Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Dec 2013 20:47 UTC

Apple today announced the all-new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday, December 19. Redesigned from the inside out, the all-new Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

This thing is so damn awesome. I don't need it, but I still want one.

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Producers verse programmers
by ezraz on Thu 19th Dec 2013 14:25 UTC
Member since:

Both are power users, but different types of users, uses, values, and budgets. I do both so I see some clear differences between the two camps:

Programmers get a new machine every few years, after they've eeked every bit of performance out of their existing rig. Paid for by the dev team so they shop for best possible value. It's usually huge, loud, and grey plastic. It's primary job is to run big monitors and load/compile applications or edit web code (just text). They often times need to run multiple OS's for testing, and will have old versions of OS's ghosted or old machines around as test subjects. They are writing software, which is in effect automating a business process or making a game. They work in 10 apps at once chronically multitasking, and the only time they are waiting for their machine is when switching apps or on big compile jobs. Programmers usually have an IT department available, and are qualified enough to run the IT department themselves.

Producers get a new machine when they land a good client/project. The client is often billed for the purchase, or the costs rolled in to the job. They do very little to adjust the machine's configuration once it's working with their production workflow. Almost no producers try new hardware tweeks or software updates on their production box. This box lives in a "studio" not a cubicle, so how it looks, sounds, and presents itself is more important than a box under a desk. There is no need to 'test' the media on other boxes, just lots of processor-intensive transcoding. There is little need for multiple OS's. Producing media is different than writing software because it's an artistic, creative process first, technical second. Therefore most producers have a minimal, focused desktop that stays full screen on their main production environment. They don't usually need 12 tabs open and 15 sticky notes and 9 passwords. They are not jumping into 4 google hangouts a day. They need to focus on the material. Many producers don't have an IT department and are forced to manage their machine themselves. Many do not have IT experience to fall back on.

Do you see how both of these users are power users and need a strong machine to excel at their tasks? But they are not the same. Apple's pro machines target the producers far more than programmers. Video, HD video, 4k video, music, HD audio, animation - you have a paying client, you need to deliver media in certain formats, and you need to have a quiet powerful editing station with zero configuration and no IT help. That's the compelling argument for going mac, and many producers worldwide agree with me.

Programmers who are mobile are often times running a macbook or mac air (at least in the US), since they can run full linux, windows, and OSX on 1 thin light slab with all day battery life. But I almost never see a hard-coder on apple desktops.

They say total market share for apple in the US is 10-15%, but in real-world analysis I've seen about 50% over the last 5 years. I'm mobile though. I don't care about that number but I also don't trust it. Platform wars are kinda stupid since I have OSX and Windows running on the same machine I'm typing on right now.

(but from which side do i type?!?)

Edited 2013-12-19 14:30 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Producers verse programmers
by galvanash on Thu 19th Dec 2013 14:45 in reply to "Producers verse programmers"
galvanash Member since:

Agree with virtually everything you said about how programmers work. I'm a programmer, my workflow is almost exactly as you describe it, and I use a 11" Macbook Air as my main machine. I plug it into a 27" 2560x1440 monitor at work (a catleap off of ebay - best $300 I ever spent) and I just go to town...

Anyway, Apple's desktop machine offer me pretty much nothing I don't already get out of this setup. I might get a wee bit more performance (that I really don't need), but I would lose the portability - being able to pop the little thing out and work anywhere is a big deal to me... And the Intel GPU really is good enough for anything outside of gaming, even then I can play a bit of Torchlight 2 or other less demanding games quite comfortably.

The Mac Pro? I can't see why any programmer would even consider it. Maybe game programmers, but that's about it. Its a graphics workstation, and it is priced in a way so that it only looks good compared to other graphics workstations. Its all about the GPUs - and programmers generally don't much care about those.

Edited 2013-12-19 14:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

ezraz Member since:

Cool. I actually do both (program and produce) on a maxed out core 2 duo macbook pro, also plugged into an HD monitor.

I agree if you don't work with media you will not be shopping for this mac pro. I'm going to keep developing on my macbook but I think I want a primary audio rig and still might no mini. This protube would be a hell of a machine for the next 3-4 years though. I could also get 3 mini's at that price, or a mini and an another laptop.

It's silly (and like clockwork) to say you can build something "faster" than Apple's latest for less money. Anyone can buy parts or look at websites. Apple builds complete machines that run out of the box, often times without a single problem, for several years, with components that are almost always 100% compatible. They are in no way competing with BYO's and hackintosh.

Plus your "faster" box will also more than likely lose to the Apple box in every spec past the top 3 of CPU speed, drive speed, and RAM speed. Most nerds stop there with their specs comparison. They never want to get all the way down to Total Cost of Ownership because they would have to value their own time so low as to compete with Apple boxes. BYO's risk all sorts of stability in the name of using a slightly faster component and then they spend the time fixing it. I make too much per hour to be fixing my computer.

Reply Parent Score: 1