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Editorial: What will Apple do with the Macintosh? - Page 3

post #81 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

What is it that requires a Mac Pro other than movie editing? I see that Dell and HP sell monster machines with Xenon processors. There are movie editing programs that work on Windows and Linux.


Just this month Red Shark released its Lightworks movie editing program for Linux. It is a program that seems to be on par with anything from Avid or Adobe.  It's even set up to create 3D movies, AND IT'S FREE!


Can't real scientific work be accomplished by racks of servers linked together? Since other manufactures fill the gap in the high end market maybe Apple can just forsake it once and for all instead of slapping together something every three years. Let the movie editing and design work go to other brands. Apple can stick to its iOS world and expand it enough to just dump the laptops in a year or so.


It seems that Apple is mostly concerned with cutting edge performance only on consumer devices. Even so, they're not always out in front.


Why haven't they taken Keynote and all of the iWorks programs to much higher levels of performance? So many people here admit that the Microsoft Office suite is better than iWorks that it must be true. It seems that Apple really isn't interested in making the iWork "experience" better. They just want it good enough to get people to buy an Apple device. With all of their talent you would think that by now they would have created an office suite that would blow away Office or at least equal it. I bet it is easier to innovate in software than it is in hardware. When will Apple ever get off its butt and create a cohesive office suite that will put the last nail in the coffin of Microsoft? I don't think they have it in them or they would have done it years ago.  


LibreOffice will eventually be as good as Microsoft Office and the iWork suite will be a second runner up.


Apple makes great entertainment devices. That is why they will enter the TV market. The Mac Pro will have one last hurrah and then it will be gone. The only reason we know this is because Tim Cook said that a new Mac Pro was coming this year. It will be the last one.

 

Macs are very stable and powerful, that's why they're used in the movie world. They buy a ton of Mac Pros. Filmmaking puts more demand on these computers than almost anything else and pushes innovation forward in computing power and efficiency. There's other computers in use in the film post world, and they're plenty powerful, but they're not as good as macs in terms of stability.
post #82 of 192
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post
Never an argument for those that know how to properly position their lighting.


Guess they're not pros at that, huh. lol.gif

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #83 of 192
Am I care? No. One of graphic data doesn't make any sense by the way. How is profit nonsense? I mean that it is really bigger than all top 5 PC vendors? You got to be kidding me? Apple Mac is dead. Look at worlds elect share. It is sill less than 4-5% max for decades.
post #84 of 192

Even though Apple took Computer out of their name, they're still a computer company: it's possible to regard their whole product lineup as a single line of computers, from pocket-sized(iPod Touch) to workstation-sized (Mac Pro).

 

And the entire lineup is client-side devices: the fact that they discontinued their server line doesn't necessarily mean the Mac Pro is next on the chopping block, they've always been stronger on the client side than the server side.

post #85 of 192
"But Apple can't afford not to maintain a presence at the top of the PC performance hill"

Apple gave up any type of performance presence that they had by 2011. Their lack of concern for their professional users is simply insulting.
iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #86 of 192
Great editorial and comments...

What's clear from the picture and looking at my 2010 Mac Pro is how good it still looks for a 10 year-old design! It's hardly aged at all and no other desktop manufacture has built anything that comes close in design aesthetics, elegance and build quality. It's a real testament to Ive and Apple's industrial design magic.

Personally I'd be happy if they kept the current design but finally gave us the updated Xeons, IO technology and graphics that power users have been desperately wanting, however it's pretty clear they will offer a redesign, not least to keep the European regulators happy. The challenge for Apple will be offering something that equals or beats the current design and still looks good in 10 years just the way the previous one did.

However, I'm a bit unsure if and/or how much Apple might or should strip away from the current "everything internal" philosophy, thereby turning it into a more node-based product as has been hypothesised here. Just because Thunderbolt 1/2 can support external connections that are as good as internal does that really mean they should force customers to add bits and pieces externally, each requiring their own power supplies and massively clogging up the desk? The Mac Pro may be a tank but it allows me to have the rest of my desk relatively free of clutter with ugly peripherals.

Sure I bet not many people use all the PCI slots, but I think rather than offering several sizes Apple went with a one-size fits all and a "they're there if you need them" approach. You mightn't even realise what you need down the track and you might be kicking yourself if you bought a 2-slot Mac Pro but find you want a third internal slot later. I also think Apple can't ditch both optical drives yet. Optical media is still too important and useful for video professionals, though it seems that Apple is at war with optical and wants to ditch it as soon as possible. In that case I'm not really looking forward to having to connect an ugly external optical drive.

