Mac Pro Refesh in March

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  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post






    That's the plan.







    Apple don't really publicise it much these days but it's still in OS X Server.



    https://developer.apple.com/hardware...rid_intro.html



    It would be like XGrid but require less input and wouldn't require OS X Server. I could see it being just a sharing option in system preferences like web sharing or printer sharing, it would be compute sharing. Turn it on and connected machines via Thunderbolt could be used as slaves or controllers based on configured options.



    I'd like to see how some of this stuff actually works in practice rather than on paper. I'm not sure that some of your suggested uses will work that well in practice.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,477member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    I'd like to see how some of this stuff actually works in practice rather than on paper. I'm not sure that some of your suggested uses will work that well in practice.



    The problem with Apple is their seeming unwillingness to promote some of the technologies they develop. I just don't see scientist and engineers running to Apple for compute hardware. It is much easier to build a small cluster with Linux machines, stick them in a closet someplace and connect a Mac to them with a fast pipe. To really compete well as a cluster solution Apple would need a very turn key system that dramatically improves their odds relative to a Linux cluster.



    Where Apple has the most potential in my mind is the single box compute machine. That is a Mac Pro or XMac with the hardware required to produce a high performance workstation.



    As for these external adapter boxes for GPUs I have a very hard time grasping the wisdom in such hardware. Looking at GUS in that video linked above just had me shaking my head in disapproval. I'm just not sure whom they are trying to reach with such a box. The box takes an external 150+ watt brick to power it which is a mistake right there. Then the box is fairly expensive but yet only handles midrange cards. So while I'm sure such a box will work I just can't see people jumping all over themselves to buy one as you might as well buy a whole PC.



    In any event this is one of the reasons I'm so hot over the idea of an XMac. Apple really needs a low cost desktop that can handle this sort of GPU card. A very much midrange machine. I wouldn't even be bothered if the GPU was soldered right on the motherboard as long as suitable video RAM was supplied. Better yet is an XMac with a soldered in GPU and a PCI Express slot capable of supporting another 200 watts of capability. Such a box could be very capable but low cost as much of the Mac Pro is deleted from the implementation. Well relatively low cost as this would likely still be a $1500 computer.
  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,355member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The problem with Apple is their seeming unwillingness to promote some of the technologies they develop. I just don't see scientist and engineers running to Apple for compute hardware. It is much easier to build a small cluster with Linux machines, stick them in a closet someplace and connect a Mac to them with a fast pipe. To really compete well as a cluster solution Apple would need a very turn key system that dramatically improves their odds relative to a Linux cluster.



    I'm not aware of anything under the hood that would allow this to be seen as anything but a PCI based bridge. It seems like an atypical way to chase performance, and again we haven't seen such a thing actually working. It's just speculation, but I don't know that it would work.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    As for these external adapter boxes for GPUs I have a very hard time grasping the wisdom in such hardware. Looking at GUS in that video linked above just had me shaking my head in disapproval. I'm just not sure whom they are trying to reach with such a box. The box takes an external 150+ watt brick to power it which is a mistake right there. Then the box is fairly expensive but yet only handles midrange cards. So while I'm sure such a box will work I just can't see people jumping all over themselves to buy one as you might as well buy a whole PC.



    It looks like a fad to me. I expected such a thing to be expensive. A lot of these weird peripherals don't always run on huge margins. External hard drives and things like esata hard drive enclosures tend to rely on relatively low margins, and many of them cut costs with cheap fans and whatever else. Producing such a product with room for margins in a limited volume as I wouldn't expect this to become a mainstream product basically provides what you see here. Such boxes have been around for a bit. It's not an entirely new concept, but they've never caught on. Given the lack of predictability in power draw from one generation to the next, it's easier to just keep a small PC tower up to date.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    In any event this is one of the reasons I'm so hot over the idea of an XMac. Apple really needs a low cost desktop that can handle this sort of GPU card. A very much midrange machine. I wouldn't even be bothered if the GPU was soldered right on the motherboard as long as suitable video RAM was supplied. Better yet is an XMac with a soldered in GPU and a PCI Express slot capable of supporting another 200 watts of capability. Such a box could be very capable but low cost as much of the Mac Pro is deleted from the implementation. Well relatively low cost as this would likely still be a $1500 computer.



