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Poll: Should Apple release a model between the Mac Pro and the Mac Mini?

Should Apple release a model between the Mac Pro and the Mac Mini?

  • Yes

    Votes: 60 66.7%
  • No

    Votes: 26 28.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 4.4%

  • Total voters
    90

LinusW

Active Member
An i7/i9 in a case like the upcoming Mac Pro is what would be an alternative to the mentioned Hackintosh.
So iMac in a tower case? Apple is obviously not interested in that. Their path is expensive Thunderbolt gear that goes with all their notebooks and desktops.
That's why the Hackintosh still resides in the dark...
 
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AlexRuger

Senior Member
Honestly I think Apple is signaling pretty hard that they don’t give a shit about that market segment. It’s a shame because that’s where most musicians sit, but that’s also the type of PC the vast majority of those who do so build.

It’s all I want from Apple, but they’ve made their intentions loud and clear: they are NOT building computers to satisfy this market segment. They never will.

They’re telling us: you want a computer like that? Build a PC or a Hack, we don’t care. The gaming PC market is massive and Apple doesn’t see a reason to compete there (and if they did build a computer like what we’re talking about, it would be for gamers, not musicians, as that’s a much much larger demographic). They know those musicians who won’t ever use anything than macOS but don’t want one of their current offerings is the tiniest market segment in the world, and they’re not going to put any effort into that when they can just man-handle them into using one of their four products that almost fits the bill. Those with the cash to do so will buy a MP; those who want to think a bit less and spend a bit less will buy an iMac or iMac Pro; surely some will buy the Mac Mini, thermal issues notwithstanding; and of course they know the remaining 99% of musicians making music on a Mac will do so on a MBP, as is tradition.

And they’re right. I love macOS and really wanted to return to it full time. I was holding out on the MP announcement to make a decision, and the decision is easy: the machine I need is not made by Apple and likely never will be. Sucks, but it’s reality, and Windows 10 is quite nice.
 

Geoff Grace

Senior Member
Apple designed both Mojave and Logic Pro X 10.4.5 to make managing your resources easier. Logic users can now do more with less RAM and CPU power. This offsets some of the otherwise valid points the naysayers are making, a least to a degree for some of us.

Best,

Geoff
 

Prockamanisc

Senior Member
I think your question is "do you wish the new Mac Pro was cheaper?" which is going to be a yes from everybody. As far as functionality, no, I think this is awesome. They gave us a blank slate that we can make as powerful as we want.

The base version IS the mid-tier model that you're asking for. It's just not priced accordingly.
 

Prockamanisc

Senior Member
I think that article reaffirms my point: "It's just that there is this big gap in the middle for users who need a little more power, a little expandability and no display. And it's a gap that would be filled by a tower or mini-tower Mac that sits between the iMac and the iMac Pro in price and performance."

iMac: 4 cores, 1TB Hard Drive
Mac Mini: 4 cores, 128GB SSD
Mac Pro: 8 cores, 256GB SSD
iMac Pro: 8 cores, 1TB SSD

The Mac Pro is the missing link, it just isn't priced for it. It's priced for its expandability, but it's the perfect computer for what we would otherwise be asking for. What would you ask for in terms of "less expandability"? To remove half of the PCIe slots? It would be easier for us not to use them than it would be for Apple to make an entirely new product.

We didn't complain about unused PCIe slots on the previous generation cheesegrater. And we don't complain about PCIe slots not being used on Windows machines because they don't charge an Apple tax for that expandability. That's my entire argument, that this "missing link" notion is based on price.

The only point that I see in this article is that there are no current Macs that handle the i9 processors (except MacBook Pros). But that argument is really "they use Xeon processors, which are more expensive." It doesn't have to do with the functionality of the processor, it has to do with the price. From a functionality perspective, the base model Mac Pro is a mid-tier machine.

Getting personal here, I am definitely a Mac fanboy and loyalist, and I've internally justified the price of the new Mac Pro, even though it definitely hurt when it was announced. But the experience I had with the Mac Pro 2013 was a shitty one: I saw that it was going to cost me like $6,000 for the specs that I want, so I instead bought a Mac Mini and souped it up for like $2,000, then built a slave computer for $3,500. Add in an extra $500 for duplicates of software, cables, dongles, an extra monitor, an extra monitor mount, and that's an extra $500, at least.

Mac Pro 2013: $6,000
Master/Slave Setup: $6,000

And I hated using the Master/Slave setup. Also, factor in the 100+ hours of research, study, and shopping that I put into building the setup, and an extra 100+ hours of troubleshooting the setup, you can see that it was a gigantic time suck. All to save 0 dollars. The savings isn't worth it.

So this time, I am justifying the cost by saying "I will spend this once and not have to even think about computers for 5-10 years." That peace of mind and saving of time is definitely worth an extra $2000 in Apple Tax.

