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First look: Apple's upcoming Mac Pro and new MacBook Pros with Retina display

post #1 of 47
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Apple on Tuesday announced updates to its Mac product lineup, offering a closer look at the upcoming Mac Pro desktop and refreshes to the MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup. AppleInsider was at the event for a hands-on look at the new machines.

Mac Pro
Apple's Mac Pro will launch in December. | Photo: Daniel Eran Dilger


Unlike the Mac Pro introduction in June, which showed off a non-functioning model behind glass, Apple gave attendees of its media event some hands-on time with the forthcoming pro-level desktop.

As seen above, Apple had a disassembled Mac Pro on display, revealing the triangular heat sink and unique internal layout of the aluminum-clad device. Apple's pro workhorse features a base configuration with 3.7GHz Intel Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, dual FirePro D300 GPUs with 2GB of RAM each, and a 256GB SSD.

Mac Pro


The computer was also being shown off running Final Cut Pro X on 4K displays made by Sharp, connected to one or more of the Mac Pro's six Thunderbolt 2 ports. With up to 20Gbps of bandwidth per channel, the Mac Pro can interface with up to 36 Thunderbolt peripherals, including hard drives, PCI expansion components, audio and video breakout boxes and high-resolution displays.

Mac Pro


As for the new MacBook Pros, not much has changed aesthetically aside from a slimming down for the 13-inch version, which is now only 0.71 inches thick. Both models got significant spec bumps, however, including new Haswell Core i5 and i7 processors and next-generation integrated graphics from Intel.

Mac Pro


Among the updated internal components, both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros received PCIe-based flash storage with up to 60 percent faster read speeds than last year's models. In addition, the laptops were brought in line with the MacBook Air lineup and now feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity. Battery life has been boosted as well, with the smaller model now lasting up to nine hours, while the 15-inch Pro can run for eight hours on a single charge.

Apple's MacBook Pros are out now with new lower starting prices of $1,299 for the 13-inch model and $1,999 for the 15-inch version. The company did not set a firm date for the Mac Pro's release, but pegged a base price at $2,999.
post #2 of 47
I was hoping for a nice new monitor to push 4K display data to. I am tired of seeing pixels and frustrated an iPad has more pixels than my work monitor.
post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

I was hoping for a nice new monitor to push 4K display data to.

 

The Pro isn't out yet. Perhaps we'll see that in December when it launches?

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 47

I was hoping for a new car.  Apple didn't release that either.  I'm so frustrated.  Jk jk jk.

 

Seriously, this Mac Pro is not something I need.  But it sure as h*ll is something I want!  Cool!

post #5 of 47
EDITED OUT
Edited by IamtheGTIguy - 10/22/13 at 12:54pm
post #6 of 47
So quad core is $2,999. I'd like to see the benchmark results, I've seen the 8 Core's recently but not the four core.
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post #7 of 47

Has anybody wondered why Apple hasn't announced a 4K monitor to get along with the new mac pros?

post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by IamtheGTIguy View Post

As discussed in the previous thread when this new Mac Pro was originally announced, there are some serious issues with this Mac Pro.

On the bright side, its industrial design is staggeringly awesome, it appears to perform very well as a desktop computer, and it's "cool" factor is off the charts.

The downside, however, is that it no longer appears to be aimed at a large portion of professional users for whom the original Mac Pros were designed.

If you need tons of disk storage space? Sorry, you're out of luck, unless you want to daisychain a few ugly external drivers.

If you need 8+ cores for rendering, etc? Sorry, you're out of luck. This new one basically relies upon a single desktop-class CPU.

If you need to add ram, etc.? Sorry, you're out of luck.

If you want to upgrade video cards? Sorry, you're out of luck.

Again, for many creative professional jobs, this thing will probably be wonderful. But for the types of jobs that required massively powerful workhouse towers loads of storage space and memory, these probably won't hack it.

I know that we've beaten this dead horse into the ground, already. But I think it is clear that this computer, in many ways, is aimed a slightly different type of "professional" user than the older Mac Pros.

