Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Mar 2013 22:01 UTC
Apple John Siracusa: "On paper, the Mac Pro may no longer be a viable product, but it would be a mistake for Apple to abandon the concept that it embodies. Like the Power Mac before it, the Mac Pro was designed to be the most powerful personal computer Apple knows how to make. That goal should be maintained, even as the individual products that aim to achieve it evolve." I agree wholeheartedly. The Mac Pro - and the PowerMac before it - are amazing products, and I would be quite sad to see them go. They may not always lead the pack in performance, but when it comes to sheer engineering and interior design, they are among the very best. I have zero need for a Mac Pro, but to this day, I always take a few minutes to admire it whenever I pay a visit to my Apple retailer.
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The best...
by bowkota on Fri 8th Mar 2013 22:20 UTC
bowkota
Member since:
2011-10-12

The best Mac ever made (well actually my favourite one) is....
the cube of course.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Power_mac_g4_cube.png

Reply Score: 3

RE: The best...
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 8th Mar 2013 22:24 UTC in reply to "The best..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Of course it is.

*cube fist*

Reply Score: 2

RE: The best...
by aligatro on Fri 8th Mar 2013 22:55 UTC in reply to "The best..."
aligatro Member since:
2010-01-28
RE: The best...
by saso on Sat 9th Mar 2013 00:55 UTC in reply to "The best..."
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

For me, one of the nicest "Mac" machines (very loosely) has been the NeXTCube. Might not be up everybody's trumpet, but it is probably the closest oddity to a Cray-1 in terms of design you can get. Oh and the OS was totally bad-ass too.
http://www.1000bit.it/lista/n/NEXT/cube/next_cube.jpg

Reply Score: 5

RE: The best...
by No it isnt on Sun 10th Mar 2013 10:58 UTC in reply to "The best..."
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Best as in nicest looking. It had huge problems with heat and with people at parties pouring their drinks into them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The best...
by Johann Chua on Tue 12th Mar 2013 12:29 UTC in reply to "The best..."
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

My favorite is the Mac SE/30. Once I pay off my credit card bill I'm getting one off eBay.

Reply Score: 2

My Mac Pro
by boing on Fri 8th Mar 2013 23:14 UTC
boing
Member since:
2007-05-22

I bought a Mac Pro in 2006 (Model 1,1) knowing it cost more money. The reason why was I wanted a case that was easy to access, silent, and ran Mac OS X. At the time Windows XP was not robust enough for heavy duty workstation needs, and I got tired of dealing with X-Windows (video) issues in Linux. I still use this same Mac Pro today, and it runs great. It currently runs Snow Leopard (10.6) because I think it is the best Mac OS X version IMHO, plus this Mac has a 32-bit EFI, which apple refuses to upgrade to 64-bit to allow me to install Mountain Lion if I so chose which fixed all of Lions issues. It has 2 CPU's (4-2.66 ghz cores total), 16 gig ECC memory (can increase to 32 GIG), SSD boot drive, and 7 other hard drives (3 internal, 4 external using EATA). This machine is silent, stable, and as lighting fast, even in today's standards. So I never regret this past purchase due to longevity, but I do admit if I did it over again in today's time I would strongly consider Windows 7 or a recent Linux because they have gotten so much better since 2006. But the Mac Pro I bought 7 years later is still a great looking computer and being silent is a plus. It has been one of the best machines I have owned, and plan on using it until it dies. So if someone decided to purchase a Mac Pro as a long term purchase, I wouldn't criticize them at all even if it costs a little more.

Reply Score: 3

RE: My Mac Pro
by laffer1 on Sat 9th Mar 2013 23:46 UTC in reply to "My Mac Pro"
laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

I have a Mac Pro 1,1 that I'm preparing to sell. It was my wife's desktop for a long time. She wanted a decent gamer rig for WoW and software development.

The machine was a dual socket 2 x 2.0 Ghz system and I've been able to upgrade it like crazy. It has 7GB of RAM, a Radeon 5700 (upgraded from 1900), and I even upgraded the CPUs to 2 x 1.8Ghz quad core 5300 series xeons. The only problem with this system is the 32bit EFI.

After seeing benchmarks of the Mac mini quad core vs the newer Mac Pro, I decided to "upgrade" to a mac mini in december. The system is much quieter than a Mac Pro but I do miss the internal drive bays.

I realized that I can buy a Mac Mini every other year for the cost of a Mac Pro entry level over a 5 year period.

