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Businesses Desktops (Apple) iMac Apple Hardware

On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware (rogueamoeba.com) 520

Quentin Carnicelli, the chief technology officer at Rogue Amoeba, a widely-reputed firm that produces several audio software for Apple's desktop operating system: With Apple recently releasing their first developer beta of MacOS 10.14 (Mojave), we've been installing it on various test machines to test our apps. The inevitable march of technology means Mojave won't install on all of our older hardware. There's no shock there, but the situation is rather distressing when it comes to spending money to purchase new equipment. Here is the situation, as reported by the wonderful MacRumor's Buyers Guide: At the time of the writing, with the exception of the $5,000 iMac Pro, no Macintosh has been updated at all in the past year. Here are the last updates to the entire line of Macs: iMac Pro: 182 days ago, iMac: 374 days ago, MacBook: 374 days ago, MacBook Air: 374 days ago, MacBook Pro: 374 days ago, Mac Pro: 436 days ago, and Mac Mini: 1337 days ago.

Worse, most of these counts are misleading, with the machines not seeing a true update in quite a bit longer. The Mac Mini hasn't seen an update of any kind in almost 4 years (nor, for that matter, a price drop). The once-solid Mac Pro was replaced by the dead-end cylindrical version all the way back in 2012, which was then left to stagnate. I don't even want to get started on the MacBook Pro's questionable keyboard, or the MacBook's sole port (USB-C which must also be used to provide power). It's very difficult to recommend much from the current crop of Macs to customers, and that's deeply worrisome to us, as a Mac-based software company.

On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware

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  • by Sebby ( 238625 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:09PM (#56784726)
    Except for the very, very few 'pro' products they've (reluctantly) released (and barely updated), they've basically given up on the Pro crowd, and are clearly only concentrating on 'gadget' devices for consumers, not meant for professionals (creators, etc.): iDevices, AppleTV, AppleWatch & HomePod.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aitikin ( 909209 )

      Except for the very, very few 'pro' products they've (reluctantly) released (and barely updated), they've basically given up on the Pro crowd, and are clearly only concentrating on 'gadget' devices for consumers, not meant for professionals (creators, etc.): iDevices, AppleTV, AppleWatch & HomePod.

      The signs that this was coming have been on the wall for a while. I've been getting away from Mac exclusive software ever since Final Cut Pro X had it's debut (and I don't work in video at all). The debacle that was the initial release (seriously, no multicam editing?) was a clear sign to me that Apple was giving up on its professional users. I jumped ship on anything that was only available for a Mac and (even though I'm typing this comment on a Mac Mini) can switch to another OS at any time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by greenwow ( 3635575 )

      Especially since they haven't allowed memory upgrades beyond 16 GB for over six years! We still have hundreds of four+ year-old MacBooks since we can't upgrade them for more memory. Just sucks having engineers waste time with old and slow laptops, but at least they still basically work unlike a Dell or other PC laptop. As soon as Apple finally allows more memory, we're going to replace most of the laptops used in our company.

    • by RatBastard ( 949 )

      Agreed. I ran Mac Pros (I started with a G5 Power Mac, actually) all the way through the 2012 model year. Stayed on a 12-core (dual 6-core) Mac Pro until 2016, when I could no longer defend the use of the machine any longer. No support for modern NVidia cards meant no support for the software I was using that was increasingly going CUDA. And the 2013 Mac Pro? What a joke.

      My Win10 workstation runs circles around my Mac Pro and gives me the flexibility to use whatever video cards best suit my needs. I can't s

      • by JoeWalsh ( 32530 )

        I'm getting away from Mac, too, having run exclusively them since Mac OS X 10.1 was released. Before that, I ran Linux, and recently I've begun the process of transferring back. I recently built myself a nice 8th-gen i5 system and loaded Manjaro Linux on it. Life's good!

  • by nuckfuts ( 690967 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:11PM (#56784740)

    As a society, we have become obsessed with never-ending growth and progress. It's not good enough that a company provides jobs and turns a profit. It has to show "growth". It's not good enough that a given computer can perform all sorts of useful functions. It has to be reinvented as more powerful every 374 days.

