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Author Topic: Apple to discontinue Mac Pros?  (Read 10160 times)
Josh-H
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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2011, 07:56:21 AM »
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Timely post at Barefeats! Some interesting results.

Nice find. The gap is closing - but the MacPro still smoking' fast.  Grin
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mediumcool
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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2011, 09:25:31 AM »
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Nice find. The gap is closing - but the MacPro still smoking' fast.  Grin

Given the time since the last refresh, it’s refreshingWink
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JBerardi
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« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2011, 01:39:48 PM »
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We're getting to the point where the OS X Mac in general isn't a major profit center for Apple; the Mac Pro passed that point a long time ago. I think that what's keeping the Pro going as much as anything is pride. Can you imagine anything more mortifying to Apple than someone who, say, does video production in house for them being forced to use a Windows box? It would be unthinkable for them.

Now, if even the serious video guys are using laptops in 5-10 years, then we'll see. But I don't see Apple ending the Mac Pros before a truly suitable replacement can be developed.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 07:56:14 PM by JBerardi » Logged
Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2011, 03:21:47 PM »
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Can you imagine anything more mortifying to Apple than someone who, say, does video production in house for them being forced to use a Windows box? It would be unthinkable for them.
Unfortunately the dead-ending of Final Cut Pro 7 shows that this is likely untrue. Apple wants the really big markets not the niche pro market and they believe (probably correctly) that a lot of new young 'pro editors' will adopt Final Cut X on a laptop and ignore the shortcomings.
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Christopher Sanderson
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JBerardi
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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2011, 07:55:46 PM »
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Unfortunately the dead-ending of Final Cut Pro 7 shows that this is likely untrue. Apple wants the really big markets not the niche pro market and they believe (probably correctly) that a lot of new young 'pro editors' will adopt Final Cut X on a laptop and ignore the shortcomings.

Still don't see it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't FCX very well optimized to run on multi-core systems? Why go through all the trouble to make it maximize the potential of a 12-core machine if you're not going to continue making 12-core machines? I suspect Apple just likes FCX more than you do. Again, that pride thing.
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DeeJay
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« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2011, 08:20:55 PM »
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Mac Pro is not just about Processor. It's the expandability and capability. A work station with less that 48GB of RAM is hinderance to me and with software demanding more these days and pixel count now at 80MP A Mac Mini or iMac will not do and when it does catch up my demands I'm sure will be even greater.

The Mac Pro will stay in some form or another.



« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 08:22:32 PM by DeeJay » Logged
mediumcool
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« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2011, 09:56:23 PM »
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Mac Pro is not just about Processor. It's the expandability and capability. A work station with less that 48GB of RAM is hinderance to me and with software demanding more these days and pixel count now at 80MP A Mac Mini or iMac will not do and when it does catch up my demands I'm sure will be even greater.

Lack of slots is indeed a hindrance to adding lots of RAM at an affordable cost; two slots are not enough for someone who needs plenty of memory.

But given that Thunderbolt is here, I can foresee a box smaller than the Pro (perhaps like a Next Cube—wouldn’t that be homage!) with an abundance of RAM slots, 2x PCI slots plus decent video options, and Thunderbolt. And FW and USB of course.

Modular minitower or cubic systems that could click together would be fascinating and unique in the industry, at least until they were copied!  Grin
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joofa
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« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2011, 11:17:33 PM »
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Can you imagine anything more mortifying to Apple than someone who, say, does video production in house for them being forced to use a Windows box? It would be unthinkable for them.

One can use Adobe Premiere Pro, which is available on the Mac.

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mediumcool
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« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2011, 11:22:10 PM »
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One can use Adobe Premiere Pro, which is available on the Mac.

Joofa

Agreed; there are always options. And Apple is progressively adding features to FCP-X.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2011, 11:52:20 PM »
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I for one am holding out hope for a new mac-pro.  Given it's predecessors the X58 (i7) and 5520 (Xeon), I would expect a very long life for the X79.  It represents a convergence in that it supports both Xeon and i7 CPU's giving the choice to adopt ECC memory if desired.  This chipset will also introduce hardware SSD caching (ala Z68).

