or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › It's a New Mac Pro for me - Updated or Not! Well Maybe....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

It's a New Mac Pro for me - Updated or Not! Well Maybe.... - Page 2

post #41 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

 

 

Hmm.  Thanks for your X-Mac machine description.  It doesn't seem like anything remarkable.  But you get the access you crave and reasonable performance with a monitor of your choice.

 

I project it will arrive next year in the form of a Haswell Mac Mini.  Without the easy access to everything, of course. ;)

 

What actually work do you do?  It can't be that demanding if you 'only' use a 'laptop' AIO..?  

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

 

It is a mid range desktop computer. It isn't supposed to be anything remarkable. We just want one that isn't an all in one. One that is easy to open and has internal expansion room. Right now Apple has two offerings. The mini which can't even accommodate an optical drive for those of us that still use one or the Mac Pro which is simply overkill for many in size, price and capability. As Wizard said, that is a huge gulf between products.

post #42 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I'm targeting a 'HiDPI' monitor, Haswell cpu, 8000m series GPU iMac with SDD drive to go and a side order of fries.  I guess that's next year then.  ;)  

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

Intel always wants to convince you that you'll always need something more. Software demands are all over the place, but we're not really in an era where newer isn't always a definitive upgrade. The gains have become much more abstract at times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

As for the hacktintosh route.  Yes.  We sometimes forget about prices in the 'real world' being on Apple forums.

 

Just go to overclockers.co.uk for the value bitch of your choice. ;)

 

Not as sexy as the 'badge' though...plus you don't get your ass reamed on the price.  Another fringe benefit of being an Apple customer. :D :P

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

I never compare the price of off the shelf components with pre-built machines. If I want to compare other machines to the mac pro, I look for many points of reference rather than just finding one model/configuration that fits an agenda and posting links on here. I always hate it when people do that. They could at least try to be objective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by not1lost View Post

He sits in his office chair staring aimlessly into space with eyes glossed over with emblems of an apple with a bite taken out of it reflecting from his pupils. Occasionally angrily glancing over at the Dell PC on his desk with reflections of nothing on it's shiny black front cover except for the round Dell emblem with sticky smudges leftover from when he had tried to hide it with a beautiful white Apple sticker. His bottom lip begins to quiver and a tear trickles slowly down his cheek as he looks down the list of Apple Insider articles without a hint of any news of the new Mac Pro his heart so desperately longs for.... Blaaahhhaaa Blaaahaaa Aaahhhhh!!!! 

You should write chick novels. Anyway that did make me laugh, and I remember those Apple stickers that they included. I'm not sure if they still include them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

 

It is a mid range desktop computer. It isn't supposed to be anything remarkable. We just want one that isn't an all in one. One that is easy to open and has internal expansion room. Right now Apple has two offerings. The mini which can't even accommodate an optical drive for those of us that still use one or the Mac Pro which is simply overkill for many in size, price and capability. As Wizard said, that is a huge gulf between products.

In terms of raw computing power, there isn't so much of a gulf. The mac pro just isn't that great in its base configuration. You pay quite a high premium for its advantages. A couple years in, it's much harder to justify.

post #43 of 86

If only single processors will survive the logicboard better have infiniband to interconnect the boxes.

post #44 of 86
Thread Starter 

Removed


Edited by not1lost - 5/9/12 at 2:43pm
post #45 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

 

 

I love my iMac.  Plug and play, baby.  *(Former Power Mac 'clone war' owner which cost £6000 with an Adobe suite and a big Diamondtron monitor.  (Back and bank breaker.)  Put that into American Dollars.  Needless to say I won't be paying that for a Mac ever again.)

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

My first 'Mac' was also a refugee from the Clone Wars…

 

Power Computing PowerTower Pro (200MHz PowerPC 604e CPU & a MASSIVE 64MB of RAM), 17" mid-range CRT & an educational priced license of EIAS (Electric Image Animation System); only a paltry US$7,500…!

Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
post #46 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

It is a mid range desktop computer. It isn't supposed to be anything remarkable. We just want one that isn't an all in one. One that is easy to open and has internal expansion room. Right now Apple has two offerings. The mini which can't even accommodate an optical drive for those of us that still use one or the Mac Pro which is simply overkill for many in size, price and capability. As Wizard said, that is a huge gulf between products.

 

I tend to agree but I suspect that Apple doesn't want to offer something in that mid-range because it will tend to compete with the iMac.  Of course, I don't see any problem with products from the same company competing against each other, in fact I think it should be encouraged (i.e. let the market decide), but Apple has a tendency of carefully crafting niches for each of its products.

 

I for one love my Mac Pro.  The iMac can't support a full-sized graphics card and it squeezes too many heat-producing products into too small a package (including the display, which produces quite a bit of heat itself).


I hope that Apple properly supports two full-sized graphics cards (i.e. two 5870s) in the next version.  Currently Apple only supplies enough power to drive one 5870 or equavalent.  I've seen people hack a solution be re-routing the power for the second optical drive but it's not ideal and may draw too much than it's designed for.  The Mac Pro's main PSU is very highly rated and can easily accommodate two 5870's along with everything else.

post #47 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post

I hope that Apple properly supports two full-sized graphics cards (i.e. two 5870s) in the next version.  Currently Apple only supplies enough power to drive one 5870 or equavalent.  I've seen people hack a solution be re-routing the power for the second optical drive but it's not ideal and may draw too much than it's designed for.  The Mac Pro's main PSU is very highly rated and can easily accommodate two 5870's along with everything else.

If Apple is going to support Thunderbolt (which you'd expect), the Mac Pro can only have one GPU. I'd expect it will be upgradeable like the iMac one but might be a custom-built one so limited options.
post #48 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


If Apple is going to support Thunderbolt (which you'd expect), the Mac Pro can only have one GPU. I'd expect it will be upgradeable like the iMac one but might be a custom-built one so limited options.

 

Why?  You just need 4x lanes connected to the PCH and there are plenty of lanes in the new chipset.  So then you have several options:  

 

1) a dedicated GPU on the motherboard feeding the TB port.  Use the same one as in the iMac.

2) an extra displayport out on the graphics card you plug into the motherboard that feeds thunderbolt.

3) Thunderbolt chip on a PCIe card as in the prototype that connects to GPUs via internal DP cables

4) Thunderbolt chip directly on a double slot GPU.

 

All the other GPUs work as normal feeding their signal out the back via DisplayPort 1.2.  Which TB can't support anyway.

 

For the Mac Pro Thunderbolt on a PCIe card is best given some users wont use it and doesn't want the idle thunderbolt chip occupying 4x lanes needed for other things.

 

With Apple you never quite know what they'll do for Pro folks and what they wont.  But there's no inherent one GPU limit for Thunderbolt equipped Mac Pros.  You should be able to plug in as many as you have enough slots/lanes/power for. 

post #49 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post
2) an extra displayport out on the graphics card you plug into the motherboard that feeds thunderbolt.

3) Thunderbolt chip on a PCIe card as in the prototype that connects to GPUs via internal DP cables

4) Thunderbolt chip directly on a double slot GPU.

 

Except these cannot be done.

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 #50 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Except these cannot be done.

 

Care to explain why?  Especially given that the Intel LightPeak prototype was a Mac Pro motherboard and a PCIe card...

 

In any case, even if you are right it certainly doesn't mean you can't put in multiple GPUs in a Mac Pro.  Even if only one special one works with Thunderbolt the rest will work the way they always do.

post #51 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post
Care to explain why?  Especially given that the Intel LightPeak prototype was a Mac Pro motherboard and a PCIe card...


Yes, prototype. A prototype that was based on USB, no less. I got the impression a long time ago that Thunderbolt MUST be on the main board. Not a daughterboard, not a PCIe card, the main board. And it's not part of the Thunderbolt spec if it doesn't do the same thing that every other Thunderbolt port does. So you can't just have a PCIe card that gives you Thunderbolt ports for data transmission; the ports have to push graphics, too.

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 #52 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Yes, prototype. A prototype that was based on USB, no less. I got the impression a long time ago that Thunderbolt MUST be on the main board. Not a daughterboard, not a PCIe card, the main board. And it's not part of the Thunderbolt spec if it doesn't do the same thing that every other Thunderbolt port does. So you can't just have a PCIe card that gives you Thunderbolt ports for data transmission; the ports have to push graphics, too.

 

So why would a graphics card with an internal Display Port output connection to a Display Port input connection on the motherboard not work? 

 

So why would a Thunderbolt PCIe card sitting in a slot with a 4x lane connection to the PCH and a cable to the GPU not work?

 

So why would a graphics card with the Thunderbolt chip connected to the PCH via a 4x lane not work?

 

All of these are electrically similar/identical to what's happening on the motherboard with a discrete GPU built onto it.

