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ActionableMango
Aug 23, 2011, 04:33 PM
Personally I don't think so, but here are his thoughts on it:

http://www.cringely.com/2011/08/is-the-mac-pro-dead/



derbothaus
Aug 23, 2011, 04:43 PM
That guy is a moron. Can't he read Intel's roadmap?
If we can just wait until the chips get released before sounding the death knell. If they come and go and no Mac Pro then great, happy editorializing.

maflynn
Aug 23, 2011, 04:53 PM
I can see apple dropping the Mac Pro in the near future. They've been moving away from the non consumer segments for years and I suspect that they don't move too many mac pros (in comparison to iMacs and what not) so it doesn't take a leap of faith to see Mac Pros days may be numbered

Torrijos
Aug 23, 2011, 05:39 PM
The thing is, while Apple has been promoting technologies (Grand Central Dispatch, openCL) that would ensure better use of big workstations, were devs following? (no)

More importantly are pro software in the media world in need of such power?

While engineers may need every last bit of processing power available, the next generation MacPro (if they follow the current line philosophy) make sense to them since they are in the market for workstations with multiple processors with multiple cores and multiple CUDA or openCL capable GPUs, on the other hand the image, video and audio professionals might be near the point where investing in way more powerful workstations would only bring marginal benefits compared to investing in better software.

How many software fully exploit current hardware?
Photoshop doesn't
FinalCut Pro doesn't
Logic Studio doesn't

FinalCut X does and we can see that on current hardware it manage to pull most calculations in almost real time. While the software isn't ready to replace it's ancestor the benefits of a full rewrite are quite apparent.

In the end Apple doesn't cater to engineers (unfortunately :( being one I dreamt of Catia on OS X), for the media professionals a Single workstation processor (6+ cores) with enough PCIe (v3) ports and memory (RAM and SATA) slots available would be more than enough.

Even more so now, that Thunderbolt exists, permitting the use of fast external storage systems.

For me MacPro aren't dead, but will evolve into something less epic, but that should still perform very well for the pro, while price might go down enough to interest more prosumer (geeks, gamers or rich kids ^^)

Anyway, what Apple is waiting for, is Intel's next workstation processors, and maybe even AMD next generation GPUs (more focused on calculation that graphics).
Sandy Bridge are great but they have a lot of limitations (like the number of PCI channels), and their internal GPUs are a waste of electricity.

Topper
Aug 23, 2011, 06:41 PM
That guy is a moron

Yes, he has no idea what he is talking about.
Why would anyone even listen to this moron?
I'll put you money on that he doesn't have a Mac Pro.

This comment is amazing:
"As a design professional, I can’t say I’ll miss the Mac Pro if it goes. I’m happily committed to the Macintosh platform, but I haven’t seen the value proposition in Apple’s towers for years."

ActionableMango
Aug 23, 2011, 07:29 PM
Well, many years ago I remember thinking he was a moron for predicting Apple would switch from PowerPC to Intel. :o

Kimmo
Aug 23, 2011, 07:49 PM
Mac Proís are dinosaurs in many respects. That big beautiful aluminum case with its clever air ducting is eight years old and enormous compared to most PCs.

Start with a new Mini or with a Thunderbolt iMac and expand both storage and processing by adding a stack of up to five more Thunderbolt-connected Minis.

Five mini's on my desk, and the wiring to connect them, versus a mac pro next to my desk. Which is the elegant, modern design? :confused:

Yeah, but what about the Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)? What real gamer wants to be limited to the somewhat lame integrated Intel graphics found in the Mac Mini line? Thatís where the displays come in.

Not a great solution if a high quality matte display is what you need. :rolleyes:

Or Iím wrong.

Sure hope so. :)

pooryou
Aug 23, 2011, 07:56 PM
Cringely needs to learn how to use the apostrophe correctly.

getz76
Aug 23, 2011, 08:10 PM
How many software fully exploit current hardware?

Logic Studio doesn't


That depends. I know guys running three or four Mac Pros synced for music production. Virtual instruments with heavy samples and some modeling plug-ins hosted outside the main DAW can saturate you disk I/O, processors and memory. Reaper and Vienna Ensemble Pro have made a business out of this.

Straight-forward audio production and multi-tracking? Yeah, my old white MacBook can handle that.

nanofrog
Aug 24, 2011, 01:08 AM
I can see apple dropping the Mac Pro in the near future. They've been moving away from the non consumer segments for years and I suspect that they don't move too many mac pros (in comparison to iMacs and what not) so it doesn't take a leap of faith to see Mac Pros days may be numbered
I agree.

I do expect the LGA2011 socket parts to be produced in a MP (SB and IB releases on LGA2011), but after that, not as it currently exists (ECC compliant Xeon based workstations in both SP and DP variants).

They're getting rather expensive to develop, and will eventually result in the MSRP being too high for Apple's current MP client base to continue to use the platform (literally priced out of the current MP design). Unfortunately, I don't see this being that far into the future (by the time Haswell releases).

This situation will be the case for workstation systems from other vendors as well. Yes, they'll still have a market, such as engineers running simulations (where ECC is required to be sure of accurate results), but it will be smaller for than it currently is, with most workstation users shifting to SP versions. There's also the expectation that clusters will be more plausible for those that currently could use them, but can't afford them currently due to the improved cost/performance ratio of enterprise servers (I can imagine a reduction from current prices for leased time on clusters that will make them viable for clients not previously capable of affording it).

