Apple tells reseller new Mac Pro coming in spring 2013

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  • Reply 381 of 529


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  • Reply 382 of 529
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    At this point though I'm really waiting for the boat to start to spring some leaks with respect to the Mac Pro. This new machine could be pretty interesting or just another ho hum box.


    I think we need to still consider the possibility of a 'ho hum box'. Personally I don't think there isn't anything wrong with the design:

    1. accepts video cards in an 'innovative way' so it doesn't block the adjoining PCI slot
    2. have room for four HDD's, currently maxing out @ 16TB
    3. optionally order with SSD, straight from Apple.
    4. dual ethernet
    5. no screen glued to it. Use whatever
    6. takes 8 RAM sticks, currently maxing out @ 96GB, though that is a OSX limitation
    7. has a 950W PSU, how many PC's have that?

    But sure, take out the ODD; I only use it occasionally. Make it smaller if customers want that, though I don't think that will benefit anyone. Disclaimer though: I once read a poster here complaining about its weight in conjunction with the design of the handles. And I agree; he was a salesman and had to carry the darn box to a vault/safe storage every single day. That gets annoying, with the handles buried in your hand for the upcoming hour.

    So, yeah, a new CPU, GPU, more RAM, more HDD (they could put in 12-14 HDD's standing on its side), TB, BT4.0, .ac et cetera would be just nice to get, and expected from me. Others want a new hardware design; I don't as I've kept all my older boxes and like consistency.
  • Reply 383 of 529

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post





    I think what makes it tedious is the irrational positions some people take, which need to be addressed. For example hey lets make a failing machine even more expensive. An idea that totally ignores that the base model is way too expensive for most potential users already.



    At this point though I'm really waiting for the boat to start to spring some leaks with respect to the Mac Pro. This new machine could be pretty interesting or just another ho hum box.


    Yeah I agree with wizards point a bit more than tenthousandthings. It's a bad idea to charge even more for a product that isn't selling well and has outdated tech.


     


    I'd also like to share that there has been leaks of source code from OS X 10.8.4 that support Wifi AC. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with a future Mac Pro but it's news for any Macs that may be released in 2013 during the usual launch time September to November.


     


    http://www.geek.com/apple/beta-code-suggests-new-macs-will-come-with-speedy-802-11ac-1551673/

  • Reply 384 of 529
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,275moderator
    philboogie wrote: »
    I think we need to still consider the possibility of a 'ho hum box'. Personally I don't think there isn't anything wrong with the design

    But sure, take out the ODD; I only use it occasionally. Make it smaller if customers want that, though I don't think that will benefit anyone. Disclaimer though: I once read a poster here complaining about its weight in conjunction with the design of the handles. And I agree; he was a salesman and had to carry the darn box to a vault/safe storage every single day. That gets annoying, with the handles buried in your hand for the upcoming hour.

    So, yeah, a new CPU, GPU, more RAM, more HDD (they could put in 12-14 HDD's standing on its side), TB, BT4.0, .ac et cetera would be just nice to get, and expected from me. Others want a new hardware design; I don't as I've kept all my older boxes and like consistency.

    These threads tend to go back over the same things about expansion and cheap towers. There isn't a big market in this space any more. The vast majority of the PC desktop volume is under $1000. Apple owns most of the $1000-2000 premium segment already and hardly anyone is buying above $2000.

    Given that it's not going to have a significant impact no matter what they do, making minor changes would be the most cost-effective route for them. They need to fix the power port and the fans if they want to keep selling in the EU and there's little use for the optical drive now. If they do get rid of the optical, that requires them to redesign it somewhat.

    Intel seems to be ok mixing Thunderbolt with PCI slots on desktop motherboards because the CPU has an integrated GPU and there's a piece of software called Lucid that virtualizes the dedicated GPU. There isn't an IGP with the workstation setup so it's not immediately obvious what they plan to do there but one thing that came to light recently was what they are doing with Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt - they are getting rid of the distinction between video and data channels so a single port will have the same 20Gbps total bandwidth but instead of 10 for video and 10 for data, you can use 20 for either (that's why the diagrams only have a single 20Gbps bar).

    That might not eliminate the requirement to transmit video data down the port but it looks like they are having a rethink on some issues. They even mentioned they are considering the possibility of an add-on Thunderbolt board.

