Apple Dropped the Ball on its Flagship System

Apple Dropped the Ball on its Flagship System

First a little history. If you want the absolute best desktop computing system for creating video, graphics, audio, or just about anything else, then Apple’s Mac Pro is the obvious choice. Power, stability, resiliency, and OS X / MacOS are at your fingertips according to Steve Jobs and most people that have ever owned a Mac. No more Windows Blue Screens of Death, malware epidemics, ransomware, or hassles with drivers and constant security updates.

The PowerMac and later the Mac Pro (when Apple switched from custom RISC to commodity Intel x86 chips) has been the top of the line for all Apple computing products. However, since 2013, Apple has dropped the ball (to put it lightly) on its flagship systems, focusing instead upon new toys for its more lucrative consumer iPad and iPhone product lineup under Tim Cook.

The consumer focus boosted Apple profits for a while. However, huge price hikes in the iPhone lineup since the iPhone X has caused a consumer backlash and disappointing 2018 and 2019 sales. Most importantly the consumer focus has damaged Apple’s reputation with its most loyal customers - professional photographers, videographers, graphic artists, designers, architects, etc. who rely upon the Mac Pro for their livelihoods.

Yes, in early 2019 when this story was last updated you can still spend over $7,000 with Apple for a Mac Pro, but you can only buy 2013-era tech for your money. That means the new Mac Pro that you purchase today is at least 6 years old even if it hasn’t ever been powered on before. In the tech industry, 6 years is like a century in terms of development advances.

Apple’s reluctance, to upkeep its top Mac Pro systems has been the subject of literally tens of thousands of news posts, blogs and articles since 2012 when it retired its Mac Pro 'cheese grater' tower in favor of the ‘trashcan’ Mac Pro – a very forward thinking but proprietary system of laptop-sized parts assembled inside a circular party-sized beer keg. Sure, it’s a great system but its highly proprietary and even the most hard-core of system upgraders would have a hard time bringing the trashcan into the modern world – especially without dropping a small fortune in expensive custom parts.

Most importantly the 2013 'trashcan' had some critical thermal design limitations which makes it impossible to install modern GPUs and has also caused some major reliability issues due to overheating inside the party keg - even with the standard equipment. Recalls on poorly manufactured graphics cards and a the need to replace the very expensive motherboard periodically will relegate this design to the trashcan of history.

The 2013 Mac Pro 'trashcan' was a statement all in itself, but at 6 years of age the Mac Pro is woefully out of date and overpriced. If you want the best Apple computing power, then you are going to have to think outside of the box and that involves some upgrading of an an older but better Apple Mac Pro.