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iindigo

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So what do you guys think the AARM (Apple ARM) Mac Pro will end up looking like?

I think it's fairly safe to assume that its chassis/cooling/overall design won't be too different from that of the current Mac Pro. Apple has clearly invested too much in that design to only produce it for a single generation.

But if that's true, that means this beast is going to have some truly insane thermal headroom. Remember, this is the same tower that can keep a power hungry 28-core Xeon and dual Radeon Pro Vega II Duo's comfortable and throttle-free for extended periods. What's it going to be able to do with upscaled Apple Silicon?

At minimum, I'm expecting core counts that are closer to what we see in AMD's 3900x/3950x/Threadripper than what's typical of a Xeon W. If Apple wants to benefit from economies of scale by sharing SoCs between higher end consumer Macs and Mac Pro's, we may also see the return of dual/quad CPU configs. Either way, this thing will be amazing for highly parallel workloads.
 
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ruslan120

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I’m not sure whether hybrid cores are currently deployed, but if not it will be a night and day difference in terms of power efficiency.
 

Boil

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64 P cores / 4 E cores / 96 GPU cores / 8GB HBM2e Tile Memory
1.5TB DDR5 RAM / Twelve 128GB DIMMs / Unified Memory Architecture
16TB NVMe storage / Two 8TB NAND blades / RAID 0
Eight USB4 (TB3) ports / Two 10Gb Ethernet ports
750W Platinum-rated PSU

Apple Silicon GPGPU MPX module options:

Single - 96 GPU cores / 8GB HBM2e Tile Memory
Dual - 96 GPU cores x2 / 16GB HBM2e Tile Memory

Total possible system GPU / GPGPU resources:

480 GPU cores / 40GB HBM2e Tile Memory

US$29,999.00

EDIT - Changed the amount(s) of Tile Memory, since the larger amount usually on a GPU is not needed because of the whole UMA thing...?
 
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t0mat0

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with all the work for multiple GPU, eGPU - for the larger desktops we might still get a discrete GPU option working alongside Apple silicon presumably. They haven’t ruled it out explicitly.
With what AMD have done with the GPU MPX modules for the Mac Pro I wonder how an Apple Silicon processor could interface with AMD cards.
The level of detail and bespoke was on the Pro Vega II Duo hints that they are still all for discrete GPU where they want it.
Presumably the DTK can accept eGPU?

The WWDC Apple silicon sessions mention that DDR memory isn’t good enough - and with a unified memory architecture wouldn’t it be kinda cool if they could pool the general RAM with the discrete GPU choice? So maybe you choose what your Mac has soldered on, and then any discrete GPU with HBM2e that can add to the pool? Or would the memory be too far away from the CPU?
 
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iindigo

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Yeah. AMD seems keen on developing custom cards for/with Apple, so I wonder if we'll see MPX modules capable of things not practical with standard PCI-E cards. A lot of potential for something interesting there.
 

burgerrecords

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It actually brings up a question i had - why is that much memory suddenly "necessary" when prior to the 2019 Mac Pro max was 256? Were people suffering so badly with their 2017 iMac pros?
 

iindigo

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It actually brings up a question i had - why is that much memory suddenly "necessary" when prior to the 2019 Mac Pro max was 256? Were people suffering so badly with their 2017 iMac pros?

There are some workflows that don't strictly require absurd amounts of RAM, but benefit strongly if it's present. Virtually anything that involves large files and frequent disk access falls under this, since even the fastest SSDs pale in comparison to RAM. The more that can be held in RAM, the better.

As I understand it, there are also some 3D rendering packages that flat out can't function if the entire scene doesn't fit into memory, which is easier to do than you might think when factoring in all of the geometry, lighting, shaders, textures, etc.

So really, "low" RAM limits put a hard cap on a high-end machine's potential usefulness, depending on the task in question.
 

theluggage

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I think it's fairly safe to assume that its chassis/cooling/overall design won't be too different from that of the current Mac Pro. Apple has clearly invested too much in that design to only produce it for a single generation.

