The 2019 Mac Pro will be what Apple wants it to be, and it won't, and shouldn't, make ever...

11011121315

Comments

  • Reply 281 of 308
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,081member
    lorin schultz said:

    Oh please tell me you didn't actually indulge that ridiculous behaviour. I was embarrassed to the point of cringing when I saw that post.

    😒
  • Reply 282 of 308
    cornchip said:
    lorin schultz said:

    Oh please tell me you didn't actually indulge that ridiculous behaviour. I was embarrassed to the point of cringing when I saw that post.

    😒
    LOL! Aw, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel bad!

    My fear is that getting a response to his challenge will just embolden him, but maybe the fact that you COULD prove it will encourage him to think before he posts. :)

    Usually he's one of the first to respond to a story with "predictions" of all the negative things people will post in response.
    cornchip
  • Reply 283 of 308
    20+ year Graphic Designer here that also dabbles in light video work and web work...

    What I personally want from my Mac:
    The ability to add/replace RAM, Internal Hard Drives, PCI-style cards including Graphics cards, and in the ultra rare occasion, processor upgrade... all with items I can EASILY find through NewEgg, Best Buy, B&H, etc...

    I do not have the luxury of disposable income to max out my Mac from the starting gate. I would much rather start off with a minimal amount of RAM and upgrade with cheaper, third-party modules down the road as needed. I would much rather have 4 internal drives than externals taking up desktop space. If there are not enough USB/ThunderBolt ports built-in I would like to have the option of installing a PCI card for more ports. Finally, I would love to be able to run two video cards to my multi-monitor set up, The first card driving my main, larger screen and the second card running my ancillary screens.
    cornchip
  • Reply 284 of 308
    bkkcanuckbkkcanuck Posts: 811member
    k2kw said:
    danvm said:
    k2kw said:
    Soli said:

    Bottom line: Apple owes you nothing over what they purchase agreement included, just as you own them nothing but the cost of the machine that you choose to by.

    Apple's success was built on the long term commitment if its Macintosh user base and before that the Apple II base. Without this commitment, it most likely would have gone extinct sometime in the 1990-ties. 

    The expectation from the committed user base is that Apple keep investing in them and their needs, and not just deliver a point in time box like most PC manufacturers do.

    Apple used to deliver products that in sum comprised an ecosystem that their committed user base could live happily in, and Steve Jobs in particular understood how important this is for the longevity and continued success of the company.  

    Under Tim Cook, Apple has started peeling away components of the ecosystem removing items such as screens, not upgrading network components, TM capabilities and capacity, lobotomizing the server software, remove server configurations, not refreshing existing systems for literally years, remove the ability for the users to add and replace components to their system such as disk, memory, GPU, battery and other techcnologies gets cheaper and more capable over the lifetime of the system. Now most configurations are frozen in time, while before they could evolve and serve the user better over its lifetime.

    Their obsession with anorexic thinness produce as a result systems cannot be fully utilized or expanded because there is no more room in the thermal envelope for faster components (we see this both in the trashcan and the new iMac Pro), or connecting the system for use in a real world situation leaves the user with a dongle and docking station hell, or a bunch of additional box clutter on their desktops (MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, iMac Pro.) Just to illustrate the madness of the situation, do a quick search for "rack mount for Mac Pro" and have a good laugh!  

     
    Some would say this

    "Apples survival was built on the long term commitment of his Macintosh user base during the 90's before Jobs returned.
    Apples long term success began by extending its "It Just Works" ethos  into consumer products beginning with the iPod.
    As its success grew with multiple smart mobile products iPhone and iPad Apple dropped the 'Computer' from its name reflect its mainstream consumer emphasis.
    With new priorities Apple dropped some existing products like the AirPort Extreme & Express and (temporarily) the MacPro."

    Despite the iOS business being much larger Hopefully they will put significant resources into their Pro Computers with this new group.
    This also why the new hire of the the Google AI guy is so good.

    Lots of Windows programmers like the "It's just works" (and works better) philosophy of Macs when we come home.     
    (MS is re-inventing itself as a cloud company) because they know they will loose the Wintel monopoly they've had on desktops eventually.   Hopefully it is to iOS and not Chrome.



    MS is moving it's priorities to the cloud, not because they are losing the desktop market, but because their cloud businesses are growing quicky.  The lead they have in the desktop market still huge, and now they are expanding to the ARM processors to keep / expand their lead.  And looks like it will a long time until we see something making a difference in the desktop market.

    On the article, I noticed that the issue Apple has is to give options to users.  For example, HP has four models of desktop workstations, starting as small as the Z2 Mini (it's as small as a Mac Mini), one with a single CPU and two with dual CPU.  They made sure entry-level and high end users were covered.  That's something Apple is missing.  Personally I think the current MacPro is an excellent option for many users, but not all of them.  They should had add the MacPro to their workstation line, and not replaced the "grater cheese" model, as they did.
    I've had the Cherry Hill Surface 3 with 4GB RAM and 128 GB SSD  and LTE.   It worked but was extremely slow.   Only nice thing was the Kickstand which was nice to have Laying in bed. Because of that S3 I'm doubtful about the QualComm 845 giving decent performance.    I have a new Surface Pro i5 for work. Its nice as a light laptop but windows is still subpar as a tablet.   I expect the 845 to be slower than the i5.
    I was watching Leo Laporte play around with one of the new ARM/x86 emulator devices - and the performance for anything that was basically being emulated (not ARM code) was very very bad.  I use a Macbook which for a lot of stuff is actually quite reasonable -- so not everything I do needs the big horsepower (some dev work on it, web, video, spreadsheets, documents, editing compiling, etc.  - for all that it works fine.  I watched and although he was saying it was "sluggish but workable" - I would have thrown it against the wall in 5 minutes at most... it was not.  The x86 emulation just is not doable on that machine in any reasonable useable way.
    cornchip
  • Reply 285 of 308
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,081member
    kindredex said:
    20+ year Graphic Designer here that also dabbles in light video work and web work...

