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Author Topic: New Mac Pro?  (Read 11341 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2019, 07:09:57 am »

Apple has never offered a fix for this, or any upgrade to their original GPUs. Given that, why would anyone trust them to develop a product line that is anything other than appliance—good for what it’s capable of today, perhaps, but never likely to see any upgradability, even when it fails to perform.

That's indeed a fair question.

Apple has lost a tremendous amount of credibility as a provider of serious professional solutions... I am not sure how that can recover this.

This tiny pro segment represents way too little of Apple's revenue to carry any significance on the balance sheet, and my bet is we'll be lucky if Tim cook has spent more than a few hours working on the new Mac Pro within the last 2 years...

Cheers,
Bernard

Dan Wells

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2019, 11:05:53 am »

Apple will try again - whether people trust them is another story. They're not going to adopt triple-slot PC graphics cards with a bunch of noisy fans. Might they get themselves in another thermal corner? Yes, they might - but the whole industry is rapidly headed for a thermal corner, since there's a limit to how many fans you can stick on a graphics card (and the limit is lower for real work than it is for boy-racer gaming GPUs).
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D Fuller

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2019, 06:47:11 pm »

Apple will try again - whether people trust them is another story. They're not going to adopt triple-slot PC graphics cards with a bunch of noisy fans. Might they get themselves in another thermal corner? Yes, they might - but the whole industry is rapidly headed for a thermal corner, since there's a limit to how many fans you can stick on a graphics card (and the limit is lower for real work than it is for boy-racer gaming GPUs).

Are those the only options?

I completely understand and appreciate Apple's commitment to design. But design fails when it doesn't serve it's purpose. Gaming is not the only use case that needs GPU power. Serious video work needs it just as much, as do many scientific (computational genetics comes to mind) and engineering applications. Architects produce models as complex as CGI artists, and fly clients through them.

I think Apple knew the Mac Pro design was a failure within a month of its hitting stores. It's to small to cool its components when they're under load. And I think that's why there have been no upgrades from Apple or anyone else--because they knew as soon as people started stressing the machines that they wouldn't support any additional capability. As you can tell, it kind of iritates me.

I love the Mac OS and I love Apple's committment to design, but I believe they've come to see everything through the lens of the iPhone: an object in isolation. But in the real world, different devices have different design requirements, and need to interact with other devices, so that doesn't work. My Mac Pro sits elegantly on my desk with (at the moment) eight cables of various colors coming out of it to connect to the various devices I need to get my work done. It's a rat's nest. Where's the elebgance in that?

It wouldn't surprise me if the new Mac Pro has an Apple designed GPU that's not compatible with anything except Metal. (Their GPU in the A11 Bionic chip is pretty amazing and it’s their first attempt.)  Apple's software will run beautifully on it, but everybody elsee will be playing catch-up. It may not happen, of course, but Apple has thrown whole industry workflows into the EOL pile before when they thought things needed a reboot.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2019, 09:57:34 pm »

Are those the only options?

I completely understand and appreciate Apple's commitment to design. But design fails when it doesn't serve it's purpose. Gaming is not the only use case that needs GPU power. Serious video work needs it just as much, as do many scientific (computational genetics comes to mind) and engineering applications. Architects produce models as complex as CGI artists, and fly clients through them.

I think Apple knew the Mac Pro design was a failure within a month of its hitting stores. It's to small to cool its components when they're under load. And I think that's why there have been no upgrades from Apple or anyone else--because they knew as soon as people started stressing the machines that they wouldn't support any additional capability. As you can tell, it kind of iritates me.

I love the Mac OS and I love Apple's committment to design, but I believe they've come to see everything through the lens of the iPhone: an object in isolation. But in the real world, different devices have different design requirements, and need to interact with other devices, so that doesn't work. My Mac Pro sits elegantly on my desk with (at the moment) eight cables of various colors coming out of it to connect to the various devices I need to get my work done. It's a rat's nest. Where's the elebgance in that?

It wouldn't surprise me if the new Mac Pro has an Apple designed GPU that's not compatible with anything except Metal. (Their GPU in the A11 Bionic chip is pretty amazing and it’s their first attempt.)  Apple's software will run beautifully on it, but everybody elsee will be playing catch-up. It may not happen, of course, but Apple has thrown whole industry workflows into the EOL pile before when they thought things needed a reboot.

Many excellent points here.

My hope is that Apple has finally understood that the target population of Mac Pros require solutions, not devices. I think I remember that Apple had put together a group of consultants to perform hearings in order to understand the workflow of users. It shouldn't have taken more than 30 mins for them to understand that a super cool polished box surrounded by many peripherals doesn't make an elegant solution as you very rightfully write.

