Who is the Mac Pro going to be for?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by k2focus, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. k2focus macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2018
    So I'm not trying to start a debate on Mac vs PC - I use both. It is an honest question, and I wonder if it's why Apple hasn't released a new Mac Pro in ages, but who is it for?

    I can't think of a reason to buy a $10,000+ Mac nowadays. I'm sure I'm wrong, which is why I'm asking. What software that is either OSX only or runs way better on Mac could possibly justify spending that amount on hardware that will almost certainly be like a third of the cost on PC?

    As I said before, I'm not trying to start a debate or bash Apple over pricing. I honestly would just like to know who would be interested in this and why?

    I'm mainly asking because I see a lot of people asking if they should buy the new Mini or wait for the new Mac Pro.
  2. Martyimac macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2009
    S. AZ.
    When the tcMP was released, I was caught up in the engineering of it and bought the mid range model. Still using it but at this point, as a retired person just doing the home things, I can't justify what I expect will be an exorbitant price. But that's okay. My MP is still going strong especially since I upped the ram to 32G. Between the MP and the iP Xs,  isn't getting a third strike with me.
    OBTW, just bought a new 2018 mini mid range and it's seems to work just fine for the things I do. Bought it because my 2011 wouldn't go any further and I was starting to have overheating issues with it.
  3. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I'm sure it will cost more than the current model but $10,000? It starts at $2999. I bet it starts at $3999 with specs similar to the base iMac Pro, with options going up from there.

    Remember, it doesn't have a display, and it's supposed to be upgradable, so someone could theoretically just buy the base model and swap in parts over time. That is if it works that way (all we know is it's "modular"), or if the upgrade parts aren't ridiculously expensive, or some other factor that makes it tedious or difficult or otherwise unappealing. But based on what we know, it could be a good machine from a price to performance ratio, especially for those who have already invested in nice displays and like to tinker and upgrade over time.

    I had been waiting for it, but "only" had a 4K display and wanted something with more real-estate. But I also figured that I wouldn't be able to squeeze the Mac Pro with a few upgrades and Apple's 6K display into my budget this time. Ultimately I decided that I wanted a Mac to bridge an increasingly likely ARM transition so I don't have to worry about software compatibility headaches or anything else without spending as much, so I got the new 5K iMac. I figure it will get software updates for at least four years after the ARM transition is complete, like PPC did, so it should last for nearly six years from purchase, and I could stretch that out if I wanted to since it will keep getting security updates for a couple more years. By then the ARM stuff will be settled and I can upgrade to a rock solid device with good software support.
  4. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Apparently this is not the reason why Apple hasn’t release a new Mac Pro, because they released a $10,000+ iMac Pro.
  5. sunapple macrumors 68000


    Jul 16, 2013
    The Netherlands
    That's actually not always the case, take a look at this article where they try to built a PC with the same components as the trash can Mac Pro and compare pricing (spoiler: the PC was more expensive).

    Mac Pro is all about the hardware components and upgradability, things a true Pro wants/needs. For example the Xeon processors which aren't found in regular Macs. The trash can Pro was too ambitious, it wanted all upgrades to be made externally via Thunderbolt - resulting in a small form factor. Customers still wanted to access the internals and for most that is more valuable than form factor. The new Mac Pro will have fully accessible hardware again (mind you it will most likely still require hard-to-find components).
  6. CC88 macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    I'm looking around for changing my nMP 12core with something more powerful for the type of work I do: video, photography and 3d related stuff. Trust me the nMP is incredible, but at the moment of writing there are also new processor out there that have more single core power and the same or best multi core.

    As an example the new macmini beat the macpro in single core performance (almost double) and it's also very good in multi core. It lacks video engine...

    Although I know there are a tons of video, photography and 3d modeler out there that are using Windows machine, I'm not a fan. I use a Windows 10 Dell machine every day 'till one year now. In the last one month I had got three or four kernel panic, strange beahvior under stress like system unresponsive, unstable etc. I haven't had any issue with my nMP.

    Also when I look at Dell workstation they are also high priced... Of course if you configure and mount a system your own you can decrease the money needed but you lack warranty, assistant service, support etc.

