MP 7,1 LTT: ECC is dumb; 'buy base model nMP if you want a status symbol but don't care about performance'

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by slughead, Jun 10, 2019 at 11:26 AM.

  1. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    EXTREMELY interesting commentary from linus regarding Mac Pro on his WAN show

    For those who don't know, LTT is one of the most influential tech reporting organizations in the world. They have 8.6 million subscribers on youtube.

    Link to timecode 9:17

    Some highlights
    - starts with a correction from his previous video on the nMP: looks like same mainboard for all new mac pros
    - 8 core config should not exist, just buy an iMac or imac pro -it's probably faster even with the iMac throttling
    - it probably doesn't matter that the memory bandwidth (6 channel) is crippled by only having 4 sticks on the low end because there isn't enough compute power anyway
    - ECC Vs DDR4 -- ECC may not even matter anymore
    - "Workstation" is a stupid marketing term that has no meaning anymore
    - With the base model Apple is basically saying "buy this if you're the kind of ego, image-is-everything moron that wants to have a Mac Pro as a status symbol but doesn't care at all about what's under the hood"
    - buying the base-model and then upgrading later is not economical at all because nobody will buy your 8 core on e-bay because it's crap considering it's only compatible with extremely expensive mobos
    - All that said, probably a smart move to have the 6 grand as an option from a marketing standpoint, as only "nerds" like linus will figure out what a rip-off it is.

    If you haven't seen it already, this is the original response video

    It's important to note Linus is not actually over all negative about the nMP -- especially because of the ability to do 128GB GPU memory. He sees that as a very unique and and potentially cash-saving feature as apparently all competing options are enterprise-level crazy configs. He's basically just poo-pooing most other use-cases for this product. As a side note, he's also extremely excited about the screen and even defends apple a bit on the stand.

    Here is the video, advance to 9:17 timecode

    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2019 at 12:08 PM ---
    The thing I found most interesting was the ECC stuff. Apparently he asked Intel to give him a workload to demonstrate the difference between ECC and DDR4 and they literally could not come up with one.
  2. a2jack macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2013
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2019 at 1:01 PM ---
    Thanks for this post. Good input, it clinched my "No Buy" decision.

    Those kids are a bit hard to watch, but they sure have the right stuff, and are now on my tech watch list. a2
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It’s a tricky one but I think it’s fair to compare Apples to apples if you’re talking about workstations.

    It’s slightly disingenuous to talk about pricing as he does because he has this underlying implication the base Mac Pro is a product that Apple have created to hose dumb hipster consumers.

    If you price up equivalent specifications for other OEM workstations such as HP, they’re actually considerably more expensive than Apple’s base model.

    A colleague of mine follows Linus and as far as I know from what I’ve seen, he hasn’t really covered workstations and their pricing/usage as much as he has with the nMP (I’m happy to be corrected if that’s not the case).

    I think if you want to criticise workstations and their pricing/usefulness, it’s only fair to attack the industry as a whole because Apple aren’t really releasing anything worthy of incredulity.

    Sorry for the long post. Just my $0.02.
  4. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004

    It says here you've been here for 7 years and you think that's a long post?? there are some humdingers in this forum especially that put yours to shame. ;)

    I've been watching linus for years and you're right -- I don't think he's ever bought a pre-assembled "workstation," though he's built plenty of servers using the latest technology and he's extremely familiar with them, he wouldn't be familiar with the buying experience like from HP et al. I'd totally trust him to know exactly what AVX-512 and all the rest means and specifically what workloads it'd be good for.

