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So what is coming in September, to cause Apple to warn investors? - Page 2

post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Sure people will complain that they can no longer run PCI cards and have to make do with slower Thunderbolt instead but remember when we all switched from SCSI to SATA? Mac Pro owners are getting by just fine with SATA and it will ramp up to an optical connection in due time.

I mentioned this on another thread but in this scenario why would they create this in a new machine when they have the imac occupying that price point and the mini beneath it? The imac has thunderbolt and desktop processors. It can take the same amount of ram as a single socket mac pro, and if you want a nicer display, plug one in. When you remove the basis for expandability what could possibly drive enough sales volume from such a unit to make it viable in a shared price point?
post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

why would they create this in a new machine when they have the imac occupying that price point and the mini beneath it?

Which price point? I'd expect it to start at $500 less than the current Mac Pro price but only the same as the 27" iMac: $1999. They used to sell it at this price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

When you remove the basis for expandability what could possibly drive enough sales volume from such a unit to make it viable in a shared price point?

The Mac Pro could have 4 Thunderbolt ports to drive up to 8 displays and it has easy access to multiple internal hard drives. It's also a headless device, which is the only form factor you'd use to drive multiple displays for an exhibition or use in a server environment.

Upgrading/expanding machines with PCI slots is a thing of the past. The GPU card section in your local PC shop is almost the least visited area of any store - it's narrowly beaten by the Android tablet section.

These technologies like PCI slots need to go away in favour of better ones like Thunderbolt. You mention low volume without expansion but it's low volume anyway (less than 5% of Apple's shipments) so I don't think it matters.

Anyway, I don't see this move being one of choice but necessity. Inevitably, Apple will use Thunderbolt on the Mac Pro and it cannot be fitted onto a PCI card. Thunderbolt also requires video to go out over the Thunderbolt ports. Either they use a Xeon with an IGP and push the graphics out that way and allow you to install any GPUs you want or they go the same route as the iMac by pushing the graphics from a mobile GPU over the Thunderbolt ports.

Apple only offers a limited selection of GPUs anyway and a 300W power limit so why not just cut the size down by 1/3, put in a 1GB Radeon 6990M and let the 4 x Thunderbolt ports handle the expansion for anyone that actually needs expansion any more.
post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Which price point? I'd expect it to start at $500 less than the current Mac Pro price but only the same as the 27" iMac: $1999. They used to sell it at this price.



The Mac Pro could have 4 Thunderbolt ports to drive up to 8 displays and it has easy access to multiple internal hard drives. It's also a headless device, which is the only form factor you'd use to drive multiple displays for an exhibition or use in a server environment.

Upgrading/expanding machines with PCI slots is a thing of the past. The GPU card section in your local PC shop is almost the least visited area of any store - it's narrowly beaten by the Android tablet section.

These technologies like PCI slots need to go away in favour of better ones like Thunderbolt. You mention low volume without expansion but it's low volume anyway (less than 5% of Apple's shipments) so I don't think it matters.

Anyway, I don't see this move being one of choice but necessity. Inevitably, Apple will use Thunderbolt on the Mac Pro and it cannot be fitted onto a PCI card. Thunderbolt also requires video to go out over the Thunderbolt ports. Either they use a Xeon with an IGP and push the graphics out that way and allow you to install any GPUs you want or they go the same route as the iMac by pushing the graphics from a mobile GPU over the Thunderbolt ports.

Apple only offers a limited selection of GPUs anyway and a 300W power limit so why not just cut the size down by 1/3, put in a 1GB Radeon 6990M and let the 4 x Thunderbolt ports handle the expansion for anyone that actually needs expansion any more.

They did abandon the $2000 price point before. All they did was jack up the price on the lower end mac pro from $2000 to $2500 without adding anything that justified its inflation. I was under the impression you were in favor of gutting the internal hard drive setup too? I guess not on that one. I don't have a problem with PCI stuff going away. For macs it was the only way to get things like eSATA and as I mentioned video editors used it for things like capture cards. Before you could truly gut a system like that you need something in place to take over. Right now does thunderbolt even have developer's kits out yet? You need hardware that can allow it to be integrated into existing environments. FWIW I'm not sure we'll see a replacement once the mac pro dies out. If thunderbolt was actually usable I might look at an imac myself.
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I was under the impression you were in favor of gutting the internal hard drive setup too? I guess not on that one.

