GearPop Blog

My Opinions on the New Mac Pro

I’ve been needing a new computer for some time now, seeing as how my desktop is a 2.4 ghz Core 2 Duo iMac from 2008 and how my laptop is a 2.2 ghz i7 Macbook Pro from 2011. So when I found out at WWDC that they were releasing a new Mac Pro I was excited, until I found out a few minutes later that it is so closed off, which at that point left me feeling a little meh about the whole thing. But that was back then and ever since the October 22nd Apple event I’ve been excited for this machine. I was even ready the day of the event to buy this machine (even knowing I would be dropping at least $5000 USD for it)! Now though it seems we will be having to wait until December to get to used the machine (which even though it is a decent amount of time to wait, I am glad that they are taking their time with this unlike some companies that tend to just release their product as soon as they can)

Since they first announced it though I had a few concerns about the machine, coming from both a hardware side and a software side. One of my main concerns were answered at the most recent Apple keynote, which was the pricing. So far, they announced how much two of the models will cost (a 4 core model running dual AMD FirePro D300, 12 GB of ram and a 256 GB SSD for $3000 USD and a 6 core model running dual AMD FirePro D500, 16 GB of ram and a 256 GB SSD for $4000 USD).It was nice to see them tell us the price, though they did leave out on the information I am most interested in, the price for upgrades. Since my plan for this computer is to get either an 8 or a 12 core processor with the dual AMD FirePro D500, 32 GB of ram and most likely a 1 TB SSD (Since for some reason Apple didn’t put in 2 spots for SSDs, or if they did no images have shown it off yet for some strange reason.)

As soon as they announced the SSD size (or the little that we know about it right now), I realized that in order for me to use this as a serious machine I am going to have to use some work arounds by doing things such as storing my iTunes library, all my uncompressed images from my Canon T3i, my downloads folder and all of my videos on an external hard drive. That would leave me using the internal storage for things such as temporarily storing projects, keeping all my programs on there (besides maybe my Steam library that I could throw onto an external hard drive), and a few important files that I have to keep around.

I can see why Apple would do this, mostly so they can get people to invest in iTunes Match and iCloud, but at the same time there are people that don’t use those. Take me for example, I don’t use iTunes match because I like my music at the highest possible rate, since I know iTunes Match limits it to 256kbps. Plus then it seems like a nuisance for me to have to play all my music via the cloud on the go, especially with my 3GB Data plan from AT&T.

iCloud is something I somewhat use to store my stuff (mostly my contacts and calendar events), but even then they don’t allow you to store everything on there to my knowledge. It seems weird in a way since that would be the perfect way to rival companies like Dropbox and Google Drive, but for some reason they just don’t try to do that.

Another concern of mine is how is this thing going to work into my lifestyle of being a game designer/director, a musician, and a video editor. I have to say what they showed off seems like it will be like a really good machine for all 3, minus my SSD gripe. I have no fear that this will have any hiccups running the software that I have to use in my day to day life (such as Apple Xcode, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk Maya, Apple Logic Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe After Effects CS6, and sometimes Parallels running Windows 8 so I can see all Windows only files). The dual GPU will actually be nice to give my programs some breathing room since thats something I never really have had the luxury of before.

Even with me liking this breathing room though, I wonder sometimes if I am getting too powerful of a computer, but then I start to remember all the problems I had at times running larger Photoshop images and having too many tracks going at the same time in Logic Pro. At the end of things, thats what made me justify the specs I am getting.

One other thing I like to do sometimes on my Macbook Pro is game, so I will be throwing Parallels on this computer with Windows 8 so I can run some games. I know everyone says if you want to game to get a gaming PC, but for me I play all my graphically intensive games on my consoles and just casually run some games via Parallels (mostly Phantasy Star Online 2, The Sims 2, and a few more games). With the specs I can see with this Mac Pro (even with it having professional graphics cards instead of consumer graphics cards), I must say that I don’t see this machine having any problem playing the games I want it to play.

Needless to say I am excited about this and it should really improve my skills being able to work on something like the new Mac Pro instead of having to try to limit myself to my current macs speed (and for my MacBook Pro it’s overheating problem). Expect a text review and some videos (including an unboxing, first impressions, overview, how Parallels 9 runs on the machine, benchmarking the machine, maybe some tutorials on how to get the most out of the machine too).

So now you all know my feelings and I just want to thank you all for reading me ramble on about my opinions of something. Expect my next blog to go up next week sometime (a review of Pokemon X and Y), unless something comes up that I really want to blog about and/or give my opinions on.

About the Author Zach Johnson

Co-founder, lead director and game designer at the indie game studio known as Remerance games. I try to always make reviews by merging and finding a nice harmony between a designer and personal point of view. Some of my favorite types of games include JRPGs, rhythm games and obscure Japanese games. Expect me to review old and new games.

Co-founder, lead director and game designer at the indie game studio known as Remerance games. I try to always make reviews by merging and finding a nice harmony between a designer and personal point of view. Some of my favorite types of games include JRPGs, rhythm games and obscure Japanese games. Expect me to review old and new games.


  • Zach Woodill

    October 28, 2013, 9:07 am

    Great post, I would check out unboxtherapy’s video on youtube. It’s called $25 000 mac pro. He goes over all the pricing from the research he has done and it’s all there on his video.

  • Zach Johnson

    November 1, 2013, 6:15 pm

    I actually did get to see that video, it’s a very well put together video that really does point out just how much this machine, and as he said that people will be running that set up, and probably a more expensive one that that too even. Though that is only once you throw in some professional speakers, AppleCare, and a keyboard and mouse (which I am still surprised it doesn’t come with)

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