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Apple winding down Mac Pro tower shipments as it works to finish new cylindrical model

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
It's the end of the line for the aluminum Mac Pro tower, as Apple appears to now be winding down shipments to resellers in preparation to launch a newly redesigned professional-grade desktop later this year.

Pro


As can be seen in the AppleInsider Mac Price Guide, the current-generation Mac Pro with a 3.2-gigahertz processor is out of stock at resellers Amazon, Mac Connection, B&H, and J&R. Additionally, as of Wednesday afternoon, only two units remain in stock at MacMall.

This is the first time the Mac Pro has been spotted sold out at so many authorized resellers, and is likely a sign that Apple is winding down ? or has halted ? production of the current model.

That comes as no surprise, as Apple uncharacteristically offered a sneak peek for its new cylinder-shaped Mac Pro at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month. Apple usually does not show off a new product until it is ready to ship, or at least has a specific launch window.

However, the company only said that the new Mac Pro would launch sometime in 2013, without committing to a date or timeframe.

When it launches, the newly redesigned Mac Pro will mark the end of an era for Apple's legacy aluminum tower, which has existed since the launch of the Power Mac G5 in June of 2003. That was billed by Apple as the first personal computer to use a 64-bit processor, a PowerPC G5 processor developed by IBM.



The first Power Mac G5 featured dual 2-gigahertz processors, and could support up to 8 gigabytes of RAM. In particular, the aluminum tower was touted by Apple a decade ago for having four distinct thermal zones to keep the system running cool. Each zone was equipped with thermal sensors, allowing them to be cooled independently and quietly.

Apple also boasted about the removable door on the side of the Power Mac G5, which allowed users the ability to quickly access and swap out the hard drive, RAM, graphics cards, and other components.

The desktop was rebranded as the Mac Pro in 2006, when Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel processors while keeping the same enclosure. The first Intel-based tower Mac included two dual-core Intel Xeon 5150 processors clocked at 2.66 gigahertz.



The first Mac Pro system came with a gigabyte of RAM by default and officially supported 16 gigabytes of RAM.

The design of the tower remained largely the same, though Apple added a second optical drive bay, along with a second USB port and FireWire 800 port on the front of the desktop. The system also supported four full-length PCI-Express slots, along with a double-wide graphics slot.

"This is a beautiful enclosure design," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said of the Mac Pro during the WWDC keynote in 2006. "Outside it has all of the same benefits as before."

While Apple felt those benefits were enough to carry the current design through a decade, this year the company revealed its designers have been working on a radical new approach for the next Mac Pro. The unique design prompted Schiller to quip at this year's WWDC: "Can't innovate anymore, my ass."

The new desktop will stick with Intel's Xeon family of processors, with configurations going as high as 12 cores. The machine will also have support for third-generation PCI-Express, with bandwidth speeds up to 40 gigabytes per second.

Mac Pro


The new Mac Pro will also feature PCIe flash storage, clocked at 1,250 megabytes per second, more than doubling the 500 megabyte-per-second speed of flash drives on SATA connections.

Unlike with the aluminum tower, the Mac Pro redesign is not focused on swapping out components. Instead, Apple will offer expandability through ports, including six high-speed Thunderbolt 2 ports.

In addition, the new Mac Pro will feature four USB 3.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, HDMI 1.4, and audio input and output. It's advertised to arrive later this year.
post #2 of 62
I'd be surprised if this turns out to be true. The rumors say that the new one won't be out until fall. I can't imagine that they'd stop shipments this early.
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post #3 of 62
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #4 of 62
My biggest concern with this machine is price of storage. PCIe flash is more than ten times the price of an equivalent sized hard disk.
post #5 of 62

I'm not really surprised. How many people today are buying the current Mac Pro and its dated specs?

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post #6 of 62
May I be the first to say "trash can Mac". Oh, wait... That's already the official code name of the new Mac Pro. That Jonny Ive is a trip. he said to himself, "Everyone wanted some Apple innovation and now I'm going to give them something to really talk about." Unfortunately, this new Mac Pro will go down in infamy as the radical-looking desktop that no one wanted. Wall Street's already talking about it but they definitely don't have anything good to say about it.
post #7 of 62
If you don't think it will fly... you don't understand what thunderbolt has to offer in the way of raw speed and PCI capability on a wire.
post #8 of 62

Part of me is wondering if Apple might pull an about-face on this one and end up re-releasing the current Mac Pro if/when the new design is rejected by people who aren't satisfied with the new design.

