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Author Topic: Apple Mac Pro release date  (Read 4618 times)
kers
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2013, 08:42:53 AM »
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Some reviews are online now and as it appears to me the new Mac Pro is a mayor improvement for people working with video, especially 4K video.
The GPU power in this system is not yet used to its benefits by most software ( like premiere) except for ... Final Cut PROx.
For photographers there seems to be not so much gain over the 'old' Mac Pro. Only some programs use all the cores. Also you need to invest a lot of money just to get were you were before.. and gain maybe 10-50% speed.
A fully loaded iMac is almost as fast at much less cost ( core I7 4771,3.5 GHZ) -It also has thunderbolt so expansion will take the same route as the new Mac Pro ...Only i do not need the screen...
(http://www.macworld.com/article/2082515/mac-pro-late-2013-review-apples-new-mac-pro-really-is-for-pros.html)
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 10:52:29 AM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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jduncan
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2013, 08:58:26 AM »
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Not really.  I can build a top end desktop PC in about 90 minutes and get it up and running in 1/2 a day.  OS installation and configuration takes the most time.  Once it's up and running it's pretty much maintenance free.  I only use top end parts and in over a dozen builds (computers for friends & family) I've only had one defective motherboard at installation.  I don't have to pay any money for a service contract (not that I've needed any, I can't remember and part failures in built systems).  I've only done a little bit of pano work but my i7 build seems to handle stitching just fine.  It's not clear in terms of how Adobe has optimized PS and whether the top end Mac Pro with 12 cores is needed.

I believe you, but at the same time you mention and I7.  Building a Xeon computer with dual workstation graphic cards and PCIe SSD is not the same. Not all the component vendors carry them a so you need to add some extra minutes ordering Smiley.

Back to the price issue:

People keep comparing build boxes with Xeon workstations. Normally is less expensive or competitive  to buy from Hp, Dell or Apple that buying shipping and build the a Xeon  workstation.

Also in the case of high end CAD you simply need supported configurations  (you pay a lot for support, I am talking NX or Catia not autocad) .

Now if we are talking about a i7 box with a generic mother board and a GTX  card …

Here is a compromised but comparison  (they are an apple oriented site and did not mention about the performance difference of the ssds):

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/12/24/apples-new-mac-pro-a-better-value-than-the-sum-of-its-parts

And here other calculations, under the pressure of Slashdot :

http://www.futurelooks.com/new-apple-mac-pro-can-build-better-cheaper-pc-diy-style/

Notice that this person does not use PCIe based flash but it's able to match the performance of the Mac by using RAID 0  (I am not sure about I/O per second).

I will not be surprised if buying Dell is better that buying the components too  (or even better than the mac).

At today prices It makes no sense to build a workstation from components (for pricing, it could be that the person need something especific that Dell, HP and Apple do not provide) .  Now, who needs a certificated hi performance workstation with Dual Cards?

I continue to believe, as you, that for most people an i7 and a high performance array and a pro monitor  will do.  Few people (audio pro, Red camera owners by example) actually buy PCIe cards  (not talking about graphics).

Buying a good computer and changing more often is a better investment normally. You buy the old one to pay for the new and since your data is on the array switch time is not an issue. External arrays nowadays are faster than internal drives  (and in the case of the old mac pro crazy faster than it) and have big capacity at low cost (use HD not SSDs).

So : It seems that the mac pro cost a lot of money but it's not that expensive, even more so if we factor the form factor (not because is great but because it's a custom tour of force)

Best regards,

J. Duncan
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Chris Kern
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2013, 09:05:42 AM »
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LOL!  When I was a post-doc at Cornell in the late 1970s we had a DEC PDP 11 in the lab with a basic teletype (the DecWriter dot printer had not yet come out) and this thing was loud.  It also took time to boot it up each morning as you had to go through a bunch of toggle switch addresses and feed in punched paper tape instructions.  To optimize things programming was done in assembly language and it was a PITA to do even basic things.  I venture to say, modern desktop units have much more computing power!

In those days, we measured computing power in MIPS (millions of instructions per second).  A top-of-the line PDP 11/70 was a 0.4 MIPS machine.  A VAX 11/780 (the model I referred to in my earlier post) was the canonical 1 MIPS machine against which everything else was measured.

Comparisons between hardware of the minicomputer era and modern microprocessors are a bit dicey—and it's questionable whether "instructions/second" is still a valid metric—but one reasonable estimate I've seen pegged a 3.0 GHz core at between 1000 and 1500 MIPS.  Your cellphone probably has a lot more raw compute cycles than the PDP 11 you used in Ithaca.

