardware at cheaper prices is also a big consideration."

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/hello-pc-the-journey-to-mac-and-back

He upgraded from a 2008 Mac Pro with a Quadro 4000 and 24GB RAM. The iMac 680MX is around double the speed of the Quadro 4000 for After Effects:

http://www.barefeats.com/imac12p2.html

The CPU would be around the same but overall faster than the machine you'd have called a workstation for 4 years. Now that it's slim and silent, it's no longer a workstation? Even the current 12-core Mac Pro would have been 2x CPU speed too. His HP is 3x. Would that 50% CPU difference really justify paying ~$11000? The top Mac Pro is $6200 and you can get a GTX 680 for $600:

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/03/evga-announces-geforce-gtx-680-mac-edition-graphics-card-for-mac-pro/

64GB RAM is about $750 from OWC so total is $7550. The HP is 50% faster for 45% more money and 1000% worse because you have to use Windows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

External RAID (necessary) extra.

I thought pros didn't like clutter and cables. The guy with the HP has one of these hooked to it:

http://www.coremicro.com/dulce-pro-dqg2-16tb.html

Nearly $7k for a 16TB RAID when an 18TB Thunderbolt Pegasus is $2999.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

There is profit in systems at this level. It is a very bright spot for HP.

Their Q1 2013 report is here:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hp-reports-first-quarter-2013-results-2013-02-21

Workstations: 0% growth. Revenue $535m. It's described as a personal system, which they note as having 2.7% operating margin but they probably sell with the same margins as their enterprise group at 15.5%. So operating profit is $83m per quarter. Can you recall how much profit Apple made last quarter? I think it was something billion. HP sells more workstations than Apple. The processors that Apple uses on the top ones cost $2880 from Intel. So, even ignoring every other component, that puts the maximum possible margin at 50% and let's say that Apple sold the same number as HP, that's $268m profit at the absolute most. Most likely Apple sells half HP at 40% margin so $107m. Their whole Mac line makes about $2-3b. The margins are good but the volumes are tiny.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

Premiere and the rest of the Suite are very hardware intensive as anyone who uses it will tell you. This is especially true when you are making use of the full Suite, particularly After Effects. If you are doing ray tracing rendering can take days with the wrong GPU.

After Effects uses a lot of processing power, Premiere and video editing don't really unless you are transcoding and that doesn't use all the cores. You're right that with the wrong GPU, some GPU accelerated features can take much longer but the iMac's GPU is comparable to what you can put in a Mac Pro.

If Apple decided one year to switch to AMD then CUDA-accelerated things would take ages and the Mac Pro at least gives you the choice to pick a vendor. However, that's more Adobe's fault for using CUDA instead of OpenCL.

I agree that more performance is good, I agree that more choice is good and years ago I said the same things you have. But today, I think iMacs, MBPs and even Minis are workstations that are capable of doing high-end jobs and that shows in the benchmarks - the performance differences aren't that great. It's not an on/off switch like now they are and yesterday they weren't, it's gradual.
post #184 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

[...] and 1000% worse because you have to use Windows.

 

Obviously I very much prefer OS X over Windows, but to be completely fair I have to admit that I actually found the underlying OS less of an issue in a "workstation" scenario than in my personal computing.

 

The part of the experience that faces the operator -- in my case Pro Tools -- is pretty similar whether using Windows or OS X, so you don't really notice much.

 

When the down time comes and the housekeeping begins, THEN you notice!

post #185 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Obviously I very much prefer OS X over Windows, but to be completely fair I have to admit that I actually found the underlying OS less of an issue in a "workstation" scenario than in my personal computing.

When you are inside one app maybe but multi-tasking environments require a lot of dependence on the filesystem and intermediate file formats. Something as simple as being able to hit spacebar on a pdf, see full attachment previews in emails, having something like Quicktime where you can decode all the standard formats without installing codec packs, having all system fonts properly anti-aliased. There's so many details that make the whole process more enjoyable because they've thought about them. When I use Windows, I constantly get the impression they reached a point where they said 'yeah that'll do'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
In HP's it is the Z820, and equipped for video editing goes for around $10,000-$15000 w video I/O card.

You can work out the average selling price of the workstation. The site here tells you the rough marketshare of workstations:

http://www.deskeng.com/virtual_desktop/?p=5233

The shipment volume is 1 million per quarter so that makes HPs share at 33% 330k per quarter. HP made $535m last quarter on workstations so that means the average selling price was:

$535m/330k = $1621

A large number would have to be below $1621 for that to be the average. HP's range starts at $750.

