MacPro - All about the MacPro...!!!

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I am not seeing much discussion in this arena and it's a VERY important topic for me, as I am waiting for the "next" evolution of the "Pro" platform to make a purchase. My last upgrade cycle was 2004/2005 and I got the PPC dual 2.5Ghz machine with the liquid-cooled setup.



I am ready to make the plunge into the Intel/Quad realm, but really want to wait for a refresh of the entire offering, not just an incremental speed-bump.



Sadly, I am seeing "NOTHING" in the rumor mills about the Pro offerings... well, other than the MacBook Pro line. Am I just not looking in the right places... or is there really a drought on MacPro information right now...?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,075member
    Buy the MacPro now - even if they change things, you won't want to buy a new design until it is has at least six months in the field. You could be waiting a year or more.



    The current MacPro is way better than the G5 tower.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post


    Buy the MacPro now - even if they change things, you won't want to buy a new design until it is has at least six months in the field. You could be waiting a year or more.



    The current MacPro is way better than the G5 tower.



    No, no... I know that...



    My fear is (and it's happened to me before) that because it's been SOOO LONG since they refreshed the entire product line, it is BOUND to happen sooner than later... and I will finally go purchase a $9k system with full-blown everything... only to have Apple announce the refresh in 4 months with spec's and technologies that would have been worth waiting for and for the same money.



    If it were a year or two ago, I'd agree... but the current platform is getting VERY long-in-the-tooth and is ripe for changing.



    With the discussions of "GrandCentral" and CoreServices... the idea that the new OS will be able to take advantage of a new architecture is very promising.



    My purchase cycle is generally every 4-5 years... I don't want to be locked-into an antiquated architecture because I wasn't patient... know what I mean...?



    A refresh HAS to be coming soon... I mean the current enclosure and architecture has been around for a long-time now... they MUST be ready to unveil something...
  • Reply 3 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Xeon based Core i7 is due in March providing there are

    no delays.



    I'd expect Apple to refresh the Mac Pro at that time. Depending on how

    effective the Snow Leopard core changes are the Nehalem Mac Pro could be

    wicked fast.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Yeah - I guess that's what I'm really hoping for - is that the next generation of Pro towers are a complement to the evolving changes in the operating system. Some sort of architectural changes that allow the hardware and software to be more powerful to the end-user. More than just faster processors.



    If the new architecture allows for a better/faster utilization of disparate processors within the system (PCI cards, graphics cards, primary CPUs, etc.) and the new system enhancements allow them to work-together seamlessly and boost speed, I think it'll be WELL worth the wait, rather than just jumping-in right now on the current processor/architecture offering.



    crossing fingers.



    anyone have any substantial tidbits of conjecture...?
  • Reply 5 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Mac Pro 3.2Ghz SMP Quad Core Nehalem

    Snow Leopard

    4 SSD in a RAID 10 configuration

    Nvidia GTX 295

    Dual 24" Cinema Display

    G RAID 3TB eSATA array

    DAS Keyboard

    Revolution Mouse





    and gobs of RAM.



    Where's the drool emoticon?
  • Reply 6 of 43
    I'll drool when I see the next "big thing" in the Apple Pro area of desktop systems. Until then, I wait patiently and hope for the best.



    Oh... yeah, and I come here to complain.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Here' are some pre-production dual Nehalem boards based on the Nehalem EP processors (basically an i7 with 2 QPI busses).







    If Apple follows suit, we can expect the high end Mac pro to have 18 DDR3 slots (72GB RAM max). These boards look short on PCIe x16 slots though; the Tyan doesn't even have one.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Mac Pro 3.2Ghz SMP Quad Core Nehalem

    Snow Leopard

    4 SSD in a RAID 10 configuration

    Nvidia GTX 295

    Dual 24" Cinema Display

    G RAID 3TB eSATA array

    DAS Keyboard

    Revolution Mouse



    That does seem like an amazing setup!



    Yet have you considered a TactilePro2 keyboard?



    And do you really need mirror RAIDs for SSDs? I thought they couldn't really lose any massive amount of data. If a memory cell fails, you might lose one or two bytes but never all like e.g. in a HD head crash. Seems like a normal backup strategy should be way enough for SSDs, so use RAIDs only for speed.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Here's another from Foxconn. Looks like a rack mount server motherboard made for a 1U or 2U chassis.



  • Reply 10 of 43
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    That does seem like an amazing setup!



    Yet have you considered a TactilePro2 keyboard?



    And do you really need mirror RAIDs for SSDs? I thought they couldn't really lose any massive amount of data. If a memory cell fails, you might lose one or two bytes but never all like e.g. in a HD head crash. Seems like a normal backup strategy should be way enough for SSDs, so use RAIDs only for speed.



    Yeah I'll be keeping an eye out on the Matias keyboard as well and will decide between the two.



