Developer secretly tested new Mac Pro for weeks inside Apple's 'Evil Lab'

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  • Reply 121 of 180
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,891member
    hmm wrote: »

    That's a lot higher than I expected, but you're right they wouldn't be terribly cost effective. Typically these drivers are highly tuned for OpenGL, which most Windows games don't use.
    In the case of Apple, they don't tune the drivers for anything. Well maybe reliability, but Apples drivers really don't excel at anything. Not to be negative but when Linux GPU drivers do as well or in some cases out perform Apples it looks pretty pathetic.
    The hardware itself tends to be at least similar, especially in recent years. I remember the Quadro 4000 really tailing the 5870 according to barefeats, but the only article I found just now was this one.

    Yes in many cases the drivers made all the difference. At this point I'm not sure how much the FirePro chips stand out from the desktop chips. Both AMD and NVidia have strived to support compute more robustly in their chips but I'm not sure AMD has done things like NVidia has with their compute chips. Frankly AMDs architecture is so much better for compute they don't need to specialize the way NVidia has.

    If and it is a big IF, Apple has addressed the driver issues this could be a very interesting machine for a wide array of users.
  • Reply 122 of 180

    Quote:


    If and it is a big IF, Apple has addressed the driver issues this could be a very interesting machine for a wide array of users.



     


    Who knows, maybe I can consign my signature to oblivion if true.


     


    I guess with Haswell's Iris chip going into the Mini and the GPU improvements in the recent iMacs (a machine I used to pan for Apple's lacklustre gpus...) and the simply mouth wetting dual GPU in the upcoming Pro...


     


    Will we finally be able to slay the GPU dragon that Macs come with mediocre gpus?


     


    That's the hardware.


     


    But like you say...


     


    'IF' Apple has address the optimisation of Open GL on Macs.  It's alright having 4.1...which gives feature parity to Direct X 11 according to what Marv' said in another thread.


     


    However, we know Open GL on Mac Vs Windows on the same card has show a pathetic difference in the past.


     


    So, WILL this particular dragon be slain?


     


    Could we have the holy trinity of Kick Ass ('My Ass') Mac Pro, dual GPUs (for the 1st time!) AND update GL? (WITH optimisation?)


     


    Is it too much to hope for?


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 123 of 180

    Quote:


    If I ever buy one of these I will have to resist the desire to tear one apart to see how it is put together. I'm sure a tear down will lead to a nerdgasm.

     




    'Desire'.  


     


    Why...Mr. Wizard...is that genuine Mac lust from you?  Tearing down and disrobing a Mac Pro...


     


    Ps.  Very impressed with the bang for buck all round from the new Macbook Airs.  Incredible battery life, significant gpu boost and SSD that writes at 800mbs?  What the hell is going on?  *Pinches himself.


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 124 of 180

    Quote:


    Okay, I was just indulging in some Hardware Porn, but I SWEAR I was not touching myself inappropriately…


     




    lol.  Nice to see people getting excited about the Mac platform.  The new Mac Pro.  


     


    Its 'Vader Pro' sex, folks.  Wanting the Vader breathing as the Pro boot up sound? :P


     


    Seriously, it's nice to see excitement and discussion being vigorously generated all across the net for the Mac Pro.  After all that the 'Pro' is dying talk...this is an emphatic rebuttal Apple style.  The king is dead, long live the king.  Once you've got people satirising you...you KNOW you've got them.


     


    If APPLE, IF they can just get ONE model to reach out to Mac users and Windows users in an accessible way to GET them onto the Pro ladder.


     


    It's game on.  Even IF they have to realign the iMac's pricing model to do so.  I'd like the entire iMac line to be moved DOWN £200+.  Bring in the Pro at a much steeper start.  Do the upsell.  Apple will make up margins on the Apple 4k monitor they'll undoubtably sell at decent wonga.  


     


    Reel people in with surprisingly shallow entry prices and make up the premium/margin on selling the hotly anticipated 4k monitor (retina studio?  We KNOW it's coming, right?)


