Developer secretly tested new Mac Pro for weeks inside Apple's 'Evil Lab'

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Prior to its unveiling at this week's Worldwide Developers Conference, the new Mac Pro was put through its paces in a top-secret lab at Apple's headquarters by a prominent third-party developer.

Mac Pro


The Foundry this week announced that MARI, its industry-standard 3D painting package 3D digital painting tool used in films "Avatar" and "The Avengers," is coming to the Mac. The developer, along with Oscar-winning animation studio Pixar, showed off MARI for OS X at WWDC this week, just 8 weeks after it began porting the software to the Mac.

MARI was shown running on the new cylindrical Mac Pro, demonstrating the work Pixar is doing with the software to complete its upcoming feature film "Monsters University.""All we could see was the monitor, and the Mac Pro was encased in a giant metal filing cabinet on wheels." - Jack Greasley of The Foundry

The Foundry shared with AppleInsider the story of how its team worked with the new Mac Pro in a room at Apple HQ known as the "Evil Lab" ahead of the desktop's unveiling. During the tests, the Mac Pro was entirely concealed in a giant steel cabinet, keeping its new design a mystery to The Foundry and Pixar.

"We were essentially doing a blind tasting of the machine," said Jack Greasley, MARI product manager at The Foundry. "All we could see was the monitor, and the Mac Pro was encased in a giant metal filing cabinet on wheels. Experiencing the machine in this way was actually really cool, because I can tell you that the speed and power of this machine really stands up. Mari running on this machine out of the box is the fastest I have ever seen it run."

Greasley spent a few weeks with the Mac Pro inside Apple's "Evil Lab" joined by Jonathan Hoffman, a texturing and shading artist from Pixar.

Mac Pro
The Foundry and Pixar gave an hourlong presentation with MARI running on the new Mac Pro at WWDC this week.


The path to their private session with the Mac Pro was set in motion two months ago, when Greasley visited Apple to talk about porting MARI to the Mac. After speaking with Apple's Developer Relations team, Greasley put together a pitch to feature MARI in Apple's WWDC keynote presentation.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller himself was wowed by Greasley's presentation, and decided the only way to do MARI on the Mac justice was to give it a special hourlong session for developers at WWDC. Schiller also name-dropped The Foundry and Pixar during the Mac Pro portion of the WWDC keynote on Monday."MARI?s high-resolution textures and 3D painting capabilities take full advantage of the incredible power and stability of the Mac." - Ron Okamoto of Apple Developer Relations

As The Foundry began porting MARI to the Mac, the developer had weekly updates with Apple to keep the company up-to-date on their progress. The Foundry was able to get a workable version of MARI working on OS X within just one week.

"The Foundry has done an incredible job bringing MARI to the Mac," said Ron Okamoto, Apple?s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. "MARI?s high-resolution textures and 3D painting capabilities take full advantage of the incredible power and stability of the Mac."

From his time testing the new Mac Pro, Greasley came away impressed. In particular, he praised the fast PCI Express flash storage, dual graphics processors, and potential for expandability with six Thunderbolt 2 ports. He also said that Open GL and Open CL are well-integrated into the new Mac Pro, which provides a big boost for MARI.

What Greasley didn't see until this week was the cylindrical design of the new Mac Pro. After its unveiling, he was pleased, declaring the unique Mac a "beautiful machine."

"I can see some real innovation and thought has gone into what users want and need," he said, "and I don't think pro users should be concerned."

Developers interested in testing MARI can currently sign up for the MARI on Mac beta at The Foundry's official website.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 180
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    Drool ....
  • Reply 2 of 180
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,062member
    Haven't used a real desktop for years and have event gotten away from using my Macbook Pro since iPads have become ubiquitous. That said, this thing makes me drool.
  • Reply 3 of 180
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    Mac Pro is "Monsterly" rockstar machine. Its the sexiest machine ever.  When Phil showed it for the first time with heavy metal rock music... I was like WOW image


     


    Can't innovate anymore my ass. Like a boss! image

  • Reply 4 of 180
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,255member
    Can't wait to see where pricing will be.
  • Reply 5 of 180
    macvictamacvicta Posts: 346member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Haven't used a real desktop for years and have event gotten away from using my Macbook Pro since iPads have become ubiquitous. That said, this thing makes me drool.
    Haha, yeah. I barely use my iMac at all these days, it's just iPad iPad iPad. So all this Mac Pro business sounds nice but they might as well be speaking Greek to me.
  • Reply 6 of 180
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member


    I would LOVE to have one of these...but my iMac.......does what i need it to do.....


    I am not a pro user so it would never be put through its paces.....


    I wonder what the pricing is going to be.....

  • Reply 7 of 180
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member


    oh how i wish i could just have all the time i want to try everything in that lab!!!

