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Mac Pro Refesh in March - Page 2

post #41 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

This whole "volume" argument is problematic. If Apple does not provide towers for customers who need the expandability, and a more transparent policy statement about continuing the line in the future, some of the more important, and influential, customers will be forced to look elsewhere for solutions. If such a downward spiral continued, Apple could well end up being little more than what it is accused of being, an expensive toys company. I would not like to see that happen.

There are more customers than Apple concede who are sitting on the sidelines to see where Apple goes with their product lineup.

iMacs use, for example, more expensive RAM than Mac Pros and Mac Pro users want RAM, lots of RAM as well as the ability to add things as needed, be it a PCIe SSD or multiple graphics cards or whatever.

It is an important segment because it typically is represented by people in positions to influence the acquisition policies of the university, research group, company or whatever. Even when talking about smaller organizations, such as professional photographers or video producers the needs are similar and the influence within the industry or market segment.

Apple's lack of clarity is not benefiting the company or their customers.

Back in the day, Apple sold less than a million computers per quarter. Dark times. Back when they offered beige towers and pizza box machines.

Now? Apple sells 5 million Macs per quarter. More than they used to see in in over a year.

Apple's pretty clear about their direction. And it is benefiting their customers. And their shareholders. And their bottom line. They're nailed to the Consumer Electronics Company Flag. Towers are a drop in the ocean by comparison. They probably sell less Towers than the ATV...or the Mini. (Price wise, hardly a surprise because they're obscenely priced and a stale joke.)

The ram I put in my iMac was negligible in cost. You can order iMacs with with SDD drives. You can put plenty of ram in them...or a nice big, fat external HD. It also has a Thunderbolt port.

Apple 'needed' the X-Serve before they canned it. Let's hope they don't do the same to their 'pro'. If ever a machine needed an overhaul, a design shrink and a price overhaul, it's the Pro. It's out of touch.

It's a relic of a bye-bye gone era.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #42 of 372
[QUOTE]LaCie’s wicked fast Thunderbolt Drives turn MacBooks into Mac Pros
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 · 12:30 pm · 21 Comments


“Hard drive supremo LaCie will at last sell you a 2big Thunderbolt Series external drive,” Charlie Sorrel reports for Cult of Mac.
“It’s about time. Thunderbolt is as fast as hooking components up inside the computer, and as such makes a MacBook almost as expandable as a Mac Pro,” Sorrel reports. “It might also make it as expensive: the 4TB LaCie costs $650, while the 6TB runs to $800.”/QUOTE]

Times are changing.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #43 of 372
http://www.electronista.com/articles....workstations/

The plot thickens...

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #44 of 372
http://micgadget.com/21980/apple-is-...=Google+Reader

Hmm...

16 cores. :o

Smack that thang.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #45 of 372
http://micgadget.com/13419/more-thou...e-new-mac-pro/

From a while back. What's this...Apple getting access to an 8 core chip...'just for them?'

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #46 of 372
Quote:
Creative pros -

Have long left the Mac.

2 years for a processor upgrade (a VERY expensive one at best),
is WAY too long a wait when even shaving off seconds from each 3D frame rendered counts towards making a deadline.

Specially so since a trip to the nearest no name PC store will get you the latest processor/memory combination for half the price 2 year old tech gets you on the Apple store; albeit on a cheap plastic case.



Read more: http://www.electronista.com/articles...#ixzz1mUWYj75K


...and...

Quote:
Speaking for Myself...

If most of the time in front of your computer is spent with 2D applications like graphic design, desktop publishing and such, where most of the time in front of the monitor is spent making judgments and changes where the computer is mostly waiting for your input, the horsepower built into an iMac or Mac book pro will do.

On the other hand, if you are either visualizing a piece of geometry so complex it feels like orbiting it in molasses with the built in Radeon card you need either a second linked graphics card or a more powerful one. Just try opening the iMac to upgrade a drive...

Same goes for the CPUs. Say you have a couple weeks for doing a simple 30 (client's words not mine) second animation, here every second gained on rendering time in favor of scene design or character key-framing is invaluable.

About 3 years ago I built a couple workstations based on E5472 Xeons, back then about $1000 each; I still use those machines on a small render farm. Last summer I built a new main machine around a E7-4870 (10 core/2GHz and a hefty $4,500) and a Quadro 5000, this machine with a single processor renders 3-5 times faster than both previous machines together and costs about the same; can't wait to put in the second Xeon!

But all these are just scenarios only of relative importance. Eventually a phone will have enough horsepower to do "most" pro's work; alas a 12 core Mac Pro is not aimed most pros; only at the most demanding ones, precisely the ones Apple is abandoning.

This is particularly sad for animators that got used to the Mac Pros, as Apple with their HUGE leverage on Intel got GREAT deals for the top tier processors even as most other components were (still are) overpriced.

Take the Quadro FX 4000, a very solid midrange card for 3D modeling(with proper drivers it even accelerates some adobe pluggings), the Mac version is about 10% more expensive than the PC version, yet savings on the top end Apple Xeons more than offset that extra. Not any more.



Read more: http://www.electronista.com/articles...#ixzz1mUX9bVWZ


...and...

Quote:
Speak for yourself...

Are creative pros getting frustrated.. you bet your a** they are.. have they "long left the Mac" as you say? Um, not yet they haven't.

Apple lost quite a few to Adobe and Avid w/ the FCX debacle, true, but the vast majority of creative pros I deal with are still on the Mac. Some of them are saying things like "You'll pry 10.6.8 and FC7 from my cold dead hands..." But, they're still here.



Read more: http://www.electronista.com/articles...#ixzz1mUXMY635

Interesting viewpoints...

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #47 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I can understand Wizard's frustration with Apple's desktops as much as I understand Apple's design direction in desktops...

Looking at the iPad, alot of power is going into a very small device. And that's set to go off the charts for the retina iPad. It's signalling a trend. Perhaps components on Apple's desktop are finally catching up with the designs of the iMac and Mac Mini to a degree. With ivy bridge cpus...the i7 finally filtering down to the Mini...for example...and the mobile 6970M giving great bang for buck in a small enclosure.

It looks like the chase is on for mobile dollars. The gravity is pulling in the direction of Airs, laptops, iOS devices... I guess they're bringing in the most revenue. Meanwhile, the Pro sits and waits. As much a problem of Intel providing the right cpu as Apple not using readily available and cheaper components to offer a better value proposition in terms of a 'tower' machine.

I always felt Apple had it right when the line up from top to bottom Pro, Cube, iMac. But they sell mostly iMacs now...and that number is dwarfed by laptops.

I'm still looking forward to what Apple does this year with the Mac line. (You've got to hand it to them. 5 million Macs approx per quarter now. How long before the Mac user base hits 100 million? A couple of years?)

But I will be buying an iPad 3.

Lemon Bon Bon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Back in the day, Apple sold less than a million computers per quarter. Dark times. Back when they offered beige towers and pizza box machines.

Now? Apple sells 5 million Macs per quarter. More than they used to see in in over a year.

Apple's pretty clear about their direction. And it is benefiting their customers. And their shareholders. And their bottom line. They're nailed to the Consumer Electronics Company Flag. Towers are a drop in the ocean by comparison. They probably sell less Towers than the ATV...or the Mini. (Price wise, hardly a surprise because they're obscenely priced and a stale joke.)

The ram I put in my iMac was negligible in cost. You can order iMacs with with SDD drives. You can put plenty of ram in them...or a nice big, fat external HD. It also has a Thunderbolt port.

