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  • The Mac Pro future. Finally some sense from Apple!

  • Chris Harlan

    April 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Videoguys has the scoop on the future of the Mac Pro and it is startlingly brilliant!

    https://www.videoguys.com/blog/apple-plans-release-late-fall-osx-licensed-systems/

  • Douglas K. Dempsey

    April 1, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Haha, April Fools we are.

    Doug D

  • Mark Suszko

    April 3, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Wouldn’t it be cool if the next Apple workstation used a modular, plug-together, Lego-like architecture, where you could stack RAIDS, cooling systems, Graphics and memory in multiple combinations? Would make user customization easier while keeping the individual components relatively proprietary.

  • Shawn Miller

    April 3, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    [Mark Suszko]

    Wouldn’t it be cool if the next Apple workstation used a modular, plug-together, Lego-like architecture, where you could stack RAIDS, cooling systems, Graphics and memory in multiple combinations? Would make user customization easier while keeping the individual components relatively proprietary.”

    Isn’t a flexible, user configurable machine the exact opposite of Apple’s design philosophy though? It seems like soldered-in GPUs and a nonstandard CPU case makes the ultimate statement about what Apple thinks a workstation should be.

    EDIT: I should have added that I’m not saying that the nMP isn’t a great machine… it just looks like Apple’s vision of a powerful desktop isn’t built around the idea of user configuration or flexibility.

    Shawn

  • Craig Seeman

    April 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I think Apple is carrying through their business model with all their other systems. T

    hey want the user to replace the machine rather than extend the life. I think Apple’s approach towards modularity is with its external connectors such that any Thunderbolt device can be moved between any of their other computers. In fact the latter really is another way to encourage the former as once the update an interface on one system it “encourages” the user to upgrade all their other systems to have the same interface.

    In addition there seems to be a decline in “speed bump” updates models.
    Mac Pro late 2013
    Mac Mini late 2014
    iMac late 2015
    MacBook Air early 2015
    Only the MacBookPro seems regular and that involved TB3 and Touch bar between 2015 and 2016.
    So it does seem updates are more likely with interface changes.

    Then there’s the odd MacBook 2010 to early 2015 and then early 2016 (and nothing yet for early 2017).

  • David Mathis

    April 3, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    I like to call it built in obsolescence which seems to be the new tend with everything now. Back in the day almost everything was built with pride and was made to last. Now everything is so [censored] expensive besides becoming obsolete the minute you buy it. A certain word comes to mind and is associated with money. To be fair, it is not just one company or industry involved. I now feel like I am a, well you know the word.

  • Tim Wilson

    April 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    [Craig Seeman] “They want the user to replace the machine rather than extend the life. “

    [David Mathis] “I like to call it built in obsolescence which seems to be the new trend with everything now.

    I think the opposite is true. If Apple believed in obsolescence, and had a business model built around replacing machines, then they’d produce machines more often, with unambiguous cases for upgrading. In other words, the exact opposite of what they actually ARE doing. What they ARE doing is producing machines less and less frequently, with relatively little reason to upgrade.

    That’s not MY opinion. That’s YOUR opinion. ???? Meaning the group as a whole, not necessarily you fellas, Craig or David. It’s all through this forum, and across the web: people are making nifty livings with 2009 Mac Pros, 2015 iMacs, etc etc. Not only was the 2013 Mac Pro not enough to make some people move off their 2009 Mac Pros, it chased thousands of people who were sure they were Apple customers for life off the platform altogether.

    Apple is nowhere near alone in this of course. HP’s top of the line Z workstation is little changed since 2009, and since it already has a 4K touch screen that looks vastly better than anything on an MBP, I’m not in a hurry to upgrade my 2 year old Dell XPS 15, which I don’t actually see Dell being in a hurry to upgrade anyway.

    The reason why all this works? Because Apple, HP, and Dell (at least in their professional models) are building computers that not just last physically (which used to be anything but a given for all 3 companies), but which continue to offer solid performance for media formats that didn’t even exist when these computer models were introduced. Gotta give the software companies credit for that, as well as low-weight, high-impact formats like ProRes and DNxHD…but really, I don’t see ever going back to the days of EXPECTING to update a computer every 18-24 months again, do you?

    Heck, look through the COW archives. There were stretches where we were buying new computers EVERY YEAR.

    But now? I think one reason why Gary’s April Fools blog post struck such a chord is exactly because so many people would LIKE to see something like he’s talking about — not necessarily the licensing aspect, but the idea of an Apple that seems aggressively committed to staying out in front.

    Again, this isn’t a criticism of Apple, or a “they should be more like HP” or anything like it. It’s to acknowledge that NOBODY is expecting you to upgrade your computer regularly, because NOBODY is releasing upgrades on a regular basis, and when they do, the releases are not necessarily compelling enough to make people pony up — not because the new ones suck, but because they old ones are still more than doing the job.

