Apple's new Mac Pro internal components - answers and lingering questions [u]

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  • Reply 61 of 91
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,453member
    tht said:
    cpsro said:
    For people who don't live in clean room environments, how does Apple suggest the cheese graters be cleaned?
    Uh, like how everything else is cleaned?

    For this, looks like you can lift the case out, the part with the cheese graters. You then take a vacuum cleaner and suck out any accumulated lint, or you can do the reverse and use compressed air to blow it away. Then, you use an alcohol based cleaner and start wiping and it shouldn’t leave water marks because it’s an alcohol type solution, or similar type solution.

    For the PCBs and heat sinks, compressed air. Not sure I would want to touch PCBs and heat sinks with anything else. There could be some hydrophobic and lint-ophobic coatings on the heat sinks to minimize collection of dust and lint on them, and I wouldn’t touch them with any solution other than manufacturer recommended ones.

    For iPhones, iPads and other displays, I think Apple only recommends a microfiber cloth and warm water.
    So wheeling/towing it to the car wash is out? ;)
    cornchip
  • Reply 62 of 91
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 726member
    normm said:
    Apple tends to solder the processor to the board directly, rather than using any sort of holstering system, as a means to prevent processor changes after purchase, as well as potentially saving space by not needing the slotting mechanism.
    The main reason to solder chips rather than socket them is the increase in reliability.  Each contact in a socket adds a potential point of failure in the future.
    I think it's the opposite - iMacs all have socketed processors just fine - the sockets have spring contacts that handle physical and thermal flexing great. The soldered on ball grid arrays can crack with thermal stresses of sub par thermal designs (e.g. all apple products except the mac pros) that have large thermal cycles (see history of processor and especially GPU failures with soldered on BGAs). laptops have to have soldered on BGAs for space constraints. Desktops should never if possible. The mac mini update soldering on the CPU was unfortunate. Also the iMac having the GPU soldered on is unfortunate.
    That sounds pretty unlikely even on Macs.  On the other hand, Intel doesn't offer LGA except for some desktop processors.
  • Reply 63 of 91
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,453member
    I'd love to see the bench test results soon.  I want to see the base Mac Pro vs a tricked out iMac 27 and iMac Pro.
    cornchip
  • Reply 64 of 91
    thttht Posts: 3,313member
    yodamac said:
    Unless I'm mistaken, you have to unplug everything connected to the back of the MacPro before lifting the case.  That doesn't seem real convenient for removing it for regular cleaning...

    tht said:
    cpsro said:
    For people who don't live in clean room environments, how does Apple suggest the cheese graters be cleaned?
    Uh, like how everything else is cleaned?

