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Apple tells reseller new Mac Pro coming in spring 2013 - Page 9

post #321 of 516
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Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

It's also one of the most reliable information storage technologies that exist (not as reliable as microfilms, but quite good). As far as I know, nobody thinks of killing that old invention from the 19th century "electricity", or the bicycle, or the diesel engine, or even nuclear reactors.

Well I don't mean that tech ought to be killed because there is something else that fits the bill but it would be great if the HDD was replaced by a non mechanically moving part storage device, like SSD.

You are certainly right that there is better and more reliable storage solutions out there, like tape. But the speed of SSD outperforms them all, and the cost per GB is lowest with a HDD.
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post #322 of 516
Well, re the original post in this thread, it's now spring and no announcement on a new MacPro yet. If there is an announcement it'll probably be for a June 20 introduction with availability stating September 20.
post #323 of 516
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post
…June 20 introduction with availability stating September 20.

 

That's like kicking someone in the crotch in the middle of a duel and when he looks up at you, beaten and broken, you slap him in the face.

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post #324 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

That's like kicking someone in the crotch in the middle of a duel and when he looks up at you, beaten and broken, you slap him in the face.

 

But that's the Apple way: announce a product with actual availability several months in the future.

post #325 of 516
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post
But that's the Apple way: announce a product with actual availability several months in the future.

 

Uh, no! Not if they can help it!

 

"Shipping today" has always been their goal.

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post #326 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post

Well, re the original post in this thread, it's now spring and no announcement on a new MacPro yet. If there is an announcement it'll probably be for a June 20 introduction with availability stating September 20.

It's usually not that far. The imac was an enigma, but it was likely due to slips. They probably intended to announce in September and ship soon after. The 2010 Mac Pro shipped a month after announcement. I don't see them doing this. I could see them announcing a little early as by July it will have been a year.

post #327 of 516

So we'll see a new Mac Pro at WWDC this June 10-14 according to this posting. Can't wait! There were some leaks about it running AMD 7XXX Graphics on the newest OS X 10.8.3 Beta and as we all know that's a PCI Express 3.0 GPU.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/11/27/os-x-1083-beta-supports-amd-radeon-7000-drivers-hinting-at-apples-new-mac-pro


Edited by darkdefender - 5/6/13 at 10:54am

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post #328 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkdefender View Post

So we'll see a new Mac Pro at WWDC this June 10-14 according to this posting. Can't wait! There were some leaks about it running AMD 7XXX Graphics on the newest OS X 10.8.3 Beta and as we all know that's a PCI Express 3.0 GPU.

They probably won't use the 7000 series. The 8000 series is a rebadge so it'll use the same drivers.

They might not even use AMD GPUs at all. The Radeon 8970M doesn't stack up well against NVidia:

http://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-hd-8970m-neptune-sea-islands-gpu-performance-unveiled-msi-gx70-notebook/#ixzz2P2ZoqRi7

This year's 8970M is 7.5% faster than the 680M. The 680MX Apple already uses in the iMac is 15-20% faster than the 680M and this year's Kepler-refresh will be even faster than that.

If the desktop 8970 performs better than say a desktop GTX 780, then possibly but NVidia cards have the advantage of running CUDA software.

The GTX 780 might arrive in a couple of weeks:

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/31265-geforce-gtx-780-coming-on-may-23rd

PCIe 2 vs 3 doesn't matter and the chipset suitable for the Ivy Bridge Xeon doesn't have PCIe 3 support.
post #329 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

PCIe 2 vs 3 doesn't matter and the chipset suitable for the Ivy Bridge Xeon doesn't have PCIe 3 support.

 

That's the most stupid thing you have ever written! And you have written lots of them. All Xeon E3/E5 chips support PCie 3 including Sandy Bridge E5 parts that have been around for more than a year. Then PCie lanes have been on the cpus for a bunch of years now, with just a few legacy lanes on the chipset (IOH). Get an education before pretending knowing it all about processors, computers and Apple.

 

Of course PCIe 3 matters, even for prosumer things like Thunderbolt: 4 lanes = twice the bandwidth. How do you think Intel will double Thunderbolt performance next year! It will also matter for NVM Express devices as you will be able to offer more slots (drives) with PCIe 3 than with PCIe 2. Everything is not just about gpus (even if many modern ones already support PCIe 3).

post #330 of 516
So you raised a sleeping thead for a posting several months old. Nice!

A real leak or current information would be nice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkdefender View Post

So we'll see a new Mac Pro at WWDC this June 10-14 according to this posting. Can't wait! There were some leaks about it running AMD 7XXX Graphics on the newest OS X 10.8.3 Beta and as we all know that's a PCI Express 3.0 GPU.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/11/27/os-x-1083-beta-supports-amd-radeon-7000-drivers-hinting-at-apples-new-mac-pro

Edited by wizard69 - 5/6/13 at 5:48pm
post #331 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They probably won't use the 7000 series. The 8000 series is a rebadge so it'll use the same drivers.
By the time the Mac Pro actually ships it could have the next generation AMD GPU.
Quote:
They might not even use AMD GPUs at all. The Radeon 8970M doesn't stack up well against NVidia:
This isn't a discussion about mobile. Besides that your bench is useless and likely underwritten by NVidia. Look at some of the interesting numbers here: http://clbenchmark.com/, in simple terms NVidia sucks.
Quote:
http://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-hd-8970m-neptune-sea-islands-gpu-performance-unveiled-msi-gx70-notebook/#ixzz2P2ZoqRi7

This year's 8970M is 7.5% faster than the 680M. The 680MX Apple already uses in the iMac is 15-20% faster than the 680M and this year's Kepler-refresh will be even faster than that.

If the desktop 8970 performs better than say a desktop GTX 780, then possibly but NVidia cards have the advantage of running CUDA software.
CUDA is dying on the vine like any vendor specific technology should.
Quote:
The GTX 780 might arrive in a couple of weeks:

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/31265-geforce-gtx-780-coming-on-may-23rd

PCIe 2 vs 3 doesn't matter and the chipset suitable for the Ivy Bridge Xeon doesn't have PCIe 3 support.
PCI Express 3 is a huge improvement over 2. It means fewer lanes are needed to feed the demanding ports leaving more lanes free for TB and other technologies. Beyond that Xeon isn't locked into the Mac Pro and in fact I see it as a mistake. In fact I'd be rather surprised to find the next gen Mac Pro using conventional Xeon chips.
post #332 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


By the time the Mac Pro actually ships it could have the next generation AMD GPU.
This isn't a discussion about mobile. Besides that your bench is useless and likely underwritten by NVidia. Look at some of the interesting numbers here: http://clbenchmark.com/, in simple terms NVidia sucks.
 

Actually I've found their drivers to be far more stable on Windows. On OSX AMD isn't bad, but I tend to look more at individual applications than benchmarks.

 

 

Quote:
PCI Express 3 is a huge improvement over 2. It means fewer lanes are needed to feed the demanding ports leaving more lanes free for TB and other technologies. Beyond that Xeon isn't locked into the Mac Pro and in fact I see it as a mistake. In fact I'd be rather surprised to find the next gen Mac Pro using conventional Xeon chips.

What's specifically objectionable about them? They do offer significantly more lanes than the mainstream lines. Xeon E/EP offers 40 lanes per cpu. The others are 16, with 20 on the E3s. The E3s are basically the same as what the imacs use minus integrated graphics. That seems like the wrong thing to lose.

 

 

Quote:
CUDA is dying on the vine like any vendor specific technology should.

How so? It supports things that aren't always possible or feasible in OpenCL. Developers used it due to stability.

post #333 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

So you raised a sleeping thead for a posting several months old. Nice!