Had Apple upgraded the Mac Pro to a sandy or ivy bridge xeon I would have bought one in a second. I just can't justify buying such outdated technology when the iMac and Mini are better.

Apple has a huge problem as they don't have real developer hardware anymore.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: My Mac Pro
by ggeldenhuys on Sun 10th Mar 2013 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE: My Mac Pro"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

Apple has a huge problem as they don't have real developer hardware anymore.


I fully agree with that! Considering that you can only develop Mac or iOS software on a Mac (legally), they better give developers decent developer hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My Mac Pro
by zima on Wed 13th Mar 2013 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My Mac Pro"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Hackintoshes are generally quite legal in many places, NVM what Apple EULA says...

Reply Score: 2

RE: My Mac Pro
by ggeldenhuys on Sun 10th Mar 2013 09:29 UTC in reply to "My Mac Pro"
ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

I recently got a new desktop system. I contemplated getting a Mac Pro, but for that same price I could get a high spec PC with high quality parts. My system is self built (not a brand name PC).

I have a CoolerMaster casing with sliding HDD trays. Internally it is beautifully machined and painted inside and out - all no tools required maintenance. I have a modular Power Supply, so only cables I need are plugged in and used. I have a water cooled system for the CPU which makes it really quite. I have one large fan which spins slow due to large blades, so that makes near zero noise too. I have a 540Mb read/write speed SSD boot drive, which is incredibly fast and again, no noise. I then have 3x 2TB Western Digital "green" drives is a RAID5 (Actually Raid-Z1, as I run FreeBSD). Because they are green drives the make much less noise than normal drives, and are lot cooler. I t rounded it off with 16GB high quality RAM and a Dell U2711 27" IPS 2560x1440 display. When the system is powered on, I can't hear it at all. Maintenance on the system is very easy, but how often do you really open a system - I don't do it much. Only once in a while I'll open it up to blow out any dust.

This system ticked all the boxes of the things people liked about the Mac Pro. Silent, beautiful, powerful and fast, and as a bonus....half the price of a Mac Pro. I am also more flexible with my hardware. PS: my system can run Mountain Lion just fine too.

Reply Score: 4

The old apple...
by tomz on Sat 9th Mar 2013 00:04 UTC
tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

XServe was insanely grate as was the Mac Pro (I have a dual G5 still). But there is a syndrome that makes one conservative, jealous, and inward looking - which works if you are the warden of a prison farm (walled gardens aren't surrounded by razor wire).

They are moving to make the Mac mini and MacBook into iOS like appliances, even if they run OS/X. The point now is to lock people into iCloud and the ecosystem.

No insane greatness. Merely tyranny with the portrait and books of the old dear leader in forced reverence.

Microsoft started its death spiral (slowly and invisibly) when it decided to make things hard for Palm and Netscape instead of making Windows CE and IE so much better - and they could given their resources.

Apple should dump the rest of their engineering staff, and make their "one ring" headquarters into a lawyer's paradise in the land of Cupertino where the shadows lie (of that which once was great).

(I suspect some makers with laserpointers, mirrors, and servos will project elvish letters on the edifice when it is sufficiently complete). The only thing worse would be a dome with a parabolic depression, but AT&T already stole the death-star.

Reply Score: 1

Mac Pro is dead for a reason
by Auzy on Sat 9th Mar 2013 00:06 UTC
Auzy
Member since:
2008-01-20

Used to own a Mac Pro, and sorry but Apple never stood a chance with them. Firstly, they have always been generations behind PC's. When PowerMac's were using PCI-X, PC's were using PCIexpress. While Mac Pro's were using X1900's, Nvidia had hundreds of stream processors and CUDA (so, unless you were using totally CPU-bound operations, they were useless, and in communities which require performance, porting to CUDA made sense). From a performance standpoint, the Mac Pro's were uncompetitive. You only used it if you wanted Final cut pro.

The real benefit of having a machine form-factor designed like a Mac Pro should be the ability to upgrade it, however, since the M/B is non-standard, and Apple can't release upgrade boards without risking Mac Clones, the machine needs to be thrown out every upgrade (and, you need to buy RAM, and a HDD again with the machine, since Apple don't offer bare bones systems). And, honestly, there is nothing special about the case. If you have a faulty PSU, you need to use an Apple spare part. They only hold 4 HDD's, and, there are plenty of PC cases with all the features (and build quality) of the Apple case and more.

