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He could not hide his distaste for the constant claims of many people who, in the absence of Steve Jobs, doubted their ability to deliver product of the same caliber as that which came under Steve’s watch, when in a very un-Apple like way he exclaimed: “Can’t innovate anymore my ass!“.
Fast forward a few years and the ‘trash can’ Mac Pro remained unchanged, with no updates, where all other Mac product was seeing regular CPU speed bumps etc. Turns out, they could not innovate in Steve Jobs absence, as the Mac Pro’s thermal design was unable to cool anything above what it initially shipped with, which was now well and truly out of date.
Clearly, they did not look back to the last time they made a small powerful machine that also failed, the Cube. The Cube suffered from being too clever for it’s own good, with similar cooling issues, tangles of wires coming out of it and a price that was simply more than customers were willing to pay. Steve Jobs learnt from that mistake, but it seems no one else at Apple did.
A couple of years ago Apple offered it’s customers a stop gap product in the iMac Pro, a completely un-upgradeable machine for Pro-sumers, with a variety of Xeon CPU options and very high pricing. True fan boys took the plunge but few others did. The reality is, the iMac Pro is not what Apple pro-sumers wanted, was too expensive and suffered the same issue as all iMac and Apple Laptops, thermal throttling due to inefficient cooling of the iMac design. Not even for a “Pro” machine could Jony Ive allow the iMacs case to be a little thicker to allow for better cooling!
Not to mention the inability to upgrade RAM or SSD post purchase without having to take it to the Apple store and pay Apple’s hideous prices for RAM upgrades and labour given that the entire screen has to be removed etc. So, everyone waited for the new Mac Pro…only to be massively disappointed once again.
Apple have been designing product for years now where form comes before function and this has created a wealth of product that may be beautiful to look at but uses design that inhibits performance or longevity.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room first, the price. Although Australian pricing has not yet been announced, at US$6,000, straight conversion comes out to AUD$8,500, add the GST to that and we have an RRP of AUD$9,350…and that is the starting price for a base machine. Given the Australian consumer laws force Apple to provide 2 years warranty, I would expect the base price to be AUD$9,999 when it is announced.
Combine that with the new matching 6K screen, which with the stupidly overpriced stand (US$1,000/AUD$1430+GST), it is another AUD$9,350, you have a whopping starting price on the base machine and screen of AUD$18,700. This begs the question, who exactly is this machine for?
The new 2019 Apple Mac Pro is most definitely not for those of us that used to be Apple users that would buy Apple’s top end products, like photographers, video editors, graphic designers etc. It is way out of reach for all but the very wealthy, or scientific research facilities perhaps?
What Apple’s pro-sumers really wanted was something where we could upgrade the RAM ourselves without buying over priced RAM from Apple. A machine where we could put which ever graphics card we wanted into our new machine, and we want NVIDIA, but Apple have prevented all of that with this new machine.
Without a doubt, the new 2019 Apple Mac Pro is a product born from the ego of the post Steve Jobs Apple machine, another attempt to show the world how clever they are, that totally misses the mark of what their customers actually want.
Let’s start with the over engineered front and rear panels, both of which are milled from a solid billet of aluminium each of which has to spend a very long time on a CNC machine to route out all the holes to create the pattern you see which is supposedly for better air flow. Totally un-necessary, completely over engineered and very costly to produce. Even worse, they have no filters behind the grill to minimise dust on the internal boards.
Then there are those custom designed GPU’s, only time will tell just how expensive they will be when they eventually announce them, but my money is on at least AUD$5,000 each, and the machine can take two of those modules, each of which has two GPU’s inside. Technically this is awesome, but being Apple product it will be stupidly expensive. To make matters worse, while you can put other graphics cards in it, it is only AMD cards that are allowed as they have written support of NVIDIA cards out of the OS.
Now let’s talk about RAM. This machine takes a lot of it and I ask, who needs a machine that can take 1.5TB RAM? Sure, there are some scientific labs, or 3D render farms such as those used by Pixar to create movies that may benefit from this, but no normal user ever would. The cost is the real eye opener however. Here is Australia, the cost of buying 12 x 128GB EEC RAM modules to suit, is AUD$65,000! That is not a typo, each 128GB RAM module is currently AUD$5,411. Given Apple’s pricing on RAM, expect to pay over AUD$100,000 for the RAM directly from Apple Australia!
By now it is pretty clear that Apple is no longer interested in the customers who made them what they are today. Those customers were creative people, from designers to desktop publishers, photographers and video editors both pro and consumer, even musicians. The 2019 Apple Mac Pro is not the machine you have been waiting for, it is overkill. Another ‘can’t innovate anymore my ass’ response to a shrinking market of loyal customers that would have otherwise eaten out their hands.
It goes to show that Steve Jobs’ genius was in knowing exactly what his customers wanted. Products under his control were never born from ego or a desire to prove how technically clever he was. Restrained brilliance perhaps? Post Steve Jobs Apple needs to stop trying to prove how clever they are technically, and listen to what their customers actually need, because anyone can build a computer as powerful as the new Mac Pro if price is not an issue, but sadly for most of us, it is.
Apple have been pushing up prices on everything they do for years now and everyone has a breaking point, mine was three years ago, and there is no going back now. Media PC was started because Apple can not deliver a machine that is what people like me want to use, powerful, up-gradable and affordable. So, how can we help you?
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The original ‘cheese grater’ Apple Mac Pro was without a doubt, the last great Mac Pro Apple ever made. It was powerful (for it’s time) and expandable.