MacPro-where next?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by woodbine, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. woodbine macrumors regular

    woodbine

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    #1
    FCPX gave me some thoughts about the way Apple seems to be going and I wonder if this will be applied to the MP.
    Basically, using Thunderbolt to reduce the MP to a much smaller box, with reduced footprint and reduced expansion and using 3rd party devs to build TB boxes that run drives and cards.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Mac Pro is most likely heading the same way as XServe did. Thunderbolt reduces the need to have an expandable desktop so iMac should be sufficient for most people.
     
  3. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

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    #3
    The main reason I moved from iMac to Mac Pro was the heat that gets trapped in the iMac. I read many of the 2010 iMacs had issues with screens with yellowing and dusty splodges over the hotter areas so I went for the MP when I needed to upgrade. I am glad I did too. Everything in the MP case has room to breathe.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    I think apple's hardware roadmap has been such that the MacPro continues to be marginalized to the point where there won't be a MacPro.

    Apple being much more consumer focused at the expense of the professional sector. FPX, and Aperture are good examples where pro apps are now being transformed into prosumer type apps. The hardware is following suit as well.
     
  5. The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #5
    i still cant get my head around how apple will incorporate thunderbolt into the new mac pros. This is because atm the thunderbolt ports are in the mini display port connector. This means apple would need to get specially made GPU's that have the thunderbolt port, right?? wouldn't that also mean that all people wanting to upgrade are technically screwed because it will be ages before upgradeable GPU's with thunderbolt will be available. Unless the somehow use put in the MDP with the other ports. Just wondering
     
  6. 100Years macrumors regular

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    #6
    As a Logic Studio user, I wonder if it too will be scaled/dumbed down.... :(
     
  7. Rustus Maximus macrumors 6502

    Rustus Maximus

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    #7
    Most of the information on Thunderbolt makes it seem a bit of sidegrade for a Mac Pro, if that. The Mac Pro in its present form is capable of far greater speeds through PCIe than Thunderbolt is capable of. Then there's the whole daisy chain display placement issue with Thunderbolt, who wants to constantly have to unplug their display so they can switch out Thunderbolt storage?
     
  8. anim8or, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

    anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

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    #8
    Has there been any info as to whether Thunderbolt actually requires MDP tech to be present, or can the Thunderbolt tech just be implemented through a MDP connector.

    If there is no need to have displayport functionality then i see no reason why apple could not simply have a few Thunderbolt ports used solely for expansion on the box and continue to use DisplyPort GPUs for monitoring?

    Afterall, the MP has always had separate display ports and expansion ports i see no reason why this has to change... its only a connector afterall....
     
  9. SamuraiArtGuy macrumors regular

    SamuraiArtGuy

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    #9
    I am honestly not expecting much in this next upgrade for the Mac Pro. Yes, we'll likely see a chip evolution, most likely an 8-core, perhaps a nudge up in graphics cards, and of course Thunderbolt. But I'll be very surprised if they bring on desired and requested tech such as eSATA or USB 3. Don't hold your breath for Blu-Ray. Steve hates it, and the FCPX update shows Apple is all about streaming digital.

    I also don't really expect a change in the case design either. It may be boring after what... eight years?, but it's still a good elegant design and works.

    But increasingly, I feel that Apple is not all that interested in the Professional User market. Lately they've been offering the tricked out iMac as the "Mac Pro for the Rest Of Us." And actually, as a designer, the performance point is fine for most design apps, but I would prefer the expandability of a tower. But our repeated calls for a mid-level tower have fallen on deaf, or preoccupied ears.

    @Daniel. I recall that one reason that Apple bailed on Power PC was heat issues. Many of the G5 iMacs had a LOT of trouble with internal heat frying the motherboards and midplanes, and there was NO G5 suitable for a laptop, and none on the horizon. Steve asked IBM (and Motorola) "Well? Where's my low-power laptop G5" And they said "We got nuthin'." And it was, "Helloooooo Intel."
     
  10. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #10
    You're 100% correct. The TB tech does not have to be tied up with the graphics out. It's possible to still have a normal graphics cars with its own outputs and separate TB ports on another backplate.*
     
  11. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #11
    That already happened with version 8. So we should be safe for now. But who knows, maybe there are too many great features in Logic right now and Apple will feel the need to strip-mine it for even deeper dummies. I am getting way too close to having to build another PC and run Avid stuff just to get real work done. So sad they hate on the professional community so much.
     
  12. CyberCat macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2005
    #12
    This is pretty much my feeling as well. With FCPX, the discontinuance of xserve, shake, color, DVDSP, etc. the direction of Apple seems obvious. I would not be surprised if the next Mac Pro refresh is the last one, sadly.
     
  13. wonderspark macrumors 68040

    wonderspark

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    #13
    I thought Steve Jobs made it obvious he wants to get away from desktops, leaving that to the others who aren't "skating to where the puck will be" and all that. I think it's great for Apple's business to go after the dollars of the masses, but terrible for people who need serious computing power. They need to have an option for people to have their own screens, not built-in iMac crap. That is the biggest key for me, as the screen is what I'm using directly. Apple's track record on screens has disappointed me. Yellow this, backlight that. Ugh.
     
