Why there's no new Mac Pro...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by VirtualRain, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #1
    Gruber had this to say yesterday about Apple which I thought was an accurate assessment of their software development capabilities...

    I think the corollary to this is... On the hardware side, Apple still has not become a company that can walk and chew gum at the same time. The hardware team has clearly been focused for the last several months on the new MacBooks and it appears they've had to sacrifice everything else in the process. The fact that they couldn't also update the MacMini and the iMac which use the same platform as the MacBooks, is rather telling.

    Rumors of updates to the iMac and Mac Pro over 6 months from now clearly indicate that the team can't juggle too many balls at once, AND it probably means there's more than just new CPU's and GPU's in the works for the desktop systems.

    At any rate, Apple clearly needs to scale their hardware teams to be able to refresh a much broader range of products at any given time. Only having the capacity to overhaul one product line every 6 months is not going to fly given the huge capital they have lying around.
     
  2. spaz8 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    My take is they are distracted with iOS devices and an iTV perhaps, on top of AAPL just not wanting the imac line to be faster than the Mac pro line.
     
  3. ProBill macrumors newbie

    ProBill

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    #3
    The issue with Apple is not needing to prioritize. If they haven't done that in two or three years for the Pro products, they never will. What did Cook say yesterday, "wait until the end of 2013, we will update the Pro line." What a laugh. Nothing takes that long. Enough employees to do the job? Come on, there is high unemployment in California with hardware and software engineers being laid off in the aerospace industry. There is no shortage of labor, there is only a shortage of interest and vision on the part of Apple. In a separate post, I compared a $700 HP Pavillion to a "new" 6 core, $3K Mac Pro. The HP had twice as many USB ports and two of them are version 3.0 (vs. MacPro's 2.0 only support.) Yes, there is probably some processor performance differences, but I would guess not that much. The cost difference of $2.3K will go a long way to switch over to Windows based applications/upgrades. Apple is losing it. They should change their name to "Apple Telephone and Telegraph". They certainly are the AT&T of computers and customer satisfaction.
     
  4. zephonic, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

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    #4
    I already posted this in another thread, but here it is again: to me it is crystal clear why there is no new MacPro.

    Apple made a big deal about Thunderbolt last year, really touting it as the next big thing etc.

    Now they are caught between a rock and a hard place. They look stupid because their halo machine is the only one not to have the latest tech when every other Mac does.

    But they would look even more stupid if they released a brand-new MacPro, still without ThB! That's right, the LGA2011 boards do not support it natively, so what can they do?

    I bet they are more pissed off about this than the fans are, but they can only wait until their preferred development partner Intel remembers to add ThB functionailty to their Xeon boards. :D

    I find it kind of endearing that even a company as mighty as Apple today can still fail to get it right on occasion.
     
  5. orlondo macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2011
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    Bay Area, CA
    #5
    The idea that Apple can't juggle more than one or three hardware projects at a time is complete ********. Apple is a half-trillion dollar company with nearly $100 billion dollars in cash. To say that they cannot afford or do not have the engineering talent to handle teams for each of their product lines would sticking in the mindset of Apple as it were 5+ years ago...then again, 5 years ago Apple actually visibly cared about the professional market.
     
  6. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #6
    I find it impossible to imagine that they need all the resources working on one project at a time. Do they have like 5 guys in the Mac hardware team and 5 guys on the OSX team?
     
  7. nuckinfutz macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #7
    Stop doing this. You will only "telegraph" that you know little about computing design. A $700 Pavillion is going to look comparable in specs to someone that doesn't know what to look for. The Mac Pro is designed for heavy duty use. Bigger power supply, even the motherboard that Xeons use have heavier layers so that they can withstand being on 24 hours a day if called upon.

    There's a reason why HP also sells Xeon based workstations and they aren't Pavillion priced. Durability is a hallmark of Xeon workstations.
     
  8. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #8
    The 6 core Mac Pro uses a processor that still costs $600 and you're comparing it a $700 computer? Your comparison is irrelevant, regardless of the fact that the CPU was released in 2010.

    You're basically comparing a 2006 BMW M3 CS to a 2012 Ford Focus and saying that the Focus must be better because it has better iPod integration. Yes, there are probably some differences in the engine performance, but I would guess not that much. :rolleyes:

    Unfortunately though Apple is still trying to sell the E46 M3 as a brand new car. That's the problem.
     
