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New Mac Pro and iMac, circa 2021


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New Mac Pro and iMac, circa 2021
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2022-05-09, 14:16

I was just thinking about that over the weekend...less than a month to go and it's kinda wide open. I'm betting we'll start hearing some solid stuff in another week or two. Things always seep out in those closing weeks. If they unveiled a new, redesigned AS Mac Pro, that would be nice for several reasons:

- It meshes nicely with the venue/event (professionals, developers, power users, etc.)...makes sense
- It would be two years exactly that they announced the AS stuff, and gave a two-year transition period (while I am totally cool with them considering November 2022 the true mark - two years from when AS Macs were first announced/sold - it would be great if they hit that mark at WWDC..."In June 2020 we said 'two years'...told ya!"

I know the various OSes (what is the best way to type that? Like that?) will take front and center, it's been well over a year since the iMac, Mac mini and MacBook Air have gotten any attention. I could see at least one of those getting some sort of bump/tweak/update, even if low-key without taking up a bunch of presentation time.

This will be one of those keynotes - unlike the iPhone stuff - that I'll actually carve out time to watch live, just because of the possibility of something cool Mac-related. After a long stretch of not much to write home about on the Mac front, the past 18+ months have been really exciting again. It's been so nice to see Apple throwing so much attention and effort at something that isn't a phone (or that goes in your ears, or on your wrist). Prior to November 2020, I was truly starting to wonder what the future of the Mac was going to be, and not feeling 100% sure/secure about the answer for the first time in 10+ years.

I won't lie...I do find my thoughts drifting, in recent months, to an orange, next-generation MacBook Air.

I said I'd not go down that "colors" road again, but if they release something like some of the renders/mockups I've seen online I recent months, I'd have a super-hard time not revisiting my Tangerine iBook days. 🧡

And get my mom a pink one, to replace her early-2014 Air.
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Frank777
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2022-05-09, 15:00

We may also not have seen leaks because the Mac Pro isn't built in the Asian megafactories.

The Mac Pro is assembled in Austin, Texas.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2022-05-09, 15:02

Hey, Donald Trump built that plant!




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chucker
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2022-05-09, 17:05

Yeah, a lot of leaks happen in the Asian supply chain. Also, even if it were Asian-made, few people there would be willing to risk a firing and lawsuit over leaking an uninteresting product.
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Frank777
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2022-07-26, 16:44

Mac Pro with M2 Extreme said to be incoming this fall.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
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2022-07-26, 17:36

Well I hear the 27" iMac is coming at WWDC.



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Frank777
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2022-07-26, 22:54

Yeah, but your sources are probably wrong.

Seriously, I still don't see where the space in the lineup is for a 27-inch iMac.

The iMac is a sealed box, and the Studio is a slightly more expensive sealed box.
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Matsu
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2022-07-27, 06:25

While it is often attractive to separate display and computer for those that have very specific needs for either or both, Apple has had a way of making the integration very attractive to their customers. Some of this is a bit artificial: they can make the value proposition seem stronger - within their walled garden - through some across the line pricing strategies. What happens if you add $500-1000 of innards to a 27” studio display and don’t necessarily mark up the combination as much as one would for each item individually?

I think that’s where the best iterations of the iMac live, as a sort of bundle deal, where integration is presented as the value add (for those who want it)

Heavily optioned late model Intel iMacs got away from this, but they could get back to it with the right balance of features and price.

Last edited by Matsu : 2022-07-27 at 07:55.
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chucker
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2022-07-27, 07:03

It's plausible to me that they've found that

1) customers who bought the 21-inch iMac or lower-end 27-inch iMacs really wanted something in between;
2) customers who bought the iMac Pro or a specced-up 27-inch iMac often wished it weren't AIO.

The 24-inch iMac and the Mac Studio solve both of those cases. Doesn't mean everyone is happy, but the remaining slice may be a little too small.
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Matsu
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2022-07-27, 09:27

I see room, if... they find a way to charge a little less than they would for a roughly equivalent machine plus studio display combination...

