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Old Jul 28, 2012, 01:16 AM   #1
The Final Cut
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Mac Pro to be discontinued?

I am really upset with apple at discontinuing the 17" Macbook pro. I am wondering what the mac pro is representing, if that was 2% of their sales, what could this possibly be? The iMac has really gotten powerful in later years, and what is really missing is an SSD after that I don't see much need for the mac pro line, other than a very very select user base. The main problem with the 17" was the price. No one wanted to pay an extra $500+ for the exact same laptop for 2" more screen space. I really liked the larger screen but thought the price was absurd. Same with the mac pro its $2500 + cost of monitor and then factoring upgrades to bring it to 2012 standards and your well over $3200+. The fact of the mater is almost no one can justify spending that much, especially for a desktop, which has lost so much market share in the last 10 years or so.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 01:17 AM   #2
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Nobody should be surprised to see the Mac Pro go away soon.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 01:54 AM   #3
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I would be, after Apple's statement on the matter.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Final Cut View Post
The fact of the mater is almost no one can justify spending that much, especially for a desktop, which has lost so much market share in the last 10 years or so.
What has market share got to do with buying decision ?
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:38 AM   #5
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It should get a refresh in 2013.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/12/...oming-in-2013/
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:38 AM   #6
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What has market share got to do with buying decision ?
People should not buy Macs at all if you look at the market share.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:39 AM   #7
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I hope my next mp isn't a hackingtosh. I've watched the ad for mountain a couple of times and not once does it show a mp... Kinda scary.. Might have to invest in a mp from the apple store before they dry up...
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:45 AM   #8
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The Mac Pro (desktop) does have a market no mater how powerful the iMac (or Mini) gets. That said I would only buy one new if I was much better off, I was considering a used one but then the price v the current iMac spec's doesn't make sense.

When they talk 'redesign' in 2013 I'm thinking internal as the case has remained basically unchanged since the days of the G5, with the exception of a 2nd DVD drive and different ports layout over the years.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 05:00 AM   #9
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Since the the hardware in the Mac Pro is basically the same since 2009 - does that mean that the 2009 models were extremely good for 2009 or does that mean that the 2012 models are pretty bad? Or did the hardware no evolution since 2009? (sorry for my bad english..)
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 05:02 AM   #10
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Since the the hardware in the Mac Pro is basically the same since 2009 - does that mean that the 2009 models were extremely good for 2009 or does that mean that the 2012 models are pretty bad? Or did the hardware no evolution since 2009? (sorry for my bad english..)
OR, the 2012 are great compared to the 2009, but who knows why no update has come yet.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 06:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by El Awesome View Post
Since the the hardware in the Mac Pro is basically the same since 2009 - does that mean that the 2009 models were extremely good for 2009 or does that mean that the 2012 models are pretty bad? Or did the hardware no evolution since 2009? (sorry for my bad english..)
The hardware didn't change much from 2009 until 2012. The Mac Pro has been nothing special since 2009, just a limited implementation of Intel's workstation platform as far as hardware performance goes. Apple launched in 2009 the same as others, in 2010 they waited 6 months to update, they didn't update after that even though Intel made some changes to pricing and new models in early 2011. In 2012 other companies switched to Intel's newest workstation platform. Apple applied the early 2011 update to what had just become an obsolete platform.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 06:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lancer View Post
The Mac Pro (desktop) does have a market no mater how powerful the iMac (or Mini) gets. That said I would only buy one new if I was much better off, I was considering a used one but then the price v the current iMac spec's doesn't make sense.

When they talk 'redesign' in 2013 I'm thinking internal as the case has remained basically unchanged since the days of the G5, with the exception of a 2nd DVD drive and different ports layout over the years.
Have you ever seen a PowerMac G5 inside? They look absolutely nothing like the Mac Pro. Even the 2006 to 2008 models look nothing like the 2009+ models.

