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Author Topic: The new Mac Pro - A round Peg in a Square Hole? Musings and Thoughts....  (Read 23700 times)
hjulenissen
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« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2013, 01:21:21 AM »
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I have been using best in class gigabit NAS (in fact 10 gig compatible but the network isn't up to that) and just cannot stand anymore how slow they are compared to my previous SCSI320 direct attached storage solution. The worst is the time it takes for raw converters to chunck through hundreds of D800 images and the save time in PS. Yes... it is supposed to be asynchronous except you cannot do some types of operations without stopping the save operation...

It is just killing me and removing all the fun of image processing on large files.
I can see that people have different needs and expectations (and budgets). PS and 36 MP is perhaps more demanding than LR and 18MP.

I would think that Adobe/Apple/... could optimize their stuff now that everyone have SSD drives, and more and more people use NAS. Why not have a multi-layered (automagic) cache system where your photo app gets 20GB or 200GB of dedicated, blistering fast space on the local SSD, 1TB or so of local spinning drive work space and multiple TB of secure-ish NAS.

-h
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Manoli
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« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2013, 02:45:04 AM »
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It is true that the NAS are several meters away and therefore totally silent compared to the previous direct attached storage solution I was using, but it seems that TB2 will enable cables up to 10m, which is good enough for me to deliver the same "cabinet value" as my current NAS.

quote
Sumitomo Electric Industries has announced that it's the first company to receive certification from Intel to produce optical Thunderbolt cables. Currently all Thunderbolt cables have metal components, which limit the maximum length of those cables to around 10 feet. Optical Thunderbolt cables will allow lengths of up to 100 feet, which will be helpful in professional post-production studios, especially as noisy hard drives or other accessories can be kept away from sensitive audio recording equipment.

Sumitomo Electric says the new cables will provide the full 10 Gbps of the metal cables, and can become tangled or pinched up to 180 degrees without seeing any kind of signal degradation. The optical cables will be as thin as the current metal Thunderbolt cables, but their connection heads will be slightly longer at 38mm versus the metal cable's 28mm connection. One other difference is that optical cables are not capable of powering devices, like external hard drives. Any bus-powered devices will need a separate power supply to run when connected via an optical Thunderbolt cable.

The new optical Thunderbolt cables will be compatible with all Macs and devices shipped with Thunderbolt ports to date. Sumitomo Electric Industries has not announced any pricing yet.
unquote

http://global-sei.com/news/press/12/prs105_s.html
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2013, 07:25:02 AM »
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The new optical Thunderbolt cables will be compatible with all Macs and devices shipped with Thunderbolt ports to date. Sumitomo Electric Industries has not announced any pricing yet.

Even better!

Cheers,
Bernard
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jjj
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« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2013, 07:53:31 AM »
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hmm possibly - but then an imac/mini is using a 4 core 65w desktop class cpu.  how do *you* cool a 12 core server class Xeon?  Answer: everybody else does it in huge noisy, inefficient enclosures - sure lots of room for additonal stuff, but i have yet to see *any* enclosure capable of holding "enough"; so we goto SAS or Fiber Channel Cabinets with expensive i/o adapters and cables with their attendant PCI->whatever-bus->whatever-device->using-whatever-driver..... etc...

or an alternative; Thunderbolt which *is* a PCI bus, removing at least 2 layers of device driver abstraction between the CPU and the external cabinet ......

If you don't like, or need the grunt the "footstool" offers, buy an iMac, or MacBook Pro and hook it up to the same......
As I said if you are not bothered about size/upgradeability get an iMac. Yet this new Pro Mac is being misleadingly marketed on size as if pro users really care about that. Apple seem obsessed with making things smaller even when it is of no consequence and usually at the expense of functionality. The misleading bit is the fact that just because you make the computer smaller the extra parts needed for a pro machine still have to go somewhere and now not tidily inside a single box. So the insides now have sit next the dinky computer, so more clutter not less. I can put 8 HDs in my current MP so currently 32TB's worth, I can add 5 cards internally or 4 if using a double height graphics card which greatly reduces the rat's nest of cables I have to deal with. It's pretty quiet too, can't hear it above ambient noise when it under my [standing] desk if I have window open with rustling trees and birds being main sound and a low murmur if window is closed. An animator friend just replaced his iMac and finds it annoying that the new machine lacks a DVD/RW which means the edge that he cannot see is slightly thinner. Now he has to add a ext DVD to his desktop which makes a mockery of the few millimetres shaved off the edge of his monitor.

I should mention that a colleague of mine does all his pro video editing work on his new 15" MacPro and can do it in real time using FCP X - which he finds ideal for his sort of corporate fast turnaround work which may involve multi-camera shoots using a few go pros whose files take serious power to manage. So you can get a lot of power in a very compact space.
Whilst on the subject of size I like my 17" MP screen and was very underwhelmed by the shiny eyed apple employee recently trying to convince me that the 15" replacement was better as the screen was higher resolution. It was still smaller though, a point she really, really didn't get. My 17" MP screen is actually the same resolution as my 26" monitors, but I'd much rather work on the bigger screens.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 07:57:04 AM by jjj » Logged

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jjj
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« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2013, 08:05:53 AM »
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Sumitomo Electric Industries has announced that it's the first company to receive certification from Intel to produce optical Thunderbolt cables.
Original spec Thunderbolt peripheries are not exactly commonplace or cheap and I still cannot get a Lightning version of some Apple attachments for my year old iPad, so being able to affordably/easily add stuff is a major concern as Thunderbolt 1 items are still obscure/pricey.
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Manoli
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« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2013, 09:03:40 AM »
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...  and I still cannot get a Lightning version of some Apple attachments for my year old iPad..

