Apple's unveils new Mac Pro desktop with up to 12 processing cores

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  • Reply 141 of 210
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbilsbor View Post


    It comes down to one thing: Adobe Creative Suite 5 with an nVidia GPU blows Final Cut Studio out of the water. So to combat this, Apple releases their first Mac Pro (or Power Mac G5, for that matter) that doesn't have a nVidia GPU -- even as a build-to-order option. They have NEVER done this before. This is not a coincidence.



    If anyone's interested, I have a longer take on this here:



    http://nofilmschool.com/2010/07/appl...-new-mac-pros/



    Interesting conspiracy theory. My assumption was that Apple wanted a vendor who would play nice and offer two Mini-Display Port connectors because Apple has switched to that for their monitors. Not that an nVidia card OEM couldn't offer Mini-DP. But ATI has offered Mini-DP as an option their PC cards for a while now.



    If you are using Creative Suite, you'll plunk down the cash for an nVidia Quadro card: problem solved.
  • Reply 142 of 210
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Can Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL leverage multiple graphics cards in parallel? If so, could this be used to support SLI and Crossfire on a Mac Pro?
  • Reply 143 of 210
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,485member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Can Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL leverage multiple graphics cards in parallel? If so, could this be used to support SLI and Crossfire on a Mac Pro?



    Even if it does, it has nothing to do with Crossfire or SLI.



    But, I think someone got one of those working a couple of years ago, though I'm not sure how well it worked.
  • Reply 144 of 210
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 875member
    There are some good points about the updates such as better standard graphics cards but overall I'm disappointed, mainly because of no new slimmer/smaller case option.



    Logic would tell you that if they can manage heat from 12 pumping cores in their Mac Pro case then they don't need as big a case for a 4 or 6 core machine. They can even squeeze a Core i7 and Radeon 5750 into a slim iMac, so it sux to be forced to buy the behemoth for those that want a cheaper headless Mac Pro offering. The large case also inflates the cost of the base Mac Pros. Apple could save money and pass those savings onto us by reducing its size, which would be better for the environment too.



    Yes there's a market for people that want the lower performance Mac Pro and need all the expansion bays of the full-sized case...but I'll wager it's a much smaller market than those who want the lower performance Mac Pro and don't need four hard drive bays, 4 PCI slots and two optical drive bays. Those who need all the expandability are probably able and would prefer to get one of the higher performing 8 or 12 core configurations.



    Apple should have given us a smaller son-of case for the 4 and 6 core versions that only have one "chip" and kept the full-sized case for the dual chip 8 and 12 core configurations.



    I would have upgraded to the Mac Pro if they'd given us this smaller cheaper version, but Apple have lost the sale from me.
  • Reply 145 of 210
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post


    Apple should have given us a smaller son-of case for the 4 and 6 core versions that only have one "chip" and kept the full-sized case for the dual chip 8 and 12 core configurations.



    I agree. They really need a single socket machine with three drive bays (one CD and two hard drive) and two slots (one 16 lane PCI Express for video card, double width and another 16 lane PCI Express for expansion).



    Basically the modern re-incarnation of the Mac IIcx or IIci. Sweet machines, those were in their day....



    Quote:

    I would have upgraded to the Mac Pro if they'd given us this smaller cheaper version, but Apple have lost the sale from me.



    I got tired of waiting, and bit the bullet for a dual quad Nehalem. If I had realized with third party memory you could expand the memory to double what Apple offered, I might have gone single quad - but in the end you never really regret going large now, do you?



    And if I had known the i7 27" iMac was coming down the pike six months later, I probably would have waited and just got one of those. I was able to justify the extra $1000 premium to myself when I realized I was no longer spending $1000 a year in parts to continually upgrade my PC, and I realized based on my previous usage of Mac's that I would probably have and still be able to do significantly meaningful work on my Nehalem Mac Pro for at least five years.



    I love the expandability over the imac - I have every drive bay occupied I love that I will be able to swap out to a much better graphics card that Final Cut and Aperture will be able to take advantage of. Lack of upgradable graphics is my chief complaint against the iMac's.



    But at the end of all my rationalization, the bottom line is the extra $1000 for the big dual socket box is just irksome and unnecessary. It doesn't matter now, the money is spent, I've gotten almost a year of useful work out of the box, and I will get many more years out of it. It's still far more cost effective than PC's of equivalent specs and parts, it's definitely much higher design and build quality and it absolutely comes with a vastly superior operating system



    Here's to hoping that by the time I feel compelled to outright replace my current Mac Pro, the xMac or something along that line will exist.
  • Reply 146 of 210
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post


    I can't tell you how many times I've cursed at PC towers for having no friggin' handles. And you need like 12 different screwdrivers to open them and you still end up looking like you just came out from a streetfight.



