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So what happens to our hardware...?

COW Forums : Apple FCPX or Not: The Debate

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Dylan HargreavesSo what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 10:01:03 am

It seems pretty clear by now that Apple does not consider the pro-video/broadcast/film arena as somewhere it wants to be. Steve Jobs (RIP) has even said on many occasions: 'Apple is a mobile device company'.

That's fine. I can (and am) switch to Premiere Pro, so for the time being, things carry on for my little company much as before.

But then I hear noises from Apple that the next range of Mac Pros will be their last. And that does present an problem.

It may be a few years down the track from now, but if the writing is on the wall for our Mac hardware, then where do we go from there? Back to Windows? The very thought makes me shudder...


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 12:21:10 pm

[Dylan Hargreaves] "It may be a few years down the track from now, but if the writing is on the wall for our Mac hardware, then where do we go from there? Back to Windows? The very thought makes me shudder...
"


Apple is a consumer company first and foremost. Everything is now bet on Thunderbolt. We discussed this back in July at our first Atlanta Cutters meeting when we had Apple, Adobe, Avid and Autodesk at our event. The system of the future would be a Mac with a bunch of thunderbolt external devices connected.

That's the main reason why we're not even considering FCP X at this time and for the foreseeable future. All our AJA cards can run in a Windows box. Adobe and Avid are cross platform. So we have an array of choices moving forward from the hardware side on both sides of the aisle. If we go FCP X then we will be forced to choose from whatever Apple offers to the consumers that can be modified to meet our needs. If we go more open / cross platform, I can already design a desktop system today that's about $2500 top end, or about three top end Mac Pros.

So what happens to your hardware is simple. Stay Mac then start your process of getting to know Thunderbolt. Go cross platform and then you can decide for yourself how you want to go.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 1:35:04 pm

The truth is, no one really knows accept Apple.

You can still buy a MacPro today.

Miniaturization is happening. Computers are getting smaller and more powerful. In some cases the 4core i7 is keeping up with the current crop of MacPros. Not exclusively, but they are close in some respects. Check out barefeats.com

Apple has never had the fastest or best or most flexible hardware. Ever. They have preferred system stability to speed since the beginning. If speed and raw power is what you're looking for, there are much faster options than Mac hardware.

I have a question for you, where did you hear from Apple that these are the last MacPros?

What, specifically, do you need from a MacPro?


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 1:47:21 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The truth is, no one really knows accept Apple. "

[Jeremy Garchow] "I have a question for you, where did you hear from Apple that these are the last MacPros?"

First you say nobody knows except Apple then you say where did you hear from Apple. Obviously he's responding to the many rumor mills that the Mac Pro is going away. You and I both know that the current Mac Pro is getting long in the tooth and is overpriced for what it is today. If the machine was half priced, then maybe it's a bargain now.

Truth is that Mac Pros do not sell, Apple is no longer interested in enterprise solutions so the dedicated desktop machine that is used by professionals is going away. Just look at the path of all the other machines and the push for Thunderbolt. All things that professional will require to do our work is expected to be carried by external gear.

Trying to shrug off the discussion by saying "Where specifically did you hear from Apple that the Mac Pro is going away" is moot. Whether it's the current Mac Pro or they make one more, this is a very valid discussion of "what do we do with our hardware." They are not long for the world and if you truly want a desktop machine, like we prefer here, then you will probably have to start looking elsewhere.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 3:51:40 pm

[walter biscardi] "First you say nobody knows except Apple then you say where did you hear from Apple. Obviously he's responding to the many rumor mills that the Mac Pro is going away. You and I both know that the current Mac Pro is getting long in the tooth and is overpriced for what it is today. If the machine was half priced, then maybe it's a bargain now."

Well, I accept the fact that there's people that know more than I do, have talked to more people than I have, that have read more articles than I have. If Dylan says that he has heard from Apple, shouldn't I give him the benefit of the doubt? Don't I have the right to ask the question? Or no?

[walter biscardi] "Truth is that Mac Pros do not sell, Apple is no longer interested in enterprise solutions so the dedicated desktop machine that is used by professionals is going away. Just look at the path of all the other machines and the push for Thunderbolt. All things that professional will require to do our work is expected to be carried by external gear."

It's the same gear, just in a external enclosure. For instance, with the v9.1 AJA drivers, all Kona boards are Thunderbolt aware.

[walter biscardi] "Trying to shrug off the discussion by saying "Where specifically did you hear from Apple that the Mac Pro is going away" is moot."

I'm not trying to shrug it off, Walter. I am trying to further to conversation, friend. I don't know everything. I happen to believe that there will be some sort of replacement for the MacPro. I don't know what it's going to be, or if it will even be viable. My hunch says that it will. So, my view isn't valid? I understand the disenchantment with Apple these days, really, but I also live in the now. The MacPro is still available, and there's been delay on the latest round due to a delay at intel. I'll find the article in a little while.

Jeremy


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Dylan HargreavesRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 4:02:59 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "If Dylan says that he has heard from Apple, shouldn't I give him the benefit of the doubt?"

Sorry, posting in haste seems to have opened a can of worms. To clear this up, As Walter suggests, I was responding to a rumour reported in a magazine not affiliated in anyway to Apple, and have heard nothing from Apple themselves.


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Bill DavisRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:15:37 pm

[walter biscardi] "Apple is no longer interested in enterprise solutions so the dedicated desktop machine that is used by professionals is going away. "

Which begs the question "for how long will the enterprise exclusively remain interested in enterprise solutions."

For the "back of house" tasks, for a long time likely.

But in the new era where it's quite possible that a worker will have better technology available to them personally, than the enterprise can afford to plop on their desktop - then it's also fair to look downstream and see what the general cultural migration from "computer is a thing that companies have" to "computers are things that people have" might bring about in business.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Dylan HargreavesRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 1:56:46 pm

Stability and ease of use is what I go for. After years of working in PC environments, transitioning to Mac was like sliding into satin sheets on the world's comfiest bed. As the great man said, they just work.

To be honest, I know precisely zilch about Thunderbolt, so I guess I will have to start looking into it, and for the time being at least, there's not a huge sense of urgency.

And for the record, the Mac Pro thing was reported in Iris magazine - a products and review magazine i sometimes pick up over here in the UK - although they did qualify it as a rumour at this stage.