I think the hard drives are fine internally but opticals are dead so the entire 5.25" bay can go. By removing the PCI slots, the power draw for those can go from 300W down to 100W so they can reduce the size of the PSU. Those two things can probably shave off $200. With a design that doesn't blow the air from the CPU over the RAM, they can avoid using RAM with heatsinks. Mounting the drives sideways should help them reduce the width to 2U or 3U. This could affect the riser cards for RAM but riser cards may not be necessary any more and they can put in 6 slots instead of 8 for 24GB of RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I don't have a problem with PCI stuff going away. For macs it was the only way to get things like eSATA and as I mentioned video editors used it for things like capture cards. Before you could truly gut a system like that you need something in place to take over. Right now does thunderbolt even have developer's kits out yet? You need hardware that can allow it to be integrated into existing environments.

It'll still have firewire for some capturing needs and there are already Thunderbolt products available to buy so I guess some people must have access to the developer kit. It's clear there's a drive in a certain direction with Apple's software like the Pro Apps. No more DVD authoring tools, no edit to tape etc.

There are things that you can tell are the wrong ways to do things and whether or not there are alternatives, they are still wrong. The only way to push people into developing replacements quickly is to take the current solutions away. No opticals, no PCI slots and then we watch as 3rd party manufacturers fill in the gaps. What we end up with is the right way to do things.
post #45 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think the hard drives are fine internally but opticals are dead so the entire 5.25" bay can go. By removing the PCI slots, the power draw for those can go from 300W down to 100W so they can reduce the size of the PSU.

This is a fact, the more potential loads you can remove the lower the wattage requirement. As a side note your power supply can become much more efficient.

However in a pro system such tailored hardware is the opposite of what users want. Let's face it Apple already has nicely tailored systems in the iMac and Mini. There is little motivation to completely castrate the Mac Pro. Frankly that is what removal of the PCI-Express slots is on this type of computer.
Quote:
Those two things can probably shave off $200. With a design that doesn't blow the air from the CPU over the RAM, they can avoid using RAM with heatsinks. Mounting the drives sideways should help them reduce the width to 2U or 3U. This could affect the riser cards for RAM but riser cards may not be necessary any more and they can put in 6 slots instead of 8 for 24GB of RAM.

It is interesting that you bring up drives because in a modern workstation computer the best place for a solid state drive is on a PCI-Express card. The reality is SSD already more or less saturate SATA and PCI-Express has a lot of future potential in this regard.

Frankly I actually see an expansion in the usage of PCI-Express. That is unless they can find an alternative for internal communications. SATA really needs to go away before PCI-Express. Even then SATA won't die all that fast. In 3to 5 years we could start to see flash being replaced with other solid state tech.
Quote:



It'll still have firewire for some capturing needs and there are already Thunderbolt products available to buy so I guess some people must have access to the developer kit. It's clear there's a drive in a certain direction with Apple's software like the Pro Apps. No more DVD authoring tools, no edit to tape etc.

I'm shocked! How can you in one message kill PCI-Express and then support FireWire?
Quote:

There are things that you can tell are the wrong ways to do things and whether or not there are alternatives, they are still wrong.

Like supporting FireWire?
Quote:
The only way to push people into developing replacements quickly is to take the current solutions away. No opticals, no PCI slots and then we watch as 3rd party manufacturers fill in the gaps.

for some tech that might be fine, for PCI-Express it would be a very stupid move on Apples part! Why? Because there is no way to fill the gaps left by the removal of PCI-Express.
Quote:
What we end up with is the right way to do things.

Nope you end up with one view on how to do things. The fact of the matter is that PCI-Express is transitioning to version 3 of the standard as we speak, TB won't be keeping up with PCI-Express. TB is at best a compromise that makes for a very good USB upgrade but not a slot replacement. TB is a solution to a limited set of problems, PCI-Express will continue to offer solutions outside of that set.
post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It is interesting that you bring up drives because in a modern workstation computer the best place for a solid state drive is on a PCI-Express card. The reality is SSD already more or less saturate SATA and PCI-Express has a lot of future potential in this regard.

They don't saturate SATA. No SSD on the market that fits in a 2.5"/3.5" form factor exceed SATA 6. The fastest is the Corsair Force GT at 555MB/s. SATA 6 is 750MB/s. You'd fill a 1TB drive in 20 minutes at SATA 6 speeds so it is enough for the next few years before moving to Thunderbolt internally.

A hardware RAID controller can help improve performance of multiple drives and is one of a few valid reasons for PCIe but they can build one in. Give everyone hardware RAID - if you are buying an expensive machine, you expect the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm shocked! How can you in one message kill PCI-Express and then support FireWire?

