It’s one thing for me to buy a “disposable computer” when it is priced very low. It’s another thing for me when you can’t upgrade or service computers with premium-priced parts in them. This is a trend I don’t support.
Unfortunately the only way to protest Apple’s business decisions is to leave the Mac, which means giving up macOS, which I find a more productive environment for me than Windows or any of the Linux desktops like KDE and GNOME. I started using macOS back when Macs were user-serviceable, upgradeable, and reasonably affordable. I continue using the Mac for macOS, but I’m finding myself alienated by Apple's business decisions.
I wish the situation for personal computer operating systems were better. I want PC hardware with an operating system that has the same power, attention to detail, usability, and reliability that macOS has. At this point I am willing to spend my spare time on such a project.
Apple in the last 20 pushed the boundaries in terms of sleek and slim, but I argue those are last century's imperatives. Apple has the clout and profile, that if it took a stand and said 'we are going to make our products a few milimeters thicker, we are going to make them so that they can be upgraded, we realise that this will hit sales and profits, but this is the planet we are talking about', they could probably pull other members of the industry behind them'. Conspicuous non consumption might be the new fashion statement.
I have many "progressive", "pro-eco" friends who just can't understand I am still using that old crappy Nexus 5X although I could afford a new, fancier phone (and my cell phone operator would subsidize it partly and nice person from call center would add another 4 GB of free internet to existing 15, as if I could ever use so much using cell phone).
They also cannot understand that I am still driving my 10 years old car instead of leasing/buying a new car which would be more "eco friendly". I am trying to explain them that cars are not growing on trees and producing a new one is not really that environment friendly and that during past 10 years cars were not improved so much in terms of CO2 emission to justify the change (giving recent car makers test scandals it is hard to say if they improved at all. Even if I could buy electric car, which is not really an option in my country due to lack of infrastructure and my usecase - I don't drive in the city, only long travels - still producing a new car emits more CO2 than my car will emit during its remaining lifetime).
Same with driving to work (they buy those new cars for a reason, not to sit in a tram among those sweating people), same with using electric laundry dries (it is so unfashionable to air-dry laundry at home), etc.
People love to talk about being pro-eco and taking actions that make them feel good, but they can't face the truth that their consumption habits change would be infinitely more beneficial.
If anyone else is wondering, I think you're right about this. I've looked into it and there are a few people who've tried to tackle the question of what's better but I find they all have some problem with the assumptions they make, largely because it's just a difficult problem with a lot of variables. Mileage, age of each vehicle, expected life of each vehicle, what emissions can be attributed to production, whether to include emissions of the inefficiencies of recycling one but not the other, etc.
I decided that a new eco-friendly car and a similar old used car were close enough in emissions - i.e. within the same magnitude - that it wasn't worth it if it's your only reason for spending the money on a new car. What's far more effective is reducing mileage done in a car.
If any company is going to go this route though, it's not going to be Apple. It harkens back to the days where Wozniak and Jobs argued whether or not to put slots into the Apple 2, and Jobs won that one of course. His legacy runs strong in the company.
[EDIT] Apologies, Jobs relented in the instance of the Apple 2, mainly because that was Woz's baby. Later models did not allow for playing with the hardware however.
The Apple ][ had expansion slots.
"Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was a strong believer in hardware expandability, and he endowed the Apple II with luxurious expandability [....] Steve [Jobs] was reportedly against having slots in the Apple II back in the days of yore, and felt even stronger about slots for the Mac. He decreed that the Macintosh would remain perpetually bereft of slots, enclosed in a tightly sealed case, with only the limited expandability of the two serial ports."
"Burrell was afraid the 128Kbyte Mac would seem inadequate [...] He realized that he could support 256Kbit RAM chips simply by routing a few extra lines on the PC board,
But once again, Steve Jobs objected, because he didn't like the idea of customers mucking with the innards of their computer. He would also rather have them buy a new 512K Mac instead of them buying more RAM from a third-party."
I don't mind if they are not expandable or repairable, if they were design to last, heavily tested for reliability, then I am fine. It should be so reliable to the point Apple is willing to offer 2 years standard warranty to Mac products for the same price, with AppleCare going up to 4 years.
The problem is I am seeing lots and lots of small details that simply ignores reliabilit. And they are not fixing it, such the the Thunderbolt high voltage placement right next to the CPU pin with no separation, cables failing for no reason. Keyboard etc.
And if these were fixed in each iteration of MacBook Pro, we wouldn't have much problem. Except the same problem in 2016 exists as in the 2019 model as well.
And these quality issues were apparent with many newer Apple products. iPad Pro bending when you Open it in box. AirPod 2 with rough finishes that cut your ears, ( and Apple even refuse to exchange it ).
There is a reason why Repair Shops for Apple products are thriving, its because they fail and lots of people are repairing them instead of going to Apple store where their Staff simply suggest a price that you might as well buy a new one.
seriously tho, the way i see is to boycott companies hindering repairs, and plaster the repair manifesto everywhere
EDIT: political rant below
the issue at hand is that these companies actions are dictated by their boards of investors, most of them members of the so-called 1%. and for some philanthropist exceptions those people only care about acquisition of wealth. they do not care about environmental damage, as they live in a different world than all of us, they do not have to go to work to secure their basic needs.
their very lifestyle is not threatened by global warming, social injustice or wars.
when the sea level rises they still will be residing in climate-controlled mansions, but at that time build of island further away from equator,
they will still have access to best medical treatment,
they will still have best food on their plates, even if the produce on those plates will cost 10'000$ a serving they will still have the funds.
they will still roam the seas on their super-sized yachts
they world is not in danger. ours is
That's not how capitalism works.
Between green and more profit, it will always pick more profit.
The green "recycling" etc is just ecology theater. Recycling = tons of parts just ending up in China (under "recycle" programs where they're paid to get western trash), where most of it is discarded and thrown away anyway.
Absolutely. If your customers start choosing you rather than your competitors due to your green credentials, then in can lead to more profit.
In exactly the same way that Apple is gambling that security will lead to more profit, despite the fact that selling customer data is clearly a profitable short term opportunity.
Yeah, that's not gonna happen either. That will be the last concern of the majority of consumers...
And of course companies need to sabotage their sales (tell customers "just keep upgrading your existing model, buy less, etc") to get those actual (not ecology-theater) green credentials, which no company and no competitors are gonna do either.
He won't read it. His PR team will respond instead.
>if it takes the environment seriously (and I commend them on what they have done so far)
They don't it's just PR. The stuff that they should do if they took the environment seriously are offloaded to companies like Foxconn which don't care about their public image.
>be truly 'courageous' and prioritise repairability and expandability in their forthcoming products.
They won't do that unless they get to a point that they just can't increase their margins or expand to other countries anymore. They even further invested into locking their computers on a semiconductor level( t2 chip).
>Apple has the clout and profile, that if it took a stand and said 'we are going to make our products a few milimeters thicker, we are going to make them so that they can be upgraded, we realise that this will hit sales and profits, but this is the planet we are talking about', they could probably pull other members of the industry behind them'.
That doesn't make them money. They didn't become the biggest tech company by not focusing on making money.
> That doesn't make them money. They didn't become the biggest tech company by not focusing on making money.
It does if they catch a new wave of consumer enthusiasm earlier than their competitors. I eliev such a wave exists.
At least in the US (and presumably in the EU which is much better about this sort of stuff) this is not legal. You can upgrade it on your own and Apple still has to honor the warranty.
This follows an earlier infraction over refusing to repair faults after a year without AppleCare https://www.crn.com.au/news/apple-agrees-to-two-year-warrant...
Even the new Mac mini is quite expensive compared to its predecessors. Mac mini used to be the cheap and beginner level entry into Macs/macOS. The current hardware may be worth the price, but Apple has clearly missed making something that’s a lot more affordable (with cheaper parts, fewer ports, etc.).
The Mac Mini 2014 showed the Apple to come: an overpriced, non-serviceable slab of metal.
Anecdotally, a friend of mine built a beefy PC running macOS for his main work computer (i9, 64GB RAM, etc., for about half the price of a Mac Pro). It's completely built of generic, modular parts (other than the proprietary OS), with ability to extend and repair. Apparently, Apple is listening but money speaks louder than user freedoms.
I'm actually one of these few people who's also happy with the new MBP.
 Though this means I wouldn't be included in purchaser satisfaction ratings, because I didn't purchase.
The new MBP is basically gambling. You take your money to the Apple Store. They give you a computer, and a year down the line you see if that computer still works.
Apple products used to last an age, that is what justified the price. There are many people in this thread using old MBPs, including myself.
The more expensive a computer, the longer it is expected to last. It is quite normal to expect 5 years of use out of these things. I see plenty of evidence that this keyboard design is not capable of that.
> Market failure is the economic situation defined by an inefficient distribution of goods and services in the free market...In traditional microeconomics, this is shown as a steady state disequilibrium in which the quantity supplied does not equal the quantity demanded.
GP claimed there are demands not being met, because suppliers make more money selling to a "virtual customer that's an average of all customers across all characteristics." If that's correct, arguably it is a market failure, and that's consistent with those suppliers making lots of money selling to that average customer.
It seems to me it’s more like cases where poor infrastructure prevents distribution, or excessive regulation obstructs trade, preventing vendors and purchasers from linking up. That’s a problem on both sides. It’s an actual failure of the market itself.
Even for technically challenged artists, it is not difficult because there are several technicians around here that install Hackintosh machines for this industry and update them from time to time. Their names are passed by word-of-mouth.
The bigger production houses will probably buy the new Mac Pros, but the entire freelance sector will keep their Hackintoshes or move to Windows. The pricing is just crazy.
Like I said, it can work, but relying on "word of mouth technicians" isn't very practical. There are also times when, after an update, things just break, and the "technician" may not even be able to fix the issue in a timely fashion, especially issues related to sound or QE/CI. I've done enough digging around and tinkering with kext files and video drivers to know that it can sometimes take days of concerted effort to fix these issues. I'm sure mileage varies depending on one's needs or the particular hardware configuration but you're rolling the dice every time you update.
Definitely, they've all become paranoid about updates or installing anything which is not absolutely necessary. They are a version or two of macOS behind, and never update without confirming with the technician.
I shudder at the security implications, but I'm told it has become quite common after the trashcan came out.
I predict that MacOS's premier status will be disappear before Apple manages to lock it down. The Mac app development community is dying. Apple strangled it to death with the heavy handed Mac App Store sandboxing policies. Nobody wants to develop exclusive Mac apps anymore.
Featuring a used i7 3770k and rx580, it cost $200 to build and its CPU benchmarks were on par with the macbook pro i7 2017 but much more graphically capable (which is surprisingly noticeable when doing innocuous tasks like maintaining smooth animations when switching between desktops)
These users will either have to give up user-serviceability and buy a Mac Mini or iMac, somehow pony up more money to get a $6000 Mac Pro, or abandon macOS unless they go the Hackintosh route, which is not an option in corporate environments and other places where EULAs are enforced. This is the choice that Apple presented us with.
The (non-Pro) iMac is a great substitute if they don't want user serviceability.
I personally don’t even care if it’s AMD instead of Nvidia, I just want stronger card options. The fact that the GPU in the top config iMac Pro is just on par with my now-old 980Ti really sours it.
Note that I’m saying this as a long time Mac user and iOS dev using a hackintosh tower alongside a couple of MacBooks.
A $999 ATX upgradable Mac would kill the product line stone dead. The profit margins would be tiny, reverting to industry averages, and wipe out Apple's ability to invest in high grade materials, design and software engineering.
What happens to Apple when their capacity to devote resources to differentiating their products is no better than Dell or Samsung?
They’ve been sticking to Macs since.
Is that a good thing? I am not so sure. People complain about the power they have over their app store, or their efforts to prevent people from loading apps purchased outside of the store, but turn a blind eye to the restrictions on using the OS.
Windows for what few warts remains is much more free to do with as you please.
Still, I no longer buy Apple products if they are labeled as made in China, that is a bigger affront that all the locking of software ever was.
Having an iMac on my desk also makes it difficult just to add a PC to my setup, as I would need a screen on top of this (and my desk space is scarce), but one day I might do the step - recent Gnome desktops have become very nice, and with Wayland the Linux display stack is getting nicer too.
That has not been my experience. The Apple store just refreshed my 2015 Macbook pro: new screen, new bottom case, new fan, etc. Did not charge me anything.
Apple products last much longer than others and are much cheaper to maintain.
Also touchscreen start to literally fell off after 2 year, but can’t tell if it was weak design or if my wife was careless to be honest.