Is that not Apple being naughty, naughty ? They're selling Lightning adapters for an exorbitant amount, thus the somewhat laggardly and lackadaisical attitude.

Original spec Thunderbolt peripheries are not exactly commonplace or cheap ... so being able to affordably/easily add stuff is a major concern as Thunderbolt 1 items are still obscure/pricey.

Yes, you're correct. Nevertheless, Lightning is an interface, controlled by Intel, here to stay and probably the way forward - at least for the forseeable future. I suspect that much of this delay is down to Intel (as are the excessive prices). I took the road some time ago of separating hard drives from the computer enclosure, so I'm not personally fazed by this perceived limitation of the new mac. I think it's an advantage but fully understand why others may feel differently about it.

New technology is constantly being hobbled (similar strategy to bcooters comments on the new Sony A7's) purely for the financial benefit of the 'majors'. Can't recall where I read it, but at the time USB3 was announced, one pundit wrote a convincing 'reprimand' on the basis that improved USB3 speeds - great, but why weren't the new drives enabled with 802.11n wireless networking ability? apparently the technology is there but Intel were reluctant.

I suspect Apple have seen the way forward but in the meantime you and I have to pay the penalty, as you so aptly put it.

ps
The Sumtomo press release was released last year, Dec-2012. I haven't followed it all since. t I'm sure the prices will be exorbitant, but the ability to have the freedom to place hard drives (and other peripherals) up to 30M away is appealing and all with a single cable ... Just pop a tranquilliser before you ask about the price!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 09:07:35 AM by Manoli » Logged
jjj
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« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2013, 11:50:30 AM »
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Is that not Apple being naughty, naughty ? They're selling Lightning adapters for an exorbitant amount, thus the somewhat laggardly and lackadaisical attitude.
They're being completely and utterly useless is the way I'd put it.


Quote
New technology is constantly being hobbled (similar strategy to bcooters comments on the new Sony A7's) purely for the financial benefit of the 'majors'.
Sony are long time guilty purveyors of hobbled products. And this marketing strategy also known as 'taking the piss' selling was what led to RED being founded as Jannard got fed up with it.


Quote
The Sumtomo press release was released last year, Dec-2012. I haven't followed it all since. t I'm sure the prices will be exorbitant, but the ability to have the freedom to place hard drives (and other peripherals) up to 30M away is appealing and all with a single cable ... Just pop a tranquilliser before you ask about the price!
Hiding drives away from computers/backing up to a more secure location certainly appeals. But if employing an armed guard is cheaper......
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Rajan Parrikar
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« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2013, 04:58:36 PM »
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Today's announcement looks good. 4-cores for $2999 and 6-cores for $3999. Available in December.

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jjj
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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2013, 05:18:53 PM »
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So it'll only cost twice as much as my last MacPro.
Bargain!
And to only have 256gb storage in a computer costing well over 3k is taking the piss.
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kers
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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2013, 05:43:01 PM »
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Typical Apple - to say ( force you to) put the OS and programs on the macpro and the work data on external HD'S....

Only 64GB of RAM seems not very much either....

Leaves us the GPU force that is huge...

The main reason for me to upgrade will be the processor speed- coming from a 2008 mac pro 8 core 2,8HZ i will have to find out how much more speed it will bring...
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 07:14:14 PM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2013, 05:48:37 PM »
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coming from a 2008 mac pro 8 core 2,8HZ i will have to find out how much more speed it will bring...

If you are mostly using LR and PS - then I suspect not much improvement in real world use. Your current machine has 22.4 Ghz of processing power and is configurable up to 32 Gig of Ram. If you opted for the 6 Core option in the new Mac Pro that would give you 21 Ghz of processing power. Now those new processors are faster, more efficient and do things better. But, in real world terms for image editing the difference would likely not be noticeable.

The new 8-core machine seems to me to be the sweet spot. Not sure what is out there to really take advantage of 12 cores..... But by the time you take the 8-Core option, put 64 Gig of RAM in it and 1TB of flash storage its going to be an expensive machine. Then another 3K plus on external NAS and drives.

I would hang onto your 2008 Mac Pro - max out the RAM at 32 Gig and put a OWC mercury striped SSD in it for Boot and Apps. A far cheaper solution that will scream. (Its what I use  Grin).

I personally wont be upgrading initially to the new Pro. My 2008 Mac Pro still screams with its upgrades (32 Gig RAM, Mercury Striped SSD for Boot and Apps, Hardware internal RAID). If, I did not own a Mac Pro and wanted 'grunt' then the new machine is obviously a great option for those looking to upgrade from a iMac.

