Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates Forum
Smaller Mac Pro
Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 22, 2019 at 12:27:24 am

Would there have been justification for Apple to produce a headless Mac design that fits between the Mini and the Mac Pro in their lineup? Something with comparable guts to an iMac or iMac Pro, maybe Core i9 based, but expandable and starting at a lower price? After all, HP makes Z4, Z6, and Z8 workstation configurations to accommodate different customer needs and price points.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by David Roth Weiss on Dec 22, 2019 at 3:35:47 am

Right now, the most powerful Macs are the new MacPro and the new MacBook Pro, with little in between, so the only choices are: 1) spend huge for the MacPro; spend pretty darned high for a laptop on the MacBook Pro.

I think Apple could make life easier for everyone if they’d create a workhorse in the middle, but there’s no doubt it would ultimately kill off lots of sales of many if the new MacPros, simply because most buyers in this market are, as Bob Zellin often laments, notoriously cheap.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy forum.



Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Herb Sevush on Dec 22, 2019 at 4:23:39 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Would there have been justification for Apple to produce a headless Mac design that fits between the Mini and the Mac Pro in their lineup? Something with comparable guts to an iMac or iMac Pro, maybe Core i9 based, but expandable and starting at a lower price?"

If Apple had competition for hardware running OSX they would have justification, because there is certainly a market for it. I'm in the market for it, as I've said may times here. But much like SONY during the tape era who would hold off on making lower cost machines with higher end specs until pushed by JVC, Apple won't produce anything unless pushed too by competition. Why make something smaller for less profit when they don't have to? They might re-evaluate after they see the initial sales on the nMac Pro, but then again they might not.

The specs for a MacPro lite are pretty obvious: i9X processor (or Threadripper if they want to go that way) Radeon vii or Vega GPU, max 128 gig memory, SSD system drive, Thunderbolt 3 etc. Cost between 5-10K. But don't hold your breath.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Erik Lindahl on Dec 22, 2019 at 5:35:46 pm

Definatly a market for it. Spec would include:

MacPro Mini
- 8-18 core i9
- 256 or 512 GB RAM tops
- Single MPX slot + 2-3 PCIe slots (4-5 slots in total vs 8)
- Single VEGA VIII DUO high end.
- 10 GbE still standard
- Price should start @ 3K.

xMac
- up to 6-8 core i7-i9
- 128 GB RAM tops
- Single MPX slot + 1-2 PCIe slots (2-3 slots in total vs 8)
- Single VEGA VII high- end.
- 10 GbE optional
- Price should start @ 1.5K

Problem for Apple is I think the above machines would canabalize the MacPro like crazy. Really the MacPro should start at 12-cores / XT5700 / 1TB / 48 GB.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Bob Zelin on Dec 22, 2019 at 7:26:27 pm

as Oliver has pointed out - there is competition, but people don't want Windows 10.
The HP Z4 can hold an NVidia RTX-2080ti, and is much less money than the expensive Z8.
And of course, custom builds, like the Puget Systems computers are also much less expensive, and are very powerful machines.

So yea - it would be great to see a $3000 Mac Pro - OR it would be great to see a $6000 Mac Pro as long as it included a 1TB SSD and a single AMD Radeon Pro Vega II GPU card. But for your $6000 you get nothing.

For me, it's going to be up to the third party hardware manufacturers - and what Apple will and WILL NOT let them do (based on that T2 chip). Can we stick in OWC RAM? Can we stick in an off the shelf AMD WX8200 ? I assume that countless companies will make "Promise like" metal drive enclosures, so you can just get your own internal drives (SATA or SSD) and just pop them in. But will this work, or will the hardware be blocked by the T2 chip. Same applies to assorted I/O cards and 10/40G cards from AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, Bluefish, ATTO, Sonnet, etc. Will Apple hold us hostage, forcing us to buy "Apple only" - or can we just stick anything in here - just like the old Mac Pros.

What I currently find "entertaining" is the YouTube influencer's videos. Everyone has a loaded 2019 Mac Pro, with TWO of the new Apple monitors (and 2 stands) - and they are shooting their videos with a phone. So there is no way that these people actually purchased those expensive systems. It's a commercial. An "influencers" commercial.