    That's not what I want and I'm sure that if not a 2020 MacPro maybe I can buy an iMac Pro or save my money one or two years more and buy a mid range macpro 2020: it will save me from getting angry and sure if I'm not angry I will save my money also for the time I'm not restarting or checking what's not working.
  7. k2focus thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2018
    a lot of people are answering by telling me what a mac is. i know what they are. my question is why someone would spend a huge amount on one and what software they need to justify the cost.

    i'm just thinking of professional heavy computing use. if you are using your computer purely for professional programs you are probably going to get not only what works best, but what is the most cost effective. i'm guessing that if you need Xeon processors and bigtime GPUs to go along with it you need either Quadros or Titans - neither of which Apple supports anymore - so I would think that right there wipes out a lot of people. that leaves the question of who would want this and why.

    can someone give me a specific use where you'd need this?

    don't get we wrong, i'm sure it's going to be an amazing computer, but i still haven't heard a scenario where you'd need one.
  8. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    I don't need all the power of a Mac Pro, but the modularity is very appealing. If a drive fails, I can replace it and be up and running very quickly. I was without my iMac for the couple of weeks it spent at the Apple Store when the drive started to fail. It's not the power, it's the flexibility that is most important to me.

    Hopefully the new design will be very flexible on performance range. The lower the entry point, the more they can sell, and so it is worth maintaining the line instead of letting it rot for years.
  9. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    "Who is the Mac Pro going to be for?"

    Well if I win the lottery between now and it's release it will be me. :p

    I'll build a basic home flight sim cockpit based on it running X-plane. :D

    More seriously this would be a big step in Apple getting back some of the pro market. Especially if it is expandable and modular.
  10. k2focus thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2018
    that is why i bought a PC for photo editing. i still have my imac, but i can't deal with replacing all the failing parts on it, and the new ones are not user repairable/upgradeable at all.

    i see the appeal of a mac that can by repaired/upgraded the same way PCs can be, but i'm not sure how many people are going to be willing to pay the massive premium simply for having that ability on a mac. also, without nvidia support i'm not sure who really wants to.
  11. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    The only software that runs better on a Mac is Final Cut. Everything else runs better on a PC. And most software isn’t available on Mac. If Apple transitions to ARM, that will be the end of Apple AFA computers. There simply isn’t enough market share to justify yet another architecture jump.

    $6,500 gets a 32-core, 64 thread epyc workstation w/256Gb of ram, a 1Tb M2 drive, & a 8gb video card. Performance wise, Xeons are no longer a good deal.

    The only reason to stay with a Mac Pro is inertia and fear of the unknown.

    Windows 10 is on par AFA reliability - and at the end of the day, one does their work in the applications, not the operating system.

    I am preparing to make the jump to epyc. I can’t wait anymore - I actually do stuff on my computer, and keeping a 10 year old computer operational is starting to cost more than it is worth.
  12. iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2019
    A reasonable question. I used to work in the visual imaging media industry for close to 3 decades and I used to work with the movie, music and imaging people before I got outsourced to someone who's cheaper and younger and more mobile (casual/freelance). Anyhow, the Macs have always been associated with the creative arts when they had a viable desktop graphical system before Windows got into the scene with their Windows. Today, both have comparable graphical interface, but the stigma of Macs being better for creative arts stuck on, so Macs are almost always relatively more expensive than a comparable PC. A typical creative artist, like my sister, focus on buying the right tool at any reasonable cost as long as it has the specs to complete the tasks at hand. Most artists I talked and worked with in the past (I worked in the media industry for close to 30 years) prefer the OSX graphical user interface more so with Windows. I own both Macs and a PC and I prefer Macs for the creative arts side and use the PC for more mundane business tasks managing our finances and taxes.

