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Reliable source says no chance Apple will ax Mac Pro - Page 2

post #41 of 97

I want it black. I want it soul-sucking black. I want it coated with that material that has a refractive index of 0.045. Shine a light directly at it and you still won't see any more of it.

 

And I want it to be a cube. Make it the perfect successor to the NeXTcube.

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post #42 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Mac Pro petition
Dalrymple's confidence in the continued existence of Apple's Mac workstation comes as a Facebook petition calling for Apple to inform customers about the fate of the Mac Pro has been attracting attention. As of late Wednesday, the page had garnered more than 14,000 "likes" since the page was created in early May.

15,397 as of my "like" a few seconds ago...

 

https://www.facebook.com/MacProsPlease

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post #43 of 97

I guess I can somewhat understand why Apple is so mysterious about consumer retail products, but why the secrecy about the high end products like the Mac Pro? A consistent, public upgrade cycle would probably improve sales as it would allow companies to budget properly for new Mac Pro hardware. How do I go to my boss and tell him I need to add $4000 to the budget for the new Mac Pro that just came out in the middle of the budget / calendar year? 

 

That said, I really hope they keep the Mac Pro even though I can't justify one at this time. The iMac is fine for home use but just doesn't seem right in a editing studio, but maybe that's just me...

post #44 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mn3416 View Post
I guess I can somewhat understand why Apple is so mysterious about consumer retail products, but why the secrecy about the high end products like the Mac Pro? 

 

So the Osborne Effect doesn't apply to 'really expensive stuff'?

 

Quote:
A consistent, public upgrade cycle would probably improve sales as it would allow companies to budget properly for new Mac Pro hardware.

 

So ask Intel to release chips in a timely manner instead of this pussyfooting around they keep doing. lol.gif

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #45 of 97

The Mac Pro has taken a backseat only because the iMac, laptop and iOS products are selling like hotcakes.  I'm sure the Mac Pro will be updated eventually.

post #46 of 97

If this is true, it shows that Apple has recognized that a commitment to pro users, like myself, is an important part of it's brand identity.  A different kind of halo.  Especially so when you consider the rumored by out of Redmatica.  I do hope they bring Andrea to Cupertino.  Or at least have her work for the company. 

post #47 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kludge View Post

People seem to think Pro users will just sit around waiting for Apple to release new hardware but that's not true. I got mad at Apple and instead of staying in the cult I built a Hackintosh. I would urge others to do the same. When Apple sees they can no longer treat their business customers so direspectfully maybe they'll start giving out rough release dates. Until then I refuse to buy Apple.

Please do tell which motherboard we should use to build a dual xeon 16 core Hackintosh. One which actually runs as stable and reliably as a real Mac. Oh, and one that actually has functioning audio too. Seriously, I want to know if it can be done. I might consider it, if it can be proven to work. So far all I've seen is single cpu builds with many problems reported.

 

I doubt many other "Pros" would be so adventurous to try it so I doubt Apple will take notice of a few tinkerers. Most pros want to buy something with support and a guarantee. 


Edited by mstone - 5/31/12 at 8:23am

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post #48 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Ax no,totally redesign it yes

I do wonder if the enormous, back breaking tower that doesn't fir in a rack is a design that makes sense anymore.  I would think that a potential redesign would be a series of modular single, double and triple rack space units, mountable or stackable, that can be linked to a common power supply and connected by a thunderbolt cable which can be added on to affordably would be the way to go..  

post #49 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

I thought that too, at first, but then, I wonder if these aren't all current run-times, but in a couple cases, the ones you mentioned, were 'historical' (i.e., times before, not since, current versions)?

I'm confused as to why comment seems so convoluted. The OP I responded to clearly stated "has never" not "currently."

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post #50 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

So the Osborne Effect doesn't apply to 'really expensive stuff'?

 

Sometimes. Companies and large institutions often want long-term road maps so they can plan future purchases. If a product doesn't have a clear road map they may stay away, even if it offers a better short-term solution.

post #51 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm confused as to why comment seems so convoluted. The OP I responded to clearly stated "has never" not "currently."

Not convoluted, but the initial impulse for some of us was probably to start counting back from recent acquisitions (like my Air) or dates we well remembered (like latest iPhone)...

And some of us never got past that.

post #52 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

All these pro users that say they have been around for ages should know that Apple isn't going to give them that kind of hint. If you need the computer now, buy it now. If you don't then wait until you do. 

 

But asking Apple to tell you something so you feel better or know to wait is asking for something even consumers ask for and neither group has ever gotten and even under Tim Cook aren't likely to

I completely agree. 

 

I'm on a 12 core 2.66 westmere right now, it's MORE than enough for even our most die hard modelers here. It's not like this machine is a slouch.

 

 

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post #53 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

I do wonder if the enormous, back breaking tower that doesn't fir in a rack is a design that makes sense anymore.  I would think that a potential redesign would be a series of modular single, double and triple rack space units, mountable or stackable, that can be linked to a common power supply and connected by a thunderbolt cable which can be added on to affordably would be the way to go..  

