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

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  • Reply 141 of 180
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    bregalad wrote: »
    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?

    DDR4 will be along next year with double density so 4 slots isn't that big of a problem - obviously people who really want it would have to buy next year's model:

    http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/news-events/press-releases/detail?newsId=11701

    "It also is set to expand the overall premium memory market with its most advanced 20nm-class based DDR4 DRAM products, which will be available sometime next year at densities up to 32GB."

    For the dual CPU models, Apple generally didn't offer the fastest ones. The choice would have been 1x $1885 12-core (possibly a bit more) vs 2x $1440 8-core. The performance difference between two slower 8-cores and a faster 12-core isn't that significant.

    For things using heavy CPU processing, it's possible to buy multiple machines. CPU processing doesn't need real-time feedback. Of course having two CPUs and two GPUs is better, as is having 4 CPUs and 4 GPUs but every manufacturer chooses to stop at a certain point and whenever that happens, someone will always ask 'why not just put in an extra...?'. When you get to the higher price points, the demand tails off so quickly that it's just not worth allowing for every possible preference.

    I expect that the GPUs are replaceable but they are custom versions so Apple might have an upgrade program. It helps stop users upgrading their own GPUs without paying Apple any money and potentially breaking their machine.

    They didn't say how big the internal storage options will be but you can get a lot more on even a 256GB SSD than just the OS and apps. When it comes to media projects, it's possible to copy them back and forth as needed. If someone needs more than 512GB-1TB of space for active projects then they'd get a Thunderbolt RAID drive or whatever. All of the options here are faster than what was available before.

    PCI slots can be replicated over Thunderbolt, there are expansion chassis options e.g Magma 3T, Sonnet Echo Express etc. In general people would first look for a suitable Thunderbolt equivalent to any PCI card.
    bregalad wrote: »
    Given that the total Mac Pro market is quite small it seems crazy to cut off any significant number of potential customers.

    Nobody is really cut off, you're talking about preferences for the most part. The biggest problem this design creates is with NVidia because AMD cards won't run CUDA code (or the sexy fairy demo - but they replaced that with a bald guy anyway). But developers should be using OpenCL and there seems to be a push for OpenCL support as it actually runs a lot faster on AMD cards.
    bregalad wrote: »
    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.

    It depends, for photography, the image projects can be large for stills (100MB+) but plenty will fit on the internal. For video, projects can be copied around as needed or just use Thunderbolt RAID. Thunderbolt RAID isn't slow at all - 600-800MB/s.
    bregalad wrote: »
    That means it might be possible to configure a Mac Pro with two internal SSDs.

    A couple of people have mentioned that but I don't see why Apple wouldn't offer options up to at least 1.5TB anyway. There was a bogus rumour about a 3.5" 3TB SSD at one point but 1.5TB is only double what they offer in the Air. They might offer it for $1500. For less expensive compact storage, it's possible to put a 960GB Crucial M500 drive in a USB 3 enclosure for less than $800.
  • Reply 142 of 180
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    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

     


    I know clay models have been used for a lot of things. You come up with some of the best links though. That is a beautiful mocap setup. As for bumps and displacements, I understand them. I know what he was doing. I was just surprised they would use a lot of photo detail given Pixar's style. The lines seemed too hard.


     


    Quote:


     


     


    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.




    It would have to be incredibly successful to really be a driving force in thunderbolt peripherals. Notebooks outsell everything else, and represent a much larger market, yet thunderbolt peripherals remain limited. I'm thinking specifically of the 15" notebooks, as they are likely sold to buyers with higher demands and/or lower price sensitivity. I know it's not evenly distributed, but it's difficult for me to think that the mac pro is what will push things forward in that regard. Don't get me wrong. I am happy that it's not cancelled.


     


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    DDR4 will be along next year with double density so 4 slots isn't that big of a problem - obviously people who really want it would have to buy next year's model:

     


    I don't think we'll see another until 2015. That is a likely haswell timeframe, as inte hasn't adhered to a 12 month cycle. If they're going with workstation gpus, those also typically show up later. I'm not sure I agree on the upgrades thing. If they're relying solely on a captive audience, that would not make for a stable line over the longer term. I am interested in seeing what shows up even if some of those hardware features are under-utilized.


     


     


    Quote:


    PCI slots can be replicated over Thunderbolt, there are expansion chassis options e.g Magma 3T, Sonnet Echo Express etc. In general people would first look for a suitable Thunderbolt equivalent to any PCI card.



