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Apple throws out the rulebook for its unique next-gen Mac Pro - Page 14

post #521 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Loosing the internal HDD's and expandability might change their views, don't know yet.

^ post

What an excellent post Marvin. Again, thanks much. I agree, the invention of the HDD apparently is from 1954, so yes, please make it go away.
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post #522 of 1290
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Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


What an excellent post Marvin. Again, thanks much. I agree, the invention of the HDD apparently is from 1954, so yes, please make it go away.


Shall I look up the year the light bulb was invented?

post #523 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

What an excellent post Marvin. Again, thanks much. I agree, the invention of the HDD apparently is from 1954, so yes, please make it go away.


Shall I look up the year the light bulb was invented?

Lol. I think you'd have a more difficult time finding out who invented the lightbulb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightbulb
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post #524 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Lol. I think you'd have a more difficult time finding out who invented the lightbulb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightbulb

Yes. Of course you could argue that compact fluorescents  were invented later or that LED lighting is likely the way of the future, but 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives were not invented in 1954. It's just not that relevant to pick out factoids regarding the predecessors of current technology.

post #525 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

I wasn't talking just about looks.

 

Gotcha.

 

I don't know how Apple can shift the hardware paradigm without alienating some users. I'm not even sure they SHOULD be moving it in this direction, as the user benefit is not immediately apparent to me, but you know Apple...

 

External storage isn't a big deal, but it IS more expensive. The other issue is much more serious. To someone already heavily invested in PCIe cards -- like $3,000 graphics cards or $10,000 Pro Tools cards -- the change represents a fairly significant hit in both convenience and cost. I'd grumble too.

post #526 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

 

Gotcha.

 

I don't know how Apple can shift the hardware paradigm without alienating some users. I'm not even sure they SHOULD be moving it in this direction, as the user benefit is not immediately apparent to me, but you know Apple...

 

External storage isn't a big deal, but it IS more expensive. The other issue is much more serious. To someone already heavily invested in PCIe cards -- like $3,000 graphics cards or $10,000 Pro Tools cards -- the change represents a fairly significant hit in both convenience and cost. I'd grumble too.

Typically if the risks are high, those guys are going to be more conservative when it comes to major hardware changes. That is normal, but they represent a small enough fraction of users that they probably aren't required to determine the viability of the line. This means more of those users could be later adopters without killing the line. I don't expect this to sell in high numbers from day one. I doubt Apple is expecting that.

post #527 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

One thing that people often forget is that these things are going away eventually. Hard drives are legacy technology.

 

 

Everything goes away eventually but that's not a useful observation for 2013.  Hard drives 

 

Quote:
Some would suggest that even if SSD gets cheaper, HDD will get even cheaper but that's not necessarily true. 

 

Except that it has been thus far.  Eventually it wont be false.  Not in 2013.

 

 

Quote:
Computer manufacturers can try bundling 2-4TB drives with machines but the vast majority of people have no need for that amount of space (and this is evident from the fact that WD and Seagate sell ~10m external drives per quarter) so gradually they will lose the consumer volume. The point where I think HDDs will collapse completely is $0.10/GB because 2TB for $200 is affordable. Right now, the best price is around $0.60/GB.

 

1 minute of 1080p video from your iPhone takes around 180MB.  Given that everyone has a 1080p video camera on their person nearly 24/7 do you believe that will increase or decrease the amount of video taken by the average person?  Plus you can't simply ignore the fact that most PCs will come with a 1TB or two of disk space when you quote only "10m external drives" as evidence that the "vast majority of people have no need for" 2TB worth of storage given many folks have a TB already.

 

Everything is bigger.  Movies, photos, applications, etc.

 

A 1 TB SSD today cost $600.  $0.10/GB for SSDs are still a little ways off.

 

 

Quote:
There's not much point in designing a machine with 4x 6Gbps SATA bays when a 20Gbps TB port will run the SSD faster and many people will eventually just need 1 external vs a RAID drive.

 

Mac Pro is the context and eventually isn't the timeframe.  The cost benefit analysis is being done for fall of 2013, not fall of 2018.  If you need 10TB of space locally for your 4K projects then 4 x 4TB internally fits the bill nicely.  

 

Frankly, Apple should have had dual SSD blade slots as standard anyway and allowed RAID 1.

post #528 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Everything goes away eventually but that's not a useful observation for 2013.

The implied timeframe was soon and by soon I mean the next 5 years. The $1/GB mark was the tipping point. A 250GB Samsung 840 is $173. The 960GB Crucial M500 is $600. So the pricing is somewhere between $0.63-0.70/GB.

3 years ago, Crucial had a 256GB for $660:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2010/07/07/crucial-realssd-c300-256gb-ssd-review/1

Samsung had a 256GB for $550:

http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Samsung-470-Series-256GB-SSD-Review/

So that's around $2.15-2.58/GB.

In 2011, it was around $390-500 for 256GB so $1.52-1.95. Fall of ~25%.
In 2012, it broke the $1/GB mark and 256GB went for under $200. Fall of ~40%.
In 2013, it is now $0.63-0.7. Fall of ~30%

So retail SSD prices fell well over 25% year over year. If it continues to drop just 25% year over year then 2014 would see ~$0.53/GB, 2015 ~$0.39/GB, 2016 ~$0.29, 2017 ~$0.22, 2018 ~$0.17, 2019 ~$0.12, 2020 ~$0.09.

7 years and HDDs are gone. It's common for people to suggest Apple should wait until 2020 before doing anything radical but if everyone simply plants themselves in the ground and refuses to move until the market is suitable, the market won't reach that point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Except that it has been thus far.

Apart from the flooding in Thailand, it has been dropping in price but as I say, once computer manufacturers ship with SSDs, the HDD manufacturer shipping volumes will drop to under 1/3. They'll have to make that up by increasing prices. Seagate has started making consumer SSDs in the last couple of months so they'll just switch over. WD will have to buy up an SSD company. News just in:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/24/western-digital-stec-ssd/
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

1 minute of 1080p video from your iPhone takes around 180MB.  Given that everyone has a 1080p video camera on their person nearly 24/7 do you believe that will increase or decrease the amount of video taken by the average person?  Plus you can't simply ignore the fact that most PCs will come with a 1TB or two of disk space when you quote only "10m external drives" as evidence that the "vast majority of people have no need for" 2TB worth of storage given many folks have a TB already.

The average selling price of WD and Seagate drives is $63 per unit so I would say the bulk volumes are lower than 1TB - typical entry points seems to be 320-512GB - but the point there was that if you can buy a 512GB SSD for $150 in 2016, it's not necessarily going to be the case that someone will instead buy a 6TB HDD for $150 just because they have the option. People will instead value the 10x extra performance, lower weight, less noise and improved reliability over the capacity.

It's true that people will store more media at higher quality levels but I don't think people will store vast amounts of hours of footage on their internal drives. Even 256GB would give around 30 hours of footage at consumer bitrates. That gets edited and put on Youtube or Facebook or something and moved to an external or even deleted if it's not that important. I don't think consumers are going to turn into people with high-end media needs in large numbers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The cost benefit analysis is being done for fall of 2013, not fall of 2018.  If you need 10TB of space locally for your 4K projects then 4 x 4TB internally fits the bill nicely.

