or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › OS X 10.8.3 beta supports AMD Radeon 7000 drivers, hinting at Apple's new Mac Pro
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

OS X 10.8.3 beta supports AMD Radeon 7000 drivers, hinting at Apple's new Mac Pro

post #1 of 201
Thread Starter 
Apple's first beta of OS X 10.8.3 has quietly added support for the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series of graphics cards, hinting that they could be featured in the company's designed Mac Pro desktop.

AMD


Support for the AMD Radeon HD 7XXX series was discovered by Netkas.org this week, following the launch of the first beta of OS X 10.8.3. Specifically, the Mac operating system supports the Radeon HD 7900 series, codenamed "Tahiti," which includes the Radeon HD 7970 and 7950.

Both of those cards feature 3 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory, and are based on a 28-nanometer chip manufacturing process. The cards are the first products to feature AMD's "Graphics Core Next" compute architecture.

Support for the dedicated desktop graphics card series could signal that AMD's latest GPUs may be headed for an updated Mac Pro. Apple's lone tower computer was quietly updated in June with a modest speed bump featuring a two-year-old Intel Xeon E5645 chip.

After users expressed frustration over that update, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook quickly confirmed that his company was working on an overhaul of the Mac Pro. He indicated that the updated desktop would be released sometime in 2013.

"Don't worry as we're working on something really great for next year," Cook said to a customer in an e-mail. An unnamed executive also indicated to The New York Times that an updated Mac Pro was on pace for release next year.

Signs of a sixth-generation Mac Pro appeared in internal configuration files found in the Mountain Lion operating system earlier this year. The "MP60" is expected to be a significant overhaul of the current Mac Pro model, which has had the same basic aluminum box design introduced for the 2005 PowerMac G5.
post #2 of 201
What we know USB3, Thunderbolt. We also know nearly garenteed smaller no optical drive, faster possibly cheaper, could be featured with new OS X release date 2013
post #3 of 201
New case design doesn't matter—the current case is amazing. USB 3, whatever; Thunderbolt would be a welcome addition, still not critical. It doesn’t need to be smaller, and yes, it could still use an optical drive (or two!) because it’s a big professional machine. People don't buy MacPros for anything but work: scientific, design, audio, video, whatever. The MacPro is not a web-shopping appliance.

I love my iPad—I’m glad Apple sells millions of them—but I can't use it to do my job. Pros don’t worry about constant redesigns. Pros don’t care that the new tower looks the same as the previous model—it's a different market than the iPhone. But when professional products—like Xserve—drop from production, it’s terrifying.

The only thing that matters to us is that Apple keeps making a MacPro tower. Versatility and expandability are critical for serious (meaning: we get paid for this) content creation. For example, PCI audio is the way it works in professional recording:

http://www.motu.com/products/pciaudio/HD192

In our studio, we’d sell our PCI gear and use a 4 track tape machine like the Beatles (the results were outstanding, would you not agree?) before we’d switch to Windows.

Or I guess we could build a beast of a Hackintosh…
Edited by MacManFelix - 11/27/12 at 5:54am
post #4 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

What we know USB3, Thunderbolt. We also know nearly garenteed smaller no optical drive, faster possibly cheaper, could be featured with new OS X release date 2013

If history is any indication it won't be cheaper. Usually same price with newer hardware.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post

New case design doesn't matter—the current case is amazing.

Fully agree! I would simply love for them to release a new MP with the same case design. Will look great next to all my older MP's; becoming more like a museum.
Quote:
Pros don’t worry about constant redesigns. Pros don’t care that the new tower looks the same as the previous model

Oops, guess that doesn't make me a Pro then.
Quote:
The only thing that matters to us is that Apple keeps making a MacPro tower. Versatility and expandability are critical...

Well, definitely great to have the expandability!
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #5 of 201
As a pro, I definitely don't want my present day mac pro to look like a g4 or a g3 or any atx case. These cases may have looked state of the art back in the 90's, but they look horribly outdated nowadays. The only reason the mac pro case still looks okay is because you haven't seen anything more advanced than that. Apple has made a habit of throwing out new designs that you and I cannot even think of and make the old design look terribly old.

I agree with you that change for the sake of change is never a good thing, Revolution that triggers change might be a good thing, Evolution that triggers change certainly is.
13" MacBook5.1 4GB 160GB
Reply
13" MacBook5.1 4GB 160GB
Reply
post #6 of 201
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
Will look great next to all my older MP's; becoming more like a museum.