    I would probably pretend the chassis options do not exist. Full solutions should be a much better buy. I would want something that is tested as a unit if at all possible in that situation. That way everything fits. The cooling and power are both sufficient. You don't have weird surprises like a power supply that says 150W that peaks out at that yet can't maintain it. I doubt that is the case with the Magma and Sonnet ones given their price points. I don't think they would cut corners.

  • Reply 143 of 180
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    *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.
    IPad is an amazing product that actually might be priced a bit on the high side considering what is inside. However usability wise it blows everything else out of the water.
    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...)
    It depends a bit on the specific device or the build to order option. However I believe those high prices are there to encourage customers to go to third parties for upgrades.
    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...
    To hit the low end price they need to have two types of video cards. I'm not sure they will go that route.
    So a 512SSD, and an extra GPU?  Possibly 6 core into the bargain?

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    Why so thin on the SSD? If you look at the Air BTO options the 512 GB SSD option is actually fairly priced. It isn't bargain basement but it is not as bad as it could have been considering Apples history.
  • Reply 144 of 180

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EdRed View Post



    My guess is the price will be in the $2.5K-$3.5K range. Give or take $0.5K.


    I hear the pricing in in the $4K-$5.5K range and that without monitor.   It going be very, very pricey!  I don't think it going to sell; since most Mac Pro users love the current chassis box and just wanted the technology inside to be upgrade. 

  • Reply 145 of 180
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Harry Wild View Post


    I hear the pricing in in the $4K-$5.5K range and that without monitor.   It going be very, very pricey!



    Do you mean this will be the price for the base configuration?

  • Reply 146 of 180
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    harry wild wrote: »
    I hear the pricing in in the $4K-$5.5K range and that without monitor.  
    So where did you hear that? By the way the Mac Pro never came with a monitor.
    It going be very, very pricey!  I don't think it going to sell;
    An excessively high price would have people looking else where. Still everything about this machine is telling me that Apple is looking for a way to lower the cost of power.
    since most Mac Pro users love the current chassis box and just wanted the technology inside to be upgrade. 

    Well that is baloney. The old chassis is a bit of a joke.
  • Reply 147 of 180
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Harry Wild View Post


    I hear the pricing in in the $4K-$5.5K range and that without monitor.   It going be very, very pricey!  I don't think it going to sell; since most Mac Pro users love the current chassis box and just wanted the technology inside to be upgrade. 





    Given that you have no source of credible information, I'm going to wait and see on this one. If adequate volume was a problem before, that would completely kill it. Given that the specs in the presentation were "up to" I doubt anything entry level would justify such a price tag.

  • Reply 148 of 180
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Harry Wild View Post


    I hear the pricing in in the $4K-$5.5K range and that without monitor.   It going be very, very pricey!  I don't think it going to sell; since most Mac Pro users love the current chassis box and just wanted the technology inside to be upgrade. 



     


     


    I know a few users (myself included) who were quite tired of the old model and wanted something smaller.


     


    Do you have any data showing that "most" loved the current (actually, now old) chassis?  Link?


     


    $4-$5 K.  Link?


     


     


    Personally, with no data but my gut, I think this will sell quite well, if the so-called pros can get past their inhibitions about new ideas.

  • Reply 149 of 180
    harry wildharry wild Posts: 571member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post


     


     


    I know a few users (myself included) who were quite tired of the old model and wanted something smaller.


     


    Do you have any data showing that "most" loved the current (actually, now old) chassis?  Link?


     


    $4-$5 K.  Link?


     


     


    Personally, with no data but my gut, I think this will sell quite well, if the so-called pros can get past their inhibitions about new ideas.


     


    Here is the link that you wanted - Leo Laporte : http://twit.tv/show/the-tech-guy/988


  • Reply 150 of 180
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    harry wild wrote: »
    Here is the link that you wanted - Leo Laporte : http://twit.tv/show/the-tech-guy/988

    :lol: A radio show host describing it as a glorified media center and quite clearly guesses at the price without making any assessment of the components, says that the people he has spoken to don't like it, suggests it's form over function despite being more powerful than any previous Mac Pro and that what they should have done was simply update the old one because "Pro users aren't fanboys".

    He said they haven't added anything compared to the old one and yet somehow this one will be magically double the price.
    hmm wrote:
    It would have to be incredibly successful to really be a driving force in thunderbolt peripherals.

    The current 250k per quarter volume is plenty. Think about it from the point of view of a Thunderbolt device retailer, where some devices have a specialised target audience. Say they are a small shop, they get a new audience of 20,000 customers per quarter selling a $500 device with 15% margins. That's $1.5m per quarter profit.

