Mac Pro Refesh in March

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  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    [QUOTE]LaCie’s wicked fast Thunderbolt Drives turn MacBooks into Mac Pros

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 · 12:30 pm · 21 Comments





    “Hard drive supremo LaCie will at last sell you a 2big Thunderbolt Series external drive,” Charlie Sorrel reports for Cult of Mac.

    “It’s about time. Thunderbolt is as fast as hooking components up inside the computer, and as such makes a MacBook almost as expandable as a Mac Pro,” Sorrel reports. “It might also make it as expensive: the 4TB LaCie costs $650, while the 6TB runs to $800.”/QUOTE]



    Times are changing.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    http://www.electronista.com/articles....workstations/



    The plot thickens...



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    http://micgadget.com/21980/apple-is-...=Google+Reader



    Hmm...



    16 cores. :o



    Smack that thang.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    http://micgadget.com/13419/more-thou...e-new-mac-pro/



    From a while back. What's this...Apple getting access to an 8 core chip...'just for them?'



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:

    Creative pros -



    Have long left the Mac.



    2 years for a processor upgrade (a VERY expensive one at best),

    is WAY too long a wait when even shaving off seconds from each 3D frame rendered counts towards making a deadline.



    Specially so since a trip to the nearest no name PC store will get you the latest processor/memory combination for half the price 2 year old tech gets you on the Apple store; albeit on a cheap plastic case.







    Read more: http://www.electronista.com/articles...#ixzz1mUWYj75K





    ...and...



    Quote:

    Speaking for Myself...



    If most of the time in front of your computer is spent with 2D applications like graphic design, desktop publishing and such, where most of the time in front of the monitor is spent making judgments and changes where the computer is mostly waiting for your input, the horsepower built into an iMac or Mac book pro will do.



    On the other hand, if you are either visualizing a piece of geometry so complex it feels like orbiting it in molasses with the built in Radeon card you need either a second linked graphics card or a more powerful one. Just try opening the iMac to upgrade a drive...



    Same goes for the CPUs. Say you have a couple weeks for doing a simple 30 (client's words not mine) second animation, here every second gained on rendering time in favor of scene design or character key-framing is invaluable.



    About 3 years ago I built a couple workstations based on E5472 Xeons, back then about $1000 each; I still use those machines on a small render farm. Last summer I built a new main machine around a E7-4870 (10 core/2GHz and a hefty $4,500) and a Quadro 5000, this machine with a single processor renders 3-5 times faster than both previous machines together and costs about the same; can't wait to put in the second Xeon!



    But all these are just scenarios only of relative importance. Eventually a phone will have enough horsepower to do "most" pro's work; alas a 12 core Mac Pro is not aimed most pros; only at the most demanding ones, precisely the ones Apple is abandoning.



    This is particularly sad for animators that got used to the Mac Pros, as Apple with their HUGE leverage on Intel got GREAT deals for the top tier processors even as most other components were (still are) overpriced.



    Take the Quadro FX 4000, a very solid midrange card for 3D modeling(with proper drivers it even accelerates some adobe pluggings), the Mac version is about 10% more expensive than the PC version, yet savings on the top end Apple Xeons more than offset that extra. Not any more.







    Read more: http://www.electronista.com/articles...#ixzz1mUX9bVWZ





    ...and...



    Quote:

    Speak for yourself...



    Are creative pros getting frustrated.. you bet your a** they are.. have they "long left the Mac" as you say? Um, not yet they haven't.



    Apple lost quite a few to Adobe and Avid w/ the FCX debacle, true, but the vast majority of creative pros I deal with are still on the Mac. Some of them are saying things like "You'll pry 10.6.8 and FC7 from my cold dead hands..." But, they're still here.







    Read more: http://www.electronista.com/articles...#ixzz1mUXMY635



    Interesting viewpoints...



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    I can understand Wizard's frustration with Apple's desktops as much as I understand Apple's design direction in desktops...



    Looking at the iPad, alot of power is going into a very small device. And that's set to go off the charts for the retina iPad. It's signalling a trend. Perhaps components on Apple's desktop are finally catching up with the designs of the iMac and Mac Mini to a degree. With ivy bridge cpus...the i7 finally filtering down to the Mini...for example...and the mobile 6970M giving great bang for buck in a small enclosure.