I like the Mac Pro just the way it is (desktop). If they made it rack mountable as well, as an option, that would be fine. While they were at it they should give it redundant power supplies if they want it to be a server. What you are describing is sort of a blade chassis which is too awkward as a desktop solution so, no, that is not the direction they should go in my opinion.

 

When you talk about high density computing, that is synonymous with hot, loud, and increased power requirements, more than is typically found in a office or home wall outlet. For example all blade solutions are 220-240 VAC which is not common in the US as a regular circuit. I like the quiet, cool Mac Pro I have now.


Edited by mstone - 5/31/12 at 9:37am

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post #54 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After a few seconds of silence, Benjamin followed up by asking "You're really confident in that? You feel good about that?"

 

That's the problem I have with Benjamin.  Love him like a brother, but there was too much dead air after Gruber said anything profound or technical.  It's like Benjamin couldn't keep up mentally.  So I'm kind of glad Gruber moved the Talk Show to a different network.  Benjamin has many other successful podcasts on 5by5, so it's not a disaster for him.

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post #55 of 97

When I buy a Mac Pro, how far it is into its life cycle doesn't really bother me - I just want a machine that is absolutely rock solid and proven.

 

I've done the whole latest generation/early adopter thing, and it was just a massive ball ache.

 

At this point I'd rather have a 2.5 year old Mac Pro, than a next generation whatever.

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post #56 of 97
Why is it that people like you, that is people with less than ten posts, find the time to write such crap? You have no credibility here and you make yourself look like a self absorbed idiot, that thinks his self importance gives him the authority to demand insider information from Apple. Sorry fella you aren't that important to anybody and nobody will follow your example because you said so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kludge View Post

People seem to think Pro users will just sit around waiting for Apple to release new hardware but that's not true. I got mad at Apple and instead of staying in the cult I built a Hackintosh. I would urge others to do the same. When Apple sees they can no longer treat their business customers so direspectfully maybe they'll start giving out rough release dates. Until then I refuse to buy Apple.
post #57 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

What is Apple's problem?

During the honeymoon between Intel and Apple, Apple release Mac Pros with Xeon's not released officially.

Then Intel/Apple had a fallout over that Intel didn't license the CPU interconnect to Nvidia, so Nvidia was forced stop making motherboards. 

Apple started to talk to AMD. 


During the Intel/Apple exclusive agreement, Intel engineers designed Apples motherboards. I don't know how its today. 

But if Intel still designs Apples motherboards: Making a bumped Mac Pro takes minimal effort. Drivers for Thunderbolt + drivers for a good graphic card. That should not take to long time.

 

The rumor is that Apple is redesigning the MacPro to a smaller case. The case haven't been updated in 7 years. I really don't care. The current design/case is amongst the greatest in the business. My MacPro is 100% silent during max load.


Since Apple decided to stop support 32bit EFI in 10.8, I will have to upgrade my Mac Pro. 

That Apple is insane/greedy for removing support for 32bit EFI is another issue. An 8 core computer, with AMD 5 series graphics card is not supported by 10.8. 

 

 

Apple decided to use ARM instead of ATOM in their consumer products.

Intel decided to use their collaboration with Apple on the MacBook Air to launch an initiative that would be a direct competitor.

post #58 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

.........

$2499 wouldn't be such highway robbery for the base MP if it bought a six or eight core machine instead of a quad that is outperformed by iMacs, Macbooks, and PCs that are half the price or less.

This nonsense is often raised by people but for users that really need a Mac Pro it is a joke! The Mac Pro has never been about single threaded performance or even really a competitor to the general desktop machine. It is a workstation computer with all of the benefits that goes with such machines.
post #59 of 97
One reason I'm so dismissive of posts like Kludge's is that it is hard for me to imagine a professional going the hackintosh route. It would be a huge distraction for somebody that makes money with their Mac. Building a Hackintosh for fun though is an entirely different matter.

It is sort of like building Linux machines for professional usage. You need a rational and and technically justifiable reason to do so. Rolling your own hardware for Linux, as opposed to a Mac OS platform, is probably a smarter move anyways due to at least some vendor support.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Please do tell which motherboard we should use to build a dual xeon 16 core Hackintosh. One which actually runs as stable and reliably as a real Mac. Oh, and one that actually has functioning audio too. Seriously, I want to know if it can be done. I might consider it, if it can be proven to work. So far all I've seen is single cpu builds with many problems reported.

I doubt many other "Pros" would be so adventurous to try it so I doubt Apple will take notice of a few tinkerers. Most pros want to buy something with support and a guarantee. 
post #60 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

All these pro users that say they have been around for ages should know that Apple isn't going to give them that kind of hint. If you need the computer now, buy it now. If you don't then wait until you do. 

But asking Apple to tell you something so you feel better or know to wait is asking for something even consumers ask for and neither group has ever gotten and even under Tim Cook aren't likely to

I agree. Since when in the history of forever has Apple announced a new version of a product so far in advance of availability that it tanked sales of the existing SKUs in an unplanned way? If Apple wanted to kill the Pro, they'd have done it by now. The only reason to keep the existing SKUs is if a new version is coming out. As for redesigns and such, the Pro's modular case design is perfect: no need to change it for fashion's sake. More RAM, newer CPU options, and updated chipsets are enough for me.

