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

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  • Reply 141 of 172
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by malax View Post

     

    ascii was complaining that the default config was just 256GB and the poor purchaser would be forced to go down that painful build-to-order path that makes delivery so much slower.  That will be an issue only if there is an appreciable difference between shipping time for default versus BTO configurations.  I would hope they would steal a page (the only useful page) from the Dell playbook and a super efficient (< 1 business day) BTO process.


     

    Default? I doubt that there will be such a thing. And if so, since the PCle-based flash Storage is User accessible, what, other than just availability of 512 or TB flash storage, would slow down the delivery process. 

     

    As for Dell, the only useful page they should have had was the one to wipe up the crap they BTO.

  • Reply 142 of 172

    I'm wondering how to rack mount it for location use, i.e. concert touring video production?

  • Reply 143 of 172
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    drblank wrote: »

    As you notice, Apple didn't mention any new MacMinis this last go around, so maybe Apple is getting ready to revamp their MacMini lineup and maybe a higher end model to go after the prosumer grade systems is something in the works.  They only have so many people they can task to do this and maybe the MacMini update will happen next year sometime (maybe 1st quarter?)

    And will it be round and tubular and cooled by Apple's soon-to-be standard updraft-vortex architecture? The Mac Pro Mini?
  • Reply 144 of 172
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

     

    That screen from the keynote is talking only about the PCIe SSD storage. The stick is user-replaceable.

     

    Also,

     

     

    “That’s no desktop… that’s a workstation.”

    “It’s too small to be a workstation…”


     

    Had always wondered about Darth Vader's helmet. Now we know it was a heat sink. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

  • Reply 145 of 172
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

     

     

    So how does the speed of Thunderbolt 2 compare with the fastest PCI Express slots?  A previous poster wrote that it was comparable to x4 speed, or 1/4 of an x16 slot.




    That's not as simple to answer as you might think, so I'll start with the known facts. The best source of current information on this is from Wikipedia and Ananandtech.com:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7049/intel-thunderbolt-2-everything-you-need-to-know

     

    A Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt 2 controller, which drives two Thunderbolt 2 connectors, is connected to the CPU with 4 PCIe lanes, AKA x4 PCIe. The cylinder Mac Pro should have 3 Falcon Ridge controllers. Therefore, the total aggregate simultaneous connection to the CPU is PCIe 2.0 x12 for all 6 Thunderbolt ports.Transfer rate is 20 gigabits per second or 2 gigabytes per second with framing for one Falcon Ridge controller.

    Source (see PCI Express 2.0 (x4 link)):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_device_bit_rates#Main_buses

    Note: Falcon Ridge theoretically could be 32Gbps/3.94GBps if it used PCIe 3.0, but the anandtech article says it doesn't. Probably because it wouldn't match up with Thunderbolt2 bit rates.

     

    A TB2 cable has 4 lanes, 2 in each direction. Each lane is 10 Gbps. That's 10 gigabits per seconds of raw data rate. But that includes displayport, so it's only 2 lanes if you're driving a display. But if you're not using displayport, TB2 can aggregate the channels for data.

     

    Currently, it is only possible to attach a 4K display directly to the computer's Thunderbolt port (not a chain), and that port can't also support data transfers.

     

    The best measure is actual usage, and as the anandtech article points out, current measurements are 1100 megabytes per second.

     

    I realize these numbers may not mean much for comparison purposes to many people, but I prefer to start with facts that have sources to back them up.

    edit: 4K displays and Falcon Ridge controlers

  • Reply 146 of 172
    The presentation was quite clear on the PCIe drive being user replaceable, the way it is fitted makes it pretty obvious and if that does not convince you then the tech specs on the Apple website also say it.

    I just find it a bit unfortunate that the three boards, CPU and GPU can't easily swap out.
  • Reply 147 of 172
    Depends, it would probably work on its side, but convection would not be so great as vertical. Vertically, you could build a slide rail bracketed tray, MacPro at front with a RAID beside it and a UPS conditioner behind the pair of them. That would be about a half rack width
  • Reply 148 of 172
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    I wish I could agree with you, but you seem to work in the world of endless government money! In the "other" corporate world the IT department implements policy no matter what the engineers requirements are. In one case I know of the engineer/programmer knew his software down to the millisecond and ended having the have his manager go several levels up the management chain to get approval to implement the project all because the IT department refused to buy a faster workstation.

