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



  • Reply 81 of 649
    hankx32hankx32 Posts: 121member
    Maybe Apple ramps down production of Mac Pro but creates a kind of Apple Custom Shop that caters to hollywood and scientists by allowing them to custom order any computer configuration they can dream of that would be made to order...
  • Reply 82 of 649
    Well, I'd love to see something a little bigger that the current mac mini (maybe the size of two of the stacked) but with a sweet dedicated graphics card, maybe an option for dual processors (or at least top of the line processor options), a much higher upper RAM limit and an option for dual hard disk but for even something like that if they're going to push thunderbolt then they better start putting more than just 1 port on each machine. I understand laptops but for a screen less box they can afford to put some extra ports on. Would be a lovely balance of power and size and could allow me to attach it to a large TV and serve as my "home base" machine attached to an external RAID in combo with the wireless keyboard/mouse I already have. I also understand that Apple is pushing the whole anti-optical drive agenda but since they do offer the external superdrive to those with the macbook airs how about redesigning the damned this to work with thunderbolt and giving it blue ray capability? I mean isn't it about freaking time? As for dumping the mac pros, I'd think they would want to redesign and keep it, if nothing else for prestige of having a true muscle machine. Anyway, hope my two little pipe dreams above come true and I'd be a happy camper getting them along with the upcoming ultra-thin macbook pros.
  • Reply 83 of 649
    I am just trying to decide between a high iMac and Mac Pro. Price and Xeons finally made the decision for me - go iMac.

    Apple can sell the Mac Pro if they'd build high end i5 and i7 configurations. I don't want a high core-count, but slow clock speed Xeon. Put in the latest greatest i7 and bus and include a full grown graphics card with multiple SSD options and you could probably sell a bunch of these for $2000-2500. Position them to overlap with the higher iMacs with a value proposition of expandability vs all-in-oneness and they'd have lots of buyers.

    The Xeons just cost too much.
  • Reply 84 of 649
    I run a studio with four edit suites, all running Final Cut Studio on a fiber network with shared/ managed storage. We were using Final Cut Server as well, but since future friendly software is essential for archived projects, we have moved away from FC server software for project management. This decision was made instantly after Apple end-of-life'd the FC Server.

    Our artists use professional high-end compositing and 3D software to create HD material for broadcast. For us, the Mac Pro is true to it's name. It is a reliable, essential tool in our professional workflows. A mac mini design, will not support the fiber cards that we require, or the video card upgrades that we use for heavy lifting on graphics. Thunderbolt will not adequately address our needs for multiple displays in conjunction with the networked storage as well.

    If Mac Pro is abandoned, our entire business, and many others in production will be forced to abandon Apple products and workflows. This has already begun (in haste IMHO) with a sort of exodus after the release of Final Cut X - which despite claims to the contrary, is not a viable professional tool for anyone that's not a one-man, one-computer business.

    It's my hope that Apple will announce an adequate Mac Pro replacement in the future, and for the love of professional, perhaps even a roadmap to ease our minds. This year has been a scary one for Mac-based post production people.
  • Reply 85 of 649
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 516member
    Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

    I disagree. The real problem is that technology has changed. ...

    What does one need a giant tower for that can't be better handled by external gear? The only thing a Mac Pro has going for it is processing power and RAM. Put that in a Mac Mini Pro.

    Yes, but that's a pretty significant thing. For heavy graphics work (3d rendering, huge baked textures getting pulled into CS5) while running Xcode, Safari, Mail, and popping in and out of other dev tools, Aperture, etc., and tossing in running Windows in a VM on and off, it turns out the CPUs and RAM are pretty key, a decent video card doesn't hurt either, and it's nice being able to slap drives right in the machine as well. I'm not sure how well that will fit in a Mini Pro.

    The other issue is that the majority of the price of the Pro tower isn't coming from having expansion slots and some drive bays - it's the Xeon server CPUs that Intel is able to totally price-gouge on given AMD's lack of competitiveness in that space. The 2006 Pro tower was extremely competitive on price in general, and the later ones keep drifting higher - and the only component going up is the Xeon.

    It might help Apple's sales to do a 'normal' tower with a high end non-Xeon CPU as well, but the additional cores are a huge help on my work, and going iMac isn't an option. The upgrade cycle currently is very long since Intel hasn't done that much recently to make an upgrade worth it - and Apple not having an upgrade doesn't help those who would pull the trigger. Sort of a catch-22 there... complain that sales aren't high enough while not updating the product because the sales keep dropping.

