Editorial: Will Apple's $6k+ Mac Pro require brainwash marketing to sell?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited December 2019
Apple's high-end pro market has long wished for a seriously fast Mac workstation. The premium new system Apple debuted at WWDC19 is one of the most expensive Macs ever, but it is being sold at a time when unit sales of desktop Macs are small and not really growing. Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?


As pictured is worth $10,000

The flawgic behind Apple's billion brainwashings

Previous segments looked at how Apple plans products and builds them. Here, examine the criticism that Apple brainwashes the world to pay too much for its products.

It's common to hear that Apple's global sales -- at Average Selling Prices that are often several times that of its rivals -- are just a matter of the company being able to fool people into thinking that they need something that is wildly overpriced and should actually be half the cost, and really should have been delivered two years ago.

A couple of decades ago, this idea would be a little easier to swallow. Apple once had--much like Microsoft Surface or Google Pixel today--a tight, cult-like following of a few million people, mostly in the U.S., who paid a premium for a brand that they had an emotional relationship with. Calling them "brainwashed" was an excessive pejorative, but they were not representative of the masses.

Today, more than half of the active mobile activity in the U.S., Japan, and other affluent Western countries comes from iOS. Apple's billion and a half active devices in use very much do represent mainstream consumers. If you're more popular than a religion, you're not a religion.

Apple's minimal ad budget

Apple has frequently won awards for its marketing, most recently 2019 Creative Marketer of the Year from Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. But while many of Apple's ads have been iconic, memorable, or even tear-jerking, they haven't necessarily pushed significant numbers of people to buy a specific product with obvious impact.

Last year's critically acclaimed Spike Jonze spot promoting HomePod didn't immediately turn Apple into the leading speaker vendor or convince Alexa and Assistant buyers to pay for a premium speaker rather than a accept a much cheaper loss leader microphone. The four minute ad was more of a work of art than overtly messaging. Viewers might easily have mistaken it for an FKA Twigs video than even being aware that it was selling a new home speaker product.

Similarly, Apple's most famous ad ever-- perhaps the most famous ad ever-- the 1984 Super Bowl spot introducing Macintosh, was talked about incessantly, but didn't coincide with Macs flying off the shelf. Macintosh sales didn't gain traction until a couple of years later when it started to become apparent that desktop publishing was a valuable new capability and that Macs were exceptionally good at graphic design and printing with LaserWriter fidelity. Then as now, the main thing driving ongoing Mac sales is "customer sat" not advertising.




Apple's "1984" ad portrayed IBM as 'brainwashing,' but the ad itself didn't really help sell many Macs in 1984



Apple's supposedly brainwashing ad budget is a fraction of Samsung's. It also comes up less than most other advertisers, including Microsoft-- which spent billions on ads trying to sell products like Windows Phone and Surface. Google leveraged its prime search engine real estate to push Pixel, and drove Pixel fire sale ads across billions of empty display ad inventory, all quite ineffectually.

It is worth noting that much of the advertising for the iPhone isn't Apple's. Billboards and print ads for iPhone are often paid for by mobile carriers, who are contractually obligated to place ads to sell Apple's hardware.


This isn't an Apple ad; it's from Deutche Telekom


Apple has also long leveraged other forms of free advertising, ranging from prop product placement in TV shows and movies to the company's keynotes and events, which grab and retain the interest of the media unlike anyone else's. Apple's recent advertising is largely just product recognition. Apple rarely runs ads comparing its features to the competition, or even explaining what its products do.

The free market ignores being told what to do

We have a pretty good system for democratically evaluating and voting for corporate winners with our dollars. That free-market system has consistently awarded Apple with the most global profits around the world for many years now.

There is also a broad and deep media network of bloggers from Engadget and the Verge, along with various newspapers who have hired their former employees. They are all consistently contradicting, in unison, the choices of billions of people making their own independent purchasing decisions.

Customers are deluged with online editorial content from high power content outlets like Vox Media and Fox Corp., which has long and consistently insisted that "Android is winning," while regularly and stridently advocating that people buy Google Pixel phones, Microsoft's Surface PCs, and Samsung Galaxy products, and to please delay buying the next iPhone because, as they've recently started repeating in suspiciously creepy unison, everyone should be happy sticking with their iPhone 6s.

If media brainwashing were a thing, it should be apparent outside the comments section of The Verge articles, out in the global market for hardware. Yet neither these bloggers nor the ad network that monetizes them have been able to convince any commercially significant number of people to buy what they endorse, nor have they been unable to stop the masses from wanting more gear from Apple.

