Buy Mac Pro Now or Wait Until 2011?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JNL Productions, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. JNL Productions macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #1
    I know the Buyer's Guide says mid product cycle but I was wondering what everyone thinks. Are there going to be any major redesigns or internal upgrades during the first half of next year?

    Thanks
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #2
    CPUs suitable for Mac Pro (LGA 2011 parts) are not due before H2 2011. That means an update can easily be a year away so I would buy it now if you need it now or fairly soon.
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #3
    If the Mac Pro won't be discontinued (which is unlikely), then the earliest possible upgrade is due to Q3 2011.
    The new architecture (Sandy Bridge) will be released at this time, but given the last release of the Mac Pro, there won't be any update till Q1 2012. :p
     
  4. CyberCat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    #4
    Is the Mac Pro in any danger of being discontinued? After Apple discontinued the Xserve it's got me crossing my fingers, I get the impression Apple is wanting to shift focus to more consumer oriented systems such as the iMac and Macbook Air.
     
  5. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
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    Texas
    #5
    ya my guess is new MPs in 2012 at the earliest. Then after that no more MP updates ever again since life as we know it will end ;)
     
  6. donw35 macrumors regular

    donw35

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    Jul 3, 2010
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    Los Angeles
    #6
    I was going to wait till next year to get a new MP but forgot out the 2012 thing, maybe better to get it now and enjoy it.

     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #7
    Intel's roadmap (more cores per die) for the enterprise parts, is pushing up CPU prices (servers are where the real money is for Intel; think Cloud Computing you've likely heard more about lately, such as Microsoft's recent Ads). Combine this with Apple's margins, the costs are going to continue climbing. Worst yet, the Workstation market is small compared to the consumer side (especially for Apple), and is shrinking due to the costs (going by enthusiast users that have posted they're too expensive these days, since Apple won't split out the numbers).

    Now consider the consumer side for Apple; it's a huge money spinner. As a result, they've clearly shifted their focus in that direction.

    Put all this together, and the unfortunate answer is Yes. :( The MP's days are numbered (2013 is the last year IMO going by Intel's roadmaps; shorter if the sales numbers are too low to meet Apple's profit margins).
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    unless Intel and AMD kill off Xeon and Opteron, then I doubt the Mac Pro will go. and since they won't since workstations are a huge part of corporate computing, then the MP won't either, especially since Apple just introduced the Server version to replace the XServe.

    if the Mac Pro goes, Apple might as well kill off Logic and FCS. yes, they can be run on an iMac, but Mac Pros are still the better option for businesses.

    anyways, do you need a desktop now or in 2011? if you need one now, then buy it now. if you need one next year, then buy it next year. the only really major change is the possibility of Light Peak, but that can be added via PCI card anyway.
     
  9. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    #9
    Buy it when you need/want it. Don't pay too much attention to predicted product cycles.

    I'm curious about what Apple uses for their back end servers. Clearly not x-serve anymore, if ever (unless they make them only for in house use - doesn't seem likely). Linux? Solaris? Hackintosh? Something else? On what hardware? I guess I need to do some research so we are ready when commodity computers are longer adequate. Or maybe by then somebody will have figured it out, and I can just pay them for their "cloud" services.
     
  10. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #10
    With all due respect my friend, I think you're nuts. There is no way Apple will forego the creative professional market - it would be a serious blow to the reputation and prestige of Apple and have a trickle down effect on the sales of iMac's. It would also kill off Logic, FCP, server and a bunch of other stuff. In spite of some folks who complain about Apple being a phone and iPod company these days. I don't believe it for a minute.
     
  11. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    #11
    As near as I can tell Apple is marketing to "joe six pack" and "kids". What used to be their "core" market just doesn't matter any more if they think they can make more $ elsewhere. So far their computers are still useful to us but I wonder how much longer they'll be the best. Time will tell. . .
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    :eek: Yeah, well show me an engineer that isn't... :D :p

    To me, it comes down to the simple fact they're in business to make money (gobs of it, given Apple's desired profit margins of ~40% currently), and the their share of the professional market is just too small nowadays (their real profits come from system sales, not professional software). :(

    As per iMacs, once equipped with LightPeak (high speed data storage use in particular), can take the place of an MP for software development (solves internal needs for Apple), and will even be possible to use for creative professionals (LP could also be used to handle a graphics solution). No idea if they'll ship with more than a single port, but 2x would be fine for creative pros IMO (one for storage, one for graphics beyond the included GPU and LCD panel).

    Besides, core counts will be high enough for enthusiast desktop parts (and any Xeon variant for ECC) that only a single CPU will be needed in the majority of cases. At least this is the direction Intel is aiming at for the Workstation market (based on more recent roadmaps), and where the 2013 date came from. There's a notable split between Workstations and Servers in the not too distant future.

    Heck, even a Mini with LP and such a chip could do the job. This would even allow for users to chose the graphics solution without the complaints of "I don't want the included GPU and screen".

    So it's possible to loose the MP (traditional workstation), and stay in the creative professional market (means described would allow them to reduce their costs).