I suspect that now that the specs are out for the new machine that there may be quite a few people scurry to grab the last of the current generation Mac Pros at bargain prices.

Edit - I just noticed OWC now actually have an upgrade for the 2008 Mac Pro to take it from 32 Gig of Ram to 64 Gig of Ram. Thats even more reason to hang onto a 2008 machine. The Ram upgrade is not cheap - but its a lot cheaper than a new Mac Pro once you spec it out. With 64 Gig of Ram in a 2008 machine with the mercury accelsior striped SSD card you will have blistering performance for image editing for a lot less money than a new machine. The 64 Gig option from OWC really extends the 2008 Mac Pro working life for quite a few more years in my view. The strong argument for the new Mac Pro is for video editing and if crunching 4K is your thing there is likely going  to be no substitute.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 04:58:22 AM by Josh-H » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2013, 07:11:38 PM »
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The number of cores is unfortunately still not as important as we would like as many applications stuggle to parallelize efficiently or at all.

The 6 cores one with 512GB SSD and an OWC upgrade to 64GB may end up being the best buy.

I am still using a 2,1 with 32gb and a fast SSD and memory seems to be the bottleneck more than the number of cores, but speed of each core has a high impact. So yes, the 64gb limitation is disapointing.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Rajan Parrikar
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« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2013, 07:41:38 PM »
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My friend Thomas Pindelski has been playing with the bargain 2009 Mac Pro's the past few weeks. He has an extensive tutorial here -

http://pindelski.org/Photography/mac-pro/

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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2013, 10:03:48 PM »
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The number of cores is unfortunately still not as important as we would like as many applications stuggle to parallelize efficiently or at all.

You're certainly right there, but I had a pleasant surprise from Lightroom yesterday.

http://www.kasson.com/bleeding_edge/?p=743


The 6 cores one with 512GB SSD and an OWC upgrade to 64GB may end up being the best buy.

The 64 GB makes it a nonstarter for me. Is that a hard limit, or just an Apple-imposed limit? IOW, can OWC fix that?

Jim

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jjj
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« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2013, 10:18:52 PM »
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My friend Thomas Pindelski has been playing with the bargain 2009 Mac Pro's the past few weeks. He has an extensive tutorial here -

http://pindelski.org/Photography/mac-pro/


Interesting reading.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2013, 11:49:33 PM »
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The 64 GB makes it a nonstarter for me. Is that a hard limit, or just an Apple-imposed limit? IOW, can OWC fix that?

Its a hard limit limitation of the Xeon motherboard. There is no fix for it.
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kers
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« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2013, 04:15:53 AM »
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Its a hard limit limitation of the Xeon motherboard. There is no fix for it.

Are you suggesting it is not a matter of waiting for the arrival of 32GB Ram sticks?
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Pieter Kers
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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2013, 04:23:48 AM »
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what do you mean the arrival of 32GB ram sticks they have been around for awhile now! :-) and also bigger sticks!

though the price is not for us mortals :-)

Henrik
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Josh-H
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« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2013, 04:36:03 AM »
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Are you suggesting it is not a matter of waiting for the arrival of 32GB Ram sticks?

Yes, I believe that is correct. OSX is actually limited at present to a max of 96 GB (pre Mavericks) of RAM so the 64GB limit in the new Mac Pro is not really a major deal breaker. It just would have been nice to be able to go to the full 96GB.

You can actually go to 128GB of RAM in the 2010-2012 Mac Pro (OWC sell this upgrade) - However, you must run Mavericks to recognise the extra RAM or Bootcamp with 64-bit versions of Windows or Linux. The reason you can go to this much RAM in the old Mac Pro's was because they were dual machines (thus twice the RAM slots). The new Mac Pro's are single only. Thats the hard limitation of the Xeon motherboard. I have no idea if this is firmware fixable.

There is a gotcha with OWC 16GB modules for the Mac Pro and that is that you have to run only 16GB modules. You cant mix and match with smaller modules.  So its a fairly major financial commitment to put 128GB into a Mac Pro.

Edit - I put this in my post above - but its worth putting here for Mac Pro 2008 users. I just noticed OWC now actually have an upgrade for the 2008 Mac Pro to take it from 32 Gig of Ram to 64 Gig of Ram (I have no idea how long this has been available - I just found it). Thats even more reason to hang onto a 2008 machine. The Ram upgrade is not cheap - but its a lot cheaper than a new Mac Pro once you spec it out. With 64 Gig of Ram in a 2008 machine with the mercury accelsior striped SSD card you will have blistering performance for image editing for a lot less money than a new machine. The 64 Gig option from OWC really extends the 2008 Mac Pro working life for quite a few more years in my view. The strong argument for the new Mac Pro is for video editing and if crunching 4K is your thing there is likely going  to be no substitute with those Fire Core cards.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 05:12:10 AM by Josh-H » Logged

tived
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« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2013, 05:14:56 AM »
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I have been trying to identify the CPU for the Macpro and I think this is it
http://ark.intel.com/products/75780/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-1650-v2-12M-Cache-3_50-GHz

which has a max memory of 256GB
so its either the mainboard or an apple issue

Henrik
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