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Re: John Siracusa perspective on Mac Pro Successor

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Walter Soyka
Re: John Siracusa perspective on Mac Pro Successor
on Mar 25, 2013 at 8:23:10 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I have argued in the past that Apple was never a part of the moon race. As a company, it doesn't provide the fastest, biggest, loudest, gas guzzling machines on the planet to get you to the moon. That has never been a part of Apple history, and I don't think it will be a part of their future."

I typically disagree with Jeremy on this point, because I believe that Apple has delivered some really serious workstations, particularly during the Intel era. I make some points about Macs being built with the fastest components available at the time of their launches; he makes some points about Macs not getting the same speed bumps that PCs do and having less expansion and worse GPUs. We end up kind of talking past each other.

Let me approach this conversation another way:

What is the point of a tower with dual Xeons, a 980W power supply, eight RAM slots, 4 PCIe slots, 4 hard drive bays, 2 optical bays, and a stack of heatsinks and fans, if not to be big and loud and guzzle gas and take you to the moon?

Why sell a Mac workstation at all if it's not suited to big CPU/GPU/memory/storage/throughput needs?

For the sake of argument, I can agree that Apple doesn't need to be the absolute fastest on the market -- but gadzooks, Apple hasn't been this far behind on high-end performance since the G5 clock speeds stalled eight or nine years ago.

[Craig Seeman] "The company that has pushed the envelope in the past has had to wait for a new envelope to push."

What company is that -- Intel? They're the brains behind Xeon and Thunderbolt, right?

If Apple's big advantage is that the build the whole system, hardware and software, what are they waiting for? Why aren't they designing and building the Xeon/Thunderbolt motherboard?

I have a lot of respect for Apple's other products. They're truly well-designed. They've elevated miniaturization to an art form. But given that power and size are inversely proportional, I don't understand the call from so many here for a smaller and less capable workstation. (Rack mounting is a red herring -- the Z8x0 rack mounts and holds more stuff than the Mac Pro.)

[Craig Seeman] "Some might argue about the long interim period between 2010 to the present but once Thunderbolt arrived in 2011 I suspect Apple decided to steer in that direction and, for reasons we can all speculate about, decided the next MacPro would have Thunderbolt to maintain the peripheral ecosystem."

I do see where you're going with this, but it seems to ignore the fact that Apple will gladly sell you a new Mac Pro today -- and it doesn't have Thunderbolt.

I just don't see how it's better for Apple's customers to have the option of a purchasing an out-of-date workstation without Thunderbolt instead of an otherwise-current workstation without Thunderbolt. Put another way, even if no Thunderbolt is a given, why must the rest of the machine languish with 2011 specs?

I honestly feel badly for everyone here who is stuck waiting on on the Mac Pro of the Future. I think that you are being under-served by your preferred vendor, and I sincerely hope that the wait proves worthwhile.

Walter Soyka
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