What was Apple thinking?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tony3d, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. tony3d macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Why in the world would Apple engineer 6 pin video card power connectors into their latest Mac Pro's? It basically Locks you out of high end cards such as the AMD 7990.
     
  2. maxosx macrumors 68020

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    #2
    The same reason they engineer a proprietary charging connector, name it such that people are led to believe its ultra magical & worth it's rather obscene price.

    Lightning! It doesn't get any more special than that :D
     
  3. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thunderbolt is awesome...ahead of the industry.

    The 6-pin connector, OTH, is underpowered and out of date. I don't see any relationship at all between the two decisions...except that Apple made them both.
     
  4. maxosx macrumors 68020

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    #4
    The relationship has to do with Apples long history of proprietary items. All brilliantly designed to lock in users. Apple works 24/7 365 spinning stories, manipulating the reporters, convincing everyone & anyone who'll listen, how superior they are.

    I'm not being critical, just stating the facts. It's how they became, and remain massively wealthy.

    Yet gradually the times are changing. Without their lead salesman, a distinct lack of showmanship now exists. Tainted in the public eye via lawsuits, patent squabbles & general discord, Apple is being viewed in a different light.

    Nothing lasts forever. At some point they may learn what it feels like to be second or third. The retail customer can be quite fickle. So far Apples avoided the slap of reality. Time has a way of impacting things in unexpected ways.
     
  5. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

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    #5
    If you are referring to ThunderBolt, that was designed by Intel.
     
  6. jasonvp, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013

    jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

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    #6
    It would require a motherboard overhaul to do. Apple basically designed the current motherboard for the 2009 Mac Pro 4,1s in 2008ish, I'd bet. And at the time, no one was making any high performance Mac-specific video cards. The GTX285 was available, and the Quaddro 4K was planned, if not already out. Along with those, a couple of ATI/AMD cards. But again, nothing terribly power-hungry.

    The need wasn't there.

    Fast forward to today, where the need is clearly evident. But again, it would require a motherboard overhaul. And they're definitely not about to do that for the existing Mac Pro. It's a waning product, and they know that. Hopefully, tomorrow's Mac Pro will have all of the power delivery necessary for hungrier cards.

    jas
     
  7. bsbeamer macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I guess you're still banking on the end of April rumors, too? haha
     
  8. sakau2007 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    what is ThunderBolt competing against, and why is it ahead of the industry?
     
  9. jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

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    #9
    That's not what I meant, of course. By "tomorrow's" Mac Pro, I meant whatever they design/deliver next.

    jas
     
  10. SMDBill macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2013
    #10
    That's an excellent answer and stated in a positive, non-aggressive way. I appreciate such an honest answer and it's quite true that, regardless of the quality of products, Apple has mastered public and media perceptions of their company. And by making beautiful designs with durability and great customer service, they're still standing at the top. I just hope they figure out how to stay there with the negative attention that has come since Jobs passed. I am sure it's a struggle to replace a man who was brilliant at what he did for the company while fighting the uphill battles of lawsuits, accusations about Cook's leadership of the company, product issues with class action lawsuits, etc.

    So far they've come away ok, but the stock hits have been brutal of late. The next few product introductions will be critical to public perception of Apple's innovation abilities for the future since so much has been placed on Cook's shoulders regarding innovation, profitability, design decisions (like accusations about how poor a product the mini would be, yet it has skyrocketed in popularity as Apple predicted), etc.

    Thanks for the candid insight. It's all quite true, as much as we often wish to not admit it. I enjoy when we can have open conversations like this without the finger pointing or need to defend a business running itself as a business should...for profit.
     
  11. bsbeamer macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Fully aware, and was just joking. It made me laugh a bit this morning (out of context), so thanks.
     
  12. theluggage macrumors 68030

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    #12
    PCIe slots inside computers.

    Thunderbolt isn't competing with USB3. If you want a straightforward external hard drive - USB3 is the best choice. If you've used all your USB3 ports then Thunderbolt should let you add extra USB3 ports to your computer (unlike a USB3 hub that just shares out the existing USB3 bandwidth) or add SATA interfaces to drive multiple HDs directly.

    The fly in the ointment is the delay in producing 'docks' and poor marketing that doesn't explain why these are a different kettle of fish to hubs and port replicators (the name "dock" is probably a bad start in that respect).

    Anybody else offering 'external PCIe'?
     
  13. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

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    #13
    This seems like the answer to me. The 6 pin connector isn't proprietary, just a design choice from long ago.
     