    I do agree that a Mac Mini should cost less now than it did over three years ago. But what's wrong with good enough? I recently went shopping for a new TV. I expected that with 4K TVs being common now, I should be able to pickup a 1920x1080 TV for a good price. I was wrong. I ended up making a deal on a 4K TV, even though I almost never watch anything in 4K.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:19PM (#56784804)

      As a society, we have become obsessed with never-ending growth and progress.

      That is not the issue here. Just because hardware is updated every year doesn't mean people need, or want, to upgrade that often. But when their old hardware finally needs to be replaced, they shouldn't have to buy a "new" computer based on tech from two years ago.

      I really don't understand Apple's strategy. They have a huge locked-in customer base, and high profit margins. Any other hardware manufacturer would love to be in their position. They could be making a lot of money by releasing more often. Yet they don't. It doesn't make sense.

      • As a society, we have become obsessed with never-ending growth and progress.

        That is not the issue here. Just because hardware is updated every year doesn't mean people need, or want, to upgrade that often. But when their old hardware finally needs to be replaced, they shouldn't have to buy a "new" computer based on tech from two years ago.

        I really don't understand Apple's strategy. They have a huge locked-in customer base, and high profit margins. Any other hardware manufacturer would love to be in their position. They could be making a lot of money by releasing more often. Yet they don't. It doesn't make sense.

        Seems to make plenty of sense. It's contained within what you said right here: "huge locked-in customer base". What else are those people going to do? Move to Windows? Linux? They're solid Mac users. A lack of hardware updates and such doesn't matter. Their sales are still strong with little to no new investment. That base is more than happy to keep paying more and getting less.

        • Yes the locked people are using hackintoshs just to get hardware they need.

        • What else are those people going to do?

          Upgrade less often.

          If I upgrade every 4 to 6 years instead of every 2 to 3 years, then Apple is selling half as many computers. Why would they want to do that?

          A lack of hardware updates and such doesn't matter.

          Except that they are a hardware company.

          Their sales are still strong with little to no new investment.

          Wrong. Sales of Mac hardware is stagnant. The Mac Pro line is dead, with infinitesimal sales. They make almost all their money from phones ... which they upgrade regularly.

          • Upgrade less often.

            If I upgrade every 4 to 6 years instead of every 2 to 3 years, then Apple is selling half as many computers. Why would they want to do that?

            Isn't upgrading less often a trend generally across electronics now? It seems to me that it is.

            Years ago I remember being able to pick up perfectly functional computers from friends and family because they bought something newer and faster. I'd be invited over to help them set up their new computer and in exchange I'd get their old hardware. Given the pace of improvement of electronics at the time I'd mostly just use the computers I got for parts or as "toys" to play with while I experimented with differ

      • by TheFakeTimCook ( 4641057 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:35PM (#56784956)

        As a society, we have become obsessed with never-ending growth and progress.

        That is not the issue here. Just because hardware is updated every year doesn't mean people need, or want, to upgrade that often. But when their old hardware finally needs to be replaced, they shouldn't have to buy a "new" computer based on tech from two years ago.

        I really don't understand Apple's strategy. They have a huge locked-in customer base, and high profit margins. Any other hardware manufacturer would love to be in their position. They could be making a lot of money by releasing more often. Yet they don't. It doesn't make sense.

        Everything from mid-2012 to present can run Mojave. That's SIX, not TWO, years ago.

        The issue is not the CPUs, but the GPUs. Those earlier Macs do not have "Metal-compatible" GPUs, and so, Apple drew the line in the sand "there" for Mojave.

        I suspect someone in the Hackintosh Community will come along and supply the missing Frameworks to allow installation on those older machines.

        But even if that is not practical, those machines can still install High Sierra, and that has sufficiently modern Frameworks that it will be supported by Apple and third-party Applications and OS-Features for at least another 5 years or so.