Apple 'needed' the X-Serve before they canned it. Let's hope they don't do the same to their 'pro'. If ever a machine needed an overhaul, a design shrink and a price overhaul, it's the Pro. It's out of touch.

It's a relic of a bye-bye gone era.

Lemon Bon Bon.

I am not sure just which model, X-Serve or Mac Pro you refer to as a relic of a bygone era, but there remains a need for towers, although the market forces clearly are moving to laptops as the major market segment, whether Mac or PC. What I was referring to is the group of people who use Mac Pros (and usually at least one MBP) who influence their institution to use Apple devices across the board, iMacs, iPads, iPhones and, interestingly, Minis for server banks. If their needs are not met, they will look for other solutions and their influence toward Apple products will be lost as well.

There are people doing 3D graphic visualizations of chemical bondings of experimental drugs in medical research who assuredly need more than laptops, no matter how good the laptop may be as a portable device. The photographic community is using 18, 24, and 36 MP image files that become quite large when opened and processed, especially as multi-layered Photoshop documents. These people frequently use MBPs in the field to evaluate images and Mac Pros for final processing.

No one is suggesting that the Mac Pro should replace other product lines, but it has its place. Apple have priced them rather insanely, but that is another matter. It could be argued that pricing is intended to help kill the line off by discouraging sales.

The lack of clarity to which I refer is simply leaving the Mac Pro user community hanging, wondering if there will be a Mac Pro at all or, even if there is one, will it be the last of the line. If that is to be the case, everyone can be guided accordingly.

Cheers
post #48 of 372
The Mac Pro is definitely needed. My biggest gripe with the Mac Pro is that it's too damn expensive. I remember buying a Power Mac G4 back in the day for $1,599. I can't do that now. The entry price on the Mac Pro is $900 more. And it's a monster. I knew that they needed an enclosure that big for the red hot PowerPC G5 chips, however, it's 2012 now & I think Apple can dispense with this relic design in favor of something a little more svelte. Besides why does Apple insist on it having exclusively Xeon processors? I mean a quad core i7 option instead of Xeons would do just fine by a lot of people.
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
post #49 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

The Mac Pro is definitely needed. My biggest gripe with the Mac Pro is that it's too damn expensive. I remember buying a Power Mac G4 back in the day for $1,599. I can't do that now. The entry price on the Mac Pro is $900 more. And it's a monster. I knew that they needed an enclosure that big for the red hot PowerPC G5 chips, however, it's 2012 now & I think Apple can dispense with this relic design in favor of something a little more svelte. Besides why does Apple insist on it having exclusively Xeon processors? I mean a quad core i7 option instead of Xeons would do just fine by a lot of people.

"Thank you. Thank you very much. "

It would be very easy to sell some i7 powered towers if they were priced at all reasonably and offer choices of Xeon to go up from there.

Does one dare to say that the i7 tower seems to be a popular option for people who are (cough! cough!) "experimenting"?
post #50 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

"Thank you. Thank you very much. "

It would be very easy to sell some i7 powered towers if they were priced at all reasonably and offer choices of Xeon to go up from there.

Does one dare to say that the i7 tower seems to be a popular option for people who are (cough! cough!) "experimenting"?

Noooo... not experimenting. They'd call it a hobby. Note the Apple TV.
post #51 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

The 6750 puts the 8800 to pasture but it was the 6970M that really impressed on the chart you linked. Standing proud against some really decent desktop cards.

Yeah, the 6970M has almost negligible difference between even the 6970 desktop version:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

The 7970M or whatever it's called, will be a very nice GPU indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

The point you make about the Radeon 7000 or Nv Kepler mobile GPU going into an Ivy Bridge Mini is note worthy.

I think the shared memory model these GPUs have will have a significant impact to the lower-end machines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR

If Apple does not provide towers for customers who need the expandability, and a more transparent policy statement about continuing the line in the future, some of the more important, and influential, customers will be forced to look elsewhere for solutions. If such a downward spiral continued, Apple could well end up being little more than what it is accused of being, an expensive toys company.

A few years ago, I would have described the iMacs as toys but not today - a 4-core, 8-thread i7 with up to 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 2GB 6970M and 27" LED-backlit IPS display is no toy.

I also don't think that Mac Pros really make all that much difference to university programs so the influence isn't there. I'm sure that Mac Pro owners like to believe they are influential but a celebrity like Oprah playing with an iPad is way more influential to consumer purchasing than a mathematician in a lab working out how many digits to calculate pi to.

A Mac Pro can't educate a child, it can't help a disabled person to talk, it can't be used to read books.

"We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness."

Instead of Mac Pros drawing people away into isolation, an iPad gets computing out in the open where it needs to be. Workstations make us slaves to machines not the other way round and in no way do the masses want to devolve into that state.

The masses could not care less about raw computational power. The group that does is minute and they don't have to use Macs for the computation. Apple doesn't use Macs in their own server farm. These things are hidden away from the world, who cares what gets used? Have your front-end machine run on a high-end iMac and throw all the rendering and heavy computation onto over-clocked PCs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR

iMacs use, for example, more expensive RAM than Mac Pros

32GB RAM is just $492:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...1/DDR3_21.5_27

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison

iMacs are fast but i'm not going to be able to install a PCI-Express card into an iMac so the Mac Pro is still a necessity for many folks.

Which express card would you install?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR

It would be very easy to sell some i7 powered towers if they were priced at all reasonably and offer choices of Xeon to go up from there.

This is brought up often but the Xeon in the entry Mac Pro is $284 or thereabouts, which is the same price as an i7. The Mac Pro price is largely profit margin. The exact same spec of machine sells from PC manufacturers for $1000 less.
post #52 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Yeah, the 6970M has almost negligible difference between even the 6970 desktop version:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

The 7970M or whatever it's called, will be a very nice GPU indeed.



I think the shared memory model these GPUs have will have a significant impact to the lower-end machines.



A few years ago, I would have described the iMacs as toys but not today - a 4-core, 8-thread i7 with up to 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 2GB 6970M and 27" LED-backlit IPS display is no toy.

I also don't think that Mac Pros really make all that much difference to university programs so the influence isn't there. I'm sure that Mac Pro owners like to believe they are influential but a celebrity like Oprah playing with an iPad is way more influential to consumer purchasing than a mathematician in a lab working out how many digits to calculate pi to.

A Mac Pro can't educate a child, it can't help a disabled person to talk, it can't be used to read books.

"We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness."

Instead of Mac Pros drawing people away into isolation, an iPad gets computing out in the open where it needs to be. Workstations make us slaves to machines not the other way round and in no way do the masses want to devolve into that state.

The masses could not care less about raw computational power. The group that does is minute and they don't have to use Macs for the computation. Apple doesn't use Macs in their own server farm. These things are hidden away from the world, who cares what gets used? Have your front-end machine run on a high-end iMac and throw all the rendering and heavy computation onto over-clocked PCs.



32GB RAM is just $492:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...1/DDR3_21.5_27



Which express card would you install?



This is brought up often but the Xeon in the entry Mac Pro is $284 or thereabouts, which is the same price as an i7. The Mac Pro price is largely profit margin. The exact same spec of machine sells from PC manufacturers for $1000 less.

First, I very much agree that OWC's RAM packages are an enormous improvement in price compared to what was available not that long ago. Nevertheless, 64 GB RAM for a Mac Pro is precious little more than 32 GB for an iMac.

The PCIe card I would install first is one of the non-SATA SSD such as the one OWC has announced which will accept modules to increase the capacity when the user desires.