    I'd really HATE to end up on friggin' Windows again just because Apple can't see their way to produce an actual high-end machine. Sadly, they may not care since they're making more on consumer products, but some of the very apps that help sell their consumer products are created on Pro towers today. Pretty sad if they get to where you have to use Windows to make Mac & iOS apps. :/
  • Reply 86 of 649
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

    . If Apple has a bold plan for the future that doesn't include heavy iron, I'm interested in seeing where it's going.


    Gadgets so easy to use, even a cave man can do it.

    So far, that has been the most successful strategy Apple has ever had. They never made it as a computer company. The big bucks started to flow when they started down the path to being a gadget company. That is clearly their direction now.
  • Reply 87 of 649
    So long as they come out with a computer with expansion possibilities to allow me to connect 3 or 4 displays then I'll be happy.
  • Reply 88 of 649
    They really just need a viable tower. The Mac Pro is a huge, expensive dinosaur that I would like to see disappear off the face of the Earth, but you shouldn't have to buy a PC to get a machine with a replaceable video card.

    Even a taller Mac Mini with a graphics card slot and drive bay would appease a lot of people.
  • Reply 89 of 649
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Apple is making more money from computers than every other computer company on the market. This is before we even get to the gadgets.

    Apple has fared a lot better at selling computers than Compaq, Packard Bell, Gateway, e-Machines, IBM and the rest of the long list Wintel companies.

    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    Gadgets so easy to use, even a cave man can do it.

    So far, that has been the most successful strategy Apple has ever had. They never made it as a computer company. The big bucks started to flow when they started down the path to being a gadget company. That is clearly their direction now.

  • Reply 90 of 649
    richsrichs Posts: 13member
    Seems like there would be a lot of interest in a "beefed-up" version of the mini, maybe... wait for it... in a "cube" form factor!

    Like the newton, the old cube wasn't the "bad idea" it was made out to be... it was just way too early for the market.
  • Reply 91 of 649
    This is just the latest step in Apple's long term plans to morph itself into a consumer electronics and entertainment company. OS X has been dumbed down and iOS-ized, the Xserves are gone, they removed features from OS X Lion server, Final Cut X is a joke among video pros, their only current monitor doesn't even work with the Mac Pro or Macbooks older than six months. The last two years have been a disaster for pros who depend on Macs to do their work. At my company we're looking at Windows 7 and Linux PCs to replace our Macs because Apple seems determined to abandon the professional power user.
  • Reply 92 of 649
    pokepoke Posts: 506member
    I think Apple should ditch the Mac Pro and the iMac and replace them with a configurable mid-range headless desktop. Make it a bigger, faster Mac mini. Maybe it can be a cube!
  • Reply 93 of 649
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

    Why would Apple do this seeing how Dell and HP are rolling in money supporting enterprise and "Pro" users.

    I guess it depends on your definition of "rolling in money."
  • Reply 94 of 649
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,775member
    Originally Posted by ort View Post

    They have limitted sales because they rarely update them and they are WAY overpriced.

    It's time to come out with something cheaper. You could always buy a decent Mac tower for about $1,500 bucks in the past, and now the cost of entry is $2,600. It's ridiculous.

    I completely agree with you. The Mac Pros back in 2006 weren't quite so overpriced as they are now, the latest ones are utterly extortionate. It's no wonder people aren't buying them. I have a 2006 Mac Pro that's still going great, albeit with a slightly dodgy PSU. Buying an initially more expensive machine that's upgradeable really makes sense to me. My MP cost about £2500 in 2006, but if it wasn't for upgradeable graphics, I would have been forced to sell on the otherwise perfect machine long ago. The CPUs in this machine are plenty fast enough, it's always the GPU that's the bottleneck for me.

    If I'd bought an iMac in 2006 instead, by 2008 the original ATI 1900XT would have started to show its age, and I would have needed to upgrade. With an iMac, the only option is a new machine. Then again in 2010, the 8800 in the second iMac would either be bust (making the machine pretty much worthless) or too slow, so I would have needed another new machine. If the 8800 in a Mac Pro died, no sweat, just replace it for £150, or less for a second hand card.

    Let's tot up the totals for the ownership costs of a Mac Pro vs an iMac since 2006:

    Initial Mac Pro price: £2500

    Initial iMac price: £1600

    First Mac Pro Graphics card upgrade: £200

    Sale of old iMac (presumed working): £600

    New iMac: £1600

    Second Mac Pro graphics card upgrade: £200

    Sale of second old iMac (presumed working): £600

    New iMac: £1600

    Total for Mac Pro: £2900

    Total for iMac: £3600

    Obviously these prices are estimates, but from my reckoning they're pretty accurate. You can see how much more expensive it is to keep getting new machines, and the longer you keep upgrading the same machine, the more you benefit.

