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New Mac Pro

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

All these people who think Apple has given up on pros need to get a clue.  Apple is preparing to launch the next big thing.  Whether it happens at this next Keynote is not important.  It will happen this year and probably soon.  All the clues point to one thing - and I am not just talking about an iWatch.

 

Apple has the money and the tech resources to design the future and that is what they have done.  That is why the Mac Pro has limped along.  It is not that Apple no longer cares about power users.  They are leap-frogging the competition.  They have been focusing on the next generation of professional computers.  Just as Jobs introduced the Mac, the NeXt Cube, the iMac - I see a new generation of computer being introduced as Steve's last great computer.

 

This computer will probably have a 4K display with enough graphics power to run Red video in real time.  It will run new powerful versions of Final Cut, Logic Pro, and Aperture.  (I sure wish they would also do something like Pixelmator/Vectormator and a version of iWeb Pro.  I can only hope.)  It will be for content creators not for consumers.  It will redefine the standard of what a pro computer is.

 

The CPU will actually have a Xeon Phi coprocessor card or GPU coprocessors for all the media creation work.  This ties in to Grand Central Station and Xgrid.  Logic, Aperture, and Final Cut will all take advantage of this.  It will be ten times faster that current computers.

 

The computer will probably have a huge flash drive, no spinning drives of any kind and a next generation TB or something like that far beyond what we currently know about.  It will use Lightning instead of USB and not use FW.  Maybe we will see removable flash drives of some kind.

 

The other big thing will be OS Xi.  iOS and OS X will merge and continue on in the iDevices.  OS Xi will be for pro desktops.  I'd really like to see OpenDoc make its comeback here and all the OS moved to a metadata based system.  What better system to introduce it on than the next generation computer.

 

Of course it should all be in the form of a cube, brushed aluminum, a lot like the old NeXt cube.  It will run silent and cool.  I really wish it would be in a form that can be rack mounted, but it would not have the same emotional impact.  Maybe in the future.

 

When it is introduced, it will say hello to the audience in Steve Job's voice.  It will feature an updated version of Siri so you can talk to it and control it.

 

It will be everything Steve Jobs ever worked on rolled into one.

 

When everybody sees it they will get it immediately.  Cook and Ives will be smiling as they help honor Steve one last time.  The tech world will be in a buzz.  It will be the top news all over the world.  


Edited by visionary - 6/5/13 at 9:04pm
post #2 of 38

I sure hope so. I sure hope so… 

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #3 of 38

When I read this stuff, it seems more like excerpts from tech blogs and trade shows stitched together. It's easy to project things that may not totally align with system design when you don't have a lot of information on a product update. The no spinning drive thing is the most outlandish. If they were relics, the fusion drive concept would not exist as an option. You're likely to see more mature hybrid drives if the price of flash remains flat and consumer requirements escalate across a significant percentile. At the consumer level, games and possibly video (as a distant second) drive storage requirements  more than anything else.

 

Generally the goal is to satisfy users up the the 90th or 95th percentile with internal storage where the external portion is relegated to backups only. Outside of that you still have a market for the "outside the box" solutions. I think it's a fun writeup, but solutions like Xgrid died out long ago for Apple. They are more likely to pick up business from people with static workloads moving off those aging Linux based clusters to custom GPGPU code. I mention this as some developers have ported from Linux turnkey solutions to Macs. It would be a drastic change in strategy for Apple to attempt to leverage its offerings in the other direction.

post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 

My couple year old laptop I am typing on has no spinning hard drive.  Why is it so outlandish to suggest this for the next great computer?  My internal flash drive is so much faster than a spinning hard drive.  I think this is a no brainer really.  Sure my laptop drive is only 500 GB but it is also a couple years old.  Tech has improved since then.

 

I do not expect this new computer to be cheap.  Get an iMac if what you want is cheap.  But when it comes to doing audio, video, or as I did recently, a 60 foot by 12 foot photo project, you want horsepower and lots of RAM.  And I am willing to pay for it.  I would not balk at a $10,000 Mac Pro.  If somebody is expecting a $2,000 machine, then get an iMac.  But for next generation stuff, it will cost a lot.

 

The funny thing to me is how obvious all this is.  I am not just making stuff up without evidence.  Even the theatrics of it all is based on history.  This is what Steve would do.  If Apple doesn't do all this then they are missing their own legacy.

 

Do you not think Steve wanted one more stab at the desktop before he died?  Do you really think he only thought about iPads, iPods, iPhones, iWatches, and let his beloved Mac die?  Also, Apple is not forgetting about all their software.  This only seemed to die because they are preparing the next generation and have stopped development in the old.  Once they bring out the new, it will become obvious that Apple never abandoned all this software and hardware after all.  

 

Apple's own history shows they should have killed off the Apple II for the Mac.  Hanging onto the past is what almost killed the company.  That is why they let Steve go.  Steve wanted to do the next generation and the board at Apple wanted to milk the current generation.  At some point in time, it will be necessary to kill off the Mac as we know it for the next generation computer.  If you really understood Steve Jobs then this makes sense.  He left this legacy in Johnny Ives hands.  He will bring Steve's last baby to birth.

 

Tech people look at specs and stuff and do not think outside the box.  They do not understand philosophy and art.  Steve did.  You cannot understand Apple without understanding this bigger picture.  Desktop computers are not dead for pros.  However, pros - the content creators, should not be held back by content consumers.  iMacs and iPads are great for consumers and semi pros.  Once you take away this huge audience, you are left with a crowd of people who need horsepower.  Apple is not just about computers for commuters, they are going to build race cars for the pros.

 

Apple is not out to make lots of money in this category just like car companies are not into racing because of money.  It is about branding and marketing.  And the tech eventually trickles down to consumers.  At some point, all this pro level hardware today will be the consumer product of tomorrow.  By the time that happens, Apple will have it all built already and everybody else will be stuck with old tech.  They will die off.

 

The personal computer of old is dead.  iPads, iWatches, iGlasses, etc are the future for all things personal.  iMacs can handle desktops where stationary PCs are needed.  But pro level workstations need a jump in technology that small evolution cannot accomplish.  Darwinian gradualism cannot overcome irreducible complexity.  It take intelligent design to jump to these higher steps.

 

Apple has the money to make this happen.  They have the hardware, the software, the retail, the legacy, and they have one last computer from Steve Jobs. I believe this computer was started years ago.   Apple has been building the pieces one by one and not until OS Xi will it all come together.  

 

Steve quoted Wayne Gretzky about skating to where the puck was going, not to where it currently was at.  Hence the iPad, iPhone, etc.  But don't think for a second they ignored the pro market.  It just has taken a while for the puck to get there.  When it does, Apple will be there ready to score.

 

Some of this delay comes from intel and their chip design.  The cell processor in the PS2 showed the way for the future but it has taken a long time for it to come to fruition.  Don't think for a second Intel wasn't worried about the Cell processor.  It may not be the best thing for a PC or a server, but the idea is solid for media content creators - the exact crowd that Mac Pros are meant to serve.  

 

How many cores can Intel evolve in its chip design?  At some point they too need to jump to a new architecture that can scale with many more cores.  I think Apple and Intel are doing this together.  Apple needs the chip and Intel needs the computer company who can do the rest of the hardware and software.

 

Even Intel has reached a plateau lately just like Apple.  Both companies are still doing the x86 thing a little, but progress has tapered off.  I think Apple's talent is working on the next gen and so is Intel's top talent.  Intel wants to leave AMD in the dust.  This is what will kill off AMD.

 

Intel also has to worry about GPU co-processing.  Whether is is a Xeon Phi (cell type processor) or GPU coprocessors, this is where the next big power surge is coming from.  This calls for an OS that can support this.  That means Apple or Microsoft has to be onboard.  But you also need apps that use this.  Microsoft cannot do this.  Apple has the software.

 

That is why Apple has not released a new Logic in a while.  Same for Final Cut.  I think Final Cut X was eventually meant to fill the pro-am iMac crowd and Apple has another pro app waiting in the wings for the new computer platform.  As the new Mac Pro development took longer than expected, Apple had to do something with Final Cut in the mean time and that is why we got the debacle we did.  Final Cut X was just a stop gap.  Apple decided not to do that with Logic Pro X.  They are waiting for the new platform.

