Next gen nMP could be a while. Wait or buy?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sigmadog, May 2, 2014.

  1. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    #1
    When the nMP first came out, my thought was to wait for the second generation before buying. There are always improvements to be made, particularly with a radical new design, so I figured, "I'm in no hurry. May as well wait for the NEW IMPROVED version."

    But I'm starting to think the next generation of this new design may be a long way off. My reasons (right or wrong) for thinking this are:

    1. It was a loooooong wait for this model.
    2. Production is still 3-4 weeks out on orders and it took them 5 months to get it down from 4-8 weeks (sometimes more). Thoughts of a new model are hard to justify when they haven't even figured out production for the current model.
    3. Apple's big focus and income comes from the smaller, consumer oriented market, so major updates for professional tools aren't likely to be as frequent as they were when desktops ruled the marketplace.

    With that in mind, I'm starting to lean towards a purchase in the near future. My current system is 5 years old and still plugs along happily (2008 3,1 purchased new in 2009), but it's definitely slow in some regards, so I'm willing to bend my 2-week delivery requirement since Apple has begun delivering within a month.

    Still, is there any good reason to wait?
     
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #2
    Haswell-EP is sampling...

    Note that the Tube has processors that are a generation older than the processors in the Imac and MacBooks. The next generation Xeons are coming soon.

    http://vr-zone.com/articles/haswell...ntel-server-cpu-gravy-train-speeds/66841.html
     
  3. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #3
    To wait or buy the nMac Pro depends on the type of tasks you'll be doing. If you do graphic design and vector illustrations your 2008 Mac Pro is still adequate for those tasks. Even an iMac is also adequate for graphic design. If you do heavy video editing, motion graphics or 3D you would see a noticeable improvement on the new Mac Pro. I guess it's also the way the Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are written and how it interacts with cpu and gpu. Personally I would wait for the next generation new Mac Pro with the new cpus.
     
  4. sigmadog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    #4
    Good point. On the other hand, the current processors and other elements completely smoke my 3,1 in every way, so I'd definitely notice major improvements in speed and capability.
     
  5. wesk702 macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #5
    Dude, I had a 3,1. This was such a huge difference to me. Just go for it and snag one now. I can pretty much bet you'll be more than happy with your decision. You've been waiting long enough since the 3,1. I'm betting that revision 2 will be at least early 2015 to mid. Seems like the current model will be selling well for a while.
     
  6. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Maybe they have figured it out, and know they need to make some revisions to make it easier. Problems with production are more likely a sign of things need to change.
     
  7. teohyc macrumors regular

    teohyc

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    #7
    Is it slow or is it as fast as the day you bought it?
     
  8. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    #8
    Remember, it's electronics after all. And computer electronics at that. Things are always rapidly changing in the marketplace. If you wait for the Lastest and Greatest, you'll never own anything.

    Lou
     
  9. RoastingPig, May 2, 2014
    Last edited: May 3, 2014

    RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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    #9
    if your workflow still plugs along happily then why update? if your workflow is being slowed down by the old hardware then buy whats available rite now. No one here can answer anything about future revisions of the mac pro its all speculation...new tech coming soon but not necessarily for mac is the new x99 architecture from intel, thunderbolt 40gbps ,.native usb 3.0 on haswell ep..maxwell gpus with improved opencl. Thunderbolt 40gbps can power two 4k displays at 60fps on one bus which should be amazing.
     
  10. CosmoFox macrumors regular

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    Mar 10, 2014
    #10
    It's worth picking up. You can always sell it for a good value if a new model comes out. Mac Pro's keep value extremely well.
     
  11. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #11
    Well that's not such a certainty anymore since it's a brand new design. It probably will, but we won't actually know until there's an established used marketplace.
     
  12. dalupus macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2011
    #12
    personally I am waiting if for nothing else to have the small kinks worked out.

    I expect they will put out a small spec bump this year and probably change a few of the troublesome components (like the coil whine issue)

    What is the old technology saying?
    You never want the .0 iteration of anything.

    I work for a software company and invariably the first question whenever we release a new version is "when is X.1 coming out?"
     
  13. CosmoFox macrumors regular

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    Mar 10, 2014
    #13
    It's a Mac Pro. They've always retained their value. Hell, almost every Apple product in the last 8 years has maintained a nice value for several years.
     