But they do go on to say that Apple are planning on removing optical drives from their hardware, so I'd say the writing's most definitely on the wall.


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Chris ConleeRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 3:18:06 pm

[Dylan Hargreaves] "As the great man said, they just work."

Unless you're trying to find a working and supported CUDA driver for Lion. I'm getting fed up with Apple, and will most definitely be transitioning BACK to Win 7 after I use up this latest MacPro.

Chris


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 3:46:34 pm

[Chris Conlee] " I'm getting fed up with Apple, and will most definitely be transitioning BACK to Win 7 after I use up this latest MacPro."

What caught my attention was very hard care Mac folks I know telling me that "Windows 7 is pretty darn good, really." When Mac folks I trust are telling me that, then it's time to take at least take a look and consider all possibilities.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Dylan HargreavesRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 3:54:03 pm

Last time I used Windows to any extent was back on XP. I'm prepared to believe things have significantly improved since then but even so, once you go Mac it's a wrench to go back...


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Robert BrownRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 10:03:29 am

Win 7 64 is actually pretty good. I'm finding that OSX has some things built in that make it nicer off the bat but when you do a little digging you can find little apps to fix a lot of those things in Windows. I'm finding memory management to be better inWin 7 meaning it handles ram intensive programs a little better and prevents them from paging ram and slowing down.

Robert Brown
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Chris ConleeRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 11:37:43 pm

[walter biscardi] "What caught my attention was very hard core Mac folks I know telling me that "Windows 7 is pretty darn good, really.""

I've always been pretty agnostic. I came from the PC world, primarily because I wanted the OPTION of using FCP, if somebody walked thru the door with a project. However, I'm primarily Avid, and it works just as well, perhaps better, on the PC, so I'm probably moving back. Just so much more machine for the buck, especially if you build your own, like I used to do.

And Win 7 really is the best MS OS ever. It's fast, stable, and so well supported by 3rd party manufacturers.

Chris


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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 4:00:02 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Apple has never had the fastest or best or most flexible hardware. Ever. They have preferred system stability to speed since the beginning. If speed and raw power is what you're looking for, there are much faster options than Mac hardware."

Jeremy, I'll argue this point with you every time you make it.

Saying that Apple prefers system stability over speed suggests that there is a tradeoff to be made, and that other vendors are choosing the other side and thus putting their customers' businesses at risk.

In your mind, which vendors prefer speed over stability? Has any professional systems vendor introduced a product to the market that actually sacrifices stability in favor of speed?

I also think your "Macs aren't the fastest" premise is wrong. The top of the line Mac Pros have been screaming and price-competitive machines at the time of their introduction. The performance problem is that Apple allows the line to languish for over a year at a time without speed bumps or price drops, despite the introduction of faster processors or the declining cost of major components.

I've been seeing a lot of FUD slung at Windows (not necessarily by you) on this forum. I have bought 15 Macs (4 of which dual-boot OS X and Windows to use OS-specific software) and 3 PCs in the last 10 years, so I certainly appreciate the Macintosh way -- but I also have enough perspective to say that most of the criticisms leveled at Windows here are woefully out of date. Complaints from Mac users about Windows system instability are the moral equivalent of complaints from PC users about Macs only having a one-button mouse. Windows 7 on good hardware is a perfectly reasonable platform for getting things done, and Macs support multi-button mice.

Admittedly, I had a different view on this prior to FCPX, which has pushed me to actually try Windows for creative work. Just like you tried FCPX and found that it wasn't as bad as everyone said, I've tried Windows and found that you can take advantage of the additional power and flexibility to do creative work without pulling your hair out. HP has sent me a Z800, and it's well-engineered, well-built, and perfectly stable. It's also available in significantly faster configurations than the Mac Pro.

I am amazed at the number of people who have said here that they'd consider trying to piece together and maintain a Hackintosh for professional work, when they could simply buy a well-built and well-supported Windows PC instead.

My point in all this isn't to encourage people to dump the Mac platform today. Rather, I'm trying to point out that a lot of folks here have an irrational fear of the PC platform. It really isn't so bad! Once you're in your main applications, whether they're Adobe, Avid, or something else, the OS is pretty irrelevant. Restricting yourself to Apple products may have been a smart strategy in the past, but now is a good time to re-evaluate cross-platform or PC workflows.

Walter Soyka
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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 5:10:41 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Jeremy, I'll argue this point with you every time you make it.

Saying that Apple prefers system stability over speed suggests that there is a tradeoff to be made, and that other vendors are choosing the other side and thus putting their customers' businesses at risk.
"


Ugh. Apple tightly controls their hardware to offering a more controlled system to their clients for stability. I did not mention risk, I did not mention other platforms aren't stable, I am talking about Apple and it's philosophies. Please, I ask you, please, stop putting words in my mouth.

You don't have to RegEdit, you don't have to install separate drivers, you don't have to edit DLLs, you don't have to rip apart your machine. Macs have traditionally been less tinker, and more controlled system. And yes this was done for OS stability, and ease of use, at the cost of speed. When you take some of the options away, your system is more stable. And by stable, I'm not saying that it doesn't work at all.

I am not saying other machines aren't stable, I am not talking about other systems. I am talking about Macs and the philosophy behind it. That's it.

[Walter Soyka] "In your mind, which vendors prefer speed over stability? Has any professional systems vendor introduced a product to the market that actually sacrifices stability in favor of speed?"

I think there is a trade off. Absolutely. Some programs are way more crashy, but they get the job done faster. Macs favor a rock solid OS, and Windows doesn't care as much about that as they wanted people to tinker with it. They don't sell systems, they sell a part of a system. They have different philosophies. Right?

[Walter Soyka] "he performance problem is that Apple allows the line to languish for over a year at a time without speed bumps or price drops, despite the introduction of faster processors or the declining cost of major components."

We are splitting hairs again here. Day after day, night after night on this forum, you will see that people have bought Windows machines and they "run rings" around their Macs. I'm sorry dude, I'm sticking to my guns on this one. Macs aren't the fastest machines, especially for the cost. Period. That has never really been the case. When new macs are released, they might compare, but give it six months, and they won't compare.