Both internal and external are bound to get a revamp.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 06:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by El Awesome View Post
Since the the hardware in the Mac Pro is basically the same since 2009 - does that mean that the 2009 models were extremely good for 2009 or does that mean that the 2012 models are pretty bad? Or did the hardware no evolution since 2009? (sorry for my bad english..)
The 4,1 wasn't that amazing. They went with much cheaper hardware choices on the lower models than they used in prior years. The 2012 just passed down a couple of the price drops on components yet still uses the same hardware. Toward the top performance hasn't budged much since 2010 when westmere options were added.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancer View Post

When they talk 'redesign' in 2013 I'm thinking internal as the case has remained basically unchanged since the days of the G5, with the exception of a 2nd DVD drive and different ports layout over the years.
The internals changed somewhat through the G5 era, remained relatively consistent with the 1,1 through 3,1 mac pros, then changed with the 4,1.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 06:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pressure View Post
Have you ever seen a PowerMac G5 inside? They look absolutely nothing like the Mac Pro. Even the 2006 to 2008 models look nothing like the 2009+ models.

Both internal and external are bound to get a revamp.
I have a G5 and yes I know internally they have changed allot since the first G5 was introduced and that's my point. Internally the Mac Pro may change a lot more than the outside case design, except for different ports on the back and maybe TB added to the front. The Mac Pro is more functional than design compared to other Macs or even the LCD for the Mac Pro.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 10:40 AM   #15
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Due to the nature of my work, and just life experience I guess, I've learned how to get people to open up a bit and talk about things they don't really want to talk about. After Cook's promise, which was pretty vague, and the media release clarifications, most of us felt assured a new Mac Pro is coming in late 2013. I assumed we'd see about the same case, maybe with a design tweak to two, state of the art mobo/CPU/GPU, TB, USB 3, maybe lose the internal optical drive for an SSD hot swap bay, but otherwise, a real Mac Pro.

After some recent conversations with people I am almost certain have at least a slight clue about where Apple is headed, I fear the change will be radical, less flexible/upgradeable, possibly modular or some other nontraditional workstation form, and severely dumbed down. Maybe the new Pro will be about as professional as the last new release of Final Cut. Of course, it is early, and all speculation, but the Pro customer base needs to put as much pressure as possible on Apple with articulate, reasoned arguments in favor of keeping the line alive. More than a Facebook rant. Far more.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 10:50 AM   #16
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Why can't people work with the iMac, anyway?
If you're buying a Mac Pro, you're probably swimming in cash, you could definitely buy the highest maxed-out iMac.
Because the Mac Pro offers one more CPU, up to twelve cores, more RAM capacity, more storage capacity, more expansion options due to using PCIe cards, a better GPU if you want and some other things. And you can use a non-glossy display or two with it, even professional ones.

Some people do need those options, hell, when I worked in editing, we used Mac Pros instead of iMacs, even though the iMacs could have been capable of doing so, but the MPs offer much more versatility and even a longer life (I edited an SD TV show in 2008 and 2009 on a G4 PowerMac).
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 03:17 PM   #17
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Because the Mac Pro offers one more CPU, up to twelve cores, more RAM capacity, more storage capacity, more expansion options due to using PCIe cards, a better GPU if you want and some other things. And you can use a non-glossy display or two with it, even professional ones.

Some people do need those options,
The problem is that the very top end iMac has most of those options.

1. four memory slots. so-DIMM but tops out at 32GB now (despite Apple's deceptive tech specs page). So it is really those who need greater than 32GB.

2. iMacs can work with PCI-e cards too.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thund...ercury_Helios/

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/ec...sschassis.html

Sure there are double width physical, minimal x8 bandwidth, and higher TDP cards that will work better in a Mac Pro but it isn't impossible with an iMac.


3. the top end iMac can drive three displays with no physical augmentations. (the two Thunderbolt sockets are two DisplayPort sockets too. Can end both chains with Display Port monitors. ) The top end iMac basically has a "desktop" GPU that has been downclocked a bit to fit the thermal envelope in the iMac.

That doesn't make it a premiere 3D machine. But it has some utility in a sizable number of contexts.


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hell, when I worked in editing, we used Mac Pros instead of iMacs, even though the iMacs could have been capable of doing so, but the MPs offer much more versatility and even a longer life (I edited an SD TV show in 2008 and 2009 on a G4 PowerMac).
This has a couple flawed premises or assumptions here.

