Originally Posted by AllanMc
But what professional users need is a re-designed MacPro, maybe half the volume size of todays having just a motherboard with twin zeon multicore processors 32gbt of RAM slots and 8 full PCIexpress slots capacity housing upto six hotswopable 2terabt SSD cards or whatever and a full graphics card for twin monitor workstation use or extra 2 SSD slots for stackable server node use,
This makes absolutly no sense.
- 8 full PCIe slots would take more than half the volume of a current MP, where do you put the cpus/RAM/ODD/power supply? Externally?
- 32gbt of RAM slots doesn't mean squat, 32GB of RAM is not that much as the current MP can support 64GB, and would handle more if Apple had offered 6 slots per cpu instead of 4.
- six 2TB SSD cards + 1 full graphics card = 7 slots, I don't know where you get 2 extra SSD slots, where do you put your pro audio interface card(s): USB/FW?, your DSP card(s): FW?
IMO, the best way, to shrink the single-cpu MP
, would be to offer less PCIe slots and less/smaller storage bays. SSD is certainly a good way to go for many professional usages. But let's not be carried away with capacities of terabytes just yet, today they cost $8,000, and it will probably take 5 years before they reach a decent price (under $1,000). Thunderbolt would help in the storage area as it offers up to PCIe speed so it will handle the new 500MB/s SSD drives and some RAIDed too, and it will certainly be able to handle multiple 3TB/6TB HDDs for those who need that much storage permanently. While terabytes capacites are still where the 3.5" form factor is king, in the SSD domain everything is available in 2.5" at about the same capacities as 3.5" SSDs, so four 2.5" SSDs would take the same volume as two 3.5" HDD/SSDs. And there are also SSD blades, up to 256GB right now, but possibily 512GB before the end of the year, one could be used directly on the motherboard as the standard boot drive.
That may not seem much, but if you replace the two full size ODD bays with a single slot-loading one, you can save a lot of space.
IMO, a single tray with either: one 3.5" HDD/SSD, or two 2.5" HDD/SSD, or even four SSD blades, would take care of plenty of internal storage needs in a very small volume.
For the "lack" of PCIe slots, Thunderbolt would also help as each port candle handle up to 7 devices (up to four at full 1x PCIe speed). Most PCIe cards (except graphics cards) are 1x cards, including pro audio cards like AVID/Pro Tools, Apogee Symphony, Universal Audio UAD-2, so it really doesn't matter if those are internal or external. Thunderbolt controllers are small (15x15mm) and "inexpensive", so even multiple controllers/ports could be possible in small form factors computers.
That leaves the gpu issue. The fact is, many professional usages don't require very powerful graphics, even pro audio, let alone all server tasks that the MP has taken upon since the death of the XServe. Any basic dual-display gpu could be put on the motherboard to handle those basic tasks (and could be tied to up to 2 Thunderbolt controllers/ports). Now a couple of PCIe slots could be available for better graphics cards or else). Or an hybrid GPU/Thunderbolt card (not PCIe per se) could be offered as an option for better graphics and more Thunderbolt ports.
Taking all this into account, the power supply could also be smaller (maybe only 600W or less) and the single MP could probably be reduced to 2U (about 19" x 3.5" x 12") or even less, depending on the real/not real PCIe slots and the size/number of storage bays. But with SSD standard, the MP would still have an edge over the standard iMac, with more storage capacities, probably a better optional gpu, and more TB/PCIe ports. It would also be less weird to use in server installations.
The dual-cpu MP could stay almost the same (dual-cpu, multiple HDD bays, multiple PCIe slots), all they really need to do is make the enclosure more easily rackable. A pair of current MP occupies 12U in a rack, that's 6U per computer. You can find 3U workstations with the same expansion capacities of the MP (6 storage devices, 4/5 PCI slots), and the same performance (dual Xeon cpus).