    In any event please understand that I don't doubt you just that there is another reality out there. In some cases the IT departments are drunk with the power they can have over the company and the users.
    drblank wrote: »
    I've not only work in the corporate world, I've also worked for two of the largest computer resellers that sold to corporations and government for over a decade.  Now, when it comes to workstations, my customers NEVER bought the entry level workstation that had a processor with ECC memory.  My customers would buy the high end models with the fastest processors, load it with memory, etc. because no matter what they had, they always want more and anyone that's a serious workstation user wants as much as they can get and they will pay for it.  That's what customers I'm used to working with.  They would spend EASILY $6K or more on a workstation and they were using those for high end graphics, video editing, etc.
    I have no doubt that this happens with the government and its contractors, they have been on the gravy train for years.
    The class of user you are talking about is more prosumer, which has emerged over the past 10 years or so.
    Not at all, I'm talking about midrange machines that might sit on an engineers desk in a large corporation. These are not XEON or high performance machines in most cases.
    Now, maybe because of the how the MacPro is designed, they are just keeping it XEON only and maybe they'll come out with something that is more prosumer based headless box like a MacMiniPro which has a high end i7, a decent GPU, etc. to go after that market which would end up in the $2000 (give or take) market.  That's something I do agree with, but I think there might be reasons why the MacPro is strictly XEON.

    The drugs/alcohol comment was tongue and cheek, and yeah, I could easily substantiate that people that drink alcohol/ use drugs are wasting thousands of dollars a year on those habits which may prevent them from buying a better computer, or whatever.
    Well that is understandable and can be seen everyday.
    But the corporate workstation market isn't the midrange, they typically buy the most powerful system they can get within reason.  
    That simply isn't true, or maybe better said not common. From what I've seen you need written justification, managerial approval and then some strong arm tactic to get the IT department to buy anything non standard!
    Some are cost is not an object.  My customers were typically, cost wasn't the factor, it was getting the most powerful box they could get their hands on.   At least, that's what the workstation users were buying. I used to sell IBM AIX, HP UX, Sun Solaris, Windows NT, Mac OS, SGI and even OS/2 (remember those?) back when OS/2 came out which was pre-Windows 95.
  • Reply 149 of 172
    "minijack MacBook-style hybrid analog and digital audio in and out"

    From what I can see there is no digital audio input, just like current iMac.
  • Reply 150 of 172
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ken Burns Effect View Post



    "minijack MacBook-style hybrid analog and digital audio in and out"



    From what I can see there is no digital audio input, just like current iMac.

    What do you need digital output for when the market is going USB DAC?

     

    The iMac does have optical digital output, but most people don't use that, people are going USB because you have a LOT of choices in USB DACs ranging from $100 on up to $20K.  The internal DAC in computers (Macs and PCs) are not that great.

  • Reply 151 of 172
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woot in Alberta View Post

     

     

    Had always wondered about Darth Vader's helmet. Now we know it was a heat sink. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     


    Good call.  It looks like a smaller version of the MacPro heat sink.

  • Reply 152 of 172
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ken Burns Effect View Post



    "minijack MacBook-style hybrid analog and digital audio in and out"



    From what I can see there is no digital audio input, just like current iMac.

    Digital input?  Let's see, you have USB and Thunderbolt (which can be changed into Firewire and other forms of i/o) that can be used for AD converters.

     

     

    What are you trying to do and what hardware are you trying to connect that you would need digital input that's not USB, Thunderbolt/Firewire, etc.?

  • Reply 153 of 172
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by davida View Post

    It's not allowed to have Thunderbolt outputs without display output. intel tightly controls Thunderbolt, all designs have to be approved by intel, or they won't sell you parts. This is why you don't see Thunderbolt PCIe cards for Windows machines. Here's the application form for Thunderbolt devices (note they only approve certain categories of devices):

    Thunderbolt Developers Application

    Also note the 10,000-unit minimum, and other restrictions.


     

    Then either…

     

    1) turn those ports off (and the lights on them)

    2) offer a low-end option

  • Reply 154 of 172
    The article explains the technical specifications of the new Mac Pro in detail, but fails to explain the philosophical shift driving it's controversial design. That shift is 1) that no matter how many expansion slots you put in a Mac Pro, professionals will never all be satisfied and 2) that CPU power today is sometimes less important than general computation on your GPU.

    The new Mac Pro caters to both realisations. And yes, there has been some upheaval among pros against the new design. However, I am sure that looking at actual real world setups people use, Apple saw that current Mac Pros are full of expensive internal expansion hardware, while at the same time people still connect some hardware to the machine externally. And if you connect at least one peripheral from the outside, you might as well connect an enclosure full of stuff. No matter if the new Mac Pro has 4, 6 or 9 internal expansion slots and 3, 5 or 7 hard drive bays, customers would never be all satisfied. And sure, most users gravitate towards a certain number of expansions, but to what percentage of the user base does that account for? 30%?