Think of all the invented crisis panics and attempts to impeach Apple with allusions to Watergate: antenna-gate, bend-gate, beauty-gate. These did confuse and mislead some people, but they had no apparent impact on Apple's success in leading the market.




Apple's teaser ad was shown in movie theaters, but didn't make audiences rush out to drop $3,000 on a Mac Pro


Conversely, Apple has also on many occasions tried to sell things that just never found an audience, and its advertising was unable to make a difference. Steve Jobs once tried valiantly to sell Xserve to corporate users. Apple has created everything from Aperture software, to a solid gold Apple Watch, to AirPort routers, to consumer monitors, to the canister Mac Pro from 2013. It has found that some of its products just won't sell in enough quantity to sustain their continued production no matter how great it's advertising.

The last Mac Pro was cinematically, bombastically advertised in movie theaters, but individuals weren't turned into zombies that dutifully marched out to buy it.

That tells us that if the new 2019 Mac Pro is going to remain in sustained production going forward, it will need to find a real audience willing and capable of paying for it. Or, alternatively, that Apple will subsidize its production for a strategic benefit.

Fairy tale journalism is just entertainment

Reading the work of bloggers, newspaper columnists, and the comments of their readers, it's pretty clear that virtually all of them actually believe that product development at Apple consists of its chief executive sitting on a royal throne of technology where inventors, brought in from all across the land, approach him and show off their new product ideas with the hope that His Executive Highness will snap his fingers and decree that factories in China will begin building this new thing and that Apple's legions of copywriters will set to work crafting their enchanting spells that convince everyone in the global Apple kingdom to go out and buy it.

That explains why they keep repeating the idea that Apple is "out of innovation," or worry that some slip-up in marketing-- or a carefully coaxed "crisis-gate" story-- will perhaps break the spell and cause everyone to wake up and instead buy a cheaper copy from the same factory but branded "Huawei."

It also explains why they often conclude that perhaps Apple's real problem is Cook himself, and that the company desperately needs a new comic book caricature of an Executive Decision Maker who more closely resembles Tony Stark in his ability to dazzle on stage with cinematic applause lines and blue steel charisma while introducing some new exciting invention from China that magically activates everyone's salivary glands and vibrates their wallet.

If that sounds like an exaggeration of the tech media's juvenile depiction how Apple delivers its new products, consider that in just the last year, the Wall Street Journal paid Tripp Mickle to publish his weirdly fantastical account of Jony Ive's design group at Apple, which read as if it was seeking to conjure up the mystique of The Dark Crystal within the broad strokes of a superhero graphic novel.

It told the story of Apple as a lost company that has only been sleepwalking through its decade under Cook as the magical fairy dust of the late Steve Jobs evaporated away, with only Ive, "the living embodiment of his spirit," holding back the inevitable collapse of the cursed Apple universe.

Mickle cartoonishly sketched out that Apple's design -- copied around the world -- had grown "rudderless, increasingly inefficient, and ultimately weakened," and fabricated tales of epic executive schisms "eroding the product magic created by Mr. Ive and the late Steve Jobs." His virtual all-caps narration panel worried that Apple's board has been "increasingly populated by directors with backgrounds in finance and operations rather than technology," a notion that would only be believable to a child huddled in a sleeping bag, sounding out the words accompanying dramatic pictures in a ten-cent comic book.


He is not an agent of the WSJ! He is a writer of comic books!


Yet rather than being summarily laughed at by industry observers-- apart from Neil Cybart of Above Avalon, who tweeted that the piece "literally" made him laugh out loud -- Mickle's fictional tale of spirits, magic, and board members who offer technology advice was greeted with the thunderous, thumping applause of bloody stumps from the same people who spent the first half of 2019 clapping their hands off for the Samsung Galaxy Fold while purporting it to be the embodiment of "innovation" and a pinnacle of captivating product management, agreeing amongst themselves that Apple should really be paying attention and taking notes. Where is Apple's folding phone-tablet!?

And while Cook wasted no time dismissing Mickle's entire piece as simply being "absurd," bloggers who generally get Apple wrong nodded along with the Wall Street Journal as if it were a serious piece of thoughtful journalism.

Brian X. Chen, the blogger who made up sources and falsely attributed his own opinions to other people in his Wired article claiming that Japan "hated" iPhone, tweeted that he preferred to believe Mickle and was "not convinced" by Cook's statement. He now writes for the New York Times, where he recently turned in a review for iPhone 11 that was so bitter that John Gruber of the Daring Fireball described as sounding like a "mindless dogmatic crusade" rather than a product evaluation.

