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Apple's Mac Pro to sport twin engines

post #1 of 216
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Come this August, Apple Computer chief executive Steve Jobs is expected to stand before an antsy crowd of the most loyal Mac OS X developers and announce that in just over a year, the company has successfully transitioned its entire Macintosh line from PowerPC to Intel processors.

The 2006 Apple World Wide Developers Conference will run from August 7th through the 11th -- about two months later than usual. For the most part, Apple will use the annual developer gathering to lay out its plans for Leopard, the next incarnation of the Mac OS operating system, which is poised to do battle with rival Microsoft Corp's Windows Vista.

But when it comes to battling for headlines, Leopard may have its work cut out for it -- sources maintain that around precisely the same time, Mr. Jobs will also take the wraps off Apple's most powerfully stunning Macintosh to date: the Mac Pro.

Aside from speculation that the Intel-based Power Mac successor would conform to Intel Corp's "Core" architecture, there have been few reports about the machine. Until recently, Apple's professional line of desktop computers stood at the pinnacle of its product portfolio, showcasing both the Mac's beauty and its brawn.

In speaking with AppleInsider, people familiar with the Cupertino-based company's plans have affirmed that the Mac Pro will indeed employ chips from Intel's forthcoming architecture. However, it's still unclear precisely which processors these will be. That's because, just like the Power Mac G5 Quad, these people say Apple and Intel somehow plan to wedge two high-end dual-core chips into some Mac Pros.

The systems have been under development since last October, when Apple passed off the motherboard design to Intel's Oregon division. With its resources already stretched thin on the transition of four other Macs, Apple turned to the world's largest chipmaker for expertise in developing its first Intel board for professional users.

Still, many questions remain -- like exactly how Apple will fashion the Pro machines aesthetically.

According to reports, the first motherboard prototypes to come out of Intel Oregon were noticeably compact, suggesting the Mac Pro would represent a radical departure from the obtrusive enclosures of Power Mac G5. However, well-placed sources have since said that plans to size-down the Mac Pro's board were almost immediately scrapped.

The last prototypes Mac Pro motherboards to be observed by sources were approximately "the same size" as the board in Apple's aluminum G5s, they said.
post #2 of 216
So basically Apple will use 2 Woodcrest chips (Core 2 Xeon) in the MacPro? Thats fine with me, looks like it is gonna be a bloody good chip!
post #3 of 216
*looks up 'antsy' in dictionary*

* . . . *
post #4 of 216
I do hope they upgrade the case. The G5 is a pain to carry (more due to sharp edges on the handle than weight). It's also sad to have such a large professional case with only two drive bays, saving blocking fans with drives in unofficial locations. Give me back the four drive bays of the G4 and I'll be happy.
post #5 of 216
I plan on replacing my PowerMac G5 Dual 2.5 (2004 model) with a new Mac Pro when they are announced/released.

Anyone interested in my soon to be old system?
post #6 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by amac4me
I plan on replacing my PowerMac G5 Dual 2.5 (2004 model) with a new Mac Pro when they are announced/released.

Anyone interested in my soon to be old system?

My brother has one of those too. The ultimate machine when it was released ... but according to benchmarks at Hardmac, it could be outclassed by our meagre Mac mini once we put a Merom in it!

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2006-06-08/#5586

Interesting times ideed. Bring on Woodcrest and a new Ive design for the Mac Pro!
post #7 of 216
I guess we now know why it's called AI. Who's your sources Ive?
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 #8 of 216
Come on Adobe!! Not buying anything until I gets mys creative suites
post #9 of 216
Interesting... AI cut out the part about the Core 2 Extreme, so maybe there is some confusion there.
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post #10 of 216
This does raise the question of how the Adobe software and Rosetta will perform with, say, 4 cores and 8GB of RAM. While obviously not as fast as a G5 tower, the better they do the more downward pressure Apple will feel on its remaining G5 inventory.

Hah if Apple had a Creative Suite alternative to release with these machines they'd eat Adobe's lunch, for a few months anyway.
post #11 of 216
Core 2 Extreme is Conroe, not woodcrest.
post #12 of 216
I dare say that at those speeds in a dual dual-core configuration, adobe apps will run tolerably, if not just as fast as mid-range G5 under Rosetta. Well at least creative suite...After Effects is not happy in Rosetta at all. This is a very painful wait for all involved, really sucks if you need build a creative team with workstations right now, what the heck do you buy? Just can't justify buying 6 G5s now, but there's also work to be done.

