Steve says "just wait."

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cohen777, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. cohen777 macrumors regular

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    #1
    In response to Newsweek's writer Dennis Seller's article "is the Mac dead" Steve says "just wait."

    Well, how long? I went to Dell's website and they are selling the hexacore xeon chips in their workstations and the i7's in other desktops.

    So, while we always bask in Steve's reality distortion field, and are waiting for the next insanely great Mac Pro, the question remains - how long?
     
  2. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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  3. zedsdead macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Don't get excited, he may have been talking about the recent Mac Mini Update.;)
     
  4. Aldaris macrumors 65816

    Aldaris

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    #4
    My thoughts too... He could drag out the wait for a few months more.
     
  5. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #5
    I think the Mini was a big part of Steve's statement, but it surely isn't just that. The mini is great, but not at all Apple's best selling desktop mac, let alone the entire Mac line. According to the Apple Online Store, the Mac Mini is 4th place in the top 10 selling list (which is followed by the Mac Pro in 5th place, which I admit is actually very questionable to begin with :eek:)

    But I think we can all safely assume that the top 3 has merit. The Macbook, Macbook Pro, and iMacs are definitely Apple's best selling Mac computers. In fact I just visited my local SF store yesterday and those three machines are without a doubt, the most prominently displayed Mac computers in the store.

    So I don't think the Mac Mini is everything Apple has up it's sleeve for the Mac. If we are to believe statistics, then we should be able to expect some more surprises for the other Macs as well, hopefully with the Mac Pro very much included. The recent Mini redesigns gives me much hope that Apple may be doing the same with the Mac Pro. In my opinion, I think we'll see some similar drastic changes in aesthetics to the Mac Pro, at the very least. I honestly didn't think of it very much of before, but after seeing the new Mac Mini, I am optimistic. The 7 year old design, as great and functional as it is, doesn't sit right with the rest of the Mac family anymore. I think 2009-2010 marks a significant and important relaunch of the Mac family, starting with the redesigned Macbook and iMacs from last year.

    As glum as everyone on these forums tend to get about the demise of Apple's professional market and Mac OS, this is probably THE best time to really emphasize their computer line, as its very clear that their iDevices are producing that so called halo effect for Apple. I can speak out of experience as I've already converted many traditional PC users with iPod/iPhone into crossing over to Macs. And such, it takes really little effort, as they are the ones that usually approach me with the questions and the interest.

    Hey, but that's my hunch. I just don't think the Mac Mini is all Steve told us to wait for. There's just got to be more to it than that.
     
  6. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I really hope he wasn't talking about just the Mac Mini. Though as people place their orders today for 10 month old hardware, it allows Apple to make extra margins (as the cost of components has dropped, yet the savings will not be passed onto consumers).

    I hope the iMacs are updated ASAP because I really need to upgrade mine. I will be ready to pull the trigger as soon as it happens on either a brand new one or a refurb or clearance existing one (depending on how great the upgrade is).

    I've also noticed that the refurb store on Apple.com doesn't have as many iMacs as it used to about a week ago. In fact, the cheapest iMac on there now is $1299. Perhaps that's a hint that a refresh is imminent?
     
  7. Red Comet macrumors member

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    #7
    I would like Apple to throw in a decent stock gpu solution for the Mac Pro.
     
  8. Bakafish macrumors member

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    #8
    It's the new Light Peak interface

    Light Peak is holding things up I think. Obviously CPU pricing and availability are affecting the new Pro's, but they could launch a new high end model now on the current architecture easily if they wanted to. I think that adding CPU doesn't really help Pro users that much at this point since there are more significant bottle necks in the current platform, mostly IO related. The trend is supporting GPU based CPU offload anyway, so hexacore-shmexacore.

    What I'm guessing is that the new Pro's will focus on very high speed PCI, Memory and Light Peak throughput. Figure lots of space, power and data channels for GPU's with Light Peak being the interface that allows for NextGen networking, storage and Apples so far under exploited distributed processing capabilities. I think that the amount of onboard drive storage capacity will take a hit to give space for GPU cards and power and cooling, as NAS and SAN's are really coming down in price and there will be a big push from Apple and Intel to replace Firewire, FiberChannel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and even Infiniband in a lot of applications.

    I don't know if it will really catch on and be able to replace everything that it potentially could, but I expect that that will be the intention. The cost of high end network infrastructures is a large percentage of the overall cost of the potential customer base of the Pro machines and typically limits the usefulness and scalability of the product. It is expensive to even support Gigabit speeds for any reasonable number of machines and I can picture Intel really looking hard at getting into the networking game by bypassing the current status quo of Ethernet. Remember that TCP/IP tunnels over Firewire quite nicely, no reason that it won't over Light Peak. Fiber optic cables are just waiting for commodity style demand to make pricing reasonable and Intel is most certainly making dedicated routing hardware, so it will be interesting to see if they have some sort of IP bridging capability. Imagine a $250 box with 12 Light Peak ports and a 10 GB ethernet jack. That could save companies a lot of money and force Cisco to rethink their strategy.
     
