Analysis: The real reasons behind Apple's Mac Pro delay.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Relznuk, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2009
    UT, USA
  2. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Is that your blog? At any point, my reasons:

    1. PCIe 3.0 (complete support)
    2. SATA 3 (support for 2 plugs)
    3. USB 3.0 (4 plugs)
    4. Redesign
    5. Newer Haswell based chips, although Xeon counterparts are not here yet.
  3. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    I'll add one.

    Airplay mirroring.

    10.8.4 seems to have added support for mirroring not just my MBP but also my Thunderbolt Display. It has a drop down menu to choose which display to mirror.

    Attached Files:

  4. macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    San Jose (CA)
    That seems pretty neat. Now they just need to fix the multi-monitor full screen issue.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    Tim's letter

    Again, someone does not know how to interpret what was being actually said in that letter.. When he said something "wonderful", there was never any mention of it being a NEW MAC PRO.. I wish people would understand this logic.. This has been debated many times over all over this forum...

    That something "wonderful" could be a multitude of things.. as for the mac pro, I expect it to be nothing like what we all have and love now.. I expect it to be a very limited expandable machine with maybe 1 or 2 PCIe 2.0 or 3.0 slots, maybe thunderbolt, and SATA III of course... The case will be a lot smaller and will resemble halfway between an iMac or a Mac Mini with PRO stuck on it.

    It will probably be somewhat of a rackmount type of unit. I like the fact of it being a spacesaver, but ever since Apple has moved away from the PRO market and Pro user to the consumer and or Prosumer, it appears that this machine is going to look a lot like a Mac Mini hybrid type machine.

    I welcome the Mac Pro with open arms as I have a 6-core which I am happy with and runs everything I throw at it, naturally.. But to say it will be just as expandable compared to what we have now.. Apple's direction states otherwise. None of their current desktop models offer freedom of expansion. and I can see that the new mac pro, if it should come out.. will be any different than the current iMac or Mac Mini.. The days of a highly expandable desktop are surely coming to a close.

    Good article though.. I found it interesting.


    We simply don't know what it will be.. I doubt the Mac Pro will even make it to Haswell given Apple's direction.. Laptops, and the iPads+iphones are its bread and butter.. we, the mac pro users only make up less than 1 percent of their total market.

  6. macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    Lombard, IL

    Anyone doing serious video postproduction work or audio recording/mixing/mastering is using multiple monitors. It's still the cheapest productivity booster out there, given how low LCD prices are.

    If these machines are still to be considered "pro," this glitch must top the list of OSX fixes.
  7. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    Highly doubtful.

    " ... AirPlay Mirroring in OS X Mountain Lion takes advantage of the hardware video encoding capabilities of 2nd and 3rd Generation Intel Core processors ..."

    Unless Apple is about to take a dramatic left turn on processors assigned to the Mac Pro, there aren't any hardware video encoding facilities in the Xeon E5 class of CPU offerings.

    Perhaps Apple has worked out a more general purpose solution ( again a bit sketiptical since that involves work across different video encoding hardware. )

    Eh? You TB Display is being driven by your MBP right? So it is still mirroring off the same device. If it couldn't choose between which of mulitple screens to mirror that was just a quirk.
  8. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I think you kept almost hitting the nail on the head.... several glancing blows, actually.

    For example, your analysis about the PCI Express... could be bang on. One of the things that the Mac Pro has never done is pack all the absolute best parts into one system. Instead Apple has combined a bunch of better than average parts and tuned the whole package so that no single component dragged the whole thing down. Your thinking about SSDs and the bus fits into that philosophy, and I agree with you.

    So, they may not put the fastest CPUs in, or the fastest GPUs, but the data is going to move from HDDs to the RAM to CPU to display at a constant rate that doesn't starve nor oversaturate any particular "part".

    I don't know enough about Thunderbolt and 27" Retina displays to know if that fits ... but if the new Thunderbolt standard is required in order prevent the display from bogging down everything else...

