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  • Editorial: New Mac Pro highlights the gap Apple isn't filling

    Great article, but a couple of points...

    First, the thing about Apple not having to support every market is true. But, I think they had to return to supporting those high-end users, for the influence they have on the rest of the product line. I think it is coming out how Apple realizes this (now), and is indeed going to put what they've learned at the high end into the rest of the lineup. (BTW, some of us were making that argument for many years now... and being poo-poo'ed in the process.)

    Second, maybe I'm the only one? Surely not! But, it isn't just about a computing power gap. While I'd love a new Mac Pro, my 2018 Mac mini typically has enough or even more power than I need (can one ever have enough?). What it doesn't have, though, is excess, or even adequate, thermal capacity. An xMac could easily have that. Why? So that prosumers and lower-end pro users could push it to it's limits, 24x7, and would just get their jobs done more slowly than those luck Mac Pro folks. (But wouldn't damage their machines.)

    Third, the iMac or not-to-iMac thing is about more than not needing the display around. Some people want to use specific displays, or don't want space taken up by a display that can only display their Mac screen. Got a PC under the desk, or maybe want to do some PS4/Xbox gaming? You're out of luck with an iMac.

    But, the 'Apple knows best' aspect of this article is a bit annoying... along the lines of that poo-poo'ing I mentioned above. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist to know if Apple created an xMac, it would be as successful as a number of their other products. It might not be the most successful product, but I'm not sure why it has to be. Saying Apple hasn't made one, and inferring that's because they know the market for one doesn't really exist, though, is silly. Could it also be, that like the cylinder Mac Pro, or Apple's massive lag in updating the Mac line... that Apple is mistaken?
    lorin schultz
  • High-end users on 'Why I'm buying the new Mac Pro'

    welshdog said:
    ... Looky here: the 2012 12 Core Mac pro cost $6474 and people bought the shit of of that box. Including one man band editors, photographers, scientists etc. etc. That was seven years ago. What would dissuade the same people from buying this machine which is actually priced lower and is way more powerful?

    A freelance creative video editor who has a good reputation and works with big ad agencies and clients can charge hundreds of dollars an hour. ...
    I totally agree that any true professional will afford one of these if they need to. But, I disagree a bit about the price-point. That 12-core 2012 would have been a much higher end machine at that time than the base-model of this new Mac Pro is currently. By the time someone adds a reasonable GPU and upgrades the CPU to make it more like that 2012 MP was at the time, they'll be well over $10k.

    I guess what I'm saying is that in comparison to the 'cheese grater' and 'cylinder' MP, the new MP is considerably more expensive. I don't think that will matter to the real pros, as you point out, but it will impact the lower-end professional users (and hobbyists) who might have bought a Mac Pro in the past.

    But, the real problem here, is that it is kind of hard to say what machine these people should be buying. I guess the iMac Pro if they can do with an all-in-one. Otherwise, there is a huge hole in Apple's lineup.

    While this machine is a huge blessing to those high-end pros, it is also frustrating for everyone else who may have been hoping it would fall more in line with the previous couple MPs financially.

    karmadave said:
    I'm sure that most people buying the new MacPro will be doing so with OPM (Other People's Money). I won't rehash my issues with the product, but will say that this certainly is NOT the Mac for the rest of us ;-) 
    Yeah, it is absolutely not for the rest of us.
    It also, absolutely, does have a market.
    Yes, people like Alex Lindsay are currently trying to figure out how many of them they can buy.

    entropys said:
    Right. Where is the user upgradable Mac for the rest of us then?
    Yep. Or, even the prosumer level Mac for the rest of us. I guess it's supposed to be the iMac or mini, but it would really be nice to have something a bit more robust at a lower cost than the MP.
    runswithforkbigtdselijahg
  • High-end users on 'Why I'm buying the new Mac Pro'

    rob53 said:
    ... then I have to wonder who's taking liability for loss of data.
    Probably more the opposite... who has the responsibility to "lose" the data properly when FOIA requests come in?

    eightzero said:
    Speaking of the DoD, i'd sort of be curious if the new Mac Pro is export controlled technology under ITAR, EAR, OFAC and similar. Can Apple drop this thing in a box and send it anywhere? Asking for a friend. 
    Remember the old G4 (or was it G5) ad campaign?
    (When we lived in San Anselmo, I once got to visit the home of one of the guys who worked on that ad, among others.)

    apple ][ said:
    ... I laugh at the ignoramuses I see on youtube complaining about the price.

