Monday, June 3, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Mac Pro 2019

Apple:

Power to change everything. Say hello to a Mac that is extreme in every way. With the greatest performance, expansion, and configurability yet, it is a system created to let a wide range of professionals push the limits of what is possible.

Function defines form. Every aspect of Mac Pro is designed in pursuit of performance. Built around a stainless steel space frame, an aluminum housing lifts off, allowing 360-degree access to every component and vast configuration. From there anything is possible.

I thought Apple wouldn’t listen and would find a way to screw this up. But it looks really great. Besides the core features like lots of processor cores and PCI slots, there are so many nice touches, from a couple USB-A ports to the rounded handles and the rotating, height-adjustable stand for the 6K matte display.

Joe Rossignol:

The new Mac Pro will start at $5,999 with an eight-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of ECC RAM, AMD WX 7100 graphics, and 256GB of SSD storage.

However, it’s way more machine—and price—than developers need. (And only 256 GB of storage for the $6K base model—when the base iMac Pro has 1 TB?) Similarly, the Pro Display XDR looks amazing, but I would like to have a more affordable 5K one to put next to my iMac.

I’m also not exactly sure what the situation is for internal storage. It looks like there are two slots, but I don’t know whether they are proprietary or can be upgraded after purchase.

Previously:

Update (2019-06-03): Drunken Dogcow:

The PowerMac G5 base price was $1,999 (or around $2,700 adjusted for inflation). $6,000 is incredibly insane.

Update (2019-06-04): Rory Prior:

Of course on the PC side you can buy a workstation for dramatically less money to suit your budget. With Apple you’re either all in or you’re stuck with either a ‘throw away’ iMac Pro at the high end or pay through the nose for a weakly specced mini.

Timothy Wood:

I love the annual Apple hate day. Today’s favorite is the complaining about the $1000 discount you get if you go with the VESA mount option and get your own damn monitor stand for your deep color super bright 6K display that’ll last you 15+ years (my current Apple display is 17!)

Jack Brewster:

Saw a comment about “don’t complain about Mac Pro pricing Apple didn’t build it for you” which feels like the wrong take.

It could have been for me, too. But Apple chose not to make it that way. It’s a flexible, tower computer. It could have been many things to many customers.

Scott Anguish:

Apple could have released a monitor targeted to 10x more users that matched the iMac/iMac Pro 27” and 5k and we’d have been ecstatic.

David Owens II:

The blower-style exhaust fan looks pretty cool... I wonder how dust is handled though. I didn’t see any dust filters.

paulc:

There sure is a LOT to say/question about this new machine, but my central one is how in the blazes can they call this a REAL pro machine if it’s not capable of running CUDA? Far as I know, CUDA is a very essential part of a LOT of actual professionals…

Mark Gurman:

I need help deciding between an iPhone XS and the stand that’s required to hold up the new $5000 Apple monitor.

Greg Titus:

“Detach. Move. Attach.”

Wait. So the display MAGNETS to the stand? People are going to get two $1000 stands and carry their 32" display in between them?!?!

There is going to be that one guy who gets their local coffee shop to install a stand for them at a table, isn’t there?

Wojtek Pietrusiewicz:

Dear @Apple @pschiller @tim_cook — this but with a Core i9, industry standard M.2 NVMe SSDs, and support for “regular” GPUs. And a normal price tag.

Ryan Jones:

Apple 100% DID abandon Pros!

“Everyone” was right.

And “everyone” saying it is 100% the main reason for today.

The community voicing and explaining concern saved Pro. 100%

Colin Cornaby:

The first third party MPX module was already quietly announced by Apple

Felix Schwarz:

Internal #MacPro SATA port mystery solved! Promise will make an enclosure that attaches to them: the Pegasus J2i with two 3.5" SATA drives. Promise will also make an MPX module, the Pegasus R4i with four 3.5" SATA drives. In total, that'd enable up to 10 internal HDDs.

Marco Arment:

Here (at 6:53) you can just barely hear what Jony was explaining to Tim about the new Mac Pro as I awkwardly stood behind them

Michael Pusateri:

Finally, I can tweet knowledgeably on a topic, the new Mac Pro & display. I help oversee 175+ Macs used for professional video editing, audio mixing, and graphics creation. Here’s a ‘hot take’ on the new Mac Pros.

Eric Young:

The new Mac Pro is the exotic flagship model. It’s the best computer money can buy. It’s the super car of computers

It’s not about need. It’s about want

I don’t need a McLaren or a Ferrari. I want a McLaren or a Ferrari!

