Waiting for Mac Pro 7,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mago, May 31, 2016.

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  1. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #6676
    The thing to understand about a lot of companies that use Macs is that they lease, not buy. And Apple has been pushing that more and more.

    In that light, the 2013 Mac Pro and iMac Pro make perfect sense. Why would you upgrade? You just send it back at the end of the lease and get a new one.

    Where Apple screwed up and what forced them to move is there was no new Mac Pro at the end of everyone’s leases.

    (I also don’t know if this will be part of the new Mac Pro’s design or not. It could be that enough institutions still buy or there are enough freelancers are out there that Apple will adapt back.)
     
  2. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #6677
    If the base model of the iMac Pro is $4,999 what will be the price of the mMP's? Apple, we know you don't like to forecast these things but give us a hint. This can be done on a shoe string budget by placing a video on YouTube. Have an Apple employee stand in front of an Apple logo backdrop. The employee is holding a dandelion, looks into the camera and blows. This will signify the answer traveling around the world!
    So again, if the mMP's are $5,999, $7,999 and $9,999... :p

    ABM2.png
     
  3. mattspace macrumors 6502a

    mattspace

    Joined:
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    #6678
    Which is no different in terms of how it functioned, than it was when done for a slotbox, the only difference is they cut off all the freelancers who buy, own and upgrade a machine and use it for way more than 3-4 years, which is a huge and under-considered proportion of people who do work that requires this hardware.

    The amount of work that is farmed out and not actually done by the people who claim to do it in the content world is huge - simple example, Weta farmed out huge amounts of the CG for the Lord of the Rings films, for which they were credited, to other firms, like Animal Logic who were then contractually prevented from ever acknowledging their contribution.
     
  4. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #6679
    This.

    When one considers the market potential for Freelancers and similar Small Business (& creatives), they don't necessarily lease (at all) or buy with the objective of optimizing their tax write-off. These have traditionally appealed to Apple because as a (often very) small business, the ease-of-use elements, since they were also their own IT support, NetAdmin, etc.
     
  5. Mago thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #6680
    If the mMP is also based on Intel Xeon-W, a single GPU vega 56, 8 Cores 1TB and 32GB Ram (same as base iMac Pro quoted at 4999$) should start from about 3999$ or more not less, and loaded could easy go beyond 10K (dual Vega64/Vega20+18core CPU)$

    Based on AMD Thread Ripper or Epyc should be cheaper but I don't believe it will cost less than 3500$ either (16core thread ripper or Epyc, and a single vega56, 32gb/1tb ), and go very close to 10K% but on 32Core instead 18.

    Either unlikely a dual socket solution, neither STD PCIe X16 (maybe 1-2 PCIe x4).
     
  6. iPadified macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #6681
    Do you have any real numbers instead of "huge"? Can that community pay for the development of an mMP that suits them? I do not think so. Look at the pattern: everyone screams for user upgradable systems when in reality user want to avoid Apples upgrade costs. Part of Apple expensive BTO options may be to cover the whole platforms development costs. Using systems for >3-4 years (which make sense) also dilute the contribution to sustainable development.

    I think the most content Mac users are iMac users (according to discussion in the forum). Apple sells about 1 million iMac per quarter (I think iMac is about 20% of sales right?) and that community can easily support a sustainable development of the iMac.

    CG (3D animations?) - platform of choice seem to be Win-PC, better software support, CUDA support and cheap renders farms.
     
  7. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
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    #6682
    If that word is good enough for Trump shouldn't it be good enough for us! No - I guess NOT!!!!!!

    Lou
     
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #6683
    Not quite perfect sense. Apple has blown the timing and targeting more than two times. The Mac Pro 2012 doesn't really count. The 2010 model came out well before the end of the year. Pragmatically the Mac Pro 2013 is really the MP 2014 ( shipped extra ordinarily late in December. Well after 3 year mark for many points of 2009 and early-mid 2010). Apple completely hosed the second half 2009 folks in Europe who had nothing ( as the MP was pulled from the market for most of 2013. ) [ similar issues of stalled pipeline on the 2008->2011 cycle where there was nothing there. The two year leases are an even bigger SNAFU: 2009->2011 , 2010 -> 2012 , and vast majority of 2011->2013 . ]


    The iMac Pro is largely a disconnect with a large fraction of the target market (e.g., folks with sunk costs into 4K-5K monitor upgrades probably won't budge and have other options.) . And again anyone in first half 2014 has lapsed 3 year lease already. Apple had nothing.

