Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Dec 2013 20:47 UTC
Apple

Apple today announced the all-new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday, December 19. Redesigned from the inside out, the all-new Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

This thing is so damn awesome. I don't need it, but I still want one.

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RE[5]: Comment by v_bobok
by fmaxwell on Fri 20th Dec 2013 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by v_bobok"
fmaxwell
Member since:
2005-11-13

A Mac pro is not going to be used for mission critical engineering design, mathematical simulations or as a server by any sane professional.

You are incorrect and talking about a subject that's clearly outside of your personal experience. I've had the privilege of working with brilliant scientists from NASA's JPL, all of whom made Macs their computer of choice, with all carrying MacBooks on the road and many working on Mac Pros in their offices.

I guess you're going to tell me that the Caedium Professional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, with has a $750/month license fee and runs on the Mac Pro, isn't used by professionals? And you think that AutoCAD, which recommends a Mac Pro 5,1 or later, is a hobbyist product?

GRAPHISOFT's Akos Pfemeter, Director of Global Marketing said “Obviously with the great dynamic scaling of ArchiCAD 17 we will very much benefit from the 12 powerful cores of the brand new Mac Pro.” He went on to say that ArchiCAD “will also benefit from the advanced OpenGL technologies that the powerful twin 4K graphics cards provide, allowing 3D models within ArchiCAD 17 to just fly.”

Workstations use ECC RAM and workstation grade cards primarily for piece of mind and legal indemnity - not performance.

You're arguing against a statement that I never made (that ECC RAM was used for performance). ECC RAM exacts a performance toll of about 2-3%. It's used anywhere that important work is being done, whether it's a 24/7 server or an engineering workstation that has to be rock-solid-stable.

As to your comment about workstation graphic cards, you need to read more. Tom's Hardware ran a Maya-based benchmark that had the W9000 at 91 frames per second while the consumer HD 7990 was running at 15 frames per second. Lightwave benchmarks showed similar results.

This is because the software manufacturer effectively offers legal indemnity for use in mission critical design situations such as aircraft and large-scale structural design. They are stating that their software is only guaranteed to work correctly when combined with certain hardware. The software checks that is using the "correct" hardware at startup to protect the software company against lawsuits.

That's a fabricated, incorrect assertion. These companies require workstation class cards for both performance and support reasons. They don't want to try to support some flaky, overclocked, third-party gamer graphics card with drivers that were developed around maximizing frame rates in video games.

Many CAD applications such as AutoCAD will run perfectly on consumer grade hardware. My brother is surveyor/civil engineer for a large government body. They replaced all their workstations over 20 years ago with whitebox PCs because none of their CAD work (surveying, unpaved access roads and minor earth works) is considered risky or mission critical.

So, around 1993, someone in a government office justified cost-cutting illogically (as if there had ever been a case where a bridge collapsed because the wrong graphics card was used). It's got nothing to do with liability; they took away his workstation because the work he was doing wasn't very demanding.

You can buy a $2 engine bolt form an auto parts store that is absolutely identical to an $800 aircraft bolt. The only difference is the aircraft bolt comes comes with paperwork certifying it for aviation use and offering legal indemnity against defects. In other words you pay $2 for the aircraft bolt and $798 "insurance" against defects.

I build satellites for a living and I'll set you straight.

Your $2 bolt at the hardware store has probably not been built in an ISO 9001 or AS 9100 facility. The manufacturing plant probably did not have a NADCAP accreditation for its testing facilities and there weren't tests made on bolts from each lot. It's not made of titanium, like the majority of the roughly half million structural bolts in a Boeing 787. It hasn't been been magnetically inspected (there are two different head markings for aerospace bolts that have been).

The bolts used in the aerospace industry have paperwork so that there is traceability. That way, if one does fail, we can know every place that we used bolts from that manufacturing lot. No bolt manufacturer is "insuring" anything with paperwork. I have thousands of aerospace bolts, nuts, and washers in my personal workshop for which the paperwork was lost and, as a result, the bolts had to be scrapped. You might want to take a look at those under magnification before you tell me that they are the same as what you buy at an auto parts store.

The ambient noise in a very quiet office is >40dB. The noise levels in a normal office frequently exceed 65dB.

Yes. And the ambient noise results from the sum of all of the noise, including computers.

Only pretentious wankers (~90+% of Apple users) put a workstation on top of the desk.

Don't be a dick. People who don't want their computer acting like a Hoover vacuum cleaner and sucking up every bit of dust that gets kicked around at floor level put their computers on top of their desks. I don't have room for my Mac Pro on top of my desk, so the Mac Pro gets much more dusty inside than do my desktop-mounted NAS or RAID enclosures. And I have to clean it at least annually with compressed air.

If you want to talk about pretentious, look at all of the Windows PCs with that have see-through windows, LED lights, UV activated glowing cables, and cases that look like something from bad sci-fi movies. Don't expect to see a lot of Alienware computers at the Museum of Modern Art. But you can see quite a few Apple products there.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by v_bobok
by deathshadow on Fri 20th Dec 2013 10:27 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by v_bobok"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

[q] A Mac pro is not going to be used for mission critical engineering design, mathematical simulations or as a server by any sane professional.