  14. phoenixsan macrumors 65816

    phoenixsan

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    #14
    I agree.....

    with you. Next generation nMP can take more than a year to come out. But still, if the nMP proves to be sucessful, I would expect even a speed bump or some features improved towards the end of the year....Just guessing.....(wildly)...:D


    :):apple:
     
  15. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

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    #15
    i'm not making that mistake again, that was a loooong wait
     
  16. maplingstorie macrumors 6502

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    Malaysia
    #16
    I thought of waiting too for a new revision until I went to order one just to test. Omg, it's so quiet and just fast. I was sold. :eek: P.S It's really really quiet
     
  17. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Same name, different product. Like I said, it probably will hold a good resale value but we shouldn't just blindly base that on the history of the old model.
     
  18. michaeljk, May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 3, 2014

    michaeljk macrumors member

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    #18
    Sounds like the main question about upgrade timing for you is whether Apple will be coming out with a new version soon. On that score, I agree with you that this is not likely to happen anytime soon. Even if there is a "speed bump" (e.g. to the intel Xeon processors), looks that speed difference is not going to mean much in terms of real world performance increases. I might be mistaken, but I thought the Haswell improvements were really about power efficiency, which is pretty important to a battery-powered platform like a laptop, and maybe also to an "all-enclosed" platform like the iMac and Mini, but much less important to an incredibly well-designed (thermally) platform. The one technological advancement announced since the release of nMP v.1 that could make a significant difference in overall performance was Intel's recent announcement that they will be coming out with a new version of Thunderbolt that will supposedly again double throughput over Thunderbolt version 2. For videographers looking to expand, especially in the area of externally housed GPUs, but also in terms of external storage, this seems like a much much more significant leap in technology than the new Intel processors. I can't remember when this is supposed to happen. Even when it does happen, though, as there has been with Thunderbolt 2, there will likely be a significant lag time for third-party vendors to catch up to the new Thunderbolt technology (I think the ports and connectors are even different).

    I am biased, because I upgraded right away, and I didn't even need to upgrade (from an iMac). I upgraded to a configuration that was really less than what I wanted (stock config 6 core, when I wanted a bit more memory and larger internal SSD). I did so because any improvements I will really need over the next several years, I can make either by increasing the internal SSD size, increasing RAM, and adding faster and more quiet external storage when they come down in price for larger sizes and there are more choices for fanless (silent) external storage (seems like most external storage housing is still designed for platters, which by themselves are about 20 times louder than my nMP, which is annoying in my home recording studio). So, if I were you, I'd be asking myself, rather than "When is the next nMP coming out?", "Is the current nMP sufficiently useful to me now, and sufficiently upgradeable to keep up with my needs for some good amount of time after the new version of the nMP is released?" As far as I can tell so far, it seems the current nMP is one of the most upgradeable Macs ever released, at least in some respects (RAM, SSD, CPU, and GPU if--and I know this is a big if--third parties ever release compatible GPU upgrades). There are those who argue, with some merit, that this nMP is far less upgradeable than the oMP. I disagree for the reasons just given, and because those upgrades have to be coupled with the upgradeability of adding external components, which blow the oMP away, at least when comparing the nMP and the oMP in terms of external upgradeability and the fact that it is so much easier to upgrade and swap out external components than internal (I am already finding myself swapping out various external components as I need them, depending on my activity, which is really handy, and I don't feel like I don't have enough ports).

    So, if the nMP, with whatever you might need to buy right now to expand it to meet your needs (e.g. new external storage), gets you what you need now, and it's fairly robust upgradeability also gives you good use for several years, regardless of whether or when there is a new version released in the meantime, you will have what you need, without regret. If not, wait.
     
  19. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #19
    If a update to the nMP is announced at the WWDC it probably won't be available immediately and there will still be at lead time of at least 6 weeks. I was hoping for the announcement of the mythical product that sits between the mini and the nMP - a headless core I7 with gaming graphics. I guess that's unlikely to happen and even if it does it will be limited to 32GB RAM and my work now requires more than that so I ordered a nMP that I will upgrade to 64GB, and possibly later to 128GB if I need in a couple of years.

    I would be surprised if they update the nMP before October as too many people are still waiting for the current one to be shipped.
     
  20. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #20
    No good reason to wait IMHO...