    If manufacturers want to get rich, they'll all be hopping on the Thunderbolt bandwagon. They can get rich just by targeting a small subset of Mac Pro customers exclusively. Some of these people spend $5k on a PCI card to decode RED video. If RED was smart about it, they can make dedicated Thunderbolt devices and people could buy as many as they liked without needing a chassis and the resale value is better because they can target all Mac users.
  • Reply 151 of 180
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    I gotta admit, I want one of these for no reason whatsoever. A MacBook Pro has all the power I need.
  • Reply 152 of 180
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,148member
    wizard69 wrote: »
    So where did you hear that? By the way the Mac Pro never came with a monitor.
    An excessively high price would have people looking else where. Still everything about this machine is telling me that Apple is looking for a way to lower the cost of power.
    Well that is baloney. The old chassis is a bit of a joke.

    mindrifter, who always has a lot of knowledge on Apple related matters, was saying there is 3K cost in the graphic and CPU processors used alone. So if I understood him correctly a 3.5k to 4k entry price maybe on the cards. After watching the video on the developer page of this beast in use I am saving hard :)
  • Reply 153 of 180
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    mindrifter, who always has a lot of knowledge on Apple related matters, was saying there is 3K cost in the graphic and CPU processors used alone. So if I understood him correctly a 3.5k to 4k entry price maybe on the cards. After watching the video on the developer page of this beast in use I am saving hard :)

    Apple used to market the old Mac Pro as up to 12-cores but nobody suggested the entry price would be $6k. Apple has just marketed the top model so far as a 12-core + dual W9000, which are $3k each retail. An entry 4 or 6-core with dual W5000 ($430 each retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195119 ) doesn't have to start anywhere near $3.5k.

    It depends on what options they offer but like any computer retailer, they know the sales volumes drop off considerably, the higher up they go. They could easily have started the old Mac Pro at dual-processor models but they went to all the trouble of building a single-socket version in order to hit a $2.5k price point. The iMac pretty much tops out at $2.5k so starting at $3.5k just leaves a big price gap.

    The best entry point for them would be somewhere between $2k and $2.5k. Going below $2k means they tread on iMac territory and although some consumers would be happy with that, Apple knows they'll lose the margins on a display sale that way and the machine they'd build couldn't top an iMac in performance. Going above the old entry point would make some people think they were paying more for less as some might have to buy supplementary Thunderbolt hardware. It also serves to cut down on the potential audience for the machine.

    I think the original $2199 price was a pretty reasonable starting price and I'd like to see them reach that with a quad-core, dual W5000, 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM.

    One great thing with the design is that it should be a single configuration page so you just spec a single model how you want and they'd have all the available processors and GPUs etc on the same page. I think it will scale all the way from $2-2.5k up to $15k.
  • Reply 154 of 180
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,148member
    Marvin wrote: »
    Apple used to market the old Mac Pro as up to 12-cores but nobody suggested the entry price would be $6k. Apple has just marketed the top model so far as a 12-core + dual W9000, which are $3k each retail. An entry 4 or 6-core with dual W5000 ($430 each retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195119 ) doesn't have to start anywhere near $3.5k.

    It depends on what options they offer but like any computer retailer, they know the sales volumes drop off considerably, the higher up they go. They could easily have started the old Mac Pro at dual-processor models but they went to all the trouble of building a single-socket version in order to hit a $2.5k price point. The iMac pretty much tops out at $2.5k so starting at $3.5k just leaves a big price gap.

    The best entry point for them would be somewhere between $2k and $2.5k. Going below $2k means they tread on iMac territory and although some consumers would be happy with that, Apple knows they'll lose the margins on a display sale that way and the machine they'd build couldn't top an iMac in performance. Going above the old entry point would make some people think they were paying more for less as some might have to buy supplementary Thunderbolt hardware. It also serves to cut down on the potential audience for the machine.

    I think the original $2199 price was a pretty reasonable starting price and I'd like to see them reach that with a quad-core, dual W5000, 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM.

    One great thing with the design is that it should be a single configuration page so you just spec a single model how you want and they'd have all the available processors and GPUs etc on the same page. I think it will scale all the way from $2-2.5k up to $15k.

    I hope you are right but as to treading on iMac territory, I costed out a top of the line loaded 27" i7 iMac, to my shock it was around $4,000. Then I looked at the Geekbench scores compared to the last generation Mac Pro and new Mac Pro. This is why I've decided to wait for a new Mac Pro. I already have an ACD so I'd only need the Mac Pro alone (ok and some Thunderbolt toys). It would seem even if the price is at the higher end it is a way better investment than a high end iMac.
  • Reply 155 of 180
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    bregalad wrote: »
    Apple has committed themselves to exactly one internal design and to heck with anyone wanting something different.