  14. PenguinMac macrumors member

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    May 21, 2010
    #14
    I just replaced my Mac Pro DVD drive with an LG Blu-ray drive with an OWC Mac Pro installation kit. The ease with which I opened & closed the case, and pulled out & re-inserted the DVD drive cage (which also contains my OWC SSD boot drive) was amazing. It's a timeless design, and I hope they don't change too much in the internals of a new Mac Pro. It's also very quiet in operation due to the large volume of air space inside, so the fans can run quietly. A new Mac Pro has a high standard of design to live up to.
     
  15. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #15
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1178019

    Apple may be waiting for these CPUs for the next upgrade. We don't know yet - but then a lot is waiting to get shipped after Lion - and we have the September iPod refresh and pre-Christmas releases.

    A bump for the Mac Pro won't be that bad a thing! Want external storage, RAID arrays, GPUs in a box connected up? Fine. Wouldn't Thunderbolt provide an easy 1 cable solution to link these things up for Mac Pro or XServe? Yes, there are faster ways.

    Apart from design - what are people actually realistically wanting that won't come? Faster CPU? Check. Upgradability, bump to GPU? Check.
     
  16. lbeck macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    #16
    I truly doubt that apple will end the mac pro. I know it may seem like they want to move away from it but there's no way they would actually do that. MacPro will always be around.
     
  17. papoopeepoo macrumors member

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    #17
    I agree. The iMac may be a good marketing scheme to get desktops into the hands of the non-technically inclined, but a tower is imperative to too many real-world users to get rid of it all together.

    iOS apps need to be developed and that process can't be done on an iOS device, yet.

    iMacs, IMO, are not suited for a professional to sit in front of for hours at a time rendering video and mixing down music. The compact design doesn't disperse heat well enough and doing extended amounts of heavy processes is too much for an iMac to keep up with.
     
  18. goMac macrumors 603

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    #18
    No no no no.

    For the love of god, Thunderbolt is only as fast as one 4x PCI-E slot.

    Not fast enough to drive a fast graphics card, certainly not fast enough to replace internal PCI-E expansion.

    Sigh. The Mac Pro is not going anywhere. FCP X will get more pro features. The earth will continue spinning.
     
  19. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Hi
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  20. goMac macrumors 603

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    #20
    ...so you showed benchmarks of a slower, single, card that still proves my point that there is a significant performance impact?

    It's just not going to happen. Period. Beyond the fact that it's 4x PCI, you're introducing extremely significant latency by moving off board and over transceivers. It's like a network graphics card. It will work for slower cards, not for faster ones.

    (And yes, I know Sony is doing it, and you'll notice they're using a slow card because you can't put a fast one on Thunderbolt anyway.)
     
  21. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    Thunderbolt has latency of 8ns whereas this PDF gives PCIe a latency of ~110ns (I know it's a switch and PCIe's is probably even less but the point is, TB has extremely low latency).

    Nobody said Mac Pro will be discontinued today but I wouldn't be surprised to see it happening in five years, definitely during this decade. Apple is clearly dumping the pro market step by step, the new FCPX being a living example. Thunderbolt will also get faster, recent rumors say 50Gb/s in 2014-2015.
     
  22. goMac macrumors 603

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    #22
    Yeah but... that's a switch. It really has nothing to do with the latency of a PCI Bus except that is also has the word PCI in it.

    I mean, just looking at the math, Thunderbolt runs over a PCI bus, so you're starting with at least the latency of PCI. Then you're adding a transceiver, which adds latency (which is still not publicly available data), then you're running it over a copper cable with possible packet loss (which adds extreme latency if you've ever taken an EE class), and then another transceiver. I didn't even add in the chipset which combines it with DisplayPort data.

    Honestly, I could have stopped at the transceivers and told you it's unsuitable for high end GPUs.

    I really don't believe it.
    - Apple uses the Mac Pro pretty heavily internally.
    - Apple is adding the pro features back into FCPX. I don't buy the "FCPX is abandoning the pros" argument. Like OS X, it's not going to have everything at launch.

    The biggest issue so far for FCPX is that QuickTime is dead. You can imagine the sorts of rewriting Apple had to do to get FCP away from QuickTime. Most the missing features so far are because OS X hasn't even re-added that functionality post QuickTime.

    It doesn't really have anything to do with Apple abandoning pros as much as Apple abandoning QuickTime.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
    Apple is moving out of the "pro" sector more and more, just look at how often they refresh the MacPro. I don't see apple keeping the mac pro around as they embrace the consumer market at the expense of the pro sector.
     
  24. goMac macrumors 603

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    #24
    Every year? Just like they always did?

    I have heard this argument so many times over the years, and it's never happened.

    They make tons more Pro apps than FCP, some of which, like Logic, are extremely core hungry. XCode is also very core hungry.

    I just don't see it. Again, they use the Mac Pro heavily internally because the iMac is often not enough to cut it.

    And there is just no way the iMac can cut the high end graphics or RAID that is a requirement for a lot of pros besides the FCP crowd.
     
  25. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #25
    I have to agree. Apple clearly aren't run by a bunch of fools and they realise their continued success relies on software and content being available. Where will that come from? I can't imagine Apple abandoning the Mac Pro anytime soon.

    (unless Xcode for windows is released) :D ;)
     

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