No more Mac Pro? No more Apple.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by IO Valduc, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. IO Valduc macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2012
    Let me make one thing clear. I’m an Apple fan. Well, that’s not completely true. I’m still an Apple fan, but I’m hanging on to the last straws, simply because Apple is gradually turning its back to the graphics and printing industry. Which of course is my opinion.

    You guessed right, I’m a creative dude.

    I’ve been working on Windows machines for quiet a few years. Being a fresh starter in the creative industry, my budget was very limited, so I could only afford the best deals Windows XP machines. Yes, I could have bought an iMac, but the all-in-one solutions did not attract me. I was afraid that when the video card would die on me e.g., I would have to wait too long for the iMac to be repaired (which is evidently a no go for me). So, a desktop was (still is) the way to go. Something breaks, you swap it yourself and you’re back in business in less then a day.

    Fresh starters become more successful (not the lame ones maybe), so that was the case for me too. Resulting in an increasing cash flow and budget.
    So, why not a Mac? It’s not uncommon for a designer to consider Mac at least once in his creative lifetime…

    It was early 2008 when my Windows XP Little Shuttle PC kicked the bucket aka ceased to be. By coincidence it was also time to get a newer version of Adobe Creative Suite. I had to update Adobe (more than one step) and buy a new computer, so the Mac consideration popped up in my mind. Well, the Vista story pushed me a bit too. I was hearing and reading horrifying stories about it… And let’s agree, the security of Windows in general has never been one of Microsoft’s strong points… (It’s related to their success… bla bla bla, I know)

    So, there it was, my new Mac Pro 3,1 double quad core 2.8 Xeon machine with 6 GB of RAM and a finger licking design. Did I mention I could hardly hear the machine when in action? Together with the Apple 23” Cinema Display and the flat aluminum keyboard, I could open my studio to the world. Beautiful as it was. That’s what design and designing is all about, not?

    The machine was pre-installed with OSX Leopard. I had a bit of a hassle with it in the beginning, regarding the beach ball of death, but it was fixed rather quickly. Peanuts compared to most Windows problems. I installed the new Adobe CS4 on it and I was ready to go. Some time later I upgraded to Snow Leopard and that gave me some anomalies with CS4, but not worth mentioning really (just annoying).

    Now in 2012, I’m still working with the above setup, but I’m feeling like investing again. Being a Belgian, investing into your business, even when nothing’s broken, is logical. Ask my government why… (not that THEY know, but that’s another discussion).

    Now, I’m thinking of ordering an Eizo 27” IPS panel for some serious soft proofing and because of the fact that I enjoy working with the best tools for the job. I don’t like compromises. I’m a professional, right? I would use my current Cinema Display as the second screen. Now I’m using a silly Philips 17 inch square troglodyte as the second screen (it’s a good screen really, but it’s old and a bit burned out). Why an Eizo and not a 27” Apple Cinema Display? Well, that’s because I need an actual monitor, not a mirror.

    With that best-of-the-best-state-of-mind, the logical step is a new Mac Pro (imho). But wait, Apple did not update the Mac Pro range since 2010 and some benchmarks show that the iMac (with an i7 CPU) is now the fastest Apple computer. We are 2012, I have a 2008 Mac Pro model and I can only buy a 2010 Mac Pro model? That’s awkward. Maybe I’m missing the technological knowledge to really understand the differences between the iMac and Mac Pro, but I cannot help having worries about the Mac Pro not being updated for 2 years and I’m still not interested in all-in-one computers. What worries me the most are the rumors about Apple dropping the Mac Pro completely in the very short future (hell, maybe today). Due to the fact that air, pod, pad and phone sales are the main income of Apple now.

    I called Apple support with a simple question: is Apple still supporting the creative industry or did it turn its back on it? Some friendly lady answered that Apple still supports the creative industry, but in the same conversation she stated that many designers and design studios now work with the iMac and an Eizo screen attached to it. When I told her that nobody I knew in the business (and I know quiet a few people) was using a glossy screen (I refer to the iMac screen of course), except the ones that have never heard of calibrating, she became a little less friendly. She told me that it was absolutely no problem to work with an iMac for that kind of work. I told her that it would be a bit silly to buy an iMac with a screen that one would barely use, because all the soft proofing is done on the Eizo. She told me designers use the glossy iMac screen to check their mails and surf the web... What a great idea! Problem solved… Not.

    The bottom line is: Apple dropped the matte Cinema Display, so now everybody is using the Eizo (or alternative) and the Mac Pro is outdated (and maybe dropped) thus designers should work with an all-in-one solution (with a useless glossy screen).