    A Mac Pro is designed to be used and bought by professional in-house media companies; at least most of them in the past due to its vast expandability and by a few individuals who can afford its hefty price tag and simply wants the top of the line fastest Mac money can buy. Nowadays, it's more contractor/freelance based, so less of the media companies are buying them new than before and most of them had transitioned to PC based media systems as they are providing more bang for the buck so to speak. The video editing software like Vegas Pro for PC and Adobe Premiere Pro (works on both MacOS and Windows) and the imaging software like DXO Photo Lab 2, Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop etc are available on both platforms so it no longer makes financial sense to buy a Mac Pro any longer. And Logic Pro X for the music industry by Apple has also its own PC based equivalent. So there's now no longer any exclusivity of software once held only by the Macs for creative artists. You can be as creative with a PC as with a Mac.
    You also have the iMac Pro and the latest Mac Mini 2018 which provide the performance envelope once held exclusively by the older Mac Pros currently available for sale or even used. There is no definite reason to buy a Mac Pro in 2019, other than you need lots of expandability as most other Macs can satisfy the demands of most Mac users for the majority of the requirements be it in gaming, video editing, image editing and audio editing. And because of this, the cost of the Mac Pro can be quite high initially as it is a speciality computer.

    Having said that..

    A Mac Pro is made to be durable and is an industrial workhorse as it has workstation components, so it can cost more. It's made to last longer in continuous use like 24/7 if need be compared to the usual consumer and prosumer macs. If you are making money with a Mac and you need a reliable Mac, a Mac Pro cold give you that piece of mind. But then again, today's computer equipment are quite robust and reliable compared to the past so even this notion of the Mac Pro being more durable than other Macs may no longer hold true depending upon your usage. My sister's Mac Mini 2,1 is still going strong after more than a decade of use and my MacBook 2007, now my dad's personal computer, still works well. The only quirks is they both use an older OSX which does not allow browsing in government secured websites for security reasons.

    Today; computers are more modular..

    A Mac Pro made in the past are based on a tower concept where your expansion peripherals are inside the tower. Most modern PCs are this way, but I am seeing that people really want more modular expandability rather than buying a full big tower. The current Mac Pros are designed this way and the newer Mac Mini 2018 are also designed this way. TB3 (Thunderbolt 3) has the bandwidth to drive a lot of amazing peripherals which makes 4K video editing and the future 8K video editing possible, so expandability via TB3 makes the Mac Pro less compelling need to be used as a sole workstation platform for most Mac users.

    4K and 8K video editing and AI based photography applications..

    I think this will be deciding factor between someone who might need a Mac Pro versus a new Mac Mini 2018 is in the support of applications that make heavy use of the GPU and that once you factor in the cost of the GPU with a lots of ram and a bigger SSD drive on the Mac Mini 2018, it probably make more sense to buy the Mac Pro instead.
    Smooth 4K video editing is very processor intensive and make use of the GPU with its own onboard ram and AI based photography applications are also processor intensive and make use of the GPU with lots of ram. In regards to AI based photography applications, it can be a difference between processing an image in 30 mins with an Intel GPU with 1.5-2Gb of ram as opposed to less than 1 min with a powerful Nvidia/AMD GPU w/4Gb to 8Gb of ram. The newer Mac Pro 2019 or even the 2013 model can manage and cope with this. The new Mac Mini 2018 would probably need an eGPU attached to a TB3 port to provide additional GPU support, but not all apps support external eGPU. And if it does, this raises the cost of the Mac Mini 2018 closer to a stock Mac Pro 2013 or even a 2019. Would it then be more prudent just to buy a Mac Pro rather than buying a Mini 2018 instead?

    If you're not planning to edit 4K footage commercially, then a Mac Mini 2018 would probably suffice without adding a eGPU. But if you are doing this commercially with 4K exclusive, then a Mac Pro would probably be a better choice.
  13. aaronhead14 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2009
    The classic Mac Pro was really made for filmmakers. It was released back when Apple had highly invested in Final Cut 7, and when they acquired Shake composting software. Here’s to hoping the new Mac Pro is for filmmakers too! We need more power than just about any other industry, so if it’s built for us then it will be great for everyone else too. :)
  14. iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2019
    Very true and it came after the success of their PowerMac G5 platform. The classic Mac Pros are still viable platforms for the home movie editing crowd who is only working with 480p, 720p and 1080p footage. It's when you are dealing with 4K footage that Apple needs to get their acts together with the newer 2019 Mac Pros.
  15. Loki.Mephisto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2005
    Germany / Austria - Mozart, no Kangaroos!
    Indeed. However, as long as Apple continues to celebrate its feud with Nvidia all we can hope for is mediocre graphics performance.
    As much as I like AMD, their graphic accelerators simply cannot compete with Nvidia's especially when it comes to high end cards
  16. jscipione macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2017
    The Mac Pro is for anybody that needs a headless Mac desktop more powerful than the Mac Mini. Your needs may include more powerful discrete graphics, more powerful processors, faster storage, better connectivity, or more RAM. If you don't care about the headless part or upgradability then get a iMac or iMac Pro, otherwise you have to decide whether or not the Mac Mini can fulfill your needs.
  17. thevault, Apr 11, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019