[Walter Soyka] "I've been seeing a lot of FUD slung at Windows (not necessarily by you) on this forum. "

I have seen the other way too. This is part of my problem. There is FUD everywhere and a ton of it is unwarranted. I will tell you, that I will not be able to run my business that relies on me as "systems administrator" with Windows. I cannot clone machines. Period. I could take my iMac clone, and boot it on one of the MacPro clones and continue working. Can you do that with Windows? No. I am not separating FUD, and I could care less what anyone else wants to do, but there is real truth to the decisions that I am making for our company. It's not about if the computers turn on or not, or about processing speed, it is simply about running a network of computers that I have to support as long as do my day job of editing.

I do not hate Windows, I am just not going to go over there because the grass is greener, and I can get some extra GPU cycles for cheaper. There has been zero mention by Apple that the MacPro is going away. None. Yes, there could be something else coming, and the MacPro could maybe go away, but until then we wait and make the decision when the time comes. I wrote in one of these posts that everything I have in this shop is cross platform hardware wise, even our MacPros. If the bomb drops, we have a shelter.

[Walter Soyka] "HP has sent me a Z800, and it's well-engineered, well-built, and perfectly stable. It's also available in significantly faster configurations than the Mac Pro. "

I respect you and your views, so take this as no offense, but if I had a free machine, I'd use it too and probably speak very well of it. You can't beat free.

[Walter Soyka] "I am amazed at the number of people who have said here that they'd consider trying to piece together and maintain a Hackintosh for professional work, when they could simply buy a well-built and well-supported Windows PC instead."

I agree with you here as that sounds like a recipe for disaster. I will not bet our four editing systems on a hack.

Sorry, but I don't mean any offense.

Jeremy


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Frank GothmannRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 5:52:42 pm

"Apple tightly controls their hardware to offering a more controlled system to their clients for stability"

That's what they say. One can also argue that they do it to keep buying into their ecosystem and only from them (App store anyone).

"You don't have to RegEdit, you don't have to install separate drivers, you don't have to edit DLLs, you don't have to rip apart your machine".

You don't have to do any of that either on Windows7. You can if you want to, but that's pretty much like using the terminal under OSX for people who know what they are doing. What do you mean by "seperate drivers"?

"I could take my iMac clone, and boot it on one of the MacPro clones and continue working."
Unless you have a recent Lion iMac and your MacPro clone is on Snow Leopard. You cannot even do a clean install with SL then.

"Can you do that with Windows?"
Actually, yes, you can. If your hardware is similar. If not, you obviously will have issues but the same applies to a Mac in principle, too.

"...f I had a free machine, I'd use it too and probably speak very well of it".
I paid for mine. And speak very well of it.

"Macs favor a rock solid OS"
I see zero difference in stability with Win7 compared to Snow Leopard. I am very heavy workloads, batch encoding plus a lot of harware attached.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:23:56 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "That's what they say. One can also argue that they do it to keep buying into their ecosystem and only from them (App store anyone)."

Yeah, it's a system. You buy a Red camera, that's another system. Some products are a system. For us, it's worked well and we'd like it to continue.

[Frank Gothmann] "What do you mean by "seperate drivers"? "

I use Windows Server 7 Ultimate, I think, I don't even know where to check for versions of installed software, but everything new you plug in to that computer needs a driver and it searches and searches...

[Frank Gothmann] "Unless you have a recent Lion iMac and your MacPro clone is on Snow Leopard. You cannot even do a clean install with SL then."

No, but you can clone an Snow Leopard machine to a current Lion Machine. I've done it.

[Frank Gothmann] "Actually, yes, you can. If your hardware is similar. If not, you obviously will have issues but the same applies to a Mac in principle, too."

If your hardware is similar you say? You mean like a Mac? Sorry, you set me up for that one!

I can boot any computer from any computer clone here, and they are all different variances of years. They are all intel, that's pretty much the only common denominator.

[Frank Gothmann] "I see zero difference in stability with Win7 compared to Snow Leopard. I am very heavy workloads, batch encoding plus a lot of harware attached."

Our Windows 7 Ultimate machine controls our SAN. It has been decently stable, a few blue screens, but then again we were beta testing a prerelease SAN. Now that everything is released (and we paid for it), it's been running great, but all is does is pass data so it's not a real test.

I am sure Windows 7 is awesome, and I would say have fun with it. Dylan asked what's going to happen to our hardware, my answer at this time is not "Windows 7". That's all.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 5:54:41 pm

Here's some facts.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57329370-92/for-hp-a-tough-road-ahead/?par...

http://www.sonicscoop.com/2011/10/27/avid-announces-restructuring-lays-off-...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/09/us-adobe-idUSTRE7A77R220111109

It's not easy out there and there are no clear choices.

What is certainly clear, is change, all you have to do is look at the facts and sometimes they are scary.

Jeremy


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Frank GothmannRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:27:55 pm

So... what point are you trying to make? We all know the economy is tough right now. Even more reason to have choices at your disposal.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:39:49 pm

My point is that I think Apple is going to be OK, but that's how I feel. I'm not scared.

I am pretty tired of getting jumped on by every single post that I make because I think Apple and it's ecosystem or whatever you want to call it, is going to be all right. I don't have the answers, but I do tend to think positively. Go buy a Windows 7 machine if you want. We did, it runs our SAN. Good luck with it.

Dylan, to answer your question again.

Only Apple knows. You can still buy a MacPro on the Apple Store today. Until then, we just don't know, and Apple won't tell you until it's decided.

The rest of the rumors is up to you to wade through, and be sure to roll with the punches, they come fast and furious around here.

Jeremy


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Dylan HargreavesRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 9:18:36 pm

Wow. Got pretty lively round here!
We're not talking about a change that's gonna happen overnight here. But when the change does come it's gonna be seismic. I'm finding it hard enough finding the right moment to switch editing software, so when the hell is it gonna be convenient to rip our entire edit suite out and start again?? Unless we go down Walter's route and gradually build a jerry-rigged system of external boxes and hardware! (Walt, I'm sure your system is an elegant thing of beauty to behold!)
Who knows. Maybe by then a decent iMac will be able to do it all on the cloud... We'd just better hope our broadband connections never fail mid-project!
D


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Herb SevushRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:14:27 am

Your articles don't frighten me. For Adobe and HP lack of profit growth during a recession is hardly news - it's not like they're not profitable. As for Avid, even if they fail as a company, the editing software will get picked up by someone else - it's too large a base to be thrown aside. The same way FCP Legacy would have been picked up if Apple chose to spin it off - a prospect I sorely regret the absence of.

