The cheesegrater Mac Pro is 16 year old, and still the best Mac ever made -- for now

2»

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 37
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,173member
    Rogue01 said:
    I got a Mac Pro 1,1 for free from someone on Facebook.  After buying two used 3.0 GHz quad-core Xeons on eBay for $50 and updating the firmware and SMC to the Mac Pro 2,1 firmware, it is now a '2008' Mac Pro with 8-cores.  Great for running older software.  That $50 CPU upgrade doubled the performance of the original Mac Pro 1,1, and that was already 3x faster than the Power Mac G5.  Those Mac Pros 1,1 to 5,1 were the best Macs.
    A half tower, full tower, rack Mac computers with card slots seem to persona non grata at Apple, unfixable, un-upgradeable computers are in.

    Hopefully this road block will end the prices far are too high for non-versatile form factors like the Leader Mac.
    elijahg
  • Reply 22 of 37
    thttht Posts: 4,500member
    The original Mac Pro is 16 years old today, and it's still remembered as a high point in Apple history. As we wait to see what an Apple Silicon version will be like, AppleInsider celebrates the old favorite workhorse -- and its less-successful sequels.
    I know you are talking about the brand name "Mac Pro" and Intel hardware, but the origin of the case and its industrial design started with the PowerMac G5 in 2003. The case dimensions are identical between the Mac Pro and the PowerMac G5, the internals were rearchitected for various PowerPC and Intel system designs, but the case is generally the same. The same handles, feet and the same access panel. The same industrial design.

    Back then, the big desktop essentially served the role that the MacBook Pro serves today. I think it was even 5% to 10% of Mac sales in the early aughts. Once the MBP became the bulk seller for the higher priced machines, Apple seemed to treat the Mac Pro as a boutique machine or they wanted something that was a "widget" that could impact the market. Whatever or whoever it is at Apple, they still think of the Mac Pro as boutique. I think customers just want to keep the 2019 Mac Pro box, keep its expansion capabilities, and keep updating it.

    They could have updated it with Ice Lake Xeons last year but didn't. The M1 Mac Pro model didn't make it out the door, and who knows why. Perhaps the pandemic is wreaking havoc on their plans as a Mac Mini and iMac 24 with an M1 Pro, which are a lot more important than a Mac Pro, had to be in the plans, and they didn't ship either. They need more people. Not a lot more, just enough so that more machines can make it out the door, especially once the supply chain reaches a more reliable state.
    danoxelijahgAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 37
    mikethemartian said: Problem with the Studio Ultra is that it is limited to 128GB of RAM for anyone who needs memory intensive applications.
    Studio Ultra has unified memory though. That 128GB is the performance equivalent of 256GB on an older "standard" RAM system.
    In what way? Do you mean speed? Because I’m talking about being able to store a dataset from a 3D physics simulation in main memory all at once and that doesn’t depend on the transmission line distances from the CPU to RAM. Only on the amount of RAM.
    longpathcornchipelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 37
    mikethemartian said: Problem with the Studio Ultra is that it is limited to 128GB of RAM for anyone who needs memory intensive applications.
    Studio Ultra has unified memory though. That 128GB is the performance equivalent of 256GB on an older "standard" RAM system.
    In what way? Do you mean speed? Because I’m talking about being able to store a dataset from a 3D physics simulation in main memory all at once and that doesn’t depend on the transmission line distances from the CPU to RAM. Only on the amount of RAM.
    So you're talking about the 2019 Mac Pro vs Mac Studio? My understanding is that the cheese grater and cylinder Mac Pros never went above 64GB (officially). 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 37
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 610member
    zimmie said:
    I have a macpro4,1 with updated firmware making it a 5,1. Two six-core Xeons, 96 GB of RAM, terabytes of SSD space. It's a beast of a machine, and I like it a lot. I wouldn't call it the best Mac Apple has ever made, though. The Mac Studio is better, hands-down.

    It's surprisingly hard to add Thunderbolt to a classic Mac Pro. It will work ... as long as you boot into Windows first, and don't hot-plug anything. Oh, and it doesn't do USB over the port, which is important for me. I use a 21.5" Ultrafine 4K which accepts DisplayPort over USB-C but needs the single USB 2 channel for brightness control, audio, and so on.

