Just couldn't wait on the modular MacPro any longer.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DearthnVader, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...for a particular definition of "PCIe slot".

    More accurately, that's a M.2 SSD that will work in an M.2 slot provided g=the slot supports the NVMe PCIe 3.0 x 4 protocol (check the small print in your motherboard manual: M.2. slots are tiny expansion slots specifically for SSDs that can support some or all of SATA, USB3 and PCIe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2). By contrast, here's a SSD that does plug into what people usually mean when they say "PCIe slot": http://www8.hp.com/us/en/workstations/z-turbo-drive.html - actually, looks like it's actually a "Standard PCIe" to M.2 adapter with a M.2 card on it, so it nicely shows the difference between M.2 and a "PCIe slot". (NB: the Intel platform controller chips now allow certain PCIe lanes to be specifically optimised for SSDs, so SSDs plugged into "standard" PCIe bus slots might lose a slight edge over the ones in dedicated SSD slots...)

    Now, the PCIe protocol in "PCIe slots" is also used by stuff soldered to the PC motherboard, as well as by ExpressCards, Thunderbolt some M.2 slots and, yes, Apple's proprietary SSD interfaces. ...so, if you want your M.2 card to be "a PCIe SSD" because it uses the PCIe interface (reasonable), then I'm afraid that the Apple card is "PCIe" by the same argument.

    The important distinction performance wise (which was the origin of the argument) is that Mac SSDs use PCIe and not SATA - and the latest iMacs, at least, use PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSDs which are in the same league as your M.2 drive - I think Apple may even have gone PCIe before M.2 PCIe options were so widely available.

    However, you're quite right that the Apple world would be a nicer place if they'd use M.2 slots instead of proprietary ones. Plus, the nMP SSD is only PCIe 2.0 so it will be a bit slower.

    But a SSD that talks to the processor via PCIe is still a PCIe SSD, even if it requires Tim Cook to personally stand by your Mac and hold the wire in place.
  2. DevNull0, Oct 24, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017

    DevNull0 macrumors 68000

    Jan 6, 2015
    You said the nMP had a PCI-e port. That is wrong. Show me *any* PCI-e device that will connect to an nMP -- and once again, if it won't plug into an industry standard PCI-e slot, it's not PCI-e.

    PCI-e is a specific interface developed by Intel.

    Apple doesn't even claim PCI-e support for the nMP. They say PCI-e based SSD. It's a proprietary, non-standard interface that is not compatible with anything even though it is based on PCI-e.

    Very well, citation needed then please. Show us that the nMP will suport PCIe SSD devices. Not even Apple agrees with you there.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 24, 2017 ---
    Well here's the definition according to Intel who invented PCI-e. http://pcisig.com/specifications/pc...pdf?iid=tech_ pciexpress+rhc_whatispciexpress

    I'm looking at PCI-e base spec version 4.

    Please show me what definition of PCI-e you're using as even Apple doesn't claim to use PCI-e but rather "PCI-e based SSD" which is is marketing-speak for non-standard proprietary interface.
  3. mp2017, Oct 24, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017

    mp2017 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2017
    Where in the following statement you quoted did I say it had a PCI-e port:

    "The 6,1 Mac Pro does have PCI-e SSD."

    It may use a non-standard connector but that doesn't mean it's not a PCI-e based SSD. Is it your contention that because the physical interface is non-standard the SSD is not PCI-e based? Is that what this is all about? The physical interface connection?


    • 256GB
    • PCIe-based flash storage
      Configurable to 512GB or 1TB2
  4. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    You are still here so:
    1. We can see the wind filled sails on that ship.
    2. You can reveal the mystery of the items in the cargo hold of that ship (mMP's? :p) The real slow boat from China!
    3. You can read the reactions of the forum members when the mMP arrives or not!
  5. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Your argument is based on a logical fallacy - here's some background reading for you:


    I.e. You are relying on a your own, narrow, definition of "PCIe" as meaning "standard PCIe connector" and refusing to accept that the term could have any other meaning in the context in which it is being used.

    Unfortunately, your "dictionary" is behind a members-only log in, but I actually doubt that it specifically addresses the issue of what actually constitutes a "PCIe SSD". In fact, if you find any uses of "PCIe" in there that aren't qualified with chapter and verse saying which specific parts of the PCIe protocol stack they refer to, then the proof reader obviously had a day off, because formal specifications are supposed to avoid that sort of ambiguity.

