Mac Pro enclosure is lacking

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sparkie7, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. sparkie7 macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    Oct 17, 2008
    #1
    not enough PCI slots (to have all the expansion cards), not enough power (to drive multiple high end graphics cards), not enough drive bays

    I love the industrial all aluminium grill design, but its not big enough to accommodate everything for some power users.

    Its time for  to re-design the MP box IMHO
     
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #2
    Point is? Remember, Apple controls what expansion you use, so it's not like you are going to have variety at hand to super-mega-über expand your Mac Pro...
     
  3. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    #3
    errr.. at risk of stating the obvious.. it isn't big or expandable enough for some users

    if you have to ask, you aren't in the category

    so if a user wants a fibre-channel card + RAID card + 2 graphics cards, they can't. And have to think up of a messy alternative outside of the enclosure
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    I agree. Apple's line up is and has always been very limited meaning that users have to make compromises and live with the features Apple offers if they want or need a Mac. OP, you're clearly a member of small minority that needs something very expandable and powerful. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't care about that group of people, so it's kinda "take it or leave" deal.
     
  5. sboerup macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I definitely don't fit in the "need more space category", but I also find it rather limiting. I think they should have at LEAST 6 HD bays (not including the extra you can already put in), and at LEAST 2 extra PCI bays. Yes, these machines can definitely crunch some numbers, but, having a little extra expansion would be very nice.
     
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Hellhammer already nailed my point. You are part of the group Apple doesn't cater to.

    However, a custom built PC will cater to you as you have all the expansions you want at native 2.0+ x16 PCIe's (and you get 2 not one) and depending on manufacturer multiple PCIe 1.x at x4 or x1 configurations for other expansions, such as RAID or USB3 add-ons.

    Also, Mac Pros only support 4 HDDs, which makes using RAID 1+0 kind of silly since you use up all 4 bays just to do that. A Mac Pro can hold either RAID 1 or 0 depending on your need. However, like I said, a custom built can hold that 4-drive RAID 1+0 (or 0+1) and still have space for those SSDs.

    Recall, using a Mac Pro only gives you only one x16 native PCIe slot and the rest are bottlenecked at x4 speeds. So having space for 2 HD5870s or 2 GTX480 isn't going to help as one of them will be bottlenecked. That or Apple eliminates the other expansion slots to run the extra bandwidth to the new PCIe at x16.
     
  7. nrajack macrumors member

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    #7
    Why is it nobody here is even thinking about an expansion chassis for the MacPro? Magma makes a bunch of chassis that'll work - giving you more pcie slots and drive bays as well. Hell, the ProTools people use them all the time.
     
  8. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Compromises are always made in these things. There are always going to be some people who need more because if they made it big enough to please the extreme users then the other 90% of potential customers wouldn't want the monstrosity.
     
  9. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #9
    You can build something like the design of the Mac Pro and have it not be a monstrosity.
     
  10. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    Aug 16, 2010
    #10
    No, the Mac Pro gives you *2* x16 slots. Still not great, mind, considering the other 2 are bottlenecked at x4, but let's not make it worse than it is. You do, in fact, have space for 2xHD5870s, though you'd have to pull power from the HD leads in the optical bay for the second card because the 5870 uses 2x6-pin plugs, and there are only 2 provided from the mother board - a single plug card you use 2 of without the power issues.

    They only advertise 1 x16 slot on the specs page because when shipped the other x16 lane is always occupied by a video card.

    The x4 lanes aren't really all that bad now either, because, unlike my '08 model, all slots are now pci-e 2.0, which means double the throughput of pci-e 1.1, with 4 lanes of pci-e 2.0 @ 500MB/s per *lane* you're looking at 2GB/s aggregate on those x4 slots. That's higher than most fiber channel variants can hit right now and higher than most RAID solutions people are going to be using. If you need more, well, you're not the market for this machine, what can I say - though if you really need more than the back of napkin ~80TB of *local* space I see you would need to use to fully saturate the total lanes through RAID in this machine (assuming full theoretical bandwidth usage - not happening using RAID 5 or 6 - you have 2*(4*500MB/s) + 16*500MB/s = 12GB/s to work with in bandwidth, if at full SATA saturation you're looking at 300MB/s per drive you can drive 40 drives at full speed, or, at the moment, 80TB using 2TB drives) while leaving one vid card in.... I'd question why you need 80TB of local storage and why, when spending *that* much on disk you care about a single mac pro in the calculations.

    Also, it's rather easy to use all 4 HD sleds for spinning disk and add SSDs to the optical bay using the extra 2 SATA plugs on the motherboard. I seem to recall people mentioning that in the current revisions ('09 and '10 models) there are already even SATA cables run up to the optical bays, which makes installation trivial, no harder than adding another optical drive.
     