Dieter Bohn of The Verge tweeted that Mickle's piece on Ive was an "absolute must-read." His colleague Tom Warren called it "spot on," while Nilay Patel blasted contempt for "professional Apple apologizers" and pointed out that Apple didn't give a statement to Mickle.

Another writer at the same site actually wrote that Mickle's claim that Cook "showed little interest in the product development process" would "help to explain" why Cook "sometimes appears to be seeing products for the first time in the hands-on area after Apple events," referencing a photo of Cook and Ive (below) looking at a Mac Pro at the WWDC19's studio area showing off the new hardware.


The Verge cited this photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images as evidence that Cook was so disinterested in Apple products that he appeared to be seeing the Mac Pro for the first time in the hands-on area, hours after he introduced the machine on stage.


Despite some ambitious completion, that remains the stupidest line I have read this year. Cook introduced the machine on stage in its keynote address!

And far beyond that, Apple didn't come up with the design for the new Mac Pro because Cook saw somebody's blog or read an email begging for a high-end workstation and then decided on a whim to invest billions of dollars into the multi-year strategies that resulted in the new hardware.

I think I know what drove Apple to embark upon building a fantastically fast, powerful, and expensive new Mac Pro, and I'll outline that thinking in the next segment.
fotoformatthtStrangeDays
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 171
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    Haha, love seeing to stupid comments from the anti-Apple brigade.  

    So, just Color me 'brainwashed' I'm getting one.   I see it as a great design, priced correctly (try comparing a high-end gaming machine from the PC world) and my only comment is Apple could make a prosumer version at half the price with half the power and sell them like hotcakes to well ... prosumers.
    edited October 2019 mobirdlkruppStrangeDaysAppleExposedwilliamlondonbaconstangnadrielcharlieFwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 171
    “And far beyond that, Apple didn't come up with the design for the new Mac Pro because Cook saw somebody's blog or read an email begging for a high-end workstation and then decided on a whim to invest billions of dollars into the multi-year strategies that resulted in the new hardware.“

    Of course they didn’t. They needed one for their own movie making... LOL
    Dan_DilgerAppleExposedwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 171
    mobirdmobird Posts: 618member
    MacPro said:
    Haha, love seeing to stupid comments from the anti-Apple brigade.  

    So, just Color me 'brainwashed' I'm getting one.   I see it as a great design, priced correctly (try comparing a high-end gaming machine from the PC world) and my only comment is Apple could make a prosumer version at half the price with half the power and sell them like hotcakes to well ... prosumers.
    We can only wish.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 171
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,164member
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    edited October 2019 StevieTmuthuk_vanalingamcy_starkmansportyguy209dysamoriacharlesatlasyojimbo007pscooter63fotoformatnadriel
  • Reply 5 of 171
    I don't care about the masses. I only know that I can't wait to buy this computer and look every day to see when it will be for sale.
    Skippermonkeydavgregsportyguy209AppleExposedwilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 171
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters that spend their entire existence finding negative things to say about Apple yet don't own or use Apple products themselves.  Many of those types seem to spend a lot of time on Apple blogs considering they don't have or use Apple products, perhaps they are just drawn to Apple blogs because they exist?
    StrangeDaysAppleExposedwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 171
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,164member
    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters
    We've already had a couple of members who said they were buying it even tho they didn't think they needed one. They just wanted it. At the rumored prices I doubt there's very many of those types. The new Mac Pro is really for those people earning money with it, not gaming or processing a few photos. 
    edited October 2019 lkruppdewmesportyguy209dysamoriachemengin1
  • Reply 8 of 171
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 271member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters
    We've already had a couple of members who said they were buying it even tho they didn't think they needed one. They just wanted it. At the rumored prices I doubt there's very many of those types. The new Mac Pro is really for those people earning money with it, not gaming or processing a few photos. 
    21,241 Anti Apple posts, Gatorguy you need to get a life.....
    Dan_DilgerStrangeDaysAppleExposedwilliamlondonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 171
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,452member

    It's common to hear that Apple's global sales -- at Average Selling Prices that are often several times that of its rivals -- are just a matter of the company being able to fool people into thinking that they need something that is wildly overpriced and should actually be half the cost, and really should have been delivered two years ago.
    This paragraph describes the AI comment sections in spades. How often are we treated to screeds declaring Apple is just a marketing company? How often are Apple users labelled iSheep or Sheeple? How often do we slog through voluminous paragraphs issuing demands that Apple do this or that to survive? Once again Dilger has hit a nerve.
    Dan_DilgerStrangeDaysAppleExposedwilliamlondontobybeaglefastasleepwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 171
    quite a long time ago, a mac was more expense but that is a old and not dead trope.