Felix Schwarz:

According to specs, the new #MacPro ships with PCIe 3.0. Meanwhile, AMD ships Ryzen CPUs with PCIe 4.0 this year, doubling transfer speeds. Intel is rumored to start adopting PCIe 4.0 in late 2020. At these prices… may be worth waiting for it.

Ole Begemann:

The new Apple monitor doesn’t seem to have speakers or a camera built in.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

We entered WWDC without Apple offering a modular desktop that meets our needs, and we’re leaving WWDC without Apple offering a modular desktop that meets our needs. They clearly don’t have enough developers in their focus group, so the Mac Pro is a major failure in that respect.

See also: Accidental Tech Podcast.

Rick Gigger:

I know I’m not their target customer. I want to be. I want them to make a monitor they fits the needs of normal professionals, not just people doing high end video work.

See also: Hacker News (3), Rene Ritchie, Jason Snell, Joe Rossignol, Tim Hardwick.

Update (2019-06-06): Stephen Kampff:

Unfortunately, reference monitors aren’t all the same, and newer standards like HDR10 and Dolby Vision can only be achieved with a certain class of display. That wouldn’t be a problem if these things were cheap, but an industry standard Flanders Scientific monitor will seriously set you back, and you'll want it to last years. A Flanders that’s comparable to Apple’s Pro Display XDR would cost $35,000 and would be 4K instead of 6K.

A side note here that I prefer a true 16x9 4K reference monitor so there’s no upscaling from a 4K signal. Still, 6K is impressive and will be amazing for photographers.

Mac Power Users (MacRumors):

Stephen and David have boots on the ground in San Jose for WWDC 2019. In this episode, they interview Doug Brooks, the Apple Product Manager for the new Mac Pro.

Marques Brownlee:

Pretty sure this whole “Apple Pro stand costs $1000” rampant headline would’ve been avoided if on stage they just said

“Apple Pro display XDR costs $5999”

And then when the config site goes live in fall they have an option that says “ship without stand” and it drops to $4999

Colin Cornaby:

It's a Xeon workstation. What did you think it would cost? Apple was absolutely right that its price competitive. Things have changed since 2012.

Sam Deane:

The confusion comes from different definitions of “pro”.

For me it means a machine designed for people who want to replace components. Something I can put a new graphics card into and upgrade the memory and drives later.

Powerful, but not ridiculously so. Just flexible.

Nick Heer:

These prices and the ridiculous capabilities of these products are exclusive in the truest definition of that word. They exclude huge numbers of customers who either cannot afford to spend over $12,000 on a new computer and display, or do not need such high-end capabilities. I think that’s okay. The iMac Pro remains a very capable machine for all but the most demanding users.

Greg Koenig:

That’s the thing- the intro price is eye watering for a poor spec machine. I’ll bet not a single demo Apple touted can be done on a Mac Pro costing less than $12k (sans crazy display).

This is a great machine- but the low end needs $1500 off, and a 30" 5k display option.

scott:

Apple held an unprecedented roundtable with podcasters and bloggers to tell them how much they care about developers. […] Announcing that product at WWDC was a monumental insult to every single Apple developer.

Scott:

What does this have to do with the new Mac Pro? It shows me Apple isn’t thinking on all cylinders. The Mac community has been asking for a IIci since before the 2013 Mac Pro “Trashcan”. The new mini just doesn’t cut it. And the new Mac Pro doesn’t either.

Mike Zornek:

I truly believe they should have revealed this MacPro and monitor at a proper video / media conference. Revealing it in front of developers who can’t afford it nor whom the product is marketed at just feel very out of context. We were begging them to built us a tower and display, but they built them for someone else, and it’s kind of depressing.

[…]

I wanted a $5000 tower where I could update the graphics cards a few years in. I don’t need 8 PCI slots, maybe 4 or 2 would work. I wanted to have easy access to RAM to add more in the future (I don’t need 12 slots I’m sure 4-6 would be fine). I want multiple SSD slots on the board (2 is fine). I want to be able to open it up and clean out the dust every few months (this is why an iMac will never work for me).

I wanted a $1000 self-contained version of the 5K iMac display. Maybe an ultrawide version? I like Apple monitors historically. They work great out of the box and have great color. Surely there is room in the market for a sub-$6000 Apple monitor for the “rest of us”?

Jon Alper:

The power of the Mac Pro 2019 summarized perfectly:

“With the head of software engineering right here at our disposal for an hour, I can’t think of anything better to talk about than…hardware” - @gruber

See also: Hacker News.