Using Apple's own pricing to create an incentive structure there's potential for two models:

If we think that a $899 Mac Mini plus $1599 Studio Display is $2500 and a comparable spec 24" iMac is $1699, then it's not inconceivable that a 27" could make it out the door at $1999, and look like a good deal to mac buyers.

Similarly, a $1999 Mac Studio and a $1599 Studio Display tilts the scales at $3600. There is no comparable spec 24" iMac... Again, to me, it's not inconceivable that a 27" iMac could make it out the door at $2999 and seem like a good deal to a subset of traditional iMac buyers... especially compared to the cost of buying separates "from Apple". Those who would rather seek 3rd party displays need not apply...

Apple's luxury pricing likely leaves them enough room to play without making a "cheap" product, and of course BTO options can make things much more expensive. The rest of the value proposition depends on what designers can come up with that doesn't necessarily cost a lot to implement, but adds perceived value. Style? New design? All glass, frameless, etc... further desktop audio enhancement, improved facetime camera/app, improved ambient lighting compensation/display adjustment, improved microphone, maybe just a host of little things that add up to a better plug and play experience. Honestly, I think we tend to underestimate the iMac's appeal compared to the average person who just walks into an Apple store looking for a bit of industrial design in their life...

Last edited by Matsu : 2022-07-27 at 16:46.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
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2022-07-27, 11:24

And, yet, Apple found a way to take the computer out of the 27" display and only lower the price $200.

When it comes to the 27" display their pricing/marketing strategy is completely screwed up. We have a lot of customers waiting to see the "new" 27" iMac, and now they're feeling forced into a less-than solution that actually costs more. It's really dumb, actually. A Mac mini with 27" Studio Display is a terrible value. That display shouldn't be more than $999 under any circumstances. It's an over-engineered solution in search of a problem.

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Matsu
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2022-07-27, 11:44

Read another way it shows how much room there is to integrate the display and pass savings to the customer. One assumes that an M silicon chipset would replace the 9th gen iPad at the heart of the display and that one power supply and case will suffice for the device (rather than two) so there’s immediately some money saved in integration. But I don’t think that’s why the Studio Display costs. I think Apple’s priced it as a luxury item because they fully intend to present an iMac as a comparative bargain, and that would be a lot harder if the Studio Display were $999
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chucker
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2022-07-27, 11:45

Yeah, but it runs iOS, so you may occasionally need to reboot it. Which is easy, all you gotta do is press the power button they removed due to thinnovation. Hmm. Or unplug the cable at the back. Oh. Well, the one on the wall then. There you go.
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Frank777
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2022-07-27, 15:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Yeah, but it runs iOS, so you may occasionally need to reboot it. Which is easy, all you gotta do is press the power button they removed due to thinnovation. Hmm. Or unplug the cable at the back. Oh. Well, the one on the wall then. There you go.
Love the sarcasm. They deserve it.


I assumed the iMac Pro was cancelled due to lack of interest/sales. Maybe they really did just rework it into the Studio, and the traditional iMac will return in its slot. The screen-size really has to be upped, given that we've been at 27-inches since 2009.

I've never been good at screen resolution math, but somewhere close to the 29" 6K mark with 218 pixels per inch.

Perhaps the Pro version of the M2 will be used in the iMac, leaving the 24" and the Mini with the regular M2 and the Studio with the Max and Ultra. And the unattainable Mac Pro with the M2 UltraMaxMegaExtreme, um Pro.

So maybe I'm wrong, there is still a slot for it in the lineup. But as chucker said previously, that leaves Apple with an awful lot of desktops, in what is a mobile computing world.

I would have been happy with just the previous Mini-iMac-Mac Pro paradigm.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-07-27, 15:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Yeah, but it runs iOS, so you may occasionally need to reboot it. Which is easy, all you gotta do is press the power button they removed due to thinnovation. Hmm. Or unplug the cable at the back. Oh. Well, the one on the wall then. There you go.
No no no. you missed the opportunity here. This is where you buy a HomeKit smart outlet and use your phone to power cycle it.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
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2022-07-27, 15:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
No no no. you missed the opportunity here. This is where you buy a HomeKit smart outlet and use your phone to power cycle it.
Now, if only Apple made that.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2022-07-27, 15:11

Yeah. If they actually sold the outlet then we would know.

