Why the Mac Pro Isn’t for Professionals


The Pro that Isn’t for Pros

Yesterday we got a first look at the first real upgrade to the Mac Pro line in years. And while it looks like an awesome machine for the “prosumer” and home market, it’s missing a lot of things working professionals are going to need like upgradeability. Honestly it seems more like a Mac Mini than a Mac Pro.

Edward Snowden and the NSA

A government whistle-blower let us all see the immense scope of spying the U.S. government is carrying out on it’s own people. And the worst part of it all is that the people is the government, from the president on down, are more upset at the breach of security than the complete loss of personal privacy for every citizen that it revealed.

You can sign a petition for the president to pardon Edward Snowden here.


  1. Peter K says

    This is a master stroke. Towers are a thing of the past. Heavy cumbersome and totally over the top. If we keep’t the thinking of the past 25 years we would still literally have the Desk and Top computer. With companies like Black magic, AjA and Matrox making thunderbolt external hardware why would you not want to have a scaled down set up with the latest cutting edge technology. P.S What is the true professional these days. That is a debate in itself.

    Love your show!!

  2. says

    If you want to know where the market is for the new “Mac Pro is, take a look at the WWDC 2013
    video Painting the Future. This unit was built as a Desk Top Graphics Work Station and makes
    sense in that role. The small form factor fits on an animation Tech’s Desktop and is connected
    to a Huge Render Network , but gives the tech ” Quick Render Views that used to take as long
    as 12 hours. Check out the video. Apple abandoned the Pro Video Market when they killed Final Cut Pro
    and now they are going after the Special Effects and Animation Market…. Go Figure

  3. Damian says

    I have now watched this video a few times and each time I loose more respect for this guy. Based on his comments the conclusion can be made that he is a “Pro” is the loosest definition of the word and one from whom all work comes to him and he never has to go to the job. There is a reason there are pelican and portabrace cases for current MacPros and displays, working pros travel. Hell a busy pro might save enough on airline and shipping cost just from the weight savings to pay for the new one. This guy is a “Prosumer” not a Pro.

    • Tom Wheeler says


      I have been watching Geekbeat podcasts now for several years, and I have to say that the coverage that you and Callie gave of the new Mac Pro is the worst example of your reporting that I have ever seen. Rather than do a point by point refutation of the nonsense that you gave in this report, I would simply ask if you or Callie attended the Mari presentation where the new Mac Pro was running this very demanding software in front of hundreds of people without a single hitch? The author of Mari and the shader artist from Pixar using it with Mari stated that they had never seen this software run smoother or faster than on this new Mac Pro.

      I can guarantee you that I will be one of the first to purchase this new Mac Pro. It is exactly what I am looking for in terms of sheer computing horsepower, fantastic I/O with Thunderbolt 2, and virtually infinite expandability via numerous Thunderbolt expansion boxes either now on the market or that will be on the market before the new Mac Pro arrives later this year. I am a video professional using Final Cut Pro X to produce commercial videos for industry and new sources. This is exactly the machine we have been waiting for.

      John, I recommend that in the future you NOT cover Apple products as you simply don’t know what you are talking about. And give your off screen help (Ken) a Mike. We cold hardly understand him, but what we cold understand made a lot more sense than you did.

  4. David says

    I find it interesting that so many people are complaining about this product already, and we don’t even know it’s price point. There has been very little criticism of the speed, power or performance of this product. There are several complaints about upgrade pathway and reliance on external storage. Are most high-level professionals that will use this really running on isolated local storage systems, as opposed to networked storage? I can understand wanting an upgrade path, but for a company like Apple, it makes no business sense whatsoever to provide a framework system that you buy all your upgrades from another vendor. When you upgrade your local storage drives, are they bought from Apple? Probably not. When you upgrade the video card or RAM, do you buy it from Apple? Probably not. Why would Apple go to all this trouble to design and manufacture a product that makes someone else money? And how often does this upgrade really occur? Are graphics professionals really upgrading video cards every six months when ATI or nVidia come out with a newer latest-and-greatest? Why would Apple build a business model that only sees customers once every several years, and the rest of the time the money is going to someone else? Talk about a cash-flow problem! Apple is modifying their business model in order to be able to keep pace with the demands of a rapidly changing market landscape, just like Adobe (who just as many professional graphic artists are just as angry at right now). If (and I appreciate this is a big if) we see more frequent updates to the product line, more incremental upgrades to the product line, and a resulting lower cost for R&D that should equate to a lower overall cost to the consumer (which is a more profitable, sustainable business model), how is this bad?
    The hard reality is that if this was a viable, profitable market, there would be competition. There would be competing products. If there’s money to be made, business will find a way to make money.
    Let’s also go back to a Steve Jobs quote from the release of the iPad: “Apple is a mobile devices company”. It’s pretty clear from the rant that the Mac Pro is NOT a mobile device. It is, however, just what the rest of the Mac/Apple ecosystem and philosophy is: a component of a modular ecosystem for content consumption and creation for the non-corporate device consumer.