    How often are you having to carry your desktop cases around? I lift mine when I open it up to blast dust out and if I'm moving. Otherwise they sit still. Handles are very nice for the MP case b/c it's very heavy. I know my NZXT Hush case weighs nowhere near that. As far as the number of screws, which terrible quality cases are you using that have 12 screws needed to get inside? 2 thumb screws and I'm in. The HP computer I had bought back in 1998 had 4 screws and you pulled the entire outer shell off. Getting it back on was a bit futzy too, but 12 screws is ridiculous hyperbole. I agree the case for the Mac Pro is fantastically designed tho.
  • Reply 147 of 210
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    How often are you having to carry your desktop cases around? I lift mine when I open it up to blast dust out and if I'm moving. Otherwise they sit still. Handles are very nice for the MP case b/c it's very heavy. I know my NZXT Hush case weighs nowhere near that. As far as the number of screws, which terrible quality cases are you using that have 12 screws needed to get inside? 2 thumb screws and I'm in. The HP computer I had bought back in 1998 had 4 screws and you pulled the entire outer shell off. Getting it back on was a bit futzy too, but 12 screws is ridiculous hyperbole. I agree the case for the Mac Pro is fantastically designed tho.



    I agree, it's a silly argument. My HP xw8200 is as heavy as my Mac Pro and I really don't need handles. The rounded corners on the bottom do make the Mac Pro a little tippy on carpet. Same HP has a lift latch in the side panel. The most screws I've ever seen on a side panel is 4 screws on an old style case, all the same kind, using the same Philips #2 screwdriver. The worst I've seen in a decade is four thumbscrews, others have two thumbscrews or a latch of some kind.



    The Mac Pro handles have sharp edges, I like to get a cloth to make it easier to carry. Just because I like a configurable computer doesn't mean I'm in it every week. I might move a computer once a year, and I might get inside a computer once a year at most, so latches and handles are nice convenient features, but hardly selling points. In fact, the Mac Pro "feet" make it harder to use a two-wheeler.
  • Reply 148 of 210
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    For those interested in the SSD subtopic I asked a question on MacOSXHints yesterday regarding the longterm affects of the virtual memory and Hiibernation affecting an SSD’s performance since that (as far as I can tell) is a lot of writes. With 4GB RAM in my MBP that is 4GB of my SSD being used for Hibernation.
  • Reply 149 of 210
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,485member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by s.metcalf View Post


    There are some good points about the updates such as better standard graphics cards but overall I'm disappointed, mainly because of no new slimmer/smaller case option.



    Logic would tell you that if they can manage heat from 12 pumping cores in their Mac Pro case then they don't need as big a case for a 4 or 6 core machine. They can even squeeze a Core i7 and Radeon 5750 into a slim iMac, so it sux to be forced to buy the behemoth for those that want a cheaper headless Mac Pro offering. The large case also inflates the cost of the base Mac Pros. Apple could save money and pass those savings onto us by reducing its size, which would be better for the environment too.



    Yes there's a market for people that want the lower performance Mac Pro and need all the expansion bays of the full-sized case...but I'll wager it's a much smaller market than those who want the lower performance Mac Pro and don't need four hard drive bays, 4 PCI slots and two optical drive bays. Those who need all the expandability are probably able and would prefer to get one of the higher performing 8 or 12 core configurations.



    Apple should have given us a smaller son-of case for the 4 and 6 core versions that only have one "chip" and kept the full-sized case for the dual chip 8 and 12 core configurations.



    I would have upgraded to the Mac Pro if they'd given us this smaller cheaper version, but Apple have lost the sale from me.



    You're not a customer for these machines, and that's it. It's been obvious for years now that Apple isn't interested in customers who want smaller versions. Apple doesn't care if they've lost a sale they wouldn't have gotten in the first place, because it's not really a lost sale at all. These are industrial machines, selling to industrial customers who want what this is. If that's not who you are, then this line of machines isn't for you.



    That may sound harsh, but Apple is allowed to follow the direction they think is best for them, as every other company does. When the G5 first came out, I designed a smaller case that could have sold for $999. As I've designed a fair mount of professional electronics for my own company, this was a real machine, inside and out, that Apple COULD have produced, if they had wanted to. That is, even if they had wanted to come out with their own small version, it would likely have resembled what I had done.



