Hard truths about the new modular Mac Pro

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

  1. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Nothing said in that interview was a lie... but Apple execs also weren't totally transparent.

    It's very true that the 2013 design wouldn't have worked with a single, high power GPU. That part is true.

    But the part they left out is the design also didn't work well with two mid-upper end GPUs either. It never really worked well for the 7870s they used. And there wasn't much on the market it worked well with either.

    They made the same assumptions they made when they switched to Intel, that GPUs would get more and more efficient with AMD each year, and that the GPUs would grow into the design. Intel was able to deliver on that promise in 2006, AMD couldn't over the last four years.
  2. wwanthony macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yea. This was my thinking also. How can there be hard truths. We don't know ****.
  3. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    modular, in this instance, might just mean a desktop computer that you plug a separate monitor into.

    or, apple's desktop plan might be two models. an imac and a single other desktop. no more separate 'pro' and 'mini' model.
  4. JMacHack macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2017
    That's if they manage to turn around their current slump.
  5. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    I don't want cheese grater back. It was a very loud machine. I love the whisper quietness of my trashcan. I hope Apple can keep the noise level down with the new design as well.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2017 ---
    Hobbyists upgrade their cMP CPU's and GPU's. Not businesses. Graphic Design studios buy and use these machines until they are dead. Not once I've seen some graphic designer open up their cMP and add a new GPU unless the old one was dead. And in that case, they'd send it back to Apple for a replacement card.
  6. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    I am sure people are only referring to the good things about the Cheesegrater, no one would like to see its (few) shortcomings back. The small holes of that design actually helped the horizontal ventilation, the noise was instead cause by the fans and sometimes the cables/internals/dust being hit by the air flow.

    If the mMP will contain some form of internal PCI card slots then it will be challenging to make it as quiet as the trashcan. But then the potential of the hardware ceiling will probably be higher which means the computer will not need to load into high temperature as often, so fans can run at low speed or even have some of them disabled. Anyway noise is one area Apple will pay unhealthy attention to so I am not worried. The actual fear is the opposite, if they will nerf the case's flexibility for the sake of quietness (again).
  7. irked macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2017
    I'll take a little fan noise over my GPUs baking themselves to death on a render, any day.
  8. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    The liquid cooling solutions out there have actually matured a lot since the G5 days, and people sometimes even add DIY heat pipes to help, Apple has the advantage to fully control the motherboard design (at least the socket area) so that is probably the easier part.

    The hard part will be the card slots. If PCI slots are present, it means a chassis with enough room to accommodate varying combination of total heat and shapes which hampers air flow. A typical full case, including Cheesegrater, would issue a lot of unused headroom for this purpose. Apple will need to display some self-restrain for not trying too hard to compact this PCI cage, or even making it into some particularly inefficient shape.
  9. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Seems to me that a refreshed Mac Pro line would have a lower starting point to take advantage of economies of scale for Apple - picking up the Mac Mini users who harp on constantly about the 2012 i7 quad model because the nMP entry level went up to silly amounts.

    Rather than making everyone buy 2 GPUs they start with no GPUs and allow people to buy approved GPUs on daughter cards later if they don't spec up the machine upon purchase.
  10. AJClayton macrumors 6502


    Jan 9, 2007
    Dorset, England
    This. Ever since the announcement this has made the most sense to me. Develop something that can work for people who would traditionally want a Mac Mini right up to the fastest Mac Pro. Sounds mad, but that's "modular" in its extreme sense. I accept that I may be taking "modular" too literally (as some have pointed out) but there's no way Apple will simply roll out another cheese grater, however much we loved those machines.

    (And for the record, I owned a cheese grater and currently have a trashcan and I love them both for different reasons.)
  11. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    I gotta disagree - my $1,700 Apple laptop had every single internal board replaced at 30 months & it died again with the exact same problem 190 days later.

