May 28, 2012

Waiting for a New Mac Pro? A Growing Petition Seeks Answers from Apple Regarding an Update

It's no secret that Apple has been moving into the consumer space for the past five years, with the introduction of the iPhone and iPad, and the long wait between versions of Final Cut Studio, with the most recent version, Final Cut Pro X, resembling their consumer editing application iMovie. Whether FCPX has professional features is another matter entirely, but there's no denying that they've abandoned most of the professional suite and are sticking to lower-priced applications sold through the App Store. While it seems Apple is banking on higher resolutions to sell more iPads and iPhones, they've ignored many professionals that have made Apple the brand they are today. Rumor has it that the Mac Pro line may be finished, but a working professional has created a Facebook page seeking answers.

It's been almost two years (671 days and counting) since the last update to their professional tower, the Mac Pro, and a petition has been created to asking Apple for some information regarding an update to the product line. As of this writing, the Facebook page has close to 12,000 likes, and it's growing steadily each day. Many pros have been asking these questions for some time now: should they wait, or should they move along to the Windows side? Or even build a Hackintosh? It's one thing not being able to afford the Mac Pro because of its hefty premium -- it's quite another when you've got the money in hand and are waiting for the product to manifest itself. Investing a significant sum into 2 year-old technology, however, makes little sense to most professionals, especially when every dollar counts.

In an open letter to Apple, the creator of the Facebook page, Lou Borella, asks for some answers:

Hello Apple. Remember me? I'm one of your loyal users. I'm one of the guys who has owned 2 MacPros, a G5, a G4, 4 laptops, one iMac, 4 iPods, one MacMini, 4 iPhones and a bevy of other peripherals and software packages over the last 10 years.

I'm looking for a little clarity.

Can you please let me and the other people on in this group know what is going on with the MacPro? Its been neglected for far too long. We realize all the success of the iPad and iPhone and we're really happy with our new toys. But unfortunately many of us need to make decisions on hardware for professional uses that allow us to make a living.

We have no desire to go the Dark Side and buy a Windows machine. And while the Hackintosh community has made great strides its not a viable option for a professional environment. Unfortunately you haven't left us much choice!! The professional software applications like CS6, AVID, Protools, Smoke and others require the most powerful hardware available. The ability to configure systems with specific hardware is essential for our businesses. The iMac is not the answer for these situations. (Not to mention that I already have 54 total inches of professional monitors sitting on my desk!!!)

We've held out as long as we can. Many of us will never get the hint that you've discontinued the MacPro lineup. So I am asking directly.
Can you please let us know what your plans are?
Is the MacPro officially dead?
Are you going to license OSX to another hardware manufacturer to build powerful desktops?
You have the best OS on the market. Please let us put it to good use!!!

We have waited patiently. We are only asking for a little insight. A timeframe would really go a long way in this relationship. Please, either set us free and tell us that the hardware is dead or give us a little peak behind the curtain. Its not too much to ask. We cannot wait any longer and its really not fair to string us along like this.

Sincerely
Lou Borella and the Creative Community

Optimized software benefits greatly from newer hardware, especially when that software is CS6, and it's designed to work more efficiently with the CUDA technology found inside NVIDIA graphics cards. Apple tried to stick it to Adobe when they last updated the Mac Pro, and they now only offers cards from competing AMD in the pro line. It doesn't seem that Lou is alone in asking for some answers, as the almost 12,000 likes proves. Professionals need professional solutions, and the iMac, with is built-in screen and laptop-like upgradeable nature, just doesn't cut it for many situations. The Hackintosh solution is simply not something many want to deal with, and for those with a lot of money riding on the successful completion of a project, minimizing system crashes and hardware incompatibilities are surely at the top of their list.

Apple's highly secretive nature has undoubtedly made this situation worse, but something else is at play here that is an unfortunate consequence of moving most of your business into the consumer market. Many professionals have switched from Final Cut thanks to FCPX, and have found an alternative in Premiere Pro. CS6 works just as well on OSX, but consider all of the video professionals that will want upgraded systems to take advantage of the next round of updates from Adobe in a few years. If everything they do will now be available on the Windows side, and they can fully customize their hardware, what will stop them from switching? Especially if they can move all of their previously purchased software as well. An iMac just won't cut it for a lot of specialized hardware, and Thunderbolt devices may not arrive in time for professionals to consider staying.

Computers are becoming a smaller and smaller market for Apple, as revenue from Mac sales was less than 1/4 that of iPhone and iPad sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The fraction will likely be even smaller as Apple continues to grow its brand worldwide and more of the world's population moves into the middle class. At some point, Apple may realize that computers are too small a piece of their revenue pie, and they'll stop making them altogether.

We've come to a turning point for many individuals who have been loyal to Apple for its software and its operating system. They will either have to deal with iMacs and Macbook Pros, or move to the "dark side" and buy a copy of Windows. This petition will probably fall on deaf ears at Cupertino, but it's likely we'll get an answer in the next few months whether new Mac Pros are coming, or if the high-end machines have seen their last days under the desks of thousands of hard-working professionals.

All you Apple users out there, what are your plans should they decide not to upgrade the Mac Pro? Is an iMac or Macbook Pro sufficient, or will you build a Hackintosh? Anyone given up and moved to Windows? Let us know in the comments.

[via Apple Insider]

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77 Comments

I left Apple back in '99 and bought a Dell. I was fond of the times I had, but the cost of replacement just to run Adobe programs was too much for me. Now Apple is totally irrelavant in my practice. The iMac doesn't work for me and the towers don't support CUDA and the towers are still way too overpriced. If anything they're giving the PC manufacturers an excuse to charge way to much for their systems.

May 28, 2012

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Haha - so basically you used Apple during their crappiest years and left just before their software and hardware products became truly outstanding and revolutionary.

Interesting.

