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New Mac Pro - Page 2

post #41 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Yeah, the amount of times I've heard mainstream buyers asking for a 41lb solid aluminium workstation at an affordable price.

I was referring to a new, lower cost case, which has been the point of most of this discussion. If Apple makes an effort to lower the manufacturing cost of the Mac Pro, and can make a less expensive, low end model with a new motherboard being the only difference, then it seems like a no-brainer to do it.
post #42 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

Look up the definition of modular then get back with us.

"an approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts (modules) that can be independently created and then used in different systems to drive multiple functionalities."

There is no requirement for matching in a modular system. The whole point is that you can scale your system to as much or as little as you want.

If you want a media centre then buy the entry model and it's as small and quiet as it needs to be, you can even fit it in a car. If you want a powerful machine, buy the quad i7 server, an external GPU, a RAID system and multiple monitors.

If you want an average gaming system, buy the model with the dedicated GPU.

A Mac Mini suits more uses than a mid-tower ever could and you can walk into a store and walk out with it in a bag. You can't do that with a mid-tower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

I'm still amazed at the number of people who praise the look, feel and design of Apple products but then turn around and don't understand why some of us want to have internal capacity so that the Apple product we bought doesn't get surrounded by stuff that doesn't match.

So buy stuff that matches:

http://g-technology.com/products/g-raid.cfm

Your display isn't likely going to match the machine anyway or Time Machine drive or desk/chair/carpet etc. Express your individuality.

If everybody looked the same, we'd get tired of looking at each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

I was referring to a new, lower cost case, which has been the point of most of this discussion.

Oh, I thought when you said "It would seem that using the same case as the workstation Mac Pro should give Apple an easy way to develop such a mainstream product", that meant using the same case as the Mac Pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

If Apple makes an effort to lower the manufacturing cost of the Mac Pro, and can make a less expensive, low end model with a new motherboard being the only difference, then it seems like a no-brainer to do it.

We've been over this many times. Apple used to sell the Mac Pro for $1999 and when the 27" iMac came in, jacked up the price by $500 despite not changing the value of any of the internals.

The processor they sell in the $2500 entry model is $294. Other manufacturers sell Xeon workstations for half the price:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16883147514

The cost isn't in the motherboard or the CPU or the $200 GPU. They just put that sticker on the box because that's what they feel makes it profitable to even bother making one. If they can still make $700 profit from the 5% of buyers who want internal expansion or $150 for everyone who wants a matte screen on a laptop, they'll do it.

In the end, they are driving people in a certain direction. Thunderbolt is there to drive people away from using PCI cards. The iMac is there to stop the mainstream buying towers and matching them with crappy displays. The Macbook Air is there to kill off optical and drive people to ultraportable machines.

They could build a giant plastic laptop with Atom CPUs, VGA port, a 20-in-1 card reader, a big ugly power brick and sell it for $300 and increase marketshare by hitting a certain price point. But, they won't do it because it doesn't drive people in the right direction.

In 2007, they could have built a phone that worked like everyone else's phone. Right now, they could build a mid-range tower like everyone else's tower. In both scenarios, everyone else is building it wrong. Within 10 years, the tower form factor will be dead.
post #43 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

"an approach that subdivides a system into smaller parts (modules) that can be independently created and then used in different systems to drive multiple functionalities."

There is no requirement for matching in a modular system. The whole point is that you can scale your system to as much or as little as you want.

First and second definitions in Websters:

1: of, relating to, or based on a module or a modulus
2: constructed with standardized units or dimensions for flexibility and variety in use <modular furniture>

So again, show me the other matching devices that Apple sells that are meant to go along with the mini.

There aren't any and there are no third party devices that meet definition two.
post #44 of 332
Quote:
…such quibbling over semantics may seem petty stuff.