    But that’s not all. I mean for me. I cannot just upgrade to Lion (or buy a new Mac Pro with Lion), because that means upgrading CS4. I need at least CS 5.5 to make it work properly on Lion. But wait, Apple just released a press communiqué about the newest OSX. Mountain Lion. Seven months after Lion, really? So what now? Wait for Adobe CS 6, just to be sure it runs without bugs or other complications? Wasn’t it Apple that said: “it just works”? If I wanted complicated, I would still work with Windows, right?

    Let’s sum things up. I need a new computer and a new version of Adobe CS. That does ring a bell, doesn’t it? With all the hassle I’m having, buying a Mac Pro with a stable OS that runs a compatible Adobe CS x.x, the Windows path is becoming very actual again. I was always the one joking that people never go back to Windows once they start using a Mac, but 4 years later, ironically I’m the one considering Windows again. I don’t know, but it feels like more professional today. Especially when you check the specs of Adobe CS 5.5. It runs on XP, Vista and Windows 7. Which is evidently a wider spectrum of choice. For me that means more compatible. Maybe I should dare saying, more supported…

    There was a time when Apple was the premium choice for the creative industry. Today Apple is a consumer electronics manufacturer, if you ask me. It’s nice to have an iPhone and an iPad, but what more than toys are they really? My business does not need that.

    So what is the conclusion?
    Microsoft is for work and Apple is for fun?
  2. tjb1 macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2010
    Pennsylvania, USA

    k...bye...Apple will survive without you.
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Well, just skimming your - rather long - rant.....

    I know several (successful) photo pros who get along just fine with their big glossy iMac screens. They had to make adjustments to the lighting in their work areas.... but that was all.

    Many pros I know have two screens regardless.... one for palettes and tools, the other for the image they are working on. If they have a MacPro, then they buy two monitors.... one very good monitor, one - not so much.

    If they have an iMac, they just need to buy one very good one.

    Since you are not yet "needing" a new system.... just thinking of investing in the future (a wise move).... I would wait. I believe the future of the MacPros will be made clear in the next few months.... either they'll be updated, or they will be discontinued. My personal belief is that an updated MacPro is coming.

    It's not just specs that matter in your work, it's the workflow.... I also have the 2008 MacPro, and love that I can just slot in extra hard-drives as needed. My friends with the iMacs have lots of storage too, but they tend to have a lot of cables lying around too.

    And I like that my MacPro is quiet.... that it just sits there ... that it just works and works and works.

    But... each their own.
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I'll wait to comment when he abridged version of this thread is released and when the OP stops referring to himself as "dude"....
  5. IO Valduc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2012
    I agree that the high contrast and bright colors of the glossy screens (iMac or ACD) are interesting for photographers. Their workflow is in RGB anyway. But for soft proofing (cmyk printing) the screen needs to be calibrated regularly. I've heard that it is not evident to do that on an iMac.

    That aside, life would be more easy with a Mac Pro 2012 (thunderbolt please?). Swap drives in no time. Replace a video card in a flash, etc.

    ps: but i would never attach a glossy screen to it...
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Did we really need another "Mac OS is not for the pros" thread?

    CS5 works fine with Lion. Not to mention this is Adobe's software not Apples. Its Adobe's responsibility to upgrade it. If you want Windows, use it, but Microsoft is aiming for a lot shorter release schedule too.

    Not to mention there is no such thing as a "professional OS". Professionals use software on an OS to get the job done. If its too hard for someone (not implying you I'm speaking in general) to adapt to a new workflow then they shouldn't be in a job that requires computers.
  7. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    Apple wants to enable millions of people to do what you do professionally. It won't be as good - indeed you will cringe at the results - but most people can't tell the difference.

    As one small example, and it's just my experience, how many people do you find watching 4:3 video stretched onto a 16:9 screen? And they get really angry when you fix the picture for them... People like that should lose their right to vote, reproduce, as well as their citizenship.

    "The masses are asses"... but that's who Apple is focused on.
  8. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I read your post. Some of this information is incorrect. The 3.4GHz iMac is not faster than several of the Mac Pro models let alone the 12 core. Also it bothers me that people pretend the Mac Pro is so outdated. Just because it was released in 2010 doesn't mean it is two years behind (talking CPU only). There still isn't anything better than it from Apple and yes it is due for an update, but it's not "awkward" that they continue to sell it, what do you suggest they sell instead? There are no new chips today that are suitable for it and I can assure you that it's powerful enough for what you want to use it for. This sounds like the others posts on here about the Mac Pro needing to be updated ... we know, go tell Intel :rolleyes:
  9. gentlefury, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012

    gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I own and love my Mac Pro...but this is my last. Once this one kicks off I will not be buying another. My MBA is a GREAT mac that does everything I need it to do, and for intense computations is will be cheaper and better to just build a PC/Linux box.