May 29, 2012

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Hummer

I'm moving to the Hackintosh. Being a freelancer (and 16) I need something to replace my '06 iMac for my work, and though I've been drooling over a Mac Pro for years, I just can't afford one, especially that is several years out of date.

And since I've been apple loyal literally since I was born (my parents gave me the original Macintosh), I've never bought a PC, and it almost breaks my heart to do this. Apple: You've given me no choice!

May 28, 2012

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haha

May 28, 2012

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Nnata

Unless something dramatically changes, my next machine will be a Windows machine. Now that I have left Final Cut Studio for Avid and Adobe, there is literally no reason for me to be committed to OS X. Heck, I've even dropped my iPhone for a cheaper non-data phone, so those benefits are gone, too. Before, I was locked in due to Final Cut, but Apple has lost me with FCP X (I've used it, I like it, but I am far from loving it).

Apple will not update the Mac Pro line, I believe - if they do, it won't be cheaper and it won't be what we've been waiting for. I'm tired of spending the "Apple tax"; I'd much rather spend that money on a windows machine that actually performs as well as I would like it too, with nearly unlimited upgrade options.

May 28, 2012

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David

I hacked my graphics card so I could use the CUDA on my unsupported card in CS5.5 on PC. The difference is huge, I can now run loads of effects without the need to render which is critical to colour correction at a good pace.

I ran a very loud G4 MAC in my music studio for a year, sold it and made a silent PC with the money. That PC lasted for 7 years. If your using FCP look at CS6. If your using adobe products on a MAC I would get a PC and a monster CUDA card. You are paying for a brand and one that does not deserve the praise. They made a comeback with slick design not quality of product. They have a history of using cheap parts for their products safe in the knowledge the consumer is brainwashed by the brand. Anyone listening to the quality of the Ipod copmpared to a Sony porduct at half the price could tell the difference.

May 28, 2012

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Robert Groves

Firstly, I'm tired of hearing that fcpx resembles iMovie and doesn't seem professional as well as its price to discredit it as an NLE. It's radically different then the other NLE's out there, but so is smoke. Does that make the two unprofessional? It works for me and it works for me, and most notably Radical Media (who makes a decent amount of commercials you and I have seen) are using fcpx in a professional environment.

I do agree about wanting to know what the future of the Mac Pro is. The modern NLE at minimum should be running 16gb of ram. This raises a question for me- with thunderbolt, could it be used to attach external RAM and an external GPU to an iMac? Nowadays with how the software works a stronger GPU is almost more important then a great CPU.

May 28, 2012

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Austin Macr

I think you slightly misread what was written, it was not to discredit FCPX, but to simply point out that it fits in with where Apple is headed: consumer-oriented. They lowered the price, simplified the process, and made the interface more attractive (not inherently bad things), no doubt to entice first-time editors. It certainly can be a professional solution, but at the moment it is still a few updates shy from being as fully-featured as Final Cut Pro 7. It's definitely faster, not question, but it's radically different from other professional solutions, and it doesn't always fit in with standard workflows because of that.

If by Radical you mean Evan Schechtman and Outpost Digital, yes, they are using FCPX on a few projects, but they are still largely an FCP7 operation, and Evan really likes the new Smoke, so it's certainly possible they could move their systems to Smoke only and do almost everything in one application. No one is arguing the professional possibilities, but it's a brand new program with a new workflow and hardware and software incompatibilities. Not something most post houses really want to deal with - which is why many of them are making the decision to stick to Avid only or possibly move into Premiere.

May 28, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Gotcha- and very valid points made on fcpx- will be very interested to see where it goes as we enter into the one-year mark since the release of the software. Back to Smoke- have you used it? I've yet to find time to do so but I heard its best used for finishing but not necessarily the best to work on your project from start to finish on and that it's a resource hog (makes sense given the true 3d capabilities). Would you guys ever do a write-up on Smoke in the near future or have you already done so and I missed it?

May 28, 2012

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Austin Macr

I haven't used the new version yet but yes, it is better as a finishing/vfx program, but the addition of the solid editing functions make it an option to consider in professional post houses that want to avoid roundtripping. We may do a post at some point but seeing as it's $3,500, many would choose the CS6 route instead for the cheaper price.

It's more aimed at professionals, but if they start converting people and the editing functions get better - you could see it being used more. The more who use it, the cheaper it will likely be.

We'll consider, but either way I'll try to get my hands on it at some point.

May 28, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Well, I for one would like to discredit FCPX, I've used it extensively for three months and can tell you, its complete crap. I've gone back to PPRo and FCP7. I still love FCP not this other made for iPad piece of junk. Lets face facts here, I've been a loyal mac user for ten years and don't intend to change but Apple, pull head out of tail and make an NLE that caters for professionals not kids with prosumer point and shoot gizmos. Lightworks for OSX anyone?

May 28, 2012

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Shaun Wilson

Interesting - I've found FCP X to be pretty solid apart from some occasional glitches and slowdowns. Once I learned the tricks of the program, I seem to do everything much faster than I could do in FCP 7.

I absolutely love the dynamic timeline and would KILL for it to be implemented in Premiere for the sake of AfterEffects integration.

May 29, 2012

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Hummer

I was thinking about getting the new iMac when it comes out. Can someone tell me why its irrelevant?

May 28, 2012

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I'm cutting 4k RED footage on my suped up new Imac with TB/Pegasus Raid that I bought late last year.
But I REALLY wish I could get more RAM in there and change my graphics card OR Adobe would hurry up and support the AMD 6970 soon.

However everything said stands true re the Mac pro's and for the first time in a long time, I'm actually really wishing that I went PC and probably will in about a years time I think.

May 28, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

CS6 can utilize the GPU in the newest iMacs.

May 29, 2012

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Micheal

Specifically, check here for instructions on how to get it to work:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/4410109

May 29, 2012

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Micheal

Thanks Michael - if you ever stop back this way to read this.

