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Monday, June 11, 2012

Near Non-Update Of Mac Pro Towers By Apple Today : UPDATED

Today's WWDC announcements of iOS was amazing. The new laptops are very cool including the new Retina Display Mac Book Pro 15.4".

Wait, where is the 17" ? Nope, nadda, zilch. I actually edit video on my laptop, and do graphics and do web and do stuff that NEEDS a 17" screen. 15" is too small for my work and really if there was a 19" model I'd buy it. According to numbers around the web the 17" model doesn't sell very well when you compare it to the 15" models. Of course the people who are buying 17" models, the top of the line model are doing the serious work. Yes you can try to edit on a 15" screen but its no joy.

Then there is the near non-update of the towers. Its the same case and mobo as the previous models. There has been a minor speed increase but this machine is still using an 18month old CPU. By anyone's standards thats REALLY old. There is no thunderbolt connectors, no USB 3.0 on the machine. They didn't even make a half assed attempt by adding in a custom PCIe card with those options, not even as Build To Order. 

If you look through the store at the options, no nVidia GPU's. I mean that is completely unacceptable to be pushing off a cheap 2 year old ATI / AMD card as the only BTO option. Even the iMacs have new AMD GPU's and a couple of options with them. 

Apple is slowly killing off its high end market through attrition. They are not going to come out and say it, but they are. Just look at FCP X. Now its perfectly possible that Apple does beef up the iMac with a nVidia GPU as an option ( as they have stated ) and a 6core i7 comes along too as an option. For a lot of casual to midlevel editors and editing jobs that's more than good enough. For those of use who need dual or more GPU's and PCIe based cards for external RAIDS, Fiber, Video I/O, ect its pretty painfully obvious apple doesn't value us as customers. I think its more like they are gently telling us to look elsewhere. 

The quadcore upgraded to 6 core base machine is $3k. You can easily build a i7 6core for half of that and have a lot more RAM, more drive space and a better base video card like an nVidia 580 that screams with Adobe's latest CS6 offerings. 

As some one who has made a good part of their living using Macs starting with a 9500 PPC 120mhz with Media100 setup, I've been one of those customers most business die for. I'm loyal, I'm invested in the platform, I have multiple devices and I'm will to spend for high end machines. The reality is that Mac towers just don't have ANY bang for the buck like they once used to. If you price your product out of the market you eventually kill it off. I'm sure Autodesk that has put a lot of resources into Smoke on Mac including the latest major overhaul is just plain pissed. They too need big iron for best performance as do apps like DaVinci Resolve, SpeedGrade, Premiere Pro and After Effects amongst others.

As I've said, an iMac is ok for middle of the road work but not for demanding high end work. I have an iMac quadcore just for the record. I use it all the time for stuff like dumping SD cards, syncing sound, rough cutting, Photoshop, ect. For finishing though its all being moved to the Mac Tower I have with dual GPU's to get through what needs doing with speed. Now the iMac 4 core is, just on the CPU as fast as my older 8core but it lacks everything from dual GPU's to fast internal storage. I have 5 SATA drives in the tower. I bought bare drives and plugged them in and it was simple. If I wanted to do that with the iMac I'd first have to upgrade to a model with TB ports, then buy an external case for the drives. Thats a LOT more expensive.

The reality is I'm going to keep my 8 core tower working as long as I can. If the next rev of iMacs proves fast enough, I may consider them but in reality I may have to take a much more serious look at the PC side and its ultra crappy Win7 or 8 OS. 


Apple MAY of leaked some info via David Pogue that new iMacs and Mac Pro's won't happen until 2013. Source : Seems to me that apple will more than likely update iMacs for oct - nov time frame for holiday buying season. Mac Pro's probably won't see anything until after then because its not exactly a holiday gift item for most users.

Given the near 100% negative reaction, apple may suddenly find motivation to do better. We'll see what kind of damage control they do over the next few days.