      • They have a huge locked-in customer base, and high profit margins. Any other hardware manufacturer would love to be in their position.

        I have a theory. Jobs wanted to have his hands in everything. He only has so many hours in the day. Even with Jobs gone, it seems that they're still running the company the same way. Despite having billions in cash reserve, they aren't spending it hiring more divisional management - they are letting less profitable segments wither and die because they're being so short-sighted and giving them no oversight to grow.

    • Dell / hp / others all do specs bumps / price drops over time. But apple still has 5400RPM hdds in the imacs.

      Apple looks for ways to make system thinner and thinner and takes ports away.

    • by yeshuawatso ( 1774190 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:24PM (#56784860) Journal

      You're missing the entire point (and ironically the jokes/memes). Apple not updating it's lines puts it even more behind than it already was when the products are usually released. There's that old joke that if you bought a Mac you just bought 2 year old PCs at next year's price. Apple updating the hardware each year just catches it up with all the other Windows and Linux PCs of the previous year. That's why people are pissed.

      I'm just holding off hoping that Apple will update mY MBP to use third party docks or at least re-enable displaylink so I don't have to use the 20+ dongles just to get a second monitor and all of my USB A stuff to work again. I'm tired of looking at all of these PCs in my office connect all of their prereferals to their Windows laptops with one cable while I'm looking like I've tapped directly into the Matrix due to dongle hell. Before you ask, you can't just plug in ANY thunderbolt dock into macOS, it won't work with a nice message that it's unsupported. And not because it won't work, just because Apple wants to be a dick and block it so I have to use a Thunderbolt Unlocker kext just so it can partially function. DisplayLink killed off the rest of the dock's use since 10.13.4.

    • ... But what's wrong with good enough?...

      When it is not really good enough? Your example is nice and all, but if the current line of Macs is not really "good enough," then there's an issue. I gave up on Macminis because Apple started falling behind in keeping them up to date.

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:36PM (#56784964)

      Good enough would be fine, but Apple never lowers their prices even years after the computers have launched.

      Good enough would be fine, but 4GB of RAM with the latest macOS is far from being sufficient even for basic Web browsing.

      Good enough would be fine, but the latest macOS are absolutely slow as molasses when used with mechanical HDDs, which is what Apple are still using in the Mac mini, not even offering an SSD option for the low-end model. I'd rather Apple sold the low-end Mac mini with a 64GB SSD than a slow 500GB HDD. And maybe upgrade the RAM to 8GB with the money saved.

    • But why in the hell would you pay a huge premium for something that is only "good enough"?
      That only suggests that Apple people, such as yourself, care about your image more than substance.

      • I'm not talking about paying a "huge premium", or buying Apple as opposed to other brands. I'm merely saying that, in general, complaining that "this product has not been revamped in the last 2 years" seems a bit obsessed with progress.

        A lot of products made 3 or 4 years ago should still be plenty useful today.

    • by motorsabbath ( 243336 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:41PM (#56784994) Homepage

      "Good enough" would be fine, but Apple hardware is no longer worth the premium price. After owning Apple laptops since 2003 (my Powerbook still runs great) when my wife's 13" MBP finally kicked the bucket last week I gave her my 15" i7 MBP (totally good enough) and bought a Dell 9570 for $1000 less than a "good enough" 15" Mac.

      Apple is flat-footed in this space. Good enough is fine but the prices should reflect that. All they care about is the phone ecosystem.

    • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

      It's not good enough that a given computer can perform all sorts of useful functions. It has to be reinvented as more powerful every 374 days.

      Yet the Mac is not able to perform "all sorts of useful functions", it can perform "Many sorts of useful functions", but if you have that one use case that you can't run on a Mac, then it's useless.

      In my case, it's memory, I run a couple VM's and a memory hungry IDE. My 16GB Macbook was no longer able to keep up, so I finally traded it in for a 32GB Lenovo and haven't looked back -- twice the RAM, faster CPU, more disk storage (a big SSD for real work, and an even bigger HDD for automatic SSD backups and ar

      • ...if you have that one use case that you can't run on a Mac, then it's useless.

