Despite new CPU options, Apple reportedly questioning future of Mac Pro

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  • Reply 601 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I'm getting mixed messages on Ivy Bridge performance both CPU and GPU so a wait and see approach seems to be reasonable.



    I think Anand has a pretty good handle on Ivy. The CPU has very minor tweaks, worth about 5% at the same clock speed, perhaps 10% with higher default clocks.

    GPU has both more units and better units so perhaps 60% on graphics:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4830/i...ture-exposed/6



    Quote:

    While my needs are slightly different, what you describe above would be an Ivy Bridge Mini. Well it will be if they can get a quad core into the platform.



    What I described won't be met by Ivy Mini. Entry CPU will almost certainly still be dual, Ivy Bridge will not bring integrated graphics equivalent to my 8800GT, and Storage is very unlikely to switch to desktop drives.



    The Mini is good in it's niche, but that niche is nettop. Apple just made too many compromises for small size cuteness and low power.
  • Reply 602 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    I don't trust Anand any farther than I can kick him, at my old age that isn't very far!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post


    I think Anand has a pretty good handle on Ivy. The CPU has very minor tweaks, worth about 5% at the same clock speed, perhaps 10% with higher default clocks.

    GPU has both more units and better units so perhaps 60% on graphics:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4830/i...ture-exposed/6



    Anand has a habit of twisting reports to heavily favor Intel. This is a perfect example, the chip scored 60% better in one synthetic test. For the most part it didn't do much better than 30%. Of course none of this is with final driver, hardware or whatever. More so it is not on Apple hardware.

    Quote:

    What I described won't be met by Ivy Mini. Entry CPU will almost certainly still be dual, Ivy Bridge will not bring integrated graphics equivalent to my 8800GT, and Storage is very unlikely to switch to desktop drives.



    If Ivy Bridge really cuts power by 50% as some rumors have indicated then four cores plus a discrete GPU ought to be easy in the Mini. I kinda doubt the 50% number but even if they hit a 40% power savings that should help out a great deal.



    I'm with you on the four cores though, I will consider nothing less on my next machine.

    Quote:



    The Mini is good in it's niche, but that niche is nettop. Apple just made too many compromises for small size cuteness and low power.



    No net top is not the niche. The niche is a very low power low foot print platform. A niche where many Minis get employed. Unfortunately this rev is just a little too restricted for you and me. However I can see a Mini that is far more capable next year.
  • Reply 603 of 649
    I don't see how it isn't a nettop:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363008,00.asp
  • Reply 604 of 649
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    If Ivy Bridge really cuts power by 50% as some rumors have indicated then four cores plus a discrete GPU ought to be easy in the Mini.



    If the clock speed stays the same, the voltage stays the same, and the number of transistors stays the same, then a 22nm CPU would use about 47% as much power as a 32nm version of the same CPU. However, we know that the number of transistors will be increasing from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge, so the power cut will be closer to 40% for similarly clocked CPUs with the same number of cores. Nevertheless, performance per watt will roughly double.
  • Reply 605 of 649
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post




    If Ivy Bridge really cuts power by 50% as some rumors have indicated then four cores plus a discrete GPU ought to be easy in the Mini. I kinda doubt the 50% number but even if they hit a 40% power savings that should help out a great deal.



    I'm with you on the four cores though, I will consider nothing less on my next machine.



    No net top is not the niche. The niche is a very low power low foot print platform. A niche where many Minis get employed. Unfortunately this rev is just a little too restricted for you and me. However I can see a Mini that is far more capable next year.



    You should really really look at better figures. Basically the top end ones come down a little and many of the others stay where they are. The concept with ivy bridge is a variable tdp with normal tdp being no more than 25-30% lower on any given cpu. Some seem to change very little. I'll see if I can find the articles on this that outline future quads and duals. It definitely isn't being cut in half.
  • Reply 606 of 649
    Regardless of whether they can fit a quad Ivy in the power budget isn't the relevant issue.



    Low end Ivy's are still dual core and Apple will use a low end dual core in the base Mini.



    Optionally a Quad will likely be available, just as it is now.
  • Reply 607 of 649
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post




    Low end Ivy's are still dual core and Apple will use a low end dual core in the base Mini.




    It could be a cost issue, but pricing according to wiki doesn't seem to vary that much on those cpus. It does go up quite a bit toward the top end.
  • Reply 608 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    It could be a cost issue, but pricing according to wiki doesn't seem to vary that much on those cpus. It does go up quite a bit toward the top end.



    This issue isn't how much more it costs Apple. The issue is how much more profit Apple can make selling you an expensive upgrade.



    Right now you can only get a Quad Mini by choosing the $1000 Mini Server.
  • Reply 609 of 649
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post


    This issue isn't how much more it costs Apple. The issue is how much more profit Apple can make selling you an expensive upgrade.



