New Mac Pro

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  • Reply 81 of 331
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Bleh they could have at least bumped the ram to 4GB to match the imac, put in a better baseline processor given how much the cost of westmere retail processors have fallen, and update the graphics card to a 2011 model. Regardless of volume the sticker price should command a quality up to date machine. Anytime it's approaching or going beyond a year it could use a soft refresh.



    I'm not sure what I wish to do in terms of towers right now personally. I can say that I don't see the laptop being updated until ivy bridge (if at all). Their laptops run quite hot when pushed to the max. If the update cuts heat/power consumption it may be a good time for me to jump on a new one.



    By the way what chips were they?
  • Reply 82 of 331
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    To me, the writing is on the wall. I just bought a 2009 MacPro (2.66GHz) and plan to spec it out eventually to either a W3565 or maybe do the firmware hack and go for a W3670.



    A used 2009 MacPro is the sweetspot right now. I got mine for $1650 (+tax) and if I were to stick in the W3565 ($320) it would be nearly identical to the current quad upgrade, which retails for $2899. That has 1TB storage instead of 640GB and a better GPU, but I can do without that if it saves me $900+



    I'm thinking this will be the last Mac desktop I buy. For general purpose computing, my iPhone covers about 50% of the stuff, and the other 50% could easily be handled by a MacBookAir. My wife has a work laptop PC, but spends most of her free time on her iPad.





    For the studio, I think my next workstation will be a bespoke Windows machine.
  • Reply 83 of 331
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    While every body imagines a different XMac I think there things define that machine.



    Not pointing at you because you support the idea of the XMac. But too many people that do not understand our desire for a mid range headless Mac use this as an argument against it.



    "Everyone has a different idea on what it should be."



    That's because the product doesn't exist and we are free to imagine, dream, fantasize.

    If the mini did not exist or if the iMac didn't exist everyone would have a different idea on what those products should be.

    So what if the XMac can't have everything each one of us wish for. An XMac would still be closer to what I want than the mini or iMac offers (or limits you to).

    I remember when Apple computers had an image of "possibilities". Now for me Apple has an image of "limitations".
  • Reply 84 of 331
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Concepts that can be used to build a stable model.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    Not pointing at you because you support the idea of the XMac. But too many people that do not understand out desire for a mid range headless Mac use this as an argument against it.



    "Everyone has a different idea on what it should be."



    Well yeah but isn't this true of most products? Everybody has their own idea of what a pickup truck should be. That doesn't stop Ford or Chevy from making new and interesting models. Some flop big time others just keep on trucking.

    Quote:

    That's because the product doesn't exist and we are free to imagine, dream, fantasize.



    Exactly! It is Apples job to take those dreams and come up with a core feature set that makes the platform viable while keeping the hardware with in an acceptable price range. Pricing of the Mac Pro is the big problem so any XMac has to control cost in a rigorous manner. They can do that by concentrating on core features and dropping everything else.

    Quote:

    If the mini did not exist or if the iMac didn't exist everyone would have a different idea on what those products should be.



    Yes exactly. Frankly people have had ideas after those products emerged. Especially the Mini. I've followed the Mini closely since it came out and have seen it evolve into a tiny powerhouse. some of the improvements came directly from the community and I suspect are responsible for its sales success up until now. While it hasn't completely abandoned its past todays Mini is a substantial improvement over the older models.

    Quote:

    So what if the XMac can't have everything each one of us wish for. An XMac would still be closer to what I want than the mini or iMac offers (or limits you to).



    The key here is to try to meet as many needs as possible without inflating the machines cost. A larger enclosure would immediately lead to room for standard RAM and more of it. Such a machine might allow for more rational access to secondary storage and more of it. Then there is the option of a good GPU.