Sorry, but unless Apple wants to open Mac OS X up to 3rd party vendors (which it can't do, because, they haven't done much driver work, and their sale of hardware would disappear), the form factor of the Mac Pro never really made much sense, especially with the availability of thunderbolt which provides sufficient bandwidth for audio cards, etc. And yet, unless they open things up, they can't compete in the performance market anyway

Edited 2013-03-09 00:12 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Maybe they will surprise us?
by bram on Sat 9th Mar 2013 02:12 UTC
bram
Member since:
2009-04-03

I like to think that Apple may surprise us with something completely out of left-field.

What if they stunned the world with a 64 core ARM?
It would kinda make sense: better efficiency than the top end xeon, maybe a little slower, but sufficient if used properly (multi thread, multi proc.)

Apple is pretty big on concurrency with the work they have put into Grand Central Dispatch (GCD). A 64-core ARM would be a perfect platform for GCD based software to shine.

I think that may have been what Tim Cook was referring to as upcoming exciting stuff.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Maybe they will surprise us?
by Tony Swash on Sat 9th Mar 2013 10:38 UTC in reply to "Maybe they will surprise us?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I like to think that Apple may surprise us with something completely out of left-field.


I was wondering the same. With Thunderbolt I wondered if they could move to a modular system and dispense with the 'big metal box that can hold everything' approach. Something more Lego like.

The other intriguing report I saw this week (sorry lost link) was about someone visiting a manufacturing complex very recently and witnessing the production of Apple branded 2TB SSDs. I wondered if that was linked to this:

http://www.intomobile.com/2012/01/11/apple-acquires-flash-memory-co...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Maybe they will surprise us?
by Lennie on Sun 10th Mar 2013 09:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe they will surprise us?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Thunderbolt is probably to slow, but silicon photonics will.

You don't have to wonder, I do believe it was their plan. Intel just couldn't deliver it yet.

Just look at this text from Wikipedia:

"The interface was originally intended to run exclusively on an optical physical layer using components and flexible optical fiber cabling developed by Intel partners and at Intel's Silicon Photonics lab. The Intel technology at the time was logically marketed under the name Light Peak,[9] after 2011 referred to as Silicon Photonics Link.[10] However, it was discovered that conventional copper wiring could furnish the desired 10 Gbit/s Thunderbolt bandwidth per channel at lower cost."

And I'm pretty sure there is a reason it is called Thunderbolt, something about speed and bright light.

Silicon Photonics is coming:

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/01/22/silicon-phot...
http://new.livestream.com/ocp/winter2013/videos/9500796
http://new.livestream.com/ocp/winter2013/videos/9501486

Thunderbolt supports the PCI and DisplayPort protocols and Silicon Photonics supports the PCI and Ethernet protocols.

Reply Score: 2

Top model is a marketing booster
by Invincible Cow on Sat 9th Mar 2013 08:50 UTC
Invincible Cow
Member since:
2006-06-24

Generally, the purpose of the top model isn't to be a sensible model that earns the company money. It's to make the next-best model seem more sensible, so they can make money off that.
Not having a "super" model is disrupting to a company's image and marketing strategies.

Reply Score: 2

gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

By that logic, wouldn't it be better to bring back the 17" Macbook Pro? It's something the majority of Mac customers can at least identify with, even if very few actually target it.

I'm not disagreeing with you about 'halo' products and all, but in Apple's case, most regular consumers don't even know the Mac Pro exists.

Not sure about the US, but where I live none of the Apple stores even had Mac Pros for display, even when the line was new/refreshed. As far as I can recall, the Apple website has never gone out of it's way to give the Mac Pro line much of a showcase either.

Edited 2013-03-09 10:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

ameasures Member since:
2006-01-09

By that logic, wouldn't it be better to bring back the 17" Macbook Pro? It's something the majority of Mac customers can at least identify with, even if very few actually target it.


As I type on an MBP17 (circa 2009 vintage). I have a few thoughts:

1) If iPads had been around I would probably have had an iPad and an iMac rather than the MBP17 ... more screen space and performance when I need it and less to lug or lose when I don't.

2) I sense they are standardizing laptops onto 'retina' screens and are struggling to make them big enough for 17inch displays or with a sufficiently low power profile for a laptop.

3) If they do get a 17" retina display working then a 15" (iHeliPad) or 17" tablet (iChinook) would rock most of us back on our heels.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sat 9th Mar 2013 14:20 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

There's nothing PRO about MacBook "Pro". Well, ok, maybe the name.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by marcp
by MOS6510 on Sat 9th Mar 2013 14:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Nor is it a book, but never mind that.