    I think that this is in fact the biggest change in our industry, honestly, pretty much since it began. The whole thing used to be driven by computer upgrade cycles: gone. It was driven by software upgrade cycles: gone. (You’re getting the upgrades regardless, and unlike years past, don’t need to upgrade your computers or other hardware to take advantage of them.) It was driven by having to upgrade storage to meet demands of new formats: not gone, but certainly going, going.

    It’s one reason why so many vendors are sitting out NAB this year. I haven’t seen anything like it since the Bird Flu Epidemic of 2005. (Which sounds hilarious but is completely true.) The odds of anybody going to the show HAVING to make a purchase happen NOW have dropped to almost zero. There are still a bunch of great reasons to attend as an end-user, especially to meet people, and the handful of things (especially in broadcast and cameras) that really DO change year to year….but mostly, stuff works, and works for a long time. Computers, more than anything.

    The thing that’s moving the needle now (whether at NAB or in the industry at large) is people continuing to kit up for the first time, or dramatically expand a facility’s footprint to meet BUSINESS opportunities, rather than because of some must-have new hardware.

    And the hardware that IS must-have? Peripheral hardware that handily moves between machines. If anything, Apple’s adoption of USB-C is a way to ensure MORE of that, not less. It may be the first time in generations that Apple has adopted a well-established industry connection, rather than trying to force people into a proprietary corner.

    Sure sure sure, if you want the newest connections, you have to buy the newest computers, but that’s true for everyone….but hubs and adapters are proving more than robust-enough to keep up for the middle-distance future, which, again, was far from the case just a couple of years ago.

    So, like I said, I’m seeing the OPPOSITE of obsolescence: a trend AWAY from driving new computer purchases, because of a trend AWAY from even bothering to release new computers, and a trend AWAY from new computers becoming immediate, no-questions-asked must-have purchases, because as good as new computers are, the old ones are still doing really, really well.

  • Oliver Peters

    April 3, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    [Tim Wilson] “So, like I said, I’m seeing the OPPOSITE of obsolescence: a trend AWAY from driving new computer purchases”

    FWIW – I’m still running a 2009 Mac Pro tower and my son inherited my old MacBook Pro laptop – many years old. Both still humming along. I handed down my first gen iPad to a deserving student, who is also using it still and is quite happy. While upgradeability might not be a hallmark of Macs these days, planned obsolescence in terms of longevity isn’t a problem. With the exception of HP and Dell workstations, I can’t say the same for most of the options on the PC side.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL
    http://www.oliverpeters.com

  • Tim Wilson

    April 3, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    [Oliver Peters] “With the exception of HP and Dell workstations, I can’t say the same for most of the options on the PC side.”

    I think that’s the key point re: Mac vs. PC approaches. Lower-end PCs really are disposable imo, and I think it took HP and Dell a while to settle into explicitly Mac-inspired values like design and solidity. Those offer some compelling stuff, but the rest of their product lines, I wouldn’t give ya a nickel for.

    Not that I think that those fellas are aping Mac’s design in any Android-iOS leapfrog manner. I think that they’ve staked out unique approaches that provide some profound advantages to someone who doesn’t need Apple-y stuff. Sitting side by side with Mac users all the time, I constantly see them looking over my shoulder and say, “Wow, I wish Apple would do THAT” about one thing or another…knowing that not one of those folks would ever consider converting. ????

    But I obviously agree with your other points as well, since they agree with me. ???? Computer manufacturers WANT us to keep our computers for years. And years and years.

    I mean, your 2009 is still doing fine 8 years later. Can you imagine still using a 1990 computer in 1998? Basically a Mac II vs. a G3! No way! Not even slightly possible, anymore than using a G3 in 2006 instead of a Mac Pro. I mean, people dropped G5s like they were hot back then, because the Mac Pro was so hot…even though a ton of folks had so quickly dropped their G4 for a G5. That’s just what was happening — those older computers might stay in the shop, but new frontline machines were rolling in every single time .

    But it’s completely conceivable to me that you might be using your 2009 tower for something meaningful in 2019! Maybe not your daily driver, but maybe not ready to be handed down yet, either.

    Or hey, maybe not, but the point is the same. These things are built to last now. Nobody who makes computers is expecting you to replace what you’ve got right now, and maybe not any time soon.

  • Craig Seeman

    April 3, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    It’s not that people need to replace their computer each year, it’s the each one of us is at a different point in our own business buying cycle each year.

    In Jan 2014 I get the recently released Mac Pro (which really weren’t all that available in late 2013 despite the name).
    In April 2017 someone want to get a… but there is no “new” Mac Pro.
    That ’14 Mac Pro might chug along for 5 years (2019) but today’s buyer is plunking down the same bucks for that same ’14 Mac Pro which is already old. They’re not getting the same usable lifespan.
    It’s not that anyone needs to give us new razz-ma-tazz connections, just the same Mac Pro with new CPU and GPU for the person who needs to buy their Mac Pro in ’17.

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