(And yes, we're veering waaay off-topic.)
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kers
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2013, 10:53:29 AM »
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Some reviews are online now and as it appears to me the new Mac Pro is a mayor improvement for people working with video, especially 4K video.
The GPU power in this system is not yet used to its benefits by most software ( like premiere) except for ... Final Cut PROx.
For photographers there seems to be not so much gain over the 'old' Mac Pro. Only some programs use all the cores. Also you need to invest a lot of money just to get were you were before.. and gain maybe 10-50% speed.
A fully loaded iMac is almost as fast at much less cost ( core I7 4771,3.5 GHZ) -It also has thunderbolt, so expansion will take the same route as the new Mac Pro ...Only i do not need the screen...
(http://www.macworld.com/article/2082515/mac-pro-late-2013-review-apples-new-mac-pro-really-is-for-pros.html)
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Pieter Kers
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jduncan
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2013, 02:39:04 PM »
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Hi,

Yes and also the iMACs do have an NVIDIA GPU. Of course when software gets optimized the mac pro it will ibe far faster, but I am not sure how many really need the extra speed.

Final cut pro is a good example of what the machine can do, but we need to see how well Apple can move the other vendors to optimize.

I hope that Aperture is next on the optimization schedule, just to pressure Adobe.

OWC got there hands on the new Mac Pro. It seems that the CPU can be upgraded:

http://blog.macsales.com/22108-new-mac-pro-2013-teardown?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+owc+(Other+World+Computing+Blog)

At this moment is not cost effective (see my previews post, Apple component  prices are super competitive with the exception of RAM).

Best regards,

J. Duncan
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jerryrock
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« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2013, 05:21:25 PM »
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The product information guide for the 2013 MacPro is available online and suggests that the solid state drive as well as memory is upgradable. It states you should disconnect the power cord when adding memory or SSDs. I assume any other upgrade would void the warranty.

http://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/1000/MA1668/en_US/mac_pro_late-2013_ipig.pdf
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2013, 02:04:49 PM »
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5_-sYIOD6M is a tear down of the new MacPro.  It's a relative short video and shows what a nice job of industrial engineering and design with this product.  The way they have designed the cooling is particularly nice and it's the first time that I've seen a computer build without a direct cooling fan on the CPU.  From some of the technical sites I regularly visit there is a lot of discussion about whether Apple have intentionally underpowered the two video cards.  The power supply unit in this computer likely is not strong enough to power it at a full load based on the specifications of the two GPUs and the CPU.  However, that is likely only to impact projects that run at full load which would not be any type of photo editing.  It's nice that they have designed it so that RAM and CPU can be upgraded easily.  The highest powered MacPro is probably not needed for normal photo editing and at $9K one can do much better with a Windows computer in terms of the cost/performance ratio but that's just my opinion.

The only issue that I see is Apple's decision to go with AMD GPUs whereas I believe Adobe optimizes for NVIDIA.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 02:06:31 PM by Alan Goldhammer » Logged

JimGoshorn
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2013, 02:52:44 PM »
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If you read this article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/photoshop-cs6-gimp-aftershot-pro,3208.html

At page 7, Russell Williams answers questions about Adobe's view on OpenGL and OpenCL and how they use it.

Jim
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2013, 03:43:17 PM »
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Jim, thanks for posting the link; I missed it when it came out.  Also here is a rather lengthy discussion about the merits of NVIDIA vs AMD:  http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2253643   Personally I put an NVIDIA card in my most recent build because of previous bad experiences with AMD drivers.
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2013, 07:07:46 PM »
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Alan, thanks for posting that discussion. I figure that since Apple has put AMD in the MacPro, it is in their best interests to make sure AMD handles everything as effectively as possible or it will negate one of Apple's big selling points for the computer.

With so many configuration options, thee are countless messages asking which configuration to buy or which configuration other people bought. From what I have read so far, 6 or 8 cores is recommended along with 512 flash, 32 or 64 RAM and the D700. The determining factor seems to be how much the software one uses will saturate the cores - not enough cores or too many cores will cost performance. Wish software specs actually listed how many cores are optimal.

Jim
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jerryrock
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« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2013, 08:15:15 PM »
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My stock 3.5 GHz 6 core machine arrives January 2nd along with 64GB of OWC ram. I already received the Promise Pegasus2 R4 raid storage. I also ordered the Seagate Backup Plus 3TB Thunderbolt desktop drive because you can use its Thunderbolt console to attach the internal SATA drive from the old machine for fast data transfer.

Anandtech's full 2013 MacPro review.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7603/mac-pro-review-late-2013
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 08:25:17 PM by jerryrock » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2014, 06:39:45 AM »
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Jim, thanks for posting the link; I missed it when it came out.  Also here is a rather lengthy discussion about the merits of NVIDIA vs AMD:  http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2253643   Personally I put an NVIDIA card in my most recent build because of previous bad experiences with AMD drivers.
Well: it's been found that luckily the new Mac Pro is dead easy to unassemble, repair and upgrade. Sure there's a reason behind the choice of a brand for the GPU compartment. Other than commercial aspects, I mean.
I don't know whether the new GPU connector could be freely licensed to nVidia or others, but ultimately the goal is to provide the better performance to the professional. Apple almost lost the Pro base. I bet they won't make the same mistake twice in a short time.  Smiley
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2014, 01:47:13 PM »
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The determining factor seems to be how much the software one uses will saturate the cores - not enough cores or too many cores will cost performance. Wish software specs actually listed how many cores are optimal.