 

I'm withholding my own judgement until I see what the price point will be, and especially if they'll be providing a reasonably priced solution for PCIe/expandability. Right now and external chassis that would allow current-gen Mac Pro expandability via Thunderbolt is pretty expensive and not very elegant compared to it just being part of the box. I'm also wondering how much space will be needed above the unit to allow for heat dissipation - my Mac currently sits in a soundproof case with ventilation ducts going out the back and it'll be interesting to see if the new design will be kosher with that, especially if I have to cram in a bunch of external devices for extra hard drives, PCIe, etc.

 

The new Mac Pro seems to me to be very similar to the Mac Mini in its product concept, which will be great for 95% of users, but Im not sure if it'll be the best option for my studio, and pretty much every audio professional I know has expressed similar fears.

 

I'm very happy with the current Mac Pro's form factor and expandability options, and really if they had re-released it with an updated processor, bus and hard drive options, i would probably continue buying a new one every 5-6 years (have already gone through 2 and upgraded hard drives &memory multiple times on each - nothing but positive experiences while upgrading and replacing them).

post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Wall Street's already talking about it but they definitely don't have anything good to say about it.
 

 

… because Wall Street is where we should go for professional hardware reviews?

post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

My biggest concern with this machine is price of storage. PCIe flash is more than ten times the price of an equivalent sized hard disk.

 

Indeed.  The largest SSD they offer in their products so far is the 768 and that's $900.  

 

There is a space on the board for a second drive connector if you look at the pictures of the new Mac Pro closely, but for me the internal storage space has to be about 2TB to be useful as a replacement for my old Mac Pro.  I'm thinking this thing will debut with 2x768GB drives as the very top option only.  Probably less.  

 

They pretty much have to make new displays for it too, so it will be interesting to get more Thunderbolt display options at least.  

post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

May I be the first to say "trash can Mac". Oh, wait... That's already the official code name of the new Mac Pro. That Jonny Ive is a trip. he said to himself, "Everyone wanted some Apple innovation and now I'm going to give them something to really talk about." Unfortunately, this new Mac Pro will go down in infamy as the radical-looking desktop that no one wanted. Wall Street's already talking about it but they definitely don't have anything good to say about it.

 

1) Not a "desktop" but a pro machine.

 

2) Cylindrical things look like other cylindrical things.  So what?  

 

It could as easily be a "jet engine Mac" as a "trash can Mac."

post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

May I be the first to say "trash can Mac". Oh, wait... That's already the official code name of the new Mac Pro. That Jonny Ive is a trip. he said to himself, "Everyone wanted some Apple innovation and now I'm going to give them something to really talk about." Unfortunately, this new Mac Pro will go down in infamy as the radical-looking desktop that no one wanted. Wall Street's already talking about it but they definitely don't have anything good to say about it.

Except in one year we will see multiple "innovators" building cylindrical computers. And a choir is Samsung fans will by saying that it's an obvious idea and will be linking to some obscure Star Trek episode featuring cylinders.

post #13 of 62
I'm still reserving judgement. After watching the keynote I was ready to slap down money for one. Now having more time to think it over, I'm considering buying one of the current generation MP's instead, simply because the abysmal bump in speed. I'm not sure where Apple get's it's 2X as fast comparison, because it smells like Bullshit about now.

Not to mention the best way I've kept breathing life into my MP was to upgrade the video card with off the shelf PC cards. It's highly unlikely that any company is going to release an after market GPU in 3 years down the road for this new MP. It's no longer a simple firmware flash, it would involve designing a new board.