The Mac Pros have quite a following in some Med Schools where physicians, PHD chemists, physicists and others are engaged in cutting edge research. MBPs, iMacs, iPhones and iPads abound as well. There is a place for all of them. The Mac Pro is not a substitute for an iPad and.vice versa. Different tools for different tasks. That in no way means that any of them should go away.

The newer iMacs are fine machines. They just don't have the flexibility of a tower.

Cheers
post #53 of 372
However special hardware means special pricing. I do hope that Apple offers a more mainstream six core platform. I'd actually be surprised if the processor is Apple only, that would be highly unusual of Intel.

It is interesting that part of the delay appears to be due to a move to 22nm. That is a bit different than I was hearing. In any event the rumored performance of these chips is extremely impressive. I really don't think there will be many complaints when they come out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

http://www.electronista.com/articles....workstations/

The plot thickens...

Lemon Bon Bon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

http://micgadget.com/21980/apple-is-...=Google+Reader

Hmm...

16 cores. :o

Smack that thang.

Lemon Bon Bon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

http://micgadget.com/13419/more-thou...e-new-mac-pro/

From a while back. What's this...Apple getting access to an 8 core chip...'just for them?'

Lemon Bon Bon.
post #54 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

However special hardware means special pricing. I do hope that Apple offers a more mainstream six core platform. I'd actually be surprised if the processor is Apple only, that would be highly unusual of Intel.

It is interesting that part of the delay appears to be due to a move to 22nm. That is a bit different than I was hearing. In any event the rumored performance of these chips is extremely impressive. I really don't think there will be many complaints when they come out.

http://davemeehan.com/technology/how...-a-post-pc-era

Dave, I thought you might enjoy this link. Or at least find it an interesting read. I did.

With Open CL how long until we can just stack Mini Bricks to get the 'workstation' desktop power we need?

Will iPads on a stand be the 'iMac' of the future?

Is a lap top attached to a big monitor just an iMac?

The next few years are going to be very interesting.

A redesign of the Mac Pro into something more modular that you can daisy chain? Or is the mini that with thunderbolt daising chaining as you stack them?

The Mountain Lion preview and the rumours of retina displays in Macs make me ponder.

But I'm still looking forward to the new Mac Pro release as I am the next iMac release.

2011 was pretty evolutionary. I'm expecting a few balls knocked clean out the park this year.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #55 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

http://davemeehan.com/technology/how...-a-post-pc-era

Dave, I thought you might enjoy this link. Or at least find it an interesting read. I did.

With Open CL how long until we can just stack Mini Bricks to get the 'workstation' desktop power we need?

Will iPads on a stand be the 'iMac' of the future?

Is a lap top attached to a big monitor just an iMac?

The next few years are going to be very interesting.

A redesign of the Mac Pro into something more modular that you can daisy chain? Or is the mini that with thunderbolt daising chaining as you stack them?

The Mountain Lion preview and the rumours of retina displays in Macs make me ponder.

But I'm still looking forward to the new Mac Pro release as I am the next iMac release.

2011 was pretty evolutionary. I'm expecting a few balls knocked clean out the park this year.

Lemon Bon Bon.

More than one person has suggested stackable Minis to increase computing power.
What would have to be done hardware/software wise to accomplish this?
post #56 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Yeah, the 6970M has almost negligible difference between even the 6970 desktop version:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

The 7970M or whatever it's called, will be a very nice GPU indeed.



I think the shared memory model these GPUs have will have a significant impact to the lower-end machines.



A few years ago, I would have described the iMacs as toys but not today - a 4-core, 8-thread i7 with up to 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD + 256GB SSD, 2GB 6970M and 27" LED-backlit IPS display is no toy.

I also don't think that Mac Pros really make all that much difference to university programs so the influence isn't there. I'm sure that Mac Pro owners like to believe they are influential but a celebrity like Oprah playing with an iPad is way more influential to consumer purchasing than a mathematician in a lab working out how many digits to calculate pi to.

A Mac Pro can't educate a child, it can't help a disabled person to talk, it can't be used to read books.

"We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness."

Instead of Mac Pros drawing people away into isolation, an iPad gets computing out in the open where it needs to be. Workstations make us slaves to machines not the other way round and in no way do the masses want to devolve into that state.

The masses could not care less about raw computational power. The group that does is minute and they don't have to use Macs for the computation. Apple doesn't use Macs in their own server farm. These things are hidden away from the world, who cares what gets used? Have your front-end machine run on a high-end iMac and throw all the rendering and heavy computation onto over-clocked PCs.



32GB RAM is just $492:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...1/DDR3_21.5_27



Which express card would you install?



This is brought up often but the Xeon in the entry Mac Pro is $284 or thereabouts, which is the same price as an i7. The Mac Pro price is largely profit margin. The exact same spec of machine sells from PC manufacturers for $1000 less.

Amen.

Lemon Bon Bon.

PS. Loved the quote.

PPS. That full loaded iMac would give a black eye to many an unsuspecting Mac Pro. The iMac is now a serious machine to all intents and purposes.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #57 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

More than one person has suggested stackable Minis to increase computing power.
What would have to be done hardware/software wise to accomplish this?

Xgrid would have to be able to leverage Thunderbolt connections and more software would have to be able to break up task into bits that can be parallel processed.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #58 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneking7320 View Post

More than one person has suggested stackable Minis to increase computing power.
What would have to be done hardware/software wise to accomplish this?

Well, didn't we have 'X-Grid' a while back? Don't we have Open CL now? And we have Thunderbolt?

Maybe lots of mammals working together rather than one big dinosaur.

Could be cool stringing x4 Mac Mini's together to rend 3D. 4 Mini's stacked is smaller than a Mac Pro?

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #59 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

4 Mini's stacked is smaller than a Mac Pro?

I believe that even 12 are. But the cabling wouldn't be as pretty.

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.

 

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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 #60 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Xgrid would have to be able to leverage Thunderbolt connections and more software would have to be able to break up task into bits that can be parallel processed.

Like a 3D render farm, for example? Won't 'Open CL' via linked 'Mac Minis' see the computer 'as one?'

I remember X-Grid being talked about a while back. Between it and Open CL is there a chance to create 'stacked' Mini's to act as Render nodes? Surely Thunderbolt provides that quick connection to relay the distributed render info'? Does X-Grid pool the machines and funnel all the computer power/info into Open CL? Like funnelling it into the task at hand?

*Musing out loud.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #61 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I believe that even 12 are. But the cabling wouldn't be as pretty.

*Blushes.

Of course...

*thinks. Hey...I wonder if they could sell us an 'X-Serve' like Mac Mini cabinet or an empty Mac Pro case where you can 'hot swap' minis into bays...

**Like those 'Raid' boxes you get? Aren't they just stacked hard drives?

***Still musing.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #62 of 372
12 Minis...hmm. That would be...about £8000? That would give you...uhm...12x4 cores=48. With hyperthreading...that would be...96 'virtually' to hammer a 3D render.

Hmm...

So I could have 3 stacks of 4 minis sat on top of each other...like '3 mini towers'...a personal render farm. Buy as much 'desktop'/'workstation' render power as you need.

I'll have a burger...no...make that a double whopper...no...I'll have the tripple to go...etc.

*Babbles.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #63 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

*thinks. Hey...I wonder if they could sell us an 'X-Serve' like Mac Mini cabinet or an empty Mac Pro case where you can 'hot swap' minis into bays...

**Like those 'Raid' boxes you get? Aren't they just stacked hard drives?

YES. Like the XServe RAID, only instead of hard drive trays into which you put drives, just open slots into which you slide Mac Minis. The back of said slots have all the connectors needed (power, Thunderbolt, and USB are really all you'd need), and all the wiring is done for you like the Mac Pro is.

