'09 MP most controversial release ever?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ekoe, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. ekoe macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2008
    London, UK
    I'm a newbie here and with all the flames and :mad: resulting from '08 MPs vs. '09 discussions, I'm wondering when was the last time you guys got fired up like this over :apple:? I had the impression Apple supporters were for the most part a placid and agreeable breed. :(
    How would this release register in comparison to past releases? Is this a significant schism? :confused: Does this happen often?
    I'm thoroughly entertained. :) Hope I don't get inadvertently flamed.
  2. MCHR macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    The situation here is that there are expected updates on regular intervals when Mac Pros are released. Professional users budget these machines into their annual hardware expense, and hopefully they see efficiency gains.

    What happened is a rift in the old architecture to the new Nehalem architectures. Not only do these boxes have lower clock speeds, but the benchmarks are ALL OVER the place with a split between simpler applications and ones optimized for multi core MPs. Just look at barefeats or geekbench. There are no obvious conclusions to be drawn, and this is a purchase of thousands of dollars and integration into a work environment.

    This is not an expense based on "I hope".

    Getting relevant information specific to someones usage is sketchy at best. Many people are also hoping future software development will liberate the most from the new Macs. So much is undefined, so much is not maximizing the power of these machines, it has us asking why we are paying $300 to $2000 more fir this new architecture.

    I blame Apple, since they could have either synchronized some software or Snow Leopard releases with these new boxes. I also blame them fir upping the price/value ratio, so nearly everyone is balking at the pricing structure.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    On the software side, Apple can only control the release of code they write. Essentially impossible to do with 3rd party developers.

    As for the cost increase, it's high. The Quads use either the W3520 (2.66GHz), or the W3540 (2.93GHz). Both are cheaper than the E5462 (2.8GHz) from the base '08 models. The 2.26 Octo uses the E5520, which is also cheaper. Only the 2.66 (X5550) and 2.93 (X5570) are more expensive. The rest of the system doesn't cost that far off the '08's other components either. So there doesn't seem to be any justification, other than greed for such a difference. :eek: :(

    No way around it, that kind of pricing structure squashes a decent price/performance ratio. :rolleyes: :apple:
  4. shawmanus macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Even DDR3 ram used is cheaper than FBDIMM.

    I think strong dollar has raised prices for folks outside US. For those in US prices increased bcos apple is expecting to sell fewer mac pros in this economy and so want bigger margins.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    DDR3 Unbuffered 1066 is certainly cheaper than DDR2 FB-DIMM. ;)

    Given the new board and the layout chosen, it likely costs slightly more, but not that much. Nor would the case's reworked internals, or even the R&D, as much of it is just a modification of existing components.

    From a parts perspective, it wouldn't justify Apple's pricing. :rolleyes:
  6. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Anytime Apple releases anything ever.

    Placid? A ha ha ha HA. Spend 5 minutes here. Seriously.
  7. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2007
    so darn expensive this time around!!!!

    too expensive and not enough options this time around.

    i normally replace my apple desktop every year and a half roughly. each time i can usually get the best processor configuration offered, or at least the mid range one. this time the prices and configurations are just wacked!!

    $3299+tax for the 2.26, last years base 8-core was $2799
    $4700+tax for the 2.66 8-core with no upgrades??
    $5900+tax for the 2.93 8-core with no upgrades??

    I can't play blu-ray movies on my mac? no eSata ports on my mac? only two graphics card options? this stupid mini displayport standard out of nowhere that only one display in the whole display market has? inflated upgrade option prices? this has always been. one somewhat reasonably priced display option? and why not a matte option? why not more sizes? releasing a display that only worked with one computer? the iphone and att. all these g5 imac displays going bad. etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.....the list goes on.

    i love apple, don't get me wrong. well, actually, i love apple products, even though they can give you trouble now and again. but now i'm just really, really annoyed. i just wonder what they are up to. they are changing everything up, and it really annoys those that constantly buy apple products. i think that's why your seeing so many people venting their frustration, or maybe its just me.