Apple would be doing it's creative pro customers a huge favor and probably make some money buy offering current G5 inventory on a 1 year lease or have a buy back promotion so that we can get some work done with a powerPC machine but not break the bank with a move to the clearly superior Intel machines in a year when Adobe has their products up to speed.
post #13 of 216
The most logical lineup, in my mind, is one that mimics what Apple is doing now. I just hope (if somewhat in futility) that Apple will have lower prices on the base models. Here's the lineup that I envision right now:

2.67 GHz Core 2 Duo
1 GB DDR2 RAM
250 GB hard drive
16X DL Superdrive
256 MB GeForce 7600 video

2.93 GHz Core 2 Extreme
2 GB DDR2 RAM
400 GB hard drive
16X DL Superdrive
256 MB GeForce 7600 video

Dual 3 GHz Xeon 5160 (AKA Woodcrest x 2)
2 GB DDR2 RAM
400 GB hard drive
16X DL Superdrive
256 MB GeForce 7900 GT video

I also think Apple will offer Blu-Ray drives as options, but only as options - they're several hundred dollars and probably not very useful to anyone but the most demanding pros.
post #14 of 216
"around precisely the same time"

oxymoronic.
post #15 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
Core 2 Extreme is Conroe, not woodcrest.

*Sigh*

I know, but last night when AI published this article and then removed it, it referenced the Core 2 Extreme as what would be used in the Mac Pro.
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post #16 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Dirk
*Sigh*

I know, but last night when AI published this article and then removed it, it referenced the Core 2 Extreme as what would be used in the Mac Pro.

Yeah it seems AI is the source of confusion over this. For the right info I'm going to Anand.
post #17 of 216
I would love to replace my old 2002 G4 tower (it runs very well, never had a problem) next year around the time of the CS 3's debut. However the G5 case (which I would assume will return with a new Intel chips inside) is too large for most pro-sumers including myself. I understand that there are guys out there that always need one more expansion slot no matter how many Apple builds in but for a lot of us these behemoths look like they are from another era.
post #18 of 216
The case shouldn't be more than 19inches tall. Apple needs to commission Ive to design a case that can have the handles pop off and a rack ears added.

Apple should be back to less radical ways of keeping things cool and that should mean smaller towers.
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post #19 of 216
If they are going to make good pro level machines, with many ram slots, dual x16 slots for SLI video cards, quadro or geforce, dual sockets, enough room for more than 1 optical drive, and a few hard drives.... trust me, it cant get much smaller.

Have you seen Dells new precision workstation 690? that thing makes the G5 case look small.
post #20 of 216
Look, the Apple towers are not selling.

The MacBooks and the Minis are dual core for a fraction of the cost.

I'd bite for quad woodcrest at the middle and high end. Anything else would be
post #21 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by futuretheory9
Apple would be doing it's creative pro customers a huge favor and probably make some money buy offering current G5 inventory on a 1 year lease or have a buy back promotion so that we can get some work done with a powerPC machine but not break the bank with a move to the clearly superior Intel machines in a year when Adobe has their products up to speed.

That's a very logical proposal.

 

 

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post #22 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by doh123
If they are going to make good pro level machines, with many ram slots, dual x16 slots for SLI video cards, quadro or geforce, dual sockets, enough room for more than 1 optical drive, and a few hard drives.... trust me, it cant get much smaller.

Have you seen Dells new precision workstation 690? that thing makes the G5 case look small.


You're NOT going to see Dual PCI-Express 16x slots in a Mac.

I do think they'll be able to add another drive bay or two. It'll be nice to get away from water cooling.
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post #23 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
You're NOT going to see Dual PCI-Express 16x slots in a Mac.

What makes you say this? That could be bad IMO.

 

 

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post #24 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by doh123
If they are going to make good pro level machines, with many ram slots, dual x16 slots for SLI video cards, quadro or geforce, dual sockets, enough room for more than 1 optical drive, and a few hard drives.... trust me, it cant get much smaller.

Pretty much nobody is going to add a second optical drive. Apple's not going to put a second bay in there that maybe 1% of users will fill. As for "it can't get much smaller," you don't seem to have read the article, where it said Apple was able to make it much smaller, but somebody (probably the Steve) has nixed the idea of a Mac Pro Mini. You also underestimate the packaging prowess of Apple engineers. They were able to squeeze a full computer into a Mac Mini at a time when the PC makers could only slim down to mini-ITX cases. IMHO, there's no real reason why the Mac Pro couldn't be half the size of the PM G5, which is mostly empty space and heat sinks inside. Show of hands, people: How many here have filled more than one PCI slot?
post #25 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by emig647
What makes you say this? That could be bad IMO.

