The Mac Pro is here to stay

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ActionableMango, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Every few days someone feels the need to start a new thread about why the Mac Pro is dead. Here are my counterpoints:

    "MP hasn't been updated in a long time"
    1) Apple is awaiting the processors from Intel.
    2) The MP is often behind the other models in updates, this is normal.
    3) Historically this long of a wait is not uncommon.

    "Look at Final Cut Pro X, they are ignoring Pro users"
    1) Apple has stated this is v1 of new code and they are working on getting the other features in.
    2) They are listening to pro users; they relented and brought back Final Cut Pro 7.
    3) Apple spent a lot of money into rewriting fresh efficient code. That is called an investment. You do not invest in markets you are pulling away from.
    4) Yes, I know you are all angry. Yes, Apple screwed up. But it doesn't mean the end of the world... hang in there!

    "Apple is leaving Macs behind in favor of consumer iCrap"
    1) In a world where PC sales are down across the board, Mac sales are up 24% from last year. Macs are GROWTH market for Apple.
    2) It is the PRESS that focuses on iCrap. This creates the IMPRESSION that it is the only thing that Apple cares about. It is also wrong, and Apple had to hold a special "Back to the Mac" event to counter it. They pointed out that Mac business gets them billions and billions of dollars. If you actually watch the "Back to the Mac" event you will see they are investing a lot into Macs.

    "Apple is moving to the post-PC era"
    People use this as an argument against the MP. This is completely wrong. The post-PC era is actually a world where the MP is perfect. In a post-PC era, you have two classes of computers: one class for content consumers (smartphones, tablets, lightweight notebooks, intelligent TVs), and one class for content creators (workstations). Remember, PC stands for "personal computer", and it is the PC that becomes obsolete in the post-PC era, not the workstations. People still have to make and process the content, and they aren't going to be doing that on iPads. So, in a post-PC era, it is the death of the desktops that will happen (Mac Minis and iMacs), to be replaced by portable computers for content consumers and workstations for content creators.

    "Look at Lion!!! OMGWTFLOLBBQ!!!"
    1) What about it? It's Snow Leopard with additional features.
    2) Stop overreacting and calling it iOS. It's not. Yes, OS X took some features from iOS, but all software borrows good ideas from other software. If Windows borrows some features from OS X we don't suddenly think Microsoft is going to replace Windows with OS X.

    "We aren't hearing anything in the rumormill about the next MP"
    1) Actually, we are. You aren't paying attention.
    2) Apple is good at keeping secrets in case you hadn't noticed.
    3) There is solid evidence in Lion of the next MP's video cards. It contains drivers for desktop-class video cards that are of the line most likely to be included in a MP.

    So, in the short term we have evidence of the next MP. In the long term, the MP makes sense in a post-PC world. My personal opinion is that the MP is here to stay for a long while.
  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    And according to this week's conference call by Apple, Mac sales are way up while iPhone sales are down.

    The Mac isn't going anywhere.
  3. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    Well at least a positive thread. :) Also count a (hopefully likely) Logic Pro X update in the "pro" mix.
  4. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    Wow thank you for posting this. Finally someone has a positive outlook.
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Thanks. Can you post more details of the drivers for video cards that you mention?
  6. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Well sadly it is a fact of life there are more negative folk around that positive. Easier to knock and whine like an old Chrysler.
  7. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I ignore the complainers, as they are rarely people in the market.

    But it is good to see a positive, well thought out response to why the Mac pro hasn't been updated yet.
  8. linuxcooldude, Oct 20, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

    linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Killing off the XServe:
    I see X-Serve more for enterprise then for professional use and that X-Serve was more of a support role. Now its cheaper and more efficient to use cheaper PC's with Linux for the backend with Mac Pro's on the front end for content creation & software development. Similar to what Pixars doing.

    iDevices make more revenue then Pro market:
    If we also look at the other services that Apple provides, ( iTunes, music, movies, books, iTunes match, iCloud storage ) they don't make nearly as much money compared to iPhones, iPads, themselves. But they are JUST as important then the devices. With nothing to consume your just left with just a phone, or an expensive web browser.

    All these support the sales of these devices.

    The same with Mac Pro's. They don't make much money compared to the other devices they sell, but they still play an important role. You have to have the Pro market to provide these devices with content, third party applications. You can only develop these things on a Mac.
  9. dansmac macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2011
    Temecula, California
    I truthfully would hate to see the Mac Pro go away. We moved most of our photography studio work from Windows based systems to Mac Pro’s in mid 2009.

    The MP is by far the most reliable hardware configuration in the shop. Had some issues with Adobe but besides those annoyances the MP’s perform extremely well.

    Just upgraded a MP early 2009 (EFI to 2010) to a six-core 3.33 CPU and now even better. That said business is business and when IBM abruptly left the PC desktop market entirely at a time when it really looked dumb - it turnout to be really smart.

    So you never know but I hope for a few more rounds of upgraded MP’s before the plug is pulled!
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I think I may have mentioned this elsewhere but mac pro users tend to own more than just mac pros. Typically if you own one you also own a macbook pro and possibly an ipad/iphone.

    The past couple years I've been sitting out upgrades, because I've been disappointed in their offerings. Comparable configurations to what they used the year before keep going up in price and sometime the performance isn't massively ahead of the imac anymore unless you go for one of the top configurations. I haven't purchased an imac due to reliability concerns with such a machine under a high duty cycle (that and the display wouldn't work as a primary display for me), but I do have to purchase something by early next year.
  11. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    I'm confident that the Mac Pro will be here for a while longer yet, but its worrying that Intel have already started production of Ivy Bridge.

