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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:06 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
I was under the impression that Apple opted to not go with Sandy Bridge E because some higher-end variant that existed with Westmere and will again exist in Ivy Bridge E didn't in Sandy Bridge E.
You're incorrect here. Apple chose not to release a new Mac Pro for financial reasons. Most likely the decision on whether to continue the line was still being debated.

They didn't invest anything in it, which is why it has the same platform and graphics cards etc. The processor change was probably forced by Intel as some of the processors are no longer produced or to offer something that didn't cost Apple anything.

This is why so many feel it is all over for the Mac Pro.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 04:14 AM   #27
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In the recent Tim Cook interview with NBC's Brian Williams, we have another clue. Cook said Apple will start producing one of its products in the USA in 2013. We know that can't be the iPhone or the iPad because no US company has the technical ability to make those products at the volume Apple requires.

It could be the new iMacs, because some models state they were made in the USA. But some analysts think those iMacs were prototypes, and that there are no USA factories that can manufacture at the needed volume.

So an emerging rumor is that Apple will build the new Mac Pro in the USA because it is the one product that doesn't require the volume expertise of the Chinese factories. This rumor fits nicely with Apple's weird delay of periodic Mac Pro upgrades.

Will the next "Mac Pro" be capable of being used both by demanding pro users and enterprise? That would give Apple a bigger market for essentially the same product, but small enough that they could produce it here. This would fill a gap in their product line, and give Apple a foothold in enterprise due to the "bring your own device" trend. It would also make sense because of the increased ability to BTO.

Hmmm.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 11:21 AM   #28
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So? The iMacs and MacBook Pros were both using AMD for a few generations before they switched back to nVidia. The same could go for Mac Pros as well.
Given the leak of Radeon HD 7xxx drivers in 10.8.3 and no such leak for any drivers for the desktop version of any NVIDIA cards, I'd say it's pretty likely that won't happen this next refresh/generation/redesign/whateveryoucallit.


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You're incorrect here. Apple chose not to release a new Mac Pro for financial reasons. Most likely the decision on whether to continue the line was still being debated.

They didn't invest anything in it, which is why it has the same platform and graphics cards etc. The processor change was probably forced by Intel as some of the processors are no longer produced or to offer something that didn't cost Apple anything.

This is why so many feel it is all over for the Mac Pro.
I didn't say that's why they didn't release a Mac Pro, I said that's why they didn't employ Sandy Bridge E.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 11:48 AM   #29
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The new Mac Pros will definitely arrive in 2013 or some other year.
And they will be made in the United States or some other country.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 11:56 AM   #30
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I didn't say that's why they didn't release a Mac Pro, I said that's why they didn't employ Sandy Bridge E.
How is that not the same thing? Sandy Bridge-E would have meant a new Mac Pro.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:02 PM   #31
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Sucks that the Intel Xeon line doesn't get as quickly updated with the architecture as consumer cpus.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:06 PM   #32
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Sucks that the Intel Xeon line doesn't get as quickly updated with the architecture as consumer cpus.
Supply and demand. Economics 101.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:10 PM   #33
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How is that not the same thing? Sandy Bridge-E would have meant a new Mac Pro.
Obviously it didn't. And likelihood is that whatever the supposed 2013 update is, it will have effectively skipped Sandy Bridge E and gone straight to Ivy Bridge E.

Apple could've, as they clearly did, want to continue to invest in the Mac Pro, but still skip Sandy Bridge E. Hell, it's a wonder that they didn't just skip Ivy Bridge for the iMacs and Mac minis given how late they were to the Ivy Bridge party.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:49 PM   #34
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Obviously it didn't. And likelihood is that whatever the supposed 2013 update is, it will have effectively skipped Sandy Bridge E and gone straight to Ivy Bridge E.

Apple could've, as they clearly did, want to continue to invest in the Mac Pro, but still skip Sandy Bridge E. Hell, it's a wonder that they didn't just skip Ivy Bridge for the iMacs and Mac minis given how late they were to the Ivy Bridge party.
You said you thought Apple decided not to go with Sandy Bridge because it was lacking something Westmere had. Which is incorrect. Sandy Bridge became available for Apple to upgrade to, and unlike every other workstation maker they decided not to move to it. Not because of features SB and it's chipset has or doesn't have. It is because of other issues.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:58 PM   #35
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You said you thought Apple decided not to go with Sandy Bridge because it was lacking something Westmere had. Which is incorrect. Sandy Bridge became available for Apple to upgrade to, and unlike every other workstation maker they decided not to move to it. Not because of features SB and it's chipset has or doesn't have. It is because of other issues.
What, pray tell, are these other issues? And where is your source?
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 02:17 PM   #36
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What, pray tell, are these other issues? And where is your source?
It's obvious they are other issues because there is no technical reason Apple could not have released a Mac Pro using Sandy Bridge-EP Xeons and Nvidia 600 or AMD 7000 graphic; i.e a Mac Pro using the most current hardware. That you can get OS X running on this hardware with a Hackintosh is testament to that.

The other issues will stem from the Mac Pro making barely any money compared to Apple's other desktop computer lines, let alone other businesses.

There have been rumours about the Mac Pro's cancellation coming from Apple sources, according to the Apple media circus, for years.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/...f_mac_pro.html

We know that Apple has limited talent that they move around. Why waste it to a line that will make tens of millions when others make billions? This is the problem facing the Mac Pro's survival. It's still enough part of the ecosystem that they won't can it yet, but it certainly wasn't a technology issue related to Sandy Bridge that prevented Apple updating it. They almost certainly chose not to for financial reasons.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 02:31 PM   #37
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It's obvious they are other issues because there is no technical reason Apple could not have released a Mac Pro using Sandy Bridge-EP Xeons and Nvidia 600 or AMD 7000 graphic; i.e a Mac Pro using the most current hardware. That you can get OS X running on this hardware with a Hackintosh is testament to that.

The other issues will stem from the Mac Pro making barely any money compared to Apple's other desktop computer lines, let alone other businesses.

There have been rumours about the Mac Pro's cancellation coming from Apple sources, according to the Apple media circus, for years.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/...f_mac_pro.html

We know that Apple has limited talent that they move around. Why waste it to a line that will make tens of millions when others make billions? This is the problem facing the Mac Pro's survival. It's still enough part of the ecosystem that they won't can it yet, but it certainly wasn't a technology issue related to Sandy Bridge that prevented Apple updating it. They almost certainly chose not to for financial reasons.
Right. This would explain why Apple bothered to release a half-assed update this year and are all but formally announcing an actual one next year. Obviously financial reasons prevented these refreshes from the Mid 2010 model.

Also, citing a rumor based on heresay doesn't offer strength to your assertion.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:20 PM   #38
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Right. This would explain why Apple bothered to release a half-assed update this year and are all but formally announcing an actual one next year. Obviously financial reasons prevented these refreshes from the Mid 2010 model.

Also, citing a rumor based on heresay doesn't offer strength to your assertion.
I'm not going to link to every podcast that has had respected Apple connected professionals talk about this, or go dig for every article. I've pointed you in the right direction, take it or leave it.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:25 PM   #39
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Supply and demand. Economics 101.
Thanks, Mr. Obvious. Didn't know that.

Point is, the consumer Intel processors should support dual processors. I think there were a few motherboards that did that.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 04:11 PM   #40
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You're incorrect here. Apple chose not to release a new Mac Pro for financial reasons. Most likely the decision on whether to continue the line was still being debated.
While financial is a coupled factor, it is also focus. Apple pro-actively chooses to do a finite number of products. It is a corporate objective to pass on where they can't make a very significant distinction between them and other competitors; where they don't see how to construct a 'great' product.


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They didn't invest anything in it, which is why it has the same platform and graphics cards etc. The processor change was probably forced by Intel as some of the processors are no longer produced or to offer something that didn't cost Apple anything.
The processor changed in because they need to keep the Mac Pro viable as a product until they do come out with something new in 2013. If that doesn't get clear and differentiating traction in the market then they probably eventually exit.

If market primarily just wants the most affordable box with the longest warranty that is wrapped around the latest Intel CPU Xeon E5 package offering then they'll probably exit. Wrapping box around a CPU is just a lowest-common-denominator business.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 04:39 PM   #41
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I was under the impression that Apple opted to not go with Sandy Bridge E because some higher-end variant that existed with Westmere and will again exist in Ivy Bridge E didn't in Sandy Bridge E.
You've managed to loop almost everything but what Apple would use.

The Xeon E7 (formerly Xeon 7000 serie , '-EX' architecture suffix ) series skipped Sandy Bridge. These are targeted at high end servers and not for workstations. They skipped Sandy Bridge they really need the die shrink to squeeze on the max number of cores.

The Extreme Core i7 ( '-E' architecture suffix ) aren't a candidate for the Mac Pro either. It is the same base design as the Xeon E5 ( '-EP' ) with some elements flipped off. It isn't totall misguided ( due to similarities) but typically the close tracking of '-E' as being representative of Mac Pro is wrong. It is for more the kindling for fanning the flames of "I could make a cheaper hackintosh" lines of discussion than in narrowing down future features of a Mac Pro.

There are no technical hold up as to why couldn't release a revamped Mac Pro in 2012. They just didn't. Most likely because for a long period of 2010-2011 they were even trying to do a new one.

The Xeon E5 1600 and 2600 series are most likely candidates for Apple to use. They correspond to the old Xeon 3500/3600 and 5400/5500/5600 models.




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Now why they didn't at least upgrade the video cards in the Mid 2012 update, or, dare I say it, provide some form of Thunderbolt support, I have no friggen clue.
If they weren't doing any new design work they'd end up with exactly what they did.

Thunderbolt most likely means embedding a GPU onto the motherboard (or less likely the CPU/RAM daughterboard). That poses zero problems for the previous iMac (and its embedded discrete GPUs) . There is zero reason it would hold up a Mac Pro.





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But my guess is that no, you won't be seeing Sandy Bridge E Mac Pros and you will likely see Ivy Bridge E Mac Pros.
All indications are that waiting for Ivy Bridge EP (Xeon E5) Mac Pros would mean waiting till around August-September. That is a dubious move for a product that is already late.

If Apple did a E5 1600 & 2600 based update in Jan-March 2013 they could do a v2 ( Ivy Bridge ) bump in same time 2014. Apple needs to demonstrate that they will much more consistantly deliver models far, far more then standing up on stage with Intel on Xeon launch day dog-and-pony shows.

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As for video cards, there was rumor of AMD Radeon HD 7xxx series drivers being included in the latest beta for OS X 10.8.3, so likelihood is that's the card we'll be seeing. The Mid 2010 (and Mid 2012) Mac Pros have exclusively stuck with ATI/AMD, so it's likely that, given these tidbits, we'll see AMD Radeon HD cards in the next Mac Pros.
Not really an indicator either way. For AMD to remain a viable candidate in the future they need to keep up with the drivers. This could also be an indicator that there may be more Macs sold without a GPU PCI-e card that can use one. (e.g., a Mac Pro "lower priced" option with just an embedded GPU. ).

One of the primary issues for future Mac Pros is increased focus on both AMD and Nvidia GPGPU cards to boost computation. I really doesn't help the product to totally exclude either one of those two vendors on each iteration. It is just a matter of which one gets the default configuration for the lower end models.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 07:56 PM   #42
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I'm not going to link to every podcast that has had respected Apple connected professionals talk about this, or go dig for every article. I've pointed you in the right direction, take it or leave it.
Again all of that is speculation and none of that is fact. Point me to actual facts from people who work at Apple and can attest to that and then your argument will finally have legs to stand on.

