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Hands on with Apple's new Intel Xeon E5, dual AMD FirePro equipped Mac Pro - Page 3

post #81 of 170
The "hands on" headline is a lie.
post #82 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by seltzdesign View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It might be possible, but no mention was made of it being possible. We all expect RAM to be upgradable, but in Apple's latest computers, the drive is extremely difficult to upgrade. I would hope it's possible.

Hmm, isn't it the other way round? I have a retina Macbook Pro and have changed the SSD for one of the OWC ones, which is a real screamer even compared to the standard one and you get a USB 3.0 case for the old Flash disc, which is also insanely fast. It was easier to get to then any other Mac before (except the first Aluminium Macbook maybe), and over the years I have changed the hard drive and other things in almost every Mac since around 2000. Its 8 screws and you're there.

Yet I cant upgrade RAM as it is soldered in, so I went for the max from the start. So at the moment it seems easier to change the disc than the RAM.

What about the possibility of Apple offering an external enterprise-quality SSD drive/RAID made possible by their purchase of Anobit?
Quote:
Anobit has produced two generations of its Genesis SSD technology. The intellectual property that sets it apart from other SSD manufacturers is its controller, which uses firmware it calls Memory Signal Processing (MSP) error correction code. The MSP increases the signal-to-noise ratio, making it possible to continue reading data even as electrical interference rises.

The controller technology extends the endurance of standard consumer-grade multi-level cell flash from about 3,000 write/erase cycles to more than 50,000 cycles -- making MLC technology suitable for high-duty cycle applications such as relational databases.

"You're either using a more advanced controller with consumer grade NAND or your leveraging enterprise-class NAND. Anobit's approach is to use the cheapest NAND they can find and then use their more advanced controller technology," said Jeff Janukowicz, a research director at IDC.

...

As of September, Anobit said it had sold 20 million MSP controllers to systems makers, which include consumer-grade products as well as single-level cell (SLC) SSDs sold by other vendors.

If Anobit's numbers are accurate, the Genesis 2 SSD has staggeringly high performance. The drive generates random read-write rates of 70,000 I/Os and 40,000 I/Os per second, respectively.

The Genesis 2 SSD boasts a maximum sequential read/write rate of 540MBps and 510MBps, respectively. The SSD's predecessor had a sustained sequential read/write rate of 220MBps and 180MBps, respectively.

Anobit has shrunk its circuitry from the earlier 40+ nanometer (nm) process to 25nm, thereby allowing it to double the capacity of the drive while also shrinking it from a 3.5-in. form factor to 2.5-in. The Genesis 2 ranges in capacity from 100GB to 200GB, 400GB and 800GB.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9222874/Apple_reportedly_buys_Israeli_SSD_maker_Anobit

and this (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Apple finally confirmed earlier reports that it bought Israeli semiconductor startup Anobit Technologies. Apple did not confirm the price, which is believed to be between $400 million and $500 million.

Apple bought Anobit for two reasons: its flash memory controllers are a key component of all Apple’s leading products (from iPads and iPhones to MacBook Airs), and in one fell swoop it just added a large team of chip engineers to payroll. Do not underestimate how important those chip engineers are. Apple had at least 1,000 chip engineers. Roughly 160 of Anobit’s 200 employees are also engineers, thus they instantly represent more than 10 percent of the total number of chip engineers at Apple.

Anobit is a fabless semiconductor company based in Israel which makes a key component that improves the performance of NAND flash memory chips, which are used in iPhones, iPads, and iPods. As Robin wrote when the rumors first surfaced:

Anobit provides flash storage solutions for enterprise and mobile markets, based on its proprietaryMSP (which stands for ‘Memory Signal Processing’) technology. Its solutions are designed to improve the speed, endurance and performance of flash storage systems while driving down the cost.

Anobit’s technology is comprised of signal processing algorithms that compensate for physical limitations of NAND flash, the company claims.

Flash memory is a crucial piece of Apple’s technology puzzle. Apple has been moving away from hard drives for years, starting with the iPod, then the iPhone, the iPad, and now it’s MacBook Air laptops. None of these computers have hard drives. They’ve all been replaced by flash memory chips. Removing the hard drive is what allows these devices to be so thin, assume any form factor, and run on less power. Any technology that improves the performance of flash memory, such as Anobit’s, is a critical piece of technology which Apple decided it needs to own.

http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/11/why-apple-bought-anobit/


Finally, the big question: Where are Bubble and Magnitorestrictive Delay Line memories when we need them?
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 10/24/13 at 9:46am
"...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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post #83 of 170
don't need but WANT
post #84 of 170
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Wait… did everyone REALLY miss the fact that I dropped the Mac Pro’s thermal core onto Vader’s face mask?