I thought I was safe investing in Apple -- what did that get me?

Safety has always been an illusion. That's why I've been freelancing for over thirty years - this way I don't get blindsided by the illusion of job stability. Either that or no one wanted to offer me a job.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:16:55 am

[Herb Sevush] " The same way FCP Legacy would have been picked up if Apple chose to spin it off - a prospect I sorely regret the absence of."

Apple can't spin it off. There is a lot of Apple intellectual property from the original studio used in FCP X. If they sold it off, they would have to license the technology back from the buyer. The Color Board for example lifts a lot of technology from Apple Color. So a sale won't happen.

I was hopeful that maybe someone like The Foundry would purchase FC Studio, but then someone explained all the property / licensing issues.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
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Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Herb SevushRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:29:41 am

That's interesting Walter, although I would have thought they could have made a deal contingent upon them retaining whatever licensing deals they wanted to hold onto. But that's all water way under the bridge now. I can't see them allowing FCP Legacy live to embarrass them - better to kill it off, after all what's mere money to Apple.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:31:37 am

[Herb Sevush] "That's interesting Walter, although I would have thought they could have made a deal contingent upon them retaining whatever licensing deals they wanted to hold onto."

That's what I said too, and I thought it made sense. But of course, when lawyers get involved, it all falls to heck. So the easiest thing to do is simply hold on to the legacy product so you continue to own everything that's inside it.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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HD Post and Production
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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:40:32 am

Here's the news of the Sandy Bridge delay.

http://www.cpu-world.com//news_2011/2011101001_Launch_schedule_of_Intel_Xeo...


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:29:36 am

[Herb Sevush] "Your articles don't frighten me."

The ones I sent?

It's not meant to frighten, it's meant to show the reality that nothing is certain.

I guess I'm one of the ones who said that the removal of MacPros from the Apple Stores is not a sign of the apocalypse.

I asked who bought a MacPro in a store. There was one person who was in a pinch when his main machine died. I also asked about HPs and Dells. What would happen if your z800 died? Apple removing the MacPro is probably a practicality. To buy BTO MacPros you had to order from the online Apple Store or reseller anyway. Joe Soccer Dad is going to the Apple Store for a MacPro, but rather to get iDevices and some accessories. That's all I go for. I don't buy any computers from brick and mortar Apple Stores as I usually buy the BTO options online.

*Edited for clarity


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Herb SevushRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:37:34 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "it's meant to show the reality that nothing is certain."

Death, taxes and the inability of the Jets to protect the quarterback.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I guess I'm one of the ones who said that the removal of MacPros from the Apple Stores is not a sign of the apocalypse. "

There's way too much apocalypse going on around here, it must be something in the air.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Apple removing the MacPro is probably a practicality."

I agree, the Apple Store argument is silly. The demise of the Mac Pro as we know it, however, is a reasonable conjecture. Not certain, but not silly.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Michael HancockRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:46:45 am

[Jeremy Garchow] " I also asked about HPs and Dells. "

HP and Dell workstations aren't really sold in consumer box stores. Maybe you could find them at BH in New York or a VAR near you, but they've never been available at Best Buys or HH Greggs or CompUSA. And there is no Dell store or HP store like there is an Apple store, so you're comparing apples to oranges. But I do think it's silly for Apple to stock more than one MacPro.

[Jeremy Garchow] "What would happen if your z800 died?"

Friend of mine has the Z400. Had a problem with it, called HP, a tech came to his house and switched the motherboard, no charge. It was a warranty repair and HP came to him. No hauling the system to the store or anything. That's what you get when you buy their professional grade workstation - professional grade service, as you should expect.

When we had an issue with the xw8200 (predecessor to the 8400 which was before the z800) at the TV station I worked at, a tech came there too and swapped out parts when we had an issue. I think it's easier for them to just replace an entire motherboard in 20 minutes then to troubleshoot for hours while you stand there losing money. I thought it was a pretty smart strategy, really.

But really, Apple stores probably don't stock or sell a lot of MacPros so I couldn't put too much weight on not finding them in the stores, but it has been an awfully long time since there's been a substantial update.

Time will tell.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:53:37 am

[Michael Hancock] "HP and Dell workstations aren't really sold in consumer box stores."

You passed! It was a trick question, really.

[Michael Hancock] "Friend of mine has the Z400. Had a problem with it, called HP, a tech came to his house and switched the motherboard, no charge. It was a warranty repair and HP came to him. No hauling the system to the store or anything. That's what you get when you buy their professional grade workstation - professional grade service, as you should expect. "

Apple does this too with their business customers. We had a SuperDrive go and an authorized repair center came over and swapped it since it wasn't a "user replaceable" part, even though I begged them to send me one.


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Michael HancockRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:59:31 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Apple does this too with their business customers. We had a SuperDrive go and an authorized repair center came over and swapped it since it wasn't a "user replaceable" part, even though I begged them to send me one."

Nice! I didn't realize they did this. The way I've heard people on these and other forums talk I just assumed you had to haul your system to an Apple store or ship it in. Our in-house IT handles everything with our Macs, so I was unaware they actually had a business division like that. Do you pay extra for it or is this covered under the standard warranty (or AppleCare)?

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 4:09:43 am

[Michael Hancock] "Do you pay extra for it or is this covered under the standard warranty (or AppleCare)?"

No extra cost in AppleCare. The Mac is registered as a business. The SuperDrive blew out, they told me who to call. This was two years or so ago, not sure what's changed. The business division is different than the consumer division. This Mac was under warranty. Haven't had a problem like that before or since. I dont know what would happen if the motherboard went out.

http://www.apple.com/retail/business/

http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313 (U.S. Store)

Jeremy


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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:30:52 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Ugh. Apple tightly controls their hardware to offering a more controlled system to their clients for stability. I did not mention risk, I did not mention other platforms aren't stable, I am talking about Apple and it's philosophies. Please, I ask you, please, stop putting words in my mouth."

I apologize. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth -- but please understand that it's very easy to misinterpret what you wrote.

When you say that Macs prioritize stability over speed, and that PCs offer speed, there's an unstated implication that PCs are sacrificing stability to get it in a way that Macs are not. I don't think that's the case at all, and that's the point I'm trying to raise here.