 

For the "real" heavy duty applications pros are already using breakout boxes and rack mounted SATA RAID 50 so the enclosure isn't that big of an issue. The video card issue might be solvable through Thunderbolt if dual AMD FirePro D500 doesn't do it for you. You are incorrect about the CPUs. These are state of the art Xeons up to 12 cores with up to 64GB of ram. Do you know any current Mac Pro users with that much power? didn't think so.

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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by IamtheGTIguy View Post

As discussed in the previous thread when this new Mac Pro was originally announced, there are some serious issues with this Mac Pro.

On the bright side, its industrial design is staggeringly awesome, it appears to perform very well as a desktop computer, and it's "cool" factor is off the charts.

The downside, however, is that it no longer appears to be aimed at a large portion of professional users for whom the original Mac Pros were designed.

If you need tons of disk storage space? Sorry, you're out of luck, unless you want to daisychain a few ugly external drivers.

If you need 8+ cores for rendering, etc? Sorry, you're out of luck. This new one basically relies upon a single desktop-class CPU.

If you need to add ram, etc.? Sorry, you're out of luck.

You obviously weren't watching the keynote. The Pro can be upgraded to 12 cores, the memory and flash drive are user upgradeable. As for disks, where have you been? Thunderbolt external raid is the way professionals will go. Watch the keynote again before complaining.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by IamtheGTIguy View Post

As discussed in the previous thread when this new Mac Pro was originally announced, there are some serious issues with this Mac Pro.

On the bright side, its industrial design is staggeringly awesome, it appears to perform very well as a desktop computer, and it's "cool" factor is off the charts.

The downside, however, is that it no longer appears to be aimed at a large portion of professional users for whom the original Mac Pros were designed.

If you need tons of disk storage space? Sorry, you're out of luck, unless you want to daisychain a few ugly external drivers.

If you need 8+ cores for rendering, etc? Sorry, you're out of luck. This new one basically relies upon a single desktop-class CPU.

If you need to add ram, etc.? Sorry, you're out of luck.

If you want to upgrade video cards? Sorry, you're out of luck.

Again, for many creative professional jobs, this thing will probably be wonderful. But for the types of jobs that required massively powerful workhouse towers loads of storage space and memory, these probably won't hack it.

I know that we've beaten this dead horse into the ground, already. But I think it is clear that this computer, in many ways, is aimed a slightly different type of "professional" user than the older Mac Pros.

A list of factual errors you made would be longer than your post. I presume you either are a journalist or analyst.

post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post



The Pro can be upgraded to 12 cores, the memory and flash drive are user upgradeable.

You are correct. I missed this somehow. I will edit out my original post.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by IamtheGTIguy View Post

The downside, however, is that it no longer appears to be aimed at a large portion of professional users for whom the original Mac Pros were designed.

 

???

 

If you need tons of disk storage space? Sorry, you're out of luck, unless you want to daisychain a few ugly external drivers.
 
Or an 8-12 bay Thunderbolt RAID.  Just because it's not rack-mounted, doesn't mean it's not a server.

 

If you need 8+ cores for rendering, etc? Sorry, you're out of luck. This new one basically relies upon a single desktop-class CPU.

 

Since when is a Xeon a desktop-class CPU?  It's only found in a server or workstation class configuration from all the major PC manufacturers I've ever seen.

 

And while the 8 or 12 core configurations aren't available yet, they were announced and will likely be available early next year (EDIT: they're available now as configurable upgrades).

 

If you need to add ram, etc.? Sorry, you're out of luck.

 

Did you even read the specs?  "Memory - user accessible".  The old Mac Pro didn't support more than 64GB either (and only on the 12-core model).

 
If you want to upgrade video cards? Sorry, you're out of luck.

 

There weren't a lot of options with the old Mac Pros either unless you were willing to trust hacked-for-EFI firmware and risk instability (not an option for most pros).  I seriously don't think there are many people who would need to upgrade beyond a dual FirePro D700 (again, a configurable upgrade).

 
Again, for many creative professional jobs, this thing will probably be wonderful. But for the types of jobs that required massively powerful workhouse towers loads of storage space and memory, these probably won't hack it.

 

Sorry, but the supercomputer market isn't something Apple has ever tried to service.