 

Answer:  You don't know beyond some vague impression from a long time ago.

 

The primary sticking point is providing the DisplayPort output from the graphics card to something internal that isn't a mess.  The mac pro is not exactly overflowing with GPU options today so special mac only cards that are physically different from their PC versions is probably not in the cards.

 

Finally, as near as I can tell, display is not a required element of LightPeak/Thunderbolt but rather than confusing everyone with data only Thunderbolt ports they've wisely punted that for the future.

 

I think the two easiest options are to either not support TB on the next Mac Pro or include a dedicated GPU on board the motherboard and the stock MP wont need any card anymore.  

 

Of course you lose lanes this way so maybe just not supporting TB on the MP is the way to go or offering a data only Thunderbolt card to access TB peripherals.

post #53 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
The primary sticking point is providing the DisplayPort output from the graphics card to something internal that isn't a mess.

The mac pro is not exactly overflowing with GPU options today so special mac only cards that are physically different from their PC versions is probably not in the cards.

Finally, as near as I can tell, display is not a required element of LightPeak/Thunderbolt but rather than confusing everyone with data only Thunderbolt ports they've wisely punted that for the future.

I think the two easiest options are to either not support TB on the next Mac Pro or include a dedicated GPU on board the motherboard and the stock MP wont need any card anymore.

Intel's spec dictates that in order for you to use the Thunderbolt brand, your implementation has to comply with all peripheral hardware bearing the same brand. If someone tried to implement data-only Thunderbolt, it wouldn't work with the Cinema displays or in fact any daisy-chainable device that expects to be able to be able to pass on display signals and Intel wouldn't allow it. That's why Sony's implementation isn't called Thunderbolt.

Given that Thunderbolt indisputably requires PCI and displayport to pass through it, that means there is no choice but to send the output of a dedicated GPU through the Thunderbolt controller on the motherboard. They might be able to do this with a modified driver that makes the GPU pass the display output back through the PCI slot. Question is, would they still allow standard GPU outputs as well as channeling displayport through the controller? I doubt it.

Also consider that there are 40 PCI lanes. If they use 16 for the GPU slot and have a minimum of two Thunderbolt ports, that leaves 16 lanes. So they can only put one extra x16 slot in. But, they only supply 300W just now so why bother? It's not as if you can fit two high-end GPUs in there anyway. There's also the possibility that you can fit a 3rd party GPU where the drivers don't support passing display signals out the Thunderbolt controller, leaving your machine in a state that is incompatible with the Thunderbolt brand.

I accept the point about the custom GPU not being a good idea but it wouldn't have to be an entirely custom GPU. It would basically be your standard desktop GPU with the ports sawn off.

I think the way they will go is 1 internal x16 slot with a GPU in it with no direct display outputs and 6x Thunderbolt ports driven by that one GPU.

What would be nice is if they got an exclusive on Knights Corner:

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4230708/Exclusive-Video--Intel-s-Knight-s-Corner

1TFLOP double precision with standard x86 code would make up for Sandy Bridge Xeons. So much in fact that they could drop to single processor models. They could also build an 8" cube that way. While it may not be ideal for gaming, it should be able to holds its own beside the highest-end NVidia and AMD cards as its compute performance is over 50% higher than what they offer and you can't run standard code. Of course if GPU performance is lacking:

http://semiaccurate.com/2011/11/17/intel’s-22nm-knights-corner/

why not use all three? A 6-core Xeon + Knights Corner + single high-end GPU.
post #54 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



Also consider that there are 40 PCI lanes. If they use 16 for the GPU slot and have a minimum of two Thunderbolt ports, that leaves 16 lanes. So they can only put one extra x16 slot in. But, they only supply 300W just now so why bother? It's not as if you can fit two high-end GPUs in there anyway. There's also the possibility that you can fit a 3rd party GPU where the drivers don't support passing display signals out the Thunderbolt controller, leaving your machine in a state that is incompatible with the Thunderbolt brand.
 

You seem to be slipping into "Marvin math" again >=). Okay thunderbolt controller bandwidth isn't scheduled for any kind of change. Sandy Bridge E is using PCI 3.0, so your lane allocation shouldn't be so much of a problem. Beyond that we've seen many people install more than just a graphics card on there. With heavy cards, they have used separate power connections rather than running off the PCI bus. If it's that big of a headache to implement, I don't see it as a guarantee. Also you should hope that adoption goes well on the PC end. It would help  bring more peripherals to the thunderbolt connection.

post #55 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Intel's spec dictates that in order for you to use the Thunderbolt brand, your implementation has to comply with all peripheral hardware bearing the same brand. If someone tried to implement data-only Thunderbolt, it wouldn't work with the Cinema displays or in fact any daisy-chainable device that expects to be able to be able to pass on display signals and Intel wouldn't allow it. That's why Sony's implementation isn't called Thunderbolt.

 

 

Specs can be updated and I would think that Apple has sufficient leeway if they wanted to do this but I don't believe they do. 

 

Quote:
Given that Thunderbolt indisputably requires PCI and displayport to pass through it, that means there is no choice but to send the output of a dedicated GPU through the Thunderbolt controller on the motherboard. They might be able to do this with a modified driver that makes the GPU pass the display output back through the PCI slot. Question is, would they still allow standard GPU outputs as well as channeling displayport through the controller? I doubt it.

 

 

Why not?  There's not a shred of logic that would demand this.  It would be like asserting that because Thunderbolt is on the Mini they would never ever allow HDMI output from the GPU as well.  Oh...wait...

 

Quote:
Also consider that there are 40 PCI lanes. If they use 16 for the GPU slot and have a minimum of two Thunderbolt ports, that leaves 16 lanes. So they can only put one extra x16 slot in. But, they only supply 300W just now so why bother? It's not as if you can fit two high-end GPUs in there anyway. There's also the possibility that you can fit a 3rd party GPU where the drivers don't support passing display signals out the Thunderbolt controller, leaving your machine in a state that is incompatible with the Thunderbolt brand.
 

 

 

Dual socket Mac pros will have 80 PCIe 3.0 lanes.

 

"The Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family is the first to have the I/O subsystem integrated on the processor die, reducing latency by up to 30 percent2, with up to 80 PCIe lanes per two-socket server, plus support for PCIe 3.0, improving bandwidth by as much as 2x."

 

http://xeonracing.intel.com/drivers-manual/

 

And you can put more than just power hungry GPUs in there.  There are other things that desire high bandwidth.

 

Quote:
I accept the point about the custom GPU not being a good idea but it wouldn't have to be an entirely custom GPU. It would basically be your standard desktop GPU with the ports sawn off.

 

 

Eliminating any hope of supporting DP 1.2, costs more to do and is, again, require custom graphics card for the Mac Pro which virtually no one will build.  For what gain?  So Pro users never get expanded color space?

 

And how are they going to support Pro users that need 3+ 30" ACDs by only allowing one GPU?

 

They'll sell far fewer Mac Pros if they do this.

 

Quote:
I think the way they will go is 1 internal x16 slot with a GPU in it with no direct display outputs and 6x Thunderbolt ports driven by that one GPU.

 

 

What is the point of 6 x thunderbolt ports other than to burn PCIe lanes for no good reason?  They need two.  Maybe 4 if they want to stick some in the front.  Everything else can be either daisy chained or far more effectively supported through a PCIe card (read as faster).

 

They will not likely drop back from the current capability of four PCIe x16 slots, two GPUs, six displays.  Drop to 1 internal x16 slot and they might as well just kill the Mac Pro.

 

I can see having a dedicated GPU on the motherboard and running the two Thunderbolt ports that way.  While that burns around 12 lanes it leaves all the slots empty for whatever the user needs if they don't have very graphics intensive needs.

 

Quote:
What would be nice is if they got an exclusive on Knights Corner:
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4230708/Exclusive-Video--Intel-s-Knight-s-Corner
1TFLOP double precision with standard x86 code would make up for Sandy Bridge Xeons. So much in fact that they could drop to single processor models. They could also build an 8" cube that way. While it may not be ideal for gaming, it should be able to holds its own beside the highest-end NVidia and AMD cards as its compute performance is over 50% higher than what they offer and you can't run standard code. Of course if GPU performance is lacking:
http://semiaccurate.com/2011/11/17/intel’s-22nm-knights-corner/
why not use all three? A 6-core Xeon + Knights Corner + single high-end GPU.

 

The number of Knights Corners in Nov 2011 was measured in the "tens".  No way they are appearing in the next Mac Pro.  And if you drop to single processor models you lose 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes.  And I can safely assert that dual 8-core Xeon + 2xKnights Corner + 2xGPUs will be much faster. 

 

/shrug

 

I'm all for arguing that the iMac will meet the needs of the Pros apple cares about and kill the Mac Pro line.  I think it's unlikely that they will do so but the argument makes some sense.