In a way, I'm playing your role in the FCPX debate. There are a lot of people here who are very comfortable on one system and who are worried about its future, but who are unwilling to evaluate other options just because they are different.

Just like you say that FCPX deserves consideration, I'd say Windows deserves consideration. Just like you say FCPX isn't for everyone, I'd say Windows isn't for everyone.

I'm not suggesting everyone dump their Macs for PC hardware today. I'm not dumping mine. I've got a lot of Apple hardware here that I like, that I use, and that I will continue to use.

I am saying that there's this widespread belief among Mac users that PCs are not well-suited for professional, creative work. I used to think this, too, but Windows 7 is a giant improvement in "just-works-ability." Reasonable people can reasonably choose Windows systems to integrate into cross-platform workflows, or to run their creative businesses entirely -- without a degree in computer engineering.



[Jeremy Garchow] "You don't have to RegEdit, you don't have to install separate drivers, you don't have to edit DLLs, you don't have to rip apart your machine. Macs have traditionally been less tinker, and more controlled system."

Regular users don't have to drop into RegEdit any more than regular Mac users have to drop into the Terminal. For either platform, if you're trying to do something advanced that the GUI doesn't have built-in, then there are very likely step-by-step instructions that are just a quick Google away.

I do have to install separate drivers on both Macs and PCs for hardware like my Quadro cards, my RAID card, my H.264 accelerator, my capture cards, my Wacom tablets, my 3D Connexion, my Logitech trackballs, and my Wave control surface. On both OSes, I go to the manufacturers web site, download the installer, run it, and keep working.

I don't really know what you mean by "rip apart your machine," but I wouldn't say I've done that on either platform -- or I've done it on both.

DLL conflicts were a nightmare on 16-bit, shared memory systems -- in other words, pre-NT systems like Windows 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98. Modern Windows systems are capable of loading different and conflicting copies of the same DLL as required by different programs in separate, protected application memory spaces. Modern Windows installers don't overwrite shared DLLs, and do implement package management for dependency tracking.



[Jeremy Garchow] "I think there is a trade off. Absolutely. Some programs are way more crashy, but they get the job done faster. "

Crashes are a computer problem, not a Mac or Windows problem. Ask anyone who had FCPX beach ball issues about crashy programs that got the job done faster, right?



[Jeremy Garchow] "Macs favor a rock solid OS, and Windows doesn't care as much about that as they wanted people to tinker with it. They don't sell systems, they sell a part of a system. They have different philosophies. Right?"

Although Microsoft exposes more options and controls to the user than Apple does, I don't think their OS philosophy is to specifically encourage people to tinker with their systems and sacrifice stability to offer that customization.

Windows 7 is really very stable. It has been a pleasant surprise.



[Jeremy Garchow] "It's not about if the computers turn on or not, or about processing speed, it is simply about running a network of computers that I have to support as long as do my day job of editing."

Totally fair. I understand that you're more comfortable with Macs than PCs. I understand why you wouldn't want to switch. Macs are a good tool in your workflow -- and mine too -- and I hope that Apple continues to give us all good options for getting our work done for a long time to come.

But remember that you are already familiar with Macs (as others are with FCP7). You've already internalized what you need to do to keep them working. PCs (like FCPX) may be workable and appropriate for some if they put in a little time to adjust to a new system.

You mentioned elsewhere your experiences with Windows Server for your SAN. I think that's a totally different experience than a desktop Windows system. It's got a ton of nuanced, complex tools which are meaningful for and useful to experienced network administrators. I'm sure I'd be about as comfortable trying to administer Windows Server as a network administrator would be trying to model, texture, light and render graphics.



[Jeremy Garchow] "I respect you and your views, so take this as no offense, but if I had a free machine, I'd use it too and probably speak very well of it. You can't beat free."

No offense taken at all. I like to think that I've earned everyone's trust here by giving honest opinions and reasonable analysis, but I also think that disclosure is important so you can choose how many grains of salt to take with my opinions.

That said, for a free system, it's been very expensive. I'm putting my money where my mouth is, investing thousands of dollars in software licenses, plugins, upgrades, peripherals, and storage -- not to mention my time -- when I could have just continued working with my perfectly good Mac Pro.

The cost of one computer in the context of the other systems I have running here is small, and I had big concerns about integration challenges moving to a real cross-platform workflow. Jumping in the deep end was a risk, and I wasn't sure if it would pay off.

Just like you with FCPX, I wanted to see what an alternative system could do. I didn't expect the grass to be greener necessarily, but I did expect it to be different.

Overall, I have been genuinely impressed with the experience so far. More to come as I continue to work with it.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 4:02:15 am

Great post, Walter S. Thank you.

I have mentioned that it is certainly fear that keeps me trying Windows, that and no one else in the office is remotely interested: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/20281

At this point in time, it's not feasible for our little shop.


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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 4:44:00 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "At this point in time, it's not feasible for our little shop."

Absolutely. Like anything else, Macs and PCs are just tools -- not every tool is right for every task.

I just re-read your linked post there. I'm in the market for a cross-platform SAN. If you wouldn't mind, I'd love to chat with you or with a sales rep for the SAN you're testing for a few minutes sometime. (I am very easy to find through my COW services page [link].) Thank you!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Chris ConleeRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 11:55:42 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I am amazed at the number of people who have said here that they'd consider trying to piece together and maintain a Hackintosh for professional work, when they could simply buy a well-built and well-supported Windows PC instead."

Man, what would this system cost if it were built by Apple?
http://myvideopc.com/professional-pcs.html

Chris


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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 6:19:07 am

[Chris Conlee] "Man, what would this system cost if it were built by Apple?
http://myvideopc.com/professional-pcs.html"


Do I assume correctly you were suggesting Apple would charge an insane premium? You might be surprised.

A 12-core, 2.66 GHz Apple Mac Pro with 6 GB of RAM, a 1 TB system drive, and a 1 GB graphics card costs $4,995.

A 12-core, 2.66 GHz HP Z800 with 6 GB of RAM, a 1 TB system drive, a 1 GB graphics card, and a Firewire card costs $6,443. That's nearly 30 percent more than a comparably equipped Mac Pro -- a whole lot of money to pay for a couple extra PCIe slots.