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You've managed to loop almost everything but what Apple would use.
I use "Sandy Bridge E" fairly liberally here. I'm aware of "EP" and "EX" suffices.

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The Xeon E7 (formerly Xeon 7000 serie , '-EX' architecture suffix ) series skipped Sandy Bridge. These are targeted at high end servers and not for workstations. They skipped Sandy Bridge they really need the die shrink to squeeze on the max number of cores.

The Extreme Core i7 ( '-E' architecture suffix ) aren't a candidate for the Mac Pro either. It is the same base design as the Xeon E5 ( '-EP' ) with some elements flipped off. It isn't totall misguided ( due to similarities) but typically the close tracking of '-E' as being representative of Mac Pro is wrong. It is for more the kindling for fanning the flames of "I could make a cheaper hackintosh" lines of discussion than in narrowing down future features of a Mac Pro.
Don't get me wrong, a Sandy Bridge E Core i7 is a beast, but I'm sure most know that it is no Mac Pro.

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There are no technical hold up as to why couldn't release a revamped Mac Pro in 2012. They just didn't. Most likely because for a long period of 2010-2011 they were even trying to do a new one.
Really there is no decent reason that anyone can point to as to why they didn't do SOMETHING. They didn't need to redesign the case, and they could've integrated Thunderbolt on the logic board in the same way that PC motherboards are starting to do, while leaving the video card to have DVI and HDMI while still feeding the video card's signal through the Thunderbolt port.

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If they weren't doing any new design work they'd end up with exactly what they did.

Thunderbolt most likely means embedding a GPU onto the motherboard (or less likely the CPU/RAM daughterboard). That poses zero problems for the previous iMac (and its embedded discrete GPUs) . There is zero reason it would hold up a Mac Pro.
The 27" iMacs have separate boards. The same type that are used in gamer pc laptops. Plus Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards exist and they pipe out the discrete video card's signal. Presumably, this is what would happen with a Thunderbolt Mac Pro.







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All indications are that waiting for Ivy Bridge EP (Xeon E5) Mac Pros would mean waiting till around August-September. That is a dubious move for a product that is already late.
It was never stated when in 2013 the next Mac Pro would arrive. They could release one in November and it'd technically be on time.

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If Apple did a E5 1600 & 2600 based update in Jan-March 2013 they could do a v2 ( Ivy Bridge ) bump in same time 2014. Apple needs to demonstrate that they will much more consistantly deliver models far, far more then standing up on stage with Intel on Xeon launch day dog-and-pony shows.
Certainly feasible.



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Not really an indicator either way. For AMD to remain a viable candidate in the future they need to keep up with the drivers. This could also be an indicator that there may be more Macs sold without a GPU PCI-e card that can use one. (e.g., a Mac Pro "lower priced" option with just an embedded GPU.)

One of the primary issues for future Mac Pros is increased focus on both AMD and Nvidia GPGPU cards to boost computation. I really doesn't help the product to totally exclude either one of those two vendors on each iteration. It is just a matter of which one gets the default configuration for the lower end models.
At worst, there's always an NVIDIA Quadro option and there's always an AMD Radeon HD x870 card (or an historical equivalent) (I think the Early 2009 model was the only one that didn't). That seems to suffice for most. As for drivers, if memory serves, AMD is far better at delivering timely drivers for its graphics cards in OS X than NVIDIA is. But I could be wrong.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 09:22 AM   #43
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Again all of that is speculation and none of that is fact. Point me to actual facts from people who work at Apple and can attest to that and then your argument will finally have legs to stand on.
This doesn't exist, and it doesn't need to for people who observe this market space to have a good idea of what is going on. Your statements are full of much wilder-baseless speculation and started with your suggestion that Sandy Bridge-E lacked something Westmere had, which is factually incorrect because we can clearly see the features these platforms have.