    The firmware doesn't support booting from an NVMe drive. Sure, you can boot from a thumb drive or a small SATA SSD then chainload to an NVMe drive, but something non-NVMe must be in the boot path.

    The power distribution is pretty weird. The power supply has plenty of headroom, but you only get two aux power connectors for GPUs, and they have a weird capacity (120W each, rather than the more common 75W or 150W each). Some GPUs (e.g, the Radeon RX Vega 64) draw exclusively from the aux power connectors, which can cause the system to brown out, even though it has plenty of power budget left (the 75W allocated to the slot isn't used). Wouldn't be safe to draw more over the two aux connectors, which is why there should have been more than two.

    It's also huge. If you haven't seen one in person, it's almost certainly bigger than you expect. And heavy. And the "handles" have fairly sharp edges, which make it unpleasant to move around on a regular basis.

    There are undeniably a lot of tradeoffs with the old Mac Pro. They're worth it for me, but they're not for everybody.
    Problem with the Studio Ultra is that it is limited to 128GB of RAM for anyone who needs memory intensive applications.
    The macpro4,1 and macpro5,1 are also officially limited to 64 GB of RAM.

    It was learned a few years ago that they can work with 16 GB DDR3 DIMMs and certain (but not all!) 32 GB DDR3 DIMMs. It's possible to get a dual-socket system to 256 GB if you're willing to try a few DIMM varieties and return ones which don't work. I would take the Mac Studio's vastly faster CPU, GPU, memory bus, and storage over the potential to get twice the RAM, though. Even swapping, it will be faster for any workload I've seen. And quieter, and it will draw vastly less power.

    The macpro7,1 (2019, with Xeon W and up to 1.5 TB of RAM) is a totally different beast. It's not the one this article is saying is the best Mac ever made.
    edited August 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 37
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,173member
    zimmie said:
    zimmie said:
    I have a macpro4,1 with updated firmware making it a 5,1. Two six-core Xeons, 96 GB of RAM, terabytes of SSD space. It's a beast of a machine, and I like it a lot. I wouldn't call it the best Mac Apple has ever made, though. The Mac Studio is better, hands-down.

    It's surprisingly hard to add Thunderbolt to a classic Mac Pro. It will work ... as long as you boot into Windows first, and don't hot-plug anything. Oh, and it doesn't do USB over the port, which is important for me. I use a 21.5" Ultrafine 4K which accepts DisplayPort over USB-C but needs the single USB 2 channel for brightness control, audio, and so on.

    The firmware doesn't support booting from an NVMe drive. Sure, you can boot from a thumb drive or a small SATA SSD then chainload to an NVMe drive, but something non-NVMe must be in the boot path.

    The power distribution is pretty weird. The power supply has plenty of headroom, but you only get two aux power connectors for GPUs, and they have a weird capacity (120W each, rather than the more common 75W or 150W each). Some GPUs (e.g, the Radeon RX Vega 64) draw exclusively from the aux power connectors, which can cause the system to brown out, even though it has plenty of power budget left (the 75W allocated to the slot isn't used). Wouldn't be safe to draw more over the two aux connectors, which is why there should have been more than two.

    It's also huge. If you haven't seen one in person, it's almost certainly bigger than you expect. And heavy. And the "handles" have fairly sharp edges, which make it unpleasant to move around on a regular basis.

    There are undeniably a lot of tradeoffs with the old Mac Pro. They're worth it for me, but they're not for everybody.
    Problem with the Studio Ultra is that it is limited to 128GB of RAM for anyone who needs memory intensive applications.
    The macpro4,1 and macpro5,1 are also officially limited to 64 GB of RAM.

    It was learned a few years ago that they can work with 16 GB DDR3 DIMMs and certain (but not all!) 32 GB DDR3 DIMMs. It's possible to get a dual-socket system to 256 GB if you're willing to try a few DIMM varieties and return ones which don't work. I would take the Mac Studio's vastly faster CPU, GPU, memory bus, and storage over the potential to get twice the RAM, though. Even swapping, it will be faster for any workload I've seen. And quieter, and it will draw vastly less power.

    The macpro7,1 (2019, with Xeon W and up to 1.5 TB of RAM) is a totally different beast. It's not the one this article is saying is the best Mac ever made.