Update (2019-06-17): Paul Haddad:

We are now living in the time of the < $100 1TB high performance SSD!

If you don’t buy from Apple.

Jeff Johnson:

Interesting theory from @tytus_s is that the new Mac Pro was never for developers at all, and Apple only started to work on it when they started to get into the movie and TV making business and got pushback about it from showbiz people.

This makes sense, although it raises the question of why Apple specifically made the point at the 2017 media event that developers were their largest pro audience. That—and the history of sub-$2,000 Mac towers—is why developers expected the new Mac Pro to be “for them.” Apple even continued this in the 2019 Mac Pro’s announcement (to a room full of developers), presenting the Pro Display XDR as great for writing code.

The display is actually the main problem for developers. The Mac Pro costs a little more than people expected—given the iMac Pro. But the display does a lot more and costs a lot more than the type of display developers need. And, with LG exiting the market, there isn’t really a suitable non-Apple display available that’s 5K and the right Retina resolution for iOS/Mac development.

Colin Cornaby:

Just for fun I spec’d out a Dell workstation comparatively to a base 2019 Mac Pro. The Dell still has slower storage and less PCIe slots.

Rory Prior:

It’s just a shame they don’t make a box with an i9, at least 1x 16x PCIe for a GPU of your choice, upgradable RAM and storage. That would be the perfect system for 99% of pro users, power users and developers who don’t need workstation level components.

Bryan Pietrzak:

Apple has iPad mini, iPad, iPad Pro. MacBook Mini (Air), MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac and iMac Pro, and Mac mini and Mac Pro. Seems like a mid range "Mac" computer in the same case, but i9 cpus, ddr ram, fewer PCIe slots, smaller power supply price point around $3-$4K could work

And they have Pro Display XDR, let's see an Apple Display 5K that takes the 5K iMac panel, 27" (or maybe 32"?) with stand and typical ports (including power delivery) for $1599 would selll very well

Helge Heß:

People who say that the new MacPro is not for developers are ObjC dinosaurs and never worked on a large Swift project (or a C++ one, like CLang).

Bob Burrough:

If a solution is inaccessible to you, it doesn't matter whether the reason is technical (e.g. poor thermal management) or financial (e.g. exorbitantly overpriced). Your problems remain unsolved.

Jean-Louis Gassée (Hacker News):

The gods who render mad those they want to destroy have struck again. They’ve caused a marketing exec — we hope not the same one who bragged about innovation in 2013 — to price the new XDR monitor stand at a baffling $999. Listen to the guffaws in the audience at 1hr 40 mins into the keynote video. Why not $399 instead and increase the MacPro base price by a barely visible $600?

A friend points out two factors. One, Mac Pro configurations will probably be used with multiple XDR monitors mounted in a bay arrangement using relatively inexpensive ($199) VESA mounts. Two, businesses and production companies are less price sensitive than the developers in the WWDC audience.

These are reasonable points, but good marketing deals with emotions and impressions, not mere reason. The $999 stand was widely mocked in the media, Apple was labeled as greedy and tone-deaf — the latter definitely deserved.

kingtbird:

Heya @atpfm @marcoarment @siracusa @gruber maybe your ear w/ Apple can find out why the $6K Mac Pro has slower read SSDs than 2017 iMac Pro & 2019 MacBook Pro:

3.3w/2.8r iMac Pro
2.2w/3.2r MacBook Pro
2.7w/2.6r Mac Pro

AFAIK slightly faster than 2017 & 2019 iMac 5K 2.5r/2w

Marco Arment:

iMac Pro uses two SSD modules in parallel for all sizes. Mac Pro uses just one in the 256GB config, two in the higher ones.

Also maybe relevant: I don’t think iMac Pro uses a PCIe switch to offer more total lanes than its CPU, but Mac Pro does. Maybe SSD bandwidth is reduced.

Ed Cormany:

When Apple announced the new Mac Pro last week, one of the things that got the most attention was its price tag: the base configuration will cost $5,999. The question is whether it’s an outlandish price for what is far and away the most powerful Mac ever sold. The fact is that Apple has definitely charged that much in the past for its hardware.

The graph above shows the base prices for 60 different Apple hardware lines, and how those values compare over time accounting for inflation.

Tom Nelson:

Will additional MPX modules be available in the near future? And will they only be available from Apple, or will other peripheral manufacturers be able to make use of the MPX system?

