Editorial: What will Apple do with the Macintosh?

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  • Reply 181 of 198
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member
    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...
  • Reply 182 of 198
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    v5v wrote: »
    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 Engineering refused to pay premium coin for woefully outdated hardware so they went with Windows instead.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.
    jim w wrote:
    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.
    jim w wrote:
    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!'.
    jim w wrote:
    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.
  • Reply 183 of 198
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member


    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.

  • Reply 184 of 198
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member


    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. 

  • Reply 185 of 198
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    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...
  • Reply 186 of 198
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    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.

  • Reply 187 of 198
    e2560260e2560260 Posts: 1member
    Another good article about the upcoming mac pro 6,1 www.proappusers.com/mac-pro-2013-61/
  • Reply 188 of 198
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    jim w wrote: »
    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
    jim w wrote: »
    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:

    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="gd" style="width:606px;background-color:rgb(245,245,245);margin-top:1px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:1px;margin-left:0px;"><tbody>[TR]
    [SIZE=12px] [TD]
    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...
    [/TD][/SIZE]
    [/TR]
    </tbody></table>

    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):


    [VIDEO]


    On the Mac Pro, he could only make videos like this:


    but with the new HP, videos like this are possible:


    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.
    jim w wrote: »
    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.
    jim w wrote: »
    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.
    jim w wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 189 of 198
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    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!

  • Reply 190 of 198
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    v5v wrote: »
    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'.
    jim w wrote:
    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.
  • Reply 191 of 198
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member
    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!
  • Reply 192 of 198
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member

    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?

  • Reply 193 of 198
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    jim w wrote: »
    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.
    jim w wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 194 of 198
    vositisvositis Posts: 1member
    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.
  • Reply 195 of 198
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    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.

  • Reply 196 of 198
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    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?

  • Reply 197 of 198
    louis12louis12 Posts: 1member


    I apologize for causing stomach ailments on a Sunday evening for you guys.  Was just trying to get the imagination rolling.  


     


    Hopefully, someone more artistically inclined than myself will come up with something nice and post it for all of us to see, and to cure the indigestion I have caused.  I never graduated from stickfigures...

  • Reply 198 of 198
    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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