 

Hmm. Is that really what you want from what is supposed to be a bleeding-edge computer?

post #7 of 201
You may want to fix the title of the article to "OS X 10.8.3 beta supports AMD Radeon HD 7000 drivers, hinting at Apple's new Mac Pro", because Mac OS X has supported the Radeon 7000 graphics card since sometime in 2002.
Matyoroy!
Reply
Matyoroy!
Reply
post #8 of 201

I don't want a "cosmetic redesign" of the case just because some geeks are bored...

 

the macpro already has a GREAT case : beautiful, solid, easy to tweak inside, good air cooling, good alimentation.

 

But if you tell me about an internal redesign, with new features,for example hot plug ssd+hd units, more connectors, and better ideas to improve my workflow and expandability, of course I buy that.

 

I don't care about a redesign just for the novelty sake, only about work and utilitarian improvements.

 

Apple never change a design just because fashion, only if they think it's better.

post #9 of 201
Case size is important. Just ask all those enterprise technicians who have to move the old Mac Pros around. For me, a Mac Pro case needs to be just large enough to hold a motherboard with several CPUs, plenty of RAM, and a few specialized PCIe cards. Standard I/O ports don't really take up much room. As for optical drives, I wonder if not having them would be better, letting me attach my specialized and constantly changing drives to whichever Mac Pro I want instead of having to settle for older internal drives. The amount of space for internal disk/SSD drives is something that I'd have to think about. There needs to be enough disk room for individual users but for groups of users, having SSD boot drives and external shared drives might be a better option. This would mean a much smaller case design. Think about a stack of Mac mini. Add better CPUs with heat sinks (tall-mini, size of two minis) and something on the order of four tall-minis would only be a foot tall. Redesign to get rid of the optical drives (two quad- or six-core CPUs could fit in the bottom two or three tall-minis) and you could put disks and I/O cards in the top tall-mini space to get four to six CPUs with disks and I/O cards for a nice new Mac Pro. All in a much smaller design and (maybe) with redundant power supplies. Actually, Apple could have fun and build the new Mac Pro as a modular computer: redundant power module, dual CPU module, disk module, I/O module. Just stack them to plug everything together. Start with a single CPU module but allow 2-4 (or more) to be stacked. Same with disk and I/O modules. This ends up looking like a blade server and could provide the same functionality (maybe even as a reborn OS X Server).
post #10 of 201

Finally, an interesting rumor!!! (I was quite bored of iOS rumors)

 

I'd like to have a new Mac Pro with as few mechanical parts as possible (no HD, fan-less PSU... and if the whole computer can be designed with just one fan, better than two).

post #11 of 201
The PowerMac G5 came out in 2003, not 2005.
post #12 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Will look great next to all my older MP's; becoming more like a museum.

Hmm. Is that really what you want from what is supposed to be a bleeding-edge computer?

Of course not; the internals are the important factor. Give me 16x PCIe on all 4 slots et cetera. The request for a smaller MP I don't get; which is why I'd rather have the same case design.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #13 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Of course not; the internals are the important factor. Give me 16x PCIe on all 4 slots et cetera. The request for a smaller MP I don't get; which is why I'd rather have the same case design.

Phil, I don't need that many slots but understand you do. That's why I'd like to see a more modular approach to the MacPro. If it's done right, you could make it as big as you want in the areas you want. One size doesn't fit all but having the ability to make it fit each user would be nice. I personally would like something between the size of a mini and a Mac Pro that has more capabilities than the iMac.

post #14 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Case size is important. Just ask all those enterprise technicians who have to move the old Mac Pros around. For me, a Mac Pro case needs to be just large enough to hold a motherboard with several CPUs, plenty of RAM, and a few specialized PCIe cards. Standard I/O ports don't really take up much room. As for optical drives, I wonder if not having them would be better, letting me attach my specialized and constantly changing drives to whichever Mac Pro I want instead of having to settle for older internal drives. The amount of space for internal disk/SSD drives is something that I'd have to think about. There needs to be enough disk room for individual users but for groups of users, having SSD boot drives and external shared drives might be a better option. This would mean a much smaller case design. 

