Guest Commentary: What Would You Want in a New Mac?

Over the past year, I’ve had frequent doctor appointments. However, one thing that has made them more bearable has been the discussions I’ve had in the waiting room about new tech – often Apple in particular. Many of the talks revolve around Macs and how they have become more like the iPad as far as repairs and upgrades are concerned (see the upgrades available for your Mac here). Some of us complain about this, but haven’t been able to do anything constructive about it.

Of the regulars that I’ve spoken to, I’ve noticed three types of people/opinions: 

Type A

  • Is satisfied with Apple’s products in general for their needs/usage.
  • Often replaces products within 2-3 years.
  • Isn’t necessarily interested in user upgrades.

Type B

  • Longtime Mac user, but has almost given up hope.
  • Realizes Apple is now primarily a services/mobile device company.
  • Feels Apple no longer targets them or their opinions don’t matter.

Type C

  • Simply gave up and moved on from Apple products.

Whichever category the person falls under (I tend to fall somewhere between the B and C types), the subject of Apple’s “closed” Macs comes up often. It brings about the question – is there any amount of user feedback to Apple that would change their course on any of their models? (The image of tiny rowboats trying to change the Titanic’s course comes to mind.)

Related article: Commentary: Apple Should Renew Focus on Mac Users, Pros

Users like me could have reached out after the 2013 Mac Pro was released, for example, but we have no idea whether Apple would listen. However, what do we have to lose by taking the time to send our feedback to Apple?

Another sticking point that comes up often is the cost of these “closed” Macs. Once you compare the performance you can get from a DIY machine – especially to the aging current Mac Pro design – it’s hard to imagine going back. If Apple were to design for an open “workhorse” vs. a closed “work of art”, they should at least be able to offer something more competitive that’s not limited to essentially the same performance forever.

I’m not saying all Macs need to be open. But Apple should consider offering one that isn’t a closed design. I know there’s a market for models such as the iMac, but is the percentage of us who want something upgradeable so small that it’s hopeless?

Apple could (finally) announce an amazing 2017 Mac Pro tomorrow that changes everything, but I’m not holding my breath about a change in design philosophy. I suspect the next Mac Pro basic design has been finalized, unless the 2013 cylindrical design is here for the long haul.

(Thin form factor have become a priority for Apple with its MacBook line.)

Thin Is In
When I watched the keynote for the new MacBook Pro, my first thought was that “thin” is the primary design goal. Was there ever any consideration to keeping the same size with more performance, better GPU, a larger battery, etc.? My gut feeling is the non-negotiable primary goal was make it as thin and light as possible – the things that elicit applause in keynotes.

For their “Pro” Macs at least, are there any design engineers there now that would even suggest a design focused on what users value long term, and function over form and “cool” factor? Have they ever asked how satisfied 2013 Mac Pro users are years after the initial “wow” factor has worn off?

Mac Feedback
One way Apple could incorporate feedback, if it chose to do so, would be to get input from Pro users and produce two Mac designs – one a closed “work of art” and the other an open, standard components (PCIe, M.2 slots, etc.) form factor design. The latter might even cost less and perform better at the sacrifice of aesthetics, especially in the long term. Using standard form-factor components (motherboard, graphics card, power supply, etc.) provides an easier upgrade (and repair) path in the future. Custom designs such as Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro have internal space limits and used non-standard graphics cards that were trailing edge shortly after they were sold (as of early 2017, there’s still no upgrade option for them).

Avoiding proprietary designs allows an easier/faster way to incorporate future changes vs. custom designs with higher costs/lower production. And an open design doesn’t have to be “ugly”, as many case manufacturers have proven in the past. (But personally I’d take an internally upgradeable “Plain Jane” under my desk vs. a small pretty “vase” on top with cables to external devices for expansion.)

Related article: Did You Know You Can Make Your Mac Pro Better Than New?

And here’s an idea – if they do continue using non-standard form factors, how about a commitment to offer at minimum a graphics card upgrade the following year for buyers of Mac Pros? (Graphics cards are one of the fastest changing components and can have a big effect on performance.) I don’t own a 2013 Mac Pro, but couldn’t they have offered at least a graphics card upgrade for its most powerful line by now? What lesson is that to 2013 Mac Pro owners, or anyone considering a Mac Pro in the future?

What would you want in a new Mac?
All of this begs the question: If Apple considered an open design, what would you want in your Mac? What about standard components, user-replaceable storage, CPU or graphics cards? And a system bootrom that supports basic boot video without Mac EFI in the graphics card?

None of these suggestions on their own are “world changing”, but they might be the change direction that users want – for at least one Mac model.

I would expect – and understand – that most replies and reactions to the above changes are “it’s too late”, “they don’t care what I want” or refer to the famous Steve Jobs quote “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Admittedly, Apple has been very successful with its current path and has little reason to change that for what has been a shrinking PC market for years. And I have no idea what (if any) level of feedback to Apple would matter. But one thing is for sure – doing nothing will not change anything.

Further Reading:


LEAVE A COMMENT


  • ABANDONED AGAIN….

    In the 80’s, I was a big Apple II user,
    until Steve Jobs did all he could to kill the Apple II for the Mac.

    So, I left Apple for the PC world…

    But about 12 years ago, after fighting the PC viruses, I came back to Mac….
    I have owned Mini’s, MacBook’s, an iMac and Mac Pro’s.

    BUT…. OH NO, NOT AGAIN…
    With no new desktops worth purchasing in Apple’s catalog…
    ( I won’t pay full price for 3 year old technology.)

    Forget the stupid iMac, I ain’t lugging that in for repairs.
    Plus you can’t recycle a good monitor when the iMac craters from overheating….

    So it’s clear that NO new mac mini’s or Mac Pro’s are coming……

    Now WHAT????

    – Ride my old machines till the dies….
    OR….
    – A Hackintosh’s might be the answer….
    At least then, I can get thunderbolt 3.
    Or maybe USB 3.2 when it comes out…

    Maybe OWC has some good idea…..

    Thank you OWC for providing some technology to extend the life of my Mac’s.




  • Interfaces – USB, Thunderbolt, maybe even Firewire, to connect to Pro audio recording gear. I switched from Windows to Mac in 2011 & the performance improvement was dramatic (MacBook Pro). Getting concerned about what to use for my next computer. Want the kind of performance I’m used to. As you mentioned, performance much (much, much, much) more important to me than making it thinner.




