Mac Pro petition gains traction as pro users seek information

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  • Reply 121 of 211
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sennen View Post




    Great post. Some people here are oblivious to the needs of anyone except themselves. I work in a small post-house with fifteen Macs, 5 of which are MacPros that are desperately in need of upgrading for running AE and DaVinci etc. FCS is struggling with HD, 2K and 4K files. We've already upgraded RAM and GPUs. This is a real need. However ineffectual a petition on FB may be, I can understand the concerns of those who started and 'signed' it.



     


    No, some of us are well aware of companies like UAD (example from a previous post).  We know that while UAD have things like their pcie line, they also house those same cards in Firewire enclosures and they also have the new Apollo interface that will run on (wait for it) Thunderbolt.  Having a machine with internal slots is not the only answer.  If Apple goes away from that, there will be other avenues available. 

  • Reply 122 of 211

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hakime View Post


    "With Apple's Mac Pro line growing long in the tooth after not having received an update for almost two years"


     


    This is basically the same amount of time that we have not seen any update from HP and Dell for their workstations. HP just released their new workstations with the new Sandy Bridge Xeons a few weeks ago and Dell has announced their new line of workstations also based on Sandy bridge Xeons a few days ago but they are not shipping yet. For HP and Dell, the time between the new offering and the previous one has been long, in fact as long as for the Mac Pro. I have already said many times here, but it seems that the AppleInsider editorial is all about sensationalism. The reason is the delay Intel took before they could ship the new Xeons. Like everyone else, Intel is putting more priority to the mobile market and the Xeon development cycle has slowed down significantly. The Xeon is a more complex chip, Intel is clearly not driving the development of the chip faster than a new generation every one and a half or two years. On top of that, the Sandy Bridge Xeons had a bug which delayed their market introduction by half a year.


     


    Now, Apple does not talk about unreleased products but I don't believe that Apple is about to kill the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is profitable, small profits but profitable. Apple recognizes the need of the Mac Pro for its pro users, Apple employees themselves need this sort of machine. I guess it is a matter of days before we get some news about all the renewal of the Macs including the iMacs which are also pending for new release. 


     


    "The Cupertino, Calif., company upset a number of professional video editors last year with the release of Final Cut Pro X. Power users complained that the new release more closely resembled iMovie, Apple's entry-level video editing software, than previous versions of Final Cut Pro. AppleInsider exclusively reported in May 2010 that Apple was planning to make Final Cut more of a "prosumer" product, but the company promised at the time that its pro customers would "love" it."


     


    I am sorry but your report was basically wrong. You can't argue that the new Final Cut was am iMovie like, this is just ridiculous. From the first release, it was already way more powerful. I don't believe that Apple intended to arm Final Cut users but the pain was necessary to transition from the old Final Cut that everyone in the market was asking to be replaced with something more modern. When Apple did, people cried scandal because some features were missing but this was necessary as Apple could not possibly introduce the product with just all previous features built-in somehow but it has to completely rethink the product by first introducing what they felt was new to the market. Since then, Apple has largely committed to satisfy pro users by pushing forward the product and they did it by bringing updates with powerful new features. And now, I don't think there is someone out there who can still argue that Final Cut Pro X is not for pro when in the same time the product offers multi cam editing up to 64 angles!!!!





    but HP and others did lower prices and bumped up video cards / ram size over the same time frame.


     


    Apple same price same ram and same video cards for same 2 years.

  • Reply 123 of 211
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


     


    No, some of us are well aware of companies like UAD (example from a previous post).  We know that while UAD have things like their pcie line, they also house those same cards in Firewire enclosures and they also have the new Apollo interface that will run on (wait for it) Thunderbolt.  Having a machine with internal slots is not the only answer.  If Apple goes away from that, there will be other avenues available. 



    Instead of an avenue, If you look at Mac OS X as a super smooth perfectly engineered Autobahn but on which you are only allowed to drive hybrid electric economy cars, it is very disappointing to those who have grown accustomed and prefer to drive v12 sports cars. To no longer be able to use a Mac Pro, choose your own monitor, video cards, pack it full of RAM and hard drives with 12 cores of cpus, is just an insult to Mac purists.

