When will the first update to the new MP be?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cubemmal, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    After much hard thought I'm staying with Apple - the best of a bad lot from what I can see. So I'm getting a new MP but the question is when. I'd prefer not buying the first run of the first gen. I can wait a few months to let the reviews and production line settle down, but I'm wondering about waiting even longer. I wouldn't mind getting a nMP with the next gen of AMD GPU's, namely the R9 series.

    When do you think Apple will update the nMP, a year from now? When do you think they'll update the GPU's, two years?
     
  2. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #2
    No one knows. No one will know until Apple announces it.

    Any guesses are less than conjecture...they are meaningless.

    An aside....Threads of this nature never cease to amaze me. I cannot, for the life of me, understand what is gained by asking for information known only by folks at Apple, who are not about to post an answer here.
     
  3. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Because you are far overstating the point. The update schedule is not unknowable, it is reasonably predictable due to product technology and marketing forces. In this case I can make a few guesses, but usually with a thread like this there are several such, then one guy chimes in quietly who knows his business.

    And inevitably you get some non useful null content posts like yours.
     
  4. DisMyMac macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

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    #4
    I don't think early adopter risks apply this time. It's mainly the thermal design that's new - and that's just a big fan. The rest of it could be viewed as decades old engineering.
     
  5. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    That's been my thinking, additionally due to Intel Xeon delays I think they've been sitting on this design for a long time. But what about updates?
     
  6. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #6
    I'll wager the second gen can will be taller to accommodate a second Xeon CPU - The New Mac Pro Duo!
     
  7. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #7
    While humbly acknowledging the sharp chastisement above, I continue to stalwartly stand behind the content of my post...meaningless guesses are, IMO, meaningless guesses.
     
  8. DJenkins, Dec 6, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013

    DJenkins macrumors 6502

    DJenkins

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    #8
    If you feel you need to look so far ahead past the current UNRELEASED model - maybe the new mac pro is not for you anyway?

    Also I would like to add that future releases from Apple may be as unpredictable as the format of their new flagship workstation.

    They have been shifting the focus away from the server/professional/workstation market for some time now. There was a long stretch where people were convinced the Mac Pro line was over altogether. The success or failure of this machine may dictate if there are any future releases at all.

    If you NEED an Apple workstation now, you will buy this series the day of release. It's the only way to get your full moneys worth as they will not be getting any cheaper the longer you wait.

    If you are umm-ing and aahhh-ing about it, you don't probably don't NEED it at all.

    In which case you may go past a simple purchase decision to another extreme and start building your own OSX running systems. It can be a lot of effort but that way you may be able to have the best of both worlds. Depends on what you want in a system.

    I completely admit the nMP is an incredible machine for what it is... it's just unfortunate that it doesn't fulfill a lot of peoples current needs or expectations.
     
  9. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #9
    This is not happening.



    It's generally somewhat predictable. Though the progression of the Mac Pro has been anything but predictable over the past 5 years.
     
  10. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #10
    The launch of Haswell-E would likely be the impetus for a refresh of the nMP. That CPU is about 12-months away but will probably slip into 2015.

    However, the next generation of CPUs, GPUs, and RAM is more about delivering more performance per watt rather than raw performance thanks to the emphasis on mobile. It looks like Haswell-E will offer a 6% improvement in performance and DDR4 support (likely to be expensive at first). By then we should also see next-gen GPUs on 22nm as well, which will bring added performance per watt.
     
  11. mpantone macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Based on history, Apple's Mac updates are primarily tied to processor updates, but also more loosely tied to GPU upgrades (at least for models with discrete graphics).

    Intel has periodically missed target release dates for new processor architecture because of the difficulty in ramping up production yield, particularly when they move to a different manufacturing process.

    Assuming Apple actually ships the new Mac Pro this month, it would seem unlikely that there would be any sort of upgrade in 2014, particularly in light with VirtualRain's comments about Haswell-E.

    My guess is pretty worthless, but I'm thinking that the most likely upgrade would be around WWDC in June 2015.
     
  12. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Actually I was talking about buying strategy (now or wait), not my personal motivation. However I freely admit that I want it more than need it.

    ----------

    Fair enough.

    ----------

    This sounds reasonable ... Maybe some proc bumps next year but nothing really different until late 2015
     
  13. koban4max macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Dec 17-18...more likely.
     