Let's say 50% are in the region $750-1600, 40% are in the region $1600-4000, 10% in the region $4000-12000, that would average out at ~$2500 so that's not the right distribution.
Let's say 60%, 35%, 5%, that works out around $2085 so closer.
Let's say 80%, 18%, 2%, that's $1604

Like in any market, the numbers go down dramatically the higher up the price goes, it's just the way wealth distribution is. If you work 2-3% into the 330k per quarter, you get less than 10,000 people per quarter worldwide spending over $4k on an HP workstation.
post #186 of 192
Marvin, I give up on you. I hope you are very happy with your iMac. Pros will not be. You obviously know something about specs, but almost nothing about what pros really want, a true workstation, a real Mac Pro. Otherwise, why is this such a contentious subject? I thought it might be worthwhile to post honest comments here, but you obviously don't care to hear about it. If Apple doesn't come out with a true workstation in the new Mac Pro, thousands of pros will be forced to make a very hard choice. Just what do you do with your Mac besides post on this forum? It can't be professional production. I feel sorry for people like v5v forced onto Windows workstations because of the inadequacy of current Mac hardware. His example is not isolated. His pro engineering team picked the best system on the market to run their Avid. They are correct in their judgement given Apple's current offering. You don't have a clue. Excuse me, I have editing to do. Enjoy moderating!
Edited by Jim W - 5/1/13 at 8:08pm
post #187 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

 I hope you are very happy with your iMac. Pros will not be. 

 

 

Do you consider anyone who uses an iMac to not be a pro?  Or at least to be an unhappy pro?

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #188 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

I hope you are very happy with your iMac. Pros will not be.

Some are though. Here's one of them:

http://www.larryjordan.biz/app_bin/wordpress/archives/2084

"Frankly, this 27″ iMac blows the doors off my MacPro."

Not every professional will find it a suitable replacement and nobody is suggesting every single person will be happier with it. There's a thread here:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/277/22630

As usual the Mac Pro owner jumps at the chance to put down the iMac:

"i still see imac as good choice for home machine that i would not use with client."

That's even after the product manager for the software he uses says the iMac has great performance. The attitude is always the same and yet the digital colorist (another professional) after him says he graded 'at least a dozen feature films' on a comparable Mac Pro.

It doesn't mean it's a better option, it just means that it can be used for very high-end workflows, which is great. In the absence of a Mac Pro, some professionals who prefer and can afford the faster machines may switch to another platform and it's understandable and some won't. As time goes on, the options get better and people migrate down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

I thought it might be worthwhile to post honest comments here, but you obviously don't care to hear about it. If Apple doesn't come out with a true workstation in the new Mac Pro, thousands of pros will be forced to make a very hard choice.

I care to find out the facts about the situation. What you say often contradicts the facts. For example suggesting the typical purchase prices for HP workstations to be around $11000 when it doesn't match up at all to HP's earnings, that the lack of a Mac Pro would have a dramatic effect when the volumes are clearly extremely low.

Also, you keep saying "if Apple doesn't come out with a true workstation". Apple still sells the Mac Pro in the US and did in Europe until March. Just because it's older hardware doesn't mean it's not fast, especially if you mostly depend on GPU performance as you can put in modern GPUs. Judging by performance per dollar, it's still good enough value.

Apple has said they are making another Mac Pro but it can't arrive until Intel gets the Ivy Bridge Xeons out in Q3 - the complaints should really be directed at Intel. The suggestions of 'if they don't do it' when they've said they will seem to be setup to eventually say things like 'yeah, we showed them, the Facebook campaign was a success'. The reality is that Apple is doing Mac Pro fans a favour by continuing to make one when they could so easily stop making them with very little consequence.

I accept that you disagree with this but if they did one day decide to stop making it, it really wouldn't be that big of a problem especially if they have sufficient IO technology in place. I agree that now wouldn't be a good time to drop a high performance headless machine but more convenient form factors are making it less important and this will become clearer as time goes on.
post #189 of 192
The Mac Pro is dead. The Mac Mini will continue to get faster and perhaps a 'larger' Mac mini will be released to replace the Mac Pro. But nobody wants a behemoth under their desk and nobody uses pci any more so there is no point to that massive noisy case when the same or better processing power can be packed into a toaster.
post #190 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by vositis View Post

[...] nobody uses pci any more

 

Our Engineering department will be thrilled to hear that! All this time we've been thinking those RAID cards and fibre interfaces and HD-SDI I/Os and keyers and graphics outputs and DSP farms were there for a reason. It'll be a relief to just toss 'em.

post #191 of 192
Originally Posted by vositis View Post
The Mac Pro is dead. The Mac Mini will continue to get faster and perhaps a 'larger' Mac mini will be released to replace the Mac Pro. But nobody wants a behemoth under their desk and nobody uses pci any more so there is no point to that massive noisy case when the same or better processing power can be packed into a toaster.

 

Why are you talking about things about which you don't have the first clue?

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #192 of 192
I am really intrigued by the idea of the Mac Pro becoming an easily networked stack of Mac Minis, especially if Thunderbolt allows for easy connection to an external bay/case for expansion card slots for those pros who still need them. This way they can sell the same boxes to both the mass market and high end, serve the needs of both beautifully by allowing each customer to buy just as much power as he needs, and decrease their cost of manufacturing by being thus able to sell more of them. It would seem like a tremendous win for everyone.
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