    The $250 Aspire D1 netbook I used while waiting on the laptop to get back from the repair center is still crunching SETI blocks.
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I think the cMP is pretty.
  13. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    I keep my old G5 tower around because I can't bear to throw it away. Wait, who am I kidding. I'm just waiting for the price of aluminum to go up and it'll be worth a fortune.
  14. JamesPDX Suspended


    Aug 26, 2014
    Has anybody just disconnected one of the GPUs on the MP 6,1? It would be handy to be able run it with a single D500 for studio use and only power up card 2 for rendering, etc.

    I'll see what happens at WWDC, but frankly, this USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 thing -along with dongle-gate -has turned into a diaper fire. :eek:
  15. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    What on earth would make you think it needs to be loud? A 1984 240D with modern internals, (ie a V6 common rail turbo diesel), wouldn’t be loud would it?
  16. rjtiedeman macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2010
    Stamford, CT
    I agree the cMP is a sophisticated and studied example of engineering and industrial design. I also have a working G5 and I can say with experience that the cMP is a much improved design (inside) in every way. The only down side to both is moving them around the studio requires a little muscle. They both needed wheels.
  17. zoomp macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2010
    That might be true to graphic design but for motion design or video, is pretty off. My last GPU upgrade, two years ago, made my playback (render) go from 4 to 23 fps. If that doesn't impress you, GPU nowadays are 3 times as fast. Comparing to my old 5770, my 970 is 8 times faster.

    I didn't bother upgrading my CPU tho', it would add only 30% more power.
  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    This is sort of how it works now. Generally the first card does all the work and handles all of the display outputs. The second card only fires up for compute tasks, otherwise it is idle and doesn't use much power.
  19. narbalek macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    If they're designing around Skylake Xeons, especially Skylake-SP Xeons, they've probably only got sample quantities and will have to wait till they're available in quantity before being able to officially abl to launch a redesigned Mac Pro.
  20. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    That is where the issue is. People are saying Apple is not innovating anymore. So they tried to innovate with the 2013 Mac Pro and it failed for most of the people. It is good system for me since I use it for FCP and it is still the best in that area. But people want Apple to innovate more than produce products that work. Sometimes it might generally be a failure. I bet you review sites and tech sites would say a new cheese grater is bad because Apple is not innovating. They can't win here. Obviously A LOT of people wanted Apple to innovate since that quote "Can't innovate anymore my ass" is obviously from a lot of sources saying they are lacking innovation. If people would stop with that, we would have an updated cheese grater right now.
  21. Joe The Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2006
    apple hit the pci-e wall. Right now there choices are.

    switch the 2 video cards to shearing an X16 link with x8 x8 or x16 x16 with an pci-e switch.

    Dump alot of stuff on to the X4 DMI link.

    Go Dual intel CPU

    Go AMD
  22. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Or, push 32 lanes into a switch, and put a lot of stuff on it.

    Statically splitting 16 lanes into x8 + x8 for GPUs wouldn't be smart. Each GPU would never get more than about 8 GB/sec. With a 16 lane to dual 16 lane switch - each GPU would get 16 GB/sec if the other GPU wasn't transferring data.

    With a 32-lane to <many more>-lane switch you'd get about 32 GB/sec IO, dynamically allocated to active devices.
  23. koyoot macrumors 603


    Jun 5, 2012
    That will be problem in a previous gen. memory tech. Vega is changing this a bit. It requires you to have minimal PCIe bandwidth to be precisely the same size as Memory you have on the GPU. So if you have 8 GB of HBM - you can go with x8. If you have more than that - you have to go higher.
  24. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    This is incomprehensible.

    PCIe bandwidth is not measured in GiB.

    Your "dark web" sources are on very good drugs.
  25. koyoot macrumors 603


    Jun 5, 2012
    Your mistaking me with Mago. That is first thing. Second thing is that its Game Developers words, and people who analyzed the information about memory paging system in Vega GPUs.

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