    Right now you can only get a Quad Mini by choosing the $1000 Mini Server.



    Yes, but it would be profitable to Apple if the model with a discreet gpu had a cto quad cpu option. By profitable I mean it could encourage sales.
  • Reply 610 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    Those numbers of yours are similar to others I've seen. As we see later in this thread other values have been offered up. Still I suspect that something like the Mini will get a nice performance boost and maybe allow for a better discrete GPU.



    Now maybe not four cores in the Mini, it would be nice though. As a side note Intel has indicated that most of those transistor will go into the GPU, where frankly they are needed the most. Apparently intel has put in some effort at controlling power in the GPU so maybe the thermal gain there won't be too bad. In any event 40% or better thermals for the same performance would be excellent.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mcarling View Post


    If the clock speed stays the same, the voltage stays the same, and the number of transistors stays the same, then a 22nm CPU would use about 47% as much power as a 32nm version of the same CPU. However, we know that the number of transistors will be increasing from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge, so the power cut will be closer to 40% for similarly clocked CPUs with the same number of cores. Nevertheless, performance per watt will roughly double.



  • Reply 611 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    You should really really look at better figures. Basically the top end ones come down a little and many of the others stay where they are.



    I would take that as an indication that the clock rates will be much higher.

    Quote:

    The concept with ivy bridge is a variable tdp with normal tdp being no more than 25-30% lower on any given cpu. Some seem to change very little.



    We still don't have enough info to say for sure what those numbers mean. We don't know the base CPU clock speed, how turbo boost is handled nor the clock rate of the GPU.

    Quote:

    I'll see if I can find the articles on this that outline future quads and duals. It definitely isn't being cut in half.



    Well you have to look closely at what you are getting at a given wattage. Simply due to the process shrink power will go down and clock rates will go up. How much is an open question. I think it is fair to say an AIR running at the same clock rate should be much cooler. However I doubt that Apple will rev any of it's machines and keep performance the same. For the Mac Book Pros I would expect them to keep the wattage in a similar range to today's machines to reap the performance benefit. On the AIRs they might bump performance a bit to gain additional battery lifetimes, instead of keeping the power the same.
  • Reply 612 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Snowdog65 View Post


    Regardless of whether they can fit a quad Ivy in the power budget isn't the relevant issue.



    Low end Ivy's are still dual core and Apple will use a low end dual core in the base Mini.



    I'm more concerned about the model with the discrete GPU. Or the middle of the road model.

    Quote:

    Optionally a Quad will likely be available, just as it is now.



    The current quad Mini could end up with one heck of a performance boost. It will be interesting to see just how well the improved GPU actually behaves in Mac OS, I'd like to believe it would be good enough for me. The problem is Intel has screwed this up too many times, OS one has to wait and see.



    I know the day will come when I won't need a discreet GPU but right now I don't believe Ivy Bridge is there yet. Intel could prove me wrong and I'd be very happy if the do, as that could result in buying lower end hardware in the the future.
  • Reply 613 of 649
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    Yes, but it would be profitable to Apple if the model with a discreet gpu had a cto quad cpu option. By profitable I mean it could encourage sales.



    Quad cores really should become a check list item for most users. Even something a simple as running Safari now benefits from the extra cores. Once consumers get a clue here dual cores will be hard sells. It is sort of like the transition to dual cores from single cores, many said I don't need dual cores only to quickly realize just how much of a difference the cores make.
  • Reply 614 of 649
    \



    After my G5 died, I bought a MacBook Pro (early 2008).



    It's severely underpowered - even with 6GB ram - for the graphic processing I want to do (stacking 90 30MB files using Zerene Stacker, for example. And some seriously large and detailed Panoramas.)



    I don't want to switch back to Windows?all of my software purchased since 2006 is Mac. I never liked Windows, anyway.



    If Apple is going to discontinue the Mac Pro line, I would be very dissappointed as there is no other desktop that supports OS X. Then I would buy one of the 2 year old units.



    What irritates me is the lack of information which is stopping me from being able to make a decision.



    If something new is going to come out, I'll wait for it. If the existing stock of Mac Pros ends the line, I'll buy one of those.



    I can't accept Apple would drop the line even though it's a minor part of their business, because there's no way to get sufficient processing power out of a laptop, even in parallel (which would be an exercise in futility).



    I don't expect an answer because if Apple had something to say ? they'd say it. Everything else is conjecture, wishes and hope.
  • Reply 615 of 649
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Offline View Post


    It's severely underpowered - even with 6GB ram - for the graphic processing I want to do (stacking 90 30MB files using Zerene Stacker, for example. And some seriously large and detailed Panoramas.)



