Return of the King.

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
It's game on.  For the 1st time in 5 years we're finally seeing the inertia of performance in cpus and gpus lifting.  A new process seems to have kickstarted the competition once more.  AMD have got up off the mat and started competing with cpus...and GPUS.  (The launch of Vega eminently imminent with at least a paper launch next on 16th of May mere days away.)

http://wccftech.com/amd-taking-the-covers-off-vega-navi-may-16th/

Volta a shot fired before Vega's launch.  Vega (will it perform higher, lower or the same as a 1080?  Will it eclipse the 1080Ti?  Will it be above a 1070 but below the 1080?  Hopefully it will land just a bit higher than the 1080 with a dual Vega to take on the 1080Ti.  

Navi.  (The first Raj' designed GPU?  With a strategy of 'lego bricks' as with Zen?  Will this tie in to the modular design of the Mac Pro or even iMac Pro down the road?)  Will maybe be talked about to head off interest in Volta.

http://wccftech.com/amd-computex-event-radeon-rx-vega-x399-hedt/

http://wccftech.com/nvidia-volta-gv100-gpu-tesla-v100-architecture-specifications-deep-dive/

http://wccftech.com/nvidia-volta-tesla-v100-cards-detailed-150w-single-slot-300w-dual-slot-gv100-powered-pcie-accelerators/
http://wccftech.com/nvidia-volta-tesla-v100-dgx-1-hgx-1-supercomputers/

Upto 1 TB of memory bandwidth with Volta.  15 TFlops of compute.

We're headed toward 16 Gigs of Vram on Gpus and 4096 bit memory bus with a dual Vega.  Volta looks.  (My iMac only has 8 gigs of system ram!)

Just those bandwidth, compute, memory bus and Vram stats make start reading for anyone who has a 2 gigs of Vram 680M Nvidia card in their iMac (that would be me, by the way.)

Looks like a dual Vega to take on the Nvidia 1080 Ti?

http://wccftech.com/amd-dual-gpu-vega-liquid-cooled-graphics-card-spotted-in-linux-drivers/

What does this mean.  For Mac users?  Competition.

After the Cul-de-sac design disaster of the Mac Pro and the 'titanic turning circle' to avoid the ice burg defection of Pros to the Windows platform Apple seem to have been stung by the Intense heat of the Pro community lambasting Apple's design hubris to the point of almost pulling the Mac dept's hands of their ears and yelling with a megaphone to DO something.  And, deliriously slow to realise there was a problem and deliriously slowly to react to that...offers some hope.  (Nothing personal, people just want to get work done quicker, not on overpriced and antiquated hardware that you can't even upgrade?)  A silver lining is that hardware, gpu and cpu hasn't gone forward as much as it could have.  From this year to next year is when it counts.  From CPU cores to GPUs...things are taking off again.  

In short?  What will we see?

Heir to the Throne.

An 8k iMac Pro on the horizon?  8-10 cores with a Vega class GPU in there.  16 gigs of ram.  Faster SDDs.  Hopefully the option of having two in the updated iMac.  AND the ability to use the iPad Pro as a 'Cintiq.'  A robust response to the Studio Display which embarrassed Apple's Macbook Pro Touch bar event.  

I'm open to a high end model having a built in Pencil support digitiser much in the way that the touch strip on the Macbook Pro carries a premium over the non touch version.  Turn your iMac into a drawing table.  But that would mean an adjustable arm of some sort.  M$, the least likely company did it with the Studio.  Even I, no M$ lover, looked at it covetously and wondered what Apple has been doing for the last 3 years on the desktop...frozen in time.  Nothing much.  The iMac design looks slightly out of date now.  It's going to be thermally underpowered as cores and gpu power are going up from here on in.  I won't be buying overpriced quad core Xeons and laptop gpus in my next purchase.  3D rendering is getting more demanding.  Not less.  I want 8 cores.  More ram.  Faster SDDs.  And a more powerful GPU is must.  Rival PC makers have laptops with better GPus than the iMac.  Apple could have used the Nvidia GPU options to really boost the iMac's capability as an aspiring workstation.  iMac was designed as a consumer machine.  It's moved on up.  It used to have 3 models below £1000.  Now it's creeping up to £2000.  With quad cores and a laptop gpu.  Both soundly out of date.  That's not enough power.  And Apple don't offer a prosumer tower to compensate or any choice of desktop(!) gpus!  We don't need paper thin on desktops.  Let the sunflower be true to itself.

The Return of the King.