Right now I'm leaning to buy the tower MP over the cylinder. But I'll wait and see how much the new ones are. The lack of GPU upgrades are probably my biggest hesitation at this point.. that and no dual CPU option.
post #14 of 62
I don't care for the aesthetic of the new Mac Pro but I do crave raw power and the six beautiful monitors I'll have on my desk will probably keep me from ever even noticing the uninspiring black cylinder unless I have to plug something into it.
post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post

If you don't think it will fly... you don't understand what thunderbolt has to offer in the way of raw speed and PCI capability on a wire.

 

Actually you overestimate its value. Until Tbolt is actually PCI-E ready with an x16 or even an x8 lane of bandwidth it's functionality is far less encompassing then you imagine it to be.

 

It will take Thunderbolt 3.0 before that even happens. 20Mbps (20 Megabits per second theoretical) is nowhere near PCI-E 3.0 126Gbps bandwidth. By the time TBolt 3.0 arrives PCI-E 4.0 at 252Gbps will be out.

post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursadorable View Post

I'm still reserving judgement. After watching the keynote I was ready to slap down money for one. Now having more time to think it over, I'm considering buying one of the current generation MP's instead, simply because the abysmal bump in speed. I'm not sure where Apple get's it's 2X as fast comparison, because it smells like Bullshit about now.

Not to mention the best way I've kept breathing life into my MP was to upgrade the video card with off the shelf PC cards. It's highly unlikely that any company is going to release an after market GPU in 3 years down the road for this new MP. It's no longer a simple firmware flash, it would involve designing a new board.

Right now I'm leaning to buy the tower MP over the cylinder. But I'll wait and see how much the new ones are. The lack of GPU upgrades are probably my biggest hesitation at this point.. that and no dual CPU option.

 

The performance bump isn't from the CPU it's from the leverage of those Dual FirePro OpenCL 1.2 compliant box that have 4096 shaders on it that OS X 10.9 will everage heavily. Apple's OpenCL 1.2 stack is highly optimized, scalable and efficient. More and more of the OS is leveraging the GPGPUs and even the new Intel designs are waking up to the fact they are falling behind AMD's APU approach.

 

When AMD comes out with Steamroller (FX and APU) the Intel weakness will be highly revealed. Excavator being the end of FX CPUs will be when AMD truly start making big noise and fast. Steamroller this Fall, Excavator next June. Intel has a lot of work ahead in the OpenCL space and GPGPU space they can nowhere near compete against AMD.

 

If Tbolt were licensed to Apple they could easily position Intel against AMD in the near future.

post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Wall Street

Here's the two words in your post where I stopped reading and where you lost all credibility.

post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post

If you don't think it will fly... you don't understand what thunderbolt has to offer in the way of raw speed and PCI capability on a wire.


Oh, I think they understand.  It's just a question of a) paying for it and b) availability. 

post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post

If you don't think it will fly... you don't understand what thunderbolt has to offer in the way of raw speed and PCI capability on a wire.

 

Yes, it's slower than the slots in the Mac Pro would have been by a factor of 6.  A PCIe 3.0 x16 slot is 16 GB/s.  A TB port is 2.5GB/s (20 Gbps) max (some bandwidth may be taken by the display).

 

6 ports < 4 slots.  Even if you keep the old configuration of slot 1 and 2 being x16 slots and 3 and 4 being x4 slots the difference is between 6x2.5 = 15GB/s vs 40 GB/s.

 

External PCIe would have been faster at 4GB/s for a gen 1 x16 ePCIe cable and 8GBs for the gen 2.

post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

The performance bump isn't from the CPU it's from the leverage of those Dual FirePro OpenCL 1.2 compliant box that have 4096 shaders on it that OS X 10.9 will everage heavily. Apple's OpenCL 1.2 stack is highly optimized, scalable and efficient. More and more of the OS is leveraging the GPGPUs and even the new Intel designs are waking up to the fact they are falling behind AMD's APU approach.

 

When AMD comes out with Steamroller (FX and APU) the Intel weakness will be highly revealed. Excavator being the end of FX CPUs will be when AMD truly start making big noise and fast. Steamroller this Fall, Excavator next June. Intel has a lot of work ahead in the OpenCL space and GPGPU space they can nowhere near compete against AMD.

 

If Tbolt were licensed to Apple they could easily position Intel against AMD in the near future.

