Why do so many here *discourage* others from buying a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DeepCobalt, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. DeepCobalt macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Over and around
    I've noticed so many people on this forum criticize others for buying a Mac Pro... somehow challenging their need for power, etc. or not making "adequate" use of the CPUs.

    I have news for you--the market for all desktop computers, across all brands is shrinking every year!!! If there are fewer and fewer buyers of the Mac Pro, it will (a) disappear from Apple's lineup completely, and/or (b) get increasingly expensive (like the new upgrades have shown).

    Developing/offering the Mac Pro ain't cheap! If the economies of scale aren't there, it will become ever more costly until it disappears completely.

    MORAL: ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BUY ONE!!! So what if they're just fans of the product and won't use all of it. As someone mentioned before, professional drivers aren't the only ones buying Ferraris. Enthusiasts buy them too--or people who are just plain stinkin' rich. :D
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I haven't seen this myself... in fact, I very much want to buy a Mac Pro sometime. I just can't afford one configured the way I'd want it right now.
  3. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I'm not recommending someone more than they need. You don't need a Mac Pro as a torrent box. You don't need a Mac Pro as an iTunes server. You don't need a Mac Pro for the iLife suite.

    This can't ever happen, so I'm not too worried.
  5. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I think it's a warning about buying something so expensive when an iMac or mini would fit their processing needs.

    However some people want/need the expandability of the pro. I know I do, but I don't need the processing power of the pro. Already have monitors and HDs.

    Plus I think some people think the mac pro shouldn't be used for basic tasks and only pro users should buy a pro. I think if it's your money, do as you want.
  6. waiwai macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    ur just paranoid.

    sorry, u'd be a fool if u buy a Mac Pro for surfing the nets, word processing, checking e-mails and such. there will always be a Mac Pro simply because there are professionals that demand it.

    you are proposing that everyone throw their hard earned money into buying something they do not require. EPIC FAIL!
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Needs change over time and as ease with a new platform or machine becomes what you're used to, people might want to start trying new things out, stretching their machines a little more, maybe expanding certain components.

    There is also an environmental and total cost of ownership argument. I'm not one to encourage people to buy sealed computers that can't be upgraded, and are essentially fit for the scrapheap if their screen goes while out of warranty, for instance.

    Besides, I used to own what Apple called a 'super-computer' in the brochure. This super-computer was the dual G4 1.4. :D But that awesome machine, brand new in 2002, lived a lot longer and was of far more use for longer than an iMac of the same vintage. This is what you get when you spend more. My philosophy is to always spend the most on a computer I can possibly afford once I've chosen the form factor because I don't always know when I'll be buying another one again, especially with Apple's weird directions with some of their machines.

    So yeah, if you can genuinely afford it, get the Mac Pro. It'll only be fit for playing Tetris on after six years or so anyway. ;)
  8. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    Many have been asking for a tower that would be placed between the Mini and Mac Pro for years. Apple refuses to make such a machine that people pay for the power and expandibility they need, and to be able to choose the monitor they want.

    Maybe that is the root of this constant frustration within the Mac communtiy. I know that I wouldn't be able to utilize the power of a Mac Pro, and I don't want to pay all that money just for the sake of the expandibility of one. A mid range tower would be perfect for my needs and budget.

    Since this is not taking place, I have to buy used for what I can afford. I don't think it has to be this way, but it is.

  9. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    People should get views from multiple perspectives and it is something this forum is good for. Where else are you going to get such adivce? Apple certainly aren't going to sell you down to an iMac or a Mini if that is all you really need. Many people aren't technically minded so don't know what they hardware would best suite them. In the end only they can make the decision.
  10. kaks macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Good point Mike.

    After i ordered my Mac Pro all my mates were giving the 'what are you going to do with it' speech. Sure if apple made a mid-range desktop i'd buy that (maybe ;p) but they dont.

    I am doing my phd, so i use large amounts of data sometimes. Amateur photographer and raw isnt a joy to handle on a laptop processor. Expandability. Faster. Cheaper i think in the long run.

    I think most people in the mac forums, have completely forgotten what it means to have a desktop with normal desktop processors. My 4-5 year old machine at home with an old AMD processor handles everything and faster than my 1 year old macbook with a core 2 duo 2ghz.

    iMacs are good for email, browsing, chatting and as a general purpose computer.

    But i think if you do more than just browsing/email/chat/iphoto, even just a bit more then you get a mac pro.