    You know you bring up a good point. I was doing some reading yesterday and the architectural differences of SSD change the game where RAID is considered. Folks that want to mirror do so because they want to keep their RAID write speeds up. RAID 5 has good read throughput but it's write is nothing to brag about because of the parity data. However because SSD is so much faster latency wise there isn't a huge write performance penalty in RAID 5 so there's no need for RAID 10 with SSD. I think mirroring isn't as necessary but I would still like parity features.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    mjteixmjteix Posts: 563member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    Here' are some pre-production dual Nehalem boards based on the Nehalem EP processors (basically an i7 with 2 QPI busses).



    If Apple follows suit, we can expect the high end Mac pro to have 18 DDR3 slots (72GB RAM max). These boards look short on PCIe x16 slots though; the Tyan doesn't even have one.



    That's because most of the pre-production dual Nehalem boards are server ones, they don't "need" x16 PCIe slots. I don't think Apple will offer 9 RAM slots per cpu, probably "just" 6 = 48GB of RAM is probably "good enough". While the nehalem Xeons could be seen as basically a Core i7 with 2 QPI busses, they will certainly be more expensive than Core i7 cpus:



    Xeon W5580\t3.20 GHz $1600 each vs Core i7 965 3.20 GHz $999

    Xeon X5570\t2.93 GHz $1386 each vs Core i7 940 2.93 GHz $562

    Xeon X5550\t2.66 GHz $958 each vs Core i7 920 2.66 GHz $284



    Other boards:





    The Intel one is funny with its 4+3 arrangement of RAM slots. The 4 slots bank can be used in dual-channel mode.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Interesting, I assumed they were workstation motherboards but of course it makes sense that they would be better suited for servers.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    Interesting, I assumed they were workstation motherboards but of course it makes sense that they would be better suited for servers.



    Oh, no, those are server boards. All those x8 slots are great for huge drive arrays or ten-gig ethernet cards. No one will ever stick a graphics card into one of those motherboards.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lightwaver67 View Post


    Sadly, I am seeing "NOTHING" in the rumor mills about the Pro offerings... well, other than the MacBook Pro line. Am I just not looking in the right places... or is there really a drought on MacPro information right now...?



    Maybe this is because the 3.2 GHz 8 core is so insanely great with a 1600 MHz Bus, perfect ratios... 800 MHz RAM...



    What more could you ask for right now? not to mention 64 Bit Everything...



    When Snow Leopard gets here you (I) wouldn't be disappointed.



    Laters...
  • Reply 15 of 43
    e1618978 was right, I posted too quick without reading his. I forgot about this classic factor. Apple has already put in 1 year of work with the OS and not to mention with 10.6 and the 3.2 Mac Pro...



    Yummy
  • Reply 16 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lightwaver67 View Post


    I am not seeing much discussion in this arena and it's a VERY important topic for me, as I am waiting for the "next" evolution of the "Pro" platform to make a purchase.



    These words require quotes why?
  • Reply 17 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post


    These words require quotes why?



    Because I "felt" like it...?
  • Reply 18 of 43
    Am I finally gonna get my wish and see a next generation of MacPro desktops soon...?



    Man, I hope so... I have a budget just WAITING to be spent on a new system.

    Bring it on, Apple...



    And I dunno... I'm sure this has been discussed ad-nauseam in other threads... but when the "experts" talk about how Pro desktop sales are down... do they even consider the fact that a LOT of professional Mac users have been using Macs for years and are jaded to buying machines right before a major design (and architecture?) overhaul? So when products like the current MacPro tower have been in the market for quite a few years, I am fairly confident that a LOT of pro users will WAIT until there is a next generation before buying - so as not to be the guy (or girl) to buy the LAST version of a previous design when the new design was just around the corner.



    Am I the only one that believes that once Apple introduces a "next-generation" redesign that clearly shows a differentiation from the last one... that they will see a decent spike in sales...?
  • Reply 19 of 43
    footballfootball Posts: 47member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lightwaver67 View Post


    Am I finally gonna get my wish and see a next generation of MacPro desktops soon...?





    Am I the only one that believes that once Apple introduces a "next-generation" redesign that clearly shows a differentiation from the last one... that they will see a decent spike in sales...?



    Yup, I've been waiting a long time. It needs to be a pretty impressive update with decent entry level pricing and I'm probably on board.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    rtk94rtk94 Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    Here' are some pre-production dual Nehalem boards based on the Nehalem EP processors (basically an i7 with 2 QPI busses).







    If Apple follows suit, we can expect the high end Mac pro to have 18 DDR3 slots (72GB RAM max). These boards look short on PCIe x16 slots though; the Tyan doesn't even have one.



    Those are server boards. That's why they have so many RAM slots, and there aren't many PCI slots. You can also tell that the layout of the boards is different than that of an ATX board. The Nehalem processors were originally designed for workstations and servers. Apple put them in the Mac Pro because of its power and the fact that some people use the Mac Pro as an affordable workstation or server.
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