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Old Aug 11, 2013, 11:40 AM   #1
akm3
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Software - Pro to Prosumer, why price Mac Pro high?

Forgive this thought, I have no other news or rumors or anything to add to it.

We just saw the article from Anandtech saying the CPU's used in the Mac Pro start at a grand, and Marco Arment hypothesizing that he'd be very surprised to see a Mac Pro priced at less than $3,500. This would indiciate Apple moving HIGHER end on their new Mac Pro.

However, all their Pro Apps have been moving to be more prosumer friendly both in operation and price. Why would you move them in opposite directions? A $3,500 Mac Pro doesn't seem like it would have many buyers in folks who use Aperture, Logic X and (more arguably) Final Cut Pro X.

With the new Mac Pro design, materials and shipping costs are lower, repairs (for Apple) will be easier, etc. All the expensive parts other than CPU and GPU get moved to the external bus. Why would it be $3,500? If you are moving prosumer, wouldn't you want to hit a lower price target while still leaving room for the iMac? $2,000?

Do we know for sure they are using Xeon?
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 12:16 PM   #2
mcnallym
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For many prosumers then with the increase in performance available in the MBP, iMac and even the latest mini then many can do what they want too without having to goto a Mac Pro.

I know people that quite happily use older iMac and MBP ( 2009 ) with Aperture and Logic, and I suspect that when I replace my Mac Pro 5,1 that will likely be able to make that switch myself.

There are also a number of people on the forum that have moved from the Mac Pro 2006, to maxxed out iMac's, which also shows that many people in the past that needed a Mac Pro, won't necessarily need one in the future.

With regards to the CPU being Xeon then there are 2 factors indicating will be a Xeon

1.) Mac Pro have always used Xeon, the G4/G5 etc were PowerMac models.
2.) The mentioned i7 versions for release top out at 6 Cores.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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The CPUs in the anandtech article are 2xxx series chips. The new Mac Pro will probably use 1xxx chips because they don't need dual CPU support. The standard option CPU will probably hit the $500 mark (6-core.) To get eight core, it will be a decent jump in price.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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From what I understand there's not much price difference between Xeon and non-xeon processors of similar spec anyway. So even if they were using non-xeon parts I guess that wouldn't impact the price by very much.

The truth is no one has any idea what the MP will cost. I doubt even Apple has determined a price yet - maybe only ballpark.

The thinking here by some is that it has to be more than the most expensive iMac but doesn't really matter at all. The two systems are of an entirely different nature and form - so there's nothing to tie the two together in any way.

The best argument is that the Mini is the cheap one so the MP has to be expensive. But that isn't very sound thinking either - even if it may be probable. We don't know if Apple is even going to continue the Mini line. Maybe two months after the MP releases the Mini will go bye-bye.

Just no one knows. Wait a few months and we'll all know without having to speculate and cause such a silly useless fuss.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 12:47 PM   #5
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Using inexpensive pro software makes sense for Apple as they make the most money on the hardware it runs on. So its a lower cost in admission to get started on their existing Apple computers.

Such software can be used with acceptable performance on less expensive Apple computers, iMacs, MacBook Pro Mac Mini. So it can grow with the user if they need more power later on if they decide to be a paid professional.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 12:56 PM   #6
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Care to link the exact article? Anandtech was probably looking at the starting costs of 12 core Ivy Bridge EP cpus, or their projected costs. Given that this was qualified as "up to", what makes you think they wouldn't use 4-6 cores on the base model?
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akm3 View Post
Forgive this thought, I have no other news or rumors or anything to add to it.

We just saw the article from Anandtech saying the CPU's used in the Mac Pro start at a grand, and Marco Arment hypothesizing that he'd be very surprised to see a Mac Pro priced at less than $3,500. This would indiciate Apple moving HIGHER end on their new Mac Pro.

However, all their Pro Apps have been moving to be more prosumer friendly both in operation and price. Why would you move them in opposite directions? A $3,500 Mac Pro doesn't seem like it would have many buyers in folks who use Aperture, Logic X and (more arguably) Final Cut Pro X.
Mac Pros and the alleged Apple "pro" software do not always go together. I long ago erased that silly, lethargic "iPhotoX" called Aperture. For cataloging and showing photos iPhoto is far better, simpler and more reliable.

However for processing photos I use Photoshop CS6. If I get a future new camera body I will add Lightroom. I've also previewed a couple of DxO's apps and may add them soon.

