Photography these days, as a digital art endeavor, is one that requires more and more computing power. The escalation in gear is no longer limited to different camera bodies, lenses, and accessories involved in the capture, but to the equipment needed to render, organize, develop, and share. All of that to say we need more computing grunt, and that rather neatly brings us to the Mac Pro, the hardware piece from Apple that is supposed to be the pinnacle of their computing power offerings, that is, somewhat lacking.
When the new/current variant of MacPro came out it was a radical redesign and a bit long overdue, and was touted as the best thing since sliced bread. While no doubt extremely capable it faltered in terms of cost, and in terms of ability to upgrade. It appears that the heat sink system was prohibitive of pro-level upgrades, and that moving much further from here requires a total rethink. Here’s what Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering had to say to Buzzfeed,
“We designed ourselves into a bit of a corner…We wanted to do something bold and different. What we didn’t appreciate completely at the time was how we had so tailored that design to a specific vision that in the future we would find ourselves a bit boxed in — into a circular shape.”
John Ternus, Apple’s VP of hardware engineering, went on to say, “It served its purpose well. It just doesn’t have the flexibility we now know we need to have,” and Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, put the finishing ribbon on what is essentially an apology by stating to TechCrunch,
“The Mac has an important, long future at Apple… and if we’ve had a pause in upgrades and updates on that, we’re sorry for that — what happened with the Mac Pro, and we’re going to come out with something great to replace it.”
So what we have hear is Apple acknowledging their Mac Pro Design was more than a bit flawed, and Schiller made sure to mention that the new generation of Mac Pro will have more flexibility and upgradability, and that a new Mac Pro is coming – just not this year. So if you were holding out for a few more months, you should be ready to tack on another year or so to that.
That’s the thing, that while Apple dropped the price and upped the offering on the Mac Pro now they’re now essentially at a limit, and we’ll not see anything more in this department till 2018. At a time when PC numbers are dwindling, Apple’s computer department is in the green, but with the latest MacBook Pro let-down and this…well, many can’t help but think outside the Apple box.
If you’re curious about how the Mac Pros stack up to similarly specked or priced PC check out Pye’s full performance comparison for a PC vs. Mac breakdown here: