MacPro and Prosumers

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fernmeister, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    The word prosumer keeps popping up in the discussions about Mac Pro revisions and the mythical Desktop/Mini-Tower/Cube2.0 debates as well. That's got me wondering,

    what do people mean by prosumer?

    I've seen the term used before in different fields but the meaning has usually been someone who is not a professional in the field, but chooses to use the same gear as the professionals use. It seems to me that Apple mostly look at it the same way.

    So, if a professional video editor uses a MacPro and Final Cut, then a prosumer would use the same gear - the only difference is they are not being paid for their work. Of course, professionals don't always use the most expensive gear on offer, so an iMac might well be "professional" for certain applications (as is my G4 powerbook!).

    Clearly, not everyone uses the word the same way - so, what say you?
  2. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    i say 'rich fools with expendable income and no taste in video cards'. :apple:
  3. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006

    So yes, people who buy expensive things simply so they could use all the power/features but only get it since they want the best.

    My 17" MBP, it stays at home, watching MR Spy, not doing 'pro' stuff. What can I say, I have expensive taste.

    Think of it as the Ferrari/Lambo/Merc SLR/Maserati/Aston Martin's (i could go on and on) that rich folk buy but those cars only see the light of day once a blue moon, and they never get used as they were meant to - on a race track.
  4. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    what about those who fork over the cash to buy a good computer now that will last a little longer than if they had purchased a mid to bottom of the line computer...?
  5. Karpfish macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2006
    Have people gone so low to bash on those who want to spend a few hundred dollars more to get a better product even if it isn't their main source of income? It's just money, and not that much of it if you think about how long you have the computer for.

    Think about it: My Mac Pro was $3,000 when I bought it 1 year ago. I plan to keep it for about 2 more years, so I am only paying $1,000/year for it. Not too bad. If you wanna think about it per day, I pay only $2.74/day to own this computer over the 3 years. I throw that much change in my change bucket everyday!
  6. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    That's pretty much the definition of the word prosumer, whether you like it or not.

    I am just wondering why a prosumer then would want anything less than a Mac Pro in the much discussed threads about a midtower.
  7. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    perhaps because he doesn't want 2 CPUs on a server board + server memory but rather something better in another department

    to put it more simpler: "somebody who simply isn't happy with the performance of a consumer product and want some features more but is smart enough to know where is needs are exceeded"

    to make it more easier: i come up with the "dreaded car analogy"

    2 choices:
    A: elegant stylish 2 seat cabriolet with no roof"
    B: 40 ton 18 wheeler with awesome features and lot of different configurations but for a steep price

    somehow i think there is some middle ground for people who just want a station wagon, mini van etc.
  8. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    No, a prosumer wants the best even though he doesn't need it. That's the definition.
  9. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    obviously there is only one definition and you choose that it is the absolute truth ;) ...

    i still don't get why people are flaming against people who want _more_ choiceor *grasp* a computer that fits their needs without stupid compromising on all corners
  10. aussie macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2002
    Class issues?

    I think "prosumer" can be defined without using terms like "rich". Buying well made, quality products could be considered prudent, even if all its potential features aren't used. Surely rich can't be defined as the ability to spend several thousand dollars, when average home prices are 300K and up. Good quality in anything usually costs more. The definition of rich and "indulgent" isn't anyone who has more money than a student.
  11. peletrane macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Well, I bought a Mac Pro because I felt that Logic Pro wouldn't run the 3P audio units as efficiently on my PB G4--I needed the added memory and processor power to run the program effectively and optimally.

    That said, I am not a professinal musician, as I earn exactly 0 dollars and 0 cents off my music. Nonetheless, music is a passion of mine, to which I devote much of my free time.

    Thus, I guess I am more of a hobbyist than a prosumer, insofar as I actually need the Mac Pro to best run the program, even I am not making any money off of it.
  12. tribe3 macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2005
    Vienna, VA - USA
    A very demanding hobbyist can be cataloged as a prosumer.

    I have woodworking tools and photography equipment that could be used professionally - and I enjoy doing my stuff with them - but I earn my beans doing something else.
  13. MacVault macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2002
    Planet Earth
    Most everyone now days is more like a "prosumer" since the "digital lifestyle" is now creating the need for more "pro" features and functionality at the comsumer level/price. Take Time Machine, for example. I would love to have an extra hard drive in my Mac to backup to. And I don't want to use an external drive. So, with the iMac or MacMini I'm $h1t out of luck. I have to either be satisfied with that, or shell out ~$3000 for a MacPro :mad: All because Steve Jobs & Company have decided for us that we live in an all-in-one-world. WTF :mad:
  14. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    I agree with tribe3. I have a loaded Mac Pro that I use for photo and video editting. Those are hobbies for me and are not job related. Could I do the same thing on a lesser computer? Sure, but it would take a lot longer and my time is valuable to me. Since I can afford a "prosumer" computer, I got it.

    This is no different than other consumer choices out there. A Ford Focus would get me to the grocery store just like a BMW or Lexus would.
  15. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    In digital photography I see the word used more to describe equipment that typically fills the middle ground between regular consumers and professionals. Usually the equipment doesn't have the sturdiness, reliability, or longevity of the professional gear, but it is feature rich compared to the consumer offerings.
  16. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    I think that the term Prosumer is a abstraction.