    It looks like the chase is on for mobile dollars. The gravity is pulling in the direction of Airs, laptops, iOS devices... I guess they're bringing in the most revenue. Meanwhile, the Pro sits and waits. As much a problem of Intel providing the right cpu as Apple not using readily available and cheaper components to offer a better value proposition in terms of a 'tower' machine.



    I always felt Apple had it right when the line up from top to bottom Pro, Cube, iMac. But they sell mostly iMacs now...and that number is dwarfed by laptops.



    I'm still looking forward to what Apple does this year with the Mac line. (You've got to hand it to them. 5 million Macs approx per quarter now. How long before the Mac user base hits 100 million? A couple of years?)



    But I will be buying an iPad 3.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    Back in the day, Apple sold less than a million computers per quarter. Dark times. Back when they offered beige towers and pizza box machines.



    Now? Apple sells 5 million Macs per quarter. More than they used to see in in over a year.



    Apple's pretty clear about their direction. And it is benefiting their customers. And their shareholders. And their bottom line. They're nailed to the Consumer Electronics Company Flag. Towers are a drop in the ocean by comparison. They probably sell less Towers than the ATV...or the Mini. (Price wise, hardly a surprise because they're obscenely priced and a stale joke.)



    The ram I put in my iMac was negligible in cost. You can order iMacs with with SDD drives. You can put plenty of ram in them...or a nice big, fat external HD. It also has a Thunderbolt port.



    Apple 'needed' the X-Serve before they canned it. Let's hope they don't do the same to their 'pro'. If ever a machine needed an overhaul, a design shrink and a price overhaul, it's the Pro. It's out of touch.



    It's a relic of a bye-bye gone era.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    I am not sure just which model, X-Serve or Mac Pro you refer to as a relic of a bygone era, but there remains a need for towers, although the market forces clearly are moving to laptops as the major market segment, whether Mac or PC. What I was referring to is the group of people who use Mac Pros (and usually at least one MBP) who influence their institution to use Apple devices across the board, iMacs, iPads, iPhones and, interestingly, Minis for server banks. If their needs are not met, they will look for other solutions and their influence toward Apple products will be lost as well.



    There are people doing 3D graphic visualizations of chemical bondings of experimental drugs in medical research who assuredly need more than laptops, no matter how good the laptop may be as a portable device. The photographic community is using 18, 24, and 36 MP image files that become quite large when opened and processed, especially as multi-layered Photoshop documents. These people frequently use MBPs in the field to evaluate images and Mac Pros for final processing.



    No one is suggesting that the Mac Pro should replace other product lines, but it has its place. Apple have priced them rather insanely, but that is another matter. It could be argued that pricing is intended to help kill the line off by discouraging sales.



    The lack of clarity to which I refer is simply leaving the Mac Pro user community hanging, wondering if there will be a Mac Pro at all or, even if there is one, will it be the last of the line. If that is to be the case, everyone can be guided accordingly.



    Cheers
  • dhagan4755dhagan4755 Posts: 2,142member
    The Mac Pro is definitely needed. My biggest gripe with the Mac Pro is that it's too damn expensive. I remember buying a Power Mac G4 back in the day for $1,599. I can't do that now. The entry price on the Mac Pro is $900 more. And it's a monster. I knew that they needed an enclosure that big for the red hot PowerPC G5 chips, however, it's 2012 now & I think Apple can dispense with this relic design in favor of something a little more svelte. Besides why does Apple insist on it having exclusively Xeon processors? I mean a quad core i7 option instead of Xeons would do just fine by a lot of people.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post


    The Mac Pro is definitely needed. My biggest gripe with the Mac Pro is that it's too damn expensive. I remember buying a Power Mac G4 back in the day for $1,599. I can't do that now. The entry price on the Mac Pro is $900 more. And it's a monster. I knew that they needed an enclosure that big for the red hot PowerPC G5 chips, however, it's 2012 now & I think Apple can dispense with this relic design in favor of something a little more svelte. Besides why does Apple insist on it having exclusively Xeon processors? I mean a quad core i7 option instead of Xeons would do just fine by a lot of people.



