The 2019 Mac Pro will be what Apple wants it to be, and it won't, and shouldn't, make ever...

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  • Reply 261 of 309
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 854member
    Soli said:
    MacPro said:
    [...] The MBA seems next best option but there is a new one due soon with a Retina screen
    Are you sure there's a new Retina Air coming? The impression I have (based only on what I've read here on AI) is that the Air is in essentially a holding pattern, maybe getting an occasional upgrade if the new parts drop in without any significant redesign. Of course, I could be wrong. It's bene known to happen from time to all the time.

    FWIW, I used an Air for a few months between when my old MacBook Pro died and the new one was released, and the screen technology didn't interfere with my enjoyment of it at all. Obviously when placed side-by-side with the new MBP the difference is plain to see, but the screen on the Air is certainly more than good enough for the vast majority of routine computing tasks, including photo editing that doesn't require the absolute best colour precision one can get.

    You may be perfectly happy with an Air, even without a Retina screen.
    To me, it feels like it will be updated to Retina. I’ve floated the idea that the Air moniker could be used to differentiate between Intel and ARM-Macs. If they could have what is essentially a 12” MacBook with Apple silicon for $100–200 less than the current 12” MB I think that would be a huge win for both Mac sales and the PC market as it will likely spur other vendors to adopt less expensive, ARM-based WinPCs.

    Apple seems to have a history of both a seemingly unreasonably long holding pattern when a major revamp is coming (e.g.: Mac mini and Mac Pro) and when they plan to just sell through stock before kicking it to the curb without any forewarning (e.g.: classic iPod and iPod Shuffle).



    If all the groundwork is in place -- the only visibility of different architectures would be if you installed a VM with another OS running on it (no more x86).  All applications should be installable on both (either fat binaries or LLVM bitcode translators on install).  The App store would install either ARM or Intel.  The distinction would just be "Pro" is Intel, non-pro ... ARM.  With Pro you could install a VM with another x86 operating system.  With non-Pro it would not.
  • Reply 262 of 309
    jdwjdw Posts: 742member
    crowley said:
    My god.  Someone is "entitled" and a "prick" for using the word "should" on an unaffiliated Apple message board as a shortening of "I think they should", and "thinks Apple owes them something" simply for expressing an opinion on what would make Apple's product better.  They need to sort out their identity, what a loser.

    Meanwhile the free-thinking, super-smart Soli is buying Apple stickers for his local businesses.  What a star.

    That's hilarious :smiley: 
    :-)
  • Reply 263 of 309
    jdwjdw Posts: 742member

    Regarding Apple's pricing in the past:

    The Mac SE retailed for $2499, in 1987. The Mac II went on sale for about $5500 in 1987, and the IIfx sold for $9000 at a minimum, starting in 1990.

    The Original PowerBook G3 (the 3500) originally sold for $6499.

    This is not a Cook phenomenon. Apple has never been afraid to charge a pretty penny for things.
    Any good student of Apple knows Apple’s pricing philosophy is rooted in Steve Jobs’ philosophy of charging “as much as the market will bear.“  We also know that the existing trashcan Mac Pro didn’t work out so well for Apple. It’s innovative, to be sure, but it’s very much a niche product because it wasn’t made to appeal to the masses like PowerMacs before it.

    As I said before, Apple needs to lower the point of entry to buy into the Mac Pro. Started off at $1999 and allow people to add Apple branded and third party upgrades, potentially making the end price up to $25,000. You’re going to attack a larger segment of the market that way, and also make some veteran Mac lovers very happy at the same time.  But when you come out with a Mac IIfx priced at $10,000, immediately you are going to exclude large segment of potential buyers.  One reason the iPhone is so successful is because the price point of entry to buy into it is not beyond the reach of what many people can afford. Price is key. But when I comes to a desktop computer, so is expandability, especially on a computer with “pro“ in its name. 
  • Reply 264 of 309
    nhtnht Posts: 4,463member
    bkkcanuck said:
    Soli said:
    MacPro said:
    [...] The MBA seems next best option but there is a new one due soon with a Retina screen
    Are you sure there's a new Retina Air coming? The impression I have (based only on what I've read here on AI) is that the Air is in essentially a holding pattern, maybe getting an occasional upgrade if the new parts drop in without any significant redesign. Of course, I could be wrong. It's bene known to happen from time to all the time.

    FWIW, I used an Air for a few months between when my old MacBook Pro died and the new one was released, and the screen technology didn't interfere with my enjoyment of it at all. Obviously when placed side-by-side with the new MBP the difference is plain to see, but the screen on the Air is certainly more than good enough for the vast majority of routine computing tasks, including photo editing that doesn't require the absolute best colour precision one can get.