I wouldn't count on it - the Intel Mac Pro is going to be around for a a few years yet (unless it is a total sales flop - it's still early days) and while the R&D would have been far from trivial, there's not much rocket science in it beyond a standard-ish implementation of Intel's new Xeon W chipset + T2 (which was already developed). The MPX slots are "just" plumbing to combine PCIe with Thunderbolt and extra power. As I said, non-trivial, but compared to building a whole "Xeon-killer" Apple Silicon SoC just for the Mac Pro...? If they're going to do that it might be better to start with a clean slate and not be constrained by the idea of making a drop-in replacement for the Mac Pro.

Given that the Intel Mac Pro + incremental CPU and GPU bumps will probably keep the pros happy for the next 5 years, and Pro customers are going to be the hardest ones to "sell" on Apple Silicon, Apple have a chance to "think different". I do wonder if a more MP6 "Trashcan"-like approach (but not necessarily repeating all the mistakes) might work provided it runs in parallel with a viable "Big Box'o Slots" option for a few years.

For example, one way forward with Apple Silicon might be to have lots of specialist acceleration hardware on the SoC rather than relying on multiple GPUs, afterburners etc. People might still want PCIe slots, but not so much GPUs and Afterburners (which is what MPX is really about).

...or maybe something with slots for multiple Apple Silicon CPUs...?

Apple's problem is that the price premium for the Mac Pro and iMac Pro partly relies on the premium that Intel charges for Xeon technology over Core i (not to mentions Xeon's "comfort zone" advantage over those upstart Threadrippers) - that's going to be hard to defend if the Mac Pro is rocking the same CPU as the MacBook, so it depends very much on whether it is worth Apple's while building a workstation-class Apple Silicon SoC.

It actually brings up a question i had - why is that much memory suddenly "necessary" when prior to the 2019 Mac Pro max was 256? Were people suffering so badly with their 2017 iMac pros?

I don't think there's any question that the Mac Pro raised the bar for the highest-end Mac users - it's just not very competitive vs. PC hardware (...where there's AMD for bangs-for-buck and other, multiple Xeon options for insane memory and PCIe bandwidth) and prices out those of us who just want a half-decent headless Mac that isn't stuck with the Mini's lousy GPU. Really, the people still using MP6's or iMPs are the ones for whom switching to PC or Linux just isn't an option for some reason.

Neil Parfitt has done an excellent series of videos justifying his decision to go for a Mac Pro system - and is certainly a great "use case" for the Mac Pro and why some people are prepared to pay the price. TL:DNR he's a composer and the MP is replacing two MP6,1s (and a shedload of PCIe enclosures and thunderbolt cables) - the second of which was basically acting as a virtual orchestra with 100 instruments loaded up and ready to go (bye-bye RAM) and driving half-a-dozen specialist PCIe sound cards (yup, he used up all the slots in the MP...). His previous-based system looked just like those satirical before/after pictures that circulated when the MP6 came out.

Of course, he was constrained by the fact that his workflow was non-negotiable (he switched to Mac when Apple bought Logic and dropped the PC version), was re-using thousands of pounds worth of existing PCIe kit, and the MP6,1 solution must have been a nightmare to set up and manage. Someone starting from scratch - or given time to plan a transition - might well find a different solution.
 

iindigo

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I wouldn't count on it - the Intel Mac Pro is going to be around for a a few years yet

I guess it depends on how literal the "transition finished in two years" quote from Cook is taken. If it covers everything, Intel Mac Pros will be EOL'd by 2023.

Given that the Intel Mac Pro + incremental CPU and GPU bumps will probably keep the pros happy for the next 5 years, and Pro customers are going to be the hardest ones to "sell" on Apple Silicon, Apple have a chance to "think different". I do wonder if a more MP6 "Trashcan"-like approach (but not necessarily repeating all the mistakes) might work provided it runs in parallel with a viable "Big Box'o Slots" option for a few years.