 

What if Apple surprised everybody by introducing the new Mac Pro Monday.  Even if it were not ready for another six months, they could show their future plans and get everybody ready to open their wallets when the time came.  Apple would not be killing off their iMac, laptops, iPads, or IPhone sales at all by doing so.  It would give the developers a heads up to develop for the new machine before it was ready to launch.  It would not make sense to launch with no other developers on board.  

 

So Monday could be a big day.


Edited by visionary - 6/5/13 at 10:20pm
post #5 of 38

You will    be surprised on Monday your wish is coming true.
 

post #6 of 38

MMXIII

 

Media Mac (os) XI (and two more things) II

post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

It will be everything Steve Jobs ever worked on rolled into one.

 

So it'll be the Apple III crossed with the Lisa?   

 

Some of what you wrote is nice, but for the most part it makes little sense.  Lightning connector replacing USB?  WHY!?!?  Are you just throwing technical terms out hoping one fits?    Speaking in Steve Job's voice?  That would be ridiculously simple for even an iPad to do now.  

 

The "new" Mac Pro will be the same box with updated hardware inside, TB (replacing the FW800) and USB3 ports.  They might change the front to ditch the optical drives and reconfigure air flow for cooling.  

post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

My couple year old laptop I am typing on has no spinning hard drive.  Why is it so outlandish to suggest this for the next great computer?  My internal flash drive is so much faster than a spinning hard drive.  I think this is a no brainer really.  Sure my laptop drive is only 500 GB but it is also a couple years old.  Tech has improved since then.

I do not expect this new computer to be cheap.  Get an iMac if what you want is cheap.  But when it comes to doing audio, video, or as I did recently, a 60 foot by 12 foot photo project, you want horsepower and lots of RAM.  And I am willing to pay for it.  I would not balk at a $10,000 Mac Pro.  If somebody is expecting a $2,000 machine, then get an iMac.  But for next generation stuff, it will cost a lot.

My next array has 4x4 TB drives and 5TB drives are coming soon (end of the year). To equal this space I would need 16 SSDs costing $9,600 alone (micron m500) not to mention needing a 16 drive bay. That's still a lot cheaper than the 2TB SSD that I was considering for $5000 each.

There's costs a lot and there's being stupid. A 1TB SSD main drive for $600 + a 4 drive internal array of HDDs is a lot less stupid. Replace the 2 optical bays with 2.5" bays for SSDs and you get a smaller footprint and higher capacity.

That would be $1200 worth of ssds and another $1200-1600 or so for decent 4TB HDDs (around $350+ for SAS drives if you want that...cheaper otherwise) for 2TB of fast SSD working space and 16 TB of local project storage.
post #9 of 38

I already pointed out that hybridized drives will provide a high level of performance with higher bandwidth. If Apple thought it was going toward full ssd implementation across the line soon enough, fusion drive solutions would not have been offered as cto options. Do you think it's really impossible to set up a secondary cache? HDDs already have a primary cache in the form of volatile memory. As for the rest of your caffeine frenzied rant, who do you think was responsible for the lack of an updated mac pro last year? They had extra development time due to intel's lagging, yet nothing materialized. If you read back your own words, they're filled with logical fallacies and emotional projections. They have nothing to do with system design.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


My next array has 4x4 TB drives and 5TB drives are coming soon (end of the year). To equal this space I would need 16 SSDs costing $9,600 alone (micron m500) not to mention needing a 16 drive bay. That's still a lot cheaper than the 2TB SSD that I was considering for $5000 each.

There's costs a lot and there's being stupid. A 1TB SSD main drive for $600 + a 4 drive internal array of HDDs is a lot less stupid. Replace the 2 optical bays with 2.5" bays for SSDs and you get a smaller footprint and higher capacity.

That would be $1200 worth of ssds and another $1200-1600 or so for decent 4TB HDDs (around $350+ for SAS drives if you want that...cheaper otherwise) for 2TB of fast SSD working space and 16 TB of local project storage.

 

HDDs still have a lot of valid use cases. You could even run everything in a striped RAID format with hourly backups for less than you would spend using high capacity SSDs. I don't see much of a point in multiple ssds in a single machine unless they become much more cost effective.

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I already pointed out that hybridized drives will provide a high level of performance with higher bandwidth. If Apple thought it was going toward full ssd implementation across the line soon enough, fusion drive solutions would not have been offered as cto options. Do you think it's really impossible to set up a secondary cache? HDDs already have a primary cache in the form of volatile memory. As for the rest of your caffeine frenzied rant, who do you think was responsible for the lack of an updated mac pro last year? They had extra development time due to intel's lagging, yet nothing materialized. If you read back your own words, they're filled with logical fallacies and emotional projections. They have nothing to do with system design.

 

HDDs still have a lot of valid use cases. You could even run everything in a striped RAID format with hourly backups for less than you would spend using high capacity SSDs. I don't see much of a point in multiple ssds in a single machine unless they become much more cost effective.

 

I was responding to the assertion that the next Mac Pro would have no HDDs.  Perhaps you need to chill and actually read what is written.  My tolerance for idiocy here is dropping rapidly.

 

Fusion might be an option but frankly I'd rather manage my SSD/HDD allocation by hand if I have 2TB of SSD space available.

 

The lack of an updated Mac Pro last year is unexplained.  The most likely is that they simply didn't have the bandwidth to bother with such a low volume item when they needed to get other stuff out the door.  Even a spec bump requires effort and testing.  You can't read anything useful into the gap.

 

As for multiple SSDs in a single machine:

 

1) 2TB is better than 1TB.  OS, apps and scratch on one drive, working data files on the other.  Can be 2 volumes of JBODed together.  Reasonably safe to JBOD 2 SSDs.  Depends on your risk tolerance.

2) Two 1TB SSDs in a RAID 1 is as fast and safer than just a 1TB SSD.  SSDs can fail.  It's just not as common as in HDD with moving parts but controllers go bad.  Depends on your risk tolerance.

3) You need around 4-5 SSD to saturate the bandwidth available in a RAID array.

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-raid-iops,2848-7.html

 

Here you see 4xSSD has about the same performance as 6xSSDs but that may be a limitation of the R6 itself.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4489/promise-pegasus-r6-mac-thunderbolt-review/6

 


I can see folks wanting to be able to use the Mac Pro without needing an external 4bay or 6 bay RAID since it's going to want to be fairly large for cooling and slots anyway.  I could go either way since TB is well suited as a storage interconnect and being able to use the Promise R4/R6 with a MBP on the go has great appeal.  Especially since all the data I need would already be on it.


Edited by nht - 6/6/13 at 7:02am
post #11 of 38

I think we might see some big news on the 3D graphics 3D UI front. And a powerhouse app from Autodesk

post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

I was responding to the assertion that the next Mac Pro would have no HDDs.  Perhaps you need to chill and actually read what is written.  My tolerance for idiocy here is dropping rapidly.

 

Fusion might be an option but frankly I'd rather manage my SSD/HDD allocation by hand if I have 2TB of SSD space available.

 

The lack of an updated Mac Pro last year is unexplained.  The most likely is that they simply didn't have the bandwidth to bother with such a low volume item when they needed to get other stuff out the door.  Even a spec bump requires effort and testing.  You can't read anything useful into the gap.

 

As for multiple SSDs in a single machine:

 

1) 2TB is better than 1TB.  OS, apps and scratch on one drive, working data files on the other.  Can be 2 volumes of JBODed together.  Reasonably safe to JBOD 2 SSDs.  Depends on your risk tolerance.

2) Two 1TB SSDs in a RAID 1 is as fast and safer than just a 1TB SSD.  SSDs can fail.  It's just not as common as in HDD with moving parts but controllers go bad.  Depends on your risk tolerance.

3) You need around 4-5 SSD to saturate the bandwidth available in a RAID array.

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-raid-iops,2848-7.html

 

Here you see 4xSSD has about the same performance as 6xSSDs but that may be a limitation of the R6 itself.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4489/promise-pegasus-r6-mac-thunderbolt-review/6

 


I can see folks wanting to be able to use the Mac Pro without needing an external 4bay or 6 bay RAID since it's going to want to be fairly large for cooling and slots anyway.  I could go either way since TB is well suited as a storage interconnect and being able to use the Promise R4/R6 with a MBP on the go has great appeal.  Especially since all the data I need would already be on it.