 

 

I mean, yeah, it fits well–that’s why I did it–but to not notice at all? Particularly with that purposefully bad Photoshop job I did? :lol: 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #85 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


^^^ This!

Just to add some meat this thread. here's a video by Michael Cioni. His company, Light Iron, does Post, DI, etc for movies like 42, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Muppets... Michael is a talented creative, engaging speaker and has an amazing mind.

The entire video is a great watch, but at 13:42, Michael talks about the future of FCPX (I'd love to get his take on the Mac Pro).

http://vimeo.com/73797466


FWIW, I am going to buy a Mac Pro!


Michael is awesome. I would like to hear his "hands on" with the new Mac Pro as well...

post #86 of 170
What a lame article!!! What a deceiving title!!!
post #87 of 170

Pretty sure that slide is clear that they are talking about the flash modules there....

post #88 of 170
I'd be far happier with dual CPUs and a single D700.
post #89 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

A really nice computer, must be inspiring to work with it beside you. The 6 TB2 ports seems like overkill though, maybe if they'd only had 4, they would have had enough spare I/O bandwidth for a second internal Flash drive, which would surely have been far more useful.

 

And why does the high end configuration on the Apple Store only have 256GB of Flash? Even the high end Macbook Pro configuration has 512GB. Surely the default configs should be designed to avoid as many people having to do CTO as possible. i.e. you don't want to inconvenience people by forcing them to wait for a special build. And yet these configurations seem more about meeting a certain price point than being sensible defaults.

I think if you're driving 4K  high quality video, the TB ports become a premium real quick (1 per display).  3 is the working minimum.  Yes you can put your data on the same wire... but... I'll bet you dollars to donuts that there will be a lot of high end drive enclosures out there that don't 'share well'.  And if you are data intense, building out a TB SSD farm is a good way to go (I can see people building multi TB SSD farms to get the random access throughput).

 

The 2nd Flash drive is intriguing, but we have to remember the Mac pro is all about expandability, and expandibility in the 'new world' you put your SSD in TB enclosure, and stripe it to max out the channel (yes, less than PCIe3, but still damned fast data).

post #90 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelegg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by karmadave View Post

Slick design and engineering don't make up for the fact that this machine is lacking in expansion and choice. Most workstation class machines offer more internal storage expansion, multiple graphics options, dual Xeon CPU's, and more memory. Also, conspicuously absent from Apple's latest announcements was a 4K display (several vendors have announced these). Again, I think this is a cool machine just with limited appeal...

I think people are failing to realize that Apple has revolutionized the pro computer.

The future is that the "desktop PC" is the brain, and you stick on attachments from the outside, with no loss of performance, as needed.


Why did you need that huge internal volume with all those slots?  Because you needed a fast internal-bus to stick cards into.  Connecting from the outside was too slow.

If there's no loss of performance to hang a drive or accessory on the outside, then you only buy what you need.

The machine is CHEAPER since you only buy the brain now, and whatever body-parts you need later.  No performance loss.

People will get used to it and before they know it the old way will seem quaint.


Simple.  Visionary.  So-Forward-Looking-that-people-don't-even-recognize-what-it-is. 

Apple.

3.5" floppy drive not included.   Stand by for Surface 3 with a Parrallel Port.

Bingo!
"...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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"...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 #91 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbine View Post

I am not convinced by this airflow arrangement, the specs on this wee beastie call for ~470W maximum, now that's a lot of heat to dissipate from just one fan. My guess is that, once again, Apple will push the thermal envelope to it's very maximum, reducing the lifespan ultimately. Also don't expect the dB's to stay low on full throttle.

The whole rationale for the circular chimney design is heat dissipation through controlled convection. I would think as the watts go up the fan becomes less and less important. It might mainly be there for boosting airflow at idle. But that's the perspective of an air-cooled engine gearhead.
post #92 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Just to add some meat this thread. here's a video by Michael Cioni. His company, Light Iron, does Post, DI, etc for movies like 42, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Muppets... Michael is a talented creative, engaging speaker and has an amazing mind.

