Apple is using a custom connector for the SSD in the new Mac Pro

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  • Reply 81 of 98
    melgross said:
    melgross said:
    avon b7 said:
    melgross said:
    colinng said:
    dougd said:
    Apple greed at work, they will charge 3x what other SSDs cost.
    I really doubt that. Apple has shown time & again that their engineers lead with what they believe is the best solution for the product. The pundits and rumormongers just come up with their own invented reasons, which are conjecture only. 

    Actually, Apple has been known to just take a standard connector, flip the pins to different locations, and charge you differently. AirPort cards were just PCMCIA cards with 2 pins swapped. They started cheaper than PCMCIA cards but eventually the cost of a PCMCIA card dropped but the AirPort card stayed the same. 

    When it comes to flash storage, same thing. 

    As proof, here is a simple adapter that turns a standard SSD into one that works in your MacBook Air or Pro. The adapter is tiny because it contains no logic converters - it just, **surprise** swaps the pins! 

    https://www.amazon.com/Sintech-Adapter-Upgrade-2013-2016-2013-2015/dp/B07FYY3H5F/

    To courageously innovate around that, in 2016 they soldered the flash straight on to the logic board - giving you no choice but to pre-buy all the storage you anxiously worried that you might need down the road - and they charged handsomely for it. 

    Fanboys will say nobody upgrades. Pro users will say they upgrade if they can (that is why the new Mac Pro is the most upgradeable Mac ever - a course correction against the cylindrical Mac Pro). So who is right? Would MacBook Pro users buy less flash to start with, and buy more flash later (when it dropped in price) - if they could? 

    A company doesn’t boast a 38% margin (while the rest of the industry struggles to get past single-digit margin) and higher ASP just because they were able to be 38% cost efficient when everyone else was only 9% cost efficient. It is very hard to be 400% better than your long-lived competitors. 

    I’m not saying Apple is evil. They’re just doing business. They can compete any (legal) way they want to. 

    What I am saying is, some of us have had enough of these shenanigans. And we have proof that is what these actions are - shenanigans. 

    While I’m expressing my disappointment, “Apple pays every tax dollar it owes” is mindless drivel. Of course it does! Else they end up in jail! But “what it owes” isn’t some fair number arrived at that is mutually beneficial to the countries it operates in - it is a number arrived at where one country (Ireland) decides to be corrupt and set an artificially low tax rate in hopes of getting some revenue and shutting out other countries. 
    Oh, for crying out loud. I’ve been using Macs since 1988, but PCs since 1981, and computers since 1966. I’ve seen it all. Most of what you’re saying is pure drivel. Industries that mostly use Macs don’t use them because they’re overpriced, and marketed well. If you don’t understand that, then don’t bother to be in the conversation.

    for those who do understand it, professional level equipment is always expensive. While Apple gets pilloried for a $995 monitor stand that’s a machined, large piece of metal, with a complex, and supposedly reliable mechanism, RED charges $500 for a simple aluminum handle for their video cameras. Others charge similarly for simple parts. I had automatic paper cutters in my lab. A small circuit board, about 3” x 5” cost $1,000 as a replacement part before 2004 (when we sold the lab). There was nothing special about that part. Agfa charged $1,200, for a power supply, that I found out later, could be bought from the manufacturer for $250. And even worse, all of the broken ones I had were still under original manufacturer’s warrantee! They told me to send them in, and they repaired them for free.

    apple is not only not worse, but they’re better. Yes, you can buy cheap Wintel computers, but that’s what you’re getting. Most Wintel users won’t pay more than a minimum, so that’s what those companies make, and their margins are at the bone, so they have financial problems. Look at Dell’s problems. And look at what happened to Hp. Are those the shining examples that Apple is supposed to follow? I hope not.

    as far as taxes go. If it’s legal, then I hope a company is taking every advantage of that. The reality is that Apple did nothing illegal in Europe. Many European companies do exactly the same thing. So I say, change the laws. Companies will then be forced to follow them. But if the laws allow something, a company should do it. It’s not their responsibility to pay more taxes than they have to. It’s not like tipping in a restaurant. It’s like paying the bill itself.
    Let's be fair. 'pure drivel'?

    Not at all. He provided a balanced opinion and supported it clearly. It was totally valid.

    Is there anything in there that wasn't actually true? I'd be more interested in that angle.

    I was nodding in agreement to almost all of it as we share largely the same opinion.