So I think they will find a way to trim it down slightly (and make rack storage more space-efficient) but I don't think we'll get the hypothetical xMac or Mac Mini on steroids. That's still a completely different product category that Apple has thus far decided to avoid rather than fragment its Mac Mini and iMac customer base. I do think Apple should make an xMac, but not as a Mac Pro replacement.

I would like to see Apple make the xMac but also continue making a big workstation with dual sockets for massive performance and storage. I'm a customer for the later more than the former but I can see plenty of people that can't afford or want a Mac Pro but want better than a Mac Mini with its integrated graphics and the ability to drive a screen of their choice.
Edited by s.metcalf - 4/28/13 at 12:54am
post #87 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

People that don't own a Mac Pro just don't get it. And as far as those silly benchmarks, that means nothing it actual daily use. Try some some video rendering for example and compare the results when all 12 cores are being used in a Mac Pro. Finally we can also use off the shelf video cards. Apple are notorious about not offering the latest or fastest video cards as an option. I recently bought a new Nvidia for my Mac Pro and it screams. I will never be interested in an iMac and certainly not a Mini. I enjoy the speed and expansion possibilities a Mac pro affords and I also have two very nice 30" monitors. The iMac is a fine computer for people in that market but I have all 4 hard bays used with drives from 2 to 3TB in size and even that isn't enough space. I have an external quad bay Firewire 800 enclosure daisy chained to another dual bay enclosure. I realize I am not typical and most people don't need over 10TB of storage like me but for those of us that do the iMac is not a great option. 

 

People that need a Mac Pro NEED a Mac Pro and the iMac will never be a good substitute for me. It is like asking Corvette owners to just make do with a Chevette instead since they are both Vettes after all. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

E
Everything this man said is 100% spot on.

 

 

 

 

 

Totally agree.

 

And aside from the video industry, there are plenty of scientific researchers who would love to have an OS X based supercomputing workstation on their desktop, having to deal daily with problems for which the iMac, as excellent a product as it is for its intended market, would (and should) be considered a toy in comparison. Perhaps some folks simply don't appreciate the extreme compute resource requirements of some of today's outstanding computational grand challenges, such as numerical general relativity codes to simulate black hole collisions and gravitational wave generation, realistic simulations of which can easily consume sustained teraflop processing rates for days, hundred of Gigs - if not a terabyte - of RAM, and massive bandwidth. An iMac isn't even an option in this context. 

 

Of course many scientific problems are already being tackled by modular GPU hardware approaches, and this must surely be properly supported by future Apple pro hardware. It's a rather sad state of affairs that nVidia's website doesn't even mention OS X support for its Tesla K20 cards (which now offer over a teraflop of double-precision floating point performance): just for Windows and various flavours of Linux. I'd like to see Apple offer a serious route to a real "desktop HPC platform". From some manufacturers' marketing (including Apple's in the past!) one might think we're already there, but I would define this as a single (though possibly modularly extended), relatively small form-factor machine on which known difficult scientific problems can be viably addressed. Ie the ground between workstation and entry-level big-iron HPC (ie up to say $100k).  Sure it'll never be the size of an iMarket, but there other factors, such as prestige, involved.

 

While linked academic clusters and the cloud offer some solutions in this field today, the prospect of running custom codes at will on private hardware remains attractive (especially with competition to be the first to detect gravitational waves heating up in the next few years). Imagine a centre announcing that one of its researchers had used a Mac Pro to run waveform analysis on signals received by a gravitational wave detector, which finally confirmed the existence of one of the remaining predictions of Einstein's theory. Nobel prize for him, priceless kudos for Apple!

 

post #88 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Possibly just me being grouchy then.  I don't see how the question was really answered at all though.  

This means you didn't read (nor understand) the whole article.

I hate "question mark article titles", too, but DED is no cheap hack, and he DID answer his own question at the end of this article!

What will Apple do with the Mac?

For one thing, I LOVE my new iMac with its quad-core processor, huge beautiful non-glare display, no optical drive (which I rarely used on my previous machine, sleek thin-edged design, and the best-ever-designed access to the RAM of ANY Mac I've ever owned, into which I put 32 GB!

