Computer Graphics World

September / October 2017

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With all the commercial hype surrounding the introduction of the iPhone 8, it's easy to forget that Apple was once in the forefront of the professional computer workstation market. But nowadays, every time the name of the venerable corporation makes news (which is almost daily), it's focused on consumer devices like iPhones and iPads. The oft-discussed Apple shift from professional computer manufacturer to phone maker can be traced back to the 2011 intro of Final Cut X which was both incompatible with previous Final Cut Pro versions and clearly redesigned for the amateur video market. The move forced many professionals to migrate to Adobe Premiere Pro or Avid. In 2013, Apple once again put style over substance replacing the Mac Pro tower with the cylinder-shaped Mac Pro. To make matters worse, the non-expandable Mac Pro hasn't offered any significant hardware upgrades since 2013. Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, Autodesk announced this year that the software giant would no longer support 3ds Max in the Mac OS environment. Finally, Apple's turn to the consumer market may reach its zenith with the upcoming (and underwhelming) iMac Pro, which, when compared to a BOXX workstation, looks sus- piciously like last year's technology arriving next year. So what's a loyal Mac user to do? Some, enam- ored with the Mac OS, will likely stay, regardless of performance loss. The more discerning, however, may be compelled to make a switch. Joe Matthews, a BOXX performance specialist who works exclu- sively with film editors, VFX artists, and animators, says the migration is already underway. "Not a day passes without a conversation with a frustrated Mac user looking to or having to make the switch," he says. "With software applications becoming more complex, the supporting hardware has to keep pace. The cliché 'Time is money' is true and many Mac users are coming to the realization that they are wasting both." According to Matthews, most creative professionals rely on multiple applications and may not realize that not all applications use the hardware the same. For example, some applications are single-thread- ed, meaning they require more GHz, while others are multi-threaded, meaning they need the aggregate processing power of the system (the more cores the better). Still others are influenced or use only the graphics card or multiple graphics cards. "Creative professionals need a powerful, versatile, purpose-built solution to maximize their workflows," says Matthews. "At BOXX, we and our support team know these professional applications. In fact, many of our support calls are software related. In those instances, we may help a customer update a driver or tweak a setting." Regardless of workflow, Matthews insists that BOXX knowledge and expertise, coupled with superior hardware, wins over the most ardent Apple supporter. "It's always a pleasure when they realize they are talking to someone who actually understands their problems," says Matthews. "It's even better after they create, edit, or render on their first BOXX and tell us how happy they are." TWENTY YEARS AGO, APPLE ASKED US TO THINK DIFFERENT. NOW BOXX ASKS US TO THINK AGAIN.

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