    apple use to be so well rounded, but its lagging in many areas now. for example, the displays. and their products have been having increasing problems. i never use to have issues with my macs in the past when they were new. now in the past 4 or so years i've had so many computers replaced. i just had my 24 LED replaced twice in two weeks, so i just returned it for my money when they offered me a third. they currently want to replace my 15" unibody macbook pro too. i had an imac and first gen 8-core mac pro replaced 2 years ago.

    so i'm ready to buy a new apple. ok, i couuuuld afford the 2.66 and 2.93 8-core. i work in film and visual effects so i could use the extra muscle. but there is no way that i'm going to give apple over $6000 of my money!!! and that's without a monitor, of which they have only given me one matte choice, and that costs $1800!! sure, its a good 30" panel, ok, fine. but what if i don't want one huge monitor and want two smaller ones instead. ok, fine i'll shop somewhere else. but i really wanted an apple! and they aren't offering anything right now. even if i'm making six figures a year, i'm not gonna let apple gouge me like that. for $7800 i could probably buy a house somewhere right now during this "recession". i think apple is truly biting the hand that feeds them right now. and they're kicking themselves in the ass at the same time. and i'm sitting here losing my mind rethinking and rethinking whether i should pay $5000+ for a computer. i'm such an idiot.

    again, i've been using apples for a long time, almost 20 years now. and this past year or two they have really been acting odd, unusual. in fact, ever since the iphone came out, of which i have one by the way, it changed the way they are doing everything.

    i thought apple was gaining ground in the computer market for a while. but it seems as though they are beginning to push themselves into a corner again. i work in video and visual effects. and apple has catered to my specific field for a long time. now i feel like they aren't providing what we need in terms of hardware options, upgrade options, software support and display support.

    for the first time in my life i'm wondering what it would cost me to build my own PC. and i'm wondering what it would be like to run after effects, photoshop, maya, studio max, and lightwave on a pc. i never thought these thoughts would enter my mind. and its not cause i can't afford the new macs. but again, the pricing/options/configurations are just wacked this time around.

    and i don't want to download and watch movies on my mac through itunes. i want to buy blu-ray movies and play them on my mac. but they won't let me.

    what the hell is steve jobs up to? this is really open season for another computer company to come in and fill the gap that apple is opening up. i wish i had hundreds of millions cause i'd love be that new computer company. and i wouldn't be a dictator.

    there, i vented, got it all out of me. done crying like a baby. now tear me a new one. :D
  8. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2007
    by the way, MCHR, i think your exactly right. very well said.
  9. seer macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    I can understand the anger / debate.

    I come from a long PC background (my pro arrives today and will be first non-hackintosh mac) and from my persective Apple always does this... they release stuff that drives you mad because it is great in so many ways, but they always inexplicably make some crazy decisions.

    For example, I love my iphone, but to release the first one without 3g was a major annoyance. Then even by the time they release the 3g one it still lacked things that just made no sense such as copy and paste, MMS, etc.

    In the case of this Mac Pro, the price hike is obviously huge. Especially for people like me who held off from buying the 08 Mac Pro because a new one was on the horizon. When it did come I was needing to pay pretty much 50% more for a machine that, on paper at least, looks worse specc'ed than the previous model I was looking at.

    The odd decision to build a tri-channel motherboad that has 8 or 4 RAM slots! The lower clock speeds, and still a lack of graphics card freedom are all little things that get under your skin when trying to make a buying decision ... apple does have it's many appeals, but sometimes its like they are going out of their way to p*** you off!
  10. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    I was on the same boat as everyone else, on the verge of buying a previous 2.8 octo but knew that Nehalem was just around the corner. So I waited, waited to give Apple $3000 of my money for a super awesome beast of a machine. Then the release happened and all I could afford was either a neutered quad core that perform the same as the previous base line or spend even more money and get a base line octo that performed a hair better the previous base line. Basically it's a lose / lose situation.