LOL… That's from the built-in Mac Dictionary app… ;^p

I agree with Marvin, modular building blocks is the way to go…

Yeah, the parts don't match up all pretty-like, but give Apple & the third-party folks some time…

Many mock-ups of modular Mac computing devices have been around on the IntarWebz, it will eventually 'get there'…

I like the idea of a Mac mini Server (for the fastest available CPU in a Mini) and an external Thunderbolt expansion chassis holding the fastest gaming GPU available for the Mac platform in card form. I would feed the output from the video card to an input on the receiver that comes with the excellent Onkyo 9600-series THX HTiB; Home Theater in (a) Box); from there to a 60" Panasonic HDTV (1920x1080p, natch…) Attach gaming peripherals (mouse, keyboard & keypad) from Razer… (WoW will be sweet…!), a FireWire 800 RAID array, USB video DVR dongle & an external Blu-Ray drive; BAM!, you have a complete media center… Feed wireless security cameras (accessed thru the Time Capsule radio if possible, attaching the Mini to the IntarWebz via hard wire to said Time Capsule) to the rig and be able to check around the house from the comfort of the couch…

Would you ba able to do all this with a shiny new (rackmountable) Mac Pro…?!? Yes, but for the cost of that Mac Pro & it's upgrades internals; you could 'kit out' the entire MODULAR Mac mini (Server) Rube Goldberg device… Hide it all behind some sliding panels under the flat-panel, I won't tell…!

;^p

EDIT SECTION

After thinking about the mid-line Mac mini model (with the dedicated GPU), I arrived at this list and ballpark dollar amount for a decent MODULAR media center & WoW gaming machine:

Mac mini (2.7GHz dual-core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6630M w/256MB GDDR5 RAM)
external SuperDrive
AppleCare
Apple Remote
Three (3) Belkin High Speed HDMI cables (6 feet)
Three (3) Moshi Gigabit CAT 6 Ethernet cables (12 feet)
One (1) Apple Thunderbolt cable (2 meters)
Razer Naga Epic gaming mouse
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate gaming keyboard
Elgato EyeTV HD Video Recorder
Promise 12TB R6 Thunderbolt RAID array
Apple TV
3GB Time Capsule
HP Envy 100 All-in-One printer

That all totals just over US$5,500…

Add in the 60" Panasonic HDTV & Onkyo THX HTiB (and a spool of some decent Monster speaker wire & banana clips, as the speaker connections that come in the box need improving on…); you are still coming in at under US$10,000… That may seem like a lot, but you are saving thousands over the cost of doing the same with the low-end Mac Pro model…

(Yeah, the spec changed from an external Blu-Ray to an Apple SuperDrive; either find yourself an external Blu-Ray, or use the PlayStation 3, which is the device using the third HDMI & Gigabit CAT 6 cables…)

Flame away, or praise me for doing the initial legwork and start calling around for pricing on the flat-panel & Onkyo systems…! ;^p
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post #45 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

After thinking about the mid-line Mac mini model (with the dedicated GPU), I arrived at this list and ballpark dollar amount for a decent MODULAR media center & WoW gaming machinep

Play WoW on that and you get yourself a barbecue and short lifetime computer due to thermal levels.
post #46 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganHunter View Post

Play WoW on that and you get yourself a barbecue and short lifetime computer due to thermal levels.

Which is why I would rather go the Mac mini Server route (faster quad-core CPU) with an external Thunderbolt chassis housing something like a nVidia GeForce GTX 580 (or the 590, if it will utilize both GPUs in OS X & WoW)

But I will have to wait and see how such a rig (mainly the external Thunderbolt chassis) actually works in real life
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post #47 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

Which is why I would rather go the Mac mini Server route (faster quad-core CPU) with an external Thunderbolt chassis housing something like a nVidia GeForce GTX 580 (or the 590, if it will utilize both GPUs in OS X & WoW)

But I will have to wait and see how such a rig (mainly the external Thunderbolt chassis) actually works in real life

And how much is it going to cost? An external bay + Graphics card wont be cheap. Moreover, not every graphics card will be compatible with OS X due to lack of drivers, which sucks
post #48 of 332
For professionals especially in office settings a stationary form factor should last for some time. Overall these kinds of machines have longer service lives. They don't have to dump a lot of design money into it, but they could keep it up to date and use hardware appropriate to the price point of the machine. There's just nothing special to the mac pros beyond that they run OSX, and they're a terrible value. This has to account for some portion of the shift.
post #49 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganHunter View Post

And how much is it going to cost? An external bay + Graphics card wont be cheap. Moreover, not every graphics card will be compatible with OS X due to lack of drivers, which sucks

Still cheaper than the low-end Mac Pro

Seeing as how I am used to playing WoW on my current setup (see sig), I think a 2GHz quad-core i7, 8GB RAM, (booting & loading apps from) a 256GB SSD & the fastest gaming GPU card for the Mac available should just be all upgrade!