    We already know what the next-gen Haswells can do... 6-8% performance boost and better battery life - and we all know how important the latter is in the nMP ;)

    The next-gen GPUs might bring considerable performance gains, but let's face it, most of the software we have can't really even utilize the power of the D300, never mind the D700, so I wouldn't expect a new generation of GPUs to suddenly take things to a whole new level. If you game, that's one place where a GPU upgrade might make a substantial difference.

    SSD performance just went to a whole new level with the x4 PCIe Samsung drive in the nMP and is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.

    I/O also just went to a whole new level on this nMP with USB3 and TB2. TB3 is on the radar but I wouldn't expect it will be ready for the next nMP refresh... It will likely be the one after.

    So there you have it. The nMP just took almost every aspect of performance to a new level... Dual high-end GPUs, PCIe SSD, TB2... Anything for the foreseeable future is likely going to result in only incremental gains.

    This nMP generation is the ideal buying event IMHO.

    ----------

    In my estimation, an upgrade to the nMP won't be available until Q1 of next year at the earliest (1 year from the availability of the current model) and it may very well slip beyond that.
     
  21. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #21
  22. sigmadog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    #22
    Thanks to everyone for offering their thoughts, and particularly michaeljk and VirtualRain for their detailed posts.

    Well, the first gen nMP sure sounds nice. I think I will force myself to hold out until at least 2015 in anticipation (and hope) of an update, and also (most importantly and extremely tricky) to give me time to nudge my wife into agreeing with me.

    As decisions go, it's not a major disappointment because I'm still quite happy with my 3,1, which, while certainly slow, is nowhere near it's expiration date. It's chugging away very well, and my workload seems to progress reasonably right now. I'm not a video editor, just a graphic designer and illustrator who uses the CS6 apps InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator as well as Corel Painter 12 and Manga Studio. None of these programs overly tax my current system, even with multiple apps open at once.

    In holding out for a time, my wife (and wallet) will be pleased; and when I do finally step up, it will probably be a new Mac Pro for me, and a new Macbook Pro for her, so she won't have any cause to complain.

    Incidentally, I've ruled out a fully-spec'd iMac. I don't like the shiny screen and it only has 2 TB ports. I need a couple for additional screens which leaves little left for other peripherals, and I'm just not crazy about a self-contained unit.

    Thanks again for helping me out!
     
  23. AidenShaw, May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 3, 2014

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #23
    Happy to contribute to the discussion.

    Your "expiration date" comment is very good. People need to look at the overall picture - if the machine is meeting your goals (deadlines), replacing it is a matter of choice. If it's not meeting your goals, replacing it is a financial necessity if it's a work machine.

    And for me, it's usually not an issue that the CPU per se is too slow, it's that the job is bigger than the RAM supported on the system. I can wait a few extra minutes for the results, but lately my Core-i7 940 with a RAM limit of 24 GiB simply can't run my jobs that are hitting 32 GiB to 40 GiB of active RAM fast enough - even with the paging file on RAID-0 SSDs. When minutes shift to hours or days, you upgrade the system. That's why I just bought a Dell T3610 with 6 cores 3.5 GHz 80 GiB.

    I smile at the recent "what's the fastest SSD" thread. That seems to be a question of "how can I wave the biggest willy" without having the context of the workload. For most people, the difference between a disk system that runs at 500 MB/s vs. 1000 MB/s is a few seconds or few minutes per day. (And if your rendering engine can't generate data at better than 500 MB/s it's zero seconds per day.)
     
  24. sigmadog thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    #24
    Good advice. I Agree 100%. I freely acknowledge my nMP desire is more "want" than "need", which makes the decision to wait much easier.

    I remember back when I bought my 3,1 in 2009. I was running a G5 PowerMac at the time and was really hitting the wall in terms of capabilities. I was working with larger files and more applications and it was not keeping up well at all. When the 4,1 came out I was so completely ready to buy that I jumped on one of the last available 3,1 models (I couldn't swallow the increased cost of the 4,1).

    That was a situation where I definitely had the NEED for bigger and faster - so much so that I was willing to settle for "last year's tech". That "tech" has served me well for five years so far. I don't feel the same need for improvement today. So I wait...
     
  25. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #25
    Yeah - don't buy stuff that won't pay for itself.
     

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