  • Reply 124 of 211
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hakime View Post


    I just want to comment on another typical usage of the Mac Pro besides video production, 3D production or CAD oriented workflow. I am talking about science and engineering.


     


    For for those who believe that there is no need of a Mac Pro, I should give them an example of a real workflow:


     


    - I work on geophysics, dealing with high performance computing involving the simulation of complex problems. 


     


    - Method used: finite element


     


    - Language: C, Objective C , OpenCL and Fortran, 


     


    - Platform:


         - Several Mac Pros with dual Xeons, 12 cores total.


         - Memory on board: 64 GB of memory


         - Storage on board: 4 TB


     


    - Workflow: The simulations are run with a custom finite element code written in Fortran (a next generation code base written in Objective C/C is currently under development). The parallelization of the code is done with OpenMPI (as it allows to dispatch work on all machines on the network) so EVERY SINGLE core is being used. The simulation itself eat up above 50 GB of RAM. Yes, only one simulation!!!


     


    - The post processing of the data are done with a custom code written in C and OpenCL which takes advantage of the Radeon HD 5870 to speed up the calculation. So by definition we need to have access to better and more powerful GPUs than what is available on iMacs and are only available on a Mac Pro.


     


    - One simulation generates hundred of gigabytes of data. As a result terabytes of data are produced by successive simulations, data which are stored in large disks connected via firewire 800 to the Mac Pros for backing up the data if the results are acceptable.


     


    Here you have it, this is my workflow. And as we keep studying bigger and more complex problems, we need again and again more powerful Mac Pros with higher processing power and better technology. This allows us to do things that would only be possible with much more expensive hardware, typically a supercomputer of a small size.


     


    Anyone still saying that no one needs a Mac Pro?



    You know your needs far better than I, but it seems to me that you are using the wrong tool for the job, you would be better served with a small cluster of servers with a NAS on a segragated private LAN.


     


    It sounds like you need real serious gear, and should invest in a nice rack of server equipment to build a BSD or Darwin cluster. You could use things like 10 gig e, higher end GPU options, better CPUs, 64GB or more of ram per box, not just per cluster, 10 gb ethernet, failover power supplies and so on. AMacpro cluster sounds like a sort of cobbled together solution to begin with.


     


    With that as a backend you could probably do fine with iMacs as the front end for the researchers.

  • Reply 125 of 211
    rbrrbr Posts: 631member


    The problem with building a machine such as you suggest, even if the problems you mention are overcome with new TB motherboards is that, when Apple drops the Mac Pro, the code supporting the Mac Pro platform will be dropped rather quickly and become dated in any event.


     


    Apple has a habit of treating users like mushrooms, you know...keep them in the dark and shovel stuff on the periodically.


     


    I was at a presentation of a major software vendor which supports both the Apple and PC platform. Afterwards I spoke with the presenter about the Mac Pro situation and he simply said that if you are concerned about performance you are already on a PC...the Mac Pro is 18 months old/out of date already.


     


    That pretty much sums it up.


     


    If you want to stick with OS X, it looks like you need to learn to be happy with an iMac (or a hack based on it rather than the Mac Pro). Otherwise it is time to bid Apple farewell and move along with business. That is what it is all about in the end and the differences in much software for the Mac is little different from that of the PC these days.


     


    Let's face it, even if Apple does release a new Mac Pro, just how much are you willing to bet that it will be kept up to date any better than the last release? I believe the past is prologue to the future in this instance.


     


    There are some apps that I will really miss if I have to change platforms, but the major ones are all available on the PC. Apple just doesn't appear to care any more.

  • Reply 126 of 211

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Also, can someone explain to me who exactly needs a Mac Pro, apart from those extreme niche cases like studios who do professional 3D rendering, etc? What exactly can't a high end iMac do these days? Short of Avatar, it can even handle HD video editing, 3D rendering, etc. 


     



     


    I need a mac pro, and it's not because I need to show it off to people.  