Not really because 4K would struggle on a normal HDD so you'd be looking at hardware RAID and you'd have your boot drive in some RAID0 config. Plus if you wanted redundancy, you'd lose a significant portion of the data. Then you have the headaches of getting it to work like these guys:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/292/1801

That was even for an external drive. The guy with the Sonnet Thunderbolt adaptor didn't seem to have any trouble though. You're also talking about cost-benefit from the buyer's point of view. Apple has to design machines from a profitability point of view and controlling the internal storage works in their best interest. It may put some people off buying entirely but I doubt it. As history has demonstrated, people tend to prefer working around any inconveniences Apple presents than moving away from the whole eco-system and losing the benefits.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Frankly, Apple should have had dual SSD blade slots as standard anyway and allowed RAID 1.

If they have high enough density SSDs, I don't see much benefit. I reckon they'll be able to offer 1.5TB blades. But proper hardware (not software) RAID drives should be external and the internal drive backed up regularly.
post #529 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


7 years and HDDs are gone. It's common for people to suggest Apple should wait until 2020 before doing anything radical but if everyone simply plants themselves in the ground and refuses to move until the market is suitable, the market won't reach that point.
Apart from the flooding in Thailand, it has been dropping in price but as I say, once computer manufacturers ship with SSDs, the HDD manufacturer shipping volumes will drop to under 1/3. They'll have to make that up by increasing prices. Seagate has started making consumer SSDs in the last couple of months so they'll just switch over. WD will have to buy up an SSD company. News just in:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/24/western-digital-stec-ssd/
The average selling price of WD and Seagate drives is $63 per unit so I would say the bulk volumes are lower than 1TB - typical entry points seems to be 320-512GB - but the point there was that if you can buy a 512GB SSD for $150 in 2016, it's not necessarily going to be the case that someone will instead buy a 6TB HDD for $150 just because they have the option. People will instead value the 10x extra performance, lower weight, less noise and improved reliability over the capacity.

They are probably being somewhat aggressive in design due to the length of time the design must last. If sales were healthy we probably would have seen a refresh of the old one with Sandy and the new design after Ivy. I'm still surprised they didn't design it to accommodate more sata express ssds in the future. If it wasn't for the growth in mobile devices, I might expect more hybridized solutions. Current HDDs use ram caches. There is little reason you couldn't have a hardware version of Apple's fusion drive. I think Seagate currently has such a thing. Neither company seems to be doing that poorly. If we still had a huge array of HDD manufacturers, that would not be the case. I caution you about reliability. They are not always more reliable or a better solution. They are significantly better in mobile form factors, which represent the bulk of the volume. It's just an issue of moving things with a lot of delicate mechanical parts. Don't buy into OWC's nonsense propaganda though.

Quote:

Not really because 4K would struggle on a normal HDD so you'd be looking at hardware RAID and you'd have your boot drive in some RAID0 config. Plus if you wanted redundancy, you'd lose a significant portion of the data. Then you have the headaches of getting it to work like these guys:

That actually depends upon the application. Adobe apps always allow you to specify scratch drives, so it didn't need to be your boot drive. A lot of those apps can also use ram for a lot of things that were previously maintained as scratch data.

post #530 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Gotcha.

I don't know how Apple can shift the hardware paradigm without alienating some users. I'm not even sure they SHOULD be moving it in this direction, as the user benefit is not immediately apparent to me, but you know Apple...
It isn't Apples job to build machines for the past, that is what many people don't understand - Apple builds hardware for the future!¡! Just look at the first iPAD and iPhone releases, very innovative but nether model was really here yet as far as delivering in what the device promised. Each of those devices though woke the industry and the consumers up to what is possible. The rapidity with which the iPad has evolve is pretty making really when you put it in context.

As for user benefit, the vast majority of Mac Pro users will never be denied anything other than internal disk expansion. This isn't a bad thing at all really and frankly users coming from other Apple hardware will already have external storage. The smaller machine is inevitable simply due to the physical requirement of high speed digital electronics.
Quote:

External storage isn't a big deal, but it IS more expensive.
People however are making a big deal out of it which is a shame really because it blinds them to several realities of the Mac ecosystem. One reality it that the vast majority of Macs out there have zero provision for internal disk arrays. Simply from the compatibility standpoint internal storage for a machine that is maybe 2% of sales is a bit silly. Another reality is that the Mac Pro decouples storage array technology from the compute unit technology. This effectively means you aren't paying for bulk storage everytime you do a compute unit update.
Quote:
The other issue is much more serious. To someone already heavily invested in PCIe cards -- like $3,000 graphics cards or $10,000 Pro Tools cards -- the change represents a fairly significant hit in both convenience and cost. I'd grumble too.

This is a serious issue and frankly is a problem with hardware of all types based on PC standards. $10,000 is actually cheap, imagine a machine that costs $70,000 that is no longer supported because the manufacture refuses to support the old AT card and offers no upgrade path other than to buy a new machine. Grumble all you want but I have to deal with these issue regularly at work. In the end you have to adjust behavior and either buy the new hardware of find an alternative.

The common approach here is to call Apple evil and throw a tantrum but honestly folks this happens again and again in the PC industry. This isn't Apple or any other company being evil, it is the reality that you can't support everything for ever. I still see people whining about the lack of 68k and PPC support in Mac OS/X , which makes about as much sense as whining about a ten year old I/O card.

The only answer one has is to support that I/O card via legacy hardware for as long as you need too. It is what we have to do in industry.

As an aside, a week or so ago I read an article about the nuclear industry looking for programmers of old Digital Equipment computers. The industry expects to support DEC hardware until 2050. Now many of us would see that as just plain stupid but all sorts of issues come into play so even though itis a huge regression they are effectively stuck in the past. It highlights however the fact that if you tie yourself to specific hardware you eventually end up all on your own.
post #531 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


Everything goes away eventually but that's not a useful observation for 2013.  Hard drives 
When magnetic drives will go away is an open question, however the need for massive storage locally is highly variable and depends on the specifics of the user. For many 1TB of local storage is fine.
Quote:

Except that it has been thus far.  Eventually it wont be false.  Not in 2013.
I would argue that the magnetic industry has hit a wall for now. The rate of capacity increase isn't as aggressive as it once was.

[/Quote]
1 minute of 1080p video from your iPhone takes around 180MB.  Given that everyone has a 1080p video camera on their person nearly 24/7 do you believe that will increase or decrease the amount of video taken by the average person?  Plus you can't simply ignore the fact that most PCs will come with a 1TB or two of disk space when you quote only "10m external drives" as evidence that the "vast majority of people have no need for" 2TB worth of storage given many folks have a TB already.
[/Quote]
The interesting thing here is that as a laptop user I've had several external drives over the life of my 2008 MBP. There is no realistic way to out enough storage into a portable these days so you have to live with external devices.
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Everything is bigger.  Movies, photos, applications, etc.
Which is the biggest argument against internal storage. For some of use it was almost an annual need to upgrade the external storage. Effectively you will outgrow storage space before you will out grow the computer.
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A 1 TB SSD today cost $600.  $0.10/GB for SSDs are still a little ways off.
Yep but the price of flash storage is coming down faster than magnetic storage. As an be seen in Apples AIRs SSD are now big enough and affordable enough to allow for a very nice machine that can handle many users needs completely.
Quote:

Mac Pro is the context and eventually isn't the timeframe.  The cost benefit analysis is being done for fall of 2013, not fall of 2018.  If you need 10TB of space locally for your 4K projects then 4 x 4TB internally fits the bill nicely.  
Not anymore so than an external solution. In fact. The external solution could be better as it can be a tailored solution for the user.
Quote:
Frankly, Apple should have had dual SSD blade slots as standard anyway and allowed RAID 1.
Well that I can agree with. Have you let Apple know this?
post #532 of 1290
There's a Dutch designer who made renderings of a glass cover for he new MP:



Whole bunch more of these renderings at his site, if you like that sort of thing.
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post #533 of 1290

Why does "external storage" have to mean WD drive enclosures all over your desk? As others have said, Flash prices are falling rapidly, hard drives are dying, the companies that make them know so, that is why they are consolidating.

