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Tim Cook on Mac Desktop commitment Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 3rd January 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
Tim Cook on Mac Desktop commitment

For all of us not focused on walking on the scary, yet rewarding path of building our own desktop Macs, Apple CEO Tim Cook's internal interview answers on the topic of Mac Desktops and posted on an Apple employee message board should be interesting and possibly reassuring as well:

Quote:
"We had a big MacBook Pro launch in October and a powerful upgrade to the MacBook back in the spring. Are Mac desktops strategic for us?

The desktop is very strategic for us. It’s unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop — the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people.

The current generation iMac is the best desktop we have ever made and its beautiful Retina 5K display is the best desktop display in the world.

Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we’re committed to desktops. If there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that."
Source Techcrunch: Apple’s Tim Cook assures employees that it is committed to the Mac and that ‘great desktops’ are coming
Old 4th January 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
Then again he thinks the iMac is the "best desktop in the world".
Old 4th January 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
He said roadmap, not pipeline. Alabama is on my roadmap, but I'm sure as hell not driving there.

If you can't put a pcie card in whatever overpriced nonsense he's planning, I don't want it. Perhaps Apple will one day learn that if a computer will literally never move from under your desk, it doesn't matter how much it weighs. And needing a $500 thunderbolt chassis for your pcie cards (of which exactly zero current models support thunderbolt 3 on Mac), $1000 for a quiet hdd chassis, and perhaps thunderbolt 3 cards for your converters (also exactly zero supporting tb3)-- all that after shelling out $6k for a computer-- well, it feels like getting Tim Cooked in the Cookhole.

Someone build me a hackintosh.
Old 4th January 2017
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

He also told us that an iPad was enough of a computer for a lot of people (and it may well be if your needs are simple).
Old 4th January 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
latweek's Avatar
 

Old 4th January 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
Well, in the current situation I'll take whatever I can find to keep the faith in the Apple line of computers. I couldn't despise Windows 10 more, despite Microsoft's new machines.

Hackintosh it is for the studio and MBP for all other needs, which sometimes is a studio. If my DAW was available for Linux, I'd contemplate that.

macOS Sierra is great even if some people will whine with every major release for no good reason most of the time. I do think Apple should kick back to every other year releases for macOS and focus on compatibility, developers, openness, user education, security and fixing elusive bugs before developers and users even encounter them.
Old 4th January 2017
  #7
Still no mention of a new Mac Pro unfortunately... more iMac marketing...
Old 4th January 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
Here's a more bleak interpretation of the same Cook quote.

How Apple Alienated Mac Loyalists

Mark Gurman does get some points off due to his self-gratifying indulgent belief in his ability to forecast the Mac line. If you think you can predict what Apple will release I don't think you understand how Apple works. Or if I mean worked…
Old 4th January 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Here's a more bleak interpretation of the same Cook quote.

How Apple Alienated Mac Loyalists

Mark Gurman does get some points off due to his self-gratifying indulgent belief in his ability to forecast the Mac line. If you think you can predict what Apple will release I don't think you understand how Apple works. Or if I mean worked…
Not bleak. Realist.

Four options for the company: (1) say f'it to the high-end workstation business and handpick a company or two to build the high-end machines. Or divest it. (2) don't build the machines, but also don't let anyone else build them either, and prosecute any neck beard brave enough to build hacks for money. Alienate the entire creative class. Turn into a non-diversified cell phone company that's one galaxy note 7 away from total ruin. Have breakfast eaten by google. Wither and die. (3) build the damned things well and sell tons of them. Understand that while workstations are not a big line item on the overall balance sheet, they are vital for brand diversification, cache, and emerging technologies like 5k and vr, which need those teams of horses. (5) build some new machines, but still manage to alienate professionals. Make them underspecced but expensive. Make them non-expandable, necessitating a half-dozen expensive boxes so that you can still use what you already own and love. Constantly update the OS with vital things like eggplant emojis with more contour, and superfluous software you despise that can't delete, which sends a loud pop-up every
Time you pass gass. Update the hardware in maybe 5 years, but it will only have 15 of the newest and best kind of port, for which no peripherals exist. React to criticism with smug disdain.

Bets? I'm thinking option 5, possibly 2.
Old 4th January 2017
  #10
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Then again he thinks the iMac is the "best desktop in the world".
For me, it certainly is.
Old 4th January 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 808KickDrum View Post
Not bleak. Realist.
Bleak. If you're a pessimist it's realistic. I'm not.

I've been using Apple machines for too long to give up at this point. Also, moving to Linux is not something I'd like to do just because Apple can't build machines also for Professionals. They need to get their act together real soon.

I suggest you post sentiments like that to Apple Mac Pro feedback too. They need to hear how users think many, many times. I know for a fact that Apple listens even though they will never build machines to user specification. What needs to be explained is what we do with their machines (If they entice us) and that is potentially important for all their customers.