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 125 of 180
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    Someone uploaded the Pixar/Foundry session here:


    [VIDEO]


    It might get pulled by Apple but it's not really a developer session so maybe not. There's nothing in it besides a demo of the Mac Pro.
  • Reply 126 of 180
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,174member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    Someone uploaded the Pixar/Foundry session here:









    It might get pulled by Apple but it's not really a developer session so maybe not. There's nothing in it besides a demo of the Mac Pro.


    And a Triple Scoop of CPU/(GP)GPUs Goodness…!!! ;^p

  • Reply 127 of 180

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    Someone uploaded the Pixar/Foundry session here:









    It might get pulled by Apple but it's not really a developer session so maybe not. There's nothing in it besides a demo of the Mac Pro.


     


    Cheers Marv', you diamond geezer.


     


    :)


     


    Enjoyed that.  That new Pro is working like a beauty.  Killer software in Mari too.  Mac OS 10.9 looking very stable there.  Killer combo.


     


    Just wow.


     


    Were you watching Mr. Wizard? :P


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 128 of 180


    If this is a sign of things to come for pro software on the Mac...  Mari looks like a gold standard, a class of its own.  It's killer for it to come 'back' to the Mac.  


     


    Sure, the software is in another league, clearly capable of some heavy duty stuff.  But you still need something like the new Pro to shift it...especially considering the size of some of those textures.  


     


    Looking forward for an influx of other super-high end software to make its way over.  Maybe 'Mari' will act as a signpost in that regard to other developers.


     


    The Foundry guy made some play of the dual GPUs in the Pro to really handle this high intensity level of texturing in Mari.  All moving around in real time smooth as butter.  Way in excess of 30 fps to me.  'Teh Snappy.'


     


    Historically, I've been used to this kind of stuff being really slow and kludgy.  Like the Pixar guy says, you'd have your colour, bump, specular/diffusion, texture maps in different layers in Photoshop and import them into your 3D into different channels and kind of hope at render stage it was 'ok.'


     


    But you can do that and tweak in Mari on the fly.  Very cool stuff.


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 129 of 180
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    Someone uploaded the Pixar/Foundry session here:



    It might get pulled by Apple but it's not really a developer session so maybe not. There's nothing in it besides a demo of the Mac Pro.


     


    Thanks for the link. That was great. It also looks like it ran really fast. There wasn't any point of comparison for a meaningful test, but the guy from the Foundry seemed really impressed with it. I was a little surprised to see the guy from Pixar using photos to paint. That never seemed like something they would do to me given the look of their characters on screen. I thought painted surface scans might be a possibility. Years ago I know some companies used to scan clay models for the basis for a lot of their textures. The way animation has gone in a lot of areas makes me think of deformable armature puppets.

  • Reply 130 of 180
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,891member
    There are many videos covering the technology reviewed at WWDC. If you are interested in where Apple is going, viewing a few of the videos will go a long way to clearing things up. Unfortunately I have not gotten to this specific video though, so no comments other than to express caution.

    The overhaul to Maericks for example is very interesting and does bring up a concern or two. Mavericks will be a major attempt at power savings in the UNIX kernel, it will be very interesting to see how well it works overall.
    hmm wrote: »
    Thanks for the link. That was great. It also looks like it ran really fast. There wasn't any point of comparison for a meaningful test, but the guy from the Foundry seemed really impressed with it. I was a little surprised to see the guy from Pixar using photos to paint. That never seemed like something they would do to me given the look of their characters on screen. I thought painted surface scans might be a possibility. Years ago I know some companies used to scan clay models for the basis for a lot of their textures. The way animation has gone in a lot of areas makes me think of deformable armature puppets.
  • Reply 131 of 180
    Here's the funny thing with the so called Pro users.

    They've been whinging and moaning about the lack of expansion in this thing and yet here's someone who have actually USED this thing and they have only ever had their software on the Mac for 8 weeks and they're saying this is the fastest they have ever seen it running. They would have been running on PCs with PCIe expansion and yet can't get it to run faster than this unit with "no" expansion capabilities.

    Think about that for a moment. The time required to get to the point where 7 teraflops is too little is going to be a long time. Add grid array functionality and you won't need upgrade functionality for a very very long time.