We'll see how it pans out, but I think it would be incredibly risky to launch a "Trashcan MKII" or even a "Cube MKII" unless it was specifically oriented to fill the gap between the iMac and Mac Pro (potentially subsuming the current role of the iMac Pro). If it's poised to be a compact equivalent of the Mac Pro, a huge bulk of would-be buyers are going to steer clear of it and may even abandon Macs entirely if they take this machine as an indicator of things to come. I don't think Apple will be able to sell a workstation-class machine without standardized expansion compatibility for at least another 5 years and perhaps even a full decade. There's just too much lingering bad blood as a result of the trashcan fiasco.

The other thing is that a Mac Pro without standardized expansion would give the "Apple is turning macOS into iOS!" crowd more ammunition, which I doubt they want given how many times they've repeated that Macs aren't closing up at this point.
 

Krevnik

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it depends very much on whether it is worth Apple's while building a workstation-class Apple Silicon SoC.

I don’t think Apple has much choice here. Unless they intend to cede the market that the Mac Pro goes after. Keep in mind the bulk of what Xeon offers over desktop chips are lots more PCIe lanes, EEC RAM support, and the like. It’s not so much that the core design is appreciably different than the i9. But honestly, to make an ARM Mac Pro feel like an upgrade from the Intel version, they are going to have to compete with it. So it will still need to include some CPU/GPU oomph.

Honestly, if they take whatever cores they are using in the high-end desktop line, and bolt on the necessary I/O and RAM controllers needed for the Mac Pro, I think they’ll do fine here. It’s more a question of cost when building dies this big for a market they share with only themselves now.

For example, one way forward with Apple Silicon might be to have lots of specialist acceleration hardware on the SoC rather than relying on multiple GPUs, afterburners etc. People might still want PCIe slots, but not so much GPUs and Afterburners (which is what MPX is really about).

GPUs and the afterburner card are specialist acceleration hardware. The afterburner especially with how specific an accelerator it is currently. And it’s hard to replace a GPU with something “more specialized” if you are doing Metal compute or compositing. But an on-die GPU could potentially obsolete a pack-in dGPU if it is good enough.

This reads to me as being too optimistic about what can be achieved on the SoC right now.

That said, I would also agree that this is what Apple is planning on doing with the SoC, based on their past. ML acceleration that doesn’t depend on a GPU for inference is ripe for this stuff (Intel seems to see that as well). Apple could roll out accelerated video hardware for new codecs faster than Intel can, as well, which would help power budgets a ton. It’s just more I don’t see how a GPU isn’t already specialist acceleration hardware.
 

iindigo

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But an on-die GPU could potentially obsolete a pack-in dGPU if it is good enough.

Oooh yeah, I hadn't thought about this but it's true. There are no workstation-class CPUs with onboard GPUs right now. If Apple could ship graphics that's at least as strong as entry level dGPUs, that'd be a big win for everybody — the base config can just ship without any MPX modules at all, meaning that nobody has to pay for that stupid 580X anymore. People who just need something that can drive a couple displays well can use the integrated graphics and everybody else gets an empty slot and a few saved bucks to put toward a dGPU of their choice. As a bonus, the integrated graphics can throw in some bonus oomf even when a dGPU is plugged in.
 

jerwin

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It actually brings up a question i had - why is that much memory suddenly "necessary" when prior to the 2019 Mac Pro max was 256? Were people suffering so badly with their 2017 iMac pros?

Computational Fluid Dynamics

Craig Hunter's 2019 Mac Pro (28-core) Review

Apple was kind enough to lend me a 28-core Mac Pro, decked out with a 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W (turbo boost to 4.4GHz) having a single 38.5MB L3 cache, 1MB L2 cache per core, 384GB of 2933MHz DDR4 ECC memory, a 4TB SSD, and two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo 2x32GB graphics cards (each with two GPUs, for a total of four GPUs). Priced out on Apple’s website, this configuration goes for an eye-popping $31,199 ($10,800 of that is for the GPUs alone).

