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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Will I Really ?

Buy the new Mac Pro ? Hmmm. I said this a few days ago before the big apple reveal of the New Mac Pro and most importantly, its price -

For me, the lack of dual 16X PCIe slots is simply a deal killer outright. Those slots are probably some sort of mini PCIe 16X bus, but if apple isn't sharing that spec with nVidia thats not good. Also consider that ANY card for those slots will be premium priced because of the limited product production. Thats another deal killer. The rest of the box is what I expected for the most part.

At $5k I don't see good ROI, especially if you have to add on another $1K + in TB storage & I/O. I mean really, not even an single extra drive hole ?

I have a 3.1 mac thats plenty productive. How ? the simple answer is I've upgraded it completely - 3 drive array and SSD have made a huge difference. Most importantly a new current gen GPU. SInce so much of the work I do uses the GPU that has been the critical difference in keeping this machine relevant. Most of my AE work isn't that CPU intensive and I have 2 more i7 macs to spread the load onto if I really have to. you know what ? I rarely do that. Most of my AE work these days doesn't entail long renders. AE has gotten much better as using machine resources is a part of that.

I don't need a 24 core machine. What I could use is a i7 6+6 core machine with a reasonable price.

so my need and want to upgrade to the new mac pro is pretty much zilch. if anything I'll get a last gen tower used or refurb so I have have the slots I need for stuff like my mxo2 and bmd extreme and my GPU's. Fact is those about to be old towers with much faster RAM and bus speeds to feed the CPU's / GPU's play more of a difference over older machines than some other differences. my laptop is a very productive machine for rough cutting and often finishing projects. Full PP cut, maybe some AE work, grade in resolve, mix, export to whatever. However, since apple has quit making 17" laptop's I'm again kinda screwed - I'll have to keep this machine working a lot longer than I'd anticipate since apple isn't making a replacement I want.

All of this will over time will probably force me off of OS X because apple simply isn't making a machine to fit my needs and wallet. Thats sad for all the money I've directly spent with apple, never mind all the apple product I've installed for clients back in my consulting days. I don't view a hackintosh as a reliable way to run machines you depend on everyday to make your living. Living one accidental upgrade away from not being able to work is just too scary. Apple should just licence OS X to run on a couple select towers and laptops from HP and be done with it and be done with it. They have lost us as customers already, just give us a graceful exit strategy.

Today I mostly stand by those words. I'm not editing 4K. No real plans for that right now because I don't have a BUSINESS model or need for it. As much as I drove the local market early into HD production this is a bit different. While Retina aka HDI displays will make 1080 become a somewhat postage stamp format on the screen of 2K or even 4K res, it still holds up. Its not SD. Part of my reasoning in getting a C100 was its much sharper as good as 1080 gets image. Its 4K downsampled to 1080 and I think that will stand up very well.

Don't get me wrong, I've seen a decent amount of 4K on 4K displays or projection and it makes 1080 look like VHS.... but we are very early into 4K. Its not really a consumer concern. So I'm taking the we'll see approach on this one. If anything I'll probably grab a used last gen Mac Tower to move production onto, if the price is right.  While the new Mac Pro is probably a very fast machine, it will drain your wallet just as fast. $3k for a 4/4 core machine doesn't make so much sense. I was hoping to see the 8 core machine come in at that price, but not using those stupid Xenon processors. Lets face it, Intel gouges for them and its a big part of driving the price of the machine. Apple slashed its costs on the cases and other aspects of the machine build, but has other expensive parts inside. Its part of how I imagine they killed the tower otherwise the case costs would of added an easy $500 onto the price of the machine. Of course the new machine also pulls a lot less power, especially when idle. Perhaps you might make back a few hundred in electricity useage on the new machines. Nice savings, but it doesn't offset their steep price. In many respects the 27" imacs are where I think a lot of production pro's will end up because the price is more palletable if you really want to stay on mac.