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

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  • Reply 381 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    But with what will they replace it? In five years, will iMacs be twice as fast as modern Mac Pros? Or at least fast enough for the spec snobs (is it okay to call them that? I can't think of a more accurate descriptor) to not have a problem with its death?



    A physically smaller machine, but something bigger than an XMac. The reality is in order for machines to get faster they have to get smaller. Intel is already working on new concepts in RAM technology to compact the hardware of a computer.



    Eventually the high performance GPU will be integrated on the CPU chip to more closely couple the hardware. We already see the advantages in this with AMDs Fusion lineup and frankly they haven't even tried to go high performance yet.



    As to spec snobs I suggest that you need to work on that a bit. Some people actually do use ever cycle of performance they can get out of a workstation. That isn't me and might not be you but we can't dismiss the need that these people have. In many industries time is money.

    Quote:

    I suppose they'll always have a problem with it. They want internal expansion, not ten Thunderbolt ports and power socket.



    Well one TB port isn't enough. Internal expansion can be very important to many users. That capability though is not just an issue of PCI slots, you need room for RAM, secondary storage, and ideally a GPU. I say a GPU because I'm thinking about the possibility of a plug gable GPU card with an additional connector for the TB port.

    Quote:

    Apple doesn't seem to care about that, though. Recent history shows "it doesn't matter if it's better if it's also different" when it comes to pro stuff.



    I tend to disagree somewhat, the MBPs are good pro machines.

    Quote:

    And before anyone gets on me about Final Cut Pro X being 'better', I completely agree that they shouldn't have shaved any features. That was one of the stupidest thing Apple has ever done. Right up there with the puck mouse, the Mighty Mouse track sphere being SO easy to get dirty, and iPod Socks. They shouldn't have shaved features from QuickTime X or iMovie '06, but they did. And people got over it as they brought them back.







    Thanks, but the worst part is, I was being completely serious.



    Social networking is redefining the concept of 'friend' into a meaningless melange ranging from 'someone who actually fits the true definition of the word friend' to 'I've never met this person, I am probably either financially or physically incapable of ever meeting this person, I don't have a clue who he is, and my worldview is being shaped by his posts on my wall'. And that's just 'friends', never mind the other stuff for which it tries to write its own definition



    Anyway, NOT IMPORTANT. We're talking about the death of the Mac Pro, not the death of human relationships.



  • Reply 382 of 649
    ...will we be forced to go on the dark side ?
  • Reply 383 of 649
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    If you don't want to lose the MacPro, let Apple know:



    http://www.apple.com/feedback/macpro.html
  • Reply 384 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post


    I'm using a current 12 core Mac Pro and I have render times of up to 20 minutes a frame, sometimes longer. So I don't want to wait a few years for an iMac or Mac Mini to have the power of what is needed NOW.



    If Apple drops the Mac Pro, I'm am switching, and I'm not just switching at the desktop level, I'm switching the whole studio. Then their halo is broken...and when my friends that aren't professionals see me using something other than Apple, they're going to question why they're using it, if the professionals aren't. Consumers always and will continue to want what the professionals/famous people use. That will not be Apple if they kill the Mac Pro. As I will switch within 3 months of that announcement.



    Of course that would be the reaction of most legitimately high-end customers. I'm not one and hence I'm fine with a Mac Mini right now. But Apple is not, as far as I can tell, considering the demise of the Mac Pro in the near term. What is being debated is the long-term future of the product. Further development would seem like a waste of resources if the Pro has roughly 18 months of relevance left.



    The logical way to go would be to continue to offer the Mac Pro, unaltered, until such time as the other desktops evolve past it and that time is not far off. So right now the Pro would be the machine of choice for those with demanding work to do and 18 months from now the Pro would be discontinued but the iMac and Mini provided with enough upgrades to meet the needs of pro customers such as yourself. If a future version of the Mini can handle what you need to throw at it, why would you care that the Pro is no longer available. Surely considerations of appearances are irrelevant in a work environment and even if something like the Mini would require a little more desktop clutter, I hardly think that would be a dealbreaker. One thing about a desktop is that once everything is hooked up and positioned, you pay it little heed. Set it and forget it so to speak. Certainly having a couple of external devices hooked up to my Mini has caused me zero issues. It's just not a problem.