    i am the kind of buyer who spends 6 months studying 4k monitors before buying one. i consider each variant of mac, pitting them against each other before deciding; i really really want to buy a microsoft surface device, cause i don’t care about the OS, i can use any OS just fine and i just can’t justify it.

    macs are not more expense, there is no brain washing required. i think there is more brain washing required for a dell, because the value equation is flaky, or a samsung galaxy because it will not last 5 generations and so the daily distributed cost is actually way higher than the 11pro in my hand or the 6s before it.

    the 11pro is around $1.30 a day vs a galaxyS10 is over $2.00 a day, samsung is more expense.

    i would not buy the MPro, it makes no sense for me but it is not expense - do i need error correcting memory, do i need a xeon, do i think xeons make any sense an editor - regardless that is what it has and that is what it costs whoever makes it.
    StrangeDaysviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 171
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters
    We've already had a couple of members who said they were buying it even tho they didn't think they needed one. They just wanted it. At the rumored prices I doubt there's very many of those types. The new Mac Pro is really for those people earning money with it, not gaming or processing a few photos. 
    And on that, I totally agree. My workflow will increase and pay off accelerate in printing large format images from Capture One Pro and I have a backlog of 4K videos to edit in FCPro.  My 2013 Mac Pro simply can't 'cut it' due to I/O limitations on RAIDs and no T2 chip for Apple's new codecs.  I know an iMac Pro would kind of work but my studio configuration requires integration in a way an iMac won't fit and I don't need an extra screen.  Also, IMHO cost-benefit analysis shows the difference in cost between an iMac Pro and a new Mac Pro will in the long term make the upgradability of the Mac Pro a clear winner.  In my case, I don't need the new monitor (for now at least) as I already have the 4K monitors that suffice for my needs thus the Mac Pro and iMac Pro are almost the same price for me.  Of course, I no longer produce content for ESPN and all this is on a far smaller scale now I am semi-retired but I still love using Apple gear to create.  You should try it!
    edited October 2019 Skippermonkeydewmelkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 171
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,164member
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters
    We've already had a couple of members who said they were buying it even tho they didn't think they needed one. They just wanted it. At the rumored prices I doubt there's very many of those types. The new Mac Pro is really for those people earning money with it, not gaming or processing a few photos. 
    And on that, I totally agree. My workflow will increase and pay off accelerate in printing large format images from Capture One Pro and I have a backlog of 4K videos to edit in FCPro.  My 2013 Mac Pro simply can't 'cut it' due to I/O limitations on RAIDs and no T2 chip for Apple's new codecs.  I know an iMac Pro would kind of work but my studio configuration requires integration in a way an iMac won't fit and I don't need an extra screen.  Also, IMHO cost-benefit analysis shows the difference in cost between an iMac Pro and a new Mac Pro will in the long term make the upgradability of the Mac Pro a clear winner.  In my case, I don't need the new monitor (for now at least) as I already have the 4K monitors that suffice for my needs thus the Mac Pro and iMac Pro are almost the same price for me.  Of course, I no longer produce content for ESPN and all this is on a far smaller scale now I am semi-retired but I still love using Apple gear to create.
    For someone like you it's a sensible solution, worth the relatively high price. My initial pos was commenting on the question established in the first paragraph. There is nothing Apple could do, "brainwashing" or otherwise, to make this a machine for the masses. It was never intended as that. 

    By the way, I have no love for Capture One but that's me. I own it (v11). I've used it. Own On1 too.  I continue to go back to Adobe products, with a smattering of various niche help from Topaz software and DxO Prime as needed. I'm definitely not a video guy tho. No interest in it. 
    edited October 2019
  • Reply 13 of 171
    madanmadan Posts: 103member
    Unfortunately, the Mac Pro has a distinct issue on its value curve.  It's a horrible value system at its base price, that quickly ramps in value as the price becomes astronomical.

    At its 6000 USD base price tag, the computer is a joke.  The base Xeon it has was about 1200 bucks (on release).  It was blessed with 240 dollars of ECC RAM (on release).  It had a nice, airflow-centric case to be sure.  Good cases that are solid steel/aluminum are, often, 200-300 USD.  Even if we counted the Mac Pro's case as a 500 dollar case, and counted its M.2 storage in the default model as 240 dollars, we'd still be sitting at 3000 dollars for the system.  The Radeon 580 is a naught 200 dollar card (even on release).  

