The new Apple Silicon Mac Pro badly misses the mark for most of the target market

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  • Reply 61 of 71
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,168member
    Apple destroyed its high end pro market years ago and every now and again remembers to insult it.
    spliff monkeymuthuk_vanalingamcgWerks
  • Reply 62 of 71
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    chutzpah said:
    I thought Apple was waiting till the M3 chip was ready to release an updated Mac Pro?
    Evidently you thought wrong.
    No, there was coverage on this on Apple Insider. https://appleinsider.com/articles/23/04/21/rumored-mac-pro-mac-studio-arent-dead----but-neither-are-now-expected-at-wwdc/amp/
    Evidently Mark Gurman thought wrong too.

    Don't mistake rumours for facts.  Even if they're reported on AppleInsider, they're still just rumours, they mean nothing.
    edited June 2023 tht
  • Reply 63 of 71
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 216member
    entropys said:
    Apple destroyed its high end pro market years ago and every now and again remembers to insult it.
    An interesting assertion.

    The fact is that there isn't a single unified "high end pro market".   At the high end, there are a wide variety of needs.

    The new Mac Pro seems to provide a lot of computing horsepower.  That's something useful to many high end users. 

    For those editing video, the Mac Pro processor has built-in hardware encoding/decoding engines, and supports multiple high resolution video screens.  Real time editing/playback of multiple 8K streams is nothing to sneeze at.

    The Mac Pro supports PCI cards for the import/export of video using professional industry standards (such as SDI).   

    The Mac Pro is available in a rack mount configuration which is extremely helpful in certain professional deployments (Broadcast TV control truck, portable video editing truck, shippable temporary editing stations, server farms, etc.).

    The Mac Pro is limited to only 192GB of RAM.  However, it has faster memory bandwidth than computers with memory slots, and fast SSD storage for fast virtual memory swapping.    This is enough RAM to serve the needs of a great many professional workflows.  While the old Mac Pro could handle over a TB of RAM, I suspect that the vast majority of them were configured with 128GB or less.

    The big issue that people are complaining about is the lack of support for external video cards.  Apple's built in graphics are quite impressive, but there exist video cards out there that are faster.  So the market that's excluded here is that portion that needs more than what Apple provides, but can get by with what third part cards can provide.  A large part of that market is video gamers.  I don't think they are generally considered to be part of the "professional" market.  

    Another market segment looking for the fastest GPUs are those mining for crypto currency.   These people generally are buying commodity computers, and not Macs.

    The bottom line is that the "pro" market is only a very small percentage of the total Mac market.  Only a small percentage of that pro market needs more than 192GB of RAM and/or third party GPUs.   

    So while it's true that the Mac Pro is not ideal for every professional who wants a Mac, it certainly meets the needs of most professionals.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 64 of 71
    mfryd said:
    entropys said:
    Apple destroyed its high end pro market years ago and every now and again remembers to insult it.
    An interesting assertion.

    The fact is that there isn't a single unified "high end pro market".   At the high end, there are a wide variety of needs.

    The new Mac Pro seems to provide a lot of computing horsepower.  That's something useful to many high end users. 

    For those editing video, the Mac Pro processor has built-in hardware encoding/decoding engines, and supports multiple high resolution video screens.  Real time editing/playback of multiple 8K streams is nothing to sneeze at.

    The Mac Pro supports PCI cards for the import/export of video using professional industry standards (such as SDI).   

    The Mac Pro is available in a rack mount configuration which is extremely helpful in certain professional deployments (Broadcast TV control truck, portable video editing truck, shippable temporary editing stations, server farms, etc.).

    The Mac Pro is limited to only 192GB of RAM.  However, it has faster memory bandwidth than computers with memory slots, and fast SSD storage for fast virtual memory swapping.    This is enough RAM to serve the needs of a great many professional workflows.  While the old Mac Pro could handle over a TB of RAM, I suspect that the vast majority of them were configured with 128GB or less.

    The big issue that people are complaining about is the lack of support for external video cards.  Apple's built in graphics are quite impressive, but there exist video cards out there that are faster.  So the market that's excluded here is that portion that needs more than what Apple provides, but can get by with what third part cards can provide.  A large part of that market is video gamers.  I don't think they are generally considered to be part of the "professional" market.  