    What I personally want from my Mac:
    The ability to add/replace RAM, Internal Hard Drives, PCI-style cards including Graphics cards, and in the ultra rare occasion, processor upgrade... all with items I can EASILY find through NewEgg, Best Buy, B&H, etc...

    I do not have the luxury of disposable income to max out my Mac from the starting gate. I would much rather start off with a minimal amount of RAM and upgrade with cheaper, third-party modules down the road as needed. I would much rather have 4 internal drives than externals taking up desktop space. If there are not enough USB/ThunderBolt ports built-in I would like to have the option of installing a PCI card for more ports. Finally, I would love to be able to run two video cards to my multi-monitor set up, The first card driving my main, larger screen and the second card running my ancillary screens.

    right there with ya. I'm definitely excited to see what they come up with.
  • Reply 286 of 308
    The Owl said:
    What are the chances of this new computer having Intel processors? I'm guessing zero. As Apple is planning on switching to its own ARM-based processors in 2020, an Intel-based machine in 2019 would be obsolete in a matter of months.
    What ARM processor would be able to run the kind of software pros need? If Apple does that they’re basically telling Pro uses to go Windows.
    The design for all current ARM processors - are designed with very tight requirements for them.  Expand those thermal limits to that of a desktop and then it makes it easier to make more powerful chips.  ARM compatibility, after all, is just an instruction set on the processor.  I don't see why it could not be merged into a design for a higher power processor -- or even support 3 architectures if they figure out how to transparently support 2 (though that last thought - not likely).  I doubt however that in 2020 you will see the complete Mac line go ARM... more likely you will see a few niche computers on the low power end.   Moving the entire framework to llvm based languages was a huge step in being able to support multiple architectures.
  • Reply 287 of 308
    cornchip said:
    Shouldn’t the Mac Pro be the most boring product in Apple’s lineup?  Why do they need to spend all this time rethinking the pro desktop?
    I mean, I know what you’re getting at, and I think it’s a valid argument. There’s something to be said for just going with what works. But it’s Apple we’re talking about. This is a corporate culture that’s just not satisfied unless they’re pushing the boundaries somehow. A translucent all in one. Branching out into the music player business. A clear cube where the discs pop out the top. A half sphere with a floating monitor. A music player with no buttons. Carving a laptop body out of a solid brick of aluminum. 

    The cheese grater is cemented as one as one of the greatest pieces of industrial design in history. I love my ‘09 to death. I also greatly appreciate the trash can and may wind up getting one as a stopgap. Apple tried something different with it and it didn’t really catch like they hoped. Just like the cube and buttonless shuffle. No doubt they learned a great deal on that project and their failures will make the next machine that much stronger. But they’re not going to retreat into mediocrity. And if all you want them to do is build an updated cheese grater... well I have a feeling you are going to be very disappointed.
    I think Apple is making this much harder than it needs to be. Either get out of this market all together or swallow hard and give these people what they want which is a boring expandable box. Apple doesn’t need to reimagine or reinvent anything here. There’s plenty of other places for them to do that. Oh and while they’re at it how about shit or get off the pot re: Mac Mini. Either kill it or update it.
    We don't know what the total rethink is, the 2013 trashcan mac can be considered modular - but I am pretty sure it is seen as a failure right now.  Modular could mean nothing, or it could mean things like replaceable memory, graphics card, storage subsystems -- or it could go further and mean replaceable single or dual power supplies, and CPU modules (multiple).  We just don't know - but whatever they are doing they are going back to the drawing board... it could be good... or it could be bad.
  • Reply 288 of 308
    jdw said:
    No surprises that this article on "AppleInsider" is very pro-Apple regardless of what Apple introduces to the market  But as an exclusively "Mac" user since my 128k in 1984, I believe I have a voice and a voice that matters.  

    The article starts off with the experience of the author saying that few people (at that point in time) performed their own upgrades.  That surely holds through to this day, now that Apple makes it nearly impossible to perform upgrades even by those who want to.  That thinking in the article is then extended with this: "Apple knows this better than we do. They have all the data, back to the dawn of Apple-certified service departments."  So the premise of the article is that "Apple knows best, and nobody cares about your needs because you are just a miscreant Apple product lover who will likely keep buying Apple products anyway."  

    The fact remains though that the current Mac Pro is a niche product not only because it is a Mac but because of the way it is priced -- into the stratosphere!  Certainly, some "pros" justify the cost, but the pros that do are flush with cash and can earn that cash back by working on high dollar commercial products.  But think about this.  Just how many of those pros are out there versus prosumers?  Answer: very few.  Yet we prosumers want many or most of the things the pros want, just at a price point we can afford.  

    In years past, the Mac Pro was purchased even by non-Pros.  I'm 47, but even my father purchased a PowerMac G5 (basically an older style Mac Pro) when it came out because he already had a display and wanted to keep using it.  Sure the old Pro Macs were big and bulky, but they offered the Apple II appeal of expandability.  

