Despite new CPU options, Apple reportedly questioning future of Mac Pro

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  • Reply 541 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    The problem is if your needs fall even just a bit outside of the Apple design paradigm, you're confronted with a mess of cables, adapters, dongles, additional hardware, etc. to make something really simple work, when it wouldn't have been a big deal in the past. You can't use something like eSATA on a macbook pro given the lack of an express slot these days, but thunderbolt has a limited range of products (and the Promise enclosure is noisy). That's just one example. It may get superior speed, but it's more expensive, and it does mean buying and testing new peripherals.



    Totally agree. I have never had a Mac. But I admire the physical design, the HW/SW integration and OSX, but Apple doesn't make a Mac for me.



    I really don't like AiOs and it doesn't help that they have glossy screens which I despise.



    I am not a Thunderbolt fan if it is used to replace other ports either. I have two esata drives I use for backup on my PC. I don't want to have to buy an expensive specialty enclosure and use $50 dollar cables.



    If Apple never builds an xMac I will probably wait until the mini has some future 14nm 6 core with, by then, integrated Intel graphics that have surpassed my current 8800GT.



    But if the want to sell me a machine before 2016, the really should have have something in the mini-Pro gap.
  • Reply 542 of 649
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    ^referencing above post rather than quoting all of it....





    I'm truly undecided what the next machine will be for me right now. The easiest thing to determine is that it won't be the mac pro that is available today. If they refresh it, I'll probably buy one. There would actually be a few advantages for me in running a Windows system (including getting away from the antiquated file system used by OSX). It would just be a very annoying migration.



    The thunderbolt enclosure is quite noisy which goes away from the Apple mentality of all equipment must be silent. All in ones just have a number of issues when it comes to heavy use. I only really suggest one over the baseline mac pro, but for the most part I suggest waiting at this point. With the mini it's kind of another thing where they went a bit extreme for me. I want to see a stationary machine maintain better speed and reliability than a laptop. It's essentially manufactured for situations where mobility doesn't matter and makes the assumption that most present day hardware is fast enough. The mini actually took a long time to gain popularity. For a while there was a rumor that Apple would kill that line.
  • Reply 543 of 649
    I wish someone with a high enough position at Apple could read this forums.

    The advent of the xMac would make more people switch from Windows PCs to Macs. A machine like the xMac requires much less effort on a engineering point of view than any other Mac to develop and update on a regular basis.



    I'm also after a replacement for my desktop PC and I want a Mac this time. I usually keep a desktop machine for 5 years with a small upgrade during that time (usually a new graphics card, more memory and a hard disk). The iMac doesn't let me do that as far as upgrading the GPU is concerned. The Mac Pro is performance overkill and wallet overkill for me. The Mac mini is out fo question. The xMac would be the sweet spot. It also would give a push for graphics card makers to put out some more models for the Mac. I guess everyone would be winning with this: more sales to Apple, more happy Mac users and more sales for 3rd party hardware makers. I really think Apple should release such machine.



    As for the Mac Pro itself. It should keep existing. There are many people relying on these machines and it would be unfair to pull the rug from them.



    Just my two cents...
  • Reply 544 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post


    Totally agree. I have never had a Mac. But I admire the physical design, the HW/SW integration and OSX, but Apple doesn't make a Mac for me.



    You are not alone!

    Quote:

    I really don't like AiOs and it doesn't help that they have glossy screens which I despise.



    Like it or not I consider all in ones something different than a desktop PC. They are more like an appliance than anything else.

    Quote:

    I am not a Thunderbolt fan if it is used to replace other ports either. I have two esata drives I use for backup on my PC. I don't want to have to buy an expensive specialty enclosure and use $50 dollar cables.



    I also find TB unacceptable for many uses. There are some good uses though, hooking up to Apples display and getting a number of new ports is one good use. In the end though rational use of TB won't be to replace low end ports.

    Quote:

    If Apple never builds an xMac I will probably wait until the mini has some future 14nm 6 core with, by then, integrated Intel graphics that have surpassed my current 8800GT.



    Waiting forever means you mis out performance wise in the interim.

    Quote:

    But if the want to sell me a machine before 2016, the really should have have something in the mini-Pro gap.



    This whole statement perplexes me. Frankly you support my opinion that the desktop line up is pathetic. I suspect we are in agreement more than you want to admit.
  • Reply 545 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Waiting forever means you mis out performance wise in the interim.