  5. Larry Jonhson says

    Hum, there’s a lot of things to be said :

    1) First, your show looks like Ryan Connolly’s Film Riot, you have the same sponsor at the beginning, but that’s ok, but you also make the same jokes with the guy behind the camera wich is Josh in film riot.

    2) Like someone said earlier, you are complaining about external storage but your sponsor is an external drive manufacturer..so it seems like a joke yes

    3) Finally, you are saying that the mac pro is not for professionnal, perhaps you think you are a professionnal? A professionnal of the green screen ? Your green screen sucks man, its the most amateur green screen i’ve ever seen, so please, don’t call yourself a pro because you’re not…

  6. Andrew Mattingly says

    Ok John… I do love your rants, but I think you’re over-reacting a bit on this one (re: Mac Pro). In the episode your main focus is that you can’t expand the storage… and then you turn right around and do an advertisement for a Drobo 5N, and praise them constantly. So is that really your main argument?

    There are already external Thunderbolt drives you can connect without an additional power supply, and full on arrays of 4-6 drives that are contained in a single enclosure with a single power supply (which you can buy directly from Apple during other purchase). Is it really that big of a deal if you have one Thunderbolt cable running to an external box somewhere? Or sheesh, just use the new AC wireless and your Drobo 5N that we all know you love. No extra cables for ya!

    I just don’t understand the bitterness in this particular case. It’s a powerful computer with a heavy duty dual-video card setup, in a sleek package which takes up a ton less space. You could have the new Mac Pro and probably THREE Drobo 5Ns in the space of the old Mac Pro… and it’d be way more processing, and an insane amount of more storage.

    I think you’ve got some more convincing to do on this one.

  7. Dave says

    You seriously just ranted about the new Mac and then when right into the Drobo shill… which is… an external solution. Let me guess, now you’re going to say that the Drobo isn’t Pro either? 😉

    • TW Moore says

      I thought the same thing. There’s this big rant about having to stack four drive one on top of each other and the separate power supplies. Next is a plug for Drobo, which I happen to think is great, and how easy it is to add storage.

    • says

      Yeah I thought the exact same thing as soon as he jumped into the Drobo Ad. Actually I was thinking about it when I first saw the Pro. To be honest as a Pro I think I would want to keep the minimum amount of information on the Computers internal hardrive as posible and use an external storage for the important files. I think the new Mac pro teamed up with a Drobo type system is a way better solution.

      The only reason people wanted internal storage and internal ability for things like sound cards and such was the bottleneck of an external connection like USB or Firewire but now with faster USB, Firewire, and now Thunderbolt that can also power devices and carry different types of info we dont need to waste all of that space on empty slots for internal storage.

      The main thing will be price, now that we don’t have all that wasted space for empty slots and connections will the price stay the same or will it come down a bit. Or will it go up because everything is considered top of the line?

      I do agree that they are going for a more mass appeal with the design and footprint. But I think it is a great step forward.

  8. Steven T says

    it’s quite an irony you were complaining about external drives for the new mac Pro and then there you go having a external drive sponsor. this is not a joke right?

  9. Jim Huffman says

    I love GB – but have to disagree. I’ve owned 2 mac pros, and pretty much everything else mac has made. thru put on tb 2.0, whether internal or external, is faster than any hard drive can deliver today, unless ssd, and if you have external ssd drives, it is still superior to a single pci express path on an internal drive. don’t poo poo tech specs and wave your hands on ‘real world’ performance. put a raid 1 on a tb 2.0 and it will trump whatever you imagine internally. and who CARES about where the power supply sits for the hard drive? really? i would rather have a minimalist power supply for the new MP, than a gargantuan one large enough for legacy spinning hard drives. leave that to the hard drive manufacturers. i think you are hot and bothered about nothing….

  10. says

    Love your rants John!! Need to see more of this!!

    I’m some what on the fence of agreeing and disagreeing with you though. Personally I’m a big Mac Pro user and love the fact it’s has all the internal storage elimating clutter.

