The MacPro in a Post-PC era.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by S.V., Apr 16, 2012.

  1. S.V., Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

    S.V. macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    In a Post-PC era, is the MacPro an essential tool for professionals?
    -If you need to render video, depending on the software, you can use multiplatform network rendering. You can buy/build a Windows or Linux workstation or cluster and command them from your iMac.

    -You can also build a cluster with mac machines (mini for example). The FCX compressor allows you to use network rendering OOTB.

    -The point is that in a post-pc era, if you really need processing power, you can build a processing box with the processors you want, then the software will easily build the communication between your mac and the processing box.

    -If you are complaining about mac gpu, thunderbolt can solve this problem.

    -Examples of multiplatform software:VIENNA ENSEMBLE PRO 5, Render engines in After effects, ...
  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Except it doesn't, Thunderbolt isn't fast enough for Pro GPUs yet.

    I'd agree with everything else you've said, but that one is a dealbreaker.

    Besides, why are people trying to prove Apple shouldn't do the Mac Pro? I don't get the logic.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Current GPUs and future GPUs use and will use faster bandwidths than TB currently provides.


    The Mac Pro allows the user its own display of choice, even ones, that don't gloss.
    The MP allows for multiple internal HDDs and PCI Express cards, which of course could be taken care of by TB.
    The MP uses server grade CPUs and RAM, which is really helpful in a production environment or any environment, where accuracy and reliability are important.
  4. S.V., Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012

    S.V. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    I remember that a few years ago people were discussing whether Apple would EOL the mac mini.
    I hope that Apple does not EOL the Mac Pro. (And I hope that the Apple does not abandon the UNIX).
    In the case it decides to do so (EOL the Mac Pro), it is basically a matter of developing softwares allowing you to command the "power processing boxes" from your mac.
    As pointed above by two users, the GPU may be a problem and I hope that apple addresses it.
    But as far as I know, the current macpro does not support the most advanced GPU. But professionals need better GPU than the one coming in the mini or iMacs.
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I'm not sure how they could. Both iOS and Mac OS X are UNIX based. There is no sign that they plant to abandon UNIX.
  6. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    They'll probably have rendering services soon - the faster you want it done, the more you'll pay. Advertizing will supplement slower service for cheaper or free.
  7. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Internet is still too slow for that.

    I think there is some credence to having fast render boxes available via Thunderbolt or ethernet. I think with external displays that could be what drives everyone to iPads in the end.

    But it's just a future that's not here yet.
  8. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Except that we're not in a Post-PC era. That was marketing hype/BS like "magic" iPads and "bag of hurt" Blu-ray. Some people, chief among them Steve Jobs, will say anything to make their current product seem new and relevant to some new make-believe paradigm.

    Really, is anything "essential"? Film and music pros were doing all kinds of great things in 1956. Whether a Mac Pro or a Mac Mini if the machine works in the way you want it to it can be judged as "essential"
  9. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    You're wrong on a number of fronts. To name a few:

    - A cluster is not a workstation. While they occasionally share concepts, they are not identical. Clusters are well suited for large numbers of parallelizable tasks. Much of what I do are inherently *serial* jobs and thus entirely unsuited to a cluster.

    - No other Mac uses ECC memory, and no other Mac has *nearly* the memory capacity of a Mac Pro. This too is important for many applications.

    - A Thunderbolt connection *is not* suitable for GPU intensive applications, and will be worse in the future.
  10. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Thunderbolt is not fast enough right now, but Intel does plan to make it faster in its roadmap, so maybe it will be up to full PCIe speeds in the future. However, I've drawn a simple diagram to show a point to all the people that think Thunderbolt makes a "big, clunky box" like a Mac Pro useless.

    Let's say I use two monitors, need a desktop GPU and want fast storage. How do I do this with an iMac and thunderbolt?


    I don't know about you, but I don't want all that on my desk. That is a lot of power and thunderbolt cables.
  11. 24Frames macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    The Post-PC era is the concept that most consumers don't need a PC, because they can do the things they use a computer for, particularly email, on a Smart Phone or Tablet.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with professionals or computer workstations like the Mac Pro or HP 420 /620 / 820 series.
  12. sinanziric macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2012

    I agree! What about developers, video editors, audio studio's
    they are not "consumers" of regular type

    WE NEED Mac Pro!
  13. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    I could see clustering for larger entities, not so much for the small business man.

