You have to give the nMP credit for one thing.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by iamMacPerson, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #1
    Modulability. As my nMP has gone on the fritz due to a faulty I/O controller chip (mainly having to do with Thunderbolt, ironically), all I had to do was plug 6 cables into my oMP to get my set up back up (plus a data migration via Time Machine). Couldn't have been more simple or easy.

    I'm not being sarcastic here either. Both machines are awesome for their own reasons, I'm just surprised how easy it was to swap from one system to another without loosing a beat. Maybe the external expandability does have a point.
     
  2. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    What's your point?

    That both machines had USB 2.0, a fairly prevalent and extremely standard expansion bus?

    If you had any Thunderbolt peripherals, you wouldn't be able to connect them to your Classic Mac Pro because there is no TB expansion card and never will be. It goes the other way, too. If you had any Fibre Channel or other proprietary devices that required a PCI-e HBA, you wouldn't be able to hook those up to the nMP without an additional expansion chassis.

    So I'm not really sure what your point is, other then "USB 2.0 devices are standardized, yay!". Are we supposed to give Apple credit for including industry standard ports now? Because I'm sure they'd love to do away with those if they could (like they've done on the newer Macbook Pros).

    -SC
     
  3. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #3
    There have been a few times where I docked my MacBook to my desk by just pulling out a few plugs from the nMP and dropping them into the MacBook, it's awesome, it takes 20 seconds.

    I hope they get your Mac fixed fast.
     
  4. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Everything you did could be done with the cMP form factor so I'm not really seeing an advantage to the nMP form factor. That is unless you feel the nMP form factor forced you to use external devices.
     
  5. iamMacPerson thread starter macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #5
    Had all the drives been internal in another cMP, it wouldn't have been as easy as plugging in 6 cables to get back up and running. I would have had to swap all the drives - along with other parts - into the temp machine. With the external expansion, it was just a drop in of a couple cables and I was back up and running.

    I was making the point of while it may not be the best option of some people, external expansion made it quicker to swap systems from one to the other when systems fail. Everyone else knocks the nMP for its external expansion - maybe some need to look beyond unsightly boxes that we end up tucking behind a monitor.

    In regards to Thunderbolt, fine the cMP doesn't have it - however a lot of the Thunderbolt peripherals I have seen have had other ports then just Thunderbolt. One exception is the Thunderbolt Display however all other displays have DisplayPort or other types of connectors.

    Thanks me too! I'm not expecting to have it back until after the holiday though.

    The nMP form factor forced me to use external expansion with hard drives - which allowed me to plug in one cable to access my hard drives (via powered hub) versus physically moving the drives from one machine to the other with the cMP form factor. Deployment of the replacement machine was smoother and quicker with the drives externally connected.
     
  6. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Two things:
    1. There is nothing preventing one from using external disks with the cMP form factor.
    2. The savings of moving a few cables versus pulling four drives out of the cMP to move to another cMP are, IMO, not worth the trade off that comes with the nMP form factor. While I'm certain you'd have taken a few minutes to swap over the internal drives that's all it would have been a few minutes.
     
  7. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #7
    There are people, a lot of people, that just don't want to open a workstation.
     
  8. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    As I said: There's nothing about the cMP form factor preventing such people from using external storage.
     
  9. wallysb01 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    So what happens when your external drive enclosure fails? Or the hard drives themselves? Changing the form factor just replaces what device your hard drives are in that you might one day have to open should it fail. It doesn't remove the possibility of opening something up all together.
     
  10. kingtj macrumors 68020

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    #10
    I have absolutely NO issues with opening up a workstation, a server, or any other computer to swap parts around or do upgrades. But I will say I'm coming around to not minding the nMP's need for external devices quite so much.

    With the older Mac Pro towers, expansion options were always hampered by changes in the underlying technologies anyway. EG. It started getting really difficult to source replacement internal DVD-RW drives for my old 2006 Mac Pro because it used an EIDE ribbon connector, while the standard moved to SATA cables instead. Same problem with video card upgrades. Sure, it was nice you could pull out the existing video card and upgrade it -- but in reality, your choices were severely limited due to EFI32 vs EFI64 differences, lack of driver support for some cards, etc.

    I think by the time my nMP really starts feeling outdated and there are upgrades I want for it that just can't be added to it, it will have gotten its money's worth for me and it'll make sense to resell it and buy something new.