My Plan:

It seems like Apple charges around $200 per extra core. If they stick with that, I'll spend an extra $4,000 to get the 28-core. Screw it. I'll just do it once and not look back. If, however, it gets exponentially more expensive as the core count grows, then I will stick with the 16-core machine. And then maybe in 3 years or so, there will be some 28-core processors on the used market for $1,000 or so, and I'll just pick one up then.

Same goes for the graphics: I'm going to stick with the base unit, then upgrade as I find them on the used market, or when 3rd parties offer something good and affordable.

Hopefully I'll be able to afford it by the end of next year or something, because, yeah, the price is definitely steep, and it definitely hurts. But in my experience the alternative hurts worse.
 
OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
"....And it's a gap that would be filled by a tower or mini-tower Mac that sits between the iMac and the iMac Pro in price and performance."
[...]
The Mac Pro is the missing link, it just isn't priced for it.
If I travel and want to bring a Mac where I can continue working with RAM and storage-hungry libraries, the MP isn't a good solution, due to it's size. The MBP can only house 32 gb. The most powerful Mini could be a good solution, but also has it's limitations. So IMO, we need something which...

- doesn't have a built in display
- allows us to install the RAM and SSDs we want (at least up to 128 gb, but 1.5 terabyte isn't needed), and, say, up to 4 SSDs
- to reach a large enough market, it should cost a lot less than the entry level MP with 32 gb RAM and and 256 gb SSD
- it should come in different degrees of CPU power, including a solution with good multi and single core performance
- it doesn't have to be as tiny as the Mini, but should be a lot more portable the the old and new cheese-graters​

IMO, the new Mac Pro isn't the missing link, it was a missing product – and it's great that they have produced it. The 'missing link'/ gap, the way I see it, would be more like a mid priced iMac but without the display, or a 'Mac Mini Pro', or a MBP with at least 8 cores and 64 gb RAM but no display/keyboard.

If you ask 10 people about what that missing link/gap would be, you'd probably get 10 different answers. But in general, it's somewhere between the size and price (and weight!) of a 1 kg Mini and an 18 kg Mac Pro.

There was some speculation that the next modular MP would have been modular also in terms of different modules one could buy and place on top of each other. Such a solution would have allowed a more flexible level of modularity, in that it could be purchased without any PCI slots, but allow us to buy a 'PCI slot module'.

Another module could allow more and/or different connectors – and so on. If each/most of these modules looked like a Mac Mini (in different heights), one could also have a module which could house several SSDs. I don't think the upcoming MP is the last modular solution Apple will make for the reasons above – and because an even more modular concept would be built from the ground to be able to satisfy users with very different needs (and income).
 
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gsilbers

Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com
that mac mini is very good for about 90% of music producers.

if you go to forums outside of film template type geeks.. then 64gb of ram is still seeing as kinda not really necessary. and not even mention gamers.

the mac pro fills that 10% left. that the junkei xl template level type of guys. you saw the conference video of that dude adding that crazy amount of tracks without a hiccup.
and you saw pro tools 3 hd cards strolling through a massive session for mixing a movie.
thats whom its for. its for people that can easily pay that mac pro in 5-10 years. not for the gamers trying to build their own pc to save some bucks.

so yes, mac pro is overkill for most music producers. i think someone can get an mac mini and a pc stack full of ram with i9 so no one cried foul at the price and can be more than happy if you want something in between.
so thats about 3k for the mini and about $3k for the pc. 128gb of ram + 64gb of ram should be enough imo for most scores, right? the mac mini scored higher than many mac pros and imac. and i see some pro composers using those mac pros w 1 or 2 slaves only.
so for $6k its a great system. a 128gb ram new mac pro will sure cost more. then again, if you can load more
 

Prockamanisc

Senior Member
or a 'Mac Mini Pro', or a MBP with at least 8 cores and 64 gb RAM but no display/keyboard.
I would bet that these sorts of specs will be available for these machines in upcoming releases. It solves the portability issue, but not the expandable internal storage issue.

But for us composers, with our weighted 88-key keyboards, 7" speakers w/ subwoofer, dual monitors, racked interface, 16TB of samples...we don't concern ourselves primarily with portability. I'm sure some of us do, but most probably don't. And for those who do, I'm sure they've figured out their workarounds already.

If you ask 10 people about what that missing link/gap would be, you'd probably get 10 different answers.
You're definitely right about that. At that point it becomes custom tailored to our exact needs.
 
OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
But for us composers, with our weighted 88-key keyboards, 7" speakers w/ subwoofer, dual monitors, racked interface, 16TB of samples...we don't concern ourselves primarily with portability.
If I travel, I don't need absolutely everything I usually use when I'm not travelling. I could work good headphones, I could get monitors locally, I can bring all the samples I need without adding a lot of weight or volume and so on. Of course for travelling, one could use a laptop – but with the reputation the keyboards in MacBook Pros have, a built in screen that's rather small and the 32gb memory limitation, that's not ideal either. From Apple's perspective, I guess the number of sold products matters the most, and if there actually is a gap in their product range, they could lose sales i they don't offer a product for 'pro individuals' in addition to having this new MP for pro companies.

that mac mini is very good for about 90% of music producers.

if you go to forums outside of film template type geeks.. then 64gb of ram is still seeing as kinda not really necessary. and not even mention gamers.

the mac pro fills that 10% left.
In that case, why do you think Yes has twice as many votes as No in the poll above? :)

And why do threads like this one exist? https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/most-won’t-be-able-to-afford-a-new-mac-pro.2183537/

And why aren't more VI users – according to this poll – going to buy the next MP? VI users seem to be (also according to Apple's own demo at WWDC) one of the target user groups for this Mac Pro.
 
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Prockamanisc

Senior Member
If I travel, I don't need absolutely everything I usually use when I'm not travelling.
Hey Vik, I'm professionally curious: for what purpose do you need your rig when you travel? Are you traveling to gigs? Are you gigging while traveling? The only times I've had to compose on the road are A) when I get a gig during vacation, and B ) when I'm helping someone else at a session and I have to travel to their studio of choice.
 
OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
Hi Prockamanisc, I have done/will do all kinds of stuff: brought my Mac in order to record, to use live on stage, to give workshops, to go away for a while and compose in some remote location and more. Also when travelling/gigging, it's good to have access to full versions of all relevant projects, so one can edit stuff with access to all needed files/samples.
The main need to have something other than a laptop (small screen, little RAM etc) or iMac (too large/fragile) or Mac Pro (way too large and way too heavy) is of course that if some already have a well functioning system, it's easer to just bring that than to rely on two different setups, like eg a MP and a MBP. Apple may prefer that we will continue to need both a main Mac and a Mac for traveling, but a Mac mini is so close to being usable for many of us (most of us?), that with some changes it could serve as a perfect main me and many others.
 
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OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
Here's an article with an interesting approach to the MP vs Mac Mini discussion:https://www.imore.com/mac-mini-vs-mac-pro-budget

"So how much will it cost to compete with a $6000 entry level Mac Pro on an Apple approved hardware ecosystem?

Around $3480.

You get a savings of over $2500 and is much closer to the traditional introductory cost of past Mac Pros. That's more like it!"

Also:"Would I rather have a full-fledged Mac Pro with PCIe accessibility and expandability at a price closer to the $3000 that Apple used to offer for entry-level Mac Pros? Of course. On top of that, though Thunderbolt 3 is an amazing technology, there is performance loss compared to PCIe with identical hardware due to bandwidth overhead. But until Apple releases the Mac Pro mini, we'll be stuck making our Mac mini pros."
 

Prockamanisc

Senior Member
I actually watched this video this morning! The only thing that I see as the problem is that it's capped out at 6 cores. In 3-4 years we'll probably be able to pick up a used 28-core processor for like $500 on eBay, whereas if we wanted more power on a Mini, we'd need a brand new one, and we'd probably have to shell out around another $3,000 for a (presumably available) 12-core Mac Mini 2024. And also the cooling of the Mac Pro is likely to be quieter than the Mac Mini (I haven't done any research, so I could be wrong), but the external graphics, external storage, etc. will all add incremental fan noise.

I'm mostly playing Devil's advocate here, I already voiced my entire POV on why I'm getting the Pro.

to give workshops
I did once give a talk on a score that I did, and I had to render everything to audio so that I could actually play it for the audience. But other than that, I've never had much difficulty with just a laptop. For instance: literally an hour after setting off on a much deserved vacation, my phone rang with a gig (my girlfriend (now wife) was understandably pissed). All I had was my laptop and HDD's of samples, so I made the creative choice to limit myself to 2-3 instruments. It actually forced a really good score out of me, because I had to let the writing itself drive the drama, and not the orchestration. But that story isn't everyone's, and some people might need all the bells and whistles on an away gig.
 
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samphony

Senior Member
I think a macbook 8 core plus 1-2 or more mac minis would make a great mobile vep rig. The entry level mac pros were quad or dual core in the past. The new 8 core xeon costs at least $3000 if not more.
 
OP
Vik

Vik

Scandi Member
Makes sense, but I haven’t seen any benchmark tests for the new MBP. There’s also a rumor about some issues with the so called butterfly keyboard mechanism which I’d need to know more about before going for a MBP.
 

AlexRuger

Senior Member
I wonder if it’s intentional that the 6 core Mac Mini, expanded to compete more directly with the Mac Pro, is pretty much exactly the same price as the trashcan Mac Pro with comparable specs. If so, it’s clever, seeing as the Mac Mini suffers from all the same problems as the trashcan: no PCIe, only one drive, thermal issues, etc.
 
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