    This machine is not for idiot Vloggers on youtube. They're not pro. They're lousy amateurs with amateur opinions and this machine is not for them. They wouldn't know pro if it came down straight from the sky and hit them right in the middle of their ignorant heads.
    ...
    People have been whining about Apple neglecting the "Pros" for a long time. Well, now Apple has released a truly Pro machine, and some people are complaining that it's too "Pro". Hahahaha. 
    I hear you. But, to give them a bit of credit, I can understand their angst. I think many were hoping Apple would come out with a successor (financially) to the 'cheese grater' or 'trash can' MP, which many of those people could afford (actually, the pro YouTubbers could afford this new one, easily).

    Also, besides the iMac Pro, Apple doesn't really have many options for them.

    But, I agree that a lot of the people complaining just seem to have little clue how pro this machine is. That's not to say that there isn't a heck of a lot of equipment that is lesser, but perfectly fine too (and at a lower price). But, I'm not seeing many apples-to-apples discussions going on.

    deminsd said:
    I have a client with an Arts Dept (all using Trash Can Mac Pro's) and were waiting for the new Mac Pro to upgrade.  Now, they will be looking at Windows Workstations for half the cost, the same or better upgradability and performance, and can STILL run their Adobe CC.  Apple just lost a customer (and I'd bet more than just this client).

    Here's a question for you...this client has 12 Windows users and 8 Mac users.  Guess who has more issues?  Hint -- not the 12 Windows users.
    You make one really valid point here that I hope Apple takes seriously. There are a LOT of small-medium shops out there who will probably decide they can't afford Mac Pros now (who maybe have for the last decade or two). What's the alternative? While I suppose we can say to get an iMac (or a mini w/eGPU like I did), they all aren't going to like those options.

    At the same time, I'm not sure just jumping over to Windows is all that easy either. I suppose if ALL the do is Adobe CC, and the rest of the company is PC centric anyway. But, if they were small to medium Mac shops, that would be a rather difficult transition (and probably more expensive than anything they'd save on the hardware).

    Also, note: that example with IP addresses was just an example of the muck and mess that is everywhere lurking just below the surface. Fortunately, once a machine is setup, the typical user just doesn't have to go there often, as you say. But, control panels/config also don't equal the UI mess that the average user DOES have to put up with daily. While I've been a Mac users since the late 80's, I've probably spent more hours on a PC/Windows since, but the actual UI/UX difference keeps me on the Mac when possible. Maybe that difference doesn't bother some, but as someone who is irritated by poor design, it bugs the ever-living-%@*) out of me, every time I use a Windows machine (which unfortunately, is like 75%+ of my time right now).

    For those which are already on Mac Pro workflows the price isn't too contentious, it is par for the course - that said this is actually one of the most affordable MacPros/PowerMacs to date, and that includes considering the new screen. The 2013 MacPro was actually the first MacPro that one *couldn't* BTO into high $ territory - and this truly demonstrated the limited nature of the design - making it more like the Cube than the Pro.
    I can't recall if it was this tread or another, where this was proven inaccurate. Someone posted their 'cheese grater' invoice which was like $2600-ish. And, I've never been rich and owned a PowerMac G4 (I did buy it used, I guess). Yes, back in the Mac IIx and MacIIfx days and such, they were crazy expensive. But, Apple got people used to lower priced high-end machines (and lower end machines) for a couple decades now.
    raoulduke42runswithfork
  • Apple's T2 chip makes a giant difference in video encoding for most users

