Inside Apple's fantastically fast new Mac Pro

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 84
    xixoxixo Posts: 431member
    Shame it has to run Catalina
  • Reply 22 of 84
    RajkaRajka Posts: 32member
    I've nothing against Apple targeting the pro market, even though its current hardware offerings are anything but pro, but I really wanted a prosumer desktop Mac to replace my cheese grater. Apple did not address this niche at all and, by the looks of how its priced the new Mac Pro, it does not look as if it plans to. Why do that when Apple can charge double retail?
    wozwozmobird
  • Reply 23 of 84
    Rajka said:
    I've nothing against Apple targeting the pro market, even though its current hardware offerings are anything but pro, but I really wanted a prosumer desktop Mac to replace my cheese grater.
    Why wouldn't you buy a 5K iMac or iMac Pro? You're not going to have any prosumer software that won't run significantly better on those machines than a 2012 or earlier cheese grater. I bought the low-end standard 5K iMac and it blows away my old 2009 8-core Xeon Mac Pro. 
    fastasleepStrangeDayscaladanianmacplusplusbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 84
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    karmadave said:
    The new Mac Pro will largely appeal to Audio and Video professionals who's company foots the bill. A) it's not a Consumer machine and B) it's under-featured and overpriced compared to PC Workstations from Dell, HP, and Lenovo.

    Haha!
    philboogiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 84
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 253member
    I'd like to see the 2013 Mac Pro (cylinder) updated with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, faster RAM, faster graphics cards ... not difficult to do - and in an amazingly compact and quiet form factor. It would be the Prosumer model. I just don't buy the line in the article that "While the design of previous 2013 Mac Pro wasn't physically large enough to accommodate the heat dissipation of increasingly hotter chips" ... have you seen how much bigger the cylinder is than a Pro notebook? Or compared to an iMac Pro? And how much better it is at dissipating heat?   Apple has just been lazy in not updating the Pro cylinder.
    zhirophilboogie
  • Reply 26 of 84
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    cia said:
    mac_dog said:
    How much animal hair collects in this thing and is it easy to clean from that perspective? If you have a short-haired dog (such as a Rhodesian Ridgeback), you know what I’m talking about. 
    Totally agree.  Apple has completely abandoned the pet shelter market with this new MacPro.  Apple is doomed!
    Agreed.  Apple will have to issue warnings that it is not a pet-friendly product.  That said,  all my cheese graters were easy to vacuum inside and this looks way easier.
    philboogiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 84
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 253member
    Rajka said:
    I've nothing against Apple targeting the pro market, even though its current hardware offerings are anything but pro, but I really wanted a prosumer desktop Mac to replace my cheese grater.
    Why wouldn't you buy a 5K iMac or iMac Pro? You're not going to have any prosumer software that won't run significantly better on those machines than a 2012 or earlier cheese grater. I bought the low-end standard 5K iMac and it blows away my old 2009 8-core Xeon Mac Pro. 
    Because they have a built-in monitor. The Mac Mini is too small and not powerful enough. The form factor of the Pro cylinder is perfect for the prosumer market - it just needs updating.
    applesnoranges
  • Reply 28 of 84
    thttht Posts: 4,501member
    k2kw said:
    tht said:
    Wonder if Apple will make an MPX module with 2 CPU sockets in it. It looks big enough to have 2 CPU sockets, and maybe 4 DIMM slots per socket. It would just run as an independent computer in the MPX slot like a blade. With 2 of those, you could put 150 CPU cores in the box. A desktop cluster for numerical simulation folks. They also should sell 8, 12, 20 TB PCIe SSD cards.