    A stack of mac minis means increasing the complexity for something to go wrong. Networking problems, multiple configurations & settings, cabling, upgrading software and security updates.

    Someone like that wants a easier solution then constant troubleshooting if some nodes go down.

    Larger entities who use clustering have dedicated technicians for things like that. A single small business owner wants to spend as much time with producing the end product, not constant maintenance and upkeep of multiple computer configurations.
  14. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    People take "post-PC" too literally. The golden age of the PC is over, but that doesn't mean there isn't a future for PCs. People will still buy PCs, they will just need fewer of them and will upgrade less frequently.

    As far as GPU, mobile and integrated GPUs are still progressing. Just look at Ivy Bridge. Obviously a stand-alone PCIe GPU is a better solution, but that doesn't mean it's the only viable option for the future.

    And clustering has always been a finicky pain in the ass compared to just big iron workstations. Apple might eventually get Compressor working right, but making a business case that relies on it seems like a bad idea at this point and time.
  15. kitsunestudios macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2012
    The Mac Pro is not a "PC". It is a "Workstation".

    No other Mac supports PCI 2.0 (soon 3.0) SSDs like the Fusion IO, which support far greater bandwidths than Thunderbolt or SATA-III. No other Mac supports the pro GL cards like the nVidia Quadro or Radeon FireGL, which are better at OpenCL crunching and raw 3d models and textures before game optimization or video rendering. No other Mac offers better than 4GBps Fiber Channel support. There is nothing between the Mini and the Pro that is capable of being rack-mounted for easy integration in space-limited departments.

    The iMac has taken over a lot of the Mac Pro's original tasks, and is completely capable in mid-to-upper-end graphics departments, and video departments. That said, it ignores a considerable chunk of the market in need of pure processing power or extreme bandwidth options listed above. This is never going to be a huge market, but it is a vital one given Apple's entrenchment in the creative community.

    Maybe one day, Thunderbolt will completely replace PCI. Until then though, I think keeping the Mac Pro in some form (i.e. still having a few PCI slots) is going to be more important to Apple than the direct sales figures represent.
  16. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    I thought the "Post-PC era" was some marketing crap Apple came up with. People actually believe that stuff?
  17. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    We need a workstation, you mean. I think the real question is whether Apple wants to supply our niche or keep tilting towards the consumer. The money is in the consumer market for sure.

    They are already being too narrow in their offerings for plenty of professionals, and I am not holding out too much hope for the future.

    For me, it has been cyclical. I have gone Apple ][e -> Apple IIgs -> Mac SE/30 -> Windows 3.1 on a i386 -> Windows 95 on a Pentium -> Windows XP Pentium III ->

    I went back to Mac when they went with Intel processors. But, for what I do I can use Windows, though I prefer Mac OS X. But Apple has a history of abandoning legacy. It is not all bad and usually for the greater good, but it can cause havoc for certain groups of users and can get rather expensive.
  18. Moonjumper macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2009
    Lincoln, UK
    Yes I do. The mass market only appeared once it was cheap and easy to use for the Internet, email and word processing. They then moved onto laptops that only needed to be portable in that they could be stored in a drawer between use, so no part of the home had to be given over to the computer.

    The power required for light consumer use is now available in the even more user friendly format of a tablet.

    The computer as we know it will revert to the minority technical user. Us!

    The Mac Pro is the model under least threat from this. It was always for the technical power user and they are not the ones to give up a desktop computer for a tablet. The threat comes from less powerful computers that are now powerful enough for some people who in the past would have needed the very top end power. Hopefully we are still in the position where there are enough people needing a Mac Pro to justify it's existence. But I think it could benefit from having lower end models (i7 as an option to Xeon) to widen the user base.
  19. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    This thread is ridiculous. Apple will charge for the processing power you have in a linear fashion. No exceptions. No cutting corners.

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