Tiny case......IS TINY

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by J the Ninja, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Today I was flipping through the "Design" page on Apple's site for the mac pro, and took a closer look at the processor drawer, and saw the reason why they didn't do 6 RAM slots per CPU:

    The case is too narrow.

    The drawer fills the bottom of the case, and 4 RAM slots and the heatsink is clearly enough to fill it from side to side. The whole setup already covers the board from front to back too, and the heatsinks look like they stretch up all the way to the "roof" of the "windtunnel".

    Which begs the question, why the hell not just make it wider? Or deeper, and use a more rectangular heatsink that extends more front-to-back then sideways? Either way, the think still wouldn't be overly large. Is it just me, or does this whole upgrade seem a little thrown-together? Like, "We wanted it released with the new Minis and iMacs, but a 3500/5500 heatsink and 6 RAM slots wouldn't fit side by side on the floor of a PowerMac G5 proportioned-box so we just did an awkward 4 slot Nehalem board so we wouldn't have to take the time to re-do the outside of the case a bit"
     
  2. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #2
    So, you're saying that with the design THEY chose in the case THEY designed they screwed themselves out of an opportunity to sell more RAM and screwed their customers out of an opportunity to use more RAM?

    hehehe... Sounds like what happens when a manufacturer reluctant to retool goes about redesigning things. :p
     
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #3
    Bingo. Bingo. Bingo. Bingo. Bingo.

    I said before launch that it would be impossible for Apple to give us twelve DIMMs without changing the case.

    They could have added an extra four inches onto the back (making it four inches longer) and put all twelve DIMMs directly onto the main logic board.

    But NOOOOOOOooooOOOOoooooo...:rolleyes:

    The entire case is miniscule compared to the desktop towers you see at Best Buy.
     
  4. m1stake macrumors 68000

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  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #5
    I remember the days when this wasn't true for the pro products...:(
     
  6. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #6
    You guys are a trip....you wouldn't be happy if you couldn't bitch about something. It's sad....

    Apple obviously didn't feel they needed to redesign the case in order to provide space for more memory. Anyone here need more than 32GB of RAM? That is plenty for a workstation.

    S-
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #7
    That isn't the point. The point is giving us

    1. The full SPEC of the motherboard for our computer.
    2. The ability to at least use the CRIPPLED spec to the full extent to which they have left it in there.
     
  8. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #8
    The specs are what Apple say the specs are...not what you think they should be.

    S-
     
  9. J the Ninja thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Apple didn't build the processor, Intel did. They built a 130w CPU with a memory controller made to access RAM in groups of three for max performance. Apple simply refused to change their cheese grater to make room for all that, even though just making the damn thing slightly wider would've sufficed.
     
  10. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #10
    The boards are what Intel makes them to be, not what Apple restricts us to.
     
  11. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

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    #11
    Unlike the bitching about the clock speeds, I do think this is a legitimate gripe.

    I just don't get it....
     
  12. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #12
    No, you are incorrect. Whose name is on the box? Not Intel's. Apple decides what its product will be. Intel makes them for Apple and Apple decides what features they will offer and how they will offer them.

    S-
     
  13. Outsider macrumors regular

    Outsider

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    #13
    There was space to put 6+6 DIMMS had the made the heat sinks a little narrower and added active cooling right on the heat sinks to compensate. Instead they chose to make it a pretty layout. Also, they could have put the processors side by side and it would have left plenty of space for 12 DIMM slots. Oh well.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Wow, people love to bitch don't they? If you don't like what they do, then DON'T buy it. It's as simple as that.

    If you want more than 32GB RAM, then go build yourself a server. Besides, not every application is 64-bit yet, so it makes it a moot point, how are you going to utilize all that RAM? :rolleyes:
     
  15. emt377 macrumors member

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    #15
    Let me break the ugly news: the third Nehalem memory channel can't be interleaved with the other two. When the controller is set up to use all three channels as a contiguous space you only get cross-channel interleave on 2/3 of the accesses. 1/3 of accesses will be half-speed. Simply not using the third channel gets you an increase in memory bandwidth.

    Ask yourself how on earth a controller could possibly interleave over three channels. It's a freaking prime number. Divide-by-three is expensive, and there is no natural layout that doesn't leave gaps, that doesn't require divide-by-three. I'm not sure how this belief can even pass a basic sanity check.

    The third channel was added to support on-board graphics memory, but of course could be used for anything else that requires a high-bandwidth memory channel. Apple chose not to use it all rather than hype up some "triple-interleaved memory system" crap - which is all smoke.
     
  16. WonderSausage macrumors member

    WonderSausage

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    #16
    None of your post makes any sense. There are dozens of published Core i7 benchmarks that show triple channel outperforms dual channel -- to what degree naturally depends on the application, but it there is overwhelming evidence that it is not "smoke".
     
  17. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #17
    I'm still waiting intently for this page to be updated. :(

    On previous updates it could be same day!
     
  18. emt377 macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2008
    #18
    Oh yeah, like this anandtech one?