We will see - I am still excited about the 2019 Mac Pro. NAB 2020 will be a good show (I hope) because of this.

Bob

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com



Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Erik Lindahl on Dec 22, 2019 at 8:51:12 pm

@Bob Zelin:
You’ve got the whole YouTube influences somewhat backwards. A lot of them actually shoot with high-end cameras, many of them even use RED @ 8K and produce a ton of content. Many of the given MacPro influencers previously where editing with iMac Pro’s of the higher or highest configuration. One of them even travels with his iMac Pro due to turn-around times being so much fast than with a MacBook Pro - even the latest 16”. Some YouTubers are small productions houses with multiple editors all working off shared NVME SSD 10 GbE storeage.

With that said, you can very well be correct in that the higher end MacPros might not be for them. But if they spent 10,000$ on an iMac Pro they can very well spend that +X% on a MacPro.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Neil Goodman on Dec 23, 2019 at 3:49:32 pm

[Bob Zelin] "What I currently find "entertaining" is the YouTube influencer's videos. Everyone has a loaded 2019 Mac Pro, with TWO of the new Apple monitors (and 2 stands) - and they are shooting their videos with a phone. So there is no way that these people actually purchased those expensive systems. It's a commercial. An "influencers" commercial.
"


its kind of funny. like all these 20 year old girls/guys on youtube who were rented $10,000 computers who generally make, make-up tip videos are going to tell me why the new mac pro is worth it to me.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Bill Davis on Dec 23, 2019 at 5:14:48 pm

[Neil Goodman] "its kind of funny. like all these 20 year old girls/guys on youtube who were rented $10,000 computers who generally make, make-up tip videos are going to tell me why the new mac pro is worth it to me."

Yeah, it's every bit as stupid as 20-someting year old me telling the Broadcast Pros of my day that instead of waiting around until I could afford to pay $250 a quarter hour to get access to a 4 channel ADO unit in a bespoke production house to make useful videos, I could start producing stuff on DV with my Mac and make enough money to comfortably support myself and my family.

What was I thinking?

; )

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.



Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 23, 2019 at 6:26:29 pm

[Bill Davis] "Yeah, it's every bit as stupid as 20-someting year old me telling the Broadcast Pros of my day..."

I don't think that's a valid comparison. The people doing work on a 4-channel ADO back then were likely doing work that was quite a bit different on their systems and at a higher quality level than you were with your Mac and DV. I definitely DON'T mean quality in terms of the production value, but rather actual quality of the formats used, compression, etc. In their environment, real-time process was very important. You were able to balance real-time against cost with a tolerance for rendering.

Neil's issue is that a YouTube influencer has different demands and expectations for their business than he does in his. Maybe yes, maybe no. YouTubers like Jonathan Morrison work at a pretty high level in terms of technology and quite a bit higher than the standard fair on YouTube or Instagram. But are the demands the same as Neil's in the abstract? I don't know.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Neil Goodman on Jan 2, 2020 at 3:36:27 pm

[Bill Davis] "Yeah, it's every bit as stupid as 20-someting year old me telling the Broadcast Pros of my day that instead of waiting around until I could afford to pay $250 a quarter hour to get access to a 4 channel ADO unit in a bespoke production house to make useful videos, I could start producing stuff on DV with my Mac and make enough money to comfortably support myself and my family.

What was I thinking?

; )"


not a valid comparison - because in your case things got cheaper and eaier for you. In this case its a bunch of 20 something year olds with generally no idea what a real post production workflow pipeline is telling me I need this computer that is more expensive than anything else on the market.

All I need to do my job is a base level imac. Anything else is overkill IMO.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Bill Davis on Jan 2, 2020 at 10:19:11 pm

Yeah, but what seasoned pro has EVER listened to a 20 something telling them what they need with other than cautious curiosity?

That's not how the world works. Folks with long, hard earned experience always listen with a certain bit of tolerance to younger voices. It's the natural way of things. The gamers arguing compute efficiency through the lens of THEIR needs, may not be relevant to someone trying to suss out something like video workflows for a multicam weekly live broadcast show.

Nothing more natural than this tension. It's reflected here over and over. Totally normal.