    How totally unlike what Apple has ever done in the past¡
    Given that the total Mac Pro market is quite small it seems crazy to cut off any significant number of potential customers.

    Given the power of this thing, it seems crazy to think people would forgo it for something else that they know doesn't work as well.
    As impressed as I am with PCI based SSD storage I don't see much practical benefit for end users.

    Because you do nothing of concern here.
    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.

    Or, you know, on the super fast storage you have internally. Because that's why it's there. And on the 20Gb/s Thunderbolt storage you attach to your computer. That's not fast enough? :no:
  • Reply 156 of 180
    messmess Posts: 32member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    How totally unlike what Apple has ever done in the past¡

    Given the power of this thing, it seems crazy to think people would forgo it for something else that they know doesn't work as well.

    Because you do nothing of concern here.

    Or, you know, on the super fast storage you have internally. Because that's why it's there. And on the 20Gb/s Thunderbolt storage you attach to your computer. That's not fast enough? image


    You know this may be the most condescending forum I've ever seen. "Because you do nothing of concern here" == how do you know?   "Given the power of this thing, it seems crazy to think people would forgo it for something else that they know doesn't work as well"  Yea -- everyone what to pay for exorbitant extras that they don't need and will never use. "Or, you know, on the super fast storage you have internally. Because that's why it's there. And on the 20Gb/s Thunderbolt storage you attach to your computer. That's not fast enough?"  no it is not fast enough for everything one might want to connect.  

  • Reply 157 of 180
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,143member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mess View Post


    You know this may be the most condescending forum I've ever seen.



    Welcome to AppleInsider, don't you DARE besmirch the good name of our favorite fruit-related computer/lifestyle device(s) vending corporation…!!!

  • Reply 158 of 180
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    mess wrote: »
    how do you know?

    How's that a question? It's extrapolated from your lack of knowledge of the benefits of PCIe storage. Who says it won't be up to a terabyte?
    Yea — everyone what to pay for exorbitant extras...

    Or they can just plug in the stuff they already have. I imagine that unless you're just starting out in the industry (pick one), you'd have stuff on hand.
    ...that they don't need and will never use.

    Do they need to do their jobs? Then they obviously need them and will use them. Seems kind of silly not to, yeah?
     no it is not fast enough for everything one might want to connect.  

    That's why there are six of them, and two gigabit Ethernet to boot.

    Is there a RAID array that can move data faster than 20Gb/s? Genuine question.
  • Reply 159 of 180
    messmess Posts: 32member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    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.


    Yes, it does depend on the industry the device is being used for -- I couldn't agree more.  It also depends on what direction the computing industry moves in…


     


    Your other comments don't seem to reflect reality to me -- at least not yet.  I don't need all of that GPU power in my industry.  I could use it if someone would write the software to do complex DSP using it, but otherwise it is useless to me.  Also, I wouldn't mind buying a new machine every two or three years if the cost was at a disposable level. 


     


    I would gladly move to Thunderbolt devices if the industry I work in would produce them as tools for my work, and I could find them for a reasonable price.  PCIe is still readily available at a reasonable cost.  When will these Thunderbolt devices arrive -- I'd like to know! Unfortunately it isn't right now and I'm in a position where I've waited far to long already…

  • Reply 160 of 180
    messmess Posts: 32member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    How's that a question? It's extrapolated from your lack of knowledge of the benefits of PCIe storage. Who says it won't be up to a terabyte?

    Or they can just plug in the stuff they already have. I imagine that unless you're just starting out in the industry (pick one), you'd have stuff on hand.

    Do they need to do their jobs? Then they obviously need them and will use them. Seems kind of silly not to, yeah?

    That's why there are six of them, and two gigabit Ethernet to boot.



    Is there a RAID array that can move data faster than 20Gb/s? Genuine question.


    It's really funny how one can take a statement and twist into something that is totally out of context isn't it? 


     


    As for your genuine question, what if it isn't just storage we're talking about or what even if it is your favorite PCIe flash?  Sixteen (that's 16 -- not 6) lanes of PCIe in v3 gives us ~15 giga BYTES per second. Technology will continue to march on!


     


    This machine is an amazing design and raises the bar to new heights, but as far as allowing it to be customized to a specific use/industry's need -- if this is all Apple is going to offer, they have missed most of us IMHO -- especially if it comes in at a cost that is not on the disposable level…


     


    Oh and BTW you still sound condescending!

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