    For this, looks like you can lift the case out, the part with the cheese graters.
    How many times do you clean a computer par month, per year?
  • Reply 65 of 91
    PylonsPylons Posts: 21member
    I think I just found the reason for the confusion about the CPU models and cache numbers. It seems to be that Apple are using standard Intel models and not any special ones. It is just that Apple adds the amounts of L2 and L3 caches together (!). Intel ARK lists L3 cache, while there is 1 MB of L2 cache per core. Then the numbers add up to the following Intel models with their corresponding recommended prices:
    28-core: Xeon W-3275M, $7453 (compared to $4449 for the non-M version with max 1 TB RAM)
    24-core: Xeon W-3265M, $6353 (for $3349 non-M version)
    16-core: Xeon W-3245, $1999
    12-core: Xeon W-3235, $1398
    8-core: Xeon W-3223, $749
    I repeat the following from my earlier post in another article:
    with the choices of 24 and 28-core models, Apple is assuming people who need the higher CPU performance also need more than 1 TB of RAM. There are extremely few use cases that need more than 128 GB of RAM, so I think there should be options for non-M versions too, in order to save those $3000.
    netmagetenthousandthings
  • Reply 66 of 91
    hodarhodar Posts: 280member
    Latko said:
    normm said:
    Apple tends to solder the processor to the board directly, rather than using any sort of holstering system, as a means to prevent processor changes after purchase, as well as potentially saving space by not needing the slotting mechanism.
    The main reason to solder chips rather than socket them is the increase in reliability.  Each contact in a socket adds a potential point of failure in the future.
    Same for car wheels & bolts. Try to be reasonal.
    It's a force/area equation. Consider, if you need 20 grams of force for a reliable mating between a gold pin, and a solder ball - that's all fine and good. Now, you have a connector with well over 1,000 contacts. What's worse, you canot "see" the inner array of balls. So, just doing the math we now have 20 kg of mating force that we HOPE is evenly distributed across the processor. Now, let's pretend that 1% of the balls have less than 20 grams of mating force, or 20 pins out of that 2011 pin array (and the Xeons have over 2000 pins). If those are data signals, the system won't boot - that's the BEST POSSIBLE problem you can hope for; because you can fix it immediately. But, if those pins are GND or VDD pins, it means that the other GND and VDD pins are not only passing the current they were designed to, but extra current to make up for the non-connected, non-detectable missing or poor contacts. This means premature failure for this device. And there are many devices on that motherboard that need to be contacted. Contacts are a very big deal
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 67 of 91
    The 66.5MB of cache is the level 2 and 3 cache added together.
  • Reply 68 of 91
    But will it Blend?
  • Reply 69 of 91
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,981member
    But will it Blend?
    No. But it will grate
    StrangeDaysgareth2210
  • Reply 70 of 91
    I absolutely love that sculpted metal case.  In person I bet it will be mesmerizing.  I joked on other thread here about getting an empty one with a Mac Mini inside, just to have the case to look at.  Heh heh.
    pscooter63StrangeDays
  • Reply 71 of 91
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    Pylons said:
    I think I just found the reason for the confusion about the CPU models and cache numbers. It seems to be that Apple are using standard Intel models and not any special ones. It is just that Apple adds the amounts of L2 and L3 caches together (!). Intel ARK lists L3 cache, while there is 1 MB of L2 cache per core. Then the numbers add up to the following Intel models with their corresponding recommended prices:
    28-core: Xeon W-3275M, $7453 (compared to $4449 for the non-M version with max 1 TB RAM)
    24-core: Xeon W-3265M, $6353 (for $3349 non-M version)
    16-core: Xeon W-3245, $1999
    12-core: Xeon W-3235, $1398
    8-core: Xeon W-3223, $749
    That's some good sleuthing, thanks!
    I repeat the following from my earlier post in another article:
    with the choices of 24 and 28-core models, Apple is assuming people who need the higher CPU performance also need more than 1 TB of RAM. There are extremely few use cases that need more than 128 GB of RAM, so I think there should be options for non-M versions too, in order to save those $3000.
    I agree
  • Reply 72 of 91
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 287member
    zimmie said:


    an 8-core 3.5GHz processor ..., and supports up to 1TB of 2666MHz memory.
    12-core chip is clocked at 3.3GHz, ... it also supports up to 1TB of memory
    the 16-core 3.2GHz ...it also includes support for 1TB of 2933MHz memory.
    the 24-core 2.7GHz ...the 24-core model can handle up to 2TB of 2933MHz memory, though Apple rates the Mac Pro to handle 1.5TB at this time.
    Lastly, the high-end 28-core processor is clocked at 2.5GHz, ...with the same memory capacity as the 24-core model.
    So if some models are limited to 1TB and some 1.5TB, does that mean the max memory per slot is lower for the 1TB versions, or is the number of usable memory slots reduced for the 1TB versions?
    The answer to this one is a little weird. You are likely to be able to use 128 GB LRDIMMs in any slot. Once you hit the 1 TB limit, it could go one of two ways. It is possible the limit is real, and additional sticks won't be used by the processor.

    I think it is more likely the system only "supports" 1 TB, but will use anything you give it. "Support" in this context is purely about the ability to call the vendor for help if something goes wrong. Intel supports 32 GB of RAM with the NUC6 line of systems, but it has since been discovered you can use 64 GB (32 GB SO-DIMMs had not been shipped when those NUCs were sold).

    As for the 2 TB limit, I strongly suspect that will not be reachable in the Mac Pro as shown. It would require 12x 170 GB DIMMs, which are not a thing. The limit on the processors is probably 2 TB for systems with 16 RAM slots.

    Edited to add: Or you will have to use 4x256 + 8x128 sticks to reach it. That's a possibility, but would break bank interleaving, so the RAM would get significantly slower.

    Would be neat if the Mac Pro shipped with the ability to take Optane DIMMs. It's easy to get to 2 TB with those.
    See my earlier comments, here or in other related posts. In short:
    - The limit is real, and based on Intel's CPUs. They won't recognize more than 1TB or 2TB, depending on model.
    - You can get to 2GB with 256GB DIMMs, as you said, which are very pricey. Yes, that affects interleaving, but for applications where this matters, having more RAM is way more important than that minor speed difference (and it is, in fact, minor- RAM speed difference effects are always drastically reduced by CPU caches).

