Poll - How will Apple update the Mac Pro?

How will Apple update the Mac Pro?


  • Total voters
    236

hurtmemore

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2017
46
24
My feeling is the trashcan was too custom for it's own good - too hard to update, too expensive to manufacture, too limiting for maintenance and upgrades and expandability for pros. For an increasingly limited market I don't know if the trashcan was ever sustainable, sure seems that way 3.5 years later.

My guess is they're working on a new design. Much smaller than the classic Pro, larger than the trashcan, more versatile, easier and cheaper to keep up with. I also think it's possible they want to consolidate their desktop lineup, they've effectively abandon the mini as well - so they could scrap the Mini, scrap the Pro - offer one desktop model with i5/i7/xeon variants and all kinds of specs from low end to prosumer to pro. Just call it 'Mac.' So they have Mac and iMac.

My only hangup is - if they're gonna keep selling desktops, why'd they stop selling monitors?
 

vrBrew

Suspended
Mar 3, 2017
103
88
High life, High times
I am thinking they will do a refresh with a standard workstation/tower design. Or I am way off base, and they will make a fixed format thinner/smaller/lighter wastebasket, instead of trashcan, with soldered on components so if you want to upgrade the memory you need to buy a new mac pro.
 
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shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,394
Personally I think the Mac Pro is dead, Apple just seem to have no desire to build any computers other than laptops and iMacs.

If they do update it and it's merely a small incremental update to the current design many will be asking what took them so long and would be put off buying it - what's the point if it only gets a minor update every 4-5 years and costs way more than it should for the tech that's in it.

They could prove us wrong by releasing a complete redesign in the small tower form factor that most prospective buyers seem to want and I'd love it if they did, but I don't think the current management team have any desire to do this. If they do release anything at all I think it will be very underwhelming.
 

LorenK

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2007
384
144
Illinois
I wish I had a clue. I bought a used 2012 to replace my 2008 because I was concerned about potential EOLing of the 3,1. It still is a five year old computer and there isn't one seemingly on the horizon that can be an adequate replacement to my taste (I don't need a built-in monitor).

I do think that the limiting of user access to the innards was to simplify the manufacturing process and the problem of incompetent users who attempted to do things that they had no ability to do. From the numbers of people who access MacRumors, it would seem that the market for such user-accessible machines is a niche, and while Tim Cook has recently given lip service to this market, I really question his interest in actually delivering on his promise given his background in supply chain, whose goal is always to simplify processes and product variation.

So I am a bit of a pessimist, all we've seen under Tim Cook is a reduction in the number of products offered and variations. Which is a shame because, even though a similar reduction was seen as a necessity by Steve Jobs when he came back, that was because a lot of the variations were nonsensical, and he understood that having a core base of advanced users who stretched the product capabilities was essential to the aura of the product. Tim Cook seems too much the functionary and discounts the value of that core base. I really wish he'd focus more on the products he's offering and less on his pulpit of being the CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world.
 

jeff7117

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2009
174
456
Whatever it is will have:

Soldered in components.
Probably 1 CPU
AMD Graphics cards
ZERO PCI slots

It will also be over designed and unnecessarily smaller than it needs to be and rely on external connectivity for expansion.

It will most likely be "Trash Can 2.0" and by most accounts, will be the final nail in the coffin for most hard core Pro users.

I wish I could be more optimistic, but Apple is a different company now with different markets. They don't need the typical pro user any longer.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,258
2,340
My feeling is the trashcan was too custom for it's own good - too hard to update, too expensive to manufacture, too limiting for maintenance and upgrades and expandability for pros. For an increasingly limited market I don't know if the trashcan was ever sustainable, sure seems that way 3.5 years later.
That's exactly why I expect it to stay the way it is. Besides buffing the internals and updating the TB ports.
 
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Blair Paulsen

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2016
190
138
San Diego, CA USA
My hunch is that Apple is going to release at least one more MacPro in the current form factor. IF they bump up the PSU a little and improve cooling performance - AND - put in the newest smaller process node silicon that delivers more performance per watt - THEN - a spec bumped cylinder might be a compact powerhouse for a lot of use cases.

I still think their best move is to offer a "backpack" for the next gen iMac that has PCIe/M.2 slots and active cooling. Most people would just buy the regular iMac, and likely never even wonder what those brackets/plugs/whatever on the back were for. Power users could chose their preferred "turbocharger" to attach to the rear of the iMac. Future upgrades would be user installable, at least for a generation or two.