        That's quite the sense of entitlement you're expressing there.

        I'd like my Lenovo laptop to be able to crack RSA keys in under a minute, but it can't. Perhaps I should just throw it in the trash.

    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @03:00PM (#56785176)
      there's plenty of room to improve video editing, film production, computer programming, scientific research and even business finance. AMD's doing a brisk business with 16 and 32 core desktop processors. I don't see anything close to that on offer from Apple.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:11PM (#56784744) Journal

    I've owned every single model of Mac Pro, but enough is enough. I used to do music production and sound design primarily using Logic and Pro Tools on Mac Pros, but the last iteration was my breaking point. The juice just wasn't worth the squeeze any more, and I found much better tools for Windows (Cockos Reaper, Pro Tools, etc). After decades of loving the work-flow and support and quality, I just got the feeling Apple was jerking users around and just didn't care about the desktop platform any more. Happier now.

    • by aitikin ( 909209 )

      I used to do music production and sound design primarily using Logic and Pro Tools on Mac Pros, but the last iteration was my breaking point.

      I was a Logic user until Final Cut Pro X. I decided it was time to get away from Apple "pro" products at that point and went heavier into Pro Tools and discovered Studio One.

      • Studio One is good. I really recommend giving Cockos Reaper an in-depth try. It won't cost you anything.

  • No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:11PM (#56784748)

    It's very difficult to recommend much from the current crop of Macs to customers, and that's deeply worrisome to us, as a Mac-based software company.

    Apple's Mac division has really kind of gone of the rails in recent years. They've made multiple repeated bizarre design decisions and they seldom update their hardware. While is hasn't been all bad, it's getting hard to recommend the Mac to people I previously would have done so without hesitation. They cater to a fairly specific customer and that's fine but they aren't even doing a very good job of that anymore.

    It's pretty clear that the focus of management is on the iPhone. Understandable but I think they are shooting themselves in the foot. A lot of the value proposition from Apple comes from the tight ecosystem integration. Without that it's not so compelling to buy an iPhone or an iPad. Honestly I don't see a lot of tight integration in ways that are useful to me.

    I have a Mac Mini and I'm about to replace it but probably not with another Mac Mini and the way things are going not with any other type of Mac either. Apple just isn't investing in the Mac and if they cannot be bothered in spite of the massive cash hoard they have then why should I care either? Apple should be making the Mac the best type of PC available and they just aren't. They are nice enough but they're behind the technology curve at this point. I don't think they need to be bleeding edge but they aren't even close to the edge on PCs anymore. Either they are incompetent or they just can't be bothered and I tend to favor the later theory.

    • apple needs to let some like HP sell pro workstations that run mac os in areas where looks or forcing video cards to use TB is not an big deal.

      HP does TB loop back cables to tie DP out into an TB add in card. But no apple has to say that looks like crap and we can't do it.

    • They focus on the iPhone, but they seem to forget that people buy the phone for its apps - apps that can only be created on a Mac. They're ignoring a huge market right now. I understand that Mac is probably tiny compared to phones, but with the phone ecosystem depending on Macs, it makes sense to pay attention to the Mac line.

      If there's an afterlife, Jobs is kicking himself daily for setting up Tim Cook to be his successor.

    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:42PM (#56785014)

      I bought an 8.1MBP in March of 2012. Aside from a new SSD upgrade installed last December, I haven't done anything to the machine and it's still rock solid.

      I have a work 13.1MBP and compared to the Dells most others use, I never have a slow down or require repair.

      I don't care what tech they're using or how much it costs: I still recommend it to other people because they run well for a long time and don't require as much maintenance as their PC counterparts.

    • It's very difficult to recommend much from the current crop of Macs to customers, and that's deeply worrisome to us, as a Mac-based software company.

      Apple's Mac division has really kind of gone of the rails in recent years. They've made multiple repeated bizarre design decisions and they seldom update their hardware. While is hasn't been all bad, it's getting hard to recommend the Mac to people I previously would have done so without hesitation. They cater to a fairly specific customer and that's fine but they aren't even doing a very good job of that anymore.