Happy to be wrong. But seems a bit strange that Adobe would not have bothered to implement such a simple hack as this and this makes me pretty skeptical.

Todd Kopriva from Adobe had said it wasn't supported yet, and to send a feature request to Adobe.
Which I have done, and encouraged others to do. Official support for this card would impact a lot of people I think,

May 29, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

*it works for me and works for others (sorry, posting from a mobile device- big pain!)

May 28, 2012

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Austin Macr

I'm on a 2008 Mac Pro with a Cuda card and raid, I'm playing back 25fps 4:4:4 12 bit footage with grades in realtime.. I wish I had a newer Mac but short of masses of amounts of video I wonder who if anyone is actually falling over on the latest mac pro.. I mean maybe WTF are you doing with that thing if you are!! I would like to know if there is an upgrade though, simply because it affects the price of the old machines, but not because 'm interested in more power.

May 28, 2012

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Ross

I'm with you, I've got a 2008 MacPro, 2.8 x 2 quad core, 24gb ram, 4tb internal hard drive, and a quadro 4000 graphics card. I edit just about everything under the sun in cs5.5 and at this point I'm not even close to running out of power. What kind of projects are you guys working on? I should mention that I bought this macpro, quadro 4000, a gsafe raid setup, and 2 cinema displays for under 4 grand. I make good money on this machine all day long. It's not that expensive and easily pays for itself.

May 28, 2012

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I've used PCs all my life, but as I started freelancing more, and I saw what the guys at the production house were using, I decided I should get a Mac Pro and FCP7. This was in August 2011.

Then I discovered CS5.5.

Mostly thanks to NFS, I found out about CS5.5, then went off to research it by myself. And I fell in love with it. There was no doubt in my mind that Premiere was the NLE I wanted to use, and CS was the whole package.

So I weighed my options, since CS works on both. Having many more CUDA options was a huge plus for PC. I bought a Dell Workstation with Windows 7 and installed 24 GB of RAM for myself. I calculated what a similar Mac Pro would have cost me, and it was around $12,000. Total cost of my Workstation? $3,873. I bought an 8TB G-SPEED Q and I was set.

Having grown up on Windows all my life, it was nice to be able to transition into another Windows station without having to learn the ins and outs of a new operating system, too. Just made me feel more comfortable.

With Windows 7, I never once had an issue or a crash. I keep my system lean, mean, and off the Internet grid most of the time. I couldn't be happier.

May 28, 2012

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I built a hack pro about a hear ago and for around $3200 it had better specs than a $6500 Mac pro. I can say that it has been pretty awesome - solid and reliable. It's not for everyone though since it does take a little extra work to get running initially as well as upgrade (like from snow leopard to lion). I've got a 6 disk RAID 5 storage volume in there with an SSD boot drive and it's super fast. In total have 11 hard drives in there - you can't do that with an iMac.

Even if new Mac Pros came out I'd have a hard time buying one knowing how overpriced they are. It's not an easy decision either way - go hackintosh and sacrifice ease of upgrading, go mac pro and pay double, or go with windows and just not really be happy.

May 28, 2012

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Clayton Arnall

I m loosing my confident in Apple too. Get Thunderbolt peripherals since a year and still can't use them on my Mac Pro with its GPU card. I still wait to get a Da Vinci Color Grading station using GPU with my Thunderbolt Promise Pegasus R12 and Black Magic Design Ultra Studio 3D.

Apple could have give pro clues for their investment.

Actually i m thinking to switch to PC that could also be a Hackintoch. Da Vinci is now developped on Windows and the switch of Adobe Production Suite is now free of extra cost with its cloud / renting business model. Before the CS 6 cloud, you needed to buy an total new CS licence for swiching and upgrading Version were only possible on the same OS.

With Shake, FCP, X-Serve Apple don't give any confidence of our pro & production investments. Big changes have software, hardware but also workflow and training fees that really counts. Too much is enough. Can t play lotory anymore with cupertino who keep an arrogant silence.

A Mac fan since 15 years who bought many devices.
I do have any comment on FCP X, if it's a good or bad version, I just want to keep focus on creativity instead of loosing time and money to do same work differently. Think different is not a rule for creativity.

May 28, 2012

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serge

Let the Mac Pro die. Too small a market of consumers... it's not bringing in new ones and it's losing it's loyalty. People are realizing that working with Windows on PC is logical for this high end work. Saying that the Apple computer line will die out soon is ludacris though. There is still plenty of room for the iMac, Macbooks, and the Mac Mini. People just love the OS too much. Apple no longer has any necessary proprietary programs in the high end marketm, CS6 is all most people will need in this industry.

May 28, 2012

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Antony

iPhone/iPad sales were $22 billion in 2nd quarter 2012, Mac sales were $5 billion. That's going to continue being a larger and larger gap. What they might lose in margins with computers they make up for in volume with iPhones and iPads - that's where their real profit is made, and when computer sales slow to less than $1 billion per quarter and iPhone/iPad sales reach $30-$50 billion, what sense does it make for them to continue spending resources in an industry where they've never had a big market share. They'll put more of their resources into the growth markets, that's what smart companies do.

Here's my exact quote, just in case you missed it:

At some point, Apple may realize that computers are too small a piece of their revenue pie, and they’ll stop making them altogether.

May 28, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

What I don't understand, is if mac truly is phasing out their pro market in favor of a lower cost, mass market consumer base (fcp from $1000 to $299, perfect example), then WHY are they're computers sill so expensive?

They'd slam the laptop market if the intro macbook pro was under a grand. Their RAM and SSD prices at the apple store are notoriously overpriced. It doesn't make any sense to have artificially high prices like that, if in fact the new strategy is mass market.