Standards are also important and I share your hope that Apple will have remained reasonably close to what cross platform developers will be able to manage.

Cheers,
Bernard

kers

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2019, 09:22:25 am »

What Apple has NOT learned we already can say is that Pro's need the machine NOW.
Not over 2 years when they have finally got there design together.
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DP

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2019, 09:39:35 pm »

since there's a limit to how many fans you can stick on a graphics card
dear - you can put a liquid cooling system and then put fans, as many as you wish outside of the card area... may be not in a macprison, but in a normal win(linux, bsd, etc)tel world

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Dan Wells

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2019, 11:15:29 am »

Liquid cooled graphics cards are rare (not nonexistent - you see them in high-end gaming systems, and probably also in supercomputers).

I actually think Apple is relatively likely to liquid cool the GPU (which is a major argument for moving away from PCIe to something designed for it).
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faberryman

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2019, 11:58:34 am »

Liquid cooled graphics cards are rare (not nonexistent - you see them in high-end gaming systems, and probably also in supercomputers).

I actually think Apple is relatively likely to liquid cool the GPU (which is a major argument for moving away from PCIe to something designed for it).
Anybody need a liquid cooled video card for photography?

kers

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2019, 12:36:23 pm »

Anybody need a liquid cooled video card for photography?
No, but you never know the future... Already Lightrooms detail uses the GPU in a way one 46mp needs a few seconds with a good graphics card
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D Fuller

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2019, 03:49:25 pm »

Anybody need a liquid cooled video card for photography?

One could ask does anybody need a Mac Pro for photography?

But for those of us who do video, GPU-based computation is fundamental.
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faberryman

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2019, 04:11:38 pm »

One could ask does anybody need a Mac Pro for photography? But for those of us who do video, GPU-based computation is fundamental.
This is the problem with the new Mac Mini. It has no graphics capability. I don't know if the integrated graphics will even run the new Enhance Detail feature of LR. My late-2011 says the process will take six minutes, but it doesn't finish. Which probably means an eGPU. More boxes more cables, particularly when you know you are going to have to add an external RAIDD enclosure. An iMac with upgraded graphics may be a better choice, but an entry level Mac Pro would be even better. Provided it is not silly expensive.

D Fuller

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2019, 08:24:43 pm »

An iMac with upgraded graphics may be a better choice, but an entry level Mac Pro would be even better. Provided it is not silly expensive.

We’ll see. If Dan is right, an entry level Mac Pro could make a pretty nice iMac look cheap.
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Dan Wells

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2019, 12:36:43 am »

I can see two reasons why Apple might liquid cool CPU and GPU (if they do one, they'll probably do both).

1.) Apple hates noise, and giving in to standard PCIe graphics cards means noisy fans even on modest cards. As I've mentioned before, putting multiple fans on an expansion card is really a hack caused by the rapid increase in GPU power and heat dissipation. When Apple designed the much loved cheesegrater Mac Pro, most of the standard GPUs were passively cooled, and none needed to cool hundreds of watts.

2.) If they design a system that provides hundreds of watts worth of liquid cooling for the GPU, they can go all the way from a Vega 56 (what photographers would generally choose) on up to a high-powered Radeon Instinct with one design.

Oh, and photographers would love the liquid cooled CPU that almost certainly would come with the liquid cooled GPU design.
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Joe Towner

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2019, 12:55:10 pm »

Apple most likely was waiting for the newer AMD graphics cards to come out. 

This is the problem with the new Mac Mini. It has no graphics capability. I don't know if the integrated graphics will even run the new Enhance Detail feature of LR. My late-2011 says the process will take six minutes, but it doesn't finish. Which probably means an eGPU. More boxes more cables, particularly when you know you are going to have to add an external RAIDD enclosure. An iMac with upgraded graphics may be a better choice, but an entry level Mac Pro would be even better. Provided it is not silly expensive.

I hate to say it like this, but a Mini with a i9, a PCIe 16x slot, 2 NVMe slots & 4 RAM slots would fulfill many needs.  Put it in a Cube case and call it the 2019 Cube ;)
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2019, 07:04:45 pm »

Apple most likely was waiting for the newer AMD graphics cards to come out. 

Probably, along with the new PCI 4.0 chipset.