Because Apple is going to use an Intel chipset and right now Intel doesn't have a workstation level 2x PCI-Express 16x motherboard.

I think Apple would rather just promote new 7950 G2 Nvidia card with SLI on one card.
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post #26 of 216
Apple has a lot of room to play with in terms of design. The core issue will be building a Mac Pro that is very fast, with sufficient room for expansion by those that need it.

The market has shown, however, that a lot of users don't need a lot of expansion room - sales of the Mac mini and iMac pretty well demonstrate that.

I believe, therefore, that Apple will move towards both a larger Mac Pro and a min-line Mac, even if the introduction of the Mac is a while after the Mac Pro. It's the 3*3 grid approach and I believe it will be profitable for Apple - if both the Mac (single processor) and Mac Pro (two processors) use the fastest processors that Intel has available on an on-giong basis.

In general I think APple is going to be working very hard to provide some very good performance when compared to the competition, especially in terms of "bank for the buck". Being very competitive in that area plus the benefits of OS X and the great designs from J Ive & Co wold make that range very profitable for Apple. My personal opinion is that the mid-line Mac coupled with new displays (with iSight built in) would be the more profitable model.
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post #27 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
Pretty much nobody is going to add a second optical drive. Apple's not going to put a second bay in there that maybe 1% of users will fill. As for "it can't get much smaller," you don't seem to have read the article, where it said Apple was able to make it much smaller, but somebody (probably the Steve) has nixed the idea of a Mac Pro Mini. You also underestimate the packaging prowess of Apple engineers. They were able to squeeze a full computer into a Mac Mini at a time when the PC makers could only slim down to mini-ITX cases. IMHO, there's no real reason why the Mac Pro couldn't be half the size of the PM G5, which is mostly empty space and heat sinks inside. Show of hands, people: How many here have filled more than one PCI slot?

I think the percentage of "Pro" users (who are the only ones who have the money to buy these things) who'll fill a second optical drive is much, much higher.

As for size, my main complaint would be "Make it big and give me options", or "Just make it small", but don't make it huge and then have no upgradabiltiy at all. The G5 is a joke of a computer. Weighs a TON. Needs an antenna for Bluetooth and Airport usage because its case shields the signals. And most of the room inside is completely wasted space.

As for PCI slots. its not a question of whether you fill them now or not. But as technology advances, I want the ability to advance with it without requiring the purchase of all new hardware. (why I also refuse to get an iMac, I don't feel the monitor should be thrown out with the computer, nor need to buy a new one just to get a new computer).

BTW, most PC manufacturers might not make a computer as small as a mini (although even if the mini were twice as large in area, would anyone care that much?), they also don't make computers that require a putty knife to open, or set it up such that you need to take most of it apart just to replace some RAM.
post #28 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
I think the percentage of "Pro" users (who are the only ones who have the money to buy these things) who'll fill a second optical drive is much, much higher.

Personally, I really don't see the need. What are you going to do with two drives? Direct copy DVDs? Seems about the only thing you can do. You shouldn't burn two DVDs at once, although that may not be so much of an issue with today's fast SATA drives and buffer underrun protection. Besides, there's an easy and fairly inexpensive way to add a second optical drive for the few who need it. It's called a Firewire or USB 2.0 enclosure, which every pro "who has the money to buy these things" can easily afford several of if they desperately needed them. Why saddle the vast majority (admit it, people who don't use two opticals are the vast majority, be it 85% or 99%) with an empty 5.25" bay? It'd be sort of like when Apple gave every G3 and G4 a Zip drive bay. A few people put a Zip in there. A few more stuffed in a hard drive. But an awful lot left it empty, just a waste of space.
post #29 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Because Apple is going to use an Intel chipset and right now Intel doesn't have a workstation level 2x PCI-Express 16x motherboard.

I think Apple would rather just promote new 7950 G2 Nvidia card with SLI on one card.

I'd be willing to bet intel has something in the works for this. Otherwise that's a serious feature missing from their chipset that allt he other chipsets have. Sure they could promote the 7950 g2... but everyone else can promote 2 7950 g2's. *shrugs* I don't really care personally. But I konw many professionals who do.