....

Now, ordinarily these computations are run on a supercomputer and cost thousands of dollars per solution, or you’d need to build a cluster for $15-20K or more. But with 28 cores and the ability to handle up to 1.5TB of memory, the Mac Pro is a competitive alternative. To test that, I ran a wind simulation case on the Mac Pro and was able to obtain a converged solution in just 42 minutes, which puts the Mac Pro in a very productive club and justifies the high cost of the machine. A $20-30K Mac Pro doesn’t make sense for very many computer users, but an engineering firm would get their money’s worth out of the machine in short order.

I have heard that music producers need enough RAM to load their instruments-- though it's possible that a very fast SSD is fast enough for this purpose. Certain aspects of the mac pro rack mount model suggest that Apple is indeed targeting this market in particular.

After effects is a bit of a ram hog, but it seems a waste of money to use the mac pro for such things. Perhaps if puget systems had allocated 6GB per core, instead of 3?
 
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Waragainstsleep

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I don’t think Apple has much choice here. Unless they intend to cede the market that the Mac Pro goes after. Keep in mind the bulk of what Xeon offers over desktop chips are lots more PCIe lanes, EEC RAM support, and the like. It’s not so much that the core design is appreciably different than the i9. But honestly, to make an ARM Mac Pro feel like an upgrade from the Intel version, they are going to have to compete with it. So it will still need to include some CPU/GPU oomph.

Honestly, if they take whatever cores they are using in the high-end desktop line, and bolt on the necessary I/O and RAM controllers needed for the Mac Pro, I think they’ll do fine here. It’s more a question of cost when building dies this big for a market they share with only themselves now.

Actually I think a workstation class SoC will be used for more than the Mac Pro. It wouldn't surprise me if we didn't see another iMac Pro, but I think Apple may look at a new equivalent of the Xserve. The Xserve carved its niche in cluster computing because it offered computational features that no other CPU did. The Altivec units in the G4s were excellent for certain kinds of number crunching and the G5 being first to 64-bit set them apart for a good while. As soon as they switched to Intel, the Xserve was doomed because it was competing with offerings from Dell and HP that were updated much more often and sold much cheaper. It lost that niche instantly and became a small/medium business server that could be replaced by a quieter Mac Pro with more expansion in it.

An AS Xserve could offer workstation horsepower with much reduced power requirements and noise. They could slash the costs of power and cooling in data centres with units like that. Apple will also likely include some extra modules within the SoC for specialist tasks which might make them useful for different clusters. Machine Learning seems popular right now, I'm sure there are many others. Its not beyond the realm of possibility that if a big client like Microsoft, Google or Amazon had a special requirement for some of their data centres that Apple could build custom versions of those SoCs with extra modules to suit them to the job in hand. They have that kind of flexibility now.
 

Krevnik

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Actually I think a workstation class SoC will be used for more than the Mac Pro. It wouldn't surprise me if we didn't see another iMac Pro, but I think Apple may look at a new equivalent of the Xserve. The Xserve carved its niche in cluster computing because it offered computational features that no other CPU did. The Altivec units in the G4s were excellent for certain kinds of number crunching and the G5 being first to 64-bit set them apart for a good while. As soon as they switched to Intel, the Xserve was doomed because it was competing with offerings from Dell and HP that were updated much more often and sold much cheaper. It lost that niche instantly and became a small/medium business server that could be replaced by a quieter Mac Pro with more expansion in it.

An AS Xserve could offer workstation horsepower with much reduced power requirements and noise. They could slash the costs of power and cooling in data centres with units like that. Apple will also likely include some extra modules within the SoC for specialist tasks which might make them useful for different clusters. Machine Learning seems popular right now, I'm sure there are many others. Its not beyond the realm of possibility that if a big client like Microsoft, Google or Amazon had a special requirement for some of their data centres that Apple could build custom versions of those SoCs with extra modules to suit them to the job in hand. They have that kind of flexibility now.

