Editorial: What will Apple do with the Macintosh?

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  • Reply 101 of 198
    ksecksec Posts: 1,554member


    There is simply not enough market for a Mac Pro. Like most others have already concluded, iMac and MBP are simply more then powerful enough for those needs. And within a few more years, more powerful GPU and CPU with better software for GPGPU usage to cater for the rest.


     


    But Apple should not abandon it simple because there isn't a market.


     


    The most obvious thing to do is to make a Mac Pro that could somehow be rack mounted, be it 2 Mac Pro in one 2U, or others ideas, making the MacPro both useful for Servers, which could be used in Apple's DC as well as sold to Professional Users that requires Xeon and ECC Ram.


     


    Having a market with surging needs of Servers, ( those that want a OSX Virtualization ) and a fixed or non growing market of professional, that should keep the Mac Pro alive for decades to come.

  • Reply 102 of 198
    hungoverhungover Posts: 602member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    There is simply not enough market for a Mac Pro. Like most others have already concluded, iMac and MBP are simply more then powerful enough for those needs. And within a few more years, more powerful GPU and CPU with better software for GPGPU usage to cater for the rest.


     


    But Apple should not abandon it simple because there isn't a market.


     


    The most obvious thing to do is to make a Mac Pro that could somehow be rack mounted, be it 2 Mac Pro in one 2U, or others ideas, making the MacPro both useful for Servers, which could be used in Apple's DC as well as sold to Professional Users that requires Xeon and ECC Ram.


     


    Having a market with surging needs of Servers, ( those that want a OSX Virtualization ) and a fixed or non growing market of professional, that should keep the Mac Pro alive for decades to come.



    there in lies part of the problem, whilst demand might be low, you need to take hit on profit margins to retain your customer base from time to time. It is not reasonable to assume that you can generate stellar profits from every sector.

  • Reply 103 of 198
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    ascii 2013/04/27 02:38pm
    The Mac is not going anywhere. Imagine an alternative history where Apple had never made computers and had started with the iPod, then the iPhone and iPad. What would the endless chorus from the media be? "When will they make a laptop"

    No, the question being asked would be "Apple who?"
  • Reply 104 of 198
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    Possibly just me being grouchy then.  I don't see how the question was really answered at all though.  

    Well, in reality no one except Apple can truly 'answer' the question, can they?
  • Reply 105 of 198
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Daniel makes a point I haven't seen made before... That even if it isn't a top market niche, the Pro acts as the Le Mans of R&D, giving them a real world test track for cutting edge technologies that will eventually trickle down to their real money makers. A verticals lab that few others ( if any) have.
  • Reply 106 of 198
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    [...] a microscopic group of non-professional, self-deluded weenies who are living in the past, and don't like Apple very much in the first place.



     


    Wow. That's so insulting it would likely precipitate a physical response if delivered in person.


     


    I don't happen to need that much storage myself, but I know a couple people who do, and another who simply prefers to not be bothered with having to constantly cycle content, choosing to simply load her entire library at once and be done with it. They are neither self-deluded nor weenies.


     


    As for liking Apple, that is a characteristic reserved for the fanatical zealots. You won't find most people evangelizing for the company that built the speakers in their living room, the appliances in their kitchen or the manufacturer of their lighting. Most people choose a product based on its suitability for their purpose, not because of a love affair with the manufacturer. Still, just as a person who doesn't like Ford probably isn't going to be buying a Transit anytime soon, it should be obvious that someone who doesn't "like Apple very much" isn't going to buy an iPod.


     


    Assuming you ARE the type who "likes Apple very much," I would suggest that insulting those who buy its products is not an effective means of promotion.

  • Reply 107 of 198
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    I don't think Apple cares so much about Windows capability anymore.


     


    Based on what I've seen in our plant, I think it matters MORE on a "pro" machine than a consumer model. As you know, certain industry-standard programs are Windows-only, and it's easier and more cost-effective for the designers/artists to switch operating systems on a single workstation than it is to either futz with screwy KVM setups or physically reposition to a separate machine.

  • Reply 108 of 198
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member


      We sold a G5 Mac Pro which ran a Pro Tools TDM system last year, as a interested buyer appeared and we figured what the heck.  So that rig was replaced with a 2012 MBP (same external monitor) and PT10 and a new native interface.   Forget power, forget rendering, forget screens.  I now need two fully loaded up hubs (USB for dongles and periphs, FW for drives and interface) whereas before I needed neither.   Here's a good example:  Apple is so tight on the spacing with the ports that I can't use several of the dongles without the hubs anyway!   (Forget about using two thumb drives, I can't do that at all.  A hub just for those times).  There is no way around the octopus of cables and wall warts just for these two things.   Haven't even touched on storage or video (or laptop audio ) outs. Since I use the MBP screen as well having it out of the way is not an option.  All roads lead to the top of the desk, so the hubs are all as far as I can get them but snake to the desk, and of course it's good enough.   Previously at this space we had every bay filled with large and fast drives which covered every angle.  Bring out externals only at the end of the day to have the files exist at another location, so I didn't even have drives (and their FW cables and power supplies) attached 80% of the time.  Naturally a multi-bay enclosure gives us back some of that, but it's yet another external solution to give me back what I had, though with another FW and PS cable  : )


     


      Plenty of other similar differences to using a laptop or iMac.    These are of course mostly issues that can be helped by throwing several hundreds of dollars at it, and we have.    When the suitable for our needs T-bolt docks arrive we'll spend another $400 just to move more of the cabling away from the computer.   