The article is about the Mac Pro, a high end tower Mac, not a laptop. Apple hasn't updated it for some time, but the signs and rumors are hinting at an update.

Reply Score: 4

Want upgradeability
by IndigoJo on Sat 9th Mar 2013 15:50 UTC
IndigoJo
Member since:
2005-07-06

The Mac Pro never was a "halo" model - it was a Mac that came in a form factor that would be familiar to anyone from PC-land. he attraction of the Mac Pro should be easy upgradeability - it should be a Mac that you can fit things like memory, hard drives, graphics cards, etc as easily as to a PC. You can do that with even a relatively low-end PC; you have to pay thousands to get a Mac that can do that. There will be more demand for an average-spec Mac that has a bit more future-proofing than a Mac mini or iMac has, than for a "halo car" Mac.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Want upgradeability
by ameasures on Sat 9th Mar 2013 23:00 UTC in reply to "Want upgradeability"
ameasures Member since:
2006-01-09

The Mac Pro never was a "halo" model - it was a Mac that came in a form factor that would be familiar to anyone from PC-land. he attraction of the Mac Pro should be easy upgradeability - it should be a Mac that you can fit things like memory, hard drives, graphics cards, etc as easily as to a PC. You can do that with even a relatively low-end PC; you have to pay thousands to get a Mac that can do that.


Yes, the Apple MacPro machines weren't cheap however given a comparable high end specification of scalability, reliability and performance: the Apple pricing was not much different to other suppliers (and at times cheaper).

It surprised me when I first hit this on behalf of clients.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Want upgradeability
by Morgan on Sun 10th Mar 2013 01:54 UTC in reply to "Want upgradeability"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I always saw them as a great server if you wanted Apple hardware but didn't have (or want) a rack. Same guts as an Xserve but prettier and with more expansion options.

As a powerful Apple workstation, they were the only logical choice until the new style (thinner) Mac mini came out. I still think the Pro had the advantage as a server though, given its modular form factor, unless you were just running a small web server and didn't need advanced expandability.

Reply Score: 2

Mac Pro is actually cheap
by wigry on Sun 10th Mar 2013 18:40 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

First you need to understand that Mac Pro is not a device for regular users. It has 2 physical processors which makes things complicated - most software will run SLOWER on 2 CPU system than on single-CPU system hence most consumer-level multicore single CPU PC-s can outperform Mac Pro quite easily. Meaning that Mac Pro requires special software/programs/algorithms to show its benefit.

That said, it is obvious that Mac Pro competes in serious workstation market with other heavyweights like Lenovo D30, Dell Precision T7600 or HP Z820.

Compared to these machines, Mac Pro is actually the cheapest option. The question if you really need and can benefit from this kind of powerhouse is a totyally different story.

For single and multiCPU performance comparison, there have been couple of Gigabyte mobo reviews and only in very specific cases the multi CPU system excels. The reviewers had hard time finding the algorithms/tasks that would benefit serious parallel processing with minimal memory access (thats the thing what brings multi-CPU system to its knees as the required data might not be L3 cache of the current chip but either in other chip or in main memory causing massive wait for data to arrive. In single CPU system the caches are accessible to all cores)

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6808/westmereep-to-sandy-bridgeep-the...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6533/gigabyte-ga7pesh1-review-a-dual-...

Edited 2013-03-10 18:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Mac Pro is actually cheap
by tidux on Mon 11th Mar 2013 18:49 UTC in reply to "Mac Pro is actually cheap"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

I'm pretty sure Linux and FreeBSD run things faster on multiple physical CPUs. That's just a Windows/OSX problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Mac Pro is actually cheap
by wigry on Mon 11th Mar 2013 20:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Mac Pro is actually cheap"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

The problem comes down to the fact that multiple CPU-s must communicate with each other and that brings the performance down. They must wait after each other. Only very careful program tuning and specific algorithms can allocate both CPU-s and keep them busy without any need for them to communicate with each other. Nothing to do with platform nor operating system. This is basic multi-CPU issue.

Cores on a single CPU can communicate much much faster than different CPU-s

Reply Score: 1

Stop charging too much for Macs!
by kriston on Tue 12th Mar 2013 02:02 UTC
kriston
Member since:
2007-04-11

The simple answer is that Apple should stop charging too much for Macs!! The 30% margin kills sales unless those sales were mandated by some local school district or university.

It's almost a crime.

Reply Score: 1