A real leak or current information would be nice.

Sometimes I feel just a little information is enough to find out about a device. And software leaks are usually spot-on, that's how people were able to tell the iPhone 5 had a 1136x640 before it launched, it was leaked in the iOS Developer Suit. That's also how we found out the Macbooks and iPads were going to have retina displays (the 2x images were found in the Beta's of OS X and iOS)

 

There's also always an iTunes update for new devices because they need to add the drivers for them to sync with the devices as well. They don't add the drivers listed on the change logs or anything but you can tell because the iTunes size in MB increases by a bit. It;s not even bundled with Quicktime anymore because of that.

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post #334 of 516

No news if the new Mac Pro is finally coming out? Can't wait.

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post #335 of 516

What is the big deal really? It is a machine that all it is.
 

post #336 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

What is the big deal really? It is a machine that all it is.

No biggie, just an upgrade. Like every year. Some buy a new model every year, some need a MP now, and would be served if the new one was on sale now.
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post #337 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Actually I've found their drivers to be far more stable on Windows. On OSX AMD isn't bad, but I tend to look more at individual applications than benchmarks.
It does vary a bit. However AMD has taken ATI a long ways and in my opinion is doing a far better job with drivers.
Quote:

What's specifically objectionable about them? They do offer significantly more lanes than the mainstream lines. Xeon E/EP offers 40 lanes per cpu. The others are 16, with 20 on the E3s. The E3s are basically the same as what the imacs use minus integrated graphics. That seems like the wrong thing to lose.
This is an interesting question which I don't have time to go into in depth. But a lot of it goes into user expectations and how the Mac Pro is marketed. To put it frankly Apples marketing of that machine as a high end workstation and then not aggressively keeping it up to date has really damaged the machines image in the community. One can't dismiss Intels role here with the slow Xeon roll outs either.

In any event dropping Xeon would allow Apple to deliver the type of machine that the majority of potential desktop customers want in a machine. That is really it in a nut shell. The drop doesn't have to be complete but then we get into discussions about XMAC and other solutions. The big problem is that there simply isn't much of a market for a desktop computer that starts at $2500 and offers little advantage at that starting point. So then the majority of sales go to even higher end models to the dwindling base of customers that can justify the price. In a nut shell Apple needs a rational price point for entry into the desktop market. That really starts somewhere around $1200 not $2500.
Quote:

How so? It supports things that aren't always possible or feasible in OpenCL. Developers used it due to stability.
It is also vendor specific, which is the biggest problem with CUDA. Developers going with OpenCL can leverage a wide array of hardware and systems software. Lets put it this way, if I was a CEO piloting a new business I would stay far away from CUDA or other vendor specific solutions.
post #338 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkdefender View Post

Sometimes I feel just a little information is enough to find out about a device. And software leaks are usually spot-on,
It is interesting how little has actually leaked about the new Mac Pro. However I don't see posting here as generating any leaks on its own.
Quote:
that's how people were able to tell the iPhone 5 had a 1136x640 before it launched, it was leaked in the iOS Developer Suit. That's also how we found out the Macbooks and iPads were going to have retina displays (the 2x images were found in the Beta's of OS X and iOS)
If the Pro doesn't come at WWDC maybe the leaks will. I'm still hoping for a major game changer of a machine.
Quote:
There's also always an iTunes update for new devices because they need to add the drivers for them to sync with the devices as well.
Is it me or is iTunes in need of a major overhaul?
Quote:
They don't add the drivers listed on the change logs or anything but you can tell because the iTunes size in MB increases by a bit. It;s not even bundled with Quicktime anymore because of that.

It may very well be that the new Mac Pro is so radical that it will need an OS release of its own.
post #339 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

What is the big deal really? It is a machine that all it is.

 

It might be telling about where Apple is going with the entire Mac line up. Right now I don't need a Mac Pro in its current form, it is way to expensive for far too little. However that doesn't mean my interest in the platform doesn't exist, in fact I find the machine very interesting based on pass development. With respect to the future I seethe machine as an indicator of what Apple sees as viable technologies in the near future. For example does Apple stay with current RAM technologies or gamble a bit on the emerging high speed standards? For secondary storage does Apple via Anobit, break into the high performance PCI Express based storage market or stay with SATA for a bit longer. Some of these technologies could move into Apples laptops real fast so it is interesting to see where Apple goes.
post #340 of 516
Quote:
Is it me or is iTunes in need of a major overhaul?
It may very well be that the new Mac Pro is so radical that it will need an OS release of its own.

 

I really doubt iTunes needs an even newer overhaul... the last update took them an extra month to release even though they announced it at last years WWDC. And many people complained about it's new design even though you can still add the sidebar on the left... the're isn't enough smart people in this world. It was actually faster than iTunes 10 so I can only complain about it not being able to play .AVI or .MKV video files but that's because of legal software bumps they could run into if they did that. I'm actually waiting for the new video format H.265 to come out already And I don't really think you're being serious about anything, it's highly unlikely that they'll create a new OS for a Mac... hahahah. Maybe new drivers for a touchscreen keyboard with an extendable usb cord/port that allows it to be charged while in use but that's probably not going to happen. This next WWDC is focused on iOS and OS X and probably a new product. Who knows it could finally be an upgrade to the iPad Mini's processor or a new iPhone (not likely to be shown like last year til their ready to launch it).

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post #341 of 516
Originally Posted by dark defender View Post
…not being able to play .AVI or .MKV video files…

 

That and AVI and MKV are terrible. It's much better being able to rely on just M4V and not have to worry about compatibility and what files are what type and difference in performance during playback…


…it's highly unlikely that they'll create a new OS for a Mac…


Oh? 30 years of keyboard and mouse isn't getting a little long in the tooth?


…keyboard with an extendable usb cord/port that allows it to be charged while in use…

 

Dear sweet heavens, I want a USB to MagSafe2 cable and a new lineup of Bluetooth devices.

 

Imagine an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad based on Li-ion batteries instead of AAs… Plug them in to charge or use, and unplug them when you want distance. 

 

A touchscreen keyboard, however, wouldn't happen, you're right.

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post #342 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


 

A touchscreen keyboard, however, wouldn't happen, you're right.

I'm not how much range of motion is necessary to maintain long term comfort typing. Fully touch based keys might be extremely uncomfortable for extended use. I don't like mice at all. The ergonomics are terrible.

post #343 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkdefender View Post

I really doubt iTunes needs an even newer overhaul... the last update took them an extra month to release even though they announced it at last years WWDC. And many people complained about it's new design even though you can still add the sidebar on the left... the're isn't enough smart people in this world.
That supposed iTunes update was a joke and did almost nothing to improve the app.
Quote:
It was actually faster than iTunes 10 so I can only complain about it not being able to play .AVI or .MKV video files but that's because of legal software bumps they could run into if they did that.I'm actually waiting for the new video format H.265 to come out alreadyAnd I don't really think you're being serious about anything, it's highly unlikely that they'll create a new OS for a Mac... hahahah.
Did you even read what I posted? I said the new Mac Pro may need its own OS release. Not an entirely new operating system.
Quote:
Maybe new drivers for a touchscreen keyboard with an extendable usb cord/port that allows it to be charged while in use but that's probably not going to happen. This next WWDC is focused on iOS and OS X and probably a new product.
The focus of WWDC has always been developers. Product announcements allow for tie in to new software features and provide positive energy for the entire show. Make no mistake though WWDC is for developers
Quote:
Who knows it could finally be an upgrade to the iPad Mini's processor or a new iPhone (not likely to be shown like last year til their ready to launch it).
Actually if there is significant technology in the new iPhone that developers need to know about it could launch soon after or with WWDC. At times WWDC lets the cat out of the bag so to speak.
post #344 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


It does vary a bit. However AMD has taken ATI a long ways and in my opinion is doing a far better job with drivers.
This is an interesting question which I don't have time to go into in depth. But a lot of it goes into user expectations and how the Mac Pro is marketed. To put it frankly Apples marketing of that machine as a high end workstation and then not aggressively keeping it up to date has really damaged the machines image in the community. One can't dismiss Intels role here with the slow Xeon roll outs either.

