Hands on with Apple's new Intel Xeon E5, dual AMD FirePro equipped Mac Pro



  • Reply 81 of 172

    Again, I am missing the 'hands on' part of this article? This is nothing but a regurgitation of features/benefits. There is no actual user experience reported! 

  • Reply 82 of 172
    The "hands on" headline is a lie.
  • Reply 83 of 172
    melgross wrote: »
    It might be possible, but no mention was made of it being possible. We all expect RAM to be upgradable, but in Apple's latest computers, the drive is extremely difficult to upgrade. I would hope it's possible.

    Hmm, isn't it the other way round? I have a retina Macbook Pro and have changed the SSD for one of the OWC ones, which is a real screamer even compared to the standard one and you get a USB 3.0 case for the old Flash disc, which is also insanely fast. It was easier to get to then any other Mac before (except the first Aluminium Macbook maybe), and over the years I have changed the hard drive and other things in almost every Mac since around 2000. Its 8 screws and you're there.

    Yet I cant upgrade RAM as it is soldered in, so I went for the max from the start. So at the moment it seems easier to change the disc than the RAM.

    What about the possibility of Apple offering an external enterprise-quality SSD drive/RAID made possible by their purchase of Anobit?
    Anobit has produced two generations of its Genesis SSD technology. The intellectual property that sets it apart from other SSD manufacturers is its controller, which uses firmware it calls Memory Signal Processing (MSP) error correction code. The MSP increases the signal-to-noise ratio, making it possible to continue reading data even as electrical interference rises.

    The controller technology extends the endurance of standard consumer-grade multi-level cell flash from about 3,000 write/erase cycles to more than 50,000 cycles -- making MLC technology suitable for high-duty cycle applications such as relational databases.

    "You're either using a more advanced controller with consumer grade NAND or your leveraging enterprise-class NAND. Anobit's approach is to use the cheapest NAND they can find and then use their more advanced controller technology," said Jeff Janukowicz, a research director at IDC.


    As of September, Anobit said it had sold 20 million MSP controllers to systems makers, which include consumer-grade products as well as single-level cell (SLC) SSDs sold by other vendors.

    If Anobit's numbers are accurate, the Genesis 2 SSD has staggeringly high performance. The drive generates random read-write rates of 70,000 I/Os and 40,000 I/Os per second, respectively.

    The Genesis 2 SSD boasts a maximum sequential read/write rate of 540MBps and 510MBps, respectively. The SSD's predecessor had a sustained sequential read/write rate of 220MBps and 180MBps, respectively.

    Anobit has shrunk its circuitry from the earlier 40+ nanometer (nm) process to 25nm, thereby allowing it to double the capacity of the drive while also shrinking it from a 3.5-in. form factor to 2.5-in. The Genesis 2 ranges in capacity from 100GB to 200GB, 400GB and 800GB.


    and this (emphasis mine):
    Apple finally confirmed earlier reports that it bought Israeli semiconductor startup Anobit Technologies. Apple did not confirm the price, which is believed to be between $400 million and $500 million.

    Apple bought Anobit for two reasons: its flash memory controllers are a key component of all Apple’s leading products (from iPads and iPhones to MacBook Airs), and in one fell swoop it just added a large team of chip engineers to payroll. Do not underestimate how important those chip engineers are. Apple had at least 1,000 chip engineers. Roughly 160 of Anobit’s 200 employees are also engineers, thus they instantly represent more than 10 percent of the total number of chip engineers at Apple.

    Anobit is a fabless semiconductor company based in Israel which makes a key component that improves the performance of NAND flash memory chips, which are used in iPhones, iPads, and iPods. As Robin wrote when the rumors first surfaced:

    Anobit provides flash storage solutions for enterprise and mobile markets, based on its proprietaryMSP (which stands for ‘Memory Signal Processing’) technology. Its solutions are designed to improve the speed, endurance and performance of flash storage systems while driving down the cost.

    Anobit’s technology is comprised of signal processing algorithms that compensate for physical limitations of NAND flash, the company claims.

    Flash memory is a crucial piece of Apple’s technology puzzle. Apple has been moving away from hard drives for years, starting with the iPod, then the iPhone, the iPad, and now it’s MacBook Air laptops. None of these computers have hard drives. They’ve all been replaced by flash memory chips. Removing the hard drive is what allows these devices to be so thin, assume any form factor, and run on less power. Any technology that improves the performance of flash memory, such as Anobit’s, is a critical piece of technology which Apple decided it needs to own.


