Laggard, trailing Apple needs to catch up HP’s workstation designs

“I owned an aluminum Mac Pro for years and loved it until newer systems surpassed its performance using much less power and space. It was the Pro’s upgradeability that kept me in the fold. I upgraded graphics cards, swapped in larger disks and later, an SSD, better optical drives, more RAM, USB 3.0, eSATA, specialized video interfaces, and RAIDed several of the internal drives for video performance,” Robin Harris writes for ZDNet. “Despite all that DIY hacking, and fully loaded with disks and PCIe cards, the Mac Pro remained a rock solid system that ran for months without rebooting. It was a true workstation.”

“Apple’s justly celebrated design team doesn’t always hit home runs,” Harris writes. “The one vendor who’s been doing modular and upgradeable right is HP with their Z series workstations, which include towers, all-in-ones, and laptops. With them HP is specifically targeting pro Mac users. Maybe Apple noticed!”

“Unlike Apple’s machines, all of the Z-series products are easily upgradeable, offering easy access to internals and tool less component removal,” Harris writes. “Industrial design is part art and part engineering. Sometimes Apple goes too hard on the art and loses track of the engineering – and the market. With the diminutive Z2 Mini G3, HP has managed to deliver workstation-class performance in a mini-PC form factor. But what’s more surprising is that senior execs forgot what Apple used to know about the pro market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple not leading in professional computing. Not by a long shot.

What you see at Apple today in terms of professional Macs is what hubris, laziness, and, frankly, mismanagement look like.

Let’s hope Apple’s brass has now awoken from their years-long stupor — coffee table books, self-aggrandizing headquarters, Christmas trees (!)* and get back to doing some real work.

*All of which add up to time that could have and obviously should have been spent building a Mac Pro that Mac professionals actually want.

Why Apple’s promise of a new ‘modular’ Mac Pro matters so much – April 6, 2017
Apple’s cheese grater Mac Pro was flexible, expandable, and powerful – imagine that – April 6, 2017
More about Apple’s Mac Pro – April 6, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Who has taken over at Apple? – April 5, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
Why Apple’s new Mac Pro might never arrive – March 10, 2017
Dare we hold out hope for the Mac Pro? – March 1, 2017
Apple CEO Cook pledges support to pro users, says ‘we don’t like politics’ at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting – February 28, 2017
Yes, I just bought a ‘new’ Mac Pro (released on December 19, 2013 and never updated) – January 4, 2017
Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
No, Apple, do not simplify, get better – December 23, 2016
Rare video shows Steve Jobs warning Apple to focus less on profits and more on great products – December 23, 2016
Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’ – December 20, 2016
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Rush Limbaugh: Is Apple losing their edge? – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


  1. but Apple does lead in thinness of phones and fashionable colors and trendy hip attitudes about deviant sexual practices. So they got that going for them, which is something.

      1. Rule of thumb: when somebody like Kent, or like many GOP and congressmen senators in recent history, gets all over-the-top hateful of gay folks, you know it’s not just a disdain for a different lifestyle. These are people who were raised to believe that homosexuality is a crime against God Almighty, punishable by eternal Hell, and they are really pissed that they have had to suppress their latent ass love for years. And they are jealous that a new generation of gay teens is growing up in a world where nobody seriously believes that you go to Hell for having been endowed by the Creator with a different flavor of love. Overt homophobes like Kent just need to come out and get a little man booty.

        Kent will get all whiny and bitchy and deny it but y’all know I’m right.

  2. Apple has intentionally moved in the opposite direction, soldering memory, glueing screens, and pretty much giving the middle finger to its customers who want to self upgrade to maintain their investment as current as they desire. I have no expectations that will change. As someone who builds PCs when necessary and internally upgrades iMacs despite the roadblocks – I’m totally pessimistic we will see an ‘open’ Mac anything…

  3. Nah, Apple’s too busy out-clevering itself designing in a vacuum the next unusable Mac Pro doorstop and continued free fall from pro user’s grace and exasperation.

    Stop over-thinking this Apple! Pro users are not complacent simple-minded consumers willing to suck up any misbegotten trifle thrown our way – they’re your toughest and most demanding customers expecting pro solutions, not consumer ones. It seems too you just want to do something “different” in order to justify a huge Apple tax. And another thing why wasn’t this latest admission and Mac Pro design undertaking done last year? What were you planning to do otherwise this year? Seems to me you were planning to shitcan the Mac Pro until someone lit the fire of reality under your sorry, unfathomably neglectful asses. I don’t think you can ever be truly forgiven for that nor fully trusted to act in our interests again. Just who the hell is minding the store??

    1. It’s disgusting when you realize how much contempt Apple has apparently for developers, scientists and pro users livelihoods by mucking up MP offerings.

      How they can play with design fire instead of bullding simple desirable and upgradeable systems heavy duty users want and PC/Windows users enjoy. It’s a no-brainer and special designs aren’t necessary.

      1. Because the reason why PC users enjoy them is because Apple’s been pushing people that desire those sorts of things off its platform for years. 🙂

        Whatever they release as “Pro” you can bet will align to what someone coming from an iPod touch… to an iPad… to an iPad Pro… to an iMac would consider their next step. Because, now that they’ve gotten rid of everyone who’s still looking for a “PowerPC tower but cooler”, they are ready to tap into that huge market of current iOS users.