    This whole statement perplexes me. Frankly you support my opinion that the desktop line up is pathetic. I suspect we are in agreement more than you want to admit.



    I am not waiting. I will just keep buying Windows PC's until Apple builds something I like.



    We are mostly in agreement in what we would like to get from Apple (some kind of xMac).



    But we differ in attitude about the lineup. Just because I don't like AiO computers, doesn't mean I need to denigrate them. I consider iMacs great desktop PCs for people who like AiOs. I think iMacs are the best AiO computers out there.
  • Reply 546 of 649
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post


    Totally agree. I have never had a Mac. But I admire the physical design, the HW/SW integration and OSX, but Apple doesn't make a Mac for me.



    Don't feel bad. I've been using Macs for 18 years. Apple isn't making a Mac for me either.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    Beyond the users that can fit everything they need on a single laptop hard drive, the Apple minimalist design concept starts to falter via an exponential increase in accessories and peripherals required.



    I agree. What good is a great looking Apple product if all that hard work making it look great is hidden behind all the non matching third party external devices you have to buy and hook up to it in order to have a complete system that meets your needs?



    Some sort of mid range mid size no built in monitor desktop Mac is needed.
  • Reply 547 of 649
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    If a significant percentage of desktop users preferred an all-in-one computer like the iMac, or a tiny thing like the Mac Mini, most companies making Windows based computers would be offering such products, but they do not. They are not dumb, but rather, are producing pretty much what buyers want.



    I suspect Apple has refrained from making an xMac because it would hurt, or possibly devastate, the sales of iMacs. So in effect, Apple is sacrificing higher desktop sales in order to protect an iconic product. They would be far better off building a desktop with much higher sales potential, witness what is selling in the world of Windows, and letting iMac sales fall as they may. Apple could afford to carry a low selling iMac in their product line, if it came to that.



    What can we do in the present situation? For those like myself, with moderate performance needs, we can buy a used Mac Pro. Sure it's big, but I have the space and it looks good. I prefer that solution to switching to Windows. Beside the xMac, however, Apple still needs a Mac Pro at the high performance end, for professionals. It could be a little less beautiful and have a lower price tag.
  • Reply 548 of 649
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snoopy View Post


    I suspect Apple has refrained from making an xMac because it would hurt, or possibly devastate, the sales of iMacs. So in effect, Apple is sacrificing higher desktop sales in order to protect an iconic product. They would be far better off building a desktop with much higher sales potential, witness what is selling in the world of Windows, and letting iMac sales fall as they may. Apple could afford to carry a low selling iMac in their product line, if it came to that.



    I really don't think iMac sales would fall very much. I think instead Apple would gain back some of the people that left Apple because there is no xMac type product. Apple would also get long time users like me buying something from Apple. Right now Apple isn't getting any of my money. And lots of others are buying used Mac Pros instead of new Macs so Apple isn't making money from that either.



    And with the market splitting Apple is just as likely to lose iMac sales due to the iPhone and iPad as they would be from offering a mid range desktop.
  • Reply 549 of 649
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snoopy View Post




    I suspect Apple has refrained from making an xMac because it would hurt, or possibly devastate, the sales of iMacs. So in effect, Apple is sacrificing higher desktop sales in order to protect an iconic product. They would be far better off building a desktop with much higher sales potential, witness what is selling in the world of Windows, and letting iMac sales fall as they may. Apple could afford to carry a low selling iMac in their product line, if it came to that.



    Apple tends to hate segmentation and anything from a third party that is not sold through the Apple store. They do like to try to push everything through their own channels, regardless of whether they hold the best option on the market. I don't see it as being about what they can afford to carry. Investors have come to expect enormous margins from Apple. At this point expectations always seem to be set at an unrealistic level especially by analysts so they're always under a lot of pressure to turn out a high ROI on any dollars spent.



    Apple has suggested laptops will ultimately be trending toward thinner designs as we see in the air today. I suspect the imacs are actually in for a big downturn regardless. Wait until Macbook Air - like devices have less restrictive storage, 15" display options, and 500GB or so hard drives. That will really hit the imac hard as it will lose a lot of appeal among consumers, and it will be left with predominantly an awkwardly leveraged prosumer market. By this I mean the people who came from G5 and mac pro towers.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    I really don't think iMac sales would fall very much. I think instead Apple would gain back some of the people that left Apple because there is no xMac type product. Apple would also get long time users like me buying something from Apple. Right now Apple isn't getting any of my money. And lots of others are buying used Mac Pros instead of new Macs so Apple isn't making money from that either.



