‘We Want a New Mac Pro’ petition gathers steam

The “We Want a New Macpro [sic]” petition page at Facebook has surpassed 9,000 “likes” or more than double the 4,500 or so it had early this morning.

The open letter to Apple Inc reads as follows, verbatim:

Hello Apple. Remember me? I’m one of your loyal users. I’m one of the guys who has owned 2 MacPros [sic], a G5, a G4, 4 laptops, one iMac, 4 iPods, one MacMini [sic], 4 iPhones and a bevy of other peripherals and software packages over the last 10 years.

I’m looking for a little clarity.

Can you please let me and the other people on in this group know what is going on with the MacPro? Its been neglected for far too long. We realize all the success of the iPad and iPhone and we’re really happy with our new toys. But unfortunately many of us need to make decisions on hardware for professional uses that allow us to make a living.

We have no desire to go the Dark Side and buy a Windows machine. And while the Hackintosh community has made great strides its not a viable option for a professional environment. Unfortunately you haven’t left us much choice!! The professional software applications like CS6, AVID, Protools, Smoke and others require the most powerful hardware available. The ability to configure systems with specific hardware is essential for our businesses. The iMac is not the answer for these situations. (Not to mention that I already have 54 total inches of professional monitors sitting on my desk!!!)

We’ve held out as long as we can. Many of us will never get the hint that you’ve discontinued the MacPro lineup. So I am asking directly.
Can you please let us know what your plans are?
Is the MacPro officially dead?
Are you going to license OSX [sic] to another hardware manufacturer to build powerful desktops?
You have the best OS on the market. Please let us put it to good use!!!

We have waited patiently. We are only asking for a little insight. A timeframe would really go a long way in this relationship. Please, either set us free and tell us that the hardware is dead or give us a little peak behind the curtain. Its not too much to ask. We cannot wait any longer and its really not fair to string us along like this.

Sincerely
Lou Borella and the Creative Community

The page can be found via Facebook here.

Related articles:
Mac Pro user launches Facebook page to pressure Apple – May 24, 2012
If Apple wants them, new Mac Pro models now possible with Intel’s new Xeon E5 chips next week – March 1, 2012
RUMOR: Apple close to updating Mac Pro – February 14, 2012
Apple reportedly mulling the end of Mac Pro line – October 31, 2011

64 Comments

    1. “PCs are going to be like trucks…They are still going to be around…However, only one out of x people will need them.”

      – some guy named Steve Jobs (1 June 2010, at D8)

    2. I am not sure what Apple is thinking, but I firmly support the pro community on this subject. Two updates since 2008 is not adequate given the progress by Intel on CPU development.

      Apple has the resources and the obligation to continue producing desktops with cutting edge performance – margins be damned! And while Apple is at it, spend a $B or so of the massive war chest and set up some dedicated teams for iLife, iWork, etc. to keep them evolving and fresh.

      MacRumors Buyer’s Guide

      Recent Releases
      669 days and counting since the last Mac Pro update
      07/2010 511 days
      03/2009 420 days
      01/2008 279 days
      04/2007 240 days
      08/2006 292 days

    3. What detractors such as yourself don’t seem to grasp is that people are upset because the alternative to a high-end Mac Pro workstation is a wretched PC.

      With respect, if you don’t need a Mac Pro then please refrain from commenting and presuming to speak for those that do.

      If Apple cuts the Mac Pro then they’ll lose one large sale and (more importantly) a vociferous advocate. I’m already researching building a Hackintosh just in case. I don’t want to do that so I’m recommend supporting Lou and his efforts.

  1. I can understand wanting to know what Apple is going to do, but it’s not like they can’t buy a high powered iMac to get their work done. I an put together an iMac with 64GB of RAM, internal SSD, a chain of 6TB Thunderbolt drives, and an external 27″ monitor that will give any MacPro a run for it’s money.

    The writing is on the wall for the MacPro. Apple let the X-Serve go and that made sense.