    But, it's not what they want to do. That should be clear to people by now, and so all the complaining that they aren't doing so is useless, and we may as well move on.
  • Reply 150 of 210
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,485member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    For those interested in the SSD subtopic I asked a question on MacOSXHints yesterday regarding the longterm affects of the virtual memory and Hiibernation affecting an SSD’s performance since that (as far as I can tell) is a lot of writes. With 4GB RAM in my MBP that is 4GB of my SSD being used for Hibernation.



    I read the article, and it's clearly wrong. OS X needs trim just as much as Windows and Linux. There's nothing in OS X that gets around the problem, which is why Apple is working on trim now.
  • Reply 151 of 210
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    For those interested in the SSD subtopic I asked a question on MacOSXHints yesterday regarding the longterm affects of the virtual memory and Hiibernation affecting an SSD?s performance since that (as far as I can tell) is a lot of writes. With 4GB RAM in my MBP that is 4GB of my SSD being used for Hibernation.



    Hibernation should only need one write per hibernation event, but it can add up if you hibernate several times a day. That's only if you have changed your settings to hibernate every time you close the lid though, the default is only hibernate when you're close to dead out of power, else sleep is activated.



    Virtual memory can be a whole other beast. At worst case, you could get writes every time you switch between two open programs.
  • Reply 152 of 210
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Hibernation should only need one write per hibernation event, but it can add up if you hibernate several times a day. That's only if you have changed your settings to hibernate every time you close the lid though, the default is only hibernate when you're close to dead out of power, else sleep is activated.



    Virtual memory can be a whole other beast. At worst case, you could get writes every time you switch between two open programs.



    That is what I was thinking am I?m surprised this topic hasn?t been addressed in depth already. I tend to use my machine until the battery dies but the battery does last me all day so Hibernation is only activated about 5x per week.



    I first found this MacWorld article that states you details who you can save battery life by using Hibernation instead of Sleep. It?s what first set off a lightbulb regarding this write to disk every time I?d close my lid.
  • Reply 153 of 210
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    You're not a customer for these machines, and that's it. It's been obvious for years now that Apple isn't interested in customers who want smaller versions. Apple doesn't care if they've lost a sale they wouldn't have gotten in the first place, because it's not really a lost sale at all. These are industrial machines, selling to industrial customers who want what this is. If that's not who you are, then this line of machines isn't for you.



    That gets said about pretty much everything they do though. The original iPhone was a very highly priced smartphone with few features - no apps besides webapps - and people complained and excuses were given that it was meant for business users. Then they dropped the price so consumers could get one and they've had the biggest success with it out of anything they've done.



    So what lesson can we get from this? Don't underestimate volume. Maybe they can't see a way to build the machine the way they do to reach a big enough audience but it doesn't mean they want to purposely exclude people from being able to get one because they've decided their market beforehand.



    Once they get 32-core or 64-core mobile chips (probably take at least another 10 years), those Mac Pros will ship in so few numbers that they'll just kill them off, which leads to an interesting question. If that happens, how has the scenario changed? Will 'industrial customers' stop buying them because they can't be part of the target audience?



    Phrases like 'industrial customers' or 'professionals' are thrown about casually to justify what Apple do without any real meaning. Apple sell to whoever will buy their product regardless of working status. Machines are their to fill a need. If a student is learning 3D/compositing/motion graphics/Film editing or a freelancer does this work, they need a high performance machine on a budget and those people could well be the precursors to the 'pros' who are the target audience. Apple would do well to cater to them so they don't just stick with the competition who supported them from the start and whose software they've learned inside and out over the course of decades.



    Given that Apple are selling a $300 processor in a $2500 machine, it would seem they are pushing it out of reach artificially but I don't think it's that they don't want people buying the Mac Pros, just that they'd rather people bought iMacs.
  • Reply 154 of 210
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,485member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    That gets said about pretty much everything they do though. The original iPhone was a very highly priced smartphone with few features - no apps besides webapps - and people complained and excuses were given that it was meant for business users. Then they dropped the price so consumers could get one and they've had the biggest success with it out of anything they've done.



    So what lesson can we get from this? Don't underestimate volume. Maybe they can't see a way to build the machine the way they do to reach a big enough audience but it doesn't mean they want to purposely exclude people from being able to get one because they've decided their market beforehand.