 

Soon "external storage" will mean thumb drive sized sticks, plugged in to the Thunderbolt ports on the back. Visually small, Thunderbolt speed, and higher capacity every year. Yes, external storage, but not your granddaddy's external storage... And in this world, computer designs with "drive bays" will look rather silly.

post #534 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

They are probably being somewhat aggressive in design due to the length of time the design must last.

 

 

Tim said something along the lines of "the next ten years" if I recall correctly.

 

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You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #535 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

There's a Dutch designer who made renderings of a glass cover for he new MP:



Whole bunch more of these renderings at his site, if you like that sort of thing.

 

Like many others who are drooling over this thing, I am not enough of a power user to need it. But I want it. Oh, how I want it! It would be like having a Formula One car in my office, when all I need for daily transportation is a Ford Focus.

 

Also, I wonder how many accessory makers are going to jump on this design bandwagon and produce iAccessories for other devices based on this design? For those who need external storage or optical drives, why not house them in a Mac Pro-like enclosure? IMO, it's a brilliant design. Really is.

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post #536 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag_Warrior View Post

[...] For those who need external storage or optical drives, why not house them in a Mac Pro-like enclosure?

 

Well, one reason "why not" is that putting rectangular devices in a cylindrical enclosure is not a particularly efficient use of space.

post #537 of 1290
Doesn't that depend upon how you measure efficiency? In this design you have one round fan cooling everything with apparent high efficiency. No design is perfect, for example magnetic hard disks have round platters which leads to much wasted space. Same thing goes for floppy disks which had round disks in square enclosures.

Back in the day I worked on RF amplifiers that had rather large power tubes that where literally cooled via a wind tunnel like arrangement. The tube was round as was the integrated heat sink, all of this was fitted into a fan assembly to maximize cooling of that tube. It looked just like a miniature wind tunnel.

Now you are expressing concerns about the wisdom of putting rectangular devices in a round enclosure. On the surface it looks like wasted space. But is it really, especially when you think about the old way of putting two high performance GPU cards and a CPU in a box. Think about how the alternatives would be produced. The ATX approach of the sat century would was a huge amount of space. Apple could have put everything on a sijgle mother board with islands of heat sink / cooler stacks.

Admittedly the concepts running through my mind before this machines debut revolved mostly around single board solutions with those heat sink islands. Such designs immediately result in cooling issues unless you carefully arraigned the components and focus a lot of energy on heat management (fans). This design beats anything I've thought about by a signiifcant margin. Further it does so with out resorting to tricky heat pipe, heat sinks or other ways to conduct heat in a machine physically challenged by limited air flow. Heat management looks to be rather simple in this new Mac Pro.

They way I see it is that Apple choose the internal triangle heat sink to maximize board area inside the round column. Such a design gives them access to three surfaces to cool the three chips they where most worried about. More so the layered approach of the rest of the components tends to make good use of the remaining physical space. Notice how the SSD is placed in the middle of the underlying board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Well, one reason "why not" is that putting rectangular devices in a cylindrical enclosure is not a particularly efficient use of space.

Well as you can seei don't directly agree with you here. It is one of these things where I could respond wither with a yes or a no. Right now I lean towards a no and have to ask you how would you have put this mich capacity into an alternative enclosure. The key to this design is the integrated cooling heat sink which in my mind probably leads to a significant efficiency of space over many alternative approaches.

The big problem with this machine is that few have had hands on with it nor has it really been taken apart by anybody. The little that I've seen of it in pictures leaves me with a very positive impression of the machine.
post #538 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

 

 

Tim said something along the lines of "the next ten years" if I recall correctly.


It wouldn't surprise me. First the market it covers isn't one that cares about shape in most circumstances. Some probably would have liked "rack-friendly", but I don't know percentages. This is likely one of those things that will be far better fleshed out in revision 2. I'm a little surprised they didn't leave space for a small array of internal sata express storage. Wizard actually touched on that idea a number of months ago as an array of pci based ssds, and there is an established spec for it.

post #539 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Doesn't that depend upon how you measure efficiency? In this design you have one round fan cooling everything with apparent high efficiency.

 

Oh I agree that the Mac is ingenious in that respect. I was responding to the suggestion that aftermarket accessories may take on that form. An external hard drive, card cage or I/O device wouldn't really benefit from a cylindrical shape but would occupy more space than a rectangular enclosure.

 

I really wasn't thinking about anything more than that, but your line of thinking is opening my mind a bit. You're right that there may be room to apply a little imagination to generally accepted designs. Perhaps a drive array would benefit from a central power supply in a cooling tunnel with the drives around the outside...

post #540 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Doesn't that depend upon how you measure efficiency? In this design you have one round fan cooling everything with apparent high efficiency. No design is perfect, for example magnetic hard disks have round platters which leads to much wasted space. Same thing goes for floppy disks which had round disks in square enclosures.

Back in the day I worked on RF amplifiers that had rather large power tubes that where literally cooled via a wind tunnel like arrangement. The tube was round as was the integrated heat sink, all of this was fitted into a fan assembly to maximize cooling of that tube. It looked just like a miniature wind tunnel.

Now you are expressing concerns about the wisdom of putting rectangular devices in a round enclosure. On the surface it looks like wasted space. But is it really, especially when you think about the old way of putting two high performance GPU cards and a CPU in a box. Think about how the alternatives would be produced. The ATX approach of the sat century would was a huge amount of space. Apple could have put everything on a sijgle mother board with islands of heat sink / cooler stacks.

Admittedly the concepts running through my mind before this machines debut revolved mostly around single board solutions with those heat sink islands. Such designs immediately result in cooling issues unless you carefully arraigned the components and focus a lot of energy on heat management (fans). This design beats anything I've thought about by a signiifcant margin. Further it does so with out resorting to tricky heat pipe, heat sinks or other ways to conduct heat in a machine physically challenged by limited air flow. Heat management looks to be rather simple in this new Mac Pro.

They way I see it is that Apple choose the internal triangle heat sink to maximize board area inside the round column. Such a design gives them access to three surfaces to cool the three chips they where most worried about. More so the layered approach of the rest of the components tends to make good use of the remaining physical space. Notice how the SSD is placed in the middle of the underlying board.
Well as you can seei don't directly agree with you here. It is one of these things where I could respond wither with a yes or a no. Right now I lean towards a no and have to ask you how would you have put this mich capacity into an alternative enclosure. The key to this design is the integrated cooling heat sink which in my mind probably leads to a significant efficiency of space over many alternative approaches.