That actually makes sense. They have marketed it as a high end workstation while simultaneously displaying disinterest at times. They didn't even update gpus with the 2012 delay tactic. OpenGL performance hasn't been that great in recent versions of OSX. They have shown only moderate interest in OpenCL. It's not always supported on the developer software side either, but the lack of interest shown is pretty obvious. I get that other things have outpaced that market, although I disagree with certain individuals that the market for workstations would somehow implode by Apple leaving it. It could drop several vendors and still be a viable market for some even if it's not interesting to Apple. I think a lot of people will be disappointed with whatever is released later, as expectations are often built up due to the lack of an up to date product. The new thing must now be 10-100x as great as the old one to make up for the period in which it languished.  Intel has been slow, but they were shipping in volume last June. Given the staggered nature of their updates, Apple could have played catch up and pushed something out late in the year or early this year with Ivy a year from there. If Ivy is shipping late Q3 to supercomputer vendors with everyone else another 3 months out like what happened with Sandy Bridge E, it could be either late this year or early next year before oem workstations based on Ivy are shipping in volume. Beyond that the E5-16xx models look like a rather conservative update. They are probably pushing a greater wedge between them and the E5-26xx dual models.

 

 

 

Quote:

In any event dropping Xeon would allow Apple to deliver the type of machine that the majority of potential desktop customers want in a machine. That is really it in a nut shell. The drop doesn't have to be complete but then we get into discussions about XMAC and other solutions. The big problem is that there simply isn't much of a market for a desktop computer that starts at $2500 and offers little advantage at that starting point. So then the majority of sales go to even higher end models to the dwindling base of customers that can justify the price. In a nut shell Apple needs a rational price point for entry into the desktop market. That really starts somewhere around $1200 not $2500.
It is also vendor specific, which is the biggest problem with CUDA. Developers going with OpenCL can leverage a wide array of hardware and systems software. Lets put it this way, if I was a CEO piloting a new business I would stay far away from CUDA or other vendor specific solutions.

 

 

 

Obviously you have to look a couple years out. I can't find the page I wanted at the moment. Here is a general comparison one.  (Edit: note lack of noise reduction via OpenCL, not sure if it's a performance issue or due to different APIs) The Davinci Resolve example is just because of how hardware dependent that software could be in the past. It has OpenCL support due to how Mac heavy the non-Linux base tends to be, but some things still run only in CUDA. I suspect CUDA will remain viable as long as as GPGPU remains a bleeding edge feature in these programs, but even NVidia has been putting more research into OpenCL to ensure they aren't left behind there. If I was buying a new gpu today, I would still prefer NVidia regardless of OS for most applications. Pricing has been weird for the past several years. The early mac pros attempted to add value by using overbuilt base hardware. There was no single option. The base mac pro was a dual socket workstation starting as a quad then later 8 core. Now it starts with a quad hyperthreaded to 8 logical cores. They artificially limited performance growth and kept the starting price bracket. I also would not say it's a fraction of the costs. If the workstation was cheap, those users wouldn't go for the base model.

post #345 of 516

You are right just an upgrade.
 

post #346 of 516
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

[...] Intel has been slow, but they were shipping in volume last June. Given the staggered nature of their updates, Apple could have played catch up and pushed something out late in the year or early this year with Ivy a year from there. If Ivy is shipping late Q3 to supercomputer vendors with everyone else another 3 months out like what happened with Sandy Bridge E, it could be either late this year or early next year before oem workstations based on Ivy are shipping in volume. 

 

[...] The early mac pros attempted to add value by using overbuilt base hardware. There was no single option. The base mac pro was a dual socket workstation starting as a quad then later 8 core. Now it starts with a quad hyperthreaded to 8 logical cores. They artificially limited performance growth and kept the starting price bracket. I also would not say it's a fraction of the costs. If the workstation was cheap, those users wouldn't go for the base model.

 

Intel's production delays explain Apple's failure to put Sandy Bridge into the existing Mac Pro early last year. It also seems clear that a decision was made at that point to skip Sandy Bridge entirely and to not "play catch up" -- a decision that must have been made before Cook sent his post-WWDC 2012 email addressing "our Pro customers" indicating a 2013 Mac Pro redesign was in the works. It's hard to be sure about the basis for that decision, but it isn't hard to imagine that the production window for a Sandy Bridge Mac Pro was too small to be profitable before the introduction of the new Mac Pro planned for this year.

 

This decision can certainly be read as a "disinterest" in remaining competitive in the market for high-end workstations, but it could also mean the opposite. That is, it could mean that Apple is going to stop offering a Mac Pro that competes with high-end iMacs in the < $2999 range. Hmm's point about how the original Mac Pro has been increasingly limited in order to stay at the same entry price point (at $2499) is important. A lot of people seem to think the new Mac Pro needs to be be even lower-priced to survive. But I think Apple's actions indicate just the opposite is going to happen.

 

As others continually feel the need to point out in these Mac Pro threads, many low-end Mac Pro customers can easily handle their professional work with a high-end iMac or a high-end MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt display. Indeed, Apple's allowing the Mac Pro to languish since 2010 has had the effect, whether intentional or not, of forcing a lot of these people to see they don't really need a Mac Pro.

 

Apple is well positioned now to offer a true, dual-socket Mac Pro that starts a step above the fully-loaded iMac range -- somewhere around $3299. Maybe as high as the current dual-socket entry point, $3799. I don't really see much reason for Apple to continue to have the Mac Pro compete with the iMac in the < $2999 range. Not if they really believe in Thunderbolt. Not to mention the MacBook Pro + Thunderbolt display combinations, which also fit mostly into that range.

 

As DED pointed out in his most recent editorial, the original 1984 Mac ($2495), adjusted for inflation, cost about $5600. The 1984 Mac 512K ($3195), arguably the first "Mac Pro," with a second drive ($495), cost about $8200 in today's dollars. On the low end, a 1984 Apple IIc sold for $1295 plus $199 for a monitor, or about $3300 today.

 

It's remarkable that the same basic price structure -- $1500 on the low end, $2500 for the high-end consumer, and $3500 as the starting point for professional customers -- is still in place today, more or less, after three decades of inflation.


Edited by TenThousandThings - 5/9/13 at 10:11am
post #347 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

That and AVI and MKV are terrible. It's much better being able to rely on just M4V and not have to worry about compatibility and what files are what type and difference in performance during playback…


Oh? 30 years of keyboard and mouse isn't getting a little long in the tooth?

 

Dear sweet heavens, I want a USB to MagSafe2 cable and a new lineup of Bluetooth devices.

 

Imagine an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad based on Li-ion batteries instead of AAs… Plug them in to charge or use, and unplug them when you want distance. 

 

A touchscreen keyboard, however, wouldn't happen, you're right.

MKV and MV4 are just just containers of H.264, it's about the codecs you use to decode the video and sounds. I've personally noticed that MV4 is preferred because it's been in the industry longer but MKV is designed to be taken full advantage of in hardware so It's preference really. I've never been a fan of MV4 because it uses more resources than AVI or MKV and it makes the fans on my computer go crazy.