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post #61 of 97
I really like comments that show some imagination!
Quote:
Originally Posted by strask View Post

I do wonder if the enormous, back breaking tower that doesn't fir in a rack is a design that makes sense anymore.
It doesn't! The Mac Pro is a design and concept that is no longer suitable for the modern world.
Quote:
 I would think that a potential redesign would be a series of modular single, double and triple rack space units, mountable or stackable,
How about triple high, half rack wide? Such a box would be nice on a desktop or ganged up double wide in a rack. The goal really should be a flexible package that is reasonably compact and can be used in multiple installation types.
Quote:
that can be linked to a common power supply
Well we can disagree on this point. A modular internal power supply would be required in my estimation.
Quote:
and connected by a thunderbolt cable which can be added on to affordably would be the way to go..  

How about both Thunderbolt and Infiniband? Infiniband for clustering, TB for I/O.

Ideally a platform like this would come with a matching disk array module. That way people with large storage demands would have a solution. The CPU unit might come with a Max of three storage slots. I'm really hoping we see Apple move to PCI Express based storage solutions. So if the CPU module has three slots we can easily see that machine being useful to a large number of users.

In any event keep the ole brain cells a churning, imagination makes future Macs interesting.
post #62 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I agree. Since when in the history of forever has Apple announced a new version of a product so far in advance of availability that it tanked sales of the existing SKUs in an unplanned way? If Apple wanted to kill the Pro, they'd have done it by now. The only reason to keep the existing SKUs is if a new version is coming out. As for redesigns and such, the Pro's modular case design is perfect: no need to change it for fashion's sake. More RAM, newer CPU options, and updated chipsets are enough for me.

Nothing in this world is perfect. As a concept I think massive towers have run their course. Technology is changing real fast and all of those changes imply faster hardware in more compact spaces. More compact because simply moving the electrons from one location to another slows a machine down and the farther you move data the slower a computer has to run.

Ivy Bridge and then Haswell are just the start, new memory and storage technologies are coming which will drive the size of a machine downward. In the end the big box computer becomes a liability for mainstream usage. As far as memory technology goes Intel has already made some of its research public so this isn't pie in the sky possibilities.

I really don't know what Apple is up too. What I do know is that technology is changing rapidly in the computer field. High density, low power components are the way of the future. At some point Apple will need to adapt their hardware strategy to reflect this fact.
post #63 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Nothing in this world is perfect. As a concept I think massive towers have run their course. Technology is changing real fast and all of those changes imply faster hardware in more compact spaces. More compact because simply moving the electrons from one location to another slows a machine down and the farther you move data the slower a computer has to run.
Ivy Bridge and then Haswell are just the start, new memory and storage technologies are coming which will drive the size of a machine downward. In the end the big box computer becomes a liability for mainstream usage. As far as memory technology goes Intel has already made some of its research public so this isn't pie in the sky possibilities.
I really don't know what Apple is up too. What I do know is that technology is changing rapidly in the computer field. High density, low power components are the way of the future. At some point Apple will need to adapt their hardware strategy to reflect this fact.

Large computers haven't run their course, saying that is just naive.

When you crank up the computing power, the parts WILL get hot.  Why do you think desktop i7 CPUs don't get put inside laptops? They'd over heat. I wouldn't expect a Xeon CPU to sit comfortably inside my iMac, as much as I'd like that; it'd just over heat and shut down under very little load given the small heat sink that would be available in a case of that size.

 

Larger computers allow you to replace parts at will and very easily, more parts can be in the machine and it allows far more effective cooling.

 

Things will get smaller, but towers and racks are going nowhere.

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post #64 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Technology is changing real fast and all of those changes imply faster hardware in more compact spaces. More compact because simply moving the electrons from one location to another slows a machine down and the farther you move data the slower a computer has to run.

Technology may be changing but not the laws of physics. You are familiar with the speed of light? That is how fast the electrons are moving. Making the box more compact does not increase the speed of light or appreciably speed up the computer. 

 

Making the box more compact just means, less air flow, more enclosed heat, thus faster fans, louder operation, etc. I don't want a laptop sized workstation or rack server workstation. I prefer the Pro just the way it is. It could be a tad smaller but essentially the same. They could squeeze it into 4U x 19" and still have it sit on the desk as a tower. I much prefer a tower with the DVD drives mounted horizontally. There is no other practical form factor for a heavy duty workstation that makes sense to me.