Interesting Very interesting

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 #64 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

YES. Like the XServe RAID, only instead of hard drive trays into which you put drives, just open slots into which you slide Mac Minis. The back of said slots have all the connectors needed (power, Thunderbolt, and USB are really all you'd need), and all the wiring is done for you like the Mac Pro is.

Interesting Very interesting

I've read of people suggesting TB as a quick interconnect like this. Has it ever been successfully implemented?
post #65 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I've read of people suggesting TB as a quick interconnect like this. Has it ever been successfully implemented?

Sonnet has a product for using the Thunderbolt Mini in a rack:

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ra...nixserver.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_aj6ADTlcA

but that setup is kinda like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1PVq9mVSXQ

using the Mini as front-end controllers for shared file access. But, Thunderbolt is external PCI - maybe they should have called it ePCI so that the capabilities would be obvious. Any kind of multi-port network interface can be plugged into it like fibre channel in the above example and you can do whatever you like with the networked Minis.

It would be nice if someone was able to design a rack like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TET16uZUmM
http://www.mk1manufacturing.com/MMR-2G-5U_Images.html

but instead of the USB bar, just have a power socket and a Thunderbolt port per unit that connects them all up. You could run more than 30 Minis off a single home plug (<2kW). Under load, a Mini uses 40W vs 400-600W for a Mac Pro. 30 Minis actually take up around the same volume as a single Mac Pro too. There's 28 in this picture and you could fit some vertically:



Given that one of those Minis in quad i7 form is around 85% the speed of the current entry Mac Pro while drawing 1/10th the power, it shows the performance per volume/dollar/watt are all in favour of the Mini. The Mini could even take a low voltage Xeon chip.

I wish they'd improve the airflow though by perforating the front of the Mini.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR

Nevertheless, 64 GB RAM for a Mac Pro is precious little more than 32 GB for an iMac.

The PCIe card I would install first is one of the non-SATA SSD such as the one OWC has announced which will accept modules to increase the capacity when the user desires.

But you see how this goes; when the iMac gets 64GB RAM, you say that the Mac Pro can handle 128GB RAM. When the iMac gets a GPU capable of x performance units, you say the Mac Pro can handle a GPU capable of x.5 performance units. Ultimately, the Mac Pro is not the most powerful nor the most expandable machine. Apple has made compromises with it like all the other machines.

The bottom line is, how many people put 64GB RAM in their Mac Pro and actually use it? How many people are fitting PCI cards? How many people are buying PCI SSDs? It's great to think of the theoretical possibilities but if hardly anyone is doing this then what's the point designing the machine that way?

I would like to see another Mac Pro incarnation but I don't want to see the same dull, giant box. One more design and it can run for another 6 years before it goes the way of ole' yeller. There is no question of 'if', it's just a matter of 'when'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

The Mac Pro is not a substitute for an iPad and.vice versa. Different tools for different tasks.

I'd say any of the other Macs are suitable replacements for Mac Pros when we are talking about 1 person using 1 computer. For networked usage, the value isn't there for the Mac Pro. I agree that for the individual graphics artist doing compositing or 3D, a 12-core Mac Pro is a nice machine but it's just under 3x faster than a laptop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wRLLT3RpsI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9770So2nZ0Q

$1799 for the laptop vs $6199 for the Mac Pro. There's a chance that performance difference would mean being able to do certain kinds of work or not but that's when you get a render slave or two. Core i7 boxes are dirt cheap. Sit on the sofa with the laptop while the render boxes are sweating away in the cupboard.
post #66 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Sonnet has a product for using the Thunderbolt Mini in a rack:

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ra...nixserver.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_aj6ADTlcA

but that setup is kinda like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1PVq9mVSXQ

using the Mini as front-end controllers for shared file access. But, Thunderbolt is external PCI - maybe they should have called it ePCI so that the capabilities would be obvious. Any kind of multi-port network interface can be plugged into it like fibre channel in the above example and you can do whatever you like with the networked Minis.

It would be nice if someone was able to design a rack like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TET16uZUmM
http://www.mk1manufacturing.com/MMR-2G-5U_Images.html

but instead of the USB bar, just have a power socket and a Thunderbolt port per unit that connects them all up. You could run more than 30 Minis off a single home plug (<2kW). Under load, a Mini uses 40W vs 400-600W for a Mac Pro. 30 Minis actually take up around the same volume as a single Mac Pro too. There's 28 in this picture and you could fit some vertically:



Given that one of those Minis in quad i7 form is around 85% the speed of the current entry Mac Pro while drawing 1/10th the power, it shows the performance per volume/dollar/watt are all in favour of the Mini. The Mini could even take a low voltage Xeon chip.

I wish they'd improve the airflow though by perforating the front of the Mini.



But you see how this goes; when the iMac gets 64GB RAM, you say that the Mac Pro can handle 128GB RAM. When the iMac gets a GPU capable of x performance units, you say the Mac Pro can handle a GPU capable of x.5 performance units. Ultimately, the Mac Pro is not the most powerful nor the most expandable machine. Apple has made compromises with it like all the other machines.

The bottom line is, how many people put 64GB RAM in their Mac Pro and actually use it? How many people are fitting PCI cards? How many people are buying PCI SSDs? It's great to think of the theoretical possibilities but if hardly anyone is doing this then what's the point designing the machine that way?

I would like to see another Mac Pro incarnation but I don't want to see the same dull, giant box. One more design and it can run for another 6 years before it goes the way of ole' yeller. There is no question of 'if', it's just a matter of 'when'.



I'd say any of the other Macs are suitable replacements for Mac Pros when we are talking about 1 person using 1 computer. For networked usage, the value isn't there for the Mac Pro. I agree that for the individual graphics artist doing compositing or 3D, a 12-core Mac Pro is a nice machine but it's just under 3x faster than a laptop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wRLLT3RpsI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9770So2nZ0Q

$1799 for the laptop vs $6199 for the Mac Pro. There's a chance that performance difference would mean being able to do certain kinds of work or not but that's when you get a render slave or two. Core i7 boxes are dirt cheap. Sit on the sofa with the laptop while the render boxes are sweating away in the cupboard.

Just because you don't have a use for it does not mean there is not a demand for it. You are more concerned about what it looks like than what it can do, which is the reverse of the concerns of its users.
post #67 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

Just because you don't have a use for it does not mean there is not a demand for it. You are more concerned about what it looks like than what it can do, which is the reverse of the concerns of its users.

I don't get that at all from his post.

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 #68 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I don't get that at all from his post.

He says there are other Macs which will substitute for a Mac Pro and so on which justifies it "going away". I disagree.
post #69 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBR View Post

He says there are other Macs which will substitute for a Mac Pro and so on which justifies it "going away". I disagree.

It's the truth. While I think that Apple should create some sort of Xserve replacement so that we might have OS X on the back-end in an ultra-high-performance situation, the rest of the Mac line will, for all intents and purposes, supplant the Mac Pro.

How often are Mac Pros replaced in their use case? Just, on average if there is one.

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 #70 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Sonnet has a product for using the Thunderbolt Mini in a rack:

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ra...nixserver.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_aj6ADTlcA

but that setup is kinda like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1PVq9mVSXQ

using the Mini as front-end controllers for shared file access. But, Thunderbolt is external PCI - maybe they should have called it ePCI so that the capabilities would be obvious. Any kind of multi-port network interface can be plugged into it like fibre channel in the above example and you can do whatever you like with the networked Minis.