Where it gets interesting for me is not the prices Apple charges for their products, but rather the products they don't make available at any price: mini-tower desktops (like the one you linked to), current high-end workstations, and high-end NVIDIA GPUs.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bill DavisRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 5:19:32 pm

[Dylan Hargreaves] "It seems pretty clear by now that Apple does not consider the pro-video/broadcast/film arena as somewhere it wants to be. Steve Jobs (RIP) has even said on many occasions: 'Apple is a mobile device company'."

Just remember, that for long time NAB attendees like me, there were decades of no hint of a computer company like Apple. Then a stretch of about 5 years when we saw a long major decline of the big broadcast companies and the ascendence of the computer companies like Apple, Avid and Adobe. They were part of what re-defined professional video in the late 90's and through the turn of the century.

Then they moved on. Apple was the first out - but that didn't' mean they stopped developing for the market - they just went outside of the "inside industry" view and arguably, took it in new directions.

For someone with an exclusively "broadcast" orientation, that may look strange, but it was a world where the only real options you had for viewing content was your home TV and your local movie theatre.

Today, that's just not the same at ALL.

Instead of two places, video is integrated into hundreds of places in the everyday person's life. And (and this can't be emphasized too much, IMO.) It's increasingly disconnected from the "embedded commercial" driven distribution model. For every "tv channel" in a bar, on a mall sales floor, or displayed on someone's blackberry while they're stuck waiting for a bus - there are now a virtually unlimited array of sources of compelling content available. (Including, I might add, the excellent tutorials residing right here on the COW!)

I agree that isn't "broadcast" or "film" via the classic definitions (tho I could argue handily that if you allow for just a "slightly" looser definition of "broadcast" the COW tutorials are exactly that!) but I still contest that stripping it from the PRO Video label is a major, glaring mistake.

In fact, I think there will be more "PRO" video being created for OTHER than broadcast and movie distribution in the future.

And it will be as "pro" as people like us chose to make it - and completely disconnected from the choice of tool we use for creation.

It's no a "mobile device" play. It's a "foreseeable future of where the largest group of customers will want to USE video" play.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Herb SevushRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 12:54:31 am

[Bill Davis] " I think there will be more "PRO" video being created for OTHER than broadcast and movie distribution in the future.

This is nothing new, this has been the case since I started working in this field almost 40 years ago. There are more features and cable TV shows than ever before, there are more corporate presentations than ever before, there are more cat videos than ever before. Entertainment media was always the smallest, although often the most lucrative, piece of the media pie.

[Bill Davis] "And it will be as "pro" as people like us chose to make it - and completely disconnected from the choice of tool we use for creation."

I don't think the quality of the media is now, or has ever been, disconnected with the tools we use for it's creation. I spent my first 20 years in this business making industrials, first film and then video, and everyone I worked with strove to do the best work possible with the best tools available. I don't know how work can be disconnected from the tools you use.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Bill DavisRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 5:22:01 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I don't know how work can be disconnected from the tools you use.
"


Herb,

Who's arguing that they should be "disconnected?"

All I'm saying is that if one is a great pianist, it's insignificant for the audience if you're playing a Steinway, a Bosendorfer, or a Yamaha.

Similarly, if you need additional tonal colors - you go with a Hammond B3- or a Moog, or whatever.

With advancement, maybe you get ALL those tonal colors via ProTools.

The point is that the critical skill is to decide which approaches are "frippery" and which are harbingers of a new trend in the industry. (I can almost hear you argue that this is not a "new trend" at all, Herb, but for the vast majority of general editors, it is EXACTLY that - since they haven't had the capability to do the serious data management that the top end pros have enjoyed for a long time.)

The elevation of data handling to a position perhaps "as important" as the timeline itself, appears to me to be a trend that FCP-X is driving down to the "industrial" level of video editing.

And I think that's going to prove to be a VERY welcome change.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Herb SevushRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 6:08:43 pm

[Bill Davis] "Who's arguing that they should be "disconnected?" "

Apparently I misunderstood what you were getting at in the previous post. But then you wrote:

[Bill Davis] "The elevation of data handling to a position perhaps "as important" as the timeline itself, appears to me to be a trend that FCP-X is driving down to the "industrial" level of video editing. "

This I don't quite get. Are you saying that data handling, by which I gather you mean the sorting, labeling and organizing of the elements that will go into the edited sequence is as important as the actual selection and arrangement of that data on the timeline? If so I pretty much agree with that, although I don't separate them, I think of both of them as elemental to the job, even though much of the data handling is often thought of as "ass't editors" work.

If I'm correct in parsing your meaning, I don't see how this data management is "new" to the industrial level of anything. I do understand that FCPX is very advanced in it's data management and I envy you that resource. But unless I'm missing something it would be new for any level of editing - what does the "industrial level of video" have to do with it?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Bill DavisRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:05:28 pm

Herb,

I'm trying not to make presumptions about FCP's competitors here. I've seen enough posts where someone essentially says (but editing package x already does that beautifully) to feel confident making a personal assertion that the advances I see in X - over what I know as a longtime FCP editor are unique to X.

I suspect that a large chunk of the new, robust database model in X is innovative. Certainly it is with respect to Legacy. But I just don't have enough knowledge of the other NLEs to state so broadly.

Simple as that.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Jamie FranklinRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 22, 2011 at 6:26:52 pm

I'm not sure why anyone would jump on you for having VERY valid concerns. Mac Pros are no longer on display at Apple Stores, and ZERO communication from Apple as to what it's future is.

That isn't just a rumor, that is exactly what Apple is doing. Some will incessantly argue for arguments sake that you can still buy one at their online store...that still doesn't assuage the concern. And seems to placate to Apples egregious silence. Or, the argument is summarily dismiss that niche that relies on top tier hardware as a headache to Apple and they *should* treat that niche with contempt.

Apple, in the last year, is blowing away confidence. Not by rumors, by their actions. And any concern is validated by them and them alone. Not haters or internet bullies, but by the very market that helped define their pro divisions they were very keen on exploiting in years of branding.

I don't think it's a lot to ask, when faced with a 3500-6000 purchase your business may depend on, what the future is when their ACTIONS are determining a bleak one....


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 1:14:11 am

Jamie-

Who are you talking to here?


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olof ekberghRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 2:17:09 am

I think Apple is just making the next step in the evolution of computers.

The Towers are a thing of the past. There really is no need for them any more.

To me it makes sense to make smaller enclosures and for those that need expansion do that using Thunderbolt or Esata or whatever is next.