    In terms of CPU, I do agree that two CPU slots would be better for some users. While some will argue that even one CPU today can get you up to twelve cores, knowing you could also have twice as much is important for some "see of processors" users. At the same time, Apple realizes that the GPU becomes more and more important, even in traditional "see of processors" fields like 3D rendering, which among programmers is known as an "embarrassingly parallel problem", i.e. it easily scales with CPUs.

    What I find far more controversial about the Mac Pro is it's use of Pro-grade graphics cards. Many users I would argue would be fine with a OpenCL-ready, yet non-pro graphics card. I would also argue that while you can make an argument against internal hard drive bays, one slot for a 2,5" SATA hard drive might have helped many users. Video people always will add external storage, sure. But everybody else would be fine with one small, yet fast PCIe flash storage plus one 2,5" SATA hard drive for storage.
  • Reply 155 of 172
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bradamante View Post



    The article explains the technical specifications of the new Mac Pro in detail, but fails to explain the philosophical shift driving it's controversial design. That shift is 1) that no matter how many expansion slots you put in a Mac Pro, professionals will never all be satisfied and 2) that CPU power today is sometimes less important than general computation on your GPU.



    The new Mac Pro caters to both realisations. And yes, there has been some upheaval among pros against the new design. However, I am sure that looking at actual real world setups people use, Apple saw that current Mac Pros are full of expensive internal expansion hardware, while at the same time people still connect some hardware to the machine externally. And if you connect at least one peripheral from the outside, you might as well connect an enclosure full of stuff. No matter if the new Mac Pro has 4, 6 or 9 internal expansion slots and 3, 5 or 7 hard drive bays, customers would never be all satisfied. And sure, most users gravitate towards a certain number of expansions, but to what percentage of the user base does that account for? 30%?



    In terms of CPU, I do agree that two CPU slots would be better for some users. While some will argue that even one CPU today can get you up to twelve cores, knowing you could also have twice as much is important for some "see of processors" users. At the same time, Apple realizes that the GPU becomes more and more important, even in traditional "see of processors" fields like 3D rendering, which among programmers is known as an "embarrassingly parallel problem", i.e. it easily scales with CPUs.



    What I find far more controversial about the Mac Pro is it's use of Pro-grade graphics cards. Many users I would argue would be fine with a OpenCL-ready, yet non-pro graphics card. I would also argue that while you can make an argument against internal hard drive bays, one slot for a 2,5" SATA hard drive might have helped many users. Video people always will add external storage, sure. But everybody else would be fine with one small, yet fast PCIe flash storage plus one 2,5" SATA hard drive for storage.

     

    Would love to hear your definition of "PROs"

     

    I would for sure suggest that a really true professional would not critique something based strictly on hearsay. As inferred at the keynote and presented on Apple's Mac Pro web site there aren't many that have had the privileged to even see the new machines, let alone use one. But if the power based on the specs referenced below are any indication to what is coming, I can't wait to test/get one myself.

    Quote:


     

    1. Testing conducted by Apple in October 2013 using preproduction Mac Pro 12-core 2.7GHz units with 1TB flash storage and AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and shipping Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz units with 512GB SSD and ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics. All systems configured with 64GB of RAM. Tested with prerelease OS X 10.9 and prerelease Final Cut Pro X. Colour correction, render and optical flow retiming tests conducted using a 3840x2160p29.97 ProRes 4444 project. Streaming tests conducted using a 10-minute project with 16 unique 3840x2160p23.98 ProRes 422 clips. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.

    2. Testing conducted by Apple in October 2013 using preproduction Mac Pro 12-core 2.7GHz units with 1TB flash storage and AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and shipping Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz units with 512GB SSD and ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics. All systems configured with 64GB of RAM. Tested with prerelease OS X 10.9 and prerelease DaVinci Resolve 10 using 1920x1080p24 and 3840x2160p24 ProRes 422 clips. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.

    3. Testing conducted by Apple in October 2013 using preproduction Mac Pro 12-core 2.7GHz units with 1TB flash storage and AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and shipping Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz units with 512GB SSD and ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics. All systems configured with 64GB of RAM. Tested with prerelease OS X 10.9, prerelease CompuBench 1.2, prerelease MARI 2.5 and Luxmark v2.1beta2. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.