A very wise man once said that it's a waste of breath to try to explain something to someone who doesn't just get it on his own. So I was very pleased to see DED come to the same conclusion as I when he spoke of the possibility of a modular Mac Pro which Thunderbolt makes possible: a small chassis without big fans or card slots, but with a lot of (SD?)RAM slots, with OPTIONAL external expansion card boxes, inter-connected via (OPTICAL) Thunderbolt.

They could even use the Mini form factor and make these boxes stackable and inter-connected via cable-less iOS-style dock plugs.

I'll go further out on a limb to say that they're waiting to also announce that the new modular Mac Pro is manufactured in the US.

They simply had to wait for all the logistics to comes together.

The timing couldn't have been better, either, what with the collapse of cheapo Windoze boxes, the Zune-style failure of Surface, and the Windoze 8 blunder.

The new modular Mac should enjoy its own Phoenix-like resurrection from the flames.

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #89 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

I think the Mac Pro is the most likely product to have its manufacturing moved to the US. Cook stated last year they had planned to move a whole product line to the US for manufacturing, a comment that seems to have been forgotten by the tech press in the rush to proclaim the doom of the company.

Nah, it's more likely to be made in the US because of BTO configurations that necessitate quick turn around times. This is OK.

However as for the future of the Mac Pro, what myself any many others would like to see is a return to the G3/G4 type of Mac/MacPro that was one step between the iMac/Macintosh and where the current Mac Pro is in terms of customization. What we instead got was a MacMini that basically a headless laptop (albeit a VERY GOOD one, but not upgradeable) that can replace most sub-800$ desktops easily, and a Mac Pro that is priced so far out of the market that only businesses that are creating content can justify it... and NO UPGRADEABLE VIDEO PARTS.

What we need is a Mac Pro that starts at the same configuration as the highest end iMac, and each model up, doubles the CPU/GPU core count without doubling the price. Thereby making the appropriate "see more power, for less price"

It would be nice to have seen Xgrid work out better, where you could stick maybe a dozen macmini's together to get the same power as 4 mac pro's, but this would unlikely have worked in practice due to different processing speeds. I'd like to see it revisited still because compressing h.264 video CAN be done this way.
post #90 of 192
Quote:
Just this month Red Shark released its Lightworks movie editing program for Linux. It is a program that seems to be on par with anything from Avid or Adobe.  It's even set up to create 3D movies, AND IT'S FREE!

 

 

When you make your livelihood from something, you simply can't rely on these kind of tools.

"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
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"We're Apple. We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits."
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post #91 of 192
Originally Posted by edwardryu View Post

Am I care? No. One of graphic data doesn't make any sense by the way. How is profit nonsense? I mean that it is really bigger than all top 5 PC vendors? You got to be kidding me? Apple Mac is dead. Look at worlds elect share. It is sill less than 4-5% max for decades.

 

Read the article linked: http://www.asymco.com/2013/04/16/escaping-pcs/

 

"The real problem for the PC vendors is not that they have such low margins–they’ve had low margins for decades. It’s that the volumes which made up for low margins are disappearing."

 

That's how. Apple's Mac volumes have grown steadily since the move to OS X. PC volumes have declined over that time, with the decline picking up speed recently as iOS and Android devices have cut sharply into sales of low-margin PCs.


Edited by TenThousandThings - 4/28/13 at 4:42am
post #92 of 192
Apple's foundation and heritage (80's and 90's) all comes from the high-end computer users who were attracted to the Mac platform. Photographers, graphic artists and other creative professionals in my circle of friends all used a Mac and in the big picture it had a trickle down effect on their more affordable machines. When I invested in Apple in 1997 at $7/share Apple had a half percent of the computer market, I thought certainly they could have own one or two percent of the market and I'd double my money, my point is keeping the Mac Pro is keeping a solid foundation and it too will have a trickle down effect. Apple needs to have a king of the hill work horse computer, letting any other computer company have this market would be an insult to Apple in my opinion.
post #93 of 192

Few professional need a Mac Pro these days, most have switched to iMac or even Mac Mini. I know many people who work in desktop publishing and a Mac Mini is enough for their processing needs. After all apart from certain filters, Photoshop does not use more than 2 cores on many tasks. If you are doing lots of rendering, need PCI-e slots, or need a lot of RAM to work with huge files, you need a Mac Pro. Otherwise buy an iMac and upgrade it every year instead of buying a Mac Pro and upgrading every 4 years. 

