Intel Skylake - Kiss of death for the mac pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by byke, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. byke macrumors 6502a

    byke

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    #1
    I have always been surprised at how long certain mac's hold there second hand value.
    And this is especially true when it comes to the old aluminium mac pros (pre 2013) But with the latest Skylake announcements that they would both be offering slightly faster speeds and lower power drain. They also announced that Thunderbolt 3 would be added and that they would officially allow eGPU's to run through it.

    Now obviously computers loose value over time, but could this latest intel update finally mark the end of the over inflated high prices for used and old alloy mac pro's?

    As now these old goliath machines will no longer have the advantage of being the only mac to offer high end graphics cards. And a lower end spec mac should now be able to offer similar performance for both a fraction of the size, power resources and money.
     
  2. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I don't think this Skylake announcement alone will greatly affect eGPUs on Macs. Apple still has the power to give eGPU-interested Mac users a hard time, e.g. with their partially-proprietary EFI or arbitrary barriers in the system.
     
  3. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #3
    Apple patented an iMac style display that you can dock a laptop into. In such a case using Thunderbolt 3 the laptop can use a GPU built into a monitor. That will likely be the limit of what Apple will allow. PC users will have more options.
     
  4. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #4
    E5 v5 (skylake) probably will get more folks to let go of even more older than now Mac Pros when it finally makes it to market and into an updated Mac Pro. Some folks will also transition to iMac/MBP skylake systems also, but that will probably be smaller numbers. This eGPU aspect really isn't a major driver.


    I don't think TB v3 is going to bring universal eGPU support. It likely will be hardware+OS+GPU driver combination certified. TB was never just solely the chip the OS and drivers on top is part of the certification combo.

    One of the advantages the 2010-2009 boxes will have is just being old. The used price point for some of these units is going to be about has high as the thunderbolt expansion box that they eGPU goes into. For example a 3 slot TB v2 product from Sonnet is $999 ( http://www.sonnettech.com/Product/echoexpress3r.html ) . As long as that is true it is really an apples to oranges comparison anywhere price is the primary factor.

    The price of the old Macs tend to stay high as long as there is a larger group looking to buy them than there is supply. The number of people trying to buy older Mac Pro may go down a bit but as long as the supply of older ones is going down at about the same rate the prices are probably going to remain relatively steady over the long term ( may get a few speculative bubbles for a month or two but eventually it will go back to largely market forces ).

    If enough folks want to buy them then they aren't over inflated. In general for Apple Mac products Apple works really hard to make just enough to sell to match demand. There never is a glut of systems out there when it is being actively sold new. When Apple stops selling a system there it tends to start from that "no glut" state and continue in a "no glut" state. Folks who have them tend to keep them and let them go at a sustainable rate to keep the prices higher.

    The notion that most folks who buy Apple products blindly rush off as a herd and buy every latest newly relesed product isn't true. It is even less true in the higher end Mac product space. The churn isn't that high. if it was Apple would probably still be selling a box-with-slot system. They don't. This isn't a group that dump systems willy nilly on a whim. So no supply of used .... relatively higher prices to other systems where the is higher numbers of old relatively to the demand for old.
     
  5. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #5
    no

    professional users doing high end stuff will continue to benefit from machines that burn more power and generate more heat than you will fit in a macbook.

    Skylake means very little with regards to attempting to replace the two monster GPUs in the mac pro, and the recent mobile xeon announcements mean nothing when you compare to the desktop Xeon CPUs on sale today and no doubt when Skylake is sold in volume. The big things the mobile Xeons bring is ECC and larger than 32 gig memory capacity to laptops. Nothing more.

    Desktop/server Xeons are already available with 20 cores (and can address terabytes of RAM), and there are plenty of workloads that benefit from them. Some of these workloads are what the Mac Pro is aimed at.
     
  6. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    #6
    these conversations would be allot less if apple just would of put in 2 780tis at the time.
     
  7. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #7
    Surprising comment, since the MP6,1 maxes out at 12 cores and 64 GiB - while HP, Lenovo and Dell support 36 cores and 1 TiB of RAM (with 2 TiB by the end of the year).

    The MP6,1 is aimed at the very low end of "these workloads".
     
  8. zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

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    #8
    I wonder if the Apple/IBM enterprise partnership could eventually extend into some kind of Apple 'Pro' division?

    Yeah, right....
     
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #9
    The story of Apple is dovetailing nicely with "Toystory"
     
  10. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #10
    Those figures are for server stuff typically (yes, you can buy PC workstations with such). At the moment those CPUs and memory capacities are quite cost prohibitive. Apple DOES play in the low end workstation space (and mostly with graphics with the serious rendering done by render farms), so the fact they top out at 12 cores is not surprising. The price for an Apple device with those specs right now would be an extremely small market.