    Another market segment looking for the fastest GPUs are those mining for crypto currency.   These people generally are buying commodity computers, and not Macs.

    The bottom line is that the "pro" market is only a very small percentage of the total Mac market.  Only a small percentage of that pro market needs more than 192GB of RAM and/or third party GPUs.   

    So while it's true that the Mac Pro is not ideal for every professional who wants a Mac, it certainly meets the needs of most professionals.
    Here's what's being ignored though. I have to throw out a new tower ever few years. A $7,000 tower EVERY 2-3 YEARS? No thanks. Anyone inclined to purchase a new Mac Pro Tower  definitely need to be able to upgrade RAM and video cards on a machine that costs that much. Otherwise just buy a studio and a really nice TB chassis for your cards and call it a day for $5-6k. Hopefully your TB expansion chases will still be compatible  when you replace the studio. If not you'll still save $$$

    Literally the only advantage the new Mac Pro offers is PCIE in a chassis which tends be more reliable and perform better than connecting the same PCIE cards of TB. That's it. The new tower is a complete mystery if they couldn't include upgradeable ram and video cards. IF Apple didn't want to work with NVIDIA or AMD or couldn't come up with a way of upgrading RAM they shouldn't have bothered with the new tower and left it as the only intel model. The market the tower was intended for was better served with x86 for at least the next few years. This feels like a rush job. 
    edited June 2023 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 65 of 71
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 216member
    mfryd said:
    entropys said:
    ...
    ...
    Here's what's being ignored though. I have to throw out a new tower ever few years. A $7,000 tower EVERY 2-3 YEARS? No thanks. Anyone inclined to purchase a new Mac Pro Tower  definitely need to be able to upgrade RAM and video cards on a machine that costs that much. Otherwise just buy a studio and a really nice TB chassis for your cards and call it a day for $5-6k. Hopefully your TB expansion chases will still be compatible  when you replace the studio. If not you'll still save $$$

    Literally the only advantage the new Mac Pro offers is PCIE in a chassis which tends be more reliable and perform better than connecting the same PCIE cards of TB. That's it. The new tower is a complete mystery if they couldn't include upgradeable ram and video cards. IF Apple didn't want to work with NVIDIA or AMD or couldn't come up with a way of upgrading RAM they shouldn't have bothered with the new tower and left it as the only intel model. The market the tower was intended for was better served with x86 for at least the next few years. This feels like a rush job. 
    Obviously, these machines don't magically stop working after 2-3 years.  Many people get long life from these machines.

    You are correct that there is a market segment that needs incredible power, and the need expands each year.    That can mean swapping in new CPUs, new SSD, new I/O cards, new GPUs, more RAM, etc. on an ongoing basis.    If you are editing, color correcting, or otherwise working on major motion pictures with budgets well over $100 million, you likely fall into this category.   You also fall into the category, where you expect to replace these machines every year or two with faster and better ones.   $7K for a new machine is small potatoes.

    Remember, these are people who are happy to pay $5k for a monitor as they are used to paying over $20K for monitors.


    Now if you are a home hobbyist, and want to incrementally upgrade your machine as budget allows, then the Mac Pro may not be for you.  But then, a home hobbyist is not the "professional" market.

    I once had a conversation with someone who wanted to start a small business.   They were asking me about how to accept credit cards.  This was a number of years ago, and things like Square were not available in their country.  I explained that they would need to open a merchant account.  They would likely pay $20/month in fees for the account.   They replied that they couldn't afford $20/month.  My response was that if they couldn't afford $20/month, they had a hobby and not a business.


    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 66 of 71
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    mfryd said:
    entropys said:
    Apple destroyed its high end pro market years ago and every now and again remembers to insult it.
    An interesting assertion.

    The fact is that there isn't a single unified "high end pro market".   At the high end, there are a wide variety of needs.

    The new Mac Pro seems to provide a lot of computing horsepower.  That's something useful to many high end users. 

