Jeff Johnson: Mac Pro historical perspective

I would argue that the Mac Pro as we software developers knew it was never given a successor after the "trash can". The Mac Pro was discontinued and replaced with a different computer of the same name that was no longer for its largest pro audience. I don't know many individual software developers now who can afford a new Mac Pro. I certainly can't.


I don't understand why we have to make these painful tradeoffs in 2022 when they weren't necessary in 2012. Ten years ago we had relatively affordable, conveniently upgradable Mac Pro models. Since then we gained a faster CPU, but otherwise we've lost everything else great about the Mac Pro.

The Mac is a much bigger platform now than it was 10 to 20 years ago. There is room for both option A: a Mac Pro that costs insane amounts of money, is incredibly overbuilt and is just what the doctor ordered when being able to top out the configuration is more important than being sensible, in the way that might make sense (ie disappear into the budgetary static) on a movie set where it costs more to have people stand around for ten minutes; and option B: a Mac Pro that has a great processor and modularity in the rest-of-the-world sense of the word, in that you can make it what you need it to be, without Thunderbolt enclosures or docks, but that also does not require you to order the right amount of everything the first time or take out a mortgage.

Right now, despite the opportunity to do both, Apple just does option A, and that used to be a positive development, because the previous "trash can Mac Pro", option C, was even worse. Mac Studio is a better implementation of option C, so it remains to be seen whether WWDC will bring a better implementation of option A or the return of option B, or even both. A sufficiently layered or wide-ranging line-up could include both, although the existence of option B would likely embarrass the Mac Studio.

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