The only extra cost to the base iMac would be a mobo capable of handling high end CPUs and able to host 512GB of RAM. It's not everything we want, but if Apple decides the iMac is the only desktop they care to sell - at least we'd have something usable for heavy duty work.
 

jpine

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
383
69
I think IF there is an update, it will be minor. My fear is Apple has become a boutique phone and watch company. Computers made by Apple only need to be just fast enough and with just enough memory to author apps that run on a telephone and/or a watch.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,644
1,525
Xserve gone, Quicktime rolling back, automation technologies sidelined, App Store still resembling a cartoon channel, OpenCL/CUDA shut out, Aperture gone, eGPUs blocked, new displays aborted. All the signs are there.

And no, Apple aren't going to license MacOS. The first clue is in the name change. The second, is that if Apple wanted OSX to have any presence in the large scale computation industry they would have already licensed it to AWS, Google Compute Engine, or MS Azure. Ship has sailed.
 
Last edited:

Xde

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2016
111
24
I would say, the Mac Pro is dead. But one thing is against this theory. Why they are still manufacturing them. Sure in small amounts, but if they want to stop this category, they could have it already done. Its more probably, that they are waiting on new CPUs. In this case, update to nMP, new CPU, new RAM, news GPU, new connectors board.
But this is nearly a new computer and the mechanical parts, core, housing etc are very cost intensive.
So, everything is possible.
 
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xWhiplash

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009
2,158
1,147
I would say, the Mac Pro is dead. But one thing is against this theory. Why they are still manufacturing them. Sure in small amounts, but if they want to stop this category, they could have it already done. Its more probably, that they are waiting on new CPUs. In this case, update to nMP, new CPU, new RAM, news GPU, new connectors board.
But this is nearly a new computer and the mechanical parts, core, housing etc are very cost intensive.
So, everything is possible.
How is it dead? Name a better system for FCPX, even the 2016 Macbook Pros are not better than it.

When will people get it, this is not the late 1990s or early 2000s anymore. There is nothing that my 2010 Mac Pro cannot do (h.264 encoding is horrible, but that's because the processors at that time did not have hardware support for that, my 2013 rMBP killed my 2010 Mac Pro in a test with h.264 rendering). 7 year old computer! Try doing that in 2004! I am able to install Windows 10 on a system from 2008. I had 8GB of RAM back in 2008 too. Could you get that in 1998? Is 8GB too low these days? No. I can get by with 2GB of RAM with Windows 7 and STILL be able to use Photoshop.

The newest Intel processors are only 25% faster than the ones three and a half years ago. We have reached a ceiling guys. The ONLY thing bad about the 2013 Mac Pro is the lack of USB-C/TB3 and it could come down in price. Performance is still incredible.

All this talk about "Oh the Mac Pro is dead" and "Oh the performance sucks" made me build a custom PC. I custom built a system in 2015 - 5 years newer than my 2010 Mac Pro. Newer processor, but same basic specs (3.3Ghz, 6 cores). Same RAM, GTX 1080. Total price ended up being $2,500. How much better is that than my 2010 Mac Pro? No real difference unless I take a stop watch and time some things. Do I regret spending that much money for "no real difference"? You bet! I could have saved that money! Why is NEWER processor by 5 years only better in benchmarks? When will people understand this? Why do people care so much what benchmarks state, yet there is no real-world advantage?

So basically, my $2,500 system is downgraded to just an overpriced gaming/streaming computer. And don't get me started on Windows 10. I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED it at launch, even spent $800 in some licenses. But I keep on getting issues and issues now it is not even funny anymore. I would gladly pay $1,000 just for macOS.

For me:
Windows = Visual Studio development + gaming
macOS = Everything else
 

ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
1,390
1,315
xWhiplash, the iCan may be great with FCPX, but it isn't great with anything else.
 

jeff7117

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2009
174
456
The newest Intel processors are only 25% faster than the ones three and a half years ago. We have reached a ceiling guys. The ONLY thing bad about the 2013 Mac Pro is the lack of USB-C/TB3 and it could come down in price. Performance is still incredible.
I think the "incredible" performance is wholly dependent on the software you are using. FCPX? Yeah, it's the best system out there for it. Premiere, AE, C4D, Any other multi threaded graphics or post production application that uses CUDA? Probably not.