    The new Xeon's probably won't hold the crown for very long at all.
  12. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Over at Netkas, he originally discovered that the 6870 and 6970 were in the drivers.

    In fact, the 6970 was named directly before 6870 was.

    In addition, there is support for Nvidia Fermi cards. The Quadro 4000 is only one available through standard retail, but drivers are there for 5000 as well. (The 6000 drivers are NOT done and Apple OSX hasn't a clue what to do with 6 Gigs of RAM, but that will be another thread)

    You can right now drop a GTX470 in your machine along with a tiny little kext from Netkas, and you will have a super fast card in your machine, despite the fact that it has never been released, the drivers are very solid and stable.

    Why create all of these drivers for High End GPUs if you are about to axe the machine? I can guarantee that there won't be a GTX470 in a MacBook.
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Why is it worrying? They will make Ivy Xeon's just as they are making Sandy Xeon's. And the Ivy Xeon's will be faster still.
  14. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2009
    The advantage of having the Sandy Xeon's will be short lived because consumer Ivy's are due soon.
  15. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Ah yes, the interim.
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Of course. This is to do with Intel, not Apple. Once they're out, vendors will be scrambling to get systems manufactured and shipped.

    Their computers in general, Yes, as it includes everything (laptops, consumer desktops, and MP).

    But the workstation market isn't, and this isn't just Apple. The workstation market is in a transitional state right now, and the sales volumes are reducing across the board (sales exist, but more users are moving to consumer systems if possible, such as LGA1366 consumer i7 parts rather than their Xeon counterparts as they don't need ECC). But the way most sales are broken down, it shows a decrease in traditional workstation sales figures (and slightly mitigates the reduction of consumer PC sales, as more and more of those users are shifting to laptops and devices).

    Now that doesn't mean that there won't be some sort of desktop system for workstation use (hardware change, but any software investments won't be lost), but the MP may not remain as it currently exists (become SP only for example as a means of eliminating the need of expensive DP CPUID's, which will become more and more viable for more users as SP dies continue to gain more cores with subsequent Tick-Tock cycles).

    Haswell is where it's really going to get interesting, as that's when we'll see 8 cores on consumer grade CPUID's. I expect there will be a rather large shift for traditional workstation users that don't require ECC to consumer systems based on these (i.e. what would currently be considered a gaming rig could also be used as a workstation; we're already seeing this now, but not to the same extent as it will be).

    Obviously iPads wouldn't be the best development platform for iOS, as it's too unusable. But systems such as the Mini or iMac would suffice quite well.

    But I get the general point, and to a good extent, I agree. Where I differ, is that systems based on consumer grade CPU's can be used, particularly with what I've explained previously (more cores per die, where an SP consumer system will suffice). We're already there with current LGA1366 i7 based Quad and Hex systems in terms of hardware (hopefully, you see where I'm coming from on this).

    Even with Apple's line-up. The MP is obviously needed to develop software for the MP, or even demanding software for the iMac and Mini (reduce compile times), but for the iOS devices or less demanding OS X applications, the Mini or iMac would suffice.

    Not entirely true, particularly with things like virtualization and applications that can actually leverage the additional cores and/or the additional memory bandwidth available in the SB-E5's. Then there's PCIe I/O to consider as well (anything that needs more than what TB ports can handle).

    Now if you're talking about say internet browsing, then the consumer grade IB's will give the MP a good run, if not outperform it (depends on the exact clock frequencies used, but they're based on the same core architecture, so the highest clock will win on single threaded applications that utilize more I/O than LGA1155 based systems can provide).
  17. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    I don't understand. There are always new processors coming out, that's the beauty of new technology. It's always going to be out of date rather quickly.

    Nevertheless, I for sure, am looking forward to the new MacPro's, however, anyone picking up a previous model will be getting a great deal, just because something new comes out, doesn't mean that the previous models become useless, they are still excellent bits of equipment and will be for many years to come.

    My 2006 Macbook Pro, core duo is still in use, works perfectly ;)
  18. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Ivy Bridge cpus appropriate to the mac pro are not due out for some time. You must learn to interpret what you read on the internet :p.

    I'd prefer to buy an Ivy Bridge release as it's supposed to integrate usb3 and pcie3.0. Thunderbolt will not be integrated into their chipsets though. This was apparently just an internet rumor.
  19. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010

    Correct. Mac sales are up. Without a new Mac Pro in years.

    So why again does Apple need to update the MP?
  20. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    You must be talking to someone else. How is this even a reply to my response? Obviously they are not going to be out for a bit. Never said they were.
    Here was the conversation. Can you clarify or just blindly retorting?

    My Response:
  21. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    To increase sales of Mac Pros.
  22. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    People who buy mac pros tend to own more than one mac. Mac sales are up. Mac pro sales have been slipping for some time.
  23. sakau2007 macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    iPhone sales aren't down. If you are referring to the Q3 comparison year over year, it isn't even close to a fair comparison given that a new iPhone was released at the very end of Q2 2010 and there was no new product since then. Look at how well the 4S is selling. Outselling the record-breaking iPhone 4 by around 2 to 1 it appears.
  24. goMac, Oct 21, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011

    goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I'm aware of the circumstances. iPhone sales are still down, while the Mac is up.

    iPhone may be up again next quarter, but the Mac has been consistently growing very fast, and pulling in a nice profit. This doesn't imply Apple would be likely to start cutting the Mac line.
  25. sakau2007 macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    How are iPhone sales down? Have you not seen all the articles where AT&T and Verizon are both shattering records with the 4S?

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