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Pete Cofrancesco April 11th, 2017 10:11 AM

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.

Noa Put April 11th, 2017 10:23 AM

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."

William Hohauser April 12th, 2017 01:02 PM

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.

Pete Cofrancesco April 12th, 2017 01:33 PM

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.

William Hohauser April 12th, 2017 04:15 PM

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.

Pete Cofrancesco April 12th, 2017 08:55 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Sounds like we have different workflows but that's the beauty of the old mac pro, it gives you options.

William Hohauser April 13th, 2017 03:28 AM

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!

Pete Cofrancesco April 13th, 2017 08:24 AM

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.

William Hohauser April 13th, 2017 11:07 AM

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.

Pete Cofrancesco April 13th, 2017 01:15 PM

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.

William Hohauser April 13th, 2017 08:45 PM

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.

Pete Cofrancesco April 13th, 2017 09:27 PM

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.

William Hohauser April 18th, 2017 09:39 AM

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.

John Nantz April 18th, 2017 12:54 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco (Post 1930509)
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.

Jack Zhang April 21st, 2017 02:33 AM

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.

William Hohauser April 21st, 2017 04:52 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
And here is a test with two GPU cards in an eGPU box on a 2013 MacPro and a new laptop. This is a different card:
Mac eGPUs with GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
A very modest improvement with the noise filter on an HD clip over the stock MacPro. Absolutely a downgrade playing 5K. The MacPro cards beats two higher quality GPU cards linked together. What does this mean? That programming these cards is very complex and that 3D rendering performance doesn't translate into video playback performance.

Jim Feeley April 21st, 2017 08:37 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Seems to me the trashcan Mac Pro is still a decent machine. Heck, I work on one with some regularity and some friends edit on their for hours on end. They get the job done. People who own one of the higher-end models are set.

The question for me is not if there's a way to upgrade the trashcan MPs (since I don't own one), but if it's worth buying one new now. And on that front, I'd say probably not.

Bummer Apple doesn't have something newer now.

Pete Cofrancesco April 21st, 2017 09:35 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John Nantz (Post 1930757)
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.

It be like Ferrari spinning an under powered car as gas efficient. It's not the type of computer corporations or governments deploy in cubicles. The energy efficiency is just a side effect of trying to make it small while not over heating.

As far as dual cards performance when installed internally they make a significant difference rendering and encoding.

Jack Zhang April 25th, 2017 03:28 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Yeah, the last tower Mac before the trash can should still support the new Pascal cards with Nvidia Web Drivers.

Steven Davis July 8th, 2017 10:41 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Well, I'm looking at possibly replacing my 5 year old iMac since I want to do a switch to the Adobe Cloud and learn Premiere/AE since it looks like FCPX is having a mental meltdown in design, IMO.

I just put 32 gig of ram in my iMac, but it does hang on image processing, and FCPX does lag in edit, even off a Thunderbolt G-Drive.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't give the thing a chance with the cloud, because I too have wondered why Apple hasn't updated the trash can. It's crazy expensive, much more than the PC I have at my feet.

This is a good and informative thread.

Pete Cofrancesco July 8th, 2017 12:51 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
It probably be easiest and cheapest to buy the latest imac, followed by a modded mac pro, and finally a trash can.

Steven Davis July 8th, 2017 08:17 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Thanks Pete. I'm going to test a bit till the end of the year. I'm just leary since it sounds like Apple hasn't changed the trashcan since 13. I wish I knew the future. lol

Boyd Ostroff July 9th, 2017 09:34 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Here's a pretty good wrap-up: https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/mac-pro/

The good part is that we know a completely new design is coming. But here's the bad part:

"Apple has only said that it will be coming sometime later than 2017, so a launch will happen in 2018 or beyond. Work on Apple's Mac Pro is in the early stages, and according to rumors, development on the machine only started a few weeks ahead of when it was announced by Apple. For that reason, it could be late 2018 or even 2019 before the new Mac Pro launches."

Boyd Ostroff April 5th, 2018 10:46 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
No new Mac Pro this year. At least he was honest enough to admit that the real reason for this "transparency" is to sell more iMac Pro's. ;)

https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/05/ap...-by-workflows/

“We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It’s not something for this year.” In addition to transparency for pro customers on an individual basis, there’s also a larger fiscal reasoning behind it.

“We know that there’s a lot of customers today that are making purchase decisions on the iMac Pro and whether or not they should wait for the Mac Pro,” says Boger.