    "Thank you. Thank you very much. "



    It would be very easy to sell some i7 powered towers if they were priced at all reasonably and offer choices of Xeon to go up from there.



    Does one dare to say that the i7 tower seems to be a popular option for people who are (cough! cough!) "experimenting"?
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,387member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    "Thank you. Thank you very much. "



    It would be very easy to sell some i7 powered towers if they were priced at all reasonably and offer choices of Xeon to go up from there.



    Does one dare to say that the i7 tower seems to be a popular option for people who are (cough! cough!) "experimenting"?



    Noooo... not experimenting. They'd call it a hobby. Note the Apple TV.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,800member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    The 6750 puts the 8800 to pasture but it was the 6970M that really impressed on the chart you linked. Standing proud against some really decent desktop cards.



    Yeah, the 6970M has almost negligible difference between even the 6970 desktop version:



    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html



    The 7970M or whatever it's called, will be a very nice GPU indeed.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    The point you make about the Radeon 7000 or Nv Kepler mobile GPU going into an Ivy Bridge Mini is note worthy.



    I think the shared memory model these GPUs have will have a significant impact to the lower-end machines.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR


    If Apple does not provide towers for customers who need the expandability, and a more transparent policy statement about continuing the line in the future, some of the more important, and influential, customers will be forced to look elsewhere for solutions. If such a downward spiral continued, Apple could well end up being little more than what it is accused of being, an expensive toys company.



    A few years ago, I would have described the iMacs as toys but not today - a 4-core, 8-thread i7 with up to 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 2GB 6970M and 27" LED-backlit IPS display is no toy.



    I also don't think that Mac Pros really make all that much difference to university programs so the influence isn't there. I'm sure that Mac Pro owners like to believe they are influential but a celebrity like Oprah playing with an iPad is way more influential to consumer purchasing than a mathematician in a lab working out how many digits to calculate pi to.



    A Mac Pro can't educate a child, it can't help a disabled person to talk, it can't be used to read books.



    "We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:

    machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

    Our knowledge has made us cynical,

    our cleverness hard and unkind.

    We think too much and feel too little:

    More than machinery we need humanity;

    More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness."



    Instead of Mac Pros drawing people away into isolation, an iPad gets computing out in the open where it needs to be. Workstations make us slaves to machines not the other way round and in no way do the masses want to devolve into that state.



    The masses could not care less about raw computational power. The group that does is minute and they don't have to use Macs for the computation. Apple doesn't use Macs in their own server farm. These things are hidden away from the world, who cares what gets used? Have your front-end machine run on a high-end iMac and throw all the rendering and heavy computation onto over-clocked PCs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR


    iMacs use, for example, more expensive RAM than Mac Pros



    32GB RAM is just $492:



    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...1/DDR3_21.5_27



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison


    iMacs are fast but i'm not going to be able to install a PCI-Express card into an iMac so the Mac Pro is still a necessity for many folks.



    Which express card would you install?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RBR


    It would be very easy to sell some i7 powered towers if they were priced at all reasonably and offer choices of Xeon to go up from there.



    This is brought up often but the Xeon in the entry Mac Pro is $284 or thereabouts, which is the same price as an i7. The Mac Pro price is largely profit margin. The exact same spec of machine sells from PC manufacturers for $1000 less.
  • rbrrbr Posts: 631member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Yeah, the 6970M has almost negligible difference between even the 6970 desktop version:



    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html



    The 7970M or whatever it's called, will be a very nice GPU indeed.







    I think the shared memory model these GPUs have will have a significant impact to the lower-end machines.







    A few years ago, I would have described the iMacs as toys but not today - a 4-core, 8-thread i7 with up to 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 2GB 6970M and 27" LED-backlit IPS display is no toy.



    I also don't think that Mac Pros really make all that much difference to university programs so the influence isn't there. I'm sure that Mac Pro owners like to believe they are influential but a celebrity like Oprah playing with an iPad is way more influential to consumer purchasing than a mathematician in a lab working out how many digits to calculate pi to.



