24 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2013 8:26 AM by Evil Edison

    what are your opinion on the new mac pro

    yinkadesigncode

      I feel while radical its too limiting thereby loosing fuctionality. But I also knw how the iSheeps would follow their iSheperd blindly. There making this kind of thunderbolt for everything the norm. I also know that the PC companies brought this on themselves they failed to innovate followed intel and nvidia to blindly with there xeons and quadro. The 3 major pc makers market professional workstations that you would probaly sell ur kidney to get one we have the z820 while very powerful its just 2 xpensive. Let's take for example the imac is the best bang for d buck most beautiful all in one if hp had used say a normal 3770k and a gtx 680m 4gb dat would have brought the price of the z1 down drastically. Let's say d average joe wants to be an editor, compositor, colorist. if u goole pc workstations hp z820 and dell T7600 would pop up but they are dam so xpensive hp consumer PCs are garbage. If there is onething apple knows the average pro does not want to be bothered with specs. I think the pc industry brought this on themselves. Wat of the smaller custom builder they focused so much on gaming big megatron design like cases with all the talk of FPS is every thing. My only prayer is that asus, msi gigabyte should stand up aganist apple and start releasing sexier designs, unless I fear even adobe is not safe cos most editors would gradually drfit back to FCPX sad wen inferior products triumphs a superior one. Pls drop ur thoughts also ur opnions as editors in your location the general trend. I hate to be locked in a garden where I am told this is what I need. I love choices.

        • 1. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          My only prayer is that asus, msi gigabyte should stand up aganist apple and start releasing sexier designs...

           

          The reason the all-American boy prefers beauty to brains is that the all-American boy can see better than he can think.

          Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. 'Yes' is the answer.

           

          MacPro is overpriced and underperforming in comparison to PC, but it looks fashionably sexy.

           

          Let me be clear, fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable, we have to change it every 6 months.

          • 2. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
            yinkadesigncode Level 1

            Am a geek just like you, but I do know the average joe cares about what works. I haven seen geeks squeez super micro board into cosair 600t with dual xeon am just saying if only the likes of hp and dell has been doing dat at a resonable price with sensible components these thunderbolt mentality would neva exist. And taking away the design function from creative people is like taking away a quiet place and saying learning is condusive. Most creative people love good designs like I said if only the tier 1 pc maker had done modest design, sensible component maybe d macpro would have truly been buried. Do u realy think the average photographer, editor colorist care about specs they want what works. The PC industry has been made to look like an industry for geek and geek only ther goes the problem

            • 3. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
              jasonvp Level 3

              yinkadesigncode wrote:

               

              I feel while radical its too limiting thereby loosing fuctionality. But I also knw how the iSheeps would follow their iSheperd blindly. There making this kind of thunderbolt for everything the norm.

              You started this thread off with an insult and a foregone conclusion.  What kind of honest discourse do you expect?

               

              You should peruse the various threads in the Mac Pro section of the MacRumors forum.  Generally, the acceptance of the new Mac Pro is really, really low.  Folks are whole-heartedly against the idea of losing one of the key components that separated the Mac Pro from the rest of Apple's line-up: PCI-E expandability.  Now we no longer have access to any PCI-E video cards unless we want to attempt to run them over a TBolt 2 connection (right.. that'll work well... oh wait.. no drivers exist for that yet).  All of our storage expansion has to be done via TBolt 2 because the new Pro has no 3.5" or 2.5" drive bays.  This is less of a big deal if you're made of money: TBolt disk enclosures generally perform very well, but they're super costly.

               

              Video capture?  Sound cards?  Other hardware?  We'll be forced to use external TBolt PCI-E enclosures and hope to hell they work.

               

              Only 4 DIMM slots for RAM, which is painfully expensive if you want to do 64GB (or more?)

               

              On the plus side, Apple clearly sees GPGPU power is one of the keys to tomorrow's computing, equipping the machine with 2 GPUs by default.  But which GPUs?  All they've told us is: 2 AMD FirePro GPUs with 6GB of VRAM each.  The video cards' form factor is clearly not PCI-E, but, will Apple release the engineering specs on those cards?  Will nVidia be able/allowed to play ball?  Will nVidia even want to?  Will Apple provide cards by both AMD and nVidia?  We don't know these answers yet, and won't until late Fall.

