Hard truths about the new modular Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rkuo, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

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    newyorkcity
    #76
    me? no, i don't take him seriously.

    if i were to make a guess, it would be more along the lines of redesign coming sooner than they're making it out to be.. i really don't think MacPro can survive another round of rumor/preview/delayed release or whatever that 2year ordeal was with nmp..
    to me, it seems like the newnew mac pro is going to have to be here (available to customers) in one year or less or too much steam will have been lost with not much a chance for recovering.
     
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #77
    He didn't say "2018".

    That makes unfounded estimates of 2019 just as valid as unfounded estimates of 2018.
     
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #78
    He didn't say "not 2019" or "not 2020" or "not 2021", etc. I guess they are all valid.
     
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #79
    I think Apple is in bed with AMD, which is why they haven't gone with nVidia cards (Ie. long term exclusive deal). And then it makes sense for nVidia not waste time making drivers, as their only market for cards would be pre-2013 Mac Pros, ie. extremely small.
     
  5. jeff7117 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    #80

    Yep. They pretty much have till the end of 2018 if they have any hope of keeping what Pro users they have left. Even saying that, it sure feels like a long time to wait.
     
  6. singhs.apps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #81
    They wouldn't be talking about it unless they have a working prototype that seems promising, which, if the assumption is correct, means it should be coming out early next year, if not later this year.

    Again hopefully they have learnt their lessons and not club the new Mac Pro with rest of their lineup design philosophy.
     
  7. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #82
    They won't have many Pro users left by the end of 2018. Many of them who are still around are making their exit plans.

    The guy doing wedding videos in his mother-in-law's basement might be able to wait until the end of 2018.

    For the shops with dozens to hundreds of seats - the press meeting on Tuesday will be the nail in the coffin. They can't put up with the current situation for a year (more or less) when they have no idea if the "modular" Mac Pro will even be useful. They'll move on before the mMP even ships.

    These big shops know that some of their competition has moved to commodity systems, and is doing stuff faster and cheaper than they can do with Apple hardware. When "wanting to stay with Apple" and "the bottom line" conflict - the bottom line wins. Period.

    The amigos meeting on Tuesday with a few very friendly tech journalists won't stop the blood loss - it will start a hemorrhage.

    The hobbyists may decide to wait until the mMP comes out - but the big shops will LOL at what the amigos said and hear that "modular" means "*PROPRIETARY*PROPRIETARY*PROPRIETARY*PROPRIETARY*" and have already called their HP/Dell/Lenovo/SuperMicro/... salepeople.

    If Apple doesn't put some hard plans on the table at MacWorld SF 2017 - the exodus will continue. After the disaster of the MP6,1 - nobody is going to trust Apple to think of their customers when designing a system.
     
  8. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #83
    At what point has Apple products not been heavily based on *PROPRIETARY* components?
     
  9. pat500000 macrumors 604

    pat500000

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    #84
    It was mentioned from other site as well.
     
  10. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #85
    cMP
     
  11. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    May 4, 2009
    #86
    My MP 3,1 has non Apple RAM, SSDs, HDDs, DVD-RW, a Sapphire HD5870 and 2 Intel Xeon 3.2 GHz CPUs from PC workstations. The only things still Apple are the case, fans, drive sleds, PSU, power switch, data ports and motherboard. Even the gfx card power cables are aftermarket.
     
  12. pastrychef, Apr 8, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017

    pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #87
    With the exception of graphics card, we've always been able to use standard RAM, SSDs, HDDs, DVD-RW. CPU swaps have always been possible on machines with socketed CPUs, this includes the MacPro6,1. What has changed?

    "Big shops" that started using Macs years ago knew that they were walking in to a situation where lots of things had to be "Mac specific". Why would that suddenly be a problem now?
     
  13. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #88
    If you read the full transcript, Phil Schiller says:

    So, sorry guys, looks like we've been reading too much into the "modular" thing: all Apple means by "modular" is "not a laptop or iMac". Forget any dreams about plug-in GPUs.

    If you read the interview, its more subtle than that: the problem they perceive with the nMP thermal design is that the triangular core design assumes that the load is going to be spread roughly equally over a single CPU and two similar GPUs. What they can't do with the existing design is build system with a single, higher-powered GPU, which is what some workloads demand.