I think you misinterpreted my response, which is actually my fault. The condescending portion at the top was aimed at the OP's response to my prior post where he went off on a silly rant about Steve Jobs and his dying wish. I just didn't bother quoting any of that nonsense. I added in your quote below to acknowledge it. I should have clarified that. I do think HDDs still have a place, thus my comments. They're much more cost effective per GB. I don't think the fusion option would have been released if Apple thought ssds were only a year away from being cheap enough to fully propagate throughout the line. Some raid solutions can be extremely expensive with HDDs, such as Raid 5. I'm not sure how ssds hold up in that scenario. The issue with raid 5 is basically the need to use enterprise grade drives and the flakiness of lower end controllers with either striped parity as in the case of raid 5 or a dedicated parity drive if anyone still uses raid 3. For something smaller I would just go with hourly backups and caviar black drives.

 

I think it makes sense to keep as many bays in the mac pro as possible, given that the cpu includes a SATA controller either way. You still need external backups, but the addition of a few bays makes little impact on price. I think the arguments against them are from people who don't understand controlled price points. Anyway regarding the anandtech link, the results with 4 ssds are in line with thunderbolt's bandwidth limits. They are impressive numbers.

post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

All these people who think Apple has given up on pros need to get a clue.  Apple is preparing to launch the next big thing.  Whether it happens at this next Keynote is not important.  It will happen this year and probably soon.  All the clues point to one thing - and I am not just talking about an iWatch.  

So there's an article on Macrumors about Douglas Brooks, the Mac Pro Product Manager at Apple, saying this about the next Mac Pro to Andrew Baird:

 

"You are going to be really glad that you waited. We are doing something really different here and I think you're going to be very excited when you see what we've been up to. I can't wait to show this off."

 

Douglas Brooks - Mac Pro Product Manager at Apple looking like a boss.

 

After speculating and thinking much about the subject for months I would like to say that this is what I expect from the next Mac Pro... a smaller footprint to reduce the resources used to manufacture it, allowing more to be made, and more shipments to be processed. Mac OS X 10.9 with Siri and Maps, iRadio, Bluetooth, Wifi AC, Gibabit Ethernet, PCI Express 3.0, Haswell or Xeon Processors, an IGP if they decide to not to allow PCI Graphics Cards, SSD's only, 4 USB Ports on the front, Mini Tower Chassis. A new bluetooth power connector capable usb keyboard with lithium batteries, a new magic mouse with lithium batteries, a better display with faster respond times and better contrast ratio with anti glare, 32 GB of RAM or more, Power User Features.


Edited by darkdefender - 6/6/13 at 10:26am

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 #14 of 38
Originally Posted by darkdefender View Post
"You are going to be really glad that you waited. We are doing something really different here and I think you're going to be very excited when you see what we've been up to. I can't wait to show this off."

 

Sounds like Final Cut Pro X's review by people in the industry who got it early.


Which means the new Mac Pro will be hated at launch.

 

Which means it will be a glorious success and truly will be the future of said computer type.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #15 of 38

Looking at the nVidia Quadro offerings makes me wonder…

 

Apple has different GPUs available on the iMac & laptops, why not make sure these are all the kind that can be swapped out for upgrades; AND use the same mobile Quadros as the standard graphics system in the new Mac Pro. Regular full-size (and full horsepower) Quadro GPUs will still be available for BTO (as will the various performance grades of the mobile versions). Pricing could be lower, using the mobile cards across the MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac mini & Mac Pro lines would let Apple buy in volume. And the customers would get choices in their GPUs, no matter the form factor of the computer (laptop, AIO, SFF, desktop).

 

Realize part of the issue (especially with Apple's design formula of less power = less heat & noise) would be power draw, heat output & cooling noise; but it might be a neat idea…

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post #16 of 38
Thread Starter 

hmm,

 

I too think spinning disks still have a place in today's computing.  I just think the main boot drive should be SSD.  This is the drive that should come standard on the new Mac Pro.  What you want to add extra is up to you.  If you want a RAID of HDDs then all the power to you.  However, I do not think Apple should force people into one thing or another when it comes to expanding the base system.  I did not say the system cannot use HDDs just that system should be all SSD - by that I meant the  standard boot drive should be SSD.  Sorry if you misunderstood.  I could and should have clarified better.

 

When you call the Steve Job's angle silly, you give no support.  I think it should happen - Steve's final "one more thing."  It is not a silly idea.  It is a very powerful idea that would cause ripples around the tech industry.  I'd love to see a final video of Steve going "If you are viewing this, that means I have died..."  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of this possibility.  I would love to see Steve give "one last thing".  It would go down in history as the great tech moment ever.  

 

Maybe I am wrong and it will not happen.  However, it it doesn't, Apple will have missed a great moment.

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

My next array has 4x4 TB drives and 5TB drives are coming soon (end of the year). To equal this space I would need 16 SSDs costing $9,600 alone (micron m500) not to mention needing a 16 drive bay. That's still a lot cheaper than the 2TB SSD that I was considering for $5000 each.
I suspect everybody here realizes the cost differential. The problem is this, does it really make snes into days market to sell a huge machine with those drive bays for the few people that need them. Believe me of the potential Mac Pro customers out there your type of usage is a small minority of potential users.

So lets imagine that instead Apple has a box without those bays that can sit on top of another box with those bays and connect with no speed loss. The expense of the support for disk arrays is removed from the base model and is only of a concern to users that need large storage capacity. If they manage to do this without a significant impact on overall cost then everybody wins. Entry into the Mac Pro becomes far cheaper and one doesn't have to worry about space wasted on features that they would never use.
Quote:
There's costs a lot and there's being stupid. A 1TB SSD main drive for $600 + a 4 drive internal array of HDDs is a lot less stupid. Replace the 2 optical bays with 2.5" bays for SSDs and you get a smaller footprint and higher capacity.
For bulk storage no one is really dismissing magnetic drives. What we are dismissing is the need to support those drives in a base machine.
Quote:
That would be $1200 worth of ssds and another $1200-1600 or so for decent 4TB HDDs (around $350+ for SAS drives if you want that...cheaper otherwise) for 2TB of fast SSD working space and 16 TB of local project storage.

Right now SSDs are expensive because manufactures can get away with high prices. While it may be a very long time before there is price parity the cost of SSDs will continue to decline. It won't be impossible to put a reasonable large SSD into the new Mac Pro that would cover many user needs. Apple has shown that they can be aggressive with SSD pricing if they want to be. The likely hood is that any SSD they implement in a Mac Pro would be large enough for a wide array of users while those with additional needs will have an option to support those needs.

To put it plainly, there is no reason to get ones undies in a bunch over a speculated SSD in these new machines.
post #18 of 38

Imagine a shiny new Mac Pro with a bootable Fusion-io ioFX 1.6TB SSD PCIe card…

 

Yeah, the card probably costs more than the mid-line Mac Pro; but just IMAGINE IT…!!!


Edited by MacRonin - 6/6/13 at 2:13pm
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post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Sounds like Final Cut Pro X's review by people in the industry who got it early.
Scary isn't it?
Quote:

Which means the new Mac Pro will be hated at launch.
You can almost see this coming right now. Some people are so set in their ways that they won't be able to see an improvement if it sat in their face. The random posts about what a Pro computer has to have are one example here. That to me is a sign of people focused on the past.
Quote:
Which means it will be a glorious success and truly will be the future of said computer type.
Yep! Sort of like iPad or Final Cut X. By the way you still get many pros spouting off about how bad FCP is even though it looks to be a success and gaining ground with professionals. Often the loudest are the ones least willing to look past the old and actively resist embracing the new.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I suspect everybody here realizes the cost differential. The problem is this, does it really make snes into days market to sell a huge machine with those drive bays for the few people that need them. Believe me of the potential Mac Pro customers out there your type of usage is a small minority of potential users.

 

 

4 bays isn't that many or that big.  Given that you want 3 full sized slots anyway the enclosure will be big.

 

No, this isn't an invitation to revisit the whole "you don't need slots" debate again.  If you don't need slots get an iMac and go away.