    That means you're paying effectively ~ 3000 dollars for a power supply and motherboard.  Which is kinda nuts.  I mean the power supply itself is about 200 bucks at most (actually less) and the fans can't be more than 100 bucks.  So you're buying a, albeit ultra bleeding edge, motherboard for 2700 USD, which is highway robbery.

    Yes, the special component of the Mac Pro isn't the CPU or the GPU (although the Mac Pro can top out with sky-high Xeons and absolutely monstrous Arcturus-precursor dual Vega 2s), it's the motherboard.  The base system doesn't ship with any of that super hardware though.  Yes, the motherboard accommodates 1.5 TB of ECC RAM.  Yes it has the ability to run almost a dozen bus lanes for TB 3.  Yes, it accommodates both power via the port and via adapter for gpus.  Yes the Pro Vega 2 is a beast of a card, dwarfing the Radeon VII's already ludicrous 16 GB of HBM2.  But you get NONE of that with a 6000 dollar base system.

    With a 6000 dollar base system, you get an amazing motherboard, that might never be used.  You get a low-end Xeon that is outperformed by most Core i9s (Xeon reliability is worth 800 dollars?!).  You get a gpu that is budget by today's standards (the MacBook Pro's Vega gpu is about as fast as a 565-570 which itself is only 10-15% slower than the Mac Pro's 580...).  And a bunch of super components like psus and the like that may never be used unless you upgrade them yourself down the line.

    You could build a DIY computer with pretty much identical performance for less than 1500 dollars.  No, I'm not kidding.  Sure, it's not upgradeable with ECC RAM. Sure, it doesn't have 12 TB 3 lanes or 10 gigabit ether.  No, it doesn't have a ridiculously overpowered psu for a system that draws under 300 Watts.  But still, you're buying a system with such low specs all those upgradeable touches are pointless unless you spend thousands more upgrading the system anyways. 


    Sure, you can get a great high end Xeon and push the RAM to 1.5 TB.  Yes, 2 Pro Vega 2s are absolutely nuts, with a max of 128 GB of HBM2 RAM.  But that system costs 50k.  The base system gets you NOTHING.  And it's 6000 USD.  For workflow alone, a computer 1/4 the price will do the job.  

    So yes, the Mac Pro may be a great machine at the high end but anyone that buys it in the low end better not convince themselves they're getting a super computer because it's a budget system, at most and they're paying between 4-10x as much for the privilege of the Apple emblem.
    chemengin1
  • Reply 14 of 171
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,439member
    MacPro said:
    Haha, love seeing to stupid comments from the anti-Apple brigade.  

    So, just Color me 'brainwashed' I'm getting one.   I see it as a great design, priced correctly (try comparing a high-end gaming machine from the PC world) and my only comment is Apple could make a prosumer version at half the price with half the power and sell them like hotcakes to well ... prosumers.
    For some people here ANY criticism of Apple or of any of its products is punishable by death. 
    Sooo.... I could care less about this Mac, my tower days are long gone. Having said that this is a muscle car Mac built for gear heads which will be thrilled of course. 
    chemengin1
  • Reply 15 of 171
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,439member

    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters that spend their entire existence finding negative things to say about Apple yet don't own or use Apple products themselves.  Many of those types seem to spend a lot of time on Apple blogs considering they don't have or use Apple products, perhaps they are just drawn to Apple blogs because they exist?
    Talk about brain washed. People are entitle to their opinions no matter how little actual factual data it contains. Don't act like the Apple propaganda police. Okay show us how mean you can get, 1...2...3...
    chemengin1
  • Reply 16 of 171
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    madan said:
    Unfortunately, the Mac Pro has a distinct issue on its value curve.  It's a horrible value system at its base price, that quickly ramps in value as the price becomes astronomical.

    At its 6000 USD base price tag, the computer is a joke.  The base Xeon it has was about 1200 bucks (on release).  It was blessed with 240 dollars of ECC RAM (on release).  It had a nice, airflow-centric case to be sure.  Good cases that are solid steel/aluminum are, often, 200-300 USD.  Even if we counted the Mac Pro's case as a 500 dollar case, and counted its M.2 storage in the default model as 240 dollars, we'd still be sitting at 3000 dollars for the system.  The Radeon 580 is a naught 200 dollar card (even on release).  