Jim
It's going to be more complicated than that since the software will also have to take advantage of the two GPUs and it's not just the CPU cores that's important.  I'm just a novice programmer and don't know how well the software that's important utilizes the GPU versus the CPU.  The anandtech review that is cited in jerryrock's post above does cover some of this and maybe we will be seeing more improvements in software coming out.  Not to open a can of worms but maybe one of the advantages of the Adobe CC subscription is to get timely updates to optimized software.
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« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2014, 01:50:01 PM »
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One thing that looks promising is the fact that there are more standard parts (connectors and screws, etc.) so maybe there will be more upgradeable parts in the future for this computer.
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2014, 04:46:44 PM »
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It's going to be more complicated than that since the software will also have to take advantage of the two GPUs and it's not just the CPU cores that's important.  I'm just a novice programmer and don't know how well the software that's important utilizes the GPU versus the CPU.  The anandtech review that is cited in jerryrock's post above does cover some of this and maybe we will be seeing more improvements in software coming out.  Not to open a can of worms but maybe one of the advantages of the Adobe CC subscription is to get timely updates to optimized software.

Yes, it gets very confusing. Are real and virtual cores considered equally efficient by the software (e.g. if PS were to use 10 cores, are you better off with a 6 core using 4 virtual cores or the 8 core using 2 virtual cores)? You have three levels of GPU but how much parallelism is required by the software? From what I have read, one GPU is dedicated to displays and one to computations. If you get a less powerful GPU pair, can any overflow in computations be shifted over to the display GPU?

Jim
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« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2014, 04:52:51 PM »
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One thing that looks promising is the fact that there are more standard parts (connectors and screws, etc.) so maybe there will be more upgradeable parts in the future for this computer.
From the tear down pictures and the reviews, the only things that are easily upgradable are the CPU, RAM, and the SSD.  The twin GPUs are part of the triangular central core along with the CPU board so it's not likely that these are user replaceable (plus I think they are custom designed for Apple); thus these would need to be upgraded by Apple.
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« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2014, 05:31:18 PM »
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OWC confirmed today that the MacPro CPU is indeed upgradable as they sucessfully swapped out the CPU for a version that Apple does not even offer.

http://blog.macsales.com/22188-owc-confirms-mac-pro-2013-processor-upgradeable
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« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2014, 11:52:57 AM »
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OWC confirmed today that the MacPro CPU is indeed upgradable as they sucessfully swapped out the CPU for a version that Apple does not even offer.

http://blog.macsales.com/22188-owc-confirms-mac-pro-2013-processor-upgradeable

We have the announcement  of replacements for the PCIe base flash from OWC, not ready yet buy coming:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7673/owc-to-bring-aftermarket-sf3700-pcie-ssd-upgrades-to-2013-macs

From the design of the Mac Pro it seems that having dual PCIe flash units was on the drawing board. It's not possible with the current xeons (just 40 lanes of PCIe) and will never be possible with the current mac pros (never say never, but I want to stress that there is no connector) it will be nice to have in a future upgrate.

Right now is swapping.  What we continue to miss is higher density DIMMs maybe in the middle of the year.

Best regards,

J. Duncan
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« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2014, 11:42:32 PM »
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To my eyes, the main value of this would be to enable instant swap of boot drive in case of SSD failure.

Is there an external thunderbolt enclosure fitted with the same type of connector?

This could be used as boot back up drive and replace the internal SSD as a permanent solution after a failure occurs.

Cheers,
Bernard
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jduncan
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« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2014, 09:30:24 AM »
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To my eyes, the main value of this would be to enable instant swap of boot drive in case of SSD failure.

Is there an external thunderbolt enclosure fitted with the same type of connector?

This could be used as boot back up drive and replace the internal SSD as a permanent solution after a failure occurs.

Cheers,
Bernard

Hi,

No that I am aware of. Normally I use Carbon Copy Cloner for  "instant recovery" but from an array. With 6 thunderbolt 2 ports the performance hit will be mixed, some extra latency but with higher bandwidth than the internal SSD on the mac pro :http://www.barefeats.com/hard179.html

I believe that the external box with the same connectors is a great idea. I will love for it to be something like the drobo (self configuring) so that we could not only prepare swappable SSDs in case of failure but also use the lower capacity SSDs when we but a new one.

Best regards,

J. Duncan





 
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