    There could be some bozo product management plan at Apple about only showing up every 3 years like Rip Van Winkle but they can't even get the timing right on that. Apple's attention to detail here sucks.... even if that was their 'plan'.
    All your customers can't synch up their refresh cycles into unison.

    Apple turned the MP into a "hobby product". Part time attention to the product is the closest fit to what has transpired. Attention to just a small narrow set of corporate lease customers with spotty execution is more a slow death spiral plan than a viable one.


    Jobs strategy of just kill things off probably would have been more merciful long term than this slowly ride the product down using a 'not really committed to it' strategy they are on now. It may be a low (or non) growth market but some of the stuff Apple is doing is depressing it even further than that.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2017 ---
    There is zero good reason why a Mac Pro should start off with a base of 8 cores. There are 6 and even 4 core models of Intel Xeon-W. The presumption that the Mac Pro has to be in some price pissing match with the iMac Pro is misguided. Mac Pro can just be more expensive than the top iMac configuration ( maybe that plus a few other modest upgrades but doesn't have to be above a complete BTO maxed out iMac. )

    The line up is here. https://ark.intel.com/products/series/125035/Intel-Xeon-Processor-W-Family

    the 8 core W 2135 costs $1113 before Apple's 25-30% mark up.

    The W 2125 'hot rods' up to 4.5GHz turbo and only costs $444. For folks still stuck on single threaded apps, but need high range of I/O most of the day, that will work.

    The W 2133 6 core is $617.


    Likewise Vega56 doesn't to be the base GPU card. Upper mid range card would do fine. The embedded, Apple specific GPU card need only be good enough for a bit more than many people. Not top of the line. ( Current and previous Macs have had 3 levels, or more, of GPU options). If Apple leaves an open x16 PCI-e slot then folks can put in a Computer GPU card of their own, audio card , video capture card , etc.

    Never mind the Nvidia fanboys who don't want the AMD GPU at all so will be looking to minimize its cost.



    Couple the two above with no 5K HDR panel and can easily shave at least a $1000 off the base price point (if not more). [ iMac Pro starts off with 32GB ... Mac Pro may not. Base SSD on iMac Pro 1TB ... no good reason for Mac Pro to do that either ( if Apple slid in a 2.5" or 3.5" drive slot in new Mac Pro even less. Go fusion drive and hit 1+TB for less money. ) ]


    Epyc is wrong choice for Mac Pro. It doesn't compete with Intel-W . Threadripper does but problem is cost sharing on component costs with iMac Pro. If both the next iMac Pro update and the revitalized Mac Pro showed up in late 2018 with Threadripper v2.0 that might make sense. AMD's ability to time that questionable. They haven't hit a projected timeline yet for several years. Add in any Thunderbolt potential hiccup and Intel has decent chance of winning the design 'bake off' with AMD. [ Apple themselves have already jacked up the timing of Mac Pro . It is likely they are looking to minimize delay risks with the replacement. ]

    Cost wise Threadripper is more effective than Intel. Especially as get to the higher core counts. If AMD could show they had rock solid Thunderbolt and low risk then maybe. That would have had to have been months ago to be viable for a 2018 Mac product though.
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #6684
    I'd heard something like this was coming, but another big reason Apple does not need to switch to AMD, and probably will not...

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/06/intel-core-h-8th-gen/

    Vega (most likely) and an Intel Core processor in a single package.

    Doesn't entirely replace Threadripper on the desktop side, but takes a lot of wind out of the "Apple switching to AMD" sails.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2017 ---
    Right. I think someone at Apple on the business side probably thought they could get everyone on the same three year refresh cycle but a) that doesn't make sense. And b) some people have a shorter than three year cycle.

    On the 2010 to 2013 gap: I've still heard rumors of an actual real 2011 or 2012 Mac Pro update that never shipped. But that's forever ago. But I think the 2013 was the first Mac Pro where they were trying to make it into a (mostly) leased appliance.