  9. Pval macrumors newbie

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    #9
    If it's anything to go by, the Macbook Pro now has Kepler, which was introduced in it's mobile form early 2012 and used existing Fermi architecture. The High-End GPU's were only introduced end of March 2012, I'd imagine Q&A testing SW&HW will take a number of months, hence the release in 2013?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_600_Series
    In early 2012, details of the first members of the 600 series parts emerged. These initial members were entry-level laptop GPUs sourced from the older Fermi architecture.
    On March 22, 2012, the first Kepler products joined the 600 series: the GTX 680 for desktop PCs and the GeForce GT 640M, GT 650M, and GTX 660M for notebook/laptop PCs. The GK104 (which powers the GTX680) has 1536 CUDA cores, in eight groups of 192, and 3.5 billion transistors. The GK107 (GT 640M/GT 650M/GTX 660M) has 384 CUDA cores.
    On April 29, 2012, the first dual GPU Kepler product joined the 600 series. The GTX 690 has two of the GTX 680's GPUs, equalling 3072 CUDA cores and 512 bit memory.
     
  10. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #10
    Not exactly right.
     
  11. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #11
    OK. My take is that they are waiting until Intel officially supports USB 3 and Thunderbolt on chipset. All we have with X79 is some custom boards. Apple is not engineering anything right now. When Intel says it is "officially" on board Apple will ship new internals.
     
  12. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #12
    They probably knew about this in 2011. You can still make a machine without TB given the existing PCI slots. It's not the sole source of fast IO in these machines.

    This is one of the few times where a car analogy really worked:D. I get the complaints, but you couldn't really sell the 6 core mac pro for $700 if you expected to even cover your costs.


    In the case of USB3, if they had the driver stack in place, card manufacturers would come up with something. Obviously this isn't ideal, but is Intel actually updating these chipsets next year or prior to a Haswell version?
     
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #13
    That's my point Apple appears to be doing NOTHING on their own. They could have done some customization just like Asus did with Zeus.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5946/...technical-showcase-zeus-with-dual-gpu-onboard

    Chipsets are said to be integrating TB and USB3 for Xeon use on next board rev. Of course still speculative.
     
  14. 2LMedia macrumors member

    #14
    More like "AmateurBill" :cool:
     
  15. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #15
    They seem to make minimal chipset revisions on tick cycles. I thought it was due to costs on lower volume products. Deconstruct said it has a lot to do with stability as well noting the reverberations experienced from the screwed up SATA implementation in Sandy Bridge. Looking at that article, I'm still concerned with the increasing number of things that can brick a motherboard/logic board. I'm not sure what motivates their decisions on custom work, as they've obviously implemented some semi exotic board designs, but they seem unwilling to make compromises for the inclusion of ports.
     
  16. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #16
    Not sure either. The mind wonders. They may have a reason but whenever it comes out of their mouths it always sounds like marketing double-speak. Apple employees are super zombies to talk with. They act like Stepford Wives when grappling with any question directly. Like they are looking for the teleprompter. When you do get an answer it is unconvincing. It's disheartening. I am pretty sure a super fan will swing in now and down vote me because fandom is totally different from your bedroom. I have to work in this crap.
     
  17. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #17
    Just looking at the Intel roadmap -the E5 got delayed a few months, and now Haswell isn't too far off - is it possible that Apple had to bite the bullet and wait out for the E5's successor microarchitecture?

    Also - Wouldn't Intel's MIC be coming into view by 2013 also? Apple has to make some bigger CPU/GPU decisions as Nvidia, Intel etc start crossing paths. I can't say if OS X could help Intel get MIC to do decent parallel/multi thread work, but it would be interesting if it could. Apart from Knights Corner, Nvidia's move from Kepler to Maxwell next year will improve things too.

    Haswell gets Thunderbolt integrated into the chipset (and presumably also USB3) - something not possible with using the E5.

    As a side note - could users replace their current CPUs with an E5? Aren't they socket compatible? I havent' checked but thought they were
     
  18. Panther Al macrumors member

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    #18
    To be fair, if it was the E39 M5 I'd be willing to pay new machine prices for the right machine....


    :)
     
  19. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #19
    It annoys me too, especially when people suggest that it takes too much in the way of engineering resources to make annual updates. I'm debating what to do right now. I don't take the 2013 rumors seriously. While it's possible that they're true, it's silly to make decisions based on rumors that are a year out.
     
  20. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I think that you underestimate the amount of work from the design teams that is never released. Apple themselves say it's an iterative process - and there's no reason not to believe them on that point - hence the much longer development cycles. It's not about releasing a new Mac Pro every two years, it's about making damn sure that when it is released it's something much better, not just "new".

    Well it certainly looks like Apple and Intel are working very closely together on Thunderbolt.

    What are you reading into the rumors ? The only sure things are "Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year" and "Apple PR has reached out and clarified that only the Mac Pro is expected to be next updated in 2013".
     