    I ended up saving my money and got a refurb iMac for $1199. I can live without the power for now. Though it wasn't my first choice. I'm even contemplating on taking the money I saved and building a core i7 hackintosh, but with snow leopard around the corner also, I don't want to spend the cash just to find out that the hackintosh community is struggling to come up with a workaround.

    Another thing that bugs me is that until the update, there really was no other computer like the Mac Pro. A true work station that sported dual quad Xeons. So it was almost god like and way ahead of the market. Now with the currently release, it feel like that gap just got shorter.

    Ok I'm done rambling and not making any sense.
  11. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    The Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs drew a lot of ire in 2003 (I think)… the pricing of the Cube (at least in the UK)… the botched launch of the G4 machines…. ending of licensed Mac Clones… etc. etc.
  12. MCHR macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009

    Here's where I'm coming from. Apple does control two thirds of that equation (hardware and OS). Even in much of their press releases, this is a point of discussion. And many here have speculated about the probable (though unmeasurable) performance increases we may see with Snow Leopard. The apps any individual uses, is of course up to the developers and how optimally they wish to code it to run in a multi core machine.

    So, Apple deploys these Mac Pros, and we have a random collection of people trying to figure out what this new architecture means to them, and if its worth the added costs. Apple screwed the pooch here in they had a great (missed) opportunity to release Snow Leopard at the time of the Nehalems. "If" this has happened, we would have seen firsthand how the OS takes advantage of the Nehalem architecture, and at least had a point to reference from the 2008 models.

    An intelligently deployed launch of Mac Pros would have packaged Snow Leopard and Grand Central as part of the Mac Pro package. Then, it would have been easy to say that this architecture has an X% increase as this OS works Y% more efficiently, and this enables further quantifiable improvements in #1, #2, and #3 categories. Follow me?

    So, Apple did not do this. We remain confused, since our apps are largely single thread (or so I gather by most users here), and we are left wondering "if" these supposed advantages will occur with Snow Leopard. It remains conjecture, and I'd wager that a fair number of potential Mac Pro customers have delayed or cancelled their orders because of inconclusive evidence and benchmarks.

    I'd also wager that this embellishes the fact that Apples remain a premium purchase over any PC platform when used as a workstation. How many discussions are there about "building a hackintosh" or "my PC costs. . . vs Apple"?

    In a recession economy, this certainly sours people to the point of disgust. The end question is; do these hopeful improvements warrant the price premiums, or will this confused release of the most powerful Mac Pro chase people into the realms of building their own PC, or finding a lower-cost alternative to the Apple family of computers?

    If I were in Apple management, I'd be having a long, hard look at the backlash potential from this botched release.
  13. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    It's pricing to me. Even when Snow Leopard is released. They simply now are just too expensive. Apple also has not done much for the computer beyond the processors. I absolutely hate that horizontal drive bays. These are just stupid. Mac Pros eat hard drives because of the electromagnetism that can happen between drive.

    Did I mention that ridiculous price.
  14. Boneoh macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    So. Cal.
    Mac Pros are a small niche

    It's unfortunate, but the fact is that the Desktop Macs as a group and the Mac Pro as a subset of that group are a small and shrinking niche. :(

    Mac sales account for only 1/3 of :apple: total sales.

    My 2 cents is that since this is such a small niche, it doesn't get much attention from management at :apple: My interpretation of the latest release is that the Mac Pro has become the problem stepchild and is somewhat ignored. Still part of the family, but ... Where is the Love? :rolleyes:

    I guess the thinking is that the Pro is their highend machine with a price tag and profit margin to match. I don't agree with it, but it seems to be that way.

    Personally, I just got a new 09 octo and am happy with the performance, my old machine is an 06 MacBook Pro. I'm not happy with the price, but this was a business purchase, and the old laptop doesn't cut it any more.

    Here is a link to the latest 10-Q filing


    Net sales compared quarter to quarter for the Desktops is Down 31%.
    Unit sales compared is Down 25%.

    The laptops are seeing a large increase, Up 23% in net sales and Up 34% units.

    Overall results are Up 9% in net sales and Up 6% in units.

