Waiting for Mac 1,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tlab, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. tlab macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2017
    That is, a beefed up Mac Mini with expandable internal storage and graphics. What the PowerMac was, once upon a time. Surely it should be inevitable now :)
  2. Boil macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2018
    I could see a solid four tier headless desktop lineup...

    Mac mini- entry level - APU, RAM, & secondary storage (one M.2 slot) upgradable
    Mac - prosumer level - CPU, RAM, secondary storage (two M.2 slots), & GPU upgradable (one PCIe x16 slot)
    xMac - enthusiast level - CPU, RAM, secondary storage (three M.2 slots), & GPU upgradable (two PCIe x16 slots, one PCIe x8 slot)
    Mac Pro - see new modular Mac Pro

    Along with these, a range of monitors...

    Mac mini - 24" 1440p TB3 monitor
    Mac - 27" 5K TB3 monitor
    xMac - 32" 6K3K TB3 monitor
    Mac Pro - 32" 6K TB3 monitor
  3. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    As much as many users would like that, it is simply not going to happen. Apple’s line-up is complete, and consumers are not allowed to upgrade the components.
  4. tlab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2017
    Things change. The new Mac Pro is a change in direction from where it was previously placed, and now there’s a gap in the line up that wasn’t there before.

    I don’t see two new models (‘Mac’ and ‘xMac’) happening—too much overlap—but the PowerMac/Mac Pro used to cover a very different range of use cases from the new Mac Pro. The new MP covers the highest end of the previous range plus a lot more. The ‘Pro’ originally meant something closer to what it meant in ‘MacBook Pro’.
  5. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Things change, but I do not see Apple going to this direction.

    The line-up of desktops seems complete:

    $799 - $1,099 upwards: Mac Mini
    $1,099 - $2,299 upwards: iMac
    $4,999 upwards: iMac Pro
    $5,999 upwards: Mac Pro

    Yes, there is a gap between the high-end iMac and the base iMac Pro. But the iMac can be configured to cost more than $4,000. At the price range of over $2,000, custom builds tend to be more likely.

    A Mac or an xMac would have to fit between the high-end iMac and the base iMac Pro. I do not think Apple will do that as it may cannibalize sales of existing models.

    Apple added all this expandability to the Mac Pro to address the needs of specific customers. But the “prosumers” which buy Apple products are usually the ones who would be happy with an iMac or an iMac Pro.

    Gamers are probably the largest audience which is not addressed by Apple products. They want powerful and cost-benefit machines which can be upgraded, and they do not really care about details such as having the most accurate colors in the screen.

    Apple may change this with its new gaming platform, but still it may want to convince gamers with a different approach. Less demanding games with better playability and better stories behind them. Instead of AAA games for enthusiasts with state-of-the-art graphics.

    In either way, I do not see Apple allowing customers to bypass the expensive upgrades it sells in the consumer-level machines.
  6. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    I beg to differ: Imho you are mixing two completely different lineups here:
    • $799 - $1,099 upwards: Mac Mini
    • $5,999 upwards: Mac Pro
    • $1,099 - $2,299 upwards: iMac
    • $4,999 upwards: iMac Pro
    It's understandable, though, as Apple does basically the same for marketing reasons alone. However, I doubt it is a proper way to mix headless machines with All-in-Ones (otherwise tomorrow Apple could mix e.g. Tablets and Notebooks for the same "reasons" ;-) ). Or one could argue that the 2018 mini is just improperly named and the true setup would be "pro" and "non-Pro" machines, with the latter consisting of only one model:
    • $1,099 - $2,299 upwards: iMac
    • $799 - $1,099 upwards: Mac Mini (should be a "Pro")
    • $4,999 upwards: iMac Pro
    • $5,999 upwards: Mac Pro
    In both lines of argumentation the glaring holes in the lineup become obvious. Not that I believe that Apple would accept reality here, but they surprised not only me with the new MacPro, so maybe they surprise us again by eventually acknowledging the problems of their current offerings.
  7. MisterAndrew macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2015
    Portland, Oregon
    I'd love to see a consumer version of the Mac Pro called just "Mac." It may happen if Apple wants to tap into the mainstream enthusiast / prosumer and gamer market, but I think Apple just expects those users to be wealthy enough to afford the Mac Pro.
  8. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2015
    East Coast, United States
    The 2019 Mac Pro took two years to come to fruition after the 2017 mea culpa. That is 7 years after the last expandable Mac Pro, which was really just a silent update to the 2010 Mac Pro. In the intervening 9 years Apple has had ample opportunity to release the mythical xMac and has punted for 9 straight years. What does that tell you?