If Apple can produce a smaller lower wattage unit that can deliver the power most of us need, it is a good thing.

I have no inside information, this is just my guess. My MBP runs circles around my $12,000.00 9600 Mac with a $30.000.00 video card and a $10,000.00 SCSI raid 4GB I think of mid 90's vintage. I still have parts of this system running in a PowerMac, and a couple energy hogging pro CRT monitors.

My point is things are getting smaller cheaper and much more powerful. I still have 2 MP's with AJA cards and another with a Matrox MX02. But I bet my next new system will be some form of MacMiniPro or whatever with Thunderbolt IO and Thunderbolt RAIDS possible SST's using very little power.

And I also will bet that HP etc. will copy these new computers as well. These are exiting times. And sometimes progress can be scary. But just look at how much smaller less expensive and capable the new technology is.

To think that computers will always keep the same form factor is silly I think. I still remember when CPU's took up whole rooms.

Olof Ekbergh


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Gerald BariaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:22:45 am

Excatly Mr. olof! Thatis excatly what is happening that most are having a hard time grasping. That technology is is continously evolving and currently taking on forms that doesnt look as huge and "serious or pro" as the ones we had before but has actually more power and caabilities in it.

The whole point of a pro's requirement for a workstation is POWER! To be able to run efficiently the ever bloating pro softwares and do them faster and more efficient than they ever could before. As long a new systems can provide you that power REGARDLESS if they are the size of a hockey puck, it should not matter as long as you can do your job in it.

And fortunately Apple has been leading that evolution. They have always been the first to offer new ways to give you power in a whole new form for greater flexibility. Remember firewire? And thats what they are doing now with thunderbolt. And everyone else follows them afterwards. We already reached a point where consumer processors can already match / surpass professional grade processors, and power and cooling requirements are decreasing as well, so of course you should expect apple tonput them in a smaller prettier case...but make no mistake that they will be more powerful than the tower ever been.

Quobetah
New=Better


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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:40:45 am

[Gerald Baria] "We already reached a point where consumer processors can already match / surpass professional grade processors, and power and cooling requirements are decreasing as well, so of course you should expect apple tonput them in a smaller prettier case...but make no mistake that they will be more powerful than the tower ever been."

Are you suggesting that a current top-of-the-line i7 system performs better than a current top-of-the-line Xeon system?

This argument has been put forth quite a bit here on this forum, but if you only watch progress in the consumer space, you are missing all the progress in the workstation space. Current-generation consumer processors may surpass previous-generation workstation processors, but they really can't compete with current ones.

Editors may not need all that power, but adjacent markets like effects, animation, and compositing do.

Miniaturization comes at the expense of power. You can make today's processor smaller tomorrow, or you can keep it the same size and make it faster.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Gerald BariaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 9:02:34 am

"You can make today's processor smaller tomorrow, or you can keep it the same size and make it faster."

Or...you can make it BOTH smaller and more powerful. So then you'd require less energy to do the same processing cycles..less energy consumption is more or a need now than an option so that's the best way to go. And fortunantely it is the direction of the 3 leading processor corporations..smaller and smaller transistors that consume lesser and lesser power for the same processing cycles.

Quobetah
New=Better


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Shawn MillerRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:25:21 am

"The Towers are a thing of the past. There really is no need for them any more."

This may be true for editors,but for 3D/VFX artists and audio post/producton professionals, there will always be a need for the most powerful machines available.

Shawn



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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:35:35 am

[olof ekbergh] "The Towers are a thing of the past. There really is no need for them any more."

There are plenty of reasons to still use a tower. This falls into the same argument that "tape is dead." Tape is far from dead and towers are not in the past.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Fredy SchwerdtnerRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 24, 2011 at 5:44:26 pm

Very well said Walter.
I'm still using tapes on my camera, my computer has a DVD burner, once in a while I have to get clips from client's VHS tapes and God, please, take me away from the bureaucratic Windows ....

iMac 2.7 GHz Intel 4 Core i5
16 GB memory

MacBook Pro 17"
2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
6GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

OWC RAID 5 with 3TB
(2) External HD LaCieMac (400/800 FW and USB)with 500GB -(2) USB External HD Western Digital (in cases) with 750GB
OS X 10.6.5
Final Cut Studio "3"


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Jamie FranklinRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 5:56:23 am

[olof ekbergh] "These are exiting times"

And equally frustrating.

I can't generate the power needed for high particle visual effects out of a quasi-custom imac/mini/laptop or kangaroo and I have no idea what my next move should be because everything is completely uncertain in hardware and cost. It's easy for someone to say, switch to PC! When all my licenses are mac. Ok, I'll just throw out another 30k for that...who needs a tower when we have thunder and lightning? Well, I do. And the ground isn't moving with them at the moment.

Exciting for some


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Frank GothmannRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 10:08:03 am

But that is exactly not what's happening. If a current iMac or Laptop with Thunderbolt works for you... great. But please stop suggesting that it has to be good enough for everybody else.
A Pegasus TB Raid enclosure gives you roughly 30-40 per cent of the performance you get from an Areca SAS Raid Box that has a similar form factor.
And the Pegasus is more expensive. So "smaller, cheaper and more powerful" is simply not correct.
Thunberbolt is a great addition to the list of connectivity option; seeing it as a replacement even for the current PCI standard (and the next one is around the corner) is a step backwards with regards to performance to a lot of people.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 2:01:35 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "A Pegasus TB Raid enclosure gives you roughly 30-40 per cent of the performance you get from an Areca SAS Raid Box that has a similar form factor."

I just need to play devils advocate here.

The 6 drive Pegasus array runs at 800MB/sec with SATA drives.

If it had more drives, it'd go faster. Faster drives would go faster.

For data only, thunderbolt is a winner.

How fast is the Arcea box? How many and what kind of drives? What's the connection protocol?


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Frank GothmannRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 2:22:08 pm

You used Barefeats benchmarks elsewhere (I think it was you, if not I apologise) so here is a comparison between TB and an SAS Raid.
http://barefeats.com/tbolt01.html

But also here:
http://www.macworld.com/article/160819/2011/06/pegasusr6thunderbolt.html

The Pegasus delivers 566 MBs read, an Areca SAS connected enclosure does over 1280 (It's sitting right next to me) with standard desktop class Sata 6G 2TB drives from Hitachi.
Yes, the Areca has two more drives, I give you that. But there is no TB enclosure with more slots on the market (which, initself, is a problem).
Also, those benchmarks are with just one Thunderbolt device. Add more to the chain and they share the bandwith.