The Mac Pro workstation and a prosumer tower (which the G5 tower forked the Mac Tower into niche ville by price...which is why they don't sell as many and exclude PC Tower workstation, developer and gaming buyers...bringing the Mac Pro back down to £1500 inc Vat from the ridiculous £3000 starting price for a glorified Mac Mini Pro with a crappy quad core cpu...ie with consumer parts i7, non-ECC ram etc.) differentiated by spec.  Upto 4 SDD drive bays.  dual cpu option.  (Intel or AMD 8+ Core processors, if Apple are big on Intel CPUs...  CHOICE of GPU Vega or 1080 Ti.  They did it before with the fantastic G3, G4 towers.  Back to the Mac.  Slightly more compact design than the Bauhaus Tower.  This machine can also serve as a 'Power Docking Station' for the Macbook Pro or even the iPad Pro (run and share documents...) driving apps like Clip Studio, Affinity Designer and Photo.

Display Disaster to Glorious Return.

And u-turn the display disaster.  BRING back a dual dual link display if you have to.  Make it 8k.  Remember when Jobs gave his dual, dual link quip about the 30 inch?  well, that was ten years ago?  The 5k iMac was great.  But it's 3 years ago now!  Hard to believe.  And the iMac 5k cost less than the same 5k display only Dell!  Apple need to use their 250 billion in the bank to fulcrum shift on components and deliver a true 8k display for the Mac Pro and THAT 8k iMac Pro.  With PORTs.  The Badge.  Bring it back.  Pride.  Professionalism.  Power.  Expect no less.

eGPU?

Sell a custom Apple eGPU for all their laptop owners (they're leaving money, lots of money on the table...)  

Offer choice.  Adjust the upsell strategy.  You get a Prosumer tower for the same price as the iMac.  You pay extra for a display on a modular system.  You save money with that on an AIO iMac.  You pay extra to augment your GPU on a laptop.  But you pay the premium for mobility in that Mac scenario.  Your eGPU can power that 5k or 8k external Apple Display.  

Choice.  Power.  Unlimited.

Lemon Bon Bon.


Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,173member
    ...and that Mac Pro needs to have a progressive modular design that can be updated and let the Pros update their kit.  No upsell, closed premium box reaming cynicism thank you.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,191member
    8K iMac Pro? I seriously doubt that. Although 8K is just starting to see a bit of interest on the horizon, 4K/5K is the standard for the near-term for a while due to the rise of 4K TVs.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,173member
    People 'seriously' doubted the 5k iMac.  It was the stuff of fantasy.  And that was on a consumer iMac!  It appeared and it was incredible value compared to the Dell 5k monitor which then wasn't that far off the price of its 8k display in the scheme of things.  Monitors drop in price and Apple can force the issue.  Like they did.  3 years ago.  Precedent.  And while the 5k isn't mainstream yet.  Apple had forward thinking back then.  Similarly.  They could once again, seize the battlefield and give creative pros power.

    We're talking iMac Pro.  It will happen.  8k.  But it will be a matter of when.

    As for the Rise of 4K TVs and content.

    Apple need to bring their Mac line upto speed with power to create that content in the 1st place.  CPUs.  GPUs.  Ram.  SSDs.

    Too thin.  Too underpowered.  Yet too overpriced for what they offer.  When will the dam burst on new Macs?  Well, the tech is now there and will be this year and next to re-think their desktops.  (We know why laptops are thin and relatively underpowered though they have closed the gap with desktops remarkably in recent years...)

    Luckily, Gpus are now passing the 60 fps in 4k games.  That's not mainstream yet.  But Apple should be getting ready with Macs that can create and play 4k and upto to 8k in the Pro arena.  From here on in they will have plenty of options to create Macs that offer more than the coffee latte experience.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,271member
    8K is in play in production arena.  I'd say high end consumer options likely to arrive 2022. 

  • Reply 5 of 6
    5K was the future, even for the consumer space. 8K will always be a Pro display. Unlikely to ever be an iMac, Pro or otherwise, due to size. A bit like the 17" MBP. Just too big for most people's needs, and expensive. I'd love to see them do it, though, just for fun.

    Whether Apple offers an 8K display as an (Apple) option for the 2018 Mac Pro depends on cost. If it is going to be $5000 (like the current Dell), then they won't do it. If they can hit $3500, then yes, maybe. It's hard to imagine Dell being able to undercut that by enough to make a difference, even with a one year head start.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    nhtnht Posts: 4,487member
    Dream on. There's not going to be an xMac.

    AMD finally looks interesting again but they usually screw something up.  Drivers, thermals, QC, something.
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