 
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post #13 of 47
How is this an exclusive article, when other sites have similar articles?
post #14 of 47
The heat sink isn't "triangular" it is "prismatic".
post #15 of 47

Quote:

Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

 

For the "real" heavy duty applications pros are already using breakout boxes and rack mounted SATA RAID 50 so the enclosure isn't that big of an issue. The video card issue might be solvable through Thunderbolt if dual AMD FirePro D500 doesn't do it for you. You are incorrect about the CPUs. These are state of the art Xeons up to 12 cores with up to 64GB of ram. Do you know any current Mac Pro users with that much power? didn't think so.

I am slightly (emphasis on slightly) surprised that they went with the quad cpu and still upped the price. It appears to be a v2 bump of an E5-1620 That is a logical choice for a base model. I just didn't expect it to hit $3k in that configuration.

post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacManFelix View Post
 

A list of factual errors you made would be longer than your post. I presume you either are a journalist or analyst.

 

LOL at the "I presume you either are a journalist or analyst."

post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
 

Quote:

I am slightly (emphasis on slightly) surprised that they went with the quad cpu and still upped the price. It appears to be a v2 bump of an E5-1620 That is a logical choice for a base model. I just didn't expect it to hit $3k in that configuration.

 

Well I think you are going to see a huge speed bump with the base config over something with a similar spec'd CPU. The data channel here is wide and fast. I think I remember dual channels to the storage. They've gotten rid of a lot of bottlenecks especially in the graphics pipeline where most of the processing is going on these days. With ultrafast access to video, storage and all peripherals, what are you needing so much more CPU for? Other than non-optimized 3D apps, what's going to wear out  this CPU? JavaScript hacks? Word?

post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post
 

 

???

 

 

Since when is a Xeon a desktop-class CPU?  It's only found in a server or workstation class configuration from all the major PC manufacturers I've ever seen.

 

And while the 8 or 12 core configurations aren't available yet, they were announced and will likely be available early next year (EDIT: they're available now as configurable upgrades).

 

 

Did you even read the specs?  "Memory - user accessible".  The old Mac Pro didn't support more than 64GB either (and only on the 12-core model).

 

There weren't a lot of options with the old Mac Pros either unless you were willing to trust hacked-for-EFI firmware and risk instability (not an option for most pros).  I seriously don't think there are many people who would need to upgrade beyond a dual FirePro D700 (again, a configurable upgrade).

 

Sorry, but the supercomputer market isn't something Apple has ever tried to service.

 

I think this machine would be twice as fast as a ten year old CRAY. Are we even sure what we are talking about anymore in regards to "Super" computer? I think this thing does 2 teraflops compute and 72 graphics (yeah, I'm too lazy to look up the specs -- and that is a LUDICROUS amount of power which is why I vaguely remember it).

 

So "super duper" computer will have to be a Petaflop now. You are NOT buying a Super Duper Computer, but yes, you in fact DO HAVE a Super Computer on your desktop. Or on your floor. Personally, I'd mount this on a lamp shade and disguise it as a lava lamp, just to keep everyone guessing how I'm pulling these mad hacks out of thin air!

post #19 of 47
Been reading other forums to see what they said. The best one was the "I am off to new egg and build one for half the money" never mind as we all know a lot of the troll are working for McD. 3K is the number they couldn't dream of. I am surprise about the price - cheap! Baseline comes with 12GB ECC ram. A small company I worked for before (currently the world no.29 by market capitalisation. To many arm chair billionaire here. They are small fry) paid that much just for the Ram a few years back ... And 1GB PCIe flash. I was thinking a fully kit out rMBP ... Now I might drop 3K for a rubbish bin 1wink.gif
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
 

I am slightly (emphasis on slightly) surprised that they went with the quad cpu and still upped the price. It appears to be a v2 bump of an E5-1620 That is a logical choice for a base model. I just didn't expect it to hit $3k in that configuration.

