This week's sponsor

HazeOver

Distraction Dimmer™ for Mac


Posts tagged with "mac pro"

The Mac Pro Is Coming in 2019, Shaped by Apple’s New Pro Workflow Team

In a follow up of sorts to last year's Mac roundtable, Matthew Panazarino of TechCrunch was invited back to Apple HQ for an update on the long-awaited Mac Pro, which Apple shared will not launch until 2019:

“We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It’s not something for this year.”

Other than the 2019 date, the lone detail about the new Mac Pro was confirmation that it will be a modular system. Though what exactly that means, we still don't know.

The other main interesting note from Panzarino's report is that Apple has assembled a new internal Pro Workflow Team (not to be confused with the iOS app Workflow) which aims to guide and improve Apple's pro-targeted products. The team is under the oversight of John Ternus, Apple's VP of Hardware Engineering, and a great deal of its focus is learning the workflows of real pro users so it can optimize its hardware and software to make those workflows better. Panzarino writes:

To do that, Ternus says, they want their architects sitting with real customers to understand their actual flow and to see what they’re doing in real time. The challenge with that, unfortunately, is that though customers are typically very responsive when Apple comes calling, it’s not always easy to get what they want because they may be using proprietary content. John Powell, for instance, is a long-time logic user and he’s doing the new Star Wars Han Solo standalone flick. As you can imagine, taking those unreleased and highly secret compositions to Apple to play with them on their machines can be a sticking point.

So Apple decided to go a step further and just begin hiring these creatives directly into Apple. Some of them on a contract basis but many full time as well. These are award-winning artists and technicians that are brought in to shoot real projects (I saw a bunch of them walking by in Apple park toting kit for an outdoor shoot on premises while walking). They then put the hardware and software through their paces and point out sticking points that could cause frustration and friction among pro users.

This work has started in the specific areas of visual effects, video editing, 3D animation, and music production, and Apple plans to expand it out from there.

The efforts of the Pro Workflow Team serve to benefit all of Apple's pro-related hardware and software, and even popular third-party software as well. It's one way Apple is showing its commitment to serving professional users.

In the last year, Apple's output for pro users seems to have made a complete turnaround. Back then we were wondering if the company had become content focusing on the average consumer and letting pros leave for other platforms. That's certainly not the story anymore. With the iMac Pro, continued updates to Apple's pro software, and now the forthcoming Mac Pro and the ongoing investment of the Pro Workflow Team, Apple is positioning itself again as a company committed to serving the pro market.

Permalink

Why Pro Matters

Great take by Sebastiaan de With on why Apple needs to cater to the pro community and care about the Mac Pro again:

The same kind of huge leaps are happening in gaming and game development; a powerful modern GPU is a requirement for working on and using VR and AR, one area Apple is said to be working on. Demand and interest in 3D work, for design, game and software development, and video is bigger than ever and growing exponentially.

Without a truly top-tier workstation, Apple will miss out on a huge segment of digital creatives that can craft the future of human-machine interaction — something way beyond tapping a piece of glass. It would lack a Mac workstation with the raw computing power to prototype VR and AR interactions, build game worlds, simulate complex models and render the effects of tomorrow’s great feature films all the while offering those same creatives a platform to create for its own mobile devices.

The Mac Pro user base may be a single-digit percentage of all Macs sold, but it's a group of users with an important indirect effect on the Apple ecosystem. Very often, they are the same users who make the movies, videogames, TV shows, music, and apps we put on our devices every day. They are few people who create highly influential content millions of others use, enjoy, and rely upon. And Apple has realized they don't want to let that community go.

Permalink

Apple Reveals its Mac Pro, Display Plans and More

I recall staring at the then-new Mac Pro at WWDC, which was displayed in a clear tube, not unlike the original iPhone. The design was unlike anything on the market then or since. That was 2013. The Mac Pro shipped just before Christmas 2013, but it hasn’t been updated since.

As the years wore on, pro users fell out of love with the Mac Pro. It was less upgradeable than other pro PC systems, and its internals quickly began to show their age. Disillusionment with the Mac Pro evolved into open speculation about whether Apple cared about the pro user market anymore.

Apple answered that question today. A new modular, more upgradeable Mac Pro is in the works. As John Gruber describes it on Daring Fireball Apple is working on:

a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis.

To go along with the new Mac Pro, Apple is developing a new pro-level display. Unfortunately, the new Mac Pros and display won’t ship in 2017, and no firm launch date has been announced. In the meantime, Apple has bumped the speeds of existing Mac Pros:

The $2999 model goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6, and from dual AMD G300 GPUs to dual G500 GPUs. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs.

In addition to the Mac Pro, Apple told Daring Fireball and a group of four other writers that it has a new iMac that will ship this year that is designed with pro users in mind.