    Apple really should add support for it on the Mac Pro somehow because it allows people to buy high-end equipment like say a Blackmagic camera and use it with a Mac Pro and laptop as well as share a Thunderbolt display. One thing to keep in mind of course is that they know what technology is coming in 4-5 years time, possibly even further and they are working on it right now. Someone somewhere is playing with consumer CPUs that are 5x faster than what's coming out now and 50Gbps IO ports. If you have the equivalent of a 20-core i7 iMac with even dual 50Gbps ports, what is the Mac Pro going to do better? It'll be faster and have more expansion bays but I can see the target audience for it getting pretty slim at that point and it's not too far off.

    If this year's Mac Pro is just a drop-in upgrade, I think that's pretty indicative that it's not going to stay around for a long time.
  • Reply 385 of 529


    If we start seeing thunderbolt displays and cards then maybe there's an increase in video performance for future computers. I don't think major graphics card companies like AMD and NVIDIA are working on this type of technology since everyone has DVI and HDMI Ports right now but it's all in the future of how people use Thunderbolt.


     


    And with the support of 4K resolutions in the latest version of it why wouldn't manufacturers start doing graphics cards with TB on them.

  • Reply 386 of 529
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Consumer towers are a diminishing market, just take a look at the variety of units on display at any store that sells computers, compared to their selection of notebooks.

    It's hard to rationally argue an economic reason for Apple to re-enter a market segment that's had its day and is shrinking. That's not a growth strategy.
  • Reply 387 of 529
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    philboogie wrote: »
    I think we need to still consider the possibility of a 'ho hum box'. Personally I don't think there isn't anything wrong with the design:

    1. accepts video cards in an 'innovative way' so it doesn't block the adjoining PCI slot
    2. have room for four HDD's, currently maxing out @ 16TB
    3. optionally order with SSD, straight from Apple.
    4. dual ethernet
    5. no screen glued to it. Use whatever
    6. takes 8 RAM sticks, currently maxing out @ 96GB, though that is a OSX limitation
    7. has a 950W PSU, how many PC's have that?
    That is great for a high end box but that is a very small market. This is the current Mac Pros problem, not enough customers to invest in an expensive box when all they needs is a desktop machine. Even then I think we are real near to seeing somebody, be it Apple or a startup, redifine what a high end box is.
    But sure, take out the ODD; I only use it occasionally. Make it smaller if customers want that, though I don't think that will benefit anyone. Disclaimer though: I once read a poster here complaining about its weight in conjunction with the design of the handles. And I agree; he was a salesman and had to carry the darn box to a vault/safe storage every single day. That gets annoying, with the handles buried in your hand for the upcoming hour.

    So, yeah, a new CPU, GPU, more RAM, more HDD (they could put in 12-14 HDD's standing on its side), TB, BT4.0, .ac et cetera would be just nice to get, and expected from me. Others want a new hardware design; I don't as I've kept all my older boxes and like consistency.
    How many of those machines would you expect Apple to sell? This is the problem they couldn't even get traction in servers and such.
  • Reply 388 of 529
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    The problem is we aren't talking about a consumer tower here. We want a professional computer with a low enough entry point that sells well enough that it isn't at risk of being canceled. I know many want a machine with huge expansion capability and a stunning number roof cores but that is not mainstream. Many people really can justify large arrays of drives and other features but that isn't the volume play. This is why I see a smaller box as a solution to the volume problem, it would effectively lower the entry point price wise and with TB people needing storage arrays are all set. Obviously it would be nice if Apple supplied the storage array to go with the base unit.

    Ideally that base unit would come in two flavors, a model using a respectable desktop processor and a model Xeon or similarly fueled.

    In any event I'm not sure why this BS related to consumer hardware keeps coming up, this discussion is about professional hardware and how Apple should go about keeping their desktop line up viable and healthy. They have to do that by making the machine a real alternative to the Mac Book Pros and iMacs many use these days. That means getting rid of the artificial pricing schemes that drive users away from the platform. The Mac Pros failure is as much marketing as it is an issue of declining markets, it is a product designed for a market that really never existed in the volumes imagined by some.
    jeffdm wrote: »
    Consumer towers are a diminishing market, just take a look at the amount of units on display at any store that sells computers, compared to their selection of notebooks.

    It's hard to rationally argue an economic reason for Apple to enter a market that's had its day and is shrinking. That's not a growth strategy.
  • Reply 389 of 529
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    The problem is we aren't talking about a consumer tower here. We want a professional computer with a low enough entry point that sells well enough that it isn't at risk of being canceled.