The big problem with this machine is that few have had hands on with it nor has it really been taken apart by anybody. The little that I've seen of it in pictures leaves me with a very positive impression of the machine.

The only drawbacks that some are having is the lack of internal HDDs and PCI card slots.  For those that actually want additional HDDs, they have to use an external USB, Thunderbolt (which can turn into Firewire) which can be anywhere from a small pocket drive to a large RAID array, so while Apple loses the space, additional cooling and power supply, cages, etc. to have internal  HDD, they have to use external.  Same thing applies with the PCI cards.

 

I think Apple probably guessitmated how many people actually need PCI slots and figured that it's a percentage of the MacPro users and that since there are probably about 5 or so third party external PCI enclosure MFGs, that it's probably better to do PCI slots and HDD externally for those that actually use it.


I know that a LOT of users that buy MacPros are using them for Pro Tools HD systems, but since Avid came out with the Native version, it's becoming less of an issue to use PCI slots since the processors are capable of doing what MOST people would normally use a VERY expensive PCI card.  With the video production people, BlackMagic is putting out an external Thunderbolt capture box instead of using PCI capture cards.  Now, RED has a PCI slot that is normally inserted in a MacPro, but either RED is going to come out with a Thunderbolt solution AND/OR the user will just simply get an external PCI enclosure and just use that when needed. 

 

I'm just wondering what and when Thunderbolt 2 based products will be emerging and what's in store for the new Thunderbolt spec.


Other than that, I think Apple did some cool design work in the cylinder, it's just a big paradigm shift.  But the thing is tiny.  Have you seen some of these PC mfg workstations that have optional water cooling systems and about 12 huge fans?  It's getting ridiculous and a lot of people don't want a box that's the size of a small refrigerator that makes a lot of noise.

post #541 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

Oh I agree that the Mac is ingenious in that respect. I was responding to the suggestion that aftermarket accessories may take on that form. An external hard drive, card cage or I/O device wouldn't really benefit from a cylindrical shape but would occupy more space than a rectangular enclosure.
I actually grasped that after retreading your post just after posting mine. If I had the resources I'd design a card cage / drive array enclosure that would be a base for the Mac Pro. The idea being to make it look like a mini CRAY. The old Crays where a bit iconic back in the day.
Quote:
I really wasn't thinking about anything more than that, but your line of thinking is opening my mind a bit. You're right that there may be room to apply a little imagination to generally accepted designs. Perhaps a drive array would benefit from a central power supply in a cooling tunnel with the drives around the outside...
Actually drive arrays, especially in their rack form, put a lot of thermal stress on disk drives. At least in the poorer designs they do. Often there is little space for air flow around the drives as they are packed fairly tight into the enclosure. This often results in large fans trying to force a heavy air flow through the chassis.

A desktop array of the other hand can be far more flexible in its design and thermal solution. With respect to Apples new machine and its thermal core it would be easy to refactor that chassis into a disk array that provides far more cooling than many rack arrays while being very quiet when used on a desktop. While I don't know the exact dimensions of the chassis it looks like you could get five disk drives in there along with a controller board. If not five conventional 3.5" drives an array of laptop sized drives would do. The interesting thing here is that some server chassis have switched over to laptop sized drives to manage thermals better. The potential negative here is that the wiring harnesses would be ugly.
post #542 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

The only drawbacks that some are having is the lack of internal HDDs and PCI card slots.
Honestly I would have preferred a design that offered up a card slot or two. Some I/O will never move to Thunderbolt simply because of bandwidth or the lack of a large market for the I/O card. Given that though I see much potential for this design.

As for the HDDs, I'm of mixed feelings on this one. One of the reasons I've np been promoting the XMac idea for years was to allow for that very option of additional disk drives inside the chassis. I was not even considering disk arrays but rather the option of a drive bay or two for bulk storage. My opinion is still mixed but years of running a laptop with an external drive in tow has changed my mind a bit. With the new high speed I/O options, external disk drives are not the terror that they once where. Still with this Mac Pro design I do hope that they allow for the option of another internal SSD. Frankly not so much for bulk storage but as a scratch "disk".
Quote:
 For those that actually want additional HDDs, they have to use an external USB, Thunderbolt (which can turn into Firewire) which can be anywhere from a small pocket drive to a large RAID array, so while Apple loses the space, additional cooling and power supply, cages, etc. to have internal  HDD, they have to use external.  Same thing applies with the PCI cards.
There is one good point, well maybe two here, with respect to having to go external. One is that the array you buy can be tailored to your usage. The second is that you don't have to buy it again and again each time you upgrade the CPU. Or vis versa you can upgrade or add to your array storage with out having to upgrade your CPU chassis. I really don't see the external storage issues as the big bugaboo that many make it out to be.

Support of PCI Express cards though is an entirely different discussion. This does bother me as the only rational argument for them is that Thunderbolt simply can't support some of the more demanding I/O needs.
Quote:
I think Apple probably guessitmated how many people actually need PCI slots and figured that it's a percentage of the MacPro users and that since there are probably about 5 or so third party external PCI enclosure MFGs, that it's probably better to do PCI slots and HDD externally for those that actually use it.
I'm certain this is part of it though I'm not sure external chassis will solve anything for the majority of the people needing internal slots. The interesting case here though is that Apple solved the the majority of the reasons for multiple slots by providing two compute capable GPUs. These will have the high speed bus's for communications and can in many cases replace DSP cards and similar products.
Quote:

I know that a LOT of users that buy MacPros are using them for Pro Tools HD systems, but since Avid came out with the Native version, it's becoming less of an issue to use PCI slots since the processors are capable of doing what MOST people would normally use a VERY expensive PCI card.
I wouldn't be surprised to find that Avid is already fine tuning some OpenCL code to leverage this hardware. For Avid and most other developers, the nice thing about this machine is that it removes ambiguity about what is in the machine computation wise. In other words they will be able to write software knowing that they have a certain level of performance available to them.
Quote:
 With the video production people, BlackMagic is putting out an external Thunderbolt capture box instead of using PCI capture cards.  Now, RED has a PCI slot that is normally inserted in a MacPro, but either RED is going to come out with a Thunderbolt solution AND/OR the user will just simply get an external PCI enclosure and just use that when needed. 
There is an assumption here that an external box would be fast enough. I'm not sure that is the case in every situation.
Quote:
I'm just wondering what and when Thunderbolt 2 based products will be emerging and what's in store for the new Thunderbolt spec.
It could be well into next year.
Quote:
Other than that, I think Apple did some cool design work in the cylinder, it's just a big paradigm shift.  But the thing is tiny.  Have you seen some of these PC mfg workstations that have optional water cooling systems and about 12 huge fans?  It's getting ridiculous and a lot of people don't want a box that's the size of a small refrigerator that makes a lot of noise.
It will be interesting to hear this machine under heavy load.

As to those PC manufactures, I have nothing against building boxes for high performance. The problem is these are not high volume designs. What is neat about this new Mac Pro is the amount of power picked into that small space. That and the potential for the next process shrink.
post #543 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The idea being to make it look like a mini CRAY. The old Crays where a bit iconic back in the day.

