Apple's 'modular' Mac Pro design may mean units that connect like Lego bricks

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  • Reply 21 of 81
    This is space other vendors already mastered. Even current toy Raspberry Pi and similar factor computers have that. Do you really want to build rack with specialized modules or nice computer with unified modular architecture with hidden (nicely packaged) modules?
    spliff monkey
  • Reply 22 of 81
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,518member
    RINGWALL said:
    I am a professional video editor and photographer. Have been using macs since power PC. The software/hardware support has been such a failure for the the pro market since final cut pro 10. Even the manager at the apple store told me recently-while I was complaining about the poor service  considering the tens of thousands ive spent over the years-apple doesn't care about pro users any more, it makes luxury products (actual quote verbatim). 

    Either way, I still own Apple products, but all my professional work has long since transferred to PC where I spend half as much, get three times more and am not constantly dissapointed. 
    And yet, in my profession, everyone has transitioned to Macs because they increase productivity tremendously due to less maintenance headache (no need for drivers, no flakey updates, etc), better quality tools which don't require a subscription model to use, and the ability to run Mac, Windows, and Linux on the same machine.

    cornchipradarthekatmacxpress
  • Reply 23 of 81
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,650member
    crowley said:
    ireland said:
    The holy grail of modular design?
    The holy grail of unnecessary bespoke chassis and cooling nightmares.

    The convenience of the stackable modules is wholly out of whack with how often you'll need to be modifying the stack, and would cause huge downstream problems that are way, way more detrimental than convenience.

    Form over function to the nth degree.
    Therefore the design is confirmed, no?  ;)
    spliff monkeycornchipqwweraireland
  • Reply 24 of 81
    Good grief, if I am unable to use industry standard graphics cards and RAM modules and instead they are incased in consumer hostile closed modules it will be time to just build an amazing Windows tower for my heavy lifting and a Mac Mini for all of my personal day to day stuff. I would hate to have to do that, and hope this is BS, but this is getting ridiculous. I really just want a current cheese grater. 
    edited February 2019 ocelotwreakspliff monkeydysamoriarazorpit
  • Reply 25 of 81
    Apple had grid computing already (Xgrid), but let that wither on the vine. I don't know why it's taking them so long to come up with the perfect modular computer. It makes perfect sense to me to use grid computing. The bandwidth exists now with Thunderbolt 3.

    Imagine — A cheap, powerful Mac mini that allows more Mac minis to be attached to increase the overall power of the singular system. This setup already exists in data centres. Apple just needs to make it "consumer-friendly". Did they design APFS (new filesystem) to support filesystems that can span across multiple physical drives like ZFS can? I don't think so, which I see as a missed opportunity.

    The days of having to replace an entire computer to upgrade it should be behind us. We need to be upgrading *existing* systems without that involving disassembly and working with internal components. If Apple is serious about the environment, this is the way to go. And it should not involve proprietary connectors.
    muthuk_vanalingamdysamoriarazorpitcornchip
  • Reply 26 of 81
    entropys said:
    No straight forward tower with interchangeable off the shelf parts for you!
    Sounds like you’re looking for a Dell or Alienware.
    patchythepirateelijahg
  • Reply 27 of 81
    melgross said:
    crowley said:
    I'll believe it when I see it.  Has the distinct whiff of bullshit.
    I have big, big concerns about bandwidth on this entire concept.
    I have big concerns about what the hell is going on here. It’s getting ridiculous.
    Not really. They explained in detail in the Techcrunch/media event why they had to start over. That was about two years ago. Two years for a new pro from scratch isn’t ridiculous.
    elijahg
  • Reply 28 of 81
    LOL at all the pearl clutching, “concern”, and DOOM predictions. Never change, guys. Wait who am I kidding, you never do...
    cornchipanomewelshdogfastasleepelijahg
  • Reply 29 of 81
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    elijahg said:
    crowley said:
    ireland said:
    The holy grail of modular design?
    The holy grail of unnecessary bespoke chassis and cooling nightmares.

    The convenience of the stackable modules is wholly out of whack with how often you'll need to be modifying the stack, and would cause huge downstream problems that are way, way more detrimental than convenience.

    Form over function to the nth degree.
    Therefore the design is confirmed, no?  ;)
    Obviously not, I already said I'll believe it when I see it.  I have faith that Apple are smarter than this, the rumour is a flight of fancy from someone without a clue.
    cornchipdysamoria
  • Reply 30 of 81
    I upgraded my cMP5.1 last year with 12 cores 3.46, 1080ti with power mod, highpint 7101 with 4 1TB SSD Blades each at 4x on the 2nd 16x slot, removed the optical drive, added 6 2TB ssd’s all around and USB-c. Glad I did. It’s a beast and the nMP is obviously a long way off.

    This new Macpro sounds like a disaster in the making for video professionals. I’m seriously not interested in paying MORE for a video card because it’s in a chassis, or MORE for ports or SSD’s or  Nvme or whatever because they are also in a chassis. I mean look at how expensive the TB3 video card chassis are!!! And then consider that the cards aren’t removable in most cases. P-lease. 