I said iPhone, but the HomePod or iPad would work too.
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kscherer
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2022-07-27, 15:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
Yeah. If they actually sold the outlet then we would know.

I said iPhone, but the HomePod or iPad would work too.
Or they could just put a power button on the damned thing.
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chucker
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2022-07-28, 08:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Or they could just put a power button on the damned thing.
I mean, even a pinhole on the back would be better than… nothing.

(I'm hopeful they solve this on the software side, though — some way from the Mac to ask the display to reboot.)
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chucker
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2022-07-28, 08:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
I've never been good at screen resolution math, but somewhere close to the 29" 6K mark with 218 pixels per inch.
The 32-inch XDR is 6K @ 218 ppi (technically, 216, so I guess it's slightly under 32 inches?).

At 16:9 and 29 inches, you could do 5520x3105. That would be 218.4 ppi.

Which, sure, why not. But if they already think a 5K display is worth $1,600, and a 6K display is worth $5,000, such a 5.5K isn't going to be cheap, heh.
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Matsu
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2022-07-28, 13:08

The industry has backed off Retina level resolutions for large panels... just about every 3rd party 27"-32" panel maxes out at 4K. I think it's a bit of a tweener problem for them. 8K isn't quite there yet. They don't want to deal in intermediate resolutions, and unlike the move from sub-2K resolutions to WQHD (2560) and beyond, everything above is generally pleasing to look at in typical desktop sizes. So, with no urgency to jump on 8K just yet, panels seem to have topped out at 4K for now... Personally, I'm Ok with this. My eyes are getting old, and I could err on the side of larger screen/pixels and sitting a bit farther back...

This does put Apple's studio display in perspective. It is nice. I've seen it. Thanks to the extra pixel density, it is a very good way to view photos for editing/print. IMHO it tends to look better than some displays that claim a higher spec (like HDR600). I would compare it favorably with 30-32" class 4K displays that offer useful gamut coverage (either DCI-P3 or AdobeRGB), 10 bit precision, good factory calibration and backlight stability at low brightness (which is what you want for photo editing).

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PB PM
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2022-07-29, 09:10

Part of that back off on displays is down to what sells, 1080p monitors are still massively outselling everything else, due to price point, and the quality of video that most people are consuming (still 1080p). 4K monitors aren’t expensive anymore, but since most people are still watching 1080p content, they don’t see much point outside of TVs. I still find 1440p to be the perfect balance between resolution and overall panel quality for the dollar spent for computer monitors.
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chucker
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2022-07-29, 09:40

Yeah, I've ultimately gone with a pair of 24-inch 1440p Dells. 122 ppi is a far cry from Retina, but it is slightly sharper than a typical monitor. Windows looks great on it at 125%. macOS looks… OK.

At $400 * 2, I get twice as much horizontal space as the Studio Display at half the price.

They're considerably worse displays, but kind of… adequate. 300 nits instead of 600, 24-bit color instead of 30, no True Tone, no reference modes, no camera. You do get multiple USB ports, both some on the bottom and on the side, y'know, because that's actually convenient that way, unlike what Apple keeps doing. They charge quite slowly, which is a bit of a bummer. Definitely not a replacement for a docking station.

Oh, and a standardized power plug. Haven't really had to reboot them, although one of them takes quite long to start showing an image (though I think this is because it's connected through a Thunderbolt dock, whereas the other is connected directly).

The stand is irrelevant to me; I have them VESA-mounted.
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Matsu
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2022-07-29, 10:02

I use Mac OS on dual 1440p displays. I think it looks fine. I also use Windows on a laptop with 1440P external display, I don't think either looks better or worse, but my eyes might not be as discerning as they once were...

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