So I expect Haswell to be the shifting point for the workstation market, not just Apple (think of an SP system only that has 8 cores on a single die).

In the case of content creation, ECC isn't a necessity anyway (worst case, they get a bad pixel from a memory bit that gets flipped by a cosmic particle). Not the end of the world. So a consumer based system to replace the MP is feasible IMO in a couple of years or so (whenever Haswell actually releases).

The thing is, while Apple has been promoting technologies (Grand Central Dispatch, openCL) that would ensure better use of big workstations, were devs following? (no)

More importantly are pro software in the media world in need of such power?

While engineers may need every last bit of processing power available, the next generation MacPro (if they follow the current line philosophy) make sense to them since they are in the market for workstations with multiple processors with multiple cores and multiple CUDA or openCL capable GPUs, on the other hand the image, video and audio professionals might be near the point where investing in way more powerful workstations would only bring marginal benefits compared to investing in better software.

How many software fully exploit current hardware?
Photoshop doesn't
FinalCut Pro doesn't
Logic Studio doesn't

FinalCut X does and we can see that on current hardware it manage to pull most calculations in almost real time. While the software isn't ready to replace it's ancestor the benefits of a full rewrite are quite apparent.

In the end Apple doesn't cater to engineers (unfortunately :( being one I dreamt of Catia on OS X), for the media professionals a Single workstation processor (6+ cores) with enough PCIe (v3) ports and memory (RAM and SATA) slots available would be more than enough.

Even more so now, that Thunderbolt exists, permitting the use of fast external storage systems.

For me MacPro aren't dead, but will evolve into something less epic, but that should still perform very well for the pro, while price might go down enough to interest more prosumer (geeks, gamers or rich kids ^^)

Anyway, what Apple is waiting for, is Intel's next workstation processors, and maybe even AMD next generation GPUs (more focused on calculation that graphics).
Sandy Bridge are great but they have a lot of limitations (like the number of PCI channels), and their internal GPUs are a waste of electricity.
As you mention, software capabilities are the biggest problem (not much is true n core multi-threaded).

Granted, software always trails behind hardware, but the differences now are staggering when you consider the cost of workstation systems (a sparse few applications that can use all the cores, and only used on occasion <well under 50% of the users' time>), so idle cores tends to be a waste of money if they take their time management into consideration with their usage patterns.

As per the I/O issues, Intel began addressing I/O with Nehalem, and is continuing to improve on it with SB architecture, and will continue to do so with future architecture. But no system vendor can exceed what their CPU providers can offer in terms of I/O bandwidth to the CPU itself (i.e. nF200 chips increased the number of PCIe lanes in X58 designs, but I/O traffic is still limited to a single QPI channel between the CPU and chipset).

That depends. I know guys running three or four Mac Pros synced for music production. Virtual instruments with heavy samples and some modeling plug-ins hosted outside the main DAW can saturate you disk I/O, processors and memory. Reaper and Vienna Ensemble Pro have made a business out of this.
Quite a niche though, and I'd be shocked if Apple would pursue such a limited market (portion of the total Gross Margin would be too slim for their appetite ;)).

I look at it this way; they don't want a bite of an apple, they want the entire orchard. :p

thedomus
Aug 24, 2011, 04:21 AM
That depends. I know guys running three or four Mac Pros synced for music production. Virtual instruments with heavy samples and some modeling plug-ins hosted outside the main DAW can saturate you disk I/O, processors and memory. Reaper and Vienna Ensemble Pro have made a business out of this.

Straight-forward audio production and multi-tracking? Yeah, my old white MacBook can handle that.

Off topic... I'm a professional composer & music producer using Logic, and I still find it amazing that there are producers out there with Mac Pro farms using VEP, I can only think they load every VI and sample library they own at the beginning of the day to make use of all that power, RAM & throughput!

On topic... I've read a rumour here or there that the new MPro could possibly be rackmounted, now that could could be very appealing to peeps like me, maybe with front loading 2.5" SSD trays.... wish!

initialsBB
Aug 24, 2011, 06:23 AM
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

I don't see Apple completely dropping the pro line. Of course they don't sell nearly as many Mac Pros as they do iPads or Airs or even Minis, but they still sell them. I think of the future Mac Pros more along the lines of the Apple TV, a small market, but one they will cater to anyways.

I certainly wouldn't mind a smaller form factor for the Mac Pro. I'm sure the industrial design department can kind of take the best of the Mac Pro, xServe, Mac Mini/ Apple TV and roll it into one new design.

I'm expecting an all new design pro machine when Intel ships their new processors. Thunderbolt is a big deal to Apple, and they'll leverage this as much as possible.

maflynn
Aug 24, 2011, 06:32 AM
On topic... I've read a rumour here or there that the new MPro could possibly be rackmounted, now that could could be very appealing to peeps like me, maybe with front loading 2.5" SSD trays.... wish!
That rumor hit the streets shortly after apple killed off the xsereve. It was the same case, but the dimensions were changed so that it would fit in a rack - at least that's what the rumor postulated.

beaker7
Aug 24, 2011, 06:56 AM
The thing is, while Apple has been promoting technologies (Grand Central Dispatch, openCL) that would ensure better use of big workstations, were devs following? (no)

In the DCC market, yes.


More importantly are pro software in the media world in need of such power?

Yes.


...on the other hand the image, video and audio professionals might be near the point where investing in way more powerful workstations would only bring marginal benefits compared to investing in better software.

No.

