Apple’s ‘new’ Mac Pro is a joke; a plain and simple failure

“I think the ‘new’ Mac Pro (‘trashcan Mac’) is a joke; and it’s not just because calling a, once again, forgotten and near abandoned 2013 model ‘new’ in late 2015 is the kind of air-quote irony loved by techno hipsters,” John Kheit writes for The Mac Observer.

“While its trashcan form factor may work well for some (perhaps, as a new Mac mini pro, or maybe Mac Pro mini), it’s inadequate for traditional Mac creatives/professionals,” Kheit writes. “For real pros, it’s a plain and simple failure.”

“In fact, a lot of professional Mac users are still clutching to their aluminum tower ‘classic’ Mac Pros (‘cMP’). The latest 2010 and (meaninglessly bumped) 2012 cMP models are particularly coveted in forums like Mac Rumors‘ Mac Pro forums and holding on to their values well if you look around eBay or Other World Computing,” Kheit writes. “And for good reason. Those machines are just better than the trashcan Mac.”

Apple's all-new Mac Pro
Apple’s “all-new” Mac Pro

Much more, including how “Apple Needs to Reimagine a New and Improved Mac Pro,” in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Mac Pro is revolutionary, but Apple could really stand to, you know, update the thing once and awhile. Not doing so makes it look like Apple regards professional Mac users as an afterthought.

Sometimes Apple, the world’s most profitable and most valuable company, still operates as if they only have five guys from NeXT working around the clock trying to do all the work on a shoestring budget. Can’t manage to have a compatible Remote app or Apple Music-capable Siri for the Apple TV launch, forcing most reviewers to harp on those two issues tarnishing the wonderful Siri Remote in the process. Can’t have enough Pencils and Keyboards for iPad Pro. Seriously? Can’t have any stock on hand for two months after the so-called the Apple Watch launch date. Can’t update their professional Mac for nearly two years and counting.

Why are these amateurish mistakes and lapses happening with startling regularity? You know, besides mismanagement? Or too much happening too quickly to ever manage to get a handle on things (which, by the way, actually falls under mismanagement, as well).

Oh, you say, but Apple is making tons of money! Why, yes, they certainly are!

Listen, let’s be honest, Steve Ballmer could’ve generated the same kind of money “running” Apple Inc. given the massive momentum Steve Jobs handed over at his death. Sometimes, in fact, it looks like Steve Ballmer is running Apple. Although, no, it doesn’t really, because even Ballmer would have updated the Mac Pro by now, made sure he had enough Apple Watches ready so as not to pretty much totally kill launch momentum, and also had enough Pencils and Keyboards on hand for the iPad Pro launch. Of course, Ballmer would have never had the handle on the big picture that Tim Cook has – our issues with launches under Cook have to do solely with launch supplies and software polish.

We’re coming up on two years now (this December 19th) since the Mac Pro debuted with no updates which, along with the rest of the string of snafus (going back to John Browett, Apple Maps, no iMacs for Christmas 2012, no iPad 2 units for launch, etc.), is what understandably prompts this sort of “joke” and “failure” talk and the feeling that Apple is a bit sloppy in recent years.

We hold Apple to a high standard and we expect the company to execute better than they have of late.

50,000,000 pixels: Apple’s Mac Pro powers six 4K displays (with video) – August 31, 2015
Apple may be prepping a Mac Pro refresh for early 2016 – August 25, 2015
What’s next for Mac Pro graphics cards? – August 13, 2014
First impressions: Apple’s new Mac Pro – June 20, 2014
Hardware.Info reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Revolutionary, Apple reinvents the workstation – June 17, 2014
Houston Chronicle reviews Apple Mac Pro: Unmatched by any Windows system – March 12, 2014
Review: Apple’s $3999 6-core Mac Pro is an impressive computer – February 26, 2014
Ars Technica pro reviews Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro: Powerful, but it isn’t always a clear upgrade – January 28, 2014
T3 Mac Pro review: Unboxing, hands-on, and first impressions – December 20, 2013
ITProPortal reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: One of the best premium desktops we’ve ever tested – January 14, 2014
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Stunning, astonishing, Editors’ Choice – December 27, 2013
The New York Times reviews Apple’s Mac Pro: Deeply futuristic; extremely, ridiculously fast and powerful – December 26, 2013
The Verge reviews Apple’s new Mac Pro: Unlike anything the PC industry’s ever seen – December 23, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple’s new Mac Pro: In a league of its own – December 23, 2013
The first 24 hours with Apple’s new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 (with video) – December 20, 2013
T3 Mac Pro review: Unboxing, hands-on, and first impressions – December 20, 2013
Apple’s powerful new Mac Pro a good value; far from the most expensive high-end Mac or high-end PCs – December 20, 2013
CNET hands on: Apple’s radically reimagined Mac Pro is a powerhouse performer – December 20, 2013