 

That being said, I love my Mac Pro and I'll buy a new one when Apple releases a new one. 

post #94 of 192
They will need the Mac so that all us developers can write apps for iOS! 1smile.gif
post #95 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

I don't know anyone who has gone the iMac route who didn't regret it. The issue is not the horsepower, it's the screen.

Just the opposite in my experience. With one exception, all were thrilled specifically with the display. I found the calibration to be good out of the box and very good after Eye One calibration.
post #96 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac 
as far as those silly benchmarks, that means nothing it actual daily use. Try some some video rendering for example and compare the results when all 12 cores are being used in a Mac Pro.

The benchmarks do use all the cores. The video rendering benchmarks are more consistent but show roughly the same results:

http://www.barefeats.com/wst10.html

The 2012 MBP and iMac score around the 8-core 2.8 and 3.2 Mac Pro level. The really expensive Mac Pros are up to double the speed but that extra performance is not significantly more productive in every case. If it takes 20 hours to edit together a sequence and it takes a Mac Pro 30 minutes to render it, an iMac, MBP or Mini would take an hour or so. You only save half an hour. It's not always worth paying the extra money for.

When it comes to GPU computation, it's even less of a difference because the 680MX is closer to the highest-end GPUs than the CPUs:

http://www.barefeats.com/imac12p2.html

They test Da Vinci Resolve performance and After Effects. That's not to say anyone should choose a lower performance machine for the sake of it but it means that a MBP or iMac are suitable alternatives to the Mac Pro now for even the highest-end processing and that's great because they are cheaper and the MBP is portable.

When you take SSDs into consideration, Mac Pros still only have SATA 3G vs SATA 6G in the iMac/Mini/MBP so you don't get the full performance out of them unless you use up one of the PCI slots.

Upgradability is usually considered a plus for the Mac Pro but it's a negative for Apple. It doesn't do Apple any favours putting a new GPU in say a 2009 Mac Pro. It just means Apple hasn't had any money for 4 years and the GPU can make it last another 2-3 years or more. Apple has a reason to prevent that and encourage people to buy a new machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I would think the Mac Pro would be well served by having 3 separate Thunderbolt full bandwidth controllers on-board so that they aren't shared to match 3 PCI-E 3.0 full x16 slots support on the card to allow for a triple GPGPU or a dual and then a CAD based separate third card specifically for CAD/CAM.

The Mac Pro doesn't currently have 3 x16 slots free. The Mac Pro right now has one x16 with a GPU in it, one x16 and two x4s free. Multiple high-end GPUs has never been a requirement for the Mac Pro because it only has a 300W supply limit on the slots, which means you get just one high-end card. GPUs don't have to be run over Thunderbolt, any revision would have a GPU internally using 16 lanes. Even with 2 Thunderbolt ports, they replicate the 2 x4 slots in the current Pro. With Thunderbolt being plug and play and chainable, it's not essential to have more than two unless all the peripherals use the bandwidth at the same time in the same direction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone 
The single task environment is not the primary target market for a new Mac Pro. We do a lot of multitasking with our Mac Pros and I can't wait to get my hands on the new version.

It depends what the single task is. If someone only runs Maya, that's a single task and is a target for a Mac Pro. Similarly if you run Maya and After Effects, Photoshop etc, a MBP or iMac are suitable for it.
post #97 of 192

There is simply not enough market for a Mac Pro. Like most others have already concluded, iMac and MBP are simply more then powerful enough for those needs. And within a few more years, more powerful GPU and CPU with better software for GPGPU usage to cater for the rest.

 

But Apple should not abandon it simple because there isn't a market.

 

The most obvious thing to do is to make a Mac Pro that could somehow be rack mounted, be it 2 Mac Pro in one 2U, or others ideas, making the MacPro both useful for Servers, which could be used in Apple's DC as well as sold to Professional Users that requires Xeon and ECC Ram.

 

Having a market with surging needs of Servers, ( those that want a OSX Virtualization ) and a fixed or non growing market of professional, that should keep the Mac Pro alive for decades to come.

post #98 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

There is simply not enough market for a Mac Pro. Like most others have already concluded, iMac and MBP are simply more then powerful enough for those needs. And within a few more years, more powerful GPU and CPU with better software for GPGPU usage to cater for the rest.