      It's pretty clear that the focus of management is on the iPhone. Understandable but I think they are shooting themselves in the foot. A lot of the value proposition from Apple comes from the tight ecosystem integration. Without that it's not so compelling to buy an iPhone or an iPad. Honestly I don't see a lot of tight integration in ways that are useful to me.

      I have a Mac Mini and I'm about to replace it but probably not with another Mac Mini and the way things are going not with any other type of Mac either. Apple just isn't investing in the Mac and if they cannot be bothered in spite of the massive cash hoard they have then why should I care either? Apple should be making the Mac the best type of PC available and they just aren't. They are nice enough but they're behind the technology curve at this point. I don't think they need to be bleeding edge but they aren't even close to the edge on PCs anymore. Either they are incompetent or they just can't be bothered and I tend to favor the later theory.

      I'm not sure what you think is "behind the technology curve" with the iMac Pro or the 2017 MBP. Even the 2017 iMacs are up-to-date, too.

      Yes, we ALL know the Mac mini and Mac Pro are SADLY in need of a refresh; but don't damn the entire BRAND, just because they have let a couple of products languish. Apple has already committed to updating the Mac Pro in some sort of completely different direction than the cylinder; so, let's let them do their work, shall we?

      Apple has no been a company that believes they nee

  • Is that real? $5000 for a laptop? That can't be right. The most expensive one I can find on their site is an absurd $2800.

    [This post was written on a $200 laptop].
  • Someone called it on these forums a LOOOONG time ago that Apple was trying to convert Macs into iOS devices. Hell, I think Jobs was still alive when that assertion was made and with iOS apps coming to Macs (which will likely become the ONLY way you'll get new Mac software soon since the Mac app store wooed sooo many iOS developers /sarcasm), we're seeing it come to realization and soon to past.

    Damn shame that we'll have to look to Google or Microsoft soon for advancement in PCs especially considering that b

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:14PM (#56784776)

    Apple is destroying one of their best markets. That is, people who use it for pro audio and also graphic workstations to some extent. The hardware compatibility silliness and lack of updates and support if pushing tons and tons of audio people away. I organize raves and electronic music shows. Apple machines used to be considered the premium choice for live performances and DJ software, but it has all changed in the last few years. For the first ever since laptops became a thing on stage, I've seen former die hard Apple users make the switch to Windows over the last couple years.
    Apple has made it clear that they just don't care about professional media customers anymore, unless they are the kind that can buy $4000 of new gear every year. But even then, people are catching on that it's just not very cost effective anymore. Not to mention that Windows performance and stability has drastically improved too, making it a viable switch, that didn't used to be the case.

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:50PM (#56785094)

      To really drive the point home, I think someone should do one of those "Hi, I'm a Mac. Hi, I'm a PC." TV ad again.

      This time, the Mac would be represented by a millenial that's more preoccupied by his social media status and how thin he looks because of this great diet he's on and how he's a great person because he has many LGBT friends and they only talk about PC issues, while the PC would be represented by a normal person doing actual work, playing great games, talking with other people about any subject like a normal person.

      Posted from my Mac mini. I'm not anti-Apple, I'm anti-stupid and Apple are really testing my patience these days.

  • by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:16PM (#56784792)
    Apples recent iPad commercial says it all.
  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:17PM (#56784794) Journal

    That was many years ago.

    I got something called a Message Pad 2100, that thing was an awesome wonder (ipad predecessor) invention that packed a whole lot of power for 1993, it packed a punch of 162 MHz, could talk, had a large touchscreen, could bring you to the internet, even wireless with the right PCMCIA card.

    I'm no mac fan, especially not today - but back in its heydays with powerpc and a promising new architecture, those things were the beast within the graphics industry, nearly all printing & ad bureaus worth their salt had to have one.