One is that the current iMac is fundamentally different from the iMac from the G4 era. iMacs now come with desktop processors. They are not so much packing a laptop internals with a large screen. It is more and more mainstream desktop components attached to a large screen. At this point, iMacs are more likley to be useful for workloads over the likely 6 years that Apple is going to support the hardware. (they vintage/obsolete policy runs about that long for most Macs). If talking about getting utility out of obsolete hardware then is a possible advantage.

Second, is that "future proof" that goes past 6 years is largely an illusion. For example, even basic PCI implementaions will shift over that long a period of time. PCI cards aren't useful in PCI-e slots. PCI-e v1.0 slots are of dubious usage for PCI-e v3.0 cards.

Are "slots" more versatile over several years? Yes. Do they allow the span of a decade like sized time spans? No. Future proof is far better handled by not sinking too much into sunk costs so that are agile enough to move as the baseline standards improve.


I'm not saying the Mac Pro should be discontinued (that is really up to customers buying them ... or not ) , but it has substantially tougher competition now. The issue is far more are user workloads increasing fast enough to support the Mac Pro.... not whether the machine should be offered or not.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:06 PM   #18
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iMacs also come with MOBILE GPU's, high end/multiple GPU, dual CPU or Xeons are not an option, and the mobo lacks numerous features found in a desktop. An iMac is not, and will not, be suitable for serious 3D/HD Video/Simulation and other types of scientific work. Apple needs to either wake up and pay some attention to pro users, or tell us goodbye so we can move on. As an AAPL shareholder, I understand how small the MP's contribution to the bottom line is, but the halo effect, good will, and free advertising generated by Pro use has value much greater than the net per unit sold.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:25 PM   #19
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We simply don't know. We will find out in 2013, but if indeed the Mac Pro would be discontinued, those machines would be collecting money as they would be collectors items.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 05:16 PM   #20
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One of the main advantages of a mac pro vs iMac / Mbp is that if running renders etc, it doesn't sound like a hair, dryer.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 05:19 PM   #21
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You could also add that another benefit is multiple virtualization given the power the mac pro possesses, and also the ability for it to be networked in a series of clusters.


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One of the main advantages of a mac pro vs iMac / Mbp is that if running renders etc, it doesn't sound like a hair, dryer.
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Old Jul 30, 2012, 05:06 PM   #22
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...lots of well-reasoned-out stuff....
Yet still not sufficient for my needs. -.-

I am currently using just 4 cores plus an AMD 5870 to do live shows; OpenCL pegs all four cpu cores and uses the gpu to the max as well. But, I need more; what I have now is the minimum processing power that is acceptable for what I do. I could easily make use of 12 cores *and* two high-powered GPUs (I realize that a second double-width GPU will require an external power supply).

I throw my Mac Pro into my car and drive away to set up for a show. It is indeed heavy, but I have no fear at all that it will be damaged during transportation, nor that it will overheat while running all CPU cores and all GPU cores to the max for 3 hours uninterrupted, while situated in what will likely be an insufficiently-airconditioned environment.

Soon, I am likely to need more than one of these setups . . . .

...

In a few years, I may be able to do a show with a MacBook Pro, if I could perch it atop a block of ice! But I do not think that I could seriously consider an iMac in my situation....

...

My needs are atypical, I know, but I can't be the only one who actually needs a real Mac Pro....
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 09:12 AM   #23
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Yet still not sufficient for my needs. -.-

I am currently using just 4 cores plus an AMD 5870 to do live shows; OpenCL pegs all four cpu cores and uses the gpu to the max as well.
This is far more an example in lack of workload growth not significantly exceeding the hardware performance growth.

The upcoming Ivy Bridge iMac configurations that will have either an AMD 7970M or Nvidia 680M would outclass the rig above. Tractable because the above is three year/generations old architecture: Westmere (for x86 cores) and 5870 ( for GPU).

AMD 5870 ~153 GB/s ~2720 peak GFLOPS
AMD 7970M ~153 GB/s ~2176 peak GFLOPS
Nvidia 680M ~115 GB/s ~1935 peak GFLOPS

On pure GFLOPS grunt power it is about the same ( the new AVX in Ivy Bridge would offset the gap in peak GFLOPs above. Although that does require software that actually leverages AVX ... so dependent upon the OpenCL compiler finding and leveraging the parallelism . )


Quote:
But, I need more; what I have now is the minimum processing power that is acceptable for what I do. I could easily make use of 12 cores *and* two high-powered GPUs (I realize that a second double-width GPU will require an external power supply).
If you needed more you would have already bought more (e.g., six core and a Quadro 4000 or flashed and/or newer AMD/Nvidia non-boot secondary card). That the difference between "need" ( required to do the work at all) and 'want" (it would be nice if the work went faster. )

The "need to buy to meet minimums" goes back to what I said about the future being far more dependent upon what people buy as opposed to what Apple does.