May 28, 2012

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dv

There's a fairly simple reason - with lower volume, prices must be higher to keep profit margins. They don't sell as many laptops as Lenovo or HP, so their prices have to reflect that. Also don't forget that Apple products are seen as high-end, so their prices reflect the "design" as much as the parts inside. Apple isn't the only company that operates on this concept. What will be interesting is if lower and lower cost items, like the $1 dollar iPhone 3Gs (with two year upgrade), will start to hurt their image as being a luxury brand. When everyone's got an Apple device, will it still be as cool as it once seemed?

In terms of cameras, Leica is exactly the same way as Apple, but to the extreme. There's a good explanation on Leica's economics and pricing strategy here:

http://leicarumors.com/2012/05/19/the-mystery-of-leica-pricing-explained...

May 28, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Right... but apple isn't a low volume brand. Not anymore anyway. They dominate market share pretty much across the board of every product they offer. I only mention FCPx because its such a glaring grab at a lower common denominator. If low volume "luxury" was truly their motive, they wouldn't have done that.

Apple's basically getting massive market share at premium prices. They're getting their cake and they're eating it too. It's a ripe scenario for a company to get lazy. Let's see what happens...

May 28, 2012

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dv

I think that Apple will want to control its own destiny in the development department and will update the Mac Pro simply for its own engineers and designers to use, so no one can threaten their own operations. They are wealthy enough to afford that insurance.

Plus with Steve dead now, there's no one likely as nuts about throwing out ugly legacy things regardless of cost. He clearly wanted Thunderbolt to replace those klunky PCI cards and there was probably an argument that a new Mac Pro at this time would threaten Thunderbolt itself, by relieving the pressure for 3rd party development. Note the most obvious update to the Mac Pro is Thunderbolt connectivity, and it is the last Mac without it.

I think they will update the Mac Pro, just they are waiting for Thunderbolt to change the game a bit, and it hasn't yet.

May 28, 2012

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Peter

How about sending that directly to Mr.cook? Steve Jobs was known to reply to the random email or 2.

May 28, 2012

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JF

I am very very close to giving up and moving on to windows
I met a friend of a friend that works in customer service at apple, standard rap, he doesnt know and couldn't say if he did.

I understand that their new market is consumers and that everything is gone the way of the ipad, in a decade real apple computers will be nothing but shadows in our memories, but seriously apple
STOP DICKING THE PROFESSIONAL MARKET AROUND
We need serious, powerful computers, not ipads, and if you wont give them to us we will happily move elsewhere

May 28, 2012

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esmphoto

With all of Apple's wealth, I can't think of a better "charity" than to support the long suffering professionals who've stuck with the platform through thick and thin.

May 28, 2012

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Also a few words on FCP X:

"It’s no secret that Apple has been moving into the consumer space for the past five years, with the introduction of the iPhone and iPad, and the long wait between versions of Final Cut Studio, with the most recent version, Final Cut Pro X, resembling their consumer editing application iMovie."

"I think you slightly misread what was written, it was not to discredit FCPX, but to simply point out that it fits in with where Apple is headed: consumer-oriented. They lowered the price, simplified the process, and made the interface more attractive (not inherently bad things), no doubt to entice first-time editors. It certainly can be a professional solution, but at the moment it is still a few updates shy from being as fully-featured as Final Cut Pro 7. It’s definitely faster, not question, but it’s radically different from other professional solutions, and it doesn’t always fit in with standard workflows because of that."

Just because the interface is "slick" and the price point is $300, doesn't mean Apple is skewing away from professional editors. FCP X was made as a complete reengineering of the NLE because they wanted to get rid of the clutter and let Editors be creative. Is it perfect? No, far from. But it sure it ridiculously simple to sort through media and get an edit together. I've never had an easier time teaching my students editing fundamentals than in FCP X. One step instead of three, I'm very fond of that. That doesn't mean it's not a professional tool either. What that means is that the core responsibility of a NLE is being met leaps and bounds ahead of how others do it.

The FCP X interface has ALWAYS been more intuitive than other programs. That began with FCP when Apple bought it from Macromedia, and was one of the primary reasons it gained market share so easily. When X was made, FCP 7 was a 32 bit program. Only iMovie had been built with 64-bit code. So yes, it uses the foundational architecture of iMovie, but that's where the similarities end.

And after complaining about the "premium" price of a Mac Pro in the artical, $300 for such capable software is too cheap? Pick your side, dude. Just because people can afford it, doesn't mean they're professionals. Just like I tell my students that owning a RED camera doesn't make them a cinematographer.

I don't see Apple skewing away from professionals. I feel like that is a knee-jerk reaction, and not seeing the big picture.

May 28, 2012

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Rob S.

A very good friend of mine owns Premiere CS5, the latest addition of Avid, Final Cut 7, and Final Cut X. Currently his NLE of choice is Premiere. He loves Avid but also thinks "it's a royal pain in the ass", super loyal to Final Cut 7 till recently when he just couldn't take it anymore.

He noted that he actually thoroughly enjoys FCPX, fantastic for small projects. However, he wouldn't use it on larger projects. Right now hes working on a commercial with an Arri system, and immediately when for Premiere.

I have used them all briefly with the exception of Avid; and I agree to some extent. If I'm working on a quick YouTube video or blog that requires no special tweaks to it (just pure editing), then Ill go for FCPX. But because I'm a VFX artist, I mostly use Premiere, you just can't beat that dynamic link!

So Rob, though I mostly agree with you, the one thing that Pros wanted was consistency, not something radically different, EVEN if it is much more intuitive. They spent so much time learning and saving up for the software to suddenly have something entirely different as a replacement, forcing them to change workflows. I think that's why many people are going to Premiere, because I think it offers the best of both worlds. Its much cleaner, far faster, and more intuitive then FCP7 while still having all the features (and more) that they had in Final Cut. And the best bit is, its super quick to pick up and adapt to current workflows.

May 28, 2012

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The big picture is that they've killed many of their professional applications, and it's likely to stay that way.

Shake was at the top of the list for compositing software, they bought it, and then killed it.
Color was a true professional solution for color grading at a relatively low cost compared to the competition. They bought it and killed it.
DVD Studio Pro and Soundtrack Pro were both capable of good results, they killed those too.