    You may be perfectly happy with an Air, even without a Retina screen.
    To me, it feels like it will be updated to Retina. I’ve floated the idea that the Air moniker could be used to differentiate between Intel and ARM-Macs. If they could have what is essentially a 12” MacBook with Apple silicon for $100–200 less than the current 12” MB I think that would be a huge win for both Mac sales and the PC market as it will likely spur other vendors to adopt less expensive, ARM-based WinPCs.

    Apple seems to have a history of both a seemingly unreasonably long holding pattern when a major revamp is coming (e.g.: Mac mini and Mac Pro) and when they plan to just sell through stock before kicking it to the curb without any forewarning (e.g.: classic iPod and iPod Shuffle).



    If all the groundwork is in place -- the only visibility of different architectures would be if you installed a VM with another OS running on it (no more x86).  All applications should be installable on both (either fat binaries or LLVM bitcode translators on install).  The App store would install either ARM or Intel.  The distinction would just be "Pro" is Intel, non-pro ... ARM.  With Pro you could install a VM with another x86 operating system.  With non-Pro it would not.
    That worked out well for Microsoft...oh wait, not so much.
  • Reply 265 of 309
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Why not run two CPUs concurrently? Have (most of) OS X and (all of) Apple’s applications run on an ARM processor, kicking the Intel chip into gear when you need more power? They’ve done it for HDD+SSD, and they’ve (almost? or did they get it working fully?) done it for having two kinds of GPU at once. Seems like mixing CPU architectures is the next step.

    And yes, this statement is partially in jest. Hopefully I haven’t given any hardware engineers ulcers from just reading that.


  • Reply 266 of 309
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,314member
    lkrupp said:
    cornchip said:
    macxpress said:
    eightzero said:
    Observation: Apple or AI says the words "Mac Pro" and the AI forums assplode. 

    You pro dudes/ dudettes are a passionate lot. And bless you all, 'cause it makes great reading. 
    Haha....well yes it brings out the armchair engineers, executives, and industrial designers. I didn't know there were so many experts here yet I don't see them applying for a position at Apple. 
    Hey now, I actually am an industrial designer!
    Yeah, prove it. Or are we just supposed to accept the claim of an anonymous poster on a tech blog like the trolls who start out saying “I’ve used Apple products for years and I love the company...BUT”?
    Hope my pm cleared up any doubts. I’m no Jony Ive, but we’re not all poseurs & trolls...
    Soli
  • Reply 267 of 309
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 854member

    bkkcanuck said:
    My IBM PC - Dos 1.1 - 2 floppy drives - fuzzy Electrohome CGA monitor / CGA card and a cheap dot matrix from 1981 cost just shy of $15K USD (with 20% educational discount) in today's dollars.
    There had to be more than what you've listed included in the purchase price. Ours was around $2500-ish with dual floppies.

    https://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/04/15/how-much-a-computer-cost-the-year-you-were-born/4/
    "At introduction, a PC with 64 kB of RAM and a single 5.25-inch floppy drive and monitor sold for $3,005, while the cheapest configuration (US $1,565) that had no floppy drives, only 16 kB RAM, and no monitor"

    If I remember right the default card was monochrome, and the monitor was B&W.   Add the colour Electrohome monitor, the CGA card, the printer, I cannot remember if the 8087 math coprocessor was in the package or added later (now just part of CPU), a couple of software packages (Wordstar being one), IBM 8088/8086 Assembler (which spit out numeric error codes - upgrading to 96K would get you text error codes)  (things that are free today on your mac).... and of course a copy of Decathalon game so that you would mash your keyboard and need a new one -- just kidding.  
  • Reply 268 of 309
    cornchip said:
    lkrupp said:
    cornchip said:
    macxpress said:
    eightzero said:
    Observation: Apple or AI says the words "Mac Pro" and the AI forums assplode. 