  21. pagenotfound macrumors newbie

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    Jun 14, 2012
    #21
    Hi, first time post - so go easy on me. Looks like I am going to order a 6 core built to order Mac Pro this week with the HD5870. Got some projects I want to work on at home and decided I can't put them off any longer. Had pretty much decided that if there were no updates this week then I was going to buy a refurb quad core and upgrade the cpu. With the spec bump, the cost differential for me isn't enough not to buy new, I also think this is my last chance to grab a true Pro style Mac of any type.

    I'm starting to think that Apple's view of a pro user differs from what most people here using a Mac Pro would view as a pro user. I'm sorry to say that I just don't see any of the so called Macbook Pro machines as a Pro machine. "Pro" is just a product differentiator now that commands a higher cost, it no longer signifies the type of user. Any machine (Retina MBP currently, the others will follow) that locks you in a set quantity of RAM and storage at purchase time is just a large iPad - it is a consumer device and nothing more. And that is the direction I think they may be taking with the Mac Pro, the exciting new 2013 Mac Pro could effectively end up being a slightly bigger Mac Mini, maybe with a desktop graphics card but with far less expansion potential than the current machine.

    So I figure if I buy a decent Mac Pro now, it will last me a few years longer with decent performance compared to what I am currently using.

    I'll probably end up sticking Snow Leopard on there (which should be a nice update from Leopard for me) and leave it there. I also think that the main driver behind most of Apple's decisions now are down to becoming a content delivery platform rather than a computer company.

    I'll end this rant of a first post with a disclaimer of sorts, I've been an avid follower of this forum for the past decade but never felt the need to join in. I have gained lots of useful information here and appreciate the sometimes robust conversation. I've been a fan of Apple computers for the past 2 decades which is about half my life. I'm also still holding out for a PowerBook G5.
     
  22. ProBill macrumors newbie

    ProBill

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    #22
    OK, OK. Yes, my comments had some ignorance in them. Thank you for not being too hard on me. After working in the aerospace (space) industry for 35+ years I do understand the nuances of cheap vs. robust/hi-rel electronic design. However, I think to be fair, there are user levels of "Pro" out there that need something more than the iMac, and certainly less than the full blown capability of what either a tricked out MacPro or XEON workstation provides. For me, it is music creation using Logic Studio and it is a hobby since I am retired. What I do know is that I have gone through three iMacs failing after only three or four years. They simply do not last. They essentially burn themselves out. And, they cannot be configured in any way save for some added minimal amount of RAM. The iMac sound capability is weak and has to be augmented by external USB devices. The plug-in music applications each require a dongle, some of which cannot be connected to external USB hubs. The keyboards (piano) should be connected directly to the computer, not through a hub. Etc. The iMac’s four USB ports are inadequate. I think that that was why I saw a Pavillion as "viable" (with its eight USB ports), though I can certainly understand why it would be a poor choice for much of what others need in a MacPro (ergo, the car analogy). Further, I reiterate that providing a real update at the end of next year does not make sense. Save for the motherboard (and the system, the case, and the thermal design), pretty much all of the other components are commodities. Presuming that the motherboard is the most complex part of the computer and that boards can be designed and fabricated into a "proof of design" sample in six or eight weeks (my experience), I don't see the reason for 18 months for introduction to the market – unless they have done nothing so far and don't intend to start for another six months. If, on the other hand, they intend to re-invent the concept of a “pro” machine, I should cut them some slack, assuming that their need for “re-invention” matches the prosumer’s need for updated equipment. The angst of the many recent comments leaves that philosophy in some doubt. At least we can agree that Apple took the low compliance path towards customer satisfaction on this update.
     
  23. tanker5 macrumors member

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    #23
    My thoughts

    Yes, it is a disappointment that there was no major refresh to the Mac Pro lineup. On the other hand, Apple's recent minor upgrade signifies that the Mac Pro line is not completely dead. I believe they are working on a new lineup. That being said, it's a real shame they did not at least include thunderbolt ports in the latest Mac Pro. Both the Mac Pro and Intel's Thunderbolt interface are geared towards creative professionals.
     
  24. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #24
    Lol. I prefer the e60 myself. N/A V10. Yes, please.
     
  25. goodcow macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    It's pretty clear that Apple likes to run a lean organization. I called the Apple Education phone number yesterday to check the status of some hardware POs we need delivered by June 30th and the person I spoke with who sent an E-Mail follow-up was apparently "Volume Licensing Software Program Manager."

    If the Volume Licensing Software Program Manager is picking up random phone calls to the Apple Edu line regarding orders then it really does seem like everyone there wears whatever hat they need to at that moment and that they may need to hire more people to wear hats.
     

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