You actually probably don't need two high TDP GPU cards. Just two modern ones in analogous class as the AMD 5770 (midrange 100-120W ).
Double wide card primarily for the onboard cooling fans to keep them quiet, not particularly for the cards that are double wide because require large fans not to overheat.

Quote:
I throw my Mac Pro into my car and drive away to set up for a show. It is indeed heavy, but I have no fear at all that it will be damaged during transportation,
You show up with a Mac Pro and no monitors and get right to work?
While the iMac's monitor would need protection during transportation, the Mac Pro isn't particularly useful as a personal workstation without a monitor.
If it is just as a "compute server" then there isn't a trade-off being made here.


Quote:
nor that it will overheat while running all CPU cores and all GPU cores to the max for 3 hours uninterrupted, while situated in what will likely be an insufficiently-airconditioned environment.
Yes, if you put an iMac out in the midday sun during the summer in Death Valley heat it and crank the CPU/GPU all the way up it will probably choke.

With modern CPU/GPU on-die clock+power regulation overheating is unlikely unless there is a fan or chip management feature failure. It will likely slow down, but not grossly overheat.

Quote:
In a few years, I may be able to do a show with a MacBook Pro, if I could perch it atop a block of ice!
That wouldn't be effective or desirable since melted ice, water, isn't a good thing to float a MBP on top of.

14nm x86 cores ( Broadwell ; about 2 years , Skywell ; about 3 years ) and ~22nm discrete GPU cores ( again 2-3 years ) will likely be capable of this same current workload you are engaging now without resorting to any herculean cooling efforts.

The flaw here is the assumption that "high power consumption" and "high thermal dissipation" are an intrinsic property of the current workload. It is extremely likely that it is not. That is more an side-effect of the particular implementation you are engaging.


Quote:
My needs are atypical, I know, but I can't be the only one who actually needs a real Mac Pro....
Apple isn't going to make a Mac Pro for just a largely fixed sized group of folks. Nor for just a couple of thousand folks with a lower than industry average growth rate.

Some people's needs are going to increasing be met by the Mac mini and iMac. That means the Mac Pro needs to peel off new workloads from machines up above it. Single CPU package Mac Pro perhaps from Dual Package ones. Likewise, Dual Package ones gathering new workloads from even servers, clusters and larger workstations (e.g., due to PCI-e card consolidations).

That is the critical issue. Not whether there are internal niche markets inside the legacy Mac Pro user base.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 09:26 AM   #24
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What they do for the iMac is going to be very telling for what happens to the Mac Pro. Regardless, the days of an update every year or 18 months are over for the entire Mac line, with the exception of the notebooks maybe.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 10:06 AM   #25
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I am finding the defense of the iMac as tool for serious professional 3D/Scientific/Medical/Simulation/HD/Film/Audio applications hilarious. Can you get away with it in a pinch, or as a prosumer? Maybe, maybe not. As I've said before, if Apple plans on killing off the Pro, or coming out with some idiotic modular design, then just say so. Then those of us who invent new things that improve your life, even save your life, entertain you, and solve complex problems, etc. can plan for the future of our labs and studios, then concentrate on doing our work, instead of fretting over what we are going to do that work on.

At current 20 to 25% off sales, those HP Z620/820 boxes, with 3 yr. warranties and 24/7 USA based support are starting to look pretty good right now. I made a pretext call to HP pro support to see how it compared to Apple. They were every bit as good. I checked out the new 620. It too is a well built/designed machine (other than cable management, which is easily fixed). I spend half of my time in Boot Camp anyway. I have one or two of everything Apple makes except the iPod, and a large chunk of their stock. I love all of those. But, the only reason I can afford them is because the Mac Pro makes me the money needed to buy them. If you are leaving me Apple, just leave now so I can go find someone else who does care and will happily meet my needs.
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