I was replying to someone who had implied that the new Pro could not be configured to meet the requirements of professionals, which I totally disagree with. But... high end computing doesn't come cheap even if you purchase parts and build it yourself like that other numb skull boasted. I'm not an expert on cutting edge hardware but I just spec'd out a top of the line iMac on the Apple store and it added up to $3,949.00. Sure, it included a monitor, obviously, but I doubt it is faster than the base Pro.

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post #21 of 47
Bitchin' technology!
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

I think this machine would be twice as fast as a ten year old CRAY. Are we even sure what we are talking about anymore in regards to "Super" computer? I think this thing does 2 teraflops compute and 72 graphics (yeah, I'm too lazy to look up the specs -- and that is a LUDICROUS amount of power which is why I vaguely remember it).

So "super duper" computer will have to be a Petaflop now. You are NOT buying a Super Duper Computer, but yes, you in fact DO HAVE a Super Computer on your desktop. Or on your floor. Personally, I'd mount this on a lamp shade and disguise it as a lava lamp, just to keep everyone guessing how I'm pulling these mad hacks out of thin air!

I'm thinking it will be great for keeping the coffee pot warm, maybe even hot. 1smile.gif
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post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I was replying to someone who had implied that the new Pro could not be configured to meet the requirements of professionals, which I totally disagree with. But... high end computing doesn't come cheap even if you purchase parts and build it yourself like that other numb skull boasted. I'm not an expert on cutting edge hardware but I just spec'd out a top of the line iMac on the Apple store and it added up to $3,949.00. Sure, it included a monitor, obviously, but I doubt it is faster than the base Pro.

I have to believe you are correct, I bet the Mac Pro is faster, probably by a long way.

I am thrilled to see RAM and SSD are user accessible and presumably upgradable, contrary to many rumors.

Anyone know if an Apple LCD Monitor can be hooked up to the TB port? I seem to recall the answer is yes if it is at the end of a chain.
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post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

I was hoping for a nice new monitor to push 4K display data to. I am tired of seeing pixels and frustrated an iPad has more pixels than my work monitor.

I bet a 4K monitor will be announced with the 8 and 12 core versions.

Edit: I take that back the 8 and 12 are already on the Apple Store web site. So no 4K display yet ... seems odd for sure.
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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post
 

I think this machine would be twice as fast as a ten year old CRAY. Are we even sure what we are talking about anymore in regards to "Super" computer? I think this thing does 2 teraflops compute and 72 graphics (yeah, I'm too lazy to look up the specs -- and that is a LUDICROUS amount of power which is why I vaguely remember it).

 

Supercomputers evolve just the same as desktop computers.  For example, one installation of Blue Gene/P uses 250,000 processors.  So yeah, as powerful as the Mac Pro is, it's not quite at that level.

 
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post #26 of 47
So the professional looks at the D500 starting at $3999. Glad they have this option.

Too bad there won't be a BTO option of upgrading to the D500 dual GPGPUs with the Quad Core Xeon.

That's life.

Studying the specs for the custom D500 line series of GPGPUs it appears they've taken a W9000 capabilities and spread it across dual D500s.

That's nice.

Hope the memory configurations offer 2x16 option otherwise you're tossing money out to upgrade to 4 x 16 which runs around $1k.
post #27 of 47
Just wondering if I could plug a Mac Pro into my iMac, to create a fusion style setup?
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicwalmsley View Post

Just wondering if I could plug a Mac Pro into my iMac, to create a fusion style setup?

 

If you have a Thunderbolt equipped iMac you can use it as a display for your Mac Pro.

post #29 of 47

You heard it here first, this means Apple is holding another event before the year ends! An Apple TV event! 

 

Mac Pro needs 4K. But it´ll be a 65" TV :D

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydr View Post
 

Mac Pro needs 4K. But it´ll be a 65" TV :D

You do realize that sounds extremely stupid, right? Why would you hook up a MacPro to a 65" TV over something more sane like a couple of 32" 4k monitors that will likely be cheaper and not need a huge desk to hold them?

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydr View Post

You heard it here first, this means Apple is holding another event before the year ends! An Apple TV event! 