    We'll have to wait and see if they actually aim the iMac or Mini in this direction, but it's a possible solution as Apple sees things IMO.
     
  13. biggd macrumors 6502

    biggd

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary
    #13
    Personally I dont think the MP see's enough upgrades often enough.
    I would wait thou


    MP will always be what appeals to the high end consumer, and there will always be a need for it; applications just have to devise that need.
     
  14. toxic, Nov 23, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

    toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #14
    correct me if I'm wrong, but PCIe 2.0 can transfer up to 500MB/s (theoretical) per lane, or 8GB/s for 16 lanes. I don't know exactly how fast the GPU and CPU transfer data, but I know it's faster than PCIe 2.0 x4 (4GB/s) can support. say PCIe really operates at half of its theoretical speed, so PCIe x4 is really 2GB/s, which means GPUs can transfer and receive data at more than 2GB/s.

    LP is rated for 10 Gb/s, which is 1.25 GB/s. so how is LP supposed to allow for external GPUs? I'm sure it will be fast enough for low-end GPUs, but you wouldn't be plugging in an external low-end GPU, would you?

    edit: math mistake, PCIe x4 would be 2GB/s, not 4.
     
  15. southnc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #15
    I'm also considering whether or not to wait. imo, the latest model was somewhat disappointing in that there was no eSATA, USB 3.0, or more potent FireWire. And, the next gen will likely be Sandy-Bridge based.

    I understand it may be a while, but after seeing how it was definitely worth the wait for the vastly improved MBAs, it may be better to wait.

    Always a tough call.
     
  16. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a

    jayhawk11

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #16
    Retail stores use Xserves, Mac Pro's and Mac Mini's. As far as in their data centers go, it's anyone's guess. Nobody has ever made it out alive ;)
     
  17. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #17
    Either you need a computer now or you don't. It's easy enough to see from the Intel roadmap that you might be settling in for a year or so.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    At 10Gb/s to start, LP would be better used for storage in an iMac or Mini IMO. Now for this data rate, it'll be capable as another means of transfering data from a GPU on the board to a monitor (substitute for handling DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort signals).

    As per transferring PCIe data to a GPU, this will come into play later as speeds are ramped up for LP (claimed to be capable of 100Gb/s). Even at 100Gb/s, I'm not trying to give the impression LP's the best thing since sliced bread (there's going to be things like protocol conversion on the system side, and bridge chips for device hardware involved). Excluding protocol and bridge chips causing some throughput loss, 100Gb/s is only 12.5GB/s (some monitor connection specs are designed to be faster than that). I should have qualified this aspect, so I apologize. :eek:

    My main point was that Apple could actually look at this as a replacement for the MP, and likely at LP's introduction to the market rather than later (an LP equipped iMac would be usable as a software development system by 2013 or so, which is all Apple really needs internally).
     
  19. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #19
    ok, I see...though I still don't see it happening.
     
  20. G4er? macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2009
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    Temple, TX
    #20
    Or Apple may be thinking, "So far professional users are still useful to Apple but we wonder how much longer they will be important"
     
  21. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #21
    See, if i was in the market for a new machine. I would have to ask myself a couple of valid questions, mid-cycle or not because paid jobs simply can't wait!

    1. Will the machine be used professionally, for making money?
    2. How long would I expect to return my investment?

    If your answer is Yes to 1, and less than 12 months for 2... Then I would quickly invest. However, if this said machine is purely for pleasure, I'd wait, without a doubt...

    Good luck! :)
     
  22. barmann macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #22
    What kind of creative pro do you have in mind when you describe this new concept for workstations ? ;)

    You need a traditional case, with lots of ports, for professional video, photo, audio, post-processing/editing all of them .

    As for costs, I doubt things would get cheaper - there never is a one size fits all solution in this area, and besides - saving a few ks on just your basic computer isn't going to impress anyone , the main investments are elsewhere .

    (Backwards) compatibility is paramount, so is flexibility; every 3rd party hardware (and eventually software) developer would have to move to the new technologies, users replace lots of equipment, whole industries change workflows, including countless small contractors - rrrrright .

    Apple needs to go with the flow , like everyone else, for workstations, don't underestimate their pro costumers' dictate - they need evolution, and abhore revolution.
     
  23. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #23
    What this guy said. All in all, we don't even know what socket we are getting for Mac Pros, 1356 or 2011.

    Also, knowing Apple, it'd take them a month or so t adopt new tech; although they did come out with Gainstown based Mac Pros before the actual CPU was released.
     
  24. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #24
    Is 1356 still alive? I've seen only one article mentioning it and that was PC Watch article like a year ago. All other sites have mentioned only 1155 and 2011 and there are even couple of pics of 2011, but nothing about 1356
     
  25. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Nov 14, 2007
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    #25
    According to what I've read, 1356 is Sandy Bridges high-end desktop socket (ie current Core i7 line) with one QPI enabled. The 2011 socket is Xeon oriented with 2 QPIs enabled.
     

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