Here is a list of software my design shop uses every day, for which I plan to buy several of the fastest dual CPU Sandy Bridge Mac Pro released.

After Effects CS 5.5
Many AE plugins that use OpenCL/CUDA from Red Giant and others
Premiere Pro
Final Cut X
Maya
V-Ray for Maya (CPU and OpenCL)
Maxwell Render
Cinema4D
various video encoding utilities
NukeX (CPU, CUDA)
RealFlow
etc

Chupa Chupa
Aug 24, 2011, 06:59 AM
Cringley is a maroon of the first order. How he continues to garner respect baffles me. I'll stick to this article though. He claims to be a tech writer but makes this idiotic statement:

"...I use the term Light Peak, which is what Thunderbolt is called in the non-Apple world,..."

Of course any part-time tech nerd knows that "Thunderbolt" is Intel's marketing name for what was formerly known as "Light Peak"; it's not an Apple term as he suggests, almost mockingly as a silly Apple nomenclature. He thinks he is so superior because he is going to use what he thinks is the "real" name of Thunderbold, Light Peak.

Well, Cringley, as a member of the so-called professional media, ought to at least do research before making asinine statements. Intel is quite clear (http://www.intel.com/technology/io/thunderbolt/index.htm) that "Thunderbolt" is the standard for Macs and PCs, and is the proper term for the standard, not "Light Peak." But I guess Cringley is still calling Istanbul Constantinople.

So when you realize he has this basic fact wrong, you can't believe anything else he says.

beaker7
Aug 24, 2011, 07:06 AM
Cringley is a maroon of the first order. How he continues to garner respect baffles me. I'll stick to this article though. He claims to be a tech writer but makes this idiotic statement:

"...I use the term Light Peak, which is what Thunderbolt is called in the non-Apple world,..."

Of course any part-time tech nerd knows that "Thunderbolt" is Intel's marketing name for what was formerly known as "Light Peak"; it's not an Apple term as he suggests, almost mockingly as a silly Apple nomenclature. He thinks he is so superior because he is going to use what he thinks is the "real" name of Thunderbold, Light Peak.

Well, Cringley, as a member of the so-called professional media, ought to at least do research before making asinine statements. Intel is quite clear (http://www.intel.com/technology/io/thunderbolt/index.htm) that "Thunderbolt" is the standard for Macs and PCs, and is the proper term for the standard, not "Light Peak." But I guess Cringley is still calling Istanbul Constantinople.

So when you realize he has this basic fact wrong, you can't believe anything else he says.

Most of the tech 'pundits' are never so careless as to let facts get in the way of a good story.

reebzor
Aug 24, 2011, 07:50 AM
This article was stupid.

Build the GPU into the display?

First of all, won't PCIe 3 require more bandwidth than Thunderbolt has to offer? How would that work?
Second of all, why don't we just throw a CPU, some RAM and a HDD in there and call it an iMac?

Rustus Maximus
Aug 24, 2011, 08:00 AM
...First of all, won't PCIe 3 require more bandwidth than Thunderbolt has to offer? How would that work?...

Doesn't PCIe 2 already have more bandwidth than Thunderbolt has to offer at the high end? PCIe 3 will only increase this disparity. Again, I know some will shout me down and call me a Luddite for this but, once more, in its present iteration I see little advantage to Thunderbolt for the Mac Pro platform.

beaker7
Aug 24, 2011, 08:12 AM
Doesn't PCIe 2 already have more bandwidth than Thunderbolt has to offer at the high end? PCIe 3 will only increase this disparity. Again, I know some will shout me down and call me a Luddite for this but, once more, in its present iteration I see little advantage to Thunderbolt for the Mac Pro platform.

The current 10Gb implementation of Thunderbolt is roughly equivalent to a PCI-Express 2.0 x2 speed. IE: 1/8 as fast as your x16 graphics card port.

Awesome for some external hard drives, and even some monitor connections, not fast enough for anything capable of faster speeds.

Even an external RAID drive of 2 modern SSDs will start to feel bottlenecked by Thunderbolt.

philipma1957
Aug 24, 2011, 09:05 AM
This article was stupid.

Build the GPU into the display?

First of all, won't PCIe 3 require more bandwidth than Thunderbolt has to offer? How would that work?
Second of all, why don't we just throw a CPU, some RAM and a HDD in there and call it an iMac?

Doesn't PCIe 2 already have more bandwidth than Thunderbolt has to offer at the high end? PCIe 3 will only increase this disparity. Again, I know some will shout me down and call me a Luddite for this but, once more, in its present iteration I see little advantage to Thunderbolt for the Mac Pro platform.

The current 10Gb implementation of Thunderbolt is roughly equivalent to a PCI-Express 2.0 x2 speed. IE: 1/8 as fast as your x16 graphics card port.

Awesome for some external hard drives, and even some monitor connections, not fast enough for anything capable of faster speeds.

Even an external RAID drive of 2 modern SSDs will start to feel bottlenecked by Thunderbolt.

Not to defend the article writer but if t-bolt goes to optical instead of copper it would be more like light peak. Not that the name means much but if it becomes a fiber optical link it was said to do speeds of 50Gb not 10Gb. this would make it 5/8 as fast as an x16 graphics card port.

zephonic
Aug 24, 2011, 09:15 AM
I like Cringely 's writings and musings.

I don't know if the MacPro is dead, but it certainly isn't vibrantly alive either.

