How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

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theinonen
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby theinonen » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:04 am

In my opinion current Apple computer products are not interesting at all, as those are just standard PC-systems and there is nothing that warrants buying those instead of any other PC. If I wanted a computer with standard parts picked straight from the store self, I could build it myself and have it configured exactly the way I wanted.

For me to even reconsider buying new Apple computer, it would have to be something really special.

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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby Trippynet » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:37 am

I agree it'd be good, but it also flies in the face of Apple's recent approach to locking everything down. Slowly but surely more and more of their systems have moved from changeable components to soldered down ones - usually so Apple can make more money by encouraging people to purchase higher spec models in the first place, and so that systems become obsolete quicker, hence requiring people to replace them rather than upgrade them.

It'd be good if Apple were to take a different approach with their workstation models, but I remain sceptical.
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:10 am

Trippynet wrote:I agree it'd be good, but it also flies in the face of Apple's recent approach to locking everything down. Slowly but surely more and more of their systems have moved from changeable components to soldered down ones - usually so Apple can make more money by encouraging people to purchase higher spec models in the first place, and so that systems become obsolete quicker, hence requiring people to replace them rather than upgrade them.

It'd be good if Apple were to take a different approach with their workstation models, but I remain sceptical.


I have loved some, but not all of apples products, but sadly to say they are truly becoming purely consumer orientated and that will ultimately be the end of them if they arn't careful. It really does't pay to be a fanboy if it's not in your best interest as a customer, and if they continue to drop the ball I will look els ware.

They are counting on the fact that we will be using handsets for the next 10 years, but Microsoft has a secret weapon in the Hololens and if they manage to make a lite version of this system, this could quite easily replace handsets in the future, leaving Apple in the dirt as far as telecommunications are concerned, and it is this market that's currently carrying them at this point. In my opinion, the handset has run it's course and now it's time for something new.

A system such as hololens takes many years to develop, especially from a software point of view and Apple is nowhere as far as this technology is concerned.

Augmented reality is more than likely the future. So Apple needs to watch out here!
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby tomvos » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:35 am

Irinikus wrote:They are counting on the fact that we will be using handsets for the next 10 years, but Microsoft has a secret weapon in the Hololens and if they manage to make a lite version of this system, this could quite easily replace handsets in the future, leaving Apple in the dirt as far as telecommunications are concerned, and it is this market that's currently carrying them at this point. In my opinion, the handset has run it's course and now it's time for something new.

A system such as hololens takes many years to develop, especially from a software point of view and Apple is nowhere as far as this technology is concerned.

Augmented reality is more than likely the future. So Apple needs to watch out here!


You might want to try the App "Measure Kit" on any AR capable iOS 11 device. I've used my iPhoneSE for this. I was really surprised how good this combination was at measuring distances, even with an iPhone that has only one camera, thus making depth measurements less reliable. I'm not sure who has to watch out for whom here. ;)


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I've been using Macs since 2002. I've never really bothered about performance. Simply because the reason why I started to use a Mac never was performance in the first place, but Mac OS X as the best unix (at this time). I still think, Apple is about the platform and not about benchmarks. Of course it would be nice if they returned to yearly updating all their desktop systems with current hardware.
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby Trippynet » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:58 am

Irinikus wrote:I have loved some, but not all of apples products, but sadly to say they are truly becoming purely consumer orientated and that will ultimately be the end of them if they arn't careful. It really does't pay to be a fanboy if it's not in your best interest as a customer, and if they continue to drop the ball I will look els ware.


Yep! My last two mini systems for 24/7 downloading and file serving have been Mac Minis (a PPC one, then a Core 2 Duo one) - these have lasted me around 13 years or so in total. However, the replacement I've ordered is a NUC, primarily because current Mac Minis have soldered RAM and are effectively none-upgradable. Both my previous Mac Minis had their life extended by RAM/HDD upgrades, and now that Apple aren't permitting this any more, it's cost them a Mac Mini sale as a result.

It will be interesting indeed to see the direction Apple chooses for the next Mac Pro in comparison...
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:03 am

Trippynet wrote: Both my previous Mac Minis had their life extended by RAM/HDD upgrades, and now that Apple aren't permitting this any more, it's cost them a Mac Mini sale as a result.


A perfect example of how they will loose market share due to their consumer based practice of planned obsolescence!
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby Intuition » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:37 am

The crux of Apple's last computer relevance was the G5 tower.

The reason for this is that it was a real blue collar solution in the editing market.

The first power Mac I was able to use was for an Avid Media Composer in 1995. It was the first real non-linear editing system available that wasn't just offline, but full (drum roll) 720x486 output. This system was around $100k at the time.

Avid's were always pricey. Like SGI they had a niche market and that market would reward developers for helping them get off the tape to tape linear editing. OH, how many a night I spend in Ensemble pro inputting ins and outs to a monochrome screen setting up effects with a grass valley switcher?

Now fast forward to 2005-2007 and you see these G5 computers setup with dual core or quad core setups with Final Cut and these systems were around $2000.

That was a huge adjustment. Now people could buy an editing system for far cheaper than an Avid. Plus it was easily modular with ram and CPUS.

Almost like a page from SGI. Open the case... pull out cpu or ram or drives. They slide in and out.

Now jump forward to the Mac Pro ashtray/trashbin.

I couldn't configure one that I felt was even close to my old 8 Core dual Xeon setup that I custom built for $2k in 2008.
I kept getting around 8k-10k for a 12 core system. Plus no real 3D card which I absolutely need. Unless I opt for a unit that sits on the table with the card in the open air. Later they made enclosures.

