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I think Apple released this Mac Pro & Display at the wrong event. From every indication, it was designed for Hollywood. Developers don't need expansion, but Audio and Video producers do! Announcing at an LA event for producers and artists would have cleared any confusion.

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 probably felt they had to reveal it at this event for PR reasons, if nothing else; you're right in that this is clearly a machine made for A/V editors, but I can't see Apple introducing the new Mac Pro at NAB. A new Final Cut Pro, sure, but not a new Mac Pro.

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."

> $1500 Pro Display (sans XDR) that's basically the 5K panel from the iMac Pro.

Apple sells LG 5k displays for $1,299.95. AFAIK it is the same panel as the 27" iMac and iMac Pro.

I'm aware of that one, but there are folks who'd prefer to buy an Apple-branded monitor as long as there wasn't anything dreadful about it, for both aesthetic reasons and because there's usually a couple nice touches that aren't on the third-party one. I said $1500 instead of $1300 because I assume any Apple product will cost at least 20% higher than it should. :)

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."

I'd buy a $1500 Apple monitor if for no other reason than the fact that Apple would actually put a decent set of speakers on it¹, like they did with the Apple Cinema Display.

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.

> they dropped the ball by not having two displays, though

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.

I see people downvoting this comment, but...it's kind of true.

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.)

The sub-$3K flagship era of the Power Mac G5 and original Mac Pros is something of an anomaly.

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).

interesting! Looked up some old datapoints on wikipedia

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)

Flagship Mac Pro 2019 is likely to cost more than $50k. That's much more than $9k at 1990.

The prices I gave were the starting prices in 1990, so I think it's reasonable to compare them to the starting prices in 2019.

I can accept that the new Mac Pro has been designed for a very special audience in mind. But if that is so, can we also conclude that Apple hasn't shown any signs of listening to typical developers or photographers? I would be very happy, if they prove me false with yet unreleased machines, but until they do, the Mac Pro doesn't close the matter.

iMac Pro seems like a compelling computer for photographers.

Certainly not a lot of storage - not sure about the graphics card for Lightroom. And of course, quite an expensive machine. Also, one is limited in screen choices to the internal screen, which is very good, but only 27". Also, Apple doesn't sell external 27" displays, so one cannot have a matching second screen.

Yes, the iMac Pro is certainly a nice machine, but quite expensive for what it does and again extremely limiting in hardware choices.

Yeah I’m hoping they will release that display as well. I have no need for the xdr display but would happily fork over 1500 to 2k for a 5k 27 or 30 inch apple display. I’m wondering though if they are just letting lg service that market because the margins aren’t good enough? I don’t know it just seems odd that they would anoint lg to sell those monitors and then make their own.

Some of us were asking for this machine.

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.)

Wouldn't someone like you be better served on a 32 or 64 core Threadripper workstation then?

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.

Or even have a dedicated build server/farm with object caching. At some point building on your own machine is not a great solution.

If you're building Apple projects, it might be hard or impossible to offload that to other operating system.

GP said they were using a Xeon workstation, so I assumed it's not an Apple offering already.

iMac Pro has a 18-core Xeon W option.

I guess I meant, usually people with Mac systems call them a Mac of some sort, not just a generic "Workstation".

If you're targeting Apple platforms with your builds, just how does a Threadripper workstation address the problem? (And don't say Hackintosh...)


It may not be a viable solution for every project, but it does work for many.

Developers have a new platform to develop for that has customers willing to drop close to $10,000 on a workstation and will certainly spend money for software as well.

Apple announces whatever they want whenever they please. e.g. Apple Music was announced at WWDC 2015, which has nothing at all to do with developers.

They also don't make it clear what the difference between iPro and Pro is (desktop vs workstation). When you know this, the prices can be seen with different eyes (except for the stand maybe).

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.

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