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post #65 of 97

I hope this is true.  Looking forward to a new box!  I hope it's around Mid-July or sooner...  I'll be done with the movie project I'm on and free to upgrade!

post #66 of 97

What if Apple built new software into Mountain Lion that would allow you to connect multiple Macs easily and Grand Central would auto-distribute the workload out to the other computers as well.  Sure that Mac Mini Server may not have as much RAM or cores as a Mac Pro, but if you can buy 5 Minis and chain them up, you may end up w/greater results.  It may not be as tidy as stuffing as much into one case as you can, but it is one possible solution.  Something to think about.  If new Ivy Bridge Minis would be able to support 32GB (2x16), that chained up set of 5 Minis could access 5 quad cores w/hyper-threading, SSD drives in each machine and 160GB of RAM.  Each machine would also have it's own Thunderbolt port.  Yes it would be standard Ivy Bridge i7's vs Sandy Bridge Xeons, but that is certainly more cores and RAM than a Mac Pro can handle currently.  Since it would be a software solution for distributing the work, it would also get around Intel's prohibition of non-Xeon's being in multi-core setups.  These cores would all be in different machines.  The Mini uses far less power as well.

 

Just some brainstorming.


Edited by SSquirrel - 5/31/12 at 12:57pm
post #67 of 97

I don't personally use a Mac Pro, so nobody needs it.

post #68 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by benanderson89 
Large computers haven't run their course, saying that is just naive.
When you crank up the computing power, the parts WILL get hot.  Why do you think desktop i7 CPUs don't get put inside laptops?

They do, Alienware uses the same i7 that will go in the 27" iMac:

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/fs

Ok, it's not a thin laptop but it's possible because Intel lowered the TDP so much in the desktop line. The more they shrink the parts down, the thermal density increases so if they maintain the same voltage, the heat gets too high. When the voltage is at a certain level, the power draw becomes so low that they can fit the chips inside laptops much more easily. Intel will design Haswell around 22nm and they will focus on dropping the power consumption:

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/13/intel-previews-low-power-haswell-processors-for-2013/

"Intel demonstrated the low-power nature of the Haswell platform by rigging up a prototype Haswell system running off a solar cell powered by light bulbs and other ambient light."

The chipset is 25% lower power too on top of the CPU itself.

While it's true that increasing the voltage will increase the performance, it's already being seen to be counter-productive in Ivy Bridge:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/129300-physics-ivy-bridge-and-the-slow-death-of-overclocking

We are also seeing less and less distinction between desktop and laptop chips in terms of performance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by benanderson89 
Things will get smaller, but towers and racks are going nowhere.

They will stay in their cupboards while the smaller machines take the stage. Few people are looking in the cupboard for their next computer and fewer by the day.

Back in the day, the tower was impressive when consumer machines couldn't do certain tasks as their storage speed was slow, RAM limited, they had single-core CPUs, weak GPUs, low VRAM. As time has gone on, these limits are being wiped away one by one. Even entry machine are 2-core, 4-thread, they are all 64-bit, they can all take at least 16GB RAM except the Air, they can all use SSD offering as much as 500MB/s read/write and outperform RAID0 SAS drives, soon they will use shared memory for the GPU so they can use large amounts of VRAM and the higher-end models offer up to 2GB. They have put PCI on the outside in a tiny port mixed with Mini-DP that will be able to run QFHD resolutions.

People will continue to mutter 'b-b-b-but the Pro can still do x, y, z and that's essential so Apple can't kill it, ever' but it's futile. Intel developed Thunderbolt using a Mac Pro and now that they've done this, anything else of that same nature can be developed using Thunderbolt. There is nothing left to do but await the death knell and on that fateful day, there will be a disturbance as if 50 voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced by their mothers banging on the basement door telling them to keep it down.
post #69 of 97

@ Marvin  If not in a desktop, where are you going to put the latest power hungry, heat producing NVidia GPUs, Xeon level processors, multiple hard drives, SDI HD up to 4k video i/o cards, etc. And don't say it will all be on Thunderbolt. I don't want 5 or 6 separate boxes on my desktop, on a Thunderbolt connect that can't match the internal bandwidth of existing workstations of other brands. I like it mostly in one box if not all. When you say that less of the computing world will be in "cupboards", if you mean studios, even if it is in one room of a home based operation, you are correct. They are called professionals, and compared to the global numbers of people using computers including those of the iOs/Android type, they are a relatively very small group. They are defined by talent, ambition, and high standards, which includes the high end hardware like the (future) Mac Pro they are clamoring for. That necessarily limits the numbers. But it is still a large and profitable market. The power that is needed to satisfy the requirements of high end video, 3D animation, sound design, scientific and engineering work will require computers of at least the Mac Pro's size for several generations to come.

post #70 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


There is nothing left to do but await the death knell and on that fateful day, there will be a disturbance as if 50 voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced by their mothers banging on the basement door telling them to keep it down.

You are probably right but there are enough people that want a 6 speed manual shift sports car that companies still make them. I like the Mac Pro because it is the essence of pure computing. I choose the build to order specs I want and connect it to the monitor(s) of my choosing, two NICs is also nice. I also like the huge amount of RAM and HDs it can use. If they discontinue it I will understand but I still like the computer.

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post #71 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Apple doesn't like releasing a product unless they can make it compelling enough to warrant an new model.  Intel hasn't released a replacement for the processors Apple is using for their current lineup.  I believe Apple had made an announcement a while back eluding to a new model later this year.  So, just be patient and you'll probably have something worthwhile.