    For those editing video, the Mac Pro processor has built-in hardware encoding/decoding engines, and supports multiple high resolution video screens.  Real time editing/playback of multiple 8K streams is nothing to sneeze at.

    The Mac Pro supports PCI cards for the import/export of video using professional industry standards (such as SDI).   

    The Mac Pro is available in a rack mount configuration which is extremely helpful in certain professional deployments (Broadcast TV control truck, portable video editing truck, shippable temporary editing stations, server farms, etc.).

    The Mac Pro is limited to only 192GB of RAM.  However, it has faster memory bandwidth than computers with memory slots, and fast SSD storage for fast virtual memory swapping.    This is enough RAM to serve the needs of a great many professional workflows.  While the old Mac Pro could handle over a TB of RAM, I suspect that the vast majority of them were configured with 128GB or less.

    The big issue that people are complaining about is the lack of support for external video cards.  Apple's built in graphics are quite impressive, but there exist video cards out there that are faster.  So the market that's excluded here is that portion that needs more than what Apple provides, but can get by with what third part cards can provide.  A large part of that market is video gamers.  I don't think they are generally considered to be part of the "professional" market.  

    Another market segment looking for the fastest GPUs are those mining for crypto currency.   These people generally are buying commodity computers, and not Macs.

    The bottom line is that the "pro" market is only a very small percentage of the total Mac market.  Only a small percentage of that pro market needs more than 192GB of RAM and/or third party GPUs.   

    So while it's true that the Mac Pro is not ideal for every professional who wants a Mac, it certainly meets the needs of most professionals.
    Here's what's being ignored though. I have to throw out a new tower ever few years. 
    Why on earth do you have to do that?
  • Reply 67 of 71
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    Marvin said:
    Hardware RT definitely makes a difference for some things. Some apps only use it properly on Nvidia (Optix), AMD doesn't do so well in Blender:

    Blender opendata

    The M2 Ultra is on page 2 and in the same performance range as AMD's 7900XTX as well as all the mid-range Nvidia GPUs.

    Nvidia's RT means that anything above a desktop 3070/4060 is faster and the $1600 4090 is 3-4x faster. Nvidia is doing a great job getting optimal software and hardware working together:

    https://www.pcgamer.com/nvidia-rtx-40-series-ray-tracing-performance/
    https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/news/geforce-gtx-dxr-ray-tracing-available-now/
    https://developer.nvidia.com/blog/accelerating-inference-up-to-6x-faster-in-pytorch-with-torch-tensorrt/

    For standard rendering, the GFXBench 4K Aztec 3D test has the 4090 highest again at 507FPS, M2 Ultra 299FPS, about 60% of the performance. M2 Ultra is pretty much even with AMD's highest end GPUs.

    gfx bench

    Given that Apple wouldn't support Nvidia, a Mac Pro would have offered those high-end AMD GPUs and allowed two of them. The M2 Ultra is equivalent to an Intel Mac Pro with 24-core Xeon W-3345 (250W) plus an AMD W7900 (295W), excluding RT cores.

    Hardware RT takes time to implement properly and should allow for motion blur and shader execution order. Apple is doing the software side just now. If it can make it into M3, the M3 Ultra will have the ability to beat all the other GPUs in the Studio form factor but the M2 Ultra looks like it's performing well.
    Thanks! Great analysis and well said.

    Yes, this is why I'm waiting for the M3 Studio. I'm hoping they add some RT hardware, and then it brings performance (GPU-wise) into line with at least mid-range PC hardware. I don't need it to be the best, but it needs to be good enough, especially in live viewports.

    That said, I've seen some examples of the M2 Ultra doing reasonably well in that regard, which I wasn't seeing with the M1. Hopefully we're getting there.

    Yes, many of the benchmarks focus on CPU raw performance, and then things like GPU rendering. Those don't tell enough of the whole story.