Last edited by Mikael B; 10th January 2017 at 10:30 AM..
Old 4th January 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Then again he thinks the iMac is the "best desktop in the world".
Yeah, but it is a kicking machine. Just needs an 8 and 12-core version and maybe a second video card for extra screens. I'd get it.
Old 4th January 2017
  #13
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norbury brook's Avatar
 

all iMacs are just laptops with bigger screens really. Nothing wrong with that but, I don't count them as desktop machines in the true sense.

if we use the car analogy , desktops are the trucks of the world, large powerful ,specific machines for a specific purpose. The iMac is a car.



MC
Old 4th January 2017
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Yeah, but it is a kicking machine. Just needs an 8 and 12-core version and maybe a second video card for extra screens. I'd get it.
Would you prefer the extra heat or the extra noise? Intel is hitting nanometer ceilings.
Old 4th January 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Would you prefer the extra heat or the extra noise? Intel is hitting nanometer ceilings.
I'm fine with thicker iMac and some great cooling, yes.
Old 4th January 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
all iMacs are just laptops with bigger screens really. Nothing wrong with that but, I don't count them as desktop machines in the true sense.

if we use the car analogy , desktops are the trucks of the world, large powerful ,specific machines for a specific purpose. The iMac is a car.

An 5k iMac of October 2015 is still 17% faster in Geekbench MC tests than the current MBP. MacBook Pros don't have 5k displays either. The iMac is a desktop unless you need more cores, more displays or whatever. But I understand how you mean.

I think the 2013 Mac Pro is a great concept. They should have kept updating it though. To not iterate is just stupid and couldn't have cost immensely much.

I think the main reason why we're seeing these problems is that Apple gave grown too fast. They have excelled at being the eternal startup. I think they need to split up and still share technology, but this mentality of Apple's does have to stay or they'll go bust. They also need to remember Pro users and the Mac community that quite frankly saved Apple. They could lose on every sale of Pro machines and it still would be worth it for the future.
Old 4th January 2017
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Would you prefer the extra heat or the extra noise? Intel is hitting nanometer ceilings.
They said that 15 years ago, then 10 years ago, ... we'll see what they come up with to go even further.
Old 4th January 2017
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
They could lose on every sale of Pro machines and it still would be worth it for the future.
There is no company on this planet who thinks like this. The closest analogy would be using it as a Formula 1 concept, but these boxes are outdated too fast to handle it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stardustmedia View Post
They said that 15 years ago, then 10 years ago, ... we'll see what they come up with to go even further.
It will improve the next few years but IMO Mikael's suggestion is a bit over the top for that. iMacs already run hot when doing pretty much nothing.
The current border for Intel would be 5nm, but that is only a precision border, not the actual manufacturing border.
Old 4th January 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
"The desktop is very strategic for us. It’s unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop — the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people.

The current generation iMac is the best desktop we have ever made and its beautiful Retina 5K display is the best desktop display in the world. "


-what an intriguing quote. Dude, don't worry about my 'largest' screen if I'm buying a desktop. It is not the most storage, nor the 'greatest' amount of i/o. It seems like this is his attempt to change the nomenclature of what we see a "Desktop" as and trying to fit iMac's into that category. I respect iMacs but it aint a desktop, call it a 'combo' a 'hybrid' or whatever, but an iPad aint a laptop, and a laptop aint a desktop.
Old 4th January 2017
  #20
Deleted User
Guest
Ask why did they kill the i7 quad Mini line? Commitment to margins or the desktop?
Old 4th January 2017
  #21
custom built pc > any mac, any day.

what does mac have thats exclusive to mac these days?

Final cut pro X? Logic?

I used to favor mac because of performance, everything seemed to run slightly smoother on mac. Especially multimedia. These days though, a pc running Windows 10 will run just as smooth
Old 4th January 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by kangking View Post
custom built pc > any mac, any day.

what does mac have thats exclusive to mac these days?

Final cut pro X? Logic?

I used to favor mac because of performance, everything seemed to run slightly smoother on mac. Especially multimedia. These days though, a pc running Windows 10 will run just as smooth
It's much more than software. For some, the entire experience is a preference.
With the way that things change these days, it's nice for me to come home to something familiar that's been with me for 2 decades.

I personally cannot stand when someone has a PC issue, and folks are with paragraphs of "oh this registry, that directory, this and that exe" I'm sure that's simple stuff, but I'd rather not add that information to my brain.
Old 4th January 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
While PCI may not be totally dead for audio it is on serious life support :-). Virtually no-one is making PCI audio interfaces and the amount of new PCI audio interfaces in 2016 is - I am not sure there were any...

Look at this page for an idea (number of Audio Interface products) -
Audio Interfaces | Sweetwater.com
Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces - 53
Firewire - 23
USB - 189
PCI - 19

What business person would strategize PCI slots for new computers?
Old 4th January 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 

While there are a minmum of PCI card devices being made today, businesses with investments in their current PCI cards expect the PCI slot to be carried on quite a bit longer. Remember you can still buy new motherboards with ISA slots so where there is a market and money, product will be made. There is no problem finding new motherboards with PCI slots nor will there be for at least another decade.