I thought the most interesting idea presented in this article is the display with built-in GPU. When ThB reaches PCIe speeds it will undoubtedly be a superior solution, much like how active speaker monitors replaced passive speakers with external amplifiers.

getz76
Aug 24, 2011, 09:24 AM
Off topic... I'm a professional composer & music producer using Logic, and I still find it amazing that there are producers out there with Mac Pro farms using VEP, I can only think they load every VI and sample library they own at the beginning of the day to make use of all that power, RAM & throughput!

The guys I know that do it are on tight turnarounds, mostly for television. They need to be able to have their template loaded and churn out scores.

Not my bag, but that quick turnaround is part of their deliverable. Most of it ends up sounding godawful and usually gets even more abuse in post. You would figure delivering stems would allow production to better mix the sound, but those guys are on the same schedule.

My Mac Pro is overkill for my stuff. I am still using 32-bit applications in Pro Tools and Reason, though Reason will be 64-bit with September's release.

Quite a niche though, and I'd be shocked if Apple would pursue such a limited market (portion of the total Gross Margin would be too slim for their appetite ;)).

Oh, I was just pointing out usage. I personally do not expect a refresh of the Mac Pro. I will be pleasantly surprised if Apple continues the development.

nanofrog
Aug 24, 2011, 09:57 AM
Build the GPU into the display?
I suspect he got the following confused, and figured the GPU was in the display (not seen anything like what he's describing from Sony, or any other company so far).
Village Instruments TB Enclosure for External GPU card (http://www.techpowerup.com/150140/Village-Instruments-to-Develop-External-GPU-Enclosure-Making-use-of-Thunderbolt.html)
Sony External GPU for Vaio Z (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/06/sony-vaio-z-puts-graphics-card-in-thunderbolt-connected-box/) (docking station of sorts)

The current 10Gb implementation of Thunderbolt is roughly equivalent to a PCI-Express 2.0 x2 speed. IE: 1/8 as fast as your x16 graphics card port.
In a single direction, Yes. But double it for the aggregate bandwidth (both directions are 10Gb/s).

Hence why the current TB chips are designed to connect to 4x Gen 2.0 PCIe lanes.

macsmurf
Aug 24, 2011, 10:16 AM
Why would Apple not drop the Mac Pro? They probably aren't making much money on it anyway. Why keep it around?

Robellyn
Aug 24, 2011, 10:32 AM
So when you realize he has this basic fact wrong, you can't believe anything else he says.

Although I have no opinion anymore on this discussion, this statement amused me somewhat.
"Hey! Watch out! That car is going to hit you!"
"Car? Don't be a Maroon ... That's an SUV, not a car ... >SMASH!<"

xgman
Aug 24, 2011, 11:12 AM
d, but it certainly isn't vibrantly alive either.

I thought the most interesting idea presented in this article is the display with built-in GPU..

Imagine the heat in there.

getz76
Aug 24, 2011, 11:16 AM
Imagine the heat in there.

Like an iMac?

Glen Quagmire
Aug 24, 2011, 11:39 AM
Cringely needs to learn how to use the apostrophe correctly.

Strangely, he writes "PCs", but doesn't write "Pros". Consistency: don't you just love it?

Concorde Rules
Aug 24, 2011, 12:15 PM
Why would Apple not drop the Mac Pro? They probably aren't making much money on it anyway. Why keep it around?

Because Pixar uses the Mac Pro's and then countless other businesses.

Apple will keep the Mac Pro line profitable, because some people just CANT use an iMac.

The MP will stay, if the price starts increasing again is another question all together.

thedomus
Aug 24, 2011, 12:27 PM
Not my bag, but that quick turnaround is part of their deliverable. Most of it ends up sounding godawful and usually gets even more abuse in post.

LOL! nice one! as they say - its not what you have but how you use it! ... thats my excuse anyways!!!

Topper
Aug 24, 2011, 12:35 PM
The MP will stay, if the price starts increasing again is another question all together.

Imo, a professional has to have a Mac Pro even if the price goes up.
For many pros, the only other alternative is a PC. Yuk!
If things ever get that bad, I'll just get the latest Mac Pro and max it out to the highest heavens.
I'd rather spend a little more money on a new Mac Pro than tons of money to update an old one.

getz76
Aug 24, 2011, 12:49 PM
For many pros, the only other alternative is a PC. Yuk!

Windows 7 is lovely. A lot of the creative stuff runs as good or better on Windows 7 than Mac OS X these days. Adobe and Avid products have come a long way on the Windows side.

If you do not need Final Cut or Logic, a 6-core Windows 7 machine is rather appealing these days.

Rustus Maximus
Aug 24, 2011, 12:53 PM
Because Pixar uses the Mac Pro's and then countless other businesses...

I'm not saying Apple is doing away with the Pro but if I remember correctly, Pixar doesn't use as many Mac Pros as one would think. I believe they use mainly Linux boxes for rendering. As for individual artist stations, don't most places leave that up to the individual artist and what they are most comfortable with? As long as the files are interoperable, which most are these days.

derbothaus
Aug 24, 2011, 01:13 PM
How many software fully exploit current hardware?
Photoshop doesn't
FinalCut Pro doesn't
Logic Studio doesn't


Logic does in a BIG way. All cores all threads. It also scales almost perfectly. Not sure why you included it. PS does exploit a decent amount of power. At least better than the rest of the suite.