    The CPUs are regular or "M" models, which don't support Optane. Only the "L" models do. I'm pretty sure an aftermarket upgrade to an "L" CPU would not work.
    Derp. Didn't notice they're using the Xeon W series. None of those have Optane DIMM compatibility.

    A lot of non-L models (mostly Gold and Platinum parts) list Optane DC Persistent Memory compatibility on ARK, but it's not like ARK is free of typos.
  • Reply 73 of 91
    netmagenetmage Posts: 293member
    Latko said:
    normm said:
    Apple tends to solder the processor to the board directly, rather than using any sort of holstering system, as a means to prevent processor changes after purchase, as well as potentially saving space by not needing the slotting mechanism.
    The main reason to solder chips rather than socket them is the increase in reliability.  Each contact in a socket adds a potential point of failure in the future.
    Same for car wheels & bolts. Try to be reasonal.
    [sic]

    Actually, that is incorrect. Cars use
    multiple wheel lugs for increased safety by having redundancy (RAIL - redundant array of inexpensive lugs?). Situations where change speed is more important such as F1 use a single, very expensive lug. And some Porsches, but I think that is just for coolness factor (in a very non-Porsche way).
    edited June 6
  • Reply 74 of 91
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    Nothing has been said about this I don't believe...is this MacPro made in the USA like the cylinder Mac Pro, or has assembly returned back to China?
  • Reply 75 of 91
    paulconspaulcons Posts: 11member
    GREAT run-down, I've been reading stuff all over the place, this had a LOT of stuff I have NOT read elsewhere. As for nVidia, this is ALL on Cupertino acting like a 8 year old spoiled brats. The have had Mojave drivers ready since it launched AND Cupertino refuses to let them distribute them. Now I had my 980 flashed because I wanted/needed the boot screen, and it DOES work absent any drivers at all. Not ideally, I can see some anomalies on the log in screen, and I doubt anything is actually accelerated. Seems to have something to do with EFI, but I can not explain it even though I read an explanation a long while back.
  • Reply 76 of 91
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,703member
    SEJU said:
    Does anyone know if it is PCI 4 or 5? There were some rumors about 4 being a gap solution and that most vendors would probably go right to 5 ...

    I read somewhere the new MP used 3, but I think/hope that was a mistake.
    This was mentioned specifically in the article (though perhaps it was in the updated version, and not in the original). I think the rumours about PCI 4 are correct, and that only AMD is going to support it. PCI 5 could be ready within the next few years, which is probably right around the time we'd be due a update on the Mac Pro internals, so that should work out exactly as Apple probably wants it to. I wonder where Thunderbolt 4 will be by 2022?

    How cool would that be, the (forthcoming) Mac Pro Mk II in 2022 with PCI 5 and TB 4? <drools>
    edited June 6
  • Reply 77 of 91
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 479member
    welshdog said:
    This is soooo reminiscent of the old cheese grater models in some ways - I'm getting verklempt. Except, this one is better, with that all around easy access and double sided MOB. The old grater Mac Pros were wonderful, but taking them apart was a real pain if you were winging it (i.e. not trained in Mac Pro repair). Getting at fans, dvd drives etc. was very difficult. This new model has outstanding access to almost everything it seems. Creative and useful design work. Too bad I'm retired and no longer have any contact with Mac Pros :'(
    I am no repair tech and never had a problem with my Cheesegrater or the PowerMac G5 before it. The Cheesegrater was a marvel of ease- you could slide out the CPU tray and heat sink to blow it clean with canned air and slide it right back in. The HD bays are on sleds and hot swappable. I took the extra space and connection for the second optical drive to mount an SSD with no trouble and later added a USB3 eSATA card.

    I would like to see the Cheesegrater and the new Mac Pro cases side by side so I can get an idea of how big this thing really is. I am not a fan of the strange looking holes in the case, but if I buy one it will be under a desk. My concern about those holes is that they look like dust capture devices with the kind of airflow through them. The Quad Core Xeon Mac Pro was not bad, but the old G5 PowerMac was a space heater under your desk. I wonder what the new one will be like.