The entire video is a great watch, but at 13:42, Michael talks about the future of FCPX (I'd love to get his take on the Mac Pro).

http://vimeo.com/73797466


FWIW, I am going to buy a Mac Pro!

Thanks for that link. Very interesting to see a pro's perspective on Final Cut Pro X. Drives me crazy that he doesn't pronounce it "ten" though.

LOL. I like this pronunciation of OSeX 1biggrin.gif
"...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 -
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post #93 of 170

One thing I'm really interested is to see a test of a new Mac Pro, running some task with all cores at 100% and both GPUs at 100% too (maybe some OpenCL task, like LuxRender, which can use all CPU cores and all GPUs as OpenCL devices), and running that busy for at least a couple of hours in a room at, let's say, 28 degrees Celsius.

 

Then, after such pair of hours, report temperatures from thermal sensors, as well as fan noise (compared to the idle noise).

 

Not that I don't trust the new thermal core, but I'm very interested in knowing how it behaves on a real pro task, such as a massive raytracing task for several hours.

post #94 of 170
By "hands on" you apparently mean "we read the press release and republished it with different wording." Please, PLEASE, don't turn into Gizmodo, Engadget, The Verge, and all the other sites that puke up PR images and press releases and call them articles.
post #95 of 170
16 4K angles? Who does that for a living? Once again people are confusing pixel count with processing power and data rate. Your Promise TB RAID might deliver 16 streams of puny H264 but will choke on a couple of streams of ARRIRAW or 12-bit ProRes. I don't accept that TB-everything will deliver huge leaps in data IO, in real world situations dancing down a timeline with multiple IO devices and drives on the bus. I hope I'm wrong, but I see trouble ahead.
post #96 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

LOL. I like this pronunciation of OSeX 1biggrin.gif

Why am I not surprised? : )
post #97 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I like the way you think!

In re the fusion drive -- It's just staging files (percolate up and trickle down) between an SSD and an HDD. Who says that both need to be in the same enclosure? In fact, with Thunderbolt 2 you could have multiple levels of staging:
  • Mac Pro Internal SSD
  • Thunderbolt external SSD
  • Thunderbolt external HDD/RAID
  • NAS or Cloud


Hmm... I wonder... I have been running Mavericks since WWDC. It was very solid from the beginning and I had very few problems through DP 6. But starting with the GM and then the release, I am having problems with my Thunderbolt Pegasus RAIDS and I/O in general. One of the RAIDS will disappear, then take forever to comeback online, and the Finder or other Apple app will beach ball requiring a force quit or reboot???

I wonder if Apple is screwing with the drivers in anticipation of the Mac Pro. Specifically to implement a fusion drive using an external HDD.

What speed gain would a Fusion drive have as an external drive? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they really only of befit to a boot volume (as a stop gap until SSD pricing falls), and even then a full SSD would bow them away (other than in cost). As a storage drive for large contiguous files they'd be useless surely?
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #98 of 170
Quote:
as well as wireless networking with 802.11ac for up to 1.2Mbps WiFi

Huh? That's supposed to be Gbps, right? Because 1.2 Mbps would be .2% the max theoretical speed of Wireless N which is 600 Mbps.

post #99 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

 
Cars are a machine too, yet the #1 purchase differentiator is color.

If you really believe that the looks are not a major factor in purchasing, it's clearly yourself that has the "serious perception problem"
And the body style is important......  So is fit and finish.   Each person puts importance on different factors when making a buying decision.  Some put price as #1 most important, while others put reliability, ease of use, support, build quality, etc.

Everyone has their own laundry list and priority of each aspect that's considered.

Old joke:

salesman: "How can I help you?"

prospect: "I want to get a car to impress my girlfriend."

salesman: "Buy a Kaiser and surprise her."

prospect: "..."

salesman: "Or, buy a Frazer and amaze her."

prospect: "Nah, I am going to buy a Tucker!"
"...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 -
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post #100 of 170

Where's the comparison to the current models?

post #101 of 170
Figure $680 for the upgrade from 256 GB to 1 TB in the Mac Pro if it is the same item as offered in the new MacBook Pro. How does one add external storage that is in the same ballpark as the PCIe storage? Thunderbolt 2 with SSD in a chassis with the Mercury Accelsior_E2 from OWC would be close. It might be cheaper with eSATA SSD drives which are about half the speed of the PCIe.

