Apple launches new MacBook Air and Mac Mini (and iPad Pro!)

hardware
mac

#21

Only “Up to 32 GB Dual Channel DDR4 @ 2666 MHz”? Even the Mac mini allows up to 64GB :lol:


#22

People have made a comparison on how expensive the iMac Pro really is (check out the end of the article). SPOILER ALERT: it’s very reasonably priced and carries almost no premium overhead.

And yes, I want the iMac Pro exactly because of longevity. I want something that can last me 10 years. I keep saying this – computing is plateauing. Unless you need 4 GPUs to start a Notepad several years down the line, even my current PC (2nd gen i7 with 32GB RAM and pretty regular SSDs) can chug along happily until it physically breaks.

My days of tinkering with PCs and phones are over. I like to tinker, a lot, but not with computers and phones anymore. I want something that has me covered anywhere from 200 tabs in a browser to running a physical simulation, to rendering a 3D building plan, to firing 100+ Linux VMs for an elaborate test.


#23

Assuming that all the components inside an iMac Pro continue working for 10+ years and it never needs opening up, then I agree. That would have been a given at one stage, but Apple’s recent QC combined with a much higher TDP than ever seen in that chassis makes me think that some sort of component failure over such a lifespan is likely.

iMac Pros look expensive because it’s very easy to spec up a “comparable” PC but overlook a lot of the smaller details that add up quickly. Most people would spec a 4k (or multiple 4k monitors) to go with such a PC, ignoring the extra resolution/density of the 5k display, along with the P3 colour — something that’s very expensive and rare in standalone monitors. The 5k LG display that Apple have put their weight behind really is table stakes if you want to compare to the iMac Pro (same display underneath I’ve been told?).

All the other extras that article list like 10g ethernet, speakers, keyboards are all added cost too.

What you really trade away when buying an iMac Pro is the choice of components, peripherals and the ability to easily fix/upgrade it as it ages and extend it’s lifespan even further. I’ll be waiting to see if the Mac Pro can deliver on these points, if not I’ll pick up an iMac Pro as everyone no doubt sells them one once something new and shiny is released.


#24

I wish there was emacs for IOS…


#25

The latest Mac Pros (2017 I think?) have overheating problems and are largely considered a failure, by the way. Definitely do not look into them. Next-gen Mac Pros should be better.

I agree that if you don’t want a 5K display then the iMac Pro looks overpriced. In my head however, I’d give this large sum of money to have a full package of almost-the-best-money-can buy components.


#26

There can be… :wink:

Those are the ones I’m waiting on. I don’t think they will this time around, but I truly hope they don’t cock them up. Regardless of what Apple release, I’m sure there will be a lot of iMac Pros kicking around on eBay.


#27

What many of us have been thinking:

Quite shocking really - I like Tim, but maybe it’s time for change - unfortunately they are screwing their customers way too much with him at the helm…


#28

Can you summarize the premise of the video?


#29

That is literally 4x the price of the same set up you’d get if you assembled a PC yourself. It’s not 1.5x, 2x, it’s 4 times the price.


#30

Did you read the linked article?


#31

I did, and I disagree with the thesis it’s sorta reasonably priced. It gets exceptionally highly priced when you add more resources to the base model. Say adding 1TB of disk space adds almost 1000USD to the base price. I call this unreasonable. There are 4TB SSD disks way below that price range. And if you want 4TB disk, you are just dumping even more extra cash at Apple.

Having said that, the article is a year old, and the hardware in question too, and things do change. 5k monitors are available from LG & Dell at 1000-1500 USD pricing for similar screen, AMD’s Threadripper could provide the same computation power for way less money etc. So the pricing & specs for me definitely do not make sense from economical perspective. It should be cheaper, like by 50%.


#32

And if you want to build smaller form factor system (not mac mini small but media centre type case small), like I did - they have slightly lower end CPUs with Vega chip integrated. You can even play some new games on it (on lower res / settings), it’s a decent GPU not like Intel’s integrated ones.

I got myself media centre case, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, and Ryzen 5 2400g. I suspect it’s future proof set up that I will be able to upgrade with next gen CPU if I want to, add storage easily etc. This has a value in it’s own for me.


#33

“Similar”, maybe, at the quality level of Apple’s Retina screens – very unlikely.

