For many years, “pro” meant a big, expandable tower case, lots of internal storage, replaceable graphics cards, and so on. For Apple, it now means “maximum performance when using pro apps.”
Dan has decided, probably rightfully, that the Mac Pro is no longer right for him.
I’m torn on that for myself: every time a new MacBook Pro is released, I’m tempted to switch away from the Mac Pro. I did once, but after some problems and many annoyances, I switched back.
A Retina iMac, whenever that exists, might be the perfect computer for me. But we won’t see that until at least a late-2014 revision, and even that’s optimistic — I wouldn’t be surprised if Retina doesn’t come to the iMac until its 2015 generation.
At least until then, I’m still a Mac Pro customer — I just don’t need the highest-end configuration.
There’s still a Mac Pro for high-end “power users”: the base model upgraded to the 6-core CPU (+$500), 16 GB RAM (+$100), and the biggest SSD you can afford. With a 1 TB SSD, this comes to $4,399. The decked-out iMac that comes closest to this is $3,549 — it comes with a “free” monitor, but it also performs much worse on parallel CPU tasks.
A closer comparison would be the 4-core Mac Pro: with 16 GB and 1 TB SSD in both, the Mac Pro is $3,899 versus the iMac at $3,549. The monitor still makes the iMac a better value, but the gap is much smaller — and the Mac Pro can be upgraded to future (Retina?) monitors and will likely have better resale value.
(I recommend that if you’re going to get a Mac Pro at all, you might as well get at least the 6-core CPU. It’s a relatively small price difference for nearly 50% more parallel CPU performance and no single-threaded speed penalty.)