    The 2019 Mac Pro was never a slam dunk, or we would have seen something similar in 2014 or 2015 as Pro customers never warmed up to the 2013 nMP. Hell, Apple never even upgrade the CPU, GPU or storage speed (PCIe 3.0 x4) in the intervening 6 years it was on the market. Not lowered the cost.

    Gaping holes or not, the Mac Pro is it as far as an expandable Mac. And priced high enough to keep out all but those serious enough about their work to not be bothered by the price tag.

    Hackintosh or move on to Windows are your only choices. The lineup is not changing...it is now complete...in Apple’s eyes, at least.
  9. nerdynerdynerdy macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2007
    Agree with this. Apple doesn't want to cover every market.

    And the market they least want to cover is the hobbyist/tinkerer/nerdy enthusiast. Those customers are the ones who complain the most, want to run the newest/oldest and most obscure bits and pieces, and want to pay the least amount of money for all of it.

    For Apple and their 'it just works' philosophy, it just opens up a pandora's box of problems in support, warranty and bad press for them, for relatively little financial benefit.

    Those who genuinely need certain components/performance for their workflow that Apple doesn't supply will buy an appropriate PC without getting emotional about it - people running a business buy the tools they need without whinging about it on a computer forum.

    Apple are a wildly successful company for good reason. They know exactly who their market is and what it will pay for.
  10. developer13245 macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2012
    We have a winner!
  11. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    It tells me that you focus too much on the past and don’t pay enough attention to the present. Apple have just presented a worthy “Pro” machine after all these years. And last year they revived the mini pretty successfully. Both releases came unexpected to most people outside the company.

    People said something similar about Apple never going back to the cheese grater expandability for a Pro machine after the release of the 2013 MP.

    With the 2018 mini and the 2019 MP, Apple has proven all doomsayers wrong. I don’t see any reason, why they couldn’t also change their stance regarding a headless (expandable) machine between mini and Pro.
  12. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    People have been asking for the xMac, ie the consumer tower with slots and the consumer cpu’s ever since apple went intel and probably before.

    They have had over a decade to do so.

    To make that what people want then would need to move to a standard uefi implementation along with standard graphics cards. Ie don’t need to go to macvidcards and get a custom bootrom to see the boot screen.

    I would say that apple don’t think the sales would be worth it, ie low end purchase and people buy upgrades elsewhere, and have to try and support that wider base.

    Instead they have kind of let those people do the hackintosh route, and only time pursued in courts is where people tried to sell ready made hackintoshes as a company. Ie psystar.

    There is thriving community over in the hack world so clearly there is a market for this type of machine, so it must simply be that apple don’t want to be in that market.
    Clearly a demand for such a machine and has been for quite a while.

    If apple not made one yet then really don’t expect that going to now.
  13. Coyote2006 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2006
    It would really be great to have a Mac that suits between MacMini and MacPro.

    Just an iMacPro without monitor ...
  14. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...except they have and it looks like their answer is a choice between the Mini and the new entry-level Mac Pro... and the entry-level Mac Pro is crazy - don't confuse it with the 28 core, quad Vega-II afterburner'ed monster they were actually demonstrating - all it has in common is the enclosure and maybe the motherboard.

