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

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  • Reply 81 of 91
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,460member
    tht said:
    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?
    I take the lid of my Trash Can Mac Pro monthly and vacuum it.  It competes with our central vac system at fluff collection.
  • Reply 82 of 91
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,460member
    Marvin said:
    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.
    Thank you, excellent post and you make total sense, I agree with everything you say.  I will have to investigate the iMac Pro / loaded 27" iMac for sure.  I am retired now and have owned every 'Mac Pro' since the Mac IIfx as I owned a graphics/typesetting company then video production company (not to mention Apple Dealerships dating back to Apple ][s) but Photography and Video are hobbies not work now so the time may be here to change habits.  In fact, I am sure they are.

    Can an iMac screen be used by another computer?  I doubt it.  My current set up with three 27" 4K monitors is shared between the Mac Pro and a Dell tricked out with NVidia GPUs and MYSQL servers.  I use Microsoft RDT on the Mac Pro mostly for the Dell PC and the servers I have and but can change inputs on the central Dell monitor to the Dell PC to run GTA V :). I can't see this working with a built-in 5K Apple monitor.  I am sure there is a solution. 

    Your summation of the Mac Pro 2013 buyers is also correct and it does point to what many are saying, the need for a configurable/upgradeable middle range Mac, essentially a screenless iMac Pro in a tower body costing about $2-3,000 depending on the BTO specs. 
    edited June 7
  • Reply 83 of 91
    So you pop in a NVIDIA GPU. What happens?
    Nothing. There is zero Nvidia compatibility in macOS.
    So this "Pro" "modular" Mac is neither.
  • Reply 84 of 91
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 287member
    MacPro said:
    Marvin said:
    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.
    Thank you, excellent post and you make total sense, I agree with everything you say.  I will have to investigate the iMac Pro / loaded 27" iMac for sure.  I am retired now and have owned every 'Mac Pro' since the Mac IIfx as I owned a graphics/typesetting company then video production company (not to mention Apple Dealerships dating back to Apple ][s) but Photography and Video are hobbies not work now so the time may be here to change habits.  In fact, I am sure they are.

    Can an iMac screen be used by another computer?  I doubt it.  My current set up with three 27" 4K monitors is shared between the Mac Pro and a Dell tricked out with NVidia GPUs and MYSQL servers.  I use Microsoft RDT on the Mac Pro mostly for the Dell PC and the servers I have and but can change inputs on the central Dell monitor to the Dell PC to run GTA V :). I can't see this working with a built-in 5K Apple monitor.  I am sure there is a solution. 

    Your summation of the Mac Pro 2013 buyers is also correct and it does point to what many are saying, the need for a configurable/upgradeable middle range Mac, essentially a screenless iMac Pro in a tower body costing about $2-3,000 depending on the BTO specs. 
    Some iMacs can use Target Display Mode. Sadly, none of the current models support it.
  • Reply 85 of 91
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,006administrator
    So you pop in a NVIDIA GPU. What happens?
    Nothing. There is zero Nvidia compatibility in macOS.
    So this "Pro" "modular" Mac is neither.
    Not for you != not for everybody.
    docno42
  • Reply 86 of 91
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 287member
    Apple says the SSDs are encrypted by the T2, but does not say whether they are controlled by the T2. So far, every system with a T2 has a soldered-on-board SSD with the T2 as the SSD controller. The machine clearly has slots for two SSDs. I would love to know more details about these drive slots.

    Does each drive have a T2?

    Are they just NVMe drives with the T2 intercepting the data and handling cryptographic operations?

    Are the devices in the slot somehow bare flash chips with no controller (I find this vanishingly unlikely)?



    Related, I wonder what PCIe lane layout it uses. All the current Xeon W chips have 64 lanes. The system has three double-width x16 slots, one double-width x8 slot, one single-width x16 slot, two single-width x8 slots, and one single-width-half-length x4 slot. That's 92 total lanes offered via the PCI slots before getting into any of the onboard peripherals like the SSDs or the Thunderbolt ports up top.

    No UPI links on the Xeon W chips. They must be using PCIe switches. On which lane combinations, though? It will be interesting to find out once the box is released.
  • Reply 87 of 91
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,740member
    karmadave said:
    I sell professional workstations (amongst other products) for a living and am also an Apple 'fanboi' so here are some observations of the new Mac Pro:

    […]

    Apple's new 6K XDR monitor is cool, but you can buy an 8K XDR monitor, for around $3,500, while Apple's 6K monitor starts at $5,000.

    Finally. The price. Comparable PC workstations are a MUCH better value.
    Looks like this was just a drive-by bullshit comment then, because ever since I asked for substantiating evidence… tumbleweeds!
  • Reply 88 of 91
    thttht Posts: 3,320member
    Hehe, 10 years ago, after Apple switched to x86 and moved to Xeons for the Mac Pro, there was a year-by-year clamoring for an xMac, an expandable desktop box at around $1000 to $1500. Now, with the 2019 Mac Pro, there’s clamoring for an xMac Pro desktop box for around $2000 to $2500. ;) Plus, there are still those who want that $1000 xMac.

    It’s likely the same thought process from Apple for the product lineup: everyone is buys laptops, and if you want a desktop, iMacs and Mac mini’s are their offerings. For whatever reasons, they find it still valuable to have a workstation offering. Still confused will they won’t take their retina 27” display and offer it as standalone display+hub.

  • Reply 89 of 91
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,006administrator
    dougd said:
    Can the older trash can 2013 Mac Pro drive the new XHD monitor?
    No.
  • Reply 90 of 91
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 726member
    Marvin said:
    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:



    We'll see.  Since that's the 1st generation Zen, the CPU performance should be on par, each with their own advantages (multi-core as well).
    edited June 9
  • Reply 91 of 91
    thttht Posts: 3,320member
    DuhSesame said:
    Marvin said:
    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:



    We'll see.  Since that's the 1st generation Zen, the CPU performance should be on par, each with their own advantages (multi-core as well).
    For multi-core and SIMD architectures, it’s pretty difficult to make generalizations of system performance. It can only be done on a per app or per workflow basis. Considering the cost of the systems, let’s just say institutional buyers aren’t looking to reviewers for buying advice. They get a loaner, or just one, and test out the workflows, to make sure their >$100k outlay is a good buy. 

    Even with PC workstations, where the hardware has been homogenized by Intel, the benchmarks are at best a first past. If someone is spending $20k per desktop, it’s stupid not to test first.

    The cost of the hardware is often (or typically) the cheapest thing in the whole enterprise though. When the software licenses are set at a per core/socket/node/user basis, the company may not stress too much over the hardware other than making users more productive. So maybe they aren’t stressing over $/perf too much, with software costing 2x, 3x, 10x hardware costs. 
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