Is it Time for Apple to Retire the Mac Pro?

Poll: Is it Time for Apple to Retire the Mac Pro?
Total Votes: 35
No, Apple needs a pro-level computer.
Yes, the iMac, Mac mini and Thunderbolt are fine.
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    Posted: 06 February 2013 11:29 AM

    Apple’s Mac Pro hasn’t changed significantly in years, but there are hints, rumors and promises that some kind of update is on the way. Is it time for Apple to retire its tower computer?

  • Posted: 06 February 2013 12:00 PM #1

    I was hoping that Apple would see the potential in the iMac and beef it up with 6-core CPUs and additional hard drives/ports. Instead, they went with form over function and while the product is now really nice looking and great for most users, I definitely want to see a revamped Mac Pro. It would be truly unfortunate if the company decided to axe the product or release a replacement product that is limited in functionality (like a supercharged Mac mini).

  • Posted: 06 February 2013 12:36 PM #2

    Retire, no. They need to redefine it. It’s the oldest design in their inventory and it’s time to up the ante and redefine what a serious desktop workstation is all about.


    Less is More (more or less).

  • Posted: 06 February 2013 01:15 PM #3

    What other Apple computer would be an option for me to edit on that can hold a DVD burner, BluRay burner, AJA KonaHi card, Dual Channel Fiber PCI card and Panasonic P2 Reader card?
    Of course the ton of RAM and SSD storage would need to be there as well, not to mention dual monitor display.

    Please don’t EVER get rid of the Mac Pro!!!

  • Posted: 06 February 2013 01:40 PM #4

    Honestly, with a published set of standards / specifications / pricing goals, this is one area Apple could let third party manufacturers enter the OSX PC market and keep it fresh. The BIOS would be supplied / licensed from Apple and hardware would be certified before being allowed to carry Apples OS. Hackintoshes would therefore still be a hack ...  I can’t image, and by evidence of there interest to update it, that this represents a sizable part of their market; but yes such a machine is still needed.

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    Posted: 06 February 2013 02:25 PM #5

    Retire, no.
    Full ground up redesign yes.
    It’s time to change the paradigm.


    The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
    J.D.Salanger/Wilhelm Stekel

  • Posted: 06 February 2013 03:17 PM #6

    As a motion picture digital technician, I depend daily on the Mac Pro and so does everyone in my field - from Sound to Editorial to VFX.  We need the most power, RAM and Storage.  We need ProRes 4K/8K.  We need a dependable operating system (OS X Snow Leopard - 64) with a modern file system (lacking at the moment).  We need the best graphics card options, i.e. nVidia (with quality drivers). Please take the iOS out of a professional operating system!  Even though some programs we use are available in Windows 7, Windows 8 brings new challenges (read as a whole lot of hurt).  Apple understands and needs content.  Sell us the equipment that we need so we’ll continue to churn it out!

  • Posted: 06 February 2013 03:31 PM #7

    I have been waiting for ages for a new Mac Pro.  I want a new master computer. I am probably wishful thinking.  I am used to being at the top of the heap of those individuals who has and does it all.  Waiting for the new Mac Pro has put me at the bottom.  Seems there isn’t anything I can’t do on my MacBook Pro that I could do on my Mac Pro.

    I wanted a Machine with extra hard drives so I could have Windows, OS 9, Tiger, and Snow Leopard all in one machines with extra storage.  Now it is Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion with OS 9 and Windows with extra storage.

    I want a machine with Firewire, USB, and Lightning or whatever it is called with Blu-ray burner,
    I guess since we are not going to even have CDs or DVDs in the future, the Blu=ray drive is not needed.  WIth iCloud no need for hard drives so those are out.  (I HATE IT!  I HATE the idea of my not being able to store my own stuff (what ever you want to call it).)

    I hate how the iCloud works.  I can never find what I am looking for. It syns stuff I don’t want it to and doesn’t sync stuff I do want it to.  I delete stuff from my iPhone or iPad and it shows up again anyway.