    The M2 SOC is very capable now in different, more versatile form factors absolute speed isn’t necessary a deal killer, waiting another year or two to release more Mac Pro’s to the range is a bad marketing decision.
    edited August 8 elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 37
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 286member
    My desk's fully-loaded 2003 Dual G5 Mac looks a lot like the article-mentioned, much newer, 'cheesegrader Mac Pro.'

    And almost 20 years later, I still use it for legacy apps... almost everyday. (For example, my old, but working, check-writing banking software)

    As long as your computer works... and you can't easily upgrade... and it looks as impressive as the 
    Dual G5 Mac... relax and enjoy it, my advice.

    (And, yes, I have newer Macs too...)


    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 37
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,911member
    zimmie said:
    I have a macpro4,1 with updated firmware making it a 5,1. Two six-core Xeons, 96 GB of RAM, terabytes of SSD space. It's a beast of a machine, and I like it a lot. I wouldn't call it the best Mac Apple has ever made, though. The Mac Studio is better, hands-down.

    It's surprisingly hard to add Thunderbolt to a classic Mac Pro. It will work ... as long as you boot into Windows first, and don't hot-plug anything. Oh, and it doesn't do USB over the port, which is important for me. I use a 21.5" Ultrafine 4K which accepts DisplayPort over USB-C but needs the single USB 2 channel for brightness control, audio, and so on.

    The firmware doesn't support booting from an NVMe drive. Sure, you can boot from a thumb drive or a small SATA SSD then chainload to an NVMe drive, but something non-NVMe must be in the boot path.

    The power distribution is pretty weird. The power supply has plenty of headroom, but you only get two aux power connectors for GPUs, and they have a weird capacity (120W each, rather than the more common 75W or 150W each). Some GPUs (e.g, the Radeon RX Vega 64) draw exclusively from the aux power connectors, which can cause the system to brown out, even though it has plenty of power budget left (the 75W allocated to the slot isn't used). Wouldn't be safe to draw more over the two aux connectors, which is why there should have been more than two.

    It's also huge. If you haven't seen one in person, it's almost certainly bigger than you expect. And heavy. And the "handles" have fairly sharp edges, which make it unpleasant to move around on a regular basis.

    There are undeniably a lot of tradeoffs with the old Mac Pro. They're worth it for me, but they're not for everybody.
    I can boot Mojave on a 5,1 NVMe ?  


    100%. Not only can you boot Mojave, I just upgraded mine to Catalina. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 37
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,634member
    darkvader said:
    M68000 said:
    I liked the trash can cylinder Mac Pro…. Very interesting design.  Nothing else like it.

    Very stupid design.  No slots, loads of thermal problems, hard to repair.  It was one of Apple's worst designs.
    They designed it around a specific CPU and GPU. There was zero thermal headroom so they completely backed themselves into a corner. Any significant upgrades required ground-up reworking of the internal layout, which they apparently weren't willing to do. Aside from that they completely misjudged the compute market (the reason for the dual GPUs) which turned into a bit of a damp squib.

    It was the beginning of Apple's peak form trumps function paradigm, which has in some ways begun tilting toward functionality again.
    edited August 8
  • Reply 30 of 37
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 176member
    Having used (for work) various PowerMac G5s, cheesegrater Mac Pros, and the "Mr. Fusion" Mac Pro, I can state that they all were good in their day for one application or another. If you had a variety of tasks, the 2013 Mac Pro, with its large number of ports and GPU/memory configurations, turned out to serve our needs better than the cheesegraters did. I'm certain the reverse was true for many people, especially those who couldn't bend their minds around the fact that Thunderbolt was a game changer, and external enclosures linked by it worked at PCIe speeds.

    I also owned a cheesegrater Mac Pro for home use (mostly for work), and found it incredibly useful — until workflows with ~ ten thousand times as much data/unit time made it obsolete. The world moves on, and thankfully, so does Apple.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 37
    elijahg said:
    cjlacz said:
    I bought my Mac Pro a bit before the cheese grater. But after the amazing laptops and the max studio, you really consider this the best max ever made? I admit it’s competing, at least for it’s time. But this article seems 3 years late.  Basically this had internal storage and good pci expansion. That makes it the best mac ever made?  Meh. It was important at the time. And I do respect that. But im Not sure it qualifies it for the honors you are trying to give it. 
    You... bought your Mac Pro before the cheese grater? I don't think you did somehow. 