    That said, I believe this is Apple’s way of doubling down on Thunderbolt accessories for ALL professionals. Thunderbolt comes at a premium so it’s not really targeted at consumers just yet.

    Audio and Video professionals with the traditional Mac Pro have so many breakout boxes in any case so it’s really ‘who cares’ if you have a couple more external devices with added power supplies.

    Apple may also see it was a convenience of dealing with storage external to the unit when things go bad rather than diving under your desk to replace a HDD.

    All speculation as we don’t know what Apple’s intention really are but I wouldn’t be so sure that Apple are leaving professionals behind (Final Cut X was a big blunder though which they are *trying* to rectify)

  11. Mark Russell says

    Sounds to me like the new Mac Pro is too Pro for you. So much so that you don’t understand what to do with it.

  12. says

    Totally disagree with you here John P, re: The new Mac Pro. I’ve used Mac’s for my music & video work for decades. I’m not a pro-sumer either and work hard as a pro music producer and videographer. I’ve ‘downsized’ as each generation of Mac became available, because the raw power available has increased while the dimension of each mac has decreased. I’m so happy they’ve reduced the size of the new Mac Pro, while over doubling it’s power, as it allows me to easily take it with me wherever I go. Whereas before, i had to put my back out carrying the old ‘lead suitcase’.

    My business (as is i’d imagine a good percentage of other music/video creatives) isn’t stuck in one office/studio space locked into a large network, I do a lot of high end production work at home & studio or pretty much anywhere I can set up nowadays and it’s good to be ‘mobile’ as possible, especially in video work. Regarding the multiple Thunderbolt drive issue you’re talking about, well there’s a solution to that, and it’s called Drobo. Heard of it? lol It’s a great solution to having one housing for multiple drives oh yes and it has thunderbolt connectivity. :)

  13. Kris says

    I can’t believe you just said that 4 ssd’s won’t saturate the sata controller. Where did you get that from. Putting 4SSD’s in a RAID 10 has so much throughput that the SATA controller IS the bottleneck. Why do you think that higher end server makers don’t even offer it on their high end with lots of cache SAS controllers??… I’ve spoke to SUN/Oracle engineers in the past that the SAS controllers can’t even keep up with the performance provided by SSD’s.

    Get your facts right!

    • Profile photo of John P. says

      When you ACTUALLY do this, as opposed to just looking at theoretical specs it works perfectly. Especially since most people still have older SSDs which only run at 250-300MBps.

      Even if you were maxing out the IO it wouldn’t matter because there is plenty of speed in this configuration for high disk activities (like video editing), and the benefits of securely mounting the drives and having power for them inside the case FAR outweighs the meager benefits of the potential for a little more speed.

      You know, with SATA there is also eSATA. So if Intel wants Thunderbolt to become the defacto standard because of its throughput capacity they need to make it available inside the chassis. Show me a computer that will allow me to securely mount all of my internal drives and connect them with Thunderbolt, and I’ll buy it.

      This purely theoretical discussion however doesn’t change the fact that Apple is abandoning the real professional market in favor of a more consumer pro market. Likely due to profit potential.

  14. says

    Never been a Mac PC user. I simply can’t afford one. However, wouldn’t it make sense for Apple to produce a docking station that may have a PCI-X16 card in it. This should professionals to buy a MacBook Pro and connect it via Thunderbolt. The card slot will obviously hold a high end graphics card which should handle video processing. As for storage, there are desktop connected multi-bay storage drives.

    This will allow Apple to phase out the the Pro, and could even phase out the iMac if the docking station is designed correctly. This could then allow Apple to focus on two lines of PCs if they felt the desire to phase out the Mac Mini which they should be able to do if they brought the base MacBook Air down by $200.

    • Profile photo of John P. says

      That would be great! But Apple has had 10 years to release a docking station and have never done it. I have no idea why! Everyone wants one, and none of the aftermarket ones seem to work that well because they have to plug into all of the ports instead of a single port designed for this purpose.

      • Damian says

        They have built a dock, they just built it into a 27″ display. I mean how much easier do you want it, I sit my MBP on my desk and plug power and a thunderbolt cable to it, thats it. The display has my gig ethernet, my desktop RAID a FW card reader and everything else hooked into it.
        Calling the new mac pro “prosumer” is extremely narrow minded. I know very few “Pros” who dont have a bunch of things hanging off there current MacPro so the fact that the expansion is external would seem to be a non issue. With the ever growing range of expansion chassies and other peripherals it should have no problem handeling anything you what to do. I mean if you wanted you could have 36 PCIexpess cards attached, do that with you tower.