 

Well at this point I'll take whatever I can get... a magic mouse with a lithium battery instead of having to buy AA batteries all the time sounds awesome. It's a break through for the most part, not revolutionary, but evolutionary.

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post #348 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post

 

Intel's production delays explain Apple's failure to put Sandy Bridge into the existing Mac Pro early last year. It also seems clear that a decision was made at that point to skip Sandy Bridge entirely and to not "play catch up" -- a decision that must have been made before Cook sent his post-WWDC 2012 email addressing "our Pro customers" indicating a 2013 Mac Pro redesign was in the works. It's hard to be sure about the basis for that decision, but it isn't hard to imagine that the production window for a Sandy Bridge Mac Pro was too small to be profitable before the introduction of the new Mac Pro planned for this year.

 

This decision can certainly be read as a "disinterest" in remaining competitive in the market for high-end workstations, but it could also mean the opposite. That is, it could mean that Apple is going to stop offering a Mac Pro that competes with high-end iMacs in the < $2999 range. Hmm's point about how the original Mac Pro has been increasingly limited in order to stay at the same entry price point (at $2499) is important. A lot of people seem to think the new Mac Pro needs to be be even lower-priced to survive. But I think Apple's actions indicate just the opposite is going to happen.

 

I disagree with your assertion. It was already the same hardware for a very long time due to lack of updates from intel. Letting it go for 3-4 years with the same stuff is not going to help, as some people will take the opportunity migrate to other solutions. I suspect they estimated the numbers and determined it was acceptable. What do you mean increasingly limited to stay at the same price point? I suggested they increased their margins on the lower one to encourage people toward other hardware. The daugherboard design helps with the savings, as they were able to get away from the dual board with one socket populated design. That one required a more expensive board and cpu choice overall.

 

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As others continually feel the need to point out in these Mac Pro threads, many low-end Mac Pro customers can easily handle their professional work with a high-end iMac or a high-end MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt display. Indeed, Apple's allowing the Mac Pro to languish since 2010 has had the effect, whether intentional or not, of forcing a lot of these people to see they don't really need a Mac Pro.

 

Apple is well positioned now to offer a true, dual-socket Mac Pro that starts a step above the fully-loaded iMac range -- somewhere around $3299. Maybe as high as the current dual-socket entry point, $3799. I don't really see much reason for Apple to continue to have the Mac Pro compete with the iMac in the < $2999 range. Not if they really believe in Thunderbolt. Not to mention the MacBook Pro + Thunderbolt display combinations, which also fit mostly into that range.

Having tried it both ways, you do run into certain disadvantages. Sometimes it was partly an issue of ram + hard drive bandwidth due to the amount of data generated by certain applications, as it couldn't be held in ram and ssds didn't exist. Part of it is that they cut back the hardware offered by the mac pro at the sub $3000 level. That gives the imac somewhat of an "unfair advantage". It seems like they've been trying to market people away from it over time. 

 

Going dual package only would be a pretty big change in direction. Typically Apple avoids lower volume products. I suspect it might be too small that way to even maintain the line. The two don't compete right now anyway. Apple spaced it out by $500, but I think chopping down the hardware and leaving it without updates really lowered the level of interest in that model. If you recall correctly dual socket machines used to start at $2300 with the 1,1 and $2800 with the 3,1.

 

 

 

 

 

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As DED pointed out in his most recent editorial, the original 1984 Mac ($2495), adjusted for inflation, cost about $5600. The 1984 Mac 512K ($3195), arguably the first "Mac Pro," with a second drive ($495), cost about $8200 in today's dollars. On the low end, a 1984 Apple IIc sold for $1295 plus $199 for a monitor, or about $3300 today.

 

It's remarkable that the same basic price structure -- $1500 on the low end, $2500 for the high-end consumer, and $3500 as the starting point for professional customers -- is still in place today, more or less, after three decades of inflation.

Computers in general have become cheaper. Look at how many $30k turnkey workstation solutions have died out in favor of generic boxes. Computing devices have become cheaper than they were at their introduction.

post #349 of 516
Interesting response. I have a few comments below.
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Originally Posted by hmm View Post

That actually makes sense. They have marketed it as a high end workstation while simultaneously displaying disinterest at times. They didn't even update gpus with the 2012 delay tactic.
Of all the stupid things to do, delivering the 2012 machine without a GPU update has to be the craziest thing Apple has done in a long time. I can almost understand the modest CPU upgrade but to let the machine out the door without a GPU update just demonstrates a total loss of interest in the market.
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OpenGL performance hasn't been that great in recent versions of OSX.
I get slammed for saying that but it is true. For all of its billions you would think the could higher a specialist engineer and get OpenGL up to date.
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They have shown only moderate interest in OpenCL. It's not always supported on the developer software side either, but the lack of interest shown is pretty obvious.
I'm not sure if it is a lack of interest or something else. OpenCL seems to be in the same boat as OpenGL. That is slow, actually very slow adoption. As to OpenCL support on intel integrated GPUs I'm not sure who is to blame there. Intel just dropped another OpenCL package for Linux and there was no GPU support there either. Even if Intel is part of the problem, Apple has enough money to cause Intel to take a deeper interest.
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I get that other things have outpaced that market, although I disagree with certain individuals that the market for workstations would somehow implode by Apple leaving it. It could drop several vendors and still be a viable market for some even if it's not interesting to Apple.
Many users would be better served by specialist dealers for their workstation needs. Unless Apple suddenly sees the light and firms up workstation hardware and software, there is little point in staying with Apple. In some cases a BSD box would do some power users just as well.
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I think a lot of people will be disappointed with whatever is released later, as expectations are often built up due to the lack of an up to date product. The new thing must now be 10-100x as great as the old one to make up for the period in which it languished. 
That is possible. Think about it the GPU is at least a couple of generations behind by now. CPU wise it wold be a bigger struggle but I still have this fantasy that Intel and Apple are working together on something Xeon Phi derived.
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Intel has been slow, but they were shipping in volume last June. Given the staggered nature of their updates, Apple could have played catch up and pushed something out late in the year or early this year with Ivy a year from there. If Ivy is shipping late Q3 to supercomputer vendors with everyone else another 3 months out like what happened with Sandy Bridge E, it could be either late this year or early next year before oem workstations based on Ivy are shipping in volume.
Lots of complaints are directed at Apple but as you point out Intel doesn't make it easy for workstation vendors. This is one reason I'd like to see a desktop machine with a desktop processor. Call it Mac Pro Light if you want. This actually highlights that the workstation market isn't as big as some think it is. Intel probably ships more ATOM processors and that chip is a complete failure in the marketplace.
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Beyond that the E5-16xx models look like a rather conservative update. They are probably pushing a greater wedge between them and the E5-26xx dual models.
I don't keep track of which is which but one of those E series chips isn't much more than a desktop chip in a new package.
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Obviously you have to look a couple years out. I can't find the page I wanted at the moment. Here is a general comparison one.  (Edit: note lack of noise reduction via OpenCL, not sure if it's a performance issue or due to different APIs) The Davinci Resolve example is just because of how hardware dependent that software could be in the past. It has OpenCL support due to how Mac heavy the non-Linux base tends to be, but some things still run only in CUDA. I suspect CUDA will remain viable as long as as GPGPU remains a bleeding edge feature in these programs, but even NVidia has been putting more research into OpenCL to ensure they aren't left behind there.
Some vendors will prefer Open solutions no matter what.
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If I was buying a new gpu today, I would still prefer NVidia regardless of OS for most applications.
I suppose it would depend upon what you use OpenCL for but NVidia sucks at double precision. If that is your game then AMD makes more sense.
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Pricing has been weird for the past several years. The early mac pros attempted to add value by using overbuilt base hardware. There was no single option. The base mac pro was a dual socket workstation starting as a quad then later 8 core. Now it starts with a quad hyperthreaded to 8 logical cores.
That isn't exactly a hot performing Quad either. This is what bothers me as the so called enters level model is actually a pretty poor configuration considering the cost.
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They artificially limited performance growth and kept the starting price bracket. I also would not say it's a fraction of the costs. If the workstation was cheap, those users wouldn't go for the base model.
The hardcore workstation user doesn't go for that model anyways. This is what is so frustrating. What should be their volume solution is a marketing mistake.
post #350 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post

