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Is the Mac Pro Dead?

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Peter Corbett
Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 10:39:18 pm

Just reading the Videoguys blog, who say the word on the street at NAB was that the Mac Pro line is dead and there won't be any update. Did anyone else at NAB get this feeling talking to Apple people or suppliers? I was planning to buy the biggest, baddest Mac Pro when the update came out, but this is looking very iffy.

It would a shame to let the form factor of the big MP die, but if it is going to happen, I must start looking elswhere for our FCP/PPro machines. If it wasn't for the fact we get so much video graphics and fonts in Mac format from the agencies, we would probably switch to PC.

The Post PC era
Tim Cook, the new head of Apple, now refers to the current technology trend as the “post PC era.” I happen to agree with him when he talks about the people who use technology to view, watch and participate in media. But, when it comes to actually creating, managing and working with media, we still need the strongest most powerful machines.
The buzz around NAB was that the Mac Pro is dead. I heard speculation about this at almost every booth I visited. Based on all the intel (pun intended) I could gather, I'm going to give it to you straight - We will not see new Mac Pro updates. I hope I'm wrong, just like I was a year ago with FCPX. But my gut tells me that it's a done deal. Sure, Apple could change their mind in a heartbeat, but I don't see it happening. What I could see, and what I would LOVE to see happen is for Apple to license Mac OS to HP and allow us to run OSX on one of the new HP workstations, especially my dream machine, the all-in-one HP Z1 workstation.

http://www.webvideoguys.com/nab2012-1.html

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Steve Connor
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 10:52:59 pm

I was an optimist about this, now I'm more a pessimist.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Professional"
Adrenalin Television


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Craig Seeman
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:10:27 pm

To me it was clear that it was dead when there was no mention of it in Apple's FCP In Action section of their site. Also the bare Red Rocket card, which is listed, has not link (since one would not get the bare card but the card in expansion chassis to use).

That does not mean workstation caliber update isn't going to happen (Xeon). Given that HP now has a Xeon in an all in one (albeit only 4 core). I wouldn't be surprised to see an iMacPro or a machine with a new form factor ("pizza box" of sorts). Tower is gone. That does not mean Power is gone. Thunderbolt will replace 4xPCIe but 16xPCIe will still be there (I hope) although I'm not sure whether it's one or two.

Current MacPros are still in stock online and the Apple store I went to yesterday still has one on display.

I think they're keeping the channel open for a purpose. They will end when new machines come out otherwise they could have killed it already.



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Shane Ross
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:29:46 pm

Adobe showed of CS 6 on PCs...and iMacs. Autodesk had Smoke running on an iMac in their booth, and in the AJA booth. AJA, Matrox, Blackmagic, MOTU...all have thunderbolt solutions. Touting them over other offerings.

The clues are everywhere. The MacPro is DOA.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Peter Corbett
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:32:28 pm

How about buying the new HP Z1 and running it as a Hackintosh?

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Andrew Richards
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:37:04 pm

[Peter Corbett] "How about buying the new HP Z1 and running it as a Hackintosh?"

Why the Z1? Isn't the Z820 the badass?

Best,
Andy


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 8:56:42 pm

Yeah I can't imagine buying a Z1, even though it is pretty cool, to run OSX when there's already the 27" iMac and I'm sure a more powerful iMac coming soon...

The Z1 is great for CG machines in tight spaces but to actually build one with Quadro 4000 graphics and decent CPU's etc jumps nearly 6 grand really quick!

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Andrew Richards
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:35:50 pm

[Shane Ross] "The clues are everywhere. The MacPro is DOA."

Dead Mac walking!

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:36:14 pm

[Shane Ross] "The clues are everywhere. The MacPro is DOA."

Yup. This is moving into the land of "no sh!t, Sherlock." I'm hearing my brand new 17" Macbook Pro is possibly last of breed, too. I guess that's probably why I bought it.


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Ben Holmes
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 29, 2012 at 3:52:48 pm

There can be little doubt that the Mac Pro is DOA. The only question is whether there is a new product coming to satisfy the needs of professionals, former Xserve users etc - a new form factor, maybe rack-mountable?

