Last Active
  • The birth, life, death, and possible resurrection of the Thunderbolt eGPU in macOS

    I completely agree that it seems most likely that Apple Silicon Mac Pro will re-introduce AMD GPU support. 

    The reason for the Mac Pro’s existence is to offer totally mind-blowing capabilities at the highest possible tiers of performance. Money is no object, and neither is power consumption. The Mac Pro in its current form has to be WAY more powerful than both the current Intel Mac Pro and the next best M1 Mac, the Mac Studio, or else it can’t justify its existence. Mac Pro is not for consumers or prosumers - they are already covered with the current M1 lineup. None of Apple’s Mac Pro customers want to see the Mac Pro change from the familiar, supported, stable Intel + AMD architecture unless Apple Silicon offers them dramatic, undeniable benefits.

    The rumored 40-core dual-M1 Ultra CPU seems like it ticks that box on the CPU front, that should offer way better performance than the current Xeons. But on the GPU front, 128-core dual M1 Ultra GPUs would be pretty good, but definitely not equivalent or superior than the current Mac Pro’s highest possible GPU configs - two W6800X Duo MPX modules (4 GPUs!) or two W6900X GPUs. Two M1 Ultra GPUs might match one W6900X, but it wouldn’t beat TWO W6900X or FOUR W6800X. The new Mac Pro GPU story has to be at least as good, if not significantly better than what’s already available in the Intel Mac Pro.

    It’s possible Apple might have a trick up their sleeve with a “Lifuka” proprietary GPU that offers the mind-melting performance the current M1 Ultra GPU doesn’t quite offer. But given all the work Apple put into designing the MPX module system in 2018 and the ridiculously over-engineered MPX-sized Mac Pro chassis, when they knew M1 was right around the corner, I’d bet the GPU story will be that Mac Pro customers can recoup their investment in expensive MPX GPUs and simply move them into their new Apple Silicon Mac Pros. They’ll get to enjoy their current level of highest-end GPU power plus the added benefit of the built-in Afterburner encoders/decoders of M1 Ultra, and the 128-core dual M1 Ultra GPU augmenting the AMD MPX GPU. It’ll be like getting an additional W6900X worth of GPU power “for free.” And surely the base level Mac Pro configs will be fine with the M1 Ultra’s GPU alone, but I think they simply need to keep offering the MPX expansion option for those who truly need to max out GPU power. (As well as likely adding an expandable RAM option to match the current Pro’s 1.5TB capacity.)

    And yes, if that happens then eGPU support for the rest of us would be great too! Although I do wonder if Apple’s less robust Thunderbolt implementation on M1 is entirely up to the task…
  • Final Cut Pro, Compressor, Motion updated with better Mac Studio performance

    Here comes a whole new round of Mac Studio review YouTube videos I have to watch! 🤓
  • iPad mini review roundup: Superior speed but missing a critical feature

    rcfa said:
    I don’t get how anyone could say this „isn’t for work“: typical journalists who can only imagine desktop work or leisure.

    Take tableside POS order entry and payment in a restaurant: iPhones are expensive and too small (iPod touches are essentially gone), and full sized iPad are too big and clumsy.

    similar things can be said for using the device for inventory tracking, bed-side health data entry (iPad mini fits into a lab coat pocket) etc.

    Unfortunately iPad Mini is useless as a network testing device, since Apple won’t allow access to MAC addresses, not even as something users can allow on a per-app basis in privacy settings.
    With faster & more flexible USB-C connection and wider color gamut screen, I’m excited about the new iPad Mini as an ultraportable tool for photographers and cinematographers being able to preview and offload camera media onto external drives in the field. Looking forward to trying this out in a few days when mine arrives!
  • Plugable 7-in-1 USB 3.0 Hub review: solid USB-A options, but not much else

    I'd love to see more USB hubs with 10Gbps ports. A combo of USB-A and USB-C ports would be nice. Ideally with a Thunderbolt 3 connection to the computer for 40Gbps total bandwidth. I already have all my monitors and ethernet etc. plugged into a Thunderbolt dock on my desk. I just would like a fast USB hub to plug in a lot of extra USB SSDs + hard drives. Why is this so hard to find? Sonnet, OWC, someone please make a good affordable portable 10Gbps USB hub!
  • MacBook Pro hinges could dynamically angle keyboard for more comfortable typing

    This design is the opposite of ergonomics. You want the keyboard to be sunken, not raised. So your fingers and wrists can naturally drape downward, not be raised upward even further. You'd think the world's richest company could afford to know better!