Curtains for the Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Sam Posten, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Common Wisdom these days seems to be that the Mac Pro is on it's last legs:
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/31/despite_new_cpu_options_apple_reportedly_questioning_future_of_mac_pro.html
    I'm not so sure, but I'll say this: The two things holding the Mac Pro to life are:
    -The dearth of Thunderbolt devices
    -Ability to utilize alternative displays and video cards, most important to graphics pros and games.
    Obviously #1 is 100x more important than #2, and getting better by the month (the first Thunderbolt device, the LaCie Little Big Disk is in stores now, I'm buying one on Friday when in Delaware.)
    We'll see....
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    What games? Don't you have Angry Birds, Scrabble, etc? I mean, come on, what more do you want?
    I think the MacPro is on the last legs. I think it's mostly iMac from here on in; and eventually maybe not that. I think the hitch is exactly what you view as a reason, support for those cards, etc. Apple would love to get out of the support for 3rd party hardware bit internal altogether.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The Mac Pro is a weird beast, and ill suited for the general consumer or even the small business, IMO. Why would a graphic designer like my wife need Xeon-class CPUs and server-grade RAM?

    And for gamers...at the cost of the entry Mac Pro, you can buy an entry iMac and a complete gaming system ($1000 should get you a gaming console, a 32" TV, and an HTiB).

    So that leaves the enthusiasts with big wallets and those who really need big-iron and long-term expandibility. And with corporations continuing to balk at Macs, that further limits the pro market for such multi-CPU h'ware. I can see that being a shrinking market, at least one that Apple doesn't love as much.
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Dude, gaming on a console gaming on a PC. $1k today will just barely buy you a high quality PC gaming experience, sans display.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've gamed on and enjoyed both over the years :) And if you're interested in high-end gaming, you're not going to buy a MacPro, because you don't need to burn money on Xeon processors; you'll buy a gaming PC.

    And if you're an enthusiast, but must have a Mac on a limited household budget, you're well-advised to get a console for your gaming, because BootCamp is too annoying for daily gaming and games on Macs remain underperformers (last I read).

    That margin that buys a Mac Pro to play the handful of semi-recent games for the Mac -- or does BootCamp for full Windows gaming -- has got to be a teeny tiny number of gamers.
     
  6. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Are you kidding? You can grab 16GB of DDR3 locally for $80. A board + 2600K processor is $300. Case, HDD, Burner.. you're at about $600. Throw in a 6870 or similar ($200) and a 24" display, and you're doing just fine, thank you.

    I'm sure you could go crazy all out, but let's not kid.. RAM and processors are the lowest price to return they have ever been.. in any platform, PC or Mac.


     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    6950 and up bud =p I really want the NVidia 580 tho. $500 alone for that.
     
  8. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Ah, all it takes for Battlefield 3 I assume.. :) I don't know, for me, the sweet spot is about a 6870



     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yup yup, Skyrim maxed too. I still haven't bought anything mind you, just planning the next. I have a significantly older xps now and it's showing itsmage
     
  10. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
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    I think that article was link bait more than anything else. While I agree that the current design won't be around much longer, there will be another machine to take its place should it be retired.

    -KeithP
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    We won't know until we know, but past actions -- killed the server line, Final Cut Pro X -- show they're willing to kill high-end but niche products to focus on mass market sales.

    This might be just speculation like the chronic rumors the iPod Classic will be killed. But the Mac Pro seems to fit the killable criteria well. It's a very expensive, very high end PC with (I'm betting) limited appeal compared to the iMac and MacBooks.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    http://www.marco.org/2011/11/02/scaling-down-the-mac-pro

    My two data points are:
    I made my wife stop buying Mac Pros after we got married and switched her to the iMac.

    And I wish I could get a maxed out Xeon system at work. We've got some Matlab code that's been paralellized that would be super dandy on a Mac Pro. But if I could buy such a system, it would be a Dell because we're Windows-only and IT buys from such companies.
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Ars weighs in:
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/11/stale-mac-pro-lineup-has-pro-users-concerned.ars
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    The sad thing is that I've been saving up for the Mac Pro refresh. I could pretty much buy it cash if it came out in early 2012.
    If they discontinue this line and go iMac only, I'll have to build another PC. You see, I need a separate drive ideally for Pro Tools, and the Mac Pro is the only beast that can accommodate that in the Mac lineup. I also want to run internal mirror RAID arrays for secure backup (I know I can buy an external solution but it comes out cheaper to do it using the extra drive bays in the Mac Pro than to buy a Thunderbolt external RAID enclosure). Since Pro Tools, Lightroom and Adobe are cross-platform I can move back to Windows if I have to, but I really don't want to.
    However the upside would be this: I'd save money and be able to build a killer Ivy Bridge WinBlows box for about 60% of the price of a Mac Pro. But I'd be using W7.
    I'd still use Mac as a portable solution. My 15" 2010 MBP is a trooper, but work bought it for me and I'd love to leave it in my office rather than lug it around as my portable. I'd replace it with an Ivy Bridge Macbook Air, or maybe the 15" "thinner than an MBP" model that's rumored to be ready for 2012.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Rumors creeping in of Apple testing new AMD 6990 drivers in existing and possibly future Mac Pros....
     
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Yeah read that too Sam. Hope springs eternal!
     
  17. Rhett_Y

    Rhett_Y Screenwriter

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro is a live and well for a while more. It seems they are working on Intel's timeline and well the new chips haven't come out and are scheduled for the first quarter this year.
     
  18. Mr645

    Mr645 Stunt Coordinator

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    New Mac Pro's are coming this year, early this year. Been waiting for the Intel Xeon updates, but those are just about ready. The Mac Pro has a big profit margin for Apple.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Hope it's true, doubt I i'll upgrade any year soon tho. Mine is running fine. Only way I would consider it is if they add Blu and there is no way to put it in older Mac Pros.
    Rhett, not sure I've mentioned it, but your avatar reminds me of this picture of mine:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kadath/440309658/in/photostream/
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mr645

    Mr645 Stunt Coordinator

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    You can add a BluRay drive to a Mac Pro and even create BR videos and burn BR movies with Toast. To play BR discs, you need the BluRay player and this
    http://www.macblurayplayer.com/index.htm
    I too wish Apple would support BR. Sure, it's not the way Apple wants people to aquire movies, but for now, it's the only way to legally, and easily get 1080p movies. PLus, I would love to have a Mac Mini as a Media server, but there is too much OS X and Quicktime won't play.
     

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