Think about a stack of Mac mini. Add better CPUs with heat sinks (tall-mini, size of two minis) and something on the order of four tall-minis would only be a foot tall. Redesign to get rid of the optical drives (two quad- or six-core CPUs could fit in the bottom two or three tall-minis) and you could put disks and I/O cards in the top tall-mini space to get four to six CPUs with disks and I/O cards for a nice new Mac Pro. All in a much smaller design and (maybe) with redundant power supplies. Actually, Apple could have fun and build the new Mac Pro as a modular computer: redundant power module, dual CPU module, disk module, I/O module. Just stack them to plug everything together. Start with a single CPU module but allow 2-4 (or more) to be stacked. Same with disk and I/O modules. This ends up looking like a blade server and could provide the same functionality (maybe even as a reborn OS X Server).

Sorry Rob, your ideas are not in sync with what a Mac Pro needs. Have you actually looked inside a current Mac Pro? Each Xeon is like its own integrated module with heat sync and huge fan. The entire aluminum case design is engineered for cooling with a lot of internal volume for air flow. Cooling is what makes them last so long. Pro work is varied. Some people need specialized cards and those cards need fans and cooling as well. Removing the optical drives and perhaps some of the empty HDD slots could save some room, but I don't see saving space as a high priority for professional environments.

 

Some have suggested that it will be 19" rackable. If that happens it will certainly mean the removal of the optical drives as Apple would never release a machine where the optical drives would be vertically oriented nor would they release a professional machine for the desktop that was designed to be lying flat. I am leaning toward them not being rack mounted at all. The design aesthetics are just all wrong to have a combo orientation. I think they will be towers as always. I'm kind of hoping they only do minimal redesign to the case and concentrate on upgrading the internals and I/O. I wouldn't mind a hot swap redundant power supply although we have been using the Mac Pros since they were first released running them 24/7 and never had any component failure. I think Apple is done with rack mounted servers completely and if they offer some specialized server product in the future like a FCP X Server they will expect it to be used with the Mac Pro tower.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #15 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Phil, I don't need that many slots but understand you do. That's why I'd like to see a more modular approach to the MacPro. If it's done right, you could make it as big as you want in the areas you want. One size doesn't fit all but having the ability to make it fit each user would be nice. I personally would like something between the size of a mini and a Mac Pro that has more capabilities than the iMac.

There are quite a few people posting this very request; a smaller MP, an in-between iMac and MP. Knowing Apple, they never seize to amaze people. You might get your wish, but I doubt it. Because:

iMac starts at $1299 Mac Pro starts at $2499. Say they want to release an mid-Mac, if you will. I think that price will need to be in between there, $1899. We know what they will do: the RAM is so low everyone is going to need to upgrade. If it's user accessible, fine. If not 'Apple-tax'.

Then there is the GPU RAM; they'll make it lower than a MP, since it has to be in between an iMac & MP, so 512MB. We'll have people complain on that, or people need to get a $250 GPU.

Next up, well, you get the picture. For you, and everyone who wants a mid-tower: I hope they'll release one. As long as they keep the current config of the MP as well.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #16 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Sorry Rob, your ideas are not in sync with what a Mac Pro needs. Have you actually looked inside a current Mac Pro? Each Xeon is like its own integrated module with heat sync and huge fan. The entire aluminum case design is engineered for cooling with a lot of internal volume for air flow. Cooling is what makes them last so long. Pro work is varied. Some people need specialized cards and those cards need fans and cooling as well. Removing the optical drives and perhaps some of the empty HDD slots could save some room, but I don't see saving space as a high priority for professional environments.

Some have suggested that it will be 19" rackable. If that happens it will certainly mean the removal of the optical drives as Apple would never release a machine where the optical drives would be vertically oriented nor would they release a professional machine for the desktop that was designed to be lying flat. I am leaning toward them not being rack mounted at all. The design aesthetics are just all wrong to have a combo orientation. I think they will be towers as always. I'm kind of hoping they only do minimal redesign to the case and concentrate on upgrading the internals and I/O. I wouldn't mind a hot swap redundant power supply although we have been using the Mac Pros since they were first released running them 24/7 and never had any component failure. I think Apple is done with rack mounted servers completely and if they offer some specialized server product like a FCP X Server they will expect it to be used with the Mac Pro tower.

Excellent points you make mstone. I don't see them doing any of those things.

One qustion: you never had a problematic PSU in the late 2005 model? Even Apple started a replacement program for that model.
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2373898?start=0&tstart=0
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #17 of 201
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

If that happens it will certainly mean the removal of the optical drives as Apple would never release a machine where the optical drives would be vertically oriented

 

I agree with you, but eh?

