MP 7,1 For those complaining about the Mac Pro 7,1 price/performance....

darthaddie

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2018
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Planet Earth

its more at play here than the CPU core count / IPC etc etc. The subsystem is way faster than the iMac or imac Pro’s. The youtube videos so far do not show real world benefits. I own an iMac i9 with Vega 48 and the 12 core Mac Pro with Radeon vega ii. The difference is perceivable and sometimes unbelievable. Especially in cpu intensive tasks like import/export and filters.

I extensively use photoshop / Lightroom and fcp x. there are days when we are importing 3000+ images off a wedding and the saving in import times / 1:1 previews itself is enough of a justification.

I have had days where a 2000+ image import was going on in Lightroom and I was happily editing in FCPX. Not possible on the iMac 2019.
 
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blackadde

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Dec 11, 2019
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If we consider the iMac spec there the baseline, the MP config is 2.1x faster (199/94sec) in RAW to JPEG conversion speed.

2019 iMac @ 8core, 64GB RAM, Vega48 = $4,449 CAD (Let's round it to $5,000 with some aftermarket RAM to hit 128GB).
2019 MP @ 16core, 384GB RAM, 580X = $13,999 CAD

So, for these specific configurations and this specific task, the MP gives you 2.1x the speed for 2.8x the cost.

Anyone with half a brain wouldn't be paying the Apple tax for extra RAM and the iMac comes with a 5K display that the MP doesn't, muddying the waters a little. I'd also like to point out that in this specific task you linked, the performance gain scales almost perfectly with core count (8core v 16core, 199 sec v 94 sec).
 
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darthaddie

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2018
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If we consider the iMac spec there the baseline, the MP config is 2.1x faster (199/94sec) in RAW to JPEG conversion speed.

2019 iMac @ 8core, 64GB RAM, Vega48 = $4,449 CAD (Let's round it to $5,000 with some aftermarket RAM to hit 128GB).
2019 MP @ 16core, 384GB RAM, 580X = $13,999 CAD

So, for these specific configurations and this specific task, the MP gives you 2.1x the speed for 2.8x the cost.

Anyone with half a brain wouldn't be paying the Apple tax for extra RAM and the iMac comes with a 5K display the the MP doesn't, muddying the waters a little. I'd also like to point out that in this specific task you linked, the performance gain scales almost perfectly with core count (8core v 16core, 199 sec v 94 sec).
Apologies for not pointing out earlier. My Mac Pro has 64GB ram (off market of course) and a 12 core processor. I still see a 1.7x performance gain. Sometimes even more where the iMac would thermal throttle. Specially with 1:1 previews. That is way way faster.
Also the GPU comes in handy while generating panoramas.

I know it makes no sense to pay Apple for the RAM. Also saved money on storage by adding it myself. If done right the Mac Pro can be cost efficient with the same specs on the windows side.

Plus the ability to do other tasks while the import is ongoing is a boon for us. I’d have to wait on my iMac.

I know the cost is a lot but more and a windows machine would be cheaper by at least 30-40% but I can’t use Windows and there is no alternate Mac with such performance. To each his own though.
- - Post merged: - -

Apologies for not pointing out earlier. My Mac Pro has 64GB ram (off market of course) and a 12 core processor. I still see a 1.7x performance gain. Sometimes even more where the iMac would thermal throttle. Specially with 1:1 previews. That is way way faster.
Also the GPU comes in handy while generating panoramas.

I know it makes no sense to pay Apple for the RAM. Also saved money on storage by adding it myself. If done right the Mac Pro can be cost efficient with the same specs on the windows side.

Plus the ability to do other tasks while the import is ongoing is a boon for us. I’d have to wait on my iMac.

I know the cost is a lot but more and a windows machine would be cheaper by at least 30-40% but I can’t use Windows and there is no alternate Mac with such performance. To each his own though.
this is more towards what I see

 

blackadde

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Dec 11, 2019
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Well, the thread is called price/performance, so I just did some napkin math to explore the claim. I think that the performance gains really aren't out of line with the increased core counts / IPC gains / RAM capacity, etc. — being that they both run the same OS, it stands to reason that you can measure any performance deltas objectively and trivially.

