New Mac Pro - 2018?

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by elvis, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/04/apple-pushes-the-reset-button-on-the-mac-pro/

    http://daringfireball.net/2017/04/the_mac_pro_lives

    About time? Too little too late? Glory praise be to Apple?

    The current gen Mac Pros are terribly designed, there is no doubt. Good on Apple for admitting that publicly after all this time. But now we have to wait until 2018 some time to get a tower that can hold a motherboard and some PCI-E slots?

    As a long time Mac customer and previous fan (that fandom died 2 years ago for me), I'm not sure I can hold on that long. That's made worse by the constant failings of macOS in a high end environment (poor disk/IO performance, poor network performance, enterprise-standard protocols breaking and not being fixed, etc, etc).

    No date confirmed yet. "Not this year" is as good as Apple will give us, which puts 2018's WWDC mid-year as a likely candidate.

    What do other Mac Pro customers think of this? I hope we can avoid the "Macbook Pro / iMac is good enough for anyone" style comments in this thread, and hear from people with high end requirements, and what they're doing today to get by.
     
  2. 2SHY

    2SHY Member

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    People might have already moved to other hardware solutions not involving Apple Mac Hardware or software directly.

    It's been a long time between drinks and some people could not and will not wait for Apple to update already out of date hardware.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I've heard of some very notable large Apple shops that have moved to Hackintosh hardware. Considering how much business risk that presents, it's interesting to see that places like that are considering it worth the risk to get the performance they need.

    But on top of that, I've seen similar companies put substantial effort into switching to Windows. Given that many places that need Mac Pro level hardware are using software like AVID, Adobe and other similar vendors/tools, they're all cross platform. Even suffering the "Microsoft Tax" and paying for Windows licensing (including server side tools), the overall cost is substantially less when factoring in the hardware people have available to them, and the performance it offers.

    And don't forget time is money. Faster hardware means work gets done faster, means more work is done. So the cost savings are more than just cheaper computers. They present themselves as being able to get more work done in less time (we get paid for projects delivered, not for hours spent watching progress bars), which is what we've grown to expect year on year in industries that rely on the higher end of computing hardware, and Moore's Law which has been consistently true in delivering double the capacity every 18 months for decades now. The 2013 Mac Pros are 4 years old now, and approaching 3 cycles of Moore's Law (2^3, or and 8 fold increase when it comes to cores/threads, storage space, RAM and other vital components Pros require to keep up with them).

    For our studio, workstations are expected to be 24 thread, 64GB RAM with a GeForce 1080 card as a standard spec. There just simply is nothing in Apple's world that matches that, either exactly or in equivalent performance. That means Mac users are at a huge disadvantage in our studio compared to our Windows and Linux users, and not by our hand, but by Apple's.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  4. giles666

    giles666 Member

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    Happy to see Apple acknoledge the issue and say something about it.

    It's hard to tell how sucessful they will be until we get to 2018 and see what they come out with. It's still a long wait though, and I don't think 'New iMacs' will really help people waiting for a new Mac Pro.

    Happy they are getting back into the display business to. I really like my LG Ultrafine display, but it just isn't as nice as the old Apple Cinema Display with Apple's industrial design.
     
  5. thecondor

    thecondor Member

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    Hey Elvis freeze the video at 1.02mins, good to see Apple still using windows to make their computers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CTMOip9__o

    LOL
     
  6. Elyzion

    Elyzion Member

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    Too little too late.

    My flatmate is moving back to Windows too, he's sick of Photoshop being so unstable on macOS. I sold my laptop and went Dell XPS 15.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Let's hope this is a sign of things to come. Apple's recent arrogance is disgusting. Wealthiest company in the world or not, they are still beholden to their customers, and don't get to dictate what we want. Our needs (business, personal or otherwise) either have to be met by their products, or we go elsewhere.

    The "Pro" name matters. You and I have come to loggerheads over this before. But it still matters. The Mac Pro is not an iWatch. It is not an iPhone or iPad. It's a Pro device, and needs to live up to that name. A big part of the Pro market is connectivity to large infrastructure. WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet don't cut it any more. We need lots of ports, expansion cards (because we need to add permanent connectivity like 10GbE without wasting a removable IO port like Thunderbolt, which is more useful for other things), and internal space to expand RAM and disk storage.

