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OS X 10.8.3 beta supports AMD Radeon 7000 drivers, hinting at Apple's new Mac Pro - Page 5

post #161 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
You've drifted into hyperbole with the video links.

They illustrate two very important points. The first is that Apple won't be convinced about the MP by writing letters to Tim or running a Facebook campaign. Apple isn't a charity, it's a business and everything they do needs to make business sense. If people want to keep seeing a new Mac Pro, show them the money - that's the only way they can measure that people still want them and holding onto them for 6 years isn't the way to do that.

The second is that Mac Pro buyers need to realise that Apple won't fail without them. They are the ones hanging by a thread. Apple is the most valuable company in the world right now and I don't think the magnitude of that has sunk in. They used to be near bankruptcy and relied on people buying their beige desktops. They don't have that reliance any more and there isn't a debt of gratitude to be paid to tower fans because iMacs and laptops are far more powerful than the equivalent towers they offered back then.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
These problems are regularly addressed. If you're keeping a lot of storage internally, it's typical to leave the boot drive out of that. Single volumes can be transplanted later. I wouldn't personally use Raided internal drives for storage, which is what you seem to suggest here.

Some people suggest internal RAID is an advantage of a larger machine - that you don't need a 'rats nest' with an external RAID box or don't need to pay for something like a Pegasus. As you say, it's not a good idea to RAID your system drive and you wouldn't want to use software RAID on the 3 other drives nor would you use Apple's hardware RAID so you have to just buy external storage connected via PCI card using up a slot and creating a rats nest on top of the already huge Mac Pro. You might get away with a 3rd party RAID card but then you compromise reliability and stability with the drivers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
In case you are curious what annoys me, it comes down to the choices available when locked to a single company. With the imac, it would displace the use of superior displays. I can't fit both.

So, you can fit a Mac Pro with an 8" depth and a 27" diagonal plus a separate display but you can't fit an iMac with an 8" stand depth (much less for the rest) and a 27" diagonal with a separate display?
post #162 of 201
Here's roughly how the internals could fit inside an 8" cube:



It's pretty much to scale with all the components. There's plenty room in that shape for a powerful workstation. The side could be held on magnetically with pins and the base could have a gap large enough for fingers so it can be moved without trapping them while also allowing airflow underneath.

There might be enough room for more PCI slots if they wanted but they can also do dual 3-4TB Fusion drives. The power cable goes in at the bottom instead of the top so it doesn't get in the way of the ports. There's also no airflow blockage.

The top-end one could be about $4500 with a 12-core chip and they can offer whatever GPUs they like (with 6x Mini-DP outputs). The RAM would probably be in front of the CPU cooler too because they might not be able to make it a drawer and they'd want a guard round the cooler to prevent someone poking it while it was spinning.
post #163 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


You don't necessarily get things done noticeably slower. Productivity doesn't scale directly with raw hardware performance.

Having a machine that is 3x faster doesn't mean that you finish a job 3x quicker unless it's all raw processing. If you spend 20 hours editing a 60 minute video, it takes 20 hours on every machine. When you export, it might take 1.5 hours on the Mini and 0.5 hour on the top of the line Mac Pro (not likely as video encoding doesn't scale like that either). You've saved 1 hour out of 21.5 hours (5% more productive).

Even if you do effects and you render out a 15 minute render every hour on a low-end machine in an 8-hour day, the MP would save 8 x 10 minutes = 80 minutes.

HP tried to work this out and remember they are trying to sell people on the idea of buying higher powered machines:

http://h20331.www2.hp.com/Hpsub/downloads/Multi-Processor_WhitePaper_090611.pdf

Even though they are claiming 45-95% more productivity for adding a second CPU, they are quoting savings of 1.5-2 hours a day. That's nowhere near 45%, which is no doubt why they added their 'conservative' graph at the end. Sure an hour or two a day can save money over a period of time but a lot of things can save that time too and where does it end? Why stop at two processors, why not four? Does having two machines help? You can't just tack on power and assume it's going to make a big difference to a human-limited task.
Yes, this has been covered in the past. There are more drives than the Pegasus (Lacie for example and USB 3 drives), it just happens to be one of the better performing ones. SAS setups don't really offer much more practical bandwidth than Thunderbolt because you hit the read/write speeds of the drive much sooner, but you know that.

 

So what exactly is your point?  That we don't need fast hardware because slower works well enough?  You used a lot of words to state the obvious, although things are more complex than your wordy post suggests.  Faster hardware not only gets sh!t done faster in the present, it remains viable longer into the future.  Contrary to Apple's landfill fodder business strategy, most people who buy $6000 Xeon workstations expect the hardware to not only support today's software, but tomorrow's.  In other words, build a faster system, and developers will find a way to exploit all the power and then some. 

 

About SAS storage, it can scale considerably better than TB, and more cheaply.  Arguing in favor of TB at this point is just Apple fanboy delusions.  The next revision of TB should double the number of available PCIe lanes, so then it could be a good solution depending on how many vendors support it.  

post #164 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

You don't necessarily get things done noticeably slower. Productivity doesn't scale directly with raw hardware performance.
Again that depends. If your machine is loaded to the point that the UI can't keep up with your typing then you need a faster machine.
Quote:
Having a machine that is 3x faster doesn't mean that you finish a job 3x quicker unless it's all raw processing. If you spend 20 hours editing a 60 minute video, it takes 20 hours on every machine.
This isn't totally correct either. A faster machine can benefit the user simply by reducing lag.
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When you export, it might take 1.5 hours on the Mini and 0.5 hour on the top of the line Mac Pro (not likely as video encoding doesn't scale like that either). You've saved 1 hour out of 21.5 hours (5% more productive).
Even if your logic above made sense, you seem to forget that people multitask. Saving time on rendering isn't as important as having a usable machine while rendering.
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Even if you do effects and you render out a 15 minute render every hour on a low-end machine in an 8-hour day, the MP would save 8 x 10 minutes = 80 minutes.
If you continue working, on whatever, that is 80 minutes more productivity. Effectively that gets another job out the door on the same day.
Quote:
HP tried to work this out and remember they are trying to sell people on the idea of buying higher powered machines:

http://h20331.www2.hp.com/Hpsub/downloads/Multi-Processor_WhitePaper_090611.pdf

Even though they are claiming 45-95% more productivity for adding a second CPU, they are quoting savings of 1.5-2 hours a day. That's nowhere near 45%, which is no doubt why they added their 'conservative' graph at the end. Sure an hour or two a day can save money over a period of time but a lot of things can save that time too and where does it end?
It ends at two processors because that is where machines remain economical. The reality is the extra cost of that processor is a bargain in most cases and would likely pay for itself in a couple of months. That is with the simplistic approach to productivity they are measuring by.
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Why stop at two processors, why not four.
Because two socket machines are relatively economical.
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Does having two machines help? You can't just tack on power and assume it's going to make a big difference to a human-limited task.
You make the assumption that the human is the limitation here. That is hard to swallow if the human is constantly waiting on the machine.
Quote:
Yes, this has been covered in the past. There are more drives than the Pegasus (Lacie for example and USB 3 drives), it just happens to be one of the better performing ones. SAS setups don't really offer much more practical bandwidth than Thunderbolt because you hit the read/write speeds of the drive much sooner, but you know that.

Imagine a Mac Pro with 2TB of solid state storage in the boot / applications drive. Or maybe a spilt with 1TB allocated to the volume manage for tiered storage. It is nice to argue about the number of sockets in a machine but a total rethink of the Mac Pros architecture would go a very long way to making the machine viable over the long run. As much as we argue over the bottle necks in multi core or multi socket machines a very real and often overlooked choke point in modern systems is secondary storage. Without gains here significant gains in performance in the future may be harder to obtain no matter how many sockets or cores you have.
post #165 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They illustrate two very important points. The first is that Apple won't be convinced about the MP by writing letters to Tim or running a Facebook campaign. Apple isn't a charity, it's a business and everything they do needs to make business sense. If people want to keep seeing a new Mac Pro, show them the money - that's the only way they can measure that people still want them and holding onto them for 6 years isn't the way to do that.
Marvin I can't believe you are still hung up on the idea that it is the users fault for the current sales situation with the Mac Pro. You say Apple isn't a charity but yet you say the way to save them is to donate more money to Apple as if they where a charity. That my good man it totally asinine.

Seriously it is Apples responsibility to come up with an economical and suitable modern computer for the Pro and advanced users. To say that these people need to buy more often is just shows a massive misunderstanding of the market that such machines sell into. I can just imagine going up to the CEO of any company, big or small, and telling them that hey buddy you need to buy Mac Pros more often so that Apple will keep making them. The concept is hilarious to say the least.
Quote:
The second is that Mac Pro buyers need to realise that Apple won't fail without them. They are the ones hanging by a thread. Apple is the most valuable company in the world right now and I don't think the magnitude of that has sunk in. They used to be near bankruptcy and relied on people buying their beige desktops. They don't have that reliance any more and there isn't a debt of gratitude to be paid to tower fans because iMacs and laptops are far more powerful than the equivalent towers they offered back then.
The fact that laptops are more powerful has little to do with the fact that they have ignored the desktop user. All we really want is to see the same level of innovation on the desktop that we have seen in the laptop line up. It is not unreasonable to demand that from a company like Apple. Like it or not having a respectable desktop lineup just shows your customer base that you are serious about Mac OS.