 

 

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post #30 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
Personally, I really don't see the need. What are you going to do with two drives? Direct copy DVDs? Seems about the only thing you can do. You shouldn't burn two DVDs at once, although that may not be so much of an issue with today's fast SATA drives and buffer underrun protection. Besides, there's an easy and fairly inexpensive way to add a second optical drive for the few who need it. It's called a Firewire or USB 2.0 enclosure, which every pro "who has the money to buy these things" can easily afford several of if they desperately needed them. Why saddle the vast majority (admit it, people who don't use two opticals are the vast majority, be it 85% or 99%) with an empty 5.25" bay? It'd be sort of like when Apple gave every G3 and G4 a Zip drive bay. A few people put a Zip in there. A few more stuffed in a hard drive. But an awful lot left it empty, just a waste of space.

i agree. i'm a "pro" and i don't get why people always want an extra optical drive. what's the benefit? duping discs? just rip a disc image to your hard drive to burn new discs. it's a lot faster than doing a disk-to-disk copy. the only thing i can see it doing it burning two discs at once, which doesn't seem like such a huge thing.
post #31 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by futuretheory9
Apple would be doing it's creative pro customers a huge favor and probably make some money buy offering current G5 inventory on a 1 year lease or have a buy back promotion so that we can get some work done with a powerPC machine but not break the bank with a move to the clearly superior Intel machines in a year when Adobe has their products up to speed.

These guys would probably be able to meet those needs.
Powermax
post #32 of 216
I just bought over this past holiday season a DC G5 2.3 and upped it to 4gb of ram and the 7800GT vid card, and I have to say it is very nice, runs PS CS and other apps quite well! I upgraded from a 300mhz G3..needless to say I saw a HUGE improvement in a number of areas.. I think the G5's are still good machines.
post #33 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by admactanium
i agree. i'm a "pro" and i don't get why people always want an extra optical drive. what's the benefit? duping discs? just rip a disc image to your hard drive to burn new discs. it's a lot faster than doing a disk-to-disk copy. the only thing i can see it doing it burning two discs at once, which doesn't seem like such a huge thing.

You have that backwards. A good disc to disc copy program can start a write shortly after the read starts, saving the read time of the disc. With record to disc image then write from disc image, the whole disc has to be read before you can start writing a disc.

Where recording to disc image saves time is when you are writing multiple copies of a DVD. Then having multiple writing drives would save time as well so long as there is software to do that.
post #34 of 216
I hope Apple releases a desktop priced lower than the current Power Macs as well (and no, don't tell me the iMac is the answer).

We need a tower that is expandable, that doesn't need the cutting edge best of the best tech, and that doesn't come with a screen.
post #35 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Apparatus
I hope Apple releases a desktop priced lower than the current Power Macs as well (and no, don't tell me the iMac is the answer).

We need a tower that is expandable, that doesn't need the cutting edge best of the best tech, and that doesn't come with a screen.

yea I agree.. there should be a basic tower option which starts at the very basics but that can be customised on the apple store with the things that person wants to buy.. I don't need an inbuilt isight or any of that...

something like the equivalent of the old 8600s would be sweet.. Just a simple, rugged box, but with more flexibilty and choice in terms of the parts that are going inside.
post #36 of 216
Quote:
Apple's Mac Pro to sport twin engines

Wow, with oil at $70/barrel, the gas cost must be a bitch

What is the FRPG rating? (Frames Rendered Per Gallon)
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post #37 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by fuyutsuki
My brother has one of those too. The ultimate machine when it was released ... but according to benchmarks at Hardmac, it could be outclassed by our meagre Mac mini once we put a Merom in it!

http://www.hardmac.com/news/2006-06-08/#5586

Interesting times ideed. Bring on Woodcrest and a new Ive design for the Mac Pro!

CPU performance isn't the only selling point of the G5 workstations, but if they only put one dual core chip in the base model of the Mac Pro, then they'll probably have to have come up with other compelling reasons to chose the tower. Right now, the 20" iMac is a better deal than the base PowerMac and is generally faster unless you need more than 2GB of memory, are using Rosetta or just need a fast I/O card. Dual processors used to be one of the selling points of the Power Macs line over the cheaper models, but nearly all of the consumer units have dual processors now. That's why I almost expect the next revision to sport two quad models.
post #38 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
Personally, I really don't see the need. What are you going to do with two drives? Direct copy DVDs? Seems about the only thing you can do. You shouldn't burn two DVDs at once, although that may not be so much of an issue with today's fast SATA drives and buffer underrun protection.