    The concept that a Pro workstation can be bought off the shelf and service every radically different user on the market without future upgrades is, quite frankly, utterly retarded.

    Let's hope Apple don't repeat this mistake. Because they might not have a third chance in that market.

    This doesn't bother me either way. Where we need cheap displays, we buy items from others that are 95% as good for 50% less. Where we need better displays, we buy industry specific displays that cost ten times as much and deliver precisely what we need.

    Apple very likely won't be selling these displays to 100% of the Pro market, who will source their own based on requirements Apple can't fill (Apple won't be making broadcast grade OLEDs, and I don't expect them to either). I only hope that they don't delay the Mac Pro because their cute displays aren't ready for production. I want the Mac Pro in a capable tower, and won't be buying the displays.

    Gave me a chuckle.

    Hearing a lot of this lately. Some of it is Adobe's fault, some of it Apple's. Either way, that market continues to move on to alternatives because they're forced to.
     
  8. giles666

    giles666 Member

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    There are a few interesting stats in the Tech Crunch article.

    Laptop to Desktop ration is now 80/20, and sales of the new MacBook Pro are up 20%.

    They also make the statement that 'Software Developers' are their largest 'Pro' audience.

    Gives an an indication of Apple's incentives, and what they probably see as a 'Pro' computer.
     
  9. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Be careful you're not falling for chicken-and-egg statistics.

    Apple's current Pro Desktop range sucks. Even the most die-hard Apple fan has to admit that. If I were a high end Pro desktop user right now (and again, I represent a company full of them), I wouldn't buy Apple.

    Would I buy Mac laptops for my devs? Of course. Great battery life, access to tonnes of open source software, easy to encrypt, single model for easy support. Devs don't need insane performance. Devs working on high end things can submit to compile farms, and devs working on scripting can test anywhere (locally, cloud, who cares?). Trivially dealt with.

    Would I buy Mac laptops for my admin users? Of course. For all of the above reasons. People grinding through emails all day don't need anything seriously powerful. Hell, most of them could work from their phones if the input system didn't suck (an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard would probably suite these very simple folks, to be honest).

    So there we have it. Apple's Pro desktop sucks, so it doesn't sell. Apple's low to mid range laptops don't suck, so they sell well. Now we read an article that tells us "Apple sell more low end laptops than high end desktops" and we're surprised? No sir. Nobody's surprised. But don't confuse which is the cause, and which is the effect.

    And let's be very, very honest here. Why would Apple go to all of the PR embarrassment of publicly apologising for how shit their Pro desktops are if they genuinely didn't care about that market. This *is* Apple we're talking about. Their arrogance is off the charts, and if they didn't care about you, they wouldn't even acknowledge you.

    We don't see Apple apologising for their lack of rackmount server options, right? There's a market they genuinely don't care about, and the proof is they don't even mention them. Quite different to this announcement.
     
  10. wolfie81

    wolfie81 Member

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    The laptop to Mac specs can't be considered accurate. If they did their Pro offering correct or kept the cheese grater (and/or updated it frequently), that ratio would be different. Same applies to the iMac.

    Im excited for what has been announced for 2 reasons.

    1. It is likely to give me freedom on unofficial hardware
    2. Ive been eyeing off a 5k monitor and was close to buying one, until this announcement came along, and for now ill just hold onto my 2x Apple 27inch Cinema Displays.

    Apple fans just got to keep in mind, no matter what, we are likely to be disappointed. Their definition of 'modular' could be vastly different to what Pro users expect. Users expect a modern grater design, while Apple may think modular, but locked so far up their ass, that upgrades can only be done through offical channels at inflated prices.

    Finally, I would like to see Apple offer Pro options, but one that STARTS at high end consumer desktop stations (without the screens that becomes iMac) and move through different levels to professional high end.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  11. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    For anyone confused about what Apple think Pro users are, Apple's head of marketing, Phill Schiller, sets the record straight.