Now I have repeatedly stated that I think their desktop line up is borked. You basically have three models that are highly compromised and thus serve a limited scope of customers. This has impacted their sales of desktops and frankly it is pretty hard for anybody to deny this. All the way back to 2008 I made a decision to buy a MBP not because I really needed it but because there wasn't a viable desktop solution. Nothing has really changed other than the iMac & Mac Pro have gotten worst as far as being a viable desktops. I was this " close to buying a Mini in 2012 but Apple decided to bork that machine instead of upgrading the GPU to something a rational person would want. So really if you don't understand why people feel forced into buying laptops from Apple I really don't know what to say. Apple can do a lot better on the desktop but that entails scraping the entire lone up, adjusting margins and looking to the future. In stead we have Apple sitting on the desktop hardware letting it stagnate.
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Some people suggest internal RAID is an advantage of a larger machine - that you don't need a 'rats nest' with an external RAID box or don't need to pay for something like a Pegasus. As you say, it's not a good idea to RAID your system drive and you wouldn't want to use software RAID on the 3 other drives nor would you use Apple's hardware RAID so you have to just buy external storage connected via PCI card using up a slot and creating a rats nest on top of the already huge Mac Pro.
Most of the above is BS. Internal RAID has had and still has its place in the world. So does software RAID and even Apples controller, it really depends upon use cases. However with the advent of TB I no longer see a pressing need for lots of internal drives.
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You might get away with a 3rd party RAID card but then you compromise reliability and stability with the drivers.
No more so than software issues can play havoc with external RAID boxes. It is certainly easier to unplug an external box and blame the vendor though.
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So, you can fit a Mac Pro with an 8" depth and a 27" diagonal plus a separate display but you can't fit an iMac with an 8" stand depth (much less for the rest) and a 27" diagonal with a separate display?
That wasn't what was said.
post #166 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


They illustrate two very important points. The first is that Apple won't be convinced about the MP by writing letters to Tim or running a Facebook campaign. Apple isn't a charity, it's a business and everything they do needs to make business sense. If people want to keep seeing a new Mac Pro, show them the money - that's the only way they can measure that people still want them and holding onto them for 6 years isn't the way to do that.

Holding them 6 years isn't something that everyone does. You're examining a few forum posters, which is a silly way to extract data. The other thing you fail to account for is that the number of mac pros they sold in 2006 or the number of G5s they sold in 2004 may not satisfy them  today, as their growth likely comes from other lines. There's a difference between slipping in units sold and simply being outpaced by the rest of their line. Outside of this last year, I expect the latter is more the case. That wouldn't get the mac pro off the hook if it's scheduled for cancellation. I'm just saying that you're looking at a limited market that has typically worked due to high margins. It's not so much of a dead market as you claim. It generates far better margins for oems than any of their lower products. Apple is in a unique situation. They've retained relatively high margins across their line, and their growth is driven elsewhere.

 

Quote:
The second is that Mac Pro buyers need to realise that Apple won't fail without them. They are the ones hanging by a thread. Apple is the most valuable company in the world right now and I don't think the magnitude of that has sunk in. They used to be near bankruptcy and relied on people buying their beige desktops. They don't have that reliance any more and there isn't a debt of gratitude to be paid to tower fans because iMacs and laptops are far more powerful than the equivalent towers they offered back then.

I'm not one of the people who buys into this idea. Some people are really weird in that they attempt to personify a corporation. Regarding the progression of lighter hardware, big points are growth in requirements and budget elasticity. The acceptance of lighter hardware has taken over somewhat on Windows too. The problem for some people is when you're dealing with a single company, if your requirements don't align well with what they make, you are out of luck. I've tested everything I use on Windows. While I'd have to make a couple hardware changes, it would work. I'm extremely annoyed by how ram hungry Lion and Mountain Lion have been. I max out memory constantly as some of the applications I deal with will use everything I throw at them. It annoys me when I feel that extra is tied up due to a bloated OS. Fedora runs a few things that I require, but some of them are problematic. I'd move to Linux if I could get everything working, just to have a nice light/stable OS. Ubuntu and Debian won't support certain things, or I would have switched alreadyirked.gif. I think I mentioned what I'd go with if I transitioned to Windows. I test a lot of this stuff to the configuration I require. I bug test everything, and download Windows trials of all software. I have a backup plan if OSX becomes unworkable, and I've avoided any software published by Apple for the past few years. This is far more trivial to me than it may be to others.

 

Quote:
Some people suggest internal RAID is an advantage of a larger machine - that you don't need a 'rats nest' with an external RAID box or don't need to pay for something like a Pegasus. As you say, it's not a good idea to RAID your system drive and you wouldn't want to use software RAID on the 3 other drives nor would you use Apple's hardware RAID so you have to just buy external storage connected via PCI card using up a slot and creating a rats nest on top of the already huge Mac Pro. You might get away with a 3rd party RAID card but then you compromise reliability and stability with the drivers.

There are better boxes out there, and if we're talking about a 12TB raid, I'd go with WD's enterprise grade SATA drives. It comes out slightly more expensive, but you can put together a much more robust solution for a fairly similar amount of money.

 

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So, you can fit a Mac Pro with an 8" depth and a 27" diagonal plus a separate display but you can't fit an iMac with an 8" stand depth (much less for the rest) and a 27" diagonal with a separate display?

Is it difficult to understand they wouldn't occupy the same space? Towers typically fit beneath a desk. My point with the imac was that it would have to fit in side by side with another display. At 27", I'd need to make it the primary display viewed dead on due to size. It's not sufficient for that. The differences are somewhat hedged by tradeoffs. Mac pro can take a slightly wider range of gpus. A few people have gotten Fermi to work on it, which is stronger at floating point math than any Kepler card currently on the market. Fermi was just heavily optimized for computation. It can take a couple extra drives internally (note I didn't say a RAID storage array). It's still a bit faster. The imac provides a display within its total cost. That really is appealing, but Apple displays in my own experience have been plagued with too many problems. I have something that is relatively problem free at the moment. I'd like to retain that.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



Some people suggest internal RAID is an advantage of a larger machine - that you don't need a 'rats nest' with an external RAID box or don't need to pay for something like a Pegasus. As you say, it's not a good idea to RAID your system drive and you wouldn't want to use software RAID on the 3 other drives nor would you use Apple's hardware RAID so you have to just buy external storage connected via PCI card using up a slot and creating a rats nest on top of the already huge Mac Pro. You might get away with a 3rd party RAID card but then you compromise reliability and stability with the drivers.
So, you can fit a Mac Pro with an 8" depth and a 27" diagonal plus a separate display but you can't fit an iMac with an 8" stand depth (much less for the rest) and a 27" diagonal with a separate display?

Actually some of the third party ones have been better supported than Apple's own solutions. Have you ever looked at reviews on their Mac Pro raid card or DOA drive complaints with the Pegasus raid? Apple is the last one you should trust there. You mentioned 12TB. At that level if I had to put something together in the form of a hardware raid, it would likely run $2-3k. Apple charges $2300 for that. My way might end up more expensive, but I could put together a more stable solution with one of Areca's desktop raids and Western Digital RE4s. Apple is usually the problem when it comes to driver stability. If we're talking about $40 eSATA cards, that's a different story. Those things are sold on razor thin margins.


Edited by hmm - 1/12/13 at 5:03pm
post #167 of 201
This is an interesting approach to a Pro computer. Frankly I was thinking 12" inches squarish myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Here's roughly how the internals could fit inside an 8" cube:



It's pretty much to scale with all the components. There's plenty room in that shape for a powerful workstation. The side could be held on magnetically with pins and the base could have a gap large enough for fingers so it can be moved without trapping them while also allowing airflow underneath.
While it would be a bit tight the one thing I do like about getting down to about 8" is that you could design the product with a viable rack mount solution. That is a bracket and bolting arrangement to put two in a standard rack width. It doesn't have to be pretty as this would go into installations where people don't care.

Honestly though I'd rather that Apple completely broke with the past and just deleted traditional magnetic drive bays in a machine this small. Put in a couple of dedicated PCI Express slots and implement solid state storage. Frankly I'm not sure why Apple hasn't done this on the Mini yet. If magnetic drives are needed, for whatever reason put in a couple of slots/bays for laptop drives.
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There might be enough room for more PCI slots if they wanted but they can also do dual 3-4TB Fusion drives. The power cable goes in at the bottom instead of the top so it doesn't get in the way of the ports. There's also no airflow blockage.
I would rather have one accessible external PCI Express slot beyond the GPU slot. Further such a machine cries out for a base model with an integrated GPU. Intel would do well to offer up a socket that supports GPU enabled processors or more traditional multi core processors. Such a beast would allow Apple to support a wider array of customers on one platform. They might even be able to ditch the Mini.
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The top-end one could be about $4500 with a 12-core chip and they can offer whatever GPUs they like (with 6x Mini-DP outputs).
I'm still wondering how Apple will address the TB issues with the new Pro Machine. I could see them soldering the GPU right on the motherboard. This is one thing about the TB initiative that is still a mystery.
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The RAM would probably be in front of the CPU cooler too because they might not be able to make it a drawer and they'd want a guard round the cooler to prevent someone poking it while it was spinning.
Why bother with a drawer? Seriously build everything onto the motherboard or at least as much as possible putting slower parts on a daughter card.