    It's a laptop. What did you expect? I have the same model and I certainly don't use it for hyper-powered work.



    Quote:

    If Apple is going to discontinue the Mac Pro line, I would be very dissappointed as there is no other desktop that supports OS X.



    YEAH! Because the iMac and Mac Mini sure don't exist at all, that's for sure.



    Quote:

    If something new is going to come out, I'll wait for it. If the existing stock of Mac Pros ends the line, I'll buy one of those.



    And you'll know when something new comes out or it's discontinued. It's not like you could know before that happens and it's not like it matters that you can't know until it happens.



    Quote:

    because there's no way to get sufficient processing power out of a laptop,



    Huh. If only Apple sold OTHER DESKTOP MODELS.
  • Reply 616 of 649
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post




    YEAH! Because the iMac and Mac Mini sure don't exist at all, that's for sure.







    Huh. If only Apple sold OTHER DESKTOP MODELS.





    YEAH! Because both have workstation class CPU's and upgradeable workstation level graphics cards! And the Mini, oh, the Mini supports enough RAM to run anything! Its integrated GPU is AMAZING for Mudbox! Its whole two cores make Photoshop scream! And don't get me started on the iMac, which professional doesn't want to toss a whole computer AND monitor every time they need an upgrade?!



    Really...
  • Reply 617 of 649
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    YEAH! Because both have workstation class CPU's and upgradeable workstation level graphics cards!



    Then 'desktop' doesn't describe his market, 'workstation' does. And that's how Apple sells the Mac Pro, too.
  • Reply 618 of 649
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Offline View Post


    After my G5 died, I bought a MacBook Pro (early 2008).



    It's severely underpowered - even with 6GB ram - for the graphic processing I want to do (stacking 90 30MB files using Zerene Stacker, for example. And some seriously large and detailed Panoramas.)



    Modern laptops are a good deal faster than the Core 2 Duo models. The entry MBPs will be double the speed and the quad 15" models 3x. They also take up to 16GB RAM for just $240:



    http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...40D783A5CA7304



    You can get an OWC Mercury Pro SSD 240GB for just $360:



    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/inter...olid_State_Pro



    for around 500MB/s read/write:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJZG54fPOg0



    You don't even need to get the latest one, this one would do:



    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC721LL/A



    Then you get a crazy fast machine for under $2k that will have absolutely no problem doing what you want. This setup would be faster than the current entry Mac Pro with the exception of the GPU.



    Once the Ivy Bridge chips come along around March/April with another 30-50% speed boost, there will be very little advantage to the Mac Pro. The multi-CPU models have always had an advantage but the entry model is not really that worthwhile and the higher ones are way too expensive. I expect Ivy Bridge GPUs to come with a unified memory model too so that VRAM is not a limiting factor vs desktop GPUs, which is great for apps like Motion, Mudbox etc.
  • Reply 619 of 649
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Modern laptops are a good deal faster than the Core 2 Duo models. The entry MBPs will be double the speed and the quad 15" models 3x. They also take up to 16GB RAM for just $240:



    http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...40D783A5CA7304



    You can get an OWC Mercury Pro SSD 240GB for just $360:



    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/inter...olid_State_Pro



    for around 500MB/s read/write:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJZG54fPOg0



    You don't even need to get the latest one, this one would do:



    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC721LL/A



    Then you get a crazy fast machine for under $2k that will have absolutely no problem doing what you want. This setup would be faster than the current entry Mac Pro with the exception of the GPU.



    Once the Ivy Bridge chips come along around March/April with another 30-50% speed boost, there will be very little advantage to the Mac Pro. The multi-CPU models have always had an advantage but the entry model is not really that worthwhile and the higher ones are way too expensive. I expect Ivy Bridge GPUs to come with a unified memory model too so that VRAM is not a limiting factor vs desktop GPUs, which is great for apps like Motion, Mudbox etc.



    Dragon's Tail kicks ass.



    Marv' torches the Mac Pro.



    It's a workstation in name only. You can buy a PC rig for half it's entry cost that blows it's 'workstation' performance. A 'hollow' label. Any computer that has enough power to do what you want is a 'workstation.' And many PCs offer way more computing power for way less price.



    It's a relic of Dinosaur Apple Computer Past. Those 2k-4k Apple towers are a thing of the past.



    The thing hasn't been updated in almost two years. The gpu is way out of date. The entry model is 2k for a quad core. With a so-so amount of ram.



    It's a joke. Stale as old bread and antiquated.



    The design is old. The price is old. The performance is old. Apple's own attitude tells a tale. Apple could have done a re-design ages ago with desktop chips with decent gpus and had 'mid-tower' 'workstations' that would have allowed those 'hot swap' jockeys to tinker and pretend they have 'worksations' for 'serious' work.