    Today - it's all about bling-bling, and looking gorgeous (because frankly, that part they got right). But they're expensive, old-tech consumables that you can basically throw away after a few years of use, because they won't support them anymore. And if you've seen a few experienced repair tech's videos on youtube - there are downright design-flaws that has been repeated thorough the production of the mac's the last 5-7 years.

    Mac needs to find its roots again, when innovation and driving our world of tech forward actually meant something.

  • by xack ( 5304745 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:20PM (#56784808)
    Imagine a Mac with the newly announced 32 core Threadripper in an ATX case that can be fully upgraded. But instead we will get four core 16gb MBPs with inadequate ports again. They didn’t even announce hardware at WWDC because they are so weak at it.
    • Imagine a Mac with the newly announced 32 core Threadripper in an ATX case that can be fully upgraded.

      But instead we will get four core 16gb MBPs with inadequate ports again. They didn’t even announce hardware at WWDC because they are so weak at it.

      WWDC is a software-focused conference. They never (or almost never) announce HW at WWDC.

  • Also the $5K imac pro sucks to thin / storage locked to the MB / over priced upgrades and it's hard to change the ram on your own.

    And the T2 chip is chained off the DMI bus and not some of the open CPU pci-e lanes.

    • Nobody asked for the fucking iMac Pro, just like nobody asked for the fucking trashcan Mac Pro.

      It would be nice if the industrial designer was pushed aside and Apple let the engineers design computers and then order the industrial designer to make it look nice. It's currently the other way around and unfortunately engineers can't break the laws of physics.

    • Also the $5K imac pro sucks to thin / storage locked to the MB / over priced upgrades and it's hard to change the ram on your own.

      And the T2 chip is chained off the DMI bus and not some of the open CPU pci-e lanes.

      Because they dedicated the PCI lanes to Thunderbolt.

  • by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:20PM (#56784818)

    Not just Apple really... but yes especially Apple. Companies seem to be very focused on a mobile first approach. Which is perfectly fine. The reality is that many of us still need mouse and/or keyboard and large screens for productive applications. And we probably don't need faster processing, or more RAM or much more storage so spec. stagnation is real in the desktop and laptop space.

    Personally I would like to see better "docking" abilities for smartphones in hardware and software so you can just plop your phone down on a desk with a big monitor and keyboard/mouse and start working on a larger screen where you can get all the apps you need. And it would be good if it was much more seamless across android and iphone.

    There is another level of creativity and productivity to be had if we can realize more of that future level of integration that has been the stuff of sci-fi for years.

    We seem to be closer than ever, but the impediments are both the security of letting devices communicate more freely and the arbitrary divisions of proprietary software hardware stacks that keep our technology apart and makes it less useful than it could be.

  • The real issue here is Intel, not Apple. There is no point in updating any of Apple's computer line as long as Intel can't get their upgrade cycle running smoothly. Add in all the security flaws and you have another reason not to update anything.

    Intel can announce all the crap they want and trickle out a small number of chips, but Apple won't jump on board until they can get mass quantities of CPUs...

    Apple would be better off doing their own CPUs....

    E

    • Apple would be better off doing their own CPUs.

      They already are and I'm beginning to think this is the reason for the lack of updates on many of their low-end computers.

    • The real issue here is Intel, not Apple. There is no point in updating any of Apple's computer line as long as Intel can't get their upgrade cycle running smoothly. Add in all the security flaws and you have another reason not to update anything.

      Intel can announce all the crap they want and trickle out a small number of chips, but Apple won't jump on board until they can get mass quantities of CPUs...

      Apple would be better off doing their own CPUs....

      E

      Exactly this!

      And that's why Apple is obviously looking into doing JUST THAT!

  • Dear Apple,

        Please spin off your laptop division. Anyone technical with a Mac won't buy crap from your store anyway, and the integration points with your iPhones aren't worth it. (Many of us use Android phones and use your laptops they understand Unix commands and because random system upgrades won't take us offline for half a day at a time.)

    Thank you.