All of these software applications were being used by working professionals - professionals meaning people getting paid to use these programs on a daily basis.

I also wasn't complaining about the premium price - I was simply pointing out that all of the people who wanted a new Mac Pro would gladly pay whatever Apple charged for a new one. Using the word premium is not complaining - it's a fact, and if you read the article that was hyper-linked, you'll see why.

At one point Apple was courting Hollywood folks very hard, they were trying to get high-end post houses to use their software. Well, it started to work, and enough switched over to make a dent, or they at least added FCP to their arsenal. Believe me, almost none of them are considering moving to FCPX - it doesn't fit into their workflow very easily, and even if they were using FCP7, Premiere is closer in workflow to FCP7 than it is to FCPX. They'll stay with Avid or if they are smaller they may just move everything to Premiere, especially if they have a lot of effects and graphics.

May 29, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

As someone who runs a smaller budget development house that does video as an add-on to other creative services we've been looking into expanding with iMacs, though I'm with everyone else when I say it's disappointing that Apple hasn't even addressed the Mac Pro to give us some guidance. I also happen to work with a bunch of NASA scientists who literally have grant money burning a hole in their pockets who wold love nothing more than to spend $10,000 on Mac Pros. Wish I had that "problem". Hah

That said, the CPUs in the iMacs are certainly powerful enough to run the majority of things I find myself working on (FCPX, AE) but yes the video card choice is crippled with the ATI offerings. The rumor of NVidia based iMacs is pretty solid so I'm waiting on my iMac purchase until that happens. Thunderbolt is shaping up to be quite handy with the release of not just drive arrays, but expansion chassis, and while Thunderbolt arrays are still stupid-expensive, you can put that eSATA array you have lying around to good use by just adding an ExpressCard expansion bay that connects via Thunderbolt to your iMac, slap an eSATA card in it, and off you go. So a big part of me actually feels like Apple will probably deep six the Pro and rely more heavily on external expansion for users who need it. I think it would be dumb as hell, but hey what do I know about Apple's business.

May 28, 2012

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Apple don't pre-announce their Mac updates. Haven't in years. No news from Apple is par for the course. I would be surprised to see the Mac Pro disappear just yet, but Intel only made the chips they'd need (new server-class Xeons) available in March this year. So yes, they're now due, and they're probably waiting until everything's ready for a release. Possibly until Mountain Lion is ready?

It's also possible that Apple could discontinue the Mac Pro and introduce something with fewer card slots and no optical drive — the mythical xMac. Some Mac users (including their own devs) would like the fastest processor available, but don't care about extra PCI slots. Thunderbolt can replace PCI slots, and if pros can get a fast GPU and CPU with tons of RAM, most will be happy enough.

May 28, 2012

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I work for Apple and I will say for them we are told continually to remember the value of the Mac line and that it's not to be overshadowed by the iPads an iphones as we showcase the products. We are continually reminded to remember our roots are the Mac. I wouldn't say they've forgotten. I'd say let Tim Cook have a chance to maybe surprise you some more; that's at least what I'm waitin for

May 28, 2012

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I was going to buy a new MacPro this year but FCPX changed that so I built my own rig. based on the Intel 2600K chip and the Sabertooth n67 board which I have overclocked to 4.4GHz/ Gives me roughly the same performance in Adobe Media Converter and After Effects for half of the cost in hardware as a 12-core/24 virtual core Mac. For about $1600 it has SSD, a 1TB 7400rpm drive, 32GB RAM and a nice old NVIdia 4800.card, water cooling, DVD blu-ray drive. Soon I'll be adding a couple of more drives to the built in SATA RAID rather than relying on a RAID card, that may change if I need to have more storage. Apple needs to worry more about price point that performance given the number of people exiting Mac only software. That may be a price point too low for them to continue with more than token upgrades on the MacPro line. As it is I can run my Media Composer 6, will be upgrading to CS6. Most of my editing is still done on macPros with FCP7. Gave FCPX a quick tour not too long ago. Some features a wonder to behold and some of the lack of functionality or I should say lack of ease of functionality a real head scratcher and not useful in my workflow.

May 28, 2012

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Marcus

the Mac Pro's will get refreshed eventually, or we will finally see the fabled "mid tower" mac that will come out, to fill the gap between the iMac and the Mac pro. Honestly, the 27" is quote the beast for editing and media work

also, the new machook pro's will have retina screens. if thats not going to change video editing forever I really don't know what will. Imagine how beautiful 2k/3k/4k footage would look on it.

May 28, 2012

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john jeffreys

I would even take a Mac Pro of these specs: slot loading dvd drive, 2 hard drive bays, whatever new processors, No PCI-e slots(would leave you the option to get thunderbolt chassis for any graphics or pci-e card you wish) 2usb, 2usb 3.0, 2FW800, 3 thunderbolt, very low end internal grfx card for simple display purposes, 50% smaller than current Mac Pros. Maybe it could start around $999.00. I think a lot of pros would buy a barebones Mac.

May 29, 2012

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I buy Mac pro after I got iphone .. i was amazed with iphone so i got Mac pro and i am really happy .. i switch from 3ds max to cinema4D .. just to use Mac OS X ... But if apple drop Mac pro ... I will switch back to windows then definitely I will switch to windows Phone as well .. I just want my devices from one platform

May 29, 2012

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taurus

The narrative of Apple letting the Mac slide seems very emotional. Apple is founded on a philosophy of changing the world. Many interpret the actions of the company like it's purpose is maximising profits for short term riches. Apple is not Goldman Sachs.

The number of professionals who are not the traditional analog professionals has ballooned in the last decade. Traditional professionals are a small minority of professionals today. That's why Apple seems to be ignoring professionals. And paying attention to me - a professional. The intermediaries of the agency and production house are, relative to an explosion of digital media output, in decline. (Much as advertising is in decline. And TV is in decline. Which explains the success of Madmen, which exists to tell us the world it depicts has disappeared.) Perhaps that explains why Apple is not catering to the needs of big production houses with legacy systems.