    Expandability at Apple has always been a war between the memory of Woz and the memory of Jobs.  I still feel that one of the best compact vintage Macs in existence is the SE/30 -- machine that came out after the ousting of Jobs.  That's not to deride the critical importance of Apple's founder.  Without Jobs returning with NeXT tech in 1996, there would be no Apple in existence today.  And while the Apple of today is very much a company of smartphones and tablets (profit-wise), it's heart is still very much tied to the Mac, and that is unlikely to ever change.  But the argument is over how the Mac is changing.  I believe the Mac should and must evolve, but does that mean removing all user customizability?  Does Macintosh evolution justify removal of the SD card slot on a 15" MBP with more than enough space to accommodate that technology, which still is very much alive and well today?  Does evolution of computing technology dictate yet another non-expandable Mac Pro, priced so high "the rest of us" can only sit back at laugh at how ridiculous the price tag is, all the while we drool over the specs like we did back in the day when the Mac IIfx was on the scene selling at $10,000?

    At the end of the day, I love Apple but...  When Steve Jobs was at Apple, Apple really seemed to know what I wanted before I knew I wanted it.  But after Jobs' departure to the land beyond, Apple has been merely refining existing products (Apple Watch excepted) based on what they think is the Jobsian ideal of minimalism.  What drives Apple though is the Johnny Ivian ideal of minimalism, which is basically so minimal that one day we will end up with a round metallic sphere with no buttons or obvious means to know how to use it.  In other words, minimalism taken to an extreme is fascinating (like alien tech from space) but not necessarily practical.  And even though Jobs was far to minimalist for my taste (I prefer the SE/30 over the Mac Plus), even Jobs had balance in his thinking, which is why he retained Scott Forstall to balance out Johnny Ive.  Steve also loved the rivalry between the Apple II and Macintosh camps back in the day.  But today Jobs is gone, Forstall is out, and everyone is pushing the Johnny Ive design aesthetic far more than the Steve Jobsian ideal of balance.  Remember that Steve was a fan of skeuomorphism and Ive eliminated that from the iOS UI.  Steve Jobs was a big Ive fan, but Steve still had balance.  Remember also that Ive was at Apple long before Steve returned, yet Ive did not revamp the company, and no, I don't believe that was due to Ive not having the power he has today.  Steve was the man who led Ive to create greatness by Steve guiding Ive in a particular direction, while at the same time listening to other voices in Apple, which included Ive rivals like Scott Forstall.

    I think it would be great if Apple replaced the Mac Pro with an upgradable machine that was very powerful out of the box but which could be made much more powerful through upgrades, both from Apple and from third parties.  It would go against the minimalism of Johnny Ive, so many would say that is not what Apple is working on today, and they are probably right.  But it would be a machine that would appeal to more people than the niche product Apple is likely concocting now but speaking secretly to ultra-high-end pros who have very specialty use cases for a computer.  

    I like upgradable Macs because you can get more life out of them.  At the prices we pay for Macs, we ought to expect more, and I personally expect 10 years of life from any expensive Mac I buy.  In the past, such as was the case with my Quadra 650, you could get that many years from it, or more.  But modern Macs are not built as well.  They need repair, and after about 4-5 years, they need accelerators to stay current.  Imagine buying an iMac Pro for $5k or more today.  Five years hence, you want to upgrade it but you can't.  You can't use it as an external display either.  And if you are in Japan like me, you cannot trade it in for a discount on a new Mac like you can in the USA.  No, you have to pay $50 equivalent to dispose of your old Mac!  Insane!  Selling it online might be an option, but it's not always easy or safe to do that, even here in Japan where the buyer is God and picky as hades.   The promise of a modular Mac is that you don't really need to worry about it becoming a paper-weight over time like an iMac, because by definition it is upgradable.  At some point it will not be able to be upgraded further, but by then (10 years or more later), the electrolytic capacitors are likely drying out or leaking to the extent that you'd want to get a replacement machine anyway.

    Citing data and telling us how "Apple Inc" thinks vs "Apple Computer" does not persuade people like me from thinking like I already do.  I know what I want and what I can afford.  I want a module Mac Pro, but not if it's $5000 or more, and not if expandability is artificially limited for the sake of maintaining the Johnny Ive ideal.  Macs are already a tiny segment of the PC market anyway, so Apple is not losing or gaining much by offering the buyer what the buyer wants, as opposed to offering a product that Apple and Johnny Ive want.  In the end though, it makes good PR sense to, at least occasionally, give the buyer what they want.  And that is a modular Mac that doesn't look like a trash can and which is affordably priced and will last (with upgrades) 10 years.  Nothing is impossible when you put your mind to it.  Hopefully, Apple keeps "the rest of us" in mind like it once did.
    Several good insights here and you mention the kind of Mac that I believe many want. Aside: my first Mac was a used SE/30. Great machine. 
  • Reply 289 of 308
    kindredex said:
    20+ year Graphic Designer here that also dabbles in light video work and web work...

    What I personally want from my Mac:
    The ability to add/replace RAM, Internal Hard Drives, PCI-style cards including Graphics cards, and in the ultra rare occasion, processor upgrade... all with items I can EASILY find through NewEgg, Best Buy, B&H, etc...