    Modules are nothing more than an expensive way to lock in the customer. If I can’t improve whatever this next MP is to the same degree as my now 7 year old tower, it will feel like a step back. I agree with others; Apple should have just released an upgraded (slightly smaller) cheese grater and taken out money . I don’t understand this obsession with re-inventing the wheel. cMP FTW I’m already exploring gutting an old 5.1 to make a new hackintosh. Seems very feasible even if it takes a hot second to build it myself. 
    cornchipdysamoriarazorpitfastasleeposeame
  • Reply 31 of 81
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,916member
    vulpine said:
    Echoes of the Apple Jonathan computer mockup from 1985.
    http://www.storiesofapple.net/the-jonathan-computer.html
    Pretty cool. Never seen this. I can see them going this route albeit with a modern spin. Whatever they do it will almost assuredly be a superclean enclosure setup and not an exposed, “modern architecture” look of this & other concepts presented in this thread. I just don’t see them going with the “stacked Mac Mini” - unless there’s some kind shroud/enclosure for them.

    Kind of a shame really, i really loved the look & engineering of the trash can and even some of the concept & theory. I realize (as a Mac Pro user) though that it might not have been the best move long run. Sort of like the no-button iPod shuffle. A risky design move that ultimately proved to go a step too far. 

    Very excited for the New New Mac Pro - whatever it turns out to be. I’m pretty sure I’ll love it. Guess I’ll have to cause I’ll be getting one some day!
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 32 of 81
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,553administrator
    I upgraded my cMP5.1 last year with 12 cores 3.46, 1080ti with power mod, highpint 7101 with 4 1TB SSD Blades each at 4x on the 2nd 16x slot, removed the optical drive, added 6 2TB ssd’s all around and USB-c. Glad I did. It’s a beast and the nMP is obviously a long way off.

    This new Macpro sounds like a disaster in the making for video professionals. I’m seriously not interested in paying MORE for a video card because it’s in a chassis, or MORE for ports or SSD’s or  Nvme or whatever because they are also in a chassis. I mean look at how expensive the TB3 video card chassis are!!! And then consider that the cards aren’t removable in most cases. P-lease. 

    Modules are nothing more than an expensive way to lock in the customer. If I can’t improve whatever this next MP is to the same degree as my now 7 year old tower, it will feel like a step back. I agree with others; Apple should have just released an upgraded (slightly smaller) cheese grater and taken out money . I don’t understand this obsession with re-inventing the wheel. cMP FTW I’m already exploring gutting an old 5.1 to make a new hackintosh. Seems very feasible even if it takes a hot second to build it myself. 
    The BlackMagic enclosures, and the Sonnet one like shown in the article are the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of eGPU installs, and nearly everything that's available, are with a PCI-E bridge board of some sort.

    Completely understand the reluctance about extra enclosures and whatnot, though.
    edited February 2019 tipoodoozydozen
  • Reply 33 of 81
    Since Apple likes the  cylindrical look for the Mac Pro, why not modify it with modular wedges that plug together, like an old school Cray?
    razorpit
  • Reply 34 of 81
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,120member
    And rely on Apple to update those modules as new chips come along? 

    Ehh...
    doozydozendysamoriaspliff monkey
  • Reply 35 of 81
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,120member
    Thunderbolt 3 does limit specific titles, especially in compute, much less bandwidth than a standard slot, although it works fine enough for most games. If they're going to use a proprietary connector that includes power, I hope it's more than TB3 bandwidth. 


    crowley said:
    I'll believe it when I see it.  Has the distinct whiff of bullshit.
    I have big, big concerns about bandwidth on this entire concept.

    Exactly. So maybe TB3 feeds the first GPU ok enough. But then this is saying you could stack another on top, and another? So the first connection would have to carry not only its own bandwidth, but the bandwidth for the next two. 

    TB3 isn't enough for that. Maybe it'll be a more direct PCI-E (rather than the limited PCI-E lanes of TB3) instead...Assuming there is any merit to this at all, as Talosive seems like an odd place for high profile leaks. 


    edited February 2019 dysamoriafastasleepspliff monkey
  • Reply 36 of 81
    Apple had already done a similar concept design… back in 1980s! It was called the "Jonathan", and was a project between an Apple hardware engineer and frog design, and it eventually led to the SnowWhite design language used in subsequent Macs. http://www.storiesofapple.net/the-jonathan-computer.html
    wonkothesanerandominternetperson
  • Reply 37 of 81
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 281member
    davgreg said:
    The Texas Instruments 4A had a "Peripheral Expansion Box" that was modular in a lateral setup way back in the early days of personal computing.

    http://oldcomputers.net/ti994a.html

    H-P offers a somewhat modular compact desktop with different plug-in modules connecting through a USB connector. The Elite Slice has been on sale for a couple of years.



    I do not know if the report is correct, but Apple has a long history of proprietary connectors used to lock customers in.


    I like the idea of it. If they can pull this off it would be amazing.
    applesnoranges
  • Reply 38 of 81
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 281member
    I like the old-school tube transistors instead of anything new or fancy, Just give me a Commodore Vic 20 that relies on glass tube transistors that I can replace as they burn out and runs the newest Adobe suite of tools and ill be a happy camper.
    raoulduke42anomecornchip
  • Reply 39 of 81
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,448member
    I don't buy this report for the simple reason of the thermal issues they cornered themselves into last time. 
    mcdavespliff monkey
  • Reply 40 of 81
    JadenJaden Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Apple *could* introduce a better mouse trap in the new Mac Pro. But the trash can was a misfire for many reasons, so right now the jury is out. 

    Ive's obsession with "small, thin and light" needs to be balanced with the need for industrial "truck" hardware to drive heavy duty operations. Jobs failed with the NeXT cube, the Mac Cube, and Apple followed up with another cube with rounded corners.

    Just make it work first, Apple. Make it pretty second. Maybe even third.
    dysamoriaelijahgspliff monkey
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