The new Mac Pro is the xMac

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cubemmal, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Cubemmal, Jun 21, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013

    Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    In our discussions here I've become more and more convinced that the new Mac Pro is what was called the xMac; a small configurable Mac Pro. A mid tower in the parlance of back then.

    Thesis: The new Mac Pro is designed more for the prosumer than the Pro, here are the Prosumer friendly choices

    • Removed all PCI card options (Prosumer)
    • Removed all internal disks (Prosumer)
    • Removed 2nd CPU option (Prosumer)
    • Removed 8 DIMM slot option (Prosumer)
    • Removed all legacy ports (Prosumer)
    • Made Small (Prosumer)
    • Made Quiet (Prosumer)
    • 802.11ac standard (Prosumer)
    • Added extensive external ThunderBolt 2 ports (Prosumer)
    • Three monitors standard out of the box (Prosumer)
    • Zippy lights that turn on when you rotate it around (Prosumer)
    • Polished Darth Vader case (Prosumer)
    • Low end CPU (TBD)
    • Low end Graphics (TBD)

    Some may be double counting but it spells out all the Prosumer features added. The last two are the only two pieces missing for this to be a prosumer machine.

    What is left for the Pro?

    • Dual high end FirePro Graphics (Pro)
    • 12 core processor (Pro)

    Again my observation is that they had to tip their hand on the Pro at WWDC, so all they did was show off how powerful this computer to keep the Pros from leaving. Left completely unsaid is how low end this can go.

    On pricing

    • If it starts at $3,000 it's DOA.
    • If it's $2,500 it will do OK.
    • If it's $2,000 then it will do really well.

    I can be completely wrong but I believe the starting price will be $1,999.
  2. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    The rest of the pros are on their way out the door.

    No Upgradability, no internal expandability, NO SALE.

    It's one thing for Apple to push what they think consumers want on them. It's another thing to try it on professionals. Another thing entirely.

    (...cue the Apple employees posing as recently-registered MR members to post damage-control kool-aid...)
  3. WMD macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    Florida, USA
    No, it isn't. Who ever said the xMac wouldn't have internal expansion? All the xMac was supposed to be was a Mac Pro with a single, non-Xeon CPU, and maybe one fewer PCI slot/drive bay - for $1499 or some such. That's not what the iCylinder is.
  4. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013

    Sure, we basically agree. The pro market is tiny, I think Apple would like to keep it but basically if Pro's walk off, so what? Personally as a Prosumer (software developer) I'm happy the Pro has a new life. No other choice for a headless three monitor Mac, assuming the price comes in low.


    Ok fine, this is as close as you'll get then. What prosumer cares about internal anything? We're happy to be external.
  5. ResPublica macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2011
    I can't imagine it costing only $2000. This is Apple we are talking about...

    To me this would be the coolest desktop computer ever, but if I were a pro user I wouldn't be so enthusiastic. I don't get why they made it so small when most pro users have to add extra hard drives and stuff like that anyway. They will get an expensive, cluttered desk...
  6. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    It all comes down to the GPU's. They can dumb down the RAM, Flash and CPU's. And you don't understand, it's not the absolute price but the profit margins that matter here. Compared to the old form factor I have to believe the new one is much cheaper.
  7. cjackson macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2013
    $2000, I doubt it...

    Let us not forget this thing is being assembled in the good old USA. I highly doubt the price point will be that low.
  8. Aldaris macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2004
    Salt Lake
    I agree that if the entry model is more than the current pro it DOA. However I'm holding out hope (and am probably in a small group here) that apple will have an entry model at the 1499-1999 mark even if its more consumer chips. I could be happy with a decent i7 and a graphics card that can kick butt. Some would argue just get an iMac, that very well could be the route I go if needs be but I prefer the pro, so I can bring my own display and what not.