    So far, I've had good results using a thunderbolt connected eBox full of 2TB SATA drives with it, though. And if a drive should fail, they're already in a hardware RAID array so it's just a matter of swapping the failed drive in a pull-out tray and letting it rebuild automatically.

    So I won't really say the nMP has a superior design by forcing many devices to be external. But I'll say in daily use, it works just as well for me, really.


     
  11. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #11
    I would just get a new drive and restore it from a backup that's also external.
     
  12. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I'd say most of your issues with the cMP were due to Apple's dropping support for it and not anything inherently wrong with the system itself. It still surprises me Apple no longer supports the 1,1 and 1,2 Mac Pros with later releases of OS X. My Gateway system, which was purchased around the same time as the 1,2 Mac Pro release and less powerful than the 1,1 and 1,2 Mac Pros, can run the very latest versions of Windows and Linux. For that matter so can the 1,1 and 1,2 versions of the Mac Pro. Ironic Windows and Linux support these two versions longer than OS X.
     
  13. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    No surprise at all.

    Microsoft makes money selling Windows/Office other software. As long as you buy your copy of Windows why would Microsoft care if you run it on a PC running from 2006/2007. Is only with Surface that started to make systems rather then just peripherals.
    Apple makes money selling hardware. If you are still using a 2006/2007 machine then you aren't spending money with Apple.
    Frankly I am amazed that 10.11 supports my 2008mbp land 2008MP's. Still they do have 64bit EFI which is what they have used as the reason for cutoff of support in OS X.
    Linux being purely software again why would they care what hardware is

    Once you realise that then many of Apples decisions will become easier to understand.
     
  14. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I fully understand what kind of a company Apple is. With that said consider this a repeat of what I said earlier.
     
  15. wallysb01, Dec 17, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015

    wallysb01 macrumors 65816

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    #15
    But that's just a one drive system right? Its pretty easy to call the encolure and the drive the same thing on those. What happens when its 8 disk array, or a 4 disk array of maybe 4 x $500 SSDs? You aren't just going to throw that away because one disk or just the enclosure went bad, are you?
     
  16. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #16
     
  17. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #17
    I have a few of those setup for clients and we have spare disks on hand to handle a disk failure. Each client also has a local and a remote backup that the can switch to if the array goes down and most of them are close enough to get a replacement enclosure within 20 minutes or have one overnighted. You're blurring the line between enterprise requirements and the personal connivence the op is talking about.
     
  18. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

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    #18
    No. The point being made is that a device that caters for both internal and external expansion, (cMP), gives you more versatility than one that doesn’t, (nMP). This holds true regardless of application.
    With the sole exception of ‘pack it into a smaller space’ the nMP concept provides nothing extra.
     
  19. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #19
    You just replace the external and quite easily accessible drive ...
    In my recent experience every serious storage is kept external: you want internal fast drive for OS and applications, and external huge redundant drives for storage.

    and from the first attempt with Surface, Microsoft is "closing things" even more than Apple on hardware side ...

    what was the last time an external enclosure failed at you ?
    In my case ........ NEVER.
     
  20. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    So why then are you surprised that Apple stopped supporting the older hardware with later OS X.

    You know how Apple makes money from selling you new hardware and are surprised that they drop support for older hardware thus attempting to force people to buy that new hardware.

    As Microsoft don't sell you the PC then is in there interest to run on as much as possible so no surprise that they support older hardware for longer.

    Simply doesn't make sense, unless attempting to be humorous.
     
  21. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #21
    Except thunderbolt and portability and not sata2. Sounds super versatile.
     
  22. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Because it's still a very capable system.
     
  23. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    There is nothing about the cMP form factor preventing Apple from having updated it with Thunderbolt and SATA 3 (I assume you meant SATA 3 as the cMP has SATA 2). This is a point of distinction people should keep in mind when references are made to the cMP. For comments such as the one you're responding to the poster is likely referring to the form factor and not a specific implementation.
     
  24. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #24
    Form factor is one thing and reality is another, the op is not talking about what might have been, he's talking about what is and how he used it.
     
  25. 996085 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Not in the post you responded to. It's obvious the OP was referring to the form factor even if he used cMP instead of "cMP form factor".
     

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