Who knows? One thing that's for sure, the software and hardware vendors at NAB will have NO CLUE it's coming, if it is. In the meantime, the iMacs are simply the best products to demonstrate on (they have thunderbolt which the Mac Pros don't) and are now powerful enough for a lot of pro use. Whether or not there are new 'power' machines coming, I'll certainly be using iMacs as edit stations in 2012.

My point is that it's easy to read too much into the prevalence of iMacs at NAB - and I'm firmly in the 'not sure I believe a replacement' is coming camp. All I cling onto now is Apple's continued march into the enterprise space - and maybe that they have a point to prove to pro users to stick with the platform. Hell - maybe the furore around FCPX makes the iMacRack Pro more likely....*

Ben

*wild and hopeful conjecture

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/community/communitydetails/?UserStoryId=87...


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Ben Holmes
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 29, 2012 at 3:59:37 pm

There can be little doubt that the Mac Pro is DOA. The only question is whether there is a new product coming to satisfy the needs of professionals, former Xserve users etc - a new form factor, maybe rack-mountable?

Who knows? One thing that's for sure, the software and hardware vendors at NAB will have NO CLUE it's coming, if it is. In the meantime, the iMacs are simply the best products to demonstrate on (they have thunderbolt which the Mac Pros don't) and are now powerful enough for a lot of pro use. Whether or not there are new 'power' machines coming, I'll certainly be using iMacs as edit stations in 2012.

My point is that it's easy to read too much into the prevalence of iMacs at NAB - and I'm firmly in the 'not sure I believe a replacement' is coming camp. All I cling onto now is Apple's continued march into the enterprise space - and maybe that they have a point to prove to pro users to stick with the platform. Hell - maybe the furore around FCPX makes the iRack Pro more likely....*

Ben

*wild and hopeful conjecture

Edit Out Ltd
----------------------------
FCP Editor/Trainer/System Consultant
EVS/VT Supervisor for live broadcast
RED camera transfer/post
Independent Director/Producer

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/community/communitydetails/?UserStoryId=87...


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Andrew Richards
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:32:48 pm

[Peter Corbett] "If it wasn't for the fact we get so much video graphics and fonts in Mac format from the agencies, we would probably switch to PC."

MacDrive works really well if that is all that is holding you back.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:34:45 pm

[Andrew Richards] "
MacDrive works really well if that is all that is holding you back.
"


That's cool, Andy. Thanks!


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Peter Corbett
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:39:13 pm

[Andrew Richards] "acDrive works really well if that is all that is holding you back."

It's more that they supply us with Mac-generated Photoshop PSD's with custom OSX fonts that we drop into the Premiere Pro or FCP timeline. I don't want to have to convert every graphic to a PC font if I'm going to switch to a HP Z1.

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Andrew Richards
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:46:16 pm

[Peter Corbett] "Mac-generated Photoshop PSD's with custom OSX fonts"

What fonts do you see that are Mac-only? TrueType, OpenType, and modern PostScript fonts are all cross-platform. You do need to have them installed though. PSDs are also cross-platform.

Best,
Andy


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 12:24:37 am

[Andrew Richards] "[Peter Corbett] "Mac-generated Photoshop PSD's with custom OSX fonts"

What fonts do you see that are Mac-only? TrueType, OpenType, and modern PostScript fonts are all cross-platform. You do need to have them installed though. PSDs are also cross-platform.

Best,
Andy"


Yeah, I've never had any problem going back and forth.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 2:38:01 am

Some fonts are Mac-only, stored in resource forks or bitmap suitcases.

You might look into software like FontXChange if you need to move Mac-only fonts to Windows.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Peter Corbett
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 3:35:05 am

Thanks guys I'll check out the font utility.

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Peter Corbett
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 4:40:06 am

Hmmm...tried FontXChange. Even with the Mac font converted to True Type Windows, the Mac Photoshop file does not open correctly in Windows Photoshop. I get some crazy font substitution. This is probably a question for another forum.

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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Thomas Frank
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 8:47:19 am

Guess guess lets be real here! Why is everybody using iMac on trade shows?
One is if runs on a iMac use it much easier to bring with you. Two Mac Pro has not been updated since what 2 years now?

Maybe we won't see a tower, would be a big mistake from Apple but people will get over it and move along.
On the quote from Tim Cook... If Apple was a "post PC" company as many think then we won't be seeing a iMac and laptops.