I enjoy the best of both O/S's - I will be very dissappointed to see Apple abandon this market; one point the articles miss is that thunderbolt eliminates real need for any form of internal expandability - making a smaller form factor almost a certainty.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 11:56:11 PM by John.Murray » Logged

JBerardi
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« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2011, 09:03:47 AM »
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One can use Adobe Premiere Pro, which is available on the Mac.

Joofa

I don't use or understand the difference between these different video editing programs. I'm working off the assumption that if you're editing large volume of high resolution video, you're going to want the most cores, the most ram, the fastest drives, etc, regardless of what software you're doing. That is, while FCX may not be "pro" quality in the eyes of some, it's still something that benefits from running on a Mac Pro.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 09:14:45 AM by JBerardi » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2011, 10:15:25 AM »
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And Apple is progressively adding features to FCP-X.

Look at the MacBook Air. When it first came out, it was something that Apple was clearly very proud of; something that represented their vision for the future of computers. But they'd gotten a little bit ahead of the available technology and the first MBA was too expensive and too slow and they sold about three of the things. And yet, that didn't stop them from pursuing that vision. They were committed to the concept and stuck to it until they got the execution right. And now, I believe it's their best selling line.

You can see a similar progression from the failed G4 Cube (still the best aquarium case Apple's ever made, and they've made a few) to the Mac Mini. It used to be the reason that Apple was surely abandoning pro users was the disappearance of Firewire ports on laptops. Then along comes Thunderbolt. Well, that interface doesn't exist just so grannie can get the photos off her iPhone faster. So when a bunch of pros see FCX and think Apple is throwing them overboard... well, maybe it's true. I think it's more likely that Apple has it's own vision of the future of pro video, and if a tiny portion of their user base has to stick with FC7 while they're figuring out how to make that vision actually work, then, you know... tough noogies, guys.
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mediumcool
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« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2011, 04:07:51 PM »
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Another thought: I have been doing graphic work for so long that I remember the days of add-on NuBus cards dedicated to the acceleration of JPEG compression.

Never did buy one. But I can readily visualise purpose-built boxes designed around Thunderbolt to enable, or augment, particular capabilities. This has been happening for a very long time with video in particular.

Does it matter if something that streamlines workflow is inside or outside the box? Modularisation can feasibly add flexibility and save space.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2011, 04:26:27 PM »
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I enjoy the best of both O/S's - I will be very dissappointed to see Apple abandon this market; one point the articles miss is that thunderbolt eliminates real need for any form of internal expandability - making a smaller form factor almost a certainty.

It is indeed true that it becomes possbile to have a box outside the mac in which some adapters are located. Now... one of the main design philosophies of Apple is to decrease the clutter of the workspace by reducing wires, cables, boxes,...

Externalizing the expansion cards of the Mac pro goes in the very opposite direction.

Cheers,
Bernard
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John.Murray
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« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2011, 04:57:25 PM »
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It is indeed true that it becomes possbile to have a box outside the mac in which some adapters are located. Now... one of the main design philosophies of Apple is to decrease the clutter of the workspace by reducing wires, cables, boxes,...

Externalizing the expansion cards of the Mac pro goes in the very opposite direction.

Cheers,
Bernard


Agreed!  But thats been the direction for some time; older Mac Pro's had far more internal expansion capability than the current iteration. If the decision is maintaining an arguably oversized, expensive chassis or bringing out a smaller, more profitable one - I'm willing to accept that.  Another + for thunderbolt is that the market for peripherals now will cross product lines - good for the mfg's and potentially good for our pocketbooks.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 05:01:36 PM by John.Murray » Logged

BJL
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« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2011, 05:09:01 PM »
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The rumor might be based on little more than an upgrade delay, in turn due to Intel being slow in getting out the next generation Xeon processors.

But selfishly, I would be happy with a far smaller box, almost Mac  Mini sized if possible, with just the workstation level processor and RAM capabilities and a replaceable graphics card. For the rest, like extra disk space, optical drives and such, Apple could satisfy me by having a line of matching Thunderbolt peripherals, perhaps stackable under the main unit.

