The Mac Pro is basically the Apple Cube

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chupachup, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. chupachup macrumors 6502

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    #1
    They said, hey remember the Apple Cube? well just make it a cylinder and sell it again. Maybe it'll work this time

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #2
    You must be the first person that has thought of this.

    /sarcasm
     
  3. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

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    #3
    The iPhone is basically the Apple Newton

    They said, hey remember the Newton? well just make it metal and sell it again. Maybe it'll work this time
     

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  4. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #4
    you may not be the first person to say it, that does not make you wrong however
     
  5. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

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    #5
    The Cube was too far ahead of its time, that's why they waited until now to release it again.
     
  6. Wardenski macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Personally, I thought that it was a product that didn't need to exist.

    Less powerful and expandable than a G4 tower and too expensive to appeal to the masses compared to an iMac.
     
  7. Graeme43 macrumors 6502a

    Graeme43

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    #7
    If the cube fitted in like the Mac Mini does today then maybe it would have still been around ;)
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    The Mac mini is more "cube-ish" then the nMP. The G4 Cube was a hamstrung Mac Pro, where as the nMP isn't hamstrung any anything imo.

    Don't get me wrong, I loved the cube and owned one (I still have one sitting in my closet).
     
  9. chupachup thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
  10. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

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    #10
    The idea (powerful small computer) was ahead of its time, it didn't work so well because of the limited technology. The nMP takes on the same philosophy, but with todays technology it can actually be successful.
     
  11. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

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    #11
    I agree with the OP. problem is: at the time the G4 Cube came to market, Apple didn't stop to sell the Power Mac G4 (tower). right now, there's no choice anymore. I'm practically forced to buy the nMP even if I need/want the capability of internal expansion.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    I was at that Macworld - it was awesome :D
     
  13. MacVidCards, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

    MacVidCards Suspended

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    #13
    And here is the sad part, I used to specialize in Cube GPUs. While they were competitive machines owners would drop piles of money for things like Dual G4 CPU upgrades.

    As 10.3 came to an end a panic ensued. It was rumored that 10.4 was bringing a fab new tech called "Core Image" that would offload screen effects like ripples, shadows, etc to the GPU, leaving the overburdened (and hot running) CPU to do its own thing. So, compliant GPU made everything faster, not just graphics.

    Problem was, Apple had moved on. It was the most important thing ever until a couple years passed and they pretended it never existed and only sold original replacement parts for FULL RETAIL. No "upgrades" ever came from Cupertino. There never was a Core Image compliant Cube card from Apple. I had a partnership with a guy named Arti to create Cube cards. We brought out 5200 and then 6200 Cube cards. To this day Cube fans use the roms we created back then to run 10.4 and 10.5.8 with Core Image enabled. This was when I started learning how to mod NVIDIA roms for Mac OSX.

    We were able to answer the frantic cries for help because the Cube had a (limited) AGP slot and could use AGP2 compliant cards. Our limiting factors were AGPX2, heat , and the modest power through the DC board.

    What is going to happen when 10.11 requires "Prismic Precision" GPUs and the 2011 era 7970 isn't compliant? With current upgrade options it will be just like an iMac with an x1600, good machine to donate to a pre-school.
     
  14. Redneck1089 macrumors 65816

    Redneck1089

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    #14

    Unfortunately it's still ahead of its time. Until prices of its peripherals come down then it's not a worthwhile option for many (not all).

    They basically took a computer that was perfect for upgradability for years and made a model that costs more and is obsolete almost immediately. But hey, to Jony Ive it's small and looks nice, so that's the main criteria.
     
  15. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #15
    That's such an American thing to say: hey it's big so it must be good!

    The Mac Pro has never been good when it comes to upgrades. If you want to use a videocard, hba, usb3 controller, etc. you first need to do some research since only a few combinations work (they are even pickier than ESXi which says a lot!). Luckily the Thunderbolt devices are generally aimed at Macs and thus have proper support. There is more chance of a Thunderbolt device working properly with your Mac than any PCIe card. So let's not pretend that the Mac Pro has ever been "expandable" or "upgradable".
     