It would be nice if someone was able to design a rack like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TET16uZUmM
http://www.mk1manufacturing.com/MMR-2G-5U_Images.html

but instead of the USB bar, just have a power socket and a Thunderbolt port per unit that connects them all up. You could run more than 30 Minis off a single home plug (<2kW). Under load, a Mini uses 40W vs 400-600W for a Mac Pro. 30 Minis actually take up around the same volume as a single Mac Pro too. There's 28 in this picture and you could fit some vertically:



Given that one of those Minis in quad i7 form is around 85% the speed of the current entry Mac Pro while drawing 1/10th the power, it shows the performance per volume/dollar/watt are all in favour of the Mini. The Mini could even take a low voltage Xeon chip.

I wish they'd improve the airflow though by perforating the front of the Mini.



But you see how this goes; when the iMac gets 64GB RAM, you say that the Mac Pro can handle 128GB RAM. When the iMac gets a GPU capable of x performance units, you say the Mac Pro can handle a GPU capable of x.5 performance units. Ultimately, the Mac Pro is not the most powerful nor the most expandable machine. Apple has made compromises with it like all the other machines.

The bottom line is, how many people put 64GB RAM in their Mac Pro and actually use it? How many people are fitting PCI cards? How many people are buying PCI SSDs? It's great to think of the theoretical possibilities but if hardly anyone is doing this then what's the point designing the machine that way?

I would like to see another Mac Pro incarnation but I don't want to see the same dull, giant box. One more design and it can run for another 6 years before it goes the way of ole' yeller. There is no question of 'if', it's just a matter of 'when'.



I'd say any of the other Macs are suitable replacements for Mac Pros when we are talking about 1 person using 1 computer. For networked usage, the value isn't there for the Mac Pro. I agree that for the individual graphics artist doing compositing or 3D, a 12-core Mac Pro is a nice machine but it's just under 3x faster than a laptop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wRLLT3RpsI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9770So2nZ0Q

$1799 for the laptop vs $6199 for the Mac Pro. There's a chance that performance difference would mean being able to do certain kinds of work or not but that's when you get a render slave or two. Core i7 boxes are dirt cheap. Sit on the sofa with the laptop while the render boxes are sweating away in the cupboard.

The i7 performs very well as a single chip. It's made the iMac and Macbook Pro very compelling solutions. The Mac Mini also.

Your creative post offers a compelling future where you can simply add the power you need as your workflow dictates. Add cpu modules, add HD modules...add gpu external oomph.

I guess it depends on how creative the Thunderbolt adoption will be.

You can, in your example, take your Macbook Pro workstation on the go...and 'dock' it at home into an auxillary cpu renderfarm with extra storage and gpu power.

You can add Thunderbolt Raid to the iMac? Or more external GPU oomph to it? More monitors...

Same could be said of the Mini.

ie your 'desktop' could 'grow' with you and you could add to it over time. While having, at it's hub, a 'portable' computer like the Mini or Laptop.

Your post hints at the possibilities.

But Thunderbolt is definitely giving Laptops and iMacs more video workstation possibilities, at least according to Hitachi...

You can kind of see where the future is going...if the iOS 'airplay' connectivity, all devices, all communicate, all share thing is going.

How long before adding more 'power' to cpu/gpu/hard drive is simple plug in and play where all computing power in a house can be pooled to any common task?

If you can add a Thunderbolt Raid to iMac or MacBook Pro....how long before the external GPU arrives? How long before I can render farm my Mac Minis with Thunderbolt?

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #71 of 372
As opposed to one pricey Mac Pro, under x3 performance of one laptop...

...you could buy 3 quad core laptops? Or an iMac desktop...a laptop...a mini to boost render and a mini Raid for all that? For a far more flexible working solution with most of the power?

I still can't wait to see what Apple has planned for the next Mac Pro having said all that.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #72 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Sonnet has a product for using the Thunderbolt Mini in a rack:

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ra...nixserver.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_aj6ADTlcA

but that setup is kinda like this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1PVq9mVSXQ

using the Mini as front-end controllers for shared file access. But, Thunderbolt is external PCI - maybe they should have called it ePCI so that the capabilities would be obvious. Any kind of multi-port network interface can be plugged into it like fibre channel in the above example and you can do whatever you like with the networked Minis.

It would be nice if someone was able to design a rack like these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TET16uZUmM
http://www.mk1manufacturing.com/MMR-2G-5U_Images.html

but instead of the USB bar, just have a power socket and a Thunderbolt port per unit that connects them all up. You could run more than 30 Minis off a single home plug (<2kW). Under load, a Mini uses 40W vs 400-600W for a Mac Pro. 30 Minis actually take up around the same volume as a single Mac Pro too. There's 28 in this picture and you could fit some vertically:



Given that one of those Minis in quad i7 form is around 85% the speed of the current entry Mac Pro while drawing 1/10th the power, it shows the performance per volume/dollar/watt are all in favour of the Mini. The Mini could even take a low voltage Xeon chip.

I wish they'd improve the airflow though by perforating the front of the Mini.



But you see how this goes; when the iMac gets 64GB RAM, you say that the Mac Pro can handle 128GB RAM. When the iMac gets a GPU capable of x performance units, you say the Mac Pro can handle a GPU capable of x.5 performance units. Ultimately, the Mac Pro is not the most powerful nor the most expandable machine. Apple has made compromises with it like all the other machines.

The bottom line is, how many people put 64GB RAM in their Mac Pro and actually use it? How many people are fitting PCI cards? How many people are buying PCI SSDs? It's great to think of the theoretical possibilities but if hardly anyone is doing this then what's the point designing the machine that way?

I would like to see another Mac Pro incarnation but I don't want to see the same dull, giant box. One more design and it can run for another 6 years before it goes the way of ole' yeller. There is no question of 'if', it's just a matter of 'when'.



I'd say any of the other Macs are suitable replacements for Mac Pros when we are talking about 1 person using 1 computer. For networked usage, the value isn't there for the Mac Pro. I agree that for the individual graphics artist doing compositing or 3D, a 12-core Mac Pro is a nice machine but it's just under 3x faster than a laptop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wRLLT3RpsI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9770So2nZ0Q

$1799 for the laptop vs $6199 for the Mac Pro. There's a chance that performance difference would mean being able to do certain kinds of work or not but that's when you get a render slave or two. Core i7 boxes are dirt cheap. Sit on the sofa with the laptop while the render boxes are sweating away in the cupboard.

Oh also the mini doesn't use 40W. The cpu uses 45W just like the cpu in the mac pro uses 95W for the single socket or 190W for the dual socket model.

I'm just going to add, this is Apple. They are unlikely to offer much of a redesign, especially as if it means exotic cooling methods, the cost would go up anyway to cover it. They'll either keep it or drop it. My guess is that they'll keep it if/until thunderbolt can handle some of the upper ends of pci solutions at which point they'll drop it figuring people will grumble and make do. I'm also not sure how much life the imac has left in its current rendition.

I could go on with this topic for pages. What irritates me is how Apple optimizes their machines, because it sucks. The imac isn't cost effective to repair at all. If it's out of warranty, a hard drive is barely worth replacing given the relative cost, and their display implementation has long term issues. I like the mini design better in some ways. What I dislike is integrated graphics on the quad model, and for its price, it deserves discrete graphics (keep in mind the cpus are almost identical in price). I'm not sure on the idea of clustered minis. Temperature might be an issue. You have to remember there's one temperature figure for short term use. If you're slamming them for periods greater than 8 hours a day, the thermal recommendations are significantly lower. In terms of raw cost, you'd be better off with cheap i7 boxes that use similar innards to the top imac. Using minis here is more of a leveraged use than a practical one in cost, while it is relatively efficient on space. Also do not expect them to be running in full turbo boost. They won't be able to keep that up for hours at a time.