FCPX is explained by the need to replace the Moviola metaphor. None of us know what a Moviola is. It's just bad design. Why do we curse our kids with the QUERTY keyboard, obsolete for 75 years? I confess, I'm the kind of person that is anxious to move on from legacy systems. I don't use paper.

FCPX is not cheap because it's for consumers - it's cheap because Apple figured out how to sell digital products: you make more money selling lots cheap than you do selling something expensive to a few people. Adobe, is doing it the old way: selling a few copies of their software to professionals who have businesses to pay for the software. In my case, I am the business. I prefer to pay 25% for the efficiency of downloads, for not having to keep a copy of the software, for not having to deal with dongles, for not having to deal with serial numbers, for not having to register or produce proof of upgrades, for being able to install duplicate copies of the software on any machine with an internet connection, and living without all the BS surrounding piracy, foisted on us by obsolete middlemen from the mass media era, rent seekers who refuse to innovate.

It seems what Apple discovered is inherent to digital media. It costs almost zero to deliver the product, and supply is limitless, so it's cheap, which means less piracy, which means more convenience for me. That's one alternative to the RIAA and MPAA. Digital content (software, music, movies, images, books) is now cheap and plentiful, not scarce and expensive.

So it's not all about consumers and professionals, as if those were stable categories that meant something anyway. Technically, Apple is devoting itself to an explosion of professionals. The strange thing is the analog 'professionals' seem to refuse to acknowledge the existence of the new professionals.

I like to buy a new iMac every 2 years, because a new iMac is faster than a 2 year old tower. I had a tower once. It was $12k and upgrading was never economical. After 2 years, I owed more on it than the cost of a new one. When the 24" iMacs came out, I switched a creative department from towers, because it was more economical and with new Macs every 2 years, we got better performance. The suits got the old Macs - what do you do with an old tower?

I really need a new iMac as it's been 3 years and FCPX was designed for the future of computing - when computers are fast enough to do everything in one app non-destructively. This is good because round-tripping is unnecessarily confusing and destructive. I'm extremely annoyed with the never-ending wait.

May 29, 2012

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Apple is interested in changing the world only to the extent that it can do that while still making bundles of money. Otherwise, why not slash its profit margins on all its products, or even offer them at a loss for a few years (certainly, Apple has the financial war chest to be able to do that at this point)...high-quality gadgets with top-notch design that were affordable for everyone? Now THAT would change the world.

Or it could cut into its profit margins to substantially increase the payments offered to workers who work on Apple products, putting pressure on other tech and manufacturing companies to do the same while raising the standard of living for hundreds of thousands of workers in Asia. That would be pretty world-changing.

I don't necessarily disagree with what you're saying, but let's not romanticize Apple as some revolutionary out to speed humanity's race to a utopian technological future. I'm sure Apple will be as happy as the rest of us if/when we get there, but it's only going to push if it can make boatloads of money while doing it.

May 29, 2012

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So basically you're suggesting they become a crappier company by making a bunch of disparate products in different categories that satisfy some niche interests without doing anything particularly well.

You might be interested in a company called Sony.

May 29, 2012

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Hummer

An iMac does not perform as good as a high end tower. What the fuck are you talking about?

May 29, 2012

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Tate

did you really just misspell QWERTY?

May 29, 2012

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g.elfert

@Bradbell

iMacs? Seriously?... iMacs hold a maximum of 16gb RAM, and you can't get one with a Quadro FX card. And you definitely can't have any more than one graphics card either. So say I wanted to have a Tesla card as a secondary to handle some ray-tracing and dynamics simulations, I would be screwed now wouldn't I?

Clearly your work is a lot lighter than what some of us have to do. Which is fine. But speak for yourself. Your computing needs are more in line with the consumer, not the professional that needs true heavy lifting power...

My 5 year old tower could whip your little iMac any day of the week.

May 30, 2012

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Yeah, seriously... Even Photoshop duty can slow down iMacs once you hit a certain resolution. And not being able to upgrade as you go is a serious drawback. Full-blown After Effects sessions are not designed for iMacs, nor is the changing technology that demands a couple hundred dollars of new card every year or so.

May 31, 2012

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Buster Blakeney

A friend pointed out to me that $299 for FCPX isn't less expensive than the legacy Final Cut Suite, which was actually comprised of several applications (FCP, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, Color). We're just buying a la carte.

May 31, 2012

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Longgone

The QWERTY keyboard is great design for splitting workload on the fingers. No other keyboard can get to this speed of typing without that original philosophy.

June 1, 2012

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B S Kumar

Yes, QWERTY was designed to split up the workload onto two hands...to slow you down so mechanical keyboards won't jam. The world record was made with a Dvorak keyboard...Apple was the first computer company to use it, first as a hidden feature, then mainstream. Woz types in Dvorak.

June 4, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

I've heard from a few friends who work for Apple that they are likely making a conscience attempt to move from computers all together and focusing on making specialized ipads that are targeted for different fields: one for the average consumer, one for filmmaking, one for audio, one for graphic designers, etc.
That isn't confirmed, but that's what I've been hearing, and it wouldn't surprise me very much with how things are going.

May 29, 2012

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Anton

I use my 2008 MacPro as my video editing. I've upgraded everything to stay current. Some it will be at the end of it's useful life. I replaced three windows machines with one MacPro. I don't want to go back to Windows, but I will if I can't update/expand my setup.

May 29, 2012

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Ken Strum

I was in this place in 2010 after my G5 since 2003 died for the THIRD time (motherboard). I actually got money from insurance because Apple was not complying at all even with the evidence of heat and bad capacitors on those boards.

