If The Mac Pro is Dead - What next?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by videoadvert.tv, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Bristol
    #1
    Long time lurker, first time poster here. I know there are a few threads on the Mac Pro already but my theme is different.

    I don't want to endlessly argue about whether a Pro is coming or not.

    Let's assume the Mac Pro is Dead. Finitto. Over. Now what?

    I am a video editor and my working life has revolved around Macs for the last 12 years. I love them and what they offer me.

    Would I be comfortable cutting a thirty second promo on an iMac? Sure why not.

    Would I be comfortable cutting a 10 part series of hour long shows an iMac? NO f&*king chance!

    So where does that leave me? I like the new FCPX a lot, and really don't want to go back to Avid - but what choice do any of us have?

    Apple isn't the same company it was in the 70's or 80's or even 90's/early 00's.

    Its management are different and have completely different agenda. Steve may have seen the value of keeping the faithful happy - but I am not sure the current line up do. Its very bizarre that they feel no obligation to tell us one way or the other as plenty of people's business's depend on their products.

    I think traditional pros need to move on, but I am not sure where to head. The thought of going back to Windows after years away fills me with dread. And I don't know Linux well enough to comment.

    Sounds like an opportunity waiting to happen for someone.
     
  2. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    Firstly, I don't think the Pro is dead...At least I hope not. Second, I use a custom spec iMac and it works fine for Video editing on a 27" screen...Okay, things take a little longer, but it's not bad at all.

    If I have the choice, my next machine WOULD be a Pro though. Let's hope they don't ditch it. I doubt it, have faith!:)
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Bristol
    #3
    That's the thing though. For short form stuff I have no problem using an iMac.

    But on a project with huge amounts of HD footage to shift though - i'm not so sure.

    FCP X is fantastic program (missing some very basic editing functions however). I love it. It speeds up the editing work flow tremendously. But it feels very much constrained by the hardware. Even on a top end iMac with a thunderbolt array, it begins to show the strain when you have a few projects open and lots of footage in an event.

    I would love that software on a proper workstation with graphics cards that aren't designed for mobile devices.

    Maybe three years from now iMacs will be more than capable of what I want. but right now I don't think they are.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #4
    If Apple did that I would rather see Apple make a deal with one or two PC vendors to allow them to sell machines with OS X.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #5
    I'm starting to think that it is dead or at least will be within a year or two. If it is EOL now, I would expect a mid year bump in either imac or mini specs in an attempt to lure some MP customers. I doubt an "X"mac product is going to be seen as profitable by Apple at this stage although I would suspect that they probably have looked into this option along the way. I just wish they would announce their intentions soon and get it over with.
     
  6. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #6
    If you up spec to 2GB graphics and top end CPU, add 16GB RAM, they are pretty quick...Render times are not as fast as with a Pro, but they aren't too bad.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #7
    I really doubt that will happen anytime soon if ever. Sure would be nice though. Imagine the possibilities.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #8
    We are pretty sure Apple will never give up with OSX even if it doesn't get as much attention as IOS. iMac will always be there as well. For the pro, we still have the Hackintosh option, which is maybe what Apple tolerates unofficially.
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #9
    New xeons only just came out.

    Time for new motherboard design and TESTING (especially for pro gear!) is required for new hardware. I'd give it a few months.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #10
    Custom spec, that sounds serious.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Bristol
    #11
    Apple have had months to design and build though. The Xeon chips were at least six months late so if the Mac Pro was taken very seriously by Apple they could have been up and ready to go almost straight away. They aren't though.

    Apple's silence speaks volumes.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #12
    The Intel don't magically make Xeon CPUs and chipsets for boards appear overnight. Why would Apple be in a rush to ship? Apple's silence says they are doing the same as they've always done.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    Driving us all mad with their silence? ;)
     
  14. -hh
    macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #14

    I see your point.

    If we try to read the tea leaves, what I'd kind of expect Apple to try to do is to move your high end work demands into the Cloud ... and of course, charge you for the clock cycles.

    My inclination would be to look for any evidence of them heading in this direction through what they're doing with products such as Final Cut X. That would probably be the harbinger for them getting staged to go that direction.

    Frankly, I don't like this approach because it would dramatically increases the customer's costs in two main areas:

    a) Paying for CPU clock cycles
    b) Paying for fast bandwidth (and bandwith caps)

    Let's ignore part (a) and just look at the jazzy "iCloud" stuff part of (b): the idea is all fine & dandy ... until one starts to look at the real world implications that come from serious applications that end up needing to move serious amounts of data onto said cloud.

    For example, a currently respectable 25Mbit/sec connection works out to a theoratical bandwith of 11 GBytes per hour.

    That means that each one of my 16GB memory cards will take 1.5 hours to upload ...

    ... assuming of course that my 25Mbit connection actually is symmetrical and is 25 also on its upload speeds ...

    AND

    ... assuming that my connection is able to run full blast at 100% efficiency all the way through (including the cloud's servers being able to receive the data stream) ...

    AND

    ... assuming that my ISP doesn't suddently throttle or cut me off because of monthly quotas on my third or fourth card, when I go past 25 or 50 or 100GB.

    And so on.