The MP is obviously a wonderful relief for a lot of people who were bottlenecked by iMac / 6,1 performance ceilings, and a completely reasonable buy for certain workflows that require it.
 

darthaddie

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2018
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Planet Earth
Well, the thread is called price/performance, so I just did some napkin math to explore the claim. I think that the performance gains really aren't out of line with the increased core counts / IPC gains / RAM capacity, etc. — being that they both run the same OS, it stands to reason that you can measure any performance deltas objectively and trivially.

The MP is obviously a wonderful relief for a lot of people who were bottlenecked by iMac / 6,1 performance ceilings, and a completely reasonable buy for certain workflows that require it.
nailed it. Absolutely.

last year we shot 1,25,000 images and 20TB of 4k footage. I hope I’ll have much more time for other things this year. Lol.
 
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Blair Paulsen

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Jun 22, 2016
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FWIW, I developed a workflow with multiple cMP towers where I would distribute tasks like copying, rendering, transcoding, DNR, etc to machines other than the one I edited with to avoid the performance hit. Particularly when managing data on set, I'd often have an older laptop or two just for making the 2 or 3 required backups. That left my cMP free for rough cuts and 1st light color grading sans the delays it exhibited when moving data in the background.
Would love to see some benchmarks on the performance delta between cutting on a 7,1 that is also doing background operations vs one that is only running one program.
YMMV.
 

darthaddie

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Original poster
Sep 20, 2018
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Planet Earth
FWIW, I developed a workflow with multiple cMP towers where I would distribute tasks like copying, rendering, transcoding, DNR, etc to machines other than the one I edited with to avoid the performance hit. Particularly when managing data on set, I'd often have an older laptop or two just for making the 2 or 3 required backups. That left my cMP free for rough cuts and 1st light color grading sans the delays it exhibited when moving data in the background.
Would love to see some benchmarks on the performance delta between cutting on a 7,1 that is also doing background operations vs one that is only running one program.
YMMV.
I did want to develop a multi machine workflow, but we are limited with space currently. Until we move to a bigger studio sometime this year I have to work with the Mac Pro.

I would be running some performance benchmarks this month end and would definitely share those here.

What I have seen so far is the machine chugging along with multiple heavy tasks just fine. Actual metrics will tell the complete story
 

Blair Paulsen

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Jun 22, 2016
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San Diego, CA USA
FWIW, my space limitations were a cart I could roll onto set. My solution was two extra keyboard drawers for the laptops and a cubby with pigtails for hooking up transit/backup drives. In any case, if the 7,1 can manage background tasks and still be responsive, which it's specs seem to indicate, then my external parallel processing regime can go the way of the corded telephone.
Just looking for some real world notes to judge what I need, or don't need, on a 7,1 based cart solution.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
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So, for these specific configurations and this specific task, the MP gives you 2.1x the speed for 2.8x the cost.

Anyone with half a brain wouldn't be paying the Apple tax for extra RAM and the iMac comes with a 5K display that the MP doesn't, muddying the waters a little. I'd also like to point out that in this specific task you linked, the performance gain scales almost perfectly with core count (8core v 16core, 199 sec v 94 sec).
The real price/performance problem is that the $6000 Mac Pro only gives you about the same performance as a $3000 (including nice display) iMac. You're paying a huge premium for the stratospheric upgrade potential that you might not need. The more you upgrade the Mac Pro, the better the price/performance becomes.

It also rather depends on you being committed to MacOS - as you say, a lot of the benchmarks being cited pretty much scale with the number of cores, and if you're prepared to consider Windows or Linux then there are far cheaper ways of getting 24+ cores, if you're prepared slum it with fewer 8x PCIe slots and max out at 512GB RAM (for the higher core counts, Apple is only offering the M-series CPUs with 2TB RAM support - the 512GB versions are less than half the price), as well as more expensive dual Xeon systems that can handle the RAM/PCIe and give you up to 56 cores... and that's before PCs designed for the 2019 Xeon-Ws - which can offer Mac Pro-like PCIe/RAM expansions without going to dual Xeons - really start to appear.

(In 2-3 years' time, when the Applecare is running out, maybe it will be time to buy a second hand 8-core MP and slap in the cheapest 28 core W-3175X that fleaBay can offer - but I can't see the proverbial time-is-money Real Pro Users doing that to brand new, in-warranty machines).