 

1000

post #18 of 201
On a Pro machine, I think mstone means
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
Reply
post #19 of 201
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
On a Pro machine, I think mstone means

 

Yeah, that's what I figure. Makes sense that they wouldn't, either.

post #20 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

On a Pro machine, I think mstone means

True I didn't really consider iMac slot drives because I was looking at my tray style Mac Pro optical drives and my rack mounted servers while I was typing that post. I don't really like slot drives that much but vertically mounted on the side they are not too noticeable however on the front of a machine they would be rather ugly in my opinion.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #21 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Of course not; the internals are the important factor. Give me 16x PCIe on all 4 slots et cetera. The request for a smaller MP I don't get; which is why I'd rather have the same case design.

Other than perhaps new internal design changes for watercooling the CPUs and better spacing on the boards for improved air-flow and thus heat transfer the design is beautiful and ahead of the industry, at large.

Larger and whisper quiet fans to reduce noise would seem one area they would tackle.
post #22 of 201
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
…watercooling the CPUs…

 

Aah! PowerMac G5 flashbacks! 

post #23 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Larger and whisper quiet fans to reduce noise would seem one area they would tackle.

Quiet is good however in a professional environment such as ours there are at least 10 machines of various types, servers and desktops, etc. The Mac Pros are already the quietest machines in the room although with an SSD they would even be quieter. Even the room air-conditioning is louder than the Mac Pros.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #24 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

There are quite a few people posting this very request; a smaller MP, an in-between iMac and MP. Knowing Apple, they never seize to amaze people. You might get your wish, but I doubt it. Because:
iMac starts at $1299 Mac Pro starts at $2499. Say they want to release an mid-Mac, if you will. I think that price will need to be in between there, $1899. We know what they will do: the RAM is so low everyone is going to need to upgrade. If it's user accessible, fine. If not 'Apple-tax'.
Then there is the GPU RAM; they'll make it lower than a MP, since it has to be in between an iMac & MP, so 512MB. We'll have people complain on that, or people need to get a $250 GPU.
Next up, well, you get the picture. For you, and everyone who wants a mid-tower: I hope they'll release one. As long as they keep the current config of the MP as well.

With the reference card of Tahiti the target should be a 7800 series with the BTO Option of dual 7970s which is supported by that kext reference to the 3GB DDR5 GPGPUs with Full Profile support.

I would also expect soon for them to support the FirePro S10000 for those demanding TFLOP double precision performance.

With the rumors about Intel moving to SoC for their Broadwell chipset moving to BGA [pinless] configurations Apple may once again look at AMD APUs in the future seeing as AMD's HSA initiative with ARM and others is founded upon LLVM/Clang to manage OpenCL for the software.

This new Mac Pro will be interesting in whether the new Xeon Phi Co-Processor [a massively parallel co-processor for Intel] will even make a dent in the industry seeing as Intel's Graphics stack will continue to lag considerably behind Nvidia and AMD, not to mention Phi cannot compete against high end GPGPU for parallel processing prowess.
post #25 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Quiet is good however in a professional environment such as ours there are at least 10 machines of various types, servers and desktops, etc. The Mac Pros are already the quietest machines in the room although with an SSD they would even be quieter. Even the room air-conditioning is louder than the Mac Pros.

Whisper quiet due to better bearing designs and larger fins running at lower RPMs allowing for an even greater convective heat transfer means a win/win for your environment and any other environment that isn't inundated with external noise. Working with equipment that demands less background noise doing engineering testing improves accuracies in measurements.

I'm just thrilled when we were talking about AMD 7000 series before the new iMacs and dreams of having a dedicated GPGPU in the Mac mini that Apple isn't failing us for the high end.
post #26 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
I remember the good old days of the Power Mac when the cheapest model was still affordable and under $2,000. I doubt it would cannibalize or compete with iMac slaes since those consumers have very different priorities.

So do I remember the good old days having personally bought over 3 dozen Power Macs. But for the life of me, I don't recall getting any Power Macintoshes under $2000. 

post #27 of 201

There's definitely still room for innovation in the workstation case space. How do you keep 2 8-core CPUs cool when they have been running at 1600% nonstop for the last 7 days, without making a racket? Surely the current Mac Pro is not the final, all-eternity, perfect answer to that question. There must be new materials, conductors, that haven't been tried before.