    You can get just as good if not better performance with the top end iMac now...well...much better, frankly. And you get a damn good 27 inch monitor into the bargain. 'Workstation' re-defined in my book. Go to dual processors and the price escalates to a 'money to burn' for extra seconds saved. Good for the minority that actually need or can afford to slice salami like that. :/



    Having said that, I hope the old girl has one more revision. Just for old times sake... (Maybe Apple can set the bar even higher at £2500 for an entry level quad core...)



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 620 of 649
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Offline View Post


    \



    [FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"][COLOR="blue"]After my G5 died, I bought a MacBook Pro (early 2008).



    It's severely underpowered - even with 6GB ram - for the graphic processing I want to do (stacking 90 30MB files using Zerene Stacker, for example. And some seriously large and detailed Panoramas.)



    I don't want to switch back to Windows?all of my software purchased since 2006 is Mac. I never liked Windows, anyway.



    If Apple is going to discontinue the Mac Pro line, I would be very dissappointed as there is no other desktop that supports OS X. Then I would buy one of the 2 year old units.



    You'd be better off switching to a good Windows box at that point. I'm not hung up on the mac pro. It's just they haven't really come up with a replacement machine with that level of reliability. Imacs suck. They're just terrible. Screen looks terrible after a year or two. Hard drive costs $300 or so to replace outside of warranty (can't diy). It's just a piece of crap. I actually prefer the mini to the imac in some ways, but it's really designed for size more than performance. The laptops are okay, but they're still laptops.



    Your mistake is not understanding where you're short on power. "Graphics processing" describes an issue that you don't seem to be having. One of your big problems is that the machine won't take anywhere near enough ram, even at the most conservative preference settings. Preventing spotlight from indexing system files where any scratch data is stored also helps. A gpu is not going to fix this. 32GB of ram and faster cpus would fix your problems or if your workflow includes 32 bit applications, less ram and a scratch SSD.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tipoo View Post


    YEAH! Because both have workstation class CPU's and upgradeable workstation level graphics cards! And the Mini, oh, the Mini supports enough RAM to run anything! Its integrated GPU is AMAZING for Mudbox! Its whole two cores make Photoshop scream! And don't get me started on the iMac, which professional doesn't want to toss a whole computer AND monitor every time they need an upgrade?!



    Really...



    Most workstation cards are turned into workstation cards at the driver level. Sometimes they have more VRAM which helps if you're dealing with higher texture resolutions. Photoshop isn't too hard on the cpus. It's really not. It requires a lot of ram or fast scratch disks. Mudbox does need some gpu power given that it uses OpenGL drawing for 3d imagery. On the imac, the display is mediocre anyway. It's not that stable. It drifts. It looks ugly after a year. My real problem with it is lack of reliability, and the need to send in the whole machine for what should be minor repairs. It's not designed for heavy use. Every one of them I've seen that has been subjected to heavy use has really hit a wall quickly.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post




    Once the Ivy Bridge chips come along around March/April with another 30-50% speed boost, there will be very little advantage to the Mac Pro. The multi-CPU models have always had an advantage but the entry model is not really that worthwhile and the higher ones are way too expensive. I expect Ivy Bridge GPUs to come with a unified memory model too so that VRAM is not a limiting factor vs desktop GPUs, which is great for apps like Motion, Mudbox etc.





    Apple is the one who didn't bother to keep the machine competitive. Their entry configuration is pathetic for that price, and even at the exorbitant pricing model, people still buy the 6 core. If they had another machine that really offered a comparable experience, I wouldn't care about this. The others really don't hold up that well if pushed to their limits on a daily basis for a long period of time.



    The gpu thing comes down to two things, hardware and support. OpenGL implementation in OSX and their graphics drivers both kind of suck (unfortunately). Intel hasn't put out any integrated graphics that are worth using, and even if they did, companies that rely on OpenGL mostly ignore models with integrated graphics in testing meaning more bugs. Intel would have to show capable hardware for one to two cycles before this would start to change. Just watch... Intel has promised the same crap before, and they never delivered on it. If I can't



    Regarding Ivy Bridge, are you sure about that boost in cpu speed? That sounds significantly higher than what Intel has predicted. We've actually started to see some powerful gpus at the top on the laptop end, but Apple doesn't use any of them, and integrated graphics will still suck for those applications for a few reasons. OpenGL in OSX has gotten pretty bad. They've really let it slip over the years. The gpu drivers are pretty terrible. Autodesk and the other companies don't tend to test on integrated graphics. Even if we reached a unified memory model, Intel cannot design quality integrated graphics. They've made this promise before. Every time they've failed at it. I wouldn't predict anything else until we see a split from the current trend actually make it to market.
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