Apple had a M1 Mac Pro, but decided to wait for M2 Extreme

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 67
    techconc said:
    The "Ultra" is and will still likely be the low end of the Pro configuration.  The higher end will effectively be 2 Ultra modules or maybe "extreme" as Gurman calls it.  I think the real question is whether Apple is able to make it user scalable with something like Apple branded video cards, etc.  To your point, the GPU in the M1 Ultra didn't scale to its potential.  Looks like a hardware / engineering problem.  That's likely why they scrapped the M1 based Mac Pro machine.  Hopefully, this will be corrected for the M2 series of Ultra / Extreme chips. 

    Also, no the Studio is not a stop gap.  It's more like a "mini Pro" in lieu of a 27" iMac. 
    Interesting point, that the M1 Ultra GPU "didn't scale to its potential" and problems related to that might have ended the M1 Mac Pro. That makes a lot of sense.

    It seems likely that one thing that will carry over from M1 is the M1 Max as a building block. The M1 Ultra was two M1 Max fused together. The M2 Ultra will be two M2 Max fused together, and the M2 "Extreme" will be four M2 Max fused together. 

    On the other hand, the relationship of the M1 Pro to the M1 Max was never clear to me. I remember speculation that it was a sort of byproduct, a cut-down M1 Max that had failed somehow, but could still be salvaged. I don't know enough about the fabrication process to judge that claim. It didn't seem quite right to me.

    I hold out hope that the M2 Pro will find its way into the iMac and the new Mac Mini (6x6") as an option, along with the M2.

    Then the MacBook Pro would be M2 Pro and M2 Max. The Mac Studio would be M2 Max and M2 Ultra. The Mac Pro would be M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 67
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 616member
    tht said:
    I have half a thought that they should create a specialized RAM slot. Something with 400 GByte/s bandwidth, and can go up to 2 TB of RAM. It would be like the MPX slots where it is effectively 2 PCIe x16 slots in series, but architected only for main memory, with lower latency and higher bandwidth. It would have a heatsink on it like the Mac Pro Afterburner card. With the Mac Studio being an integrated, vertical product. If it was able to support the same expansion modules as the Mac Pro, it would have in driving down costs for both machines. SSDs are also heading down the path of needing active cooling, so an SSD card with a heatsink will be inevitable too. So, an SSD PCIe card that looks like an Afterburner card seems inevitable too.
    It doesn’t need to be a specialized RAM slot. Normal DDR5 DIMMs would work. The “magic” leading to the extreme memory throughput is just parallelism, same as we’ve had since DDR2 (even earlier on exotic systems). Apple’s other processors simply run a bunch of memory controller chunks each with their own single RAM chip to increase the bit width of the memory interface. M1 Ultra’s memory interface is so fast because it’s 1024 bits wide. Each channel is “only” a bit over 50 GB/s.

    Apple’s SSDs on the iMac Pro, 2019 Mac Pro, and the Mac Studio all already use replaceable flash carts. They don’t need heatsinking so much as electrical isolation.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 67
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,123member
    Gurman discussed some of the exaggerated controversies that the interviewers [MaxTech] originally started surrounding the M2 MacBook Air
    I watched that interview because AppleInsider linked to it, and in that interview I saw Gurman thank Vadim/MaxTech for having brought the issues to light.  Gurman said it was important information for consumers and he even went so far as to say Apple should have done more to inform consumers of the speed difference, even if to say that higher end configs "would perform better."  Nothing I saw in the interview suggested that Gurman thought the information surrounding the slower SSD speeds for the 128GB base model was "exaggerated."  And that is reinforced by the fact he agreed to do that interview with MaxTech in the first place.  If one contends Gurman did the interview only to set the record straight and gut any exaggerations, well, he certain did the opposite of that by praising MaxTech for breaking that news to the public.

    My own take on this issue is that the tech media itself seems to be warring over their own preferred opinions.  Consumers are caught in the middle. MaxTech outs the comparatively slower SSD speeds of the base model, and then others in the tech media seek to gain attention by claiming how unimportant that reveal is.  Gurman during that interview sided with MaxTech by saying it is important in his opinion "for the consumer."  He feels the more information available to the consumer the better, to make the best buying decision, and I've always felt that to be true in my own consumer buying life.  

    Let's face it, Apple set itself up for this.  It's hard to slight MaxTech's extensive testing because the M2‌'s new video features accelerate ProRes and ProRes RAW to enable playback of multiple streams of 4K and 8K video.  So does one avoid testing those features because one thinks that only web browsing consumers will buy the Air?  Or does one test the features advertised by Apple like MaxTech did?  

    I am not oblivious to the fact the two brothers once worked here at AppleInsider.  And perhaps that, more than anything else, is part of the "drama" in the recent news about SSD speeds.  But the facts of the matter are that when detractors of MaxTech say that the target buyer of an M2 Air isn't going to do 8K, ProRES RAW, etc., those are merely a war of words because Apple itself put those features into the M2 chip, and Apple itself decided to use 1 SSD chip instead of two (affecting performance on the base 128GB model), and people who test those features aren't wrong in doing so, regardless of whether the actual Mac in which the M2 is used is a notebook targeted at students.  

    As to whether MaxTech creates videos for Likes and Subs is largely irrelevant insofar as every channel on YouTube does that.  You do what you have to do to survive, and then it's up to the viewer to decide if the content is clickbait or legitimate news worthy of consideration before a purchase.

    Lastly, keep in mind that some students are like my daughter who work in graphics design, while others do photography or even video work and may benefit from the very features of the M2 which some on the tech media say "won't be used" in the M2 Air by the average buyer.  8GB of RAM may prove limiting for students who use the Adobe suite at school, and that will result in increased SWAP usage, which in turn will impact performance if the student has the base 128GB SSD model.

    And there you have it, without exaggeration.
    watto_cobra9secondkox2
  • Reply 24 of 67
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,334member
    techconc said:
    danox said:

    ...
    All of the Mac range of computers need to be released at the same time at each SOC M1, M2, M3 level upgrade, overlapping isn’t going to work. Apple had trouble with Intel’s schedule, it’s a shame now that Apple is in charge they are having internal marketing release trouble with themselves with their own chip.

    One more thing the performance of the M2 at low wattage is utterly ridiculous when compared to the Intel and AMD chips, where are the SERVERS? What is Apple waiting for Jerry Jones? The Fourth season of Ted Lasso? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf9sjtv3LYs Incredible!.
    Your comment is quixotic and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how chip design works.  Do you think Intel intentionally kept their Xeon chips a generation behind their desktops?

    Generally, it works like this.  You have a team building the new technology for things like the CPU and GPU cores.  Those cores are used with the most simplistic and highest volume chips the company makes.  Why?  They are easier to debug and they produce the highest rate of return for the company.  The A series chips will always be the leading indicator for where Apple is going with their technology.  Then, they scale this out to bigger and better chips like the Mx, Mx Pro, Mx Ultra, etc.  Meanwhile, concurrently, they're working on their next technology for their CPUs and GPUs.  On occasion, you might get something like media encoders showing up on a later M series chip first just because that's when the technology was ready. 

    As for servers, Apple is not in the server business and they don't sell their chips to others to use.  The server market will eventually move away from Intel, but it largely has to happen on the desktop first.  Why?  Because people develop on the desktop and then deploy to the cloud.  Right now, the cloud is driven by the popularity of the desktop architectures, despite the obvious advantages of moving to ARM based solutions. 

    Apple right now has no real competition right now (it won’t last), Apple appears to sitting around dithering (they appear to be making marketing not tech decisions), overlap releases long term isn’t going to work, Apple didn’t take 13 years to replace Intel, because Intel, or those other sub standard companies like IBM, and Motorola before them did a good job. Apple’s cumulative experience with those chip makers let to the A and M series, and that is leading them to replace the Qualcomm modem in time.

    The performance of the M series is too great not to put it into servers (give Qualcomm nothing) and that is no different than expanding the A series into mainstream computers which most people even on this site said they would not do. (Intel forever?).

    Apple timing on the releases of the M series should be across the entire range of Mac’s at the same time, the M2 Max? in the next MacBook Pro probably stands a very good chance of out performing the current just released M1 Mac Studio. (Not good) but we shall see.

    Apple’s hardware in current times has been all over in and out, Laptop keyboards, HomePods, MagSafe, Curated Monitors, Monitor Web Cam, Mac Pro’s, next up Apple router’s coming back? Pardon if there is some concern….
    edited July 27
  • Reply 25 of 67
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,469member
    netrox said:
    Why do we need a Mac Pro? We already have it, it's called Studio Ultra. 



    If you watch Mark Guzman’s recent interview with Max Tech, he shares that App,e had an M1 based Mac Pro ready to go at WWDC, but ultimately scrapped that plan. 

    Subsequent testing of the Mac Studios M1 Ultra shows that, while very impressive, the M1 Ultra is not performing up to its potential. Apple no doubt noticed such in testing and needed time to correct that for the M2 version. 

    Enter Mac Studio. 
  • Reply 26 of 67
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,469member
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 
  • Reply 27 of 67
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,469member
    tht said:
    techconc said:
    tht said:
    The big issue for Apple is really how willing they are going to compete in the workstation market with a 1.5 kW box. 

    That’s what the 2019 Mac Pro is and at minimum, I think they need to have that much compute in the box. Not only do they need to have a 20+64 (M1 Ultra), a 40+128 SoC ( or M2 equivalent), they need to be able to put 4 or 5 of them in a 1.5 kW box, with flexibility for 4 3.5” HDDs, and lots of PCIe cards. 

    They really don’t need a new box. Just use the 2019 Mac Pro box, develop an interface for 32 to 64 PCIe lanes, and go. But their product marketing folks are quite… focused. 
    I agree that they likely need some form of PCI expansion, but I don't agree that it needs 3.5 HDD options at this point.  Especially for a high performance pro machine.  If you were talking about a "prosumer" type of box, I might agree, but not for the high end pro machines.
    For the 3.5" HDD, I was basically referring to the Promise Pegasus MPX modules. 4 HDD in a 4-wide PCI slot card. Not talking about having dedicated HDD bays. There's nothing technically stopping someone from making a 2x wide PCIe card with 2 HDD drives either. As long as spinning drives are like an order of magnitude cheaper per TB than solid state drives, there is going to be a need for HDD, and having them internal would be a feature of a big box. 20 TB HDD for $500 or less right now.

    The 2019 Mac Pro industrial design is very good imo. Just continue using it and only change the internal design in accordance to the expansion architecture they want to have. There are things they need to do to be competitive with a Mac Pro. Putatively, a product in the workstation market that can both go on top of desks and in racks, and would be able to address a wide range of workflows. So, >1 TB RAM capacity, large internal storage capacity, and flexibility to cover different types of work. I think it needs to continue to have 8 PCIe slots, and PCIe 4 is the minimum for a big box in 2023. How Apple enables large >1 TB memory and 40 to 60 PCIe lanes with their chip, memory and IO architecture has been a subject for debate for awhile.

    The "easy" solution is to not offer >1 TB of RAM, but only 256 GB (with two M1 Ultras connected together), and to only have something like 20 PCIe 4 lanes for PCIe slots, or perhaps no PCIe slots at all. Like an uber Mac Studio. I don't think they can sell that and everyone will recognize it as a downgrade from the 2019 model. They may try, but I think it will fail. They tried the highly focused workstation product strategy with 2013 Mac Pro, and the 2017 iMac Pro, and it wasn't very successful. The 2022 Mac Studio is like this too, but perhaps has the saving grace of starting at $2000. The Mac Pro can't be a vertical product where it basically is a high end FCP machine.

    I have half a thought that they should create a specialized RAM slot. Something with 400 GByte/s bandwidth, and can go up to 2 TB of RAM. It would be like the MPX slots where it is effectively 2 PCIe x16 slots in series, but architected only for main memory, with lower latency and higher bandwidth. It would have a heatsink on it like the Mac Pro Afterburner card. With the Mac Studio being an integrated, vertical product. If it was able to support the same expansion modules as the Mac Pro, it would have in driving down costs for both machines. SSDs are also heading down the path of needing active cooling, so an SSD card with a heatsink will be inevitable too. So, an SSD PCIe card that looks like an Afterburner card seems inevitable too.


    Have to agree with the bold. The Mac Pro aesthetic is a sight to behold. The functional perforations are genius in their perfect combination of form and function. Performance art to the highest degree. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 67
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,334member
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 

    The Leader Mac or Max Headroom Mac…..
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 29 of 67
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 
    It's a completely different logic board, completely different cooling, completely different port construction.  There's no reason to think it went through any less of a design process than any other new Apple product, which would not be "a very short period of time".  No way.
    tht9secondkox2tenthousandthingsFidonet127watto_cobratechconc
  • Reply 30 of 67
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,469member
    crowley said:
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 
    It's a completely different logic board, completely different cooling, completely different port construction.  There's no reason to think it went through any less of a design process than any other new Apple product, which would not be "a very short period of time".  No way.
    Of course those items needed to be laid out and built but it’s a known quantity. Apple was developing the Mac pro and testing likely indicated the m1 ultra or adoubled up version of that wasn’t what they wanted to share a awe as the best they could do. Somewhere in the testing process, the decision was made to not launch at wwdc. And since wwdc I planned far in advance, this gave more than enough time - in a relatively short period of time - to build a stretch Mac mini and have it ready shortly thereafter. It’s not some new avant-garde industrial design and the motherboard isn’t some feat of engineering. 

    As Gurkan noted, apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at wwdc but then decided against it. 
    There is no way they would have launched the studio and the pro at the same time. They just needed to buy time with a product that doesn’t have a legacy to live up to and can perform for those who need/want the power. 

    It’s not bad that it’s a bit of a bridge. It’s just that apple needed to get some serious performance clout but it’s lauded machine is not ready. 

    edited July 28 danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 67
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    crowley said:
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 
    It's a completely different logic board, completely different cooling, completely different port construction.  There's no reason to think it went through any less of a design process than any other new Apple product, which would not be "a very short period of time".  No way.
    Of course those items needed to be laid out and built but it’s a known quantity. Apple was developing the Mac pro and testing likely indicated the m1 ultra or adoubled up version of that wasn’t what they wanted to share a awe as the best they could do. Somewhere in the testing process, the decision was made to not launch at wwdc. And since wwdc I planned far in advance, this gave more than enough time - in a relatively short period of time - to build a stretch Mac mini and have it ready shortly thereafter. It’s not some new avant-garde industrial design and the motherboard isn’t some feat of engineering. 

    As Gurkan noted, apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at wwdc but then decided against it. 
    There is no way they would have launched the studio and the pro at the same time. They just needed to buy time with a product that doesn’t have a legacy to live up to and can perform for those who need/want the power. 

    It’s not bad that it’s a bit of a bridge. It’s just that apple needed to get some serious performance clout but it’s lauded machine is not ready. 
    Apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at WWDC.
    Apple decided against it.
    WWDC is planned so far in advance so they were able to design the Mac Studio in the intermission.

    No chance. What in Apple's track record has ever suggested a rush released panic product?  Absolutely no chance. 
    thtwatto_cobramattinozfastasleep9secondkox2
  • Reply 32 of 67
    Paul_BPaul_B Posts: 82member
    In all seriousness, this 'time line' paradigm is getting old.  A manufacturer does not have to bring in a new design or engine everyday.  Look at the automotive industry, the HEMI engine hasn't changed in years, and that's a profitable selling feature.  Just go from the M1 to the M5, and profits will triple.  It's Logic.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 67
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 920member
    DAalseth said:
    Redesigning the Mini, well to what end? It’s got lots of ports, though one on the front would be nice. It matches the Studio form so there’s constancy there. No reason to do a (costly) redesign when what they have really works well. It would be fun to see, but to what purpose? They aren’t going to add upgradeable SSDs and RAM.
    I would like to see a space gray color option, and it could be thinner. I like the way the render looks, but I’m not sold on the MagSafe connector because it will likely not be moved around much anyway.
    There is a space gray color option.  It even comes with a much better processor, you get the choice between a Core i5 or i7.

    There's no reason for it to be thinner, and Apple's idiotic thin fetish days seem to finally be coming to a close now that the idiot Ive is gone.