MacRumors:

IKEA has joined in poking fun at the new Mac Pro… 🧀

John Kheit:

The entirety of the Mac press’ post-WWDC rationalization distortion field is: “the computer for the rest of us”, “it’s not for you.” After receiving Apple’s PR fluffjob, these pundits make straw-man arguments that people think the Mac Pro is bad because it’s too pro, too powerful, or not cheap enough. They ignore what enthusiasts are saying: “Apple please add a lower entry level slot upgradable model that enthusiasts can also afford.”

Accidental Tech Podcast discusses how the Mac Pro effectively does have internal drive bays.

Update (2019-06-25): Marco Arment:

These are the CPUs used by the Mac Pro. Note Intel’s pricing.

The “M” variants (which cost twice as much) are needed to support >1 TB RAM configs.

Bole:

There is zero chance that the Afterburner card is “$1K …$1.5K”, as Marco guessed.

To give you context, similar accelerator card produced by Red is almost $7K…

And programmable ASIC that are comparable are in the $9K-15K range.

Update (2019-07-05): Lloyd Chambers:

Kudos to Apple for what looks to be an extraordinarily robust and quiet ultra-high end pro-grade workstation.

[…]

Looking at the specifications, it’s not clear that the 2019 Mac Pro will be faster [for photographers] than 2019 iMac 5K—the Mac Pro might be slower, particularly with the entry-level 8-core CPU. That’s because for most tasks in Photoshop and Lightroom, only a few CPU cores are used and so what matters is clock speed for the cores actually used—and the Xeon processors run about a gigahertz slower.

My prediction is that it will be a mixed bag with the 2019 Mac Pro much faster for a few tasks (and only if configured-up on CPU/GPU), and slightly slower for many tasks.

Update (2019-07-19): Andreas Storm:

Apple updated the Mac Pro icon.

Update (2019-09-27): See also: Hacker News.

37 Comments

Ben Kennedy

The hardware looks great, but unsurprisingly is not cheap. Speaking of not cheap, though—one thousand dollars for a hinged display stand that contains no electronics or anything else whatsoever?! Absurd. (What am I missing there?)

It is quite funny to try to sell a display without stand and VESA adapter. They could’t drill the VESA holes directly into the enclosure?

I’m sure OWC is overjoyed at seeing the new Mac Pro.

I was really disappointed by today's Mac Pro announcement over two years of waiting. Heck, I actually bought a discounted refurbished 2013 Mac Pro in April 2017 a few days after Apple announced its plans to release a new Mac Pro in the future, since it signaled Apple's rededication to pro users. Unfortunately, this announcement showed that my definition of what a pro user is and Apple's definition differ.

Make no mistake, the 2019 Mac Pro is an impressive machine. It is user-serviceable, upgradeable, expandable, and powerful. But at a starting price of $5,999, it is also unaffordable for all but certain professional users who absolutely need macOS running on top-of-the-line hardware in order to perform computationally expensive tasks as quickly as possible. It's a wonderful machine for these people, and I'm very glad that Apple has rededicated itself for meeting these needs.

However, there is a class of traditional Power Macintosh and Mac Pro user that is disappointed by this announcement: those who want user-serviceable, upgradeable, and expandable Macs at reasonable prices. For over two decades Apple sold entry-level Power Macintosh and Mac Pro models to such users at the $2,500-$3,000 price point (when adjusted for inflation). They were too expensive for casual users but were priced within reach for enthusiasts, power users, developers, and other people who wanted a reasonably powerful Mac that featured the same user-serviceability, upgradeability, and expandability that was (and still is) commonplace in the PC market. However, ever since Tim Cook has become the CEO, there has been a marked move away from user-serviceability, upgradeability, and expandability. The 2013 Mac Pro still preserved user-serviceability and upgradeability at the traditional Mac Pro price point, but at the cost of expandability. Currently there are no current user-serviceable, upgradeable, and expandable Macs in Apple's lineup that cost under $5,999. To me, the Mac Pro seems like a concession made to Apple's customers in the media industry but while also doubling-down on non-user-serviceable machines for the masses, including enthusiasts, power users, and developers. As a long time Mac user, this is the latest disappointment in a long string of disappointments I've dealt with since Tim Cook has become CEO.

It's an impressive piece of kit. And if there's enough of a market willing to pay these prices that Apple can make money on it, more power to them. There are probably still enough video and photo professionals sufficiently locked in to the ecosystem to make it worth Apple's gamble. And after all, even if they lost a billion dollars on the Mac Pro, they would hardly notice it.

But I'm having a hard time imagining what new business, without any sunken software or training costs to consider, would sign up for paying the Apple tax - which only seems to be increasing over time.

LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Pros: "Apple hasn't updated the Mac Pro in years and the old trash can design is terrible. WTF?"

Apple: "You want a tower? Here. It's $6,000. Go fuck yourself."

And that $5,000 monitor? What is this, 1998?

Including only 256 GB SSD for $6,000 is insulting. 4 TB should be the minimum on a Pro machine. $6,000 for 4 TB wouldn't have seemed like such a joke.

Only 4 TB3 and 2 USB-A ports? Like.... THE $800 MAC MINI? For $6,000 they could have thrown in a couple more USB-A ports and a couple more TB3 ports, no? I mean isn't that the point of a Pro machine, that you're likely to have a BUNCH of stuff plugged into it and you definitely don't want to deal with dongles and hubs if at all possible? (I will freely admit, I'm not the target demographic for their Pro desktops and never have been).

I'm sure that people who are in multimillion dollar industries (like advertising, VFX, music studios) won't have problem paying $6,000 -- actually probably $7,000+++ once you configure it to actually be useful. But what about the rest of the "pros" who do need something more than an iMac Pro (or Mac Mini) ? Are they screwed, or does Apple's lineup now have "something for everyone" ? Honest question.

Michael, I doubt the internal storage is user-upgradable. The new website touts the storage as 'protected by T2', so I imagine it'll be like the newest Mac Mini, where it's tied to the T2 and can't be upgraded. If so, so much for "greatest performance, expansion, and configurability yet". But at least there are PCI slots, so, yeah, perhaps OWC can help.

But yeah, the price is insane. The 'Apple tax' of late is out of this world.

@Michael Tsai: "I’m also not exactly sure what the situation is for internal storage. It looks like there are two slots, but I don’t know whether they are proprietary or can be upgraded after purchase."

It's T2 based storage, so they are definitely proprietary. From the way it's presented in the tech specs, I'd say you can upgrade after purchase, as long as you buy the storage from Apple, same as the Imac pro but without having to go to a service centre to have the computer taken apart.

@linguae: "Currently there are no current user-serviceable, upgradeable, and expandable Macs in Apple's lineup that cost under $5,999."

People who care about user serviceability, upgradability, and expandability (and I count myself as one such) are dinosaurs. Apple today is dedicated to providing computational boxes that get your work done without your needing to think about what's inside the box. It doesn't help that the market for desktops is evaporating as more and more people switch to laptops for all situations.

Another thought on storage:

This thing has scads of PCI-e slots. If you don't like the storage options Apple sells, buy a third party SSD PCI-e card and Bob's your uncle.

Well, the Mac mini with the i7 is a lot of computer, and fills the (affordable) headless semi-pro slot fairly well. I waited to see what the Pro would look like before biting on the mini, but guess I shouldn't have.

Quick note: You can set your Mac to allow booting from a non-T2 controlled hard drive, so as long as you don't mind losing T2 encryption, your Pro will have loads of storage upgrade options.

It's a nice machine. I regret that at six large I won't even dream of buying one. 😉

The asking price is absurd, especially with only 256GB for storage. 4TB NVMe SSD (2x2TB in RAID-0 from Intel) is going for under $400 right now.

To linguae's point about Apple abandoning the 'enthusiasts-with-a-reasonable-budget' segment, I just priced out a comparable AMD Ryzen 3000-based system. 12-core CPU, 32GB RAM, RX 590, 256GB NVMe SSD, quiet cooler and case, Windows 10 Pro license. Total cost would be less than $1,600. Apple's message to enthusiasts couldn't be clearer: If you don't have big bucks for our big margins, we don't want you here, go to Windows.

Also, modularity and upgradability aren't just for enthusiasts. I kept my family's 2007 MacBook running for years by upgrading the RAM and swapping out the HDD for an SSD. That helps with lower cost-of-entry and makes Macs accessible to a wider range of incomes.

I guess the time has finally come that I need to look seriously at switching platforms. :(

Since the Apple ][ I've never owned a non-Apple computer, I guess it's time to checkout linux or FreeBSD...