 

But Apple should not abandon it simple because there isn't a market.

 

The most obvious thing to do is to make a Mac Pro that could somehow be rack mounted, be it 2 Mac Pro in one 2U, or others ideas, making the MacPro both useful for Servers, which could be used in Apple's DC as well as sold to Professional Users that requires Xeon and ECC Ram.

 

Having a market with surging needs of Servers, ( those that want a OSX Virtualization ) and a fixed or non growing market of professional, that should keep the Mac Pro alive for decades to come.

there in lies part of the problem, whilst demand might be low, you need to take hit on profit margins to retain your customer base from time to time. It is not reasonable to assume that you can generate stellar profits from every sector.

post #99 of 192
ascii 2013/04/27 02:38pm
The Mac is not going anywhere. Imagine an alternative history where Apple had never made computers and had started with the iPod, then the iPhone and iPad. What would the endless chorus from the media be? "When will they make a laptop"

No, the question being asked would be "Apple who?"
post #100 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Possibly just me being grouchy then.  I don't see how the question was really answered at all though.  

Well, in reality no one except Apple can truly 'answer' the question, can they?
post #101 of 192
Daniel makes a point I haven't seen made before... That even if it isn't a top market niche, the Pro acts as the Le Mans of R&D, giving them a real world test track for cutting edge technologies that will eventually trickle down to their real money makers. A verticals lab that few others ( if any) have.
post #102 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

[...] a microscopic group of non-professional, self-deluded weenies who are living in the past, and don't like Apple very much in the first place.

 

Wow. That's so insulting it would likely precipitate a physical response if delivered in person.

 

I don't happen to need that much storage myself, but I know a couple people who do, and another who simply prefers to not be bothered with having to constantly cycle content, choosing to simply load her entire library at once and be done with it. They are neither self-deluded nor weenies.

 

As for liking Apple, that is a characteristic reserved for the fanatical zealots. You won't find most people evangelizing for the company that built the speakers in their living room, the appliances in their kitchen or the manufacturer of their lighting. Most people choose a product based on its suitability for their purpose, not because of a love affair with the manufacturer. Still, just as a person who doesn't like Ford probably isn't going to be buying a Transit anytime soon, it should be obvious that someone who doesn't "like Apple very much" isn't going to buy an iPod.

 

Assuming you ARE the type who "likes Apple very much," I would suggest that insulting those who buy its products is not an effective means of promotion.

post #103 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't think Apple cares so much about Windows capability anymore.

 

Based on what I've seen in our plant, I think it matters MORE on a "pro" machine than a consumer model. As you know, certain industry-standard programs are Windows-only, and it's easier and more cost-effective for the designers/artists to switch operating systems on a single workstation than it is to either futz with screwy KVM setups or physically reposition to a separate machine.

post #104 of 192

  We sold a G5 Mac Pro which ran a Pro Tools TDM system last year, as a interested buyer appeared and we figured what the heck.  So that rig was replaced with a 2012 MBP (same external monitor) and PT10 and a new native interface.   Forget power, forget rendering, forget screens.  I now need two fully loaded up hubs (USB for dongles and periphs, FW for drives and interface) whereas before I needed neither.   Here's a good example:  Apple is so tight on the spacing with the ports that I can't use several of the dongles without the hubs anyway!   (Forget about using two thumb drives, I can't do that at all.  A hub just for those times).  There is no way around the octopus of cables and wall warts just for these two things.   Haven't even touched on storage or video (or laptop audio ) outs. Since I use the MBP screen as well having it out of the way is not an option.  All roads lead to the top of the desk, so the hubs are all as far as I can get them but snake to the desk, and of course it's good enough.   Previously at this space we had every bay filled with large and fast drives which covered every angle.  Bring out externals only at the end of the day to have the files exist at another location, so I didn't even have drives (and their FW cables and power supplies) attached 80% of the time.  Naturally a multi-bay enclosure gives us back some of that, but it's yet another external solution to give me back what I had, though with another FW and PS cable  : )

 

  Plenty of other similar differences to using a laptop or iMac.    These are of course mostly issues that can be helped by throwing several hundreds of dollars at it, and we have.    When the suitable for our needs T-bolt docks arrive we'll spend another $400 just to move more of the cabling away from the computer.   