Eph

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Eph

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post #102 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

BTW, do you plan to buy any Mac Pros for personal or company use?

Company

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #103 of 170

when this comes out I will go in my local Apple store and try to run the system at full throttle. I will be very curious to hear that fan then.

post #104 of 170

I suspect that 80% of the concerns with the new design would be solved with two changes:

 

1) use the Small Form Factor GPU card sizing. If you're unfamiliar with this…

 

http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/GTX670DCMOC2GD5/

 

These would have to be adapted slightly, removing the fans and providing a bracket positioned so the GPU is up against the heat sink. But that's about it. And then we'd be able to select from a huge range of 3rd party GPU's without so much trouble.

 

2) put in a single drive "bay". From what I can see, existing MP users fall into two basic groups, those with mega-files that have SANs or some similar tech for supporting huge arrays, and those who don't. Those of us in the "don't" group can likely solve 90% of our problems with any off-the-sheld 3 TB drive, when combined with the 258 flash one.

 

These changes would require the resulting machine to be slightly larger, but is anyone really worried about that? We're trading down from MASSIVE machines, it's not like it's a contest on the size of the thing.

post #105 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

While I'm going to buy one, I'm also going to wait for next year's model. Quite frankly, this is going to be a much more expensive solution than the older Mac Pro. I always bought the top model, but this one is made in such a way that prices are going to be much higher due to what's included.
The price structure is sickening. The logic escapes me really, they where ready to deep six the old model due to very weak sales and then they come up with this machine that even fewer people will buy. Makes no sense at all.

It isn't the top end models that bother me, its the fact that the entry level machine is at least $1000 too expensive to drive volume. They need volume or the bean counters will simply scrap the machine a year or two down the road.
Quote:
Dual pro cards is expensive, even with the lower price 300 series. The 700 series has a whopping price tag, and again, there are two.
Again my issue isn't those configurations specifically, it is rather the lack of that entry level machine. It turns many people off that might have been willing to spend $3000, with a little encouragement. Effectively the high price drives people away before Apple even has a chance to make a sale.
Quote:
We can see that the base $3000 model only includes 256GB flash storage. For some users, this will be enough because of the way they configure their system. But for the rest of us, we need at least 512 for the main drive.
Yep it is a minimal but workable allotment. I'm most interested in just what type of flash this is. Samsung is apparently shipping 3D flash now that is very fast which makes me wonder if Apple has gone bleeding edge. Even if they didn't fast flash is relatively expensive.
Quote:
I'm also surprised that the base unit doesn't include 16GB RAM, I'm also disappointed that it only goes to 64GB, which is a step back.
Apple will only advertise 64 GB because that is what they can ship. I'm pretty confident that 128GB could go into the machine when the chips are available. Of course this will cost you. In any event you are right about the 16GB of RAM, sadly this is a sign of Apple returning to their old ways of being stingy with RAM to the point of compromising the performance of the machines for the targeted users.
Quote:
With many workstations allowing 128, or even more, this will be a limitation going forward, unless Apple allows more in a future model. But even so, with the price of this, it's going to be kept for a while. So that path isn't there.
The path is there it is just paved with gold.
Quote:
I wonder what the next step up will be, other than 8 cores. And will it be another $1,000? So that's $5,000. Then the next, again at $1,000 with12 cores brings us to $6,000. What else do we get for that? Where does storage go in those models? How about the graphics card? Will all of that be extra? I can somehow see the top equipped model costing $8,000, or so.

And then, of course, we need a Thunderbolt tower for the rest of our drives. I've got 5 drives in the case now. One is an SSD residing in the lower optical bay as my startup drive. For speed, we may need two ports. So at least $750 there.
Or you could set up your old machine as a file server, which along with a new high speed scratch drive wouldn't be too bad. People often seem to be in a rush to get rid of old hardware instead of trying to leverage it in a transition to a new machine.
Quote:

And then, what about cards? So we need a card bay. That could easily cost another $1,000.

Hey, this is beginning to look expensive!
Or you could buy TB enabled hardware and save that $1000.

If you look at this machine from a different perspective, many potential users would have very little in the way of additional expenses after buying the Mac Pro. The idea that everybody will need an expansion chassis is bogus, you might need one but many Mac Pro users won't. Beyond that most people will have realized over the last year or so that TB was the way forward and would have been buying hardware with that in mind.
Quote:
I predict that a lot of video, photo, and publishing people are going to go towards the very capable 27" iMac.