    Mb1011 said:
    HEVC's biggest advantage is same quality at lower data rates. Interesting note about Turbo Boost. I've never played with that. Just gave it a go and I see about a 20% drop in encode performance on this old system with TB off. Fans do go nuts with TB on!
    re: HEVC - good to know about quality. What I was afraid of, is that maybe I was trading off something I wasn't aware of, to get that speed increase. I'm mostly using it to encode DVD/Bluray rips, as well as encoding videos to upload to YouTube.

    re: TB - Yeah, it seems to be less than 20% most of the time for me. But, since turning it off, I hardly ever hear the fans spin up (I know they are on, but the city 'noise floor' is high enough to drown them out below a certain level). When TB was enabled, it seemed like the system was quite touchy as to spinning them up and down for any little thing that took some CPU power. With it off, they only spin up when I'm doing a longer encoding job.
    Mb1011
  • Apple's T2 chip makes a giant difference in video encoding for most users

    So, here are the results I got...

    h264_videotoolbox

    speed= 3.1x (no TB 3.09x)    
    video:48660kB audio:0kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: 0.016011%
    GVA encoder info: deleteSCDMetalContext : texture cache hits: 2700, misses: 6
    0m18s (no TB 0m18s)
    50.3 MB output file
    (Turbo Boost) CPUs 164% - Radeon 580 100% (on GPU history graph)
    (no Turbo Boost) CPUs 216% - Radeon 580 100% (on GPU history graph)

    hevc_videotoolbox

    speed=6.37x (no TB 6.32x)    
    video:35695kB audio:0kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: 0.021351%
    0m8s (no TB 0m8s)
    37.2 MB output file
    (Turbo Boost) CPUs 345% - Radeon 580 (0% - not visible on GPU history graph)
    (no Turbo Boost) CPUs 461% - Radeon 580 (0% - not visible on GPU history graph)

    You mentioned you got '188fps / 7.8x realtime with the h264_videotoolbox' so that is quite a bit faster than mine, but maybe the non Intel GPU. Also, I wonder if the HEVC was using the T2, as it used quite a bit more CPU than I'd have expected, though the time did drop.

    If you have a CL for a non-videotool box version of either, that might be interesting to try. I also didn't have ffmpeg installed, so I found a DMG binary version and put it in my /usr/local/bin which seemed to work. But, I don't know if there are any other tricks.

    Just out of curiosity, I ran it through my Handbrake HEVC preset, and got: 34.6 MB output, ~12s (but a bit hard to tell exactly), 125 fps (or about 5.2x). It didn't use the GPU, but did run the CPUs up to 700-800%.

    Update:

    Hmm, so I got curious and decided to disconnect the eGPU and use the internal Intel 630. Oddly, I actually got better numbers (for the h.264), so the QuickSync stuff must have to do with the iGPU, not the CPU? I got a bit better numbers for the HVEC... which didn't seem to run the iGPU/eGPU in either case, but must have a slight impact.

    Intel 630 - h264_videotoolbox

    speed=10.1x  (8.73x no Turbo Boost)    
    video:48625kB audio:0kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: 0.015902%
    0m5s (0m6s no Turbo Boost)
    (Turbo Boost) CPUs 740% - Intel 630 50% (on GPU history graph)
    (no Turbo Boost) CPUs 760% - Intel 630 50% (on GPU history graph)

    Intel 630 - hevc_videotoolbox

    speed=5.75x (5.72x no Turbo Boost)
    video:35695kB audio:0kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: 0.021351%
    0m9s (0m9s no Turbo Boost)
    (Turbo Boost) CPUs 309% - Intel 630 (not visible on GPU history graph)
    (no Turbo Boost) CPUs 421% - Intel 630 (not visible on GPU history graph)

    Also, just for note, this is a 2018 Mac mini - i7 (6-core) - 16 GB of RAM - 256 GB SSD
    Mb1011