----------

Cringley is a maroon of the first order. How he continues to garner respect baffles me. I'll stick to this article though. He claims to be a tech writer but makes this idiotic statement:

"...I use the term Light Peak, which is what Thunderbolt is called in the non-Apple world,..."

Of course any part-time tech nerd knows that "Thunderbolt" is Intel's marketing name for what was formerly known as "Light Peak"; it's not an Apple term as he suggests, almost mockingly as a silly Apple nomenclature. He thinks he is so superior because he is going to use what he thinks is the "real" name of Thunderbold, Light Peak.

Well, Cringley, as a member of the so-called professional media, ought to at least do research before making asinine statements. Intel is quite clear (http://www.intel.com/technology/io/thunderbolt/index.htm) that "Thunderbolt" is the standard for Macs and PCs, and is the proper term for the standard, not "Light Peak." But I guess Cringley is still calling Istanbul Constantinople.

So when you realize he has this basic fact wrong, you can't believe anything else he says.

Also add that there is a distinction to TB "Copper" Light Peak and the promised "Optical" light peak due out later.

xgman
Aug 24, 2011, 03:30 PM
Like an iMac?
But higher end "pro" cards run hotter and are bigger.

getz76
Aug 24, 2011, 03:34 PM
But higher end "pro" cards run hotter and are bigger.

Right, but an iMac includes a CPU, a hard drive or two, memory, and other controller chips. Stuffing a GPU in a monitor is no big deal, even a high-end card.

Torrijos
Aug 24, 2011, 03:52 PM
Logic does in a BIG way. All cores all threads. It also scales almost perfectly. Not sure why you included it.
My bad I was fixed in the past where the app had still huge chunks of 32bit code limiting its use of memory.

The same goes for my Photoshop remark, CS4 was poorly optimized (usually using a maximum of 2 cores, and still not fully Cocoa), but in the case of CS5 (for OS X), reviews (like the one on ars technica) mentioned that multithreading optimization was missing from some time consuming task, and more importantly GPU optimization used CUDA (Nvidia proprietary) instead of OpenCL.

About TB, a lot of people seem to think that going from copper to optical will magically give 10 times the bandwidth. The interface bandwidth is limited by the underlying technologies (CPU I/O -> PCIe tech).

In my mind to reach the 100Gb/s Intel has been talking about, they project themselves in a future where the TB interface lies on top of PCIe v3 with more channels available per TB port.

vitzr
Aug 24, 2011, 04:41 PM
That guy is a moron. Can't he read Intel's roadmap?
If we can just wait until the chips get released before sounding the death knell. If they come and go and no Mac Pro then great, happy editorializing.
Not sure what the point is in calling the guy a moron.

He's entitled to his opinion just like the rest of us.

I'd rather give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

After all it's not like the rest of us haven't made a mistake from time to time.

Not only that, we don't even know if he's wrong.... yet.

derbothaus
Aug 24, 2011, 05:41 PM
Not sure what the point is in calling the guy a moron.

He's entitled to his opinion just like the rest of us.

I'd rather give the guy the benefit of the doubt.

After all it's not like the rest of us haven't made a mistake from time to time.

Not only that, we don't even know if he's wrong.... yet.

Correct. We don't know if he is wrong yet. That's not the point. His reason for writing the possibility of said scenario is based on him being too lazy to even recognize cycles in part availability. Since he is writing about HW I would think he would have done the very first thing prior to writing his piece.
When you reach my age you stop giving anyone the "benefit of the doubt".
People acting in a role as authoritative sources of tech need to vet their data first. If this were politics he'd get outed. Tomorrow he could be my champion. This is the net and all things are blown out of proportion and honestly you're way too polite:p

Topper
Aug 24, 2011, 07:20 PM
Not only that, we don't even know if he's wrong.... yet.

We don't know if he's wrong but his statements are very questionable.
Quote from the article:
"Mac Proís are Appleís big box PCs. They havenít been refreshed since last summer and new models were expected this month with the new Minis, but for some reason the new Mac Proís failed to appear."

New models were expected this month? Failed to appear, huh?
99.999 percent of the people in this forum are more knowledgeable than he is.

d-m-a-x
Aug 24, 2011, 08:24 PM
The thing is, while Apple has been promoting technologies (Grand Central Dispatch, openCL) that would ensure better use of big workstations, were devs following? (no)

More importantly are pro software in the media world in need of such power?

While engineers may need every last bit of processing power available, the next generation MacPro (if they follow the current line philosophy) make sense to them since they are in the market for workstations with multiple processors with multiple cores and multiple CUDA or openCL capable GPUs, on the other hand the image, video and audio professionals might be near the point where investing in way more powerful workstations would only bring marginal benefits compared to investing in better software.

How many software fully exploit current hardware?
Photoshop doesn't
FinalCut Pro doesn't
Logic Studio doesn't

FinalCut X does and we can see that on current hardware it manage to pull most calculations in almost real time. While the software isn't ready to replace it's ancestor the benefits of a full rewrite are quite apparent.

In the end Apple doesn't cater to engineers (unfortunately :( being one I dreamt of Catia on OS X), for the media professionals a Single workstation processor (6+ cores) with enough PCIe (v3) ports and memory (RAM and SATA) slots available would be more than enough.

Even more so now, that Thunderbolt exists, permitting the use of fast external storage systems.

For me MacPro aren't dead, but will evolve into something less epic, but that should still perform very well for the pro, while price might go down enough to interest more prosumer (geeks, gamers or rich kids ^^)

Anyway, what Apple is waiting for, is Intel's next workstation processors, and maybe even AMD next generation GPUs (more focused on calculation that graphics).
Sandy Bridge are great but they have a lot of limitations (like the number of PCI channels), and their internal GPUs are a waste of electricity.