    Now, if you have anything factual to dismantle the argument I'd be interested in hearing that too.
    No, it wasn’t valid. Most wasn’t true. I’m not going to argue with you, because it’s not worth it.
    I don't understand. You seem like a reasonable guy with mostly reasonable points. Why are you backing yourself into a corner over this nonsense? Most of the post was factual, with a slight smattering of emotional reaction. You might not react the same way he does, but the post *is* *true*. The hardware is as he states.
    Most of the post wasn’t factual. It was statements he made, that’s all.
    Really? What post did you read? Because the one I read pointed out two different examples of Apple needlessly deviating from standards, just by swapping pinouts around, therefore making their products proprietary and (for years, if not forever) impossible to source on the open market. He also made some comments on margin that were less clearly factual, but still pretty self-evident. The deviation into tax issues, as we've all agreed, was not helpful to his main point, and I excluded it from my support.
    avon b7elijahg
  • Reply 82 of 98
    MaurizioMaurizio Posts: 38member
    davgreg said:
    This gives me reason to pause on ordering one of these.

    As much as I want to have a headless desktop Mac that (hopefully) will have a long service life, Apple's propensity for proprietary connectors and stuff is a serious concern. I want to see the thing for myself and see what aftermarket stuff will be possible as Apple charges a king's ransom for memory on everything it sells.


    Well, the only actual limit is for the first SSD you buy; but nobody forbid to install a 20$ nvme PCIE card with a Samsung SSD and use it a system disk; you have plenty of PCI slot on the Mac Pro.
    There are also hyper fast nvme Raid Cards that use 16 PCI lanes and give stellar performance; you are really not limited to the proprietary SSD in machine like this.
    I mean, i agree that it just make no sense, but in practice is hardly a problem, if you have the need and the money for a machine like this one.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 82 of 98
    MaurizioMaurizio Posts: 38member
    davgreg said:
    This gives me reason to pause on ordering one of these.

    As much as I want to have a headless desktop Mac that (hopefully) will have a long service life, Apple's propensity for proprietary connectors and stuff is a serious concern. I want to see the thing for myself and see what aftermarket stuff will be possible as Apple charges a king's ransom for memory on everything it sells.


    Well, the only actual limit is for the first SSD you buy; but nobody forbid to install a 20$ nvme PCIE card with a Samsung SSD and use it a system disk; you have plenty of PCI slot on the Mac Pro.
    There are also hyper fast nvme Raid Cards that use 16 PCI lanes and give stellar performance; you are really not limited to the proprietary SSD in machine like this.
    I mean, i agree that it just make no sense, but in practice is hardly a problem, if you have the need and the money for a machine like this one.
  • Reply 84 of 98
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    elijahg said:
    ... The M.2 NVME SSDs Apple uses aren't anywhere near as expensive as they were when they first appeared in the 2015 MBP. Crucial (who aren't particularly cheap) sell a 1TB 2000MB/sec read/write M.2 NVME drive that's just $119, the one in my 2019 iMac is about 2300mb/sec.
    ...
    There are slower M.2 NVME SSDs for $69 which are 550mb/sec R/W which is absolutely fine for most people, and I'd honestly be happy with. 
    Yeah, I mostly agree with your post. My example was regarding RAM, but I haven't looked into the storage prices as much.

    And, certainly, the average user isn't going to notice much difference between the slower SSDs and the faster ones. HD to SSD is a big jump. SSD to (faster) SSD isn't unless you're doing something that really shows that speed difference off. Which makes the iMac decisions particularly painful. Old, slow HD, or odd Fussion thing, or high-end SSD (at very high costs). They could have just eliminated the HD and Fussion options and threw in an ATA SSD. They wouldn't have even had to change the connection or mounting!

    elijahg said:
    I'd argue that now upgrades are more important than ever, with CPU and other core component speeds increasing much more slowly and longer lasting machines being more environmentally friendly, upgrading things like RAM and SSDs over time makes sense.
    The counter-argument seems to be that a super-low percentage of people ever did the upgrades anyway. I actually have a hard time believing that, given my experiences... but I suppose my experiences are older. I don't think I've ever had a machine with accessible storage/RAM that I didn't upgrade. And out of my circle of friends, family members, and clients when I used to do consulting, that would mostly hold true as well. Those that DIDN'T upgrade/expand were the small exception.

    re: environmental/long-lasting - I think they've just convinced people that it's better to recycle than upgrade. Although, it takes a lot more energy to do that, so I guess despite the hysteria, people really aren't taking that aspect so seriously. Maybe we should start putting out a 'carbon-footprint' campaign to keep machines upgradable.

    elijahg said:
    I think this is where the fabled xMac would fit in for a lot of traditional Mac aficionados and enthusiasts that love Apple but also love tinkering with their machine. It's a real shame Apple has ditched their Woz-inspired tinkering roots.
    I have tinkering roots. My initial education was in electronic engineering, and I spent years building servers and machines. I've had my own unix MythTV box and all that kind of stuff over the years. I've kind of 'retired' from that lately, though. The reason I would like to see an xMac type box, is primarily to fill middle ground in the lineup, and hopefully have a prosumer machine that can be run reasonably hard w/o thermal issues.