    I do not have the luxury of disposable income to max out my Mac from the starting gate. I would much rather start off with a minimal amount of RAM and upgrade with cheaper, third-party modules down the road as needed. I would much rather have 4 internal drives than externals taking up desktop space. If there are not enough USB/ThunderBolt ports built-in I would like to have the option of installing a PCI card for more ports. Finally, I would love to be able to run two video cards to my multi-monitor set up, The first card driving my main, larger screen and the second card running my ancillary screens.
    This gets at the root of the argument that goes on here. It's not about who is a "Pro" and who is not, it's about who has money up front and who does not. If you don't have it, then buying a base machine that you can upgrade later on when you can afford it is a good approach. It allows people to be more responsible about debt.

    Your first two items are a given for any new Mac Pro -- easily upgradeable RAM and multiple internal storage bays. This is likely to be part of the main "module."

    I don't think your third item is a given. The judgment will be that people who need more than the built-in number of ports should use a hub -- that having more than eight USB/Thunderbolt devices plugged into the back of your Mac Pro means you've already got a big mess o' wires and the presence of a hub isn't going to change that, and might well improve the situation.

    I do think there's a very good chance that your fourth item, multiple, upgradeable video cards, is going to be addressed. My guess is a separate "module" that allows for the kind of expandability/flexibility you describe. Apple does not want to be wrong-footed again re: GPU industry trends. They are going to separate the CPU from the GPU -- that's the primary meaning of "modular" here, given the context where the term first appeared. It was all about GPU "thermals" and power needs.

    PS: I doubt you'll get your CPU-upgrade ability. Recent history is against you. But maybe? It's likely to use the Xeon-SP ("Purley") platform, and that is designed/optimized for switching out processors in data centers. So it's not outlandish to ask for it -- they could do it if they wanted to, obviously. It might not be quite so simple, though -- remember that there will be a T2 (or T3 or T4) chip built-in, and there are also macOS headaches/costs to consider.
    edited April 24
  • Reply 290 of 308
    bitmod said:
    How much data do you think 22 service techs spanning 18 states and 15 years has? Way, way more than this. Regarding the polling of Apple store visitors from a few years back, that is as average Apple customer as you can literally get.

    Your data isn't wrong, but like the Barefeats readers you speak of, it is skewed the wrong way from a polled population standpoint. It's like asking AppleInsider readers how many have done upgrades.

    And, regarding Apple's data. They know exactly who upgrades and who doesn't. What do you think gets included in those crash reports?
    22 Service techs are still service techs - the vast majority of people don't use service techs for RAM upgrades. They do it themselves or get a guy like me to do it. 
    The 'crash report' gleaning data on the precise computer shipped OEM and installed RAM - then extrapolating it into a report... man, I just don't know about that. 
    Thats some hard-core analytics if they do. 

    The iMac Pro is absurd for a computer that isn't expandable.
    $7816 tax in (cad) - for the entry level machine with a GPU upgrade. - A new GPU architecture that won't weather the life-cycle of the machine.
    In an emerging AR / VR market - companies / freelancers need some assurances. 

    Desktop publishing 'pros' are getting by with iMacs - but in a new market such as AR, where the tech/software will be changing rapidly, publishers need an easy way to upgrade. The iMacPro is obviously not it. 



    Sure, they're still service techs. But, we're all smart enough to read the configuration plate to see what the machine shipped with, and check the RAM configuration, and see if we did the install or not for warranty and troubleshooting purposes, if nothing else, given that step three or so of all the service source documents was "remove third-party RAM." 

    So, I don't think it's as hard-core analytics as you think it is.
    F@ck me sideways Apple: nVidia GPU's and CUDA workflows. Duh.

    Apple are negligent to a fault, spitting in the face of the core base that kept then afloat. But, hey a trillion dollars.

    PS. Those figures ignore the secondary and tertiary market(s), breathing new life into 'old' Macs,
  • Reply 291 of 308
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,219administrator
    13Parsecs said:
    bitmod said:
    How much data do you think 22 service techs spanning 18 states and 15 years has? Way, way more than this. Regarding the polling of Apple store visitors from a few years back, that is as average Apple customer as you can literally get.

    Your data isn't wrong, but like the Barefeats readers you speak of, it is skewed the wrong way from a polled population standpoint. It's like asking AppleInsider readers how many have done upgrades.

    And, regarding Apple's data. They know exactly who upgrades and who doesn't. What do you think gets included in those crash reports?
    22 Service techs are still service techs - the vast majority of people don't use service techs for RAM upgrades. They do it themselves or get a guy like me to do it. 
    The 'crash report' gleaning data on the precise computer shipped OEM and installed RAM - then extrapolating it into a report... man, I just don't know about that. 
    Thats some hard-core analytics if they do. 

    The iMac Pro is absurd for a computer that isn't expandable.
    $7816 tax in (cad) - for the entry level machine with a GPU upgrade. - A new GPU architecture that won't weather the life-cycle of the machine.
    In an emerging AR / VR market - companies / freelancers need some assurances. 

    Desktop publishing 'pros' are getting by with iMacs - but in a new market such as AR, where the tech/software will be changing rapidly, publishers need an easy way to upgrade. The iMacPro is obviously not it. 



    Sure, they're still service techs. But, we're all smart enough to read the configuration plate to see what the machine shipped with, and check the RAM configuration, and see if we did the install or not for warranty and troubleshooting purposes, if nothing else, given that step three or so of all the service source documents was "remove third-party RAM." 

    So, I don't think it's as hard-core analytics as you think it is.
    F@ck me sideways Apple: nVidia GPU's and CUDA workflows. Duh.

    Apple are negligent to a fault, spitting in the face of the core base that kept then afloat. But, hey a trillion dollars.

