-hh (2017)


-hh (2017)
Last Active
unconfirmed, member
  • Editorial: New Mac Pro highlights the gap Apple isn't filling

    The people upset about this machine are really upset. My question is how big is the market for those who don’t want an iMac Pro or Mac mini but the Mac Pro is too much machine/too expensive for them. I’m talking about people who need this for their job, not hobbyists/enthusiasts who just want to tinker. I don’t think Apple will waste time on the tinkerer market. If you can get your work done with an iMac Pro or Mac mini that’s what Apple expects you to use.

    I agree that Apple doesn't want to cater to the hobbyist/enthusiast/tinkerer market segment, but that doesn't mean that they're negligible vs the higher end "Pros", at least in the olden days where the MSRP of the basic PowerMac / Mac Pro box was half of what it is now today.  And similarly, Apple does not honestly offer real 'Pro' class product support after purchase - - they're still very much a "consumer"-class corporation.  For example, Apple doesn't sell at any price an on-site repair/warranty service plan, let alone an <8 hour one instead of a <24 hour one.

    Moving back to the hardware discussion for this 'prosumer' customer class, the consideration of the non-Mac Pros is distasteful, as the ability to tailor it to workflow needs is technically possible, but ends up being both ungainly and expensive.


    Case in point, for my personal (not work) Mac Pro ... its (aftermarket, obviously) SSD-based boot drive has been higher performance than SATA-3 for the past half dozen years, which means that the 2019 iMac 5K is still functionally a step backwards in base I/O bandwidth performance.  Even so, I consider it to probably be a better option by comparison vs the mini or iMac Pro due to other trade-off considerations. 

    For all of the options, the status quo has a clean look because its 17TB of local data storage is internal, running off of a single 110VAC plug and UPS power supply - - not a stack of external drives, which adds roughly +35% to the price of storage.

    For the iMac Pro, I already have a 27" Apple monitor, and my home office doesn't have the room to move to a dual-display setup, so there's that.   FWIW, since I'm able to keep the hardware secure, I don't need (nor do I care for the IT management risks of) the encryption from the T2 chip.  The basic "replace current" costs here would be roughly $5400 for an iMac Pro + $1100 (TB3 Promise R4) + $500 (slow external USB3's) = ~$7K.  Costs should actually go higher if I split the R4 to add in a higher-performance NVMe SSD RAID to have the new machine's data segment be higher performance than the current status quo instead of merely its equal. 

    The mini would save around $2400, for ~$5K out the door, but there's a lot of questions there on thermal throttling due to its form factor, which I know I wouldn't have if I just finally bite the bullet and move anther machine over to Windows, at roughly the same $5K cost .. and also gain back in-house maintainability that doesn't exist with any of these closed-box Apple "consumer grade" products.   FYI, the 27" iMac 5K works out to about the same ~$5K as the mini, but with 3rd Party RAM to allow it to be configured to 128GB RAM.  

    Lastly, the new Mac Pro, it is $6K for the upfront buy-in.  At only 256GB for the boot drive and with no 512GB option, so how much will its 1TB boot SSD be?  Based on the iMac Pro, I estimate at least +$600.   Bumping RAM to 64GB will probably be +$1K (IBID).  I doubt that Promise's new internal HDD RAID module(s) will be any cheaper than its current TB3 externals, so I'll assume the same $1100 price point here.  Ditto for random low performance data (remote site backups) for +$500 as before.  This puts its starting point (without any monitor) at $9.2+K, which is +30% (+$2K) higher than the augmented iMac Pro and, for the mini, +85% (+$4K) ...nearly twice the total system price. 

    Overall, for my "not-Hollywood 8K HD video" workflow needs, there's simply not sufficient justification in capability enhancements to spend more than $5K overall to modernize, particularly from a 'prosumer' perspective, there isn't the business revenue factor at all to provide a rationale.  YMMV.