    Oh, something with an even smaller target market. WINNING COMBINATION!
  • Reply 390 of 529


    I can't wait. Maybe I will buy it tomorow. Love Apple!

  • Reply 391 of 529
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    Oh, something with an even smaller target market. WINNING COMBINATION!


     


    I'm a little puzzled at this response. Are you thinking of a stripped down version? The base version right now is very much a base machine, and I suspect if the 6-12 core models carried the volume for the line, the current base model would have gone away with the last reshuffling.

  • Reply 392 of 529
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    hmm wrote: »
    I'm a little puzzled at this response. Are you thinking of a stripped down version? The base version right now is very much a base machine, and I suspect if the 6-12 core models carried the volume for the line, the current base model would have gone away with the last reshuffling.

    Sarcasm.
  • Reply 393 of 529
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    Sarcasm.


     I noted the use of sarcasm in "winning combination". I wasn't sure about the first line, which was why I was trying to figure out how the concept was interpreted.

  • Reply 394 of 529
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    jeffdm wrote: »
    Oh, something with an even smaller target market. WINNING COMBINATION!

    I suspect that you have a complete misunderstanding of the problem here. Do you agree that the current Mc Pro simply isn't selling that well? Do you also agree that Apple was close to completely dropping the machine from the line up?

    I hope you agree strongly with those two points because I strongly believe that is the current reality of the Mac Pro. If you agree with that then it would make sense that if Apple is to keep the machine around they need to spur sales, right? So the question is how do they do that. Well number one is that you don't raise prices on the machine because that tactic backfired on them already. So the obvious solution, for me anyways, is to redesign the machine and focus on a different market segment. The reason to do this is to be able to have an entry level machine that is significantly cheaper while maintaining the high performance option. The current Mac Pro does not do this well at all.

    The best way to do this is to modularize the system so that the base unit becomes not much more than a high performance CPU/GPU combined with an expansion slot or two and lots of RAM potential. Just restructuring the platform so that it contains a minimal workstation would allow for a low cost machine that would effectively outperform today base Mac Pro. It might be tough for Apple to hit that $1200 dollar mark that I see as important but they really can't go much above $1500 to really make the platform attractive. Mind you this is a base workstation, low end Mac Pro replacement. For those that need it Apple could put a dual socket board in the machine that ismtructured in the same way.

    This gives us a module that can effectively meet the needs of many professionals as is. Especially those in businesses that work of networks for file storage. Now this doesn't however meet every bodies needs, especially those up that need lots of local storage. For those you have an add on module or modules as may be the case. One that Apple should supply would be a disk array box to solve the storage needs. Somebody else might supply a XEON Phi coprocessor module for example. The point is Apple doesn't have to sell this huge box, with a lot of unused capability, to everyone. Instead they only sell the capability to those that need it.

    Jeff, you keep dismissing this as a consummer Mac or dismiss it because it is low cost, I believe these are both mistakes. First as described this machine would be ideal for many an engineers desk, we are not talking about a performance slouch here. It is the type of workstation that fits into the way real companies structure their IT systems, yet isn't beyond the budget restrictions most have to deal with. Second there is no rational explanation for the current Mac Pros high price in the base unit. Simply put the chips aren't that expensive. Apple could even go Ivy Bridge in the base model and still have a viable high performance workstation that performs better than today's base Mac Pro.

    The whole point of all of this is to generate volume!!!!! Make the guy that thinks about the Mini, because he has no choice, look instead at the Mac Pro because in one version it is affordable. Entice the feed up Windows user with a real option because in most cases the iMac is not a professional option. Bring back the former Mac Pro users that got pissed off over the high price but no corresponding value. Aim for a 100,000 units a quarter which is probably over 95,000 more than they currently sell.

    Why, because numbers matter! If they can come up with a model that sells better, significantly better, it will assure that the Mac Pro will be around even longer. Further strong sales of a single chip variant can support the infrastructure to keep the dual socket models around that real pros make use of. Finally even slightly better sales might actually generate a little halo effect around the Mac Pro. If people see that it isn't going away, professionals might be willing to invest in the machine again. Finally workstation sales, though down, haven't taken the hit that the consumer PC market has. It will be a very long time before workstations are replaced by tablets or even laptops.
  • Reply 395 of 529
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    hmm wrote: »
    I'm a little puzzled at this response. Are you thinking of a stripped down version? The base version right now is very much a base machine, and I suspect if the 6-12 core models carried the volume for the line, the current base model would have gone away with the last reshuffling.