 

I also like the idea of a Retina Cinema Display.

post #28 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Case size is important. Just ask all those enterprise technicians who have to move the old Mac Pros around. For me, a Mac Pro case needs to be just large enough to hold a motherboard with several CPUs, plenty of RAM, and a few specialized PCIe cards. Standard I/O ports don't really take up much room. As for optical drives, I wonder if not having them would be better, letting me attach my specialized and constantly changing drives to whichever Mac Pro I want instead of having to settle for older internal drives. The amount of space for internal disk/SSD drives is something that I'd have to think about. There needs to be enough disk room for individual users but for groups of users, having SSD boot drives and external shared drives might be a better option. This would mean a much smaller case design. Think about a stack of Mac mini. Add better CPUs with heat sinks (tall-mini, size of two minis) and something on the order of four tall-minis would only be a foot tall. Redesign to get rid of the optical drives (two quad- or six-core CPUs could fit in the bottom two or three tall-minis) and you could put disks and I/O cards in the top tall-mini space to get four to six CPUs with disks and I/O cards for a nice new Mac Pro. All in a much smaller design and (maybe) with redundant power supplies. Actually, Apple could have fun and build the new Mac Pro as a modular computer: redundant power module, dual CPU module, disk module, I/O module. Just stack them to plug everything together. Start with a single CPU module but allow 2-4 (or more) to be stacked. Same with disk and I/O modules. This ends up looking like a blade server and could provide the same functionality (maybe even as a reborn OS X Server).

 

 

Well lets see. If I add two AMD Radeon 7000 GPUs they'll take up 4 slots, throw in a RAID card thats 1 more slot, add a capture card AJA or Black Magic thats 2 more slots. If I need esata, Fibre, or Thunderbolt just do the math. Anywhere from 8-10 PCI-X slots. Four internal hard drives, 192GB+ RAM, plus 2 CPU Heat sinks, dual redundant power supplies (these are a must for Xserve replacement scenario) and yes lets not forget optical drives those are still important - blue-ray would be great! (and no I do not want to attach them externally with wires).

 

This all requires a BIG machine.

 

As for the stacking idea, its been done: http://www.sgi.com/products/remarketed/workstations/octaneIII.html

 

Not exactly pretty.

post #29 of 201

1eek.gif I'm going to make a wild, wild guess. Apple decides to simplify model lines and parts supply by basing the new MP on the iMac. Low-end starts with a standard, single CPU i7 iMac. Then introduce a special, higher-end iMac with two (or more?) CPU's. Maybe with a special cooling system? The iMac is partnered with a combo drive/expansion-box tower using one, maybe even two, Thunderbolt ports. Voilà! iMac Pro. Thoughts?

"You can't fall off the floor"   From 128k Mac to 8GB MBP

Reply

"You can't fall off the floor"   From 128k Mac to 8GB MBP

Reply
post #30 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
Some have suggested that it will be 19" rackable. If that happens it will certainly mean the removal of the optical drives as Apple would never release a machine where the optical drives would be vertically oriented nor would they release a professional machine for the desktop that was designed to be lying flat.

Our facility had 5 Mac Pros and 2 G5s placed horizontally in a extra wide rack with shelves.  They were there for 6 years with no problems from the optical drives.  The trays are designed to work in either orientation.

post #31 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by waybacmac View Post

1eek.gif I'm going to make a wild, wild guess. Apple decides to simplify model lines and parts supply by basing the new MP on the iMac. Low-end starts with a standard, single CPU i7 iMac. Then introduce a special, higher-end iMac with two (or more?) CPU's. Maybe with a special cooling system? The iMac is partnered with a combo drive/expansion-box tower using one, maybe even two, Thunderbolt ports. Voilà! iMac Pro. Thoughts?

I think they will stick with a full workstation class Mac. Apple wants to change the world right? Well we spend half our time at work, so I can't see them giving up on that space.

post #32 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


Other than perhaps new internal design changes for watercooling the CPUs and better spacing on the boards for improved air-flow and thus heat transfer the design is beautiful and ahead of the industry, at large.
Larger and whisper quiet fans to reduce noise would seem one area they would tackle.

 

I believe Apple isn't doing it right in the cooling design lately. Their consumer Macs, in the quest for making it thinner than thin, lack proper cooling for intense CPU/GPU use, and such use can have a negative impact on the machine lifetime. On the other hand, the Mac Pro has room for good cooling. That's nice, but the problem with fans is that they're a mechanical part, so they get noisier with age, and of course they can fail.

