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Old 06-12-2013, 10:47 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by bigsnowdog View Post
Expandability is lacking. This may create a whole new market for upgrading the cylinder's predecessor.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/06...e-new-mac-pro/
Good article:

No more internal HD when the old one could take 3 additional ones.

Only 4 sticks for memory.

No optical.

Only 4 USB ports.

etc. etc. etc.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:03 AM   #32
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I like the looks of it and the size. I would prefer a matte finish to the shiny one.

I would love to own one - the same way I would love to own a Lotus Elise, or a Ducati 1199 Panigale - neither of which are something that are practical or that I could use (I can't fit into the Elise, and my bad back won't let me ride the Panigale). Nor can I afford them.

I have an 2008 8 core MacPro I use for dev work. I mostly need the RAM capacity because I need to run multiple VMs at the same time (Win Server 2008 for a DB server, Win 7 and Linux to test the UI on, OSX to write/compile on). I can add up to 14 more GB of RAM and the 8 CPUs are good enough for the VMs to work smoothly. I added another vid card to drive more monitors.

The new MP would work as well, but there is no optical drive, no hard drive, just an SSD. So I would need an external module for the hard drive. Unfortunately the TB2 probably is not fast enough to be a good interface for external HDs.

IMO Apple made a big mistake with the new MP; the big difference between the MP and the rest of their line was the ability to expand the MP with more cards, more RAM and more hard drives. A lot of current MP owners and possible buyers will look at the new MP and think that it is not "expandable" at all, despite the ability to use the TB2 cables to hook up external drives.

Apple probably thinks that if they make it sexy and powerful enough, buyers won't have to expand it (except for hard drives). That buyers will use it until they need something more powerful and then they will buy a new one.

This is actually not far from the truth, especially for most Apple owners. I knew a guy who would buy a new Mac laptop every time they came out with an upgraded or new model and sell his old one.

But that isn't your typical MP owner IMO. They tend to go for something that will last them for a while, that they can expand. My MP is still very useful and it is 5 years old. It is as powerful or more powerful than most power user workstations (which are usually 4 to 8 CPUs and 8 to 16 GB of RAM) that people are buying today and will be useful to me for another 4 years or so at least IMO (which is quite possibly the rest of my career).

Apple should have at least provided a eSATA bus port, or even a proprietary faster bus port of some sort and an external module for extra hard drives and vid cards.

Preferably they would have built the machine in such a way that would have allowed at least two internal 4 TB hard drives and made the vid cards replaceable.

But noooooo....

Apple had to go for "innovation", and Apple's "innovation" is always form over function. Sad but true.

Not that it isn't a really cool machine, but with the components included it will be expensive and not something I will buy anytime soon. If I were to buy one it will be years later when I find that my current machine just won't hack it anymore for the work I do (if I am still working). At that point hopefully TB will be speedy enough to serve as a bus connector that I can put anything in some external module, including various bus card.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:11 AM   #33
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Though if you configure one the same as a base MacPro it should be a good bit cheaper.
When I bought my MP I looked at Dell 4 and 8 CPU machines. Configured the same as the MP the Dell was actually more expensive - at the time. Plus it didn't have OSX and OSX would be a pain to get running on the Dell (possible, but not practical for my purposes).

I like OSX. It is easy to use, has a powerful Unix base underneath the nice UI, and I can get work done instead of messing with the OS when I need to install something.

I write software. I have and still do use and develop for Linux, Windows and OSX. I don't want to be messing with the computer or the OS, I just need it to work. Every minute I spend not writing software and instead messing with the computer or OS is a dollar lost, so I need something that just works. I also want something that I can use to test my software on the big three OSes, all at the same time.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #34
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Apple Cube 2.0

perhaps an elegant study in design but at the end of the day, who cares what their computer looks like just as long as it gets you home before dark.

speaking of which, It's going to go the way of the cube in 5.....4....3....2.....
My MacPro sits UNDER my work surface. I rarely look at it. I am always looking at the monitors.