Arrg. Corrected for many typos.

Possibly but you have to fit the machine to the job and frankly the iMac just rubs too many people the wrong way. You see I really think they have a hot machine here that will sell well to people who need and can leverage that hardware. The problem is there aren't enough of those people around to justify the the line. That is why I was really hoping for a variant that comes in at less than $2000, it would assure the volume to justify the product line.

Honestly I think Apple needs a wake up call here. The best thing people could do is to resist buying the machine with the intent of making Apple address the pricing issue. No sales ought to make a few people at Apple think a bit about what they have done here.
post #106 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I like the way you think!

In re the fusion drive -- It's just staging files (percolate up and trickle down) between an SSD and an HDD. Who says that both need to be in the same enclosure? In fact, with Thunderbolt 2 you could have multiple levels of staging:
  • Mac Pro Internal SSD
  • Thunderbolt external SSD
  • Thunderbolt external HDD/RAID
  • NAS or Cloud


Hmm... I wonder... I have been running Mavericks since WWDC. It was very solid from the beginning and I had very few problems through DP 6. But starting with the GM and then the release, I am having problems with my Thunderbolt Pegasus RAIDS and I/O in general. One of the RAIDS will disappear, then take forever to comeback online, and the Finder or other Apple app will beach ball requiring a force quit or reboot???

I wonder if Apple is screwing with the drivers in anticipation of the Mac Pro. Specifically to implement a fusion drive using an external HDD.

What speed gain would a Fusion drive have as an external drive? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they really only of befit to a boot volume (as a stop gap until SSD pricing falls), and even then a full SSD would bow them away (other than in cost). As a storage drive for large contiguous files they'd be useless surely?

I wasn't clear!

The secret of the fusion drive is that your high-use apps (and maybe some data) reside on the fast SSD. Low-use apps/data reside on the slower HDD. As your use patterns change, the fusion software migrates the apps/data (in the background) based on current (anticipated) use.

So, if you have a fast I/O bus, like Thunderbolt, you could have the HDD portion of the fusion drive on an external HDD with little loss of performance.

I have a 2011 27" iMac (Loaded) with a 250 GB SSD. I haven't done any real tests, but the Thunderbolt Pegasus RAIDS seem faster than the internal SSD. So much so that I decided not to create my own fusion drive on the iMac.


Im not sure, but I suspect that the Thunderbolt 2 bus is a big enough pipe that external SSDs would be practical and would offer similar performance to the internal SSD.
"...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 #107 of 170
I watched the Apple video of the Mac Pro fab process and wondered what exactly was going on. Luckily I found a blog narrative at:

http://atomicdelights.com/blog/how-apple-makes-the-mac-pro

It's nice to see a description that is neither ignorant "it's made by aliens!!" or biased "just a trash can", but well informed (and rational) sounding. I have no special knowledge in this area, but the descriptions this person gives sound reasonable to me.
post #108 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post
 

 

Then optionally don't put display on one of the sets of Tbolt outputs.


It's not allowed to have Thunderbolt outputs without display output. intel tightly controls Thunderbolt, all designs have to be approved by intel, or they won't sell you parts. This is why you don't see Thunderbolt PCIe cards for Windows machines. Here's the application form for Thunderbolt devices (note they only approve certain categories of devices):

Thunderbolt Developers Application

Also note the 10,000-unit minimum, and other restrictions.

post #109 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by karmadave View Post

Slick design and engineering don't make up for the fact that this machine is lacking in expansion and choice. Most workstation class machines offer more internal storage expansion, multiple graphics options, dual Xeon CPU's, and more memory. Also, conspicuously absent from Apple's latest announcements was a 4K display (several vendors have announced these). Again, I think this is a cool machine just with limited appeal...

From the standpoint of a user you may believe that some of those features are important but in reality they result in more trouble than they are worth. The reality is such machines as the Mac Pro are a huge benefit to software developers as they have well known hardware to target. Further any bugs or driver issues are well known and have a central source of resolution in Apple. Since there are always bugs or software glitches, having a limited number of configurations can lead to higher quality apps due to a limited number of work arounds required.