    Trying to visualize this. I like the idea, but i'm not sure they'd do that. The only mac pro that makes very little sense is the low end configuration. That configuration never used to exist. They just increased the price of something similar to the older ones, and put out a new low cost setup at the original price point. The case looks fairly expensive to manufacture, but I don't think that's completely a size thing. The board might be expensive to manufacture. The shell is most likely one that's stayed the same to avoid the design time and expense of a new one.
  • mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,090member
    Anyone who is still thinking of Apple as a computer company is confused. Apple are a consumer electronics company, not a computer company. There is a reason why Apple changed their name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc. (in January of 2007).
  • mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    In any event this is one of the reasons I'm so hot over the idea of an XMac. Apple really needs a low cost desktop that can handle this sort of GPU card. A very much midrange machine. I wouldn't even be bothered if the GPU was soldered right on the motherboard as long as suitable video RAM was supplied. Better yet is an XMac with a soldered in GPU and a PCI Express slot capable of supporting another 200 watts of capability. Such a box could be very capable but low cost as much of the Mac Pro is deleted from the implementation. Well relatively low cost as this would likely still be a $1500 computer.



    I would gladly pay $1500 for that kind of a Mac.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,622member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    As for these external adapter boxes for GPUs I have a very hard time grasping the wisdom in such hardware. Looking at GUS in that video linked above just had me shaking my head in disapproval. I'm just not sure whom they are trying to reach with such a box. The box takes an external 150+ watt brick to power it which is a mistake right there. Then the box is fairly expensive but yet only handles midrange cards.



    It's a way to run CUDA code with NVidia GPUs, it's a way for low-end computer buyers to get high-end gaming performance, it's a way to run a PCI card on a machine with no PCI slots. I don't think the market is huge by any stretch of the imagination but there is a small need for this kind of device. I personally have no interest in spending over £1000 on a computer but I'd sure spend £300-400 on a powerful GPU hooked up to a Mini. I don't think the 150W PSU is an issue, the XBox has the same size PSU.



    Also, while they aren't the highest-end cards, I wouldn't call them mid-range. They are mid-range like the iMac is mid-range in the Mac lineup but I wouldn't say that makes them any less desirable. If it can hold a 6950, the performance difference between it and the fastest card you can buy is just 50%.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm


    I'm not aware of anything under the hood that would allow this to be seen as anything but a PCI based bridge. It seems like an atypical way to chase performance, and again we haven't seen such a thing actually working.



    It's no different from using any other PCI co-processor like Intel's Knights Corner:



    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/368188/i...ting-processor



    The advantage Apple has is there's a full computer on either end running their OS so they can detect and configure what they want.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,074member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    Anyone who is still thinking of Apple as a computer company is confused. Apple are a consumer electronics company, not a computer company. There is a reason why Apple changed their name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc. (in January of 2007).







    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,074member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It's a way to run CUDA code with NVidia GPUs, it's a way for low-end computer buyers to get high-end gaming performance, it's a way to run a PCI card on a machine with no PCI slots. I don't think the market is huge by any stretch of the imagination but there is a small need for this kind of device. I personally have no interest in spending over £1000 on a computer but I'd sure spend £300-400 on a powerful GPU hooked up to a Mini. I don't think the 150W PSU is an issue, the XBox has the same size PSU.



    Also, while they aren't the highest-end cards, I wouldn't call them mid-range. They are mid-range like the iMac is mid-range in the Mac lineup but I wouldn't say that makes them any less desirable. If it can hold a 6950, the performance difference between it and the fastest card you can buy is just 50%.







    It's no different from using any other PCI co-processor like Intel's Knights Corner:



    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/368188/i...ting-processor



    The advantage Apple has is there's a full computer on either end running their OS so they can detect and configure what they want.



    Good point re: the extensibility of machines that could use a midrange+ card like the 6950. Not that far behind the fastest cards in the scheme of things and wayyy faster than what is in the Mini.



    I think the GPU plus carriage would be alot cheaper than having a Pro as your base machine. Just bring your laptop home and dock it on the gpu. 6950 turbo boost. I think that £300-ish is worth paying for compared to a base Pro.



    The mini suddenly transforms into the X-Mac by the grace of far better GPU option. Sure, it aint the top fo the range gpu with melt down power draw or sli wotsit. But it's a paradigm shift for the Mini to become the X-Mac by proxy. If Apple can see this extensibility as a non-threat in the way that adding ram and another HD is not a threat to their business model then we all win.



    May even drive sales of a few more minis Apple's way.



    In the absence of a redesigned Pro (which we are still awaiting the outcome on...) or a double sandwich Mini ala Cube...this GPU thunderbolt enabled external chassis thing could be the next best thing for the elusive 'X-Mac.'



