So... the low end Mac Pro is being phased out?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ravich, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    Let's face it, the current low end Mac Pro is an utter joke even more so than it previously was. A week ago, it was a 16 month old product. Today, it is a new product. What has changed? The processor got bumped from 2.66 to 2.8. Even the RAM stayed the same, and.. oh, the HDD standard is now 1TB.

    It was understandable why the late high end 2009 iMacs outperformed the 2009 low end Mac Pro, but after a simultaneous update, the gap between the low end Mac Pro and high end iMac is even more significant.



    This isnt a "APPLE IS GOING TO STOP MAKING PRO WORKSTATIONS" thread, but it sure as hell isnt looking like Apple is trying to get people to take the Mac Pro seriously unless they are willing to spend 3500$ or more on it.
     
  2. budha macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    There is no way in utter hell I can afford the next step up. The fact that they kept it at 3 gigs of ram is a joke. The low end macbooks come w/ 4 now. Time to switch to CS5 and build a windows rig.
     
  3. mrhick01 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #3
    Just looks to me like Apple is subcontracting their upgrades to companies like OWC and newegg.com.

    3 gb is extremely modest I admit...but what's the big deal in just going to OWC to order your memory? That's what I did for my 2008 Mac Pro (which I'm keeping to at least 2012).

    M. Hicks
    Louisville, KY
     
  4. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #4
    I am just curious Ravich: what do you intend to do? Have you also been eyeing the iMac? The SSD + HD setup is very very enticing to me and is just a overall much better value than the low end Mac Pro.
     
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Apple's not phasing it out but they certainly did change the target audience of their Mac Pros when the 2009 MPs came out and they're sticking to it. The 2006/7/8 Mac Pros were all good value compared to the competition and were the machine of choice for 'prosumers'. At that point the iMac's specs weren't even close to what prosumers would be happy with.

    Since then it's obvious to me that Apple now targets the top end iMac towards prosumers instead. Apple probably makes more on the iMacs in profit now than they did on the pre 2009 Mac Pros. Prosumers are also forced to update their models more frequently - likely within every three years so the overall profit margins are simply far more attractive to Apple.

    The Mac Pro's target market is now the serious professional user and corporations. These markets aren't the ones that post online much about their purchases and so the dearth of such comments can easily make it appear that Apple's not selling many of these. Of course, they are. A large business or an actual professional who uses Mac Pros to make serious money is not going to be fazed by the higher prices. I would make a guess that Apple makes more overall profit on their total Mac Pro sales now than they did before. They may be selling less units but each unit now makes about $1000 extra profit. Plus most 'prosumers' who can't justify the costs of a Mac Pro will now be buying iMacs instead just like Apple wants.

    Honestly, it all makes perfect business sense. You may not like it, I certainly don't, but money in the bank is the way the cookie crumbles. My advice for prosumers who are left angered at the current Mac Pro pricing is to either go for an i7 iMac or build yourself an i7 hackintosh. Prosumers on the whole will have more time anyway to be able to dedicate to building their own machine. Personally if I didn't already have a 30" ACD, I would have gone for an iMac. Instead I built a hackintosh and have been loving it.
     
  6. Ravich thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    I'll either get an Octad or an iMac. The hexacore is nice in theory, but 4 memory slots is just silly for a machine that costs that much. The thing is that at the moment, I'm not sure that a 256GB SSD is that great of an investment for me. They are extremely expensive, and they will be dropping in price in the near future.

    If I get an iMac, I'll be able to use it as both an external monitor and a slave for a future Mac Pro I get, and I'm thinking that might be the smartest plan for me at the moment.



    So I'm waiting to see what the iMac teardown reveals.
     