    Too much of a machine for me. I would seriously consider a half Mac Pro as it were. Truncate the machine in depth by about 4 to 5 inches, 4 DIMM slots, 2 SSD slots, and maybe 7 half length PCI slots, Would be nice to have a half MPX module with 2 3.5” drives and a half MPX module with a 200 W GPU. A TV tuner PCIe card would be interesting too, but that’ll probably run into a copy protection roadblock.
    Yes I would love to see mini-Tower version of this.   Something that is much more powerful than a MacMini.  Maybe 512 GB RAM and one MPX unit.

    i think it is Apples best designed product in years.   And the design supports function and not throttles it.   Great it’s made in the USA too.   Maybe Apple should assemble the IMacPro here too.
    I’m proposing truncating it in the other direction. ;)

    If you truncate the height as you suggest, like 1 fan diameter or 5 inches or so, you end up with a box that is about 11” tall, 18” deep and 8.5” wide, plus 4 inches total or so for the feet and handles.

    I want this thing on my desk, and being 18” deep is a problem for me. So, truncate it in depth by about 5 inches. The machine will support full length PCIe cards, 12.5”. Taking 5 inches off it means it will only support 7” cards, or half length cards, but still have 8 PCIe slots, with 4 of them being double width.

    I’m more than fine with this. A 250 W GPU can go into there. A 2 3.5” HDD half length MPX module can go into there. So on and so forth. It would be about 17” tall, 12” deep, and 8.5” wide. Smaller desktop footprint. Also wish one of the fans could be removed so an optical drive could go in there, but this will mean a whole different ID. No fancy grill.
  • Reply 29 of 84
    wozwoz said:
    I'd like to see the 2013 Mac Pro (cylinder) updated with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, faster RAM, faster graphics cards ... not difficult to do - and in an amazingly compact and quiet form factor. It would be the Prosumer model. I just don't buy the line in the article that "While the design of previous 2013 Mac Pro wasn't physically large enough to accommodate the heat dissipation of increasingly hotter chips" ... have you seen how much bigger the cylinder is than a Pro notebook? Or compared to an iMac Pro? And how much better it is at dissipating heat?   Apple has just been lazy in not updating the Pro cylinder.
    Apple has itself stated that cooling was the big problem with the cylinder. (I think the words they used were "backed into a thermal corner".)

    The other big problem with the cylinder is that you can't upgrade the graphics card. And unlike the CPU, it's quite common to upgrade the graphics before replacing the machine. Even if Apple were to sell GPU upgrades, they'd be custom and highly overpriced compared to the PCIe GPU market. This eliminates one of the big advantages of buying a modular Mac.

    Apple could make a single-PCIe-slot Mac, stuff the GPU into the slot, and call it a day. Of course I'd rather have two or three slots, but with a handful of TB3 ports, one would be adequate. If they could put that into a cylinder, fine, but I doubt that would be a good shape, given the PCIe card.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 30 of 84
    sdw2001 said:
    I can't get over what a monster this thing is.  Apple's "pro" machines have always been more marketed to prosumers/power users rather than true workstation users.  This machine changes everything.  

    I'm not up on PC workstation class machines, so a question for someone who is:  Is there anything even close to this?  
    Yes and no. You can get machines from HP, Dell, etc. with similar CPUs, RAM, and room for video cards. The afterburner card, no. That much Thunderbolt, no. Those video cards, no, though you can use NVidia cards that are either way better or somewhat worse, depending on what you do. Flash storage, yes, and you can do better than the Mac (FSVO better, again depending on use case). Slots... maybe not, I haven't checked.

    Unfortunately, this Mac *still* hasn't shipped, whereas EPYC 2 is now readily available, with Zen-2 based Threadripper coming soon. While some people will still be unwilling to look at AMD products, I doubt that that will last long, as the AMD chips are ridiculously superior to Intel's product line, and will remain so for at least a year, I expect.

    This Mac Pro will be a great workstation at a reasonably competitive price *for Intel-based workstations* (probably, but Intel pricing volatility and Apple's pricing stability may make Apple's pricing very unfavorable - time will tell). But cheaper Threadripper or EPYC-based workstations will wipe the floor with it, in most ways, and probably by the end of the year.

