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

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  • Reply 101 of 649
    I still believe that the 27" iMac is the best value in computing today. They just need to make the next iteration more modular. Ditch the optical drive and the 3.5" HDD and provide two user accessible SSD (2.5") bays. One would be enough for the smaller iMac, but the 27" is a Pro machine and it deserves two. Keep the Thunderbolt ports and add a couple USB 3.0 ports for external storage.



    I have to believe that they could make this even thinner that the current iMac and provide better cooling at the same time. I would buy one in a heartbeat!
  • Reply 102 of 649
    the only thing I can tell from most of the previous posts is that VERY few people understand the needs of professional who need the horsepower.



    Expansion for example is critical for a video editor even if you have a top end video card you're going to need a slot for your "BOB" of choice wether its for FCP or avid, another slot for fiber channel or Dual channel SATA and most likely another slot for something else down the road and that's if you aren;t using a card that needs two slots and many of them do.



    The i7 is nice as some have said, but it's just not the workhorse a xeon is. no "portable" class chip will ever be.



    Thunderbolt is great, but I don't see it servicing the needs of high end pros any time soon.



    Too bad for the pro's. I wonder who will continue to service our needs and even if they do we'll have to switch to Windows. Bummer. My crew and myself hate the platform with a passion.



    There has been allot of discussion lately (pertaining to google specifically as I have seen) about companies using the strategy of gaining popularity with respected and influential professionals to garner popularity for their platform with the masses. Once the numbers for the pros are outweighed by the masses the pro features/ platforms/ software(s) are discontinued and relegated to the status of "legacy" or DOA because it "costs the developer too much" to continue servicing the "niche" they created. Funny how video editing was a huge part of what saved Apple a few years ago and yet we aren't worth the consideration these days. How times have changed.





    It seems like we will be returning to the days of proprietary systems ALA SGI and Sun MS's before too long. I doubt that MSFT and Windows will really be able to service our needs. (Not that Avid for example doesn't run well on Windows, just the OS is indisputably a dog). Further many of the hardware manufacturers will have to revamp their product line to work with whatever comes down the road and that will take a long time if they ever decide to go down that road since it seems clear what Apple's directions is.



    My personal two cents. Apple is starting to really suck in it's treatment of pro's to put it simply. I'm not that annoyed because there will be options and it's just a computer platform, but they did alienate those of us who helped in large part to keep them and make them relevant when no one else cared to use their machines. BAD on them for that. Great consumer company, but they obviously don't want or need to be anything else. I hope it doesn't bite them in the ass years down the road when they need a loyal fan base to prop them up should the consumer market (a fickle on in that) decide that Apple is yesterdays pink Cadillac.



    IMO They really should spin off the pro division (They'll never license OSX out no sense barking up that tree) and stop worrying so much about profits of X vs profits of Y. Profit is profit and sometimes goodwill with influential people is better than being the most popular.
  • Reply 103 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


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



    it's not just the power though, it's the storage as well.



    Almost every program I use on the MacPro can't take advantage of multiple CPU's and no Mac program can use more than 4 Gigs of RAM anyway. For those reasons, while the "power" of the Mac pro is welcome it's over-rated and not much different from an iMac in practice.



    What I really NEED is the storage. I use all four hard drives and each is 2TB's. I then back those up to a network storage device.



    You can add some external drives to an iMac but it's cumbersome, stupid and expensive. If you have a lot of data and need it available at all times you need the extra storage provided by the Mac Pro. I can't see how anyone could have much of an iTunes library without one unless they buy into the whole iTunes in the iCloud stuff.
  • Reply 104 of 649
    recrec Posts: 217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post


    This is just the latest step in Apple's long term plans to morph itself into a consumer electronics and entertainment company. OS X has been dumbed down and iOS-ized, the Xserves are gone, they removed features from OS X Lion server, Final Cut X is a joke among video pros, their only current monitor doesn't even work with the Mac Pro or Macbooks older than six months. The last two years have been a disaster for pros who depend on Macs to do their work. At my company we're looking at Windows 7 and Linux PCs to replace our Macs because Apple seems determined to abandon the professional power user.



    I think its more accurate to say that Apple doesn't know how to make money doing what you want them to do.



    Apple never got anywhere competing against beige boxes. They've always had to try and go somewhere else.



