MacPro and Prosumers

fernmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 19, 2007
143
0
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?
 

sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,285
215
Sarcasmville.
From Dictionary.app:

prosumer |prōˈsoōmər|
noun
1 an amateur who purchases equipment with quality or features suitable for professional use : the magazine is aimed at the prosumer who uses a $10,000 camera to make home movies of his dog.
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.
 

product26

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
774
10
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...?
 

Karpfish

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2006
661
0
i say 'rich fools with expendable income and no taste in video cards'. :apple:
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!
 

Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,022
279
Denmark
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!
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.
 

takao

macrumors 68040
Dec 25, 2003
3,820
438
Dornbirn (Austria)
I am just wondering why a prosumer then would want anything less than a Mac Pro in the much discussed threads about a midtower.
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.
 

Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,022
279
Denmark
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.
No, a prosumer wants the best even though he doesn't need it. That's the definition.
 

takao

macrumors 68040
Dec 25, 2003
3,820
438
Dornbirn (Austria)
No, a prosumer wants the best even though he doesn't need it. That's the definition.
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
 

aussie

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2002
1
0
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.
 

peletrane

macrumors member
Jan 19, 2007
86
7
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.
 

tribe3

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2005
350
0
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.
 

MacVault

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2002
1,144
59
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:
 

richpjr

macrumors 68040
May 9, 2006
3,149
1,460
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.
 

saltyzoo

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2007
1,065
0
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.
 

Macinposh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
700
0
Kreplakistan
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.


salty said:
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.
Heh.

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?
:D
 

kudukudu

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2007
197
4
Professional, Prosumer, consumer

Photography
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

Cars
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.
 

Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,022
279
Denmark
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
You are right, perhaps we should reconsider the meaning of the word :)
 

contoursvt

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2005
844
0
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


i say 'rich fools with expendable income and no taste in video cards'. :apple:
 

contoursvt

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2005
844
0
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?

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.
 

contoursvt

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2005
844
0
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.
 

ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
1,672
65
USA
My take:

Consumer
  • 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.

Prosumer
  • 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.

Professional
  • 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.
 

seany916

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2006
470
0
Southern California
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.

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.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
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.
 

hakuryuu

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2007
347
1
Lomita, CA
My take:


Prosumer
  • 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.
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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