Professional view of the new MacBook Pros?

Well, the author is a professional. However he looks to me a professional as a user not as a developer. As a developer, who have worked on Mac, Windows ( and Unix) platform at the same time, I have some words for him and Apple.

The author mentioned optimization with FCP X. Although the new MacBook Pro has Core i5, it beats up Core i7 equipped Windows notebooks. I’ve watched such video on YouTube.

OK. He compared FCP X with Adobe Premiere. Some would say why he didn’t compare an orange with an orange. But he has good reason for comparing FCP X with Premiere.
Most Mac video editors would use FCP X, although I know there are many people who uses other companies’ products. So, if you compare video editing/encoding performance with idea, “How faster is it if video is encoded/edited on Mac and on Windows?”, he has good points. It’s not about “How fast is it if video is edited on Mac and on Windows with a product X”.

Yes. Fortunately, FCP X on the new MacBook Pro with Core i5 was faster. So, there is some room Apple people can breath at this moment at least.

Well, in the early 80’s, there was saying that well written Pascal code is faster than C code.
Yes. It’s true. However, well written C code beats well written Pascal code.

On Mac, there are very good and easy to use frameworks which were optimized to use H/W encoder and functionality aggressively: Accelerator framework, AV Foundation, BLAS, etc.
On Windows, depending on your target, there are also well optimized libraries. BLAS is not only for Mac. Anyway, it is not that Windows version of Adobe Premiere on better Windows machine is slower than FCP X on the new MacBook means the new MacBook Pro is price competitive and performance competitive.

On Windows, there are many ways to optimize such performance in video. ( as well as 3D graphics or whatever field you target your app to. ) There are many different libraries. On Windows, Intel QuickSync  delivers pretty decent quality of video with fast speed. ( I just said decent. The quality was not too impressive. ) NVidia or some other companies provide their own video encoder solution which are fast.

Adobe Premiere probably simply didn’t use it. If those are used, the performance can be different. Also, don’t forget this. The Premiere on Mac.

So, optimization can’t be used generally for justifying MacBook’s competitive positioning.
There are many S/W programs which are not optimized with such convenient libraries. Each S/W engineers can bring out their own optimization technique with better algorithms. But for normal programming, we don’t do it much. And.. loop expansion, branch prediction.. such compiler side of optimization is done with modern compilers very well.
So, nowadays general application programs are not aggressively optimized. Think about this. There are bunch of people who think Java is pretty fast!
It doesn’t mean that a S/W program without handpicked optimization is bad program.
There are surely poorly written programs. But for the most of applications, I don’t think people think optimization very seriously. Pick one example. Do you think Apple optimize their Note app to increase performance of typing? or anything?
Then does it mean that it’s a bad program? No.

Why do I mention such program? If Apple provide more reasonably priced, and thus competitive machine with higher performance ( speed-wise or battery usage-wise or whatever the machine is focused on. ) those programs would  perform much better with the same money you paid for buying MacBook Pro.

Apple and Apple’s marketing people should not overlook this part.
Yes.. due to optimization FCP X can be faster than Adobe’s on Windows with a better spec.
But the user can use MS Excel to crunch lots of numbers in his definition.
Let’s say he uses his Mac as a kind of server where fast turnaround time is required.
For those, more rationally priced and competitive Mac, whether it’s MacBook Pros or not, will be more persuasive and make people say “Wow!”.

That’s the reason people are disappointed by recent announcement of MacBook Pro.

The fact that optimized FCP X beats blah can’t justify Apple’s pricing and direction.

Big failure starts when one achieved big success.
Before it dooms, I hope that Apple people go back to the mindset during the hard time of Apple in late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Apple doesn’t make their computers for people who seek inexpensive device? Ha…
Price range for electronic devices are going down due to advancement of technology and due to commodity components.

All USB-C device is not a problem? No.
Professional people tend to have higher priced devices in their time : FireWire HDD storage, FireWire 800 devices, Thunderbolt displays, RAID storages etc.
They invested a lot in those. And they are still very usable. Do you think Thunderbolt 2 RAID devices are too old and too slow right after Apple announced USB-C based Thunderbolt 3? No.

Also, there are many devices which requires very-alive-on-Windows ports.
For easier interoperability, it’s better to have the existing ports. Forcing people to buy expensive dongles or docks are not good. Well, there can be people who need to buy those anyway. But don’t corner people into that.

Apple people may rejoice at the recent news, the New MacBook orders is record high, blah blah..
Don’t be hallucinated by that too much Apple. Apple didn’t update MacBook Pro for sometime. Also developers should prepare their S/W programs for the new H/W.
So, initial orders will be by those people. Let’s wait for a several months more and if there are still those steam left.

I heard lots of negative saying about Apple and Mac’s future when I worked for Harris and Panavision. At Panavision, there were lot’s of Apple haters. There were some ‘allied’ companies which sent their people to persuade Panavision people to choose their solution based on Windows saying that Apple is said to give up Mac.
And Apple announced Mac Pro. They were not satisfied with the  Mac Pro. Mac Pro was too slow to handle the amount of data in movie business according to them, although I don’t agree with that. But you know what? People who are not kin to technology are more attracted by those kind of mentions and there are a lot of professionals thinking such a way.