PhilBoogie, I do think of power consumption on the large scale, but then again I'm also looking at what I have done to reduce power consumption throughout the house, so I'm giving myself more leeway when it comes to having a computer that does what I need it to do, when I need it to do it. Mac Pro's don't sip power when compared to their brethren. I think people who use them know that there's going to be a hit on the power bill.
You're a better man than me.
Is power expensive in the USA? I don't even know what it costs for me, but can't imagine it being a hit on my power bill. Gas for heating, that is where money can be saved. Here in NL.
With the chips getting smaller, requiring less wattage to run, we're going to see advances. We're also seeing advances in SSD tech, because there's no moving parts it uses less power.
Indeed, and that is a good. I love the change from moving parts to solid state. Mainly because of the lack of noise. I actually drilled a hole in the wall and put my MP in the adjoining room.
The drives are always getting bigger. I love that. It makes my life so much easier. I have everything in different RAIDs that are hot swappable. The drives in the Mac Pro are not. They can be software RAIDed, or you can buy the card for it that cost an arm and a leg, or you can go with externals that have everything built in. Capacity of storage is key, but it's external for me. I'm using Firewire800 right now, and will convert over to Thunderbolt when I eventually get a new Mac Pro. I have no use for the internal drive bays though. Cut them all out and give me two more CPU chips and I'm a happy guy. I only need one SSD for the OS and Apps.
RAID's? As in plural? You must have large amounts of data. Hot swap is indeed not an option in the MP. Do you think they might be considering that for a new model?
The RAID card from Apple is nothing but trouble, just look at the support pages. But there are cards available, working ones.
I wouldn't mind if they made the new model SSD only. At all. I'll set it up like you did, external HDD.
Having multiple apps open isn't a bad thing. We have the horsepower for it, and the RAM for it. Just using a prosumer bundle of iMovie and iPhoto at the same time can be taxing on the system when you're dealing with imported video from an iPhone shot at 1080p. Just one vacation worth of video alone makes your computer wish it had power to spare.
Is that really the case? I read positive feedback on this site that the mini and iMac now have the horsepower to do more 'heavier' work. Converting video, a mini with 16 threads, it's now possible. I just don't know what a real life experience will be like. I have a mini under my TV, but haven't tried using it as my main machine. Since I'm in front of my 30" ACD I can't try that out without buying the $99 DVI adapter.
Apple does have to create a want and need of their products, that's for sure. They also have to realize that an iMac doesn't fit the needs of everyone. A Mac Mini certainly doesn't. That leaves us the Mac Pro. Yes, my system is over six years old. It can't even run Mountain Lion because of a chip the size of my pinky nail (EFI chip) that's 32-bit only. Everything else runs in 64-bit though. I want to upgrade and I've saved up the money. I just wait for something I deem worthy of the upgrade. From what I've heard, I'm already underwhelmed because I don't think they are pushing the envelope anymore when it comes to desktops. They'll certainly do everything they can to push the envelope with the iPad and iPhone. We're not getting any attention paid, even though we're forking out over $6k for a decent system. If I'm dropping that kind of coin on a system, I expect a fsck-ton more than what they are offering.
Spec'ing out a current system, here's what I chose:
Two 3.06GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon (12 cores)
1 512GB SSD
1 ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB GPU
One Super Drive
Total = $7449.00, then you bring in taxes and shipping and you're looking at eight large.
It's ok to use a MP for that many years. Unless you really need to power and are currently continuously waiting for a render to complete. The software always have something nice to offer, 'pros can live without that'. Well, some are moving from FCP to FCPX, in which case they also buy a new machine.
But yes, for the costs you should be able to get a very fast machine. The current config might not drop in price though, usually you simply get more bang for your buck. And prices have increased. Marvin wrote earlier on this, either in this thread or other recent Mac Pro discussions.
Can I afford it? If I had to. Is it a jump in technology so compelling that there's no doubt in my mind that I HAD TO HAVE IT? Nope. Not even close. If Apple wants to charge that much for a computer, it'd better be cutting edge rather than having fallen behind. Yet we hear people lauding USB3 as if it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Not when we have Thunderbolt already. I have seen no stats which compel me to drop 8k on a new Mac Pro that isn't all that much of an improvement. If they want my money they'd better come up with something better than that.
I also don't give a FF forUSB3. Yes, they should come up with a compelling machine. Read my earlier post on this page with what I believe might happen. Or should, take your pick.
They'll have to make changes to appease the EU, why not make changes to the whole thing and give people some variety in what they want? Don't use a lot of cards, but want more CPU's? That ought to be an option. We need to start thinking ahead to when the 4k resolution TV's become the norm. Yes, there's upscaling, and I'm happy for that at least in the short term. We already have RED cameras shooting far more than 1080p. That's the trend. Computers had better start growing to handle that. Looking ahead to where technology is headed just in the entertainment industry alone, we're going to need lots more horsepower than what's being offered.
I honestly don't see a global transition to 4k happening. Just look at how slow the adoption to 1080p is. I wish it was, but the Internet is just not up to it, infrastructure wise. I read that by 2016 the average speed for consumers is 39MB. That is pathetic. Maybe the 3rd world drags that number down, and us city boys will have 1Gb. One can hope.
I don't see Apple leading anymore when they really need to. Does that mean challenging the CPU paradigm by also using other processing chips like the A6 to bring the cores up significantly? I don't know. I'm not an engineer. What I do know is that they need to do something. I'd rather see Apple shake things up and lead the way. Judging from what I'm hearing about the Mac Pro, they aren't going to do that.
I read that sentiment a lot, and partially agree. One example is Aperture. They keep on refining it, but there's no major release for the past 2+ years. Now I really would like a new version; I have a 'spec-whore-long' list with feature wishes. But the current updates are all free of charge, and they do actually add features, so that a plus.