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #14
    Intel hasn't even reach volume production and easy availability of the Xeon E5 v2 productions. It is highly unlikely they are going to jump to v3 (Haswell) volume/easy availability in less than 12 months. v3 means new transactional memory instructions and DDR 4 memory. I would expect the Intel beta enterprise customers to put extra time in 'kicking the tires' on that kind of substantially new technology move. Again probably not fast tracked. Most likely scenario right now is Intel announces E5 v3 in Oct-Nov and real common availability isn't until early Q1 2015.


    With no new CPU+RAM to move to there isn't much to upgrade to in most of 2014. E5 v2 is likely going to slide into 2015. The Mac Pro would slide with them.

    [ A Feb 2013 E5 v1 Mac pro followed by a Feb 2014 E5 v2 Mac Pro would have allowed a 12 month cadence but Apple didn't do that. ]


    There is little in AMD's current R9 line up to move to. The newer top end runs too hot for this enclosure and power constraints. The middle R9 line up really doesn't currently have much to justify new wide spectrum FirePro refresh on. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised AMD come out in the Spring with some additional R9 variants in the middle range that weaved in the Audio DSP that went on to become foundation for a FirePro update. However, it likely will be June 2014 until have a better picture of what AMD might bring to the party.

    If a major system upgrade ( likely with E5 Xeon v3 changes requires) then their probably would be another design bake-off between AMD and Nvidia for the GPU cards. ( Just like design bake-off when MBP and iMac do major, non tock-tick progression, upgrades ). If Nvidia meets Apples terms on price , TDP , performance, and licensing, they could be back in the Mac Pro on next iteration.

    R9 isn't particularly next generation. It is still GCN v1.x based. It is configuration updates and same process speed bumps. R9 configs are new, but that doesn't make it next generation.

    AMD's next generation may not show up till 2015. AMD is spending substantial effort into weaving the GCN v1 into CPU+GPU combos more so than purely discrete work. Whether they match Nvidia generational move to Maxwell in 2014 is up in the air. If AMD's next generation is early 2015 I don't think Apple is going to weave those into early 2015 Mac Pro updates. The long logistics lead time on reference design mods, drivers (which have a consistant track record of lagging behind ) , means whatever gets selected is likely going to be visible on the Windows PC market by mid-2014.
     
  15. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #15
    Not. Apple isn't going to use Haswell-E. Xeon E5 v3 ( Haswell-EP)? yes. Core i7 59xx ( -E)? no.



    Especially since they have really gotten the E5 v2 out the door yet in production capacity in 2013. The "release" date has a decent change of being in early Q4 2014 though so that Intel can enable some almost handpicked systems to make SuperComputer Top500 list in November 2014. The slide into 2015 would be for workstation volumes of E5 v3.





    More performance per watt also allows the core count to go up. The E5 1600 v3 series that Apple will use will likely start at 6 cores and the 8 core model won't be E5 2600 series priced. The entry model will likely be 6 around same clock and the next one up might be 8 core (which folks are are probably going to pay $2K more for now).

    The moaners and groaners who have their underwear in a twist over the entry Mac Pro having same core count as iMac or Mini will be happier.


    For average apps. Haswell in general has support for AVX2 ( which brings integer into the SIMD stream along with a few other improvements for computationally heavy code).

    Apple's likely 4 DIMMs socket for 4 striaghtfoward DDR4 DIMMs shouldn't all that expensive (at least to historical prices. It will be more expensive than DDR3 but DDR3 will be down in price even more in 2015. ). Folks will moan and groan about how they can get older, cheaper DIMMs. If Apple waits long enough into 2015 DDR4 Skylake mainstream CPUs may be around to drive volume of DDR4 up (and prices down).

    We'lll see. Apple's GPU adoption curve trailing by 4-6 months means late 2014 arriving 22nm GPUs probably won't make an early 2015 cut.
     
  16. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

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  17. goMac macrumors 603

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    #17
    With the new Mac Pro's emphasis on GPUs, I wouldn't put any bets on when GPUs will arrive.

    The last time Apple had this sort of emphasis on GPUs, Macs got GPUs about a month earlier than PCs. I know, shocking. The GeForce 4 Ti launch was exclusive to the Mac.
     
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #18
    Except that there are CPU upgrades coming by early 2015.... so late 2015 is not being motivated at all about new CPU availability. The core counts in the Xeon E5 v3 likely selected by Apple are going up. That isn't a "speed bump".

    Stubbing the upcoming Mac Pro with 8 and 12 core E5 2600 priced parts is partially a kludge right now. E5 v3 will make the systems substantially more effective price wise which likely will have a very real impact on units sold.