You are incorrect and talking about a subject that's clearly outside of your personal experience. I've had the privilege of working with brilliant scientists from NASA's JPL, all of whom made Macs their computer of choice, with all carrying MacBooks on the road and many working on Mac Pros in their offices.

I guess you're going to tell me that the Caedium Professional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, with has a $750/month license fee and runs on the Mac Pro, isn't used by professionals?

... you say that like there isn't a windows version... that costs half that due to the larger audience... and that the software in fact didn't originate on windows... and I'm familiar with it because it's written in Delphi, which is why the Mac version has been out for all of what? Two years ever since XE2 added fireMonkey?


And you think that AutoCAD, which recommends a Mac Pro 5,1 or later, is a hobbyist product?


Funny that, since the PC recommended is a 3ghz P4 and 4 gigs of RAM... and it originated on PC...

ArchiCAD “will also benefit from the advanced OpenGL technologies that the powerful twin 4K graphics cards provide, allowing 3D models within ArchiCAD 17 to just fly.”

As opposed to any other 4k capable graphics rig of the past two years...

As to your comment about workstation graphic cards, you need to read more. Tom's Hardware ran a Maya-based benchmark that had the W9000 at 91 frames per second while the consumer HD 7990 was running at 15 frames per second. Lightwave benchmarks showed similar results.

Oddly that's often more of a driver issue. You bench games on workstation cards the numbers are flipped -- people with workstation cards who want to game often install drivers for the nearest equivalent desktop card via editing the .inf files to get around that... and it works the other direction.

Kind of the same thing as tricking desktop drivers to run on the various ATI mobile chips. (ATI was notorious middle of the last decade for drivers that were crippled one way or the other)

They don't want to try to support some flaky, overclocked, third-party gamer graphics card with drivers that were developed around maximizing frame rates in video games.

... and you hit it on the head, it's usually more of a driver issue. Sometimes the desktop cards are MORE reliable too, since they usually have more robust *SHOCK* cooling. (seriously, some of the workstation cards are outright SHAMEFUL on that)

Don't be a dick. People who don't want their computer acting like a Hoover vacuum cleaner and sucking up every bit of dust that gets kicked around at floor level put their computers on top of their desks.


Or you have a shelf sticking out the side of the desk that's a foot off the floor... like the one that came with my el-cheapo S-Mart particle board computer desk that I've been using for a decade. With a mid-tower the top ends up 2" lower than the side of the desk.

Though I get where you are coming from with that -- what with standard cases moving the PSU (and it's intake fan) to the bottom. Getting it up off the floor a foot or more can be the difference between needing to blow it out once a year, and going in there after three months to pull out tribble-sized dust bunnies.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[7]: Comment by v_bobok
by fmaxwell on Fri 20th Dec 2013 11:50 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by v_bobok"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

"I guess you're going to tell me that the Caedium Professional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, with has a $750/month license fee and runs on the Mac Pro, isn't used by professionals?

... you say that like there isn't a windows version... that costs half that due to the larger audience...
"
No, just refuting your claim that no one would use a Mac Pro for that kind of work.

"And you think that AutoCAD, which recommends a Mac Pro 5,1 or later, is a hobbyist product?

Funny that, since the PC recommended is a 3ghz P4 and 4 gigs of RAM... and it originated on PC...
"
I quoted "recommended" for the Mac and I believe you quoted "minimum" for the PC.

"ArchiCAD “will also benefit from the advanced OpenGL technologies that the powerful twin 4K graphics cards provide, allowing 3D models within ArchiCAD 17 to just fly.”

As opposed to any other 4k capable graphics rig of the past two years...
"
He's not just talking about resolution -- he's also talking about speed. And a 12 core Mac Pro is powerful-fast system.

Oddly that's often more of a driver issue. You bench games on workstation cards the numbers are flipped

The Mac Pro is aimed at the workstation market, so that's why it has the workstation GPUs. And companies are very wary of violating licensing terms by trying to hack files to install unlicensed drivers with consumer video cards.

It really gets down to a perspective on cost. Where I work, we have RF cables that cost more than a new Mac Pro does. They'd be nuts to try to pinch pennies on a computer that an engineer would be using for at least a couple of years. You don't want someone idled because a software upgrade leaves their gamer-card+workstation-driver system unable to run some business-critical package.

Though I get where you are coming from with that -- what with standard cases moving the PSU (and it's intake fan) to the bottom. Getting it up off the floor a foot or more can be the difference between needing to blow it out once a year, and going in there after three months to pull out tribble-sized dust bunnies.

Thank you. That was a polite response and I really appreciate it. I've reached the point where I hesitate to even discuss computers online because it so often turns into personal attacks. Glad we could both dial it back from there.

Reply Parent Score: 3