    It was the best Mac for Pros who need expansion, upgradability, power and value. Unlike the current Mac Pro, it was very respectably priced. Furthermore, It was a machine without the outcomes of Apple's undesired "courage"; the current Mac Pro seems more like a tech demo than a real machine, with the resulting price tag to go with it.

    The 'Cheese Grater' MacPro is only 3 years old, MacPros have been around for 16 years. Whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to realize that.
    edited August 15
  • Reply 32 of 37
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member
    elijahg said:
    cjlacz said:
    I bought my Mac Pro a bit before the cheese grater. But after the amazing laptops and the max studio, you really consider this the best max ever made? I admit it’s competing, at least for it’s time. But this article seems 3 years late.  Basically this had internal storage and good pci expansion. That makes it the best mac ever made?  Meh. It was important at the time. And I do respect that. But im Not sure it qualifies it for the honors you are trying to give it. 
    You... bought your Mac Pro before the cheese grater? I don't think you did somehow. 

    It was the best Mac for Pros who need expansion, upgradability, power and value. Unlike the current Mac Pro, it was very respectably priced. Furthermore, It was a machine without the outcomes of Apple's undesired "courage"; the current Mac Pro seems more like a tech demo than a real machine, with the resulting price tag to go with it.

    The 'Cheese Grater' MacPro is only 3 years old, MacPros have been around for 16 years. Whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to realize that.
    The G5 Mac Pro was also commonly referred to as the Cheese Grater since 16 years ago. Whoever wrote this comment doesn’t seem to realize that. 
  • Reply 33 of 37
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    elijahg said:
    cjlacz said:
    I bought my Mac Pro a bit before the cheese grater. But after the amazing laptops and the max studio, you really consider this the best max ever made? I admit it’s competing, at least for it’s time. But this article seems 3 years late.  Basically this had internal storage and good pci expansion. That makes it the best mac ever made?  Meh. It was important at the time. And I do respect that. But im Not sure it qualifies it for the honors you are trying to give it. 
    You... bought your Mac Pro before the cheese grater? I don't think you did somehow. 

    It was the best Mac for Pros who need expansion, upgradability, power and value. Unlike the current Mac Pro, it was very respectably priced. Furthermore, It was a machine without the outcomes of Apple's undesired "courage"; the current Mac Pro seems more like a tech demo than a real machine, with the resulting price tag to go with it.

    The 'Cheese Grater' MacPro is only 3 years old, MacPros have been around for 16 years. Whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to realize that.
    The G5 Mac Pro was also commonly referred to as the Cheese Grater since 16 years ago. Whoever wrote this comment doesn’t seem to realize that. 
    There was no G5 Mac Pro. The Mac Pro began with the switch to Intel and reused the cheese grater case of the G5 Power Mac.
  • Reply 34 of 37
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    cjlacz said:
    I bought my Mac Pro a bit before the cheese grater. But after the amazing laptops and the max studio, you really consider this the best max ever made? I admit it’s competing, at least for it’s time. But this article seems 3 years late.  Basically this had internal storage and good pci expansion. That makes it the best mac ever made?  Meh. It was important at the time. And I do respect that. But im Not sure it qualifies it for the honors you are trying to give it. 
    You... bought your Mac Pro before the cheese grater? I don't think you did somehow. 

    It was the best Mac for Pros who need expansion, upgradability, power and value. Unlike the current Mac Pro, it was very respectably priced. Furthermore, It was a machine without the outcomes of Apple's undesired "courage"; the current Mac Pro seems more like a tech demo than a real machine, with the resulting price tag to go with it.

    The 'Cheese Grater' MacPro is only 3 years old, MacPros have been around for 16 years. Whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to realize that.
    The G5 Mac Pro was also commonly referred to as the Cheese Grater since 16 years ago. Whoever wrote this comment doesn’t seem to realize that. 
    There was no G5 Mac Pro. The Mac Pro began with the switch to Intel and reused the cheese grater case of the G5 Power Mac.
    I meant the G5 *&* Mac Pro.
  • Reply 35 of 37
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    cjlacz said:
    I bought my Mac Pro a bit before the cheese grater. But after the amazing laptops and the max studio, you really consider this the best max ever made? I admit it’s competing, at least for it’s time. But this article seems 3 years late.  Basically this had internal storage and good pci expansion. That makes it the best mac ever made?  Meh. It was important at the time. And I do respect that. But im Not sure it qualifies it for the honors you are trying to give it. 
    You... bought your Mac Pro before the cheese grater? I don't think you did somehow. 