     


    I am a freelance editor and I make money with my Mac Pro.  Money I couldn't make with an iMac because of the specs of the iMac, and the fact that my hardware would not 'work' with the iMac because I run 4 eSata drives, and a great graphics card (among other equipment I won't bother to mention).  


     


    Edit:  Also, my Avid Media Composer software supports/qualifies Mac Pro 8 and 12 cores (4 core MacPros are not 'avid qualified') although some may work, works best with 2 x 4 core processors.  I am sure there is an iMac that is Avid qualified, but not 'as advisable'. 

  • Reply 127 of 211

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by robogobo View Post



    Keep your pants on everyone. New processors are just out and Apple will be updating the Mac Pro as soon as all the components are ready and tested.

    If you need one now, just go out and get one. The 2010 model has everything you need.


    Of course, f you need it now to buy it now.  Yes, the 2010 model is a wonderful machine, but almost two years old and the same price it was 2 years ago.  Of course Apple has no sales on their products until the new one comes out.  It's a poor decision to buy 2 year old technology at 'brand new' prices unless you really need it. 


     


    I think that's why people are frustrated.  They want / need a new machine and have no choices that make business sense.

  • Reply 128 of 211
    gmhutgmhut Posts: 242member

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  • Reply 129 of 211
    gmhutgmhut Posts: 242member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Also, can someone explain to me who exactly needs a Mac Pro, apart from those extreme niche cases like studios who do professional 3D rendering, etc? What exactly can't a high end iMac do these days? Short of Avatar, it can even handle HD video editing, 3D rendering, etc.



    While YOU may not do 3D work, companies ranging from architectural, real estate walkthroughs, every size of ad agencies, multimedia companies, illustrators, and yes, game developers for iPhone and iPad (the list goes on) use 3D graphics. Ever heard of Unity 3D? It's one of the most popular tools for creating games for mobile devices, you know, all those iPhones and iPads that Apple sales execs really care about, the games that in part make so many people want those mobile devices in the first place. Unity was originally a Mac only product. 3D in general is a big part of design curricula now days for graphic design students. Your dismissive labeling of anyone involved in 3D or a need for big raw computing power, as being part of a small "niche" indicates your knowledge of all the various needs mac users have, only extends to the end of your own nose.


     


    Can someone explain how it make since for Apple to focus so heavily on mobile devices, then leave professionals who development the content that make those devices so desirable in the position of having to switch to someone else's platform to develop them? 

  • Reply 130 of 211

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Joe The Dragon View Post


    but HP and others did lower prices and bumped up video cards / ram size over the same time frame



     


    This is true, but it is also nothing new. The Mac Pro has always had less RAM than comparable PC base configurations, and Apple's prices for additional RAM have always been outlandish. Most Mac Pro users buy their RAM elsewhere. Apple doesn't want to be in the RAM business. The Mac Pro's graphics cards have always lagged behind the cutting edge as well.


     


    Not sure what your point is -- if it's that this shows that the Mac Pro is dead, then no. All it shows is that Apple doesn't think new graphics cards are a good enough reason for a minor refresh. I'd agree with you there -- I've never quite understood why they don't do that -- but it is nothing new. If your point is that it shows Apple doesn't care about its Mac Pro customers, that was always so under Jobs. But he cared enough to approve a brilliant enclosure design that, to my eye, still looks great NINE YEARS after it was introduced as the PowerMac G5.

  • Reply 131 of 211
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RBR View Post


    I was at a presentation of a major software vendor which supports both the Apple and PC platform. Afterwards I spoke with the presenter about the Mac Pro situation and he simply said that if you are concerned about performance you are already on a PC...the Mac Pro is 18 months old/out of date already.



     


    Exactly how are Apple workstations more out of date than HP or Dell ones? The Xeons have only been updated just recently, and HP and Dell only updated their workstations in April. Before then they were using the same generation of processor as the current Mac Pro.


     


    So give Apple a few months at least to release their new models too, and we can compare apples with apples.

  • Reply 132 of 211
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post

    The Mac Pro's graphics cards have always lagged behind the cutting edge as well.


     


    They were surprisingly new when they were last updated, however. 