    You're right, though - the thinking behind the Mini is exactly the same as the new Pro, but I'm afraid that thinking is "We want to increase revenue, so demo a really impressive hex-core i7 model, show what it can do with a $1500 eGPU then hope everybody fails to notice that the entry level is now twice the price of the old entry point, has an i-freaking-3 processor and a pathetically small SSD that costs a fortune to upgrade and that the only reason that the benchmarks look good c.f. the original is that the original hasn't been updated for 5 years.

    Sorry, but the only intentional "change in position" is price. Since 2005 the "Mac Pro" has been a headless Xeon workstation aimed at "pro" users (apart from a 3-year hiatus for the trashcan fiasco and even that was what Apple mistakenly thought pro users wanted in a headless xeon workstation).

    Like it or not, the entry-level Swiss Cheese Grater Mac Pro is the direct replacement for the entry 2012 Mac Pro Cheesegrater - if you want a tower Mac but don't need the highest possible performance, that's what Apple is offering and you're going to have to find 6 grand. Its not a "new class of machine" for the pro media creation elite because people who are going to add quad Vega-IIs, afterburners and 1TB of RAM aren't going to pair them with a piddling 8-core Xeon.

    The entry-level Mac Pro is, relative to the specs of the rest of the current range pretty much exactly the same product as the 2012 cheese grater that it's design... well, parodies. At nearly twice the price even relative to the current range:

    2012: Top-end MacBook Pro (without maxed-out RAM/SSD): $2449
    2012: Entry-level Mac Pro: $2499

    2019: Top-end MacBook Pro: $3249
    2019: Entry-level Mac Pro: $5999

    It doesn't actually matter whether the entry-level Pro is overpriced for the spec (impossible to tell until the appropriate Xeons are available), or just over-specced for the target market (Apple could have left off half the PCIe slots, offered a slower, cheaper Xeon, left out the extra Thunderbolt/10Gbps Ethernet card, made the fancy Swiss-cheese grille with a $499 option vs. boring old perforated sheet aluminium) to bring the price down - all of which would involve far lower development costs than producing a 'Mac Maxi' later.

    No, if you want a tower Mac, Apple thinks you should pay $6000.
  15. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2015
    East Coast, United States
    $799 for the base 65w 3.6GHz 4-core Core i3 Mac mini w/8GB of upgradeable DRAM and 128GB SSD is a fortune? But $499 for a gimped, slow @ss 15w dual-core CPU w/4GB of soldered DRAM and a 500GB 5400RPM HDD was fine?

    Also, twice as much (2x) as $499 is $998, not $799. The cost increase is 1.6x, which is nothing to sneeze at, but is still not twice as much.

    As for a slower, cheaper Xeon...which one do you think Apple should have used?

    Xeon E? Well, it's based on Coffee Lake, so it isn't too old...but it tops out at 8c/16t, maxes at 128GB of DRAM and only has x16 lanes of PCIe 3.0...so basically a glorified Core i7...but it is cheap. And for the 1 Geekbench score I can find, pretty darn fast. However, I don't think Apple releasing a Mac Pro with 4, 6 and 8 core Xeons is what Apple or its customers had in mind when Apple stated they were designing a high performance modular Mac Pro.
    Verdict: AWWW, Hell no!

    Xeon D? Well, its based on Broadwell. I'm not sure that would go over well with those who have waited 6 years (or 9). But you can get up to 16 cores at 1.3GHz base clock and 2.1GHz Max Turbo. The Xeon D-2146NT (8/c16t) costs $641.00 on Intel's website and it's is a BGA CPU, so NO CPUs upgrades in the future. I'm sure that would go over REALLY well...and Apple saves a whopping $108.00 per CPU over the W-3223, so that is saving it can pass on to the customers, which, with a soldered CPU, becomes a disposable Mac Pro. Geekbench scores are not real great, especially single core. Verdict: Hard Nope.