    Finally, the big question: Where are Bubble and Magnitorestrictive Delay Line memories when we need them?
  • Reply 84 of 172
    don't need but WANT
  • Reply 85 of 172
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Wait… did everyone REALLY miss the fact that I dropped the Mac Pro’s thermal core onto Vader’s face mask?



    I mean, yeah, it fits well–that’s why I did it–but to not notice at all? Particularly with that purposefully bad Photoshop job I did? <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" /> 

  • Reply 86 of 172

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

    ^^^ This!

    Just to add some meat this thread. here's a video by Michael Cioni. His company, Light Iron, does Post, DI, etc for movies like 42, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Muppets... Michael is a talented creative, engaging speaker and has an amazing mind.

    The entire video is a great watch, but at 13:42, Michael talks about the future of FCPX (I'd love to get his take on the Mac Pro).

    FWIW, I am going to buy a Mac Pro!

    Michael is awesome. I would like to hear his "hands on" with the new Mac Pro as well...

  • Reply 87 of 172
    What a lame article!!! What a deceiving title!!!
  • Reply 88 of 172

    Pretty sure that slide is clear that they are talking about the flash modules there....

  • Reply 89 of 172
    I'd be far happier with dual CPUs and a single D700.
  • Reply 90 of 172

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    A really nice computer, must be inspiring to work with it beside you. The 6 TB2 ports seems like overkill though, maybe if they'd only had 4, they would have had enough spare I/O bandwidth for a second internal Flash drive, which would surely have been far more useful.


    And why does the high end configuration on the Apple Store only have 256GB of Flash? Even the high end Macbook Pro configuration has 512GB. Surely the default configs should be designed to avoid as many people having to do CTO as possible. i.e. you don't want to inconvenience people by forcing them to wait for a special build. And yet these configurations seem more about meeting a certain price point than being sensible defaults.

    I think if you're driving 4K  high quality video, the TB ports become a premium real quick (1 per display).  3 is the working minimum.  Yes you can put your data on the same wire... but... I'll bet you dollars to donuts that there will be a lot of high end drive enclosures out there that don't 'share well'.  And if you are data intense, building out a TB SSD farm is a good way to go (I can see people building multi TB SSD farms to get the random access throughput).


    The 2nd Flash drive is intriguing, but we have to remember the Mac pro is all about expandability, and expandibility in the 'new world' you put your SSD in TB enclosure, and stripe it to max out the channel (yes, less than PCIe3, but still damned fast data).

  • Reply 91 of 172
    aelegg wrote: »
    karmadave wrote: »
    Slick design and engineering don't make up for the fact that this machine is lacking in expansion and choice. Most workstation class machines offer more internal storage expansion, multiple graphics options, dual Xeon CPU's, and more memory. Also, conspicuously absent from Apple's latest announcements was a 4K display (several vendors have announced these). Again, I think this is a cool machine just with limited appeal...

    I think people are failing to realize that Apple has revolutionized the pro computer.

    The future is that the "desktop PC" is the brain, and you stick on attachments from the outside, with no loss of performance, as needed.

    Why did you need that huge internal volume with all those slots?  Because you needed a fast internal-bus to stick cards into.  Connecting from the outside was too slow.

    If there's no loss of performance to hang a drive or accessory on the outside, then you only buy what you need.

    The machine is CHEAPER since you only buy the brain now, and whatever body-parts you need later.  No performance loss.

    People will get used to it and before they know it the old way will seem quaint.

    Simple.  Visionary.  So-Forward-Looking-that-people-don't-even-recognize-what-it-is. 


    3.5" floppy drive not included.   Stand by for Surface 3 with a Parrallel Port.

  • Reply 92 of 172
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    woodbine wrote: »
    I am not convinced by this airflow arrangement, the specs on this wee beastie call for ~470W maximum, now that's a lot of heat to dissipate from just one fan. My guess is that, once again, Apple will push the thermal envelope to it's very maximum, reducing the lifespan ultimately. Also don't expect the dB's to stay low on full throttle.