 

Obviously, new processors, Thunderbolt, and graphics cards are areas of improvements, but i am wondering what other aspects they can revise as well.

What about being able to choose between 4 HDDs or 10 SSDs?

post #72 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


They do, Alienware uses the same i7 that will go in the 27" iMac:
http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-x51/fs
Ok, it's not a thin laptop but it's possible because Intel lowered the TDP so much in the desktop line. The more they shrink the parts down, the thermal density increases so if they maintain the same voltage, the heat gets too high. When the voltage is at a certain level, the power draw becomes so low that they can fit the chips inside laptops much more easily. Intel will design Haswell around 22nm and they will focus on dropping the power consumption:
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/13/intel-previews-low-power-haswell-processors-for-2013/
"Intel demonstrated the low-power nature of the Haswell platform by rigging up a prototype Haswell system running off a solar cell powered by light bulbs and other ambient light."
The chipset is 25% lower power too on top of the CPU itself.
While it's true that increasing the voltage will increase the performance, it's already being seen to be counter-productive in Ivy Bridge:
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/129300-physics-ivy-bridge-and-the-slow-death-of-overclocking
We are also seeing less and less distinction between desktop and laptop chips in terms of performance.
They will stay in their cupboards while the smaller machines take the stage. Few people are looking in the cupboard for their next computer and fewer by the day.
Back in the day, the tower was impressive when consumer machines couldn't do certain tasks as their storage speed was slow, RAM limited, they had single-core CPUs, weak GPUs, low VRAM. As time has gone on, these limits are being wiped away one by one. Even entry machine are 2-core, 4-thread, they are all 64-bit, they can all take at least 16GB RAM except the Air, they can all use SSD offering as much as 500MB/s read/write and outperform RAID0 SAS drives, soon they will use shared memory for the GPU so they can use large amounts of VRAM and the higher-end models offer up to 2GB. They have put PCI on the outside in a tiny port mixed with Mini-DP that will be able to run QFHD resolutions.
People will continue to mutter 'b-b-b-but the Pro can still do x, y, z and that's essential so Apple can't kill it, ever' but it's futile. Intel developed Thunderbolt using a Mac Pro and now that they've done this, anything else of that same nature can be developed using Thunderbolt. There is nothing left to do but await the death knell and on that fateful day, there will be a disturbance as if 50 voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced by their mothers banging on the basement door telling them to keep it down.

Okay, so the Alienware Desktop computer (x51) will use the same CPU as the iMac... okay... I said LAPTOPS. Put that chip inside a MacBook Air then report back to me.

 

I never said anything about overclocking or voltage. I said CPUs get hot when you work them.

 

Yes, all CPUs now are 64-bit, what is your point, exactly? The MacPro can go up to 128GB of RAM thanks to it having more RAM slots - full sized ones as well.

 

Yes, you can have external PCIe now thanks to thunderbolt. That is pretty cool. But replacing one big box with two small boxes that then equal the size of the big box is just the same thing with an extra wire. Just keep it all in one self contained unit.

 

Yes, one SSD is faster than SAS RAID. Now put 2 SSDs in RAID. You'll need some extra space to stash that second SSD Drive.

 

Bigger computer cases allow for more parts to be put inside them. You will never get away from that fact. The MacPro has space for 4 hard disks or 4 SSDs in RAID, space for insane amounts of RAM, enough space to cool two processors, can have two power supplies for redundancy (if you get the server version) and space for PCIe expansion cards.

 

No matter how small the parts will become, a bigger computer will always be available because more parts will be able to fit in it either for performance reasons, cooling or redundancy. There is no escaping that fact.

 

 

ALSO:

I stopped taking you seriously when you said "soon they will use shared memory for the GPU so they can use large amounts of VRAM and the higher-end models offer up to 2GB".

1. VRAM hasn't been used since the mid 1990s.

2. If the GPU is using shared memory, why does it need dedicated VRAM? Shared memory is used when no dedicated graphics memory is present.

3. Cards offer WAY more than 2GB now. You can find cards with as much as 6GB or more if you shop around.

... at night.

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post #73 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by benanderson89 View Post

Okay, so the Alienware Desktop computer (x51) will use the same CPU as the iMac... okay... I said LAPTOPS. Put that chip inside a MacBook Air then report back to me.

 

In the past there have been laptops that made use of the top end desktop chips as well.  Granted they were very heavy, had very loud fans ad got under an hour's worth of battery life, but they were available :)  So it is possible to keep things cooled down, but it would ruin what Apple is going for.

post #74 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

People will continue to mutter 'b-b-b-but the Pro can still do x, y, z and that's essential so Apple can't kill it, ever' but it's futile. Intel developed Thunderbolt using a Mac Pro and now that they've done this, anything else of that same nature can be developed using Thunderbolt. There is nothing left to do but await the death knell and on that fateful day, there will be a disturbance as if 50 voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced by their mothers banging on the basement door telling them to keep it down.

