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February 21, 2020

Mac Pro Thoughts

tl;dr - The new Mac Pro is not for me

I know I’m a niche market. I prefer desktops. I would rather avoid all-in-ones. I prefer functionality and capability over aesthetics.

The newly unveiled Mac Pro (and new Pro Display) has been made for (or more accurately — priced at) a very narrow segment of businesses that have high end business needs that are traditionally solved by spending $50k on computer equipment.

The individual who seeks a top-of-the-line computing experience can no longer afford it.

Apple’s response to that (currently) is “Buy an iMac Pro” — But here’s the thing: an all-in-one computer is substantially less useful to me not to mention being substantially less cost effective. I would much rather spend more than a $1k on a display that I could then keep even as the computer needs to be replaced. I can justify spending more because I know I can keep it longer. I am also a multi-computer user — I connect three computers through a single monitor. That just isn’t possible with an iMac.

What did I do instead?

With a firmware update, my 2010 MacPro was gifted the ability to boot off of an NVMe drive which gives me modern iMac level disk throughput. I also needed a GPU that was capable of Metal (sigh thanks Apple). Last but not least, I needed a CPU upgrade that would get me off the base 4-core model so I could use Apple’s virtualize toolkit (for Docker). With about $900 dollars worth of upgrades, I was able to breath new life into my MacPro that actually puts it in the ballpark of Apple’s current lineup.

Never been happier.

Let’s see an all-in-one do that.