 

Small minority of users?  Citation needed because I call bullshit.  Folks that need Xeon + ECC RAM are often heavy users with lots of data.  Engineering, video, science users.  Large CAD projects, large video projects and large amounts of data for a heavy duty workstation.

 

Quote:
So lets imagine that instead Apple has a box without those bays that can sit on top of another box with those bays and connect with no speed loss. The expense of the support for disk arrays is removed from the base model and is only of a concern to users that need large storage capacity. If they manage to do this without a significant impact on overall cost then everybody wins. Entry into the Mac Pro becomes far cheaper and one doesn't have to worry about space wasted on features that they would never use.

 

Far cheaper?  The 4 bays doesn't cost much in relation to the cost of a thunderbolt RAID enclosure.  Find me a 4 bay TB RAID enclosure for under $500.  The cheapest I've seen is $800.  

 

Tell me that the 4 bays is adding more than $500 to the Mac Pro price.  It doesn't so it's not going to become "far cheaper".  Maybe 200-300 savings at a guess.

 

 

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For bulk storage no one is really dismissing magnetic drives. What we are dismissing is the need to support those drives in a base machine.
Right now SSDs are expensive because manufactures can get away with high prices. While it may be a very long time before there is price parity the cost of SSDs will continue to decline. It won't be impossible to put a reasonable large SSD into the new Mac Pro that would cover many user needs. Apple has shown that they can be aggressive with SSD pricing if they want to be. The likely hood is that any SSD they implement in a Mac Pro would be large enough for a wide array of users while those with additional needs will have an option to support those needs.

To put it plainly, there is no reason to get ones undies in a bunch over a speculated SSD in these new machines.

 

To put it plainly you can live with an iMac if you don't need slots or internal drive bays.  There are damn few demanding tasks that require ONLY a high end Xeon CPU and nothing else.  It's not a matter of aggressive SSD pricing.  $600 for 1TB is pretty reasonable already if you only need a couple and that has nothing to do with why some folks will want internal bays.

 

Like I said, I'm going to get an external array but I don't view these things with the myopic perspective of just my own needs.

 

Apple makes ONE freaking medium/heavy truck.  Stop dumbing it down because you want to save $300 or want to be able to park in a compact car only parking space.  Hell, it saves you what?  A whole inch and a half of height?  Maybe $300 in price?

post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionary View Post

The other big thing will be OS Xi.  iOS and OS X will merge and continue on in the iDevices.  OS Xi will be for pro desktops.  I'd really like to see OpenDoc make its comeback here and all the OS moved to a metadata based system.  What better system to introduce it on than the next generation computer.

 

Actually comments from Apple, plus their actions over the past 6-7 years says no. 

 

Common core yes. But the two are totally different systems. They see this which is why they haven't already merged them. 

 

There will be common gestures, icons, some features. But the two will always be separate variations of a common theme. Each designed for ideal usage on a particular type of hardware. 

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


4 bays isn't that many or that big.  Given that you want 3 full sized slots anyway the enclosure will be big.
You and I would love a few slots, however rumors seem to be set against that. No slots is pretty bad, one double width slot would be a minimal configuration in my mind.

As to bays that is a different discussion. For example what is the situation if they move to dedicated form factor PCI Express slots for secondary storage. Doing so gives the significant space advantages over what is required to support traditional HD form factors.
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No, this isn't an invitation to revisit the whole "you don't need slots" debate again.  If you don't need slots get an iMac and go away.
Actually if you respond to rumors about the new machine then you need to address the need for slots. The biggest problem I have with the no slots route is that some manufactures will never support low volume interfaces for their products. Frankly I'm not concerned about GPUs because I don't see a future for them in PCI Express slots. If you are wanting slots for GPUs I think you need to look towards the future a bit as I simply don't see them as being PCI Express bound.

Rather I see the need for PCI Express as a way to support specialized cards that aren't available in any other format.
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Small minority of users?  Citation needed because I call bullshit.  Folks that need Xeon + ECC RAM are often heavy users with lots of data.  Engineering, video, science users.  Large CAD projects, large video projects and large amounts of data for a heavy duty workstation.
Yes but in most corporations storage for those large projects are put on servers. In fact you would get slapped on the hand if you kept your work locally, well anything except scratch files. A 1TB solid state memory system would more than take care of those sorts of users. Even small shops have graduated to server storage of important files.
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Far cheaper?  The 4 bays doesn't cost much in relation to the cost of a thunderbolt RAID enclosure.  Find me a 4 bay TB RAID enclosure for under $500.  The cheapest I've seen is $800.  
At current prices it might not make sense but the prices don't reflect hardware costs. If Apple enters the market I would expect a fairly inexpensive product that would drive the price down on third party devices. As it is though you need to compare Apples to Apples here there are many expensive RAID enclosure out there that give TB enclosures a run for their money.
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Tell me that the 4 bays is adding more than $500 to the Mac Pro price.  It doesn't so it's not going to become "far cheaper".  Maybe 200-300 savings at a guess.
Physical costs are probably even less than that. It is really an engineering and marketing cost that makes supporting the bays a problem. A compact enclosure gives them the ability to reposition the Mac Pro pricing wise without ticking off current customers.
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To put it plainly you can live with an iMac if you don't need slots or internal drive bays.
That isn't true at all. You assume that the primary motivators for a Mac Pro purchase are slots and internal drive bays. That may be the case for some customers but I suspect it is fair to say that there are other motivators. For example video screen choice, large memory, freedom from throttling, raw performance and so on. In any event the removal of internal drive bays is no where near the problem dropping slots is. Like it or not magnetic drives are really slow devices relative to what is possible with today's solid state devices. That doesn't even address tomorrows solid state devices.
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 There are damn few demanding tasks that require ONLY a high end Xeon CPU and nothing else.
Actually I'd say there is none. After all you need a primary and secondary storage just to get going. These days you would also need network access and a few other features.
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 It's not a matter of aggressive SSD pricing.  $600 for 1TB is pretty reasonable already if you only need a couple and that has nothing to do with why some folks will want internal bays.
It isn't like I wouldn't have been on your side a few years ago, but today it doesn't make sense to build that capability into a base unit. TB gives you more than acceptable performance for bulk storage outside the box. It isn't like we are suddenly going to see much faster had drive performance anyways. Better yet a base unit can easily connect to multiple disk arrays in an integrated manner.

Like it or not TB has changed the picture as to what makes sense inside the box. By separating the two you win in several ways. For one each product can evolve on its own, there is little reason to redesign a disk array year after year. System maintenance becomes much easier. Base unit upgrades don't require transferring a bunch of drives to the new system box or copying data over, you just plug into the new box.
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Like I said, I'm going to get an external array but I don't view these things with the myopic perspective of just my own needs.
Well hopefully next week changes market dynamics a bit. By that I mean new Apple products will put TB based harder ware under pricing pressure.
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Apple makes ONE freaking medium/heavy truck.  Stop dumbing it down because you want to save $300 or want to be able to park in a compact car only parking space.  Hell, it saves you what?  A whole inch and a half of height?  Maybe $300 in price?

Done right they could knock a thousand off the price. That for a base line model but a high performance machine would see similar savings.

However you are being really dense here, performance requires denser systems with components "nearer" each other. It isn't dumbing down but rather getting ready for new generations of hardware that will be with us in the near future. Just to highlight a few:
  1. New memory technologies will require soldered in RAM chips in their highest speed configurations. This is true of a couple of different paths being pursued so it doesn't mater which way Apple goes. These faster chips with their faster buses have to be physically close to the processor to realize the speed potential.
  2. Flash based SSDs already out strip SATA speeds and as such need PCI Express based connections to realize full performance. This suggest that a machine designed for several years of useful sales life should standardize on a PCI Express based interface for secondary storage.
  3. Heterogeneous computing is coming and that implies giving GPUs an access path to RAM. PCI Express puts GPUs to far away from RAM to make some uses viable. I can't say if the architecture will change with this go around but for discrete GPUs to remain viable they need to address access to RAM some how so expect an architecture change for machines supporting discrete GPUs.
  4. Chips in general are of much higher integration thus the need for fewer on the motherboard. Those that are on the motherboard are much faster so again size maters.
  5. Not only is everything smaller but overall system heat output is lower thus affording new cooling solutions. Further tighter limits on what is inside the box means here is less variability in heat load thus more tailored cooling solutions are possible.