  • Reply 8 of 180
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    They finally posted this in the WWDC app. Drool is right.
  • Reply 9 of 180
    davendaven Posts: 543member


    It really depends on what you do.  For consuming content, an iPad is the tool.  For 'light' office work an iPad or laptop or iMac is the tool.  For hard core image and video editing on a commercial or prosumer level, a MacPro is the tool.

  • Reply 10 of 180
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,462member
    Bit of late, this article. Jeff already posted many information on this. Check out the 50 minute video through the WWDC app.
  • Reply 11 of 180
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,698member


    This killer machine is going to be a big success for Apple. Mac Pros are obviously not going to sell in the tens of millions as if they were iPhones, but the Mac Pro is still a very important product line for Apple. It's amazing that some people were really that dense and out of touch as to think that Apple would discontinue this product line.


     


    How do I know that this will do well? Just go and visit a whole bunch of forums and read the countless comments that are being made. As with all of Apple's innovative products, this machine is very polarizing. The anti-Apple brigade is out in full force for this one. 


     


    When you have most of the same crowd of knuckle draggers that didn't understand and who mocked the iPhone and the same crowd of clowns that declared the iPad to be a huge flop, slamming this new Mac Pro, that is a sure fire sign of guaranteed success. These people are terrified, because they know that Apple's influence extends far beyond just Apple's borders.

  • Reply 12 of 180
    edrededred Posts: 48member
    My guess is the price will be in the $2.5K-$3.5K range. Give or take $0.5K.
  • Reply 13 of 180
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,614member


    This is the only Apple machine that truly deserves the 'pro' moniker. Pros may use any of the other machines and devices in a professional context, but this is the only machine that will be exclusively used for heavy duty professional lifting and rarely seen in people's homes. There'll be some geeks who'll need to get one just to stop their drooling, and there will be some crazed gamers out there. Can't wait to test one of these out - at the Apple store.

  • Reply 14 of 180
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,614member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    When you have most of the same crowd of knuckle draggers that didn't understand and who mocked the iPhone and the same crowd of clowns that declared the iPad to be a huge flop, slamming this new Mac Pro, that is a sure fire sign of guaranteed success. These people are terrified, because they know that Apple's influence extends far beyond just Apple's borders.



    But they were right about a bondi blue see through computer without a floppy drive was just a laughable gimmicky toy, weren't they?


     


    Weren't they???

  • Reply 15 of 180
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,698member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EdRed View Post



    My guess is the price will be in the $2.5K-$3.5K range. Give or take $0.5K.


    I'm guessing a bit more, but we'll all know by the end of the year.


     


    Just take a look at the cost of some of the individual components that the machine uses, and that'll give you an idea.


     


    The price is not that important. We're talking about pro users here, not the crowd who thinks that $329 is too much for an iPad Mini.

  • Reply 16 of 180
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    ... "I can see some real innovation and thought has gone into what users want and need," he said, "and I don't think pro users should be concerned."


     


    So despite all the criticism and whining, once a real pro gets his hands on it, he is more than pleased.  Figures. 

  • Reply 17 of 180
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    But they were right about a bondi blue see through computer without a floppy drive was just a laughable gimmicky toy, weren't they?


     


    Weren't they???



     


    When those came out there was an actual line-up at my campus computer store of people waiting to get their hands on them.  That was the very first time I heard of or saw anyone actually line up for a computer of any kind, let alone an Apple computer.  

  • Reply 18 of 180
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,698member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    But they were right about a bondi blue see through computer without a floppy drive was just a laughable gimmicky toy, weren't they?


     


    Weren't they???



     


    Have the anti-Apple tards ever been right about anything?image


     


    You're right, I remember there being quite some controversy about the iMac when it was released. What? No floppy drive?


     


    I went out and instantly bought one, and apparently so did everybody else almost.

  • Reply 19 of 180
    edrededred Posts: 48member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

    I'm guessing a bit more, but we'll all know by the end of the year.

     

    Just take a look at the cost of some of the individual components that the machine uses, and that'll give you an idea.

     

    The price is not that important. We're talking about pro users here, not the crowd who thinks that $329 is too much for an iPad Mini.

     

    Right and many pro users will probably not settle for the prebuilt configurations. Plus they might have to buy the 4K monitor(s) and other expensive peripherals.

    But I still think that $2.5K-$3.5K will be the price range of the "basic" prebuilt configurations that I'm also guessing will be 3.
  • Reply 20 of 180
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post



    Haven't used a real desktop for years and have event gotten away from using my Macbook Pro since iPads have become ubiquitous. That said, this thing makes me drool.


    Think about this with dual 4K Cinema Display side by side and you will have a triple drools.


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