  9. zenjabba macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Ain't that the truth... 24 Ports 10GB LC $9k and we needed 4 of them.
     
  10. wisty macrumors regular

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    #10
    Hmm, GPU computing is a nice thought, but none of that is going to effect the next MacPro. The reality is, most apps (especially professional Mac apps) are flat-out utilizing 4 cores and more than 32-bit address space, let alone the GPU. Better bandwidth and more GHz are top of the list, after that the number of cores is important. A good GPU will be useful when software catches up, but that's a pipe dream.

    I'll agree that there are lots of ways Apple can (and should) move the data around much faster. Fast RAID, SD memory, big data stores, lots of RAM, and fast paths between all the parts would all be useful.

    Still, hexacore will be what sells the machines. You can talk all you want about faster IO, but most people just don't have the same visceral reaction as they do when they hear about more cores and more GHz. :mad:
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
    seriously? where have you come form? LP is at least another year away from PCs, let a lone Macs.

    10GBoE is also a long way away, and <1% of people who buy a MP would need it! so it wont happen either
     
  12. Bakafish macrumors member

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    #12
    Okay, well I have 10GBE in my closet right now, so consider it a reality :) I come from a place where a lot of my budget gets spent on Cisco and Juniper hardware that frankly isn't much more sophisticated than the stuff I was buying 10 years ago. They have very slow, low power intel CPU's and very simple copper based interfaces. The optical solutions are equally overpriced and pathetically outdated (duplex fiber? Seriously?) There is an opportunity to completely leapfrog over what the current 'state of the art' is, and I believe that's what they are planning to do here. And as for need, of course they need it, it's just too expensive for consumers right now (artificially so if you ask me.) You want to switch back to 100 megabit ethernet? How about 10 megabit? You can copy the same stuff, it just takes longer right? You might argue that the difference between a second and ten is not very great, but given the choice I'm sure most will go with what is faster, and that's what LP is promising. Remember it's starting at 10GB, and it will scale from there. Moving around terabytes of data, especially locally is becoming really common even for 'normal' people. Using cheap fiber cables (yes there is such a thing!) and low cost high volume components LP could potentially change how data is moved.

    Also, you may recall that LP was developed in partnership with Apple (and may have actually been a 100% Apple project.) And it was demoed on Apple hardware by Intel, so I'm willing to bet we will see it there first. And as I said before probably on the next generation Pro's.

    In the kind of settings where Apple wants to get some penetration, say Architecture firms, animation studios and so forth, local storage is used for scratch disk and everything is going over fast, and quite expensive networks. I know ProSumers like the idea of fast onboard raid, but it's really an awful place for it for professional companies. We want centralized storage where security, reliability, access, allocation, replication and snapshotting can all be enforced. We want solid state storage on the nodes for scratch disks, but everything else should live on the SAN. LP potentially alleviates this issue in at least workgroup units, and the core frameworks are already set up to do well parralelized workloads across CPU's and GPU's. if you had a very fast low latency fiber network in the mix, suddenly you are able to increase the utilization of all your machines. They are doing this with distributed builds, but I imagine they want to abstract this into ad-hock render farms and supercomputers. Sony and IBM originally envisioned a similar usage of the Cell processors used in the PS3 and so forth, but they lacked a fast enough transport and any real market need.
     
  13. PaulD-UK macrumors member

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    Oct 23, 2009
    #13
    Hi
    Whatever Apple's Mac division's forward thinking may be it hasn't stopped the current i5/i7 iMacs being designed with an inferior ethernet chip that doesn't support jumbo frames (the 27" core 2 duo model still does, as do earlier iMacs) - thus ensuring that the fastest iMacs are unusable in a pro SAN/NAS environment.

    As I understand it the current Mac Pro's motherboard had an Intel ethernet chip (Hartwell) that they've long since discontinued, so either Apple bought a huge EOL stockpile, or some sort of ethernet mobo re-engineering has to be undertaken. (Maybe it already has, I have no way of finding out what ethernet chip is fitted to current Mac Pros).

    Basically until Apple completes a 64-bit cocoa/Grand Central Dispatch rewrite of Final Cut Suite there is not much need for further Mac Pro development, except in I/O enhancement - I would guess that professionals running FCS is a huge driver of sales for Mac Pros.

    The biggest motivation for Apple to re-engineer the Mac Pro line is Intel's chip supply strategy, particularly when existing production is swapped over to new product thereby forcing change.

    Any enclosure design decisions made now that don't anticipate the potentially revolutionary changes that a full implementation of Light Peak will unleash will be overtaken by progress...

    Overall I remain optimistic - except for that crass i7 iMac ethernet choice - but that may be deliberate to force professionals to only buy the Mac Pro...
     