Intel's production delays explain Apple's failure to put Sandy Bridge into the existing Mac Pro early last year. It also seems clear that a decision was made at that point to skip Sandy Bridge entirely and to not "play catch up" -- a decision that must have been made before Cook sent his post-WWDC 2012 email addressing "our Pro customers" indicating a 2013 Mac Pro redesign was in the works. It's hard to be sure about the basis for that decision, but it isn't hard to imagine that the production window for a Sandy Bridge Mac Pro was too small to be profitable before the introduction of the new Mac Pro planned for this year.
Intel is a factor but they aren't completely responsible for Apple lack of interest in the desktop market
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This decision can certainly be read as a "disinterest" in remaining competitive in the market for high-end workstations, but it could also mean the opposite. That is, it could mean that Apple is going to stop offering a Mac Pro that competes with high-end iMacs in the < $2999 range. Hmm's point about how the original Mac Pro has been increasingly limited in order to stay at the same entry price point (at $2499) is important. A lot of people seem to think the new Mac Pro needs to be be even lower-priced to survive. But I think Apple's actions indicate just the opposite is going to happen.
The Mac Pro doesn't compete with the iMac, it never has. I see this sort of comment all the time and each time it is as asinine as it was the last time I saw it. Look at the Mac Pros feature set (slots, drive bays, video card options, monitor options and the like). How that flexibility competes with iMac is beyond belief.
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As others continually feel the need to point out in these Mac Pro threads, many low-end Mac Pro customers can easily handle their professional work with a high-end iMac or a high-end MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt display. Indeed, Apple's allowing the Mac Pro to languish since 2010 has had the effect, whether intentional or not, of forcing a lot of these people to see they don't really need a Mac Pro.
In 2008 I felt pushed into a MBP because Apple didn't have a decent desktop at the right price. That sucked back then and it still sucks today even five year later. What is worst the same asinine lineup of hardware has been around for a decade now and what does Apple have to show for it. The vast majority of sales going to the laptop lineup, which stinks. The smell can best be describe as that smelt in the spring time when farmers clean out the pig barns.
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Apple is well positioned now to offer a true, dual-socket Mac Pro that starts a step above the fully-loaded iMac range -- somewhere around $3299. Maybe as high as the current dual-socket entry point, $3799. I don't really see much reason for Apple to continue to have the Mac Pro compete with the iMac in the < $2999 range.
It doesn't compete and never has.
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Not if they really believe in Thunderbolt. Not to mention the MacBook Pro + Thunderbolt display combinations, which also fit mostly into that range.
Whatever you think of TB is I'm pretty sure Apple has a different opinion. In a nut shell I suspect Apple sees TB as a docking cable with any other functionality as freebies.
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As DED pointed out in his most recent editorial,
Referencing somebody with no credibility won't do your arguments any favors.
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the original 1984 Mac ($2495), adjusted for inflation, cost about $5600. The 1984 Mac 512K ($3195), arguably the first "Mac Pro," with a second drive ($495), cost about $8200 in today's dollars. On the low end, a 1984 Apple IIc sold for $1295 plus $199 for a monitor, or about $3300 today.
The nature of the technology is such that hardware becomes cheaper each and every node change. You can't come to any rational conclusion about a machines price based on inflation. It makes no sense at all as what is being made is completely different from what was put into an Apple 11c. The value of Apple hardware should be judged solely on the value of the hardware that goes into it today, that is why it is so easy to bash Apple for Mac Pro pricing.
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It's remarkable that the same basic price structure -- $1500 on the low end, $2500 for the high-end consumer, and $3500 as the starting point for professional customers -- is still in place today, more or less, after three decades of inflation.
Interestingly some of those machines where grossly overpriced for their time. After my Mac Plus ran its course I dropped out of the Apple rat race for a long time,until 2008 in fact. The problem was back then Apple hardware was even less of a bargain and the OS at that time was going nowhere fast. At that time I switched to a Windows machine, ran that for a year until totally frustrated and then turned to Linux (RedHat 4). Linux was tough back then but it did run well as a multitasking OS once you got hardware sorted.

During my leave of absence from the Apple world I keep a eye on things and longed for a Mac that was affordable and competitive with the generic hardware of the day. I actually thought Apple would die before it got its act together. Even the coming of Steve didn't impress me because the last thing we needed from Apple was some more high priced low speed hardware. The move to Intel was perhaps the most joyful for me as an Apple admirer. The move promised speedy machines and lower prices. Unfortunately the promises where not instant as it took a few years to move beyond the regressions but eventually performance was a bit better. I jumped on board with a 2008 MBP even though it was a bit more expensive than I'd like but not unreasonable so considering the competition. The problem then as it is now; Apple had no viable desktop machine. Viable in this context means decent performance, relative to the rest of the industry, at a decent price. The iMac isn't in the running here and never has been due to being a terrible machine.

In any event Apples pricing structure, on their desktop platforms, suck. The value equations just don't work out for most users thus the dwindling desktop sales which has been a problem at Apple well before the recent market crash. Defend Apple all you want but their desktop hardware has always been a bad deal which is really strange because their laptops aren't that bad. The fact that the lineup has been stagnate for a decade is another matter that hasn't helped sales any.
post #351 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I disagree with your assertion. It was already the same hardware for a very long time due to lack of updates from intel. Letting it go for 3-4 years with the same stuff is not going to help, as some people will take the opportunity migrate to other solutions. I suspect they estimated the numbers and determined it was acceptable. What do you mean increasingly limited to stay at the same price point? I suggested they increased their margins on the lower one to encourage people toward other hardware.
This encouragement may very well be the case, I think many people in high places had a negative view of the Mac Pro and the market it served. The problem for Apple is that they encouraged a lot of people to leave the Mac world prod completely.
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The daugherboard design helps with the savings, as they were able to get away from the dual board with one socket populated design. That one required a more expensive board and cpu choice overall.
I still see that design element as a mistake. Apple really should have a markedly lower cost desktop machine to either sit below the Mac Pro in the line up or to replace it entirely. Even with the daughter card arraignment it is still a far to costly machine in the intro models.
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Having tried it both ways, you do run into certain disadvantages. Sometimes it was partly an issue of ram + hard drive bandwidth due to the amount of data generated by certain applications, as it couldn't be held in ram and ssds didn't exist. Part of it is that they cut back the hardware offered by the mac pro at the sub $3000 level. That gives the imac somewhat of an "unfair advantage". It seems like they've been trying to market people away from it over time. 
As stated above I don't see any overlap at all in the markets. Even if the Mac Pro undercut the iMac there wouldn't be a defection from the iMac customer base to the rationally priced Mac Pro. Not to bring trucks and cars into it but it is pretty hard to sell a truck to somebody looking for a sedan.
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Going dual package only would be a pretty big change in direction. Typically Apple avoids lower volume products. I suspect it might be too small that way to even maintain the line. The two don't compete right now anyway. Apple spaced it out by $500, but I think chopping down the hardware and leaving it without updates really lowered the level of interest in that model. If you recall correctly dual socket machines used to start at $2300 with the 1,1 and $2800 with the 3,1.
I can still see Apple and Intel baking something up that leverages Xeon Phi instead of another processor chip. The Phi coprocessor ought to work fairly well with GCD and OpenCL. This gives Apple the opportunity to rethink the marketing position of the machine. Mac Pro light could be a machine with a single chip processor of 4-6 cores and the Mac Pro heavy could be the same machine with Xeon Phi co processor installed.