    Signed,
    Most of Your Customers
  • Next Macintosh will be a docking station that connects users' hardware to their virtual Macs in the cloud. Latency might suck for a few, but for 90% of Mac users with simple io devices like mice and other pointers being their only hardware, it would be fine.

    What's a computer?

  • Mac Mini (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rhadc ( 14182 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:32PM (#56784930) Journal

    The Quad Core Mac Mini I bought in 2012 is faster than any Mac Mini sold in 2018. Get it together, Apple.

    • The Quad Core Mac Mini I bought in 2012 is faster than any Mac Mini sold in 2018. Get it together, Apple.

      But the Mac Mini sold now is for computer hacking

      Mac Mini: 1337 days ago

  • by techm ( 5418240 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:33PM (#56784944)
    I've been on Apple's platform since 1990, I saw it through the horrid time before Jobs' return. What did Jobs do? He made the mac cool again, sure, but he also made amazing machines with an amazing OS (OSX is the only reason I still am on the platform) and it was embraced by the pros - graphic designers, video editors, music producers... the performance, stability and workflow was unmatched. Now look at it. The only powerful machine they make is well out of the price range of all but the largest companies. The next step down is pathetic to say the least. Design and video professionals leave the platform in droves, why? because Apple made sad, underpowered machines covered in marking wank and focused on their gadgetry. Apple - shape up, or ship out. Unless you make a top end machine for $2500 that can be used in professional 4k video editing, motion graphics, audio production, graphic design, as well as support the huge potential of the mac gaming market (which never has been tapped but always should have been) - then go home and get lost. Make it modular, allow us to customize and upgrade our machines. Be good enough so we can love the mac again. Stop making $2000 facebook machines, make us machines we can be proud of. Unless you do this - my next machine will not be a mac, something I haven't done in 28 years.
  • After all... Apple consumers are more than happy to to pay a premium to get outdated tech. Why would any company bother to invest in new products when the mindless masses continue to buy the old crap and paying full price?

  • The MacBook Air has been last updated a lot more than 374 days ago.

    The last "update" was only a small 100MHz upgrade on the CPU of the low-end model but it's still the same old Broadwell CPU, the same used in the 2015 MacBook Air.

    The last update to the MacBook Air was about 1150 days ago. And it's still using a TN display in 2018.

    For the money Apple are asking for their computers, they can't possibly be proud of the specifications.

  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:43PM (#56785028)

    Even the new so-called Mac Pro iMac throttles itself before the fans spin up. This is laptop engineering, not desktop engineering and I fear they may have lost that expertise. As someone who depends on a Mac Pro 5,1, sorry but it looks like my next machine will be a Hackintosh. I don't need the latest bell and whistle on the desktop. What I do need are:

      Something that I can depend upon for a high availability duty cycle
      Using all 110 volts coming out of the wall
      Spinning as many large hard drives as I can fit in the box
      PCI cards for the SSD raid boot, swap file SSD, full size graphics card and communications card

    And I'm no-one special.

    Addressing that third point, Our German friends have a wonderful word: Kablesalat (literally cable salad). The current Mac Pro iMac and Coke Can Mac Pro force you to have multiple power bars nearby for brick on string external power supplies for all of your hard drives. Jesus? Who thought that was a practical idea for given how the cable transformers are made it's often impossible make full use of the sockets.

    If the answer is put them all in a single raid box you're missing the point. Not everything needs to should be or should be a raid.

    If anyone at Apple is listening: you're telling people who want to buy from you, and have options, and are sophisticated enough to be fault tolerant, to f*** off. Well, do as you will but it seems to me you should reserve that attitude for people who don't have options.

    PS, can you make another seventeen inch laptop large enough to hold hard drives? Those new video cameras soak up a lot of hard drive space.

  • Don't abandon us (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Major Blud ( 789630 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:46PM (#56785052) Homepage

    I was pretty disappointed when I downloaded the 10.14 Developer Beta and was told that it wouldn't install on my Mac Pro....a machine with 12 logical cores running at 3.2 Ghz, 32 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD, and a 3 GB ATI Radeon 7950 that's Metal compatible . The release notes say that support for this machine is coming in a later beta release, but who knows when this will happen.