    thevault macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2019
    It all depends on what Apple/(Tim the genius) releases..... ;)

    Many have jumped ship and many more will if it's restricted, not upgradeable, does't have features people want but what Apple dictates...:eek:
  18. Strider64 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2015
    Suburb of Detroit
    I haver really never been a person who cared on how fast a computer was and really never got into overclocking the cpu where you had to buy was water cooling system to keep it from frying. I used to build my own computer which were obviously PC based for about 10 years or so. One day I thought to myself - "Hey, I'm always upgrading or building another computer that I really never used a computer for want it was meant to do". Life also got in the way around that time as I was laid off from my job as a color matcher (shader) at an automotive paint manufacturer. So, I decided to go back to college and get my degree in computer graphics design. While at college I noticed that half the class were Apple Computers and the other half PC Computers. While I still worked on the PC Computers, I couldn't help notice that a lot of people were working on the Apple Computers and they were getting the same results (if not better) on the Apple Computers. So I decided to switch over to the iMac once out of college in order to force me to concentrate on the software application aspect of the computer instead of the upgrade bug that I had. :D

    My whole point of that boring story is that my last purchase was a 2017 iMac Pro and that I have concentrated on my website development and photography that I can't remember the last time I even looked inside a computer. I can see where a professional would buy a $10,000 Mac Pro (or whatever price it's going to be) as a computer is just a tool and at the end of the day be it an Apple or PC the job will get done. The job getting done is all that matters and it doesn't matter how it was done (talking about what computer was used).
  19. k2focus thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2018
    i'm one of the people who switched back to PC. the apple computer lineup is nothing to write home about at the moment- and the price is outrageous for what you get at the moment. i never had a problem paying a premium when they had the best stuff, but i couldn't justify it anymore.

    i'm a professional photographer - you'd think i'd be the person apple was after - but they don't offer anything for photographers right now. don't even get me started on imacs - their high end non-pro one is a great computer, but it doesn't make sense for photographers compared to modular PCs at the moment. the I/O isn't great, there really isn't any internal storage options (my PC has an nvme and 5 HDD hot swapable slots). i know you can use thunderbolt and stuff like that, but a 4TB 7200 RPM drive costs like 1/4 the price on an eHD via thunderbolt. not to mention that when it breaks you're effed and have to sell your children to get it fixed. sure, the 5k display is nice, but i have a 4k colour calibrated one, and while 5 is a bigger number than 4, it doesn't make any real difference at this point.

    i feel like the mac pro sounds like a good idea, but i have a feeling that it is going to be priced way too high for most people to seriously consider.

    on a side note - no one has answered by question about what apps would make someone spend a small fortune on one vs a PC?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2019 ---
    i appreciate the long and thorough response. however, i still don't get who this is for. i don't think people who are serious video editors will want to buy a mini with an eGPU for more than a PC with way higher specs and an nvidia internal card. i also don't see many people forking over the huge amount i'm assuming the new mac pros are going to cost (i'm only assuming) for non K intel chips and non nvidia GPUs to edit videos. don't forget, you can easily overclock the intel K version with a simple AIO or even large fan and get a decently higher clock speed. who knows - maybe apple will have amazing water coolers pumping these chips up to like 6.0 GHz, but I doubt it.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2019 ---
    the idea of a modular mac pro goes against your logic of people not wanting to mess with computers. that's who the imac pro is for.

    i think the main reason people don't mind spending the cash on macs is that they believe (whether it's true or not is debateable) that apple will just sell you an amazing computer and it will just feel like magic out of the box. mac pros are for people who really want to treat it like a PC with OSX as their operating system.
  20. MrRabuf macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2019
    It's for people who need or just want a really powerful, headless computer and are still holding on to MacOS. Unfortunately, this market has really shrunk as Apple basically gave up on the pro market. Most people who relied on Mac Pros in the past have moved onto Windows and probably won't come back as software on that platform is at least just as good.