Okay regarding 12 core machines and top gpus, usually those kinds of things are a bigger deal for people like animators. It takes quite a lot of power to scrub through physics calculations or achieve realtime playback on a complex scene as opposed to lowering framerate to avoid dropped frames. Audio editors seem to use quite a lot of power too, but I know very little about it. Graphics and CAD are often limited on core scaling unfortunately. Graphics can take up a lot of ram if you're dealing with raster data and not solely vectors. At some point photoshop will better support 32 bit floating point math, and if that catches on and someone can make a clean linear workflow through raw processors like you have with a program like nuke, that would bump ram requirements immensely.

In the end it's about how much you need on one machine and what other items you need included. This conversation comes up because Apple is focused on a newer market rather than a mature one. It happens. Apple irritates me, but there isn't much I can do there. When they design a new computer, they focus heavily on aesthetics and footprint. They don't care if you want to swap a hard drive when the installed one crashes. Most people don't even have proper backups anyway. They're perfectly willing to strip out features if they don't fit in a compact design. Personally I don't care about these things. I care how it runs. If something lags, I have to reduce my settings until it's back to a smooth experience. I did this with the G4s and G5s. I don't want to do the same thing today. I also feel it's asinine to plug a bunch of cords and boxes into an all in one machine. It defeats the entire point of the design without removing any of the compromises.

@Lemon splitting things into pieces doesn't make it more flexible. It makes sense if it gives you more power per dollar. By the time you total up the cost of all the cables and storage enclosures and everything, it doesn't look so good for the minis which would run hot without additional cooling anyway. Note run hot for use exceeding 8 hours at a time.
post #73 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Oh also the mini doesn't use 40W. The cpu uses 45W just like the cpu in the mac pro uses 95W for the single socket or 190W for the dual socket model.

Apple says the single quad-core Mac Pro power draw is 218W:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2836?v...S&locale=en_US

Throw in two higher clocked CPUs (adds at least 90W) and perhaps run the GPU too and you're easily above 300W - the GPU at full load will take it over 400W but the Mini GPU is 20W in the worst case. The Mini has a maximum 85W PSU so it can't even come close to that without risking overloading it. Kill-a-watt readings of the latest Mac Mini on full CPU load are around 40W.

The Mini at the very least is still 5x more power efficient.

I wonder if Intel is going to delay the Ivy Bridge Xeon launch:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing...yed-until-june

They are saying there's a surplus of Sandy Bridge chips, thanks to the PC manufacturers' terrible attempts at making computers that people want. The Xeons are the most expensive chips so would lose the most money but they are likely to be the lowest volume chips so it might be ok to go ahead.

Hopefully Intel gives Apple some special treatment so we at least get some decent updates in April.
post #74 of 372
Lemon Bon Bon - Thanks for the cross post into this forum.

(My original thoughts - http://davemeehan.com/technology/how...-a-post-pc-era

The more I think of it, and post reading the comments here, the idea of a stackable mini as a replacement for the Macpro has much merit.

As a given, take it tha Apple has the design and engineering skills to create a box that stacks nicely, just works (without linking cables in the conventional sense), looks ultra desirable and doesn't overheat. None of those things are unavoidable.

Also, your concerns for overheating on a 8+ hour compute intensive tasks is probably an edge cae, even for existing Macpro users. As I said above, the cooling issues could be dealt with, even if it takes some exotic approach. For the edge cases, this might be an optional module.

If you then create modules, or even allow third parties to do so, to provide options for storage expansion, GPU expansion (to drive more displays or simple for GPU grunt for specialist tasks via OpenCL), memory expansion , audio expansion, or other yet unknown uses.

Don't forget, thunderbolt is/will be available on all OS X devices, and that means the expansion modules can be connected to a MacBook air to give it desktop class performance when docked/at home/office. So it's not a solution *just* as a Macpro replacement, it would actually provide benefit to every device.

Consider also if an iOS device, now or in the future, could take advantage of these expansion modules, either via cable or wirelessly? How neat would that be? Could modules be put somewhere within a house/office to be shared wirelessly by any other Apple device.

Obviously this goes beyond the idea of Thunderbolt, and it's performance possibilities. Wifi, even next generation would severely hamper the throughput, but as some form of distributed computing it could be incredibly powerful. Just think of voice processing of Siri like commands if you could offload the signal processing to a small in-house server farm.

What else a Apple good at? Moving to where the competition is non-existent, creating a market of their own and nailing it. they've done it with just about every product they've created, an certainly so in the last 8-10 years. It really is about time someone turned the industry notion that power equals a big box on its head and gave the consumer something as simple as Lego with which to build their solution.

No-one else outside of some custom shop does anything like this, but all the components are pretty much available, it just needs commercialising. The PC industry is backward and only able to compete on price, no innovation, and this could be huge if Apple can create the necessary 'special sauce' that makes it all just work seamlessly to the end user.

And don't even start me on where I think the iPad could take things!
post #75 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple says the single quad-core Mac Pro power draw is 218W:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2836?v...S&locale=en_US

Throw in two higher clocked CPUs (adds at least 90W) and perhaps run the GPU too and you're easily above 300W - the GPU at full load will take it over 400W but the Mini GPU is 20W in the worst case. The Mini has a maximum 85W PSU so it can't even come close to that without risking overloading it. Kill-a-watt readings of the latest Mac Mini on full CPU load are around 40W.

The Mini at the very least is still 5x more power efficient.

I wonder if Intel is going to delay the Ivy Bridge Xeon launch:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing...yed-until-june

They are saying there's a surplus of Sandy Bridge chips, thanks to the PC manufacturers' terrible attempts at making computers that people want. The Xeons are the most expensive chips so would lose the most money but they are likely to be the lowest volume chips so it might be ok to go ahead.

Hopefully Intel gives Apple some special treatment so we at least get some decent updates in April.

I was comparing raw parts. I never said it didn't take less power. Anyway if they're going for a bunch of little boxes, the mini still doesn't look like that great of a solution to the problem. There are more scalable solutions for that. We're still mixing up the functions of a workstation and server farm here. You tend to use the workstation when your needs aren't so great that they really warrant expanding out to multiple boxes. It's not always as simple as just connecting computers. You do have to plan it, and have some means of diagnostics. There are a lot of issues, and as I mentioned internal temperatures could be an issue if these are being run for days at a time.

Regarding workstations, your armada of minis only works if everything works out, and you have to take a lot of costs into consideration. Some applications require further licenses to run in a distributed manner like this, which can kill the economy of doing this with something like a mini. The base mini offers the best economy assuming no other costs like that. Otherwise there are better solutions. You can run inexpensive i7 boxes as an example. You wouldn't really add graphics and other things. They'd just be dumb nodes. If I was going for ultra low power, I'd want to compare to how it would work with atom cpus. In any event this is somewhat annoying to set up, and it only works with tasks that distribute well.

Since the example of animation was used, yes rendering something out or rendering post effects could be run in a distributed manner. If you're looking for real time playback of an animation or 4k video uncompressed or something of that sort (that's a slightly extreme example but anyway) that is not a distributed task. It's something you run within an application for real time feedback rather than something that can be distributed via a job manager of some kind. This is the difference. We can go on to argue about percentage of users or whatever, but this same argument goes way back. When the complexity of the problem to be solved flattens out, hardware tends to shrink rather than simply being made faster.