    It was the best Mac for Pros who need expansion, upgradability, power and value. Unlike the current Mac Pro, it was very respectably priced. Furthermore, It was a machine without the outcomes of Apple's undesired "courage"; the current Mac Pro seems more like a tech demo than a real machine, with the resulting price tag to go with it.

    The 'Cheese Grater' MacPro is only 3 years old, MacPros have been around for 16 years. Whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to realize that.
    The G5 Mac Pro was also commonly referred to as the Cheese Grater since 16 years ago. Whoever wrote this comment doesn’t seem to realize that. 
    There was no G5 Mac Pro. The Mac Pro began with the switch to Intel and reused the cheese grater case of the G5 Power Mac.
    I meant the G5 *&* Mac Pro.
    Sure you did.

    "The G5 Mac Pro was also"

    "Was" is the third person singular.  If you actually meant what you say then you should've used "were", the third person plural.  
  • Reply 36 of 37
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,146member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    cjlacz said:
    I bought my Mac Pro a bit before the cheese grater. But after the amazing laptops and the max studio, you really consider this the best max ever made? I admit it’s competing, at least for it’s time. But this article seems 3 years late.  Basically this had internal storage and good pci expansion. That makes it the best mac ever made?  Meh. It was important at the time. And I do respect that. But im Not sure it qualifies it for the honors you are trying to give it. 
    You... bought your Mac Pro before the cheese grater? I don't think you did somehow. 

    It was the best Mac for Pros who need expansion, upgradability, power and value. Unlike the current Mac Pro, it was very respectably priced. Furthermore, It was a machine without the outcomes of Apple's undesired "courage"; the current Mac Pro seems more like a tech demo than a real machine, with the resulting price tag to go with it.

    The 'Cheese Grater' MacPro is only 3 years old, MacPros have been around for 16 years. Whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to realize that.
    The G5 Mac Pro was also commonly referred to as the Cheese Grater since 16 years ago. Whoever wrote this comment doesn’t seem to realize that. 
    There was no G5 Mac Pro. The Mac Pro began with the switch to Intel and reused the cheese grater case of the G5 Power Mac.
    I meant the G5 *&* Mac Pro.
    Sure you did.

    "The G5 Mac Pro was also"

    "Was" is the third person singular.  If you actually meant what you say then you should've used "were", the third person plural.  
    I know how to write, thanks for the advice though. As if you never fuck up in your comments. 
  • Reply 37 of 37
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    cjlacz said:
    I bought my Mac Pro a bit before the cheese grater. But after the amazing laptops and the max studio, you really consider this the best max ever made? I admit it’s competing, at least for it’s time. But this article seems 3 years late.  Basically this had internal storage and good pci expansion. That makes it the best mac ever made?  Meh. It was important at the time. And I do respect that. But im Not sure it qualifies it for the honors you are trying to give it. 
    You... bought your Mac Pro before the cheese grater? I don't think you did somehow. 

    It was the best Mac for Pros who need expansion, upgradability, power and value. Unlike the current Mac Pro, it was very respectably priced. Furthermore, It was a machine without the outcomes of Apple's undesired "courage"; the current Mac Pro seems more like a tech demo than a real machine, with the resulting price tag to go with it.

    The 'Cheese Grater' MacPro is only 3 years old, MacPros have been around for 16 years. Whoever wrote this article doesn't seem to realize that.
    The G5 Mac Pro was also commonly referred to as the Cheese Grater since 16 years ago. Whoever wrote this comment doesn’t seem to realize that. 
    There was no G5 Mac Pro. The Mac Pro began with the switch to Intel and reused the cheese grater case of the G5 Power Mac.
    I meant the G5 *&* Mac Pro.
    Sure you did.

    "The G5 Mac Pro was also"

    "Was" is the third person singular.  If you actually meant what you say then you should've used "were", the third person plural.  
    I know how to write, thanks for the advice though. As if you never fuck up in your comments. 
    I do. And I admit it, I don’t make excuses to try and save face.
    muthuk_vanalingam
Sign In or Register to comment.