Why is everybody fighting about the MiniPro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mactrunk, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Mactrunk macrumors regular

    May 12, 2005
    I'm confused about all of the heat here about the new MP.

    It isn't even out yet.
    I love my current Large Mac Pro, but I'm open to new ideas.
    Not so long ago, I thought Apple was dumping the whole Mac Pro concept.

    I'm happy that they are continuing the line.
    The new MiniMacPro could be great.
    Not the vision I had, but I'm open to seeing what it can do.

    I'm waiting to see the actual, purchasable product.
    I'm waiting for the specs on the ones we can buy.
    I'm waiting for the prices.
    I'm waiting to see how it can be adapted to various situations. (storage, Pci, gpu, cpu, etc.)
    I'm waiting for actual users to report about their experiences.

    Might be a great new thing.... might not be....

    Time will tell.
  2. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Many would say that with this product, they already have :)

    People are upset with what the machine doesn't have. Obviously if they sell the thing for less than the cost of its parts when sold separately, it'll be a good buy, and even the detractors may buy it. (Dual W9000 FirePros would put the cost at > $7000). That still will not make up for the lack of PCIe slots, replaceable GPU, or internal expansion for a lot of people.

    I recently sold my Mac Pro 1,1 after 7 years of being a great machine (it's still a great machine, and making its new owner very happy). Even if I had dual Radeon X1900 in the thing when I bought it in 2006 (do they even crossfire? I don't remember), I'd still be really annoyed after around 2 years of owning the thing if I could not replace the GPU. For people with certain upgrade requirements, thew New Mac Pro is effectively disposable.

    People argue about what a professional machine is or is not, but regardless, there is a lot to dislike about this new machine that we know about even before it comes out. Will the price point or yet-unrevealed specifications make up for what people are annoyed about? You're right, we don't know. However, many people are going to feel the sting of what this thing lacks on day one.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    As a Mac Mini user (and past Mac Pro user) I am very happy with the new Mac Mini Pro. This will be an excellent machine for my purposes. Lets just see how Apple jacks the price up enough to scare many of us away.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Given the specs, its going to be anything but cheap. I really like what I see with the MacPro but I'm 99% sure its way out of my price range. Its not like I need the power or all that storage that's onboard.

    I do think we need to wait for the specifics from apple, i.e., when and how much
  5. DJenkins, Aug 2, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013

    DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Yes I agree for what it is is will be a well performing machine and is definitely a bold approach.

    However as a top-end workstation* it is only taking advantage of half of what a lot of people expected by only using a single CPU.

    In PC-land there already are and will be more machines that absolutely slaughter the new mac pro performance wise, and as a comparison my 3-4 year old hackintosh will still be slightly ahead.

    *I know there are threads arguing this but I haven't read them yet :eek:


    We already have a very good idea of what the machine can do, which is why people have such strong opinions of it, and some people aren't concerned so much about price as they are about building the most robust system possible. I think a preference towards OSX plays a big part in that.
  6. cgk.emu macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2012
    Exactly my thoughts. It's going to be interesting to see how much this thing costs.
  7. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...but that's partly because your "big box" Mac Pro represents a significant investment in the infrastructure to hold all that internal expansion. All those backplanes, connectors, fans, the power supply and all that structural aluminium add to the cost of the system, especially since nobody ever accused the Mac Pro of under-engineering.

    With a new Mac Pro, the GPU is half of the computer - 2 years down the line, selling or repurposing it and buying a new model (and getting a better CPU, faster RAM, bigger/faster SSD, next-gen i/o) will probably be by far the most economical option. Not forgetting all the businesses who get their stuff on a 2-3 year lease anyway... Like your old 1.1, your 2-year old MacProMini will still be worth money to someone and, if not, it will only occupy a fraction of the landfill of a tower system.

    Many users are - by design - going to be investing more in external expansion, so "just" replacing the computer becomes more like just replacing the GPU in a tower system (a pair of PCIe FirePro cards probably contain nearly as much hardware as a ProMini).

    The key is for Apple to make sure that the MiniPro costs a lot less than a classic Pro with comparable CPU, GPU, RAM and SSD - preferably enough change to buy an external HD rack etc. My guess is that it will be about the same price as the current "base" pro, but far higher specs.
  8. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    And if it does come in starting at $1500-$2000 for decent specs (at least 8gb ram and 256gb SSD) you are right. But IMHO I think people are dulusional if they think it is going to priced any lower than the previous Mac Pro.

    I would be thrilled if Apple released their own companion thunderbolt expansion chassis at the same time and the combined price point is equivalent to the previous models.
  9. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    I'll be surprised if the price points are dissimilar from what they are now.