    Apple thinks it is moving foward and all it is doing is going backwards and calls it progress.
    What’s up with hiding everything?  I know, people today don’t want to know anything so why show them. Let us old guys spend hours trying to find out stuff and return it to the way it was. Why hide downloads in iTunes?  Give me a break.

    Give me my dream machine like the good old days!

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    Posted: 06 February 2013 05:23 PM #8

    The world still needs trucks.

  • Posted: 06 February 2013 05:40 PM #9

    A “NEW” Mac Pro would be great.  Perhaps it’s been ‘resting on its laurels’ a little.  But what a testament to the monster-machine that is the Mac Pro; that it’s been able to go this long without an update and it’s STILL one of the most powerful machines available today.


    Will everyone who believes in telekinesis please raise my hand.

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    Posted: 06 February 2013 06:31 PM #10

    We Mac Observers are hardly an objective demographic. But even by the most critical standards, the MacPro remains a masterpiece of industrial design, inside even more than out. Modern hardware offers staggering potential for redesigning with phenomenal power-density. Unlike in the fickle consumer markets, a pro workstation represents the same thing now as it always has: True grunt for heavy lifting. I don’t believe for a damn second that Apple loses one thin dime on them, at any sales volume. So why retire it?


    iPad 2, HP TM2 tablet, HP Slate 500, iphone 4G, Unibody MB Pro , MB White, HP dv1000, PB G4, Dell Prec 670, Motion M1300, HP tc1000, Dell X300, HP ze4200, iBook SE, PowerMac 8500, Newton 2100, Quadra 800, PB 145, Classic II, LC II, IICi, SE, Plus

  • Posted: 07 February 2013 09:28 AM #11

    v4film - 06 February 2013 03:17 PM

      Apple understands and needs content.  Sell us the equipment that we need so we’ll continue to churn it out!


    I think you are right and am hopeful Apple does continue to support this segment of market. Sometimes it isn’t about raw sales numbers. As long as Mac Pro’s remain profitable to build, then they need to keep pushing the envelope no matter how tiny the profits are compared to the rest of their current market.

    These computers are Workstations. They should always have a more open flexible version of the OS that is powerful, not a dumbed down iOSified version for consumers. Mac Pro should have much more RAM, Processing power, Graphics capabilities than any consumer machines. They need to maintain a flexible design that allows for 3rd party hardware makers to create enhancements that extend the power of the machine.

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    Posted: 14 February 2013 02:13 AM #12

    I have a feeling I chose “retire the Mac Pro” but actually mean what a lot here are saying: redesigned and brought into the current age. It’s a workhorse, for sure, and definitely proves its worth with all the time it’s been in service as a capable machine. Now, however, I think redesigning the whole idea of the workhorse machine is the thing to do. With the advent of Thunderbolt and the coming of faster wireless and better near-field options, the age of the modular Mac is here—or very very close.

    Everyone who has commented here has different needs listed for their Mac Pro. Some people need drive bays, while others are good with network or cloud storage. Some people need multiple video cards while others are good with just one. So, rather than build one huge machine that anything can be put into, why not build a hub machine that is expanded by Thunderbolt and near filed devices? (I, of course, need to hear from experienced folks about Thunderbolt throughput smile ) There are already expansion chassis for cards and such., RAIDs, and a lot more. Build a pro device that drives third-party Thunderbolt development the way the original iMac finally kicked USB device development into gear, and I think it can be a win for everyone. Semi-pros and prosumers can get the hub computer alone and keep a nice, clean desk space. Pros can load up a desk with devices and wire into their networks.

    Apple may be waiting it out a little bit longer so the hub computer is just the laptop. Take it with you one the road; come back to home or work and it connects to all the pro devices automatically. There is a lot out there now (docking stations, network setups, etc.), but if Apple could nail making it extremely simple and streamlined, I think they’d push that style of computing into home use. And that, in turn, paves the way to things like we see in the Corning “Glass” concept videos where your phone or tablet really is your personal hub device and connects to things around you for more computing power when needed.