So what went wrong? Why hasn’t the Mac Pro seen an update for so long? Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi told Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch and the other writers in the room:

I think it’s fair to say, part of why we’re talking today, is that the Mac Pro — the current vintage that we introduced — we wanted to do something bold and different,” says Federighi. “In retrospect, it didn’t well suit some of the people we were trying to reach. It’s good for some; it’s an amazingly quiet machine, it’s a beautiful machine. But it does not address the full range of customers we wanna reach with Mac Pro.

Apple’s discussion with five writers covered a lot of ground. In addition to the new Macs discussed, Federighi said Apple is committed to the Mac mini and that scripting and automation on macOS remain ‘super important’ to Apple. It was also revealed that notebooks make up 80% of the Mac market and the pro market makes up roughly 30% of the Mac user base.

With the increasing drumbeat of discontent from pro Mac users over the past months, it is refreshing to see Apple address the pro market head-on and explain what happened with the Mac Pro. It’s disappointing that new Mac Pros are still many months off, but the breadth and depth of Apple’s candor with the writers it spoke to should provide comfort to pro users who can hold off on buying new hardware for a while longer. The key now will be whether Apple can execute its plans for the pro market.


Macminicolo Launches Mac Pro Colocation Service

Macminicolo, the first Mac mini colocation service that has been hosting Mac mini servers for over 9 years, has today announced a Mac Pro colocation service, called MacProColo. The service will allow users to send their new Mac Pros to take advantage of the benefits of a data center to have powerful, dedicated hosting with all the benefits of OS X and the Mac Pro's advanced technologies.

From the company's blog post:

We tested the Mac Pro quite a bit in the data center. It performs incredible and there is no issue with heat. The Pro does pull quite a bit more power though. (And in a data center, power is one of the biggest expenses.)

For most people, the Mac mini will easily do the job and will also be less expensive for purchase and for colocation. In my opinion, I think most people will want the Mac Pro on their desk and the Mac mini in the data center.

Speaking to MacRumors' Jordan Golson, Macminicolo's Brian Stucki noted that the fan of the new Mac Pro makes it easy to get air through the machine, and he added that heat dissipation won't be an issue in most data centers.

We've been running MacStories on Macminicolo for over a year now, and I couldn't be more satisfied with the service's uptime and the company's support. We've changed a few hosting providers over the years, and while setting up a dedicated Mac server for our needs required some time, it was absolutely worth it. We won't need a Mac Pro upgrade (at least not for the time being), but I can personally vouch for Macminicolo and I'm looking forward to reading about other websites switching to MacProColo.

Details about pricing are available here.

Permalink

Dan Frakes On The New Mac Pro

Dan Frakes:

While older Mac Pro models were appealing to a broad range of demanding users, the 2013 Mac Pro focuses almost entirely on the things true professional users need: multi-core performance, workstation-class GPUs and GPU computing, fast I/O, and the like. Say what you will about the new Mac Pro’s lack of options for internal expansion, but Apple doesn’t appear to have spared much expense when it comes to the components it did include. The result is that the new Mac Pro is the first Mac in a long time that’s clearly—and almost exclusively—for actual professional users.

See also: Dan's review at Macworld and FCP.co's first 24 hours with the new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro 10.1. For video professionals, the tests performed by FCP.co are impressive.

Permalink

The New Mac Pro Arrives Tomorrow

With a press release, Apple today announced that the new Mac Pro, originally introduced at WWDC, will be available tomorrow, December 19. From the PR:

The Mac Pro is available with a 3.7 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of VRAM each, 12GB of memory, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage starting at $2,999 (US); and with a 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.9 GHz, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of VRAM each, 16GB of memory, and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage starting at $3,999 (US). Configure-to-order options include faster 8-core or 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processors, AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of VRAM, up to 64GB of memory, and up to 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage.

As we wrote in October:

The new Mac Pro is all about being small, quiet, yet entirely capable of delivering performance for today’s audio and visual professionals. The Mac Pro, unlike desktop towers of old, has been designed into a compact round aluminum canister that sucks heat away from components using a single unified thermal core. While uniquely shaped, components in the new Mac Pro are user accessible, with connectivity to server racks and other peripherals being mitigated through an array of Thunderbolt 2 ports.

The new Mac Pro is Apple's latest crown jewel, assembled in the US and packing an incredible amount of hardware innovations. More details are available at the Mac Pro's official webpage.

Permalink


(RED) Mac Pro

“Selected and customised” by Jony Ive and Marc Newson (the duo also behind the special edition Leica M camera).

From the description:

The new Mac Pro is the most powerful, yet radical Mac that Apple has ever designed. Architected around an innovative, unified thermal core, the new Mac Pro features dual workstation graphics cards, the latest Xeon processors, ultra-fast flash storage, and incredibly high performance I/O. A precisely machined and polished enclosure houses this advanced technology in an extraordinary design that stands just 9.9 inches tall and 6.6 inches in diameter. This one-of-a-kind model, made with red anodised aluminium, has been crafted exclusively for the (RED) Auction.

Permalink