  14. tony3d thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Seems to me when they introduced the newest Mac Pro last year, they should have made those mother board changes to accept 250 watts cards, and 8 pin connectors then. This is type of stuff that really ticks me off about Apple.
     
  15. jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

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    #15
    Again: why? They knew they weren't going to sell too many of those '12 Mac Pros, which is why they didn't update the model number. They're still 5,1s. Overhauling the motherboard would have cost them way more than the sales would have generated and just not have been worth it to them.

    jas
     
  16. TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Here ya go here is one
    But I could not find a price.
     
  17. jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

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    #17
    $2200 for the external case, and another few hundred for the required PCI card for the Mac. In other words: not inexpensive.

    jas
     
  18. tony3d thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Unless they used the same case on the 2013 Mac Pro. Come on last year they hadn't updated the Pro for over 2.5 years, the least the could have done would be to give people some modern architecture! Then, they could have continued to update the Pro from there. That would have been an acceptable upgrade. What they did do was shameful!
     
  19. jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

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    #19
    OK, this is turning into another, "We Want a New Mac Pro!!!one11!!eleven!" thread. Extricating self.

    jas
     
  20. goMac macrumors 603

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    #20
    Because the latest Mac Pro came out at least two years ago when the 7990 didn't exist?
     
  21. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #21
    They didn't engineer the latest Mac Pro at all. They stuck a faster CPU in the socket and included more RAM.
     
  22. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #22
    It isn't about "reusing the case". There is a finite set of Mac Pro allocated resources. Allocating people to a minor revision to the 2012 would only make the 2013 Mac Pro come out later. You can arm wave about Apple's cash horde but there has approximately zero to do with how many folks get assigned to do Mac Pro R&D.

    Never mind that the case probably would be tweaked because if fixing the 2012 model and delaying the 2013 model further still might as well tweak the EU problem too. Again, a side show that has very poor return on investment.

    The cost in time and resources to tweak the Mac Pro 2012 would come out of something. The return on that redirection of investment would have been poor even though wouldn't cost very much.


    This is another reason of scope creep. First it is just need route 8 pin power. Then someone will point out the EU problem and need fan tweaks. Then someone grumbles about USB 3.0 . Now have scope creeped to well there was a Xeon E5 updates in June... loop those in too.

    It is a lack of priority in the previous years, but hardly shameful. It was a minor speed bump of an existing product. It is also a two way street. If customers had been buying Mac Pros at highly above average Mac acquisition rates in 2008-2011 (or even just keep up with overall Mac averages) there likely would have been work done to provision a new infrastructure for 2012. They didn't, so there was not.
     
  23. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #23
    The equivalents did ( 4870 x2 and 5970 ) and Apple didn't provision for that either. These "dual GPU with on card SLI/Crossfire" bridges never were and probably never will be supported by Apple. It is a small, niche of a niche market that probably isn't worth allocating the resources to fill.

    That class of cards are "brute force solution" cards. Apple has hardly ever bought into brute force based solutions in any of their products. They really don't demonstrate the kind of approaches to engineering/technology that they typically pursue. Typically Apple uses "very good" performance parts and just follows along over time letting Moore's Law and the overall tech industry improvements push the upper bounds over time.

    Just piling on power, fans, and bulk just to cross a line a year or two earlier in the product cycles doesn't really buy much when the product is generally out in front of vast majority customers with respect to performance.

    If Apple supplies too much power then is only going to draw in overclockers and tweak freaks. Generally, that tends to raise support costs and lower profitability.
     
  24. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    Sep 12, 2007
    #24
    I agree, they could have upgraded the Mac Pro completely last year with SB-E and LGA2011.

    For whatever reason, they didn't. As a Mac Pro 2009 owner I am quite thankful as my Mac Pro has remained 'latest' for longer and is still worth much more than if it was replaced with a SB-E model.

    As for the 6-pin issue, 8-pin cards where barely on the scene when they were designing it (late 2008) so no wonder why they didn't bother with 8-pins. On the 2012 refresh, upping the CPU options is easy. Adding anything else requires either software or hardware design which seems pretty dumb to do unless your actually moving to next gen.

    Given a number of high end cards now demand one 8-pin connection I can see the engineers designing that in to the 2013 MP. However I can also see them not bothering.
     
  25. maxosx macrumors 68020

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    #25
    My post said Lightning. Not to be confused with Thunderbolt. Two different components.
     

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