    There is no reason why, as mobile chips gain muscle while remaining efficient, that the classic tower desktop has to remain in the mix. And if a $2,500 Mini set-up can rival what was previously accomplished with a much more expensive Mac Pro, how is this a bad thing. Surely saving money is a part of running a successful business.
  • Reply 385 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by danatkorg View Post


    That doesn't seem to be the case in this thread.



    There *is* an assumption that the design constraints of the iMac will prevent it from being equipped with the same amount of CPU power, for instance, as its contemporary Mac Pro models.



    It really isn't an assumption , as long as the iMacs retain their current form the differences in volume clearly give an edge to a Mac Pro type box. In simple terms one can stuff more chips in there. Even the much discussed XMac would have certain advantages over the iMac.



    The thing here is hardware is shrinking. So tomorrows iMac will be very powerful, however that shrinkage just means more "stuff" can be incorporated into a Mac Pro.

    Quote:

    It's possible that this may change with time, but for now, those big heat-sinks just won't fit. This is aside from all other issues of expandability, displays, etc. So, sure, iMacs can do a lot now, and they'll be able to do more in the future - but a less-constrained physical design (e.g. Mac Pro) seems likely to maintain an edge.



    It is more than an edge in my opinion. Rather the Pro is an entirely different class of machine. If one recognizes this then they should also realize the futility of comparing an iMac to a Mac Pro.

    Quote:

    There's also an assumption that the amount of processing power required (or at least useful) for certain tasks, such as video editing, rendering, audio/music production, etc. will continue to increase as well, as standards continue to be raised based on what's newly possible. Not infinitely, probably, but at least for a while into the future.



    Again I dont see any indication at all of an assumption. Software consistently expands or evolves to use all the available resources. Image production is one example today but tomorrow it could be any number of apps.



    Apple has a real problem with the current Pro though. I really can't see how the platform is even remotely profitable. I had ideas about correcting that and I'm sure many people at Apple feel the same way. The problem is that there seems to be a lack of heart for the desktop at Apple.



    The only good thing is the rumors about a full overhaul of Apple hardware next year. I just don't believe Apple has a viable vision for the desktop and as a result will deliver hardware built with the same old tired formulas.
  • Reply 386 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post


    Just because the Pro line of products, both hardware and software, may not be as profitable as the consumer machines and portable gadgets (iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad etc), this is not a valid business reason to dump them. If the Pro machines are turning a modest profit and there remains a continued demand for them, especially from countless audio and video professionals and semi-professionals all over the world who are invested in the platform, then it would behoove Apple to maintain the development of the Mac Pro, or an equivalent (updated) product line that covers the top end.



    IMHO it would be a false economy, no... it's worse than that... more like shooting themselves in the leg, if they ditched the Pro line, just on account of the obsession with profit maximization, as if that is the only relevant factor in running a business.... (reflecting the impossible/unrealistic demand from shareholders for each quarterly statement to increase at an unsustainable pace).



    The Mac Pro and their higher end software like Final Cut, DVD Studio Pro, Logic etc. represent the prestige (and history) of the company. Its what gave machines bearing the Apple logo the sense of "quality" over competing hardware from Dell, HP, Gateway etc, and the Windows OS. It is already proven that Mac users are more productive than their Windows counterparts.. and this fact has even filtered down to the IT world, previously vehemently anti-Mac, but now open minded or even starting to get positive about it.



    There is a potentially huge market for high end Apple products in the corporate/IT world, if only Cupertino had the vision to look a little further than the next frickin' quarter (and maybe even invest in some promotion in this area). The boom in Apple gizmos and gadgets sales over the last few years will undoubtedly fall off as other manufacturers carve their own market share and undercut Apple's prices. Also the novelty value of "machines that can do everything, but nothing very well" will grow pretty old, pretty fast.



    There will always be a demand for machines with as much media crunching power as possible. Just ask any recording engineer or video producer... and believe me, people in the creative area *need* as much horsepower power as they can get their sweaty hands on. It's all about time and productivity in the ultra competitive world of multimedia.