               

              I'll bet this new machine will turn into a nice little (very little!) power house for editing in Premiere Pro CC.  Specially given the dual GPUs.  But it's lack of internal expandability and modification potential are leaving a lot of people very disheartened and looking to built Hackintoshes instead.  Myself included.

              • 4. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                The 2 biggest problems with the new Mac Pro are the complete reliance on Thunderbolt for expansion and the Proprietary GPU modules. What happens when those Fire Pro cards are EOL and new GPU's are available. Will Apple go to any of the GPU manufacturers and get newer modules manufactured. Considering the applications that are moving to GPU processing, that was really a very bad idea simply because of the Minimum order quantity Apple will have to make to run another module. Apple will not be able to pull from the general video card supply which means they will be solely responsible for any production numbers required to manufacture to begin with. I personally expect this to be a major limitation as time goes on.

                 

                The complete reliance on Thunderbolt for expansion really was bad idea and not ready for prime time. TB2 has the total bandwidth of a PCI-E Gen 2 5x. That is the entire pipe available to pump any video output data, high performance storage, I/O devices, and any number of devices available as time goes on especially video cards. Those trying to GPU process through that pipe are going to find that latency is way to much a problem to get that done. If Lightpeak was out and had the bandwidth of PCi-E Gen 2 or Gen 3 16X then I would say great. There is just to small a pipe and to much device moderation at the TB controller to do this now. The major problem that will develop from this later is when Lightpeak is out for the PC and devices start moving there. Where will Apple be with the Mac Pro when it's entire expansion is legacy in 1 to 2 years. As a final note Thunderbolt 2 is just Thunderbolt 1 with 1 bidirectional channel in stead of 2 unidirectional. This is not a major improvement over the original.

                 

                The final consideration though not a major problem yet is the limit to 6 Core Xeons. This is likely due to the heat the 8 Core Xeons generate combined with a centralized cooling design. One of the major reasons to get a Dual Xeon is the 8 Core CPU options. Without that then there really is far less reason to get a Dual Xeon over a single 6 core and eventually 8 core workstation. This is a sacrifice that will reveal more later than now.

                 

                Considering the Mac Pro is meant to be the flagship platform for Apple's Pro market, there are really way to many limitations on this one to compete with the PC equivalents. There is only so much OSX will add to any system.

                 

                Eric

                ADK

                • 5. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                  jasonvp Level 3

                  ECBowen wrote:

                   

                  The final consideration though not a major problem yet is the limit to 6 Core Xeons. This is likely due to the heat the 8 Core Xeons generate combined with a centralized cooling design. One of the major reasons to get a Dual Xeon is the 8 Core CPU options. Without that then there really is far less reason to get a Dual Xeon over a single 6 core and eventually 8 core workstation. This is a sacrifice that will reveal more later

                  I'm not quite sure where you're getting that as a limit for the new Mac Pro.  They've clearly stated that the single CPU slot will hold a 12-core Xeon when it's released.

                  • 6. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                    2x Xeon processors equaling 12cores is 2x 6 core Xeon CPU's. There are no 12 Core E5 CPU's. Apple used that same description with the current Mac Pro with the base configuration and 2x 6 core CPU's.

                     

                    Eric

                    ADK

                    • 7. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                      jasonvp Level 3

                      ECBowen wrote:

                       

                      2x Xeon processors equaling 12cores is 2x 6 core Xeon CPU's. There are no 12 Core E5 CPU's. Apple used that same description with the current Mac Pro with the base configuration and 2x 6 core CPU's.

                      There will be a 12-core E5 by the end of the year, which is the chip Apple is going to be using.

                       

                      http://cdn2.wccftech.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Intel_IvyBridge_EP_EN-11.png

                      • 8. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                        ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                        Are you sure about that? Why would they release a Mac Pro with only 1 CPU socket and no option for 2? The Single chip Xeon's are the same core setup and the X79 chips.

                         

                        Eric

                        ADK

                        • 9. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                          jasonvp Level 3

                          ECBowen wrote:

                           

                          Are you sure about that? Why would they release a Mac Pro with only 1 CPU socket and no option for 2? The Single chip Xeon's are the same core setup and the X79 chips.