Far more people make use of firewire than make use of PCI Express expansion slots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Nope you end up with one view on how to do things.

The way to determine if it's the right way is to look at where computers are going and the advantages and disadvantages. If now is not the right time, so be it but that time will come. The future is mobile and nobody is putting PCI slots in a mobile device so the successful (long-term) technologies will be ones that work for mobile scenarios. Thunderbolt does, internal PCI slots do not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

TB is at best a compromise that makes for a very good USB upgrade but not a slot replacement.

Thunderbolt isn't a USB upgrade, it's a way of putting PCI slots on the outside without messing with your form factor.
post #47 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They don't saturate SATA. No SSD on the market that fits in a 2.5"/3.5" form factor exceed SATA 6. The fastest is the Corsair Force GT at 555MB/s. SATA 6 is 750MB/s. You'd fill a 1TB drive in 20 minutes at SATA 6 speeds so it is enough for the next few years before moving to Thunderbolt internally.

They are constantly improving controllers so for all intents the link is saturated now. Especially when you consider that PCI cards already exceed that top end speed for SATA doing flash storage. It makes little sense to reference the speed of a certain SATA drive when hardware manufactures have already worked around that port with PCI-Express cards.
Quote:
A hardware RAID controller can help improve performance of multiple drives and is one of a few valid reasons for PCIe but they can build one in. Give everyone hardware RAID - if you are buying an expensive machine, you expect the best.

Build your storage device as a PCI-Express card and you have worked around all of those issues including the need to implement excess logic to get the speed you want.
Quote:


Far more people make use of firewire than make use of PCI Express expansion slots.

People make use of PCI-Express for a wider range of uses. FireWire is oriented primarily to storage and audio/video. Traditional FireWire hardware will be quickly replaced with TB hardware. The wider array of PCI-Express hardware will never make it to TB.
Quote:


The way to determine if it's the right way is to look at where computers are going and the advantages and disadvantages. If now is not the right time, so be it but that time will come. The future is mobile and nobody is putting PCI slots in a mobile device so the successful (long-term) technologies will be ones that work for mobile scenarios. Thunderbolt does, internal PCI slots do not.

I don't think that is even remotely true. Mobile device might actually start to drive desktop sales as they become more of a hub like device. If mobile was such a killer Apples desktop line would be in decline. Instead Apple is seeing some of it's best desktop sales ever.
Quote:


Thunderbolt isn't a USB upgrade, it's a way of putting PCI slots on the outside without messing with your form factor.

In other words a faster USB port. I'm playing devils advocate here, but honestly to the average user that is what TB amounts to. Also for the average user that is what it will be used for, a faster way to connect to some of the same devices that they used USB for. This really should not be shocking.
post #48 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

PCI cards already exceed that top end speed for SATA doing flash storage. It makes little sense to reference the speed of a certain SATA drive when hardware manufactures have already worked around that port with PCI-Express cards.

Some PCI cards have managed to top this like the OCZ drive around 1GB/s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRj3EUn9hmo

but 70-80% of all computers shipping can't use them (less than 5% of Apple's shipping machines can use them). Plus, you can see from the following video, the machine will fly along with just 300-400MB/s reads/writes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EDCvKnJlg0

Faster is always better but when you start talking about launching an app in 0.5 seconds vs 0.25 seconds or saving a 90 minute 1080p ProRes 4444 file in 5 minutes vs 2.5 minutes, it doesn't matter any more.

For enterprise applications where you want to clone terabytes of data regularly, it makes sense but this is mainly in a server environment, which is not built from standard desktop boxes any more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Traditional FireWire hardware will be quickly replaced with TB hardware. The wider array of PCI-Express hardware will never make it to TB.

A Thunderbolt port can support a PCI slot so it can support all of the current PCIe devices, just not at maximum throughput in the current iteration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

If mobile was such a killer Apples desktop line would be in decline. Instead Apple is seeing some of it's best desktop sales ever.

The sales numbers are going up but the mobile numbers are going up faster so the share is overwhelmingly in favour of mobile solutions. Also, the desktop sales include the Mini and iMac, which use mobile GPUs and Thunderbolt - no PCI slots. Given the price hike, I'd assume Mac Pro numbers are falling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In other words a faster USB port. I'm playing devils advocate here, but honestly to the average user that is what TB amounts to.