William Hohauser April 5th, 2018 06:46 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
I had a major breakdown with my 2013 MacPro at the beginning of March, the dual video boards failed. In the time it took Apple to replace them (that's another story) I was left without a workhorse workstation. The Apple Store people tried to get me interested in the iMacPro. It was very tempting, it's really fast for real-time effects, but I ended up choosing the top of the line 15" MacBookPro to replace my 17" MacBookPro that still worked but was straining to play some of the timelines I was working on. Also the 17" MBP doesn't have enough ports to connect my desktop accessories. I'll tell you, the 15" MacBookPro really competes well against a 2013 8-core MacPro in real-time editing. Some of the final rendering was slower and the 8-core is better with Compressor tasks but I am impressed. The larger trackpad is sort of a hindrance so I had to train my lazy thumb from accidentally activating it.

After a couple of weeks using the MBP as my main workstation, the MacPro was finally fixed (the Apple Store service reps were great, I can't say as much for the techs at the east coast Apple facility that repairs MacPros but they finally came through) and I'll wait until 2019 to see what happens with the next version. I don't really need PCI card space but hopefully the new MacPro will come with two video cards as a default. The present iMacPro could clearly replace my MacPro in a snap and I would get improved rendering performance but I can wait.

Ricky Sharp April 10th, 2018 10:08 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
One thing to watch out for (at least for direct Apple support/repairs) is that they will not fix a machine greater than 5 years old from purchase. So in June 2017, my 2012 Mac Pro reached that status. Thankfully, it lasted until Dec when I picked up the iMac Pro.

Steven Davis April 10th, 2018 08:30 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Well, Apple gave birth to mine and it was delivered by a stork today. All I've done so far is transfer stuff, and fiddle with FCPX. I'll try and update feedback here as I go. The only upgrades I did were the machine ram to 64 and the video ram to 16. I decided this after months of research, the information here of course, reaching out to Adobe, BHphoto, Black Magic and a few others.

For the price, this thing better fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Since I already have FCPX, I'm going to stick with it and see how it goes. Thank you, everyone, for your input.

Boyd Ostroff April 10th, 2018 08:33 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricky Sharp (Post 1942889)
One thing to watch out for (at least for direct Apple support/repairs) is that they will not fix a machine greater than 5 years old from purchase.

Well (happily) I don't have personal experience with getting an old computer repaired, but Apple's official policy would seem to be at odds with what you have posted. This is how they classify old computers. Note that the date of purchase is not the criterion, it's the date when they stopped manufacturing that model.

"Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago.

Obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than 7 years ago."


Here's a list of the computers they won't service anymore and the 2012 Mac Pro isn't on it. If they refused to service your computer, it would be interesting to hear how they justify that... https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

Steven Davis April 10th, 2018 08:35 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
As a side note. According to my Apple store, Apple is not going to repair or upgrade the new iMac Pro, I and other parents will have to take it to a licensed Apple repair shop. Good times.

Jack Zhang April 11th, 2018 11:25 AM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Not to mention Apple is shifting away from using x86 soon and using their own custom ARM processors exclusively in 2020. Trash can may be the last Mac Pro. They won't make a ARM based Mac Pro cause ARM is for their consumer based products, and Apple intends to abandon Intel and not even consider AMD processors.

Ricky Sharp April 11th, 2018 12:13 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
The shift to anything other than Intel is wild rumor at this point. I write software for a living, and this would be a huge hurdle for software developers in general. It also assumes that Apple has been developing (in secret) desktop class ARM chips that could rival Xeons, etc. The current suite of ARM procs are built for very low power consumption. The equation is much different for workstation-class procs.

What I personally see is the inclusion of an ARM co-processor. That would allow for one more "natively" test iOS, watchOS and tvOS software in the simuator. Though still not a replacement for testing on actual devices. And, potentially to allow a Mac to run iOS, etc. software. Still, that's a bit cumbersome as the software is originally designed for touch interaction and not mouse-keyboard interaction.

Ricky Sharp April 11th, 2018 12:14 PM

Re: Mac Pro status
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff (Post 1942905)
Well (happily) I don't have personal experience with getting an old computer repaired, but Apple's official policy would seem to be at odds with what you have posted. This is how they classify old computers. Note that the date of purchase is not the criterion, it's the date when they stopped manufacturing that model.

"Vintage products are those that have not been manufactured for more than 5 and less than 7 years ago.

Obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than 7 years ago."


Here's a list of the computers they won't service anymore and the 2012 Mac Pro isn't on it. If they refused to service your computer, it would be interesting to hear how they justify that... https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201624

I didn't have to repair it thankfully. As to the info I posted above, that was given to me at the time by someone at AppleCare. Sounds like they mis-spoke at the time.


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