    • Wait for Apple to come out with the next gen CPUs this year. For all the people saying they are switching to windows for performance need to understand the newer computers are going to be Win10 or Linux. Win 10 is a privacy nightmare, pain to navigate, and auto updates. You may have a project in the works or may get drivers updated to be unusable due to updates. Not a good way for professionals to work.

      Performance is not going to grow by leaps and bounds anymore.




  • I am in group A and I remember when Apple was licensing clones. It almost put Apple into bankruptcy because each clone sold cost Apple an estimated $50 to certify and support not to mention the foregone profit in computer sales. If you want an open architecture there are several options, Dell, Lenovo, etc. all selling in a commodity market where the primary product differential is cost. Apple did not become the most successful computer (r company in the world (strike the word computer ad make that the most successful company in the world period) by dealing in a commodity market and that is even more true when that market is steadily shrinking.

    Like it or not the drive for cost, speed, reliability, power consumption, security, and ruggedness will inevitably move the entire computing industry in the direction of more and more on chip integration. As always Apple is leading the trend and leaving the rest of the industry to catch up. Chip designers are already working on integrating Memory with the Processor, and erasing any significant hardware difference between Memory and Storage. They day will come when virtually the entire computer, other than the display, will be on a single chip.




    • That’s called taking around the issue. Clearly you’re in group A. For professional’s where performance and upgradability (3rd party options too) then the Apple story of late is sorrowful. Mac Pro, god I’m so glad I didn’t by that paper weight. Lots of Pro software getting onto Linux just so decent GPU and multi CPU and bus options are available, eg BMD Resolve, there’s just no way you’d install that on a Mac Pro today.




  • There are certainly a lot of hardware and OS frustrations out there. I understand, yet I’m looking at things a bit different.

    First, my alignment with complaints:
    I also am disappointed that Apple has not stuck with their ‘tower’ desktop. As an engineer I appreciated the excellent mechanical design and look of the big silver box along with the ability to add more internal drive storage. I always hoped that they would keep that format and update the insides and connection ports with current technology. I think they have made a big mistake going to that new black tube machine. I kept upgrading my mid-2010 MacPro and it behaved well. I finally got to the point where the video card didn’t have enough storage and some of the OS things didn’t work (e.g. iMessaging). What finally did me in was that my Apple Cinema display crashed for good. I didn’t like the severe reflection of the Apple standalone displays and had to consider other top brands for my display. They were costing out at over $2000. I went for the 27” iMac, although couldn’t afford Apple’s ridiculous add on cost for a full SSD so I’ve got the larger fusion drive. It is OK, but would have preferred full SSD. Apple could go a long way to appeasing folks if they would stick with proper market prices for the SSD upgrade.

    For some other thoughts:
    I am a writer and photographer and that is what drives my choice of computer to some degree, but I also demand good interconnectivity with all my equipment and family (all Apple users). That is where I appreciate the Apple platform. Is it perfect? No, but it is pretty useful. I’m not a Windows luddite, in fact I used that platform for years in my professional workplace and found it very good. It was absolutely necessary for the software I ran.
    Is it less expensive? Yes. Is it as easy to use and configure? No. However, if I went back to the consulting work I used to do I would buy a Windows laptop immediately and use it only for consulting and interfacing with my clients. I would continue with my Apple world for personal and art use.
    For me, I don’t want to be spending my time fiddling around with upgrading hardware and fiddling with configuration, I just want to get on with my tasks. I appreciate my Apple equipment for this.
    As far as longevity is concerned, my MacPro made it for 6 years and if I’d have purchased a new monitor it would still be with me. My 2011 MacBook Air is still singing along and I’ve had absolutely nothing breakdown with it over the years.

    About Apple’s software:
    I weaned myself off of Microsoft Office and am now using Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. I still have Office on my MacBook Air and need it sometimes. I’m not impressed with Microsoft’s new approach via subscription and still am able to use Office 2011 thank goodness. Is Pages as flexible as WORD? No. Is Numbers as good as EXCEL? Absolutely not. Is Keynote as good as PowerPoint? Yes, I think so, and I like the ease with which I can do some things in Keynote. However, I no longer need all the power and flexibility that Office has, so I’m very happy with the Apple software, generally.
    I am, however, completely ticked off with some thoughtless design in the Apple software. I have written to Apple many times about some practical stuff in Pages that should be there and isn’t. I won’t extend this writing here to explain, but let me say that it is common, necessary stuff and I’m fed up having to do work arounds every time I use it. (e.g. setting up a template that actually holds all the settings; setting up Styles that hold their settings; there is more, but these are really pretty basic needs.) I have been writing in to Apple about these for almost 10 years now and can’t believe they haven’t made the appropriate improvements. Never mind doing the counting of complaints until you react, Apple. What I’m writing about is pretty basic stuff for anyone publishing things in a word processor.
    I also have a list of basic needs in Numbers that doesn’t exist in their most up-to-date version. (e.g. referencing a cell in another spreadsheet that is in a different workbook)

    My conclusion (right or wrong, I’m not sure):
    I think the MacPro will disappear from Apple’s lineup. How can they leave it alone for so long after introducing a radical new machine?
    It seems to me that Apple has determined that there is not enough money in the professional world to support such a machine redevelopment and updating. I believe they are finding they can do well enough in that world with their top line iMacs.
    It looks like Apple believes that software like the very popular Adobe Lightroom is not worth trying to compete with. They are, however, trying to make the photo software in Mac compatible with the iOS approach. Surely that is an indication that they are focussed on the consumer market. Maybe that is just a better business for them. Time will tell.
    The recent step with the MacBook Pro to eliminate all but Thunderbolt ports seems premature to me. Like other writers, I think Apple is doing that to make it thinner. I don’t understand why they think making the MacBook Pro thinner is necessary at this stage of development. I know the connectivity can still be made with adaptors (hats off to OWC for stepping up in this regard), but MacBook Pro users want to use their machine without all the extra stuff hanging off of it. I think two USB ports and one HDMI port are still the best for this machine. Let those focussed on thin go with the MacBook. I know several people who have these and love them. Then again, they never seem to have the need to interconnect with other equipment.

    Enough for now. Thanks to Macsales Rocket Yard for providing such interesting information in their on-line publication.