    I would like to see a built to order iMac or Mini-Tower with RAM expansion up to 128GB, multiple thunderbolt ports, legacy Firewire 800 port, multiple USB 3 ports, maybe a couple of SATA slots, but that giant tower MacPro just doesn’t make sense anymore.

    1. First rule of giving advice: Don’t assume you are representative of everyone on the planet. You will *always* be wrong. Example: “…MacPro just doesn’t make sense anymore.” Well, for you maybe, but we are not all you.

      I need as many high end GPUs and the maximum number of hard drives that can be fit into a MacPro at any time. iMac’s don’t make sense for me, they cannot possibly keep up with the amounts of data and computing my work requires.

      However, your Mini-Tower idea might be good for some people. Given how huge Apple is now, they could add another form factor to the line up without losing focus.

      1. Thelonious has a good idea. Don’t be so darn closed minded and negative.

        Apple prob has plans for the MacPro with all the new technology. I think this year is the right time. So, hang on there peeps.

      2. Obviously you have never tried running over 1000 tracks of audio with sub millisecond latency. Yes I need a Mac Pro Tower. Currently I use as many as 5 fully loaded towers at the same time. Each of them with a 7 slot magma Chassis. If Apple offered more slots on their computers I’d stop using the magmas. But with only 3 available slots, it’s just not enough. And don’t talk to me about the Thunderbolt chassis there are only 3 available slots there. I need a minimum of 7.

        1. Apple is not going to keep the Mac Pro line alive just for you. You represent about .001% of Apple users and if they can’t make any profit by selling a Mac Pro to you, then there’s no point. Apple seems to be only concerned with the consumer sweet spot of profitability. You have to figure that with all the excess cash Apple has and refuses to update a product line for two years, they just don’t care any more about wasting money on improving products only a handful of consumers use. Apple’s all about catering to the mainstream consumer. Maybe Jony Ive’s head isn’t into designing Mac Pros.

          1. Apple is married to the arts, it is in their DNA. Musicians and studios use mac pros. So do filmmakers. So do places running Apple servers.

            This handful of products are also their most expensive. They do not lose money on them. They will not drop them any time soon, they are just updating slower.

    2. I don’t know what kind of work you do, but as someone who makes 3D motion graphics for a living, I can tell you right now that an iMac is not going to get it done. I presently run the fastest 12-core Mac Pro they make, and I need every single one of those cores for rendering from Cinema 4D and After Effects.

      If the Mac Pro is nixed, we will have no choice but to wade into the hell that is Windows just so we can have hardware that runs a pro level. Considering that my company’s entire ecosystem is Mac based right now, with Mac Pros, Macbook Pros, Macbook Airs, iPads, and iPhones all playing a tightly nit part, taking the top of that chain off means the rest of the ecosystem will likely have to follow, meaning Apple loses a ton of orders for products across their line. I can guarantee you that will be the rule rather than the exception for most or all of the Mac-Based creative companies.

      Eventually, in the interest of having a seamless end-to-end solution between work and home, many employees of these companies who are forced to switch will start to seek alternatives for their personal devices too, and a great deal of the work Apple has done will erode away. You may think this a ludicrous notion, but it worked the other direction when companies started moving to Apple and that same trickle down type of thing happened in Apple’s favor.

      I am not saying that Apple will or will not kill the Mac Pro, but it will be a dark day if they do… my job will have much less joy, and the shine will begin to fade from Apple, in a big, big way.

      1. Strangermode has it spot on. Those who comment on the fact an iMac is “good enough” have never had to render huge After Effects, 3D CG or heavy duty HD video editing jobs. Like it or not Apple does have an obligation (costing a mere relative pittance) to keep it’s pro Mac, the Mac Pro, armed and dangerous and available. Not to mention cutting edge. I am a dyed in the wool Mac guy working in VFX since 1992 and I despise Windows but will go there if necessary in search of the pro powered machines we need and many in the industry already use. That would be a very serious mistake if Apple foregoes that market.