Apple also updated the 2018 Mac Mini the way they did in part because it’s been the popular route to go in server racks when someone just has to run a server on a Mac or make it available as part of a hosted farm. So who knows what Apple’s plans here are going forward.

Maybe depends on how popular the rack mount version of the Mac Pro is. Either way, they do have flexibility. I’m just not sure how much they care about the server space with how much they’ve abandoned macOS Server/etc to being the tool that manages the Macs in your network, than making a Mac a server.

My main thrust there was more that making a “workstation” CPU these days is more about I/O and core count than it is about the CPU cores themselves. They’re a shared design (usually) with the desktop CPUs. So it’s more about making sure key features are available there and the design scales up. It’s work, but it’s not like they have to create a whole new class of thing.

I’m more concerned they are going to have growing pains hitting the larger core counts for the Workstation SoC than the I/O work.
 

iindigo

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If they’re getting serious about the server market again I think they might spin up yet another specialized appleOS (serveOS?) instead of shoehorning desktop macOS into the role. It might boot on all of the same devices macOS does (so the Mac mini users mentioned before aren’t left out in the cold) but would come installed by default only on the new Xserve.
 

Boil

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If they’re getting serious about the server market again I think they might spin up yet another specialized appleOS (serveOS?) instead of shoehorning desktop macOS into the role. It might boot on all of the same devices macOS does (so the Mac mini users mentioned before aren’t left out in the cold) but would come installed by default only on the new Xserve.

It has been awhile since I dealt with OS X Server, but I want to say it was just the standard Mac client with a handful of server tools on top? After Apple stopped selling any Server configs (there was the Xserve, the Mac Pro, & the Mac mini; all were sold in server configs), they released the "server bits" of software to be able to download?
 

Waragainstsleep

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It has been awhile since I dealt with OS X Server, but I want to say it was just the standard Mac client with a handful of server tools on top? After Apple stopped selling any Server configs (there was the Xserve, the Mac Pro, & the Mac mini; all were sold in server configs), they released the "server bits" of software to be able to download?

Correct. There was a time it was more tightly integrated into the OS but you have to go back to 10.6 Snow Leopard for that. Ever since 10.7 Lion its been a Server app on the app store. Though it shipped pre-installed with Server labelled Mac configs (Mac Pro and Mac Mini).
 

iindigo

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Yep, "Mac OS X Server" was just regular old Mac OS + server bits, unless you rewind all the way back to Mac OS X Server 1.0, which was a productized version of Rhapsody and was quite a different beast from both OS 9 and the first consumer release of OS X that came a couple years later.

macOS Server as it exists now is kinda weak though (just look at its 1.5 star rating on the App Store), so if Apple were to make a re-entry into the server market proper I imagine that they'd want to do it right and make sure the software side of the equation is strong. That's why I think they might do something along the lines of a dedicated "serveOS". What that would look like is up for debate, but I envision it as a Darwin-based OS that can run headless (with a minimal macOS desktop that can be launched when needed), natively virtualizes other Apple OSes, and is built for ease of administration. If they wanted to go the extra mile they could also add a CLI-friendly server/dev focused branch of the App Store that fills the package management role served by apt/yum/dnf/etc on Linux.
 

JMacHack

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I've heard that Mac OS has a maximum amount of threads at 128. I doubt we're gonna see a CPU above that in the next 2 years. The die size would be enormous anyway. I imagine we'll have a similar situation to the G5 -> Mac Pro transition and the case will be the same/almost the same. Dunno if it'll have dedicated GPU, it'll be last to transtion (I believe) so we'll see how Apple's own graphics work out, if it's not better than AMD's offerings down the line then we're probably gonna see an Apple GPU in it. Can't say whether it'll be PCI slotted or on the motherboard though.

I'm confident it'll come with PCI slots though. After the debacle Apple went through to make the 7,1 I doubt they'd backtrack so quickly. The 7,1 seems tailor-made for audio guys and they have plenty of PCI cards.