 

  Sure, a pimped out Mac Mini would be a somewhat better hub for this, but there were enough (mostly functional) cons with a mini of the time to go with the MBP.

 

  I miss having a tricked out (even older, slower) desktop which served as the axis for the rig while sitting 20 feet away.  We are awaiting the new Mac Pros if only so we can go back to those days, horsepower and other 2013 niceties are secondary.

post #105 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

Link?

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/12/06/apple-will-invest-100m-to-bring-some-production-of-macs-to-us-in-2013

http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/04/16/florida.set.to.become.important.apple.hub/

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/04/08/apples-us-based-chip-development-expanding-in-florida-could-be-related-to-fingerprint-tech

 

Here are some related links, I dont think Florida is where the manufacturing facility will be built but it will have two research facilities for chips one for the authentec buy and one for the A series as both articles note that apple is already listing jobs for those facilities.

 

But the first article is about what Tim Cook said that one mac line will be built in the US and apple is dropping 100 million to make it so this year.  Because the Mac Pro is a small line that amount of money for a facility to build the Mac Pro would be an appropriate amount.

post #106 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

While Apple hasn't technically confirmed a Mac Pro, there was a model identifier separate from the iMac. 

Actually shortly after Tim told the user that there would be a new mac pro an apple spokes person confirmed there would be to Forbes:  

 

Quote:
An Apple spokesman just told me that new models and new designs of the Mac Pro, as well as the iMac desktop, are in the works and will likely be released in 2013. That confirms what New York Times columnist David Pogue said yesterday, citing an unnamed Apple executive, about Apple’s commitment to its desktop computers.

Article here:  http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/12/apple-spokesperson-confirms-new-mac-pro-and-imac-designs-likely-coming-in-2013/

post #107 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Thunderbolt expansion chassis are great now

 

Unless you want to use a GPU/Video card. Then they're not all that useful.

post #108 of 192
Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.
post #109 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

 

I would think the Mac Pro would be well served by hanving 3 separate Thunderbolt full bandwidth controllers on-board so that they aren't shared to match 3 PCI-E 3.0 full x16 slots support on the card to allow for a triple GPGPU or a dual and then a CAD based separate third card specifically for CAD/CAM.

That would be outstanding

post #110 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.

Apple is  not eliminating there Mac Pro line.  Which is what all the talk here has been about, the new Mac Pro that Tim Cook said would happen this year.

post #111 of 192

I fully appreciate the benefits of Apple's "shed the old, embrace the new" approach to interface design, but in the case of a "pro" machine, I wonder if pushing everything outside the box is a good idea?

 

A lot of what we've traditionally relied on internal devices to accomplish can now be done with external units, but it's more hassle, more expensive, and in SOME cases, all but impossible (try finding an external solution that's equivalent to a top-of-the-line NVidia GPU/video card). External solutions are usually less capable and more expensive than their PCIe counterparts (look at Blackmagic Design or RME for examples). An outboard Blu-Ray burner cost 3-4X as much as an internal, though maybe that's now such a niche use, even in pro circles, that it's not worth reserving space for even a BTO drive option?

 

In my case I'd be stretched just swinging the budget for the computer so increasing the cost of peripherals would be a hardship, but maybe for most buyers an extra few hundred bucks per device isn't a big deal when they're paying 3 to 6 grand for the computer.

 

Thoughts?

post #112 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.

Pixar uses Linux machines:

http://www-03.ibm.com/linux/events/pdf/PixarLinuxWorld%20NYC.pdf
http://news.cnet.com/IBM-puts-Linux-converts-on-display/2100-1016_3-826926.html

Those are older references but there are recent videos that show the workstations:



http://vimeo.com/19789693

They comment on Steve Jobs' building design decision in the second one. There is some Apple kit there like 30" Cinema displays, Macbook Pros and Apple keyboards but no sign of Mac Pros. They could be running Linux on Mac Pros but the bulk of their render machines aren't:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20068109-52/new-technology-revs-up-pixars-cars-2/

"Pixar had to triple its size, and today, the render farm features 12,500 cores on Dell render blades."