    And with the market splitting Apple is just as likely to lose iMac sales due to the iPhone and iPad as they would be from offering a mid range desktop.



    They might not. Apple could gain some market share with this, but ultimately it would still be unpopular in corporate markets given difficulty of integration and lack of on site servicing. That is still a very significant market for the desktop models from other oems. Apple has only gotten into those places with things like the iphone and ipad, where it displaced RIM in one, and has no real competition in the other. The other tablets to hit the market have for the most part lacked real support or a long term business strategy. I have no idea why some of these companies just rushed products to market.
  • Reply 550 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    I really don't think iMac sales would fall very much.



    Same here. I am certain an xMac would be nice net gain. I figure most people who buy iMacs like AiOs and very few would switch.



    But they would gain people who don't like AiOs, people who don't like glossy monitors (this is actually the majority from what I have seen on monitor forums).



    The xMac has been one of the most wanted products I have seen in Apple forums for years.



    Since this is about the Mac Pro, how limited would a xMac have to be, to not further marginalize the Pro?



    If it is just a smaller mini-tower with several card slots and a fast i7 for something like half the price of the Pro, it seems like it would push the Pro into a tiny (unsustainable) niche.
  • Reply 551 of 649
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post




    If it is just a smaller mini-tower with several card slots and a fast i7 for something like half the price of the Pro, it seems like it would push the Pro into a tiny (unsustainable) niche.



    Apple hates anything they see as a niche or shrinking market. They seem to put a lot of energy into bringing very few designs to market. For any company there are a ton of designs that don't work out for each one that is actually manufactured and sold. For Apple I imagine the culling rate is much higher. The iphone is always defined by minor variations on a single design with each generation. While the ipad line will probably expand at some point, it's again a single design shipped in enormous volume. Shipping huge workstation class machines still isn't going to be a huge growth market for them. An xmac might bring in additional sales, but I think if they do bring out any kind of mini tower configuration, it would ultimately end up as a successor to a machine like the mac pro, rather than a complement to it.
  • Reply 552 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    An xmac might bring in additional sales, but I think if they do bring out any kind of mini tower configuration, it would ultimately end up as a successor to a machine like the mac pro, rather than a complement to it.



    I mostly agree.



    So what could a Viable xMac, Pro lineup look like?



    xMac: Pizza Box style (similar to a big Mini) with just one slot and two 3.5" internal bays starting around $999 with an i5.



    Pro: Slightly cost reduced to start at $1999.
  • Reply 553 of 649
    I think Falcons lineup shows what is possible for MacPro today, and they are not as slow of the mark to market, infact this is quite a tasty machine and just shows what a MacPro is up against...



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvidia/...8175/lightbox/



    click on the photo for details, again I have nothing to do with them just sharing what is possible out there. don't AI allow pics on the forum then?
  • Reply 554 of 649
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post


    I think Falcons lineup shows what is possible for MacPro today, and they are not as slow of the mark to market, infact this is quite a tasty machine and just shows what a MacPro is up against...



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvidia/...8175/lightbox/



    click on the photo for details, again I have nothing to do with them just sharing what is possible out there. don't AI allow pics on the forum then?



    Yeah, they do allow photos but you have to 1) use the button to markup the link to the photo (which you did), but you also have to use a link to the photo, not the page the photo is on.
  • Reply 555 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post


    I think Falcons lineup shows what is possible for MacPro today, and they are not as slow of the mark to market, infact this is quite a tasty machine and just shows what a MacPro is up against...



    This is essentially just a custom PC assembler. This is the same thing the DiY market has been doing for decades and about as far away from Apple as possible.



    Even so, falcon are aimed almost completely at gamers. They don't seem to even have options for server CPU/Chipset/ECC Ram.



    You get even more choice if you just go to any local computer shop, they will get any component on the market for you. Since the early 90's (when I retired my Amiga) I have specified every component in all my PCs.



    It is a given that Apple isn't going to compete with the DiY/custom market.
  • Reply 556 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post


    This is essentially just a custom PC assembler. This is the same thing the DiY market has been doing for decades and about as far away from Apple as possible.



    There is no basis for the above statement. Frankly the machine is probably a better fit for many markets than the Mac Pro.

    Quote:

    Even so, falcon are aimed almost completely at gamers. They don't seem to even have options for server CPU/Chipset/ECC Ram.