    I thought Apple was waiting till the M3 chip was ready to release an updated Mac Pro?
    Yeah, same here. I think someone in management said, 'screw it, we're completing the transition'. This makes me a little concerned they'll also hurry the drop of Intel support for the OS.

    macxpress said:
    I think this is what they wanted to do but I bet there were yet more delays with M3 so they couldn't keep delaying the release of a new Mac Pro. As I've said before, I don't think this is the Mac Pro they wanted to release. They just had to get something to market so they did the best they could with what they had at this time. I wouldn't be surprised if next year they release an M3 Extreme based Mac Pro with something like 2 Ultra's put together. 
    Yeah, and I think many would say, 'but that will really tick off those who buy this model'. This is true, but I think Apple has shown they don't put a lot of weight on that kind of thing.
  • Reply 68 of 71
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    mfryd said:
    The big issue that people are complaining about is the lack of support for external video cards.  Apple's built in graphics are quite impressive, but there exist video cards out there that are faster.  So the market that's excluded here is that portion that needs more than what Apple provides, but can get by with what third part cards can provide.  A large part of that market is video gamers.  I don't think they are generally considered to be part of the "professional" market.  

    Another market segment looking for the fastest GPUs are those mining for crypto currency.   These people generally are buying commodity computers, and not Macs.

    The bottom line is that the "pro" market is only a very small percentage of the total Mac market.  Only a small percentage of that pro market needs more than 192GB of RAM and/or third party GPUs.   

    So while it's true that the Mac Pro is not ideal for every professional who wants a Mac, it certainly meets the needs of most professionals.
    I'd question that.
    While it is true that the new Mac Pro is excellent for certain markets (video editing), I think the people who need RAM, and especially GPU-power, are a fairly high percent of that Pro market. It would be interesting to see some actual data!

    I also think there is confusion here over video I/O and GPU? The video cards out there aren't just faster, they are a LOT faster. They probably can't get by with what Apple provides, in this case. It isn't just gaming. Anyone working in CAD/3D disciplines needs that GPU power. I think there is also quite a bit of scientific work that relies on GPUs.

    As for crypto-mining, that I do know quite a bit about. GPU-mining is essentially over (at least for now, unless another coin that is GPU-mineable rises dramatically in price). And, what they were buying were special systems that could run a bunch of GPUs. What they are buying now are ASICs.

    spliff monkey said:
    Here's what's being ignored though. I have to throw out a new tower ever few years. A $7,000 tower EVERY 2-3 YEARS? No thanks. Anyone inclined to purchase a new Mac Pro Tower  definitely need to be able to upgrade RAM and video cards on a machine that costs that much. Otherwise just buy a studio and a really nice TB chassis for your cards and call it a day for $5-6k. Hopefully your TB expansion chases will still be compatible  when you replace the studio. If not you'll still save $$$

    Literally the only advantage the new Mac Pro offers is PCIE in a chassis which tends be more reliable and perform better than connecting the same PCIE cards of TB. That's it. The new tower is a complete mystery if they couldn't include upgradeable ram and video cards. IF Apple didn't want to work with NVIDIA or AMD or couldn't come up with a way of upgrading RAM they shouldn't have bothered with the new tower and left it as the only intel model. The market the tower was intended for was better served with x86 for at least the next few years. This feels like a rush job. 
    To be fair, if you're using those slots for things like high-speed storage expansion, or crazy-level I/O, TB isn't going to cut it. But, this brings up a point about GPUs and the rebuttal Apple keeps taking about in regards to RAM/GPU and 'optimized performance.' Sure, some off-chip RAM or a GPU in a slot or TB isn't 'optimized' but my eGPU on TB works just fine in the 3D apps and games I run on my Intel Mac. I have to think they just didn't want to go that direction, not that it wasn't possible, or even realistic.

    mfryd said:
    ... If you are editing, color correcting, or otherwise working on major motion pictures with budgets well over $100 million, you likely fall into this category.   You also fall into the category, where you expect to replace these machines every year or two with faster and better ones.   $7K for a new machine is small potatoes.

    Remember, these are people who are happy to pay $5k for a monitor as they are used to paying over $20K for monitors.


    Now if you are a home hobbyist, and want to incrementally upgrade your machine as budget allows, then the Mac Pro may not be for you.  But then, a home hobbyist is not the "professional" market.
    ...
    Yes, but you're talking about one segment in the professional market, here (and then a generalization about the high-end pro market and budgets*). The problem is Apple has no solution for the other areas of the pro market, now, regardless of budget.