    I'm sure not everyone at Apple would agree with that idea. I had still heard a lot of half baked ideas on a 2013 Mac Pro upgrade program from inside the company. So my guess would be engineering and business were fighting over the idea of a Mac Pro as an appliance. But again, buried history at this point.
     
  10. askunk macrumors regular

    askunk

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #6685
    The whole purpose of thousands of posts was to have Apple let us mount whatever card we want, no compromises... and you are forecasting a Xeon and a Vega chip on the same wafer? :D (jk) :cool:
     
  11. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #6686
    That is a MBP 15" targeted solution. It shows that Intel is working hard to keeps Apple's business, but in the iMac Pro and Mac Pro space I'm not sure that will have much impact. The PC Week article this thread (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/intel-amd-partner-for-coffee-lake-vega-gpu-combo.2085536/ ) starts off on has a quote

    "... Core-Radeon modules will move gaming-class graphics down from systems 26mm thick, to thin-and-light PCs at 16mm and even 11mm thick — ..."

    The MBP 15" being 15-16mm thick is right at that spot. I posted about the synergies with MBP 15" there on that thread.


    Intel might do a Xeon W class EMIB solutions, but more like the multiple dies will be to add more x86 core count rather than integrate a relatively limited (from desktop class perspective ) GPU.

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/1200...with-amd-radeon-graphics-with-hbm2-using-emib

    Depends upon how big the substrates can get. 1-2 big CPI dies and 1 big GPU might work if can fit. But too much heat in too small of an area is just going to have major problems which a Mac Pro and iMac Pro doesn't necessarily need to saddle themselves with. Couple that with memory I/O overload and .... it gets squishy.


    This might make its way into a revised Mac Mini if the mini gets a bit more board space to work with.

    The "pow wow" meeting from earlier in the year pointed out Apple needed a range of GPUs in the Mac Pro. That is probably better done with a card. It doesn't have to be a generic, PCI-e slot standard card, but a card none-the-less ( tight, custom coupling to the TB subsystem which the generic market doesn't cover or even want to cover. ).


    There is a difference between being an appliance and not being able to reasonably service to or provide a viable operational window to the components in the appliance. Tanking the Software side ( OpenCL drifting into rocky waters.)

    I think the problem is more so in the resource/staffing levels than in being an appliance or not. Apple design being a chokepoint this particular product should have to be deeply gated by (i.e., it would be far beter if Mac got their own design team. Not sharing. ). Also that Apple commit to making some increment every 1-1.5 years (which means need a pipeline of work at different stages. Not necessarily huge projects ... can be custom GPU card bumps. ) .

    Apple could have limped the Mac Pro 2013 baseline forward to fill the gap (e.g., Polaris GPUs ) while adjusting for the market disconnects next year. The gross overt inaction is a core problem at this point. (not just Mac Pro ... managed to do a whole lot of nothing across most of the Mac line up over last 2 years. 1-2 things a year over a 6 major product category line up is significantly less than 50%. )
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2017 ---
    The technology is not the same wafer.



    [​IMG]
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/1200...with-amd-radeon-graphics-with-hbm2-using-emib

    EMIB allows you to mix and match whole dies from different wafers. ( note the different nm processes used above).

    Whether can scale this substrate up super large could be an issue of big dies with big GPU dies.... but just some same process (nm and tech ) the Intel x86 only chips are on the same path with EMIB. The issue is the wafers (and dies) can't be big enough.

    Silicon on Interposer can't scale big enough. It uses the same fundamental tech as dies since the connections are spread all over the Interposer. EMIB keeps that more so toward the die edges so total spread of all the die collectively can be a bit bigger.


    As for the thousands of entries in this thread ..... that isn't going much when doesn't solve the root technical issue at hand. The PCI-e standard physical slot parameters doesn't solve the needs that Thunderbolt has. The overal Mac market is driven by laptops. Mac Pro has to work in that ecosystem. You rant and rave all you want that is still going to be true.

    Any possible GPU wasn't true for the old Mac Pros. ( hackery and lifting other folks work into flashed cards aside).