    I'm not sure what his issue is. He has this problem where low cost means consumer. Frankly a computer with a starting price in the $1200 - $1500 range is not consumer at all. This is especially the case when a consumer machine might be $400 with keyboard and monitor.

    It would be very interesting to see a breakdown of Mac Pro sales. I suspect many would be higher end machines as they would be of benefit to Pros. However I also believe that Apple has badly damaged itself with respect to Pros. The type of Pros I'm talking about here are the ones that actually do leverage all the cores in a box. That is not the entire "Pro" market though.

    There is a vast market of users that simply need a relatively fast processor coupled with a good GPU. They do not need the high prices of the base Mac Pro though ( and no, for the millionth time, the iMac is not an option). In any event Apple doesn't really know what the sales potential is for a rationally priced, entry level, Mac Pro because they haven't made one since OS/X came out. Every Mac Pro made in recent memory has targeted a market that can't sustain it through sales. So obviously they need a new machine.

    Apple has so badly screwed up the Mac Pro, I wouldn't be surprised to see them drop the name when the new machine comes out. A lot of negative energy flows around the Mac Pro right now, they may decide to dump that and market the machine with a new name. They have a long hard road ahead of them.
  • Reply 396 of 529
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    Why, because numbers matter! If they can come up with a model that sells better, significantly better, it will assure that the Mac Pro will be around even longer. Further strong sales of a single chip variant can support the infrastructure to keep the dual socket models around that real pros make use of. Finally even slightly better sales might actually generate a little halo effect around the Mac Pro. If people see that it isn't going away, professionals might be willing to invest in the machine again. Finally workstation sales, though down, haven't taken the hit that the consumer PC market has. It will be a very long time before workstations are replaced by tablets or even laptops.

    Even if Apple completely owns the workstation market, that's one million computers a year. That's a drop in the bucket for Apple, who sold 59M iPads last year. And I really doubt Apple can pull an upset in the engineering market.

    wizard69 wrote: »
    I'm not sure what his issue is. He has this problem where low cost means consumer. Frankly a computer with a starting price in the $1200 - $1500 range is not consumer at all. This is especially the case when a consumer machine might be $400 with keyboard and monitor.

    Apple is high end consumer. Their professional users have been a sideline for years.

    Frankly, a low end Apple workstation would just be a hail mary pass. The demand for that kind of machine just doesn't seem to be there, I've switched to an iMac with a Windows partition for my engineering tasks, the iMac replaced a dual socket Xeon computer.
  • Reply 397 of 529
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    jeffdm wrote: »
    Even if Apple completely owns the workstation market, that's one million computers a year. That's a drop in the bucket for Apple, who sold 59M iPads last year. And I really doubt Apple can pull an upset in the engineering market.
    They don't need an upset, they simply need to sell enough machines to keep the Mac Pro line viable. Do you seriously want the alternative of dropping the Mac Pro itself?
    Apple is high end consumer. Their professional users have been a sideline for years.
    Yes and no. They have often appealed to certain types of professionals to spur Mac sales. Unfortunately I think it is more a case lately of Apple side lining the professional user due to an apparent lack of interest. Many of Apples existing professional users would prefer to stay on the platform.
    Frankly, a low end Apple workstation would just be a hail mary pass. The demand for that kind of machine just doesn't seem to be there, I've switched to an iMac with a Windows partition for my engineering tasks, the iMac replaced a dual socket Xeon computer.
    Which pretty much says that there is demand for that sort of machine. The reality is not everyone can put an iMac to work in their situation. That may be because of the screen, the lack of slots or other issues specific to their needs. Often professionals aren't looking for the highest performance or ultimate machine but rather value features not supported on the iMac. The reality is Apple can, if it is willing, produce a desktop machine that outperforms an iMac without getting into +$2000 hardware.

    In any event I thank you for acknowledging that there is a demand for this performance class machine.
  • Reply 398 of 529
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    They don't need an upset, they simply need to sell enough machines to keep the Mac Pro line viable. Do you seriously want the alternative of dropping the Mac Pro itself?

    It's had its day. I have an original Mac Pro. I'll probably give it an SSD and that's the last of it.