The interesting thing here is that the main processor doesn't really matter much, it could be a Xeon or a more generic desktop processor. The expectation is that a GPU would also be there to support the machines video needs.
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Computers in general have become cheaper. Look at how many $30k turnkey workstation solutions have died out in favor of generic boxes. Computing devices have become cheaper than they were at their introduction.
That argument lost big time.
post #352 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Interesting response. I have a few comments below.
Of all the stupid things to do, delivering the 2012 machine without a GPU update has to be the craziest thing Apple has done in a long time. I can almost understand the modest CPU upgrade but to let the machine out the door without a GPU update just demonstrates a total loss of interest in the market.

If they plan on continuing the line, it would be perfectly logical to keep up with the most current hardware, especially when Xeon E/EP chipsets have 2-3 year lifecycles. They could have added PCIe 3, usb3, and possibly thunderbolt. Third party pci usb3 cards haven't been terribly stable, so I don't think they're a good option. Both Sandy Bridge E and Ivy Bridge E lack native usb3 support, yet every other oem shipped Sandy Bridge E with at least 2 usb3 ports, so it's not an excuse. Drivers for AMD 7000 gpus had appeared in some of the nightly OSX builds at times but later disappeared. If they had driver development, the work to validate those on the older hardware would have been at least a nice gesture. As it is now the only newer options are third party cards, and the drivers are still somewhat immature. I still think this ignores that even when you ignore the "Crazy Eddies" of the computer world (Dell) offerings, you still find a lot of workstations that start with similar hardware builds and workstation gpus of similar class in the $1500-1900 range. These are also not sold at the razor thin margins of $400 budget PCs. I think there's a tendency to focus on manufacturing costs due to an assumption of a reasonable pricing model. Interestingly toward the dual level, they're closer in terms of percentage to the PC equivalents.

 

 

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I get slammed for saying that but it is true. For all of its billions you would think the could higher a specialist engineer and get OpenGL up to date.
I'm not sure if it is a lack of interest or something else. OpenCL seems to be in the same boat as OpenGL. That is slow, actually very slow adoption. As to OpenCL support on intel integrated GPUs I'm not sure who is to blame there. Intel just dropped another OpenCL package for Linux and there was no GPU support there either. Even if Intel is part of the problem, Apple has enough money to cause Intel to take a deeper interest.

It does address a rather conservative market, although it hasn't shrunk as much as people would like to suggest. The workstation market had problems in 2008-2011. When Sandy Bridge E hit late, sales went up due to pent up demand. Some of the writeups don't always hit critical details, like average selling price to give some idea of the distribution between single and dual types. It's not just the lack of interest in the mac pro that irks me. The idevices have dwarfed other sales, and as such Apple hasn't paid as much attention to technologies that could be leveraged by such markets regardless of the name applied to the hardware package. It's more an issue of getting the most out of the hardware possible and not mistaking under-performance for "runs with greater stability".

 

 

 

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Many users would be better served by specialist dealers for their workstation needs. Unless Apple suddenly sees the light and firms up workstation hardware and software, there is little point in staying with Apple. In some cases a BSD box would do some power users just as well.

There is still a little bit of that. It's somewhat common with animation studios, as some of the smaller vendors do software specific testing looking for bugs with whatever combination of software + gpu drawing. Boxx did the overclocked single package machine thing due to certain applications being very poorly threaded on specific processes, although their marketing does cherry pick things at times. There are still industries that make great use of Linux for its features.

 

 

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That is possible. Think about it the GPU is at least a couple of generations behind by now. CPU wise it wold be a bigger struggle but I still have this fantasy that Intel and Apple are working together on something Xeon Phi derived.

Companies like NVidia, AMD, and Intel do eventually pull support on older hardware. GPU driver development is a big issue, as is whatever OpenGL version is supported. Selling an aging package could create problems for late purchasers in this sense as bug fixes become less common. It has also happened with some of the third party after market gpus. The Quadro 4800 had very poor support in spite of its price.

 

 

 

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Lots of complaints are directed at Apple but as you point out Intel doesn't make it easy for workstation vendors. This is one reason I'd like to see a desktop machine with a desktop processor. Call it Mac Pro Light if you want. This actually highlights that the workstation market isn't as big as some think it is. Intel probably ships more ATOM processors and that chip is a complete failure in the marketplace.

Well it does really limit certain solutions when it comes to bandwidth. There are many more lanes available on the Xeon versions. There isn't much stratification. LGA1155 grants 16 total lanes. LGA2011 jumps to 40 or 80. They would be more relevant in a server settings where traffic shaping is available at the hypervisor level, but it definitely affords some breathing room on bandwidth, especially when you consider that any additional ports added subtract from those available lanes. I think people have seriously gotten carried away with their thunderbolt kool-aid though. It's not likely that Apple will commission or subsidize development on more external peripherals in order to grow the market. It's mostly higher cost peripherals that have gone to usb3/thunderbolt combos where the margins are high enough to minimize risk. The upcoming changes don't help either, as it's easier for the peripheral device oems to hit a stable target.


 

 

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I don't keep track of which is which but one of those E series chips isn't much more than a desktop chip in a new package.

Intel has maintained options in similar price territory for many years. 2009 Apple used a W3520. That cost around $300, much like the i7 3770 used in the top imac. That imac also probably uses a more expensive gpu and has to budget for a 27" display implementation. I don't attribute the price difference to slabs of aluminum with a hydroformed appearance.

 

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


This encouragement may very well be the case, I think many people in high places had a negative view of the Mac Pro and the market it served. The problem for Apple is that they encouraged a lot of people to leave the Mac world prod completely.
I still see that design element as a mistake. Apple really should have a markedly lower cost desktop machine to either sit below the Mac Pro in the line up or to replace it entirely. Even with the daughter card arraignment it is still a far to costly machine in the intro models.

I'm highly skeptical that they are that costly to build. The entry Xeon model uses a $300 cpu. The gpu is one that is only $250 retail in the Apple Store. It has remained at that price since 2010. The ram isn't a huge cost factor. Some people always whine about the price of ECC ram no matter how many links I post to the same specs in ECC vs non-ECC. It was significantly more expensive 10 years ago. It wasn't in 2009 when the 4,1 was introduced nor is it today. I suspect the use of the single models helps subsidize development costs of the 12 core models, but I really haven't been able to turn up reasoning that would suggest the base model starts that high due to construction costs relative to Apple's typical margins. Past a certain point it's just comes down to pricing and product strategy rather than what is required to profit on a per unit basis.

 

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That argument lost big time.

 

My argument or the X could never replace Y one? I was thinking of things like Smoke suites a few years ago and graphics workstations from Barco/Quantel in the 1990s. I was saying that specialized solutions were largely displaced by X86 desktops and workstations in reply to the comment that it was incredible how these things have not adjusted for inflation. He was comparing to when the personal computing market was in its infancy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Intel is a factor but they aren't completely responsible for Apple lack of interest in the desktop market
 

It was an excuse until 2012. The lack of any real work done on the line negated that.

post #353 of 516
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
What do you mean increasingly limited to stay at the same price point? I suggested they increased their margins on the lower one to encourage people toward other hardware. The daughterboard design helps with the savings, as they were able to get away from the dual board with one socket populated design. That one required a more expensive board and cpu choice overall.