As far as expandability is concerned: I can choose larger enclosures holding up to 24 drives or I can stick with that one enclosure and connect up to 15 of those 8-drive boxes daisy chained to one SAS controller card.
And I still have all the performance in the world on my other pci slots unscratched.

Price wise, the Pegasus is more expensive.

But, again, TB is great and, I want to see it across the entire product line and it will flexibility to a lot of people. But not as a replacement for pcie for those who need and rely on it.





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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 4:29:18 pm

They tested both 4 and 6 drives there. Thanks for that, I haven't seen those benchmarks.

This all harkens back that Apple "can't" release a MacPro with 10Gb Thunderbolt. It would be futile. 100Gb thunderbolt would make sense.

So, does this mean they will kill it? I tend to think not, but I know how most people feel. Trust is lost with Apple.

If you read the paper that Walter S linked to, even intel themselves say it's for mobile computing, in which there's performance like never before: Link to Paper

Pertinent quote, it's all about mobile:

"For some power users, optimal workflows can be had with workstation performance and expandability while using a thin and light laptop. Thunderbolt technology enables using the thinnest and lightest laptops, connected, with “in the box” performance over a single external cable, to high-performance external media drives, HD displays, HD media capture and editing systems, as well as legacy I/O hubs and devices, for the utmost in performance, simplicity and flexibility."

Jeremy


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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:12:17 pm

I don't want to take anything away from the Pegasus R6. It's fast.

Autodesk is actively promoting the Pegasus R6 as a viable storage system for Smoke [link] on an iMac or MacBook Pro. (There are whole other discussions in this about how most editorial really doesn't need a workstation anymore and how graphics co-processing is increasingly important.)

That said...


[Jeremy Garchow] "The 6 drive Pegasus array runs at 800MB/sec with SATA drives. If it had more drives, it'd go faster. Faster drives would go faster. For data only, thunderbolt is a winner."

10 Gb/s (10,240 Mb/s?) divided by 8 is 1,280 MB/s raw line speed. I assume there is some overhead, but I have no idea how much. 800 MB/s may be closer to the limit than we might have thought.

I believe the Areca box I think Frank was referring to would use dual 4x SAS connections from an 8x PCIe controller, but I don't have one and that's just an educated guess.

Walter Soyka
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Frank GothmannRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 3:31:08 pm

Yes, it hooks to 8x Pci-e controller. That's the beauty of those new 8x Areca controllers. They can expand to a hell of a lot of storage, still occupying just one slot. Their larger Raid controllers are even faster.

The Pegasus is a great box and it is freakin' fast, don't get me wrong. This is by no means an attempt to diminish the TB potential. But it just isn't faster, smaller, cheaper. And for some purposes it isn't fast enough when you have one port and several high-bandwith devices chained together.
That was my point.

Plus, there simply isn't a lot of hardware out there atm. It may come, it may not. I don't want to bet on things that may come when I know I have a variety of options right here, right now and they work and do what I need them to do.
So, give me TB in addition to pci-e any day but not instead.


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Dan StewartRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:32:13 pm

Speaking of Smoke on Mac, I guess it's DOA..



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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:38:01 pm

[Dan Stewart] "Speaking of Smoke on Mac, I guess it's DOA.."

Um, what? We have it here. It's quite alive and well on the Autodesk website and operates nicely with pretty much all your FCP hardware.

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=15657302&siteID=123112&ch=...

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:42:59 pm

[Dan Stewart] "Speaking of Smoke on Mac, I guess it's DOA.."

Why?

Autodesk made the brilliant move of broadening Smoke's GPU support several releases ago.

Even if the Mac Pro goes away, Smoke works today on iMacs and laptops. It processes on the graphics card, and the iMac offers passable ones. Autodesk would only need to add Thunderbolt video I/O support, and Smoke could do pretty much everything on a laptop that it can do on a workstation today.

Walter Soyka
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RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Dec 2, 2011 at 7:57:48 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Even if the Mac Pro goes away, Smoke works today on iMacs and laptops. It processes on the graphics card, and the iMac offers passable ones. Autodesk would only need to add Thunderbolt video I/O support, and Smoke could do pretty much everything on a laptop that it can do on a workstation today.
"


Yep, that's what Autodesk showed back in July at our Atlanta Cutters meeting. Smoke running on a MacBook Pro with a thunderbolt RAID. Smoke on the Mac is far from DOA, not even sure what folks are thinking.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Walter SoykaRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Dec 2, 2011 at 8:03:12 pm

[walter biscardi] "Yep, that's what Autodesk showed back in July at our Atlanta Cutters meeting. Smoke running on a MacBook Pro with a thunderbolt RAID. Smoke on the Mac is far from DOA, not even sure what folks are thinking."

Autodesk was fast to add ATI support when Apple dropped NVIDIA as a CTO option, and they were pretty speedy integrating ProRes and certifying Lion, too. I get the sense they have put serious development resources into it and are very committed to Smoke on Mac.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:02:53 pm

Seems a perfect article for this thread. "Is the Mac Pro Dead? Apple Responds." I found it interesting there are only 25 people on the Mac Pro team.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/is-the-mac-pro-dead/1566

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 8:50:26 pm

[walter biscardi] "Seems a perfect article for this thread. "Is the Mac Pro Dead? Apple Responds." I found it interesting there are only 25 people on the Mac Pro team.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/storage/is-the-mac-pro-dead/1566"


Nice one, Wally.


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 9:02:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Nice one, Wally."

See, we still agree on stuff. :)

You should come down to Atlanta and put on an FCP X workshop.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 9:16:42 pm

[walter biscardi] "See, we still agree on stuff. :)

You should come down to Atlanta and put on an FCP X workshop."


I'm flattered!

But it might crash. :-/ :-D

Let's see what happens after "Early 2012".

Thanks, Walter B.


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walter biscardiRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 9:26:02 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Let's see what happens after "Early 2012"."

See you in Vegas?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Jeremy GarchowRe: So what happens to our hardware...?
by on Nov 23, 2011 at 9:34:14 pm

[walter biscardi] "See you in Vegas?"

I'm really hoping. It feels like it's going to be a doozy this year.


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