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Is There Still Life in the Mac Pro?

February 6, 2013 - Dave Hecei

macpro The poor state of professional Mac users may have a glimmer of hope. Maybe not in the fact that Apple has announced that Mac Pros in parts of Europe are discontinued starting in March 2013. It’s the fact that in Europe Apple has let Mac resellers know that an updated Pro is coming this spring.

This sounds good on paper, but this could also mean that Apple will come out with some redesign for the EU where the current Pro doesn’t meet code. There is some sort of new regulation in parts of the EU that define how power ports and uncovered fan blades are bad.

Last fall when Apple did a slight update to the Pro, and I mean very slight, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook let it be known that a new Pro is coming sometime later in 2013. Of course, no one really knows what this ultimately means. It could just be a faster Mac Pro with port covers and grates covering the internal fans. What most of the Pros who are waiting for is a machine using the latest Intel processors. This would allow for the few things missing on the Pro tower that all other Macs, even the mini, has had for at least a year.

I’m talking about Thunderbolt and USB 3.0. I was never a huge fan of USB for storage. It works, but I always went with Firewire whenever possible. USB 3.0 changes all that – it’s that fast. That other thing, Thunderbolt, is nice too. Hopefully there will be more Thunderbolt this year than last year.

There are still those who like gloom-and-doom and think that the Mac Pro will be discontinued – permanently. Over the past year or more, Apple seems to be overlooking the ‘PRO’ side of Macs and software in favor of iOS and consumer Macs.

Yes Apple did update Final Cut Pro from 7 to X, but most will say is when Apple started abandoning the Pro. Final Cut Pro X (FCP X) is a wonderful program at a decent price but for the Pro who lives and dies by his video editing suite, X was no upgrade.

I’m not talking about the videos made for corporate training or marketing or for high-end weddings. I’m talking about the Pros who edit for ESPN, primetime network television, and big-budget motion pictures. These are the Pros that Apple seems to have abandoned.

That said, a new 27-inch iMac with FCP X, Motion 5, and Compressor 4, along with good camcorders and lots of talent, make for an amazing video studio. What is most impressive about this setup is that it is much easier to learn than the previous Final Cut Studio, which is why Apple is headed in the current direction.

In a strictly business point of view, why sell $10,000 systems to a few hundred Pros when you can sell $3000 systems to thousands of ‘pros’.

Let’s hope that Apple does have a rabbit up their sleeves and they do have an all-new Mac Pro on the way. I know they will sell a bunch of them. Maybe not as many as they did iPhone 5s the first weekend they were available, but they will sell. At least that’s what Pros I know are saying.


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