    Once they get 32-core or 64-core mobile chips (probably take at least another 10 years), those Mac Pros will ship in so few numbers that they'll just kill them off, which leads to an interesting question. If that happens, how has the scenario changed? Will 'industrial customers' stop buying them because they can't be part of the target audience?



    Phrases like 'industrial customers' or 'professionals' are thrown about casually to justify what Apple do without any real meaning. Apple sell to whoever will buy their product regardless of working status. Machines are their to fill a need. If a student is learning 3D/compositing/motion graphics/Film editing or a freelancer does this work, they need a high performance machine on a budget and those people could well be the precursors to the 'pros' who are the target audience. Apple would do well to cater to them so they don't just stick with the competition who supported them from the start and whose software they've learned inside and out over the course of decades.



    Given that Apple are selling a $300 processor in a $2500 machine, it would seem they are pushing it out of reach artificially but I don't think it's that they don't want people buying the Mac Pros, just that they'd rather people bought iMacs.



    I don't remember Apple ever saying that the iPhone was for business users, and that was why there were no apps to buy. Indeed, businesses were saying that the phone wasn't suitable for them in that first incarnation, partly because there were no apps they could write, or get.



    But, Jobs made a remark a couple of times very early after the phone first came out, stating that there would be apps, and that everyone would be happy with the way it would work. I stated that I didn't think that was web apps which they had announced shortly, because almost no one was happy with that, and it didn't seem as though Jobs would make such a sure claim and then fall so short of it.



    All of us who have a Mac Pro, and who have also had the earlier G5 have seen just how expensively these machines are built. They are not even close to consumer machines as the older lines Apple always had. They are way more industrial than the older B/W or graphite G4's. They are also built much better than my older Macs. Those were all PC level machines with refinements. These are NASA quality machines.



    Are they purposefully EXCLUDING anyone from buying one? Of course not! Anyone who wants one can buy it. But that doesn't mean it's aimed at just anyone. It's like anything else on the professional/commercial/industrial level, if you want it, have the space for it, and are willing to pay for it, then you can buy it.



    I don't think that Apple has an interest in making a model with less. It just doesn't fit within this quality group. The individuals and companies who are buying these want what they have, and would like even more, not less.



    You're making an assumption that you can't make. You don't know what Apple plans for these, and it's not likely they will put mobile chips inside unless that's all that's being produced at that time. And if that's the case, then every manufacturer of industrial workstations and servers will be forced into the same boat. Apple has had the chance to use i5 and i7 chips in these, and has declined. That shows their intentions. ECC memory is a requirement for most of their customers, as is reliability. That's one reason they're still fixing the leaks in the old G5s, or giving new Mac Pros as replacements.



    The price of the cpu is just a small part of the overall cost to produce these machines. I'm very familiar with industrial construction, as that was what my company produced. These are some of the best machines I've ever seen. Even workstations by other PC companies aren't built as well as these, even if their prices are noticeably higher. The base cost to produce a MacPro remains the same whether it uses a single "low end" Xeon, or two high end chips. The only difference is the chip mobo, and a slight difference in the power supply. That's why the "cheap" model costs so much .
  • Reply 155 of 210
    starmaxstarmax Posts: 9member
    I have been waiting since Jan to order a Mac Pro, hoping the new ones would offer the Gulftown 6-core CPU. So they finally come, but it's a BTO option\. Hmm, wonder how much Apple will be charging for that?



    When the Nehlam Mac Pros came out, the entry-level CPU Quad-Core 2.66 was $999 from Intel. Now it's $299... the current entry level (Quad 2.8) is around $300 as well. So basically the current Gen has $700 of markup over the previous generation? (oh I'm sure the GPU card cost about the same for Apple) Uber lame Apple!!!



    The new Gulftown 6-core 3.33 CPU is $999, but I'm sure Apple with charge a boatload for that BTO option. Hell, they are charging $1200 to go from a Quad 2.66 to a Quad 3.33 on the old gen, even though the price difference between those CPUs is about $700.



    I'm either going to try to snatch up a prev gen for cheap or build a Nehlam hackintosh, I'm sick of getting gouged by apple...
  • Reply 156 of 210
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Given that Apple are selling a $300 processor in a $2500 machine, it would seem they are pushing it out of reach artificially but I don't think it's that they don't want people buying the Mac Pros, just that they'd rather people bought iMacs.



