Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Jun 2013 17:07 UTC
Apple We already talked about iOS 7 yesterday (after a night of sleep, it's only looking worse and worse - look at this, for Fiona's sake!), so now it's time to talk about the downright stunning and belly flutters-inducing new Mac Pro. As former owner and huge, huge, huge fan of the PowerMac G4 Cube - I haven't been this excited about an Apple product since, well, I would say the iMac G4. This is the Apple I used to love.
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What are you going to plug into it?
by Darkmage on Wed 12th Jun 2013 04:19 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Seriously, the people whining about this device don't have a clue as to what they'll use it for. There's not much that you need to plug into a Mac Pro. Video editing? You'll have an external SDI/Capture rig connected via thunderbolt (BlackMagic Design have some really great kit for this.) A monitor, and a keyboard/mouse. That's about it. You might have a thunderbolt or Gigabit attached RAID server.

There's just not that much stuff that you'll need to connect to a Mac Pro. I should know, I owned one. a 2009 model. Aside from being able to flash the bios and upgrade it to a 2012 mac pro with dual hex core instead of dual quad core cpus.

There wasn't really that much to be done to the system. The GPUs in that thing are godlike. There's going to be very little reason to upgrade, and if you need to install newer workstation graphics cards which are already $2k each. you're not going to care about buying a $500 box to put them in. The old towers could take up to 4 hard drives... frankly that wasn't enough capacity. You need to attach a multi-drive RAID server to these things to get the best use out of them. The new Mac Pro is an absolute beast and it's definately a clever design. Combine it with a 20-drive file server and 4k/8k video can be edited reasonably with it.

Apple is probably betting that most people will want to upgrade CPU/Motherboard/Ram at the same time as the Graphics cards because by the time a newer graphics card you need is out the rest of the specs will have shifted too. This definately isn't a consumer toy. If I had any real complaint with it, it'd be that it isn't a rack mount form factor, mainly just because the only users of this are going to be professionals and they probably have rackmount raid servers and rackmount capture devices hooked to this thing.

It looks designed for 4k and 8k video encoding. (8k video has already had live demos in Akihabara Japan, I should know since I saw it last year when I was in Tokyo. NHK were streaming the Olympic games in 8k.)

Edited 2013-06-12 04:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Well from the computing power any PC professional workstation will run circles around this, while costing around the same price.

It is really a form over function Mac Pro.

Reply Parent Score: 3

qwaszx Member since:
2012-02-03

Apple is always - "form over function", and its ok.

Reply Parent Score: 1

zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

Have you priced 12-core Xeon CPUs, PCI-e flash storage and a pair of workstation GFX cards lately?

I doubt the PC can be built much cheaper. Certainly not if you want a manufacturer's guarantee with it.

A similar Dell workstation is nearly $6,000.

But since we don't even have Apple's pricing information yet there's no way to know any kind of price comparison. So you're just blowing smoke.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Seriously, the people whining about this device don't have a clue as to what they'll use it for. There's not much that you need to plug into a Mac Pro. Video editing? You'll have an external SDI/Capture rig connected via thunderbolt (BlackMagic Design have some really great kit for this.) A monitor, and a keyboard/mouse. That's about it. You might have a thunderbolt or Gigabit attached RAID server.


Well, for photo/video work a DVD-RW drive would be critical, and some users will require a blue-ray burner. Definitely a multi card reader. Easily expandable storage. Sound card with a full range of in-out ports.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

Whatever particular production you do (audio, video, film, animation, programming) -- if you have the budget you might need something external that expands or improves upon what's built in. But this is good design on Apple's part, not bad.

Why should I (audio producer) have to pay for video features I'll never use? Why would I want empty space for 4 internal devices I'll never buy and which would operate slower than what I can put on a single thunderbolt cable?

I know I can't have 2-5 fans spinning in my studio, above or below the desk. Quiet is very important for me and anyone doing production.

All audio studios use AD interfaces in external boxes - no one pro has random soundcards sticking out of their CPU box - that's very 90's.

I see Thunderbolt to Interface box, then Thunderbolt to Drive array, then Thunderbolt to 4k display. That's a whole lot of production workstation on 1 cable. If you need the old non-thunderbolt gear, you have 2 firewire 800/400 ports compatible all the way back to 2002 or something, and USB 3/2/1 on top of that. With 2TB of fast SSD, 16gb RAM, 2 video cards, 2 ethernet, fast wifi, and bluetooth in that tube, what exactly are you updating internally?

Also - Anyone who sees no difference between a 3 foot tall beige box with 4 loud fans, case cracked open, card slots full and 10 cables dangling and this tiny little powerhouse cylinder are blind and dumb. Stop ignoring reality. Noise, power usage, cable organization, and presentation (for clients) is all critical stuff, not fluff.

And if you don't care *anything* about looks then I suspect you are wearing a cotton sack around your body, drive a $200 automobile, and haven't combed your hair since 1999. Your walls are white and barren, your floors grey and hard, and your lighting fluorescent and unalterable. You, the one with no love of anything beautiful or efficient, the one with no ego. Yeah right!

I don't have robot ears, sorry JP.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Bwahahahaha!! A DVD drive is critical? You do not know a single audio/video pro, do you? Audio/video pros buying a rig that will total from $5,000-12,000 do not view a $30 optical drive as critical. It's an annoyance if it comes up at all.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jigzat Member since:
2008-10-30

Yeah I was going to say that, it all depends on the price, flash memory is still expensive but actually thanks to Apple products (iPods and iPhones ) buyers prices have been falling, hopefully it will happen the same with SSD. Since is small shipping price will be lower, a 10 years machine I don't think so but maybe a 5 one.

Apple is clearly pointing at graphic designers, and those professionals have large arrays of disks and specialized displays and input devices, so at the end replacing the computer is just a fraction of the cost. Sure it would be great to be able to upgrade components but it doesn't make sense from the profit point of view (as an evidence, the decline in PC sales) plus people are not upgrading that often since the processor speed is not increasing fast anymore.

Regarding the design is clearly an homage to the CUBE and the new "mothership" campus, I would have prefer a rectangular box so it matches current style but Apple might have something else in mind for the future.

And the last plus is made in the USA, I'm not technically north american but I carefully choose the least amount of chinese products.

Reply Parent Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

There's going to be very little reason to upgrade, and if you need to install newer workstation graphics cards which are already $2k each.


Most workstation graphics cards are slightly modified gaming cards with different firmware and certification to support certain applications. In fact you can often flash gaming cards to install workstation firmware. The manufacturer charges OEMs similar prices for the gaming versions and the workstation versions. However the retail price is vastly higher for a workstation card.

Reply Parent Score: 2