    Keep in mind that in the small numbers that Mac Pros are produced Apple may get some early release parts from their suppliers... it's happened before. Especially possible with Thunderbolt as a big splash will help Intel sell TBv2 to the other computer makers.

    I would not be surprised if Apple kept the external case. I don't think it will happen... but I would not be surprised. Once you start packing a bunch of HDDs and cards into a box, there are not many possible form factors to pick from. Anything that packs a biggish GPU, several HDDs, expansion cards, heavy-duty RAM, and GPUs that pack their own fans is going to be way to noisy to put on a desk. You can do that with a Mini, but once you need serious cooling it has to go somewhere else.

    Tower or Rack? That is a good question.

    Thanks for posting this.

    All of the above is, IMHO only of course....
  9. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    What research?

    The Xeon E5 processors are already out, not 2013...... so how does that contribute to a delay????? They've been released for over a year and in volume since before the last June's relatively weak speed bump update.

    SATA Express is not the follow on to SATA III anymore than mSATA is.

    Thunderbolt 2.0. The title of the article you link to is "The First Thunderbolt Speed Bump: Likely in 2014 ... " . What kind of arm flapping has it arriving in 2013? Here is direct quote from the article ( article dated January 2012 )

    " ....As a result, Intel told me that we won't see any increase in Thunderbolt speeds for the next two years. ... "

    Let's see January 2012 + 2 ==> 2014. Analysis?? How about arithmetic? Remember how Fiber TB was going to arrive "real soon" but didn't until almost the very end of 2012 ( Or how numerous TB devices previewed at 2012 CES actually didn't ship until 2013 CES show? Thunderbolt 1.0 has not particularly been a roaring success.... what would a more expensive ( or just as expensive as 1-1.5 years ago) update do? Apple is waiting on that to jump start a Mac Pro?

    The Mac Pro doesn't even have a PCI-e expansion or mutiple video out problem. Let alone waiting for a 2.0 update to that solution in search of a problem.

    Retina Displays delaying Mac Pro? It doesn't have a display. Nevermind at a nominal 21-24" from user the current 27" displays are already technically Retina resolution.

    At some future point there may be "Retina" displays at the 21.5" size but at 27" is a "solution" in search of a problem.

    Redesigned Mac Pro ...

    "... and in today’s world, there just isn’t any need for it to be quite so large and heavy anymore. ..."

    This hand waving isn't motivated or substantiated. What need of what?

    Substantially lower CPU TDP ??? ... Er. not present. There have been hand waving claims that Ivy Bridge Xeon E5 were going to be dramatically lower TDP, not. While Apple wouldn't likely use the -E models ( as opposed to Xeon E5 i.e., '-EP' ) all the current indicators put to not

    They run just as high TDP as the current ones ( not coming in 2013) ones do. Waiting longer buys exactly nothing in this replace.

    Substantially lower GPU card TDP ... in fact over last 5-6 years it has gone UP not down for the typical class of GPUs that make sense going into a Mac Pro.

    If you wanted to build a new smaller Mac Pro that was just as fast as the top end Mac Pro's from 5-8 years ago then sure... it could be smaller. What is not motivated here at all is that the vast majority of Mac Pro users' workload has completely stagnated over the last 5-6 years ? If so yeah that stagnation move makes some sense. But then if so it is difficult to see how the 2013 Mac Mini and iMac aren't also going to highly overlap with that level of performance.

    " .. Great design takes time – ... "

    Great design and function go together. What is completely missing is where the "Function" driver is here that is pushing "More modular" or "smaller because Apple gotta deliver that xMac ".

    Tim Cooks quote

    " ... It’s unclear from the language of that email whether he was referring to an update to the Mac Pro ... "

    Yeah that would be significant if it hadn't been clarified numerous times.

    " ... Apple PR has reached out and clarified that only the Mac Pro is expected to be next updated in 2013. ... "

    Or during EU Markt withdraw crisis amusingly completely absent from this " comprehensive" analysis.