I still think 8" is a little tight for a computer bound for the Pro market but you are on the right track trying to condense the machine down to the basic elements of a Pro machine. What will be interesting is the port selection, I'm just interested in what Apple sees as appropriate for the next 6 years or so.
post #168 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Holding them 6 years isn't something that everyone does. You're examining a few forum posters, which is a silly way to extract data.
What was and still is silly, is the idea the he offered up that poor Mac Pro sales are our fault because we have not purchased Mac Pros frequently enough. That is absurd and frankly irrational. I know their is a certain element in society that has to go out and buy a new iPhone every time one comes out. That is not the Pro market at all. Now some business can justify fairly quick replacement schedules but it is not odd at all to see the same machine in use for five years or more in business.
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The other thing you fail to account for is that the number of mac pros they sold in 2006 or the number of G5s they sold in 2004 may not satisfy them  today, as their growth likely comes from other lines. There's a difference between slipping in units sold and simply being outpaced by the rest of their line. Outside of this last year, I expect the latter is more the case.
From what I've been able to determine it is slippage in sales that is the problem, more so a very significant slippage in sales. Of the desktops only the iMac has been positive in the USA.
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That wouldn't get the mac pro off the hook if it's scheduled for cancellation. I'm just saying that you're looking at a limited market that has typically worked due to high margins. It's not so much of a dead market as you claim. It generates far better margins for oems than any of their lower products. Apple is in a unique situation. They've retained relatively high margins across their line, and their growth is driven elsewhere.
When looking at value, from the consumers point of view, the current Mac Pro is a big zero in the base models. This drives sales downward as the market for the high performance versions is more limited. I really don't see the concept of a high performance Mac Pro as so much of an issues, as is Apples big gap between the Mini and the tricked out Mac Pro. From my perspective what is killing the Mac Pro more than anything else is that apple doesn't have a midrange desktop machine. That machine could be derived from the Mac Pro or not but the lack of such a machine drive the perception that Apple has nothing worthwhile on the desktop.
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I'm not one of the people who buys into this idea. Some people are really weird in that they attempt to personify a corporation. Regarding the progression of lighter hardware, big points are growth in requirements and budget elasticity. The acceptance of lighter hardware has taken over somewhat on Windows too.
The Windows world has basically crashed. People have literally jumped off the treadmill.
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The problem for some people is when you're dealing with a single company, if your requirements don't align well with what they make, you are out of luck.
That is a two way street. Apple has basically ran the entire desktop line up into the gutter through mismanagement and not caring. In a nut shell they are out of luck as far as customers for that hardware. It is showing up in sales of desktop hardware.
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I've tested everything I use on Windows. While I'd have to make a couple hardware changes, it would work. I'm extremely annoyed by how ram hungry Lion and Mountain Lion have been. I max out memory constantly as some of the applications I deal with will use everything I throw at them. It annoys me when I feel that extra is tied up due to a bloated OS. Fedora runs a few things that I require, but some of them are problematic. I'd move to Linux if I could get everything working, just to have a nice light/stable OS. Ubuntu and Debian won't support certain things, or I would have switched already:grumble: .
I ran Linux from about the time NT service pack 3 came out until 2008 when I went with a Mac. I can not understate just how frustrating Linux can be. You have a system built around a decent kernel that really could go somewhere if they could just address the UI issues that have been there for ever. Well that and the constant need to do complete installs every 6 months. Linux is a nice hobby, don't get me wrong as I still have a machine or two at the house, but it isn't the place to go if you want the hardware and software to work reliably.
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I think I mentioned what I'd go with if I transitioned to Windows. I test a lot of this stuff to the configuration I require. I bug test everything, and download Windows trials of all software. I have a backup plan if OSX becomes unworkable, and I've avoided any software published by Apple for the past few years. This is far more trivial to me than it may be to others.
After my stint with Linux I've gone all in with Apples software. Interestingly when I first got the Mac I did try using some of the open source stuff (mostly desktop productivity) that ran on the Mac. Eventually I realized that this stuff suffered from the same issues as the software running on Linux. Eventually I installed the Apple software and frankly it is good enough with zero hassles.
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There are better boxes out there, and if we're talking about a 12TB raid, I'd go with WD's enterprise grade SATA drives. It comes out slightly more expensive, but you can put together a much more robust solution for a fairly similar amount of money.

Is it difficult to understand they wouldn't occupy the same space? Towers typically fit beneath a desk. My point with the imac was that it would have to fit in side by side with another display. At 27", I'd need to make it the primary display viewed dead on due to size. It's not sufficient for that. The differences are somewhat hedged by tradeoffs. Mac pro can take a slightly wider range of gpus. A few people have gotten Fermi to work on it, which is stronger at floating point math than any Kepler card currently on the market. Fermi was just heavily optimized for computation. It can take a couple extra drives internally (note I didn't say a RAID storage array). It's still a bit faster. The imac provides a display within its total cost. That really is appealing, but Apple displays in my own experience have been plagued with too many problems. I have something that is relatively problem free at the moment. I'd like to retain that.
The above highlights possible the biggest issue with the Mac, once you get outside of the Mac mainstream as far as software is concerned your choice dwindle fast. The need for a hacker mentality to get things to work is almost as bad as Linux. Some companies just seem to have a serious inability to support their hardware on the Mac. A further software, especially in the engineering world has been slow to come to the Mac. So it does feel at times like the Linux world. However Max OS/X redeems itself via iOS integration and a bunch of apps that really are state of the art as far as usability goes.
post #169 of 201
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Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg 
So what exactly is your point? That we don't need fast hardware because slower works well enough?

Not quite, I'm not suggesting everyone should be happy with Macbook Airs. I'm saying that there are diminishing returns on investing in the fastest hardware the more that time goes on.

Say, for example, Apple put up a new computer tomorrow that had 4x E5-2687W CPUs, dual GTX 690s and then slapped a price tag of $11,000 on it. Is that something people would want? If raw performance is so important then why wouldn't people want it?

If we were back in 1995, those kind of prices meant the difference between getting a job done and not getting it done because some tasks couldn't be done with too little power or too little RAM. These days, the gains in productivity from faster hardware are getting lower because most of what we do is real-time.

Once the productivity gains from a new machine aren't significant enough, people hold onto machines longer. Then the company selling them doesn't see enough demand so they focus on hardware that does see the demand. Eventually an upgrade is required and there's no new model to be found.
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Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg 
Faster hardware not only gets sh!t done faster in the present, it remains viable longer into the future.

Yes, typically 3 years longer. Hardware goes up about 50% in performance every year (it doesn't do this every year but it tends to average out at this over a period of time) so in 3 years, we get 1.5^3 = ~3x faster. The top-end MP has a 3x faster CPU than the top-end iMac so in 3 years they are about the same. The GPUs make the gap even smaller because the GTX680M in the iMac is 70% of the performance of the GTX680 that would have gone into the Pro so the Pro would barely be a year ahead in terms of the GPU.

This trend may change if Intel decides to bump CPUs up 15% year on year and focus on GPUs but I think they'll focus more on CPUs again once the GPUs move up high enough.
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Originally Posted by wizard69 
Saving time on rendering isn't as important as having a usable machine while rendering.

Even a 12-core MP would lag if you max it out though. That's just a case of limiting the processes e.g give it 6 out of 8 threads and 12GB RAM out of 16GB or whatever.
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Originally Posted by wizard69 
It ends at two processors because that is where machines remain economical.

I think it always comes down to balancing needs and costs and it could be the case that there are enough people willing to pay for a $4000+ machine to justify 2P machines and not enough to justify a $10,000 4P machine but I think fewer and fewer people are willing to spend $4000+ on computer equipment now. Here's an example of someone who replaced XServes with Minis:

http://www.cultofmac.com/78914/why-did-apple-discontinue-xserve-because-its-a-dinosaur/

This sort of thing will happen the more that cheaper and lower power hardware can do the jobs of the more expensive machines.
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Originally Posted by wizard69 
I can just imagine going up to the CEO of any company, big or small, and telling them that hey buddy you need to buy Mac Pros more often so that Apple will keep making them. The concept is hilarious to say the least.

It might seem hilarious but it's the way supply and demand works. Take away the demand and you take away the supply. You're right the supplier has a responsibility to create a demand for something but Apple has been at this a very long time and they know how big the markets are in each sector and their supply priorities reflect that.

Even if Apple brought out the most awesome Mac Pro anyone can imagine next year, it still won't sell in huge numbers with a starting price above $2000 and they won't drop the price lower than that. So making a great machine won't make a bit of difference unless that market grows substantially or they cut the price massively. As I showed earlier, lowering the margins doesn't give a direct increase in volume.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
Holding them 6 years isn't something that everyone does. You're examining a few forum posters, which is a silly way to extract data.

It keeps swinging back and forth. Either the Mac Pro is great because it lasts, which means people are holding onto them or after 3-4 years, they are no faster than the lower end and people are upgrading. If the lower end matches them in performance after that shorter period, maybe these people switch to the lower end models but then people say that can't be happening because the lower end doesn't offer xyz benefits. It can't be all things at once.

I think a lot of people are migrating to lower machines as time goes on, this shows in the buying rates for laptops vs desktops and iMacs vs towers. I think tower buyers aren't upgrading often either. Both of these situations create a smaller demand for the Mac Pro and this shows in Apple's treatment of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
There's a difference between slipping in units sold and simply being outpaced by the rest of their line. It's not so much of a dead market as you claim.

Before the iMac though, the towers used to be priced a lot lower. They displaced them in favour of the iMac in order to offer the best quality for the whole package in that range and make something compelling to buy. The $2500+ target audience is small and the market which would normally have had to go with a tower (DTP / CAD / video editing markets) can now get the work done on something much cheaper and even portable.

While the number of people in the high-resource audience continues to grow, the lower end hardware meets more needs and the higher end hardware encourages people to upgrade less.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
My point with the imac was that it would have to fit in side by side with another display

I would say it's wasteful to stick it on the floor but you can do it if you want or even just sit the NEC/Eizo in front of it. It's still cheaper than the equivalent Mac Pro.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 
They might even be able to ditch the Mini.

Maybe but every machine has a power target. The Mini is 85W, the iMac is 310W, the MP is currently 1000W. They'd just be making the Mini less attractive to people who like a tiny desktop machine and want to run it as a low power server.
post #170 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


What was and still is silly, is the idea the he offered up that poor Mac Pro sales are our fault because we have not purchased Mac Pros frequently enough. That is absurd and frankly irrational. I know their is a certain element in society that has to go out and buy a new iPhone every time one comes out. That is not the Pro market at all. Now some business can justify fairly quick replacement schedules but it is not odd at all to see the same machine in use for five years or more in business.
From what I've been able to determine it is slippage in sales that is the problem, more so a very significant slippage in sales. Of the desktops only the iMac has been positive in the USA.

That doesn't surprise me. A lot of the cliche Mac customers seem to be trending toward the use of imacs. My suggestion is that they purchase directly from Apple. If the display exhibits poor uniformity, return it. I've also explained to some of them what display calibration can and cannot fix and why they shouldn't cheap out on drives for their RAIDs.

 

 

Quote:
When looking at value, from the consumers point of view, the current Mac Pro is a big zero in the base models. This drives sales downward as the market for the high performance versions is more limited. I really don't see the concept of a high performance Mac Pro as so much of an issues, as is Apples big gap between the Mini and the tricked out Mac Pro. From my perspective what is killing the Mac Pro more than anything else is that apple doesn't have a midrange desktop machine. That machine could be derived from the Mac Pro or not but the lack of such a machine drive the perception that Apple has nothing worthwhile on the desktop.