Photoshop uses the core's although not multiple processors. That is why I buy the single processor, multiple core mac pro's. Still run circles around imacs and mb pro's , although not lately. The Xeon seems to hold it's value better than other processor's. My 2006 is the only mac from it's era that can be upgraded to Lion

Dnix
Aug 24, 2011, 10:01 PM
I sure hope its not dead....or soon to be. I am just now getting one lol

Tutor
Aug 24, 2011, 10:24 PM
Clean up

Akula971
Aug 25, 2011, 01:19 PM
I would expect Apple to have a business unit that develops the Mac Pro range. As long as that unit is satisfying its customers, and turning a profit, then why ditch it? There are a lot more Mac Pros out there than you'd expect. Over the last 6 years I've noticed a lot more Macs in the businesses I visit, and a lot of those are either top end IMacs or Mac Pros. If they do ditch it, then is the IMac, with its horribly glossy screen an option? Not for everyone. I bought my Pro in 2008 and intended it to last for 5 years. I've yet to find anything that can really tax it. I've had Windows boxes that become very unresponsive when undertaking intensive work, but my Pro just keeps chugging along. Mind you I use a Mac mini for every day use, and only fire up the Pro for CAD work. (PCB design). Long may it last!

goMac
Aug 25, 2011, 03:08 PM
I don't really buy this article. The Mac Pro is dated, but it's streamlined replacement consists of a bunch of boxes all daisy chained together? (each of which requiring it's own power supply?)

Seesh. Yeah right.

The Cinema display with a built in GPU is an interesting concept. Would definitely be useful in the consumer market. A bit harder to do in a pro market where Pros needs a lot of specialty displays.

nanofrog
Aug 25, 2011, 06:59 PM
The Cinema display with a built in GPU is an interesting concept. Would definitely be useful in the consumer market. A bit harder to do in a pro market where Pros needs a lot of specialty displays.
I dont' see GPU equipped displays as good for users, as they tend to recycle displays vs. computers. So as such a display ages, the end user would end up having to replace the entire display due to the GPU performance over time rather than due to the display itself (gone bad outside of warranty, outgrown it, ... whatever).

Rather expensive way to keep up with GPU's for users (paying for both a GPU and display, regardless of what they actually need), and not a good idea IMO.

And then there's performance users/professionals that need more than what may ship as part of a display in terms of included GPU.

G4er?
Aug 26, 2011, 07:59 AM
I dont' see GPU equipped displays as good for users, as they tend to recycle displays vs. computers. So as such a display ages, the end user would end up having to replace the entire display due to the GPU performance over time rather than due to the display itself (gone bad outside of warranty, outgrown it, ... whatever).

Rather expensive way to keep up with GPU's for users (paying for both a GPU and display, regardless of what they actually need), and not a good idea IMO.

And then there's performance users/professionals that need more than what may ship as part of a display in terms of included GPU.

Sounds like something Apple would go for then.

nanofrog
Aug 26, 2011, 10:26 AM
Sounds like something Apple would go for then.
Unfortunately, you may be right (performance upgrades could be seen as a way to force help generate additional monitor sales).

goMac
Aug 26, 2011, 01:55 PM
I dont' see GPU equipped displays as good for users, as they tend to recycle displays vs. computers. So as such a display ages, the end user would end up having to replace the entire display due to the GPU performance over time rather than due to the display itself (gone bad outside of warranty, outgrown it, ... whatever).

Rather expensive way to keep up with GPU's for users (paying for both a GPU and display, regardless of what they actually need), and not a good idea IMO.

And then there's performance users/professionals that need more than what may ship as part of a display in terms of included GPU.

Well, my thinking is I would like this for a Macbook Air. I've been thinking about switching from my Macbook Pro to an Air, but the lack of GPU power is making me second guess that. A display with a higher end GPU would solve that problem when I'm tethered to it (which is probably when I'd be doing my most intense work anyway.)

My Mac Pro does a great job now, but it would still be nice to have a display I could plug into in my bedroom in case I have company over or something and can't use my home office. Or, if I'm at work, and I need a machine that's light enough to haul around for meetings/notetaking, but takes a jump in performance when I sit back down at my desk for coding.

Think Duo Dock. :p

dented42ford
Aug 26, 2011, 06:13 PM
Edit: I forgot to say one thing, that is what I set out to say to begin with. Reading the comments on that Cringely article, I can't help but notice a trend that I always seem to see: Consumers, especially computer-literate consumers, tend to COMPLETELY FORGET THAT PRO AUDIO EVEN EXISTS. That is in spite of the fact that it is almost as big a market as video - look at Avid's numbers, both for MC and Pro Tools - it just isn't as flashy or as high profile. My theory? That laymen "get" video - it is something they SEE after all, and can conceptualize doing - but audio is completely alien. How many people use their phones to make music, compared to those who do the same for videos? Hell, the iPhone has a "video" button on its camera - where's the audio button - yeah, I know, "voice notes", but seriously, who uses that much?

I'll say here what I said on that moron's site - if you think the Mac Pro is dying, or at least that the high-end PCI-supporting-mac is dying, then you just plain don't understand WHO THE MAC PRO IS FOR. While it is priced low enough for the hobbyist, it is designed as a PROFESSIONAL WORKSTATION.