  7. BEAR144 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #7
    confused buyer

    Does anyone know how much faster the new 8 core 2.4 mac would be over the old 8 core 2.26? i just sold my old 2007 dual core yesterday and i’m ready to buy a new 8 core now… i will wait for new one to come out on Aug 9 if it’s a lot better than the old 2009 8 core… thanks
     
  8. BEAR144 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #8
    confused buyer

    Does anyone know how much faster the new 8 core 2.4 mac would be over the old 8 core 2.26? i just sold my old 2007 dual core yesterday and i’m ready to buy a new 8 core now… i will wait for new one to come out on Aug 9 if it’s a lot better than the old 2009 8 core… thanks
     
  9. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    That's quite simple to work out. The 8 core 2.4GHz Mac Pro will complete tasks about 5.88% faster seeing as it's processors are 5.88% faster. That's excluding OpenCL jobs that can use the improved graphics card though.
     
  10. Ravich thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Can you please give me an example of a serious professional whose needs are met by a quad Mac Pro but not by a quad iMac? If these professionals are not going to be phased by higher prices, PLEASE explain to me why they would get a quad Mac Pro as a long term investment.


    This isnt just about the price gap. This is about the fact that the high end iMac is now outperforming the low end Mac Pro through SIMULTANEOUS UPDATES.
     
  11. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    No. However, there are countless businesses who will order an office full of entry level Mac Pros without paying much attention to the specs. There are also the professionals who use their Mac Pros to make money but don't really know what's under the hood. I.e. professional photographers who have been using Mac computers for years and just want a Mac Pro desktop without a display that can take their hard drives. I know of a few people like this. They don't really know what they're buying and don't really bother looking into it. All they know is that their Dual 2.7 G5's just stopped working and they want a new machine.
     
  12. Ravich thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    You dont think light peak will change that? You get a better processor, same RAM capacity and better base memory, it comes with a quality display, and it costs less. See where I'm going with this?
     
  13. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I doubt Lightpeak will change things much at all. It looks just like a souped up USB and standards like that are slow to be adopted. By the time it matters it will likely have been on Apple's consumer products for years.

    I completely agree with you, the iMac i7 is a far far far better buy than the Mac Pro Quad. However, they're targeted at very different markets whether you like it or not. The MacBook Air is targeted at a different market than the 13" MacBook Pro yet the MacBook Air. The MBP offers far better value for money - double the stock RAM, far bigger hard drives, much faster processors, a built in optical drive. Yet they both sell - they're targeted at different markets. It's only the prosumers that have an issue with the iMac / Mac Pro comparisons.
     
  14. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #14
    Anyone who needs to use add in cards. Musicians are a good example of this. There are also those who are on a budget and where I/O, GPU or memory expansion are more important than processor speed. Those who want multiple display options not catered for by the iMac's limitations. Those who don't want a 27" screen on their desk they have no intention of using. Those who can see themselves upgrading the processor later down the line.
     
  15. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #15
    Expansion outside of RAM. Some creative pros might not need 8- or 12-core processing power, yet may still need expansion for internal hard drives, hardware RAID cards, specialized PCI-E cards, etc. They might also be upgrading machines and see no need to throw out a perfectly functioning monitor.

    Pro photographers for example, need fast hard drive arrays for processing their RAW camera images and often work with professional monitors costing thousands of dollars. But at the same time, a lot of them simply don't need an 8- or 12-core computer. Quad-core iMacs become very limited in that regard. There's only so many FW hard drives you can daisy to the back of an iMac before you start running into serious I/O bottlenecks that hold up work.

    So for an average consumer, yes, iMac is a better value. But for many creative pros, they'll probably still pay extra for the Mac Pro. Pretty simple, really.
     
  16. BEAR144 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #16
    which is best for final cut hd video editing?

    so what about the new 2.4 8 core vs a used 2008 Mac Pro Octal Core 2.8, with a Apple/Nivida 8800GT video card Black Magic Intensity Pro video??
     
  17. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    Exactly. Most creative professionals will easily justify the cost of a Mac Pro. $3000 isn't that much if your work machine earns you that much for just a couple of jobs. Lower earning creative professionals are more likely to either go for an iMac or (more likely) put off upgrading for a little while longer rather than switching. Most such professionals do not have the time or inclination to switch to Windows to save a thousand dollars.
     