  11. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #11
    We are going here by what is available and assuming everything is being used (ie all bays are used up, all optical devices are used up). So in that case a 2nd 5870 is out of the question.
     
  12. eponym macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Apple probably feels their market share is too small to invest in anything other than a middle-of-the-road workstation enclosure.

    I'm almost certain they'd sell more units and make more profit if they changed it to one smaller/simpler enclosure (i.e. prosumer) and one bigger high-end enclosure.
     
  13. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #13
    The Prosumer market is normally oriented towards the variety of options/custom built computers. Apple wouldn't fit there because of the small hardware options.

    However, there would still be people falling for that... sigh.
     
  14. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I'm going to go on a limb and bet that's a very small segment of the actual market for this machine, to have everything maxed out and saturated in the box, in which case this isnt the machine for you.

    I do a lot of work in the cluster based scientific computing world, and for my NAMD or NWChem jobs my mac pro doesnt cut it either, I need a lot more cores, a lot more ram, a fast interconnect (the job I *just* submitted to the cray machine I'm working on right now will eat 96 cores)... The right tool for the right job is important, and trying to make one product fit everything in high-end use isn't going to happen. The Mac Pro is a decent compromise on the workstation side of things, it won't fit everyone or everything.

    Oh, btw, my answer to your hypothetical would be to remove the optical drive, use an external since the bandwidth on FW won't be a problem there, and use the power leads from the optical drive for the second video card. Though, to be fair, that might not be enough power on its own, in which case I'd use the bay for a 5.25" power supply, which you can pick up at newegg.
     
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #15
    Sad truth. On the optical drive issue, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having the Optical drive in the Mac Pro from the start?
     
  16. cube macrumors G5

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    #16
    One of the things that have always pulled me back from getting a Power Mac G5 or Mac Pro are the optical bays. I don't want to have to mess with bezels.
     
  17. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    #17
    True, though if you're doing content creation chances are the external won't hurt and if you're not... I don't know about you but I barely use my optical drive
     
  18. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #18
    I barely use it as well, but there are people who do and it defeats the purpose.
     
  19. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    #19
    I think you missed my point.

    If Apple redesigned the Mac Pro to address the needs of every extreme user, then it would have a bigger power supply, more optical drives, quite a few additional hard drive bays, some SSD slots.. etc, etc.

    This would make the enclosure significantly larger than it is, and this would be unacceptable and unnecessary for most users.
     
  20. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #20
    1. Mac Pro supports a 1kW PSU. So there would be no need for a bigger one. All Apple has to really do is add more expansion cords.

    2. Bays agree and make them SSD compatible.

    3. Larger enclosure is nice for more stuff. However, it is not necessarily the case. You can become more space efficient. See the RAM risers. You can make the RAM modules attach like on a regular PC and save up space.

    4. Extreme users (like I said) go with a custom built and variety of options. They do not pick Apple.
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    People would still complain. Apple only offers few GPUs and they are expensive compared to their PC brothers so some people would whine about the lack of this and that GPU and about their price. Another issue is not-so-well GPU drivers and lack of support for CrossFire and SLI. Then add the lack of native Blu-Ray support, lack of USB 3.0, faster FW....

    There are so many things that the Mac Pro lacks when compared to its PC behemoths but Apple would have to change as a company to start offering such things. Apple likes to keep their lineup simple and not to offer loads of models or BTO options. I'm sure most people would want a mid-tower, an xMac instead of überexpensivesupermegahyper Mac Pro. It doesn't matter what Apple comes up with, some people just can never be satisfied. I would of course love more options and models but honestly, they don't seem too likely.
     
  22. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

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    #22
    Woah woah woah...

    So.. 2 Optical Bays, 4 Disk bays, 3 PCI-E slots aren't enough? Oh, and if you have a two processor versions, 8 RAM slots isn't enough?

    The Mac Pro is great for expandability.. Try and find a BRANDED PC which has the expansion capabilities of the Mac Pro if you completely ignore price etc.
     
  23. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #23
    4 PCIe ports. Even though one is used, you can free it up.
     
  24. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    #24
    OK, now this is a bit off in the other direction. If you ignore price, even just going workstation and not looking at servers, the Dell Precision T7500 will beat all of those specs, for more money (though not really all *that* much more), more noise, and of course no osx.

    The Mac Pro is a compromise, as is *any* machine. It sacrifices *some* expandability for less noise and ease of maintenance (for the consumer at least). The point I was making before is that the compromises aren't onerous, nor do they need to be blown out of proportion. Most people complaining about them either don't really need the extras or aren't the right market for a MP, but the compromises do exist
     
  25. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    #25


    "Kind" of wrong.

    Have 5 drives allready MP and adding the sixth internal next week, you can use the free sata slots on the mobo. Just to rectify.

    Running a 1+0 system with fifth drive in slot nro 1 holding backup system and bootcamp.
     

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