In any event, I don't think you'll see a redesign. I would wager that Foxconn is handling the designs at this point, and Apple is just making changes and signing off on them. I'd expect they're riding on technologies like thunderbolt and hoping that these things will scale up enough to limit how many customers they might lose by ditching the line. I don't think the mac pro has much of an associated R&D cost. If they're looking at something, it would be PR over the perception of a neglected product, spatial consumption in stores and on the site, etc. They aren't spending much of anything keeping it up to date.
post #76 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

It's not always as simple as just connecting computers. You do have to plan it, and have some means of diagnostics.

That's why I think Apple should have a zero-config Thunderbolt interconnect with an Airport-like admin, even if there's another Mac Pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

There are a lot of issues, and as I mentioned internal temperatures could be an issue if these are being run for days at a time.

Like in a server farm:

http://www.macminicolo.net/facility.html

They do use cooling systems but the following point negates this anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Regarding workstations, your armada of minis

It's not quite an armada, the image above is just to show the relative scale. A Mac Mini Server renders Cinebench at 4.2, a 12-core Mac Pro scores 15.2 so 4x Mac Mini Servers would be a replacement for a 12-core Mac Pro and one would be your main machine (this setup takes up 1/7th the space).



In fact, if you bought the highest-end iMac as your main machine, you'd get away with just 2x Mini Servers as slaves.

This is cheaper than a Mac Pro too:

4x Mini Server = $3996 + display cost
27" iMac + 2x mini Server = $4197
12-core Mac Pro = $6199 + display cost

The $4,999 12-core scores 13.8 so that's close to an iMac + 1x Mini Server = $2998 (might need a dual-core Mini on top to match exactly)

That doesn't even account for the fact that the Mac Pro only comes with 6GB RAM vs 4GB per machine in the others (matters for concurrent frame processing) and also the fact that the iMac setup comes with a 27" IPS display worth $999.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Some applications require further licenses to run in a distributed manner like this, which can kill the economy of doing this with something like a mini.

I agree but some licenses are based on core count and render-only licenses tend to be cheaper. Some rendering engines are a free for all. V-Ray has an unlimited license for example. It is an issue to consider though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

If you're looking for real time playback of an animation or 4k video uncompressed or something of that sort (that's a slightly extreme example but anyway) that is not a distributed task.

That's true but a high-end iMac can easily do this if you use the right setup. In the example of real-time video, the bottleneck is usually storage - it's rare that it would be CPU dependent and if it's GPU-dependent, the GPU in the iMac is faster than the 5570 in the Pro and matches the 5870. 4k streams will run around 500Mbps (60MB/s). If you try to run them off an internal 7200 RPM drive then it'll choke with 2 layers. That's why you use something like a Thunderbolt Pegasus R4/R6:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg3vEVE8rss

580MB/s write, 490MB/s read. Eventually SSD will be the best option. Although the Pegasus adds $1-2k to the overall costs, you already saved over $2k vs the Mac Pro and it also separates the RAID from the system and has a hardware RAID, which costs $700 in the Mac Pro. You can run your machines off small SSDs and put the data on the RAID - you have to modify the Mac Pro to do this if you want to avoid paying for the Pegasus on top.

Compare:

27" iMac, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 6970M + 2x Mini Server, 4GB RAM each, 256GB SSD each ($550x2) + 4TB Pegasus R4 ($1149) = $6946
12-core Mac Pro, 6GB RAM, 4TB hardware RAID (no SSD boot drive), Radeon 5870, 27" IPS display = $8548

If you leave the first setup without SSD boot drives, the first price is $5346 and you can use your own 128GB SSDs if you want to get somewhere in between.

Given that the Mac Pro refresh is now once every 2 years, you would benefit from being able to upgrade your slave drives every year and get a 50% performance boost per slave or just add more while keeping your main setup and RAID untouched.
post #77 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

The i7 performs very well as a single chip. It's made the iMac and Macbook Pro very compelling solutions. The Mac Mini also.

An i7 iMac is no more a replacement for the Pro than any previous iMac. You can't look at single thread performance and declare an iMac a replacement for the Pro. You realistically can't even consider general productivity apps. The reason is simple the Pro isn't targetted at such markets.
Quote:
Your creative post offers a compelling future where you can simply add the power you need as your workflow dictates. Add cpu modules, add HD modules...add gpu external oomph.

It could be a desirable goal for some situations. The problem is Apple is no longer in the server business and seems to have lost interest in high performance computing. Frankly this sounds like a Mac spin on Beowulf clusters, not that that is a bad idea just that it is a very niche market.

In a way I see the XMac as potentially supporting this role well. The idea here is that an XMAc would be either a half or third width computer (EIA rack widths). The XMac of course supporting easy configurability.
Quote:
I guess it depends on how creative the Thunderbolt adoption will be.

It is still extremely early for TB! It will likely be a couple of years more until there is a strong market acceptance.
Quote:

You can, in your example, take your Macbook Pro workstation on the go...and 'dock' it at home into an auxillary cpu renderfarm with extra storage and gpu power.

Render farms and cheap hardware go together. There is little reason to put a Mac into service here when commodity hardware and Linux is the common practice.
Quote:
You can add Thunderbolt Raid to the iMac? Or more external GPU oomph to it? More monitors...

Same could be said of the Mini.

ie your 'desktop' could 'grow' with you and you could add to it over time. While having, at it's hub, a 'portable' computer like the Mini or Laptop.

I really don't see people rushing over each other to install rats nests on their desks, book shelves or whatever.
Quote:
Your post hints at the possibilities.

But Thunderbolt is definitely giving Laptops and iMacs more video workstation possibilities, at least according to Hitachi...

You can kind of see where the future is going...if the iOS 'airplay' connectivity, all devices, all communicate, all share thing is going.

How long before adding more 'power' to cpu/gpu/hard drive is simple plug in and play where all computing power in a house can be pooled to any common task?

Huge app software hurdles there. Frankly Macs have shipped with Libraries for such for a long time. That is software to pool computing performance, but it is seldom used.
Quote:
If you can add a Thunderbolt Raid to iMac or MacBook Pro....how long before the external GPU arrives? How long before I can render farm my Mac Minis with Thunderbolt?

You can do that today given the app to do the calculation. Sure you would be using Giga bit ethernet, but that may or may not be a throttle point. It is a mistake to believe that TB would immediately be a superior solution, it really depends upon where your bottle necks are.

As to external GPUs, sorry but it don't see the attraction at all. In fact I could see Apple tightly coupling the dGPU to the CPU by building them right on the motherboard. If not this year in a couple of more, especially if GPUs can sit on the memory bus as equals to the CPU. If memory serves me AMD expects to be fairly close by 2014. The days od GPUs being on expansion cards is quickly comming to an end.
Quote:
Lemon Bon Bon.

Cheers
post #78 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmeehan View Post

Lemon Bon Bon - Thanks for the cross post into this forum.

(My original thoughts - http://davemeehan.com/technology/how...-a-post-pc-era

The more I think of it, and post reading the comments here, the idea of a stackable mini as a replacement for the Macpro has much merit.

As a given, take it tha Apple has the design and engineering skills to create a box that stacks nicely, just works (without linking cables in the conventional sense), looks ultra desirable and doesn't overheat. None of those things are unavoidable.

Also, your concerns for overheating on a 8+ hour compute intensive tasks is probably an edge cae, even for existing Macpro users. As I said above, the cooling issues could be dealt with, even if it takes some exotic approach. For the edge cases, this might be an optional module.