I know you want to believe that endless possibilities for user configuration is better but the MS Windows world has clearly shown that it isn't. You eventually get to the point that nothing works right as you battle driver and other compatibility issues. Beyond that Apple has chosen some really good GPU hardware here, there is no need to consider other hardware.

In the end I think your general assessment here is wrong, Apples only real mistake is not driving volume by having an entry level machine in the $2000 range. With the high costs of these machines I could see the machine falling into neglect due to slow sales in two years time. There will be a slight rush at debut time as those waiting for the machine dive in to snap up their new machine. But after the early adopters who knows.
post #110 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayside View Post

I watched the Apple video of the Mac Pro fab process and wondered what exactly was going on. Luckily I found a blog narrative at:

http://atomicdelights.com/blog/how-apple-makes-the-mac-pro

It's nice to see a description that is neither ignorant "it's made by aliens!!" or biased "just a trash can", but well informed (and rational) sounding. I have no special knowledge in this area, but the descriptions this person gives sound reasonable to me.

Thanks, Gruber linked to that site yesterday as well. Very interesting, not to be missed, IMO.
post #111 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbine View Post

when this comes out I will go in my local Apple store and try to run the system at full throttle. I will be very curious to hear that fan then.

Should be an interesting experiment. It would be nice if you could put a thermometer in the exit airflow at idle and then during full load. Also let it run long enough to see if the fan slows after the column of air gets going on its own, as I am halfway expecting.
post #112 of 170
considering the specs and power and speed, until we know more I don't think you could build a hackintosh with the same specs for the same money, just some quick math would be about $2200+ or more to build your own as close to the hardware specs as this one and that would not be dual GPU's.

The price seems about right for what it is, sign me up, just take my money
Mac Book Pro (late 2008), Power Mac G5(upgraded to Intel Hackintosh), new iPad 64GB 4G LTE, iPad Mini, iPhone 5.
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Mac Book Pro (late 2008), Power Mac G5(upgraded to Intel Hackintosh), new iPad 64GB 4G LTE, iPad Mini, iPhone 5.
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post #113 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by jon@ilujon View Post

The "hands on" headline is a lie.

A bit harsh, all you guys ragging on our on-the-scene reporter. That's his formulaic headline for "I was there." He took the pictures you're seeing.

Maybe you could suggest a new headline formula for these reports.
post #114 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by davida View Post
 


It's not allowed to have Thunderbolt outputs without display output. intel tightly controls Thunderbolt, all designs have to be approved by intel, or they won't sell you parts. This is why you don't see Thunderbolt PCIe cards for Windows machines. Here's the application form for Thunderbolt devices (note they only approve certain categories of devices):

Thunderbolt Developers Application

Also note the 10,000-unit minimum, and other restrictions.

Interesting application.

post #115 of 170
Hands on area is not a "hands on". Get out.
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 #116 of 170
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

While I'm going to buy one, I'm also going to wait for next year's model. Quite frankly, this is going to be a much more expensive solution than the older Mac Pro. I always bought the top model, but this one is made in such a way that prices are going to be much higher due to what's included.
The price structure is sickening. The logic escapes me really, they where ready to deep six the old model due to very weak sales and then they come up with this machine that even fewer people will buy. Makes no sense at all.

It isn't the top end models that bother me, its the fact that the entry level machine is at least $1000 too expensive to drive volume. They need volume or the bean counters will simply scrap the machine a year or two down the road.
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Dual pro cards is expensive, even with the lower price 300 series. The 700 series has a whopping price tag, and again, there are two.
Again my issue isn't those configurations specifically, it is rather the lack of that entry level machine. It turns many people off that might have been willing to spend $3000, with a little encouragement. Effectively the high price drives people away before Apple even has a chance to make a sale.
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We can see that the base $3000 model only includes 256GB flash storage. For some users, this will be enough because of the way they configure their system. But for the rest of us, we need at least 512 for the main drive.
Yep it is a minimal but workable allotment. I'm most interested in just what type of flash this is. Samsung is apparently shipping 3D flash now that is very fast which makes me wonder if Apple has gone bleeding edge. Even if they didn't fast flash is relatively expensive.
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I'm also surprised that the base unit doesn't include 16GB RAM, I'm also disappointed that it only goes to 64GB, which is a step back.
Apple will only advertise 64 GB because that is what they can ship. I'm pretty confident that 128GB could go into the machine when the chips are available. Of course this will cost you. In any event you are right about the 16GB of RAM, sadly this is a sign of Apple returning to their old ways of being stingy with RAM to the point of compromising the performance of the machines for the targeted users.
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With many workstations allowing 128, or even more, this will be a limitation going forward, unless Apple allows more in a future model. But even so, with the price of this, it's going to be kept for a while. So that path isn't there.
The path is there it is just paved with gold.
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I wonder what the next step up will be, other than 8 cores. And will it be another $1,000? So that's $5,000. Then the next, again at $1,000 with12 cores brings us to $6,000. What else do we get for that? Where does storage go in those models? How about the graphics card? Will all of that be extra? I can somehow see the top equipped model costing $8,000, or so.