 

I think it's nuts to believe that Apple will carry a neutered Mac Pro with one slot.  It wont be a pro machine and for everyone else the iMac is suitable. 

post #56 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
Specs can be updated and I would think that Apple has sufficient leeway if they wanted to do this but I don't believe they do.

Intel has no reason to update the specs to break compatibility. That's a sure way to kill a standard. They obviously decided to merge the two for good reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
Why not?  There's not a shred of logic that would demand this.  It would be like asserting that because Thunderbolt is on the Mini they would never ever allow HDMI output from the GPU as well.  Oh...wait...

Fair point, if that's the way it's connected up. Still, there's no way of breaking the Thunderbolt spec by using a non-standard GPU.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
And you can put more than just power hungry GPUs in there.  There are other things that desire high bandwidth.

Such as...
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
Eliminating any hope of supporting DP 1.2, costs more to do and is, again, require custom graphics card for the Mac Pro which virtually no one will build.  For what gain?  So Pro users never get expanded color space?

10-bit GPU output only works in Windows but there are Thunderbolt peripherals for 10-bit (don't need DP 1.2):

http://www.amazon.com/Blackmagic-Design-Intensity-Extreme-Solution/dp/B007CYJ4WM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
And how are they going to support Pro users that need 3+ 30" ACDs by only allowing one GPU?

A single card can power that many (up to 6 should be possible), here's an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yvakLCwbz4

The 5870 can do 1 billion pixels per second. 2560 x 1600 x 6 x 30fps = 0.7 billion.

We're getting into these theoretical high-end usage cases again though that generally just don't happen. Who are these 'pro' users that have requirements for 6 x 30" 10-bit display outputs?

It's just arbitrary requirements to eliminate certain hardware designs people don't like without reason. Yes 80 PCI lanes is higher than 40, yes 256GB RAM is higher than 128GB, yes 4x GTX 580s are faster than 1 but why should the Mac Pro continue to be an overpriced behemoth of a machine to satisfy theoretical use cases that are rarely, if ever, realised? The Mac Pro in its current form has limitations and that includes a single high power GPU. People ('pros' if you will) have worked to those limitations just fine. I think it's better to design the machine around those limitations and offer better value for money.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
What is the point of 6 x thunderbolt ports other than to burn PCIe lanes for no good reason?

They are display outputs too but it offers the equivalent of 6 x4 slots instead of 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
They will not likely drop back from the current capability of four PCIe x16 slots, two GPUs, six displays.  Drop to 1 internal x16 slot and they might as well just kill the Mac Pro.

The current Mac Pro only has 2 x16 and 2 x4 but the next one would support 4 x16 plus 4x Thunderbolt. You could put in multiple GPUs but as I say, a single GPU will run 6x displays just fine.
post #57 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Such as...

 

RAM drives, mid range GPUs, Fiber channel cards, Red Rocket, etc.  4 slots is very useful.  Especially considering many high end gear exist only in card form and often used on both Windows and OSX.

 

Few will move to thunderbolt.

 

Quote:
We're getting into these theoretical high-end usage cases again though that generally just don't happen. Who are these 'pro' users that have requirements for 6 x 30" 10-bit display outputs?
It's just arbitrary requirements to eliminate certain hardware designs people don't like without reason. Yes 80 PCI lanes is higher than 40, yes 256GB RAM is higher than 128GB, yes 4x GTX 580s are faster than 1 but why should the Mac Pro continue to be an overpriced behemoth of a machine to satisfy theoretical use cases that are rarely, if ever, realised? The Mac Pro in its current form has limitations and that includes a single high power GPU. People ('pros' if you will) have worked to those limitations just fine. I think it's better to design the machine around those limitations and offer better value for money.
They are display outputs too but it offers the equivalent of 6 x4 slots instead of 3.
The current Mac Pro only has 2 x16 and 2 x4 but the next one would support 4 x16 plus 4x Thunderbolt. You could put in multiple GPUs but as I say, a single GPU will run 6x displays just fine.

 

If Apple only makes one tower it best be one that can kick ass and take names.  And that means being able to handle these high end use cases because everything that a 1 slot single CPU Mac Pro can handle can be done with a top end iMac.  Just because you don't need/want 4 PCIe cards doesn't mean that folks don't need them or that they are "theoretical".  I've seen a few high end rigs.

 

Forcing these users to attach a slower TB PCIe expansion chassis so they can have PCIe slots would be insane.  In order to see "six x4 slots" they'd have to run SIX thunderbolt cables to the chassis.  If that would even work right.

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklinkhdextreme/

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklink4k/

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklinkquad/

 

All of these take 4 lanes.  Low end Pro/Prosumer gear like what you posted does HD.  Pro gear does 2K and 4K.

 

There is a thunderbolt version of the 3D extreme but it terminates the TB chain:

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/ultrastudio3d/

 

You CAN do 4K editing, even on a MBA via a Red Rocket.  But again, most of these expansion chassis ends the TB chain.  Instead of a machine with the cards you need inside of it you have a rats nest of TB cables and little boxes attached to yet another mass of video cabling and fiber.  WHEN it even works.

 

Here's a very simple use case you can't handle in your design and fairly common for high end 4K workflows:

 

Current Mac Pro:

 

Slot 1 16x GPU (runs as 8 lane in the current Mac Pro)

Slot 2 8x 4 channel 4 Gbps Fiber Channel HBA

Slot 3 1x card or empty

Slot 4 8x AJA video capture card (the new Riker 5K, the current 4K card, etc)

 

What they'd WANT to run in a future Mac Pro is this:

 

Slot 1 16x GPU full speed

Slot 2 8x Fiber channel HBA

Slot 3 8x Red Rocket

Slot 4 8x AJA Riker

 

You can run the Red Rocket x4 mode but obviously it's slower.  Some pros do that now.

 

Pros will be throwing rocks at the glass Apple stores and with good cause.

 

What can't you do with the top end iMac that you can do with your Mac Pro design with one CPU and 1 x16 slot?   I really can't think of anything beyond "I wish I could more easily replace my internal boot drive and GPU".  Not any actual jobs.  Not even true high end gaming without dual GPUs.  Any improvement is very incremental at the cost of completely hosing pros that need the slots of the current Mac Pro.

 

And the Mac Pro can still meet your needs.  It just costs more.  But even then $2500 isn't all that much.

 

And size is meaningless for most pros.  Being able to rack mount the Mac Pro more easily is far more valuable than your mini-tower design.  Anyone that needs a smaller desktop footprint is already sporting an iMac.


Edited by nht - 5/8/12 at 7:04am
post #58 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
RAM drives, mid range GPUs, Fiber channel cards, Red Rocket, etc.

SSD is better than a PCI RAM drive, mutiple mid-range GPUs are not really better than a single high-end GPU and probably draw more power at idle. Fiber channel is slower than Thunderbolt and there's an adapter if needs be:

http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?region=en-global&m=192&rsn1=40&rsn3=49

Red Rocket can be hooked up as you said via an expansion port:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jKx-cr4bi74#t=299s

Yeah, it is a bit counter-intuitive to remove the slots and then stick one on the outside but ideally you shouldn't need a special card for 4K. You might not if Apple gets native RED editing in FCPX and it saves you a few thousand dollars.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
If Apple only makes one tower it best be one that can kick ass and take names.  And that means being able to handle these high end use cases because everything that a 1 slot single CPU Mac Pro can handle can be done with a top end iMac.  Just because you don't need/want 4 PCIe cards doesn't mean that folks don't need them or that they are "theoretical".  I've seen a few high end rigs.

I don't think an iMac could quite do the same as it doesn't have enough PCI lanes but it's not far off. I don't see that as a bad thing. Apple should be driving more users to iMacs by allowing high-end jobs to be done on them. Right now, the high-end workflows are dictating the form factors and prices of the machines and that doesn't really have to be the case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
Instead of a machine with the cards you need inside of it you have a rats nest of TB cables and little boxes attached to yet another mass of video cabling and fiber.

To match the capability of the Pro, you'd have 3 boxes at most = 6 cables. An adaptor doesn't need much power so it's just the box itself. The Red Rocket would need two cables and the AJA Riker would have one cable, same as with the PCI version. You're really only talking about PCI cards that have no special hardware. Overall, 2 additional cables and two additional boxes.