I can't tell you how many times people have tried to convince me that "an iMac is all you need for Audio" or some argument akin to it, then balked when I showed them an actual PRO mix. Convolution Verb, massive numbers of tracks and Auxes, plug-in counts into the hundreds, and EVERY parameter automated are not unusual - there are mixes I did 3 years ago, on Logic 8 on a 1,1 MP, that I can't open on my last-year MBP without freezing every track (yay for Logic 9).

Not to mention the fact that Avid - who, no matter how much people (mostly europeans, I've noticed) bitch and moan, owns the pro studio world - JUST RELEASED NEW PCIe CARDS. Apogee is just now getting Symphony 64 into actual use, as well. There's UAD, Focusrite, Metric Halo, Prism, and several others who also have PCIe cards - all of which I've seen in use at one PTHD studio or another, not to mention "high-end-project-studios" (which often are better equipped than so-called pro studios).

The Mac Pro, as it stands now (as an 8-year-old tower design, etc), may be dying - I would LOVE to see a rackmountable (preferably 2U [yeah right] or 3U) design instead of a tower - the actual concept of a Pro Apple Workstation isn't going anywhere, and anyone who thinks it is just doesn't have experience in the markets it is really intended for. I would say QED, but I didn't actually make an argument - more just a general "AARRGGGHHH"!

goMac
Aug 26, 2011, 06:37 PM
Pffff.... You don't need a Mac Pro for pro audio. Logic can't even use more than two cores. Right? Right!?!?!

:p

dented42ford
Aug 26, 2011, 08:58 PM
Pffff.... You don't need a Mac Pro for pro audio. Logic can't even use more than two cores. Right? Right!?!?!

:p

Um...
No.

Also, Logic is behind the times (and for that matter, so is everybody else) - that brings me to ANOTHER point, which is that Apple needs to get Logic up to date, and more notably, more STABLE. I use Logic - mainly because I always have, and because I find Pro Tools to be very hard to work with when composing - but it has a lot of faults. AU's are inherently less processor intensive than their RTAS equivalents - I don't want to get into the technical issues, just trust me on it - which works in Logic's favor, but it hiccups way too often for my tastes - it needs more background processing, and it needs better multithreading, and it needs A LOT better memory management...

All of which, of course, lead me to want a new Mac Pro - as all those complaints become much less of an issue when working with a computer that is actually MORE powerful than I need. There's a concept in audio, "headroom", that is a very apt analogy - it is possible to record audio right to the limit of what a medium can support, but what is the point? Having the ability to work with anything, without thought or worry as to overuse of resources, or having to come up with workarounds, is essential to good workflow. Can I do pro level work on my MBP? Yes, but it is A LOT HARDER, since there is so much more to think about - should I create this Aux track for 'verb, or will it crash the system? Should I start freezing tracks? Should I bounce down this comp? Do I use the better sounding delay, or the one that won't eat up so many resources? Can I use Melodyne in Plugin mode, or do I have to launch the external editor? Etc...

vitzr
Aug 26, 2011, 09:12 PM
Windows 7 is lovely. A lot of the creative stuff runs as good or better on Windows 7 than Mac OS X these days. Adobe and Avid products have come a long way on the Windows side.

If you do not need Final Cut or Logic, a 6-core Windows 7 machine is rather appealing these days.

As much as I like my new Mac Pro, if not for the business paying for this maxed out extremely expensive model, a Win 7 machine would be very tempting. It's the first version of Windows I truly enjoy.

Yes my first preference is Mac, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say all the "Post PC" crap I'm hearing from Apple is disconcerting. Then to fuel the fire is all the iOS features in Lion. There's no roar in this neutered cat.

nanofrog
Aug 26, 2011, 10:37 PM
Well, my thinking is I would like this for a Macbook Air. I've been thinking about switching from my Macbook Pro to an Air, but the lack of GPU power is making me second guess that. A display with a higher end GPU would solve that problem when I'm tethered to it (which is probably when I'd be doing my most intense work anyway.)

My Mac Pro does a great job now, but it would still be nice to have a display I could plug into in my bedroom in case I have company over or something and can't use my home office. Or, if I'm at work, and I need a machine that's light enough to haul around for meetings/notetaking, but takes a jump in performance when I sit back down at my desk for coding.

Think Duo Dock. :p
Understandable.

But a separate external GPU (think of what Sony's producing for the Vaio Z, or the Thunderbolt External Enclosure for a GPU by Village Instruments).

Perhaps not all that pretty (external solutions and the cables needed to hook it up; though 3 shouldn't be that bad), but it would work and allow users to upgrade their external GPU's without needing to buy a new monitor as well (also cheaper).

PaulD-UK
Aug 27, 2011, 04:13 AM
...if you think the Mac Pro is dying, or at least that the high-end PCI-supporting-mac is dying, then you just plain don't understand WHO THE MAC PRO IS FOR....Hi
The Apple of the last decade (ending 2010) is a thing of the past, and the Apple going forward from now doesn't feel it needs to concern itself with the workstation-using professional workflows of the past.
As of 21st June many tens of thousands of Final Cut Studio using businesses were just abandoned in an instant :(

Apple in the future feels it can redefine its own 21st century professional workflows - ones appropriate to its new "the truth is in the cloud" mobile-device user-empowering identity - and as the world's biggest company (give or take) who's to say their business planning isn't right? For them...