That is just a list off the top of my head as to why a smaller Mac Pro doesn't mean a less powerful box. If anything it means a more powerful system. If some of these features comes to pass we could see a dramatically more powerful machine. Or we could see almost nothing from this list in the new machine. Even if nothing comes Apple still needs to prep for future system architectures.
post #23 of 38

Edit : This forum software has been chopping off large portions of my multi quote responses :(. I'm not writing all of that again for now, even if some of it was relevant to the portions below.

 

 

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At current prices it might not make sense but the prices don't reflect hardware costs. If Apple enters the market I would expect a fairly inexpensive product that would drive the price down on third party devices. As it is though you need to compare Apples to Apples here there are many expensive RAID enclosure out there that give TB enclosures a run for their money.

Ahh inexpensive raid enclosures. Outside of thunderbolt you have usb3, esata, sas, firewire, and not much else if we're restricting storage and enterprise solutions.

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Physical costs are probably even less than that. It is really an engineering and marketing cost that makes supporting the bays a problem. A compact enclosure gives them the ability to reposition the Mac Pro pricing wise without ticking off current customers.

You lost me here. The controller is native to the chipset. You need sleds, airflow, and cables. How is that a big deal in terms of engineering? I don't know why anyone would believe that the mac pro pricing is somehow tied to construction costs. If you were to break down what goes into one, it's not so different from many of the other Macs in terms of required parts.

post #24 of 38
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Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Edit : This forum software has been chopping off large portions of my multi quote responses 1frown.gif. I'm not writing all of that again for now, even if some of it was relevant to the portions below.
Well at least I know I'm not the only one frustrated by the forums software.
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Ahh inexpensive raid enclosures. Outside of thunderbolt you have usb3, esata, sas, firewire, and not much else if we're restricting storage and enterprise solutions.
The point is these devices come in a wide array prices. Pricing doesn't alway reflect features either as some vendors trade on their reputation. You can buy cheap USB based RAID boxes or more expensive ones.
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You lost me here. The controller is native to the chipset. You need sleds, airflow, and cables. How is that a big deal in terms of engineering? I don't know why anyone would believe that the mac pro pricing is somehow tied to construction costs.
It isn't tied to its construction costs as Apple is charging a stiff price for the machine. However I don't see the current Mac Pro enclosure as what I would call an economical solution.

I really believe that the problem with pricing on the current Mac Pro is one of marketing. For whatever reason Apple believe that they need to teir products and further they believe that high pricing is perceived as "PRO". To put it plainly the price tag in the Mac Pro simply doesn't reflect the value of the hardware, especially in the base machine. An entirely new machine, that is new enclosure, motherboard and the whole works, allows Apple to restructure pricing.
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If you were to break down what goes into one, it's not so different from many of the other Macs in terms of required parts.

Nor is it significantly different than a lot of other hardware sporting XEON processors. Hardware that is considerably cheaper or in some cases more versatile.

I've never really understood Apples approach to the Mac Pro as far as marketing at the price levels they have been for the last few years. The underlying hardware doesn't justify the price nor does the the machines capability. They seem to have targeted an extremely narrow niche for the machine that isn't sustainable. No body in their right mind is going to pay $2500 for an entry level workstation these days. Especially in the way that Apple has configured its entry point into the Mac Pro world.
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Well at least I know I'm not the only one frustrated by the forums software.
The point is these devices come in a wide array prices. Pricing doesn't alway reflect features either as some vendors trade on their reputation. You can buy cheap USB based RAID boxes or more expensive ones.
It isn't tied to its construction costs as Apple is charging a stiff price for the machine. However I don't see the current Mac Pro enclosure as what I would call an economical solution.
 

Yeah the forum software keeps chopping my posts in weird ways. It posted the quotes, but not what I wrote under them. I was saying that some of the low end "raid on a chip" hardware solutions can lack stability and good support, especially on OSX. Even Apple contributed to that with their horrible internal raid card. I hate half supported solutions. I agree the case isn't really the cheapest as far as construction materials are concerned. It is thick aluminum with a lot of parts, but they used much higher end configurations in the sub $3k realm previously. I don't think it's just a matter that their hands are tied on construction. Going forward things that would make sense would be to accommodate some of the higher end gpu solutions, as they've drifted toward the higher end options at the time of release compared to a few years ago with the 7300GT. There's nothing to replace something like a 680 right now in terms of APU solutions, and they can't perpetually push it into the next year until that becomes viable at the upper mid range.

 

Quote:

 

 

 

I really believe that the problem with pricing on the current Mac Pro is one of marketing. For whatever reason Apple believe that they need to teir products and further they believe that high pricing is perceived as "PRO". To put it plainly the price tag in the Mac Pro simply doesn't reflect the value of the hardware, especially in the base machine. An entirely new machine, that is new enclosure, motherboard and the whole works, allows Apple to restructure pricing.
Nor is it significantly different than a lot of other hardware sporting XEON processors. Hardware that is considerably cheaper or in some cases more versatile.

I've said that for a long time. It's obvious to me that the current machine isn't what they would design today. It was designed with different hardware in mind. The matrix of pricing and features isn't very good. It's not like the general buyer will have everything they need for that $2500. There are buyers who spend $10k on a workstation before adding software, but they aren't purchasing the base model for that. In the end price relative to functionality is always a factor. I dislike when people such as idiot bloggers (I don't remember which one started that rumor) start to talk about modular form factors, as it's completely out of line with decades of computing design and makes little sense. Apple's most successful product is the iphone. It packs an incredible amount of functionality in something you can carry in your pocket. Pushing some hardware outside of the box was more of a side effect of exponential increases in notebook popularity. It would still be integrated internally if it would fit. In the case of a stationary machine, there's no reason to compromise that. Dropping all additional bays is essentially a passive price increase. I don't think the optical bays will survive. Some people might still want them, but that is one area that I'm fairly certain won't survive any design changes.

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I've never really understood Apples approach to the Mac Pro as far as marketing at the price levels they have been for the last few years. The underlying hardware doesn't justify the price nor does the the machines capability. They seem to have targeted an extremely narrow niche for the machine that isn't sustainable. No body in their right mind is going to pay $2500 for an entry level workstation these days. Especially in the way that Apple has configured its entry point into the Mac Pro world.

I actually think it was their way of steering as many people as possible away from the mac pro so that they could keep the Mac line as lean as possible.
 The 12 core machines just offered extremely high margin items.

post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Yeah the forum software keeps chopping my posts in weird ways. It posted the quotes, but not what I wrote under them.
The problems seem to vary by the week. Most of my access is via an iPad so I sometimes wonder if Safari on that platform is an issue. Your comments and others though kinda indicate that AI forums is screwed up.
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I was saying that some of the low end "raid on a chip" hardware solutions can lack stability and good support, especially on OSX. Even Apple contributed to that with their horrible internal raid card. I hate half supported solutions. I agree the case isn't really the cheapest as far as construction materials are concerned. It is thick aluminum with a lot of parts, but they used much higher end configurations in the sub $3k realm previously. I don't think it's just a matter that their hands are tied on construction. Going forward things that would make sense would be to accommodate some of the higher end gpu solutions, as they've drifted toward the higher end options at the time of release compared to a few years ago with the 7300GT. There's nothing to replace something like a 680 right now in terms of APU solutions, and they can't perpetually push it into the next year until that becomes viable at the upper mid range.
Well with a little less than two days to go I'm really hoping the Mac Pro replacement gets previewed at WWDC. Personally I think the market is right for a radical machine as is the potential technology.
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I've said that for a long time. It's obvious to me that the current machine isn't what they would design today. It was designed with different hardware in mind.
Yeah the very high heat output G5's.
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The matrix of pricing and features isn't very good. It's not like the general buyer will have everything they need for that $2500.
It is just not the desktop machine the majority of desktop users want.
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There are buyers who spend $10k on a workstation before adding software, but they aren't purchasing the base model for that. In the end price relative to functionality is always a factor. I dislike when people such as idiot bloggers (I don't remember which one started that rumor) start to talk about modular form factors, as it's completely out of line with decades of computing design and makes little sense.
I've seen a few proposals that just look stupid. However the term modular means different things to different people. Most of the proposals I've seen on the net can be dismissed rather quickly due to the designer not understanding computing hardware. For example you can't realistically put RAM in another module not does it make sense to out a GPU in another module. Disk arrays though are something that don't have to be in the chassis. Sure they could go in the chassis but you don't gain a lot over external solutions.
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Apple's most successful product is the iphone. It packs an incredible amount of functionality in something you can carry in your pocket. Pushing some hardware outside of the box was more of a side effect of exponential increases in notebook popularity. It would still be integrated internally if it would fit. In the case of a stationary machine, there's no reason to compromise that. Dropping all additional bays is essentially a passive price increase.
I don't see it that way. If the current Mac Pro costs $2500 at the base price and Apple can introduce a new machine where the base price plus the external array box comes in at the same price range it isn't really a price increase. The nice thing is that those designs are now decoupled so the person investing in this hardware has the option during each upgrade cycle to do it all or just some of the upgrade.
Quote:
I don't think the optical bays will survive. Some people might still want them, but that is one area that I'm fairly certain won't survive any design changes.
Hard to say. Mainly because I do believe Apple is responsive to the needs of professional users. If Apple where to ask me which do I want an internal optical or internal array capability I'd have to think a bit but I'd probably would go with the optical.

