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Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?

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Steve Martin
Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 12, 2012 at 12:45:15 pm

I've built my business using Apple computers and software products, own stock in the company and have in general been a fan. But I have to confess that I think the point is coming where I have to part ways with Cupertino when it comes to professional tools and applications.

It turns out that FCP-X was indeed a sign of things to come. I know it's not news that Apple seems to be abandoning the pro market, but I guess I was hoping to the contrary. But with their "non announcement" of the ever so slightly updated Mac Pro towers, even I have to consider other tools more seriously.

Like many, I've taken a wait and see attitude while I tinkered and explored other platforms like CS6. But with aging editing systems and the need to upgrade in the foreseeable future, I may need to look at Windows systems and rethink the tools I use to serve my clients.

I haven't touched windows since XP but I've heard that 7 is quite good. I guess I'll be finding out soon.

Sighhhhh.... LIke the famous philosopher Rosa Rosa Dana once said, "It's always something!"

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 12, 2012 at 2:34:04 pm

Whar is new iMac, whar!?!?!?


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:41:34 pm

I was blown away at NAB when a lot of high end guys talked about cutting on an iMac. I don't know if you saw Graid's tent but they had iMacs running four streams of full HD video using a breakout box from mLink and (I think) Nvidia 4000s. I haven't seen any official releases on this stuff, but that would be plenty for me.

The sad thing is Apple dragging us along, which I hate, but I still have trouble putting my faith in the alternative. Windows 7 has a lot of people excited, but Windows 8 sounds like the disappointment of Windows Vista all over again. And if Windows isn't moving right, it might make the spendy trip to a new OS/Hardware an expensive disappointment.

I'm uspet with Apple too, I'm planning on switching to Adobe on my next upgrade, but at this point I have too much invested in Apple Hardware and my disappointment with them hasn't overcome my lack of confidence in Microsft yet. Plus they have Thunderbolt and still make great products, crossing my fingers!

Anyways, that's my impression so far.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:58:12 pm

I too have been waiting a long time for an update. Really disappointed in the MacPro announcement - little change and no TB!!!!

They say late in 2013 we'll see new MacPro's (again) and new iMacs.

I need something NOW!

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Mark Suszko
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:47:48 pm

I saved up for the current imac model, and I could go ahead and get that ordered and be happy with it... but I've been waiting to pull the trigger since April, and holding off to see if a new imac was in the offing. Now the rumor via Pogue is an Apple exec claims it's a year away. This is very frustrating. You just know in your bones that as with iphones, you'll buy one only to see a newer model drop not soon after. I think I give it until the end of june. I got stuff I wanna do, now: I can't wait a year just to avoid buyer's remorse.


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Bill Davis
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 1:57:33 am

I just don't get all this angst.

Once upon a time, I had this thought that I believed was foundational truth...

Only the biggest MacPro will allow me to edit quickly and easily without delay and be professional.

Then I made my mistake.

I ordered FCP-X without first having an Open CL capable card in my MacPro. So the only hardware I had that would run X was my then new MacPro laptop (last model prior to the thunderbolt release.

So I started learning X on that.

Funny thing happened then.

I found I was editing significantly faster with X on my laptop than I ever could before on my MacPro. At first it was just not having to render stuff every time I moved something. Then, as the months rolled by, I started changing a LOT of my editing habits. Shifting my work away from the timeline and into the Event Browser so I could use decisions across multiple projects, leveraging search and sort more efficiently - using the share menu to make it easier to get Client approvals.

The day to day functional work stuff that I was doing - I was doing differently because the new software had changed how things could be done.

Here I am a year later, and I honestly have just totally dropped most of my old way of thinking.

Power editing for me is no longer something that I have to seen as "crippled" unless I can plant my butt in front of a big, honking desktop machine.

Now it's something I just do no matter what machine I'm at - or where I happen to be.

X to me feels like having a really nice digital keyboard with great Steinway samples built in. I can make perfect piano sounds, with an excellent piano tactile experience - an experience extremely close to what I'm accustomed to in playing a big, heavy piano - but without the big, heavy piano.