I hate to say it like this, but a Mini with a i9, a PCIe 16x slot, 2 NVMe slots & 4 RAM slots would fulfill many needs.  Put it in a Cube case and call it the 2019 Cube ;)

Indeed... you call also call it the 2019 Mac Pro...  ;D

Cheers,
Bernard

kers

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2019, 05:34:46 pm »

But the GPU of the Mac mini is a very basic one... for C1 it is not the right choice.
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BJL

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New Mac Pro? Modular/stackable??
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2019, 08:09:06 pm »

I am perhaps in the minority of liking the idea of modular expandability over a big box which for the majority of users has a lot of empty space inside for un-needed expansion slots—if it can be done with nice uncluttered aesthetics. My proposal is expansion units for extra graphics cards, mass storage, and so on, that stack below or above the main unit, connected by TB 2 or some such. I envision the same "rounded square" cross section for all components, combined like a stack of Mac minis, maybe with a central opening up the middle of each module to help with cooling ventilation and also hide the interconnect cables. And with some options for these add-on modules provided by Apple, so as to not rely on third-party providers. Could there even be TB2 connectors in the top (plug) and bottom (socket) of each module to avoid cables?
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2019, 04:27:01 pm »

I guess we’ll know in a few hours... if Apple decided to allocate enough engineering resources to this project to make it happen of course.

Personally I probably won’t buy one, or stay on OSX much longer, if it’s not announced tomorrow.

The rationale being that Apple most probably won’t invest enough to keep the “modules” up to date if they have not invested enough to develop it on time.

It would be a bit of a pain to migrate back to Win 10 about 10 years after my move to Mac, but an ironic symbol that the Mac Pro that brought me to Mac in the first place would be the one convincing me for good that Apple does’t care anymore about content creation.

We’ll know in less than 24 hours...

Cheers,
Bernard

plugsnpixels

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2019, 05:48:51 pm »

Great discussion, and thanks to Dan especially for the detailed speculation.

Being a Mac user has always been tough. I first crossed paths with Macs in 1987 (the Classic), though I didn't actually get hands on one myself until grad school about 1991. I was a traditional darkroom guy from the mid-'70s and computers to me were both uninteresting math machines and a looming threat to traditional photography.

In the '90s Apple almost died and Mac users were in the minority, but the OS of the time (as scary as this seems now) was always better than the Windows alternative. My first computer purchase in 1996 was a PowerMac 7300 (cost me thousands, eventually sold years later for $10...).

Fast forward to the present where most everyone has an Apple-logo'd product on their desk or in their pocket, and it's a new day. What hasn't changed is Apple's elitism and high prices, which seem to be the cost of admission to a world where computers don't feel like computers but more like seamless, well-oiled digital experiences.

On the one hand you have macOS which free is and a joy to use most of the time, and on the other hand the over-priced/under-spec'ed hardware needed to run it. We here are pretty much in agreement that the upcoming announcements won't change this a bit.

Someone on page 1 of this thread mentioned Hackintosh. That avenue seems to be the obvious (though somewhat controversial) middle ground solution for those who love macOS but can't justify or swing the cost of ownership of actual Apple hardware. And it is Apple itself which created the need for this genre, to be populated by determined users that have never been properly served by the mothership.

Thankfully there are "options" (Windows 10 and Linux), though many (such as myself) prefer macOS. I'm familiar with all three OS's; I have a 2011-build triple-boot i7 Hackintosh tinker machine running Mojave latest, Win10 latest and Deepen Linux latest. I'm writing from a general use MacBook Air right now because typing isn't taxing the GPU, ha!

I work in higher-ed IT and have access to recent model SSD iMacs in the office, and I support over 400 Macs of various vintages (including about 75 Mac Pro cylinders). But if I had to spend my own money for a newer, more current higher-end machine for home, the options would include serious consideration of the Hackintosh route, followed by a recent-model used Mac (always let someone else pay retail first, like with a car) and finally, a home-built Windows PC (he says holding his nose).
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 06:49:20 pm by plugsnpixels »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: New Mac Pro?
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2019, 06:01:42 pm »

As far as the Mac Pro goes, the topic isn’t price. It’s a problem of technical competitiveness vs high end workstation manufacturers, namely HP and Dell (whose prices go much higher than anything Apple has ever released by a factor of 10 or more).

But we all know that this lack of technical competitiveness results mostly from lack of focus and therefore investment. Apple most probably could release the best workstation in the world if Tim Cook “wanted to”. And who knows, they may announce just that today.

Besides willingness there are also self-inflicting wounds related to design thinking I guess. But with the right user needs in mind that also may end up being a strength.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 06:13:54 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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