  14. Bakafish macrumors member

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    #14
    I have an i7 27"

    And I had no idea it was using that crippled Broadcom chip :-/ I have some Dell 1U servers that have that same POS chipset in them which was rectified by installing PCI based interfaces. No such luck for our iMac's though. I use it at home where I don't have any compelling need for Jumbo's but I can imagine people being miffed.
     
  15. ValSalva macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

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    #15
    I think the Mac Mini announcement was just part of the 2010 update plan SJ was referring to. I was convinced of a June 29th update to the Mac Pro but given the pattern of updates to Macs this year being essentially monthly I have to admit that July 13th is more likely. IMHO something Mac will probably be released monthly with the Mac Pro, iMac, or Air receiving updates. The order - who knows?
     
  16. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Just wait... the new Mac Pro is currently passing through Steve Jobs' colon...

    I hope that gave you all some terrible terrible imagery.
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #17
    well there you go, you are in the <1% of people who need it. what exactly do you do? and why do you have servers in the closet lol?

    and how much do you think LP will be to start off with? im not so sure apple would be keen to include it, it could add $500+ to the machine costs - does that seem a reasonable number?

    of course i dont want to go backwards - but i disagree that even "normal" people have a need for 10GBoE. will "normal" people have a RAID cluster that is fast enough to support that? no. all they have are external USB or internal HDDs that cant go any faster then 1GBoE at this point in time.

    thats true, so you might be right - apple might start off the trend, but not this update. i dont believe so.

    can i ask, what do you do that requires GB/s of data throughput? run a data centre lol?
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    He's from Japan, they already have USB 4.0 and 1Tb/s Ethernet there :p 1Pb/s Ethernet is already knocking the door. 1Gb/s is so 1998 :D
     
  19. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #19
    thats true. us aussies are always left behind :(
     
  20. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #20
    You better hope not. Think 2011 at the soonest.
     
  21. GiantDolphin macrumors member

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    #21
    that was a good laugh. Thanks.
     
  22. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Patience Padawan

    Those who are frothing at the mouth over the late arrival of their next PC smashing behemoth should stop for a minute and consider the past.
    As a lowly iMac user back in the late 90's I had to wait 4 years for Apple to supersede my Bondi's G3/CRT architecture with a G4 chipset and LCD screen while the PC users around me revelled in their tech bonanza. I waited another 3 years for a G5 iMac to replace that too.
    The path of progress in Cupertino is littered with speed humps and potholes much like the long delays we suffer today waiting for even a modern design of ATI card....
    The shift to Intel architecture allowed Apple to accelerate the CPU development road map for Mac Pro and iMac ranges but the wait before a fully formed rewrite of any model can stretch to years still.
    I waited 7 years for USB 2.0 FFS! While my PC using mates asked what a Firewire port was.....
    I am pretty philosophical about upgrading now, I replaced the G5 iMac with a 2008 Mac Pro 8 core beastie and full intend to keep it till the latest OS won't run on it anymore, about 2014 I reckon.
    My future proofing is 16 GB of RAM and a PCI slot waiting for the next GFX card upgrade when ATI/Nvidia and Apple finally get of their collective arses.
    I could throw my toys about PCI improvements and USB 3.0 but when connecting a 2 year old Mac Pro to BT's ageing and decrepit phone system hobbles anything internet based, I really can't see any point in demanding the pinnacle of tech to go with it.

    To Do List:
    Buy the next earthshattering Mac Pro version for stupid money.
    Move to Singapore to make the best use of it. :D
     
  23. cohen777 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    patience?

    Not refreshing the Mac Pro for over a year is inexcusable. Additionally, since the release of Snow Leopard and Adobe Photoshop CS5, it is now time for G5 tower owners to switch. Apple had a golden opportunity at WWDC to introduce a new hexacore Mac.

    I know and I understand that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod side of Apple is big business. I also think it is great for the Mac to have people using these devices because they will buy iMacs and Macbooks, and Mac Pro's too.

    But, Apple core business is the flagship Mac Pro and Mac OS. Hopefully, Apple is working on Snow Leopard's replacement (Lion?) to remain competitive with Windows 7, and the new Mac Pro.
     
  24. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    #24
    Not sure how you define "core" but in my book, Apple's core business is definitely not the Mac Pro and Mac OS. JMO, but I think the core business would be the iphone due to the % rev and growth pattern of the iphone. The iphone accounts for about 50% of rev whereas the entire mac lineup is about 25%. I'm not sure what percentage the MP is of mac sales but I suspect it's fairly small. Mac OS sales are also quite small on a percentage basis. The kicker is that mac revenue is and will be fairly flat due to the yearly decrease in ASP per unit. If Apple didn't have the iphone and ipad it would be a sub $100 equity.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  25. dolz macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2010
    #25

    That's the position I'm in. If the Mac Pro isn't updated 6/29 I'm buying an used Intel based tower and holding off a few more years before getting a new one.
     

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