    I do VFX for feature I use some major power, and my Mac Pro has been AWESOME! But I'm not planning on spending $4,000 for $1500 worth of parts again. I love mac.....but I don't need a desktop anymore.

    BTW, I work in MANY MANY facilities in LA. And nearly all of them that do graphic design are using iMacs! I only see Mac Pros when real power is needed, like for what I do, and animators, etc. iMac is basically taking over tho for design, and for the high end needs, it is mainly linux boxes now.
  10. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I understand your frustration. Without making too many sweeping statements, it's possible my next desktop will not be a Mac Pro, because for me, it's not about the OS at all. It's about what works best with the best features. I like Snow Leopard a lot, but not enough to keep me from using Windows. Many years back, I preferred Windows NT, 2000 and XP over Mac OS 7 and 8 for sure, but I used what was necessary to run the various systems I was working with, and it's the same today.

    Adobe's CS suites work better and have more features on Windows machines than Macs now... at least that's the case in CS5. It's annoying that there are fewer and more expensive GPUs options for Macs, and that there are several effects and features missing from the Mac programs compared to the same version on Windows. Maybe this isn't Apple's fault, but that doesn't mean much in the end. What matters is what works best for the user. Mac, Linux or Windows... or all three.

    The only point to "loyalty" is when it comes to the cost of migrating to a different system, if that is ever necessary. As a user of multiple systems, I feel like it really doesn't matter if it's Mac or otherwise.
  11. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    You HAVE seen Windows 8, right?
  12. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    I understand this. The huge gap in refreshes makes my inner child cry like he got a lump of coal for christmas
  13. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    LOL! Don't get me started. The new one is the "auto super smooth 240 billion hertz" mode that comes with new TVs and on by default for whatever stupid reason. I have to keep telling people that it's not how the movies are supposed to look. Whoever created that and thought it would be a great selling feature should be shot, screw being able to vote.

    I've schooled my fair share of Best Buy employees on that "feature."
  14. garrettstech macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2012
    United States
    sell your mac pro and buy a mac mini that should do everything you want to do with it.:apple::apple:
  15. MonkeyBrainz, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012

    MonkeyBrainz macrumors regular


    Feb 18, 2012
    I'd say wait it out, but I use CS5.5 in Lion and it runs just fine... seriously. As others have said we'll know the future of the Mac Pros this year. I can't see Apple as being so stupid as to discontinue it, but nothing is out of the question. Your Mac Pro is still a work horse. Why not install Lion in a separate partition and try it out for a bit?

    I sincerely hope you're kidding.

    What annoys me more than that "feature" is trying to get people that don't even know what it is to comprehend what you're saying. It makes otherwise great looking cinema look like the behind the scenes outakes on the disc. Awful thing.
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    When I say "pro photographers" I do actually mean those who create prints for a living. One of whom is making a nice living documenting artists' paintings (some known internationally) and making prints that match the colours and tonalities of the originals. He doesn't seem handicapped by his glossy iMac
    I agree about the TB.... though, I wonder what Apple will do with TB and the MacPros.... the advantages are not quite as clear cut as with a Mini or an iMac.
    I wouldn't either, personally.... but I'm used to my matte screen ... and I'm I dislike change. :)

    But others are doing fine, and calibrating the screens accurately.

    If anybody could do this work, we wouldn't be earning the big bucks - would we?
  17. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Apr 26, 2003
    IO Valduc - what waste your time on such a rant?

    Move on.....
  18. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    I am kind of in the same boat, but with Autodesk instead of Adobe.

    I love my Mac Pro, but I need a Quadro card. The best solution really is a PC. Plus, if I build it myself it will be much more customizable and much more catered to my needs and wants.

    With that being said, I fully plan on keeping my laptop OS X. So if you do decide to go over to windows, consider a MBA with the money you might save.

    Then if you really miss the feel of OS X on your desktop, dual boot Ubuntu. Its not the same, but they do have many similarities that you might like.

    Apple really is dropping support for professionals. But that is because they are not a company that makes products geared towards professionals. Their products are geared towards the average consumer.