  16. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Hate to rain on your eurosmug parade here but no one actually said that.

    Maybe you can write that comment down on a notepad and keep it near your computer, and use it when it actually applies.
     
  17. cube macrumors G5

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    #17
    The new Mac Pro is the Cube replacement 10 years too late, and without a real power desktop alternative to choose from.
     
  18. chaosbunny, Aug 5, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014

    chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #18
    If you read through Cube threads from 2001-2002 you find pretty much the same complaints about it that we have now with the new Mac Pro. If Apple had not taken away the tower option this time the new Mac Pro would just fail the same way.

    Well, I and many others have upgraded their Mac Pros pretty much - and it was way easier than I expected. Just look at the machine in my sig.
     
  19. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #19
    But not as easy as Windows and Linux machines ;) Just browse the topics in this subforum and you'll see that in some cases you need to have technical skills and knowledge in order to upgrade the Mac Pro as well as have the willpower to research if any software update/upgrade for OS X will break the system. It's not much different then with hackintoshes. It is doable...if you have the knowledge and skill. So no, the Mac Pro has never been that upgradable. Especially in the beginning. It's only started to become easy as of 10.7.
     
  20. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #20
    Of course Windows/Linux machines are a different story. But it has been the most upgradable Mac - way more and cheaper upgradeable than in its new cylindrical form.

    Just when easy upgrades started Apple took that option away. My gpu & processor were simple plug & play.
     
  21. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    #21
    I'm not so sure of that. I wonder if the old design or the new design has more buyers at the moment. The upgraders are unhappy, this includes me as well since I have upgraded my GPU's constantly, but I'm betting that the majority of Mac Pro users did not upgrade their machines at all. I think the lack of PCI-e might be more of an issue than upgradability for many.
     
  22. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #22
    You are looking at it from a hardware point of view which you really shouldn't. The problem isn't on the hardware side, it's on the software side.

    Most hardware are not supported or properly supported in OS X. So yeah you can plug in that USB3 or PCIe SSD but can you actually use it? No, because most of them won't work properly (check out the USB3 topic, apparently only 1 or 2 chips actually work...with a few issues). In case of the PCIe SSD you need to look for bootable ones if you want to boot from it. Only a few (2 or 3) support this. Outside the USA it is even more difficult to get those components. Usually we have to import them making them as costly as those USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt devices and since we can use them with our notebooks as well it makes more sense to buy those (also due to warranty which is better in the EU than in the USA: minimum of 2 years vs only 1 year).

    Try this with USB3 and Thunderbolt components and you'll see that most of them will work (USB3 a bit more troublesome as they require drivers in quite a lot of cases). This is due to Apple and Intel promoting Thunderbolt and the way Thunderbolt works (it solves some of USBs disadvantages; it is more like the successor to Firewire). In reality the Mac Pro was not much different than the notebooks. Don't make the assumption that because we techies are able to do the research and make it work that others will too (take a look at iBug2's post!).
     
  23. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #23
    Then why didn't the Cube sell? Why did people choose the bigger, more upgradable machine back then and wouldn't now? Firewire was the hot stuff back then for fast external hds, much like thunderbolt is now. Ok, you can do more with thunderbolt, but not that much more - especially not gpu wise. I bet most classic Mac Pro owners at least upgraded to a ssd by now and installed more ram over time, you can't even do the later on most Macs sold today.


    Ok now you are exaggerating when you claim that the Mac Pro was not that different than the notebooks. That's simply not true. Maybe your experiences are different than mine. I'm from Central Europe and had zero problems upgrading my machine. Granted I'm a member here and follow the macrumors Mac Pro forum - but for my ssd I just walked into a local electronics market and bought one. For the pci ssd card I just walked into my trusted local Apple reseller and bought one. No additional software or fiddling or anything needed.