All this talk about "Oh the Mac Pro is dead" and "Oh the performance sucks" made me build a custom PC. I custom built a system in 2015 - 5 years newer than my 2010 Mac Pro. Newer processor, but same basic specs (3.3Ghz, 6 cores). Same RAM, GTX 1080. Total price ended up being $2,500. How much better is that than my 2010 Mac Pro? No real difference unless I take a stop watch and time some things. Do I regret spending that much money for "no real difference"? You bet! I could have saved that money! Why is NEWER processor by 5 years only better in benchmarks? When will people understand this? Why do people care so much what benchmarks state, yet there is no real-world advantage?

So basically, my $2,500 system is downgraded to just an overpriced gaming/streaming computer. And don't get me started on Windows 10. I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED it at launch, even spent $800 in some licenses. But I keep on getting issues and issues now it is not even funny anymore. I would gladly pay $1,000 just for macOS.
That's your problem right there. If you want to see what kind of performance is available, you have to buy faster equipment than what you already have. Replace that 6 core with a 3.6 ghz 10 core, and two or three GPU's or a real workstation dual xeon with 32 cores and then report back on how similar the machines are.

My old 5,1 had a CineBench score of 1100. My new PC has a CineBench score of 2000. Almost twice as fast rendering. That's real performance that I can see.

My old 5,1 with 1 980ti had an Octane bench score of 118. My new PC has an Octanebench score of over 250. That's over twice as fast.

How are these benchmarks not a real world advantage? Frames render in half the time.

Yes, not every program will show speed improvements, but as a whole, unless you make poor component choices you should see a noticeable speed improvement in a 5 year hardware change.

And yes, the nMP is dead.
 
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Xde

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2016
111
24
How is it dead? Name a better system for FCPX...
Dont understand me wrong. I like the 2013 MP. But probably he is dead, because for Apple he's dead.
There is not much profit for Apple. Expensive, nobody buys a Mac Pro. Its hard to imagine, that the assembly line is still in use. So maybe they will drop it.
But... with a little hope, that we get an Update.
 

tejw

macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2016
10
18
They would do the pro community a favour by coming clean and admitting that they are not in that game anymore. Far worse would be a Trashcan 2.0 - more uncertainty about upgradeability and longevity, stuck with AMD graphics and no internal space just loads of TB3 and worst of all, another video of Jonny Ive adopting the irritable bowel syndrome grimace while he drips unwarranted superlatives.
 

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,576
2,452
United States
I would say, the Mac Pro is dead. But one thing is against this theory. Why they are still manufacturing them. Sure in small amounts, but if they want to stop this category, they could have it already done. Its more probably, that they are waiting on new CPUs. In this case, update to nMP, new CPU, new RAM, news GPU, new connectors board.
But this is nearly a new computer and the mechanical parts, core, housing etc are very cost intensive.
So, everything is possible.
It's been a long time since the nMP was considered a good value for its price.

It's very possible that when people started waiting for an updated model instead of investing in an aging and problematic design, that Apple didn't immediately decrease production.

So... it is quite possible that Apple has a warehouse full of the nMP machines just waiting to be emptied before they announce that it's been discontinued.
 

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,576
2,452
United States
Maybe they will get rid of memories and gpu for next mac pro.
Most likely they'll just eliminate the Mac Pro completely.

But, if they're creative enough, they might still be able to make a boatload of money off the fanboys of thin and small segment of the Apple users.

Tim will walk out on stage, hold out his hand (which looks empty) and announce that Apple has produced the most advanced super computer in the world.

Introducing the Mac Pro Atom. The supercomputer smaller than a single molecule of water.

Tim twitches his fingers, and the screen behind him on the wall begins flashing random bits of information.

Tim states that in that brief flicker, that the new Mac Pro Atom has just calculated the meaning of life.

Available today, for the modest price of $10,000, the new Mac Pro Atom is already revolutionizing the world.

Due to our new and improved manufacturing techniques, there is an endless supply and the new Mac Pro Atom arrives immediately in your hand the moment you pay.

As an additional benefit, the new Mac Pro Atom will finally establish your superiority among your peers. The new Mac Pro Atom only reveals itself to those who are geniuses and actual Pro users.

Those of you who see nothing in my hand are inferior and not fit to inhabit this earth. You know who you are.

Get the new Mac Pro Atom today. Only a fool would miss the opportunity.

Tim walks off the stage. Everyone looks around uncomfortably while maintaining a facade of superiority and immediately hits the buy now button on the Apple Watches.

At once everyone holds out their hands and seems to be acknowledging a device in their palms. Fingers twitching, everyone excitedly makes their way out of the room proclaiming to have seen the light.

Alas, nobody dares to exclaim that they see nothing. For nobody wants to reveal to the crowd that they are inferior to everyone else.
 
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