If you then create modules, or even allow third parties to do so, to provide options for storage expansion, GPU expansion (to drive more displays or simple for GPU grunt for specialist tasks via OpenCL), memory expansion , audio expansion, or other yet unknown uses.

Don't forget, thunderbolt is/will be available on all OS X devices, and that means the expansion modules can be connected to a MacBook air to give it desktop class performance when docked/at home/office. So it's not a solution *just* as a Macpro replacement, it would actually provide benefit to every device.

Consider also if an iOS device, now or in the future, could take advantage of these expansion modules, either via cable or wirelessly? How neat would that be? Could modules be put somewhere within a house/office to be shared wirelessly by any other Apple device.

Obviously this goes beyond the idea of Thunderbolt, and it's performance possibilities. Wifi, even next generation would severely hamper the throughput, but as some form of distributed computing it could be incredibly powerful. Just think of voice processing of Siri like commands if you could offload the signal processing to a small in-house server farm.

What else a Apple good at? Moving to where the competition is non-existent, creating a market of their own and nailing it. they've done it with just about every product they've created, an certainly so in the last 8-10 years. It really is about time someone turned the industry notion that power equals a big box on its head and gave the consumer something as simple as Lego with which to build their solution.

No-one else outside of some custom shop does anything like this, but all the components are pretty much available, it just needs commercialising. The PC industry is backward and only able to compete on price, no innovation, and this could be huge if Apple can create the necessary 'special sauce' that makes it all just work seamlessly to the end user.

And don't even start me on where I think the iPad could take things!

Firstly, welcome to the Appleinsider boards, Mr. Meehan.

A worthy and thoughtful 'first' post.

The tantalising notion of a 'lego built' desktop solution that expands the potency of an iMac, MacBook Pro or even an iPad of the future teases with it's possibilities and price advantage. It's also more flexible for the user.

I look at the Raid 'mini towers' and wonder how far away is a 'Mini-tower' stack of minis to achieve a similar effect but for 'extra' processing.

..and like you say, Apple is all about the 'special' sauce.

Even if Apple won't make a 'hot swap' solution cabinet that you can 'bung' two, four or six mini's in...the user can simply stack a couple of minis (not the car) one on top of the other and link them to eg the iMac? Macbook Pro?

Maybe I'll email Sonnet and see what they say about the potential of all this.

Enjoy the debate!

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #79 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That's why I think Apple should have a zero-config Thunderbolt interconnect with an Airport-like admin, even if there's another Mac Pro.



Like in a server farm:

http://www.macminicolo.net/facility.html

They do use cooling systems but the following point negates this anyway.



It's not quite an armada, the image above is just to show the relative scale. A Mac Mini Server renders Cinebench at 4.2, a 12-core Mac Pro scores 15.2 so 4x Mac Mini Servers would be a replacement for a 12-core Mac Pro and one would be your main machine (this setup takes up 1/7th the space).



In fact, if you bought the highest-end iMac as your main machine, you'd get away with just 2x Mini Servers as slaves.

This is cheaper than a Mac Pro too:

4x Mini Server = $3996 + display cost
27" iMac + 2x mini Server = $4197
12-core Mac Pro = $6199 + display cost

The $4,999 12-core scores 13.8 so that's close to an iMac + 1x Mini Server = $2998 (might need a dual-core Mini on top to match exactly)

That doesn't even account for the fact that the Mac Pro only comes with 6GB RAM vs 4GB per machine in the others (matters for concurrent frame processing) and also the fact that the iMac setup comes with a 27" IPS display worth $999.



I agree but some licenses are based on core count and render-only licenses tend to be cheaper. Some rendering engines are a free for all. V-Ray has an unlimited license for example. It is an issue to consider though.



That's true but a high-end iMac can easily do this if you use the right setup. In the example of real-time video, the bottleneck is usually storage - it's rare that it would be CPU dependent and if it's GPU-dependent, the GPU in the iMac is faster than the 5570 in the Pro and matches the 5870. 4k streams will run around 500Mbps (60MB/s). If you try to run them off an internal 7200 RPM drive then it'll choke with 2 layers. That's why you use something like a Thunderbolt Pegasus R4/R6:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg3vEVE8rss

580MB/s write, 490MB/s read. Eventually SSD will be the best option. Although the Pegasus adds $1-2k to the overall costs, you already saved over $2k vs the Mac Pro and it also separates the RAID from the system and has a hardware RAID, which costs $700 in the Mac Pro. You can run your machines off small SSDs and put the data on the RAID - you have to modify the Mac Pro to do this if you want to avoid paying for the Pegasus on top.

Compare:

27" iMac, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 6970M + 2x Mini Server, 4GB RAM each, 256GB SSD each ($550x2) + 4TB Pegasus R4 ($1149) = $6946
12-core Mac Pro, 6GB RAM, 4TB hardware RAID (no SSD boot drive), Radeon 5870, 27" IPS display = $8548

If you leave the first setup without SSD boot drives, the first price is $5346 and you can use your own 128GB SSDs if you want to get somewhere in between.

Given that the Mac Pro refresh is now once every 2 years, you would benefit from being able to upgrade your slave drives every year and get a 50% performance boost per slave or just add more while keeping your main setup and RAID untouched.

Still processing your post.*

But at a quick glance the idea of a top end iMac as a main hub with 2-4 mini's stacked alongside has alot of potency.

Most of the Mini's I 'touch' (sorry, can't help myself...) in store seem very cool to the touch.

The picture of 4 mini's stacked up vs the Mac Pro and the Cinebench face off is quite a stark contrast in terms of power per footprint.

With things like Thunderbolt (while it's full promise, obviously, hasn't arrived yet) even HD makers like Hitachi are beginnging to acknowledge the increased reach and flexibility it gives to machines like the iMac and MacBook Pros. Where, increasingly, such machines are reaching and encompassing the 'king of jobs' (yes, 'workstation' jobs) that were once the sole province of a 'Mac Tower.'

3D. Video. Games. Photoshop/Print. There was a time when the iMac or Mac Mini, for that matter, simply couldn't cut it. That time is no longer the case.

Nobody is suggesting that the iMac can do full global scale scientific simulations all by itself.

While it's aimed at the consumer full and frontal...it's been more than a 'mere' consumer machine since the i7 landed...alongside that whopping 27 inch screen, expansion ram limit, Thunderbolt connectivity and with the recent revision a rather tasty 2 gig 6970m GPU (the first GPU, in my view that circumvents the 'slender' design of the iMac.)

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #80 of 372
i7.

Is very compelling to someone who wants 3D rendering power care of Hyperthreading! It's even more so to someone (ie me who has a Core2 duo iMac (which is no 'slouch' by any means...)

It was a bigger landmark or a more significant beachhead than when the iMac got the G5.

I remember my friend buying his monolithic PC tower ( tried to tell him to get an iMac, a PS3 and a cheap PC for the price he paid...but no...he wouldn't listen...and his two 5oo gig hard drives failed a week after his PC arrived...and his Radeon dual GPU card kept blowing hot...) and asking him to perform a Cinebench. I was very, very impressed by the i7. It simply outclassed my Core Duo by a mile on 3D rendering.

Sure, he was smug. But I said, think about what my iMac does in a much, much slimmer enclosure. I said to him, 'Yeah, but it will be game over when the iMac gets that cpu in it's 2 inch enclosure...' 2 years later, Apple obliged.

Whether Pro, iMac or Mini...I have an interest in Apple's desktop strategy and where it's going.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
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