Regardless. Here was a mac pro that was basically a huge premium price for technology that couldn't keep up with my old dual xeon from years ago. With the small exception that thunderbolt was quite fast, BUT, I didn't need thunderbolt.

Yes the newer 12 cores would have some advantage in cache speeds/ ram speeds than my old setup but not 6K worth of extra speed.

No, this was where Apple innovation was purely from a design/visual tech as avante gaurde for your desk but really adding nothing but expense to an office with extra 6k of expense over just getting a modern PC that could run past it with ease whilst costing half the price and you could indulge with the best 3d card available.

This single fact is why the little Ives cylinder didn't do well. You see Apple apologizing for it but it is like they didn't understand why it failed.

The old towers are still coveted in forums. They can be upgraded and still beat the little cylinder in overall professional throughput.

Since I work in Maya/Houdini/Nuke I usually go with a PC I can make dual boot into windows or CentOs. You can make a quite good 16 core powerhouse for $2k today. I'm still on win7 because win8 and 10 are still really fat and greedy resource hogs. I can't wait until windows and mac OS remember that professionals don't care about fancy UI animation or shiny buttons. We want a very basic OS that allows us to focus all resources to the software itself.

That is why current PC and MAC markets are in limbo.

I just want the modern equivalent to xp64. A desktop... a file browser....no bloat ware... lots of ram free OS usage and a powerful video/3d card not bogged down by anything but the 3D software I want to run.
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:16 pm

These types of threads always read like "Computer geeks don't understand business (models). News at 11"
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby HurricaneJames » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:16 pm

R-ten-K wrote:These types of threads always read like "Computer geeks don't understand business (models). News at 11"


I think we understand, we just disagree. Also, given the lack of sales, we were probably right on this one.
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby GIJoe » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:50 pm

re: business model

- looks like on the mac pro you can upgrade RAM, CPU and storage although there's only a small selection of CPU models for the board/chipset (no different from intel PC then, really) and they went non-standard with the SSD (can you do something with an adapter there by any chance?)

on the laptops i always chalked it up to them going like mad for the thin-factor. and AFAIK the mini is simply technology derived straight from their macbook line, sans screen. the 2017 imac can also still be user-upgraded with RAM from the looks of it and the storage is inaccessible mainly due to the thin-factor.

with the laptops i was holding out for several years now to see if newer, slimmer components would finally allow them to offer upgradable RAM and storage slots again even in the ultra-thin cases. no dice so far though so my old one will stay around a while longer. :P not giving up the hope though.
not happy to hear about all that glue inside though. will be interesting to see if these machines can be repaired at reasonable cost in a few years when out of warranty. can you at least open them to clean them out and replace the thermal paste?

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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:50 pm

HurricaneJames wrote:. Also, given the lack of sales, we were probably right on this one.


I think that, perhaps, solidifies my point; Apple is not moved by sales, but rather margins.

If the new mac pros have lower sales, but the profit margins generate more profit, that's the lesson that Apple gets out of the exercise.

I personally think the trash can as the sole high end "modular" offering was a silly idea.

Apple has clearly signaled they see the computer market as being mostly comoditized by now, and they want to go for the high end consumer market segment.

Honestly, the mac pro line must be at the bottom of the HW revenue generators for Apple, so I expect that segment to also be at the bottom of the priority list for Appe's management. If you're a professional and are invested in macos for anything that requires a lot of computing cycles locally; move. Seriously, the price/performance on the windows/linux side of things is too good wrt to the mac pro to even bother with Apple. Unless you're vested in something that only runs on mac; like final cut pro, or development for iOS.
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby bifo » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:48 am

R-ten-K wrote:
HurricaneJames wrote:. Also, given the lack of sales, we were probably right on this one.


I think that, perhaps, solidifies my point; Apple is not moved by sales, but rather margins.

If the new mac pros have lower sales, but the profit margins generate more profit, that's the lesson that Apple gets out of the exercise.

I personally think the trash can as the sole high end "modular" offering was a silly idea.

Apple has clearly signaled they see the computer market as being mostly comoditized by now, and they want to go for the high end consumer market segment.

Honestly, the mac pro line must be at the bottom of the HW revenue generators for Apple, so I expect that segment to also be at the bottom of the priority list for Appe's management. If you're a professional and are invested in macos for anything that requires a lot of computing cycles locally; move. Seriously, the price/performance on the windows/linux side of things is too good wrt to the mac pro to even bother with Apple. Unless you're vested in something that only runs on mac; like final cut pro, or development for iOS.

Technically its possible to put together a top class PC that will run OSX without any serious issues right now for a fraction of what Apple charges for the trash can.

The drivers are a bit limited and can be difficult to get working (another benefit for apple using systems which can't be expanded is they don't have to care about hardware compatibility, which is a somewhat ironic turn for them because poor expansion options and lackluster hardware almost killed them in the 90s...) but with the right hardware/kext combos and a bit of determination and research even people with a vested interest in using OSX haven't needed to buy hardware from Apple for years.

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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby guardian452 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:20 pm

Considering how much they must have spent developing and tooling that thing and how few were sold over the last 4 years... I bet the margins are nowhere close to their usual standard.

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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:28 pm

Probably. Which is why the Mac Pro has been ignored by Apple for a couple of years, at least.

As I said. If you're a professional, with high local compute needs, and are not tied to MacOS ecosystem; consider jumping ship seriously.
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Re: How can Apple reclaim its dominance over PC-based workstations?

Unread postby guardian452 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:27 pm

stumbled into this cute little site:
http://hp.com/go/mac-to-z


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