To be fair, that title is something of a play on words, but there is enough truth in it to give consideration to this basic fact. An old Mac Pro, which you can’t get from Apple, is faster than Macs for pros you can get from Apple.
Wait. What? How is that possible? Don’t Macs get faster every year or two? How can a Mac that hasn’t even been manufactured for about five years be faster than today’s newest Macs. Basically, that’s the case for two reasons. The first is simple. Intel has problems putting out faster chips on any kind of a dependable schedule.
Oh, and Apple made a big mistake with the new generation Mac Pro.
Lies And Benchmarks
The wonderful folks at Bare Feats— the Apple device lovers who love to test devices– have been busy recently; testing various Apple products to see which ones have what kind of power under which kind of circumstances.
For example, just last week Bare Feats ran a number of benchmark tests that show Apple’s new iPad Pro models to be as powerful as the new MacBook Pro models. Uh oh Intel. While Intel seems to be slowing down with CPU development and performance increases have become, well, incremental, the Apple designed CPUs in iPad and iPhone are now distinct performance rivals.
Alright, back to the Mac Pro.
Bare Feats again ran some benchmarks against an old Mac Pro, circa 2010 (yes, about seven years old), a new iMac with a 5k Retina display and the latest CPUs, and the last generation Mac Pro, a mid-range model from 2013.
A fully loaded aluminum 2010 Mac Pro with dual AMD Radeon GPUs inside, and a 12-core Intel Xeon, performed so well you’d think it was made last week. It also shows that Apple hasn’t done much for Mac pro users in seven years.
Shame, Apple. Shame.
Alright, benchmarks are like lies, damned lies, and statistics as they don’t tell the whole story. iMacs and new Mac Pro models use far less power. The new Mac Pro, circa 2017 wasn’t in the mix, but benchmarks are likely similar. The tests also point out that the fully equipped iMac– with quad core i7 CPUs inside, is a pretty decent machine. Tests also show that the aluminum canister Mac Pro has some benefits to those Mac users who couldn’t find an old cheese grater Mac Pro from 2013 and beyond.
Bare Feats benchmark tests also point out that what we do with our Macs matters. You might like the horsepower and bragging rights, but a fully tricked out Mac Pro from 2017 won’t browse faster or handle email better or do anything in Microsoft Office better than a $999 MacBook Air. If you need the horsepower in the applications you use most, it’s there. But these benchmarks also point out that Intel’s highly touted Xeon CPU architecture, though it advances every year or two, hasn’t advanced all that much in recent years. At least, in benchmarks.
Oh, one correction. You can get those older aluminum cheese grater Mac Pro models that performed so well on Bare Feats’ benchmarks. Not from Apple, of course. But they’re available here and there on eBay and elsewhere.