    Check out the Unit Sales by Operating Segment, Net Sales by Product, and Unit Sales by Product sections. While we can't see the specific sales and unit quantities for the Mac Pro, you can make some simple assumptions to try to get a handle on just how small of a niche this is.

    The desktops Includes iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, and Xserve product lines. Slice that up any way you like it to come up with your own estimate. You could estimate that the IMac and Mac mini together account for 75% of the sales, with maybe 15% for Pro and 10% for XServe. Slice this as you like, but that still means that there are relatively few of the Pros sold.
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Even if the '09 MP's came pre-installed with Snow Leopard, it may not have changed anything. :eek: Ultimately, it's up to the user to decide what's the best fit for their needs. In this case, it's up to the missing 1/3rd. Applications used. The multi-threaded apps in existence would be able to take advantage of the newer systems, and even do better on older ones with SL, provided it delivers as promised.

    But other apps still need to be developed for multi-threaded operation, if they can even benefit from it. Again, it depends, and is solely up to the developers. SL releasing with the '09 MP wouldn't have changed this part of the equation. :(
  16. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    I think Apple is underestimating the significance of this smaller segment of their overall sales: the Pro Desktop line, and even the Mac Book Pro line before they took away the option of the matte screen.

    Nikon and Canon have their flagship high end professional cameras that give the brand a certain elan in the minds of the aspiring, and working professionals. Go to a major sports event and which camera manufacturers are well represented taking the photos? Everyone else sees that and recognizes that as a standard. The small numbers of these high end cameras do more for the overall brand regonition of the companies. They might not even make anywhere near the overall margins that the entry level cameras bring in - but I believe they create the buzz that sells the lower priced gear.

    Maybe things are working out differently with Apple gaining a higher visibility with iPods, iPhones, iTunes, and MacBooks - until recently. However - the consumer is fickle and in this current upgrade cycle, has most likely bought up all the toys they've coveted and probably extended themselves with debt to do so. Things have changed in this economy. People cannot keep buying all these expensive toys. Who's left standing ready to buy in the future? I'd say it will be mostly the pro/semi pro users that will be left to buy the products in the future and keep Apple's brand alive because they will continue to need the tools to earn a living with.

    I think it would be a huge mistake on Apple's part to take this segment of their business for granted. My jaw dropped when I saw the price and 8Gb Ram limit of the entry level Mac Pro - not that I am in the market for one now - only as someone on the sidelines watching developements as to how I will upgrade in the future.


    ps here is an interesting site that discusses the implications of the inflation that is heating up in China:


    Since much of the components and hardware of Apple's hardware is made there, the potential of hyperinflation taking place might be having a direct effect for what Apple is now having to pass onto us.
  17. DeepCobalt macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Over and around
    You hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, sales of desktop computers in general (all brands) is evaporating. Projections show that less than 10% of computers sold will be desktops by 2012 (Gartner 08 study) across all brands. In fact, Mac Pro buyers are specialists that require power. Apple offers that option, but it no longer enjoys the economies of scale it did even a few years ago. That's the main driver behind pricing. It's very expensive to offer a machine like the Pro. Unfortunately, as it becomes a smaller part of the overall business, we will also see less attention focused on the segment. Hence the quality issues which are beginning to creep in, the lack of a logical display selection (24 and 30, one glossy, one matte??? :confused: no logic here at all!!), the much higher pricing.

    Bottom line--we need to convince MORE people to buy the Pro. It's interesting that so many on this forum try to somehow discourage would-be Pro buyers to buying an iMac or a MacBook, MB Pro or Mini... they are only putting another nail in the Mac Pro's coffin...
  18. johtaja macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2008
    I couldnt agree with you more. I was in the exact same position, putting off buying the 08MP when 09MP was around the corner. And now im just in the same lose lose situation, really dont feel like getting the MP09 nor really the older one (not that i could, 08MP sold out everywhere here in london). I have the 17" on order soon to keep me company for the time being, but that too is only a temporary solution. Switch to pc..? cant believe i too have had those dark thoughts. maybe its the only way out, but i really hope not.