    Re. the high end... a slightly exaggerated analogy here, can you imagine Ferrari abandoning their line of hand built and very expensive high performance cars, in favor of churning out millions of cars that look and feel like a Ford Mustang instead? Um... no.



    For Apple to ditch the top end might be the beginning of the end of Apple's current riding the wave... and possibly might even kill the company for good.... unless they are very careful.



    I'm with you 100% here.
  • Reply 387 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    I've noticed an awful lot of 1st time poster, new accounts on this thread. People outraged by the rumor of change enough to make an account and post or sock puppets to make an issue seem larger than it is. You decide.



    These first-time posters are more likely "pros" who, in the past, didn't want to waste their time debating their needs in a computer with those who think an iMac is a realistic replacement for a MacPro.



    But now can't hold their tongues anymore.
  • Reply 388 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samwell View Post


    These first-time posters are more likely "pros" who, in the past, didn't want to waste their time debating their needs in a computer with those who think an iMac is a realistic replacement for a MacPro.



    But now can't hold their tongues anymore.



    Ah, that clinches it. Sock puppets, then.
  • Reply 389 of 649
    dsoldsol Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samwell View Post


    These first-time posters are more likely "pros" who, in the past, didn't want to waste their time debating their needs in a computer with those who think an iMac is a realistic replacement for a MacPro.



    But now can't hold their tongues anymore.



    Yeah, I'm one of them. I don't normally bother posting on these forums as they're a haven for PC/Mac trolling. But this issue is too important for me - and my business - to not say anything.



    Here's what I wrote to Apple. God knows if they even care - or read it.



    Hi, I've heard a number of alarming rumours that Apple is considering killing off the Mac Pro line entirely. While I appreciate the Mac Pro only represents a vanishingly small percentage of Apple's profits compared to iOS devices, for development of content to run on aforementioned devices, you need to have great tools, and the Mac Pro (even in its currently dated configuration) is the top of Apple's lineup for my needs.



    I run a boutique visual effects company in Soho, London. I'm currently typing this on an 8-core 2008 Mac Pro, which has been upgraded to 20GB of RAM, a couple TB of internal storage and - via a PCI-E RAID card - about 12TB of RAID5 storage externally. The iMac, beautiful machine though it is (I have one as a secondary workstation) isn't powerful enough for a power user like myself. Applications like After Effects and Modo (in their 64bit incarnations) are RAM-hungry beasts and soak up as much processing and GPU power as you can afford to throw at them. The more the better. I can't afford to be held up by hardware that's slower than me. Even if the Xeon CPUs lag behind their consumer counterparts, just upgrading the rest of the system to add Thunderbolt I/O and more RAM slots, faster - or dual - GPUs, plus built-in Flash Memory (upgradable via daughtercard like the MacBook Air) would make it a perfect machine for my needs. My credit card is ready and waiting.



    I could -in theory - switch to Windows. But I've been a mac user for almost 20 years now and I really don't want to have to give up OSX and all its attendant loveliness. I also dabble in Cocoa dev, and I really like and appreciate the great design that's gone into all Apple hardware and software. Unfortunately, it feels like Apple's lost its interest in the high end Pro market, which is a pity as many of the people working there really are the ones who "change things", to paraphrase a certain iconic TV ad....
  • Reply 390 of 649
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dsol View Post


    Yeah, I'm one of them. I don't normally bother posting on these forums as they're a haven for PC/Mac trolling. But this issue is too important for me - and my business - to not say anything.



    Here's what I wrote to Apple. God knows if they even care - or read it.



    Apple reads feedback it is sent and sending them feedback is far more productive than posting on AI anyway. Not giving a company money and direct communication w/them are some of the best ways for consumers to have their message heard by companies.
  • Reply 392 of 649
    I truly believe Apple needs to address these rumors.
  • Reply 393 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post


    I truly believe Apple needs to address these rumors.



    And they'll do it when the next model comes out.
  • Reply 394 of 649
    nceencee Posts: 856member
    10 pages of comments (so far) seems to be a good enough reason to keep them, and make them kick ass!