So I'm a happy guy.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Craig Seeman
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:17:36 pm

First it's good to know from Cook himself that there will be a MacPro replacement. It's likely going to be a major case design using new components.

I think the reason why Apple didn't update the MacPro is that they'd rather have pent up demand build and get people off of older hardware as quickly as possible. Given the number of people who buy MacPros and how long people use them before upgrading and how people avoid system upgrades by just upgrading the GPU, this makes sense for Apple's business even if we don't like it.

There are people still using 2006 MacPros as their primary workstation in 2012. There are people (like me) who bought ATI 5770 or 5780 cards to run FCPX or get improved support for Motion even if such cards aren't officially supported in older MacPros.

If Apple had kept the case design and done a "simple" upgrade to Sandy Bridge Xeon E5, SATA III (6Gb), people would buy them and hold on to them for years. Apple doesn't want that.

Given how Apple is moving away from user upgradable internals, and how they've learned in their consumer market that there's big money to be made as people upgrade every year or two, Apple may be moving to that model in their computers. People have complained about how hard it is to replace the HD in newer iMacs. The new MBP Retina doesn't even have user upgradable RAM. Basically Apple is probably moving to shorter product use cycles.

My guess is the MacPro replacement is going to be a good beast but have much fewer internal upgrades to push people into buying new systems every two years instead of having the option to go 6 or 7 years (e.g. 2006 MacPros) before upgrading. That's how they turn a low volume sales item into something that's profitable for them. It also allows them to leave behind old hardware compatible much faster as per FCPX's need for newer GPUs.

It's not whether you (or I) will like this business model but I do think this is their new business model. As I've posted elsewhere, people are wrong in saying Apple is just focused on consumers. More accurately Apple is focused on commodity and they will make their "Pro" systems commodity based (short life, frequent replacement). In order for them to move to the new business model they chose to stop updating the current MacPro. Unlike what they did with FCP7, they're still selling a slightly revised and trimmed down version of the 2010 MacPro for those who must make a MacPro purchase.

Also note that with Thunderbolt, expansion potential (at least 4xPCIe 2) is available now throughout their product line so many people are finding the top iMac and now the MBP Retina, with two Thunderbolt ports, plenty fast enough for most (but not all) typical post production needs. They need a more compelling motive to push MacPro Replacement sales. Hence a major redesign on the way. I suspect the box will meet Pro needs and a broader market base.

When you have a product that sales poorly (as MacPros do) you generally only have a couple of options. You either drop the product or you find a way to improve it to increase sales. Personally I'm happy that Apple is taking the latter approach. This does put me in a bit of a bind. Note that even the iMacs haven't been updated in over a year now. I'm not liking that but I think I do have an idea where Apple is headed and they have not abandoned Pros.



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walter biscardi
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 12:51:23 pm

[Craig Seeman] "First it's good to know from Cook himself that there will be a MacPro replacement. It's likely going to be a major case design using new components."

No, actually he didn't. What Tim Cook said was: Although we didn’t have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year

He didn't say "We're showing a new Mac Pro next year." He said "we're working on something really great for later next year." What is that "great thing?" Could be a Mac Pro, could be an iMac, could be something else entirely. This is reminiscent of Steve Jobs, "The next FCP will be awesome" comment. It wasn't FCP as we knew it and it's not exactly getting an awesome reception from the Post community. It only fueled people's interest in Adobe, Avid and Autodesk.


[Craig Seeman] "If Apple had kept the case design and done a "simple" upgrade to Sandy Bridge Xeon E5, SATA III (6Gb), people would buy them and hold on to them for years. Apple doesn't want that.
"


Then just get rid of the computers entirely and don't waste people's time and money on an outdated machine. Drop it from the product lineup and when that "great thing" is ready, release it.

By doing nothing at all and not showing a road map, many people I know, myself included, are moving to PC based workstations as we're tired of waiting to whatever it is Apple wants to show. I'm fully expecting a short Mac Pro or a tall Mac Mini with no internal cards and very little expandability as the "really great thing" they're working on for next year.