    Meanwhile, here in the real world, the meaning of terms depends on usage and context, and like many other protocol stacks, "PCIe" frequently refers to the use of PCIe signalling and/or software protocols independently of any physical layers.

    For instance, heres some documentation about Thunderbolt 3 from Intel:

    ...with many references to PCIe but nary a standard PCIe edge connector in sight. Because Thunderbolt incorporates the PCIe software protocol, the controller chips connect to the PCIe busses on motherboards and peripherals (no PCIe connectors involved) and the CPU sees Thunderbolt-connected peripherals as PCIe devices.

    Or, here's something called a "PCIe Ethernet controller", again, no hint of any connector.

    ...you'll find these soldered to lots of PC motherboards, alongside PCIe USB controllers, PCIe SATA controllers, etc. with no intervening "PCIe connectors". If you run system reporting tools, those controllers will show up as PCIe devices. Just as you'll find internal components using USB, DisplayPort etc. with none of the corresponding plugs or sockets.

    The pertinent thing about a "PCIe SSD" is that (like PCIe SATA, Ethernet, USB, whatever controllers) it connects to the processor/chipset using PCIe electrical and software protocols, and hence supports significantly higher transfer speeds than SATA or USB devices - regardless of whether it is connected via a PCIe slot, a M.2 slot, a Thunderbolt port, a proprietary Apple connector or soldered directly to the motherboard.

    Nobody is arguing that the nMP has a standard PCIe socket. It doesn't. But run the system diagnostics and you'll see that the SSD is connected via PCIe - meaning that it is using PCIe signalling and software protocols to communicate with the CPU chipset.
  6. DevNull0, Oct 25, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017

    DevNull0 macrumors 68000

    Jan 6, 2015
    Now you're backpedalling, and even highlighting your error in red.

    You've gone from PCIe SSD to PCIe-based flash storage.

    And PCI-e based in this context is a marketing slogan. for "locked in proprietary". The soldered flash memory in the 2017 MBP is no less PCIe based flash storage than the MP-trashcan.

  7. mp2017 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2017
    theluggage did a great job in his post exposing your nonsense therefore I won't waste any more time on it.
  8. jetjaguar macrumors 68030


    Apr 6, 2009
    ive been considering jumping to PC as well since I dont know how much longer I can wait for apple to figure out what it is planning on doing with the mac pro. It could possibly not be released until 2019 .. im sure the 8k monitor will look amazing though.
  9. MarkJames68 macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2017
    8K won’t be the resolution...it’ll be the price :(
  10. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Dec 1, 2013
    Houston, TX USA
    @theluggage @mp2017 @DevNull0,

    I'm all about furthering community knowledge. Got thoughts on why this* or any other PCIe enclosure, Intel Thunderbolt eGPU certified or not, won't boot without MAJOR SURGERY - with more than 2 eGPUs? You guys given thought to modifying the nMP EFI to enumerate more devices, particularly GPUs? Is there something to be unlocked in the EFI as in MSI gaming laptops with TB? (not rhetorical)

    * Enclosure in question - and not the only one:


    There are other brands of PCIe expansion via Thunderbolt.

    It doesn't work as advertised, fellas. Talk all you want about how this and that is encapsulated in this or the other. IT DOES NOT WORK AS ADVERTISED. Plugging a mouse or keyboard into any computer at any time works. eGPU is so far from that it's unreal. Nobody (in this case) gives a F what the connector looks like if it's reliable, compact & interchangeable, fast, and plug + play. It's back to the days of buying even a genuine Sound Blaster card. You WILL have to tinker with IRQs, etc. to get a damn beep out of it.

    Discuss and enlighten us all. Waiting for screenshots of your success that should come easily. Thunderbolt incorporates PCIe , right? Should work like ANY other card in a PCIe enclosure, right? Show me before my martini gets warm. I want to see 4 plain jane, totally should work via Thunderbolt because it encapsulates eGPUs running on a nMP. I'd even settle for seeing 4 of them via TB on a Z820 - though that would be waste as a Z820 can accommodate 3 full-sized GPUs internally. It can also accommodate more via external PCIe AND / or Thunderbolt. If it happens on Mac, I bet MVC / Netkas does it first.

    The market in general, thanks to Apple's unusual forthrightness - have given up on 6,1. It's a dead end. The only people concerned with it now are folks making money with it today and for the foreseeable future, knowledge seekers, those who admire its aesthetic qualities (and perhaps want to make it a cult object like the cube), and those (and our clients) who invested tons, thinking it was the future, and are now F***ed without any considerable upgrade path like past Mac Pros, unless we give them one.