    Especially since the eGPU, I don't care too much for how much internal tinkering and upgrading can be done. But, I get that it matters to some. Either way, I think we need some kind of machine like that. Until then, my mac Mini w/ eGPU is working out fairly well.
    colinng
  • Reply 85 of 98
    gustavgustav Posts: 826member
    Really? What post did you read? Because the one I read pointed out two different examples of Apple needlessly deviating from standards, just by swapping pinouts around, therefore making their products proprietary and (for years, if not forever) impossible to source on the open market. He also made some comments on margin that were less clearly factual, but still pretty self-evident. The deviation into tax issues, as we've all agreed, was not helpful to his main point, and I excluded it from my support.

    Not quite.  The post contained a few examples of changed pinouts but he did not provide proof of the reason they did it. Was it “needless” or is it you can’t think of any other reasons? I can think of a few that have nothing to do with inflating prices.

    That said, I do feel Apple charges way too much for storage and RAM, at least in their other Mac models.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 86 of 98
    Gary-GGary-G Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    The FTC has signaled it is reviewing big tech. Apple lost at the level of the Supreme Court with respect to the App Store appeal. The release of a desktop promised as modular without modularity is a large mistake, and is tone deaf to the market. Conditions change, and organizations driven by engineers without a concern for market conditions leads to downstream challenges. Apple is running a big risk with the MacPro. They promised modularity and may be held to the market standard. Here is the standard of the FTC, on single firm conduct of anti-competitive practices, "It is unlawful for a company to monopolize or attempt to monopolize trade, meaning a firm with market power cannot act to maintain or acquire a dominant position by excluding competitors or preventing new entry. It is important to note that it is not illegal for a company to have a monopoly, to charge “high prices,” or to try to achieve a monopoly position by aggressive methods. A company violates the law only if it tries to maintain or acquire a monopoly through unreasonable methods." The market standard for modular expansion in the storage space is not storage memory on a special controller, or a special pin connector that prohibits third party suppliers. As Apple decided to enter this space, after a very long exit from the modular desktop space, they are facing headwinds. The best advice is to meet the legal market standard, provide a device that the consumer desires, is willing to pay a reasonable premium for, and can update as per the advertising promise. Whether OS-X is superior to Windows 10 or Linux or Solaris is not the issue. The issue remains simple, if you advertise modular expansion, the legal terms of the modular hardware expansion are set externally by market practice, not by internal engineering.
  • Reply 87 of 98
    gustav said:
    Really? What post did you read? Because the one I read pointed out two different examples of Apple needlessly deviating from standards, just by swapping pinouts around, therefore making their products proprietary and (for years, if not forever) impossible to source on the open market. He also made some comments on margin that were less clearly factual, but still pretty self-evident. The deviation into tax issues, as we've all agreed, was not helpful to his main point, and I excluded it from my support.

    Not quite.  The post contained a few examples of changed pinouts but he did not provide proof of the reason they did it. Was it “needless” or is it you can’t think of any other reasons? I can think of a few that have nothing to do with inflating prices.
    Yes, it was needless, and obviously so. I'm excited to hear your ideas about how it could be justified.
  • Reply 88 of 98
    Gary-G said:
    The FTC has signaled it is reviewing big tech. Apple lost at the level of the Supreme Court with respect to the App Store appeal. The release of a desktop promised as modular without modularity is a large mistake, and is tone deaf to the market. Conditions change, and organizations driven by engineers without a concern for market conditions leads to downstream challenges. Apple is running a big risk with the MacPro. They promised modularity and may be held to the market standard. Here is the standard of the FTC, on single firm conduct of anti-competitive practices, "It is unlawful for a company to monopolize or attempt to monopolize trade, meaning a firm with market power cannot act to maintain or acquire a dominant position by excluding competitors or preventing new entry. It is important to note that it is not illegal for a company to have a monopoly, to charge “high prices,” or to try to achieve a monopoly position by aggressive methods. A company violates the law only if it tries to maintain or acquire a monopoly through unreasonable methods." The market standard for modular expansion in the storage space is not storage memory on a special controller, or a special pin connector that prohibits third party suppliers. As Apple decided to enter this space, after a very long exit from the modular desktop space, they are facing headwinds. The best advice is to meet the legal market standard, provide a device that the consumer desires, is willing to pay a reasonable premium for, and can update as per the advertising promise. Whether OS-X is superior to Windows 10 or Linux or Solaris is not the issue. The issue remains simple, if you advertise modular expansion, the legal terms of the modular hardware expansion are set externally by market practice, not by internal engineering.
    Wow, this was quite impressive. Lots of people wrote about the nnMP without bothering to read up on it first, but this idiot actually managed to be ignorant about two major topics at once (Macs and antitrust/anticompetitive practices). He also has a bee up his butt having posted about it in at least two articles so far.