    I dont know...i think anyone who needs more than the basic imac should get the mac pro. Otherwise its not worth buying the imac.

    The iMac is not alternative to a dekstop. Its just a convenience thing (great but..).

    I dont find the mac pro THAT expensive considering the imac and macbook pro. Especially with the HE discounts.

    Well thats my rant :). Thanks for listening.
  11. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    There is absolutely a gap in the Mac lineup between the iMac and the Pro.

    If Apple created a $1500 tower machine that had an i7 (non server version) CPU, and similar expandability options of the Mac Pro (change out hard drives, optical drives, video cards, etc), but in a smaller form factor than the Pro, they would sell a TON of machines, and still make a very hefty profit margin since such a machine could probably be built by them for under $1000.

    My only reason for even considering a Mac Pro is that I've always owned PCs that I could expand and upgrade myself at a reasonable cost. The idea of buying a sealed computer that I can't feasibly upgrade makes me uncomfortable.

    I see myself getting 3+ years out of a Mac Pro where as I see myself upgrading an iMac in just a couple of years when quad core, etc, becomes available for them.
  12. ekoe macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2008
    London, UK
    In researching to build an edit suite, I was discouraged from purchasing a Mac Pro by a few video professionals I spoke to... basically, they advised that a 17" MBP was plenty capable for FinalCutStudio2, and that I wouldn't need anything beyond 8GB of RAM unless I was doing 3D work. These guys are also very close friends of mine, so I don't think it was because of jealousy. I think it really was with the best intent.

    But I really don't want a MacBook Pro. So, I've placed an order for a '09 2.26GHz octo which should arrive in about next week. Why would I settle for only what I need right now? I'd only have to spend more... sooner. I agree with Blue Velvet regarding spending as much as you can afford... not to say overextending yourself, but acquiring the more capable core components like fast CPUs, multiple cores and newer architecture, so that you don't find the system limits your capability in two or three years. Hopefully you can upgrade on such a system and enjoy maintaining a competent system for several years.

    Also, I found I could acquire a more capable Mac Pro for about the same price as a MacBook Pro. If I find I need or want to be portable, I'll purchase a used MacBook Pro, but I want (and believe I will need) all the capability and expandability of a desktop.

    For those who want room to grow, which is always a good thing, the Mac Pro is the best option, unless you want to upgrade to a new system every two years.

    I don't know if this makes sense, but being advised to purchase a MacBook Pro vs. a Mac Pro feels like being 'advised into a corner'.
  13. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    I still want one. Don't need it. But then, why do so many drive around in $30k
    plus cars when a KIA would do?
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I see it as a case-by-case basis. The person asking the question has to know, or find out how much machine they need, and give those posting answers indications of future use.

    Answers based on such details is the best any of us can do. I can't say for others, but I feel guilty recommending a MP for someone that's only going to check e-mail and browse the internet for 2+ years.
    Things change. People are buying laptops.

    In the case of the MP however, I'm not aware of a laptop that can take a RAID system (say 8 drives @ RAID 5 or 6), and perform adequately for video work. Also applicable to science and engineering workstations.

    So it seems reasonable that the professionals will keep such systems alive for awhile at least. ;)

    I would think an Enthusiast would buy one anyway, and not even ask about it. :p Especially if they have adequate funds. :D

    Those who watch their finances closely, or haven't adequate knowledge of what's needed for their applications would. ;)
  15. Doc69 macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2005
    Yes, that Apple is not offering a $1500 mid tower is very sad indeed. Perhaps because they charge such a high premium for the Mac Pro, they don't want to cannibalize on the Mac Pro sales.

    However, because OS X is such a superior OS, I believe they would make up for that loss in volume, as there are plenty of prosumers who need something faster and more expandable than an iMac, but don't have the money or room for a Mac Pro. And PC users are used to mid towers and may want something similar in order to switch, as they already have monitors etc.

    Working with RAW photos, using Garageband or Logic, encoding video for your AppleTV or iPod, editing HD home videos, there are plenty of applications where power users, who are not pros, would want something faster and more expandable than an iMac or Mac mini, but not have to pay 3-6K for a Mac Pro.
  16. SLR2009 macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009
    I completely agree with DeepCobalt. I was told that for what I use my computer for that I don't need a Mac Pro, that it would be overkill.

    I was told the same thing on other computer sites as well. Well guess what, there's other reasons why somebody would want to purchase a Mac Pro then just for video editing or working with Photoshop.