 

I was so close to having a Cray X-MP, the bank I work for bought one back in the mid 80's, when it went offline they stored it in the basement with the rest of the relics where it sat for 18 years. The IT manager said I could have it if I could get it out of there. The problem was it was so huge and weighed a ton, at the time I lived in a small apartment. Reluctantly I passed and it was finally scrapped 1frown.gif. Now that I have a house I kick myself for not renting out a storage unit, it would fit perfectly in my family room. I would have course gutted it and converted the innards to storage space as using it as a computer would have cost me a fortune in power bills, why bother anyway when my TV is probably more powerful. Like you said that iconic look was just so cool, I mean who wouldn't want to sit on a Cray computer while watching Futurama with the family. 

 

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #544 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post
I mean who wouldn't want to sit on a Cray computer while watching Futurama with the family. 

 

A woman after my shiny metal ass...1biggrin.gif

 

I thought Solipsism was the only one on here that got my Futurama references, although Cray reminds me of a different show.

post #545 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That and the potential for the next process shrink.

 

It's defiantly going to be interesting, I mean look at the Mac Mini, Intel NUC or even the ChromeBox, their cute, tiny and very powerful. I can't wait till I have a machine with quad core i7 power and looks like this;

 

Even now though the specs aren't bad;

 

Dual core ARM Cortex-A9
Quad Core ARM Mali-400MP Graphics Processing Unit
2GB DRAM 
64GB memory local storage

Ubuntu 13.04 or any Linux distro with ARM support

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #546 of 1290
Great pic!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I was so close to having a Cray X-MP, the bank I work for bought one back in the mid 80's, when it went offline they stored it in the basement with the rest of the relics where it sat for 18 years. The IT manager said I could have it if I could get it out of there. The problem was it was so huge and weighed a ton, at the time I lived in a small apartment. Reluctantly I passed and it was finally scrapped 
That had to hurt. They are probably collectors items by now.
Quote:
1frown.gif
. Now that I have a house I kick myself for not renting out a storage unit, it would fit perfectly in my family room. I would have course gutted it and converted the innards to storage space as using it as a computer would have cost me a fortune in power bills, why bother anyway when my TV is probably more powerful. Like you said that iconic look was just so cool, I mean who wouldn't want to sit on a Cray computer while watching Futurama with the family. 
I have a hard time believing that there is somebody out there that thinks so much like me. I'm not sure I would have gutted the machine though, that would have resulted in too much history going down the drain. I find it truly fascinating that much of the power of an old Cray can now sit in a tiny little cylinder on ones desk and actually be affordable.
Quote:


post #547 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

It's defiantly going to be interesting, I mean look at the Mac Mini, Intel NUC or even the ChromeBox, their cute, tiny and very powerful. I can't wait till I have a machine with quad core i7 power and looks like this;

Just getting Haswell tech into that tube should do wonders. It makes me wonder if Apple and Intel have Haswell based Xeons up their sleeves for the Mac Pro debut. Yeah I know wishful thinking.
Quote:

Even now though the specs aren't bad;

Dual core ARM Cortex-A9


Quad Core ARM Mali-400MP Graphics Processing Unit


2GB DRAM 


64GB memory local storage

Ubuntu 13.04 or any Linux distro with ARM support
What really makes these devices such a huge success is being able to get that much RAM into the little boxes. RAM means real operating systems, delivering real features users want. We aren't far from having 3D stack chips with 4GB of RAM which could go into the likes of an iPhone or tablet. This to me is amazing considering my first computer was a Commodore Vic 20. The Vic 20 was a bit of a wanna be computer that was more frustration than any thing.
post #548 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Honestly I would have preferred a design that offered up a card slot or two. Some I/O will never move to Thunderbolt simply because of bandwidth or the lack of a large market for the I/O card. Given that though I see much potential for this design.

As for the HDDs, I'm of mixed feelings on this one. One of the reasons I've np been promoting the XMac idea for years was to allow for that very option of additional disk drives inside the chassis. I was not even considering disk arrays but rather the option of a drive bay or two for bulk storage. My opinion is still mixed but years of running a laptop with an external drive in tow has changed my mind a bit. With the new high speed I/O options, external disk drives are not the terror that they once where. Still with this Mac Pro design I do hope that they allow for the option of another internal SSD. Frankly not so much for bulk storage but as a scratch "disk".
There is one good point, well maybe two here, with respect to having to go external. One is that the array you buy can be tailored to your usage. The second is that you don't have to buy it again and again each time you upgrade the CPU. Or vis versa you can upgrade or add to your array storage with out having to upgrade your CPU chassis. I really don't see the external storage issues as the big bugaboo that many make it out to be.

Support of PCI Express cards though is an entirely different discussion. This does bother me as the only rational argument for them is that Thunderbolt simply can't support some of the more demanding I/O needs.
I'm certain this is part of it though I'm not sure external chassis will solve anything for the majority of the people needing internal slots. The interesting case here though is that Apple solved the the majority of the reasons for multiple slots by providing two compute capable GPUs. These will have the high speed bus's for communications and can in many cases replace DSP cards and similar products.
I wouldn't be surprised to find that Avid is already fine tuning some OpenCL code to leverage this hardware. For Avid and most other developers, the nice thing about this machine is that it removes ambiguity about what is in the machine computation wise. In other words they will be able to write software knowing that they have a certain level of performance available to them.
There is an assumption here that an external box would be fast enough. I'm not sure that is the case in every situation.
It could be well into next year.
It will be interesting to hear this machine under heavy load.

As to those PC manufactures, I have nothing against building boxes for high performance. The problem is these are not high volume designs. What is neat about this new Mac Pro is the amount of power picked into that small space. That and the potential for the next process shrink.

I'm wondering if Thunderbolt 2 will help with the PCI card slot issue?  Avid will work on their video editor, but Open CL for Pro Tools?  ProTools doesn't really tax the GPU's at all, ProTools native is CPU intensive since its audio, not video.  I'm just wondering what the comparison is going to be running ProTools native vs ProTools HDX on a card slot with the new MacPro.    With the ProTools PCI cards, it to help run more tracks and more plug-ins, but the majority of recording studios don't use that much in terms of number of tracks and plug-ins to really warrant buying PCI cards vs. Native.  I think ultimately Avid might lose a lot of PCI card business since the CPU performance can do what most recording studios really need.  It's just changing the mentality of the average recording studio not to use PCI DAWS and go with ProTools Native instead, thus saving a LOT of money.  Trust me, this is going to take a little while for many recording studios to change their setups since they are predominately based on PCI cards used in Mac Pros.

