Does the new Mac Pro share the same fate as the G4 Cube?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by lucasfer899, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. lucasfer899, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013

    lucasfer899 macrumors 6502

    lucasfer899

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    #1
    So, this new Mac Pro is getting some serious heat. Some love it, some hate it. I for one, really like the new design with the one big impeller at the top, and if it is at the right price, I my just rid of my hackintosh.

    However, lots of professionals are voicing their opinions quite loudly, about apple dropping all sorts of hardware features. Therefore, the question arises:

    What do you think the fate of this new Mac Pro is, is it going to end up like the G4 Cube, or is it going to have widespread adoption?
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #3
    Where are all of these professionals voicing their opinion? I would like to read this.
     
  3. cube macrumors G5

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    #4
    I think it is fashion, not pro.

    It is OK if it's offered as the "Mac Pro Tube", with a more classic Mac Pro alongside it.
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #6
    To the OP: this question is hard to answer ATM.
    2 factors are unknown: price and reliability.
     
  5. Bear, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013

    Bear macrumors G3

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    #7
    My feeling is that the new Mac Pro will sell well for a machine of its class. From my point of view all it lost internally was the optical drive and disk expansion.

    An optical drive in an external case could be placed for easiest access. And you're really talking about one multidisk enclosure replacing the missing internal disks. And at that there would be room for more disks.

    One advantage I think I mentioned elsewhere is that the power supply doesn't have to be sized for all the stuff that could've been shoved inside the old MacPro. This would make for less electric use and heat being generated, yes even with external disks being used.

    Yes it is. Thanks for linking it.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Like the cube:
    • The design of the MacPro is striking.
    • It will be expensive (the cube was initially over priced)
    • Lacking in internal expansion

    The design is radical, perhaps too radical. I want a tool to get my work done. While none of us want an ugly beige box, we also don't want something so different - people don't like change.

    I think the pricing will be such that it will be hard to justify - its really too early to say this with any sort of authority. At best its just pure speculation.

    I think Apple underestimated the desire to use internal storage. Spend a few hundred on an internal drive vs. thousands for an external storage system. I don't see the logic.

    In the end, I can't help but think the new Mac Pro will mimic the failure of the cube
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

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    #9
    Yes, pricing is the key to it all. As for internal storage versus external storage, you don't have to spend thousands to add 3 additional disks unless you wanted to go the full raid enclosure route. In which case you would need that anyway with the old MacPro. You could add 3 USB 3.0 drives for a few hundred dollars and still have performance at least as good as the internal drives on the old Mac Pro.

    And I politely disagree that it will be a failure like the cube.
     
  8. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #10
    The cube was me too though it was not intended to replace PowerMac's this is intended to replace Mac Pro's. It might live solely based on the fact that there is no other option.
     
  9. Larry-K, Aug 15, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014

    Larry-K macrumors 68000

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  10. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #12
    What's similar:

    I wasn't in the Apple camp back in 2000 when the Cube came to market, but from what I've read it does bear a lot of similarities to the nMP. It was pricey at $1800 which is about $2500 in today's dollars. It was very limited in upgrade options, and like now, a lot of people said it put form over function. And at that time, perception was that it was underpowered (with a 450MHz G4 when the competing PIII was clocked at around 1GHz). I'm not sure most people would consider the nMP being underpowered compared to PCs, but if you compare to GPU PC options or dual socket workstations, perhaps that argument is valid now as well.

    What has changed:

    Back in 2000 my multi-media lab (yes that was what we called it) had a couple of expensive dual Pentium processor workstations that had special AVID video capture cards to digitize video off of Betacam SP decks that cost $100K...

    [​IMG]

    I had to run a special version of Windows NT 4.0, and I was very limited in software choice.

    Now, I chuckle because 14 years later, my iPhone can edit 1080p video faster and easier than that setup back in the year 2000 for a tiny fraction of the cost.

    And this has replaced Betacam SP...