    A Mac Pro can't educate a child, it can't help a disabled person to talk, it can't be used to read books.



    "We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:

    machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

    Our knowledge has made us cynical,

    our cleverness hard and unkind.

    We think too much and feel too little:

    More than machinery we need humanity;

    More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness."



    Instead of Mac Pros drawing people away into isolation, an iPad gets computing out in the open where it needs to be. Workstations make us slaves to machines not the other way round and in no way do the masses want to devolve into that state.



    The masses could not care less about raw computational power. The group that does is minute and they don't have to use Macs for the computation. Apple doesn't use Macs in their own server farm. These things are hidden away from the world, who cares what gets used? Have your front-end machine run on a high-end iMac and throw all the rendering and heavy computation onto over-clocked PCs.







    32GB RAM is just $492:



    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...1/DDR3_21.5_27







    Which express card would you install?







    This is brought up often but the Xeon in the entry Mac Pro is $284 or thereabouts, which is the same price as an i7. The Mac Pro price is largely profit margin. The exact same spec of machine sells from PC manufacturers for $1000 less.



    First, I very much agree that OWC's RAM packages are an enormous improvement in price compared to what was available not that long ago. Nevertheless, 64 GB RAM for a Mac Pro is precious little more than 32 GB for an iMac.



    The PCIe card I would install first is one of the non-SATA SSD such as the one OWC has announced which will accept modules to increase the capacity when the user desires.



    The Mac Pros have quite a following in some Med Schools where physicians, PHD chemists, physicists and others are engaged in cutting edge research. MBPs, iMacs, iPhones and iPads abound as well. There is a place for all of them. The Mac Pro is not a substitute for an iPad and.vice versa. Different tools for different tasks. That in no way means that any of them should go away.



    The newer iMacs are fine machines. They just don't have the flexibility of a tower.



    Cheers
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,836member
    However special hardware means special pricing. I do hope that Apple offers a more mainstream six core platform. I'd actually be surprised if the processor is Apple only, that would be highly unusual of Intel.



    It is interesting that part of the delay appears to be due to a move to 22nm. That is a bit different than I was hearing. In any event the rumored performance of these chips is extremely impressive. I really don't think there will be many complaints when they come out.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    http://www.electronista.com/articles....workstations/



    The plot thickens...



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    http://micgadget.com/21980/apple-is-...=Google+Reader



    Hmm...



    16 cores. :o



    Smack that thang.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    http://micgadget.com/13419/more-thou...e-new-mac-pro/



    From a while back. What's this...Apple getting access to an 8 core chip...'just for them?'



    Lemon Bon Bon.



  • jonmackjonmack Posts: 5member
    As you all know, intel has just released their latest mobile offering in the form of a nehalem chip, the i7. This will no doubt be included in the expected iMac refresh, with indicators also pointing to a Mac Mini refresh (although it's highly unlikely it will include an i7, but possible an i3 or i5).
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    However special hardware means special pricing. I do hope that Apple offers a more mainstream six core platform. I'd actually be surprised if the processor is Apple only, that would be highly unusual of Intel.



    It is interesting that part of the delay appears to be due to a move to 22nm. That is a bit different than I was hearing. In any event the rumored performance of these chips is extremely impressive. I really don't think there will be many complaints when they come out.



    http://davemeehan.com/technology/how...-a-post-pc-era



    Dave, I thought you might enjoy this link. Or at least find it an interesting read. I did.



    With Open CL how long until we can just stack Mini Bricks to get the 'workstation' desktop power we need?



    Will iPads on a stand be the 'iMac' of the future?



    Is a lap top attached to a big monitor just an iMac?



    The next few years are going to be very interesting.



    A redesign of the Mac Pro into something more modular that you can daisy chain? Or is the mini that with thunderbolt daising chaining as you stack them?



    The Mountain Lion preview and the rumours of retina displays in Macs make me ponder.



    But I'm still looking forward to the new Mac Pro release as I am the next iMac release.



    2011 was pretty evolutionary. I'm expecting a few balls knocked clean out the park this year.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • geneking7320geneking7320 Posts: 54member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    http://davemeehan.com/technology/how...-a-post-pc-era



    Dave, I thought you might enjoy this link. Or at least find it an interesting read. I did.