 

I'd prefer a cube-shaped Mac, with just one fan (maybe a super-expensive fan, as large as you wish, but ultra-quiet and ultra-durable, designed to remain quiet through aging, and just -one- fan in the whole box). Make the cube with an optimal size for cooling with such one fan when using it for intense CPU+GPU work. That's all I'd wish for a new Mac, no matter if you call it Mac Pro or Mac YetAnotherCube, but that's all I'd want (and of course no HDD nor Fusion, just SDD).

post #33 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by waybacmac View Post

1eek.gif I'm going to make a wild, wild guess. Apple decides to simplify model lines and parts supply by basing the new MP on the iMac. Low-end starts with a standard, single CPU i7 iMac. Then introduce a special, higher-end iMac with two (or more?) CPU's. Maybe with a special cooling system? The iMac is partnered with a combo drive/expansion-box tower using one, maybe even two, Thunderbolt ports. Voilà! iMac Pro. Thoughts?


That doesn't do anything to simplify product lines. Perhaps sarcasm?

post #34 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

I believe Apple isn't doing it right in the cooling design lately. Their consumer Macs, in the quest for making it thinner than thin, lack proper cooling for intense CPU/GPU use, and such use can have a negative impact on the machine lifetime.

And this is based on what? What makes you more of an expert in computer design than Apple?
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #35 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by waybacmac View Post

1eek.gif  I'm going to make a wild, wild guess. Apple decides to simplify model lines and parts supply by basing the new MP on the iMac. Low-end starts with a standard, single CPU i7 iMac. Then introduce a special, higher-end iMac with two (or more?) CPU's. Maybe with a special cooling system? The iMac is partnered with a combo drive/expansion-box tower using one, maybe even two, Thunderbolt ports. Voilà! iMac Pro. Thoughts?

Not likely. The iMac isn't really suitable as a workstation-class machine. They will continue to offer single and dual processor Pros. I could, however, see them using a non-Xeon chip in the base model of the Pro - saving quite a bit of money.

However, your comments do point out that Thunderbolt eliminates one of the standard complaints about the iMac - expandability. It's easy enough to add an expansion port with extra storage and not give up performance, so the iMac may be suitable for more people than before.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #36 of 201

If anything justifies a redesign, it is that GPGPU has come more to the fore since the last one was designed. Surely that must necessitate some changes, such as extra PCIe power connectors or new airflow design.

post #37 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


iMac starts at $1299 Mac Pro starts at $2499. Say they want to release an mid-Mac, if you will. I think that price will need to be in between there, $1899. We know what they will do: the RAM is so low everyone is going to need to upgrade. If it's user accessible, fine. If not 'Apple-tax'.

 

It seems that a mid-tower more accurately falls between the mini (quad core i7) and the MacPro; they're both headless machines. The iMac is an all-in-one model aimed at minimalists; the other two are aimed at people who want OSX for whatever reason, but are content to build out the rest of the desktop with the components of their choice.

 

A mid-tower is the same: no monitor, configurable via internals, etc. And so we're looking at a range of mac-mini on the low end and macpro on the high -- a nice, wide range to plop a mid-tower into. Especially with PCs available well under $1k. Putting it right at the price of the iMac seems perfectly reasonable to me -- I still wouldn't be tempted by an iMac. When the monitor dies, I want to swap a new one in off the shelf and be back up and running in 60 seconds. Can't do that with an iMac; but you sure can with a mini or a pro -- or a mythical mid-tower.

 

Personally, I'd buy one in a heartbeat, *especially* if it was built like a MacPro - thoughtful aluminum case, super accessible, great cooling, easy clean, no worries. Couple of PCI slots so I can run a desk full of monitors, 4 or more cores, and I'm good. The Macpro's only real problem is its price. The mid-tower would cannibalize sales to some extent... but it might also broaden the market, and so drive sales. I think it sure would be worth trying. I wish Apple would go for it.

post #38 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by waybacmac 
1eek.gif  I'm going to make a wild, wild guess. Apple decides to simplify model lines and parts supply by basing the new MP on the iMac. Low-end starts with a standard, single CPU i7 iMac. Then introduce a special, higher-end iMac with two (or more?) CPU's. Maybe with a special cooling system? The iMac is partnered with a combo drive/expansion-box tower using one, maybe even two, Thunderbolt ports. Voilà! iMac Pro. Thoughts?