I SO wanna play WoW on a 60" HDTV, as opposed to my 13.3" laptop screen!
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post #50 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

Still cheaper than the low-end Mac Pro

Yep, the ViDock is $200-280 and a Thunderbolt model is coming and a Radeon 5770 can be bought for $200, GTX 285 is similar. So say $450 to match the Mac Pro graphics and you are still $1000 cheaper even with the server Mini.
post #51 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Yep, the ViDock is $200-280 and a Thunderbolt model is coming and a Radeon 5770 can be bought for $200, GTX 285 is similar. So say $450 to match the Mac Pro graphics and you are still $1000 cheaper even with the server Mini.

What boxes would you use to house those items and what would the set up look like?
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post #52 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

What boxes would you use to house those items and what would the set up look like?



The dock is the black device just to the left of the laptop. The Mini would sit next to it. Much more compact than a giant workstation yet $1000 cheaper and equally powerful.
post #53 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



The dock is the black device just to the left of the laptop. The Mini would sit next to it. Much more compact than a giant workstation yet $1000 cheaper and equally powerful.

My Mac Pro sits on the floor and takes up no desk space. The desktop has keyboard, mouse and monitor. By the way, the Mac Pro with keyboard and mouse cost me $920, used, and with its four cores and 5 GB of RAM it performs well enough for what I do. It has a built-in wireless network module and room to add more hard drives without having cables to each one.
post #54 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy View Post

My Mac Pro sits on the floor and takes up no desk space. The desktop has keyboard, mouse and monitor. By the way, the Mac Pro with keyboard and mouse cost me $920, used, and with its four cores and 5 GB of RAM it performs well enough for what I do. It has a built-in wireless network module and room to add more hard drives without having cables to each one.

You can put the box along with a Mini on the floor if your prefer and it will use less floor space than a Mac Pro. Old Mac Pros aren't too bad but there's no warranty and anything before a MacPro revision 4 is going to be slower than a quad i7. The original quads are less than half the speed so if you want better performance per dollar, it's not a good option. Good for storage, not bad for GPUs as long as you don't get a compatibility issue.
post #55 of 332
I would place it all tucked away in a cabinet underneath the 60" Panasonic HDTV that would be my monitor…

And then I would get my Slice & Dice on playing my Combat Rogue in WoW…!
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post #56 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRonin View Post

Which is why I would rather go the Mac mini Server route (faster quad-core CPU) with an external Thunderbolt chassis housing something like a nVidia GeForce GTX 580 (or the 590, if it will utilize both GPUs in OS X & WoW)

But I will have to wait and see how such a rig (mainly the external Thunderbolt chassis) actually works in real life

Wait, this is really something we can expect to see in the future? Graphics card upgrades via Thunderbolt? How long until something like this is real?

I'd forget all about the Mac Pro.
post #57 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phong View Post

Wait, this is really something we can expect to see in the future? Graphics card upgrades via Thunderbolt? How long until something like this is real?

I'd forget all about the Mac Pro.

I think we're looking at Q4 for Sonnet's product but no price yet. I'd guess the ViDock could be a little way out given that they just decided to do it in the last couple of weeks.

http://www.holdan.co.uk/Sonnet/Stora...ab=description
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ViD...hen,13201.html

There is an FAQ at the bottom of this page that suggests it could be ready by October:

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?to...134#post128355

It seems plausible given that they already have a working ExpressCard product so they just have to change the chipsets. Power consumption is the concern with these things because you need multiple power supplies for higher powered GPUs. I personally wished someone would make an MXM Thunderbolt socket and have an internal 100W PSU - something that resembled an XBox PSU and just sat on the floor with Mini-DP and HDMI out. AMD/NVidia could have made branded ones and sold them cheaper given that there aren't two companies taking profits for the socket and GPU.
post #58 of 332
Any possibility Thunderbolt could be used to connect either Minis or Mac Pro together to form a high speed cluster? In the past this has been done with Infiniband and similar tech, but it seems to me with custom drivers etc this could be done with TB. A bunch of Minis ganged together would make a nice render farm and be fairly cheap. Well, cheap in Mac universe anyway.
post #59 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

Any possibility Thunderbolt could be used to connect either Minis or Mac Pro together to form a high speed cluster?