  1. I have bitched about the Trashcan as much as anyone here and think the Trashcan is a nice Home Theater PC- aka a Mac Mini Pro. It is however, in no way a replacement for the real Mac Pro series that preceded it.

    Some of US need lots of local storage and do not want a spaghetti bowl of cables, wall warts and boxes all over the damned place. Some of US would like to buy an off the rack card and be able to plug it in to our Mac. Some of US would like to buy a memory upgrade set and plug it in and be back running in 3 minutes. Some of US would like INTERNAL hot swappable Hard Drives. Some of US like to be able to open up our Macs and take some canned air to the inside. Some of US would like to buy a Graphics Card and plug the thing in and go.

    That was all flushed down the toilet with the Trashcan. I Think Phil said “Apple can’t innovate my ass”.

    Steve Jobs famously said some of want trucks and the Mac Pro was a Super Duty 4×4 of a truck. Some of us want a damn truck and need a truck and are tired of Apple’s clueless planners trying to force us all into Laptops and iMacs.

    I said upon seeing it, that the Trashcan was the sequel to the Cube. The only part I missed is that the Cube probably sold better.

  2. Wow, I must be missing something I love my MacPro its screams thru my simulations and drives a couple of 34 inch monitors with ease. I haven’t seen the need to upgrade and will consider a new MacPro if its a big leap in performance but no way this computer is a failure it perfect for me.

    1. The issue isn’t processor power. The issue is form factor.

      The old Mac Pro form factor allowed for a lot of internal expansion while the new one does not.

      I have the same complaint about the Retina MacBook Pros; you can’t upgrade the Solid State Drive(at a reasonable price), RAM and wireless card. In my 2011 MacBook Pro, I CAN upgrade the RAM, hard drive, and wireless card. I can even replace the optical drive with a hard drive. In a regular pre-2013 MacBook Pro, you could put in a 480-512 gigabyte Solid State Drive and a 2 terabyte hard drive. Now that’s expansion!

  3. I’m about to push the button on a powerful PC (blech!) Workstation since there’s no way Thunderbolt 2 matches current PCIe 3 16X slot speed nor the upgradability factor and versatility of a big box. I love Apple’s aesthetic with everything but professional machines. It’s starting to look as though in that aspect we part ways. Minimalist design before function doesn’t cut it for many Pro’s.

    1. I’m staging to go hold my nose and go to the Dark Side(TM) also.

      It is being driven by the systematic dismantling of the Apple EcoSystem – – – both the demise of Photo Management software (“photos” isn’t a joke – its an insult) and the trash can Mac Pro.

      And initial estimates are that I’ll save around $2000 per seat that I convert over to Windows…plus additional savings in labor from having a productivity Workflow that does not suck as bad.

      1. I share your pro pain. I never used any of Apple’s Photo software as I deemed it risky. It always seemed one false innocent move could have devastating impact. It’s like the idiot move to remove “Save As” so you now have to remember to Duplicate an image before processing in some apps or change the behavior in Terminal.

        Yep I think a PC Workstation costs are now cheaper and of course more versatile, once you get around the idea of having to use Winblows and assuming you aren’t using Apple software like FCP or Logic. I am getting into 4K production and then 3D, compositing, all the usual high end stuff that needs a great pro solution.

  4. Two points here the trashcan need to be regularly updated and expanded its not exactly like Apple is short of the cash to do so with even a dent in their profit making machine.