    I will probably end up getting one of these but want to hear and see more about them before ordering one. At the prices they are asking, ordering the wrong spec would be painful. Will be passing on the monitor.
    docno42
  • Reply 78 of 91
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 833member
    macxpress said:
    Nothing has been said about this I don't believe...is this MacPro made in the USA like the cylinder Mac Pro, or has assembly returned back to China?
    Since Apple proudly said the last Mac Pro was made in USA, and said nothing here, I'd put the odds of this one at 99-1 against it.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 79 of 91
    melgross said:
    The one thing I’m disappointed about is that it’s PCI-E 3. Not 4. As PCI-E 4 motherboards are coming out, and both AMD and Intel announced support for some of their latest high end chips, I would have thought that this would be that. I really want to buy this, this year. I don’t want to buy another one next year, or the one after that. This will have to last me four years. So even if it’s possible to upgrade the CPU, and the GPU(s), I’d hate to be thinking that a double speed bus will be out a year after I bought this, with all the major performance, security and feature enhancements that 4 will bring. Then, PCI-E 5 is expected for 2021. So round we go again.
    This was never going to happen. Next-gen AMD CPUs (Zen 2/Ryzen 3xxx) and their chipset (570) have announced support for PCIe4, but they are not shipping until 7/7. Intel has not announced *any* PCIe4 platforms/chips for this year. The earliest CPU with PCIe4 support will be "Ice Lake" Xeons sometime next year... assuming they can ship it on time. It's on the "10nm+" process, and I have to say, the first 2019 10nm chips are disappointing. We don't really know if they have finally beaten their yield problems either - though if they haven't, their top executives will wind up in court (and possibly jail), given the things they've been saying to investors.

    The only chance we had was if Apple announced that they'd be shipping Ryzens (or next-gen TRs/EPYCs). I would have loved to see that - they're dramatically superior to the current Intels in pretty much every way - but I understand that they're especially risk-adverse at the moment. Maybe next year (would love that, but doubt it).

    melgross said:
    Later this year, both AMD and Intel will have some CPUs ready for 4, but not right now. From what I remember, Intel will have some Xeons. But it’s possible that it’s too late.

    4 is just becoming available in some mobocracy. But even there it’s not all 4, but a hybrid of 3 and 4. 5 isn’t expected until 2021. The problem we’re seeing is that 3 has been around too long.
    Intel will not have any this year. AMD's are shipping 7/7. I'm not sure what you mean by "mobocracy" but all the 570 chipset mobos for AMD that I've seen (a couple dozen at least) are pure PCIe4.
    "It's on the "10nm+" process, and I have to say, the first 2019 10nm chips are disappointing. We don't really know if they have finally beaten their yield problems either"

    According to this post, apparently not:  
    https://semiaccurate.com/2019/06/05/a-look-at-intels-ice-lake-and-sunny-cove/

    "The only chance we had was if Apple announced that they'd be shipping Ryzens (or next-gen TRs/EPYCs). I would have loved to see that - they're dramatically superior to the current Intels in pretty much every way - but I understand that they're especially risk-adverse at the moment."

    What if Apple's waiting to move to their own custom ARM processor?
    Charlie's stuff is usually good. And it matches what I'm starting to see and hear. I expect there's going to be a *massive* lawsuit against Intel soon. And I wouldn't be surprised by arrests for securities fraud. This is looking very very ugly.

    Fortunately for us and Apple, they've managed to push the 14nm processes further than I think anybody imagined they could go. It's still not enough to beat TSMC and likely Samsung.

    About ARM: That's a different story. That's not a risk in the same way, because they know it inside and out. There is zero chance they're going to start that transition on their Pro desktop, though. That's going to be the last thing to move over, and it probably won't be for a few more years. Maybe longer if AMD keeps hitting on all cylinders and Apple decides to jump ship. That does seem a lot more likely than it was a week ago.

    Edit: Oops, I misunderstood what you were saying about ARM. No doubt that will happen at some point, but realistically the engineering resources involved in moving to AMD are not significant. It's not like they're saying to themselves "Gee, we'd really like to do this, but we're gearing up to move to ARM and we can't be distracted by the heavy lift of moving to AMD first". It's just not that big an effort.