This is like saying Ferrari has doubled down on its refusal to sell a budget hatchback for families.
They already have models in the "regular hatchback for families" range (and had since forever).
It's the mid-tier that suffers.
I want an upgradeable Mac tower, but I certainly don't need a Xeon workstation with ECC memory even if I can afford a Mac Pro.
I'm quite happy with my 5K iMac so far, but I'm worried about future repairs and upgrades.
I had a big interest in virtualization and along the years of using the mac I tried all kinds of linux servers in VMs for research and self education. I never did like ubuntu's standard desktop. I tried them all. After the Mojave fiasco I thought I'd buy a mid range computer with the latest Nvidia card (partially just because I could do that and I could not do that with mac). My mac was on the cliff edge of planned obsolescence anyway (Apple decides for you when it is time to upgrade).
Long story short it is indeed difficult to get used to Linux. You have to develop a survival attitude first. I found that changing one thing like fstab could make the system unbootable. Sudo can ruin your system fast if you are not careful and an expert. I did not want to be either careful or an expert just to get work done. So to survive my poor administration skills I found I could lean on a program called TimeShift which works a lot like timemachine for Mac. Its really like the best parts of Time Machine combined with Windows' restore points. Anytime I am about to install something new or tweak something that has the potential for causing a disaster I take a few minutes to make a snapshot via TimeMachine/Rsync. I can always go back, and if I really mess everything up I can boot into a live cd and run TimeShift from that.
TimeShift unfortunately does not do home directories very well but there is another gui/cli program called BackInTime that I use for the Time Machine like solution for my home directory and a couple others.
I use rotating backups. I have backups on a big 8 TB external drive and then I rsync that to a copy drive and leave that one offline in case my main machine gets poisoned by ransomware.
So thats my survival technique..
But is it worth it? It took me about a month to figure out what to do for disasters and bad configurations and I spent about a month deciding what "distro" to use. I tried all flavors of Ubuntu, and tried Mint but settled on Debian with the Cinnamon desktop. I got to say I really like cinnamon, it is very ram hungry but ram is cheap so it isn't a problem for me. It supports high dpi (well 2x at least). The file manager is great, it even has ftp built into it. Context menus work good, right click to open as root, or open a terminal. Cinnamon is a classic take on well established principles in UI design that were perfected over a decade ago, instead of changing things just to change them.
But so what if there are no good applications! I have a multimedia background so that was my interest. I used to use Photoshop cs6 for years but Adobe is too incompetent and greedy to rely on for the future. My photo editing needs have not changed much since I bought it in 2008 so Gimp isn't too far behind what I owned since then. I just tried using lightwave recently but it fails to work even in a VM so I decided to learn Blender. I could not justify purchasing Modo even though it is available for Linux. Main thing is Muscle memory. The proof is in the pudding for art programs. If people are doing amazing things with it, the software has merit. So I have a lot of optimism that I can still get some nice work done.
Visual studio code on linux is really nice. There were some snafus I had to get around but when it is setup its terrific.
I never used Microsoft office at home and my office requirements are simple. But if I did need it, I could use Office 365 on a web browser I presume. I just need the occasional word processor and spreadsheet.
Video editing on Linux is still a sore point but I like Olive editor and I am trying to support it with Patreon. It feels a lot like an early verion of Sonic Foundry Vegas. I in no way will ever miss Adobe Premiere
Debian has tens of thousands of software packages that are just a apt install away. That is a gigantic value. I don't have to worry about Window's malware as much as linux malware. I don't have to upgrade my hardware according to Apple's schedules and demands. I have access to the latest or near to the latest Nvidia hardware.
Desktop computing today is a disaster. I hate windows, I can't afford to waste money on inferior hardware and pray that the designers don't forsake my professional platform for consumerish goals. Debian isn't the only or the best linux perhaps. But if I didn't have Linux I would just give up on computing entirely and work at a factory or something.
DaVinci Resolve for video/audio editing on Linux, which has a great free version and may be the best editing software on the market for any platform. I've done a few professional jobs with it and greatly preferred it to Adobe Premiere/After Effects/Audition. Highly recommended.
Krita is great for photo editing/digital painting and Inkscape does a good job of replacing Illustrator for most uses. GIMP is still unbearable for professional use. This is the biggest gap in quality software for me - nothing can truly replace Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator or InDesign yet.
Figma is perfect for UI design/wireframing/prototyping and has a fully featured web app.
Blender is insanely powerful for free software these days (see Next Gen on Netflix for a feature-length movie created entirely in Blender) and Octane/Redshift render engines are available for industry quality 3D images.
VSCode handles all of my web development and native Linux terminals are much, much faster than WSL when installing and running tools like Webpack, Gulp etc.
LibreOffice covers 99% of use cases and looks pretty slick with a good theme, however I use Google Docs or Office 365 to ensure compatibility with clients' machines.
It’s far easier than I thought it would be. Pick the right parts and it will work flawlessly.
Convincing Donald Trump of climate change being real seems easier than that.
However, I am curious as to the process for getting a kext signing cert, as that plays a part in the value of having the certs in the first place or not.
I didn't mention anything about serial numbers and the fun and games that goes on there when trying to get a Hackintosh working with iMessage/Facetime/iCloud services, which is a bit of a mixed bag. There could be security implications related to that, that haven't been worked out of the woodwork yet, but the kernel extensions feels like the biggest risk there.
Also, the Mini and the iMacs have always had upgradeable RAM.
Thanks, I didn't know the 2014 model didn't have upgradeable RAM. The last one I bought was the 2013.
Get Ubuntu, install Docky and Macbuntu theme if you want to keep familiar desktop around before you fully convert to Linux.
It runs DaVinci Resolve and Pixar's RenderMan natively. CS6 runs reliably under Wine as well.
Can you run 3DS Max on macOS? So, isn't macOS a pro environment then?
Most people aren't asking "does $OS run an image editor?" they are asking "does Photoshop run on $OS?". Replace Photoshop with any widely known or niche application (as both are reasons to select an OS).
Our budgets are a fraction of a hollywood production though.
The base model Mac Pro isn't going to be doing much at all. The higher end model with a lot of upgrades is going to be the sweet spot. You really need to push up to a 12-16 core, with 64-128gb RAM, 11+gb GPUs and then add the afterburner card (cause Apple won't play nice with Nvidia) if you want to be doing anything with 8K RAW on a high resolution display.