    On a separate topic, does anyone know if the TB3 ports on the PCIe card are somehow provided with full bandwidth? Or are they constrained by the bandwidth of the PCIe card?

    You've never worked in a studio have you? There's a reason movie studios are still running last gens Mac Pro from 2013. I'm not even gonna bother telling you why since you seem obsessed with specs. No wonder you're "JustSomeGuy".
    Thank you for your gratuitous and irrelevant ad hominem attack. I'm sure you make your mommy proud. (See, I can do it too.)

    I actually am not that obsessed with "specs", but they are relevant to the question that was asked. Which, BTW, I answered with facts; do you have any to add?

    My major followup point was that Apple may have made a significant mistake by sticking to Intel here, and that as impressive a machine as the nnMP is, the Intel chip is such a huge drawback that for anyone who really needs massive power, it's going to look weak compared to AMD-based workstations. Memory support will also be against it for some people, though not that many as 1.5TB should be enough for most people for a while. :-)

    It will in the end depend on whether the CPU or other processors are paramount - the afterburner card alone is likely to be a determinative argument in the Mac's favor for certain video people. The dual-dual GPUs also, though that's a little murkier.
    entropysrundhvidphilboogie
  • Reply 31 of 84
    karmadave said:
    The new Mac Pro will largely appeal to Audio and Video professionals who's company foots the bill. A) it's not a Consumer machine and B) it's under-featured and overpriced compared to PC Workstations from Dell, HP, and Lenovo...
    "Overpriced" is a nonsensical claim at the moment, as none of us have any idea what pricing will be. (The "starting price" is meaningless here, as very few will buy that configuration.) You may turn out to be correct, but right now there's no telling.

    At least, if you're comparing Intel-based workstations. I'm afraid you're almost certainly right if you compare to an EPYC2-based workstation.

    In what way is the nnMP "underfeatured"? Aside from a lack of NVMe or U.2 ports (easily rectified by a PCIe card), what do you think is missing?
    philboogie
  • Reply 32 of 84
    My humorous 20 cent about the timing of the MacPro und the sudden seriousness about ACTUALLY catering to the true pro market: 

    Apple plans to go into the movie business, also filming and doing post production on some of the shows. 4K and up, naturally. 

    With what equipment? Powerful Windows machines?? Ouch!!

    Why not build your own computer for it. You have to do something useful with all the cash you’re hoarding. And maybe you can even sell a few dozen. 


    zhirowatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 84
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    tht said:
    Wonder if Apple will make an MPX module with 2 CPU sockets in it. It looks big enough to have 2 CPU sockets, and maybe 4 DIMM slots per socket. It would just run as an independent computer in the MPX slot like a blade. With 2 of those, you could put 150 CPU cores in the box. A desktop cluster for numerical simulation folks. They also should sell 8, 12, 20 TB PCIe SSD cards.
    I'm afraid that will be too huge for the current case.  28-core is more than enough for now and it's just easy to build a processor with more cores (aka Ryzen), most importantly, Xeon Scalable is much more expensive than predecessors, which is a bit unnecessary for a workstation.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 84
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    wozwoz said:
    Rajka said:
    I've nothing against Apple targeting the pro market, even though its current hardware offerings are anything but pro, but I really wanted a prosumer desktop Mac to replace my cheese grater.
    Why wouldn't you buy a 5K iMac or iMac Pro? You're not going to have any prosumer software that won't run significantly better on those machines than a 2012 or earlier cheese grater. I bought the low-end standard 5K iMac and it blows away my old 2009 8-core Xeon Mac Pro. 
    Because they have a built-in monitor. The Mac Mini is too small and not powerful enough. The form factor of the Pro cylinder is perfect for the prosumer market - it just needs updating.
    Most "prosumers" I know don't have more than 32GiB of RAM and probably will never upgrade it.  Having the option is nice but do realize you can't do much in mainstream platforms - All 16 PCIe slots will be used by the graphics card, four more goes to SSD by the PCH.