A cluster of more than two machines would require a hub/switch of some type.

More importantly I'm not sure how the machines would identify each other. By this I mean the ports would have to be identified in some way as a networking device. It is an interesting question though because it was my understanding that devices on a TB chain can do peer to peer.
Quote:
In the past this has been done with Infiniband and similar tech, but it seems to me with custom drivers etc this could be done with TB. A bunch of Minis ganged together would make a nice render farm and be fairly cheap. Well, cheap in Mac universe anyway.

Don't forget your GigaBit Ethernet port.

In any event I think I have to agree such a platform would be nice for those that need it. You would get a very low power node with decent performance. The savings in power over traditional boxes should make for the price Fairly quickly. The big question though is can the Mini sustain the clock speed with that little enclosure.
post #60 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phong View Post

Wait, this is really something we can expect to see in the future? Graphics card upgrades via Thunderbolt? How long until something like this is real?

Not likely, Thunderbolt is only 4 lanes of PCI-Express -- not nearly enough to support a GTX580 or any other 'gaming' class GPU.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)
post #61 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by nfcClue View Post

Hi guys,

here are some thoughts for discussion for the next Mac Pro:

- general concept: a radically new design that will redefine the Mac Pro
- no optical drive bays
- built-in flash memory for OS and Apps
- 3 additional 3.5" drive-bays (with hot-swap?)
- no slots, Thunderbolt will make up for this
- way smaller case
- lower price point
- release: October 2011 (maybe at a special Mac event?)

As with Final Cut Pro X, professionals will cry out foul!

Thoughts?

This is so far off the mark I don't even know what to say. The optical drive thing there's no real reason to cut them on workstations yet unless you're actually going to do something with the space. Some people still use them and you don't gain anything removing them from the current case. I'm not sure the cases cost that much to manufacture. They aren't the cnc style of the laptop lines so it shouldn't be that terrible. I don't think their design team will be bothered with a product line like this. Apple has shown previously they can afford to alienate professionals. Many of them will continue to operate within OSX due to software licenses alone unless the selection of replacement machines becomes unusable.

Thunderbolt won't make up for lack of PCI slots. SAS, eSATA, capture cards for video, and cards like the Red Rocket are just that, cards. Thunderbolt doesn't have the slots, or the throughput considering that it shares its bandwidth with external displays. Adapters do even exist currently. If you use it to make a living, it has to work today.

Anyway the mac pro seems like something that will stay much like it is until they drop the product line or merge it with another.
post #62 of 332
[QUOTE=hmm;1929189]This is so far off the mark I don't even know what to say.
[\\quote]
He may be much closer than you want to believe. For the Pro to survive at all it needs to sell in a much higher volume. It is pretty clear that the Pro is supported be the rest of the Mac line up. That can not go on forever.
Quote:
The optical drive thing there's no real reason to cut them on workstations yet unless you're actually going to do something with the space. Some people still use them and you don't gain anything removing them from the current case.

Actually Apples gains much. For one the space is basically a waste for many users. Warranty support is taken out of the loop.
Quote:
I'm not sure the cases cost that much to manufacture. They aren't the cnc style of the laptop lines so it shouldn't be that terrible. I don't think their design team will be bothered with a product line like this. Apple has shown previously they can afford to alienate professionals. Many of them will continue to operate within OSX due to software licenses alone unless the selection of replacement machines becomes unusable.

Thunderbolt won't make up for lack of PCI slots.

This I agree with 100% though my reasons differ.
Quote:
SAS, eSATA, capture cards for video, and cards like the Red Rocket are just that, cards. Thunderbolt doesn't have the slots, or the throughput considering that it shares its bandwidth with external displays. Adapters do even exist currently. If you use it to make a living, it has to work today.

Anyway the mac pro seems like something that will stay much like it is until they drop the product line or merge it with another.