 

You know, I think folks here have been vastly overestimating the impact of OpenCL on day to day performance even for pros.  Frankly, given that a big chunk of Apple consumer lineup has zero OpenCL GPU support indicates that even OSX 10.9 will not be heavily dependent on it unless the expectation is that all the 2012 MBA, 13" MBPs and Minis will start beachballing a lot under 10.9.

 

Specific apps will perform well using GP/GPU code.  Most of these apps already had solid CUDA support and are adding OpenCL support due to a heavy AMD push for them to do so.  Intel doesn't give a shit about OpenCL and would rather folks optimize for x86 performance and the Xeon Phi.  OpenCL support has thus far been somewhat grudging on their integrated GPUs and completely MIA in OSX.

 

So for Pros the result is moving from nVidia based cards and moderately more mature CUDA codebase in the apps they use to ATI cards and somewhat new OpenCL code in apps.  Performance simply isn't going to hugely jump because the delta isn't between no GP/GPU at all and suddenly now dual FirePros but between moving from Quadro 6000s to FirePro W9000 equivalents.

 

http://vr-zone.com/articles/why-amd-firepro-still-cannot-compete-against-nvidia-quadro-old-or-new/17074.html

 

The devil is in the details.  In this case the driver support as well as coder support for the app developers.

post #21 of 62

Let's face it - it's a different take on the form of a professional workstation computer .  It has compromises but I think it's exciting to have all that thunderbolt expandability.   I don't know what the price is gonna be but I think I like the machine so far - it remains to be seen if simply shrinking the size of the current model & updating the components would have been better, but then again this is Apple, not Dell.    We said "NEW MAC  PRO!"  and they said "HERE!".  And there it is.

post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Part of me is wondering if Apple might pull an about-face on this one and end up re-releasing the current Mac Pro if/when the new design is rejected by people who aren't satisfied with the new design.

This is the classic second stage symptoms. First stage is 'they can't possibly get rid of PCIe slots, Thunderbolt isn't fast enough and internal HDDs are necessary'. Second stage is 'oh, they got rid of PCIe slots and HDDs well, they're going to have to go and put them back in'. The third stage is the realisation that the only options are to buy one or buy something else. People can hang onto older Mac Pros until there's a Thunderbolt solution for anything PCIe-based they depend on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

The new Mac Pro seems to me to be very similar to the Mac Mini in its product concept, which will be great for 95% of users, but Im not sure if it'll be the best option for my studio, and pretty much every audio professional I know has expressed similar fears.

There's a bunch of audio equipment for Thunderbolt.

Here's the video of the Magma chassis with some cards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw_jBQB6FD0

and here's a bunch of tests with Thunderbolt audio equipment on a rMBP:





Apogee is even using the new Mac Pro in their marketing:

http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/symphony-io.php#thunderbridge

Here's DJ Jazzy Jeff in his Studio with his Macbook Pro, Mac Pro and equipment:



He mentions 12TB internal storage at one point. Storage shouldn't be that big of a problem on the new one. I expect people will keep the internal SSD small for now and just connect something like the following over USB 3:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CH94GMK
http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Quadra-External-Drive-9000351U/dp/B009KMQPKS

Thunderbolt drives are pricier but 8TB is here for just under $800:

http://www.amazon.com/G-Technology-Thunderbolt-Powerful-Transfer-0G02272/dp/B00846Z4YY

It could be expensive making the transition for some but if they are stuck on using a Mac, it's a decision that has to be made. SSD storage will come down in price. It's at around $0.60/GB, although Apple's at around double that. Say that people would be looking for 12TB for $1000, it has to break $0.10/GB. I'd give it 6 or 7 years. The lack of HDDs means that people who can afford the larger SSDs will help drive down the price by not having an option to just go with HDD.
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Part of me is wondering if Apple might pull an about-face on this one and end up re-releasing the current Mac Pro if/when the new design is rejected by people who aren't satisfied with the new design.