In some ways yes but you can't run a GPU off a USB port nor can you implement a protocol like firewire over USB. Thunderbolt is entirely functionally different. Consumers wouldn't regard ExpressCard as a faster USB port. It has more similarities now that it can be implemented on devices like external hard drives but when people see high-end audio devices, GPU and PCI solutions, they will be able to see the extra functionality.
post #49 of 57
Vintage Zen agrees to kill off the iPod Touch

http://vintagezen.com/2011/08/31/app...he-ipod-touch/

And Daring Fireball concurs

http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/08/31/vintagezen

...but he thinks cell carriers would be hesitant to offer data only plans because it will lead to the end of their core business, which is selling voice.

Eh, I think the cell carriers are learning that voice is not the future. It's data. It's all they advertise now. Fast 4G networks yadda yadda.
post #50 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Some PCI cards have managed to top this like the OCZ drive around 1GB/s:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRj3EUn9hmo

but 70-80% of all computers shipping can't use them (less than 5% of Apple's shipping machines can use them). Plus, you can see from the following video, the machine will fly along with just 300-400MB/s reads/writes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EDCvKnJlg0

Faster is always better but when you start talking about launching an app in 0.5 seconds vs 0.25 seconds or saving a 90 minute 1080p ProRes 4444 file in 5 minutes vs 2.5 minutes, it doesn't matter any more.

You are too focused transfer rates, which while important are only part of the equation. For example if the engineer can eliminate SATA logic from the chip set it effectively frees up space and reduces a level of logic between the CPU and the storage device. In the end the system becomes more efficient.

This is especially important as designers will eventually get to a SoC i86 implementation much like Apples "A" series chips. It is far easier to look forward to what is required in future hardware, design minimal chips to support those needs and reap the benefits of new process tech.
Quote:

For enterprise applications where you want to clone terabytes of data regularly, it makes sense but this is mainly in a server environment, which is not built from standard desktop boxes any more.

Falling back to the enterprise server market makes no sense in this discussion as Apple has zero influence here. There is plenty of reasons to buy high performance systems outside of the enterprise server market, in these markets software grows to exploit all of the hardwares performance. Again it is a question of looking towards the future.
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A Thunderbolt port can support a PCI slot so it can support all of the current PCIe devices, just not at maximum throughput in the current iteration.

You are understating just how being a port that does not support maximum through put impacts devices. The fact is TB can't support anything that needs more than 4x bandwidth. It gets worst than that though due to the nature of the serial interface and the potential for multiple devices to be on that bus. TB is a great port but it isn't the last word in performance.
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The sales numbers are going up but the mobile numbers are going up faster so the share is overwhelmingly in favour of mobile solutions. Also, the desktop sales include the Mini and iMac, which use mobile GPUs and Thunderbolt - no PCI slots. Given the price hike, I'd assume Mac Pro numbers are falling.

Apple desktop sales are doing much better than the overall market, that is significant right there. Further I'm willing to bet we have yet to see the impact of tablet computing on desktop sales.

The problem with the Pro is it is simply to expensive for people that need some capability beyond theMini or iMac.

Quote:
In some ways yes but you can't run a GPU off a USB port nor can you implement a protocol like firewire over USB.

I'm still not convinced that there will be much of a market for external GPUs. FireWire for all intents is dead. Again it is about looking towards the future.
Quote:
Thunderbolt is entirely functionally different. Consumers wouldn't regard ExpressCard as a faster USB port. It has more similarities now that it can be implemented on devices like external hard drives but when people see high-end audio devices, GPU and PCI solutions, they will be able to see the extra functionality.

All that extra functionality really amounts to faster speeds. In the end most users won't know much more than that. All you really end up with is a new generation of devices.
post #51 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I don't think that is even remotely true. Mobile device might actually start to drive desktop sales as they become more of a hub like device. If mobile was such a killer Apples desktop line would be in decline. Instead Apple is seeing some of it's best desktop sales ever.

I would love to see Apple come out with a taller mini. One that has charging docks on top for iPhones and iPods. Heck, maybe even a pair of small built in speakers that can be used with your docked iPod to listen to music. If you aren't using your computer why have it on just to listen to music? And if such a device were ever to be made design it with enough space and a blank cover for those of us that do still use optical media. A nice complete compact package for computing and convenient charging location for your mobile devices.

I don't know about other people but I know that my two teenage daughters use their iPods but they also listen to the radio too. Go ahead and have a built in tuner? Surely my daughters aren't the only kids that listen to radio as a means to hear new music they like so they can then add it to their iPod.
post #52 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phong View Post

Vintage Zen agrees to kill off the iPod Touch

http://vintagezen.com/2011/08/31/app...he-ipod-touch/

And Daring Fireball concurs

http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/08/31/vintagezen

...but he thinks cell carriers would be hesitant to offer data only plans because it will lead to the end of their core business, which is selling voice.