    You really cant pin it down easily.

    You could have,say, 3 different kind of users.

    1.Poor bastard that futureproofs himself for the next half a decade by getting the best computer. The next 6 yrs he is sorted and uses the regular applications.

    2.Posh that gets the best the money can buy because,well,he can afford it. The next 2 years he uses the regular applications.

    3.Quality conscious. He knows he gets a good product because he has reserched stuff,is prepared pay a bit extra because he knows it keeps it value for resale.The next 3 years he uses the regular applications.

    Those imaginary 3 persons come from differnt sosioeconomical backgrouds but still end up in the same situation and identical useage.
    Mail,Interweb,pictures,music and a bit videos.


    I am a pro-photog that uses a prosumer camera...eos-5. :)
    Reason? Light,95% of the quality of Eos-1 picturewise,replacable and 1/3 of the price of the Eos-1...
    Obviously,all the optics are L series but the body is a "prosumer".
    The funny part is that I know 3 different Mark II Ds´s that have gone to the shop for repairs under the same time as I have had the e-5 body.
    With a bit less frames shot...
    Stuff happens,I guess?

    Hmm,but now this leads to another dilemma.
    So does that make me a hobbyist or economically conscious professional?
  17. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    Professional, Prosumer, consumer

    professional - $10,000 F 2.8 big ass 400 mm lens that weighs a ton
    prosumer - $1600 variable focal length 70-300 zoom lens that is leightweight but has some cool features like image stabilization
    consumer - $250 stock 30-80 no-frills zoom lens

    professional - 18 wheeler
    prosumer - sports car
    consumer - honda civic

    I think these analogies apply to computers as well. A prosumer doesn't necessarily want the same thing that a professional uses. A prosumer doesn't need 8 CPUs, 32 GB of slow FB-DIMM server memory and a slow video card. A prosumer wants/needs 2-4 CPUs, 4 GB of high speed low latency DDR2 RAM and a fast video card.
  18. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    You are right, perhaps we should reconsider the meaning of the word :)
  19. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    In the case of apple, prosumer would be people who have a clue and dont want to waste their money on 2 year old hardware being sold for far more than much faster current hardware. Example X1900XT vs 8800GT

  20. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    But would the Mac Pro be Prosumer or Professional? I mean if a Mac Pro is not a Professional machine, then what level would be?

  21. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    I'd say a prosumer product would be one that nears the capabilities of a professional gear but maybe with some corners cut when it comes to reliability and durability - but also providing a lower price tag.
  22. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    My take:

    • Very price conscious.
    • Utilitarian (cuts frills to lower costs).
    • Not necessarily an innate enthusiast of the technology or of the product category (e.g. not a 'car lover' so their spending priority is elsewhere). However, may just be limited by budget.

    • Not as price conscious as the consumer.
    • Values quality and is willing to pay extra for it.
    • Tends to have other prosumer-grade gadgets. For example, may have a prosumer-grade DSLR that produces 20MB RAW files and needs to run Aperture or Lightroom or Photoshop at high speed. This person's 'ecosystem' requires prosumer-grade electronics all around.
    • Is more of an enthusiast or hobbyist and wants (e.g. desires) more upscale gadgets.
    • The return-on-investment (ROI) is not financial, but personal -- i.e. pride of ownership and personal satisfaction.

    • Not as price conscious as either of the above.
    • Purchase decisions are based primarily on need, not want.
    • Derives direct or indirect financial compensation from work done on the equipment; i.e. financial ROI.
  23. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California

    Although there are more specific definitions, I like this one "in a nutshell".

    I used to buy "prosumer" gear because it usually gives the best "bang for the buck" in terms of perfomance. But as I slowly started upgrading my gear from consumer to prosumer to professional, I started to appreciate the need for sturdiness and reliability. I am now firmly of the opinion that my decisions on purchase are based almost solely on how quickly, easily, and reliably I can get the job done.

    If the Mac Pro meets my needs, then that is the choice. If the Mac Mini can do the job within 10% of the speed of the Mac Pro with no hit in reliability or ease of use, then it gets the nod.

    Some things will strain a MM too much (too slow), yet don't require the horsepower of a 64 processor MP.
  24. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Basically in this case all the consumer machines are laptop-based and the pro machines are workstation/server based.

    People are just arguing for something in the middle -- using a high end desktop chipset and CPU.

    Though Intel is turning the next generation workstation chipset into a gaming machine -- cost of the platform is still an issue.


    It isn't like the consumer parts Apple uses are cheap on the consumer machines, since they are all more expensive laptop parts.

    For $1499 Apple should be able to bridge the gap between consumer and the pro market -- gain gamers, high end consumers and professional who can't quite choke down a Mac Pro.

    Though people do tend to slide one side to the other when they try to pin down the Mac prosumer market, since that middle target/gap is rather big.
  25. hakuryuu macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2007
    Lomita, CA
    This is how I view it as well. Though my budget isn't always up to the task, I definitely push my limits to get the most quality I can. Thus a powerful mid tower would be more my speed as the Mac Pro is almost overkill for most things I do and the server hardware as well as cards aren't the best for gaming. But it will probably be what I get as I have no other Mac option. The iMac just doesn't offer the flexibility or raw performance for productivity or gaming that the MP does.

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