    That means you're paying effectively ~ 3000 dollars for a power supply and motherboard.  Which is kinda nuts.  I mean the power supply itself is about 200 bucks at most (actually less) and the fans can't be more than 100 bucks.  So you're buying a, albeit ultra bleeding edge, motherboard for 2700 USD, which is highway robbery.

    Yes, the special component of the Mac Pro isn't the CPU or the GPU (although the Mac Pro can top out with sky-high Xeons and absolutely monstrous Arcturus-precursor dual Vega 2s), it's the motherboard.  The base system doesn't ship with any of that super hardware though.  Yes, the motherboard accommodates 1.5 TB of ECC RAM.  Yes it has the ability to run almost a dozen bus lanes for TB 3.  Yes, it accommodates both power via the port and via adapter for gpus.  Yes the Pro Vega 2 is a beast of a card, dwarfing the Radeon VII's already ludicrous 16 GB of HBM2.  But you get NONE of that with a 6000 dollar base system.

    With a 6000 dollar base system, you get an amazing motherboard, that might never be used.  You get a low-end Xeon that is outperformed by most Core i9s (Xeon reliability is worth 800 dollars?!).  You get a gpu that is budget by today's standards (the MacBook Pro's Vega gpu is about as fast as a 565-570 which itself is only 10-15% slower than the Mac Pro's 580...).  And a bunch of super components like psus and the like that may never be used unless you upgrade them yourself down the line.

    You could build a DIY computer with pretty much identical performance for less than 1500 dollars.  No, I'm not kidding.  Sure, it's not upgradeable with ECC RAM. Sure, it doesn't have 12 TB 3 lanes or 10 gigabit ether.  No, it doesn't have a ridiculously overpowered psu for a system that draws under 300 Watts.  But still, you're buying a system with such low specs all those upgradeable touches are pointless unless you spend thousands more upgrading the system anyways. 


    Sure, you can get a great high end Xeon and push the RAM to 1.5 TB.  Yes, 2 Pro Vega 2s are absolutely nuts, with a max of 128 GB of HBM2 RAM.  But that system costs 50k.  The base system gets you NOTHING.  And it's 6000 USD.  For workflow alone, a computer 1/4 the price will do the job.  

    So yes, the Mac Pro may be a great machine at the high end but anyone that buys it in the low end better not convince themselves they're getting a super computer because it's a budget system, at most and they're paying between 4-10x as much for the privilege of the Apple emblem.
    I agree the base config is not ideal.  I am hoping it is possible for DIY RAM upgrade as I don't want to may Apple RAM prices and I am used to 64 GB in the trash can so I'd want at least that and the GPU choice is still open in my mind until I see pricing but I suspect even the base is a leap from my dual AMD Firepros.  8 or 12 core would be enough for me for sure.  That all said in five years this machine will still be totally configurable an iMac Pro isn't.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 171
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,638member
    mwhite said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters
    We've already had a couple of members who said they were buying it even tho they didn't think they needed one. They just wanted it. At the rumored prices I doubt there's very many of those types. The new Mac Pro is really for those people earning money with it, not gaming or processing a few photos. 
    21,241 Anti Apple posts, Gatorguy you need to get a life.....
    Yes, @gatoryguy has his own opinions that don't always match mine but in this case, I totally agree with him and conversely, disagree with your worthless comment. I spent ~$3K back in the early 90's for a simple Mac and much more than that over the years for Macs at work. I'm guessing somewhere north of $2-3M. If I was still in charge of those purchases (I'm retired), I can guarantee I would be buying several Mac Pros for presentation artwork and video work. I also know many will be purchased by people (mainly scientists, physical and computer) who's job is to advance science. As gatorguy states, they won't be used for gaming or processing a few photos. We were creating multi-gigabyte photos two decades ago and I can only imagine what's happening now. The fact the new Mac Pro has the computational power, both CPU and GPU, of TOP500 supercomputers of ~15 years ago, all in a small package, is simply amazing. The Mac Pro will be used in many universities and research labs because it's a whole lot less expensive than the huge supercomputers it can replace for individual users. If you've never seen a current supercomputer, you have no understanding of its massive size, power and cooling requirements and amount of staff necessary to keep it running. Put this "small" box in the hands of creative users and get ready for amazing things to happen.

    @mwhite I presume you're not one of these people but do have a right to your own opinion.

    New Mac Pro, https://www.apple.com/mac-pro/
    Supports configuration of two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX Modules. The four GPUs combine to add up to 56 teraflops.

