MP All Models The Mac Pro Paradox

TobiasT

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 24, 2019
37
37
5.1 users were expecting 7.1 to become their new computer.

After 7.1 release, things have changed... but not as expected.

- 7.1 price is out of the league of most 5.1 users.
- 5.1 support is officially dead.
- 6.1 prices are rising.

in the end, 7.1 did not bring good news for 5.1 users.
 

GoGrater

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2020
16
2
Amen. I hope they come out with a moderately priced alternative in the next year or two. When I can't go further with 5,1 (no software updates), I may have no choice but to switch over... :eek:
 
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Eschers

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2015
56
28
Switzerland
On the other hand we have OpenCore being very advanced so far (but still with flaws)

we can manage to get HW accelleration for video encode/decode, bootscreens and bootpicker, upgradeable catalina and on top of this enabled SIP :)
 
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Starfia

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2011
675
352
I suppose – I used to use a Power Mac G5, then an Intel Mac Pro, and now the high-end Macs are out of reach for me. But it's an interesting evolution – the iMac Pro exists, the Mac mini can be configured and expanded impressively for less than a Mac Pro used to cost. The general price in dollars of most Macs hasn't shifted dramatically in a decade-and-a-half, while yesterday's Macs seem awe-strikingly ancient and slow compared to Macs today.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,809
10,847
Singapore
5.1 users were expecting 7.1 to become their new computer.

After 7.1 release, things have changed... but not as expected.

- 7.1 price is out of the league of most 5.1 users.
- 5.1 support is officially dead.
- 6.1 prices are rising.

in the end, 7.1 did not bring good news for 5.1 users.
Therein lay the irony. By finally meeting nearly every one of their demands for a Mac Pro, Apple has made a computer that is 100% not for them.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,366
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Perth, Western Australia
Amen. I hope they come out with a moderately priced alternative in the next year or two. When I can't go further with 5,1 (no software updates), I may have no choice but to switch over... :eek:
If you're looking for a bargain high powered mac, the mini is where its at right now

  • CPU clocks reasonably high, is a 6 core
  • Can add a monster GPU (or several of them) via thunderbolt 3 enclosures.
  • Can stick 64 GB of RAM in it
  • Can hook up plenty of external storage via either thunderbolt or 10 gig ethernet
  • No monitor tax for a display you probably don't need or want (looking at you, iMac pro - which starts at $7299 AU locally)

Sure, its not as nice as a Mac Pro 7,1, but its a fraction of the cost and will get a lot of the performance.

If 64 GB and an external high end GPU is not good enough then unfortunately you need to pay the price...


Here in Australia, the entry price to the mac pro is about $10k AU. For 256 GB SSD, an 8 core and a freakin' RX580. That spec should not exist, it makes no sense putting a $200 GPU inside of a $10k machine. Ditto for cheaping out with $50-100 worth of SSD.

If you want any sort of "high end mac mini plus GPU in a box" beating spec (in all things) you're looking at *at least* 16k Aussie (8 core, 96 GB + RAM, 1TB SSD and a single Vega II GPU).
 
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flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,050
2,280
I don't recall seeing any demands for proprietary form factor GPU modules....
Maybe an unfortunate choice of word 13879dunno.gif But you must know what Abazugal meant. In my situation, after being totally put off by the nMP 6,1 and being vocal about it, Apple did an about face and produced the machine of my dreams. A couple of things I would change, like the MPX module 1387914497.gif In my case, the MPX module is long gone, replaced by a RW5700XT. But IMHO, Apple did an admirable job designing the NcMP 7,1. Yes, it's too expensive, but luckily I could afford it.

If you're looking for a bargain high powered mac, the mini is where its at right now
IMHO, not so much of a bargain. It will never have the longevity of a real Mac Pro. Components are not replaceable and therefore not upgradeable. Thermals are nowhere near as good, and you will have external components scattered all over. And, as you point out, RAM capacity is limited.

Lou
 
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Schismz

macrumors regular
Sep 4, 2010
198
76
5.1 users were expecting 7.1 to become their new computer.
It did. Very happy with it.