    I'd also be surprised if there aren't some interesting expansion products that make the new design "work". Regardless, there will be lots of unhappy souls.
  10. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    I highly welcome the new product! I just wish I could afford to buy it =P
  11. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009

    Actually not. One key is not to compete against not some "could have been" Mac Pro but the existing ones. And it won't be "costs less" in that case but performs better than. So folks with old Mac Pros who are in the market to buy an major upgrade do they want to buy this or not. Classic really means previous generations.... just like it always has for previous Mac Pro model upgrades.

    In so far that they aren't trying to match all the properties of the older dual CPU package models another key is what percentage of Mac Pro buyers were in that camp. They are going to snag a subset of those folks. So a key factor is how many of those folks have workloads that now fit a single E5 (12 cores).

    I don't think Apple is aiming at folks who packed their current workstations to the gills with HDDs. It is far more aimed at folks who already or are in the process of making that move to external anyway. This is just as alignment with where they were going anyway. So I don't think they are going to discount primarily to generate larger spending budget for peripherals.

    Lower price to compete against alternatives and not leave so a substantive empty hole between iMac is more likely. Too high of a price and users will bolt to Windows alternatives. Most folks are going to pick Windows alternatives... that isn't new. Apple has had under 10% of the legacy PC form factor market for a couple decades now. So it is hitting that 5-10% target , not catching every single Windows user.

    Having two rather than one GPU is higher. So a key factor is whether that is a differentiator for a broad spectrum of users.

    The base is not likely to be "far higher" CPU specs. The base specs are going to be evolutionary not "far higher". A faster 4 core Xeon. 8GB RAM instead of 6GB. Storage is a trade-off of capacity for speed. Speed wise revolutionary. Capacity not; actually a substantive backslide.

    There will be a huge jump in GPU because not only number increased but that the current ones are several generations behind. ( probably was a bit calculated to keep the 2012 model's GPU at 2009 products. ). So a key factor is how many folks haven't upgraded GPUs in a while.
  12. clamnectar macrumors regular

    May 7, 2009
    Hey, did we figure out what processors are going in these things? Do you think there's likely to be a high-clock medium-core count version, like the 3.33 x 6? Like that 3.6 x 6 or something?
  13. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    It is macrurmors. It is like the "I've been wronged by Apple (sometimes even if I haven't bought the product) " wailing wall.

    All substantially new products that Apple introduces gets this kind of response. iPod ... pages of 'Fail .... it doesn't have X". iPhone ... pages of 'Fail .... it doesn't have Y". iPad 'Fail ... it doesn't have Z". Largely "I don't like it so therefore fail". Instead of trying to see what group Apple is targeting it is not them or there narrow subgroup so bad , fail. etc.

    It is a bit higher for new MP because it is a cancel coupled with a new product intro. The name recycling and overlap with old target market is overlooked. So there is also a round of "Apple canceled my product so they''ll fail" mixed in too.
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Given the timing and core count most likely Xeon E5 v2. ( they aren't out yet.).

    Probably. These are i7 variants of what is likely E5 1600 v2 line up.


    replace the first column with E5 1620 v2 , E5 1650 v2 , and E5 1660 v2 and likely looking at Apple's "good, better , best" standard config line up if Apple is going to try to hit something close to the old single CPU package's price points.

    A pretty good chance that 12 cores (an E5 2600 v2 model) is a BTO option along with the W9000 equivalent card specs highlighted at the sneak peak.
    Those configs will likely be up in the current/old dual CPU package price zone.
  15. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    i think all the fighting stems from a fundamental lack of understanding the situation.

    1/2 the people are talking as if they are sitting around the design table and have some sort of say in the direction of the mp line.

    the other 1/2 are seeing what has already been made (i.e.- discussion time is over and done with) then trying to understand why certain decisions have been made.

    so take those two sides and try to have a conversation.. wheeeee!!11!


    i really don't know why i think this but i don't think i just invented it but 3.5 x 6 was brought up..
    i wish there was something like a 4.5 x 4 out there but that's just me inventing things ;)
  16. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    I'm pretty much resigned to buying one as all my Macs are at least 2 years old and some are far older. But I am holding my breath until prices materialize. I am sure I will be able to afford one. Just hoping that the one I can afford will be the max config?!

    I do think dumping the dual CPU for dual GPU is a few years premature.
    Graphics and video content creation apps support that kind of workload provisioning, but most other applications do not yet.

    I think it is a bit of hubris that Apple thinks it can drive developers to migrate their current products to openCL with this. Heck they pretty much said as much at the WWDC!

    As far as PCIe chassis, I highly doubt that is waiting in the wings at 1 Infinite loop. Though there are plenty of 3rd party options availabel. There aer even a few TB chassis which incorporate PCIe backplane with HDD controllers, so you can get most of what you lost moving from a real Mac Pro to the mini pro.
  17. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    One point is that - although there are good supporting arguments for the design of the New Pro - it is a risky move that is not going to please everybody.

