Goodbye, Apple, it’s not me, it’s you…

Image: From AMD’s Ryzon 3900X Product Page

So I’m here at the point of replacing my current aging Macbook Pro 15″ and I’m stuck with a dilemma. It’s been running as a desktop for a while and it’s getting to a point where it needs a bit of a kickstart.

Normally I replace year after year but I’ve watched the Apple pricing rise a lot faster than the cost of living is going, and I say this as someone who is in a fairly good place financially. I’ve ended up letting it lag and now it’s about 5 years old and reaching its end of life.

I don’t need a laptop, I have a small Macbook Pro for when I need to go mobile. Looking at Apple’s lineup, I have the choice of a Mac Mini which costs $2500 if I max it out to a better spec but still leaves it drastically underpowered with a terrible GPU or a $6000 for the entry spec which includes a 256GB SSD. There is simply no Mac midrange desktop.

I get that the Apple tax exists. I’ve got used to it, but the Apple tax isn’t a tax anymore. Its not at a point where it looks more like an insanity test. $5,000 for an Apple Display? Another $1,000 for a nano coating and a $1,000 for a stand? $6,000 for a base spec pro version? I have to question whether the Apple staff have been cashing in their dividends so much that they have lost touch with how much that is.

The problem for me is less about the Mac Pro. Its the nothing inbetween. You have a mini that is drastically underpowered for photography work and the Pro which is drastically out of budget. The iMac doesn’t work if you have your own screen, and lets be honest, there are much better screens for photography work out there than the iMac. It’s getting better, but it still won’t match a Benq SW271 which is what I would consider the entry level decent photography screen with shade hoods.

The second issue I think that Apple missed is that the vast majority of creatives aren’t rich or wealthy. Putting out a $1000 stand just shows how out of touch they are with that. I’m lucky enough to run my own non-photography company that is successful, but I don’t know an actual photographer that could afford the Mac Pro.

So I guess I am stuck. I don’t want to move from Mac but at this point I’m not sure I have a choice.

7 thoughts on “Goodbye, Apple, it’s not me, it’s you…

  1. As someone who upgrades my iMac every 4 or 5 years, I think you shouldn’t overlook it. I keep all my files on an external HD and just keep apps on the desktop to free up the CPU & GPU with maxed out non OEM RAM. It can handle your external monitor for editing. I do calibrate my iMac every month but I realize that may not be up to your professional standards. If your plans still include the move to North America after the pandemic, you will probably pass through S.F. and can pick one up at a “fair” price.


    1. I’ve considered the cost of the upspecced iMac as an alternative and running two screens but it seems a bit insane to be forced to buy a screen just to get a decent machine. The SSD on the machine I am looking at would be twice the speed of the Mac and the AMD options are about 30% faster in real world performance, so ultimately I’d be stuck paying about $1000 more for an iMac that has 30% less performance, slower GPU, 50% slower SSD, and I also specced in 4x4TB drives.

      If I was in the US, it may be different, but Apple in Australia don’t even offer the trade in. Apple USA will offer me $600 for my current specced machine, Apple Australia say its worthless and will only recycle.

      The other issue here is that the AUD$/US decline since the start of the corona virus crisis has pushed the pricing up substantially. We had about a 25% jump in price just based on the currency change over the last period of time.

      I honestly want to love Apple, I prefer Mac OS but they are making it really hard when they produce rediculous hardware like the new display that just seems so out of touch with professionals.


  2. Good luck with Windows. I was the IT man at a school and the OS drove me nuts with its viruses, patches, constant breakages, reboots etc. My iMac and Macbook just go on and on and on without drama.


  3. I left Apple two years ago … not because of cost, but because Apple makes it difficult to keep using older versions of MacOSX on the one hand, but obsoletes otherwise good software on the newer versions. After shelling out a few thousands on new hardware I object to having to shell out a few thousands more to replace my 3rd party applications … especially when I find (as is often the case) that they have been dumbed down, or have acquired new bugs along with new “features” that I never asked for and do not want …

    So I switched to Windows (Win 10) which ws made easier by a requirement to have a Windows machine equpped with .Net, C#, Visual Studio, MsSQL etc. for a programming course I was enriolled in.

    What a nightmare. Forced upgrades happening at the most inconvenient times, “telemetry” that spies on you, “security” that prevents my applications from writing to external disks (until you find the buried way to enable it) and thoroughly useless support from Microsoft.

    I eventually managed to disable most of the annoyances, but Windows still crashes now and again, changes settings randomly, corrupts files, corrupts the registry. It is truly appalling.

    As soon as I have the time I am moving completely to Linux and will run the few programs that do not have Linux equivalents under VMWare. Linux has plenty of annoyances of its own, but it is free (sorry Apple) and its annoyances are an order of magnitude or two less annoying than those of Windows.


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