    PS. Those figures ignore the secondary and tertiary market(s), breathing new life into 'old' Macs,
    It does not.
  • Reply 292 of 308
    macikemacike Posts: 53member
    I believe that Tallest Skill has is exactly right. Apple should make their top-of-the- line Mac their Halo-Mac. It should be upgradeable, expandable, and modular! It should be their technical tour-de-force, showing their Customers and the World, what they are capable of, and making it a Mac to aspire to. It doesn't matter if most people don't upgrade, or even if most Pros don't use the full capabilities of its best configuration! If a Pro,or demanding User needs/wants top of the line performance, needs to upgrade, or wants to extend and improve the useful life of their Mac, this particular Mac should allow it. Obviously, Apple will/should charge commensurately for it, and nobody expects it to cost what a mainstream iMac or other Mac would cost. This is not the machine to post the highest amount of sales, similarly, a Corvette, S-Class Mercedes, or Presidential Rolex isn't expected to be the sales-leader. Tallest Skill was right, in his reference to environmental concerns, too!  Not only would the User not need to buy another computer as often, it also could serve its buyer longer, and not need to be recycled as often. There is no harm in allowing the User/Buyer to upgrade RAM , CPU, Storage, Graphic-Card, Wi-Fi,mounting flexibility, etc.. For those that don't have these needs, Apple makes other models that are suitable for them. I realize that most people don't upgrade their machines much more than RAM and Storage.  I had the opportunity to go to Vendors that were making prototypes of Robots and other assembly processes for a Big Three Automaker during the 2006-2011 time-period. I was sure that I would see Macs displaying these simulations. I was really disappointed that so many P.C.'s were being used, and were working smoothly, and fluidly, without jerking and/or stuttering!  I asked the Cad/Designer/simulator people why they weren't using Macs, and they said that P.C.'s had caught up to Macs, were cheaper, had better Graphics Cards, and the Apple left them in the dark,as far as when/how/and what would be upgraded! I know that this was anecdotal, however i saw numerous companies' Cad/Cam setups, and saw hardly any Macs! I was very let-down and shocked, and felt that I had been mis-lead as far a the capabilities of P.C.'s in the real-world. "Pro-Users" stuck with Apple, and preached the gospel to any and everybody who would listen, and now that Apple has more money than they could've ever dreamed of, it's shameful for them to not support their most fervent Users; their influence and importance vastly out-weighs their actual numbers, in influence, sway, affect on buying decisions, and Apple's reputation. This is not an expense, it's an investment in the future and now!  
    docno42
  • Reply 293 of 308
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,756member
    macike said:
    I believe that Tallest Skill has is exactly right. Apple should make their top-of-the- line Mac their Halo-Mac. It should be upgradeable, expandable, and modular! It should be their technical tour-de-force, showing their Customers and the World, what they are capable of, and making it a Mac to aspire to. It doesn't matter if most people don't upgrade, or even if most Pros don't use the full capabilities of its best configuration! If a Pro,or demanding User needs/wants top of the line performance, needs to upgrade, or wants to extend and improve the useful life of their Mac, this particular Mac should allow it. Obviously, Apple will/should charge commensurately for it, and nobody expects it to cost what a mainstream iMac or other Mac would cost. This is not the machine to post the highest amount of sales, similarly, a Corvette, S-Class Mercedes, or Presidential Rolex isn't expected to be the sales-leader. Tallest Skill was right, in his reference to environmental concerns, too!  Not only would the User not need to buy another computer as often, it also could serve its buyer longer, and not need to be recycled as often. There is no harm in allowing the User/Buyer to upgrade RAM , CPU, Storage, Graphic-Card, Wi-Fi,mounting flexibility, etc.. For those that don't have these needs, Apple makes other models that are suitable for them. I realize that most people don't upgrade their machines much more than RAM and Storage.  I had the opportunity to go to Vendors that were making prototypes of Robots and other assembly processes for a Big Three Automaker during the 2006-2011 time-period. I was sure that I would see Macs displaying these simulations. I was really disappointed that so many P.C.'s were being used, and were working smoothly, and fluidly, without jerking and/or stuttering!  I asked the Cad/Designer/simulator people why they weren't using Macs, and they said that P.C.'s had caught up to Macs, were cheaper, had better Graphics Cards, and the Apple left them in the dark,as far as when/how/and what would be upgraded! I know that this was anecdotal, however i saw numerous companies' Cad/Cam setups, and saw hardly any Macs! I was very let-down and shocked, and felt that I had been mis-lead as far a the capabilities of P.C.'s in the real-world. "Pro-Users" stuck with Apple, and preached the gospel to any and everybody who would listen, and now that Apple has more money than they could've ever dreamed of, it's shameful for them to not support their most fervent Users; their influence and importance vastly out-weighs their actual numbers, in influence, sway, affect on buying decisions, and Apple's reputation. This is not an expense, it's an investment in the future and now!  
    I like the idea of a "halo Mac" being the new standard for the Mac line. And I've wanted them to do something really exciting with a modular system for a long time. It should look good, but first and foremost this machine should be a powerhouse and deliver on every request of "real" pros.
    docno42
  • Reply 294 of 308
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,177moderator
    I like the idea of a "halo Mac" being the new standard for the Mac line. And I've wanted them to do something really exciting with a modular system for a long time. It should look good, but first and foremost this machine should be a powerhouse and deliver on every request of "real" pros.
    That's not possible in any single machine because some requests include making it rack mountable, being able to add quad GPUs, being able to make an internal RAID system, having redundant power supplies, having it easily transportable, being ultra-quiet, being able to put custom IO connectors in, make it affordable like the original Mac Pros starting under $2k. The requests conflict with each other, it can't be twice as fast as an iMac Pro at half the price.