Why does this bother you so much?  Is a new mac pro going to upset the cash flow of Apple so much your stock will become worthless?  Apple can satisfy more than one demographic, and your shiny iToys will work just fine if mean old Apple decides to waste precious resources on a dinosaur computer for clueless losers.  

post #75 of 97

Thunderbolt, in its current incarnation, is not up to the task of being the interconnet of a fully modular computer. It's only the equivalent of a 4x PCIe.
 

post #76 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

Why does this bother you so much?  Is a new mac pro going to upset the cash flow of Apple so much your stock will become worthless?  Apple can satisfy more than one demographic, and your shiny iToys will work just fine if mean old Apple decides to waste precious resources on a dinosaur computer for clueless losers.  

Waste precious resources sticking industry standard parts into an existing box? Intel may even do the work of integrating Thunderbolt on the motherboard for them leaving Apple nothing to do but assemble it and slap on a big price tag. There would be next to no effort needed to release a new Mac Pro and Tim Cook knows it.

 

I believe the long delay in releasing a new Mac Pro is because Apple is not content to simply toss new parts into an old box again. I think they've redesigned the Mac Pro case to allow users to easily select 2.5" SSDs or high capacity 3.5" HDs. Standard Intel reference motherboards all have 3 slots so Apple would incur additional costs if they wanted to change that number. They might deem that worthwhile if the goal is to make the overall size of the machine significantly smaller than it currently is, but as others have mentioned that drives up heat density and forces the use of more powerful fans. While Intel may be working very hard to get more computing power from less electricity, the graphics card has taken over as the most power hungry component of a performance computer. A single chip, the nVidia 690 GPU, now requires as much power (and cooling) as an entire 27" iMac.

 

The current case offers one of the coolest, quietest experiences one can get with a high performance computer. Tim Cook and Jonny Ive may not hate fans as much as Steve Jobs did, but I can't see them releasing a noisy box. Nor can I see them forcing people to string together multiple boxes to get sufficient processing or storage capacity. Apple hates wires even more than it hates noisy cooling fans.

post #77 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Intel may even do the work of integrating Thunderbolt on the motherboard for them leaving Apple nothing to do but assemble it and slap on a big price tag.

 

Haswell will be the first CPUs they release w/native support for Thunderbolt.

post #78 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

 

In the past there have been laptops that made use of the top end desktop chips as well.  Granted they were very heavy, had very loud fans ad got under an hour's worth of battery life, but they were available :)  So it is possible to keep things cooled down, but it would ruin what Apple is going for.

The good old "desk note" computer. In an old job, my manager had one. It was a fujitsu and had a freakishly large 20" monitor with a desktop MoBo, Graphics, CPU etc. 30mins on the battery, tops.

 

But, really, you could not put that kind of power into a notebook (aka: laptop) computer.

 

So it is possible with a portable computer - a desk note - but not the everyday notebook. Plus it holds even less of a demographic than towers and rack mounts. They usually cost a fortune as well; several thousand. I've seen desk notes go as high as £4500.

... at night.

Reply

... at night.

Reply
post #79 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
If not in a desktop, where are you going to put the latest power hungry, heat producing NVidia GPUs, Xeon level processors, multiple hard drives, SDI HD up to 4k video i/o cards, etc. And don't say it will all be on Thunderbolt.

In the short term, this matters. In the long term, it doesn't. I go back to this often but 10 years ago, I would have said the same thing to you. Today I have a phone that's more powerful than the machine I would have said couldn't be replaced. So now, I'm saying in less than 10 years time, none of this will matter.

That doesn't mean the Mac Pro can be discontinued tomorrow without casualties. What it means is that it's going away very soon and Apple could do it tomorrow with little to no meaningful consequence.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W 
When you say that less of the computing world will be in "cupboards", if you mean studios, even if it is in one room of a home based operation, you are correct. They are called professionals, and compared to the global numbers of people using computers including those of the iOs/Android type, they are a relatively very small group. They are defined by talent, ambition, and high standards, which includes the high end hardware like the (future) Mac Pro they are clamoring for. That necessarily limits the numbers. But it is still a large and profitable market. The power that is needed to satisfy the requirements of high end video, 3D animation, sound design, scientific and engineering work will require computers of at least the Mac Pro's size for several generations to come.

The group of Mac Pro users is not exclusively professional. There are professional digital painters, professional graphic designers, professional developers, professional barristers, professional architects, professional doctors and so on who rely on computers just as much as the high-resource users.

The high resource users tend to need more than a Mac Pro. 3D animation needs a render farm, same with certain scientific fields. The Mac Pro holds the middle ground where it's not enough to render movie quality visual effects on its own but offers better performance than consumer machines albeit at great expense.

These same professionals have gotten by with far worse over the years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone 
there are enough people that want a 6 speed manual shift sports car that companies still make them.

Very true, the Mac Pro could easily continue in the same vein if Apple decided that it was the pinnacle of computer engineering. But I think it's the opposite. To most people, cars are amazing when they are powerful, sleek and beautifully designed. A monster truck driver would argue that those cars couldn't even haul a trailer because they are too light. The Mac Pro is the equivalent of a monster truck. Very functional but it's expected that a machine of that size has the power to do the job.

