lemon bon bon.
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They had perfectly fine and competitive towers in the Steve Jobs triumphant return.
He sorted out the Pro line with the Blue and White G3. Bang cpu speed. Bang GPU. Standard components pretty much. Great access to the tower. And Sound prices!
Prices crept up with the G4 line...and again with the G5 line....and again with the Intel line and again(!) with the Art piece thermal corner, 'The Can.' (A great design which has to be seen in the flesh... Still don't see what a bumped cpu, two mid range vegas can't be used in the interim.)
Go to any PC box builder web site. It doesn't have to be this hard.
Apple have got used to upsell and squeezing every last inch out of profit out of their products. iMacs. Laptops. Towers. Phones. iPads. All have had their prices upped. And by hundreds of pounds.
$250+ billion and it still isn't enough.
The current can is almost 3x the entry price of the £995 G5 tower (yes...not an imaginary dream...) in the UK. The entry iMac is almost double the old £595 coloured iMac. Now? You're struggling to get any Mac for under a grand with a screen. A thousand pound is still a lot of money here in the UK. I don't think Apple get that. I don't think they truly get that people want towers. There's a big gaming community. If you add up all the tower sales Apple aren't getting, they're leaving money on the table.
I don't believe an entry tower for £1200 that Wizard is asking for is unreasonable. Nobody thought the iPad would land at £399, they thought it would be a thousand. At least Apple have in that regard squeezed the price down...but with Google crap tops putting pressure on them in Education... Do they want to lose the Education and Creative markets? Who is going to program their iAPPs?
Apple used to have decent towers for fair prices. The iMac used to be 'the' consumer mac pc for under a grand (it started higher but had two to three models under a grand at its coloured plastic peak...) and they had towers in the 1000-£2000 price range before customisation.
Those that wanted the standard could have that. Those that wanted Nv or ATI could have that. Those that wanted the best gpu could have that. Those that wanted to add HDs, screens etc, choice of Apple monitor...could have that.
I'm really not interested in Apple home pods, ear buds, I've had 3 iPhones now. (Be a long time before I buy another...) ATV, iPad 3...
Just fed up with the treatment of the creative crowd by Apple. I have had two iMacs. My current one could do with being 5k but isn't. *(shrugs.) So given Marv's predictions of power in the next two years, I'd be insane to buy now...at Apple's current prices for out of date hardware on both Mac Pro and Mac Mini front. ('Come on folks, let's call it what it is...'SHAME...SHAME...MEHHHHH....BAA-AHHHHH!')
Apple could have easily re-tooled the old classic Tower for TB and a couple of GPUs with enough for 4 SSD bays. They want a model like the Can model where you can jack up the entry prices, have difficulty upgrading yourself re cpu and memory and HDs...and you buy upfront, jacked up prices from them at point of sale.
I'll keep my money in my wallet. Ty. As a consumer, I want more than glacial improvements and upsell. I'm going to extract value out of my current iMac. (Which cost me...about £2200. Something like that. It's 6 years old and counting. )
Maybe in two years they'll release a 32inch 8k iMac Pro worthy of the money. £5k for that with screen? Ok. I'll think about it. £3.5k for an 8K Dell monitor. iMac or Mac Pro should be doing that in a couple of years with a gpu bump or two on the way...and more PCI and TB4 on the horizon and more cpu cores...and a memory speed boost...and bigger SSDs.
Yes. Intel and GPU specs have been in the '5 year' doldrums for glacial improvement. Only in the last year did GPU and AMD's Ryzen kickstart things again. Things are finally moving.
But does Apple give us the remarkably cheap and fantastic 8 core Multi-Core performance for an entry tower and a Mac Mini boost? Or more cores in the entry iMacs?
No. A cheaper cpu with good cooling. Ryzen has been a critical and consumer success but Apple's sticking with their stagnated desktop line.
High prices. Out of date components.
iMac Pro. I'll give them a few points. But to seal off the ram, geeze. It's pricey. Use a Ryzen 8 core and bring the price right down. To me, there's an 8 core, decent gpu Mac to be had for £2000-£2500 max.
Lemon Bon Bon.