Anyway, I was waiting for the 6 core to come out, waiting with money in my hand, and I just decided to build my own. Guys, I have 24 GB ram, Nvidia GTX 285, 6 cores running at 3.75 ghz, SSD drives, RAID 4TB, back-up drives, 2TB working drive, blu-ray 12x BURNER, CD/DVD burner, a nice HUGE coolair case, USB 3.0, esata connections on front and back and a Cinebench score of 9.85 all for less than $3200.

Just started a film project over the weekend with 320 GB of footage shot on REDone, mostly at 4k. Plopped it into PPro 5.5 and started playing REAL TIME, no need for red rocket card.

Again, guys this is with one stinking GTX 285 card. I plan on getting another Nvidia card for Resolve. With my 750watt powersupply, things seem good.

I'd like to compete against the new Sandy bridge. 3.75ghz (light mild overclock) with 1600mhz ram sizzles friends.

May 29, 2012

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What processor are you using? You overclocking? Sounds beasty! lol And you have no hiccups with 4k? May have to copycat that setup lol

May 31, 2012

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Or you guys could get a 16 core Sandy Bridge ProMax. Too bad it is windows only.
http://barefeats.com/sandy01.html

May 29, 2012

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Funny how a guy using an obsolete computer that isn't supported anymore refers to "options" as "the dark side". Ever heard of that company, founded by that tyrant, Steve Jobs ?

But then again, he's a mac sheep. While he's whining, probably to deaf ears, I'm using cutting edge software (Premiere Pro) on my PC, without having to transcode, and at a very affordable price.

Oh well...

May 29, 2012

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FabDex

Just bought all my components for a Windows machine - building it tomorrow. Needed to move up from my 2007 MacBook Pro, and yeah - I don't want to sink the premium price of the MacPro into such old tech. I'm planning on moving to CS6 - still deciding between Production Premium and Creative Cloud - and going Resolve for grading. I'm only missing ProRes encoding for Mac clients, but there's a couple solutions I'm going to look into.

I still love OS X, much better than Windows. I've seen some Hackintosh builds pretty close to mine, so who knows - maybe I can get OS X after all. But if not - I'll deal. I'll have a machine that can do the work I need it to, has plenty of room for upgradeability, and all for a pretty reasonable price. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Apple right now.

May 29, 2012

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Kevin Marshall

I would tell everyone to wait until June 11th for the WWDC. This is going to be a monster press event. With all the chatter from the tech blogs going up (constant leaks of socalled parts, screen shots of new maps applications in iOS6, interviews from Jonny Ive declaring that the best work of his life is being done right now on products that can't be talked about, Jobs' Biography detailing the AppleTV, Rumors of a new Macbook Pro that has no DVD drive and extra battery life, "leaked" pictures of a new iphone dock connector, new Intel IvyBridge Processors, etc., etc.) this is going to be a HUGE event. If the Macbook Pro, Air, iMac, Mac mini all get Ivy Bridge updates, and there is no announcement about a Mac Pro, then you have your answer. Mac OS X as we know it is disappearing (http://gizmodo.com/5894679/another-crystal-clear-sign-that-os-x-is-going...). Windows users will realize that the Keyboard and Mouse are not sufficient when they upgrade to Windows 8. Quite frankly, I don't see any long term (meaning 3-5 year) plan for video editors. I would say this: Either go iMac (unless you can't), then go CS6 and buy a Windows tower that fits into your budget with Windows 7 to run for the next 2 to 3 years until the next big thing (that will work for professionals) comes out.

May 29, 2012

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Snaggler

I still don't quite understand - why do we still need giant desktops in 2012 and beyond?

I just see this as Apple's way of doing what it has always done - forcing consumers to move away from their stubborn comfort zones and into product lines that are actually progressive. The typical whining and moaning is part of parcel of this transition - it happened with the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, the MacBook Air and so on. Blah blah blah.

Very soon, the Macbook Pro will be powerful enough to do what it took a Mac Pro tower to handle just a few years ago. With the ability to RAID and any other accessories from Thunderbolt, why the heck would I need a 60 pound piece of metal under my desk?

May 29, 2012

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Hummer

Hummer, I don't entirely disagree with you. People are difficult to move outside their comfort zones. Hopefully the Apple hardware will soon support third party products that will be necessary for the accelerated processing that many pro users require.

However, at the moment, the big sticking point is the ability to add on the necessary hardware to your system.
Many pro apps require a PCI card to use or to get the best performance out of their software.
Without the ability to expand the machine and add on, it really leaves many folks out in the cold.
Also, updating the graphics card for 3D development, Adobe apps, or even gaming is a necessity for many users.

Right now, I'm running a machine with a fibre card for our SAN, a 3rd party graphics card for 3D rendering and a video capture card. Along with dual monitors and an NTSC monitor.
While I love the Thunderbolt port, that's a lot of external devices to string on to one bus.
I certainly hope that a future technology allows me to run this kind of setup, but right now I can't see an iMac taking on this task.

Finally, you also have to think about the cost. Most of the time, when we upgrade to a new computer, some if not all of our existing 3rd party devices will still work on the new machine. So ultimately it's a cost savings to not have to re-buy the other hardware. If thunderbolt devices were to replace my PCI and graphics devices, I'd have to go out and buy all new hardware and install it into our plant. Now multiply that by the 10 workstations that we run and the numbers skyrocket.

The user base for iMac and Minis will continue to be there for Apple, and you can really trick them out to a degree. But for many of us, it's not just comfort zone, it's a matter of having no other solid options. I'd rather not be testing the first generation of thunderbolt to fiber convertors while I'm working on a huge project, only to discover the drivers are bad or something and lose my whole project. Let the hardware come out and let us test it, then phase out the old fashioned 60 pound piece of metal.

May 30, 2012

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Jaksa

Yeah, that was kind of the tipping point for me. Thunderbolt is cool, but it's not a replacement for having more PCIe slots and lanes.