    However I am sick and tired of these various idiots going on about it being inadequate for graphics or creative professional. It depends on what creative pros you are talking about. Fact is long before the previous model bit the dust the majority of those ‘pros’ were and still are working on iMacs so the trashcan is more than enough for the majority of that group they refer to. Its only a subset of those who are deeply invoked in 3D, high end and heavy duty creative work who more than the trashcan can offer. They are important and they should be given what they want its vital to the perception of the Mac to keep them happy but please don’t lets imagine that they are even half let alone the majority of Mac creatives in the World, far from it.

  5. The Pro stuff they seem to do that way….release some great new update, then you don’t hear anything for a long time. Logic is great software, but it’s years in between updates. ProTools, Cubase, Digital Performer all get more updates than Logic does. It’s like the people who work on this stuff are only brought in every 3 years to do a 6 month project on it.

  6. Since the MacPro is small enough to fit in my small shoulder bag, I often take it over the border to Hong Kong to work with the bigger 34″ displays. The basic MacPro cost me the same in HK (no sales tax) than iMac in China.

    It would be nice if Apple made a new 5k display.

    I could not confirm this but I heard from Virtual Reality developer that they are running VR goggles (Oculus Rift type) from their MP that was somewhere under the display table.

  7. Earning my living as a graphic designer, fine artist, and writer, I have been using a MacPro “trash can” for a year. It works flawlessly and is amazingly fast compared to the old “large aluminum case” MacPro. I could not be happier with its performance.

    I have been designing on Apple devices since the Apple IIe. I never could get used to using Windows OS. It always seemed far too “clunky” and poorly designed. Apple OS always seemed to be a large leap ahead of Windows in their ongoing OS improvements. I am very happy Apple has continued to support the professional design community and remain hopeful they will continue their commitment.

    An update every three years or so is fine for a professional. Corporate upgrade cycles are generally three to five years. In my “day job” I work for a division of a fortune 500 biotech corporation. We recently purchased 10 new MacPros to replace the “old school” large aluminum case MacPros in our artwork and packaging department. All of the artists are thrilled with the solid performance and speed of the new units.

  8. The comments here really test my reluctance to post insults but I’ll try to maintain some decorum here.

    1) The new MacPro is an excellent machine for my video production company. The power of the 8-core is perfect for our editing and exporting needs. A 2009 MacPro still chugs away at times but it’s mostly a backup for when we have too much to compress at a time now.

    2) That 2009 MacPro is filled up with drives and PCI boards back from the time when we still were using videotape for recording and mastering. That’s over now, in video production everything is external hard drives now and the tower has absolutely no benefits over the tube in that regard.

    3) Apple has made it clear that specialty computer users are not their focus now since it’s clear that many of them were building systems based on Windows operating systems anyway. Apple exited the server market years ago. How many people out there need a higher level of speed then the MacPro Thunderbolt can offer? Think about the economics. What would Apple have to do to maintain their level of quality for a very limited number of sales? Sorry to say, you (and I if it came to that) are not worth it.

    1. An interesting read from WH.

      The reason why it is interesting is because on the one hand it recognizes that Apple is no longer interested in selling to specialty niches … but on the other hand, it points out how the nMP is a good product for the specialty niche of video production. Thus, we have a contradiction – – or, rather, we had a contradiction back in 2013, because we have minimal assurances that the current ‘nMP’ hardware is ever going to be updated.

      Second, I note the comment about the use of external drives. What this is really doing is recognizing that the volume of data that contemporary video systems generates does require this “sneaker-net” solution to get the data from the camera to the processing workstation .. it doesn’t, however, address the rest of the workflow elements, such as workflow responsiveness, data backups, data archiving, etc…but then again, this stuff is more down in the weeds and not appropriate for a generalized comment.

      Third, when it comes to performance (speed), that’s really an ROI financial decision for the workflow process owner to decide .. but there’s always going to be a segment who will want more (some of which are also willing to pay for it) – – but the real dilemma here is if Thunderbolt is going to survive long enough to merit commitment into it as an interface … particularly with yet another new port now released on the latest MacBook: the USB-C. Now heed carefully that it was Apple who very deliberatively fractured their own interface standards – – and unfortunately, I’m afraid that there’s zero evidence that this change was part of a larger, well thought out, corporate level transition plan: Apple’s history also includes too many ‘oddball’ hardware interfaces which don’t survive over time, and the big question here is that between USB-C and Thunderbolt, only one is going to survive … so just which horse do you want to be betting on?


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