    This. People are happily building Hackintoshes using bog standard components with all the necessary features: the only deal-breakers are the licensing issues and the danger that the next software update will break the system. Foxconn could probably have a container ship full of perfectly viable Mac ATX towers on the way in six weeks. OK, so don't take it too literally, of course there's a bit more to it than that, but it's still not a 2 year project. Apple are overthinking the problem: the Mac Pro is not a fashion item, its a workhorse competing with grey boxes from Dell and HP. The Unique Selling Point is the OS and software: spend a week putting some thought into the design of the case and you'll be comfortably ahead of the game.

    ...and since its still probably going to be a Xeon/ECC/Fire Pro or Quadro system costing a couple of k$, its not going to cut into your sales of ultrabooks and all-in-ones the way an "xMac" might have done 15 years ago.
     
  14. Mark Holmes macrumors member

    Mark Holmes

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    #89
    Yep.
     
  15. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #90
    Has anyone seen this test?

    In Photoshop: 8-Core MacPro vs AMD Ryzen 1700 PC
     
  16. SteveJobzniak, Apr 8, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017

    SteveJobzniak macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #91
    @Michaelgtrusa Damn, that's great news for me since I'm switching to Windows soon. AMD Ryzen is amazingly fast! Now I know what CPU to pick.

    An AMD Ryzen build with a tiltable touchscreen for drawing.

    Windows is going to come out with their new GUI paradigm later this year (Google "Project NEON"). It's gorgeous. There's finally no more reason to stay with the regressive Apple anymore, who are always 5 years behind technology and have also stopped innovating on the software side (the last few OS releases have been a big load of "nothing"). I am done with Apple. They took us for granted and let their competitors surpass them. Heh.
     
  17. rkuo thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 25, 2010
    #92
    Of course they could build it with a higher powered GPU. Yes, the triangular core is best with 3 roughly equal thermal loads, but that doesn't mean it's useless with an uneven load. A GTX 1070 has a TDP of 150W and the D300 (of which the 2013 Mac Pro has 2) has a TDP of 116W roughly? That's not a tremendous difference. Heat sinks by nature are good at spreading heat around. You know what else they could do? Spin the fan up faster!

    The excuses about the triangular core are just that ... second order effects, not a completely unworkable design failure. I mean, I certainly don't want the trash can design over an expandable one either ... and yeah, a triangular core makes less sense when you only have a single GPU. But if they wanted to release a 2016 Mac Pro in the same form factor, they could. And it would work just fine.
     
  18. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #93
    The future for Apple in the pro market isn't going to be the current professionals. Its the FUTURE professionals they are focusing upon. Most creative pro products don't have an entire platform ( OperatingSystem/Desktop/phone/Tablet/ProApplications ) and are dependent on others to work. Jumping ship for present professionals will hurt Apple short term, long term not so much.
     
  19. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #94
    Speaking of Foxconn, if they were serious about helping pros out, they would revive the mac clone licensing. Bring back Power computing! I expect this is a bridge too far for Apple, but it would make a lot of users happy, and they would still get iTunes store revenue, and the downstream benefits of selling iPhones, laptops, etc.
     
  20. JamesPDX Suspended

    JamesPDX

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    USA
    #95
    FWIW: For my studio needs (composing orchestral-type music via Pro Tools 12, a MultiDock II, Dual ethernet, running on a extremely quiet and powerful machine in my control/recording room, with Vienna Ensemble Pro Server 6 running on a remote 2012 Mini, I went with a used nMP from www.ibuildmacs.com It's 8-core, 32GB RAM, dual D300's. It still has about a month of AppleCare and it's been "burned-in" -I really wish that my other 2012 Mini could have handled all that I was throwing at it, but enough was enough and for my studio, this machine is great.

    I looked at the z840, the Boxx, the 2012 cMP, and they all had their ups and downs. Mostly, it came down to the Xeon, noise, and me being up to my neck in Apple since 1992. I didn't really want to spend $5k on a PC, deal with Windows and still have to buy a 35-foot KVM scheme that is not VGA-based.

    If you're a gamer, this is not be the machine for you. It's awesome for Pro Tools 12 and FCPX. I needed a firetruck, not a Huracan.