The markets they're likely to approach with such a machine are somewhat limited. To maintain health with such a line, they'd need to attract customers that already buy into this hardware class from other vendors. The workstation market has shown growth in many quarters. 2010 showed some amount of growth. 2011 and 2012 were slow for obvious reasons. Budgets aren't necessarily elastic, and below $3000 + display, things have been moving very slowly.

 

 

Quote:
The Windows world has basically crashed. People have literally jumped off the treadmill.

I've noticed this to a degree, but it addresses certain things well enough, and you can configure decent hardware to the required spec quite easily. I tend to explore solutions due to a need to ensure I can make something work, and I've been a bit disappointed with OSX lately. I need the leanest OS possible. Windows isn't really that. It's just that it has a better range of gpus and  bit more freedom in terms of customization. I don't think it's irrational to maintain contingency plans. I don't maintain a notion that I would somehow be holding Apple captive if they don't produce the machine I want to buy.

 

 

Quote:

I ran Linux from about the time NT service pack 3 came out until 2008 when I went with a Mac. I can not understate just how frustrating Linux can be. You have a system built around a decent kernel that really could go somewhere if they could just address the UI issues that have been there for ever. Well that and the constant need to do complete installs every 6 months. Linux is a nice hobby, don't get me wrong as I still have a machine or two at the house, but it isn't the place to go if you want the hardware and software to work reliably.

 

The vfx industry incorporates Linux in many areas, and I use a lot of the same software. Because of this there certified kernels and installation instructions for a lot of software. I've read them, so I know how much of a pain in the ass it is. I've been a bit disappointed in OSX with Lion onward. Snow Leopard was great. It's not possible to stay on older OS revisions forever, as you eventually miss too much in the way of added frameworks and software support. I usually update my OS mid cycle after reading through lists of known bugs for any critical software. It's quite boring.

 

 

Quote:
After my stint with Linux I've gone all in with Apples software. Interestingly when I first got the Mac I did try using some of the open source stuff (mostly desktop productivity) that ran on the Mac. Eventually I realized that this stuff suffered from the same issues as the software running on Linux. Eventually I installed the Apple software and frankly it is good enough with zero hassles.

There isn't a lot that I really need. I use a huge range of software. Some of it is used rather infrequently. FCPX isn't necessary as Creative Suite includes Premiere, even though I need it very rarely. If I didn't have Creative Suite, it would be different. The upgrade costs aren't that bad once you're past the upfront costs. The suite upgrade prices aren't much higher than single applications. This means it's not as big of a deal retaining software that I need less frequently. It used to be that you could upgrade up to 3 versions back with individual software products. Adobe reduced that to one to push their suites on everyone. It's annoying, but you get a lot of capability.  I never personally liked Aperture. The rest isn't much different on Windows or OSX.

 

 

Quote:
The above highlights possible the biggest issue with the Mac, once you get outside of the Mac mainstream as far as software is concerned your choice dwindle fast. The need for a hacker mentality to get things to work is almost as bad as Linux. Some companies just seem to have a serious inability to support their hardware on the Mac. A further software, especially in the engineering world has been slow to come to the Mac. So it does feel at times like the Linux world. However Max OS/X redeems itself via iOS integration and a bunch of apps that really are state of the art as far as usability goes.

I've definitely mentioned that before. I do use some open source software, but I'm reasonably selective. I tend to avoid the "labor of love" projects supported by a single developer for anything important. I don't consider the RAID thing to be a hacker mentality. Marvin and I disagree on the quality of solutions provided by Apple at times. Apple Store reviews on the thunderbolt raid mention doa drives. This shouldn't really happen with a pre-configured raid solution, which should have been tested prior to shipping. It's not the same as just buying the drives as raw components on their own. I'd just stick with solutions that have been well supported in the past, and for a 12TB raid, you should be really picky on the hard drives used. The cheapest I'd go would be Caviar Blacks, as they use similar hardware to the RE4s. The RE4s have different firmware. iOS integration isn't that big of a deal to me. I have an iphone, and it's helpful, but not entirely crucial for me. The iphone was kind of an easy solution. It covers my requirements, but I will never wait outside the store to buy the latest one.

post #171 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
A lot of the cliche Mac customers seem to be trending toward the use of imacs.

The popularity of the iMacs isn't really a new thing. Even if you go back to the year 2000, Apple reported the split in numbers and the iMac outsold everything else:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2000/01/19Apple-Reports-First-Quarter-Profit-of-183-Million.html

"Sales of 1,377,000 systems including over 700,000 iMac™ consumer desktops and 235,000 iBook™ consumer portables"

This was back when the entry tower desktop was $1599 and the entry iMac was $799. It doesn't say how many Powerbooks vs Powermacs were in the remaining 442,000 units but if it was the same ratio as iMacs to iBooks, it would be 150k PBs and 290k PMs.

Knowing that Mac Pro shipments are under 100k / quarter now, it's clear that the tower desktop market has shrunk considerably or I guess a more accurate way to put it would be that people are happy to spend a $1000-2000 budget on an all-in-one instead of a tower and Apple makes better margins that way as they sell the display too and the way they make better margins from the towers is jack up the price. If they sold the towers at the same price as the iMacs again, it wouldn't be worth the trouble because you can bet not everyone would buy Apple's displays (like people who prefer NEC/Eizo).

To drive the growth that people here suggest, Apple would need to take the display out of the iMac and sell that at a lower price. But as I say, they just lose a display sale and have a machine without the iMac's unique selling points. If they use the same parts as the Mac Pro, they basically just have to cut their margins but they will still hit the upper end of the $1000-2000 range and they won't even double their volume.

The best route forward for them is to just play it out the same way they've been doing already. Scale down the operation, ship it back to the US so the machines can be assembled there (one factory can probably handle the 2,500 / day worldwide target). They can keep it running as long as the shipment volume stays above a certain level and the profit it makes is worth the effort. But regardless of whether people agree with it, people still need to buy them more often or their shipment volume reports will just slide and they'll think people don't want them any more. They might not drop the line for a few years but you can bet they'd stick with the long refresh cycles.
post #172 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The popularity of the iMacs isn't really a new thing. Even if you go back to the year 2000, Apple reported the split in numbers and the iMac outsold everything else:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2000/01/19Apple-Reports-First-Quarter-Profit-of-183-Million.html

"Sales of 1,377,000 systems including over 700,000 iMac™ consumer desktops and 235,000 iBook™ consumer portables"

This was back when the entry tower desktop was $1599 and the entry iMac was $799. It doesn't say how many Powerbooks vs Powermacs were in the remaining 442,000 units but if it was the same ratio as iMacs to iBooks, it would be 150k PBs and 290k PMs.

 

I didn't realize it took over that early.

 

Quote:
Knowing that Mac Pro shipments are under 100k / quarter now, it's clear that the tower desktop market has shrunk considerably or I guess a more accurate way to put it would be that people are happy to spend a $1000-2000 budget on an all-in-one instead of a tower and Apple makes better margins that way as they sell the display too and the way they make better margins from the towers is jack up the price. If they sold the towers at the same price as the iMacs again, it wouldn't be worth the trouble because you can bet not everyone would buy Apple's displays (like people who prefer NEC/Eizo).

I get that. I tend to view things relative to my own needs. I'm not terribly biased against Apple displays. I just don't think they're as good, having compared on many occasions through different design generations. I'm confident that advancements in technology will bring these things further together. They all pretty much use the same panels at this point. A few years ago this wasn't the case. Some of the other vendors pulled out due to shrinking profits. As you know LG maintains an existence through extreme volume.

 

Quote:
To drive the growth that people here suggest, Apple would need to take the display out of the iMac and sell that at a lower price. But as I say, they just lose a display sale and have a machine without the iMac's unique selling points. If they use the same parts as the Mac Pro, they basically just have to cut their margins but they will still hit the upper end of the $1000-2000 range and they won't even double their volume.

 

That isn't necessarily what I'm saying they should map out as a current trajectory. That's basically something that would benefit me. I'm not arrogant enough to feel that would influence their business decisions.

 

Quote:
The best route forward for them is to just play it out the same way they've been doing already. Scale down the operation, ship it back to the US so the machines can be assembled there (one factory can probably handle the 2,500 / day worldwide target). They can keep it running as long as the shipment volume stays above a certain level and the profit it makes is worth the effort. But regardless of whether people agree with it, people still need to buy them more often or their shipment volume reports will just slide and they'll think people don't want them any more. They might not drop the line for a few years but you can bet they'd stick with the long refresh cycles.

 

Part of that is intel. 2009 to 2010 didn't provide much. Westmere was an incomplete lineup. Sandy Bridge E came late. That's a lot of flat growth in the lower tiers of the mac pro line, which likely carry a fair amount of its volume. They haven't maintained a lot of mac pro models overall. The 1,1 sold until the end of the first quarter in 2008. Given that many applications didn't release universal binary versions until at least 2007, it's reasonable to figure that many of those purchases were likely in 2007. In some of the edge cases, I can see how they would have been disappointed with the 2010 update and waited for Sandy in 2011. The lack of a predictable cycle and gains can make people hesitant, even if they don't want to see it go away. I'm personally less concerned. Looking at things going forward, I'm not tied to Mac specific software at this point. I can pretty much use whatever I want. If need be I'll go the custom build route for my own use (with the best parts of course), but I'm not typical. If the mini gets to the point of just barely good enough, I'll go that route and simply upgrade annually. In my opinion the mac pro won't survive at its current pricing structure. The quad mac pro has shown little growth. Sandy Bridge E shows little growth in that cpu variant (quad cpu at the $300 mark). They'd still need to implement a third party chipset for usb3 whether they go with sandy or ivy. Ivy Bridge E5s do not use a different chipset, therefore no usb3 is inclusive. SATA III and PCIe 3 do offer some help. Trying to push something at that price with the sludge like performance growth won't go anywhere. The more expensive models are likely worth retailing, but they need something to keep the volume above a minimum level.

post #173 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The popularity of the iMacs isn't really a new thing. Even if you go back to the year 2000, Apple reported the split in numbers and the iMac outsold everything else:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2000/01/19Apple-Reports-First-Quarter-Profit-of-183-Million.html

"Sales of 1,377,000 systems including over 700,000 iMac™ consumer desktops and 235,000 iBook™ consumer portables"

This was back when the entry tower desktop was $1599 and the entry iMac was $799. It doesn't say how many Powerbooks vs Powermacs were in the remaining 442,000 units but if it was the same ratio as iMacs to iBooks, it would be 150k PBs and 290k PMs.