    A lot of the upgradability of standard box designs comes from the PCIe slots and the SATA connectors for storage. To make PCIe slots work, there has to be a large hole in the back of the machine to let the connectors come out. If they do that, they wouldn't have Thunderbolt 3 outputs because GPUs don't have TB3 ports, which means you can't put display data and other data along the same cable to an Apple display. It also means restrictions on their cooling designs because the boards are all together.

    If they don't go the PCIe route (which I suspect will be the case), then it won't have the upgradability that some people expect.

    Concerning performance, Apple just makes a box with parts from 3rd party manufacturers so the performance is all up to them. Just now, the iMac Pro has an 18-core CPU, which scores 2950 in Cinebench. This year, AMD and Intel will launch CPUs that score ~6000 ( https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3034569/amd-threadripper-2990x-takes-on-intels-28-core-cpu-in-leaked-benchmarks ). These chips can go in the iMac Pro. GPU-wise AMD will have Vega 20, up to 20TFLOPs vs 11TFLOPs for the iMac Pro's Vega 64.

    SATA connectors for storage are useful but limit the performance of SSDs so don't really belong in a new design.

    If it's possible, I'd say the most reliable design for Apple would be to have 4 connectors like they have in the cylinder Mac Pro:


    Those large connectors attach the CPU and GPU boards. They could put 4 of those in a row with heatsinks between them and instead of raw boards, they can make a bracket that has a heatsink attached to it that gets stuck to the heatsink of the chassis (if it has processing parts, storage parts would just screw in). This may allow people to buy 3 CPU modules and a GPU module or 1 CPU and 3 GPU or 1 CPU, 1 GPU and 2 storage or any combination.

    When a new CPU or GPU comes out, Apple can sell the modules as upgrade options, either directly to users or for in-store upgrades. They can even sell old modules at a discount on the refurb store. The storage modules can have different types including SATA for legacy storage and a different module can have PCIe-based storage connectors.

    It would limit the available upgrade options but the options would be supported by Apple, unlike 3rd party options. Apple has recently been sticking to AMD GPUs. It's not clear why that is, possibly more affordable pro-level parts, maybe it's to do with NVidia's anti-competitive partner program ( https://hothardware.com/news/nvidia-geforce-partner-program ) so an Apple-controlled module system might not change NVidia GPU availability but it offers the possibility and Apple would just choose a couple of the best options like one consumer card and one pro card.

    I think this would suffice for a unit that doesn't need to be completely replaced over time while allowing long-term upgrade options and still maintain modern IO compatibility with TB3/USB C.

    - not PCIe so no GPUs or boards from 3rd parties
    - Thunderbolt 3 support so shared peripherals with other Macs
    - could potentially sell AMD CPU modules, maybe mixed depending on how they are controlled
    - Apple-controlled modules, allowing for GPU upgrades and storage upgrades
    - upgradable RAM is a given
    - Apple won't ever need to make another chassis design, just new modules every year, new sales come with the new modules
    - Apple can sell refurb versions of old modules
    - options would likely go as high as $20k, doubt they'd start the base spec below the iMac Pro
    - no redundant PSU, could be rack mountable but wouldn't be a motivating factor in the design

    This is what was expected of the cylinder too, they just didn't make the boards replaceable/modular and that thermal capacity has now been covered by the iMac Pro so this has to cover the range above this up to 1000W. A refreshed iMac Pro with Vega 20 and the new 28-core Intel chip will cover a lot of the current performance demands though.
  • Reply 295 of 308
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    macike said:
    I believe that Tallest Skill has is exactly right.
    Well now I know I’m wrong; no one ever agrees with my opinions.
    ...had better Graphics Cards, and the Apple left them in the dark as far as when/how/and what would be upgraded!
    This seems to be the major problem with Apple and professional hardware, and also explicitly with their professional software, too. Remember Shake? Gone. Tossed to the wind. And the Final Cut/Logic revamp debacle? How long has it taken Apple to restore functionality? Have they even restored all of it yet? Never mind their complete silence on timeframes for the restoration of those features, as well as regular updates for anything else.

    Apple has lost the professional market. It’s just gone. They’re not going to get it back. Not only in hardware, but in software, too. Think of the cost of waiting. Think of the cost of being forced to switch to a PC. Now think of the cost of switching BACK to a platform where you have zero guarantee of hardware support and no knowledge of what software will be usable when. How they expect to maintain a coding base after this five year debacle is beyond me.
  • Reply 296 of 308
    thttht Posts: 2,814member
    Marvin said:

    If it's possible, I'd say the most reliable design for Apple would be to have 4 connectors like they have in the cylinder Mac Pro:


    Those large connectors attach the CPU and GPU boards.
    The 3 dark gray, rectangular connectors are for the 2 GPU cards (with one of the GPU cards containing PCIe SSD), and the IO board in the rear. The lighter colored slot is for the CPU and memory board. There are 44 PCI links going through the slot, and bridged out to the grey rectangular connectors. Those connectors are probably all PCIe. Have to go check if the PCH is on the CPU board or the IO board though.

