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Apple Apologizes For The Mac Pro | The New Mac Pro Will Focus On Upgradability

By Kishore Sawh on April 5th 2017

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:

Lightroom Mac vs PC Speed Test | $4k iMac vs $4k Custom PC Performance Test


Sources: Techcrunch, Buzzfeed, Engadget, Apple

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Lloyd Grace

    Duh! – talk about form over substance!

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    • adam sanford

      If substance = horsepower per dollar, I agree.

      But if substance = the OS, I disagree.  I have been nothing short of delighted with Mac OS for more than 10 years now.  It’s like a car that never lets you down.

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  2. Greg Silver

    Currently, the only Apple product I find worth using in my workflow is the iPad. Everything else is with a PC and an Samsung smartphone. 

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  3. Jory Holt

    I have custom built my last 3 PCs and have never once had issues with stability or viruses. I use my computers for gaming and media as well (I am a solo on the side photographer) I just know what not to click on and download when browsing the web.

    As for cost, my PC setup has a decent power gap from the macs of its time and came in a few hundred cheaper.

    Its not hard to do a little research on the parts best suited for your task and build yourself. The parts themselves come with better warranties then a prepackaged computer most of the time as well.

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  4. Timothy Linn

    Apple makes some beautiful products but sometimes to their own detriment. This is another example of form over function—like bendable phones w/o headphone jacks.

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  5. Anders Madsen

    I’m afraid that it may prove to be too little, too late. I’ll be in the market for a new desktop this year, and I’m writing this from a re-purposed PC running dual boot with Windows 10 and macOS Sierra. I’m trying to get comfortable with the Windows way of doing things after more than 10 years in the Mac camp, and boy, is it hard – there is really a lot of things that I usually take for granted in the Mac world that requires additional software in the Windows world. 

    However, since my needs are pretty simple (a good e-mail client, a browser, Capture One and Photoshop is 99% of what I need), things basically boils down to whether I can find hardware that is sufficiently quiet when working and if there are notebooks out there that can match the build quality of my current MacBook Pro when I need to upgrade it at some point in the future (the desktop this year, the laptop probably late next year). 

    I rarely upgrade my hardware so I’m not particular bothered by how Apple makes their computers impossible to upgrade, but the idiotic design of the latest MacBook Pro (just about everything I have will require an adapter) has made me look elsewhere even though I’m not in the market for a notebook right now, and that may turn me away from the Apple eco-system entirely within a couple of years if they don’t come to their senses and start releasing products that can actually work in a real professional environment. 

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    • Kishore Sawh

      I think this is all sensible, what you’ve said, and I think most creatives (if they’re honest with themselves and their needs), will find themselves in that same boat. I love my late 2015 MBP, and it’s a workhorse, and the current MBP was not worth it to me. I was, however, looking for something other than the iMac for most other things and the MacPro was the consideration. I’m not sure I can wait till next year for the alteration. 

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  6. adam sanford

    This coming from a company that is soldering RAM to the motherboard to force you buy more exclusively from them at a markup.  #eyeroll

    (Love and use Apple products, but this is one of a number of ‘price of admission’ downsides to living in their world.)

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