Yes, the Mac Pro is essentially an infinitely upgradable machine. That's awesome. But third party support is questionable and without Nvidia that leaves a lot of speculation as to what the afterburner card will truly be able to do.
I'd kill for that motherboard in a smaller CPU buildout. In a high budget post-facility environment, it may be an ideal candidate. Currently there isn't a Mac in our reach that doesn't overheat or choke on big media projects (we refuse to look at the iMac Pro seriously).
We've been holding off buying new gear for several years. Most of the editors I work with would prefer to stay on macOS, but the base model should have been $3500 8-Core with a lot more GPU horses. Apple delivered a $6000 box without anything to back it up. At a minimum we'd have to upgrade to a bigger GPU and add the afterburner cards and a little RAM, probably pushing us close to $10k mark.
AMD Ryzen 3000 and Threadripper builds are going to be increasingly more common for normal budget media work. The Intel i9 is our current sweet spot for budget to power ratio.
If I was in an unlimited budget post-facility, yeah, I'd get one cause it looks pretty damn cool and I love macOS. But I don't expect it to solve a lot of real world problems if upgrades are bottlenecked to proprietary offerings from Apple. We're going to have to wait and see if they can keep up with the rest of the industry.
Also, why are you refusing to look at the iMac Pro? Best machine I ever had.
We have actually started buying Intel NUCs for our student labs instead of Macs. Adobe and Office work on both.
I'm fairly positive the iMac Pro would melt though. Even if it didn't melt at first, the load it lived under would greatly reduce the lifespan of the machine.
As for the CPU, I agree. However I’m not 100% sure on how much can be offloaded to the GPU these days, 5-ish years ago when I was working with video editors a lot, it wasn’t much that could be offloaded.
Maybe it’s improved a lot.
- Neither the Mac Mini nor 2019 Mac Pro are user-serviceable; you have to take your Mac to an Apple-approved repair center if you want to upgrade your RAM (see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205041#one and https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208377). I guess it's nice to have DIMMs when the computer is out of warranty, but I'd like to preserve my warranty and not have to pay Apple's prices for RAM upgrades plus labor costs.
- The storage is soldered onto the motherboard in the Mac Mini, which precludes upgrading or replacing storage.
- The storage for the iMac Pro is a special proprietary design, precluding the use of industry-standard M.2 NVMe flash drives. (Granted, the 2013 Mac Pro doesn't use industry standard M.2 NVMe drives, either, although I've read that it's possible to use some standard NVMe drives in the 2013 Mac Pro with the help of an adapter.)
- The iMac Pro at $4999 is still much more expensive than the previous generation base Mac Pro, which was $2999.
- The iMac Pro is an all-in-one design. I prefer desktop computers that are not housed inside a monitor; what happens if the monitor fails?
Apple has been providing a totally painless backup solution for a very long time, and there's no excuse for not using it.
I think your issues really just exist in your head. Which is fine, because it is YOUR head after all, but these issues are not relevant outside of your head.
Sorry for the rant in advance, just getting fed up reading all these comments that make no sense whatsoever. It pretty much all boils down to people not wanting to pay for quality.
The iMac Pro is quite nice. But extremely expensive, the computer is tied and limited to the 27" screen (which I consider on the small side), you are tied to the graphics card ordered (not sure how the top choice compares to a full desktop card), CPUs are Xeons, so quite expensive for what they do, RAM and SSD are not accessible, not even the cooling fans can be cleaned (and eventually cooling fans have to be cleaned). Once again limited to external drives.
The standard iMac now offers an i9 CPU which seems to be a sweet spot, but you don't get the same graphics cards as the iMac Pro, but at least accessible RAM. For all iMacs of current design, its a $300 bill to get anything done on the inside, due to the glued nature. A non-glued iMac would become instantly more attractive. But all have in common that you are limited to the builtin screen which you have to dispose of, once you don't use the contained computer any more.
And what is a very practical limitation: they don't have any screen inputs. I would like to connect my (work) MacBook Pro to my iMac screen, but that is not possible. Sometimes I even used via VNC screen sharing out of desparation, but that sucks.
It wasn't designed for AI or ML either, because Apple is having a war with NVidia now, probably over component pricing, but who knows.
Developers didn't ask for this machine or a $6k reference monitor. They just wanted something they can swap out the video cards or memory or hard drives occasionally as time goes on. They wanted a nice display that gave them 200% scaling and proper color correction in a matching aluminum body.
Whether I can afford this machine or not at home is beside the point. It's just that after the keynote high wore off, and we returned to reality, it's clear Apple revealed the machine at the wrong event.
I think they dropped the ball by not having two displays, though -- the $6K Pro Display XDR for the crowd who goes "OMG that's so cheap for a monitor like that," and a $1500 Pro Display (sans XDR) that's basically the 5K panel from the iMac Pro. I am hoping that either that's still coming, or at least there are people with some weight in the company looking at the reaction to the XDR display and its "optional" stand and saying, "Did we tell you so? Yes, yes, we did, Doug. We told you so."
Apple sells LG 5k displays for $1,299.95. AFAIK it is the same panel as the 27" iMac and iMac Pro.
More to the point, it's unclear if Apple is still actually selling that LG display, though:
That headline is phrased as if it's definitive, but of course Apple hasn't said anything. But it's over a month later than that article was published, and the display is still listed as "Delivery: Sold Out" for online ordering, and it appears to be catch-as-catch-can at physical Apple stores: the ones that don't have it just list it as "unavailable for pickup."
¹It's not clear to me if the Pro Display XDR actually has speakers at all, but its audience can be expected to buy a set of high-end speakers too, whereas a monitor aimed at actual users would need built-in speakers.
As you said, they’re going for a specific market with this product. They can always release a general-market display down the road. Focusing on a specific set of power users first is how Apple built its renowned culture, and it’s nice to see it returning to those roots.
The "kind of" part is this: Apple arguably built its culture first around the extremely hacker-friendly Apple II, then around the original Macintosh -- which was certainly expensive, but was very specifically pitched as "the computer for the rest of us." That segment is one that they're ironically a bit wobbly on right now. (The MacBook Air and the iMac are close.)
But: the Mac got adopted by the high end graphic design and print layout industry, and Apple started making higher end machines specifically targeted to that market like the Mac IIfx -- which was a $9K machine at its introduction in 1990, and that is not adjusted for inflation. As far as I can tell, that was their high water mark in pricing, but they've regularly had "flagship" models breaking the $4K mark at introduction, e.g., the Power Macintosh 9500. The sub-$3K flagship era of the Power Mac G5 and original Mac Pros is something of an anomaly. (Which isn't to say that I wouldn't like to see a headless Mac with internal expansion slots that starts at $1999.)
Apple actually was able to maintain this pricing for entry-level Power Macs and Mac Pros from 1999 (I haven't checked earlier prices) through the 2013 Mac Pro model. Here is a list of prices I compiled:
Blue and White Power Mac G3 (January 1999) -- $1,599 ($2,453 in 2019 dollars)
Graphite Power Mac G4 (December 1999) -- $1,599 ($2,453 in 2019 dollars)
2001 Power Mac G4 (January 2001) -- $1,699 ($2,453)
2001 Quicksilver Power Mac G4 (July 2001) -- $1,699 ($2,453)
2002 Mirrored Drive Door Power Mac G4 (August 2002) -- $1,699 ($2,413)
2003 Power Mac G5 (August 2003) -- $1,999 ($2,776), reduced to $1,799 ($2,499) in November 2003
2006 Mac Pro (August 2006) -- $2,199 ($2,787)
2010 Mac Pro (July 2010) -- $2,499 ($2,929)
2013 Mac Pro (December 2013) -- $2,999 ($3,289.83 in 2019 dollars, but you can still purchase an entry-level 2013 Mac Pro today from Apple for $2,999 in 2019 dollars).
Apple Lisa 1983 $9,995 ($25,143 in 2018 dollars)
Apple Macintosh 128k 1/24/84 $2,495 ($6,000 in 2018 dollars)
Macintosh II 3/2/87 $5,498 ($12,125 in 2018)
Next Cube 9/18/90 $10,000 ($19,177 in 2018 dollars)
Yes, the iMac Pro is certainly a nice machine, but quite expensive for what it does and again extremely limiting in hardware choices.
As a developer who builds large, complex projects (it's not uncommon for a build to take 40 minutes on a 16-core Xeon workstation), the Mac Pro is exactly the type of workstation I'd be interested in.
(The display is another story. That's definitely targeting the media production vertical.)
I assume there's I/O bottlenecking in there somewhere, but for the rest, surely you're not 100% pegging all 16 cores all the time, but more parallelism would still benefit you to a certain extent... While not costing $6k+ for a base 8 core machine.
It may not be a viable solution for every project, but it does work for many.
For example the top range workstations from HP are over $10,000.
And you can buy a Sony reference monitor for $20,000.
But I still don't know what market Apple is targeting. Most of Hollywood is using Windows and Linux. So it will be hard to get them back.
Maybe they target audio shops who are still mostly on MacOS.
Or they have a surprise for us all. For example: Apple is working hard with OTOY to make real-time rendering very fast with Metal.
If this boost is so great maybe they can get back marketshare in Hollywood.
But until then I think only the real fans will buy a Pro.
Video, CAD/CAM, research will be using Windows and Linux for now I guess.
It fit everything I needed: it was thinner than my previous laptop as it had no optical drive, it was lightweight, it had a gorgeous screen, good enough keyboard, and seemed like a reasonable price for a higher end laptop work computer. I've used it everyday since 2012, and aside from the battery which I eventually replaced, it's been functioning without a hitch. From the 90s to the late 2000s, I used a variety of PC laptops and this was the only laptop that survived a huge amount of abuse from travel and daily usage (obviously, YMMV).
I'd love to upgrade to a new MBP, but I truly don't understand what they were thinking with this current iteration. The touchbar feels gimmicky and over the top. Call me old school, but give me physical buttons any day of the week and keep the keyboard simple. Most importantly, give me a keyboard that has more room to press so that random dust getting in there isn't going to screw shit up.
I have a 2012 MacBook Air that was crazy fast, weighed four grams, and even ran windows 7. Sure, the drive was small, but it was perfect.
But some time in 2015 or so I made the terrible strategic blunder of upgrading to the latest OS version. Performance immediately dropped to zero, and now when I open it up for any reason, I just spend my whole time watching it spin uselessly trying to idle along with one browser tab open. It's sad to see it so reduced.
I've had the same experience with every iPad I've ever owned. Delightful, responsive machines that get auto-updated to brick status over the course of about three years. (I have every model up to air 3, and the only one still working perfectly is the old 1st gen air that I've kept on iOS 8 and spend a minute every day carefully dismissing the auto update prompt).
I have one of the sacred 2015 MacBook Pros, which now can't edit videos using the new format exported from my wife's iPhone x. An OS upgrade would solve that. But the machine is too precious to risk it.
I don't know what the solution is.
By the way I use a 2013 with High Sierra and it's not that bad - sometimes they are slow at first while they index everything and then speed up again when done. I get more beach balls than before upgrading but some other stuff works better, especially charging the iphone which used to drive me nuts with the old os.
From Oct 2018: https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-and-samsung-fined-for-slowin...
It's straightforward to find other sources and examples.
Generally, you are correct, try to avoid updates after the first few months of purchase.
For the record, I have the same rMBP 2012 model that the person you're replying to talked about, and it still runs great. But I'm typing this reply to you on a MacBook Air from 2010, running macOS 10.12 Sierra, in Chrome. Still works surprisingly well...
Haven't seen any issues with the latest OSX for the 2015 MBPs though, and unlike with iOS you can easily downgrade to an older OS if you do see issues.
Well worth updating on your machines that support them.
Dunno if the same focus has extended to new macos's, am not on the newest one.
> Apple support have refused to provide any assistance, simply stating that the MacBookAir is out of warranty. They just said this behaviour (rapid expansion of a battery) "can be expected" in some cases.
Id happily agree that comfort-wise, I still prefer the longer-travel keys of the 2012-2015 era.
I appreciate the collaborator who sent this thing to me, so I have excellent field experience on which to base my decision to "nope, never" buy one of these.
Far more worrying to me is the butterfly keyboard in this scenario (for dev). The Ctrl, Tab, Return, and especially the A, J, K, D, and T keys get a lot of use and currently aren't tough enough to withstand constant usage. I've already had to replace the butterfly switch under the J key because one of the tiny clips that hold the switch in place in the corners snapped off. Fortunately I was able to blow the broken off piece out and prevent the key from going catatonic until I could replace it, but my left Shift key got a tiny speck of something underneath of it and is now refusing to register `:` half the time, which is incredibly frustrating for a heavy Vim user.