    Instead of more emphasis on the need for a standard slot for secondary usage pounding the table for a solution that does solve Apple's core technical problem in delivering a Mac isn't going to fly. Can post 1000, 3,000 , or 4,000 times it just isn't.
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #6687
    Apple might go for something like this in the iMac Pro. With the Mac Pro? Depends if Apple wants the GPUs on their own cards or wants to maintain options for dual GPUs. So most likely we won't see this in the Mac Pro.

    Still... It seems like Intel is implying that the HBM2 memory would be equally addressable by Vega and the CPU with relative access proximity, which would be a HUGE performance boost.

    If that's true, could be a very serious problem for Nvidia. I don't see anything saying this is exclusive, but if Nvidia is shut out from that sort of advancement could be a problem.

    Also won't help Nvidia get any interest from Apple.
     
  13. Zarniwoop macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Location:
    West coast, Finland
    #6688
    That chip has all potential to be in iMac, Macbook Pro and Mac Mini. Embedded with Apple's security enclave chip on the EMIB processor.

    Before this release, I was thinking that days of Intel in a Mac are numbered... but this is Intel's dark horse.
     
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #6689
    The current iMac Pro specs say:
    • Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics processor with 8GB of HBM2 memory
    That 8GB of HBM2 ram is not likely a single stack. Getting multiple x86 dies , a huge GPU die , and more than one HBM2 stack onto one of these EMIB may not scale. I think it scales better than silicon interposer, but not quite at stage of "skip the motherboard just ship whole core computer on a CPU package" stage.

    Similar kind of drama of putting 120W CPU die(s) within millimeters of 120W GPU die. That creates a mess that is tougher to get out of.

    Vega arch isn't set up to put HBM2 on "system ram" bus.

    [​IMG]
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/11002/the-amd-vega-gpu-architecture-teaser/3




    Presuming that the HBM2 is hooked to the EMIB interconnects. it could be hooked to the "other side" of the GPU die.

    HBM2 <-> GPU die <-> EMIB switchboard <-> CPU

    The HBM2 <-> GPU could be on smaliish interposer and the CPU hooked to that.


    I suspect Nvidia shuts themselves out. Intel and AMD willing to work together and Nvidia pushing in other directions.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #6690
    Also worth noting this puts a nice big nail in the "A series processors in Macs" coffin.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2017 ---
    We'll have to see. Initially I don't think they'll go for desktop parts, but it seems like the next logical step. Especially if the CPU can address the HBM memory. (Initial reading says that might be a no, but hard to believe they wouldn't go there in the future.)
     
  16. mattspace, Nov 6, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017

    mattspace macrumors 6502a

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #6691
    Warning, wall of text ;)

    Well I'm going to assume the people I know directly is a representative sample. The permanent employee is a declining phenomenon. Know what's easier than leasing hardware - paying freelancers based on the work they deliver and letting them deal with hardware.

    But this idea that the user expandable MP has to be a distinct product paid for by just "people who want user-upgrades" is just nonsense. Apple is a single company, and products cross-subsidise each other all the time (the iMac Pro is going to be heavily subsidised by the scale the regular iMac gives to display panel prices, for example). Does anyone think the nMP was paid for purely by sales to people who wouldn't have bought a cheesegrater? Why apply that standard to people wanting a user-upgradable solution?

    This didn't matter in the cheesegrater era, because for the non-upgrading customer, the cheesegrater was the same as the nMP - buy a standard config, plug it in and go, except that it didn't treat its internal components like consumables.

    Contrary to this "is there a market for a user-upgradable system", it's the nMP that had no actual market - it was the only choice for a new non-AIO "pro" computer running macOS, so nothing about its sales are evidence that it was actually a product the market wanted, vs one they tolerated / endured. Put it this way, the cheesegrater brought people to the Mac, it was a good workstation within the world of workstations, so even if you ran Windows, it was an unambiguously good piece of kit. The nMP, both the machine, and the strategy it represented, caused a migration away from Apple hardware & macOS, it was a bad workstation within the world of workstations. Just like the iPad is a bad computer for educational customers, its fundamental "virtues" from Apple's perspective, were tied to greater liabilities in the eyes of the people who were the primary market (a million edge cases who need customisability over a machine's lifetime).