His comment has more meaning more in direction Apple is a entertainment hub not just computers.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 3:39:57 pm

Keep the hope alive, Thomas. I don't think you are right, but I would be very happy if you were.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 9:02:16 pm

I always rasterize my type in before sending layered .psd's anywhere - the last thing i want is someone subbing a font. Since my PC runs PS faster than my Mac I always create all my graphics there and send them to Mac with no problems.

And like everyone has said most fonts are cross-platform these days unlike the old print/postscript days of the 90s.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 10:57:29 pm

It is standard practice in the design world to rasterize type before sending it anywhere - be that from Illustrator (convert to outlines), Photoshop (rasterize), or any software which creates editable type. The last thing any designer wants is for the type in a project to get messed with. Even if the transfer occurs correctly (the font name stays the same, for example), there is always the possibility that the font metrics will get trashed in some way (letter spacing, line spacing, kerning, you name it) - and unless you send along a sample with exactly what the screen should look like, the next person in line would have no idea that there's anything wrong. Always convert your type to a bitmap version!!!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Peter Corbett
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 11:25:36 pm

It's more complicated for us. We get literally hundread of lower thirds and captions from the agency's graphic department which we which often have to ammend with small changes. Hence we can't rasterise. I need to directly edit the supplied Mac PSD's from tiem-to-time, so that's what I'm looking for in a PC solution.

Peter Corbett
Powerhouse Productions
http://www.php.com.au


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David Gagne
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 29, 2012 at 4:04:37 am

In terms of hardware, I don't really care for the iMac-esque HP model. If indeed the Mac Pro is dead, I'd look at custom built workstations from Acme Micro based on Super Micro boards.

Great gear at near-shelf pricing, no assembly required.

Build it as beefy as you need it.

I configured a Dual Xeon E5 system with 64GB ram and it's only about $4K.

http://www.acmemicro.com/ShowProduct.aspx?pid=10414


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Andrew Richards
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 29, 2012 at 2:50:01 pm

I see so many folks gushing about how easy it is to install hardware into the HP Z800, but how often are you really doing that? Sure it is nice for an integrator who is constantly in the guts of machine after machine, but for an end user, are you really opening up your tower that often?

Best,
Andy


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Eric Santiago
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 30, 2012 at 3:36:05 am

So true Andrew. Not sure where everyone's head space is but I'm too old to be sticking my hands in my BOXX/DELL at work.
I don't mind doing it to our Mac Pro's (since they are so easy to deal with), but I'm done with hot-rodding for Maya/Max :p
The way I see it, I buy a Windows box loaded and done.
If it breaks, its probably dated so a new comes along :)


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Michael Gissing
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 30, 2012 at 3:46:48 am

Maybe I am unusual but I have reused my rack mount cases for the past decade. Every so often I upgrade power supplies, usually overspecing and getting at least two mobos per power supply changes.

I then buy mobos, processors and RAM and build and install. Monitors, mice & keyboards also get recycled. I am doing a rebuild of my Fairlight PCs at the moment and doing my own Win 7 install as well. It is much cheaper and I get exactly the config that best suits the software.

With my MacPro I have done almost nothing except install Kona/ Decklink cards and an internal RAID. I have a G5 and it seems a pity to have such wastage when in PC land, I just change some of the guts.


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Gary Slickman
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 30, 2012 at 2:32:14 pm

Apple is so innovative and unpredictable. Countless times they have introduced amazing designs that have jolted, redefined and transformed the industry. New categories have been their mainstay since inception. The Mac Pro has been around for eons by most computer design standards- certainly Apple's.

With the explosion in app development and content creation how could they turn their back and have developers use PC's to codify and create Apple apps? Their biggest tech and marketing event has transitioned into the developer's conference.

Something on the lines of an iMac Pro- an all-in-one configuration or hybrid of the iMac and Mac Pro could be possible...Once again I believe they will raise the Genius Bar.



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Eric Santiago
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 30, 2012 at 3:15:10 pm

We stocked up on Mac Pro's at work so we are good for 5 years.
If they go with something like an iMac Pro, that too me would mean a HBA option for a CUBIX or an Apple made one ;
Plus the video power for the older 30s.
They killed off the Apple 30s so Im hanging on to the ones we have till they burn out.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 30, 2012 at 3:19:40 pm

[Gary Slickman] "The Mac Pro has been around for eons by most computer design standards- certainly Apple's."