    Think about it before you make a decision you may later end up regretting. But if you really need some of the things that Windows has to offer, such as professional supports, then I would say go with it. There are a lot of third party apps you can install that will make it feel much more like OS X as well.

    EDIT: And don't listen to all the people whining about your rant. This is an open forum where people are allowed and should be encouraged to express their opinions.
  19. MRU, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012

    MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Really? You're a creative, and that's the best descriptor you could conjure up for yourself. In retrospect its not very creative really is it?..

    And can I just say, it's a bad artist who blames his tools. Period.

    I understand frustration for those itching for new mac pro hardware, but the mac pros are one of the few machines in my experience that actually do last a good while between updates. I have a Octo 2008 mac pro with 16gb memory, gtx285 gpu, Dell 27 & Wacom Cintiq 21UX displays. Work wise I rarely if ever find my computer struggling to catch up with even the most severe projects, and there are some doozies. Yes there are times when my computer acts up (blackberry desktop software for mac is garbage that causes memory loopholes etc) but its not because it's out dated, it's because of poor software by third parties.

    CS5 has a few annoying bugs, some only materialising after adobe updates have been installed, but that's not hardware at fault,it's adobe.

    Yes there are certainly issues I have with Apples placing of the macpros such as the artificial limiting of graphics cards in order to force upgrades, but otherwise they are a sound investment IMHO.
  20. MonkeyBrainz macrumors regular


    Feb 18, 2012
    Why waste your time on this comment?
  21. thekev, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012

    thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I forgot to quote this before. That isn't really why they moved away from the Apple display. You can work with any display, but the Apple displays clipped a lot of values toward the edges. They displayed detail poorly, and had greys that were way too warm. When it got to the CG211, NEC 2190, and a couple others around that time, the Apple display was just so far behind in quality. They really didn't do much with it from an engineering perspective. Throw panel in box, apply Apple logo. With the others you could actually get a neutral grey and see detail in your shadow values. They're not perfect, but they definitely make things easier.

    I still see people use multiple displays. The palette display thing is a dated concept though given 16:10 and 16:9 formats which depending on what you're doing can provide some extra width for stashing palettes. I rely on hotkeys wherever possible regardless of application. It's easier to stay focused that way rather than cursoring off an edge to click something.

    I keep reading complaints of OpenGL lag. I've remained on SL for a few reasons. It's usually a while with any OSX release before everything I need works properly. With this one I lost interest.

    Bleh similar situation with both of those companies. Some things run really well under OSX, but the OpenGL performance is annoying. The Quadro cards basically consist of more ram and adjusted drivers. There isn't anything more to it. Even the level of technical support isn't significantly better. Unfortunately whenever we see one under OSX, the drivers seem to have significant issues. This is both an NVidia and an Apple issue. Apple is very restrictive on their code, and I imagine they haven't been so great about working with NVidia on this especially seeing as the Mac Pro + Quadro user base is relatively small (in Apple terms). What I'd like to see is 10 bit displayport on the mac. I doubt it'll ever happen. Supposedly it worked with a few cards a while back. Lion and thunderbolt lack drivers for this.

    Some of the things mentioned in the thread are technical problems. With that kind of problem, you can work through it, but it's not always fun or productive. In a lot of cases, if the hardware isn't powerful enough, you can adjust application settings to compensate. It means you can keep going, but it's still a bandaid fix.
  22. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I HATE that mode!!! Whats worse is some of my friends don't see it! I try to explain it to them and the best explanation of what I can come up with is "frame interpolation" since it appears thats what this "feature" is doing, yet everyone thinks I'm crazy and thinks the picture looks fine.

    Whats this feature officially called so I can buy a TV without it? (Sorry OP for derailing the thread).
  23. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2010
    I also find it impossible to watch. Everything looks like it is sped up, but it isn't. My brain starts to contradict itself. Very unpleasant.

    It isn't as bad for CGI animated movies, but for things that weren't filmed at 240 fps weren't meant to be viewed at 240 fps.

    As for the OP, I understand your frustration. It isn't really Apple's fault: intel hasn't released newer processors than what's in the 2010 Mac Pro. Some are faster, but using the same architecture. Plus Apple is making truck-loads of cash (seriously how many trucks would it take to hold the cash they earned in Q4 of 2011?) off of iStuff.

    I like iStuff. I also like other stuff.
  24. garrettstech macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2012
    United States
    of course i was joking.:D
  25. MonkeyBrainz macrumors regular


    Feb 18, 2012
    Good, lol.

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