    They reach so many more people and are so much more relevant selling consumers $500 ultraportable computers. They sell tons of those. It has the features and pricing people want.



    You could say the pro is useful for the apps that get made for iOS, but I bet if you profiled iOS developers the vast majority get their apps made on macbooks and imacs, which are more than powerful enough.



    I would argue that the beige box future simply doesn't exist. Does anyone have a great business making tower PC's? Isn't everyone who depends on making computers in this line struggling to some extent? Margins are way down, quality is down, its a difficult and fairly profitless business. Yes Dell sells lots of boxes, but they make almost no money doing it. Lots of businesses buy and lease these boxes for their users, but its just a big lumbering slow business with slow upgrade cycles and cautious purchasing habits.



    It's time to phase out this line. It's a distraction for Apple and takes their attention off of the more profitable and useful product lines. They probably even have some brilliant engineers and designers on the Pro line now who would be alot more useful to us elsewhere.
  • Reply 105 of 649
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I agree with this decision (if it turns out to be true). The Mac Pro has 2 things the iMac doesn't: PCIe bus and many cores.



    Thunderbolt gives the iMac an equivalently fast expansion bus. And multi-core work, people are discovering, is better done on the GPU anyway.



    The iMacs do have a PCIe bus, it's just not available in a form that uses a standard port. Apple could easily add the port to the logic board if they so wanted.



    Thunderbolt isn't as fast as the latest PCIe either, so you won't find a GPU in a box attached to your Mac via Thunderbolt any time soon. No doubt Thunderbolt will get faster, but so will PCIe. By your admission, more work is being done on the GPU, so surely that should be more reason to have it accessible in some kind of standard PCIe slot inside iMacs?
  • Reply 106 of 649
    markbmarkb Posts: 153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CityGuide View Post


    I'm sure I'll be in the minority with this opinion, but I think the MacPro chassis externally has the kind of classic design associated with the 911 series in cars or the 747 in aircraft.



    you are certainly not alone in this opinion. I have never seen a PC workstation case that measures up in terms of usability, style, and craftsmanship. I will probably try to retrofit the case when the Mac pro gets retired. It's just solid.
  • Reply 107 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEAMSWITCHER View Post


    I still believe that the 27" iMac is the best value in computing today. They just need to make the next iteration more modular. Ditch the optical drive and the 3.5" HDD and provide two user accessible SSD (2.5") bays. One would be enough for the smaller iMac, but the 27" is a Pro machine and it deserves two. Keep the Thunderbolt ports and add a couple USB 3.0 ports for external storage.



    I have to believe that they could make this even thinner that the current iMac and provide better cooling at the same time. I would buy one in a heartbeat!



    You clearly have no idea about why there is a pro market or what it is. iMacs are great, but they aren't equivalent in any way to the Mac pro.
  • Reply 108 of 649
    modemode Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    Do they? Your opinion says yes. But the facts may say no.



    I work for a studio level FX/Annie house and last year we replaced 20 aging Pro based workstations with iMacs and have had no issues. We are replacing the other 30 with iMacs over the next six months. We have a mac mini server running our email. We also have four workstations running a Linux based rendering system. If we could get Mac minis that could handle that load we would.



    How did you guys deal with the glossy mirrors? Super low lighting? Black out all the windows? I know of a few large design studios in Vancouver that decided to drop the Mac because of these issues. At one, productivity was dropping because of headaches and eye strain - and they didn't want to black out the windows on their sweet studio space. They are using ugly anti glare sheets on the iMacs they still have and had to move color critical rendering into "the cave".



    When my Mac Pros die, looks like my 30 year love affair with Apple will come to an end. I heard windows 7 isn't so bad. Maybe Apple will figure out how to manufacture a functional display by then like ALL the other manufacturers have done.
  • Reply 109 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Can you help satisfy my own curiosity? Did you expand your own Mac Pro? If so, in what way? Did you add additional video cards? More disk drives? I'm curious as to how many people might have bought a Pro - just in case, but no case as arisen for the need to expand.



    But this is the point, with thunderbolt you can expand your Mac's storage & PCI-X capabilities thus elevating the need for a big empty tower you can expand into. As laptops become more powerful most people are going this route simply because they need the expandability of a tower more than the raw power.