    4. Testing conducted by Apple in October 2013 using preproduction Mac Pro 12-core 2.7GHz units with 1TB flash storage and AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and shipping Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz units with 512GB SSD and ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics. All systems configured with 64GB of RAM. Tested with prerelease OS X 10.9 and prerelease Aperture 3.5 using RAW images. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.

    5. Testing conducted by Apple in October 2013 using preproduction Mac Pro 12-core 2.7GHz units with 1TB flash storage and AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and shipping Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz units with 512GB SSD and ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics. All systems configured with 64GB of RAM. Tested with prerelease OS X 10.9 and prerelease Pixelmator 3.0 FX using a 7781x5189 Pixelmator document. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.



     

    As for, "…one slot for a 2,5" SATA hard drive might have helped many users", that's like adding a 'mini' hitch to one of The Toughest Trucks Of 2013 to pull a canoe.

  • Reply 156 of 172
    anyone understand Apple?!

    the new Mac Pro (black cylinder) is out in Dec.
    It took 8 years to change the industrial design.

    anyway, when they finally stopped ignoring the Mac Pro users,
    after 8 long years,
    why would they tout the amazing new design as revolutionary
    yet never mention any compatible equally astonishing new DISPLAY?!!!

    the current Apple display is here: http://www.apple.com/displays/
    yes, it is a Thunderbolt Display BUT TB 1!!
    the new Mac Pro is TB2!!
    so, state of the art Mac with old 2011 Display?!!

    WTF?
    technically & aesthetically inferior to the new Mac Pro.
    quite frustrating that Pro users are still mistreated/disrespected by Apple.

    just as it is frustrating and flabbergasting that Apple decided to NOT include TouchID/fingerprint button in the latest iPad (V) Air & mini (2)?!

    just as frustrating as Apple's decision to NOT include 802.11AC in 2012-10 iMac when the Airport MacBook Air out 1 month earlier had AC WiFi (At 3x N speed)?!
  • Reply 157 of 172
    Originally Posted by iRolf View Post

    It took 8 years to change the industrial design.

     

    That can’t really be said. Also ten years for the design.

     

    why would they tout the amazing new design as revolutionary yet never mention any compatible equally astonishing new DISPLAY?!!!


     

    Because they’re two completely different products?

     

    yes, it is a Thunderbolt Display BUT TB 1!! the new Mac Pro is TB2!! so, state of the art Mac with old 2011 Display?!!


     

    This doesn’t really matter.

     

    quite frustrating that Pro users are still mistreated/disrespected by Apple.


     

    Quite frustrating that people think FUD is a valid thing to post.

     
    …NOT include 802.11AC in 2012-10 iMac…

     

    Uh… 

  • Reply 158 of 172
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    bradamante wrote: »
    In terms of CPU, I do agree that two CPU slots would be better for some users. While some will argue that even one CPU today can get you up to twelve cores, knowing you could also have twice as much is important for some "see of processors" users. At the same time, Apple realizes that the GPU becomes more and more important, even in traditional "see of processors" fields like 3D rendering, which among programmers is known as an "embarrassingly parallel problem", i.e. it easily scales with CPUs.

    It's also unlikely anyone would put two dual E5-2697v2 processors in given how much they cost, Apple certainly wouldn't offer that option. There's benchmarks here with dual E5 CPUs:

    http://www.bostonlabs.co.uk/boston-labs-intel-xeon-e5-2600-v2-tested-part-i/

    1000

    I'd hoped the new 12-core E5-2697 would score 18 in Cinebench but it might be down below 14 (old Mac Pro was 16 - might explain why the new Mac Pro benchmarks page lacks CPU comparisons) judging by that and the pre-release Geekbench test backs that up:

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/2064275
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

    That still means it's nearly double the individual CPU performance of the old one as it's 1 chip against 2 but dual E5-2660v2 chips would cost around the same (apart from additional costs for the extra socket):

    http://ark.intel.com/products/75272/
    http://ark.intel.com/products/75283/

    If Intel hadn't priced the E5-2697 at over $2600, it wouldn't have been quite so bad.

    The FirePros give much better gains for the software that uses OpenCL/OpenGL and if the developers of these software packages would start using it, the gains for them would be much higher. There's a page here that suggests the R&D dept. at Maxon (who develop Cinebench and Cinema 4D) have looked at OpenCL (they were talking about OpenCL 1.1):

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/OpenCL-SDKs-nVidia-vs-Intel-1729897.S.71388769

    "Demez C. R&D rendering engineer at MAXON Computer

    Yes OpenCL is portable but...

    1 - There are some bugs in the SDKs.