    Xeon E5v4? Well, its based on Broadwell...so it has that going for it, NOT! It was released in 2016...hmmm, state of the art? Not exactly. It can scale to 2 CPUs, PCIe 3.0, x40 lanes per CPU. You have your choice of 1 decent CPU in that lineup that is cheaper than the Xeon W-3223 - the Xeon E5-2620v4 at 2.1GHz/3.0GHZ Turbo Boost 2.0. It can handle 1.5TB of DDR4, so it's got that covered there. LGA 2011-3, whoo hoo...wait, isn't that the same socket the nMp used? Hmmm...and Geekbench tells me I can get 2017 27" iMac Pro performance only if I have two of those bad boys in there. So two costs me $834.00-$844.00 versus the 8-core W-3223 $750.00. Twice as many cores, twice as many threads, same MC performance, worse SC performance, more money.
    Verdict: Nope.

    Xeon SP 1? Skylake-based...so newer architecture, but gonna have to stay with the Silver to save money. So Xeon Silver 4110 for $501.00 according to Intel. Clock is 2.1GHz, turbo is 3.00GHz. 768GB of DDR4-2400 DRAM max, scales to 2S, 48 lanes, LGA 3467. AVX. Again, 2 CPU MC score is pretty good at ~37000, but SC kinda dicey less at ~3600. Thats with two CPUs, so $1002.00 but 16t/32c, but not a lot of clock speed going for it and once you go for the second CPU, your upgrading days are over as Xeon Gold and Platinum CPUs are hella expensive.
    Verdict: Meh, what else you got?

    Xeon SP 2? Cascade Lake based...so same as the Xeon W-32xx, pretty sweet. Gonna have to stick to the Xeon Silver 4210 at 2.2GHz, but I can get two...still $501.00, no price increase! YAY! 10 cores! Take that Xeon W-3223! $250.00 cheaper and two free cores! Only 1.3GHz slower base clock speed and an 800MHz slower Turbo Boost, but I save $250.00, unless I need a second one...which it looks like I might, since it seems like its not much faster with 2 CPUs than the old 12-core 2697v2 in the nMP Mac Pro. And we spent $250.00 more.
    Verdict: Maybe Apple knows something I don't...NOPE, I substitute your reality for my own!!!

    I am pretty sure that Apple already considered all these possibilities before committing to the Cascade Lake Xeon W-32XX...which just launched on June 4th.

    Your other ideas for making a cheaper Mac Pro (lose the extra TB3/10GbE card, leave off half the PCIe slots, make the fancy Swiss-cheese grille optional; dubs anyone?) sound more like desperation than practical suggestions.

    Honestly, this exact thinking is why Apple doesn't build a mid-tower, full-tower Mac. Take this away and save $50, take this away and shave $10 off, I don't need TB3, who needs PCIe storage...a SATA SSD is fast enough, save $25 here, why is this power supply so expensive, 550 watts is enough for a 1080Ti, saved $5. This is also why Dell, HP and Lenovo have to survive on thin margins for their products. Everything in their world is driven by cost, even the GPU, although most users willingly sacrifice any sort of balanced system build to get 10-15 more FPS and better anti-aliased boobs in Tomb Raider.

    Even after all that, if Dell, HP and Lenovo, et al don't make something good enough and cheap enough, screw it, I will build it myself and it will cost less and perform twice as fast, because I built it and I said so. Talk about a Reality Distortion Field. Apple has nothing on some of the users in the MacRumors forums.

    Apple simply does not want to play in that pool. There is no upside, there are only endless price/performance comparisons and the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the perpetually dissatisfied. Why play when you know you have already lost the game?
  16. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    RRP for the 65W i3-8100B in the entry 2018 Mac Mini: $133*
    RRP for the 15W i5-8250U that would be the 2018 equivalent of the I5-4260U in the 2014 Mini: $297*
    Apple's bait and switch routine to convince the faithful that less for more is actually more for less: priceless.