Businesses like that have to stay on the cutting edge and custom build a lot of tools:

http://blogs.nvidia.com/2013/03/pixar-using-gpus-to-slay-latency-in-computer-generated-animation/

"Pixar uses tessellation shaders running on GPUs to preview characters’ hair styles. Among the things they’re looking for are stray hairs, consistency of thickness, and whether hair will block something important behind it in the final shot. Any such rendering on GPUs also must match renders on the CPU, which is where Pixar runs its proprietary RenderMan software."

You can't even do that with OS X because it's running a 3-4 year old version of OpenGL. They definitely have some Mac laptops though:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/7/4074956/pixar-senior-scientist-derose-explains-how-math-makes-movies-games

ILM has a similar setup:

http://www.fxguide.com/quicktakes/day-1-at-fmx-2013/

"Nowadays there is much more commercial software being used across the board and that the hardware infrastructure is no longer SGI (Silicon Graphics) hardware but off the shelf Dell or HP machines."

It's understandable why this happens, it's just the way business works. HP and Dell don't make a lot of profit on their consumer products so their workstation and server products make up a lot of their income. They stay on top of their hardware upgrades because they have to. Apple doesn't have that dependency. If the customer wants to be running Linux anyway, a Mac isn't the ideal machine for the job.
post #113 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandd View Post

  We sold a G5 Mac Pro which ran a Pro Tools TDM system last year, as a interested buyer appeared and we figured what the heck.  So that rig was replaced with a 2012 MBP (same external monitor) and PT10 and a new native interface.   Forget power, forget rendering, forget screens.  I now need two fully loaded up hubs (USB for dongles and periphs, FW for drives and interface) whereas before I needed neither.   Here's a good example:  Apple is so tight on the spacing with the ports that I can't use several of the dongles without the hubs anyway!   (Forget about using two thumb drives, I can't do that at all.  A hub just for those times).  There is no way around the octopus of cables and wall warts just for these two things.   Haven't even touched on storage or video (or laptop audio ) outs. Since I use the MBP screen as well having it out of the way is not an option.  All roads lead to the top of the desk, so the hubs are all as far as I can get them but snake to the desk, and of course it's good enough.   Previously at this space we had every bay filled with large and fast drives which covered every angle.  Bring out externals only at the end of the day to have the files exist at another location, so I didn't even have drives (and their FW cables and power supplies) attached 80% of the time.  Naturally a multi-bay enclosure gives us back some of that, but it's yet another external solution to give me back what I had, though with another FW and PS cable  : )

 

  Plenty of other similar differences to using a laptop or iMac.    These are of course mostly issues that can be helped by throwing several hundreds of dollars at it, and we have.    When the suitable for our needs T-bolt docks arrive we'll spend another $400 just to move more of the cabling away from the computer.   

 

  Sure, a pimped out Mac Mini would be a somewhat better hub for this, but there were enough (mostly functional) cons with a mini of the time to go with the MBP.

 

  I miss having a tricked out (even older, slower) desktop which served as the axis for the rig while sitting 20 feet away.  We are awaiting the new Mac Pros if only so we can go back to those days, horsepower and other 2013 niceties are secondary.

Couldn't have said it better. An iMac or Thunderbolt connected setup cannot be taken seriously at the pro level unless your needs are very specific or you don't mind clutter. I just love the comments of people who have never worked in a professional space. Have you ever even seen a pro level graphics card? They are bigger than a Mac Mini, draw large amounts of power,  and would cause an iMac to explode if it were possible to shoe horn one in, let alone cool it. That is only one subsystem. For the reasons stated above, I have no desire to get into a system like the one described above, a mess. Please, a Mac Pro tower with Pci 3 and an open selection of graphics cards. Thunderbolt 1 and eventually 2 for peripherals, Firewire for legacy, and plenty of fast RAM. And it wouldn't cost $30k...

post #114 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Ok, so Apple eliminates it's Pro line. Then what? We move development over to Windows? I can see it now, Pixar replaces all of their Mac Pro's with Windows 8 machines.

They never used Mac Pros or G5s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



You can't even do that with OS X because it's running a 3-4 year old version of OpenGL. They definitely have some Mac laptops though:

It's not just that. OpenGL performance in OSX has really slipped in the past several years.

post #115 of 192
Quote:
...deliver a really high end, attention getting workstation just for bragging rights.

That is what will happen, It makes perfect sense to have a fully kick ass professional unit.
post #116 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

An iMac or Thunderbolt connected setup cannot be taken seriously at the pro level unless your needs are very specific or you don't mind clutter.