    Edit2: Oh, and also, I didn't really discuss what those risks are. The biggest risk is simple: AMD might not be able to ship to Apple on time in sufficient quantities. Now, at this point, the chance of that seems vanishingly small, as AMD and TSMC have been delivering very well. But the choice of processor (or at least the family) for this machine was likely made 12-18 months ago. At that point, it was a no-brainer that Intel would have a slightly superior (to the previous gen) 14nm chip available in quantity. It wasn't a sure bet at that time that AMD would have Zen2, and that it would perform as well as it does, and that they'd be able to deliver in quantity. It was pretty good bet... but not a safe one.

    If that's really why the current MP is Intel, there's a decent chance that they *will* switch for the next version, which is probably being designed right now. (For various reasons, I do not think we're looking at another 3-5 year stretch before the next update.)
    edited June 7
  • Reply 80 of 91
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    davgreg said:
    I would like to see the Cheesegrater and the new Mac Pro cases side by side so I can get an idea of how big this thing really is.
    It's almost the exact same dimensions and weight as the old one. This one has taller handles and feet though so the main body is a bit shorter.



    I'd say this new design looks more modern than the old one and probably won't gather as much dust as the smaller holes and should be easy enough to clean with a soft brush.
    MacPro said:
    I'd love to see the bench test results soon.  I want to see the base Mac Pro vs a tricked out iMac 27 and iMac Pro.
    Apple posted benchmarks vs an iMac Pro on the following page:

    https://www.apple.com/mac-pro/

    For all the CPU tests, the highest was 3D rendering at 55% faster than an 18-core iMac Pro (this option will cost above $10k). The 18-core iMac Pro Cinebench score is around 3000 so the Mac Pro should be around 4650. A 32-core 2990WX threadripper machine scores around 5000 ( https://www.amazon.com/Adamant-32X-Core-Workstation-Computer-Threadripper/dp/B07GNSWGZD $3860 ).

    http://blog.logicalincrements.com/2018/08/building-pc-amd-threadripper-2990wx/

    Mac Pro Xeon should sit somewhere between the i9-7980XE and the 2990WX Threadripper:



    For the GPU performance, for apps that use a single GPU (most real-time 3D), it's roughly the same as the iMac Pro's Vega GPU. For computing like FCPX rendering, it's 2x faster for the quad GPU option (this will likely be over $3k upgrade). For AMD's Pro Render 3D rendering it's 4.8x faster than the iMac Pro's GPU. eGPUs give a similar boost on the lower-end Macs.

    For most pro workflows, the iMac Pro or even standard iMac would suffice as they demonstrated in the keynote. When they showed Logic, they had to duplicate hundreds of tracks over and over and nothing slowed it down. High end audio production doesn't need a machine like this any more as far as performance goes.

    The main benefit is the GPU performance, which mainly affects things like visual effects, real-time compositing, 2D/3D animation so Da Vinci Resolve, 8K videography, After Effects. For CPU-based 3D rendering, it would be much more cost-effective to buy a 32-core Threadripper box. You might even be able to get 3 for the price of a single top spec Mac Pro.

    The Afterburner add-on is really interesting being programmable. There's a performance comparison here between them and GPUs:

    http://www.bertendsp.com/pdf/whitepaper/BWP001_GPU_vs_FPGA_Performance_Comparison_v1.0.pdf

    They can get much better efficiency than GPUs, which is great for things like video codecs that are running for long periods of time encoding/decoding video in real-time. I'd expect RED format support and others in future, maybe HEVC. This could come to the iMac Pro too.

    This machine was requested by videographers and visual effects people and is designed for this use case. It's not a worthwhile investment for anyone else. The display especially is designed for film producers, maybe photographers. It was a bit strange when they mentioned being able to rotate the display is good for code. I doubt many software developers are going to spend $6k on a display to show text on. Good for portrait photography though and can be connected to any Mac so photographers might buy one of these to go with a Macbook Pro.

    At the price points the Mac Pro hits, they have a marketable audience of around 10,000 units per year likely at an ASP of around $8k ($80m revenue per year). The people who bought the old Mac Pro mostly bought around the entry level $2-3k. The sales volume drops exponentially the higher the price goes and keeps dropping the more that lower-end Mac performance improves. The audio industry, software development, photography moved to iMacs and MBPs, some left due to no NVidia support, some left due to FCPX. This leaves a fraction of buyers for this type of computer but Apple has the resources to cover this and it's better to service this very narrow set of use cases than not because there will be software and hardware benefits for everyone as a result.
    randominternetperson
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