    The thing that bothers me here is the Apple did a wonderful job with the Unibody laptops yet we have yet to see the same creativity applied to desktops. The iMac is certainly creative but has been around for a long time and is less than creative when it comes to serviceability. I'm surprised this isn't brought up more often but Apples laptops are more user serviceable than the desktops. One can argue until they are blue in the face but serviceability benefits everybody.

    Quote:

    I remember when Apple computers had an image of "possibilities". Now for me Apple has an image of "limitations".



    Well I'm not sure I'd go that far. I'm a guy that switched from Linux to a MBP for his primary home machine. My Mac has opened up the world a little more the it use to be. Further I have none of the limitations I have at work on Windows machines. Note though that that is a laptop, I'd have to think long and hard about an Apple desktop. The limitation is simply nothing cost effective with the expandability I expect in a desktop. The Mini has the potential to change my mind but they just don't get it when it comes to GPU's.



    What do I mean about the Min and GPU's. Simply this if you are going to the trouble of making a desktop machine with a GPU make damn sure it has enough GPU memory and GPU performance to make it worth the investment. The GPU performance isn't extremely bad but the lack of video RAM is pathetic. I'm not sure why we have to constantly struggle with Apple over this, it isn't like the price delta doesn't cover it.
  • Reply 85 of 331
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Well I'm not sure I'd go that far. I'm a guy that switched from Linux to a MBP for his primary home machine. My Mac has opened up the world a little more the it use to be. Further I have none of the limitations I have at work on Windows machines. Note though that that is a laptop, I'd have to think long and hard about an Apple desktop. The limitation is simply nothing cost effective with the expandability I expect in a desktop.



    Your last that I bolded is what I really meant to say. Right now the Mac Pro is the only desktop I would purchase but I also know it is overkill for my needs. An iMac based XMac (sans screen of course) in an easy to open case with a little room inside and some jacks on front is really what I am after.



    Having no choice in a mid range Mac but to accept a glossy built in screen and of course having processor speed tied to screen size is the type of limitations I'm talking about.



    But offering four different iPods somehow makes good business sense.
  • Reply 86 of 331
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    Your last that I bolded is what I really meant to say. Right now the Mac Pro is the only desktop I would purchase but I also know it is overkill for my needs. An iMac based XMac (sans screen of course) in an easy to open case with a little room inside and some jacks on front is really what I am after.



    This is close to what I'm looking for. The easy open case should be a no brainer for Apple after Unibody Mac Books.



    Now what is in that case is a where people vary. My thoughts are as follows.
    1. Conventional RAM slots, with one bank empty for expansion.

    2. A fairly fast CPU. I'm not expecting Mac Pro type performance but something in-between the Mini and the Pro.

    3. Expansion slots. 2 would be more than enough but at least one needs to support a high performance GPU card.

    4. At least 3 laptop sized drive bays.

    Note about the drive bays, I don't want this machine to turn into another giant desktop and I especially don't want it sucking down power. The idea is to make use of components that control power waste but yet gives us a leg up on performance.

    Quote:

    Having no choice in a mid range Mac but to accept a glossy built in screen and of course having processor speed tied to screen size is the type of limitations I'm talking about.



    The argument about the screen is a non starter. People buy the iMac because it is an all in one, here we are interested in machines that aren't. The reasons we aren't interested in all in ones actually varies a bit.

    Quote:

    But offering four different iPods somehow makes good business sense.



    This is what I don't get about Apple. I understand that there was a huge need years ago to save the company, but Apple and it's customer base is hugely different now. The Mac is accepted by the mainstream and is even getting corporate traction. It wouldn't hurt one bit to broaden the line up.



    I suspect one problem here is that they don't want to undermine what is already pathetic Mac Pro sales. The problem is pretty clear Mac Pro sales suck because so few people need a platform like that. In the end a good XMac design would only lead to even more sales overall. The two or three people that need to buy a Mac Pro will still continue to do so. An XMac would grab customers for Apple that feel compelled to look elsewhere.