Where most people are impressed with technology is in the likes of the iPad and iPhone because you don't expect that something so small can do so much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone 
I like the Mac Pro because it is the essence of pure computing.

That statement to me is a euphemistic way of saying it's a number cruncher. I don't have much respect for number crunchers because they do things the stupid way. The most innovative technology comes about by ignoring the iterative path, taking a step back and starting over in a better way. Some tasks just need numbers crunched but there are always better ways to go about doing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by benanderson89 
Bigger computer cases allow for more parts to be put inside them. You will never get away from that fact. The MacPro has space for 4 hard disks or 4 SSDs in RAID, space for insane amounts of RAM, enough space to cool two processors, can have two power supplies for redundancy (if you get the server version) and space for PCIe expansion cards.

No matter how small the parts will become, a bigger computer will always be available because more parts will be able to fit in it either for performance reasons, cooling or redundancy. There is no escaping that fact.

And you can always buy a bigger TV but there's a point where you look at an 80" TV and say 'nope, too big'. People are saying similar things with computers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by benanderson89 
1. VRAM hasn't been used since the mid 1990s.
2. If the GPU is using shared memory, why does it need dedicated VRAM? Shared memory is used when no dedicated graphics memory is present.

VRAM is used to mean video memory in the generic sense no matter what the format. Right now, they still need dedicated memory because they don't fully use the same memory, they will just be able to share a portion of it. There's a roadmap from our ole' pal Mr Papermaster here:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5493/amd-outlines-hsa-roadmap-unified-memory-for-cpugpu-in-2013-hsa-gpus-in-2014

Standalone dedicated GPUs will probably always ship with their own memory as they will be used in systems where they can't rely on there being other memory available but it makes far more sense to bring them together where possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail 
Why does this bother you so much? Is a new mac pro going to upset the cash flow of Apple so much your stock will become worthless?

I wish I had stock in Apple. My main problem with this whole issue is the stagnation. It's like when you look at the world now compared to what science fiction projected. It's all high definition but it's mostly the same. This is caused by going through the motions. It's caused by people holding onto what's familiar and not daring to skew away from it out of fear that they will end up worse off.

All I hear from Mac Pro users is 'don't take away my PCI slots, don't take away my desktop GPU, don't take away my giant metal box, I must be able to use my hypothetical 100GB/s PCI cards and my hypothetical SLI capability and my affordable PCI SSD drives and the 128GB of RAM that I totally bought and almost max out'. And yet at the same time saying it's ok to stick an i7 in there as long as it's cheaper.

People have an idea of what a powerful machine should be because that's how it's always been. Then they bring out quad-core i7 Macbook Pros and all of a sudden, things don't make sense any more. And so begin the list of reasons why it doesn't change anything.

- ah but can the Macbook Pro import a 4k film off a Kona capture card while outputting 128 channels of audio over a DSP card from a PCI SSD and running Metro 2033 in the background connected up to 3 monitors. Didn't think so.

The scenarios are going to get more adventurous as time goes on and all it does is create noise. All people are talking about is raw spec and there's a disconnect between that and practical applications.

Would Apple gain from discontinuing the Pro? No, the same volume of users migrate to lower margin hardware or alternatives.
Would Apple gain from a minor update to the Pro? No, desktop sales have no growth and that update isn't compelling.
Would Apple gain from redesigning the Pro? In a small way, yes as they could increase their market volume in higher margin hardware by offering good value.

Whatever they do, the Mac Pro contributes something like 2% of their profits at most. Sure, it's not about the money but what is it about? Their volume isn't high so they aren't making an impact on any community.
post #80 of 97

Edit: Decided to add something to this. There are many valid uses that start to become strained easier than you'd think on lighter hardware, and thunderbolt as it is today can't really fill those voids no matter how much you kick and scream about it. You can hook up a couple displays, storage, backup storage (or keep primary storage internal if speed is less of an issue), faster gpus (not talking about gaming benchmarks either), and whatever else. One of my problems with thunderbolt right now is the desire to push everything onto a single port per computer then say to daisy chain when it hasn't ben proven effective in such setups. The clustering idea doesn't actually work. I've noted on macrumors a few people use imacs for after effects work. The common complaint is that they get blazingly hot. Being within a few degrees of throttling or shutdown isn't really a good idea if it's going to run for hours. The problem is that lately that's what you get with Apple. They don't really design it with these uses in mind. You could play games over a macbook pro, but those fans will max out the entire time. Essentially they're not designed to be run at their full potential for longer periods of time. This is mostly hypothetical, but Apple's solutions break whenever your usage patterns don't line up with their design goals.

 

By the way, you can't actually use anything beyond 96GB of ram in OSX. It's an OS limitation. 