For high-end users that need no peripherals, they get smaller enclosures and cheaper prices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht 
What they'd WANT to run in a future Mac Pro is this:

Slot 1 16x GPU full speed
Slot 2 8x Fiber channel HBA
Slot 3 8x Red Rocket
Slot 4 8x AJA Riker

They'd have the GPU in an x16 slot, the fiber channel connection can be done with an adapter (but optical Thunderbolt is better), the red rocket would be in an enclosure and the AJA Riker is a standalone box anyway with both Thunderbolt and PCI connections. The Riker box would be better with Thunderbolt as you don't have to install a PCI card.
post #59 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


SSD is better than a PCI RAM drive, mutiple mid-range GPUs are not really better than a single high-end GPU and probably draw more power at idle. Fiber channel is slower than Thunderbolt and there's an adapter if needs be:
http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?region=en-global&m=192&rsn1=40&rsn3=49
Red Rocket can be hooked up as you said via an expansion port:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jKx-cr4bi74#t=299s
Yeah, it is a bit counter-intuitive to remove the slots and then stick one on the outside but ideally you shouldn't need a special card for 4K. You might not if Apple gets native RED editing in FCPX and it saves you a few thousand dollars.
 

RED has come out with some of the cheapest solutions for things on the market. They bring a lot of cool stuff to sort of the mainstream. Anyway... I am angered you did not respond to my "Marvin math" note there. I still wonder when we'll see machine updates. I'm kind of expecting them to be around Mountain Lion since they've dragged on this far. It makes sense from a support standpoint. 

post #60 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


SSD is better than a PCI RAM drive, mutiple mid-range GPUs are not really better than a single high-end GPU and probably draw more power at idle. Fiber channel is slower than Thunderbolt and there's an adapter if needs be:
http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?region=en-global&m=192&rsn1=40&rsn3=49
 

 

 

8 lane PCIe RAM drives avoid the SATA bottlemeck.  The difference is 32Gb/s for PCIe 2.x x8 vs 6Gb/s. If you need speed you go PCIe...it's pricey but for some applications worth every penny.

 

GPU idle draw is...well...somewhat uninteresting for a workstation class machine. 

 

16GFC FiberChannel can now go 16Gbps.  In any case you are comparing the full TB bandwidth with the full FC bandwidth assuming that the TB isn't being shared.

 

The 8Gb/s FC HBAs require 8 lanes for max throughput.

 

The TB to FC adapter is very nice and a great equalizer for the Mini and the iMac in terms of access to FC assets but pretty much you're going to want to dedicate the whole TB link to it.  

 

And the adapter's max throughput rates are around 800MB/s.

 

http://www.promise.com/media_bank/Download%20Bank/Datasheet/SANLink_Series_DS_v1.02.pdf

 

In comparison the PCIe throughput rates are as high as 1600MB/s.

 

http://www.attotech.com/products/product.php?cat=1&scat=1&sku=CTFC-84EN-000

 

The RocketRaid 2744 wants the x16 slot. There's simply lots of stuff around that wants more than 10Gb/s bandwidth.  And remember that each PCIe 2.0 lane is only worth 5GT/s or around 4 Gbps.  Sure, they'll run with less...but you're pay for a lot of performance you're leaving on the table.

 

Quote:
Red Rocket can be hooked up as you said via an expansion port:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jKx-cr4bi74#t=299s
Yeah, it is a bit counter-intuitive to remove the slots and then stick one on the outside but ideally you shouldn't need a special card for 4K. You might not if Apple gets native RED editing in FCPX and it saves you a few thousand dollars.

I don't think an iMac could quite do the same as it doesn't have enough PCI lanes but it's not far off. I don't see that as a bad thing. Apple should be driving more users to iMacs by allowing high-end jobs to be done on them. Right now, the high-end workflows are dictating the form factors and prices of the machines and that doesn't really have to be the case.
To match the capability of the Pro, you'd have 3 boxes at most = 6 cables. An adaptor doesn't need much power so it's just the box itself. The Red Rocket would need two cables and the AJA Riker would have one cable, same as with the PCI version. You're really only talking about PCI cards that have no special hardware. Overall, 2 additional cables and two additional boxes.

For high-end users that need no peripherals, they get smaller enclosures and cheaper prices.
They'd have the GPU in an x16 slot, the fiber channel connection can be done with an adapter (but optical Thunderbolt is better), the red rocket would be in an enclosure and the AJA Riker is a standalone box anyway with both Thunderbolt and PCI connections. The Riker box would be better with Thunderbolt as you don't have to install a PCI card.

 

What you're doing here is limiting cards/devices that want 8 lanes of PCIe (32Gbs) and running them at the equivalent of 2.5 lanes (10Gbps).  Shared.  Awesome if you want to edit 4K on your MBA since before TB you couldn't at all.  Now you can.  Well, Dave Helmly can anyway.  

 

Not so awesome if you had all of this running in your Mac Pro already and now have to go this slower setup that's even more of a cable nightmare.

 

So for lower end pro needs, if you can get away with using a MBA, the iMac should do pretty good.  At the high end where they want to max throughput you're gimped with only having access the TB.

 

The Riker is a box but connects to the pc via 8 lane PCIe.

 

5705684469_3cfa83001e_m.jpg

 

See the card in the corner.  If there is a TB in the back, it will, like the Red Rocket, work.  Just slower.

 

Which high end users are you speaking of?  Do you really think anyone buying a Red Rocket at $4750, a Aja Kona 3G for $2000 and a FC card for $1000 and a high end GPU is really sweating the price or size of the current Mac Pros?  High end users typically aren't as price conscious as much as performance conscious.

post #61 of 86

Whoa, based on some of the posts here that describe the needs of high end users, the posters are high.  An iMac will serve the needs of professionals?  WTF, it doesn't even serve the needs of high end consumers!  Some droid at Best Buy told me the other day that an i7 iMac had all the power my Mac Pro has, and he was right, sort of.  The iMac's CPU does match the power of many Mac Pro models, but theres more to pro computing than the CPU.  By the droid's resoning, Apple could drop an i7 in the Mini and call it a "Pro" machine.  

 

PCIe slots:  as illustrated in the posts above, a lot of pro hardware interfaces with the computer via PCIe cards.  Thunderbolt isn't fast enough for this, nor is it a proven, reliable technology.  

 

HDD expandability:  no comparison here, the iMac buries it's HDDs so deep you need tech certification to get at them.  You could plug in an external RAID array via Thunderbolt, but it wouldn't be as fast as an SAS connected RAID enclosure, and many Mac Pro users just set up internal RAID, without all the extra mess and cost of an external enclosure and cables.  A previous poster suggested the iMac switch to 2.5" drives.  Good idea, then the iMac can have even fewer HDD options!

 

Graphics card:  iMac is worthless here, you're stuck with the original card.  Want to upgrade it? Throw out your computer and that beautiful 27" IPS display and buy another iMac with another 27" IPS display.  Need to do high end 3D work?  Not happening on an iMac.

 

Speaking of displays, want something larger than 27"?  Want a higher end IPS display with a wide color gamut?  Want to drive more than two displays?  Apple's iMac says to go fu[k yourself.

 

Upgradability:  It's easy to drop a faster CPU in a Mac Pro, impossible to do so in an iMac.  I've got a Mac Pro on my desk that started life as a quad core 2.66 GHz Nehalem macpro4,1 and is now a hexa core 3.33 GHz Westmere upgraded to macpro5,1 firmware, identical to the ones now selling at the Apple Store.  (It's for sale if anyone wants it!).  Need a new display?  Throw out your iMac.  Need a new computer?  Throw out your iMac.  Want a bigger hard drive?  Either take your iMac into someone trained to install one, or buy an enclosure and deal with another thing on your desk and more cables behind it.  Add a few external HDDs and that iMac doesn't look so slick anymore.

 

Ease of use:  another are where there is no comparison.  Inserting an optical disc into a Mac Pro is easy, just drop it in the tray.  The iMac has a silly slot loading drive that sometimes marks your CDs.  Think optical discs are dead, and flash drives are the new thang?  I plug my flash drives into the front of my Mac Pro without getting out of my chair.  On an iMac, I've got to get up, bend over and around the iMac, curse and turn on a light, then bend over and around again to finally locate a USB port on the back at the bottom of the iMac.  Apple could just put the ports on the edge of the iMac, but then it might not look as cool...as if an iMac user looks cool all bent over and contorted to try to plug in a freakin' flash drive.

 

As to buying a Mac Pro now or waiting, personally I'd buy now.  Ivy Bridge isn't that big of an update unless 12 cores isn't doing it for you.  Nice thing about buying now is that you can save a lot buying used and get exactly the same hardware as if you bought new.  The loaded hexa-core on my deskt right now would cost nearly $6000 new, used they go for about half that much.

post #62 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Whoa, based on some of the posts here that describe the needs of high end users, the posters are high.  An iMac will serve the needs of professionals?  WTF, it doesn't even serve the needs of high end consumers!  Some droid at Best Buy told me the other day that an i7 iMac had all the power my Mac Pro has, and he was right, sort of.  The iMac's CPU does match the power of many Mac Pro models, but theres more to pro computing than the CPU.  By the droid's resoning, Apple could drop an i7 in the Mini and call it a "Pro" machine.  