    It’s still strange to me that Apple didn’t redesign the 2013 Mac Pro for a single 150 W Xeon and a single 250 W Vega. Maybe there was too much a conduction path from the GPU to the CPU with a shared heatsink, but they could have put in separate heatsinks, that shared that same flow path.
    They could put 4 of those in a row with heatsinks between them and instead of raw boards, they can make a bracket that has a heatsink attached to it that gets stuck to the heatsink of the chassis (if it has processing parts, storage parts would just screw in). This may allow people to buy 3 CPU modules and a GPU module or 1 CPU and 3 GPU or 1 CPU, 1 GPU and 2 storage or any combination.

    When a new CPU or GPU comes out, Apple can sell the modules as upgrade options, either directly to users or for in-store upgrades. They can even sell old modules at a discount on the refurb store.
    I definitely agree with your thoughts here, but I think they’ll be fine with PCIe slots. PCIe 4 is set to double bandwidth again, so a box with 1 special slot (consisting of 40+ PCIe links) for the main CPU board and 3 or 4 PCI slots would just be fine. With Xeons, 2 PCIe x16 slots could be in the box. If a buyer wants more CPU power, a PCI daughterboard containing an entire CPU system, including memory, could be made and installed, and the box would act as a networked cluster, like in a rack. It would just be like the “main CPU” board, but without the 40+ PCIe links, just 16 or 8 or maybe 4.

    4 socket, 8 socket systems are bit too server specialized for Apple, but a mini cluster system like this might be nice product for a desktop. Whatever is done though, it’ll have to stay less than 1500 W power. 2 CPUs, 3 GPUs, multiple monitors, and pretty soon, you’ll need to use a 220V, 15A circuit and power outlet.
  • Reply 297 of 308
    macikemacike Posts: 53member
    I don't think anyone is suggesting that this new Mac Pro should cost less than $2,000. It's fully expected to be the most expensive mac in the entire lineup. It also doesn't have to be twice the speed of the iMac Pro.  However, it needs to be modular and upgradeable.
    docno42
  • Reply 298 of 308
    From what Apple's statements seem to indicate (at least to me), and from a long history of Mac use (independent photographer and photo educator), I think we're in for a very expensive machine, but with some very high-end options.

    1.) Apple will always sell an iMac over a Mac Pro when they can (it's more profitable and easier to support)... They sometimes recognize the need for one screenless, expandable Mac (and sometimes don't), but that Mac is always more expensive than any iMac other than weird BTO options. That means the Mac Pro will NOT start below $3699 (27" Retina iMac with 32 GB RAM and a 1TB SSD - I can't imagine that they'll only protect low-end iMacs with spinning disks). It may very well not start below $4999 (iMac Pro base configuration). They are unlikely to start it above the most expensive BTO iMac Pros, both because that is such a niche market, and because it has often been possible to special-order an iMac that exceeds the price of some Mac Pros.  If I had to guess, the base model will be $6499 or so.

    2.) Their comments on "the highest throughput Mac" probably mean Xeon-SP (or a successor). If they went with Xeon-W, it would not be able to exceed iMac Pro performance - the 18-core iMac Pro uses the fastest current Xeon-W (perhaps slightly downclocked - but I don't think "10% faster by eliminating a downclock" is what they have in mind. Once they are using Xeon-SP, having a dual processor option makes sense (the second socket is not expensive, and plenty of high-end PC workstations have 1P and 2P configurations using a single motherboard - 1P simply has an empty socket). Apple may be a big enough Intel customer that they can get some decently-clocked mid-priced Xeon-SPs (basically Xeon-W specs in an SP socket) for the lower configurations, with the higher models using expensive Gold and Platinum Xeons. Yes, this means that there could be a halo configuration with $20,000 worth of CPUs alone.

    3.) It'll support a ton of RAM - Xeon-SP uses 6-channel RAM, meaning that a 192 GB RAM configuration is easy (no 2x slots per channel, no dual CPUs, no 64 GB DIMMs). Almost all desktop workstations offer 2x slots per channel, so 384 GB will fit in a single processor configuration without even using 64 GB DIMMs. It will probably support 64 GB DIMMs as well, so 768 GB may well fit. Of course, a dual-processor configuration could offer two RAM banks, so it's possible that some models might max out as high as 1.5 TB of RAM. Hopefully, they'll make all those RAM slots easy to reach. Interestingly, the minimum economical RAM configuration (no less common 4 GB DIMMS) is 48 GB in a 1P model, 96 GB in a 2P model - cheap 8 GB DIMMs, one per channel.

    4.) This is Apple, the internal SSDs will be big, fast and proprietary! The iMac Pro has the fastest SSD subsystem around, and Apple will either use it or perhaps double it. They will probably offer some form of SSD expandability, but maybe nothing anyone would consider standard. They might include some slots for standard PCIe SSDs (probably not the boot drive) OR they might have something like an "Apple SSD Module" - really fast interface (almost certainly electrically PCIe, but on a nonstandard connector), insert from the front, hot-swappable, but proprietary. That would be such a classic Apple move - a variant on standard PCIe SSDs, with a significant advantage in that it's hot-swap and doesn't require opening the case, but they also manage to lock out commodity parts.

    5.) They'll certainly figure out how to keep NVIDIA GPUs out. The GPU (s) will probably be in slots of some sort, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they aren't commodity PCIe GPUs. First of all, Apple loves Thunderbolt 3 as a display connector - the primary GPU may inject video into the Thunderbolt stream, rather than having a conventional rear-panel output of some sort. Second, standard PC GPUs, especially gaming cards, are notorious sources of instability - Apple will go to some lengths to avoid supporting any old GPU the user wants to install. There has not been a Mac that will take a standard PC GPU in a very long time (the cheesegrater never would since it needed odd EFI firmware, even though the slots were standard). There will be something that keeps users from dropping in a random GeForce. My best guess for configuration is essentially dual iMac Pro Vega cards, maybe the next generation, maybe with single and dual GPU options, maybe with some high-end AMD option above dual Vega 64.