    The amigos said it themselves - the nMP was too focussed, to the extent that its inflexibility excluded users. Even if it hadn't been a failure-prone lemon, it was still a failed product idea. The MPs job is to be all things to all users - that's it's only significant role, the machine you buy when none of the focussed machines fit your need.

    The cheesegrater did and could do everything the trashcan could do, with the exception of being put in carryon luggage, and when talking abut a vanishingly small numbers for a user case, it's the need for a small workstation one should point their attention towards. The next machine has to be able to hit 100% of users, not be good for some, but a compromise for others. The "nuts & gum" iMac Pro is the only machine Apple was intending to replace the nMP, THAT's the mac pro for the nMP mindset, so no matter what, nMP fans are getting the machine they were going to get, based on the design philosophy they seem to think is valid.

    However, the non-upgradable appliance brings no user advantages by virtue of being non-upgradable - literally, none. It wasn't made faster, more reliable, less chord spaghetti or cheaper. Literally all you got in return, was arguably less noise, but that was only achieved through a failed idea in the cooling design.

    A workstation should be able to last a decade, high turnover on a machine like that is just ridiculous, especially from an environmental point of view that Apple likes to trumpet - the embodied energy lost in recycling / landfilling the old machine and manufacturing the new will always exceed the energy efficiency savings of the new, and the interconnect infrastructure between components that can be upgraded, simply doesn't progress at a speed that makes a meaningful impact on overall performance in those sort of timescales. Reuse is the first rule of sustainability, ahead of Recycle, for a reason.

    As for avoiding Apples upgrade costs - here's the thing, that's unavoidable. Apple is losing the content creation market, formerly mac-only developers are jumping ship to hedge with windows versions, so their options are going to narrow to "make a machine that is upgradable for market rates" or "lose a sale entirely". macOS is an increasingly irrelevant differentiator.

    Apple put a lot of time into VR at WWDC, does anyone honestly think VR developers are going to base themselves on a machine, immersed for hours a day, with second-rate graphics (which everything Apple sells has, and will have, compared to standalone GPU products), or in which they can't upgrade the GPU every single time a vendor releases a new top of the range? Immersive environment quality, driven by GPU power, is going to be the new "I find macOS more comfortable to work in than Windows".

    When talking about 3-4 year refresh cycles, GPUs are 8-12 months. We see this phenomenon in iOS development - developers rush to grab every device as soon as it's released, because they have to have it to make sure they're able to experience the cutting edge that their customers will use. VR will be no different - developers will want the same quality of experience their customers can get, and their customers can buy whatever new shiny team red or team green are selling as a standalone retail product.

    The only product that makes no sense, frankly, is a VR development workstation, with non-upgradable GPUs.
     
  17. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #6692
    The Intel Youtube video linked into the front page story suggest that is more than might be a no ( at least in terms of direct, shared memory).

    https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/06/intel-8th-generation-processors-amd-gpus/

    Time stamp 0:40 - 0:50.

    The edge coupling is directly between the HBMv2 stack and the GPU. ( the GPU and the CPU share another edge. )

    In that the GPU and CPU can share indirect, shared 'flat' virtual address space perhaps. That will be very NUMA like. Not like the shared Last level cache of the Intel eDRAM solution. Not going to get a boost on pure x86 workload performance.

    To keep the costs way more reasonable there doesn't appear to be a memory crossbar switch/connector so all the different dies involved can share everything point-to-point.
     
  18. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #6693
    Yeah, after seeing performance described as just "equivalent" I figured they probably hadn't linked the CPU with VRAM. Still, door could be open in the future.

    Even if they aren't getting a performance boost integrating the package they're still causing a major headache for Nvidia.
     
  19. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #6694
    Alot of stuff here that has problems but two are hard to let go by because just so deeply flawed. ....

    This is typically the fast path to confirmation bias and/or skewed estimations. Sampling just what is extremely convenient doesn't necessarily give access to what the world looks like.