The non-user-replaceable battery is another annoyance. We all know that heat is the enemy of Li-ion batteries. I'm working remote in SE Asia, and even with office A/C it's very hot here. This laptop is a little over a year old, has never been used outdoors or outside an office, and it's already in "Service Battery" mode and shutting down at around 70% charge. This is completely unacceptable. I'm going to have to take it to the Genius Bar and be without my work rig for about 2 weeks if I'm lucky, and it goes without saying that I have a lot of user-centric settings and config enabled that would take me hours to replicate on a borrowed rig (even though I can clone my dotfiles and part of the config).
As Marco says in the article, developers are the biggest cohort of Apple's "pro" users. Apple needs to go back to the drawing board and make a truly pro keyboard that can withstand the rigours of touch typing and massive amounts of key entry, and can resist a very modest amount of dust.
Something sounds very wrong there. Unless you are regularly using it in areas above 35° C it shouldn't really matter.
I personally also tend to use Ctrl-M instead of Enter and Ctrl-H instead of Backspace, for the same reasons. And some people map Ctrl to Caps Lock as it's also easier to find with your finger than the Ctrl key - it's a big key. I usually do this too.
(Although when I have to use other people's Macs or my Win PC at home it's often hard to remember to use the Escape key instead - at least toggling Caps Lock isn't destructive.)
The i7 2.8GHz dual core is now an i5 2.4GHz quad core.
The RAM is still 16GB.
To keep the price roughly the same the 2019 is a fixed 512GB instead of an upgradeable 1TB.
And of course, no escape or function keys but touch bar. And no SD card slot. And a keyboard replacement programme - I've replaced a few keys myself on the 2013 that wore out, I can't see me doing that one the 2019.
The 2019 hasn't arrived yet. I'm genuinely not sure whether to give her the new one and keep the six year old one for myself. That it's even in question seems ridiculous.
>To be fair, this story hasn’t ended yet. [... T]hey still need to resolve the problematic MacBook Pro with its next generation (rumors are promising)
In practice, my only real complaints with the Touch Bar are (1) not enough things really find ways to take advantage of it, which contributes to its "just a gimmick" feel, and (2) GIVE ME BACK A PHYSICAL ESCAPE KEY.
(...but I actually remap caps lock to escape in my iPad's terminal client, ironically, because the Brydge hardware keyboard has no escape key at all!)
It allows remapping keys, so you could e.g. remap the whole top row from ~, 1 to 0 to act as ESC, F1 to F10 when needed. Not ideal but better than touch bar.
I'd have liked to have seen more apps try and do something with the touch bar, though. Amusingly, Apple's native Terminal.app does more work with it than many other apps I've seen -- it adds a virtual key that toggles the Option key between Option and Meta, adds a "Man page" button that will bring up the man page for the last-typed command, and lets you quickly change the theme of an existing terminal window.
Modifier-based shortcuts are not as good because it usually takes two hands, and maybe I want a hand free to use the mouse to scan values, operate the UI I’m testing, etc.
Also, IDEs have a ton of functions so all the simple modifier combinations are already in use. A complex two-hand combination is good for something you frequently use once while typing (e.g. “show autocomplete”). Debugging, on the other hand, is something you do relatively infrequently (hopefully!) but when you’re in that mode, it’s great to have dedicated single keys, closely clustered together.
Physical keys are much easier to use than touchscreen buttons, especially when not looking at the keyboard.
I have a maxed out 2015 MBP and I won’t buy the most generation under any circumstances. I buy laptops with the expectation it will last at least 4 years, and I have no confidence that this generation will last that long. I have full confidence though that the rumored replacement will be amazing, much like the new Mac Pro adessed the past criticisms.
Whether it will last much more than 4 years I’m not sure, I’m not that confident - could be worth mashing some biscuit into the keyboard just shy of the 4 year mark to get a replacement ;)
Hardware has been trouble free, Windows 10 with One Drive makes it straight forward to change machines, apps run well as a normal user account, and to my knowledge it hasn't been hit with any malware. The screen being capable of touch interface, can actually be cleaned!
In comparison, my last of the "good" MBPr from 2015 has a partially fouled screen because the slightly greasy keys touched the screen. I am so annoyed when the screen is dark but I'm in a well lit room.
But I have slowly found myself leaving the Apple ranks over the years, and the 2012 Retina was the last Mac I spent money on. I also ditched iOS (and iPhone along with it) for Android (long story) well before macOS began to take a back seat for me.
In January, I requisitioned a Surface Book 2 from my employer, and it has been fantastic so far. Easily the best laptop keyboard I have ever* used.
If you told 20-years-ago me that I would be buying PCs manufactured by Microsoft and praising them, I would have had you committed. But it has been fascinating watching a hungry Microsoft compete in this space...
Probably worth seeing if having Apple Service can do the same for yours, but via a screen replacement.
1) Pro users wanted a replacement for the Mac Pro of yore. Instead they got something suitable only for high end pro studios, willing to pay $6k starting price for the new Pro (or are in need of a very-cheap-for-what-it-does (even-with-the-stand-included) but still very expensive reference quality monitor).
Where's my $3K-$5K Mac Pro (basically a headless iMac Pro grade machine) for regular videographers, graphic designers, etc, that don't make more than $100K/year and don't work for Nike or Hollywood? We used to have several options from Apple back in the day, now it's either the iMac Pro or, I dunno, the mini. Still no extensibility.
2) Where's a redesigned keyboard as a first priority? Why do they wait for a "new redesign" of the whole laptop? Meanwhile forcing people to keep buying the same broken design, even for the 2019 model? Just release the same current design with a decent 2015 style keyboard and the minimal tweaks needed to make it fit.
3) Where's a pro apple monitor that people who don't need /can't afford a $6K reference beast can buy? Where's the iMac / iMac Pro monitor in standalone form?
What about the 5K iMac? With an i9 it becomes a very powerful machine that describes your use case perfectly.
It's not as repairable as a tower though, but neither are the iMac Pro or the Mini.
For example, they claim the beefiest model will be 4x the old Mac Pro. But at what cost? $10,000-15,000 for maxed out system? How many cheap PC renderfarm computers can I get for that? How many cloud rendering instances could I rent?