  • after many years of Mac use and ownership, the writing is on the wall “they no longer give a damn about pro users” cheeseball apps and screens full of useless icons are all they know anymore. when my macpro no longer works online effectively i will switch to Windows and not look back.




  • Mostly A here, though only replace when I have to. I am happy with how things are going. I want all USB C/3.1 and thunderbolt 3. I am glad there is no floppy/cd/DVD/blue ray drive in the computer.

    Those drives are maintence headaches. Without them the computer will last a whole lot longer as a whole. I have an OWC external optical drive when it breaks or the computer breaks I just swap things out. Different Connections is just a dongle. I have 12TB OWC raid 5 on thunderbolt. I absolutely love the speed and raid 5. I can’t believe many of you professionals are using old computers that do not have thunderbolt. If I want more speed or space I simply upgrade the external drive. Computers are simply commodities to most of us, to those who need the top end great, build render farms or something.




  • I do own a 2013 Mac Pro and I recall being able to choose from (only) two graphic cards that Apple installed as part of the purchase. One, of course, was more expensive than the other. I don’t anticipate much of a design change in that machine, since Apple seems to me to be evolving away from computers altogether. As to laptops, I hae never been impressed with skinny machines that don’t offer connectivity: if they’re going to minimize internal equipment in order to get skinny, they ought to provide enough ports to make up the difference. But, instead, they even minimize those. It’s very much like Apple is begging us to become what the author calls Type C consumers.




  • Betrayed after 30 years. Apple is dead to me now.




  • It’s obvious Apple haven’t been listening to professional users for years.

    But there might be hope. Last year’s USB “dongle” debacle was clearly an embarrassment. Hopefully they got the hint that they were clearly out of touch with a large segment of their MacBook market.

    Send your Apple product design complaints directly to some of the big of the Mac resellers: B&H Photo Video comes to mind. They should have a large base of professional Mac customers.

    Because of their order volume, these resellers should be closer to Apple’s “ear”, and as big as they are, they don’t want to lose their professional customers.




  • The first thing I would want in an open Mac would be a design that Apple could build, market, and support while (A) making a meaningful profit, and (B) avoiding the loss of too much market share by its closed design products. if it doesn’t meet some such criteria, then Apple will drop it and be even less willing in the future to consider trying the experiment again.

    I can’t help suspecting that one of the reasons I like an open design is simultaneously one of the reasons Apple doesn’t want one: that I can upgrade the functionality that’s important to me without having to buy a whole new computer.

    In a sense, Apple has “externalized” the provision of openness – in more ways than one. Take the new MacBook Pro, for instance. One port? Apple saves the expense of adding more ports by externalizing that role to companies like OWC and its docks. With the iMac, they provide the ports but externalize the role of upgrading memory, storage, graphics, etc. to other companies.

    Painful as it might be, we users must accept the fact that Apple does not love us. Apple does not care how we feel or what we think. Apple is a multi national Corporation, and by charter it’s only consideration is to increase the profits for shareholders. the company’s managers are down with this because they know that the higher the profits, the higher their own compensation packages will rise.

    Other major corporations have the same provision in their own charters, of course. They do not love their users or care about what they feel and think any more than Apple does. The difference is that they’ve decided they can make more money by selling open designs, while Apple has decided it can make more money by selling closed designs.

    I expect all these corporations to keep right on dancing with what brung ‘em.




  • Yes, I won’t be buying a new MacBook because of the lack of any USB ports, SD slots, and dedicated power supply connector. One Thunderbolt/USB-C port is pathetic. But it’s not only arrogant hardware design, unresponsive to what many Mac users want or need, that’s the problem. Apple has failed Mac users miserably on the OS and software side as well. That iPhotos is confusing, hard to use, and worse than the product it replaced, is beyond question (unless you are a die-hard type A). But it’s the changes to Mac OS that’s going to (sadly) make me switch away from Apple Mac. macOS Sierra reportedly has serious problems with PDF files, and has eliminated the ability to use a USB FAX modem.

    I recently had to deal with several medical facilities and doctors’ offices. ALL of them REQUIRED communication via FAX, in order to comply with US HIPAA regulations concerning privacy.

    It’s said that you can still use FAX in Sierra with a multi-function printer-fax. But why remove the ability to use a stand-alone USB FAX modem? And lugging a MFC printer/fax across the country when your relative or spouse has a medical emergency in another state is really not an option.

    Apple is no longer listening to its Mac users, and why should they when the Mac constitutes a small portion of Apple’s revenues?

    Beware, Baby-Boomers, you’ll soon need to communicate with your doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes – either on your own behalf or for your spouse. And that’s when you’ll realize the value of FAX software. But Apple won’t help you with that. Their eyes are on iPhones, watches, cloud services, and the Asian market – not you dear Baby Boomer. If enough people realize this and go to alternative platforms, may Apple will listen. But, then again, why should they if they’re getting fat on iPhones and Cloud services? Adios, Apple.




    • I’ve used Mac for decades. The fax issue is easily solved with software and cameras. Heck I send faxes from the hospital with my iPhone using different fax software. I do the same out the Macbook. IMHO the less wires and machines the better. Follow that lead. I dream of no paper, no wires, no media(cd’s and such)




  • I want to see the following for any Mac, esp, Pro
    a. parts available for the life of my machine, not just Apple’s limit.

    2. all parts upgradeable like processor, mother board, memory from Apple or other manufacturers.
    3. better diagnostic and repair software.
    Less arrogance about their “perfect” products, the greatest part of the Mac world is how bad the Windows world is.
    4. make the Apple stores not so snooty about appointments to see geniuses who mainly encourage me to buy new stuff rather than keep my older gear running properly.




  • Here’s what I submitted to Apple as per your article:

    Software companies like Autodesk have rewritten professional level CAD applications to run natively on the Mac OS. This has opened many longed-for professional opportunities to die-hard Mac pros like me. Yet I returned the latest version MacPro spending the money instead upgrading my 2012 version. The new paradigm of distributed components proved to be an expensive nuisance.

    I’m a great admirer of Apple’s design genius, but in some areas, form is beginning to preempt function. Take for instance the Apple Pencil: While priced at $99, the designers couldn’t see fit to include a pocket clip or eraser functionality? The end cap as well as the usb adapter are small and easily lost. What sort of design is that?