    - is it fast enough?
    - does it have sufficient capacity
    - can I UPGRADE it easily

    We already know these answers. Who is going to show us something new on eGPU?
  11. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2015
    Red Springs, NC
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    You decided to build a Hackintosh after all?
  13. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2015
    Red Springs, NC
    Well, you didn't really think I'd switch to Linux, did you:D

    To be honest, I didn't think my new hardware would run the macOS, but High Sierra is running good on a Ryzen 7 1700, with 32 GB DDR4 2666, Asus ROG B350-F, RX 580 8 GB OC.

    It took some doing, but really, all the info is out there.

    A few issues:

    Photoshop CC refuses to run, but then I'm a Gimp guy.

    RX 580 runs a little slower on an AMD system under the macOS than it does on an Intel CPU.

    Some outstanding issues with OpenGL performance and the RX 580, older Quake3 based titles are dog slow, Gputest is about half the Linux/Windows performance, but Unigine benchmarks are only about 15% slower.

    Then, I really built this rig to run EthOS and mine a little Ether, and I didn't blow my whole MacPro savings to build it. I'm sure when the modular MP ships, I'll have a little more to spend on one, assuming Apple doesn't screw the pouch again and give us the nMP 2.0.
  14. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Yes, that was your stated plan!

    I switched away too. I was tempted by hackintosh, but it seems like an ongoing hobby and I don't have time for that.
  15. EnderBeta macrumors 6502


    Aug 5, 2016
    My two hackintosh machines have been pretty low maintenance. The only exception is I have had to apply the video playback fix for iTunes video content after a major update. I haven't upgraded to High Sierra though. I don't see a point, even on my iMac. Once the issues with he file system are worked up I'll upgrade.
  16. CapnDavey macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2015
    Mr Spock hehe sorry had to do that!
  17. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
  18. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    The needs of the modules outweigh the needs of the thin.
  19. Simon R., Nov 2, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017

    Simon R. macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2006
    You obviously haven't heard of Logic Pro (either) it seems...
  20. scoobs69 macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2009
    I've been working on the same - not a gamer, needing a Capture One Pro and PS workstation.


    I wanted to keep the build around $2,200. The RX 570 and 580 aren't that significantly different in terms of RW performance. I figure if I need to upgrade my video card, it's easier than the processor.
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I always ask "what do you DO with your computer?" In my case I said it was running headless as a commuter engine. Why would a compute engine need those things? The use was ai running or a long time crunching numbers.

    What I think this shows is that computers cost s lot because we buy general purpose machines that are suited to a wide use and possibly get things that don't need, like in my case a monitor and WiFi
  22. scoobs69 macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2009
    Reading into Apple's comments about modularity, they admitted their current black Mac Pro design had thermal problems that prevented/mooted upgrading the GPUs and CPUs. My guess is Apple has known about this for the past few years, but chose to sit on their hands. 4 years later, they decide they're going to start the design process on a new modular Mac Pro.

    • Makes me think they were seriously thinking about letting the Mac Pro die, but recently (someone?) decided to change their mind.

    • Based on their recent history, I can't see Apple giving up their money grab for their BTO options by letting their users upgrade the components on their own. I get the feeling "Modular" in their language means, it'll be easier for THEM/Apple to upgrade the components as needed for future upgrade releases. This would be unfortunate, but feels more like their reality.
  23. EnderBeta macrumors 6502


    Aug 5, 2016
    I think you are spot on. It's a shame too because the 2012 Mac Pro was an amazing machine. I hope that something like that is what Apple will return to.

    In the mean time my 5930K, 32GB DDR4, dual GTX 1080 machine is running macOS like a champ. It makes the wait for a real Mac Pro slightly more bearable. It astounds me that to get a decent Apple workstation I have to deal with hacking a machine to run the OS.
  24. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2017
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    it's funny while we all await the latest and greatest there is a large section of the professional market that still use very old equipment without any desire to upgrade or any desire to even take the side panel off.

    The custom CAD/CAM PC's they have at my day job are old by today's standards. But are running solid works and mastercam just fine. Or more that they don't realise that they could get better performance out of the machines. Example being they are all running single HDD's and Kepler era quadro's.

    We all keep up to date with what's new. There are a lot of people out there who don't.
  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    [MOD NOTE]
    A number of posts were removed, as they were off topic and bordering on bickering. Please stay on topic

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