    I was actually persuaded from getting a Mac Pro, that for what I use my computer for an iMac would completely suite my needs. I was told that a Mac Pro was for the Pro's and not the average user.

    I was disappointed to hear this as I was ready to purchase one. So I ended up purchasing an iMac, I used it for 3 days but guess what? I wasn't happy with. So I returned it and ordered a 2.66 ghz Quad Core Mac Pro.

    The first reason I ordered a Mac Pro was because it's upgradeable while an iMac is not, If I decide that in the future to add a hardrive or a video card then I know I'll be able to.

    The second reason was because I like having the extra speed. My current computer is a Velocity Micro 2.66 ghz Quad Core, so anything less then that in my mind would be a downgrade.

    I like having a powerful computer, even if I'll never use it to it's full potential at least I know that it will last me a good 3 years and that it would be great for multitasking and very responsive with any task.

    The third reason that I ordered the Mac Pro was because I like looking at a tower instead of just a monitor. I know that it's just a personal taste but to me it's very important.

    So as you can see there are other reasons why somebody would purchase a Mac Pro then just for professional work.

    So folks if a person wants to purchase a Mac Pro then don't persuade them from buying one. And Don't argue with them if they decide to purchase a Mac Pro like what happened with me.
  17. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Like many others have said, there is a huge gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro. Which is unfortunate. I like many others, I built a hackintosh with the intention to use it as a main desktop. I chose specific components that I read would work without much trouble, it's been great for nearly a year!

    If they introduced a mid-range desktop with possiblity of upgrading the Optical Drive, CPU and drive space for expandability that would have totally been worth $1400~$1500

    In regards to what Blue Velvet said, If your less likely to use the processing power of a Mac Pro now. Pick up a $1500 iMac instead and 3~4 years down the road upgrade. Then you can either recycle or if it's still in good working condition, sell it, donate it to the family or the kitchen :p
  18. dmg3d macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2005
    I'm still using my super-computer. ;)
  19. -hh macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Yes, there's a technology gap, but that doesn't mean that its a market gap too. Yes, there is a difference.

    Considering that 70% (and growing) of the Macs sold by Apple are currently laptops, this only leaves 30% for the desktop market.

    The bottom line is that even if we as enthusiasts prefer conventional desktops, the conventional desktop market is nevertheless dying.

    And FWIW, the PC market isn't too far behind the Mac: sales of laptops there just broke the magical 50% number.

    If we wish to nevertheless persist, to peel the onion one more layer, we find that the Mac desktop market gets split 3-4 ways depending on how we want to count products: mini, 20" iMac / 24" iMac and the Mac Pro. Assuming the latter count (4) becuase the two iMacs require different cases (at least), and for sake of easier math we use an even product distribution, this means that we'll assume that each current desktop product gets 30%/4 = ~4.5% of total Mac sales.

    Thus, even if the proverbial $1500 xMac existed tomorrow and it didn't canabalize even one sale from any other Mac ... and if it was just as successful as any other desktop Mac, it would only increase Mac sales by 4.5%.

    However, if we're more realistic and recognize that canabalization will invariably occur, if we SWAG the level of canabalization at 50% (which means 50% of all sales are customers completely new to the Mac platform), then the total increase in Mac sales would be on the order of only 2%.

    The question of if this +2% is worth it has to be balanced against the additional costs that are incurred: adding another product will incur development costs for the design/test/build of one more motherboard, one more case, one more set of unique parts, etc, compatibility testing of the OS, other Software, etc... and then there's all of the manufacturing issues (commitment contracts, packaging, etc) and after its built, the inventory tracking, storage, control & distribution.

    From all of these adoption expenses, one can conclude pretty easily that even if it turns a profit, there's not going to be a whole lot of that 2% uptick left as real world profit. Even if we assume a 25% margin (somehow), we're looking at a gain to Apple's bottom line of along the magnitude of 0.5%.

    Strategically, one then has to ask if its worth an extra +).5% to the bottom line if the addition of the extra product results in dilution of the strength of the brand, increased customer confusion, etc... bottom line is that its never this easy.

    Then by definition, you've never owned any laptop...?

    In any event, the two most common hardware areas for computer upgrades are RAM and Hard Drive. Most Apple models offer relatively easy access for RAM, and while its not always a simple task, I'm not familiar with any Mac that hasn't been able to be DIY disassembled to have its HD upgraded.