I don't know why Apple don't work with AMD. Affordable 8 core cpus rather than the premiums they pay on Intel chips. Imagine an 8 core Ryzen chip in the Mini or Mac Pro. (An affordable Tower for £1500. *Waves at Wizard. You and me both, Mr. Wizard.) There's a big gaming, VR, AI market for Apple to aim at. Content is more popular than ever. A tower Mac has a place. But not at a price of £5k and higher! £3500 would be the limit for me. But I'd want an 8 core Mac Pro to start at £2500. (The four core Mac Can was pricey at that! Then they jacked it to 3k!)
I don't believe they could make the Mac Pro can into a 'mini' Pro and put Ryzen and a medium Vega in it.
Instead we're paying £2000 for 4 core i7s...still...and lower end gpus from AMD. (Yeesh. It just means I keep my iMac longer Apple.)
But that would mean Apple couldn't charge premium prices and keep a straight face...
Lemon Bon Bon.
Marvin said:tipoo said:So fully 6 years between them by 2019, that's crazy to think of the gap left. That a very long time in silicon terms.
The "pro workflow team" is encouraging. I'm hoping for myself it allows a lot of min/maxing, not fixed to relatively high end hardware on all parts like the iMac Pro. I need a lot of CPU for data science, but a GPU goes entirely unused, so I wouldn't need Navi Pro with HBM2 adding to the cost.
Their team of people working with pro workflows sounds like a great setup. Even contracting people to work on high-end visual effects jobs so they can sort out all the performance issues. That benefits all Mac users. Sometimes people assume more powerful hardware is needed when software runs slowly but as Apple has shown with FCP X vs Premiere, it can just be a case of making the software optimal. Apple has also demonstrated this with iOS products.
The other factor mentioned in the article is the external GPUs. Apple showed the Techcrunch reporter Macbook Pros running with 1 and 2 external GPUs with 8K workflows. For people looking for that enthusiast-PC type setup, this works fine. GPUs are able to do real-time raytracing:
That 24fps demo was done using quad Tesla V100 GPUs so around 60 TFLOPs of GPU performance. The CEO of Epic estimated around 40TFLOPs would be needed to do photoreal graphics in real-time ( https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/40-teraflops-tim-sweeney-epic-photo-realism/ ). The current iMac Pro has 11 TFLOPs. Photorealism doesn't have to be real-time for post-production work but they are already moving to 7nm GPUs so in a couple of years there will be a doubling of GPU performance. This means ~4TFLOP MBPs and 20 TFLOP iMacs and hooking up an extra GPU or two via TB3 can bring it up to 60 TFLOPs.
It's good to have the option of a modular tower system. It will likely allow up to double the performance of the iMac Pro but at price points around $8k-14k, it's not going to be the equivalent of the old towers that started around $1900. It's going to be an aspirational product that almost nobody will own. Most professionals will still be using iMacs and MBPs as their everyday workhorses. It's always nice to see new hardware designs though. I reckon they'll want to show it off at WWDC 2019 so over 12 months away. That puts it in a timeframe to get PCIe 5, maybe TB4:
Interesting post, Marvin, as always...
Your look at future GPU performance in the the next two years is intriguing. We're looking at real time ray tracing within our grasp.
A 20 TFLOP iMac and hooking up a couple of external gpus is appealing to me. I have a pre-retina iMac (bought a year too early...) and the machine is holding up very well. Like new.
It doesn't look good. About 9 years to get what they had in the first place. Some will post pics of the Next Cube and the Quadra AND the Bauhaus Pro Mac. Apple have some great hardware legacy in this space. Couldn't they put two medium Vegas, the latest i9 10-18 core chip in the Mac Pro 'Can'??? If they can put it in the iMac Pro...
Still, they don't want to. Because it's flawed and aint selling to the diverse Pros demographics. Fair enough. But they could have to tide over the vociferous pros. But again, they didn't like it from the outset. People wanted room for several drives, at least a couple of gpus, a couple of cpus. Apple took that away with the 'Can' and you can't take things away from people and expect them to be happy about it.
A modular design with room for 2 cpus, 2 gpus and 3-4 SSD drives? And take up less space than the old Bauhaus. Why's it taking them so long. For all the reasons people on this thread said. Management. Market moving in a way that was obvious to everybody but Apple. Potential ARM move away from Intel.
