nMP vs PowerMac G4 Cube

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by shanshor, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. shanshor macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    To me, this seems to be a repeat of the PowerMac G4 Cube. Lots of power, shrunk package, hella expensive, no expandability. What's different this time around?
  2. DesterWallaboo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2003
    Western USA
    Mac Pro is a workstation-class machine for people that need workstation-class performance. G4 cube was a consumer machine with consumer performance.
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    The cube was expensive without added value
    Cost to performance ratio was way too high, compared to competition, which even Apple continued to provide with other PowerMac towers. There was no real expectation of good sales, I think.

    The nMP is high in cost, yet a good value...
    Cost to performance appears to be leading to good interest, despite what some may say is high price.
    So, the difference, IMHO, is that Apple seems to be moving with the nMP to whatever the future of the "pro" system has for them.
    People seem to be moving forward with a system that is distinctly different from what Apple (or anyone else) has had before.
    Outside of being an amazingly small system, the nMP is just not a repeat of the Cube.
  4. sauria macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2001
    Texas, USA

    Looks like just a fan.
  5. AidenShaw, Dec 25, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013

    AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    Tim doesn't control the RDF - not that that saved the Cube....

    Seriously, we don't know how where the new Mini Pro is headed. The demand for the Cube far outstripped supply right after the introduction - but soon dropped off once the day 1 demand was met. Early sales for the new Mini Pro don't mean that demand will continue.

    And when Apple introduced the Cube, they didn't cancel all the other desktops months before. Today they could easily have updated the cheese grater with Ivy Bridge, and added the Tube.

    There was no need to burn the bridges....
  6. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    The Cube was not readily expandable. The Tube is extraordinarily expandable, thanks to the Thunderbolt interface, which provides practically limitless expansion of the PCIe bus.

    The Cube was pretty but not shockingly powerful for its day. The Tube is shockingly powerful.
  7. ZnU macrumors regular

    May 24, 2006
    The entire technological and market context into which this machine is being sold is different. Among other things:

    • The Mac Pro now sells to a different audience. Most people who used to buy Power Macs probably now have MacBook Pros. The people left buying Apple towers are concentrated in fewer markets, and are demonstrably willing to spend more money (Mac tower prices having been creeping up for years).
    • Thunderbolt 2 is far more plausible as a replacement for internal expansion now than FireWire 400 was at the time.
    • The workstation market is (or at least Apple believes it is) poised on the cusp of a change in emphasis from CPU scaling to GPU scaling that this machine is designed to capitalize on. No analogous situation applied with the Cube.
  8. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    as it is currently designed, they can't sell the classic Mac Pro in the EU.
  9. lesferdinand macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2013
    Couldn't disagree more. If Apple truly believes that the nMP is the way forward for workstations, the dumbest thing they could have done was to hedge their bets. It would have weakened the nMP through less software support for the GCGPU model as 1) Apple wouldn't have sent a clear message that that is where they see the industry is headed; and 2) by fracturing the market, less nMP's would be sold.
  10. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    The difference is that they did away with the choice of a full tower this time.
  11. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    What's different? They discontinued all the former towers in a pathetic attempt to ensure success. Apparently they have learned from their previous mistakes.

  12. smallwonder macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2013
    I bought a Cube when it first came out. Actually I bought 2, primarily because it was quiet which for me was a priority at the time. All you heard was the sound of the hard drive. It worked fine, until I soon outgrew it's limited expansion.

    Sure, I can plug lots and expand the SHINY Blingy nMP with drives & whatnot- ---------- spr e a d ------ all o v e r --- the ---top ---and -------- u n de r------- the---------------desk, but why?? I'd much prefer a tower with roomy internal expansion (thunderbolt or otherwise) placed under the desk, out of sight and out of the way.
    If I had the nMP sitting on my desk, it may accidentally be used as an ashtray. Someone will also likely clip one of those car air fresheners to it..... Guess the nMP just wasn't meant for me.
  13. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2013
    The nMP will fail like the g4cube, just the way the iPad failed after the Newton.
    Time will tell.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The difference this time, is that you can upgrade the GPU and CPU and there is thunderbolt that makes external drives feasible.

    I don't disagree with the comparison, but I think the computing industry as changed since the G4 cube was introduced and while there are similarities, there's enough differences to make the nMP succeed.


    This was one of the major criticisms on the G4 cube - why spend all that money on the cube when you could get an expandable PowerMac. Apple did hear those complaints and reduced the price of the G4 Cube but at that point it was too little too late.
  15. -hh macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Sure it was: it had FireWire and USB ... the nMP still has USB, and TB pretty much is what FW should have had grown to by now (TB is only 4x FW3200, which was announced a half-decade ago), had Apple actually adopted anything newer than 2002 technology (yes, that's how old FW800 is).

    Where the definition of 'shocking' are benchmarks typically less than ~15% higher than their existing equivalent "old" Mac Pros.

    Granted, the potential in the nMP is in massive GPU performance, but that's going to have to wait for software to catch up ... and in several significant use cases, lacks CUDA. Time will tell if Apple chose Betamax over VHS. In the meantime, for some other use cases (minimal multithreading support, such as Adobe Photoshop), the iMac delivers performance parity for substantially less. Objectively, it is hard to conclude that the nMP really is a 'Home Run', except for the very specific customer niche of 4K video.

  16. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    All it needed was a 50¢ grille over each of the fans, and they had years of warning about that.
  17. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Well, there's your problem. It's not hella expensive.

    Don't believe me? Take a look, the new Mac Pro did not come with a massive price increase:


    A bump, yeah, but I don't think you meant "a bump" when you used the word "hella."

    The Cube, on the other hand, sold for about the same price as the better PowerMac towers that was still being sold alongside it. It had to face that comparison each time someone considered buying one.

    That's a totally different situation than replacing one model with a similarly-priced newer model.
  18. ZnU macrumors regular

    May 24, 2006
    I guess I should be more sympathetic to people whose primary app isn't DaVinci Resolve, but it's hard to be sympathetic when they're quite as pleased as I presently am. Resolve may hold the title for the first app on the platform that could use (and indeed originally required) multiple GPUs, and Blackmagic has been doing their homework on OpenCL and is ready for this machine from day one. So I, for one I'm not waiting for software. I have been waiting for hardware, though. This hardware.

    There's basically no chance of CUDA coming out on top in the long run if it remains an NVIDIA exclusive. Moreover, even if OpenCL somehow was a horrible mistake here, the basic concept of this new design just relies on the GPU being central, not on OpenCL in particular. Next year's model could use NVIDIA GPUs if it came to it.

    Apple's central bet on GPU over CPU over the next decade is very unlikely to miss the mark. Unless maybe something like Intel's Many Integrated Core architecture eventually just eliminates CPU/GPU distinctions entirely at some point, in which case I'm sure Apple will be happy to design an even tinier machine with one massively powerful many-core x86 chip :D
  19. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    There's a difference between "no expandability" and "I can't afford to expand it."

    It's two different things. Let's stop this misinformation.

    The nMP has tons more expansion capabilities with TB2.

    If you want to say TB is costly, fine. If you want to say, "internally", fine. But it's wrong to say "no expandability".

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