      2. I have been waiting for over a year. Like all of you, I dread going the PC route. Apple has always purposed to be at the forefront, and thus wanted to create the best stuff. It would be a huge let down for them not to produce something new, big, fast, and great!

    3. Monday 11:30-4:45 5.25
      Why are you even commenting here? If you are satisfied with your iMac- great. Your criticism in this matter is tantamount to you telling me what I need. I run Maya, Nuke, Zbrush and a host of other programs that require a Mac Pro for the work that I do- not the work you do. It is not your place to tell high end users what they do and don’t need. And earlier you said the Facebook was stupid. Very nice. Since Steve Jobs was known to respond personally to emails in the late hours of the night about concerns like this. Check the MDN archive. Based on that- Apple may very well hear of the petition and respond. And Tim Cook seems more open to communicating than his predecessor so step down and stop worrying about what the professionals need. You are obviously not one.

    4. The issue is not how powerful you iMac can be, but how expandable it is in the future. You might be happy with the video card that you have now, but what about three years from now. You are stuck with it. Unlike a Mac Pro user that simply pulls the old one out and replaces it with the new one. This key issue is profoundly important for 3D professionals and no all in one will be able to accommodate that, unless Apple somehow figures out a way to make it that part user upgradable.

      1. If your argument is that a Mac Pro must exist because it affords you the opportunity to upgrade for years without buying a new computer, then you shouldn’t be too concerned that’s it’s been years since it was updated.

    5. your iMac will not fit my AJA card, or my Red Rocket card… nor will it take the Quadra Cards I require for high end real time rendering.. Your argument is invalid.

    6. … since my G3.
      But that wasn’t my first Mac.
      I’m not a Pro … not for a couple of years now … but I prefer the flexibility offered by the cabinet. And the ventilation (my wife’s 21″ iMac over-heats in the summer). My current Pro is a bit of over-kill – now that I no longer qualify as a “Pro” – but it’s still better than “almost enough”.
      If I never edit another movie or sound track, I do NOT want it to be because I lacked the capacity. Maybe a $2k iMac will have that, but a $2.5k MacPro likely will. And a $3k, $4k or $5k MacPro should certainly have. Can you GET a $4k iMac? No … it tops out at almost $3.7k. And still has Quad Cores, the like priced Pro has Eight cores. That’s “Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” processors” to get your crunching crunched. It isn’t all about scattering storage all over your desk.

  2. “…The ability to configure systems with specific hardware is essential for our businesses….”

    What specific hardware? Apple only allowed certain display cards to work. If you open most MacPros the only thing people added were possibly a RAID card. Thunderbolt is where you should be headed now. You’re looking at max throughput of 10Gb/s vs SATA’s 6, what specialized hardware?

    As far as going to Windows… GOOD FREAKING LUCK with that.

    People like AVID are already recreating their products to rely strictly on the available hardware not specialized proprietary equipment.

    Maybe one more iteration of the Mac Pro box is what we’ll get, but when 75% of the Machines Apple sells are laptops, I wouldn’t count on much more.

    If you really need to use AVID, well it’s always worked better on Windows anyway.

    That business is sooooo small, Apple will never miss it.

    1. Seems to me that since Apple is going all Thunderbolt that one more Mac Pro with newer processors and Thunderbolt wouldn’t be too much to ask.

      I have an original Mac Pro and would love to upgrade. Admittedly one of the current/2010 Mac Pros would be a big improvement, but I could never bring myself to spend $2500 on a computer that sports two-year-old technology and no Thunderbolt. Also, I use two PCIe cards for my audio work. And my only option with an iMac would be a Thunderbolt-PCIe chassis (not cheap). I know most professional Pro Tools users would be in the same boat.

      Yes the petition page is probably a waste of time, but you can’t blame people for trying.

    2. …A REAL COMPUTER AND NOT A CONSUMER TOY

      “Apple only allowed certain display cards to work” you say, well that’s just wrong like the rest of your posts telling us Mac Pro users to get with consumer devices to do our work with.