To me, it's like they "listened" and built a Bugatti Veyron instead of a Ford F-350. The people wanting an upgradeable workstation are not looking for a max-out computer off the shelf. They simply want the capability to upgrade it over time or modify it according to their needs. In particular, for rendering 3d workloads, it seems renting cloud computers is far more scalable. If I am time limited, I can easily buy enough power to render 20x faster than this system in a crunch.
This seems more like a vanity project.
Why build your own cloud and hire a ton of specialized personnel to manage a bunch of infrastructure you're not in the business of managing when you can buy this one time purchase from Apple?
Why wait around for your project to render when you can render it in real time and make changes as necessary? Remember when you had to wait 30-45 seconds for Xcode to deploy a new build just to see if your UIButton is the right color? Doesn't that suck?
The Mac Pro is for professionals, just like the Bugatti Veyron wasn't meant to be a daily driver. Sure, some rich enough consumers will get it just because they want it, but that's not the reason it exists. Anyone who makes enough money to transition their hobby into their profession won't scoff at a $10-45k price point. Truckers buy $100-200k trucks because they depend on it for their livelihood. Plumbers, electricians, etc. all buy $30-40k vans for the same reason.
The reason this computer looks so out of place on the pricing charts is because we've gotten so used to cheap $400-800 laptops that we forget there was a time when mainframes cost dozens of millions of dollars a pop. Nowadays, that market only matters to Fortune 100 corps, but it's still real and thus there's still a real demand for beast machines like the Mac Pro.
Because I can scale the cloud as much as I want. I can purchase 100x the compute power of this Mac, and I stop renting it as needed. The Mac Pro will need to be upgraded over time, the cloud will automatically upgrade what HW I can rent.
Also, there's a difference between rendering previews and rendering in real time. This machine is not going to render a production frame workload in real time. You do that kind of stuff with offline rendering. A machine that's 4x faster represents a marginal increase in workload that can be rendered in real time, because 3d rendering isn't O(n). And if you want real time rendering previews, there are PC workstations that will still smoke this Mac.
I feel like once again, people are trying to justify Apple pricing by appeal to edge case, when the reality is, people can put together a professional PC workstation for 3dsmax that performs about the same and costs half the price or more.
Look at the Z8 for example, not even the top of the line custom built PC workstation: https://petapixel.com/2017/09/13/hp-z8-pc-can-upgraded-insan...
Up to 3TB of RAM, 48 TB storage, 56 CORES, and this was shipped in 2017! Starting price $2400 (vs $6k for new Mac Pro). And you can't even get NVidia cards for the Mac Pro. An NVidia RTX 2080 or Titan RTX can be up to 2x faster than a Vega II Pro in DCC apps. If you want really fast rendering, Nvidia has actual racks of GPUs that are far more cost effective than sticking 4 expensive Vega II Pro's into this Mac.
A fully decked out Mac Pro is likely to cost $36k. An NVidia RTX Rendering server, which can give you real time desktop previews and contains 8 Titan RTX cores with 24GB VRAM, and 16 Xeon Cores, also costs $36k, and it can be scaled as needed.
If you really need to scale up massively parallel workloads, then commodity compute HW is far more cost effective and less limited.
The Mac Pro in our analogy is 5G wireless: not nearly as much bandwidth as the 747, but at much lower latency. Lots of interactive/real time applications are possible that in a farm would be bottlenecked by network bandwidth alone.
I was worried a bit about the keyboard but the latest generation seems to have a little more travel and Apple is backing it for four years. I mostly use it with a full size keyboard so the lack of ESC key is nuisance I can live with. Price is an issue but considering that I upgrade only every 4-6 years and value the smooth operation of the setup I'm ok with it - even if should be 20% less imho. I worry however about accessibility of Macs for people who can't afford to spend so much. Last year Apple PC sales shrunk by 3.8% which is o.k. as the market shrunk by 4.3 but is abysmal considering how superior their product is.
As far as a laptop? I'm not spending my own money on a development class laptop. I hate developing with just a laptop. I have a dual external monitor setup at home and at work. My next personal computer will definitely be a desktop. You still get more power and more thermal headroom on desktops than more expensive laptops.
I am also ashamed of Slack and how they dont even take advantage of Electron to add things that Chromium supports, might as well convert it to a native app and make it worthwhile. I feel like Slack could do so much more and yet it sits there nothing new or special. Theres plenty that could be improved for Slack. I could share a dozen ideas but I rather see them get off their own lazy butts and give everybody their moneys worth.
I refuse to use Slack or Outlook on my computer. I keep them both running on my phone.
I wish I could buy 3rd party RAM for a MacBook Pro unless they finally stopped soldering on the RAM recently, then I would love to buy a new MBP with my own cash if I can get a normal keyboard.
You would probably only save up to $200 on third party memory. Which is not nothing but if you get a 15 inch you’re already talking about $2400
On the other hand, the price delta between Apple prices for the 16GB -> 32GB upgrade is about $250 more for the 15 inch than you could get from a third party if that were an option but you’re already spending at least $2400 on a 15 inch MacBook Pro.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m arguing hypothetically. I’m not spending my own money for an expensive laptop. I don’t need portability for my personal computer. I need portability for my work computer and a job will give you a work computer - and hopefully one that is beefy enough to do what you need.
My personal development computer will always be a desktop. You get more bang for your buck and I hate developing on just a laptop without external peripherals anyway. I’ve never been interested in Apple laptops enough to spend my own money over just getting a much cheaper mid range Dell when I needed the portability.
Three pycharm instances (=yay microservices)
9 docker containers (=hyperkit =vm =yay for microservices with dependencies)
Slack, ms teams, no outlook though.
It all runs smooth. The thing which makes my workflow slow is the switching between code of and keeping shared code in sync of those goddamn microservices.
I was surprised Firefox tells me Jira uses half a gig of RAM and its not even a proper SPA. I hope they optimize their frontend to be less memory hungry.
It runs smooth till I need 3 of my own services plus 8 plus vendor services running then the 16GB MBP runs out of RAM.
This is another case with macs where the situation 8 years ago was much better since they used to have target display mode. From what I understand, they killed it because they needed to use a custom format to drive the 5k screen initially. Now regular DisplayPort 1.3 and 1.4 have enough bandwidth for it but there’s been no mention of bringing the feature back.