So, the $6k model is lousy price/performance, the more expensive models are OK if you're committed to MacOS, and at the top end you really, really have to have a specific need for quad AMD GPUs, accelerator cards or > 1TB+ RAM.
 

bcomer

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Jan 25, 2008
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The real price/performance problem is that the $6000 Mac Pro only gives you about the same performance as a $3000 (including nice display) iMac. You're paying a huge premium for the stratospheric upgrade potential that you might not need. The more you upgrade the Mac Pro, the better the price/performance becomes.

It also rather depends on you being committed to MacOS - as you say, a lot of the benchmarks being cited pretty much scale with the number of cores, and if you're prepared to consider Windows or Linux then there are far cheaper ways of getting 24+ cores, if you're prepared slum it with fewer 8x PCIe slots and max out at 512GB RAM (for the higher core counts, Apple is only offering the M-series CPUs with 2TB RAM support - the 512GB versions are less than half the price), as well as more expensive dual Xeon systems that can handle the RAM/PCIe and give you up to 56 cores... and that's before PCs designed for the 2019 Xeon-Ws - which can offer Mac Pro-like PCIe/RAM expansions without going to dual Xeons - really start to appear.

(In 2-3 years' time, when the Applecare is running out, maybe it will be time to buy a second hand 8-core MP and slap in the cheapest 28 core W-3175X that fleaBay can offer - but I can't see the proverbial time-is-money Real Pro Users doing that to brand new, in-warranty machines).

So, the $6k model is lousy price/performance, the more expensive models are OK if you're committed to MacOS, and at the top end you really, really have to have a specific need for quad AMD GPUs, accelerator cards or > 1TB+ RAM.
Basically the more you scale it the more it makes sense. For me, my 2013 MP hex-core is not bad but it is well past its prime. I am a software developer (professionally)/photographer (hobby) and committed to MacOS. I switched to Mac in 2008 and have not looked back as Windows is such a steaming pile of pooh.

I have ordered a 2019 12-core/1TB MP that will do me for many years to come.

Also realize we pay much higher prices in Canada compared to the U.S.
 

darthaddie

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Sep 20, 2018
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FWIW, my space limitations were a cart I could roll onto set. My solution was two extra keyboard drawers for the laptops and a cubby with pigtails for hooking up transit/backup drives. In any case, if the 7,1 can manage background tasks and still be responsive, which it's specs seem to indicate, then my external parallel processing regime can go the way of the corded telephone.
Just looking for some real world notes to judge what I need, or don't need, on a 7,1 based cart solution.
For me the Mac Pro seems to be a one trick pony for now. I have had a smooth workflow since we started editing on it last week. No more slowdowns. However, I will definitely take some measurements to find out how much of a performance gain I achieved.

Another good thing is that its scalable. My main gripe with my iMac 2019 is, I cannot add more TB3 ports and I have already started to need a few more drives. Plus I can upgrade the processor for cheap in a years time.
 

defjam

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Sep 15, 2019
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I'm not sure this says anything about the price / performance of the 2019 Mac Pro. The majority of results showed essentially a doubling of performance when the number of cores was doubled. A better comparison would be to compare it with the 14 or 18 core iMac Pro. While not an exact core for core comparison it would have been better in helping to determine the value.
 

Derived

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Mar 1, 2015
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People complaining about the price/performance of the new Mac Pro, as always, since the first PowerMacs ever built, have no idea what they're talking about and should be ignored completely without even a second's worth of thought.

Anyone who knows what the components inside this machine cost, as well as what it costs to design, engineer, R&D and then assemble a machine like this in the US knows that about the only thing "overpriced" about it is the RAM, although, as it must be pointed out, not nearly to the extent to which HPE or Dell juices their professional customers. And, as always, you're free to buy your own.

As an interesting aside, no one seems to truly know the price of the Radeon Instinct MI60 (which is essentially what the Vega II is) - however, the MI50, which was the slightly down-clocked, 16gb version of this card is "known" to list at ~$5,000 for enterprise buyers. And even at that price, I have seen multiple people with more knowledge than myself indicate that they are still likely losing money on these cards at that price. So. Think about that before complaining about the price of the GPU upgrade.

I do think the RX580X as an entry point is a bit poor, but then again, if the buyer is bringing their own GPUs, then they likely won't want anything better from Apple anyway. Plenty of people out there with their own Radeon VIIs or 5700s that they'd like to drop in. I'm certain that the 580 isn't the main driver behind the $5,999 MSRP anyway.