They could just let it die out while they promote new concepts. I'm actually thinking those new concepts will be more modular and smaller than you imply.
post #63 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



They could just let it die out while they promote new concepts. I'm actually thinking those new concepts will be more modular and smaller than you imply.

Modular requires bandwidth and produces more desk clutter. They've been sizing things down considerably and only really offering modular options on things that they consider legacy devices (they did it with dialup modems years ago). As for IO limited devices in small form factors we have the imac and mac mini. I don't think the volume on a mini tower with no PCI available (the reason to use a tower) would be enough to make the device worth it to apple. It wouldn't end up much cheaper than the imac. It would just lack a built in display. I think right now apple just wants to limit the amount of customers they burn when they do finally phase it out but I don't see them investing a lot of design hours here.
post #64 of 332
My guess is a much smaller Mac Pro (maybe a little bit larger than a Time Capsule) with no internal expansion slots, other than DIMM slots and mSATA slots, but with multiple Thunderbolt ports and one or two high-end CPUs. I expect a high-end discrete GPU to be permanently affixed to the motherboard.
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post #65 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

My guess is a much smaller Mac Pro (maybe a little bit larger than a Time Capsule) with no internal expansion slots, other than DIMM slots and mSATA slots, but with multiple Thunderbolt ports and one or two high-end CPUs. I expect a high-end discrete GPU to be permanently affixed to the motherboard.

Do you have any idea how big a Time Capsule is? Any "Mac Pro" that big would be laughed out of existence. It's physically impossible to get two Xeons and their requisite heatsinks plus RAM slots into something that small.

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post #66 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

My guess is a much smaller Mac Pro (maybe a little bit larger than a Time Capsule) with no internal expansion slots, other than DIMM slots and mSATA slots, but with multiple Thunderbolt ports and one or two high-end CPUs. I expect a high-end discrete GPU to be permanently affixed to the motherboard.

If you want a mac mini, buy a mac mini. That's about the size you just described and it uses laptop parts. The components you asked for would be a fire hazard. I suggest a class in thermodynamics before you ever decide to build your own computers
post #67 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Do you have any idea how big a Time Capsule is? Any "Mac Pro" that big would be laughed out of existence. It's physically impossible to get two Xeons and their requisite heatsinks plus RAM slots into something that small.

I have two Time Capsules, so I know how large they are. I also recall that I wrote "larger than a Time Capsule".

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

If you want a mac mini, buy a mac mini. That's about the size you just described and it uses laptop parts. The components you asked for would be a fire hazard. I suggest a class in thermodynamics before you ever decide to build your own computers

No, a Mac Mini is not about the size I described. I wrote "larger than a Time Capsule". BTW, I aced my thermodynamics class when I was a physics student.
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post #68 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I have two Time Capsules, so I know how large they are. I also recall that I wrote "larger than a Time Capsule".

No, a Mac Mini is not about the size I described. I wrote "larger than a Time Capsule". BTW, I aced my thermodynamics class when I was a physics student.

Sure, but mentioning it implies the same footprint, so I figured you meant something with the same footprint and twice or thrice the height. Sort of a, well…

NeXTCube 3.0, as it were (The G4 Cube being 2.0).

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post #69 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Sure, but mentioning it implies the same footprint, so I figured you meant something with the same footprint and twice or thrice the height. Sort of a, well

NeXTCube 3.0, as it were (The G4 Cube being 2.0).

I didn't imply anything about the form factor. It could be cube shaped or it could be very flat. Lately, the trend seems toward very flat. BTW, putting two Xeons into something the size of the NeXT cube would require forced air cooling, which the NeXT cubes didn't have.
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post #70 of 332
The future is heterogeneous computing. This requires that the GPU be coupled closer to the CPU and RAM than ever before.
post #71 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The future is heterogeneous computing. This requires that the GPU be coupled closer to the CPU and RAM than ever before.

Ugh, "Intel Integrated x000" here to stay. I hate that future.

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post #72 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ugh, "Intel Integrated x000" here to stay. I hate that future.

Great for laptops, small desktops and possibly dual-running with a discrete chip on all-in-ones.

But not Pro desktops like the Mac Pro
post #73 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Ugh, "Intel Integrated x000" here to stay. I hate that future.