Here in Australia, the entry price to the mac pro is about $10k AU. For 256 GB SSD, an 8 core and a freakin' RX580. That spec should not exist, it makes no sense putting a $200 GPU inside of a $10k machine. Ditto for cheaping out with $50-100 worth of SSD.

If you want any sort of "high end mac mini plus GPU in a box" beating spec (in all things) you're looking at *at least* 16k Aussie (8 core, 96 GB + RAM, 1TB SSD and a single Vega II GPU).
That's Apple trying to bring down the cost of their over-engineered Heavy Metal SculpturE, so you don't have to buy what you don't care about. I got 32GB of RAM, now at 384. I already paid the Apple tax, why is anybody gonna pay it twice? (answer is: if you work someplace that has to vendorize specific companies you're allowed to do business with and don't care/have other options and are spending somebody else's money anyway). The 256GB non-T2-RAIDed SSD is there for people who don't care and will never use it to boot anything except the OS. If you like none of the graphics cards Apple offers, you have the low-end, barely good enough option, to toss and replace with something you want. I mean, they're trying. They're not doing it just to annoy you. That's what the XDR stand is for.

Just being real, the regular high-end 2019 iMac (not Pro), is significantly faster than the 2010 5,1 Cheesegrater. It comes with a free screen. Yes I know, it lacks slots, and you can stuff cards into the 5,1 and have x,y,z ... but at this point the 5,1 has become unsupported and wandering off into the maintaining a vintage computer as a hobby spectrum.

With everything else: "You wanted the Cheesegrater, okay, there it is, now please shut up and go away for another half decade or longer while we focus on the 99.999% of our business generating more revenue. K'tnx!" I'd love to be wrong and perhaps we'll see another Cheesegrater sooner but I'm not holding my breathe.
 
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MIKX

macrumors 68000
Dec 16, 2004
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637
Aussie in Japan
If I can find a 2012 5,1 in good, clean condition I will snap it up pronto !
Living in Japan has one nice benefit in that Japanese tend to keep everything nice and clean.
When my current 4,1>5,1 arrived in early 2017 I was amazed at how new it looked.

While the 2012 5,1 is 8 years old it is still better than 11 year old 4,1s
EDIT : best of all, it's infinitely easier to upgrade a 5,1's CPU(s)

I'm no youngster so I'm content to mature gracefully with a clean, fully rigged 5,1 'til I shuffle off this mortal coil. . probably to something nasty from China.
 
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handheldgames

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2009
1,781
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Pacific NW, USA
To supplement where my 5,1 is no longer a viable system for Oculus gaming and development...

i built an AMD Ryzen 9 3900x based system with 12 cores, 64gb of DDR4 3200 (32gbx2), sabrent 1TB pcie 4.0 nvme SSD, gigabyte RX 5700XT with a Gigabyte Aorus Pro WiFi motherboard and a Corsair 540 case.

Geekbench ranks my system faster than an $8k 7,1 for less than a Mac mini. Total price with tax hit the magic price point of $2000. That’s about 25% of the cost of a compatible 7,1 with less ram.

While I don’t have the PCIe expansion on the 7,1 and a snazzy case. IMO it’s not worth the additional $6000.

For many uses my 5,1 is still in use. The single core speed and a lack of modern processor extensions was my issue. While I could have gone Intel. I’m tired of the issues in their CPU designs, including the Xeon in the 7,1 that require constant patching mitigation reducing performance that never stop coming.

While I haven’t attempted open core Catalina on the new powerhouse, I’ll be giving it a try while I’m in COVID19 isolation for the foreseeable future.
 
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throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
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Perth, Western Australia
i built an AMD 3900x based system with 12 cores, 64gb of DDR4 3200 (32gbx2), sabrent 1TB pcie 4.0 nvme SSD, gigabyte RX 5700XT with a Gigabyte Aorus Pro WiFi motherboard and a Corsair 540 case.