Knowing that Mac Pro shipments are under 100k / quarter now, it's clear that the tower desktop market has shrunk considerably or I guess a more accurate way to put it would be that people are happy to spend a $1000-2000 budget on an all-in-one instead of a tower and Apple makes better margins that way as they sell the display too and the way they make better margins from the towers is jack up the price. If they sold the towers at the same price as the iMacs again, it wouldn't be worth the trouble because you can bet not everyone would buy Apple's displays (like people who prefer NEC/Eizo).

To drive the growth that people here suggest, Apple would need to take the display out of the iMac and sell that at a lower price. But as I say, they just lose a display sale and have a machine without the iMac's unique selling points. If they use the same parts as the Mac Pro, they basically just have to cut their margins but they will still hit the upper end of the $1000-2000 range and they won't even double their volume.

The best route forward for them is to just play it out the same way they've been doing already. Scale down the operation, ship it back to the US so the machines can be assembled there (one factory can probably handle the 2,500 / day worldwide target). They can keep it running as long as the shipment volume stays above a certain level and the profit it makes is worth the effort. But regardless of whether people agree with it, people still need to buy them more often or their shipment volume reports will just slide and they'll think people don't want them any more. They might not drop the line for a few years but you can bet they'd stick with the long refresh cycles.

You've made some interesting posts about the dilemma re: the Mac Pro.  However, it's ultimately up to Apple to make the Mac Pro compelling.  Part of that is price.

 

Ultimately computer power is shrinking the form factors.  And as the iMac desktop began eating the Pro's lunch from its inception, the iMac in turn is outsold by laptops...which are massively out sold by iPads and iPhones.

 

To increase Pro volume.  Price.  Will they get the sales volume?

 

Well, why don't they try it.  If the base consumer tower was just in front of the entry iMac they'd make margins by bundling their studio display with it.  They'd get a 2k sale for every 'entry' tower.  But Apple are charging crazy prices for their studio display.  They'd have to get their head around selling people an 'iMac' 'twice.'

 

Which a monitor less iMac plus Studio display would be.  You'd pay slightly more buying them separately...but Apple could bundle the two to make a compelling deal...but obviously not as compelling as an iMac.  By the time you buy a studio display...you're adding £899 ontop of a even an original Cube sticker price of £1295(was it around that price?) and you're coming out at £2200 for a consumer tower Apple style vs £1195 for the entry iMac.  That's quite a disparity.

 

If you chopped the studio display by half (for some reason Apple is selling their studio display for hundreds more than the Dell?) and called it £450 (for Apple to get out of bed...) added to a consumer tower of £1295...you're still looking at an eyewatering £1750 for Apple's 'consumer' tower.

 

So it goes.  Apple used to have a choice of 3 displays.  Now it's one.  27 inch or not.  They don't even include a 21 incher any more.  But they could...and make it affordable.

 

If only they'd increase the gpu power of the Mini by 'midi'ing it's form factor...ala cube.  You'd have a £495 to £995 proposition with more compelling graphics that could be fitted into an 8x8 and have a more conventional 'mid' solution that could scale to the redesigned Pro...whenever that arrives.

 

Add a £899 display onto the base £495 Mini and you're still looking at £1400 and it has crap graphics...for a 'mini consumer' tower.  That's still alot of money for something with crap graphics.

 

I think the iMac is the best value alround.  Though recent price hikes since 2008 have blunted that statement.

 

*shrugs.

 

Random thoughts over.  Be interesting to see what Apple do with the pro and mini this year.  I suspect...'more' of the 'same.'

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #174 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. 
To increase Pro volume.  Price.  Will they get the sales volume?

Well, why don't they try it.

They tried cheaper towers before and they probably found a number of flaws.

- people would expect good specs for the price because there's not much other value metric
- people would look for an affordable display and Apple's displays are too pricey because they don't use cheap panels so none of their bundles look attractive
- having received a good performance per dollar value, buyers will hold onto their hardware longer but Apple has made a lower profit

None of these are good for Apple so they probably figured out that they can design a better value bundle by forcing the buyer to take the display and the beautiful display becomes the value metric rather than spec.

Mini, value metric = price
iMac, value metric = style and simplicity
Mac Pro, value metric = power

If they can make the Mac Pro more stylish and affordable without compromising power, that would be great but if the price went down to a certain point, Apple would rely on the buyer taking a display and they wouldn't.

You can bet they've thought about this over the 30+ years they've been in retail and they've probably decided it's best the way it is now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. 
By the time you buy a studio display...you're adding £899 ontop of a even an original Cube sticker price of £1295(was it around that price?) and you're coming out at £2200 for a consumer tower Apple style vs £1195 for the entry iMac.  That's quite a disparity.

The original Cube was $1799, which would be £1499 inc tax - basically the same as the entry 27" iMac.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. 
If you chopped the studio display by half (for some reason Apple is selling their studio display for hundreds more than the Dell?) and called it £450 (for Apple to get out of bed...) added to a consumer tower of £1295...you're still looking at an eyewatering £1750 for Apple's 'consumer' tower.

Dell has rubbish margins though. I don't think they need to go that low but $799 (£679 inc tax) would be nice and comparable to Dell's 27" with the same resolution. A 24" 1080p wouldn't go amiss at $499 (£399 inc tax).

Judging by the iMac, the new one most likely won't drop in price. It's good to avoid going over the $1000 mark though. I'd like to see them go all 27" eventually and raising the prices is a good way to start because they can then drop the higher models down once yields improve and maintain the entry prices but switch them to 27" displays.
post #175 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

1. Who here has replaced a faulty Xeon CPU?
2. Who here has upgraded the CPU in their MP?

Even though it's possible I've never come across someone that actually did either/both.

 

I've upgraded the CPUs on nearly two dozen Mac Pros.  Going from a 2.66 GHz W3520 Nehalem quad core to a 3.33 GHz W3680 Westmere hexa core is the best bang for the buck, and if you also upgrade the GT 120 to a 6870 it's just like getting a new Mac Pro.  

 

This talk here of the need for a tiny Mac Pro is quite puzzling.  I've never encountered any professional who complained about the Mac Pro's size.  What I have heard them complain about is Apple's ancient video cards and the lack of a significant Mac Pro update for years.  Never heard them pine for half length PCIe slots either, although they wish Apple offered an OEM Radeon 7xxx series video card.  

 

Offloading the video card to an external enclosure is absurd.  TB has four lanes, the video PCIe slot alone in the Mac Pro has 16 lanes, and a new Mac Pro may have even more bandwidth available to the PCIe slots.  It's also a strange way to make the Mac Pro smaller, since adding a noisy PCIe box to the desk isn't "smaller".

 

It's certain that Apple will dump the ODD bay, and the PSU can be shrunk down considerably.  The number of HDD bays will likely be reduced and they could be oriented so that the tower can be thinner.  SSDs can and should be blades that plug into mini PCIe slots for insane performance.  These changes alone make for a considerably smaller Mac Pro, so the Apple fanboys will be pleased, Ive will spring a woody, and Pros will shrug.

post #176 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


They tried cheaper towers before and they probably found a number of flaws.

- people would expect good specs for the price because there's not much other value metric
- people would look for an affordable display and Apple's displays are too pricey because they don't use cheap panels so none of their bundles look attractive
- having received a good performance per dollar value, buyers will hold onto their hardware longer but Apple has made a lower profit

None of these are good for Apple so they probably figured out that they can design a better value bundle by forcing the buyer to take the display and the beautiful display becomes the value metric rather than spec.
 

 

 

The last time Apple had "cheap" towers they literally faced doom every quarter.  Now their OS X user base is expanding every year.  So it is no longer necessarily a question of milking the existing user base for as much profit as possible, or to put in businessspeak, a consumer tower need not cannibalize the sales of other less profitable Mac lines.  

 

An xMac doesn't have to be a Mac Pro with an i7 plugged into it, in fact that would be a marketing disaster.  Apple can gimp a consumer tower so pros are still forced to buy a Mac Pro, but home users have something beyond a Mac Mini.  Some ways to differentiate consumer and pro towers:

 

Cores.  Consumers get four, the Mac Pros get a minimum of 6 or even 8 cores.  A good delineation would be for consumer towers to have a single i7, with pro towers having dual Xeons.  If Apple wants to be d!cks about it, they can solder the i7 to the logic board so consumers have to throw out their towers instead of upgrading the CPU.

 

PCIe slots.  Pros get four, consumers get one or two, enough for a real video card at least.  Without a full-sized video card, there is little point in building a consumer tower.  

 

Storage.  Make consumers buy an external box if they want more storage.  It's a lame solution, but it's exactly the sort of thing Apple would do.  Oh, and price the Apple-branded external box so the cost of a consumer tower with the box is as much or more than the entry level Mac Pro.  <laughs evil laugh>  Seriously, add a fusion drive to the consumer tower and call it good.

 

If Apple tried this, what's the worst that could happen?  Cannibalized Mac Pro sales?  Apple has already demonstrated that they don't care about the Mac Pro.  Cannibalized iMac sales?  Not an issue as long as the consumer tower is built right.  Apple would most likely price such a consumer tower at $1400 - $2000, while a PC tower similarly configured is well under $1000.  If Apple gets phat margins on the consumer tower, it won't matter if iMac sales are cannibalized.  

 

I believe Apple would be surprised at how many new Mac users they get with a consumer tower.  There are a lot of PC users who want a Mac but find the Mini to be a joke and the iMac to be too rigid a computing solution.  Many build a hackintosh, but then get tired of hacking every OS X release and move back to Windows.  

post #177 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg 
If Apple tried this, what's the worst that could happen?  Cannibalized Mac Pro sales?  Apple has already demonstrated that they don't care about the Mac Pro.  Cannibalized iMac sales?  Not an issue as long as the consumer tower is built right.