    There are quantifiable numbers out there if looking for size of worksation class market.

    https://www.jonpeddie.com/press-releases/workstation-market-shipment-increased-20-year-over-year/

    About a 1M a quarter. So about the size of the iMac. Any Mac Pro size is substantially smaller. Apple doesn't show up as a player in those workstation market. ( HP , Dell , and Lenovo is 87% .... Other is 10% ... Apple no where on the chart.. And that isn't new. That goes back all the way to the Mac Pro 2006-2010 era too. ). Apple has made several financial related statements about how the iMac is the dominant desktop product ( when they were talking about dekstop sales as a separate breakout. )

    Mac Pro is problem in the sub 100K range. That is small enough to fall of the Workstation sampling radar. And it is small because it isn't there.




    Actually the following sentence is nonsense.

    Mac products largely do not subsidize one another. Other system vendors do that to varying degrees. Apple does not. All of the Mac have a mark-up margin on them. There are no loss leaders. The example of the iMac and iMac Pro sharing components is an example of economies of scale; not subsidies. The parts bought in higher volume are more affordable which lowers costs for both products . There is no accounting transfer of money from one product to another at all.

    The second question is just misdirection set up by a flawed notion of 'subsidy'. The MP 2013 was paid for by folks who thought there was value in buying it. It is probably mostly folks who shape of the device was not an absolute priority. The notion that those folks could have been herded into a cheese grater solution is not about subsidies.
    In contrast, if you want a product that Apple doesn't want to make then those folks do need a justification that stands on its own. it is pure cheat to say ( well make other fratricide other Mac products to make them less profitable (e.g., remove economies of scale and shared design/talent resources ) because "rob Peter to pay Paul" is the status quo of product management. It isn't.


    Apple also bundles software ( free Pages, TextEdit , Mail , etc. ). Apple also doesn't sell the software unattached to a Mac system. There is a charge built into the system sell for that software and upgrades. They aren't free (or subsidies). When you buy a system you are buying for them. Those prices are just hard bundled to the system.

    Apple does subsidize a few things but largely non Mac associated. iTunes on Windows ( paid for by iPod and iOS devices ). Again though there is a charge back bundling with each one of those devices sold. Everyone pays for the software they may or may not use. Again though this is a more an economies of scale exercise. if everyone pays then it is much cheaper for each individual.


    Ecosystem wise the rest of the Mac products don't 'subsize' software for Mac Pro. They all contribute to a healthy enough ecosystem to support a range of developers and products. Once again economies of scale make that robust. The Mac Pro couldn't survive by itself. The laptop line probably could at this point. That is more a synergy and interdependence than a subsidy.
     
  20. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
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    California
    #6695
    You could have posted just the large type of the "wall" on 5-31-2016 and no other post would have been necessary! :p

    Wall Of Text4.png
     
  21. mattspace macrumors 6502a

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #6696
    I'm referring to the percentage of people who are using machines provided by their employer, vs freelancers bringing their own equipment. I know plenty of people at both ends of the spectrum, and people who go in and out between - the idea that all workstations / professionally used computers are going to be leased, and therefore can be disposable, simply doesn't stack up. Especially in tax jurisdictions where Large writeoffs are allowed - here in Australia for example, any business asset purchase up to $20k can be written off completely in one year as a tax deduction, no multiyear depreciation schemes / leasing required.

    Less reason to devote resources to making something custom and weird, and more reason to build the most standard Xeon slotbox possible. It's the only way to ensure the highest coverage of potential buyers.

    Yes, everything has a markup, but the profits from one line aren't firewalled to only go into R&D for that line. AFAIK Apples financials are quite different to most tech companies in that they don't silo income from various divisions as if they were separate sub-companies.

    The economies of scale from the iMac are what allow the iMac Pro to exist - without the iMac, the volumes of the iMac Pro wouldn't get panel prices even remotely close to what Apple require, and there is no way the iMac Pro is going to move in volumes sufficient to be more than a rounding error on Apples component costs for the iMac. Look at Dells 5k display, it cost pretty much the same as Apple's iMac with the same panel in it - volumes make a huge difference.

    Do you think the purchase prices and profit margins Apple put on those machines included how much they've spent on warranty repairs, service personnel time, lost customers, reputation damage etc?

    We've seen what happened at Apple when they sold a compact workstation, as well as a slotbox of similar capability - the G4 tower and G4 Cube, and what happened - miniaturisation, lack of expandability and high design were assigned a negative value by the main market for the machine, and Pros largely ignored it, or pointed out that it was overpriced from its lack of expansion.