And going along your point about upgrade cost, using thunderbolt as a PCIe replacement isn't cheap, either. Buying a Thunderbolt expansion chassis is much less cost effective than just buying the motherboard to support everything, at least for me. I looked at Asus' new P8Z77 Premium, but stuck with the P9X79-Pro - because the X79 was cheaper, had more lanes available, and the cost of going thunderbolt and using a Sonnet Pro (just for one double-width card) would've added $800 to the price of any card I'd want to throw in.

I'd kill for thunderbolt in my laptop for data wrangling, though.

May 30, 2012

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Kevin Marshall

For your information about CS6
They have now implemented OpenCL with so not only Cuda is now supported, however there are 4 exceptions.

blogs.adobe.com/premiereprotraining/2012/05/opencl-and-premiere-pro-cs6.html

Q: What can Premiere Pro CS6 process with OpenCL?

A: Everything that Premiere Pro CS6 can process with CUDA, with four exceptions:
-Fast Blur effect
-Gaussion Blur effect
-Directional Blur effect
-Basic 3D effect

In our first iteration of OpenCL processing, we weren’t able to get enough performance improvement for these four effects, so they are for now better left on the CPU. But everything else that Premiere Pro CS6 can process with CUDA can be processed with OpenCL, and that’s a lot.

May 29, 2012

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Stefan

I actually wonder what so much the deal is what kind of OS you run, 90% of the time i'm staring at a screen running a program and am i hardly directly involved with the OS. At school we use iMac's and at home i've a windows PC, i really don't see the problem but maybe that's just me.
The hardware you use is far more important if you ask me but that might be to much for some in one way or another to fully into.

May 29, 2012

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Stefan

Stefan, agreed. I think the issue is, like car aficionados, it's very tied to emotions.

I consider myself a pragmatist. When I upgraded to my most recent system this year, I went with Windows. It was mostly for the price/performance ratio. WIth the addition of MacDrive (software to read Apple formatted hard drives), I've really had no big issues with using Windows on-set and for post work. The one exception is the lack of native ProRes support has me doing some custom Python scripts to allow a workflow between FFMPEG (which can render ProRes) and Redcine-X.

If you look at any major studio or post house, it's a mixed OS environment. Windows, OSX, and flavors of Linux can all be seen, with a lot of custom tools programmed within Linux.

May 30, 2012

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Angelo

At NAB this year i only saw one Tower. Everything else was being run through iMacs or MBPs with Thunderbolt extensions. I saw a MBP hooked up to a Raid via Thunderbolt projecting 2 4k videos on 2 different screens.
Sure the tower might be dead, but lets give apple some credit here. These guys are much more forward thinking than we are. They know that listening to what their customers think should happen isn't always in the best interest of their business.
I remember when they got rid of the floppy drive and everyone flipped a shit.
Then they got rid of the optical in the Air and everyone lost their mind. I don't know about you but I haven't put a CD in my computer in almost a year.

Be calm, wait and see what they come out with.

May 31, 2012

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Well guess what guys? Windows is the new Mac, like it or not . HP Z820 and Dell Precision T7600 to be precise, Of course, you can always stick to obsolescence and lose business at the same time. As for hackintosh, unless you (or your best friend) are extremely tech savvy don't go there. A simple software update will wreck havoc, kernel panic and all that. Good night and good luck!

May 31, 2012

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Jim Woo

It seems no one realizes the workstation level (not desktop or laptop) Ivy Bridge CPUs (Xeons) are just now getting out, after over a year delay. Intel is also late delivering needed chipsets for the new Xeons.
HP just refreshed and started shipping their new towers in April/May. I'm even sure if they have all the latest greatest tech either.
Plus.. PCIE 3x is just now getting into the main stream. Apple probably didn't want a refresh of the Mac Tower with existing technology. I wouldn't be surprised if they made a big announcement this summer. Just MHO.

May 31, 2012

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Joe C

I just want Apple to license the OSx out so I can get the insides I really need without have a hackintosh! But that's a serious pipe dream...

May 31, 2012

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WTF? There is an update available...i7 Sandy Bridge PC with EDIUS 6. Makes a Mac/FCP look like the pretentious joke it is.

May 31, 2012

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Skeptikal

"...As of this writing, the Facebook page has close to 12,000 likes..."

And therein lies the problem, how many of those 12,000 are just fanboys and how many can actually afford the many thousands of dollars/pounds/euros premium.

To think that some begging and pleading will make them offer support to the people (like me) who supported them through the lean times is just a sad fantasy.

I jumped ship a while back and HP Z series absolutely trounce Macs in every way. And Win 7 is just as stable as any Mac I ever used.

June 1, 2012

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altavistalives

Tell that to the fanboys.

June 2, 2012

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I'll just move over to Windows. So sad!

June 4, 2012

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Nicholas Ferrara

altavistalives, and if we do that, what software or packages will be better than Final Cut Studio in working on a Full Feature? Premiere Pro?
Do you honestly think that's a descent professional solution?
I understand, we can do that for a school project or some local commercials, but I will be measuring my blood pressure every 15 minutes if I start working on a serious heavy project on a Windows Machine.
I am too old for that #$%#$%#$%...

June 13, 2012

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Kl

Avid works just as well on PC as on Mac, and it's what the vast majority of companies use to cut feature films and broadcast TV. By the time I edited a television show on a PC-based Avid (Avid Adrenaline, circa 2005 or 6), I had been using Mac-based Avids in the industry for 10 years (starting on the Quadra). I was nervous at first to be using a PC, but in the absence of any crashes (that would require Windows troubleshooting that I then completely lacked), it was fine.

I'd say that, unless you're working on a "school project or some local commercials," Avid MC6 is a more than decent "professional solution."

By the way, what's a "Full Feature" [sic]?

January 7, 2013

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Screenstory

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am stunned why this twist of fate didn't came about earlier!
I bookmarked it.

March 22, 2014

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