 

For those still stuck in the DYI PC box building. that started going on in the 80's and I remember some of my customers thought they could save some money and build their own PCs, they learned quickly that it was a mistake. Of all of the people that were building their own PCs, most of them have stopped for usually two reasons.  They use laptops instead or they switched to a Mac.  yeah, people still do it, but DYI leads to a lot of headaches.  I've got years of experience watching people fail miserably doing it. I actually know of a company that was a chip mfg that was trying to save money and they built their own PCs, and since the place with loaded with engineers, they thought they could save money. Well, what happened is they kept having problems hardware/software and instead of an engineer that gets paid $100+K a year to design chips, they were huddled over some piece of shit PC tearing it apart being a PC technician that would normally get paid $15 an hour to swap out a drive, reinstall the OS, etc.  The company eventually sold off to another company.  Moral of the story, don't try to play Mr. PC and build your own PCs.  They end up being a freaking hobby rather than a useful tool.  The quality of the components like RAM, HDD on the open market aren't always as consistent as you might think.  TIme is money and if you normally get paid $50 to $100 an hour, don't try to do something that would normally require $15 an hour person.  Doesn't make sense unless it's just a hobby and you don't mind lowering yourself.  Heck, people that assemble PCs in Asia get paid probably around $.50 an hour.  If a company is willing to pay $100 an hour to hobble together some DYI, I'll show you a company that makes bad business decisions and will likely go out of business because they are wasting money.

post #549 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

 

I was so close to having a Cray X-MP, the bank I work for bought one back in the mid 80's, when it went offline they stored it in the basement with the rest of the relics where it sat for 18 years. The IT manager said I could have it if I could get it out of there. The problem was it was so huge and weighed a ton, at the time I lived in a small apartment. Reluctantly I passed and it was finally scrapped 1frown.gif. Now that I have a house I kick myself for not renting out a storage unit, it would fit perfectly in my family room. I would have course gutted it and converted the innards to storage space as using it as a computer would have cost me a fortune in power bills, why bother anyway when my TV is probably more powerful. Like you said that iconic look was just so cool, I mean who wouldn't want to sit on a Cray computer while watching Futurama with the family. 

 

You should have taken the computer and sent it out to recover the gold and other precious metals.  I've known guys that buy scrap mainframes and minis for several different reasons.  There is a used market out there for fully functioning computers and for spare parts and for just scraping it for the precious metals.  You might be surprised how much gold and silver you can get out of one these babies.  I saw someone take the original IBM calculator that was the size of a large refrigerator on its side and scrap it.  He didn't pay hardly anything for it, but got back quite a bit of gold.  Heck, they buy router dust from the PCB mfg by the barrels  and reclaim as much gold as they can.  HP used to use GOLD for all of the motherboards back in the 80's and a buddy I knew would buy router dust from them dirt cheap and he would get 50 big barrels filled and reclaim gold.  Gold is used extensively in mainframes and the more expensive equipment from those days. It adds up, especially at the price for gold these days.

post #550 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I'm wondering if Thunderbolt 2 will help with the PCI card slot issue?  Avid will work on their video editor, but Open CL for Pro Tools?  ProTools doesn't really tax the GPU's at all, ProTools native is CPU intensive since its audio, not video.
Modern GPU's can do signal processing so it isn't impossible for ProTool to leverage the GPU in some manner.
Quote:
 I'm just wondering what the comparison is going to be running ProTools native vs ProTools HDX on a card slot with the new MacPro.    With the ProTools PCI cards, it to help run more tracks and more plug-ins, but the majority of recording studios don't use that much in terms of number of tracks and plug-ins to really warrant buying PCI cards vs. Native.
This is especially the case when you have many cores available in the CPU chip.
Quote:
 I think ultimately Avid might lose a lot of PCI card business since the CPU performance can do what most recording studios really need.  It's just changing the mentality of the average recording studio not to use PCI DAWS and go with ProTools Native instead, thus saving a LOT of money.  Trust me, this is going to take a little while for many recording studios to change their setups since they are predominately based on PCI cards used in Mac Pros.
This has been pretty much the history of computing, as each generation of hardware gets more powerful the need for special hardware decreases.
Quote:

For those still stuck in the DYI PC box building.
OK who said anything about DIY PC box building?
Quote:
that started going on in the 80's and I remember some of my customers thought they could save some money and build their own PCs, they learned quickly that it was a mistake. Of all of the people that were building their own PCs, most of them have stopped for usually two reasons.  They use laptops instead or they switched to a Mac.  yeah, people still do it, but DYI leads to a lot of headaches.
Headaches? That really depends upon how much intelligence you put into building the machine. In any event if you are running Linux you either do your due diligence or suffer the headaches of unsupported hardware.
Quote:
 I've got years of experience watching people fail miserably doing it. I actually know of a company that was a chip mfg that was trying to save money and they built their own PCs, and since the place with loaded with engineers, they thought they could save money. Well, what happened is they kept having problems hardware/software and instead of an engineer that gets paid $100+K a year to design chips, they were huddled over some piece of shit PC tearing it apart being a PC technician that would normally get paid $15 an hour to swap out a drive, reinstall the OS, etc.
See my comment about intelligence, having a degree and even an engineering job does not indicate intelligence.
Quote:
 The company eventually sold off to another company.  Moral of the story, don't try to play Mr. PC and build your own PCs.  They end up being a freaking hobby rather than a useful tool.
That depends upon the application. The first course of action should always be to put an off the shelf machine into the project but sometimes that doesn't work.
Quote:
 The quality of the components like RAM, HDD on the open market aren't always as consistent as you might think.  TIme is money and if you normally get paid $50 to $100 an hour, don't try to do something that would normally require $15 an hour person.
Now this is garbage! Setting up a computing platform for a specific task is hardly a job for the run of the mill technician. maybe a bunch of generic office support PC's but if you are putting hardware together for a challenging task it is best to have an engineer or two involved. Engineers by the way that know what they are doing.
Quote:
Doesn't make sense unless it's just a hobby and you don't mind lowering yourself.  Heck, people that assemble PCs in Asia get paid probably around $.50 an hour.
Even that is garbage, the wage rate in many parts of china is up to around 7-8 dollars an hour. You really need to look into some of your beliefs here.
Quote:
 If a company is willing to pay $100 an hour to hobble together some DYI, I'll show you a company that makes bad business decisions and will likely go out of business because they are wasting money.
I suspect you don't have a clue why a company would build up PC hardware. Often it is done to support very specific needs and not the office environment.

In any event I'm not sure what got you off on this tangent. The desire for PCI-Express slots suggested in my post has nothing to do with building your own PC. Rather it is about being able to configure a PC for a specific usage. That is a far cry from making a bad business decision. Rather it is about leveraging consumer grade hardware to the advantage for your business. As i've stated many times before in these forums, Apples lack of economical hardware with PCI expansion means that Macs can never be used in this market. This is really a shame as Mac OS has lots of advantages to offer.
post #551 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Modern GPU's can do signal processing so it isn't impossible for ProTool to leverage the GPU in some manner.
This is especially the case when you have many cores available in the CPU chip.
This has been pretty much the history of computing, as each generation of hardware gets more powerful the need for special hardware decreases.
OK who said anything about DIY PC box building?
Headaches? That really depends upon how much intelligence you put into building the machine. In any event if you are running Linux you either do your due diligence or suffer the headaches of unsupported hardware.
See my comment about intelligence, having a degree and even an engineering job does not indicate intelligence.
That depends upon the application. The first course of action should always be to put an off the shelf machine into the project but sometimes that doesn't work.
Now this is garbage! Setting up a computing platform for a specific task is hardly a job for the run of the mill technician. maybe a bunch of generic office support PC's but if you are putting hardware together for a challenging task it is best to have an engineer or two involved. Engineers by the way that know what they are doing.
Even that is garbage, the wage rate in many parts of china is up to around 7-8 dollars an hour. You really need to look into some of your beliefs here.
I suspect you don't have a clue why a company would build up PC hardware. Often it is done to support very specific needs and not the office environment.