They might have gone the route of putting a single Xeon in the iMac but the model number MP60 listed in the Bootcamp plist suggests that won't be the case. It also provides good evidence that it won't have an optical drive, which indicates a redesign because that 5.25" unit takes up a lot of space. They could move the hard drives into that space and just lower the height or maybe have a different shaped power supply but I think they should go beyond that.

We get the same comments cycling round every time there's a Mac Pro reference such as putting in more PCI slots and an i7 because it's cheaper.

The entry Mac Pro uses a $294 processor, which costs exactly the same as an i7. The 1000W power supply and motherboard will be more expensive but we know that they upped the Mac Pro price by $300 after the first Mac Pro model so they obviously weren't selling enough to justify the margins they had. The lower the volume, the higher the price.

The parts that go into the Mac Pro can be bought for about $1200-1400 so they are easily at 40% profit margins.

When it comes to Thunderbolt, there's still the issue of how they get it to work with a dedicated GPU. The spec they are required to follow in order to call it Thunderbolt is that it has PCI and displayport on the same connection, no compromise. So they either have PCI slots and no Thunderbolt or they don't have Thunderbolt because if you put in another GPU, it can't know how to route the graphics out the TB ports. If you put in a non-standard GPU, it breaks the TB spec.

There's also the issue about the machine having 40 PCI lanes. If you have 4 slots, you can't give them all 16 lanes and if you max out the lanes on the slots, there's nothing to allocate to Thunderbolt. I think it's very much an either/or situation.

When you consider that the Mac Pro slots only have a 300W power allocation, you can only have multiple low-power GPUs or a single high-end one. The simpler option is the single high-end one.

Once you've decided on the GPU, Thunderbolt can take care of expansion. It would be better if Apple managed to get the 20Gbps Falcon Ridge controller though. This prevents the scenario where Macbook Pro/Air//iMac/Mini professionals are buying Thunderbolt peripherals and Mac Pro professionals are buying PCI cards. They all buy the same peripherals.

The single GPU would still be upgradeable but only from Apple as it has to work with Thunderbolt.

As far as the CPU goes, they can stick with allowing 2 CPUs but Ivy Bridge will bring 10-core chips, maybe 12. These will be expensive chips.

Right now, the highest-end MP uses 2x $1440 CPUs = $2880 but the performance is only about 20% faster than the $1885 single CPU 8-core E5-2687W. The equivalent Ivy Bridge chip will likely be 20% faster so they could offer the same performance as the current $6200 Mac Pro for:

$2499 - $294 + $1885 = ~$3999

While they could still offer a faster dual processor model at $6200, if few people are buying those, the better option would be to offer the best value to the highest volume of customers.

The entry model could do with a 6-core CPU and then have an 8-core in between.

By taking out the optical, the PCI slots and 2nd CPU, they can cut the power consumption down so the PSU can drop to 500-600W.

If they can fit this into a Cube, that would be great but I think they'd struggle with that. They can at least manage the following size as it's just a reworking of what they have already:



If they can put in functionality to allow zero-config connections over Thunderbolt, even better. You could buy as many $3999 models and just plug a TB cable between 1 and 2 then 2 and 3 etc.

Sure the complaints will come in about not being able to access PCI cards but for high-end tasks, wouldn't you rather spend $3999 on another MP and run any task natively on a dedicated 10-core Xeon than spend $4750 on a Red Rocket PCI card that only does one thing? There's always the backup of having an external PCI box anyway.

If they can figure out how to make PCI slots and Thunderbolt work together in a Xeon box, all the better I suppose but they still need to allocate 40 lanes between them so they won't have more than 4 slots.

Ultimately, just like FCPX they have to design this box for the next 10 years, not for the last 10 years and make it appeal to the widest Mac Pro audience. If leaving the design largely unchanged and leaving out Thunderbolt accomplishes this, so be it but I don't think it does. I think the USP should be performance-per-dollar, not expansion - make it more than twice as fast as the iMac for less than twice the price.