Geekbench ranks my system faster than an $8k 7,1 for less than a Mac mini. Total price with tax hit the magic price point of $2000. That’s about 25% of the cost of a compatible 7,1 with less ram.

While I don’t have the PCIe expansion on the 7,1 and a snazzy case. IMO it’s not worth the additional $6000.
Yup.

The current Mac Pro is totally inappropriate for all but the most high end workloads unless you are 100% committed to macOS and have an employer willing to wear that cost.

If you're spending your own hard earned money, its pretty difficult to justify the cost mark-up. I love Apple hardware, but 4x the cost for a bunch of stuff i don't need or want, purely because Apple do not sell anything actually appropriate for your use case is a tough sell.

You could have got roughly equivalent PCIe expansion capabilities by using a threadripper 2nd gen (if you actually needed it) for not much more additional spend. You'd still be < 50% of the price.

I'm sure some here will chime in about how your video card only has 8 GB of RAM and you aren't running ECC or whatever. Or that the Mac Pro has faster AVX512 (seems to be the pet defense a lot seem to use, clearly without even knowing what it is for). But if you don't need those features, it's just extra stuff you're having to pay for - for what?
 

archimacpro

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2016
33
26
NZ
Yes - but your 3960x is not currently hackintoshable. That's why I'm still hanging onto my trashcan. Otherwise it would indeed be a no brainer.
Oh, and the new macpro is simply too big physically for my needs.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,809
10,847
Singapore
I don't recall seeing any demands for proprietary form factor GPU modules....
In retrospect, a lot of the demand for a “pro Mac” was really a desire for a “hobbyist” Mac. ie: a Mac that people could open up and tinker with to their heart’s content.

The old Mac Pro made sense when entry level computers were barely good enough to do “real work”. But today, even standard off-the-shelf configurations are good enough for the majority of what you need to get done on a PC.

So if it’s a mid-tier Mac you want, Apple already sells the iMac. That people aren’t satisfied with it shows that it’s not performance they have an issue with, but the fact that the iMac is a sealed, untinkerable box.

The new Mac Pro and its crazy display have an audience, but none of them are present here. Apple made the computer high-end professionals didn't know they could have. But they didn't make the computer that mid-level creatives (for whom it is still their profession) can afford and want because again, they are already served by the iMac (and iMac Pro) and MacBook pro.

So ultimately, the Mac Pro makes sense as a high-end option for users whom even a maxed out iMac Pro cannot serve, and it’s priced accordingly to match. Nothing less.
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,366
3,829
Perth, Western Australia
Why wouldn’t it be? You can drive a 4K display with integrated graphics these days.
Try and run like... anything 3d with any sort of significant detail at 4k on an RX580. I mean that IS the reason most want a 3d capable GPU.

Sure, that isn't Apple's core market - 3d gaming (or high end 3d animation or whatever in blender, etc.). But that's mostly because their hardware is totally inadequate for it. Not because the demand isn't there if the hardware was available. And the fact that it isn't available in a non-10k workstation is just pure apple profiteering.

I swear, some of you Apple apologists must have never been exposed to real hardware running 3d software at 2-3x the frame rate of the trash apple puts in their machines...

I'm not sure why apple gets given such as massive pass by so many people on the 3d hardware front on the mac. It's clear that Apple "get" the importance of 3d in general. For their power consumption, the iOS devices rock at 3d.

Its about time Apple stopped half-assing the 3d support on the Mac, and actually shipped some decent 3d hardware for less than 10 thousand dollars.

Even if you spec the mac pro up to cost more than some people's primary residence, it's still nowhere near as fast at 3d as a PC you can build for less than the cost of the base model with an RX580.

Never mind what they're putting in the imac...
 
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Schismz

macrumors regular
Sep 4, 2010
198
76
You could have got roughly equivalent PCIe expansion capabilities by using a threadripper 2nd gen (if you actually needed it) for not much more additional spend. You'd still be < 50% of the price.
There's an entire thread dedicated to this topic: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/is-apple-ing-themselves-over-the-threadripper-3-yet.2213157/

In retrospect, a lot of the demand for a “pro Mac” was really a desire for a “hobbyist” Mac. ie: a Mac that people could open up and tinker with to their heart’s content.