     


    Quote:


    All it shows is that Apple doesn't think new graphics cards are a good enough reason for a minor refresh.



     


    Exactly. Apple hasn't done a refresh without a processor update on any of their machines since Steve came back.

  • Reply 133 of 211
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member


    I doubt Apple will EOL the Mac Pro. Too many negatives and repercussions with too few benefits to ending their most powerful machine. I bet a lot of Apple employees use and depend on a Mac Pro as well. 


     


    Rob at barefeats did some tests to show us what the next Mac Pro should look like in some benchmarks. Here is just one sample from his tests. 


     


    Take a look.


    http://barefeats.com/sandy01.html


     


    san01_ae5.png

  • Reply 134 of 211
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    I need a mac pro, and it's not because I need to show it off to people.  

    I am a freelance editor and I make money with my Mac Pro.  Money I couldn't make with an iMac because of the specs of the iMac, and the fact that my hardware would not 'work' with the iMac because I run 4 eSata drives, and a great graphics card (among other equipment I won't bother to mention).  

    Edit:  Also, my Avid Media Composer software supports/qualifies Mac Pro 8 and 12 cores (4 core MacPros are not 'avid qualified') although some may work, works best with 2 x 4 core processors.  I am sure there is an iMac that is Avid qualified, but not 'as advisable'. 

    You can simply ignore the people who say that no one needs a Mac Pro. Obviously, they don't know what they're talking about.

    But as the iMac becomes more powerful - and with the advent of external Thunderbolt storage solutions, the number is shrinking rapidly. Unless you're maxing out either your CPU or GPU on a regular basis, the iMac will work just fine.

    Again, I don't see Apple dropping the Mac Pro, but I do see the time between upgrades continuing to grow. And that's really not that big an issue - it was only a month or two ago that Intel finally released a Xeon processor that was significantly faster than the one in the current Mac Pro. And video cards can be replaced.
  • Reply 135 of 211
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,671moderator
    gwmac wrote:
    I doubt Apple will EOL the Mac Pro. Too many negatives and repercussions with too few benefits to ending their most powerful machine. I bet a lot of Apple employees use and depend on a Mac Pro as well. 

    Rob at barefeats did some tests to show us what the next Mac Pro should look like in some benchmarks. Here is just one sample from his tests.

    If Apple used that 8-core chip, the top-end model would be $880 more than it is now. It's more likely they'd go for the E5-2665, which is 2.4GHz vs 3.1GHz.

    This model scores 21 Cinebench vs 15 so a speedup of 40%. The above score would be about 85% faster. This is almost entirely down to clock speed as it is 30% higher (1.4 x 1.3 = 82%).

    In the above set of scores, the new Mac Pro would more likely sit at 32 seconds and cost $6200 without a display. The Ivy Bridge iMac would sit at 90 seconds and cost $2200 with a 27" display.

    It's a worthwhile performance jump if you have the money and more cost-effective than cloud rendering but not the options under $3500. It would be nice if they could redesign them and cut them in price by $500 then just scrap the quads. Start at 6-core at $2500, 8-core at $3000.

    Only a price cut in addition to the bump/redesign would make 40% improvement after 2 years worthwhile.

    The Mac Pro options are a bit odd. I don't know if they did this recently but the BTO options in the middle one are the same as the 12-core one now - you'd think they'd just have two selections: 1 processor or 2 processor and then pick the options. Currently they have 6 processors total and 3 aren't worth having as they aren't significantly faster than the iMac.
  • Reply 136 of 211

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TenThousandThings View Post


    If your point is that it shows Apple doesn't care about its Mac Pro customers, that was always so under Jobs. But he cared enough to approve a brilliant enclosure design that, to my eye, still looks great NINE YEARS after it was introduced as the PowerMac G5.


     


    Apologies for quoting myself, but it occurs to me that nine years for the cheese grater design has to be a record, and by a decent margin. Is there any other computer design that has lasted as long? Certainly not among Apple machines. Previous record has to be the original 1984 Macintosh -- that design continued through the Mac Plus (discontinued 1990) -- six years.