    I suppose at this point in Apple’s history, the desktop demographic is no longer very profitable. Sustaining development professional hardware may be better justified as positive returns on corporate image metrics. On the other hand, the the features that make for a great professional machine do not demand any aesthetic breakthroughs. It’s unlikely production of a ‘plain’ machine would have any negative effect on the Apple image.

    As a professional user of the Mac for over 20 years I want to encourage Apple to redevelop a professional grade machine that’s easily modified over time with any number of third party enhancements or upgrades – graphics card, processors, ram, etc.

    Thanks for you attention!

    James Kayten




  • If I remember right, a long while ago Apple Computer sued a little girl for giving them a suggestion. Maybe that was fake news at the time? I believe it was a MacWorld article. Apple was innovative with Steve Jobs at the helm (before he got sick) with his quirky and hard to work with engineers/designers. They were producing things we didn’t know we needed. Now, they seem to be on the path Sony was on for the smallest and thinnest Walkman. How that work out for them? I guess Sony came up with a HD player Walkman recently that no one cares to have except “Audiophiles”. Apple is slow to learn about the up and coming interface, like USB1-3 for instance. The PC market had USB for several years before Apple put it on one of their machines. Apple was insistent Firewire was the best path forward. Now if you buy a Mac, you have to have these dangling things off it just to change and sync your phone (older phone), or hook it up to a display. Apple didn’t listen to people or the market for NFC and wireless charging either. It not like Apple doesn’t know about these technologies, because they are probably using the evil PC to create these electronic artworks. The engineering software suites only work on PC and or Linux these days. Having a closed system is a business plan. Apple makes quality longer lasting products for the most part. Apple would like people to buy a new electronic device sooner than later. So if you cannot replace a battery or upgrade memory all the better, buy a new expensive computer, not very green of them BTW. And, the loyal customers will, like Harley Davidson and BMW customers do. Loyalty to a fault.




  • Here’s my list:

    MacBook Pro:

    4K, matte surface, 10-bit, 15-inch monitor with 100% Adobe RGB color capability and lockable settings.

    SDXC card slot that will read the fastest cards that will be out this year.

    Removable DVD Burner swappable for a Blu-Ray burner.

    Three standard USB 3.1 ports.

    Gigabit Ethernet port.

    Two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

    User-accessible hard drive, battery, and memory

    10 hour battery (under real-world pro use!).

    Bring back the magnetic connector to the power supply.

    Quit trying to make it thin. Make it work!

    Make it in the USA.




  • I’m on a 2011 MacBook Pro. Love the 17″ screen for video editing on an airplane, and I’ve upgraded the internal storage to a 2TB SSD. I’ve heard rumors that Samsung is close to releasing an 8TB 2.5″ SSD, and in the future a 40TB drive. My laptop has 16GB of RAM and uses the i-7 processor. Pretty amazing that it is still a fast, very functional machine that really is not much slower than the current models. I’ve looked at the new MacBook Pro’s, but to get the same 2TB internal storage would cost a fortune, and there would be no future upgrades. As long as my laptop keeps working, I’ll be staying with it.




  • HI,

    I recently upgraded my computers from from my old reliable 2008 Mac Pro eight-core machine to a much newer six-core Mac Pro that I bought from OWC. This machine suits my needs completely. I use it for both scientific computation and as an ordinary Mac. Thus, I was able to still be a Mac user and have an affordable upgraded machine.




  • Type A … have owned a Mac since 1984, and unfortunately I use a Windows machine at work. In its history, Apple has never listened to its customer which goes back to something Steve Job once said, “If Ford had a focus group … we’d have faster horses.”




  • They should just bring back the “cheesegrater” Mac Pro, except with updated ports and components. It’s still a beautiful design and easily repairable/upgradeable as well.




    • I love the old MacPro design. I have a 2012 and it would be great if Apple brought back that design with latest bus, processor and video technology that was up-gradable.




    • Agreed – my ORIGINAL 1,1 is purring nicely beside me as I write this, but it’s just a server now. It’s had a video card upgrade, added a PCi card with e-SATA ports, the two optical drives traded up, etc. I’d pay as much as Apple wanted to ask for a cheese grater case with the latest tech. Is that really too much to ask?




  • I have a 2015 MacBook Pro. I bought it to replace 2011 MacBook Pro because 2011 developed a screen problem that couldn’t be fixed.
    My new 2015 MacBook Pro can not be upgraded. I am stuck with a 250 gig SSD hard drive, 8 GB of memory. I have always upgraded to bigger hard drives and more memory.
    I have a 2007 MacBook that still is going but needs a new battery. That’s like ten years, and I can buy a battery for it.
    My 2015 MacBook Pro can not store all of my files. I have to juggle the files or attach my separate 500 GB SSD drive. My battery is getting weak(can’t replace it).
    I could use more memory, and I can’t add more.
    I am moving away from Apple. I am not going to buy another laptop that only last 2 to 3 years. I am moving toward other laptops that run that god-awful Microsoft OS. They are a lot cheaper than Apple.
    I am also looking into building a FrankenMac tower. I am learning about Linux now, but I use programs that are hard to buy for apple and really hard to find for Linux. And after spending so much for Mac programs, I will have to switch from FileMaker Pro to Access and just have to see about my Ham radio programs. But that is another 2 to 3 hundred dollars.




  • I currently have a “chees-grater” MacPro with 1 add-on card and bazillion things attached to it. Some hard drives are “daisy-chained” I make use of USB hub to utilized everything I need, or think I need.

    One morning, recently, I awoke, with the epiphany that, the current Mac Pro, with its plethora of ports would end the daisy chaining and use of a USB hub.

    All I would really like is a bit of price break.




  • I am a strong type B with my 2010 MP with many upgrades. I sent my comments in and have done so previously many times. They seem to be deaf as a post. I, like so many others, feel trapped and not supported.




  • Have already sent my comments to twitter:@Tim_Cook. I’m not interested in thin. I would like iMacs or Macbooks with memory and drives that aren’t soldered in, and which are more modular than the current machines. If I reach a point where I cannot fix my mid-2010 iMac, I may abandon macOS for Ubuntu, or investigate Hackintosh.




  • I’m still doing high-end scientific work on a 2009 MP, and have since bought a Macbook Pro, but for completely different functions. The symbol of burgeoning Applidiocy was the replacement of precise scroll arrows by the useless sliders at OS 10.7(?). You just CAN’T do precision by swiping on a pad. If I wanted an iphone, I’d use my damn iphone, but that’s no use for molecular modeling.