    " ... Apple declined to give any further information about a potential Mac Pro replacement except to reiterate that it was "working on a pro product for later this year." .. "

    Knowing that they were going to have to pull there product from the EU markets in early 2013 Apple set up to compose a new Mac Pro that couldn't come out until very late in 2013. Brilliant. Spectacularly brilliant plan. *cough*.

    Frankly this smells alot like that other dubious analysis PCWorld (??) or someone else floated a couple months back .... Not particularly grounded in the facts. Reads more like Apple's "The dog ate my homework" excuse list for being late.
  10. macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    That's the one thing that bugs me. Also the multiple GPU/screen issue. Sometimes mine boots up and the screens are reversed.

    Where do I get the 10.8.4 Beta? I can also test a Titan if need be.
  11. macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    Apple of late is so enamored with iOS, so fearful of Samsung, so involved in generating headlines with various rumored iDevices, that's it's as though Apple is truly at a crossroads.

    If we could see behind closed doors, there could be a few of top execs at Apple arguing over what fork in the road to take. An argument that may have been going on and on, for some time now.

    After all, if they don't make a big impression with the next iPhone, their flagship and number one revenue generator, they could slide back into some not so unfamiliar territory, a place I would hate to see them go.
  12. Tesselator, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

    macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Yeah, well. This is just yet another speculation, wish, and dream thread. I have no idea why these are so popular. It seems like everyone just wants to dream about new Apple products or something. It's a hobby for some I'm seeing. ;) It makes absolutely no sense to me but it (probably) doesn't hurt anyone so let them have at I guess. It's just a colossal waste of time IMO. I do kinda wish there weren't so many of these. There must be 10 or 15 threads IDENTICAL to this one every month since that CEO butt said the word "wonderful" in an interview. :rolleyes:

    Maybe we could start a new forum here? Call it "Ridiculous Speculation" and have sub forums for mac books, mac pros, desktops, and handhelds... :p That would help clear out the clutter here a lot! :)

    LOL while I was typing this yet another one started up and already has all the usual suspects in there speculating and opinionating away. :D

    Speculators, MOUNT UP!! Yaaaw!
  13. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    But it doesn't consider the conflct between using two v2.0 PCI-e lanes for this versus using x4 for Thunderbolt. Which one of those two has Apple done on other Mac designs ????? Which one likely has a higher "apply to every Mac design" mandate ?

    Thunderbolt doesn't speed up display speeds. If anything it is an inhibitor. Thunderbolt only does DisplayPort 1.1 (or 1.1a). It isn't version 1.2 ( which is faster, higher bandwidth, among a few other things. )

    There is a good chance that new "faster" Thunderbolt will only decrease latencies ( and/or allow for longer cable runs ) rather than speed up throughput of the old, legacy protocols. It would still be transporting PCI-e 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.1/1.1a around on top of TB transport.

    There are no "native" TB connectivity to remote devices directly connectd to the user. When hooked to a remote SATA III controller you only get SATA III speed out of TB. Even if someone had a remote SATA express connection a faster TB would just transport that an effective speed of the SATA express x2 v2.0.

    Errr not really. Larger suppliers get quantities early too. Those go off to early adopter users.

    Because making a big splash with TBv1 with Apple lead to rapid industry adoption......... or not.

    Noise doesn't have to be a factor if the designers haven't snored their way through Thermodynamics class. It is can be done even quieter than how the Mac Pro runs, but have to incorporate solutions to the TDP problems will be dealing with into the base design. ( clean front to back flow, no dense packing, gathering and moving heat to where it can be efficiently expelled, etc. )

    The mini can used on the "modular" Mac contexts.

    Sonnet's new 15 port "add on"

    Not really. It is a tower. The primary duty for the Mac Pro would be as a workstation. Being non-hostile to rack usage is an incremental expansion of uses but it won't be a primary use case.

    If primarily oriented to rack usage it would go the same way as the XServe. Apple has already walked away from that. Not likely they are going to go back with a revised Mac Pro.
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2009
    UT, USA
    I'm an editor there. The article is mine.