And then, of course, we need a Thunderbolt tower for the rest of our drives. I've got 5 drives in the case now. One is an SSD residing in the lower optical bay as my startup drive. For speed, we may need two ports. So at least $750 there.
Or you could set up your old machine as a file server, which along with a new high speed scratch drive wouldn't be too bad. People often seem to be in a rush to get rid of old hardware instead of trying to leverage it in a transition to a new machine.
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And then, what about cards? So we need a card bay. That could easily cost another $1,000.

Hey, this is beginning to look expensive!
Or you could buy TB enabled hardware and save that $1000.

If you look at this machine from a different perspective, many potential users would have very little in the way of additional expenses after buying the Mac Pro. The idea that everybody will need an expansion chassis is bogus, you might need one but many Mac Pro users won't. Beyond that most people will have realized over the last year or so that TB was the way forward and would have been buying hardware with that in mind.
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I predict that a lot of video, photo, and publishing people are going to go towards the very capable 27" iMac.

Arrg. Corrected for many typos.

Possibly but you have to fit the machine to the job and frankly the iMac just rubs too many people the wrong way. You see I really think they have a hot machine here that will sell well to people who need and can leverage that hardware. The problem is there aren't enough of those people around to justify the the line. That is why I was really hoping for a variant that comes in at less than $2000, it would assure the volume to justify the product line.

Honestly I think Apple needs a wake up call here. The best thing people could do is to resist buying the machine with the intent of making Apple address the pricing issue. No sales ought to make a few people at Apple think a bit about what they have done here.


I suspect that the Mac Pro will be supply-constrained for 6-12 months, because of leading-edge parts (some of which don't even exist, yet) and limited production capabilities.

When the constraint eases, Apple could offer both lower-end and higher-end models.

I just spec'd a fully loaded iMac 27" at $3,949.00.

I already have the Thunderbolt RAIDS and and could use my 2011 (~$3500) iMac as a Thunderbolt display (with a 23" Cinema Display) -- so all I really need is the Mac Pro.

I can sell the iMac/Display and buy a couple of displays or just keep what I've got.


I realize that my situation is unusual... But, I also think that the Mac Pro philosophy is the future -- expand the base system with external components.

I do understand the desire of some existing Mac Pro users to move ahead gently (to the wallet) by reusing their existing components in a new Mac Pro... But, before long, technology advances are going to overtake those older components (if they haven't already).

My question to these users: wouldn't you be better off selling your existing system and going with the flow? ASAP?
"...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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"...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 #117 of 170
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Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


I wasn't clear!

The secret of the fusion drive is that your high-use apps (and maybe some data) reside on the fast SSD. Low-use apps/data reside on the slower HDD. As your use patterns change, the fusion software migrates the apps/data (in the background) based on current (anticipated) use.

So, if you have a fast I/O bus, like Thunderbolt, you could have the HDD portion of the fusion drive on an external HDD with little loss of performance.

I have a 2011 27" iMac (Loaded) with a 250 GB SSD. I haven't done any real tests, but the Thunderbolt Pegasus RAIDS seem faster than the internal SSD. So much so that I decided not to create my own fusion drive on the iMac.


Im not sure, but I suspect that the Thunderbolt 2 bus is a big enough pipe that external SSDs would be practical and would offer similar performance to the internal SSD.

I think there will be just faster external PCI chassis to handle larger data path and more PCI cards as well as RAID.  Maybe someone like Violin Memory will release SSD arrays?  Maybe?  But Promise just announced new TB2 RAID boxes. and a new adapter to handle the faster Fibre Channel arrays that use 2 8GB FC.  TB1 could only handle the slower Fibre Channel, but TB2 can handle the faster Fibre Channel. 

post #118 of 170
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post

What's funny about your statement is that for the longest time since personal computers came on the scene, $3,000 for a computer (without monitor/printer) was NORMAL.  The original Mac 128 was $2,495 and you think that $3,000 is steep for this?
It isn't excessively steep for what is offered, it is excessively steep for an entry level workstation computer. The problem is the $3000 price tag will drive people away before they even rationally consider the machine.