    The timing for an XMac is almost perfect. The interest from non traditional Apple customers is huge right now.
  • Reply 87 of 331
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Concepts that can be used to build a stable model.







    Exactly! It is Apples job to take those dreams and come up with a core feature set that makes the platform viable while keeping the hardware with in an acceptable price range. Pricing of the Mac Pro is the big problem so any XMac has to control cost in a rigorous manner. They can do that by concentrating on core features and dropping everything else.






    I don't think hardware cost is a big issue here. It's been proven before by past models that apple could make it if they wanted to do so (cheaper mac pros 2008 and before had more expensive parts). While we can't agree on what we want, I'm fairly certain that no one wants an $1800 i5 machine with a severely underpowered graphics card and two hard drive bays, one of which is SSD only. That is the kind of machine I could see apple presenting if they went that route. It's not just pricing on the mac pro that is an issue but that it starts in a really bad place. They have a $2500 model but it isn't worth buying. Even coming up with a worthy model for that price point would be a start.
  • Reply 89 of 331
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fus View Post


    http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp







    Whatever value something like that has it is not a replacement for internal slots.
  • Reply 90 of 331
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fus View Post


    http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp







    You're either trolling or delusional. Either way this was not an intelligent post because if you look at the item you linked, it solves absolutely nothing. If you disagree you may want to read up on that device.
  • Reply 91 of 331
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    It's not just pricing on the mac pro that is an issue but that it starts in a really bad place. They have a $2500 model but it isn't worth buying. Even coming up with a worthy model for that price point would be a start.



    Yes. Or lower the entry-level price point to $1999.
  • Reply 92 of 331
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeph View Post


    Yes. Or lower the entry-level price point to $1999.



    Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.
  • Reply 93 of 331
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.



    I'm really not sure on this. I think they need a scalable solution. I think they need to determine a price point where they can build a functional baseline machine rather than these awkward part collections that are basically niche market machines without being truly right for any particular niche market.



    I think Apple needs better PR with some of the major software developers who make things for OSX. The feud with Adobe is ridiculous and it doesn't benefit anyone.
  • Reply 94 of 331
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.



    Not gonna happen. MacMini/iMac + Thunderbolt is the way forward in that price range, and frankly, I can see why. The only reason I still have a MacPro is for SATA HDD's and a possible future CPU-upgrade. For the majority of users these are non-issues. If ThB HDD's perform as well as or better than SATA, I doubt a possible cpu-upgrade path would be sufficient reason to stick with a tower.



    The single-CPU MacPro lineup could realistically come down to $1999, in keeping with comparably spec'd HP/Dell/Lenovo workstations.
  • Reply 95 of 331
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Apple needs a desktop that starts at less than $1500. It is simple as that. The Pro is fine as a high end machine but few people are willing to part with that much cash just to get an extra drive bay and room for other expansion.



    I think that if Apple radically revise the Mac Pro, the purpose will be to eliminate the problems that accrue to Apple from the expandability. I predict that any radical replacement for the Mac Pro will have zero expansion slots other than for memory and storage. I would not be surprised to see something with the performance of the Mac Pro and the expandability of the Mac Mini. It would obviously need to be somewhat larger than a Mini in order to dissipate the heat at reasonable noise levels.
  • Reply 96 of 331
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeph View Post


    Not gonna happen. MacMini/iMac + Thunderbolt is the way forward in that price range, and frankly, I can see why. The only reason I still have a MacPro is for SATA HDD's and a possible future CPU-upgrade. For the majority of users these are non-issues. If ThB HDD's perform as well as or better than SATA, I doubt a possible cpu-upgrade path would be sufficient reason to stick with a tower.



    The single-CPU MacPro lineup could realistically come down to $1999, in keeping with comparably spec'd HP/Dell/Lenovo workstations.



    I agree with you that it probably won't happen but mini isn't a good solution if you need a real computer. It's grown somewhat but it's still using laptop parts and the mini server is kind of expensive for what you get (I'd rather go the imac route).