    Right there, we're already burdened down with three unrealistic assumptions before we get to the real crux of the matter, which is that even if all of these problems were non-problems, the strategy still imposes a 1.5 hour hit on workflow productivity - - per memory card. Until some of these services improve, it simply doesn't make good business sense to go away from localized computing.


    -hh
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #15

    Vendors have had these for many many weeks now. It's all about priorities.

    ----------

    Exactly. :rolleyes:
     
  16. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #16
    A 27" iMac with external Thunderbolt storage is actually a great machine. I've used a 27" for editing before, and I think you'd be fine cutting a 10 part series on it, honestly.

    My biggest problem is the mobile/non upgradable GPU. It's a great GPU for a lot of Final Cut work, but those mobile GPUs outdate quick and still aren't as fast as their desktop versions. It's one of those things where an iMac would be fast enough, but age poorly, and still not be as fast as a Mac Pro.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #17
    How much slower is a 3.4GHz i7, 16GB RAM, SSD HD, 2GB HD6970 equipped iMac really?

    And, you can still get the albeit aging 2x2.93GHz Xeon, 64GB RAM, SSD HD, 1GB HD5870 Mac Pro, but it's 4x the price, and that doesn't include the monitor...

    I have a Mac Pro, and love it, but my bext purchase is an iMac.
     
  18. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #18
    I wouldn't call it 4x the price. That is inaccurate. The 6 core is a reasonable alternative in spite of being more expensive, and you can always house drives internally rather than via TB enclosure, so it may save you some amount of money there. The 5870 is still faster by a fair margin. This is when the machine has been out since 2010. The upgrade may not be as impressive as we'd like, but some things about the imac would be different if designed as a replacement. It would at least have suitable drive access and a matte screen option with a better brightness range. Even then it's difficult to get a really good colorimeter profile with led backlighting. I've tried. It's extremely annoying as even updated sensors don't work perfectly. A spectrophotometer would probably work if you maintain one for validating rip based prints already. Anyway... just my thoughts, but if anyone else has attempted to get the colors just right with a neutral greyscale on the thing, they know my pain :mad:.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #19
    Spec'ed out at I described it is just about 4x more expensive (without monitor), at least on the Danish Apple site...

    Regarding expansion space for drives, I wonder how many ;ac Pro users actually use the bulid-in drives for big storage, and not a Gigabit LAN/NAS setup? And, I do agree entirely, the screen calibration is a pain in the a.. on an iMac, I know that, but I would think Apple has enough sense to provide solutions for that if they were to EOL the Mac Pro.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    #20
    As others have said, let's not be too hasty to declare the death of the Mac Pro. Even the manufacturers who have announced products with the new Xeons (HP, Dell) won't start shipping them until April 4 or 9 (depending on which workstation you're buying). The Nvidia graphics cards new Mac Pros are likely to use were just announced last week and aren't available yet either. Apple never announces Mac Pros until they're ready to start shipping, so I think the earliest we can reasonably expect an update is April 10 or 17 (since they update the store on Tuesdays).

    But even if they don't ship until months after Intel's announcement (as happened in 2010), I really doubt they're killing the desktop workstation category. It just doesn't make sense. They still need workstations for their own employees to use, and economies of scale would be against them if they ONLY made those machines for the teams in Cupertino. (And even though Steve isn't there to tie them together anymore, it also seems unlikely they'd leave their friends at Pixar in a lurch.)

    Also, the sales charts posted to show how MPs are no longer profitable are rather misleading because they're expressed as a percentage of computers sold rather than raw numbers. With the greatly expanded marketshare of Macs in general, particularly among college students where it seems like half of every class has an Apple laptop, it only makes sense that MPs would be a smaller percentage. But that doesn't mean it's not still earning stable profits.

    Maybe it won't be called a Mac Pro. Maybe it won't look like the current Mac Pros. But I'm still confident there will be some sort of professional workstation in their lineup. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.

    In my office, we've budgeted for two new workstations this year, and since our fiscal year ends in May, we have set ourselves a deadline to order by April 18. I'm hoping to see an update by then, but even if we don't, we'll still order the 2010 model since even two-year old tech is an upgrade for those stations. The only reason I can see why they wouldn't be shipping by then is if they're holding off on the refresh or replacement product until they're ready to roll out HiDPI displays across their product line. A 27-inch "retina" cinema display would be awesome, but not worth the wait for me.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #21
    I hate to say it, but this may end up being our only option. If Apple won't sell a machine we can use in a professional environment, then something will come along to fill the market void.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Dead??????

    I just bought a MacPro.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    a-bob

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #23
    If it is dead you buy a smokin' HP and Avid Media Composer and you're off and running. My original MP is now 6 years old (running Pro Tools) and I'm preparing myself to go PC. It's not what I want to do...but day by day it's looking inevitable. I can wait until the end of the year so if no word on MP's then....it's Windows here I come. No way I'll do a hackintosh. I'm in audio post with clients sitting behind me everyday....need something that is approved and tested. This is my livelihood...it's too risky.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #24
    Hackintosh.
    If you're into any serious video editing or anything else that requires the power of the Mac Pro, then a PC is the only way to go. But let's face it, OS X is still much more preferred than Windows, even if you have a PC. So.. hackintosh.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Flood123

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Living Stateside
    #25
    I HIGHLY doubt apple would ever allow that. It would be cool, but I just don't see it happening.
     

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