 

 

Yah, I wrote that.  If you can do 4K editing on a MBA then you can probably fill the needs of many pros with the iMac.

 

I just think that those folks that need the expansion capabilities of the Mac Pro isn't going to be able to get by with one slot and a bunch of Thunderbolt ports and there are more of those folks than Marvin believes.

 

If there is to be only one Mac Pro it pretty much needs to remain very similar to today or lose a lot of the Mac pro customers.  

 

The folks that only need to max RAM and use every CPU cycle aren't all that price conscious.  Better for them to pay for the expansion slots they are underutilizing than to leave the folks that need to slots out in the cold.

 

Quote:

Graphics card:  iMac is worthless here, you're stuck with the original card.  Want to upgrade it? Throw out your computer and that beautiful 27" IPS display and buy another iMac with another 27" IPS display.  Need to do high end 3D work?  Not happening on an iMac.

 

Speaking of displays, want something larger than 27"?  Want a higher end IPS display with a wide color gamut?  Want to drive more than two displays?  Apple's iMac says to go fu[k yourself.

 

Upgradability:  It's easy to drop a faster CPU in a Mac Pro, impossible to do so in an iMac.  I've got a Mac Pro on my desk that started life as a quad core 2.66 GHz Nehalem macpro4,1 and is now a hexa core 3.33 GHz Westmere upgraded to macpro5,1 firmware, identical to the ones now selling at the Apple Store.  (It's for sale if anyone wants it!).  Need a new display?  Throw out your iMac.  Need a new computer?  Throw out your iMac.  Want a bigger hard drive?  Either take your iMac into someone trained to install one, or buy an enclosure and deal with another thing on your desk and more cables behind it.  Add a few external HDDs and that iMac doesn't look so slick anymore.

 

Displays:

 

Dual 30" + the 27" internal panel enough?

 

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/03/apple-imac-hands-on-with-dual-30-inch-displays-video/

 

Upgradability:

 

The 3.33Ghz Wetmere is $1639 on Newegg.  The 3.4Ghz Quad i7 iMac with the 6970M GPU is $2300.

 

If I can get more than $700 more for a used 27" iMac than your 2.66 GHz Nehalem on EBay I end up with a new monitor and guts vs just a processor upgrade.  Looks like the 2009 iMac 27" (3.2 Ghz 4G RAM) is running $1199 on EBay.  Looks like a Xeon X5550 2.66 Ghz is running around $400.

 

I looked at replacing the CPUs in my old Mac Pro and decided not to bother.

post #63 of 86

Oh, regarding the mini server as a pro machine...well they make nice little renderboxes for $1200 with applecare.

 

You'll probably fry the poor things over time but with Applecare they'll at least replace it once or twice.

post #64 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

 

Upgradability:  It's easy to drop a faster CPU in a Mac Pro, impossible to do so in an iMac.  I've got a Mac Pro on my desk that started life as a quad core 2.66 GHz Nehalem macpro4,1 and is now a hexa core 3.33 GHz Westmere upgraded to macpro5,1 firmware, identical to the ones now selling at the Apple Store.  (It's for sale if anyone wants it!).  Need a new display?  Throw out your iMac.  Need a new computer?  Throw out your iMac.  Want a bigger hard drive?  Either take your iMac into someone trained to install one, or buy an enclosure and deal with another thing on your desk and more cables behind it.  Add a few external HDDs and that iMac doesn't look so slick anymore.

 

Ease of use:  another are where there is no comparison.  Inserting an optical disc into a Mac Pro is easy, just drop it in the tray.  The iMac has a silly slot loading drive that sometimes marks your CDs.  Think optical discs are dead, and flash drives are the new thang?  I plug my flash drives into the front of my Mac Pro without getting out of my chair.  On an iMac, I've got to get up, bend over and around the iMac, curse and turn on a light, then bend over and around again to finally locate a USB port on the back at the bottom of the iMac.  Apple could just put the ports on the edge of the iMac, but then it might not look as cool...as if an iMac user looks cool all bent over and contorted to try to plug in a freakin' flash drive.

 

As to buying a Mac Pro now or waiting, personally I'd buy now.  Ivy Bridge isn't that big of an update unless 12 cores isn't doing it for you.  Nice thing about buying now is that you can save a lot buying used and get exactly the same hardware as if you bought new.  The loaded hexa-core on my deskt right now would cost nearly $6000 new, used they go for about half that much.

You're missing a few things here. Ability to upgrade cpus is incidental. It voids the warranty and applecare. It's just that you can do it because they're not soldered in. In no way has Apple worked to make that possible for users. Gpus are a bit different in that Apple does retail them independently as well as cto. Your post about Ivy Bridge is also complete crap. The current mac pro uses Nehalem and Westmere, not Sandy Bridge. You're waiting for Sandy Bridge E versions. Ivy Bridge E isn't out until around this time next year. No one suggested the OP wait that long. The HDD issue and screen glare on the imac should have been solved long ago, along with a good solution for display height. Someone linked me to an ergotron arm without noting the reviews that stated how little control it adds to height and positioning adjustment. They could use a good telescopic base, but then people would complain that it's ugly. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

 

Upgradability:

 

The 3.33Ghz Wetmere is $1639 on Newegg.  The 3.4Ghz Quad i7 iMac with the 6970M GPU is $2300.

 

If I can get more than $700 more for a used 27" iMac than your 2.66 GHz Nehalem on EBay I end up with a new monitor and guts vs just a processor upgrade.  Looks like the 2009 iMac 27" (3.2 Ghz 4G RAM) is running $1199 on EBay.  Looks like a Xeon X5550 2.66 Ghz is running around $400.

 

I looked at replacing the CPUs in my old Mac Pro and decided not to bother.

You're looking at the wrong components on the mac pro.  You are viewing dual socket components. The ones in the single socket mac pro are completely different. The W3580 would run you around $600 for the 3.33 ghz westmere. You just can't use two of them in the same machine. A 2.66 ghz nehalem is a W3520. I disagree that slots double the price of everything. Apple sets pricing that they like. It's spaced out this way by design.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Oh, regarding the mini server as a pro machine...well they make nice little renderboxes for $1200 with applecare.

 

You'll probably fry the poor things over time but with Applecare they'll at least replace it once or twice.

That's actually possible. Most of the thermal limits are based upon daily use not exceeding 8 hours. Recommended thermal limits are much lower if machine components are supposed to be in use closer to 24/7. Anyway there are better ways to build a render farm. You listen to Marvin too much. Sometimes he posts really good information. Other times he gets carried away, and that statement will most likely guarantee a response >=)> . 

post #65 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

RAM drives, mid range GPUs, Fiber channel cards, Red Rocket, etc.  4 slots is very useful.  Especially considering many high end gear exist only in card form and often used on both Windows and OSX.

Many people, especially those that never make use of expansion cards don't grasp this little detail.
Few will move to thunderbolt.
For many uses TB simply isn't an acceptable alternative to a plug in board.   That may be due to speed, the funky nature of the connecting cord or a half dozen other reasons.   The fact is PCI-Epxpress boards aren't going away at all, even if Thunderbolt becomes a roaring success the boards won't go away.
If Apple only makes one tower it best be one that can kick ass and take names.  And that means being able to handle these high end use cases because everything that a 1 slot single CPU Mac Pro can handle can be done with a top end iMac.  Just because you don't need/want 4 PCIe cards doesn't mean that folks don't need them or that they are "theoretical".  I've seen a few high end rigs.
Well I'm not concerned with high end machines.   If you follow these threads it should be very clear that I'm advocating slots in a midrange machine.   That doesn't eliminate the need for a high end machine as I rather see it filling a gap.
Forcing these users to attach a slower TB PCIe expansion chassis so they can have PCIe slots would be insane.  In order to see "six x4 slots" they'd have to run SIX thunderbolt cables to the chassis.  If that would even work right.
Insanity is right.   I suspect that people think that TB is everything a chassis with several PCI -Express slots is.   That isn't the case at all.   Further we have PCI Express 3 now, the difference is even more stunning.

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklinkhdextreme/

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklink4k/

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklinkquad/

 

All of these take 4 lanes.  Low end Pro/Prosumer gear like what you posted does HD.  Pro gear does 2K and 4K.

 

There is a thunderbolt version of the 3D extreme but it terminates the TB chain:

 

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/ultrastudio3d/

 

You CAN do 4K editing, even on a MBA via a Red Rocket.  But again, most of these expansion chassis ends the TB chain.  Instead of a machine with the cards you need inside of it you have a rats nest of TB cables and little boxes attached to yet another mass of video cabling and fiber.  WHEN it even works.

In many cases TB would make that rats nest dramatically worst.   Not only do you have the TB cables but most likely each device will need its own power supply and electrical outlet.    TB has its uses, and frankly I think it will be a success story for Apple, but it is not a slot replacement.   If any thing TB can be thought of as a Firewire replacement.