    Personally, I upgraded the HD in my 12" G4 Powerbook a couple of months ago, and IMO, it was LESS painful than taking apart an old PowerMac 8500 tower. As such, even the mini and iMac are able to pass the "good enough" test for DIY upgrades at home.

  20. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2008
    Sorry dmg3d if I am singling this quote out of context of your good intentions.

    I know the iMac is the solution that Apple wants us all to believe is the answer to a mid-range mac. However, not everyone wants the glossy, glass screen of the iMac even if that could be an acceptable compromise. It's already a stretch to sell me on the idea that Apple puts so few Ram slots in those machines, that to get it up to a decent amount of Ram, you have to go to the much higher price 4GB sticks (I hope I got that part of the specs right in saying this).

    To get back on track of why everyone is griping at Apple, is because they are always deliberately limiting their machines so that you are forced into paying extra for adapters, higher priced ram, no options for matte screens, cutting off the ability to load one generation OS back so that you cannot continue to use your existing software with expensive upgrading. Look at the Mini. Why is Apple not offering a 7200 rpm HD as an option? It would increase the performance. Does this mean if I make the upgrade myself, after having to toss out a perfectly good hard drive to begin with, that I could void the warrenty if I try to save some money and do the install myself? The new base Mac Pros, another classic example. The limitation of 8GB of Ram (Apple's specs) on a "pro" tower - and Apple wants - how much?
    If that max limit was greater, without limiting the number of ram slots, thus allowing for the cheaper 2GB sticks, then I can almost see that as an option for myself because it would be more than enough for my needs. But not if it is limited to 8GB of ram, thus artifically shortening its lifespan.

    I feel continually held hostage to what Apple thinks I should have (wants me to have) rather than what I want to have. Maybe I don't fit into any definable market segment - however judging by a torrent of similar responses in these forums - I think I am not alone. I love the OS, and have much invested in software - so I am stuck in the middle where no middle is offered.

  21. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Somehow I can't imagine Apple's software developers - the
    people who write OS X, Final Cut Studio, etc. - all sitting at
    iMacs or Mac minis :)
  22. mingus51 macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Would be great to see Apple allow their OS to be housed in other machines or "hackintoshes"

    From what I have experienced with the Apple brand, there is a nice attention to detail not only with the OS but the hardware itself.

    However, if they truly are becoming less and less concerned with the tower market (which I can't really understand b/c there's such a demand for it in the photo/movie/music/developer field of work) it wold be nice if they could allow us to build our own without it being frowned upon or hard to do.

    Most people who do a little homework on the towers find they are best suited to buy the base model and replace/add to it with parts from OWC and the like...so we're more than halfway there.

    It's marketing 101 to raise the price as demand lowers to cover profit margin and supply chain costs, but it will cause them a backlash they might not actually see in their bottom line, but more in their overall brand image...and this could potentially become baggage for people entering the market and therefore they could begin to see slumps in iMacs, iPods, etc. b/c they have propogated a bad brand image with a small (yes) but very vocal and passionate segment of their consumer base.

    The "it just works" mentality won't always be worth the extra 20-40% markup and in my own, singular, humble opinion as a marketer and business owner, would recommend that Apple not rest on these laurels too much longer.

    Opening their OS to a build-your-own proposition could bolster the software lineup since the point of market entry becomes more reasonable
  23. Demonfart macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2009
    San Francisco
    For the original poster, I had the same question and I think it ultimately comes down to two things.

    1st reason - you've stated it, penis envy basically.

    2nd reason - I think what a lot of folks here are afraid of (me included, no doubt) is a massive change in demographic for the mac pro. If you skew the demographic to far towards "people that will never utilize the mac pro for it's intended purposes (i.e. using it for "consumer" needs like email and word processing, vs. using it for "pro" needs like broadcast design or as a video editing solution),then the poduct line will skew towards that demographic as well, which will lead to 'pros' getting shafted. Therefore, members will discourage the practice of buying a mac pro for less than intended usage cases, simply to 'keep the gene pool pure' in Apple's line of pro machines.
  24. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    People are just giving their opinions (both pro and against).

    If you buy one or not, there is not too much disagreement that the price/performance of the 2009 Mac Pro is worse then the price/performance of the 2008 Mac Pro.
  25. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    Goes both ways. Don't be afraid to suggest an iMac if it will meet the persons needs and don't be afraid to buy an iMac if it will meet your needs.

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