The old Mac Pro made sense when entry level computers were barely good enough to do “real work”. But today, even standard off-the-shelf configurations are good enough for the majority of what you need to get done on a PC.
Yup, you're kinda making your own point. Agreed.

The new Mac Pro and its crazy display have an audience, but none of them are present here.
Many of them are present here, since you're posting it to the Mac Pro forum. Many here actually buy Mac Pro and then have conversations about how to optimize it, what cards and 3rd party components work best, etc.

The remainder of content is just community; people who can't afford it complaining about price; why Apple is doomed and how an AMD box that costs $2K can kill the Mac Pro, etc, etc, etc... all the usual material that's always present.

Apple made the computer high-end professionals didn't know they could have. But they didn't make the computer that mid-level creatives (for whom it is still their profession) can afford and want because again, they are already served by the iMac (and iMac Pro) and MacBook pro.

So ultimately, the Mac Pro makes sense as a high-end option for users whom even a maxed out iMac Pro cannot serve, and it’s priced accordingly to match. Nothing less.
Again, you're making your own point.

My entire takeaway: Apple should make the mythical xMac or just "Mac" for consumers. This has been a running concept since forever, including when the 2009, 2010, etc, Mac Pros dropped and everybody complained about their pricing. Same story. You're asking for an xMac. This same conversation has been on these forums since forever. Apple isn't going to make one, about the closest you'll get is a Mac mini. If you just want to tinker and the time/money equation isn't part of the picture because it's a hobby, then build Hackintosh and experience happiness?

The only thing that shocks me is that Apple actually caved, did the math on how little money they expect to make, vs. how much it's going to cost them to support an "open" computer with 101 potential tech issues introduced by allowing 3rd party cards, which they're not used to, since they usually sell an entirely closed-box system completely under their control. And then they went ahead, listened to what Mac Pro owners want, and built another Cheesegrater.

Yes, its infinitely flawed and should have PCIe 4 (or 5, or 7 if at all possible), AMD CPUs with a card stuffed full of ARM chips, Thunderbolt 4, 8K display, WiFi-10 and BT 16, but they kinda had to eventually kick something out the door and ship it, which they did ... I'm quite happy with it. So are many on this forum who purchased one.

...

At the end of the day: everybody has a different life. There is no more middle-class in America, there's the Top 5% and then there's everybody else who is poor and whose quality of life would probably shock the average wage earner in a single-income family from the 1950s (on the flipside, despite being "poor" you can do 101 things every day which even those who had the most wealth couldn't even dream of 50+ years ago). Life and time move on. Gentrification occurs, look at the rent and real estate prices in different parts of the country. Income disparity exists, and for a lot of people dropping $10-$20K on a computer doesn't make a significant impact on their life, even if the only reason they want it, is just because they want it. High end car makers still sell high end luxury cars. Somebody buys them, when a Kia would take you from point A to point B just as effectively. Different target demographic (people who will buy the $1K XDR stand ;-) which is mostly not pros, who will VESA mount everything).

Apple is perceived as, and does everything possible to remain, a "luxury" brand. It targets the lower 95% with all the iCrap, which oddly enough makes up the majority of their revenue ;-) Selling Mac Pros is not where the money is at, it's an ultra-niche market, no matter who the end-user is or what their reasons for buying it. It's just not ever going to sell that many units ... it's a very small drop in a gigantic ocean of profits for Apple.

Anyway, if you have any money whatsoever, you may want to follow the markets, and take a look at where stocks and oil are at right now, because it's all walked off a cliff, and it will be Buying Spree time sometime soon. You may wanna consider investing your money, so that a little bit later you can check off [x] everything, on your BTO Mac Pro, and then buy a 2nd one to stuff into your Tesla Roadster X with SpaceX Ignition pkg, just because you can.
 