    Like the nMP, the cube pushed materials and design boundaries, and was likewise an unreliable lemon of a computer.

    Does anyone really think if there's been a next generation cheesegrater slotbox offered alongside the nMP, that the nMP would have been able to stand on its own merits? It's single biggest selling point, was being the only option if you wanted to stay with macOS for a heavy-lifting workstation.


    Personally, I think they should write off the iMac Pro, kill it, and instead produce a slot-based workstation and display, on the grounds that it is one machine which meets every potential use case for everyone who needs something faster than an iMac, and has the least investment required, so is more likely to meet its requirements for margins on a small volume product.

    Prediction: the iMac Pro will not sell enough units to cover its costs - R&D, tooling, and manufacture, unless it is price sheltered by a radical over-pricing / overspeccing of the mMP to corral buyers. It is a product from a future that didn't happen, whose rationale is wholly dependent on being the only option for a "pro" Mac desktop.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2017 ---
    well I did post a warning ;)

    feel free to disregard my posts on this cause it's probably nothing that hasn't been written a dozen times before, I just dislike the idea that this locked down appliance mindset is some inevitability, or the natural order of things. It's not, it's a bad idea that resurfaces at Apple over and over, and always turns out poorly. Definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result... like me making this same argument ;)
     
  22. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #6697
    You do realize saying, "no other post would have been necessary" meant "The MP's job is to be all things to all users" should have been the #2 post in the thread on 5-31-2016. Therefore #3-#6697 are totally unnecessary! That quote is the summation of the entire thread! :D
     
  23. iPadified, Nov 7, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017

    iPadified macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #6698
    Well I'm going to assume the people I know directly is a representative sample. The permanent employee is a declining phenomenon. Know what's easier than leasing hardware - paying freelancers based on the work they deliver and letting them deal with hardware.

    But this idea that the user expandable MP has to be a distinct product paid for by just "people who want user-upgrades" is just nonsense. Apple is a single company, and products cross-subsidise each other all the time (the iMac Pro is going to be heavily subsidised by the scale the regular iMac gives to display panel prices, for example). Does anyone think the nMP was paid for purely by sales to people who wouldn't have bought a cheesegrater? Why apply that standard to people wanting a user-upgradable solution?

    This didn't matter in the cheesegrater era, because for the non-upgrading customer, the cheesegrater was the same as the nMP - buy a standard config, plug it in and go, except that it didn't treat its internal components like consumables.

    Contrary to this "is there a market for a user-upgradable system", it's the nMP that had no actual market - it was the only choice for a new non-AIO "pro" computer running macOS, so nothing about its sales are evidence that it was actually a product the market wanted, vs one they tolerated / endured. Put it this way, the cheesegrater brought people to the Mac, it was a good workstation within the world of workstations, so even if you ran Windows, it was an unambiguously good piece of kit. The nMP, both the machine, and the strategy it represented, caused a migration away from Apple hardware & macOS, it was a bad workstation within the world of workstations. Just like the iPad is a bad computer for educational customers, its fundamental "virtues" from Apple's perspective, were tied to greater liabilities in the eyes of the people who were the primary market (a million edge cases who need customisability over a machine's lifetime).

    The amigos said it themselves - the nMP was too focussed, to the extent that its inflexibility excluded users. Even if it hadn't been a failure-prone lemon, it was still a failed product idea. The MPs job is to be all things to all users - that's it's only significant role, the machine you buy when none of the focussed machines fit your need.

    The cheesegrater did and could do everything the trashcan could do, with the exception of being put in carryon luggage, and when talking abut a vanishingly small numbers for a user case, it's the need for a small workstation one should point their attention towards. The next machine has to be able to hit 100% of users, not be good for some, but a compromise for others. The "nuts & gum" iMac Pro is the only machine Apple was intending to replace the nMP, THAT's the mac pro for the nMP mindset, so no matter what, nMP fans are getting the machine they were going to get, based on the design philosophy they seem to think is valid.

    However, the non-upgradable appliance brings no user advantages by virtue of being non-upgradable - literally, none. It wasn't made faster, more reliable, less chord spaghetti or cheaper. Literally all you got in return, was arguably less noise, but that was only achieved through a failed idea in the cooling design.