    Intel is also known for switching sockets between generations, which will make the entire system obsolete.
    edited October 2019 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 84
    sdw2001 said:
    I can't get over what a monster this thing is.  Apple's "pro" machines have always been more marketed to prosumers/power users rather than true workstation users.  This machine changes everything.  

    I'm not up on PC workstation class machines, so a question for someone who is:  Is there anything even close to this?  
    Yes and no.   Don't expect a lot of innovation coming from Intel they're likely to skip next years PCI-Express 4.0 evolutionary step and refresh most of their Xeon class hardware with PCI-Express 5.0 which employs a lot of new technology chiefly a new CXL Interconnect  .  NVME SSD on PCI-Express 4 are already doing 5Gbps reads and very fast writes but many people feel like existing PCI-E limitations limit the benefits of  that extra speed  After PCI-Express 5 you're going to see 4-Level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4) which will not only get PCI-E 6.0 to 64 Gigatransfer but it'll be key in 100Gbps Ethernet for Data Centers and more. 

    The obvious question is who needs this bandwidth?  AI,  8K and VR encoding,  Machine Learning,  Databases as always and even gaming.   I think Apple has designed or workstation form factor that is going to be able to scale with the insane amount of bandwidth increases we have coming in just 4-5 years. 
    You need to do a lot more reading, and you can start with the link you provided. You are confused about the relationship between CXL and PCIe5. PCI5 does not use any aspect of CXL. Rather, CXL leverages PCIe 5, with its major selling point being memory coherency between CPUs and attached coprocessors of various sorts (GPUs, FPGAs, NNPs, etc.). It's roughly similar to CCIX, and somewhat similar to GenZ (though CXL and CCIX use PCIe5 mechanicals, whereas GenZ doesn't).

    You are similarly confused about the state of play in NVMe SSDs. Not one person who understands the technology thinks that "existing PCI-E limitations limit the benefits of  that extra speed". The limitation comes from the only PCIe4-capable controller that's on the market currently (the Phison PS5016-E16), which was a quick patch job on a previous controller to add PCIe4 compatability. Better controllers are coming soon, and they should be able to push read and write speeds up to ~7GB/sec... that is, if you're moving bulk data. For most people, random I/O is more important, as is latency, and the PCIe version doesn't make any difference for that- it's the flash and the controller.

    As for 100Gbps Ethernet, a single PCIe3 x16 slot is almost but not quite adequate to saturate the link. A PCIe4 x16 could handle a dual port card. By the time you get to PCIe5, a single x4 slot could handle a single port. PCIe6's bandwidth will obviously be welcome for anyone using 100Gbps Ethernet, but it's far from necessary.
    zhirorundhvidphilboogiewatto_cobrahodar
  • Reply 36 of 84
    I think we'll get an even better picture of what Apple is doing when the new 15/16" MacBook Pro comes out. Supposedly it's by the same team that designed this Mac Pro, and it will be able to drive the XDR display at full specs. So you'll have a Mac Pro, the iMac Pro, and at least one high-end Pro laptop. Not sure where that leaves the 13" MacBook Pro. We'll just have to see.

    Also, will the price of the iMac Pro refresh drop since the Xeon-W chips for it are now priced at half what they were?
    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 84
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    I think we'll get an even better picture of what Apple is doing when the new 15/16" MacBook Pro comes out. Supposedly it's by the same team that designed this Mac Pro, and it will be able to drive the XDR display at full specs. So you'll have a Mac Pro, the iMac Pro, and at least one high-end Pro laptop. Not sure where that leaves the 13" MacBook Pro. We'll just have to see.