    Yes and no. They have often appealed to certain types of professionals to spur Mac sales. Unfortunately I think it is more a case lately of Apple side lining the professional user due to an apparent lack of interest. Many of Apples existing professional users would prefer to stay on the platform.
    Which pretty much says that there is demand for that sort of machine. The reality is not everyone can put an iMac to work in their situation. That may be because of the screen

    I think the latest update rendered most rational screen complaints moot, they finally made the screen surface to a degree of glare reduction that I wished they offered years ago. Most of the remaining screen complaints now aren't rational, or they haven't actually looked at the new screen in person.

    I used to be very slot-oriented, but I haven't made a slot upgrade in years.

    In any event I thank you for acknowledging that there is a demand for this performance class machine.

    Not to the degree you think I did.
  • Reply 399 of 529
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    jeffdm wrote: »
    It's had its day. I have an original Mac Pro. I'll probably give it an SSD and that's the last of it.
    In a way though you are agreeing with me, at least I think you are. That is the current design of the Mac Pro isn't viable. What we disagree on is that the iMac is a suitable machine for the current crop of Mc Pro users.
    I think the latest update rendered most rational screen complaints moot, they finally made the screen surface to a degree of glare reduction that I wished they offered years ago. Most of the remaining screen complaints now aren't rational, or they haven't actually looked at the new screen in person.
    How the screen looks isn't important. It is the fact that somebody might want a different screen that justifies a screen free professional machine.
    I used to be very slot-oriented, but I haven't made a slot upgrade in years.
    I'm really wouldn't mind a slot free or limited slot machine if I saw a real industry adoption of Thunderbolt. I actually thought the instrumentation industry would have rushed to this standard but I've yet to see anything promising. So slots will likely be mandatory for some time yet. Well if Apple even wants to play in that marketplace.
    Not to the degree you think I did.
    No you confirmed my point, which is that Pro users don't always require dual chip machines with vast amounts of disk space capability in the box. The difference is that you see the iMac as suitable for many of these users, in my case I don't. I really believe that if Apple really wanted too they could put a lot of power into a much smaller box than the Mac Pro at a very competitive price.

    The other option is to beef up the Mini a bit. At some point, maybe even with Haswell, the Mini will take on a new personality due to the performance that can be packed into the box. Likewise the need for that external GPU may be coming to an end which could make the Mini acceptable. The problem there though is that customers object to the idea of increasing the Minis size.
  • Reply 400 of 529
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post





    Even if Apple completely owns the workstation market, that's one million computers a year. That's a drop in the bucket for Apple, who sold 59M iPads last year. And I really doubt Apple can pull an upset in the engineering market.

    Apple is high end consumer. Their professional users have been a sideline for years.

     


    If professional markets were a big point of sales growth for Apple, they would probably be more responsive. You brought up the issue of workstation sales. It coincides with much of what I have stated. It will be around at least for some time, with or without Apple. Some other oems tend to rely on those markets to help their margins, and there are still several boutique builders out there. It would not surprise me to see one or two of the current vendors drop out.


    Quote:


    Frankly, a low end Apple workstation would just be a hail mary pass. The demand for that kind of machine just doesn't seem to be there, I've switched to an iMac with a Windows partition for my engineering tasks, the iMac replaced a dual socket Xeon computer.


     




    I know a couple art directors and graphic designers that switched to imacs years ago prior to the shiny screen generations. For tech packs and any printed items, they were using hard copy proofs and desktop print viewers anyway.  I haven't commented on the new ones, as I haven't seen them up close. The shininess was only one factor I disliked in the past. At the very least, Apple has taken more interest in display quality recently. There are certain things that are given up. Better thunderbolt adoption would help a portion of them. I kind of hope that options are better next time I'm on the market.


     


    Right now the ratio of dollars to performance gains isn't that great, which can be incredibly irritating if you only use these things to their fullest extent no more than a couple times a months. For example I've wanted to see Apple push GPGPU functionality within OSX for years. OS support and frameworks have to be really stable before a lot of the developers will really get behind it. Right now it's minimal. Chaos Group supports it in vray in the RT engine, which is focused on draft renders. Adobe has been writing some of their newer tools for either CUDA or OpenCL depending on applications and overall demands. The productivity gains are only truly significant in Premiere and maybe After Effects. I've grown annoyed explaining to countless people that other CS apps will not stress modern gpu hardware to the point of where it should be a major purchasing consideration.

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