    However, I think it's fair to say that The Mac Pro is not comparable to that machine. What you are paying for with HP is not only the hardware but also a level of service Apple simply does not provide just anyone who purchases these machines. HP offers on-site often same-day service. The AppleCare experience is not even remotely comparable : You have to bring your machine after you make an appointment to a "genius" bar and if they don't have the part you'll be waiting for weeks. Apple certified dealers are even worse because they probably can't and wont have a replacement component in stock because of Apple's fear of 3rd party repairs. I've bought Apple's "Pro" desktops before and lost my machine for two months even with full AppleCare. Check out this winning experience snazzy labs had with his iMac Pro --forget that they totally tried to scam him after they wrecked his iMacPro, they also took weeks to do it and in the end obviously gave him preferential treatment because he made a youtube video detailing the experience.

    The HP experience is not comparable at all to Apple. AppleCare may be fine for a phone, not a "Professional" computer.

    By the way, the best buy warranty on my MSI Stealth G65 Thin experience:
    1. Walk into best buy with no appointment
    2. Plop down broken machine I broke myself servicing it
    3. Walk out with entirely new machine.

    Time spent: 20 minutes. Similar cost to AppleCare.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    AppleCare do have an Enterprise level service with onsite warranty so no point comparing the consumer service (of which HP are considerably worse than Apple).

    AASPs have very strict SLAs which require repairs to be completed within a few days and they order the parts directly from Apple, so if you’re waiting a few weeks there’s definitely something wrong. The purpose of AASPs is so there’s no need for third party repairs with hardware that Apple can’t control.

    Don’t know about Snazzy, I’ll have to watch the video. :)
  6. slughead, Jun 10, 2019 at 3:45 PM
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019 at 3:50 PM

    slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004

    $140 - 5 year on site next day service for anyone.

    $250 - 3 year on site within 4 hours, 24/7. And yes, they bring replacement parts.

    Yes Apple does offer on-site to some users. Like you said: enterprise level. The above is for anyone. How much does it cost to be an "enterprise-level" user? 10 Mac pros? That's like 60 grand minimum.

    And by the way -- yes, repairs may be completed within a couple days with AASP's, after they get the part from Apple. I know from personal experience that even with pro machines and even at an actual Apple store, that can be weeks.
  7. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008
    but my server says I have ECC errors, the MacPro is for Pros only and it must have ECC blah blah blah.

    I'll tell you what I'm pro and the amount of software crashes I have on Mac Pros and iMacs running Avid Media Composer will stop me way more than some memory error on non ECC RAM I'll tell you that right now

    AMD just released a 16 core 105 TDP chip with PCIe4 at $799

    Apple could've sold the Mac Pro to a much larger base on a lower end Mac Pro

    The Mac Pro is. amazing but only once you go over the 16 or is it 18 core chips and get into the 28 core config
  8. AidenShaw, Jun 10, 2019 at 5:22 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2019 at 12:17 AM

    AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Note that many of those comparisons pit a dual socket Z8 against the lower end Xeon-W in the MP7,1.

    That's dishonorable.
  9. frou macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2009
    I don't know if this applies to LinusTechTips, but in my experience, gamer types tend to know less than nothing about macOS. Thus their thoughts on Macs are surface level and not illuminating to people who have actual miles on the clock using varied OSes.
  10. amedias macrumors regular


    Feb 9, 2008
    Devon, UK
    Indeed, there's very few direct comparisons possible as when you look at the competitor offerings most of the single socket models are lacking in ram support compared to the new Mac Pro (and other ares, not delved deep enough to enumerate them all), and to get the same specs in the 'other' areas it's a jump up to their dual socket capable systems, with commensurate extra cost and capability above the new Mac Pro.

    So yeah, Apples to Apples comparisons are tricky, even on a spec-for-spec basis while keeping capability the same.
  11. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    a nice look at the CPU's on Anandtech
    looks like the 28c is 4-7K (not sure which one will be in the nmp)
    so I can see why they want an option that's less than the cost of the best CPU :D

    and who knows maybe with the video render PCI card you wont need the top end CPU for light to mid work (with 4-8K video) if it relay ofloads most the work.
  12. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    I've watched this guy before and he is entertaining. But this is gamers discussing workstations. It's like high school students doing retirement planning. They can understand the details but can't relate to the needs.
  13. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Linus is the head of a multi million dollar media production company that uses RED 8k cameras. He builds and maintains his own servers and workstations, some far faster than this Mac Pro, and he does it live on camera.