    Also, will the price of the iMac Pro refresh drop since the Xeon-W chips for it are now priced at half what they were?
    I doubt anyone wants their laptop to replace a 28-core workstation, you can't make a distinct line between a "Pro" and "Consumer".
  • Reply 38 of 84
    thttht Posts: 4,501member
    DuhSesame said:
    tht said:
    Wonder if Apple will make an MPX module with 2 CPU sockets in it. It looks big enough to have 2 CPU sockets, and maybe 4 DIMM slots per socket. It would just run as an independent computer in the MPX slot like a blade. With 2 of those, you could put 150 CPU cores in the box. A desktop cluster for numerical simulation folks. They also should sell 8, 12, 20 TB PCIe SSD cards.
    I'm afraid that will be too huge for the current case.  28-core is more than enough for now and it's just easy to build a processor with more cores (aka Ryzen), most importantly, Xeon Scalable is much more expensive than predecessors, which is a bit unnecessary for a workstation.
    There always a desire for more CPU performance with numerical simulations, and there is a niche of folks who will pay for the most performance possible in the smallest footprint possible. Apple just doesn’t serve this niche as much as the media creation niche which is more than willing to pay for 4 GPUs in the box sucking up 1000 W of power.

    And if they really are going to make a rack version of this, where they have to put the handles in the front plate (the grill with the fancy hemispherical bores), seems like those MPX modules should offer more than just GPUs. Lots of custom ASICs for sure, but the MPX module could be a high core count Mac for Mac hosting or whatever server application. Have to do some more math to see if it the power/perf density is better than a rack of Mac mini’s. Don’t think you can put 25 Mac mini’s in the same footprint as a Mac Pro, but it’s going to be close.

    The DIMM slots are about 5.5” long. A full length PCIe card is 12.5”, so there is room for 2 to be in line. The big question is if you could layout a CPU and 2 DIMM slots on the sides with only about 5” of board space or so. More than enough power to support a 2 socket computer in the MPX module.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 84
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,258member
    tht said:
    DuhSesame said:
    tht said:
    Wonder if Apple will make an MPX module with 2 CPU sockets in it. It looks big enough to have 2 CPU sockets, and maybe 4 DIMM slots per socket. It would just run as an independent computer in the MPX slot like a blade. With 2 of those, you could put 150 CPU cores in the box. A desktop cluster for numerical simulation folks. They also should sell 8, 12, 20 TB PCIe SSD cards.
    I'm afraid that will be too huge for the current case.  28-core is more than enough for now and it's just easy to build a processor with more cores (aka Ryzen), most importantly, Xeon Scalable is much more expensive than predecessors, which is a bit unnecessary for a workstation.
    There always a desire for more CPU performance with numerical simulations, and there is a niche of folks who will pay for the most performance possible in the smallest footprint possible. Apple just doesn’t serve this niche as much as the media creation niche which is more than willing to pay for 4 GPUs in the box sucking up 1000 W of power.

    And if they really are going to make a rack version of this, where they have to put the handles in the front plate (the grill with the fancy hemispherical bores), seems like those MPX modules should offer more than just GPUs. Lots of custom ASICs for sure, but the MPX module could be a high core count Mac for Mac hosting or whatever server application. Have to do some more math to see if it the power/perf density is better than a rack of Mac mini’s. Don’t think you can put 25 Mac mini’s in the same footprint as a Mac Pro, but it’s going to be close.

    The DIMM slots are about 5.5” long. A full length PCIe card is 12.5”, so there is room for 2 to be in line. The big question is if you could layout a CPU and 2 DIMM slots on the sides with only about 5” of board space or so. More than enough power to support a 2 socket computer in the MPX module.
    There are even 4 CPU workstations, I'm sure you can scale that until you could build a supercomputer.  From what I know those MPX slots were built upon 8 lanes of PCIe with 500W power connections.  Nothing really fancy there, especially that Xeon W can't be scaled with more processors.

     I'm sure the board is big enough to have two processors, but like what you've said, 28-core is enough for now.
  • Reply 40 of 84
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,208member
    xixo said:
    Shame it has to run Catalina
    Why? Catalina is running beautifully on my iMac. What issues are you running into that are affecting your uptime?
    philboogie
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