Why is it taking so long for 3rd party nMP Flash?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cubemmal, May 1, 2014.

  1. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    • 3rd party RAM - check
    • TB2.0 - check
    • CPU upgrades - check

    I'm surprised this is taking so long. I'm sure OWC is working on it, maybe one or two others. One thing I was never clear on was the Flash actually the same form factor as used in the laptops, or is it different?
     
  2. AndyUnderscoreR, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    AndyUnderscoreR macrumors regular

    AndyUnderscoreR

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    #2
    The Ram and CPU are off the shelf parts, you could go and buy them before the nMP hit the shops.

    TB2.0 isn't new either, the late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro had it before the nMP.

    I've not hear of anyone trying a SSD swap between a nMP and 2013 Retina MacBook Pro, but judging by the fact that Apple don't charge more for one than the other, there shouldn't be a lot of difference. As for why upgrades are hard to find, it's hard to image any situation where you wouldn't be better off adding more SSD space externally rather than internally, which means throwing away at least 256Gb of SSD.
     
  3. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    #3
    3rd party ram - Suitable on PCs
    CPU - Standard Xeon
    Flash Storage - Proprietary apple shape/connector.

    Here lies the problem of having special connectors that noone uses. Does a company bother creating PCI flash storage for such a small markert or do they create conventional PCI SSD cards that cater to 99.9999999999999% of machines our there.

    Pure numbers game. OWC who make a living out of Macs, will provide on in time, it will cost though.

    I bet you the Flash is different on the MBP ;) enough so it does not fit into the Mac pro and vice versa.
     
  4. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    The RAM in the two machines are not even close to physically the same size.
     
  5. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #5
    ... and commodity x64 servers.
     
  6. goMac macrumors 603

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    I'm not entirely sure there is a reason for a 3rd party nMP flash market to exist right now.

    - Can higher capacities be provided?
    - Can higher speeds be provided?

    If the answer to both of those is no, then the 3rd party flash market has no reason to exist yet.
     
  7. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    1. BootCamp. It's possible to install externally but you have to jump through hoops, I'd rather just put it on the internal disk, and that's the only choice for (most) people who aren't technically competent
    2. I got 1TB of SSD storage on a Pegasus 2.0, mainly to put VM's on. Oops, VMWare has a bug that when waking from sleep, if the VM's are on a TB drive it often hangs. Now I've got them on my internal SSD and can't submit a bug report as they only allow that for paid support accounts
    3. People who travel with their nMP, why bring extra drives
    4. Extra expense, desk space and bother
    5. External drives are usually noisier (those external chassis almost always have fans)

    The biggest is #2, par for the course Apple has bugs with TB disks it seems. They never adopt a new technology without it taking 3-5 years to get it really working.
     
  8. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    #8
    Ok - First - some of the posters and confusing RAM with the SSD (I guess because the OP called it Flash. But, we are talking the SSD here. RAM is a non-issue.

    As far as the SSD goes. This poster on eBay says the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro are interchangeable:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Samsu...?pt=US_Solid_State_Drives&hash=item19ec687c0d

    And

    This article isn't sure:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7603/mac-pro-review-late-2013/12

    So, unless someone tries it and checks out speeds we won't know for sure.

    I expect in time OWC will have SSD modules for the Mac Pro, but they will be lots of dollars, as all their stuff is. Maybe Transcend, they seem to be jumping in to the MacBook Pro and MacBook air blade SSD market with kits that are less then OWCs and seem to be more complete.

    Lou
     
  9. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Fair point, but SSD generally refers to the 2.5" form factor flash or larger. If it's flash hanging off a USB bus - most phones and small devices work this way, then it's generally referred to as SDCard storage (even if /root), or flash. This is PCIe storage which I hear people call "Flash", not SSD. I work in the industry and that's the nomenclature I hear, but it may vary.
     
  10. dysert macrumors regular

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    #10
    I was considering one of the eBay modules

    One of the sellers sent me a screen shot from a buyer using the SSD in a nMP which showed identical characteristics to one from a 1TB module from the factory in a nMP. Yes it was showing it is a 4 lane module. The 512Gb modules from rMBPs are 2 lane modules. I have a 1TB on order. I will post my results when it arrives.
     
