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Old April 11th, 2017, 10:11 AM   #1
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Mac Pro status

I was reading an article that gives more insight to the current development or more accurately lack there of.

https://arstechnica.com/apple/2017/0...ples-desktops/

Although nothing that I haven't already speculated. Basically they designed the trash to be small just for the sake of being small, only to later discover they had deigned themselves into a corner. IE it couldn't cool a high end graphics card. For a very smart company they're looking pretty dumb.
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Old April 11th, 2017, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: Mac Pro status

Makes me think of a Steve Jobs quote: "Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works."
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Old April 12th, 2017, 01:02 PM   #3
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Re: Mac Pro status

Two mistakes in my view:

They misjudged people. It seems many people want the option to add cards despite the much lower need to do it these days. If you are in the Apple video application universe, the cylinder is enough for most MacPro users. The applications are optimized for the dual GPU architectures and they work well. Adobe applications however are not and Adobe showed no inclination to change that. And it's amazing how many professionals are happy with their iMacs, no need for a tower anymore.

Apple gambled on an upgrade cycle to GPUs that would have enabled more powerful cards in the same space with the same heat generation. That didn't happen just as CPU development has slowed down recently. And Apple's non-support for an external GPU box (for whatever reason) didn't help.

I have not needed to upgrade my 2013 MacPro internally once since I bought it. That doesn't mean that others didn't need to but I really wonder how many people got one and truly needed something that wasn't obtainable with an external PCI cabinet or a networked second computer. Not that that didn't happen but how many really did. Look what just arrived in my mailbox: http://www.macworld.com/article/3189...=mw_daily_html
So with that beta driver, a $300 external GPU box and a $700 GeForce card you can upgrade for less than a new computer. Now I don't have the info whether this situation works entirely with Adobe applications or Apple applications but there you have it.
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Old April 12th, 2017, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Mac Pro status

The point of a desktop is speed and expandability. Size and simplicity is what the imac is for. Who wants to connect and power a bunch of peripherals. Internal slots are important, to name a few cards: USB3, Thunderbolt, second graphics card, and raid.

I'm using both optical drives: bluray in one dvd in another and three of the four hard drive bays. I also have the option running an internal raid. Where would I be with a trash can?

Only audio/video professionals are in the market for a $3,000+ desktop. Why would I pay all that money for three year old hardware that can't take a standard graphics card?

Apple and professional based products. It's like they keep stubbing their toe when they realize they aren't as profitable as the iphone. Then they try to resign them in an attempt to appeal to consumers, ending up with something that neither a pro or consumer wants.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; April 12th, 2017 at 04:06 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2017, 04:15 PM   #5
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Re: Mac Pro status

I have:

Two external optical drives (1 DVD & 1 BluRay),
Three 4-drive RAIDS that stay on the desk,
A OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock to connect USB3 and FireWire peripherals,
A USB3 5-port extender
and two monitors

plus lots of external drives floating around.

The point of Thunderbolt was the potential of expandability and that has been achieved for me with an eSATA adapter for my older RAIDs. The external optical drives are not inconvenient as I can move the drives to other computers when needed. Internal storage drives were great back in the days of USB2 and FireWire but now with USB3 and Thunderbolt speed it's not as needed.
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Old April 12th, 2017, 08:55 PM   #6
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Re: Mac Pro status

Sounds like we have different workflows but that's the beauty of the old mac pro, it gives you options.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 03:28 AM   #7
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Re: Mac Pro status

It certainly does but as you see, at least for me, the tech has progressed to the point that many of the things we used to have to purchase as extras for the computer to perform pro video tasks smoothly are now built into the architecture of the machine. Single USB3 drives are fast enough for multi-cam, processors can playback clips with several filter adjustments in real-time, 4K is achievable easily on it's own or with proxy editing for heavy-duty 4K and gigabyte Ethernet is built in.

So after purchase my 2009 MacPro needed at some point: a new video card, an eSATA card, a USB3 card to continue it's ease of usefulness. Some purchases were soon after getting the computer (obviously the USB3 card was recent). I installed an internal RAID which has been very helpful over the years but still needed to purchase external RAIDs to deal with client work. The tower was built as a box that that the customer was expected to custom expand to their needs. Now many of those extras are in the computer in some equivalent form when purchased.

Am I happy with cable salad behind the cylinder? No. My 2009 MacPro has a cable salad as well but the bulk hides it, doesn't solve the salad just the aesthetics. Am I happy that the only future upgrade that I might want, faster video cards, will probably never happen? No. But I have never hit a processing wall while editing on the cylinder that wasn't solveable by a render. And this only happens,when I pile the filters on a specific clip or add multiple graphic layers.