    I can see why hobbyists and folks who hang out on this site want a new one, however, I don't see why a professional shop would still be using Macs these days.
  21. k2focus thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2018
    yeah, but the price gap between the two (i am only assuming) will be mountainous, so i really don't think that anyone is going to seriosuly be on the fence between a mini and a pro. i said it before, but it's like a tricycle and a lamborghini.
  22. jscipione macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2017
    Holding on to macOS, excuse me? How dare you sir as if there is a better option. Windows is a second-rate macOS.
    The 2014 Mac Mini was a tricycle, the 2018 one is a BMX bike with training wheels. The hex-core i7-8700B with 64GB RAM is a lot closer to Mac Pro territory, and we'll have to see what kind of Ferrari it's up against.
  23. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base
    I totally understand the question. Looking back in time when they introduced the Mac Pro 5.1 tower, I knew instantly that it would make no sense what so ever to get one for my limited needs. But I wanted one. I wanted one bad. And years later I got one which got pimped the hell out of it. What can I say, - I am guilty. I love the design. I love the system and the reliability and a long shelve live. For me it is an emotional purchase more then anything else. And that's also the reason why the price tag is utterly unimportant for me for a system that lasts a decade or longer. The Mac Pro is the Mac Pro. What can you do. There is only this one system on the planet that will stand the test of time. The only real competition in my book would have been a HP Z840, - but then it's not Apple, it's not a Steve Jobs system. Sorry HP Z840 - you got skill but you are missing the Jedi Magic. I am guilty, and I love this forum. It's also about you guys, the 0.0000001 % of the population that is more colorful and more creative, more innovative and more disturbing, smarter and way above average. It's the mac rumors forum of smarts that works on a Mac Pro. It's us,- it's you that can change the world. Change it on a Mac Pro.

    - The forum's pastor -

  24. k2focus thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2018
    maybe i read this wrong, but are you saying that people who buy macs are more creative, colorful (whatever that means), and more innovative, or is that a joke?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 11, 2019 ---
    my understanding is that the top mini throttles, doesn't have a GPU, and only has 2 usb type-a's - that's ain't a pro system.

    don't get me wrong, it's nice, but it's not pro at all. also, what i7 chip is it? it's not the the full desktop 8700 is it? not only that, but 9th gen chips are out.
  25. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    popular youtubers to use with their red cameras
    and most will wish they could be so cool and cant afford but they have to use what they do to be cool so they buy a cheaper apple product to feel in and cool :)

    yeah sarcasm with truth sadly

    a few creatives (people who do design or photography or video what I mean nothing to do with being creative)
    for a living as a pro photographer I have 3 old mac pros one sitting aside the 3,1 and 5,1 in work along with a intel 7820x and 1080 GPU running windows I hate windows for a few reasons so might keep it for the one app I built it for Capture one OR hackintosh it ?

    MY huge issue is adobe is suck bloatware these days and not taking advantage of things and are so so so so so slow to do so I do not feel the super power is needed anymore ?
    I am a full time photographer wife is full time graphic designer I do not do video on that level so I will leave the video to those that do it for a living :) speaking as a photographer adobe is in the way of itself

    so even the pro photographer might not care about the new mac pro BUT we are in a horrid spot hardware wise because of the current idiocy that apple is about these days ? lack of proper gpu choices and such so a real motherboard with proper upgrade paths to at least GPU and such but then will it be locked out with certain firmware requirements T2 maybe then t3 chip making it impossible to only buy apple gpu or maybe even apple ram ? I can see that happening sadly

    so will wait and see what it is how much it is and restrictions the days of apple behind ahead of the game are long over now they trail by years !!!!

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