    But my point is, that there are uses for such numbers of cores, and eventually processors and memory capacities like that will end up in lower end workstations. If and when the price for 20 cores per socket comes down to something reasonable for a workstation (and i think it will sooner than some think), workstations will end up with such CPUs. And they simply won't fit in a laptop due to the power and cooling requirements.

    Just because Intel put ECC and 64GB RAM support on mobile Skylake doesn't mean that workstations are dying any more than it did when mobile CPUs got support for 32 GB of RAM or the chipsets got thunderbolt support.

    Mobile CPUs/GPUs simply are not powerful enough due to power and thermal constraints. Sure, it may mean SOME users no longer need a Mac Pro but it doesn't mean the machine no longer has a purpose.
     
  11. AsprineTm macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2014
    #11
    there are already cheap TB2 solutions, wouldn't take long for TB3 solutions to arrive.
    AKiTIO thunder box 2 only costs 220 dollars.
     
  12. mathpunk, Aug 16, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015

    mathpunk macrumors regular

    mathpunk

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    #12
    One thing that is different with Skylake (E5-v5) is AVX3 (a.k.a. AVX-512), which doubles the vector length (among other things) of the AVX vector instructions. This will be a very big deal for computationally intensive applications that do not fit well on GPGPUs.
     
  13. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #13
    and in the specs .....

    "...
    • PCIe (x16) slot provides a maximum of 25W
    • Does NOT support graphics cards "
    http://www.akitio.com/accessories/thunder2-pcie-box

    It isn't just TB v2 and certifications driving the non support of GPU cards.... the overall power supply is sub 72W. It is primarily aimed at modest standard PCIe bus power level cards. Higher power cards are going to drag in infrastructure to support that which will drive up the costs similar to what the TB v2 options have been.

    There is much hand waving about how eGPU is going to drive TB volumes into the "dramatic scale, dramatically lowers pricing " zone. That is probably in the same boat as the "if just allow TB on a card" solutions the volume will explode arguments when TB 2 opened that door that did not and probably will not appear.

    eGPU certification and support costs probably aren't going to be dirt cheap for vendors.

    TB v3 is a better fit for these "bus power level" , largely x4 PCIe v2(or 3) lane cards. But that isn't the "home zone" for modern GPU cards.
     
  14. burnsranch macrumors member

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    Jun 19, 2013
    #14
    I am curious about the improvement metal make in the next release. It is a nightmare supporting drivers for every video card under the sun, maybe the code, not the hardware is the real bottleneck.
     
  15. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    The Akitio does in fact support GPU cards, just not officially. And the PCIe limit is overcome by using a PC PSU or an older Dell DA2 plug PSU to power the 6-8pin GPU power directly and a barrel connector to feed power into the Aktitio case. I've been using this setup with a Zotac GTX970 on my Late 2012 iMac (680MX) and 2014 base 13" MBA. Works pretty great on TB1 connections.

    http://forum.techinferno.com/enclos...$189-akitio-thunder2-pcie-box-16gbps-tb2.html
     
  16. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

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    #16
  17. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68000

    bladerunner2000

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    #17
    The kiss of death for the Mac Pro was when Apple decided to (once again) go with a proprietary part (lack of standard PCIe) and completely screw everyone with GPU upgrades.
     
  18. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

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    #18
    Well everything is "Proprietary" until it gets adopted and there is an adoption rate of PCIe flash. Its actually novel idea...and well Apple has never been in the business to give customers choice.

    But I dont see Apple utilizing the external GPU functionality if at all...maybe in a different way like Target Display Mode or something of that nature.
     
  19. byke thread starter macrumors 6502a

    byke

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    #19
    Just in case some people haven't seen this :
     
  20. fuchsdh macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Unless I'm missing something, the big difference between the cheap and expensive PCIe expansion boxes is that the cheap ones are almost always for half-length and/or single-width cards, not full-length like you'd need for an eGPU. You could do some work to make it physically accommodate a larger card, but that's an additional step. This is leaving aside the power issues mentioned above, which altogether work to make the eGPU situation kind of cludgy.
     
  21. zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

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    #21
  22. byke thread starter macrumors 6502a

    byke

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    #22
    I think it will be really interesting to benchmark a skylark Mac laptop when they are released and compare it to a alloy mac pro of similar value (second hand).
     
  23. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #23
    The mobile machine will get destroyed, unless you pick benchmarks that use CPU instructions in Skylake that the older machine doesn't have.
     
  24. byke thread starter macrumors 6502a

    byke

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    #24
    I am just wondering if we will see an announcement on the 9th of September regarding skylake or if we will need to wait until October.
     
  25. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Based on past history, it would be very unlikely they would make any Mac announcements on the 9th - that keynote is all about iOS devices.

    Even if they were ready to launch the new Macs this month, it just makes more marketing sense to keep the announcements separate - let the press go crazy with new iOS device articles, followed by the same with new Macs a month or so later.
     

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