As long as they keep blocking services like FaceTime it doesn't make much difference. However I think the carriers learned a long time ago where the markets are in the future. Plus this is just plain screwy if you look at iPads which are data only and sought after by the carriers.
Quote:

Eh, I think the cell carriers are learning that voice is not the future. It's data. It's all they advertise now. Fast 4G networks yadda yadda.

Yep! It kinda makes you wonder about daring fireball when that site gets so many things screwed up.

Here is my point of view. Adding 3G to the Touch does not make it a non Touch it just means it has more capability. However to be honest I don't believe most people would tradeoff shorter battery life and more bulk for 3G capability. Apple would be far better off making a more compact Touch.

In any event when the big iPod/iPhone reveal comes at the end of the month I'm expecting more touch products not less. IOS has been a great success but their is plenty of room for more devices.
post #53 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

I would love to see Apple come out with a taller mini. One that has charging docks on top for iPhones and iPods. Heck, maybe even a pair of small built in speakers that can be used with your docked iPod to listen to music. If you aren't using your computer why have it on just to listen to music?

You turn your computer off????
Quote:
And if such a device were ever to be made design it with enough space and a blank cover for those of us that do still use optical media. A nice complete compact package for computing and convenient charging location for your mobile devices.

Sounds very nice. Personally I'd like a different mix of capabilities but I think our goals are the same a Mac, dare I say XMac, that is expandable yet far cheaper than a Mac Pro.
Quote:

I don't know about other people but I know that my two teenage daughters use their iPods but they also listen to the radio too. Go ahead and have a built in tuner? Surely my daughters aren't the only kids that listen to radio as a means to hear new music they like so they can then add it to their iPod.

Hell I'm +50 and would love to have FM in my iPhone. Yes I know FM means antenna issues but really I would live with the compromises. The sad part here is that some of the chips Apple uses come with the option of a FM radio built in. We are talking a small amount of extra PC board space here. Hey maybe a few letters to Apple might help.
post #54 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The fact is TB can't support anything that needs more than 4x bandwidth.

Ignoring GPUs (which can be discounted, as realistically the Pro only supports a single high-end card), which expansion cards absolutely require over 4x? Also remember the possibility of channel-bonding (using multiple TB ports as one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apple desktop sales are doing much better than the overall market, that is significant right there.

But the majority of those have no PCI expansion. Apple isn't exactly going to start adding PCI slots to the iMac. Mini-PCI I could see for storage but no expansion cards. What we're talking about is PCI slots vs Thunderbolt and the fact is over 95% of Apple's shipping units have no PCI expansion slots and never will but they now all have Thunderbolt. That is the most significant part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm still not convinced that there will be much of a market for external GPUs.

I would agree but it's a solution to a problem. If someone buys a 13" MBP, the CPU is very capable but Intel's IGP is poor. They can run the 5770 in the Pro over Thunderbolt. Not everyone is going to do this but there are games that consoles don't run and where the IGP isn't strong enough and for people in this situation, an external GPU is an option that USB cannot provide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac

I don't know about other people but I know that my two teenage daughters use their iPods but they also listen to the radio too.

I think that's why these things are made (warning turn volume down before clicking):

http://www.jvc.dk/site/da/boomblaster/



Portable like a caravan is portable.

It's not a good idea designing multi-user form factors around a specific set of needs so while a boom-box Mini would have some appeal, it won't be for everyone and the speakers you could fit into that space just wouldn't be worth the effort.
post #55 of 57
I think when Apple eventually produce Cinema Displays with over 200dpi, that they will include a GPU in the display.
Case 1: 5120x2880 Cinema Display without its own GPU. Which current Macs could drive it?
Case 2: 5120x2880 Cinema Display with its own GPU. Every Thunderbolt equipped Mac could drive it.
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I think when Apple eventually produce Cinema Displays with over 200dpi, that they will include a GPU in the display.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I think when Apple eventually produce Cinema Displays with over 200dpi, that they will include a GPU in the display.
Case 1: 5120x2880 Cinema Display without its own GPU. Which current Macs could drive it?
Case 2: 5120x2880 Cinema Display with its own GPU. Every Thunderbolt equipped Mac could drive it.

Apple's primary focus has never been displays. By the time you reach this resolution anyway (not even medical grade displays are this far yet) we'll be either on to a new connector or a new generation of thunderbolt.
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