    I wouldn't poo-poo the idea because Apple didn't design the solution. Be nice if Apple did. But some ten years later, Apple's desktop is pretty much the same. While I think the iMac has become Apple's mid-range solution/mini-tower antithesis...I can only add that it would be nice if Apple gave people a compact pro option in the same price range. You forgo the screen for performance. Rather than the Dinosaur that has lost all comparison to the original G3 Blue and White price range tower that Jobs himself introduced.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,074member
    Quote:

    In any event this is one of the reasons I'm so hot over the idea of an XMac. Apple really needs a low cost desktop that can handle this sort of GPU card. A very much midrange machine. I wouldn't even be bothered if the GPU was soldered right on the motherboard as long as suitable video RAM was supplied. Better yet is an XMac with a soldered in GPU and a PCI Express slot capable of supporting another 200 watts of capability. Such a box could be very capable but low cost as much of the Mac Pro is deleted from the implementation. Well relatively low cost as this would likely still be a $1500 computer.



    Ironic considering that the original Blue and White Tower started at $1595?l (and with a decent GPU.)



    What happened, Apple?



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • pbpb Posts: 4,208member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    Ironic considering that the original Blue and White Tower started at $1595?l (and with a decent GPU.)



    What happened, Apple?



    Perhaps tower sales plummeted as the world control is taken over by handheld minions? Also, back at that time was the birth of the iMac which, slowly but steadily, ate those parts of the pro market that did not really need all the power and expansion of a tower at every functional level.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,074member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    Perhaps tower sales plummeted as the world control is taken over by handheld minions? Also, back at that time was the birth of the iMac which, slowly but steadily, ate those parts of the pro market that did not really need all the power and expansion of a tower at every functional level.



    *nods.



    It's ironic that the Mac tower is called the 'Pro.'



    Does that mean £1000-£2000 price range (which the iMac occupies...in lieu of the G3 blue and white tower I may add...) doesn't have a 'Pro' market? The truth is there is a far more mainstream 'pro' market in the iMac price range. You can now do video, 3d and development work on it. Photoshop stuff more than doable and it's been this way for a while. The iMac sales don't lie.



    Whether some would prefer a 'tower' is neither here nor there to me. Apple's been leader the charge away from it. The stores reflect their philosophy of smaller, slimmer but with a decent bang for buck. The iPad sums up Apple's ethos currently. It's all the computer many people need. Sure it has implications for laptops and desktops alike... The computer for recreation and 'some' creation.



    Nearly iMac 1 million buyers vs the 50, 000 (guess) Pro buyers?



    Look at the where the Macbook Pro pricing starts and compare it to the desktop equivalent. Ironic, no? I believe the Pro should start at around £995-£1195. Which appropriate i7 and a decent (6950?) gpu.



    The iMac used to be the machine for under a grand and the 'Pro'/G3 tower over a grand...give or take the odd model overlap.



    Apple moved the base entry to a tower £1k higher to £2k over successive CPU generations. The iMac became 'powerful enough' to follow it up the ladder.



    Then we got the Mini. With no monitor or keyboard...



    But...this external GPU option with a 6950 class card...offers some hope of circumventing Apple's 'rigid' desktop line up.



    Oh for a Cube. But really the Mini is the reborn Cube. Perhaps not quite as some would have liked (myself included...) but pack an external GPU on it and it becomes quite the little modular computer? BYOKB (and bring your own...Thunderbolt hard drive, raid, bring your own memory, bring your own external GPU...bring your own... There's a market right there in much the same way there is a market for memory and hard drives...)



    It's not just for the Mini either. Docking an Air or a Pro laptop to it isn't an insubstantial market given Apple's recent laptop sales...



    Musingly yours,



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,074member
    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/3728...hat-went-wrong



    This one's for Wizard.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • tony3dtony3d Posts: 47member
    All these new rumors about iMacs being released in June, and still nothing on the Mac Pro. This silence is pointing in only one direction if you ask me.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,900member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tony3d View Post


    All these new rumors about iMacs being released in June, and still nothing on the Mac Pro. This silence is pointing in only one direction if you ask me.



    If the writing wasn't on the wall in 2009, they've cleaned the graffiti off the wall now, so you can take another look.



    New internals, same case: They care exactly as much about it as they do any other Mac.

    New internals, new case: They not only care, they're creating a new product line.

    No update: They care exactly as much as they care about the iPod classic. You know, the thing I was certain Apple would do away with three years ago since they haven't been updated in the same amount of time.
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