The worst that could happen is they go to all the effort building one, it sells very badly and all the sales they do make cannibalise higher profit products.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg 
I believe Apple would be surprised at how many new Mac users they get with a consumer tower.  There are a lot of PC users who want a Mac but find the Mini to be a joke and the iMac to be too rigid a computing solution.  Many build a hackintosh, but then get tired of hacking every OS X release and move back to Windows.

How many though? The largest desktop manufacturer in the world, HP, only ships 4.5m desktops per quarter. Apple ships 1.5m. There's no way they can match HP's volume because if that was possible, HP wouldn't be selling their products with such poor margins.

Most people simply aren't prepared to pay $1000-2000 for a headless computer box. Apple figured out how to sell something in that range with the iMac and everybody else figured out how to sell loads of boxes with razor thin margins (<12%). We're now at a point where the consumer tower people are in serious trouble and Apple is doing better than ever. They could do both but they have no reason to.
post #178 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The worst that could happen is they go to all the effort building one, it sells very badly and all the sales they do make cannibalise higher profit products.
What higher profit products. You make the assumption that Mac Pro sales are profitable. The very fact that Apple was considering killing the machine brings the idea that the Mac Pro is profitable into question.

Beyond all of that you seem to think Apple would design a machine that isn't profitable. Apple has no history of doing such. Done right an XMac, that is a midrange desktop would be as profitable as anything else Apple sells. With sales of the Mini and Pro sales tanking doing nothing would be the worst possible course of action.
Quote:
How many though? The largest desktop manufacturer in the world, HP, only ships 4.5m desktops per quarter. Apple ships 1.5m. There's no way they can match HP's volume because if that was possible, HP wouldn't be selling their products with such poor margins.
What does HPs margins have to do with Apple selling more computers?
Quote:
Most people simply aren't prepared to pay $1000-2000 for a headless computer box. Apple figured out how to sell something in that range with the iMac and everybody else figured out how to sell loads of boxes with razor thin margins (<12%). We're now at a point where the consumer tower people are in serious trouble and Apple is doing better than ever. They could do both but they have no reason to.
If they want to expand Mac sales into new markets they have to do something. Frankly they need new markets to keep the Mac line up going in a robust manner.
post #179 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


They tried cheaper towers before and they probably found a number of flaws.

- people would expect good specs for the price because there's not much other value metric
- people would look for an affordable display and Apple's displays are too pricey because they don't use cheap panels so none of their bundles look attractive
- having received a good performance per dollar value, buyers will hold onto their hardware longer but Apple has made a lower profit

None of these are good for Apple so they probably figured out that they can design a better value bundle by forcing the buyer to take the display and the beautiful display becomes the value metric rather than spec.

Mini, value metric = price
iMac, value metric = style and simplicity
Mac Pro, value metric = power

If they can make the Mac Pro more stylish and affordable without compromising power, that would be great but if the price went down to a certain point, Apple would rely on the buyer taking a display and they wouldn't.

You can bet they've thought about this over the 30+ years they've been in retail and they've probably decided it's best the way it is now.
The original Cube was $1799, which would be £1499 inc tax - basically the same as the entry 27" iMac.
Dell has rubbish margins though. I don't think they need to go that low but $799 (£679 inc tax) would be nice and comparable to Dell's 27" with the same resolution. A 24" 1080p wouldn't go amiss at $499 (£399 inc tax).

Judging by the iMac, the new one most likely won't drop in price. It's good to avoid going over the $1000 mark though. I'd like to see them go all 27" eventually and raising the prices is a good way to start because they can then drop the higher models down once yields improve and maintain the entry prices but switch them to 27" displays.

You know, it's hard to get an Apple desktop without an ass reaming.

 

My BTO iMac cost £2200 plus.

 

Apple's iMac could do with a £200 price cut across the board.

 

The entry Pro should be £1450 tops.  The original Cube was pricey at that.

 

Should have come in at £999 in fun colour flavours and bigger dimensions for more power.  They got greedy.  They still are with desktop Macs, consumer or prosumer.

 

And the studio display price is a joke.

 

By the time you spec out the Mini you're left with an expensive biscuit box with crap graphics.

 

As Wizard says.  Could do better.

 

I like the iMac.  It's the best thing they have value wise.  And the design is good on all 3 desktops.

 

But not without faults.

 

Mac mini?  Graphics.

Pro?  Dinosaur pricing and specs and size.

iMac?  Fusion drive should be standard or SSD should.  GPUs could be better at each level considering the price bump.  Why no external included?  Price raises by a hundred and they have the cheek to charge you £60 for the external.  £160 more than the last entry iMac!  Cheeky buggars.  

 

I used to think of Apple as my friend.  My balloon popped on that in 2008...when they hiked the entry iMac from £675 to £999 and now it's £1099.

 

That's a difference of £425 plus external DVD = £485.

 

I still think they make the best computers and OS and vision for the future.  But the desktop pricing compared to laptops is taking the p*ss.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #180 of 201

So p*ssed at their pricing sometimes I typed my name x2.

 

Lemon Bon Bon. x3

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #181 of 201

After years of running Linux boxes, and their fairly crap GUI's; Apples fairly trouble free GUI is well worth a bit extra.   However it is pretty obvious that what I consider to be a bit extra and what Apple considers to be a bit extra is two different things.    It is good to see them aggressively driving down prices on retina screen machines though.

 

As to the Mini, frankly it is the only machine that I would consider at this point.   It isn't that I want to consider it either, just that I don't see a lot of value in Apples other machines.    A Low end Mac Pro is a better solution hardware wise over the Mini but lets face it the entry model is grossly over priced for what you get.


Haswell is really the interesting thing with respect to the Mini.    Such a chip could turn the Mini into a much more viable machine.   If they can go to desktop or in some manner lower cost chips they might even be able to moderate the costs of the Mini a bit.    You obviously prefer the iMac which is fine but I just don't see at as a good value for long term usage.   That is a user that attempts to hold onto a machine for 5+ years or more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

So p*ssed at their pricing sometimes I typed my name x2.

 

Lemon Bon Bon. x3

post #182 of 201
Maybe they will release a retina Thunderbolt Display with it, make it support up to 3 retina displays or 6 regular.
post #183 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 
What higher profit products. You make the assumption that Mac Pro sales are profitable. The very fact that Apple was considering killing the machine brings the idea that the Mac Pro is profitable into question.

I mainly meant the iMac but a consumer tower would eat into some of their higher profit Mac Pro sales. The Mac Pro has high profit margins but the sales volume is small.

- if a consumer tower was the price of an iMac minus display, Apple just loses a display sale and potentially a more proftable Mac Pro sale
- if a consumer tower matches the iMac price, again it can pull people away from the Mac Pro but it also puts people off buying them anyway as they'd be lower value than an iMac
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 
What does HPs margins have to do with Apple selling more computers?

They demonstrate what the market is willing to pay for but more importantly HP's marketshare shows the potential marketshare for Apple to gain.

HP is the leading desktop manufacturer in the world with shipments of 4.5m per quarter. Apple is somewhere below 5th with 1.5m. Apple can only hope to reach 4.5m but look at the average selling prices of each:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/18/hps_pc_sales_lead_industry_but_5_7_operating_margins_are_dwarfed_by_apple

"With an estimated 28 percent gross margin and average selling price of $1,323.40 per Mac, Apple is presumed to earn a profit of $370.55 for every Mac sold. HP, meanwhile, has an average selling price of $650 and a presumed profit margin of 8 percent, which nets the company about $52 on the sale of each PC."

Apple can't reach anywhere near that extra volume of buyers unless they drop prices down but that route means losing a display sale. The recent display gluing step is enough of an indicator that they want control over the whole bundle to make margins on RAM and storage.

Let's say that Apple came out with a Core i7-3770 desktop with GTX 680 at $1499, what do people expect their sales volume to be? It has to be between 1.5-4.5m per quarter. Does it go up 0.5m, 1m? It will definitely cut into some of the other sales and they make less money per sale.
post #184 of 201

You are assuming Apple would loose sales.   My point is an XMac like machine would open up more markets.   You seem to dance around this point.   Using your logic Apple should kill the Mini to force people to buy iMacs and Mac Pros.   It would be foolish to do so because it is a machine with a different niche than the iMac and Mac Pro.    An XMac type machine would simply fill another niche.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


I mainly meant the iMac but a consumer tower would eat into some of their higher profit Mac Pro sales. The Mac Pro has high profit margins but the sales volume is small.

- if a consumer tower was the price of an iMac minus display, Apple just loses a display sale and potentially a more proftable Mac Pro sale
- if a consumer tower matches the iMac price, again it can pull people away from the Mac Pro but it also puts people off buying them anyway as they'd be lower value than an iMac
They demonstrate what the market is willing to pay for but more importantly HP's marketshare shows the potential marketshare for Apple to gain.

HP is the leading desktop manufacturer in the world with shipments of 4.5m per quarter. Apple is somewhere below 5th with 1.5m. Apple can only hope to reach 4.5m but look at the average selling prices of each:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/18/hps_pc_sales_lead_industry_but_5_7_operating_margins_are_dwarfed_by_apple

"With an estimated 28 percent gross margin and average selling price of $1,323.40 per Mac, Apple is presumed to earn a profit of $370.55 for every Mac sold. HP, meanwhile, has an average selling price of $650 and a presumed profit margin of 8 percent, which nets the company about $52 on the sale of each PC."

Apple can't reach anywhere near that extra volume of buyers unless they drop prices down but that route means losing a display sale. The recent display gluing step is enough of an indicator that they want control over the whole bundle to make margins on RAM and storage.

Let's say that Apple came out with a Core i7-3770 desktop with GTX 680 at $1499, what do people expect their sales volume to be? It has to be between 1.5-4.5m per quarter. Does it go up 0.5m, 1m? It will definitely cut into some of the other sales and they make less money per sale.