Realize that this is a significant change in my perspective as I was at one time interested in the Pro for its internal storage capability. My attitude has changed significantly over the last year and a half though. It is hard to explain but I have more computing hardware now than I have had in the past, which has lead me to think about storage in a broader sense. For some things storage on a network server makes sound sense. Network storage isn't everything though but external drives give you options as to what is connected to that device.
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I actually think it was their way of steering as many people as possible away from the mac pro so that they could keep the Mac line as lean as possible.
While it seems like that it is an incredibly ignorant or maybe childish thing to do. I'd be the first to admit that they seem to have purposely rigged the lineup to favor the iMac but all that accomplishes is irritation to your customers low regions. It is almost like they lack confidence in their product line.
Quote:
 The 12 core machines just offered extremely high margin items.
Maybe, but I the high end Mac Pros where better suited for their customers than the low end entry Mac Pro.

As to cores and chips I'm actually hoping that Intel and Apple have something up their sleeves that makes for a better fit for a workstation CPU. The current XEON line just isn't optimal for workstations. The right processor in the entry level machine would certainly have me reconsidering my objections to the high entry price of these machines.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
I don't see it that way. If the current Mac Pro costs $2500 at the base price and Apple can introduce a new machine where the base price plus the external array box comes in at the same price range it isn't really a price increase. The nice thing is that those designs are now decoupled so the person investing in this hardware has the option during each upgrade cycle to do it all or just some of the upgrade.
 

 

A good point.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Maybe, but I the high end Mac Pros where better suited for their customers than the low end entry Mac Pro.

As to cores and chips I'm actually hoping that Intel and Apple have something up their sleeves that makes for a better fit for a workstation CPU. The current XEON line just isn't optimal for workstations. The right processor in the entry level machine would certainly have me reconsidering my objections to the high entry price of these machines.

I'd agree with that.

 

You're just stuck with a dino saur humungous case with a crappy quad core xeon for £2045 inc vat!  With crap gpu.  With embarrassing ram...and HD options.

 

I call it the 'hubris' model. :D

 

Trim the fat.  £1295.  Quad core.  £1495 hex core.  Get those sales jumpstarted.  A Cube.2 without the stupid price.  Want extra IO?  Take it outside, sonny.  Use Thunderbolt 2.  But you'll still have a bigger 'Cube' than the original.  ie for a 2nd SSD drive (to Raid?  How about a user friendly 'Fusion' drive to help with that, Apple?)  and a 2nd GPU.  Room for that.  And have the ram limit looked at.

 

Want extra power?  Buy another Cube.2 and hook it up.  Want extra IO?  See above.  You buy in the extra power you want.  But the 'solo' artist isn't paying for a 'studio' budget Hollywood dual processor hubris model.

 

Studios and gaming studios have closed down in this recession.  More price conscious as well as the solo flyer.  £395 workstation?  Heh.  Not yet...  But £1295 to get you started?  Clash with the iMac.  I don't see that.  It's something different for those 'building' something different. ;)

 

Get solo artists on the ladder.  Scale price with upsell.  (Hey, it's Apple...)

 

More Prosumer model.  Democratise the Workstation market (which I'd argue they've already done with iMacs, Mac Minis and Macbook Pros...the power has really encroached on the 'workstation' lawns...)  HP themselves.  

 

Just some thoughts.

 

Looking forward to the next Pro.  I suspect 'fall' of this year.  Shame.  Should be previewed like the original iPhone was.  6 months ahead of schedule!!!

 

Lemon Bon Bon. :P

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #29 of 38

ie if you buy two Cube.2 you're effectively buying a 'dual' processor model at the day...but your value can increase in someways.  Two Hexcore models would get you 12 core!  Two Hexcore models with 8 gigs of ram gets you 16 gigs of ram etc.  Twin them.  Quad them.  Apple also gets the 'solo' sale and the 'double' sale. Quad sales. Depends on the customer's scaleable needs.  

 

Apple can specialise in 'smaller' scale cluster computing with Open CL nodes.

 

Rather than the current cul-de-sac of a relatively shrinking market.

 

Hey, it's their trumpet their blow with all that software/hardware tech they magic sause.

 

Why not show a little more imagination in the 'workstation' market, Apple?

 

I'd happily buy a Cube.2 to add to my iMac if they brought one out...I could add them over time...

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

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

 

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

Reply

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

 

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

Reply
post #30 of 38

Well, Monday we should know one way or the other if there's a new MacPro. I must say, though, that the lack of leaks is worrisome.

post #31 of 38
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post
…the lack of leaks is worrisome.

 

Dublin down.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You and I would love a few slots, however rumors seem to be set against that.

What credible rumors of no slots?
Quote:
As to bays that is a different discussion. For example what is the situation if they move to dedicated form factor PCI Express slots for secondary storage. Doing so gives the significant space advantages over what is required to support traditional HD form factors.

Again the 4 bays currently don't add that much to the build size.

And the bays as designed in the pro are very nice.
Quote:
Yes but in most corporations storage for those large projects are put on servers. In fact you would get slapped on the hand if you kept your work locally, well anything except scratch files. A 1TB solid state memory system would more than take care of those sorts of users. Even small shops have graduated to server storage of important files.

At significant performance costs or at extremely high infrastructure cost. A SAN on simple GigE is not performant. A FC solution is still very pricey.

If you have a high end SAN solution you probably also have a render farm directly attached to that storage on a high speed link.

In which case the Pro is kinda overkill anyway over an iMac. All the heavy lifting is done on the farm.

I would guess that most Mac Pro users do local processing and a good percentage of those rely on high speed local storage vs central.
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If Apple enters the market I would expect a fairly inexpensive product that would drive the price down on third party devices.

Provide an example of this in the past.
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Physical costs are probably even less than that. It is really an engineering and marketing cost that makes supporting the bays a problem. A compact enclosure gives them the ability to reposition the Mac Pro pricing wise without ticking off current customers.

I know of zero pro users that would be ticked off if Apple simply lowered their prices.

The issue is ASP and margin preservation for Apple.
Quote:
That isn't true at all. You assume that the primary motivators for a Mac Pro purchase are slots and internal drive bays. That may be the case for some customers but I suspect it is fair to say that there are other motivators.

No, I'm saying the the primary motivator is that these users need a truck. That some pros don't use the slots or bays is immaterial. If you only make one model of "pro" truck then it needs to handle common uses cases like slots and bays.

This is a lot like saying "we'll gee, none of the pickups I see on the road have anything in their beds so really nobody really needs that and we'd save money by getting rid of the bed since most folks seem to just tow things. An external trailer is more flexible anyway. I used to think different but with the new thunderbolt trailer hitch I think everyone is better off without that internal bed taking up space and cost."
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I'd agree with that.