    PS: DaVinci Resolve now supports Open CL and CUDA. It's now an editor that can export tp FCPX, Premiere, Avid, etc. It can export an AAF. Great news for Pro Tools users. And it's free.
     
  21. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
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    #96
    ...but they'd have to be very choosy about who they licensed to and for what products.

    Last time round, Apple had a range of expensive pro workstations, and rather hoped that the cloners would come out with cheap consumer machines that would steal market share from the PC world. Instead, they went after Apple's core pro graphics market (stealing market share from cheap commodity PCs was hard). The clones were great value c.f. Apple but they were still high-end c.f. PCs.

    Now, its kinda the opposite: Apple are much stronger in the consumer market, and they'd want cloners to go after the pro workstation/server market with the single digit market share. However the first thing someone like Dell or HP would do, given the choice, would be to stick MacOS on an XPS-13 or Spectre laptop and steal MacBook sales.

    Trouble is, the pro workstation market is likely to be a loss leader: its not gonna make Apple pots of money directly, but its something they have to do to have a credible platform with a healthy developer community and support from big software houses.
     
  22. now i see it macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #97
    Exactly, it's unfortunate that one of the invitees at that meeting didn't ask Phil the million dollar question: "Would you call the old cMP (5,1) a modular computer?"

    The answer to that question (or non-answer, which would have been an answer) would have allayed 12 months of paranoid blogging on Mac Rumors.
     
  23. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #98
    Actually, the $64000 question would have been "would you call the nMP cylinder a modular computer?" - to me, their comments suggest that the answer is "yes".
     
  24. buckwheet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    #99
    I'll admit I haven't read the whole thread, so my apologies if someone has already floated this theory.... But I suspect this all has to do with the failure of Apple's "post-PC" philosophy—or more specifically, with the market's demonstrated lack of interest in an entirely post-PC world. I've noticed that nobody is using that term anymore at Apple.... Since the iPad Pro had relatively modest sales (not terrible, but not through the roof), Apple has had to re-think the whole post-PC mindset. So they're having to figure out how to gain ground (again) in a world that refuses to let go of the PC. This was obvious enough to pro users, but apparently not to Apple. I openly admit that I would love to be able to compose meaningfully on an iPad Pro, but I would still always have a MacBook Pro or Mac Pro for final production.

    Also, there has been a significant rise of the so-called "prosumer" (a ridiculous f***ing term that never should have been coined), who are rapidly outgrowing their hardware. My guess is that Apple now recognizes that there is actually money to be made in converting those prosumers over to pros, if they do it right (i.e., make it scalable).

    So, my guess about the "modular" approach is that they will be taking the idea very far indeed—as in, totally scalable modules of CPU (Intel and/or ARM), GPU, SSD, and perhaps even RAM (though this will probably be integrated into some kind of CPU module, for throughput). They may even enable some of these modules to be used with MacBook Pros, so that components of the "studio" rig can be taken on site. It's the only reason they'd need such a huge amount of time. Doing it this way, they'll be able to keep things up to date more effectively, and at less expense, and perhaps even at a more reasonable cost to the customer. I know everybody will scream about that last point, but Apple has never got it in neck about price as much as they did with the TB MacBook Pros. They're feeling it, even if they're not mentioning price as a sticking point. Will such a system ever be as cheap as a Hackintosh? Obviously not. But if it's entirely customizable, and entirely plug-and-play, with totally native macOS support, it will definitely sell. (And I'm saying this as someone who has built and run about 5 Hacks over the years... Including a laptop... which was hell... bought a TB MacBook Pro after 3 months. Ha! You can't replace the user experience of a MacBook Pro... Apple's laptops are just very, very well made. Sorry. Cue the customary MacRumors bitching and moaning.)
     
  25. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #100
    How dare you even think "Apple's laptops are just very, very well made"! Where did you get that crap from? I just so happen to be posting with my 2006 1.83Ghz. I added an SSD for the main drive, pulled the burner and replaced it with a large sized spinner. I use a Targus laptop cooler and the MBP has been running flawlessly since 2006! It has never been to the shop or had any "work" done to it. So you should rethink the "Apple's laptops are just very, very well made" angle! Hey, wait a minute! You're right! :p
     

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