  11. AndyUnderscoreR macrumors regular

    AndyUnderscoreR

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    #11
    These are reasons to spec a machine with a bigger SSD from Apple, not reasons to throw out at least 256Gb of Apple SSD in favour of an aftermarket drive that doesn't offer any advantage over an Apple 1Tb internal.
     
  12. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #12
    Very wise. At this point, you'd have to throw away the Apple OEM drive to put in a 3rd party drive. The 3rd party drive would have be really cheap (read that as "low margins") to make that cost effective.

    The first company to make a 2 TB SSD that works in the proprietary connector on the Tube will rake in the money.
     
  13. ClassObject macrumors 6502

    ClassObject

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    #13
    I bet they don't - super limited market and there is no way that will return the investment by itself. The one that does it will make a few pennies if lucky.
     
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #14
    I'll be blunt - just thank Apple for putting in only the ATI GPUs. If they had also had an option for NVidia they might have captured a far larger market and that stimulates 3rd party part makers. As of now, this is a far more niche item and while not to offend anyone who has one, it really isn't going to have as broad an appeal with its limitations.
     
  15. VirtualRain, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #15
    I think the only other question that could be asked is...
    - Can lower priced modules be provided?

    I'm not sure anyone else has controller silicon like Samsung is using for these 4-lane PCIe flash modules (are there any other SSD controllers out there with native x4 PCIe interfaces?). If so, then there's hope, but as someone else pointed out, the tiny size of the nMP market means that prices will be have to be at a premium to recover R&D costs which means the answer to this question is also "No".

    I think the moral of this story is that anyone buying a Mac Pro should equip it with their future SSD needs in mind. I wouldn't buy a 256GB internal with the hopes of upgrading it. While 3rd party upgrades may eventually come, they might not, or they might take a generation or two before they can answer "yes" to any of these questions in order to justify their existence.
     
  16. antonis macrumors 68000

    antonis

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    #16
    Concerning speed, isn't that the fastest SSD available as of now ?
     
  17. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    #17
    Just prefix it with PCI, that way, flash or ssd means the same thing.

    ----------

    For a nMP, sure.
     
  18. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18

    • Yes if it's cheaper (frequently the case)
    • Yes if 3rd parties offer TB2 enclosure for the old PCIe Flash being swapped (OWC does this)
    • Yes if they offer a trade in program (OWC does this)
    • Yes as the price of flash is dropping exponentially

    I placed my order but stupid Apple wouldn't let me change it without getting booted back to the end of the line, so yeah I'd like to upgrade.
     
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #19
    I think it is. I'm not aware of any other SSD (with a single controller) that can do 1200MB/s. There are solutions where multiple SSDs are RAIDed to meet similar performance, but that's not a single SSD. And even then, the nMP 1TB offering is faster than any pair of SATA3 SSDs in RAID0. It's an awesome SSD and the pricing at $1/GB is very reasonable for what you get.
     
  20. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #20
    You can grab it for as low as $700 on eBay :)
     
  21. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #21
    Really? This isn't even relevant to this thread.

    Further, as already stated over and over again, OpenCL is the strategy that Apple is going with, and as proven time and time again AMD crushes Nvidia in OpenCL. This is a machine built to run Apple's Professional/Prosumer software since it is a workstation. It is NOT to play games on....
     
  22. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #22
    Try 1500 MB/s.
     
  23. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #23
    I think that's the biggest problem. Most people who need a robust workstation don't use Apple's Pro apps (or if they do, it's along with other non-Apple software).
     
  24. antonis macrumors 68000

    antonis

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  25. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #25
    Actually it is relevant and if you read what I wrote you will not that Apple's decision to only go with ATI reduces its market and makes it even more a niche product. This is not an attack on nMP that exploits Open CL, but rather raises the notion that if the nMP offered an NVidia option it might have been met with a less controversial response for those that were waiting for a newer Mac Pro.

    The reality is that there are lots of software options that exploit GL and not CL. Apple has limited this new system to software that exploits CL. I speak of the nMP in a Prosumer and Professional system machine capacity.

    I'll say again - those that get good mileage out of their nMP are lucky and I am glad for them. For the rest, they have to look elsewhere which is a shame.
     

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