Instapaper Developer discusses Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 8CoreWhore, May 8, 2012.

  1. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    A 30 minute talk on the 5by5 network by Marco Arment on why he needs a Mac Pro instead of his current set-up -- a MacBook Pro with 30" Monitor.

  2. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    "Needs" is somewhat a mischaracterization. Probably more accurately "currently the best fit". He originally had a Mac Pro and decided to go from a two machine set-up (laptop for portable times + desktop) to simply a laptop as a desktop replacement. The Mac Pro is a better fit but to a large extent it is overkill. ( this isn't a gotta have 6+ cores and GB/s bandwidth issue. )

    The MacBook Pro comes up short as a complete desktop replacement. The missing pieces are:

    1. a multiple sled hard drive unit with options for 3.5" drives.
    2. a bit better GPU for driving the 30" screen.

    If the MBP had a 2TB 2.5" internal drive along with a SSD and a better discrete GPU, then it would mostly pass. [ currently thin 2.5" top out at 1TB: probably a year or two away from 2TB. This next rev of upper end mobile GPUs coupled to non minimal VRAM might also pass muster. ]
    Minor OS X improvement would be to able to tell the MBP to turn off the internal screen without closing the clamshell.

    Likewise, a single external box the size of a short minitower with 2 Thunderbolt connections that held 2-3 3.5" drive sleds ( so one or two 2TB drives online) and room for an entry level desktop GPU card would also work. (as long as collect the expansion into a single box that meets most of his needs. Something closer to the Sony box that appeared last year to supplement the laptop, but with standard TB connectors and HDD capacity. )

    The primary thing holding the iMac back is the glossy screen. (2TB is available along with better GPU+VRAM combos)

    Mac mini .... similar issues as the MBP : 2TB 2.5" HDD and GPU issues. ( I suspect an AMD Trinity would likely solve the GPU issue if Apple went with it. Sliding back slightly on x86 core throughput wouldn't be a show stopper. )
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    He's just ripping into Apple's, it's quite interesting to listen to him.

    Having said that, I agree with him completely - Most users are best served with either a Macbook Air or a Mac Pro. There's very few people that would genuinly appreciate a macbook pro - and no, I'm not talking about the 60 year old who wants a 17" MBP for facebook.
  4. 24Frames macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    How do you know what people do with their MBPs? I think it is highly presumptuous to state that "There's very few people that would genuinly appreciate a macbook pro".

    I'm running various 3D applications including Cinema 4D / Vue / modo / Houdini, alongside a music studio based around Apple Logic and Ableton Live and a pile of third party plug-ins on a MBP i7 Quad-Core. It is fantastic that you can carry a whole studio around with you when you go to a client.

    I can't see anything wrong with people buying an MPB 17 to do their email and Facebook, particularly if it keeps volumes high so that Apple keep producing them for those of us that use their full potential.
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I have to agree with you. It does seem like a communist way of thinking. You don't need all that power and you don't need to go quickly, therefore here is a shiny, new Trabant.
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I would simply say that you're one of the few. As are most people that would read this comment, as it's in the mac pro forum, where more... "pro" people, for lack of a better term, hang out.

    But for someone that doesn't do heavy lifting, an air is more than good enough, and for someone that does do heavy lifting, more power (that doesn't get throttled as it heats up) is better.
  7. Photovore macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2011
    I work at a university in cognitive psychology. Every grad student in our large building is also a programmer. Many of the undergrads are too. I'd guess 90% of the desktops are Macs (mostly using MatLab). Laptops about the same percentage; lots of MBPs. How many *really* need them? Not all, but many. My sample is biased of course, but that's just one building in one department on one campus.

    So, I might replace your words "very few" with "relatively few" -- I think it's still in the millions....
  8. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Keep in mind us developers also are waiting for retina displays, which means our GPU needs will quadruple.

    So the Macbook Pro GPUs need to catch up to that too.

    (Not to mention us developers love using 2-3 external displays.)

    And external Thunderbolt box could meet these needs for me (and could possibly be even better than a Mac Pro depending on CPU power), but Thunderbolt doesn't have the oomph to do that.

    I already have a Macbook Pro, and, while it lets me get my work done, it just doesn't cut through code like my Mac Pro does.
  9. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    The problem is you never know when that cool $200 dollar piece of software is going to force you to move up.

    Poser & Vue drive my computing purchases & I would have never, ever thought that when I bought them.
  10. dagomike, May 9, 2012
    Last edited: May 9, 2012

    dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    Not sure why people just don't fess up they like nice things because it's the biggest/baddest.

    To me, the issue has always been iMac vs Mac Pro. MacBook Pro is a different class of product, IMO. If you're really evaluating those two products, just on principle, I'd question why you'd think you need a Mac Pro.
  11. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    That's not necessarily true. Keep in mind, Apple uses Retina classification as ppi / viewing distance. Computers screens have a longer typical viewing distance, so Apple could call a Mac Retina without as large of a multiplier as its mobile devices.

    But in generally, yes, you'll need more HP. HD 4000 in Ivy Bridge is a significant boost in integrated graphics. It not only includes OpenCL, but is capable of supporting "Retina" class resolutions, per Intel.
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Retina was already set in Lion. It is 2 x width and 2 x height meaning four times as many pixels.

    If Apple doesn't double the resolution, that means the logical resolution shrinks which is also unacceptable.

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