    They actually have a better solution for the home-hobbyist on the whole with the mini Pro or Studio, except for the lack of GPU-power. Those people weren't likely in the Mac Pro market since like early 2000s (like me, I once owned a Pro Mac... it's way out of my budget, now). I'm thrilled with the Mac Studio in theory. I never really needed a Pro besides there being no real middle in the Mac lineup much of the time.

    But, in my discipline, I need reasonable GPU power. Apple has insanely increased the GPU power across the lineup (for gamers, this is good, as even an entry level Mac could potentially do some gaming now, not just a few high-end models), but at the same time, they have massively lost GPU-power on the high end. A Mac Pro with 4+ GPUs is so far ahead of anything in the current lineup, comparisons are absurd. But, even a setup like my 2018 mini w/ eGPU is faster than anything Apple currently offers. IMO, this is a fairly big problem.

    * Yes, totally. I used to work for a near Fortune 50 in IT. Every year, the manager would come and say something like, "OK, we've got to spend $70k on some new equipment within the next couple of weeks. What kind of things do we need?" So, we'd go on server shopping trips, or everyone would get new laptops, etc. The equipment would be passed down or repurposed. But, if the hardware can't do the basics when new, it isn't going to get purchased in the first place. (And, we were just a small division within the bigger company. I imagine for some, it's like, 'we have to spend $200k, or $1.5M', etc.)
  • Reply 69 of 71
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 216member
    cgWerks said:
    mfryd said:
    The big issue that people are complaining about is the lack of support for external video cards.  Apple's built in graphics are quite impressive, but there exist video cards out there that are faster.  So the market that's excluded here is that portion that needs more than what Apple provides, but can get by with what third part cards can provide.  A large part of that market is video gamers.  I don't think they are generally considered to be part of the "professional" market.  

    Another market segment looking for the fastest GPUs are those mining for crypto currency.   These people generally are buying commodity computers, and not Macs.

    The bottom line is that the "pro" market is only a very small percentage of the total Mac market.  Only a small percentage of that pro market needs more than 192GB of RAM and/or third party GPUs.   

    So while it's true that the Mac Pro is not ideal for every professional who wants a Mac, it certainly meets the needs of most professionals.
    I'd question that.
    While it is true that the new Mac Pro is excellent for certain markets (video editing), I think the people who need RAM, and especially GPU-power, are a fairly high percent of that Pro market. It would be interesting to see some actual data!

    I also think there is confusion here over video I/O and GPU? The video cards out there aren't just faster, they are a LOT faster. They probably can't get by with what Apple provides, in this case. It isn't just gaming. Anyone working in CAD/3D disciplines needs that GPU power. I think there is also quite a bit of scientific work that relies on GPUs.

    As for crypto-mining, that I do know quite a bit about. GPU-mining is essentially over (at least for now, unless another coin that is GPU-mineable rises dramatically in price). And, what they were buying were special systems that could run a bunch of GPUs. What they are buying now are ASICs.

    spliff monkey said:
    Here's what's being ignored though. I have to throw out a new tower ever few years. A $7,000 tower EVERY 2-3 YEARS? No thanks. Anyone inclined to purchase a new Mac Pro Tower  definitely need to be able to upgrade RAM and video cards on a machine that costs that much. Otherwise just buy a studio and a really nice TB chassis for your cards and call it a day for $5-6k. Hopefully your TB expansion chases will still be compatible  when you replace the studio. If not you'll still save $$$

    Literally the only advantage the new Mac Pro offers is PCIE in a chassis which tends be more reliable and perform better than connecting the same PCIE cards of TB. That's it. The new tower is a complete mystery if they couldn't include upgradeable ram and video cards. IF Apple didn't want to work with NVIDIA or AMD or couldn't come up with a way of upgrading RAM they shouldn't have bothered with the new tower and left it as the only intel model. The market the tower was intended for was better served with x86 for at least the next few years. This feels like a rush job. 
    To be fair, if you're using those slots for things like high-speed storage expansion, or crazy-level I/O, TB isn't going to cut it. But, this brings up a point about GPUs and the rebuttal Apple keeps taking about in regards to RAM/GPU and 'optimized performance.' Sure, some off-chip RAM or a GPU in a slot or TB isn't 'optimized' but my eGPU on TB works just fine in the 3D apps and games I run on my Intel Mac. I have to think they just didn't want to go that direction, not that it wasn't possible, or even realistic.