    Yes folks, a 4-core i3 65W desktop CPU is cheaper than a 15W mobile i5 - and before anyone points out that the 8250U is 4 core, the only 2-core option is an even gimped-er 5W 8200Y that also costs twice as much as the i3. I'm not sure why anybody would be surprised that low-power mobile parts are more expensive than desktop parts.

    Apple used the space for mechanical drives in the Mini case to fit a bigger heatsink and PSU which enabled them to use cheaper desktop CPUs; Intel's 8th-gen update added 2 extra cores at the same price point across the board; Apple not only trousered the savings but increased the price by 60% (OK, not doubled, you got me on that one). Oh yes, the socketed CPU/RAM wasn't for your benefit - the CPU is a desktop model so it doesn't come in surface mount form. The RAM can't be upgraded by the user without completely dismantling the machine so its probably socketed to reduce the number of permutations of logic board that Apple have to make and distribute - soldered-in RAM is only cheaper when the volumes are high.

    A slower, cheaper one? Although now I know that the W-3223 "only" costs about $800 (probably less to Apple) I'm thinking maybe its not what makes the MP cost $6000...

    (* See: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/u...-8250u-processor-6m-cache-up-to-3-40-ghz.html, https://ark.intel.com/content/www/u...ore-i3-8100b-processor-4m-cache-3-60-ghz.html - and, no, you can't work out a figure for Apple's bill-of-materials cost by looking at published RRP, but you can at least get a clue as to the relative cost of the parts by comparing RRPs from the same source.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2019 ---
    If HP can sell an 8 core, 3.7 GHz, Xeon W (OK, last gen, but that's good enough for an iMac Pro and it will likely have been replaced by a 3223 by the time the MP comes out) for £3200* retail and stay in business then it doesn't seem unreasonable that Apple could do something in the $4000-$4500 range to cover a bigger margin and a few bells and whistles. The Apple 'premium' over comparable PC specs has never been this high before.

    (* The exchange rate is around $1.27, but UK prices include 20% VAT and are generally marked up a bit extra c.f. the US so read '£' as' '$' and you won't be far off).
  17. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    So many wrong or misleading statements...
    • The i3 in the 2018 mini is basically a rebadged i5 of the previous gen and it’s a quad core. In the past the entry model always used to be a dual-core only (even before the mediocre 2014). So don’t get fooled by the CPU name alone.
    • Don’t know where you get the price for the eGPU from, but e.g. the Blackmagic R580 runs 695€ (incl. VAT) over here. not top-of-the-line GPU, but still powerful and by orders of magnitude cheaper than $1500. If someone wants more grunt, there are many options to marry eGPU enclosure and high-end GPU and still stay below your $1500 price point.
    • The SSD is sufficient for the system and if you don’t want to pay Apple’s prices, you can simply expand externally, either via TB3 or NAS (for Pro workflows you can even get 10GbE on the mini).
    • Entry price is not doubled, as has been said already.
    The 2018 mini may not be perfect, but except for the weak iGPU there are not many obvious faults in the machine (esp. considering price/performance). And even the iGPU is sufficient to drive the UI on multiple high-res monitors already.

    Most reviews I’ve come across are positive. Cons are usually the iGPU and the absolute higher price. One could argue whether Apple should offer a machine around the $500 price point, but I assume that they see their iOS offerings taking that spot now.
  18. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    So much reality-denying doublethink.

    So what?

    i3/i5/i7 etc. isn't a specification its a price point. Maybe the 2018 i3 was an i5 in 2017 - its still an i3 in 2018 at i3 prices.

    Here outside the echo chamber, as time passes you get higher specs for the same money.

    In 2014, with the 4th-gen chips, dual core was mainstream and quad core was mid/high end. With the 8th gen, the only dual core processors Intel bothers to make are ultra-low powered ones that are more expensive than the higher power 4-core ones.
  19. Horselover Fat macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2012
    Indeed. I think this really is Apple‘s strategy. Bad for certain Pros and the environment but it‘s a free market.

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18 June 5, 2019