    The Xeon X5560 2.8GHz Quad is $1236.45 at Newegg. This is for the August ones, not the ones still listed in the store. The X5550 2.66GHz Quad in the current store model is still a $1000 processor. How are you figuring that it is a $300 processor?



    Now if you look at consumer desktops, then you see:

    2.8GHz i7-930 Bloomfield or 2.8GHz i7-860 Lynnfield $290

    2.66GHz i7-920 Bloomfield is out of stock, but was $300.





    If the price is artificially high blame Intel, not Apple. Nearly $1000 more to be able to call it a server processor and to allow dual-cpu setups.
  • Reply 157 of 210
    starmaxstarmax Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    The Xeon X5560 2.8GHz Quad is $1236.45 at Newegg. This is for the August ones, not the ones still listed in the store. The X5550 2.66GHz Quad in the current store model is still a $1000 processor. How are you figuring that it is a $300 processor?



    Now if you look at consumer desktops, then you see:

    2.8GHz i7-930 Bloomfield or 2.8GHz i7-860 Lynnfield $290

    2.66GHz i7-920 Bloomfield is out of stock, but was $300.





    If the price is artificially high blame Intel, not Apple. Nearly $1000 more to be able to call it a server processor and to allow dual-cpu setups.



    The CPU's apple uses in their single processor machines are the W-series, not the X-series (you can get the actual models from the spec pages). They are significantly cheaper (around $300 - listed on Intel's site).
  • Reply 158 of 210
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,485member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by starmax View Post


    I have been waiting since Jan to order a Mac Pro, hoping the new ones would offer the Gulftown 6-core CPU. So they finally come, but it's a BTO option\. Hmm, wonder how much Apple will be charging for that?



    When the Nehlam Mac Pros came out, the entry-level CPU Quad-Core 2.66 was $999 from Intel. Now it's $299... the current entry level (Quad 2.8) is around $300 as well. So basically the current Gen has $700 of markup over the previous generation? (oh I'm sure the GPU card cost about the same for Apple) Uber lame Apple!!!



    The new Gulftown 6-core 3.33 CPU is $999, but I'm sure Apple with charge a boatload for that BTO option. Hell, they are charging $1200 to go from a Quad 2.66 to a Quad 3.33 on the old gen, even though the price difference between those CPUs is about $700.



    I'm either going to try to snatch up a prev gen for cheap or build a Nehlam hackintosh, I'm sick of getting gouged by apple...



    I think you've got the wrong chips.



    The current 2.8 GHz Xeon 6 core costs $1219. The 2.93 costs $1440. The 3.33 costs $1663. The cheaper Xeon W3680 3.33 chip costs $999.
  • Reply 159 of 210
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by starmax View Post


    The CPU's apple uses in their single processor machines are the W-series, not the X-series (you can get the actual models from the spec pages). They are significantly cheaper (around $300 - listed on Intel's site).



    To back up your and Marvn?s post with factual data, you can see from Intel?s current price list page for 1ku shipments the cost of the W3550 used in the 4-core Mac Pro is listed at $294. However, as Melgross veridically expressed the cost of a machine is much more than the processor.
    Intel® Xeon® processor Server UP (LGA1366/1156/LGA775)

    W3530 (8M L2 cache, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 2.80 GHz (130W) 4.80 GT/sec Intel® QPI 45nm) ? $294
  • Reply 160 of 210
    starmaxstarmax Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    To back up your and Marvn?s post with factual data, you can see from Intel?s current price list page for 1ku shipments the cost of the W3550 used in the 4-core Mac Pro is listed at $294. However, as Melgross veridically expressed the cost of a machine is much more than the processor.
    Intel® Xeon® processor Server UP (LGA1366/1156/LGA775)

    W3530 (8M L2 cache, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 2.80 GHz (130W) 4.80 GT/sec Intel® QPI 45nm) ? $294



    Thank you!



    Believe me, I know there is a lot more to these machines than just the CPU. Having owned PowerMacs for almost 2 decades, the G5/Mac Pro design is almost a work of art (IMHO) and the build quality is top notch.



    My huge beef with this update is the entry level model is basically a retread of the March 2009 model w/5% faster clocked CPU and a slightly faster GPU. Apple should have made the 3.33 6-core $2499 and Quad core around $2k. Apple has been improving performance while dropping prices on almost every other model (Mac Mini excluded), why no love for the Mac Pro?



    I feel like we've traveled back to the PowerMac G4 days, where years of waiting turned into marginal performance increases....
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