    Again for the gpu, I just walked into a local electronics store, bought a standard gtx 670, plugged it into the machine and it worked. Yes I use nvidias web drivers, but I don't even have to because I can still use Apples own drivers if need be. The 3,46 ghz hex I found used on ebay from a trusted seller in Germany. I have never built a pc and know crap about it but managed to install the new processor in about 30 minutes. My machine runs just fine with it - I didn't need to do anything software wise.

    The only thing that required some serious research was the usb3 card. And that's the least important thing from all these upgrades for me.

    I often work with a digital image editing studio and pretty much all of their 10+ Mac Pros have some sort of upgrade. That's why they bought them. Sure it's just anecdotal evidence.

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree. :)
     
  24. foodog macrumors 6502a

    foodog

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    #24
    Its not for people making money with them...
     
  25. dyn macrumors 68030

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    #25
    The other machine wasn't more upgradable, it was bigger but most importantly more powerful. You actually got more power for not that more money which is why people bought it. Or put differently: the Cube was too expensive and too slow compared to its bigger brother. The difference in power between a small machine and a big machine was really big back then but the gap is getting smaller each year. Nowadays we only see a difference when doing long computations (which has to do with heat: things will throttle down if it becomes too hot and thus the performance decreases).

    Powermacs and Mac Pro's have never been very upgradable. People have always complained about it and the PC guys always made fun of it. It's only since OS X Lion, the work done by websites like netkas.org and UEFI use on ordinary computers that we've gotten a wider range of graphics cards. Before we only had what Apple was offering which were like 1 or 2 different cards. Same thing applies to a lot of other components. The OSX86 project exists for that reason.

    I'm not exaggerating, some people only see what they want to see. Before the nMP everybody was yelling at Apple that the Mac Pro wasn't upgradable and was so expensive. Apple should come out with an i7 version and allow various graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. Then the nMP came out and suddenly the old Mac Pro was the very upgradable. Riiiiiight...

    And that's my entire point: we techies (aka people who read this part of the forum and sites like tonymac, netkas and so on) know what to look for and where. We know what works and what doesn't work. Why? Because it's our hobby and so we spend time on it. The problem is that about 90% of the users won't do this. They don't care, they just want something that works (main reason why most people buy Apple products). If you have to read a forum to know what card works or not it's too difficult. They'll probably ask an IT guy they know.

    There is a difference between our world and everybody else's ;)

    SATA SSDs aren't the problem, PCIe ones are but only when you want to boot from them (you need to read my post more carefully). If you just want fast storage after OS X has booted then any SSD will do. You want to boot from a PCIe SSD...danger Will Robinson!

    And how many of the cards they sell work in a Mac? Because if you read the forums here, netkas and so on there are quite a few that won't work. Does your bootscreen work? Can you do OpenCL computations or similar (some scientists and other users use software that take use of this)?

    It highly depends. I've seen shops where they work with custom made computers and shops that work with standard configurations. The first don't care much about warranty and support because they are able to do it themselves. The latter are a different type, they require warranty and support (you can have that with custom made machines but it'll be very very expensive). I've also seen a mix where they use standardised machines for office work and custom setups when that is required in the lab. The amount of upgrades however are seriously limited. They usually are just memory and disk (mostly hdd to ssd upgrades). I do the support for those companies and have seen quite a lot of them (as well as computers). Had this conversation with one guy at work. He argued that everybody should have admin rights because people are smart enough. Yes, in his group they that's why they have those rights. I showed him some of the tickets I had and after that he changed his mind. There are many different users but most of them are not smart.

    Yep but try to look beyond your own setup and your own little world. Like I said, we are in a different world than most ordinary users. Apple's user group has always been the kind that didn't want to do much to a computer: they just want it to work.
     

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