    Skip
  • Reply 395 of 649
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member
    I can't imagine Apple without a MacPro. I am a professional video/media producer and my work would basically be impossible without the expandability and CPU power of the Pro. Let's not forget that a large part of the price of the Pro goes to Intel. There is a very important market that is served by this machine. It is the Cadillac, Mercedes, whatever, of the Apple line. Abandon it and it is a screw you to the pros who kept Apple alive during some very thin periods. I would rather retire from media production than be forced to work on a Windows box. Apple, wake up! Your reputation for being the best is worth more than the profit you make on your Pro line. Do we all have to be reduced to the least common denominator? Try editing video on an iPad. This is not the exceptionalism I expect from a company founded by Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 396 of 649
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncee View Post


    10 pages of comments (so far) seems to be a good enough reason to keep them, and make them kick ass!



    Skip



    No it just means people on AI have nothing better to do than comment. All these comments will mean nothing if Apple doesn't read any feedback about it. Send feedback to Apple and maybe link this comment thread and the similar couple over at Ars Technica as examples. Otherwise, we can't just count that Apple will be surfing rumor sites to see what people say. They might, but if my business counted on MPs (it doesn't, I test software for a healthcare company who has very little to do w/Macs) I wouldn't bet my business on that.
  • Reply 397 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jim W View Post


    I can't imagine Apple without a MacPro. I am a professional video/media producer and my work would basically be impossible without the expandability and CPU power of the Pro. Let's not forget that a large part of the price of the Pro goes to Intel. There is a very important market that is served by this machine. It is the Cadillac, Mercedes, whatever, of the Apple line. Abandon it and it is a screw you to the pros who kept Apple alive during some very thin periods. I would rather retire from media production than be forced to work on a Windows box. Apple, wake up! Your reputation for being the best is worth more than the profit you make on your Pro line. Do we all have to be reduced to the least common denominator? Try editing video on an iPad. This is not the exceptionalism I expect from a company founded by Steve Jobs.



    No one is implying that Apple is about to kill off the Mac Pro, only that it doesn't know if it should bother to continue to develop it. There is a difference.
  • Reply 398 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    I've noticed an awful lot of 1st time poster, new accounts on this thread. People outraged by the rumor of change enough to make an account and post or sock puppets to make an issue seem larger than it is. You decide.



    The issue is huge! You may not understand the need to have a workstation that runs Mac OS but that doesn't make other peoples needs irrelevant. In many cases some of these users would never have enough horse power, there is nothing Apple can do about that, however Apple can build a reasonably priced high performance machine that makes money for them.



    Profitability is the big issue right now. Media professionals simply don't represent enough customers to drive Mac Pro sales. Thus Apple needs a Pro that appeals to a wider array of customers. This is best accomplished with a box that can handle dramatically different motherboards. One board would be Ivy Bridge based and the other a multi socket Xeon solution. The goal should be an entry level performance box that starts at $1200. As it is now the pro isn't even remotely affordable to those with midrange needs.
  • Reply 399 of 649
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    No one is implying that Apple is about to kill off the Mac Pro, only that it doesn't know if it should bother to continue to develop it. There is a difference.



    In the open market, that sounds like the same thing to me. Would you really want to work on Windows to get the latest hardware?
  • Reply 400 of 649
    jim wjim w Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The issue is huge! You may not understand the need to have a workstation that runs Mac OS but that doesn't make other peoples needs irrelevant. In many cases some of these users would never have enough horse power, there is nothing Apple can do about that, however Apple can build a reasonably priced high performance machine that makes money for them.



    Profitability is the big issue right now. Media professionals simply don't represent enough customers to drive Mac Pro sales. Thus Apple needs a Pro that appeals to a wider array of customers. This is best accomplished with a box that can handle dramatically different motherboards. One board would be Ivy Bridge based and the other a multi socket Xeon solution. The goal should be an entry level performance box that starts at $1200. As it is now the pro isn't even remotely affordable to those with midrange needs.



    Not everyone is midrange. Just the unexceptional. You might remember "The Crazy Ones".
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