                          Based on the presentation and design of the Mac Pro: yes.  I'm 100% positive of it.  It's a single-chip design.  There is only room in the (tiny) case for 3 custom PCBs, and every Mac Pro will have 2 GPUs.  That's 2 PCBs down, with 1 left over for the CPU.  And that PCB isn't large enough for 2 CPUs to sit on it.  Further, there's only room for 4 DIMM slots.

                           

                          Go through the presentation on the Apple site.  It's pretty clear, IMHO.

                          • 10. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                            I did go through the presentation. I assumed the 2nd CPU may be elsewhere in the pictures or they only showed the single chip version. That doesn't mean there wont be a Dual chip version. Also the specs state the ram bandwidth is 60GB/s. You cannot get that speed with only 1 memory controller ie cpu. That kind of speed requires 2 ram controllers and Numa support. There is nothing in IVY Bridge that I have seen that has increased the bandwidth of 1 ram controller.

                             

                            Eric

                            ADK

                            • 11. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                              jasonvp Level 3

                              ECBowen wrote:

                               

                              I did go through the presentation. I assumed the 2nd CPU may be elsewhere in the pictures or they only showed the single chip version. That doesn't mean there wont be a Dual chip version.

                              It does mean there won't, unless they completely overhaul the entire chassis.  The 3-sided heat sink (for lack of a better word) is the core of the chassis, and has room for exactly: 3 processors.  One CPU and 2 GPUs.

                              • 12. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                Then there is no way they are getting 60GB/s off 1 chip and that is completely false. 1 chip only Xeon makes this Mac Pro even worse than I thought.


                                Eric

                                ADK

                                • 13. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                  I found the peak Theoretical Bandwidth for DDR3 1866 and 4x that is 59.7GB/s so it looks like you are right about the 1 CPU only option. I really don't understand why they chose a single chip configuration only with the E5's. The entire point of getting a E5 configuration is the Dual Chip otherwise the I7 is far better since they are unlocked. That is a major disappointment.

                                   

                                  Eric

                                  ADK

                                  • 14. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                    jasonvp Level 3

                                    ECBowen wrote:

                                     

                                    The entire point of getting a E5 configuration is the Dual Chip otherwise the I7 is far better since they are unlocked. That is a major disappointment. 

                                    For pure number crunching and long-running scientific data crunching ECC RAM is also crucial.  Not interesting or nice to have, but required.  Without argument.  That's one of the other reasons Apple uses the Xeons.

                                     

                                    Further, Apple has no, and never has had any interest in allowing its end users to over/underclock the CPUs in its machines.  Don't ever expect that to change, for better/for worse.

                                    • 15. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                      Number crunching is not the reason ECC is used nor is it required. If that was the case, all systems would require ECC and not unbuffered. ECC is designed for server operations where the system has to remain operational 24/7 for long periods of time. In that scenario the system or ram can eventually produce an error from overwriting and refreshing pages. A study on this was done years ago and it was shown to take almost 6 months for an error to occur on an unbuffered stick running 24/7 for that period of time without restarting. So it took months of refreshing and overwriting to show an error. ECC would be a added latency hit on ram operations when a client is able to restart the system at any given time. Those who state it's required for engineering and scientific processing are simply marketing. Number crunching doesnt change just because the output data is different. The mathematical process is still the same.

                                       

                                      I am fully aware Apple doesnt allow OC'ing. My point is simply using E5 Xeons in Single chip only Xeon systems is far greater cost than one of the I7 chips with overall less performance with applications due to the clock speed. The Ivy Replacement for the E5 1600 series would be the normal Xeon for such a system with a far lower cost.

                                       

                                      Eric

                                      • 16. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                        jasonvp Level 3

                                        ECBowen wrote:

                                         

                                        Number crunching is not the reason ECC is used nor is it required.

                                        I'm not going to sit here and debate this with you Eric; you've already been proven incorrect twice in this thread.  I'm not working with much here.  Further, I'm not the target market for the ECC, but I can introduce you to folks who are, and know that it is required.  You can debate it with them if you'd like.

                                         

                                        Carry on.

                                        • 17. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                          I have been proven incorrect once regarding a single chip versus 2 in the new Mac Pro. That has nothing to do with whether the information is correct about ECC either. Considering there are few listed exact specifications such an error is understandable. I wasnt the one who brought up ECC in the first place. You introduced that as a reason to get the E5 Xeons. The 1600 series E5 Xeons also handle ECC so there is no reason to use a Dual chip Xeon in a Single only system. By all means introduce me to someone who can prove ECC is required for such operations.