    I think $1999 would still be above all the manufacturers listed. Dell will sell you a workstation with that same W3530 cpu starting at $1079 with a three year warranty. This isn't a perfect match to a mac pro (I don't care for dell workstations for a number of reasons) but it matches the expandability. I actually liked that Apple was maintaining the kind of lean approach to its mac pro line when it replaced the powermacs. It seemed like they were trying to curb manufacturing costs this way and in doing so were able to build pretty competitive machines. Now they just look bleh and overpriced relative to the other macs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    I think that if Apple radically revise the Mac Pro, the purpose will be to eliminate the problems that accrue to Apple from the expandability.



    Let me ask you, how would they market/sell this? To me your idea neuters the product, and turns it into something they already have in the imac. Second question, why is your opinion that the problems arise from its expandability? Do you think it makes it too expensive to produce? The internals such as power supply, logic board, processor, etc. add up to less than the top imac. The processes used to make the mac pro cases are less expensive than the process used to make their laptops. CNC is a really labor intensive/expensive process. They leveraged it by volume.



    I just think you're missing the mark here because the redesign you're asking for renders the machine completely pointless without reducing costs as much as you seem to believe.
  • Reply 97 of 331
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post




    I think $1999 would still be above all the manufacturers listed. Dell will sell you a workstation with that same W3530 cpu starting at $1079 with a three year warranty. This isn't a perfect match to a mac pro (I don't care for dell workstations for a number of reasons) but it matches the expandability.








    That's because Apple doesn't adjust their prices when cost of parts drop. At the beginning of a new MacPro's life cycle it is priced sensibly compared to similar offerings from HP/Dell/Lenovo. But those manufacturers do adjust their prices to reflect actual parts prices.



    IIRC, a HP Z400 (W3530) goes for $1400 without GPU. But it does not have the MacPro's 1000W PSU.
  • Reply 98 of 331
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeph View Post


    Not gonna happen. MacMini/iMac + Thunderbolt is the way forward in price range, and frankly, I can see why. The only reason I still have a MacPro is for SATA HDD's and a possible future CPU-upgrade.



    That is you but I suspect that almost no one buys a Mac Pro for a CPU upgrade in the future. The drive bays are a big point supporting the Mac Pro but I don't see accessing disk drives over TB competing with that. In any event you ignore video hardware as a significant reason for the Pro. Beyond that dropping internal slots will simply result in more expensive and more limited solutions for Pro users.

    Quote:

    For the majority of users these are non-issues. If ThB HDD's perform as well as or better than SATA, I doubt a possible cpu-upgrade path would be sufficient reason to stick with a tower.



    Why would a reasonable person choose a TB based array when they could slip drives into a bay at far lower cost? This whole idea of external drive arrays is bogus as you will be hooking up over a thin pipe. A pipe that may be in use by other components of the system.

    Quote:



    The single-CPU MacPro lineup could realistically come down to $1999, in keeping with comparably spec'd HP/Dell/Lenovo workstations.



    I'm not talking about a lower cost Mac Pro here, I'm talking about what is referred to as an XMac. XMac here refers to hardware that sits between a Mini and a Mac Pro. The idea being a desk top Mac with easy access to storage bays/slots, RAM expansion and PCI Express slots for a GPU card or expansion. This is not a Pro replacement nor a massive workstation, $1500 is more than enough to launch a base model.



    I'm not sure why people have such a hard time with this. Apple effectively redesigned the MBPs with some of the same goals in mind. You gain access to a Unibody MBP and the drives and RAM are right there. All I'm saying is that Apple could if it wanted to, design a desktop Mac that is as easy to access as the MBPs. Is asking for additional RAM slots, extra drive bays and other features, rocket science so advanced it is beyond Apples ability? Just look at the difference in RAM capability between the Mini and Pro, an easy gap to fill in a XMac desktop.
  • Reply 99 of 331
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I agree with you that it probably won't happen but mini isn't a good solution if you need a real computer. It's grown somewhat but it's still using laptop parts and the mini server is kind of expensive for what you get (I'd rather go the imac route).



