Schiller said the Flash is user replaceable

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cubemmal, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Maybe this is common knowledge, but I rewatched the last event and noticed that Schiller specifically called out the Flash disk as user replaceable. That makes everything replaceable except the GPUs and CPU, either internally (flash disk and RAM) or externally (TB).

    It's not like the MP ever had more than a couple GPUs officially available, I guess I'm realizing is this really much different?
  2. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    I'm not trying to be dismissive, but I can't say I'm sure exactly what you're trying to say. The storage is user-replaceable, though it's a non-traditional form factor and uses PCI-e storage (which frankly, is great; Apple has historically pushed technologies to become new norms... sometimes, it works as in USB, and sometimes it doesn't but it's forward progress either way).
  3. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    He did and I'm sure there's an additional PCIe connector for a second SSD card too.
  4. Sharky II macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Jan 6, 2004
    United Kingdom
    Yeah, i'm pretty sure i see a second pcie connector and given the location of the, i can't see why they wouldn't put 2 in - but why wouldn't they have made a big deal out of having 2 pcie SSDs internally at the conferences? Seems like a pretty big feature to leave out.
  5. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    I'm saying what I said. He called it out as user replaceable, so obviously he means that Apple intends for users to upgrade/replace it themselves. Since Apple usually doesn't sell components like this he's talking about OWC/3rd party style replacements.

    Yes it's obviously a mounting point for another flash disk, however it was unsocketed. I believe you can BTO up to 1TB and given Flash densities I'd think that would mean two cards/2 mounted drives of 512G each.

    I wouldn't put it past Apple to leave that unsocketed except for the BTO - which would be very disappointing. There wasn't a socket for the opened one at the conference, either because they felt that it would make it look unfinished, or they don't plan on providing a blank socket. I really hope they socket it thus giving you the option of adding a second Flash disk later. Since it ships with high speed Flash Schillers comment seems to indicate that.
  6. ABCDEF-Hex macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2013
    You said you were leaving -

    Like George Costanza your foot seems to stuck in the doorway. Please remove your foot or come back in.
  7. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    You can't infer much from a poor photo of a pre-production machine that might be a non-working collection of parts bolted together for a photo shoot or (in the case of the images on the Apple website) could just be CGI.

    Some photos (e.g. pretty clearly show a solder pad for a second PCIe connector, but there's no reason to assume that it is connected to anything - it makes sense for Apple to use substantially the same layout for both GPU boards, only changing things where necessary.

    With two GPUs and 3 Thunderbolt controllers, free PCIe lanes will be at a premium and, ideally, each SSD slot needs its own lanes, or it will be stealing bandwidth from some other component.

    I think Apple would have mentioned if dual internal SSDs was going to be a feature but I'd regard their published specs as 'subject to change' right up to the day when they start taking people's money.

    It's pretty clear that the intention for the nMP is that you use the internal SSD for system, cache & applications and then buy whatever external storage solution meets your bulk storage needs (be it a multi-SSD RAID array, a 100GB Ethernet adapter or a $100 USB3 hard drive).
  8. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Yes and on another thread I said that I'm lured back. Macs are the only platforms where you can run all three major OS's under one hood - a capability I use. Like it or hate it I'm stuck with Apple basically. What happened was the more I looked at going back to Win or Linux that staying Apple was the best of a bad lot.
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    You can BTO 1TB on existing Apple systems and they are 1024MB flash devices on a single PCI-E connection.
  10. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Hm, OK then. So the state of the.second non socket is unknown.
  11. flat five, Dec 6, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013

    flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    while i agree we can't make concrete statements based on the images shown so far, we can make some decent assessments nonetheless..
    (but i don't think we've seen what these things will really look like yet.. for instance, i assume each gpu will be at least labeled d300/d500/d700 in a location visible upon first removing the shell)

    thing is, the holes in the board for the left gpu is unique.. it's not the same as the right one..

    notice the upper two power supply holes '12v & gnd'.. they're drilled on opposite sides of the board-- but the holes/pad for the ssd are oriented to correctly accept an ssd plug on both boards..
    in other words, they didn't just stack up a bunch of boards then drill them at once and simply bookmatch them to make gpuA and gpuB.. if they did that, the holes/layout for the 2nd ssd would be backwards.
  12. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    I've planned on getting the 1TB drive all along, but even if I didn't, a BTO that includes a second mount would be enough convince me to upgrade to increase the machines longevity.
  13. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I guess one has to try and look into the future when it come to the onboard storage of the nMac Pro and possibly see it as a plus instead of as a limitation. Will it be possible to someday have all of your storage residing on the nMac Pro while backing up to the cloud?
  14. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    Residing in the Mac Pro? Doubtful. Storage requirements are only growing, especially those that work in video.
  15. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    OK, so the flash is replaceable by the user. And maybe there are two.