      For a very long time Apple have let you put any modern ATI or NVIDIA card in a Mac Pro, with a couple of minor caveats: no EFI screen unless it’s Apple card (but one can have a second, cheaper cars for that), no dual core cards. You can buy an off the shelf GPU and plug it in, so long as it’s not the brand new Nvidia cards where drivers are anticipated soon.

      Apple might never miss it, in fiscal terms, but if the creative industries of TV, movies and music move to Windows it will rot Apple’s cool from the top-down.

      Then what will be next? Your shiny toy of a computer I imagine, as Macs only make a fraction of the money of iOS devices — the Mac business is soooooo small, Apple will never miss it.

    3. “What specific hardware? Apple only allowed certain display cards to work. If you open most MacPros the only thing people added were possibly a RAID card. Thunderbolt is where you should be headed now. You’re looking at max throughput of 10Gb/s vs SATA’s 6, what specialized hardware?”

      what do you do? use iMovie?

      do some research.

      You are obviously not a Pro User.

    4. “As far as going to Windows… GOOD FREAKING LUCK with that.”

      This also just shows your ignorance. Don’t get me wrong I love OSX. But in the Professional world (3D, 2D, VFX) OSX is not king of the world.

    5. Erm Avid was Mac only for a hell of a long time. The majority of Mac prios I use have quadro cards, Kona 3G cards and fibre channel. Fibre cards come with 4 x 8 gig ports that’s a bit more than the 10 of thunderbolt and more significantly that’s all dedicated to storage, plug an extra monitor into thunderbolt and tell me your read/write speeds. In reality you may be right. But if so I and most of the film and tv community will just go back to red hat from whence we came.
      Raw power is raw power, the fastest iMacs geek bench 10k low than the 2010 Mac pro, some 22k lower than estimated on ivy bridge 16 core might attain.

  3. How about some pro software to go with ia mac pro like final cut pro? Just admit your wrong about. X. If apple does not want to lead we’ll have to move on. How about taking on business enterprise What is apple afraid of? What a joke. All the major players dropped Fcp for premiere avid. Vegas. So I have an iPad with silly apps. Students want to aspire to be the best with the best. Wtf. Just give me a big dividend like a good utility. I’m pissed. I fly the flag that apple is the best and right now it’s not for pros. Just “in”. So I wait a bit more. A bit. My friends hackintosh actually screams. For half the price.

      1. It is the future, I have no doubt. However, it does not satisfy the current needs of a professional video-production pipeline. In a few versions, it likely will, but for now, we have to use FCP, or switch to a new solution like Premier (which we are planning to do, as Premier has features FCP should have, and FCP 7 is starting to show it’s age with it’s 32 bit-ness and whatnot…

  4. and Apple Ignores them… Instead of just admitting easily they have a new mac pro coming out they just won’t say anything. idiots.

    * Make the Damn Mac Pro Easy to clean!

  5. I think the overall question is: “Will Apple continue to actually support the professional creative, or will the hardware and software reflect the new “consumer only” push?”

    We have seen a gradual decline in actual professional software and hardware, which is sad, but professionals don’t provide the most money to Apple.

    Just sad to see Apple drop it’s longest customers.

    1. “We have seen a gradual decline in actual professional software and hardware, which is sad, but professionals don’t provide the most money to Apple”

      Q1 2012 desktop sales (iMac, mini, Pro) brought in $1.94 billion. Assume only 10% of revenue was from Mac Pros, and that’s still 200 million, which equals 80,000 entry-level Pros with no upgrades. We know unit sales would be lower than this because more than a few went with the top-end one for $5000, or $6200 if they did a CPU upgrade (the RAM, HDD and other parts might be cheaper buying elsewhere).

      So, out of $46.3 billion revenue, and assuming $200 million was from Mac Pros, yes that’s less than 0.5% of total revenue.

      But that’s still $200M in revenue, something most tech companies would kill for. If a company with the financial resources of Apple continues or kills a successful product line based on percentage of overall revenue versus raw revenue, then it has been taken over by bean counters and MBAs.