For audio interfaces, given a PCI card audio interface generally kicks the crap out of a USB interface for performance, I'd say it's still a no brainer to use them if you have them or can buy used cheap. I'm running three RME 9652 PCI cards in a PC with exterior converters for 72 channels I/O via their ADAT (for use with a large frame analog desk). I'm getting a RTL latency via loopback through the converters of just 2.1 ms at 32 samples / 24 bit - 48k sampling rate. Given the RME drivers and onboard FPGA chip I also get low latency at full load. These RME cards sell for around $300 used. Now lets look at what you are using and it's performance. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the PCI card audio interface even though it's long in the tooth. I run a Windows setup however it would not be hard to configure a dual boot Hackintosh out of it if I ever felt the need (I doubt I ever would as I don't use Mac only software and the software that runs both Mac and PC tends to run slightly better under a PC configuration).

As for the heat and noise issues brought up with future Macs, remember putting a computer into an adjacent non-audio space and using long cables (typically under $30) is the norm for pro studios (No fan noise in the audio spaces).

If Apple really wants to be in the pro audio market then they need a computer with at least 3 PCIe slots on it's motherboard. Hopefully they will also pick one of the "best for DAW rigs" Intel CPU's (it's not hard to figure them out given this forum) and have a large memory option. Don't hold your breath, at least you have other options to explore including pro DAW rig builders who hang out here for those who don't want to learn or get their hands dirty.
Old 4th January 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
There is no company on this planet who thinks like this. The closest analogy would be using it as a Formula 1 concept, but these boxes are outdated too fast to handle it.
Which is just another reason why Apple should split up Computers from the rest. The company is too big for the A-players they got now. They need more top engineers wanting to work for them. Last year Apple made several billions of profits (not just revenue) on their computer line. That was with the older machines, except the last month or so.

Also, you're wrong. Examples from the business history contain lots of products being more or less given away until it was possible to make a profit. I'm not really suggesting Apple should give away computers. I'm suggesting they should make computers for the computer market.
Old 4th January 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
The reason they are doing this is twofold: 1) Apple stopped making computers with Pcie slots; and 2) they have to keep coming up with new "latest and greatest" crap to stay in business.
Problem is, pcie is the best "interface" ever devised, and the modern alternatives are just second rate in terms of bandwidth (even tb3 has to share with video, etc) and noise. And it's not just audio - pcie ssd's and graphics cards are superior. In the case of ssd' the difference is vast.
Sorry, I'd rather have one box to rule them all, rather than a tangle of interlocking hubs, humming chassis, drive bays, expensive cables, and so on.
My Mac Pro early 2008 is a marvel of industrial design. I'm mildly in awe every time I open the case. The build quality puts my audio outboard to shame. Why would they pull the plug on something so exquisitely suited to its purpose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPower View Post
While PCI may not be totally dead for audio it is on serious life support :-). Virtually no-one is making PCI audio interfaces and the amount of new PCI audio interfaces in 2016 is - I am not sure there were any...

Look at this page for an idea (number of Audio Interface products) -
Audio Interfaces | Sweetwater.com
Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces - 53
Firewire - 23
USB - 189
PCI - 19

What business person would strategize PCI slots for new computers?
Old 4th January 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
I totally agree that everything an Audio person needs for high track count, low latency and modularity has been available for almost 10 years now. We can use those tools forever. But going forward - the Thunderbolt world (of Macs) can handle just about any audio task I can imagine - all at low latency (1.1ms Native and 0.5ms HDX (no plugins)). So that is where Apple is going because (IMO) the 0.01% of Mac users that really need PCIe either buy a chassis (like me) or go to Windows.
Old 4th January 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
Well, society needs people who are optimistic despite all evidence pointing to the contrary. I learned that watching Hacksaw Ridge.

In any case, I typed a missive to Apple's PR department as you suggested. Everyone who reads this should do the same. They need to know a mass pro audio exodus is afoot.

Whether they give a flying Tim Cook is a separate issue.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Bleak. If you're a pessimist it's realistic. I'm not.

I've been using Apple machines for too long to give up at this point. Also, moving to Linux is not something I'd like to do just because Apple can't build machines also for Professionals. They need to get their act together real soon.

I suggest you post sentiments like that to Apple Mac Pro feedback too. They need to hear how users think many, many times. I know for a fact that Apple listens even thought they will never build machines to user specification. What needs to be explained is what we do with their machines (If they entice us) and that is potentially important for all their customers.
Old 4th January 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 

I use whatever tools work at the time to get the job done. Apple can choose to still be part of the equation or not.

I honestly don't know how some of you feel fine with relying on ONE company to hold your operation together. Putting all your computing eggs in an Apple basket? You don't work with any DAW but pro tools? That's asking to be left behind on a bad day..
Old 4th January 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claborn View Post
I use whatever tools work at the time to get the job done. Apple can choose to still be part of the equation or not.

I honestly don't know how some of you feel fine with relying on ONE company to hold your operation together. Putting all your computing eggs in an Apple basket? You don't work with any DAW but pro tools? That's asking to be left behind on a bad day..
Been working for me since 1985, not concerned.
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