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/Intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3448&p=5

    At DDR3-1066 speeds we found no real performance difference between the Core i7-965 running in two channel vs. three channel mode, the added bandwidth is simply not useful for most desktop applications.

    You know why there's no difference? Their test programs were only using the two-channel memory region, because if it had spanned into the single-channel region it would have shown a performance loss. Most likely the kernel was smart enough to allocate from the faster dual-channel region first.
     
  19. Dreamail macrumors 6502

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    #19
    No it is not that simple.

    As Mac users we have to live with the (fortunate/unfortunate) Apple OS software/hardware duality.

    Which means if I don't like the Mac Pro desktops then my complete OS investment goes down the drain too. The remaining choices are unsuitable hardware (iMac, Mac mini), Hackintosh or good-bye Mac OSX.
    And each of which incurs extra costs.
    Switching all your applications to a Windows/Linux version is not exactly free - if they even exist. And takes extra time and effort.

    Neither of the remaining options is a good choice - hence the b*tching and swearing.


    But you miss the point.

    Point is that with very little effort Apple could have made this Mac Pro update a stellar one:
    - use dual CPU Xeons even for the single CPU Mac Pro and provide an extra empty slot and 8 memory slots for a 32GB max. The price could easily still have been $2,500 but give people an upgrade path.
    - offer 12 memory slots for the dual CPU configs, as a further differentiation for a total of 48GB max.
    - offer a Quadro FX 5600 or FX 5800 option, and a GeForce GTX 280 or 295 option.

    Yet they chose not to. In order to earn 5% more in the very short term. But probably losing a lot more than that in the medium to long term.
     
  20. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #20
    You have no idea what you are talking about so stop pretending that you do.

    S-
     
  21. Dreamail macrumors 6502

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    #21
    sidewinder, if you know more about Apple's hardware strategy, I'd like to hear it. I'm all ears!

    To me, the last Mac Pro update's single CPU config is merely an upsell for the higher-priced octo core model, which in itself is rather limited due to a lack of high-end (>512MB VRAM) graphic card and 32GB max via 8 memory slots (rather than 12).
     
  22. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #22
    I don't pretend to know why Apple made the decisions they did....and you don't either. So don't post like you know something when you don't.

    S-
     
  23. nicolapo macrumors newbie

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    Aug 1, 2006
    #23
    And two isn't a prime number? ;)
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #24
    I have to ask, are you in IT or engineering?

    I don't think they needed to redesign the case, though it would have made it easier, but there were other layout options. It would have been close, and I'd need measurements to be sure.

    It's cramped, no doubt, and alternatives may have actually been a little more so. Assuming there was absolutely no way to add in addtional memory with the case dimensions, it would have been better to discard it as is, and make a change.

    Granted, Apple makes the specs, and can do what they want, but if the users aren't happy, and can't live with it, that's not a good thing. Just because they can dictate specs, doesn't mean they have the consumers needs in mind. Possibly to the detriment of thier bottom line.
    Apple creates their specs, and have an ODM create it. They don't have any manufacturing plants. It's all contracted.

    They could have made different decisions, such as change the external case size. That would have allowed for a greater number of DIMM slots. Too bad, as it would make the system unappealing for some that truly needed more than 4 DIMM's per CPU.
    Yes, but if they want to sell computers, they really should listen to their customers. Companies that ignore this have a habit of going under. :eek:
    They may not have needed to, had they gone a different layout. If that wasn't possible, they may have better served their customers by changing the case. Intel created an architecture possible of what you speak, but Apple isn't exactly using off the shelf parts either. They have the ability to have custom parts made, and can dictate the specs. Obviously they didn't dictate the specs many would have liked to see. :(

    It might have been possible to change the coolers slightly, and add another daughter board for the DIMM slots. Or even include the CPU's directly to the board, and a single daughter card for the DIMM slots.

    Hard to say without measurements, but it does seem possible to me.
    Unfortunately, Apple has custom boards made, so they get to dictate the specs. No matter how strange it may seem.
    As do I.

    Keeping in mind the most affordable DIMM is 2GB, not 4GB, 4 DIMM's per CPU is limiting for those who need greater than 8GB/CPU, but not 16GB/CPU.
    Had they made the coolers any narrower, they wouldn't have been able to eliminate enough heat. I'm actually concerned about the amount they can handle as is, given the depth (direction of airflow). Usually, you want wider than deeper in the direction of airflow to be efficient. Otherwise, it has to be larger, and possibly need greater airflow (louder).
    What?

    Could you point me to the datasheets on this?!? :confused:
    Another reason for people to stick with a Mac, is the software investment. Switching licenses from one OS to another is not necessarily an inexpensive prospect. It can easily out cost the machine.

    So people are feeling ripped in a sense, as they feel they've been backed into a corner, as they may not be able to switch from OS X easily, or at all, depending on the software costs associated with actually doing it. Assuming there's even a decent alternative to begin with. :rolleyes:
     
  25. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #25
    Yes, but it is unique in that it is the only even prime number....

    S-
     

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