    I need to stop reading these comments, it's a total timesink. :-(
    fastasleep
  • Reply 89 of 98
    The new Mac Pro is already so fundamentally flawed that it is hard to get upset over one more critical issue such as non-standard connectors in what was supposed to be a modular computer that allowed users to install whatever hardware they wanted. I am sure there are good uses for the Mac Pro but they will tend to be the ones Apple has in mind rather than the ones its customers wanted.
  • Reply 90 of 98
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member
    Gary-G said:
    The FTC has signaled it is reviewing big tech. Apple lost at the level of the Supreme Court with respect to the App Store appeal. The release of a desktop promised as modular without modularity is a large mistake, and is tone deaf to the market. Conditions change, and organizations driven by engineers without a concern for market conditions leads to downstream challenges. Apple is running a big risk with the MacPro. They promised modularity and may be held to the market standard. Here is the standard of the FTC, on single firm conduct of anti-competitive practices, "It is unlawful for a company to monopolize or attempt to monopolize trade, meaning a firm with market power cannot act to maintain or acquire a dominant position by excluding competitors or preventing new entry. It is important to note that it is not illegal for a company to have a monopoly, to charge “high prices,” or to try to achieve a monopoly position by aggressive methods. A company violates the law only if it tries to maintain or acquire a monopoly through unreasonable methods." The market standard for modular expansion in the storage space is not storage memory on a special controller, or a special pin connector that prohibits third party suppliers. As Apple decided to enter this space, after a very long exit from the modular desktop space, they are facing headwinds. The best advice is to meet the legal market standard, provide a device that the consumer desires, is willing to pay a reasonable premium for, and can update as per the advertising promise. Whether OS-X is superior to Windows 10 or Linux or Solaris is not the issue. The issue remains simple, if you advertise modular expansion, the legal terms of the modular hardware expansion are set externally by market practice, not by internal engineering.
    Wow, you have no idea what you're talking about. Did you even read this article? It outlines the many ways you can stuff all kinds of storage in these boxes. Also, there is absolutely no connection whatsoever to anti-competitive law here. Your first post gets an F.
  • Reply 91 of 98
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member

    The new Mac Pro is already so fundamentally flawed that it is hard to get upset over one more critical issue such as non-standard connectors in what was supposed to be a modular computer that allowed users to install whatever hardware they wanted. I am sure there are good uses for the Mac Pro but they will tend to be the ones Apple has in mind rather than the ones its customers wanted.
    Wrong again, as usual. Did you not read the article? You can stuff all kinds of storage in this thing from regular SATA drives to PCIe cards housing more SATA or M3 or NVMe storage. 

    Not to mention the well-documented Pro Workflow department that directly worked with their target customers to develop this machine from the ground up FOR THEM.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 92 of 98
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member
    rezwits said:
    The way Catalina installs with the OS on one Drive and the User + Apps on a different "Drive", I think 256GB should be enough, although people are going to HAVE to setup external storage (or the internal carriage), with whatever drives they want/can...  but I am looking for the command line / tools that help with this... LOL
    That's not how it works. In Catalina, macOS lives on a read-only volume. User data lives on another volume, which is separate and hidden. In the Finder, you'll only see one volume that represents your startup disk and will appear as if everything is on the same volume.  It has nothing to do with separate drives/storage, your user directory will still live on the same disk as macOS by default.