      Sure, in the last 10 years Apple has had no problems killing successful product lines before (e.g. iPod mini), but almost always had a viable replacement for them.

      The Mac Pro does not currently have a viable replacement. And while the XServe didn’t either, it wasn’t successful in the rackmount server space, while the Mac Pro is in the desktop pro space.

  6. Apple doesn’t comment on unannounced products. That’s not going to change just because someone gripes and puts up a petition on a web site.

    -jcr

    1. True enough, but it shows Apple that people are still seriously enthusiastic about the Mac Pro, and this might influence a decision to proceed with development or to release a product they otherwise think is borderline worth-the-effort. I’m thinking maybe there’s one in the works and that a few pieces still need to fall into place, things under Intel’s control like beefier processors with ‘native’ USB3 (a nice addition given that USB3 has become cheap and common on external drives), etc.

  7. The headline say’s “‘We Want a New Mac Pro’ petition gathers steam” but all we got when we clicked on the story was a repeat of the petition, that was already published her on Thursday. What steam? This doesn’t say anything!
    What’s up with that MDN?

  8. For those saying Apple hasn’t come out and stated their intention, yes they have. You just haven’t accepted it. Cool, everyone can understand your frustration, but now you’re just acting like a creepy ex. Take a hint.

    For those of saying Apple must do something to fix your problem, no they don’t. You do, otherwise your problems are only going to get worse. I’m just saying, you could take that energy and find a solution by yourself. Over 600 days is a long time to wait for someone else to change.

    And for added clarity, Apple has always stated their intentions. They innovate, build and share great products that they would use and they hope you love them too. You don’t have to and it sucks if their focus isn’t yours, but Apple hasn’t changed.

    Now for the fun part. Apple wants to make devices irrelevant in the future and this will make more sense with the next Apple TV. It won’t matter what device you have, you’ll be able to work, play, and whatever else you want on any device. Mac, MacBook, iPad, iPhone, and iPod are the devices Apple will stick with for awhile. Your Mac Pro woes are just an innovative transition period, don’t take it personally.

  9. MDN, if you’re going to quibble over words in the petition by using “[sic],” such as “Macpro” and “OSX”, to show your superior editing skills, then at least be consistent and catch more significant errors. Um, “peak” behind the curtain?

  10. The Pros need really Pro computers…

    I’m a pro-sumer and I agree… even though I don’t need them, I think the mac Pro is a key product that MUST BE URGENTLY UPDATED!

    Personally my only petition is:

    No more glossy displays Macs and USB 3.0

    1. Macs will have USB 3.0 as soon as Intel comes out with Ivy Bridge.
      In the meantime, a USB 3 to Thunderbolt adapter would be awesome! And from what I understand, very doable.

      1. …quite doable, considering that it is already shipping. In any case, with an enclosure the size of the Mac Pro, and its high sticker price, there’s little reason why USB3 shouldn’t have been on its 2010 refresh, 670 days ago.

        -hh

  11. I am not a MacPro user but fully sympathise with the current concerns of the loyal folk who are and are desperate to acquire great processing power. For me an iMac is sufficient – or it would be if Thunderbold accessories were affordable and plentiful. Ashen will that day arrive?

    It seems to me Apple are mostly ignoring the Mac user base in favour of mass product lines like iPad and iPhone which is why Aperture, iDvd and Pages for example are mouldering in their own time warp.

    Apple really must address and answer the concerns of the MacPro lobby so they can plan their own business road maps accordingly.

  12. If I ask for Apple to keep on doing Mac Pros, it is because it is the ONLY MAc I need!
    I have no other one and don’t need anything UNDER a multi-processor… Some people really are into believing that only a “mainstream” of users exists… But, exempt for the Mac Pro, there is no reason for me to buy ANY Apple product!
    Apple has to react, and fast. Otherwise, it will be astonished of a sudden bloom of mackintoshes around the world!

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