    Worse still is that Apple apparently thinks the average time anyone wants to preserve their work is about 12 months — the attention span of a 14-yr-old kid. In 25 years, ALL users will curse them for perishable iphoto & such in proprietary formats.




  • I hope all of the commenters here sent their comments to Apple. It’s the ONLY chance we have to get those idiots moving in the direction we want. A Mac Pro is a working tool, not a toy or entertainment center. I’m stuck with the Mac OS unless Literature and Latte starts supporting Linux. If that ever happens, I’m a fast vanishing dot in Apple’s horizon.

    Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Bombard them with intelligence and common sense.




  • My last Apple computers are my late 2008 MBP and my Mac Pro Workstation1, 1. Both work very reliably, and always have. Memory and hard drives can be replaced, whereas, Apple has made both their Macbooks/Macbook Pros and the “Trash Can Edition” of Mac Pro into Mobile products with limited upgradeability. They did this to build in obsolescence, expecting customers to just buy new products, to make Apple money. I won’t participate in that. So, while neither of my Macs is the latest product running their latest OS, I don’t care. I’ll stick with what I have. I bounced from the iPhone after the 5C and haven’t moved beyond an iPad 2. Apple’s not getting any more of my Money until Tim Cook is gone. Miss Jobs. He was a visionary. Cook is just a Supply Chain Manager who’s trying to regain relevance with Political statements, when he needs to be leading innovation at the company that once a supreme innovator.




  • I too am on a 12 core westmere 3.33 mac pro… and if it died tomorrow, I’d buy another used one. Seems obvious that the pro user market is too small to innovate for… and maybe too small for OWC too??? The top 2010 processors are still competitive today, but I’d love OWC to give me a single pci card with usb3 and thunderbolt…. or other ways to significantly upgrade.




    • There are many USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gb/sec) cards that work with macOS Seirra. For those of us with 2008 Mac Pro’s, a hack is required to install Seirra, and you have to use a PCIe gen 2 slot to get full performance. The PCIe gen 1 slots in the 2008 Mac Pro will quarter the max performance of these cards. Other PCIe gen 1 slots might just half the performance.

      As for Thunderbolt, I don’t think you can make a Thunderbolt card without a Thunderbolt header on the motherboard for some technical reason that you have to ask Intel about. So for us Mac users with PCIe slots, Intel would need to create a Thunderbolt chip that does not require that header. And it would be nice if the DisplayPort part of Thunderbolt was optional (I don’t know if it would still be possible to get a Thunderbolt display signal through in that case). Since Thunderbolt 3 also implements USB 3.1 gen 2, then an additional USB card would not be required.




  • I have a 2008 Mac Pro that I am clinging to like a life preserver. Over the years I have upgraded it with dual SSDs (one mac, one bootcamp for gaming), more RAM, and a NVIDIA 680. Eight years later, it still meets my needs, but its days are numbered.

    What I would like to see from Apple is a machine that can accept the following upgrades: RAM, HD/SSD, and video card.

    If I don’t see that in the next year or so, I’m going to start building a PC for gaming and I’ll hang on to my Mac Pro for my daily use (internet, Word, etc.) until it either dies or no longer works with the apps I use daily.




    • For HD and SSD’s, SATA 3 is a 8 year old technology (600 MB/s). Apple needs to support standard NVMe devices (3500 MB/s?). Their NVMe driver currently only supports their proprietary (and non-upgradeable?) NVMe drives unless you patch the driver.




  • Needs!!!! – Power, ability to upgrade drives, video cards, ram etc., Go back to the reason Business people bought MacPro’s instead of PC’s – apple has lost their focus with the folks that kept them going when everyone said apple was done…we are still around unfortunately using new macpro’s that don’t cut the mustard – I thought technology got cheaper???…. what’s with the cost of the cylinder MacPro’s?




  • I could care less about “thin.” I will nurse and repair my 17″ MacBook Pro as long as I can without looking at any new Mac until then bring back a new and upgradeable 17″ model. A pox on “thin”.




  • I was happy with the tower systems, a 2010 Mac Pro was my last new system, and a year ago, I bought a 12 core version, used. I like the ability to add multiple SATA drives, SSDs, and PCI cards as needed. The cylinder, with limited internal update ability, has no appeal to me.




  • The PC ‘enthusiast’ (segment of the PC) market stands alone with growth and high margins.

    As Apple are – effectively – out of the pro/enthusiast market… Why not…

    Sell the macOS for $500 – restricted to 6 core+ (ie X99) motherboards, only from (a few) vetted vendors.

    This is NOT suggesting a resurgence in ‘clones’.

    Its a way for Pro’s to Roll Their Own – yeah, its *similar* (to clones) but not quite the same.

    Upsides:
    No manufacturing costs.

    Pure profit once initial outlay of programming is covered.

    This is a very different time to when Apple ONLY made (good, high end margin) money on their desktop lines: ie the Scully/Spindler/Amelio years.




    • Why restrict the motherboards? A user might prefer higher clocks over more cores.




    • I agree with your suggestion, but not $500, more like $100 with perhaps yearly upgrades for say $25. Make it also so individuals only can purchase – as through App Store.

      I don’t see this hampering iMac sales. I don’t want an iMac. I have always used MacPros and really liked the flexibility of the original design.

      Remembering when Apple was struggling, I am glad they have survived. I can understand that the desktop market is not a big part of their business. But if we are still using Mac OS X, we are still tied into their world, regardless of hardware. So let people have it both ways as it were – iMac for those who just want to use it and “legal” hackers who know they will be close if not on the bleeding edge sometimes.




  • Thanks to OWC my older Macs can be made to perform as good as well or nearly so than new closed lead weights.

    Apple probably spends more time emptying their round file of Feedback, than they do thin king about what users want.




  • I have a PPC 2.7 GHz liquid-cooled G5 sitting on the floor, with its 650-watt power supply built-in. It’s kind of a monster, but with the addition of an ATI Radeon graphics card, it runs the games I play very well.

    I chose my Hackintosh components with an eye to performance paired with power efficiency, and in a small size. i7-6700 CPU, TDP 65 W; nVidia GTX 750 Ti, 64 W, a Gigabyte H170N Mini-ITX motherboard with 16 GB DDR4 RAM, and Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB SSDs. This thing plays “Obduction” in “Epic” (highest) quality pretty well. The power supply is only 180 watts, but that’s plenty.