 

Okay, I misunderstood you. Thanks for simply clarifying what you meant. My apologies for bringing you into my argument, as it were.

 

I may or may not take the time to respond to wizard69, but in the end I mainly just wanted to predict the base price is going to go up, and the $2500 Mac Pro will be a thing of the past. Anyhow, we'll know soon enough, be it next month or later on.


Edited by TenThousandThings - 5/10/13 at 4:42am
post #354 of 516

Why is Apple procrastinating with this model Mac Pro all the time I want to know?
 

post #355 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post

 

Okay, I misunderstood you. Thanks for simply clarifying what you meant. My apologies for bringing you into my argument, as it were.

 

I may or may not take the time to respond to wizard69, but in the end I mainly just wanted to predict the base price is going to go up, and the $2500 Mac Pro will be a thing of the past. Anyhow, we'll know soon enough, be it next month or later on.


I know I write volumes at times, and I rethink it each time, but it comes back to basically the same thing. Going by your scenario, if they do take the starting price further north, I don't think that would signify a lot of time left for the line. They probably have some minimum volume needed for a viable product line that cannot be accomplished by that model only, especially when almost every component is unique. That tends to be very un-Apple as they like to share things wherever possible. In the case of the mac pro that happens only within the mac pro line. Even drives are almost all 2.5" and below now. Personally I think a $2500 starting point deserves something closer to a hex core and a strong base gpu if they're adamant about price differentiation. The imac has grown in its own rite, so it doesn't need $1000 of space from something that still requires an additional display. Of course that is just my opinion. I think neglecting it this long just decreases the chance that it will remain viable once updated.

 

It's not just the mac pro that concerns me. It's the lack of updates on some of their "pro apps", slipping OpenGL performance in recent versions of OSX, and half hearted OpenCL support. The combination is more troubling to me than any one of those things taken on its own. It could be just that these represent slow growth conservative markets, thus killing Apple's interest. They aren't lacking funds to hire engineers for currently sidelined projects, so I'm not sure what to say there other than I'm disappointed.

post #356 of 516
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
... in reply to the comment that it was incredible how these things have not adjusted for inflation. He was comparing to when the personal computing market was in its infancy.

 

My point was that it is "remarkable" that the same basic price structure, created in the infancy of the market, has been the sweet spot for Apple computer pricing for thirty years. There's probably a correlate to Moore's law within the sales community to that effect -- that every two years computing power needs to double at those price points in order to keep driving sales, or something like that.

 

The point about inflation (which I didn't make, but was implied, I guess) is that there is plenty of room in the real world for a price increase for the basic Mac Pro from $2500 to $3500. 


Edited by TenThousandThings - 5/10/13 at 8:21am
post #357 of 516
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
Going by your scenario, if they do take the starting price further north, I don't think that would signify a lot of time left for the line. They probably have some minimum volume needed for a viable product line that cannot be accomplished by that model only, especially when almost every component is unique. That tends to be very un-Apple as they like to share things wherever possible. [...]

 

I don't know (obviously!), but I think you may be underestimating the role of OS X in the development arc of Apple's entire product line. Thus, Apple itself may have an internal reason to maintain a high-end Mac Pro, to keep OS X healthy. This is one of DED's main assertions and it is likely to be valid, despite what wizard69 thinks of him. It's even possible to explain the lapse in updating the current Mac Pro from that point of view -- if Apple doesn't have an internal, developmental reason to update it (because of the upcoming redesign, or because the problems with Sandy Bridge rendered it useless for those internal purposes, or whatever), then Apple doesn't update it -- "our Pro customers" be damned.

 

Originally Posted by hmm View Post

It's not just the mac pro that concerns me. It's the lack of updates on some of their "pro apps", slipping OpenGL performance in recent versions of OSX, and half hearted OpenCL support. The combination is more troubling to me than any one of those things taken on its own. [...]

 

Actually, I think it is a broader lapse, beyond just "pro apps" -- extending to OS X in general, and also the consumer software suites (iWork and the other iApps). The general focus of the company has been elsewhere -- as a shareholder I can't complain, but as a user I'm not altogether happy.

post #358 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post

I don't know (obviously!), but I think you may be underestimating the role of OS X in the development arc of Apple's entire product line. Thus, Apple itself may have an internal reason to maintain a high-end Mac Pro, to keep OS X healthy.
Building computers for internal use is a bit foolish for a company like Apple. They can easily sell the same hardware to the public. It isn't like they are an Internet company with massive servers spread across the country that need to be specialized. Oh yes I know about their data centers but from what we know there is hardly an Apple computer to be found servicing that workload.
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 This is one of DED's main assertions and it is likely to be valid, despite what wizard69 thinks of him.
The idea is whacked. Beyond that DED gets the dwindling respect he gets due to his constant posting of article that paper to be written by a 12 year old. Really I can't even fathom how people read his article from beginning to end.
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It's even possible to explain the lapse in updating the current Mac Pro from that point of view -- if Apple doesn't have an internal, developmental reason to update it (because of the upcoming redesign, or because the problems with Sandy Bridge rendered it useless for those internal purposes, or whatever), then Apple doesn't update it -- "our Pro customers" be damned.
The idea that Mac Pro production revolves around Apple internal needs is asinine. I'm certain there are many internal users that would be very upset if it went away, but they would be a small fraction of the total customer base for the Mac Pro.
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Actually, I think it is a broader lapse, beyond just "pro apps" -- extending to OS X in general, and also the consumer software suites (iWork and the other iApps).
Interestingly I don't see a huge lapse in OS/X development, as I see it being developed in a rational and controlled manner. From both the user stand point and the developers standpoint you don't want rapid irrational changes to the OS. This was and still is one of Linux weak points, there are major revs every six months or so with distributions and if you don't keep up you quickly end up left behind. It becomes a core to update your distro constantly. Mac OS/X has almost been the opposite, updates are yearly and the breakage of apps is minimal.

Now as to software, yeah Apple has lost its way there. This isn't just one suite of apps either, even critical apps such as iTunes have gotten held assed updates when they are updated. Interestingly the apps are suffering cross platform, iWorks for example needs cross platform compatible data files. I still don't understand why Numbers of all things needs an iOS version of a file generated on the Mac.
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The general focus of the company has been elsewhere -- as a shareholder I can't complain, but as a user I'm not altogether happy.

Yes but this lack of development of critical assists will come to bite them in the behind and as a share holder that should bother you. As it is right now the iWork Mac / iOS integration sucks, as the competition exploits these weaknesses iOS will suffer from a lack of goodwill upon the part of the customer base.

Of all the things you have hit upon this is one thing I agree with 100%, Apple really needs to address the apps that have aged less than gracefully. They also need to make sure that there are no massive regressions like was seen with iTunes and the last update.
post #359 of 516

I want to add one last thing that I think will be in the new Mac Pro if it's introduced this WWDC, and while it may not sound very feasible I want to say that I think the new Iris Processors might be in them...

 

My reason behind that is the Haswell Processors are being released on June 3rd by Intel for Desktop and Mobile boards and Apple's WWDC is on the 10th. And last year Apple was one of the first ones to have the Ivy Bridge Processors in their machines. So if all is according and there is indeed a new Mac Pro this WWDC I can only hope that it is what I expect it to be, unless there are new Xeon Processors they are waiting on.