    [​IMG]

    Mindshift and the role of the Computer:

    In addition, back in year 2000, Windows PCs were king of course, and expansion, upgrades, and flexibility were key buying criteria for computers. Apple was going against the grain in offering computers that were more like appliances.

    That mindshift has changed. In part, because computing power is so cheap, you can have purpose built computers to do specific tasks... an iPad or Air on the go, a Mac Mini for your HTPC, and a Mac Pro for your heavy lifting, and a Gaming PC or console for your entertainment. The requirement for a single computer that must do everything is long gone.

    The business and market data:

    Gene Munster predicted the nMP would sell 1.1 Million units this year. If the average order value is around $5K, that's a $5 Billion dollar business! By comparison, the Cube only sold around 50,000 units... which is about two orders of magnitude less revenue.

    Also, according to the stats I've found, the overall workstation market is about 800K-1000K units per quarter over the last several years which means if Munster is even in the ball park, that Apple's Mac Pro sales are 25% of the workstation market as a whole. That's pretty healthy given the latest market share pie chart I've seen would put them in third place in workstation unit share after HP and Dell (and well ahead of Lenovo).

    We also know that whatever production Apple had setup to support their business plan was completely overwhelmed for the first 6 months of the year. So whatever they were planning for, was completely blown out of the water.

    Conclusion:

    So, I don't think the nMP is going anywhere. In fact, I suspect it's probably going to be the most successful product to ever carry that name.
     
  11. Larry-K, Aug 15, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014

    Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #13
    I'm pretty sure the cube was $2500.

    As for the prediction of nMP sales, don't go to Vegas with that guy.

    Addendum: Sources say it was $1799, but we must have gotten the 500s, I know we paid way too much for the ones we got, they were just desk ornaments for the principals anyway, and they both had burned out their motherboards two years later.
     
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #14
    It's not hard to google the price... the starting price was $1799 and the price was dropped fairly quickly to $1499 and then $1299 before it was cancelled within a year. There was a higher end model for $2299 and I don't know what price drops it received.

    http://apple-history.com/g4cube
     
  13. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    I was very much in the Apple camp in 2000, and in fact I still own my G4 Cube. In reality it was a PowerMac of the same era (G4 450 or 500) at roughly the same price. The base model G4 450 Cube was introduced at $1,599.00. The G4 400 PowerMac of the same era sold for the same price (the other models ran dual G4s and started at $2,499.00). So no, the Cube was not seen as being underpowered, or overpriced. Performance-wise it compared quite favorably to the Intel iron of that time, as did the entire G4 line, the clock speed not being the determining factor.

    The main ding on the Cube was that it was difficult to expand, the video card upgrades being particularly limited. That situation never improved, leading many Cube owners to figure out and share hardware hacks to install better video cards. Some worried (needlessly) that the convective cooling was insufficient. I wasn't. Overall, the Cube failed to survive because it was sort of neither fish nor foul. It was a essentially a PowerMac that you could not expand (at least not easily). Whether Apple has solved that problem with the new Mac Pro remains to be seen, but I think Apple assumes that they have. FWIW, the lessons learned with the Cube were also integrated into the Mac mini.

    People now seem to assume that the Cube's lack of longevity was due to some fundamental design flaw. In reality it was ahead of its time, and remains one of Apple's greatest design and engineering achievements. That's why I am keeping mine.

    ----------

    The highest-price Cube was $2,199.00, except for a BTO option.
     
  14. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #16
    You had to be there, the 500 with the gigabit ethernet was not cheap.
     
  15. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Not initially, that was the later config, and the BTOs would have been higher, I'll fish around for receipts this weekend.
     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #18
    I don't think there's any doubt that it's lack of longevity was a result of poor sales. And poor sales were likely because of it's combination of high price and not meeting important buying criteria of the day (e.g. upgradability) making it unappealing to most buyers.