    From a primarily skewed GPU perspective.... yes probably late 2015 or early 2016 till something very significantly different.

    ----------

    The emphasis isn't on GPUs as much as GPGPUs. Faster 3D frame rates isn't the focus.

    If there is vendor who can deliver more OpenCL GPGPU throughput at better prices and lower TDP, then Apple isn't going to wait as long as possible to weave that in with a CPU upgrade.

    It also wouldn't hurt the Mac Pro in the audio market if there were two DSPs in the system along with the two GPGPUs.


    That was graphics. This isn't about graphics. And frankly that is over a decade ago and exclusivity had much more to do with timing of large dog and pony shows that Apple didn't have schedule control over. Exclusiive is a huge stretch as the gap wasn't that long... just till the next 'dog and pony' show with Windows.
     
  19. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    deconstruct60 gets the thread award for "Guy that quietly knows what he's talking about".
     
  20. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #20
    Here here - the new Mac Pro duo.

    With a multi thunderbolt plug PCIe chassis to host the can, SATA drives and expansion cards. Hopefully it will be a big box with a cheesegrater face :D
     
  21. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #21

    A second Xeon CPU would require a different system design. two CPUs and two GPUs won't cut it power , shared thermal core , or single fan wise.

    Xeon E5 1600 v3 line up will probably go 6 , 6 , 8 , 8 cores. The E5 26000 v3 line up may top out at 15 . The current 12c variant is a 3 stack "layer cake" design.

    [​IMG]
    [http://www.anandtech.com/show/7285/intel-xeon-e5-2600-v2-12-core-ivy-bridge-ep ]

    Taking the three stacks of 4 to three stacks of 5 shouldn't be a huge problem for a more optimized design for the 22nm process. At worst they could drop one a count of one on one stack to 4 to lower the L3 cache pressure. (similar to how the 1680 v2 disables two cores but keeps that layer of L3 contribution. )

    What two CPU packages used to do is

    a. enable a high number of cores. Well 14-15 cores is alot for a very large group of folks. The folks that are left in the 16 & up range for individual usage workstation isn't that large.

    More economical access to 6-8 core is a far bigger issue and potential winner.

    E5 v4 (broadwell) could easily be looking at 20 cores top end in a single CPU socket. ( 4 stacks of 5 which is quite similar to the current 2 stacks of 5 hooked by QPI to each other only all inside one package. The CPUs are like two black holes in close proximity. One gets absorbed into the other at some point. )

    b. RAM capacity. There are two ways to get more capacity. More DIMMs or denser RAM chips. Moore's Law says the latter is on track to getting better over time. In 2015-2016 the density is going to be up. Which means the need for dual just to get to triple digit GB capacity is going to be down and sinking.


    c. [ with move to E5 generations ] could add more PCI-e bandwidth. The Mac Pro isn't on that path. Apple left the "six slots" club well over a decade ago. It is extremely doubtful they are coming back with some new Mac Pro design. Trading SATA lanes for more PCI-e bandwidth can easily uncork the current Mac Pro's lane oversubscription problems without going to two CPU packages.

    The core theme is that next generation implies the future and the future is unwinding the constraints that two CPU packages tended to solve.
     
  22. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #22
    I'm not sure I'd use the term "quiet" :D. He certainly lives up to his forum name when it comes to responding to people's posts. :p
     
  23. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Righto! And I'm not entirely sure I follow his posts here, perhaps the good chap could clearly and cleanly summarize what he's saying, namely what he thinks the roadmap looks like.
     
  24. MattDSLR macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I so Agree and some 2.5 drive bays
     
  25. goMac macrumors 603

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    #25
    No chance in hell on the 2.5 drive bays. Probably not on the second CPU either.

    If your perception is that Apple doesn't care about OpenGL or graphics, that wouldn't be correct.

    As I've had it explained to me (from Apple), Apple wants both good OpenCL and OpenGL. OpenGL and OpenCL are not replacements for one another, and Apple's pro apps especially make strong use of both.

    The new Mac Pro is basically built for real time editing. That requires strong OpenGL and OpenCL. The configuration is built so that under OS X one card is dedicated to OpenCL and one card is dedicated to OpenGL. Something like FCPX needs strong OpenGL performance.

    That's why the second CPU is being thrown under the bus. It's just not as important as OpenGL and OpenCL for apps like FCPX. If anything is over, it's Apple caring about CPU performance.
     

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