                                           

                                          BTW Nvidia said the same thing about the ECC in the Quadro cards and yet everyone turned that off because it slowed down the cards even more. Once again a waste to use ECC.

                                           

                                          Eric

                                          ADK

                                          • 18. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                            Evil Edison Level 1

                                            ECBowen wrote:

                                             

                                            Then there is no way they are getting 60GB/s off 1 chip and that is completely false. 1 chip only Xeon makes this Mac Pro even worse than I thought.

                                             

                                            Eric, I think Apple is banking on a big move to GPU oriented apps.  I don't think they're far off base with this, particularly with respect to our industry. I use a Z820 at work (fully loaded with the fastest procs and 64GB ram) but due to requirements of some other software, it has a crappy Quadro 4000 card. I also have a system at home that I built myself--single 3930K, 32GB and a GTX680.  On account of the 680, my home system handles a lot of AE and Premiere operations better than my HP powerhouse!  Obviously, throwing a GTX Titan in my work system would end the competition outright but my point is that in a lot of cases, it's all about the GPU.  The Mac Pro with two FirePros is probably going to perform very well in most video related apps.

                                            • 19. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                              GPU accelerated applications use a pipeline starting with the CPU processing. This is the concept that most are not aware of since the idea sounds like simply the GPU does the work and the CPU doesn't. That is far from the case. The reason many do not see the same performance with GPU acceleration applications than others is due to the CPU not getting the data down to the GPU fast enough to really load the GPU's. That means the GPU's sit idle or at far lower load than they are capable of. A system can have the best GPU's available installed but if the CPU's cannot handle the data fast enough to utilize them then they are pointless. This is one of the major reasons the PPBM benchmarks are so important to the community. They show clearly the pipeline involved with the GPU acceleration and when the system is unbalanced especially at the CPU. BTW this is also one of the reasons Open CL does not perform as well at CUDA currently.

                                               

                                              Eric

                                              ADK

                                              • 20. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                                cc_merchant Level 4

                                                Eric,

                                                The reason many do not see the same performance with GPU acceleration applications than others is due to the CPU not getting the data down to the GPU fast enough to really load the GPU's. That means the GPU's sit idle or at far lower load than they are capable of. A system can have the best GPU's available installed but if the CPU's cannot handle the data fast enough to utilize them then they are pointless.

                                                 

                                                My guess is that this is exactly the reason Harm posted Adobe Community: What is the best video card for my system? which takes these issues into consideration.

                                                • 21. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                  Yes that was something Harm and I talked about when he was building the new PPBM and I really appreciate his work on.

                                                   

                                                  Eric

                                                  ADK

                                                  • 22. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                                    Evil Edison Level 1

                                                    Good information.  Thanks, Eric.  I will be interested to see how the Mac Pro performs once it's available. Obviously, it won't be as powerful as a similarly priced PC but that's pretty much always been the case. I think more than anything, it gives people an opportunity to use OS-X with something other than an iMac.

                                                    • 23. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                      I agree and look forward to see how it performs as well. My major disappointment was the locked in dual modules of GPU at the sacrifice of one CPU slot. The main reason to always look at Mac Pro's as the primary Alternative to PC workstations was the Dual Xeon performance. Once Apple resolved the threading the performance was par at the time to PC workstations. 2 GPU's will be utilized only so much with the limitation of a single CPU to feed them. Using a Dual Xeon class E5 versus the Single Xeon class E5 does not add a large performance gain for the major increase in cost. With the Single E5's having greater clock speed options with Turbo for a far cheaper price would have been the better choice there with GPU acceleration applications overall outside of Red material. Essentially Apple chose a Desktop class workstation in stead of a Server class workstation. That is a major shift in their thinking regarding the Mac Pro line. This should be a Alt option with a larger Dual Xeon along with a PCI-E 16x expansion slot for PCI-E Expansion chassis.

                                                       

                                                      Eric

                                                      ADK

                                                      • 24. Re: what are your opinion on the new mac pro
                                                        Evil Edison Level 1

                                                        Definitely a major shift in Apple's thinking.  Personally, I don't think this thing is going to have any traction in the bigger facilities but I do see it being popular in smaller operations and among freelancers.  Of course, until we see some benchmarks and price points, everything is pure speculation.