    I think that's quite deliberate - one of Apple's distinguishing features is that they are prepared to stick their neck out. The risk is they may lose customers. The benefit is that, if they get it right, they steal a march on all the more conservative competitors.

    Apple have a history of it - first to drop floppy discs from laptops, and then desktops. Dropping all i/o except USB from the iMac. Cinema displays with no knobs to twiddle? A phone with only one button!? A laptop with no optical drive, SSD only, completely reliant on wireless communication? A pro laptop with no spinning HD, no Ethernet...?

    (Not to mention all those computers in plain aluminium cases with no go-faster-stripes, no stickers proclaiming their features no exciting names like "HTX3600BE/C-2"!)
  18. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Pros have never been happy with anything Apple has announced. Ever. Pros always find something wrong with it and declare Apple is dead in the Pro market.

    Apple could have come out with a full tower with six PCI slots and dual and quad processor options and people would have complained the machine was too big and too expensive, and had too many PCI slots.

    Just remember, whatever the announcement, Apple will never win. Really the basic problem is every pro wants an entirely different machine so whatever Apple announces there will be people who are unhappy and are very loud about it.
  19. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    yeah, it's risky for sure but it's possible it would have been even more risky for them to try to keep the current mp going.. regardless-- i like that about apple.. i'm impulsive etc.. that's one of the main reason for me deciding to buy apple years ago when i first started bringing cad into my work (and back then, cad was nearly nonexistent on mac but i did it anyway.. and it's worked out good so far)

    so for me, i expect apple to make the new mac as they did.. others feel differently and i can accept that view for sure.. but either way, personal fights over the matter are useless (though maybe a certain dark fun comes out of it ;) )
  20. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    OK, but in the light of recent successes like the iPhone, MacBook Pro, etc. you should not forget that sometimes Apple stuck its neck out—only to get a stiff neck because there’s some harsh wind blowing. Think of the
    • G4 Cube
    • Newton
    • Pippin
    • Puck Mouse
    • Xserve/Xserve Raid
    All have been products where Apple tried something different and the market just said: Meh! Don’t like it because of [put your favorite reason here].

    What actually puzzles me is the discrepancy between the direction Apple takes with it’s software and the hardware. Apple prices their Pro application extremely competitive. FCPX, LogicX, Aperture … they are all very cheap and thus target the prosumer market as well as the pro user market. Clearly they want to put their software into as many hands as possible.

    The prices of most Macs has been quite stable over the recent years or even went down. And even if the prices did not went down, Apple built successors of much higher quality. Just compare the iBook/Macbook line with the 13" MacBook Pro or Air. Again, I think their intention is to put their hardware into as many hands as possible.

    But then comes the new Mac Pro and all the components individual prices point to a higher system price level than before - or perhaps just the same 2500 for an base configuration which needs some external augmentations via USB/Firewire thus making the whole system most like more expensive.

    Well, we don’t know the final prices for each new Mac Pro … so it’s all just speculation.

    So here is my stupid idea:
    After Apple introduces the new Mac Pro as a high end system, they will take the new Mac Pro form factor and offer the so called “new Mac” (without the Pro moniker). It will have a consumer chipset which supports Haswell consumer CPUs, consumer GPUs (one or two), have less Thunderbolt ports but otherwise uses the same gestalt.
    This is what I would like to see as the new Mac (or MiniPro or Xmac). Target the system at the 1500-2000 $ price range and it would perhaps be another top seller.
  21. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    oh, you mean the mac mini?
    (and i don't see why they would put it in the macpro shell.. wouldn't make sense)
  22. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    Well, the Mac Mini with a decent GPU, a non mobile CPU, four memory banks and a fan design which is able to move some heat out of the system if you push it for a prolonged period.

    Either scale up the Mac mini components and keep the Mac mini enclosure or scale down the new Mac Pro components and keep the new Mac Pro enclosure. I’d prefer the latter. :)
  23. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    yeah.. don't get me wrong, i do see what you're saying and can see you're describing a computer that apple doesn't make.

    it's just that i don't foresee(or ever really saw) them filling that type of gap..

    the mini, imac, mac pro lineup is all i think we'll be seeing for at least the next few years.
  24. tomvos, Aug 2, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013

    tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    Too bad, because they did so once. In 2004 they introduced a Power Mac G5 (late 2004) based on the U3Lite/Shasta chipset of the iMac G5, had a soldered G5 chip, was only single CPU but it had space inside and could take even a nVidia 6800 Ultra.

    In my opinion, this was the closest Apple ever got to the fabled xMac. And they sold it for 1500 US $. It was slower than the "full" Power Mac, but the price performace ratio was (IMHO) perfect.
  25. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    oh. i never even knew about that computer. (and i had a g5 during that time)

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