    For a new Mac to sell me, it would have to have at least the performance of this system, preferably higher, and cost less than $2000. That means better than 50 fps on “Heaven” and “Valley,” and over 100 on the OpenGL section of Cinebench R15. It should also come with at least two SSDs for storage. For me, no need for a monitor or keyboard, but then a complete system would need them, I guess. Would this be a SuperMac Mini?

    I don’t see Apple doing that, though.




    • Apple should make 3 desktop sizes. Large (Corsair Carbide Series® Air 540), Medium (Lian Li PC-Q28), Small (DAN Cases A4-SFX). The Large and maybe Medium should have space for a 5.25″ drive. The Large, maybe two. The Medium and Small should have room for one discrete graphics card (up to nVidia Titan X). The mini can remain as the one with no discrete graphics card, but maybe a mobile discrete graphics chip. The large should have 4 or more PCIe slots. Maybe it should have a Thunderbolt 3 add-in card so that the Thunderbolt can accept DisplayPort from the discrete graphics.

      Standard parts should be used. mini ITX or ATX motherboard, ATX or SFX power supply, standard NVMe slot(s), etc.

      BIOS for overclocking (4.6+ GHz) and disabling or reconfiguring devices. XMP memory (3200+ MHz) for even more performance.

      5.1 sound analog built in. With optical.

      With a Hackintosh, you can get all those features. Not only do you have the option of spending less to get more, buy you can spend more to get much more.




      • In the standard parts department I would make an exception for motherboard size and power supply. Apple could innovate as much as they went there and maybe come up with something even more compact than the DAN Cases A4-SFX as long as I can connect an NVMe drive, full size graphics card, and maybe Thunderbolt 3.




  • I’m still in “camp B”, but slowly moving away from Apple, here and there.

    I actually purchased a 2013 Mac Pro system when it first came out, and upgraded it to 64GB of RAM via a 3rd. party memory upgrade. Eventually, I upgraded the 256GB SSD in it to a 512GB that I was able to buy on the used market. It serves as my primary home desktop computer, but it pains me to see Apple’s lack of interest in offering any upgrade options for it. I mean, the LEAST they could have done was to offer an external Thunderbolt enclosure to add extra drives to it. I went with a 3rd. party “eBox” solution that houses 5 SATA drives and does hardware RAID — but the thing looks like it belongs on a Windows PC, not a Mac. I could see Apple offering a slick rectangular “base” with a circular indent in the top of it to sit the Mac Pro in, or something like that. But nope!

    I also use a Retina Macbook Pro 15″ as my primary laptop. (That one was paid for by my job, since I work in I.T. and support a mixed Windows and Mac environment.) It’s a great portable, but the newest model with the touch-bar doesn’t feel like an upgrade from it, at all. It was too early to take away all the useful ports and leave you dealing only with USB-C connectors, and the “next generation video chipset” I was so anxious to see in action? Completely hobbled by thermal management issues.

    I also evaluated the “new Macbook” in the high-spec configuration, hoping it might be a good machine to issue to some of our highly mobile employees. Nope! Another losing proposition from Apple. Way underpowered with that Intel Atom CPU in it. And way overpriced too, when you factor in the expensive “dongles” needed just to do basic essentials like connecting an external display to it, or adding a standard USB port.

    Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 made a far better solution for our mobile workforce, especially with the fact you can use it as a tablet OR a notebook computer. (If you need to use it while standing up, doing some kind of presentation? No problem.)

    I’ve always been the kind of customer who only wants the higher-end gear from Apple. I never thought they were selling sufficiently “cutting edge” video chipsets in anything they sold (or optimizing the video drivers well). But I tolerated it because of all the other good things about Mac OS X. Now? The performance gap vs. Windows PCs has just gotten too big. I don’t have much faith I’ll be buying a Mac next time I upgrade.




    • Any power user will find the current MBP’s “enhancements” (size, thickness, and battery-life) completely offset by all the dongles and connectors needed. My present later 2013 rMBP connects directly to everything I use on the road: two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3 ports, an HDMI (never used) and an SD card slot (used every day).

      Honestly, we need this kind of connectivity, not less—not as an option, but simply to function. The present MBPs are a triumph of form over function, and I never thought I would see myself saying this.

      No to upgrading for me, for at least the next two years, because we have decided that shooting in 1080p and mastering in the same will future-proof the kind of work we do (Vimeo pay downloads) for years. There is zero advantage and many disadvantages in going 4K. We do not need this capacity, at all, so it’s not a factor in our decisions.




  • I’m in the C group with one leg left in the B group as my primary office machine for routine tasks remains a 2014 MBP, arguably until it dies.
    Bought a HP Omen 090nz for less than 1700$. It’s not pretty, but it’s quiet, cool, ridiculously fast and upgradeable for the foreseeable future. I’m sure I’ll get five years out of this system with ease, maybe more. 4.2GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 512 SSD, 2TB HDD, 8GB GTX 1080 GPU, DVD burner, plenty of ports. It’s really simple. If Apple offered something similar even for 2500$, I’m sure people would be buying that by the dozen.




  • Like many of the readers making comments, I dont want a computer that cannot be upgraded to improve its usefulness. My current Mac Pro is a 2011 model with an Nvidia 680gtx video card and 32gb of ram, and a samsung ssd 1tb boot drive, another 3tb of storage and a 4tb backup drive. And a usb 3 card. Its a compromise between speed and compatibility that does everything I need. As a consultant I see alot of new macs and they dont really offer much more. Apple needs to introduce a more conventional desktop design and laptops with ram upgradability to keep high end users…




  • My early 2011 MacBook Pro is starting to fall apart. The batter swelled, making the trackpad pop up slightly and rendering it useless. The thing won’t power down or restart without a hard power down. It’s never left my studio, never been abused. For the price, this thing should last longer than this.




    • My late 2011 MBP had a similar problem. In summer of 2016 Apple fixed it under warranty. Then they replaced the screen, then the motherboard since those problems developed with x weeks after their previous work. So I have a brand new 2016 MBP 17″ w/16Gb RAM & 1Tb SSD both from OWC. I’ll probably die clutching this machine in my hands!