Well, some might want to put a CD or CD-RW in one, so they can get a fast-access drive (your standard DVD-RW drives tend (or tended) to have slower mechanisms). Also, it allows you to keep reference CDs (hell, or game CDs) in the freakin' drive without having to swap out at times.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak

Besides, there's an easy and fairly inexpensive way to add a second optical drive for the few who need it. It's called a Firewire or USB 2.0 enclosure, which every pro "who has the money to buy these things" can easily afford several of if they desperately needed them. Why saddle the vast majority (admit it, people who don't use two opticals are the vast majority, be it 85% or 99%) with an empty 5.25" bay?

Why saddle users with a boatload of clutter on their desktop? This is one of my biggest complaint with my G5 tower. I've got three ugly firewire enclosures messily stacked on top of each other. Everyone talks about how nice and clean apples computers are, but then they force their users to add on all this extra crap that ruins the look.

Another example - USB ports. Most macs have 2 or 3. (2 if you have a wired keyboard). And on the tower, one's up front. So you're forced to buy a USB PCI card (if you have a tower) or an ubly USB hub just to plug in a couple of devices.

And if we go on this philosophy, Apple might as well get rid of the PCI slots, extra drive bays, and anything else internal, since, really, how many people actually use them? Apple should just make the new Tower the size of the mini, if you're going to base it on how many people will use it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kolchak
It'd be sort of like when Apple gave every G3 and G4 a Zip drive bay. A few people put a Zip in there. A few more stuffed in a hard drive. But an awful lot left it empty, just a waste of space.

Am I the only person who puts their computer on the floor under their desk? Is the 'wasted space' really a big deal? I find the current G5 a bear because the space is wasted, it can't be used (without some hardware hacks to the computer). I could care less if it had cheap plastics and didn't look like some work of art, mainly because I never look at it.

I guess my problem is that I consider my computers to be tools to be used, not some sort of piece of furniture (probably why I refused to spend the $$$ on an apple LCD and use a Dell 20"). And I guess I'm too 'cheap' to buy a computer that can mature as technology matures. If external SATA ever achieves prominence, I can plug in a card. If Macs are supposed to be these great computers that last forever (much longer then PCs, I keep hearing), then shouldn't they be able to evolve over time?
post #39 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Archstudent
yea I agree.. there should be a basic tower option which starts at the very basics but that can be customised on the apple store with the things that person wants to buy.. I don't need an inbuilt isight or any of that...

something like the equivalent of the old 8600s would be sweet.. Just a simple, rugged box, but with more flexibilty and choice in terms of the parts that are going inside.

Yeah, just what we've been asking for since, what, the 8600 left the market.

But I don't see it happening. Apple has their stupid little "market segment" boxes, pro vs consumer, laptops vs desktops. They believe Pro's need 15+" laptops, nothing smaller, and consumers don't want/need high-end video cards or ability to expand. Hell, Apple charges a premium just to get a MacBook in a 'pro' color, for goodness sakes.

They've got their price points and they don't want to sell one thing that might ruin the sales of another (who'll buy an expensive tower if you can get a cheap tower, for example).
post #40 of 216
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer

Am I the only person who puts their computer on the floor under their desk? Is the 'wasted space' really a big deal? I find the current G5 a bear because the space is wasted, it can't be used (without some hardware hacks to the computer). I could care less if it had cheap plastics and didn't look like some work of art, mainly because I never look at it.

I guess my problem is that I consider my computers to be tools to be used, not some sort of piece of furniture

I agree.

Despite Apple's implied assertions, form doesn't fully follow function on these things. There is a contradiction that an empthy drive bay that people might not use is a waste of space, but somehow the "handles" and "feet" on the corner of cheese grater that nobody can use isn't a waste of space. At best, the handles and feet only to harken back to the previous Powermacs which were kind of a fruity addition for those models too. The G5s case make it worse because they aren't useful as handles unless you wear gloves or put rags around them so they don't pinch the hands when moving it around. The feet don't help me in trucking them around either. My network port went out and I'll have to have a cart or dolly so I can haul my PowerMac accross the mall parking lit to the Apple store, the feet will probably complicate my choice of cart.
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