    I assume there will be a way to map the user's home directory to another disk as you can currently do with earlier iterations of macOS, but that wouldn't be anything new.
  • Reply 93 of 98
    rezwits said:
    The way Catalina installs with the OS on one Drive and the User + Apps on a different "Drive", I think 256GB should be enough, although people are going to HAVE to setup external storage (or the internal carriage), with whatever drives they want/can...  but I am looking for the command line / tools that help with this... LOL
    That's not how it works. In Catalina, macOS lives on a read-only volume. User data lives on another volume, which is separate and hidden. In the Finder, you'll only see one volume that represents your startup disk and will appear as if everything is on the same volume.  It has nothing to do with separate drives/storage, your user directory will still live on the same disk as macOS by default.

    I assume there will be a way to map the user's home directory to another disk as you can currently do with earlier iterations of macOS, but that wouldn't be anything new.
    Interesting, I've been wondering about this, and I haven't seen a tech analysis anywhere. What exactly are they doing? Are they union-mounting a user writeable FS on top of the OS volume? Bind-mounting specific dirs in place like /Users? Or something else? How do they handle OS updates?
  • Reply 94 of 98
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    JustSomeGuy1 said:
    Interesting, I've been wondering about this, and I haven't seen a tech analysis anywhere. What exactly are they doing? Are they union-mounting a user writeable FS on top of the OS volume? Bind-mounting specific dirs in place like /Users? Or something else? How do they handle OS updates?
    John Siracusa goes over it in this episode: https://atp.fm/episodes/330
    I didn't pay too close of attention, but it seemed to have something to do with a new type of file link.

    JustSomeGuy1colinng
  • Reply 95 of 98
    well these days we dont use local storage, we have local servers for that :) so this isnt so big deal anymore.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 96 of 98
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member
    cgWerks said:
    JustSomeGuy1 said:
    Interesting, I've been wondering about this, and I haven't seen a tech analysis anywhere. What exactly are they doing? Are they union-mounting a user writeable FS on top of the OS volume? Bind-mounting specific dirs in place like /Users? Or something else? How do they handle OS updates?
    John Siracusa goes over it in this episode: https://atp.fm/episodes/330
    I didn't pay too close of attention, but it seemed to have something to do with a new type of file link.

    Yes, starting around 27:00 on that episode, they go into a bunch of APFS changes starting with the read-only volume integration. They implemented something called Volume Groups. The Catalina volume is read only, and your user volume is read/write. Apple is using something called "firmlinks" which are something like symlinks but different in that if you go into a firmlink and you back up a dir, you go back to where you came from, versus the parent of the dir the symlink sent you to. Basically it's all transparent to the user.

    Good for a listen if you're interested in this stuff, they talk about APFS stuff for a while. The whole episode was really interesting, actually.

    Also read a little on the Carbon Copy Cloner blog too, though it doesn't go into info on the type of linking, it had some info on implications for backups:
    https://bombich.com/blog/2019/06/06/catalina-read-only-system-volume-and-hfs-getting-out-system-business


    cgWerksJustSomeGuy1colinng
  • Reply 97 of 98
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    fastasleep said:
    Yes, starting around 27:00 on that episode, they go into a bunch of APFS changes starting with the read-only volume integration. ...
    Thanks for summarizing that and the additional link! (I was a bit too lazy to go quite that far.)

  • Reply 98 of 98
    cgWerks said:
    JustSomeGuy1 said:
    Interesting, I've been wondering about this, and I haven't seen a tech analysis anywhere. What exactly are they doing? Are they union-mounting a user writeable FS on top of the OS volume? Bind-mounting specific dirs in place like /Users? Or something else? How do they handle OS updates?
    John Siracusa goes over it in this episode: https://atp.fm/episodes/330
    I didn't pay too close of attention, but it seemed to have something to do with a new type of file link.

    Yes, starting around 27:00 on that episode, they go into a bunch of APFS changes starting with the read-only volume integration. They implemented something called Volume Groups. The Catalina volume is read only, and your user volume is read/write. Apple is using something called "firmlinks" which are something like symlinks but different in that if you go into a firmlink and you back up a dir, you go back to where you came from, versus the parent of the dir the symlink sent you to. Basically it's all transparent to the user.

    Good for a listen if you're interested in this stuff, they talk about APFS stuff for a while. The whole episode was really interesting, actually.

    Also read a little on the Carbon Copy Cloner blog too, though it doesn't go into info on the type of linking, it had some info on implications for backups:
    https://bombich.com/blog/2019/06/06/catalina-read-only-system-volume-and-hfs-getting-out-system-business
    Thanks, I haven't had time to listen, that's helpful.
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