I don't buy this idea that it will cut into sales.   The only reason to promote such a machine is actually to improve sales.   Further why does it have to be between 1.5 & 4.5 million a quarter?    There is really no limit on how many machines Apple can sell.   However it only needs to sell enough to make the machine profitable.   

post #185 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

After years of running Linux boxes, and their fairly crap GUI's; Apples fairly trouble free GUI is well worth a bit extra.   However it is pretty obvious that what I consider to be a bit extra and what Apple considers to be a bit extra is two different things.    It is good to see them aggressively driving down prices on retina screen machines though.

 

As to the Mini, frankly it is the only machine that I would consider at this point.   It isn't that I want to consider it either, just that I don't see a lot of value in Apples other machines.    A Low end Mac Pro is a better solution hardware wise over the Mini but lets face it the entry model is grossly over priced for what you get.


Haswell is really the interesting thing with respect to the Mini.    Such a chip could turn the Mini into a much more viable machine.   If they can go to desktop or in some manner lower cost chips they might even be able to moderate the costs of the Mini a bit.    You obviously prefer the iMac which is fine but I just don't see at as a good value for long term usage.   That is a user that attempts to hold onto a machine for 5+ years or more.

 

Apple's GUI is worth the extra.  But as you say, 'define' extra.  Buyer in a triple dip depression vs a company sitting on 150$ billion.

 

I agree the Haswell GT3 graphics chip will make the Mini more interesting.  Looking at it side by side vs the 650m (Which is in the 2nd tier iMac...) on Marv's link a while back...you finally get Integrated graphics worthy of the name...well, when it comes to Intel...  I'm sure we're aware that AMD's apu has been offering this sort of performance for some time and set to get even better?  Politics and all that.  But if the GT3 and i7 Mac Mini had been around, I'd have given it a long, hard look.

 

At £695 say, for a GT3 i7 2.7 and a studio monitor £899 makes it £1595.  The iMac still looks to have a better GPU in that scenario.  Any monitor can fail, I guess.

 

If anybody wants value from Apple?  Buy an iPad Mini or an iPad.  The best value Apple offers outside of the Macbook Air.

 

But the rest?  I'd suggest the iMac could do with a £200 price cut across the range.

 

Finally.  I never thought of myself as an 'obvious' iMac fan.  But a few things 'forced' my hand.  I was always worried about the display thing attached and having to throw away the entire screen.  Access to components etc.  But really?  All proved to be irrational fears.  I'm a tower buyer at heart.  But not after seeing prices rise from £999 to £2k...for an entry machine.  That's taking.  The p*ss.  And you get a crap gpu included that's two years out of date.  Who buys in to that sh*t?  I'm a qualified Apple fan.  As in...I don't eulogize eye gauging prices.  Give me a tower at a more reasonal £1295-1495 and I'd start talking again.  I don't care about Apple's margins.  Or their shareholders.  I care about my deal.  With my money.  Otherwise.  The 'pro' can rot.  And a reasonable £495-£595 tops price for the studio display.  Twice that is ridiculous.  And then you have to add a gpu worthy of the name.  

 

When it suited them they gave us dual processor Mac Pros.

 

At heart, I'd be a cube buyer.  I almost came around to buying one.  Almost.  Then they pulled it.  But they had to offer it at £1495 when it was a £999 machine.

 

The iMac has a vibrant screen.  Much better than the previous one.  I have my old 24 inch right next to my 27 incher iMac.  Both machines are night and day performance and screen wise.  8 gigs of ram.  Lightning boot times.  If the screen goes down...  It's Apple's tab to pick up.  I'll get Apple care next year to give me another 3 years of cover.  That will make four years of protection.  

 

I'm confident the iMac 24 incher which I've had for 4 years will last another couple at least.  *Shrugs.  My cousin will buy it for £450 and he's getting a darn good machine.  And I've worked it's thermals off in a Summer Attic for many years.

 

The iMac is an awesome machine that has dispelled many of the myths I've had about towers vs AIOs.  I've had both.  The dual processor edge isn't worth the premium vs the iMac's total performance and value equation.

 

But I will take issue with the price hike to £1099 plus DVD external at 60+.  That's £160 extra.  Add the £200 premium for SSD/Fusion and you're talking £360 extra to buy into the base iMac.  Eye gauging?  In my view, yes.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #186 of 201

iMac delivery problems aside...

 

...I looked at the Mac sales and they looked flat.  Given the world economy being gauged by derivative gamblers...that's pretty good.

 

However, Apple won't take a hit on margins to stimulate sales?  Or will they?  Well, the Macbooks have had prices trimmed and specs slightly boosted?

 

But they're not bothered about marketshare except when it suits them.

 

I think they could be more aggressive with prices but as Marv' sales, will they get the volume in a shrinking tower market?  Sure, I'd like my Mac Pro or Cube mini tower at £995 and I'd be over it aka like a rash.  But the Studio display... at £899 and a gpu at £295 and a Fusion drive £200 and an external DVD £60+ and the 'consumer' tower doesn't look much better than than the iMac?  

 

Though I do look longingly at the Mini next to a studio.  Very pretty machine in person.  Lovely to feel.

 

Most of the computers Apple sells are 'limited' AIOs.  Laptops.  4 million.  iMacs.  1 million?  iPads 14 million?  iPhone.  50 million?

 

Mac Pro?  59k?

 

Mini?  200K?

 

Randomly yours,

 

Lemon Bon Bon. 

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #187 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 
You are assuming Apple would loose sales.   My point is an XMac like machine would open up more markets.   You seem to dance around this point.

There's an assumption that a headless tower satisfies a broadly different market from an AIO. Once you take server usage out of the equation (which the Mini is great for), there's no new market to satisfy other than a market that doesn't want to pay for Apple's displays and BTO options.

For the consumer tower to be worthwhile, it has to be able to persuade buyers away from other platforms. There is still a significant amount of people buying headless tower PCs (about 20 million per quarter across all manufacturers) but the average selling price is half of what Apple's average is. I don't think they can persuade a high volume of buyers over without having extremely low prices on displays, towers and peripherals, which just means gaining marketshare at the expense of profit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 
Using your logic Apple should kill the Mini to force people to buy iMacs and Mac Pros.   It would be foolish to do so because it is a machine with a different niche than the iMac and Mac Pro. An XMac type machine would simply fill another niche.

The Mini is priced in the right range for people who want a machine to compete with an HP or Dell tower and it has a low power profile, which is great for server use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 
Further why does it have to be between 1.5 & 4.5 million a quarter? There is really no limit on how many machines Apple can sell.

When you take all of the market stats out of the way then there are no limits but there are also no limits to selling $500 pencils when you do that too. HP is the top selling desktop manufacturer so that puts an upper bound on the sales volume unless somehow people are suddenly going to be buying more computers and be willing to double their average spend.

The best strategy for them to persuade more people over is to just keep making the iMacs better value. On the PC side, there is the following:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227433

Largely the same spec as the iMac but no display for $1699. The iMac with that spec is about $2449. They could come close to the price of it taking out the display and it would be a nicer machine but not many people will be prepared to spend that money on a box and source their own display.

I think they'd get more sales just by bringing the 27" iMac in at a lower price point like the $1499 price with the entry spec. The 21.5" needs to go the way of the 17" iMac.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon 
I'll get Apple care next year to give me another 3 years of cover. That will make four years of protection.

You only get 3 years total, they just let you buy it up to a year after you buy the machine. Ideally they'd give 3 year limited warranties with the iMac displays, even if it didn't cover the other parts inside.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon 
At heart, I'd be a cube buyer. I almost came around to buying one.

I found this little 'cube' machine that looks quite neat:

http://www.amazon.com/HeidePC®-smallest-i7-3770K-multiplier-super-quiet/dp/B008I123RG/

Crazy pricing on it but decent form factor. They opted for full-length slot support.
post #188 of 201

Post By Marv'

I found this little 'cube' machine that looks quite neat:

http://www.amazon.com/HeidePC®-smallest-i7-3770K-multiplier-super-quiet/dp/B008I123RG/

Crazy pricing on it but decent form factor. They opted for full-length slot support.

 

That's a little beauty.  I'd like to see Apple do something like that for the next Mac Pro.  *drools.  Pricey though?  680 in a very small mini tower form.  That's the kind of beast Apple could/should offer for £1495.  i7 and 680 but no display.  Priced to go.  Tower fans dance naked in the street.

 

"I think they'd get more sales just by bringing the 27" iMac in at a lower price point like the $1499 price with the entry spec. The 21.5" needs to go the way of the 17" iMac."


 
Well.  I think the whole iMac range needs a price cut of £200.  Really inflated prices since 2008.  Do re remember how close teh 24 incher came to a £1000 price?
 
How come we now have a 21 inch iMac at £1250?  When we had a 24 incher at that price or lower a few years ago? 
 
What a con.
 
21 incher should be a budget iMac for £795 to go.  24 incher at £995 to go.  27 incher at £1250 to go.  Top end machine should include an i7 and 680 MX for £1450.
 
Mind you, Bon Bon...don't try being reasonable...
 
Over simplified by Apple of late and the prices get bumped up and the consumer bends over.
 
Lemon Bon Bon.

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #189 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. 
That's a little beauty.  I'd like to see Apple do something like that for the next Mac Pro.

I just noticed it weighs more than the Mac Pro, even though it should be a good bit smaller. They must not be cutting the metal as thin as Apple.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. 
Well.  I think the whole iMac range needs a price cut of £200.  Really inflated prices since 2008.  Do re remember how close teh 24 incher came to a £1000 price?

21 incher should be a budget iMac for £795 to go.  24 incher at £995 to go.  27 incher at £1250 to go.  Top end machine should include an i7 and 680 MX for £1450.

The cheapest 24" was $1499 (£1249) and the 27" can come in at that price with the entry spec. A 24" would be nice as the entry model but I don't think they should go much lower as it drives people to a lower price point.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. 
How come we now have a 21 inch iMac at £1250?  When we had a 24 incher at that price or lower a few years ago?

The prices all went up with the metal casings, which require machine milling. They might be trying to figure out how to cut prices with friction stir welding, even though that wasn't evident with the last iMac update.

You can imagine the 27" iMac being carved out of a block of aluminium previously but with welding, they can have a flat plate for the back, drop a heavy weight into it, bending it into a curve (or have them melted beforehand into curved sheets), carve out the fixings and just weld the chin plate on the front.