    The Mini is a real computer but an extremely limited one. Even simple things like RAM expansion is expensive and time consuming to do.

    Quote:

    I think $1999 would still be above all the manufacturers listed. Dell will sell you a workstation with that same W3530 cpu starting at $1079 with a three year warranty. This isn't a perfect match to a mac pro (I don't care for dell workstations for a number of reasons) but it matches the expandability. I actually liked that Apple was maintaining the kind of lean approach to its mac pro line when it replaced the powermacs. It seemed like they were trying to curb manufacturing costs this way and in doing so were able to build pretty competitive machines. Now they just look bleh and overpriced relative to the other macs.



    I don't dismiss the Mac Pro for it's price point as it is a very good machine for what it is. My problem is it is far to much machine for what most people need or want on the desktop. When I say that this new model needs to start at $1500 that is assuming a stiff Apple tax. I know that building such hardware isn't a huge issue for around $1200 for other manufactures.



    Frankly it would be rather pathetic if Apple couldn't produce a decent desktop for $1500. By the way I'm not talking tower here either, the goal is a compact but serviceable machine.

    Quote:





    Let me ask you, how would they market/sell this? To me your idea neuters the product, and turns it into something they already have in the imac.



    I don't get this either. Who would buy such a machine?

    Quote:

    Second question, why is your opinion that the problems arise from its expandability? Do you think it makes it too expensive to produce? The internals such as power supply, logic board, processor, etc. add up to less than the top imac.



    This is not the first time I've heard such things said, it seems to be totally baseless. How is having a machine with economical RAM expansion a problem. Even more so how does a disk drive slot cause a problem. It boggles the mind because these solutions enable Apple hardware for advanced uses.

    Quote:

    The processes used to make the mac pro cases are less expensive than the process used to make their laptops. CNC is a really labor intensive/expensive process. They leveraged it by volume.



    More importantly Apple is free to design a case that fits the hardware needs of the platform. XMac or whatever you want to call it does not have to look like a HP tower.

    Quote:

    I just think you're missing the mark here because the redesign you're asking for renders the machine completely pointless without reducing costs as much as you seem to believe.



    It would turn the platform into a piece of junk especially for power users. One of the reasons I support an addition to the Mac line up is that the Pro does have it's niche. It makes far more sense to have a machine that meets the more general needs of the user base in addition to the Mini and Pro.



    Frankly I'm pretty much convinced Apple is working with a mindset from 8 years ago when they had far fewer sales and a very narrow customer base. Today sales are wild and interest is growing, they need a product line up that reflects the new reality.
  • Reply 100 of 331
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I'm not talking about a lower cost Mac Pro here, I'm talking about what is referred to as an XMac. XMac here refers to hardware that sits between a Mini and a Mac Pro. The idea being a desk top Mac with easy access to storage bays/slots, RAM expansion and PCI Express slots for a GPU card or expansion. This is not a Pro replacement nor a massive workstation, $1500 is more than enough to launch a base model.



    I'm not sure why people have such a hard time with this. Apple effectively redesigned the MBPs with some of the same goals in mind. You gain access to a Unibody MBP and the drives and RAM are right there. All I'm saying is that Apple could if it wanted to, design a desktop Mac that is as easy to access as the MBPs. Is asking for additional RAM slots, extra drive bays and other features, rocket science so advanced it is beyond Apples ability? Just look at the difference in RAM capability between the Mini and Pro, an easy gap to fill in a XMac desktop.



    Take iMac. Remove screen. Add easy open case. Make case big enough for some expansion. Sell for $1500. I'd gladly give $1500 for that but I'll never give $1500 for an all in one.
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