    Here are a couple of configurations - the first is my best guess at a base model (or something like it) - the second is a crazy maximum BTO (they'll probably sell only a few like it, almost all in Hollywood). These are sensible configurations, but NOT based on any inside knowledge

    Base model: 
    Single 12-core Xeon Gold processor (something like the Xeon Gold 6136, possibly with clocks higher than 3.0/3.7)
    48 GB RAM
    Single Vega 56 (maybe a 64)
    2 TB SSD (2x iMac Pro 1 TB, RAID 0)
    10 GB Ethernet
    4 Thunderbolt 3 ports on 2 buses
    Random USB 3.0, SD, etc (if any). (not worth guessing exactly what they'll do)
    2 Apple SSD Module slots 
    1 open Apple GPU Module Connector
    1 PCIe 3.0 4x slot 
    $6499.

    Starting from the base iMac Pro, $6499 is a reasonable price for this configuration. The processor is worth about $1000 more (at retail) than the one in the iMac Pro base model, which just about makes up for the screen (or maybe they don't discount for the screen, but also don't add on for the case and power supply - saying that similar specs in an iMac case with screen or an expandable case is a wash)? The 2 TB SSD and 48 GB RAM add about $800 at Apple pricing.  They'll add on about $500 or more for the expandable case and bigger power supply. If it's a Vega 56, it has about $200 more in profit for Apple than a comparable iMac Pro. If it's a Vega 64, a little less, but either is within reason.

    Just how much hardware can we cram in?
    Base system                            $6499
    Dual Xeon Platinum 8180      +$20,000
    1.5 TB RAM                           +$8400
    Additional Vega 64                 +$800
    16 TB of SSD                         +$8000
    Without using a "halo" graphics option (since I'm not sure what it might be - some sort of dual FirePros, but what's Vega-based?), I came up with a system that the upgrades push to $43,699. 

    This will NOT be a common configuration - I'd imagine that 90% of Mac Pros sold will be in the $6499 - $12000 range (faster single processors or modest dual processors, extra SSD or RAM in the 192 GB range, dual Vega 64). The 56 core models with a terabyte or more of RAM will be extreme niche configurations.

  • Reply 299 of 308
    danwells said:
    insert from the front, hot-swappable, but proprietary. That would be such a classic Apple move
    Emphasis on classic, as the last product Apple sold that had a hot-swappable drive (much less a port on the front) was the XServe. In 2010.
    There has not been a Mac that will take a standard PC GPU in a very long time (the cheesegrater never would since it needed odd EFI firmware, even though the slots were standard).
    All GPUs that have drivers work beautifully in OS X and Windows on the old Mac Pro. The only thing you don’t get with an off-the-shelf card is a visible EFI boot screen, and you can just run that blind. Wait for the boot sound, hold Option for 20 seconds to let my drives spin up, right arrow, right arrow, Return. Boom. I’m in Windows instead of OS X, but I have a GTX 980 instead of a stock card.
    docno42
  • Reply 300 of 308
    I wouldn't call "functional only in Windows" truly functional. You imply that you can get the GTX 980 to function in MacOS, but your procedure lands you in Windows...

    If you want a machine with high graphics performance without Mac OS X, why bother with Apple at all?  HP has some terrific workstation hardware at all price points from around $1000 to $50,000+, and there are other options as well. I have no opinion about whether NVidia cards will be physically restricted (the slots are some nonstandard variant of PCIe, probably to support Thunderbolt video injection), or only software restricted (some variant on EFI issues). If the latter, they could very well work in Windows.

    What would be typically Apple about a front SSD slot isn't the hot--swappability - it's the "look, we have something better than the PC guys have", followed quickly by "oh, it's proprietary (or at least unusual)". How many video connectors has Apple gone through, while the PC world went essentially from VGA to HDMI? Most of them have had some advantage - either they carried a very high resolution signal for the time (dual-link DVI), or they carried extra signals (one version of an Apple Display Connector actually powered the monitor if I recall), or they used a tiny connector (Mini-DVI, Mini Display Port). Yes, I know many of these weren't actually proprietary, but almost all of them were used by very few companies other than Apple. The only one that was close to common was full-size DVI, which showed up on quite a few PCs for a relatively short time just before HDMI became the standard (even there, dual-link was relatively uncommon, and single-link cables were a pain because they looked similar, but didn't support higher resolutions). I taught photography for years, and needed more odd video adapters for students' Macs than for all other computers put together (by a wide margin).  Essentially every laptop PC except the Surface line has VGA, HDMI or both.

    Some of these things actually are  proprietary - the SSD connectors on the Retina MBPs were an example - it's almost standard, but the usual part won't fit. The video cards and SSDs on the trashcan and the SSD modules on the iMac Pro, too. Easy enough to get at, but what the heck is that connector. OWC has produced SSDs for the Retina/trashcan connector, but no graphics upgrade for the trashcan ever appeared.

    I can almost guarantee we'll see at least one wildly nonstandard connector on the new Mac Pro. SSD and video are the primary candidates - I hope (and expect) the  RAM will  be standard - Apple hasn't used weird RAM in years, although Mac Pros tend to use server-spec memory, so do many Xeon workstations.
     
Sign In or Register to comment.