Now this "Cube 2.0", let's call it "The Tube 1.0", would sit on top of most work surfaces, mostly because it is "sexy" and people will want to show it off, but also because it is small enough for it to not take up a lot of space, and finally because it would be more convenient for it to be there.

But I rarely need to get to my MacPro box. How often does someone need to hook up a cable? My Macs are always on so I don't need to turn them on - I just wake them up.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:27 AM   #35
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Apple should have at least provided a eSATA bus port, or even a proprietary faster bus port of some sort and an external module for extra hard drives and vid cards.
Isn't that what Thunderbolt is for?
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:54 AM   #36
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When I bought my MP I looked at Dell 4 and 8 CPU machines. Configured the same as the MP the Dell was actually more expensive - at the time. Plus it didn't have OSX and OSX would be a pain to get running on the Dell (possible, but not practical for my purposes).

I like OSX. It is easy to use, has a powerful Unix base underneath the nice UI, and I can get work done instead of messing with the OS when I need to install something.

I write software. I have and still do use and develop for Linux, Windows and OSX. I don't want to be messing with the computer or the OS, I just need it to work. Every minute I spend not writing software and instead messing with the computer or OS is a dollar lost, so I need something that just works. I also want something that I can use to test my software on the big three OSes, all at the same time.
Interesting....I only have a 4 core workstation (12 GB RAM, and it came with ar mid range Quadro card, plus I got a sound card) and IIRC it was 2,600, the same configuration in a MacPro was just north of 4,000 with less of a warranty than I got.

Oh wait, 5 years ago...that makes sense. When Apple switched to intel processors they had amazing deals on the MacPro. They have been slowly increasing the cost though and by 2010 when I got mine they were again being sold at a premium.
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:29 AM   #37
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Isn't that what Thunderbolt is for?
That's what I was thinking. The Thunderbolt 2.0 is a 20Gb/s bus. There are six 2.0 ports available. Now, it's possible that the bus provides terrific throughput, but response time for small work loads is not as good. I've not seen any details on that yet.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #38
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The Ars Technica and a number of other articles go into the details, but TB2 is not fast enough to be a replacement for the internal bus for something like a video card - especially if you are doing something intensive.

At least that was my impression from reading the comments where the different people were arguing about the new MacPro and the issues of having an external module for expansion.

Since the machine is not out yet, I guess I should wait until some reviewers have it in their hands. Maybe I (and others) are wrong. Right now there are not that many TB general purpose bus expansion modules out there, much less TB2 modules. I predict someone will come out with a module that at least looks just like the new MacPro, if not having similar cooling tower features.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:30 AM   #39
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Interesting....I only have a 4 core workstation (12 GB RAM, and it came with ar mid range Quadro card, plus I got a sound card) and IIRC it was 2,600, the same configuration in a MacPro was just north of 4,000 with less of a warranty than I got.

Oh wait, 5 years ago...that makes sense. When Apple switched to intel processors they had amazing deals on the MacPro. They have been slowly increasing the cost though and by 2010 when I got mine they were again being sold at a premium.
In early 2008 I paid $2800 for the 8 core machine with 4 GB of RAM. Then I immediately bought 4 GB more from OWC - that was at a time when Apple was still charging double the going market price for RAM in their machines (they are more reasonable now).

Then I got a second dual-DVI link (2560x1600) card from OWC too to drive the 30" monitor.

Then later I got another 10 GB of RAM as RAM prices came down.

The machine more than paid for itself as I used it for a 9 month contract working from home which paid for it in less than 2 weeks.

I do remember comparing similar Dell machines with 4 CPUs and the 4 CPU MP config at the time and they were very similar in price, and the Dell didn't come with an OS.