Cynically, you could say that there was nothing to upgrade to from Intel or the GPU makers worth the money. Minimal and glacial advances. You can see what Apple have thought in iOS land they're better to do the entire thing themselves by investing in everything from ram, gpus to CPUS. Giving the chips now entering the Mac from their customer chips division the writing is on the wall for Intel.
So? In the meantime there is the iMac Pro. Very sexy. (But isn't it just a CAN repackaged with a screen?) I'm sure many tower advocates would love the innards of the iMac Pro without said Screen attached.
I'd love to see them do a Mac Mini stacker system Infinity linked. Want another 4 cores? Buy another unit. Plug in GPU of your choice. Want ten of them? That's £500 a pop. Apple gets their money either way.
I just see a more proprietary tower system inside a snugger case, maybe not as 3rd party upgradable as I'd like. Apple wants locked down systems with big profits.
I don't like the Tower price progression. It went from £999-£1200 for the low end in the UK, to £1500...to £2000, to £2500, to £3000... Then you get the 'mainstream' iMac floating up in price. Then an 8 core iMac at £5000.
I think the prices are somewhat ridiculous.
You used to be able to buy an entry iMac for £595. You can't now. Apple had the 11 inch Macbook Air affordable. Macbook Pro revision was insanely priced.
I'm interesting in what they do of course. It may just be that 2019 fits in, like Marv' and others have said, with 7nm GPUs, TB 4, PCI 5(?) and higher core count cpus are finally on the move. Moving planets of tech' into the alignment for a Mac Pro. Add to that monitors...potentially going 8k. The Dell 8k is remarkable at £3,500. In two years what will it be? I remember when Apple's 22inch LCD (was it?) at around £2000. Remember when Jobs intro'd the 30 incher and it needed two gpu links to power it? Love to see the Mac Pro debut with an 8K. Maybe by then, gpus will be able to power an 8k monitor at 60fps? AMD Navi? That's two revisions to go on gpus. (I know they're struggling at 4/5k at 50-60 fps at the moment...)
Hopefully timing is everything.
Lemon Bon Bon.
Casual gaming on steroids. More powerful than the consoles of yesteryear. All in a tiny box.
A stealth attack on gaming.
Great selection of games. Just not the mono-culture of 1 man and his first person view style stuff that dominates PC games. And it doesn't have to be. IT has a broader mandate.
A10X. Never expected something this powerful to be in the little ATV black box. Very powerful. 4k streaming as well??
Some great games coming up when devs start using that power. Equivalent to a PS3-ish? (Which is still a fab console. If it has that power and above that's just fine for the casual game and on market.)
Broadest possible market. Apple will hoover up casual gamers with this in synchronicity with the iPhone/iPad it's a trinity strategy. Got the 'steel' controller to wicket keeper the siri remote.
Er. They could be more active in their gaming strategy? Sponsor the 'kool' gaming companies or buy their own studio eg. Bungie? But why bother wasting the money? The force of gravity from the iOS black hole ecosystem and the force multiplier of iPhone/iPad will bring games to the platform one way or another.
There's lots of great, innovate gems of games out there. Not conventional big budget 'Doom' style shooters but that's not what Apple's after. But lots of inventor games with a different take to the usual... The casual market is huger than 'Doom' and his copycats.
Atv 4k has a bright future ahead of it. A price cut to put the boot in would be good. But it's cheaper than a PS 4 or Pro or a Switch? With a far more formidable ecosystem behind it.
The one good idea above by someone said it would be a great retro gamers device. Apple would have to hoover up all the rights to do that though?
Be great to play all the old C64 games on it! (Never thought graphics would be this good on a home system back then...)
Lemon Bon Bon.
Procreate. Outstanding software. Oh for a 'Mac' version. (Though I suspect they may be working on a Mac version in secret...)
A stunning rebuke to those that say iPad is 'consumption' not 'creation.'
Procreate. Painting software re-invented. Blistering fast. Simple. Intuitive. An elegant masterpiece.
To be honest, there's an avalanche of creative tools on the iPad. It's a revolution on the 'Mac' for the 'rest of us.'
I'll be getting an iPad Pro in due course. 2017 seems like a good year to buy...
Lemon Bon Bon.