 

I'm withholding my own judgement until I see what the price point will be, and especially if they'll be providing a reasonably priced solution for PCIe/expandability. Right now and external chassis that would allow current-gen Mac Pro expandability via Thunderbolt is pretty expensive and not very elegant compared to it just being part of the box. I'm also wondering how much space will be needed above the unit to allow for heat dissipation - my Mac currently sits in a soundproof case with ventilation ducts going out the back and it'll be interesting to see if the new design will be kosher with that, especially if I have to cram in a bunch of external devices for extra hard drives, PCIe, etc.

 

The new Mac Pro seems to me to be very similar to the Mac Mini in its product concept, which will be great for 95% of users, but Im not sure if it'll be the best option for my studio, and pretty much every audio professional I know has expressed similar fears.

 

I'm very happy with the current Mac Pro's form factor and expandability options, and really if they had re-released it with an updated processor, bus and hard drive options, i would probably continue buying a new one every 5-6 years (have already gone through 2 and upgraded hard drives &memory multiple times on each - nothing but positive experiences while upgrading and replacing them).

 

Just like the Matrix!  There is no going back!  LOL!  That is not going to happen!   

post #24 of 62
I'm curious how this device will do, because I just don't see a big market for it. I expect it will be cancelled before the next update
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

My biggest concern with this machine is price of storage. PCIe flash is more than ten times the price of an equivalent sized hard disk.

This is true and hopefully Apple can drive down the price of solid state drives ASAP.
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post #26 of 62
As with everything.. it all depends on the price... the value equation of cost and performance. If it outperforms the the current MacPro, without a significant added cost for design.. its a winner...Pros will buy multiple machines. While I understand expansion is critical, wait to see what this machine brings. It is a quantum leap in performance for storage, which is a major bottle neck. Still, its all about the price. To predict it DOA before its out is premature... I know I am in for at least 3.
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I'm curious how this device will do, because I just don't see a big market for it. I expect it will be cancelled before the next update

 

Again … it's not a consumer machine, so the size of the market isn't really relevant like it would be for an iMac.  This is not competing with Windows boxes from WallMart.  

 

When you read comments threads on articles about the new Mac Pro, it also becomes pretty clear that almost everyone who says "no f*cking way" (or the equivalent), is basically a dilettante/hobbyist user and *not* actually a professional at all.  

 

It's just the same old conservative/progressive or glass half-empty/half-full situation all over again.  Some people look at a black cylinder and see a trashcan, some see a rocket.  It's the mindset you bring to the table that determines what you see.  If you are a conservative, all you see is that it's different and you don't like it because you don't like change.  If you are a progressive, you see possibilities.  

post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Part of me is wondering if Apple might pull an about-face on this one and end up re-releasing the current Mac Pro if/when the new design is rejected by people who aren't satisfied with the new design.

 

Not a chance.

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post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

As with everything.. it all depends on the price... the value equation of cost and performance. If it outperforms the the current MacPro, without a significant added cost for design.. its a winner...Pros will buy multiple machines. While I understand expansion is critical, wait to see what this machine brings. It is a quantum leap in performance for storage, which is a major bottle neck. Still, its all about the price. To predict it DOA before its out is premature... I know I am in for at least 3.

 

True.  This worries me a bit though as they have chosen what is typically their most expensive product, made a lot of changes that are bound to make it more expensive, and then decided to make it even more expensive again, by manufacturing it in the USA, just based on some phoney ideology.  

 

No matter whether it's Apple or anyone else doing that, it's worrisome.  

 

IMO ideology shouldn't have anything to do with computer manufacturing other than being simply ethical with the production.  Using their flagship product to pande to a lot of rabid xenophobes just doesn't seem like a good idea to me.  The 1.0 version is almost certain to be only slightly better than the previous old version, and will likely cost a huge amount more.  I'm thinking this is at least a $3,000 computer, stock, and the options will probably drive it up to $4,000 (and that's not including the monitor, the external storage array, etc.).  

post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Again … it's not a consumer machine, so the size of the market isn't really relevant like it would be for an iMac.  This is not competing with Windows boxes from WallMart.  

When you read comments threads on articles about the new Mac Pro, it also becomes pretty clear that almost everyone who says "no f*cking way" (or the equivalent), is basically a dilettante/hobbyist user and *not* actually a professional at all.  