Here's a very simple use case you can't handle in your design and fairly common for high end 4K workflows:

 

Current Mac Pro:

 

Slot 1 16x GPU (runs as 8 lane in the current Mac Pro)

Slot 2 8x 4 channel 4 Gbps Fiber Channel HBA

Slot 3 1x card or empty

Slot 4 8x AJA video capture card (the new Riker 5K, the current 4K card, etc)

 

What they'd WANT to run in a future Mac Pro is this:

 

Slot 1 16x GPU full speed

Slot 2 8x Fiber channel HBA

Slot 3 8x Red Rocket

Slot 4 8x AJA Riker

 

You can run the Red Rocket x4 mode but obviously it's slower.  Some pros do that now.

 

Pros will be throwing rocks at the glass Apple stores and with good cause.

 

What can't you do with the top end iMac that you can do with your Mac Pro design with one CPU and 1 x16 slot?   I really can't think of anything beyond "I wish I could more easily replace my internal boot drive and GPU".  Not any actual jobs.  Not even true high end gaming without dual GPUs.  Any improvement is very incremental at the cost of completely hosing pros that need the slots of the current Mac Pro.

I suspect that the people advocating the iMac over the Pro or even the mythical XMac are grossly out of touch with reality.   Or maybe they just can't grok reality outside the box they are painted into.

And the Mac Pro can still meet your needs.  It just costs more.  But even then $2500 isn't all that much.

 

And size is meaningless for most pros.  Being able to rack mount the Mac Pro more easily is far more valuable than your mini-tower design.  Anyone that needs a smaller desktop footprint is already sporting an iMac.

 

Rack mounting is an interesting concept as the current Pro isn't ideal for that.   I'm also convinced that the current Mac Pro is just to big moving forward so I could see a much smaller box coming.   Ideally a rectangular box 8 inches or so wide so that they could easily be mounted side by side in a rack.   With todays hardware they could easily do this in a box that has at least three slots with the GPU and CPU on a small mother board.   Maybe the box would be 3 to 4 U high but that really isn't a problem especially if two can be put on a shelf and tightly coupled.   Either way we are talking dramatically less volume that with the current Mac Pro.


Edited by wizard69 - 5/9/12 at 4:04pm
post #66 of 86
Quote:Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Whoa, based on some of the posts here that describe the needs of high end users, the posters are high.  An iMac will serve the needs of professionals?  WTF, it doesn't even serve the needs of high end consumers!  Some droid at Best Buy told me the other day that an i7 iMac had all the power my Mac Pro has, and he was right, sort of.  The iMac's CPU does match the power of many Mac Pro models, but theres more to pro computing than the CPU.  By the droid's resoning, Apple could drop an i7 in the Mini and call it a "Pro" machine.  

​Anybody that says the iMac is a Pro class machine because of the processor isn't clear at all with respect to the term.   This non sense bothers me a great deal in these forums as it seems to be an attempt to creat argument where none is possible.   

PCIe slots:  as illustrated in the posts above, a lot of pro hardware interfaces with the computer via PCIe cards.  Thunderbolt isn't fast enough for this, nor is it a proven, reliable technology.  

 

HDD expandability:  no comparison here, the iMac buries it's HDDs so deep you need tech certification to get at them.  You could plug in an external RAID array via Thunderbolt, but it wouldn't be as fast as an SAS connected RAID enclosure, and many Mac Pro users just set up internal RAID, without all the extra mess and cost of an external enclosure and cables.  A previous poster suggested the iMac switch to 2.5" drives.  Good idea, then the iMac can have even fewer HDD options!

 

Graphics card:  iMac is worthless here, you're stuck with the original card.  Want to upgrade it? Throw out your computer and that beautiful 27" IPS display and buy another iMac with another 27" IPS display.  Need to do high end 3D work?  Not happening on an iMac.

 

Speaking of displays, want something larger than 27"?  Want a higher end IPS display with a wide color gamut?  Want to drive more than two displays?  Apple's iMac says to go fu[k yourself.

 

Upgradability:  It's easy to drop a faster CPU in a Mac Pro, impossible to do so in an iMac.  I've got a Mac Pro on my desk that started life as a quad core 2.66 GHz Nehalem macpro4,1 and is now a hexa core 3.33 GHz Westmere upgraded to macpro5,1 firmware, identical to the ones now selling at the Apple Store.  (It's for sale if anyone wants it!).  Need a new display?  Throw out your iMac.  Need a new computer?  Throw out your iMac.  Want a bigger hard drive?  Either take your iMac into someone trained to install one, or buy an enclosure and deal with another thing on your desk and more cables behind it.  Add a few external HDDs and that iMac doesn't look so slick anymore.

 

Ease of use:  another are where there is no comparison.  Inserting an optical disc into a Mac Pro is easy, just drop it in the tray.  The iMac has a silly slot loading drive that sometimes marks your CDs.  Think optical discs are dead, and flash drives are the new thang?  I plug my flash drives into the front of my Mac Pro without getting out of my chair.  On an iMac, I've got to get up, bend over and around the iMac, curse and turn on a light, then bend over and around again to finally locate a USB port on the back at the bottom of the iMac.  Apple could just put the ports on the edge of the iMac, but then it might not look as cool...as if an iMac user looks cool all bent over and contorted to try to plug in a freakin' flash drive.

 

As to buying a Mac Pro now or waiting, personally I'd buy now.  Ivy Bridge isn't that big of an update unless 12 cores isn't doing it for you.  Nice thing about buying now is that you can save a lot buying used and get exactly the same hardware as if you bought new.  The loaded hexa-core on my deskt right now would cost nearly $6000 new, used they go for about half that much.

 

All right HOW MANY are throughly frustrated with quoting on Safari on a Mac right now?   The point of forum software should be to make communications easier not more difficult.

post #67 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
 


I dislike all the extra returns I get that I not only have to delete manually… but also immediately go back and EDIT my posts because it PUTS THEM BACK IN after I've deleted them.

 

But other than that and the fact that the idiotic text has a BACKGROUND COLOR, I'm fine with it.

 

I notice that hitting quote on your post doesn't give me any content, however… 

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 86
Thread Starter 

I really do appreciate all of your help. Although you all have, for the most part, gone way over my head with all this... I work with computers not on them much any more. It's been many years since I did anything other than plug and unplug a component, slip in a card or drive, memory and such. I'd have to call out my superiors to interpret all this... : -O

Calling:

 

Gran Senator 
who represented Malastare in the Galactic Senate during the final decade of the Galactic Republic.
 
Abeloth
An entity strong in the Dark Side of the Force imprisoned within the Maw that is released by Darth Caedus and later defeated by Luke Skywalker and mysterious member of the Lost Tribe of the Sith 
 
Admiral Gail Ackbar
Commander of the Rebel fleet in their attack against the second Death Star 
 
Mas Amedda 
Vice chair of the Galactic Senate.
 
Darth Andeddu 
The self-styled "Immortal God-King of Prakith" who reigned as Dark Lord of the Sith during the Hundred-Year Darkness. He left behind a holocron that supposedly held to secret to immortality.
 
Commander Appo
Clone Commander of the 501st Legion.
 
Attichitcuk
The father of Chewbacca one of Kashyyyk's prominent chieftains during the final years of the Galactic Republic.
 
B4-D4 
The administrative droid that works for Czerka on Telos in the Outer Rim.
 
Moradmin Bast
Imperial general who served aboard the first Death Star; during the space battle above Yavin 4
 
Bollux 
Droid that is part of Han Solo's crew
 
Sora Bulq 
Jedi Master
 
C-3PO 
Little smart droid
 
Darth Cognus 
Sith Lord 
 
Luke Skywalker
 
FX-7 
An older model, but still a serviceable medical assistant droid; with its many arms it can assess a patient quickly with multiple tests and provide the surgeon the information it needs to assist in suitable treatment
 
Gonk Droid 
A rectangular-cubed shaped droid that walks very slowly.
 
Jedi master 
Luminara Unduli
 
Ysanne Isard
Former head of Imperial Intelligence 
 
Obi-Wan Kenobi 
Jedi Master who trains Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker. A member of the Jedi Council and one of the Jedi survivors of Order 66. His master is Qui-Gon Jinn, who was killed by Darth Maul.
 
Lowbacca 
Wookiee Jedi Knight
 
Mama the Hutt 
Ziro the Hutt, Zorba the Hutt, Ebor the Hutt, Pazda the Hutt and Jiliac the Hutt's mother and Jabba the Hutt's grandmother.
 