    Most importantly, at least for the fortune few of us, its not about the monetary value, its about the principles here.
  19. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    Not done much besides the processors? I take it you missed the redesigned insides, updated RAM, and new GPU options.

    And why do you hate horizontal drive bays? How many computers don't have their drives horizontal? And MPs 'eating' the hard drives? I call bull unless you have proof. I have a Mac Pro and it's never 'eaten' any of my HDDs.

    Note to people who react before thinking: I'm not saying the new Mac Pro isn't expensive. I'm just saying it's not the doom and gloom you make it out to be.
  20. Boneoh macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    So. Cal.
    You are right! Snow Leopard is a unknown quantity until proven. I'm trying to download the developer seed, but somehow my account is jacked. When (if) I get it, I will re-run my benchmarks and post the results.

    Like you said, the onus is on the software vendors to develop efficient applications. Seems to me that Adobe, etc. really needs to get their act together. Photoshop is hurting. Flash is a joke on the Mac. It will be really interesting to see how the performance of the Apple applications evolve in the future, vs. third party.

    Just my two cents, but sometimes adding new features that are rarely used is a waste compared with the overall performance of an application. The problem is that changes to multi-thread applications are relatively expensive in terms of development and testing effort.

    I'm curious to see if/how Snow Leopard makes all of this easier. My guess is that it will be evolutionary vs. revolutionary.
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Code gets recycled to save time, and new features are easier in a sense. To really fix it, it could actually mean redeveloping the entire application using the new API's. So it's likely developers will wait for a major development before going that route.

    Depending on the schedules they've created, it may or may not be soon. (I don't follow the development cycles on many applications, and the one's I do, aren't likely to be of interest to many. :( They're Windows based anyway). :p
    Mine as well. ;)
  22. -js- macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2008
    Southern California
    I haven't been around here very long, but I was around for the unibody MB and MBP release and there was a similar (but lesser) controversy over it, with some saying buy old, some saying "that's stupid--buy new". I actually bought a pre Oct 14 MBP (MBP "Classic" it's called, I guess) just a couple weeks before the rumored release. I got it at a discount, but not as much of a discount as I could have if I had waited a month or so after the release of the new ones.

    So, knowing that I was going to need a new desktop, and wanting a MP, I waited until the release of the MP09, hoping to get an even better computer for the same price, or to get the older one for less.

    And I came here to see what was what and saw this controversy you mentioned, and my initial response was that it was mostly whining and that it was par for the course. But as benchmarks and results and specs started to come in, especially the memory limit on the quad core, I arrived at the conclusion that the complaining was justified.

    And I ended up jumping on a MP08 2.8 dual quad at a modest discount. For me the memory limitation (quad 09) and single thread (esp. photoshop) performance of the 09's (entry octad) were the deciding factors.

    I think the 08's are just a better value for many people's needs, but it certainly does depend, and if money is no object, well then fine, but that's my take on it.

    I also definitely agree with the posts saying the the Mac Pro segment accounts for only a small percentage of total sales, but I also agree that as the flagship Apple computer, it should get more attention and consideration than its market share might suggest, just as the flagship digital cameras do.

    Perhaps I'm wrong! And perhaps the 08 was a mistake, but if it was, it was a small one. Any of the 08's or 09's are pretty amazing computers, and will be for a while to come yet, I'm sure.
  23. Boneoh macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    So. Cal.
    You aren't wrong. There is no right or wrong on this choice. I'm sure that you will get many years of fine performance with your new machine.

    It seems really strange to me that many posters have voiced their opinions with the religious fervor of a holy war. In this situation, and life in general, we all have to make the best choices that we can given the information we have, our past experiences, and our own perspective.
  24. Johns12 macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2008
    How many people here would buy a new 09 Mac Pro if it had 10.6 installed (if 10.6 was ready)? Let me add, I am asking those who use their computers for mission critical business work.
  25. JimGoshorn macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2009
    Me, I am very cautious so I never sell my previous machine. If the new one needs servicing or has an OS problem, I have a machine I can still work on until things are straightened out.

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