    While I don't work in an environment with workstations anymore (all of our staff use MacBooks or iMacs) there have been a few users in these forums over the past several months that have pointed out that workstations in their shops are on a 3 year replacement cycle and don't get any mid-life upgrades. So I suspect the demographic missing upgradable GPUs are gamers and Apple has never catered to gamers (rightly or wrongly). Hence, the new Mac Pro's lack of GPU upgradability is unlikely to be an important buying criteria for Apples target market - the professional workstation crowd. What might impact sales, is the lack of a dual socket option, but that will soon be a non-issue as Intel continues to increase the core count of single CPUs well beyond what most software can utilize and truly parallel applications switch their workload to the GPU instead.
     
  17. pianoman88 macrumors regular

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #19
    It was all about internal storage for me

    I loved the four drive bays and packed them all. Then I went to external Raid 0 arrays using Sonnet cards, all because of my sample libraries (Ivory Piano, etc.) were too demanding.

    After reading about thunderbolt and SSDs, I decided to take a chance;I downsized to a Mac Mini. Now I have everything on a Thunderbolt Raid 0 with two Samsung SSDs. More than enough speed. Much quitter and lower electric bills.

    I could easily move to a MP2, but I'm getting by just fine with my 2012 Mini at the moment.
     
  18. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I really like my nMP. I need more than 4 disks and the only way to achieve this is with external storage. With Thunderbolt I can use a long cable and put the storage in another room out of the way so my work area is very quiet.

    The nMP itself is silent and fast and it's been a great computer so far. No regrets at all from buying it.
     
  19. rei101 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    The Cube and nMP are not related, the Cube was a pretty enclosure but there was a powerful Powermac as well. The Cube was more an anniversary machine.

    The new mac pro will stay but I do not believe many will be sold, is too expensive and there are better options.

    If you are doing video editing you can still use the old mac pros just fine even to edit HD.

    If you are doing 3D is better to get a PC to run that particular software. You can have Maya, Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects and you are done.

    The new mac pro is good if you are an art director and working with many people in an advertising agency where you are rendering all the time and need 100% compatibility with the rest of the people who are using iMacs.

    It is an small market for that computer. Personally I love it but I would need the $10K configuration and I am not making that money nor my job request it.
     
  20. tralfaz macrumors member

    tralfaz

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    #22
    Situation is not the same

    As an owner of 2 cubes, both functional, one still in use as a server, the situation is not quite the same.

    When original cube was introduced, it was not the most powerful mac you could buy. You could opt for a G4 tower for a bit more, or even a little less, and have way more expansion options. While the cube had a bigger cool factor, power users were just gonna opt for the tower.

    The new MacPro has definitely taken a product that had a limited user base, and further limited it. I'd be flabbergasted if they even hit half that 1.1M prediction posted earlier.

    My issue with the new MacPro is that it doesn't allow the a buyer to opt in at low end config, and upgrade over time. At least not in any Apple supported way. It would be great if you could start out with a i7 single GPU config, and decide to add a second GPU later. This is unlikely to ever happen. Nor is it likely to happen that upgrading a D300 equipped machine to D700, or D900 (you know its coming), will ever be officially sanctioned by apple.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    MacTracker has a good rundown on the pricing. I believe the original entry-level price was $1,799.00 with the $1,599.00 model offered later.

    ----------

    As I pointed out, it was not a price issue. The price for the processing power was on a par with the PowerMac models sold at the same time, particularly so after Cube prices were reduced. The gamble Apple took with the Cube was that "power users" would buy a Mac with limited upgradability to gain a silent computer with a small footprint and unique aesthetics. The followup with the mini and the current Pro suggests that they didn't take the failure of the Cube as a repudiation of the basic concept.

    ----------

    The 16th anniversary of the Mac? I remember it well.
     
  22. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #24
    Yes, good point which I missed earlier... I wonder if people drew these comparisons with the Cube and forecasted the same short lifespan for the Mac Mini when it was in it's first year of production?
     
  23. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #25
    450 & 500 mHz

    ----------

    Amazing, the three I know of all died of bad motherboards within three months of each other.
     

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