----------

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The processor changed in because they need to keep the Mac Pro viable as a product until they do come out with something new in 2013.
Changed for both reasons I would think. Intel did stopped producing some of the CPUs Apple were using some time back, so Apple likely had to do something.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 10:08 AM   #44
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I really don't think we can assume any thing at all this time around until we get some real leaks or Apple announces something. It really could go in multiple directions.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 11:32 AM   #45
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I really don't think we can assume any thing at all this time arouond until we get some real leaks or Apple announces something. It really could go in multiple directions.
Which is why people should figure out alternative solutions. Even if a 2013 Mac Pro is great it could still be the last.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 01:42 PM   #46
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Which is why people should figure out alternative solutions. Even if a 2013 Mac Pro is great it could still be the last.
True, but I don't feel they would create a new MacPro only to EOL it a year later.

We'll probably see the MacPro continued to be sold, but manufactured at a much slower rate due to the demand. More than likely this is the exact production Apple is moving to the US. It makes sense.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 04:15 PM   #47
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True, but I don't feel they would create a new MacPro only to EOL it a year later.
It is not a unilateral decision for Apple to make. If few customers (relative to Mac Pro's long term historical track record) buy the 2013 Mac Pro it would be unlikely there would be an updated 2014 Mac Pro. Apple probably would EOL that 2013 model inside of a year, but that is besides the point. Another 2-3 span just on Sandy Bridge ( or even Ivy Bridge) won't be satisfactory as a product line.

The core issue is whether they return to a somewhat regular upgrade schedule. If they don't then it is extremely likely the product is going to die off sooner rather than later.

But yes. If they do a Socket 2011 Sandy Bridge model it would be quite easy from them to just a simple upgrade later with the exact same motherboard, tweaked firmware, and Ivy Bridge E5 v2 models later. So given "reasonably good" to "great" market adoption of the new 2013 model there probably would be a 2014 model.

Delaying to Ivy Bridge actually puts a bigger risk on just how long they'll give the Mac Pro market to prove itself. Waiting as long as possible to do the 2013 upgrade only implodes the core market of folks looking to stay on the Mac Pro substantially smaller. Additionally, the upgrade from Ivy Bridge to Haswell will require a new board. Thereby requiring another substantive R&D funding request as opposed to a much smaller low risk one. Depending on how badly AMD slides the E5 Haswell upgrade may slide another 1-2 quarters well into almost 2015. That would cause a Mac Pro slide and once more deliver a highly irregular product upgrade cycle. That in turn will drive away even more of the customer base.

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We'll probably see the MacPro continued to be sold, but manufactured at a much slower rate due to the demand.
There is a minimal cut off rate that Apple will do. Run rates of less than 100,00 are highly likely not viable. The notion that Apple "has to" continue the Mac Pro no matter how small the production rate is fundamentally flawed. Mac Pro's have to show growth just like every other Mac to be viable. Otherwise, it will be replaced by another Mac product line that will show long term growth.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 05:30 PM   #48
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Really there is no decent reason that anyone can point to as to why they didn't do SOMETHING.
Occam's Razor, the simplest hypothesis is the most likely the best fit. If Apple wasn't working on anything they wouldn't produce anything new.

So, if at one point they didn't want to continue the product, then there were no updates while that decision held.

It is not a strategic product. It is not the primary Mac. It isn't even the primary desktop Mac. With the tweaks to the MBA it is now the worst selling Mac product line and lowest growth of any Mac in their Mac line up.

It is very decent reason. It is just one that folks refuse to accept in this forum. For the better, there appears to have been a change of mind and they now want to give it another shot.


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They didn't need to redesign the case,
Actually the do need to redesign the case. The case's basic design constraints revolve around the state of technology about 7-8 years ago. The XServe is gone so the gratuitously bad horizontal racking makes a larger difference now. ODDs are on their way out along with dual 5.25" bays. RAID-0 isn't as necessary as it was with advent of SSDs. Max RPM drives are now just as likely to be 2.5" drives. Higer end GPU card run almost twice as hot as they used to and are at least a dominant, if not more so, thermal problem inside of a workstation. High performance Wifi means MIMO (multiple antennas ) now.