    And nobody sane wants an external power brick.
    9secondkox2
  • Reply 34 of 67
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,334member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 
    It's a completely different logic board, completely different cooling, completely different port construction.  There's no reason to think it went through any less of a design process than any other new Apple product, which would not be "a very short period of time".  No way.
    Of course those items needed to be laid out and built but it’s a known quantity. Apple was developing the Mac pro and testing likely indicated the m1 ultra or adoubled up version of that wasn’t what they wanted to share a awe as the best they could do. Somewhere in the testing process, the decision was made to not launch at wwdc. And since wwdc I planned far in advance, this gave more than enough time - in a relatively short period of time - to build a stretch Mac mini and have it ready shortly thereafter. It’s not some new avant-garde industrial design and the motherboard isn’t some feat of engineering. 

    As Gurkan noted, apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at wwdc but then decided against it. 
    There is no way they would have launched the studio and the pro at the same time. They just needed to buy time with a product that doesn’t have a legacy to live up to and can perform for those who need/want the power. 

    It’s not bad that it’s a bit of a bridge. It’s just that apple needed to get some serious performance clout but it’s lauded machine is not ready. 
    Apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at WWDC.
    Apple decided against it.
    WWDC is planned so far in advance so they were able to design the Mac Studio in the intermission.

    No chance. What in Apple's track record has ever suggested a rush released panic product?  Absolutely no chance. 

    The Studio Monitor, so so web cam, no MagSafe on the studio monitor that was rushed out the door…That badly designed laptop keyboard and there are many other items where inexplicable hack jobs were done, call it rushed, cost cutting, or just bad design.

    In recent times Apple has canceled products or features only to bring them back after a mild uproar. MagSafe will be back probably as a standard across several other Apple products (the design is that good). Genius and very usable in fact.
  • Reply 35 of 67
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,536member
    Marvin said:
    DAalseth said:
    Redesigning the Mini, well to what end? It’s got lots of ports, though one on the front would be nice. It matches the Studio form so there’s constancy there. No reason to do a (costly) redesign when what they have really works well. It would be fun to see, but to what purpose? They aren’t going to add upgradeable SSDs and RAM.
    It only uses about half the space internally, in the following video at 3:15 when the fan is removed, the entire bottom-right of the box is empty space:



    It has a 150W power supply but draws at most 40W. They just reused the Intel design, which was intended for 120W of power.

    It could easily be half the size it is now, even if they decide to add a Pro chip. If it's just half the height, it doesn't do a whole lot but if it has a smaller footprint, that's beneficial.
    blastdoor said:
    I wonder if the M1 Mac Pro got squeezed between supply chain disruptions and marketing considerations. That is, I wonder if after the initial M1 Macs were released, all subsequent M1 Macs ended up delayed by 3-6 months for reasons that had nothing to do with ASi. Meanwhile, ASi development continued more or less on schedule, resulting in a situation in which a delayed M1 Mac Pro would be coming out at the same time as Macs based on M2 Pro/Max. That could depress sales of the Mac Pro and generally look weird. 

    So, apple decides to just wait for M2 ultra^2 for the Mac Pro. 
    When leakers get predictions wrong, they often say that the product was scrapped. In 2010, Gurman said Apple would release a 15" Air, then said it had manufacturing issues and would launch in 2012. Then it just doesn't get mentioned again.

    It was clear when the Max chip launched that it only had one edge connector to add another chip so the only option they had was 2x Ultra chips with a different connection than UltraFusion. I don't see how an M1 Mac Pro was ready to go then scrapped, it sounds like a made up story. The leakers only had details of the Mac Studio a week before launch so it sounds more like they just didn't know anything about what was happening.

    A 3nm Ultra will be in the region of 40TFLOPs. Two of these is 80TFLOPs, same as an Nvidia 4090 and this exceeds the 2019 Mac Pro. This would fit into an 8" Cube. The majority of Mac Pro buyers are in the middle price range and this would meet that price point while offering more performance than the $20k+ 2019 Pro. Significantly more performance for video editing.
    As usual, an excellent and well thought out perspective. 