  18. BEAR144 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #18
    so what about the new 2.4 8 core vs a used 2008 Mac Pro Octal Core 2.8, with a Apple/Nivida 8800GT video card Black Magic Intensity Pro video?? with 16gig of memory as well... stil under app care
     
  19. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #19
    The new machine will be better. The 2.4GHz machine uses a different CPU architecture than the 2.8GHz machine - one that can do more 'work' per GHz so to speak. It also has hyperthreading which means it has 16 virtual cores. I don't know about Final Cut specifically but those virtual cores can make a real difference sometimes - they certainly do in my line of work. I'm afraid I can't comment on the Black Magic card since I've got no experience whatsoever with them.
     
  20. BEAR144 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #20
    which mac pro to buy

    so back to original question.. if i can get the 2.26 8 core for $2700 right now.. should i buy it? or wait for new 2.4 8 core on aug 9 cause it's SO MUCH BETTER????? in very confused and just sold my 2007 dual core yesterday and not sure if i should wait for new one.. i have work to finish and want to know if i am really gaining by waiting for the new 8 core on aug 9.. sorry so long... but you can be the deciding factor
     
  21. Ravich thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #21
    I see your point, and it makes sense. If there werent still a market for the low end Mac Pro, it wouldnt be there anymore, but I'm not suggesting that the low end Mac Pro is dead.

    I dont understand what you're saying about lightpeak though. USB was never intended to replace IDE or SATA. Lightpeak is. If people didnt have to deal with significant performance drops when using external HDDs, they wouldnt hesitate to use them-- especially when it comes to desktop computers, since there is no added convenience of having the HDD inside of a portable device.

    Sure, lightpeak might take a while to catch on with other devices, but why would it be a difficult transition with HDDs, especially if Apple supports it? Portability is Apple's game, isnt it?


    Even musicians that previously needed the PCI slots on a Mac Pro to network computers can now do it with software. Obviously at this point in time, most professionals arent going to consider it worthwhile to open up an iMac to put in an additional SSD, or get stuck with whatever's already in there if they can just buy a Mac Pro, but couldnt light peak change that?

    Hell, maybe if lightpeak *changes everything* (..again), perhaps the iMac wont get the necessary upgrades to make it appeal to Pros. I'm just remarking on the fact that this high end iMac vs low end Mac Pro business was understandable before they received updates right next to each other, and it didnt change anything. Maybe the next update will get rid of the overlap or something.
     
  22. BEAR144 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #22
    so back to original question.. if i can get the 2.26 8 core for $2700 right now.. should i buy it? or wait for new 2.4 8 core on aug 9 cause it's SO MUCH BETTER????? in very confused and just sold my 2007 dual core yesterday and not sure if i should wait for new one.. i have work to finish and want to know if i am really gaining by waiting for the new 8 core on aug 9.. sorry so long... but you can be the deciding factor
     
  23. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #23
    To be honest, if you really need it now then buy but if not then wait. The newer ones are slightly faster with *much* better graphics. The newer ones will also be worth more and hold their value a little better.
     
  24. BEAR144 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #24
    good point.. i guess i can wait.. i just thought that $2700 was a great for that mac.. and with the extra cash i saved i can use it for upgrades..
     
  25. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    I don't know why you think external hard drives are so great. Most people I know can't stand them because there are too many wires involved and they take up desk space / make things look cluttered. USB3 is likely going to be the connection of choice for hard drives in three years time anyway, not lightpeak. As Lightpeak stands, it's managed 10 Gbit/s in demonstrations and is claimed to be able to support 100 Gbit/s. While that's pretty impressive and will certainly be enough for things like external hard drives, audio cards etc, it won't be enough for everything. PCI Express v3.0 can already achieve 128 Gbit/s on a 16x slot and a 1x slot can achieve 32 Gbit/s. Top end graphics cards won't be able to become external products when Lightpeak finally arrives. The feeling I get with Lightpeak is that by the time it becomes commercially available (particularly on Mac products - I reckon 18 months at least until it first arrives on a Mac Pro, iMac a little while later), it will be considerably outspecced by the PCI Express type standard in use at the time and so a lot of the claimed areas where it's meant to take over from PCI express will be unconquerable.
     

Share This Page