  4. OK, so change to HP/Conservative Politics Daily News to more accurately express where you’re all at and stop yer whining. Tired of the non-stop Apple hate, bashing, and Tim Cook homophobia. This page is becoming a depressing and aggravating exercise in masochism. I used to get this from the PC fanboys at work when I was the lone Mac Tech and Apple lover.

    1. Truth hurts, huh?

      And, by accusing “homophobia” where none is evident whatsoever, you dilute the term, just as those who scream “racist” at every turn without evidence do to that word.

      The facts bear it out: Tim Cook is a caretaker CEO and he’s not even very good at taking care of Apple’s core businesses.

      Just because you don’t like hearing the truth doesn’t make it cease to exist.

      1. Anyone who expected any different outcome clearly doesn’t understand American political discourse.

        The balance in the SCOTUS is now exactly as it was when marriage equality became the law of the land, and when Obamacare was deemed constitutional. And that was when Scalia was on the court. While Gorsuch may well have a conservative mindset, there will never be another Scalia.

        Just saying.

      2. Stolen seat by the party of heads I win, tails you lose.

        Just remember, the worm will turn and the RepubliKKKans will be the party out of power. I’m guessing that will not be a very long way off.

  5. Correct me if I am wrong, it’s been a long time and I only owned one xserve. But I think I remember it being tool-less for opening up and upgrading. I remember the spring loaded thumb screws that wouldn’t come all the way out and thinking how cool that was.

    1. thats always been pretty standard for rack mounted servers.. apples wasn’t anything special.. it just ran osx thats all.

      and looked sexy
      thats the most important part.

  6. We’ve been told that the next generation Mac Pro won’t ship this year.

    First, that’s just asinine. There really is no excuse for Apple to not have a Mac Pro design in the works for the past two plus years. Did they layoff or reassign 100% of the Mac Pro hardware team? I doubt it, but the statement that there won’t be a new Mac Pro until 2018 AT THE EARLIEST implies they did.

    Second, Tim Cook himself needs to say to the Mac Pro team that they need to ship a truly state-of-the-art Mac Pro in the first half of 2018 (and ship in in QUANTITY) or heads will roll. He and all of the VPs need to say there won’t be any second chances for members of the Mac Pro team (and that includes the VP over the Macs). They either perform or they’re history. Apple needs to give them all the resources they need to get the job done then demand (not ask) they get the job done!

    And, by state-of-the-art I don’t mean the prior generation PCIe bus, i.e., a Mac Pro running PCIe 3.0 when 4.0 is already out; I don’t mean prior generation CPUs or GPUs; I don’t mean support for UHD or Digital Cinema 4K at 30 Hz but support for Digital Cinema 8K at 60 Hz or higher; I don’t mean USB 3.0 when 3.1 (aka USB 3.1 Gen 2) is already out; I don’t mean BlueTooth 4.0 when 4.2 is already out; I don’t mean gigabit Ethernet when 10 gigabit Ethernet has been shipping for years; I don’t mean 802.11ac 2×2 when 802.11ac 4×4 (and likely 8×8 by 2018) is available and 802.11ad is available. The list goes on and on. Apple needs to ship a truly state of the art machine or have heads roll.

    Finally, Apple needs to off a machine that I can continually upgrade for 3-5 years. Yes, if Apple comes out with more enhanced machines every year I will buy those more enhanced machines every time I buy a new machine for the fleet. However, I don’t want to leave the old machines in the dust either. I want to keep the various segments of the entire fleet up to date if and when I need to do so without *always* having to buy a new machine, i.e., if a specific machine just needs larger, faster storage I need to be able to upgrade that part of the machine and not have to buy a new machine to get just that specific part upgraded.

    1. This entire post is why I’ve been helping Pro’s to move away from the Mac. They used to be very passionate… to the point of altering their emotions, about every little thing Apple did. Since moving to another platform, yeah, there was a rough transition, BUT now they could not care less what Apple does.

      For over a year, they’ve been on the cutting edge of technology (if that’s their desire) and able to modify their system as THEY see fit.

      For everyone holding out hope for next year, think about the fact that the current MacPro is “modular” if you consider Thunderbolt. The one thing you can count on is whatever they do, it will not match the “classic” desktop view of what a workstation is…. that’s not what Apple does. And if that’s what you’re waiting for, you can wait and be disappointed or just start moving now and then laugh at whatever they consider passes as “Pro”.

      There’s a non-zero chance that it MIGHT not even run Windows….

    2. FYI – PCIe 4.0 is only at Draft 0.7. There will be another draft before long (0.9) with final release of the spec probably mid-year. So one can start building HW today that complies with the current draft, but may or may not work with the finalized PCIe 4.0 spec.

  7. Such sick bombastic whining! So fuck off already and go enjoy all those other wonderful products from those wonderful companies.
    THEY ARE JUST TOOLS. If you think you can get better tools elsewhere, just go buy them. To stay here constantly puking your negativity overy YEARS is just some kind of illness.

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