    With respect to the Mac mini, I suppose Apple could go after a standard NUC (non Extreme) form factor with VESA mounting for the next gen mini. This which slot it in better with its Mac Studio siblings and also deliver what is effectively an Apple Silicon iMac 27” bundle when paired with a Studio Display. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 67
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,469member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 
    It's a completely different logic board, completely different cooling, completely different port construction.  There's no reason to think it went through any less of a design process than any other new Apple product, which would not be "a very short period of time".  No way.
    Of course those items needed to be laid out and built but it’s a known quantity. Apple was developing the Mac pro and testing likely indicated the m1 ultra or adoubled up version of that wasn’t what they wanted to share a awe as the best they could do. Somewhere in the testing process, the decision was made to not launch at wwdc. And since wwdc I planned far in advance, this gave more than enough time - in a relatively short period of time - to build a stretch Mac mini and have it ready shortly thereafter. It’s not some new avant-garde industrial design and the motherboard isn’t some feat of engineering. 

    As Gurkan noted, apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at wwdc but then decided against it. 
    There is no way they would have launched the studio and the pro at the same time. They just needed to buy time with a product that doesn’t have a legacy to live up to and can perform for those who need/want the power. 

    It’s not bad that it’s a bit of a bridge. It’s just that apple needed to get some serious performance clout but it’s lauded machine is not ready. 
    Apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at WWDC.
    Apple decided against it.
    WWDC is planned so far in advance so they were able to design the Mac Studio in the intermission.

    No chance. What in Apple's track record has ever suggested a rush released panic product?  Absolutely no chance. 
    Start with Apple Maps…

    and seriously, as I’ve said before about the Mac studio and another just mentioned about the studio display, there is smoke to the fire of a bit of a rush. Apples version of rushing isn’t the same as others, but it definitely didn’t have the full bake. 

    Add to that the reporting that the max pro was originally to launch at that time and there would be no room for a Studio Mac mini nipping at its heels. 

    The Studio is a relatively quickly developed product to fill a hole left by a Mac Pro delay. It fits the iMac reporting also where we were told we’d be getting a 32 inch iMac, but then months later we’re told it was going to be 27” and then it was just a monitor. This all fits with the idea that the Mac Pro had to be pushed back and the iMac wasn’t quite ready either so the studio was put together to put something worthwhile out there. Apple needs to sell the now, so then we hear the 27” iMac is end of life and Mac Pro is still coming someday. Would be difficult to sell studios if people knew a new alpha iMac was coming. Next thing we know, we hear of a 32” iMac coming next year. Then we hear the m2 high end is going to 3nm. 

    It all fits. The breadcrumbs are there. That’s not yo disparage the studio. It’s s great machine. It has the performance chops, the smooth Mac mini design, proper I/O. It is an outlier and a perfect product to fill in the gap left by a dearth of Mac Pro and iMac hardware. 

    The studio display shortcomings, the m1 ultra performance being held back a bit, and the Mac Studio initial fan issues all continue to point to products that were developed in a relatively short period of time. It’s a testament to Apples quality that they can build such killer products even when they need to do so in something of a pinch. 
    edited July 28 watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 67
    thttht Posts: 4,619member
    zimmie said:
    tht said:
    I have half a thought that they should create a specialized RAM slot. Something with 400 GByte/s bandwidth, and can go up to 2 TB of RAM. It would be like the MPX slots where it is effectively 2 PCIe x16 slots in series, but architected only for main memory, with lower latency and higher bandwidth. It would have a heatsink on it like the Mac Pro Afterburner card. With the Mac Studio being an integrated, vertical product. If it was able to support the same expansion modules as the Mac Pro, it would have in driving down costs for both machines. SSDs are also heading down the path of needing active cooling, so an SSD card with a heatsink will be inevitable too. So, an SSD PCIe card that looks like an Afterburner card seems inevitable too.
    It doesn’t need to be a specialized RAM slot. Normal DDR5 DIMMs would work. The “magic” leading to the extreme memory throughput is just parallelism, same as we’ve had since DDR2 (even earlier on exotic systems). Apple’s other processors simply run a bunch of memory controller chunks each with their own single RAM chip to increase the bit width of the memory interface. M1 Ultra’s memory interface is so fast because it’s 1024 bits wide. Each channel is “only” a bit over 50 GB/s.

