Thoughts on the Mac Pro’s resurrection 4/4/17

By Chris Johnson

So, there will be a new Mac Pro. I’m honestly surprised. Apple has sold the latest iteration of the Mac Pro unchanged for three years, an eternity in computer component world. Making matters worse, Apple hasn’t lowered the price in all that time, even though the price of those three year old components have certainly fallen considerably.

The situation had gotten so bad that hardly a week went by without me reading about someone or another switching to Windows, or building their own Hackintosh in response to Apple’s seeming abandonment of pro users. And after all that time, who could blame them? I certainly thought the current Mac Pro would be the last Mac Pro.

Much was written and said in defense of Apple’s strategy pro strategy or lack thereof. iPads are the future. Pro users are tiny a minority of computer users. iMacs can do everything anyone could reasonably want to do.

What was left unsaid in all these arguments and counter arguments is just how minor the demands of pro users actually were, especially for a company with the size and expertise of Apple. Apple doesn’t make the CPUs, RAM, or GPUs that go into these pro machines. All pro users wanted was for Apple to put these third-party manufactured parts together in a quiet and cool tower and update it once a year when Intel and AMD had faster components ready. Clearly not an impossible task for Apple if hobbyists can build their own pro-level Hackintoshes with off-the-shelf components.

But that’s all in the past. Apple has done the most un-Apple thing of all and announced a product coming at least a year away. They saw the community response to the aging Mac Pro and felt they had to do something. As someone who makes their living on a Mac, I’m relieved they did. I don’t personally need a $4,000 workhorse machine, but it should exist in the Mac lineup if the Mac is going to remain a viable platform for diverse types of work. And if my work changes, and I need a more powerful computer, I’m glad to know I’ll be able to do that work on a Mac.