Chris wrote: "I guess the time has finally come that I need to look seriously at switching platforms. :("

I'm actually feeling the opposite today, despite how much bickering I've done about Apple in the past year. I have also been fearing that I might have to leave the Mac for another platform (after nearly 30 years) but today's announcements have mostly reassured me that Apple more or less know what its problems are (in both hardware and software). And while I'm not so thrilled about their higher prices across the board -- e.g. Macbook Pro and iPhones -- compared to just 5 years ago... for the first time I feel like being "behind the curve" is fine. My next iPhone will probably be either an XS or whatever the low end is of the phones that come out later this year (whichever of the two seems like the best value, upgraded from my 8 Plus). Heck I might not even get a new iPhone this year, which will be the first time I've gone more than 2 years without upgrading (a better camera is really all I care about). When my 2014 MBP dies, I'll probably replace it with a Mac Mini and use my iPad as a remote screen since I rarely take my MBP away from home anymore (and by then, iPadOS + keyboard will probably fill most of the gap for my traveling needs).

As much as I wish that Apple had done most these things (announced today) 2 years ago, I'm glad that it seems they're finally back on track.

Now just fix the damn MBP keyboard :)

@Ben G
Honestly I'm considering that route too, but the one thing I don't like about that approach is the uncertainty about how long older hardware will be supported. Any PC I build today will be supported pretty much indefinitely, or at least as long as the hardware is useful.

And while I agree that Apple said a lot of the right things today, it remains to be see if they will follow up those words with solid software, or if the same quality problems will keep getting worse.

If the Mac mini had a discrete GPU, I'd seriously consider it, but as it stands, a Thunderbolt enclosure for my hackintosh's GPU would cost more than the GPU itself...

It looks like Mac OS 10.15 will support any 2012 MBP or newer. So if they knock a year of devices off every year that Mac OS has a major upgrade (e.g. 10.16 next year will support 2013 and newer MBP), then I'm fine with that. I'll be ready to upgrade in 2-3 years from now if my 2014 MBP hangs on that long. Although I'd be a bit screwed if I wanted to stay with MBP instead of moving to a Mini, because then I'd have to ask myself (in 2021) "What MBP do I upgrade TO?" if I wanted to buy a used one since the 2016-2019 MBP have terrible keyboards.

I noticed two SATA (or eSATA or whatever) ports on the motherboard. How you would power a drive plugged in to them, I don’t know.

This looks like a pretty great machine, overall. I find the case design a bit questionable (sure, it disassembles like a Cube, that's cool, but also, this means you probably can't mess with the hardware without moving the Mac around, because who puts a Mac like this in a place where there's room above it to pull up its case). But jeez, the price is just a punch in the face of everybody who has stuck with Apple in hopes that they'll eventually release a professional desktop computer again. This is clearly intended to be bought by corporations, not by people.

Maybe they'll make an actually affordable one next year?

@Glaurung: "People who care about user serviceability, upgradability, and expandability (and I count myself as one such) are dinosaurs."

I don't think that is entirely true. I think there are a ton of ordinary users out there currently suffering from full SSD:s, like owners with MBA and 128 GB or less SSD. I bet a lot of those are happy with the performance and don't want to buy a new computer but are constantly nagged about running out of storage space, and that they would love to just upgrade the storage to a larger size.

@Lukas Yeah, it looks like before you slide the top off you’ll have to unplug everything. I was hoping for something more like the blue-and-white G3s where that wasn’t necessary, and you could just open it in place under your desk.

>I was hoping for something more like the blue-and-white G3s

These were great cases. I still have one of them, because I think they could make a pretty decent PC case with a bit of modding.

@remmah: “We don't want you here, go to Windows”

This. Absolutely this.

And you know what? They’re absolutely right too.

Rule #1 of Business: Get yourself customers. Rule #2: Sack the ones that are more trouble than they’re worth. Rinse, repeat. If I was in their place, I wouldn’t want your high-maintenance low-reward asses either.

The only reason Macs still exist is to serve as feed pump for the iOS ecosystem, which is where Apple makes its actual money. They need to keep control of their foundations in order to control their destiny, which means doing just enough to keep professional tool vendors like Adobe and Autodesk on-board as those tools are essential prerequisites to iOS content creation, but anything more than that is a dilution of brand and general waste of effort.

That the new Mac Pro is aimed solely at that audience and no-one else is a hopeful sign that post-Jobs Apple might finally be re-finding its focus. Design your market, then design the product to fit that market; none of this “make some things and hope somebody buys them” crap of recent years.

Now, if they’d just sort the dire reliability of their recent “pro” laptops (which is what most of the rest of their professional customers should be on now)…

@Adrian B: “I bet a lot of those are happy with the performance and don't want to buy a new computer…”

1. These are NOT the profit-generating customers that Apple wants, or should want. Toss them to the competitors; let them fight over the scraps.