    A workstation should be able to last a decade, high turnover on a machine like that is just ridiculous, especially from an environmental point of view that Apple likes to trumpet - the embodied energy lost in recycling / landfilling the old machine and manufacturing the new will always exceed the energy efficiency savings of the new, and the interconnect infrastructure between components that can be upgraded, simply doesn't progress at a speed that makes a meaningful impact on overall performance in those sort of timescales. Reuse is the first rule of sustainability, ahead of Recycle, for a reason.

    As for avoiding Apples upgrade costs - here's the thing, that's unavoidable. Apple is losing the content creation market, formerly mac-only developers are jumping ship to hedge with windows versions, so their options are going to narrow to "make a machine that is upgradable for market rates" or "lose a sale entirely". macOS is an increasingly irrelevant differentiator.

    Apple put a lot of time into VR at WWDC, does anyone honestly think VR developers are going to base themselves on a machine, immersed for hours a day, with second-rate graphics (which everything Apple sells has, and will have, compared to standalone GPU products), or in which they can't upgrade the GPU every single time a vendor releases a new top of the range? Immersive environment quality, driven by GPU power, is going to be the new "I find macOS more comfortable to work in than Windows".

    When talking about 3-4 year refresh cycles, GPUs are 8-12 months. We see this phenomenon in iOS development - developers rush to grab every device as soon as it's released, because they have to have it to make sure they're able to experience the cutting edge that their customers will use. VR will be no different - developers will want the same quality of experience their customers can get, and their customers can buy whatever new shiny team red or team green are selling as a standalone retail product.

    The only product that makes no sense, frankly, is a VR development workstation, with non-upgradable GPUs.[/QUOTE]
    A very expected response. If the number of user for mMP is too small, there is no reason to develop it unless Apple need it strategically. VR is a strategic reason that makes sense. You and many other are doing as always:forcing a format of a computer (user upgradable, big, lots of ports)to others that may not need it. Tell me, why should I pay for something I will not use? I thought the "Amigos" said the 2013 MP was in a thermal corner. The iMac Pro is in the same thermal corner. 2013 a bad workstation? Do you have numbers supporting this claim? If so, can you really tell if the format of the 2013 MP is the reason or if other factors are affecting the workstation market such as software support?
     
  24. singhs.apps macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #6699
    Try this the other way around : you are insisting an aio solution like the iMac pro / 2013 nMP should be good for us who find it restrictive, under powered compared to other solutions by other workstation makers. Tell us why we should buy such a product ?

    For your use case scenario, if an aio makes sense, Apple makes several : MacBook pros, iMacs etc. should be good enough, yes ? And if not what does a Mac Pro provide that is not available for you in the other products ? I am curious.

    Are you an Apple shareholder ? Does that affect your beliefs reg what users need ?
     
  25. iPadified macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #6700
    I am not saying that iMac Pro/2013 MP suits everybody. Look higher up in the thread. I just said that there are people who like iMac Pro/2013 MP and why should they accept a cheese grater type of MP if they do not need the expansion? As I said before, do not trash the 2013 MP/Imac Pro just because you need a mac with internal expansion. What is the point? There are room for everyone. I advocate two computer. However, it may not make any business sense. I don't know because I have not seen the sale number etc so I want to keep neutral about success and failure of Apple product. Not easy as I have a preference (as everybody else).

    I use Modo to create teaching material and short animations. I like Modo's render engine and it is fast despite being purely CPU based. Quality is OK for what I am doing. The 8-core 2013 MP was significantly faster than any iMac 4 years ago and still beats any iMac when it comes to silence. With coffeelake around the corner i might switch to iMac but that depend on the cooling system of the iMac. I have a funny feeling Apple will make a thinner iMac with 65W max processors. If so the iMac Pro is probably better choice for me and ah, that dark design, it does not hurt does it? Hope it passes the "wife" test as it going to be placed in our library.

    No I am not an Apple share holder but have worked with installation of PC some decades ago. I struck me that PC where design by engineer for engineers. Lots of expansion possibilities that where never used and hence money out of the window. That changed with AIO and laptops.
     

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