That one I can agree with. It could be partially negated with long-term insurance and extended warranty however.

Have you checked what are the Xeon W processors capable of? I agree AMD made huge strides and they will very likely be the common sense choice in just 1-2 short years from now even for desktop and gaming – but server-grade Xeons are still in a league of their own and are very much ahead of the rest of the Intel and AMD processors.

Same goes for ECC RAM. You might not care about it but many others do (myself included).


If you don’t like the machines, that’s your prerogative and I am not gonna argue preferences. You cannot however claim that the things are objectively overpriced per se. If I buy it I am reasonably sure it will serve me for 10 years or more. It’s a reasonable long-term investment project is what was my point from the get go. And it’s future-proof enough. I don’t think you’ll need a stronger machine than the maxed out iMac Pro even in 15 years unless you have a very specialized work need.

Your argument seems to be centered around “what I can alternatively get is good enough for me”. That’s a valid argument to make – but it doesn’t invalidate mine.


#34

OK so two things.

  1. You should really really see what AMD has in offering nowadays. Compare the pricing & benchmarking of Xeon W with the top Threadrippers (16 or 32 cores). I’d agree the Xeon W is prob better fit for a server but for workstation focused on media processing I’d be highly in doubt.

  2. If you need as high-end spec as iMac pro now, it is likely you will need high-end spec in 15 years. Unless you are planning to use it for Elixir programming, in which case it might be true :D. But generally I think you do not get these specs unless you really really need them, because it’s so expensive.


#35

I thought benchmarks showed that Xeon’s perform slightly better on a core-to-core comparison to AMD TR’s due to the larger memory bus, but the overall much higher core count of the TR’s make the AMD ones much more powerful overall while also being cheaper? In addition a lot of big cloud companies (like I think azure and amazon are stated ones) are pulling in a lot of AMD TR’s now.

ECC RAM is SOOO important!


#36

Well the Mac minis look a lot bigger than I thought (or Justine is very petit!)

Basically: all about making money.

Linked to that Apple has reached close to saturation point so they no longer share number of units sold, instead have said they will just release profit made… profit they can easily maintain by simply selling stuff for more.

I have a love hate r/ship with Apple. I love the products, but hate how they screw their customers. There has to be a principle higher than that of making money, and the “let’s see how much money we can make out of our customers” instead of “lets make a fair profit” is getting very boring (and insulting!) now :lol:


#37

That said, if you were an Apple shareholder you’d disagree. It is morally imperative that a publicly owned company continue to grow, even if that isn’t in their customers, or the company’s long term interests.

App,e is in the unfortunate position of being (arguably) ahead of many of their competitors from a pure technology perspective. That’s an expensive place to be, because they are competing against themselves which burns through R&D and marketing cash like crazy. Competitors just need to watch what’s working and imitate it. The notch that’s been added to other makers phones for no reason other than emulating the iPhone X is a perfect example of this.

Apple never get to crib notes from others. They are doing all the leg work. Equally the ‘iOS up’ route that Apple are taking to future computing is a much harder sell than the ‘Windows down’ that Microsoft have taken with their Surface devices. There’s years where the iPad can’t really compete, but the end result will most likely be better.

I don’t like it, but Apple need to keep shareholders happy. Despite their market lead/dominance and huge cash reserves, they are actually in a precarious position. Companies get introspective as they reach this position, and it causes them to be blind to left-field competitors. Just as they pulled the rug out from under PC-era computing, a similar upstart could do the same to them. For all we know, a few scandals and data breeches in proprietary software could send the masses into a frenzy about open source software and hardware. Things that border on obscurity like RISC-V hardware and open source OS might become mainstream very quickly. That’s something that Apple couldn’t combat.

As a consumer, I hate their approach to pricing, and they may have priced me away from their products. As a business owner I totally get what their doing. They’re making the most of their current position so that they have a better chance of weathering the next storm, whatever it may be.

PS - typing this all on an iPad (without an external keyboard) was horrible, so maybe they need to spend some of their pennies on improving that! :rofl:


#38

I just checked on NewEgg, cheapest 4TB was $800, and that’s SATA III which is nowhere near the performance of what Apple is using. Closest thing on NewEgg performance-wise was $2,600.


#39

Try buying just one as an individual–it’s actually hard right now because the big cloud companies are gobbling them all up.


#40

not true