In any event I'm not sure what got you off on this tangent. The desire for PCI-Express slots suggested in my post has nothing to do with building your own PC. Rather it is about being able to configure a PC for a specific usage. That is a far cry from making a bad business decision. Rather it is about leveraging consumer grade hardware to the advantage for your business. As i've stated many times before in these forums, Apples lack of economical hardware with PCI expansion means that Macs can never be used in this market. This is really a shame as Mac OS has lots of advantages to off.

 

 

For assembly work for Foxconn?  They aren't paying those guys $7 or $8 an hour.

 

I'm talking about an Office environment PC.  The engineers at this chip company would buy Unix boxes by someone like Sun Micro or some other Unix mfg because they won't get decent support from the software company.  This was back a while ago before guys were using Linux.  WIth chip design, they had special computers doing the design work and the software was expensive and they bought REAL workstations to do that.  But the company was making their own DYI OFFICE computers and they had computer engineers dicking around with a run in the mill piece of crap which wasted their time because they would be spending days figuring out how to fix a Windows problem, etc, rather than designing chips, which is what they were PAID to do.  But their design work was done on REAL workstations with support contracts, ripping expensive software and those systems were maintained with service contracts, but the Office PCs so the engineers could have email, internet, word, excel, etc. were the DYI crap and they had nothing but problems.  Trust me, I went through the calcuations on how much they wasted because i asked them point blank how much time an engineer would spend putting together a PC, fixing it.  They could have easily bought a decent high end Compaq or HP with a 3 year service contract and just called an 800 number to send a tech out to fix it.  Plus, the DYI PC have much higher failure rate due to lessor quality HDDs and Memory that gets circulated at places like Fry's, and other DYI outlets.  

post #552 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Modern GPU's can do signal processing so it isn't impossible for ProTool to leverage the GPU in some manner.
This is especially the case when you have many cores available in the CPU chip.
This has been pretty much the history of computing, as each generation of hardware gets more powerful the need for special hardware decreases.
OK who said anything about DIY PC box building?
Headaches? That really depends upon how much intelligence you put into building the machine. In any event if you are running Linux you either do your due diligence or suffer the headaches of unsupported hardware.
See my comment about intelligence, having a degree and even an engineering job does not indicate intelligence.
That depends upon the application. The first course of action should always be to put an off the shelf machine into the project but sometimes that doesn't work.
Now this is garbage! Setting up a computing platform for a specific task is hardly a job for the run of the mill technician. maybe a bunch of generic office support PC's but if you are putting hardware together for a challenging task it is best to have an engineer or two involved. Engineers by the way that know what they are doing.
Even that is garbage, the wage rate in many parts of china is up to around 7-8 dollars an hour. You really need to look into some of your beliefs here.
I suspect you don't have a clue why a company would build up PC hardware. Often it is done to support very specific needs and not the office environment.

In any event I'm not sure what got you off on this tangent. The desire for PCI-Express slots suggested in my post has nothing to do with building your own PC. Rather it is about being able to configure a PC for a specific usage. That is a far cry from making a bad business decision. Rather it is about leveraging consumer grade hardware to the advantage for your business. As i've stated many times before in these forums, Apples lack of economical hardware with PCI expansion means that Macs can never be used in this market. This is really a shame as Mac OS has lots of advantages to offer.

Sorry for getting off tangent, but there are people that are doing just that and THINKING they have a better solution when they don't factor in how much time, labor costs in throwing them together and maintaining them.

 

I still on the fence of the new MacPro.  I wish I wasn't, but I really thing they should have had PCI slots.  Additional storage?  That's a coin toss for me.  If I was to put together a high end system for audio production, videio production, I would probably want external RAID for the data and just stick the OS and applications on the SSD built in.  A lot of places are going the SANS route since many of these applications are being used by several people on the same project.  There are video production studios where they might have 200 or more tracks for a movie and they might have a handful of guys editing different tracks and segments of the movie and utilizing a SANS solution, so external RAID, SANS is definitely what Apple is thinking.  I just think these PCI cards slots might be an issue.

 

For ProTools HD HDX guys they have a special connector that goes to the I/O and AD/DA converters.  Guys like Apogee have a Thunderbolt option for their high end converters, but MOST outboard AD/DA converters are using the special ProTools interface which requires those stupid PCI cards.  For these production studios to change over to this MacPro, they might have to change out a lot of other hardware because of it.  It would have made the transition much easier for existing studios to just plop a new MacPro, transfer the PCI cards from their existing MacPro and not disrupt their environment.

post #553 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post


For assembly work for Foxconn?  They aren't paying those guys $7 or $8 an hour.
I don't know about Foxconn but the wage rate in China is a lot higher than many think and Foxconn is considered to be one of the better companies to work for in China. Wages have increased significantly in China over the last decade which make production in the USA far more attractive. Thus the new mac Pro being somewhat made in the USA. If you think Tim cook is bringing Mac pro production back to the USA because he cares about workers in this country you are sadly mistaken.
Quote:
I'm talking about an Office environment PC.  The engineers at this chip company would buy Unix boxes by someone like Sun Micro or some other Unix mfg because they won't get decent support from the software company.  This was back a while ago before guys were using Linux.  WIth chip design, they had special computers doing the design work and the software was expensive and they bought REAL workstations to do that.  But the company was making their own DYI OFFICE computers and they had computer engineers dicking around with a run in the mill piece of crap which wasted their time because they would be spending days figuring out how to fix a Windows problem, etc, rather than designing chips, which is what they were PAID to do.
Well that would be stupid. It is almost always better to buy a solution rather than to make it yourself.
Quote:
 But their design work was done on REAL workstations with support contracts, ripping expensive software and those systems were maintained with service contracts, but the Office PCs so the engineers could have email, internet, word, excel, etc. were the DYI crap and they had nothing but problems.  Trust me, I went through the calcuations on how much they wasted because i asked them point blank how much time an engineer would spend putting together a PC, fixing it.  They could have easily bought a decent high end Compaq or HP with a 3 year service contract and just called an 800 number to send a tech out to fix it.  Plus, the DYI PC have much higher failure rate due to lessor quality HDDs and Memory that gets circulated at places like Fry's, and other DYI outlets.  
post #554 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Sorry for getting off tangent, but there are people that are doing just that and THINKING they have a better solution when they don't factor in how much time, labor costs in throwing them together and maintaining them.
There are many ways to look at DIY PC builds. For a business it doesn't make sense at all for normal desktop duties
Quote:
I still on the fence of the new MacPro.  I wish I wasn't, but I really thing they should have had PCI slots.
I was disappointed about this also. It just makes it impossible to use Apple hardware for many use cases.
Quote:
 Additional storage?  That's a coin toss for me.  
For me personally that is a bigger issue. I do hope that Apple pulls head form ass and puts the other SSD socket on the second video card. Just having the ability to put two SSD inside the box (tube) would lead to far more flexibility. For many another SSD used as a scratch disk would be wonderful.
Quote:
If I was to put together a high end system for audio production, videio production, I would probably want external RAID for the data and just stick the OS and applications on the SSD built in.  A lot of places are going the SANS route since many of these applications are being used by several people on the same project.  There are video production studios where they might have 200 or more tracks for a movie and they might have a handful of guys editing different tracks and segments of the movie and utilizing a SANS solution, so external RAID, SANS is definitely what Apple is thinking.  I just think these PCI cards slots might be an issue.
This is one reason why don't grasp the cries for a disk array capacity inside the box. There is almost zero need for it in the industry.
Quote:

For ProTools HD HDX guys they have a special connector that goes to the I/O and AD/DA converters.  Guys like Apogee have a Thunderbolt option for their high end converters, but MOST outboard AD/DA converters are using the special ProTools interface which requires those stupid PCI cards.  For these production studios to change over to this MacPro, they might have to change out a lot of other hardware because of it.  It would have made the transition much easier for existing studios to just plop a new MacPro, transfer the PCI cards from their existing MacPro and not disrupt their environment.

