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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:09 AM   #1
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Mac Pro Nehalem is OUT!!

Finally! The new Mac Pro is out b4 the end March prediction. Hmm, price is even higher than the previous. I'm not sure how much improvement its gonna be thou. All I have seen so far is the new mini port (ok, there is provision for dual DVI..but no more FW400!!!)

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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:34 AM   #2
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No Blu-ray drive in the updated Mac Pro! I guess that this also means no Blu-ray support in the upcoming Final Cut Studio update. Any thoughts?
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:55 AM   #3
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but no more FW400!!!
Which means, if I understand the architecture properly, that if we hook up a camera or deck via FW, ALL of our FW busses now slow to 400, necessitating a FW400 card internally to add FW400 capability without slowing throughput to external FW drives. And no BluRay support? BOOOO!
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:59 AM   #4
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It actually comes with a FW800 connection but no FW400. You can buy a FW400 to 800 cable anywhere (in fact they normally come for free with a Western Digital portable hard drive)
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 09:13 AM   #5
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All things considered this is a lackluster "update". The new CPU may indeed process tasks faster but if you read on to Apple's own benchmarking of things like rendering times for HDV & ProRes it's literally just a tick faster. A 1.1x speed increase is supposed to be exciting news? That's not even humanly discernible much less usable.

Rather than break the bank for a new "Nehalem" you'd be better off buying a leftover 3.2Ghz machine and getting exactly the same performance.

The deletion of FW400 was inevitable as more tapeless cameras come to the forefront (tape is *almost* a dead medium for new consumer cameras just as film is dead for consumer photography). And if I read between the lines correctly is seems that FW and USB are sharing the same data pipeline (still) requiring the installation of a separate FW card if you do a lot of FW-based work and don't want to interfere with the USB speeds.

And no BR yet. Geez, don't get me started. The future's not looking great for BR authoring on an Apple, is it?

OK Apple, you're great at giving us aesthetically gorgeous machines both inside and outside, how about putting in more *utility* into your machines like the PC makers have been doing for some time now. Gotta hand it to Apple: The one thing they do really, really well is bowl us over with glossy marketing.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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Yeah, I was in Korea the week b4 and spotted the Mac Pro at USD2000 for the basic 8 core model. Kinda regretted not buying it ..
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:40 AM   #7
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Yup, a pretty lackluster update IMHO. However, considering the current economic conditions, even if they come up with a show stopper, not sure that now is the time to intro.

The fact that there is no BR I think is also a sign of the times. A recent article I read shows that DVD sales are off by as much as 30% in some markets, and even though BR saw a 15% increase in penetration during 2008, that was not enough to help sales.

One major studio saw a 74% drop in profits due to this. No... that was not a typo! Certainly my business model has undergone a change in the last 2 yrs. We saw a 30% decline in DVD Authoring just in 2008 alone.

Look at Netflix, they are getting out of the plastics, and going full tilt on the concept of delivering an electronic file. With all of the licensing fees associated with BR, anyone except major studios, that is considering a "large run" in BR instantly backs down when they see the cost.

On the consumer side of our business (wedding for the most part) the need for BR has also turned out to be a non issue, as many consumers are opting for media devices such as the Western Digital HD Media Player.

All we have to do is provide the finished file, and way they go - happy as a lark! Quality HD, no costly BR disc, and excellent playback.

As long as convenience such as this, is available, I think BR is on the way out before it really grabs hold.

And last, but certainly not least, I'm sure many of you noticed Apple's marketing re: iLife '09. Not even a mention of iDVD (though it's still there). I think they are beginning to prime the consumer for the next step.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Which means, if I understand the architecture properly, that if we hook up a camera or deck via FW, ALL of our FW busses now slow to 400
Nothing new here. All the previous models internally shared firewire 400 and 800 already, even though there were separate sockets on the outside. Plugging in a camera has always slowed FW 800 drives down to FW 400 speed.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:48 AM   #9
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It actually comes with a FW800 connection but no FW400. You can buy a FW400 to 800 cable anywhere (in fact they normally come for free with a Western Digital portable hard drive)
Yes, but attaching an FW400 device to the FW800 bus slows down the ENTIRE bus to 400mbps, unless something has changed. In order to maintain FW800 performance on the FW800 bus, you would need to add a hardware FW400 adaptor card.

EDIT: Just read Boyd's post.

Thanks. I was unaware of that.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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Well, I was all up for this thing coming out as soon as possible but why in the world did they not wait and release it with snow leopard? I'm bummed about the no blue ray burner as well.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 03:45 PM   #11
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BR support

Correct me if I'm wrong... wouldn't BR support really be a function of the OS not the hardware... assuming you can drop a drive in with little effort??? If this is the case then snow leopard would be the gating item, not a new box.

But this does beg the question as to why they didn't hold the release of hardware for snow leopard when they could have brought out BR as well. Perhaps it a sign that snow leopard will not have BR support.

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Old March 3rd, 2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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Hmm, would the base 2.66GHz $2,499 Mac Pro be worth the purchase for editing on FCS 2? I'll be on a very slim budget but I definitely need to upgrade to a desktop editing system from my current 2.2GHz MBP system. Perhaps this is a dumb question, but if it's pointless to transition maybe I'll look to invest the cash elsewhere...
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 09:05 PM   #13
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Andrew, I'm using a white iMac 2.16GHz with FCS 2 and the only issues I have are 1) render times on significant effects or comps; and 2) my installed graphics card (256MB) can't render some Motion templates in FCP due to project pixel dimensions. The new Mac Pro, even in it's basest form, will certainly be serviceable.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:30 PM   #14
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Hmm, would the base 2.66GHz $2,499 Mac Pro be worth the purchase for editing on FCS 2?
Absolutely.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:41 PM   #15
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Yeah, I'm trying not to give up on Apple's support Blu-Ray. Sure, this wave of Mac Pro's didn't have it, but I won't lose faith unless Snow Leopard and FCS3 don't include it either.

Who knows, if either Snow Leopard or FCS3 introduce Blu-Ray support, then they can add CTO options for Blu-Ray drives for the Mac Pro, no?
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