“…but are constantly nagged about running out of storage space”

2. “Ordinary users” should NOT be running out of local storage, because all their unique data should already be replicated safely and securely in Apple’s cloud storage, and all their non-unique data (movies, music, TV shows, books, etc) should all be streamed on deman from Apple’s online services, with local storage serving at most as temporary cache. So if ordinary users are running out of local space, it’s because A. this system isn’t working right [yet] and/or B. they’re too fricking cheap to buy new hardware every few years [in which case see #1].

@Has "A. this system isn’t working right [yet] and/or B. they’re too fricking cheap to buy new hardware every few years [in which case see #1]."

Other possible explanation: Apple sucks at providing a decent storage capacity in the minimum configuration of their products. e.g. 16GB iPhones when you dare to take photos (and even worse when Live Photo is enabled).

@has: Not all of us are good little consumers who dutifully behave only in ways that maximize corporate profits. Some of us still like to keep data on our local device. Some of us still get our music by ripping CDs and get our movies by ripping blu-rays. Scandalous, I know. Horrible crimethink. I am sure we will all be sent to re-education camps in the very near future.

That said:

@Adrian B: Your comment about running out of storage: there are these things called external drives. While I agree that the base storage amount on most Macs is too little for my needs (500gb is more right for me most of the time), If I was willing to delete a bunch of games and comics and suchlike that I am unlikely to actually want to play/read/watch this year or next year, I'd be fine with a 256gb SSD. That's because I have a cheap and capacious external drive, on which I keep everything I don't actually want to have instantly handy.

@Glaurung: “Not all of us are good little consumers who dutifully behave only in ways that maximize corporate profits.”

Please see #1 above, and repeat after me: “Apple is not my friend. I am just a revenue stream. Apple is not my friend…”

@Glaurung: “Your comment about running out of storage: there are these things called external drives.”

Dunno about anyone else, but I’ve had a bunch of problems in the last year with external drives getting irreparably corrupted if I forget to unmount them before unplugging [TimeMachine? CoreStorage? FileVault?]. Something to keep in mind.

Another option would be a NAS (https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/best-nas-drives-mac-3674321/); basic models nowadays are cheap as chips. Won’t protect your data if your house burns down, but a bit more convenient and flexible than a dumb HDD. Plus, of course, there’s rival clouds like Dropbox and OneDrive that offer auto-sync apps for the Mac. No idea how well/poorly third-party storage integrates with iDevices, but I’m guessing folks here are Mac old-school so aren’t too worried about that.

> The only reason Macs still exist is to serve as feed pump for the iOS ecosystem

It's not like Jobs hadn't told us that this was exactly what he was going to do before he even got back to Apple. "If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing."

Shame on us for not listening to what he said to us.

@has: ”These are NOT the profit-generating customers that Apple wants, or should want.”

I totally understand your main "Apple is not your friend" point, although I would hope that there was enough value in keeping those customers as well, for the long term. Maybe for lock-in, or for growth of Apple eco system and what not. I'm just not that cynical to think that such a thing couldn't exist even in a profit driven company.

(Just like I would hope that it is in Apples interest to keep the [good old-fashioned] Mac business alive and well even when the profit is absolutely dwarfed by the iPhone business.)

@has: ”’Ordinary users’ should NOT be running out of local storage, because all their unique data should already be replicated safely and securely in Apple’s cloud storage…”

I get that point as well, but my anecdotal evidence says it's a real issue for many people. It could be because ”A” as you point out or maybe because Apple has been selling products with user-unfriendly storage option as base product. I know from experience of managing iPads with 16 GB for kids, that the cloud system is not enough when popular games are larges than 1 GB (yes, a future system that only streams games and apps would solve that but we are not there yet).

And besides that, sometimes you just want to keep things local. And I would say that these customers are ”too fricking cheap” because these days a lot of people struggle to afford even the base line of Apples products.

@Glaurung: ”Your comment about running out of storage: there are these things called external drives.”

Yeah, welcome to dongle hell, I live there constantly and I hate it.

It's just not reasonable to expect ordinary users who just throw their MBA in the backpack to be able to handle external drives well. And even if they could, they just wouldn't because it's such a hassle.

> it is in Apples interest to keep the [good old-fashioned] Mac business alive and
> well even when the profit is absolutely dwarfed by the iPhone business

Investing into the Mac platform is an opportunity cost. It's difficult to hire qualified hardware and software engineers. They cost a lot. So you want to get as much revenue out of each one of them as possible. If they can either work on a new iPhone, which will sell 100 million at 1000$, or a new Mac Pro, which will sell maybe 100K in the same timeframe at 6000$, you'd be a fool to tell these people to work on the Mac Pro, even if it is technically profitable to do so. And maybe you also need to create new markets, given that the watch isn't doing *that* well, the iPad is below initial expectations, and phone sales are going down, so maybe you want them to work on your AR glasses or your car or TV, where the potential market is huge. Or something entirely different. Fancy overpriced headphones from the guy who assaulted Dee Barnes, that's where you want your hardware engineers! I don't know, I'm not Tim Apple.

