Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 31st Oct 2011 23:17 UTC
Apple While it's just a rumour, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who hasn't been living under a rock the past five years, and in all honesty, I'm pretty sure it's actually true. AppleInsider is reporting that Apple is contemplating axing its iconic Mac Pro.
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10 year machine
by whartung on Tue 1st Nov 2011 18:18 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

I bought my Mac Pro 5 years ago to be a 10 year machine. My basic premise is that it was "Fast enough" but should be able to expand in the key areas (notably ram and disk) to where I wanted to go.

At the time, it was actually cheaper than the competing Dell machine of similar specs.

If I were to buy a modern mac pro, that would definitely be a 10 year machine. Mine will likely not make it.

The critical problem is that in the '06 Mac Pros, it has a 32 bit graphics bus, rather than 64. And there's telling that the next OS X will be "pure 64 bit" through and through, and will likely not be compatible with my machine. Plus, GPUs are harder to get for this machine.

As far as performance, the current crop of Mac Minis perform better than my machine (according to some mac benchmark site I found, my machine comes in at 5600ish, and top end Mac Mini is 8300ish, something like that) but don't have the memory.

My machine is still "fast enough". I've upgraded the GPU already once. It needs a new disk drive. An SSD would make it a bit faster. It runs 24x7 (sleeping a lot when I'm away), and it's silent and stoic. Upgrading to the 3.0 Ghz CPUs is difficult as they're STILL expensive and hard to find (folks have been scavenging them out of other rack servers). If 10.8 for some reason lets me keep it, then I will, but I doubt it.

Despite the gains we have been getting, machines really have plateaued substantially. That's why I thought I might be able to get away with a 10 year machine.

So, maybe I have a 6-7 year machine instead of a 10 year. A Mac Mini doesn't cut it right now. 8GB isn't enough memory, and I'm happy that I have ECC memory in my current machine. Maybe I'll buy a modern used Mac Pro. I don't want to do a "hackintosh", and I don't want an iMac.

If Apple makes a Mini with 16G, then maybe I can get one of those, assuming it doesn't cook itself to death over time. My Mac Pro runs very cool, especially compared to my iMac at work.

No, I think a used "new" Mac Pro might be a better replacement in the long run.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 10 year machine
by lancealot on Tue 1st Nov 2011 22:06 in reply to "10 year machine"
lancealot Member since:
2007-02-25

This was exactly my plan. I bought a Mac Pro early 2007 (MacPro2,1) in the past, and got it at the minimum specs (2.66 dual-CPU dual core). As soon as I got the system I added my own memory, and hard drives. Plan was to make it last 10 years. Since the time I bought it, I have upgraded the standard video card (nVidia geForce 7300 GT) to the best video card that system model accepted, which was a NVidia 8800GT (they made a special EFI32 version for that model Mac Pro). Second I upgraded the standard memory to 16 GIG ECC (used mostly for VMware machines). Third I added a ESATA that supported "port multiplier" to be able to support any external drive system (like a Drobo). Lastly I added a SSD drive as the boot drive. All those modifications over the last 4+ years has always improved the speed of the system to the point I am very happy with it. On top of that I have been upgrading my system OS since Tiger, and got system improvements that way (upgrades have always been issue free, which I can't say the same for past Windows systems). I could get another system, but besides more CPU cores (which a lot of software doesn't even properly use, and I think 4 CPU cores is not bad), and faster bus speeds, I doubt I would see a huge difference. I think the increased memory and SSD drive alone makes for a HUGE upgrade to any system. Almost 5 years later I am happy with my system and have no plans on upgrading. It runs 24/7 with 5 VMware virtual machines running at all times processing data, and the system never crashes, never has issues. Only time I have ever gotten crashes was due to a faulty hard drive that was connected via ESATA I used for time machine, and from Parallels (which is why I use VMware now, doesn't inject kernel module). I have learned MAC OS X doesn't always handle faulty hard drives very well. The system I got is fast, solid, and unbelievably silent (event with everything maxed out on the system). I paid more for the system, but feel I got my moneys worth given how well it has operated for almost 5 years now.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: 10 year machine
by zima on Mon 7th Nov 2011 20:40 in reply to "10 year machine"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I bought my Mac Pro 5 years ago to be a 10 year machine [...] If I were to buy a modern mac pro, that would definitely be a 10 year machine. Mine will likely not make it.

Just like the previous one was supposed to be... ;p

Generally & more seriously - as you sort of say, cutting that time in two would give two faster machines, which most likely would use less energy (especially if you keep it on 24/7, sleep notwithstanding), and probably even less resources during production and such (just look at the bulk of Pro, and its components...)

I know, it gets hard to let go something into which we invested so much, something cared for & upgraded. Especially in so nice case.
Kinda, also, like that warm fuzzy feeling of ECC, which doesn't really make practical difference, it's just traditionally "required" in some trends / schools of thought.

(certainly not "The critical problem is that in the '06 Mac Pros, it has a 32 bit graphics bus, rather than 64" / PCIe versions are forward & backward compatible anyway; perhaps you mean the weird video card firmwares always required by Apple machines)

Reply Parent Score: 2