    The Mac Mini could easily take the place of the Pro with the right thunderbolt accessories, if Apple invests in a few key devices such as a PCI-X card housing and a storage housing then I think we could see the Mini become the new desktop. Might still be nice to have a souped up mini with more cores & such, that might be worthwhile.
  • Reply 110 of 649
    ugh, every time this comes up I have to tell this story, and hope Apple realizes there is NOTHING to replace the MP were they to stop making them. Nothing...



    I have a 2007 Mac Pro 1,1 with 3880 graphics, 6TB drive storage space and 16GB memory. I bought it when the first Aluminum iMacs appeared but were short on stock, and I had a major book project coming up that was too much for my aging Powerbook. I wanted the iMac, but couldn't wait six weeks for them to ship. My wife told me to just get the Mac Pro, that it would probably last much longer. Boy was she right.



    It's still a current, modern machine, and workhorse, a beast, what have you. It runs Lion without a hitch. Photoshop, InDesign, Aperture and Final Cut like a champ. My wife, meanwhile, is limping along with an Aluminum iMac, which beach balls constantly just running Photoshop on Lion. It wasn't so happy with 10.6 either. My Mac Pro will easily last another three years before showing its age. And I've still only half filled its memory slots and could go to 18GB internal storage. It can run three huge displays and dance circles around my friends' brand new MacbookPros.



    So tell me, was it overpriced? Is it a dinosaur or boat anchor? I think not. No other configuration will allow that kind of storage, graphics, PCI and memory expansion and look so good doing it. If anything, Apple is under pricing them (provided you don't BTO the RAM, heh heh). If they raise the price, I'll still buy one when I need to replace mine. And if they do discontinue one, I'll sell mine for 1500 bucks and buy a new one as soon as they announce the end of the line. Then I'll still have another 6 years to figure out what's next.



    A ramped up Mini? No way the graphics will be good enough. Sure external thunderbolt is ok, and an sad system disk will do internally. But unless they can pack 32GB of memory in there, it'll never run what pros need.



    An iMac? ok, as long as I can get to the internals quickly, and without any assistance. My wife's iMac, while expandable, needs complete disassembly of the housing and display just to swap hard drives or upgrade the video card. And the glossy screen is a definite show stopper.



    Maybe the Pros will have to pay more to work, while the consumer lines continue to get Apple's love, but if that's what it takes, so be it. I'll just have to charge my clients a few dollars more.



    oh, and as for its 8 year old case, it's still the most beautiful tower out there. Have you seen the competition? nasty.
  • Reply 111 of 649
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    There is a simple solution to this.



    Instead of Xeon processors which are an overkill for most people, Apple should offer Core i7 and Core i7 Extreme processors. This will bring the price of the Mac Pro down and allow more people to buy one.



    The Xeon processors are an overkill and I really don't understand the advantage the offer over desktop Core i7 processors.





    Quote:

    The Mac Pros back in 2006 weren't quite so overpriced as they are now, the latest ones are utterly extortionate.



    Quote:

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



    Their prices did go up significantly. Apple should offer the cheaper Core i7 processors, maybe even Core i5 for those who need expandability but don't the overkill Xeon processors. They should sell it with no GPU as an option for those who want to install their own GPU later.
  • Reply 112 of 649
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 816member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Almost every program I use on the MacPro can't take advantage of multiple CPU's and no Mac program can use more than 4 Gigs of RAM anyway. For those reasons, while the "power" of the Mac pro is welcome it's over-rated and not much different from an iMac in practice.



    Most Mac apps do use multiple CPUs, all the iApps do for a start. Also, any 64-bit app can use over 4GB of RAM.



    If the power of the Mac Pro is disputed, why is it my 2006 MP is still comparable to new iMacs today? An iMac from 2006 with a C2D has no chance of competing, but the Xeons are so well designed that they seem to have the power that the cheap consumer chips can't quite get. They effectively stay faster, for longer.
  • Reply 113 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Can you help satisfy my own curiosity? Did you expand your own Mac Pro? If so, in what way? Did you add additional video cards? More disk drives? I'm curious as to how many people might have bought a Pro - just in case, but no case as arisen for the need to expand.



    I just upgraded my G5 Tower to the 8-core Mac Pro. Bought the base version and built it out. Added 2nd video card (running 23" 30" & 23" non-glare Apple monitors), bumped the Ram to 20GB, put the new original 1TB HD in storage (without even starting it up) and put in three 2 TB drives, and transferred a 1.5 TB from the old Mac as the 4th internal drive, giving me 7.5 TBs. Added a Firewire 400 PCI card, and a USB hub. Running 2 printers (one is a large format) 6 TB of external drives, and 2 scanners (flatbed & dedicated slide scanner). Would have put in a USB pci card, but the video graphic card covered to slots so I went with a USB hub instead. Also running a 400 watt THX certified sound system. I also put a Blu-Ray burner in the second optical slot.



    I will always need a pro system for my work. And, I spend too many hours working to use glossy monitors so the iMacs won't work for me. Very happy with 3 monitors now instead of just 2 because it really does make working easier. Used my old one with its dual IBM processors for almost 7 years. Hope to get another 7 out of this one.
  • Reply 114 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    They need something more powerful than the Mac Mini but screen-less unlike the iMac. However, the Mac Pro is and has been a boat anchor. I mean seriously, that thing is unwieldy. No need for a huge hunk of aluminum like that in this day & age. I cringe whenever I have to deploy or service one.



    Why can't they utilize their expertise in ventilation and produce a fast thin octo-core unit that can stand upright if needed, and be turned on its side for rack mounting to replace the XServe? This rumor has been going around for a while and made so much sense that I am shocked to learn it might now not be happening.



    I agree. An octo "short stack" should be eminently possible to make (think something like a mini-tower, about as big as the old Mac Cube.
  • Reply 115 of 649
    If Apple drops the Mac Pro without making another high end alternative I will be throwing Logic and Apple out the door and get a PC with Pro Tools HD...



    That goes for the rest of the pro audio marked using Mac as well....



    Yeah, and I will dump all my iToys with it......
  • Reply 116 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Replacing the Xserve requires more than just a rackmount form factor. The Xserve also had:

    Dual hot swap power supplies.

    Hot swappable hard drives.

    Hardware monitoring and sensors: You could check status of the Xserve's fans, power supply, and system temperatures from Apple's Server Manager application.

    Lights out management: You can remotely power up or hard shutdown the Xserve even if the Mac OS is not working-- you dont' need to drive to the server room just to hold down the power button.



    Excellent point about what the Xserve servers had.



    A lot of people think that servers are about raw power and speed...



    But what you really need is the "abundancy of redundancy" and LOM(Lights Out Management) to be a true server grade box. To my knowledge the Mac Pro had neither.



    Most of the servers I work with are completely headless, as in no video, zip, none nada, and are strictly managed through the LOM ports or SSH shells or VNC. With a LOM port a server can be powered up/down, reimaged, etc. from a maintenance console somewhere else.



    While the Mac Mini can be managed pretty good remotely it is still doesn't rise to the level of having real LOM support. Plus it doesn't have redundant power supplies. And installing a new OS remotely would be completely out of the question. The environmental and performance monitoring is not too bad though. And the harddrives could support redundancy through external hardware.



    But neither the Mac Pro or the Mac Mini will seriously compete with the Sun or IBM server equipment without LOM. Does Apple even use them for their own server farms? I seriously doubt it.
  • Reply 117 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post


    We went from Mac Pros/PowerMac G5s to the top of the line 27" iMacs last year and they work just fine in our art dept. It's sad that this might be it for the tower Macs...



    Remember, what Intel giveth Adobe will surely take away.
  • Reply 118 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ort View Post


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



    Wow, it's like Intel sets their release schedules and prices or something!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Exactly! It is like Apple doesn't understand what most people need or want in a desktop.



    Gosh, I have no idea if you're joking here. Seriously, I cannot tell. Given your history, I would think so, but you're so dang smart and the actual numbers show that this statement can't be anything but a joke?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post


    Running a Dual 2.0 GHz PPC daily, I still think I can blow the wheels off any iMac made today for heavy graphic work.



    You're completely wrong.
  • Reply 119 of 649
    I don't like this at all. Not one bit. There are many uses for which the raw horsepower of a many-multi-core Mac Pro is the only viable solution. My Mac Pro is currently 3+ years old (and early 2008 eight-core) and while it works well, I've been patiently waiting for the next version before upgrading. Please, Apple, if you're listening, don't kill off the Mac Pro!!!
  • Reply 120 of 649
    mariomario Posts: 345member
    this will be the undoing of Apple.
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