It's just the same old conservative/progressive or glass half-empty/half-full situation all over again.  Some people look at a black cylinder and see a trashcan, some see a rocket.  It's the mindset you bring to the table that determines what you see.  If you are a conservative, all you see is that it's different and you don't like it because you don't like change.  If you are a progressive, you see possibilities.  

Color me progressive 1smile.gif
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post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Again … it's not a consumer machine, so the size of the market isn't really relevant like it would be for an iMac.  This is not competing with Windows boxes from WallMart.  

 

When you read comments threads on articles about the new Mac Pro, it also becomes pretty clear that almost everyone who says "no f*cking way" (or the equivalent), is basically a dilettante/hobbyist user and *not* actually a professional at all.  

 

It's just the same old conservative/progressive or glass half-empty/half-full situation all over again.  Some people look at a black cylinder and see a trashcan, some see a rocket.  It's the mindset you bring to the table that determines what you see.  If you are a conservative, all you see is that it's different and you don't like it because you don't like change.  If you are a progressive, you see possibilities.  

I am a conservative and i love the new machine... I would say your need to classify people is disturbing.

post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I'm curious how this device will do, because I just don't see a big market for it. I expect it will be cancelled before the next update

 

Canceling the future? That's Microsoft's job.

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post #33 of 62
Whatever you call it and think of it, it will be quick, it will be very useable, it will be expensive and it will sell better than the previous model.
Plus in the next year you will get PC manufacturer(s) copying the design.
post #34 of 62
The lack of PCI slots is the biggest concern for me. I have a number of customers who use fiber channel in their Mac Pros for raw HD editing. With the new 4K video coming I see a need for more speed, not less. I will concede that high end video is a niche market, it is a niche that Apple has typically had a strong following in. While very few will need Fiber Channel expandability on the new Mac Pros, each Pro market probably has its own speciality cards that can no longer be installed. Thunderbolt looks great but it is not ready for these very high throughput markets yet. Hopefully Apple does what they did with the MacBook Pros and FinalCut X / FinalCut Pro and leave the previous Generation on the market. If they bring the price of the New Mac Pro down (I admit unlikely) it could fill the needs of those calling for a Mac Minitower, while leaving the Original MacPro to serve the truly high end users.

Otherwise this is another indication that Apple is ignoring the Professional Video / Audio / Graphics communities that arguably kept Apple alive during the lean years.
post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

My biggest concern with this machine is price of storage. PCIe flash is more than ten times the price of an equivalent sized hard disk.
Yes Thinking of 40 gigs per second specs. For a Devices (let's just say bottom 512 gb.) will take only 12.8 seconds to take your whole memory. And a average size (costing 3x regular) 2 TB still takes in less than minute 51.2 seconds (extremely convienent but $$ for little in it) and a extremely doubtful model (maybe $12-$20000) 5 TB taking just over 2 minutes 128 seconds for it at 40 gb a second.

Don't care well say a simular price HDD (obviously to slow for it still) 5 TB start, 20 TB high end(unreal storage) in minutes (8.53) to handle a 40 gb per second. I use to 12 Meg's (a little to slow after 50) think shipping the whole entire icloud data center in days (10,000 TB per 3 days) is extreme for 40 gb!
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMonline View Post

The lack of PCI slots is the biggest concern for me. I have a number of customers who use fiber channel in their Mac Pros for raw HD editing. With the new 4K video coming I see a need for more speed, not less.

Thunderbolt is fast enough for FC, there are TB-FC interfaces.
AV stream and disk-based mass storage only utilize a fraction of TB's throughput particularly with 4 (IIRC) independent TB busses that don't share bandwidth.
The worst part about external TB expansion is the clutter and additional failure modes due to non-locking connectors which are more pro-sumer than pro quality. (There's a reason old computer plugs were screw down connectors and pro-audio uses locking XLR plugs)
However performance and functionality is not a concern I have with this machine.