    2 - OpenCL is a platform to "help" you to write portable code for parallelism but... when you develop OpenCL code for a specific hardware you can "use" theses specificities to optimize your code. By example, you can avoid some synchronization on the GPU when it will be mandatory on the CPU. Now it is up to you to write some code that can run on every hardware, once done you can optimize it for a specific hardware. By example the NVidia SDK will run well and fast on NVidia hardware... theses exemples are well optimized and it is fine like this. Sometimes you will have to use a specific algorithm for a specific hardware , but the remainer of the code can remain common !

    So, the language and the platform is portable... not the algorithm and not the hardware ;-)

    Anyway, if you really want to optimize your code for different hardware/platforms, you have to use the specificities of each, OpenCL gives an easy way to do this."

    Part of the problem with OpenCL is that there are many companies trying to work around a common standard while also trying to make themselves look better than their competition. There's a note on that OpenCL group about NVidia excluding OpenCL samples from their CUDA SDK:

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/OpenCL-Developers-1729897
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/opencl-examples-in-cuda-5-sdk/

    This is the same problem that happened with Microsoft's DirectX and OpenGL. DirectX shot ahead for years because it was developed by one company, not several competing companies. NVidia is trying to make sure they stay on top because they know that if they push OpenCL, it runs faster on their main rival's (Intel not AMD) platform for laptops and it runs faster on AMD's high-end GPUs. If they get everyone on board with CUDA, they have a vendor lock-in by creating lots of man-hours of code that would take some more time to convert to OpenCL.

    Nobody can really blame NVidia for wanting their company to have an exclusive competitive edge but this is going to harm OpenCL adoption. They are just an $8.8b purchase away from a fix for that of course. As the following video shows, the highest-end uses can move to cloud services:


    [VIDEO]


    Check out the prices they charge for the server racks at the end. If Apple had those engineers in-house, they could be hosting that and push OpenCL instead of CUDA. Even if the OpenCL standard wasn't good enough, the cloud service could use custom versions behind the scenes that get filtered into OpenCL's development. Maybe this would be a better move for Adobe than Apple though. They could allow users to either process data locally or remotely.
    bradamante wrote: »
    What I find far more controversial about the Mac Pro is it's use of Pro-grade graphics cards. Many users I would argue would be fine with a OpenCL-ready, yet non-pro graphics card. I would also argue that while you can make an argument against internal hard drive bays, one slot for a 2,5" SATA hard drive might have helped many users. Video people always will add external storage, sure. But everybody else would be fine with one small, yet fast PCIe flash storage plus one 2,5" SATA hard drive for storage.

    The good thing with not having SATA storage though is that it encourages people to pay more for larger SSDs, which helps drive the cost down faster. SSDs are silent too.
  • Reply 159 of 172
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    It's also unlikely anyone would put two dual E5-2697v2 processors in given how much they cost, Apple certainly wouldn't offer that option. There's benchmarks here with dual E5 CPUs:



    http://www.bostonlabs.co.uk/boston-labs-intel-xeon-e5-2600-v2-tested-part-i/







    I'd hoped the new 12-core E5-2697 would score 18 in Cinebench but it might be down below 14 (old Mac Pro was 16 - might explain why the new Mac Pro benchmarks page lacks CPU comparisons) judging by that and the pre-release Geekbench test backs that up:


     

    What computer has 2 of the E5-2697 chips inside and what type of cooling does it have and how much is the box?



    My understanding, correct me if I'm wrong, that using 2 of the same chips is not twice as fast as one.  It's only a marginal increase.  Obviously things change over time, but back when I used to sell dual processor systems many years ago, the PC mfg would say that they might be 25% to 35% so speed improvement by adding a second processor.   I don't know how much has changed since I last sold these, but that's what the big name PC mfg used to tell us in our training sessions.

  • Reply 160 of 172
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    drblank wrote: »
    What computer has 2 of the E5-2697 chips inside and what type of cooling does it have and how much is the box?


    My understanding, correct me if I'm wrong, that using 2 of the same chips is not twice as fast as one.  It's only a marginal increase.  Obviously things change over time, but back when I used to sell dual processor systems many years ago, the PC mfg would say that they might be 25% to 35% so speed improvement by adding a second processor.   I don't know how much has changed since I last sold these, but that's what the big name PC mfg used to tell us in our training sessions.

    From my understanding it depends on how you define it. For instance, twice the same CPUs is twice the HW performance, but if the OS and apps can't take advantage of it it's wasted. Same for threading.

    But I thought GCD took care of that.
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