As for the CPU itself, I'd ballpark a minimum of 16-core, maybe more depending on what becomes standard in the next couple years. Ludicrous amounts of cache, secure enclave etc. Probably go up to 64-core, maybe they'll update MacOS to take advantage of even more cores and if so they'd likely go up to as many as they can to be competitive. Frequency is likely to be in the 2.5-3.8 range I'd say.

By then we might be on DDR5 RAM, so maybe the CPU itself won't have ECC, but rely on the RAM itself to do the error correction. There'll be some kind of ECC I'm sure of it.

Apple's likely to go for the jugular and blow the Intel 7,1 out of the water in terms of performance. With the high-end system they're gonna want to show off.

Pricing depends on whether they retire the iMac Pro. If it makes the jump to Apple Silicon, then I'd say prices won't come down. If they axe it (which, personally I would there's really no need for two workstation-class computers in the lineup) then I'd expect prices to come down to iMac Pro levels, maybe less if they want to lower prices across the board. (which I doubt, but there's whispers they might. I'd like to see the prices come down anyway)

GPU is a complete unknown. I believe it'll at least be a separate die from the CPU. There's really no benefit from having an integrated GPU for your flagship max performance "pro" system, it would just generate more heat and take up die space that's better off used for other things.
 
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Boil

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I've heard that Mac OS has a maximum amount of threads at 128. I doubt we're gonna see a CPU above that in the next 2 years. The die size would be enormous anyway. I imagine we'll have a similar situation to the G5 -> Mac Pro transition and the case will be the same/almost the same. Dunno if it'll have dedicated GPU, it'll be last to transtion (I believe) so we'll see how Apple's own graphics work out, if it's not better than AMD's offerings down the line then we're probably gonna see an Apple GPU in it. Can't say whether it'll be PCI slotted or on the motherboard though.

I'm confident it'll come with PCI slots though. After the debacle Apple went through to make the 7,1 I doubt they'd backtrack so quickly. The 7,1 seems tailor-made for audio guys and they have plenty of PCI cards.

As for the CPU itself, I'd ballpark a minimum of 16-core, maybe more depending on what becomes standard in the next couple years. Ludicrous amounts of cache, secure enclave etc. Probably go up to 64-core, maybe they'll update MacOS to take advantage of even more cores and if so they'd likely go up to as many as they can to be competitive. Frequency is likely to be in the 2.5-3.8 range I'd say.

By then we might be on DDR5 RAM, so maybe the CPU itself won't have ECC, but rely on the RAM itself to do the error correction. There'll be some kind of ECC I'm sure of it.

Apple's likely to go for the jugular and blow the Intel 7,1 out of the water in terms of performance. With the high-end system they're gonna want to show off.

Pricing depends on whether they retire the iMac Pro. If it makes the jump to Apple Silicon, then I'd say prices won't come down. If they axe it (which, personally I would there's really no need for two workstation-class computers in the lineup) then I'd expect prices to come down to iMac Pro levels, maybe less if they want to lower prices across the board. (which I doubt, but there's whispers they might. I'd like to see the prices come down anyway)

GPU is a complete unknown. I believe it'll at least be a separate die from the CPU. There's really no benefit from having an integrated GPU for your flagship max performance "pro" system, it would just generate more heat and take up die space that's better off used for other things.

Current Apple Silicon does not have SMT.

My thoughts towards a top-end Apple Silicon-powered Mac "Big Chungus" Pro:

64 P cores / 4 E cores / 96 GPU cores / 32GB HBM2e Tile Memory
1.5TB DDR5 RAM / Twelve 128GB DIMMs / Unified Memory Architecture
16TB NVMe storage / Two 8TB NAND blades / RAID 0
Eight USB4 (TB3) ports / Two 10Gb Ethernet ports
750W Platinum-rated PSU

Apple Silicon GPGPU MPX module options:

Single - 96 GPU cores / 32GB HBM2e Tile Memory
Dual - 96 GPU cores x2 / 64GB HBM2e Tile Memory

Total possible system GPU / GPGPU resources:

480 GPU cores / 160GB HBM2e Tile Memory

US$29,999.00 (pricing NOT adjusted for "Apple Tax" on RAM & such)

**************************************************************

Curious as to the performance of USB4 (TB3) with a PCIe expansion chassis, for the Audio guys & their DSP & I/O cards; same for some of the Video guys, with their DSPs & I/O cards?