    With Open CL how long until we can just stack Mini Bricks to get the 'workstation' desktop power we need?



    Will iPads on a stand be the 'iMac' of the future?



    Is a lap top attached to a big monitor just an iMac?



    The next few years are going to be very interesting.



    A redesign of the Mac Pro into something more modular that you can daisy chain? Or is the mini that with thunderbolt daising chaining as you stack them?



    The Mountain Lion preview and the rumours of retina displays in Macs make me ponder.



    But I'm still looking forward to the new Mac Pro release as I am the next iMac release.



    2011 was pretty evolutionary. I'm expecting a few balls knocked clean out the park this year.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    More than one person has suggested stackable Minis to increase computing power.

    What would have to be done hardware/software wise to accomplish this?
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Yeah, the 6970M has almost negligible difference between even the 6970 desktop version:



    http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html



    The 7970M or whatever it's called, will be a very nice GPU indeed.







    I think the shared memory model these GPUs have will have a significant impact to the lower-end machines.







    A few years ago, I would have described the iMacs as toys but not today - a 4-core, 8-thread i7 with up to 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 2GB 6970M and 27" LED-backlit IPS display is no toy.



    I also don't think that Mac Pros really make all that much difference to university programs so the influence isn't there. I'm sure that Mac Pro owners like to believe they are influential but a celebrity like Oprah playing with an iPad is way more influential to consumer purchasing than a mathematician in a lab working out how many digits to calculate pi to.



    A Mac Pro can't educate a child, it can't help a disabled person to talk, it can't be used to read books.



    "We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:

    machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

    Our knowledge has made us cynical,

    our cleverness hard and unkind.

    We think too much and feel too little:

    More than machinery we need humanity;

    More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness."



    Instead of Mac Pros drawing people away into isolation, an iPad gets computing out in the open where it needs to be. Workstations make us slaves to machines not the other way round and in no way do the masses want to devolve into that state.



    The masses could not care less about raw computational power. The group that does is minute and they don't have to use Macs for the computation. Apple doesn't use Macs in their own server farm. These things are hidden away from the world, who cares what gets used? Have your front-end machine run on a high-end iMac and throw all the rendering and heavy computation onto over-clocked PCs.







    32GB RAM is just $492:



    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...1/DDR3_21.5_27







    Which express card would you install?







    This is brought up often but the Xeon in the entry Mac Pro is $284 or thereabouts, which is the same price as an i7. The Mac Pro price is largely profit margin. The exact same spec of machine sells from PC manufacturers for $1000 less.



    Amen.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    PS. Loved the quote.



    PPS. That full loaded iMac would give a black eye to many an unsuspecting Mac Pro. The iMac is now a serious machine to all intents and purposes.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,890member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post


    More than one person has suggested stackable Minis to increase computing power.

    What would have to be done hardware/software wise to accomplish this?



    Xgrid would have to be able to leverage Thunderbolt connections and more software would have to be able to break up task into bits that can be parallel processed.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post


    More than one person has suggested stackable Minis to increase computing power.

    What would have to be done hardware/software wise to accomplish this?



    Well, didn't we have 'X-Grid' a while back? Don't we have Open CL now? And we have Thunderbolt?



    Maybe lots of mammals working together rather than one big dinosaur.



    Could be cool stringing x4 Mac Mini's together to rend 3D. 4 Mini's stacked is smaller than a Mac Pro?



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,856member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    4 Mini's stacked is smaller than a Mac Pro?



    I believe that even 12 are. But the cabling wouldn't be as pretty.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Xgrid would have to be able to leverage Thunderbolt connections and more software would have to be able to break up task into bits that can be parallel processed.



    Like a 3D render farm, for example? Won't 'Open CL' via linked 'Mac Minis' see the computer 'as one?'



    I remember X-Grid being talked about a while back. Between it and Open CL is there a chance to create 'stacked' Mini's to act as Render nodes? Surely Thunderbolt provides that quick connection to relay the distributed render info'? Does X-Grid pool the machines and funnel all the computer power/info into Open CL? Like funnelling it into the task at hand?



    *Musing out loud.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
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