    mfryd said:
    ... If you are editing, color correcting, or otherwise working on major motion pictures with budgets well over $100 million, you likely fall into this category.   You also fall into the category, where you expect to replace these machines every year or two with faster and better ones.   $7K for a new machine is small potatoes.

    Remember, these are people who are happy to pay $5k for a monitor as they are used to paying over $20K for monitors.


    Now if you are a home hobbyist, and want to incrementally upgrade your machine as budget allows, then the Mac Pro may not be for you.  But then, a home hobbyist is not the "professional" market.
    ...
    Yes, but you're talking about one segment in the professional market, here (and then a generalization about the high-end pro market and budgets*). The problem is Apple has no solution for the other areas of the pro market, now, regardless of budget.

    They actually have a better solution for the home-hobbyist on the whole with the mini Pro or Studio, except for the lack of GPU-power. Those people weren't likely in the Mac Pro market since like early 2000s (like me, I once owned a Pro Mac... it's way out of my budget, now). I'm thrilled with the Mac Studio in theory. I never really needed a Pro besides there being no real middle in the Mac lineup much of the time.

    But, in my discipline, I need reasonable GPU power. Apple has insanely increased the GPU power across the lineup (for gamers, this is good, as even an entry level Mac could potentially do some gaming now, not just a few high-end models), but at the same time, they have massively lost GPU-power on the high end. A Mac Pro with 4+ GPUs is so far ahead of anything in the current lineup, comparisons are absurd. But, even a setup like my 2018 mini w/ eGPU is faster than anything Apple currently offers. IMO, this is a fairly big problem.

    * Yes, totally. I used to work for a near Fortune 50 in IT. Every year, the manager would come and say something like, "OK, we've got to spend $70k on some new equipment within the next couple of weeks. What kind of things do we need?" So, we'd go on server shopping trips, or everyone would get new laptops, etc. The equipment would be passed down or repurposed. But, if the hardware can't do the basics when new, it isn't going to get purchased in the first place. (And, we were just a small division within the bigger company. I imagine for some, it's like, 'we have to spend $200k, or $1.5M', etc.)
    You make a reasonable point that Apple does not offer suitable products for certain market segments.

    An important question, is what percentage of the overall computer market is being left out.

    My suspicion is that the consumer market is likely at least 20 times larger than the high end pro market.   I suspect that the high volume consumer market has a much higher total profit potential than the much smaller, high end professional market.   If Apple lost 90% of the pro market, and gained 20% of the consumer market, I think that would represent an increase overall sales.

    I may be off base, but ease of use advantages are likely more important to non-technical consumers, than high end professionals that have the support of their corporate IT department.    A consumer benefits from the easy setup of Time Machine backups.  A pro with an IT department, may not care, as backups are handled by the IT department.

    Remember, Apple is running a business.  They don't need to win every market segment.  They can come out way ahead by capturing only the larger market segments.   According to their marketing, Apple doesn't enter a market segment, unless they feel they can offer a much better product than the competition.    The Apple Silicon based systems offer very good price/performance in the consumer market.  Not so much at the high end.  From a business perspective, it may not be necessary to develop a version of Apple Silicon that supports third party memory and GPUs.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 70 of 71
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    mfryd said:
    You make a reasonable point that Apple does not offer suitable products for certain market segments.

    An important question, is what percentage of the overall computer market is being left out.

    My suspicion is that the consumer market is likely at least 20 times larger than the high end pro market.   I suspect that the high volume consumer market has a much higher total profit potential than the much smaller, high end professional market.   If Apple lost 90% of the pro market, and gained 20% of the consumer market, I think that would represent an increase overall sales.