With the Mini, they'd have the flat top plate, just a metal strip for the side and a base plate with the hole at the base. They just bend the strip round and weld them together.

A smaller Mac Pro would allow them to use thinner sheets of metal and that reduces the shipping weight, whch can cut a lot of costs down.
post #190 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Ivy Bridge EP doesn't come out until the 2nd half of the year so it'll be WWDC in June at the earliest. Apple has had early CPU releases on occasions in the past but WWDC is a good time to announce it.
If you sold a $6000 8-core workstation for a $2700 dual-core i7 laptop, which was about 1/4 the speed, that's to be expected. The 2012 quad-core MBPs are about 70% of the top-end 2009 8-core MP and have powerful GPUs. The Haswell ones will be coming soon too. As I said above, you have to give it 3-4 years before you can expect to drop from an expensive workstation to a machine that can be bought for 1/3 the price. If you could do it in a year, the prices would be very different.

Of course you are correct. I had hoped / convinced myself a 2010 MBP i7 fully loaded would at least be a third or even half as fast as a 2008 8 Core MacPro. I really wanted portability as I was working between summer and winter homes 2,000 miles apart. I was deluding myself I now admit. 1frown.gif

I'd say the i7 is a tenth as fast for my use, HD editing and Aperture work, or seems like it and worse, the multi tasking is non existent in comparison. I realized the mistake within hours and banged my head against several walls. That said it was a lot easier to pack for the long drive from FL to the mountains of NH. The good news is I got almost everything I paid for the MacPro on E-Bay so it owed me nothing. So for the last couple of years I have been waiting for the new design. The last thing I wanted to do was buy the old model only to see its value wiped away with a new model (although buying one after the price is slashed for clearance might be an option). I have now semi retired so the need has diminished but not the desire, especially if the new MacPro is smaller and lighter. That said your insight into speed gains in the MBP range makes a newer one tempting but the lack of DIY upgradability concerns me with the Retina models (and working with external large screens makes the laptop's screen irrelevant to me anyway) and the good old MBP you can upgrade are probably not long for this world I suspect. Oh boy isn't this fun 1smile.gif
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #191 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips 
the lack of DIY upgradability concerns me with the Retina models (and working with external large screens makes the laptop's screen irrelevant to me anyway) and the good old MBP you can upgrade are probably not long for this world I suspect. Oh boy isn't this fun 1smile.gif

The SSD can be upgraded but not the RAM. OWC has the neatest little external USB 3 drive for the blade SSD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rH3HShKA-c
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/OWC_Envoy_Pro

A bit pricey for the enclosure by itself at $80 but that would make a cool little backup drive. It would be nice to be able to upgrade the RAM but 16GB will probably last until DDR4 arrives and you'd just upgrade the machine. DDR4 RAM will likely bring 16GB mobile DIMMs i.e 8 gigabit memory chips so the laptop limit should become 32GB and the iMac 64GB. This should arrive next year or the year after. It would raise the Mac Pro limit to 256GB but they might still just support 96GB. If they don't plan to exceed 96GB, they would be able to use fewer RAM slots.

I was wondering what the Radeon 7000 drivers were actually for now, reading the thread title but it looks like AMD is rebadging the 7000-series GPUs:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6570/amds-annual-gpu-rebadge-radeon-hd-8000-series-for-oems

and the 8000 series won't be out in retail until Q4 this year:

http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/radeon_hd_8000_series_wont_arrive_soon.html

NVidia is similarly rebadging their GPUs:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6579/nvidias-annual-gpu-rebadge-begins-geforce-gt-730m-and-geforce-710m-partial-specs-published

Some Adobe software won't run nearly as well if they go with AMD in the Mac Pro but it'll pretty much be last year's GPUs whatever they do.
post #192 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

especially if the new MacPro is smaller and lighter

Are you hoping to be able to take the new MP back to the UK for the summer? Because that'll be quite the cargo!
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 #193 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Are you hoping to be able to take the new MP back to the UK for the summer? Because that'll be quite the cargo!

haha that would be true, nooo not UK ... between Florida and New Hampshire. I just throw everything in my Jeep and drive, no planes no ships. I took a MacPro and two 30" ACD's many times but it is a hell of a lot of space taken up. It always used to nag at the back of my mind that in the event of a crash that MacPro might make it through most of the Jeep and me included! 1frown.gif
Edited by digitalclips - 2/25/13 at 7:27am
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #194 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The SSD can be upgraded but not the RAM. OWC has the neatest little external USB 3 drive for the blade SSD:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rH3HShKA-c
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/OWC_Envoy_Pro

A bit pricey for the enclosure by itself at $80 but that would make a cool little backup drive. It would be nice to be able to upgrade the RAM but 16GB will probably last until DDR4 arrives and you'd just upgrade the machine. DDR4 RAM will likely bring 16GB mobile DIMMs i.e 8 gigabit memory chips so the laptop limit should become 32GB and the iMac 64GB. This should arrive next year or the year after. It would raise the Mac Pro limit to 256GB but they might still just support 96GB. If they don't plan to exceed 96GB, they would be able to use fewer RAM slots.

I was wondering what the Radeon 7000 drivers were actually for now, reading the thread title but it looks like AMD is rebadging the 7000-series GPUs:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6570/amds-annual-gpu-rebadge-radeon-hd-8000-series-for-oems

and the 8000 series won't be out in retail until Q4 this year:

http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/radeon_hd_8000_series_wont_arrive_soon.html

NVidia is similarly rebadging their GPUs:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6579/nvidias-annual-gpu-rebadge-begins-geforce-gt-730m-and-geforce-710m-partial-specs-published

Some Adobe software won't run nearly as well if they go with AMD in the Mac Pro but it'll pretty much be last year's GPUs whatever they do.

Great info, thanks. I am inclined to wait a few more months after waiting this long and see if WWDC does indeed reveal a new power beast.

I know the newest MBPs are almost as 'fast' as an 8+ Core Xeon was but I wonder about the multi tasking. I was able to be uploading to FTP, downloading from another, be compressing, rendering, mailing, surfing and even video capturing ... all at once without a blink on my MacPro. My MBP i7 simply grinds to a stand still if I over task it and that just takes asking it to do two things ... even Time Machine kicking in (wirelessly) can cause things to break such as an FTP transfer. I am not very good at waiting ... 1wink.gif So I want to get back to a machine that works how I do ... able to to do ten things at once! 1smoking.gif

EDIT: It occurs to me that I was not using Lion or Mountain Lion back then. Can someone confirm MacPros can still chew through multitasking with such grace on later OS X versions, I was last using SL on a MacPro I seem to recall.
Edited by digitalclips - 2/25/13 at 7:42am
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post #195 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

haha that would be true, I think I said Mountains of New Hampshire not Hampshire (not too many mountains there lol). If I did my bad.

LOL. You only wrote NH (IIRC) and I remember you being British, or coming from the UK, so I presumed. Shouldn't do that - my bad.
Quote:
I just throw everything in my Jeep and drive, no planes no ships. I took a MacPro and two 30" ACD's many times but it is a hell of a lot of space taken up. It always used to nag at the back of my mind that in the event of a crash that MacPro might make it through most of the Jeep and me included! 1frown.gif

I used to take my MP to the skiing resort for the Christmas holiday. It once fell from the shelve in the back of a van we were driving but the 4 feet drop didn't break it. And that model was the liquid cooling one - LOL.
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post #196 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

LOL. You only wrote NH (IIRC) and I remember you being British, or coming from the UK, so I presumed. Shouldn't do that - my bad.
I used to take my MP to the skiing resort for the Christmas holiday. It once fell from the shelve in the back of a van we were driving but the 4 feet drop didn't break it. And that model was the liquid cooling one - LOL.

Yes, I spotted the lack of reference to Mountains of NH in the OP and edited my reply but too late! I had written that somewhere else recently and my brain misfired!

You could have used the MP as a sledge! LOL.

I wasn't worried about damage to the MacPro ... I was thinking how far that mass would travel if the Jeep came to a sudden stop and I was in the path. It was always behind me as my wife had the same thoughts!! LOL
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post #197 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Of course you are correct. I had hoped / convinced myself a 2010 MBP i7 fully loaded would at least be a third or even half as fast as a 2008 8 Core MacPro. I really wanted portability as I was working between summer and winter homes 2,000 miles apart. I was deluding myself I now admit. 1frown.gif

I'd say the i7 is a tenth as fast for my use, HD editing and Aperture work, or seems like it and worse, the multi tasking is non existent in comparison. I realized the mistake within hours and banged my head against several walls.

You're aware you could've returned it right???

Mountain Lion is great. No performance issues here. The only thing I tend to notice is the disk read speed after a reboot (no SSD here) 1frown.gif. OS X memory management is quite good though so this becomes a non issue after everything's loaded. I've been waiting for 1 TB SSDs that don't require me to sell a kidney.

I don't have one, but since the MBPs went quad-core I imagine performance improved dramatically. A lot of people say that multiple cores are only of benefit to professional multi-threaded (parallelised) applications and power users but this isn't true. Just about everyone can benefit from having more cores and total processing power, even if they only run single-process applications.

I've noticed how the general public use computers and found that they don't bother to quit applications and can easily have a dozen or more running but still expect to be able to switch between them instantly, seemingly unaware or the memory requirements of multitasking like this. So more cores and memory benefits most people, not just power users.

Of course, even a quad-core MBP can't compete with an 8-core desktop. It's worth checking Geekbench results to get an idea of the performance of new (and existing) Apple hardware before making purchasing decisions.
Edited by s.metcalf - 2/28/13 at 8:39am
post #198 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post
 

What's funny here is that you could make the exact same post back in late 1998, early 1999 and it would be just as relevant.

Where is Fran441?

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post #199 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRC View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran441 View Post

 
What's funny here is that you could make the exact same post back in late 1998, early 1999 and it would be just as relevant.
Where is Fran441?

He hasn't visited since January last year and before that post, it was another year or so.
post #200 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRC View Post

Where is Fran441?

Wow, you woke up a year old thread to ask that question!
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