It's why I keep writing from my odd little corporate producer prospective facing general deadlines that are non broadcast, but which (this week) might be WAY more sensitive to information security issues than fps ones, something those gamers won't give a whit about.

The more voices the merrier. But that means you need to figure out which ones are the ones YOU need to pay attention to.

And so it goes.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.



Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 23, 2019 at 7:36:29 pm

[Bob Zelin] "What I currently find "entertaining" is the YouTube influencer's videos. Everyone has a loaded 2019 Mac Pro, with TWO of the new Apple monitors (and 2 stands) - and they are shooting their videos with a phone. So there is no way that these people actually purchased those expensive systems. It's a commercial. An "influencers" commercial."

Obviously the majority of these are loaner machines from Apple. Unfortunately not all of these influencers are doing what they are supposed to do, which is clearly identify that fact.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Joe Marler on Dec 24, 2019 at 11:42:14 am

[Bob Zelin] "What I currently find "entertaining" is the YouTube influencer's videos. Everyone has a loaded 2019 Mac Pro, with TWO of the new Apple monitors (and 2 stands) - and they are shooting their videos with a phone. "

Below is YouTube influencer "iJustine" showing her Mac Pro. It was shot on three 8k Red Heliums:

https://joema.smugmug.com/Videography/IJustineMacPro/n-8Zq5gX/


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Jan 1, 2020 at 4:01:32 pm

There's always this Mac Mini Kickstarter project ☺

https://www.slashgear.com/animaionic-turns-mac-mini-into-a-workstation-with-external-graphics-cards-30604684/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Andrew Kimery on Dec 23, 2019 at 6:03:05 pm

IMO the iMac Pro is the de facto entry level Mac Pro and I don't think there is room for both the iMac Pro and a lower-tier, headless Mac Pro. The iMac Pro is an odd duck for Apple (who generally likes to keep clean lines between the 'consumer' and 'pro' hardware) so maybe in a few years the iMac Pro stops getting updates and, coincidentally, the Mac Pro lineup gets a refresh which includes a less expensive, entry level model?


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 23, 2019 at 6:29:17 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "The iMac Pro is an odd duck for Apple..."

There are already cracks, such as lack of support for the iMP and the XDR displays without an eGPU.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Andrew Kimery on Dec 23, 2019 at 7:00:26 pm

[Oliver Peters] "There are already cracks, such as lack of support for the iMP and the XDR displays without an eGPU."

Happy Trails, iMac Pro, you were a necessary patch in the lineup, and you filled that role admirably, but now it's time to return to the four-quadrant lineup implemented by the all-mighty Steve Jobs. 😉

I'm taking a complete stab in the dark here, but I'd guess most people that are looking to $5,000+ on a desktop system would rather buy a Mac Pro than an all-in-one iMac Pro.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 23, 2019 at 7:30:46 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I'm taking a complete stab in the dark here, but I'd guess most people that are looking to $5,000+ on a desktop system would rather buy a Mac Pro than an all-in-one iMac Pro."

I'm not so sure about that, considering that you still have to add a display to the Mac Pro. Plus many people will opt for the simplicity and lower power demands of the iMac Pro. I think there will continue to be room for both. If anything, there might not be a need for a high-end iMac. Or maybe the high-end iMac and iMac Pro get merged in the product line.

OTOH, Apple can't seem to figure out how to properly position the iPad Pro vs MacBook (now gone) vs MacBook Air vs 13" MacBook Pro.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Andrew Kimery on Dec 23, 2019 at 10:13:56 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I'm not so sure about that, considering that you still have to add a display to the Mac Pro. Plus many people will opt for the simplicity and lower power demands of the iMac Pro. I think there will continue to be room for both. If anything, there might not be a need for a high-end iMac. Or maybe the high-end iMac and iMac Pro get merged in the product line."

The iMac Pro always felt like a stop-gap solution to me. If Apple could've had the Mac Pro ready in 2017 I don't think there ever would've been an iMac Pro.