    Thunderbolt is a huge advancement love it or hate it, it is where so much is headed, internal and external are blurred with this tech. And Apple being 'green' it easy to make the argument (for apple not myself necessarily) to reduce carbon and package waste. Remember how excited they were to demo the new iMac packaging that isn't squared. With the speeds of TB2 a lot of options can open up. XMac yep I agree with the OP here. But again we all have differ needs so if it can fit into your workflow great if not, your existing systems will still work.
  9. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    How dare you recognize you were having Apple's "consumer" ideas push upon you! :) You are not a "Pro" unless Apple says you are! Remember, Apple knows what's best for you. Look what they have done to all their "Pro" apps!
    By the way, would you like another ice cube in your "apple flavored cool-aid" while they are still serving?:D
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
  11. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    If it comes in an Hex-Octo core variant with 2x high end GPUs, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, and a crossfire bridge all for 3-4K, I'm very interested.

    I'm sure a wide range of potential customers are not interested in Fire-Pro GPUs, so if Apple either uses standard Radeon versions, or simply prices the Fire-Pro versions at Radeon prices, they sell more. After all, as far as I can tell, the only differences are ECC VRAM and software.

    And I've said it before, and will say it again: If Apple insist on putting in two GPUs, it would seem crazy to not stick a Crossfire bridge between them. I see no benefit to the machine if Apple decides not to include one, but including one would increase gaming performance considerably.
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    So which is it going to be? (1) You will move all your work to Windows PC tower boxes, get new software and new Windows based workflow or (2) You will buy up a lifetime supply of used Mac Pros so you don't ever have to change.

    Either way, it seems a lot of work to avoid having to buy a Thunderbolt cable. (they are not THAT expensive)

    What you forget is the (1) you need external storage no mater what, or how else to do backups? All this changes is the amount of external storage. and (2) Any one who works in even a modest size shop is going to have centralized storage. Who in the world would want to lock-up all the files inside a desktop Mac? No they need to be accessible by everyone.

    What we don't know yet is if in "Mavericks" the internal FLASH stoage can be used as a fusion drive for external disks.
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I doubt there is more than two hours of labor required to assemble the new MP. I think reduced labor costs is one reason for the new design. In fact when you look at the new MP you can see they made it easy to build. It Texas there are any nuber of people who'd be happy to do unskilled factry work for $15 per hour. Two hours plus overhead comes to well under $100.
  14. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    • Removed all PCI card options (Prosumer)

      Disagreed. Many pro media devices are switching to Thunderbolt, most Thunderbolt expansion products include PCI for those who need it.
    • Removed all internal disks (Prosumer)

      I've met very few professionals who even know they can put more than one hard drive in their current Mac Pro. Internal disks are pointless today. Media companies store everything on networked drives and servers. The only people that want lots of internal space are prosumers that don't need to invest in systems that enable working in groups.
    • Removed 2nd CPU option (Prosumer)

      First, we don't know this 100%. Second, the previous model used two CPU's to get to 12 cores. 12 cores are now available on a single CPU.
    • Removed 8 DIMM slot option (Prosumer)

      This is a somewhat dated option anyway. Those that need more RAM will buy it on single DIMM's. Additionally, the speed of the SSD will relieve the system when it does page out.
    • Removed all legacy ports (Prosumer)

      Get over it. Legacy options are still supported with adapters. Why would you buy this machine if you're planning on using ancient peripherals with it anyway?
    • Made Small (Prosumer)

      So what? If you can accomplish the same thing in a smaller package why wouldn't you? There are lots of advantages to being smaller and lighter, even in a pro machine. We do move things around sometimes.
    • Made Quiet (Prosumer)

      This is an exceptional feature, especially for audio pros. I don't know what kind of pros you think use this machine, but I can tell you that the ones it's designed for will all appreciate a noise reduction.
    • 802.11ac standard (Prosumer)

      So you're suggesting that wireless connectivity that's as fast as ethernet doesn't benefit me as an actual professional? First, I can move my machine wherever I want it. Second, it eliminates the need for yet another cable in the rats nest that already exists. Third, 802.11ac is faster, that's always good--for everybody. Are you suggesting that because I'm a pro I would prefer slower wireless connections?
    • Added extensive external ThunderBolt 2 ports (Prosumer)

      Have you seen Thunderbolt peripherals? Prosumers simply don't buy these. Pros want expandability and modularity. Thunderbolt gives us that.
    • Three monitors standard out of the box (Prosumer)

      Additional monitors increase efficiency. Especially for media related tasks. Again I ask what exactly do you think people do with these machines?
    • Zippy lights that turn on when you rotate it around (Prosumer)

      Being able to see what's what without getting out a flashlight. You make no sense.
    • Polished Darth Vader case (Prosumer)

      Pros like stuff that looks cool too.
    • Low end CPU (TBD)

      We'll see about that.
    • Low end Graphics (TBD)

      We'll see about that too.

