Originally Posted by mcarling
True, but completely irrelevant to the question of what Apple may do with a future
There is absolutely no reason why Apple couldn't take the very same chips that are now found on high-end graphics cards and use them directly on the motherboard of a future Mac Pro. Slots are absolutely not required for high performance GPU technology.
I never said that slots are required in the future what I've said is that right now it is the avenue to high performance GPUs. Even if integrated on the motherboard the chips interface will still be PCI Express.
I understand that is what you and some other people want. I don't believe it makes any sense from Apple's perspective.
Nothing about Apples desktop line up makes any sense to me and stands in sharp contrast to their laptop line up. Think about it, Apples laptops are now easier to service and support than most of the desktop line.
Simply put the desktop line up needs to make sense from the customers perspective. In the end that is what grows sales. Apples approach to the desktop seems to be to throw their hands in the air and whine about the beauty of the iMac.
Yes, exactly! However, the xMac you propose would also be unnecessarily expensive. Drop the slots and you bring the cost down.
BS. The whole point of this machine is to have the slots available. The machine would not be anymore expensive than any other desktop platform from any number of makers. XMac is by no means a Mac Pro replacement.
If you want to hang your hat on some perceived nuance in meaning between "tweak" and "configure" to make a personal insult, then be my guest. It doesn't strengthen your argument.
Where is the insult???? Seriously you call people tweakers because they need slots to accomplish something important to them and you don't expect a response.
That's true, but you still haven't given a single example of a solution that is possible with slots but not possible with Thunderbolt.
I gave you a single example already, that being video cards. I'm convinced though that you don't understand the difference between PCI - Express slots and TB. TB has three issues working against it, it is slow, external and it is serial.
You may ask what does external have to do with it to which I have to say look at the Mini Display Port connector, cabling requirements and external chassis.
Exactly! Apple could address this in a new machine, you propose a new machine, but your xMac proposal doesn't address this. I believe the next Mac Pro (or whatever replaces it) will address this by dropping the slots and putting a fast GPU directly on the motherboard.
I have nothing against a fast GPU integrated on the motherboard but for the fact that Apples history here sucks royally. Even if they did implement a decent video subsystem that still doesn't eliminate the need for slots.
My fear here is that Apples motivation here is to make the video hardware easy to integrate with TB not to deliver good GPU performance.
The Mini is not a high-end, high-performance machine. It's a low-end, low-cost machine. Your complaint that the Mini doesn't include high-performance graphics does not even begin to suggest that a future Mac Pro won't include high-performance graphics.
Why the need to twist things up here. I never said the Mini was a high performance machine, I said that the Radeon machine had a need for more video RAM. 512 MB of video RAM is not a high performance implementation these days.
In any event the current Mini in combination with Apples history dies indeed suggest that Apple would under deliver in such a Mac Pro. It is almost like it is in Apples DNA to minimize a given GPUs capability.
You have provided no evidence, no facts, no logic, no argument to support this wild assertion.
All I need is Apples history here.
Yes, it would be a surprise if we're both wrong on every point in this thread.
Sadly I'm hopeful but not convinced that anything compelling will come out this year nor even next.
I'm impressed by your remarkable ability to make your pitch for AMD over Intel in every thread regardless of the topic at hand.
It takes talent!!!
On the serious side I think it is very important for AMD to remain viable as a competitor to Intel. We have seen how slow intel can become when not under pressure from rivals. Even more important is the idea that the GPU will just become more and more important over time which puts AMD at an advantage.
Frankly I wish that Apple would market at least one line of AMD based hardware, that is hardware with an AMD CPU in it. It would give people a choice and frankly keep Intel on it's toes.
As a side not it is really good to see Intel getting hit from different sides these days. AMD does what it can do from i86 space and the ARM camp is shooting from below. I have no doubt at all this is pushing things along at Intel like Haswell.
I agree with you that GPU performance is increasingly important. Where I disagree is with the idea that it needs to be implemented on a discrete card rather than directly on the motherboard -- the possibility of which even you have conceded above, while denying it in other paragraphs.
Again I've never said that, I said we don't have a choice right now. Today, as in right now, if you want high performance graphics or GPU facilities you need to buy a card. I've also have pointed out that Apple doesn't have a history here worth admiration as they have constantly under powered the GPUs in their machines. They have only moved to respectable in the last couple of years on the iMac.
As to video facilities in general if you have followed my other posts you will see that I expect the need for discreet GPUs to rapidly decrease. This change over is actually happening right now but will be acceptable to a wider array of people with the next generation of chips. In effect you have your on motherboard video right there.
The question then becomes this how do you deal with the limited need from people that need or want a discreet GPU? The answer is that we are back to slots again. Other wise we end up with a Mini like solution. That is a basic Mini with SoC graphics and a discreet GPU in a half a$$ implementation.
All the items you list can be implemented with Thunderbolt.
You can not do anything with Thunderbolt that requires more than 4x PCI - Express speeds and you can't even do that with all devices due to the serial bus nature of TB.