    June 1997, first teraflop computer
    June 2001, 7.2 teraflops, 512 nodes each with 16 IBM Power3 processors
    June 2002 things started to take off with huge computational arrays, Japanese system 35+ teraflops
    May 2009, first petaflop

    ref: https://top500.org/timeline/ ;
    fotoformatmuthuk_vanalingamSolibaconstangviclauyycchemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 171
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,164member
    mwhite said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters
    We've already had a couple of members who said they were buying it even tho they didn't think they needed one. They just wanted it. At the rumored prices I doubt there's very many of those types. The new Mac Pro is really for those people earning money with it, not gaming or processing a few photos. 
    21,241 Anti Apple posts, Gatorguy you need to get a life.....
    You don't actually read my posts, obviously. Not one is "anti-Apple".... well I'll qualify that since mixed among those 20K posts there might be one or two referencing a very specific subject.

    Here's a challenge for you: Find 10 anti-Apple posts from me. Shouldn't take you more than a couple of minutes as you believe they all qualify. I'll wait. 

    I hold no ill will for Apple at all, in fact still own an Apple TV, have owned iPods, and have owned Macs.  Great gear. Well built. 
    Now if you were to say something like half my posts don't agree with your opinion on a subject, or even that you don't like any post I ever made that's certainly possible. I can't assist you there. 
    edited October 2019 fotoformatmuthuk_vanalingamAppleExposedchemengin1
  • Reply 19 of 171
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
     excepgatorguy said:
    "Will Apple have to brainwash the masses to buy it?"

    It's not a computer for the masses and no amount of brainwashing could change that.

    At the same time it's gonna appeal to a certain segment of buyers who have needs for intense video processing or scientific applications, or a few who purchase it "just because it exists". 
    I don't think there is such a category as 'those that buy just because it exists' except in the minds of Android users and Apple haters
    We've already had a couple of members who said they were buying it even tho they didn't think they needed one. They just wanted it. At the rumored prices I doubt there's very many of those types. The new Mac Pro is really for those people earning money with it, not gaming or processing a few photos. 
    And on that, I totally agree. My workflow will increase and pay off accelerate in printing large format images from Capture One Pro and I have a backlog of 4K videos to edit in FCPro.  My 2013 Mac Pro simply can't 'cut it' due to I/O limitations on RAIDs and no T2 chip for Apple's new codecs.  I know an iMac Pro would kind of work but my studio configuration requires integration in a way an iMac won't fit and I don't need an extra screen.  Also, IMHO cost-benefit analysis shows the difference in cost between an iMac Pro and a new Mac Pro will in the long term make the upgradability of the Mac Pro a clear winner.  In my case, I don't need the new monitor (for now at least) as I already have the 4K monitors that suffice for my needs thus the Mac Pro and iMac Pro are almost the same price for me.  Of course, I no longer produce content for ESPN and all this is on a far smaller scale now I am semi-retired but I still love using Apple gear to create.
    For someone like you it's a sensible solution, worth the relatively high price. My initial pos was commenting on the question established in the first paragraph. There is nothing Apple could do, "brainwashing" or otherwise, to make this a machine for the masses. It was never intended as that. 

    By the way, I have no love for Capture One but that's me. I own it (v11). I've used it. Own On1 too.  I continue to go back to Adobe products, with a smattering of various niche help from Topaz software and DxO Prime as needed. I'm definitely not a video guy tho. No interest in it. 
    After Aperture's demise (and now totally gone in Catalina) I had tried all the same programs as you mention and was still undecided as DAM and processing were important.  I have Adobe CC and I do use Lightroom Classic for some utilitarian purposes and of course Photoshop daily but I have to say the actual correction capabilities of C1Pro 12 are astounding.  I do now use its DAM on local RAID storage for all Sony RAW from my newish Alpha and also for all my legacy Canon RAW (sold all my Canon gear, L lenses included) but I also have all the same images in Photos so as to have iCloud backup off-site.  I just would never use Photos for editing.

    I haven't checked out DxO or On1 for a few years. The truth is The Sony Alpha came with a free Sony only version of C1Pro 12 just at the critical time when I was running Catalina developer versions in tests and I was very impressed and upgraded to full Pro so as to be able to process Canon RAW.  So the freebie kind of sucked me in!  