The case is out synch with modern components with the except of the CPU packages. Does it need to be radically different? No. But very material updates are needed to remain competitive.


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and they could've integrated Thunderbolt on the logic board in the same way that PC motherboards are starting to do,
Thunderbolt is probably the least motivated change they could make to a new Mac Pro. It solves a problem that Mac Pro's don't have ( multple video out already present on GPU card backplanes and PCI-e expansion represented by the Mac Pro's 4 slots. )

The competitive workstations upgrades have focused far more on SATAIII flexibility, built in RAID capabilities , and USB 3.0 rather than Thunderbolt. Also, hosting high end dual GPGPU card set-ups is far more common.

No workstation has Thunderbolt. Their is no huge industry rush in that direction. If Apple left Thunderbolt off the 2013 Mac Pro, but added leading edge GPGPUs , USB 3.0 , and substantive computational speed increase, the core Mac Pro market would still buy it.


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while leaving the video card to have DVI and HDMI while still feeding the video card's signal through the Thunderbolt port.
There is about zero need to feed the standard form factor PCI-e GPU card's output video through Thunderbolt. It really doesn't buy much. The GPU card's connectors hook to monitors just as well as in most standard contexts as Thunderbolt cables do. In fact better when it comes to DisplayPort 1.2, since Thunderbolt is only 1.1a. The marginal significant benefit of Thunderbolt might be running signal over optical connections over longer distances. Optical Thunderbolt, although promised for late 2012, still really hasn't arrived. Most workstation deployments are not trying to but the system unit as far away as possible from the display. ( Yeah there are corner cases, but those folks aren't the mainstream workstation market. )


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The 27" iMacs have separate boards.
Given the recent teardowns of the 2012 21.5" iMacs that is more likely iMacs used to have separate boards. Apple may be still using cards for the 27" model, but it looks like they are starting to apply the same "soldered to the motherboard" approach they use on the new MBP updates to the iMac also.

The mobile "unofficial standard" boards aren't really representative examples in the workstation space. But yes it wouldn't be hard to embed a GPU into a Mac Pro.


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Plus Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards exist and they pipe out the discrete video card's signal. Presumably, this is what would happen with a Thunderbolt Mac Pro.
Not likely. "Loop back cables' are not a solution that Apple would adopt. Most of the PC industry isn't going to either. There is nothing wrong with having multiple video cables going to multiple monitors.


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It was never stated when in 2013 the next Mac Pro would arrive. They could release one in November and it'd technically be on time.
Above you are lamenting the Apple should have dropped an upgrade in 2012 and now "late as possible will be OK". It can't be both.

"On time" is not material to health of Mac Pro market. If Apple waits more than 12 months to "fix" the tepid, limited June 2012 upgrade then they are going to loose customers. The longer they wait the more will leave.

The 2006/2007 Mac Pros are going on the Vintage list soon. Many of the 2008 models are going to be outclassed by a Mac Mini pretty soon too when they go Haswell. Ivy Bridge Xeon E5s are not going to "buy back" folks who bought something else already. A Sandy Bridge Mac Pro would outclass most equivalently priced 2009 and prior model.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 07:59 PM   #49
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What do you think the bench marks will be with a top of the line Haswell iMac vs. the bottom line SB-E's?

These will obviously be the closest in price, so I am hoping the SB-E entry level MacPro will at least have some advantage over Haswell or I don't see many people buying a $3500 MacPro that gets outperformed by $2500 iMac.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 08:38 PM   #50
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I am hoping the SB-E entry level MacPro will at least have some advantage over Haswell or I don't see many people buying a $3500 MacPro that gets outperformed by $2500 iMac.
You probably know this already, but I'm very surprised to see this argument here: very few people hesitate between an iMac and a Mac Pro because they are very different machines. There are many very important differences between them, and CPU performance is just one; not even the most important.

I would take a more expensive Mac Pro running at 50% of an iMac any day, and I'm sure a lot of others would. If you don't need all the extra stuff from the Mac Pro, then go for the iMac...

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