So the studios sit back and wait for things to wash out. No rational person will buy one of these on day one expecting it to drop into place with no effort.
post #555 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
 I find it truly fascinating that much of the power of an old Cray can now sit in a tiny little cylinder on ones desk and actually be affordable.

 

Desk?  Try pocket.

 

http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/05/10/ipad.2.benches.as.fast.as.cray.2.from.1985/

post #556 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

 

For ProTools HD HDX guys they have a special connector that goes to the I/O and AD/DA converters.  Guys like Apogee have a Thunderbolt option for their high end converters, but MOST outboard AD/DA converters are using the special ProTools interface which requires those stupid PCI cards.  For these production studios to change over to this MacPro, they might have to change out a lot of other hardware because of it.  It would have made the transition much easier for existing studios to just plop a new MacPro, transfer the PCI cards from their existing MacPro and not disrupt their environment.

 

Audio is perhaps low enough bandwidth that a PCIe chassis would be acceptable over TB.  Latency might be an issue perhaps.

 

Unless there is Mac only software in their toolchain my suspicion is that any shop faced with this dilemma will simply switch to Win7 on a high end Dell or HP.

 

If FCP still had the mindshare that was tanked after the release of FCPx (whatever you think of the software itself this certainly happened) Apple would be in better position to force a PCIe to TB transition.

post #557 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


I don't know about Foxconn but the wage rate in China is a lot higher than many think and Foxconn is considered to be one of the better companies to work for in China. Wages have increased significantly in China over the last decade which make production in the USA far more attractive. Thus the new mac Pro being somewhat made in the USA. If you think Tim cook is bringing Mac pro production back to the USA because he cares about workers in this country you are sadly mistaken.
Well that would be stupid. It is almost always better to buy a solution rather than to make it yourself.

I'm just throwing out a wage as an example that assembly work in Asia, or India is a LOT less than what US company is going to pay for a Chip deisgn engineer and that it's dumb for a company to pay a chip design engineer to assemble or fix a generic PC than do what they are hired to do.  That's the only point I was trying to make.  The wages were just to show that there is a HUGE difference between what people might get paid. You are taking the wages just a little too seriously.

 

Why is Tim Cook bringing back production of the MacPro to the USA if he doesn't care about the workers in this country?  It creates US jobs doesn't it?  IF it makes sense to make here, then they should make here.  Plus the new MacPro seems like it's probably made by robotics in the first place. But there is a certain amount that's done by people.  What else do you expect them to do?   Apple found out in the 90's that outsourcing the mfg/assembly was far most cost effective than the company doing themselves.  They used to put out bids for making products to both Apple mfg plants and various outsourcing companies and Apple's own mfg plants couldn't compete which is why they had to outsource.  Every high profile company is getting pressured to bring back jobs to the USA.  Apple's very high profile and the media and these activist groups are always hassling Apple to do something with regards to bringing back jobs to the USA or Green initiatives, even though others are doing the exact same thing.  

 

 

Either event, people make these DYI computers and use them THINKING they are saving money, when in fact, by the time you've done research to find out what pieces you need, procure everything, unbox everything, assemble everything to the point where it is fully assembled and ready to use, all of the time equals money.  And then if you have to waste more time in fixing it rather than just taking it in to a Warranty service center, you are now wasting even more time fixing something that someone that is qualified should be doing.  A lot of people don't realize and factor in the amount of time spent and the labor rates.

 

I went through this with some engineers that were making their own PCs thinking they were saving money and when it was all said and done, they weren't saving anything.  And when it comes to resale, these DYI don't bring in any decent amount of money since they aren't a brand name product.  Then you lose even more if you want to sell it as used and try to recoup some money out of the product.

 

I can understand the educational factor of the DYI computer since I am used to a company called Heath that used to market and sell various types of electronic products of decent quality where you assembled the entire thing. They were great.  I wish they were still around and parents got their kids to get involved in putting together Heath Kits as a learning experience.  But I wouldn't take these DYI kits that seriously in a business environment.  For home and for fun, sure, but not for business.

post #558 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

Audio is perhaps low enough bandwidth that a PCIe chassis would be acceptable over TB.  Latency might be an issue perhaps.

 

Unless there is Mac only software in their toolchain my suspicion is that any shop faced with this dilemma will simply switch to Win7 on a high end Dell or HP.

 

If FCP still had the mindshare that was tanked after the release of FCPx (whatever you think of the software itself this certainly happened) Apple would be in better position to force a PCIe to TB transition.

Latency is HUGE with audio recording systems.  HUGE. 


I've read about these TB chassis on AUDIO recording sites and the biggest complaint seems to be noise.  Apparantly, the fans they use in these chassis are a little too loud and they don't fan lots of fan making noise in a studio environment.  That's out of Apple's control if they don't make and design these external chassis.

post #559 of 1290

You know I read about that some time ago but it sort of slipped out of the sieve that is my brain. Frankly as an old fart I'm amazed everyday I start up my iPad. IPads biggest short coming is that lack of significant flash for secondary storage, I bet the old Cray came with plenty of options to deal with that.
post #560 of 1290
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

[...] With the ProTools PCI cards, it to help run more tracks and more plug-ins, but the majority of recording studios don't use that much in terms of number of tracks and plug-ins to really warrant buying PCI cards vs. Native.

 

If you're talking Pro Tools, Native" *IS* a PCI card. It's between the software-only product and the full-DSP HDX cards. I guess o one at Avid thought THAT ingenious naming convention would cause any confusion... 1oyvey.gif

 

There are still benefits to HDX, like lower latency monitoring. There are other benefits too, but you gotta wonder if they're worth it. I'm running PT10 with just CPU (no HDX, no Native card) doing post for spots, and I can't find a way the hardware would enhance my work. Maybe it would if I was tracking music or mixing larger projects.

 

What's got MY panties in a bunch is Avid dropping support for the Complete Production Toolkit. That means as of Pro Tools 11 there is no way to mix surround in Pro Tools without buying one of their cards and I/O boxes. That makes the cost of entry for surround mixing with Pro Tools around $5-6K minimum. It's ridiculous and unacceptable to tie such a fundamental feature to their hardware when even consumer video editing software can handle 5.1 audio.

 

I'm so mad at Avid over this that I find myself giggling with delight over the prospect of the new Mac Pro not supporting their flagship audio product!

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