    This is EXACTLY a nMP use-case.
  14. orph, Jun 11, 2019 at 8:32 AM
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 8:38 AM

    orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    he says the price is fine/normal and I trust him.
    he and his people will know the cost of kit, his job is promoting things to sell so pricing is his thing in a big way.
    if we get lucky apple will take pro lines serious and update osx and Apple's pro apps more than in the last few years.

    Linus is not a single person but a team, he has people who can give knowledge internally and externally.

    and simply Intel has been selling every chip, they say they shifted to focus on producing the top end CPU's (like this one) so some one must want/need them and be willing to pay 7K a chip at least.

    Apple likes $$$$ they won't do something if they don't think it's going to mint it

    ps and the red is a good example, thats 'cheep' pro cam and once you add extras/lenes your close to duuble the cost of the unit.
  15. RickGrimes macrumors member


    Mar 9, 2019
    Who are these people and why should I care what they think?
  16. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    He's a gamer with a popular youtube channel. Enough money to buy toys. The new Apple Pro customer.
  17. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    But if you look at any of his videos that venture outside of gaming, his ignorance of computing is truly astounding.....
  18. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    The dude thinks you can arrange a demo where you "flip a bit" on ECC and non-ECC memory and show how ECC recovers and non-ECC memory doesn't. I'm not at all surprised Intel brushed him off.
  19. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    The video is fine, but I strongly disagree with the idea that Linus is in any meaningful way influential as to the target market. Millions of YouTube followers isn't the relevant metric at all.
  20. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I don't know enough about the hardware to make a judgement -- are you saying there's literally no experimental way to verify ECC is significantly better?
  21. flaubert macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2015
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, short of having an extremely well-equipped physics lab with an alpha particle source, it's going to be difficult to generate ECC errors on demand... generally speaking one would have to rely on statistical evidence of Setup A with ECC turned on corrected N errors in X hours, and Setup B with ECC turned off presumably didn't correct ~N errors in X hours.
  22. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    You can't just flip a bit on demand. Bit flips are the result of chaotic processes like radioactive decay, and while you can make them more likely to occur, ala flaubert's alpha source, you can't produce them on demand. Non-ECC is fine for non-critical workloads, as Grandma checking her email and facebook might suffer a crash once very five years, but ECC is vital for many scientific/engineering processes that are memory-intensive and long-running, where it is nearly impossible to complete a run with non-ECC memory. In between that, you have to make a judgment call. The most insidious error is a double bit flip which non-ECC memory may not even detect. IMO, in developing software (my bread and butter), working on non-ECC memory is fine (many work on laptops), but anything that gets released to customers should be compiled and packaged on ECC memory. Otherwise, you are playing Russian roulette.

    Linus wants a video bite he can wrap up in at most an hour. He doesn't want to devote weeks or months and enough machines to produce a statistically valid result. His viewers have no clue, so even if he actually understands the issue, he can easily sit there and claim Intel couldn't flip a bit on demand for him, and his viewers will eat it up.
  23. nerdynerdynerdy macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2007
    What do you think is causing the crashing?

    My Avid systems on Mac run near flawlessly, so you may have some OS revision/MC version clash.

    Marianna over on the Avid Knowledgebase forum will escalate your complaints pretty quickly if they're repeatable.
  24. H. Flower macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    I doubt those who are buying base models and upgrading are planning to resell on eBay. Rather, they’re looking to hold onto these like the previous cheese graters - 8, 10, even 12 years.

    That’s precisely why the base is a little more expensive than it should be.
  25. jscipione macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2017
    16 core ryzen has me tempted but Mac Pro has so many benefits for years to come for running macOS. There will never be another Mac like this one. It's a steep entry price for the base model expandable Mac.

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