     


      Sure, a pimped out Mac Mini would be a somewhat better hub for this, but there were enough (mostly functional) cons with a mini of the time to go with the MBP.


     


      I miss having a tricked out (even older, slower) desktop which served as the axis for the rig while sitting 20 feet away.  We are awaiting the new Mac Pros if only so we can go back to those days, horsepower and other 2013 niceties are secondary.

  • Reply 109 of 198
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post


    Link?



    http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/12/06/apple-will-invest-100m-to-bring-some-production-of-macs-to-us-in-2013


    http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/04/16/florida.set.to.become.important.apple.hub/


    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/04/08/apples-us-based-chip-development-expanding-in-florida-could-be-related-to-fingerprint-tech


     


    Here are some related links, I dont think Florida is where the manufacturing facility will be built but it will have two research facilities for chips one for the authentec buy and one for the A series as both articles note that apple is already listing jobs for those facilities.


     


    But the first article is about what Tim Cook said that one mac line will be built in the US and apple is dropping 100 million to make it so this year.  Because the Mac Pro is a small line that amount of money for a facility to build the Mac Pro would be an appropriate amount.

  • Reply 110 of 198
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    While Apple hasn't technically confirmed a Mac Pro, there was a model identifier separate from the iMac. 


    Actually shortly after Tim told the user that there would be a new mac pro an apple spokes person confirmed there would be to Forbes:  


     


    Quote:


    An Apple spokesman just told me that new models and new designs of the Mac Pro, as well as the iMac desktop, are in the works and will likely be released in 2013. That confirms what New York Times columnist David Pogue said yesterday, citing an unnamed Apple executive, about Apple’s commitment to its desktop computers.



    Article here:  http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/12/apple-spokesperson-confirms-new-mac-pro-and-imac-designs-likely-coming-in-2013/

  • Reply 111 of 198
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by isaidso View Post


    Thunderbolt expansion chassis are great now



     


    Unless you want to use a GPU/Video card. Then they're not all that useful.

  • Reply 112 of 198
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.
  • Reply 113 of 198
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


     


    I would think the Mac Pro would be well served by hanving 3 separate Thunderbolt full bandwidth controllers on-board so that they aren't shared to match 3 PCI-E 3.0 full x16 slots support on the card to allow for a triple GPGPU or a dual and then a CAD based separate third card specifically for CAD/CAM.



    That would be outstanding

  • Reply 114 of 198
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.


    Apple is  not eliminating there Mac Pro line.  Which is what all the talk here has been about, the new Mac Pro that Tim Cook said would happen this year.

  • Reply 115 of 198
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member


    I fully appreciate the benefits of Apple's "shed the old, embrace the new" approach to interface design, but in the case of a "pro" machine, I wonder if pushing everything outside the box is a good idea?


     


    A lot of what we've traditionally relied on internal devices to accomplish can now be done with external units, but it's more hassle, more expensive, and in SOME cases, all but impossible (try finding an external solution that's equivalent to a top-of-the-line NVidia GPU/video card). External solutions are usually less capable and more expensive than their PCIe counterparts (look at Blackmagic Design or RME for examples). An outboard Blu-Ray burner cost 3-4X as much as an internal, though maybe that's now such a niche use, even in pro circles, that it's not worth reserving space for even a BTO drive option?


     


    In my case I'd be stretched just swinging the budget for the computer so increasing the cost of peripherals would be a hardship, but maybe for most buyers an extra few hundred bucks per device isn't a big deal when they're paying 3 to 6 grand for the computer.


     


    Thoughts?

  • Reply 116 of 198
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.

    Pixar uses Linux machines:

    http://www-03.ibm.com/linux/events/pdf/PixarLinuxWorld NYC.pdf
    http://news.cnet.com/IBM-puts-Linux-converts-on-display/2100-1016_3-826926.html

    Those are older references but there are recent videos that show the workstations:


    [VIDEO]




    They comment on Steve Jobs' building design decision in the second one. There is some Apple kit there like 30" Cinema displays, Macbook Pros and Apple keyboards but no sign of Mac Pros. They could be running Linux on Mac Pros but the bulk of their render machines aren't:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20068109-52/new-technology-revs-up-pixars-cars-2/

    "Pixar had to triple its size, and today, the render farm features 12,500 cores on Dell render blades."