Also note that a lot of the Photoshop tutorials that Adobe publishes are performed on Macs. Great hardware, excellent OS. . . but "pro software"?, not for me.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
Care to link the exact article? Anandtech was probably looking at the starting costs of 12 core Ivy Bridge EP cpus, or their projected costs. Given that this was qualified as "up to", what makes you think they wouldn't use 4-6 cores on the base model?
The Mac Pro isn't even mentioned. They posted the E5-2600V2 price list that CPU-World put up via some retailer, the threadstarter is the one assuming the Mac Pro won't use E5-1600V2.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7214/x...r-ivy-bridgeep

Do note that these are just pre-order prices from one retailer. I doubt Intel are bumping prices 25%.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 07:41 PM   #9
MacMilligan
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Originally Posted by Umbongo View Post
The Mac Pro isn't even mentioned. They posted the E5-2600V2 price list that CPU-World put up via some retailer, the threadstarter is the one assuming the Mac Pro won't use E5-1600V2.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7214/x...r-ivy-bridgeep

Do note that these are just pre-order prices from one retailer. I doubt Intel are bumping prices 25%.
Again, this is exactly the answer. The entry level Mac Pro will most likely not use a 2xxx processor.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Umbongo View Post
The Mac Pro isn't even mentioned. They posted the E5-2600V2 price list that CPU-World put up via some retailer, the threadstarter is the one assuming the Mac Pro won't use E5-1600V2.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7214/x...r-ivy-bridgeep

Do note that these are just pre-order prices from one retailer. I doubt Intel are bumping prices 25%.
Yeah I doubt that too, although not all are bumped 25% from v1 to v2 there. I don't see anything in that list that really aligns with the OP's statement anyway. I thought it might be a case of trying to find a 12 core cpu at the $1k mark.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 11:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by akm3 View Post
Forgive this thought, I have no other news or rumors or anything to add to it.

We just saw the article from Anandtech saying the CPU's used in the Mac Pro start at a grand, and Marco Arment hypothesizing that he'd be very surprised to see a Mac Pro priced at less than $3,500.
The hypothesizing is flawed. There are two distinct series Apple can use that fit into exactly the same slot. E5 2600 v2 and E5 1600 v2 series. The 1600's series will range from 4-6 cores but also cost substantially less on average than the processors listed in the Anandtech article. That's the flaw, starting with 2600's to figure out entry prices.

This new Mac Pro is a largely targeted at filling the "shoes" of just the single CPU model in the current Mac Pro line up. The natural upgrade path for the W3500-W3600 CPUs in those are the E5 1600 v2 options. To hit similar prices they've have to use those.

Now if want to get back in the dual CPU ( over 6 cores ) range of performance. Yes that will be up in the over $3,500 .... Imagine that? Just as it is now ( 12 core starts at $3,799 on the Apple web store right now. )
I don't think your going to get 12 cores for that amount but > 6 it will almost definitely not start below $3,600 largely for the reasons the blog points out.

The denial far more seems to be that most folks will be dealing with less than 8 cores and extremely cost sensitive folks will be dealing with 4 cores.
Not that prices are going start over $3K.


Quote:
However, all their Pro Apps have been moving to be more prosumer friendly both in operation and price.
The pro apps don't necessarily need a Mac Pro to be useful.


Quote:
With the new Mac Pro design, materials and shipping costs are lower, repairs (for Apple) will be easier, etc.
Apple isn't lowering the system costs. For every "cost saving" you want to throw out there are "cost increases" that are added to this Mac Pro. What Apple has likely been doing is "swaps" not overall cost cutting. Going SSD only isn't a reduction. extreme high core count E5 2600 to get to 12 cores isn't a reduction. Dual FirePro GPUs isn't a reduction ( even if Apple wrangles a deal on them ... it still will be over what current GPUs are).

Whether the swaps come out the same price or a bit higher is debatable. The result being lower isn't likely unless Apple guts the RAM/storage capacities to crazy low levels.


Quote:
All the expensive parts other than CPU and GPU get moved to the external bus.
SSD isn't. Technically even the "external bus" is a cost increase. New Mac Pro will have a discrete/independent USB 3.0 controller. ( current one uses one in the chipset; so net cost increase). The three Thunderbolt controllers ( versus just 1 mature FW controller ; again net cost increase. ). Faster and have higher utility but increased BOM costs.



Quote:
Do we know for sure they are using Xeon?
There is no way can get to a 12 core box with Intel processors without one. Mainstream Intel offerings cap out at 4 cores.

Apple has outline what the max configuration (money is no object) configuration is about. That will still probably be up in the over $6K range.... just like it is now.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 02:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by akm3 View Post

However, all their Pro Apps have been moving to be more prosumer friendly both in operation and price. Why would you move them in opposite directions? A $3,500 Mac Pro doesn't seem like it would have many buyers in folks who use Aperture, Logic X and (more arguably) Final Cut Pro X.
Apple essentially gives its software away in order to draw people into the hardware where they make all their money or at least not allow the cost of software to become an objection. Thats why things may appear to be moving in opposite directions.
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