    Dean Lewis
    "Now that you’re dead, your usefulness to me
    has ended! But I’ll keep your shoes. BWAHAHAHA"
    —The Lightning Bug, J-Men Forever (1978)

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    Posted: 15 February 2013 04:08 PM #13

    What’s the point in having a desktop with a tiny footprint if you have to add external drives, RAID, video adaptors, port replicators, media burners and graphic coprocessors in external enclosures? For pros who need lots of custom additions or multiple drives, a big device with lots of power, cooling capacity and internal upgrade space makes far more sense.

    Right now though, GPU is the biggest reason to keep a Mac Pro. Thunderbolt doesn’t have the bandwidth for high end graphics cards, and professionals need choice, both between CUDA and OpenCL standards, between drivers for key applications, and between gamer-oriented and design/simulation oriented cards.

    [ Edited: 15 February 2013 04:43 PM by KitsuneStudios ]


    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.

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    Posted: 15 February 2013 09:33 PM #14

    What’s the point in having a desktop with a tiny footprint if you have to add external drives, RAID, video adaptors, port replicators, media burners and graphic coprocessors in external enclosures?

    I think I answered that in that if your computer also doubles as a laptop, then you take it with you. When it comes home, it is an easy hookup or automatically via wireless tech to become your more powerful home desktop. This “What’s the point?” question is always thrown back at me, but it doesn’t ask the right question. it isn’t about a smaller footprint. It’s about a different kind of functionality. While we have now to some extent with quite a lot of fiddling by us techie types, will open up a much wider world to non-techie types. And, that’s what Apple has traditionally been about, right? The computer for the rest of us? We aren’t necessarily the “us” anymore.

    I have a Mac Mini. It has a couple of drives and a scanner, and of course a monitor, keyboard and mouse. I have a studio mic, too. Most of that would still be there even with a hulking Mac Pro, not to mention devices around the house, my phone, etc. It’s all there anyway without a hulking Mac Pro. I really think large computers are going the way of the dodo except for very specialized cases, perhaps—but, honestly, even then I think they will be gone in favor of personal pod devices that tie into systems that are much more hidden in our furniture, homes, businesses, etc.

    Someone else said the world still needs trucks. In the coming future world, everyone can have a truck, a minivan, or a subcompact depending on where they are or where they are going and what they need at the moment.

    I’m not thinking up anything really original here. Star Trek has done similar since the 1960s. Moreso in the Next Generation and after as people used their PAAD devices for pretty much everything. Go watch those Corning “Glass” videos. We’re far from much of that in the videos, but it’s coming.

    [ Edited: 15 February 2013 09:44 PM by Dean Lewis ]


    Dean Lewis
    "Now that you’re dead, your usefulness to me
    has ended! But I’ll keep your shoes. BWAHAHAHA"
    —The Lightning Bug, J-Men Forever (1978)

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    Posted: 18 February 2013 11:27 PM #15

    Dean, I agree with you to a point. Thunderbolt is awesome at expanding the options and easy adaptors for that “Computer for the rest of us” you mention. That currently covers the MB Air, MB Pro,  Mac Mini and iMac.

    But as you say, there are still specialized cases where a big machine comes in handy, and that’s the market being served by the Mac Pro, specifically the heavy-duty GPU options required for CAD, 3d redesign and animation, scientific simulation, and film production. If there is going to be a box where internal upgrades make sense, this is going to be the one.

    Those of us in that category are looking for a computer that’s easy on the interface, but powerful under the hood; we don’t want to be abandoned by Apple and forced into the Windows World, just because that sector is less profitable, as opposed to unprofitable.  Until that Star Trek future actually gets here, we need to get some work done. wink


    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.