As for OpenCL: some ppl here don't realize that the whole point of OpenCL/GCD is to be CPU independent. The same code can run on an x86 CPU or on a (GP)GPU, just with obvious performance differences.
So Apple and app developers can use it all over the place and resulting code will on all Macs, just with widely varying performance levels. The main CPUs become increasingly auxiliary in their roles in high-performance computing, so a single 12-core main CPU should be perfectly adequate for a well balanced setup in this machine.
From all I can tell this is one if the most brilliant pieces of hardware to hit the market in quite some time.
And yes, it's made for an niche market, so it won't sell like hot cakes, and nobody expects any differently. This is a machine for content creators, not for consumers; there are also less people buying assembly lines than there are people buying cars; that doesn't make selling assembly lines a bad business just because one's not selling millions of them.
post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Again … it's not a consumer machine, so the size of the market isn't really relevant like it would be for an iMac.  This is not competing with Windows boxes from WallMart.  

When you read comments threads on articles about the new Mac Pro, it also becomes pretty clear that almost everyone who says "no f*cking way" (or the equivalent), is basically a dilettante/hobbyist user and *not* actually a professional at all.  

It's just the same old conservative/progressive or glass half-empty/half-full situation all over again.  Some people look at a black cylinder and see a trashcan, some see a rocket.  It's the mindset you bring to the table that determines what you see.  If you are a conservative, all you see is that it's different and you don't like it because you don't like change.  If you are a progressive, you see possibilities.  
I am a conservative and i love the new machine... I would say your need to classify people is disturbing.

I'm an Independent... I drank the water 1wink.gif

I just want to point out that this thing is tiny -- smaller than an adult's head!



Or, imagine 4 iPads, standing up in portrait mode forming a hollow box -- the new Mac Pro will fit inside, with room to spare. It is smaller than a Promise Pegasus 12 RAID.
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post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


This is the classic second stage symptoms. First stage is 'they can't possibly get rid of PCIe slots, Thunderbolt isn't fast enough and internal HDDs are necessary'. Second stage is 'oh, they got rid of PCIe slots and HDDs well, they're going to have to go and put them back in'. The third stage is the realisation that the only options are to buy one or buy something else. People can hang onto older Mac Pros until there's a Thunderbolt solution for anything PCIe-based they depend on.
There's a bunch of audio equipment for Thunderbolt.
 

I realize there's a lot of audio equipment for Thunderbolt in the pipeline, but replacing a $20,000 Protools HD system with an Apogee or UA set up isn't something I or most other professional studios will do any time soon.

 

No professionals I know of have any trust in Apogee - their support has been atrocious, and basically every time there is an OSX update, they are the 2nd last (TC Electronic is always the last) to "unbreak" their firmware/software, which is crazy considering they're an Apple-focused company. UA is not currently a serious player in the professional market (besides their software modeling and hardware clones of classic products), although they have the people working for them to make headway at some point.

 

I think i the "new Mac Pro" is indeed all that will be available from Apple, you'll see most professional studios (i'm not talking small project studios or basement/bedroom jobs) forced to switch to Windows machines just from a cost/simplicity perspective, as weird as that sounds. While this is a microscopic market share for Apple, it's worth noting that the "prosumer" and project studio market are driven greatly by what they see in high-end studios. Honestly, my initial switch to Mac from PC about 14 years ago came specifically because I started noticing pretty much every studio was Mac-powered, and I know a ton of musicians who had "trusted by the musicians/studios they trust" as a final selling point for shelling out for and making the switch to OSX.

 

Anyways, hopefully i'm wrong and we'll see Apple release a professional and cost-effective solution if there's a backlash - remember when they pulled Final Cut Pro?

post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

This is the classic second stage symptoms. First stage is 'they can't possibly get rid of PCIe slots, Thunderbolt isn't fast enough and internal HDDs are necessary'. Second stage is 'oh, they got rid of PCIe slots and HDDs well, they're going to have to go and put them back in'. The third stage is the realisation that the only options are to buy one or buy something else. People can hang onto older Mac Pros until there's a Thunderbolt solution for anything PCIe-based they depend on.

There's a bunch of audio equipment for Thunderbolt.

 
I realize there's a lot of audio equipment for Thunderbolt in the pipeline, but replacing a $20,000 Protools HD system with an Apogee or UA set up isn't something I or most other professional studios will do any time soon.