    Once again a case of Pro users not really understanding the technology. In fact so poorly do they understand it they're still seem to be stuck in the olden days as seen by the Final Cut Pro X storm in a teacup.
  • Reply 132 of 180
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member


    Holy crap Apple charges a small fortune for their Mac Pro memory, 1900 bucks for 64GBimage? You can buy Kingston 64GB (4x16GB) DDR3 ECC PC10600 for 750.00 now.

  • Reply 133 of 180
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    hmm wrote: »
    I was a little surprised to see the guy from Pixar using photos to paint.

    Not the color channels. The photos were just for the bump/displacements. They used vector brushes for the color channels. If they'd used scans, they wouldn't be able to easily adjust for scenarios like he demoed with it stretching during animation.

    They've scanned clay models for movies though. Some scanning gets used for photorealism:


    [VIDEO]


    1:22 shows the digital result. They've used that to make digital doubles for actors in movies e.g King Kong listed at number 9 here:

    http://www.creativebloq.com/3d-tips/cgi-movie-moments-1234014

    "Weta doubled its capacity in terms of render farm and disc space, and took on roughly 25 per cent more people to create King Kong. The team used a Maya, RenderMan and Shake pipeline, and created custom software for the ape's fur. Since Ann gets thrown about, Weta also had to use a digital double for Naomi Watts in these scenes."

    http://gl.ict.usc.edu/LightStages/
    Here's the funny thing with the so called Pro users.

    They've been whinging and moaning about the lack of expansion in this thing and yet here's someone who have actually USED this thing and they have only ever had their software on the Mac for 8 weeks and they're saying this is the fastest they have ever seen it running. They would have been running on PCs with PCIe expansion and yet can't get it to run faster than this unit with "no" expansion capabilities.

    Once again a case of Pro users not really understanding the technology.

    It depends on which industry. Not every industry nor even every level of each industry has the same requirements. Some will be peripheral-based, others will be performance-based.

    One thing Apple has done here is controlled the GPU expansion, which is the right thing to do because some people buy old Mac Pros not caring much about the CPU and upgrade to the latest GPUs without paying Apple at all. The people who can't do that now are understandably bothered by it.

    Mac Pro buyers also like to hold onto machines for a long time and not upgrade and instead replace the CPU and/or add GPUs to prolong the life of their machine. This new model pushes them to keep buying a new one, which really isn't as big a deal as some people think, it's just not something they are used to doing.

    Moving to Thunderbolt means some people with PCIe cards will have to figure out an alternative. The problem is those people are used to using PCI cards and so their immediate thought is that they need to buy a $1000 PCIe chassis. What they can (and should) do instead though is buy available Thunderbolt device replacements for their cards and sell the cards to Windows users. Some people who have expensive AV processing cards might find that these Mac Pros run the programs fast enough natively and can even get enough back from the sale of the PCI cards that the new Mac Pro costs them very little.

    Once that barrier to using Thunderbolt is down, they will realise that all those same peripherals will run on a Mini, MBP and iMac and they might even branch out to using other form factors in addition to the Mac Pro or for some in replacement of it. There will be some struggles and complaints because it's change and there will always be people who resist change if there's not an immediate benefit but it just takes time to work itself out.

    It's bad tasting medicine but it has the benefits that Thunderbolt peripheral sales will increase and lower in price, Mac Pro yearly sales will increase because people will be pushed to renew them rather than hold onto them and Mac Pros will be more reliable because people won't be overloading the PCIe lanes with dodgy cards. They may even be better value for money now that they've simplified the design.
  • Reply 134 of 180

    Quote:


    Holy crap 



    Yep.  That about covers some of Apple's insane upsell prices.


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 135 of 180


    Commonly known in the UK as?  'Taking the p*ss.'


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 136 of 180
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,891member
    Here's the funny thing with the so called Pro users.
    Many of the so called pro users are so self absorbed they can possible see beyond what they have done for years.
    They've been whinging and moaning about the lack of expansion in this thing and yet here's someone who have actually USED this thing and they have only ever had their software on the Mac for 8 weeks and they're saying this is the fastest they have ever seen it running. They would have been running on PCs with PCIe expansion and yet can't get it to run faster than this unit with "no" expansion capabilities.
    Please remember WWDC is as much about marketing as it is development. Beyond that ported can mean many things to many people.
    Think about that for a moment. The time required to get to the point where 7 teraflops is too little is going to be a long time. Add grid array functionality and you won't need upgrade functionality for a very very long time.
    Actually I'd expect software developer will be able to max out the machine fairly quickly.
    Once again a case of Pro users not really understanding the technology. In fact so poorly do they understand it they're still seem to be stuck in the olden days as seen by the Final Cut Pro X storm in a teacup.