    But to refer to this as everything is replaceable except the GPU and CPU seems silly. It turns out to be the ONLY thing that can be replaced, which is one of the major criticisms of the box.
  16. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Yes, but who knows at what point in the manufacture the two boards diverge - where the holes are drilled, which components are fitted, which of the (multiple) layers of PCB tracks differ… what makes sense is that they will re-use as much of the design as they can. Its entirely possible that the second SSD connector is 'vestigial' and not connected to anything - and there's no sign of it in the pictures on Apple's website (but that might be Photoshop).

    More likely you'll have all of your storage residing on either the cloud, a fileserver/Storage Area Network tucked away in machine room somewhere or whatever fancy-pants external hot-swap RAID or superexpensive SSD solution fits your needs (I'm sure PCIe-based SSDs with Thunderbolt interfaces sans the SATA bottleneck will be appearing soon, for the deep-pocketed).

    Of course, for some applications, the terabyte of SSD that will be available from day 1 is already more than enough. Others won't get out of bed for less than a petabyte…. That's kinda the point of the nMP - a big box with space for 4 x 3.5" HDDs just isn't the 'one size fits all' it used to be.

    Funny - back in the good old days, a Mac wasn't a Mac unless it had a stack of external SCSI drives alongside it. Even this century, whenever I've had dealings with pro video people they've mainly been working off external Firewire drives. Having your storage locked up in your PC is pretty inflexible, really.
  17. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    That's true. I've had macs since the Classic, and one of the first things I did back then was get an external SCSI hard disk. Something like 10MB for $500. Most of the time people have external hard drives with macs from what I've seen.
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Non traditional form factor isn't as significant as being based on standards or not. the PCI-e NGFF SSD cards are part of a admittedly flexible standard.
    The angst thrown up in the forums is not so much that couldn't pull the SSD out of its socket but that you'd somehow be trapped in some Apple-only solution.
  19. crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    THIS EXACTLY! It's normally cheaper on a Mac to order the smaller storage solution and then buy aftermarket to beef it up. Same for memory, and now for GPU's (5.1 and lower MPs). Apple is great, but the prices for memory, storage, and GPU's are ridiculously non-competive IMO.
  20. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    I think Apple is planning on opening up their SSD specifications. The warning about it not being upgradable on the MBP is gone too.

    It makes a lot of sense as a standard if Apple thinks it can drive the industry forward.
  21. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    At this point, there is no good reason to be Apple's specifications. NGFF standards allow some form factor flexibility. Apple really doesn't have to 'ooze' the card the blade drive is on into funky unique shapes. If Apple didn't funnel their needs back into the NGFF standards process that is just goofy.

    Apple inventing another blade standard when there is already a group of folks working on one doesn't make a whole lot of sense if the long term aim is to get industry consensus on moving forward.

    Same reason made sense to take HTML5 and Javascript and move them forward as a "Adobe Flash" replacement than coming up with something different and prorpriatary ( looking at you MS Sliverlight. )
  22. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    I'm not sure I agree with this because there is no option to buy the 1TB PCIe drive that I have in my MacBook Pro and it is stupid fast at just under 1,000 Mb/s, I'm sure the new MacPro will be using the same one as an option. The 512 version clocks a bit slower at 700-800 MB/s so figure a 512 GB Samsung 840 Pro using SATA-III is capped at 540/520 and is still $440.

    As annoying as these proprietary blade PCIe drives are to some, they are wicked fast and I bet the cost to upgrade / max it out to the 1TB version would not be far off what a third party option would cost if they were even available.

    On that note, what might be the fastest data throughput the new MacPros could handle?
  23. crjackson2134, Dec 8, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013

    crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    Which has nothing to do with my reply. I was agreeing that the ANGST in the forums is because of the reason already stated. People what options, not everybody wants to buy their car from the same maker, regardless of specifications or performance. The same goes for computer components.

    Don't fool yourself into thinking that 3rd party vendors can't offer the same level of performance at a lesser price. They can and will if there is a demand.
  24. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    same thing with computers
  25. Giuly macrumors 68040


    You can replace the GPU boards, chances are that they're just connected via PCIe - but you'd have only few choices (as in: everything that came in a Mac Pro to begin with), unless you use an external box that brings the PCIe lanes to the outside and adapts them to fit regular cards.

    The CPU is also likely socketed (as it's a $1500+ part). Even if it's not, you could just replace the entire board.

    You can also replace the fan.

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