    Apple’s SSDs on the iMac Pro, 2019 Mac Pro, and the Mac Studio all already use replaceable flash carts. They don’t need heatsinking so much as electrical isolation.
    Yes, it doesn't need to be a specialized RAM slot and standard DIMM slots could be used, but this is Apple remember? What expectation do you have that they will use a standard DIMM slots in the Mac Pro? I think there is a very real possibility that they will max out with 256 GB (double the Ultra), or whatever the LPDDR5 density chips can afford them by the time they ship, using only the in-package architecture they are doing today.

    How do they get to >1 TB with an Ultra or an Extreme setup? They can turn the LPDDR5 memory channels into DDR5 memory channels and use DIMMs, but that means they will need to have a something like 3000+ package solder points for 8 to 16 memory channels with 16 DIMM slots? This would be an Intel or AMD setup, and I don't think they went to Apple Silicon to end up with a similar layout and board architecture to the x86 world.

    Perhaps they can stack LPDDR5 or DDR5 RAM on top of each other. So if they stack 4 on top of each other, an Ultra with 8 RAM pads can have 32 RAM packages in the SoC. That would make 512 GB at 16 GB per RAM package for an Ultra and 1 TB for an Extreme if they double everything up. Perhaps. Buyers are also locked into the amount of RAM at time of purchase, and Mac Pro buyers will not appreciate it imo. 

    This specialized RAM slot idea is kind of in-betweener. Something that minimizes board complexity without have to route a lot of memory channels on the logic board, but memory is still on a card so Mac Pro buyers could upgrade. It won't have 1 TB/s bandwidth like the current in-package setup could be, but if they can get 400 GB/s to 500 GB/s, basically x32 lanes of PCIe 6, that will be very good. It would just be another slot in the Mac Pro box.

    And the business of how Apple puts more compute through expansion cards is still quite uncertain. How are they going to add say more GPU compute with an MPX module? Will they? It's just going to be an Ultra or a an Extreme on a card? How is the OS going to support it?

    Yes, Apple's built-in storage for desktop Macs come with NAND daughterboards, but it is limited to 8 TB currently. I was talking about a PCIe SSD that could go up to 20 to 40 TB of storage. These already come with heatsinks. A Mac Pro PCIe heatsink can span the entire 12.5" card, and I wouldn't be surprised if they would have to go 2-wide with a high bandwidth, high capacity PCIe SSD. Some of these PCIe SSDs are nearing the 75 W power capacity delivered by a standard PCIe slot.

    I was reading some x86 laptop reviews during the M2 MBA Internet rage storm, and I had a WTF moment when I saw that SSD performance throttling is now a thing in the x86 world. That is, SSD controller chips are getting too hot and they need to be throttled. I also have seen that M.2 SSDs will have active cooling soon. Another WTF moment. So I imagine a 20, 30, or 40 TB PCIe SSD is going to need some hefty heatsinks.
    watto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 38 of 67
    GG1GG1 Posts: 483member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    Due to the timeline of how long Apple said they will replace Macs with ASi versions, I don’t think M1 Pro version was really designed. The mini will stay as the consumer computer, the Studio will stay as the prosumer low to medium pro computer, and the Pro will be the high end. The Studio will not cut it for someone who needs 1.5tb of memory and lots of processing power. Yes the Sudio beats some configurations of the Mac Pro. The Studio wasn’t designed in a short time. The Studio took awhile to design and announced when they were ready.  
    I’m skeptical of this. 

    The Studio is basically a stretch Mini. They just had to take the Mini CAD files, edit the vertical dimensions, add perforations and port cutouts, and attach a simple tapered and perforated cylinder to the bottom. 

    The whole thing could have been designed, tested, and machined in a very short period of time, including the big honking fan assembly - which probably explains the numerous fan issues in the first run. 
    It's a completely different logic board, completely different cooling, completely different port construction.  There's no reason to think it went through any less of a design process than any other new Apple product, which would not be "a very short period of time".  No way.
    Of course those items needed to be laid out and built but it’s a known quantity. Apple was developing the Mac pro and testing likely indicated the m1 ultra or adoubled up version of that wasn’t what they wanted to share a awe as the best they could do. Somewhere in the testing process, the decision was made to not launch at wwdc. And since wwdc I planned far in advance, this gave more than enough time - in a relatively short period of time - to build a stretch Mac mini and have it ready shortly thereafter. It’s not some new avant-garde industrial design and the motherboard isn’t some feat of engineering. 