    BTW I don't throw money away.  My Mac Pro purchase will cost me very little.  I just sold a few AAPL shares at $236.  I paid $28.44 for them pre-split.  That's what having faith in Apple does :)
    edited October 2019 baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 171
    madanmadan Posts: 103member
    MacPro said:
    madan said:
    Unfortunately, the Mac Pro has a distinct issue on its value curve.  It's a horrible value system at its base price, that quickly ramps in value as the price becomes astronomical.

    At its 6000 USD base price tag, the computer is a joke.  The base Xeon it has was about 1200 bucks (on release).  It was blessed with 240 dollars of ECC RAM (on release).  It had a nice, airflow-centric case to be sure.  Good cases that are solid steel/aluminum are, often, 200-300 USD.  Even if we counted the Mac Pro's case as a 500 dollar case, and counted its M.2 storage in the default model as 240 dollars, we'd still be sitting at 3000 dollars for the system.  The Radeon 580 is a naught 200 dollar card (even on release).  

    That means you're paying effectively ~ 3000 dollars for a power supply and motherboard.  Which is kinda nuts.  I mean the power supply itself is about 200 bucks at most (actually less) and the fans can't be more than 100 bucks.  So you're buying a, albeit ultra bleeding edge, motherboard for 2700 USD, which is highway robbery.

    Yes, the special component of the Mac Pro isn't the CPU or the GPU (although the Mac Pro can top out with sky-high Xeons and absolutely monstrous Arcturus-precursor dual Vega 2s), it's the motherboard.  The base system doesn't ship with any of that super hardware though.  Yes, the motherboard accommodates 1.5 TB of ECC RAM.  Yes it has the ability to run almost a dozen bus lanes for TB 3.  Yes, it accommodates both power via the port and via adapter for gpus.  Yes the Pro Vega 2 is a beast of a card, dwarfing the Radeon VII's already ludicrous 16 GB of HBM2.  But you get NONE of that with a 6000 dollar base system.

    With a 6000 dollar base system, you get an amazing motherboard, that might never be used.  You get a low-end Xeon that is outperformed by most Core i9s (Xeon reliability is worth 800 dollars?!).  You get a gpu that is budget by today's standards (the MacBook Pro's Vega gpu is about as fast as a 565-570 which itself is only 10-15% slower than the Mac Pro's 580...).  And a bunch of super components like psus and the like that may never be used unless you upgrade them yourself down the line.

    You could build a DIY computer with pretty much identical performance for less than 1500 dollars.  No, I'm not kidding.  Sure, it's not upgradeable with ECC RAM. Sure, it doesn't have 12 TB 3 lanes or 10 gigabit ether.  No, it doesn't have a ridiculously overpowered psu for a system that draws under 300 Watts.  But still, you're buying a system with such low specs all those upgradeable touches are pointless unless you spend thousands more upgrading the system anyways. 


    Sure, you can get a great high end Xeon and push the RAM to 1.5 TB.  Yes, 2 Pro Vega 2s are absolutely nuts, with a max of 128 GB of HBM2 RAM.  But that system costs 50k.  The base system gets you NOTHING.  And it's 6000 USD.  For workflow alone, a computer 1/4 the price will do the job.  

    So yes, the Mac Pro may be a great machine at the high end but anyone that buys it in the low end better not convince themselves they're getting a super computer because it's a budget system, at most and they're paying between 4-10x as much for the privilege of the Apple emblem.
    I agree the base config is not ideal.  I am hoping it is possible for DIY RAM upgrade as I don't want to may Apple RAM prices and I am used to 64 GB in the trash can so I'd want at least that and the GPU choice is still open in my mind until I see pricing but I suspect even the base is a leap from my dual AMD Firepros.  8 or 12 core would be enough for me for sure.  That all said in five years this machine will still be totally configurable an iMac Pro isn't.
    You can totally upgrade the RAM and GPU yourself.  The problem is anything worthy of that motherboard is going to run you thousands of dollars.  Which means you're looking at an 8k system.  Again, that kind of workflow lends itself to mission-critical server work, not prosumer production.  The Radeon 580 is about 20% more than the D700s in the old Mac Pro.  That's it.  Sure, you only have one gpu so the support is probably better but a Radeon 580 is a budget card.  If you move to a Pro Vega 2, you're looking at least a 1000 dollar increase in price.  That's because the card is basically an up-RAMMED Radeon VII which MSRPed at 700 USD.  It's basically an mi60 on steroids.

    In 6 years, the system's CPU will be woefully underpowered.  The GPU will be upgradeable.  But you're paying almost 10,000 USD for the privilege if you do it correctly.
    gatorguy
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