You save the space that the Mac Pro would have taken up to begin with. There's more cabling with external storage + 2-3 peripherals but you can put them in a box if you like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post

I just love the comments of people who have never worked in a professional space. Have you ever even seen a pro level graphics card? They are bigger than a Mac Mini, draw large amounts of power,  and would cause an iMac to explode if it were possible to shoe horn one in, let alone cool it.

The size of the card isn't important. The fastest cards are not even 2x the performance of the iMac's GPU but cost $1000 or more each. Not to mention they are outside the safe power limits of the Mac Pro too.

The Radeon 7990 is 375W. I'm not sure how many professionals would put a 375W GPU into slots with a 300W power allocation but I doubt they'd be in business long.

The Mac Pro can obviously hold higher wattage cards than the iMac but they don't perform significantly better in practise. OS X doesn't support the highest-end GPUs on the software side either.

With the high-end GPUs out of the equation, you're just left with expansion cards, which work fine over Thunderbolt.
post #117 of 192

Interesting quote from the Verge Pixar article quoted above:

 

 

Quote:

Now, says DeRose, open-source software like Blender can do almost everything Pixar's software can do. Last summer, Pixar even open-sourced its subdivision surface code library. "We had a competitive advantage for ten years," DeRose says, "but now we get more value by letting everyone contribute."

Pixar's biggest competitive advantage now is its ability to use this math-driven technology not to make better shapes but to tell better stories. DeRose and Pixar aren't sitting on their laurels. "Somewhere out there, a brilliant kid and their friends are working in their garage" using and improving on tools like Blender, DeRose tells the assembled children and adults at MoMath. "They will be the next Pixar."

 

Interesting that they admit Blender has nearly all the capabilities of Pixar's own software.  

post #118 of 192
Couldn't agree more with gazoobee.
post #119 of 192
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

I fully appreciate the benefits of Apple's "shed the old, embrace the new" approach to interface design, but in the case of a "pro" machine, I wonder if pushing everything outside the box is a good idea?

 

A lot of what we've traditionally relied on internal devices to accomplish can now be done with external units, but it's more hassle, more expensive, and in SOME cases, all but impossible (try finding an external solution that's equivalent to a top-of-the-line NVidia GPU/video card). External solutions are usually less capable and more expensive than their PCIe counterparts [...]

 

If Dan is right, PCIe functionality will be pushed outside the box, via Thunderbolt. Apart from that, it's just the optical drive. Everything else stays inside, obviously. I would hope that Apple would not do this (move PCIe outside the box) unless anything that could formerly be added via PCIe can now, or soon will be, possible via Thunderbolt.

 

But you've definitely hit upon one limitation that early adopters will likely face. Dan doesn't point out the fact that the current Ivy Bridge with its Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controllers doesn't have the bandwidth to be useful for high-end external GPUs, nor do the just-announced Redwood Ridge Thunderbolt controllers for Haswell, at least according to this person:

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6885/new-thunderbolt-controllers-dsl45104410-and-future-20gbps-falcon-ridge-tb-controller-announced

 

So it won't be until the Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt controllers that high-end external GPUs will be a reality via Thunderbolt. So early adopters will have to accept a limitation that won't be remedied until a major refresh in 2015, when the Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt controller would most likely make its way to the new Mac Pro.

 

In short, if they do this now, Apple will be way out on a limb for at least two years. But Intel will be out there with them, and maybe it will scare Microsoft into dealing with this problem. This isn't Firewire. I'd love to know what Dan thinks about the whole "Thunderbolt is the new Firewire" (quoting one of the comments on the article linked above) meme that is bound to take hold in the wake of Apple doing this.

 

You have to wonder if Apple will include two internal GPU slots, thereby removing this limitation, since then you wouldn't need Thunderbolt to handle a second GPU/video card.


Edited by TenThousandThings - 4/28/13 at 3:45pm
post #120 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodshotrollin'red View Post

Mac Pro's are the only Mac's I buy now as they are hardware configurable. If they drop the Pro I will reluctantly drop OSX (still my favourite OS). I want some control over my machines. Apple can't have it all.

Well you can always build a Hackintosh if that happens, they actually work quite well, you can have faster CPU's, more memory, workstation level GPU cards for a fraction of the cost of a Mac Pro.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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