You're just stuck with a dino saur humungous case with a crappy quad core xeon for £2045 inc vat!  With crap gpu.  With embarrassing ram...and HD options.
To this day I'm not sure how Apple got away with selling such under speced machines into the "PRO" market. Especially in the context of RAM, which is a parameter that most pros understand and have a grasp of its current value.
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I call it the 'hubris' model. 1biggrin.gif
I'm not sure hubris applies here but then again I don't understand Apples positioning of the entry level product. Driving away customers by offering machines of poor value or that are not suitable for the task, is more stupidity than excessive pride.
Quote:
Trim the fat.  £1295.  Quad core.  £1495 hex core.  Get those sales jumpstarted.  A Cube.2 without the stupid price.  Want extra IO?  Take it outside, sonny.  Use Thunderbolt 2.  But you'll still have a bigger 'Cube' than the original.  ie for a 2nd SSD drive (to Raid?  How about a user friendly 'Fusion' drive to help with that, Apple?)  and a 2nd GPU.  Room for that.  And have the ram limit looked at.
Apple will likely address all of these. But they need to have a bit of self comtrol when it comes to no internal expansion at all. Thundebolt simply doesn't cut the mustard for some use cases.
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Want extra power?  Buy another Cube.2 and hook it up.  Want extra IO?  See above.  You buy in the extra power you want.  But the 'solo' artist isn't paying for a 'studio' budget Hollywood dual processor hubris model.
The idea of clustering is very interesting but I don't see that happening over TB. If Apple does go this route it will be with a built in Infiniband port.

As to the solo artist, lets step away from that niche and instead refer to the user as a skilled exploiter of computing hardware. That takes focus off Macs as graphics arts machines only.
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Studios and gaming studios have closed down in this recession.  More price conscious as well as the solo flyer.  £395 workstation?  Heh.  Not yet...  But £1295 to get you started?  Clash with the iMac.  I don't see that.  It's something different for those 'building' something different. 1wink.gif
Yeah they have closed down but I'm not willing to blame the recession. It is rather an issue of the market changing dramatically. There just isn't a huge market of people anymore that want to sit I front of computers gaming. I see computer gaming as a fad much like playing poker, something that never really dies out but has cycles of social acceptability.
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Get solo artists on the ladder.  Scale price with upsell.  (Hey, it's Apple...)
It is important to note that an entry level machine of good value doesn't mean the high performance models go away.
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More Prosumer model.  Democratise the Workstation market (which I'd argue they've already done with iMacs, Mac Minis and Macbook Pros...the power has really encroached on the 'workstation' lawns...)  HP themselves.  
Prosumer is an ugly term in my mind. It implies that people with modest workstation needs are some how less professional. There is no way I can twist my mind though to see the Minis or iMacs as pro machines. The Mini is for example only power powerful today relative to machines of the past. I would expect a new version of the Mac Pro to be a able to walk all over a Mini with more processor cores and a sizable GPU core.
Quote:
Just some thoughts.

Looking forward to the next Pro.  I suspect 'fall' of this year.  Shame.  Should be previewed like the original iPhone was.  6 months ahead of schedule!!!

Lemon Bon Bon. :P

If it isn't previewed or even released at WWDC I will be shocked. There is little reason not to release or preview as sales are in the crapper. A preview would certainly give people plenty to talk about. However an actual release would get real product into the hands of users offsetting a possible build up of negative sentiment.
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

What credible rumors of no slots?
Are rumors ever credible? The comments relate to some rumors that have floated about the net. I'm not sure it makes sense to get too wrapped up in them, but given Apples approach to computer hardware it isn't impossible to believe. Remember this is the company that glues its machines together.
Quote:
Again the 4 bays currently don't add that much to the build size.

And the bays as designed in the pro are very nice.
For a large tower type machine the Mac Pro is a nice "design" I don't think anybody argues with that. As a design or concept though I honestly believe its time has passed. It is simply more massive than it needs to be to deliver a high performance computing platform.

The question then becomes is high capacity storage, that is disk array support, a required element of a high performance computer. I'm saying the times are a changing and that the best place for a storage array is in another box.
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At significant performance costs or at extremely high infrastructure cost. A SAN on simple GigE is not performant. A FC solution is still very pricey.
Network storage is an approach common in industry and as such can't be dismissed performant or not. For performance a local disk array box solves that problem.
Quote:
If you have a high end SAN solution you probably also have a render farm directly attached to that storage on a high speed link.

In which case the Pro is kinda overkill anyway over an iMac. All the heavy lifting is done on the farm.
It is interesting that these discussions always turn towards graphic and movie production totally ignoring the fact that the Mac Pro has a market outside of the entertainment industry. People need to realize that there is a middle ground here that isn't movie production but is still workstation usage.
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I would guess that most Mac Pro users do local processing and a good percentage of those rely on high speed local storage vs central.
I'm not willing to give you "most", some do obviously. I'd go so far as to say your most is actually a small minority.
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Provide an example of this in the past.
IPad comes to mind as a device that was aggressively priced. In the context of traditional computers it is hard to say as Apple hasn't offered a device with such a split. However if you look at the Mac Book AIRs you will see a product that has remained very competitive in the marketplace.
Quote:
I know of zero pro users that would be ticked off if Apple simply lowered their prices.
Maybe I confused my statement there, but pros are ticked off over the Mac Pros high price. So yeah lowering the price would make people happy. The trick is to have hardware that allows them to do so marketing wise.
Quote:
The issue is ASP and margin preservation for Apple.
No, I'm saying the the primary motivator is that these users need a truck. That some pros don't use the slots or bays is immaterial. If you only make one model of "pro" truck then it needs to handle common uses cases like slots and bays.
Bays are looking towards the past. I would expect storage to end up on plug in PCI Express cards. Users with bulk storage needs would have to plug in a box. In a sense this is like hooking up a trailer to a truck when the truck can't handle the expected load. The good thing about this is that the truck can be hitched to many types of trailers depending upon need. This is what has resulted in me seeing the light about internal drive bays. 1. Magnetic drives are just too slow for a modern workstation computer. 2. External boxes allow for precise tailoring of an array to a users need.
Quote:
This is a lot like saying "we'll gee, none of the pickups I see on the road have anything in their beds so really nobody really needs that and we'd save money by getting rid of the bed since most folks seem to just tow things. An external trailer is more flexible anyway.
I see you understand! The bed or in this case the internal flash array takes care of a wide range of potential uses while the hitch (Thunderbolt) allows you to tailor additional capacity to suit your needs. You may not see that flash array as the "bed" of a truck but I suspect many would. It just needs to be large enough to carry the load. So a 1TB flash drive might equal a half ton truck while a 2 TB flash drive might be a one ton truck.

The fact is you generally have three types of users here. One user hardly ever uses his truck to carry anything, the second user class constantly employs just his truck to carry things to support his business. The third user class is the guy with the truck and a trailer attached that leverages both for his business. The first two cases make up the bulk of the common usage.

So does it really make sense to have a built in trailer in the Mac Pro when it is a seldom used feature?
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I used to think different but with the new thunderbolt trailer hitch I think everyone is better off without that internal bed taking up space and cost."

Well maybe not everybody but certainly the vast majority of users. I'm not going to argue for the opposition here because there are exceptions to every rule but for the most users external bulk storage makes sense.
post #35 of 38

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/144783/confirmed-mac-pro-is-history-succeeded-by-jobs-final-project

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

I've just returned from a west coast visit to an old college buddy, who is a worker bee at a colossal fx studio that buys hundreds of Mac Pro's each year. Occasionally this studio is graced with an Apple test mule, which normally is nothing exciting, just the same old tower with a new logic board and Xeons. Added to that, my buddy doesn't work in "the cage" where only a select few use the test mules. But he does occasionally collaborate with those lucky few who do!

So last month he's in the cage, and there's a big freakin' cube in there. At first glance, he didn't think it was a Mac, but upon further study it sure seemed like an Ives design. Another guy noticed him studying it and said, "that's Steve's baby, right there! It's not a Mac, either. It's an Apple Pro!"

Yes, Jobs wanted one last go at the Cube before he finally logged out. We all know how much Jobs hates tower computers, and the Mac Pro was no exception. My buddy says he really nailed it with this one, it's flat-out the most perfect desktop design he's ever used.

As far design, the Apple Pro is a direct descendant of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_cube"> NeXTcube.</a> 12", cubed. Aluminum, anodized black (or maybe gunmetal grey, hard to say with the lighting). Vents ring the top of the cube's sides, so it's stackable. The cube was stacked on another half cube, only six inches high. How to easily stack it? Handles slide out from the bottom. Slick.