 

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/04/10/intel-updates-processor-roadmap-for-2013/

Intel Xeon Roadmap

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iMH8_kVRLU

Haswell Explained in performance boosts 10-15 percent from Ivy Bridge, which have 3x better graphics on GT3e mobile CPU/IGP Combo 5x00. but remains at GT2 HD 4x00 graphics max for non-BGA (Ball Grid Array) soldered Processor boards (Desktops are Mostly Land Grid Array chips to be able for a user to upgrade them) so I don't really know if the new Mac Pro will have an LGA1150 socket or newer Xeon Processors which are still based on Haswell's 22 nm architecture.

iTunes Radio - Apple TV with Wifi AC - Gold Anodized Aluminum iPhone - Mac Pro: September - November 2013

 

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iTunes Radio - Apple TV with Wifi AC - Gold Anodized Aluminum iPhone - Mac Pro: September - November 2013

 

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post #360 of 516
I think we rather agree here more than disagree.
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Originally Posted by hmm View Post

If they plan on continuing the line, it would be perfectly logical to keep up with the most current hardware, especially when Xeon E/EP chipsets have 2-3 year lifecycles. They could have added PCIe 3, usb3, and possibly thunderbolt. Third party pci usb3 cards haven't been terribly stable, so I don't think they're a good option. Both Sandy Bridge E and Ivy Bridge E lack native usb3 support, yet every other oem shipped Sandy Bridge E with at least 2 usb3 ports, so it's not an excuse. Drivers for AMD 7000 gpus had appeared in some of the nightly OSX builds at times but later disappeared. If they had driver development, the work to validate those on the older hardware would have been at least a nice gesture. As it is now the only newer options are third party cards, and the drivers are still somewhat immature. I still think this ignores that even when you ignore the "Crazy Eddies" of the computer world (Dell) offerings, you still find a lot of workstations that start with similar hardware builds and workstation gpus of similar class in the $1500-1900 range. These are also not sold at the razor thin margins of $400 budget PCs. I think there's a tendency to focus on manufacturing costs due to an assumption of a reasonable pricing model. Interestingly toward the dual level, they're closer in terms of percentage to the PC equivalents.
It often seems like Apples Mac Pro is a good deal when a major rev comes out and you consider something other than the entry level machine. After years of zero updates the Mac Pro is simply a very poor value. Apple really should have cut a $1000 off the price with the last rev. Now they look a bit pathetic, sort of like the guy on Craigslist trying to sell his motorcycle for more than he paid for it new.
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It does address a rather conservative market, although it hasn't shrunk as much as people would like to suggest. The workstation market had problems in 2008-2011. When Sandy Bridge E hit late, sales went up due to pent up demand. Some of the writeups don't always hit critical details, like average selling price to give some idea of the distribution between single and dual types. It's not just the lack of interest in the mac pro that irks me. The idevices have dwarfed other sales, and as such Apple hasn't paid as much attention to technologies that could be leveraged by such markets regardless of the name applied to the hardware package. It's more an issue of getting the most out of the hardware possible and not mistaking under-performance for "runs with greater stability".
I wouldn't be so bothered by the lack of attention but Apple has tons of money all over the place. They could easily engineer bleeding edge Minis and Mac Pros. Sure the market for desktops is tough, but if you can offer the best on the market customers will gravitate towards you. In fact in a tough market you really need a product that stands heads and shoulders above the rest.
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There is still a little bit of that. It's somewhat common with animation studios, as some of the smaller vendors do software specific testing looking for bugs with whatever combination of software + gpu drawing. Boxx did the overclocked single package machine thing due to certain applications being very poorly threaded on specific processes, although their marketing does cherry pick things at times. There are still industries that make great use of Linux for its features.
What is sad here is that Mac OS is a solid UNIX operating system that could easily grab much more of this advanced usage than it does. It is rather pathetic that Linux now has more and at times far better drivers for GPUs than Apple has. The fact of the matter is this, the engineering staff and the expense to support it wouldn't even be noticed in the quarterly reports. The uptick in sales might be noticed though.
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Companies like NVidia, AMD, and Intel do eventually pull support on older hardware. GPU driver development is a big issue, as is whatever OpenGL version is supported. Selling an aging package could create problems for late purchasers in this sense as bug fixes become less common. It has also happened with some of the third party after market gpus. The Quadro 4800 had very poor support in spite of its price.
In this industry it just makes little sense to be paying a premium price for hardware that is as old as the stuff in the Mac Pro. As you point out support is not on going, eventually you are out of luck.
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Well it does really limit certain solutions when it comes to bandwidth. There are many more lanes available on the Xeon versions.
Yes I know this but not every need for a workstation implies a need for a dual socket machine. The way I see it a well designed motherboard for a desktop class processor can be designed to be much cheaper than the approach seen in the Mac Pro even if the chips are in the same price range. One should be able to manage relatively good performance relative to the iMac
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There isn't much stratification. LGA1155 grants 16 total lanes. LGA2011 jumps to 40 or 80. They would be more relevant in a server settings where traffic shaping is available at the hypervisor level, but it definitely affords some breathing room on bandwidth, especially when you consider that any additional ports added subtract from those available lanes. I think people have seriously gotten carried away with their thunderbolt kool-aid though.
Yes they have. When I started to see people glowing over the thought of external GPUs I really had to wonder if technological idiocy has set in. The whole idea of external GPUs is so far removed from the direction the industry is going as to be a joke.
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It's not likely that Apple will commission or subsidize development on more external peripherals in order to grow the market. It's mostly higher cost peripherals that have gone to usb3/thunderbolt combos where the margins are high enough to minimize risk. The upcoming changes don't help either, as it's easier for the peripheral device oems to hit a stable target.
I suspect Apple got what it wanted out of TB, they will leave the rest of the industry to fend for themselves.
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Intel has maintained options in similar price territory for many years. 2009 Apple used a W3520. That cost around $300, much like the i7 3770 used in the top imac. That imac also probably uses a more expensive gpu and has to budget for a 27" display implementation. I don't attribute the price difference to slabs of aluminum with a hydroformed appearance.
It is the design of the motherboard in the Mac Pro that makes it expensive, but that is only relative to what it would cost to build a compact motherboard built around a desktop chip.
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I'm highly skeptical that they are that costly to build.
Ripoff comes to mind when talking about Mac Pro pricing.
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The entry Xeon model uses a $300 cpu. The gpu is one that is only $250 retail in the Apple Store. It has remained at that price since 2010. The ram isn't a huge cost factor. Some people always whine about the price of ECC ram no matter how many links I post to the same specs in ECC vs non-ECC. It was significantly more expensive 10 years ago. It wasn't in 2009 when the 4,1 was introduced nor is it today. I suspect the use of the single models helps subsidize development costs of the 12 core models, but I really haven't been able to turn up reasoning that would suggest the base model starts that high due to construction costs relative to Apple's typical margins. Past a certain point it's just comes down to pricing and product strategy rather than what is required to profit on a per unit basis.
I agree and frankly the pricing and product strategy is a complete failure. They simply don't have the desktop machine most users need or want to buy. The market could be very well served by a $1200+ class Mac Pro like computer that gives them the options they want or needs.
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My argument or the X could never replace Y one?
The original argument not yours.
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I was thinking of things like Smoke suites a few years ago and graphics workstations from Barco/Quantel in the 1990s. I was saying that specialized solutions were largely displaced by X86 desktops and workstations in reply to the comment that it was incredible how these things have not adjusted for inflation. He was comparing to when the personal computing market was in its infancy.

It was an excuse until 2012. The lack of any real work done on the line negated that.
All I got to say is that the Mac Pros replacement better be impressive, because honestly Apple has dug such a deep hole I don't see them climbing out of it any time soon. The Mac Pro and Apples handling of the customers that use the machine, has just been so hostile to the customer base that I suspect most are gone for good. Even the Mini needs a little respect to keep its dwindling customer base.
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