  • As a mid 2010 MacPro owner I’m dismayed at the current offerings in the space my Mac occupied. Apple is completely deaf to the requests of those wanting a reasonably powerful headless Mac that offers upgradability. And Apple’s been this way for a long, long time.

    The MacPro in its day was actually overkill for many, and consequently overly expensive. The now ostracised (and let’s face it – embarrassing) 2013 MacPro was the worst of all options – expensive, almost no upgradability and no internal bays; wholly inappropriate for the Pro market. They ought to return to something more akin to the original PowerMac G5/MacPro form factor to reclaim the respect of power users. As for those of us not quite in the ‘Pro’ range, a headless iMac or a scaled down MacPro would serve our needs well. But Apple has lost interest in anything outside of the broader consumer market (no server hardware, macOS Server is horrible and no appropriate high-end hardware).

    This is a huge disappointment, as it’s the pro users who have championed Apple for decades. Not exactly the thanks we were hoping for. For the first time in 25 years I’m considering a PC, and it almost sickens me. I’m an Apple shareholder for goodness sake! There’s no loyalty in Apple’s business model apparently.




  • I agree with about as much of this as I disagree with. I like the idea of a user up-gradable path. The design for the G3 and G4 was I feel the pinical. The G5 and early MacPro was not bad but unduly heavy. However The closed environment is one of the things that keeps the platform stable. My Mac Works and it is easy to maintain. I work in IT and the last thing I want is for Apple to make their hardware more like a PC, but I do think there is a middle ground. Just not sure how profitable that will be for Apple.




    • Believe it or not, my hackintosh (Fortress Haximus) is more stable than my “real” Mac Pro 1,1 ever was. OWC kept my Mac Pro going for years, and I’m quite sure they could adapt to an “open and more PC-like” model. They can already do SFF style storage such as the Aura series.

      Now imagine them finding a sweet spot with a good NVMe drive for say, a Z100 or Z200 series motherboard such as those from Gigabyte (in case nobody noticed, Apple’s own motherboard design features are exceptionally similar to Gigabyte, which is why that company’s motherboards are so compatible and are just “plug and play” and can be used without a DSDT in a hackintosh, although using a good DSDT gets you perfect HDMI audio and options above and beyond what Apple’s “legit” hardware can do).

      You see, here’s the thing: Apple designs “chic”, but I and most power users care far less about looks than performance and in the case of portables, the ability to shift from sipping power while on battery power to going straight to Ludicrous Speed while plugged in and doing so without cooking the machine to death in the process.

      None of this glued in battery, soldered everything so the user can’t upgrade past the BTO page when ordering. Apple makes throwaway machines, and though it does give OWC an easy way out when it comes to shining regarding good products to enhance what little Apple leaves open to the user these days, it still ends up being too limited and too rigid for most power users.

      I’m one of those users that enjoys the freedom of having multiple drives without a bunch of ungodly power bricks snaking their way around my room or wherever I go. If it weren’t for the rather absurd price and the curved screen, I’d love an ASUS Predator X21. Multiple drives, dual GPUs (good ones too, not these crappy Polaris power hogs from AMD), tons of RAM, a *mechanical keyboard with customizable backlight*, and enough ports so I don’t need to dongle myself to death.

      Even MSI’s dual GPU laptops at the “low end” range for dual GPU put Apple’s highest tier laptop to shame and even give the iMac 5k w/ maxed out CPU and GPU a run for their money.

      Of course, the irony here that I’m sure OWC isn’t missing one bit is that those of us on hackintoshes have more money left over to spend on goodies for upgrades: NVMe drives, a better DESKTOP GPU, good cooling, etc. Nearly all of their offerings work with PCs too so long as they use the same connections, etc., so there’s zero reason an open system from Apple should hamper their ability to put out quite desireable products. And I’d rather spend my money at a place I know has been around for Apple’s users than someplace that doesn’t even care and just wants the cash. I’m sure OWC would have kept my Mac Pro 1,1 going even today had Apple not saddled its 64-bit hardware with a 32-bit EFI preventing legitimate modern OS installs (Sierra notwithstanding, since that OS requires SSE4 instruction sets within the CPU to boot).




  • Would like to leave feedback, but Apple would probably not like to hear that I run a “Hackintosh.”




  • I should have added that in pursuit of the kind of performance HD video editing requires, OWC have been my lifesavers. And I am keeping an eye out for the 2.8GHz version of the rMBP, too, in the refurbished section. And when the battery in my present rMBP loses performance, I am hopeful a better one (bigger capacity) will be available from OWC.




    • I hate to say it, but Architosh has apparently been sipping back one too many while wearing those rose tinted glasses.

      The G3/G4 “trap door” design as they so lovingly call it was absolutely *horrible* for airflow. Sure, you could cram a lot in there for that point in time, but if the drives didn’t burn out, the CPU would sooner or later. Even the Quadnostril G4 and MDD G4 had issues with heat being trapped (I own an MDD G4 whose CPU I had to replace with one from OWC ironically because of the original frying itself – it’s my “UT99 machine” now).

      And Apple “didn’t try liquid cooling”? Uh, the G5 says hello. And it failed. Miserably. But in Apple’s defense here, those cooling systems were in their infancy and didn’t have the innovations today’s systems do, so I didn’t really dock them points for the failures there except for the part where they refused to even acknowledge the problem until their hand was forced by very unhappy users whose systems turned into rusted paperweights overnight). Apple could easily choose a solution like Corsair’s H100i for CPU cooling if they wanted to now, and probably save enough money from using a good readily available option to make it quite profitable.

      The cMPs aren’t the “Ric Flairs” of PC cases by any means, but their functionality and quiet operation coupled with power and ports made for one hell of a setup at home.

      Oh, and it should be noted that if Apple went the more traditional “PC” route, and didn’t screw us over with custom UEFI, boot camp would be a thing of the past outside of the assistant to create a Windows partition. No need for Apple specific drivers inside Windows. Just honest to goodness dual boot UEFI with great stability.

      As for aesthetics, I hate to say this, but looks don’t win games, power and configurability do. And Apple thus far in the last eight years has refused to deliver on that model and as of the trash can pro, has gone entirely proprietary, which is what nearly led to their demise in the 1990s until Jobs came back and actually started using PC components in the Macs and innovating from there.