This is the reason why, if you are a professional Mac user, you need to really consider whether you want to be an opportunity cost for a company like Apple, or the main market for a smaller company that caters exactly to people like you. You know, the kind of company that Apple used to be in the 90s. Maybe find a company like 90s Apple, a company that actually values your business, and buy from them.

@Lukas: You are most certainly correct. As a long-time Mac user I firmly believe that Mac users were better served back when the Mac made up most of Apple's revenues than today where the Mac only consists of about 10 percent of Apple's business. The success of the iPhone and the death of Steve Jobs were the worst things to happen to the Mac.

We need a champion of desktop personal computing again, like the pre-iPhone Apple used to be. We need a new operating system and computing ecosystem that is devoted to serving the needs of desktop personal computer users who want to be in control of their software, their hardware, and their data. A new operating system is needed because as of today macOS is still the gold standard, with Windows 10 and the desktop Linux experience not meeting the macOS standard. I would love to see a new operating system emerge that truly realizes the vision of Xerox PARC while integrating the innovations in technology that have occurred since then. I would love for this to happen, and I'm quite willing to make it happen.

@linguae: Yeah, I think a lot of us Mac-centric indies and enthusiasts will eventually have to find a new home base, but I'm not entirely sure where that will be.

Building a new desktop OS from the ground up is a monumental undertaking... I'm not sure the existing indie community has enough low-level experience to build something brand new (if we weren't already busy trying to make ends meet). The existing OS vendors have first-mover advantages and network effects that are decades long. The most I could imagine a small community making is a new desktop environment for a Linux or BSD.

The bottom line though is that I'm no longer really enjoying using macOS. And it's hard to remain interested in making one's own software when the day-to-day interactions with the OS are increasingly frustrating.

SpacemanSpiff

@has said: "They need to keep control of their foundations in order to control their destiny, which means doing just enough to keep professional tool vendors like Adobe and Autodesk on-board as those tools are essential prerequisites to iOS content creation, but anything more than that is a dilution of brand and general waste of effort."

@has I guess Apple is thinking like this. But I bet it will be detrimental to them in the future. If they don't make decent and morally priced hardware, what motivation do the developers have to develop for them despite their platform advantages? There will come a time where lines will be crossed? What happens if Apple continues with their faulty keyboards for the next 5 years, all the while insisting there is no issue with them all and all the while running a repair program in parallel to account for the "very small number of users" who have issues? What happens if the next Mac Pro is priced even higher than now because they introduced a damn touch bar on the top of the case?

Lines will be crossed as many lines have already been crossed for many. Many of my colleagues who were Apple fans refused to buy the obscenely priced MacBook Pros and moved on to Windows and Linux. The moment they moved, they realized they did not need those expensive iPhone XSs as well. Some of them sold and moved to the Pixel lines and some of them will change when the contract is up. It all starts from a small ripple, until it becomes a giant wave. Ask Nokia.

Apple, in its current form, is detrimental to the industry. They are the captains of producing sealed notebooks, glued keyboards and they will end up carving out the Earth hollow. I was at the store the other day to get my keyboard repaired. the third time and noticed quite a few of them were there as well. I drove 40kms to get to the store, another 40kms to go back. The keyboard took 5 days to repair, so another 80kms. In all, I drove 160 kms to get my keyboard repaired. Forget the gas expenses for a minute, think about the green house gases my car emitted on the way to the store and back. While many might think it is not a big deal but small things add up. I bike to work on a Brompton thinking "One less car!". In 3 months, 4 others joined me! But companies like Apple will screw it all up. They will say: "oh, our store runs on solar energy" but who cares if your designs and products are the most toxic to our environment?

Regarding the OS, it is high time for people to band around a Linux distribution and pay for it. Even if there are a 100,000 developers willing to pay a 5$ monthly fee to have a resilient OS and apps developed for it, it should be enough to address the livelihood of at least 2 dozen Linux developers. I am a nobody but I wish somebody with enough recognition and influence in the Linux community would get this rolling. I will be the first to sign up! Donations don't work anymore. I have seen quite a few distributions fade away waiting for donations to pour in.

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