    Thanks very much for the feedback. I enjoyed your comments.
  15. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    You may wish to work on your research a bit. Those musings were things we have all read before, but you ignored many critical points. For example Ivy is a v2 type upgrade. It will use the same socket / chipset as Sandy Bridge E. Intel is typically fairly conservative with that kind of release when it comes to Xeon E/EP. Not much really changes. Beyond that the thunderbolt change isn't a bandwidth change. I could go on with this, but I really do wonder what you hoped to describe with this article. It is primarily composed of refuted talking points.
  16. macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    It's a dream-thread. It doesn't need to be logical or consistent with actual technology. Again, I'm not sure what motivates people to speculate so much but they really seem to like chatting about what may come, when it'll be available, and how much it will cost. The trouble is that almost no one has any practical experience designing and bringing such a product to market. So usually the posts are technically unsound and woven through and through with dreams of connecters, slots, and buzzword conventions.

    Hehe, maybe that's what stimulates participation in these so much?

    Dreamer1: I hope the new MacPros have 4 iCore8972 processors in!
    TrollSandwitchEater99: There's no such thing as an iCore8972
    BaitTaker01: You can't have multiple CPUs when using iCore® tech.
    FrogFeeder: If there's iCore it wouldn't be a MacPro.

    Dreamer2: I just hope it's fast and costs under $899 cuz that's all I have.
    Etc. ad infinitium :p
  17. Odd
    macrumors newbie


    Aug 30, 2011
    Kepler has dedicated hardware h.264 circuitry. That should be a good fit for AirPlay mirroring?
  18. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Jan 30, 2012

    Why do kids dream about what they might get for christmas, because they are bored. Its a very Human thing to speculate as long as it doesn't create 8 damn threads
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2009
    UT, USA
    Nope. The necessary Ivy Bridge-based Xeon E5 chips are not out yet, and not due until mid-year.

    Wrong again. It's a faster, more capable interface designed as an improvement upon the existing SATA interface.

    You're right - I had some improper information. The chips i was referring to are Redwood Ridge, but are not "Thunderbolt 2.0." I've updated that section to clarify.

    They do support DisplayPort 1.2, however, which would be necessary for a 27-inch Retina display.

    Good point. I'm just speculating that Apple will continue aggressively pushing Retina. Waiting for large Retina displays could help drive Apple's sales for such a product.

    Those are some great points. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Again, you have a great point. Good stuff to think about.

    It's all about context. Tim Cook's comment was in response to a question about the Mac Pro. As such, the "pro product" mentioned is almost certainly something along those lines.

    Thanks a lot for providing some good discussion on this. I appreciate it.
  20. macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Too late... :D Hahahaha...
  21. macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    I am also wondering why the delay of the new Mac Pro. Maybe because of thunderbolt restrictions or new processors not yet available. Though similar threads, blogs appear here and there and seems redundant, on the positive side, shows that people are still interested in the Mac Pro. Better than zero reactions or no discussions at all.
  22. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    Well he did write a blog post with this in mind. I would personally find it more interesting if it addressed things that made some amount of design sense rather than the usual type of speculation that has come up due to the mac pro languishing so long.

    You're missing the point there. With Xeon EP the socket doesn't change. They typically make board firmware tweaks and drop in new cpus. You haven't stated a single good reason to skip Sandy Bridge E. I'm betting on undead product line as in shelved and later revived.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    Relznuk, you crushed it, and I'm a bit annoyed at the peevish jealousy of a few posters here, who instead of acknowledging your fine work...had to embarrass themselves chirping.

    I'm not saying I agree with everything, but your article, it's presentation...and the entire website deserves applause.

    Great job!
  24. macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I'm pretty sure Apple isn't afraid of a company which sells many more phones yet makes only 33% of the revenue.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2012
    I agree. It brings an uplifted spirit for waiting Mac Pro users.

    Good work Relznuk!

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