MD-5
A medical droid serving Trioculus
 
General Rom Mohc 
Creator of the Dark Trooper program 
 
Astri Oddo 
Friend of Obi-Wan Kenobi and ally of the Jedi Order
 
Let me adjust my retractor beam adjusted to see if I can hear them.... :-D
post #69 of 86
Quote:
I just think that those folks that need the expansion capabilities of the Mac Pro isn't going to be able to get by with one slot and a bunch of Thunderbolt ports and there are more of those folks than Marvin believes.

Well sure, many of us could "get by" with a bunch of TB ports, a rat's nest of cables, and a desk crowded with external enclosures.  We prefer the clean elegance of a Mac Pro.  Many of us could get by with a single internal HDD and one or two external USB HDDs, but we prefer the four internal HDD bays in the Mac Pro.

 

Actually, ALL users could get by using Windows.  

 

 

Quote:
Dual 30" + the 27" internal panel enough?

I didn't know the iMac could drive two displays so large, that's awesome!  Still, for someone who needs a wide color gamut display, the iMac isn't a practical solution.  And as an all in one, it still forces the user to buy a new computer and display when only one needs replacing or upgrading.  For a smaller, cheaper display that wouldn't be such a big deal, but it's pretty stupid to tie such a gorgeous 27" IPS display to such a limited all in one design.

 

 

Quote:

Upgradability:  The 3.33Ghz Wetmere is $1639 on Newegg....I looked at replacing the CPUs in my old Mac Pro and decided not to bother.

 

I bought aW3680 for $545 new on eBay.  Provantage has them for under $600.  And some of us enjoy upgrading CPUs.  We like to tinker.  It's not a "bother", it's a feature.

 

 

Quote:
Ability to upgrade cpus is incidental. It voids the warranty and applecare. It's just that you can do it because they're not soldered in. In no way has Apple worked to make that possible for users. Gpus are a bit different in that Apple does retail them independently as well as cto. Your post about Ivy Bridge is also complete crap. The current mac pro uses Nehalem and Westmere, not Sandy Bridge.

 

I never said anything about Mac Pros using Sandy Bridge.  And incidental or not, many users consider it a feature to be able to upgrade CPUs.  I've met a few Windows users who would switch to OS X if only they could buy a Mac with a CPU mounted in an honest socket for under $2000.  Voiding warranty and applecare?  Usually CPUs are upgraded after those have expired, but there's always the option of reinstalling the original CPU(s) in the event that Applecare service is needed.  Personally I just buy used and upgrade components to my needs or the needs of those to whom I'm selling the computer.  

 

It's my belief that if Apple offered a fully upgradable i7 tower, a significant portion of technically inclined Windows users and tinkerers would switch to OS X.  It's a shame to see such a puissant operating system ignored by so many geeks because of Apple's limited hardware options.  10 years ago, the lack of a midrange tower was understandable since Apple needed phat margins to stay afloat.  Even so, I'm not convinced a midrange tower would ever have hurt Apple's profits.  How many tower buyers opt for an Apple display?  How many will buy iDevices to go with their new midrange tower?  How many will consider upgrading the midrange tower to a Mac Pro after having used and loved OS X?  

post #70 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

 

 

I didn't know the iMac could drive two displays so large, that's awesome!  Still, for someone who needs a wide color gamut display, the iMac isn't a practical solution.  And as an all in one, it still forces the user to buy a new computer and display when only one needs replacing or upgrading.  For a smaller, cheaper display that wouldn't be such a big deal, but it's pretty stupid to tie such a gorgeous 27" IPS display to such a limited all in one design.

 

 

Perhaps I'm a little too grumpy today. On the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge thing, I was saying that the Mac Pro would most likely use Sandy Bridge E cpus which are just starting to ship in volume. My point was that they didn't actually skip that generation. It's simply fallen behind Intel's worst case scenario. You may remember last year they had problems with the initial launch of Sandy Bridge as they issued a recall. On the display thing, I need to emphasize that wide gamut is commonly misunderstood. No one really needs it. It's typically about the ability to match certain colors relative to inkjet printing, prepress, or broadcast purposes within a certain Delta E tolerance. The typical Adobe RGB wide gamut reference commonly seen today doesn't necessarily improve this. In fact crts and some of the earlier lcd displays had a lot of advantages in terms of control and fine tuning capability. I can think of several sRGB displays that were better in terms of consistency than almost anything on the market today.

post #71 of 86

My bad for using the wrong Xeon chip.  $600 isn't so bad.  

 

Yes, quoting sucks now.  Lots of stuff about the new forum sucks on Safari (Mac and iOS).

post #72 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Perhaps I'm a little too grumpy today. On the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge thing, I was saying that the Mac Pro would most likely use Sandy Bridge E cpus which are just starting to ship in volume. My point was that they didn't actually skip that generation. It's simply fallen behind Intel's worst case scenario. You may remember last year they had problems with the initial launch of Sandy Bridge as they issued a recall. On the display thing, I need to emphasize that wide gamut is commonly misunderstood. No one really needs it. It's typically about the ability to match certain colors relative to inkjet printing, prepress, or broadcast purposes within a certain Delta E tolerance. The typical Adobe RGB wide gamut reference commonly seen today doesn't necessarily improve this. In fact crts and some of the earlier lcd displays had a lot of advantages in terms of control and fine tuning capability. I can think of several sRGB displays that were better in terms of consistency than almost anything on the market today.

 

Oh yeah, that's true, Xeons are a bit behind now.  

 

It's also true that most people don't need wide gamut displays, but some professionals do.  If Apple abandoned those professionals, it wouldn't amount to many sales directly, but those professionals set an example with their workstation choices.  When people in all the other departments see the graphics department using Macs, the message is that Macs are powerful computers for serious work, and that attitude is carried with them to Best Buy.

 

Another thing about high gamut displays, while most users don't need them, just about any professional who needs high color accuracy ends up with one because most of the high end IPS displays use a wide color gamut.  I'm looking to replace my high end CRT display, and it's pretty annoying how hard it is to find a high quality IPS display that is not wide color gamut.  OS X lags behind Windows in supporting this technology.  It's too bad, because while most of us do not need a wide color gamut, if we had computers that could manage that gamut properly, most of us would want a wide color gamut display.  They are beautiful to behold, it's a case where you don't realize the limitations of the standard color gamut until seeing wide color gamut images.  I'd actually prefer a wider color gamut display that was fully supported by OS X to a higher resolution display.  

post #73 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

 

Oh yeah, that's true, Xeons are a bit behind now.  

 

It's also true that most people don't need wide gamut displays, but some professionals do.  If Apple abandoned those professionals, it wouldn't amount to many sales directly, but those professionals set an example with their workstation choices.  When people in all the other departments see the graphics department using Macs, the message is that Macs are powerful computers for serious work, and that attitude is carried with them to Best Buy.

 

Another thing about high gamut displays, while most users don't need them, just about any professional who needs high color accuracy ends up with one because most of the high end IPS displays use a wide color gamut.  I'm looking to replace my high end CRT display, and it's pretty annoying how hard it is to find a high quality IPS display that is not wide color gamut.  OS X lags behind Windows in supporting this technology.  It's too bad, because while most of us do not need a wide color gamut, if we had computers that could manage that gamut properly, most of us would want a wide color gamut display.  They are beautiful to behold, it's a case where you don't realize the limitations of the standard color gamut until seeing wide color gamut images.  I'd actually prefer a wider color gamut display that was fully supported by OS X to a higher resolution display.  

 

Apple's marketing is pure genius, and they do make nice computers. I don't really dispute that. It's just that a good solution doesn't have to be a Mac. Okay on wide gamut displays, it's not as simple as you're suggesting. First of all Apple moved to LED backlighting. Implementing a wide gamut panel there would be somewhat problematic. LED in general historically had problems with color stability. It still has some issues today, and they're more difficult to calibrate. As to "needing" wide gamut, it doesn't guarantee you better color accuracy. Extra colors are added, but they may not mean much to you depending on your subject matter. It isn't automatically better. It does spread the color values out more, and it typically requires more aggressive dithering. I've got both types in front of me right now. The older one is an NEC2190. The newer one is a CG243W. The NEC does look different, but it's way past the point at which I'd trust it. There have been some sRGB displays that were really excellent. Like when this Eizo came out, this model was a pain in the ass to calibrate. You could use a spectrophotometer, but colorimeters at the time would leave you with greenish neutral values. The newer self calibrating ones seem to be a bit better in that regard, and a couple of the newer colorimeters do an okay job on this one. 