      There isn’t a single Mac today with a desktop class GPU outside of the trash can pro’s proprietary and NON-UPGRADEABLE pair of GPUs that ironically only serve as compute units for the most part in OS X (there is no CrossFireX or SLI in OS X even today). And those GPUs even maxed out are barely on par with a Radeon 7950 for gaming purposes and are thermally throttled to boot.

      My Cosmos II encased hack pro runs circles around Apple’s entire lineup while simultaneously machine gunning them down, and if any component dies, I replace it and move on. No glue. No near zero repairability score. Just total and complete control over my system.

      Apple has the ability to make even bulky look chic. But as far as I’m concerned, chic has to come last – power and control over my system that *I PAID FOR and thus OWN* must come first. And right now Apple doesn’t even begin to deliver. If it weren’t for companies like OWC, the Mac would likely be a distant memory by now with its inherent limitations.




      • Now that you’ve vented your outrage, can you now take a close look at the actual design presented? The waterblock places the hose connections away from the motherboard. The coolant is then routed to a large radiator at the top of the system. Two 240 mm fans drive ample vertical airflow through the case.




  • Great topic. And let’s not stop at the hardware: I am happily using 10.10.5 (Yosemite)—I know this means I can’t upgrade to the latest Final Cut Pro/Compressor, but my two current systems are 100% reliable, are fast enough, and do what I need to be able to do, production-wise.

    I run a rMBP, late 2013, 16GB RAM, and the quad-core 2.3GHz processor. I have an OWC SSD, and use external SSDs for editing on the road.

    In the office, a specced to the max iMac (late 2014, 27″) and use an SSD-equipped Elite Pro Dual as a very fast external drive for source footage. I can edit four streams of 1080p video and second system sound with zero delay or bottlenecks.

    What would I like? Well, the iMac as described is fast enough; I do not see the need to upgrade, even if an obvious one was available. Re. the rMBP: I do not need thinner/lighter; I need CPU power and battery life—so none of the current MPPs interest me. I would be interested in a significantly faster quad-core MBP, and a user-replaceable graphics card, SSD, and RAM is essential. So, in the current Apple era of going more and more iOS, and lighter/more gadgets but same power as the machine I currently use, I will not be updating any time soon. Oh, and I need a stable, reliable OS, too. On the FCP forums, I have read way too many horror stories about editors who have upgraded their OS only to find performance took a hit, or their previously stable machines no longer were. If you earn your living from your machines, as most reading here will do, we seem to be running out of options. I fall in between Type B and C too. Sad, really.




  • Has anyone here been so annoyed by closed systems, that they’ve gone the Hackintosh route?




    • Yep. I’ve gone the Hackintosh route. I have the CPU just under the top tier iMac, 32 GB RAM, a BLU-RAY DRIVE (yes Mr. Cook, I actually use my system as a HOME THEATER machine), SSDs for Windows, OS X, Blizzard games, and the rest of my games. And a HD for OS backup and data backup (separate partitions). Oh, and an nVidia GTX 780, which I’ll be replacing with a GTX 1080 once Pascal support gets put into nVidia’s web drivers (because Apple refuses to update its god awful limited hardware code in their in-house drivers).

      And just so the system doesn’t cook itself to death like the last two revisions of the iMac which won’t even turn the fans up until the machine hits 100°C, I have multiple fans arranged in a push-pull configurations rigged for quiet operation, and a Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler.

      My case? Thankfully I can choose that, so I went with the Cosmos II and slapped a Thermaltake 1200W ToughGrand PSU in there as well.

      And thanks to using a real motherboard, I have enough USB ports (8x 3.0 and 4x 2.0) for all of my devices, plus Gigabit ethernet so I don’t have to rely on wi-fi when I game.

      And I have my nice Samsung H7150 46″ TV for a display, all nice and calibrated for computer work and awesome video viewing.

      Show me any Mac around that has all of that. I dare you. ^_^

      And it all cost less than an iMac or top tier MBP. And when that 1080 support comes in, I’ll have HDCP 2.2 and be 4k ready (5k if I really want it since the 1080 can handle it much better than any of Apple’s laptop GPUs can).

      So long as Apple continues closed designs with zero upgradeability, they won’t get another dime from me when it comes to hardware. Apple is still relevant to me because of OS X. It certainly isn’t their anemic set of paperweights.




      • I’m right there with you, in regard to the Hackintosh route. BTW I might need your help getting a 7970 Radeon acknowledged in my setup, I’ll send you a PM on Xlr8yourmac’s Home Away From Home.




      • Apple has shown that they can’t keep up in the PC hardware space so they should give up and just license macOS for Hackintosh’s.

        They’ll probably need to open source more of their kernel (CPU, Graphics, USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, NVMe, Bluetooth, etc.) so that the community can create drivers for new devices or devices that don’t have macOS drivers yet since there are so many choices on the PC side.




  • My approach has been to tweet @tim_cook that I’m not interested in closed systems that cannot be upgraded. No response, of course. That’s why I’m using a 6 year old iMac. The high price and closed design of the new MBPro is annoying.




  • I think MBPros are getting “anorexic” – thinness is not an end in itself, and the compromises to continue making them thin are less and less helpful. (The space & weight you save on the laptop is replaced by all those dongles :-( ) I think not having at least one USB 3 port on the latest MBP was a very big mistake.

    It would be very nice to be able to upgrade “disk” in the laptop, although it’s not as essential with flash memory than it was with rotating drives (and their higher failure rate.) Same thing with RAM.

    But most importantly, Apple needs to place major attention on Mac OS X and Apple application reliability. That includes firmware/low level things (like the problems I’ve seen waking from sleep) and making major applications (Mail, Calendar) much more reliable. (Everyone knows iTunes is a huge mess.) My friend who works for Apple as a SW guy says they know they have Software QA problems, but he can’t comment on whether they have any new emphasis on fixing them.




    • I am not a pro user,but I am getting very tired of the “Form Over Function” mantra that has seemingly engulfed Apple. I see no excuse for soldered memory and locked in storage in, for instance, in the Mac mini.

      I can also envision the day when Apple designed chips move to the Mac and convert it into a closed system ala IOS.

      I have looked at a few Windows computers and It seems that they offer an awful lot of computer For prices that are shockingly low compared to Macs. Right now,my youngest Mac is 5years old and will not be rep;aced by any Mac with soldered memory. As long as OWC sells refurbished Macs, I’ll be in good shape.