    Software that's primarily CPU based doesn't seem to have bloated quite so much over recent years, making CPU improvements less important. Software running on GPUs advances in leaps and bounds, especially games, making it much more important to upgrade. Also, if the logic board or GPU dies on an iMac, then you're pretty much stuffed, and may as well fork out for a new machine. With the Mac Pro, you can replace it for much less due to less soldered on parts (like the GPU).

    If Apple had just one PCI-E slot inside the iMac so you could replace the graphics card, I'd be sold. There's actually quite a bit of room inside iMacs, especially in the 27" model. Plenty to fit a standard graphics card. Either that, or a Mini Mac Pro as some have suggested. That'd be great, two HDD slots, two PCI-E and 4 RAM slots. Perfect!
  • Reply 95 of 649
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

    I guess it depends on your definition of "rolling in money."

    I think you are using the wrong metric to prove your point
  • Reply 96 of 649
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

    The vast majority of people just don't need them. The pro laptops and upper end iMacs have more power than all but the most demanding video editors might need. They run basically any video game well too. Still, there's no question the Mac Pro provides power that high end prosumers and professionals can't get elsewhere on the Mac platform.

    True, but the Mac Pro isn't supposed to get the vast majority of the sales, either. And the iMac has mobility graphics. Some people need what's in the Mac Pro, and for them, the iMac simply doesn't cut it. The Mac Pro is for them, so they don't *have* to defect to Windows.
  • Reply 97 of 649
    I'm sure I'll be in the minority with this opinion, but I think the MacPro chassis externally has the kind of classic design associated with the 911 series in cars or the 747 in aircraft. Instantly recognizable by its silhouette, substantial to the touch and indifferent to surrounding examples of its kind - unless they are also MacPros. It also delivers internally - mine drives two monitors including a 30' Cinema Display, all drive bays are fully populated and the RAM cards almost so, and I'd have to stop to count the items hanging from every port. It does triple duty as workstation, entertainment center and file server, sometimes all at once. I appreciate the fact it has worked mostly without complaint over five years. I think it still has life not only as a workstation but as a platform for showcasing Apple design and concepts. That being said, if Apple does drop the Pro I think the bulked-up Mini described elsewhere in this thread should be waiting in the wings.
  • Reply 98 of 649
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

    Why not?

    Even if the Mac Pro disappears, Apple will continue to make iMacs, and most hackintoshes uses the same CPU's that iMacs use.

    Short answer: It is not approved by Apple and they are capable of preventing it if they choose to.
  • Reply 99 of 649
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 516member
    Originally Posted by conigs View Post


    What would be unfortunate for Apple if they discontinue the Mac Pros is that almost all the software I use at this point (After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema4D, and several plugins) is platform agnostic. Shops that need the power and are due for an upgrade will switch to Windows systems. This could then lead to a reverse Apple halo effect where people (like me) who have been invested in Macs for so long can realize that Windows & PC workstations are in fact a usable alternative and resemble little of the WindowsXP experience they probably migrated from. Then when it's time to upgrade at home, they might more seriously consider a Windows box. Then what about that iPhone? Then they start talking to their family & friends about how much better Windows has gotten? (Keep in mind, that was all hypothetical.)

    While iOS has been a huge boon to Apple, they seem to have forgotten that there were a good number of people who migrated to Macs based on recommendations from pros (family & friends) who were working with them, the "cool" factor of seeing high-profile films & other jobs completed with them, or a combination of the two. However, in a post PC world, perhaps the Mac overall will be less & less relevant to Apple. Time will tell and few outside of Cupertino know the answers.

    It's certainly possible. I moved to the Mac because it was more stable and let me get work done, and I consequently became an advocate for the platform. If Apple can't keep the machines on the leading edge and turns them into half-iOS devices, I'm not sure I'd be so happy. I guess one thing in Apple's favor there is that Windows 8 in its current state looks like it could drive more users to Apple regardless of where Apple is heading.
  • Reply 100 of 649
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,147member
    I understand that the iMac is usually a far better value for the majority of people, but isn't this punching the most hardcore developers in the face? I know Apple kills products whos sales are slumping rather quickly, but it wouldn't cost much to keep it updated with SB based Xeons and Thunderbolt.

    And besides, they killed the Xserve too, are they expecting people to run business servers on a Mini?
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