I also think it ought to come with 512gb of SSD standard, and I'm assuming it will within the year, but again, we're nitpicking. Any claiming that this machine is "ridiculously overpriced" is boldly exposing their utter & complete lack of knowledge about anything related to this topic. And I think, at this point, we can hit the mute button on all of them.
 

blackadde

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Dec 11, 2019
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The build price for Apple is totally irrelevant for the end user. Whether the case costs them $1 or $1000 has no impact on how fast the machine crunches numbers. The meaningful price / perf comparisons are simply in the measurable and repeatable results.

Don’t get caught up in the psychological valley of perceived value - “Their margin is razor thin, ergo this product MUST be a great deal!”

The equally fallacious argument - “Hey, the markup on this is ridiculous, this must be an awful purchase decision!” - must also be carefully avoided.

How fast can X configuration for Y dollars perform Z task? Now repeat for several viable candidates and put them on a scatter plot. That’s it.
 

defjam

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Anyone who knows what the components inside this machine cost, as well as what it costs to design, engineer, R&D and then assemble a machine like this in the US knows that about the only thing "overpriced" about it is the RAM, although, as it must be pointed out, not nearly to the extent to which HPE or Dell juices their professional customers. And, as always, you're free to buy your own.
A couple of things come to mind:
  1. People making comments that the 2019 Mac Pro offers subpar performance given its price know how much the components cost (or comparable products). At least those components which are used in other systems (i.e. processor, memory, SSDs, etc.).
  2. The cost to design, engineer, R&D, and assemble is 100% irrelevant to price/performance.
The 2019 Mac Pro is a nicely engineered system. IMO it looks to be a very high quality system with a lot of attention paid to the details (as is typical of Apple). But in the end if a very high quality system can be outperformed by a cheaper, low quality system then it offers poor price/performance.
 
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high heaven

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Dec 7, 2017
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I would wait till someone compare between Mac Pro 2019 and PC with Ryzne 9 3950X for Photography software. Comparing two Macs wont gonna stop people complaining about the price and performance.
 
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defjam

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I would wait till someone compare between Mac Pro 2019 and PC with Ryzne 9 3950X for Photography software. Comparing two Macs wont gonna stop people complaining about the price and performance.
IMO the competition for the 2019 Mac Pro are other Macs. Depending on the task one can say the 2019 Mac Pro is a poor value. Take the benchmarks provided in the video MacBookPro.User posted. While I didn't crunch the numbers the 2019 MacBookPro appears to be a much better value than the 2019 Mac Pro for the tasks benchmarked in the video. I might even go so far as to say that the 6,1 Mac Pro might be a better value (but I would definitely have to run the numbers).
 

high heaven

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IMO the competition for the 2019 Mac Pro are other Macs. Depending on the task one can say the 2019 Mac Pro is a poor value. Take the benchmarks provided in the video MacBookPro.User posted. While I didn't crunch the numbers the 2019 MacBookPro appears to be a much better value than the 2019 Mac Pro for the tasks benchmarked in the video. I might even go so far as to say that the 6,1 Mac Pro might be a better value (but I would definitely have to run the numbers).
How so? Most people complaining about Mac Pro's price and performance are PC users.

Tho Mac Pro 2019 seems to perform well, don't forget that you need to pay tons of money just for the basic version which is $6000.

Xeon and server parts are already meaningless for photography uses. Why would you spend several thousand dollars for 16 cores Xeon while you can get way less for Ryzen 9 and Core i9 around 16 cores?

Ryzen 3900X took less than 7 min to export 550 images which is 420 sec while Mac Pro 2019 took 509 sec. 16 core that Mac Pro has cost at least $2000 and it might be more than that due to max memory size and cache. Ryzen 3900X is only $500.

As long as PC exits, people will compare both Mac and PC in terms of price and performance. How much is it for 16 cores Mac Pro? $8000. If you add more parts, then it will be much more. I wouldn't spend that amount of money on photography. Dont say it's not for you.
 
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defjam

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How so? Most people complaining about Mac Pro's price and performance are PC users.
I assume this question refers to my statement about the competition for Mac Pro users is other Macs and therefore this response will assume as much.

The answer is that many Mac users stubbornly refuse to consider alternative (primarily Windows) platforms. Some are married to macOS based on the applications they use but most just refuse to use anything else.

Tho Mac Pro 2019 seems to perform well, don't forget that you need to pay tons of money just for the basic version which is $6000.