Mac Pro needs 4K. But it´ll be a 65" TV 1biggrin.gif

Jeez that's a f*****g big screen to sit right in from of! But I want one! Hell two! 1biggrin.gif
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post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

You do realize that sounds extremely stupid, right? Why would you hook up a MacPro to a 65" TV over something more sane like a couple of 32" 4k monitors that will likely be cheaper and not need a huge desk to hold them?

I think it was a jest.

BTW do you have links for the monitors you describe that have Thunderbolt 2?
Edited by digitalclips - 10/22/13 at 3:44pm
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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

I was replying to someone who had implied that the new Pro could not be configured to meet the requirements of professionals, which I totally disagree with. But... high end computing doesn't come cheap even if you purchase parts and build it yourself like that other numb skull boasted. I'm not an expert on cutting edge hardware but I just spec'd out a top of the line iMac on the Apple store and it added up to $3,949.00. Sure, it included a monitor, obviously, but I doubt it is faster than the base Pro.

I know. I wasn't arguing over that. If we're talking about X86 core performance, the main jumps in the past couple cycles have come from core count increases. CTO configurations can be a little misleading as the markups on things like ram and large ssds are huge. They seem to be pushing the fact that it has dual gpus. I am still interested in seeing how it fares in real world use.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post
 

 

Well I think you are going to see a huge speed bump with the base config over something with a similar spec'd CPU. The data channel here is wide and fast. I think I remember dual channels to the storage. They've gotten rid of a lot of bottlenecks especially in the graphics pipeline where most of the processing is going on these days. With ultrafast access to video, storage and all peripherals, what are you needing so much more CPU for? Other than non-optimized 3D apps, what's going to wear out  this CPU? JavaScript hacks? Word?

 

That varies from application to application. I am keeping an eye on this, but I won't exactly be a day 1 buyer.

post #34 of 47

Does anyone think the graphics in the new macbook pro (discrete) are worth the upgrade from the 650M chipset?  (I play a bit of starcraft, seems like a expensive upgrade to just slightly better graphics)

post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I know. I wasn't arguing over that. If we're talking about X86 core performance, the main jumps in the past couple cycles have come from core count increases. CTO configurations can be a little misleading as the markups on things like ram and large ssds are huge. They seem to be pushing the fact that it has dual gpus. I am still interested in seeing how it fares in real world use.


That varies from application to application. I am keeping an eye on this, but I won't exactly be a day 1 buyer.

Released so close to end of tax year darn it!
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Released so close to end of tax year darn it!


Still not doing it. Sadly I am not in need of writeoffs at the moment.

post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

So the professional looks at the D500 starting at $3999. Glad they have this option.

Too bad there won't be a BTO option of upgrading to the D500 dual GPGPUs with the Quad Core Xeon.

That's life.

Studying the specs for the custom D500 line series of GPGPUs it appears they've taken a W9000 capabilities and spread it across dual D500s.

That's nice.

Hope the memory configurations offer 2x16 option otherwise you're tossing money out to upgrade to 4 x 16 which runs around $1k.

Actually if you look at apples website it says that you can put dual d500s in the quad core.

 

Quote:
 
 

Configurable to dual AMD FirePro D500, each with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM, 1526 stream processors, 384-bit-wide memory bus, 240GB/s memory bandwidth, and 2.2 teraflops performance; or dual AMD FirePro D700, each with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 2048 stream processors, 384-bit-wide memory bus, 264GB/s memory bandwidth, and 3.5 teraflops performance


Edited by Mechanic - 10/22/13 at 5:33pm
post #38 of 47

I'm wondering when we're going to hear about the new versions of Final Cut X and Aperture applications that were mentioned by Phil during the Mac Pro announcement. Am I the only one who heard him say that and wondered about them?

post #39 of 47
Originally Posted by sportyguy209 View Post
I'm wondering when we're going to hear about the new versions of Final Cut X and Aperture applications that were mentioned by Phil during the Mac Pro announcement. Am I the only one who heard him say that and wondered about them?

 

They don’t need to come out until December, so December.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

They don’t need to come out until December, so December.

Final Cut Pro and Aperture are used by a lot of people who will never own a Mac Pro. If they're not coming out until December it's because they're not ready, not because Apple is holding them back. Who knows, by the time I've posted this they might have appeared on the App Store.

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