    The whole rationale for the circular chimney design is heat dissipation through controlled convection. I would think as the watts go up the fan becomes less and less important. It might mainly be there for boosting airflow at idle. But that's the perspective of an air-cooled engine gearhead.
  • Reply 93 of 172
    flaneur wrote: »
    Just to add some meat this thread. here's a video by Michael Cioni. His company, Light Iron, does Post, DI, etc for movies like 42, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Muppets... Michael is a talented creative, engaging speaker and has an amazing mind.

    The entire video is a great watch, but at 13:42, Michael talks about the future of FCPX (I'd love to get his take on the Mac Pro).

    FWIW, I am going to buy a Mac Pro!

    Thanks for that link. Very interesting to see a pro's perspective on Final Cut Pro X. Drives me crazy that he doesn't pronounce it "ten" though.

    LOL. I like this pronunciation of OSeX :D
  • Reply 94 of 172
    ecsecs Posts: 307member

    One thing I'm really interested is to see a test of a new Mac Pro, running some task with all cores at 100% and both GPUs at 100% too (maybe some OpenCL task, like LuxRender, which can use all CPU cores and all GPUs as OpenCL devices), and running that busy for at least a couple of hours in a room at, let's say, 28 degrees Celsius.


    Then, after such pair of hours, report temperatures from thermal sensors, as well as fan noise (compared to the idle noise).


    Not that I don't trust the new thermal core, but I'm very interested in knowing how it behaves on a real pro task, such as a massive raytracing task for several hours.

  • Reply 95 of 172
    By "hands on" you apparently mean "we read the press release and republished it with different wording." Please, PLEASE, don't turn into Gizmodo, Engadget, The Verge, and all the other sites that puke up PR images and press releases and call them articles.
  • Reply 96 of 172
    16 4K angles? Who does that for a living? Once again people are confusing pixel count with processing power and data rate. Your Promise TB RAID might deliver 16 streams of puny H264 but will choke on a couple of streams of ARRIRAW or 12-bit ProRes. I don't accept that TB-everything will deliver huge leaps in data IO, in real world situations dancing down a timeline with multiple IO devices and drives on the bus. I hope I'm wrong, but I see trouble ahead.
  • Reply 97 of 172
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    LOL. I like this pronunciation of OSeX :D

    Why am I not surprised? : )
  • Reply 98 of 172
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,405member
    I like the way you think!

    In re the fusion drive -- It's just staging files (percolate up and trickle down) between an SSD and an HDD. Who says that both need to be in the same enclosure? In fact, with Thunderbolt 2 you could have multiple levels of staging:
    • Mac Pro Internal SSD
    • Thunderbolt external SSD
    • Thunderbolt external HDD/RAID
    • NAS or Cloud

    Hmm... I wonder... I have been running Mavericks since WWDC. It was very solid from the beginning and I had very few problems through DP 6. But starting with the GM and then the release, I am having problems with my Thunderbolt Pegasus RAIDS and I/O in general. One of the RAIDS will disappear, then take forever to comeback online, and the Finder or other Apple app will beach ball requiring a force quit or reboot???

    I wonder if Apple is screwing with the drivers in anticipation of the Mac Pro. Specifically to implement a fusion drive using an external HDD.

    What speed gain would a Fusion drive have as an external drive? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they really only of befit to a boot volume (as a stop gap until SSD pricing falls), and even then a full SSD would bow them away (other than in cost). As a storage drive for large contiguous files they'd be useless surely?
  • Reply 99 of 172

    as well as wireless networking with 802.11ac for up to 1.2Mbps WiFi

    Huh? That's supposed to be Gbps, right? Because 1.2 Mbps would be .2% the max theoretical speed of Wireless N which is 600 Mbps.

  • Reply 100 of 172
    drblank wrote: »
    Cars are a machine too, yet the #1 purchase differentiator is color.

    If you really believe that the looks are not a major factor in purchasing, it's clearly yourself that has the "serious perception problem"
    And the body style is important......  So is fit and finish.   Each person puts importance on different factors when making a buying decision.  Some put price as #1 most important, while others put reliability, ease of use, support, build quality, etc.

    Everyone has their own laundry list and priority of each aspect that's considered.

    Old joke:

    salesman: "How can I help you?"

    prospect: "I want to get a car to impress my girlfriend."

    salesman: "Buy a Kaiser and surprise her."

    prospect: "..."

    salesman: "Or, buy a Frazer and amaze her."

    prospect: "Nah, I am going to buy a Tucker!"
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