- Great touchpad (Apple are the only ones ticking that box)
- Good keyboard (Old apple and thinkpads are fine. New apples are terrible, just like the Asus UX430 I got at work).
- Great thermals (I want to be able to use my laptop as a laptop. Most of them nowadays burn during summer in hot areas).
- Good battery life (replaceable without power tools / health risks).
- Good-enough screen (so I can use it outdoors)
- Good connectivity (USB-C is good, but a couple regular USBs wouldn't hurt). Ethernet without dongle, please?
- Repairable / expandable (no soldered shit please, easy to open and clean).
- Affordable (as in <1500€)
- Either MacOS or Linux support (sorry but I quit Windows a long long time ago and I'm not coming back with all the telemetry and forced-update stuff).
I couldn't care less for 20% more/less cpu power, it being 5mm thicker than most laptops today, or it weighting even an extra pound more than usual.
That said, given the dearth of good options out there right now, I just replaced an old MacBook Air with a Surface Book 2, and with a few exceptions, I couldn't be happier right now:
1. This touchpad is just as good as pre-Force Touch ones from Apple. No joke. (If you must have the super-size ones with the Force Touch feedback instead of the "spring-board" style real button click, sorry...nobody else has that. But the non-Force Touch ones were "best in class" before, and that wasn't very long ago...)
2. The keyboard is easily the best laptop keyboard I have ever used. And that's coming from someone who used ThinkPads (I had the 770, the T42p, and the T60p) before switching to MacBooks, and who uses a Model M daily while at my desk. :-P
3. I have the base-model Surface Book. It's only a dual-core i5. But, again, I'm fine with that. The CPU is also housed in the screen, since the screen is made to be detachable from the keyboard. And since I have the base-model, I don't have the dGPU in my keyboard base either. So the base of the laptop stays cool while I use it on my lap. Oh...did I mention that the entire device (both keyboard base and screen) on the non-dGPU model is fanless? So no moving parts in the entire thing, noise-free, and isn't constantly sucking dust from the surrounding environment into itself.
4. There is a battery in both the screen and the keyboard base. Combined, I get amazing battery life, easily 8 hours or more depending. (I use it in laptop-mode 90% of the time.)
5. Screen on this is fantastic. Higher DPI than my 15" Retina MacBook Pro from 2012, way brighter, and the backlighting is more even. (I have the Samsung LCD on my 2012 rMBP...the model that never developed "image retention". I think the SB2 panel is made by Panasonic.)
6. It's got 2 USB-A, 1 USB-C (sadly no Thunderbolt, but it can handle DisplayPort), and a full-size SD.
7. Repairability is one area where it really falls flat, and in even bigger ways than the past MacBooks I own. :-( This thing I think got a repairability index of 1 (out of 10) from iFixIt. It's a sealed box for all intents and purposes. What really pisses me off, though, is that the SSD is not soldered onto the mainboard (it's a standard M.2 module), but there is absolutely no way of accessing it without basically destroying the computer in the process. If there was ONE area where I wish Microsoft had NOT taken any cues from Apple...gah, don't get me started. (And even then, at least with pre-2016 MacBook Pros, you could take the bottom cover off and get at the storage module in an emergency.)
8. The particular model I purchased ranges from $1,100 - 1,500 USD depending (list price is 1,500 but it's usually on sale). Don't know how that translates to your specific market.
9. I have not tried to use "desktop" Linux on it. I have booted SystemRescueCD off of a USB flash drive, though, in order to make a bit-for-bit image of my current Windows installation, and that worked fine (though to be fair I never bothered to start up X11). My understanding is that a lot of the hardware is supported even on current models; you can check out https://www.reddit.com/r/SurfaceLinux/comments/7kazwp/curren... for more details.
Anyway, just FYI.
Unfortunately, the surface book base model is now on sale for 1499€ here (with a pen for "free"). With only 8Gb RAM, 256Gb HDD and 0 upgradability it'll be a pass from me. It is good to know that PC's are starting to get good trackpads though!
As to what Apple could do with the hardware, the 2019 MBP outperforms 2018 MBPs in real world benchmarks due to its better cooling and some under the hood stuff in Mojave that is unclear. There was a good review posted today on Linus Tech Tips.
Only if the external expansion bus is as fast as PCIE3.
Neither of us have any issues with the keyboard other than the clearly above average failure rates and the hassle of getting it repaired. My 15" has not exhibited any issues at all, the slightly older 13" has started to develop some stickiness with the arrow keys.
Obviously there are issues with this keyboard and I eagerly await a redesign on it (as well as haptic feedback on the touchbar and making the touchbar option across all models).
On the whole I'm quite happy with the extended warranty as it essentially amounts to free AppleCare+, and given their insistence on making the overall device unserviceable it also amounts to a deductible free midlife battery replacement.
It's an elegant solution to the whole fiasco in my mind-- the cost of servicing all these keyboards has to be painful beyond normal for them given that ridiculous design, magnified further by the fact that end users should have no problems encouraging the keyboard to fail if/when they want a scratch free case or 0 cycle battery. To say nothing of how it undermines the value of AppleCare as a service, both because you can get nearly the same thing for free, and the existence of the keyboard program is straining their staff resources on repairs, which are otherwise almost exclusively devoted to AppleCare customers.
It is soul crushingly inconvenient and annoying when the keyboard breaks and you have to have it replaced.
I’ve had mine replaced twice so far both times under warranty. Because Apple provides the extended 4-year warranty for free on the keyboard it is no longer a financial risk to own the computer, only an inconvenience if it breaks again.
On the plus-side, because the whole computer is glued together I got a fresh new battery installed every time they replaced the keyboard.
However, the touchbar...still a pointless gimick.
Because it has a large, accurate trackpad with multitasking gestures, I’ve all but abandoned my combo of Kenesis Advantage and Logitech Pro MX - it feels more efficient to move my hand less.
If you just want a really powerful desktop computer for dev work - get a souped up Mac Mini
If you want it with a nice screen - get an iMac Pro
If you're a video professional - get a Mac Pro
The Macbook Pro keyboard situation is a garbage fire, though I will say that I'm quite happy with my 2016 keyboard after it got replaced for free through the program.
I want 16 core CPU (probably Threadripper, as Intel is unable to produce anything competitive recently) with Nvidia 2080 Ti or better GPU, and 32GB ECC memory for $2k.