    As an actual professional, that uses these machines, I'm getting really sick and tired of seeing people assume what it is that I need or want to implement in my business. Particularly when they clearly have no idea what a professional workflow is like.
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    The Mac Pro market is small because Apple made it small and not because there wasn't a need for a Mac Pro type machine. Look at Apple's recent history on supporting hardware and software at the pro level - it has shrunk and no real effort to boost it up in a meaningful way.

    The new Mac Pro is just a machine turned inside out where all connectivity is pretty much on the outside. Apple is happy with the ability to push everyone into TB connectivity and now TB2. TB2 should be fast enough for most drive work that are mechanical in nature. It wasn't long ago everyone raved about eSATA and now we see people complaining about TB2 being slow. - It really isn't slow per se. However, lack of ability to do a bus ride with SSD internally is pretty damning. Lack of ability to upgrade video via card also is pretty damning. It seems this machine has far more in common with a Mac Mini than the traditional line of Mac Pros.

    As for me, I like the power of this unit and if the price isn't overly stupid, I'll probably get one. I always wanted a Mac Mini Pro.
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA

    • So you're a "Pro" and your "Pro" buddies never figured out there were 4 HD bays? Top notch folks it sounds like.

      And I'm sorry, saying that the ability to add lots of RAM is "dated", well, you just weeded yourself out of that "Pro" category AGAIN.

      You rant about being told what is necessary by others, then imply that nobody really needs multiple CPUs and lots of RAM since you don't.

      I think that makes you a "Pro" hypocrite.
  17. pcd109 macrumors regular

    May 1, 2010
  18. hwojtek macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Poznan, Poland
    I believe we had at least two years of getting used to the fact that Apple will push the Thunderbolt interface. The aftermarket has started to deliver TB devices ranging from PCI enclosures to RAID storage. I admit, the range is far from satisfactory, but we have been warned - this interface heralds the shift to external devices and cutting-edge professionals will shift anyway. It will take longer for those of smaller budget, obviously, but as soon as the first TB-equipped Mac has arrived, it was inevitable.
    And I can see the bright sides of this. With MacBooks powerful as never before, external processing/graphics/storage power hooked to TB suddenly becomes much more flexible in a workflow that involves a portable and (the future) Mac Pro.
  19. pcd109 macrumors regular

    May 1, 2010
    Well, that was all WE mac user wanted the xMac to be. This is how Apple thinks xMac IS, and it IS the xMac. If i recall correctly(and i most certainly do since i had one) the power mac g4 1,25GHZ was under 1500$. But then again, you had power mac G5's out already. The period in witch the xMac concept was first put in the scene is the 90's and power pc era. So let's look at his definition. So the xMac was a machine WITH NOT SO MUCH EXPANDABILITY(1-2 ports); UPGRADABLE GRAPHICS and a LOWER PRICE THEN THE POWER MAC. We don't know yet for a fact what parts of this baby are upgradable. But if gpu's are upgradable, then here you go; this is the xMac. You say, it does not have 1-2 ports? Well it does, BUT THEY ARE FULL WITH THE NEW TYPE OF STORAGE(by the way, Woz is on top of that baby). The minute i saw this baby i knew it is the xMac and will by one even though i don't need it. After all i waited long enough since the '90's.:D
  20. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    The term "professional" is completely ambiguous these days. What you need as a "pro" is different than what some other "pro" needs. So this argument is mostly pointless. My guess, though, is that this machine is geared more towards the small business/single man band type of customer (like FCPX). I don't see many bigger studios/post houses entertaining this as an option. We'll see though.
  21. ElderBrE macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    For the same reasons you pointed out this is a "Prosumer" computer, I would call it a studio computer, and the contrary to a "Prosumer" computer.