    You pro dudes/ dudettes are a passionate lot. And bless you all, 'cause it makes great reading. 
    Haha....well yes it brings out the armchair engineers, executives, and industrial designers. I didn't know there were so many experts here yet I don't see them applying for a position at Apple. 
    Hey now, I actually am an industrial designer!
    Yeah, prove it. Or are we just supposed to accept the claim of an anonymous poster on a tech blog like the trolls who start out saying “I’ve used Apple products for years and I love the company...BUT”?
    Hope my pm cleared up any doubts. I’m no Jony Ive, but we’re not all poseurs & trolls...
    Oh please tell me you didn't actually indulge that ridiculous behaviour. I was embarrassed to the point of cringing when I saw that post.
    Solicornchip
  • Reply 269 of 309

    bkkcanuck said:

    bkkcanuck said:
    My IBM PC - Dos 1.1 - 2 floppy drives - fuzzy Electrohome CGA monitor / CGA card and a cheap dot matrix from 1981 cost just shy of $15K USD (with 20% educational discount) in today's dollars.
    There had to be more than what you've listed included in the purchase price. Ours was around $2500-ish with dual floppies.

    https://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/04/15/how-much-a-computer-cost-the-year-you-were-born/4/
    "At introduction, a PC with 64 kB of RAM and a single 5.25-inch floppy drive and monitor sold for $3,005, while the cheapest configuration (US $1,565) that had no floppy drives, only 16 kB RAM, and no monitor"

    If I remember right the default card was monochrome, and the monitor was B&W.   Add the colour Electrohome monitor, the CGA card, the printer, I cannot remember if the 8087 math coprocessor was in the package or added later (now just part of CPU), a couple of software packages (Wordstar being one), IBM 8088/8086 Assembler (which spit out numeric error codes - upgrading to 96K would get you text error codes)  (things that are free today on your mac).... and of course a copy of Decathalon game so that you would mash your keyboard and need a new one -- just kidding.  
    I don't remember what it had for internal components or RAM. Probably not much, given what it cost. Mono monitor, not colour. No printer. Dual floppies though!
  • Reply 270 of 309
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,863member
    cornchip said:
    lkrupp said:
    cornchip said:
    macxpress said:
    eightzero said:
    Observation: Apple or AI says the words "Mac Pro" and the AI forums assplode. 

    You pro dudes/ dudettes are a passionate lot. And bless you all, 'cause it makes great reading. 
    Haha....well yes it brings out the armchair engineers, executives, and industrial designers. I didn't know there were so many experts here yet I don't see them applying for a position at Apple. 
    Hey now, I actually am an industrial designer!
    Yeah, prove it. Or are we just supposed to accept the claim of an anonymous poster on a tech blog like the trolls who start out saying “I’ve used Apple products for years and I love the company...BUT”?
    Hope my pm cleared up any doubts. I’m no Jony Ive, but we’re not all poseurs & trolls...
    Oh please tell me you didn't actually indulge that ridiculous behaviour. I was embarrassed to the point of cringing when I saw that post.
    I agree with Lorin, @cornchip. The chances of someone who didn't believe you based on your history here is likely not going to be waved by proving yourself. It might even lead to them being extra critical of your abilities simply because you've proved them wrong.


    Plus, there was data that allows your real identity to be obtained. While there are plenty of regulars here who know my real name and other information, these are people whose character I trust even if we often butt heads. 😃
    cornchip
  • Reply 271 of 309
    Soli said:
    [...] these are people whose character I trust even if we often butt heads. 😃
    I don't think they're going to like being called buttheads.
    Soli
  • Reply 272 of 309
    I'll say it again... to truly meet every Pro's needs, a truly "modular" Mac is needed. This requires a complete rethinking of how a computer is designed.

    Instead of just one box, and having to upgrade that box or replace it when more power is needed, instead, imagine if you just added another box. And another. And another.

    Imagine Mac mini's that daisy-chained together to create a Mac Pro.

    Yes, Grid computing for consumers. This would turn the industry on its ear, and Apple would have an advantage that competitors could not match (easily).

    Now... with Apple TVs and HomePods having powerful processors, yet under utilized, if Apple did build in grid computing, imagine the power you could tap into when on your home network?! Every device could contribute processing cycles to whatever device you are using. Yes, this is possible, and was available as Xgrid in the past. Apple lost their way on that project... I hope it returns.
    This. Going this route would totally fulfill Apple's desires to ship little boxes that never need to be opened. Buy one with a 10 core Xeon and 32GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Need more storage? Thunderbolt 3 a RAID. Need better than integrated graphics? Buy a TB3 graphics box. Need more RAM and CPU power? But another Mac Pro box and hook it up for seamless grid computing. If they made all these boxes link up in some clever way (and perhaps make them rack-mount standard sizes) they could axe that "but all the wires!" lamenting. I'd imagine the displays Apple comes up with will have built in GPUs too, so the lack of beastly graphics in the lil box with the Xeon and the RAM and what have you would be easier to accept-- and it'd make things a lot cooler, thermally speaking as well. I feel like this is what Apple had in mind with the trash can Pro, but thunderbolt 2 wasn't quite up to snuff. Maybe TB3 isn't either and they'll use a special optical link for the grid stuff, who knows, but this concept strikes me as absolutely the way they'll go. They'd be saying "internally upgradable" instead of modular t'were there really a cheese grater redux in the works. Also- you're so on about this being another way to separate Apple from the competition. Sure there's grid computing out there, but it's not plug and play. I'm excited to see how this pans out. 
    I would go further and actually put the storage in a separate box. Then offer, say, a choice of 512GB, 1, and 2TB SSD "boxes".  Also get more configs for the CPU/RAM box, like 4 core Xeon w/16GB RAM and even a low end option w/ Core i7 and 8GB RAM. Something along those lines. Price it all separately and let the customer mix and match to his/her desire and hook it all up using TB3.
  • Reply 273 of 309
    nht said:

