Coffeehouse Thread

27 posts

The new Mac Pro

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  • PopeDai

    I see why they went with the approach they did: we're past the days of optical drives, spinning platter storage, and internal expansion cards.

    But the decision to move to laptop-style integrated GPUs that presumably cannot be upgraded, I'm not to sure about. While it's true that GPU performance has plateaued lately I'm not sure this makes it a good purchasing option: I expect a computer to last 5-6 years, and I'll upgrade the RAM twice, and the GPU after 3 years.

    I know that the new Thunderbolt 2 connections allow for an external PCI-Express enclosure that could contain a higher-performance GPU, but PCI-Express 3.0 specifies about 1GiB/s per lane, and a GPU uses 16 lanes, so that's 16GiB/s, but TB2 only provides 20Gbps (2.5GiB/s), a fraction of PCI-Express bandwidth.

    The only other option is that the GPUs in the MacPro will be user-upgradable, but given the expected tiny market it's unlikely many manufacturers would get on-board, and it being AMD means that NVidia's CUDA won't be available. Hmmm.

    I might get a new Mac Pro, but I'll buy it knowing that it will likely be completely obsolete within 3 years.

  • kettch

    , PopeDai wrote

    ...I'll buy it knowing that it will likely be completely obsolete within 3 years.

    You seem to have hit on their strategy. Tongue Out

  • Lizard​Rumsfeld

    Yeah, it's Apple going for form over function again (which they really haven't done too much of lately).  I mean the pull of the Mac Pro was that it was the only Mac that had any internal expansion.

    This just screams "Well, let's make it look cool then worry about the other crap later". Not to mention how $$$ it may be, albeit Apple's efficiencies in the supply chain have kept their prices competitive recently - but the Pro was always in the stratosphere.  I don't see how this design will help that.

  • cbae

    , NitzWalsh wrote

    This just screams "Well, let's make it look cool then worry about the other crap later".

    I think that's the same approach taken for this product:

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  • kettch

    The office MacHead was just drooling over the fact that if you want to upgrade or add to the system, "all you have to do is buy a thunderbolt chassis and plug it in". You know, instead of taking the side off and plugging stuff in.

  • PopeDai

    , kettch wrote

    The office MacHead was just drooling over the fact that if you want to upgrade or add to the system, "all you have to do is buy a thunderbolt chassis and plug it in". You know, instead of taking the side off and plugging stuff in.

    I find it amusing that Apple bashed the PC platform over having too many cabled accessories whereas Macs have an air of simplicity - but the Mac Pro means you have to use cabled accessories, hmpf.

    I'm disappointed the Mac Pro doesn't have 10GigE Ethernet, but it does have 802.11ac capable of 1.6Gbps. It's possible that these are the closing days of wired networking in Apple products.

  • figuerres

    Mac Can ?  lol....

  • MasterPi

    The pictures of it remind me of those droids that hung out in Star Wars cantinas. Except, Apple's doesn't have any appendages.

  • DCMonkey

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  • Ion Todirel

    I'm wondering how does it compare in size to my boxes built around Silverstone SG05. It's a desktop and it's not using standard components, least thing I want is to be locked-in in vendor specific hardware. It's also UP, and can expand up to 32GB RAM (4 DIMMs)? 64GB if they support 16GB modules. That's not a lot if you want to use it as a VM server. The storage is also non user upgradeable, and it might use custom interconnects, like MacBook Airs. That's a huge minus for me considering it's a desktop.

  • DCMonkey

    , Ion Todirel wrote

    I'm wondering how does it compare in size to my boxes built around Silverstone SG05.

    It's 9.9"x 6.6"

  • PopeDai

    , Ion Todirel wrote

    I'm wondering how does it compare in size to my boxes built around Silverstone SG05. It's a desktop and it's not using standard components, least thing I want is to be locked-in in vendor specific hardware. It's also UP, and can expand up to 32GB RAM (4 DIMMs)? 64GB if they support 16GB modules. That's not a lot if you want to use it as a VM server. The storage is also non user upgradeable, and it might use custom interconnects, like MacBook Airs. That's a huge minus for me considering it's a desktop.

    Apple advertises it as supporting 12 cores using current-generation Xeon E5, which suggests it's dual-socket because the most core'd E5 chip has 8 cores. I reckon due to thermal constraints it's limited to 2x 6-core CPUs.

    Apple's website shows that the internal storage is user-accessible and it looks like it uses Mini-PCI-Express connectors, which means that should be user-extendable.

    64GB is plenty for now methinks, but it still has 4 RAM slots, the same as the old Mac Pro (which has a limit of 32GB). You can get 32GB DDR3 sticks, it might support those, giving a theoretical 128GB maximum.

    Given it uses E5 chips, it's likely the current internal design is temporary and they'll update it later this year or early next year with Haswell chips, and a higher RAM capacity.

  • JoshRoss

    You can get it in any color you want, as long as it's black. I can't tell which of the boards are use replaceable. I would be more concerned about replacing the flash storage, than other components like the GPUs. I find it interesting all this talk about 4K displays without any 4K display announcement.

    d) not enough information.

  • Ion Todirel

    @PopeDai:Maybe they were referring to 12 threads and 6 cores, see here http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/, dual sockets does not seem feasible 

  • Lizard​Rumsfeld

    Yeah the image on Apple's site clearly shows one socket.

  • elmer

    But there appears to be 2 processor boards -  'Computing'

  • DCMonkey

    , elmer wrote

    But there appears to be 2 processor boards -  'Computing'

    I think those are the GPU boards with the x shaped brackets. The CPU board has a single rectangular bracket. (look at "Processor" and "Graphics")

  • magicalclick

    , cbae wrote

    *snip*

    I think that's the same approach taken for this product:

    Generic Forum Image

    simplehuman Angel

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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