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yurc

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2016
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inside your DSDT
So ultimately, the Mac Pro makes sense as a high-end option for users whom even a maxed out iMac Pro cannot serve, and it’s priced accordingly to match. Nothing less.
Ugh…well, 7,1 was heavily prioritized only for Hollywood film editor and musician…look at afterburner, can it decode codecs other than ProRes? Putting cheap RX580 because it was already overkill for musician as Apple excuse doesn’t put at least Vega card.

High end option aren’t available for other professional fields, and forcing 5,1 users who already accustomed with PCIe slots aren’t fond with sealed iMacs. It was fun because I need to shell out PCIe enclosure for attaching my capture card if I was using iMac.
 
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JazzyGB1

macrumors regular
Jan 18, 2002
228
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The only thing that shocks me is that Apple actually caved, did the math on how little money they expect to make, vs. how much it's going to cost them to support an "open" computer with 101 potential tech issues introduced by allowing 3rd party cards, which they're not used to, since they usually sell an entirely closed-box system completely under their control. And then they went ahead, listened to what Mac Pro owners want, and built another Cheesegrater.

Yes, its infinitely flawed and should have PCIe 4 (or 5, or 7 if at all possible), AMD CPUs with a card stuffed full of ARM chips, Thunderbolt 4, 8K display, WiFi-10 and BT 16, but they kinda had to eventually kick something out the door and ship it, which they did ... I'm quite happy with it. So are many on this forum who purchased one.

...

Selling Mac Pros is not where the money is at, it's an ultra-niche market, no matter who the end-user is or what their reasons for buying it. It's just not ever going to sell that many units ... it's a very small drop in a gigantic ocean of profits for Apple.

What a load of pompous nonsense!

The cMP wasn't ultra 'niche' it was ubiquitous, especially in recording studios and creative media companies.

It was a successful product that satisfied most of the segment it was aimed at, as it had a reasonable entry price point (relative to its Apple contemporaries) and could be scaled to suit the end user.

The 2012 cMP started at $2499, so for Apple to start its replacement at $5999 is taking a liberty.

Apple have offered expandable tower Macs since 1992 with Power PCs, so this form factor is far from 'niche' for Apple and it wasn't just used by high end professionals, but power users or anyone who wanted to be able to expand or customise their Mac to meet their needs.

And don't be fooled by the 'Pro' tag either.
That was just a a marketing tool Apple used when they switched from IBM's Power PC to Intel CPUs.
So Powermac G5's and Powerbooks were replaced by the Mac 'Pro' and the 'MacBook Pro'.

The Apple models that preceeded the Mac Pro were no less 'Pro' because they didn't have the word 'Pro' in them and were used by many professionals all over the globe.
The 2005 Quad G5 was $1999.

Mac Pro sales might now be a 'small drop in the ocean' compared to their other products, but that's always going to be the case when you havent offered a tower since 2012 and then more than double the price when you eventually re-introduce the form factor nearly 8 years later.

It's poor form and a slap in the face by Apple to many of its professional/power users.
 

handheldgames

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2009
1,781
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Pacific NW, USA
Yes - but your 3960x is not currently hackintoshable. That's why I'm still hanging onto my trashcan. Otherwise it would indeed be a no brainer.
Oh, and the new macpro is simply too big physically for my needs.
But a 12-core Ryzen 9 3900x is and it flies. :cool: :cool: :cool: I'm digging into getting open core setup and may install it on my cMP before installing it in my hack. I wanted a TR but as you mentioned, not yet.

While I'm limited on slots, at least I still have them to work with. In my current config, I have three x16 Gen4 slots that can be configured as x16, n/a, x4 or x8 x8 x4. The two onboard M.2 PCIe4. slots can be upgraded as I want and are not tied to the problematic T2. While I don't need >5000MB/s from a single SSD, the increased performance across the board is a nice to have.

If I ever need a Thunderbolt interface, I plan on using the x4 slot for that need. If I need more storage than 2 M2 devices, the Highpoint 7101a will drop right in. Plus I can can easily add in internal hard disk for backups which is not an option.

I'm still in a better place that what can be done with the mini and did not consider the iMac for the great reasons stated above.
 
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