    The whole point of this thread is that most professional users don't need server grade hardware. They especially don't need server grade hardware in an overpriced box.

    Quote:

    You get even more choice if you just go to any local computer shop, they will get any component on the market for you. Since the early 90's (when I retired my Amiga) I have specified every component in all my PCs.



    It is a given that Apple isn't going to compete with the DiY/custom market.



    Of course not. However Apple doesn't currently compete in the desktop market. in a way though the Mac Pro is in a sense similar to a custom machine. It simply isn't a high volume machine and is tailored for a certain class of user.
  • Reply 557 of 649
    Quote:

    but you also have to use a link to the photo, not the page the photo is on.



    gotcha thanks solipsism.





    Snowdog65
    Quote:

    Even so, falcon are aimed almost completely at gamers. They don't seem to even have options for server CPU/Chipset/ECC Ram.



    gamer machines use much the same parts as pro workstations, the MacPro is/was an in-between design taking advantage of duel Zeon processors of the server elk and GPUs of the gaming market feature which gave them the advantage albeit at a price over the equivalent PC workstations, but todays i7-3960X CPU is an 8 core single processor restricted to 6core presently (with rumers of 16 / 20 cores to come...) and coupled with a suitable graphics PCIe GPU I like the GTX590 custom designed cab with maybe miniPCIe 2.5" card HDs or SSDs would make a perfect next generation MacX to fill the void in the apple lineup that so many seem to crave for.



    Quote:

    You get even more choice if you just go to any local computer shop, they will get any component on the market for you.



    Perhaps the Hackintosh is the way of the future for the MacOS pro market if their is going to be one, looking at the capability of the new Falcon Mack5 and indeed the new impressive nVidea Maximus GPU parallel processing graphics workstation (laugh at my suggestion as you may! I'd check it out first though.) but these machines coupled with future 4K 3D editing creative film/animation and sound recording like software is going to be a benchmark that any design of MacPro is going to have to match to stay desirable let alone be competitive.



    And will there be any Professional market left with any faith in MacOS by then?.
  • Reply 558 of 649
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    However Apple doesn't currently compete in the desktop market.



    What desktop market? Desktop sales pale in comparison to notebook sales, and that's without even considering Apple's notebook dominance. They'd probably make more money bringing the iPod Classic back than trying to profit from a budget or gaming xMac. Like it or not towers are not what the typical customer wants or needs.
  • Reply 559 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post


    This is essentially just a custom PC assembler. This is the same thing the DiY market has been doing for decades and about as far away from Apple as possible.



    There is no basis for the above statement. Frankly the machine is probably a better fit for many markets than the Mac Pro.



    Huh? I see lots of basis.



    Are you saying they aren't a custom builder?

    I am on their page and the page heading is:

    "The Best Custom Built Computers for Gaming and Business"

    So it is clear that they are custom builders.



    You don't think DiY market has been doing this for decades? I think it obvious that DiY market HAS been doing this for decades.



    You don't think Apple is the furthest thing form the DiY market? That would be news to me.



    Exactly how was there no basis for my statement? It is exactly the reality. Apple is never going to compete in the DiY market.



    Quote:

    The whole point of this thread is that most professional users don't need server grade hardware. They especially don't need server grade hardware in an overpriced box.



    I didn't see where that was the whole point. I originally thought you might be able to save cash by dropping server parts for low end users, but the more I look into, the more I think anyone who is doing computation intensive work in a business environment, ECC memory should be standard. The cost is minimal and the improvement in memory reliability is dramatic. On a serious work machine this should at least be an option.
  • Reply 560 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post


    gamer machines use much the same parts as pro workstations, the MacPro is/was an in-between design taking advantage of duel Zeon processors of the server elk and GPUs of the gaming market feature which gave them the advantage albeit at a price over the equivalent PC workstations, but todays i7-3960X CPU is an 8 core single processor restricted to 6core presently (with rumers of 16 / 20 cores to come...) and coupled with a suitable graphics PCIe GPU I like the GTX590 custom designed cab with maybe miniPCIe 2.5" card HDs or SSDs would make a perfect next generation MacX to fill the void in the apple lineup that so many seem to crave for.



    I am not even sure what you are saying here. i7-3960X/GTX590 from Falcon is $4500, certainly not the starting point for a MacX.



    Even most professional users don't have any use for GTX590 unless they have some ultra specialized CUDA number crunching.



    A Mac X, would be more like a basic Intel i5, with a Radeon 6770.
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