  • Reply 137 of 211
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post


    I doubt Apple will EOL the Mac Pro. Too many negatives and repercussions with too few benefits to ending their most powerful machine. I bet a lot of Apple employees use and depend on a Mac Pro as well. 


     


    Rob at barefeats did some tests to show us what the next Mac Pro should look like in some benchmarks. Here is just one sample from his tests. 


     


    Take a look.


    http://barefeats.com/sandy01.html


     


    san01_ae5.png


     


    Rendering may be a lot faster but I don't want to work in Windows. I recently built a very similar machine running CentOS 6 for a massive server project. In my opinion if it doesn't run OS X then it is at least 50% slower in the development stage assuming your are talking about day to day usage as a workstation. I've known the ProMax guys for 20 years and they are very reputable but they have never had any allegence to Apple and never will.  Regardless of how fast the render speed is, Windows is just clunky to work with so for me it is not as efficient as Mac OS X in overall performance in a real world situation, even with the faster processors.


  • Reply 138 of 211
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,799member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Rendering may be a lot faster but I don't want to work in Windows. I recently built a very similar machine running CentOS 6 for a massive server project. In my opinion if it doesn't run OS X then it is at least 50% slower in the development stage assuming your are talking about day to day usage as a workstation. I've known the ProMax guys for 20 years and they are very reputable but they have never had any allegence to Apple and never will.  Regardless of how fast the render speed is, Windows is just clunky to work with so for me it is not as efficient as Mac OS X in overall performance in a real world situation, even with the faster processors.

     


    The purpose of those benchmarks were to show what the top of the line next Mac Pro might produce. Since there is no "new" Mac Pro with the Sandy inside, Rob had no choice but to benchmark in Windows. Just a taste of what to expect soon. (Hopefully)


     


    Personally, I would be happy with a new Mac Pro with a single 6 core Core i7-3960X or faster CPU but  I like the expandability of the Mac Pro. Even if a new iMac came with that CPU which is doubtful since they rarely use the fastest CPU's in iMacs and never the fastest GPU,  I would prefer a Mac Pro.  Like Marvin said above, the current BTO options make little sense. Why do you need a Xeon if you are only using the one CPU option? The Xeon line is way more expensive with little advantage to the Core i7 when you are only choosing the 1 CPU option. Apple could price a Mac Pro with a Core i7 as the low end option that would satisfy a pretty large segment of people who won't buy an iMac but also think the Xeon and $3,500+ price tag is overkill.

  • Reply 139 of 211
    elliots11elliots11 Posts: 271member
    To say that an iMac or MacBook pro can be used to edit a movie or a TV show is true, but a bit uninformed.

    Granted, editing the actual takes together in a timeline of most file types is considered light lifting for most computers today. It is because of that fact that expectation of quality has been going up for TV and film watchers (sound and video quality, I'm not touching story ;-) ).

    Because its now possible to digitally color correct everything and do awesome composited titles and 3-D animation and digital cleanup, even digital make up - these are becoming par for the course. You need multiple programs, fast computers and cards and hardware and fiber channel connecting them all to get the expected quality out by the deadline. You need craftspeople who have specialized skills and sizable hourly rates, you need engineers so everything can talk to everything else. Also, forcing graphics pros to use Apple's included monitors is a recipe for trouble.

    To say go to Windows or Linux isn't so easy, it negates software purchases, reliability, and flexibility since Macs can run OSX and anything else. You can't scale up with an iMac, not enough anyway. As great as Thunderbolt is, it's still has bandwidth limitations if you start stacking external devices that aren't even widely available yet, and Fing expensive. You need greater than quad core processing to deal with the large and highly compressed video files that keep changing.

    Mac pro and pro users push computing forward. It helps Apple's image. It may be expensive, but I'll bet the very efficient and wonderful graphics programming you see in OSX and iOS was born out of efficiencies mandated by pleasing the Pro users. A rising tide lifts all boats, and historically the Mac Pro has been the pinnacle of computing available to the general public. To throw that away for the imac is irresponsible, and will eventually bite Apple on the ass.
  • Reply 140 of 211
    Apple is the honey badger of tech companies...
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