    Exactly. Technological Luddites.

    I still think that one of Apples goals here was to design a machine that they can sell at a low price relative to its real world performance. Sort of like in the way that they have taken the Air or iPad to market very aggressively. Once people realize what Apple has here they will have customers knocking at their doors constantly.
  • Reply 137 of 180
    conrailconrail Posts: 489member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


     


     


    The funny thing is that when Apple ditched floppies, they were one of the first to adopt the optical drive in it's place. And now certain people are whining that Apple is ditching the optical drive. These people are no different than the people who were whining about the floppy being dropped more than a decade ago.


     



    What the hell are you talking about?  Optical drives were common in PCs and Macs long before Jobs even came back. 

  • Reply 138 of 180

    Quote:



    Exactly. Technological Luddites.



    I still think that one of Apples goals here was to design a machine that they can sell at a low price relative to its real world performance. Sort of like in the way that they have taken the Air or iPad to market very aggressively. Once people realize what Apple has here they will have customers knocking at their doors constantly...




    *fingers crossed.


     


    I remember many pundits thinking the iPad would land at £1000+.  It shocked me at £399.  ...and it got the retina as well.  It's a scream of a deal.


     


    The desktop line isn't good value compared to that.  Not when you have margins 40% to a creaming 100% plus on upsell BTO.  (Look at Apple's memory or SSD options on the iMac...ass reaming stuff...and the £68 for a DVD player previously included...)


     


    I'm hoping they turn the clock back and give us the £1500 entry 'tower' price for the Pro.  Lower would be nice.  You're saving £899 on the studio display if you think in iMac top end model/BTO terms...


     


    So a 512SSD, and an extra GPU?  Possibly 6 core into the bargain?


     


    Lemon Bon Bon.

  • Reply 139 of 180
    bregaladbregalad Posts: 816member
    I walked past a small cylinder of plastic toys at ToysRUs the other day. I stopped, placed my hand across the top and then vertically along the side to measure it and discovered that it was slightly larger than the new Mac Pro. That shocked me.

    I think the new Mac Pro is too small. Apple has committed themselves to exactly one internal design and to heck with anyone wanting something different.

    A few inches taller, a few inches bigger around and Apple would still have wowed the crowd with the new design without shutting the door on possible configuration options.

    What about a customer who wants more than 4 RAM slots?
    What about a customer who wants a second CPU instead of a second GPU?
    What about a customer who wants a second CPU in addition to a second GPU?
    What about a customer who wants to replace their GPU in the future?
    What about a customer who wants internal storage for something other than the OS and applications?
    What about a customer who wants some other internal socket/slot/bay?

    Apple's answer to all the above (and many more) appears to be "buy something from another manufacturer".

    Given that the total Mac Pro market is quite small it seems crazy to cut off any significant number of potential customers.

    As impressed as I am with PCI based SSD storage I don't see much practical benefit for end users. Sure the machine will boot faster, but you'll only do that once a month, and applications will launch faster, but again you'll only do that occasionally. What you really want the high speed for is opening and editing enormous media files. And where will those be stored? On slower external drives, of course.

    There is one glimmer of hope for those who deal with files small enough to fit on an SSD. The second GPU card has solder points where the first one has a socket. That means it might be possible to configure a Mac Pro with two internal SSDs.
  • Reply 140 of 180
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by curveddesign.com View Post


     


    I agree totally!  Just one AMD/ATI Fire Pro GPU that meets the specs on Apple's Mac Pro web page cost $2000 to 3000 itself!  And guess what, there are 2 of those standard in the new Mac Pro!


     


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195116


     


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814105004



     


    My understanding, from reading others' comments over the past week, is that two factors will lower that price significantly for Apple:


     


    1) Volume, obviously.  Apple will be paying much, much less because of that factor alone.s


     


    2) These will not be the purely consumer versions, in some respects.  I don't quite understand all of that, but people seem to agree on it.

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