    You deserve all the verbal rocks hurled your way. 
    Why? He hasn't insulted anyone.
  • Reply 274 of 309
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    My (hopefully wrong and undoubtedly unpopular) opinion: Apple is giving this next Mac Pro a serious rethink and design job because it's going to be the last one they ever make. For all the entitled blather (and occasional "gets it" poster) seen in this thread, the fact of the matter is that nealry every other product Apple sells, sells a quantum order of magnitude better than this, or any future, Mac Pro.

    There simply aren't enough people in the market for a top-spec Mac for Apple to justify making one, and hasn't been for at least the last 20 years. This new one is a last hurrah which I think will be very expandable (as long as the current chip families/graphics card standards hold out) because Apple hopes you'll get six to eight years out of it and then realise that the iMac Pro from 2017 would have met 95 percent of the pro market's actual needs if you'd actually bought one instead of pimping out your cheese grater.

    Just take a look at what's selling well for Apple these days: phones and tablets (which serve the needs of 95 percent of its customers), and services. I haven't seen anything to suggest that's going to change anytime in the foreseeable future. The Mac line overall is just barely worth the effort invested in selling it, at around 4M a quarter on average -- it's peanuts (albeit high-margin peanuts) to a company that is where Apple is now, and there is literally nothing the company could do to bring Mac numbers up to where even the iPad sells.

    Do I expect Apple will stop making the Mac? No, but the models that do the least well will, sooner or later, go on the chopping block -- just like the Xserve et al did -- and the Mac Pro has (according to Phil Schiller, who would know) sold in the "low single digits" since long before the 2013 model came out. That's the reality.
    edited April 2018 docno42
  • Reply 275 of 309
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    chasm said:
    My (hopefully wrong and undoubtedly unpopular) opinion: Apple is giving this next Mac Pro a serious rethink and design job because it's going to be the last one they ever make. For all the entitled blather (and occasional "gets it" poster) seen in this thread, the fact of the matter is that nealry every other product Apple sells, sells a quantum order of magnitude better than this, or any future, Mac Pro.
    I don't think so, if you look at the other article on the front page about the Mac Pro, you will see that Apple has formed an internal engineering group dedicated to future pro Macs and studying the workflows of pros.

    I think what you say was the plan, but something happened 12-18 months ago that changed their mind, not sure what though.

    My two theories are that either Microsoft's moves in the computer space made them uneasy. Or that they decided that VR gave the Mac a path forward away from mouse and keyboard and towards future relevancy.
  • Reply 276 of 309
    ascii said:
    chasm said:
    My (hopefully wrong and undoubtedly unpopular) opinion: Apple is giving this next Mac Pro a serious rethink and design job because it's going to be the last one they ever make. For all the entitled blather (and occasional "gets it" poster) seen in this thread, the fact of the matter is that nealry every other product Apple sells, sells a quantum order of magnitude better than this, or any future, Mac Pro.
    I don't think so, if you look at the other article on the front page about the Mac Pro, you will see that Apple has formed an internal engineering group dedicated to future pro Macs and studying the workflows of pros.

    I think what you say was the plan, but something happened 12-18 months ago that changed their mind, not sure what though.