It's just more games from Apple on the top of the line workstations so I'm going with the known entity, the 27" iMac and all my "big iron" workstations will be PC.

Not sure why folks keep "apologizing" or for Apple. They know what they're doing. They're a consumer company, they don't take orders from Enterprise customer, they dictate. That's the clear message that came out of the Steve Jobs Biography and it's clear the Apple management culture is following that same model to a "T."

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Craig Seeman
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 1:45:08 pm

[walter biscardi] "He didn't say "We're showing a new Mac Pro next year."

No he didn't but the clarification was that it was relevant to the MacPro and not the iMac. I doubt it will be a MacPro. It'll probably be what Apple perceives as a replacement "professional" computer.

[walter biscardi] "Drop it from the product lineup and when that "great thing" is ready, release it."

That's the mistake they made with FCP7. They've learned. They're not repeating that. Even though the MacPro will be replaced, they're keeping the current one on sale, UNLIKE what they did with FCP7.

[walter biscardi] "PC based workstations as we're tired of waiting to whatever it is Apple wants to show. "

And I bet many more people aren't moving. I can't predict sales but my hunch is Apple is in the market to increase sales, revenues, profits. Generally they're pretty good at that. They've had their "Cubes" but by and large they've been successful.

[walter biscardi] "I'm fully expecting a short Mac Pro or a tall Mac Mini with no internal cards and very little expandability as the "really great thing" they're working on for next year."

My hunch is similar. It depends on what's important to you. For me it's enough Xeon CPU power for faster rendering along with GPU power. I'm not wedded to a design. Function is important. The MBPr is pretty much locked down, even the RAM, yet I think it will sell well to Pros. Certainly Pro Photographers and, given the ports and screen, mobile video post pros as well. In fact it would also be a good computer for location production with a small high resolution monitor like that.

You don't like Apple's business model. That's fine for you. I buy the best computer for more work. I deal with Windows daily. I prefer Macs. I don't like waiting until next year to find out the details but I'm not inclined to go Windows only either. I have a hunch I'll mostly like what Apple does and work around any limitations . . . just as one has to do with Windows.



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Steve Martin
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 2:36:29 pm

I agree with you Walter. I am not married to any company - other than my own. I'm not in business to serve Apply, HP, Adobe or anyone else. I need to make decisions about the tools that will help me serve MY CLIENTS. They are the only ones that actually matter.

Do I "like" macs? Yes. Do I "need" them? Maybe not.

20 years ago, I edited on a Video Toaster with an AmiLink (pseudo CMX style editor) based A/B Roll system. The move to a Media100 system in mid 90's was a difficult shift in workflow, but worth it. The same was true for the transition to FCP 10 years ago.

So being versatile on multiple platforms is probably smart. And with Adobe's Creative Cloud subscription, I can install on either platform. The more I play with Premiere, the more I like it for how I serve clients. Tempting... very tempting indeed.

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!


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Richard Taylor
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jun 15, 2012 at 6:06:29 pm

Tim Cook might not have said Mac Pro but Apple confirmed a new Mac Pro for 2013:

"Apple said today that it is working on new models and designs for its Mac Pro desktop that will be released in 2013."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2012/06/12/apple-says-new-model...

Apple has a road map with a new Mac Pro for 2013.

Many people I know, myself included, will continue with the Mac platform. Whether that will be an 8 core iMac (!), a Retina MacBook Pro, or a 2013 Mac Pro remains to be seen. Probably a combination.


-Richard Taylor


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John Baumchen
Re: Anyone else disappointed in Apple's "new" Mac Pro?
on Jul 12, 2012 at 7:48:38 pm

I've been building my own Windows based edit systems for the past 12 years now. The best part about it is that I'm not tied to any one company so I'm not reliant on when THEY want to improve anything.

I'm also free to pick the best parts available, hmm.....I like THAT motherboard, THAT CPU.....THAT video card....THAT memory.......you get the idea.

Win7-64 has been great. Do I get the BSOD? maybe one a year.....if that. Using teh Adobe suite has been sweet. Apple?....well if I want and apple, I'll just go to the grocery store.


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