Remember what the original Macintosh said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2B-XwPjn9YY#t=224s

These big, heavy workstation form factors are becoming unnecessary for workstation use just like the mainframes. Same for servers. One day, so few people will buy them that they will be dropped:

http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2079015
post #39 of 201
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

 

This bugs me. What happens to the workstation crowd? Are we to be stuck with 3 RAM slots? Even the iMac has more. The Nehalem/Westmere models already omit two of their maximum possible slots… 

 

I totally buy only one double-wide PCIe (16x 3.0) slot with the rest of the expansion expected to be Thunderbolt (and then six of those), though. Even on the full size model. Drop the internal PCIe, both optical drives, and trim out some of the excesses with the case build (because, hey, times have changed since 2003. The design itself is fine. Great, even. Why make a silent computer less so? Why make spectacular cooling less so?

post #40 of 201
Sadly your post is one of those frustrating things that has good and bad points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post

New case design doesn't matter—the current case is amazing. USB 3, whatever; Thunderbolt would be a welcome addition, still not critical.
Actually I see both TB and USB 3 as critical for any new Mac Pro machine. Frankly you call yourself a professional but can't see the importance of these standards so it makes me wonder just what you are profession wise. Frankly you would have to be a bit out of touch not to see these as important items for a future Mac Pro.
Quote:
It doesn’t need to be smaller, and yes, it could still use an optical drive (or two!) because it’s a big professional machine. People don't buy MacPros for anything but work: scientific, design, audio, video, whatever. The MacPro is not a web-shopping appliance.
This is garbage. The Mac Pro not only needs to be smaller it needs to fit into industry standard racks with little effort. This does not mean a rack mount machine per say but one that is flexible enough to slip into a cage and not screw up the functionality of the rest of the equipment. Ideally the Mac Pro would shrink down enough so that two of them could sit side by side on a rack shelf and take up standard rack unit increments.

As to the optical in is an accessory that has no justification anymore for being inside a chassis. Frankly an optical is no different than a USB flash dongle, you simply plug it in when needed.
Quote:
I love my iPad—I’m glad Apple sells millions of them—but I can't use it to do my job. Pros don’t worry about constant redesigns. Pros don’t care that the new tower looks the same as the previous model—it's a different market than the iPhone. But when professional products—like Xserve—drop from production, it’s terrifying.
I love my iPad too! Frankly Apples attitude to the entire desktop lineup is screwed. Yes the Mac Pro has been ignored but so has the iMac and the Mini, it is terrifying to many users. I'm really hoping the new Mac Pro(s) come as a real family of devices that can convincingly demonstrate that Apple does give a damn about the desktop.
Quote:
The only thing that matters to us is that Apple keeps making a MacPro tower. Versatility and expandability are critical for serious (meaning: we get paid for this) content creation. For example, PCI audio is the way it works in professional recording:
This obsession with towers really needs to die. You don't need a tower these days to make a professional computer. You do need a desire to innovate and rapidly move technology forward. Apple could easily produce a pro computer in a case the quarter of the size of the Current Mac Pro and that includes keeping PCI Express expansion.

Quote:
http://www.motu.com/products/pciaudio/HD192

In our studio, we’d sell our PCI gear and use a 4 track tape machine like the Beatles (the results were outstanding, would you not agree?) before we’d switch to Windows.
This is one aspect I agree with, the future Mac Pro must have at least a couple of PcI Express slots. Many don't grasp their importance and the flexibility they provide. Further people don't seem to grasp that TB is not a replacement.
Quote:
Or I guess we could build a beast of a Hackintosh…

Will that still be an option in the future? If Apple did stop supporting Pro hardware (doubtful) would the drivers even end up in Mac OS to support future Intel hardware.

In a nut shell I expect Apple to produce a replacement for the Mac Pro next year. However I also expect that machine to look vastly different than the current Mac Pro. For one they have to be able to enter the market at a lower price point for a performance machine. Second; technology marches forward and as such much of the space in the Mac Pro is wasted. Plus technology advancements demand denser PC boards. Third; unless they come up with a proprietary connector TB will require at least one GPU on the motherboard. If you take all the technologies that Apple could possibly build into the Mac Pros replacement it will have to look significantly different than today machine. Of course Apple could pull an i'ac/Mini style release and make it look pretty while cutting back on performance.

I don't want to dismiss every concern you have because frankly I'm hugely disappointed with Apple direction on the desktop. However this idea that Apple needs to simply issue forth another Mac Pro look alike update is nonsense. The whole problem with the Mac Pro (and the desktop in general) is the lack of serious innovation on Apples part. Simply put they need a range of desktop machines that actually appeal to a wide audience of potential buyers. Right now sales are so heavily biased towards the iMac that it is a wonder that Apple even maintains the Mini and Pro. The only way to turn that around is to innovate with machines that cover the entire desktop performance spectra.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Future Apple Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Future Apple Hardware › OS X 10.8.3 beta supports AMD Radeon 7000 drivers, hinting at Apple's new Mac Pro