    I may be off base, but ease of use advantages are likely more important to non-technical consumers, than high end professionals that have the support of their corporate IT department.    A consumer benefits from the easy setup of Time Machine backups.  A pro with an IT department, may not care, as backups are handled by the IT department.

    Remember, Apple is running a business.  They don't need to win every market segment.  They can come out way ahead by capturing only the larger market segments.   According to their marketing, Apple doesn't enter a market segment, unless they feel they can offer a much better product than the competition.    The Apple Silicon based systems offer very good price/performance in the consumer market.  Not so much at the high end.  From a business perspective, it may not be necessary to develop a version of Apple Silicon that supports third party memory and GPUs.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
    I agree, and it is probably a more dramatic margin than 20x more. But, there are intangible impacts besides profits. Apple used to be a power-house in many of these disciplines, so there is image at stake. Also, being involved in these technologies filters down the line, kind of like car companies being involved in racing.

    And, then of course there is gaming, which applies to the average consumer. If Apple is serious there, GPU-power is a concern (though, true, not 4x GPUs or that kind of thing from the Intel Mac Pro). The question is whether they are serious, or just more marketing... which is why game makers are reluctant to jump in.
  • Reply 71 of 71
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 216member
    cgWerks said:
    mfryd said:
    You make a reasonable point that Apple does not offer suitable products for certain market segments.

    An important question, is what percentage of the overall computer market is being left out.

    My suspicion is that the consumer market is likely at least 20 times larger than the high end pro market.   I suspect that the high volume consumer market has a much higher total profit potential than the much smaller, high end professional market.   If Apple lost 90% of the pro market, and gained 20% of the consumer market, I think that would represent an increase overall sales.

    I may be off base, but ease of use advantages are likely more important to non-technical consumers, than high end professionals that have the support of their corporate IT department.    A consumer benefits from the easy setup of Time Machine backups.  A pro with an IT department, may not care, as backups are handled by the IT department.

    Remember, Apple is running a business.  They don't need to win every market segment.  They can come out way ahead by capturing only the larger market segments.   According to their marketing, Apple doesn't enter a market segment, unless they feel they can offer a much better product than the competition.    The Apple Silicon based systems offer very good price/performance in the consumer market.  Not so much at the high end.  From a business perspective, it may not be necessary to develop a version of Apple Silicon that supports third party memory and GPUs.

    Of course, I could be wrong.
    I agree, and it is probably a more dramatic margin than 20x more. But, there are intangible impacts besides profits. Apple used to be a power-house in many of these disciplines, so there is image at stake. Also, being involved in these technologies filters down the line, kind of like car companies being involved in racing.

    And, then of course there is gaming, which applies to the average consumer. If Apple is serious there, GPU-power is a concern (though, true, not 4x GPUs or that kind of thing from the Intel Mac Pro). The question is whether they are serious, or just more marketing... which is why game makers are reluctant to jump in.
    Yes, there is marketing value to high end flagship products.   There is still the question as to whether the marketing value is enough to justify the expense of designing and building the product.

    The issue here is that it isn't just a matter of adding some RAM sockets or software to address the high end of the market.  Apple has made an explicit decision to trade off expandability for speed.     By directly connecting the RAM to the CPU and GPU, access speed is greatly increased.  This gives a big performance boost, while keeping power demands low.  It also allows the GPU to share RAM with the CPU, providing further performance improvements.  It's a good architecture for the consumer market.   The downside, is that it doesn't support RAM expansion, large amounts of RAM, or third party GPUs.    Thus, in order to support those, Apple would need to spend the resources designing a new hardware architecture.  Even if they do develop the architecture, they need to have GPU vendors write software drivers that support Apple Silicon.   

    An Apple Silicon processor that supported these features would likely run slower than current processors (more overhead in communicating with RAM and GPU).  Apple would need to throw more processors into the mix to compensate.  Current Apple Silicon chips are tuned to minimize power consumption.  Apple might need to radically redesign the hardware in order to optimize the processor for speed over power consumption.


    Getting an expandable Apple Silicon based Mac Pro would be a major undertaking.  

    I suspect if it was easy to have an expandable Mac Pro, that's what they would have given us.
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