    I realize that my machine is about 6 years old, but Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04 run just fine on it. They really need to release this Mac Pro tower that's been rumored, because I sure don't want to move to the trash-can or an iMac.

  • it kinda the way apple is, its the "state of affairs" of things. apple is knife focused on iOS devices. and mac is yea we do that to.
    32GB ram laptops are not uncommon, even 64GB can be had... and now lenovo is pushing out a 128GB ram laptop apple? 16GB....

    there is alot of people that need power, and apple is not paying attention to them. so they are moving to windows in most cases a few to linux
    but most are going to windows 10, not becuase the love windows.. but because they can get better hardware.

  • Mod me down (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @03:18PM (#56785296) Homepage Journal

    I know this is controversial, but if Apple isn't going to care about the hardware any more, perhaps it's time it pulled out of the market and sold macOS as a standalone product for third party PCs. And if they don't want to support it, they can contract that out too, maybe even partner with someone like Canonical (who have a great track record on making a third party OS work on everything out of the box.) With Intel and AMD controlling the entire non-standardized part of the hardware chain it's easier than it's been since the early nineties to produce a single OS that'll work on everything anyway.

    It's always been the OS, not the hardware, that's made me crave Macs, but I haven't owned one in over ten years because I just don't trust them with hardware any more, and can't get a Mac with a specification I'm comfortable with.

    If they no longer even care, then it's time to let their platform blossom.

  • by williamyf ( 227051 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @04:15PM (#56785744)

    With Macs is always the same. As soon as a significant upgraded specs machine is anounced, you buy it, with max CPU and RAM (since those are soldered). Skimp on the (removable) SSD if you must.

    When Updated machines just hit, they are price-competitive with whatever has similar specs in the PC world (apple uses their scale to get good deals from component suppliers, and pass a very, very little part of the savings to us).

    then hold on to it for a Very, very long time. Because, after a couple of semesters without upgrades, thos machines stop being price-competitive with their similar specd PC equivalents. If you are "forced" to buy a mac ahead of time, buy 2nd hand.

    When the next significant update hits, lather, rinse, repeat.

    Since this tends to align with my personal tastes, I have no Problem, but some people can not (or do not want) to operate in that pattern, I feel for them.

    My MacBook aluminum Unibody Late 2008 lasted me (with SSD and RAM upgrade) until 2015. Now I am rocking and Early 2015 Air (maxed CPU, Maxed RAM, Downgraded SSD). And by the looks of it, this Air will last 7 years as well...

    Yes, I am not a pro. Nowadays I am just a lousy cloud (mostly openstack) trainer and architect.

  • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Friday June 15, 2018 @12:50AM (#56788138)

    Apple may be on the egregious side. But they're far from the only offender here. *Everyone* seems to be letting their real computers stagnate in favor of gadgets. And I suspect that it's not even the fault of any of them; but a result of Intel's recent trend of sitting around with their thumbs up their bums.

    About three years ago, I bought a top-end iMac with a core i7 CPU that tops out "turbo boost"ing at 4Ghz. Leaving aside "pro" model and Xeons, the top-end iMac now is an i7 @ 4.2Ghz... which you would think would say something bad about Apple. But a quick check for the top-end consumer non-Xeon HP and Dell machines that I could find, turns up machines specced at core i7s topping out at most 4.6hz. That's better; but not by much. Granted, an i7 @ 4Ghz today is not quite the same thing as an i7 @ 4Ghz from three years ago. But the improvements are fairly incremental and underwhelming yawners... especially considering we've had two full 18-month Moore cycles in the meantime. The Intel of old would have improved its product lineup considerably more than they have bothered to do these last 36 months.

    Perhaps this is the root of the persistent rumors of Apple switching to its own ARM-based chip designs? After all, that's pretty much how Apple wound up on Intel in the first place... IBM was letting the PPC G5 stagnate and Motorola pretty much checked out entirely.

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