 

When you say color manage it properly, I also don't think you understand what you are saying. With a good profile under Snow Leopard or later, the icons don't come out super saturated any longer. If you're referring to 10 bit displayport, I doubt we'll get that due to thunderbolt. Even with applications that could recognize it and make use of the adjusted frame buffer, you wouldn't notice a huge difference overall. As you probably know these devices are tuned approximately to gamma 2.2, much like their reference color spaces. This isn't quite as evil as some people suggest. It's a way of dealing with displaying images over a low dynamic range. If they were displayed in a linear manner over a 300:1-500:1 dynamic range, they'd look ugly, and you must understand that some of the astronomical numbers stated for some displays really aren't very accurate. Anyway the purpose of 10 bit there would be better shadow value allocation. You don't even need a 10 bit panel output. You just need math with fewer rounding errors when the values are spread so thin already.

post #74 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

 

Apple's marketing is pure genius, and they do make nice computers. I don't really dispute that. It's just that a good solution doesn't have to be a Mac. Okay on wide gamut displays, it's not as simple as you're suggesting. First of all Apple moved to LED backlighting. Implementing a wide gamut panel there would be somewhat problematic. LED in general historically had problems with color stability. It still has some issues today, and they're more difficult to calibrate. As to "needing" wide gamut, it doesn't guarantee you better color accuracy. Extra colors are added, but they may not mean much to you depending on your subject matter. It isn't automatically better. It does spread the color values out more, and it typically requires more aggressive dithering. I've got both types in front of me right now. The older one is an NEC2190. The newer one is a CG243W. The NEC does look different, but it's way past the point at which I'd trust it. There have been some sRGB displays that were really excellent. Like when this Eizo came out, this model was a pain in the ass to calibrate. You could use a spectrophotometer, but colorimeters at the time would leave you with greenish neutral values. The newer self calibrating ones seem to be a bit better in that regard, and a couple of the newer colorimeters do an okay job on this one. 

 

When you say color manage it properly, I also don't think you understand what you are saying. With a good profile under Snow Leopard or later, the icons don't come out super saturated any longer. If you're referring to 10 bit displayport, I doubt we'll get that due to thunderbolt. Even with applications that could recognize it and make use of the adjusted frame buffer, you wouldn't notice a huge difference overall. As you probably know these devices are tuned approximately to gamma 2.2, much like their reference color spaces. This isn't quite as evil as some people suggest. It's a way of dealing with displaying images over a low dynamic range. If they were displayed in a linear manner over a 300:1-500:1 dynamic range, they'd look ugly, and you must understand that some of the astronomical numbers stated for some displays really aren't very accurate. Anyway the purpose of 10 bit there would be better shadow value allocation. You don't even need a 10 bit panel output. You just need math with fewer rounding errors when the values are spread so thin already.

 

You seem to have a way of interpreting the polar opposite of what I've written.

 

For one, I never suggested Apple move to a wide gamut LED iMac.  Would I like to see the whole computer industry adopt a wider color gamut that the current standard RGB gamut?  Hell yes, I think consumers would be more impressed by that than by what higher resolutions can do at this point.  Do I think it will happen?  Hell no.  Take the difficulty Apple had with the transition from PPC to Intel, and multiply that by 100, and the resulting clusterfu[k would resemble the situation if the computer industry tried to move to a wider gamut.  

 

I never said wide color gamut guarantees better color accuracy.  I said that it's hard to find a high end IPS display without a wide color gamut.  I also never said that a wider color gamut is "automatically better," I said the opposite, or least that was my point.  Without applications and images/graphics that can use the wider color space, the wide gamut display is going to look worse.  

 

All that aside, the main point is simply that to capture hobbyist/enthusiast computer users, Apple needs to be expanding user options, not restricting them, which exactly what an all in one design does.  In raw numbers these "powerusers" are a small portion of the market, but their influence is hard to overestimate.  They're the ones all the other users go to for buying advice.  They tell all their friends and relatives what to buy, and then help support these friends and relatives when they run into problems.  Apple should be going after these powerusers, they've got a powerful OS already, and a large enough marketshare in gadgets to be known first hand to many consumers.  But no self-respecting poweruser geek is going to buy an all in one, and most of them cannot afford a Mac Pro.

post #75 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Well sure, many of us could "get by" with a bunch of TB ports, a rat's nest of cables, and a desk crowded with external enclosures.  We prefer the clean elegance of a Mac Pro.  Many of us could get by with a single internal HDD and one or two external USB HDDs, but we prefer the four internal HDD bays in the Mac Pro.


It's my belief that if Apple offered a fully upgradable i7 tower, a significant portion of technically inclined Windows users and tinkerers would switch to OS X.  It's a shame to see such a puissant operating system ignored by so many geeks because of Apple's limited hardware options.  10 years ago, the lack of a midrange tower was understandable since Apple needed phat margins to stay afloat.  Even so, I'm not convinced a midrange tower would ever have hurt Apple's profits.  How many tower buyers opt for an Apple display?  How many will buy iDevices to go with their new midrange tower?  How many will consider upgrading the midrange tower to a Mac Pro after having used and loved OS X?  

Junkyard states it very well. Apple seems a little bi polar. Design great looking personal computers. But totally ignores that user that needs some expansion. So then we have to clutter up that great looking Mac with cables and external drives. Why did Apple spend the money making them look good?

Yes I could buy a Mac Pro but I don't need that much computer. What's wrong with an easy to open mid range desktop with some expansion?

 

I have used Macs for 20 years. I do not own any of Apple's iDevices. Why? It's not that I don't like them. It's not that I wouldn't use them. It's not that I don't want to own them. But none of them are items that I would use on a daily basis. I'm a sit down use my computer type of guy. And I just will not support Apple through buying products I don't really need when the product I do really need and would use isn't available.

I don't need to carry my music around all the time. I don't talk on the phone much. A tablet isn't going to cut it for me without the desktop computer to do everything else that the iPad can't.

post #76 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknowntekniq View Post

i know someone selling a new not used mac pro 2010 model they say its still got 1 year warranty the specs are

they want to sell it for £1300 and this would be my first mac im going to use it for maschine traktor scratch pro 2 and ableton vst s plugins etc i needed to know if this would be a good buy for me or not if u coulld all please help tell me the pros and cons
if possible answer as quick as u can as if it is a good buy i need to get it today or tommorw as he might find someone else to sell to

Yeah, that's a decent price for the 2010 model. It's actually the latest one as the Mac Pro hasn't been updated in 2 years so it's not really any different from buying the entry 2.8GHz model on Apple's Store with a 1 year warranty.

They are possibly selling it with the expectation that a new one will be coming in June. It pretty much has to be or it will be discontinued.

The CPU performance is around the same as the Mac Mini Server and slightly less than the i7 iMacs. The Mac Pro 5770 GPU is a fair bit slower than the iMac's 6970M but slightly faster than the 6770M.

For the task you need it for, it should be sufficient and the price they are asking for is good. Even if Apple update it in 3 weeks, they will likely still start at over £2000. It also shouldn't depreciate your machine by much when it's released as it will use last year's CPUs, it's just a year late.
post #77 of 86
post #78 of 86

Ugh, social networking. AND Gizmodo.

 

Throw in a DigiTimes rumor and that would be the worst post ever, in my mind. lol.gif

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 #79 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Yeah, that's a decent price for the 2010 model. It's actually the latest one as the Mac Pro hasn't been updated in 2 years so it's not really any different from buying the entry 2.8GHz model on Apple's Store with a 1 year warranty.
They are possibly selling it with the expectation that a new one will be coming in June. It pretty much has to be or it will be discontinued.
The CPU performance is around the same as the Mac Mini Server and slightly less than the i7 iMacs. The Mac Pro 5770 GPU is a fair bit slower than the iMac's 6970M but slightly faster than the 6770M.
For the task you need it for, it should be sufficient and the price they are asking for is good. Even if Apple update it in 3 weeks, they will likely still start at over £2000. It also shouldn't depreciate your machine by much when it's released as it will use last year's CPUs, it's just a year late.

http://www.barefeats.com/wst10g12.html

 

I'm low on links today, but the 5770 vs 6970m thing should be pretty close. 

 

Edit: if it's a good deal, there's no reason not to go for it. They'll have to support it for some amount of time still. If you want a better gpu wait for updates and get the newest thing. If you're comfortable doing cpu upgrades, $600 or so will give you the equivalent of the current 6 core :). I'm personally going to update at some point here. I'm waiting to see what Apple debuts for 2012. Whatever I buy is most likely getting 32GB of ram so that it never shuffles anything to the disk (keep in mind I work with huge files and I run into ram problems way more often than cpu constraints).


Edited by hmm - 5/17/12 at 3:35pm
post #80 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AandcMedia View Post

Saw this on Gizmodo: https://www.facebook.com/MacProsPlease


Gizmodo posted that article yesterday making a big point that the page only had 15 likes with this Big Red Circle around the number 15... well that was yesterday... look at this today! ONE day later...

mp1.JPG

mp3.JPG

THEY ARE GAINING ABOUT 1 A MINUET!!!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › It's a New Mac Pro for me - Updated or Not! Well Maybe....