While the internals have changed, radically in some cases, the external case design was introduced WWDC in June 2003 I believe.

In the debate over whether the MacPro (as a tower case design) is dead, any thought that it's NOT dead would be a long shot IMHO. Personally, we can speculate about what may come but that Tower is very likely dead.

Hmm, we haven't seen any major external design changes in Apple products for some time (even the iPhone 4S looks like the 4 and the iPad didn't change all that much). I wonder what Sir Jonathan Ive has been up to?



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Eric Santiago
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on Apr 30, 2012 at 6:06:00 pm

I wonder if anyones managed to gut an older Mac Pro and install their own parts ala Hackintosh.


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Joseph Mastantuono
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on May 2, 2012 at 7:01:26 pm

I know someone who gutted a G4 and still uses it as their main case.

Joseph Mastantuono
http://www.goodpost.net
Color Grading & Post Production Consulting


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Eric Fiegehen
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on May 8, 2012 at 6:56:14 pm

I'm betting on this "iMac Pro" packaging direction as well. There seemed to be alot of interest in the similar-looking HP product shown at Intel's NAB booth last month.

If they limit the external I/O connectivity to Thunderbolt on any new professional workstation product, Apple will lose alot of the people who kept them in business for years when they should have gone under (1990s). They could be successful by unleashing an iMac Pro model featuring a dual Xeon, capacity for lots of RAM and disk storage, integrated Quadro 4000 GUI card, an open (and accessible) 16-channel PCIe slot, plus a couple of Thunderbolt ports.

If their intention was to kill off professional market interest in OSX, it would have been far more apparent to everyone by now.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on May 8, 2012 at 8:03:00 pm

[Eric Fiegehen] "If they limit the external I/O connectivity to Thunderbolt on any new professional workstation product, Apple will lose alot of the people who kept them in business for years when they should have gone under (1990s)"

Thunderbolt is more or less 4xPCIe. There's already means to do everything from RedRocket to FIber Channel through Thunderbolt. As long as they keep a couple of 16xPCie for GPUs and such, I think it'll sell well.

While some might prefer discreet internal slots, being able to put a RAID, Monitor, Video I/O on one Thunderbolt connector should work fine. I'd hope such iMacPro has a couple of the new 4 lane Thunderbolt controllers so there can be 4 Thunderbolt ports. For many that would allow even more expansion than the current MacPros. Of course I'd also like to see one and two 6 core Xeon processor options.



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Chris Harlan
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on May 8, 2012 at 8:23:37 pm

[Eric Fiegehen] "If their intention was to kill off professional market interest in OSX, it would have been far more apparent to everyone by now.
"


Far more apparent? Kill off? I'm not really sure its a matter of intention as much as it is a matter of forgetting to put the food and water in the dishes in the next room, until one day the barking stops.


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Eric Fiegehen
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on May 8, 2012 at 8:28:45 pm

"Far more apparent? Kill off? I'm not really sure its a matter of intention as much as it is a matter of forgetting to put the food and water in the dishes in the next room, until one day the barking stops."

LOL - I guess some people require less subtlety, like a brick dropped on their heads.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on May 8, 2012 at 8:42:10 pm

[Eric Fiegehen] ""Far more apparent? Kill off? I'm not really sure its a matter of intention as much as it is a matter of forgetting to put the food and water in the dishes in the next room, until one day the barking stops."

LOL - I guess some people require less subtlety, like a brick dropped on their heads.
"


Hey man, I would totally dig it if a new Mac Pro came out, or even an iMacPro. I've just decided to stop torturing myself with thoughts of what if. I figure she's got herself a new boyfriend, and that's fine. I'm not gonna sit around and wait for the phone to ring. I figure if we run into each other in a couple of years, and we're both still single--well, who knows.


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Eric Fiegehen
Re: Is the Mac Pro Dead?
on May 8, 2012 at 8:54:37 pm

LOL - I like your outlook on things Chris. If you can't be optimistic, you can still have a good sense of humor...


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