Components are accessed by removing either the left or right side panels. Left side for RAM, CPU, and HDs. Right side for PCIe sockets. One 3.5 GHz Ivy Bridge processor. Only two tiny HD bays, this sucker runs SSDs off the PCIe bus, and in this test mule, there was built-in hardware RAID support, no extra PCIe card needed. Three PCIe slots, two of which were used by video cards, with one remaining. No extra-long PCIe card support, unfortunately. It wouldn't be a true Apple product if it wasn't gimped in some way. Optical drives? What, and ruin the perfection of the cube's faces? Looks like it's external optical drives for any professional who, God forbid, want to burn a project onto Blu-ray.

The half cube was styled exactly like the cube. It's a six drive Thunderbolt RAID enclosure. A proprietary connector links the RAID half cube to the cube, so it powers on and off with the cube. There's also means to manually power it on and off so it can be used with any computer. Slick.

Now for the coolest part: the guys says to my buddy, what we're really testing is the new Apple Galaxy system. Huh? He points across the room. On a desk are two four foot stacks of cubes. The anodized aluminum and cube designs conspire to make the towering stacks into works of art. The guy says, one stack of four cubes will costs us about the same as a high-end Mac Pro, and we can add cubes and half cubes one at a time as we need more power. Galaxy is incredible, he says. They've been working on beta versions of Galaxy for years, but now with the cubes it finally makes sense. My buddy says, "The Apple Pro with Galaxy will enable Apple to finally conquer the creative studio market" They're more powerful than Mac Pros, more expandable, cheaper, and damn sexy.

The chatter is that Steve had a hell of a time getting this project authorized. Mac Pro sales are "in the thousands" and Steve was the only one at Apple who wanted to have another go at the desktop market. It's widely believed that this cube was only given the final go upon Steve's death, as it was his last wish.
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
Late 2009 Unibody MacBook (modified)
2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU/8GB RAM/60GB SSD/500GB HDD
SuperDrive delete
Reply
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

I'm not supposed to be posting this, but this buddy shagged my girlfriend back in college, so I don't really care if he gets canned.
 

Yah.  Okay.

 

We also have some weird statements like:

 

"The half cube was styled exactly like the cube. It's a six drive Thunderbolt RAID enclosure. A proprietary connector links the RAID half cube to the cube, so it powers on and off with the cube. There's also means to manually power it on and off so it can be used with any computer. Slick."

 

If it's thunderbolt why does it need a proprietary connector?  You don't think a TB device can't sense when the computer is off?

 

"Only two tiny HD bays, this sucker runs SSDs off the PCIe bus, and in this test mule, there was built-in hardware RAID support, no extra PCIe card needed"

 

Not much point to on board RAID support if you only have 2 bays.  What are you going to do beyond RAID 0 or 1?

 

And the bullshit about Steve having a hard time getting it approved.  By WHOM?  Who the f*** at apple is going to tell Steve "no" regarding a new product he thinks will revolutionize anything?  After the f***ing iPhone and iPad?  Get real.

 

This is from a year ago so and it was bullshit then and is bullshit now.   Apple MIGHT release a cube.  Apple might even replace the Mac Pro with a cube.  But this is still nothing more than a bullshit story.

post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Sounds like Final Cut Pro X's review by people in the industry who got it early.


Which means the new Mac Pro will be hated at launch.

 

Which means it will be a glorious success and truly will be the future of said computer type.


Yeah, after they add a few missing features back.

post #38 of 38
Thread Starter 

So, now that Apple has announced their new Mac Pro, I can see how well I did in my predictions.

 

1. I predicted Apple would announce the next big thing soon, possibly at the keynote, previewing what they were doing with the Mac Pro.

Check.

 

2. I maintained that Apple had not abandoned the pros like a lot of people thought.

Check

 

So far two for two.  However, this was not hard to guess.  After all, Apple said they were working on a new Mac Pro.

 

3. Leaping to next gen technology.

Check.

 

This still remained to be seen exactly what this means.  I think the dual GPUs are for GPGPU - massively parallel processing.  I didn't know whether it would be the Xeon Phi or GPGPUs.  I think we know the answer now.  What kind of processing boost that brings still remains to be seen.  I do not think Apple is revealing all their cards on this one yet.  They have told us true info, but I think there is more to this eventually.  Apple doesn't want to tip off their competitors on the full story here.

 

4. Steve's last great computer.

Nope.

 

However, in my defense, it might still be true.  However, Apple did not announce it as such.  The Mac Pro might still get introduced as such when it finally gets released.  We will have to wait and see.

 

5. 4K Display.

Check

 

Apple has not announce a display yet, but they did say the new Mac Pro will do multiple 4K displays.

 

6. Red video in real time.

Don't know yet.

 

I am guessing yes.  We know a Red Rocket PCI card will not fit inside the new Mac Pro.  However, if the computer is fast enough with its dual GPUs, then there is no need for a Red Rocket.  I will claim this prediction for now.

 

7. New versions of Final Cut, Logic, and Aperture.

Nope.

 

I think the new versions will come when the new machine comes out - maybe even preloaded on board.  So I am not necessarily wrong on this one.  We will just have to wait and see.

 

8. Xeon Phi or GPU.

Check.  GPGPUs it is.  But again, I think more will be revealed on this in the future.

 

9. Hugh flash drive, no spinning disk.

Check.

 

10. Lightning connector, no USB, no FW.

Half right.

 

So it has USB3, TB2, and no FW.  I was wrong about the Lightning connector.  Maybe I should have known better.  Intel probably does not have Lightning support.  I will have to count this in the no column.  I should have seen this one better.  No good excuse.

 

11. Maybe removeable flash drives.

Nope, but I hedged my bets on this one.  I said maybe.  So don't hold it against me.  Apple left it up to external devices to handle all this.  I though Apple might try and seize some proprietary ground here.  Same mistake I made with Lightning.  Apple decided to be more open and let TB2 handle all this.  

 

12. OS Xi.  

Nope, at least not yet.  However, it will come sooner or later.  Apple cannot keep it just OS X forever.  I think they do not want a OS X.X.X version.  It would be funny though.

 

13. OpenDoc

Nope.

 

I still think this is coming.  Maybe not exactly like it was back a decade ago, but wait for it.  

 

14. Metadata based system.

Check.

 

Apple calls them tags but basically it is the same thing.  Now, please Apple, allow us to add tags to individual emails and I will dance with glee.  There is still time to do this before the next version of OS ships.

 

15. Cube shape

Nope.

 

Okay so it is shaped like a trash can - or a personal nuclear reactor cooling tower.  Whatever.  At first I though how strange.  It makes sense though.  I wasn't that far off.  It is a refinement on the cube concept with a central cooling shaft.  I just thought Apple would be a little nostalgist.  Apple let go and surprised us all.

 

16. Brushed aluminum

Nope, but close. Shiny metal instead.  Hope it looks nice.  Hard to tell with all the reflections so far on the little video we have seen.

 

17. Silent and cool.

Don't know yet but I am guessing yes from the info released so far.

 

18. Introduced in Steve Job's voice.

Nope - but hey, it's official release is still to come.  It might happen.

 

So overall, I think I did okay on my predictions.  I still think a few of my predictions are to be watched.  I do not think I am wrong, just ahead of their release.  

 

The bottom line is many people thought Apple had abandoned the pro users.  These people need to fess up and stop spewing their garbage.  It damages Apple and end users.

  

I think most of my predictions were based on solid evidence of what was coming.  Everybody should have called it like I did.  We might not see the actual details but many times we can see the hole that is going to be filled.  Apple is not dumb.  If we see a need, so do they.  They will fill it.

 

We can lament the lack of rumors on a website like this but true spy work is not just about getting secret insider info.  Most spy work is gathering all the available non-secret knowledge and analyzing it to see what people are up to.  You can many times guess the result even though you cannot see the actual result.  Sometimes a stealth bomber can be found not by its reflections but by the absence of reflections.

 

Appleinsider is a great place for us to do this spy work.  However, we need the people who are smart to contribute and we need the people who get things wrong to shut up.  Sorry, but it is the truth.  If you have funny comments though, those are okay.  We all like to be entertained.  

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