No professionals I know of have any trust in Apogee - their support has been atrocious, and basically every time there is an OSX update, they are the 2nd last (TC Electronic is always the last) to "unbreak" their firmware/software, which is crazy considering they're an Apple-focused company. UA is not currently a serious player in the professional market (besides their software modeling and hardware clones of classic products), although they have the people working for them to make headway at some point.

I think i the "new Mac Pro" is indeed all that will be available from Apple, you'll see most professional studios (i'm not talking small project studios or basement/bedroom jobs) forced to switch to Windows machines just from a cost/simplicity perspective, as weird as that sounds. While this is a microscopic market share for Apple, it's worth noting that the "prosumer" and project studio market are driven greatly by what they see in high-end studios. Honestly, my initial switch to Mac from PC about 14 years ago came specifically because I started noticing pretty much every studio was Mac-powered, and I know a ton of musicians who had "trusted by the musicians/studios they trust" as a final selling point for shelling out for and making the switch to OSX.

Anyways, hopefully i'm wrong and we'll see Apple release a professional and cost-effective solution if there's a backlash - remember when they pulled Final Cut Pro?


Here are some interesting quotes from Larry Jordan and Lou Borella (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Did you really need that expansion in your Mac Pro?
Incidentally, according to Jordon’s blog, 80% of Mac Pro users don’t have any PCI cards in their system, aside from the graphics card. Perhaps the fuss about expansion options is fuss over nothing.

Borella admits that he probably won't miss the expansion options. "I have a Kona LHe that has been in my 2008 MP for five years but hasn't been used in the last two," he writes.

This echoes the admission of Macworld editor Dan Frakes who wrote: "I loved that I could upgrade pretty much everything, but in reality, I rarely swapped out more than hard drives, RAM, and the occasional video card or optical drive. Only once did I ever use an additional PCI slot. And yet because of their extensive expandability, the pre–2013 Mac Pro models use lots of floor space and lots of electricity, and they generate a lot of heat."

Thanks to Thunderbolt, those people who do need expansion are no longer limited by the number of card slots the computer has available. Borella admits: "As an editor I probably will not need any cards and I'd bet that all of my future needs will be satisfied via Thunderbolt."

“Apple essentially provided a virtually unlimited number of card slots for users that need the maximum in expandability," writes Jordon.

Apple’s will still have a challenge proving that Thunderbolt 2 isn’t only an alternative to the old fashioned expansion offered by PCI Express cards, but a better solution. Presumably this lesson will be easier to teach when a few more companies have got behind Thunderbolt 1, let alone Thunderbolt 2.

However there's still likely to be a few complications in certain industries. Borella points out: "I know the audio guys have a lot to complain about especially those using ProTools… I believe that most of the external hardware needed for Protools is sold by Protools/Avid right?... We are talking about a company in Avid that pretty much refuses to innovate. They hold on to old tech forever and rarely optimize their code to take advantage of any new hardware."

"The new Mac Pro depends on third parties abandoning the older technologies," said Borella.

Quote:
Changing the way pros work
Borella admits that the new Mac Pro will change everything about his workflow, but writes that he is "more intrigued and excited than scared and perturbed".

"This machine will change the way my peripherals sit on my desk. It will cause me to take a hard look at my current monitor situation. It will cause me to rethink the gear I bring on remote edits. It will cause me to re-evaluate my home network and my NAS devices. It might even cause me to give a harder look to FCPX," he writes.

"For good or bad this Mac Pro will change everything and cause a ripple effect in my entire computing life. And its probably about time," he writes, adding: "When I look at the existing tech that is sitting on and under my desk I realize that I have been looking at pretty much the same picture for the last 20 years. Its probably about time that some company takes me to the next step."

http://www.macworld.co.uk/mac/news/?newsid=3453334
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
post #40 of 62
I'm almost positive that Schiller announced a "Fall" release, along with Mavericks and iOS 7. And I think that the engineers showing the 'can off in the lobby of Moscone were saying the same thing.

I'd love to be misremembering. A Summer release would be killer.

And I know several people who are drooling for this kit. It's a small sample size, to be sure. But if the price points are right, this is going to be a big seller. The number crunching claims for this thing are stupid fast.
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