If these needs can be satisfied by an expansion chassis, or if the DSPs & I/O can be put into a box that uses the USB4 (TB3) as the connection? "No more need for internal cards, excepting GPGPUs & NVMe storage?

Maybe the brand new Mac Pro Cube is similar to the Trashcan Mac Pro, excepting it actually works & such?

Maybe Apple does away with the Big Chungus Mac Pro chassis; Cube & 'breakout boxes' for some; maybe they keep the rackmount version for the Audio / Video guys?

I just want a new Cube! ;^p

**************************************************************

I keep going back & forth with the amount of Tile Memory in these new Apple Silicon systems!
 

iindigo

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Curious as to the performance of USB4 (TB3) with a PCIe expansion chassis, for the Audio guys & their DSP & I/O cards; same for some of the Video guys, with their DSPs & I/O cards?

If these needs can be satisfied by an expansion chassis, or if the DSPs & I/O can be put into a box that uses the USB4 (TB3) as the connection? "No more need for internal cards, excepting GPGPUs & NVMe storage?

From what I've gathered, the A/V guys who prefer the tower form factor do so because with the number of cards they're using, external boxes become exceptionally messy and unwieldy, plus all of the required cabling adds unnecessary points of failure (especially full capability TB3/USB-C cables, which are highly sensitive to damage and have circuitry that can burn out).
 

Boil

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Maybe the brand new Mac Pro Cube is similar to the Trashcan Mac Pro, excepting it actually works & such?

Maybe Apple does away with the Big Chungus Mac Pro chassis; Cube & 'breakout boxes' for some; maybe they keep the rackmount version for the Audio / Video guys?

I would just love to see Apple do something less, massive. That Mac Pro chassis is a beast, and a lot of "Pro users" could do just fine with a machine that does not have as much PCIe expansion capabilities.

Call it a xMac, call it a Mac Pro Cube, call it a Mac Cube; whatever, just make us a middle-ground between the Mac mini & the Mac "Big Chungus" Pro, but is an actual desktop workstation, not an iMac / iMac Pro!

From what I've gathered, the A/V guys who prefer the tower form factor do so because with the number of cards they're using, external boxes become exceptionally messy and unwieldy, plus all of the required cabling adds unnecessary points of failure (especially full capability TB3/USB-C cables, which are highly sensitive to damage and have circuitry that can burn out).

TB4 cables for everyone..?!? ;^p
 

Hexley

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So what do you guys think the AARM (Apple ARM) Mac Pro will end up looking like?

I think it's fairly safe to assume that its chassis/cooling/overall design won't be too different from that of the current Mac Pro. Apple has clearly invested too much in that design to only produce it for a single generation.

But if that's true, that means this beast is going to have some truly insane thermal headroom. Remember, this is the same tower that can keep a power hungry 28-core Xeon and dual Radeon Pro Vega II Duo's comfortable and throttle-free for extended periods. What's it going to be able to do with upscaled Apple Silicon?

At minimum, I'm expecting core counts that are closer to what we see in AMD's 3900x/3950x/Threadripper than what's typical of a Xeon W. If Apple wants to benefit from economies of scale by sharing SoCs between higher end consumer Macs and Mac Pro's, we may also see the return of dual/quad CPU configs. Either way, this thing will be amazing for highly parallel workloads.
I do not expect a redesign until late 2020s.

TDP of these Xeons go up to 205W.

M1 outperforms single core scores of Xeons at ~10W. It would score better at multi-core if it had as many cores as Xeons.

So imagine a Xeon replacement version of the M1 at 205W.

Cannot wait until WWDC 2021 comes arround
 
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