    Businesses like that have to stay on the cutting edge and custom build a lot of tools:

    http://blogs.nvidia.com/2013/03/pixar-using-gpus-to-slay-latency-in-computer-generated-animation/

    "Pixar uses tessellation shaders running on GPUs to preview characters’ hair styles. Among the things they’re looking for are stray hairs, consistency of thickness, and whether hair will block something important behind it in the final shot. Any such rendering on GPUs also must match renders on the CPU, which is where Pixar runs its proprietary RenderMan software."

    You can't even do that with OS X because it's running a 3-4 year old version of OpenGL. They definitely have some Mac laptops though:

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/7/4074956/pixar-senior-scientist-derose-explains-how-math-makes-movies-games

    ILM has a similar setup:

    http://www.fxguide.com/quicktakes/day-1-at-fmx-2013/

    "Nowadays there is much more commercial software being used across the board and that the hardware infrastructure is no longer SGI (Silicon Graphics) hardware but off the shelf Dell or HP machines."

    It's understandable why this happens, it's just the way business works. HP and Dell don't make a lot of profit on their consumer products so their workstation and server products make up a lot of their income. They stay on top of their hardware upgrades because they have to. Apple doesn't have that dependency. If the customer wants to be running Linux anyway, a Mac isn't the ideal machine for the job.
  • Reply 117 of 198
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jlandd View Post


      We sold a G5 Mac Pro which ran a Pro Tools TDM system last year, as a interested buyer appeared and we figured what the heck.  So that rig was replaced with a 2012 MBP (same external monitor) and PT10 and a new native interface.   Forget power, forget rendering, forget screens.  I now need two fully loaded up hubs (USB for dongles and periphs, FW for drives and interface) whereas before I needed neither.   Here's a good example:  Apple is so tight on the spacing with the ports that I can't use several of the dongles without the hubs anyway!   (Forget about using two thumb drives, I can't do that at all.  A hub just for those times).  There is no way around the octopus of cables and wall warts just for these two things.   Haven't even touched on storage or video (or laptop audio ) outs. Since I use the MBP screen as well having it out of the way is not an option.  All roads lead to the top of the desk, so the hubs are all as far as I can get them but snake to the desk, and of course it's good enough.   Previously at this space we had every bay filled with large and fast drives which covered every angle.  Bring out externals only at the end of the day to have the files exist at another location, so I didn't even have drives (and their FW cables and power supplies) attached 80% of the time.  Naturally a multi-bay enclosure gives us back some of that, but it's yet another external solution to give me back what I had, though with another FW and PS cable  : )


     


      Plenty of other similar differences to using a laptop or iMac.    These are of course mostly issues that can be helped by throwing several hundreds of dollars at it, and we have.    When the suitable for our needs T-bolt docks arrive we'll spend another $400 just to move more of the cabling away from the computer.   


     


      Sure, a pimped out Mac Mini would be a somewhat better hub for this, but there were enough (mostly functional) cons with a mini of the time to go with the MBP.


     


      I miss having a tricked out (even older, slower) desktop which served as the axis for the rig while sitting 20 feet away.  We are awaiting the new Mac Pros if only so we can go back to those days, horsepower and other 2013 niceties are secondary.



    Couldn't have said it better. An iMac or Thunderbolt connected setup cannot be taken seriously at the pro level unless your needs are very specific or you don't mind clutter. I just love the comments of people who have never worked in a professional space. Have you ever even seen a pro level graphics card? They are bigger than a Mac Mini, draw large amounts of power,  and would cause an iMac to explode if it were possible to shoe horn one in, let alone cool it. That is only one subsystem. For the reasons stated above, I have no desire to get into a system like the one described above, a mess. Please, a Mac Pro tower with Pci 3 and an open selection of graphics cards. Thunderbolt 1 and eventually 2 for peripherals, Firewire for legacy, and plenty of fast RAM. And it wouldn't cost $30k...

  • Reply 118 of 198
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post



    Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.


    They never used Mac Pros or G5s.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post







    You can't even do that with OS X because it's running a 3-4 year old version of OpenGL. They definitely have some Mac laptops though:


    It's not just that. OpenGL performance in OSX has really slipped in the past several years.

  • Reply 119 of 198
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,066member
    [quote]...deliver a really high end, attention getting workstation just for bragging rights.[/quote]

    That is what will happen, It makes perfect sense to have a fully kick ass professional unit.
  • Reply 120 of 198
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    jim w wrote: »
    An iMac or Thunderbolt connected setup cannot be taken seriously at the pro level unless your needs are very specific or you don't mind clutter.

    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.
    jim w wrote: »
    I just love the comments of people who have never worked in a professional space. Have you ever even seen a pro level graphics card? They are bigger than a Mac Mini, draw large amounts of power,  and would cause an iMac to explode if it were possible to shoe horn one in, let alone cool it.

    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.
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