 

One more link...

http://www.chaosgroup.com/en/2/envyspot.html?i=15

 

Somewhere down the page they reference a 16 core workstation. They've also mentioned rendering smaller projects on a single workstation in a couple of their videos.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


In the short term, this matters. In the long term, it doesn't. I go back to this often but 10 years ago, I would have said the same thing to you. Today I have a phone that's more powerful than the machine I would have said couldn't be replaced. So now, I'm saying in less than 10 years time, none of this will matter.
That doesn't mean the Mac Pro can be discontinued tomorrow without casualties. What it means is that it's going away very soon and Apple could do it tomorrow with little to no meaningful consequence.
The group of Mac Pro users is not exclusively professional. There are professional digital painters, professional graphic designers, professional developers, professional barristers, professional architects, professional doctors and so on who rely on computers just as much as the high-resource users.
The high resource users tend to need more than a Mac Pro. 3D animation needs a render farm, same with certain scientific fields. The Mac Pro holds the middle ground where it's not enough to render movie quality visual effects on its own but offers better performance than consumer machines albeit at great expense.
These same professionals have gotten by with far worse over the years.
 

We've all seen or read about it. Mini computers will never replace mainframes. Laptops will never replace desktops. Blah blah. Okay you're missing something here about why people dislike seeing the old thing going away. They're often left with another moving target that's designed for a different market segment. You can make it work, but it's not always ideal. The imacs and macbook pros can run close to throttling temperatures when functioning normally when they're fully utilized. They aren't within spec for use exceeding 8 hours a day in such a manner. Basically they're not built for hours of heavy tasks from a design standpoint, although they might tolerate it (I haven't tried). Imacs are much more prone to downtime. You don't have any kind of LUT based system for display matching or hardware level calibration. It uses a glass panel yet there are no treated glass options. The point is if you designed something as a successor aimed at a similar market, it wouldn't be this. You can argue in favor of abandoning them, but not wanting to take on a leveraged solution isn't really the same thing as holding back progress. Beyond that, who cares if you can pick up the computer and take it with you if you're tied to a lot of other larger stationary hardware already. Further editing 4k on one beyond slip edits doesn't sound like fun, although that's not really my area. Creative Cow had a discussion on this a while back, but I can't find it right now.

 

Now I've noticed some animators that are independent of big shops do render on single workstations. It's probably also true with motion graphics guys. As to having used far worse in the past, that's pretty meaningless as computing has always been a moving target. 

 

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9653

 

Note the increase in render time hours. Computer hardware keeps getting faster, yet it doesn't always outpace requirements. Better hardware means less animation would need to be done via proxy models with lower poly counts, meaning you'd have better feedback. I don't really care what the computer looks like. I care about design priorities. I don't care if they make it 10 mm thinner if this means I lose half the ports. When you're looking at leveraged solutions, you need to remember that the point of focus of these other solutions is also changing. If they were running in place on their target market, it would probably make the transition easier, but overall no one should buy a computer that doesn't suit their needs.

 

 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


All I hear from Mac Pro users is 'don't take away my PCI slots, don't take away my desktop GPU, don't take away my giant metal box, I must be able to use my hypothetical 100GB/s PCI cards and my hypothetical SLI capability and my affordable PCI SSD drives and the 128GB of RAM that I totally bought and almost max out'. And yet at the same time saying it's ok to stick an i7 in there as long as it's cheaper.
 

 

I still don't think you get this. While those users exist, the point of a machine is to solve problems. Personally I don't care what it looks like. The form factor difference between mini and mac pro means very little to me. The imac has terrible ergonomics and too many flaws to list. If I ever considered one, it would be about price rather than function, which doesn't say much for the machine. It might also be influenced by some of the terrible scaling at times under OSX. I don't know if I ever mentioned that OpenGL has been terrible since Snow Leopard. Anyway getting off track here, but the reason people don't want to see it go most likely has more to do with the lack of a near functionally seamless replacement. Also please don't reference the base eyesore mac pro again. It's a cheap cop out configuration with an inflated price tag.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



- ah but can the Macbook Pro import a 4k film off a Kona capture card while outputting 128 channels of audio over a DSP card from a PCI SSD and running Metro 2033 in the background connected up to 3 monitors. Didn't think so.
The scenarios are going to get more adventurous as time goes on and all it does is create noise. All people are talking about is raw spec and there's a disconnect between that and practical applications.
Would Apple gain from discontinuing the Pro? No, the same volume of users migrate to lower margin hardware or alternatives.
Would Apple gain from a minor update to the Pro? No, desktop sales have no growth and that update isn't compelling.
Would Apple gain from redesigning the Pro? In a small way, yes as they could increase their market volume in higher margin hardware by offering good value.
Whatever they do, the Mac Pro contributes something like 2% of their profits at most. Sure, it's not about the money but what is it about? Their volume isn't high so they aren't making an impact on any community.
 

I have yet to see it run something like that well along with an appropriate display. You are pretty lacking on ports with a macbook pro if you ignore the stupid television commercials and actually set out to build a setup around a macbook pro. This was my point. They didn't design it for that, so you're going to run into more gotchas that should be addressed on Apple's end. I still think you just like new shiny gadgets. I don't spite you for that. It's just that the science fiction comment supports it. 


Edited by hmm - 6/1/12 at 11:02pm
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