Intel will have no choice but to get it's act together with respect to integrated GPUs otherwise they will force Apple into AMDs arms. AMDs integrated Fusion processors are pretty impressive when stacked up against Intels offerings right now. If the next chips more than double that gap Intel will be hurting. What is funny here is that LLano actually runs graphicals work loads faster than intel while using less power.

The point here is that unless you have special needs today's integrated GPUs aren't to bad. The next generation ought to be substantially better.
post #74 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The point here is that, unless you have special needs, today's integrated GPUs aren't too bad.

I agree with this. I recently bought a 13" MacBook Air. So far, I am entirely satisfied with the graphics performance of the Intel HD3000. However, I have not yet tested the ability of the HD3000 to drive an external display.
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post #75 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I agree with this. I recently bought a 13" MacBook Air. So far, I am entirely satisfied with the graphics performance of the Intel HD3000. However, I have not yet tested the ability of the HD3000 to drive an external display.

I just finished an article on the next generation ATOM chip and frankly the only thing that got a significant boost there was the GPU, which came in 3X faster. Of course ATOM's GPU was pretty terrible to begin with.

Likewise I.m hearing good things about Intel's Ivy Bridge which should be at least 2X faster. More importantly it should support OpenCL.

In other words many users will do fine with the Intel Graphics. The only good reasons to stay away are the lack of good OpenCL support and the lackluster 3D behavior. However if you don't need 3D or OpenCL then Intel integrated is no longer a serious mistake.
post #76 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

However if you don't need 3D or OpenCL then Intel integrated is no longer a serious mistake.

I would think they'd want to maintain some options here on the "pro" machines. You never know with apple though. If they determine not that many mac users need these features, they may drop them. Autodesk and a couple other companies have brought a lot over to the mac side since the switch to intel, not that I'm a big fan of Autodesk. They are like the Adobe of the 3d world
post #77 of 332
As long as they actually provide the extended performance some users need. The problem is the future isn't so clear, as we move to heterogenous computing where the GPU is an equal partner with the CPU the closer that GPU is to the CPU the better everything works.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I would think they'd want to maintain some options here on the "pro" machines. You never know with apple though.

I think Apple knows more than anybody the importance of a good GPU. Heck they put a discreet GPU in the Mini. GPUs are significant because so much is being accelerated with them these days. Even Safari users benefit from GPU acceleration these days.

The thing here is that in a couple of years we will see systems moving towards tightly integrated heterogeneous computing. This will lead to a performance advantage over discrete GPU implementations. At least for mid level hardware efforts. So two to three years down the road discreet GPUs may be hard to find.
Quote:
If they determine not that many mac users need these features, they may drop them. Autodesk and a couple other companies have brought a lot over to the mac side since the switch to intel, not that I'm a big fan of Autodesk. They are like the Adobe of the 3d world

I'm not sure what Autodesk has to do with your message. If you are trying to say they need the performance of discreet GPUs you would be right - today. However that might not be the case in the future.

Let's take a look at AMDs Fusion processors. They are already dedicating more space to the GPU than the CPU subsection. In another generation or two you might no be able to recognize the x86 part of the chip. The point is you can integrate a lot of goodness onto a processor chip these days. With the new architectures they have coming more performance will be going into those chips without a significant increase in size.

Now what does this have to do with Apple and Intel. Well Intel lags AMD here, no one disputes that. As noted the latest Sandy Bridge GPU isn't that bad for 2D but is pathetic for aggressive 3D and has zero OpenCL support. Ivy Bridge supposedly fixes some of this and gives a 2X boost in performance. If true Intel is on it's way to effectively displacing a large number of discreet GPUs. So between AMD and Intel over the next two years a good portion of the discreet GPU market will be wiped out.

The problem with this is that Discreet GPUs then become much more expensive. I would imagine that two years from now discreet GPUs will be available only in high performance implementations.
post #78 of 332
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


I'm not sure what Autodesk has to do with your message. If you are trying to say they need the performance of discreet GPUs you would be right - today. However that might not be the case in the future.