With Steve Jobs stepping back from the helm, I guess he's decided that the forward planning for his company in the future is now set in place.
Don't expect your legacy high-end resource-hungry audio production workflows to be in any way a part of that future.

You may think its good business to support such high-end big-spending professional users, but Apple have demonstrated their changing focus and their complete happiness to leave such business to other parts of the industry.

FCP X is definitely focussed on future professional workflows - but ONLY in as much as it fits in with Apple's future iPad/iCloud/iTunes Store ecosystem. I can't see any way in which professional music production won't similarly get a complete Apple ecosystem workover...

Here's a Steve Jobs quote:
"Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. ...someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

derbothaus
Aug 27, 2011, 02:12 PM
Hi
The Apple of the last decade (ending 2010) is a thing of the past, and the Apple going forward from now doesn't feel it needs to concern itself with the workstation-using professional workflows of the past.
As of 21st June many tens of thousands of Final Cut Studio using businesses were just abandoned in an instant :(

Apple in the future feels it can redefine its own 21st century professional workflows - ones appropriate to its new "the truth is in the cloud" mobile-device user-empowering identity - and as the world's biggest company (give or take) who's to say their business planning isn't right? For them...

With Steve Jobs stepping back from the helm, I guess he's decided that the forward planning for his company in the future is now set in place.
Don't expect your legacy high-end resource-hungry audio production workflows to be in any way a part of that future.

You may think its good business to support such high-end big-spending professional users, but Apple have demonstrated their changing focus and their complete happiness to leave such business to other parts of the industry.

FCP X is definitely focussed on future professional workflows - but ONLY in as much as it fits in with Apple's future iPad/iCloud/iTunes Store ecosystem. I can't see any way in which professional music production won't similarly get a complete Apple ecosystem workover...

Here's a Steve Jobs quote:
"Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. ...someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma ó which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

Pros only abandoned because they couldn't stand not having the latest and greatest. Most of my video houses are still using FCP 7 and are waiting it out.
Usually they use a few OS versions behind anyway for stability. Latest and greatest is for amateur or self professed "pros". Some have started using Premier but only for job security (just in case and they had it in their Master Collections anyway). Workflow has not changed. Needs for Mac Pro have not changed. Most despise 10.7 AND FCP X right now. Maybe go PC if Apple doesn't pull their head out of their arse.

goMac
Aug 28, 2011, 02:25 PM
With Steve Jobs stepping back from the helm, I guess he's decided that the forward planning for his company in the future is now set in place.
Don't expect your legacy high-end resource-hungry audio production workflows to be in any way a part of that future.

Sigh.

FCPX got gutted because none of the existing code or UI could technically be ported to 64 bit. It just couldn't. This idea of a 64 bit version of FCP7 is just a dream. It never could actually be done.

Logic, on the other hand, was in a different situation. It had a very good technical foundation, and everything in it was already 64 bit compatible.

Stop making these comparisons to other pro apps. FCP was a unique technical problem, not a company wide marketing decision.

Also, why would you ever assume Apple's future is set in place? That's extremely short cited. Apple will continue making new innovations and using their smart engineers to decide what is best for the company, just like they have. With or without Steve. It's not like when Steve left he left exact directions for what to do with each product for the next 5 years, and now the whole company is running on autopilot.

xgman
Aug 29, 2011, 09:22 AM
Um...

All of which, of course, lead me to want a new Mac Pro - as all those complaints become much less of an issue when working with a computer that is actually MORE powerful than I need. There's a concept in audio, "headroom", that is a very apt analogy - it is possible to record audio right to the limit of what a medium can support, but what is the point? Having the ability to work with anything, without thought or worry as to overuse of resources, or having to come up with workarounds, is essential to good workflow. Can I do pro level work on my MBP? Yes, but it is A LOT HARDER, since there is so much more to think about - should I create this Aux track for 'verb, or will it crash the system? Should I start freezing tracks? Should I bounce down this comp? Do I use the better sounding delay, or the one that won't eat up so many resources? Can I use Melodyne in Plugin mode, or do I have to launch the external editor? Etc...

exactly . . . .

EmbraceNext
Aug 30, 2011, 06:19 PM
Until video encoding becomes instant, then there will always be a need for faster anything. The most valuable thing on this planet to me is time. If my workstation is the most powerful I can get to save me 15 minutes on this encode while not slowing down while I do multiple other items, then that's what I want.

So, I am all for new MacPros. If they don't come around, then I will need to build a PC with the power I want.

danpass
Aug 30, 2011, 06:36 PM
I've always wondered why Apple never catered to engineers and technical designers with such items as Solidworks/CATIA/ProE

I wonder if Bootcamp 'solves' that

goMac
Aug 30, 2011, 07:05 PM
I've always wondered why Apple never catered to engineers and technical designers with such items as Solidworks/CATIA/ProE

I wonder if Bootcamp 'solves' that

How would they cater to engineers?

Those are all 3rd party programs. Apple doesn't control those. Bootcamp isn't a solution, but it's certainly a damn good stop gap.

FluJunkie
Sep 1, 2011, 08:15 PM
I've always wondered why Apple never catered to engineers and technical designers with such items as Solidworks/CATIA/ProE

I wonder if Bootcamp 'solves' that

While I'm not an engineer, I'm in a similar circumstance (SAS is the default platform for analysis in my field).

The answer, simply put, is yes. It is *mildly* inconvenient to deal with a virtual machine or dual-booting, but the Mac is an incredibly popular platform despite a dependence on a piece of Windows software.