    My two theories are that either Microsoft's moves in the computer space made them uneasy. Or that they decided that VR gave the Mac a path forward away from mouse and keyboard and towards future relevancy.
    I had felt that in all likelihood that Apple had decided to walk away from some of their most demanding power/professional users - as a business decision.  I remember (if my memory serves me) the invitation happened very very soon after Microsoft named the next update to Windows the "Creators Edition" (or something like that).  There has been a very vocal number of power/professional users that went through the five stages of grief and were on the acceptance stage.  A number had already packed it in - and had already migrated off and "upgraded" to HP workstation class machines (that top out even higher than we will ever see from Apple).  Along comes Apple and they decide to announce vaporware to a small select group of media and power/professional users -- something Apple does not do -- and probably only did because they realized that their plan to prove everyone that they were right with their trash-canning the Mac Pro -- and that this vocal minority would come around... and while some would accept and try to fit something in... the number of those that were vocal and were not going to come around and were going to migrate off... finally sank in.  If they do disappoint with the release - those that did hang around... will migrate off -- and the top end of the Mac line will go the way of Aperture.
  • Reply 277 of 309
    chasm said:
    My (hopefully wrong and undoubtedly unpopular) opinion: Apple is giving this next Mac Pro a serious rethink and design job because it's going to be the last one they ever make. For all the entitled blather (and occasional "gets it" poster) seen in this thread, the fact of the matter is that nealry every other product Apple sells, sells a quantum order of magnitude better than this, or any future, Mac Pro.

    There simply aren't enough people in the market for a top-spec Mac for Apple to justify making one, and hasn't been for at least the last 20 years. This new one is a last hurrah which I think will be very expandable (as long as the current chip families/graphics card standards hold out) because Apple hopes you'll get six to eight years out of it and then realise that the iMac Pro from 2017 would have met 95 percent of the pro market's actual needs if you'd actually bought one instead of pimping out your cheese grater.

    Just take a look at what's selling well for Apple these days: phones and tablets (which serve the needs of 95 percent of its customers), and services. I haven't seen anything to suggest that's going to change anytime in the foreseeable future. The Mac line overall is just barely worth the effort invested in selling it, at around 4M a quarter on average -- it's peanuts (albeit high-margin peanuts) to a company that is where Apple is now, and there is literally nothing the company could do to bring Mac numbers up to where even the iPad sells.

    Do I expect Apple will stop making the Mac? No, but the models that do the least well will, sooner or later, go on the chopping block -- just like the Xserve et al did -- and the Mac Pro has (according to Phil Schiller, who would know) sold in the "low single digits" since long before the 2013 model came out. That's the reality.
    No, I think I'll argue the other side of it. The unusual (unprecedented?) statements and the media access (to cagey executives) they've provided on this topic indicate the opposite. Apple sees the need to provide machines that can produce the content for those services you highlight. An alternate universe where the iMac Pro is the top of the line isn't hard to imagine, for sure, but I think you're missing something important.

    In the past, the Intel processing tier used in the 2013 Mac Pro and the 2017 iMac Pro was enough for most content-creation workstations. Beyond that was the world of data processing/servers. But that calculus is changing now, bringing a need for more power than what that middle-tier, single-processor Xeon E5/W level can provide. In addition, the Macintosh itself is changing, with an increasing role for Apple's own silicon -- the T1 and T2 are just the start. I just don't see Apple being willing to concede so much high-end content creation to Windows and HP's excellent and comprehensive line of workstations. This isn't like the data processing/server market. The iPhone and iPad need the Mac Pro, as do Apple Music and the upcoming Apple Studios or whatever they are going to call their own content.

    Any Xeon SP Mac Pro worth building is going to be expensive, and probably dual-processor. Those holding out for something that starts under $2999 (likely higher) are going to be disappointed. Maybe a Mac mini reboot will fill some of that void -- certainly it could if done right. Call it a Mac (it was only ever "mini" in relation to Power Mac and Mac Pro towers), with Xeon E and discrete graphics on the high end, Core i5 and Intel graphics on the low end. Everything exists for that to happen today.
    edited April 2018 bkkcanuckcornchip
  • Reply 278 of 309
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,313member
    jdw said:
    I honestly don’t know why some of you throw rocks at us Mac-only buyers who want and affordably priced Mac Pro. I just don’t understand it.  
    For every component that could be upgraded but isn't a puppy dies!  
    cornchip
  • Reply 279 of 309
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,313member
    Again, I'd prefer that all my devices had removable NAND—including my Watch, because of data security
    Huh?  Especially with iOS devices encryption kind of makes this a moot issue.  The only bits that matter are where the encryption keys were stored - and the iOS reset procedure already massively overwrites those areas in excess of DOD guidance.  It's in the iOS security guide somewhere if you really care to look it up. 

    As for desktops or laptops - if you aren't using disk encryption your an idiot.  Especially with SSDs.  

    This isn't the 1990s with spinning disks...
  • Reply 280 of 309
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,313member
    Aye.  Simple.

    They had perfectly fine and competitive towers in the Steve Jobs triumphant return.
    Holy cow. I liked a post from lemon bon bon.  

    I feel strange...
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