Browsing articles tagged with " Mac Pro"

Power to the people and an ROI to be happy with…

Aug 19, 2014
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Over the years Apple have offered us varying desktop units providing us the horse-power for high intensity creatives that spend their days in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Since the release of the first iMac, Apple has split its models between pro and consumer users.

The ‘then’

End of 2009 saw Apple release the first 27″ 2.6Ghz i5 iMac at less than half the price of the then Mac Pro 2.26Ghz quad core. Whilst a lower spec than the Mac Pro at that time, the new 27″ performed well for under the then Creative Suite version 4 (remember those days!). Since then both the iMac and Mac Pro and our creative suite tools continued to advance.

What can we report is that over this time the actual return on investment (ROI) from our customers investment in either iMac or Mac Pro hardware for their studio, has performed equally.
• Those that invested in the Mac Pro higher performing CPU generally saw a 5-7 year ROI, with the Mac Pro continuing to perform as the Creative Suite tools and operating systems advanced
• The iMacs generally reached a 3 year ROI before hitting a performance wall with the advancing Adobe software tools and the Apple OS.

The ‘now’

With the release of Creative Cloud for teams (CCT), and the continuing ‘free’ upgrades we now receive as part of our CCT subscription, we are already seeing even greater performance requirements of our creative Apple Macs – a need for high performing graphics cards, multi-core CPUs and RAM is escalating at a rapid rate. So how does this effect the ROI we receive from our new studio Mac hardware?

Unfortunately, the current 2014 27″ iMac performance is only a little further on from that of the 2012 model. Conversely, the release of the new Mac Pro has seen performance gains leap ahead significantly from its predecessor, and significantly greater than the current iMac. So, with our creative tools now requiring greater performing hardware the ROI we receive will vary significantly.

Today’s iMac will debatably manage under the current Adobe Creative Cloud version (we are already close to it’s limitations). Sure, we can increase our RAM to 32GB, but the graphics cards and CPUs can not be upgraded. With the ongoing releases under CCT subscription, the performance of the iMac will continue to dwindle and will unlikely provide us the 3 year ROI once experienced when running Adobe CS versions 4, 5 or 6. The new Mac Pro however has more than enough scope to deliver the same 5-7 year ROI experienced from its predecessor, assuming the hardware continues to live on during this time.

The ‘crystal ball’

In short, a 27″ 3.4Ghz iMac with 16GB RAM will start its life on the studio desk already maxed out under the new Adobe Creative Cloud. If we’re lucky we may achieve a 12-18 month ROI at best before the dwindling performance will see it heading for the window. At a cost of approx $2,800 this would equate to around $1,800-$2,800 per annum.

In comparison the new Mac Pro combined with the new Apple Thunderbolt display costs approx $6,100 and with a 5-7 year ROI equates to around $900-$1,200 per annum and during this time will be providing creatives significantly more power to explore and create using the new features of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Thats twice the ROI when compared with the iMac.

Mac Pro Resurrection 2013

Jul 9, 2013
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At the WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year, Apple gave a us a sneak peek of the next generation Mac Pro to replace the sorely outdated version we currently have. We were treated to a presentation on the new internals of the machine and its stunning redesign. Rather than the huge aluminium cased computer – the new Mac Pro will be a small cylinder not much bigger than your kitchen jug. Inside that small form factor is an absolute powerhouse – an order of magnitude quicker than the most powerful iMacs we use today. The high end production Mac is on its way back.

While iMacs give us a great all-in-one solution today, into the future as software gives us more capabilities we will have many users in a design studio who’ll require more performance and expandability. Whilst the final specifications of the new Mac Pro are not yet set in concrete, what we’ve been told thus far is very impressive.


New operating systems

WWDC also gave us insight into the next generation of operating systems. OSX 10.9 “Mavericks” is an incremental improvement over 10.8 Mountain Lion which really focuses on getting the multi-screen experience right (finally) with a whole host of improvements and technology for software developers to deliver us some great software products.

iOS 7 is a redesign of the iOS operating system for Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and AppleTV. This has had the most work done to it and steps up the game in the world of mobile operating systems. iOS 6 was a workable release, but didn’t offer anything too groundbreaking to users of iOS 5. There’s been much talk about iOS 7 in forums and twitter but as always, judging a beta version of an operating system is a bit premature. We expect to see these two out by October this year.

MacBook Air

What was on offer and out now is a revision of the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air will be remembered as one of the great Mac laptops. It changed the expectation of what a highly portable laptop should be, and thankfully, killed the netbook. This revision gives us a new generation processor from intel which is even more energy efficient than before – while still being faster. Battery life for the 13″ MacBook Air is quoted by Apple as lasting up to 12 hours on a single charge. Independent testing has found this to be incorrect – they are getting 13 to 14 hours! An entire day without recharging. Nice. Other items improved include faster networking, faster SSDs and faster graphics.

The MacBook Air is available now and comes in a 11″ or 13″ screen with multiple storage options. Talk to your DA account manager for more information about how this could work in your business.


Apple introduce new goodies

Jul 28, 2010
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Apple has given its Mac Pro line a significant refresh today. Processors have been upgraded, Intel’s “Westmere” is available in two 2.4GHz Quad-Core, or two 2.66GHz 6-Core configurations. The video card in the Mac Pro now comes with 1GB of GDDR5 memory with 2 Mini DisplayPort outputs and one dual-link DVI output.

Check out the Mac Pro here

The new video card will allow you to use two of Apple’s new 27″ LED Cinema Displays on your Mac Pro. The new Cinema Display is very similar to the existing 24″ LED Cinema Display. It does have upgraded speakers and a longer video cable though. It is expected that the 27″ display with replace existing Apple’s 24″ and much older 30″ displays.

Check out the 27″ LED Cinema Display here

The iMac has also been given a refresh, Intel’s dual-core i3 and i5 processors are put to good use with quad-core i5 or i7 available on the higher end iMac. The high end iMac also gets the option of a solid state drive as either a primary or secondary drive.

Check out the updated iMac here

Apple also introduced the Magic TrackPad, a wireless trackpad that resembles a small Wacom but allows you to use multitouch gestures like you can on Apple’s mobile devices. You can pinch, scroll, swipe and rotate on the Magic TrackPad in the same way you can with your Apple laptop. The Magic TrackPad is being marketed as a companion to the mouse, it looks like it will be a while before the mouse gets relegated to history.

Check out the Magic TrackPad here