    Quoting him directly:

    """
    The current Mac Pro, as we’ve said a few times, was constrained thermally and it restricted our ability to upgrade it. And for that, we’re sorry to disappoint customers who wanted that, and we’ve asked the team to go and re-architect and design something great for the future that those Mac Pro customers who want more expandability, more upgradability in the future. It’ll meet more of those needs.

    We’ll talk about what’s going on and frankly be a little more transparent with some of the things we’re doing, some of the places we’re going, because our pro users desire that and we care deeply about them and we’re dedicated to communicating well with them and helping them understand what we’re doing and what we’re up to. We want to be as transparent as we can, for our pro users, and help them as they make their buying decisions. They invest so much in the Mac, we want to support them, and we care deeply about them. So that’s why we’re here.

    """

    Apple know *exactly* who Pro users are and what they want. They also claim to care about that market (as it truly is, not the misrepresentation of it by casual users who confuse high end workloads with commoditised computing). Transparency of the design process, biodegradability, expandability - these are things places like the company I work for have been screaming for for years. I have to roll my eyes so very hard every time I'm told that the "Pro user" is now redefined as a node.js developer sitting in a cafe on a laptop, or a doctor taking notes in some 99c app that syncs between their iDevices. It's painfully obvious that's not the case, and it's now in black and white from Apple leadership that Apple don't think it's the case either.

    I think it's time that the argument about what "Pro" means to Apple is dropped. We have it straight from their executive leadership now. We can move on, and look forward to products that finally meet the needs of the high end market, rather than lower end markets that are already well catered for by every vendor under the sun.
     
  12. wolfie81

    wolfie81 Member

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    Interesting how Apple never said it will be modular and provide upgrades for the user. Basically they have only said it will just designed in a way that allows Apple to upgrade their machine for generations to come in the same form factor.

    I can't see the new Pro allowing users to buy Apple certified parts and do it themselves.
     
  13. 2SHY

    2SHY Member

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    At least we more choice in the market place. So that manufacturers are more competitive as a result. I'm unlikely to need/want a Mac Pro but at least those users have flexibility, at some point.
     
  14. giles666

    giles666 Member

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    I think you're right.

    The trashcan was just a bad bet. They gambled that heavy reliance on multiple GPUs was going to be the future. When it wasn't they didn't have an upgrade path.
     
  15. alexc

    alexc Member

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    Given the insane prices of 2010/2012 Mac Pros on Ebay there is clearly a market for a proper pro machine.

    Maybe this announcement will put a dent in those prices. Or if Apple brutally drop support in the next macOS version that might hurt used prices.

    macOS is still my preferred OS - but you know, Windows 10 isnt that bad. It's fine. Building a Hackintosh is surprisingly very easy.
     
  16. [KEi]SoVeReIgN

    [KEi]SoVeReIgN Member

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    This is exciting news. Although I fear their market is so limited now it'll be a commercial failure. The incredible performance of the iMac as well as the workflows/process and goodwill they eroded with the Trashcan/FCP X will really limit who's going to buy these.

    I know media agencies I used to work with had fleets of MacPros, when a 4 or 8 core Xeon with a GPU stomped all over a c2d iMac. Now for all but the most demanding job roles it'll be very difficult to justify a 6 or 12 core Mac Pro over a 4 core i7 iMac.

    With that said, Mac Pros were actually always good value when compared to their HP/Dell workstation counterparts, so if they continue the trend with the new ones, they might just have a shot.
     
  17. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Because of node.js hipsters...
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Kosti

    Kosti Member

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    Thankfully with a little tweaking my macbook unibody is handling Sierra just fine, even with 2GB of ram :thumbup:
     
  19. alexc

    alexc Member

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    2GB of RAM? :tongue:

    Tweaking? What did you do? Tweak the GUI the fuck out of there and just use the terminal LOL? Isn't 4GB a minimum to even install?

    But seriously, I'd love to know - my 2011 MBP 13" i7 is showing some strain.
     
  20. encode

    encode Member

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    I'm definitely keen to see what they come up with. Even though I'm not a pro in terms of creative market, all of Apple's current hardware is using laptop parts in various shapes, and the mac pro is still super expensive.
     

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