Frankly this is exactly the same problem the old Mac Pro had! It was way to expensive at the entry level point which had the effect of curtailing sales drastically. This machine will have exactly the same issue and two to three years from now (after the initial buying surge) Apple will be neglecting the machine and thinking about caning it.
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I think people have been spoiled by the prices of computers being so cheap.  

Well no, it is the realization that there is inherent value in the electronics required to get some amount of work done. The problem is that there are many users out there that could benefit from the Mac Pro if it was priced to fit a budget. $2000 isn't an unachievable price point for a decent desktop computer yet Apple missed this mark by $1000. So a lot of midrange users get the bone again from Apple and we have to go through the drama of no Mac Pro sales in a couple of years due to nothing in the line up to drive volume. Apple really needs to try harder, I can only hope that the have a plan in place for the Mini or its replacement to address this.
post #119 of 170
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Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

The pros already hate this circular Mac. They prefer rectangular boxes that they can pack with all sorts of CrossFire goodies and optical drives. Apple is going to a place that no one else wants to go to. It's like trying to put a round peg into a square hole. As awesome a design as it is, I doubt the world is ready for it. You can't change professional's minds overnight. Their heads are too used to working with rectangular boxes. I'm sure the critics and pundits have already made the decision that this circular Mac Pro will be Apple's ultimate failure. It's too expensive and too radical design for anyone to understand.

I'd love to own a high-end Mac Pro, but although I can afford one I have absolutely no need for a computer this powerful. I know the entire computing industry is laughing at Apple for creating a circular desktop computer. Wall Street is ready to downgrade Apple because they're already sure Apple will lose a ton of money on this Mac Pro as it's too expensive for consumers. It looks like this Mac Pro will further increase the doom predictions for Apple.

Perhaps they should have pointed out that the Mac Pro is essentially a "hobby" for Apple at this point.  They could sell 2 of them and it wouldn't be disastrous.  Ok it would be embarrassing, but almost no one cares about this product line (relative to Apple's other lines of course.)

post #120 of 170
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Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I suspect that the Mac Pro will be supply-constrained for 6-12 months, because of leading-edge parts (some of which don't even exist, yet) and limited production capabilities.
I actually doubt that. Mainly because I think Apple has a good idea as to what the initial buying surge will be, so they are likely producing machines right now to address that demand. That would be pilot production ramping up over November for the December launch.
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When the constraint eases, Apple could offer both lower-end and higher-end models.
That is possible, but that would go against Apples history with respect to the Mac Pro.
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I just spec'd a fully loaded iMac 27" at $3,949.00.
So? I mean really you can go out and spec machines at all sorts of price points.
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I already have the Thunderbolt RAIDS and and could use my 2011 (~$3500) iMac as a Thunderbolt display (with a 23" Cinema Display) -- so all I really need is the Mac Pro.
Exactly! Some people act like it is impossible to plug an old computer into a LAN or unplug an old monitor to use someplace else.
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I can sell the iMac/Display and buy a couple of displays or just keep what I've got.


I realize that my situation is unusual... But, I also think that the Mac Pro philosophy is the future -- expand the base system with external components.
Actually your situation is the norm. Many people seem to want to fabricate issues just so they can come online to slag Apple. Further you appear to be a lot smarter than some here with your buying decisions over the last year.
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I do understand the desire of some existing Mac Pro users to move ahead gently (to the wallet) by reusing their existing components in a new Mac Pro... But, before long, technology advances are going to overtake those older components (if they haven't already).
Actually you do because you advocate exactly that above. You suggest reusing your monitors and other hardware which frankly is sound advice. You where also smart enough to buy TB disk arrays which will plug right into your new machine.
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My question to these users: wouldn't you be better off selling your existing system and going with the flow? ASAP?

Some might be better off, but for others keeping old hardware and buying a new Mac pro makes sense too. There is an element here that wants to swim upstream or against the flow, and there is the other element that just can't deal with change. I would imagine many of these people bawled their eyes out all night when the had to retire their Apple 2.
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