Xeon and server parts are already meaningless for photography uses. Why would you spend several thousand dollars for 16 cores Xeon while you can get way less for Ryzen 9 and Core i9 around 16 cores?

Ryzen 3900X took less than 7 min to export 550 images which is 420 sec while Mac Pro 2019 took 509 sec. 16 core that Mac Pro has cost at least $2000 and it might be more than that due to max memory size and cache. Ryzen 3900X is only $500.

As long as PC exits, people will compare both Mac and PC in terms of price and performance. How much is it for 16 cores Mac Pro? $8000. If you add more parts, then it will be much more. I wouldn't spend that amount of money on photography. Dont say it's not for you.
I am not disputing that one can purchase a lower cost alternative which outperforms the 2019 Mac Pro. I am merely stating for a lot of Mac users there is nothing else than the Mac. For these people comparisons of the 2019 Mac Pro is invalid for anything other than another Mac.
 

high heaven

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I am not disputing that one can purchase a lower cost alternative which outperforms the 2019 Mac Pro. I am merely stating for a lot of Mac users there is nothing else than the Mac. For these people comparisons of the 2019 Mac Pro is invalid for anything other than another Mac.
Still, Mac Pro 2019 itself for Photography is very expansive for its performance. A lot of photographers that I know are sticking with Macbook Pro because of limited options and prices. A lack of mid range modular Mac desktop is what most photographers want.

assume this question refers to my statement about the competition for Mac Pro users is other Macs and therefore this response will assume as much.

The answer is that many Mac users stubbornly refuse to consider alternative (primarily Windows) platforms. Some are married to macOS based on the applications they use but most just refuse to use anything else.
Didn't think about Hackintosh?
 
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defjam

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Still, Mac Pro 2019 itself for Photography is very expansive for its performance. A lot of photographers that I know are sticking with Macbook Pro because of limited options and prices. A lack of mid range modular Mac desktop is what most photographers want.
I'm not really sure what it is you're attempting to say. I already stated that, for many Mac users, the competition for the 2019 Mac Pro are other Mac systems. This statement of yours appears to support that statement. As such I don't see where we disagree.

Didn't think about Hackintosh?
No. IMO hackintosh is a non-starter to these kinds of discussions.
 

tpivette89

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Apologies for not pointing out earlier. My Mac Pro has 64GB ram (off market of course) and a 12 core processor. I still see a 1.7x performance gain. Sometimes even more where the iMac would thermal throttle. Specially with 1:1 previews. That is way way faster.
Also the GPU comes in handy while generating panoramas.

I know it makes no sense to pay Apple for the RAM. Also saved money on storage by adding it myself. If done right the Mac Pro can be cost efficient with the same specs on the windows side.

Plus the ability to do other tasks while the import is ongoing is a boon for us. I’d have to wait on my iMac.

I know the cost is a lot but more and a windows machine would be cheaper by at least 30-40% but I can’t use Windows and there is no alternate Mac with such performance. To each his own though.
- - Post merged: - -



this is more towards what I see

No alternate Mac with such performance? Have you forgotten the iMac Pro? Up to 18 cores, 256GB RAM, and 4TB SSD.

You mention the i9 iMac thermal throttling and not being able to keep up with the workflow... did you consider a refurb iMac Pro with it's much improved cooling? For $50 less than the base 7,1 Mac Pro, you could get a 14-core/64GB RAM/Vega 56/1TB SSD machine (that includes the 5k display). I would think that this config would be a better value and would perform the task necessary better than a comparable base model (or even a base spec 12-core) 7,1.

Increasing the specs of the Mac Pro to suit your needs (or to be comparable to the mentioned iMac Pro) would only widen the cost - performance gap.

Here's the 14-core refurb iMac Pro direct from Apple:
 

high heaven

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Dec 7, 2017
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I'm not really sure what it is you're attempting to say. I already stated that, for many Mac users, the competition for the 2019 Mac Pro are other Mac systems. This statement of yours appears to support that statement. As such I don't see where we disagree.
I'm saying that Mac Pro is expansive for photography and I'm complaining toward this original poster. There isnt' any choice except for high-end wedding photographers.
 

defjam

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I'm saying that Mac Pro is expansive for photography and I'm complaining toward this original poster. There isnt' any choice except for high-end wedding photographers.
You're "complaining" to me, not the OP. If your comments are intended for the OP I would recommend you direct them towards the OP and not me.