    It's better suited for studio work than freelance pro or by any means, prosumer market.
  22. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2008
    I've wanted the fabled 'xMac' for years but I have to say whilst I'm very keen to see how much the new Mac Pro will cost (as I'd really like one) it's not exactly the system I imagined / hoped for.

    I'd hoped for a Mac Pro Jr - I liked the old enclosure and thought it still looked awesome but was hoping for something like half the size, probably uniprocessor, 4 RAM slots, room for a few HDD's / SSD's, and upgradable graphics cards.

    In the interim I'm running a Hackintosh but if they make an entry level Mac Pro that's more compatible with the budgets of mere mortals, I will most definitely buy one.
  23. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    If the entry level Mac Pro costs any more than the entry level 27" iMac, it's going to be very overpriced and barely faster than the 2.6Ghz BTO Mac Mini available for far less than either system. I'm not suggesting a giant laptop for your desk is a better alternative, I'm just stating that benchmarks on the 12 core chips show it's barely faster than the current dual CPU Xeons and the current entry level Mac Pro has slower I/O and a slower CPU than even the 2.3Ghz Mac Mini available for a third of the price. The new one needs to be a clean break. I wouldn't be surprised if the Mac Pro is priced lower than the BTO cost of the 2Ghz Mac Pro you could configure in 2006 when the first Mac Pro came out.
  24. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Lets just get the definitions straight:

    "pro" = Ill-defined term, but, in the context of Macs, probably someone doing graphics/video/3D modelling for a living. They have a financial interest in having their project build take 100 minutes rather than 2 hours. Buys a $2000 display with a hood, colorimeter and installs custom lighting and blackout blinds in their work room. Might actually justify having a Xeon and ECC RAM rather than an i7, might use multiple high-res displays and/or pro software that can make good use of "dual workstation-class GPUs". Needs more storage than can be built into a small-form-factor computer. Likely to use expensive RAID arrays and/or specialist PCIe Audio/Video cards, but can't quite put their finger on why they need to be built into the CPU rather than in external TB enclosures that can be hot-swapped between desktops and laptops, taken into the field, dedicated to specific projects, locked in safes...

    "prosumer" = marketing term for a consumer with deep pockets who maybe doesn't use the default iMovie template for their cousin's wedding video. Runs a lot of "real-time interactive 3D simulations" (not games, honest). Happy to play with their iPad and drink coffee while their video renders. Buys a $1000 Thunderbolt Display and then complains that they can see their ceiling light and window reflected in the screen. Will not notice the difference between a Xeon and an i7 and will be seriously disappointed by gaming performance of FirePro, not realising that "Dual GPU" doesn't mean SLI/Crossfire. Only really needs a couple of TB of storage and would be perfectly served by a 3TB "fusion" drive.

    Seriously, the "pro" features you list are more than that - they're very expensive features that you absolutely wouldn't put in a "prosumer" machine.

    Read the website. It is quite explicit that the new Mac Pro will have a Xeon E5 and dual workstation-class GPUs as standard, with number of cores and amount of VRAM as the variables. So, no, it can't go very low-end.

    Current Mac Pro with single 6-core CPU, 512GB SSD and two Radeon HD 5770 graphics cards on the Apple store: $3849

    ...a true "workstation" GPU like a FirePro or a Quadro would probably push that into the $4000-$5000 range.

    If they could bring out the new Pro - with Xeon, 2xFirepro and SSD - for $3000, that would be a steal, and you'd have change left over for a nice TB disc enclosure.

    Matching the current $2500 entry price of the MacPro would be even better. If its $1999 as you suggest then - to hell with what I said above - I'm getting one to play Minecraft on, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Of course, if it ends up in the $3000-$4000 bracket it might leave a niche in the lineup for a "Mac Pro Mini" or an "iMac Pro" of some sort.
  25. champ01 Guest


    The new Mac Pro will sell 10 times better then the previous model.
    The new Mac Pro will cost around 4/5k

    Is it a better design then the previous Mac Pro? No its not but your pricing is way off.

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