It was a pretty loose reference. I was saying that they (as a company that owns a lot of 3d content creation software) started to pay a lot more attention to OSX once it went to intel. A lot of cad and modeling programs will run basic functions on anything down to a macbook air but the experience today isn't really ideal.

I'm still not sure where they're going with the mac pro line. The lower end model especially is way out of date. If we see more development of thunderbolt accessories to provide necessary I/O then I'm not sure how much longer that mac pro will last. I've been expecting them to drop everything the single socket design once thunderbolt has enough third party support.
post #79 of 332
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Originally Posted by hmm View Post

It was a pretty loose reference. I was saying that they (as a company that owns a lot of 3d content creation software) started to pay a lot more attention to OSX once it went to intel. A lot of cad and modeling programs will run basic functions on anything down to a macbook air but the experience today isn't really ideal.

By Autocads description I'd have to upgrade my machine before even considering buying the software. Not enough RAM plus possibly CPU performance issues. The reality is such software has always been demanding when used to its full capacity, thus it is no surprise that requirements are stiff.

In any event I don't think Intel attracted AutoDesk to Mac Hardware. My guess would be that the stabilizing and refactoring of the UNIX environment had a lot to do with it. AutoDesk left the Mac world a long time ago because to put it frankly the OS sucked. Mind you I'm talking core OS here not the GUI. With Apple having a full multitasking, virtual memory OS AutoCAD had a place to put their software to make it shine.

That of course is a guess, it would be very nice to know what transpired at AutoDesk to have them take on the Mac.
Quote:

I'm still not sure where they're going with the mac pro line.

The Mac Pro is good for people that need that sort of hardware. My over riding concern is that there is to much of a gap between the Pro and the rest of Apple hardware lineup. Frankly it is frustrating as it should be rather obvious to anyone at Apple that there is a massive gap in system capability between the Mini and the Pro.
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The lower end model especially is way out of date.

I'd go farther and say the low end Pro is a huge mistake.
Quote:
If we see more development of thunderbolt accessories to provide necessary I/O then I'm not sure how much longer that mac pro will last. I've been expecting them to drop everything the single socket design once thunderbolt has enough third party support.

Agh here we go again. Thunderbolt isn't even remotely capable of providing an economical and robust substitute for a well designed desktop computer. The whole point of such a machine would be to offer the option of a high performance video card, lots of bays for storage and other goodies traditionally in a desktop. TB can't effective help with an of these requirements.
post #80 of 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

By Autocads description I'd have to upgrade my machine before even considering buying the software. Not enough RAM plus possibly CPU performance issues. The reality is such software has always been demanding when used to its full capacity, thus it is no surprise that requirements are stiff.

They bought out Alias and have been releasing maya versions mac side with better stability. They ported over a couple other programs more recently. These aren't so much cad software as packages used in cgi and broadcast graphics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The Mac Pro is good for people that need that sort of hardware. My over riding concern is that there is to much of a gap between the Pro and the rest of Apple hardware lineup. Frankly it is frustrating as it should be rather obvious to anyone at Apple that there is a massive gap in system capability between the Mini and the Pro.

The gap is there. It is obvious. The mac pro still does a poor job of justifying its value especially in the single socket configuration. My point of reference was more like the high end imac to the low end mac pro although that machine shouldn't exist in its current form.

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'd go farther and say the low end Pro is a huge mistake.

It is, but people bought them for things like faster storage access and better cooling/stability relative to the top imacs. ECC ram and xeon processors make for dumb features on those machines. Anyone who would actually need such features would pretty much be going for a dual socket configuration, so yeah it's just a bastardized configuration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Agh here we go again. Thunderbolt isn't even remotely capable of providing an economical and robust substitute for a well designed desktop computer. The whole point of such a machine would be to offer the option of a high performance video card, lots of bays for storage and other goodies traditionally in a desktop. TB can't effective help with an of these requirements.

This is fun because you do make a lot of great points (not being sarcastic). I agree with you about that being the point of the form factor. I think apple really dropped the ball here though. The graphics card options aren't that great. They don't offer any good workstation card options. The quadro ones have had consistently buggy drivers and none of their cards supported 10 bit per channel displayport signals. Their hard drive bays could use better cooling. The single socket has the same ram capacity as an imac. Any thoughts on where the line is going?
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