I know people also say, "It comes with a monitor" but not everyone needs a new monitor or necessarily wants the built-in monitor as opposed a 3rd party option. That's been a common gripe in the lineup for as long as I can remember (people wanting a mid-sized tower that was basically a headless iMac). If the entry level Mac Pro was $4500-$5000 I think that it would cannibalize the iMac Pro sales to the point that, at best, Apple would have two 'meh' selling products that were too close to each other in terms of price and performance.

Moving the iMac Pro down to become the new high-end iMac would be more in line with the product matrix Apple has had for the ~25yrs. A maxed out iMac would usually be close to the price of an entry level MP, but now that price point has been filled by the iMac Pro.


[Oliver Peters] "OTOH, Apple can't seem to figure out how to properly position the iPad Pro vs MacBook (now gone) vs MacBook Air vs 13" MacBook Pro."

Yeah, their mobile product matrix is a mess.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Eric Santiago on Dec 24, 2019 at 1:51:48 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I'm taking a complete stab in the dark here, but I'd guess most people that are looking to $5,000+ on a desktop system would rather buy a Mac Pro than an all-in-one iMac Pro."

My day job would not use the iMac Pro as a stop-gap.
Before I got here 20 years ago, they were told that the tower is where it's at.
So I had to wait till this month to upgrade two nMPs to the new Mac Pro.
They see the iMac Pro as the same as the iMacs purchased for the Social Media/Web dept. here.
Now the challenge will be to convince them to move the graphics (mostly print) nMPs out for the latest Mac Pros....this is where the middle Mac should come in.

Anyone in print here that has jumped into the newer MPs?


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 24, 2019 at 2:49:55 pm

[Eric Santiago] "Anyone in print here that has jumped into the newer MPs?"

But print requires a good display, which adds more cost to the Mac Pros even with non-Apple displays. OTOH, some of the photo bloggers seem pretty jazzed about how quickly the Mac Pros chew into raw photos. So it will likely depend on what type of print work is involved.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Andrew Kimery on Dec 24, 2019 at 3:06:51 pm

[Oliver Peters] "But print requires a good display, which adds more cost to the Mac Pros even with non-Apple displays. OTOH, some of the photo bloggers seem pretty jazzed about how quickly the Mac Pros chew into raw photos. So it will likely depend on what type of print work is involved."

Assuming they don't already have a display *and* they like/want the built-in display that comes with the iMac Pro.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 24, 2019 at 3:11:08 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Assuming they don't already have a display *and* they like/want the built-in display that comes with the iMac Pro."

I think you missed the context. Eric was talking about getting the print folks to switch from iMacs to Mac Pros.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Andrew Kimery on Dec 24, 2019 at 4:07:40 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I think you missed the context. Eric was talking about getting the print folks to switch from iMacs to Mac Pros."

I think he said the iMacs are being used by the social/web department and the graphics (print) department has 2013 MPs.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Oliver Peters on Dec 24, 2019 at 4:26:25 pm

You are correct. I missed that part.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Neil Goodman on Dec 24, 2019 at 8:19:08 pm

[Eric Santiago] "They see the iMac Pro as the same as the iMacs purchased for the Social Media/Web dept. here."

i hate this way of thinking and its why alot of editors are stuck on old equipment.

The last place i was at the post supe was putting together a bid for all new mac pros. we do shortform trailers and promos. at the very most we could easily do our jobs on regular old imacs and I bet his bid woulda been approved lickety split and we would have had all new computers that work. Instead we are on 2010 cheesgraters that cant be updated and the company wont spring for nMP's so the IT guy says were stuck. I ask him why he didnt do Imacs and he said because you guys need PRO computers.

i told him to get out of my bay.


Re: Smaller Mac Pro
by Eric Santiago on Dec 26, 2019 at 8:17:44 pm

At my day job, I get to do the leg-work and the long-ass docs on gear justification.
IT only gets to say a few things since I'm the one that does all admin/server integration.
We got lucky with the dozen nMPs back in 2013.
Not a single one died on us and no major issues other than upgrading all the D500s RAM to 64GB.
Those are the ones I was referring to on convincing the tall foreheads on upgrading to the 2019 MPs.
As I said, I got them going for replacing the D700s since they were used for heavy iron.
I would have honestly liked a few iMac Pros for other reasons.

Who knows maybe Apple will cave and bring out a middle Mac.





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