What do I want (and don't expect from Apple)? A rack-mount MacPro. Get everything off the desk or floor and into a professional rack: CPU, drives, extras. Just the monitors and control surfaces on the desk so I have more space for my paper note mess!
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Old April 13th, 2017, 08:24 AM   #8
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Re: Mac Pro status

The future development of the Mac Pro doesn't look promising. The desktop, at least for mass market consumer is dead or dieing. It's been replaced by the smart phone, tablet and laptop. That leaves only AV professionals in need of a Mac Pro. Realistically it doesn't make sense for Apple to put any money into a product that has such a tiny market. Add to that the design flaw which has even further reduced an already small pool of prospective buyers. The lack of development three going on four years bears that out. Apple has invested too much money to abandon it so they've been content to leave it in limbo for the foreseeable future.

As far as the rack design I can't see that happening. From all indications they are moving away from the pro market. The mac pro is on the verge of being discontinued. Apple often doesn't make an announcement they're discounting a product they just stop updating it. That's why people have been speculating about the Mac Pro.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: Mac Pro status

The iMac is a pro tool now. I have been to many large production houses that have learned that and Apple knows it. Towers are relegated to server farms and specialty applications for many places. Even PC all-in-ones are taking over PC based houses.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 01:15 PM   #10
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Re: Mac Pro status

I don't really agree on a performance basis. For video rendering and encoding my 8 year old mac still eats an iMac for lunch. If I choose to run dual high end graphic cards then lunch and dinner. It's just that the price performance is so absurd with the current mac pro with a monitor you're looking at $4,000+

But I agree that I've never seen a mac trash can only iMac. With an external raid they're good enough.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; April 13th, 2017 at 02:25 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 08:45 PM   #11
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Re: Mac Pro status

That's exactly what I'm saying, in a networked environment individual stations don't need to be processor heavy. An iMac runs fine for most video situations, the final render gets sent to a heavy duty render machine to free the iMac for other work. If I may ask, what are you doing that requires so much GPU power that a cylinder would get bogged down? There is certainly work that would do that, I've done some of it.
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Old April 13th, 2017, 09:27 PM   #12
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Re: Mac Pro status

No I'm saying my mac pro is faster than today's iMacs. I do theatrical work takes a long time encoding and rendering hrs of video.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 09:39 AM   #13
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Re: Mac Pro status

And for those who are still following this discussion:

Here is a test from the fine folks at BareFeats using a eGPU box with two different heavy duty Nvidia GPU cards connected to an 8-core 2013 MacPro compared to the new MacBookPro with an eGPU and the stock MacPro dual GPU cards.

AKiTiO Node eGPU to 'late 2013' Mac Pro

Overall all the 3D tasks are rendered significantly faster using the newer single cards in the eGPU (if the render system is able to recognize dual GPUs in the MacPro) however the one test that should interest us here in this forum the most is the FCPX render test.

The MacPro GPUs beat the heavy duty newer GPU cards. Apple optimized FCPX to the cards in a way other programmers haven't done with their own programs. Some third party FCPX filters have this same problem.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: Mac Pro status

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
Basically they designed the trash to be small just for the sake of being small.....
Besides space savings, (the 1,1 > 5,1 towers are quite large) one of the selling points was energy savings and in that respect it did very well. A fringe benefit was reduced noise from cooling fans. Unfortunately, UHD 4K and 3D all take more computer resources and, hence, more power.

The Government and large corporations are all trying ways to reduce energy consumption so a design that saves energy and space (smaller cubicles) would be a good selling point. After all, the private sector can write it off so cost may not have been as critical as it would be to consumers.

On another note (reply Part 2) the concept of soldering the main components instead of making them plug-in, from a consumer that buys used equipment, is a total bummer. The only new computers I ever bought were the Commodore 64 and a PC 6 turbo'ed to 12 (cost $2,600 incl tax). Once I realized how fast all this tech stuff depreciated, since then everything has been hand-me-downs or bought used and upgraded as cost allowed.

One person I talk to every so often is with a company that does application development primarily for OS X and iOS operating systems and almost every time we get to talking I mention that the 2012 Macs are the last computer I'll get (used of course) because they can be upgraded. Well, this was several months ago, I guess I can repeat this, he said that in the future this might change. Apparently I wasn't the only one complaining about this.

In the mean time I picked up a Mac Pro 3.06 12-core with a 960 GB SSD from OWC (previous model, not the E2). This has a lot of potential and is a jump up from my old 1,1 and then the 3,1 I still have. Need to research a graphics card upgrade for it.

Last edited by John Nantz; April 18th, 2017 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Spelling: fact > fast
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Old April 21st, 2017, 02:33 AM   #15
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Re: Mac Pro status

Just FYI, Nvidia's latest Pascal cards are now supported in 10.12.4 in the latest Nvidia Web Drivers for MacPro5,1. This includes the Titan X Pascal.

Am actually curious how that performs on OSX for Resolve.
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