I would guess that many (not all!) MacPro users are like me, in wanting the processing power, but having little or no interest in four disk drives, two optical drives, two ethernet ports, or multiple expansion card slots. And we pay a huge premium in cost and space and weight and pain hauling the gear around just for that processing power. The latest quad-core i7 Mac options have probably lured away a substantial fraction of these former Mac tower unit customers.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 05:17:06 PM by BJL » Logged
mediumcool
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« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2011, 05:49:00 PM »
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… one of the main design philosophies of Apple is to decrease the clutter of the workspace by reducing wires, cables, boxes …

True.

The rumor might be based on little more than an upgrade delay, in turn due to Intel being slow in getting out the next generation Xeon processors.

+1

… I would be happy with a far smaller box, almost Mac  Mini sized if possible, with just the workstation level processor and RAM capabilities and a replaceable graphics card. For the rest, like extra disk space, optical drives and such, Apple could satisfy me by having a line of matching Thunderbolt peripherals, perhaps stackable under the main unit.

Me too, but powerful video cards are BIG and have BIG fans, so would not fit into a mini-sized case. I still like the shape and size of the 7500/7600 series of Power Macintoshes from the ’90s, large enough to have 8 RAM slots and 3 PCI slots, but not oppressive-looking, and with the flip-top outrigger internal design. Wonder what a re-imaging could look like with newer materials and processes (laser-cut alloy case with lifting top?), maybe continuing with the little holes meme so as not to outdate all the copycat external drive enclosures.  Grin

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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2011, 08:34:43 PM »
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The rumor might be based on little more than an upgrade delay, in turn due to Intel being slow in getting out the next generation Xeon processors.

But selfishly, I would be happy with a far smaller box, almost Mac  Mini sized if possible, with just the workstation level processor and RAM capabilities and a replaceable graphics card. For the rest, like extra disk space, optical drives and such, Apple could satisfy me by having a line of matching Thunderbolt peripherals, perhaps stackable under the main unit.

I would guess that many (not all!) MacPro users are like me, in wanting the processing power, but having little or no interest in four disk drives, two optical drives, two ethernet ports, or multiple expansion card slots. And we pay a huge premium in cost and space and weight and pain hauling the gear around just for that processing power. The latest quad-core i7 Mac options have probably lured away a substantial fraction of these former Mac tower unit customers.

Myself, I have all 4 drive slots populated - two for system and backup, and two for library and backup. If a drive dies, yank it, replace it, dupe it. Down time is about 5 minutes. Only need the one optical, but plenty of doodads like card readers, or even another drive, can go in there. As it's still a USB world, I added four more fully powered ports to the back for those pesky devices that don't play well with hubs. Theres also more slots to add ESATA, Firewire, or maybe even Thunderbolt in the future. Want a beefier vid card, no problem. Heck you can run two. Only have 10GB RAM at the moment, but can stick a bunch more if wanted. Yeah, it's a beast, but it doesn't get moved much. That's what a laptop is for, which you still need to hook to a decent monitor for critical work.

These sort of rumors have been around almost as long as the company. Not too worried myself, as they make good stuff. One of the benefits of the size of the Pro is there's lots of room inside to dissipate heat, coupled with an excellent fan system. If you picked up a new one today, there's no reason it won't be chugging away twenty years from now. I've got a Cube that's still used for reading repair manuals and watching the ocasional video. Sure, it's pretty much as slow as when new(has been hotrodded a bit and stuck in a Newertech cabinet), but still serviceable.

What with the new low power CPUs being developed, like the i7, as well as Thunderbolt and SSDs, hopefully it'll just morph into a smaller package with the same expansion capabilities.

If the expansion is not a concerne, there's always the i7 Mini or iMac. Been eyeing a 27" one myself, as it's not much more than the cost of a comparable monitor.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 08:40:23 PM by schrodingerscat » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #38 on: November 07, 2011, 02:45:08 AM »
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If the expansion is not a concerne, there's always the i7 Mini or iMac. Been eyeing a 27" one myself, as it's not much more than the cost of a comparable monitor.

An iMac might be an option if they had an anti-glare screen option, but they do not, do they?

Cheers,
Bernard
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mediumcool
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« Reply #39 on: November 07, 2011, 04:09:14 AM »
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An iMac might be an option if they had an anti-glare screen option, but they do not, do they?

Cheers, Bernard

They do if you plug one in—then there are two screens. Voilŕ!
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