    As Gurkan noted, apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at wwdc but then decided against it. 
    There is no way they would have launched the studio and the pro at the same time. They just needed to buy time with a product that doesn’t have a legacy to live up to and can perform for those who need/want the power. 

    It’s not bad that it’s a bit of a bridge. It’s just that apple needed to get some serious performance clout but it’s lauded machine is not ready. 
    Apple planned to launch the Mac Pro at WWDC.
    Apple decided against it.
    WWDC is planned so far in advance so they were able to design the Mac Studio in the intermission.

    No chance. What in Apple's track record has ever suggested a rush released panic product?  Absolutely no chance. 
    Start with Apple Maps…

    and seriously, as I’ve said before about the Mac studio and another just mentioned about the studio display, there is smoke to the fire of a bit of a rush. Apples version of rushing isn’t the same as others, but it definitely didn’t have the full bake. 

    Add to that the reporting that the max pro was originally to launch at that time and there would be no room for a Studio Mac mini nipping at its heels. 

    The Studio is a relatively quickly developed product to fill a hole left by a Mac Pro delay. It fits the iMac reporting also where we were told we’d be getting a 32 inch iMac, but then months later we’re told it was going to be 27” and then it was just a monitor. This all fits with the idea that the Mac Pro had to be pushed back and the iMac wasn’t quite ready either so the studio was put together to put something worthwhile out there. Apple needs to sell the now, so then we hear the 27” iMac is end of life and Mac Pro is still coming someday. Would be difficult to sell studios if people knew a new alpha iMac was coming. Next thing we know, we hear of a 32” iMac coming next year. Then we hear the m2 high end is going to 3nm. 

    It all fits. The breadcrumbs are there. That’s not yo disparage the studio. It’s s great machine. It has the performance chops, the smooth Mac mini design, proper I/O. It is an outlier and a perfect product to fill in the gap left by a dearth of Mac Pro and iMac hardware. 

    The studio display shortcomings, the m1 ultra performance being held back a bit, and the Mac Studio initial fan issues all continue to point to products that were developed in a relatively short period of time. It’s a testament to Apples quality that they can build such killer products even when they need to do so in something of a pinch. 
    Your idea is plausible given the COVID situation for a hardware company that probably didn't have not enough people present on site to develop and test the hardware per the original schedule. You cannot test and optimise hardware as well remotely as you can in person. So I suspect only a skeleton crew were present during the development & testing of all the M1-based products, and some decisions were not optimal or were rushed or changed.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 67
    y2any2an Posts: 134member
    As far as we know, M1 and M2 don’t have PCIe, so I’m still curious over how Apple plan to architect more CPUs into M-series systems. Ultra uses a highly specialised interconnect to bridge just 2 SoC’s, and there have been no hints that this can scale to more. My hunch is on a new SoC for the Pro which does have an expansion bus. It would be unique, but that’s what you can do when you make your own chips. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 67
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,947member
    y2an said:
    As far as we know, M1 and M2 don’t have PCIe, so I’m still curious over how Apple plan to architect more CPUs into M-series systems. Ultra uses a highly specialised interconnect to bridge just 2 SoC’s, and there have been no hints that this can scale to more. My hunch is on a new SoC for the Pro which does have an expansion bus. It would be unique, but that’s what you can do when you make your own chips. 
    They do have a number of PCIe Gen4 Lane just not slots for cards as yet as no product needs it. Even the Aseries chips had PCIe to drive the USC3/c chip from at least the the first iPadPro. Mseries all have PCIe bus driving many of the connections in the device. 
    Sure they need to up the bandwidth and number of lanes even move up to Gen5 in the M2 to go near a MacPro but that does seem like a project they leave to second gen and always intended to leave it till then. I thought people being optimistic to think they tackle chip tiling and massive external bandwidth in one generation and the first generation at that. 
    fastasleep
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