In short, I make my living with computers - a pretty decent income. I don't mind spending a little money on them. Mechanics, plumbers, welders, and so on, all spend more money per year on tools and accoutrements for their jobs than I spend on computers. I just wish my current employer would let me bring my own computer to work - I would get more done and be happier doing it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:37 AM   #40
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Since the machine is not out yet, I guess I should wait until some reviewers have it in their hands. Maybe I (and others) are wrong. Right now there are not that many TB general purpose bus expansion modules out there, much less TB2 modules. I predict someone will come out with a module that at least looks just like the new MacPro, if not having similar cooling tower features.
Maybe someone will figure out a way to multiplex TB2 connections for 40/60/80Gb/s throughput.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #41
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Maybe someone will figure out a way to multiplex TB2 connections for 40/60/80Gb/s throughput.
Maybe.

Also, I have to wonder if the theoretical top speed of the interface is possible with the copper cables vs. the optical ones? As far as I know most, if not all of the TB cables out there are not optical yet.

There are other issues with TB expansion modules that depend on the module and possible the interface:

1) Will storage devices in them be bootable?

2) What if the device plugged into the module requires a driver? Will a bus card in an external module that requires a driver be installed work correctly in the module vs. in an internal computer slot?

3) What kind of performance penalty is there, if any, when you have all that data going through the one cable to multiple devices in the module, vs. those same devices directly connected to the motherboard bus?

I think a lot of the market for the MacPro will be asking these questions because they will be using the MP for computationally intensive tasks.

We'll see.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:25 PM   #42
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In short, I make my living with computers - a pretty decent income. I don't mind spending a little money on them. Mechanics, plumbers, welders, and so on, all spend more money per year on tools and accoutrements for their jobs than I spend on computers. I just wish my current employer would let me bring my own computer to work - I would get more done and be happier doing it.
I have a $14,000 toolbox but, the advantage mechanics have is tools don't become obsolete nearly as fast. I bought the box used for $7,000. On the other hand, Moore's Law doesn't apply.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:42 PM   #43
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I have a $14,000 toolbox but, the advantage mechanics have is tools don't become obsolete nearly as fast. I bought the box used for $7,000. On the other hand, Moore's Law doesn't apply.
Wrenches, sockets, and whatnot are fairly stable, but annual maintenance on an engine analyzer (or whatever it's called these days) isn't cheap.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #44
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I have a $14,000 toolbox but, the advantage mechanics have is tools don't become obsolete nearly as fast. I bought the box used for $7,000. On the other hand, Moore's Law doesn't apply.
I used to be a prof. diesel mech, and before that a simple grease monkey.

Have you ever known a mech who didn't buy more tools even though he had plenty?

My point was that a s/w dev makes at least twice what a really good mech makes (unless he is in business for himself, is pretty good and has a successful shop), and yet most devs wouldn't dream of buying a $1K computer to take to work (much less one for $3K) - they expect the employer to provide it for them.

So what do they typically get?

A $600 Dell laptop with 2 CPUs, 2 to 4 GB of RAM, an old copy of Windows (my employer runs XP because they haven't upgraded to Win 7 yet, even though the computer came with W7, they downgraded it to XP because that is what everybody runs), a cheap mouse and cheap keyboard, a 19" monitor and cheap chair in a 6x6 or 6x8 cubical. They will pay $100K per year for this employee (more if it is a contractor - usually 30 to 100% more), but they give that employee the cheapest tools they can get away with.

I've had a lot of people comment on the fact that I brought two of my own 21" portrait display monitors to work for work use. At home I have a 30" and two 24" monitors on each side of the 30". If 30" monitors would go down in price I would get two more - but I make do with what I got.

What do managers get? Sometimes something about twice as good.

A VP? Well, they get either a really nice laptop with a lot of power (so they can play games) or a nice desktop. Neither of which they need as all they do is run spreadsheets and edit Word docs. They don't need to have two or more IDEs open at the same time, plus a remote into a server (or two or three), plus a DB server running locally - but they get the memory and the CPUs for the same reason they get the corner office with windows; perks of the position.

Can you tell I am getting cynical in my old age?

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Old 06-15-2013, 07:02 PM   #45
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Steve Jobs is dead.

Apple is next.

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